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Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Rivals of Waterdeep Episode 3

Rivals of Waterdeep - Episode 3: “Hide and Seek”

This episode is available on Youtube and as a podcast.

Aram Vartian - Dungeon Master

(Surena Marie) Ashborne - Half-Elf Ranger
(Carlos Luna) Nocnoc - Half-Orc Fighter
(Cicero Holmes) Perrin - Halfling Bard
(Tanya DePass) Selise - Human Paladin of Tyr
(Shareef Jackson) Shaka - Tiefling Warlock
(Brandon Stennis) Rinn - High Elf Sorcerer

The party are on the High Road, one day out from Waterdeep. Last time, they learned about a treasure that could buy Nightstone’s freedom from the curse left by Graz'zt. In the intro, the brass cube that Graz’zt’s cambion children both want used the art for a cubic gate. Curiouser and curiouser!

The Waterdhavian scout that is escorting the party is named Roland Holbrook. He is in love with a noblewoman, but doesn’t think he has much of a chance. Ashbourne says she could Cyrano de Bergerac it for him, but he politely declines.

Shaka checks in on Melody, the mayor of Nightstone, who is making note of her contacts in Waterdeep. She has a cousin who owns a hotel known as The Jade Rose, and she can probably set up a suite for them there.

As they continue traveling, Perrin spots a group of sixteen wood elves flanking the road ahead. Nocnoc recognizes them as his graduating class. Liatha, Nocnoc’s instructor at the academy, steps forward and says that the elders foresaw that he would not return from his last mission, but would find another calling in the process. She is here to deliver him a Dragonbane Arrow and a magical dart that can return to his hand after being thrown. These are the first presents Nocnoc has ever been given, and he feels like he’s experiencing every uncelebrated birthday all at once.

A bright red flare streaks across the sky, and Roland takes off towards it. Nocnoc recognizes this as a signal that something wrong is happening. Suddenly, a scream emanates out of Selise’s bag--it came from the Burn Book. A bookmark appeared on a page indicating a cabin just off the highway. They go to check it out.

Rinn and Selise knock on the door, and are let in by a guy who looks like an older version of the image in the Burn Book. He introduces himself as Naral, and welcomes them in. There’s a creepy boy drawing gaping mouths over and over again on a piece of paper. Rinn says “There’s something not right about that boy,” the father shoots him a look, “He seems really nice.” As they’re sneaking around the outside of the cabin, Nocnoc and Ashbourne see that there are two decapitated cats under the house.

Naral says that his son, Jeremy, witnessed his mother being murdered years ago when their caravan was attacked. Selise asks if she can try and help the boy. As she attempts to lay on hands him, Jeremy glares and grabs her hand. Selise sees an older Jeremy with his hands wrapped around her throat. Jeremy’s father scolds him, while Selise warns Naral that the things his son experienced affected him deeply. Selise and Rinn (amazingly!) give the father six gold--a huge amount--to help and support the boy! Naral asks if Selise can put in a word with the church in Waterdeep, as he’s been trying to petition them for aid for years with no reply.

Nocnoc leaves a mark near the house for his elven brothers, asking that they watch over this place. Aram gives him inspiration!

Roland returns and says that it was evidently a false alarm.

The party reach a large bridge over the Dessarin River. A scout on a griffin soars overhead and Roland salutes him. Ashbourne asks Roland if they have classes for that kind of thing, and the scout tells them that security at this checkpoint has been bumped up since they received word of what happened at Nightstone.

Two paladins of Lathander approach and make sure the party is on the up-and-up. They stop at Shaka and draw their swords, telling him to remove his hat. He does, revealing his horns, and the guards point out that “the touch of the demonic” is upon him. A woman with a black staff asks if she can search Shaka’s thoughts and make sure he is not in league with Graz’zt. Shaka notes that this is a violation of his rights, while Selise points out how unjust this is. Perrin offers to “take care of” the guards, but they give him a “Don’t even think about it” look. The wizard apologizes and starts probing Shaka’s thoughts. He realizes that she is going to find out about his patron and brings to the forefront of his mind the moment when he got his white robes--a very emotional point in his life, as he had worn nothing but tattered clothing up to that point. Suddenly... Shaka is standing alone on the road.

