December 2019 Recap: Where’s your unit, son? Blown up, Sir!

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.

Once properly 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.

Upon returning 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.

In discussion 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

Inside, Culdock 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 believed him.