Episode 11 is a keystone episode for third season. The Sirens have the Emerald Cabal’s blueprints for a massive machine that will grind monsters into potions of immortality on an industrial level, and they’ve figured out that major figures like Lord Cassalanter and the Zhentarum are providing the shipping and logistics. Xanthar’s guild of slave and monster hunters are providing the ingredients by capturing and trafficking the required monsters.
So what will the Sirens do? Attempt to shut down the Emerald Cabal’s legitimate business enterprise, that’s what. Watch the video below first if you don’t want spoilers, but then catch a guide about the Cassalanter family of Waterdeep, and the full episode recap!
The Out-Of-Game recap:
House Cassalanter is one of the four main antagonistic factions in Waterdeep: Dragon Heist but their history spans over multiple editions of Dungeon & Dragons, including several novels such as Tangled Webs, Windwalker, and Elfsong. Seeing them pop up in The Sirens, means we might need a little context as to who this family is (as we will surely see more of them).
The house was ennobled a few centuries ago when the Lords of Waterdeep began to recognize merchant houses as Lords and Ladies. Thus showcasing that with enough money, you can acquire almost anything. This money, the Cassalanter family earned from banking, lending, and rumor-mongering for the highest payout. Banking is always an interesting element in D&D games, because every player is terrified to store their money in a bank. It’s not like banks pay out interest for putting the money in there, and with all of the magic it’s likely to be stolen. Regardless of monetary policy, the Cassalanters made a fortune doing so and as you’d never expect: they were the heroes.
That’s right, originally, the Cassalanters were on the chaotic good side of the spectrum. They worshipped Waukeen the god of banks and Siamorphe the god of divine rulership. Caladorn Cassalanter was a hero of the house who went undercover, adventured, and eventually turned over devious plots by the Lord’s Alliance. In time, he grew from adventurer into one of the fabled Masked Lords of Waterdeep itself, and became a primary patron of the cities navy since he understood the challenges they had in maintaining order around the sea of swords. Ultimately a pretty good Lord and not a particularly bad fellow, all things considered.
Give it a generation.
Victoro Cassalanter and Ammalia Cassalanter were the next generation down and took over power in the house after Caladorn passed away from age. Naturally, it seems like a logical leap to transition your entire business model over to the worship of Asmodeus and predatory lending practices. They signed a contract with Asmodeus, in which they agreed to give up the souls of their children in exchange for power, good health, and long life. Clearly this means that their eldest son Osvaldo, should be taken immediately and transformed into a chain devil; and the youngest were going to be turned into some lemures in about 9 years. Realizing that… maybe this wasn’t the best idea, Victoro and Ammalia discovered they could prevent this by paying Asmodeus in 99 souls in sacrifice and the lost gold beneath Waterdeep, their children would be safe (and they would keep their boons).
That ladies and gentlemen, is how to turn a good house, into an evil house. Here’s a family photo below!
The Story Thus Far:
The Sirens have figured out the game. The noble families of Waterdeep are involved in the conspiracy with the Zhentarim, Xanthars, and the Emerald Cabal to make people immortal, if they have the money. Clearly jealous over the Emerald Cabal’s motives—the Sirens plan to sneak into a ball at Lord Cassalanters estate and foil some plans.
Fey Lore reveals some information she gained while sneaking around, and found a list of creatures that the Emerald Cabal plans to use in their contraption, as well as a trusted lead that could accompany them to the ball. Even though the Zhentarim may be the ones doing the shipping, not everyone is happy with what’s going on it seems. (Clearly, someone in the Emerald Cabal is embezzling money and not paying their employees a fair wage. These fiends should be found and brought to justice.) It’s with this information that Brig realizes that there has to be a large carriage used to hold the monsters to be shipped. If they can find this, or signs of it, they might be able to pull off a rescue!
Plan conceived, the group leaves and heads into the Baron’s very large luxurious home with Rubies Mark, where they start getting ready for the ball. During which time, Ellamir studies the blueprints enough to discover that different parts have been constructed by different races and in different regions of the world. With this information, the party has a chance to bring down the larger global network, and while he studies the maps more—he summons a tailor to clean off the gunk from the fight club the party was just at.
One rocky griffin flight later, the party finds themselves at the fall party. The Lord and Lady Cassalanter throw serious shade on Feylore’s… contraption of an outfit. Luckily, it provides enough of a distraction for the rest of the party to investigate the other areas on the hunt for monster shipments. Outside of the party area, guards and patrols are rather heavy, but with enough sneaking and investigation they do find what they are looking for, even if it’s swarming with guards.
Handily, Feylore gets a little revenge on the Casslalanters by disguising herself as Lord Casslalanter and telling the guards to leave. Free to investigate further, the Sirens learn that the monsters in the carriage were actually headed to the Cassalanter family estate! Even worse… the monsters in the cage aren’t all monsters.
After 11 episodes into season three: The party finds Vlahnya in a cage. She has been poisoned, captured, then escaped, and recaptured multiple times, and now she’s off to the grinding machine.
A rescue just in time, and a major cliff hangs between this episode and the final few episodes of Season 3.
Have the Sirens been betrayed? Will the Emerald Cabal finally get the upper hand they deserve?
The entire Sirens Playlist: Youtube
Featured Images: Level Up Dice!
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