The Architects of Betrayal (TAB) 34: On Shifty NPC's
Updated: Jul 20
Not much to talk about this time. A storm conspired to steal all but 3 hours of sleep from me so I ended up cutting the day short. Hey, I need my wits (those that haven't been driven off) about me to deal with this group.
The group headed back to the ship grumbling about no treasure. The old man told them they didn't look hard enough, and demanded the artifact. The group then departed for the island again, leaving Zornesk to deal with the old geezer. After the captain got involved he handed over the artifact.
The old man grabbed it hungrily. It was barely in his hands before he'd started manipulating it like it was a spherical Rubik's Cube. After several turns of the outer shell the device opened, emitting a brilliant light. As it faded Zornesk saw a tall handsome man with a strong physique in place of the old man.
But more than his physical characteristics had changed. He'd also become grateful, and pleasant. He thanked Zornesk for his help profusely.
Meanwhile the rest of the group had made it to that fated room where they'd watched their paladin get squished. They looked around repeatedly before finally trying the pedestal again. As they pushed on it the short walls swiveled. As they swiveled they revealed a room behind, that had been obscured by the bulk of the cannon golems. This room turned out to be a square hall around the pedestal room. And in it was loot.
But how to get it out? They didn't know that this hall was outside the confines of the anti-magic field. So I had them find invisible stones with light cast on them. They greedily snatched these trinkets up, pocketed them, and went on with trudging the treasure out of the room. See above look.
Minerva did eventually realize that the stones indicated magic worked and opened her BOH. After that the group did their best imitation of an industrial vacuum. The group then made a beeline back to the boat and their restored benefactor. He thanked them each in kind. When he got to Quagrim and Zubat he thanked them for their kindness (remember they'd purchased seasickness herbs for him) and gave them a stone of calling. He told them he was in their debt and they could call on him if they needed him.
After introductions were finished their benefactor full up Yoda'd the boat off of the rocks and set it on the open water. He then held a wall of force over the breaches whilst the crew repaired them.
And no, they didn't ask how so powerful a being had been enfeebled. Too bad, that. I had this whole backstory about how he'd made a deal for immortality with a demon.
Then it turned out that the boat was only 4 miles from their destination. So they departed at the dock, only to learn that the Order of the Blue Flame wasn't allowing anyone out of Arabel . . . for their own safety of course. Only those on business of the Order could pass.
Of course Greed and Chaos were quick to tell them how the group was escorting Oraclees on his Scar Pilgrimage. Meanwhile Zubat was perusing the stores. As he was just about done a dwarf (see image) with an atrocious accent (I just can't do accents; was wavering between Scottish and Irish this time, which probably would have gotten me hung by either) approached him, saying it had been a while. He then invited Zubat to bring his friends to a bar, and passed him a business card.
Suspicious, but curious, the Samsaran did as he was asked. At the bar the dwarf again appeared, greeting the group. He asked after Calith. He commented on 'the stony bitch's' increase in size, and on 'the stabby bastard's' decrease in size. He commented on the new people.
Thoroughly confused, one of the group finally asked him what he was talking about. This seemed to sadden him. He asked if they remembered anything. When they said 'no' he told them he'd hoped the charms he'd given them would have helped.
He introduced himself as Nigel Something-Or-Other. He then told them a fantastic tale of meeting them in a bar in Neverwinter and giving them a job. He told them how they'd helped him uncover an entrance to the Underdark. He told them of the wards designed to keep non-dwarves from remembering the deep passages should they stumbled upon them. He told them of his quest to locate Gauntlgrym, the ancient dwarven capital.
They didn't believe a word of it, of course. Would you?
And yet, they still wanted to go. Now wait a minute, didn't you guys have this pressing task? Didn't you swear to never go on another sidequest after the year long sidequest previous? So I told them there was no guarantee of payment. Well that just dropped Tanic right off the list of helpers. And the rest followed.
Meanwhile Zornesk was drinking every time the group wasn't looking. Oraclees was in the corner with a group from The Order, pretending not to have any connection to the group. And Quagrim was talking Zornesk up, making him seem like the next Jesus Christ and Chuck Norris all in one.
And that's where I decided I was too tired to deal with this craziness.