Lost Mines and After

Update - Lots have Transpired

Lance Rock

Party stumbled upon a Necromancer who had set himself up in some caves underneath Lance Rock.  The Necromancer had left signs proclaiming himself as the Lord of Lance Rock while warning others away from a wasting disease.  After encountering several zombies and skeletons, including three zombies that had been dressed up as a bear, bride, and jester, the necromancer was encountered and eventually defeated.

The necromancer had created a pedestal from severed arms that held up a driftglobe which was centered in an oval cavern that had been decorated with numerous heavy, felt curtains.  Above the driftglobe which gave light to the cavern, a floating sigil of an eye hovered.  Once the party touched the driftglobe the sigil disappeared and whatever dweamor that held the arms together gave way and the pedestal collapsed.  

 

Red Larch

The party returned to Red Larch, informming Imdarr Relvaunder of what they had encountered.  He was shocked that a necromancer had set up so close to the town, but with the increased banditry and rumors of goblinoid threats in the area the townsfolk did not stray as far as they had used to.  The Necromancer seemed to be more of a recluse which meant that his location was probably hidden for some time.  

The party rested with the intention of investigating the fresh grave site that Larmon Greenboot had spoken of the following morning.  Upon their waking and finishing breakfast, the party began looking for their sheep herder guide when a tremor struck Red Larch opening up a large sink hole in the middle of the town.  Kids had fallen in and a mother was calling for help.  Many of the townsfolk were rushing to the scene while some of the town's elders were trying to keep the party and the people away from the edge.  They claimed that more of the earth could give way but the party overheard a panicked conversation between 2 of the elders stating something about the "Delvers" and that the "Stones should not be interfered with".

Taking the initiative, Arrow used his spider climbing ability to run over the edge of the sink hole and into the crevasse, eventually bringing up the children one at a time.  The elders were insistent that the party cease but the calls from the crowd and Arrow's refusal to listen to the elders' directions meant that such commands were ignored.

 

Sink Hole

A large cavernous room with a single square stone door lies facing the interior of the room.  The door has a single pull ring in the center.  Several dark colored cloaks are hanging on pegs against the wall near the stone door and a small basket with a number of water flasks lie underneath.  A single tunnel breaks off from the cavern leading into the darkness.

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What is Going On?
A synopsis

Iarno Albrecht

A.K.A. Glasstaff.  Once an agent to the Lord's Alliance, became disillusioned from not receiving the accolades he felt he deserved to get.  Used his knowledge and resources within the [[Lord's Alliance]] to reach out and contact Nezznar, the Black Spider.

Nezznar

A Drow elf whose goal was to find and control the magical properties of Wave Echo Cave.  Orchestrated Glasstaff's control over the Redbrands, in an attempt to control the budding frontier town of Phandalin.  Found to have various reports on a delegation of nobles and important people from Mirabar that were going to travel to areas in the Dessarin Valley and then onto Waterdeep.  These notes and a series of correspondences to a figure by the name of Hellenrae indicated that Nezznar was subservient to Hellenrae.  A strange brass painted mask was found in Nezznar's belongings, the mask only had eye slits and a mouth slit and was designed to mask all other features of the face.

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Gif, the Undersized Goblin!
Berronar Truesilver Festivus Song

Sung by a drunken Oskar accompanied by Kazoo cord played by Gif

Gif, the undersized goblin
Believed in Berronar Truesilver very much!
And if you ever heard about it
You may even say he’s a bit touched

All of the other goblins and bugbears
They used to beat upon him and call him names
They never let poor Gif
Join in any goblin games

Then one foggy Festivus eve
Berronar Truesilver came to say:
“Gif with your belief in me that’s so bright
Won’t you pray to me to bring Grimaldi back to life?”

Then how all the goblins loved him
Even the bugbears shouted out with glee
Gif the undersized goblin
You’ll go down in history!

Hey Gif, pray to Berronar Truesilver to raise Grimaldi!
Hey Gif, sneak up on your prey, attack and then runaway!
Hey Gif, go eat some DUCK!

Then one foggy Festivus eve
Berronar Truesilver came to say:
“Gif with your belief in me that’s so bright
Won’t you pray to me to bring Grimaldi back to life?”

Then how all the goblins loved him
Even the bugbears shouted out with glee
Gif the undersized goblin
You’ll go down in history!

BARNAR!

