Once more, unto the breach…
This past Wednesday, Gavan and co. had arrived in the town of Easthaven. We were momentarily joined by two new people, twin elf rogues with a background in thuggery, going by the name: Boba Fett, and Asgard. I say momentarily because, due to prior plans in real life, they could only stay for one battle, where they proved to be very helpful.
But I’m getting ahead of myself.
So as part of the ‘learning as we go’ plot thread, apparently the party pre-Gavan had opposed a fellow named Gant (sp?). Details were rather sparse, but apparently we had heard through the grapevine that he was in the area, and if his previous activities were any clue, a danger to everyone. Interestingly enough, the town that doesn’t like us (again, pre-Gavan) also aren’t fond of Gant.
So we arrive at the gate of Easthaven, and almost get into a fight with the gate guard. Who had initially let us through with no issues, but then our fighter Jon insulted his intelligence when he asked us if we were pirates, and being hyper-aggressive, felt that was a stupid question and ridiculed the guard’s intelligence. To be fair, this was our fighter’s last day in the group, as the player in real life was moving, and he had indicated that he wanted to go down in a ‘blaze of glory.’
So we enter the town unscathed, and find ourselves in a rather up-scale tavern called the Mythril Pot. After a couple of drinks, our halfing rogue, Waltin, who happens to have the highest charisma score and is thus the most likable and by default the face of the party, manages to acquire some information; a character resembling the description of Gant might be at another tavern called the White Lady.
So to the White Lady we went, except we didn’t. Screams from the port sent us scrambling towards there, where unsavory types were leaping off two boats, killing substitute dockworkers, and making their way into the town. We opposed them and put them down much more easily than expected. Among the strangest moments was a figure who appeared to be standing in the back commanding the invaders, but disappeared in a puff of smoke when the battle started going badly for his crew.
With the battle ended, before we could catch our breaths though, more screams from the armory had us scrambling there, for more invader-killing shenanigans, where we saved the life of the dwarf smith. In a rather ‘no guts, no glory’ moment, Gavan runs in, takes an attack of opportunity (it hurt), and gets himself in a position where he’s able to cast ‘Burning Hands’ (imagine a flamethrower coming out of your hands) to hit multiple enemies at once, while using a neat trick called ‘spell sculpting’ so that the flames magically avoid his allies standing in the way. It was definitely risky, as he was in a bad position to get hurt, and actually went from 14 to 3 hit points in a few rounds of combat, but an 2nd ‘Burning Hands’ spell turns the remaining invaders to ashes.
We managed to glean some additional information from the dwarf smith, where the regular town guards and volunteers (regular dockworkers) were off raiding a pirate camp. However, it looks like it was a ruse, as the pirates knew the town was rather defenseless and tried to take advantage of that before bumping into us. We also find out that an oily Luskan (sp?) human (i.e. human from a place called Lusk) had in the past week, suggested to various surrounding businesses to provide payment for protection from future ‘accidents’.
Questioning surrounding businesses, we discover someone had recently purchased large amounts of tar, though for what purpose was not clear. Going back to the dock and searching one of the boats, (the other was gone), it was clear that a battle to acquire the boat had taken place. While not 100% confirmed, it was likely bandits had killed the original crew, and had planned to use this boat to sneak into Easthaven.
So we finally get to the White Lady, run by a dwarf with a giant crossbow. As Gant had never seen / met Gavan, Waltin, or Solis (our female, human ranger), and based on the description we were given from the remaining party members, we entered the place to see Gant enjoying a rather peaceful dinner. Our charismatic halfling tried to pry some useful information out of the tavern owner as well as Gant, but to no avail. We leave the tavern to tell our remaining party members that Gant was sitting right there and then. Solis, Waldo (dwarf cleric and generally the guy who consistently saves our hides with his healing) and Jon proceed enter the tavern. Jon attempts to use his ‘bounty hunter’ reasoning to pick a fight, pointing a sword at Gant and insisting that he will now be brought to justice. The tavern owner pulls out the crossbow and gives him a single warning to not start a fight at his place of establishment. So naturally, a fight breaks out.
In a single turn, Gant uses a powered up ‘Scorching Ray,’ (essentially rays of fire coming out of your hands) to make Jon crispy, burnt, and unconscious. Solis tries shooting an arrow into Gant, but it does mild damage, and he receives a crossbow bolt to the back for his efforts. Gavan heroically peeks into the tavern, sees what’s going on, and considering a.) he only has 7 out of 14 hit points left, and b.) he only has one worthwhile spell left to cast for the day, courageously decides to stay outside where it’s safe, for the moment. Meanwhile Waldo, who had been enjoying a drink witnessing this spectacle, drags our burnt fighter outside and heals him up.
It’s debatable if this could be considered a tactical retreat, or this, but one thing was abundantly clear; Gant was very powerful, and even if we were to turn the tide of battle and take him down, we’d probably also have ended up killing the tavern owner. It’s not like we need more people to hate us, so we made our way back to the Mithral Pot to lick our wounds, have a drink, and figure out what to do next. I know one thing for sure: Gavan wants to acquire Gant’s spellbook really badly, assuming he’s a mage. He could be a sorcerer, come to think of it.
Jon may or may not have gone out in a blaze of glory, that’s debatable, but certainly not for lack of trying. For us squishy folks, I’ll miss hiding behind his plate-mail armored hide. Oh, and thanks to some DM awesomeness, we’re now all level 3 after tonight, though he also admitted, that to be honest we’ve reached a point in the adventure where we should be level 3 to be competitive. Yay!