The adventure took up from where it left off, with the morning well under way, and the crowds scared to re-enter the plaza because of the fighting. Or, perhaps, it was the watchful eye of the Mintaran mercenaries!
The heroes proceeded to the Beached Leviathan, the ship-wrecked bar where they had recently made their acquaintances, and spoke with Captain Harrag, the former-pirate-turned-innkeeper. Using his ‘excellent’ skills of persuasion and charm, Waxter managed to get an increased rate for monthly rooms, instead of a discount, with his obvious wheeling-and-dealing, even though the dragonborn warlock tried to help! After a moment to take in the situation, Ser interrupted the tiefling and asked the bartender if they might, instead, just have the rates posted on the sign behind him. The request was granted with a level of mirth, and the whole issue was then settled.
The Luskan thief and the young barbarian woman, both affected by the malady of lycanthropy, wandered into the Protectorate’s Enclave, searching out a servant of the gods to rid them of their curse. In their wanderings, they came across word of an elven priestess of Selûne, the moon maiden, who came out every night at high-moon to perform the rituals of her faith. Those, who spoke of her, spoke very well and said that many a person mauled by ‘the wolves’ had sought healing at her hands. Unfortunately, waiting for the moon to reach its zenith, and trying to find the priestess and her group, separated the pair from the rest of the heroes, who were experiencing some new-found notoriety.
Waxter was more than happy to soak up the attention, flourishing his cloak and re-telling the story for any who would listen. Kerith, the young elven woman, was less inclined to draw attention to herself, but followed with the group trying to find ways to discourage attention to herself. Mishann, the dragonborn, seemed ready and willing to follow whatever direction Waxter tried to take the group. Meanwhile, Ser, the experienced moon elf knight, endured the attention and antics of his companions as best he could, clearly having little patience for fame and fortune, and only breaking his stoic silence with occasional good-natured quips meant to sting all his traveling allies.
First to approach the group was a dwarven merchant in armor and a half-orc barbarian woman; they were two of the merchants saved from the plague-changed monsters and the dragon that followed. In gratitude, each presented an item to the party: superbly crafted dwarven chain armor for the dragonborn by the dwarf, and a finely crafted hand-and-a-half blade for Ser by the grateful half-orc, who knew something of martial prowess and had seen him in battle.
The heroes spoke with their admirerers for a time, and then headed out into the marketplace, where Jarvy, the halfling merchant, had continued selling meat pies and rumors at his cart, which was now situated adjacent the dragon statue, frozen its moment of defeat. Jarvy was happy to identify the adventurers to the crowd, and Waxter enjoyed the attention, while attempting to learn more about the ‘Heir of Neverwinter’, they’re unexpected ally in the fight against that dragon, for no detail was known of him. “Free meat pies for the heroes!” Jarvy offered, to the roar of the crowd. Kerith, now posing as Waxter’s bodyguard, at Ser’s suggestion, took this opportunity to test his food for poison, sticking her fingers in his meatpie and then tasting it.
Waxter, and Mishann, did not appreciate Kerith’s help as much as she felt they should have, much to Ser’s private amusement; and, the party again returned to the bar to plan their next move. They were discussing matters when they were approached by a finely-dressed servant, who asked Harrag where he could be directed to ’Master Waxter’. Harrag was happy to point out the tiefling, and the servant delivered a written invitation and an identical verbal message without introducing himself.
“Lord Mordai Vell requests the pleasure of your company this evening for dinner at his estate in Blacklake,” the servant offered, and then waited for a response. There was some discussion about whether this could be a trap; and, it also interfered with plans to investigate plague-changed creatures by trudging through the sewers all night, about which some party members seemed more excited than others. In the end, the group’s conversation, held in full view of Mordai Vell’s servant, concluded with an answer in the affirmative.
