After a looooong hiatus, I actually ran a session of D&D, live and in person.
- Hertzenstube, elven rogue; played by Adam
- Guilfoyle, half-orc fighter; played by Amanda
- Ros Axegrinder, dwarf rogue; played by Laura
The Sinister Poliwog, a bar popular with the magic-using population of Skelm, a port city in the nation of Flammenden.
Previously, the PCs had *ahem* “acquired” a book written in a language none of them could read. A tip pointed them to the Sinister Poliwog as a place where they could find a translator. The three of them split up to chat with different patrons of the bar:
- Guilfoyle, with the highest Charisma of the party, immediately struck up a conversation with a tiefling lady who could identify the language, Pnakotic, but couldn’t translate it for him. However, she has an associate who could. Guilfoyle scores an invitation to a party at an art gallery the following evening.
- Hertzenstube, falls in with a pair of a dudes who are getting stoned to bejeezus on psychedennelid, a hallucinogen derived from an aquatic worm. Hertzenstube asks if he might partake, which the stoners are happily to oblige. To the DM’s slight disappointment, Adam rolls a natural twenty on the saving throw, so instead of losing his shit in a comical fashion, Hertzenstube takes his hit like a champ and is pleasantly buzzed for the rest of the session.
- Ros settles in at the bar and has a cringey conversation with Calanon Skidoo, wizardly looking fellow who happens to live in an apartment above the Poliwog. Calanon admits that he’s had a bit of bad luck lately, having lost his mentor, but is dodgy about the circumstances. He brightens up when Ros explains that she’s in possession of a book in need of translation, but the evasiveness about his recent circumstances seems sketchy to her.
Ros and Guilfoyle meet up with Hertzenstube at the stoners’ table. There’s some conspiratorial talk about the Golden Fangs, a criminal organization that supposedly has influence with the city government… and is also from whom the PCs stole the book, which the tiefling identified as the “99 Invocations of C’tawn.” Before smoking themselves unconscious, the stoners tell them about another group, the Rhyming Toads, their source for psychedennelid. As it happens, there’s a group of Rhyming Toads conversing in the far corner of the bar.
While Guilfoyle has high charisma, he has low tact. He strolls up to the Toads and asks them what their deal is. The Toads reveal that they are committed to preserving and protecting the history and legacy of Divirane, an ancient city-state whose ruins dot the marshlands west of Skelm. Things get a little tense when the Golden Fangs are mentioned – it seems there’s friction between the two groups. However, the Toads are interested in the 99 Invocations as well and agree to escort the PCs to meet one of their group who can translate the book… in the marsh.
After the Toads leave to conduct business elsewhere, Ros and Guilfoyle pump Calanon for more information while Hertzenstube, under the pretense of going to the bathroom, decides to burglarize Calanon’s apartment. The only problem is, he never found out which apartment it is, so he breaks into two other places before he finds the right one.
Meanwhile, Calanon admits to Ros and Guilfoyle that, through a magical mishap, he is actually inhabiting his master’s body; his original body and his master’s consciousness are both missing. Possibly (?) out of pity for the sad-sack wizard, Ros and Guilfolyle invite him to join their crew, to which Calanon heartily agrees. At the same time, Hertzenstube, triggers the magical alarm in Calanon’s apartment, which conjures a vile-smelling bird to confront him. The session ends with Ros and Guilfoyle extracting Hertzenstube without arrousing the suspicions of their new companion.