The Dracholt party continues to travel north, encountering a small town and an angry preacher.
Cast of Characters
Goliath Paladin – Red’s Husband
Lawful Neutral Paladin of Devotion tied strongly to Goliaths’ tendencies for meritocracy. Thinks magic is cheating, and has a personality loosely based on Ron Swanson from Parks and Recreation.
Tabashi Rogue – lady with a baby
Dwarven Fighter – Hazudra (Mau’s husband)
Half-Elf Rogue – new player Red’s friends knew
Afer being so rudely awakened by the bandits from last session, the party went back to sleep, although during his watch Aldin noticed two wolf-like shadows watching from the edge of the light cast by their fire. Although they appeared to not be hostile in the moment, Aldin decided to take no chances and shook the others awake, so they might be ready if the situation went south. Fortunately, the two shadows wandered off, deterred by the number of people now looking back at them.
Finally sleeping through the rest of the night, the group then started its trek northward again, eventually stumbling across a teenage peasant and his old nag horse, both of which are being attacked by a hungry griffon. After managing to dispatch the carnivore, the party asked the peasant boy what he was doing along the road, and they learned that his tiny farming community was burnt to the ground by a group of goblin raiders. Thus, he was headed to Dracholt to try to start his life over again, since he could think of nowhere else to go. For the good deed of saving him, the peasant offered two chunks of beautiful azurite to the party. He said he found it on the roadside and had nothing else of value to thank them with.
Turning his keen eye for precious gems on the stones, Dietrich determined each to be worth a few gold peices and insisted that the peasant keep one to sell in town; it would be incredibly helpful to him restarting.
Wandering on, the group walked for the rest of the day, approaching the town of Roselake near dusk. Aldin, having been there before, pointed out that the corresponding keep – Blue Keep – is much shorter than he remembered it, and as they draw nearer, he realized that the keep was being rebuilt from the ground up.
Heading toward Roselake to rent a room in the tavern and possibly figure out what had happened, the group heard an angry preacher shouting about how some “great destroyer” would return to the town to bring ruin and sorrow, to destroy what remained, and to kill as many as he could. McFadin, intrigued, then piped up to ask what exactly the preacher meant and drew the old man’s gaze, which locked on Aldin.
A long, wrinkled finger pointed at the goliath: “The destroyer has returned to finish what he started! But fear not, brothers and sisters, for we are not helpless!”
Guards began to advance out of the throng of people to apprehend Aldin, demanding that he turn over his weapons and come with them, but the goliath convinced them to let him instead stay outside of town, under watch, of course. As the party began to follow him as he made for where he intended to set up camp, he instructed them to instead stay in the town inn and learn as much as they could about what happened in the town.
Thus as Aldin set up camp, the rest of the party went to the tavern, where there were two peasants and one guards. Upon entering Mau began to act like a regular, domestic cat in an effort to make the peasants think she is not harmful, and although the barmaid thought she was adorable, the rest were only convinced that she was harmless. Meanwhile, McFadin and Dietrich sat down at the bar, McFadin ordering a drink before scanning the room. As the barkeep brought the drink over, he asked why they would be traveling with the likes of Aldin – who the townsfolk all think was the person that burnt down the old church and keep a month ago.
Although the party was relatively certain Aldin did not do such a thing, they asked for more details. The barkeep then indicated that nothing strange had really happened besides the fire, and that the priest was pretty much the same. He might have been a bit on edge since his church got burnt down, but that was expected. The only odd thing was a group of drow had gone through town around that time, although they all kept to themselves. They had passed through once going south and had then gone back north; the fire happened when they came back the second time. The barkeep recalled they had a number of very strange traveling companions, including a Tiefling. Otherwise, the barkeep did not know much, so McFadin offered to buy a drink for the one guard sitting in the tavern. The guard was hesitant but accepted since he could watch the barkeep pour the entire thing. This guard, upon being questioned, was not aware of anyone that saw the fire as it was being set but was certain it was set on purpose – the thatched roof of the church was being repaired and the summer had been hot and dry, but the fire started at the main door instead of a more likely place. Still, a different guard named John supposedly caught a glimpse of the person who set the fire, but John would probably be off sleeping since he began doing day watch shifts after the ordeal with the fire.
The next morning, Aldin walked to and waited in the town center for the town noble, Lord Killgrave, to get up since he would be the one to decide justice. A number of guards came with him, and one of them asked if they should wake Lord Killgrave up, although Aldin says no. As they waited, the priest returned, and Aldin somewhat convinced him that he must have the wrong person – why would he have returned this way and gone straight to town if he had done what the priest says? The priest, although visibly shaken by this realization, wanders off grumbling about being tempted by luscious lies.
Hours later, Lord Killgrave eventually showed up, and the party talked to him about this. McFadin asked what was at stake, and the lord states that some people died in the fire and that it will be up to him and what he thinks. (As an aside, people dying would warrant death for a peasant although since the party is obviously somewhat wealthy, a fine is more likely.) Beyond this, the noble had one of the guards – John – go get the priest to confirm that his accusation still stands. Upon arriving, the priest stubbornly reasserts his accusation, although it was obvious by now that the old man was not entirely certain. Somewhat annoyed, Killgrave then asked if anyone wished to vouch for Aldin, and although the party seemed confused about what this meant, they attempted to persuade the lord.
McFadin quickly asked John about the fire and what he saw, and rhe guard said a person in armor was walking away from the fire. John was up on one of the keep parapets and admitted that this could have made I difficult for him to see, but as he looks the Goliath up and down, he began to assert that Aldin was much too tall to have been the person who set the fire. Plus, John saw the stranger’s armor shining in the firelight, and Aldin’s chainmail would not have done such a thing.
Mau meanwhile asserted that no one could be guilty until proven innocent and implies that the noble set fire to his own keep, but he is not particularly convinced, the besmirtching of his name flustering him visibly. Luckily, Killgrave was not the kind of noble to use his position to silence those that questioned him and was rather certain that the priest just got too excited. Thus he dismissed the charges, saying the party is free to go. He is not, however, swayed by the appeal to change how he conducts justice although he is impressed by Aldin, who gives him a few gold in exchange for the trouble and to better assuage any doubt.
Overall, the party is moving through my campaign much faster than I thought they would, but that is not really a bad thing.
I was a little surprised with how well the party dealt with the obstinant priest. Aldin’s persuasive abilities were a bit of a monkey wrench in my plans (the husband usually plays low intelligence characters and thus does not turn on his full pursuasive abilities), but he enabled the party to take the peaceful route. I was surprised when one of my players asked if they were supposed to fight the giant mob of peasants that the priest was preaching to, so I guess I cannot fully discount how new everybody (besides my husband) seems. Still, beyond the paladin’s high Charisma catching me off guard, I was quite impressed with McFadin – who really took the roleplaying and ran with it. He got my NPC’s to rather quickly divulge a large amount of information.