Bleary-eyed and looking over my shoulder every step of the way, I struggled back through the Field Ward with the rest of the group. Having met outside the city walls near the shaman’s lair and taken care of the threat to Waterdeep, we were headed back to meet Lord Neverember. I faintly hoped his son would be there, while at the same time fearing to be seen in this state. Krovaxis is a constant torment. (No one must know. My House’s reputation is poor enough at the moment.)
After a small altercation with the guards we were let in to see Lord Neverember. One of the Masked Lords watched us as we passed, whispering to a guard. (I would have eyed us askance too. The githzerai sketching everything, the tiefling acting as if it was all his due, and the other two assessing the value of everything that wasn’t nailed down.) My nerves were on edge, but the rest seemed not to care about the prestige of having a meeting with the Open Lord in the main audience chamber of Castle Waterdeep. He seemed pleased that we had handled the situation for him, and was able to determine something (What, exactly, I don’t know) from fishing around inside the decaying head.
Hobnobbing a bit more with Lord Neverember, we learned that ghosts have been seen in the City of the Dead. Rumors say that the ghosts were released when dwarves and gnomes started excavating beneath Waterdeep to build their new neighborhoods, but no one knows for sure. Lord Neverember offered us an additional reward and the possibility of a “position of power” if we investigate for him. We agreed, and that was the end of the audience.
My darling Renaer arrived just as we were leaving, but he was too intent on speaking with his father to notice that I was with the group on our way out. (At least that hussy Laraelra wasn’t with him.) I couldn’t help but overhear a portion of his argument with his father… something about Renaer ending up like Samark. (I hope that whatever he’s getting up to, he knows what he’s doing…)
After leaving Castle Waterdeep, we all went our separate ways for the evening. The Amnian was interested in staying at one of the nicer inns in the city, so I suggested that we head to the Gentle Mermaid in the North Ward. (I only recommend the best, after all.) I spent the rest of evening playing Three Dragon Ante and ended up winning. I hoped my luck at cards meant that things were looking up, but I was mistaken. (Nightmares of fire and blood. Searing pain from my brand. I woke up screaming. Good thing the walls are thick.)
After a quick breakfast, I rejoined the others outside the castle gates and we all headed to the Trades Ward to the celebration for Lliira’s Night. The other two humans spent some time dancing with the twin daughters of the head of the church of Lliira while the tiefling looked on. (I’m not exactly sure what was going on with those three, but it couldn’t have been anything good, judging by how quickly they dropped the joybringers afterwards.)
Shortly before Lord Neverember’s speech was to begin, we made our way up to the dais and sat at the empty table reserved for us. While I studied the group at the table across the dais from us, where my darling Renaer was sitting, the githzerai started sketching (again) and the Amnian struck up a conversation with Vajra Safahr. Lord Neverember made a pretty speech with the intention of raising the city’s morale, and led Talana out to begin the dancing. Vajra, intending to start the fireworks, must have imbibed much more than it appeared and miscast the spell, creating an explosion of Blue Flame!
Several buildings nearby quickly ignited, and the ground nearby cracked to reveal skeletal hands reach up from below. We (quite heroically) fought off the undead while Renaer and the others evacuated the area and burning buildings. Afterward, Lord Neverember approached us and requested that we head to the Warrens that evening to investigate the “undead problem.” After participating in a ritual cast by the leaders of the church of Tymora (except the tiefling… suspicious) we headed to the tunnels beneath the district.
After a few dead ends and wrong turns, we found a set of doors carved with symbols of Tempus. Judging from the tombs inside, we had entered the lower levels of the City of the Dead. Cautious of my surroundings, I made sure to stand well away from the group. I have to hand it to the Amnian, however, since he seemed to know just where to look to safely disarm several traps. I can’t say as much for the rest of the group, though they are useful in other ways. Like fights. Against blazing skeletons. (Maybe they will be my ticket out of the city after all..)
I also discovered that I’m horrid at jumping across chasms and that Krovaxis doesn’t like being kicked. More on that later…
~excerpt from the journal of Lina Thann, 7th of Flamerule, 1479 DR