The party outlays 200gp to fix up the warehouse as their base of operations. River identifies a reputable local stonemason and commissions the addition of a basement with several stone rooms, two cells and an armoury with a lockable iron door. Malik labours in the armoury, creating a teleportation circle keyed to the magical ring received from Laeral.
While James and River wander the streets in search of supplies to stock the newfound headquarters, they discover they are being tailed. James lingers behind and spies a middle-aged human woman, who approches and begs him to find her missing husband. He and their son left to search near their farm (close to Daggerford) for their escaped herd, which had half been slaughtered by creatures unknown. The son had been amusing himself nearby before discovering that his father had gone missing.
Back at HQ James and River relay the woman’s plight to the group, when suddenly the earth is shaken by a large tremor. The cleric fails to keep his feet, and the guild members determine the epicentre to be somewhere in the direction of Waterdeep Mountains. Many earthquakes were rumoured to have occurred centuries ago during the God Wars, and have been happening more of late. Very reassuring.
Malik declares that he has completed keying the teleportation circle in the basement armoury, and the adventurers agree to travel to Daggerford by way of their castle teleportation circle, for efficiency. The party enters the circle, Malik activates the spell, and they arrive in a dark unfamiliar room bearing no resemblance to Castle Daggerford, sans Malik.
Ok, so probably the earthquakes messed up the Daggerford circle. But still.
A look around shows discoloured flagstones, and Rivers keen knowledge of masonry confirms that the carvings visible are ancient. (Did the earthquake block the circle we were sent to after??). The heroes step down into a forest of stone pillars with an arch on the far side, and spot a metallic object on the floor. The naturally inquisitive gnome finds it to be a very old human coin, and she pockets it. They spot the skeleton of large snake coiled around a far column, and when they try to retrieve the skull it crumbles to dust.