You can find a complete list of all Dragon Heist recaps here.
(Note: Sessions 9 and a lot of 10 were occupied by the party exploring the Blue Alley. Without going completely into describing that, they were generally very smart and perceptive and got the better of the place at every turn.)
Ches 7, late night
When the party entered the final room of the Blue Alley, they found the prize they’d been seeking – the Celestine Unicorn. The statue of a unicorn turned out, somewhat annoyingly, to be about three feet tall.
“That’s bigger than I am,” groused Ermie.
The room itself containing the unicorn was rather large and, more interestingly, was covered completely – floors, walls, and ceiling – with one seamless mirror. Ermie, Rylderin, and Zherxus entered the room while Clinks (whose hatred of this mission and the Alley in general had only been growing more acute since they entered) remained outside.
Not seeing any reason to do otherwise, they decided to pick up the unicorn and try to leave with it. Rylderin opted to do the carrying, since they were the only person in the room that was actually larger than the unicorn itself. Thankfully, the unicorn was very light for its size.
Ermie left the room first. As he crossed the threshold, though, he found that all of his belongings immediately disappeared from his person. Completely naked, he looked back into the room and saw them all piled up in its center. Having now completely lost his patience with this terrible funhouse, Ermie continued down the hallway buck naked. With Clinks accompanying him, his intention was to solve the riddle of the room with the wizard statue in it. He thought that maybe this would unlock the ability to get his belongings back.
For their part, Rylderin and Zherxus experimented with the room for a bit. They quickly realized that they could heave all their belongings out of the room and then follow them out. Zherxus did so, then stayed outside the room. Rylderin then put down the statue near the door to the room and pushed it out. Once Rylderin’s hand breached the plane of the doorway, though, the statue teleported back to the center of the room (along with all of Rylderin’s stuff). They tried again, this time with Rylderin only pushing the unicorn a bit into the doorway – and with Zherxus pulling it out from the other side. Success!
After that, it was a simple matter to get all of Rylderin’s and Ermie’s belongings out of the room, for Rylderin to get dressed, and for them to bring the unicorn and Ermie’s things back to him.
Back in the room with the statue of the wizard, Ermie was reciting the riddle they’d pieced together from the various rooms in the Blue Alley. Once Zherxus arrived as well, the two worked at rearranging the words of it to find the right combination. Finally, they tried:
What might and strength cannot get through, this tool with a soft touch can do.
As soon as that was said, the statue boomed, “Why, a key of course!”… and a wand appeared at its feet.
The party soon made their way out of the alley, their prize intact and all their clothing once more on them. They arrived home at about three in the morning. One of them muttered that if someone was there banging on the door, they’d have to kill the person.
There was no one banging on the door… but the companions did find an unexpected note in their tap room. Whomever delivered it had left no signs of how they’d entered and exited. The note read thus:
The party’s reaction was to be decidedly unimpressed. Overall, they found the note to be annoying, thought the writer sounded like an ass, and given how much they had going on in their lives they were disinclined to care in the slightest. The note was crumpled up and thrown in the corner.
After a moment of thought, though, Zherxus picked up the note, uncrumpled it, and wrote in the margins, “We’re really busy right now. Come back on the 9th.” He then left it on the table where they’d found it. Then they all went to bed.
That morning, after waking up, Zherxus found a reply of, “Done!” scrawled on the note, still in the same place they’d found it.
A bit into the morning, there was a knocking at the door… but for once, it was the side door to the house, on the south side in the kitchen.
Clinks answered the door and found the visitor to be one of the silvery-masked men that had been acting as servants to Lady Boguescu. He seemed very eager to get off the street and not be seen, and asked to speak to Zherxus. Clinks let him in.
Hans identified himself to Zherxus as a fellow worshiper of Meriadar, showing a small wooden figure he’d been inspired to carve. The little figurine looked remarkably like Zherxus. Hans then showed himself to be a mongrelman, one of races that most worshiped Meriadar.
While Hans spoke, he at various points seemed surprised at some of the gaps in Zherxus’ knowledge on mongrelfolk and on Meriadar itself – issues that Zherxus papered over as best he could. The education of a priest of Meriadar in the hill-goblin clans tended to have holes in it.
Hans was able to fill in a lot of information about the people living in the priory. Lady Boguescu, he told them, was not a full-fledged vampire, but instead was a vampire spawn. He seemed firmly of the opinion that the lady could still be saved from becoming a full monster… he also felt strongly that, at least currently, she was pretty terrible at being a vampire.
Hans also explained that the real powers behind the lady were Lazlo and his sister Miruna. The former was, using funds they had stolen and brought from their old home in Barovia, working to build up a loan sharking operation. Lazlo planned to use the Lady’s powers to further his ambition, and was working towards bending her to be more predatory. He was slowly having success.
