Kerry Jackman – Xenya – Wood-Elf Druid
Phil Dawson – Inquisitor Mollari – Kobold Monk
Mathew England – Algrith Giantfeet – Dwarf Rogue
The Dungeon Master:
The story of session one – “The Unconscious Druid”
A few, select individuals, received the letter below and journeyed to Waterdeep…….
Inquisitor Mollari is the first to arrive in Waterdeep, a short humanoid creature with a red scaly- dragon-like snout poking out from his large black, hooded cloak. His cloak is edged in white with gold embroidery and stops a little above the ground. Poking out from under the cloak you can see his pale blue robes and his sinewy forearms, hands, lower legs and feet, that are wrapped in pale blue fabric bandages / wraps, revealing his red scaly fingers with sharp looking black claws and his feet also finished with similar claws. He carries a back pack and what looks to be a shorter than normal javelin and walks holding a carved wooden staff.
He arrives at the Yawning Portal, a large, 3 story busy tavern in the vast city of Waterdeep.
The tavern, unlike some is very tidy and well kept. It has wood panelled walls are dressed with rich blue tapestries. The wooden floor, although sturdy, has seen plenty of foot traffic over the years and shows wear in places.
The most discerning feature of the tavern is the portal in the centre of the ground floor. It looks like a large stone well in the floor. The tavern was built around the portal on the ruins of Halaster Blackcloak’s tower and has gained most of it’s renown for being the primary open route to The Undermountain. For a small fee, adventurers can be winched down into the portal and for a further small fee, hoisted back up again.
There are several tables and chairs around the first floor of the tavern and towards the back of the room there is a long bar and stairs leading to the second floor. There is a small cluster of musicians in one corner.
Mollari carefully navigates his way through the tavern, trying to avoid bumping into other patrons and avoid drawing attention to himself, he is fully aware Kobolds are not a regular sight in civilised society.
As he passes the portal, he inspects it and starts frantically making notes on its appearance … he looks up and on the second level, sees a dwarf handling a pulley system and rope that goes down into the portal.
He makes his way to the bar, noting that although there are many different races amongst the people in the tavern, he is definitely the only visible Kobold. He tries his best not to be seen but as it is so busy, he bumps into the odd person, and each time is confronted with a scowl and an angry ‘oi! Watch it!’
Once he reaches the bar, he spies an unoccupied stool and clambers up it. Rather than sitting, he stands on the bar stool and waits patiently for service.
The bar keep is making his way down serving pints of ale and spirits. He looks up and sees Mollari and says ‘Sorry, we don’t serve children in here… he then realises he is not seeing a child, and quickly apologises. ‘Sorry, sorry…what can I do for you?’
Mollari: ‘do you have any rooms to spare?’ His voice has a strong accent, but he speaks softly and very politely.
Barkeep: ‘Yes, we have a room’
Mollari: ‘May I enquire as to the price?
Barkeep: ‘let me check which rooms are available and I will get back to you with price.
Mollari: ‘May I have a beer please and may I also enquire as to where the nearest guild of casters is please?
The bar keep gives him some directions.
Bar keep: ‘How many nights do you wish to stay?’
Mollari: ‘umm 9 nights please’
Barkeep: ‘The cheapest room I have available is 1.5 gold per night.’
Mollari, quickly realizing this is not the cheapest of establishments, quickly amends his request. ‘in that case, may I ask for 3 nights stay please.’
Mollari gives the barkeep his gold and is shown to his room. He thoroughly inspects his room and looks at the secure storage available…. He finds a large trunk / lockbox at the end of his bed, to which he puts his javelin in and locks it away, placing the key safe inside his belt pouch.
Meanwhile, Xenya, a tall wood elf of athletic build, arrives at the tavern. She is dressed in various leather and hide pieces; leather trousers with over the knee rugged leather boots and sleeveless lace-up leather bodice with upper arm cuffs and wrist bracers that are carved with elven script and intricate leaves and vines, finished with fingerless gloves. She wears a leather utilitarian style belt that has numerous pouches, all ornately carved with leaves and scrolls. She has long blue and platinum hair which is mostly pulled to one side and into some loose braids, but has a dishevelled, wild quality to it. In one of her braids you can just see a sprig of mistletoe is woven in. She carries a large, well-used, backpack and a sturdy red oak staff, with a unique and intricate carving and a vine that spirals all the way up. As she enters the tavern, she looks around and notes the portal. Giving it a wide birth, she makes her way to the bar and makes eye contact with the barkeep.
Xenya: ‘a pint of ale please’.
The barkeep pours a pint and puts it down on the bar in front of her. ‘2 silver please’
Xenya takes a sharp intake of breath to hearing the cost of a pint and hands over the coin: ‘and might I ask, do you know if Volo is around this evening?
Barkeep: ‘Um, no he is not here at the moment… I know he has been away, promoting his new book, but he is expected back…He has a table that is reserved for him every night so if you want to take a seat and wait and see if he comes in tonight you can…. He points over to the corner of the tavern to a booth with an unoccupied table and chairs. The table next to Volo’s sits a human male with brown mid length hair, wearing a black leather jacket … he seems totally engrossed in his writing but keeps looking up at the patrons…it almost seems that he is writing about his surroundings.
