The Highwind Blows
Session 3 - Subterfuge and Safe Spaces
Session Date: 18 December 2016
After spending the night at the Golden Flagon Inn, Crispin, Edwynd, and Snipit met up to prepare for the night’s events. However, two members of the party did not join them. Knocking on their respective doors, they were greeted with a loud chorus of drunken snores from Shankill‘s room and eerie silence from Lelldraen’s.
With neither party member answering repeated hails, the trio decided to abandon them to whatever fate and to proceed with their preparations.
The trio agreed that the first priority was to case the Torgott Mercantile Company warehouse where the meeting with “Z” was supposed to take place. Approaching the facility from the docks, the trio found the warehouse in full operation, with carts loading and unloading via the sets of double-wide doors facing the docks. There were two guards patrolling the area along the docks, and the business office was open, located along a side alley.
Crispin took the direct approach and entered the office. A receptionist greeted him, asking him if he wanted to schedule an appointment with Trademaster Harlon. In response, Crispin showed her the letter from “Z” to Captain Stan. The receptionist read the letter, and then (with a carefully neutral expression) handed the letter back, repeating her question about setting up an appointment. Crispin refused, and exited the office.
Meanwhile, Edwynd and Snipit employed more roundabout tactics. While Edwynd distracted the guards with increasingly ridiculous requests, Snipit assumed the form of a cat and sneaked into the warehouse. He found no overt evidence that the warehouse was involved in shady business, Zhentarim or otherwise, but did overhear a man with a booming voice yelling about a shipment that needed to get to Baldur’s Gate pronto. Since this man was located behind a closed office door, the party assumed that it was Trademaster Harlon.
Reuniting, the trio started canvassing the businesses in the area, trying to get an idea from the locals of whether or not Torgott Mercantile was a legitimate business. The locals seemed unaware of any shady business going on at Torgott. During their search, a dockworker directed Edwynd to the Rusty Spoon, a dive bar nearby. The dockworker told him that the staff there knew a lot about happenings on the docks.
Edwynd and Snipit headed off to follow up on this lead, but Crispin chose not to accompany them. Instead, he tried to bully one of the guards into letting him see Trademaster Harlon. The guard, with a remarkable feat of resistance, gave Crispin his best “do your worst” stare and told him to shove off. Defeated, Crispin returned to his room at the Golden Flagon.
Meanwhile, at the Rusty Spoon, Edwynd and Snipit struck up a conversation with the bartender. Edwynd, in particular, got along swimmingly with him, and the bartender (named Jensen) told Edwynd that he used to be an adventurer himself before he mangled his leg too badly to continue. Jensen could not tell them anything new about Torgott Mercantile, but told Snipit that there was a druid grove in the city. Snipit and Edwynd decided to see what they could find there.
Captain Jothias Stan of the Highwind,
To Trademaster Harlon of the Torgott Mercantile Company,
I have your cargo for your warehouse. I attempted to contact you, but your staff was too thick. Will meet at the appointed time.
- Jothias Stan
After forging the letter, Crispin found a poor man willing to deliver the letter on his behalf (not a terribly difficult thing to find in Amn), and paid him to do so. Then he retired to his room to wait for his companions.
While Crispin was forging his letter, Snipit and Edwynd entered the druid grove. Both of them, but especially Snipit, felt a calming presence as they walked through the trees. Through his druidcraft, Snipit located a hidden path through the trees, and they eventually came to a house hidden within a tree trunk. Snipit knocked, and an elderly-looking halfling answered. Snipit greeted him in Druidic, and the halfling (named Nessin) returned the greeting and identified himself as the caretaker of the grove. With pleasantries exchanged, the druids started speaking in Common and brought Edwynd into the conversation.
Unfortunately, Nessin could not tell them anything about Torgott Mercantile’s business activities, as he hardly ever entered the city. But when Snipit and Edwynd asked him about potential allies that he knew of, Nessin name-dropped the Harpers. The duo felt better at that, more confident that they were dealing with the right people. Nessin offered the grove as a sanctuary if the party needed it; he assured them that the grove’s magical defenses would not trigger as long as Snipit was with them, as they would recognize a fellow druid.