Our heroes continued their extensive Home Ec class this week, knocking about several more of the necessary repairs, met the rest of their neighbors, got some clues about a rather shady secret one of their neighbors might be hiding, and took on a few more quests in the interest of putting a bit more coin in their pockets. Also, some of them are turning into rats. So that’s fun.
At this point I humbly request that Wobbles, Gardenia, Jo, and Copper look away, if for some reason you’ve found yourselves on this page, as well as anyone who might play this adventure sometime in the future. Don’t spoil it for yourself!
The PCs (level two):
Wobbles Offund: Rock Gnome Abjuration Wizard
Gardenia Stone: Moon Elf Circle of Plagues Druid
Copernicus “Copper” Cannith: Juggernaut Warforged Craftsman
Jo Raethran: High Elf Life Domain Cleric
We started with some more shenanigans from Lif and with our party finally meeting with the man, the myth, the legend — Emmek Frewn. Once again, the module really doesn’t give you a whole lot of description for him, so I settled on making him about as disgusting as I possibly could. I gave him a sort of “season one Michael Scott” vibe, with the awful combover and a wispy, poorly-grown beard to boot. He was in the process of lighting a malodorous pipe with a couple of denouncement notices from a few guilds and was incredibly condescending to Wobbles, who did most of the talking, about all the hoops they’d had to jump through to get guild support for their establishment. He, evidently, was spending a fraction of what they had to by just hiring a few halflings to do the brunt of his heavy lifting. They hated him, which was perfect.
They went to meet the last two neighbors they’d not spoken to yet, who are honestly two of my favorite in the Alley: Vincent Trench and Rishaal. Trench is just a fantastic character, a rakshasa in disguise as a human who works as a private investigator. I gave him a sort of Solid Snake-style voice and described him as smoking an enchanted pipe that didn’t put off unpleasant tobacco smells but rather that of lavender (essentially a fantasy vape), and they hit it off with him instantly. Wobbles was also very keen on Rishaal, the squat, dragonborn proprietor of Book Wyrm’s Treasure, and both Jo and Gardenia found books they were interested in. Wobbles managed to pawn off the spell book he’d found in the Xanathar Guild hideout for a good bit of coin, and worked out an arrangement whereby he’d still be able to copy the last couple spells he didn’t have out of it.
They paid a brief visit to Fala, since Vincent informed Wobbles that there might be someone else living there who would interest him (Ziraj, a Zhent member of the Doom Raiders, a group that Wobbles has some history with), but they were unable to discern anything other than some footsteps without pissing off their neighbor. They got a few more visits from some guild members to do further repairs, and it became clear that they were going to need more money. Copper sold some of the silver bars he’d found and set to work for about a day and a half making the replacement railings (since he’s technically sanctioned by a guild of metalforgers, it was all above board). Meantime, Celniana had some success selling his daggers, and they got a visit from Flapignon “Flaps” Vitosian from the other Leverage module who was there to fix the pipes. I decided that he didn’t have a sense of smell, which was why he was uniquely qualified for the job.
He quoted them at a hefty sum and said that about 100gp of it was just getting the sewage out of there (I was hoping they’d think to use their dust of dryness for this, but they didn’t). They asked if there was anything he needed help with to reduce the cost, which of course he did. He gave them the mission to rescue his nephew from the Master Baker’s Hall, which they promptly passed off to Vincent (quite smartly, if I may say so). They sent a message off to Mirt asking for a meeting, and after a short bit he teleported into their establishment and lent them their requested gold — 200 to start. They finished a good deal of the repairs by now, with new windows and light fixtures, Copper’s railings, Cole’s work on the chimneys near completion, Flaps setting to work on the plumbing, and Tally nearly finished with the roof. It’s starting to come together!
The last part of the session was dedicated to them starting Rats of Waterdeep (finally!). Bogarte Locks is a hilarious NPC in that module. I decided that he thinks he’s in a classic, film noir detective movie, and I have him say out loud all the little diary entries that pepper the module in an edgy voice. We got a kick out of his awful metaphors, as well, with my personal favorite of the bunch being one I came up with on the spot: “this plot is getting thicker than a bowl of oatmeal.” Wobbles and Jo are slowly starting to turn into rats, but they made good progress on the puzzles (solving most of them through brute force since their investigation checks were almost all abysmal), and we ended with them heading into the sewers to confront the Rat King.
We should have no problem wrapping up the Rats mission next session, and with Vincent’s information I suspect they’ll be able to save Flaps’s nephew easy enough as well. With the rewards they’ll get from those and maybe a bit more borrowed from Mirt, they should be able to finally finish up the repairs of Trollskull Manor and get on to the real meat of chapter 2 … faction missions. Looking forward to seeing how those play out!