Sunday, April 5, 2015

Lost Mine of Phandelver, Session 4 – Party Time

Lost Mine of Phandelver, Session 4 – Party Time

Our Heroes
Atticus Digby: Half-Elf Bard/Wizard
Bramble: Green Gnome Arcane Trickster
Kokiri: Wood Elf Assassin
Roan Vines: Human Hunter
Skeld: Mountain Dwarf Cleric of Wotan
Vandalar: Silver Dragonborn Paladin

Our heroes head back into town after clearing the ruins of Tresendar Manor of the villainous Redbrands. They have three Redbrands and the traitorous wizard Iarno Albrecht as their prisoners. They also have three former prisoners of the Redbrands (Mirna Dendrar and her children Nars and Nilsa) with them, as well as the cowardly goblin semi-henchman Droop. Bringing a free goblin into town will cause trouble, so Bramble uses her formidable disguise talents to make Droop look like a gnome. He's not very convincing (he doesn't speak Gnomish, for one) but all the gnomes in Phandalin are Rock Gnomes, so they just assume Droop is one of those backwards, foolish Green Gnomes.

Sildar Hall escorts the Dendrars back to their home, while the PCs take their prisoners to Town Hall and the makeshift jail—where they unwittingly left their previous prisoners under the watch of a Doppleganger disguised as their henchman Pete. Once they enter the hall, they immediately smell the scent of death. Bramble runs down to the cellar and discovers the cells open. Bruno the Redbrand captain and the three Cragmaw goblins have had their heads bashed in, as though by a mace, hammer, or something with a slam attack.

Upstairs, the rest of the party hears someone calling from inside Mayor Wester's office.

“Who's out there? Hall? Skeld?” The mayor has barricaded himself in his office. There's a heavy scraping of furniture, and the mayor lets the heroes in. “He went crazy, that halfling! He killed them! He killed them all and ran south. Probably towards those orcs near Basilisk Spur. If you hurry you might catch him!”

The. Heroes. Aren't. Buying. It.

With a couple well-made perception rolls they notice splatters of blood on Wester's collar (the mayor is not wounded). They also notice a couple small drops of blood near the unusually large steamer trunk at the back of the office. As Bramble goes to open the trunk, the “mayor” makes his move.

Skeld has his sword drawn, and Wester takes a swing at him. The mayor's flesh ripples as mass shifts down his arm and into his fist. His knuckes grow hard and horned as his fist slams the dwarf twice with the force of a mace.

The battle is on. The mayor's head shifts to that of Pete's smiling halfling face. “Hey buddy!” he taunts. “He fought so hard, your friend. He wanted so badly not to disappoint you. But in the end he died like a child—crying for his mother and shitting his pants.”

The PCs are enraged. The Doppleganger is tough, but they outnumber him. The battle is short and brutal. Soon the monstrosity lies dead on the ground, its gray putty flesh oozing black oily blood. The team opens the steamer trunk. Inside lies the fat, naked corpse of mayor Wester, along with poor dead Pete's armor gear. In Pete's backpack, along with his extra shirts, they find a letter to Pete's parents.

The feels!

The town hall is full of dead bodies now, and the heroes aren't sure what to do next. They go outside to try and find Sildar, but as soon as they take a step outside, they are accosted by a large group townsfolk.

“Hey!” shouts a burly farmer. “Are you they ones that killed all the Redbrands?”

“Ummm... yeah.” Replies Digby.

The farmer smiles and the crowd cheers! Before the team can do or say anything about the bodies of the prisoners, the doppleganger, or the mayor, the PCs are drug into the street, hoisted onto shoulders, and paraded about town as heroes! A massive celebration is quickly organized.

While the party is underway, Digby manages to sneak away and talk to Rom, the dwarven priest of Death Itself who serves as town undertaker and gravedigger. He arranges for the priest and his associates to discretely “clean” the town hall. The town is happy and celebrating. The team will break the news about the mayor's murder in the morning.

