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Mike
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Shogaming DnD campaign 1
Arrival in Neverwinter
“Did these goblins say where they came from?” Ash asked the group of captured patrons.

“They kept saying they were taking us to ‘the ancient one.’” replied the innkeeper, Kane, “they also mentioned orders from ‘the new god of hobgoblins.’”

Ash carefully examined the tracks in the vicinity of the inn as Arcanine began urinating on the hobgoblin warlord’s corpse. It was clear that the hobgoblins had come from the southeast.

“That’s the direction of Cragmaw Castle, isn’t it?” asked Kyron, “is that where they came from?”

“Possibly,” replied Ash, “but it’s impossible to extrapolate these tracks over that great of a distance without following them further.”

“What did they want from us?” asked a young girl, “why would they be so cruel?”

“Hobgoblins have been known to cook and eat children,” replied Ash.

The young girl immediately began sobbing.

“It’s ok! It’s ok!” Teejak tried to reassure her, “You’re alright now!”

In an act of generosity, Teejak began handing out 5 gp to each of the patrons that had been captured, including the little girl.

“Buy yourself something nice with that and forget what this mean ranger told you.”

Ash placed his hand on the girl’s shoulder. “You need to kill all goblins on sight,” said the ranger, “always be vigilant.”

“We don’t know why they were evil, little girl,” said Asbjorn.

“Goblins are inherently evil and deserve to die,” Ash interjected.

“I’m going to bed, try not to traumatize this little girl too much,” said Kyron, “we are definitely sleeping in tomorrow.”

“We should begin barricading the doors to the main inn building,” said Ash, “turn it into a fort for the night.”

As the group began barricading the inn, Teejak discovered another little girl who was still in hiding.

“It’s alright,” he reassured her, “you’re safe now.”

“Thank you,” said the girl timidly, “they said they were taking us to something called ‘the mind devourer,’”

“Don’t worry, you won't be seeing him anytime soon,” said Teejak as he escorted the girl back to the others, reuniting her with her sister.

After deciding that following the goblin tracks to their point of origin would not necessarily be helpful, Team America continued their journey to Neverwinter the following morning. After another day and a half of travel, the group crested one final hill on the High Road and was looking down at a large metropolis built where the Neverwinter River met the Sea of Swords.

“Scholars call it ‘the city of skilled hands’ and ‘the jewel of the north,’” Kyron recited the knowledge he had acquired from studying in his library. We should find plenty of vendors selling magical items here. Let’s buy what we need and then reconvene at the Half Full Flagon Inn, near the center of town.”

Neverwinter was, by far, the largest city Asbjorn had ever visited. As he walked its streets evidence of magic use was everywhere. Magical brooms swept the streets by themselves, magical rags washed windows, and children chased after magical flying paper birds. After walking several blocks Asbjorn arrived at “The Dragon’s Armor and Shields.”

After browsing the shop’s wares for a while, Asbjorn approached the counter, where an especially short gnome named Nimblenob greeted him.

“Welcome! Are you looking to buy or to sell?”

Asbjorn placed a magical scroll, his magical chain mail armor, his magical shield, and his magical crossbow on the counter.

“I’ll sell you this whole lot for 600 gp. In exchange I would then like to purchase the armor of invulnerability there and the sentinel shield for a total of 840 gp. So I would still owe you 240 gp for those items. Does that sound like a deal?”

“Yes! Yes! By all means! Don’t worry about the extra 240 gp!”

Before Asbjorn began his latest adventure, he would have taken the gnome at his word and made the exchange. But his time in Wave Echo Cave had taught him to be skeptical. Asbjorn motioned his hands and conjured a zone of truth inside the shop.

“I’m sorry sir,” said the gnome sternly, “but we have a strict policy; no spellcasting inside the shop. With all these magical items around there is a potential for.... Problems.”

“Sorry I’m not from around here and I have to be honest your behavior makes me worried something is bothering you.”

