Morgran, Xana and Sev just came back from the sewers and rescued Floon who had been kidnapped by the Xanathar’s guild. Meeting Volo again at the Yawning Portal, the adventurers receive as a reward a deed to a remarkable property in Watderdeep: Trollskull Manor, a former tavern located in Troskull Alley, in the North ward.
Morgran Foamtankard, new owner of Trollskull Manor
Following Volo’s advice, and after a deserved good night sleep, the group headed up to a courthouse in Castle ward to meet with a tiefling magistrate called Kylynne Silmerhelve. The magistrate officialised the transfer of ownership from Volo to Morgran Foamtankard, who paid a 25gp fee for the estate transfer tax. Although magistrate Kylynne was in a hurry, everyone had a ton of questions regarding the new property and its mysterious occupant, Lif the specter. Magistrate Kylynne provided the party with the plans of Trollskull manor.
First visit to Trollskull Alley
Later that morning the group made their way to Trollskull Alley. The had a first look at Morgran’s new property. From the outside, it didn’t look so appealing at first glance.
Players had many ideas about what to do with this newly acquired manor. A low-cost AirBnB, offering every possible room for renting? Fixing and reopening the old tavern? Who knows! It seems like they are tending towards the second option.
Everybody decided that it would be better to first ask the neighbours about any knowledge regarding the former tavern and its ghostly owner.
Meeting the neighbours
Morgran and Sev started by visiting Embric (male fire genasi) and Avi (male water genasi) at the Steam and Steel forge. Embric was apparently emotionally troubled. According to the couple, Tally the woodcarver from The Bent Nail store across the street showed some signs of disapproval regarding their lovely gay couple. Embric and Avi had invited Tally to discuss a business partnership, but Tally left before the end of the diner, just when Embric was bringing his favourite chocolate cake to the table. Embric is convinced that Tally is intolerant and couldn’t bear the feeling of intimacy between him and Avi. Despite those stories, Morgran and Sev still learnt a little bit about Liz the spectre, who appeared to have just died in a natural way after many years running the tavern.
Meanwhile Xana entered Correllon’s Crown, a store with a greenhouse with glass walls at the third floor. There she met Fala Lefaliir (undefined-gender wood elf), the herbalist. After a discussion that could be interpreted as “flirting”, Xana managed to show Fala that she was passionate about herbalism, flowers and the art of crafting potions. Fala suggested that Xana could help on gathering special ingredients in the future. Who knows how this symbiotic relationship may evolve? Fala also mentionned that Vincent, the private detective, might know more about the spectre.
After gathering outside, the group split up one more time to continue interrogating the neighbours.
Sev entered Book Wyrm’s Treasure (thanks for explaining the pun to me), a book-store with walls filled up with bookshelves bigger than what the place would like from the outside. The place is managed by Rishaal the Page-Turner (short male dragonborn of gold dragon ancestry). Rishaal was very surprised by Sev’s abilities. Indeed, Sev displayed some non-trivial magic skills (creating the illusion of a book). But even more impressive, he managed to catch what Rishaal was saying while speaking to himself in draconic. They continued the conversation in Draconic (decided the Japanese of the Forgotten Realms) and Rishaal offered to help out Sev on his quest to improve his magic skills.
Lastly, Morgran and Xana tried to enter a smaller, fairly unremarkable house from the outside. Only a orange-and-black sign featuring a cat’s eyes was indicating that the place could be of any interest. After knocking on the door, waiting for three minutes, ringing the bell and waiting two more minutes, Vincent Trench (male human, dressed in a sharp suit and smoking a slim pipe). Visibly, Vincent already knew quite a lot about the party, its recent expedition in the sewer as well as Morgran’s new property. Xana tried to bribe him into offering them exclusive business relationship regarding Vincent’s abilities to discover secrets, but the arguments weren’t convincing enough for the experienced businessman. Still, Vincent told them (for free) about what he knew about Lif the spectre, his former life as a tavern owner, and about how the best way to deal with him could maybe be to simply try and help the ghost fulfilling its will.
First (cat) look inside the manor
With all this knowledge, the group decided that it was time to check out the manor. But not yet still! Xana turned into a cat (first time shape-changing!) and climbed up the manor, looking by the windows to have a glimpse inside. All she could see were dust, broken pieces of furnitures and tankards on the ground of the first floor. The other floors were empty, with no furnitures.
Coming down from the manor, Xana spot on the side of the alley the same black cat that she saw the day before while entering the sewers. The cat was explicitly looking in her direction and managed to find a little intimacy on the roof, after Sev managed to catch and release it (OMG a speaking cat!). The cat delivered a message to Xana in close-to-perfect common. “Interested in joining the Emerald Enclave? Come meet us at Phaulkonmere in the Southern Ward”.
Befriending Lif the spectre
Finally the group entered the manor. Their first idea was to start cleaning the place, sorting broken furnitures, getting the dust off the tables. This was enough to befriend Lif the spectre, who ended up not being so dreadful after all! Lif draw a smiley face on the window to show how happy he was to see people helping him cleaning up the mess in the former tavern 🙂
Volo turned up in the late morning to say hello. The group asked him to help evaluating the costs to renovate this place. The costs were evaluated at about 1000gp to fix everything, plus some one-time fees for guild licences and contracts (beware of the Fellowship of Innkeeper!). He suggested that they could visit Mirt the moneylender (a noble from the North ward who sometimes acts as business angel) or Istrid Horn (a shady figure from the Southern ward).
Xana also asked Volo if he knew anything about the Emerald Enclave. Volo never heard about it, but he talked about The Harpers (a group of people devoted to maintain balance between nature and civilisation). “You might actually know some of their members already, in the person of Renaer!”.
During the next five days, Xana, Sev and Morgran worked hard to get the place in better shape. Sev, who now sneaks out on a daily basis to turn into a house cleaner, was in a monumental shape. He worked all day long to clean every part of the first floor (reducing overall the renovations cost for 50gp!). Xana the cat tracked down some mice and removed all the poop that was fermenting in the cracks of the walls (-25gp!). Lastly, Morgran used his skill with Mason’s tools to fix the stone structure of the manor, making it better isolated. He also managed to fix some old barrels (-25gp as well!).
During the night of the third day, Morgran was sleeping in his apartment in Castle ward when he received the visit of a strange creature which flew through the window.
The creature was a flying snake and was apparently here to deliver a parchment. Morgran woke up and picked up the message, as the flying creature flew back in the dark streets… Morgran read: