Friday, March 5, 2010
It was called West Watch, a failed attempt at permanent occupancy of Waterdeep’s sandy shores at the foot of the mountain’s western cliffs. Built just south of the west gate and away from the fisheries of the time; these stone vistas consist of a sturdy main structure with two to three smaller satellite buildings, sometimes connected via passages within Mount Waterdeep’s cliff wall.
Fifty years ago.
A huge, oily-black monster was hauled ashore in nets and onto the fisheries. It was said to have had wings despite its underwater traits, a tail, and a general appearance not unlike a black dragon of the largest size.
When dragged out into the air, it revived, reaching out its long neck to devour surrounding fishermen who stood too near. Forty-eight wizards and warriors took spell and sword against the beast and when it was defeated, it belched forth a substance described as black sea froth.
People began to fall ill to a strange disease that caused fatigue and their skin to acquire a scaly texture. Most folk believed this strange malady had something to do with the sea dragon’s appearance.
Elspeth was the oldest of many siblings. Her parents were poor, and left her with the church of Helm when she was young. She was raised by the priests and watchers and became strong in her faith. With unsurpassed talents in treating for the sick and wounded, Elspeth stepped in and commandeered the West Watch as a hospice to treat the peculiar disease only to later fall to the illness herself.
The West Watch never saw resurgence in popularity and is largely considered polluted and tainted. To this day, nobody can explain the appearance of the deep dragon (that is what sages refer to it as) or the accompanying disease. Mongrel men gather here in shanties for protection and to fish the mud-trawl that populate the mud flats.
Since the dragon; twice each year, during the spring and again during the autumn equinoxes, enormous waves rise up from ocean and batter the western mountain side. These waves bring giant bull-crabs as well as swarms of hostile crown-crabs. The Mongrel men utterly fear the bull-crabs and avoid the West Watch whenever possible.
Worshipers of Umberlee have taken the equinoxes and the regular occurrence of the devastating breakers as divine providence and hence come here each time to make offerings and live sacrifice to the waves and the Queen of the Depths.