Recap June, 22 2019

Our adventurers are:

Sil - moon elf wizard urban bounty hunter

Smyth - human rogue criminal

Galen - half-elf paladin outlander

Donno - halfling monk acolyte

Turen - wood elf monk hermit

They had all come to Waterdeep for whatever reason. It is called the City of Splendors for a reason. If you cannot find something in other cities along the Sword Coast, even in Faerun, you will most likely find it in Waterdeep. It may take some time and money, but your chances are higher.

Within the group, there was at least a passing knowledge of each other, while a few knew each other better. They had come to the Yawning Portal, one of the most famous inns in all of Faerun to have a few drinks and get to know one another. The Yawning Portal was one of the known entrances to Undermountain, one of the most famous dungeons in the world.

It’s a special evening at the Yawning Portal. The noisy taproom seems even more full than usual and patrons are brimming with excitement. A small crowd of well-wishers have gathered around the party of heroes who’ve chosen this night to brave the tavern’s namesake. The small band of would-be-heroes is carefully checking and securing their equipment, mundane and magical alike. As they begin their descent into the large hole in the middle of the tavern, the taproom fills with loud cheers and excited huzzahs. Behind the bar, Durnan, the grizzled proprietor of the Yawning Portal, shakes his head and smirks under his mustache.

Durnan charges a small fee to be lowered down the well in the center to get to the entrance to the 1st level of Undermountain. But that is not where the real money is made. People bet on how long the adventuring group will stay in Undermountain and how many will return as odds are at least one adventurer per group will not be coming back.

You sit around a sturdy wooden table lit by a brightly burning candle and littered with plates cleared of food and half-drained tankards. The sounds of gamblers yelling and drunken adventurers singing bawdy songs nearly drown out the off’-key strumming of a young bard three tables over. Then all the noise is eclipsed by a shout: “Ya pig! Like killin’ me mates, does ya?” Then a seven-foot-tall half-orc is hit by a wild, swinging punch from a male human whose shaved head is covered with eye-shaped tattoos. Four other humans stand behind him, ready to jump into the fray. The half-orc cracks her knuckles, roars, and leaps at the tattooed figure-but before you can see if blood is drawn, a crowd of spectators clusters around the brawl. What do you do?

Allan recognized the half-orc as his friend Yagra. He jumped on the table to get a better look. He sees her squaring off against the man with the shaved head, covered with eye-shaped tattoos. 4 of his friends are behind him but do not appear to be advancing on her. She swings once, twice and the shaved head man goes down to the floor. His four friends then surround Yagra. Allan jumps off the table and goes to engage one of them. Galen follows with Smyth sneaking around the opposite side of the fight. Yagra punches another one out but she is soon overwhelmed as two more thugs come out of the crowd and they all start kicking her when she is down. Sil stays back. he sees Durnan leap over the bar and start shouting to take this fight outside of his bar. The thugs ignore him but the one that Allan was closest to drew his scimitar and tried to attack Allan. Allan countered and subdued him. Galen approached and took on a few of the thugs. He did not hold back since they had drawn their scimitars. Smyth searched one of the knocked out thugs but one of his friends did not like that and came over to teach Smyth a lesson. It did not go well for the thug. Soon there were only a few standing and they did not seem to be interested in fighting anymore.

Shouts of alarm suddenly ring out as a hulking creature climbs up out of the shaft in the middle of the tap· room-a monster with warty green skin, a tangled nest of wiry black hair, a long, carrot-shaped nose, and bloodshot eyes. As it bares its yellow teeth and howls, you can see that a half-dozen bat-like creatures are attached to its body, with three more circling above it like flies. Everyone in the tavern reacts in fear except for the barkeep, Durnan, who shouts, “Troll!”

