Dwigger woke up after a full night of sleep, barely singed after sharing the safety of Leomund’s tiny hut with two Dragonborn. After the disturbing events of the night before, the cost of the conjuring ritual was well spent. The personality disorders of the rest of the party do not seem to be improved much after the rest, so there is likely to be more drinking after the group makes it to town. Thinking a song may be in order, Dwigger pulls out his lute and plays a ribald tune.
Not looking forward to another night in the town of Loudwater, the party set out to continue their investigation. Min was fondling her dagger, clearly excited she was about to receive a new spider tooth dagger.
In the town, Min immediately headed in the direction of the smithy, saying the rest of the party wasn’t needed. Ulmus similarly departed with some grumbles about religious ceremony. He carries his ladder, enchanted staff, saddle, pack bags and weapons off in another direction, saying he would be back later in the afternoon. His actions during the previous night’s activities seem to have changed something in his demeanor.
Hoping to delay the start of the drinking a little further into the afternoon, Dwigger encourages some further exploration of the town. He suggested finding a scholar who could provide some information about the sacrificial dagger from the night before, or possibly sharing the information about yesterday’s dark deeds to the town’s highlord. Given the poor reception to Dwarves in the city, and Isabeau’s persistent withdrawn behavior, he decided to follow along as she and Hathyra walked through the vendors at the riverside market.
As they passed an incoherent palm reader and felt the snap of the breeze catch a cargo boat’s sail in the river, a burly dwarf with bright mad eyes and dirt in his beard approaches the party. He screams “YOU’RE POSSESSED BY THE DEVIL!” and continues on down the riverside. Isabeau seems shaken, and demands that the party return to the bar for entertainment and drinks. It’s likely the drinks are the main priority, but entertainment is business and Dwigger could use some coin.
Back at the tavern, the party reunites shortly when Ulmus and Min return. Dwigger puts down his lute, no one was listening anyway. The party sits together and discusses their plans. During her trip, Min found a note in her pocket. An unknown source placed it there while she wasn’t looking. Their skill must have been superb, since Min is a known rogue and pick-pocket. Perhaps magic was involved.
The note she received showed a quick sketch of the Crescent symbol the group was so familiar with now, and requested a meeting at dusk at the stables on the Eastern edge of Loudwater. Since the party expected a trap, they used their skills to prepare for an ambush. While Ulmus suggested all manner of small and weak beasts, Dwigger convinced him that a strong animal was needed to protect Min while she met alone with the informant. Considering the destination, a magnificent pony was the perfect disguise. The rest of the team quickly decided on roles and drank the afternoon away, until finally leaving for the stables as the sun lowered in the sky.
Since Ulmus carried the saddle around anyway, Dwigger used it to ride the transformed Gnome to the stables. Hathyra appeared shortly after he started his performance at the small platform near the stables, while Isabeau could be heard clanking down the street but not approaching too closely. A small crowd gathered to hear the music performed.
From the gloom of the stables, an unenthusiastic “Nay… Nay…” could be heard from Ulmus. He clearly enjoyed his seat for the show.
After a short time, Min arrived and loitered just outside the spectators. From further down the street, another dwarf approached. He had a scholarly appearance, dressed in fine robes with several scrolls and purses on his belt. As he approached the performance, he slowed to talk with Min at the edge of the gathering.
Experienced in playing and listening, Dwigger heard the new Dwarf introduce himself as Arlow. He claimed to own a tome on the history of the Crescent symbol, but it was in the possession of an acquaintance. The acquaintance was an alchemist, but hadn’t been seen in some time and his manor was in disrepair. The mission to retrieve the tome could be dangerous, and Arlow made sure that Min had some team to rely on for the mission. He insinuated there would be other loot at the manor, possibly magical artifacts.
Dwigger mused whether the group was getting a reputation for this sort of thing, for strangers to approach them in the street.