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Deep Conversation - Aftermath the Lost Mine of Phandelver
Phandalin – The Stonehill Inn

Arrow, Thorwyn and Oskar sit at the table over a few tankards of mead as Gif finishes eating his third chicken (DUCK!) and Otadek sitting at the bar complains to the innkeeper over prices and suppliers to the settlement. It’s mentioned that Jhereg was last seen heading off into the wilderness and Grimaldi was encaptivated by throwing pebbles into the privy stream seeping outside the Sleeping Giant and has decided to “walk his path” exploring the world alone.

During light conversation Oskar proposes the following to Arrow and Thorwyn as Gif intently listens on [the following is a summary and MOSTLY out of character]:

First order of business, Oskar’s revised roster of healing is now Gif /Thorwyn (Oskar is so torn between the two) followed by his favorite ginger mage Arrow. I’m a healer and bound by my order to heal the sick and injured and must ensure that we not only survive but thrive. However, anyone else best bring their own healing potions!

Second, I DO enjoy the idea of establishing Otadek (the npc) in Phandalin to rebuild the Tresendar Manor on behalf of the party cough Arrow (since Ted seems keen on the idea of a wizard’s den, however, I’m certain Oskar is missing any of that). The notion is very reminiscent of old D&D modules where you have a retired adventurer establishing a manor/keep in some up and coming frontier settlement. We the party can take this on as an investment entrusting Otadek to represent our interests in the Wave Echo Cave/Rockseeker Mining Company as well as giving us some roots in aiding the developing frontier settlement. Also, Oskar sees this as a prime opportunity towards his missionary work by eventually establishing a local shrine to Berronar Truesilver. [EDIT] How could I ever forget this but the Tresendar Manor is the holy site of the Miracle of Phandalin where Grimaldi was raised from death by Gif’s prayers to Berronar Truesilver. Yes indeed, a chapel to the goddess is required in that lower storage chamber where Grimaldi was resurrected.

If agreed, we may each donate some gold towards the enterprise (the rogue currently promised Oskar/The Temple of Berronar Truesilver 100 gold to be placed towards the manor chapel) to establish Otadek in Phandalin, start the work in rebuilding the manor and protecting our holdings in Phandalin. Ryan can determine the total funds needed / ”requested” by Otadek as well as what the locals require from us to seal ownership of the manor. Of course we’ll be certain to have Arrow draft the agreement with Otadek and have it certified by an appropriate local Guild.

Third (and not necessarily final), Oskar mentions that Gif is growing more confident in his skills as a fighter and that the young goblin is encouraged by the party’s confidence by rewarding him with the Gauntlets of Ogre Power; a teardrop falls down Oskar’s cheek as Gif proudly swells up and shouts BARNAR! However, Gif’s fascination in the odd goblin music instrument Kazoo is undoubtedly intriguing. Perhaps there’s a bard in the young goblin long suppressed by his bugbear enslavers? Although the loss of Grimaldi to our combat line is discouraging, Oskar is optimistic that Gif and himself can assist in combat under Thorwyn’s guidance and leadership. Bards are renowned for inspiring their friends, driving fear in their enemies and skilled fighters in their own right. Also, someone else with a little healing inspiration can help tremendously should I falter in battle. I’m thinking Gif should pursue the bard path, however, I ask you [Thorwyn and Arrow] for your thoughts.

Gif lights up with a full faced grin and shouts DUCK! as the barmaid reluctantly brings another roasted chicken to the table. Oskar smiles in a sigh; Gif is a good soul and I do believe the goddess delivered him to us for good reason. I’m new to the world beyond the North and happy to have companions, no friends in both of you. Oskar looks over his shoulder and chuckles; even old Otadek means well and will always be a friend. Berronar Truesilver’s blessing is truly upon us. Gif raises his head as the half chicken stuffed in his mouth comes flying out in a spitted burst BARNAR!

[ Best prove yourselves newbees! ;) ]

AFTERMATH POST SUMMARY:

  1. Oskar’s Healing Roster: Oskar’s favorites remains unchanged (Gif /Thorwyn and Arrow).
  1. Tresendar Manor Rebuilding: Arrow, Grimaldi, Oskar,Otadek and Thorwyn have invested and secured the land holding for the Tresendar Manor. Otadek has decided to remain in Phandalin to oversee the rebuilding of the manor as the party’s agent.

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  1. Gif the Bard: It’s been overwhelmingly agreed by the key party members that Gif should pursue his aspirations and become a bard. Let the Kazoo melodies commence!

