Thursday, March 29, 2012

Ministry


Kalina oriented herself on the divine power she held and focused her will upon whom she spoke. Today her ministry of charm and trickery brings her to the Efreeti Bottle. Thanks to the proprietor Hasar, Kalina now conducts fellowship with the followers of Sharess...
                                                                                                    
“...I come before you bearing two aspects familiar to you all and assure great power to be bestowed after a Year and a Day. I stand before you as Mistress of Hidden Blades and the Lady of Illusion...”

Belgora stood by as he watched his goddess speak. He was her protection on her tour of Waterdeep’s temples. The Efreeti Bottle and the Servants of Sharess was just the first; soon Belgora would see Kalina safely to the Font of Knowledge where she will employ her charms and divine knowledge to potential faithful.

  
Briar strolled within the trees and ponds in the Shrines of Nature holding hands with Tehtira Bellsilver. The two had become very close since the events that struck a major blow against Chauntea, and since both Anarakin Iriboar, the avatar of Sylvanus, and Tehtira accept Briar’s vision of a strong, vital woman as a suitable candidate as the next Mielikki Briar was a welcome visitor to the glen.

“...I will honor what Mielikki held dear, in addition the clergy will be exclusive to women who will hold the family sacred, be the protectors of animals; some will seek to become Sisters of the Cloak. Loyalists will revere me as goddess of the Moon and Travel, Lady of mothers and animals...”

Briar, Anarakin and Tehtira believed they knew where one of the final two aspects Briar needed before she was ready to ascend the Celestial Staircase and the mysteries beyond, but to do this they would first need to consult the Font of Knowledge and the clerics of Oghma.  


Arsten walked with a renewed vigor in the afterglow of acquiring his new aspect; Nobility was high on his list, mayhap the most important after war. It was important for Arsten to maintain his concept as patron of generals and tacticians; he also wanted to include a sense of civilization and protection in his faith as well. His ministry was small at the moment; Arsten was many things but an evangelisits he was not. Nevertheless he found himself speaking to other gunslingers, training in the cold sleet just as he was...

“...War is an exercise in mental warfare gentlemen; a game of Castles with hard caliber gunslingers as the game pieces acting upon their commanders orders. War is sometimes required to maintain civilization; wars are won with knowing of ones enemies, proper planning, and great noble deeds. I would stand as these things…as the Mark of War.”

As Arsten left the North Tower exercise yards, he saw a group of apprentice gunslingers talking excitedly about this new angle for Tempus, the current incarnation of the god of war. Arsten would have this mantle for himself, and change the flaming silver sword symbol of Tempus to the big revolvers of a gunslinger.  

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Aspect of Undead


  1. Drendar, Oracle of Law in life; in death he is a HeucuvaBoccob 
  2. Lord Darkness, the Sword-Wraith; where there is night, there is Lord Darkness. Myrkul
  3. Delmaria willingly served Myrkul in exchange for advanced Summoning rituals; she exists now as a Crypt ThingBoccob
  4. Mazrikoth, also a Crypt Thing and Fate speaker was the second of the corpse watchers. Myrkul
  5. Nastorrian, the final Crypt Thing and watcher, stands now as a symbol of Undeath. Myrkul/Bhaal

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Lost


Garic Stonefoot and his wife Shandril had been lost for weeks. Part of a small band heading to Skullport they became separated when a hoard of undead set upon their group. Shandril stricken with fear fled off into the cavern, Garic fearing for his wife charged after her. By the time he caught up to her and calmed her down, they returned to the battle field to find everyone was gone. All signs pointed to his party being killed and drug off by whatever horrors that had attacked them. With his wife in tow he had managed to avoid all the nasty’s the Undermountain had to offer. This week he had managed to skirt around a group of Piercers, a pair of slimes, & a Bulette. They’d also run across more wondering undead than he’d ever thought to exist. A cartographer by trade he had hoped to map a route from Skullport to Waterdeep. However his aimless wonderings over the past two weeks had produced maps with no origin or destination points and no known landmarks.

The day had started like all the others. Garic had wondered down a side corridor foraging for food. Though he had to admit the thought of another moss & mushroom meal turned his stomach it was at least keeping them alive. In the darkness of the cavern he caught the unmistakable smell of death. He gripped the worn haft of his old battle axe and listened. He could hear them coming, the scraping of bone on stone had become a familiar sound these past couple of weeks. He thought about making a run for it, but knew Shandril would be seen if she tried to follow. He ducked down a narrow side passage as his wife quickly followed him. All at once light flooded the large cavern, so bright their dwarven eyes burned with its radiance. By the time they could manage a glimpse half of the skeletal precession was already past them. Never had he know the undead to carry light before. His thought was immediately interrupted by conversation. A women's voice echoed through the cavern, he wanted to look but dared not risk being seen. Her voice was soothing, a radical change from the constant nagging he had been forced to listen to the past couple weeks. He could only make out a few words before the echoing distorted her speech, “Yawning Portal” and “Another entrance”. She must have come down the portal, he whispered to his wife. We will follow them back to the surface.

Monday, March 26, 2012

A Horseman's Message


Tauron's uncle appeared at breakfast, unusual as he had risen early and was working in the stables each other morning he had stayed in Waterdeep.

"A messenger brought this to me this morning in the stables. It doesn't make much sense to me, but the scroll came sealed with The Horseman's stamp." Tauron certainly picked up that his uncle truly was working to extend his influence in the Association. The Tet read the scroll together.

