[GM:The player of “David the Warlock Urchin” was missing for this session, so his “Family” gave him a little task to do to get him out of the way. I brought him back into the Inn at the end of the session and there was an unfortunate incident!]
The wagons stopped rolling when night fell. They were still about 30 minutes ride from the Inn but it was up hill and would take the wagons a few hours.
The lawyer, Urmspoleshurst asked Vassily to accompany him to the Inn as he had an appointment with a hobbit who should be able to give him all the papers he needed to assume his new life (sort of witness protection) when they reach Waterdeep.
“The hobbit will respond to a pass phrase – ‘Do you come here often?’ with the answer ‘Only when there is a Y in the month’ so we can check if it is really him. If the thieves guild has sent a hit squad after me, they may have gotten ahead of us and be waiting”.
Although Vassily thought the lawyer deserved protection for free, Coleman and Ragnar both asked for 20gp each for their protection.
David the Urchin had more important things to do. He had been muttering and communicating by telepathy with something (probably a figment of his imagination!) for most of the day and now stalked off into the twilight woods to collect some mushrooms.
The Inn was busy, all the stables were occupied with horses and there were an lot of people staying at the inn. Our heroes peered in through the windows and spotted a few tougher-than-average people, including an elf woman (maybe a scout or rogue?) and a lot of mean-looking guys in leather armour. They also saw a hobbit and a local vicar in a quiet room to one side.
Ragnar made a deal with the proprietor (stable-man) and sold his new war pony. The crafty ostler tricked him into paying for a night’s stabling first.
Vassily stayed outside with Urmsy while Cole and Rags skipped merrily hand-in-hand into the Inn. All eyes turned to them and they noticed an older chap, definitely a wizard, seemed to be in charge and a few of the tough guys waited for his nod before settling back to their drinks. The barman cleared a table for them and brought drinks. They noticed the only hobbit was eating his tea in the side room, but they didn’t try to make contact straightaway.
There were a couple of local militiamen in the pub, so it seemed relatively safe.
Another guest “Pugh”, wandered in from outside and spoke in whispers to the Wizard (he had been outside with the horses and spotted Urmsy). The wizard “Grub” immediately got up and went outside to “smoke his pipe”. The toughest-looking of the thugs, “Dibble” got up to follow him out and blocked the doorway.
Grub looked around outside and saw Urmsy and Vassily and it all kicked off.
Vassily realised the wizard was trying to cast a spell at him and got in a quick headbutt. He hit but didn’t stop the spell “Tasha’s Hideous Laughter” which had the poor paladin ROFLing helplessly, finding everything hilarious. The wizard stepped over him saying “If he stops laughing, kill him” to the menacing figure of “Dibble”.
Inside Coleman and Ragnar tried to get out but were blocked. Coleman decided (nobody really knows why) to headbutt the unsuspecting hobbit and managed to knock him out. The vicar protested but didn’t dare interfere. Ragnar tried to push past the thug in the door way and was knocked back.
Another thief, “Cuthbert” came up behind Coleman and stabbed him, then “Dibble” struck too, using the flank to his advantage. Behind him the two militia began to rise but Pugh dropped a bag of gold on the table and encouraged them to relax and take another drink “No need to concern yourselves with a simple matter of guild business, officers”.
The fight was brief but bloody. When Vassily managed to shake off his attack of the giggles, Dibble nearly gutted him with vicious stabbing and the wizard firebolted the proprietor (killing him).
Vassily fought well, activating the power of his sword to cast the “Evard’s Black Tendrils” spell, pinning the Wizard and the unconscious Urmsy and Dibble in the tendrils. But the wizard grabbed Urmsy and used “Misty Step” to teleport out of the tendrils (badly injured but free).
Coleman leapt out after them in time to see the Wizard a couple more thieves, including the Elf woman “Magrew” and “Hugh”, bundled the body onto a horse. Dibble got a couple of lucky hits on Vassily and took him down.
Ragnar robbed the unconscious hobbit, taking a rucksack full of papers and then started shooting the gang of thieves. He had to run out to save Vassily from bleeding out and got very lucky with his medicine check, bringing the paladin back awake. In the room behind him, the vicar healed the hobbit.
At this point the Wizard and the thieves managed to take down Coleman and he started to bleed out too. while he was unconscious, the hobbit sneaked over and robbed him of about 120 gold, leaving him a single gold coin. Then David emerged in the shadows and skewered one of the thieves with his Witchbolt spell, whispering “Get him Shoggy” (and something small and dark stabbed the guy in the back while the urchin kept the crazy lightning on him).
Coleman luckily stabilised while Vassily and Ragnar thinned out the thieves a bit. Coleman was healed they just managed to kill Dibble. The Wizard and a couple of his henchmen were galloping away with the unconscious Urmsy but Ragnar shot the horse out from under the lawyer. The wizard and his cronies galloped into the night and Pugh and the hobbit slipped away too, but Urmsy was saved.
The folks in the inn where grateful to the heroes for driving off the bad guys and they were offered plenty of food and drink. There was even some trinkets on the fallen thieves and Ragnar got paid another 50gp by Urmsy for the bag of papers he’d stolen.
While Ragnar and Coleman were getting hammered in the Inn, Vassily (a Teetotaller) noticed that David was acting strangely, chatting with the barman and distracting him while some small invisible creature was adding flakes of mushroom to the barrel. Vassily grabbed some flour from the kitchen and dumped it on the “creature” it was a hideous little demon.
Reacting before David could stop him, Coleman shot it through the head with a crossbow bolt and the foul creature died and its body dissolved with a horrible stench of brimstone and corruption.
“SHOGGY!” the urchin was tearful and explained the creature was his familiar. He hadn’t revealed it because it looked like a demon and they might not have understood [GM: David doesn’t judge a book by its cover (one of his Traits) and was convinced Shoggy was only a bit mischievous and was part of his “family”]. When they pressed him to find out what the demon was doing putting mushrooms in the beer, he explained it wasn’t anything dangerous. "My family asked me to do it. The spores make people a bit more receptive to the voice of the “family” so that they should be able to communicate while they sleep. The spores aren’t dangerous at all."
By the time this was spotted most of the people in the inn had already drunk some of the beer and found it to be even nicer than usual. Our heroes escorted Urmsy back to the wagon train. Coleman and Ragnar had terrifying nightmares and gained no benefit from their night’s rest. Judging by the screams from the top of the hill – the guests at the inn were plagued by nightmares too.
[GM: David will be able to cast Find Familiar again – it only costs 10gp for components and Coleman handed over his last remaining 1gp (because he felt a bit guilty for killing the thing)]