Rise of the Runelords Session 4 starts off with GM Koen showing us a bunch of pictures of NPCs that he found online.
∼ Oathday, 23 Arodus, 4707 AR ∼
Forge starts the day with his usual yoga and fitness exercises. On his way to the House of the Blue Stones, he encounters Gorvi collecting the town’s garbage. Gorvi is shunned by most of the townsfolk but waves to Forge nonetheless who copies the greeting. Forge also notices some new visitors coming from a ship that docked last night. After his exercises Forge returns to the Academy and finds Gandethus and Bofur in the Academy’s cellar. Bofur has clearly not recovered from last night at The Rusty Dragon as he and Gandethus talk about a map they recently discovered. Master Gandethus sends Forge to the market to get some fruit for the school’s children. Forge returns and drops off his purchases in front of the maid’s bedroom door. Master Gandethus’ housekeeper clearly does not find this amusing but Forge is already out the door again and heads over to the militia for the daily briefing.
Darsk’s day starts with an assignment from Chod Bevuk, sending his to the general store for a few barrels of salt. He finds Ven Vinder and orders 2 barrels of salt. During ordering Darsk catches a glimpse of Vinder’s daughter Shayliss behind the shop’s curtains. Darsk ask Ven is he has heard any rumors about goblin activities as he would love to catch one to sell to Daviren Hosk at the Goblin Squash Stables. As Ven is unaware of any rumors, Darsk proceeds with the order and asks if Ven has a cart he could borrow. That is the case so Darsk increases the order to 4 barrels. He then innocently asks if Shayliss could help him carry the barrels which causes Ven to suddenly become a lot less friendly and grumble that she’s still asleep. Darsk continues to grill him, stating he just saw Shayliss causing Ven to become quite curt and ushering him out the door.
On the way to the militia Darsk walks into Bors who has done the night shift but doesn’t have much to report. At the barracks Darsk starts practicing some more archery and waits for Valeros to show for the sparring session he promised. Valeros warns him to be careful since his aim is not that strong in the mornings. What Darsk notices is that on a technical and strength level he might even be Valeros’ superior but he can’t match the adventurer’s battle experience and dirty combat tricks. After an hour of training Valeros proposes to get some drinks and heads for a nearby tavern. Before leaving he answers some questions about nearby goblins and advises Darsk to check out some nearby ruins.
Lucius is on his way to The Curious Goblin to look for a book about the origins of the Swallowtail Festival as he’s stopped by the sheriff and Father Zantus. Sheriff Hemlock tells him a body was found outside of town and wants Lucius to join the investigation. They all board a cart and are joined by a militia man and local fisherman Gregor who will point them to the body. Gregor tells them the body was no longer recognizable, then the conversation turns to the upcoming Swallowtail Festival that everyone is looking forward to.
As the group arrives they find the body in between the rocks, slightly pulled off the beach, covered by a blanket. When the blanket is removed, what is visible is a vaguely human shape. It’s right leg is missing and it’s clear that wildlife creatures have been eating parts of the body. What’s left of clothing are now mere rags draped around parts of the body. At the request of the sheriff Lucius starts investigating the body and establishes that the victim is male, somewhere between 15 and 45, blonde/grey hair. The clothing are of average quality and Lucius finds a few amulets still draped around the corpse’s neck. One is just some sea shells, the other is a piece of rope adorned with 7 silver pieces and 2 copper pieces minted in Magnimar, the third is an amulet of the sea goddess Gozreh. A cause of death is not established as the body has decayed too much. Father Zantus gives the man his last rights after which the sheriff orders him to be wrapped up in a blanket and taken back to Sandpoint for burial.
Forge and Darsk attend the militia meeting at noon where volunteers are needed to set up some more market stalls and a few strong men are needed at the cathedral where several big windows need installing. Darsk volunteers to work at the Cathedral and Forge tags along for the company. He clearly does not consider himself a strong man, thus freeing himself from the obligation to help with the actual physical labor. On the way to the Cathedral Forge stops to buy some flowers to decorate Nualia’s grave.
At the cathedral Darsk and Forge discover 2 very good looking priestesses of Shelyn and Gozreh who walk around inspecting the building. Darsk and Forge climb up the gantries, one to help out with the windows, the other to keep looking at the priestesses and wondering about a career change. As Darsk grabs one of the windows, Forge hides behind his back and whistles down at the priestesses. Forge then decides to start calling out instructions on how to install the windows until the foreman walks over to give him a stern look after which Forge ostensibly wipes the sweat of his brow and decides it’s time to leave.