Xenya: ‘thank you’… she makes her way over to the table and sits. She pulls out the letter she received from Volo, along with the code of the city and starts reading it over whilst very slowly sipping her ale. Occasionally she looks up to take in her surroundings and make note of the other patrons…
The third of Volo’s selected adventurers arrives at the tavern shortly after, Algrith Giantfeet, A sturdy looking dwarf. His face is weathered, and it is obvious looking at him he is not afraid of hard work. Although he does not look old for a dwarf, his hair is platinum white and most of it pulled back into a long ponytail. His beard is of a decent length and he has 2 braids, one on either side of the coarse beard that are adorned with some metal beads with ornate dwarven runes carved into them. He is wearing a mix of leather armour in every shade of brown, but each piece has been crafted by a master artisan and has a distinct dwarven feel.
He makes his way to the bar and orders a pint. He pulls up an empty stool and sits at the bar, occasionally looking up and around the tavern but seems to be a little guarded and seems to have no intention of making polite conversation with strangers.
Satisfied his room is in order, Mollari slowly walks down the stairs inspecting his surroundings. He notices that Volo is correct in his pamphlet of the city, in that no one really caries any visible weapons, but he is reassured to see a few people with long walking stick type staffs so feels more at ease using his.
He takes a short walk around this part of the city to try to get a feel for the inhabitants. As he reaches an area with many alleys and corners, he stands and pulls back his hood to reveal his head and watches for reactions… he realises more people are looking and noticing as they walk by, but is reassured when no-one really reacts to his presence. He finds some guards and cautiously approaches… ‘Might I enquire as to where the Magisters are, please? ….
Guard: ‘don’t you have a map?’
Mollarii pulls out his map that Volo sent, and the guards point out where the nearest Magister would be.
He thanks them and walks as per the directions to find the Magisters building. As it is early evening, the buildings seem all locked up for the night, so he returns to the Yawning Portal. He makes his way back to the bar and orders another pint.
As the barkeep comes over with a freshy poured pint, Mollarii asks: ‘Do you serve food here, please?
Barkeep: ‘Yes indeed we do.’
Mollarii: ‘May I enquire as to the cost?’
Barkeep: ‘What are you after?’
Barkeep: ‘Meat..Meat….um I can do you a steak for 5 silver?
Mollarii: ‘yes please; I will have a steak dinner… and may I also enquire as to where Volo might be? I am supposed to be meeting him’
Barkeep: ‘Aah yes, we are expecting Volo, he is not here at the moment, but there is someone else waiting for him at his table over in the corner’… he gestures over to where Xenya is sitting, nursing her ale. ‘There is a very good chance he will be in shortly’
Mollarii: ‘aah thank you, may I have the food bought over to the table please?’
Barkeep: ‘yes, yes you can.’
With that, Mollari reaches for his pint and walks over to the table where the blue and platinum haired wood elf is sitting.
As Mollarii approaches the table, Xenya looks up.. a little unnerved by this strange creature she cautiously says: ‘hello, can I help you?’
Mollarii: I understand Volo is to arrive here?
Xenya: ‘Aah yes, I believe he is to arrive here later this evening, I am also here to meet him and this is his table, so I am told.’
Mollarii: ‘May I join you?’
Xenya: ‘yes, by all means.’ In a friendly but also slightly wary voice.
Mollarii looks around for the tallest chair he can find and pulls it up to the table. He sits down, just being able to reach the table. He takes out a personal journal and sets it down. Then pulls out a second journal, ink and a quill. He sits and starts furiously writing.
Xenya watches intently – she looks at the writing but cannot read and understand the language.
Xenya: ‘Can I ask your name?’
Mollarii looks up at Xenya for a moment… then goes back to his writing!
Xenya, realising that this strange dragon / lizard like humanoid creature is not one for small talk she starts nursing her pint again.
Meanwhile, Algrith is finishing his pint. He looks to the Barkeep and when he grabs his attention, he asks: ‘Where would I find Volo?’
Barkeep:’ His table is just over there… and some people are already waiting for him’ – he points over to the table occupied by the Elf and Kobold.
Algrith walks over to the table and asks: ‘Are you two here to meet Volo? I have a letter from him to meet here.’
Xenya: ‘yes, I have a letter too and I am told this is his table. I believe he is expected soon’
Mollarii looks up and gives Algrith a nod, and quickly returns to his writing.
Xenya: ’He is not very talkative, looking towards Mollarii… Hi, my name is Xenya, Pleased to meet you’
Algrith: ’Algrith’. He gives a slight and vague smile and pulls up a chair.
As the group are sitting, relatively silently, Mollarii, too engrossed in his writing to pay anyone attention, Xenya, slowly sipping her ale and Algrith, slowly inspecting his surroundings, they are disturbed by a sudden noise…
‘Ah, ya pig! You like killin’ me mates does ya?
A 7ft tall female half-orc is hit by a wild swinging punch by a large male human, his shaved head is covered in eye shape tattoos. He is flanked by 4 other humans readying to jump into the fray. The group look to be associated with the Xanather’s guild. The half-orc, who looks to be associated with the Zhentarim faction, stands up, gives an almighty roar and with the cracking of her knuckles, she leaps at the shaved headed human.
Hearing this noise, Mollarii looks up, very annoyed at being disturbed, as does the male with the leather jacket sat in the booth next to Volo’s table, who was also engrossed in his writing.
