Passing The Stone

Summary
After the fight at the Gralhund villa, the party returns to their home with their unconscious prisoner. A flying snake delivers a message from a Zhentarim named Istrid Horn asking about what happened at Gralhund villa. The party wants to get information from Erstul before they talk to anyone.They decide that Barakiel will use Disguise Self to look like one of the Zhentarim and they will lock the two of them in the wine cellar. Valder heals Erstul just enough to wake him up. Barakiel and Erstul talk, but Barakiel is not fully able to get Erstul's confidence. The Zhentarim are apparently splitting into factions and Erstul doesn't think Barakiel's persona is one of his faction. It sounds like he is more concerned with getting out of the city alive. Tetsuo drags Barakiel out and pretends to torture him to get Erstul to trust him, but it doesn't work. Finally, Fenriz storms in and stabs Erstul and aggravates the wound to get Erstul to talk. Erstul first says he didn't take anything from the dead gnome, but Harker feels he is lying. Fenriz offers Erstul sanctuary in his home city of Neverwinter. Finally Erstul admits he did take the Stone of Golorr and went to the Gralhund villa, thinking they would help him. But they took the stone from him and Lady Gralhund gave it to some kind of magical construct to take it into hiding. He does not know where it is know. Fenriz gives Erstul money for a horse and cuts a glyph into Erstul's arm and gives him directions to reach his people in Neverwinter. Valder and Tetsuo put a hood over his head, take Erstul down the street and spin him a round a few times before taking his hood off and letting him go. Once he is safely away, they return to the inn and Valder admits he almost killed Erstul to keep their identity secret.
With some new information and questions, they return to talk to Mirt and the Harpers. They explain what happened and show them the cloth and symbol Fenriz stole from the Gralhunds'. Mirt doesn't know the symbol but will investigate and send word when he has information. Mirt does suggest returning to the temple of Gond to ask more questions about the constructs. And, when they have time, there are rumors of a group of doppelgangers infiltrating the city and possibly the Yawning Portal.
The adventurers return to the House of Inspired Hands and ask questions about how the automatons are made. They talk with Valetta again and she summons one of the constructs, who she calls Nim, short for nimblewright. She explains at length some of their characteristics and gives them a device which will allow them to detect other constructs.
The party is still looking to settle up with the drow serial killer and there is also the Grey Hand mission to talk to the dragon in the harbor. They decide to head for the Dock ward, using the detector along the way. Maybe they can talk to the dragon before they go hunting the drow. But the detector leads them to the city market and the construct is hiding in a closed turnip seller's tent. It attacks the party when discovered and they destroy it. It has a city map with a mark on a building on the waterfront with the name, Grinda Garloth. They take the pieces back to Valetta who says it is very finely made, but not one they have made or are familiar with. Next the party decides to check out the location on the map and look for more nimblewrights or the drow along the way. The detector does pick up another construct and leads them to one of a pair of fancy ships tied up at the docks. Barakiel turns Fenriz invisible and he scouts the ship. They appear to be hauling some kind of circus, the ships are loaded with costumes and parade floats. The detector leads Fenriz to the captain's cabin and he finds a shut down nimblewright sitting in a corner. While Fenriz searches, some of the crew returns and approaches the party at the dockside. The ships are indeed transporting a travelling circus and the entertainers make a big deal about it while the adventurers ask a bunch of simple questions and find out there are three ships and each ship's captain has a nimblewright servant. Fenriz escapes from the ship with some gems he stole and the party leaves the entertainers behind and heads for the mark on the map. It is a small shack between a boathouse and a grounded ship, the Kraken's Folly. The Folly appears to be permanently grounded and people are living on it. The area is in very bad shape, with burned out buildings and some that are barely livable. A group of four dark clad thugs are trying to get in the shack. There is also a dwarf with a hand crossbow in place of his right hand. The party comes up behind them and they turn to attack the party. From the water beneath the docks, a merrow attacks them and throws a harpoon at Harker but misses. Fenriz blinds most of the thugs and the party attacks and begins slaughtering the thugs. Harker strikes the merrow twice, dealing serious wounds with his knowledge of killing monsters. The dwarf yells out that he will offer five gold pieces for each of their heads and a group of ten bandits with crossbows come over the edge of the Folly to attack. Barakiel sheds his normal appearance and grows glowing wings and eyes and hovers over the bandits. Fenriz takes the dwarf prisoner and tells the bandits they can have what ever the dwarf has in his purse. They agree as long as they get at least five gold each. Fenriz slits the dwarf's throat and takes his coin pouch. Alas, the dwarf only had 15 gold coins, the rest of the party contributes to make up the bandits' pay off. Valder grabs the dead thugs' weapons, Fenriz sees the dwarf has a tattoo marking him as a member of Xanathar's Guild of thieves. The door to the hut opens and Grinda comes out to thank them. Fenriz explains why they are here and she says she was given the Stone to hide, but she doesn't want to be involved. She hid the Stone in her family's mausoleum in the City of the Dead. She gives them directions and a key to open the tomb. She also takes them next door to the boathouse and shows them a large mechanical construct that she calls an Apparatus of Kwalish. She hunts treasure on the seabed in the harbor, but has been attacked by a giant shark. If they take the apparatus and defeat the shark, they can have half of any treasure they can gather from the harbor. They turn her down for the time being, since they have too much going on at the moment.
