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Tristan DArque
Here for a while
(1/8/03 4:03:00 pm)
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Dunrat's Revenge?
Recap from my party's last session (this is probably kinda long, but there is a question at the end):

They started in Hommlett, having got back from the Moathouse where they killed everything short of the obelisk room before falling back. They didn't actually go into every area, but there wasn't anyone in the areas they missed (because the inhabitants of the Moathouse knew they were coming).

They went straight to see Y'dey to report what had happened and get Spugnoir raised (Chat had assassinated him and they felt sorry for Renne, so they stumped up for a raise dead). They then went into the OTP to sell stuff (the non-magical stuff they'd brought back from the Moathouse).

Vacra had seen them come back, disguised as a kid playing near the road by the keep. She told Dunrat they'd returned without Chat, but the cult didn't know any more. IMC Dunrat had not been to the Moathouse, but obviously he knew stuff had been found there. In the absence of Chat, he was worried what might have happened to those artefacts. So Dunrat formulated 2 plans:

(1) send 'Jaroo' to investigate (the party had not met him before, but Dunrat figured they might buy him as an authority figure).

(2) present himself as a travelling merchant named Turdan who'd heard about their trip to the Moathouse and wanted to know if they were willing to sell anything they'd found. He wasn't actually planning to buy anything (he hasn't got enough cash to make a reasonable offer, for a start), but he might at least get to know what they'd found.

So when the PCs left the OTP, they were greeted by 'Jaroo'. Hook, line and sinker. They gave him everything interesting they'd found 'for further analysis' overnight.

Back the next morning, and Jaroo was nowhere to be seen. Yundi was at the grove, and they chatted to him. 'Jaroo' had warned them that Yundi had been acting a bit odd, but they liked Yundi - I think he'll be a long-term NPC actually - and they noticed that Yundi was able to walk through the rings of thorns and brambles around the grove without difficulty, whereas 'Jaroo' had had to beat them out of the way with his staff. Basic druid stuff missing (of course, this didn't occur to them until they saw Yundi do it properly). For novices (only one of them has ever played before) they did a good job on this, actually, one of them even said 'doppelganger' within 5 minutes (she'd played Baldur's Gate).

Their other lead in town was the mill (from GT's journal). So they went there. Dunrat saw them coming (through the stalwart eye) and the cult buffed up: good fight, but it ended with Vacra and Dunrat retreating back to the cellar after everyone else had fallen. Vacra stuck a darkness up just inside the trapdoor, made Dunrat invisible, and disguised herself as a captive. Dunrat tried to sneak out past them, but I rolled a 20 for the bard (who was watching the trapdoor) on his spot roll, he noticed Dunrat and glitterdusted him, and they knocked him out. Vacra's disguise allowed her to escape, but they figured it as she ran off and killed her in a chase along the riverbank. They recovered the artefacts from the cellar of the mill.

Dunrat was interrogated, quite successfully with the help of a Zone of Truth, and then handed over to Elmo and chucked in the dungeons below the keep.

The wagon showed that evening. The PCs know Maridosen was involved in the cult (she'd not been at the mill, but they'd overhead her talking to Chat, and Dunrat revealed her involvement anyway), and she's in hiding. Hasan Toth (my wagon driver) went to the Wench to meet Maridosen - she wasn't there, but the party saw him and followed the wagon out of town toward the Moathouse, and there was a fight (disappointingly easy for them).

Meanwhile, the doppelganger posed as Elmo and released Dunrat from the dungeons.

So: remaining cult resources in Hommlett are Dunrat, Maridosen, and the doppelganger. The party are heading back after defeating the wagon. Dunrat's lost his artefacts again and all his equipment (including his holy symbol). The party defeated him once already. Any suggestions for how he reacts now would be very welcome!

Infiniti2000
Here for a while
(1/8/03 9:33:08 pm)
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ezSupporter
Re: Dunrat's Revenge?
Maridosen: What's her motivation for sticking around? None. Her boss just got his can handed to him, is now so dirt poor he doesn't even have a holy symbol, and she's facing a number of powerful PC's. Stick a fork in her, she's done.

Dunrat: First order of business, acquire a holy symbol. Second order or business, acquire some new gear. It will take time to get back to where he was, but he has options. First of all, kill Yundi for his stuff. Maybe he can get Maridosen's help before she heads off to hook on the Sword Coast. Was the stalwart eye found? If not, he should sell it or trade it for some new equipment, possibly traveling to Verbobonc to do so. The last option to get more equipment is with Jaroo's help (see below).