Durnan runs behind the bar and grabs his greatsword and runs to attack the troll. He shouts to the group to that he has the troll and that for them to take care of the stirges and to find some lamp oil and to set the troll on fire. They are not sure that he is talking to them but as he passes Sil Durnan looks him straight in the face and says, get oil and find a flame unless you can produce one yourself. Sil goes to look for oil while Allan and Donno take out two of the stirges. Smyth moves around the back of the troll to get try to get sneak attack damage. Galen moved in beside Durnan and tried to shield bash the troll back into the well but the troll stood fast. Durnan said I told you all to get oil but does not say anything else when he saw that Galen’s handaxe would be doing fire damage to the troll. Donno throws a container of oil hitting the troll on the side of the head. The oil dripped down the side of its face and onto his shoulder. Allan threw another bowl of oil but it overshot the troll and it fell into the well in the center of the taproom. Galen hit the troll with his handaxe and the side of the of troll erupted with flame. Sil cast Chill Touch so lessening the amount of damage that the troll regained each round. Soon, the burning troll dropped and taking lamp oil from behind the bar, the doused the troll and soon it was nothing but a pile of ash.

Durnan lets his greatsword drop to his side and says “I said to fight the stirges, not the troll, but you fought well. Thank you. Your next round is on me.” He then goes behind the bar and gets a broom and comes back and sweeps the troll ash down into the well.

The group stops by the bar to get their drink and as they are heading back to their table someone steps out of the crowd and says “You be adventurers, am I right? I could use your help. Let’s find a table to talk, shall we?”

They lead him to their table.

The figure who approached you strokes his mustache adjusts his floppy hat and tightens his scarf. “Volothamp Geddarm, chronicler, wizard, and celebrity, at your service. You can call me Volo. I trust you’ve noted the violence in our fair city these past tendays. I haven’t seen so much blood since my last visit to Baldur’s Gate! But now I fear I have misplaced a friend amid this odious malevolence.

“My friend’s name is Floon Blagmaar. He’s got more beauty than brains if you know what I mean, and I worry he took a bad way home a couple of nights ago and was kidnapped -or worse. If you agree to track him down with all due haste, I can offer you ten dragons (gold piece) apiece now, and I can give you each ten times that (100gp each) when you find Floon. May I prevail upon you in my hour of need?”

Volo

The answer was almost immediate. They would help but they wanted to ask some questions first. Giving them each a pouch with 10gp, Volo then told them the following:

Floon is in his early 30s, handsome with wavy red-blond hair. He was dressed in princely garb when Volo last saw him. Two nights ago, before Floon disappeared, he and Volo had been drinking and merrymaking at the Skewered Dragon, a dark, bawdy tavern in the Dock Ward. That probably is the best place to start looking. Volo goes to the Skewered Dragon maybe once a month or every other month. It started out as a place to do research on the Dock Ward for one of his guides but he liked the place so he continued to go. He left before Floon. Floon has not been seen since.

Smyth knew the Dock Ward pretty well so he knew where the Skewered Dragon was. It was maybe a 7 block walk from the Yawning Portal so they set out. As they entered the Dock Ward you find yourselves on a street that has been cordoned off by the City Watch. Lying on the cobblestones are a half-dozen corpses, seemingly the victims of some terrible skirmish. Watch officers have disarmed and arrested three blood-drenched humans and are in the midst of questioning witnesses. One of the officers sees you. “Get on,” she says. “Nothing to see here.”

As you are turning to leave the closed street, you suddenly hear a loud shout: “Get him!”. You see three of the City Watch guards frantically scrambling to catch one of the bandits who’ve sprung to his feet and is swiftly making his way out of the cordoned off street – and right past you!

The bandit does not get far as Allan moves to the side just enough to trip him up. Two members of the City Watch pick him up as he spits on the ground and says to Allan “We’ll remember that!”. The City Watch thanks them for the assist but the says that it is time for them to move. Keep the blood off the streets.

They keep heading towards the Skewered Dragon. One nearby shop stands out from the others. It has a deep purple facade, and in its window hangs a stuffed beholder. Above the door hangs a sign whose elaborate letters spell out “Old Xoblob Shop.”

Intrigued, Sil says he would like to enter and see what this place is all about since it has a beholder in its window. He enters

A cloud of lavender-scented purple smoke trails out of the shop’s door as you peer inside. Every wall is painted purple, and every dusty knickknack on the shelves is dyed various shades of violet. The hairless old gnome sitting cross-legged on the counter wears plum-colored robes. His cheeks are decorated with nine purple face-painted eyes. The gnome lowers a pipe and exhales a cloud of lavender smoke before raising a hand. “Hail and well met! Come browse the shelves of the most curious curiosity shop in the world!”

