About a half mile from the town of Red Larch, the caravan is met with a symphony of bells tolling. The town comes alive and within minutes many of the townsfolk swarm the Long Road to greet the travelers. Among them, a quaint little establishment simply called HaelE3ya's (Enter and 3njoy). On the porch of this large building are 9 beautiful, scantily clad, ladies of mixed race but mainly human. One makes her way to the front and exclaims, "Welcome to Red Larch boys! And welcome to Haeleeya's bath house! Our girls will get'ya cleaned up real nice, won't we girls? Ooooh Yes! Stop by any time and let our girls take care of you… we are always, OPEN (as she parts her skirt revealingly) for businesssss!"
"Hiiiiieeee Forinzoooo!" the other girls cried in unison. Forinzo began to reply some dirty, provocative comment as per usual but was interrupted by a woman in the group that was not too happy with his flirting. She cursed him and then ran inside the building slamming the door behind her in a fit of rage. "Don't worry Forinzo" proclaimed a dainty but masculine voice, (two of the ladies are not ladies at all but half-elf cross-dressers instead) "You could always stay with us in our room". Forinzo told the gay half-elves to go fuck themselves! To which the other half-elf "maiden" replied with a heavy lisp, "Oh, don't worry we willll but it would be sssso much better if you joined ussss".
The caravan is halted in front The Swinging Sword inn. There they are met by Kayleesa Irkell
the proprietor of the inn. Iraun Thelder,
the stablemaster, who was also there to give the horses a cool drink of water. Forinzo talks to Urlam back in Triboar via a sending stone and explains to him the details of their journey. Urlam was quite upset by the death of one of his clients but Forinzo surprisingly defended the group, telling Urlam how bravely they fought off the goblin attack and saved the cargo. Urlam agreed to give all the PCs under contract 60 gold pieces (including the bonus pay for early arrival) with the exception of Rhobyn who would only get 54 gp and no bonus because the merchant that died was under his protection. Forinzo told the group they would all get paid after all the wagons were unloaded at the custormers' stores and then taken to other locations to get loaded again. This is basically how it was assigned:
—1 wagon going to the Helm at Highsun (Forinzo's)
—1 wagons going to Drouth Fine Poultry (10) after unload leave wagon there LOWBROW and VAITIARE
—1 wagon going to Jalessa the butcher (11) after unload going to Drouth's RHOBYN
—1 wagon going to Helvur Tarnlar Clothier (7) after unload going to Drouth's ENALLIS
—1 wagon going to the Smithy Tantur (9) after unload going to Mellikho's Stoneworks NISH
—1 wagon going to Luruth's Tannery (19) after unload going to Waelvur's Wagonworks for repairs ALEN
While all this was being organized Lowbrow became surrounded by some children that were fascinated by him. Lowbrow entertained their idea about the group being great adventurers and told them some of their fantastic tales. He gave the children a few silver pieces before departing to Drouth's Fine Poultry. Here, Lowbrow and Vaitiare meet Nahaeliya Drouth
the owner of this very busy and very smelly establishment. Cages, live chickens, pickled chickens, eggs, feathers flying everywhere but a very organized operation nevertheless. This place must supply the entire Dessarin Valley. Lowbrow and Vaitiare helped unload some empty crated and cages and then were on their way.
is the town butcher. Luckily, Forinzo remembered to take out the dead merchant's corpse or Rhobyn might have had a very special delivery indeed. Rhobyn helped unload the wagon and also happened to meet the town constable Harburk Tuthmarillar
who apparently lives in the building behind the butcher. "All this weather, and the rain, it's just Inconceeeivable!!!" Rhobyn dropped off the wagon at Drouth's without any incident.
Enallis was charged with the delivery of cloth to Helvur Tarnlar, Clothier. Helvur Tarnlar
is a very pompous aristocrat from Waterdeep who has a keen eye for fashion. His wife, Maegla Tarnlar,
is the obvious brains of the operation and immediately begins to take inventory of the goods in the wagon. Their children, the very same that surrounded Lowbrow, now surround Enallis and ask him if he's a great adventurer too. Loni, an 8 year old little girl, blurts out a story about meeting an old dwarf near Lance Rock (a 30 foot monolith just south of town) who warns them to go away that their is a great plague around here. Enallis humors the children and tells them that he and his group would certainly be able to beat whatever plague that dwarf spoke of. Enallis then peruses the tailors wares and promises to return for an absolutely fabulous silk number that brings out the light in his eyes.
Nish goes to meet the smithy, Eldras Tantur,
and his two very strong daughters and handsome young son. They are a fierce looking family which is very busy at work most of the time but very friendly. Tantur's wares are of very fine quality indeed as Nish could attest to. Albaeri Mellikho,
the chubby proprietor of Mellikho's Stoneworks, is outwardly very nice and bubbly but quite nasty to her employees. Nish delivered the wagon there and overheard her scolding her workers who did not look very happy at all.
And we saved the best for last…. Props to Greg who NPC'd Alen damn near to perfection lol….
