Baccardi Riga The Third (gnome illusionist), Gilthanas Sunblade (half-elf paladin), Malak (half-orc rogue/fighter)
Previously: The goddess Sune, aka Lady Firehair, has been guiding the footsteps of the heroes of Phandalin. And they have been generous in retributing the goddess's favor, gathering resources to erect the House of the Divine Flame, a temple dedicated to Sune. But the winds of peril are caressing Phandalin, with word of an incoming orc invasion...
The Jewel of the North
When the letter from High Priest Magnus arrived in Phandalin, inviting the heroes to go to the High Temple of Sune in Neverwinter, Baccardi Riga The Third needed less than two and half seconds to pack his bags. After all, how could the most illustrious gnome in existence decline an opportunity to visit the city known as The Jewel of the North?
[What do you mean the letter was addressed to Gilthanas Sunblade? It was lying over the table. It's not my fault it was already opened...]
Anyway, while the druid Klin went into the forest to deal with Emerald Enclave stuff, the three of us (Riga, Gilthanas, and Malak) headed to Neverwinter. On arrival, we went to the High Temple of Sune, a masterpiece of architecture, with an impressive portraits gallery. Having myself an impressive portrait of... myself back at home, I conjured an unseen servant to carry around a duplicate of my portrait, presenting moi to the important persons. Not that I'm trying to do propaganda of any sort. It is all in the name of Art...
Sune, Selûne, and... SWAG
After a brief word with Magnus we end up being received by the High Priestess Elvira. Turns out she's a fangirl of Gilthanas, the paladin-guy who walks around with SWAG written all over his chainmail. It is good for his reputation to show himself in my most wonderful company, but he hurries to present Malak (the half-orc) as the baggage boy.
Being the gnome extraordinaire that I am, the lady is flabbergasted with moi. I take this blessed-by-Sune-opportunity to ramble about our misfortune in not being able to dedicate a proper locale to the goddess, blaming the nefarious Mayor Harbin for his lack of vision and empathy, forbidding us to use the long forgotten, ruined, and abandoned Tresendar Manor. Taking my cue, Gilthanas steps forward and mentions the existence of evidence that he used public funds for private purposes. I sigh... Alas, if only we could have word from someone with influence from the majestic Neverwinter...
Immediately, Lady Elvira states that she'll write Lord Nasher appealing him to grant us jurisdiction over the manor.
I feel small tears of joy burning my purple gnomish eyes...
But enough of Sune! Elvira tells us she has a favor to ask. She presents High Priestess Jasmine, from the Temple of Selûne, who is most distressed. Selûne had a vision, and she wept. Three of the goddess's tears have fallen last night in Neverwinter, under the form of pure crystals.
Yes, you guessed it right: it falls to the swag-paladin, the gnome extraordinaire, and the baggage boy to recover THE TEARS OF SELÛNE!
A shady tavern, a black lake, and...
My comrades drag me to a stinky inn by the docks to gather information. SERIOUSLY?!?!?!?! Not a day have I passed in the JEWEL-OF-THE-NORTH, the most glorious city in northern Faerûn, and instead of browsing through noble palaces and regal mansions, I am to go into some dark, smelly, sinkhole, full of drunken rogues and toothless wenches?!!! Is this what I get for becoming a convert to Sune?!?! I WANT A REFUND!
Malak, being in his natural habitat, goes "sniffing around". I disguise myself as the blandest gnome possible, and decide to entertain myself. There's a fat n' filthy wench serving at the tables, drooling with ale. I cast the cantrip Message, pretending to have someone whisper in her ear that the half-elf next to the gnome is madly in love with her. She goes straight to Gilthanas, and… HANKY-PANKY ensues!
Gathering the info from the inn, and with a brief visit to Black Lake district, we find that a Halfling named Lard – I’m going to stop here for a moment, just to envision a Halfling named pig fat – has one of the crystals in his possession.
... a murky swamp.
We follow Pig Fat’s trail to a murky swamp outside the walls, where the ancient docks stood. Yes, I am BEYOND delighted for spending two days in Neverwinter rummaging around swamps and slums. I get EVEN MORE DELIGHTED when one of Pig Fat’s friends nails a HEAVY CROSSBOW BOLT, SHOT WITH A CRITICAL HIT TAKING ME FROM 22 HP TO 4 HP, IN MY SWEET GNOMISH SHOULDER BLADES!
Riga, the Intimidating
We fall in a Mexican standoff. We are inside Lard’s hut, and have him captured. But his friends are waiting outside. Have I mentioned the FUCKING HEAVY CROSSBOWS? I believe that I have… So, Malak, being the brutish half-orc that he is, tries to intimidate Fat Pig. The little one is unimpressed. Gilthanas, a bulky warrior in heavy armor, threatens to cut the halfling’s only remaining hand. Nah, he is not scared. At last, it is time for moi. And moi is really pissed! I could be dinning in Lord Nasher’s hall, I could be swinging propaganda all around the JEWEL-OF-THE-NORTH, I could be admiring the amazing artisans of Neverwinter. Instead, I had to disguise myself in order to NOT BEING RECOGNIZED – which is something rather alien to me – while I’m dragged through the worst places imaginable. I start foaming from my mouth, jump on Lard’s chest, drench the guy in spittle, screaming outrageous threats… and the poor Halfling wets his pants. He trembles, cries like a baby, and delivers me the crystal.
This is a way of saying: Malak rolled a 3 in Intimidation, Gilthanas rolled a 5, I rolled 19. Hey, what can I say? I AM the gnome extraordinaire. Sune is the one rolling the dice for me. I am a mere spectator.
One crystal down, two more to go. So far, Riga is unimpressed with Neverwinter. It smells of muck, sour ale, piss, and pig fat. I already miss my small – BUT CLEAN – Phandalin, where I have my Forge of Sells, and where the future Riga Mansion waits for me…
(to be continued – hopefully stench-free)