"Deception in Gentleman's Guise"
Session date - 11/18/00
DM - Chris
Synopsis - The fellowship finally makes the trek to Tantras to return the Dragonfoe spear and bracers. The first day on the road passes quickly, with all enjoying the waning summer weather. The second day on the road finds the group facing a bandit gang two hours out from Tantras. The head bandit, Braun, offers the group a chance to ride past, but only if they "donate" all of their gold and weapons. Being heroes, the group declines and the fight is joined. It turns out to be a little tougher than expected. An archer, hidden in the woods, helps the bandits with ranged attacks, while the rest close to melee for a little mounted combat. Kenon takes a mortal wound and falls off of his horse. A wizard named Aden arrives late in the battle and lends his spells to help the fellowship. The rest of the group is pressed badly, but manages to wound Braun and get him to halt the attack. At least three bandits escape, Braun and two others unconscious, and the rest dead. The decision is made to take Braun into Tantras and see if there is a bounty on this highwayman. The bandits horses, all battle trained, are kept as booty. Before continuing, everyone has a bit of wine with Aden and learns he's a fairly nice fellow who runs a spell component shop in Tantras. Alark makes inroads to starting a trade of components between his shop and Aden's.
The group finds a helpful guard captain at the city gates who writes them a not of credit, in the amount of 200 gold and redeemable at the Council building, for Braun's capture. He also points them towards a good place to stable the horses and a nice inn. They quickly head to the inn, the Roaring Lion, and get two rooms. Inquiries are made as to the whereabouts of Sir Laurence and the inn-keeper says he can pass the word along. Word is brought that Sir Laurence will meet with them for brunch at his home the next day. The group decides to check out the nightlife of Tantras. The inn-keeper suggests the House of Twilight as a good place to drink and wench. On the way to the House of Twilight, the group notices the Gond created cranes and dock lights that enable ships to be loaded and unloaded around the clock.
The House of Twilight turns out to the be Realms equivalent of a three story nightclub. A line of people waiting to enter snakes around the building and a half orc bouncer controls the velvet rope. The group makes it in, but not without Raethe and Alark greasing his palms with a little gold. Lady Shera rearranges her clothes to be a little more revealing, thus assuring her entrance to the festhall. Asher and Kenon are sufficiently odd to get inside with minimal trouble. Inside they find three levels of bars, tables, wandering minstrels, and many opportunities for wenching. Several beautiful women, and two men, attach themselves to the group as they move towards the rooftop. Securing a table, the group settles in and enjoy the scene. A young, well dressed, rake sends Shera a drink and she goes to speak with him. The two men she was talking to take offense and challenge the rake, who is introduced as Riordan, to a duel for Shera's attentions. A circle is cleared and the duel progresses. Riordan wields an elven thin blade with the other man wielding a rapier. Riordan handily embarrasses him by cutting his trouser supports and ending the fight. The night ends with Shera accepting a date with Riordan for the following evening.
The next morning, the group heads off to brunch at Sir Laurence's place. His manservant, Norn, answers the door and leads them to the garden, where they find Sir Laurence is on his deathbed. The items are presented and Sir Laurence makes it known that he would like them given to the local temple of Tempus once he dies. He fades in and out of consciousness, so brunch conversation is less than riveting. Norn ends the brunch and announces everyone must leave Sir Laurence so he can rest. Kenon stays behind a few moments and talks to Sir Laurence about Kelevmore and the afterlife. Sir Laurence tells Kenon to make sure Battleguard Marklyn receives the weapon and bracers. Then he dies.
Meanwhile, Norn tells the rest of the group to contact Battleguard Jeyleen at the Breakwater tavern to arrange giving the items to the temple. The group expresses concern that Sir Laurence asked the items go directly to the temple, not to a middleman. Norn dismisses their concern by saying Jeyleen would take care of it. Kenon returns and tells of his conversation. The group is suspicious that something is going on and decide to take the items to the temple.
