Solo Mission

In the morning, we all gather together to talk about the party. When I come down, Red’s asking Nevi about a magic dagger. Then Red says he heard that the third stone might be in play. He says the Cassalanter’s, those demon worshippers whose tomb we robbed all those months ago, that they might have it. We talk about checking out their place, finding out if they have other properties, and what other ways we can investigate. But there’s a knock at the door.

That mage from the Bard College job is here, looking for Red. He goes out and I listen. The guy says Red stole his dagger at the party last night. I don’t remember seeing him there, and Red says he just found it, and is glad to return it to him. But the man says Red is under arrest and takes him away. Page messages him, but he says he’s fine and keep on task.

Red had a plan. We have to stick to it. Marr Mouse and the Big Guy are going to go look at property records. Page and I are going to go scout the house from the street. Orange and Nevi are going to go check out the sewers for a way in from below.

Page makes us invisible and we go check it out. There’s a big fence all around, and three different buildings. A stable, a guest house, and a big mansion. The buildings all back up to the fence, though, that should make it fairly easy going. There’s lots of guards though, going to have to be real careful. Guards on the gate and the doors, and wandering around the lawns. We head back to the Cabaret before her spell wears off and check in with the others.

Mary Mouse and Svetel say they own a couple of other places, but not really. They invest in other businesses, but don’t run them or something. They mostly trade in spices and other goods, but it’s all old business, that went bad some time ago. Then things went bad for one of their rivals more recently, and they got back on top. Orange and Nevi say there’s no way in through the sewers, just tiny drainage pipes coming out. Only a real mouse could get in that way. So, Page and I go back in the night, to see what changes after dark.

There are a lot more guards at night, but no one goes in or out. In the morning, all the guards leave when a new set of guards arrive. And a couple servants go out to the guest house to clean it up, even though it doesn’t seem like anyone was in there to begin with. When we get home, Page checks on Red again, and he says it’s just a matter of due process, so she and I get some sleep while the others investigate more.

When we get up, everyone’s back, and there’s not really any news on the Stone. So, I decide I have to go inside. Red said to investigate, to not wait for him. This is what he would do. Everyone starts talking about spells they can cast on me to help. They can make me invisible, faster, smarter, wiser, slipperier, and healthier. I can pull my shadows around me, and I can teleport short distances now, to get in and out.

We all head over through the sewers. A few blocks away, they all cast their spells and then take up positions to watch for guard movement. I head up and shadowstep up to a third floor window. It has shutters, but I easily get them open. The room is dark, but I can just see inside, and step into the shadows on the other side of the glass. Too dark, I pop darkvision up and look around.

It’s a big bedroom, with dressers and armoires. There seems to be someone in an adjoining room in one direction, so I slip the other way. This room is lit up, a library. I really want to go through all the books, but there’s one really big and creepy out set out. It looks scary, and it’s open, so that must be the important one. I pop it into the bag I borrowed from Nevi. There’s a ladder up to a trapdoor, so I have to go up.

The trapdoor is really heavy, but I get it open and slip inside. There’s just a single candle on a stool here. It smells like sulfur and there’s screaming from the other side of a door. I don’t like that sound, so I wedge the trapdoor open a little bit. There are some big spiders on either side of the door. I wonder if the candle means anything, so I pick it up and bring it to the door. Nothing happens. It is very locked, so I reach out to unlock it and the spiders start talking. They say I shouldn’t open the door. They say it’s really dangerous inside. I make a picture of the stone we found and ask if they’ve seen it. They haven’t. I need to see if it’s inside, so I unlock the door anyway. The spiders don’t like that and they attack me, but they aren’t spiders anymore, they’re little imps, from some of the books I’ve been reading. So, I squish them. Now I’m not invisible anymore. Page messages me, but I tell her everything’s okay. Can’t stop now.

When I open the door, the sound gets really loud, so I rush back and close the trapdoor. No one seems to have heard it, so back I go. Inside is something awful. A devil with all sorts of chains on him. He’s in the center of a circle and he’s howling. He looks really sad and trapped and sick? Like they trapped him here and are hurting him. I get him to calm down a little, and try to ask him about the stone. He wants me to get closer to him. I ask him to promise to help me. He just keeps saying closer, and he won’t promise. So, I look around the room more. Behind him is a mannequin with a sailor’s uniform, and a picture of a young man. It looks like a shrine to their son lost at sea. Did they really lose him? Did they turn him into this thing and then trap it here? I really want to let him free, but I’m pretty sure he would eat me, he looks so hungry.

I go back down. To the Library, closing the door and trapdoor behind me. I slip back into the bedroom, but someone is in there now. A tiefling woman, who seems to be cleaning. I slip past her, into the sitting room and out into the hallway. There’s a room across the hall, but I can hear someone in there, so I head downstairs.

