Rise of Tiamat

The Council of Waterdeep

So it begins...

The group was enjoying their much deserved rest and relaxation, meeting in the former chambers of Blagothkus, discussing what they should do about the Vampires remaining in the castle, as well as the general problem of what their next steps should include.

Suddenly, they were astonished to see a raven fly into the window and land in the middle of their meeting table. The raven eyes the party, as if he’s trying to make certain he has the right group and then says in Leosin Erlthander’s voice "Leosin Erlanthar sends his heartiest congratulations! Please review this information brought by the Raven and meet me in Waterdeep as soon as possible.”

They agree to travel to Waterdeep but then begin to worry about the problem posed by having a tower full of vampires near a large city. Seeing this as an opportunity, Tim sends a message back via the raven, stealing their small vampire problem and asking for assistance. Within a ten-day, just as Waterdeep comes into sight, the raven returns and speaks with Leosin’s voice again, “Prepare your mind for contact.”

Suddenly Tim starts talking to the air and relating that the tower is on the upper level and that they can have the area clear in a few moments. The rest of the group started questioning I’m and after few moments, Tim realized they hadn’t heard the voice. Once Tim explained that someone named Lady Laeral Silverhand contacted him and said she’d deal with the Vampire and they had 30 minutes to clear the area. They get the kobold servants and head to the former dragon lair under the castle. Thorn decided to watch what was about to happen. He moved to the balcony and transformed into a mouse. A bright light appeared on the top of the vampire tower. The light expanded and enveloped the tower, obscuring it from view. Suddenly the castle shakes and ice falls from the ceiling of the lair onto the members of the group that went underground. Thorn sees the sphere of light brighten then sharing into a single point and vanish. Once the rest of the party climbs back to the upper level, they see a perfect bowl carved out of the ground where the tower once stood. Sylina declares this the new pool for the castle and promptly orders the kobolds to begin the process of filling it with water.

The castle is docked to the upper side of Waterdeep and the party meets the town guard who is there to escort them to the Lord’s Palace. Leosin Erlanthar. and Ontharr Frume are on the steps waiting for the party to arrive. As the party climbed to meet them, things grew still.

A sudden shift in the wind brings with it a strange sense of unease. The feeling is akin to the drop in air pressure before the approach of a deadly storm, or faint tremors felt from a landslide or earthquake far away. You’re not the only ones who have noticed. The city around you goes unnaturally quiet suddenly. No dogs bark, no birds squawk. Even the street vendors have gone silent. The silence lasts only a moment before the normal sounds of Waterdeep return to mask the unexplained sensation. but once they move inside where it is quieter, they notice the disturbance again, like a rumbling almost too faint to hear. As well, subtle changes in the behavior of animals can be noted. Dogs are nervous and on edge, horses are skittish, cats are more feral than usual, and rats gather in large, bold packs. Tim hears a constant sound of a horn sounding, but none of the rest of the party hears the noise.

The adventurers are approached by Dala Silmerhelve—a Waterdhavian noble. She tells them, “The disturbance that’s been sensed across the Sword Coast is the Draakhorn— an ancient device whose sounding alerts dragons across Faerun that great events are unfolding. It’s impossible to say what the sounding means, but the dragons hear it clearly and will eventually answer its call. ”

While waiting for the council to begin, General LeSeAn Nailo interrupts the party to greet his daughter, LeShana and asks her to rejoin him with the armies of the Elves. She tells him he knows why she left as she did and that she ultimately would return. He compliments her on the work she has done, if a little bloody at times and turns to go. Tim, though, sees a slight smile on his face as he walks away.

The Council of Waterdeep was called to order by Lord Dagult Neverember. The party was introduced byOntharr to the council and a brief recounting of their adventures from Greenrest to the acquisition of Skyreach Castle was detailed. During the discourse, Delaan Winterhound was upset at the wonton destruction of dragon eggs without attempts to seek balance. Ontharr and Sir Isteval agree with the adventurers actions.. Then King Melandrach questions the wisdom of traveling the length of the sword coast to track this treasure and accuses the adventurers of being the catalyst that expanded the cult’s attacks on the Alliance. Marshall Ulder Ravengard states that Balder’s Gate is just now beginning to recover from the resurgence of Baal a few years ago and wonders aloud if the Alliance can even begin to afford the cost of this excursion. Ambassador Connerad Brawnanvil states he is willing to lend any aid to a fight, he doesn’t see where a battle would be joined at this time and accuses King Melandrach of being unfair in blaming the party as they were doing what needed to be done, unlike this council.

