Twelfth Session (13 page pdf) – “Vale of Tears” – The pirates reach the Vale of Karpad in Nidal, to find a plague, racism, and intrigue.
Well so there’s a faeskin leather boutique in Nisroch because there’s lots of fae here in Nidal. And since it’s Nidal it’s mostly evil ones. When the PCs went to bury their loot in the nearby forest they got the attention of some redcaps, who followed their convenient trail of body parts back to their camp at night and are now trying to overrun them.
Redcaps have a move of 60 and Spring Attack. In tall grass at night, that’s a good combination – they would just run in, kick someone with their iron boots, and run off again. The PCs were firing area damage spells out into the darkness to try to get them, however their fast healing 3 takes care of the damage they take pretty quickly.
It’s actually going pretty badly for our heroes for once, but then they see that Wogan is wearing redcap boots! (Purchased at Boutique Zeleve back in the city.) Oh, they all go fucknuts and rush the portly cleric all at once. While this is very painful for Wogan, the rest of the party can then focus their attacks on the creatures, so after a long slog they overcome them all.
And then they get to Karpad! To meet a mixup of several published adventures. It’s primarily the plotline of the adventure The Midnight Mirror, but with Wogan being actually related to Anya, and U1 Gallery of Evil, but with a lot of mixing-up and enhancing by me.
Everyone who got a piece of the glyph-plaque that K’Stallo the serpentman was using to try to open a gate to the Plane of Shadow back in our earlier season has been hounded by shadows, tempted by them to join the shadows, etc. The PCs have killed everything that’s come after them but others haven’t been so lucky. One of the Riddleport gendarmes with a glyph made it this far, but went artist-crazy and turned into a shadowy lurker. (IMO the #1 trick to using published adventures is search/replacing to give the PCs deep and direct links into them instead of relying on generosity or greed).
The PCs ride into this and, having gotten used to Nidalese culture, disrupt the lynching of some fetchlings (half-shadow people) with the compelling argument that “we should torture them instead!” They manage to break it up and get introduced to the major plot threads.
Many locals drift into the Weeping Willow Inn for a drink. Racism makes a man thirsty.
Speaking of racism, the locals are all super pale and the appearance of Sindawe (a black Mwangi) is of some concern, with it clearly being either a skin condition or him being a horrible shadow creature, of which there are many in Nidal. I drew on real life from this, when my Mexican stepmother went to visit her new parents-in-law in rural Amish-country Pennsylvania, and they didn’t know what to make of her (and this is in 1990, not ancient history).
Besides that, they get to know the locals and fill up on rumors at the inn.
Wogan asks, “Do you think the baker murdered her and baked her into pies?”
Amara seems unhappy with the question. “I’ve had one of his pies.”
And since they’re his buddies, the other PCs sic the local hooker onto the celibate Wogan just to see him squirm.