There’s a ballroom here. With a mannequin in the center of it, all dressed up. That’s creepy. There’s a banquet hall, and a music room, and a small kitchen on the second floor, too, but nothing that looks like it would hide the stone. I head downstairs again, but there’s voices now. Guards at the bottom of the stairs. Everything is so well lit down here, and I’m not invisible. I can’t get past them.

I head back upstairs, and out onto the terrace around the ballroom. There are some birds up here, but I think I can get to the guest house if I go around the building. I sneak around and shadow step across to a window on the guest house. There are more ravens over here. They’re looking at me. How can they see me? No time. I slip inside again, through the shadows. The guest rooms are all empty. There’s nothing here. It’s taking too long, time to go. When I get out, there are even more ravens, but I just jump out over the fence and take off home. I tell the others it’s over. Pretty sure I’m going to need to hide in Skullport for a while.

At home, I give over the big scary book, and write down what I found in the attic. Maybe that will be enough for the Blackstaff to investigate them. Worship is okay, but is holding a devil prisoner allowed? I hope not. That poor devil was in horrible shape. Orange is still on about the brain eater, so we suggest asking the Dustsweepers about any weird sewer reports to try and track him down. Then it’s time for bed. I’m going to have to sneak down below in the morning, but I need to sleep right now.

Chasing the Chase

Next morning we have breakfast, but Catbard must have gone to work. Everyone’s impatient, so we go to the Locksmith – Ellaspra Ulmarr. Mary Mouse, Orange, and Nevi head into the back to talk, the rest of us keep watch. The come out with the name Vokar Kibbins and an address in the Southern Ward. Off we go again.

The door is kicked in and a couple halflings are running away. I go stop them, and they seem real nervous. They lie worse than I do, so we take them back to the house. Eventually, they admit that a catperson was there with a bunch of others. They gave the tomb-robbed loot to another guy, named Losser at the Dandy Mop Wigshop. Red yells at them some and we head out again. Catbard must have decided not to argue with Red anymore.

We run down the streets, ignoring an illusion of a crash at the intersection before the shop. We barge into the shop and find some stairs leading down. Not waiting or asking, we run right down the stairs. There’s an iron door at the bottom that Red gets us through, right into the sewers. The Big Guy takes a big breath of the rancid air, and Nevi looks around. They both send us south again.

To a dead end, that’s really another illusion. We run on some more until they find secret doors. The one on the left has noise behind it, so I listen while Red words on the door to the right. The Big Guy trips over something in the floor and the left door crashes open, spilling out skeletons. I punch one, and he turns them all to dust. Just looks like they were in storage or something.

Red wants to go right, so Orange pushes through some furniture to get us into a ransacked office. I can’t find anything useful, but I grab some handwriting samples anyway. We rush through some more halls and doors and sewers. Then the trail just stops. It smells a bit sandy and there’s a weird blowback like a sideways explosion on the walls. We keep going until we find a ladder to the street level.

Red checks first and then we climb up. There are some kenku feathers here, and Slicer’s bracelet. What’s that doing here?!? I whistle, but nothing. I grab it from Red’s magic hand while everyone looks around. Red calls the guard and says there’s a rogue Djinn, and asks for a Mage Civiler, like the one who tried to find us at the Bard School, but we don’t find one. Everyone goes to report in, but I just go with Red to the new Restaurant. I don’t want to tell Spy Master I lost another piece of the stone just yet. Maybe tomorrow.

Orange says we have to all go to bed when Red gets home. We do, and then wake up in a library with Catbard and Blackstaff. Catbard apologizes, but nobody really minded the chase. Not even Red. Then they have a big conversation about what Xanathar could do for the city, and how Blackstaff and Catbard think he’s evil. Red says everyone’s guilds do bad stuff. Orange thinks we should kill Xanathar, but Red says you’d have to be stupid or really powerful. Some days, I think my flock is both. Blackstaff thinks no one is safe while X is interested in the stones. Red says we’ll need them all to get near enough to attack him. It’s all so confusing.

Unlaid Plans

It all happened too fast.

Nevi was looking at it, he said it was broken, but powerful, and also broken by power. Someone else was talking to the naked man. He said his name was Shaun Shien and he was grabbed from bed in the night. He’s an editor of a broadsheet. Then someone else showed up.

A cloaked man, in brown leather and with a strange golden light about him. He says it’s his tower, but Fuoco said it was the Lady’s tower. He is angry that we are there and wants to check his wards. He wanders around with a Detect Magic going. Says his name is Percival. Something is wrong with his arm, and he looks a bit spooky. Then, he asks for the Stone.

Naturally, we say no, and yet another fight ensues. Everyone is exhausted and he takes down Red pretty fast. I grab him and start running down the stairs, but he tries to stop me. Catbard gives me magic to escape down the tower, but he just follows us. Then there’s blackness, and when I wake up again, I run, trying to lead everyone away. But no one follows, so I go back. Then there’s the sound of a dying horse! Finally, Orange yells that it’s safe to come back in. The guy apparently melted when they killed him.

