Floon was overcome with relief. He sang the praises of Milo for saving him. Even though the party had worked together to find him, Milo’s was the first face he had seen and was only interested in the one who had physically cut his bonds. The rest of the group was a little annoyed but they were getting used to the fickle nature of some of the Waternavians they had met. They headed straight for the Yawning Portal to let Volo and Renard know that their friend was safe.
When they arrived they found Renard, no longer in disguise, at the same table as Volo. They were chatting and Renard was drinking profusely. He waved at them and cheered as he saw Floon next to them. Floon ran over to Volo and Renard to tell them all about his adventure. The party caught up a few moments later and were thanked by Volo as Floon had already told him the quick story. It wasn’t that long as most of the time he was blindfolded and gagged. He hadn’t seen much of anything, just remembered moving around a lot.
After going through the story in as much detail as they could for Volo and Renard they called for food for themselves. They deserved a good meal after a good job well done. As their steaming plates of stew arrived they casually inquired about their payment. Volo nearly choked on his ale as he heard mention of the hundred dragons each he owed them. He tried to buy them some drinks to loosen their focus on the reward but it was to no avail.
The group kept insisting until he gave up the ghost. He sighed into his cup and came clean. As they had figured, he did not have that kind of money just lying around but he did have something of great value for the team. He told them that he could reward them with a bar he owned and had been trying to sell for twenty five thousand dragons. They could have it as thanks for saving Floon. It was well over their reward value.
The Hand of Destiny knew they would never get the money they were owed and so decided that it would be a good idea to take him up on his offer of a business. With it agreed upon that they would take this bar in lieu of payment, they headed towards their new place of business and headquarters. It was located in the North Ward. That area was full of middle class wealth and the tavern they were about to own was purported by Volo to be a middle to upper class tavern depending on the theme they decided on.
They were trying not to get too excited at the prospect of owning another business, especially one in this part of the world, but it was really hard. They rounded the corner of the street they were walking down when they came upon their new business. It might have once been a tavern, but its days of life and drink were clearly gone. The windows were smashed out, there was no furniture anywhere, and the walls were peeling and rotting. It was a ruin of a place. There would have to be extensive repairs to get this old building up to running snuff.
Volo looked nervous despite them already having seen the dilapidated state of the building. They walked inside and Volo looked around with darting looks and dread in his eyes. They were about to ask when a piece of what used to be furniture came flying from one end of the room, between the party, slamming into the opposing wall. Then there was silence. The party was quiet for a moment longer and then shouting erupted as they demanded to know what that was. Volo put his hands over his face and confessed.
He was the owner of this bar and he was trying to sell it but couldn’t. There was a poltergeist in the tavern of an old barkeep that had died in a terrible fire. Many had tried to expunge the spirit from the place but to no good end. They always left, defeated by the powerful poltergeist. He had spent hundreds of dragons trying to exorcise it from this place and the spirit hated him for it. It always attacked him when he came in. The party spent a few minutes mulling this over.
Aleera, who had communed with spirits with her mother when they had been with their traveling tribe, was the first to act. She spoke loudly into the nearly empty rooms. She asked if the spirit could hear them and communicate with them. To tell his response she asked that he knock once for yes and twice for no. To the first question there was an answering single knock, meaning he could hear them. To the second question there were two knocks. He could not speak with them, just answer with knocks.
She then asked if there was anything he wanted so that he would stop causing destruction in the place. A single knock rang out. She asked if he wanted to be freed to move on and quickly there came two very insistent knocks. He definitely did not want to leave. Aleera remembered that he had been a barkeep here when he died and she asked if it was okay for them to open the bar again, with him as the spectral bartender of course. A hesitant single knock came. It seemed that he wanted to stay but didn’t trust that they would let him.
The party spoke for a few moments and came to the agreement that if he wanted to stay then he could as long as he stopped attacking everyone that came through the door. They agreed and she relayed the message, asking if that was alright for him at the end. There came a resounding single knock and it seemed like the spirit was happy to stay if it meant he could be barkeep again. It seemed there was nothing left but to build the business back up to presentability and open.
Volo, for his part, was relieved. Not only had he managed to get rid of his problematic real estate troubles but he also paid for the recovery of his dear friend with something he didn’t value all that much. It worked out better for everyone in the end except maybe the Hand of Destiny. They were mollified by the addition of yet another source of income to add to their coffers and Aleera was just happy at the prospect of making more money!