Erathday, Augantus 13, 1017 A.G. (late afternoon/evening) – A Much Needed Rest
As we approach Hammerfast, Ungus tell us all about “his” city – his memory is still sketchy from our most recent TMC, but he does his best – the poor old thing. He tells us about the Circle of Stone, all about the leadership and government of the city, including the three wards/guilds: Trade, Lore & Craft. He also tells us about how much of the city is in an underground complex.
When we near the Trade Gate of the city, we encounter a bunch of satyrs partying alongside the road. We hear that this week is Satyrfest Week. The partiers can cause a lot of trouble – fights and such. We are stopped at the gate and told there is a 1% entrance fee to enter the city which amounts to 10 gp per person. After some argument on Ungus’ part, we pay the fee and enter. Directly ahead of us is the large open air market. We are heading to the edge of the Craft Ward where the Blue Grotto tavern is located. Itzehl remembers wenching here. Along the way we encounter a group of orcs who are rowdy and drinking. Ungus foolishly tells them to go down the other end of town where there is free booze.
We get to the Blue Grotto and the staff is upset that someone told all these rowdies about free booze. The orcs are there as well as the satyrs – and they are not mixing well. The staff wants to put us to work. Huh? One of the staff is Frogurt Stonevein, Ungus’ great-niece and the subject of his erotic – well never mind! Ungus is surprised and confused because his family used to own the Foundation Stone in the Gate Ward. She tells him that the family no longer owns the Foundation Stone, that her father sold the operation. Ungus and Frogurt talk and she asks him to help diffuse the situation with the satyrs and orcs, which he does. Ungus convinces the satyrs to buy all the orcs one free round of drinks if the orcs will agree to leave after, which they do. A tense situation is peacefully resolved. Now again, the staff ask us to help out in the tavern. Itzehl agrees to help bring up some kegs and Ungus pours beers for customers. I say I will advise staff on how to redecorate as I finish up my fey wine. Kuiperia is helping Frogurt maintain order.
As we watch some of the satyrs play a game of Kick the Giant over a pool of water in the middle of the room, Ungus’ nephew Arken Stonevein comes over and greets him. Physically and emotionally exhausted, Arken, who was in charge of the stout making operation at Foundation Stone, tells Ungus the sad story of how someone stole the secret recipe and the family lost the operation. Now all the taverns are selling a cheap, knock-off copy of the stout – all but The Blue Grotto. The owner there would not sell any stolen recipe.
After Ungus, Arken & Frogurt catch up on recent events, Frogurt has Etupio take us downstairs to our chambers where our gear and clothing has been stowed. Itzehl and Kuiperia share a room while Ungus and I obtain private rooms. We place the poultices on our foreheads and settle down for another night of dreams/memories.
Iounday, Augantus 14, 1017 A.G.
We wake to smells of breakfast and go upstairs to a self-service meal. While we are eating, Frogurt tells us she is Head of Security and introduces us to the rest of the staff: 2 Goliath bouncers, a Gnome bookkeeper & several wait staff and housekeepers. Ungus and I talk to Etupio some more about “Management”. We still have lots of questions – especially now that we have learned that this “Management” owns The Blue Grotto. But Etupio tells us that our memories are still too fragile and that we need more time with the poultice treatment. He does assure us though that Management wants us to stay and heal, help if we can, and after we are recovered he will meet with us and offer a proposal. Etupio also says that Management has been very good to the Stonevein family, taking them in and giving them jobs, for which Ungus is very grateful. Ungus then takes time to offer prayers to all those who lost their lives at the Battle of Albridge.