Xoblob2

They look around the shop. Sil finds a gnomish made music box (purple of course)that played a song that sounded like one he knew from his childhood. He asked Xoblob where did he get this. Xobolb was not sure but he knew that he had picked it up at some point in the past year. Sil bought it and thanked him. Galen asked if he knew Floon. Xoblob did not but once he heard his description, he said that he saw two such men that fit that description two nights ago walk past my shop and they were jumped by 5 men dressed in black leather armor. I have not seen any of them since. They thanked him and then made their way to the Skewered Dragon.

The Skewered Dragon looks like a ruin. Both of its front-facing windows are smashed, and a ship’s anchor is lodged in the roof. Through the windows, you can see a group of haggard patrons drinking from huge tankards.

They approached the barkeep and he asked would they like a drink. Sil cast prestidigitation several times on the bar, the barkeeper’s rag and then on the drink when it arrived since it smelled like sea water. They asked the barkeep about Floon and Floon’s friend. They had been in here but he was not sure about anything else. His job was to bring folks drinks. He was pretty sure they had gambled some as well as drink and then they left and he has not seen them since. They thanked him and turned to leave.

A broad-shouldered dwarf with a smoothly oiled black beard and a multitude of different silver rings on his stubby fingers approach you. He sticks his chin out and plants two fists on the table in front of you. “Ain’t none of these durned fools ‘ere going to tell ye nothin’ ye can believe. If ye wanna know about that skinny boy and his pompous buddy, ye’ll have to win it from me. So waddaya wanna lose – ye coins or ye consciousness?”, the dwarf asks, his deep voice slurring.

Sil was not sure what to do so he stepped back. The dwarf said to Sil, do you know how to Sava? Sil did not but he knew that it was a drow game sort of like chess. Galen asked would the fight be with weapons? The dwarf said no weapons and no armor. Galen said you are on. The fight was close from start to finish but Galen was victorious. The dwarf reached out his hand from the floor and said Good fight. I am Solomil but call me Solo. Galen helps him up on his fight and they walk back to his table.

Solo pulls out a wooden box and opening up pulled out a flask and two shot glasses. Pouring the shots he asked Galen if he wanted a dwarven whiskey? Galen said yes. They both took a swig and then Solo began to speak.

Floon was here with Volo. They drank for awhile two nights ago. Volo left and shortly thereafter another friend of Floon’s arrived, Renaer Neverember, son of the former Open Lord of Waterdeep, Dagult Neverember. Chip off the old block, that one Solo said. Really nice lad. Some of the patrons close by overhead this and mumbled Renaer is just another spoiled, rich noble who likes to rub our noses in it. Solo continued. The two drank and played a few rounds of Three Dragon Ante before leaving around midnight or so. Five men followed them out, and I do not know what happened after that. The men who left shortly after Floon and Renaer haven’t returned to the tavern since, but they’re known to frequent a warehouse on Candle Lane. “Look for the snake symbol on the door,” says Solo.

Smyth knew of Candle Lane so they left the Skewered Dragon.

Gloom envelops a narrow alley as dark as a dungeon and as odorous as one, too. Nearly all the streetlamps have been smashed. The only light that pierces the darkness is a faint flickering from down the lane, like a distant candle.

As they got closer to the light they saw that someone had cast a Continual Light spell inside the lamp. The glow of the lamp was enough for them to see the warehouse across the lane with the large snake with wings symbol on the warehouse door.

The warehouse stands at the back of an outer yard behind a high fence. The building’s three points of entry- are a front door, a large warehouse loading door, and a painted-over window.

