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In which the party wraps up some loose ends, discovers some more, talks their way out of an unpleasant engagement with the drow, and whacks the last of the minotaurs.

Change of Title

Note that I’ve changed the series title from the Chronicles of Eric Pelorson to the Chronicles of the Free Company. Whilst I pay somewhat more attention to Eric than to the other characters [1], these posts have always attempted to address the doings of the entire party.

The new title reflects that, and also includes the name of the adventurers guild being set up by the party.

Does anyone here speak undercommon?

Hector had the bright idea to try and interrogate the Drow assassin using the Speak With Dead spell.  This has been useful to the party previously whilst dealing with the ghouls in Drakehold. [2] It helps that Jamir can now cast this spell himself.

It took a little while to set up, and House Theedul were only prepared to allow one opportunity before destroying the body.

Unfortunately Sebastian was off buying magical critters to manage the Guild House gardens when the Drow answered the first question of “Who hired you to kill the Earl of Manford” in undercommon.  The only recognisable word was Filcher.

The second question of “Where is your financial and material wealth hidden” was answered the same way but Hector transcribed what he could phonetically in Elvish.  Sebastian attempted to interpret this later but only got “place without light” out of it.

Whilst planning this Hector asked a very good question that, alas, the party is not in a position to follow up: where were Alpha, Jynx, and the Wight Brothers heading to from Bridges? This was never asked previously, and getting answers now is likely to be difficult.

Preparing to chase the minotaurs

Eric spent much of this time researching the sewers and what lies beneath the city of Redia.  Sebastian assisted with some of this, in particular copying the map found last session.

The intent was to get some intelligence on where the minotaurs were likely to be, but Eric found much more than that.  In essence Redia and its sewers were built on top of an older city and its sewers.  There could be all manner of things down there and some older maps refer to passages leading down to the lower city.

Although not immediately relevant Eric also found some really old texts that had been written by the old, and now deceased, Royal House.

Let’s Talk About The Prophecy

Jamir organised a dinner for the entire party with Thane Stewart (of House Vance) to discuss the prophecy that is apparently about the party [3]. The entire party was at this one, although Kelain and Rune Stoned may have needed sobering up first.

The prophecy itself appeared recently, but has unusually high agreement across all the orders in House Vance. Thane Stewart was directly informed of it by Duke Vance.

Sebastian dug us in deeper by claiming to have had a matching dream from an angel at about the same time as the prophecy was revealed to House Vance. Thane Stewart clearly believes that the party are the subject of the prophecy.

Into the Dark

The party headed into the north quarter to hunt the minotaurs.  However the early investigations indicated that House Hewitt had beaten the party to it, and that the minotaurs were no longer in the area.

However as dealing with the minotaurs is one of the successes needed to boost the Free Company’s reputation the party headed into the sewers to make certain that the minotaurs were done for.

Inevitably this led to a long session of underground tracking into, and through, the lower city that Eric and Sebastian had discovered records of.  Kelain’s tracking skills were essential here.

As the party progressed there were signs of other creatures crossing the path of the minotaurs, and a diversion down a marked cliff led to an encounter with a drow slaving party.  There was also a Nimbus Tower mage from House Ramsey with the drow.

A period of fairly tense negotiations followed but eventually the party was able to leave without combat.  The tracking continued and eventually the party found the lair of the three surviving minotaurs.

The resulting combat was fairly quick, with Eric’s boosted Scorching Rays finishing off two of the three minotaurs (albeit after the rest of the party had softened them up). It was not an entirely painless victory, charging minotaurs took fairly big chunks out of both Sebastian and Rune Stoned before they went down.  Jamir and Kozuket patched them up with their usual efficiency.

The party then returned, overland, to Redia with a couple of minotaur head trophies to prepare for the grand openings of the Free Company.

Summary

I enjoyed this session, there was a fair amount going on along with a nice balance of negotiations and combat. It is good to see that Eric is starting to be effective in the fire support role.

In terms of story there are a number of loose ends piling up, and I’m sure some of those will come back to bite us later.  Oh, and apparently there’s a drow city underneath Redia, that can’t end well.

There were also a couple of very clever pieces of games mastering:

  • Answering the Speak With Dead spell in Undercommon was both frustrating in terms of ruining a good idea and funny to watch.
  • Having Sir Gandor from House Hewitt deal with the minotaurs whilst the party was busy last session adds depth to the world.

The latter of the two is probably more important for what it implies: I suspect that dealing with the minotaurs last session would have given the Drow assassin enough time to strike.  The party can’t be everywhere, but equally the party aren’t the only forces in play.


[1] This is only fair since Eric is the character that I’m playing.

[2] See Session 2 where an NPC used it in the CSI: Speak with the Dead section.

[3] I don’t have the text of the prophecy, but will edit it in to this post once the GM sends it to me.