|Kron Hills, Gnarley Forest, and Dyvers environs -
map by grodog
Since my last Haruspications in Hardby campaign update in July, the PCs have wrapped up their business in Dyvers (selling some poison-smeared gems liberated from a hidden temple to Nerull in Castle Greyhawk to the Executor of the temple of Nerull in Dyvers---and this turned out far better than I expected!), and are working their way back toward Greyhawk. The characters left Dyvers in the midst of Brewfest, on Waterday, the 5th day of that festival, in the year 576 CY.
|Night Arrant by Gary Gygax
On the Road
On their way to Dyvers from Hardby, they passed through the bucolic Gnarlvergia region, detailed by Gary Gygax in "The House in the Tree" in his Night Arrant collection. (For those interested, you can listen to Jason Zavoda's readings of much of Night Arrant over on Canonfire! at http://www.canonfire.com/cf/ghnovels.php but unfortunately he did not make it through to record "The House in the Tree" prior to his untimely death in December 2021. This reminds me that someone in one of the Greyhawk-related discord channels suggested that I might carry on with those recordings, perhaps; I will chase that idea down again!). There's not an entry for Gnarlvergia in the Greyhawk Wiki, but that's probably less of an oversight since the region is only mentioned three times by name in Night Arrant. But I digress....
On their way to Dyvers from Hardby, the PCs encountered two groups that turned into useful informational meetings. The first was with the Urûl-Kotár, a group of Flan tribal woodsfolk led by the druidess Cíaran-ap-Tulvea. After some initial tensions, the two groups broke bread together under the auspices of hospitality, and the PCs warned the Flan of two groups of marauding dragons (one brass, and four blue) rumored to be attacking merchant caravans in and around the Hardby region, and the woodsfolk were very grateful: Reaction Roll of 100, before adding 40 for the bard's 18 Charisma to make it a 140% total reaction! This is not nearly as uncommon in this campaign as you might think....
The second encounter of note was with a group of olvenfolk patrolling/hunting for brigands, and they surprised the PCs. They also noticed that one of the PCs (Henry's character Nohr, a half-olven fighter/magic-user from a future alternate timeline of Oerth) was wielding a drowic tentacle rod as a weapon: this was "sloat gaacor" (sloat like moat, gaacor like gay soar)--an elvish taboo cognate meaning "forbidden darkness." The PCs discussed how they acquired the weapon (in their Astral adventure in Zjelwyin Fall), and learned little about the strange nature of the ojbect, save that it gravely concerned the olven captain Sillirifran, of the Moonsilver Pool clan (Ilmkelisil in olven). Still in pursuit of the brigands, the elves departed relatively quickly, but urged the PCs to rejoin them later at their home, Silverwell (Celebthiltin Eithimbar: the "silver shining sparkles homewell"), the source and spring for the Silvern Stream that runs from within the Gnarley to the Nyr Dyv.
The PCs encountered various other animals---wild horses (some of which they captured and sold/traded to the Silvern-Selintan Ranch, with the well-recognized brand $$) and giant weasels (which they killed and skinned)---and NPCs (a merchant caravan on the eastern side of Selintan, including the Womtham magic-user Eriena Nabestiana, who sold some acid and potions to Nersiv), some en route to and within the city, but the woodsfolk and olves may prove to be the most interesting from the lot. Time will tell!
In the City
Negotiations with the Temple of Nerull took awhile, but were successfully concluded after the services on Godsday during Brewfest. The result includes a proposal of alliance with the Greyhawk Assassin's Guild. While Haj worked the Reaper's clergy, some of the other PCs worked opportunity jobs that arose during the festivities:
- Cyn performed with two other bards---Zyfor the Black, hailing from Blackmoor, and Cyndalia Tureine from Rel Astra) at the Inn of the Golden Locks; all three performed well, and earned about 100 gp each over the course of Cyn's stay
- Nohr and Cyn also acted as translators at Shadows in the Drink (another inn in the western portion of Dyvers) in urgent need of Hobbit and Olven speaking assistance; Cyn made the acquaintance of Lord Gwyndariol from the Vale of Highfolk, as a result of the translations work
- Nersiv departed from the rest of the party and from Dyvers on the first day of Brewfest in order to speculate on some wares/commodities offered in the markets: he purchased some essence of will-o-wisp and violet fungi spores at low prices and then chartered an olven hippogriff messenger service carrier to return him to Hardby where he plans to sell them at a substantial profit, in order to then return to Dyvers and purchase an elixir of life available from one of the other merchants before the close of Brewfest
Movin' Right Along (the Road, into an Ambush?)
- Where were the goblins heading to, and where were they coming from?
- Will the goblins regroup on the other side of the Silvern Stream and reengage, or flee?
- Are the PCs in range of the goblins' slingers? (That answer is almost certainly Yes!).
- Will the PCs stop to loot fallen goblins, or carry the fight to the remainder of the force, or pursue some other course of action?