Last time on The Dining Campaign:
The party has returned to the Cormick City-State after traveling for about a month in the plane of Dis. Having found their initial colony site location, they’ve returned to report back to Myra, the succubus mayor of South Cormick and the one who sent them on this journey to begin with. Not all is what it seems, however, and the party is starting to realize they’re a pawn in a potentially global game of the apocalypse.
Present in this adventure:
- Kai, Aaracokra Ranger-like-Rogue
- Elena, Elven Rogue-like-Bard
- Nocturne, Tiefling Cleric-like-Sorceress
- Galwyn, Gnome Paladin-like-Cleric
- Karma, Orcish Drunk-like-Monk
- Dharma, Human Saijin-like-Monk
Today was the day of their meeting with Tanzain Habib, the de facto leader of the Merchant’s Guild / Habib Congolmerate. Tanzain is a Dragonborn NPC they’ve met before, effectively with the personality of the memed Teddy Roosevelt combined with Sir Hammerlock. Known to be Myra’s current “favorite” and is more than just rumored to be frequently sleeping together, Tanzain is an upcoming merchant in the city of South Cormick, specializing in equipment for mages and defensive magical goods for all. His shop is in the Enchantment district of South Cormick, just south of Portal Park.
The party entered his shop, noting how different everything looked. Unlike other members of the Habib Congolmerate, Humble Habib’s Discount Defense looks more like a modern mall shop than a shady mercantile business – everything is well it and out in the open, with only an office upstairs and no real inventory staging area; if they have it, it is on display with a price tag and without haggling. Posters are up along the walls detailing deals they have going on – mostly of the “buy one for you and a second gets donated to a poor student mage” variety. Kai (PC Aarakocra Ranger-like-Rogue) and Elena (PC Elf Rogue-like-Bard) notice an unusual density of traps in the room – each individual item is trapped, which would be highly unusual given that most merchants simply pay protection money to the Tax Collectors.
Having gone upstairs to the office, the party sits on the floor engaged in a conversation with Tanzain. Well, other than Karma, who is too busy eating and obsessing over sticky buns. They find out the identities of the rest of the Cormick City-State Council, as there was a large amount of turnover while they were gone. There are the two council members they know – the succubus mayor Myra and Tanzain, but there are five they do not.
- Myra Cormick, mayor of South Cormick (Succubus Shapechanger). Myra has been the mayor of South Cormick ever since it was a sleepy city that was recovering from some bizarre thefts. An unusual choice, she quickly became popular with the locals, both for obvious reasons and because the previous group of heroes who saved the town (read: prior campaign) threw their support behind her. She’s known for having her selection of romantic partners throughout the town and isn’t exactly closed about what goes on in those relationships, but has quickly become the steadfast protector of the City-State that she is routinely re-elected for. Strongly in favor of protecting all immigrants and refugees and will absolutely call people out for responding otherwise. She’s responsible for bringing South Cormick’s population up to an eye-watering six million people.
- Tanzain Habib, chosen representative (and de facto leader) from the Habib Corporation (Dragonborn Male). Description was above.
- Horin, the representative of the South Cormick Tax Association (Enby Halfling). The SCTA, for those of you unfamiliar with the campaign setting of mine, is a euphemism for “officially sanctioned thieves’ guild”. South Cormick is ultimately a heavily-Chaotic Good city at heart, and it shows. Horin is a nasty little hobbit of a halfling, having been in this city for at least thirty years as a “tax collector”. Tanzain has a low opinion of them (”they’re an asshole”). The PC Kai (Avian Ranger-like-Rogue) is a member of this organization.
- Defender Tyverius, the representative of the Unity Council of Religion (Female Orc – note that Half-Orcs don’t exist in this world and full Orcs effectively replace Half-Orcs). The previous member was a priest of Thrin (the deity that Galwyn, the party cleric, belongs to), and Tyverius is a Paladin of Altecia (Thrin’s rival, although at this point more of the “sports rivalry” type of rival than anything else). Tanzain says that Tyverius is a staunch protector of the innocent and comes from the neighboring Morken Sands.
- Archmagi Grothern Faan (Male Gnome), head of the Mage’s Guild of South Cormick. Tanzain seemingly couldn’t resist mentioning that he seems to have “cranial-rectal inversion syndrome” and is effectively the archtypical professor everyone has had and utterly hates, yet seems to never be fired and always thinks he’s right. Subtle clues to the party were left that Tanzain’s opinion of the Archmagi are actually lower than he lets on. Perhaps he was a friend of the previous head of the guild? Nocturne (PC Sorcerer)’s roommate is a member of the guild.
- Commander Horus Kinto (Male Elf), leader of the Cormick City-State Legion, which is chosen by the city-state council. This was actually the vote the council had the day prior, and Tanzain knows little about Horus.
- Cheryl (Human Woman), a local seamstress. The City-State has a Jury-style position open to provide random citizens direct representation on the council for a one month duty shift, and this month is Cheryl. Multiple members of the party actually know Cheryl, and she’s OoC described as a lot like Rose from The Golden Girls, although perhaps she has a razor sharp wit hiding things, but probably just very very … unfocused.
All of this is good and all, but a shout from downstairs interrupts their conversation. Some bandits have brazenly attacked Honest Habib’s Discount Defense in broad daylight, smashing the window in the front of the shop and threatening everyone inside. A surprisingly-challenging fight ensues and some innocent shoppers end up in the way and knocked out for a while. As the fight was drawing to a close, the boss bandit / grenadier runs and takes a hostage – a random passerby. This being in the Enchantment district of South Cormick, that meant the random passerby was an apprentice mage, who used subtle casting to cast grease on themselves and the grenadier while a party member (Karma) distracted him with digging a hole (don’t ask), allowing them to slip away. Pummeling the grenadier, they kill the boss but something is off. The unnamed sorceress yells everyone to stand back and the boss explodes in some type of necromancy, giving rise to every city planner’s worst nightmare:
A set of ghoul-spawn in the middle of an extremely dense and crowded city street in broad daylight. And that’s where the adventure ends for the night.
Note: I’ve decided to start chronicling my D&D campaign here. I can go back and give summaries of previous adventures if anyone actually ends up reading this, but it’ll help me as a DM actually remember the weird stuff that ends up happening.