Homecoming 2019 recap

Jason

Saint Calmers

Liv

Schmoogle

Nameless

Kriv

Grundy

Angel

Rachel

Mon Ki

Thoravil

McKenzie

Nattahill

Cerridwen

Welcome. Every one of you as been asked here because you have proved yourself to be some of the best in your chosen areas of expertise. Also, you have assisted with the City of Waterdeep and/or the Lords’ Alliance at various points over the years. What we ask you to do today will not be easy but we also feel we have no choice. Your mission is to kill the crime lord known as the Xanathar. A beholder of some great power.

After a series of horrifying attacks by his Thieves’ Guild has finally written the monster’s death sentence. We have arranged for you to be taken to the town of Skullport in a small sailing ship with a skeleton crew. You are to meet Cephalux the mind flayer at Bloodthorn Manor and Gart the duergar in Skull Island Prison. Yes, we are aware of the nature of these two spies. Our checks show that they are genuine in their desire to see the Xanathar disposed. Still, proceed with caution.

Lady Laeral says that the sooner they leave the better but understands that some preparation is needed for such an endeavor. The group decides to do a little shopping just to top things off. Saint Calmers asks for a Legend Lore scroll so they can find out all they can about Xanathar. Lady Laeral finds a scroll and Saint Calmers casts it. They learn the following about the Xanathar:

Xanathar is old even for a beholder. He not only has boosted beholder powers but he is known to be a capable spellcaster. He leads a Thieves’ Guild that contains several leuitenantes from other beholders and beholderkin to humans and bugbear each powerful on their own. “The Eye and the Xanathar are as the Xanathar is the Eye. But the Eye was not always the Xanathar” And do not harm is fish.

They also compiled all the knew about Skullport: Also known as the Port of Shadows, is part of Undermountain located under Waterdeep. Undermountain is one of the most notorious dungeons in Faerun, reported to be at least 9 levels of dungeon crawling madness. Skullport is located at or just below the 3rd level of Undermountain. This subterranean town is one of the most infamous places in all the lands. Order doesn’t exist in Skullport. It is an extremely chaotic environment. The 200 year old settlement is a jumble of shops, markets, and residences resting inside a huge cavern. Filthy doesn’t even begin to describe the state of this port. Most of the buildings have been put together with found materials, including rock from the cavern and wood from shipwrecks. A poorly built series of catwalks rise above the Port district connecting many of the buildings on a higher level. Most areas are dimly lit by lanterns, torches, pools of fungi and lichen, containers with glowworms, and bioluminescent goldfish in large glass bowls.

The town is divided into four districts:

Skull Island. This is the area in the south of the town where most visitors arrive first. A magical gate blocks any ships that come down the Sargauth River. The town’s prison is found here.

The Port. This area is found just north of Skull Island. Most of the taverns and inns are found in this part of Skullport. Catwalks connect many of the buildings. Two busy markets are also found here, the Slave Market and Fish Market.

Trade Lanes. Most businesses in Skullport are found in this area. It is located in between the Port and the Heart. Another busy market, the Cave Market, is found in this district.

The Heart. Found of the far eastern side of the town. The home of the wealthiest residents, including the Xanathar, of Skullport. Several businesses and a number of large manors are found here.

Xanathar’s Thieves’ Guild - The most notorious group in Skullport is this collection of evildoers. They are a powerful group of beholders, mages, pirates, rogues and other minions led by the Xanathar. This guild gets rich from protecting the slavers and smugglers in the town.

When they were ready, they were to report to the Dock’s district and find the sailing ship named the Marlowe’s Balsam. It is captained by Lelo Lightningsnow. She and her capable crew will take the group by sea to Skull Island to meet with the two spies to seek information on how to find the Xanathar and hopefully any possible weaknesses it and any of its minions and lfts may have.

They arrived at the docks and after being introduced to the crew they all got aboard the Marlowe’s Balsam and made their way out to sea. The trip would take about 5 hours depending on the seas. Most of the group did not get seasick but Angel just was not used to the rocking back and forth and she stayed seasick for quite awhile.

Your ship has been travelling for some time. For several hours you have made your way along the Sargauth River which heads through eerie, underground caverns. The crew are nervous but have been well paid and know that Skullport isn’t much further.

