(Thanks to Hana for writing it up!)
When last we left off, it had been 24 hours since the rest of the party had seen Dahlia. The party had just met with Sabato and received the deed to an inn/bar between Market Street and Church Street called “ The Secret Tunnel.” It’s early morning when the deed is delivered to them, along with the money from their last job, and Dahlia walks into the tavern where the party is gathered as Sabato is leaving. Lily has gone up to the bartender to ask whether he’s seen their tabaxi friend, and he points over her shoulder as Dahlia enters the tavern at that exact moment. Launching herself at her friend with a cry of “Dahlia!” Lily proceeds to ask a lot of questions and tell Dahlia all about their adventures all at once, which is overwhelming to the poor tabaxi who looks pretty exhausted.
The group reunites at a table, with Lily ordering 3 bottles of fine wine (costing 10 GP each) and the other five party members explain what’s been happening in the last 24 hours to Dahlia. They then ask where she’s been, and she explains that she heard someone singing an interesting song outside her window yesterday morning and followed it. It turned out to be one of her kinfolk (that is, another tabaxi) named Celeste who needed her help defeating a weird undead thing in the crypts below the graveyard of the city. Lily asks if Dahlia can sing the song for them, and she deflects, saying she’s forgotten it now. She holds up two rings and a gold torque, saying that she received these items as payment for her services. Lily is enamored with the rings, and Dahlia gives one with an aquamarine stone to her. Rose remembers that Dahlia was paid for the job they did as well, and Lily gives her the money. Dahlia says that the party can split some or all of the money from this job, or she can sell the remaining ring and torque and split the earnings between the party since she wasn’t there. Chief says he knows a guy who can fence the remaining valuables, and asks if they’re “hot” in any way. Dahlia responds that the owner has been dead for years, centuries, maybe even millennia, so she doesn’t think anyone will come looking for the valuables. Chief takes the valuables to be sold later.
The party tells Dahlia about the deed to the bar/tavern, and Ouss explains that all of them think it’s a trap in some way shape or form. Violante thinks it’s a political maneuver. The group decides they should check it out, since it belongs to them now. On the way to the new place, V slips into an alleyway and disguises herself to look like a real estate agent and walks up to the party as they near The Secret Tunnel, telling the party that Sabato sent her to show them around the place. However, she doesn’t have a key, so Chief opens the door with his Thieves Tools.
The building is a four-story building with a small tower as the fourth floor only accessible by an access point in the roof of the third floor. The party starts to investigate the place, with the real estate agent following behind and offering to answer any questions they might have. Inside, the bar is a mess, with broken boards and dusty furniture everywhere that will need to be replaced. There is a well-made bar area that seems to be the best quality. Ouss flies to the top of the tower, discovering that he can access it from a window outside as well as the pull-down ladder. Dahlia casts Detect Magic as a ritual spell and discovers that one large keg near the bar area is magical. Ouss pours a golden lager for himself out of the keg, and sits next to it for an hour to try and discern the exact magical properties. After an hour, he realizes that the keg never runs dry of Golden Lager, and that the beer is actually quite delicious. This is great news to Ouss. Chief, meanwhile, investigates the cellar and finds a hidden door that leads to a tunnel. The “real estate” agent casts Unseen Servant to help the party start cleaning the bar area. When Lilly walks up the stairs, an invisible hand trips her. She assumes this is V, since V disappeared from the group while they were walking to the bar.
Eventually, the party decides that they want to explore the tunnel, and the real estate agent “leaves.” V turns back into herself and stealthily follows the party into the tunnel, appearing at some point while they are well within the tunnel and explaining that she doesn’t want to be seen entering the tavern because she doesn’t want it associated with her. Lily asks V if she’s the one who tripped her up the stairs, and V says she wasn’t, which the party finds odd.
The party discovers that the tunnels branch in three directions. To the left, the tunnel leads to an entrance to the sewers, which is the very same sewer system most of the party was in not 24 hours before (it’s not exactly the same place but they can tell it’s the same system). Straight ahead the party comes to a door that when they push open leads into a mausoleum, in the same graveyard that Dahlia was in. It’s a hidden door that when closed looks like more vaults in the mausoleum. The path to the right leads to a tunnel that is caved in, and the party decides not to explore that further at this time. Satisfied with their explorations, the party returns to The Secret Tunnel’s bar room and decide to split up and meet back at their original tavern, since this bar will take a bit of work in order for it to be livable (if that’s what they decide they want to do).
