A Band of Brothers from Other Mothers

HotDQ - Session 9: To Berdusk and Elturel

"I'm a bard, I always play for free!" - Claire

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  • The party departed Greenest for Berdusk, en route to Elturel, at the advice of Dumbledilp, who was keep on restocking the party’s provisions and speaking to higher members of the Harpers about the situation in and around Greenest regarding the Dragon Cult.
  • Aaron asked Tiberius about other dark elves on the surface. Particularly, about a flamboyant dark elf.
  • On the way to Berdusk, Tiberius told Aaron the tale of the party. Aaron seemed particularly interested in the Lich of the Mine of Phandelver.
  • Claire, Eric the Cleric and Lafaren suffered severe hangovers from the Greenest Party the night before.
  • Aaron revealed that he is not a ranger, but a warlock, and indicated that he did not trust the party after discovering that they lied about being affiliated with the thieve’s guild to manipulate him. He told them about his history with the thieve’s guild, who abused and bullied him until he undertook tutelage by a passing warlock in the guild named Tsernoth. Tsernoth taught him the basics of warlock magics, but disappeared before Aaron could acquire a patron and become a true warlock. He then fled the thieve’s guild after hearing plots to destroy them, stealing an item of great power from the guild itself to aid in his escape. Aaron did not reveal the identity of the item he stole.
  • Aaron told the party that the book, a journal that used to belong to Alabaster Elodarr, an elven mage. He told them that the elven mage sought to use dark magics restricted to the 9 hells, but mistakenly made contact with the Demon Prince Demogorgon. In a last-ditch attempt to preserve himself, Alabaster sacrificed his soul to become an undead Lich, sealing himself in a mine to the North.
  • Aaron said that he wanted to find the Lich, who he believed seeks to bring Demogorgon to the surface world, so that he can acquire the power he desires to destroy the thieve’s guild and attain vengeance for their misdeeds to him.
  • The party and Aaron seemed concerned over the fact that the Lich was fixed on the Forge of Spells in the Mine of Phandelver. No one knew what the Lich was doing with the Forge of Spells.

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  • On one of the first nights, a wind storm forced the party to hunker down for the night. Tiberius spotted an owlbear matriarch, travelling with several owlbear cubs. He scared the owlbears away to the north using his Faerie Fire.
  • The group investigated a large boulder that appeared to have been cleaved and either tumbled or tossed down from a nearby bouldery cliff. They could deduce nothing about the boulder’s origins.
  • The following day, a few hours away from Berdusk, the party came upon a chaotic scene: dead corpses of apparent highwaymen strewn across the road, alongside the body of an owlbear cub. Several of the corpses appeared to have been partially eaten, and all had clawmarks.
  • Biff found a letter of instruction from a nobleman, telling the highwaymen to waylay passerbys on the road for a toll and ambushing them if they refused. The letter was signed ‘E.R.’
  • Once the party arrived in Berdusk, they shopped until they dropped. They each bought items of intriguing value, the most expensive being Tiberius’ purchase of a magical rapier and inscribed leather armour (900G) with the name of the shop – ’Alabather’s on the Water’. The owner (Alabather) told Tiberius that he should wear the armour for a few months to promote his business. Claire haggled with an old woman for jewelry, while Biff did the same with Alabaster.
  • Dumbledilp spoke at length with the leader of the Harpers, Cyryl Dragonbreast, who thanked him for providing information, and offered assistance by means of transport down the river to the river Chionthar and eventually Elturel, where they could rendezvous with Henry and Frederick. She told him that the Harpers have two goals for the party: 1) to unite the Harper and Order of the Gauntlet factions against the Cult of the Dragon and 2) to infiltrate the Cult’s caravan, which, from the information gathered from the map in Frulam’s room, should travel North through Baldur’s Gate. Dumbledilp did not tell the party of the new instructions from the Harpers.
  • The party reunited at an inn, the Running Stag, where they each rented one room.
  • In the tavern below the rooms, Biff flashed off his newly-acquired Harper helmet and shield, buying a few drinks and striking a conversation with the on-shift barmaid. She swooned at his advances, getting another barmaid to take her shift.
  • Tiberius transcribed the spellbook of the Black Spider for Dumbledilp, which had been partly written in infrared ink, invisible to the eyes of any but the Drow.
  • Claire joined in on a game of blackjack with four rough-looking men at a table in the corner. They struck up conversation, interrogating her about Biff and the rest of the group. She noticed one of them had a tattoo of a dragon head on his forearm, and refused their offers to accompany her to her room, or outside.
  • Eventually, Claire left the game, and the men gathered their chips and left the tavern. Tiberius tried to follow them, but lost them in the crowd. He asked a nearby smoker, speaking to a drunken friend outside the tavern, about the men. The man didn’t tell him anything useful, and when Tiberius left he overheard the men gossiping about the party.
  • The party went to sleep, but was awoken by the sound of people running down the hall. They awoke to discover that the tavernmaster had been killed, along with his wife and one of the barmaids. The wounds matched that of a rapier’s pierce and a scimitar’s slash.
  • Dumbledilp fetched the guards, four Harpers who forensically examined the bodies. Tiberius believed the event was staged to look like he did it, and the smoker from the previous night even claimed he saw Tiberius “getting violent” with the tavern personnel.
  • The Harpers escorted the party from Berdusk, fearing that a few troublemakers at the Running Stag would pin the murders on the party, and fearing infiltration of the city by the Dragon Cult.
  • Alabather, inspired by Tiberius, learned from his sources in the Twilight Hall that the party was to travel through Elturel to Baldur’s Gate. He decided to join them and expand his business.
  • The party sailed on a river boat granted by the Harpers down the River Sulduskoon to the River Chionthar, where they arrived at Elturel, met at the docks by Henry.
  • Henry led them to the Inn “A Pair of Black Antlers”, where diplomatic negotiations between the Order of the Gauntlet and the Harpers were taking place. Dumbledilp was promoted from “Sentinel” of the Harpers to “Watcher”. Claire became a “Sentinel” of the Harpers.

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  • The party met Frederick, a rowdy Dwarf and high-ranking member of the Order of the Gauntlet who came from the same Order as Eric the Cleric.

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  • Henry told the party that they should try to impress Frederick. They did – Biff out-drank him, Aaron arm-wrestled with him, and Tiberius beat him in a horse-race.
  • The party went to sleep

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