Monday, May 22, 2017

Monday Recap: Any Port in a Storm

Every setting needs to have at least one "Wretched Hive of Scum and Villainy"
We actually had a chance to play this week, and the game went very well. I think this group much prefers to explore and role-play, though combat is fun with creative players.

Also, this session we decided to start playing every other week, as opposed to weekly. Hopefully this will give me some more time to run more one-shot adventures with my players, or some time to work on my other projects. The music articles for No Mercy are still on their way!

This story is part 13 of a series. This campaign was discontinued.
Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7 | Part 8 | Part 9 | Part 10 | Part 11 | Part 12 | Part 13 | Part 14 | Part 15 | Part 16 | Part 17 |

Storm King's Thunder: Any Port in a Storm

Cast of Characters
Jon: Dungeon Master
Megan: Cecelia Sondheim, human bard, a Harper hoping for a bright future!
Cody: Rolen Dundragon, half-elf Warlock of the Archfey, a scoundrel with a heart of gold
Cait: Mialee Galanodel, elf ranger, from a distant land and doesn't have personal space boundaries
Shannon: Kye Bosunen, human Purple Dragon Knight, carries a big sword and his honor

When we last left our heroes, they were still traveling along the Northern Means towards Luskan. They had spent quite some time on the road, and were eager for a hot bath, a warm bed, and a good night's sleep.

Also, they wanted to be in Luskan within the next few days, since the big spring festival, Greengrass, was coming up. The holiday (kind of a combination of Easter and Valentine's Day) had something for everyone: the youngsters collected flowers and sweets, the elders prayed for a good season of crops, and the young adults spent their time on romantic trysts. Needless to say, it was Mialee's favorite holiday.

The group traveled on, seeing other travelling traders and wanderers for the first time since they left the cold tundra of Icewind Dale. For the most part, their journey was quiet, although they were shocked to see over a dozen Frost Giants swimming past them in the somewhat-distant ocean.

So close to sweet, sweet civilization
When they finally reached Luskan that evening, everyone was excited, for different reasons. Kye, having never explored the city, and having come from a shipbuilding family, was eager to see the "City of Sails" and learn all he could about the culture here. Rolen and Cecelia knew that Luskan was a bit of a dump, however, and were just excited to find an inn and rest. Mialee was excited to meet new people and make out with them.

After getting past the gate guard, the party got their first look at the city. Standing on the Upstream Bridge and looking down at the port and docks, they saw all sorts of ships, people, and islands, with a variety of landmarks they could explore.

However, standing out among the urban landscape was a huge plume of smoke rising from the docks. It looked like a massive ship was burning in the harbor... a giant-sized ship! The characters rushed to the docks to check it out.

When they reached the shore, they were surprised to find they weren't allowed to get on the docks at all. Two members of a local "Ship" (which is one of a number of factions within Luskan) were guarding the dock. Rolen tried to pull a fast one on them by claiming to be from a different Ship, but they quickly learned that there were only five Ships in Luskan, none of which Rolen and the gang appeared to belong to.

They also learned that the massive burning ship had belonged to Frost Giants, likely the ones they had seen swimming earlier that day. The Giants had tried attacking the city, demanding to see Artus Cimber, but a group of mages from the Arcane Brotherhood (the local chapter of wizards) had lit the ship ablaze in a hail of Fireball spells.

Now, the mages had retreated to the Hostower of the Arcane, and each of the five Ships were preparing to loot the vessel before any other commoners were allowed on board. Dejected ,the group departed, but not before asking for a good inn/tavern to stay the night in.

They made their way to the Fancy Flight, a classy establishment with a strange enchantment on the floor: everyone in the tavern floated just a couple inches from the ground. The place was full of strange folk, and the group got to work with drinking and socializing.
As you can imagine, I'm getting quite good at improvising tavern scenes for D&D games
Kye and Cecelia made friends with a large group of Dwarves, including a dwarf who was part of the Mirabar Shield, a local faction of the Mirabaran Dwarves in Luskan. Though drunk, he introduced himself as Drugar Coldsteel and gave Kye a poorly-drawn note that would get him into the Dwarves' inner-city complex. Cecelia flirted with a young Dwarf named Shim, and didn't learn much practical information but still had a good time.

Mialee managed to make out with a member of one of the Ships, Ship Baram, which controlled the fishing industry in Luskan. They all wore blue sashes, and were the second-largest Ship in the city. However, Mialee was quickly bored and joined Rolen at the bar for a round of her favorite drink: glitter shots!

Rolen, meanwhile, was trying to get the attention of a group of robed bar goers with odd haircuts and head tattoos. After learning they drank a strange mix of water and rat livers, he ordered them a round, which they appreciated. However, instead of drinking along with them, Rolen poured his own out in favor of drinking with Mialee.

The group stayed in the room sat the Fancy Flight, and were overjoyed to get good sleep and decent food. Rolen decided to tie their newly-discovered frozen Kobold friend to a rocking chair, so if he woke up he wouldn't escape or kill them in their sleep.

The next morning, the group decided to go their separate ways around the city and explore. Rolen and Cecelia stayed in the room, hoping the Kobold would wake up. Kye went to the Mirabar Shield and sold some Giant heads he had been collecting. Mialee decided to go around the city sprinkling glitter on the flowers that were being collected in preparation for Greengrass.
The Kobold, but with a New Yorker accent
Cecelia discovered that the kobold's book was full of magical lullabies, which she could use to cast the Sleep spell. She and Rolen eagerly waited for the Kobold to wake up.

They didn't have to wait long. The kobold, who introduced himself as Kyroon, told them all about his book, his voice-enhancing magic item (basically a megaphone), and his dream of putting the biggest monsters in the world to sleep. Rolen dubbed him "Rooney" and convinced him to join the group.

Kye, having made his way to the Shield and sold his Giant heads, was looking to buy some plate armor. He also took along a rock filled with precious ores that they had found in a Giant's bag. A kindly old dwarf told Kye that the rock was quite valuable, worth 900 gold, but was also cursed and the dwarf wouldn't have any part of it. Kye was shocked, and began to worry that the curse might have already spread to him.

Meanwhile, Mialee found a young boy who asked her if she was a fairy. She told him she wasn't, and he said he was hoping that she would be a "good fairy" so she could come and tell the "bad fairies" to bring his younger brother back home. Mialee immediately told the boy she would help, since she found him to be adorable, and couldn't bring herself to say no.

A plot with evil fairies?!?
We stopped there for the week. It felt good to be back in a city, with lots of things and people for the players to interact with and explore. The group dynamic really changes once they aren't just running from combat to combat,

Sadly, next week won't have a Storm King's Thunder update, as we move to a bi-weekly schedule. However, I did run a pretty cool one-shot this past Sunday, so expect a report on that for next week's Monday Recap.

Thanks for reading!

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