Sir Isteval then states that he is not only representing Daggerford, and providing council, but that Comyr to gain insight into what looks to be a war brewing on its western border. He claims that hiding this fact would be an error in judgement, but that does not stop Lord Neverember and King Melendrach from demanding he be removed from the council immediately. He is left on the council only through the quick words of Ontharr, Ambassador Brawnanvil, and, surprisingly Taern “Thunderspells” Hornblade who reminds the party that with the exception of the adventurers before them, Sir Isteval is the only one of them to have actually faced a dragon and indeed, the only one to take part in SLAYING one. On those words, the calls for the removal of Sir Isteval cease. Tavern does question the party on the wisdom of slaying Rezmir, rather than keeping her prisoner, but states he wasn’t there so he has to trust the party’s decision. Lord Neverember is quite pleased when the party presents the Alliance the rights to the dragon hoard deep in the ice under Skyreach. This seems to lessen the weight on Lord Neverember’s shoulders a bit. He then states that the groups actions only reaffirm the decision the council made while they were on route to Neverwinter.

Lorde Neverember stands and says, “It’s obvious to all that the you have taken a firm hand in addressing this crisis, and that your group have proven their worth. The council deputizes each of you with emergency investigative powers and a writ demonstrating such. This grants access to resources and sites you deem necessary for your investigation, but always remember, this right carries with it the burden of oversight from the council. If the any of you misbehave or abuse your powers, all of your actions will be reviewed and the writ will be revoked. Also, I will personally see that you are placed in a dungeon so deep, you will have to look UP to see the Nine Hells.” With this grim pronouncement, he sends the party to see Remallia Raventree as she seems to have information on the location of the White Wyrmspeaker.

On their way to speak privately with Remallia, the party is approached by Dala Silmerhelve. Daly informs the party that the Arcane Brotherhood had been seeking information on ancient artifacts of power, like the Draakhorn. She informs the group, bq). “The Sea of Moving Ice was the last known location of the Draakhorn. No one can pinpoint its present location from the sound, or even verify with certainty that the relic is still in the northern sea, but the search must start there. The one person who could tell us more is a tiefling sorcerer called Maccath the Crimson. No one alive knows more about the Draakhorn than her, but the Arcane Brotherhood, of which she is also a member, hasn’t seen her for three years. She was investigating the Sea of Moving Ice when she disappeared. “Maccath reported her progress to the Hosttower by way of sending spells. Her last report spoke of seeing Ice Hunters paddling their sealskin boats toward a huge iceberg, flattened like a plateau across its surface, but ringed by icy peaks. She had intended to follow the Ice Hunters and investigate the iceberg. After that, no more reports came. Attempts to find Maccath using scrying and other magical means located only her ship, adrift and heavily damaged. Some of the ship’s crew were seen dead, but no sign of the tiefling sorcerer was ever found. However, the lair of a dragon as powerful as Arauthator is no doubt protected against scrying magic. If Maccath is alive, in addition to the lore she can share regarding the Draakhorn, the Arcane Brotherhood would be most grateful to get her back.”

As the party discusses this, they reach Remiallia. There they are rejoined by Leosin who informs them that “One of Remallia Haventree’s first acts in her fight against the Cult of the Dragon was to encourage the Harpers to focus all our resources on the cult’s activities and its most powerful members. Those efforts have been successful. We have tracked Varram the White to the Serpent Hills not more than a few day’s ride from here. Harper agents have heard rumors of the theft of the White Dragon Mask, and I have recently learned that the dwarf Varram was seen in the trade settlement of Boareskyr Bridge, near the Serpent Hills. With the Harpers already spread far and wide on their intelligence-gathering missions, we believe you are a perfect choice to pursue the wyrmspeaker.” Remialla also asks that the Black Dragon Mask be left with the Harpers so they could study it and learn what they could from it before they encountered more of them. Reluctantly, LeShanna agreed.

The group sets out for Boareskyr Bridge. After a few days ride, they approach the way station setup by the bridge. They enter Bolo’s Tentside inn and are quickly introduced to Bolo, the halfling who owns the establishment. When asked about seeing a dwarf in purple a few ten-day ago, Bolo says, “A dwarf in purple robes? Oh, I saw him. He was asking about escorts into the hills, when this hooded fellow starts asking him his business. The dwarf looked him straight in the eye, then pulled out his dagger and stabbed the tall fellow dead! He was one of the scaled folk of the Serpent Hills, come down to spy on us! That dwarf’s a hero, make no mistake. But he and his entourage took off straight away for the hills then, quick as cats!”

Not wasting any time the party follows and after a few encounters and discovering an entrance to the Underdark, the party arrives at the Tomb of Diderius, the resting place of a renown seer of many ages ago. This tomb once was the central part of a town that rested in the valley, but only a few ruined stone structures and the slab foundations of administrative and temple buildings now remain. Cave entrances dot the bluffs, marking former residences and simple tombs.

The entrance to Diderius’s tomb stands in what was once a large paved plaza. The remains of a fountain are now little more than a stone circle set around a crumbling hole in the ground leading to a well deep below. Two stone statues stand in the courtyard, rising twenty feet high. Behind them, a forty-foot high edifice is carved into the cliff side, dominated by relief columns carved with strange, otherworldly scenes.As the group investigates they discover a camp in the plaza near the ruined fountain. A campfire is burning down here, and three bedrolls show where the rearguard cultists were camped. Seven shallow graves have been dug east of the campsite—casualties from the cultists’ exploration. there is blood all around and it seems the train of blood leads to the well. Looking into the well, Tessa saw what could possibly be openings to tunnels though they were too small to fit through.

Sylina and Tim approached the front of the tomb and saw the carvings in better detail, one was of a great battle but the land was opening under the armies and swallowing them, another was of elves standing in water to their necks, but the elves had no eyes. and appeared dead. About then Leshanna walks up beside Sylina and recognizes these as representations of two of the worst defeats for the elven history. The ground swallowing the armies was during the battles of “The Return” when her father was still a young officer. During that battle the fighting was so horrible, men claimed the ground was swallowing them. The elves in water was symbolic of the Mere of Deadmen near Balder’s Gate. it is a place where, against her father’s recommendations, the army had sent their whole host into battle, only to have them drown in water as the wizards and sorcerers of the enemy inundated the plain, turning it into the swamp it is today and killing almost all the elven army. They then see another carving of a Dragon menacing a whole village. The dragon is broader than most and where its head had been was damaged. A fourth carving show a statue in a city square with adventurers standing, holding hands aloft in victory. These heroes looked familiar to Sylina and she moved closer to get a better look. While this was happening, Tim discovered the dragon in the carving actually was supposed to have five heads.

As Sylina approached, everyone heard the sudden sound of grinding stone. The colossal figures before the tomb turned their massive heads, their shattered features staring down at her. Two voices issued forth in unison, booming out as though erupting from the deep earth. “Halt. You come before Diderius, ether walker and conduit of clairvoyance. Behold ye now his wondrous triumphs. Diderius extends wisdom, and Diderius offers knowledge. Which do you seek?"

Sylina promptly answers Wisdom to which the statues reply "Diderius shall grant you what you seek, but only if you heed him and continue to show proper respect!” They then returned to their previous positions. At this point Tim notices an opening in the front of the tomb. He looks inside and sees a tomb with gilded carvings and silver censers. The opening seems too small, but when he leans on the wall to get a better look, he falls through and discovers the whole tomb is a ruin. As the group passes through to a set of double doors that hangs ajar. Marks on the door and frame indicate that it was recently forced.

Looking into the room, the group sees a hallway. Six statues stand here, all of cowled wizards leaning on staffs, their faces obscured by deep hoods. The hollows the hoods form are particulalry dark. Niches between the statues once held skeletal guardians that fought the cultists. The bones of more than a dozen humanoids now litter the ground. As she is about to enter, Sylina is struck by a sudden thought, “Some secrets are not meant for mortal minds to know. Look away from the darkness in which such knowledge hides.” Selina informs Tim and they decide that that means they shouldn’t walk into a dark room and Tim lights up the hallway.

As they both enter the room the sound of grinding stone announces the statues turning their cowled heads to follow their movements. As they turn Tim and Sylina look into the darkness of the hoods and they both start hearing voices explaining the entirety of the universe. This drives Sylina momentarily mad and she starts screaminng and running in circles begging the voices to stop. Tim, is simply mesmerized as he listens. It sounds so simple, but as the voices fade, the knowledge slips from his mind and he knows he has lost something of great value. The rest of the part moves into the room and avoids looking into the hoods. They bring both Tim and Sylina with them as both slowly come to their senses.

The next chamber is a high vaulted dome with a deep inset ledge circling the room, 10 feet wide and 15 feet up. The floor here is set with a beautiful tile mosaic showing a knight in plate armor wielding a glowing sword against a chimera. The word “S A F E ” is written in chalk on a door leading out. There is a mosaic of a Sun along one wall and a set of double doors plated in corroded copper engraved to depict a group of wizards peering over a pool of water. The oversized figure of a male wizard at the top of the image raises his hands as if summoning a creature from the pool.

As they watch the tile chimera begins to slowly shift. Then the tiles shoot up and the chimera seemingly claws its way out of the mosaic and stands preparing to attack.

chimera.jpg

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