Hans impressed on Zherxus how Meriadar redeems monsters, and that this was his job as a priest. Zherxus disagreed with this characterization in a couple different ways, but did take notice when Hans mentioned that there was a temple of Meriadar in the Field Ward, run by another goblin priest.
After sending Hans off, the crew prepared themselves to return the Celestine Unicorn back the man that had hired them to retrieve it – Mirt. He had given them the address of his mansion in the Sea Ward, when they’d taken the task, so all that remained was the delivery.
Since the statue was larger than both Zherxus and Ermie, and since Clinks wanted nothing to do with anything about the Blue Alley, Rylderin ended up carrying it. As they emerged into the street, Rylderin heard a melodious voice in their head.
“Hello. I am the Celestine Unicorn, and I have been trapped in this form now for many years. Please do not bring me back to Mirt! He will lock me back in his collection, and it might be decades before I come close to freedom again.”
Rylderin cringed, then hung their head. Their payday was getting complicated. “Uhhh… you’re an actual unicorn?”
The unicorn explained that it had been transformed into this form by a foul sorcerer many years ago, and wished nothing more than to be freed and brought back to the High Forest, where it had originally lived.
“Can you, uh, reward us? We were going to get paid here…” Rylderin thought despairingly.
“No, I’m sorry… I do not possess any worldly goods. Perhaps my elven friends in the High Forest could repay you… yes, I’m sure they could.”
While this mental conversation continued, the other members of the crew were watching Rylderin – who, after emerging from Trollskull Manor carrying the unicorn, had slumped down despondently at the curb.
“Rylderin?” asked Zherxus.
“Did it enchant her?” asked Ermie?
“It’s… it’s actually a real unicorn, trapped in the statue,” said Rylderin. “We… oh.” She noticed the look on Ermie’s face as she said this. “We are going to free it and not turn it in, now that I’ve said that, right?”
“No way!” shouted Zherxus. “Unicorns eat goblins!”
“I don’t think that’s true,” said Rylderin. “They’re very good and nice.”
“I don’t think they’re actually evil, besides their dietary preferences,” Zherxus conceded.
The crew hustled the statue inside and, collecting Clinks, discussed things. They knew Mirt was not a person to be crossed lightly, and they had already been seen on the street. So Ermie created the illusion of a unicorn statue, and the party (again, save Clinks) emerged onto the street, talking loudly about how they would now return this statue to Mirt.
Inside, Clinks sat with the statue, meditating.
After a short time, Clinks reached out to the statue and touched it. With that, it was able to communicate with them; Clinks, not limited by their inability to speak in anything other than mimicry, was able to communicate more easily.
The statue indicated that it very much wanted to be freed at soon as possible.
“How could we do that?” asked Clinks.
“Smashing the statue would do that.”
“Would you like me to do that now?”
“Oh, yes, please!”
Something about the tone, the desperate nature of that last response made Clinks pause for a second… as much as the statue’s prisoner might want to legitimately get out, something felt… off.
Clinks began to question the statue’s prisoner more thoroughly about its story. The melodious voice answered patiently, still very much wanting to be free, but also being very understanding of Clinks’ caution.
Meanwhile, the rest of the crew moved on through the streets towards Mirt’s house. After ducking down an alley – and staying there for a minute- they came back out the way they came in, now loudly protesting at the drubbing they had received from a bunch of elves that had shown up out of nowhere. Ermie had let his illusion drop, and they all headed back to Trollskull Manor.
Upon their arrival, they excitedly told Clinks about their ruse. Clinks, in return, shared their reservations about the statue. After some more discussion, they all decided that the best course of action was going to be to get an expert opinion on the statue. After a relatively quick trip by some of them down to Phaulkonmere, they returned with Melannor Fellbranch, who after a spell and an examination of the statue, declared that it was indeed definitely not a unicorn trapped in there, but instead a fiend of some sort.
As Melannor left, the team looked at each other, thinking about what might have happened if they’d freed the statue’s prisoner.
“It’s voice was VERY MELODIOUS!” Rylderin protested plaintively.
They resolved to bring the statue directly to Mirt now. This time they wrapped it carefully in a cloak, but as soon as Rylderin picked it up, the statue began to communicate with her again.
“Oh no please don’t bring me back to Mirt, I don’t want to go, please don’t leave me… “
“GAH!” yelled Rylderin, yanking their hand away from it. “I can’t do this!”
Clinks took the statue instead, and the presence in it began to beg them instead. After Clinks indicated that they were bringing it back to Mirt, the melodious begging turned instantly to a horrific stream of curses delivered in Abyssal by a growling, hoarse voice. Clinks laughed and filed these sounds away for later use.
Upon arriving at Mirt’s house, – a grand but somewhat run-down affair in the Sea Ward – they were let in and sat with Mirt.
“Great job!” he proclaimed. “Did it try to temp you with that whole, ‘I’m a unicorn,’ business? Hah!”
“Uh, sure, but we didn’t believe it, of course,” muttered Rylderin.