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Tales from the Table: Failures from BWA (March and April)

Well look at the time, I seemed to have missed a month of gaming summaries.

Demon Loot

With the demon dispatched and its bleached skull making rude noises, the players turned to fishing out his black leather bandolier and daggers from the bottom of the flaming pool of alcohol. A quick dive by the resident flame-resistant demon monk pulled up the demons four wicked daggers and a bandolier with sealed pouch. Sitting inside are a number of tiny rolls of faintly sulphurous skins. Fungerfil and Marina teamed up to read the Abyssal scrolls written about vague demon politics, hiding a code within.

Hedge Wizard: 1 year of magical services starting at any future date I choose. Provided assistance summoning and binding an exotic familiar.

Helios Priest: Between 2 and 5 children with a combined age of 15 to be collected in five years [date is soon to happen]. Provided assistance in cult initiation and conduit for otherworldly being translation.

Sunny Dale Miller: His daughter or apple tree behind the mill, my choice. Provided a chest of [exact amount] gold coins.

Sunny Dale Miller: The apple tree behind the miller’s mill. Provided a chest of 2,452 gold coins. Signed with an incorrect spelling of the demon’s name.

Capitol City Merchant: 3% of his earnings each year to be directed as I choose. Provided magical assistance in securing a crown authorized trade deal.

Expired: Contractee died, unable to collect. [Details were burned out]

Collected: [Details were burned out]

 

The miller and his daughter let out a cheer, upon seeing the deceased demon skull. The cry echoed through the small town, and shouts of joy poured forth from the other homes. Our party joined in on some celebration, but kept a steady watch throughout the night, fearing further interference from the demon who had promised to show at dawn.

Hunter’s Arrive

Mid-way to noon the next day, a number of robed and armored warriors appeared upon the hill to the south of town. Fungerfil and Schlubbel made a quick jaunt to meet them outside of town as the rest of the party ran to catch up. Drawing close, the warriors draw weapons and declare for the gnomes to identify themselves and submit for demon purification. The two gnomes retorted by pulling out a flask of holy water and demanding the humans go first. The leader of the band of six warriors steps forward just as the half-orc, dwarf, and tiefling join up with Fungerfil and Schlubbel.

“Under the authority of the god of purity and light. Emissary and hunter assigned by the temple in Helios, I demand that you reveal your names and intentions.”

Neither group moves a muscle.

Heidi, growling, takes the holy water from the Helios priest and dumps it over Schlubbel’s head. Everyone else follows suit with a quick splash of the anointed water. The priestly order had received word of a demonic pact and intended to intervene. When the party mentioned their fight with the demon, the priest asked after the exact wording of the contract or if the contract had been recovered or destroyed.

“Why would you need the contract? What do you intend to do with it once you get it?”, Fungerfil blurts out.

“If pried from the hands of demon and burned in the right anointed oils, the contract would become invalid, as the demon would have no proof to use to collect,” the head priest, [name] stated. “Acolytes, search the town for traces of demonic magic, and find the scroll if it has been hidden somewhere in town.”

Leaving the wide-eyed acolytes to search the town, the group leaves to help search. Kicking over a few rocks and brushing through the long grasses, the group confers on what to do. Heidi takes the incorrectly spelled contract with her in mouse form away from the group, letting Schlubbel’s owl familiar retrieve it. Presenting their found contract to the head priest, all the acolytes are called in to town. There, in a quick ritual of geometrically poured oils and blue-flame, the fake contract is burned up and destroyed. A curt warning from the priest to the miller about engaging with demons falls flat as the party asks the priest how he intended to fight the demon that had shown up well before they arrived. Quietly, the priest gathers up his ritual oil urns, waves over his acolytes, and heads east out of town. Before the party themselves leave, the old widow Tracy Bark takes the party aside to give them the deed to her house, telling them that she is moving closer to the capitol to be with her family.

Return to Woarfrost

The ride back to Woarfrost was smooth and gave Schlubbel some time to analyze the magic on the demon’s daggers, finding them to be apt at finding their targets’ vital organs. Stopping just outside of Woarfrost to break for camp for the night, the parties sleep is interrupted by loud, drunk, young adults. Each of the four young men keep waving around rectangular leather cases and congratulating each other for making it through. Done with their nonsense, Heidi, Schlubbel, and Fungerfil prepare to deal with the unwelcome partiers. Marina takes the lead along with Boone to distract the four boozers with scary tales of adventure. Just as the story reaches the climax, a transformed Heidi and angry blue buffalo charge through the camp, supplemented by pickpocketing and shoe-lace tying by Fungerfil, and magically terrifying sounds and telepathic messages by Schlubbel. Pocketing some loose change and four adventuring diplomas, the party decided to move their campsite a bit away from the smells of spilled beer and soiled trousers.

A quick jaunt brought the group to the crowded administrative building, where they clambered to be able to speak with the mayor. Ignoring politeness, Boone and Shlubbel trudged up the stairs and knocked on her door. After a minute or two, an old man exited the room and the mayor invited the adventures in. “I hear you’ve done well for yourselves, and there is one fewer demon to worry about around here.” Requests for how the mayor sourced that information were hand-waved away as she brought out a large chest from a portable hole she kept folded up in her desk. Inside, 2,452 gold coins gleamed. “As thanks for the service you’ve done, I was able to pull together this tidy sum.”

