Recap February 8, 2020

They had a good night’s sleep but wanted to take an extra day to rest before heading back to the Vault of Dragons. They also wanted to do some shopping to prepare for what may be in said Vault. About mid-morning, Broxley Fairkettle, a representative of the Fellowship of Innkeepers, came into the tavern asked to speak with one or more of the owners. Hetty came over to speak with him. He said:

the Fellowship of Innkeepers, in conjunction with the Bakers’ Guild, the Guild of Butchers, and the Vintners’, Distillers’, and Brewers’ Guild, have decided to hold a Deadwinter Day feast for the residents of Trollskull Alley and they were wondering if the group would be willing to have the feast at Trollskull Tavern. We believe the gesture would be appreciated by the people of Trollskull Alley and the surrounding areas, in light of the events over the past 8 or so weeks. If they agree, guild representatives would arrive to stock and decorate it for the event 2-3 days before the event. All of the costs for the event would be taken care of by the guilds involved.

Hetty gathered the others and they all agreed this would be good thing for Trollskull Alley as well as the North Ward. They all walked over and gave Broxley their answer. Broxley said that they would see them in about 5 days and if they had any questions, they could contact him.

Broxley2

They then went shopping.

They decided to start first thing the next morning. They sent a message to Ranaer who agreed to meet them at the front of the Brandeth Mausoleum.

He met them and let them in. He would not go with them this time either. He wished them well and they headed down into the secret passages below the crypts of Ranaer’s family. They came to the Vault doors once more.

“The three keys. Bring them forth”

They laid out the keys that they had collected. The Vault Door opens and they see into a large room. This vast chamber has the following features: • Three age-worn columns support crumbling stone bridges 60 feet overhead, with the ceiling rising another 20 feet beyond that. • Set into alcoves are twelve sets of double doors made of iron. Each door is 10 feet wide, 10 feet high, and embossed with images of dwarf warriors in plate armor.

“Doors abound, doors all around. Beyond is danger or treasure found, Approach to answer, open to speak, Our greatest love hides what you seek.”

All of the dwarf warriors seem to be the same dwarf. Jasper said we usually do this to represent one or more of the dwarven deities.

Each of the 12 doors has a single dwarven rune on it. Going clockwise the runes read:

Orc

Wealth

Power

Kin

Clan

Mead

Child

Rock

Beard

Laugh

Luck

Song

They were not sure which door(s) to choose. Jasper said Clan is what we value pretty high. The rest agreed but they decided to look at the other doors. Henrik checked out the door that had the rune for Rock on it. He touched the door and barely was able to get out of the way as rocks fell out of the ceiling on top of him. Catarak went to the door with the rune for Song on it. He touched it and became deafened by boisterous dwarven singing inside their head for the next 1 hour. Pixel cast Lesser Restoration on him. He could still hear the music but he was no longer deaf. Henrich then went over to the door with the rune for Child. Touching it he took psychic damage and had his Intelligence reduced to 6. They finally went to the door with the rune for Clan and the door opened up into:

This hall has the following features: At the south end of this chamber, expertly carved stairs climb 70 feet to area V4. The north wall bears a 20-foot-square fresco that depicts dwarves battling goblins.

Hetty went over to look at the fresco. She got a far away look in her eyes. Henrich snapped her out of it and then went over to the stairs and went up to the next area.

Three pillars running the length of the hall are carved to resemble warhammers, with their square heads pressed against the floor.

The west wall bears a cracked mosaic that depicts a dwarf smith at a forge, crafting dwarves out of black metal and diamonds. About halfway down the west wall there was a good sized dwarven keg.

Three archways in the east wall lead to crumbling bridges that span the entrance foyer and end in front of adamantine doors.

Catarak was excited about the keg. Thinking there was mead in the keg he approached it but was attacked by a pseudopod that had come out of the right side of the keg. The keg dissolved away leaving a ooze of some type. Jasper said it was a booze ooze that some dwarves set up as traps. Catarak took the brunt of the attacks from the booze ooze getting alcohol poisoning. The others only got a little buzzed.

Hetty and Jasper went to the first crumbling bridge. Hetty had a rope tied around her before walked across. She had no problems and soon she was at the door. She opened the door and inside was:

• A 10-foot-tall painted statue of an armored male dwarf wielding a battleaxe and wearing a mask stands at the back of this 20-foot-high room. • Before the statue, set into the floor, is an adamantine trapdoor with a pull ring along one side.

She went back and had Jasper check out the dwarf statue. Jasper said it was Gorm Gulthyn, the dwarven god of vigilance also known as Fire Eyes. They decided to check out the trapdoor but Hetty left the room before Jasper reach for the ring. He lifted the ring and the statue’s eyes glowed red and fire shot out of them hitting Jasper. Jasper also realized that the trap door was not real. They went to the next archway and crumbling bridge.

Hetty could not get this door to open. She put all her strength behind it and was able to get the door open.

The room contains the following features: • Four suits of rusted plate armor sans helmets, sized for a dwarf, stand in the corners of this 20-foot-high room. Each suit is draped in cobwebs. • Dwarvish runes are carved into the far wall. The inscription reads, “A secret never before told will part Dumathoin’s lips.”

Dumathoin was the dwarven god of secrets. Jasper was sure what needed to be done but wanted to check out the last archway and crumbling bridge.

The last door also would not budge but Hetty got it open as well.

The north, east, and south walls of this 20-foot-high room are adorned with dust-covered frescoes depicting dwarf smiths at work in their forges. An iron anvil sits atop a raised stone block in the middle of the floor. Both fixtures are draped in cobwebs.