Smyth and Donna went to one side of the building while Turen went around the other side. Sil stayed at the corner that Smyth and Donno had went to. Galen stayed near the gate entrance and kept an eye on things. On the side Smyth and Donno were on, they saw a second floor window and an area that looked like a group of rooms. They also spotted a knob about 1/4 of the way down the wall of the warehouse that looked like it did not belong. Smyth investigated it and it was a secret door. It was locked but it did not seem to be trapped. He opened the door and it led down into a small basement like area. Suddenly Smyth and Donno heard a muffled ringing coming from somewhere in or around the warehouse. They stood still for a moment to see if anyone was going to come. No one did. Donno used his scabbard of message sending and let Sil know what they had found. He then walked a few more feet and sent Galen the same message. Galen gathered Turen and they all checked out the hidden room.

The front door has a sliding peephole that can be opened from the inside. Two wooden crates were stashed here. The first contains four wood-framed paintings wrapped in leather. The paintings depict the cities of Luskan, Neverwinter, Silverymoon, and Baldur’s Gate and are worth 75 gp each. The second crate contains fifteen 10-pound silver trade bars, all black from corrosion but still worth 50 gp each. They decided to close and lock the door and come back after they had searched the warehouse for Floon and Renaer.

The fence was about 9ft high. Smyth found the gate locked but in no time he had it open and he slowly opened the gate. They decided to go to the front door first. It too was locked but it was opened just as quick. Smyth opened the front door slowly as well.

Tables and chairs have been carelessly tossed across the floor. The corpses of a 5 men lie along the west wall, their rapiers and daggers lying nearby. On the north side of the area, stairs rise to an open level above.

Smyth needed more light to see the rest of the warehouse so he got out his lantern. Lighting it he sat it on one of the crates. As he did, a short sword stuck him in the side and he dropped. It was a short, avian creature with long beaks and black feathers. He was wearing a hooded cloak in addition to the sword. Several other kenku jumped out of the shadows and the party rushed in to get to their friend.

kenku2

Galen, Turen and Sil focused on the kenku while Donno went to patch up Smyth. He was succesful and soon Smyth was up and fighting again. The kenku fell quick but they decided to capture one to interrogate. Another ran into the shadows. Galen followed and found it trying to open the painted over window but it could not get it opened. Galen swung a few times and it was down. Galen rejoined the group to see if they could get any information from the kenku.

They then went upstairs to check things out. They had noticed the muffled alarm had gotten quieter and slower. There was a walkaround and a door. Smyth found the door locked. Picking the lock he opened the door and another alarm bell started ringing. He searched and found the trap and was able to turn it off. Sil and Smyth looked around. There were only desks and chairs in several office rooms. They found nothing but 4 sheets of paper that were actually paper birds (After writing a small message (of 50 words or less) onto a paper bird, the sender whispered the name of the intended recipient. This caused the paper bird to magically fold and seal itself and to take flight, taking the most direct route toward the recipient)

Galen was standing near the staircase up and heard some bumping coming from underneath the stairs. Smyth came over and found the door was not locked nor trapped. They opened the door and saw that a cramped chamber beyond smelling strongly of sour fish and vinegar. It was filled with discarded ropes, canvas tarpaulins, and splintered wood from smashed barrels. One of the tarps moved a little and Galen said, show yourself.

A voice came from behind the tarp. I would if I could but I am tied up and cannot remove the tarp.

Floon? Smyth said.

No, the voice replied. Floon has been taken by the Xanths and I fear that it is my fault. Please untie.

Galen was not ready to untie Renaer just yet. Why do you say that it is your fault?

“The Zhentarim thinks that my father embezzled a large amount of gold while he was Open Lord, and that he hid the dragons somewhere in the city. They think they can find it by using an artifact called the Stone of Colorr, which was in the hands of the Xanathar Guild until recently. Apparently, someone stole it. The Zhents thought I knew something about all of this, but I don’t. My father and I haven’t spoken in years. I think the mistook Floon for me and have taken him somewhere to interrogate him about something he has no idea about. They could hurt him or worse once they find out that they have the wrong person.”

