Sunday, July 21, 2013
Unexpected Encounters #5
Next to reading someone's journal, one of the most effective ways to convey information in-game is for the player characters to eavesdrop upon a private conversation. And that they did.
On the outskirts of a large Drow settlement, they spied a dimly lit mausoleum tenanted by long-dead Dark Elves of prominence.. and two very much alive, conversation in progress - Thesselor of House DuVont, dressed in violet robes accented with silver glyphs and Hanzred of House Morcane, clothed in the black spidery brocade of Drow nobility.
Hanzred: Do you believe Lloth is coming back?
Thesselor: Of course! Lloth's attention is focused upon her hatred of our enemies and their assured destruction.
Hanzred: Its been three weeks - no manifestation, no sign... nothing. This is Lloth's longest absence from Maerimydra. I don't like it, Thesselor.
Thesselor: Are you afraid?
Hanzred: I merely anticipate... trouble.
Thesselor: You believe the natives are getting restless?
Hanzred: I fear House Morcane being overthrown.
Thesselor: Why is that? You have soldiers, wizards, assassins, and clerics just as the other noble houses.
Hanzred: Do you forget what is in our house's possession, Thesselor?
Thesselor: Ah yes, of course. The Ruby Spider of Thokrahn. You believe there will be attempts to steal it?
Hanzred: I believe the artifact is so powerful that some will try to bring down House Morcane in its entirety.
Thesselor: Surely, it's well guarded.
Hanzred: Indeed, it is. By a crawling emissary of Yogsoggoth, no less. We obtained it from Lackless the Black.
Thesselor: The diabolic assassin? I thought he was dead. Just thinking about his one white eye gazing forever within the abyss at which he nightly prostrates himself... well, it makes my blood run cold.
Hanzred: One and the same. And what it cost, evil Lloth! A truly blasphemous amount.
Thesselor: For Lackless the Black or the crawling emissary?
Thesselor: Your House must be doing quite well.
Hanzred: I cannot deny it.
Thesselor: What's your secret?
Hanzred: The Ruby Spider of Thokrahn. It's ability to warp the nebulae of magic is... scarcely believable.
Thesselor: It was wise of you to steal it from those unworthy fools.
Hanzred: Yes. Yes, it was. Hahahaha. Come, I feel we've paid our respects enough for one evening. Let us dine at Szith Morcane before the envious thieves of Maerimydra grow bolder.
Thesselor: Lead the way, Hanzred.
A few bits and pieces were borrowed from City of the Spider Queen. As for the PCs at my table, they made quite a meal of my overheard dialog. It was the adventure's hook, forging the story to end a campaign. Word of advice: just speak both parts back and forth without regard for exactly who is saying what. The players will get the gist.
Use this device sparingly, but use it. As always, feel free to alter any of the above to suit your own particular campaign.
p.s. Description and stats of the Crawling Emissary of Yogsoggoth can be found on this blog, published in March.