Adventure #2: Trouble at Grog's
(based on the module by Grant & David Boucher)

DM: Mike
Players: Lynn, Missy, Robin

Immediately following the close of the first adventure, Og the half-ogre, Victor the old thief, Ezren the mage, and Shao Tsang the psionicist were recovering in Timber (the small town where the first adventure was set). Tellar the berserker and the two elven rangers, Trenar and Kayla, had not been seen since the party split up to fight the monsters emerging from Kasmordo's tower.

The innkeeper informed Mogdar, Ezren, and Victor that Shao Tsang was very ill, apparently relapsing from the near-fatal imp sting he received in the first adventure. The local healer determined that he needed a certain herb to recover. The closest place to get it was Dagger Rock, a town a short distance to the north on the shore of the nearest river. The town was named for a strange rock-shaped formation jutting out of the river. So, the three set out for Dagger Rock.

Grog's Happy Half-Ogre TavernAs it was getting dark when they arrived, the party stopped at the first inn they came to in Dagger Rock, Grog's Happy Half-Ogre Inn. As it turns out, the proprietor, Grog, was himself a half-ogre (although a more intelligent one than Og), and a former adventurer as well. After a good meal the party went to Grog's Adventurer's Suite to retire, all at very low prices. Their rest was interrupted by a fire in Grog's stables. After helping to put out the fire, the party met Shod, Grog's mute half-ogre stablemaster, who appeared to have some druidic powers, and the local priest, as they healed the horses and people.

In the morning, Grog asked to speak with the party. After thanking them for their help, he had a strange story to tell. It seems he had seen Og recently, wandering in a nearby field as if lost. Grog tried to catch Og to see if he needed help, but lost track of him. However, he did see Og drop a gem, which Grog recovered, and now returned to Og. As soon as Og touched the gem, it shot out two blinding blue beams: one struck Og, the other Victor (apparently randomly). When everyone's vision cleared, they saw that Victor looked twenty years younger, and Og was gone. In his place was a mage who identified himself as Mogdar. Mogdar explained that, in experimenting with the gem, he had somehow become devolved into his half-ogre state. Although this effect didn't mirror any commonly known magic, Mogdar remained stubbornly mysterious about his past and would remain secretive about his abilities in the future. Perhaps time will tell Mogdar's secrets someday.

Since he already had the now-transformed-party's attention, Grog made them a proposal: It seems that Grog's arrival in town had coincided with a crime wave, and the townsfolk, being distrustful of half-ogres and other "monstrous" demihumans that his inn brought to the area, were going to force him to leave in one week. Grog offered the party 250 gold pieces apiece if they would find the true source of the crime wave. Additionally Grog offered to have the appropriate herb ferried to Shao Tsang while the party helped him.

The party split up and investigated the town, meeting the town's sheriff (Captain Bearclaw), a reclusive elven archer, and several others. After a day of searching, they were torn between two suspects: Yuri Kineron, a competing innkeeper, and Grog himself. After Mogdar forced an admission that "there aren't any ghosts in the cemetary" under duress of Charm Person from one of Yuri's employees, the party went to the cemetary that night to investigate.

Ironically, Mogdar and Victor, both possessed of thief skills, were both too green to creep silently and unseen all the way through the cemetary, while Ezren was able to silently and stealthily flit about with his Cloak of the Bat. The "ghost" noises they had been hearing stopped when one of them loudly stepped on a twig. Ezren, however, methodically searched the tombstones until pushing one revealed an underground passage. The party, after an embarassing trip to the local church to borrow some torches, proceeded into the tunnel. After fighting some skeletons they eventually came up under a building. The ladder they climbed led to a dead end.

After a search for secret doors proved unfruitful, the party tried to batter down one of the walls of the room. They failed, having selected the wrong wall, but they did make enough noise to alert the inhabitants behind the secret door. Yuri Kineron and his two elven employees emerged. Victor managed to backstab Yuri, and a melee ensued. The party very nearly lost. Victor managed to defeat Yuri, but Mogdar and Ezren were not very effective in melee combat. Ezren managed to defeat the female elf mage using illusions, and Mogdar eventually resorted to activating the unpredictable gem once again, which luckily and inexplicably cast the 6th level priest spell "Hero's Feast" and buried their final foe beneath a sumptious banquet.

A quick search revealed that they were in the back room of Yuri's inn, and uncovered a journal detailing how Yuri hired the elves to discredit Grog and get him kicked out. Captain Bearclaw was summoned, Grog was exonerated, and the party was given the promised monetary reward as well as being allowed to keep the possessions of Yuri and his cronies.

Shao Tsang was healed, and he and Tellar rejoined the party shortly after Grog was exonerated. While the party was gathered in the Adventurer's Suite, Mogdar pulled out his gem and showed it to the late arrivals. Sensing some sort of psionic emanation from it, Shao Tsang reached out and touched it. As he did so, a blinding white flash filled the room, and then everything went black...

Which leads us directly into adventure summary #3.