You head into the bar and encounter a fairly standard sea tavern, full of sailors playing various dice games, drinking rum out of terra cotta cups, and paying no attention to you as you come in. If you think of the bar in the Pirates of the Carribean, you have the scene. A thin, pock-marked man in a black robe rises as you come in with the corpses of your comrades, a glint in his watery eyes barely visible in the dark confines of the bar, and motions you over to his corner of the bar. “Welcome friends, my name is Tomas, and I can see that you have seen some black days. Please sit down and let me see what I can do to help you. Waterdeep can be an intimidating place for those from far away. You have been, I think, in the Bloodstone Lands, and that is a place of great interest to me. What can I get you?”
Grosh paid the required taxes, but he wasn’t happy about it. There was a lot of glaring and mumbling under his breath about it. His first impression of life in the big city isn’t stellar. He orders a cheap ale from Tomas and asks where the Wyrmbane estate is located.
Tomas replies, “I am no barmaid. You should order straight from the bar, they don’t have staff working the room at this hour. The Wyrmbane Estate eh? Know ye a Wyrmbane? Might this be one of their ilk? (gesturing to your two corpses) I had heard that there was some elf-diddling going on in their line. Interesting. I could see them raised back to life you know, not really so difficult. We would just have to go up to the top of Mt. Waterdeep, could probably hike up there by nightfall. You can tell me all about the Melding and your struggle against those foul forces of Lolth along the way. Terrible what happened in Phlan, just terrible.”
“We’re not looking to climb any mountains,” Grosh answers, eyeing the man uncertainly. “I asked if you know where Wyrmbane is. We’ve got business. If you don’t know, then don’t try wasting our time. If you do know, then out with it. It’d be a kindness to us and to Wyrmbane.”
“Never have I been in the Wyrmbane estate. I have heard that it is north of the Castle, near the Halls of Justice. Look, if you don’t want me help, fine. It looks like you needed someone with some skill overcoming death. But since you are insisting on finding that Wyrmbane place, why don’t you head up North and see what you can find. Good day,” he says as he gets up and heads over to the bar.
Grosh calls out his thanks to Tomas and gets his ale from the bar along with Shirley’s ale and soup.
Dolvaren ambles over to the bar to speak with Tomas, “Thomas wait, please come back and share a drink with us. Assuming he comes and joins us… Seeing the inside of the Wyrmbane estates interests you? Assuming your intentions are good, that should be easy to accomidate. As far as your offer of overcome death – we may still need that offer too. We would like to speak with the Wyrmbane’s before we seek out those services.
I myself have been gone for the last year and find myself unfamiar with Waterdeep. My friends are new here. Though it may be beneath you, we could use your service in helping us get around here. Once we speak with the Wyrmbanes, we will know better if we will need your more specialized skills in overcomming death.
While we wait for my friends to finish eating and dringking, you mentioned something about drow in Phlan, what can you tell me about that?”
Your conversation with Tomas occurs at the bar. He is reluctant to head back over to the table at first, given the rough handling he received from Grosh, but joins you. “I was hoping you could tell me more about the desecration of the Watching in Phlan. We heard here that the temple defenders were completely overwhelmed by forces of the Dark Sun, the risen god Cyric. That many relics of the decayed faith of Tyr were taken and relocated elsewhere. Rumor had it that some of those objects ended up in Damara and that the new King Gareth was himself murdered by an assassin’s blade. All very dramatic, especially since it seemed that none of it involved the Zhents or Thayvians. Is that true? If so, it would explain what brought you here. This is the site, after all, where Cyric ascended to godhood and claimed the mantle of the Dead Three. Stupid Banites still seem to think that their god’s bastard son Xvim is able to step in and act as a real lord of tyranny and strife. Idiocy! Between that and those who seem to think that the plagues we have been experiencing lately are a sign of the gods testing their flocks, I am struck at how many foolish people there are right now. The Time of Troubles made many into desperate sheep.”
“In any case, getting around Waterdeep is easy enough. The city is divided into wards and the closer you are to Mt. Waterdeep and the North, the wealthier the neighborhood. What would you like to see first? I already told you, I don’t know where the Wyrmbanes live myself, but I am sure we can find out.”
He then follows Dolvaren back over to the table. In the meantime, Unseen Phoenix remembers some details of Lucas’s life. This information was shared by Lucas to Unseen Phoenix during one of their late-night meditation sessions, a recollection that just comes back to Phoenix as you sit in the bar torn with ignorance:
Wyrmbane Keep is in the foothills of the Sumber Hills, Southeast of Red Larch in the shadow of Summit Hall. Summit Hall is the home of the Holy Order of the Knights of Samular, guardians of the Goldenfields north of Waterdeep. The lich Billy mentioned is the archlich Renwick, and the Wyrmbane Keep was one of the outlying strongpoints to his primary lair. Summit Hall was the main lair of the archlich Renwick. High Lord Abbot Mantasso of Summit Hall was Lucas’ mentor in the path of service to the maimed one, and he is still there. Summit Hall and Wyrmbane Keep are approximately 54 miles northeast of Waterdeep. The Knights of Samular can also be found in a wing of the Halls of Justice in Waterdeep, under command of Sir Gareth Cormaeril.
