Ches 20, 1372 DR
As the party approaches Citadel Felbarr, Valas, understanding the difference between being allowed to enter and being welcome, decides to remain outside while the others conduct business in the dwarven city. News from a dwarven patrol on the road was that the diplomacy between the Uthgardt people and the dwarves was going well and the party heartily greeted and welcomed by the gate guards.
They decided to head to The Golden Mule, the inn in the city most frequented by non-dwarves. Inside, Xanos, at the bar seeking information, is approached by a familiar face. Narris, a Zhent slave that grew up with Xanos, tells him that a Zhent agent recognized him when they stayed at an inn outside Sundabar two weeks ago as the party made their way into the mountains for the first time.
Narris was sent by their master, Fzoul, to bring Xanos back to Zhentil Keep, and “no” would not be an acceptable answer. Xanos, realizing things were going go bad quickly, tried to distract the room and get the jump on Narris. But Narris was ready for this. He jumps back, telling Xano, “Don’t be foolish, we have that old elf! If I die, so does he!” before shouting a command. Five men at two tables in the tavern jump from their chairs, makeshift clubs in hand.
Gardain and Tictok see the starting commotion and try to hold off one of the tables of goons, but Xanos is surrounded and beaten into unconsciousness. With customers scattering away from the fighting, Narris hauls up Xanos over his shoulder and tries to leave the inn. Gardain slams into him from behind, dropping the assassin. He and Tictok take out the other mercs as the citadel guardsmen enter the inn.
The captain, a gruff old dwarf, enters the inn looking quite annoyed, but Gardain and Xanos, with the help of one of the goons that Tiktoc charmed, is able to explain that the dead man is a Zhent assassin sent to attack them. He lets them leave, but tells them to stay in the citadel in case he needs to question them. The party stays at a different inn for the night, resting before they meet with King Warcrown the next day. Before doing so, Xanos exchanges magical communication with his drow colleague, Jeraxle. Though Xanos has little useful information for Jeraxle, the drow shares an interesting tidbit with the rogue. Ciarra, the drow ranger that had been helping them with the goblins, is, in fact, a surface spy for her house in Menzoberranzan…
At court, the king is very pleased to see the party again. He tells them that he believes his troubles with the Uthgardt barbarians are all but behind them, thanks greatly to their initial efforts He tells them that he and his kingdom are in their debt and asks what he can do for them.
They only ask two things: they explain what happened at The Golden Mule the night before and ask that they be allowed to leave to investigate the cause of the issue, and they also ask if he has heard of any Zhent activity in the area. Warcrown agrees with the first, upset that Zhent agents would be acting so openly within the citadel itself. As for the other, the king’s advisor, Durnan Stonehollow, tells him that he has heard that some ex-Zhent soldiers have setup a new settlement, called Newfort, southeast of Sundabar.
Leaving court, Tiktoc visits with the wizard, Fromden Granitepeak, to see what he’s discovered about the box the drow gave to the goblins. Frustrated, the dwarf tells the gnome that the box is protected by powerful magics and that he would need more time to get any information for him.
So with no leads on the drow, and Xanos wanting to try and find out what happened with his druid mentor, they head out to meet with Valas and investigate Newfort.