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February 6 game chat (aka frying pan/fire)
... aka holy crap!, as in actual crap, because we are running for our lives in a sewer. Our Thieves' Guild contact is dead (and we're framed for the murder); the local Melwenite church has been subverted and is running a child-trafficking ring from its basement. (Did anyone see if they served pizza?) None of us know anybody in the city. Some of the guards are corrupted. The Thieves' Guild seems driven underground or expunged/killed. The Wizards' Peak Guild chantries are hidden or non-existent. It looks pretty grim for our heroes.

The question becomes, What are we going to do about it? We came here to stop the Chained Wings, and instead they seem to have stopped us. Various options and ideas are out there, including but not limited to:
  • Find shelter in an abandoned building in the city
  • Approach other organized crime syndicates in the city, and attempt to work with them or get their help
  • Leave the city and take up some other pursuit (Enkili's sword, owlbear blood, etc.)
  • Drink heavily and bemoan our current career choices

One thing that Leiya will do, once she can refresh her spells, is to cast Sending. This spell is basically telepathic Twitter. She can use it once or twice to reach out to allies. I'm thinking Welbourne Huxley; Riardon's Guild contact in Solare; Jolrael's Guild contacts; or similar. I think she will also want to Send to her clergy in the Melwenite temple in Solare. Another idea is our patroness, the Melwenite paladin who sponsored us in the ShieldMeet. I forget her name.

Casting Augury might be beneficial, too, so Leiya might opt to memorize that as well.

Also, speaking of spells: better late than never, I guess, but thanks to some Internet study ("downtime," in game terms, ha ha) I believe I finally understand how 5th ed. cleric spellcasting works! I'd been pretty lost in the weeds, till now. I've also read some guidance on the spells themselves. I believe I'll be better equipped to be of slightly more use to the party, or I hope so. To quote my Dad's old joke, "I may not be good, but at least I'm slow." Big Grin

What about leaving the city temporarily, to obtain help/allies? Maybe we could get help in this Chained Wings caper.

Note also: Leiya is furious, incensed, outraged about the Freehold church subversion. She may even start ... writing strongly worded letters to the editor, or something! No but srsly, that reveal is serious stuff. One day, that fake "priest" guy is going to regret his life decisions.

Also, twice in that session ignored my intuition and tendency to ask about every. tiniest. detail. and it bit our party in the butt, soooo ... I hope our DM will enjoy my renewed interest in Constant Questioning of Everything and I Mean Everything. Tongue
Yes, our first course of action should be finding shelter, either with the sewer rats to keep us warm, or in a derelict building.
Your Sending spell to Wellbourne may illicit a list of friendly names of potential allies.
Even though Riardon has seen the "gang graffiti" indicating the Chained Wings have been ousted, I have a hard time seeing the native criminal underground actually being eradicated.  I think survivors could be found.

2nd-level divination (ritual)
Casting Time: 1 minute
Range: Self
Components: V, S, M (specially marked sticks, bones, or similar tokens worth at least 25 gp)
Duration: Instantaneous
By casting gem-inlaid sticks, rolling dragon bones, laying out ornate cards, or employing some other divining tool, you receive an omen from an otherworldly entity about the results of a specific course of action that you plan to take within the next 30 minutes. The DM chooses from the following possible omens:

Weal, for good results
Woe, for bad results
Weal and woe, for both good and bad results
Nothing, for results that aren't especially good or bad
The spell doesn't take into account any possible circumstances that might change the outcome, such as the casting of additional spells or the loss or gain of a companion.

If you cast the spell two or more times before completing your next long rest, there is a cumulative 25 percent chance for each casting after the first that you get a random reading. The DM makes this roll in secret.

I assume you have questions to ask the bones/runes/cards for this spell to respond to.  Nice idea by the way.

I have a question for the DM, what is Makhim's stance on a person's selfish desire?  I think that Enkili's drive to find his sword, and his constant urging for the party to drop this Chained Wings quest and go may be at odds with how Makhim would expect Enkili to act.  That is a recipe for inner conflict for Enkili for sure I think.

Our best and only hope is to find allies, and Wellbourne may be able to advise us from afar on that, or Riardon could discover sign of the native thieves guild in hiding.  I don't know if Lady Adelein could direct us to any allies, but it may be worth a Sending spell. 
*Note:  We do not want to query Lady Alisande, she might want her improved Hubert back.