They could tell he was telling the truth and was feeling guilt over the abduction of his friend. They untied him and he explained what happened in the warehouse. The corpses belong to five human Zhentarim sellswords (the same ones who kidnapped Floon and Renaer) and seven human Xanathar Guild thugs, all of them clad in leather armor. Each Zhent has a black tattoo of a winged snake on his neck or forearm, and one of the Xanathar Guild members has a black tattoo on the palm of his right hand that looks like a circle with ten spokes radiating out from its circumference. The Zhents were jumped by some Xanths and they were able to take most of the out. Xanth backup arrived, several more humans, a half-orc and a small flock of kenku and they jumped on the Zhents. During the fight I crawled into the closet, was able to shut the door and covered myself with the tarp. I heard them say we have the Neverwinter boy but there was nothing I could do to help Floon. He stretched himself and then said. Let us go see if we can find Floon.

Smyth said we have a kenku we are going to try to get information out of this remaining kenku. While they talked to the kenku Renaer searched through the gear for a rapier and dagger he liked.

Smyth asked the kenku Where is Floon? In a thin, nasally voice: “Tie up the pretty boy in the back room!” and “Follow the yellow signs in the sewers.”

Smyth was not sure about this answer so he asked again.

In a scratchy voice: “No time to loot the place. Just get him to the boss.” it replied

They asked it more questions about Floon.

In a deep voice with an orcish accent: “Xanathar sends its regards”.

They are mimics said Turen. I don’t think we are going to get a straight answer from them. Smyth said well okay then and took out his dagger and slit the kenku’s throat. Galen said wait, what did you just do? You murdered him. He was not a threat to you or to anyone. He was tied up. Speaking those last words, Galen pulled his longsword and advanced to attack Smyth.

Suddenly from the front door they heard Everybody! Don’t move! This is the City Watch. Weapons down please. We are not going to take them just yet.

Ranaer said Staget, is that you?

Staget replied Renaer? What are you doing here?

Galen interrupted the conversation pointing to Smyth and saying this man is a murderer. He killed that tied up humanoid there. Staget looked at the situation and did not listen to Smyth as he tried to explain what had happened. He sent over two guards to take Smyth into custody. You can explain to the magistrate on duty. Staget turned to the others as Smyth went away and asked them. What are you doing in a Zhent warehouse surrounded by dead bodies?

We came here to look for Floon and Renaer, friends of Volo. Floon had disappeared two days ago. We followed the trail to here and then the kenku attacked us.

Staget replied “Best not to meddle in criminal matters. Leave this dirty business to the City Watch. Renaer can vouch for this. Not all City Watch officers are as nice as me. In case some of you are new to Waterdeep, here is a copy of the Code Legal. Keep the blood off the streets.”

The guard left with Smyth and the rest of the group went back to the Yawning Portal to update Volo and plan their next move. They explained to Volo about Renaer and why their friend Smyth was missing. Volo said I will be right back. He went over and talked to Durnan who called one of his workers who ran out the front door. Volo said we should know if this works soon.

Meanwhile, Smyth was brought before the Magistrate. It was Charlie, one that Smyth had been brought up before several times in the past. Charlie said, What didn’t you do this time? Smyth replied. I did not murder him. These birdmen attacked us while we were looking for a friend of Volo down in the Dock Ward. You mean kenku? Yes, that is what I said. Okay, well I am going to have to lock you up while we get to the bottom of this. They took him down to the cell area.

About 45 minutes later two guards came to get Smyth. They said Magistrate wants to see you.

Magistrate Charlie told him, Someone has vouched for you. You are released. You have been asked to come to the Yawning Portal as soon as you can. If you are needed again, you will be summoned. Now, get out of my courtroom.

Smyth arrived and saw the group at a table with Renaer and Volo. Durnan stopped him on his way in and said that he needed to keep his nose clean. If something else happens he might not be able to do what he just did again. They went over what they knew. Floon was taken by the Xanathar’s Guild. They probably took him into the sewers and there would be markings in the sewers that would hopefully lead them to wherever they were keeping him. Renaer said I know if a discreet sewer entrance. Smyth said there is one not too far from the warehouse in the Dock Ward. They all agreed they would start there.

They headed back to the Dock Ward and found the sewer entrance. A putrid stream flows along this sewer tunnel, which leads in two directions. In one direction, you see a tiny symbol drawn on the wall in yellow chalk: a palm-sized circle with ten equidistant spokes radiating out from its circumference. They decided to follow the direction with the tiny yellow symbol.

