Present Players: Eydan, Jaren, Aurelia, Vincent, Purrcival
The game starts with the party still involved in a fairly major combat with the Gnolls that have moved into the Abinor estate. They hew through the last couple of creatures standing between them and the door and begin rushing upstairs to try to save Pellius Abinor's family. The pressure rackets up severely when they start hearing the children screaming and loud thunks. After a stressful few rounds of combat they manage to rush in and roll over the remaining hyenas and Gnolls. There are two young children badly wounded and near death, but a timely channel energy from Vincent makes sure they are alive. The rest of the party try to hunt down the strange pridespawn they saw, but Miverna, Abinor's wife, tells them it went invisible shortly before the party arrived and fled the scene. Its last command to the family's Gnoll captors was to murder them and escape. After everyone has recovered, Pellius tells the party that he was forced to craft a ceremonial dagger with the Pride rune engraved into it or his family would be murdered. Thankfully, he was able to delay long enough that the party arrived and saved the day. He gives them the strange looking dagger and once again thanks the party. Miverna asks the party to inspect the children and herself for magical effects as the creature, "Vistraag" told her that he had enchanted the family with a curse if they tried to escape. Aurelia determines the magic was an arcane mark of the Pride rune, but other than that there is no real magical effect. The party is unable to determine why the rune was placed on the family members. The whole Abinor family is extremely grateful that the party arrived when they did, and gladly accept the offer of an escort back to Magnimar. Before leaving, Abinor tells them to take the remaining weapons in his forge room which provides the party with a couple masterwork shields and masterwork weapons.
The journey to Magnimar is uneventful besides the thunderstorm finally arriving and drenching the travelers. The guards at Magnimar's gates offer a bit of resistance to the party at first, but when Pellius makes it known who he is and that the adventurers saved his life they are quickly allowed into the city. The Abinor family offers lodging at their estate, but the party lets them know they have business in town and a upcoming deadline with a ship in Sandpoint so they won't be staying long. Pellius insists at the very least that they visit his estate in the next few days to receive a proper reward for all of their help. With a few final hugs of gratitude the Abinors head toward the Alabaster District as the party heads towards the docks. It becomes immediately clear to the party that Vincent is back at home as he easily leads them about the city and explains some of the many monuments they pass on their way. Their first stop is to deliver the war horse Shadowmist to the Iron Wheel merchant company. The party is momentarily stymied by a wildly incompetent reception (who the party strongly suspects was either hired for looks or due to being an owner's relative), but she eventually realizes they are here to deliver the missing animal and heads off to find Master Merchant, Ernie Thordon. This name, of course, prompts Purrcival to ask if Burt is around also and the reception helpfully replies, "Of course, I'll get him from the docks" before heading off. Sometime later a relatively confused half-orc shows up and introduces himself as Burt. The party, besides Purrcival, are a bit abashed but Purrcival makes some chit chat and asks for a local tavern recommendation. Burt sort of shrugs and mentions Toothless' bar and is impressed when Vincent replies with the bar's name, "The Broke Bow Tavern". He gives a nod before going back to work slightly confused. Sometime later Master Ernie shows up and invites the party back to his office. They crowd in and offer to return the horse hoping for a reward, but Master Ernie insists it makes no difference to him since he has already gotten the insurance money for the caravan. He goes on to say the creature is no good to him and the party might as well keep him so he can avoid any further paperwork. Jaren is very happy to hear this having grown relatively attached to the temperamental animal, and after a bit of haggling they get the horse's papers. They do a bit of work to rename the animal Shadowmere and 'resurrect' it according to the paperwork and head off to the Broken Bow. Orik says his goodbyes to the party as they head into the Underbridge, saying that he is a known man down there and wouldn't want to show his face anytime soon. He tells them he'll be tavern hopping in the docks if they need him.