Waxter went to his tailor to find something for Kerith to wear – a frilly dress in pink satin, covered with ribbons, bows, and ruffles. Kerith ‘customized’ the dress to wear over her armor, removing the sleeves to allow her to keep her fighting edge. Waxter shook his head at her ‘improvements’, Mishann didn’t seem to notice, and Ser actually broke his stoic exterior to laugh out loud at the elven girl, pointing and covering his mouth with the other hand.
The walk to dinner was uneventful, but it took the party within a stone’s throw of Castle Never, the legendary home of Lord Nasher Alagondar, protector of the city and the founder of a line of noble kings. The castle now stood empty, rumored to be haunted and filled with monsters, but as the group passed, Kerith noticed a tiny plume of smoke, as though from a campfire, and pointed it out to the rest of the party.
Investigating the campfire brought about the interview of a group of would-be adventurers, who waited at an infrequently-used campsite for the legendary drow heroes Jarlaxle Baenre and Drizzt Do’Urden. The apparently homeless band trained and sparred in the meantime, welcoming all comers, and allowed any to train with them. Their goal was to live a life of ease under the stars while perfecting the techniques of two of the greatest fighters the Realms had ever known.
With a promise to return in the morning, the heroes made it to dinner just after sunset, presenting their invitation at the gate and being admitted as honored guests. Helping themselves to libation and tabac in the sitting room, the heroes were pleased to meet their host for the evening, Mordai Vell, the Lord of Vellgard Mansion. Mordai was pleasant and personable, easily exchanging quips with a too-soon-drunken Kerith and Mishann, and good-natured stories with Waxter and Ser. He seemed unsettled by Ser’s deflections of personal questions, which were directed into forceful queries of missing ancient elven artifacts, and claimed not to know anything; although, he later revealed to his fellow tiefling, Waxter, he actually had a little information about the topic.
Dinner of braised lamb was served, and the guests continued to enjoy the drinks of a finely stocked cellar. With conversation going long into the night, Ser suggested the group leave to assure the safety of the missing members, Rain and Sonja. The charismatic merchant prince convinced them all to stay the night and partake of his hospitality.
In the morning, after a restful night, but filled with disturbing dreams for some, the group returned to the camp in Castle Never’s courtyard, and sparred with the young adventurers, impressing them and receiving an invitation to join them anytime. After the individual duals, Kerith suggested a brawl amongst the four party-members, to find the ‘true’ victor of the competition. Ser proved the most capable warrior among them all, winning the sparring match not only against the his opponent in the first match, Xalbyn, but coming out on top in the free-for-all demanded by Kerith.
Aothir Shieldbreaker, dwarven armor merchant whose life you saved in the docks market. His goods were spared any sort of destruction. He presented the dragonborn warlock with his finest suit of chainmail armor.
Nagda, the half-ork barbarian woman who guarded a table loaded with sharp and intimidating weapons. Her gratitude involved tracking down a weapon that Ser requested, and presenting it to him as a gift.
Jarvy halfling merchant in the docks district (in Dragon Square, as it’s being called), sells meat pies and rumors- mostly rumors.
Xalbyn elven leader of the society that waits for the return of Jarlaxle and Drizzt, who practices and trains the recruits in their absence. Probably not secretly a drow.
Mordai Vell, a charismatic tiefling, a merchant prince, and an influential member of the city, Mordai can be a powerful friend or a formidible enemy. As of now, he seems to be a genuine friend. He even sent shoes to Kerith. Probably totally not gay for Waxter.
- Drow Trainees
- Each other (Sorry Kerith. ~Waxter)
- Individual Treasure
- +50 GP (each)
ENDING PC STATUS
Mishann (Chris) 1AP; ?HP; ?Surges
Kerith 1AP; ?HP ?Surges
Rain 1AP; ?HP ?Surges
Sonja 1AP; ?HP ?Surges
Sorannis 1AP; 35HP 9Surges
Waxter 1AP; 28HP 7Surges; Daily = Yes
The following is a retelling of the fight held between the four allies, from the perspective of Ser.