" My lords, much of what had been reported appears true. Yamun Kahan is truly a northern barbarian king so drunk with lust for strife and combat there seems to be no end to his reign of terror. It seems he has abandoned his tribe for at least the early winter to continue his raids and murderous pillaging. His horde is not large, maybe half his retinue, but it is voracious. I don't know if it's possible, but I believe the Horde carries an aspect of war or battle frenzy. His trusted man at arms, Dazar, rides beside him still, as flush with the rage as any of the warriors he commands. His leadership shows the most in the superior horsemanship of the horde. He makes them a terrifying cavalry. His mystery man, as it were is no man at all. Druids of the north tell me he is in fact a goblin who calls himself The Master of Curses. By their descriptions he his a cleric of Beshaba, but from my observations - albeit distant observations - he is more. I think he holds at least Beshaba's aspect of luck or misfortune. He carries a flask in a sack covered with fur, and from it hurls curses of bad luck at foes, or any one who annoys him or threatens him. He does seem to exhibit some control over other's "turn of luck". The tribesman see him as a shaman, and believe he is warding away bad luck from them. They have jokingly named him Willhelm, which seems to infuriate him. So far the only conclusion I can make is that this barbarian king sees this winter as a season for holy plunder and savage ravishment.I will track the horde as long as I can."


Drendar Wands

In 1032, the great mage Ahghairon assumed control of Waterdeep from the brilliant tactician and war lord Raurlor. Ahghairon, powerful in magic and diplomacy, opposed Raurlor’s warmongering during the deadly Trollwars; as well as on many other fronts- no all on the fields of battle. Ahghairon therefore posed a serious threat to Raurlor and his expansionist campaign to broaden the territories and natural resources around Waterdeep. Raurlor attempted to arrest the wizard, and when he did- Ahghairon used his magic upon him; betraying Raurlor’s sword into a deadly viper, whereby it bit  Raurlor, poisoning the  war lord and killing him.

Ahghairon seized the opporotunity and proclaimed himself the first Open Lord of Waterdeep. He then began to establish a new form of government that involved what would become known as the Masked Lords. This ruling council of ‘lords’ would be comprised of highborn and commoners alike; however their identities concealed so they could argue issues with anonymity and vie political influence as equals.  

One of these first lords selected by Ahgharion was Seragrimm the Just, keeper of the treasury. Seragrimm’s passion was to protect the city and keep Waterdeep peaceful and safe from evil. This desire was so strong that upon Seragrimm’s death, he did not completely die. Instead, he lived on in undeath, safeguarding the city’s coffers; using his magic to direct the actions of his officials. His primary emissary was an Oracle of Lore Drendar Wands, wizard and leader of a secret cult of Boccob evangelists. It was Drendar and not the lich behind the mask at council acting as Seragrimm.

Rumors of rebellion and conspiracies began events that ultimately led to Seragrimm’s famous ending as skeleton trapped before Ahgharion’s Tower. As a consequence, the office of the treasury was assumed by another but the lordship and the council seat passed to Drendar and the Wands family. 

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Aspect of Chaos


Tauron Tarm presented his SamularSword Arcanum with deadly purpose; speaking words of glorious retrubitionagainst the vile and cunning Brokengulf family, his eyes penetrated hisdesignated challenged opponent; striking true- emptying the man of his lifesustaining organs.

The gore and entrails of theunfortunate Kagull Brokengulf spilled upon the cobblestone with a thicksplatter. The poor sage who only moments ago saw his salvation from thedungeons in the form of a young dark-skinned lass; only to realize she wasopening the way to his death. Darkness took Kagull, and the sage was no more.

Eva looked upon the entrails and immediatelyfell into the touch whereby she bore witness to a vision. Eva begain tointerpret the blood and gore; as she did, her speech took on an abyssal quality-no longer speaking in common.

The touch filled Eva with a sense ofTauron’s fate, and what she saw terrified her. It was twice the size of a man,humanoid, and covered with thick coarse hair; it had ram-like horns, dead whiteeyes, and at least a dozen mouths of animal-like ferocity about his muscularform. The demon, among other things was an Avatar of Chaos, and was along Tauron’s path to becoming the Gypsy Lord. 

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Knights Upon a Quest

“Gond protect us!” The gnome cleric exclaimed in words to his god. The three companions were rounding Tarnished Alley when they noticed a blue-skinned giant, pacing- like patrolling from Mirt’s Smuggler’s Dock to The Reach.

“It looks like Mirt finally took my advice and acquired protection, albeit to far mayhap because I was referring to a form of armor for the man.” Sai Torvil remarked with a hint of mischief in his demeanor. The trio had just left Castle Waterdeep after applying for and received of, quest from the Knights. Each of their spirits was high despite the early wintry day.

“Do they make armor in that size?” Asked Stribling, his gnomish features took on a thoughtful astonishment as he tried to imagine such ridiculousness.

“They make barding for horses, do they not? Bah!” Shagg said with a wink. “But for a smelly-ass giant? Bah! If Mirt wanted proper personal protection he should have inlisted me kin!” the dwarf- paladin said as jabbed a thumb at himself. They watched as the giant stopped to speak to a group of individuals- speaking with and not fighting. But before any of them could identify them, a cold blast of wind whipped up the snow and the people were gone, only the giant remained.

“I have a bad feeling about this…” Stribling said, holding his musket at the ready. The giant, unfettered by the harsh elements, continued his patrol.

“Come now Stribling we have to have words with our patron before we depart on our charter. He has been our benefactor since the beginning.” Torvil said and as he did, Torvil took stock of the giant. It was not what the giant had, because it was meagre as outfitting, but how careful he was when nearing Mirt’s Mansion; taking care to watch his steps along the way.

“Let us move while big-blue has his back to us.” Torvil said as he moved out from the alley towards Mirt’s Mansion. The giant seemed oblivious to their presence and continued toward the harbor.

The trio moved as a team; Torvil, with Durindana in his grasp at the lead; Shagg his armor shining with the hammer symbol of Gond, taking center; and Stribbling at the rear sweeping his musket right and left, covering their backs.

