Buildar - Episode 2

The Buildar Booze Switch (Mike GM - 10/28/08)

Edgar Lighthammer lays in a jail cell bleeding to death.

Werric, Buildar's worst sheriff stands over top of him waiting for him to get up so he can kill him.

"I just want you to explain yourself, Lighthammer…"

"We've got citizens attacking lawmen."

"We've got a criminal underworld forming in this town and we don't yet know what they're after, but it's got to be something big, and I don't know of nothin' big in this town and I like it that way gawdammit."

"We've got some woman running around whose own father is afraid of her, and afraid of what she's capable of. We don't know what she's done in her past. We don't know what she's gonna do. And most
importantly we don't know where she's at."

"All we know is that she poisoned my dwarf and stole from some old kooky stargazer. Her father is responsible for framing two Tieflings (who aren't too gawdamn innocent themselves) for crimes against the town gate. And all of this is to cover up something that she has done. And when I try to figure out this situation I find myself attacked by mere citizens that happen to be her dad's buddies. That's right, I
said citizens! I don't care who these adventurers are, you don't attack a lawman!"

"And after all of this you profess to be here to find the seeds of the criminal underground and yet you seem to have very little interest in this dangerous woman with red hair?"

And while what Edgar disagrees with most of Werric's monologue, The Sheriff's last point rings true. Edgar doesn't care about the Lady with Red Hair. He has no recollection of her at all. And as he tries to explain this to The Sheriff, the law man suddenly has more on his mind than killing a confused paladin that hasn't got the sense to be a threat… at least not at the moment. No, right now the threat appears to be something much more toxic… the alcohol.

Fear of a contamination and also the notion that the poisoned alcohol could be used as a weapon, Werric uses the memory loss of Edgar (who had been blasted with the poisoned liquid by Mountainbeard's paranoid outburst to bash the bad kegs) to convince him that they have bigger problems than their views on how best to enact the law. Edgar reluctantly agrees and it is decided that Mountainbeard and Batsa will take the wounded Edgar to a medical outpost at the foothills of the mountains that enter the West. Werric himself is especially curious over how his killing strike has only wounded Edgar, and hopes that the medical attention will find some reasoning behind this curiosity.

Along the way the party come across a traveling band of 16 halflings who proclaim themselves to be Griswaldians, and bear the flag of such a group that Batsa recognizes to be a roaming band of artists and musicians who travel around spreading the word of the late Willy Clark Griswald, a bard who fell in a battle at Dorthone. In the spirit of Willy, the Griswaldians agree to accompany the Tiefling and Dwarf as they seek medical attention for Edgar.

At the medical outpost at the foothills of the mountains to the west, Batsa uses his streetwise knowledge of drugs to spot what they need to either heal three adult men, or knock one on his ass. Mountainbeard uses his charm and standing as a guardsman to convince one of the gnome nurses that run the outpost to give them a medical kit that will help them and their supposed "fallen comrades back on the road".

On the way back to Buildar the Griswaldians inquire about the Tiefling and his life, expressing a great desire for him to visit their home of Halton, a town known for its diverse culture and affection towards other races, even outcasts like Tieflings. Batsa also extends his hand for the Griswaldians to stay the night in Buildar, since the night is late and he would like them to visit his home. Much joy is had as they enter the town…

…and meet Werric standing there, who puts an end to the joy the moment he spots the Griswaldians. "Do you realize what you've done?" he asks upon hearing that the Tiefling has invited them to stay in Buildar for the evening. "These people took down a town not twenty miles from here with their… 'celebrating'. Nice as they seem, these people go nuts as soon as they get a bit of booze in them."

Batsa shrugs his shoulders, "So?"

Mountainbeard concurs. "I've been known to tie one on…"

Werric scowls at this comment and reminds him that they are standing where a gate once also stood until Mountainbeard "tied one on". He also brings up the point that they plan to get rid of all the booze in Buildar, as no one can be sure what has been tainted and what has not.

"And if there's no booze for the Griswaldians…" Mountainbeard starts to put it together.

"-Buildar may not be here come morning," Werric concludes. "You boys have got us out of one mess, only to invite another upon our heads."

The three weary travelers frantically search for answers with Edgar wondering if there are town funds that could allow the purchase of replacement alcohol, and Batsa insisting that he could form appropriate psychedelic replacements out of nothing more than weeds and plants from the surrounding forest. Mountainbeard says that perhaps they should talk to The Bartender and find out where he gets his supply from.

The Bartender directs the group to a dealer who will work cheap and outside the normal distribution chains. This bootlegger is to be found on the beaches of Lamascus. The businessman in The Bartender also allows for the tainted booze to be confiscated by the party with the promise that they have brought him Griswaldians. "Those Griswaldians may retire me after one night here!" he exclaims and the group make off with the poisoned booze. Werric allows them to take a few kegs for bartering purposes but acquires the rest to hopefully "weaponize" the stuff at some point if "Buildar is ever threatened".