The party returns to their home and in the morning heads to the City of the Dead. But when they arrive, they find the mausoleum is open. Sneaking inside, they don't find any intruders, but most of the sarcophagi have been opened and the dead disturbed as if by someone searching for something. Searching for clues turns up an ornate key, but nothing else. Some of the party head outside tolook for more clues and are attacked by four duergar. Fenriz is badly wounded and Valder heals him. Harker, Tetsuo and Barakiel slay the duergar and Tetsuo notices something in a tree nearby. It's another gazer, spying on them. The party kills it and searches the duergar, and find tattoos for Xanathar's guild.
The party runs some errands, selling weapons captured last night and find out the key was made by the locksmith Elaspa Ulmarr. Valder questions her, telling her they are working for the Harpers. She says she sold the key and matching lock to a man named Valkarr Kibbins and gives them his address. The party heads to the address, it's a crumbling old windmill occupied by squatters. Orie bribes one and finds out Valkarr lives upstairs. They capture Valkarr and his partner and interrogate him. Valkarr says they are working for a halfling necromancer and are stealing bones from the graveyard for him. They saw a rat with the stone and killed it. Then their halfling boss took the stone from them. They tell the party that the halfling, Losser Meerclaw, and his two human apprentices have a hideout under an old wig shop.
The party checks out the wig shop, it is closed. Barakiel changes his appearance and goes into a neighboring shop and asks when the wig shop will be be open. The shopkeeper says they have been keeping very irregular hours. Late at night the party returns and Barakiel shape shifts into a town guard and keeps people away while Fenriz picks the lock. They search the upper floors, then move into the basement. A door gives access to the sewers and they start searching. The party finds a rusty door, but no other exits. They decide to try the door and it leads to the halfling's hideout. The party finds the halfling and some skeletons fighting some kenku. The party waits until the battle winds down, then drops the last kenku. The halfling says he doesn't have the Stone, he gave it to the kenku when they threatened him, but then they tried to kill him anyway. Tetsuo grabs the halfling as a prisoner and the party chases after the kenku.
In the next room, the kenku with the stone is preparing to head up some stairs, another kenku and a gazer block the path. Barakiel uses Misty Step and teleports up the stairs while the rest of the party hammers the blockers. Tetsuo hands the halfling off to Harker and the party goes in pursuit. Barakiel summons his wings and flies up above as the kenku with the stone runs away. Orie, Tetsuo, Valder and Renaer give chase, occasionally stopping to shoot or cast spells at the kenku. Fenriz cuts down another alley trying to cut off the kenku. The chase continues, and Fenriz yells out accusations of child rape against the kenku, trying to get bystanders to help. Finally, the kenku darts down another twisty alley which leads to a little courtyard formed by the backs of buildings and occupied by a run down tower. Barakiel halts, he knows this place, he was trained here. Tetsuo and Valder barrel inside the tower, which looks like an old wizard's tower, but is full of broken and worn equipment and furnishings. They hear noise upstairs and head up to the next level. They have cornered the kenku, but he has a street urchin as a prisoner. Valder uses Prestidigitation to make an illusion of a giant snake to one side of the kenku and distract it. Fenriz uses Color Spray to blind the kenku and Tetsuo wrestles the child away and shields it with his body as the party slays the kenku. Valder uses Spare the Dying to keep it alive as a prisoner and they finally retrieve the Stone! But three more Gazers enter through the windows. One uses its Telekinesis eye to pull the stone from Tetsuo's grasp, but they kill the gazer and Fenriz recovers the dropped Stone. Another gazer tries the same move on Fenriz, but he holds the Stone tight and they kill the last two gazers. Meanwhile, Barakiel is exploring the basement and finds a teleportation circle that his master used to use. But the glyphs are old and damaged.
The party takes the Stone and the kenku back to the inn and meet Harker there with the halfling. They interrogate him and decide to turn him over to Sir Ambrose for his crimes in the City of the Dead. Since it is almost dawn and they've been up all night, they securely bind the halfling and the kenku, and send a message to Sir Ambrose. Barakiel goes out to buy a lead box to keep the Stone in to block scrying spells and they get some sleep. In the evening, Sir Ambrose comes and takes the halfling away for his crimes.
Since they slept all day, they decide to go hunting the drow murderer. They head down to the docks and Barakiel shapeshifts into an elven sailor and casts Invisibility on Fenriz. Fenriz follows Barakiel closely as he goes bar hopping with the rest of the adventurers a short way behind. Barakiel picks up a tail and leads him into an alley; its the drow! Fenriz and Barakiel jump him and trap him in the alley, Tetsuo and Renear charge in with their swords while Orie and Valder attack from a distance. Orie hits him with Hunter's Mark and shoots the drow with her crossbow. The drow shoots his weapon at Fenriz and misses, then casts Darkness again. While the party is trying to get him in the darkness, he reloads and fires again, but misses. Valder shoots an Eldritch Blast at the sound of the shot and kills him. Orie stabs him with her sword to make sure he's really dead and stays that way. They search him and take some coins, the gun and ammunition and his sword. He also has a receipt from the docks, it shows payment for three large berths. They realize they are the docks where the ships transporting the traveling circus and parade are docked…
Returning to the inn, Barakiel volunteers to attune to the Stone. It is apparently an intelligent item, it speaks to him telepathically. It tells Barakiel the entrance to the dragon hoard is under a theatre named the Pink Flumph. The vault is locked, they will need a beholder's eyestalk, a fortune in gems and a unicorn to open the vault. It says a gazer eyestalk will work, and an effigy of a unicorn would be sufficient. Fenriz has some gems he stole from the captain's cabin on board the circus ship and Valder admits he has 500gp in gems he took off the dead gnome. It also says there is a powerful, shapeshifting guardian set in place by Lord Neverember. The Stone can cast Legend Lore and it answers one of Barakiel's questions about someone he is looking for.