With Torvil’s attention split between the Mansion and the giant, Torvil did not see the uneven stone protruding from the road and tumbled hard on to the ground with an audible curse; Durindana inadvertently lost in the snow.

Torvil’s curse was cut short as he watched in disbelief as edges of the ground around him rose up; curling like an old map, then suddenly with no warning- enveloped Torvil in a vice grip. Gone are the pavers of the street, now there is only the constricting pain of an avalanche. Torvil could hear sounds outside of his stone prison, but could not gather enough air to make so much as a plea for help. Torvil became disoriented; darkness began to flood the edges of his vision as he slowly began to suffocate. Torvil’s eye opened into the astral, and what he saw changed him in a very fundamental way. Pain was all he felt for what seemed like a long time for Torvil, then as abruptly as it all began- it ended. Torvil’s stone prison opened like a petal and returned to its paver-like shape. His astral sight gone as well.

As his disorientation faded, Torvil began make out the shapes of his friends, the giant and another figure who, Torvil soon realized was talking.

“Apologises Sai Torvil, one cannot be too careful in these times of trouble.” Mirt 'The Moneylender' said as he helped Torvil to his feet. “My friends this is Goram, I have hired him to protect my interests.” Mirt motioned to the giant.

“Well met and may your days be long upon the earth.” The giant said in perfect common and reached out a hand. Torvil accepted it and returned introductions.

“These,” Mirt motioned to the uneven paver as well as to several others. “are trappers.”

“I know them.” Shagg interjected. “Magically manipulated ooze or slime; they have a natural camouflage and a ‘tooth’ that they use to trip a victim into his trap. Bah! I’m not impressed!”

“It was not intended for you. Come,” Mirt motioned for them to follow him to his Mansion. “I’m sure there is a reason for your visit. Let us seek shelter from the storm”

Torvil retrieved his sword and as Mirt lead them to his mansion Torvil reflected on what he had saw; a stairway spiraling out from a mountain covered in blood. The stairs made their trek along the outside of a tower-like structure, pausing at balconies at regular intervals. The spire seemed to disappear into the heavens. Like a dream, the image was quickly fading for Torvil, but one thing remained: a presence so powerful and omnipotent that could only be the overgod.

Mirt’s Mansion was like a fortress, nestled along the slope of Mount Waterdeep amid picturesque trees and bushes. Once inside the private parlor, Mirt called for his servant Salicia, a quiet albino woman who obviously possessed a sorcererous bloodline. “Salicia, arrange for three more at dinner tonight and have Goram bring in the Warchest.”

Shagg loved Mirt’s Warchest; it was usually the reason for their visits. Outside the parlor, Mirt’s dinner guests were arriving and being led into the main conversational. As Salicia exited the parlor, Shagg caught a quick image of a humanoid dinosaur creature, a saurial or some such. But it was too quick for him to make out any detail.

“No need for the Warchest today Mirt and apologizes we cannot stay for dinner,” Torvil said with obvious regret. Shagg elbowed his human companion. There’s always a need for Mirt’s warchest, Shagg thougt and he was hungry.

Torvil elaborated, “We have been awarded a quest by the Firelance Knights and only wish to say farewell; you have always been accommodating and honest with us and for that we thank you.”

Mirt’s expression was one of pride and astonishment. He produced a decanter to toast their success and then asked, “What will you be doing my friends? Ridding the undermountain of giant spiders?” he laughed at his own humor.

Torvil and Shagg both honked at the jest aimed at Stribbling who, everyone knew, avoided the undermountain at every opportunity.

“Instead,” Torvil said. “we are to be apart of Sai Piergieron’s response to the dragon-flight. The Knights believe that smuggling cursed items into the hoards of these dragons will weaken them and mayhap get them to turn on each other.” Torvil paused then added, “we are to venture into the High Forest and smuggle Bracers of Defencelessness into the hoard of Turqual the blue.

“Will such an effort work?” Asked Mirt.

“Who knows?” Stribbling said.

“But they do pay well.” Shagg added, as they both took each others hand in a warriors clasp; wide grins firmly etched on their faces.

As if on cue, Goram entered with the Warchest.

“Then you may find need of the Warchest after all.” Mirt smiled at this and took his warchest form Goram. “You may go Goram, see that tonight's guests do not run a foul with the trappers.”

Stribbling rolled his slate-grey eyes as he watched Shagg; the dwarf could hardly contain himself. Torvil approached as Mirt opened the Warchest and began to take out several items while also offering practical suggestions on the use of each one: a decanter of endless water “you don’t want to run out of potable water… no matter where you are”; pipes of sounding “create or alter nearly any sound, a handy distraction”; and the cloak of the bat “essential gear for almost every adventurer”.

Before making his entrance to dinner Mirt watched as Torvil, Shagg, and Stribbling headed east from his mansion to the High Road. Mirt thought back to earlier years when Torvil was just a squint, innocent and full of fire. Today Torvil embarks on his first quest with his friends and this brings Mirt to tears. “Fare well Sai Torvil. Fare well… my son.”

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

From the Official Record Firelance Palaver; Sai Piergerion Presiding


New Entry: The Palaver recognizes Damian Agundar


Sic: Thunderstaff interjects, redacted

Begin Damian Agundar

Talos and Umberlee are dead, behold before you, I am the Lightning Lord! God of Retribution.

Sic: Thunderstaff interjects, redacted

Divine Domains entered: Note Firelance Silmerhelve to amend record with Domain Entry

Continue Damian Agundar

Cassalanter family are snake men, Brokengulfs are traitors to the city. Calls for truce between any disagreeing noble families in preparation of the dangers that Waterdeep prepares to face, declares war is coming, Sic: Supporting claims and evidence of Waterdeep’s dangers and war seconded as fact, Sai P. No further support necessary.