He turns to see a goldfish in a bowl sitting on a pedestal. Shaka realizes that the goldfish is his patron! Shaka can see the woman sifting through his thoughts, but this part of his mind has been cordoned off by a bubble. The goldfish leaps, and a large wave overcomes Shaka, burning his eyes. He sees in a puddle that his eyes fade to a smoky gray--he is now able to see in complete darkness! It would be absolutely hilarious if the Xanathar's goldfish, Sylgar, turned out to be Shaka's "Great Old One" patron.

The woman finishes and they are allowed through the checkpoint. The sun sets by the time the party reach Waterdeep.

Roland escorts them to the office of Laeral Silverhand, the Open Lord of Waterdeep. They fill her in on what happened. Laeral says that she believes there is a reason that they are involved in this matter, and gives them maps of Waterdeep and the chambers beneath it (including Skullport) before dismissing them. They are let out into the South Ward--a melting pot and hub for travelers. Mayor Melody takes them to The Jade Rose before everyone splits up and goes to one of the three nearby taverns.

At Gildrof’s Tavern, Selise and Nocnoc meet Gildrof, a female cloud giant behind the bar! Wow! Nocnoc feels like he’s in the giant’s dollhouse, and can tell that she’s absolutely thrilled to be socializing with these tiny little people. Gildrof is a follower of Lliira! She is amazed when Selise tells her about meeting an avatar of Our Lady of Joy. Nocnoc gets a t-shirt with Gildrof’s face on it, as well as a souvenir mug.

Shaka and Perrin head to the Rusty Nail, a known meeting place for the unsavory. The bouncer is intimidated by Perrin to let them in--he has a phobia of short people! Shaka buys Perrin a drink as thanks for getting them in. They learn that there’s a gang war brewing between the Zhentarim and the Xanathar’s Guild over the dragon hoard. The hoard once belonged to a lord who put all memories of the treasure’s location into a magical stone. The word ‘Golorr’ stands out to them as the only clue.

Ashbourne and Rinn go to a gambling hall called The Lucky Duck. There are three games: one with dice called Tymora’s Luck; one with cards called Abbathor’s Gambit; and one called the Run of Mersif (or Run of Luck when translated from Dwarvish) that involves lizards racing each other through a maze (tonight’s lizards are Pitterpatter, Fleetfeet, Flyswatter, Zoobers, and Tiny Dragon). They decide to check out Abbathor’s Gambit, which has a high-rollers table where people bet magic items instead of gold. Winner takes all. Rinn bets his staff. Rinn gets a 10 on his roll... his opponent gets a 13. OOF! The winner, an elf named Zor, says that he’ll return the staff if Ashbourne and Rinn tell him why they’re here. Ashbourne says they’re investigating crimes. Zor gives Rinn appraising eyes as he hands the sorcerer back his staff.

The party reunite. A kid throws a rock at them and runs off--Nocnoc, Ashbourne, and Rinn chase after him. They turn a corner and a half-orc archer on a rooftop fires an arrow into each of them. Rinn hits the half-orc with his crossbow, but the guy doesn’t even register the bolt through his leg as he starts to line up another shot. Nocnoc starts climbing the building and tosses his magic dart, piercing their assailant through the forearm. The rest of the party arrives. The half-orc sees this and sprints away over the rooftops. They try to give chase, but he’s gone!

Wondering who the heck the guy who ambushed them was, the party return to The Jade Rose, and Melody tells them that she was able to set up the meeting with Mirt the Moneylender for tomorrow morning.  If you want to watch Episode 4 where that happens, it’s already out!

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