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Nezznar, the Black Spider

1. Campsite Downtime
2. Of Tunnels and Krakens
3. First Encounter
4. Nezznar, the Black Spider

Campsite Downtime

The party retreated from Wave Echo Cave after running into the Black Spider’s shock troops. The battle was hard won, and knowing that their presence was likely heard by other denizens of the Cave system, the decision to rest outside of the cave seemed prudent.

Traveling a few miles outside of the cave entrance, the party found a copse of trees that offered some protection against the chillingly cold air that swept down from the Sword Mountains. Arrow took the downtime to read through the magically protected tomes that Mormesk the Undying had kept while the rest of the party nursed their wounds and rested up for the night.

The first tome was essentially a magic primer which included many of Mormesk’s thoughts and insights to the workings of different magical cultures. Some of the material read as a type of stream of consciousness on Mormesk’s part as he postulated different theories as to how different types of magic worked. Alchemy, potion distilation, blood magic, different shamanic rituals that where not related to a religious form of magic were but some of the topics in which Mormesk wrote about. Mormesk intelligence and his insight into magic were impossible to ignore and despite the ravings of the undead spirit that the party had encountered, he was once a very accomplished wizard.

The second tome was more of a journal of sorts where Mormesk’s personality became more apparent. Not only was he a talented wizard, he also had a very high opinion of his self and his intelligence. From his accounts, Mormesk was sought after by the Consortium which ran the production of Wave Echo Cave over 500 years ago. Great detail was given to the negotiation between himself and the representatives of the Consortium and how they met his demands which convinced to move and take up residence within the cave. Mormesk, it must be noted, was one to enjoy the finer things in life and quite a lot of effort was taken to describe the value of different items that he was gifted and paid with. It is towards the end of the journal entries where Mormesk’s frustration about the massive Orc invasion unfolds. At first he mentions the rumors that have reached his ears and he scoffs at the fear mongering of the merchants. As time unfolds and news of different settlements having fallen to the orc incursion, Mormesk’s tone becomes more frustrated and bitter. Even at the end, his confidence about surviving the Orc raid apparent. He claims that the defenders of Wave Echo Cave are much more proficient than the clod-hoppers that the orcs have been dealing with. With the magic that the soldiers here have access to, and Mormesk’s own robust abilities, he is confident that the orcs will be punished and repelled should they try and assault the cave.

The third tome

Of Mazes and Krakens

Reentering the Caves, the party moved to discover what nonsense was used to determine the layout of the mines. Oskar was able to discover that there seemed to be a vein of some type of ore that was being mined and that some of the walls were actually reinforcements that were designed to add support within the

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Why You Shouldn't Taunt Bugbears Through Doorways

The party spent a short rest within Mormesk’s quarters trying to figure out their next move. The cave system, apparently, seemed to have developed some sort of mind/memory altering aspect to it as Grimaldi had trouble trying to remember what had transpired just hours ago. Otadek the Friendly was affected by this newly discovered quality of the caves as he had lost several days of memories (actual months of play OOC) which seemed to have put the old man into a manic state.

Having recently found a map of the Wave Echo Caves, the party spent their time exploring the northeastern section of the cave complex. A large cavern where water from an underground river would course into it at semi-random times was discovered and the force of the water into the small cavern would echo throughout the cave system giving the area its name.

Eventually the party moved back into the large smelter room where they had so many unpleasant encounters and chose to inspect the closed door that held the zombies off during their previous engagements. Moving up to the door Grimaldi listened to hear the mutterings and harsh laughter of sounds which resembled goblin speech. Having no understanding of what was being said, he motioned to the party that critters were afoot and opened the door so that they could rush in and squash the unsuspecting goblins.

Unfortunately, the native tongue of Bugbears is the goblin language and 5 hulking brutes turned from their telling fishing stories around a lit brazier to face the mixed race party in the hallway. Immediately, the party moved to secure the doorway so that they could limit the number of Bugbears entering into the hallway. Grimaldi and Thorwyn moved up to block the doorway and prepared to meet the bugbears when they charged. Arrow summoned his Flaming Sphere and attempted to bash one of the bugbears from the midst of the brazier which set the bugbears into a frenzy.

Move away from the animated ball of fire, the bugbears spread out and, much to the surprise of the party, decided to throw their javelins through the doorway. Thorwyn was struck by three of the javelins, stumbling back from having received such menacing wounds.

Feeling their oats, the party rushed forward with Grimaldi and Otadek charging into the room. The flaming sphere continued to harry the bugbears but on their turn, the bugbears moved to shut the door (and close off the mage’s line of sight) and surround the two party members.

