November 2019 Recap: Harpers versus Blackstaffs

Stumbling out of the alley was an inebriated halfling named Jarry. Before anyone could stop him, he burst into Trollskull Manor, clinging to his staff for support with a jewelry box in tow. He approaches Culdock and attempted to sell him some jewelry. Culdock, persuaded by Jarry’s salesmanship, offered to buy Jarry a mead for some of his trouble or give him a gold so Jarry can buy his own.

Culdock asked s why he came in to the bar and Jarry explained that he was thirsty. Culdock, noting that Jarry was a wizard, asks if he would be willing to help us with the mysterious and ghostly happenings around the manor. Jarry, who considered himself something of an amateur ghost hunter, agreed to check it out. Geth asked him to figure out what was cleaning his room because he did not like it. Jarry went up to the room, used Mage Hand to dirty it again and reported to Geth that it was solved. Geth accepted that it had.

Over the last few days, Geth, Culdock and Lauris had seen out of the corner of their eyes a white cat pawing at the window and it struck them as odd.

One day, Lauris answered a knock at the door and a stranger handed him a note that said “I am Vajra Safahr, the Blackstaff. Come to Blackstaff Tower in the Castle Ward at once. Bring your friends.” Lauris presented the note to his friends, and Culdock.

On another occasion, Geth caught another glimpse of the white cat. He approached it and it placed its paw on his hand, transmitting the message “Interested in joining the Emerald Enclave? Come meet I us at Phaulkonmere in the Southern Ward.”

At another time, a small girl came to the door and Culdock answered. She handed him an ornately folded paper bird and thanked him, walking away. As soon as Culdock opened it, it unfolds, fluttered in the air, landing on the floor. The note read “Renaer tells us you are a good bet. He bought you tickets to the opera to night at the Lightsinger Theater in the Sea Ward. If you are interested, meet Mirt at intermission. Private Box C. Formal attire is required for admittance.”

After some deliberation, they decided to initially investigate the Blackstaff. Jarry had some knowledge of them, but not much beyond their general reputation.

We decided to go to Blackstaff Tower. We are greeted with refreshments and fine furniture, and after waiting for a short while a woman holding an ornate black staff, introduced herself as Varja and expressed gratitude that we were interested in joining the Greyhands. She offered us work, going to acquire information from a monk in a cave near Mount Waterdeep. We are offered discounts with the various guilds in exchange for our services.

Culdock was quite fixated on his opera invitation. He was still insistent that he was going to make it to the opera. Lauris and Jarry agreed to go, and Geth begrudgingly accompanied them. Culdock presented the attendant with the tickets and we were welcomed, with the attendant noting that Master Mert would be waiting for us.

The usher escorted us to the private box and raps on the door. He peeks in and gestured for us to enter. As we entered,

Mert motioned for us to be seated. There is an open bar and Lauris pushed people on his way to the charcuterie. Geth and Jarry tailed closely behind, eager to get their hands on some mead.

As the intermission began, Mert turned to us and expressed gratitude that we were joining the order of the Harpers. Culdock eagerly explained that he was, Geth did not care and so joined, Jarry joined for the pin and Lauris joined for the box seats.

Jarry was stoked to join. Mert explained that our first mission would be to find one of the working women in the city, called Drays, pulled by a talking mare named Maxine, and see if she has learned any Zent operatives and if so where they are located.

Geth asked Mert if he needs any information from other horses. Mert did not.

The group decided to head to the mountain in the morning. After leaving the manor at 6am, Culdock and Geth saw a dragonborn while walking toward the east gate.

It was a four day walk to the mountain. The first day was hard on Geth and Jarry and they were quite tired by the time they decided to set up camp. Geth, despite being tired, noticed that there were some tracks in the path we were following, all that he could tell are that they were bipedal. We lit a fire and sat watch all night, extinguishing the fire in the morning upon rising. Around 10 in the morning on the third day, Geth heard a noise off to the side and told the party to stop, motioning for the party to follow him. As he stepped off the path to investigate, a scream of alarm sounded out and six goblins appeared on both sides of the party.

Lauris, seeing only two goblins, deftly moved behind one and missed with his rapier. Culdock, seeing all goblins, marched over to one and delivered a crushing blow to its chest with his warhammer, sending it into the next world with a single blow. The Goblins missed Culdock but delivered damage to Geth, Jarry and Lauris.

Jarry withdrew from Combat on Geth’s suggestion. Geth cast Thunderwave and the resulting shockwave killed three goblins at first impact sending their corpses flying, a fourth resisting the majority of the blow. Culdock swung and missed with his warhammer, and Lauris missed the goblin again, failing to hide on his cunning action. The goblin hit Lauris again and missed Culdock. Jarry hit both Goblins with a magic missile, and Geth, missing his Thorn Whip, watched Lauris dispatch the final goblin with a blow from his rapier.

The party healed up, collected arrows and coin from to the dead goblins, and they reached camp and rested without incident, although Culdock was quite tired.

On the fourth day, the party could see the entrance to the cave. Geth, Jarry and Culdock can see clear signs of life and habitation in the cave. Hlam, the monk, explained that he had come to the cave to escape the inane conversation of the city.

Geth failed to persuade the monk miserably, and Culdock, addressing him as “Mr. Clam” did the same. Jarry got the monk’s attention, who said that evil’s twin hides its face for now, expect that to change before winter’s end.

The monk told us to get out. Lauris insisted that the monk was holding out on us, and the monk said to get out, and to get out. Lauris, persisting, saw an elderly man in robes in a meditative state, very much looking and acting like a monk. Lauris attempted to intimidate him, and the monk replied in a calm and straightforward manner that he had given us the information despite invading his home and asked us once more to leave.

Culdock thanked “Mr. Ham” for his time, and the group walked out, and returned to Waterdeep without incident. They went first to Tower Blackstaff to report their findings. Varja thanked us, telling us that this is good information and will be forwarded to the appropriate figures within the organization. Varja also told us that they became aware that we also joined the Harpers and that while the Harpers are fine, there might be problems if we were to join multiple factions. Lauris commits to joining the Blackstaffs.

We hear about another job regarding Deepwater Harbor, this time involving gathering information about a bronze dragon and a bit more risk.