Gary Gygax Tribute Campaign

Session 1 (The Ivory Coin, part 1)

Played 5-4-18

The action began in the City of Waterkeg as the 3 adventurers, Freddy the Fighter, Mardak Chorster the Cleric of the All-Seeing Eye, and Night Shadow (aka Pike) gathered at the Green Dragon Inn (where they usually find their mentor, Dox the Charitable) preparing to explore the dungeon beneath the ruined Tower of Zenopus, the wizard. However, they were given an invitation to meet the Merchant of Southtown at Cun’s Pub in the Southtown neighborhood of Waterkeg for a possible business deal. The adventurers checked with their contacts, including Night Shadow’s shady contact on Tarp Street in Waterkeg, and decided to meet the Merchant. On meeting the Merchant, he offered 200% of their starting wealth if they bring the Ivory Coin to him. The magical Ivory Coin is rumored to either double the wealth of any person who holds it for one month (or cause the loss of half of a person’s wealth by some accounts, which the Merchant doesn’t believe). He described the coin as having a 5 pointed star on one side and the words “Save 1 Month” on the other side.

The PCs accepted the merchant’s offer to quest for the Ivory Coin on his behalf. The Merchant also agreed to tell a story for future adventure each week for 3 weeks to Freddy upon returning the Ivory Coin, and agreed to pay Night Shadow 10 gps to promote the PCs’ story of their quest for the Ivory Coin when they return with a speaking engagement at Cun’s Pub.

As recommended by the Merchant of Southtown, the PCs set off to meet the witch, Hashy Deutsmy, for leads on the whereabouts of the coin. In the wood north of Waterkeg, they first met a berserker also looking for the Ivory Coin who slew a lone horsed fighter. The berserker’s attacks were fended off by Freddy and Mardak while Night Shadow attacked from behind, killing him. The party got a medium warhorse named Swift from the battle. The dead berserker was left pinned to a tree with the words, “Gorgo’s Gang – Death to Tarp Street”.

The PCs continued on to see Hashy Duetsmy. The witch hag, Hashy, initially would not volunteer information on the Ivory Coin, but permitted the PCs to brouse her hut for knowledge for 3 gps. Inside the PCs found a cookbook, a book of magic lore, and a locked diary. The magic lore book referred to a specific date that Hashy saw someone that she believed possessed the Ivory Coin. Perhaps by good fortune, Night Shadow was unable to unlock the diary, and the PCs instead paid 3 gps more for info that the Ivory Coin was with a little red haired man that was chased by a wild bearded woodsman a month ago. The PCs then headed north looking for the little red haired man and the wild bearded woodsman. Before leaving, Hashy provided PCs with oddly carved wooden charms believed to be poison resistant and a scrawled recipe. On closer inspection, the recipe appeared to be for manure soup that is supposed to help stomach ailments, likely by inducing vomiting. She also promised to give the PCs 6 gps for 3 red glowing glands from a giant fire beetle, if the PCs can get them. Last, Hashy looked at the strange written cypher gotten from Dox before they went questing for the Ivory Coin, and she was able to confirm that it is an ancient language, not magic.

Not long thereafter on the road north, the players met Rann the ranger, made friends, and returned with him to his cabin shared with his fellows, Wild Beard, Cun, and Som of the forest. There the PCs learned about Wild Beard’s belief that a little red haired man has the Ivory Coin and Cun’s quest for the Ivory Coin in the abandoned Lookout Tower. They also heard about the Cheese Thugs of Westwood, bandits hiding out in an old abandoned cheese shop with reeking cheese. At the cabin, the PCs met a visitor, Molt the cleric of the All-Seeing Eye, who was on a sabbatical retreat in the wilderness. Molt explained that he had his magic boomerang stolen from him and was off to Lookout Tower the next morning to see if he could find it there.

So the next morning, Molt and the players ventured to Lookout Tower on Lake Rune. On the way, a bold Southern bandit archer on horseback tried to hold them up, but Freddy was able to outshoot the bandit, wounding him in the arm. Freddy gave the bandit chase on trusty warhorse Swift, but the bandit eluded him after Swift stumbled as the bandit’s pinto horse leapt over a ditch.