Arlow didn’t loiter long after saying where he could be found after completion of the quest. As he walked away past the stable doors, the loud noise of a slamming stable door stunned the Dwarf momentarily. A fat pony walked from the stables and paused beside the Dwarf to wink in an oddly seductive manner, before trotting away. A stable boy was left in the dust. Arlow could be heard muttering “gnomes…” under his breath as he shook his head.
The party re-grouped and didn’t spend long deciding to head to the manor on the edge of town. As they approached the building, it appeared more dilapidated than they expected. Only one entrance seemed approachable, so they moved closer and Isabeau knocked thrice.
The door slowly swung open with a loud screech. There was nobody on the other side of the doors. After inspecting the well-greased hinges, it was clear why Ulmus was snickering.
The floor in the entranceway was covered in dust, footprints long undisturbed. The woodworking in the trim was exquisite and costly.
Thinking there may be traps, but hoping to find their artifact, Ulmus cast a detect magic spell. It pointed to the northwest. Seeing only one door in that direction, the party continued onwards into the manor.
The master staircase in this room was collapsed. Clearly the manor is derelict. Dwigger investigated carefully and uncovered a trap in the center of the room. Ulmus, being contrary, decided to walk through the trap. As he pushed through the silver webs of spell energy, he shook off their effects and continued to the next doors. There was more to the gnome than appeared at first. He had to move sideways to get his ladder through the next door.
Both Isabeau and Dwigger followed immediately after Ulmus, and they found themselves crammed into a bathroom together. In the tub was someone’s heavy bowel movement. The murky waters shook as the group approached, and a shit covered arm pushed itself out of the surface of the pool. Dwigger had never heard of a shit-golem before, but the features of the zombie Halfling soon became visible under the excrement. Ulmus quickly dispatched the Halfling by transforming his staff into Bubble Bubble. The snek ate the zombie and transformed back into a staff.
Moving out of the bathroom, the next room showed a group of six goblins dressed in drag. Their blonde wigs and high heels were absurd as they prepared to attack the Dragonborn who had been waiting outside the bathroom.
Their first attack missed the rest of the group, but glanced off Dwigger through random dumb-luck.
With the doorway fully open, Isabeau rushed in with a magnificent shield bash. Half the group of goblins was shoved across the room and looked immediately dazed.
Ulmus followed up Isabeau’s attack with a Moonbean. He concentrated on the undamaged group of goblins by the entrance, but there didn’t seem to be much of an affect.
Jumping into the center of the battle, Dwigger followed Isabeau into the room and cast a clap of thunder. Immediately a goblin fell to the ground dead, and the rest of the room covered their ears to the thunderous noise.
Seeing Ulmus’ trouble with the goblins, Min sent a cone of fire into the center of the group. The couch behind the goblins immolated, and the room warmed as the fire started to spread. The enemy were singed, but continued to approach.
Hathyra jumped one of the goblins with her shortsword, but missed as a rotten floorboard collapsed under her foot.
Fortunately for Hathyra, the goblin was distracted by the plight of his flamboyant friends as they got slashed by Isabeau. She managed to lose her sword into the ceiling after slaying both goblins in fury.
Ulmus’ concentration was broken by the slash from a goblin weapon, his moonbeam spell disrupted.
As Dwigger slays another goblin with his battle axe, Min attempts to slay another goblin but loses her dagger in the flaming curtain. The explosion of flame knocks Isabeau’s sword from its position in the ceiling and cleanly pins one of the two remaining goblin queers to the floor. Min and Isabeau quickly rush to retrieve their lost weapons.
The goblin previously distracted by Isabeau seeks its retribution by attacking Hathyra with its weapon.
The goblin is flailing wildly and Isabeau misses a killing blow. Ulmus grabs the creature, but he escapes another attack from Dwigger who tried to finish him off with a good reaming.
Finally, Min kicks the goblin in the dick and finishes him off.
After stomping out the flames before they take the whole building, the team makes a few choice acquisitions from the team of goblins, including wigs, high heels and leather jackets. After buttressing the doors with the burned couch, they play dress up and recuperate before heading further into the manor.