After an hour of following signs through the tunnels, you come to a three-way intersection where a ladder leads up into a stone shaft capped by a circular metal cover. One of the familiar chalk symbols is marked on a wall nearby, and floating near the symbol is a spherical, grapefruit-sized creature with a bulging central eye and four stumpy eye-stalks. It bares its teeth at you.

gazer

The gazer fired off several of its eye-stalk rays and tried to bite those that came close to it. It was not long before it was defeated.

They climbed the ladder and saw

The main sewer tunnel expands into a circular hub with a pair of arrow slits carved into its outer walls, directly across from each other. Two passages continue on to the north and south. A stone door is set into the back wall of a stone ledge to the west.

They went to check out the door but Turen noticed movement from an arrow slit on the southeast wall of the hub. It looked like a an arrow was being aimed at them. He ran over and shoved his staff into the slit stopping the arrow from being fired. Something grabbed the staff and tried to pull it out of Turen’s hands. It did work. Another shot out of the arrow slit next to to the first barely grazing Renaer.

Meanwhile, Smyth went through the stone door and down the corridor. He opened two doors and then saw a junk room to the southwest and another corridor to the north that opened into another room. Donno followed as did Sil. Smyth went to the room to the north and saw two goblins ready to attack. Galen stayed back with Turen and Renaer.

Smyth, Donno and Sil defeated the goblins. They found two sleeping palettes and decided to take them and cover up the two arrow slits back at the hub. They then went south along the main sewer line along the walk way and came upon an opening to the west. It opened into a good sized room. Close the entrance was too more sleeping pallets. On the closest one there was a sleeping humanoid. Smyth could could hear snoring. Smyth went back to the group to let them know what he had found. They decided to sneak past the sleeping person to see if they could find Floon. Smyth got only a few feet into the room when he heard from the sleeping man If you leave now, you will not get hurt. I just want to sleep.

Smyth tried to ask more questions but did not get anywhere. Galen joined him and asked if he could check out the back rooms for their friend. The man again said no. I am trying to sleep. Smyth asked him his name he replied Roscoe. After a few more moments of talking, Galen and Smyth moved into offensive positions. Roscoe by this time had rolled over and wasgetting out of the sleeping set up. I guess we will have to do this the hard way he said. He took a rapier and a dagger out from the blankets and started to transform into a wererat but kept his weapon down by his side.

Galen swung at him and missed. He felt like that attack should hit. He took a quick look around the back room. Not seeing any sign of Floon, he motioned to Smyth and then started to leave the area. Smyth saw that Galen was leaving and said on the way out we will let you sleep. Have a good day. Galen said if you do meet someone named Floon, could you let one of us know. I can do that. Where can I send the message? The Yawning Portal. I can send it to Durnan. Galen said that will work. Thanks.

They checked out the other passageways but they all dead-ended. They went back to the stone door and down past the area where the goblin were located. There were stairs going down. They followed those around and into another empty sleeping area. There was a door on the southeastern corner. Smyth looked around the room but did not find anything. He went to the door and heard several voices.

Bring that over here too. Get it in front of the door. Move quicker. It is in there and we do not want it out here.

Smyth told them what he heard. The group got into an attack position ready for whatever was on the other side to come at them. Galen opened the door and there was a duergar standing there.

The duergar said You are late. You should have been here hours ago.

Galen said well you know how it is. Things can happen.

The duergar said yes. What is the password?

Galen went in for the attack. The duergar stepped forward into the door and Enlarged himself. Galen could see on the other side of the room, two men pushing furniture in front of another door. They did not seem to be aware that there was a fight going on behind them.

The duergar was more solid than other things that they had fought but eventually he was defeated as well. When the clamor of battle stopped one of the men turned around and it was the man that Yagra had knocked out in the Yawning Portal several hours ago. He said fuuu…under his breath and then said what are you doing here? They said we are looking Floon. What is your name? Krentz he replied then he said if I tell you where Floon is will you let me and my friend here leave? They said sure but tell what is behind that door you are blocking. I am not sure. It is gray and it came out of the toilet. We think we have stopped it for now but we are really not sure. Floon is through that door to the south. Follow the stairs and you will see him. He is there with the boss, a couple of half-orc and the boss’s pet.

