|11/20/2003||Midwinter, 1374 - 03/01/1374 DR|
The party returned to Silverymoon on the evening of Midwinter. Fortunately, they were able to join in the celebrations.
The month of Alturiak brought winter in full force to the Silver Marches. Even Silverymoon experienced lower temperatures than normal and frequent snow storms. The group had little opportunity to adventure, so they spent their free time resting, shopping, and getting some items enchanted. Daria arranged to have Eltairin's bow enchanted through Felix. She also had her armor re-enchanted, and enhanced.
On 1 Ches, they happened to be in the Market District when everyone but Kartoffl spotted a foreign merchant and his bodyguard being accosted by a half-dozen thugs. They came to his aid, arriving a few moments before the city watch. The thugs were rounded up, and carted away to jail, leaving the group alone with the victimized merchant.
The merchant introduced himself as Kathkallan, a merchant from Balder's Gate, although he was originally from Amn. He had arrived that morning on a caravan from his home country to sell his wares in the city. He was now in need of aid on two matters: finding out what had happened to his missing journeyman and protecting him and his wares overnight. Kathkallan asked the party if they would be interested in working for him. They wished to hear more, and suggested that they meet at Kathkallan's room at the Wayward Inn to discuss the matter further.
Thistle took the opportunity to contact the watch about the thug attack and Kathkallan's missing journeyman. The watch agreed to question the thugs about the incident in market. Thistle agreed to keep the watch informed of anything that the party uncovered.
Thistle asked the guard if the thugs had been questioned, and was told that they had. They were able to learn the following: they were out of work sailors, and were hired from the Bright Blade Brandished tavern by a sweaty, fat man. They were paid 20 gp, and were given a description of the intended victim. He told them to accost the victim near Arrasti's Shop in the Market District. They were to search his body for five or more jars and take them. The man did not make arrangements to pick up the jars, but assured them that he would pay 50 gp per jar before the day's end.
The party met Kathkallan in his room at the Wayward Inn (Room 112) where he explained his predicament in greater detail. He was bringing 9 jars of royal jelly to market in Silverymoon where he had made arrangements to sell them at Arrasti's Shop, a local establishment specializing in perfumes, cosmetics, etc. He also had a deal where he would buy ermine and mink fur from the Greater Galleon, a local fur trader, to import into Balder's Gate.
Kathkallan had sent his journeyman, Galliad, ahead of him to make arrangements in the city. Galliad had arrived yesterday afternoon, and was supposed to meet with Kathkallan upon his arrival this morning. Galliad evidently had vanished along with Kathkallan's contracts, which Galliad had been carrying. Kathkallan had been trying to locate Galliad when he was waylaid at the market. At the party's request, he provided a detailed description of his journeyman.
The merchant told them that Galliad had a room at the Wayward Inn (Room 116). Eltairin and Yassal promptly went down the hall to check it out. Yassal picked the lock, and searched the room thoroughly while Eltairin kept watch. He found that the room had not been slept in, but found nothing else useful.
Daria, Setara, Eltairin, and Yassal left to seek out information around town, while Thistle and Kartoffl stayed to guard Kathkallan and his jars. Their first stop was the watch, where they informed the watch about the missing contracts and assistant. They provided the watch with the description of Galliad that Kathkallan had given them.
They next went to Arrasti's Shop. The shopkeeper remembered that Galliad had been in on the previous day and had scheduled an appointment for that morning but had not shown up. He last remembered the journeyman talking with a female messenger just out of sight (but within earshot) just after Galliad had left his shop. He asked her where to find a caravan broker, and the shopkeeper believes that the messenger recommended to Galliad a business called "The Platinum something-or-other." Daria recognized the shop to be the Platinum Quill, a reputable caravan broker in Silverymoon.
Their next stop was at the Greater Galleon. The barbarian shopkeeper was rather abrupt. He told the party that he had met with Galliad yesterday, and Galliad had scheduled an appointment, which Galliad had not kept. He knew nothing more about his fate, and showed very little concern over the matter.
Yassal and Setara made a brief stop at the Dancing Goat to gather some information on the Platinum Quill. They spoke to people who had worked on some of the caravans from the Quill. People had no problems with the Quill and thought that it was a reputable place of business. Some caravans have been attacked traveling to and from Silverymoon in recent months, but those organized by the Quill have not been hit any worse or less than anyone else.
Eltairin, Yassal, Daria, and Setara then went to Platinum Quill. The shopkeeper informed them that Galliad had not been to his shop at all. Both days had been fairly quiet and he would have remembered. They left word with him to send a message to Daria at Helmer's Wall, if he learned anything about Galliad or he turned up.