While we are talking to Etupio, Kuiperia and Itzehl went off to do some errands, shopping and information gathering. Ungus tasked Kuiperia with 3 things: See what the market price is to sell our map of the Rubricium Mine; see if you can find out what happened to the Blue Scarabs; and snoop around to find out who stole the Stonevein Stout recipe. So Kuiperia gets a low offer on the map & then asks about the Blue Scarabs. The dwarf shopkeeper is interested but in the meantime, Kuiperia realizes she is being tailed by someone outside the shop door. So Itzehl approaches this person – an elderly elf in cleric robes. While Itzehl is confronting the elf, Kuperia gives the shopkeeper 10 gp for any info he can find and tells him to leave word for her at The Blue Grotto. Outside, the elf cleric asks Itzehl if the Vryloka woman is with her. Itzehl says yes – and the cleric says he has an urgent concern for their safety. He says she should tell Kuiperia not to speak about the Blue Scarabs in public and that Kuiperia and Itzehl should follow him. Itzehl trusts him and goes inside and explains the situation to Kuiperia. Kuiperia notices the cleric’s religious symbol and knows that it is either the symbol for Melora or Corellon, both of which are good gods. So the two follow the cleric who is in a real hurry to get them off the street. He takes them back to The Blue Grotto, down to a meeting room one floor below our bedchambers. The cleric then apologizes for the secrecy but says it is dangerous to talk about the Blue Scarabs in public and he shouldn’t even be telling us this much. He identifies himself as the High Priest Ressilmae Starlight from the Moonsong Temple in Fallcrest and then leaves the room, saying he will be right back. He returns momentarily with a human male who is introduced as Crogan. Crogan says he is the owner & proprietor of this establishment – The Blue Grotto. They recognize him as Uncle Crogan from a portrait they saw at the cottage of Sir Grommel Strongthorn’s Aunt Grenda. He tells them that the Halfling Tobolar Quickfoot stole the box from the Septarch’s Tower in Fallcrest. He then brought it to Amara Azaer who operates a shop in Fallcrest. From there, it was transferred to Noristo Azaer at the Seven Pillared Hall, a great marketplace under Thunderspire. This happened a few weeks ago. Crogan says, yes, he is Management and he wasn’t going to meet with us until we were more fully healed, but he had to do it now since Kuiperia & Itzehl were asking so many questions out in public. Itzehl thanks him for all his help and he also warns us to be quiet about the scarabs. When we are better he has something to discuss with us. Meanwhile, he simply states that he is despondent over his nephew’s capture by the Blood Reavers. Itzehl tells him that we might be going to Thunderspire and we will keep an eye out for him. His nephew is Sir Grommel Strongthorn who some of us met a while back.
Now back to Ungus and me. We went to the local magic shop where Ungus knows the shopkeeper Brecka. He inquires about ritual scrolls. She asks him if he is a member of the Lore Guild. Evidently you have to be a member in order to purchase these type of things. She tells him he needs to go to the Lore Spire and obtain membership. She explains that a committee will hear his case and he must present his reasons, qualifications and witnesses as to his character (I smirk!), along with 500 gp.
So we head over to the Lore Spire. Upon entering, we see a sign that says “Members Only”. As Ungus inquires about obtaining membership, Kuiperia and Itzehl join us in the lobby. Kuiperia was told that she might get a better offer for the Rubricium Mine map at the Lore Spire. The librarian at the desk states that she will take us to meet Geld Seekingstone, the Lore Guildmaster but first he must pay the 500 gp. Dear old Ungus, he doesn’t realize the cost of things nowadays, so he argues with her over the cost, over the reputation of the guild, etc., etc. The usual! Kuiperia shows the librarian the map and she offers to appraise it. She then offers either 100 gp outright OR 150 gp credit for membership to the Lore Guild. We all urge Ungus to take the reduced membership fee. So eventually he agrees and we hand over the map and 350 gp. The librarian is now ready to take us up to the 5th floor where Ungus will be presented for acceptance. But first, Ungus, in an unusual display of humility, says he must rush back to his chambers and freshen up. So we all hang out in the library and wait for him to return. We all have great fun at his expense while he is gone, joking about him cutting his long toenails, cleaning out his earwax, brushing the crumbs and dried beer out of his beard, etc., etc. We even joke about giving him some kind of protein drink and adult diapers!! (SNICKER, SNICKER!) Upon returning to the spire, we are all led up to the 5th floor where we are greeted by the membership committee. They instruct him that he must convince them of his worthiness to be admitted. So with our help and testimony, he gains acceptance into the Lore Guild.
Since we are now tired and hungry, we head back to The Blue Grotto and relax in our quarters. While we are partaking of refreshments, Itzehl tells Ungus and me about their meeting with Management and that he is “Uncle Crogan”. Kuiperia tells us about the history of the Blue Scarabs and we all discuss our possible future endeavors. Etupio says we should discuss Lord Vennick with Lord Crogan. We decide that Ungus and I will meet with Crogan after we have finished with our poultice recuperation. Ungus takes the time to write a letter to Lord Markelhay and asks Etupio to see that it is dispatched. Etupio agrees but tells him that it will take longer than normal for the letter to arrive since travel is very unsafe at the moment. He then discloses that Fallcrest is in turmoil and on the verge of civil war and his father risks being overthrown.
I ask my companions if they would join me in seeking out Frogurt Stonevein for the purpose of questioning her about my dreams. Ungus declines. Wonder why? Kuiperia and Itzehl join me and I ask her about the blue light on my face, the long tentacle in the water and the soothing voice that was talking to Kuiperia and me. She quickly hustles us back down to a lower chamber where we can talk privately. But I’m frustrated once more as she tells me that it is still too soon to discuss it and that she will tell us when Management deems it safe. We must recuperate a while longer.
