After their return
from the mountain, the party spent some time around Trollskull Manor. Geth
noticed that his room had been cleaned again, and went to Jarry and Culdock for
help. Jarry blamed the help and then nodded when Geth blamed supernatural
forces. When Culdock did not want to help, Geth told him that whatever was at
work with the house would inevitably interfere with his stoneworking. This
persuaded Culdock to join in, and he put on his priestly vestments, lit some
incense and yelled at the ghost to come out. This did not work.
They set out to
find Maxine, the talking horse. Culdock hit the streets to yell at horses to
find one that spoke Common. It did not work. Geth used Wild Shape to transform
into a horse and asked nearby horses if they knew of the whereabouts of a
talking horse, and none did. Jarry asked some passersby, who did happen to know
of a horse with remarkable abilities a bit to the south. Culdock and Jarry
jumped on Geth’s back to travel there, but Lauris would not fit. They found the
horse pretty quickly and Jarry convinced her to speak to them after Culdock’s
yelling failed and Geth’s request in Horse both failed.
convinced, Maxine the talking horse said that she had seen two Zent operatives,
a half-orc and a sun elf, who spoke of recruiting spies by an intersection in
the city. She said that their names were Yagra Stonefist and Davil Starsong,
and that they had gone to the Yawning Portal. We travelled to the Portal,
placed the Harper pin on the door as we had been instructed and returned home.
home, Geth decided to join the Emerald Enclave. He recalled being told to meet
them at Falkmere near the Kolot towers in the southern ward. It was late,
however, and after eating some Goodberries, the party decided to head home. On
the way home, they popped into an establishment near Trollskull Manor and
inquired about its history. They learned that there was a man named Leif who
had always been fond of the place, no matter who had owned it, and who had died
some years ago. He had been a very friendly regular who had loved the manor and
anyone else who loved the place. He had died in the manor.
We discussed our
plans for financing Trollskull Manor. We discussed securing a loan with collateral,
and finding the pile of money Renear Neverember’s father was said to have
embezzled during his time as Open Lord. We discussed it openly in front of a
good twelve people and decided eventually to head home. Geth turned into a goat
and Jarry rode him home. Jarry put a bottle of mead on the bar.
In the morning,
Culdock noticed that the bottle of mead had been put on display at the back of
the bar. Geth, coming down after him, noticed that there was a mug filled with
mead on the bar, taking a drink. As Jarry comes down and is apprised of the
situation, Geth noticed that one of the repaired tables had been staged on the
bar floor and a chair was scooting across the floor to meet it. He took his
mead over and sat down.
regarding the Neverember family, Culdock noticed that there were two more mugs
of mead at the bar and tosses a coin over the bar as thanks, asking Lief if he
would bring them over. Jarry put a quill and paper at the bar.
As we discussed our
plan over mead, a sudden explosion rang out rattling windows in the manor. When
we rushed to the door, we saw bodies strewn about and on fire, charred and
crying out in anguish. Jarry discerns that this is the result of a huge
fireball. Culdock rushes out, attempting to stabilize any survivors. We could
not see the source of the explosion, but we could see the town guard muster,
closing off the street and performing triage while the Gryphon Cavalry arrived.
Jarry did notice that one of the dead human males had the symbol of the Zenterem
tattooed on him, and Culdock noticed dried sewage on the boots and cloak of a
dead gnome, who also had a small pouch on him. Culdock, with great stealth,
grabbed the pouch and found that it contained five gemstones (page 45 blast).
What seemed odd to Culdock was that this was a rock gnome, and that he had also
been carrying something that had been ripped off his person, and that this had
been removed from his person instead of the five gemstones.
As all the people
spoke and were interviewed and interrogated, one fact that emerged was that the
gnome was running away from a group of three armed pursuers, one of whom was
not present among the dead. The gnome, in fact, was running toward the manor.
None of them, however, saw the blast coming.
Seth Cromley, guardsman,
escorted the Watchful Order of the Magists and Protectors, Barnibus Blastwin.
The dead were:
- One elderly female, out for a walk an recognized by no one
- Two cloaked male humans, Zenterem sellswords in black leather armors with sheathed longswords
- Two female humans and one male half-elf, dressed in plain clothes and servants of wealthy North Ward families, killed while running errands
- One rock gnome, wearing a burned cloak and clutching a dagger, and who was known to Culdock as having his
- Two female halflings playing a flute and a fiddle, two male halflings who had been dancing.
Barnibus, asked us
some questions. Did we know any of the dead, such as the Zents? How long have
you been in the city? Culdock answered truthfully. They asked if we had known
the deceased, if we knew why they would be coming here, and if we knew what
they had that was so valuable to be worth killing over? We did not know and
said as much. We were
showed Jarry the gems and told Lauris about the pocket. Jarry did tell Culdock
that the gems were worth three times as much as they really were, and Culdock