Tower Invasion

Summary
After escaping from the Cassalanters' mass murder/sacrifice, the party continues with their assorted quests. They revisit the magic sellers looking for items and stock up on healing potions. Finding out the the wall of force around Kolat Towers can be breached with simple spells, Valder commissions a couple of scrolls of Misty Step. They discuss other means of getting around the wall, including hiring workers to tunnel under the wall or up from the sewers. Barakiel suggests employing homeless and other street people and offering them living quarters in the former wizard's tower he purchased. Fenriz goes to the Zhentarim and is given a new mission. On of the younger sons of the wealthy halfling Snowbeatles family is missing and they are offering a 500 dragon reward. They expect a 40% kickback and suggest he investigate. Fenriz' search leads them to the Cursed Hammer bar in the South Ward. Fenriz intimidates, then bribes the barkeep into sending word to Dasher Snowbeetle, but it will be several hours.
While they wait, Valder, Harker and Tetsuo go back to the Yawning Portal to work on their mission for the Blackstaff, to investigate the health of a former member of Force Grey, Meloon Wardragon. Valder speaks to Durnan and leads off with his letter of authority from the Blackstaff to show they are on official business. Durnan confirms Meloon has not been himself and seems depressed. On their authority, he takes them to see Meloon's room and they read his diary. The handwriting in the diary changed recently, is it because of illness or injury? Meloon's writings say Azuredge spoke to him and had to be rebuked. It wants a new home, but Meloon won't give it up. Durnan says Azuredge is Meloon's enchanted battleaxe, apparently its sentient. Valder thinks it must be bored, owned by a retired adventurer. They return to the Cursed Hammer.
The party meets up again for Fenriz' meeting with the halfling, who shows up with the rest of his gang, the Shard Shunners. Dasher doesn't want to return to his family, says his gang is his new family. Fenriz offers to help him disappear for more money and they haggle down to the amount of the reward. Dasher meantions in the discussion that he and the gang are some kind of lycanthropes. When they settle on the deal, Fenriz rips a piece of cloth from Dasher's sleeve and cuts him with a dagger, wiping the blood on the cloth fragment. Fenriz returns to the Zhentarim with the bloody cloth, spinning a tale of finding Dasher's body and paying over 100 dragons. Since this is less then the expected reward, his Zhentarim contact sends him on his way without offering a new quest.
Rumors raise across town that the force wall around the famous Kolat towers has disappeared!! The party rushes to the scene and finds a crowd standing around, just outside the line where the wall was. The party walks in and heads to the only external door. Fenriz picks the lock and they enter a large store room filled with crates of provisions. The supplies are fresh, indicating someone is living here. In the next room they find three Zhentarim guards who are surprised by the party's appearance. When they ask the party who they are, Valder tries to intimidate them by saying "Force Grey" and they attack. Valder yells to take them alive, but Barakiel isn't listening and slaughters the first guard. They subdue the second and wound the leader who surrenders. While Orie and Barakiel question him, Fenriz and Harker head to the next door which opens into a kitchen with a halfling cook. But the cook is a wizard and he hits them with a Cone of Cold, seriously injuring Harker. The rest of the party comes to their aid and the halfling is also subdued. Searching the guards and cooks turn up some rings that may be magic or pass tokens to show membership. They bind and gag the prisoners and head upstairs. On the next floor, they find a half-orc reading a copy of Volo's Guide to Monsters and Fenriz tries to convince him they're expected visitors. Fenriz isn't doing well, but is able to name his two Zhentarim contacts and bluffs their way past. They go through a door and enter the tower itself. They come out onto a landing with a spiral stair going down, a balcony with two chests on the other side of the tower and a door halfway up the side of the wall. Orie casts Detect Magic, nothing in the shests, but when she sweeps it around, she finds invisible stairs going up the wall to the next floor up. Barakiel summons his wings and flies across to check the chests. His hand sticks to the first chest and it grows a tentacle, it's a mimic!!. The party shoots it from a distance while it tries to eat Barakiel and it dies. The other chest has some small precious items, mostly wands. Barakiel flies to the door and opens it, it reveals a walkway extending to the other tower.