Continue Damian Agundar

Offers path to nobility to remaining Brokengulf’s supported by members of the Firelance Knights through Noble House Roaringhorn, declares Brokengulf name to be no longer noble due to the Brokengulf treachery. Restates support of Waterdeep and declares Waterdeep to be Holy Ground. Reiterates offers of truce during Waterdeep’s time of troubles.

Sic: Sai P advises D. Agundar to move onto his next point or conclude

Continue Damian Agundar

Declarations of Agundar Estate preparations, troops, and support towards city since return to city.

Sic: Several interjections of support and commendation. Sai P verbally commends efforts.

End Damian Agundar

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Breaking of An Order




The silence had become palpable, no one meeting each other's eyes. Far off in the distance, echoing off the stone walls, came howls, yelps and growls of the various animals that was kept under the Fields of Triumph. Rikus glanced to his side, at the human man who was slumped on the floor, staring off into space. Rikus, a bald dwarf, stood out from all other dwarfdom as he was shaven. As punishment for some mysterious wrong that he'd done to his clan, Rikus had to shave his beard off and then was exiled from the clanhold. He'd made his way across Faerun, fighting here and there before finding a home and acceptance among the Order of the Black Sword. Wijon, his closest friend, human or otherwise, had joined the order around the same time. Forming under the stern leadership of Belgora Agundar, the Order had been a successful adventuring company before accepting an offer to fight solely in Waterdeep's arena.


"So, anyone see that new creature they brought in, the one from the jungles of Chult? Two horns above the eyes, one from the nose. Big as a house!" announced Gregor Greenstaff, the company's mage. He looked around the room, but no one met his gaze. He shrugged uncomfortably and lapsed back into sullen silence.




Rikus could stand it no more. Straightening up from his slouch on the wall, he cleared his throat, saying "Well, Wijon and me are gonna go back out on the road. Belgora's left us, seems clear to me. We're on our own now." He looked down at Wijon. The large man nodded his agreement.


"So that's it? Belgora leaves and we just split up?" asked Carmenell, the female archer. "Who says one of us can't take the lead? Or do we need a leader? We just talk things over and agree on an outcome. How does that sound?"


In a surprisingly soft voice for such a large man, Wijon answered "It wouldn't work, Carm. Belgora drew us, held us together. Without him, this... "order" would never survive. I've been getting the feeling Bel's heart hadn't been in anything he's done for awhile. I think that's what kept him here."


"Nay, that brother of his kept him here. Now that he's gone, Bel can come out." said Gregor, picking his teeth with a splinter.


Rikus shared a look with Wijon, who shrugged, and spoke "Whatever you decide, Wijon and I are out. We'll take our cash, find lodgings in the city and wait out the winter. When it breaks, we'll hit the road."




The others looked at each other, their eyes asking questions they couldn't bring to voice. Carm wearily rubbed her temples. "Fine. You two do what you want. I'll find Norsinnow and let him know."

Tales from Killraven Keep

The Magister recoiled at the surge of wild magic; even through his magical bowl, the ripple of magic shattered the seeing bowl and temporarily robbed him of his senses. As he recovered, the Magister found himself on the cold stone floor, his spectacles within reach; but the necromancer discovered he had a visitor; a most unwelcome caller in any event.

Suddenly and at once the Magister was on his feet with a jeweled black wand in his aged outstretched hand, all thoughts of the mercenary Max Rinnen and his magical bowl forgotten; there was no movement, just one blink- floor to feet, wand in hand.

Cyric was a walking cathedral in both monumentus physique and artistic expression; scores of detailed and elaborate tattoos covered his body; symbols and recreations from each church he was said to have visited- temples of tyranny, subjugation, and loss. He stood menacingly over the Magister, his eyes- the shape of tombstones, an indication of the divine power Cyric held. The man began to speak to the necromancer with a deadly even coldness that dulled the Magister’s senses.

The Godson assembles his pantheon Magister; we are yet called again to hear his words before the last portal to Waterdeep it to be exhausted.” Cyric said.

The Magister turned his attention from the giant man to his robes and devices of office and followed Cyric to the main audience chamber of Killraven Keep…

The Godson saw his fate clearly before him; he is to stand as over-god, administering his own hand-picked pantheon; seven individuals of established notoriety and prestige in his father’s church- weather clerics, sorcerers, or murders- the Godson had is fate clearly before him. The Magister, archmage of necromancy; Cyric, the contract killer; Randron, the drow sorcerer; Ferestain Halaster, Highborn of Zhentil Keep, and the others were to be the Godson’s intermediaries in his malevolent pantheon. Dark times were on the horizon for the ffolken of Faerun.

“My faithful associates...” The Godson began once his seven disciples, his seven aspects, were present and assembled before him. He liked the comforts of the Moonsea keep, the Godson mused; it would be bitter sweet to see it absent from sight. For weeks now the Godson had begun to assume a human form, so that he may pass unremarked if he so wished; he took this form now as he spoke to his trusted ka-tet.

“I have brokered discovery as to Killraven’s portal’s destination; it will transport us to an underdark seaport that connects with Undermountain. I would not have us blindly traverse these ancient gates without assurances; therefore, our first step upon the stairway to heaven begins in Skullport.”

Then all at once they shouted “Iyachtu! Iyachtu Xvim! Iyachtu! Iyachtu Xvim!” the Truename word for the Godson and the title of their new world to come; a realm remade in tyranny and fear under the aegis of immortals.

