Thann Manor stood at its brightest on the night of the Reclamation Day Ball. As the Sword Coast’s most powerful and influential flocked to the gala, few realized they would soon be joined by a quartet of interlopers.
Taking advantage of Firaq’s ties within Waterdeep’s upper circles, Aystra and Havard arrived through the manor’s front doors as guests, while Vyurek and Zerg donned disguises and slipped in as part of the kitchen’s expanded staff. While the well-dressed duo made their rounds mingling with other party guests, the team’s muscle did their best to blend in under the onerous demands of the eccentric Gourmand Bernart Anzeray.
Despite his best intentions, Zerg was soon flustered by the gourmand’s array of demands, leaving Vyurek to put his weeks of culinary research to the test. After nearly ruining the soup at the moment Anzeray burst through the doors, the quick-thinking Illumian spiked the broth with a bouquet of exotic spices, transforming the dish into a meal that left even the gourmand himself stunned and impressed.
Meanwhile, Aystra and Havard began to investigate the manor’s various rooms and chambers, trying to track down clues that would lead them to Cassandra Thann’s mystery relic. They crossed paths with her son Danilo, who turned on his charm in an effort to woo — and seemingly distract — Aystra from his own activities in the library. However, the charismatic bard’s performance gave Havard the opportunity he needed to uncover valuable information about Cassandra’s research into the Shoon Imperium. The two soon found themselves in Danilo’s guest chambers, where they learned of his true motives to locate his mother’s relic himself.
As the dinner hour struck, the gourmand summoned the partygoers to the manor’s dining hall for a grand presentation. A towering crystal sculpture of coupe glasses loomed over the ball as sparkling wine cascaded down in an effervescent display of magical light and colour. As the show reached its climax, the glasses shattered, bringing the facade crumbling down, and sending the gourmand fleeing the room in shame.
In the distraction, Zerg and Vyurek pursued the chef to the cellar, where he broke his own facade and revealed himself as Malvar, the leader of the Doppelganger smuggling ring in Undermountain. His faction had also learned of the relic’s existence, but more pressingly, of an impending attack from the Eye’s soldiers. Malvar’s spies had uncovered a plot by the Eye’s general, Colstan Rhuul to take advantage of the night’s revelry to break into the manor and steal the item for his organization’s own ends.
Aystra and Havard continued their investigation of the manor’s private quarters, where they collectively gathered further information about Cassandra’s research. While shedding light on her studies into the lineage of emperors and their relics, they learned of Shoon I and the court mask he had commissioned in the likeness of his ancestor, Akkabar Shoon the Elder. The mask was said to give the power of influence and persuasion to its wearer, which Shoon used to control his royal court. They further learned that Cassandra now possessed the item, apparently keeping it secure in a hidden area of the manor behind a locked door.
The adventurers met up during the grand ball itself to compare notes and piece together what they had learned. As Lady Thann welcomed her guests and delivered her speech on the history and heritage of the momentous occasion, a rumbling blast from below suddenly shook the manor on its foundation. For the adventurers, this party was only just getting started …