Spy Master,

That was a lot harder than I thought. We accidentally kill people so much, but trying to do it on purpose is so much harder. I had Sim and Kris help me find him, they did a really good job, but couldn’t figure out where he goes other than work. Then it was my turn. First day, I got distracted by a kitten, so I went to get potions, instead. The second try, he seemed to notice someone was following him after he went shopping and ran off. The third time, he just closed his shop and didn’t come outside.

Clearly my plan was terrible, so I went to ask for help. Maybe Orange would come back with me and we could go inside. I told Orange there was a bad guy who helped Manshoon, but he said I needed proof so he could report to The Hand. I said I didn’t have any, so he said to talk to Red. I really didn’t want to talk to Red, but Orange would tell him if I didn’t.

I told Red there was a threat to our flock, one of Manshoon’s supporters was still lurking around. He wanted to run him out of town, but I said he was too dangerous, we had to kill him. Red and I were going to pretend it was a robbery, but it didn’t work. He went upstairs as they were closing, and didn’t come back down. Red tried to find him, but he was gone. He didn’t open his store again after that. I think Red robbed it all the next day.

We went to talk the owner of a shop he visits. He told Red about a meeting the man goes to. So, we go there, and I watch the doors outside, so he doesn’t see me before we get him alone. But after awhile, Red came out and said he was taken care of. I didn’t want to go in and be seen, and I trust Red. Well, he keeps his word, at least.

I’m sorry it took so long. He was very paranoid and the shadows weren’t as sticky as they usually are for me. That’s why I need those boots like Red’s got. Then I wouldn’t have needed help. Sorry.


Undead Invasion

We’re back in the teleport room. Big Guy helped Page sit up. The ceiling is black now and we’re sitting in a massive pile of Things. Everyone starts grabbing things, but there’s skeletons coming up the stairs. Blackstaff pops a little wall of force over the door. There’s a tree in here, with magic fruit, and some pick toads hopping about. What even happened?

Orange grabs a toad, but it turns into a panther. Like his brother, he makes friends with it. Mary grabs one and it turns into a big demon bird that we have to put down. The skeletons are pounding on the door. The Big Guy grabs a big metal brazier to brace it, but slipped and dropped it on top of himself. The skeletons start breaking through all the barriers. Then help arrived. Ziraj and a few other Doom Raiders, by the look of them. They escort us down the tower and out, through and around more undead, and some Grey Hand. Ziraj isn’t very subtle in keeping me safe, but I’m so near dead, that I can’t complain.

Once outside, we can see a giant black pyramid atop the two towers, like it just landed there. What in Faerûn has happened here? Was that in the mansion, too? Ziraj gets us to the edge of the combat and tells the Blackhand that the Doom Raiders will call in the debt someday. Very subtle friend, very subtle. Catbard starts singing a song about The Lost Undercrypt of someone named Ulfang the Black as we head away from the mess at the towers. Leaving the Blackstaff to rally her forces.

Back at the cabaret, I grab a drink and stew and head up to the kitties for bed. I don’t know what to say if they ask about the rescue, yet. I hope no one noticed he was protecting me. I head out in the morning to send a note, but Ziraj is there again. He says they’re going to keep an eye on things for a few days, so I hand him my report to deliver on the Towers.

Blackstaff shows up about midmorning, as we’re discussing what to do with all the books we took from the tower. She asks if the pyramid was our fault. How? What? No. That’s a weird question. She agrees with Catbard that it’s Ulfang. She says that it happened just as we entered Manshoon’s mansion. She won’t tell us not to go exploring, but he’s really dangerous, and she’s not coming with us. She says Madeline is researching, and Nevi will go talk with her. The conversation goes in a few random directions at this point, Nim and the Gargoyle and then Blackstaff asks for Manshoon’s robe.

Red really wants to keep it, if only to sell it since we can’t use it. He asks for a trade, some secret knowledge in her tower. He seems to be talking about something specific, two particular tomes that can only be read once a century. How strange, but she agrees. Once she leaves, he says I should read one of them, and the Big Guy should read the other one. I’m just happy I get to go to her Library.