The ship was moving along very well as it entered the river Sarguath but soon the seas became rocky once. more. Captain Lelo said that everyone should get to their stations I fear we are going to have company of some kind. Mon Ki saw they coming first and she pointed the swimming creatures heading towards the boat. Everyone had heard of aquatic trolls but until then they had never seen one. They were pretty sure that fire and acid would cause them harm but there was only one way to find out. About half of the trolls were able to climb the side of the boat and make it to the deck of the ship. The other half clung to the side of the boat waiting for their turn to reek destruction on the ship. The group hit them hard with a combination of fire, fire spells, acid and acid spells with chain lightning thrown in just to take out large portions of the trolls while folks prepared the fire and/or acid. Soon, the trolls had been defeated and their ashes swept off the main deck.

The narrow tunnel opens into a large cavern and reveals a remarkable scene. A large glowing gate stands in the river between your ship and Skull Island. Several of towers and buildings can be seen in the background. A quartet of robed men fly above the gate and order you to cast a lightning bolt at the gate.

Nattahill cast lightning bolt at the gate and it began to clear. The head mage thanked them and then that it would be 50gp per person to enter and dock at Skull Island. Nameless paid for everyone. One of the mages flew ahead and Rachel had her pseudodragon fly ahead to check things out. It found that the mage told the Skull Island guards that this ship had paid its entrance they could come ashore. The boat docked and they asked the guards where the prison was. Not sure why you need to know that but it is in the northwest corner of the island, almost opposite where we are now and he points across the island to a large building with several watchtowers. They then asked where the Bloodthorn Manor was located. It was on the southside of the island. It is an exquisite house so it stands out. You cannot miss it.

Skull Island was crowded with folks arriving and leaving by ship and headed to and from Skullport itself. The island is so chaotic the party will be able to blend into the crowds moving about the dirty streets. There is dim light throughout the cavern.

On the south side of the island is an elegant manor. Having only one level it isn’t a large building, but it is exquisite in structure. The sturdy, high quality wood has been painted red. A high arched roof is unlike anything else on the island. One solitary figure stands at the entrance. A sign reads ‘Bloodthorn Manor’. The servant opens the large front door and says that the master of the manor is expecting you. Two men armed with longswords are revealed as the front doors open. They are clad in simple black armor and step aside to let you enter the finely furnished home.

At the end of the hallway is a beautifully decorated dining room. The ceiling is eighty feet high and slopes up to an apex. In front of you is a long wooden table with nearly two dozen leather clad, young women seated. A mind flayer turns his chair around and looks at your party. Suddenly a huge spherical monster floats up to take its place at the head of the table. The large beholder is floating in the air with its deadly eye stalks pointed towards you. “I’m sorry,” says the Cephalux, “they got here right before you.”

The women jumped to attack and the beholder raised its eyestalks two of which were covered in eye-patches and one ended with a hook instead of an eye. Liv shouted to the group that this must be Misker, the Pirate Tyrant. Misker was a member of the Xanathar Guild and they must have figured out that Cephalux was going to betray the Guild. Schmoogle and Grundy each took a row and took out 3 each of the women while Thoravil cast Spirit Guardians and rode his broom above the table damaging all of them except Cephalux. Cerridwen cast Faerie Fire on Misker. Jason aimed his Oathbow and shot arrows in the beholder. Angel cast Sunburst taking out the rest of the women. Meanwhile four of the simple black armor guards with longsword ran into the dining hall and escorted Cephalux out a door to the south. Saint Calmers tried to catch them but the door slammed. He tried to Detect Thoughts to see if they were in the house still but he could not get a read on any of them. He rejoined his companions and they concentrated on the beholder who was firing eye rays around the room. Rachel was paralyzed and a one or two were damaged by the rays but none of them were serious. Soon, the Pirate Tyrant fell to the floor. They scoured the manor house but did not find Cephalux nor anyone else. They did find some items that might be useful to them in the future:

+1 longsword, a potion of superior healing, and twelve +2 crossbow bolts, 250gp, a traveling cloak, boots of elvenkind, a deck of many things, a bag of twenty caltrops, a +1 shortbow and twelve +2 arrows.

