This morning, I went to see Janek Farrowsun, a very handsome, serene, and optimistic priest at the Temple of Lathander. I was feeling very unsettled about the prospect of Waterdeep being blown to smithereens by slaving undead wizards, demented druids, and greed-blind humans. I wanted to blurt out all the details to my spiritual adviser, but I feared that would be a sin against optimism. We don’t know for sure this is going to happen. And besides, we can probably fix it before anybody knows what’s wrong.
Janek loved my new song, “Never Bored with the Morning Lord”! The temple is going to perform it for Dawn Rites. Granny would be so proud! I really hope that the world doesn’t end before the premiere of my anthem of faith and optimism.
On my last visit, I told Janek about the mysterious death of Venomfang at the hands of Dragon Cultists in Thundertree. Clara and Viola will recall, the cultists died trying to abscond with Venomfang’s eggs. (Note to Self: Goal of Dragon Cultists=draco-liches!!) (Unresolved: Draco-litches only come from ancient dragons. Why steal eggs?)
Today, Janek told me that Waterdeep’s magical anti-dragon barrier remains intact. But an alert Lathanderite dockworker named Harvin Ashwood spotted a red dragon’s egg being smuggled into the city and alerted the temple elders. That sighting took place about a week ago.
Janek expects the egg will be to be taken to the City of the Dead, the nexus of undead activity within the walls of Waterdeep. Normally, between the City Watch and the Lathanderites, they keep it down to a dull moan and a brief shuffle. But, with the current supernatural turmoil in Waterdeep, I fear that the red egg might be used for draconic/lichian purposes.
I left the Temple of Lathander in a positive frame of mind, but my elation soon turned to bitter remorse.
I set out with Clara, Viola, and Carric to disrupt the city’s attempt to buy scab labor and undermine the dock strike.
We saw several dockworkers standing in line to get their payoffs. I wanted to slap each of them. Suddenly, I had an idea to keep them from taking the money. I would warn the dockworkers that the gold was cursed. If they didn’t believe me, Carric would summon a pair of giant magic spiders to drive home the point.
Well, they didn’t believe me. But those would-be scabs took off running when the spiders set upon them! They’re going to tell all their shiftless friends that the money is cursed. Nobody will dare turn up for scab pay tomorrow. And we’ll see who’s scratching oozing spider bites at the Splintered Stair tonight.
Some of the thwarted scabs had a real blame-the-messenger attitude. So, I blended back into the crowd.
I watched as four Eldritch Knights exited the makeshift counting house, lugging a huge chest. I held back. I knew that some of my compatriots wanted to commit an armed robbery. I didn’t want to spill blood for gold, but I must admit, I wanted to see the scab fund stripped bare. That’s strike-breaking money.
I should have left then, but I was worried about my comrades. It’s crazy to attack four Eldritch Knights in broad daylight.
At first it seemed like they were pursuing a non-lethal strategy. Carric tried to immobilize the knights with vines, then Clara got tangled up in the vines, and suddenly Viola was stabbing an Eldritch Knight. She’s so little! And there were four of them, and they’re big, and strong and, magic. And Clara was all tangled up in vines and…and I DON’T KNOW. I drew my blades and threw myself into the fray. Carric turned into a bear and chaos reigned. By the end, Carric was gravely wounded and Four Eldritch Knights were dead.
Clara smashed the chest with her great axe and we all grabbed as much gold as we could and ran. At first I was excited about having stolen the city’s gold.
I couldn’t wait to get my scimitars silvered. I was going to go buy healing potions and magic weapons for the fight ahead. Also, a present for Nissa. Beautiful, brave, noble Nissa. Viola said she’d help me pick out a ruby amulet, or a jeweled tail-guard, or something elegant like that.
As I thought about Nissa, I began to have second thoughts about what I’d done. She wouldn’t approve of killing those knights. What if she knew them? What if they were her friends? I imagined her black slit-like pupils narrowing against me. I couldn’t bear to hear her low, rattling snarl of disdain.
I don’t want this dirty money anymore! I want to give it all to the Moonstar war chest so that Nissa can go into battle in the finest armor, like the warrior princess that she is, but I can’t tell them where the money came from. (Unresolved: Do they take anonymous donations?)
I am DONE backing up Viola’s impulsive homicides, Clara’s bizarre machinations, and Carric’s weird stunts. Next time, they’re on their own.