The girl was asking for a melee! Sorranis took a moment to blink at the request and regard his surroundings once more. They had just sparred in simultaneous one-on-one battles with a group of hobo mercenaries ‘jungling’ in Neverwinter by the haunted Castle Never. He and each of his three companions had come out decisively on top in their respective duels, and now, Kerith was asking for a free-for-all brawl amongst the winners. It was ludicrous! Ser noticed the sly grin Kerith was giving him, and he knew his honor was at stake. Perhaps, he thought, this would get the girl to stop calling him ‘Grandpa’!
It was one thing to spar with strangers, who did not know him, thereby showing his prowess; it was quiet another for trusted allies, he had already defended in battle, to demand further demonstrations of his worth by attacking them! The whole business went against every instinct Sorranis had, and yet, a challenge was placed before him. Solemnly, the moon elf agreed, after firmly taking his cut of the spoils from the previous duels, making it clear this melee between friends would serve no monetary purpose.
They squared off, Waxter, the tiefling, diagonally opposite from Ser, and Mishann, the dragonborn, diagonally opposite Kerith. Sorranis held his position for a moment, watching his allies’ movements. Before the moon elf warrior had much of a chance to blink, the tiefling dashed forward and in exploded in fire. Kerith was the only one caught in the blast, and she winced at the heat of the flames. Waxter used the distraction to send a bolt of energy hurtling towards her, catching Kerith full in the chest.
Ser regarded the explosion site of Waxter’s blast, seeing the area glow bright red, and he weighed the merrits of entering it. Out of the corner of his eye, he registered movement from the dragonborn and suspected yet another blast of fire to be coming his way soon. He still held his action as Kerith dashed through the lingering embers from the tiefling’s attack and struck several hard blows against Waxter with the blunt side of her axes.
Sorannis decided the two posed no immediate threat to him, locked, as they were, in personal combat. Being disinclined to attack a fellow elf, and not wanting to navigate the still-burning ground around them, he chose Mishann as his first target. Before he could act on his choice, however, the dragonborn was upon him with the expected breath of fire.
Easily getting his shield up to intercept the attack, Ser was afforded a single moment to notice exactly how the flames were sent his way. Instead of just exhaling, it appeared as though Mishann had gathered blue fire from his arms and hurled it, much as one would collect snow to throw a snowball! Ser had had little contact with spellscarred creatures, but he knew the signs well enough when he saw them. The knight filed away the information for later consideration and charged his target.
With the pommel of his newly acquired magic sword, Sorranis smashed the dragonborn in the face, causing his nose to bleed. When Mishann held up his hands, signaling he was out of the fight, Ser nodded and spun on his heels, fully exposing his back. If the dragonborn understood the significance of that move, he didn’t acknowledge it, but Ser was demonstrating complete trust in the fidelity and honor of his companion, almost by way of apology for so quickly defeating him.
Another few strikes of eldritch energy from Waxter, and the young elf, who had demanded this fight in the first place, fell. For a moment, Sorannis feared for Kerith’s life, so great was the strike the tiefling had delivered her, but Kerith’s collapsed form continued to breathe! In addition, Waxter’s face bore an immediate expression of guilt and surprise at his own strength, and so, Sorannis privately forgave the tiefling, noting that Kerith had brought it upon herself.
In no time at all, Waxter recovered from the shock of what he had done and noticed Ser preparing to charge him from behind. Moving quicker than the moon elf yet again, he made a charge of his own and tried to force a shock of lightning-like energy into Sorannis, while also locking down the elven knight to prevent a return charge. Ser dodged the attack, shifting at right-angles from reality to, once more, get behind Waxter, and gave charge anyway.
The whole battle was over in less time than it had taken Ser to agree to it, for as Ser charged and swung the flat of his magical blade at Waxter, it whapped him across the temple so hard the moon elf thought he would surely be knocked unconscious! Surprisingly, the tiefling managed to keep his feet, and just as well! Sorannis did not want to appear as though he was enacting vengeance for the treatment Waxter had given Kerith. Accidents happened, and again, the girl had asked for it. At least, the idiotic fight was over!