A crowd gathers around wanting to get a look at the fight that is sure to break out. As it is obvious that a brawl between factions is about to break out, Mollarri quickly puts the lid on his ink pot and starts frantically blowing the ink of his freshly penned words, in an effort to dry the ink quicker. Xenya, had been refreshing her knowledge on the vast array of rules and laws for Waterdeep, in the guide Volo had sent with the letter. Knowing there are strict rules on fighting and that punishments in this city are harsh, she has no interest in getting involved. Algrith tightens his grip on his pint.
The half-orc woman takes a huge swing at this human and knocks him clean out. Just as the rest of his group are about to retaliate, The barkeep grabs a huge great sword from behind the bar, jumps over the bar and commands: ‘ Oi!, You lot – OUT!’ Almost as if they know this bar keep is not to be messed with, the group grab their unconscious ‘leader; and drags him out. The half-orc nods and also leaves, heading in the opposite direction to the Xanather’s gang.
Almost as soon as this fray has been averted, there is a loud noise from the portal. Alarms start to ring as a hulking great creature climbs out of the portal. Mollarii quickly puts his books and supplies back into his bag, hoping the ink is sufficiently dried. A monster with warty green skin, a tangled nest of wirey black hair, a long carrot shaped nose and blood shot eyes comes into view. He opens his mouth bearing yellow stained teeth and is surrounded by a dozen bats attached to it’s body. 3 more bats are now circling above his head. Everyone in the tavern reacts with fear and scatters, except the barkeep who yells: ‘ TRROLLLL!!’ Xenya, fearing her costly drink is about to get spilt, carefully slides it to the far side of the table, the furthest point from the troll.
The human in the booth next to Volo’s table takes out a small notebook and seems to start making notes on the events taking shape.
The barkeep steps forward to engage with the troll. One of the bats swoops at the barkeep to take a bite but misses.
The group of adventurers stand up and come to the edge of their booth, unable to move without coming in range of the troll, they ready their weapons. Mollarii tugs down on the fabric tie at the top of his walking staff, at which point the head of the staff opens to reveal a spear.
The other 2 bats move towards the group and swoop at Algrith. The first bat takes a bite at Algrith and catches his shoulder. The second swoops at Algrith’s head, but seeing his attack, the Dwarf manages to bring his arm up and block, pushing the bat away. Seizing the advantage given by Algrith being engaged with the bats. Mallori thrusts his spear up towards one and it impales it and pulls it down to the floor. Using his clawed foot, he pushes against the dead bat and pulls his spear out and kicks the lifeless bat back into his booth. Realising this may mean Mallorii may not get his steak dinner, he plans on saving the bat for a late-night snack.
Meanwhile the barkeep thrusts his great sword at the bat he is engaged with, but the bat is agile and hard to hit…… and he misses.
Xenya, realising she cannot avoid this confrontation, steps forward to the first bat that bit Algrith. She extends her hand and puffs out a small cloud of poisonous gas in the air directly at the bat. The bat coughs and splutters but manages to fly up a little higher to avoid the main impact of the gas. He is a little disorientated but is still in the mix. Algrith takes this opportunity to jam his blade into the bat’s body. That bat is fully impaled and slides down the sword to the hilt. Algrith flicks his sword and the bat bounces, lifeless on the ground. Mollarii sees the dead bat hit the floor in front of him, he quickly reaches out with his foot and swipes it around behind him, kicking the bat back into the booth, next to his first kill.
Seeing these two bats being slain, the troll heads over towards Volo’s table.
The remaining bat takes another swoop at the barkeep, who ducks down low as the bat flies over his head. Mollarri, looks at this troll coming towards the table, he quickly assesses that it will be hard to bring down and falls to one knee, grovelling, pleading and begging for his life, in an effort to distract the troll leaving him open for attack.
Meanwhile, the barkeep starts flourishing his sword around in an impressive display of poise, strength and talent……only for the blade to flick out of his hand and spin in the air before its land upright, stuck in the wooden floorboard in front of his feet!
Seeing the troll is distracted by this begging kobold and realising that her poisonous gas is probably going to struggle damaging a troll when it struggled to hurt a little bat, she decides to engage in melee combat with her quarter staff. Unfortunately as she runs forward and starts to swing, she hesitates for a moment, realising exactly how huge this troll is. Her confidence wavers and as it wavers she misses the troll completely.
The troll, still a little distracted by the begging kobold and the flailing wood elf, is wide open for attack. Algrith sees this and takes the opportunity to thrust, firstly, with his short sword, and quickly follows with a stab of his dagger. The troll makes sounds of pain and grunts with each hit. He is noticeably injured but looks at the Dwarf Rogue and Wood elf and snarls, showing his revolting toothy grin. He reaches up in the air and clenches his fist and takes a huge swing at Xenya’s head and she falls to the floor unconscious.
As Xenya slumps to the floor, it seems apparent to Mollarii and Algrith that wounds on the troll, inflicted by Algrith’s blades are starting to close up.
Meanwhile the barkeep is dodging and ducking the bat that is purely focused on him.
