Recap July 27, 2019

They thought about further investigating Esvele Rosznar the new Black Viper but decided they had other things they should check on before. They decided to go see Savra at the Order of The Gauntlet to let her know what they had found out about the Black Viper. Savra thanked them and Hetty and Henrich received Renown for their work with the Order of the Gauntlet.

(We were all over the place this session so I know some of what is below is out of order of how we did it. It is just how it has come out from my memory)

Jasper went to see Eatiel who owns the shop called Three Moves Ahead, a gaming and collectables store. He is an artisan and well-known craftsman, collector and he may have a painting of a dwarf miner, or know where to get one or be able to do one himself. He said he would see what he could find and to check back tomorrow and he would have an update. Jasper also went to see about getting alchemical reagents and other materials to create a green flame. He also bought a brazier in case they needed a brazier that was green.

They next went to see Xoblob to see if they could purchase a beholder stalk from him, specifically one of the ones on the large purple beholder that sits in his window in front of his shop. Xobolb was not about to see a piece of his prized possession. Even if it was repaired he would know that it was not complete. He did say he knew a guy that could possibly get one. If they needed it, he would get in touch with his contact to see what could be arranged. Finder’s fees would be included in the total cost but they would be discussed once the item was found. They agreed and said they would be back if they ended up needing one.

The group knew at some point they would need to talk to Ranaer about getting into the Brandath Mausoleum. They headed to the Yawning Portal to see if he was there. He was not but Bonnie said that he would be in later that afternoon, more towards evening. They decided to stay, have a few drinks and get some food. They had a meat and cheese platter, venison plate, and soup in a bread bowl. There was also the Halfling Special, a combination of all of the above. Hetty got that.

Around 6ish, Ranaer came in and they called out to him to come have a drink with them. They talked for awhile and caught up with him. He was still laying low after the kidnapping of him and Floon but other than that he was doing well. The group tried to make things subtle but Ranaer caught on that they were hinting at something larger. Henrich told him that the Stone was real and that it had spoken to him and told him the Vault with the money Raener’s father had stolen was located in the Brandath Mausoleum. Ranaer was skeptical at first. He did realize that they needed him to open the gates for them to the mausoleum. He agreed to do so this evening but he would not be able to join them as he had an engagement at 9pm that he could not miss. They agreed. Finishing their meals and drinks, they double checked their gear and then set out for the City of the Dead.

They arrived and Ranaer greeted the Treant guardian, Oakenlimb, who let them him. Ranaer gave them a brief tour by pointing to the buildings in the complex. Going counter-clockwise:

Celestial Statuary

The Ossuaries

The Grand Crypt

Small Mausoleums

Uld’s Crypt

The First Crypt

Pointing to the First Crypt Ranaer said that is where my Mom is buried. He then said well, I must be off. If you do find anything odd or evidence that someone has been in there that you feel is not supposed to be, please, let me know. I should be available tomorrow. You can leave a note with Bonnie and she will let me know you are looking for me. He also said you should be able to leave once you are finished looking around. I will know if you cannot leave and we will deal with that if needed be. They thanked him and he left with the mausoleum gates closing behind him.

They went to the Celestial Statuary. The doors were locked so they moved on. They went down to the Ossuaries to have a look around. These four buildings in the southwest corner of the crypt-complex or were built as ossuaries. the one in the center has collapsed. It looked to have had at one time floor-to-ceiling shelving that once held the bones. With the collapse what was left of the building was nothing but stone and bone. Suddenly they saw movement from the rubble two dozen animated skeletal hands were climbing out of the pile of bone and stone. Jasper said they were Crawling Claws and the group prepared for their attack. Though there were many and looked to surround the group, Riva was able to take out almost half of the hands with several well placed shots of Hail of Thorns. The group weaved in and out easily taking them out. They did another search around but did not see anything but more importantly they did not see anymore undead hands crawling about. They thought about removing the bones but one of them remembered that maybe this is where they needed to stay. It was their burial place after all. They left the Ossuaries and moved onto the Grand Crypt.

The Grand: This two-story tall building was built at the height of the Brandath family’s power and influence. Constructed of marble and porphyry, its Doric architecture is redolent of 13th century revivalism. The name BRANDATH is carved in Common letters above the doors. The vaulted main hall of the grand crypt is perpetually lit by three chandeliers with blue everburning candles. Plaques upon the floors and walls indicate where dozens of people have been laid to rest seemingly behind every wall. Bas reliefs serve as strange death masks. The stairs at the south end of the building lead up to a second floor of tight, claustrophobic passages lined with crypts. Some of the crypt were empty on the second floor but there were not death masks up there.

