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Monday, July 23, 2018

Rivals of Waterdeep Episode 4

Rivals of Waterdeep - Episode 4: “Tricks and Stones”

By Dylan Ramsey

This is a weird one, because, although this is the 4th episode, this session served as the premiere for the entire show at the Stream of Many Eyes! And boy is it a good one! You can find this episode on Youtube, and as a podcast.

Aram Vartian - Dungeon Master

(Surena Marie) Ashbourne - 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

Featuring Christopher Lindsay as Mirt the Moneylender
“Last time”, the party had arrived in Waterdeep in search of the treasure rumored to lie hidden in the city. They set up a meeting with Mirt the Moneylender to try and get the old merchant-lord to help them out. That’s where we begin...

Mirt tells the party that the mages of Blackstaff Tower have a scroll that they believe will reveal the location of the dragon hoard that everyone is looking for, but they can’t decipher it on their own. To even take a look at the scroll, the mages require a 100,000 gold piece fee! Luckily, Mirt is willing to loan them the money at a 50% rate. Perrin casts ‘Suggestion’ on Mirt, who rolls a NATURAL 1 on his saving throw! He lowers his rate to 25%. The party takes it!

They stop by a tavern, The Raven’s Claw, for a celebratory drink. Ashbourne says with all the money they could get out of this, she could even pay her mentor’s bail. Shaka pays off the bartender to see what she knows about Blackstaff Tower, but she doesn’t know anything. Shaka’s pretty sure she’s flirting with him. Nocnoc tries to take Selise’s drink, but she tells him to back off, “I didn’t say I wasn’t going to drink it--I’m a paladin, I’m not dead!”

A kid snatches Rinn’s purse as they head back out onto the street, but the greedy elf shoots out a hand and grabs him by the wrist. They have a discussion with the boy. Evidently, Rinn hasn’t had a friend in 114 years, but the kid has a ton even though he’s only 7. They try to convince the kid to show them around the sewers, but the kid says that just because he’s a street urchin doesn’t mean he doesn’t have important things to do and takes off.

The party arrive at Blackstaff Tower. They are led to the scroll chamber. The scroll is written in a runic cipher, and the only way to read it is to turn over a series of runestones, but doing so is very dangerous, as turning the stones could stir up angry spirits. Thanks to the work of #TeamVolo during the #NoStoneUnturned event leading up to the Stream of Many Eyes, one of the stones is warded and will be safe for them to turn over! Radical.

Perrin casts ‘Comprehend Languages’, but he still cannot read the runes. The party ask him what language it is, and he says it is “Urban Elven”--”Nobody knows what that is, it seems to change ALL THE TIME!” They figure out that Rinn can’t read it because he’s a suburban elf.

Shaka suggests that they figure out which rune appears the most times on the scroll before proceeding. Nocnoc says the warlock is the brains of this operation, but Perrin points out that he’s covering his brains with his hat. Shaka admits he wears it because he’s a little embarrassed about his horns--they’re deformed. Nocnoc tells him not to worry, it happens to a lot of guys. Perrin says that the way Shaka is dressed reminds him of the famous tiefling bard--L.L. Cool Tiefling.

They turn over the first stone. There is a harmless puff of air. The rune is an ‘E’. The message reads:
‘xxE xxxxE xx xxxxxx xxx xxxEE ExEx’

Shaka uses his ‘Mage Hand’ to turn over another rock. A column of flame explodes from the runestone, and a fire elemental attacks! Nocnoc pulls out big iron arrows that function as shortswords and attacks. Shaka uses his magic vision to identify a ruby floating inside the elemental that is its weak point, and tells everyone to aim for the gem. Ashbourne finds a bucket of water in this chamber and dunks it onto the elemental with a NAT 20 and it is extinguished!

Nocnoc says they solved the puzzle--it’s “Friendship”. Aram says “Friendship” doesn’t have an “E”, then quickly realizes he’s wrong. “FRIENDSHIP HAS AN E IN IT, COME ON, WIZARD!”
The next rune is an ‘O’.

‘xxE xxOxE Ox xOxOxx xxx xxxEE ExEx’

Perrin points out that the third word is “Of”. Ashbourne says that if it is, then there aren’t anymore ‘F’s. Perrin says “I don’t give an F.” Selise flips another stone, and it suddenly becomes incredibly heavy in her hand. The room rumbles as the floor forms into a rock elemental! Nocnoc looks at Ashbourne,

“Knock knock.”

“Who’s there?”

“Rock.”

“Rock who?”

“ROCK WHO LIKE A HURRICANE!”

Nocnoc leaps onto the elemental and lands a NAT 20 on it! The creature almost instantly collapses into dust! “You took ya’ life for granite! Get it, guys? Granite?” The third rune is an ‘R’.

‘xxE xxOxE OF xOxORR xxx xxREE ExEx’

Ashbourne and Rinn say that the first word HAS to be “The”, and as they do, the corresponding stones flash with light and the message translates a little more,

‘THE xTOxE OF xOxORR Hxx THREE ExEx’

Selise has a moment of doubt after the battle with the elemental, as if her god hadn’t been with her during the fight. Her companions help the paladin recenter herself. She focuses and feels the flame of her faith slowly rekindle. Aram gives her inspiration.

Selise turns over another runestone, and is immediately caught up in a watery form. She is grappled by a water elemental and gets a NAT 1 to escape! Someone in the audience reminds her that she has advantage. She rerolls. NAT 20! Selise bursts out of the water elemental in a blast of divine energy. Her god hadn’t abandoned her, he was merely holding back because he KNEW that she would need ALL of his power for this mighty strike! She gets a free ‘Thunderous Smite’!

They defeat the creature and look at the last stone. The rune on it is an ‘G’. They flip over one more rock really quickly, and an air elemental begins to form! Ashbourne yells that she would like to solve the puzzle,

“THE STONE OF GOLORR HAS THREE EYES!”

The Blackstaff thanks them for solving the riddle for him and tells them that they served their purpose... “now get out of my tower”. That’s where we end it.

If you’ve been following Rina’s Dark & Dicey recaps, you might know that the Shenanigang got their hands on the Stone of Golorr later that day during the Stream of Many Eyes and renamed it “Google McGuffin”. Chris Perkins has also brought the stone up on Dice Camera Action!

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