Mollarri moves to flank the troll and thrusts his spear into his chest. As he does this, he now sees the human male with his shoulder length brown hair and black leather jacket, in the booth next to Volo’s table, is still frantically writing under cover of the table… it almost seems that he is writing the story of what is happening here in The Yawning Portal! Mollarii gives him an evil glance and says: ‘either help or run’… The ‘writer’ takes the opportunity to run to safety.
With this, the barkeep, finally able to pull his sword free from the floorboards, swipes it at the remaining bat and cleaves it in two. Now the bat is gone, he looks around to see a group of his patrons are engaged with this hulking troll, with one lifeless on the floor and so he runs into to join the fray.
Algrith now takes another mighty swing with his sword but misses. He follows up with a quick stab of his dagger which does slice into the troll’s torso, but it is clear his initial wounds have almost completely healed so he is obviously regenerating.
Mollarii takes a second in thought, almost like he is trying to remember some sort of lore….He looks around for the nearest torch or candle but everything is out of reach so he jabs the troll with his spear whilst shouting at Algrith: ‘hit it with fire!’
With that the barkeep goes in for the attack… In a complete reversal of his earlier performance he swings his sword backwards and forwards across the troll’s body doing huge amounts of damage… The troll now is looking very hurt.
Realising that Mollari believes fire will either do extra damage to the troll or at least stop him regenerating, Algrith looks around him for a source of fire.. He disengages from the troll and grabs the torch from the wall behind the table.
Meanwhile, the troll turns his focus to the barkeep and takes swing but misses.
Mollarii pulls back on his spear again with another massive thrust and cuts into the troll.
The barkeep again, with great strength and finesse, swings his sword repeatedly at the troll and with his third swing chops off the troll’s head. As it rolls to the floor the body slumps down in a heap.
Mollarii runs over to Xenya and tries to stabilize her but quickly realises it is way above his capabilities, luckily, Xenya starts to come around and opens her eyes to see this strange red and black reptilian looking face with sharp pointed teeth bent over her! Mollarii helps Xenya to a chair then looks around at the barkeep …’Is my steak ready?’ The bar keep says: ‘um.. yeah.. I will go check…listen thank you all for your help there…can I get you some drinks, on the house of course?’
Mollarii: ‘Ale please’
Algrith: ‘Ale please’
Xenya: yes please… and I don’t suppose you have any healing potions or such …I am in quite a bit of pain right now’
Barkeep: ‘Well I keep a small amount of personal supplies… kind of need to living above a dungeon portal!..Yes I can certainly help you there. My name is Durnan by the way and this is my establishment.’. With that he walks over to the door behind the bar and shouts something at whoever is in the kitchen.
Xenya quickly downs her ale that she was nursing earlier, shaking a little from the shock of the evenings events.
Durnan comes back to the table and starts dishing up.. he places a large dinner plate infront of Mollarii with 2 big steaks on it and his pint. He also gives him some gold and silver and says: ‘ the steak, drink and your room is on me as thanks’. Durnan then slides a huge tankard of ale infront of Algrith and another pint and a healing potion down infront of Xenya.
They all give a thank you and start with a gulp of ale.
Once Durnan is out of sight, Xenya takes the red liquid vial and puts it safely in a side pocket of her bag. ‘These are expensive’, she says: ‘I think I can manage now with a bit of rest’.
Looking at the huge slabs of steak in front of him, Mollarri realises his little stomach wont manage it, and he is safe in the knowledge he has a couple of bats should he get peckish later and so generously offers one of the steaks to Xenya and Algrith. Xenya is taken back that this strange little creature that previously had no interest in social interactions, is kind enough to offer to share his meal. Both she and Allgrith gratefully accept a piece of steak to share between them. Just as they are finishing chewing, they watch as Mollarii hops off his stool and picks up the 2 dead bats and places them in a pouch of his bag..’ for tomorrow’ says Mollarii. Xenya, takes a moment as she has to concentrate on not bringing up her freshly swallowed steak, at the thought of the dead bats making a meal. She is used to foraging and hunting, but the thought of a bat seems somewhat dirty to her.
They sit and rest for a while and watch as the staff have done a good job of cleaning the blood and Troll’s body away, to the point you would not realise anything had happened.
Suspiciously, the troll’s body was taken out the door behind the bar which you know to be at least the kitchen area…….
Suddenly they are disturbed by a rather pompus and annoying voice…. ‘Aah, hello, oh I am so glad you could make it. I am Volo an I am going to sit and join you’ . He pulls up a chair. ‘Thank you so much for coming… I h-have a quest, a quest of the up-upmost importance’. His words are laboured and hesitant or at least dithery. ‘A jolly good friend of mine.. well, he has gone missing…. We were in here a few nights ago….and I..I haven’t seen him since. I would very much like for you to find him. I..I can pay you handsomely… I have just been out to promote my latest book and I -I am sure the profits will be enough to pay you handsomely for it. If-if not I can organise the funds to pay you regardless… we can negotiate the cost when you deliver my friend back to me.. His name is Floon Blagmar.. we-we were in here having a couple of drinks a few nights ago.. and well, he’s gone missing….’
Mollarii interrupts the dithering repetitive voice and asks: ‘might I ask, how did you hear about me?’
Volo: ‘W-well, I -I just kind of asked about for knowledge of adventurers that are heading towards town that m-may be able to help and, and I found out about you three and a couple of others and so I sent out the-the letters and h-here you are! I am so happy you came!.….I-I can pay you each 10 gold now and we can.. we can negotiate the rest later’
Mollarii: ‘do you have any idea where your friend might be?’
