You finished the last session having recovered the first Tear of Selûne – the first of three Tears of Selûne, to be precise – and returned to the ruined temple of Selûne on Pirates’ Skyhold where you presented it to a very excited and grateful Lady Moonsilver, the eladrin cleric of Selûne responsible for sending you on this quest.
Due to the limitations of the Moonbridge Amulet – it works only at night – you returned to your rooms at the Beached Leviathan that night to rest and now a new day begins with you making plans to enter the River District where the second Tear of Selûne fell.
You had a lot of success gathering information before you proceeded to confront the Kneecappers: will you do the same again before entering the River District?
Morning in the Beached Leviathan
Two “clerks” – Auldo Morim and Marhaen – ostensibly sent by Calais Archwinter of Archwinter Emporium – meet the party while they are having breakfast and offer, on their mistress’ behalf, to trade with them for the Blade of Eilistraee that Baelval carries. They offer a longsword in exchange which they explain as coming from the ancient kingdom of Iliyanbruen. It’s of an ancient elven/eladrin style and designed with a forest motif but does not bear the mark of any (notable) family or house. (It’s a graceful longsword +2.)
During the course of discussions, the party becomes suspicious and, in no particular order, Kurgan notices that their Common speech is flavoured with Deep Speech-inspired grammar, syntax and accents and then realises that they are probably doppelgangers that “belong” to an illithid and form part of a group known as a druuth – a druuth is a mind flayer plus several doppelgangers and other thralls. Aelar also notices that the “clerks” are shapechangers and, in due course, combat is joined.
After combat begins, three dwarves reveal themselves as allies of the doppelgangers and each wields a derro-crafted repeating crossbow.
The druuth is defeated: the doppelgangers are slain while the dwarves are simply knocked unconscious in the hope that Lady Moonsilver will be able to perform a ritual to break their bondage to their illithid master.
Of course, the PCs are now able to recover the eladrin longsword that the druuth had brought in trade along with five small diamonds valued at 500 gp each which the druuth had brought in an attempt to sweeten the deal.
The owner of the Beached Leviathan, Content Not Found: harrag_ was horrified at the presence of the doppelgangers but even more horrified when the PCs admitted that they had a sword in their possession that had attracted the attention of one or more illithids. With his terror of mind flayers showing clearly in his eyes, _Content Not Found: harrag demanded they leave the Beached Leviathan immediately, never to return.
He was, however, persuaded to dump the bodies of the doppelgangers – fortunately not a crime in Neverwinter – after first demanding payment to do even that.
The PCs then moved to the House of a Thousand Faces where they were warmly welcomed by the Harper, Theryis, and the Sons of Alagondar. Theryis also arranged for the dwarves the PCs captured to be securely imprisoned until the PCs were able to return to Lady Moonsilver in the evening (as that is the only time the Moonbridge Amulet works).
Gathering Information from Theryis et al
This is a slightly expanded version of what Theryis told the party about the River District:
The River District takes its name from the terrain feature that has saved it from being overrun – namely, the Neverwinter River, which holds at bay the plaguechanged forces that emerge from the Chasm to the south.
The bulk of Neverwinter’s merchant class once dwelt here, and the architecture shows it. The houses were sturdily built, and although they are not ostentatious, most are large enough to have held a family of six or eight plus servants. Guardhouses and security walls abound, offering cover for skirmishers looking to ambush unsuspecting visitors. Long flower gardens run through the centre of each street, although over the years they have gone to weeds or decay.
One might think the Moonshae mercenaries could have pacified the River District by now, but safety proves elusive, mostly due to a band of orcs in the ancient Cloak Tower at the eastern edge of the area.
New Neverwinter’s forces occasionally venture into the district, but generally only as far as the Fallen Tower tavern. That establishment serves as neutral ground for negotiations between Lord Neverember and Vansi of the orcs, to whom the rest of the district belongs.
Beasts from the surrounding wilderness occasionally stalk the streets here, hunting for food with wolves and leucrotta being the most common. Even if the orcs were not present, the other dangerous creatures would be reason enough for refugees to avoid this district, regardless of whether their houses remain standing.
