Stephen- Halfling barbarian level 1/fighter level 1
Chuck- High elf sorcerer
Liam- Gnome paladin
NPC- Benedict (Level 0 NPC)
Let’s Get the PHAT Loot
The group arrived at Gargomel’s and lumbered down into the basement to find Benedict and the girl they had rescued sitting on a bed, drinking tea. The girl was still battered and bruised, but looked better. The group nodded at the pair and then moved into Gargomel’s room- presenting the ruby to the skeleton wizard. He cackled and looked at the ruby, “Freeeeeedom! At last.” He held his other hand over it and small lances of lightning left his palm and lanced the gem. Gargomel looked at the group, the yellow pinpricks of light in his eye sockets growing larger, brighter, “I would leave this room if I were you… I’m not entirely sure what will happen.” The group heeded this warning with haste and left. As the last person vacated, there was a small explosion and dust rolled out of the doorway.
The group all looked at one another, and then started to discuss what they were going to do with the chest and then returning to Saltmarsh. A cough issued from the Gargomel’s room and then a very alive man came out, swatting the dust away from his face. He looked at his hands, jubilant, “I must say, I didn’t expect THAT to happen! I am FREE! I am ALIVE!!” Gargomel cackled.
He thanked the group profusely and ran into a room, emerging with a small lock box. “For what you have done, I shall give you this.” He opened the box and explained each of the rewards: a ring of protection (+1), a dagger of venom, 3 vials of acid, and 2 sun rods.
The group thanked him, and then decided to rest up for a bit, and wait for midnight to come so they could open their treasure chest, and claim the rewards inside. While they waited, Benedict introduced the girl as Illiana. She was shy and meek, but thanked them for their help. She explained that she was from Saltmarsh and doesn’t know how or why she was kidnapped by the smugglers.
That night the group took out the treasure chest that they had found last session, and once more read the note (just to be absolutely sure that they wanted to go through with this):
You have come to plunder
Goods and treasures that are not yours.
So a choice is to be made,
If you desire what is to be had.
Four choices you have,
Potentially all of them good,
But all of them are bad.
Opening this chest within these catacombs,
Will yield fruits of your labor,
But it will corrupt you,
And change your behavior.
Opening this chest under the open sky,
While the sun shines bright,
Will grant quite an amazing sight,
Yet you will pay most dearly in a rather difficult fight.
Opening this chest under the open sky,
At the midnight hour
Will grant you amazing gifts indeed,
Yet others will constantly seek your power.
Finally you can choose to walk away
And leave my treasure to me.
However nothing is simple, nothing is free…
Should you leave, one of you will cease to be.”
With it finally decided the group opened the treasure chest and were all bathed in a sinister red light (a menacing chuckling could be heard). What was in the chest is below in white (in case any of my players read this recap)
Opening the chest outside at night: A flash of red light hits all who interested in chest. Wherever they go there is a 1 in 6 chance that someone will seek after their goods and power and begin plotting and scheming on how to get it. If a 2 is rolled the target hungers for the targets power, but is not willing to act. Instead they treat the character(s) coldly and with disdain for 24 hours, after which they revert to their normal temperament with the characters.
Always inside the chest: 500 GP
Bloodstone x2 (50 gp each)
Blue quartz x10 (10 gp each)
Jade statuette x1 (250 gp)
Small silver crown with obsidian and opals x1 (2,500 gp)- will take time in Saltmarsh to find someone to purchase or can go to a larger city (Vornheim or Daggerfall in River Kingdoms).
A book and map to the Jade Ruins (dungeon dive)
Magical items in this chest:
Shield of Missile Attraction- become cursed.
Scroll of Insect plague x1
Potion of Speed x1
Wand of Web
The Next Morning and New Troubles
The next morning Gargomel asked the group if they would be interested in a business venture with him. He wants to start producing SMURF again, but it’ll take time to do and he’ll need supplies. He also made his fortune appraising rare items and antiquities…. He would like the group to find him a suitable place to set up shop in Saltmarsh, and a steward to run the shop while he is away from the city. He also needs laborers to come and fix up his dilapidated house. For their services he will give the group 10% of all he sells in SMURF sales or 10% of his appraisals/sales. The group declined this offer, not wanting to become involved in the drug trade, and instead a new accord was struck; the group would receive a 15% discount on all appraisals he does for them and they would bring items to him first before any others. He would- in return- only take 15% of the sale price as his earnings rather than his normal 30%. The group agreed. They then asked Illiana if would like a job running a shop. She stuttered her thanks, and with that behind them the group packed up- ready for the 8 hour walk back to Saltmarsh.