Volo: ‘W-well , I was suffering with a bit of , you know…, writer’s block, and we met a few nights ago…we drank and we gambled for a few hours..and then I-I left… umm we didn’t actually meet here for drinks, we met at.. at the the Skewered Dragon….just up the road.’
Mollarii: ‘Why were you not drinking here?’
Volo: ‘Floon liked to drink there and it..it’s better for gambling than here’.
Xenya: ‘Where does Floon live?’
Volo looks uncertain…’ I have been to his house…and no-nobody has seen him…and I was the last person to see him and…and he has just vanished.’
Xenya, a little frustrated by the lack of useful information says: ‘the reason I ask, is because, to me it would seem prudent to search his home for clues as to his whereabouts, or if there was a struggle …..’
Volo interrupts: ‘I-I-I feel the best place to start would be the Skewered Dragon in the Dock Ward,..which is where we were…and I left him there…now he is not there…and he is not anywhere.’
Mollarii: ‘What business does he have?’
Volo:’ He-he is a friend of mine and he does a bit here and there… I_I mean at the moment he does not actually have work as such.. you could say he is in between jobs… umm he previously worked as an escort to ferry people around…’
Mollarii: ‘When was the last time he worked?’
Volo: ‘um, well, a f-few months ago now..’
Mollarii: ‘Where does he get his money from to gamble?’
Volo inhales deeply: ‘Well he is really rather good at gambling…’
Xenya: ‘So is he quite well off?…Does he have money stashed away.. could he have been taken for his money?’
Volo: ’Well he, he is not that well off… um, I-I don’t think he would have been taken for money… um I mean he is comfortable for the minute..’
Mollarii: ‘Have the authorities done anything, for the investigation of his disappearance?’
Volo: ‘We-well they did.. they searched his home and found he had not returned there..and..and there was no, no fighting or anything that happened in his house….and he just never turned up there.’
Xenya: ‘So why do you think he is missing in a bad way? Is it poss…
Volo interrupts again: ‘Because he he didn’t go home… he was drinking with me and then he didn’t go home.. he always goes home!’
Xenya: ‘So he has other people that live at his home and they told you he had not returned home?’
Volo: ‘W-well yes, I mean he has servants… everybody has servants’.
Xenya: ‘Right, so these servants confirmed he had not returned home that evening or since?
Volo: ‘Y-yes, exactly.’
Xenya is clearly frustrated with the lack of information and how difficult it is to drag the facts from this strange dithering pompus human.
Mollarii: ‘So what did the authorities discover?’
Volo: ‘W-well just that, he did not come home..’
Mollarii: ‘So they did not investigate the bar he was last seen in?’
Volo: ‘Um, um no… I mean they closed the case and said there w-was no more to be done and as far as their investigation they are not going any further with it’
Mollarii: ‘I am prepared to look for your friend’
Volo, genuinely excited: ‘ Oh Thank you , Thankyou kindly…and here is your 10 gold’. He pulls out the coin and puts it infront of Mollarii.
Algrith, who has been just quietly listening to this dilemma: ‘I will also look for your friend, but I want 20gold up front.’
Volo: ‘Um, well I am afraid, I cant pay that up front, you see, you see, I have just been promoting my new book.. um I can pay you 10gold now and the rest after.. I am good for it…ask anyone.. I have money in very many assets which I can draw upon later, but I only have 10 gold I can pay each of you upfront, n-now.’ He offers 10g to Algrith.
Algrith accepts the gold.
Xenya takes a moment eyeing this weird gentleman up and down, trying to ascertain if he is a shady character or just a blithering prat that is desperately and genuinely worried for his good friend, and that maybe he drinks too much… feeling he is the latter, she also agrees to help.
Volo: ‘I can also give you a copy of my book for free at the end of all this’.
Xenya: ‘Signed?’ (figuring it may well be worth more signed if Volo is indeed famous)
Volo: ‘Yes, yes indeed – Great, oh great!.. um I can only say start at the Skewered Dragon I think…’
Mollarii: ‘I feel it would be a good time to go now to the Skewered dragon’
Xenya: ‘There is no troll portal at this Skewered Dragon is there’
Volo: ‘No, No..’
Xenya: ‘I agree now is probably a good time to go but I do not feel great… Volo, have you finished your book tour now… if we need to find you where will you be?’
Volo: ‘Uh, I have finished my tour… I-I will be here every evening.’
Mollarii: ‘I would like a description please of your friend.’
Volo: ‘Y-yes of course… um he is a very bright young man, in his thirties..he is human.. he is well dressed…..um……
Mollarii: ‘hair colour, skin colour…’
Volo: ‘he, he …I would say he has fairly light hair, not too long, not too short… um he is of a fair skin colour…..’
Xenya: ‘Is he tall?….short?…
Volo: ‘..average height..’
Xenya, clearly frustrated by the effort it is taking to drag the information out of Volo: ‘ok, so what is average height for a human male..?’
Volo: ‘umm maybe 5ft 6.. you know not too tall, not too short… um average build.. you know , not too thin, not too fat…’
Xenya: her voice showing signs of slight frustration now: ‘ You say he was well dressed… what was he wearing when you last saw him?’
