The Blackstaff of Waterdeep, Vajra Safahr, is missing. Of all the ill-foretokens of the past few days, this is the most worrisome. Safahr’s ascension to the post was fraught with intrigue, I remember. But she secured her post and her power, a post founded by a Chosen of Mystra and imbued with the core of the Weave. It would require enormous power and amoral complicity to defeat or kidnap or kill such an Archmage, one of the greatest in Faerun.
A murdered Masked Lord, a missing Archmage, and an army in the streets of Waterdeep: if ever there was an ideal setup for a malevolent seizure of power, this is it. The prosperity of Waterdeep is marked by the limitations of this era, the disruption of the balances of magic and divinity, and the rise of commercial interests. The Nobles whose wealth stem from the turning of land into instruments of commerce have come to confuse profit for honor, seeing their greed as the basis for brotherhood. Waterdeep’s seeming commitment to openness and diversity are incompatible with this mode of life, which has sadly become the fundamental trend of the era. Waterdeep’s is a foredoomed utopia. The elites of this city cannot imagine how the principles of freedom and diversity are now at odds with their their rise in this manner. Pure self-deception: enabling all is the conviction that their privilege is just dessert. All their attempts to blur this distinction between the truth of their life and the “Truth” of Waterdeep will release pent up centrifugal forces; it is releasing centrifugal forces. They have already begun to see enemies in every crevice, but they will not see the real enemy in so many corners. But towards the former, towards whom they claim to protect, they will see a need to draw a sharp dividing line, a dividing line between themselves and the rest of the world, and they now are on the road to drawing it with the edge of the executioner’s axe. At the moment, the edge is only drawn by the barriers erected by city guards. Tomorrow, we all risk turning the streets into a tomb. Tomorrow, the workers will feel either snubbed or only partly heard; either way they will feel the urge to escalate. Tomorrow, the city will unleash battle mages and war clerics. The Common Alliance is outgunned. They need allies. They need a power of virtue. They need the Blackstaff.
Perhaps only the Blackstaff could change the course of this tide, which makes her disappearance all the more evidence of something larger than an uprising of the maltreated and exploited. Oddly, Waldich mentioned none of this. And he seems unconcerned that the successor of Mystra’s own elect would have gone missing. (This is the second of Mystra’s powerful servant that have suffered—first Hume and now Safahr. Someone is killing Mystra’s servants in the West. More than why, “How?” is the question.)
We must find the Tel’Teukiira, the Moonstars, whom I’ve heard have been revived under Safahr’s reign as Blackstaff. Dedicated as they are to Mystra, perhaps they can help control this expanding whirl of politics and subterfuge. But there is no sign of them. There is even no sign of the Harper’s.
Soon, we go to see Yari Wisetide address the city. Nothing he says will turn events. Power is in the streets… and it is also in the hands of someone unseen cabal.