The party peeks downstairs, its a library with two gargoyle statues. But maybe they're real gargoyles, and no magic is detected, so they decide to head upstairs instead. Coming up to the next floor, they find an old laboratory, but it's smashed and ransacked. Climbing further up, a ritual is in progress on the next level. Three grey cloaked wizards surround a binding circle holding an ape like demon. Deciding that if they complete the ceremony, they will have control of the demon, the adventurers attack. Fenriz sneaks up to one and backstabs them with a poisoned dagger, and the wizard drops dead. Barakiel tries to take one alive since he sees them wearing robes like he wore as an apprentice, but the rest of the party isn't concerned with demon summoner prisoners and shoot them down. The demon wakes up and Barakiel panics and flees the tower. Orie shoots the demon, it smashes free from the circle and everyone engages it, killing the demon before it can escape. Harker takes two tusks as trophies and they search the wizards. They recover more rings.
Meanwhile, the necromancer Edgar has been kidnapped and imprisoned in a cell downstairs. He makes a racket and the half-orc guard comes to investigate. Edgar controls him with Crown of Madness and forces the guard to free him. When the door opens, a magical glyph triggers, blinding and deafening the orc. Edgar slips out, grabs his equipment from a nearby table and tries to escape. He stumbles into some guards on the way out and flees, hurling spells as he retreats. Upstairs, the party hears the ruckus and comes to investigate. They run into the guards from behind and help Edgar defeat them. Reunited, the party heads back up the tower, passing the demon summoning floor.
The next level of the tower is a large room with the floor covered in junk and debris. The floor creaks and seems to be held in place by large metal clamps with levers mounted on the walls. A ramshackle staircase heads up. Fenriz examins the clamps to see if they're designed to drop the floor. When the party enters, bits of garbage fly together and assemble into an animated suit of armor that attacks them. The party reduces it to junk and the pieces fall back on the floor. Fenriz climbs the stairs and passes down a rope to help everyone else climb. At the top is a circular hallway, halfway around the tower is a door guarded by a humanoid creature that looks like it was sewn together from body parts. It moves forward to attack Fenriz and releases a pressure plate that causes green poison gas to spray into the room. Fenriz hits it with Witch Bolt that does nothing and Harker's arrows sink in without affect. Tetsuo chops it with his great sword and Edgar and Valder throw spells and drop it. Harker, Tetsuo and Valder are poisoned and fall back down the creaky stairs. Fenriz tries to shut off the gas but can't and moves through the door into the next section of hallway with Orie and Edgar. Once the gas clears, the rest move up and join them. In the next section of circular hallway is a burned out rune, it may have maintained the force wall around the towers. Fenriz finds a secret door going into a secret room at the center of the tower. The room is dusty and contains an old bed and bookcase. A Flameskull rises from the bed and tells the adventurers to leave and starts shooting fire rays from its eye sockets. They crush it, but Harker knows they can regenerate and destroys the remains with holy water. The bookshelf has been ransacked, nothing important is left, but one of the books is fake and pulling on it opens a secret compartment and Edgar finds a Wand of Binding. The party decides to take a rest before moving on.
The party goes back downstairs and needs to jump across the gap to the open door. Fenriz gracefully jumps across and they rig ropes to help the rest of the party. The catwalk leads across to a door on the other tower and they enter the new tower. A landing gives them access to stairs up and down. A stone statue is on a balcony across from the landing. When they enter it levitates and threatens them, claiming to be Duhlark Kolat. But nothing happens, so they ignore it and go upstairs. The next floor is split in half, the first half is a ransacked library with a beautiful sign saying "Alcidor" over the shelves. Harker uses Detect Magic and finds nothing. They go through a door into the other half, its another library with a sign that says "Duhlark". Harker detects that all of the books are magic, they decide not to mess with them for now. Stairs lead up to the top floor of the second tower.
The top floor is one room, there are five chests around the walls and a circle of magic runes on the floor. In the center of the runes is a beholder like creature with only four eye stalks, a spectator, and four flying snakes hover in the room. The creature communicates with them telepathically, telling them to leave by orders of its master. Fenriz tries to convince it he is a descendant of one of the Kolat brothers and the creature's rightful master. The monster replies the Kolat wasn't its master and it attacks with eyebeams and the flying snakes attack as well. Harker is struck by an eye beam and seems confused and actually attacks the spectator randomly. Orie leads the salvo of missiles and spells on the spectator while Fenriz and others kill snakes. The spectator hits several people with eye beams, but most are able to resist its magic. The flying snakes are weak and easily slain and the party gangs up on the spectator and slays it. Harker checks the chests with Detect Magic, one has several magic items in it and all the locks are magical. Examining the runes, it appears to be a teleportation circle, but nothing happens when Fenriz crosses it. When Valder gets near, the rings he has taken from the tower's defenders vibrate.
