While we ate and talked and took in the comforts of the Fortress of Unknown Depths, Simone and Erevis returned to Greyhawk ahead of us to prepare their little scheme. Simone has her eyes on some sort of statuette that is now in the hands of the Winter Estate, a petty “noble” in Greyhawk known for their philanthropy.
Leuwiss planned on the retrieval of the deed to the property his parents shop and several of their recipe books hidden in a secret compartment near the 2nd floor fireplace. More importantly, the group was to see what the priestess of Celestian that Tenser mentioned has to say about the notes taken from Rary’s followers and this coming midwinter prophesy.
All grim seriousness aside, it will soon be Needfest.
We flew most of the way down the Selintan River until we reach Zagyg’s Bridge and then sailed the rest of the course to the Wharf District and put down anchor. We arrived at the docks with minor problems and signed in the gate at the Foreign Quarter. It seems Leuwiss’ appearance frightens some of the locals and think he’s a vampire.
Durg, the large fighter, left our group to head toward the lower quarters of the city with a poster in hand. It seems he is going to try his hand in the fighting arena known as “The Pit”. Bloodraven, our monk, has decided that time at the temple of Zuoken shall do him some good.
D’Arcon made mention that he’d like to check in with his estate and make sure everything was running smooth, but here is where we have our first problem. The lights were on in the home but the help didn’t look familiar. The impatient and chaotic D’Arcon stormed up to the front door and demanded an audience with the person now inhabiting his home. Nobody expected to see the face of the dwarven tax collector, Dorshak Crane, descend the stairs.
Ignoring the two heavily armed guards at the door, D’Arcon brandished a dagger and threatened to slit the dwarf’s throat! Quickly, Leuwiss put a hand on D’Arcon to not only keep him from harms way, but in the hopes of gaining a clearer picture of what had transpired while we were away on our task for Tenser the Archmage.
It seems that Dorshak Crane, now at full mental faculty, was cured of his dementia and had resumed ownership of the estate! As D’Arcon cooled down a bit, we was able to find out that a cleric was sent at the behest of Lord Winter to cure him – the very man we are to take a tiger statue from in a 3 weeks time. And because he was no longer a threat to the general populace, Dorshak was released and was provided papers to reclaim his former estate. It seems somebody knowledgeable of Greyhawk City law exploited the 7 Year Residency loophole, barring anyone not living in Greyhawk for 7 years total from owning property, and had all the necessary paperwork ready for him to sign, thus kicking D’Arcon out of his home and onto the streets!
We thanked the dwarf for the information, retrieved the documents and books from the 2nd floor candy shop secret compartment with aid from D’Arcon and made our way to the Druid’s Gate where the elf and priest were likely waiting for us. It seems that Ranier Silverleaf, our elven druid companion, has made quick friends of the centaur and two druids who tend the stone circle. He has made some sort of makeshift shelter and workshop here. Kel, the priest of our group, was also in attendance, eager to meet with the Celestian priests up the hill at the Grey Observatory.
At the Grey Observatory, a joint venture between clerics of Celestian and the Grey College, we met with the priestess, Carol Sagaan. A mere glance at the notes the elf and priest had prepared had Carol sweeping us into her private chamber to talk quietly. While she knew that the solstice that was to take place this winter was significant, she was quite unaware of the other information and her face was ashen grey. She informed us that a gate would open and into our universe a great power would come forth. A power called The Spelljammer. She was able to describe the fabled manta ray shaped ship for us with a few frightening accounts of witnesses disappearing forever once they boarded it, for it contained a vast city that seemed to spring from it’s very back. She used some sort of magical ritual, pressing our book of notes against another blank book, enabling her to have an exact copy of it’s contents now in the pages of the blank tome. She informed us that the planets would all align opening a gate at the center of the Sisters, a constellation of 9 starlike objects, on the same night as the Winter Ball.
At “Lady Davenshire’s” manor, Simone’s persona claiming to be from Veluna, we regrouped with this information and shared it with our friends. While indeed grim, this information was taken into account and put aside for our next task as a group. Lady Davenshire, was attended by Erevis who acted as her consort and body guard. It was here that were informed of the Winter family, with Lady Davenshire opening the kitchen curtain where we could see the large estate cross the way. The two sons were noted, one with a penchant for gambling and attractive men with the other a petulant minor mage I know from my studies at the Wizard’s College. The daughter saw to the household needs of the Winter estate. The prize, a single tiger statuette with gemstone eyes, was our target. In the meantime, everyone was to assume roles at the estate as cover.
Simone described each person of note, tasking D’Arcon to befriend and seduce the gambling son with the purpose of replacing a necklace worn by him. This would gain us access to a vault high in the singular tower high above the estate. This would be where the tiger statuette would be located. Ranier voiced some concerns about gaining entrance, to which Lady Davenshire produced several fine forgeries of tickets for each one of us. She noted that these tickets were hidden in the remaining boxes of Idani Whips, bought before the fire at Leuwiss’ parent’s shop, and have caused quite a stir amongst the populace as everyone wants to be invited to this prestigious costume ball, so the guest list wouldn’t be checked closely as any person with a ticket would be admitted. Leuwiss was told that he would need several spells in high supply, namely Sleep and Dispel Magic. Erevis produced several potent sleeping potions and minor poisons that we were to introduce into the banquet food to cause a distraction so we could gain access to the upper levels.
While Simone stressed the need for no improvisation, Leuwiss confided in Ranier that he does feel that this is almost an invite for said actions by the companions. We would have exactly 3 weeks to make the switch of the necklace, plan our costumes, and attend the ball on the ill-fated Winter Solstice night.