For now, a hastily erected barrier seals most of the River District from Blacklake. It usually stands unattended, since the Moonshae guards have better things to do than patrol the barrier, opting instead to post signs warning people away. A number of bored orcs, however, have a created a few improvised gates in the barrier through which they permit folk to enter upon payment of a 10 gp toll.
Due to the orcs’ aversion to daylight, few orcs – other than the self-appointed toll-collectors – will be found out and about during the day other than at the Fallen Tower. The Fallen Tower is a ruined tower which is now a tavern where orcs and other humanoids gather. It’s also neutral ground and there is a truce between Vansi – the leader of the orcs – and Lord Neverember that guarantees safe passage to and from the Fallen Tower and also within the Fallen Tower. Vansi is known to kill those orcs et al who break this truce.
In truth, the orcs of the River District are bored. There are skirmishes between the orcs and goblins who sometimes enter the ruined district via the sewers. These are times of great excitement in the River District as the goblins aren’t protected by the truce with Neverember and they serve as an ideal outlet for the orcs’ violent impulses.
There are two other major landmarks within the River District besides the Fallen Tower.
The first is the Shard of Night. This can be seen from most parts of the city: it’s the topmost part of some tower – apparently not one of the ruined towers of Neverwinter – that floats in the sky some 100 feet above Neverwinter’s streets. It hovers above a deserted market square and directly above the Dark Lady Fountain which, as its name suggests, is a public fountain featured a lady carved from dark stone as its centrepiece.
What is also known about the Shard of Night and the area beneath it is that it is shrouded in perpetual shadow.
The second site is the Cloak Tower. The tower takes its name from a guild of mages called the Many-Starred Cloaks who lived and gathered there. They were well known in the city for their arcane skill and for the whimsical, colourful cloaks they wore. During the Spellplague, the tower and its occupants vanished in a whirlwind of blue fire. The tower reappeared half a year later on a different location.
When the orcs entered Neverwinter they took over the Cloak Tower and its grounds as their own demesne. In fact, the grounds look like any orc settlement: a mixture of tents and primitive dwellings surrounding a collection of battle standards including the sigil of Many Arrows – basically arrowheads pointing inwards toward the single eye of Gruumsh, the orc deity.
Return to Lady Moonsilver
Deliver the dwarf prisoners. Lady Moonsilver says that the Shard of Night is obviously touched by Shar and she cannot scry it with her magic, nor the area beneath.
Carousing & Resting in the House of a Thousand Faces
Feasting, drinking, singing with the Sons of Alagondar then a peaceful night’s sleep.
Four orcs with greataxes and four orcs with greatbows.
Amazing three hour performance by Aelar with lyrics provided by Kurgan about an orc defeat of Tornskull bugbears in the Nether Mountains. Audience doubled in size and then a chunk acted as a singing escort to the Cloak Tower. Discovered second Tear of Selûne is in the Shard of Night.
Meet Vansi and see Maerogh. Aid with Shard of Night in exchange for a performance that night when the orcs are awake.
Shard of Night
Simple. Two special grappling arrows fired into the Shard of Night with orc archers wielding greatbows. Two ogres acted as anchors. Climbing very easy because they did at at an angle. This also avoided the area of shadow beneath the Shard of Night. Tear recovered with no encounter. Netherese portal erased.
Cloak Tower Celebration
The orcs were no longer bored thanks to Aelar‘s performance. Vansi admitted to Griemolt Maur that she is in Neverwinter to search the ruins to recover a throne that is an orc relic. She asks for the party’s assistance but accepts Griemolt’s explanation that he cannot because he is on an honour quest to recover his tribal relic, the Bones of the Thunderbeast.
The PCs earned 1,000 XP each for outstanding RPing tonight (plus 200 XP for their victory over the druuth) and so advanced to level 5.
And the RPing was outstanding: they made all the right choices and back those choices with outstanding skill checks and thus avoided at least four rather difficult combats which was why the XP award was so high.
Next session? The third Tear of Selûne awaits….