Episode XVI: As Above, So Below
Abraxas Silvermane (Connor), *Akkamas Mohaïva (Mike), *Braxton Chabbone (Steve), ***Jone Constance (Aaron), ***Kelwyn (Rodney), ***Tim (Shaun), ***Toman (Mason),
Velius (Paul), and Ziyal (Joy)
While the rest of the party had returned to the Yawning Portal, Jone and Toman decided to explore the secret exit from the Zhentarim Warehouse. The ladder lowered to the back alley behind the Zhents operation. There they met a half-orc washerwoman who described a curious scene but an hour earlier. A wounded figure descended the ladder and met with a well-dressed nobleman in the street. Coin was exchanged, then the nobleman road off in a carriage and the wounded man turned into a gaseous form and drifted off into the night.
Jone and Toman followed the carriage trail to the end of the street where they discovered The Thirsty Throat, a seedy tavern that seemed ready to fall down should a stiff breeze blow through. After a thorough investigation and interrogation of the patrons, they discovered a secret entrance into the sewers beneath Waterdeep.
Choosing to travel south, they discovered many curious things along the way, including an access point decorated with humanoid skulls inscribed with demonic sigils. Eventually they came upon the final egress that ascended into a tavern controlled by the Black Boar Tribe. There they were able to learn that the Xanathar Guild operated in the sewers north of the Thirsty Throat, but, more importantly, that a ship called The Resurrectionist had taken to port and its female captain was hiring henchmen for a delve into Undermountain.
With this information, Toman and Jone returned to the Yawning Portal.
Back at the Yawning Portal, the Hellblazers met with Alhazared then got Neverember settled in. After a long and much needed rest, Tim and Kelwyn took care of personal business while Abraxas, Akkamas, and Braxton decided to investigate the New Olamn Bard College where a mysterious murder had occurred after Braxton made inquiries regarding certain tomes that had gone missing from the College Library.
But first, Abraxas questioned Renaer, learning more about the nobleman’s father and his connection to a vast fortune that had been embezzled from the Waterdeep coffers, of the mysterious Stone of Golorr that can reveal the loot’s location but has the ability to wipe out people’s memories. As Abraxas prepared to leave with his friends, Renaer asked the wizard to bring him back a book from the library, The Drow Bowstring.
Abraxas, Akkamas, and Braxton discovered that New Olamn was on lockdown and still an active crime scene. They then met a mysterious woman in white robes. They entered The Blue Heron House, an inn across from the college, to have a conversation. The Hellblazers learned the woman was Miranda Heron. House Heron are bannermen to House Devonstead, rivals of Braxton‘s House in Daggervale. While Devonstead is allied with House Cassalanter of Waterdeep, Miranda seems to being working a deal with the Xanathar Guild.
She hires the three adventurers to sneak into the college and steal a precious artifact, a book called The Drow Bowstring. This book is a bard training manual that also improves one’s memory, including recovering lost memories.
With the help of Braxton‘s djinn, Jawnfar, the Hellblazers are able to steal the book, but not before setting off the college alarm, drawing Force Grey to investigate. Instead of delivering the book to Miranda as promised, they in turn, with the help of Jalester Silvermane, seek an audience with The Blackstaff, Archmage of Waterdeep and Patron to Force Grey.
The adventurers turn over the book, ensuring authorities that they took it as a preventative measure. They detailed various plans and schemes they had uncovered, including sharing that Ocasta the Damned was on her way to Waterdeep with the Hand of Vecna.
The Blackstaff deputized the Helblazers and charged them to protect the city by any means necessary.
Returning to the Yawning Portal, the reunited Hellblazers prepared for an assault on the Xanathar Guild’s base of operations in the sewers north of the Thirsty Throat, intent of rescuing their friend, Hallbrent Farr.
The Mother of Inventions would just have to wait.