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D&D 5E SKT's The Weevil: A Manhunt and a Mystery

Yenrak

Explorer
What is the point of the Weevil in Storm King's Thunder?

Players can be told to hunt him down by two different groups in Bryn Shander or Darz Helga in Triboar. There's a wanted poster in Long Saddle. Presumably, they'd learn of him in Mirabar as well, since that city has posted a 5,000 gold piece reward for him.

That's a lot of attention on the Weevil. I'm just not sure exactly what role he is supposed to play in the campaign. The capture of him does not seem to lead anywhere. Is it just a red-herring to send the PCs around the Sword Coast? And how exactly are they supposed to track him down to Xantharl's Keep?
 

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pukunui

Legend
It's a side quest designed to help make the setting feel more like a living, breathing world, with more going on it in than just the depridations of giants.

Also, the reward is quite large, and you may find that your players will feel they have a use for that much gold.

In my game, the PCs went through Longsaddle on their way to meet with Harshnag. They spotted the wanted poster in town. Later, they ended up in Xantharl's Keep after visiting Morgur's Mound and were suspicious of the dwarven stablehand. They managed to stop the giants from kidnapping him and forced a confession out of him. After handing him over to the authorities at the keep, they traveled to Mirabar to receive their reward from the marchion.
 

kelnas

Explorer
Pukunui is right, as written it is largely there for flavor and a reason to travel to Xantharl's and eventually Mirabar. Like with much of that chapter in SKT, it requires some prep by the DM to flesh out well and (if desired) connect it to the larger story. In my SKT games, I have enhanced the encounter by tying this outlaw loosely to the Kraken Society, with the PCs needing to go through a couple roleplaying and likely two combat encounters before being able to head to Mirabar to collect the reward. Those ideas can be found in DM's Guidebook to Storm King's Thunder - Dungeon Masters Guild | Dungeon Masters Guild.
 

pukunui

Legend
Personally I'm fine with not having every little side quest tie into the main plot of SKT. Since that plot isn't particularly urgent, I like having a big open world to explore. Conversely, in a game like Dragon Age: Origins, where the main plot feels super important and urgent, all the little unrelated side quests feel like time-wasting distractions.
 

Yenrak

Explorer
It's a fair point. I'm actually a bit relieved by these responses because I was afraid I had missed some larger significance. I really enjoy diversions and digressions—the group I'm DMing is doing Dragon Heist as a sidequest in SKT—so this is great.

I love the idea of tying Weevil into the Kraken Society. In my campaign, the Kraken Society is actually taking over Luskan. Care to expand what you did?
 

kelnas

Explorer
Sure, basically, in his attempt to avoid justice, Weevil has aligned himself with a kraken priest (stats from Volo's) and some cultists who operate in Xantharl's Keep. When the party tracks Weevil to the stables at Falling Orc Tavern, Weevil will not put up a fight, instead rambling on about having found his place, abandoning his criminal ways and dedicating himself to a great cause. Sharing a telepathic bond with the priest, he will alert his new friends. When the party leaves the stables with Weevil as their captive, they are confronted by the priest (along with some cultists and cult fanatics). I previously used a random-ish encounter where the party met a Kraken Society cultist who had a squid tattoo, and I also ran Kraken's Gamble (available on DMsGuild), so the party was generally familiar with the cult already, and spotted similar squid tattoos on the priest and his friends. The priest demands Weevil be released to them, and the party can parley and/or fight. Weevil stays out of any fight and even turned on his new cultist friends once he realized the PCs would win the battle, in an effort to get in their good graces. Afterwards, if appropriately intimidated or persuaded, Weevil impart a few hints about the Kraken Society's larger role - knowledge gained from overhearing some of the priest's discussions with other cultists (for example, that their master is called Slar, and that they are in contact with an important giantess). When the party tries to leave Xantharl's they find that the gates have been sealed due to an approaching giant/hobgoblin attack (per SKT). They will have to decide where to wait out the battle and what to do with Weevil in the meantime, which leads at some point to the bugbear ambush described in the SKT (preferably before they are able to get a long rest in to make it a bit more challenging). The next day, the gates reopen and the PCs can take Weevil to Mirabar to claim their reward. In the Guidebook mentioned in my post above, I also list some useful ways the PCs can spend the sizable reward in Mirabar.
 


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