Recap November 6, 2020

They agreed to let Amrik take them to the Villa. Amrik smiled and offered them a drink to let water go under the bridge. Not everyone accepted the drink but Nym, Travaran and Jazulon did. The all went back to the couches and coffee table office of Amrik’s. The kenku bartender brought over a tray of drinks and Amrik passed them around. He stood up and made a toast, β€œTo Baldur’s Gate…and my Mother, the Duke Vanthampur. Several of the group did not toast to his mother but Amrik didn’t seem to mind. He sat back down and took a drink.

Nym knew instantly. His drink had been poisoned. He tried to tell the others but it was too late. Fortunately, the poison was not as strong as he had feared and only Travaran had lasting effects. Tharja saw what was going on as the spined devil moved to attack with Amrik pulling more daggers and attacking Jazulon. Tharja cast Witch Bolt. Jazulon punched. Travaran cast Ray of Frost. Nym attacked with his shortsword. A red headed thug that had been at the end of the bar rushed in and attacked Reya. She defended herself and was still able to attack Amrik. Calmers kept casting Tasha’s hideous laughter but it was never able to stick. They continued to focus their attacks on Amrik and soon he fell. The spined devil disappeared and did not return. The redheaded thug set down his weapon and said he was a hired body guard and well he hadn’t done his job too well. He said I have no beef with you all. Please, let me be. Calmers asked him what his had been paid. He responded 25 gold a tenday. Calmers thought for a moment and said here you go. As he reached into his coin pouch Travaran gave the man 10 gold so Calmers gave him 10. The man thanked them and then went and set back down at the end of the bar. That was when they noticed that bartender and the bouncers had pretty much ignored all that had happened. They decided to leave before they changed their minds.

Mortlock said to them as much I want to see revenge on my other brother, it is best for me to get out of town. And probably best for you all as well. You have gone against a Duke of Baldur’s Gate in killing her son and she will not hold back her wrath on you once she finds out. But I know you are going to the Villa. Here take this key. It will open a chest in room. It is located across the hall from my oldest brother Thurstwell. Thank you again for my life. They walked out of the Low Lantern, they to the High Hall of Wonders and Mortlock towards the Lower City and the docks.

Reya would meet them near the Elfsong Tavern and they would all go to the Villa. They had found a house pass that was on Amrik so they had one way to get in. They would also go at night so any disguise that Reya used would be more likely to work on the Upper City gate guards. The group went back to the High Hall of Wonders to get a long rest before heading to the Villa later that evening.

After checking for last minute items that the might need, they headed to the Vanthampur Villa. They came in from the north to check things out.

Vanthampur Villa is a stately stone edifice with a detached stable house. Both buildings have sloped rooftops covered with red clay tiles. A 12-foot-high stone wall encloses the villa. Lanterns hanging along the wall’s interior are lit at dusk to illuminate the yard and villa at night. The wall features three wooden gates- the main entrance and a coach gate to the south, and a postern gate to the north. They checked out the postern gate but it was locked and there did not seem to be anyone manning the gate. They walked around to main gate and found that it was unlocked. Walking in they were confronted by a patrol of three guards. After a briefly conversation and Travaran showing them the house pass, the guards let them in and said for them to wait at the foyer just inside the main door.

They went through the main door:

Apart from the main entrance, this room has two exits. A plaster shelf lined with ornate vases circles the room at a height of nine feet. Spread across the flagstone floor is a ten-foot-wide, fifteen-foot-long rug of exquisite design, depicting a royal coronation. Two tapestries hanging on the walls depict a dragon flying over a ship and pilgrims on camels, respectively.

They gave a short look around and then went through the door to the west. It was unlocked:

Black curtains are drawn over the windows to the south, keeping this hall dark and cool. An older man dressed as butler, paced the hall with a lantern while a maid dusted

They were startled as they entered the hall to see a 6ft woman just to their right. She was standing still hold a winged cat in her arms. They quickly realized that it was not a woman but a very realistic wax statue.

The asked the maid where Thurstwell was as they had a meeting with him. She responded by I do not know ask Fendrick and she pointed towards the butler and she got out of the way. Fendrick stepped forward and welcomed them. He said I am afraid that Thurstwell has retired to his room. Please wait in the kitchen while I see about arrangements for your visit.

He bowed and then went up a set of wooden staircase was at the north end of the hall.

Looking around the gallery they saw it contained an eclectic collection of tapestries, paintings, and alabaster busts on pedestals meant to impress guests. The duke bought the pieces thinking them to be valuable art objects, but all are knockoffs acquired from dubious sources.

The haphazardly assembled collection is a testament to bad taste.

They went into the kitchen:

Pleasant aromas still fill this area even though the cooking was finished for the day. A middle aged woman dressed as a cook saw them and told them to not bother her and to leave her kitchen. They replied that Fendrick had asked them to come in here to wait for Thurstwell. She said so be it. She completed her work and quietly left the room.

Pots, pans, and cooking utensils dangle above three wooden preparation tables in the middle of the room, and shelves are lined with bowls, platters. herbs, spices, and dried goods. A dumbwaiter with a manually operated rope-and-pulley system allows meals to be transported upstairs.

They saw a cat over near the north west corner. It was trying to stalk a mouse. They noticed its wings and knew that it was the one from the statue and that it was a tressym, a magical cat. Tharja took out some rations and gave the cat some of them. They tressym took the rations and eager chomped on their. The tressym was hungry. Tharja noticed a collar and looked for a name tag on it. It read Slobberchops. What a great name thought Tharja. Slobberchops began to prowl around the kitchen. Jazulon thought it might be wanting to eat Jinky seeing that Jinky was a rat. But Slobberchops was stalking something else. That was when they noticed that the kitchen door had been closed. Had the cook done it or was it someone else. Suddenly Slobberchops gave a nod and 4 imps appeared the room one in each corner wit the closest one aiming its tail to sting Tharja. The imps really did not stand a chance. They were easily defeated.

