Fellowship of Lightning #11

Chapter 11

“Let us see if we art truly underground. Mine eyes have been deceived before.” Queless muttered as he drew his Drow longsword, knowing that it would glow magically in the darkness. When the sword was pulled from his sheath he noticed that it did not glow.

“Curious.”

Queless pulled the Velvet Champion’s whistle out of his pocket, put it to his mouth and blew. It was silent for a moment and then a strange light could be seen moving ever closer from the deeper depths of the cavern. As Queless watched the light grew brighter and brighter until it was upon him! A giant glowing orb with a huge eye in the center and a gaping maw full of sharp teeth was baring down on him quickly and looked ready to devour him! Suddenly dozens of small eye stalks burst from the glowing creatures orb of a head and beams of light began to shoot out towards Queless, blasting chunks of the ground away and throwing debris into the air!

“My sword does not glow despite that fact that it appears we are underground. The speed at which the beholder is approaching is similar to the Velvet Champion. Perhaps this is all an illusion. I shall try to disbelieve.”

Queless closed his eyes and tried to imagine the streets of Waterdeep as they were, the cavern surroundings faded away as he disbelieved the illusion. Queless found himself standing outside the Dancing Cyclops with the Velvet Champion standing before him. “Queless, are you OK? You look at me as though I am your enemy.”

“For a moment VC mine eyes deceived me. I did enter battle while you were gone… again. This time with a Mind Flayer. It is time I went back to the temple. There are injured people here, Morin must be notified and he shall help. Please give me a few moments to collect my gear and we’ll go.”

“Mind Flayers are very dangerous adversaries. I’m surprised that you survived, perhaps you are stronger than I previously had thought.” The Velvet Champion parked his rickshaw and took a seat to wait for Queless.

Queless ran into the Dancing Cyclops to gather his gear and look over the carnage, making sure his eyes didn’t deceive him again. Queless was moving slow and his mind was becoming foggy. He was growing weary from the longest day of this life. Today he fought zombies, trudged through the sewers, fought his way through an inn, met old friends, met Vampire Slayers, and fought Mind Flayers. I think we may have even left something out there. Queless went to search the body of the Mind Flayer hoping to find a clue as to where they took the mighty barkeeper. Unfortunately the body and any sign that it had been there were gone. No blood, no markings, nothing. The only substantial evidence that something had occurred in the tavern were the multitude of injured patrons and the smashed tables, chairs, and bottles. Some of the people madly ran about and Drake called out to Queless. “How are we to get out of this cavern with all the injured? There has to be a way!” Drake’s face was filled with grief for the injured, especially the gorgeous women at his table.

“PEOPLE! Thine eyes are deceived. We be in Waterdeep still! Help is coming, I am going to fetch some clerics!” The folk in the tavern looked up and listened to Queless. One of the men called out “Yes, it is an illusion and I shall help you all see so! Here, look out this window.” He opens a window. “Gaze out not upon rock and stone, but upon wood and steel. Beyond this window is a shop and I will describe it to you. Visualize it and you will leave this illusion!” As the man is helping the inn folk, Queless strides over to Drake.

“Steady thineself Drake. Even if we were underground we could find
our way out. Please watch over the wounded.”

“Aye, you are right Queless. Sorry I lost it there a bit. I’ll take care of things here, you can count on me! By the way, I’m staying the night here so look me up after this is all over.” Drake smiles and nods at Queless and then begins to help the wounded.

Queless walks back to VC. “I am ready to go back to the Temple sir.” The Velvet Champion nods as Queless climbs into the rickshaw. The moment Queless sits down he is asleep. The next thing Queless knows Morin is by his side and the rickshaw is moving south. “Mornin’ sunshine.” Morin says sarcastically. “Can’t a dwarf get any sleep? The Velvet Champion sent for me since ya were sleepin’! He filled me in on what happened. We’re on our way now.” Morin sits back and sighs. “Queless, when this is all over I wouldn’t mind taking a long holiday. I have been praying to Moradin Soulforger for the strength, which he grants. He does not although, relieve the stress. I shall need a tough dwarven woman, a few pints of ale, and a long holiday far from here for that!” Morin looks about sleepily as the rickshaw streams the colors of the city into a blur. Finally the rickshaw slows to a stop directly in front of the Dancing Cyclops. “We have arrived gentlemen.” Says the VC.