As Lucius returns from his assignment with the sheriff, he returns to The Curious Goblin to look for his book on the Swallowtail Festival. After some elaborate instructions from Chask Haladan, Lucius finds a book but it’s clear Chask doesn’t really want to sell the book so Lucius just reads it in the shop.
After their work at the Cathedral Forge and Darsk head over to The Rusty Dragon for some food. Forge and Ameiko jokingly trade barbs with each other with Ameiko winning with some stinging remarks about Forge’s size (If you were bigger, I’d actually see you). During their conversations with Ameiko the guys propose to make some advertisement for the Dragon in the harbor district, for a small fee of course. A free meal and 5 drinks per customer they send her way causes Darsk and Forge to head over to the harbor but apparently no new ships are expected to arrive today.
They decide to try their luck at the market area as Forge discovers a shady type drawing his attention into a small alley. Forge makes up a quick excuse and heads towards the alley. He recognizes the shady type as a regular from the Fatman’s Feedbag. The Sczarni have an assignment for him, a merchant from Magnimar has been going around town looking for investment opportunities. As the Sczarni suspect other motives behind these investments, Forge is to learn more about this merchant, a job he’s eager to accept.
Darsk in the meanwhile tries to ‘convince’ someone to lodge at the Rusty Dragon. His “Hey, have you booked a hotel already?” is greeted with a confused look from the potential customer and a chuckle from Forge who’s enjoying the spectacle from a distance. The man explains he’s staying with his cousin which doesn’t stop Darsk. “What does your cousin have to offer you anyway? Plus you’re probably a burden to his family. Think about his wife and children!” “So I see you tonight at the Rusty Dragon? I’ll play the flute!” Lionel’s dice agree that this might not be the best sales talk so Forge intervenes quickly and tries to smoothen the situation a bit.
Darsk decides to head back to the Dragon and meets Valeros, Bofur, and Lucius there. They talk a bit about each others day while they are treated to drinks by Valeros.
Forge in the meanwhile goes to the Pixie’s Kitten. At the Kitten he meets Sarah, a beautiful halfling girl who’s Kaye‘s administrative right hand. Sarah tells him only Jez has a customer at the moment, a merchant from Magnimar called Jonal Medor. Forge walks into the kitchen where he finds Dezi and Kasja and has some tea with them. Dezi tells them Scarnetti’s men have been seen around the Kitten again, probably trying to turn customers away.
As new customers arrive Dezi and Kasja start working and Forge takes up his role behind the bar. After a while he heads upstairs with some drinks, in one of which a sleeping agent was added. He pretends to be room service and as a surprised Jez opens the door, he indicates which drink is the one with the sleeping agent. A bit later Jez emerges from the room looking for an explanation. Forge tells her the merchant is trying to swindle some people in Sandpoint and he has been asked to look into it. Jez agrees to take care of the bar for a few moments as Forge enters the room and looks through his belongings. He finds a small booklet with some codes he can’t decipher and decides to copy some pages. There’s also a small map with some marked locations but Forge can’t immediately make out the details.
Forge is able to copy about 10 pages before the merchant starts stirring again. He returns to the bar and gives Jez a few gold pieces for her trouble and asks her to forget what happened. After his shift, Forge heads over to the Fatman’s Feedbag to present Gressel Tenniwar with his findings. He describes what happened in the kitten and discovers that the Sczarni already have a bunch of papers with a similar code but they are also unable to decipher it. Gressel rewards him with a gold piece per page and promises him 10 gold pieces per page if he can decipher the code somehow. Forge gets to keep one page to decipher and is sent on his way.
Memorable moments of roleplay
- Darsk trying to enlist the help of Shayliss and finding Ven Vinder to want to get rid of him as soon as possible all of a sudden.
- Darsk remarking that the priestesses are a bit too small for him after which Forge points out his own stature.
- Forge hiding on the Cathedral gantries and whistling down at the priestesses, leaving Darsk in plain view.
- Forge instructing the workers at the Cathedral and wiping the sweat of his brow after all his ‘hard work’.
- Ameiko beating Forge at his own game of making stinging remarks.
- Darsk trying to get people to stay at The Rusty Dragon in the most non-saleslike way ever.