Going onward on an overcast day, the PCs arrived at Lookout Tower that appeared deserted. Night Shadow climbed the tower to the roof, narrowly avoiding falls as the hand and footholds got more slick from moss and dew near the top. Lowering a rope, the rest of the PCs and Molt joined Night Shadow. The roof only held an unserviceable abandoned catapult. Venturing down an iron spiral stairway from the roof, the third floor of the tower was inhabited by bats, but foodstuffs and drink found under a tarp indicated another presence. Breaking through a door, Night Shadow first met the mysterious little red haired man in a dark room sitting on a large barrel and tossing an Ivory Coin. The little man said that he was waiting for them, and disappeared from sight. After tactical hesitation, the PCs entered the room and a hit-and-run battle ensued with the pint-sized invisible man. The PCs were attacked with with strange spells. An illusion of the barrel turning into an attacking monster with pincers was brought back into reality by Freddy with a spear thrust. Mardak narrowly avoided an illusion of a falling stone from above. The tarp was telekinesed into a slithering smothering weapon. Night Shadow was attacked by objects polymorphed into weapons (whip and dart). A thrown dart struck deep into Night Shadow’s face, but was quickly healed by Molt. Taking quick action as the little man reappeared during an attack, Freddy’s hurled spear plunged through the little man’s heart, killing him. The Ivory Coin dropped from his greedy little left hand. The PCs found the barrel filled with 662 gps, a golden medicine cup worth 25 gps, and Molt’s magic boomerang. Giving the boomerang back to Molt, the PCs decided to leave the way they came, climbing back down the side of the tower.

Molt decided to return the way he came back to his home in Middleton 3 days travel westward. The PCs decided to follow the coast of Lake Rune back to Waterkeg to avoid trouble, especially with Wild Beard. Molt promised not to tell the foresters that you retrieved the Ivory Coin from the little red man in the tower, but will tell them his boomerang was retrieved from Southern bandits. The PC’s avoided running into or knocking on the witch, Hashy Deutsmy’s door on their way back.

At Waterkeg, after confirming the authenticity of the Ivory Coin, the Merchant of Southtown made good on his deal. He asked the PCs to keep quiet about finding the coin for 30 days, but as promised, they could tout their adventure at Cun’s Pub thereafter.

For follow up:
1. Is the little red haired man a leprechaun? Why was he waiting for the PC’s? Is there more to the Ivory Coin? Should the seek a sage for more info?

2. Explore the bottom 2 stories of Lookout Tower. Will the forester Cun be found there?

3. The Cheese Thugs of Westwood – The reader can check out this one page dungeon adventure themselves at The Cheese Thugs.

4. The Tower of Zenopus

5. Will the crowd on Tarp Street be threatened by the warning of Gorgo’s Gang in the woods? Will they even hear about it? If so, when? Will they care?

6. Dox’s mysterious ancient untranslated message

7. The Merchant of Southtown: First, get your 3 stories for future adventure from him. Second, what will be your story of the Ivory Coin quest told in Cun’s Pub and around Waterkeg after 30 days?

The PCs are roughly halfway to 2nd level. I allowed PCs to level up during game play since I assume they are always learning more and practicing techniques. Only real world experience is needed to gain the next level.

The treasure collected includes 1,239 gps (includes gold for Ivory Coin); a gold medicine cup worth 25 gps; a hematite gem worth 12 gps; Swift the medium warhorse with saddle, bridle, and 3 large saddlebags (220 gps); 3 wooden neck charms (poison resistance?); and a manure soup recipe.

Comments

The Ivory Coin adventure is a homebrew module I created back in 1987. It’s been played at Gary Con V and Gary Con X. Players have mentioned that the adventure has a distinctly different flavor/feel and it felt “real” to them (That is, it is immersive), yet still maintains a classic D&D vibe.

Session 1 (The Ivory Coin, part 1)
KuboTwo

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