The Points of Light Campaign (D&D 4e)
Adventure #2 WOTC H2 Thunderspire Labyrinth (Level 4)
Earthday, 27th of Fireseek, 2000.
The guys are barely out of the Halfmoon Inn when someone, or else something, ‘shushes’ them from the shadows, nothing happens for a moment, the guys look around- what was that? Then stepping out into the half-light is a robed individual, who signals frantically for the adventurers to approach- cautiously the guys head over- they have no idea who this is (they made skill checks), and with their hands on blades or else implements- they’re ready to attack.
They needn’t have bothered, the robed figure turns out to be an incredibly skinny middle-aged man, the fellow looks tired and unkempt. The guys spin through the rough description they have of Vadriar the missing, and as much as they want it to be the guy, the fellow before them is much too young. They got excited for a moment, but that moment passes very quickly.
The odd fellow introduces himself as ‘The Ordinator Arcanis’, which is grand title for someone who smells a bit off, and looks like he’s been dragged through a hedge backwards. The title throws the adventurers for a while and so the odd fellow goes on and introduces himself properly, his name is Orontor and he is a Mage of Saruun- and he has some instructions for the adventurers, he’s very brusque. Its around about this time that things get very heated, very quickly.
Human Mage of Saruun- Orontor- Prepare for disaster.
The guys twig on who the Mages of Saruun are, and then are almost immediately annoyed because Orontor is issuing orders- to them, the heroes of the Seven Pillared Hall. The guys collectively, and individually- some much more than others, have been bad-mouthing the ‘yellow’ Mages of Saruun almost from the start of their adventures in Thunderspire.
Dirty has to be physically prevented from beating the stuffing out of the mage, Dave who plays Dirty was very angry, and also very sweary. After the occasion I had a bit of a sit and think about why Dave was so darn upset when Orontor appeared, I came up with two possible conclusions-
1) Dirty (Dave) has started to develop feelings with regard to the welfare of other sentient beings, its a long shot I know.
2) Dirty (Dave) is a foul-mouthed megalomaniac who has designs on filling the vacuum left by the Mages of Saruun, the crazy Dwarf has after all already found his crown- and ‘King of the Labyrinth’ sounds such a fitting title. In short one of the Mages of Saruun suddenly turning up has put a major spanner in his works.
Where’s your money?
None of the guys are happy to see the Ordinator- the accusations fly- why did the Mages of Saruun abandon the folk of the Seven Pillared Hall? Orontor it seems is not in the mood to answer questions, and even less in the mood for threats and insults- the Ordinator Arcanis soon takes to shouting about how powerful his order is, and… well, things spiral out of control fairly quickly from here.
I’d like to tell you that I didn’t know what I was doing- that the encounter just escaped me, I was unprepared for the players response- but I can’t tell you that, it’d be a lie- I knew exactly what I was doing.
Less than five minutes later, with a majority of the Halfmoons- and at least a dozen other inhabitants of the Inn on the streets watching the goings on- and every now and then contributing an insult or two of their own. The Ordinator Arcanis suddenly disappears.
And no amount of calling out his name will get him back.
Its about now that the guys figure that they’ve just pissed off someone that could have probably told them a lot of useful stuff, like what the hell is going on here. The recriminations begin almost immediately- we take a short break for an argument amongst the players.
Just a note to say I played Orontor as an arrogant, anti-social, idiot- convinced beyond reason of his own superiority- even when faced incontrovertible proof (see later) that the opposite is true. The guys were taken aback- a kind of ‘what just happened?’ The encounter was not at all what they expected- everyone has been so nice to them so far. Grey is the least impressed (he was very indignant with Orontor)- the Wizard had the Mages of Saruun pegged as some fantastical order of mighty Wizards.
The PCs are disappointed, the players are angry- with themselves mostly, they figure they’ve missed a big opportunity.
Five or so minutes later, in a sulk, the guys have left the Hall, not deigning to tell Randal or any of the other Halfmoons where they’re going, although Winstanley who leads the way- clearly has a destination in mind.