After checking in at the Golden Eel inn, the inn Chiwyll used as his home base in Everlund during the past winter (after he sold his father’s estate there), the group meets Grimshaw, working the evening shift at the inn as bartender. He is a young half elf with a strong foreign accent that Chiwyll befriended a few months back while carousing around.
The group discuss the situation and their choices, and after Grimshaw finishes his shift, he joins them for a few late drinks, while Grimshaw informs Chiwyll that Danaria, one of the younger sister owning a tavern on the other side of the town has been looking for him after he left at the beginning of the month. It becomes clear that Chiwyll had an affair with her this past winter.
Later in the night, after everyone has had a chance to dust off with hot baths, rent rooms, have diner and a few drinks (all paid by Chiwyll), Chiwyll and Grimshaw head over to that tavern to see if they can gather more information about the regent and the estate of the merchant, while the remaining members of the group decide to scout the estate at night to see if they can message Chloe and scout the place with Nevermore.
They find out that Chloe is now in the same room as Satine, both prisoners in that room, and Satine has been badly mistreated and raped. Communicating with Amitreene thanks to the message cantrip, they open the window of their room to allow Nevermore to do a cure wound spell on Satine, and also tell them that they are working on a plan to get them out the next day. The raven scouts around the estate, revealing that men-at-arms/mercenaries types have taking over the upper floor, being transformed in barracks, while the room where Satine and Chloe are held has a balcony overlooking the back of the house. In the rotunda, two guards seem to loosely stand watch, with a 360 degrees view over the estate and its roof. Another guard watches the balcony itself, from inside the upper hall on the second floor.
in the meantime, Chiwyll and Grimshaw are gathering information at Myrklin’s Sorrow tavern and the Stag at Bay, and find out that Bolen, the current regent, seemed to have been a mercenary looking to work specifically for Cuslan Beregond last year. They also learn that Cuslan has hired mercenaries every years for the past few years, and started to get a bad rep as none of the mercenary hired by him were ever seen again (except Bolen).
Regrouping for a few late drink, the group discuss and devise a plan of action for the next night, and them head out to bed after such a long day.
The next day, everyone work on their class training except for Grimshaw and Amitreene. Grimshaw rally his contacts in town to organize a mob support for their planned action tonight, while Amitreene heads out again near the estate to communicate with Chloe, making sure all is ok with them. Re-assured that at least Chloe and Satine are fed and still in their room, Amitreene sees two mercenaries entering the estate after showing something to those inside. The local contacts of Grimshaw have started watching the estate too, and report the same thing plus the fact that four servants (including the butler) seem to check in at the estate around 9am.
The day goes by, and the heavy cloud cover that was leading to the short sporadic bursts of heavy rains that have plagued the last ten-days in the area have started to lift. The sun re-appears again for hours at a time. The characters enjoy the comfort of the Golden Eel inn, and the care with which its innkeeper, the gnome Pallabar Fapplestamp, adresses its customers’ needs. The inn has a dummy practice room, as well as private booths for eating or drinking on top of the fancily decorated large common room and the well stocked bar. The mattresses are very clean and soft, beds have silk sheets, and each room has modern amenities like piss pots that empty themselves from the bottom when you pull a lever. This inn definitely matches what Chiwyll had said, and more.
After Grimshaw and Amitreene come back from their daily errand, they all regroup around diner and light drinks before going out again around 2am. The darkvision scrolls taken from Leejen are used on Juniper and Joren, while two friends of Grimshaw join the group with a lantern and non-descript outfits. Joren casts a ritual invocation of an unseen servant, and two 50’ ropes are being carried along.
The group minus Chiwyll, Grimshaw and his two acolytes approach the outer wall of the estate, located on a top of a small cliff overlooking the Rauvin river. The others are waiting down the hill for the raven to let them know when to start their distractions.
Baelfye and Amitreene, and Joren and Juniper, each looking like two couples, casually out for a late stroll after having fun in the local taverns, make sure that the street is clear. But Amitreene and Juniper both notice men standing in the shadows on the other side of the street from the estate. Unsure about what is going on, they decide to continue on, casually strolling by the main gate, and noticing lights still on in the mansion as well as two guards watching them from the rotunda on the top of the roof.
