23. Gambling, Bar Fights and Bird Watching

Darry and Tunweya walked around The Wide to The Copper Griffin, an upper class tavern. Tunweya circulated and listened while Darry joined in a gambling game with an elvish chap called Delmar. He claimed to be the son of Lord Darry III of “Esparina”, a place “far East that you’ve probably not heard of.” Darry lost 32 gold over a few games while befriending Delmar, then got Delmar to introduce him to Duke Portyr.

Darry tried to persuade Lord Portyr that – as a wise outsider – there’s going to be a bit of a political showdown in Baldur’s Gate and he might benefit from a handful of accomplished negotiators (and perhaps some muscle) to make sure he gets the best out of it, and suggested they meet up sometime. He didn’t seem receptive. Portyr spoke to the barmaid on the way out so Darry cast Charm Person on her. Unfortunately, the tavern guards noticed and escorted him and Tunwéya out at stilletto-point. They were followed for a while, failed to evade the guards but they gave up once Darry and Tunwéya entered the Lower City. They then headed to the Low Lantern.

Og and Hinnerk made an uneventful journey to The Manticore Inn. They made themselves right at home by swiftly drinking a couple of flagons each of porter and regaled the Fire Genasi bartender, Cynder with tales of rescue and cult-killing. Og unwittingly admired the completely fake stuffed “Manticore” in the bar.

Some Tieflings in the bar got into a disagreement and Og stepped up to help calm to the situation. Everything seemed fine but they were a bit standoffish with Hinnerk. He said that Vendetta had been fine with him and they said that she had been missing for a few days. Just then, she triumphantly entered the bar decked out in fresh armour with her trusty silver skull flail at her side. She got a few drinks with Og and Hinnerk, told them how she had left her job with the family Oathoon and introduced them to a friend who was gambling. Hinnerk played a game of Baldur’s Bones whilst talking of the magic Black Spider marked weapons that had been seen in town and a couple of dwarves looked furtive at their mention.

Hinnerk won his game and gave his seat to Og, who enjoyed losing and giving money to the Tiefling they had been playing. Hinnerk got more drinks and went to talk to the dwarves.

The dwarves were dismissive and rebuffed all his enquiries, increasingly aggressively. Hinnerk, seemingly a little drunk, made a clumsy effort to push one of them around and intimidate them. They jumped off their chairs and told him to piss off while their hands hovered at the handaxes at their sides. Hinnerk smirked and got ready for a good ol’fashioned brawl with Vendetta at his side.

Meanwhile, Leofric and Xanthe headed over to the Low Lantern in disguise. The tavern was a permanently docked ship and on the top deck they found a number of dead seagulls. Looking up they saw two ravens and suspected they were disguised imps after Leofric’s Orb of Avian Attraction had no effect on the birds. Xanthe cast sleep, causing the ravens to fall. They caught the birds before they hit the deck and placed them in the bag of holding. They headed below deck into the bar, ordered drinks and found a table.

The bar was busy and among the patrons they noticed a human female trying to hide her plate armour under a heavy cloak. Xanthe went to speak to her and Leofric eventually joined them. The woman said she was Reya, a Hellrider of Elturel. She seemed to know Leofric and feared they would arrest her. Leofric assured her they would not. Reya told them she had heard reports that the High Overseer of Elturel had been seen with guards from the Vanthampur family. As she could not get into the Upper City she decided to investigate the Low Lantern where Amrik Vanthampur had been running a money lending business. They had all seen a few people enter the bar and head downstairs where Amrik was thought to be. As they were leaving they heard someone from a lower deck shout, “Just find that Martin and bring him here. Look for a halfling with a Half-Orc bodyguard.”

Xanthe and Leofric headed to a nearby alley and opened the bag of holding, thought about the ravens and…

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