Volo: ‘ He was wearing a p-purple tunic and purple trousers…’
Mollarii: ‘Was he armed?’
Volo: ‘NO’, he exclaims, ‘we don’t walk around armed!’
Mollarii: ‘But your guide says some people carry hidden daggers’
Volo: ‘Ah, well yes some people do…I-I don’t carry a dagger myself…’
Mollarri: ‘No, but did your friend?’
Volo: ‘No, No, I don’t think so.’
Mollarrii: ‘So he would not be able to put up too much of a fight? Was he known to be proficient in combat?’
Volo: …well… he was an escort.. so, one would assume he could fight.’
These questions continued for some time.
Mollarii turns to Xenya and Algrith: ‘We are looking for average human’
Algrith: ‘In a purple suit’
Mollarii: ‘I feel we can find an average human’….. and quietly says: ‘I am also convinced this man would not know difference’
Both Xenya and Algrith smirk a little at this thought.
They continue to question Volo regarding Floon being involved with any dodgey dealings but he gave as much information as he had for the past hour…
Just before they leave Mollarii get out his map of the city and asks some questions about locations, including any libraries and other useful buildings…. Volo’s answers, as vague or unhelpful as ever.. for example, when Mollarii asks where the biggest library is and what it is called and who runs it, the answer was: ‘Waterdeep City Library’ and ‘run by the librarian’ and in answer to ‘ how long does it take to get to Skewered Dragon from here, the answer was, ‘not too long!’
The group get ready to leave and Volo shouts ‘good luck’ as they walk out the door. As they make their way to the Skewered Dragon, they are all keeping watch and alert for any shady people or dealings in the area, but they engage very little in conversation with each other, other than remarks that he is possibly the worst friend ever with his lack of detail regarding his friend. Xenya, in particular is a little distracted from her bludgeoning.
A little into the Dock Ward, Mollarii notices down an alley, what looks like a couple of bodies on the ground…with Watch officers restraining 3 humans, drenched in blood…One of the officers looks up and sees the 3 adventurers: ‘OI!, Get on… nothing to see here.’ The human being restrained look to be wearing similar garb, and recognisably that of the Zhentarim faction…The bodies look to be members of Xanather’s Guild.
The group continue to walk down the road. Much in darkness caused by the shadows formed by the very tall tenement buildings either side. Many street lamps have had their glass smashed and the candles, stolen.. There is a smell of salt air and excrement that linger on the breeze. There are rows of run-down buildings. On one corner the group notice a shop with a curious display in the window…It stands out from the other buildings. It has a deep purple vizard and in the window hangs a stuffed Beholder and it’s sign reads, in elaborate letters ‘Xoblobs shop’. Mollarii walks up to the window to look in.. it is quite dark inside but he notices there is a theme to everything he can see within the store… purple… everything is purple….
They get going again and eventually see the Skewerred Dragon… It definitely does not look as nice as The Yawning Portal. Two windows are smashed and there is a ship’s anchor lodged in the roof. It looks like a shady establishment. Through the windows you can see a group of haggard patrons drinking from huge tankards.
Before entering, Mollarii finds a shaded area to pull out his coin purse.. he takes out a small amount of coin and hides the coin purse deep within his robes. Xenya watches for a moment and decides her main coin purse is very securely hidden deep within her bag (she keeps a small amount of silver and 2 gold in her utility belt but as she lives in the wilds the majority of the time, she saves, and even hoards any money she comes across from work in civilised society and hides it away.)
They walk in.
The inside is not really any better than the outside. The floor is sticky and the air is filled with the smell of stale sweat and ale. There is an undertone of dried vomit…The patrons are a hardy looking bunch, all seemingly dock workers, primarily humans. They make their way to the bar. Mollari asks for an ale at the bar..
Barkeep: ‘Yeah, 3 copper and pours a pint.’
Xenya’s face lights up a little.
Mollarii puts down the 3 copper and take the pint from the barkeep. He takes a gulp…It is stale.. clearly watered down but there is something else that just does not seem quite right about – it tastes old.. almost musty. Mollarii looks at the barman and asks if he is incharge of this establishment. A gruff salty voice replies: ‘Yeah, I am ‘
Mollarii: ‘Are you here every night?’
Barkeep: ‘yeah, why?’
Mollarii: ‘We are looking for someone who has gone missing and was last seen here with his friend.’
Barkeep: ‘…well I don’t keep track of who comes and goes.’
Mollarii: ‘You may know his friend, his name is Volo’
Barkeep: ‘Yeah well many people know Volo, so?’
The conversation continues, the barkeep obviously not interested in giving any information IF indeed he knows any.
Algrith looks around at the other patrons, trying to ascertain if anyone was paying attention to this line of questions…Unfortunately as he starts to turn his head he gets distracted by a brown smudge of hand print across a back wall and he takes a moment to work out what it is.
Xenya, really not feeling well, and very tired, and very uncomfortable in this shifty place, especially when she feels so bad, keeps quiet and just lets Mollarii and Algrith take the lead.
