Session 4: Fun at the Fayre
After their introduction to dungeon delving, our group of recruits manage to relax on an uneventful journey to their half-way stop-off in the town of Phandalin, a small settlement not too far off the High Road. There is a little more bustle than usual as a few travelling entertainers have set up in the town square, hoping to make a little coin to supplement their travels on the way to Neverwinter.
The party takes a quick wander around the town, completing a few routine tasks. Stable the ox, replenish their supplies, find room and board, and eat a hearty meal. Rurik also drops a letter in to the Townmaster’s Hall, where the group meets Tarquin Vitelius, captain of the guard. The captain asks the sergeant if he can borrow Kray and Cerric for extra duty, and leads them away. The others do a little more shopping and then wander into the fayre. They try their hand at an archery competition, where Mialee wins a blowpipe for second place, and then a grappling competition, in which Rurik wins some dwarven ale.
Then a voice rises from the crowd. The Amazing Presto, an alchemist, is handing out free samples of magic potions. Sceptical at first, the party eventually decides to try some, and are granted amazing, although short term, ability bonuses.
On to a meat pie eating contest, where Rurik and Clara are joint winners, despite the enthusiasm of a young, halfling boy. All of a sudden chaos erupts. Screams and shouts for help. The potions are starting to have some strange side effects. Luckily none of our party are affected except Clara who can’t stop giggling. Presto asks the party to subdue a friend that has grown to giant size and is ransacking the town. They eventually corner him and knock him out, our heroes completely unscathed (mainly due to the DM’s complete inability to get any good dice rolls today.....).
Presto has realised that someone has sabotaged his potions, and asks the party to help. They check out his lodging to find them ransacked, a journal missing, but do pick up some clues. It was Hold Hammerheath, Presto’s assistant, who is trying to usurp his boss’ business. The party tracks him to a nearby abandoned house, but too late. Hold has taken one of the potions and grown to giant size and gained the strength to match.
Fortunately, all the giant-strength potions in the Sword Coast don’t seem to be able to make the DM roll any better in this battle than the last, and after a long and hard fight with lots of hammer blows and an impressive use of a Witchbolt spell, Hold is finally defeated. Presto manages to work out what Hold has done to the potions, Clara starts to help cure all the affected villagers while the others assist in the tidy up, and all is well again… for the moment.....