Campaign 2 – Episode 16

Original game date: June 23, 2018

The game resumes with the party still in Baldur’s Gate, poised to attack Mortimer Splatz and secure Vorai‘s entry into the Zhentarim.

The Battle of Mutton Lane Yard

The attack is launched on Mutton Lane Yard. The plan is well executed, with Aesar managing to get Madge Tunwell out of the tavern before the attack is launched in ernest. She flees to Otis, who comes to the assistanc of Fortune’s Irregulars along with his iron golem Bucket later in the fight.

Saul transforms into a giant spider and perches above the door to help foil the flight of the gang members. Clever use of the Levitate spell foils Mortimer‘s escape and he is killed by Vorai.

The battle is won, with only a few casualties from the Bell Street Scuttlers.

Aftermath – A New Patron Emerges

A black lacquered carriage arrives from Drago and Vorai is brought across town in the middle of the night until he is eventually presented to Drago, who is attended by the moon elf Vegaleith.

Drago grants Vorai the deed to Mutton Lane Yard, but control of the overall territory goes to Vegaleith, as it seems unlikely that Vorai would want to settle down. After Vegaleith leaves, they are interrupted just as Drago prepares to mark Vorai’s Zhentarim token with his patron’s mark. A ragged man with blackened teeth pushes his way into the room and Drago reacts with surprise and disgust. The man says that Xylon, Zhent Lord of Baldur’s Gate, summons you to his presence… immediately.

Drago is surprised again when he learns that both he and Vorai are summoned and looks at Vorai with suspicion. They take a sealed dark coach and it is difficult to follow where. Eventually they end up in a large warehouse type room with a high vaulted ceiling that disappears into darkness. The only sound is the clicking from a hundred abacuses as nearly naked workers count coins that pass through the room, brought in by workers in small sacks. There is a large dark well in the center out of which emerges a deep and oddly sensual voice.

There is nothing quite like gold, that essential element. The noblest of men succumb to its delights; where talent and skill are lacking it can still provide power; kingdoms rise and fall by its flow. Ooooh that… flow, that tantalizing, mercurial, current that pulses and writhes from out of the darkest depths to spring forth and set the world ablaze!

Rising up out of the dark well floats an large creature, a bulbous sphere containing a large bloodshot eye, topped by writhing eye stalks that take in every dimension of the room, a slight shudder passing through the many workers as an eye passes over them. The beholder is draped in gold chains and jewels. As one thrall is caught idle, a flash of panic crosses his face and he looks over desperately at those delivering sacks of gold… pleading with his eyes for them to hurry. But not before he is disintegrated by an eye stalk.

Its large maw opens in a toothy grin that is not the least bit disarming.

Hmph, perhaps I should not have done that… good thralls are so hard to find. But I simply cannot ABIDE idle hands. [SIGH] You would not believe the quantities of gold that flow through this room, but I can assure you I can account for every last coin. And so I know that of late my golden tributary has been receding, its current interrupted by repeated attacks on our great network’s commerce by the dastardly cretins of the so-called Cult of the Dragon! It cannot be abided! CANNOT! DARE not. [Spittle launched]

Drago assures Xylon that it will not. The beholder floats in close, pressing its large central eye up against both Drago and Vorai.

Oh? And what will Drago Mortain do about it exactly?

Xylon tells Drago that he will share the information about the Carnath Roadhouse with the other factions in return for more direct Zhentarim involvement with the counterattack against the Cult. The Zhentarim will be represented at this so-called Conclave.

Drago is shocked and tries to protest but is cut off and sent away to make immediate presentations to the Duke of Baldur’s Gate for their inclusion in the Great Council. He is given a box containing something the Duke wants very badly in order to sweeten the deal. NOW GO. This one stays. [This earns Vorai a look of suspicion and hatred as Drago retreats].

When the high and mighty of the Sword Coast convene to discuss the Dragon Cult and learn of this ‘roadhouse’, they will bicker and fret about who should investigate, half will not believe the intelligence, coming from the Zhentarim as its source. Intelligence that came from your own recruiter in fact. Oh, the Harpers will choke on that. [Deep guttural laughter]. It will be suggested that the adventuring party who proved so useful in Greenest be dispatched to investigate. You Vorai will keep me informed of all you discover. You will be one of my… eyes.

An elf steps out of the shadows, several eyes tattooed around his face who approaches Vorai and demands his Zhent token. He marks Vorai’s coin with Xylon’s own insignia, making him an agent and providing greater freedom of movement.

Just make sure you always protect our trade routes and ensure nothing interferes with the business of the Black Network and I will continue to be pleased by your service.

A New Home

Vorai is returned to Mutton Lane Yard where he and the others assure the locals that they mean them no harm. Madge Tunwell and Otis Deephammer are relieved and try to make a good first impression on their landlord. They formulate a cover story to explain the deaths that involves a were-spider attack.

The party loots the fallen gang of criminals. The two magic rings are retrieved from Mortimer’s dead hand – a Ring of Telekinesis and a Ring of X-Ray Vision.

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