A good sized side chamber was taken up almost entirely by the tomb of Sir Jom Shiaon Brandath. They could tell by the size, he must have been a half-giant. Carvings around his titanic sarcophagus indicate that he was indeed a half giant and that he died seeking vengeance again “Lord Bombur,” who had “cruelly butchered” Sir Jom’s family with a cowardly assault upon his keep while Sir Jom was on campaign in the First Dragonspear War (1356 YD).

Small Mausoleums: Originally there were several dozens of these smaller mausoleums located in the Brandath crypt-complex, each containing a single body (or perhaps a small family unit). Many were raised in order to build the Grand Crypt and more recently another crypt close to the southern wall of the mausoleum complex. They went to check out the newest crypt. It was one of the smaller mausoleums than the others. The name “LORD ANRI BRANDATH” is carved above the door. They knew from their research that Anri had been the Brandath that had made the family’s fortune so why was he buried down here? They remembered that Raener had said he mother was buried in the First Crypt so Lord Neverember must have built this when he buried his wife. Perhaps the entrance to the vault was in Anri’s new crypt. As they entered they saw two dice that appeared to have been carelessly tossed reading snake eyes, on the floor in front of a relatively plain sarcophagus. They did not touch with dice. Instead they checked the entire area out for secret passages. Finding nothing they went on to Uld’s Crypt.

Uld’s Crypt - Despite being the newest construction in the crypt-complex, this mausoleum is in very poor repair. Part of the roof has a whole in it and looks to have crushed some of the tomb sites within. A gravemarker identifies the sarcophagus here as belonging to Uld Brandath. One corner of his sarcophagi has been caved in by the collapsed ceiling. Uld’s skeletal corpse wears a headband. Jasper went to look at the circlet on Uld’s head but more Crawling Claws came out of the ground and walls. Again, there were many but the hands were all defeated quickly. They checked the place out and as they were leaving they heard a man’s voice “Thank you for clearing out my tomb. My family had been afraid to visit me. Now that they skeletal hands are destroyed, maybe my family will come see me. Please, take my headband as a token of my appreciation. Jasper took the headband and could instantly tell it was magical. He would cast Identify once they got back to the Trollskull Tavern to learn exactly what it was. Putting it in his bag, they left to look at the resting place of Ranaer’s mother, The First Crypt. Jasper also noticed that there was a hole in the roof and it looked very much like a gargoyle had fallen through it and that had smashed open the corners of the sarcophagus. The man must be cursed.

THE FIRST CRYPT: This building is the oldest in the crypt-complex. BR_N__TH CRY_TS is carved in faded letters above the eastern doors. Age-worn stone can be seen everywhere, along with clear signs of repeated renovation. Individual crypt sites have been renovated, moved, and even removed over hundreds of years.They came to a large room that was the center of the First Crypt. This room was actually the first Brandath mausoleum and it was the burial site of Lord Anri, who rested here undisturbed for many hundred years while his descendants lived, died, and were buried around him. But now, it was the burial site of Alethea Neverember. According to Ranaer, she had requested a simple tomb in the Brandath Crypts but his father decided to refurbish Lord Anri’s tomb, giving her a place of honor. Her sarcophagus, clearly newer than the rest of the crypt, had a bouquet of wilted white flowers laying on top. The lid of the sarcophagus was sculpted in what must be Alethea’s likeness. They looked around the room. They only thing that stood out was a faded, chipped portrait of who must be Lord Anri adorned the plaster ceiling. He is identified in the portrait with a labeled banner. Fresh script around the perimeter of the painting reads, in four languages, “The beauty of our age, in death, is watched over by the spirits of her ancestors.”

Something about the painting looked off compared to the architecture of the crypt. In the portrait, he is wearing an alexandrite-tipped pin and is holding a distinctive dwarven compass in his left hand. Jasper recognized those two items as symbols of the Maroon Brotherhood, an obscure fraternal order that was once active in Waterdeep but not longer exists. They were thought to have had pull within in the Trade Guilds but in reality they were a gentleman’s drinking club. Anri could not have been a member as the portrait suggested as the Maroon Brotherhood existed many years after Anri had died. Seems that the painting was probably commissioned by the brotherhood and added to the crypt posthumously. But why?

Hetty noticed that the compass hand pointed to the south wall of the crypt. Pointing this out to Riva they investigated the area and found that the wall was false but was instead a sliding door. Opening the door they saw a staircase leading down to an even older crypt area beneath the mausoleum complex.

Down the stairs there are sconces for torches are placed on the walls, but there are no torches within them. The air is dry. There is a thick coating of dust, but a large amount of fairly recent traffic has disturbed it up and down the main hall.

