We hit a lot of milestones this week, finishing up the Rats of Waterdeep arc in a fairly satisfying way (at least I thought so) and also the last of the necessary repairs on Trollskull Manor. Other hijinks included rescuing a plumber from the Baker’s Guild, making a few new friends, and … oh, right. Filling Emmek Frewn’s taproom with shit.
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 began with the party entering the sewers of the Dock Ward yet again, this time in search of the “Rat King” Catarina Brisby (a name which I realized was a reference to the Rats of NIMH as I began the session). They expertly evaded the mousetrap along the way and had a nice conversation with the despondent Catarina. Meantime, Copper caught the cranium rat spying on them for Xanathar and started to unravel some of the crime lord’s plot. They decided to send Jo (with the cure disease potion Fala made for them) and Bogarte back home, a mostly utilitarian decision since Bogarte is basically useless and Jo’s player couldn’t make the session this week. That left us with a core group of Wobbles, Copper, and Gardenia to finish the investigation.
They headed to Doc Ward’s Apothecary at Catarina’s request and swiftly enough discovered the secret lab beneath it. A well-placed cantrip from Gardenia dealt with nearly all the cultists in there in one fell swoop, and they were clued in a bit more by one they interrogated as to what was going on. Copper and Wobbles elected to find the group who would be participating in the march to take place later that day, a bunch of worshipers of Ilmater heading through the quarantine zone to hand out blankets and baskets of other supplies. Meantime, Gardenia investigated the area a bit further in an attempt to figure out where the Lady of Plagues would be making her grand entrance, successfully narrowing it down to one of two buildings.
Copper and Wobbles encountered Ugarth, a half-orc paladin of Ilmater from my random NPC table who sounds like Matthew McConaughey. He was great fun and they got along swimmingly, especially after his curing of Wobbles’s rat symptoms. They then met with a group of ne’er-do-wells from the Xanathar Guild who were planning on using the parade as a front to transport slaves. They couldn’t figure out what they were up to but they smartly asked their new friend to keep an eye on them.
The parade came around, with Wobbles situated on one rooftop, Gardenia on the other, and Copper in the streets between. Catarina joined Wobbles on his rooftop and they spotted the Lady of Plagues, Maladie Song, coming up Gardenia’s building. Gardenia was able to subdue Maladie easily enough, and Catarina headed over to speak with her with the knowledge that their strife had been caused by Xanathar. Simultaneously, Wobbles spotted the previous group of ruffians corralling a group of bound and gagged peasants into a sewer entrance. A fight quickly ensued, and they made short work of the slavers with a little help from Ugarth.
That wrapped up Rats of Waterdeep in a nice little bow, with Maladie offering to teach Gardenia some of what she knows (I decided that Gardenia’s old tribe, of which she remembers very little, were also Plague Druids and so extended that as a possible subclass for Gardenia to take, which she did) and the party collecting their reward from Arvene Morrow. With samples they took from the lab and Maladie’s help they were assured that the plague would be dealt with swiftly.
Next was the matter of rescuing Flaps’s nephew Putty from Master Baker’s Hall, which was made a very easy mission indeed thanks to Vincent Trench’s excellent investigative work. He supplied them with a map of the joint, as well as information about suspicious people coming and going. With that information in hand it was an easy matter to sneak in and confront the warlock modifying Putty’s memory. They knocked him out and took him back to Trollskull Manor, and he revealed (after some great interrogating) that he had been hired by the Cassalanters to cause trouble between the Plumbers’ and Bakers’ guilds. He didn’t know why, but they had paid him quite handsomely so he hadn’t asked. This put the Cassalanters on the party’s radar, as I’d hoped, since with them not being our planned central villain they basically have nothing to do in this campaign without sufficient purpose.
With Putty rescued, Flaps was willing to fix their sewage problem for a nominal fee, and that only because he had to remove the sewage by hand. I reminded them of their dust of dryness, which they quickly decided to use to remove the sewage themselves. After a few more days, another 200 gold borrowed from Mirt (bringing his total stake in the manor to 10%), and some questioning of Frewn (Ichabod, Wobbles’s toad familiar, had spotted Frewn’s hirelings trying to break into the manor), the renovations of Trollskull Manor were complete.
They did some more crafting and selling of materials and asked Fatima al’Umari over at Zephyr Post about Frewn’s hirelings (a smart move, to be honest), learning that he had paid for them with money borrowed from Istrid Horn of the Zhentarim. Maladie came over to offer some more lessons to Gardenia, noting that she and Catarina would most likely be getting out of town soon. Gardenia offered them one of the spare rooms at Trollskull, which she may well take her up on, at least for a time. Lif finally began to cooperate as he saw Wobbles and Copper attempt to learn how to use brewing equipment, showing that he really wasn’t all that bad.
We capped our session with one of the best things I’ve ever had the pleasure to witness in a D&D session — dust of dryness essentially condenses up to 15 cubic feet of water into a small, round pellet, which, once broken, will expand back out into water. Fed up with Frewn’s continued rudeness and attempted espionage, Wobbles elected to have Ichabod toss one of the two pellets into Frewn’s chimney, thus filling his taproom with rancid sewage.
I can’t wait to see how Frewn responds to that.