Thursday, November 20, 2014

(Shadows of Waterdeep) The Veiled Society III

Sitting alone in the Chess Emporium Cauldyth patiently waited for the first of his appoints to arrive. The stout man liked to be early because it allowed him to blend with his environment and benefit from its social dynamic, mimicking as to not attract attention. Patrons danced about entertaining themselves with drink, games, poetry, and escorted company making the Emporium a popular high-class venue because it also had a discrete side. 

Cauldyth had other pieces in play in Waterdeep and did not rely on the feeble machinations employed by Halam Umbrusk’s incompetent sons. He could no longer sit idly by as Chimak and Radu vied for acclaim in their father’s eyes. For one it made them blind to what was right in front of them and two, they had no real power in Cauldyth’s estimation- all their power came from their father, so ultimately the more they fumbled about the more incompetent Halam appeared. Cauldyth needed to turn this power struggle around in both the Umbrusk House and in Waterdeep.

As Cauldyth ordered another shot of whiskey a man walked in, shook off the wintery elements, and looked around. Cauldyth winced when he saw the old evangelist, a remnant from the godsfall like himself- Randal Flagg. Flagg wore fine serviceable clothes and a clean jacket equipped with a prosthetic right arm; Flagg’s black tangled hair was all but gone now and his eyes were grey with the sign of cataracts, but it was the way he walked that caught Cauldyth amiss- Flagg seemed to get around good, amazing in fact for a man of his age. 

Cauldyth stood to receive his former colleague, “Flagg, how is retirement?” Cauldyth said between gouts of laughter and a hearty embrace. This kind of exchange was typical between friends at the Emporium and was largely disregarded despite the black evil within their souls. “Hile Grim Lord.” They whispered.

A few minutes later drinks where served as the two caught up on the past decade over a game of chess. Cauldyth’s marriage into Waterdeep nobility and Flagg’s sudden retirement. “It was after I lost my arm when I retired, you know that,” Flagg said moving a chess piece, he was black on white. “It was the Cauterizer, the damned weapon...” His temper flared briefly. “I focus my energies on other things now; augmentation crystals have made me a wealthy old man.” 

“That’s very admirable, I’m glad you kept busy Flagg I really am. So many folks retire to an early grave when they still have something useful to give.” Cauldyth said praising the former evangelist moving a white piece across the board purposely creating a weakness in his defenses. The play would hopefully make Flagg amiable to Cauldyth’s request and purpose for this meeting.

Flagg moved his black piece across the board threatening Cauldyth’s pale bishop, as he suspected. “So is this why you reach out to me after ten years, to catch up or to lose?” Flagg said after he considered Cauldyth’s last move on the game board.

“Of course not Flagg, I need you to come out of retirement,” Cauldyth said looking up from the game board, now that the pretense was no longer needed. 

“It must be important.” Flagg asked intrigued, also forgetting briefly about the game. 

“I want it to be high-profile; I need you to remind Waterdeep that the Cassalanter’s were traitors to the city and their unfettered rise to former prestige and privilege will only undo the city in ways we cannot yet foresee.” Cauldyth said confidentially. 

Flagg remembered all too well that time twelve years ago when the Cult of the Dragon infiltrated the Cassalanter family and nearly foiled the Samular’s descendants from finding each other and saving the north from the rule of Dragons.

“Coming out of retirement means my fees are doubled.” Flagg said.

“Fine.” Cauldyth said now hopeful.  

“and,” Flagg continued, “I want to bring in another cleric from the old days on this, Morrandar the Grim Bishop.”

*******

A few hours later, there was an sudden pause to the late night camaraderie in the Chess Emporium as all the lights dimmed heralding a newcomer’s foreboding entrance, a drow elf accompanied by a strange underdark species of bat. The deep bat flew briskly retreating to a dark corner of the ceiling to brood darkly over the Emporium. The drow made no attempt to conceal his heritage as Waterdeep was generally an accepting community of individuals of many races, cultures, and beliefs. He had long silver hair, exquisite pedigree and a bearing of rippling power. Every article on the drow was a variation of dark violet or plumb colors; his style was alien to Cauldyth but his information from Wykkar assured him the drow was just the individual for this part of his plan. 

“Ah, good please sit down or levitate if that is what you do.” Cauldyth said trying to add some levity to the meeting but nevertheless honestly pleased the drow arrived. Secretly Cauldyth was not sure the drow agent would show up, his tribute towards this meeting was in hindsight meager. He hoped the drow was not insulted.

“I was directed to you because you are perfect for a job I have and I understand you are comfortable with this kind of work?” Cauldyth asked the stoic drow who only nodded once, the drow’s purple eyes was stern.

“Good, there is a package arriving in a few days on the Jade Sea that I don’t want reaching its destination, it will have protection but I want this package eliminated.” 


1 comment:

robm1171 said...

Ah, Morrandar... I always knew he'd go far...