Shortly after leaving the Quill, the party
was approached by Gheldieg, a Calashamite moneychanger who was looking
to drum up some business. After a few minutes of pleasant conversation
with Setara, a fellow Calashamite, he was willing to assist the party in
locating Galliad, or at least provide whatever information he knew.
Gheldieg claimed to have seen someone matching Galliad's description leaving
the Platinum Quill yesterday. He overheard the shopkeeper directing
Galliad to the Dancing Goat. Gheldieg
also mentioned that the shopkeeper lived with a female messenger.
At this point, the shops in the Market District closed for the evening. Daria sent a (male) messenger back to Kartoffl and Thistle advising them of their progress.
Eltairin, Daria, Setara, and Yassal traveled to the Dancing Goat to investigate Galliad's visit there yesterday. They discovered that he had been seen there, and had met a courtesan who was wearing a purple orchid in her hair. Nobody seemed to know much about her, and they seemed to think that this was the first time she had been in there.
They were about to leave when Hadonia came in, and spotted the group. They received a warm greeting from her, and after some small talk, she was able to provide them with some information. She hed seen the courtesan wearing the orchid yesterday. She was obviously a "silkflower courtesan," a more exclusive, expensive prostitute than the ones that frequent the Dancing Goat. They tend to frequent the Bright Blade Brandished tavern, and it is very unusual for them to be in the Dancing Goat. They live on the Path of Silk Flowers near the West Wall and north of the tavern. Their name derived from the fact that most of them tend gardens of artificial, silk flowers along the Path. The group thanked Hadonia for her help, and left for the Bright Blade Brandished.
Traveling near the docks, they were approached
by a middle-aged gypsy woman by the name of Madame Lamia. She claimed
that she could look into her crystal ball and tell their fortunes.
Daria decided to give this a try,and the gypsy woman gazed into the ball.
(Setara had a good laugh at this as she could see that the woman was obviously
a fraud). Madame Lamia spoke the
You seek a wizard who lives in the shadow of another wizard, and thieves who operate in the shadow of other thieves. The spirit of a man recently slain says you will find the wizard where sight meets sound and smell.
The group was perplexed by this, but thanked the gypsy woman and went on their way.
They arrived at the Bright Blade Brandished tavern, and tried to learn something about the fat, sweaty man. Although several people had seen him, none of them recognized him nor had anyone ever seen him before or since.
They left the tavern to rejoin their companions.
The party set watches for the evening to guard Kathkallan and his wares.
|12/04/2003||03/01/1374 DR - 03/02/1374 DR|
The party spent a quiet night guarding Kathkallan and his wares. No attempts were made to break in over the night. In the morning, Kathkallan thanked the group for their aid, and reassured them that he would be safe that day. He then paid the group 1,200 gp for their efforts.
The party then spent some time reviewing the results of their previous day's investigations. In particular, they spent a great deal of time discussing and pondering the words of the gypsy fortune-teller. They listed the places in Silverymoon that had anything to do with music or sound. The idea of wind chimes stuck in Daria's head, but she could not figure out to what it SIlverymoon it might apply.
They set out to the Halls of Inspiration, the temple of Milil and Oghma in Silverymoon, so they could question the clerics there. Daria asked about locations for music around the city, especially some place noted for wind chimes, and the cleric immediately mentioned the Avenue of Chimes on the West side of the city. It runs east-west, and intersects the Path of Silkflowers near the west wall. With this, Daria then remembered hearing about it. A prominent wizard had enchanted wind chimes that hung in front of every house and manor on the street. These chimes did not ring with a breeze but with the movement of passersby.
The group thanked the cleric, and promptly left for the Avenue of Chimes. They walked the length until they reached the Path of Silkflowers where the Avenue ended. There, Yassal, Kartoffl, Eltairin, and Setara all smelled the aroma of flowers coming from a private garden of a manor on the corner of the two streets. Like many of the private gardens around Silverymoon, this one had been enchanted so that it remained warm even in the coldest part of winter, so flowers could bloom all year round. The garden itself was not visible as it was surrounded by a 6-foot high stone wall. Not wanting to appear suspicious, the group continued down the Path of Silkflowers away from the manor.
The group next went to the City Watch. There, they asked about the manor that they had just identified. The officer on duty knew that a wizard lived in that house, but did not recall his name. They had not had any reason to deal with him either for good or for bad.
