Guild and tavern business 

I mount Grond and walk up north from the Yawning Portal up onto the High Road to sleep in our own good old Trollskull Manor. Smokey is there, and is devastated by the news about our losses as well.

The day after I feel the weight of Undermountain starting to fall off my shoulders. I ask Smokey to get a high-end safe with a numbered 6-digit combination and two keys (Smokey and me) for the 3rd floor with a trusted party. In the Castle Ward, at Warrior’s Way, I see a gold cauldron with keys and gear sign at my trusted Golden Cauldron Guild place located where The Golden Key Locksmiths used to be. 

I am greeted with joy by fellow Guild members, apprentices, friends and staff. My former mentor in alchemy sits at a table and I join her. Xilynore, a Fairy, pretty good alchemist, known to some in the field and definitely among alchemists in Waterdeep. She is competent, yet few lessons are to be learned from her. I stood out from the students, but not always for the right reasons. She struggled with debt, inspiring me not to be like her.

Later, I am asked to report on Undermountain business and my inventions and infusions. My mentor Brumrik Tangoherr, a Mountain Dwarf, well-respected artificer battle smith and Guild Council Member as Leader of the battle smith guild section welcomes me cordially. He is the Greatest battle smith in the Greater Swordcoast (Sword Coast North, Waterdeep, Swoard Coast)! 

I deliver my dues (500 GP), definitely more than they expected, and show Grond stating the previous upgrades with a Headband of Intellect, Shield+1, and Cloak of Protection. I even show Zephs Flute, and tell them about the Stinger upgrade, and a Saddle of the Cavalier. I also show them the Gnome Maps of Undermountain with its copy protection. With my increased experience, inventiveness, loyalty, and overall good standing, I am promoted from Veteran to Officer of the Guild. 

I also tell them about Zhentarim taking over in Skullport, basically destroying the “good life” over there, but they feel Undermountain is “off-charts” to intervene, it’s the Wild West (Teshyll Wastes, as they call it in Faerûn)!

With the Guild members, I try to upgrade my All-purpose-tool, without success, and upgrade Grond with a new Headband of Intellect and a new trick: Cloak of the Bat! There seems to be no one like this one in Waterdeep at the moment! 

For the next days I should work on a new Saddle of the cavalier as well and show some Guild Initiates and Members how to do it. 

My Bags of holding seem to burst from its fine threads: I need to sell some more non-magical items and store the coins safely. I’ll securely store 6.000 GP worth of coins in the new safe in Trollskull Manor, as well as the rare Rod of the Pact Keeper. For extra protection, I’ll place a Glyph of warden on the safe that it can only be opened with one of the two original keys, or else Thunder will strike the thieve!

I then walk to the Dragon Tower to meet Aurinax, the banker from the Never Evers origins Smokey, Borac and Ladrengrielle. Luckily I have some proof of shared ownership, and store some extra 10.030 GP (including the 3000 copper pieces) to the 5.000 we had currently there, making a total of 15.030 GP. Then it is time to move south and see if merchants are willing to buy some items at The Market:

  • Black cube, level 14
  • Gold music box, Level 14 (at least 1000 GP)
  • Doomcrown’s loot: (electrum pepper shaker, a pewter candlestick, a red velvet cape, an ornate coral statuette of a ship cresting a wave (250 gp), a dwarven beard comb made of lapis lazuli and set with gemstones, a platinum crown with black pearl inlay, golden elven helm with a spiral horn of amethyst (7,500 gp).
  • Jeweled anklet, 750 GP; lvl 12 in Minotaurs well
  • Steel mirror from Enola
  • Obsidian spider with jewels à 250 GP, level 14
  • Statue of malagite minotaur, 250 GP
  • 5 zircones, loot Rilna, à 50 GP/piece
  • 2 Garnets, loot Rilna, à 100 GP/piece
  • 1 diamond à 5000 GP, Guffaw, level 14

I find multiple vendors for my items and make 16.000 GP! I am also able to purchase three Spell scrolls of Sending. I immediately inform Zox with a Sending spell scroll about the Never Evers and if he has a new stinger upgrade for Grond. He feels sorry for me, says he’s really busy without upgrade materials unfortunately. I’ll have to stop by later for sure when I go back to Undermountain!

With my pockets filled with platinum and gold pieces I make sure to deposit 7.800 GP for investments and Golden Cauldron Guild business, which we can withdraw later if needed. 