Combat continued, Thorywn was cured of some of her wounds and rejoined the battle, the door was finally opened to allow Arrow to combine his Magic Missiles with his Flaming Sphere. This combination proved lethal to the bugbears and was paramount in the turning of the tide of battle. While the bugbears made virtually every Dex save against the flaming sphere, it’s effects whittled down the bugbears while the party members actually managed to land a hit or two during the drawn out battle.

Knowing that the sound of battle and Jhereg‘s Thunderwave spell, that they would need to retreat farther to heal and rest up before a response from the Bugbear’s allies came. Retreating back to the entrance of Wave Echo Cave, the party once again took in the rooms contents and a discussion was made over what to do with the dead Rockseeker brother and the fancy boots his corpse was wearing. The discussion ended prematurely as Oskar was trying to persuade the party, “Out of respect to our benefactor we should leave the boots on Gundren’s brother’s corpse…” as a red slipper landed on top of his head to be followed by a second one flopping into his face as Oskar turned around.

Arrow’s smile met Oskar’s eyes as Arrow muttered, “Hey, what do you know. Fits me like a glove!”

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EPIC MOMENTS IN GAMING HISTORY!

Grimaldi meets the Beholder!

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Of Barracks and Redbrands

Redbrand Hideout Part 2

From the cavernous room where the party encountered the Nothic, it was decided to explore the southwestern passage that led to the west. Gif was nervous as the party began descending the hallway and the stairs and the small goblin continued to mutter about ‘big goblins’ as the party continued.

At the bottom of the stairs the party could hear mutterings and laughter coming from a southern door where the hallway then turned to the north. To the north, the hallway only extended another 20 ft. or so before another door was seen, closed.

Bracing themselves for combat the party shoved open the door and attempted to surprise the 3 bugbears that were sitting on messy pallets therein laughing at a pathetic goblin who seemed to be prostrating himself to the amusement of his beefy superiors.

In the life of an adventurer where life and death events blur together, so too did the details of this encounter blur with the many other combats that the party members had taken a roll in. Arrows were shot (often missing their target and finding purchase in the various wooden beams that supported the walls and ceiling of the room), magic was thrown about, swords and axes swished (sometimes even hitting their targets), and the brutal attentions of the bugbears felt as their morning stars smashed heavily into the party.

The bugbears where felled, the goblin sycophant was captured, and enough noise was made to alert anyone who had been close by to what was actually happening. Gif lorded himself over the newly captured goblin, Droop and the party witnessed how a goblin hierarchy was established (primarily by beating and berating a lesser goblin into submission, accentuated with cries of “BurrNor” and pointing to Oskar who was impressed by Gif’s evangelicalizism).

The door to the north opened and the party was forced to divide their attentions between clearing the bugbear quarters and dealing with angry Redbrands. Combat continued and ended when one of the Redbrands managed to disengage himself from combat and withdraw through a door to the north. The party found themselves severely wounded and short of healing spells while inside a room that seemed to be a lounge for the Redbrands as evidenced by the gaming cards and dice that were strewn over the tables. Other barrels and crates littered the room indicating that they may have once been a part of a merchant shipment but with the alarm undoubtedly being spread, the party decided to quickly kill any unconscious Redbrands and extricate themselves from the Redbrand hideout.

Alderleaf Farm

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I Don't Hate This...

Rumors in Review

Toblin Stonehill – proprietor of the Stonehill Inn. Toblin welcomed the party and gave them food and drink. Shared rumors of the town, the plight of the goblin raids on the trade roads and warned the party of the dangerous Redbrand gang here. The Redbrands claim to be mercenaries but behave more like brutish thugs that prey on the people of Phandalin. Trilena, Toblin’s wife, told the party that the Redbrands had murdered Thel Dendar, a wood carver, once stood up to the Redbrands. Thel’s wife and kids are now missing and the townsfolk fear the worst.

Elmer Barthen – Barthen’s Provisions. Paid each of the players 10 gp. on delivery of the goods. Shared with the party that Gundren had not made it to the town, but expected him. Also mentioned that Gundren’s two brothers, name and name, had not been to town in the last ten-day but he expected them to come in and pick up provisions any day now. Was very troubled about the news that Gundren had been kidnapped by goblins and urged the party to do something about it.