Not wanting to take part in possible theft or trickery, Edgar elects to stay behind and distract the Griswaldians while Batsa and Mountainbeard make off on one of Percius former horse carts that Werric has confiscated for Buildar. "Booze and horses… all for Buildar," The Sheriff says.

Along the way, Mountainbeard and Batsa are, of course, attacked. The maddening screams of the damned surround them, and Batsa does what he does in a situation like this… burn the forest down. Mountainbeard meanwhile goes off stalking in the other direction. Both of them find a group of dirty halflings who smell like they've been out in the woods that lead to Lamascus for weeks. One of the survivors of Batsa's flames agrees to talk, and after our heroes tie him on top of the kegs ("make a move and I blow you to kingdom come" Batsa warns, his hand sparking a flame and pointing with the other at the kegs of alcohol that sit underneath the halfling), the halfling tells his tale of woe.

"I have no name, for I have disgraced the family that gave me one. I got in with a group called The Griswaldians, hoping to change my dastardly ways, but those people… all they do is drink and party! Ended up I was worse off than when I began! At least when I was just thievin' I was making coin. When I was with The Griswaldians I'd wake up not knowing where I was or what I had done. No sir, their ways were not for me. Unfortunately with not a coin to my name, and no name to go home to, not after what I put my family through, I found myself out in these cursed woods. Just a simple thief, stealing for food and booze… that's what the great Willy Clark Griswald did for me. I'm just a former Griswaldian, that's what made me into this, so you can just call me Simple Will. I'm not good enough for my family name no more."

The dirty halfling's tale of woe impresses Batsa and Mountainbeard, and they think perhaps he may have a place in Buildar. But first things first, the meet with this bootlegger on the beach. They reach Lamascus under the guise of trade (what with the kegs in the back), and explain that they plan to drop the road bandit (that would be the dirty halfling) off to the police for dealing with, and the guards of Lamascus let them move on. Reaching the beach, they realize that they may not know everything they need to know about The Bartender of Buildar, and the type of people that he associate with. The bootlegger ends up being a supposed pirate, this due mainly to the man's own claims.

Cap'N Jack boasts not only of a great supply of alcohol (protected of course by his Fishboys who appear to be savages chained up in the ocean, always swimming, always protecting the booze of Cap'N Jack), but also of his bravery in becoming "the first beach pirate!". He agrees to supply them and pulls out some of their requests from the ocean, but not having any gold, Mountainbeard proposes a trade. "I know that you have a great supply, Cap'N Jack," the dwarf slyly begins, "but there's no way you have Buildar's homebrew."

Cap'N Jack becomes intrigued, and agrees to test out the "homebrew" of poison. But only if the others share in a gentleman's toast. Seeing the predicament they are in of poisoning themselves as well, and though they debate on attempting to spike one cup and not the other, Batsa ends up agreeing to take the chance with the tainted booze just so they can accomplish getting Cap'N Jack incapacitated. He thusly, spikes both drinks with even more stuff… the medicine that would heal three sturdy men, or knock one on his ass.

Turns out it can knock two sturdy men on their ass as Batsa, along with Cap'N Jack, get knocked out. The last thing the beach pirate remembers is Mountainbeard telling him that he can thank Werric for the trick that has been played on him. The last thing that Batsa remembers is the frantic wails of the Fishboys as they try desperately to break their chains and get to them. Mountainbeard sees this also and decides he best untie Simple Will and have him help the dwarf get back to Buildar with some of Cap'N Jack's good stuff.

Mountainbeard and Simple Will make it back safely, but what they find has transpired without them comes as quite a surprise…

In an odd twist of fate, Edgar has found himself resetting Percius mansion on fire, in an attempt to distract the good-hearted Griswaldians to "be like Willy" and help put out the blaze. What he couldn't have anticipated is one of The Griswaldians finding… The Flute. The Flute of Willy Clark Griswald, untouched and unharmed by not one by two fires. As The Griswaldians become more and more demanding to know how this great artifact came to lay here, Edgar reaches for another distraction and takes them to Dareth's observatory, knowing that it being evening, the old man is out in the forest stargazing. The paladin tells The Griswaldians that the town has a "wise man" who can give them the answers they seek.

It is the sounds of the huge crowd forming at the observatory that welcomes Mountainbeard and Simple Will as they unload the kegs of untainted booze to The Bartender, and in his excitement the businessman flings open his doors, prepared to make enough money tonight to retire once and for all. All of them see a huge crowd of halflings known to put away keg after keg and the crowd turns and says:

"We have changed our ways! The Flute of Willy Clark Griswald has been found and we won't drink a drop until we find out how and why!"

Business as usual in Buildar.

Experience

  • Batsa - 500 XP
  • Edgar - 500 XP
  • Mountainbeard - 500 XP
  • Werric - 500 XP
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