Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Part 6: Baldur's Gate Sucks

SO! Rylee left to go back to her room at a local inn. Which one? She didn't say. So...though I said "You make the call" as to what happened next, your call was probably wrong. Instead, once Rylee was out of the house and everyone situated properly, Seliph collapsed to the floor, asleep almost instantly. Sissy may have spent some time combing Kalista's hair based on a comment she made the next day, but...did it really happen? YOU MAKE THE CALL.

Anyway, Rylee returned to Seliph's house the next morning to formally introduce herself and check up on how the rest of the party was doing, though she was surprised to see them even conscious considering the beating they had taken the night before. Happy to see that everything was fine, she awkwardly suggested that if they ever stood in need of a healer in the future, that they could look her up at the Elfsong Tavern. Naturally...

"Umm...about that..." Seliph stammered.

Faust continued, "We were actually banned from the Elfsong Tavern a couple days ago following an...incident...with the bouncer."

"I...see...wait, are you the ones who got in that fight with the pirates and bribed the bouncer to help you?" Rylee asked, putting the pieces together.

"I mean...we're not...not...the ones who got in a fight there," Kalista offered.

Before Rylee got much of a chance to rethink her decision to help out this ragtag bunch, Kalista continued, "Actually since you're offering, tonight we're going to be meeting with the people we saved last night, and we might need some backup."

"That...kind of puts me in an awkward position as a cleric in service to Eldath. I've sworn to never hurt another being."

"Eldath..." Seliph repeated, "That explains a lot since you didn't actually do anything to hurt the people we fought last night. That's fine, I'm not anticipating a fight, but having a cleric accompany us could help keep us out of trouble. If something happens, you don't need to fight, but if you could keep us alive, we'd be very grateful."

Naturally, Rylee wasn't sure how to process this, but considering she is a player character and the alternative means making a new character lest time that would be best spent on the main plot be wasted, along with us she came.

On the way to the Low Lantern, the party (well, mainly Sissy) noticed two members of the Fist hassling a cloaked woman in the street. Being the only one who even noticed it happening (because the rest of us rolled really badly on the perception check), she asked us to stop and maybe go see what was wrong. Naturally, Seliph wasted no time pushing his way to the Fist members, demanding to know what was going on.

"This woman's one o' those Hellriders! Y'know, the ones that made Elturel into a crater!" the guard explained.

In the midst of the struggle, the woman's cloak was torn back, revealing armor with an insignia that the the party didn't recognize.

"I just told you that wasn't us!" the woman exclaimed in return.

Seliph looked from the woman to the guardsman, and then said, "Okay, you say they're responsible, she says they're not. Do we even really know what happened to Elturel?"

"Are you stupid or something? The city is in a bloody crater. As in, it's gone. Sure, we don't know what in particular did it, but considerin' the Hellriders were supposed to be protectin' the city, seems suspicious, don't it? Until we know for sure we're roundin' up all the Hellriders and putting 'em in jail where they can't do any more harm." the guard spat back.

"Holding them indefinitely without a proper trial? That's madness!" Rylee shouted, having followed Seliph to the argument at some point.

"What do you people know about madness? Elturel is a crater and I'll be damned straight to Hell itself before I let it happen to Baldur's Gate!" the more senior guard shouted, losing patience with this argument. "Stop bothering us before I take you lot in as well!"

"I have information about what happened to the city! Please, just let me meet with whoever is in charge here!" the woman begged.

"Shut up!" the second guard shouted, slapping her across the face.

At this point, something...awoke in Seliph. That something being the Fallen Aasimar level 3 ability Necrotic Shroud. His eyes turned into dark pools, a sickly white light began to radiate out from him, his voice got really distorted, and two skeletal wings sprouted from his back (if this sounds like something that belongs on a metal album, I agree, it does).

The less senior guard, seeing this fresh Hell, collapsed backwards in fear as the beratement began.

"SIR! The woman has stated that she didn't do anything, and that she had information. That was NOT a capital offense, and you WILL apologize!"

The senior guard...well...someone needs to give that guy a raise because he's got ba-spine- of cold, hard steel, as he drew his previously stowed sword, stepped forward, and said, "All right, I don't know what in the nine hells is going on but you're coming with me!"

After some spells cast in preparation for a brawl, as well as a brief staredown, the senior guard looked at his junior, then back at Seliph, and said, "Okay, I know when I can and can't win, so..." he pushed back and started shouting for backup.