Mollarii looks around and notices the few patrons in here all seem to be gambling.. He turns back to the barkeep and asks if he knows Floon. The barkeep says, not that I know. Mollari thanks him and slides a silver over the bar to him. Barkeep: ‘You might wanna talk to those two over there’ and points to a pair of scruffy older blokes gambling with cards and drinking ale. Mollarii turns back to the bar keep and asks for 3 more beers. He finishes the existing ale and tips the barkeep whilst paying for the 3 ales. He tells Xenya and Algrith he is going over to chat with these two. He picks up the ales and starts waddling over with the ales and approaches the two..
Xenya, feeling really quite nauseous, just follows him silently… Algrith pulls up a stool at the bar and orders a drink.
As he is approaching, Mollarri tries to see what game they are playing. He hangs back a moment to watch them…
Mollarii approaches the gamblers: ‘ah-hem’
They ignore him.
He sets the pints onto the table but keeps hold of them.
They ignore him.
Mollarii: ‘Excuse me gentlemen, I wonder if I can have a moment of your time’
Gambler 1: ‘What?..We are trying to play a game!’
Mollarii: ‘I am interested in game you are playing, even if I can only watch.. I am prepared to give you these drinks… if not I can find another table.’
Gambler 1: ‘Do ya want in?’
Mollarii: ‘I am simply interested to watch you play…I am unfamiliar with game.’
Gambler1: ‘It’s real simple, whoever draws the higher card, wins’
Mollarii: ‘What is it called?’
Gambler 1 looks at gambler 2 and smirks: ‘High Card’
Mollarii: ‘No, it’s ok, I just want to watch, if ok?’
Gambler 1: ‘Why?’
Mollarii: ‘I am just interested in games people play’
Gambler 1: ‘Well I just told you how to play’
Mollarii: ‘Ok, I will play if this is important to you’
Gambler1: ‘1 silver per hand’
Mollarii puts the ales down and pushes 2 towards them and puts in his silver.
Xenya leans on a beam behind the table and tries to stay awake to watch.
They each draw cards and Gambler 1 wins: ‘Thanks for the beer, thanks for the silver. Do you wanna play again?’
Mollarii: ‘Ah yes please I am interested to play another hand.’ As he puts in his silver he asks: ‘are you regulars here? I was told by a friend that this is a good place to gamble and learn new games. You may know him, his name is Volo.’
Gambler 1: ‘yeah I know Volo, he and his mate often come in and sit over there (pointing to a table in the corner) and they just play and play, dice, cards, whatever.’
Mollarii: ‘Ah, do you know when they normally come in?’
Gambler 1: ‘Um, usually on a Saturday I think.’
Gambler1 wins again: ’Wanna play again?’
Mollarii: ‘Yes please’ and puts his silver in.
During the next couple of hands he establishes that indeed it is Volo and Floon they were talking about and that Volo left about 11pm and Floon stayed at the table and was joined by another male, Renaer Neverember who is nobility. His father, Dagult Neverember, who is the former lord of Waterdeep, the current lord or Neverwinter. It seems six games, all losses to the 2 gamblers, resulted in them giving some useful information.
Mollarii thanks them and gives them a silver each for drinks and asks if they think of any other useful information to let him know and he will be staying at the Yawning Portal.
Mollarrii heads back to the bar and Algrith. As he walks by Xenya, she seems to wake up and follow. He asks the barkeep if he knows of Renaer Neverember and where he could be found. The barkeep says he lives up at Neverember House, in the Sea Ward. Mollarii thanks him and drops him a silver tip. He then turns to Algrith and Xenya and says he has got some information. Algrith pats his back and thanks him for doing the hard work and pops him a gold.
Mollarri looks at the barkeep and says: ‘What is the name of this beer?’
Barkeep: ‘It’s a home brew’
Mollarri: ‘it is very good’
Xenya, breathes a sigh of relief that she did not order a pint herself.
He thanks the barkeep and turns to Xenya: ‘You are interested in room here?’ Xenya looks pale and shakes her head…on hearing this the barkeep shouts:’ We have loads of rooms..1gold for a week’
Xenya: ‘Ah no thank you I have made other arrangements’
As they start to leave, Xenya pulls out her map of the city to look at the inn locations. She was not comfortable staying above a dangerous portal after the last incident and thought that it would be quite pricey considering how much a simple pint was! She had thought to stay at the Skewered Dragon, where she may also be able to learn more valuable information, but on seeing the state of it and it’s patrons, she decided that she needed to find a new inn to rest her head, something she now really needed. On looking at the map she determined, reluctantly, that the Yawning Portal was indeed her best option.
Mollarii also looks at his map as he steps outside the tavern in an effort to work out which direction Floon would have travelled on leaving the Skewered Dragon if he was to go straight home. After a few minutes staring at his map and recalling the conversation with Volo, he feels he has a good idea of the direction and explains his views to his companions. He suggests that he would like to follow this route all the way to Floon’s house to try to investigate the area and look for clues to his disappearance. He wanted to look for signs of a struggle throughout the route, or generally anything suspicious. They all agree and start to head off, all being as observant as possible.
As they reach Candle Lane they see a building that stands out from the rest.
The area is generally quite messy and broken through petty vandalism, the warehouses have graffiti and damages that have been poorly repaired etc. But this one building seems in very good order, no graffiti or damage. It has the snake symbol of the Zhentarim on its front, which Xenya and Algrith vaguely recognise as the symbol on the half-orc fighter in the Yawning Portal, but Mollarii instantly recognises due to his diligent research of Waterdeep, before his arrival.
