Eleint 6, 1479, Year of the Ageless One (early afternoon)
Time seemingly stood still as everyone prepared for an anticipated bar fight.
Around the tavern’s taproom, both sides looked at one another—each waiting to see who would start the fight. Hands slowly inched towards sheathed weapons, while lips moved in preparation of rituals that will either aid allies or hinder opponents. Both sides knew that if any one of the adventurers or tavern patrons so much as passed air loud enough to be heard, all Hells would break loose.
Vrakh, the dragonborn, stood behind Ronak with his battleaxe clenched firmly in his hands. His nostrils flared as he considered his next move. He noticed the gnome and the bartender’s stern gaze, both seemingly ordering him to stand down. Vrakh took another deep breath, inhaling the pungent smell of the taproom’s filthy tables and walls. He looked towards the man seated next to him. He was dressed in full plate armor. A greataxe was securely strapped to his back.
The dragonborn thrust his battleaxe, aiming for the man’s back. But before his sharpened axe could strike home, he stopped its momentum just slow enough to tap the man’s greataxe with his own weapon. “Nice axe,” Vrakh said in common. “Bigger than mine.”
The dragonborn then turned around and sat back down to enjoy what was left of his meal and drink.
For nearly an hour, the adventurers sat in the tavern asking the bartender questions about the tavern and its patrons. They also asked every one their names and introduced themselves. Ronak said his name was “Tripp”. The gnome scratched his chin and said he thought he had heard of someone named Tripp from Waterdeep before. Ronak/Tripp said he had never seen the gnome before and was certain he would never forget him if he did.
The bartender said people call him “Daggers”, while the gnome with the chops and tattoos introduced himself as “Wolverine”. The fighter in scale armor and armed with a scimitar said his name was Colrynth. The dragonborns introduced themselves as Vrak, Scarrg, and Kashad. Daggers and Wolverine added that they hailed from the North, while the dragonborns claimed to have traveled from the Inner Sea area. Colrynth said he’s from Daggerford originally but currently calls Baldur’s Gate home.
At some point during the discussion, Brogan (AKA Wraith) said that the gnome and the bartender’s names reminded him of a minotaur named “Bullrush” he and some others had come across in Berdusk, a city in Elturgard. Abyss added that Bullrush had been a member of an organization known as the Damagers Guild and wondered if either the gnome or the bartender had ever heard of it. Wolverine and Daggers exchanged suspicious glances but said they had never heard of Damagers Guild.
Minutes later, a young human man wearing scale armor entered the taproom from a door behind the bar. The man was carrying a cask that seemed full. A look of bewilderment crossed his face when he saw the adventurers. He asked Daggers if everything was alright. Daggers nodded and asked him to leave the cask on the bar. The young man then went back to wherever he came from after leaving the cask on the bar.
Some of the adventurers quickly noticed the calligraphic “A” burned into the side of the cask. Damascus whispered to the others that the mark on the cask matches the insignia of the Amontinnado family who were known to specialize in the making of some of the finest wines in Faerûn. It was said that the Amontinnado family—a wealthy family who delved in magic—had been making wines for nearly three centuries. Another mark denoted that the cask contained red wine—the best kind of Amontinnado wine produced…and the most expensive. The others agreed and were aware that a cask of Amontinnado red wine could easily fetch anywhere from 1,200 to 1,500 gold pieces per cask depending on the vintage and the buyer.
“That’s some fine wine you have there.” Abyss said to Daggers eyeing the cask. “Such wine seems a bit too sophisticated for a simple tavern like this if you ask me”.
Daggers ignored what Abyss said as he faced the rest of the group.
“You’re welcome to stay for a while,” Daggers said in an icy tone. “but I’m sure you’ve got business elsewhere. And since the Wayfarer is just a tavern, I’m afraid we can’t have any of you stay here.”
The adventurers said they were just about to leave anyway, so they emptied their mugs and gathered their equipment.
Far enough away from tavern but still within sight, the group came up with a plan to return to the Wayfarer. They suspected the tavern of being a base of operation for the Damagers Guild so wanted to infiltrate the tavern. The plan they came up with was bold, brilliant, and unorthodox.
…The plan was for Lyrica, Salil, and Ronak to enter the Wayfarer pretending to be a wealthy couple and their servant hailing from Baldur’s Gate. Both Lyrica and Salil would use their changeling abilities to alter their forms, while Lyrica used her disguise kit to alter Ronak’s appearance to make him appear as the couple’s manservant. To make Ronak’s disguise even more convincing and mask his scent from the dragonborns, Wraith smeared horse dung on his clothing and on his face. When the group reached the tavern, Ronak held the tavern’s door for his masters, while the others entered the tavern while under the effects of invisibility potions provided by Brogan…
Inside the tavern, Lyrica and Salil quickly made their way to an empty table while voicing degrading remarks about the establishment’s less-than-opulent conditions. The others made their way in and saw the taproom occupied by Colrynth, Daggers and the three dragonborns. Wolverine was nowhere to be found.
Daggers, taken by surprise at the arrogance of the two strangers and their servant, tried to offer the obviously rich couple some of the Amontinnado wine. All the while, Lyrica and Salil kept up the convincing pretense of being rich—although at times a bit overplayed. The others, still invisible, had scattered themselves around the room and were worried that Lyrica and Salil’s act would be noticed for what it was, an act.
At some point, Colrynth got up and walked over to the table where the dragonborns sat. He whispered something to them. The three scaly thugs then got up and proceded to walk towards the front door, while Daggers kept an eye on everyone from behind the bar. Meanwhile, Wraith, suspecting that the tavern’s occupants were planning to attack Lyrica, Salil, and Ronak, reacted first.
Wraith, who was standing behind Daggers, became visible as he surprised him with an opening attack…
To be continued in “Another Round On the House” (Part 2)
Salil Bok, Ronak Tripp, Abyss, Brogan (AKA Wraith)
Lyrica Osbourne, Damascus of Candlekeep