*YAWN* “W-wh-what? Already? Very good, very good….”

Queless drowsily walks back to the Dancing Cyclops with Morin.

“Morin… we beset.. ..uh..Mind Flayers and… uh.. injured in the
bar. I did …best… slayeth only one. A powerful man… the owner abducted in the battle. I tried bind… the wounded… uh.. stop bleeding, but…. ahem! Maybe some
casualties.”

Morin put his hands over his face and shook his head.
“Queless, take this rickshaw back to the Morning Spires and get some rest. You sound awful. I’ll do what I can here and meet you back at our room in a couple hours. The guards are on their way now.” Morin points down the street. “I’ll be fine. You’ll be one of those walking dead soon if you don’t get some sleep. Now get!” Morin shews Queless off away from the inn, the Velvet Champion has a smirk on his face.

“Agreed Morin. Should you need me I will be sleeping like the dead.”

Queless returned to the Spires of the Morning and paid the Velvet Champion handsomely for his assistance. As soon as Queless’s head touched his pillow he was fast asleep. He slept so deeply that he never even heard Morin enter in the middle of the night.

Queless was woken from his slumber by a knock at his door.
He unlocked it and sleepily swung it open.

Before Queless stood a tall, heavily muscled man in a chain mail shirt and skirt with leather sleeves and pants protruding from beneath each, respectively.

A holy symbol attached to his chain mail armor was adorned with the symbol of a skeletal hand holding golden scales aloft. At his side was a fine looking bastard sword. Looking as if he traveled a great distance, he wore a heavy traveling pack and well worn horseman boots. His skin was browned from many hours in the sun, he had green eyes and black hair with a white streak down one side. Trailing behind him was a long brown leather cape which matched his pants and shirt.

“Hail and well met. Being Drow in a temple of Lathander, you must be the Queless I seek. I am Ghen Dwvelt of Kelemvor.”

“The Lord of Death hath visited me in a dream and requested my presence at the Spires of Morning, the temple of Lathander so that I may assist you in dispatching an undead evil most sinister and foul that seeks dominion over those who hold justice and honor aloft and in great grace.” Ghen bowed before Queless. “I hath traveled a great distance and I ask thee for thine approval in that I may join your cause for a time to squelch this undead abomination and purge it from the land of the living. I ask for nothing in return save the termination of the undead abomination and any more that we may have the opportune to vanquish.”

Ghen Dwvelt was born and raised in the village of Amphail.
Amphail is famous for its horse breeders and lies on the
Long Road, a good three-day ride north of Waterdeep through
rolling farmlands. By night or in a snowstorm, a traveler can locate
this quiet, beautiful village by the thick stands of duskwood and
spruce that cluster along the road nearby. In summer, the stench of
horse manure gives outsiders ample evidence of the town’s presence.
At the heart of the settlement is an open space known as the
Malanderways, where several side streets meet the Long Road. In
the center of this square is a black stone statue of the great Shalarn,
a war stallion bred in Amphail decades ago. Other notable landmarks
include the Horse Pond, the Old Dead Rowan (a tree as large
as some cottages), and the ruins of the Laughing Bandit Inn.
Amphail was named for Amphail the Just, one of Waterdeep’s
early warlords who had estates here. Although all traces of his keep
are long gone, legend holds that Amphail still rides the area in spirit
form, frightening away trolls and hostile barbarians.
Amphail’s horse farms have traditionally equipped the noble families
and armies of Waterdeep and Neverwinter, as well as merchants
and satraps from Amn and Calimshan. Amphail grays are famous across
Faerûn as intelligent, loyal, and hardy personal mounts. Most soldiers,
however, prefer the larger, more powerful, glossy black chargers that
Amphail’s breeders produce.