They headed to the Skull Island Prison.

On the far western side of the island you find a walled compound with a quartet of guards at the gates. The guards grip their spears tightly. There are also several guards on high platforms looking out across the island.

The guards on the platforms either had a crossbow or a longbow and each of them was carrying a longsword. They noticed the group approaching but were nonchalant and just went about their business of being guards. Each guard platform was a 15 ft. tall wooden platform that looked out over the prison as well as all of Skull Island. Two large wooden doors face you at the entrance to SkullIsland Prison. Eight muscular guards block your way. They all carry spears. One of them approached and asked what their business was. The conversation was brief and the lead guard took out a Sending Stone and told the other guards that it was time to go. They were not being paid enough and that HE would take care of things. The guards put down their weapons and headed for Skullport and the near bar/pub.

The group entered the prison yard and they were met by another set of double doors. It was locked but McKenzie picked the lock. The door behind them closed and the door in front of them opened and in roared a Death Slaad. The Death Slaad walked forward but stopped. Schmoogle and Grundy tried to keep the back door from completely closing again. Liv noticed that a magic spell was forcing the door closed. Saint Calmers cast Dispel Magic and Schmoogle was able to close the door while Grundy rushed ahead to attack the Death Slaad. The slaad took all their biggest attacks and spells and kept on going. He held his hand in front of himself and a bustersword appeared in it and he began to swing it one-handed style. But, he fell shortly thereafter and Grundy picked up the bustersword.

They opened the door that the slaad had come through they saw the row of prison cells. Most of them had prisoners in the them. They found the following:

a) Inn Owner said to have Murdered barkeep, noble

b) Dark elf spy caught wandering around the island

c) Bard from Waterdeep In prison because everyone hates bards and humans

d) Gray dwarf merchant from the Underdark, says he was framed by the Xanathar Thieves’ Guild,

e) Sophia Swift caught sneaking around Skullport

f) A happy half-orc always laughing and smiling

g) Rogue caught breaking into Bloodthorn Manor,

h) A man in blood red robes, seated in the corner rocking back and forth.

I) Empty

j) Four dancers. Slavers might want them. CG

k) Peasant from Waterdeep, insulted a guard,

l) Empty

m) Funny halfling who thinks it’s hilarious that he got put in prison

n) Rude red-faced noble who says that he does not owe back taxes

o) Young high elf

p) A cheating moneylender

q) An obnoxious sorcerer

r) Sad cleric, worships Ilmater (The Crying God)

s) A friendly merchant who says it’s all a misunderstanding

t) Nervous deep gnome fighter

u) Two barmaids who tried to unionize and it did not go over too well

v) Grumpy sage from Mirabar, stole a bottle of ink from a wizard

w) A guard who refused orders

x) Angry shield dwarf, kidnapped to give to the slavers want to use his mining expertise

y) A solemn tiefling

z) A monk from the east, failed on a contract to kill someone

aa) 3 Shield Dwarf Miners,

bb) Knight from the Knights of the Unicorn

cc) Halfling, captured trying to rescue a group of slaves. Has befriended the Knight of the Unicorn in the cell next to her

dd) Gart, the duergar spy that they were looking for.

After you open the cell with the duergar inside. He stumbles out onto the ground. Gart is exhausted and needs food and water. He tells the party that the Xanathar has a hidden lair underneath Rockridge Manor. The beautiful mansion is located in the Heart district. He tells them the Heart is the district found across the bridge and farthest to the east.

Gart explained that the Xanathar has left two keys to a secret entrance with his two minions. 1) One of the henchmen is Ahmaergo, a shield dwarf who is usually hanging out at the Lazy Bugbear (an inn) in the Port. The Port is the area north of Skull Island.

2) The other minion is Madame Carmen Cobb, an old woman who runs Vial Brews in the Trade Lanes. The spy explains the Trade Lanes are the district found just after the Port district. A bridge of skulls connects the two.

Gart explains that he used to work for the Xanathar Thieves’ Guild but he grew disillusioned with their slavery practices and wants to see the end of the Xanathar.

Gart looks the group up and down and while slowly nodding his head he says “I do believe that you all are the ones to finally do what no one else has been able to…kill the Xanathar.