A Primer on Misdirection and Acquisition
The party awakens early in the morning, intent on securing the early spice shipment before infiltrating House Ulbrinter, the noble family which Gregory suggested as a potential target. Knowing that the shipment will approach Waterdeep from the north and will sail down the coast to the docks, the party makes ready to ambush them at sea. They plan to frame House Amkathra for the ambush by dressing in their uniforms, hoping that the sailors will raise a suit against the House when they are not paid for their shipment. Since they will need to bring the ship into dock, they bring along Loren, who through observation of the Percival’s crew has managed to achieve a rudimentary knowledge of sailing.
Their assault on the boat is flawless: the crew is hardly able to make a sound before they are all incapacitated and sealed below deck. Though the captain is tight-lipped concerning their destination dock and the trade procedures, Khaber’s short temper persuades him to release the relevant information. Once they acquire the knowledge, Sim allows the captain to strike him once before sealing him below deck with the others.
Though Loren is significantly more capable than any of the rest of the party, his sheer nervousness causes the docking to be noticeably shaky. The party plays this off as drunkenness, and uses it to their advantage as they craft a tale of a pirate raid at sea which took the lives of two of their crew members. Leveraging that story, they are able to convince the Amkathran representatives to give them an additional 550 gold pieces, bringing the total to 3000 for the entire shipment. They distribute slightly more than half of the money to Lenara and Archibald, retaining close to 1000 gold pieces for their own use.
When night falls, they begin their infiltration of the Ulbrinter estate. They devise a plan to utilize Petra’s shapeshifting and Lawrence’s sorcery: Petra will sneak into the master bedroom through an open window on the second floor, and Lawrence will use sorcery to transport the party members inside, one by one, swapping them in turn for Petra, who will return via the same route two more times. This gets them inside with little trouble, yet despite their silent infiltration, the master of the house rouses and sees three intruders standing in his dark bedroom. As he opens his mouth to scream for help, Sim, in a superhuman reaction, uses his wand of silence on the bed. The master’s screams go muffled, but the draconic incantation does reach the ears of the hall guards. One of them knocks on the bedroom door and calls for Ulbrinter. Sim tries his best to mimic the voice of the man, pretending to be sleeptalking, but since he has never heard the voice of Ulbrinter the guard remains understandably unconvinced. Hearing the guard call for backup, Lawrence uses his sorcery to create the noise of Ulbrinter and his wife in the throes of passion. This does convince the guards to back away, and the party relievedly hears the sound of footsteps retreating and doors closing.
Without wasting time, they sap Ulbrinter and his still-sleeping wife, for good measure. The pilfer a few of the more valuable-looking pieces of jewelry that they can find, at which point Lawrence and Petra decide to withdraw from the mansion. Sim, on the other hand, decides to seek out some more valuables, and sets up an exit plan that mirrors their entrance method. He crosses the second-floor hall and arrives in a den-like room wherein there are displayed many weapons. His eye determines that most of the weapons are worthless replicas, but one greatsword catches his eye. Displayed prominently above a fireplace and engraved with dwarven runes, it is clearly the pride of House Ulbrinter. The runes spell out a thanks from the dwarves for deeds done in their service. Sim reaches out to touch the blade, but something strikes him as being suspicious, and he instead gives the surrounding area a quick glance for any traps. He discovers one arcane trap, which he methodically disassembles, before taking the sword. He also is careful to drop a single note, written on a scrap of Amkathran uniform cloth, pinning the crime on the house of his father.
The party flawlessly executes their escape plan, and brings their pilfered goods to the docks district. They load everything on to the spice traders’ boat, where they set up a night watch.