Kuiperia has one other task that she needs to do for Ungus. She heads down to a nearby tavern in town, called The Black Cat. She orders a Stonevein Stout and asks to talk to the proprietor who looks and dresses like an undertaker. When he comes out, Kuiperia asks him about the stout recipe, where to get it, etc. He tells her that it is freely available and that you can get it from the Trade Guild. He tells her to go down to the Gate Ward and speak to the owner of Foundation Stone who sold it to him. He says the new owner is a Halfling fellow named Milo Longfathom. Kuiperia thanks him and heads over to the Foundation Stone where the place is jumping. After looking around, she spies a Halfling she surmises to be Milo. So she approaches him, introduces herself and asks his name. He is indeed Milo Longfathom and she says she is looking for recipes for good brews and is interested in the recipe for Stonevein Stout. He tells her to follow him and they go into his office where he shows Kuiperia the recipe and says it costs 100 gp. Kuiperia gives him 10 gp to hold a copy for her and promises to be back the next day with the rest of the money.
Now Kuiperia rushes back to meet with Ungus and tells him what she found. Ungus is so mad it takes all of us to convince him to calm down and think of a better tactic to confront this Milo scumbag. It’s at this point that Ungus tells us that the Stonevein Stout is a top secret recipe that has been in his family for generations and his nephew Arken was in charge of keeping it safe.
So Ungus meets with Arken privately and asks Arken for advice and please tell him anything that may be useful. When Arken starts talking, he is very nervous and stutters and stammers and begins tearing up. He tell his Uncle Ungus that one night a vile, one-eyed wizard probed his mind and withdrew the secret recipe from his brain. He tells Ungus that the wizard imprinted his name in his memory and it was Paldemar, a worshiper of Vecna, the God of Secrets & Undead!!! Further, he said the wizard told him to be sure to tell your uncle that “Lord Paldemar Vennick will destroy both Ungus and his entire family!!” Ungus tries his best to console the distraught Arken and asks him if it is alright with him if he shares this story with the rest of us. Arken agrees and so we are brought in and told the above story. Upon hearing Arken’s story, I question his truthfulness and ask him if he is in allegiance somehow with Vennick. Ungus is upset with me for questioning him but really Ungus, I only have your best interest at heart. Sometimes family members are too close to see the true picture and trust too much. Anyway, as far as I can gather, he is telling the truth but I still am going to watch him closely.
The group starts discussing who would most likely be dealing with stolen recipes. Arken mentions that there was an unsavory, tough-looking Tiefling hanging around named Lividius. He suspects that he is Lord Vennick’s strong-arm and is probably the one who gave or sold it to Milo. Hmmm, maybe this Milo person contracted with him and Vennick to get the secret recipe because Arken would not include it in the sale of Foundation Stone??? By this time everyone is exhausted and drained and we all prepare to go to bed – or whatever we do to relax. With the poultices on our head, we dream more dreams/memories. Hope you had some nice ones Ungus!!
Corellday, Augantus 15, 1017 A.G. – early morning
Today is the official day of the midsummer eve Satyrfest and typically the busiest, rowdiest, trouble-packed day of the entire week. So Ungus offers our assistance to Frogurt’s security team tonight. But for now, after breakfast, we head over to the Lore Spire where Ungus plans to file a civil action against Milo for dealing & selling stolen property. Once there, Kuiperia asks would it be helpful if we had evidence. Saying yes, most definitely, Kuiperia takes 90 gp and goes back to buy the stolen recipe from Milo. Planning a setup, Kuiperia requests a witness from the Lore Guild to accompany her. They propose three witnesses – one from each guild, who will pose as patrons. Once the “patrons” arrive and are seated, Kuiperia enters and hands the gold to Milo who then hands her the secret recipe. She takes it and walks out, showing it to the three witnesses. They tell Kuiperia that they will now take the matter up with all three of the guilds and tells Kuiperia to hold on to the recipe. Kuiperia requests they all sign the document in order to verify it is the one she showed them. After they do this, Kuiperia comes back to us and reports to Ungus.
The day passes and then the night time revelry starts. Although it is noisy and rowdy, no major problems occur, no doubt due in part to our presence helping Frogurt and her team.
Moraday, Augantus 16 through Erathday, Augantus 19, 1017 A.G
The days pass in quiet contemplation and relaxation, with Ungus learning rituals and nights of placing the poultices on our foreheads. We have now finished those treatments and our memories are fully restored and our brains hopefully healed. GOOD! Now perhaps my questions can be answered!!