RPG@QUT Matt's D&D

DM log-- Fallcrest 3-2

The rout continued as the party defeated somewhat tougher duergar, dark dwarves that used to be nearly unheard of in Fallcrest. Zepher and Amos speculated that Trabek, being himself a duergar, might have something to do with this. {Give 1 Plot Point each to Darcy and Callum for making this connection.}

The resistance broken, the heroes had to quickly decide what to do with the bounty of stopped trade shipments that surrounded them. The rabble was starting to realise the dwarven resistance was broken and bolder types were starting to climb the barricades just a few blocks away, the River Rats reported. The traders wanted their goods back, and safe passage back south. The revolutionary leaders, the first on the scene following Jaine and Poe, demanded that they be given the goods to distribute among the people and rebellion forces fairly. Or they could just let the rabble take it and distribute it as they would. Our heroes decided that the traders would give up 20% of their goods, much less than the old tax rate, and the rebel leaders would distribute this. The rest the traders could take back home, and the rebel leaders were sworn to make this passage safe. Poe suggested commandeering the trade boats at the docks to move all the goods and wagons farther south to get them clear of the rabble, which was a good idea {give 1 Plot Point to Scott for using world knowledge}. This made nobody happy but balanced the grievances well.

One particularly unhappy camper was a dwarven trader named Jorn, well known to Poe. His was the cargo that was on the way up the portage lift when it was cast down, and its contents now were scattered at the base of the cliff. He was especially desperate to get his shipment through to Vlekstaad. Amos {thanks to a couple 20s} knew a great deal about Vlekstaad and the reason for the shipment—his wolf family loved to tell tales of the battles between the wolves and the hard snow-dwelling folk of that northern port town across the mountains. Jorn’s shipment was intended to get to get there in time for Needfest celebrations in Vlekstaad. Up north they had a strange custom revolving around a mythic character known as Sinter Kraus. This was a portly man wearing white armor trimmed in red, who rode a sled pulled by giant wolves (“flying wolves?” asked Poe, to which Amos replied with a wolfy snort, “Of course not, everyone knows wolves can’t fly. Don’t be stupid”). Sinter Kraus lived in a castle high up on a mountain, which Amos had personally visited with his family and could attest was quite empty, but the myth was more powerful than fact. Sinter Craus would visit all the homes in Vlekstaad on Needfest Eve, the longest night of the year before the festival. The rare child who was very very good and obedient all year would get a treat in his shoe, such as a pomegranate or some rock sugar. All other children were pulled out of bed, blindfolded, and beaten with thorny branches on the snow while a booming voice (presumably Sinter Craus) recited all the bad things they had done all year. This tradition is credited for giving Vlekstaadians their well-developed moral rigor. Anyway, the shipment that crashed to the ground was full of amazing things: spices, fruits and nuts, casks of wine, parcels of smelly fish, candles, cakes, wreaths of fragrant branches, whole trees, and many statues of a glowering Sinter Kraus, which Amos recognised as laughable knockoffs of the traditional statuary which should be made of whale bone, not this other kind of bone. This loot was also parcelled out to give a share to the rabble over the objections of Jorn, who seemed terrified of not getting his shipment through, and who insisted on staying at the docks with his remaining goods until the trade route opened again as soon as possible. Brad {spending 1 Plot Point to get this honour} took charge of distributing the holiday loot, though he took it upon himself to improvise the mythology for gentler not-so-far-northern sensibilities. As he drank spiced wine (his own invention, using different elements from the crates) he started slurring his words a bit, so Sinter Kraus and other parts of the legend may have gotten mispronounced and messed up a bit along the way… who knows what Fallcrest’s celebrating citizens will make of it in the years to come?

Zepher, Amos, Poe, and Jaine came to the Drake’s Tail Inn. Its upper floor was ringed by a balcony with all the doors and windows hastily boarded up. They did not know much of what happened {and this will be further explored in the log following the next session} but that in that upper floor was where the massacre happened, with the town guards supposedly boarding the place up before entering and conducting the slaughter along with The Cannibal. As they got closer they could hear moans and screams from inside. The lower floor had been hastily evacuated and the interior stairway to the upper floor barricaded with furniture. This obstruction Jaine sundered with a stomp of her foot, and the heroes rushed upward into the darkness of the entirely closed-up room. Soon they were under assault. The light revealed many bodies here, and in the corner a huge pool of blood and bits of flesh. Humans in town guard attire were here but they were insane, gibbering, and violent, each with a rectangular burn mark across his eyes. Zepher recognised their behaviour as the same as those miners they saw in the Moon Hills. {Give 1 Plot Point to Callum for recognising this, and 1 Plot Point to Scott for earlier theorising that it was because they had cleared out that mine that there was so much more shard flowing into Fallcrest now.} The attacks were devastating blasts of elemental energy that the wretches seemed to be able to summon by tearing open the fabric of reality. Behind the sweeping bar were crouched other human guards who could do terrible damage at a distance, including area blasts of fire that stunned foes. This was a terrible fight, and our heroes barely prevailed. One remaining guard opened a door to a room contained by the bar and a new foe emerged: The Cannibal. He was dressed like a fine eladrin elite, all in silvery white fabric and an ornate wig. He wielded, however, a crude weapon made from a table leg into which were bound dozens of teeth—freshly bloody human teeth, it seemed. He had a raw red burned look around his eyes, and around his neck hung a silver visor that the party knew was used to consume chaos shard. He fought for a few devastating moments, letting loose a guttural animal howl that motivated his allies. This pounded some of the heroes into unconsciousness and it looked like death for all was at hand. But then a woman’s voice rang out from the room that The Cannibal had emerged from. She spoke in a tongue they all now knew as Abyssal. The Cannibal looked enraged but he turned back towards the voice. Then the room filled with a thick, sulphuric smoke that blocked all vision and made reactions slow. They heard a window shatter and an argument in Common, the Cannibal saying “I want it now” and the woman saying “If you do, then follow and obey.” When the smoke cleared, The Cannibal was gone.

Our heroes crawled out of the Drake’s Tail on the brink of death. Taking the nearest offered shelter they collapsed into bed, their very long day having started in jail in the Shadowfell, continuing through a battle with a desiccated sorceress, then a trip on a flying pirate ship, ending with a near-death experience at the hands of a ravaging murderer. Sleep well, adventurers.

{For good adventuring followed by this very tough battle, take 420 XP each.}

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