The group let the two men go.

Smyth went through the door, down a corridor turned and then went up a large flight of steps. He did not go all the way up the stairs but peaked over the top and saw someone that looked like Renaer that must be Floon on the floor with a half-orc standing on his throat. His right hand was surrounded in flame. There was another half-orc standing on front of a large set of double doors. At the back of the room sitting on a throne was a mindflayer and his pet intellect devourer. Smyth moved backward to let the others know. As he did he heard in his head. Come up on the floor and bring your friends.

Telling his friends this they all rushed up to the floor half going for Floon the others going to go after the mindflayer. The mindflayer levitated from the floor and glided across the room. The double doors opened and he went inside with the doors shutting behind him. The intellect devourer ran across the room and tried to take over the mind of Smyth, Sil and Turen but never was able to get a grip. He used claw attacks to do more damage to them. The half-orc at the doors, his bow broke so he charged across the room. Galen first took on the half-orc that was standing on Floon. Then moved to the other half-orc. Renaer ran to Floon to see if he was okay and give him healing if he needed it. The intellect devourer and the two half-orcs fell soon after. They looked at the double doors but Floon pointed over to the northeast corner and said we need to go that way. Why? Sil asked. They have an emergency escape tunnel in there. Smyth ran in and looked around and found a pull handle that opened into carved out earthen tunnel. They all followed with Renaer and Sil helping Floon along the way. They soon came to a trap door above them. Opening it they could themselves in the basement of a halfling family. An older halfling was sitting in his basement with his son and they were enjoying pints of beer. He asked what is going on? They explained where they had come from. The halfling man shouted to his wife a group of nice adventures are going to be coming through our living room. Open the front door. They then helped him move one of the large kegs over the trap door and the halfling promised to have the tunnel filled in. He then offered them a honey brewed ale to drink and they all accepted. They left soon after and headed for the Yawning Portal.

Inside they found it mostly empty but Durnan was still behind the bar and he pointed to Volo in the back area sitting at the exact table they left him in. Sil helped sit Floon down in the chair beside Volo. Volo grinned and thanked the group over and over as did Renaer.

Volo begins to speak after several minutes.

I confess that I have but few coins to spare. But never let it be said that Volo reneges on a promise. Allow me to present something much more valuable .” He holds out a scroll tube. ‘’The deed to a remarkable property here in Waterdeep! We’ll need a magistrate to witness the transfer of ownership. I’ll arrange a meeting with one after you’ve inspected the estate and deemed it satisfactory.”

Trollskull Manor is what read on the deed.

“Oh and there may or may not be a specter or ghost that lives in the building. I have never seen one but that is why I purchased it. I am working on a new book. Volo’s Guide to Spirits and Specters and was hoping I could use the first hand experiences of a specter as material for a chapter.”

The group was a little upset but soon warmed to the idea. They agreed to go take a look at it even thought it was around 3am. The tavern’s taproom is filled with broken furniture, tarnished silverware, casks of wine that have turned to vinegar, and worthless detritus. There was a very large solid oak table in the taproom that was not in need of repair. They later decided to keep it. The tavern’s other rooms are all empty, except for cobwebs, dust, and harmless rats. The building had a wine and beer cellar, the floor had the taproom and a kitchen, the second floor has more space to sit, a bedroom and a spare room, the third floor had the master bedroom, another bedroom, a library and study, two private baths. Finally there was a falconry in the turret. They felt there was more than enough room for them and to open a tavern and maybe an inn at some point in the future.

They made their way to a courthouse over in the Castle Ward. They were to meet with Kylynne Silmerhelve, one of the magistrates. Smyth knew her to be a hard-ass but not that disagreeable once you got to know her. She looked over the deed, made some notes, made a copy of the deed and then had them sign the paperwork. She also asked for the estate transfer tax of 25 gp, which is normally paid by the new owners. Galen sighed and paid her. They were the new owners of Trollskull Manor.