The Broken Bow is in a very rough part of town known as the Underbridge. Vincent seems very comfortable while Purrcival tells the party of the various dangers that are known to be in the area: murderers, cultists, strange spider like creatures in the bridge stonework, and even Derro are said to roam the shadowy district. The party are all rightly concerned and Eydan especially tries to make sure Vincent isn't playing the long con and bringing them into some trap. However, nothing untoward happens to the party and they manage to make it to the Broken Bow tavern. Thorg the Toothless greets Vincent with a hug and after being introduced to the party makes sure to wrap them all in his large half-orc arms. Vincent hands him a few barrels of Goblin Pickles from Thistletop and slyly slips him a bag heavy with coin. Thorg lets the common room know that these people are under his protection and he won't accept anyone trying to con them in his establishment. The party spends the evening picking up a few magical supplies in Magnimar and getting to know Thorg and his establishment. The tavern is well cared for, if not the fanciest accommodations, and the party has a good night's rest. Early the next morning Vincent excuses himself and goes to check on an abandoned shrine next door to the tavern. It is an abandoned shrine of Sarenrae that was shut down after the owners were murdered after failing to pay protection money to the local gangs. Thorg and Vincent have taken it upon themselves to look after it until it can get properly established. The rest of the party eventually awakens and has a decent breakfast before setting off once more. They get one final hug from Thorg before heading to find Orik and Mersoolian.
The party safely leaves the Underbridge after Eydan yells at a halfling cutpurse that was scoping out Jaren. They go to Pellius' estate and receive a warm greeting with wine and fruit. He gladly rewards them with a bag of emeralds and he gifts Feda a special war hammer that was given to him by the Church of Torag for some past work. It is a Forgefather's Sledge, and represents a true friend to Torag. The hammer can be magically lit aflame with a command word and offers minor fire resistance to the wielder. She is very impressed and grateful for the gift. After a bit of small talk, the party tells him they are going to go back by his country home to ambush the Gnolls if they haven't already returned in the night. He doesn't seem overly concerned about the estate and seems most focused on making sure his young girls recover from the harrowing experience. Vincent asks if Pellius to learn more about the abandoned shrine of Sarenrae in the Underbridge to see if it has any legal owners. Pellius thinks he has a few contacts that may could help in the endeavor and promises it is the least he can for the people that saved his family.
The party has a few more loose ends to tie up before leaving Magnimar. They manage to track down Orik again and recommend he talk to Pellius about a more stable job that doesn't involve goblins. He was deep into the cups when they found him, but they leave him a note for when he finally recovers. They also go by Mersoolian's shop and find it closed. After a bit of investigation Purrcival talks to the adjacent shop, a laundry mat with halfling workers, to let him in the backway. They surprise a very busy Mersoolian and tell him that they will definitely go to the Hollow Mountain, but they have to go back to the Abinor Country Estate first. He is disappointed and tries to get them to leave right this instant, but finally admits defeat and tells them he will be in Sandpoint in a few days. The party finally heads back out into the country side, but the Gnolls have already visited the estate. Eydan manages to follow their tracks south west toward the swamp before losing them due to the previous night's thunderstorm. Admitting defeat, the party relays the information back to Abinor before heading back to Sandpoint.
- I wish I had prepared better for Magnimar, but my computer giving me a BSOD before the game stopped a lot of preparation
- Why is it whenever I plan on having a PC gain something cool, they are almost always not there for that game night?
- The Gnolls overall were a decent challenge to the party I feel like.
- I don't think I did a good job of stressing the captive family members early in the fight, but when I started describing 'thunks' screaming the party got motivated.
- On that note, man Abinor's wife refused to go down against the Gnoll whelp assigned to kill her. The Gnoll could not roll above a 5 to save his life.
- The party responds well to pictures of spiders. Noted.
- Vincent went a cool direction with the Broken Bow and abandoned Shrine of Sarenrae. I'll have to make sure that thread stays available to pull.
- The party seemed unprepared for people wanting to know what to call them.
Rewards / Loot:
- 1200 Gold worth of Emeralds from Abinor
- Forgefather's Sledge
- Ceremonial "Pride magic" Dagger
- Masterwork items from Abinor estate
- Summon Monster 2 Scroll from Mersoolian as early payment
Challenges / Monsters:
- Dire Hyena
- 3 Rageborn Gnolls (Barbarians)
- 4 Gnolls
- ~10 Gnoll Whelps
- 2 Gnoll Warriors (Fighters w/ maneuvers)
- 4 Hyenas
- Vastriig the Pridespawn (escaped)
- Halfling Pickpocket
End Date: Spring 27