Sir Gareth is known to Tomas, and he mentions him when your chatter turns to discussions of the church of Tyr. If you want to meet him, Tomas knows that Sir Gareth can usually be found at Piergeron’s Palace during the Open Lord’s morning petition session. The session will start in 30 minutes in the open courtyard of the Palace.
Grosh announces, “Well, I suppose I should port our dear departed on my shoulder and we should go talk to Gareth. After all, he’s closer.”
Tomas smiles, and says, “Excellent, it has always been a goal of mine to see the Palace from the inside. Lets go.”
He leads you outside into the increasing bustle of the streets and moves off steadily to the North. Within a couple of miles, you can make out the spires of Castle Waterdeep, an imposing fortress on the Southeast side of the mountain. As you walk along, you pass by shops and taverns of every possible description and are amazed at the abundant wealth. Tomas comments as you walk, “The city hasn’t really recovered from the last plague bout. A lot of disappointment in the Watch and the clergy for not handling it quicker. Subdued everyone is, waiting for the other boot to fall.” A quick right turn at Castle Waterdeep and a second palace becomes visible about half a mile ahead. To the left you see it, Piergeron’s Palace, home to the Open Lord and the government of Waterdeep. Tomas falls in behind you and whispers, “Sir Gareth has a withered right arm. He will be off to the side during the audience. You should be able to pick him out easily. He is your standard upright paladin type, big mustache and droopy eyes.”
You come into the main courtyard and see about 150 guards immediately, with what look like monks wearing gray robes standing at about 50 yard intervals. A phalanx of heavily armored nobles are queued up, awaiting the chance for an audience with the middle aged man sitting on a raised platform with a high backed chair and the crest of Waterdeep inscribed on its back. Without anyone telling you, you know immediately that the seated man is Piergeron, Open Lord of Waterdeep and one of the most famed champions of Tyr in all of Faerun. After a quick scan, you identify a likely candidate for Tomas’s description and a quick nod from the black-robed man confirms your identification.
Dollan says, "come on," to the group. We walk up to Sir Gareth. When we get close enough to make eye contact. We pause until he motions it is OK to come forward the rest of the way. "I am not sure if this is the best time or place, but we are companions of Lucas Wyrmbane and would like to talk to you about a very grave matter concerning him."
Sir Gareth inclines his head and motions you over to a side alcove of the outer plaza. “I expected you. Lucas was always a determined adventurer and his life has often been interrupted with brief visits to Grimjaw’s Halls. His family would love to be present at the next expression of Tyr’s abiding desire for Lucas’s service. I suggest you go out of the city and head for Summit Hall. If you will accompany me, we can go now. Piergeiron tends to go on. He won’t notice my absence. Do you have horses?”
He moves outside the palace and mounts a ebony stallion bedecked in noble livery. You all hurry at a trot on foot behind Gareth. He leads you to the northeast gate of the city, about four miles from the palace. He then looks back and inquires about how you will keep up as he will be riding faster outside the city. “About fifty miles, companions of Wyrmbane. Not what I would run on foot. My steed will be sped along by the gifts of magic, I assume you have a similar plan?”
Gareth leans over in his saddle and says to Grosh, “My dear boy, please lay the good knight on my porter’s bier here (gesturing). That way, we can travel swiftly to Wyrmbane Keep and Summit Hall and tend to him. I am prohibited by vow from allowing the non-faithful into the sacred demesne of Summit Hall. Tomas here will see you along to your next destination and I am sure that Lucas will easily locate you when you are needed.”
The barbarian places the paladin’s stiff and cold corpse onto the golden bier being carried by two strong men, both pleased to carry the body of an honored warrior to the Halls of Grimjaws. Tomas nods to Sir Gareth as the paladin moves off down the road, followed by the litter-bearers. Tomas then looks back at Dolvaren, Grosh, and Unseen Phoenix and asks, “So, what are you looking for in Waterdeep to help you with the Melding?”
As the gates of Waterdeep close behind Gareth’s departing form, the slightest tingle of impending adventure occurs to Phoenix, and a gleam sparkles in Dolvaren’s elven eyes.