Later that day, they head to the Breakwater tavern to check out Battleguard Jeyleen. They wait around outside until he arrives. Kenon and Asher go inside to talk with him. After buying him a drink, they learn that he was asked to take the items to the temple in Ravens Bluff, since Sir Laurence grew up there. He requests the fellowship retrieve the items from the local temple and meet him outside the tavern at 2am. He said his ship, The Black Blade, sailed at 6am and the business needed to be concluded before then. The group leaves and decides that a 2am meeting on the dock would not benefit their health. Raethe hits the harbormasters office and learns the captain of the ship is a dwarf named Torig Bloodaxe. They decided to skip it and head back to Thall the next day, since Sir Laurence's request had been filled.
That evening, a carriage arrives for Lady Shera. It whisks her away to a romantic dinner at an exclusive restaurant with Riordan. Towards the end of dinner, she begins to feel woozy so Riordan helps her back to the carriage. She blacks out soon after. She awakens an indeterminate amount of time later naked in a small room. The smell of salt water and a rolling floor confirm her suspicions she's on a ship. The chain on her leg and mounted on the floor confirm that Riordan is not the perfect gentleman she thought.
The group begin to worry the next morning when Shera doesn't return. A little investigative work turns information leading the group to believe Riordan does work now and then for the Cult of the Dragon. Putting two and two together (Jeyleen wanting the dragon bane items before the Black Blade sailed and Riordan's involvement with the Cult), the group heads to the dock believing that Shera may be captive on The Black Blade. They find the Blade has already sailed. Luckily, a pirate hunter by the name of Durabont offers the services of his ship, The Sea Sprite, in chasing down the Blade.
Meanwhile, Shera learns that since Riordan was unable to secure the items for his draconic masters, he decided to offer them a paladin instead. He says that a paladin sacrifice will put him in good standing with the cult. Shera uses her time alone to work at her bond.
The Sprite catches the Blade two days later. After ramming the ship, Durabont orders it boarded. A vicious fight ensues with both sides taking casualties. A priest onboard the Blade summons a fire elemental and sends it after Durabont and his ship. Torig boards the Sprite and makes for Kenon, who has been throwing spells at him. Kenon insults the dwarf's clan and heritage, but Torig is occupied by Durabont and two sailors, so he is unable to kill Kenon for the slight. Asher takes out Justarran, the cult cell mage aboard the Blade. Alark swings to the opposing ships rigging and sets about destroying it, but stops and joins the battle when he sees it's taking to long. Riordan goes below decks shortly after the battle starts.
Meanwhile, Shera breaks her shackles and hides behind the door. Riordan enters and she kicks the door shut in his face. Unfortunately, it doesn't slow him and he takes her at sword point to the upper deck.
As Riordan and Shera climb on deck, Raethe bull rushes the priest and knocks him off the ship. His elemental leaves the fight the next round. Asher shoots Riordan in the back with a crossbow and Shera begins to run. Riordan gets an attack as she runs, but doesn't cut deep enough to stop her. By this point the fight has turned heavily in favor of the fellowship. Torig is surrounded on the Sprite and offers to buy his freedom, offerring his ship and a map to a dragon hoard. Seeing all is lost, Riordan leaps overboard and disappears.
The two ships limp back to harbor. Torig produces the map and leaves the ship. He tells Kenon that he will find and kill him someday for the insult against his clan. Kenon hurls another insult at him as he walks off the dock. The dwarf turns and throws a hand axe, catching Kenon in the chest and dropping him to the deck, almost dead. The fellowship stabilizes him quickly to keep him from dying. Asher shoots and hits the dwarf with a crossbow bolt, but he takes the hit and walks off through the gathering crowd.
The adventure ends with the fellowship returning to the Roaring Lion to rest before heading back to Thall.
Experience - 2000
Quote of the Week - Ransom, 100
Role-player of the Week - Joan, 400
Big Cojones Award - Ransom, 100