Last time on The Dining Campaign
The South Cormick Tax Association (read: Thieves’ Guild) revolted by some means, leaving a whole lot of very unhappy people (and tax collections halted via strike). Meanwhile, part of the party went after an orb of hallucinations… er… prophecy, which gave them disturbing visions of the future.
Present in this adventure:
- 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
NPCs mentioned in this adventure:
- Defender Yani Tyverius, Orcish Paladin of the Altecian Temple (and representative from the Unity Council on Religion)
- Grothurn Faan, Archmagi and head of the Mage’s Guild of South Cormick
- Horin, Halfling Arcane Trickster and representative of the South Cormick Tax Association (read: Thieves’ Guild)
- Myra Cormick, Succubus Mayor of South Cormick.
Tanzain Habib, de-facto leader of the Merchant’s Guild / Habib Conglomerate
Cheryl, a local seamstress and the jurist member of the city council.
- Bertrum, an adventurer from a different search party than the PCs. Enchanter/Necromancer? No one is quite sure.
This is the adventure where the proverbial excrement hit the ventilation system – the City-State of Cormick Council Meeting.
First, the party had learned (either in Adventure 14 or in this adventure) that three members of the council would not be attending. Tanzain had a prior appointment with the Habib Conglomerate and, when the council meeting was rescheduled, had a conflict he couldn’t deal with. Two others, however, did not attend – both Grothern Faan and Horin were no-shows. All three had sent their hidden ballots along in advance.
The party attended the council meeting held in the Tower of Power – the original tower that once held all of South Cormick (no really – this was from the original one-shot that started the previous campaigns). It had been spruced up to act as a meeting hall for Very Special Occasions – like a meeting that might dictate the future of South Cormick’s population and the population of the refugees that are starting to trickle in from the disaster of the city of Cannot Reach Because Cat*. Hundreds of people from town were in attendance.
The party put their diplomatic faces on and argued their case. They quickly realized they might not quite have had as much support as they thought, as Cheryl started asking some pretty important fiscal questions that led to some negative feelings.
The vote came back 4-3 in their favor, however, likely due to their persuasion skills (read: it was 5-2 against before they started talking to NPCs, but the party didn’t know that). As the meeting drew to a close, someone voiced an objection.
That someone was a 25? long skeletal dragon. That objection was a breath weapon attack on a surprise round, hitting the literal hundreds of people in that room. Lots of casualties, including bringing Cheryl to the brink of death and heavily injuring the remaining present members of the council… except Myra.
Myra, on the other hand, got charmed right before, by a surprise guest – Bertrum.
Bertrum was a mage of an adventuring party similar to this one. One that failed. They went off exploring a different plane with only a few members coming back. The party knew this, as they went around asking about the people in the party. The only bits that were being repeated were, basically, “Poor Bertrum. They never found his body!”
The party, naively, thought the phrase was that he was killed. Ha ha ha NOPE. Bertrum attacked the party. Strangely, Elena had actually figured most of this out ahead of time, but didn’t put enough pieces together to figure out exactly who on the party attacked. Well, the cat’s out of the bag now, as Bertrum arrives on the scene, being pleased as punch in charming what he viewed as his greatest foe.
The battle was hard fought… but short. Partially because we didn’t get to the battle until late in the adventure and partially because of some amazing rolls. Defender Tyverius (She’s SUPER EFFECTIVE against undead dragons, who knew!) and Commander Horus joined them, as did a contingent of guards with handguns (which mostly missed, but eh, thoughts counting and all).
The party all scattered and focused on backup. Karma went to go help Cheryl, surprising pretty much everyone, and actually managed to bring her back from the brink of death. Elena countered the charm effect on Myra (with, once more, a super lucky roll). Myra pretended to still be charmed afterward, but gave Elena a knowing wink. Galwyn helped her comrade-in-faith (even if it is a different / opposing faith) and went all smitey on the dragon. Dharma went after the dragon as well, swapping to Bertrum after finding his attacks less effective than normal. Nocturne played support (firing a few volleys at Bertrum as well), but ended up a bit distracted by Myra.
After deciding that the ruse has played its purpose, Myra cast Harm on Bertrum. A Divine Sorcerer magic sourced Harm, of the identical casting style and effect (although more powerful) as Nocturne. Nocturne may have finally found her first lead about her family.
After a bit, the party + support helped take out the Bone Dragon. They took out Bertrum shortly after, whose body simply disappeared. Turns out that Bertrum was a simulacrum – very powerful necromancy that allows someone to basically create a lesser double of themselves. Also explains the whole “never found his body” part.
* – not the actual name, but I couldn’t reach my notes at the time and the name has kind of stuck. I’m probably going to rename the city something that would have the initials CRBC somehow.