A beautiful day in the City of Splendors: Shopping & Intrigue
Once again the sun rose on the most influential city in all of Toril, and it was going to be lovely. Spring has come to these parts, but today felt more like early summer. Bright, clear and warm, our adventurers rose feeling refreshed and renewed, although still quite filthy from their nights exertions. Quito’s room was quiet and the door locked, so they headed downstairs as a party of 4. Lumiere inquired about Durnan, hoping to tell him of the second goblin patrol, the store room, and find out more about the Metal Master, but he was not available this morning. Thoral, Durnan’s erstwhile appointment secretary and gatekeeper, told them to check back later. A big breakfast was on order, and then time to freshen up before a day on the town. They discussed their plans for today: some shopping and information gathering.
First to the shopping. Heading to the Trades District, they unloaded some of their unneeded gear, picked up a pack for Wampa, and restocked on lamp-oil. They also wisely updated their wardrobe a bit, having a few changes of clothes is important when your outfit is soaked in goblin blood and covered in dirt. But most important was researching some of the loot they’d discovered.
At Patient Fingers Finery, Lumiere and Wilkas had their finds appraised. 3 sardonyx gems = 150gp, plain gold ring, and gold necklace with teardrop solid gold pendent (in a style popular ~100 years ago) = 170gp. The ring with 1274 A.S inscribed upon it, the jeweler had no interest in buying. He wondered if it could be the betrothal ring from Salune Adarbrent, a noble woman from a prominent trading family who disappeared on the eve of her betrothal in 1274. It is the custom, particularly of the nobles, to put the family name first in all written and formal documents. Lumiere attempted to detect magic and noticed that the shop itself was wrapped in many kinds of magical protections and charms, and the betrothal ring was suffused with a faint blue aura.
Corabelle, sitting outside, idly noodled on how much jewelry she might be able to fit into her pouches if given the chance, but was Lumiere warned her of the dense layers of magics inside and so she gave up on acquiring something nice to put around her neck, at least from that store.
Next stop was at the Sharpened Quill to talk with Mycroft (and give Julien some scritches). Mycroft inquired about Quito, and asked Lumiere to send him along when she sees him next. Lumiere, Wilkas, and Corabelle got to hear the story of Salune Adarbrent:
She was the eldest daughter in the Adarbrent clan, and was due to be married to Todil Aran, the eldest son of a merchant clan in Neverwinter. The Todil’s family history is apparently a bit piratical, and some eyebrows were raised among Waterdeep’s nobles however the patriarch was convinced this was a good match for his daughter, as he had his eyes set on making stronger connections to the north.
However, on the morning of her betrothal, Salune had vanished. No reports of suspicous activity, nor any signs of struggle or entry were found. She had vanished, and no one ever saw her again. Her younger brother now leads the clan, and is not respected, but he is feared.
(Additional background supplied by Junqor Langedeap): The younger brother is a creature ruled by greed, and is dispised by Junqor. Whether this is because he is truly a bad man, or because he was Junqor’s rival in teh shipping business, is an open question.
The ring that was found is apparently the ring she was wearing when she disappeared, but Mycroft suggested that going to the family might not be a great idea. Foul play was certainly suspected, and her brother (now the patriarch) had as much motive as any other person alive. Mycroft offered to do some discreet inquiries into the matter, provided the party come back and share their stories of adventure with him. Also, Julien (the cat) likes Wilkas, and that keeps Julian off of Mycroft’s books, which is a great relief to him.
Upon leaving the Sharpened Quill, Corabelle notices that they are being followed by two separate parties: first and most obviously, by a pair of rough looking human men, and the more subtley by a fine looking dwarf in blue. At their next stop, Corabelle feints and drops under a wagon train heading south, skillfully dropping both tails and coming out behind them. The humans appear to be in disagreement as to what their orders are, and whether the party of Lumiere, Wampa, Wilkas and Corabelle was really the right target. They don’t notice that the halfling has vanished, but the dwarf immediately catches on, and begins looking around him while still following the party of 3. Corabelle follows the follwers back to the Yawning Portal, where Wilkas, Lumiere and Wampa ascend and stake out a table with a good view of the door. Neither the men nor the dwarf follow them inside, as each of them turn and begin heading south. Unknowingly moving almost together in the throngs of people out this afternoon. Corabelle watches, and follows. Soon the men head down a street that takes them to the southeast, towards the Docks. She sticks with the dwarf, who was clearly more interested in her, than the others. As he winds his way south into the western docklands, she gets her first look at the depressed, occasionally depraved area known for cutthroats, drunks, press gangs and kidnapping. It’s not as bad as she had heard, clearly it’s got it’s troubles, but normal people do attempt to make a living and this is their home.
