Orphans & Organizations: session 5
January 26, 2020•1,279 words
Welcome to Waterdeep
I took the deed to Trollskull Manor and Volo talked at me the whole way back to the Yawning Portal. Zephyr went back to her room above the cart shop.
Farah was escorted to a City Watch outpost, to be questioned as to the events at the Zhentarim warehouse. Farah pretends to be sick, coughing on the guards. It's also Featherlung season, which is apparently very contagious. The guards give her plenty of space on the crowded High Road.
Farah fakes a coughing fit and ducks down an alley while Invoking Duplicity to create a duplicate "Floon" to distract the guards. Something unidentified makes the hair on the back of her neck stand up.
After escaping the "escort", Farah wants to check in at home, work an evening shift at the family alchemy shop and start looking for Gwen.
On the way home, Farah encounters a group of children playing a game, that sort of stare at her. The boldest of the children is a girl with a wooden sword named
Nat, who communicates with hand signs. There's also a tiefling boy with an eyepatch named
Squidly. The squat boy holding a stuffed owlbear is named
Farah convinces the kids to come home with her for a meal and a bed for the night.
Back to the present!
On the way to Shallow's End, Gwen and Vivi talk about how Gwen is a little suspicious of Azthoran and Zephyr's backgrounds. They also get to know each other a little better - Vivi is trying to gather information to help defend the underclasses from being caught up in the churn. They stop at Vivi's place across from Shallow's End to drop off equipment and clean up.
Vivi has a pet squirrel - George.
Shallow's End is lively and active and also around 3'5" - most of the room is almost literally half the height of Gwen. Vivi introduces Gwen to several of her family and afterwords Vivi goes to perform on stage. After finishing her performance, Vivi goes to her room and reviews the papers she took from the (Zhentarim) warehouse. One of the papers is an unused Paper Bird, which will carry a message to a recipient.
Also in the pile of papers is an intricate locket of jade with inlaid gold vines. The locket has a portrait of a fair-haired, redheaded woman on one side. The other side of the locket contains a hexagonal, oval-shaped hole.
The next day
It is 06 Eleint (roughly september). 15 days until
Brightswords - equal parts harvest festival and combat tournament.
I wake up early and hire a messenger to carry a message to Marsaili at the Beer Golem, who runs another Zhentarim safehouse, to see if Krentz got there safely. She can reach me either at the Yawning Portal or Trollskull Manor.
Zephyr's room is above Grafer Axl and Wheel repair; she wakes up early also and heads to the Yawning Portal.
Vivi is used to later nights but tries to get up a little earlier since she has a guest. Gwen has horrible nightmares most nights and has been up for a few hours already.
Farah is not an early riser but is a very deep sleeper and sleeps until her sister or one of the orphan kids wakes her up. She asks the kids to look for Gwen. Squidly's eye patch is on the other this morning. She goes to the Trickster statue near her house and takes a moment to meditate on how her actions connect to the Trickster - she doesn't have a personal relationship with the deity, she just coincidentally aligns with it.
Durnan is not behind the bar at the Yawning Portal. It's a young woman named
Fithier, a young-ish freckled blonde. I ask Bonnie to send anyone looking for me on to Trollskull Manor should I not be here.
Volo has slept in and is very hungover. He barely makes it 10 steps out of the Yawning Portal before booting. Zephyr gets a mixture of coffee and ale from the bar and Volo drinks/bathes in it. We go to a clerk's office and get the deed signed over to myself from Volo. We tell Volo that we'll be in touch and head to Trollskull Manor.
Farah makes her way to the Yawning Portal - Zephyr and I find her on the way and tell her some of what happened last night. She joins us as we go to Trollskull Manor in hopes of finding Vivi and Gwen.
Gwen and Vivi head to Trollskull Manor in hopes of finding the rest of the group and look inside. The windows are grimy and the tavern is caked in dust. The space is open but too dark to see. Gwen closes her good eye and uses Divine Sense to search for spirits. They decide not to investigate further without the rest of us and as they turn to leave, Gwen notices something writing in the grime on the mirror
closing time as the door slams in front of them.
Vivi tries to convince whatever's happening that they're here in peace and Gwen's divine sense gives her the impression that whatever's happening is half-hearted.
While Gwen is waiting for us to arrive, she asks the spirit if it wants to play dice. A pair of spectral dice, followed by a spectral, young-looking half-elf man. They play a game while Vivi plays a tune for them. The ghost appears to be very good at dice! Vivi notices that the ghost is rolling just a split-second after Gwen and is always rolling better than her.
Vivi asks the ghost its name, and he writes in the dust:
As we (Azthoran, Zephyr and Farah) approach, we notice that Trollskull Manor is huge! It's a three-story building on a bustling street. It's very impressive looking. Why is it named Trollskull? After the alley? Why is the alley named that?
Lif is kind of a lazy goof of a ghost who cheats at dice. He eventually reveals himself to everyone but me, mocking me invisibly (to me) when I address him.
Farah casts guidance on herself and wagers three gold against Lif's dice that she can beat him. Farah rolled a natural 1 on her Sleight-of-Hand check but the ghost still failed to notice the cheat!
Lif seems fine with turning the manor into a working tavern so long as he doesn't have to leave. It will take ongoing downtime to maintain and a fair amount of money to get up and running again.
Using Detect Magic, Farah finds two keys radiating transmutation magic in the cellar. Lif doesn't know what they're for and Farah hangs onto them.
North side of the second floor is two open common areas. One common area on the south with a broken crappy bedframe.
Third floor: two more bedrooms, one with a bath. Two privvies on this floor. The other bedroom room with a bath.
In the master bedroom, Gwen finds a seam in the woodwork that opens up, revealing a doorhandle and a keyhole. Zephyr broke her thieves' tools but manages to open the door. There are some clothes and on a dressform is a set of a pristine studded leather which is magical (armor is transmutation, cloak is illusion), along with a cloak hanging next to them.
- Cloak of Many Fashions
- Armor of Gleaming
While Zephyr is holding the cloak and thinking of how to keep it from the rest of us, part of it disappears.
In her mind, Gwen hears "Gwen, this is Vajra Safar. I would like to speak with you."