Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Let No Dragon Escape

The glowing trails of rapid-fire shots from firearms filled the sky over Castle Waterdeep as scores of Firelance Knights, following the call of their leader, fired on the attacking dragons. Gun smoke permeated the cold air, ghostly and foreboding in its presence. Cries of fallen souls rise above the din of the dragon’s guttural tongue. Frantic apprentices scrambled to refresh weapons as their Knights raised their Firelances into the turbulent winter sky.

“Gunslingers to me! Hile! For Waterdeep! For the Realm, let no dragon escape!” Sai Piergeiron called out drawing his Golden-Guns in each hand. At that moment he was The Paladin bearing a loving but vicious look in his eyes, wielding the power of craft and light against the tyrannical dragons. At his sides Sai Ireland Bladesemmer and Sai Baerom Thunderstaff each brought their weapons to bear, bullets biting deeply into ancient scales and tearing superficial openings in the beasts wings.

“Keep at it,” Baerom called out to Carn Manthar for him to focus his attacks on the dragon’s wings as Baerom drew on a fast approaching terror. The dragon was all horns, wings and teeth bearing down on him and Tryssia Lanngolyn behind him. Interposing himself between the woman and the dragon, he recalled who first ‘introduced’ the plan of placing the Firelance Knights upon Castle Waterdeep and not dispersed throughout the city…

“Esteemed Gunslingers, it is my honor to inform this body that The Hall of Heroes formally recognizes Kelemvor Lyonsbane as the Avatar of Tempus.” Ramsey Eagleshield said before the High Palaver introducing the man. Ramsey, a fellow knight, had once vied for the office but Kelemor’s charisma, warrior’s prowess and that he was not a gunslinger made him a popular candidate in the church despite winning each contest placed before him. Kelemvor’s smile was infectious and soon many stone-faced gunslingers were grinning profusely. However seriousness soon stole his mirth and the halls fell silent. 

“My Lords, I would like to submit to you plans for the defense of Waterdeep.” His comfort for public speaking commanded the seriousness of what he just proposed. With the overwhelming majority of gunslingers being public members of the House of Heroes, whether secular or spiritual, Kelemvor’s petition to be herd was met with eager agreements.

“I have spoken with Heilean, Avatar of Tymora; Brother Hawkwinter, Avatar of Helm; as well as Courtland Andrus, Avatar of Gond; all have endorsed what I bring before you now.” As he said this Kelemvor produced a well-known map of Waterdeep where several lines and locations have been indicated and circled in red.

Kelemvor spoke easily to each question posed to him meeting each with truth and wit. Kelemvor had been offering training courses to the general public not only to curb the general panic but to give everyone a hand in defending their homes. “The people will fight,” he would often say.

Placing the Firelance gunslingers on Castle Waterdeep placed the guns they had as close to dragons as they could get ‘short of flying’. Killing the dragons was preferred but the goal was to bring them out of the sky by tearing holes in their wings or crippling them. The Avatars on the ground will lead their cohorts and followers against the downed beasts creating a swell of citizen morale as well. The strategy was approved by the Firelance Knights with only three voting against…

The gunslingers fought without equal all that night. The bravery shown by each Firelance Knight will pervade many tales told about the Feast of the Moon all winter long. No dragons attacked the Trades or the Harbor, the Gunslingers successfully held the entirety Southern Waterdeep; in the Sea and Castle wards Avatars kept the dragon’s death toll on the people low by leading attacks; and the Cliffside Colossus, Raine Wand’s fabulous construction, proved itself ‘savior’ of the North Ward as well as Deadcity.

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