A small gnome notices your party at the gatehouse and sees Grosh holding Ireni’s dead body. “O, my dear, such a shame. Garl Glittergold will never stand for such a thing, after all, this one is older even than we fair folk.” She touches Ireni’s body with her right hand and a blue glow spreads over her form. Ireni coughs once and then slides off of Grosh’s shoulder. “I feel so much better, thank you dear mother,” she replies, handing the old woman her ring. “Such a gift as I can offer, please take. I owe you my life.”
Mystra’s temple is a three mile hike away. You cover the ground without incident and are now standing in the lobby of the House of Mystery. Tomas will not enter the house and, in fact, once he realizes that is your destination, he leaves, without a word disappearing into a shadowy bar. You will enter Mystra’s house alone.
Silverymoon is one short teleport away.
Grosh says to Shirley, “Well, it looks as if the mage is off to do something eldritch. What say we go find us a shop to get some potions and then maybe hunt down a giant-slayer and bend his ear? Unseen Phoenix, you’re welcome to come along or tend to your own wants, as you see fit.”
Grosh eyes the Temple of Mystra askance.? He harrumphs.? “I dunno,” he says.? “Gods are one thing, and magic’s another, but putting them together?? Seems iffy.”? He shrugs and throws a companionable arm around Shirley’s shoulder.? “Let’s get this done and then we can go find Kagain.? What do you say to that?? Woof?”
Ireni comes up behind Grosh and says, “O come now, mighty warrior, what could you have to fear from such a beautiful place?” With that, she dances forward into the courtyard, and the joy in her movment brings a smile to all your eyes. She is greeted warmly and quickly disappears inside, her natural magical nature coming forward and the sparkling lights all around Mystra’s temple, married with ghost sounds of chimes, make the entire location seem more of a respite than you expected.
“I am Keeper of the Secrets of the House of Wonder, how may we weave your destiny into the tapestry of Mystra today?” inquired a purple-robed old man with a slight hint of whimsy in his voice.
Shirley interjects, “yes we are interested in finding out about potions-if you have any and how to make them and who was that woman who just went in ahead of us?”
The Keeper replies, “”My dear child, potions are an excellent example of our Lady’s care for us, a way for her to put the Weave into solid form so that we might share the wonder of magic with those whose minds are not capable fo seeing and feeling the Weave directly. If you wish to learn the Art, you can learn here. Training only takes six years. As for the woman who preceded you, well, that is a fine question but it was one I was going to ask you since she came to us with you.”
“That’s Ireni,” Grosh says. “I’m Grosh Silversmith, and my little friend here is Shirley. I think she was asking if you knew anything about Ireni. I won her in single combat from the Jarl of the Frost Giants in Damara. She’s a really old elf who’s been trapped in some kind of stasis thingy for a few thousand years. Anyway, we’re looking to buy some cure potions and Shirley wanted some invisibility potions. How much are they going for? Oh, and what do you know about laying spirits to rest? We’ve got the skeleton of a halfling that’s become a ghost, and we wanted to do something about it.”
“To ease the burden of the dead, you should see their remains addressed according to the dictates of their faith; barring that, you should simply leave the dead to their own affairs and seek not to disturb them. Your decision to remove the remains across Faerun will surely cause some misfortune as the spirit will no longer know where to find the body. You should be rid of the remains as soon as possible, lest the spirit find you and become vengeful. We will tend the remains for you.
As for potions of healing, yes we can help with those. It is a shame that so many adventurers seek only to tap the Weave for the ability to knit together bones and sinew rather than souls and mysteries. Still, Mystra herself came to us from that path so who am I to question the wisdom of the Weave. For more commercial activity, you should go to Halaster’s Heirs, the main emporium for items coming out of the Undermountain.
As for Ireni, I cannot say I know anything about her. She has a different manner about her than the elves we routinely see here. The elves we encounter usually have a manner much more like your friend over there, (gesturing to Dolvaren)” he says as he moves you towards a fountain whose water flows up into a basin shaped like a mushroom cap. “For every 50 dragons or a harbor moon you place into the box, the fountain’s waters will become a potion capable of curing most injuries will be dispensed from the top of this basin. You will need vessels to carry away the potions, of course, but you may fill as many vessels as you like. Each vessel will only deliver the magic of one potion. Your ability to use this basin will persist until midnight once you make a contribution of 4 harbor moons to the church. Good day and good luck, servants of mystery.”
With that, the Seeker headed off inside after Ireni, humming a tune that none of you recognized but all felt familiar.
Grosh heads off to obtain bottles at the local tavern. In about an hour, he returns with 50 bottles, tied around his neck and shoulders, all clinking together and making very clear where and when the large barbarian is moving. The Knights notice, however, that the sun is now beginning to settle into the Trackless Sea to the West and they must soon consider what to do in the dark of night in the City of Splendors.