The adventure begins…

Boosting Grond makes me want to go on adventure again, but with whom? I need to advertise myself! I’ll make a magical advertisement with some good old magical tinkering to show my skills to potential new party members:

Smart and strong gnome, Farrýn Flamel, known from the Never Evers (and my inventions), is looking for an adventuring party to go deep (level 16+) in Undermountain. Loot is equally shared. Trusted companions: handcrafted magical items suiting the best of your ability. Betray my trust: end of party. Contact me with Sending.References: Golden Cauldron Guild, Waterdeep & Tassagrin, headmistress Wizard Academy Dweomercore, Undermountain

I decide to visit the Watchful Order of Magists and Protectors first, it’s closest and the Guild of Sorcerers and Wizards in Waterdeep. I find Ulkoria Stonemarrow, a female dwarf, who stares at me with creepy eyes, but slightly loosens up when I tell her I’m one of the owners of Trollskull Manor which she previously owned and am looking for a party. Luckily she is willing to put my advertisement on the announcement board in the main hall, although she keeps asking difficult questions on my relationship with Tassagrin. A familiar Undermountain adventurer overhears our conversation, and a bearded male human wizard steps forward. It is Francissy Gelattio, my predecessor in the adventuring party! “I’ve heard from Smokey what happened to Borac and Ladrengielle. Although they were more close than we ever were, I feel sorry to have heard that bad news. I wish you good luck with your quest to look for a new party.” Great advice, but he could have offered to join me…

Next, I follow course West and visit Blackstaff Academy, an elite yet informal magical school. Somehow there are no doors as I approach Blackstaff Tower at Swords Streat, where the entrance should be. I try “open” or “friend” in Elvish, but it doesn’t work. 

I look up the Tower. Does it really have to cost me another Sending spell scroll? Whatever. I unroll the scroll, think about Shevarith Kendia with whom I crafted items with in the past and ask if she is in Blackstaff Tower and wants to let me in through the front.

“Farrrrrrýn Flamel! The pleasure. Wait a minutttte” with her characteristic northern Rashemi accent. Quicker than expected I see Shevarith from a door opening that was definitely not there before. She says I am not allowed to enter, unless I show her some good magical tinkering. I like some competition and show her my advertisement. She’s not too much impressed, but then looks at Grond. “Amazzzing! Show me! Come inssssside!”. The Tower seems larger from the inside. We discuss some of our items we crafted, until I see a notification board at the end of the entrance hall. Shevarith follows my eyes, and we walk up there. I see a note stating:

Hakham, 12, Tiefling Sorcerer You didn’t read that wrong. I’m twelve. I have strange new powers. I’m adventuring to learn more about these powers. I am looking for an eclectic group of (…)

I stop reading: 12 and a Tiefling, not going to happen. I’ll put mine at the other side of the board and say goodbye as Shevarith wants to continue studying. 

Next stop: New Olamn‘s academy of music and other arts at the coast. I know bards come there to study and maybe I can impress them with Zephs Flute I crafted. I play the flute with a Polka tune, waiving with a leak in my hand: this must go well. Some bards join me with acapella style voices, quite the fast rhythm, until a Half-Elf professor comes to me with a frown: “Who are you? Did you graduate from the College of Mac-Fuirmidh?” This must be a trick question. I know I based my flute on the Instrument of the Bard from the traditional bardic college in the Moonshae Isles. “I am Farrýn Flamel, known from the Never Evers, and was inspired by the great bards of Mac-Fuirmidh, and created my own instrument, professor!” I walk to them, hold my hand close to their skin, ask with my eyes permission to touch them on the arm. They nod, and the entire skin transforms into a rough, bark-like appearance. They wait and look me in the eyes to see if I get psychic damage from this trick. “You should not be allowed to use this instrument. It’s a disgrace for the legendary bard colleges. Please leave campus. Now.” 

I mount Grond, and see how they are trying to shake off their Barkskin, without success. Last stop of the day is Yawning Portal to advertise. Luckily it is busy, I’ll get some food and sing the Never Evers song with others while playing the Flute. Obaya is still packing things, and is only here for some days more to buy magical items. 

Since the Never Evers song it catching popularity (at least, I think so), I decide that for personal branding I could also use a song about myself looking for a party. We try out some texts and melodies and come up with:

Farryn was a gnome, small in size
But big in heart and full of surprise
He lived in a world where magic was real
And friendship was something the Mad mage couldn't steal. But one fateful day, Farryn's friends were gone
Taken away in a fierce battle, one by one
Farryn was left all alone, feeling sad and blue
Wondering what he could do. He missed his friends, the laughter and cheer
The adventures they had, the moments so dear
But Farryn knew he couldn't give up
He had to find a way to lift up. So he set out on a journey, determined and bold
To find new friends, young and old
He searched through Undermountain, cities, and streams
Determined to bring back his friends' gleams. 

