Explosion in Waterdeep

Summary
Awakened by the sound of an explosion, the party rushes to see what happened. Barakiel stays on the top floor, watching for movement from his window. Valder checks the fallen to see if any are alive and need healing, but all eleven are dead. He examines a gnome clutching a dagger and takes the dagger and a pouch of gem stones. Harker examines two bodies who appear to be Zhentarim, one has a flying snake tattoo. Tetsuo calms and questions one of the surviving witnesses, she says she saw a puppet-like figure on a roof hurl something down that exploded. The explosion appears to have been like a Fireball spell, there is no trace of the smell the drow murderer's weapon gave off. Orie tries to find tracks from the puppet, but is unsuccessful.
The City Watch can be heard approaching and most of the party return to the inn. Harker remains outside, Barakiel turns invisible and goes outside to watch, Tetsuo talks to the witness inside some more and Valder examines the items he took from the gnome; an ordinary dagger and a pouch with several valueable looking gemstones. The City Watch cordon off the area and a pair of investigators arrive, a guard sergeant and an older man who appears to be a wizard. At the sight of the wizard, Barakiel moves inside and drops his invisibility. The sergeant questions people and talks to Harker while the wizard examines the dead. Later, they come to the inn and question the party and the witness Jaeryn. The investigators don't suspect the party of direct involvement, but since they are witnesses, they are told not to leave the city.
After the watch leaves, Renaer Neverember shows up. He explains he heard the explosion and the City Watch and came to see what was happening. He thinks he knows the dead gnome. He says the gnome may have been an agent of his father, Lord Neverember, and may have been watching him for his father. After Renaer and Floon were kidnapped, the gnome came to his home and questioned Renaer about his rescue and the adventurers. He admitted he was searching for the Stone of Golor.
The party decides to move on with some of the missions they've been given. They decide to investigate the Harpers' mission that a local shopkeep has a monster trapped in her store. Following their instructions, they meet the storeowner at an inn near her store. She says she trapped a monster inside, please get it out and save her cat. They go to her bookstore and sneak in. The place is a mess, but it doesn't seem to have been robbed. Barakiel lifts a book with Mage Hand and carries it in front of the party as a distraction. As they climb the stairs, they hear a noise like an angry cat. On the top floor, they find the noise is actually coming from the monster itself. It's another of the small, five-eyed beholderkin they fought in the sewers. Barakiel is interested in some books and she gives them for free as a gift and also gives them a book that appears to be a spell book.
Back at the inn, they receive a note from an herbologist named Falla, whose shop is around the corner. When they meet with her, she is one of the witnesses from the explosion that morning. She saw an injured man in a cloak take something from the gnome's body and escape before the party came outside. Also, they talk about the "puppet", it may be some kind of automaton from the artificers at the Temple of Gond. Orie and Harker think it could be like the constructs the temple uses in parades. The party contacts the Harpers to see if they know anything about the limping man. The Harpers believe he has gone to the Gralhund family's villa in the North Ward. The party still has a couple of outstanding missions, hunting the drow murderer and investigating grave robbing at the City of the Dead. They check in with Sir Ambrose, who is trying to catch the necromancer. He wants the party to stand night watches with him for the next ten nights. They are not currently available for that, but offer to check back with him. And, if he gets a solid lead on a suspect and needs muscle for the raid, they will help out.
Chasing down the man who took something from the dead gnome seems to be their top priority and possibly time critical. They head to the North Ward and spy out Gralhund Villa. Its a large manor, with a 12 foot wall. There's a front gate and a rear gate that opens directly into the coach house at the rear of the property. Valdfer does some magic tricks and gets a crowd of street children and asks them about the limping man. Barakiel casts Invisibility on Fenriz and he climbs the wall while the rest of the party spreads out around the villa to keep watch. Fenriz enters the coach house and finds a stable boy sleeping. He wakes the boy up and questions him, but he knows nothing. Fenriz binds and gags him and leaves him behind. He stirs up the horses in the stable trying to get a reaction, but no one shows up. He spies through the windows of the villa and spots what looks like a guards' bunkroom with ten beds, but no people. He casts Firebolt through the window, setting a bed on fire, but again no reaction. The rest of the party moves inside the walls and they enter the villa. There are sounds of fighting upstairs. They find dead bodies and a couple of black dressed thugs who attack them. Fenriz blinds the thugs with Color Spray and the party kills them, then they move upstairs towards more fighting. More thugs are fighting some uniformed men, presumably house hold guards. The party pitches in and take out the thugs and try to convince the guards they are friends. There is shouting in the next room and they see a man in a dark cloak trying to break down a door, while house guards try to get him to stop with threats, but seem unwilling to attack him. They call him Lord Erstul. Tetsuo convinces the guards to stand aside and the party attacks Erstul, wounding him and knocking him out. Valedr cast Spare the Dying on him so he will not die and they take him prisoner. The guards knock on the door and a frightened nobleman emerges, he is Lord Gralhund. There is a great deal of confused conversation as Tetsuo tries to convince all the villa's people that they are friends of theirs, but enemies of Erstul. The Lady Gralhund comes from another room with her half-orc bodyguard. Again Tetsuo and the party try to convince her they are friends and they should be allowed to remove Erstul. She goes into the other room to confer with her husband. Taking advantage of the distraction, Fenriz sneaks into the room she came from. He finds a large chest with a hidden bottom. He takes a pair of gold holy symbols and cuts a swatch from the red robes he finds hidden inside. Fenriz returns to the party just in time for the Gralhunds to emerge from their conference and give the party permission to take Erstul and leave. The party departs with the unconscious Erstul and returns to their inn. Before they can wake him for questioning, a flying snake arrives with a message for Fenriz from the Zhentarim, asking him if he knows what happened inside Gralhund Villa…

Silly Quotes and Smart Remarks
MC mispronounces "Gloom Stalker"
MC "Gloo.. Stalker"
Lee "Glutin free Stalker"

Recapping the previous session
Lee "Recap isn't bad for all"
MC gulps her wine and looks startled
MC "I thought you said 'rehab' "

Talking about Chmiel's black dragonborn avoiding the police
Michael "Can't see <my> color if I'm Invisible"

One of the witnesses is named Jesryn Hornraven
MC "Sounds like a pornstar name"
Lee "I gave her the Hornraven…CACAW!!"

There was an absolutely huge run of gnome puns, mostly from MC with a few from Chmiel. For a while, every comment from MC had a gnome pun in it. I'm only including one
MC "Can I give you my cellgnome number?"

At the bookstore quest, we got off an a tangent about the Ghost Cats of the South book by Randy Russell.
Jim "He was only the co-author"
Kevin "He had a ghost writer"

Another witness describes a man injured by the blast, who limped away
Mike "Look for him in Crippletown"
MC "Bang Bus 26, Handitown"

A NPC hits Orie with two attacks and MC protests
Jim "Its part of your pun-nishment"

Another NPC misses Harker with two attacks
Kevin "Come at me Bro!"

The nobleman has a mustache with curled up ends
Callum "He's either going to commit or solve a train murder"