Eventually the dwarf knocks on teh access door in the side of a large building with the sign “Maereth’s Storage.” An unseen hand opens the door and he goes inside saying with exasperation “I lost her.” As the door closes, she risks exposure rushes up to hear what she can of the conversation. Apparently, they are hoping to get ahold of her, and they will try to make contact tonight. Anything more gets lost in the clatter of Drays and wagons, street-hawkers, and drunken conversation on the street. Heading back, she notices the two men from before, still bickering over what they were supposed to be doing. With the beginning of a professional manner, she drops in behind them and follow them to a rougher part of the docklands and a Tavern in an alley off of one of the main streets. Inside the dive, where chairs and tables are bolted to the floor to discourage their use as improvised weapons, she attempts to eavesdrop, however it is much to noisy to hear anything of worth, but she does watch their meeting with a woman in a deep cloak. After watching the two thugs being berated and threatened, the cloaked woman quickly leaves the tavern and head north directly. Coribelle follows her through the Trades District, past the City of the Dead, and into the posh North Ward. Coribelle’s plain cloak, and slightly grubby attire (by North Ward standards) would garner more attention from the City Watch, but as yet no one notices her. As her quarry turns left just before the North Gate, one watchful guard asks her business, and tells her to clear out of the North Ward. Corabelle complies, but slips his gaze and doubles back attempting to drop a tail on the becloaked woman. Eventually she does, and follows her west into the Sea Ward until she loses her in a maze of alleys between palatial townhouses and estates.
Heading back to the Yawning Portal, she notices no tail, and makes it back in time for supper. After filling Lumiere and Wilkas in on her day’s trek, they attempt to see Durnan again, who is apparently called away on business, according to Thoral. The debrief Thoral, who seems concerned about the tails, intrigue is common in Waterdeep, but it is also rarely benign. Thoral suggests forgoing their rooms and staying in the hayloft over night, while he alerts Tordek who will be on watch all night.
While making plans to spend the whole evening at the table in the main hall, Corabelle notices Junqor Langedeap at a nearby booth. She give greeting, and he invites her to join him. Junqor is clearly still much upset at his son’s death, but his grief has begun to harden into something sharp and fanatical. In his state, ‘glad’ and ‘happy’ are not words that describe any reaction of his, but he readily pays for the 6 left goblin ears that Lumiere took the previous night, and says he’ll ‘happily’ pay for any additional ears they manage to liberate. He asks after his son’s necklace, a gold chain and pendent with an onyx stone, and worries what ‘they’ would do with it. He hatred of goblins radiates off of him like a fever. At Wilkas’ questioning, he briefly recounts his take on the Adarbrent clan, particularly it’s current patriarch, and talks about how he intends to remake his family fortune starting with wagon trains to the north and east.
(Background from Mycroft: The Langedeap family history was typical of Waterdeep families. Several hundred years ago, his ancestors settled in Waterdeep with a nacent shipping business. Over the years it grew to a fleet of fast boats that did shipping as a way to pay the bills, but the passion was in exploration. New trade routes, and strange goods and spices were what made their name in Waterdeep. However a tragedy befell the clan, when they planned to resettle in some new land in the west. Most of the family and the accumulated wealth was loaded abort the Langedeap fleet and after they crossed over the horizon, they were never heard from again. Junqor has said “the ocean is a big place. I can only assume it took everything from me, but my son.” And now the Underdark has taken even that.)
Apparently discussing his rival of the Adarbrents, Junqor had enough and promptly bid them good evening and left leaving his payment on the table.