Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Gnomish Sabotage!

So, the Saturday Dungeons and Dragons game has happened again, though we will not be playing next weekend. Secondborn declined to play and went to run errands with his mother; I need to talk to him about whether or not he wants to keep playing, though letting the Monk's player handle his character has actually worked pretty well so far. The rest of them were all very excited to see each other again, and there was a lot of preliminary discussion -- especially since the halfling rogue hadn't chosen a magic item yet. He eventually settled on Boots of Elvenkind, so he's now the quietest halfling around, and after a while I got them to quiet down long enough to let me recap everything from the last two sessions.

The group had arrived at the logging camp in early-midafternoon, and so took time to get a full rest before darkness fell. That way, they could all be awake to stand watch. There were now three horses grazing in the small field in one corner of the camp: the one that the loggers had had left, and the two that had led the carts on the party's way here.

Shadow, the Drow rogue, used his slippers of spider climbing to stroll up into a tree and plant himself there. Barrith, the halfling rogue, chose another tree and climbed up into that one. Kaz, the human monk, positioned himself at the treeline at the edge of camp and waited there, alternating between looking up a small rise towards the horses, and looking at the trees behind him. Toruv, the Dragonborn sorcerer, took a position just inside the tent flap for the large dining tent, and Aspen the Mousfolk cleric climbed up on one of the horses and decided to just stay on its back for the night. (Mousefolk are smaller even than halflings, and even with their armor that seemed feasible if not exactly comfortable.)

The first hour passed without anyone noticing anything significant.

Midway through the second hour, Shadow (the only one in the group with Darkvision) spotted Jou the gnome leaving his tent and strolling casually through the darkness to the wagons. Shadow, being Shadow, did not call out; he just strolled casually down from his spot in the tree and put a crossbow bolt in the side of the cart not far from the gnome's head. The gnome spun around, hesitated, and then asked: "What do you think you're doing?"

The cleric had also seen the gnome, but they stayed on the horse and called out a question: "What are you doing over there?"

Jou insisted that he'd just remembered hearing a squeaky wheel on the cart as it coming into the camp, and he'd come over to have a look at it.

In the dark. With no light source, and no obvious tools. Yeah, the party wasn't having any of that, but Shadow decided to pretend that he completely believed the gnome and wanted to help, except the gnome realized immediately that he was lying and... well... kind of freaked out. "All right, I was going to sabotage the wheel, please don't kill me!"

Jou, it turns out, is a spy for House Bri'yann, the most successful of the Roslof houses and the only one with two banners and two banner companies. Its lord has a noble lineage but rumor has it that he himself is ignoble in the extreme. According to Jou, Lord Bri'yann hired him to slow down the progress of the lumber expedition as much as possible, for as long as possible. Bobilis, the human in charge of this expedition (the one with the pet animated sword), had him taken into custody by the Aldenmier guards, and the party went back to trying to watch the horses... but now with some new suspicions about those bandits who'd been handily waiting for them in the middle of nowhere last session.

And that was where we stopped. Not a huge amount of progress, but there was a lot of cross-talk and questions and it took everybody a while to get focused, and honestly this is kind of what I expect out of a game where the players are mainly middle-schoolers. The kids had a great time, which was I really wanted out of it, and having a chance to hang out and talk Geek was a big part of that.

Currently party treasure by my count is 246 GP and 15 SP, plus some weapons they can probably sell when they get back to town.
-A quarterstaff
-4 shortswords
-4 light crossbows

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