Since the party wants to get the magic items, they try breaking into the chests, then Valder uses Dispel Magic on the first chet. It contains eight vials, six are the same and the last two are similar, but different from the first six. They pass them around, just in case. Harker, Valder and Fenriz attune to the rings and learn they are essentially keys to the teleport circle, each ring can bring six additional people along with the wearer. They rest for a while and try the teleport circle. The circle sends them to a small chamber with three glass walls and alabaster floor and ceiling and a fourth wall with a heavy door. Outside the glass walls is a thick purple swirling mist that obscures everything. A window with someonewatching is vaguely visible in the structure's wall next to the glass chamber. Fenriz picks the lock and they enter the next room. All the walls are the same white, alabaster like surface. Multiple closed doors line the walls and the floor is decorated with a Zhentarim logo of a flying snake chasing a gold coin. Orie hears a voice in her head that says "Your gracious host is on the way". One of the doors to the right opens and a humal male wizard with a gold left hand gauntlet enters. Valder is practically trembling with his desire to attack the man he believes killed his father. The wizard makes some small talk and walks to the logo and steps on the gold coin and Tetsuo notices the gold coin depresses under his weight, it must be an alarm! Other doors open and a human female wizard comes from one door, two halfling females come from another and a human male and female pair of warriors come from yet another. Surrounded, the party lays into the enemy. Valder concentrates spell attacks on the first mage, who puts up a magical shield and knocks Edgar out with some kind of sleep spell. Tetsuo cuts down the female wizard, then turns to face the halflings. Harker and Orie join Valder in fighting the leader and the human warriors, Fenriz moves around attacking targets as he can. The halflings are monks and pound on Tetsuo and Harker. Valder hits the warriors with Shatter spells, one is a bard and tries to hit Orie with Vicious Mockery and then slams the party with a Thunderwave. The adventurers persevere and one by one, their enemies fall. But the enemy wizard disintegrates when slain, it was some kind of fake!. The advneturers are on their last legs and resort to taking all their healing potions and the mystery potions from the chest as well. Fortunately, they were minor healing potions as well. After resting, they begin to explore and find living quarters and a pantry. Continuing, they find a laboratory, library, summoning circle and some kind of ice sarcophagus. At a dead end room, they rest again. Finally, they find the wizard himself, Manshoon. He asks why they have invaded his home and Valder asks' about his attack on the Feywild. When he recalls, that event, Valder says "You killed my father, prepare to die!" and hurls Eldritch Blasts at him. The wizard replies with a spell that knocks Valder out, mortally wounding him. Fenriz tries Color Spray, but he shrugs it off completely. Harker wounds him severely and he throws up the same spell shield that the fake wizard used. He tries to intimidate the party into leaving as Valder hangs on the edge of death. Tetsuo attacks the wall futilely but Edgar casts Crown of Madness. The wizard shakes it off, but it shows spells can affect him. The party thinks he's bluffing, Harker must have hurt him badly. Edgar tries again, this time casting Hold Person from his Wand of Binding and succeeds in immobilizing the wizard. His spell shield collapses. Orie heals Valder and they slay the wizard. Valder takes his head and the fake hand as proof. Searching downstairs, they find the wizard's study with a spell book on a podium, but Harker's Detect Magic spell reveals a magically locked drawer in a table and an invisible suit of armor standing next to the spell book. They're concerned about the book and Valder meditates for a moment, seeking guidance from his patron. His patron's cryptic reply suggests the book has value. Tetsuo picks up Manshoon's body and uses it as a shield and to move the spell book. The armor comes to life and attacks Tetsuo twice, but the corpse blocks the first blow and part of the second. They destroy the animated armor and get into the desk drawer and find a ledger of Manshoon's deeds and a list of names. Some they recognize like Mirt, their Harper contact and the moneylender who came to Valder for help, some they do not. Some have checkmarks next to their name. They take everything. Searching the lab, they find an odd plant that Tetsuo believes is the possible cure for the plague in his homeland. But it's a plant from the Feywild, Valder offers to help locate more.
The party teleports back to the Kolat towers and searches the other treasure chests in the tower, recovering some mundane tools and blank spell books. Valder tells them he is going to leave Waterdeep, he has completed his mission of vengeance for his father's death and Manshoon's trespass into the Feywild. He is going to cede them his share in the tavern and some of his share of the treasure in return for their help, but he is leaving the city once things are tied up.

