The heroes caught up with the caravan in the town of Windby, where the townspeople were eagerly awaiting their arrival. Upon seeing them, they bombarded our heroes with questions – so eager they were to learn of their adventure.
The heroes rapidly found Lady Adelinde, who silently wept for her deceased husband.
The Oracle had been right.
Looking for Morrigane, the caravan leader, the heroes went to the town’s inn. The innkeeper, honored by the presence of such heroes in his town, gave them food and drink, as everyone present cheered them on.
They caught up with a drunk, visibly shaken Morrigane who had holed herself up in a room.
She received news from the town Elturel that something horrible had happened to the nearby village of Summervale. The news didn’t say much more.
She explained that her younger brother lives there and she kept tabs on the small town (less than 100 inhabitants – all elf wannabes). She decided to abort her regular route and take the caravan there and see for herself what had happened.
Arkanys and Dali were not pleased with this turn of events – they did not get on this caravan to be heroes and rescue everyone on need… especially not for free.
They would not follow and they would pursue their trip towards Baldur’s Gate without the comfort of the caravan.
Morrigane tried in vain to appeal to their sense of morality and duty and succeeded to get them to think about helping her by promissing payment.
These PCs are not motivated by nobility – mostly by greed. As a storyteller and as a DM I actually like the character very much – especially the growing rivalry with the NPC Alnar.
However, Arkanys is played by one of the most accomplished role-players of the group and his personality overcomes all other PCs – even PCs who have stronger charisma and diplomacy. I finally noticed that and decided to start having the NPCs prefer to speak with the more sociable heroes instead of merely the most vocal one. After all, I don’t want to discourage my strongest role player – I much prefer to encourage the other ones.
One of my challenges here is that Arkanys rapidly uses intimidation when dealing with NPCs… and NPCs basically have no chance against Arkanys – they are automatically intimidated. I had tome come up with an NPC that would not be intimidated and potentially steer the PC towards a more socially acceptable stance. We’ll meet that NPC in my next post.
Later that night, Morrigane went to Marisol’s room – she had received further news from Elturel. It would seem that a huge, horrible flying creature had attacked and razed the village for no apparent reason. Morrigane shared her fear that the creature might be the very one that had escaped the heroes a few weeks ago.
Marisol felt that if they where somewhat involved, they should at the very least go take a look.
The next morning, the group – mostly reluctantly – decided to follow the caravan to Summervale.
See, here Morrigane appealed to the Paladin’s sense of responsibility. However, no player was convinced that going on yet another random even made any sense and they started to feel like they were on rails.
All PCs reluctantly followed. I knew I had something cool in store that should redeem my whole plot line.
What I failed to notice, though, is that the energy level of the players had greatly diminished. Perhaps I should have called in a recess. But I really didn’t want to end it on what I perceived to be a low note.
Also, even though we tried to first « evacuate the social energies », our group’s natural goofiness overcame just about any attempt at role playing. The player’s tiredness sure didn’t help either.
I had a random encounter somewhat prepared on the road to Summervale, but chose to go straight to the role playing part.
Next post will relate the finale of that night’s gaming session.