Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Battle at Tirisfall Ascendancy 2

A disquieting calm had fallen over the North Ward and quite possibly- the alchemist mused, the anxiety he felt also had all of Waterdeep in a perpetual grip of terror. The cause of the fear was of course the immensely destructive power of the dragons attacks and the irregular flights that terrorize the city. As was customary a few days before the Realm holidays, times when the heavenly bodies (planets) enter the houses of the celestials (constellations), dragon siege tactics cease; but like as in all holidays since Greengrass before the Time of Troubles with the Noble Murders, dragon mischief has not failed to abide on these days.

Fear was the greatest weapon of the Dragons; used so heavy-handedly that even in its absence it nevertheless generated the feeling of perpetual disquiet Scirkel Wands observed in Waterdeep.  

A continual overcast draped Waterdeep and the North over the past several months and thus it was impossible to tell time by the sun; nonetheless the Wands House Alchemist produced a waterclock and noted with alarm his scheduled engagement is late to arrive.

A mild fog had settled on Waterdeep after the rains stopped further burdening the stressed mentality of the citizenry: phantoms playing on the imaginations of the fearful.

Moving to Drendar’s gate, the main entrance to TarisfallAscendency, Scirkel Wands struggled to see into the city streets. Producing some insect wings he blew them into the air before him; the effect caused a gust of wind to grow from his puff of breath to create a corridor of clear air.

From down the street at the very limit of the alchemist’s evocation, sounds of approaching mounts caught Scirkel’s attention. He paused anxiously but nothing came, no riders or mounts emerged from the soupy fog. Quietness threatened to suffocate him; the second stretched long before him.  

More sounds of approaching hooves stole his attention. Turning onto the street Scirkel could see three riders on horses. His dread turned to joy as he recognized his aunt Syndra led by Krys Wands and Morgan Eltorchul mounted on his pure-white bonded warhorse.

Scirkel greeted his aunt with a wide smile but just as the curves formed at the edges of her mouth in a return smile a substantive veneer of darkness blanketed the street cutting off his view of her.  

Then a violent flutter jolted Scirkel like a sap across the face, he lifted his fingers to the sting to find fresh red blood. A bat possibly - someone’s familiar; but it did not fit any bat classification he was aware of it had only one eye.

The flutter again rocked Scirkel’s head stealing his attention from Syndra to his own immediate dangers. Looking around he could not find his attacker, but herd rapid spell casting coming from Syndra’s entourage about thirty feet away.
Magical incantations were weaved in offense  creating a cacophony of sounds while the magical darkness flickered in and out disorienting the alchemist but during the brief flashes of ‘not darkness’ he distinctly saw the assailants- at least three dark-skinned fey with white hair to rival the pristine mane of Morgan’s warhorse.

Darkness was returning, but it was not the shadowy darkness that separated Scirkel from his aunt and the main battle it was the darkness of sleep that blanketed him now. 

Monday, March 25, 2013

Tales From The North Ward Guard Post 2

“I heard there was a palaver between the pantheons.” One of the two gate guards said in a: would you believe that? tone of repartee to his comrade- a seven foot tall dark brooding man who could not have seemed to care any less. As they walked into the North Ward guard post the working scribe noticed the late evening outside was brisk and warm for a change and, at least for now, the rain has given Waterdeep a brief reprieve.

Losifan Urdo is a scribe to the city watch and is responsible for collecting registrars from the North Gate to make sure they are error free, legible, and be available to ask questions to the gate captain or his designee regarding the lists of individuals, caravans, or adventuring parties arriving and departing Waterdeep.

“And,” the irritating gossip monger continued; “there was an immediate distrust between Protector Hawkwinter, Kelemvor the Good, and the avatar of death Eva Maerklos. They did not care for the death’s mistress at all.” The man could not hope to hide his fascination with the subject it would seem.

Losifan was educated in the church of Denier and could read nearly every written modern language but he did not need his extensive training to read the irritation on the brooding face of Captain Turgoz Tenhammer.

“Today’s transits and taxes collected Sai Losifan Urdo.” The formidable captain said industriously. “This is Duke Elton of Balder’s Gate he…”

But before Turgoz could continue with his formal introductions Duke Elton burst from behind Tenhammer to extend an enthusiastic hand in the face of Losifan nearly upsetting hours of work.

“Elton Johns good sage, I have traveled from afar to offer my expertise in whatever capacity the city desires.” His quick speech and bickering mannerisms immediately put Losifan on the defensive.

“If you please,” Losifan said, “I have to process this and I am already hours behind.”

“Apologies, I will trouble you no further.” Duke Elton Johns promised him, only to return to his previous subject matter of the pantheon meeting vying for favor of his superior.

