Luskan Loose Ends – 2015.01.25

Having effectively defanged the official channels by which the Luskans could oppose him, Shao left Neverwinter Castle triumphant. Not only has he eliminated a constant threat, but my Shadow Dragon Triad is now in the particular favor of Neverwinter’s ruler, Lord Nasher – which is a fantastic alternative to being on the city’s hit list for our extensive criminal actions.

Heh heh. Shao’s the new Don Falcone of the Sword Coast.

Also, I’m finally able to remove Sand and Bishop from my active group, which means No More Asshole Companions. And I’ve managed to still maintain Shao’s Lawful Neutral alignment, meaning that our patron deity will continue to allow access to continually more impressive divine abilities.

But wait, what’s this? A wee imp whose friends are being enslaved for experiments by the Neverwinter Mages’ Academy? Well, we’d best help them out!

You have moved 10 points toward Chaotic. Your alignment has changed.

SHIT.

Okay, Shao can still cast spells for now. Fuck, that could have been worse. Might not be able to get any more levels of cleric though, which will suck goblin ass. DAMMIT.

Better do some more lawfully/goodly sort of things then and try to balance this potential shitstorm out. Fortunately, there’s always side quests, like this little girl with the older sister who keeps sneaking off into the city crypts – apparently to get smoochies from the fellas that naturally hang around those sorts of places. Is this the D&D version of Grease or something?

Yes. Yes it is. Except instead of leather jackets and cars it’s more of hooded robes and necromancy. What did you expect? They’re in a fucking crypt.

And my Turn Undead isn’t working very well. Apparently those multiclass Warpriest levels haven’t been advancing my anti-ghoul powers very much. Don’t worry, Shao. I’m sure it’s a very common problem; happens to a lot of guys; not a big deal.

But we did manage to hack through and steal a bunch of interred treasure and kick the shadowy crap out of this underground cult. Suckas. Even stole their grimoire and took it back to Nasher. He’ll “look into it”, which is bureaucratic lingo for “we didn’t program the next step of this quest into the game.”

And then Aldanon gets kidnapped. He’s the dotty old geezer who told us what these silver shards were about in the first place. No one’s sure who took him or where yet, but Shao got a lead on yet another silver shard – apparently the victim(s) of the murders that shut down the Blackgate district in the first place were former caretakers of this artifact. Nasher sends my Shadow Dragons to guard Tavorick, the current holder. Tavorick is apparently just as senile as every other octogenarian in town, and the demons attack that night. Evil extraplanar characters are kind of Shao’s forte by now, though, so a lively curbstomping follows.

So the shard’s safe now, right?

Not on your auntie’s frilly corset bustle, pal.

See, Tavorick was just playacting at the senility gig. He’s actually quite intelligent. So very intelligent, in fact, that instead of keeping the shard on his person, surrounded by eight of Neverwinter’s finest as well as the most kickass street-cleaning organized crime syndicate in recent history, Tavorick decided to pass the shard off to his fake hooker/mistress and let her swan off with it into the dark alleys of the city by herself.

Which is why Shao wasn’t terribly torn up when Grandpa Tavorick the Stupid died of his wounds after the fight with the demons. Instead, the Shadow Dragon Triad tore off toward the brothel in a desperate attempt to get to the shard before the demons discovered the switcheroo. In true dramatic fashion, Shao arrived just too late. Some psycho crystal-bedecked warlock, apparently the demonic commander of the assault, killed Tavorick’s strumpet and teleported away, taunting the gang as he left.

SHAO
 Do you bite your thumb at me, sir?
WARLOCK
 I do bite my thumb, sir, particularly
 at you, sir, and also, to a slightly lesser
 extent, at thy companions, sir, and
 indeed, somewhat, to all of Neverwinter
 in general, sir!

What an asshat. Gee, I wish Aldanon was still around so that he could tell us what to do next. Oh, what’s that you say, Nasher? You’ve figured out that some rogue Luskan wizard kidnapped the old man? And that this “Black Garius” is the one who’s been trying to set Shao up all this time? And that he’s taken up residence in a fortress to the south? I just bet you want me to be the one to do something about this, right?

*cracks knuckles*

PERFECTION.

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Into the city and out again — 2015.01.09

So, kids, little Shao was on a BIG ADVENTURE. Turns out that Neverwinter is a huge metropolis with a great many dark secrets. It’s the perfect place for a dwarf cleric to make his mark. Of course, first Shao had to meet his scruffy deadbeat “uncle” – no blood relation – and then determine how to get access to a restricted neighborhood and talk to a wizard professor about these silver shards that are causing so much trouble.

So Shao joined the ranks of organized crime!

Step 1: Rough up a shopkeeper. Pow!
Step 2: Corrupt local law enforcement. Cha-ching!
Step 3: Burn down a guard barracks. Toasty!
Step 4: Smuggle weapons across town. Booyah!

Shao’s Neutral alignment is swinging wildly toward the Chaotic end of the spectrum by this point. It doesn’t tip completely across the line yet, though. Alignment is borderlined functionless for a great many people in the D&D universe, but not for clerics. See, Shao gets his powers from his deity, and is he’s not following his god(dess)’s rules, it could possibly cause some problems down the line.

At least, that’s what Shao thinks could happen. But before the existential crisis gets too overwhelming, Shao’s crime boss sends the band of miscreants out into the wilderness. The wilderness, if you recall, is where random shit gets totally fucked up so that adventurers can get out of the city and give the citizens some much-needed breathing room.

This time a political emissary from … somewhere … had apparently taken a wrong turning on his roadtrip and would up in orc territory. Probably because orcs are notoriously negligent about marking their property lines. What a bunch of bastards.

Therefore, with falsified letters of introduction from the Neverwinter Ruling Council in hand (courtesy of our friendly criminal element), Shao & Co. charge headlong into frontier warfare, mowing down orcs by the bushel. The Neverwinter Frontier Guardsmen – heretofore referred to as “Greycloaks”, since that’s their actual name which I just now was able to remember – are also led by a dwarf (ye gods, we’re everywhere! Like rats or some shit) named Callum who eventually got us the necessary intel to rescue the lost politico.

By which I mean he more or less pointed at a cave full of orcs and said, “Yeah, those assholes might have the ambassador, and if they don’t you can probably get them to tell you who does if you kill them hard enough.”

Callum’s theories on frontier political negotiation proved correct, and Sir Incompetent Diplomat MacGuffin was ceremoniously escorted back to Neverwinter atop a palanquin of re-purposed orcish anatomy.

And how did the grateful city thank the Shadow Dragon Triad for avoiding a potentially catastrophic foreign policy gaffe? By allowing Shao access to the restricted district, of course.

I think I was just given the D&D version of the key to the city.