Thursday, December 21, 2017

OD&D: Ravensburg Session 9 (with rough sketch of Sessions 7 & 8)

I ran an OD&D session last night in which Tim (+Gothridge Manor) braved the environs of Ravensburg alone. We picked up more or less where we left off about seven months ago. Since I never posted about Sessions 7 and 8 from the last time we played, I've tried to cobble together events there as best I could from my fairly sketchy notes. The report on last night's session (Session 9) follows below that.

Sketch of Ravensburg Sessions 7-8 (more or less): 

Characters:
Boneswa (Elf-F1/MU2): Tim (+Gothridge Manor)
     Corder (Fighter-2): NPC
     Rosalind (Cleric-1): NPC
Roghan (Fighter-2): Rob (+Rob Conley)
     Presto (Elf-F1/MU1): NPC
     Lena (Magic-User-2): NPC

Bonewsa, Roghan and their henchmen tracked the goblins harassing Goodwater. The found the goblin lair, plumbed its depths, and slew the goblins' leader, a Bugbear. They cut off the Bugbear's head, and brought it back to Goodwater. There they found that Helena had been cured of her kaprothopy by the ministrations of Diana Foxglove.

The party returned to Ravensburg. There they learned that Susan Fellgood's caravan never made it back from Hamm's Fork. So they went off in search of her and her people.

Examining the area around the meteorite strike previously encountered, they found indications that the caravan had veered off the road in the direction of the meteorite. They made their way to the meteor, discovered it was hollow, and entered it. Inside they found the dead body of one of the ogres they had previously charmed and sent north to "investigate." There were also the bones of five elves (possibly the ones they had encountered earlier).

The place turned out to be the lair of some lizard-like creature, and its eggs. The party killed the creature, its young and its eggs. They found Susan Fellgood (still alive) and one of her drivers (dead and half-eaten). They pried some platinum deposits out of the meteorite's inner walls, and picked up three glowing green stones (coined "candlestones" since they give off light equivalent to a candle). Then they made their way back to civilization.

And there the sessions ended for several months.

Interlude:

Since it had been so long since we played (and because of some confusion of where exactly we had left off) we assumed that Boneswa had gone back to Goodwater to help the villagers there rebuild and recover, before returning definitively to Ravensburg. We begin Session 9 with Boneswa's return after a months-long absence.

New region map, freshly made for Session 9 last night.

Ravensburg Session 9:

Characters:
Boneswa (Elf-F1/MU2): Tim (+Gothridge Manor)
     Corder (Fighter-2): NPC
     Rosalind (Cleric-1): NPC

Boneswa returned to Ravensburg. The rumor mill was abuzz with news. During his absence...
  • A green dragon had been spotted flying over the edges of Dankmarsh; people traveling south and east were increasingly nervous.
  • For a period of three nights, loud rumblings had been heard from the ruins of the Black Tower, as if stone and earth were being moved. The ground in Ravensburg itself could be felt to tremble. 
  • Meanwhile the goblin raids north of the town continue. 
  • A large cat of some type, with reddish fur, had been seen on moonlit nights prowling around the west edges of the Briars; dead goblins had been found mauled and half-eaten in the same area.
  • Halfling Durston Lowell had become the talk of the town, regaining his family fortune rapidly after Boneswa had returned his family ring to him; some folk talk of his investments being more lucky than smart.
  • Susan Fellgood, a major shipper in Ravensburg, was once again interested in hiring on guards to escort a caravan west to Mudport.
Boneswa took some time to get his bearings and gather further information on these matters.

Speaking to Big Willie in the Surly Dragon Inn, he got confirmation regarding the green dragon of Dankmarsh and Durston Lowell's fortune. He learned the rumblings in the Tower had frightened many folk, and that none of Willie's adventuring clientele had had the nerve to delve the dungeons since that had occurred.

Boneswa then visited Durston Lowell. The Lowell home appeared from the outside to be restored to its former glory. Two new doormen blocked then entry. When Boneswa asked to speak to Durston, he was informed that he was not on Mister Lowell's (ahem) appointment list, and that he could be scheduled a week hence. Boneswa took the appointment and left.

He went to Cosmo's Curiosities, to see if Cosmo had any potions to sell. The prices were a bit too high for Boneswa's meager savings, but he managed to work out a deal, trading ten gold pieces plus one of the "candlestones" he had acquired inside the meteorite for a healing potion. Cosmo also showed him a new sword in his inventory – a dragon slayer. Cosmo understood that Boneswa obviously didn't have the coin now (3,500 gold), but thought Boneswa might be interested at some later date.

