Episode XIV: The Gangs of Waterdeep
Abraxas Silvermane (Connor), *Akkamas Mohaïva (Mike), *Braxton Chabbone (Steve), Jone Constance (Aaron), Kelwyn (Rodney), Tim (Shaun), ***Toman (Mason), ***Velius (Paul), and ***Ziyal (Joy)
Waterdeep. The City of Splendors. It is at once a marvel of civilization and a wretched hive of scum and villainy. It all depends on which Ward you hang your slouch hat. Or not, because let’s be honest, you scratch the surface of the wealthiest in Waterdeep and you’re sure to find skeletons underneath.
With a week paid up in advance in The Yawning Portal, The Hellblazers were quick to make the most of their time in the city. Of course, they kept their ears open to word about Ocasta, and their eyes peeled for Jace, but they also took in the sights, sounds, and smells of the city. They healed themselves up, mentally and physically, investigated and attuned to their newly acquired magical items, and made purchases in the local shops to augment their kits.
In addition, some meaningful explorations were undertaken.
Braxton and Akkamas utilized Wilbough‘s Book of the Past, Present, & Future to explore a gem case they’d acquired from a bard’s corpse in Daggervale. The book explained how events would transpire if they were to open the case showing that in it was a Key of Nine Doors, a magical, sentient device that opens prearranged portals to nine locations. Not knowing the passwords, they were able to explore the last portal opened by the bard — a gateway to the audience chamber of Walter Devonstead, where they uncovered their part in acquiring the Hand of Vecna for House Cassalanter of Waterdeep. And more telling still, the Cassalanters had sworn fealty, through pact, to none other than Asmodeus, Archdevil and Supreme of Baator. The pair of adventurers, learning what they needed, and seeing that this path would ultimately lead to their deaths at the hands of Asmodeus‘ Imps, were satisfied with the knowledge gained and chose not to open the gem case.
Abraxas had also turned to Wilbough, brokering a deal with the halfling, exchanging items, gold, and services. The pair traveled back to Ocasta’s Lair where Abraxas checked in on Velius and made some upgrades to his staff. While Wilbough stayed behind to loot the Lair, Abraxas traveled on to Daggervale, assuming his disguise as Avis the thief, in hopes of finding a connection between his father, Adair Silvermane, and the Chabbone family. Stumbling upon a chance to explore a secret Chabbone crypt, the wizard, along with a thief known as The Ratcatcher, discovered a sarcophagus housing an ancient vampire. Abraxas liberated his father’s sword and drove the weakened vampiress off, but not before learning she was responsible for hurling his pregnant mother into the Shadowfell. The wizard looted the crypt, paid off the Chabbone debt, traveled to Assayadin to collect Phillipe the horse, then returned to the Lair to pick up Wilbough and plane shift back to the Yawning Portal.
Braxton decided to do some research on his ancestor, Adair Silvermane, in the library at New Olamn Bard College. The gnome librarian discovered that all the books referencing Adair were missing.
Told to return the next day when the Library Wizard could cast locate object to find the missing books, Braxton arrived to discover the library cordoned off by the City Watch. The Library Wizard had been killed overnight.
Braxton also received word that cursed items had become more frequent in recent months and the clerics he approached were greatly concerned by this news.
But it was time to bring everyone together. Word was sent out for the party to gather for a celebratory feast before renewing their search for Ocasta in earnest. Things, however, would not go as planned. The fates had other things in mind for our heroes.
Catching up after a busy week, the Hellblazers gathered in the Yawning Portal Taproom to share what they had learned in their various side adventures. Ziyal and Toman were unable to attend due to prior engagements. As they finished their meal, a fight broke out in the tavern between members of the Zhentarim and Xanathar gangs. The fight was short lived, with a Zhent half-orc getting the better of her smaller opponent, but as the Xanathar agent was being drug from the fight, a troll and three spiders crawled up out of the Portal.
The Hellblazers made short work of the invaders and were hailed as heroes. A healer came forth to lend aid and led the party to a private room where they were reunited with Jace ibn Alhazared.
Jace begged the group to aid him in finding a lost compatriot, the roguish and devilishly handsome Hallbrent Farr, who both Tim and Jone had become acquainted with in the past week. Explaining that he had gone missing after a night of carousing at the Skewered Dragon in the Dock Ward, the Hellblazers agreed to look into it.
Discovering more and escalating violence between the Zhents and the Xanathars along the way, it came as little surprise to learn that Hallbrent and another companion, a young nobleman named Renaer Neverember, had been assaulted and kidnapped by Zhentarim agents.
The trail lead to a warehouse off Candle Lane. Tim disabled an alarm and picked the lock to a side door revealing a room full of crates. Meanwhile, Jone attempted the same at the dock-side door, tripping the alarm and drawing four Zhents toward the party.
And that’s where the night’s adventure came to a close. Tune in next week to see how the Hellblazers fair as we continue our adaptation of Wizards of the Coast’s Waterdeep: Dragon Heist.
*Played via Skype
**Absent/Ran by DM
+Had to leave early