Standing in Mt. Waterdeep’s Cleft, the area that accommodates the griffin aerie, stables, and barracks, stand twenty-four trained and battle tested animal handlers, warriors, riders, and clerics gathered in four firm, militant rows of six.
Each soldier was outfitted in military Frost-Suit uniforms and their weapons: spears, swords, and nets were clearly displayed for inspection. Flakes of snow fell lazily as fire drums burned flicking their red tongues to the sky making it and everyone around appear as if they were bathed in blood. Above, winter clouds hung so low that even the Peak of Waterdeep Mountain could scarcely be seen.
Rodrigo Jardeth and Vance Jhansczil stood shoulder to shoulder among their ka-tet, each sworn by blood and by bond to either the Vigilant One or the Lord of Battles. They were all a part of Waterdeep’s new Griffon Guard, a joint coalition of Helm and Tempus disciples sworn to turn the antiquated aerial patrols into an elite early warning and aerial support system.
“Therefore it is important that the Griffon Guard discern the color of the dragon early and relay that information to the Watchers at the Castle and on the ground. Each dragon has its own unique method of siege warfare, not all dragon attacks are with tooth and talon.” Kelemvor Lyonsbane said to the men and women he had come to love and respect in past seven days. “Some wage physiological warfare as we have seen this week with terrorizing late night fly-overs while other dragons would see us slowly starve to death before the end of Wide Earth.” Kelemvor gave a nod to Sai Hawkwinter indicating for him to proceed.
“You have all done exceedingly well.” Brother Carmichael Hawkwinter said beaming at the gathered warriors and clerics. “Remember the sky is the dragon’s domain; do not let them lure you into combat. When they are otherwise distracted with combat from the ground drop your nets on them; if they be kings of the sky… then we will cast them from their thrones!” Thrusting his fist into the air Brother Carmichael looked to the sky.
Clouds slowly parted above as a huge pale silhouette took shape over the mountain and the gathered disciples. Men and women drew weapons and called for alarm, but it was not a dragon or anything else the Griffon Guard could have ever imagined even if given a dragon’s longevity.
Cold gripped them suddenly as what emerged from the grey soup of white and grey clouds was a massive stone face.
First separating the clouds a forehead emerged, then as realization turned to terror the Griffon Guard broke ranks and moved for cover. It was as if the sky was giving birth. The face was handsome, with the stern look of a man of authority and wisdom.
Impossible silence fell over the Cleft as the ten foot head fell lazily from unseen heights within the clouds. The stone head hit the mountain top with a loud crack sending shockwaves down the mountain side and throughout the city knocking nearly everyone in Waterdeep to the ground. Slowly it began to roll down into the Cleft.
Rodrigo quickly assessed the sky and both he and Vance agreed that any dragons about were not making themselves known, so they turned their focus the colossal marbleized head. The huge face tottered along the back of its head, eyes blankly surveying the winter sky. It rolled ten feet then rolled twenty feet the other direction threatening to crush Castle Waterdeep and the Ward beyond.
The Griffon Guard raised their hands, voices, and holy vices for the Strength needed to Protect Waterdeep. The head rolled again, this time coming within less than ten feet from the edge and the Castle Ward. Joining their disciples Brother Carmichael and Kelemvor, each the Aspects of Strength and Protection, stopped the progress of the head. However, the stone head began to roll the opposite way again. Vance knew if the head were to reverse direction again…
“Push it into the ocean.” Vance screamed his whole body rippled with divine strength and purpose.
Before the stone head had a chance slow in its backward movement toward Castle Waterdeep, the Griffon Guard as well as the Avatars of Tempus and Helm rolled the colossal head away from Waterdeep, down the west side of the mountain, and into the ocean.