Descent into Avernus

(Jeff_L) #1



The characters can either visit Elfsong Tavern in ac-

cordance with Captain Zodge's wishes or do whatever

else they please. Their goals at the tavern are to make

contact with a spy named Tarina and find out what she

knows about the Dead Three.
Zodge has spies who keep him informed on the char-
acters' progress. If the characters don't visit Elfsong

Tavern within forty-eight hours of receiving their orders.

Zodge sends a squad of six Flaming Fist veterans and

one ftameskull to escort the characters to the tavern,

kill anyone who refuses to go. and report back to him. If

the characters destroy or escape this squad, Zodge mo-

bilizes two more squads to hunt them down.

Elfsong Tavern's location is marked on map 1.1 (see

page 13), while map 1.2 shows its inte rior.

From time to time, the disembodied voice of a female

e lf fills the tavern with a melancholy song, giving the

establishment its name. The ballad isn't loud enough to

disrupt conversation, but most patrons stop speaking
when the e lfsong begins, then resume only after it ends.
Many customers frequent the tavern in the hopes of

hearing it. Those who speak Elvish can understand the

lyrics, which lament an unnamed lover lost at sea. No

one is sure how the spirit came to haunt the tavern, just

as no one can predict when it will sing again.

No wise person walks the streets of Baldur's Gate or
enters one of its taverns without a weapon or an armed
escort. Anyone who has lived in the city for more than a
tenday knows this from experience. Taverns might appear
safe at a glance, but they are among the most dangerous
places in Baldur's Gate-full of alcohol, tempting coin,
and unscrupulous people. Volothamp Geddarm, a notori-
ous raconteur known for his tavern reviews, encapsulates
his Baldur's Gate experience as "hard on the stomach, es-
pecially when someone sticks a knife in there." Customers
are expected to look after themselves when fights break
out, and one shouldn't expect any help or sympathy from
the Flaming Fist. Tavern murders are common, and usually
end with the poor victim being dragged away and either
left in an alley (to be picked clean by urchins, then eaten by
rats) or tossed in the harbor.
Ba/dur's Bones. Baidu r's Bones is a popular dice game in
the taverns of Baldur's Gate. Each player requires several
six-sided dice. The rules are as follows:

  • Each player puts the agreed ante in the pot.

  • Each player rolls three dice. Play then proceeds clockwise
    around the table, with the host of the game going last.

  • On their turn, a player can choose to "stand .. or "roll."
    If the player stands, the next player can take a turn. A
    player who rolls takes an additional die and rolls it. If the
    total of their dice exceeds 21, they "bust" and are out
    of the game. Otherwise they can keep rolling additional
    dice until they either stand or break.

  • After everyone has had a turn, the highest point total
    (excluding players who busted) wins the game and
    takes the pot.


Alan Alyth, the tavern's current owner and proprietor.

is a neutral half-elf commoner with darkvision out to a

range of 60 feet. Alan recently turned seventy-five years

old and has run the establishment for decades. His e lven

blood through his half-elf mother has kept him alive

this long, and keeps him looking better than most fuU-

blooded humans his age. He runs a moneylending busi-

ness on the side, offering loans to customers he trusts.

He rarely gives loans to adventurers, knowing how

Aighty they can be, but he might offer them a free glass

of elverquisst wine if he thinks it'll keep their swords

sheathed (see the "Taverns in Baldur's Gate" sidebar).


If the characters come to Elfsong Tavern in search of

Captain Zodge's contact, Tarina, they find her playing

cards upstairs in area E7. Among the dozens of other

patrons, they notice a few rats scurrying around as well

as the following noteworthy NPCs, who play no part

in the adventure but can be brought into the story as

you see fit:

Skrawldar Fane (neutral human commoner), a punch-

drunk shipwright with no eyebrows

Lala Stout (neutral evil lightfoot halfting spy), a scar-

faced burglar flipping a coin

Oloric Witmirth (neutral good human commoner),

an impoverished playwright who scribbles his private

thoughts and observations in a small book

• Whaul Nightley (neutral half-ore thug with darkvision

out to a range of 60 feet), a jovial, strong-jawed rat-

catcher with a bellowing laugh

Rahima Sajiressa (lawful neutral human acolyte of

Savras, god of divination and fate), a gregarious astrol-
oger who loves to gamble

  • Willow Brown bug (neutral good strongheart halfling

druid), a snooty apothecary wearing a colorful cape

If the characters need help finding Tarioa, a tavern

regular, they are directed to the second floor (see "Deal-

ing with Tarina," page 1 8).


The followin g area descriptions are keyed to map 1.2.

Alan Alyth tends bar while two young men (human com-
moners) named Falten and Yimiur take orders. deliver
drinks and food to tables, and joke with the clientele.

Flanking the entrance are two bouncers: a suit of ani-

mated armor called Klank and a gruff female half-ogre

named Skoona. Both are here to protect the other staff

members, not the patrons. and won't break up a fight

unless a staff member is involved.

Well-armed patrons (commoners and thugs mostly)

huddle around tables in the main room and in private

booths. Three padded chairs are angled toward a fire-

place on the east wall, underneath the creaky wooden

staircase that climbs to the second floor. Some drunk is

usually passed out on the couch against the north wall.

Next to the couch sits a wooden sea chest that contains

an assortment of games (Dragonchess boards, well-

used decks of Three-Dragon Ante cards, and so on).

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