Virgin DM Monologues: Murder Mystery at Three Times Round

Welcome to the recap of the third session of my Eberron game, which took place on Tuesday, November 17, 2009.  This adventure was originally supposed to be our second session and got bumped due to player absence. Turns out that player is going to be a guest star rather than a regular, so I tweaked the plot a bit and added another NPC to account for his absence from the scene.

To recap, our adventurers were sprung from jail by a ninja-like elf woman named Jes and flown via airship to a remote area of Xen’drik where they are hiding in a House Ghallanda enclave named Three Times Round.

Here’s how it all played out…

The Cast

  • Guests of Three Times Round:
    • Jes – elf female
    • Hirla Godvault - dead body of a comedienne from Sharn, dwarf female
    • Drahn Stonelode – male dwarf
    • Tak Spiritsmith – male dwarf
    • Meridan Bedic - Thuranni assassin, elf male
    • Frank – cleric, learned in the ways of kobold witch doctoring, “half-giant quarter-ling” male
    • Nicholas Prynn – mage/wizard, just got to the enclave
    • Zyl N’Tal - drow male, mage
    • Vynna N’Tal – drow female, cleric
  • Employees of Three Times Round:
    • Lord Kaleb d’Ghallanda – Viceroy of Three Times Round, halfling
    • Lady Marta d’Ghallanda – Wife, Head of House , halfling
    • Lady Rose d’Ghallanda – Older daughter, server, halfling
    • Lady Violet d’Ghallanda – Younger daughter, housekeeping, halfling
    • Garrett d’Ghallanda- Son, bar/guard, halfling
    • Oori Prayerblade – enclave guard, halfling

The party returns to Three Times Round to find Violet screaming about a murder.  Hirla Godvault, the dwarven comedienne from Sharn, had checked in the day the PCs left for their mission to collect Khyber shards.  She’s a celebrity in Sharn, but has her share of enemies since her comedy is very racist in nature.

(DaveTheGame: “You know how the jokes go… ‘Ever seen how dwarves drive a cart this way… and elves drive this way… ha ha ha!’”)

The party investigates Hirla’s room, but finds nothing amiss beyond the mess a dwarf would normally make. A few mostly-empty beer steins are in the room. Her body doesn’t appear punctured or wounded, but an off-white crust surrounds her mouth.   Evan and Jelly investigate and discover that she’s been poisoned.  Evan doesn’t recognize the poison as something from Khorvaire.

Clue, The Drow/Dwarf Disagreement:

The drow couple seemed to be whispering and looking at the dwarf’s table.  The male drow conjured a tiny fireball and she and her husband snickered.Two of her companions notice this, stomp over to the drow couple’s table, and flip it over.   “THAT IS IT!  WE CAN’T ABIDE LIVING IN SUCH CLOSE QUARTERS WITH SUCH FILTH!”

After the incident, the dwarves were not kicked out (as per normal enclave procedure). Everyone was sent to their rooms.

The drow couple claim they were upset by the rowdy dwarves and their dirty jokes.  The dwarves claim they were upset at the way the drow were behaving.  Somewhere in the middle is the truth?

Clue, The Thuranni Assassin:

The drow, while angry at the dwarves, point the finger at the elf, Meridan Bedic, as a likely murderer.  After all, he bears the Mark of Shadow and is clearly from House Thuranni, which is full of assassins.

Our rogue, who served some time as an assassin himself, speaks with Meridan, who has no qualms about admitting to his line of work. He says that he was with Lady Rose d’Ghallanda all night, so his whereabouts can be verified.

Cyd checks with Rose and she’s more than happy to admit that elves can go alllll night long.  Meridan’s name is on her wall…. would Cyd like to join her in a night or two?  Cyd respectfully declines.

Meridan says that it’s a good thing Hilda was killed since she was a racist piece of garbage and probably on the run from people in Sharn who wanted to kill her. He points the finger at the drow, who seemed very upset by her jokes over dinner that night.