“Nothing is bothering me, I just enjoy closing a good deal is all.”

“Could I fancy you a beer?”

“Please no food or drink inside either, sir”

“Well my religion prevents me from closing a deal without having a drink.”

“Well, Volo doesn’t call us the most civilized city in all of Faerun for nothing! I will gladly accommodate your religion, sir.”

Asbjorn poured a drink for himself and was about to pour one for the shopkeeper when the gnome offered a mug of his own for the drink.

“To good business!” said the gnome as he raised his drink.

“To good business!” repeated Asbjorn, “May Ozrikotep bless the truth and curse those who would fool him.”

Both Asbjorn and the Nimblenob downed their beers.

“Do you feel that gnome? The power of Ozrikotep flows through you now! Ozrikotep will now know if what you do is good! Is that not great!?”

“This mug actually neutralizes poisons and magical effects from all liquids,” said the gnome, “So I can’t say I really feel anything but I’m glad you do!”

Asbjorn’s tone changed dramatically as he pulled out his Lord’s Alliance medallion.

“Let’s cut the shit are you fucking me over or do I need to report you to the local authorities?”

“Are you threatening me, master dwarf? This is an honest business, but if you want to take your gold elsewhere you are more than welcome.”

Asbjorn picked up his own gear off the counter.

“When you feel like being honest with me I’ll return here and then we can make a deal.”

The gnome flipped off Asbjorn as he stormed out of the shop.

Asbjorn next sought out the local headquarters of the Lord’s Alliance that Sildar had told him about. Upon entering, Asbjorn was greeted by Willas, a fairly obese human male wearing hide armor and wielding a wooden spear. Curled up beside Willas was a large dire rat. It was clear that Willas’s duties were primarily bookeeeping, the man did not look like he did much adventuring these days.

“Ah, old Nimblenob can be a sly one!” said Willas after Asbjorn had recounted his experience in Nimblenob’s shop.

“Let me guess, Did he try selling you ‘the armor of invulnerability?’” Willas asked

“Yes! The price seemed suspiciously low for an item of such power.”

“I’m pretty sure it’s cursed,” replied Willas, “It’s actually armor of vulnerability, not invulnerability.”

“That sly little weasel!” Asbjorn cursed.

“Good thing you didn’t put it on!”

“Is his other equipment legit?”

“You have to be careful shopping there, make sure you’ve prepared an identify spell to validate his items.”

“Do you know anyone selling diamonds?” asked Asbjorn.

“Yes! Smites Jewelers is just down the street. I’d be happy to help you determine the authenticity of our city’s magical wares as well if you like. Anything for a friend of Sildar Hallwinter!”

As Asbjorn and Willas left the Lord’s Alliance headquarters they immediately bumped into Teejak as he was roaming the streets.

Asbjorn! How are you this fine morning?” asked Teejak.

“I’ve been better. My friend Willas here is going to help me identify some magic items in one of these shops. The gnome inside tried to sell me cursed armor!”

Willas had already begun gnawing on a turkey leg.

“Well met! Are you a member of the Alliance as well?” Willas extended a greasy hand to Teejak, but the rogue avoided it by giving a slight bow.

“No, I’m not much of a brawler, but I do know Sildar Hallwinter as well.”

Willas chucked the remainder of his turkey leg to his dire rat animal companion.

“What a cute puppy!” remarked Asbjorn.

“Splinter here is actually a dire rat… but it’s a common mistake.”

“So are we heading to kick this gnome’s ass, or perhaps something a bit more… subtle?” asked Teejak.

“Hopefully there will be no need for violence,” said Asbjorn, “but perhaps some additional muscle might help persuade him to be honest about his goods.”

The trio set off toward Nimblenob’s shop.

“There’s something you two should probably know before we head in there…” said Willas, “Nimbnob’s shop is under the protection of the Zhentarim, so it would probably be best if we don’t start trouble.”