The various Waterdhavian noble families who keep stables here—
most notably the Amcathra, Ilzimmer, Jhansczil, Roaringhorn, and
Tarm families—have traditionally been major breeders, and the
whip-wielding Ilzimmer racing teams that frequently thunder up
and down the Long Road are grudgingly tolerated by the locals. The
independent stable masters Ohm “Steelhand” Oglyntyr, Rorth
Baldasker, and Elraghona Selember are also noted breeders.
The extensive holdings of the Eagleshield clan include a farm
where sick animals are nursed and a shop where tack of the finest
sort is made and sold. The Ammakyl family—the richest in the
region by far—is Amphail’s dominant producer of grain and vegetables.
Ammakyl caravans are a regular sight on the road from
Amphail to the City of Splendors.

*****

Queless wipes the sleep from his eyes. “Sir Ghent…. well met. Please excuse my appearance, it has been a long night. Ye speak well, any enemy of my enemy is a friend, but who is this Kelemvor? I have heard that name before amongst trusted friends but what he represents sounds disturbing to me.”

Ghen Dwvelt seems to relax a bit and smiles. “It is most ironic that I, a priest of the god of death find myself within the most prestigious temple of Lathander Morninglord, god of rebirth. Know this, the god Kelemvor is not an evil god. He is a lawful and dutiful god who seeks proper judgement for the false and faithless. He also charges his priests with the destruction of undead abominations so that they may visit him in his crystal tower in the planes for FINAL JUDGEMENT.”

[“Kelemvor (pronounced KELL-em-vor), formerly Kelemvor Lyonsbane, also known as the Lord of the Dead and Judge of the Damned, is the god of death and the dead, and master of the Crystal Spire in the Fugue Plane. In his mortal days, Kelemvor was a skilled mercenary, with the heart of a noble paladin, concealed under rude manners and thwarted by his mysterious family curse.”

“Fair yet cold, Kelemvor is the god of death and the dead—the most recent deity to hold this position, following in the footsteps of Jergal, Myrkul, and Cyric. Unlike these other deities, whose rule as gods of the dead made the afterlife an uncertain and fearful thing, Kelemvor urges knowledge that death is a natural part of life and should not be feared as long as it is understood.”

“The death clergy as they are known have many duties, most involve tending to the last wishes of the dying and provide burial services to those who die alone. They also set out to cure diseases and defend people from monsters so that folk do not die before their time. Their final and debatably most important task is the destruction of undeath in all its various forms as it is an affront to Kelemvor. Elite priests of Kelemvor are known as Doomguides. Servants of Kelemvor are usually clad in somber gray vestments and brandish hand-and-a-half swords, or Bastard Sword.”

“There is only one major centre of worship devoted to Kelemvor, the Tower of Skulls in Ormath.”]

Queless nodded and smiled at the lengthy explanation. “Ye are welcome to the Fellowship of Lightning, Sir Ghent, but first thine mettle must shine true before my friend Morin Granitefist, champion of Moradin Soulforger. Please allow me to dress I would like to speak further with you.”

“I am sorry that I must make a correction in that I am nary a “sir” nor named “Ghent”. My name is Ghen Dwvelt of Kelemvor. I apologize for the correction, though wish to be off to a good start with proper footing. That you shall find the time to speak with me is much appreciated and honored. Where shall I wait while ye prepare yourself for parlay?”

“Pardon me GHEN. It will take but a moment for me to dress. I beg your patience for a moment.” Queless closes the door and dresses quickly. He arms himself with his Lightning blade and walks out to meet Ghen. “Ghen, I have a good feeling about you. Let me introduce you to Morin, I believe ye will become fast friends.”

Ghen Dwvelt stands from the hallway wooden chair he was resting in to meet Queless halfway. Queless noted that he had a strong and solid handshake and gripped his hand around Queless’s wrist, a warriors greeting. Perhaps Ghen had grown up as a warrior and later adopted or been taught the path of Kelemvor- God of Death. “Well met again, Queless of the Fellowship of Lightning.”

“THE Morin Granitefist? Champion of Moradin Soulforger? My dwarven friends have told me the tales. It would be a great honor to meet such a blessed Hero! I thank ye for this utmost honor Queless. Today truly is a good day. I must pray soon and give thanks to Kelemvor for his wise guidance and true judgment.”

