Sunday, 5 April 2015

Riga’s Log: The Mad Baroness

[Divine Flame]
Baccardi Riga The Third (gnome illusionist), Gilthanas Sunblade (half-elf paladin), Klin (half-elf druid), Malak (half-orc rogue)

Here, have a half-orc
Since the bastard DM continues to refuse to offer us a three meter high statue of Sune covered in rubies and draped in red silk, our temple has to survive with illusory images of the goddess, provided by the greatest magician in all of Neverwinter’s sphere of influence. That’ll be me.
One of our team mates had to move from Lisbon to Madrid (ciao Marco!), so this session we had a new player join the party. Thus, Malak, a half-orc, received a warm welcoming to The Divine Flame… with the paladin spitting on the floor and saying something along the line of “I hate your filthy race. Get away from me.”
As my favorite bard Freddie Mercury used to sing: “Friends will be friends”…
Putting things in perspective, I’m now surrounded by two HALF-elves and one HALF-orc, thus making me the only FULL MAN in the group. That clearly makes me party leader.

The damsel in distress
Malak had been selected by the town mayor to accompany us to the neighbor town of Leilon, where we should meet Baroness Helena d’Tabbart, whom had written him worried with “enemies hidden in the shadows”.
Being the town elections in five months, I’m suspicious that this is just a maneuver from the bastard DM to send me away from Phandalin, thus benefitting his candidate, the inept Mayor Harbin. But, alas!, I’m a hero, and as the bards of Waterdeep usually sing: there’s a damsel in distress, she goes by the title of baroness, Riga’s on the way to clean the mess, so keep calm and have no stress, for this gnome was born to impress! BOOYAH! Shaggadelic, baby!
Hu-Hum! Sorry, I got a little carried away. I blame it on Gilthanas’ bagpipes.
Anyway, our band of merry men (more appropriately, HALF men) arrives in Leilon. We head towards Tabbart Mansion, where we find the baron on his horse posing for a painter. Immediately we rename him Baron Harkonnen, albeit the DM’s attempts to make us embrace his real name. He tells us the baroness is rather ill, and will soon be taken to Lathander’s temple (I’m pretty sure the bastard DM already gave the Lathanderites a gigantic marble statue with diamonds and platinum…). She won’t be able to receive us before the next morning. We say our goodbyes to Baron Vladimir Harkonnen, and I immediately focus on the most important thing in the mission: I go talk to the painter and try to commission him a portrait of myself. But, proving once again that the bastard DM hates me, he only has time to do so in one year. WHAT? I’m having an election in five months! Bah!
While Malak roams the city’s slums looking for information about the baroness, I go with the two half-elves searching for sculptors and painters. But we only find THIEVES! Eight thousand gold pieces for the statues and portraits? Do these bastards believe they belong to Michellangelo’s School or something?

Hello, I’m a priest. BOOM! Headshot!
Come next morning we head once again to the mansion. I combine an Unseen Servant spell with some Minor Illusion, and walk the streets with a floating ghost beside me presenting myself to the populace. This is good P.R., and all propaganda is welcome if it benefits the future mayor of Phandalin.
We are taken to the baroness’s scriptorium, and along the way I lay my eyes on a particular painting of “The Battle of the Cliffs”. What’s peculiar about it is that all the heroes portrayed are gnomes! I write down the artist’s name: Ipe. I have to say that I particularly enjoy his interpretation of events.
Baroness Helena is clearly disturbed and “drained”, but she doesn’t seem to be crazy. She insists that Baron Harkonnen isn’t really her husband, but someone pretending to be him. Before we have the time to extend our conversation a quartet of priests of Lathander enters the room, announcing they are here to take the baroness to the temple. She gets despaired and refuses to go, shouting she never agreed with that.
We tell the head priest he can’t force her to go, and he replies by putting a crossbow bolt to the paladin’s face. Combat ensues, with one of the now-evidently-false priests hitting the baroness, and almost killing her. The druid, in bear form, makes short work of the assailants, while the half-orc rolls under a table shooting a bolt under my legs, and rolling a critical against the guy hitting the coiling woman. This filthy scum tries to escape jumping out of a window, but my gnome jumps to the window and incinerates him with a Fire Bolt.
The surviving assailant runs out of the room but is immediately caught by the guards, who in turn storm the scriptorium ordering us to lay down our weapons and stand still. But wait: now comes the fun part! I’m still with my ghost-butler floating around, so he keeps majestically presenting me to each guard that enters the room, which is hilarious, and makes me more famous than Taylor Swift.

Captain Colgate and the Goblin Goblet
We are detained for questioning by a guy named Captain Colgate. Well, ok, his name wasn’t actually Colgate, but it sounded a lot like Corellon (patron god of elves), so we rebranded him.
Captain Colgate seemed genuinely concerned with the attack and decided to trust us. So, he gave us what they found in the escapee’s pockets: a triple figurine of platinum, and a pouch with the initials “G.G.”.
IT’S GARY FREAKING GYGAX!!!!! The guy who invented D&D is responsible for the attempt on the baroness’s life! Hum? What? The pouch has an image of a GOBLIN drinking from a GOBLET? There goes my brilliant conspiracy thesis…
It’s time again to hit the slums, but since we’re having some trust issues with Malak we decide to take the entire party. Both he and the druid look like bums, so no one will notice them, but a flamboyant gnome (with a pompous ghost butler) and a paladin of Sune? Relax, everything is under control. I’m an illusionist, so I can look however I want. As to Gilthanas, he has a kabuki theatre kit, so he loads himself with lots of makeup and disguises himself as a bum.
With a few coins, a few mugs of ale, and a lot of BULLSHIT, we discover that the Goblin’s Goblet is a secret gambling house run by a band that goes by the name Leilon’s Bashers where few are allowed to enter.

The hanging
Baron Harkonnen seems rather hurried to get rid of the sole survivor, taking him to be hanged in the main square. In a desperate attempt to gain some information about the culprit behind the attack, I cast a Message spell that allows me to speak mentally with him. The idea was to take advantage of the shock he was going through in order to make him talk, but the dice decide that my persuasion isn’t good enough.

Well, it seems our only chance lies in the Goblin’s Goblet. What’s our plan once we get there? We have absolutely no clue, but apparently goblin beer is a thing, so that’s where we’re heading!

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