Dragon Heist – S11 Recap – The Skeleton Parade

Ches 8, midmorning

After returning the Celestine Unicorn to Mirt, the companions returned to Trollskull Manor. They then went over to Rishal’s bookshop, Book Wyrm’s Treasure, and asked if he could identify magic items. They had found a couple while in the Blue Alley.

Rishal indeed could, and was happy to work out a deal with them. Rishal loved adventurers, and loved living vicariously through them in hearing about their exploits. He offered to do half-price Identify spells for them in return for them supplying him with tales of their exploits. The party was more than happy to agree.

After Rishal completed his spells, he told the companions of the items they had brought him. One was a magical injector, filled with a magical ink. When applied to someone’s arm, it would create a tattoo on them that would assist their unarmed attacks; the party immediately agreed that this should go to Clinks. The other was a magical doll that could be programmed with up to six things it could say, each one prompted buy certain circumstances. Zherxus was happy to grab that one.

Once back home, Zherxus programmed the doll and set it up near the front door. Anyone knocking would get, “Please come back tomorrow.” Anyone knocking a second time would get, “Slide a message under the door.” Anyone saying, “Froon sucks” would get, “Come in come in.” And so on.

Somewhere around this time, Babe received word that his band’s gig at the Yawning Portal would need to be postponed to the next day – the whole first floor of the Portal had been rented out on short notice for a private party.

Around that time, the foreman of the construction crews working on renovating the upstairs of Trollskull Manor came by. “Hey. So, you should know, we opened up a wall in one of the rooms up there, and skeletons starting coming out of the walls. My boys are headed to the bar across the street until you get that sorted out, ok?”

The crew headed out from the taproom and around the building to the stairs leading up to the private quarters. As they arrived, the workers were coming out of the building. One or two of the younger ones were babbling and had wide eyes. The older hands were laughing at them and pointing towards Frewn’s Brews, where they were all headed.

When the party arrived upstairs, they found that in one of the bedrooms, where the workers had broken open a wall, there was a large, well-stacked pile of bones. The bones were currently pulling themselves out of the walls and assembling themselves into humanoid skeletons. The party tried to interact with them in various ways, but received no response. Once all the skeletons were out of the wall – the room was quite full of them at this point – they assembled into a line and started to march out of the room.

Thinking quickly that maybe they were a cleaning crew, Zherxus grabbed a broom and handed it to the first in line. It took the broom, but then held it up in the air like a banner, and the skeletons headed downstairs to the door that exited the apartments and led to the street.

The party followed them downstairs, and found the skeletons at the door exiting the living area, lining up as close together as they could. Then as if on signal, the lead skeleton threw open the door and they all raced down the stairs and around the corner as fast as they could.

Ermie raced to get ahead of the skeletons as they moved, and noticed as he did so that parts of the skeletons were falling off as they ran. He theorized that, outside the house, the building’s energy was unable to keep them coherently animated. He bolted ahead and threw open the front door of the tap room just ahead of the jogging horde.

The skeletons continued into the building at full pace, headed straight behind the bar, and began to lower themselves down into the ale cellar.

The party followed them down and found that the skeletons were disassembling themselves into the same neat piles they’d been stacked into inside the wall. The party took a couple tries at communicating with Lif. The skeleton of the former owner hopped down from his usual perch on one of the staved-in casks and tried to communicate with them via drawings on the floor. When that failed, Ermie thought to reach out a hand to Lif. Lif took his hand and, with Ermie’s eyes rolling up into the back of his head, began to speak through Ermie.

In a brief conversation, Lif expressed that the house was pleased with what the company had done to improve it. When they asked what else the house wanted, Lif expressed that the house would like to see patrons again. They floated that they wanted to make it into a private club, and Lif was pleased.

With the skeleton issue resolved, Rylderin went over to Frewn’s to let the workers know it was all clear. Frewn eyed Rylderin, and Rylderin eyed him back.

“I need to pay for the tab for these guys,” Rylderin said pugnaciously.

“No you don’t. It’s on the house,” Frewn growled back.

“I – uh. What?” blinked Rylderin.

Frewn looked uncomfortable. “You heard me. It’s on the house.”

Rylderin blinked some more. “Ok, then. Thank you?” Rylderin then, somewhat puzzled, headed back to Trollskull Manor with the workers.

Soon after that, Renaer showed up at the door to invite them all out for an night of carousing that night. They were happy to say yes, having wanted to catch up with Renaer anyway.

A bit after Renaer left, the urchins showed up. They told Clinks that there was something funny going on in the Field Ward, and people were getting hurt. Clinks plied them for more information, and they told him that a lot of people up in one area of the ward were having horrible nightmares, and some were being left in a vegetative state by them.

Clinks pressed them for the name of someone in that state; after conferring, Squiddly nodded his head and said, “Yellow Bill. He was a fearsome mean man, and now he just stares at the walls in his house.”

Rylderin, who had ducked out to buy some new – and extremely nice – gloves came back. The companions filled them in, and they all departed to the Field Ward to go find Yellow Bill.

The abode of Yellow Bill was apparently deep within a warren of the shanty town’s alleys. Clinks, after some spirited dickering with a local kenku, got the avian to lead them to it.

It was easy to see that Yellow Bill’s abode wasn’t being kept up – the kitchen had a layer of mold and filth that said nothing had been cleaned in many days. They found Bill in his bedroom, huddled with his arms around his legs, staring at the wall and muttering unintelligibly. Zherxus had prepared the Suppress Emotion spell, and cast it on the man. His terror dropped away, and they were able to ask him a few questions. He told them of an overwhelming fear, but without details that would help them find the cause. With a few more questions, though, they were able to discern that whatever had scared him so had happened after he went by a small stall in the nearby Winding Stair market. Then the spell ended and the man descended back into his own private hell.

GM’s Notes:

  • Clinks’ new tattoo is the Eldrich Claw Tattoo, from Tasha’s. Great monk item.
  • In case it’s not clear, Trollskull Manor is divided into two sections – the taproom on the first floor has one entrance, and the private rooms on the second and third floors have another that you can access from street-level, around the side of the house.
  • Frewn paid for the round because he was grateful that Clinks had saved him from choking on food at the Priory party. Him and Rylderin having an awkward moment was delightful.

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