The PC’s arrive in PORT GALTAS on the trade vessel “Fortunes Return” captained by a female deva named KAVINIC. After exchanging a few pleasantries on the docks, the part was tipped off to speak with either JACK THE SAVVY or CAPTAIN ERASSO as they are commonly looking for extra muscle.
After a short jaunt down the busy port district boardwalk, the PC’s came to the earthen WESTERN WALK, the first road connecting the walled town proper of GALTAS with the nearby port. Along the way, the PC’s were stopped by a man who was later introduced as JACK THE SAVVY at the counter to his shop “JACKS EMPORIUM OF WONDER”. Derek (Huckster rogue – played by Will) initiated the dialogue with his ahem kinsman perhaps? Progress toward town halted, and the party indulged Jack for a time, much to the chagrin of Girard (Warden – played by George) Jack proved to be a only slightly deceitful fellow (or perhaps very deceitful, but discernibly punctual). After mincing words for a short time, Jack proved his station by attempting to sell a rare magic potion to the party. Rowan (Artificer – played by Jimmy) flexed his arcane knowledge and through careful examination via numerous crystal lenses of the green fluid, as well as careful measurements of its apparent mass, volume and the sigils pressed into the black wax stopper; correctly identified the contents as a potion of resistance against acid. Unimpressed with his wares, the conversation soon turned to business, and the party agreed to help escort a caravan for Jack the next morning at dawn. (This came up later, but of course, no terms of payment or reward were discussed – and Jack did not explicitly offer anything :)
A walk through town lead the party to the Gritty Dog tavern and inn, where upon entry they were quickly greeted by “Maul” and “Gorilla”, two massive mastiffs who love giving hugs and kisses. SANDR THE HOUNDSMAN (as he’s sometimes called) ordered his beasts down, and greeted the PC’s heartily. After a round of drinks, a broad hulking man stomped downstairs and introduced himself as BAUDEE, CHAMPION OF KORD. Derek and Place (Our contemplative rogue – played by Darren), threw the braggart for a loop after breaking his undefeated streak in arm wrestling, prompting a walk of shame threw town to announce his defeat. Ezekial (cleric of Pelor – played by Nick) chased after the crestfallen priest, and after accepting a short race (that he lost perhaps on purpose?) restored the proud man’s faith in Kord (more boasting, directed him back towards the Gritty Dog for celebration).
Ezekial found himself at the towns small chapel to Pelor after his footrace. Inside the austere chamber was nothing but empty pews and a single man, BROTHER KURT. After the obligatory “blessings upon you”, Kurt confided some important information to Ezekial. In short, Captain Erasso had become disillusioned with war and was setting out to make his own fortune. Military caravans had always guarded trading wagons, but Erasso was now charging for prime placement among the guardsmen, even going so far as to order his men not to intervene should a merchant try to accompany the military caravans without proper payment.
Meanwhile, back at the Gritty Dog, merry making and ale-pouring continued. Baudee returned and through the sly dealings of Derek and Place, lost yet another arm-wrestling match. It was suggested to Baudee that he go on a pilgrimage (sorry, I forgot by who), and the man took these words to heart, leaving the tavern immediately. The rogues tried to setup a betting ring with the soldiers and other rabble rousers attracted by the spectacle, but were stopped dead in their tracks by some slippery ale in the wrong spot.
Girard chatted up some nearby soldiers (who were slightly inebriated at the time) and learned that a stint of duty guarding Port Galtas is generally regarded as a vacation, claiming that no enemy forces could get past WHITEHEM KEEP to the west about two days. They went on to detail that Whitehem keep is staffed by some of their best soldiers (it is on the front lines, after all) and that even IF it fell, their riders are accomplished and word would reach them quickly. Another soldier joined Girard and his new friends, revealing he heard on the lips of some passersby that the keep was recently overtaken. The other soldiers quickly dismissed this as rumor. In regards to Captain Erasso, the soldiers though a minute, and admitted that those who work closely with him always seem to have a bit of extra coin to spend, but that he’s generally well trusted, especially among the men.