Returning by another way at the bottom of the hill where Grimshaw and Chiwyll are waiting, Grimshaw inform them that those guys hiding are likely part of the crew he worked all day to gather in case they need some more help. Reassured, the group heads back up and this time enter the brushes near the outer wall of the estate where they hid last night to communicate with Chloe and check on the girls. Amitreene start using her message cantrip to coordinate the action, while Joren uses his unseen servant to attach a rope above the wall, and use the raven to scout the estate again. Juniper and Baelfyre stealthily climb over the outer wall and enter the perimeter up to the closest corner of the house. Joren commands his unseen servant to attach the second rope on the top of the roof, and then send his raven to trigger Grimshaw and Chiwyll’s distraction while Baelfyre easily climbs up on the roof, his cloak of elvenkind shimmering patterns obscuring him from the casual watch of the guards in the rotunda, despite a light cloud cover and a waxing gibbous moon.
As they are heading uphill, Grimshaw empties a bottle of strong liquor over chiwyll and the two others men, all of them faking drunkedness and loudly singing, to call attention to themselves in the middle of the cobblestone street. When they arrive near the main gate of the estate, they use their fake drunkedness to approach it, and with a swift sleight of hand Grimshaw unlocks it and push the gate inside, entering the compound and yelling about a money debt that Bolen owes him. As the distraction takes hold, Juniper and Baelfyre move along the border of the house toward the back to reach the balcony where the girls’ room is. Joren’s raven spot the guard in the hall leaving his spot to check the front door, while two other men-at-arms come out from the main door to confront the drunkards.
Baelfyre had taken the rope he used to climb with him, and attach it so that Juniper can climb to the balcony. They both acrobatically and silently get to the balcony, while the kids open their window, prompted by Amitreene. Helped by a Guidance spell granted via Joren’s raven, Satine manages to climb down on her own, while Juniper carries Chloe on her back. Baelfyre misses the rope in his haste to go down, and fall flat on the ground, but quickly catches up to Juniper. Joren moves the other rope farther on the wall, to help them climb back over the wall.
In the meantime, the drunkard scene is playing out and the two guards at the front door are confused a bit. Attempting to push their way in the main door, Grimshaw misses a step and ends up being pushed back, while a mastiff starts barking at the commotion from the side. In the meantime Chiwyll nearly pushes the other man inside and grapples him. Alarmed by a deception that now seem to have run its course, weapons are drawn while Grimshaw yell “Rochambeau”, a signal that calls upon his friends hidden on the other side of the street. At the same time he attempts to slide a big piece of fresh meat he had borrowed from the inn into the breaches of the man facing him, but fails to do so.
The man takes a swing at Grimshaw drawing blood, while Chiwyll back up from the door, sword drawn. A dozen men converge in the compound from outside, leading the mercenaries to retreat and close the main door of the mansion behind them, while obviousy alarm is being raised inside.
In the meantime, Juniper uses her ki to easily jump on the top of the wall and from there, run over the narrow edge carrying Chloe, then jumps down on the other side of the outer wlall, where Joren has been directing his raven and unseen servant from. Baelfyre, a little bit slower and helping Satine, joins them two rounds later, while all the guards attention stay focused at the front door. There Grimshaw organizes a prudent retreat, shield drawn, as arrows from the rotunda starts flying around, and mercenaries start taking position behind the windows of the first floor. Amitreene adds to the deception by calling upon Chiwyll and throwing an orb of fire at the gate, melting some of it and adding to the confusion.
With everyone out safely, and their extraction maneuver done with one minute of time, and with the mercenaries locked up in defense in the compound, they quickly and safely retreat and disperse and return to the Golden Eel with the two girls, now freed.
The group decides there to take a long rest until mid-day on the 28th of Ches. In the morning, Amitreene skips out around 9am, having mostly rested the day before as she did not train. Around noon, as Grimshaw checks on his sources before heading back to the Golden Eel, he learns a few thing that worries him and bring the news to the group as they are starting their lunch:
“_Have ye heard of the [whispers] Black Network…the Zhentarim?
Apparently, tha dead man and his friends….they are part of that group. I dinnae much about them, but a lot of me friends are actin’ all wierd-like. Distancin’ themselves. An I heard tell that there have been folks askin’ around this mornin’ about a gang of folk roughly matchin’ our description. They asked about a young noble with the symbol of the morninglord, probably accompanied by two elves, a human gal scantily clad, another lad and an a strikingly handsome half elf with an sophisticated accent. I dinnae if my old “friends” have given up anythin’ about us, but I have a real bad feelin’ about this.
