Friday's game ended at the door to a dungeon. I didn't want to end it there, I like to have the party back in town because it makes things a lot easier. You don't know when someone is going to be unavailable or if you are going to have a new person at the table. Players forget what was going on between sessions. You can't get XP in the field (usually) so I have to note what the XP for the session is and wait till the party gets back to town (usually). I also thought that this was going to be the last session. I had a pretty good idea that the players wanted to check out the old shrine in the swamp. This shrine was on the original maps I showed them from the first session and many NPCs had talked about it. Since I knew they had gotten it into their heads to go there and investigate if the old shrine was somehow the cause of the plague. I had selected what I thought was the perfect short adventure for this shrine. I wanted something that would take one session including travel time and (and random encounters in the swamp!) thought I had the perfect send off adventure all ready. But naturally things did not go as planned.
Things started off innocently enough and the party wisely decided to go visit the old sage Polat and ask him about the shrine, gather supplies and such. Then Henril decided that he wanted to go meet with Marjia the barmaid and potential bride with whom he had visited the day before. Initially this seemed a good idea, and the party members started spending some of their had won coin. Because of the banditry and the recent sickness, Milham was seeing some hard financial times. Trade merchants were few and prices had been rising, so when the coins started flowing and the word got out that there was a group of adventurers at the Seven Stones tavern who were buying rounds of ale and casks of whiskey, many began to show up for the party. As the drink flowed and the party got more inebriated, their requests became more extravagant. What I had thought was going to be a 10 minute diversion had turned into a full blown event. By this time I had decided to just run with it.
Thedric and Colin returned to the tavern to collect Tim and Henril and hopeful that they would also be soon collecting the 500gp reward for the bandit leader. Being a bit drunk, they were of a mind to burn the warehouse down to flush out their prey, much to the horror of Brother Tim. Once they saw what was going on in the tavern however, they decided to try to just move the whole party to the warehouse instead. Marjia was delighted that her suitor and soon to be husband was so rich as to have 'bought a warehouse' and agreed that the wedding should take place there. So soon the whole procession, some 40 drunken villagers, including the piper and fiddler were marching down the street towards the docks. As the revelers burst in upon the shady men, Thedric cast Hypnotic Pattern and mesmerized them. They were quickly subdued and tied up.
Finally after much convincing, Brother Tim was persuaded to perform the marriage. The two were married but then in burst the captain of the guard and his men. It appeared that Marjia was already married and to him, the captain of the guard. He was ready to lock them all up and throw away the keys but Tim used all his considerable charms to smooth things over. Marjia was led away shrieking curses at her former husband and pleas for her rich new husband to take her away from 'this crappy little town'. Henril was heartbroken and could not be consoled even by the pretty little bridesmaid who had carried his sword for him from the tavern and had assured him that she at least was not already married.
They did eventually go off to explore the shrine that session, but that's another post entirely.