The assemblage began at once to outline their immediate and long term plans in their crusade of oppression and subjugation, of conquest and intrigue; wisely knowing to take only what was needed, and seizing the rest along the path. They would establish a dark ministry within the halls of Undermountain and put forth a call to worship to supporters who would realize their sacraments and defend its tenants.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Left Behind

Max Rinnen found that he liked the Dragon’s Head Tavern and visited the establishment as much as possible; the sudden change in tonight’s weather brought him in for a mug of warm graff and the comfort of safety should his pursuers find him- hopefully Max would get lucky and Trystan would likewise be driven into the Dragon’s Head from the cold.

Since arriving in Waterdeep Max discovered the chilling nature of The Magister’s agents, horrific augmented zombies to which the Magister could see through and should some unfortunate soul die at the cold hands of his zombies… would soon rise as such an undead. Max was terrified these undead would also be under the necromancer’s bailiwick. Taking the Magister’s coin for the past four years at Killraven Hold taught him a lot, not the least of which: Max did not want to find himself as an undying, undead slave.

To this end Max made some inquiries and discovered the City of Splendors has become the City of Fate for many this winter, the city is fast becoming crowded and with a war being waged on so many fronts Max in his mind of intrigue couldn’t balance them all at once. He ordered another graff and then noticed Trystan; tall, slender and grim enter with a stunning blonde woman who wore the symbol of Sune and captured the eyes of everyone- human or otherwise.

Max fingered the scroll that would protect him from undeath as he watched Trystan arrange his lady fair’s seat at a table and then was seated himself. Gillian told Max this popular theater actor possessed a divine aspect that enabled him to duplicate and fabricate runes and magical scrolls; Trystan would assuage Max’s fear of becoming undead by making more of his pilfered scroll.

Then the fabric of magic rippled and the Dragon’s Head Tavern became a bloody, chaotic battle field….

Max was quickly pressed to the wall near an exit by an elemental creature that tried viciously to envelope him. In mere moments when all directions became one and then nothing, Max fought off many different types of outsiders one that was unmistakably undead- this renewed his fears of undeath, so when the elemental attempted its enveloping attack, Max sifted to his left and back, found himself on the Tavern’s deck without the creature, and stumbled back onto the grass.

“Grass!?” Max exclaimed out loud to no one. Then the Dragon’s Head was gone, winked out with a sucking of air. Also gone was the smell of pipe weed, the screams of terror, and as Max looked about the city of Waterdeep itself!

Where was he? Max thought as he rose to his feet and picked up his sword. He scanned the countryside and saw curious basalt ruined structures poking up from the ground. Max ventured around and noticed the weather was not the broken sky as above Waterdeep, and the weather was not as blustery.

Finally after about an hour, Max happened upon a patrol of riders all bearing colors Max recognized. He breathed a sigh of relief and hailed them, his arms waving about as if he was trying to fly.

The riders responded immediately and rode at a gallop to him. Max quickly composed himself to not appear threatening as they held up and stopped about thirty feet away. Max noticed their horses were healthy and well maintained; they were well equipped, and the patrol leader was beautiful swords-woman upon a sterling white stallion.

“Well met good folks.” Max said, projecting his voice opening a dialogue. “I have fell victim of magic gone awry and humbly request first aid and… well,” Max paused. “I do not even know where I am. Can you offer sanctuary? I offer what skills I have in return.”

The patrol palavered for a short time among themselves when finally the woman nickered her horse to stand before Max, she even smelled beautiful.

“Well met stranger. I am Allene Macgovern.”

Friday, March 9, 2012

Tales from the Dragon’s Head Tavern Two

Syndra Wands sat at the long polished bar close to her new friend Eva; their quarry sat at a table beyond the central square fire pit that warmed the Castle Ward’s most popular drinking establishment. Seated at that table was Trystan, a scribe and theater mogul among bards and orators; and Aymee Talmost, a figure of statuesque beauty and self-proclaimed Avatar of Sune. Together they palavered over their drinks unknowing of their watchers. Outside, the storm was steadily growing in intensity, wind and ice made tonight one of the busiest Sunday evenings since Shieldmeet.

Syndra appreciated Eva’s help but sat uneasy in the company of her ka-tet. Families such as the Agundars and Thunderstaffs were not well like in the Order and were sometimes regarded as hostile; and families like the Tarms were largely seen as subservient because of their association and membership within the caravan’s guild. The Dark Enchanter, Huld Belabranta held office in the Order and was Syndra’s only involvement with the Grimm eccentric family until meeting Briar. She welcomed Briar’s position on improving women’s social class and thought to speak with her more on the topic. Syndra immediately liked Kalina’s no folly attitude and thought she would be good in a fight, but it was Eva whom she had a deeper connection with, in fact Syndra now understood Eva was somehow connected to the Wands- for good or ill.

The time had come to advance the surveillance effort further; Syndra prepared her Beaker of Plentiful Potions as magic was cast to determine the nature of Trystan’s and Aymee’s possession of divine power- an aspect of Rune or Lust.

Wild unfettered magic pulsed like a ripple in calm waters simultaneously opening a set of doorways sending the Dragon’s Head Tavern and all of her patrons to five of the closest portals in the North. Disorientation and confusion grappled everyone; patrons who were one minute enjoying a mug of graff suddenly fell upward as if gravity were reversed; a Halfling who, this time had an honest flush in his pudgy hands, was hurled with his back to the wall, pinned and an unable to act; while Syndra’s prepared elixir went awry and changed her into a mug throwing half-orc, suddenly unable to cast her spells.

The portals cast out all nearby planar aspects: Arborea, Hades, Limbo, Mechanus, and Purgatory, from their possessors in the form of seven extra planar beings, some undead, some mechanical and others elemental in nature; outsiders equipped and motivated for purpose.

Syndra struggled to help against the outsiders but maintained her attentions on Trystan; one of the creatures- an insect of blood- was threating to drain him and Aymee of their life. Then Eva fell under attack! Syndra turned her attention to the threat and used her wand to aid in the creature’s destruction… now in the form of an elemental.