Satisfied at the end of the day, Grond and I fly through the dark streets of Waterdeep back north to Trollskull Manor.

The following days I get messages from pathetic “adventurers” who seem to be unskilled or unreliable, or too young and too old.. (Maybe I should rephrase the last verse…). Luckily my Saddle of the Cavalier proceeds quickly, and I can work on some minor Guild projects and upgrade a shield.

Rumours and rascals

Getting tired of routine, I plan to go to the Yawning Portal and see what news comes out of Undermountain. I hear rumours that a superior All-purpose-tool was offered in Skullport!

I head down, get mixed feelings when entering Skullport. We had good times, and bad times here. I find the casino, and am going to try my luck over a few drinks. Somehow I was lured into a luck-based game instead of an intelligence based game, and I lose 750 pieces of gold. I am tricked! Angrily I bang my fists on the table, and with its poor quality, it falls apart. Multiple bouncers force me out of the casino and forbid me to come back. Like I care. Losers!

After 2 days the trail leads to a shady person in lower Skullport. He shows me a pristine All-purpose tool! We negotiate, both seems happy, and we make a deal. Then they ask me if I am interested in other magical items, and he shows me a wrinkled Shield+1 and a bend Headband of intellect. I squinch my eyes: “Where. Did. You. Get. These!” I try to intimidate him as they were obviously Grond’s, but somehow that person is knocked out easily. I should have prepared some healing spells, but I am not going to spend a healing potion on him. I’ll take the items, and quickly leave to my inn. Am I followed? I stay up in Guts & Garters for some late night drinks and stale snacks. I should leave tomorrow to go visit Zox or something. 

Deep in the night, I wake up being paralyzed and poisoned. “I am so happy you came into my life, Farrýn Flamel. You’re making so much money for us with your items you sell and purchase.” The filthy Lanxim, the Zhentarim deep gnome grins. Poisoning someone in his sleep is the lowest you can do. Next time I shall meet him in a duel! “It’s great we can finish doing business with the Never Evers. A personal vedette started after Valentine’s Soulcoin deal. It ends with selling your items and yourself to the highest bidder. Goodnight, Farrýn.” 

Later I wake up in a cell being restrained with Dimensional shackles, stripped from my armour and items, without a connection with Grond. What will they do to me? I try to figure out how to open the cell door, but I don’t have the means to create a lever. Time passes by slowly.

I am being carried out of my cell and offered as a slave to a Tortle, who talks…so…slow. It drives me even more crazy! My price is 1000 platinum pieces (I am flattered), but am directly insulted when this Tortle wants to pay 100 platinum pieces only! I spit on the ground and are being taken back to my cell. Later that day, I see visions of Calyx again. A rat who turns into a bird-person start talking to me and wants to set me free the day after. I am truly getting crazy in here!

I hear a low drunken voice coming into the safehouse. There is a fight, I see lightning scattering alround, and Lanxim being hit hard. I try to lift the cell doors without effect. Lanxim laughs: “You cannot get out Farrýn Flamel!” He is then hit by an Eldritch blast and I laugh maniacally: “It is so much deserved, dying in a fight is too much honour for you, it was a pleasure Lanxim!”

A leonin gives me my clothing, but doesn’t open the cell door. I attach my belt, feel it’s power, and lift the cell doors easily. It’s a massacre out there with Zhentarim bodies fried by lightning. We have to act fast before reinforcements come in! The rescue party seems to be slow as hell, although Violence and Turbulence are there to help me! Great Tiefling sisters!

I pick up my Dwarven thrower, hit Lanxim hard three times on its head so he is not to be recognized, and see the place lit on fire by that Aarakoc-rat! Cool! I also blast fire bolt three times into Lanxim. Turbulence finds a book and a secret shed with coins worth of 17.500 GP. “Please put in here!” I say while throwing a purple Bag of holding. I find the deep gnomes notebook with debtors from Zhentarim, which I take with me.

Before fleeing the safehouse I cast Invisibility on Grond and me and we stealthily go to our tavern. It has been 12 days since the loss of my former party members. I look upon my rescue party. Will we laugh together, and play? My heart is full, it is a joyous day!

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