Queless tries to hide his jealousy with kind words. “His name has spread far, with good reason. His wisdom has guided us rightly thus far. I can only hope to achieve as much fame as he.”

Queless went back into the small room he and Morin shared at the Spires of Morning, Lathander’s temple to wake Morin Granitefist. “Morin, get up! We have friends to meet.”

Queless got dressed while Morin tossed and turned under the sheets.

“Morin… Morin…. MORIN! Get up you, dullard! Some guy named Ghen Dwvelt is outside. He seems to have heard good things about thee. He’s requesting to join our cause. Mayhaps you can test that gavel out upon him.”

“Uhhhhh, tis early Queless. I don’t know anyone by that name. Need more sleeeeep.”
Morin fell back asleep with the covers pulled tight over his head. Queless quickly got dressed and cleaned himself up before equipping his most basic gear. He then reentered the hallway.

“Ghen, Morin and I have had a difficult night. Mind Flayers are tricky creatures….. He needs to rest, no use bugging him before he’s ready.”

“Aye, I will exercise great patience and await the heroes awakening. Most likely he rests late due to some heroic late night performance within the walls of this magnificent city of Waterdeep.”

As we walk Queless goes over last nights events. “Where did they take him?” Queless wondered aloud regarding the Dancing Cyclops’ inn keeper.

“Ah, the Dancing Cyclops. Tis a new place as far as Waterdeep history is concerned. Hath thou previously performed investigative study into the history of this metropolis? Tis a rich history indeed that Waterdeep clings to.”

“I need to break my fast, Ghen. Let us see what the clerics here eat.”

“Yes, we shall obtain sustenance in whatever form possible this morn and give thanks to the priests and Lathander for it’s preparation and offering to us mortals.”

The two find a buffet table downstairs and begin to plate up some food along with the Lathanderites. A wide array of brunch items are available for a nominal donation to the church’s coffers. (2 gp per person)

“Ghen, this shall be a busy day. There is much to discuss and prepare for. Hast thee delt with the undead before?”

“Aye, many times. I pride myself on being a champion of Kelemvor’s lead proxy. I have slain more undead than any other in the North. As far as vampires are concerned, I have slain 14 vampires and banished 2 more from the prime material plane of existance. Tis the reason Kelemvor sent me here. You would happen to be in the stance of need of our assistance with this particular individual. He is known to play games and toy with his would be slayers.”

The two take their plates of food and move to sit in a pew where the Lathanderites wait to eat as a priest gives a brief prayer for the gift of food in that we may become ‘reborn’ each day and serve our creator, the morninglord. After the small ceremony a few candles are lit that were blown out the night prior and the priests begin to eat.

“14 vampires! Thou makest me laugh Ghen! Tell me thou art joking.”

The Velvet Champion rounds the corner, picks up a plate and begins plopping food in large quantities upon it while the two continued to converse.

“Nay, I am not one to jest. I find it a waste of valuable life giving air to spout non-truths from my person in an attempt to draw attention from others. My truth is my honor, my honor my truth.” Ghen bowed his head and said a short prayer to Kelemvor.

Queless waited for Ghen to finish and then continued speaking. “It sounds like you know our quarry well. Please, I beg thee for more information on our enemy. It seems he is dwelling in the sewers and there is nary a wall or structure he cannot infiltrate with impunity. Tis my goal to rid the land of this fiend.”

Ghen looked Queless sternly in the eyes. “When you are ready to speak of thine enemy I recommend calling a meeting with all involved and hiring the most powerful wizard thou allies can afford to safeguard us against scrying attempts by our enemy. I have much information to pass on from Kelemvor’s proxy himself.”

Before the service starts Queless scans the room looking for his companions from last night. The Velvet Champion nods and walks with a swagger towards the two. “Queless, what’s happening man?” The Velvet Champion plops down next to Queless and starts muching on his food before the sermon is completed, oblivious to the church ettiquette. Queless and Ghen are quiet during the sermons but pay little attention to the words of the preachers. Instead they both stare longingly at their food waiting for the service to be over.