Hetty moved the cobwebs out of the way to look for traps. She did not find any but she found more dwarven runes. Jasper came into the room to look at them. They read “Let the hammer fall and the anvil ring.” Jasper noticed that on the fresco on the south wall was a stone hammer that looked like it could be removed. Jasper took it off the wall and discovered it too had runes on it. “Let hearts be lifted and battles won.”

Jasper took out his warhammer and struck the anvil. He then took the stone hammer and used it to strike the anvil. He received 10 temporary hit points that lasted for the next 24 hours.

Jasper went back to the center room. He knew he had to tell and secret that no one else knew and he had to say it out loud.

“My father’s closest advisor wore ladies underwear”

A secret door flips open, giving access to a spiral staircase that went down about 30ft and connect to a corridor. They all went down the stairs and at the end of the corridor was another door. Henrich could tell it was closed by magical means. You see some magical script illuminate beside the door. It reads:

Door is closed

Beneath this phrase, more words(?) come into view:

riddle2

They could read the dwarven and the elven script.

water - angry - open - window – soft –  – creme -

Henrik tried to move the words around and saw that he could do it. He replaced the word closed with the word open and the door in front of him opened. They thought of trying the other words but decided to move on.

They went down another spiral staircase for another 60ft. They came to another larger room:

Although deep underground, this vault is lit by streams of sunlight that pour down from the ceiling, catching motes of dust in their luminous pools. Ornate columns support a thirty-foot-high vaulted ceiling, which is adorned with carvings of dwarves basking in the presence of their gods. Deep alcoves line the walls, and piled in one of them is a vast golden trove. Out of the dusty gloom steps an aged dwarf clutching a staff carved and painted to resemble a pair of entwined dragons-one red, one gold. Despite the dwarf’s age, his eyes are steady and bright. “I wasn’t expecting anyone,” he says plainly. “As you can see, the place is a mess. Perhaps you should come back later, after I’ve tidied up a bit.”

Aurinax

“Who are you? Wait, where are my manners…My name is Barok Clanghammer. Now, who are you and how can I help you?”

They could see a huge pile of gold in one alcove and in another one was several dozen gemstones (65 total, each worth 100gp)

(I do not remember the entire conversation. I do know you all made great persuasive points and appealed to his greater sense of duty to the many versus the one (or two if you include Neverember and himself)

After a long conversation, Barok Clanghammer agreed to hand the gold over to the group with the understanding that it would be first taken and given to Ranaer who would take it to Laeral, the Open Lord of Waterdeep. The group wanted to make sure that Ranaer’s name would not be sullied just because was the son of the man that stole half a million gold pieces from the city of Waterdeep. They agreed to let Barok keep the gemstones.

Jasper used the Elemental Gem to summon an Earth Elemental to carry the gold at least to the surface. Once it was there they would contact Ranaer. Barok was not sure how to leave the Vault so Pixel and Hetty escorted him to the Vault doors. Hetty continued with Barok to the surface while Pixel stayed back to make sure things were safe. As Hetty and Barok came out of Ranaer’s mother’s tomb, they saw that a crowd had gathered. The say members of the Xanathar Guild fighting with members of Black Network led by Manshoon (or one of his clones or simulacrum) On rooftops they saw snipers with bows taking potshots at whoever they had a good shot on. Most of the shots seemed only to injured not kill though that was not always the case. The gate to the Brandeth burial area was destroyed as was the treant guardian. They saw Mirt with member of the Harpers. Ranaer was with them. They were fighting a group of thugs that did not seem to be members of the Xanathars nor the Zhentarim. Melanorr from the Emerald Enclave was to the right, near the Xanathars. He had three giant boars with him and an owlbear dressed in cleric’s garb who was buffing the boars. Melanorr shapeshifted into a dire wolf and pounced on the Xanathars with his giant boar companions. At the far end they saw Vajra Safahr, the current Blackstaff along with Larael, the Open Lord of Waterdeep. They were surrounded by mages and city watch and city guards.

Barok asked someone to hold on to the staff (Catarak put in the bag of holding) and he transformed into a gold dragon. He shouted “Greetings Manshoon, my old friend and exhaled his Weakening breath on Manshoon and most of his followers. The rest of the group arrived on the top side and assisted as best as they could. Reva and Hetty focused on the snipers. Henrik assisted Barok (Aurinax) with Manshoon and the Zhentarim. Jasper cast Sleet Storm on the Xanathars knocking them prone.

The battle was hectic but did not last long. With all of his Zhent followers defeated Manshoon escaped. Those from the Xanathars that were not killed were rounded up by the City Watch. Hetty discovered that at least of the snipers was a drow. They waved to Ranaer who came over with Mirt. They explained what all they had found and that they were returning the gold to the city by way of him. He agreed and they called Laeral over. They repeated the story. She thanked them for their service to Waterdeep. She said she was prepared to give the group 50,000gp as a reward and give them all “Keys to the City”. What they have done can never truly be repaid. She finally said, I need to speak Aurinax alone.

Over time they learned that Aurinax knew where the gold had come from but he allowed his greed and his agreement with Lord Neverember to cloud his moral judgment. The group had spoken of Dabshabah, the brass wyrmling that they had found below the city. Hetty had mentioned that maybe the young dragon needed a mentor. Aurinax decided to mentor Dabshabah was one way to atone for his sins. He never admitted these things explicitly but everyone in the group could tell from conversations with him that he wanted to make amends.