The Let's Play Archive

Temple of Elemental Evil

by Bobbin Threadbare

Part 5: Session 4 Part 1: Family Feuds

I’ve talked it over with Paul, and we’ve agreed to go easy on the in-character roleplaying. Neither of us wants half the group to nod off during the session, and there’s still a lot of things left to do in town.

“How come we can’t just go somewhere and kill stuff for a while?”

“Level 2.”


You leave the inn early in the morning, noting as you descend the steps that Furnok has been reduced to leaning sullenly against the inn’s wall—

Hang on, is that the cheater guy?
Did we ever get our gold back from him?
No, he didn’t enter the drinking contest so Suzie didn’t steal his money. You got a lot more than that since then, though. Oh, and Furnok notices you watching him, so he looks up and asks, “Yeah? What do you want?”
“Ahoy there, cheater! How ya doin’?”
“Leave me alone.”
“Och, so ya dinnae want ta join our grrrrrand adventure?”
“What, really? I can come with you?”
“Nay, I just wanted ta see yer face after I dash yer hopes again.”
Damn, man. Furnok curls back up after that and tries to ignore you.
That seemed…excessively mean-spirited.
Hardboot gives no fucks about trampling others’ emotions.
If Hal is done taunting the NPC’s, we might as well get started on these town quests. So how do you suppose we would get involved?

Well, I had an idea—

Well, first we’re going to go see the brewery, obviously.

Wait, what—

What was the braumeister’s name again? Barley Burner?
Gerstenbrenner. Hubertus Gerstenbrenner.
James Bond he is not.
“My good man Hubertus, how interested would you be if I were to offer you the business deal of a lifetime?”
“Um…go on.”
“How interested are you in your profession, Mr. Gerstenbrenner? Enjoy the beer brewing business?”
“Yyyyyeeess. Brewing beer is my life! Beer makes the world go round.”
“Indeed. Indeed. And what would you say is your best beer?”
“That all depends on what time of year it is. At harvest time, our wheat beer is the best in five counties. Or so I’ve been told. I’ve heard some like our Gnarley Stout, a bold taste with a slightly chocolate finish.”
This module is amazingly detailed in places.
“Well renowned, you say? Most excellent.”
“Look, is this going anywhere?”
“Very well, Mr. Gurstenbrenner, I’ll get down to business. I would like to purchase your establishment.”
What?! Dude, I know how much you guys have. The brewery would cost thousands, maybe tens of thousands of gold pieces! Besides, Hubertus would never sell.
Maybe not now, but what about after we clear out the Temple? He wouldn’t turn down a Hero, would he?
What’s gotten into you, Hal? You’re never this invested normally.
Oh, it’s always been a fantasy of mine to own my own brewery. So I figure where better to act out a fantasy than in a fantasy game?
Well, we’ll see. For now Hubertus is kind of offended you assumed he would sell and he herds you out the door.
Finally. So now can we get started?

Right, right. My idea was to say that Glora, the inn matron, loves to meddle and sends you to all the different people in town to see what you can do. The first thing she mentions is that there are two farmers, brothers, feuding over barn space. She recommends you talk to the wife of one, since the brothers themselves would never ask for help.

Percy’s wife explains that Percy and Filliken share a barn together since their father passed. Filliken has been doing better lately, so he needs more space, but that doesn’t leave enough room for Percy’s hay.
“But there’s more all around, at least.”
Yeah, but there’s never enough. Filliken has been working particularly hard since his wife died.
“Hmm. So what’s the fix?”
There’s a widow, Mathilde, who’d be a good match, plus she’s wealthy enough to buy another barn as dowry. Unfortunately, Filliken is still grieving over his wife, plus the carpenter is too busy to build it.
So we can talk to the carpenter, then.

The carpenter, Rik, tells you that he’ll have time to make it in a year or so.
Is there any chance to change his mind? Let me roll Diplomacy.
That’s pretty good. Rik opens up to you a bit and explains that he and his brother feel like outsiders since they moved in, since they worship St. Cuthbert instead of Beory.
So can’t they convert?
They had that idea, especially since Rik’s brother, Marek, could then marry his girlfriend, who belongs to the Old Faith. Apparently Jaroo, the town druid, isn’t accepting conversions. Rik thinks he has an arrangement with Cuthbert’s high priest, Terjon. Are you writing all this down?
Yeah, yeah, I got it.
So I guess we talk to Jaroo next.

Jaroo’s house is easy enough to find, since his is the only one with a tree growing out of it.
“Fair Druid Jaroo, what is your opinion on the conversion of fellows to the druidic faith?”
Jaroo insists that he will perform no conversions from the New Faith without the permission of the High Priest. Balance and all that.
Goddamn it. Fine, we—
Wait, there’s another note here about Jaroo. It says the woodcutter needs a full Heal for his daughter.
Oh, right, let me see…ah, Jaroo says a simple heal is no longer enough for Amii, and he needs a special recipe that calls for Swamp Lotus.
I guess that’ll be at the Moathouse, then.
Maybe. Anything else?
Nope. On to Cuthbert’s place, I guess.

