The party left the beach and travelled the few miles to the clifftop of fortress of Candlekeep. They were greeted by a monk who cast a Detect Thoughts spell and asked them why they had come. They explained and negotiated entry giving him Tunwéya‘s copy of Grave Symbology. The party went inside and crossed the vast courtyard to the to the Emerald Gate where the Keeper of the Door assigned them a monk (Sister Amonar) as their guide.
As Sister Amonar gave them a tour of the complex he mentioned the Open Stage night that was scheduled for that evening at the tavern. At the mere mention of such frivolity the party headed straight there.
Leofric bought all 23 patrons a drink while Darry and Hinnerk chatted to folk, picking up rumours and gossip. There was talk of the instability in Baldur’s Gate with the Grand Duke missing and Duke Vanthampur dead. There was also talk about the disappearance of Elturel, although none could agree on its cause. They spoke to a female halfling called Maren Berrybake who had come from a village near Neverwinter and told the party of ill tidings from Phandalin. Weapons were being traded from the town and it was ruled by Baron Sildar Hallwinter. The Baron had conscripted many townsfolk to build a palisade wall around the town. Travel to the town was also dangerous as goblins roamed the woods and a dragon attacked caravans on the road.
The party spoke to Falaster’s contact, an intelligent ogre called Little One. He gave Falaster a playing card. Little One also suggested some books that the party might find interesting.
As the Open Stage contest began the innkeep announced that the best act, as judged by the crowd, would received a Cape of the Mountebank. The most popular act from the patrons was a terrible rap performed by a golden chained wizard. Hinnerk performed a rude sea shanty was met with stunned silence them polite applause. Tunwéya attempted standup but only a fellow druid got the jokes, however most of the patrons, being studious types, began to take notes and the act went down well. Leofric took out this pan pipes but instead of playing a full tune he summoned a swarm of rats and commanded them to perform tricks. Unfortunately, the rats were not well co-ordinated and one fell into a wizard’s drink. As the rat scurried away, the wizard attempted to shoot it with a magic missile but Og dived in the way and took the hit. Leofric was booed off and went outside to console his rats. Finally, Darry performed a not-magic show. Two volunteers cast detect magic as he performed tricks and wowed the audience by using no magic what-so-ever. He was declared the winner and presented with the magic cape.