Eleint 26: The (“Party”) visits the Dagger’s Rest inn and talks with Esvele Kettlesmith, a young servant who works in the kitchen in the manor of House Anteos (one of Waterdeep’s noble families). Escele tells them his brother Torst was the linkboy and personal manservant of their common master, Lord Korras Anteos.
Torst had told Esvele that he had gone with Lord Anteos several times to the Purple Lady festhall; from there, they had gone to the labnyrinthine sewers running under Waterdeep and had eventually reached “an underground town”, where Lord Anteos had him wait alone while he conducted his business.
But five days ago, the morning after one of these outings, Torst was nowehere to be seen; Lord Anteos claimed they had come back together the night before as usual, and had no idea what happened to him. The City Watch was informed, but they brushed it off: the current theory is that Torst has simply “run away”. Being a lowly servant, nobody is really looking into his disappearance.
The (“Party”) forms a plan: they’ll infiltrate House Anteos from within, with Selsior playing the part of Lord Korras’ new linkboy while the rest of the group investigates the festhall. They divide the group in two, and decide to reconvene at the Purple Lady at supper time.
Selsior, Dame Corlinn, Silver Fang and Vi walk to House Anteos’ manor, but in the way they find a commotion in the streets: a wagon driven by a gnome has broken down and the owlbear that was caged inside is roaming free! To complicate matters, when the crowd runs around them, Vi notices she’s been robbed: a young thief has cut the string of her Bag of Holding and run away with it!
Vi runs after the thief while the rest of the group quickly dispatches the owlbear and joins the chase. They twist and turn around Waterdeep’s alleyways, running into several people — including an old woman carrying a crate of chickens. Eventually they corner the thief, who surrenders to them and gives the Bag back. But a quick check reveals that something is wrong: the jar containing Daggy’s beard has been replaced with a fake!
The thief confesses an old lady calling herself Nana Pamyla (matching the description of the chicken-carrying lady they stumbled upon before) hired him to steal the Bag, ensure the (“Party”) gave chase, then pass on the Bag to her during the escape. The woman took out the jar (showing she knew exactly what she was looking for), replaced it with the fake, and urged the thief to keep running. He also tells the group he’s a recent inductee of the Xanathar Thieves’ Guild, and that he took the job without informing his Guild masters in order to not having to give them a cut — something that is sure to cause him problems if they found out.
The group lets the thief go and goes back to try to find this Nana Pamyla character, but she’s gone — and she’s taking the beard with her. They also suspect the gnome who was carrying the owlbear in his wagon is part of this, but the City Watch takes him for questioning before they can interrogate him. They also check with Preslee, who has no idea who the old lady is, but confirms there is supposed to be at least one town under the surface of Waterdeep, probably under Mount Waterdeep itself: Downshadow, a lawless place where outcasts dwell. Afterwards, they resume their plan and visit House Anteos, where Selsior is introduced to his new master…
Meanwhile, Therenden, Silamen and Puddleduck visit The Mount Waterdeep Crier, publishers of a chapbook written by Timox Herden about how to transfer the werewolf curse from one host body to another. The publishing company’s owner gives them Timox’s address, and they visit him immediately. He tells them his story: like Dame Corlinn, he was an adventurer who was bitten by a werewolf. He was cursed for over three months, and during that time they experimented with several cures, which only offered temporary respite. One day, they fought a were-bear and in the skirmish Timox turned into his hybrid werewolf form and bit his enemy.
To their surprise, Timox felt the werewolf curse leave his body — all of it — and enter the were-bear. The effects were immediate: Timox was debilitated and almost fainted, while his enemy grew more powerful and fierce; so much that he killed two of his comrades. But a few moments later the were-bear clutched his chest, howled in agony, transformed back into his human form, and fell dead on the ground. This was five years ago, and Timox hasn’t had any “werewolf episodes” since.
Pondering this information, the group visits the Church of Selûne at the House of the Moon. There, the Priestess of the High Moonlight Naneatha Suaril acknowledges that she’s read Timox’s story but doesn’t know whether it’s true or not, and is not interested in finding out — at the House of the Moon they’re not interested in undoing “the Goddess’ gift”, only in fighting against those who would use it for evil.
After all these investigations, the (“Party”) converges in the Purple Lady festhall. It’s a classier establishment than the Smiling Siren, with a powerful draconic iconography (such as the red dragon statue in the entrance hall, breathing illusory fire on the incoming guests). Different (“Party”) members do different things: Puddleduck plays for a while in the Minstrel’s room, and in her breaks asks the staff about the club; Silver Fang and Silamen try to infiltrate the building through the sewers; Selsior and Vi wait to be called in the servants’ room; Therenden snoops around while invisible; and Dame Corlinn walks in as a guest, staying close to Lord Korras Anteos. She is dismayed to see her sister, Cymril, is also in the festhall along with his husband, Tristell Rottenham.
Eventually Lord Anteos calls Selsior and goes to his room in the second floor, where Therenden sees them enter a secret room with a spiral staircase descending into the bowels of the club. While Puddleduck joins Silver Fang and Silamen in the sewers, Dame Corlinn and Vi (posing as her servant) try to go to the second floor together, but are stopped by a bouncer. But then, Cymril appears and vouches for them. They all go upstairs and Cymril cryptically tells them “this is as far as I’ve ever followed him. You have more chances of success than I do; we’ll talk about it later. Go!”
Dame Corlinn, Vi and Therenden descend the secret staircase and are stopped by two guards, but they bluff their way through claiming “they are with Lord Anteos”. They enter the sewers, where the whole group is finally together (except Selsior, still with Lord Anteos). They use Puddleduck’s magic to follow Selsior through the sewers — but are suddenly stopped by a gang of were-rats!
They prepare for a fight, but one of the were-rats tells the others to leave them alone. “It’s okay, guys… I’ve got this one!” When they leave, he reveals his real form: he’s Rasolk, the old partner of Qelline Alderleaf!
“Hello there, Vi. Long time no see.”