Teejak rolled his eyes, “I’m a member of the Zhentarim as well. I bet your rat used to be a member as well.” Teejak pulled out his membership coin, “He’ll shit himself when he sees this. I have a better idea than a direct confrontation, let me go in first.”

As Teejak entered the shop, Willas whispered to Asbjorn, “you willingly associate yourself with members of the Zhentarim?”

“In the darkness of a dungeon friendship is forged and hardened like adamantine,” Asbjorn whispered back.

“To be honest, it’s been a while since I’ve been in a dungeon myself…” conceded Willas.

“Yeah, I can see that.”

Nimblenob greeted Teejak as he entered, “Can I help you with anything sir?”

Teejak walked right up to the “armor of invulnerability.”

“I’m looking for armor both light and durable. I need extra protection and I’m willing to pay for it,” said the rogue, “how much for this piece?”

“A mere 700 gp!”

“Might be a little loose, do you mind if I try it on?”

“As I’m sure you are aware, magical armor always adjusts its size to fit the wearer!”

Quick as a flash, Teejak seized the gnome’s collar with his right hand and shoved him up against the wall. With his left hand he pulled out his Zhentarim membership coin.

“Selling cursed items to a Zhentarim agent! Tsk tsk gnome.”

The gnome snapped his fingers and three suits of heavy plate armor immediately animated to life.

“It would be wise to unhand me, elf.”

Teejak dropped the gnome to the floor.

“Fuckin magic… Do you understand the penalty for a Zhentarim merchant caught selling defective goods? I've seen it before, as an urchin on the street. The zhentarim like to hold their punishments in the poorer quarters, make sure the rabble knows who's in charge. Truly I never thought feral hogs could eat a whole person, but there wasn't even a scrap of hair left after 10 minutes!"

“You need only have proven your membership first. Please let me know what I can get for you, Fang, everything will be given the standard 10% member discount,” said Nimblenob, “And of course, I’ll be happy to ensure you don’t make any… unwise… purchasing decisions.”

“Let’s be clear here,” said Teejak, “You tried to sell a friend of mine cursed armor. Luckily you’re as stupid as you are short and he saw right through you. Now, he’s going to come in here, you will apologize, and extend the discount to him.”

“Let me be equally clear, elf,” replied Nimblenob sternly, “I am an Ardragon of the Zhentarim. You are a nobody, a mere Fang. I could have you thrown out of the black network tomorrow and assassinated the day after. I don’t mind cursing a few naive adventurers to fill my pockets. As a fellow Zhentarim I would assume you agree. But perhaps you aren’t truly cut out to be one of us.”

Teejak rolled his eyes, “I don’t particularly care if you’re the grand poobah of shit mountain. Are you aware that the Lord’s Alliance knows you are selling cursed armor and that you are a Zhentarim agent?”

“The Alliance wouldn’t dare interfere with this business. And besides, they are too busy ‘protecting the innocent’ from whatever evil is currently terrorizing the Sword Coast.”

“You are the worst agent I’ve even seen. Fine. Sell me that shield. Here’s the gold, I hope you choke on it.”

And with that Teejak stormed out of the shop.

Asbjorn, sell your crossbow elsewhere. This shop is crooked.” exclaimed Teejak.

The rogue then pulled out his Zhentarim membership coin, dropped it on the ground, and spat on it.

“I’m done with those dicks.”

Asbjorn smiled. He poured Teejak a beer on the spot.

“Have a drink on me,” said the cleric, “your courage and sacrifice are truly a sight to behold.”

Asbjorn blessed the stout and handed it to to Teejak, who promptly chugged it as he grinded the Zhentarim coin into the mud. Moments later, Teejak collapsed into Asbjorn’s arms.

“Did you just drug him?” asked Willas.

“I did not, but I imagine his selfless act just now plus a bit of beer has allowed him to commune with Ozrikotep. Help me get him to the Half Full Flagon Inn.”
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