After being catapulted out of the realm of the formians, the Furious Five (less their compatriot Ailyn Siendil, who has been off wandering in ancient realms for lo these many months, the Five found themselves in the Ivy District, a rich neighborhood on the North side of Waterdeep. After taking an evening to rest up, and a day to sell their loot, they were approached in the marketplace by a servant of Asheron Coyl, a wealthy patron of the arts who lived in the area. The servant delivered a message from Asheron, a request to meet with him later that day to discuss “a mutually profitable business arrangement.”
Our players accepted the invitation and later that day went to meet with Asheron. When they arrived at his house, however, they saw a scene out of a horror movie. The front portion of the Coyl residence was in a shambles. The door, hanging from its hinges, was smeared with blood, and screaming sounds, punctuated by a slithering hiss, accompanied the sounds of a life and death struggle. Rushing in, the heroes saw two giant, tentacled creatures, one of which was holding the battered and dead body of Asheron himself.
As soon as they entered the room, the tentacled horrors attacked them. Taking relatively little damage themselves, the Five defeated the monsters in short order, but were stunned to see the creatures’ carcasses dissolve into large puddles of paint when they died. Upon questioning the surviving staff, the Five learned that just a short time before their arrival, a man that a servant identified as Darius Finch, aka The Well-Dressed Gentleman, delivered a package to Master Coyl. The package was a gift from an anonymous fellow patron of the arts, and as soon as Asheron took the paper wrapping off it, the tentacled horrors appeared and began their devastation.
Questioning the staff further, they learned that the deliverer, Darius, had mentioned that he had other similar packages to deliver as well.
The city guard had arrived by this time, and hired the Five to find and bring to justice whoever was delivering these paintings, and to stop further violence. Following leads, the Five chased Darius to three other locations, barely stopping the uncovering of the painting that had been delivered each time. At one point, even they got transported into a painting and had to fight their way through two chain devils and a soul harvester before getting out and rescuing a man named Endrik Archerus in the process.
Eventually, they discovered that the person creating and sending the magically trapped paintings was a certain Imron Gauthfallow, a gifted wizard with a surprising talent for painting. Imron used his past adventures for inspiration for his paintings, which won some acclaim at local art shows and contest. Unfortunately, though, he had no head for criticism, and felt great bitterness toward those who disliked his art. He finally lost control when he discovered that a local celebrity artist, Endrik Archerus, had been stealing his ideas and paintings through a spy that lived in Imron’s home. Angered at the dual treachery and audacity, Imron came up with a horrible plan for revenge and created the paintings that would spawn monsters when uncovered. He sent them to his greatest critics, and to Endrik himself. He also killed his servant by trapping him in a painting in which he was tortured and devoured by hell wasps.
The heroes travel to Gauthfallow manor and battle past two hell hounds to gain entry. While exploring the house and finding Imron’s magical paints and brushes, they fight two warriors who both look just like Imron, but who have very different personalities. One of them was very gentlemanly and rakish, while the other was a barbarian just short of a wild beast. They were curious about this, but did not let it daunt their courage or their determination to unravel the mystery.
After exploring the upper levels of the mansion, they find his private gallery in the basement, wherein they discover a haunted portrait and a magical portrait of health. Finally, after fighting a room full of animated suits of armor, all of which were armed with halberds, they find a hidden room in which the actual Imron has been hiding.
Lying on the floor of this final room, in front of a large life-sized wall portrait, the actual Imron was found, weakened and all but incapacitated, but protected by a shield guardian. He had trapped himself inside of this magical portrait, creating two copies of himself, (the rake and the wild barbarian), that went through the manor to attack any intruders. Now that the duplicates were destroyed, all of his plans revealed, and his evil deeds exposed, he was dejected and lost. He surrendered his shield guardian, and will allow himself to be taken into custody and turned over to the authorities.
In the end, the Five obtained some amazing treasures, not the least of which were the Portrait of Health and the shield guardian, both of which will take up places inside of the Lucky Monkey.