Dunces & Flagons Recap 1: The Adventure Begins

Recently, my dear friends and I have decided to begin a Dungeons and Dragons (D&D) podcast called Dunces & Flagons (I know, clever right?). Now, we’ve played D&D in the past but it’s been largely stories and in worlds of my own making. This time for the sake of my sanity and time, I will be taking the three of them through a prepared campaign called Waterdeep: Dragon Heist. As such, I’ve elected to summarize the party’s adventures here for your reading pleasure.

Our adventure began with an introduction of our party members. We started with Torhild, played by Sam, who is a Half-Elf druid who sees himself as a researcher. Torhild (affectionately called “Tori” by our party) has dedicated his life to location a creature he’d seen in his youth that he calls the “Great Deer.” It led him to learning druidity, to mastering five languages and ultimately, to Waterdeep which is a sprawling metropolis in the northern part of the realm.

In his journey to Waterdeep, he came upon a wild man in the forest who introduced himself as simply “The Lizard King.” Although not the Great Deer, Tori became enthralled by the human man who believed himself to be the ruler of all lizards. A friendship formed and The Lizard King, played by Garrison, elected to join Tori in his pursuits as they made their way to Waterdeep.

In Waterdeep, they learned quickly that neither of them were adept to handle to chaos of the city with both of them being robbed and trampled in the first seven minutes of being there. After getting a drink at a local tavern, they were approached by a hooded elf who introduced himself as Rynn (played by Corbin). He then tossed a bag of coins onto the table, their gold. Rynn explained that if these two had any intention on making it through Waterdeep with their clothes still on their backs, then they’ll need someone like him for protection. Tori and The Lizard King were quick to agree and our duo became a trio.

Weeks later, they three were enjoying a tankard at their favorite tavern when a fight broke out between a human man and half-orc female. They elected to distance themselves from the fight until a troll emerged from beneath the floorboards. The troll brought with it five hostile birds, one of which attacked Tori. The Lizard King retaliated by casting a spell and sending a metal tankard through the birds face. The group returned to their table and let the battle with the troll play out amongst the other regulars of the tavern.

After the beast was slain, they were approached by an eclectically dressed dwarf who introduced him as Volokamp. Volo, as he became known, was impressed with the party’s poise during the fight and offered them 10 gold dragons each to find his missing assistant, Floon. The dwarf promised to pay them 100 each upon successfully finding Floon. During the negotiation, Rynn pickpocked three gold dragons from the dwarf’s pocket.

After accepting the terms, Volo tried to pay the party members their share and was alarmed to discover he only had seven dragons to pay Rynn. To make up the difference, Rynn demanded the dwarf’s hat which Volo informed him was his father’s hat and the last momento he had of the man. Rynn took the hat anyway and promptly threw it into the gutter after they left the tavern.

Floon was last seen in the Docks Ward and the party found the ward to be barren and run down. They came upon a peculiar building called Old Xoblob’s Shop. They entered and found a gnome dressed in purple robes perched atop a purple table decorated with purple blanket and smoking a purple pipe that emitted purple clouds. They asked the gnome if he’d seen anything that resembled a kidnapping and the gnome said he had not. They tried intimidating the gnome by destroying his shop and soon they were enveloped by smoke and deafened by a horrid ringing. During the commotion, each of them was hit by a dart and slashed. After their sight and hearing was restored, the gnome asked for them to leave and they reluctantly obliged.

The Lizard King then cast an illusion spell that gave him the appearance of an old, fat man. He entered the store under to pretext that he was shopping for a gift for his niece. To charm the gnome, he asked to try some of what the gnome was smoking which he learned was a type of lavender. The Lizard King got incredibly high and was unable to extract any additional information out of the gnome.

The group decided to wait until nightfall. A group of drunkards came upon them and attempted to mug Tori. In response, Tori cast earth shatter, stunning the men as Rynn and The Lizard King emerged from the shadow. They stabbed one, severely concussed another and kicked out the teeth of a third in search of information, getting none.

The party made for the tavern in which Floon was last seen and learned that after Volo had gone home, Floon continued drinking with a “princely looking fellow.” When the two of them left, they were followed by six men who had black wings tattooed on their necks. The group went outside and found a warehouse with a similar set of wings on it.

They opened the door to be greeted by four Kenku, anthropomorphic birds wielding swords and bows. Once again, Tori tried to cast Earth shatter but failed, instead taking an arrow to the chest. Rynn tried to thrown a dagger at the Kenku missed and also took an arrow. The Lizard King the magically flung a dagger at one of the charging Kenku, killing it instantly.

In the ensuing scuffle, Tori managed to hit one of the Kenku with his ax while The Lizard King tackled another to the ground. The party repeatedly tried to get the birds to surrender only to have the birds repeat what they were saying. The Lizard King issued his final warning and the birds dropped their weapons. Around the room were several dead bodies, some had tattoos of black wings while others had tattoos of eyes. They ask the Kenku what happened and instead got the Kenku’s repeating a conversation between the men in which they took Renaer into the sewers “Put the other guy in the storage closet.”

The players let the Kenku leave with their lives and checked the storage closet. There, they found a man hiding behind some boxes who explain that he was in fact Renaer, the son of the former Lord of Waterdeep. The attackers took him and Floon as they left the tavern and mistook Floon for him. The kidnappers were originally the Zhenetarim who were then ambushed by the Xanathar. Renaer believed that the Xanathar thought Renaer’s father owed them money and were going to ransom Renaer.

The City Watch then arrived and explained that they recieved reports of a disturbance. The party explained what happened and were free to leave. Renaer demanded he join the party in search of Floon, feeling guilty that he was the reason that Floon was gone. The party agreed to let him join and they disembarked on their way to the sewers to follow the kidnappers.

Will they find Floon intact? Will Tori ever find his Great Deer? Why is the Lizard King… well, him? Stay tuned to learned more.

If you’d like to listen to adventure as it happens, you may listen to the Dunces & Flagons Podcast below.