Trystan was immediately overwhelmed by the vicious outsiders, he could barely maintain his defenses. He did not feel the disorientation as others felt, but was in fact parted with two planar aspects he had carried; he still was in possession of two others however, but that was not going to help him much now. He had only rudimentary skills with the rapier he carried; but it was all he could do to defend himself and Aymee from horrible death.

Aymee was briefly disorientated when the tavern began to traverse the ways between portals. When she regained her perceptions she saw most of the patrons were either held to the walls or standing on the ceiling with blank looks on their faces. Trystan was pressed in combat with a being that had the look of death, she stood and began to provide healing energies to him hoping aid would soon come- Trystan is not to die at another’s hand.

Syndra crept up behind Trystan, hoping Tauron’s aid in battle would provide her a viable distraction, and then she realized Aymee was watching her, seeing Syndra as her true self. Then Aymee did something that utterly surprised Syndra; she moved to flank Trystan!

As the final clockwork centaur was struck down Syndra buried her magical blade deep into Trystan’s flank yeilding the Rune aspect and providing Aymee with an advantage to finish the murder and seize the aspect of chaos from the ugly man.

In the aftermath, fifteen people had perished, eighteen had survived, and one individual had been left behind in the ruins near Secomber. Investigators found no structural damage to the Dragon’s Head Tavern but warned the establishment was still under the effects of wild magic, as well as statements from survivors that the defenders against the attacking outsiders saved them from wholesale slaughter and the paperwork that created.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Low Hanging Fruit


Geoff was quite drunk and would have been hard pressed to name the Inn he was at if asked.  The name of the Inn was the Pampered Traveler and Geoff had ended up there due to the owner’s friendly policy towards the shorter races. After resting a day from journey to Waterdeep, Geoff had made his way into the bar for Breakfast and had not left since.  During his time in the bar he had grown friendly with two individuals, Tanis Stormweather a disillusioned nobleman and Emilia Husteem a nervous young woman who constantly fiddled with a pouch that hung from a necklace.  Finding them both susceptible to his wisdom he started to confide in them.
“Tanis as you yourself stated, everyone has their eyes to the sky.  I’m proposing that a group of enterprising individuals such as us profit on the bits and pieces being ignored on the ground!” Geoff proclaimed, pausing only when a new mug of ale arrived.  “Emilia certainly with your knowledge and connections we could position ourselves to take full advantage of all the wealth being ignored right here!”

Tanis Stormweather grumbled, continuing to carry on about his crazy Uncle leading his family to ruin.  Tanis would get in a few complaints between Geoff’s drinks and pauses for breath.  It didn’t really bother him though since the Halfling had provided him an introduction to Emilia. Tanis signaled to the barkeep that he would need a room this night, hoping that he could convince the young woman to join him there. 
“The Brokengulfs are disgraced, Geoff, we could certainly look into what areas we could profit from their demise.” Emilia explained, “We can certainly increase our chances at wealth if we don’t have to turn over anything to our respective families.” Emilia carefully watched Tanis to see his expression when she said this.  Hearing him grumble about his family while Tanis stared at her bosom Emilia assumed she could seal their alliance by joining him when he went to his room. 

“Wonderful Emilia!” Geoff gushed, “With Tanis’ brawn, your knowledge, and my wits and charm, our wealth is all but guaranteed!  Tomorrow we shall go hunt low hanging fruit!” Geoff continued to proclaim their future success, drinking into the late hours of the night until Tanis stood and invited Emilia to his room.   Smiling and accepting his invitation, Emilia prayed that the three of them were successful enough before her family could discover where she was hidden.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Bordane's Palaver Announcement



I, Bordane Agundar, descendant of Huma Samular, King in the North, called Dragonslayer, do announce my candidacy for entrance into the Order of the Firelance. I hereby swear that I shall defend Waterdeep and her interests from all enemies, both foreign and domestic. No enemy shall freely escape unpunished, and all allies shall share in my strength. By my pistol, sword and life, Waterdeep shall rise to still further heights and greater glory.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Piergeron Palaver Notes


A few topics are in my mind, Samulars, to address Sai P. in this meeting. Foremost is the dragon turtle Briar and I dispatched on griffon patrol. It is our tet's intention to have this meat harvested and prepared to add to the city's food stores. Mention that our group and the Tarm Household have been actively building food stores for the upcoming disasters prophesied by so many. Maybe speak of some other ideas I have had brewing for building food stores. On a side note, we know that was a true dragon, one that had probably sunk numerous ships. Although we are completely unprepared for searching for an underwater dragon lair, it may be worth mentioning to Sai P. as a way of building resources. If it could be located quickly, it may be found unguarded.

I have thought of a different approach for dealing with the Waukeen infidels. I would like to petition Sai P. to recognize the siege in Yartar as declaration of war by Waukeen upon Tymora. With their overrun of our temple and murder of the many faithful who defended its walls, we would claim the right to defend ourselves against Waukeen's church and its agents as if in response to war actions. Specifically, I would like to claim the right to capture its clerics as war captives, to ransom and bargain with a wartime enemy.

Third, I will announce my plan of building a cavalry to protect my interests and loyalties. I will assure Sai P. that I will give regular reports of my numbers and armaments and I will further assure him that the cavalry will reflect the same service and loyalty to Waterdeep our Samular tet has shown.

All the Kobolds...In UnderMountain...