Dahlia sleeps for a while, since she hasn’t rested in about 24 hours. Lily goes back to the druid shop and makes two healing potions, one for Rose (strawberry flavored) and one for Ouss (gin flavored). She also buys all manners of potions and Rose goes to the temple of Anrahd and talks to Father Warmmond about her vision in the sewers, where Anrahd told her to shelter the lost. She also explains that there seems to be a demonic or fiendish thread throughout their adventures thus far, and it seemed that the imp that Chief beheaded was in the chamber with the succubus, which is concerning. There also seems to be a theme relating to the Coveter. Father Warmmond tells Rose that it’s almost unheard of that Anrahd would speak directly to someone, and that he’s not sure how he can help her since he doesn’t have a lot of experience dealing with situations like this. She tells him that since he can’t offer advice that he can at least keep his ear to the ground and let her know if he hears of further instances like the F.I.R.E. cult and the succubus. When he hears about their new tavern, he offers to send people over to bless it, which Rose wholeheartedly agrees with. Chief visits his contact in the Quay, who gives Chief 150GP for the set of jewelry, and also lets him know that Vincent Vincenzo (a manager of the Fazzia that Chief works for) is looking for him. Chief visits Vincent, who is a bit put out that Chief has been doing jobs for Sabato. Chief tells Vincent the truth about the jobs and offers up information about the missing gems, Tore Como, and the new bar/tavern that he and the group own. Vincent asks to send folks from the family to take a look even though it’s not strictly within Fazzia territory, and Chief acquiesces. Vincent also says he’s very interested in the memory stone that will tell the location of the gem stash. He gives Chief 50GP to help fix up the tavern. V goes to visit her family and also check out City Hall to make sure no one has taken too strong of an interest in the fact that her real name is on the deed to the tavern. Ouss makes the tower of the tavern his place to stay and starts carving lots of wooden figurines in preparation for the festival in town that will happen in a week.
The group returns to their tavern at some point, and Chief gives Dahlia 125GP from the sale (keeping 25GP as his cut, which she’s okay with). She offers the 125 GP to the group to help fix up the tavern, and Chief gives the 50GP from his boss. With this, the group starts buying the necessary furniture and accessories for the tavern. Chief’s family members show up to inspect the place, and later on acolytes from the temple show up to bless the tavern. However, when this happens, pieces of wood float from the ground and fling themselves at the priests and the entire tavern starts to shake and rattle. They eventually give up and run out of the tavern. Lily informs the group that an invisible hand tripped her up the stairs, and the group surmises that the house is haunted after Rose channels her divine skills to sense the location of any undead in the area.
V goes to a shop next to the tavern that sells homegoods and asks about the history of the tavern. The shopkeep tells her that when the tavern was closed, the barkeep named Lif loved it so much that he demanded to be shut up in the tavern to die there. V takes this information, along with some pillow shams and doilies, back to the group. They place the doilies on the bar and start talking to Lif, trying to see if he’ll answer questions. The group notices the doilies shake and shimmer with a faint light when they ask him questions, and develop a system whereby one shake of the doilies means yes and tow shakes means no. Ouss starts carving an O and an X for a more permanent system as they ask him questions, eventually coming to discover that yes, he wants to stay in the tavern and no, his body doesn’t need to be laid to rest and yes, he’d like a job as the bartender of the tavern. Rose and Lif compromise on the blessing of the tavern and he agrees to let her bless the upper levels, keeping the bar area unblessed so he can move freely. Ouss asks if Lif can get him a lager, and Lif complies, so Ouss declares that he’s hired. He mounts the X and O above the bar so that Lif can more easily answer yes and no questions.
With the issue of the ghost figured out, the group turns to renaming the tavern. Several suggestions, such as Spirits and Specters and The Ghostly Garden are thrown about until they land on “The Spirit Garden,” combining Lily’s goal to turn the place into a veritable greenhouse with the things she purchased from the druid’s shop as well as the neat gimmick of having a ghostly bartender plus the pun of “spirit” having a dual meaning. With the name figured out and the tavern already looking in better shape due to the group’s efforts and the 175GP, they decide to continue fixing it up to try and have it ready for the festival in a few days.
V, meanwhile, visits Sabato’s wife with the intention of using what she believes is leverage over him to her own purposes. She quickly learns, however, that she has very little leverage over Sabato. However, her efforts intrigue the wife and V offers herself to the wife as an agent or contact, to utilize how she would wish. The wife tells V that she may have jobs for her in the future that could use her set of skills.
With several very different groups/factions interested in the bar, as well as the matter of the Memory Stone still up in the air, the party certainly has made a splash in Serenza. Only time will tell what will come next in their adventures. Next up, festival time!