Last time on The Dining Campaign…
The party met with Tanzain Habib, the de facto leader of the Merchant’s Guild / Habib Conglomerate. Having spoken about the rest of the members of the council, the party had decided to go speak with them when some bandits attacked Honest Habib’s Discount Defense in broad daylight. The party fought them off and gave chase, but their leader exploded with necromantic energies upon his death, creating two ghouls in his place…
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
These two ghouls seemed to be quite large – significantly larger than the grenadier that they spawned from, and had some various magics about them. Unfortunately for the party, none of them could figure out what was going on fast enough.
Karma and Kai each took one of the ghouls, dealing massive amounts of damage to them. Dharma finished one off, and that’s when they discovered the problem. The ghoul exploded in acid, nearly knocking Karma unconscious, killing five innocent bystanders, and covering a wide area around the town fountain with some goo that seemed to radiate some necromantic energy.
That’s when the party learned that the trick of the battle wasn’t defeating the ghouls, but figuring out a way to do it without massive casualties. After some lucky rolls with Dispel Magic from Nocturne and an inspiring song and nat20 persuasion from Elena, they got the vast majority of the townsfolk out of the way and cleaned off. Galwyn and Kai physically moved off the others, but they still had one nearly-dead ghoul to contend with that hits well above its weight class.
What the party didn’t know was that two more ghouls were going to spawn where the townsfolk died very shortly, but luck once more favored the party as they figured out that they could counteract the necromancy with some holy water. After taking out the last ghoul (blocking the explosion of acid) and dousing the acid puddles formerly known as innocent bystanders, the encounter drew to a close.
The party had a fairly long talk with the Bottle Patrol (1) and a nearby Hieron of Altecia who provided the holy water. No accusations were given, as this event was witnessed by literally-thousands of people, but Elena realized that someone had to have controlled these ghouls – they were acting with intelligence rather than out of general malice toward the living, so they likely had a necromancer controlling them. Whomever it was was long since gone, however, and the party went off to the baths to
not be covered in a fine green goo take a short rest before resuming their actual quest.
At this point the party has split up into three groups.
Group one consisted of Elena and Dharma. They went off to speak with Commander Horus Kinto, leader of the Cormick City-State Legion and newly appointed member of the city council. Their journey was brief, for Horus was in his office and had an opening for them to walk in and talk. Their talks were direct and to the point (as the party had no reason to lie), with Elena turning the diplomacy up to 7. Things went well as they discussed how they planned on dealing with the security of their proposed colony location, but Dharma picked up on something.
Whatever Horus’ motives may be outwardly, he seems far more concerned with the food security of the new colony than the actual physical security. Elena pointed out that South Cormick didn’t just have the world’s largest army, but the army was larger than many city’s entire populations. They didn’t necessarily have the best training in the world because they simply didn’t need it. However, that didn’t mean it was going to be fighting itself, and Elena and Dharma came to the conclusion that Horus is likely more worried about a civil war than any outward threats.
Group two consisted of Nocturne and Karma. They first went to Cheryl, a local seamstress and the jurist member of the city council. They had afternoon tea. Apparently, this impressed Karma who asked Cheryl to be her grandmother. Cheryl accepted wholeheartedly. They talked for a few hours… but didn’t realize until after the fact that Cheryl was driving the conversation the entire time. Seems that she really does have a razor sharp intelligence beyond her confused outwardly appearances, but Nocturne and Karma have no idea where she actually stands on the debate.
Next, Nocturne and Karma are heading to the Museum of the Young Goddess – effectively like a shrine to the deity, only the Young Goddess’ impressions of religion are… well, unorthodox would be an understatement. This will happen on the next adventure, however, as we were running low on time.
Group three consisted of Galwyn and Kai, an unusual combination. They approached the Grand Shrine of Altecia, the largest building in the Cormick City-State… by a few inches, apparently. The Shrine opens up to some absolutely divine wide open spaces with lots of natural light providing a beautiful ambiance to the center of faith. Kai, however, has his thoughts turn to the treasures, which appear to be completely on display with absolutely no visible traps of any kind whatsoever – everything screams “honey trap” to him. Galwyn is a member of the Church of Thrin, the main rival to Altecia, and seems to hold a bit of a competitive nature toward the hierons of Altecia. The initiates who greeted her certainly seemed to be equally as competitive, but they arranged a meeting with Defender Tyverius all the same. Yani Tyverius was definitely not what they were expecting though – a rough looking old warrior, she’s an orc with a rather nasty falchion and battered shield with spiked leather armor… that she’s wearing in the middle of the grand shrine.
We stopped there for the night, as it was 21:30 my time and 22:30 for some of the players; we still need to work tomorrow, after all. We will be picking back up with Group Three in two weeks.
Note: I had some DM notes I made for the previous adventure that I didn’t know if people would actually want to read. It goes more into the meta of my game, my thoughts, the creatures that may be fought, and so on. Nothing spoilery though, so still fine if a PC reads.