My companions and I encountered a stout dwarf by the name of Smokus Smoothbeard in the marketplace. He is somehow connected to Coral and was sent to join us in figuring out whose weapons and armor is in the warehouse, who is storing them there, and why. We decided it would be best to follow Coral’s advice and cross the Winged Wyrm, a massive stone bridge stretching from the Protector’s Enclave and the Black Lake District, to and search for information at the House of 1000 Faces. No matter how many times we cross the old bridge, the same eerie feeling returns. A metallic taste in my mouth that just won’t go away until we cross back into the Protector’s Enclave. A long time ago, when Neverwinter was a much brighter and happier place I could cross this bridge without the turning in my gut, distaste in my mouth, and sense of foreboding danger.
The House of 1000 Faces is quite the unforgettable establishment. One whom enters its doors will never forget what they see. The namesake holds true as mannequins and mirrors fill the giant room with hundreds if not thousands of faces among its patrons. The Eladrian Rion, being the trickster he is, challenged our newly found dwarf to a drinking contest. With no desire to drink, I looked around noticing a table of rowdy female elves, some half-orcs throughout the crowd, and an odd halfling sitting alone in the corner starring off into the mannequins and mirrors never letting his flagon touch the table. With nothing better to do, I decided to walk around and perhaps learn information that could be helpful in our investigation of the warehouse. Too distracted by all the mirrors, I stumbled into a mannequin which then knocked over another and another and another. I stood up and dusted myself off yelling out to the crowded room starring at me, “Anyone seen the bard? I was told he needed a juggler.” Everyone starred at me as I was the town lunatic. Noticing the bartender was coming my way, I picked up the knocked over mannequins and did my best to put them back together neatly. I walk back over to Rion and the dwarf finding the Eladrian completely drunk with his face in his glass. “Propriety Rion” I scolded him.
I overhear Blackthorne challenge the group of rowdy female elves to a duel. We gather ourselves and head out to see what all the commotion is about. The youngest as well as smallest of the female elves is dueling Blackthrone by the time we got outside the House of 1000 Faces. She whacks Blackthorne overwhelmingly, he responds with a lightning fast strike almost taking her down in one blow. She attacks with her sword and misses as he easily dodges the clumsy attack. Blackthrone asks her if she wants to give up. Ignoring him, she attacks again and misses him as he sidesteps out of the way. Again, Blackthorne asks the young elf if she wishes to give up. Determined to not give up she thrusts again at Blackthrone and misses as he parrys their weapons barely touching. Staggering around Blackthrorne takes advantage and hits her with a green flame which engulfs her and then quickly goes out leaving the elf on the ground. The other elves interrupt announcing the duel is over. Embarrassed by their defeat, they admit their training is far from finished. Blackthrorne is rewarded by them with a sword from their and his homeland. The leader of these elves is Zeldra,and she explains how they have been here just over a week training to join the Drow in Castle Never. We ask them about the falling stars from the other night and they tell us they saw them as well. The elves bid us goodbye and walk sheepishly away. We all go back inside the House of 1000 Faces.
One by one we approach the halfling hoping he would have information for us. He tells us to leave him alone. With all sense of social norms lost to me at the moment, I go to put my arm on his shoulder and say, “If you stare at them long enough you can see a hidden picture.” The halfling flings a coin hitting me in the temple. Our Drow always quick to battle challenges him to a fight. The halfling tosses a smoke bomb and when the smoke clears wererats have us surrounded. Looking at the wererate closet to me I swear an oath to the Raven Queen that he shall be the first to die for her pleasing. Her strength fills my muscles as I overwhelmingly strike the wererat inflicting as much possible damage into his flesh. The halfling yells, “Take that short beard” as it attacks our dwarf and throws another smoke bomb concealing itself. Everyone is immersed in the heat of battle, I turn my head to see our Drow blinding the wererats with her electric magic but it doesn’t seem to hurt them. The halfling jumps out of the smoke and tries to attack our human ranger but misses throwing another smoke bomb and hiding in his cowardly cloud. Rion commands me to finish off the wererat infront of me as I gouge him with my greatsword. Our Drow creates a snarling rabid wolf illusion with her magic to distract the remaining were rats. One attacks me but I easily dodge the blow. I yell to the ranger to raise himself and fight off this vermin, these encouraging words worked as he mastered the battlefield hacking and slashing until his armor was soaked in rat blood. With a sword in each hand he cut each rat in half. Our Drow tries her magic again to freeze a wererat but it just shakes off the ice shards. The halfling jumps at her yelling, “Surprise attack!” knocking her unconscious. This halfling is impossible to hit, the ranger double attacks missing it with both swords. Rion rushes over to heal the Drow. Every wererat in the battlefield attacked him as he ran across to save her. I do not know how he accomplished such a feat but Rion managed to heal her and himself during all of this. The newly rejuvenated Drow spins her staff over her head showering the wererats in attacking spiders. I channel all the divine power of the Raven Queen and slice a wererat in half, the ground beneath him shaking forcing the other rat and the halfling back. The halfling immediately offers a truce. How could I honor such a cowardly plea, die with honor! Ignoring his request I slay the last were rat, leaving him as our only opponent. He attacks me with a deafening blow knocking me to my knees. Once again the halfling asks us if we want a truce. He tries to bribe us with a magic sword and information. Trying to intimidate him, Rion holds a sword to the halfling’s throat. He throws another smoke bomb and escapes leaving a sword and a note as promised. Even the least trustworthy are honorable in the Black Lake District.
The note he left behind is directions to the fallen star just over the wall. We would have to go back into the sewer by the warehouse to get to the other side. The bartender is not happy with us for the mess from fighting inside. Overturned tables, broken chairs and mannequins litter the floor. He tells us that this halfling is a regular and every time he comes he causes trouble. We offer to pay for the damages which the bartender refuses telling us the halfing is always starting fights and “had it coming to him.” We stay the night at the House of 1000 Faces. I barely sleep tossing and turning all night with haunting dreams of my past life when the Black Lake District was a beautiful place. During breakfast everyone eats but me, no longer do I ever get hungry nor thirsty. I overheard people talking at the next table, one of them says, “I heard they found them, they are just like the others.” His friend replies, “I bet they are demons, not like the others but the wererats.” Shortly later, everyone ready we all head to the sewers.