We argue about what to do with the Stone. Red says the man isn’t really dead, and will just keep coming for us. We have to let him give it to Xanathar. I really don’t want to do that, but I don’t have any good ideas. It belongs to Neverember, but someone says he wants nothing to do with it. Can’t we just sleep on it?

We go home and rest of us sleep in the Mystra Mansion. In the morning, they look over the Lady’s diary, and find out she was serving someone named Manshoon. She had been turning broadsheet editors to support the Zhentarim’s interests. She says his tower is in the Southern Ward and seemed to be the tallest tower there. Red says we should all lie to our factions. We should say we got jumped by Xanathar’s men at the end of our long run and they took the stone. It’s the only way, he says, to keep us all safe from Manshoon. Having no better plans, Red takes off for his Boss, and the rest of us head out to turn in our own reports.

Spy Master is very upset that Manshoon is back. Says he’s supposed to be dead, and he must die. He gives me some gold and a nice raven. The starts planning how to influence the other factions to get rid of this threat. Ziraji, the Doomraider, is really happy about the impending fight. Back home, it seems everyone else’s faction has the same idea. Manshoon must be really dangerous.

Matricide, Ambush, and Mistakes

Spy Master,

I don’t know if I’m ever going to send you any of these letters. Even with the blizzard, Red seems possessed with the need for this stone. I’m going to have to edit it down into a single report, I think, and I am worried the outcome is not what we would want.

Down toward the dock this time, and Red bribes some folk to get us pointed further towards the water. I made friends with some kids at the dock by having a snowball fight. They’re really nice kids, but they shouldn’t have been out that late. It’s too dangerous to throw things at passersby. But they were smart kids, told us where the man went. Mr. Fuoco they called him. Went to his Mom’s house, they said. Used to play music for them.

Red’s tired of sneaking around, so he just unlocks the front door for us to all head in. Orange decided to check out the roof, though, and he fell through. We all rush upstairs to find a terrified old lady. Her son, Mr. Fuoco, has hidden in her armoire after trying to kill her. What a horrible thing to do!

We drag him to the other room while Catbard tries to calm the lady down. Red strips the man of all his possessions, and his clothes and starts threatening him further for information. He says the lady he was with was the one who got the package, that she has a shop in the Castle Ward called the Yellow Spire. We don’t want to leave him with his mother, who he just tried to kill, so he agrees to go back out in the blizzard with us. I don’t like him, and Page thinks there’s someone outside waiting.

She’s right. Just a few steps out the door and we’re ambushed by false Zhentarim. Their tattoos are all strange, but I don’t tell anybody. They all get dead, including Mr. Fuoco because he tried to run, and then he tried to kill one of the children. But Nevi and the Big Guy save the kid while I take care of Mr. Fuoco. Everyone is tired after that, so we take a break at the Angry Cockswain before heading north.

Then we’re on the move again, charging north to the Castle Ward and The Yellow Spire. Red disarms a trap and unlocks the front door for us, but then, he and Page climb up some scaffolding to see who is at the top. We’re supposed to go in and meet in the middle. We give them a moment to climb, and then head in. Unfortunately, Nevi sets off an explosion almost immediately, and we end up fighting, and killing most of the ladies in the tower. Except one, and there’s a man chained upstairs, too. And Red finds a piece of the STONE in a chest there!!!

Oh Spy Master, I really don’t think you’re going to like my report if we ever make it home.

~QS

Tracking the Stone

Spy Master,

The Butcher’s Guild gave up Justin’s address quickly when we asked with the authority of the Grey Hand. When we got there, he was inside and quickly gave up that the Zhentarim pays him to deliver bodies to Thrackus. He said he took the package to Cuddles Meat Pies, but he didn’t know what it was.

Over at the Meat Pie shop, we got attacked by well-dressed Bugbears. The one we left alive recognized Red and started apologizing immediately. Xanathar’s folk had sent them to rescue Otto, but he didn’t know about the stone. Red said we’d take care of it, but then the survivor started to laugh at Orange, and Orange killed him. So much killing, I don’t like it.

Red and Mary head into the building the Bugbears had been heading for while we all wait outside. After a couple gunshots, and Otto running out of the building, Red took off over the roofs of town, and Mary came down to say the stone was on the move. We tried to follow, but only Orange can leap like Red. I got really scared then, what if Red got the stone? What then?!

But the lady with the stone got away, and into a theatre. I stayed outside while Page went in to investigate. I hoped to catch her running away again. Maybe get the stone myself and disappear into the blizzard. It was a really long time before anything happened. She did come running out though, and I did get to chase her, but Page was keeping up pretty well. I had to make sure Red didn’t catch her. We rounded a corner and I changed to look like her, hoping to see where she went and follow her after I took everyone else off track, but she disappeared again. Page hurt me accidentally, but I got away, and no one knows what I did.

We all went back to the theatre, and Page got another lead. The stone was passed to another person who hangs out at the Docks of Mistshore. I really just want to go home, it’s so cold. But on we chase. Red really wants that stone.

~QS