On the way back to the Trollskull Manor, Renear came up to Galen and handed him 25 gold. Sorry about that. I will get it back from Volo. Then Volo and Renaer headed to the Yawing Portal to check on Floon who Durnan had put to bed in a private room. They said their goodbyes.

They rested at the Manor but did not have any issues with a specter.

Over the next several days they made a plan on how to get the building renovated. They would rent a horse and wagon and go get the paintings and the silver bars to pay for things.

It would cost 1000 gold to renovate and take a tenday to get it finished. It would be another 250 gold for guild licenses and contracts (paid up front). With the paintings and most of the silver bars they would have enough to start the renovations. Then they would do some odd jobs including adventuring to get the coin for the for guild licenses and contracts. Luckily these would all be one time payments. They hired members of the Renovators and Restorers Guild to make the upgrades. They assisted in the work but mostly supervised things. The strange things started happening the first morning after the renovations had started. They came to the main room and saw written on the mirror behind the bar “Closing Time”. It was written in an odd “ink” but they could not figure out what it was. They were beginning to think they had found this specter. Several minutes passed and the script disappeared. The day went by uneventful. The next morning they were sitting at the table when a pile of build material fell. They thought Volo would want to know the specter was real. But they did not want to do so in front of the workers. At the end of the day, Galen used Divine Sense to determine what they were dealing with. He found that the being was not evil but it was undead. He got the feeling that whatever this was, was anxious about the renovations and not out to hurt anyone. Galen asked on of the workers to drop by the Yawning Portal to see if Volo was there and to ask him to come to Trollskull. Sil went over to the Book Wyrm’s Treasure to ask the owner is he had any ink that he could buy. Rishaal welcomed him and soon Sil had ink, an inkwell and several pens. He then asked if Rishaal knew about the ghost in Trollskull Manor. He said are you the new owner? Yes, there are stories from 50 to 60 years ago of the man who owned it. His name was Lif. He spent years and years working on it to get it where he wanted it. But he only enjoyed things for a few weeks as he had a heart attack and died. There had been several owners over the years but none of them stayed very long. Sil thanked him and then walked back to the Manor.

He was set to write Volo a note on one of the paper birds when there was a knock on the door. It was Volo. They sat down and had a drink and talked about the spirit. Sil told them about Lif and how it was his tavern 60 years ago. Volo was not familiar with him but said he would look into it. Smyth told them to look behind them and saw more writing on the mirror. Now it read “Last Call” Volo was really interested in knowing more. He said he would go to the library his uses in the Castle Ward in the morning and start researching. Sil said he would like to look as well. Volo said I think I can get you access. He then asked if any of them were members of a faction? They were not. He said that they may want to look into that. Several factions have records that could be helpful at times like this; the Harpers, the Order of the Gauntlet and the Lords’ Alliance were three that had these records. Sil thanked him and said he would meet him in the morning in the Castle Ward.

The tenday went by and for the first days the specter was getting worse each day. On the seventh day, they came downstairs that morning and found the bar polished up so bright that they could see their faces in the reflection. On the 8th morning as they were sitting at their table, they saw the woodwork behind the bar start to polish itself. On the ninth morning on the mirror was written “Thank you.”

Also over that tenday they had several invitations.

Sil and Galen were send a Sending spell saying “I am Vajra Safahr, the Blackstaff. Come to Blackstaff Tower in the Castle Ward when you are able. Bring your friends.”

Galen and Doon were visited by Savra Belabranta asking if they was interested in joining the Order of the Gauntlet. If so, they should come to the Halls of Justice, in the temple of Tyr located west of the Market in the Castle Ward.

Smyth received a paper bird message saying - “Renaer tells us you are a good bet. He bought you tickets to the opera to night at the Lightsinger Theater in the Sea Ward. If you are interested, meet Mirt at intermission. Private Box C. Formal attire is required for admittance.” The symbol of the Harpers was at the bottom of the letter.

Turen had seen a white cat from time to time around the Trollskull yard. One day it approached and sat down and begin to speak in a melodious male voice.

“Interested in joining the Emerald Enclave? Come meet us at Phaulkonmere in the Southern Ward. I believe you know where that is.”