Also, all of the servants were fired this mornin. One of me good mates talked to ‘em and it looks like they got a priestly type just arrived. Wearing a symbol of a black hand with thumb and fingers touchin’, if that makes any point to you
He also said that it seems tha’ they’ve upped security at the place a good bit. Lotsa archers on the roof now, and they may be cuttin’ back the hedges.
I’ve already told me mom to vacate and lay low fer a bit. But we need to get scarce._"
A lunch goes by, Amitreene is nowhere to be seen. They check her room and her bow is still there. The group decides to rent a suite on the third floor of the inn rather than stay in separate rooms, and they quickly goes up there to hunker down. The inn is still quiet. Grimshaw decides to take his shift at the bar at 2pm, hoping to see Amitreene as soon as she comes back as well as any unusual characters. He also instructs the staff at the inn to be quiet about him and his friends, with the blessings of the innkeepr Pallabar Fapplestamp.
As usual, the earliest revelers come in, between 2 and 3pm, ordering their food and light drinks, taking up tables. Shortly before 4pm, as more customers start coming in, two men immediately attract Grimshaw’s attention. They are obviously not nobles, sporting worn leather armor and short sword at their hip. One of them he recognizes immediately. He is the guy that Chiwyll grappled at the front door of the estate early this morning.
They seem to do a quick look around at all the tables, then head to an open table for two at the corner of the room, closest to the entrance, sit there then wave to the closest waitress. For now, their attention seem to be focused on the patrons and making themselves the less conspicuous as possible.
Grimshaw discretely heads to the kitchen, and inform Pallabar, who agrees to take his shift behind the bar, asking only that he does not bring any trouble to the inn or its patrons. Grimshaw sends a waitress to the suite with refreshments and a message about the presence of the two men in the common room.
Amitreene still not being back, they ponder a few options, and then shortly before 5pm, Amitreene enters into the kitchen, following Pallabar. She has been out all day, and returns to learn about the situation, quickly ushered in the backroom by the innkeeper. Grimshaw and Amitreene, using the staff services access, heads up to the Suite. meanwhile, in the common room, the two men have started paying drinks to some of the noble there, and at least one of those seemed to have indicated the bar. A waitress confirms they are talking to the patrons, looking for more information about Grimshaw, as both Grimshaw and Chiwyll have been carousing last winter with some of them.
Grimshaw proposes a plan to lose their tail and provide false clues to the two men. The group acquiesces and preparations are made, including cutting the hair of Satine and dressing her up as a young boy, making Juniper wear local wool cloths rather than the rather foreign looking clothes she has been wearing so far, and Chiwyll hide his holy symbol and leave behind the shield with the sigil of his father’s noble house. Chloe will be hiding in Baelfyre backpack that Juniper is going to carry, a plan she practices with a lot of glee.
Then Grimshaw heads out of the suite, shortly followed by Amitreene. They are going to lead one or both of the men looking for them across the city and plant false leads, while the remaining of the group will leave as soon as both men have left the inn. 15mn or so after Grimshaw and Amitreene left the inn, a waitress inform them that the last man has left the inn.
The remaining of the group get the horses, and leave the inn, heading toward the Silverymoon. They pass the gate shortly before sunset, and the guard there inform them about a sighting of a cloud castle the day before, West from Everlund, in the direction of the Evermor. They are getting everyone in for the night, and the council has ordered to close the gates for the night. The group heads out, paying attention if they are followed or not, but they do not seem to be. A few minutes after leaving Everlund, as night falls, Baelfyre guide them to the rendez-vous point convened with Grimshaw, a local lake up in the hills used by the Everlund locals to swim.
In the meantime, Grimshaw and Amitreene leaving the inn spot one of the men starting to follow them, and they lead him across the town, first toward the caravan grounds in the South West of the city, then across the town again, various shop, until they hit the Bent Bow shop, the last stop to lose their tail, if still after them, and change directions. Despite a short discussion with Grimsahw’s wood elven cousin, a bowyer at that shop, the distraction seems to have worked, as they both reach the Silverymoon gate after nightfall, a few minutes before the soldiers close it for the night. Grimshaw leads Amitreene to the rendez-vous point, where they take extra precautions to approach the small campfire that the remaining of the group has set up waiting for them to arrive.