The wagon was still about 500 feet from the tannery but the merchant could see Alen's abdominal muscles beginning to spasm and his eyes start to water. "Aye half-elf, aarryaaa going to be alright laddy?" asked the merchant… "Oggmm, what is that terrible…aauuck smell?" replied Alen. "Oh dear, you've never been to a tannery aye boy?… eeere put dis cloth around you face" said the merchant… "Yes, yyyess sir guaaak". Ulhro Luruth,
was not pleased. "Come on you fucking half-elf and help us unload these skins", said the miserable middle-aged man. Alen completely consumed by the entire scene…the smell, the vats of lime, the flies everywhere, the dead skins, "Oh by the gods, bbbaaaeee, I'm sorry sir I'm a, eeeaaak, just give me a second while I, oooaaaq!!!". Arrrryyee you blistering pig slop go heave across the street! Not in my shoppe!" …. "ya ya yess sirrraaaeeeq!" "Oooh dear Azuth help meeeaaauuuck!" … by the time they got to Waelvur's Wagonworks Alen's face had regained about 50% of it's color. Ilmeth Waelvur,
a bitter old man who drinks and curses more than ole Forinzo, greets Alen as he drops off the wagon for repairs. Alen notices that all his workers drink while they work and this might explain why the place is so disorganized and chaotic.
The group returns to the Swinging Sword and gets paid by Forinzo who is already 3 pints in. Kayleesa asks the group if anyone would like to secure a room for the night as there are only 3 rooms left and the only other establishment would be Mother Yalantha's boarding house across the way. Enallis need hear no more and quickly fumble through his pouch for the 3 gold and is escorted up to his room by Ghileeda,
Vaitiare and Alen also secure a room but must wait for Ghileeda to get back. While they wait Lowbrow makes conversation with Kayleesa and discovers that there might indeed be something afoul at this place Lance Rock. Nish by this time has disappeared and Enallis goes off to pay Helvur for his fine garment that he had secured earlier. Kayleesa, questions the group before giving up any information but when she feels comfortable she offers to give the party 50 gold to explore the area of Lance Rock. She is sure that this place is the pinnacle, no pun intended, of all the evil rumors that have been going around.
Enallis on his way back to the inn sees Ghileeda and dark husky man conversing in the alley of the Helm at Highsun. He overhears them talking about a "gnome and the others". He frantically races into the inn where he finds his friends enjoying a nice meal on the house. "Where is Nish?" he exclaims in elvish… his brethren do not know. "We have to find him quick", he says "he could be in trouble". Vaitiare raises her hood, stands up from her meal, gives Enallis a cold stare and excuses herself from the bar, "I have a pressing matter to attend to… if you would please excuse me". Perplexed, Enallis wonders if she understands elvish but that thought quickly vanishes from his mind as he gathers the group and leaves the inn. The stablemaster is outside smoking his pipe, staring at the group. They confab and plan the best way to find the missing gnome. The stablemaster casually follows the group to the front of the inn by the street, maintaining eye contact the whole time. The three elfkind go across the street to search the alley of The Helm. Lowbrow goes to the bath house. At the bath house, he storms into the place and he finds a beautiful natural scene with plants and scents that are overwhelmingly soothing. Haeleeya tries to seduce him but Lowbrow resorts to his vows and declines her offer. Haeleeya tells him that there are other bathers less feminine than she If that is what he prefers… "No no I am looking for my friends, have you seen the gnome or the genasi anywhere?" She replies, "the gnome no, but the genasi yes, she is right over there. Join her if you desire, all is accepted within these walls". Lowbrow abruptly parts the curtain to Vaitiare's pool and she is quite embarrassed and upset with him. She tells him to leave her take a bath in peace!
At the helm things get a little strange…. The three elvenkind go into the bar. Enallis goes and sits at the bar next to an adventuring woman type dressed in stamped leather
and orders a drink from Garlen Harlathurl,
the proprietor. Alen and Rhobyn stand awkwardly by the door and stare at each other. The barkeep serves Enallis an ale sets it down next to him and shaves off the head with a knife. Enallis looks down to take his ale in his hand and sees a most troubling site. It's the Helmed Horror! Engraved onto the bar and scratched next to it it says, "The Helm at Highsun where no one will bother you" He looks around the place terrified and sees paintings of this creature almost on every wall! Rhobyn notices the paintings immediately too but keeps his elven composure about it. And to make matters worse the man that was talking to Ghileeda emerges from a staircase to the cellar behind the bar with a keg on his back.
The man puts the keg down with very little effort and lifts and eyebrow toward Enallis, "Enjoy yuur drink, friend" and returns to the cellar. By this time, Nish and Lowbrow have found their way to The Helm as well. They all take a seat at a table, and order drinks to avoid acting too suspicious (too late). They all stare at each other and whisper to each other what they know. "By the almight Azuth!!! blurts out Alen. "You all are not going to believe this…this is so weird, there's a painting of another helmed knight like the one that interrupted me the other night when I was…." They all look at Alen in disbelief and then ponder what their next step should be…
It was an all roleplaying session but I will award every character 100 xp for the night. Well done guys and hope to see everyone in two weeks.