Silly Quotes and Smart Remarks
Trying to recall if anyone has heard the name of the Zhentarim contact
Lee "You can't remember"
Kevin "It's like a dream"

Discussing spells and abilities to use to interrogate the prisoner
Michael "I can cast Friends"
Lee "Friends, the well known torture spell"

Mike "I can cast Color Spray"
Jim "Taste the rainbow"
Kevin "You cast it in my mouth"

Chmiel "Your character doesn't know what my character is thinking, I barely know what I'm thinking"

The Harpers are concerned dopplegangers are infiltrating the city
Jim "We just need a hot wire and some blood samples"
Mike "Flu shot clinic at the Yawning Portal"

The Harpers will forward information to Fenriz
Mike "I will be happy to receive it"
Callum "I bet you will…"

The party tracks the construct to a closed booth in the market that sells turnips
Chmiel "That's a strange turn-ip of events"

Mike asks MC to get the charger cable for his bluetooth speaker, said it was in the cubbyholes next to the bed
Lee "Bang Bus 29 Cubbyholes"

Lee is looking at the overnight snow forecast
Lee "Oh geez, another 5-10 inches?"
Chmiel "Is that all you can handle?"

Discussing the plural form of agenda; agendas, agendi?
Lee "Agendi sounds like some kind of japanese porn"

Listening to Volo's grandiose description of Waterdeep's city cemetary, the City of the Dead
Chmiel "It sounds like Central Park, with dead people"

Fighting the duergar and debating if Fire Bolt will set them on fire
Kevin "I think everyone knows dwarves are flammable"
Jim "They're soaked in whiskey"

Discussing Valder healing Fenriz and making sexy massage jokes
Jim "I'm not going to give you a 'Happy Ending' "

We asked for the name of the bakery
Lee "Yeast Affection" (Which was the real name of a business Lee's friend owned)

Trying to figure out how strong the halfling's skeletons are
Michael "Did the skeleton take a beating?"
Kevin "Well, he's not bleeding"

Every time the party finds someone who had the Stone, they've already lost it to somebody else…
Jim "Let's talk to the halfling and find out who he gave the Stone to"

Discussing ordering Greek for dinner, one of the restaurants was Vasili's Express
Lee "Bacillus Express? I'm not eating there"

Mike was telling a story about MC slipping and landing on a fire hydrant like she was going to shove it up her butt
Jim "Bang Bus 28: Hydrant Sodomy"

Fenriz yells out the fleeing kenku is a child rapist
Mike "A dingo ate my baby"
Lee "Kenku at my baby"
MC "Bang Bus 29: Kenku raped my Baby"

Orie is going to cast Hail of Thorns, but MC couldn't remember the spell name
Lee "Spray of Thorns?"
MC "HAIL of Thorns. I don't ejaculate on my victims"

Discussing prisoner interrogations
Michael "When I get to level 6, I can rip their soul out and talk to it"
Mike "That's very Spawnly of you"

We were watching a comedy video about Gilbert Godfried as the voice of a meditation app. When the Stone starts to talk to Barakiel…
Callum "Can we use the voice of Gilbert Godfried for the Stone?"
Lee "More like Bobcat Goldthwait"

The party needs 1,000gp worth of gems to open the vault.
Callum "I'll write a check"

The Stone says they need a unicorn to open a vault, but some kind of statue would work. Mike (?) suggested the statue's horn could be an e-cigarette
Lee "The Vaping Unicorn, the douchiest tavern in Waterdeep"

We had a lot of side stories, several about going to strip clubs for stag parties and such
Jim "We need to find a strip club in Waterdeep"
Callum "You're telling me the Pink Flumph isn't a strip club?"

They kill the drow and search him
Lee "You find his pistol"
MC "That's cool"
Mike "The pistol is his penis"