Yep, that's me waving as the group decides to jump ahead a bit. I'm not sure which of the wavees I am though. The physical manifestation of a DM in their world is a bit vague. Perhaps both?
Anyway, apparently I did a better job of freaking the group out with my teleporting spiders than I thought, because instead of returning yet again to the gates of fabled Gauntlgrym the group went to Neverwinter. Presumably to whimper in their sleep, hide under their beds, or get very, very drunk.
Okay "ostensibly" they went to warn the city about the infestation some leagues below them, possibly in hopes of organizing 'The Great Spider Hunt'. So Quagrim said anyways. Not sure if I believe him though. His player's got a wicked bluff check.
Yep, you heard right; the gnome was the one suggesting giving fair warning to Neverwinter. Not the paladin, as you'd expect. The gnome. Oh, did I mention they went to Neverwinter once already to sell loot when Pent split. No warning. But now the gnome wants to warn people.
I swear he's been spending too much time with the kobold; and vise a versa. Now I've got a Lawful Good Kobold who solves things chaotically, and a Chaotic Good Gnome looking out for the people. Maybe I should make him suffer The Paling? Maybe just have a bunch of villagers claim he was looking a bit white? I'll think about it.
So here's the rub; remember waaaaaaaaaaaaaaay back when this group (some of them anyway) first came to Neverwinter? It would have been around episode five or six of this particular drama. No? Fine, I'll recap.
Upon entering the city Quagrim's pockets were picked, divesting the group of one magic artifact. And of course they had to go off the beaten path -wait, they went off the rails then too! They must put something in the water . . .
Note to self: no more visits to Neverwinter. I'll have to have a big meteor hit it or something. Maybe I could have some alien human hybrid bring it down to make mommy happy or someth . . . oh you've heard that one, eh?
Anyways, some hijinkery later they agreed to plant evidence in the mayor's house. Wait, did I say evidence? I meant a box. They planted a box in the mayor's residence. The fact that it was filled with evidence suggesting the mayor and his family were into demon worship was irrelevant . . .
Flash forward back to the present. The group's about to go tell the "authorities" of this grave threat. Of course the city constable just so happens to be The Hand, the fence they'd attempted to shake down on their first visit. AND I WASN'T READY FOR ANY OF IT AGAIN! Seriously, no more trips to Neverwinter. I hadn't planned on springing the consequences of their acts on them until after Gauntlgrym was dealt with. Then again, I hadn't planned on them being high enough level to teleport on a whim. I blame Dave and Dan, and their love only of combat and loot on that. (BTW the Kobold is still convinced that his stomach lags behind in teleport like I do when I play Call of Duty)
Of course The Hand recognized the repeat customers and warmly invited them in. They are, after all, the group that gave them the keys to the city. Upon hearing the news of this grave threat to the countryside he invited them to dinner at the mayor's residence . . . to discuss how best to handle it. Once they agreed they were dismissed quite summarily.
Oh, and Quagrim asks after Josh. You remember him right? The meathead they tricked (twice)? As it turns out he's now a patrolman in the city! Probably should just go ahead and replace 'patrol' with 'highway' in that particular title.
With time to kill, the group headed to Zornesk's paladin headquarters, to discover just what the hell happened. Upon learning of their involvement in this bitter turn for the community of Neverwinter, Quagrim confesses all. Zornesk glares daggers whilst reciting I informed you thusly. Minerva simply adopted a confused look. Globat spent the time leafing through his history texts muttering about how nothing was as he'd expected it.
As Quagrim finished his tale of woe (reminding her yet again that 'I was evil at the time') the paladin grabbed his ear and marched him to the prison, to show them the luxurious quarters the city had provided the mayor and his family's whilst they awaited execution for worshiping demons. Believe it or not, Quagrim vowed to put it straight, asking what he could do to right this wrong.
The paladin then informed the group that the replacement mayor was a woman they'd never heard of and had had even less direct contact with. The group agreed to provide information and set off for their dinner party. As they left Quagrim asked them to keep a group at hand in case they needed help.
They were met at the door by none other than Josh who addressed the group quite politely. He commented on what great claws Bob had. He commented on Zornesk's armor. He made a sloppy pass at Minerva. And when it came to Glowbat he simply asked 'Any blue skin will do eh?'. Globat went back into his books for information about this Josh character. Josh then left to inform the hosts that the guests of honor had arrived.
Once he departed an antimagic field snapped on. Quagrim, Globat, and Minerva managed to beat the save, but only the Gnome managed to successfully bluff that fact. A moment later The Hand came in with two collars, insisting the two wear them.
They demured. The Hand assured them of their safety, stating that this was only precaution. After all, what else are they to do when their associates run blabbing to the local Paladins, hmm? He also assured them that they would be allowed to go, and that they would not be taking the very expensive collars as dinner gifts. Eventually they agreed.
As they put them on they were subjected to an anti magic field yet again. This time only the Samsaran made the checks, and only by cheating; well, that's what I call rewinding time because you don't like your roll. Its like a third grader insisting he get a 'do over'.
Anyways, once sufficiently collared, the group was ushered into the dining room to meet the mayor. Whom they happened to know better as 'The Mask'.
Surprisingly the group had no shenanigans for me. They simply told them what they knew and listened to the two discuss how best to milk the people of this fair land with this new threat. And drank; Zornesk and Minerva drank extensively.
On the way out Quagrim noted that they had a tail and altered their plans. He told Globat to 'go to the pub' instead of the paladin's quarter. He then stealthed and went on his own leaving a letter for the head of the order. He quickly rejoined the others in their drinking games.
Not long after, that with which he'd corresponded entered the bar, dressed as a commoner. She explained that they had plenty on 'The Mask' but warned them that they needed evidence before she could move on the mayor. Quagrim was gone before she'd finished the sentence. Apparently a Gnome's work is never done.
He steeled himself back to the mayor's mansion and cast invisibility. I, of course, had granted the guards with true sight goggles. A modest bonus as it turned out. Sadly it was still impossible for them to see the little bastard as he flew to the second floor window and entered, much as he had some months before. Being that there was someone in the study where he'd done his previous nasty little deed he headed upstairs to the bedroom. Upon finding the door locked via Arcane Lock he about faced, back outside and flew up to the bedroom window, letting himself in as any common cutpurse might.
All of this with a depressing number of successful stealth checks.
There he found a desk, also secured via Arcane Lock. Unable to open it himself he grabbed everything of value he could find and piled it on the desk. Then he summoned Bob and flew out the window to a nearby roof, where he used the summoner's Maker's Call ability. Bob appeared, along with the desk. He then teleported himself to the Paladin's hall.
They quickly broke into the desk from the back, found the papers they needed, and made whole the damage. They also informed him that the loot would go to the citizens of Neverwinter to help stem the tide of the damage done. Quagrim then repeated his actions in reverse, bringing the desk back.
He'd just entered the bed chambers when he heard a voice in the hall utter a command word, unlocking the bedroom door. Thinking quickly he summoned Bob, who placed the desk back where it was, and flew out the opened window. As The Hand entered Bob said "The Black Cloaks send their regards!" and swung his massive sword . . . in her general direction.
Somewhat outraged at the clumsiness of this apparent assassination attempt, she then disintegrated the eidolon, and went on a rage about being stolen from. A true irony coming from the mistress of a thieves guild. The next day all the paladins of the city converged on the mayor's house (heavy one adventuring group) and took all into custody. The mayor and his family were released.
Which only left compensation for certain crimes . . .