Cuthbert’s “place” is actually somewhere between a large temple and a small cathedral. You see a priest—not the High Priest—standing in front of the main lectern. “Welcome to the church of St. Cuthbert. I am Calmert. Please feel free to peruse the tracts and scrolls of our religion. Or take a seat on our bench here. Oh, the poorbox is located on the far table, as well.”
“Och, ’tis the natural enemy o’ the Scotsman—another Scotsman! Ye’ve just made an enemy fer LIFE.”
Why are we talking to this guy instead of the High Priest?
“I’m afraid the chief cleric, Terjon, is busy at the moment. Still, he might find time in exchange for a small…donation to the poorbox.”
Oh. Great. So how “small” are we speaking, here?
“Surely men of your means could afford a ten gold donation?”
Pay the man, Suzie. Let’s get this over with already.

The rectory where Terjon lives is just upstairs from the worship area. Now that you’ve paid, he’ll actually bother to speak with you.
Lovely guy. “Excuse me, I’d like to speak about conversions.”
“Oh, I’m always willing to perform conversions, assuming the convert is willing and worthy in the eyes of St. Cuthbert.”
“No, I actually meant converting FROM St. Cuthbert. The carpenters want to join Beory’s religion.”
Crap. Let’s try Diplomacy again.
Okay, let’s say you convinced Terjon that he’s being rather hypocritical since he accepts incoming converts and not outgoing ones. He still isn’t happy, but he’s willing for the sake of Marek’s love and keeping the community peaceful.
Wow, you were right that this isn’t like the solo campaign. If Paul had tried to smooth-talk in that, there’d be hammers flying everywhere.
Fine, whatever, Terjon’s convinced, let just get back to the carpenters and finish this stupid sidequest.

Actually, you need to inform Jaroo first.

Fair Druid Jaroo, we have convinced the High Priest to allow—

Marek is overjoyed to hear that he can now marry his sweetheart. The brothers are willing to put the barn at the top of their list in exchange.

Wait, did we even meet the widow yet?
I’m not sure you did. Her house is actually notable for how many kids are running around. Mathilde herself—

“But it wouldn’t be fair to Talisha, my late wife. Not yet it wouldn’t. Not by the Old Faith.”
*Thump* *Thump* *Thump* *Thump* *Thump*
Er, are you sure you can’t remarry yet? What if we ask Jaroo about it?
*Thump* *Thump* *Thump* *Thump* *Thump*
Hopefully before Lewis breaks the table with his head.

Well, um, Jaroo explains that a full year is enough time to mourn, which is how long it’s been, so Filliken is actually okay to remarry.

…You okay there, Lewis?
Sorry, but that quest was getting really, really annoying towards the end. Just…go ahead, continue.
Right, anyway, Filliken does have another quest to offer, and it’s much faster than the first one. He explains that he thinks someone’s been stealing from his stock, and he was hoping maybe someone could find out who it was for him.
“We would be perfectly glad to help!”
Perfectly, yeah…
Oh, by the way, I figure I should mention that the carpenter’s girlfriend, Althea, happens to be Filliken’s daughter. She’s pretty happy to hear that both she and her father will be getting married soon.
I suppose the second daughter is probably feeling left out at this point.
Really? What’s her name?
Aw, that’s such a nice name.
I suppose. You know, I actually think “Garrett” was the perfect name for a thief.
“Why thank you, ‘Meleny.’ So, what’s your opinion on adventurers?”
“Oh, I’d love to go on an adventure, especially with a strong, handsome hero like you.”
“But would the trail be any place for a beautiful young girl like yourself?”
“I can take care of myself, I’ll have you know.”
“Oh, I bet you could…”
So if Bob and Suzie are done showing off far more than the rest of us wanted to know, are there any other quests to get to?
Well, actually, Meleny could go with you guys, if you want. She’s a first level druid, and she’s not half bad, either. Someone would have to “marry” her, but…I don’t think that’s an issue.
But we’ve already got five characters when the normal D&D party is supposed to be four. And besides, what would be worth putting up with more of that?
Her father would throw in a +1 Holy longsword as dowry.

Still, that’s kinda—
What, really?
That’s a +3 equivalent at 2nd level! +2d6 damage to all evil enemies! Do you have any idea how much shit in the Temple is evil? FUCKING ALL OF IT! “We accept your daughter with gratitude and your Holy Sword with unconcealed greed.” William, mark it down.
Yeah, alright. So why did we get rid of the Small weapon sizes again?
Everyone in the area is Medium, so all it would do is give your gnome an attack penalty. You’d be doing basically the same damage either way.

Vanilla Meleny is actually a fairly substandard character (much like the rest), but she’s been improved by the Co8 mods. Highlights include her 6 Strength and mere 14 Wisdom. Co8 reshuffles the stats a bit to come up with 8 Strength and 16 Wisdom; while the change is only 2 points in either case, it can make a world of difference, especially considering how important Wisdom is to Druids.

Plus it’s not like physical stats matter to a Druid after level 5.
That’s only if she has Natural Spell, though.
Well, I guess we know what we’re getting her for level 3, then.
If that’s all settled, now, we should continue on with the other town quests.
Oh, hey, guys, looks like I’ve got to leave for…work…reasons. See you all next time. I guess. I’ll just leave my character sheet here. You know what I’d do anyway.

Well, that’s a shame. Since William is gone, I think we should get as much of Hommlet done as possible so he doesn’t have to sleep through another session…