When the group was roughly 2 miles from Gargomel’s mansion a thick fog suddenly appeared and then dissipated with a strong gust around. In front of the group was a woman with an alabaster mask with two golden triangles going from the forehead, over the eyes, to the tip of the mouth. In her hand was a chain that led to a naked, and badly beaten snow elf (Fletch’s new character).
To the woman’s right was three men wearing golden masks, bows drawn. On her left were three men with no masks, bows drawn. All had red and black leather armor.
Her voice rang clear when she spoke, “So you are the ones who interrupted our business transaction with the smugglers… Interesting… and unexpected.” The woman then took notice of Illena, “Beautiful woman… little beat up and worse for wear…” The group tried to offer their services to, mayhaps, fix whatever they ruined with the smugglers. “You want to fix something that was in operation for years, and was delicate and special… No.. No no no… the setback is inconvenient and minor… like your lives… Kill them.”
She launched a stream of insects from her hands, obscuring the vision of everybody (and dealing 2d10 damage). All in the 20′ radius suffered disadvantage on all rolls and movement was reduced to half. Initiative was rolled and the group went to work attempting to kill all these peeps. The men let loose arrows, and only a few actually struck anyone. From the sky a buzzing noise was heard as two flies, the size of sheltie, appeared out of the fog, vomiting acid on Stephen and Liam.
The group focused their efforts on the woman first. After she took a few hits, she cast misty step and appeared a distance away… “Kill them fools! We will meet again!” She threw out her hands and a massive buzzing filled the air. A fly the size of a car descended and scooped her up, disappearing into the low-lying clouds. “Son-of-a-bitch!” Stephen shouted. The halfling barbarian then turned his frustration onto one of the men with the golden mask, dropping him in one hit. Chuck was defending himself from a man with no mask and one with a mask. As they neared the ground erupted and a massive crocodile clamped its jaws down on the man with no mask. He screamed and flailed as he was drug back down beneath the surface. Chuck used his advantage to draw a short sword and a long sword, “I’ll show you barbarians and fighters how it is done!” He attacked with both weapons and downed the minion with the golden mask (this got quite a few laughs).
Liam was throwing tridents at the flies that were swarming overhead. His lil gnome was angry after vomit got on his armor and melted it (reducing his AC by 3 permanently). Fletch grabbed a short sword from the fallen enemy that Stephen slayed and killed one of the maskless bandits, scooped him up, and ran into the fog to strip him and get himself some armor.
Stephen and Chuck were about to move on to new enemies when a terrible noise issued from both the bodies. Their flesh tore apart and rising from the strands of skin where hideous anthropomorphic antmen.
Chuck was then downed by the antman creature. The crocodile reemerged from the waters and transformed into a ragged, sopping wet man who ran over and healed the fallen wizard.
The fight was concluded with more batters and bruises, but in the end the group was victorious.
Fletch’s character was introduced, “Tim the Snow Elf.” He and the druid, who went by the name Dorian were tracking a sickness that had been cropping up in the swamp when they were ambushed by these fiends. “I would have saved you sooner if I could, Tim… but we were kind of out numbered.” Said Dorian. “I’ve known Tim since he arrived in Saltmarsh years ago from the north… from Vornheim. Anyways, are you all heading back to Saltmarsh?”
The group all decided to travel together (safety in numbers and all that).
With that we ended the session.
This session was a bit combat heavy (especially with rolling the random badass encounter). However I needed to set two stages one with the portal (should the group have found it- and they did) and the other with the mysterious masked people and interfering with their smuggling ring operation.
I let the group know that I’d like the next session (maybe two) to take place predominantly in Saltmarsh (should they choose). We’ve been dungeon diving 5 out of 7 sessions, and I think it would be a nice change of pace to be in the city and flush out their characters. Also they’ve learned quite a bit of information that they can research, etc.
They also have a ton of money that they can invest in new items, etc.
All in all this was a great session and I’m looking forward to session 8.