“Thou must be hungry after that long ride. I too have traveled far to reach Waterdeep. I come from Shadowdale and by the winds of fate I did end up here. Ye shall be in good company with us, Ghen. Eat up, be merry, our company doth love laughter.”

“Aye, let us gain sustenance. We shall need it Queless the good Drow from Shadowdale.”

After breakfast Queless checks to see if any of his companions have arrived.

“VC. I may be of need of thine services again today. I should visit Rionnius Patricia at the palace and see her again… maybe she has some valuable information for us.”

The Velvet Champion nods while muching on a piece of toast smothered in Bellberry jam. “Alri-*munch munch munch*-ght. Let me know when you’re ready to boot.”

Queless walks over to the groggy Morin.

“Tough night, eh? Maybe one too many Dwarven Ales… I jest. I am setting off to collect the remaining members of our fellowship and check on a guard at the castle who was to investigate the absence of Wendell the alderman in the Sewage Construction and Maintenance department of Waterdeep. I hope all is well. Canst thou get to know our new friend Ghen? Me thinks he is a person of great importance. He clameth to have slain nearly a score of vampires.”

“Aye, Queless.” Queless escorted Morin over to Ghen Dwvelt to introduce the two. “Morin Granitefist of Moradin Soulforger, this is Ghen Dwvelt of Kelemvor.” Ghen’s face turned red and he quickly set down his plate and stood up to greet Moradin. He was awkward in his greeting being crunched in between two pews with one leg in front of the other while brushing the crumbs and oils from his hands. Ghen clasped hands with Morin and shook his arm violently. “Morin Granitefist Champion of Moradin Soulforger, it is a great honor and pleasure to meet you! I grew up listening to my adopted father tell tales of the Dwarves and you were the hero in many a story! I have been awaiting this moment for so long I don’t know what else to say. You made me take up the blade and find a deity whom I could deal a great blow to the undead with. Thou art my hero Morin Granitefist!” Morin blushed at this and shook his head. “I… er… they greatly exaggerate my involvement in… uh… those tales are… I don’t know what ta tell ya boy. We did what we had ta do. There wasn’t any glory in those days… no riches, no heroes. Ya lived or died and did what ya had ta do. Dat’s it. Now let’s talk about you. Where do ya hail from?” The two started to chat. In the meantime, the Velvet Champion gets up after finishing his meal, completely oblivious to the conversation at hand. “Queless, you ready to roll?” The Velvet Champion had jam smeared across his face and crumbs all over his shirt. Queless smiled and nodded.

Before long the two were off rushing through the warm summer air in Waterdeep. The smell of the ocean mixed with early morning sweetrolls being fried in oil in the street stands lining the way. VC stopped to buy a couple and handed Queless a steaming hot roll wrapped in a piece of a Broadsheet*. While unwrapping the Broadsheet to take a bite Queless caught a news headline from the cover story from the day old paper.

SILVER LION INN BURNS

The vendor caught Queless taking a peak at the story and called out. “We got new Broadsheets fer today! Just got em in. Thy Daily Luck, Merchants True Friend, the Waterdeep Herald. Here’s the cover story on the Herald.” The vendor held up the Broadsheet.

STRANGE DISAPPEARANCES AT PIERGERON’S PALACE

Two officials, a palace guard, and a prisoner all went missing last night from Piergeron’s Palace. The watch is investigating…

“One Silver Piece per Broadsheet. Interested?”

For more information on Broadsheets visit:
http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/rl/20031015a

Queless takes the paper from the news boy. Reading it outloud to VC. His voice noticeably agitated as he speaks.

“Dost thou see this? We must make make haste to the palace! We hath spent too much time preparing, now more have disappeared. We need to act.”
The Velvet Champion’s face goes as white as a ghost. He nods and rushes Queless off to Piergeron’s Palace. Queless goes leaping up the stairs with such urgency that guards rush out to stop him. “You there! Stop and put your hands in the air!” The Palace Guards unsheath their swords and one lowers a large pole arm at his chest. “We demand that you identify yourself and your reason for assaulting the palace, Drow.”

“Guards. I am Queless of the Fellowship of Lightning. I have come to speak with Councilmember Mendothian. He is expecting me, please alert him of my presence. Also, I wish to speak with Rionnous Patricia a guardswoman here.”