Enkili is not as invested in Melwen's/ Melosta's church as Leiya is. His idea for reveange against that putride priest is to publicly out him once we restore our party's good name. Let a mob take care of his ***. Ahem, sorry for the language Sister Leiya, no need for the +3 ruler of correction.
Well, Augury can be used when the party has decided a course(s) of action(s). Basically Augury is a way to politely ask the DM for a hint. Big Grin Worth trying, maybe, if we are curious about a specific person, plan, or location.

I've been thinking too about the slavers. They're slavers, so they're about money. Right? And it got me to thinking about how we might actually hurt them or throw wrenches into their plans.

For example, we blew up one of their ships, the Torrent. Why couldn't we blow up another?

Also, do they need materials? Personnel? What could we do to disrupt their supply lines?

Also: do they have allies? Enemies? Competitors? A llittle honey -- or poison -- poured into the right ears at the right time, could cause problems for the Wings.

They may be powerful but they're not invulnerable. And rumors spread even more quickly than the truth.

I have no plan yet, but can you see what I'm getting at?

P.S. Oops didn't see the edit till now. Good point about Enkili and food for thought.

Lady Adeline (paladin) is powerful but may or may not be able to help. I don't know how much she knows about modern Freehold. She came to mind as a friendly contact though.

Lord Cromleigh, whose daughter Leiya saved and who fronted money for us at ShieldMeet, may also be helpful. Perhaps he knows friendly nobles in Freehold who may aid us.

There's also some friendly folk from ShieldMeet including Vlocka the Vast, a wealthy and powerful Onostian merchant. Again, looking at the money/trade/transport factor here. People like him may be of great worth.

Regarding sleeping in streets and buildings, if we go that route, Riardon can surely help. Don't stay in same place longer than one or two nights; what to watch out for; etc.

I agree about the thieves' guild. Surely the late Rivan wasn't the only guild guy in Freehold and surely a city-state like Freehold has more than one crime outfit too. The truth thief is out there!
I think you're advocating for a guerrilla warfare campaign.  Hit them in their ability to turn a profit and ramp up the pressure as we gain more assistance and intelligence on them.  It is a good tactic, however, Enkili would balk at the time it takes to conduct a successful hit and run campaign from the shadows.  We're talking months and years, just ask Che (I hate gays) Guaverra.

Our biggest problem right now is the stain of murder on our names. That is going to make it very hard to sneak out of The Freehold or make positive contact with possible allies, whichever course of action we choose, that label is going to haunt us.
If I weren't playing a Good-aligned character, I'd be inclined to kidnap a royal's or noble's kid and have them get taken by the Wings. That would get the attention of the rich and powerful, and then we might see some action.

Blowing up ships or setting things on fire might do the trick, too. Jolrael's the Child of Wind and Wave. Maybe he can whistle up a storm or sink a ship?

Do the Wings have any forts or offices or prisons (where the kiddos are)? It'd be a shame if anything were to happen to those. Smile

Also re: the false murder charges -- yes. That's part of the reason Leiya wants to cast Sending as soon as possible.

We can send messages too -- pigeon or courier or whatnot -- but that takes a lot longer and could be derailed.

I want to get the word to the actual-Melwenites and at least one of our other allies about what's going down. So at least somebody knows what's up and that we're not just a pack of murder hobos down here. Although that might be about to change. Big Grin
About February 20, 2022 game

Okay, this is the first time I've ever found a gnome pc/npc heroic.  A creature the size of small game has a mighty high bar to meet to catch my approval, the only saving grace is Lukoss of Selna is a Svirfneblin (how's that you spelling cops?  lol).  Gnomes and Halflings are mobile snacks in my opinion, no better than cattle in most regards.  Nuff Said.

The course of action Enkili would advise is this:  As far as the extraneous corrupt priest/warlock Lareg, we should have a note delivered to the followers of Tazen.  Seeing as we're wanted, I believe most Tazenites would take it as a challenge to hack us apart.  No need for that pesky communication shite.  Urchins make great runners for the right reward, they can deliver the information we have on Lareg without all the thud and blunder we would create.
Questions:  Should we also pass along the Chained Wing hideouts Lukoss is going to deliver too us?  Do any of you think the Tazenites would act on this info, even if only to pass it on to those in charge of The Freehold?

Aside from those questions above, Enkili would suggest that we stake out some of these Chained Wing sites and strike the most vulnerable of those hideouts.  Freeing some slaves into the city will no doubt have those slaves sing our praises to anybody who would listen.  Plus we may discover information that would expose these Chained Wing bastards to decent folk who have the power to act. Ships burning in the harbor may sink with the exonerating evidence we need.

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