To The Top

The apprentices all had rings, too, so I got a new one, but so did Red. We head upstairs, and Orange has to shove the door open cuz it has broken things in front of it. Looks like a workshop of body parts, but stone ones. There’s a whole one, though, and when we go in, it attacks. Just as we are about to put it down, it runs over to a lever on the floor. Then we’re suddenly slamming into the ceiling. The golem stopped moving though, at that. We all scramble up to the door before the floor goes back down, and Blackstaff levitates up to us once she can get back in the room.

The next floor is just a hallway with a flesh golem in front of the far door. We argue about what to do about it, until Red walks up to it and it steps off a pressure plate. This closes Blackstaff behind some bars, and starts filling the hall with gas. I try to go stand on the plate, but too late. Orange takes down the golem, and Red disarms the trap.

The other room on this level is dim, dusty, and full of boxes. There’s a sigil pulsing on the wall, and once the mages get a look at it, they say it’s powering the force wall outside. Maybe I can take it down when everyone else goes on. I copied down the sigil work as best I can. They had been talking about one for the Cabaret. There’s a secret door in the center of the room, and Red shoos us all back to the hall way because there’s a magic trap. He used his invisible hand to open it and it exploded out the wall where the sigil was. Well, that’s that then. There’s a little flaming skull inside that we have to smash back to pieces. There some books and a wand that we loot from in there, but now there’s nowhere else to go.

Back to the smaller tower, and up to the teleportation circle we go. Blackstaff leads us all through the teleport and we land on a platform in front of a mansion, just like Fistandia’s was, surrounded by purple mists. Only this one is covered in Zhentarim symbols. We head inside and Red sets off a huge loud gong right in the entryway. My ears hurt, but I think there was a voice after that, but not sure. Then he steals a mask from the wall and checks all the doors. None of them are locked or trapped.

The first thing we find is another one of those snow-mages, but it isn’t awake, so we smash it right quick. Then a reading room and a library. We snag some more books, but on the way out a voice calls Green Flame, and the funny green fire brazier explodes all over us. Next we find an empty lab, which disappoints Nevi and Mary Mouse. Then a summoning circle, but it’s also empty. Orange messes it up some, for something to do. Next we find an empty guard station. What’s the point of that? Then a waiting room, like they have at important houses and castles. Then we find the receiving room, with a long walkway and big chair at one end.

Here we finally find the people. Urstal Floxin, the half orc Red chased after our house nearly exploded. Vivette Blackwater, another lady Red chased over rooftops. And two halflings, who seemed to move with the ease of my teacher, Whistler. We’re pretty tired from all the fights up to this point, so Red tries to convince them they are supporting the wrong guy and to just leave and get a new job. Then a mage tries to kill him where we can’t see her, so it does not work, so we have to fight.

It does not go well. Urstal’s got some pretty nasty poison on his sword and the halflings are hitting pretty hard. The mage is nasty, so she has to go down first. Everyone’s falling down and I don’t have potions left, and then Manshoon arrives and Orange chokes out Catbard! It’s all going so badly, that the Blackstaff steps in. I have to get Orange off of Catbard, and then finish off the last of the fighters with Red. Blackstaff makes Manshoon disappear and we get up Mary Mouse to help the others. Then gather around where he went poof. When he comes back, Blackstaff grabs him up, just like Orange because she made magic go away in the area. Then we stab and hit him to death. WOW! Blackstaff must be really strong to hold him like that while Red cut his spine right out of his body!

Then everything went white.

Guards, Apprentices, and a Cook

Back in the main tower, there’s no way up, so another locked door it is. This one leads into a bedroom where we steal some more books, paper, ink, and gold. There’s an up staircase here, but also a down. Red seems certain that we have to go down first. We all trudge downstairs, but he sneaks ahead while we wait. When he comes back, he says there’s folk in the room beyond this one, and to leave the cook alone.

We give him time to sneak away again and then go charging through the kitchen and into a dining room full of guards. Some of them hit pretty hard, but so do we. I even get to stun one of them. After, we have a nice meal in the kitchen with our new cook. Red says he’s going to come work for us, but the cook doesn’t look so sure. I found a shiny ring on the best fighter, and Red wants to trade me for a gross piece of skin with one of the fake tattoos on it. Ewwww!! No! I do give it to the Blackstaff. She says it can get us through the teleport circle.