Silly Quotes and Smart Remarks
Discussing the Cassalanters' surviving children
Jim "They were put in the divine witness protection program"

Orie is a half-drow, so there was some curiosity about her appearance
Michael "How dark are you?"
MC "Are you talking about my complexion or my alignment?"
Lee "She looks Scottish"

Killing time at the dive bar
Lee "Do you want to get some lunch?"
Mike "No thanks, I don't want to get hepatitis"
Lee "You could get some liquor, unless it's Dominican Republic liquor"

The halfling gang walks in to the bar
Mike "It's like the Lollipop Guild"

Lee is looking at an NPC's list of spells
Lee "Holy fuck; I'm casting that!"

Harker fails his saving throw versus Cone of Cold
Mike "Get this man a blanket"
Jim "And a hot toddy"
Mike "I put a pot of tea on the stove"

Jim comes back in from the other room and missed a Bang Bus comment, Bang Bus 32: That's Above My Pay Grade"
Jim "How did it come up?" wanting to document the origin of the quote
MC "It just kept coming up"
Lee "Bang Bus 33: It Just Kept Coming Up"

Barakiel finds some finely crafted and bejeweled wooden wands or batons
Michael "Maybe we can get them enchanted into something"
MC "A buttplug"

Chmiel and Michael missed part two
Lee "Hey, we've only got one Mike, that's going to streamline things. We'll be 5% more efficient"

MC rolls very low damage against the monkey demon
Mike "Tis but a flesh wound. This game is kill the monkey, not spank the monkey"
Jim "Bang Bus 34: Spank the Monkey"

The prison guard tells Edgar to shut up
Callum "Make me"
Jim "Is this your first time in a prison scene?"
Mike "Have you seen Pulp Fiction? That's what's going to happen to you"
Jim "Does 'Turkish prison' mean anything to you?"

Edgar casts Color Spray
Mike "A necromancer after my own heart"
Jim "It's all shades of black and grey"
Callum "Goth Color Spray"
Mike "You cast it by blowing the smoke from your clove cigarette"

'Get on your knees boy' was a repeated phrase
MC "Is there a Bang Bus for get on your knees boy? Bang Bus 35: Get on Your Knees Boy"

Discussing a possible trap
Lee "If the clamps released, the floor would no longer communicate with the wall"

The party finds a Wand of Binding
Callum "Kinky"
MC "It just makes you constipated"

Discussing Edgar's personal washing habits
Mike "You use Dove body wash, but it's just dead doves"

The bridge and catwalk have no railings
Jim "Oh, it's Imperial construction"

Going through the book shelves
Lee "Bang Bus 1: Hot Elves. Bang Bus 2: Hot Elves, signed edition. Bang Bus 3: Hot Elves, My Ears Aren't The Only Thing That's Pointed. Bang Bus 4: Hot Elf on Dwarf Action"
Mike threw out a couple about halflings and hairy feet, but I missed them
Callum "Necromancer 1: The Dead Aren't The Only Things Rising"
Mike "Spectator 1: I Like To Watch. Spectator 2: Will You Do My Wife?"

Summing up the last session for Chmiel and how Edgar disappeared awhile back, but he woke up here in a cell
Jim "We were at the bar; it was last call for karaoke, then I was here"

The room tile is labelled "E1"
Mike "Evil Room 1"

Looking into the purple mist outside
Jim "If you stare into the mist, the mist stares back into you"

The villain has a gold gauntlet
Kevin "How many gems are there on the gauntlet? I just want to see how far we are in the story"
Lee explains it's not Thanos' gauntlet
Chmiel "Good, we don't have to sacrifice our redhead"

A joke was made about a giant clown appearing
Jim "Keep Trump out of this"

MC "I'm not very smart"
Mike <Forrest Gump voice> "But I know what swear words are"

Orie misses again
Chmiel "Can't even hit the bong"

Examining the wizard's study, decorated in purple, with a couch
Chmiel "It's his casting couch"
Kevin "It is totally the 70's in here"

They find a book of dwarvish phrases
Jim "Does it say 'My hovercraft is full of eels'?"
Chmiel "Dwarvish dick jokes"