They did receive a writ stating that they are officially investigating for the Knights in Silver. They are allowed to ask questions in the name of the Knights and conduct legal searches if they have just cause to do so. Any abuse of this authority would be answerable directly to the Knights in Silver.
Yassal left the group to investigate the
female messenger who supposedly lived with the Platinum Quill's shopkeeper.
He found a messenger by the name of Bernal who had a lot to say about her.
Evidently, the two were bit of rivals. He felt that she had taken
several potential clients from him by use of her feminine attributes.
Her name is Anteashara,and she does live with Catellion at the Platinum
Quill. She has a secretive client in the west side of town near the
Path of Silkflowers. He did not know which house the
client lives in, but Anteashara is always digging up information on sculptures and other art objects for him. Upon telling this to the rest of the party, several party members immediately realized that the owner of the manor had had to be Anteashara's client as he obviously had a taste for art far above the rest of the residents of the Avenue of Chimes.
While Yassal was away, the rest of the party went to the Hall of Records to uncover who lived in the manor on the corner of the Path of Silkflowers and the Avenue of Chimes. After much searching, Daria and Eltairin both found information on the manor. It is owned by a wizard by the name of Mantatlus. He has lived there for 15 years.
After everyone joined back up again, Eltairin
went to the Path of Silkflowers to interview one of the courtesans there
while the rest of the party went to the Bright Blade Brandished to gather
information. Eltairin approached a courtesan tending some silk flowers,
and struck up a conversation. After a little while, they went to
the tavern for some warm drinks. During their conversation, he was
told that the courtesan who left the Dancing Goat was named Zinni.
She is also missing, and was last seen with Galliad. She has a house
on the Path of Silkflowers and was told where it was. He was told
that Zinni had a close friend by the name of Nashafeen,
and that perhaps he should talk to her. After leaving the tavern, Eltairin helped the courtesan tend her silk flowers for a while before leaving to rejoin the group.
The rest of the party at the Bright Blade Brandished learned that the courtesan who left the Dancing Goat was named Zinni. She is also missing, and was last seen with Galliad. She has a house on the Path of Silkflowers and were told where it was.
Daria left the tavern to meet Tremayne D'Avaire for lunch at Helmer's Wall. They met in a secluded booth where they exchanged pleasantries. Daria explained the party's investigation to Tremayne who listened with interest. He mentioned that Mantatlus fulfills what the gypsy said about a wizard living in the shadow of another wizard. His neighbor is Mortimer, the wizard who enchanted the chimes on the Avenue of Chimes. Mortimer is also one of the most famous (or more properly infamous) wizards in the city, and is reputed to by the only professed necromancer in Silverymoon. (Daria recalled seeing his manor on the avenue. It was rather gothic in style and did have chimes made out of bone.)
Tremayne also observed that the party may well be being manipulated by other groups within Silverymoon. He mentioned that they had been fed information allowing them to find Mantatlus -- not that this makes him innocent. He must have just be noticed by someone within the city.
After Eltairin met back with the group, they (without Daria) visited Zinni's house. They discovered that she had not slept in the house for several nights. They did find a transaction book that contained the name "Gil" as a frequent client. There was also a note about going to the Dancing Goat a few nights ago, the night that she was last seen with Galliad.
After Daria rejoined the group, they visited
Nashafeen. She mentioned that Zinni did have a frequent client by
the name of Gil. He was a foreigner, and based on his accent and
cologne assumed that he was from Lusken. This immediately rang a
bell for most of the party as Lusken is the home of the Arcane Brotherhood,
a group that they had uncovered working in Silverymoon before. Nashafeen
also mentioned that Zinni told her that Gil had hired her to go to the
Dancing Goat and lure a friend of his to a nearby
private garden for a surprise. That was the night that both Galliad and Zinni were last seen, and Nashafeen is now quite worried about her friend. After leaving Nashafeen, Daria sent a cryptic note via messenger to Tremayne telling him about everything they had found.
Kartoffl then cast a Locate Object spell to try to find the contracts in the neighborhood of the suspicious manor. Since the contracts were Amnish contracts written on vellum, Kartoffl felt that he had a good chance of finding them if they were in the area. (Kathkallan had previously stated to Setara that he uses Amnish contracts for all of his dealings as he grew up in Amn.) As it turned out, Kartoffl was able to locate the contracts in a room in a second story turret in the suspicious manor.
