Baldur's Gate: Vice

The Tightening of Nooses

Mid-Session Downtime Interlude

Day 1: It’s a late start for you, given the fact that you’ve been up the better part of the night detaining a horrifying Illithid. Duke Belynne Stelmane is a gracious host, offering you a hearty and exotic breakfast before you head out for the morning’s activities (though after those map,e pancakes, all you REALLY want to do is go back to sleep). Baldur’s Mouth does have “off-schedule” days, so there is no new broadsheet this morning.

Nibs: It’s a long day at the High House of Wonders, but you do manage to finish work on the Iron Defender and get it working and allied with you. You are surprised when one of the Gondar acolytes comes to you with thanks for your part in stopping the terror attack on the Ducal Palace. He explains that the acolytes and a few priests scraped together and got you a proper smokepowder tool kit. Using this kit, you can make x2 grenades per day of downtime spent working on munitions. Alan: Biri is eager to head back, and happy to get the order from you. She knows that the efforts of Neverwinter’s Oghmans can use her help, and she’s eager to share the word. She asks that you be sure to send a letter and let her know how things go. She has a line to the Harpers, so if need be, that’s an angle you can work (though she explains she prefers not to involve the nosey network.)

Following around Gran Duke Dilliard Portyr is an exercise in patience. As (technically) the most powerful man int he city, he sure seems to be in no hurry to do anything, and you spend a lot of time sitting around the corner from him at cafes and restaurants, listening to him prattle on about grandchildren or how his drawing room is too drafty. What’s noteworthy is that he seems to consult Duke Torlin Silvershield in almost every case. It’s clear that they rarely disagree, and Silvershield knows exactly how to push his buttons. They are both informed that day of Duke Stelmane’s recovery, and it takes some doing to evade being introduced to the two men by your well-meaning new “pet duke.”

Aldric: The Sage’s Guild sends for an expert interrogator from Mintarn Island, but decides to move forward with questioning the creature themselves in the meantime. Using some mental shielding spells and potions, you are present as they ply the slimy creature for information. It makes various offers to you if you release it, and comes up with a plethora of surprisingly well structured lies, but its desperation shows. What you learn is that it has been “topside” for a few years, and prefers living in the sunlit world, where it claims (you think truthfully) to have many contacts around Fa√™run. Whatever it is up to, Baldur’s Gate is just a fragment of that. You are, however, pretty convinced it is unrelated to the Bhaal cult. That evening you have dinner with the Duke, who is still very grateful, to you in particular, for her rescue. (No! Not THAT grateful!) Tellus: Silvershield seems like a shady fuck, why not tail him? So you do. Silvershield seems pretty deflated. He’s very distracted during parliament meetings and doesn’t really push when his political opponents challenge him. What’s most interesting, is that he spent a lot of time in a private meeting room with Riordan Bormul – Parliament member and patriarch of House Bormul. You also can’t help but notice that toward the end of the day, you overhear some of the parliament lackeys speaking well of your father’s chances in the coming election – likely thanks to the influence of Duke Stelmane. J’ah Kreature: Your popularity continues to grow! The interesting thing you find is that all the uproar lately has put people on edge. They’re jumpy, anxious, and poorly informed. Rumors are rampant and few know what’s really going on. But the work you’ve done in being charitable and heroic has given you a real power over the masses. You even stopped an impending bar-brawl with just a few words – no violence necessary! It seems like your message of peace is getting through to people…but a lot of that has to do with your calming presence. There are a lot of questions regarding what the Sundering really means, but the rumors are out there. People are getting wary of potential Bhaal cultists, and are almost equally wary of the Flaming Fist for continuing to focus on the Guild when a greater threat is present (there’s also a lot of animosity toward the Guild for capitalizing on the chaos). Long story short, you are making a difference, but not everyone is completely zen yet. Pelagornis: Since I didn’t hear back from Jake on this yet, I’ll make the assumption that he takes up doing the Batman thing and patrolling the streets in his capacity as a Flaming Fist Inquisitor? If this is incorrect, lemme know what you would rather be addressing. That seems to help as well – focusing law enforcement on actual criminals and not jumping to conclusions is getting trouble off the streets and reducing civilian animosity. Furthermore, the other Inquisitors seem to be following your lead – a few have even sent criminals guilty of capital offenses to the Seatower for a last chance to confess (Which they don’t actually have to do). They’ve conferred with Ravengard and agree that publicly executing capital criminals, rather than hacking them down in the streets, might bolster the people’s confidence that the Fist’s new power isn’t being abused and to remain somewhat transparent in their operations. As far as you can tell, all the death-row inmates have earned their sentence in accordance to the law, (assuming you aren’t too rankled by the fact that BG has a death penalty on the books). Plus, medieval people LOVE a good execution.