There are windows but none at ground level. Mollarri pays close attention to the area to make sure there is no-one watching the group or hanging around in the shadows around the building. It looks completely vacant of life at this time, the streets seem empty. Mollarii slinks away into the shadows while Xenya slowly approaches the smaller door of the warehouse. Mollarii, knowing this criminal organisation is something to be wary of, completely disappears into the shadows. He keeps relatively close and watches as he continues to slowly walk down the road. Xenya gently presses her Elven ears against the wood and listens for signs of movement inside. Despite her keen senses and survival skills, she is still not at her best with a pounding headache from being knocked unconscious earlier in the evening, she absent-mindedly puts her palm against the door first and then presses her ear against her hand… she hears nothing but the pounding of her head!
They continue down the road and Mollarii eventually runs out of shadows to walk in so joins the other two once again. They see nothing else of note until the reach the end of Candle Lane, where there are signs of a scuffle. Algrith inspects the area closely and believes that it looks like 2 people were dragged off down the alley, but the marks are not fresh, they seem to have been made a few days ago. He calls the others over and points out what he sees and explains his findings and thoughts. He can see what looks like footprints of 5-6 people around 2 sets of drag marks.
With Algrith at the helm, they stealthily follow the tracks and they eventually lead to the large shutters of the Zhentarim warehouse. Mollarii looks for a way to get up to the windows, or even the roof tops but it seems there is no way to climb up from any of the local buildings.
The group discuss their action plan. They feel that they are on the right track and that this is evidence of Floon and Renair being dragged of into this warehouse. . .Mollarii is concerned that to investigate this building now would mean breaking the law and as the guide states, broken laws have severe consequences in Waterdeep. Both Xenya and Algrith are also concerned that they should head back to the Yawning Portal soon to secure a bed and get some rest before embarking on further, possibly dangerous situations. They decide that it would be best to get an eye on the warehouse during the day, when fully recovered and maybe even speak to Volo about this warehouse before he leaves for the night, if indeed he has not already left.
Mollarii suggests that he stays in the shadows to keep an eye on the warehouse while his companions continue on towards Floon’s house continuing to investigate the route. He insists he would like to monitor the area for a couple of hours for any comings and goings and that unless they find something significant at Floon’s home, they should then continue back to The Yawning Portal and he will meet them there later or at least in the morning.
Xenya and Algrith make their way to Floon’s meanwhile Mollarii is perfectly hidden just across from the warehouse. However, despite him trying to be very alert and keeping a keen eye on the warehouse and surroundings, he seems to be more focused on the wall he his hiding against! After a while of staring at the area of the wall where two buildings meet he turns around to look at the warehouse.
Algrith and Xenya reach Floon’s house and looking around they ascertain that there are zero signs of anything suspicious or untoward, no windows or locks have been interfered with, no signs of forced entry or any kind of scuffle and in conversation they surmise that he never made it home and the drag marks leading to the Zhentarim warehouse are the best bet for what happened to Floon and indeed Renair.
They head back to the Yawning Portal, trying to investigate as they go… however, Xenya can barely keep her eyes open and really notices nothing. Algrith is more aware of his surroundings but he also does not note anything else of concern.
Once there, the see Durnan, cleaning down the bar.
Xenya walks up to him and asks: ‘Do you have any rooms available, Durnan?’
Durnan: ‘Yes I do, and for you tonight, free of charge’
Xenya: ‘Oh thank you, yes please. . and it looks like I might need to stay for a few days, what is the cost for extending my stay?’
Durnan: ‘1 and a half gold per night payable preferable in the morning of the night you wish to stay or for several nights in advance.’
Xenya, still a little wary of sleeping above a dangerous portal asks: ‘Is it common for trolls or beasts to come out of the portal and attack?’
Durnan: ‘Well, we probably get a troll once a month maybe’
Xenya: ‘And do you not have any guards or such?’
Algrith chirps in: ‘I also need a room if you have one?
Durnan: ‘I have one last room available, again 1 and a half gold per night for future nights, but tonight for you, it is free.’
He asks where ‘the little fella’ is and they explain that he was still investigating where different places are and getting a feel for his surroundings and he will be returning shortly.
Xenya: ‘Before we retire, can I just ask you, Durnan, do you know anything about the Zhentarim guild?’
Durnan takes a moment and explains they are a bit of a shadowy network. There is a jostle for power between them and the Xanather’s guild. The discord between the two factions threatens the harmony of the city. The authorities can only get involved where cost allows and where there is actionable evidence.
Xenya also asks about Renaer Nevrember and asks if Durnan has seen him lately, to which Durnan says now he comes to thinks about it, no he hasn’t seen Renaer either. She asks for a description of Renaer… Durnan recalls a description of Renaer average build, height around an average 5ft 6. Light brown hair similar, to Floon and indeed looks similar to Floon. Dresses like a noble.
At this point Mollarri returns and sees the other two still talking at the bar and just takes himself up to his room to sleep.
Xenya also asks whether Durnan knows and has seen Floon lately. He explains that Floon doesn’t come in that regularly as he prefers to gamble.
Durnan shows them to their rooms and they settle in for the night.
Xenya and Algrith agree to meet for breakfast and go into their rooms for the night