The heroes enjoyed a relaxing trip aboard Skyreach Castle on their way to Waterdeep. They learned a bit more about the cloud giant, Blagothkus, and the castle itself. There was a navigation tower to control the castle and invoke its many abilities, such as cloaking the fortress in misty clouds or shooting lightning bolts at invading enemies. They also learned that the spirit of Blagothkus’ dead wife, Escarlotta, was bound to the castle and really the one in control.
Ayris sent word to Ontharr Frume via sending spells of their recent exploits. Ontharr asked them to come to Waterdeep, as a council had been called to address the Cult of the Dragon. He asked them to land the castle outside of town, far enough away so as not to alarm the population of the city. They did as much, landing near Zundbridge, and were met by Griffon Riders of Waterdeep and a female paladin named Vendia from the Order of the Gauntlet. Vendia took charge of moving the hoard, organizing stewards and guards to load up a number of wagons with the loot.
The heroes saw a friendly face among the wagon drivers – the halfling Enom Tobun whom they had met on the caravan journey to Waterdeep! He was full of gossip and tall tales, as usual.
The whole city is astir. Have you heard the news? Arthagast Ulbrinter was murdered! Well-known and well-liked, he ran a number of very successful shipping companies. You know what else… turns out he was a Masked Lord to boot!
No one’s sayin’ for certain, but I know a fella that knows a gal that dates the Ulbrinters’ cook, and he said the man was found with a dagger in the back! Twernt no ordinary dagger, neither. He said the blade glowed purple and could strike you blind just by looking at it!
Lots of activity around the castle. High fallutin’ folk comin’ in from all parts. Said they’re convening a council to decide what to do. I tell you what they need to do, they need to secure the Trade Way so an honest halfling can make a living without bandits and worse around every bend in the road! It’s dangerous times.
The heroes were given riding horses by Vendia and told accommodations at the Yawning Portal were already arranged. The party left the hoard in the paladin’s capable hands and rode on to Waterdeep.
As they entered the city and were making their way through the streets to the Yawning Portal inn and tavern, a sudden shift in the wind brought a strange sense of unease. The feeling was 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. The heroes were not the only ones to notice. The city had gone unnaturally quiet. No dogs barked, no birds squawked. Even the street vendors had gone silent. It lasted only a moment before the normal sounds of the city resumed.
They arrived at the Yawning Portal and Durnan, the burly proprietor, made them welcome.
Leosin soon arrived and led them to a private meeting room. The heroes told of their recent exploits, and Leosin told them of the death of the Masked Lord Arthagast Ulbrinter. It was suspected that his death was at the hands of the Cult of the Dragon for his attempts to organize the factions against the Cult. However, it had the opposite effect, as his widow Remalia Haventree had galvanized the council to action after his murder.
Delegates from across the Sword Coast had convened to discuss the Cult of the Dragon and how best to oppose them. While all the factions were nominally committed to stopping the Cult of the Dragon, none of the delegates had made substantive pledges yet. Too much mistrust burdened the factions, and not enough was known about the situation. Leosin thought the leaders needed someone to show them the right path – heroes that could lead the forces of the Sword Coast with certainty into the coming darkness!
- Darren visited Blackstaff Academy, seeking information on the strange sensation they experienced earlier. He also purchased some spells.
- Ruby went to the docks and met with her faction contact, Rian Nightshade.
- Worried about trade as cultists have been shaking down caravans, burning rivals or those who don’t pay for protection.
- Arassan was sent on a mission to steal the white dragon mask.
- Eve, Theren, Horros, and Calcifer visited the Three Pearls night club in the Dock Ward, seeking rumors about the city and the murder of Arthagast Ulbrinter. They had a good time, but learned nothing new.
The next morning, the heroes visited the castle gates early. There was a lot of activity, and they noticed stewards and servants wearing livery and symbols from many different lands across the Sword Coast.
When the time arrived, Leosin led the heroes into the palace and to a secret meeting chamber where the council convened. There were many people seated at a large, round table. Introductions were made, and the delegates included:
The heroes recounted all of their exploits and told the council all that they knew about the Cult of the Dragon and its plans to summon Tiamat into the world. There was much discussion and debate about the information. Many of the heroes’ actions and decisions were questioned and second-guessed by the delegates, and several arguments broke out. None were more heated that the black dragon mask and what should be done with it. After much debate and no real resolution, it was finally decided that the heroes should retain possession of the item, at least for now.
After hours of discussion, the council finally relented. While many of the delegates disagreed with some of the heroes’ actions, they all agreed that the adventurers had taken a firm hand in addressing the crisis. They had proven their worth, and the council gave each a writ and deputized them with emergency investigative powers. It was clear that while they would be granted access to resources and sites necessary for the investigation, they would also have the burden of oversight from the council.
The council agreed with the heroes, that they should seek out and capture or kill the leaders of the cult, the Wearers of Purple known as the Wyrmspeakers. To that end, Remalia told the council that Harper agents had recently seen the dwarf Varram the white Wyrmspeaker in the trade settlement of Boareskyr Bridge, near the Serpent Hills to the south.
At this point, a guest was led into the council chamber, a graceful human female dressed in fine clothes. She was introduced as Dala Silmerhelve, matron of a prominent Waterdavian noble family. She got right to the point:
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.
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.
After some discussion, the heroes decided to head north in search of Maccath the Crimson before going after Varram the White.
Ruby, Eve, Theren, Horros, Calcifer, and Darren each received 1,500 XP