When you enter a hidden and forbidden place, and take secret entrances that only Infernal Tieflings can spot on a map—a ‘click’ is regarded as a bad thing. In the last session, our group of totally evil adventurers uncovered hidden maps that lead them through Waterdeep in search of their missing Band Manager (or at least a few clues). Finding the secret entrance to a guildhall at last, “something” triggers and clicks on the way in…
Video first. Spoilers After.
The Out-Of-Game recap:
The Sirens begin Episode 5 with a descent down into Xanathar’s guild hall, all the while trying to avoid suspicion and pull off attempted infiltration. Luckily for them, Liars’ Night is coming up. A holiday celebrated in Waterdeep on the 30th day of Marpenoth (aka: Leaffall). Paying tribute to the coolest Faerun gods ever: Mask, the god of thieves and trickery, and Leira the goddess of liars and illusionists. The Sirens have been preparing for the big Liar’s Night festival for some time, and even though the party is only one night: Sometimes Halloween falls on a Wednesday so you party on Saturday.
Xanathar’s guild just so happens to be celebrating a Liar’s Night party when the group infiltrates their hall, the party provides the perfect cover for them to sneak about. Why would Liar’s Night be celebrated by a guild of monster slavers lead by a greedy Beholder? It’s an evil holiday that’s why.
Officially, Liar’s Night is celebrated by donning illusions or costumes to become someone else. Common masks often include the symbol of Mask himself, or the mirror masks of Leira. The more elaborate the impersonation, or more decorated the costume—the more celebrated the wearer. Unlike our Halloween, using this celebration as a time to impersonate a city official, or noble and cause trouble becomes par for the course. This basically combines Halloween and April Fools into a single celebration (even worse since everyone in Faerun actually HAS magic).
When night falls, people place candles into Jack-O-Lanterns with a purpose: The pumpkin, represents who you really are while you’re off and impersonating another. As long as the candle is lit, any lies or embarrassing acts committed, will never come back to harm you. Quick thinking individuals might fancy the chance to blow out the candles for their rivals, but doing so earns the ire of Mask and Liera both.
An important note about Liar’s Night as festivals begin in the game: Any business and deals made should not be trusted, because any parties involved will not be held responsible for the agreements made. If you were looking to betray someone… doing so on Liar’s Night is the right time to do it…
The Story Thus Far:
If we recall earlier times in the Sirens history, they toppled a legitimate business enterprise by the Emerald Cabal who sold beauty products to nobles. What noble wouldn’t want to look young, beautiful and become immortal? Not everyone is an Elf or a Tiefling who ages gracefully into old age, or a powerful wizard capable of brewing alchemy potions. The Emerald Cabal cracked the code and by using parts of rare and exotic plants and monsters—they made tonics (probably foul smelling) that help with aging.
Of course these tonics will fetch a high price and… they may not work for everyone (or even be safe to drink). In Faerun, there is no FDA or safety precautions regulating products and potions you consume. Sometimes you end up looking young and wonderful, other times you grow spider legs. There are worse things in life. Then come the Sirens to mess everything up, toppling warehouses, blowing up the Yawning Portal and otherwise being a huge pain in the behind for the Emerald Cabal.
Needing to re-establish supply lines, the Emerald Cabal has resorted to hiring Xanathar’s guild to capture monsters so they can return to making tonics for nobles. Last session, the group found a series of hidden maps and made their way through the underbelly of Waterdeep, perhaps even into Skullport. After opening the cellar door, the group snuck in and…
The Sirens find themselves smack dab in the middle of a Xanathar guild lair.
To avoid suspicion, the group sneaks around and hides in punishment rooms where bad monsters need to go. Floor-by-floor they make their way down to a Liar’s Night party - a party where deception and pranks reign supreme, until Cadmael rouses suspicion by jingling bells (really, what cat couldn’t resist?). Regardless of Cadmael's actions, the Xanathar guild suspects someone might be infiltrating their lair.
Have the Sirens been betrayed? Will the Emerald Cabal finally get the upper hand they deserve?
The entire Sirens Playlist: Youtube
Featured Images: Gilding Light & World Anvil
Image Credit: Wizards of the Coast
Rick Heinz is the author of The Seventh Age novel series, Dread Adventures, and a storyteller with a focus on D&D for Kids, Geek & Sundry’s GM Tips, Eclipse Phase and an overdose of LARPs. You can follow the game or urban fantasy related thingies on Twitter or reach out for writing at RickHeinzWrites@gmail.com