Here There Be Science; Here There Be Dragons!

Chapter 3: Escorts to the Capitol

Leo the Younger and our heroes return triumphantly to Wozington with the evil alchemist, Elphabon, in tow. Leo takes the unconscious Elphabon to prison as the players decide to spend a few days to rest, resupply, and—in Booth’s case—create more guns and ammunition. Javert found a lead on his brother’s murderer, so he regrettably had to leave the party to follow it. The other players finally get to meet Feyrow the Elder when they visited his shop for supplies. They are a little surprised to find that the Elder is a sentient scarecrow, but they’ve already encountered stranger, more dangerous things.

After about a week, the players visit Leo to see how things are going with Elphabon. Once the prisoner came to, Leo began to interrogate him to figure out why someone would enhance local dinosaurs to attack the village. Leo doesn’t get a lot of information except that Elphabon is indeed a recent initiate of The Fury, and that his activities with the dinosaurs were connected with the ultimate goals and plans of the secret association. The players had already been rewarded with gold for assisting in finding and capturing the evil alchemist, but Leo asks the party for one final favor, for which he pays in advance. Now that Elphabon is in custody, he must now be taken to the Judiciary to be tried and punished for his crimes. As Leo drafts an official letter of escort for the party, he explains that the Judiciary holds the general prison and court system, and can be found in the Capitol, which rests at the top of the nearby mountain. The heroes agree to take Elphabon to the Capitol and are able to buy a few horses for the journey. They make sure to bind Elphabon’s hands, feet, and mouth, and have him slung over the back of one of the horses.

The road to the Capitol is well traveled but it is a hard trek, beginning in Wozington at the foot of the mountain and ending in the large metropolis at the peak. A little more than halfway up the mountain is a checkpoint, which is used to monitor newcomers and allow travelers to rest before continuing up the slope. When the players arrive at the checkpoint on horseback, they meet an official named Mr. Suur (pronounced “soor”), who checks their paperwork and tells them about the marketplace, the art gallery, and the tavern/inn (which is called The Lawful Commoner, they make great waffles). He also vaguely mentions some policy changes and power shifts in the government that require members of uncommon races, or “uncommoners,” to remain at the checkpoint for an extra day before he can let them through. Humans, elves, dwarves, and halflings are considered “common” races, so any other race is “uncommon.” This means that Jerome, the rakshasa, would be held back, and possibly Slade, though he used to be human and is built to look like one made of metal. Jerome begins to argue, but Booth decides to be diplomatic and accept the terms for now, convincing the rest of the party that they can revisit the issue with Mr. Suur in the morning.

Capitol_Checkpoint_D_D_Wiki_Homebrew.jpg

(Note: Source for this map; Capitol Checkpoint includes a greenhouse, a watchtower, a marketplace, a wine celler, a tavern/inn, and an art gallery)

As BetterBorn, Jerome, and Booth make their way to The Lawful Commoner, Slade decides to guard Elphabon in a celler. Slade, as a warforged, is still aware of his surroundings even when in a state of rest, making him the ideal sentinel. During the night, as Elphabon was lying on the celler floor, he bites a capsule lodged in his teeth to swallow a small dose of a Potion of Gaseous Form. As Elphabon’s body slowly forms into mist, Slade notices the change and quickly stuffed pieces of cloth into the crack under the door, blocking Elphabon’s misty escape. He then takes his shield and uses it to fan Elphabon’s gaseous form into a corner until the potion wears off.

Foiled, Elphabon tries to play with Slade’s mind by implying that a half-orc is staying at the inn upstairs tonight. Perhaps this creature knows about the orc that destroyed Slade’s village? Slade was certainly interested, but didn’t entirely trust his prisoner, so he tied him back up, hands and feet and all. Elphabon wasn’t gagged, though, so he tried one more trick: slipping the red jewel on his ring into his mouth. Slade notices this and forces Elphabon to cough it out. The jewel was a capsule of a Potion of Reduction, so Elphabon only shrinks a foot or two instead of becoming miniscule. Slad was successful in preventing Elphabon’s multiple escape attempts, and Elphabon was really mad about it.

While all of this was going on, BetterBorn and Jerome were having a great time at The Lawful Commoner, while Booth was up on a balcony, looking over the crowd while polishing a gun. He noticed an uncommon pair: a red dragonborn (two whips are strapped to his belt) going over a few old tomes with a half-orc (equipped with a lance and bagpipes). Booth immediately distrusts the dragonborn because he is the same color as Reem, the red dragon he has sworn to kill. Booth watches them as BetterBorn and Jerome, slightly inebriated, also notice this strange pair and approach them. The half-orc, Sporck, is always happy to make new friends, especially over a few drinks, or a few dozen. The dragonborn, Arjan, is reticent as the others become more involved in their friendly revelry.

Booth decides to join them, mostly because he wondered if the dragonborn would know anything about Reem’s whereabouts. Arjan explains that he and Sporck work for an old silver dragonborn named Yarjerit Tinntinabulaar (often called Yarjerit for short), and he sent them to find a few rare tomes to add to his extensive library of dragon lore and history. When Booth asked about Reem, Arjan says that he has heard of Reem, and though he may not know where Reem would be, Yarjerit would. Arjan is also frustrated that he and Sporck had to stay at the checkpoint an extra day for being an “uncommoner.” Booth decides to have the party join Arjan and Sporck to go meet Yarjerit in the Capitol.

The next morning, Slade drags Elphabon upstairs to join the party, and to meet Arjan and Sporck. Slade asks Sporck about the orcs of the mountains that destroyed his village. Sporck is incredibly friendly, but is able to give very little information other than the fact that he (Sporck) doesn’t approve of the mountain orcs (“Sporck not like mountain orcs, they mean. But Sporck like metal man!”) When the adventurers approach the gate that goes out to the capitol, Mr. Suur stops them, saying that “commoners” can continue, but not the “uncommoners.” Booth plays the diplomat, in spite of Jerome’s snarky sarcasm on the side (“Ignore him,” Booth says, “he’s an idiot.”), and is able to convince Mr. Suur to let everyone through with a bribe, but just barely. Everyone gets to the Capitol, and the players arrange to meet up with Sporck and Arjan at Yarjerit’s library after they drop off Elphabon at the Judiciary.

When the players arrive at the large Judiciary, they are greeted by a female dwarf clerk. She inspects their paperwork through her half-moon spectacles and sends a guard over to take Elphabon to the prison cells downstairs. The players, knowing of Elphabon’s multiple escape attempts the night before, question the clerk and the guard regarding the level of security of the prison. The Judiciary officials were a little offended that anyone would think that the Capitol prison and guards were anything less than very secure. There hadn’t been a prison break in over a decade. With Elphabon at last off their hands, the party goes to Yarherit’s library, passing a few taverns on the way, including The Warring Waffle and The Pitiful Pancake.

The players meet Yarjerit Tinntinabulaar in his modest-sized library of dragon lore. Arjan and Sporck are there as well. Booth approaches the old silver dragonborn with questions about Reem. He learns of the location of Reem’s treasure horde, and that he has a long fierce rivalry with Argon, the Lord of the Fire Giants. The players decide to stay in the Capitol for the next month and join Arjan and Sporck in their training exercises to gain some more experience. By the end of the month, Yarjerit will have another adventure for Arjan and Sporck, and the players look forward to working with them, hoping that they can get closer to Reem and his treasure trove.

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Yarjerit

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