They searched the kitchen and found one door to the east. Travaran opened it and saw a set of stairs winding down to a basement.

Four stone pillars brace the ten-foot-high vaulted ceiling of this dry cellar, the walls of which are lined by a dozen barrels on wooden braces. Ha lf the barrels have brass spigots tapped into them. The room also contains two stacks of wooden crates- one in the middle of the room and another by the south wall.

Jazulon joined him and they asked the others come follow. But Nym had heard moaning and frustrated mumblings coming from the stairs to the north of the gallery. They had a brief discussion and decided to head up the stairs to investigate the noises.

They went up the stairs. It was dark until they turned the corner to see a guard at the top of the stairs. The guard said β€œ you do not belong here.” And he leveled his spear to attack and defend.

They took that guard out quick but saw there were 4 more guards each in front of a door in the hallway.

Lanterns hang from the rafters of this drafty hall.

They saw 5 doors. They went to the eastern door. Finding no traps and seeing it was unlocked, they entered:

This room contains a vanity topped with a framed oval mirror, bottles of perfume, brushes, cosmetics, needles, and spools of thread. Other furnishings in the room include a folding wooden partition adorned with a bird or prey rendered in gold leaf, a tall black wardrobe filled with corsets and fine clothes, and a decorative gold rug laid out in front or three unlocked wooden chests. One chest is full of shoes, another contains three old bridal gowns, and the third contains seasonal hats.

It was a powder room, probably the Duke’s. They checked out the vanity. They found:

Six bottles of fine perfume (20 gp each), a silver hairbrush inlaid with lapis lazuli (100 gp), and a wooden jewelry box with electrum filigree.

There was a door to the north. Finding no traps and seeing it was unlocked, they entered:

They saw a dumbwaiter to the west. Other features of the room include a canopied bed with a gossamer shroud for keeping insects at bay, a freestanding wooden privacy screen, a cast-iron bathtub with clawed feet, a fireplace, and a padlocked iron chest.

Travaran went over to the chest and saw that the padlock was cast in the shape of a horned devil’s scowling visage. He asked Tharja to come and pick the padlock. Tharja checked it for traps and finding none she took out her lockpicks but could not get the padlock opened. Travaran took them and tried but he couldn’t opened it either. He handed the picks back to Tharja who tried one last time and was able to pop the lock. Inside:

three thin, black-covered ledgers with entries written in Infernal , a set of calligrapher’s supplies (l5 gp), a poisoner’s kit (50 gp), a coin pouch made from a sheep’s bladder (containing 22 pp, 85 gp, and 113 sp), and a set of pipes.

Travaran could read Infernal and saw that the three ledgers were business dealings related to the sewers and sanitation of Baldur’s Gate. A brief scan showed them to be legitimate. He said I will need to read over these more carefully to look for any irregularities when I have more time. They did not find anything else in the room so they left and went to the room to the south from the vanity room.

An oak writing desk angled to face the middle of the room has a matching chair behind it and two black candlesticks atop it. Other furnishings include three bookcases and a freestanding suit of black plate armor topped with a bucket helm and equipped with a longsword and a shield. A wrought-iron spiral staircase leads up.

Not seeing anything to check out they went on down the hall.

Jazulon checked out the next door to the south in the main hall.

A crenelated stone battlement encloses this balcony overlooking the front yard. It’s a 15-foot drop from the balcony to the ground.

They went to next door. It was on the north side of the hall:

This dark room contains a bed, a wooden chest with clawed feet, and a night table. From the description given by Mortlock, they knew this was his room

The chest weighed 25 pounds and contained a few drab garments made for a man of Mortlock’s size, a few worthless personal effects, and a stuffed troll doll from Mortlock’s childhood. They could see the edge of the false bottom of the chest popping it. Pulling it back they saw a bag. Tharja picked it up and opening she could tell that this bag was able to hold more than it should. Mortlock had given them a Bag of Holding. Inside she found 50 gold and 6 potions of healing.

They went back out in the hall and remembered that Thurstwell’s room was directly across from Mortlock’s. They decided to check out the door at the end of the hall before confronting Thurstwell.

Inside that room they found:

This tastefully appointed room contains a bed, a side table, a claw-footed iron bathtub, a fireplace. and an iron-banded wooden chest. A three-foot-wide, six-foot tall mirror is mounted to the east wall opposite the fireplace. The mirror’s varnished wooden frame is carved with images of rats, ravens, and spiders.

Inside the chest they found:

neatly folded and tailored apparel to fit a slender noble, and a jewelry box carved from bone (10 gp). This tiny box contains a gold signet ring (S gp) bearing the Vanthampur motto, “Stone hearts never bleed.”

They took those items knowing that the signet ring may be difficult to sell bu they were in Baldur’s Gate. If there was a buyer for the ring it would most likely be found in this city.

They went to the last door and listened. They heard more mumblings but could not figure out what the speaker was saying. Jazulon (or was it Tharja?) opened the door:

Drab curtains cover the windows of this plain room, which contains a bed, a padlocked iron chest, a clawfooted iron bathtub, and a fireplace. Standing in the middle of the room is Thurstwell Vanthampur (see the accompanying stat block), a frail and hateful fortytwo- year-old man clutching a puzzle box.

He dropped the puzzle box and immediately cast Sacred Flame. Then he cast another spell and ran unbelievably fast to hide behind the bed in the southwest portion of the room.

Slobberchops nodded his head and 2 imps became visible. Two were on each side of the door. The third hovered near Thurstwell guarding him.

Thurstwell mumbled something about the failure of his guards to protect him.