Evan invites Meridan up to the room to see if he can recognize the poison. He recognizes it as Velpar root, a very rare and very potent herbal poison from the depths of the Xen’drik jungles.

Clue, The Half-Giant:

Frank the half-giant is busy eating and writing something on leaves when the party approaches him. He’s very bubbly and talkative, but starts rambling on about his time in the jungle with the Siberys kobolds and how they’re wonderful people, a great culture, and how much he learned about their herbal medicines during his time as a tribal witch doctor. He’s writing a book on these leaves about the kobolds and how their coloration varies depending on age and gender.  It’s very fascinating (to him) and he’s just dying to get to that big library in Stormreach so he can get it published so everyone will know about the kobolds. It becomes apparent that Frank is just a little crazy and while he may be a killer, he may just be completely nuts. It’s hard to tell.

Clue, Environmental Factors:

Evan searches the enclave’s kitchen and finds no sources of poison in the food or drinks.  The party questions Oori, the guard who stepped in for Garrett d’Ghallanda while he was escorting the party to the cave the day before.  Oori admits that there were some mugs of ale that were unattended on the bar before being delivered to the dwarves. They COULD have been tampered with, but he didn’t notice anyone messing with them.

Evan wants to search the floor with the guest rooms, but the party needs to distract Violet d’Ghallanda, who is up there cleaning. Violet seems eager to get back to business as usual. Cyd questions her a bit, and on the way out, purposefully tips over a garbage can, spilling food and other garbage all over the room.  Violet gets really pissed and kicks him out of the room.

In the meantime, Evan picks the locks and searches the rooms:

- Meridan (elf assassin): Typical assassin gear, including a couple poisons, but blade poisons, not ingestibles

- Frank (half-giant): Messy, stinky room full of more leaves with writing on them. Some bags of herbs that Evan doesn’t recognize. He carefully takes a bit of each. There’s also a crude painting of a kobold skull with the name “Daisy” scrawled under it.

- Drahn (dwarf 1): Nothing in particular.

- Tak (dwarf 2): A mini shrine to Hirla, including a picture of her that is … well-loved… *cough*

- The drow couple is walking out of the room as Evan and Cyd are in Tak’s room. They’re muttering something about just laying low for a while… After they head down the stairs, Evan and Cyd go into their room and find a small vial of light purple liquid. They confiscate it.

Lunch:

The party sits to talk with each other about the various clues they’ve discovered.  The drow obviously had motive, but what’s this purple liquid? The elf assassin is… an assassin.  He also mentioned how offensive Hirla was and that he was glad she had been killed since she was trash. Frank is crazy, but it seems he’s the only one who would have the herbal knowledge to deal with the poison.

Round 2 of Interviews:

Meridan mentions: “Poison is a coward’s way of killing.  Proper killing is done with a blade to the back.”  Beatdown Machine adds that a blade to the front is very effective as well.

The party asks Frank about Velpar root and whether he’d have the skills to use it. He says sure, but he wouldn’t touch the stuff. Too dangerous. They ask what color the liquid version of Velpar root would be and Frank triumphantly announces it would be light purple, just like the robe his gnoll friend Eko once wore. Frank reminisces about his time adventuring with Eko.

The dwarves, Tak and Drahn, are still drinking heavily. Tak grabs his mouth and rushes off to his room, wretching.  Meridan gets up and follows him. As soon as the elf leaves, Vynna N’Tal approaches the PCs and says she bets that assassin left a mark on the body.  They always leave a mark – it’s like a business card.

Luckily, Tak isn’t poisoned, he’s just really drunk and barfing in his chamber pot.

The Body Disappears:

When the PCs return to Hirla’s room, they find the body gone.  Violet admits that she disposed of the body out the back door with the trash.  Things needed to be cleaned up, things can’t be dirty.  Violet babbles nervously but angrily.

Garrett offers to take the party into the tunnel that goes out to the secret back door. It’s where the trash gets taken out.  Garrett is keen to slice pieces off whoever was responsible for the murder.