Ka-ching! Already, the party was calculating out their cuts and envisioning what new goods they would be purchasing, until Fungerfil made the connection. “This is exactly how much gold the demon gave to the miller! How did you get this?” An evasive mayor replies, “Now, I believe last time you were in here you were all interested in getting real diplomas. I cannot help you outright, as I would be outvoted by a few of my enemies on the collegiate board if I tried, but I may have a way around that if you’re interested.” The group confers mentally using Schlubbels telepathy if they should try and splash her with holy water or something before Boone blurts out, “Are you working for the demon?!”.

A New Job

“No, nothing quite so silly as that. When you try to push for as many reforms as I have you naturally find yourself with enemies among those who are doing quite well with the current state of affairs. But since I have your attention, my plan doesn’t involve anything nefarious and is even board approved. I need you all to be my emissaries to the wild elves and the mountain dwarves. If we can get their royal families interested in sponsoring Woarfrost and sending some of their children to study here, it would boost this school’s prestige.”

“So why aren’t they doing that already then?” Heidi interrupts.

“The wild elves are distrustful of any related to the Triumvirate and the Dwarves are distrustful of our institutions effectiveness in particular.”

“So how do you expect us to change their minds?” says Fungerfil, hopping up to sit on the Mayor’s desk. “It doesn’t sound like we have much to offer them.”

“That is where my council ploy comes into play. I could convince the council to allow each of them a seat on the board, theoretically adding two new votes that would be sympathetic to my causes and your diplomas. Maybe you could start by offering your adventurous services, and show them the value of a Woarfrost education, or simply convince them with goodwill. It is up to you.”

“Doesn’t quite seem like enough, I’m sure you can give us more than that to help convince them. Money? Magic? Deeds?” Schlubbel playfully said just after shifting his eyes larger and face rounder.

“Hmm, I suppose I could send you along with a taste of the magical research some of our professors do here. Let me draft up a writ for Professor Tenaser and Doctor Yue Cornelius to share their research with you. Now, is there anything else you came to see me about?”

“How much for that portable hole? Pwetty pwease?” Shlubbel whines.

“4500 silver pieces and it’s yours.” Lady Saria Warfrost stated flatly, just before handing over the chest of gold and the portable hole, minus 450 gold coins.

The next stop the party made was the find these two professors and get the promised magical spells from them. After interrogating a few innocent college students wandering about the research part of town, a custodian was able to point them in the direction of Professor Tenaser’s office. The middle-aged man was receptive to the letter, eager to impress a member of the board by helping out on such an important mission. Even more important, he had some new people highly interested, or so he thought, in the intricacies of using Tenser’s Floating Disc for more than its basic purposes. Dragging on through the technical merits of binding the forces to larger stable configurations and meeting the needs of efficient magical energy uses, Schlubbel finally worked him up enough to get him excited to show it off. The party was quickly pushed out the door so he could prepare his lab for the ritual spell.

Returning a short while later after finding Doctor Yue office unoccupied, a shrouded and robed young woman leaves the office, holding the hood tight. Questioned about her, Professor Tenaser mumbled about research associates, glancing down at his desk. With a clap of his hands, he proclaimed his presentation ready, and brought the group back to his lab to show off the Tenser’s Train variant of the common disc spell. His research has allowed for controlled locomotion, force, and a moldable force basin. “My research will replace every quarry mule, ox cart, and trade ship from here to the Capitol! At least once I can increase its permanence and reduce the ritual component costs.”

As it starts to get late, the group splits up to cover more ground trying to find this other professor. Eventually, a beleaguered college student is able to point the way to her apartment not too far away. Boone and Heidi are the first to arrive, where they meet the friendly halfling. In a light red lounging robe herself, she offers Boone a set of lime green pajamas when he asks about her sartorial choices, fairly certain that he would be both comfortable and even more dashing in lime green. Unfortunately, the clothes are not quite large enough, so he dons them as a scarf. By the time the trio make their way to the professor’s office, the rest of the party has caught up. What they find when she opens the door to her office is a room coated in landscape and elevation maps, covered in circles and runes. Her research is on an expanded version of Mordenkainen’s mansion, Mordenkainen’s Retreat. This would allow whole towns to be protected from intrusions and safety during disasters, wars, or from dwarven parties.

Both rituals written down, there was one thing left on everyone’s mind: how to spend their windfall. While each of them crawled through the markets and shops to find their desired magical equipment, they began to find that their expenses were too lofty for such a small town. Schlubbel stopped to question a professor where to find a more powerful Pearl of Power and Heidi asked smiths where to best find specialty suit of Dwarven Stone Armor. A stop in a seedier part of town known to be frequented by bards put them in the path of Gravel, a scarred man who made them an offer of getting whatever they needed done for a good price. Later, frustrated by the lack of marketable magic items in town, Schlubbel and crew set up to find that pearl of power professor he ran into earlier. Despite a generous offer, the tiefling professor declined, and again suggested heading to a bigger city or a place like Helios where plenty of magic-types gather.

Invisible, Fungerfil jimmied the lock open to an office door so that Schlubbel, Marina, and he could slip inside. The interior of the place was mostly barren, the only furniture a sturdy desk and stool adjacent to the wall with a large window. The desk held neatly organized lecture notes, a pearl of power, and a locked wooden box. Found what they were here for, the group takes a moment to for Fungerfil to snap a feather while saying some magic words. With a punch, Marina sends glass shards exploding outwards, as they all jump out and float down to the ground from three stories up. A couple heads turn before the three run off into alleyways and side-streets. Contained in the box are a number of small items: a singed felt bear, a tear-soaked note of regret and apology, a small heart shaped charm, and a feather.
With nothing left for them in town and dreams of new gear awaiting them, the groups packs up to set off for the dwarven city of Flank-Rock.

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