Finally the elf visited Susan Fellgood and signed on to escort the next morning's caravan west to Mudport.

The journey to Mudport was uneventful. Once in town, Boneswa took a room in The Rusty Anchor. On the menu was boiled fish, fried fish, baked fish, and mudsnake kebabs. The latter were a local specialty from the nearby mud flats. He washed the kebab down with snakeskin ale, a local brew that nauseated him but didn't make him vomit.

On the return trip to Ravensburg, Boneswa spotted a green dragon flying over the Sundered Hills, heading directly toward him from the direction of Dankmarsh beyond. Boneswa quickly directed the caravan to cover in a copse and the dragon passed over them without noticing.

A day later, crossing the bridge over the Mist River, the caravan spied a large, hairy many hip deep in the river fishing with his hands in a very bear-like manner. Boneswa kept the group moving without drawing the fisherman's attention.

Back in Ravensburg, the elf kept his appointment with Durston Lowell. The now-wealthy halfling greeted him warmly, thanked him again for the return of his ring (a magic item granting luck in investment, but only for those of Lowell blood – which is why it had not helped the adopted brother who had "borrowed" it without his knowledge), and made a gift of a fine necklace to Boneswa.

After the interview, Boneswa noticed that Lowell's former manservant, the elderly dwarf Creighton, had been nowhere to be seen. A younger and rather unpleasant human, Quagmire, seemed to have taken his place.

On returning to The Surly Dragon, Boneswa was drawn into the alley by a whispered "pssst!" Going to investigate, Boneswa was addressed by none other than the dwarf, Creighton. Creighton was concerned for his (former) master, Durston Lowell. Durston had been making deals with "unsavory" individuals. Concerned for his master's safety, Creighton had eavesdropped on several conversations. One name in particular had come up multiple times. That name was Simon of Bellamy. Boneswa knew the name, but only as a vague figure of legend. Still, if true, this was likely bad news. Durston had dismissed Creighton, who had been his faithful, and indeed only, manservant for decades. Creighton was now almost out of money and living on the street, so Boneswa hired him on as a servant himself.

Lastly, Boneswa went to visit Natalia Stoynich, the widowed antiques vendor. He mostly wanted information from her, as she had previously seemed to have some knowledge of the history of both items and people of Ravensburg. Boneswa asked her about Simon of Bellamy, and the rumors that Simon had returned to the Black Tower.

Natalia was surprised by the question, and shocked by the possibility of his return. She was quite certain this was impossible.

Simon of Bellamy.
Could he still be alive?

In a nutshell Natalia told Boneswa this:
  • Two hundred years ago, there was a cult who worshipped Vecna, believing that he was actually a god. The cult grew in power. They built the Black Tower, not far from Ravensburg. As their power grew, they became more and more a threat to the town and the land seemed cursed.
  • A group of wizards banded together to put down the cult. These included Gustav of Briarwood, Grimling of Dankmarsh, Tosa-Noa – a mysterious wizard from the distant southern jungles of Zoth, and Simon of Bellamy – then resident in Ravensburg. These four mages defeated the cult and killed the cult leader, Dargol.
  • In the wake of the final battle, Grimling and Gustav returned to their homes. Tosa-Noa and Simon, who had become fast friends, decided they would cleanse the Black Tower and make it their own shared residence.
  • The friendship did not last long. Some people think that the residual evil of the cult corrupted the two men.
  • Simon and Tosa-Noa had a falling out; Tosa-Noa left the tower to build his own stronghold in the Sundered hills. Simon remained alone in the tower. 
  • One night, about one hundred years ago, there was a terrific storm. Lightning and and thunder crashed down on the tower, destroying the upper works. No one knows what caused the storm, but some surmise it was summoned by Tosa-Noa. 
  • Rumor held, however, that Simon survived and fled east to the distant desert land of Zandistan to study powerful dark magic.

Tosa-Noa came from the Jungles of Zoth; 
Simon of Bellamy fled to Zandistan.

Natalia, however, refused to believe that Simon of Bellamy has returned. Even for a wizard with all the enchantments imaginable, a lifespan of over 200 years is simply impossible she argued. Natalia insisted that this cannot be.

Boneswa took in this information. Before leaving, he sold Lowell's necklace to Natalia for 600 gold.

And there ended the session.


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