Then we head back upstairs and up again. Red comes running back down, but when I go up, it’s just a bunch of sticks, so we break them all, and I get a cracked black marble orb. It’s really shiny. The next room is kind of creepy with tables and a cage with a gargoyle in it. She wants to crush evil, so we let her out to help us. Says her name is Lady Gondafrey, and Duhlark was the one who trapped her. Manshoon just left her there. She says that the next rooms are servant quarters, a summoning room where the apprentices summon creatures from the hells, and a construct workshop, and then the very last one was Duhlark’s private study.

There are a few thugs in the servant’s quarters, and one runs away while we take care of the other two. The fast one got into the summoning room and shut the door behind him. We all posted up in the stairwell, while Red unlocked the door. They were ready though, and we were greeted by a fireball when he opened it. It’s a big of a blur after that, running and fighting a demon and spells flying. Then it got really cold, and dark. Until Orange woke me up.

Kolats’ Towers

Information Shared: Catbard – Harpers will send folk to keep an eye on us/the cabaret, for our protection. Everyone’s friends are afraid of Manshoon or wanting him dead. The towers have a big wall of force permanently domed around them. Red wants one for the cabaret. We’ll need magic to get through it. Maybe there’s another way. Some folk head off to look for town records on the original owners and the building. Red and I head out to scout it out.

Information Gathered: The main tower is massively tall, seven stories, and the floors seem to be twenty feet apart. The walls look climbable, and there’s a bit door out front, and lots of windows. Another smaller tower, and a big lower building, too. The windows all look dirty, but well light with flickering light. There are lit braziers at stair up to the front door. Clearly, someone is living here. Red wants to check for sewer entrances, but down there it’s just as sealed off. If not magically. Or at least, we can’t see if the shield extends below ground, the sewers just stop. The others say the original brothers upset the city guilds so they just refused to give them sewer connection.

A Plan: Mary Mouse, Orange, and Nevi head off to talk to the Grey Hand about getting a teleport specialist to look at the Yellow Spire. When they come back, however, Orange says the Blackstaff herself will help us into the tower. She wants to claim the towers for the Grey Hand, and is willing to fight Manshoon’s clone to do it. Red says Xanathar wants the tower, too. He says that Xanathar will be waiting to take it once we defeat Manshoon, and Blackstaff won’t have the forces there to stop them. Then he sends a creepy little brain-thing off to alert his Boss. Orange agrees and heads off to tell Blackstaff we agree to her plan, for tomorrow midmorning.

A Plea for Help: A quick note to Spy Master, and a raven drops by. It turns into a sun elf, Davel Starsong, I think he said, Master of Opportunities. He’s very excited about the upcoming battle in the streets. He thinks maybe the Zhentarim can help save the Blackstaff from Xanathar’s minions. He gives me a tiny glass shiny, says to throw it at whatever is powering the shield, but don’t die. My friends are so nice, worrying about me so much.

The Tower: The Blackstaff arrives right on time the next morning, and we head out. She opens a hole in the wall and we all head through, climbing over the main wall around the place. Red opens a window for us, and we all creep into the main tower. Where we get attacked by a bunch of gargoyles when Nevi pulls a book off the shelves. We crush them, and head upstairs. There’s a weird platform up by a window and Orange jumps up there, while Red heads out a door that leads to a path to the other tower. Orange starts shouting and jumps down, with a chest attached to himself. We smack it until it lets go. We empty out the other chest of stuff, and then head across the walkway to see what Red found. There’s a big wizard statue, but it doesn’t attack.

The Second Tower: We head downstairs, but it’s just garbage, so we head up the tower instead. It’s another library with “Alcador” written on the wall, Then through a door to the other side, labeled “Duhlar” or something, it’s fancy script. The books attack us in here, but we knock them all down. The top of this tower is a teleportation circle and 5 more chests. Then three small eye-monsters and a bunch of flying snakes attack us. Those snakes hurt bad! Once we put them down, I throw daggers at all the chests, but none of them attack. They have a bunch of tools and supplies, and some vials of stuff. Nevi says the teleport thing is odd, like it has locks or something. Time to go back to the main tower.