Dunrat cannot show his face around the ToAC after his series of dismal failures. He must take down the party and recover as much of the relics as possible. However, he knows he cannot defeat them en masse, so he needs to divide and conquer, ... or set them up. If he can frame a couple of PC's (using Jaroo) and get some of them in jail, he can take on the others. Ooo, even better, set one at a time in jail, and visit them with Jaroo as Elmo. Two on one! Rinse and repeat. In any case, you'll need to think of something more devious than purely attack-oriented. He could kidnap an NPC commoner and demand the relics for the NPC's life.

In the end though you need to play Dunrat one of two ways: he will never give up and is totally dedicated to his cause, or he is willing to try something else. For number one, eventually (unless he gets killed) he will contact Naquent, fess up, and tell her he needs help. Perhaps in this case, they find Dunrat in the CRM (she wouldn't let him back in the OF) with a demonic leg. For number two, he decides he could best serve his deity another way. Maybe he heard a rumor once about the Lost Temple of ...

Jaroo: His cover is blown. He clearly needs a new cover. I suggest something less likely to be noticed, and yet be able to make money. Perhaps he can take over Papa's Bakery. Sure, it's hard work, but maybe Otho has some money stashed. If not, move on to another target. This might alert the PC's of course, but it should prove rather difficult for them to track Jaroo down. You might even get rather TV-ish and target buildings in a pattern (like a triangle or an inverted 'Y'). If the party ever noticed it, I can guarantee it would be a lot of fun!

Because you kept Jaroo as a normal doppelganger, I'd say he sticks around because there's still a lot of potential in this town. Perhaps he could take over the sage's place? It's real easy to keep saying, "Yeah, I'll check on that symbol, give me a couple of days." Besides, he might even do a good job, especially if Dunrat helps him maintain his cover.

Tristan DArque
Here for a while
(1/9/03 6:35:54 am)
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Re: Dunrat's Revenge?
Quote:
Maridosen: What's her motivation for sticking around?


You're right. None. I hadn't actually decided what had happened to her, just that she'd disappeared, but she's long gone I reckon.

Quote:
First of all, kill Yundi for his stuff.


Yundi's with the party now. He doesn't want to take over the grove, though he would like to know what happened to Jaroo (they know he's dead, but not where his body is). I think Yundi and Wyst will tag around for a while, the party could use another spellcaster.

Quote:
Was the stalwart eye found?


Unfortunately yes (I rolled 2 spot checks during the session, one for that, and one for the bard spotting the invisible Dunrat as he escaped the cellar of the mill. They both came up natural 20s.) Dunrat is accordingly way short of cash at present, though I imagine he could enlist the doppelganger's help to get some by devious means.

My inclination is to send Dunrat back to the ToAC. He knows he can't defeat the party without assistance, and he's fresh out of cult artifacts. Yes, he's likely to get punished (maybe he kinda likes the idea of being punished by Naquent though...), but the only viable alternative is just doing a runner altogether; I can't see how he can best the party with his current meagre resources, and they're too well-in with the elders of Hommlett to be particularly vulnerable to a set-up involving the doppelganger (and of course, they've now warned everyone important that there's a doppelganger on the loose).

I wonder if Naquent or whoever might send another strike team to hunt down the PCs and attempt to recover the artefacts. They've certainly shown no inclination to sell them: they seem to think they're for use in some ritual to be performed in the Moathouse (particularly because the mask and the sceptre match items on the 4-sided statue, and the party thinks this is a big clue). I have high hopes for their performance with the hidden altar... :evil

Thanks, Infiniti.

Infiniti2000
Here for a while
(1/9/03 7:48:49 am)
Reply
ezSupporter
Re: Dunrat's Revenge?
"I wonder if Naquent or whoever might send another strike team to hunt down the PCs and attempt to recover the artefacts."

I would counsel against this. It is way too early to involve the Outer Fane directly with the PC's. At best, Dunrat would be punished. Perhaps he could be put in the prison and tortured. An idea is to keep him around, with or without some modification (you can justify any BoVD changes at this point, including the Infernal Machine), so that he can be utilized as a "leader" for one of the areas of the CRM that the PC's will eventually clear out. For example, if the PC's clear out the main gate, then leave to recuperate, perhaps when they return they find Dunrat, looking slightly different and eager to re-ingratiate himself in Naquent's eyes in order to climb back up the ToAC ladder of power. Another example, most of D'Gran forces are leveled and he asks for assistance from the Outer Fane. Solution: send Dunrat as a lackey, with a few orcs and/or trolls from the nearby camps. I don't think the OF really gives a big hoot what is found at the moathouse. They are already concerned about the Champion and summoning the Princes of Evil. Anything else is just fluff.

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