A guard wearing silver platemail with the seal of waterdeep upon the breastplate steps forward. He pulls off his ornate but functional helm which a long length of golden horse hair trails down. “I am Lieutenant Meiteiereth Donlathswallow of the Piergeron’s Palace Guard. The man of which you speak- Mendothian, is missing. What do you know of this?” The Lieutenant pushes through the wall of armor and weapons and moves close enough to Queless that he could smell his breath which reeks of onions and clove tea. The Lieutenant’s front teeth were covered in plaque so old and coated that it resembled rotting chunks of mutuated corn kernels. “Listen to me Drow. We have been watching you. You’ve been seen entering and exiting here. You have associated with a recent prisoner who was brought here and disappeared. You came to see Council Member Mendothian under secret and possibly false pretenses. You were the last one seen with Rionnous. You either are behind this recent horrific turn of events, or are involved in something most foul. Either way, we want no part of it. Begone from here foul beast. You and your evil kind are not welcome in this palace anymore. If we see you anywhere near this palace, you’ll have nine-hells to pay! BEGONE! The Lieutenant grabs Queless by his shirt which starts to tear in his iron grip and tosses him down the stairs of the palace. Queless tumbled halfway down before catching himself. Some of the guards snicker and laugh. Others glare with hatred. One man with blonde hair stands in the back of the group and discreetly wipes a tear from his eye and shakes his head in dismay at the other guards actions. He turns and enters the palace like a man on a mission.

Queless picks himself up from the ground. Dusting himself off, then placing his hand upon the hilt of his sword.

“Congratulations good sir. I am Drow, guilty as charged. Arrest me if it pleases thee. Though Drow hate sunlight here I stand. Maybe I’m no typical Drow. But, shouldst thou want to recover these lost souls and bring the culprit to justice then thou should listen and listen well for ye may be the next to disappear.”

“As I said before, I am Queless of the Fellowship of Lightning. I am working with priests of Moradin Soulforger, Lathander, Sune, and Kelevmor to eradicate the evil that is behind the disappearances at this palace and the fire at the Silver Lion Inn. We are a licenced mercenary company in the employment of Councilmember Mendothian. If thou continue this course of action thou shall be held as guilty as the fiend that has kidnapped your precious Councilmember and your fellow guards! Let me tell thee, brave Sir Donlathswallow, thou hast no idea what you are up against. Thine enemy can walk though the walls of this palace without being seen nor heard taking what it wants and there is NOTHING ye can do about this. All your strength and power will amount to not should you confront him. Thou wouldst be lucky to be killed instantly, but, instead, ye will watch helplessly as he kills those ye try to save. Now guardsman wilt thou grant me an audience with the councilmembers or wilt thou continue thine assault upon me?”

The color fades in the Lieutenant’s face and his mouth opens and closes but no sound comes out. He finally crosses his arms and glares at Queless with a building rage. One of the guards places a hand on the shoulder of the Lieutenant and whispers something in his ear. The Lieutenant nods and withdraws back into the palace. The same guard moves down the steps towards Queless. “Sir, I beg your pardon for the actions of my Lieutenant. He has a personal interest in these recent disappearances. We are not supposed to let personal interests influence our judgment, but unfortunately- he has. Please, come inside with me. My name is George Ferrick, and I am now the Lieutenant on duty. I have relieved Donlathswallow of duty for the rest of the day to recoup his mental status.”

“Worry not Lieutenant. We shalt do everything in our power to return those abducted safely.” Queless looks over the new guard but keeps his distance.

“Well met Lieutenant George Ferrick. You’ll have to excuse me if I seem a little rushed. There no time to lose. I was to meet Council member Mendothian and others today to discuss matters of importance. Although he is missing, I must still meet with someone to petition for aid.”