The scribe watched in awe as the towering Turgoz stood uninspired at the incessant banter emanating from the Duke. The powers that be somewhere decided Sai Johns should temper his enthusiasm at the gates, Losifan harrumphed at the humor.

After counting the taxes collected Losifan Urdo then changed his focus to the transits, people coming and going from Waterdeep during the daylight hours when the city gates are open. He read them with passing interest taking care that all is legible.

“These three caravans,” Losifan indicated for the two guardsmen. “Populated wagons that leave north this time of year are unusual. Did they offer explanations or claims of their journey?”

Captain Tenhammer immediately responded, anything Losifan mused to divert the Captain’s weakening patience for Elton Johns. Looking down on the names in question, Turgoz though briefly and then spoke aloud with confidence. His voice booming over Johns.

“The first company to leave was a group of craftsmen from the Jewelers Guild bound for Neverwinter; their spokesman was a man named Wykkar Brown; they also traveled with a half elf who claimed to be from Neverwinter. The second faction was by far the largest,” Turgoz looked to Elton Johns for confirmation then thought better of it. “they were led by a Waterdeep noble Kym Tarm, all eight who traveled with them were adventurers bound for the Kryptgarden. The last set was the most evasive when encountered. They barely made the gate before it closed for the evening and since their company was leaving only gave their destination as the Goldenfields.”

“They did travel with a mongrel-beast, some bastard I know not of what.” Remarked Duke Johns in sour repulsive tone only individuals born from old money are capable of.

“Thank you gentlemen that will be all for this evening,” Losifan said dutifully giving to the two guards leave. Wishing he could retire to his apartment, Losifan rose to stretch and regarded the hours of work still in front of him when a sting, brief as a pinprick, bit into his neck below his ear.

Just as the sage fell lifeless to the floor a diminutive devil materialized from nothing wearing a hellish smile. The imp scooped up the days transits from the North Gate then paused; and with a sinister nightmarish cackle grabbed the sack containing taxes collected. It turned to leave but a curiosity caught its eye: a set of masterwork keys on the sage’s inner belt, not keys to this guard post but for something…

Thursday, March 21, 2013

The People's Pantheon

Lord of Battles and Master of Blades
Kelemvor Lyonsbane: Protection, Strength, War, Pride, Wrath, Limbo (Warriors Rest)

Vigilant Warrior and Merchant's Friend
Carmichael Hawkwinter: Law, Protection, Planning, Strength, Humility, Trade, Celestia (Everwatch)

God of Knowledge and Lord of Texts
Leofric Perth: Charm, Knowledge, Luck, Travel, Trickery, Pride, Elysium

Lady of Spells and Arcane Magic
Syndra Wands: Illusion, Knowledge, Spell, Rune, Summoning, Charm, Mechanus 

The Healing Hand and Maiden of Beauty 
 Aymee Tallmost: Charm, Nobility, Healing, Lust, Protection, Arborea (Brightwater)

Lady of Fortunes and Wealth
Heilean Eather: Luck, Protection, Travel, Generosity, Wealth, Arborea 

Lord of Invention and Craft
Cortland Andrus: Knowledge, Craft, Earth, Fire, Metal, Planning, Mechanus

Wednesday, March 13, 2013


Sometimes called the Breadbasket of the North, Goldenfields is a walled abbey that was founded over a decade ago by the priest Tolgar Anuvien Pastoral of Chauntea and retired senior member of the Blinkstone Companions.

Once only a small farm lost in the rolling sweep of the grassy Dessarin meadows, Goldenfields has grown into the largest abbey of Chauntea in the Seven Realms. It stands today a fortified farm complex sprawling 20 square miles. Within its walls, thousands devout worshipers of Chauntea and now Mielikki and Silvanus tend crops of grain, vegetables, as well as livestock.

A member of the Lord’s Alliance it nevertheless supplies food to Waterdeep and most of the inland settlements like Amphail and The Bargewright. With its increasing importance, the influence and stature of Tolgar Anuvien has also grown making him also a fancied political figure. He is quickly becoming the equal of such rulers as Lord Nasher of Neverwinter and the Waterbaron of Yartar.

Walled and jealously guarded, most folk of Faerûn are staggered by the sheer size of Goldenfields; claiming it to be ‘a paradise of plenty’ promised during the Time of Troubles.

All plans at expansion have halted as clerics and priests have driven off more than 20 large-scale Uthgardt barbarian raids this year. 

Friday, March 8, 2013

When it rains...

It was raining again in the streets of Waterdeep; the kind of rain that comes down as small wet ice shards that harmed exposed animals, individuals, and caused innumerable minor inconveniences from frozen doors to broken bones. Different people referred to it in different ways, the most common was sleet and with the damp ice came the penetrating cold that rendered hearth fires woefully inept. The sleet was a curse… or blessing, according to old tales of lore about the gods Umberlee and Auril after the contest for the Sword Coast before written history. 

