It’s fairly early in the morning, but the Lucky Gnome Taphouse in Fallcrest is already quite filled. The patrons, most of them laborers who haul cargo between the Lower and Upper Quays, are drinking and playing games of chance while waiting for the next boat to come in. The ragged men are having loud conversations and the occasional cheer or curse can be heard.
Outside of the taphouse Thrashtalking Tommy knocks on the door, much to the amusement of his fellow travelers. The sound is lost in the racket inside, and nobody comes to the door. Tommy patiently waits until his friends are finished laughing before picking up his resolve and opening the door. As soon as he sets foot inside conversations stop and all faces turn toward him. Most of them don’t look too friendly. The fact that Tommy is a drow probably doesn’t give these people a good first impression. He ignores the hostile stares, heads straight for the bar and orders a keg of ale. He is closely followed by his friends. The fact that the company consists of races that are a bit more common in Fallcrest alleviates the tension somewhat, and as soon as the order for ale is placed most people turn their attention elsewhere. Some patrons look disappointed, as if they’d been itching for a good old bar brawl.
The party tries to start a conversation with the bartender, hoping to get some information, but it seems the man isn’t the talkative type. They get a hint that the bartender, whose name is Kelson, might be running some sort of shady side business, but they are unable to get any more information from him. Frustrated, the party quickly downs their ale and leaves the premises.
The party decides to investigate the rumor about the missing archaeologist they heard last night from Teldorthan while drinking in the Blue Moon Alehouse. First stop: Douven’s wife. Her house isn’t too hard to find, but when she answers the knock on the door she is somewhat taken aback by the colorful group of people that stand on her doorstep. Thoradin manages to make her feel at ease and she invites them in for some coffee. Which, by the way, is some of the best coffee the party has ever had the pleasure of drinking. She doesn’t offer them much useful information, other than what the party already knows. Mrs. Staul is sick with worry, and she implores them to find her husband. Even if he turns out to be dead, she will at least be able to put her heart at rest. She can’t offer them any real rewards, but the party will of course have her gratitude.
Rodja wonders if they have any children, and she tells them that she has a daughter named Suzana who is probably somewhere around town. Suzana proves a bit harder to track down. After a couple of hours, thanks to the graceful way Paelias is able to get information from people on the street, the party finds her parading around in the The Market. She is a stunningly beautiful young woman, and Rodja has to take a deep breath to regain his usual cool demeanor before approaching her. He talks to her, and while she doesn’t offer any useful information about her father, Rodja does find out Suzana’s way of making a living is providing…services. She winks suggestively when the party leaves.
Various members of the party have some shopping to do, and Paelias decides to pay the local wizard a visit, in search for some arcane components he can use for rituals. While inside the Septarch’s Tower, the domain of Nimozaran the Green, Paelias notices a large circle on the ground which is composed of a string of strange symbols. He recognizes it as a teleportation circle. Might come in handy later.
The party decides to pay the Lord Warden of Fallcrest a visit, hoping to get more information about the troubles in Winterhaven. The guard at the Moonstone Keep isn’t willing to let them pass at first, but they manage to smooth-talk themselves inside. Lord Warden Faren Markelhay is a balding middle-aged man who seems to be rather busy, but he is willing to talk to the adventurers. Faren mentions something about the troubles he’s been having lately with the kobolds from the Kobold Hall, and wonders if the party would be willing to investigate. He is surprised the party didn’t see the various announcements hanging in town, offering a reward of 100gp for dealing with the problem, and an additional 10gp per kobold head. Since the party has already cleared the Kobold Hall and know there was a white dragon lurking in there they try to get Faren to give them a higher reward. He says he can’t do that, unless there is a significant unknown threat in there of which they can bring back proof. He will then add an additional 50gp to the reward. The adventurers agree.
They head back to the Kobold Hall to collect the kobold heads and cut off the head of Szartharrax, the white dragon. Easy money. Back in town they attract a lot of attention because of their grisly cargo. Faren Markelhay is having dinner when they come to visit him and he gladly pays them their reward, especially after learning there was a white dragon commanding those pesky little kobolds.