Seliph, not wanting to make a bigger scene than had already happened, cast the Sleep spell on the two guards in the hopes that their HP was low enough they were rattled enough that they'd fall unconscious without any further resistance, and uncharacteristically for this campaign it succeeded. The party quickly moved them out of the main thoroughfare, just in time to noticed the eyes of several passersby on them.

Seliph, quickly realizing that some of those eyes were on him, looked at himself, seeing the sickly glow, saying, "Oh gods, what happened to me? How do I make it stop?"" After a few seconds of panic, he somehow found the Off Switch in his mind, and he was able to return to his more human form.

Faust, thinking quickly, pulled out his coin purse and scattered some money throughout the street, shouting, "OH DEAR, IT' IS CERTAINLY TOO BAD NOBODY SAW WHAT HAPPENED HERE!"

The rest of the party quickly ducked into an alleyway to talk with the woman they just rescued. Basically, she said she had more information for the party once they finished up what they were doing and would be trying to hide. As the party was heading into the Low Lantern, the woman stopped Rylee and mentioned that she'd seen what Seliph had just done somewhere before. Namely, her master in the Hellriders could do it as well. Considering Rylee was one of the only ones in the party who actually knew what Seliph did, this probably raised some concerns, but we'll come back to it later, since there's no way it would be set up here and just forgotten about, right?

Proceeding into the Low Lantern, an old ship converted into a ratty old tavern, the party found Mortlock and Vendetta seated at a table, waiting for the party. Rising to talk with the party, he said that he would show them where his brother Amrik was, give them an opportunity to talk, "say his piece" and then he and Vendetta were skipping town.

If it seems like I'm rushing, I am. There was a lot of talking in this session, and I'm already a week late in posting this.

So the party was directed to a doorway that led to a stairway into a basement area. Faust and Seliph decided to go first and try to talk to Amrik, with Sissy and Kalista following behind at a distance in case something went wrong. Rylee, hoping to stay out of any fighting, stayed at the top of the stairs with Mortlock and Vendetta.

Faust reached out with the Detect Thoughts spell as a means of detecting people's surface level thoughts, first learning that Rylee...didn't like Faust much in particular for some reason. Shrugging that off, he and Seliph descended into the chamber, where Faust was greeted with a peculiar response.

"Oh, Faust, no need to be shy. Come on down. It's time we were formally introduced."

Faust managed to hide his shock as the two of them proceeded into the chamber, where a man sat with a Spined Devil lying across the back of the couch he was seated at. I'm going to be paraphrasing this a bit since I don't remember the exact way the conversation went (so much talking...), but here we go.

"Faustie, Faustie, welcome to you and your friends! Allow me to introduce myself! My name is Amrik Vanthampur," the man announced. "You don't know me yet, but I am the one who contracted you to acquire the book, so we were bound to meet eventually. I suppose you're here to discuss that?"

Faust, confronted with this development, stammered a bit. "Yes, about that. Things kind of went awry."

"Clearly. You missed the drop, and now you're palling around with some paladin. Care to explain yourself?"

Seliph responded, "That has nothing to do with why we're here. We have some questions for you."

"Yes," Faust continued, "We had some questions regarding certain people pining after their lost gods."

Amrik furrowed his brow. "I'm afraid I don't know what you're talking about."

"Interesting," Seliph said, "Because they seemed pretty certain that your family was financing them."

This touched a nerve, as he hadn't expected them to be so loose-lipped about the whole operation. "I see...well, it must have something to do with my mother. She's the one who is into all of that. I'm just a simple money lender."

"Your name came up specifically."

Amrik, looking more frustrated than before, replied, "Okay, I'll play along. Where are you going with this?"

Seliph and Faust looked at each other, surprised they made it this far without him siccing the Spined Devil on them. May as well fully commit to this course of action, as they were likely to have to fight their way out anyway.

"I just want to know why. Why throw in with people who worship literal gods of murder, people who clearly do not want what's best for this city or its people?"

By this point Amrik was most likely trying to make Seliph and Faust burst into flames with his mind, before he smiled quite smugly. "Get out. I'm not doing this. You have no evidence on me or my family, and the Fist won't do anything because my family is more powerful than you realize, and the Fist don't care about justice, only money. I'm giving you the chance to leave. Say nothing to the Fist and leave town, and I might not send people after you."

"You won't get away with this," Seliph muttered, before Faust put a hand on his shoulders, gesturing to stand up.

As the two of them made their way to the staircase, Faust looked up, saw Mortlock, smiled, and turned back.

"By the way, we weren't completely honest about how we got our information on you. Your brother sends his loving regards."

With that, Mortlock came barreling down the stairs, and that's where we called the session. Hopefully I don't take a week and a half to write up the next one.

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