LaneneLionshield Coster. Party had heard of her good reputation. Sells weapons and armor for the Lionshield Merchant Consortium. When Gif’s presence was made clear, she asked the party to leave, stating that she didn’t, “sell to bandits, brigands, goblins, or Redbrands.” Lanene is not a fan of the party for 3 reasons. 1. They have a goblin companion, 2. Grimaldi attempted to kill the goblin in her shop while the party was attempting to make excuses about Gif, and 3. Otadek the Friendly failed to intimidate her into selling the party goods to disguise Gif and forcefully took the goods while leaving gold behind.

Redbrands Bandit group or mercenary company. Rumors state that they have goblin servants, though no one can claim to have seen one. No one knows why they are in Phandalin other than to terrorize the populace because they can.

Meeting the Mayor

After dropping 3 Redbrands outside of the Sleeping Giant Taphouse and capturing a fourth by the name of Gerrolf. The party decided to turn them over to the Mayor. Mayor Harbin Wester was found to be a portly and from descriptions the party was given, “a pompous old fool.” Harbin seemed to be completely intimidated by the fact that armed strangers had come into town and roughed up some members of the Redbrands, the group he claimed to be a mercenary company. Harbin spent most of his time trying to inflate his image and importance to the party while trying to diminish the cruelties (and the reported murder) that had been committed by the Redbrands. The party left the unconscious Redbrands and Gerrolf with Harbin to do with as he would, retiring for the evening.

The night passed uneventfully with the exception that Otadek and Oskar woke up to a room full of chicken feathers and chicken parts. Gif proudly sat on the floor picking at a wing remnant while holding the food up to Oskar and proclaimed, “Duck!” The party inquired with Toblin if they were missing any chickens and Toblin said that he was not so where the chickens came from is still a mystery and has shown that Gif has yet to be fully rehabilitated to ‘civilized’ lift.

The party decided to return to the Townsmaster and question the Redbrands that they had dropped off the day before. Unfortunately, the party found out that Harbin had released the Redbrands, fining each of them 5 gp. for disorderly conduct and even though the party knew that the Redbrands could not pay that fine at the moment of their incarceration (they had counted 11 gp. total amongst the brigands once the party had subdued them) Harbin explained that the Redbrands, as a group, would certainly pay because they wished to have a favorable working relationship with Phandalin. This did nothing to move the party at all, and Harbin continued playing the dullard or at least the pawn in the contention between the town’s populace and the Redbrands.

2nd Encounter with the Redbrands

Upon exiting the Townsmaster’s Hall, the party met Cyril and 3 new Redbrands making their way to the party. They had learned that Cyril was a captain of sorts within the mercenary band and it became apparent that Cyril was interested in retribution for the party’s previous transgressions against them. Combat ensued, Cyril and another Redbrand were stabilized while 2 others died of their wounds. Feeling that nothing would come of turning the Redbrands into the Mayor the party decided to leave the wounded brigands on the side of the road.

While the party was trying to figure out what to do with the wounded brigands and the dead bodies, a young halfling boy by the name of Carp attempted to speak to the party a second time. The first time was after the party had subdued the Redbrands outside of the Sleeping Giant Taphouse. He had asked them then if the party claimed to be heroes and so shouted their praise when they had defeated the Redbrands a second time. Carp claimed to have seen the Redbrands exit a small ravine when he was playing in the woods on the outskirts of town. They skulked about like they were being sneaky, Carp thought, but assured the party that the Redbrands had not seen Carp. Offering the child a shiny silver piece from Grimaldi, Carp took the bait and led the party to where he claimed his mother had told him not to play. The ravine led into a hillside on the south side of Tresendar Manor, a ruined old complex that echoed the past worth of Phandalin.

Redbrand Hideout

Otadek and Grimaldi entered into the small tunnel or passageway into the hillside while the rest of the party waited outside. The tunnel continued on for about 100 ft. and then opened into a natural cavern that was cut in half by a natural ravine that cut through the floor of the cavern. The bottom of the ravine was about 20 ft. below the cavern surface and was littered with many bones and pieces of what the the two trailblazers could only guess had once been clothing. A body, broken and shredded was also seen discarded in the craggy bottom of the ravine.

There were two bridges that had been crafted to give anyone access from one side to the other. The room was lit only by the faint light of wall sconces from various hallways and rooms that connected to this main cavern area. Otadek moved to check for traps on the bridge while Grimaldi scouted around the eastern outskirts of the cavern. It was here that Otadek caught a glimpse of a monstrous creature using a natural column to hide itself as it spied on the two party members. The creature was bipedal and roughly human size though its skin was broken with many sharp and nasty looking protrusions. A single eye filled half of the space on its head while the other half was taken by a large mouth full of sharp and nasty teeth. It watched the two as they went about their business until Otadek took action and hurled a dagger at it from his crouched stance over the bridge.