Day 2: The most important thing to remember is that you are celebrities. Clothing, boots, artwork depicting you, songs in your name, puppet shows, food, food, food (a whole lot of pies) the common folk, outer city poor, and patriars all are heaping gifts on you.
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Nibs: Your choice – make 2 bombs or work on sweet Pelagornis’ new arm-gun?

Aldric: The brunt of your day will be spent helping the Sages. Interrogation isn’t getting them far, but research indicates there is some harvesting they can do while the thing is still alive, especially given your “special methods.” While Mindflayer brain juice is a potent poison, its a lesser known fact that their spinal fluid can be used to concoct a psionic truth serum. It’s iffy work, and you almost kill the thing twice, but you manage to “milk” spinal fluid from your victim, and wind up with x2 vials of truth serum (Lasts 10 minutes, victim has Disadvantage on bluff checks, and is in visible pain if it succeeds in lying).

Alan: Looking in on Duke Stelmane, you find that she’s in need of some assistance getting her bearings politically. You lend her a hand in negotiations and informing her of what has been transpiring behind the scenes. The duke is CERTAIN there is some link between her attacker and the cult (despite a lack of evidence) and is pretty aggressive in helping search for cultists. Some of her people figure out that there was indeed more Bhaalite paraphanellia in the city, namely in an old evidence lockup used by the Watch. It was collected shortly after Abdel defeated the Iron Throne and his half-brother Sarevok then mostly forgotten. Since Alan is also keeping an eye on things Dukewise, you eventually run into him, and share this information.

Tellus: It’s looking like there’s little more to be gained following the dukes (other than preventing any possible assassins who might show up). In the early afternoon, however, Alan tells you about a possible lead on some old Bhaalite accoutrements in a storage area of the Watch Citadel. A hastily scribed writ from Duke Stelmane is all you need to get in and poke around. You do indeed find two robes like the ones found in the old temple, as well as candlesticks, a bowl for containing…you assume blood during rituals. What is MISSING from the box, according to the evidence manifest is a holy symbol, and a Bhaal cult primer. The Watch officer on duty has no record of anyone entering that storage area in a while (indeed, he had trouble even finding the key). The only person who could have gotten in would need to be a ranking watch officer, or someone with a lot of pull – like a Patriar or a Duke.

Kreature: You keep up the routine of being the folk hero, and today it’s attracting lower ranking Flaming Fist soldiers. This provides you with an opportunity to preach a gospel of nonviolence and level headed crisis intervention. Clearly, some men are miffed at being excluded from the Inquisitors, and the career soldiers among them want to know how to get in (there is, after all, a substantial pay increase). It seems like you’re getting through to these mercenaries that being a police force and a military are two different things.

Also you keep pushing Kreature for Duke. Also telling bitches that the Sundering is all up in their shit.

Pelagornis: Same as before, keeping the streets free of scum. Today you come across an incident where a man with Guild tattoos is trying to ignite a tense but non-violent dispute among dockworkers. When he doesn’t get the desired results, he follows one of the men from the argument and stabs him a few times before you handily disarm the thug and drag him into custody. The victim survives, shaken but not mortally wounded.
Under questioning, the thug explains that Guild agents have orders to ignite the flames of revolution by sewing chaos in the city. He hoped the other sailors would seek revenge for a murdered companion. When you search the ruffian, you find that “igniting flames” makes for a good distraction to someone who wants to lift some merchandise from a ship’s cargo. Unless you choose to execute him, or free him, he gets locked up in the Seatower for attempted murder.

Towards the end of the evening, You are informed by Flaming Fist officers to keep an eye out for possible kidnappings. News was slow in getting to the Fist, (these appeared to be random murders at first) but two are already dead in seemingly related cases. The first was the son of a stonecarver, found two nights ago outside the harbormaster’s office, strangled to death with a garrote (His father scrambled to assemble the outrageous ransom ordered by a note slipped under his door. He was a minute too late). The following day one of the co-owners of the “Silky Boy” was found bludgeoned to death behind Elfsong tavern (His business partner closed the store early that day, and never found the kidnapper’s note until the morning). The Fist can’t ascertain who might be next, as there is no connection between the men. This is obviously part of the plot the Guild agents near the underground temple alluded to. Their target is under 24 hour surveillance.

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