Friday, 31 March 2017

The Adventurer's Journal #1

Coming to Daggerford

30 Tarsahk, 1490 DR (The Year of the Star Walker's Return)

After wintering in Baldur's Gate, the Thunder Company found work as guards, working for Mapp Dunnfoot - a halfling promoter, investor and brewery-owner - as a team of wagons made their way north to Waterdeep, making a stop at Daggerford along the way for the First Annual Daggerford Ale Festival. After arriving in town and helping Mapp set up his stall in preperation for the festival's opening the following day, the party explored Daggerford, discovering Mapp was working with the River Shining and Happy Cow Taverns to run The Gauntlet, a three-day competition with a hardcoin prize for the winner. Posters around town beseeched anyone with knowledge that could lead to the capture of the Sword Coast Killer to contact the local guard-force, or the Waterdeep City Watch.

Original image Cardiff - Castle Gate by Chrystian Cruz

After befriending Merka, a local Dwarven smith, and meeting her in the Happy Cow, Brynn discovered that Zhentarim mercenaries - contracted by Daggerford to patrol the lands north of Daggerford - were abusing their position. The Zhentarim, identified in Daggerford by their slicked-back hair, black leather jerkins and white tunics, were intimidating townsfolk, underpaying local crafters, and shirking their duty to the point local farmers were paying out of their own pocket to hire adventurers to deal with threats to their homes. Incensed, Brynn challenged the first group of Zhentarim he saw, but ended up with a flagon of cheap ale poured over his head, until Dragon and River stepped in, breaking a few heads before the Zhentarim - carrying their unconscious friends - slunk from the tavern..

Meanwhile, Kal and Gomak visited the River Shining Tavern, making the acquaintance of Nelkin Danniker - more commonly known as The Snail - a fixer with some obvious clout in the River Shining, and Jannul Gak, the River Shining’s dour barman. Between Nelkin, Jannul and Nelkin's cadre of thugs, the River Shining was quiet but as evening came, filled as patrolling Zhentarim returned to the town, as well as well-to-do merchants, local guildsmen and visiting adventurers. Kal gave a solid comedy performance in return for a free room at the tavern, impressing the Snail with his sharp wit.

In the Silver Flood Inn, Abel spoke with the elf Glorindel, an adventuring wizard of the Red Veil Company, who shared rumours of the Sword Coast Killer - a mysterious figure who has left cadavers in cities and towns up and down the Sword Coast, all missing a heart - and the mysterious barman of the Silver Flood, who warned her of the presence of Zhentarim in the town, their control over the daily of citizens, and that their plan to rig the Gauntlet in their favour, to enrich themselves at the expense of the townsfolk of Daggerford. He also warned her to steer clear of the Snail, noting the halfling's connection with Zhentarim, who all seemed eager to carry out his orders quickly and eagerly. Keen to make sure Kal and the others were okay, Abel went to visit the River Shining before bed, spotting a would-be mugger on her way, but managed to intimidate the attacker into fleeing down an alley rather than force a confrontation.

Greengrass, 1490 DR (The Year of the Star Walker's Return)

The next day, the group met at the local smithy, pooling their coin and sending a handful to queue and register their team with Mapp for the Gauntlet, before resting and preparing for the first event. At midday, the first event of the Gauntlet takes place, a race through the streets of Daggerford, a contestant from each team carrying a full flagon from the starting line, and picking up another every few hundred yards or so, any contestant who spilt a single drop of ale would be disqualified from the race. After managing to avoid being tripped by one of the Zhentarim contestants, River - the team's nominated contestant - tripped the cheating Zhentarim before racing ahead of the other contenders. River suffered a number of stumbles along the way, but managed to avoid spilling her flagons, limping in to third place, behind the Tanners and the Red Veil Company.

Next on the Coming Storm...

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