Kartoffl cast silence on the chimes near
the back, garden gate. Yassal checked for traps, and then picked
the lock. The party opened the gate and looked inside...
|12/11/2003||03/02/1374 DR - 03/03/1374 DR|
Inside the gate, the party saw an elaborate garden. Immediately to their right, there was a small building that Yassel quickly identified as a bath. A trail of stepping stones wandered among the flowers and two trees bearing strange, oblong, yellowish fruits. Pale green vines bearing white flowers and golden berries entwined each of the trees. A statue of an unknown, noble gentleman stood in the center of a pool of water.
Yassel entered the garden to explore. He sneaked along the bath house and up by the statue. As he approached the house, he spotted a pair of what looked like guards playing cards in the kitchen/dining room area of the house.
One of the guards seemed to have spotted something, and came to the window. Fortunately, Yassel was able to hide between the house and bathhouse before he was spotted. After a few minutes, the guard went back to the card game, and Yassel was able to come out of hiding.
Yassel darted across the garden to the other side of the house. There, he smelled the wonderful aroma of the golden berries on the vines encircling the nearby tree. He was tempted to sample the berries, but was able to resist, remembering the task at hand.
Yassel darted back across the garden, only for the guard to see something moving outside once again. The guard came to the window to investigate, but Yassel was able to find a hiding spot in time to remain unseen.
Fearing that time was running out on his silence spell, Kartoffl retreated out of the garden with the silenced chimes. He buried them in a nearby snow bank to keep them quiet.
Meanwhile, the guard had once again returned to his card game, and Yassel advanced to the back door of the manor. Yassel found that the double doors were not locked but were magically trapped. He attempted to disarm the trap, but only managed to set it off on his second attempt. He barely jumped back in time to avoid the sphere of electricity that arced out from the door.
Unfortunately, the loud "zap" that accompanied the electrical discharge attracted the attention of the two guards. They came running to investigate, crossbows in hand, and Yassel ran for cover.
Daria stepped out, and played an enticing melody to fascinate the two guards. In a moment, they were listening to her song, caring nothing about what was going on around them. Eltairin proceeded to remove their weapons as they listened to Daria's music. Later, the party tied them up to await the Knights in Silver.
Yassel stepped in through the doorway past the distracted guards, only to find a male human wizard standing at the entrance to the foyer watching him (and the fascinated guards). Yassel called out to warn the party, and moved up to attack the wizard, but failed to hit him.
Kartoffl moved up to help out with the wizard. He attempted to command the wizard to "sleep", and to his surprise, the spell actually worked! Thistle ran up to grapple the wizard, so that he could not cause any further harm. The party quickly tied the wizard up, gagged him, and removed all of his possessions.
Yassel immediately went upstairs to recover Kathkallan's contracts. He found them carefully hidden in a display of art objects. The party searched the remainder of the house, but could find little else in the way of evidence.
A search of the library turned up a book describing the properties of the vines, Pillars of Parthenope, which were wrapped around the trees in the garden. These vines bear poisonous fruit that, if ingested, cause Constitution damage. The berries and flowers give off an attractive scent that lures potential victims to sample the toxic fruit. Victims who succumb to the plants poison are devoured as nutrients for the plant.
Kartoffl then went out, and searched under each of the trees in the garden. Under the nearest tree, he found the remains of a man, judging from the clothing. The other tree had the remains of a woman under it. Kartoffl collected both sets of remains, and moved them away from the trees.
Yassel left to find the Knights in Silver. There was a detachment, seemingly waiting for him, by the west gate to the city. He briefly explained what was going on, and brought them back to the house, where Daria explained what had happened in greater detail.
The Knights then took charge of the situation. They conducted their own search of the house, and took custody of the prisoners. They kept the contracts and remains as evidence, but promised to release them tomorrow after their investigation was over.
After Kartoffl put the chimes back near the gate, the party left to inform Kathkallan about what they had found. Kartoffl and Thistle remained behind, staking out the house in case someone came back. Daria explained everything to Kathkallan. He thanked the group for their efforts and expressed a desire to have Galliad raised. Daria recommended a couple of temples that the party had had dealings with.
The next day (3 Ches), Kathkallan finally got his contracts. Shortly after that, he had Galliad raised. Galliad then accompanied the group to the Platinum Quill Shop to identify the clerks that he had dealt with. Unfortunately, they were not there; a last minute replacement was in his place. The replacement knew very little about what was going on, and was not all that helpful.
The party questioned the stable
boy who had seen the clerk and the female messenger leave. He told them that he had heard that they
were going to Everlund. They had left yesterday at dusk. Unfortunately,
he could tell them little else.
© Copyright Maryrita Steinhour, 2002, 2003.