At the party, there's drinking and dancing a'plenty. Even since the PCs came to town, the PCs have been too busy to mingle. The party gives them an opportunity to finally meet all the important and interesting people in town.

Stuff that happened at the party:
  • Tim and Tam, the Copperheel brothers strike up their gnomish fiddles and fill the night with lively music. Digby joins them for a few songs with his ukelele (a gnomish instrument of repute).
  • Mirna thanks the PCs for rescuing her family. She tells them about a valuable family heirloom they left in Thundertree when she was a girl. She still hopes to find her dead husband's body.
  • Digby dances with Mairn'as 18 year old daughter and they have a nice moonlit walk around the orchards.
  • Young Nars asks Vandalar stupid questions. “So you're a dragon or something, huh?” “So what's a paladin do, anyway?” “Oh wow, tell me everything you know about Bahamut!”
  • Tuck and Qelina Alderleaf introduce themselves as the heads of the local farmers collective. Tuck tells some long rambling stories about the strange demon-monster that's been killing sheep. Several farmers have seen it, but exact descriptions vary.
  • Halia Thornton introduces herself as the leader of the local miner's exchange. She tells Kokiri that “ even though Sildar wants to take Iarno to Horizon to stand trial, many people think the wizard is too dangerous to keep alive. If something should happen to him before he reaches Horizon, certain parties would be grateful.” Kokiri, hoever, is very drunk and may or may not pick up on Halia's meaning.
  • Sister Graele thanks the heroes for showing mercy and restraint by taking at least some of the Redbrands alive.
  • Toblin Stonehill introduces himself and offers the heroes free room and board for the extent of their stay in Phandalin.
  • They meet Yor Peaceforge, the town blacksmith and the only Orcbrood (half-orc) in Phandalin. He gets angry when the team asks him if he can make weapons or armor. “NO! I will never again make the tools of war!”
  • Linene Graywind walks up to Bramble, holding Mouser and Fafhrd, Bramble's horrible, filthy alley cats. "Are these yours?" she asks angrily. When Brambles confirms that they are, Linene drops them in the Gnome's lap. "Keep those horrible creatures out of my store!" she shouts and walks away, muttering under her breath. 
Towards the end of the night, the celebration suddenly grows quiet. The crowd parts at scarred, crippled, old Daran Edermath walks into the town square, wearing his old elven chainmail with his sword at his belt. He carries a case of his fine apple brandy under one arm. Whispering the crowd tell the heroes that Daran hasn't worn his armor in many years.

Daran looks to the PCs. “Come see me when you have a free moment. But for now, drinks are on me.” He sets the bottles on a table, smiles slightly, and limps back home.

After a few more hours, the party winds down, and the heroes go to see Daran in his home. His living room, once cluttered, is now empty except for a large fire in the hearth, a ceramic jug and several clay mugs. Daran stands in the room, a boar-skin cloak over his shoulders and holding an elaborately carved oaken cudgel.

“You have proven yourselves, young heroes. You are ready now to be fully sworn into the House of Hrothgar. In doing so, you will dedicate yourself to actively stand against evil and protect the weak. If you cannot swear this, leave no. None will think the less of you.”

Bramble leaves, unsure if she can make such a pledge. Thus is the path of the Neutral.

The rest each place one hand on the cudgel and swear the Oath of Hrothgar:

That my strength
Shall shield the weak,
That none shall suffer tyranny
Beneath my watch,
Lest my arms grow weak
And my eyes grow dim,
I so swear.

Then they all drink a mug of mead and toss the clay mug into the fire. The heroes have achieved the rank of “Blooded!”

Thus the session ends. The heroes still have several quests to follow up on, and poor Gundren Rockseeker is still missing. Digby and Skeld also want to return to the Three Boar Trail and find Pete's body for proper burial (or maybe resurrection?).