They begin to slowly go down the steps. Jasper notices the top step is scorched by a recent explosion. He determines it is from a Glyph of Warding. They look around but do not see any traps or more signs of explosions. Hetty notices that one of the sconces is a little lower than the others. Pulling it down she sees a secret compartment. Inside is a wand. She hands the wand to Jasper for him to identify later. They moved down to the bottom of the steps. There is a 60ft long corridor that dead ends. They see more disturbances in the dust with several foot prints. The dust and the prints stop about halfway down from the dead end. Riva investigates and everyone else notices her arm is halfway through the dead end wall. They all walk through the illusion and they see an intact archway filled with a heavy door of steel. The keystone of the arch is decorated to appear like a mountain with a purple alexandrite gemstone in the middle of it. Jasper recognizes this as a variation of Dumathoin (the dwarven Keeper of Secrets) holy symbol. Various symbols carved in them in alternation with dwarven runes: A dwarven compass, a serpent’s forked tongue, a scarab, a brain with two tentacles a broken arrow. All but the brain with two tentacles and the broken arrow are other known symbols of Dumathoin. Examining the door, it is much more recent than the surrounding stonework. Jasper guesses it is at least 2 inches thick. Henrich checks and the door is locked. Hetty easily picks it and she opens it. An alarm begins to bing over and over. She checks to see how to disable it but she is not able to find a way to do it. They did not see anything coming to attack them such as more Crawling Claws so they continue through the open door. A 10-foot-wide hallway that slopes down to the Vault. 20-foot-high, 20-foot-wide stone corridor ends before an adamantine double door bearing Dwarvish runes. The doors have neither handles nor hinges. Jasper says that the runes are all representations of Dumathoin. When they get within 5ft of the door a voice seeming to come from the door says “THE THREE KEYS. BRING THEM FORTH.”

They do not have all of the keys so they look around a bit more. Finding nothing, they head back to the surface and back to the Trollskull Tavern.

They can see the lights are still on and can hear Catarak’s music as they get closer to the tavern. Nailed to the front door of the tavern are two envelopes. Written on the outside of the envelope is:

So you just bought/inherited/were given/acquired a tavern of your own. As a budding entrepreneur you have the whole world within arm’s reach. But, you may not know just how to go about what you may want to go about. May we suggest becoming a franchisee? If you are even the least bit interested, simply open the second envelope.

They thought to burn both envelopes but Henrik and Jasper had some interest in the second envelope.

Inside the second envelope was

invite3

Jasper had heard of Acquisitions Inc and knew that their headquarters were located in Waterdeep. They w decided to stop by to check things out another day. They needed to get meet with Ranaer and then see about getting all of the keys together.

Ranaer was waiting for them at the Yawning Portal. They told them what they found at his family’s mausoleum. The Crawling Claws it seemed always came back. He was happy to hear that his grandfather’s tomb had been cleared of the undead as well. He had been told it was a dangerous undead so he had never gone by. That would change now that things were safer there. But the secret entrance to the possible vault that may hold the gold that his father had stolen was a bit too much for him. And knowing that it may have been a temple to Dumathoin at some point really threw him for a loop. But his curiosity got the better of him and he asked if he could at least see where the secret door was located so at some point in the future, when they were done with things down there he could have the passageway filled in. They agreed and then left to gather all of the keys. They would get in touch with Ranaer once they were ready to return to the crypts.

Eatiel had the painting of the dwarf miner. It was of good quality. Jasper got the items together for the green flame brazier or the green brazier that held a flame. They already had the spectator eye stalk. They met Ranaer who let them back into the crypt. Once they showed him where the secret entrance was, he left them.

Arriving back at the Vault door, they heard the voice again “THE THREE KEYS. BRING THEM FORTH.” Three of them brought the items forward. Nothing happened for a bit but then the voice said: “one of these keys is not the correct key. Henrik asked the Stone about each of the items. It was not the eye stalk or the painting. The green flame brazier was a unique item. When they asked where they could find one the Stone replied:

Ah, the emerald fire is what you seek They who have it are not meek

Find an amulet, find a ring When arrived, be ready for anything

Friend or foe, are both well read They know the words, could end up dead

The brazier is well worth its salt And it is needed to enter the Vault.

The Stone paused and then said:

Kolat

They could not get anymore information about the green flame brazier which they now called the emerald fire. They headed back to the surface to researching the riddle that the Stone had given them. Before leaving, they asked Oakenlimb if anyone had been in the mausoleum that should not have been. Perhaps a necromancer or anything else. He had seen nothing or no one. They felt sure someone had been in but had no idea who or how they had gained entrance.