Lady Cherillyn Anteas had enjoyed the last three hours immensely.  Something was happening beneath Waterdeep, kobolds were pouring out of the basements and cellars throughout the castle ward.  Her battles with the kobolds near the Anteas’ holdings were soon joined by the new order of Knights whose guns rang with deafening bursts.  What had been a life and death battle had quickly turned into an extermination, albeit a humorous one.  The kobolds reacted in a bizarre manner to the guns, approaching the knights in a curious fashion where they would attempt to watch what came out of the barrel.  The knights quickly discovered that they could allow two to three of the goblinoids to line up, their shots easily tearing through all of them.  Even the dour knights could not contain their glee, bragging to each other how many they had killed with one shot. 
As much fun as it had been the noblewoman was tired from the exertion and needed to arrange for cleanup and removal of the kobold carcasses.  Heading back up the street Lady Cherillyn was shocked to see a light-blue skinned giant standing outside  Mirt "the Moneylender’s" home.  Taller than the home he seemed to be waiting outside of the giant regarded Lady Cherillyn and several of the knights behind her.  “My name is Goram,” the giant spoke in perfect common, “Mirt has hired me to protect his home!”

Sunday, March 4, 2012

The Fallen

Sakornia was shocked to find the urban people of Waterdeep just as desperate to believe in something greater than themselves as her own people had been. For the last hour four witnesses shared their tale of a local noble who they claim is becoming the “Lightning Lord”. According to all four of her witnesses this nobleman rides a flying black winged horse. One of the four claimed that the rider called his mount Tempus but Sakornia thought that was window dressing to increase the old man witness' importance and value in her eyes. Still they all claimed that the nobleman took to the sky on a previously unseen mount and called lightning down upon his enemies. Three of the four witnesses claimed he moved supernaturally prior to enemies dropping down on the nobleman’s companions from the high rooftops above. If these people were to be believed the battle took less than a minute. No-one she spoke with had a clear view of the short battle but all agreed that this Lightning Lord called himself Damian when he summoned lightning and his voice was like thunder.


Growing disgusted with her investigation, Sakornia decided to search the battleground to see if she could find any evidence to support such claims of divinity. Sakornia and her supporters were desperate to identify as many of heaven’s petitioners as they could before the year and a day arrived that  the voice spoke of during star-fall. Sakornia was a member of The Fallen, a group of priests and paladins of dead or altered gods from Azuth to Waukeen. The Fallen believed all the gods were dying and the world will end in the year and a day the great voice spoke of if these arrogant people attempted to storm the heavens in the mistaken belief they can claim the god’s powers.

Sakornia searched for an hour before she noticed a floating, glowing light, like a snowflake flittering around areas where the bolts of lightning had struck. Small tremors of electricity ran across the glowing flake of light revealing a creature’s bone structure inside the glow. “Was this a creature born of divine power?” Sakornia wondered. As if in answer to her thoughts, one of the nosier witnesses she had spoken to called out, “FireStar!” pointing at the glowing flakes of light. Sakornia thanked the witness, the older fellow, and then left the area. She decided she had enough evidence to add this Damian to her groups list of divine challengers. She hoped when The Fallen decided to approach Damian he would be smart enough to listen.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Evening along the Waterdeep Way

Arina, Captain of Tauron’s regulators in the name of Tymora, earned her rank and status by her wits and by her physical strengths in both a warrior’s power and a woman’s charm. She was idolized by women far and wide across the realm; indeed women who ever thought to raise a weapon in their own defense or in the defense of their faith- Arina was the paragon of that vision. She was a hero to the women who knew her. Arina though to one day lead a matriarchal society or a barony mayhap with a company of warrior women of Tymora.

She looked up and smiled to the cleric of Gond who again accompanied her this cold and stormy night. He was a strong man- tradesman at heart, and with that came a confidence with his talented hands- hands who knew how to handle a woman. Again she smiled, and continued to walk up the street while sharing her background with the charming Gondsman.

After the investigations in Yartar and my following adventures with Cirillo, Miltiades, and Sai Holloran that summer, I have now been given the honor to further Tymora’s calling.” She looked longingly into his eyes and then away. Silence passed like a cold wind between them. The storm was still gathering strength; ‘dear spirits’ she thought- ‘no storm god to pacify, no shield of protection- only...’

“Come, ‘Rina” Taking the woman by the hand, the Gondsman motioned to the tavern across Waterdeep Way. “We can take refuge in yon tavern my Lady Fair.” He gave her a mischievous smile that was infectious and turned for the Dragon’s Head Tavern, their passage creating parallel prints in the new snow… then a pulse of soundless thunder rippled out from yon tavern and Arina and the Gondsman were suddenly thrown off their feet and into the slush.

Arina quickly looked about, her perceptions still in a haze but she steeled herself and noticed the cleric was knocked unconscious; not seriously hurt. From across Waterdeep Way the tavern, which only seconds before promised a warm hearth and warmer company, now flickered erratically in and out of existence- its patrons in a confusion of muted screams, bloody weapons, and wild destructive magic.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Fear Creeps Like A Shadow


"Captain!"


Myndalyn Arbannon looked up from the map that he'd been frowning over, reviewing the route of the next leg of their voyage. His second-in-command, what the humans would call his first mate, came barreling into the maproom of elven cog, Jhavarin's Blessing, moored at a pier at Waterdeep docks.

The second dropped a twine-tied bundle onto the map desk, "This was found on the deck. Lorash had the watch last eve and states no one ever approached the ship. Nor did he see the package 'til I pointed it out."

Myndalyn looked from his second to the bundle and back, his frown switching from concentration to confusion. "And no one else saw this, either?"

"They were just getting updeck, setting about the morning chores." the second informed.

Nodding, Myndalyn drew the knife that was thrust through his belt. The wide blade, more a tool than a weapon, easily sliced through the cord that held the bundle together. He then unwrapped the bundle, which was an animal skin, revealing a tunic. It was blue in color, but there were large rust-colored stains covering. Slashes covered the fabric.

"What is... " started the second.