“I miss the warm golden sky of Calimshan,” Greywolf said to his compatriot making an obvious gesture to the miserable weather.

Wykkar remained silent however. Many of Greywolf’s banter fell flat as of late on the assassin. Wykkar was not a sentimental type toward anyone aside from his oldest friend Greywolf, but the disappearance of an agent—especially now, had everyone concerned.  

Without warning Wykkar took his friend by the arm and ducked into the Pampered Traveler so that the natural course of movement would indicate the two intended to pass the establishment but instead bounded low up the steps and in just inside the wide deck. Wykkar believed someone was following them. Greywolf trusting his partner followed his lead into cover where they quickly exchanging hats and cloaks.

Greywolf emerged casually from his spot and glanced down at who was following them. It was an unfortunate looking creature that quickly evaded notice after a brief pause as whomever this was considered its options. Then, with its back to the Shadow Thieves, it took a step disappearing into the background folds of the city.

Inside the Pampered Traveler Wykkar and Greywolf preceded to the business table, a corner booth Mason Thorvald reserves for palavers such as this one.

Towards the end of the night when the darkness is deepest Kalina, Lady Darkness, emerges from the shadows with impatient eyes.

“You were followed.” She remarked. 

“Yes.” Wykkar said without hesitation. 

Without further discourse Greywolf handed the Mistress of Thieves seven scraps of parchment containing the identities of individuals in possession of aspects.  

Yamun Kahan, an Uthgardt war chief who this winter, has become the scourge of Goldenfields. (War, Luck) ** Information gained from Briar through Briosar Helmsing, Anarakin, and Tehtira Bellsilver

Delrach the Vile (Undeath, Repose) 

The Avatar of Umberlee (Storm, Ocean)

Nobilius (Nobility)

Eriadne Thann (Travel)

Monday, March 4, 2013

Journal entry Eva (The return to Waterdeep)

Waterdeep, what was once my home now feels so alien to me. The Firelance influence led by the church of Gond has transformed much of the city into a fortified version of itself. Much of the glorious architecture has been replaced with reinforced stone & steel. Fear of attacks from the sea, & the skies has forced them to barricade themselves in. Not that I blame them, I suppose when your primary faith is based around craft & construction it would seem prudent. Still, the magic that was once part of this great city seems lost to me now.

After the events of Amphail things have changed for me. It had been to long since we fell a dragon. Our latest ritual has granted me a level of power I had only dreamed of a year ago. The distractions of meeting Yvonne, catching up with Briar & Kalina, and the first real feeling of sanctuary in months had blinded me to that fact. But with the return home the realization has become somewhat overwhelming.

Since my arrival, most of the commoners now appear to me as semi translucent. Almost a preview of how they will come before me on the day of their passing. If I focus on a specific face I can look past this and see them for what they really are. But as I walk down the crowded streets it feels like wading through a sea of vagrants. I feel somewhat conflicted, should I pity these souls, or torment them? Has Fate chosen this as their existence, or is it their own complacency that makes me resent them? One thing is for sure; if this is how the dead see the living, I now understand why so many are driven mad.

Fortunately I cannot look into the souls of everyone. Those who are accomplished, or whose Fate has not been fulfilled are unchanged. It is these specific individuals I find myself drawn to. People who have, or are destined to perform great deeds, the ones who will shape our world after I am gone. Perhaps these feelings of alienation have come from a lack of peers instead of the battlements that now adorn the walls of my home.

Having been in the presence of my brothers for so long these commoners seem insubstantial. The day to day dealings with these individuals no longer appeals to me. While increasing the influence of my faith seems more important than ever, I feel that commoners need only fear my wrath. A true follower, one who meets their fate (and ultimately their death) with conviction shall be coveted.

Now I must focus my attention to future events. Forming alliances with those who plan on taking the stair & seeking out important relics that will assure our ascension seem prudent. I must also reunite with Syndra and Aymee. We have been gone a while, I am sure there are many things I need to be informed of. Have they found a seventh member to join our cause? The lich formerly known as Maerlyn Gorsomm needs to be dealt with. I would much rather seek him out instead of await his inevitable ambush. Could he be convinced to join my faith? If not I am sure Arcanum would look forward to a rematch against its ancient foe. And before my morality strays to far from civilization, I should set precedence and complete the ceremony I vowed to. Binding my husband’s to me, and create the hierarchy within my church. My list of tasks seems to be forever growing while my time here continues to diminish. Perhaps Damian is right, I could not afford to lose much time before Ascension Day.