The dagger sunk deep within the creatures shoulder and a blood curdling scream of pain and rage could be heard in all of the party members heads. The scream was not vocal, but more telepathic in nature. A black and purple beam of darkness flew out from behind the column and struck Otadek’s body, causing his body to go into a spasm while his limbs and his body was rocked with rigor mortis. Otadek’s body fell, unconscious, onto the bridge, signaling initiative.

The party’s response was quick. The creature, a nothic, took several wounds before cowering against the cavern walls. Grimaldi directed it to go across the northern bridge and wait until the party managed to discuss what to do with it. It complied, walking back towards the bridge and then attempted to dart down the northwestern passage out of sight of the party members. Fortunately Jhereg was watching for this type of behavior and countered the creatures escape with a Thorn Whip that broke the creatures wounded body and pulled it into the ravine where it expired.

Before trying to escape, the creature had stated telepathically that the Redbrand’s leader, a wizard by the name of Glasstaff had made an agreement to feed it in return for keeping watch over the ravine and the rear exit. It claimed that there were prisoners, a woman and 2 children, who had been brought here but that Glasstaff had not given them to him. Much of this information was broken with cries and whines of its hunger and pleading for food or deep fits of laughter which may have given the party the creature’s mental state.

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A Lesson In Diplomacy

Ok, so I feel it is important that we may need to set a tone for the nature of the campaign as we begin to get our feet under it. A social contract of sorts needs to be agreed upon that allows everyone to play together without setting each other at sorts with one another. I’ve been keeping the game light because much of this is getting used to FG and with the basics of 5th edition but this group has many strong personalities and character backgrounds to consider so if we are all going to play together and not have it devolve into a inter party back-stab fest we might want to review some things.

For brevity (not my strong suit) I’ll just point out some situations that might have created more inter party conflict than may have been intended and may affect how other players may want to continue.

  1. Gif: We’ve gone a little off the books on this, but that is fine. I think that Gif helps bring some strange comic relief to the game and he hasn’t done anything egregious to the party as yet to warrant a cold blooded killing. Now Grimaldi is a folk hero and a person who strives to free people from oppression (as shared in last nights FG session), so for him to outright try and surprise attack Gif (in a place of business and who was following the party lead) is, at the very least, unscrupulous and bordering on psychotic. The second near attempt to strike at Gif once Oskar had healed him would have been a straight and evil act. No chaotic neutral, just pure evil.

I like the potential discord Gif has brought to the party, I like that there are some disagreements as to Gif’s placement and whether or not he should continue traveling with the group, but you guys need to come up with a way to work around sundering the party just to get one person’s way. As strongly as you might feel a character’s personality might be, we have an entire party of strong personalities that you are not considering when you start making party sensitive decisions.

Just something to consider…

  1. Lionshield Coster – Bravo for pissing off the one upstanding proprietor who has chosen to stand up against the terrorizing of the Redbrands while trying to show her that the party is there to help the town… How do you do this? By trying to intimidate her… (sorry, Otadek, but you rolled a 3 on your Intimidation, wasn’t happening). So Otadek might want to consider if whether or not the party the he is traveling with will support his strong arm ways and back him up if these ways end up back firing on him. Otadek is not in his usual environment, he doesn’t have a pool of similarly groomed people to draw from, he doesn’t know the party members and how they are aligned (not just alignment but what their philosophy and means of carrying out their business is), and he is probably cranky as hell because he was kept up all night from hoot owls and coyotes cackling at all hours of the night!

By making such a showing in a business to an owner in front of the party, makes the party complicit in the act. You are essentially forcing them to make a decision into either breaking the party by confronting a hostile and strong willed character, or possibly breaking their own ethics by going along with it. Neither option will cement this group or its PCs with one another.

Both of these scenarios are reflective of the poor GM trope of railroading. Every player likes to feel that they have a chance to pursue their own character’s goals and that they have a choice in building a story by challenging and altering a plot with their actions. That’s what RPing is all about, community storytelling. If I, as the GM, force you to go this way and that, eliminating your chance to affect the plot or the story as a whole, then most of you would balk at the game and start looking elsewhere for your gaming fix. This, in essence, are what the two examples above are doing, so I would ask that you consider this as we move forward.

Not a sermon, more of a scolding…!

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