Myndalyn unfolded the tunic, the shirt stiff from the colored patches. He ran his hand over the embroidery, recognition dawning upon his face. "This is Kendal's" he muttered to himself.

"The cabin boy? Surely not, my captain!" whispered the second.

The elven captain looked up sharply, anger clouding his face. "I would certainly recognize the tunic given by my sister to her youngest son, my nephew, before he left on his first voyage."

Myndalyn continued to unfold the tunic, finding a scrap of parchment amongst the folds. He unfolded it, holding it close to the cabin's lamp. Scrawled crudely in elven, the message read "elves go home". The captain looked up at his second and asked "Do we have any crew offship today?"

"No, my captain. All hands are remaining aboard. We merely await Kendal and the prince. I assumed the boy was simply lost in a lover's arms, spending away his money at his first port," answered the second.

The note crumpled as Myndalyn's hand balled into a fist. In a voice mixed with rage and fear, he said, "Open the weapon's chest. I need to make a trip to Celegral the delegate."

Tales from the Undermountain

From a Knight of the Firelance dispatch report.

Undermountain day 1

Within hours of being lowered into the sewers, Uthrac- Balin- Vhaas and I observed several cave-ins and structural weaknesses to the main sewer lines under what we agreed to be Waterdeep Mountain. It is not clear if the dragon-kin we were sent to investigate caused them or the monsters simply took advantage of the exit. Several unexplained events occurred during this time (spectral sounds and minor ethereal lights); however none brought harm or loss.

The basilisk’s back trail lead down into what Uthrac recognized as one of the fundamental levels of the mad wizard’s undermountain. During a brief respite we began to her sounds of battle- and gunshots. We hastily proceeded north- deeper into the dungeon toward the sounds. After several turns and hallways we discover the basilisk trail ended exactly where forces were engaged in battle: a trio of exotic looking dwarves armed with rifles against a dozen dark-fey.

Finding a commonality with the dwarves, we rallied against the dark-fey and successfully drive them off. Due to injuries sustained in the battle, we were unable to offer chase.

The dwarves showed us gratitude and identified themselves as Udall, Mikor, and Vanos, of the Melairkyn and keepers of the Melairbode. They spoke in an archaic dwarven dialect and gave off a supernatural aura. They related their story to us and explained their mission to us: in the treasure acquired from the Edomira’s dragon hoard was a chaotic evil weapon- vorpal sword. They intend to discover a means to destroy or neutralize it.

The dwarves have agreed to accompany us on our return tomorrow. Also of note these dwarves display a great understanding of artifice and smith work as exemplified with their familiarity of firearms.

End of Gunslinger Report
Brenton Durinbold

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Ghoul’s Blossom

Arnivon, then Paladin of Ilmater, treasured the icy northlands for their solitude and their mystical nature that inspired self-discovery. All paladins under the Crying god in the North are required to live a nomadic life; visiting isolated communities where savage frontier life was embraced and endured. Those who prayed to Illmater would shortly receive a visit from the Paladin who would ease their suffering by taking a bit of it upon himself. Through his god, Arnivon was able to shoulder a measure of suffering away from the follower in an about based on his faith in Ilmater; it was a power granted to only a few by the Crying god.

In the first six months of Arnivon’s ten years of service, he was hastily overwhelmed with the immensity of his task. It was more torment and grief upon the lands than the paladin had ever dreamed could exist. Arnivon began to question himself and his calling. Was he up to the task? Could he relieve such burdens from these hardened ffolk? He did not think so. The North was brimming with hardships for hunters, barbarians, and farmers alike; not to mention the emotional suffering felt by the children of these frontiersmen who worried sleeplessly for their fathers, who after setting off to hunt, may one day never return.

Fueled by the desire to liberate the suffering or chronicle their death in the case of martyrdom; the paladin turned to an alchemist who told him of a pollen that would allow Arnivon to endure more pain… in the name of his god. Little did the paladin know that the pollen would lead to an addiction so powerful that it poisoned his soul and ultimately resulted in Arnivon falling from favor.

“The flower is commonly called the Ice Rose.” Garegamel explained to the paladin. “It only blooms in the winter and is so rare that one dose costs more than most of these humble folk of Uluvin will ever see in their life time.” The alchemist convulsed in giddy laughter at his own cleverness. “He-e-e-e-g!"
“Where may I find this white rose?” Arnivon asked, already skeptical of the evil little man.

Garegamel turned, hiding his nervous twitch gets when he tells untruths. “Ice Rose! You will find it near sacred or blighted grounds, yes- yes that’s where best to look. He-he-e-e-e-e-g!”

Producing a book Garegamel turned a well-worn page or two and showed Arnivon a drawing of the flower. The alchemist was careful to hide the script that infact described exactly where to find the undead plant: ‘upon grounds where an undead, typically a ghoul- was defeated and was buried within the earth.’

It was a month later when Arnivon finally found a medium sized (and oddly man-shaped) grove of wild Ice Roses. Harvesting them as the alchemist instructed, the paladin crushed the petals into a white powder so fine that even the slightest of breath threatened to ruin his weeks of searching.

When Arnivon first inhaled the powder, the paladin soon found that his capacity for enduring pain and easing ones suffering was increased manifold. Arnivon marveled; such a flower with properties such as like these must be a gift. Ilmater’s Respite Arnivon came to call it, and for over the next twenty-one months the paladin became addicted to the flowers’ properties. Arnivon preached vigorously the properties of Ilmater’s Respite, paying no heed to his own responsibilities for the easement of suffering; instead distributing Ilmater’s Respite to the faithful with the hopes that others received the same ‘blessing’.

There was no enlightenment for Arnivon; there was no self-discovery; and by the time the paladin arrived to Waterdeep and realized his sins, there was no Ilmater.