Lord Sarich was murdered, burned to death in his bed, shortly after we left him. It is unlikely that this murder is a coincidence. There are only a few possibilities: (i) someone was watching him; (ii) someone was watching us, and may still be doing so; and/or (iii) someone was watching the Cottagers and Green Roots, the Common Alliance, and is still doing so. The plan was formulated so short a time before we carried it out that there is most likely a leak. We found no reason why someone would be watching Lord Sarich. No one else in the group seems concerned about what the murder may mean for us and for the Common Alliance. Either directly or indirectly, someone is watching us, someone is out to thwart us.
The priest of Mystra, Waldich, is not much help. He knows little and seems to minister the flock poorly. No doubt, the more powerful users of magic in Waterdeep would lay claim to the Weave much as they would lay claim to a mine. There is no reverence for the enchantment of the world. Against the backdrop of such an outlook, the waning of Waldich’s zeal is no surprise. I doubt any of the more powerful magic users (there’s a telling name, ‘magic-users’) worship Mystra in any real manner here. The world is something to be consumed for this decadent set.
Before meeting up with Carric, Val, Clara, Ges and Viola, I went to see what was happening at the docks. I’d received news of unrest from Waldich. The dock workers had gone on strike, and the City Watch had called in the Guard to buttress their numbers. This rapid show of force by the Lords of Waterdeep suggest that they are insecure in their power, their conviction, and their sense of place as the over-innocent guardians of peace and prosperity, and, more importantly, that the Common Alliance—this union of the Cottagers and Green Roots—may have more support than they realize. Or, perhaps the degenerate ruling class, in overreacting, may create the support they fear. But there is some conspiracy at play amidst this chaos and the amateurism of the authorities; I can sense it.
Our immediate task though was to free Carric’s friend Igald the priest. We devised a scheme to pose as agents of the Open Lord, carrying orders to transfer the prisoners to the Southfort Keep. Clara’s father is a noble admired by the City Guard, and the Arundel name opens doors, including, it seems, prison gates. Bob Jaime Endrich, some obviously corrupt Guard whom Viola claimed to be a childhood friend (falsely for reasons I cannot understand, but I guess, as with any other skill, one has to practice subterfuge), helped Carric forge a seal and signature of the Open Lord. Carrick took the form of a warhorse, I and Val posed as guards, and Ges posed as Clara’s companion. The plan worked, but we had to incapacitate the Eldritch Knight sent with us. While en route through the backstreets of the city, an explosion at the docks delivered a useful distraction. Val blinded and deafened the Eldritch Knight long enough to release Igald and his fellow prisoners. I wounded Ges and Clara so that the ruse that we were all attacked by someone looking to free the prisoners would have a physical mark. Ges and Clara accompanied the Eldritch Knight back to Westfort Keep. At some point, they will realize that there were no orders from the Open Lord. They will know that we were behind the escape of their prisoners. They will come for us.
We all rendezvoused at Madam Garah’s. Neither the Tiefling nor half-elf knew anything save that a union of the Cottagers and Green Roots were in the works. It’s clear that the organizers risk being overtaken by events. It is also clear that there may be infiltrators in the Common Alliance. And it is certainly clear that this “open and free” state has a constabulary more akin to an army of occupation than a defender of the people. In this mix, I also risk being overtaken by events.
We decided to see how the strike was evolving, if such a thing as chaos can evolve. The situation seemed ripe for agent provocateurs to discredit the uprising, especially given, as with all new movements, that the Common Alliance seems terrible at policing itself. At the docks, where the strikers had set a few of the piers ablaze, we found an evolving chaos with the Watch and the Guard attacking common folk. The latter, especially the dock workers, were engaging them, albeit badly. No one seemed to be using deadly force, but it also seemed that it would be just a matter of time. That time came in the form of Ges’ legitimate anger upon seeing a dock worker attacked by the authorities. Ges tried to help the dock worker escape, but any effective movement or action is almost guaranteed to failed in this throng. We had to engage the guards and so far have managed to kill no one. But more come, and I fear we may have to use deadly force. We need to disengage, retreat, and investigate the murder, the Common Alliance, and the Masked Lords’ reaction. There is more at play here than class war, the signs all tell me it is so.