Descending into the tunnel, the PCs see a pool of blood and pieces of what was once Hirla Godsvault’s body.  From the marks on the ground, the body was clearly dragged down the tunnel. Jelly hears animal noises and Evan can hear the sound of bones being crunched and munched.

The party goes a bit further down the tunnel and in a clearing ahead see Hirla’s body, bloody and partially eaten.  There’s a giant bear and several rats, all chewing on pieces of Hirla’s body.

ENCOUNTER:

  • Dire Bear
    • Large aberrant magical beast
    • Level 11 Elite Brute XP 1200
  • Six dire rats

As the bear attacks the PCs, the rats rush in to nibble on Hirla’s body.  Not even 10 seconds later, the rats have all keeled over dead and the bear is frothing at the mouth and looking not so healthy.

Beatdown took his fair share of mauling. Midway through the fight, Jes appears out of thin air, helping take the bear down. Evan’s well-aimed crossbow bolt between the eyes explodes the bear’s head, finishing it.

Jes asks the PCs what’s been going on and they try to give her the short version of the story. When the PCs look under Hirla’s clothes, they see someone has carved the Mark of Shadow into her back.

Jes breaks out into a golf clap.

She explains that the murder mystery has all been a test from her employer to see whether or not the party members had the brains and brawn for the job House Tharashk hoped to hire them to do.

Hirla was already dead, Jes said. She was dead before she arrived at the enclave.  Poison, yes, but not by anyone here.  Jes just knew the right people to get Hirla’s body preserved and transported her to the enclave in her trunk.

With that, you see Jes’ features morph from a slender elf to the likeness of the dead dwarf.  She chuckles with a throaty dwarven laugh, waves to the party, and then morphs back into Jes.

Jelly looks pretty surprised, and Jes morphs into her natural shape, that of a white-skinned changeling with white-purple hair.  She explains that her real name is Seyja, but she often is in elf form and most people know her as Jes the elf.

She moves the conversation into the private quarters of Kaleb and Marta d’Ghallanda so she can explain everything to the family as well as the PCs.  She dumps a giant bag of gold pieces on the table and Kaleb’s eyes grow wide. It appears he doesn’t have much of a problem being compensated for this little problem.

House Tharashk, Jes says, watches the prisons – they have eyes everywhere, really – and they find it’s best to give the doomed a chance at a better life.  The PCs, being doomed, were rescued.  House Tharashk will offer them a handsome wage and protection from those who imprisoned them in exchange for their skills and knowledge in their inquisitive services in Sharn.  They proved yourselves today as able investigators and able killers.  (She winks at Evan and Beatdown.)

They could use these skills in Sharn, living and working under the banner of House Tharashk and benefiting from their network of protectors.  In fact, the House could help them eliminate those threats entirely should they choose. Beatdown perks up at this idea; he’s clearly VERY interested in revenge.

The murder mystery can be easily “solved” for the other guests of the enclave.  The PCs and family will say that the murderer was found hiding out in the tunnel and justice was served.  Since all the guests will be happy that the killer is gone and they are not longer suspects, this should all blow over.

Ren will come to pick up the PCs and Jes and transport them to Sharn.  Beatdown asks if they could possibly swing by Stormreach on the way, since Frank was so interested in getting his book to the library there. Jes says that with money, Ren could be convinced to make a sidetrip.

The murder mystery solved, the PCs can rest easy until Ren arrives to fly them to Sharn and their new lives working for House Tharashk.

About e

Since 2008, E. Foley of Geek’s Dream Girl has been helping geeks from around the world find love. She writes amazing online dating profiles for her fellow geeks and guides them through the perilous waters of the dating scene and out the other side. She's totally proud to report that she's even caused a couple geek weddings! She lives in Maryland with DaveTheGame, her adorable cats, Mr. Peanut & Don Juan, and Titania, Queen of the Cocker Spaniels. (Email e, or follow @geeksdreamgirl on Twitter.)

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