After a good night’s sleep (or lack thereof for some) everyone arrived at the NORTH GATE at dawn, just in time to watch Jack’s hired thugs load a few more boxes into his wagon. An important looking soldier on horseback (later revealed as Captain Erasso) eyed each of the PC’s menacingly as his soldiers finished shoring up the two military caravans.
During the days travel, Place attempted to make a little “extra” on the side, but unfortunately dropped a glass vial while shuffling through the various boxes inside Jack’s cart (possibly due to the hungover Derek occupying most of the usable floorspace). Ezekial, identifying the wrong doing, warned Place to reconsider. Jack, hearing the commotion, slipped back around the wagon to see what was going on for himself. Upon catching Place red-handed, Jack demanded his goods returned to him. In a sudden act of defiance, Place opened the small box in hand, and upon discovering 20 tiny rock-lick biscuits, immediately popped one into his mouth. Jack, understandably upset, growled and said “There goes your payment!”
After a full day of travel through the hilly countryside, the part was beset upon by a goblin ambush. Ezekial overheard goblin-speak in the nearby tall grasses to the left whispering “Get ready…one….two…!” right before a single crow shot off quickly into the skies. Derek gained some perspective by jumping on the nearby wagon, and revealed the goblins to the party. The goblins opened with a volley of strange egg-shaped projectiles which released a potent acid, crippling the two military wagons in the lead. Girard waded into combat, wounding one of the goblins who was getting ready to hurl another vial of acid. The warden proved incredibly sturdy, giving no ground (in fact, pushing the goblins around it) and easily shaking off the hexes of the goblin shaman (much to his dismay :( ) Place went shot for shot with a sharpshooting goblin in the grasses, and Derek rushed into battle, stabbing a few goblins in the kidneys, and even tossing one into the waiting spears of the nearby guards (who, despite their training, proved rather incompetent). Lets of course not forget Ezekial and Rowan, without whom we would surely be down one warden. Unfortunately for Ezekial, Pelor’s light was not terribly potent against the heathens…this time.
After surveying the battlefield, a small pile of spoiled goblin rations, rotted bedding and other assorted bits were found towards the base of the hill. Among the debris, a few gems of no small value were found. In addition (someone asked if they had any badges or identifying symbols) the cloaks of these goblins were decorated with a crudely drawn bird in white paint or ink of some kind (for those of you familiar with the region, this designates the BIRD ROT tribe of goblinoids) – sorry that slipped through the cracks last week).
Captain Erasso finally introduced himself to the more then capably warriors, and though he was obviously not fond of their presence, asked for their help. He offered 35gp each and use of a horse to escort a few of his soldiers to the nearby HUNTERS THICKET to the west to gather wood to repair his wagons. He vowed that if they set out immediately, he would clear this with their current employer, Jack.
875 xp / 5 = 175 xp each for combat
One quater sized Moonstone and Garnet (200gp for both)
Alchemists Acid [level 1] x5 (one of which was pocketed by Derek immediately after combat)
One stonemeal biscuit (currently residing in Place’s intestines)
I was really happy with how things went for our first time ever meeting / playing together, and my hearty congrats and thanks to everyone for doing such an excellent job. I tend to get easily overwhelmed while DM’ing (evidence – unrealistic actions of the soldiers, messing up the surprise round, etc.) so I plan on working on that for next time. In addition, this initial combat was supposed to be straightforward, but my ideal is to give more interesting things for everyone to do, my philosophy being “if 4e combat takes a long time, then have a SH*T ton of fun doing it via interesting choices”. So we will see how that goes.
All of the NPC interactions were ad-libbed off of a framework I previously jotted down. Ad lib is not my strong suit, but I think it worked well!
My apologies for spelling anyones name wrong, or identifying anything incorrectly. And if I left out anything you particularly liked, let me know!
Oh also, I loved the role playing from everyone, and I do enjoy giving rewards for such. Don’t take it personally nothing was awarded for this first outing, but they’ll be there in the future!