“Understood. I will escort you myself to Council Member Dethrick Melbar of Tyr. He hath been on the council since I was a wee lad. If anyone can help you, it is he. He normally assisted on matters of the court and prosecution, but he is very knowledgeable when it comes to Waterdeep and it’s environs. Perhaps he has some information that will assist you in your quest.” Lieutenant Ferrick escorts Queless up the beautiful marble stairs towards Mendothian’s office but turns down a sharp corner and leads the way into a very large office overlooking the front of the palace. Three large windows grant a most spectacular view of Waterdeep. A man with long gray hair and beard with a long and thin pale face covered in scars turns in his chair. One hand is poised on his chin and he appears deep in thought. “Council Member Dethrick Melbar, Queless of the Fellowship of Lightning is here to see you. Formerly commissioned through Council Member Mendothian.” With that the older gentleman quickly turns in his chair and rests his hands folded upon the table. “Queless, a pleasure. Please sit and speak.”

Council Member, thank you. If ye don’t mind I’ll skip the formalities as I see thou art a warrior and sugared words are not fitting.
Surely thou art aware of the abductions that occurred in the palace. And surely thou art aware of the arson in the Dock Ward that claimed the lives of several people. Maybe thou art aware of reports of undead walking the streets and…. elsewhere. If ye did not already guess, these events are related.”

Queless lets out a sigh and continues. “Council Member, what we are dealing with is a Vampire. A very powerful one at that. We are calling a meeting today at the Temple of Morning to discuss this issue. Though I believe immediate action is needed, I will keep my reservations quiet while those much wiser than I have their say. Know this though, I am looking forward to repaying this fiend ten fold the pain he has caused. And with my blade I shall put him to rest, permanently. To do this I am requesting from thee a wizard to protect us from…. what’s the word… skrying. Also, maps of the sewer system. That is where we believe him to be hiding. Can we rely on your support?”


Council Member Dethrick Melbar of Tyr leans back in his chair and stretches his arms while yawning. He places them behind his head. “I hath vanquished a few vampires in my day. They are not to be trifled with. Strong creatures indeed. I shall inquire with a mage friend and old adventuring partner of mine as to the whereabouts of this vampire you believe is running rampant within the walls of our fair city. Doth ye have anymore information which would be relevant to my mage friend?”

“On a side note, I notice that ye have the accent of a Dalelander. Ye must have not spent much time in the Underdark growing up. If this be true, from which Dale do ye hail?”

“Aye, I be from Shadowdale, Huldane tis my human name. Was raised by a human family for some generations. I have only vague memories of my parents as I was but a child when I was orphaned. Though ’tis my home, I am exiled. And that tis enough about that.”
“Back to the matter at hand, I have little concrete information. The priests of Lathander have in their possession several items we found at the scenes of his crimes. These items I understand to be Necromantic in function. Maybe it would be best if thou heard from the Foes of the Fang who art researching these items at the Temple of Morning. If thine mage friend came along to protect us from prying eyes it would be most fine. By helping me thou shalt be a target of this Vampire. At the inn he did leaveth a note saying that:”

To those who dare upset my work:
Ye shall cease your investigation immediately and leave Waterdeep permanently. Failure to do so will result in the capture and execution of every family member, friend, and acquaintance you hold dear. You have until tomorrow at sundown to exit the city.
-O

Queless stands and places his hand on the hilt of his blade.

“This, to me, is a challenge. Let me ask you brave sir, do I exit the city via the sewers?”[smiles] “And if so, doth ye have a map? As ye can see, time is running short and I must gather my cohorts. We need your support or these killings will continue.”

“Aye, Shadowdale tis a beautiful Dale indeed. I myself hale from Mistledale, Ashabenford to be exact. It was there that I learned of my great god Tyr the maimed. His ways of upholding the law, truth, and justice woke me from a great and horrible slumber. My eyes were opened and I found that which I had sought all my life in his guidance. I came to Waterdeep years ago with my adventuring group and ended up retiring here. My time would not be up though, and I continue to work behind the scenes to uphold truth and justice within Waterdeep’s great walls.”

Council Member Dethrick Melbar of Tyr leans towards Queless talking in hushed tones.

“I know more of what ye speak that I can tell right now. Just know that you have friends in the city that cannot make themselves seen or heard until the time is right. My mage friend cannot assist ye yet, but he keeps a watchful eye on your progress. Make for the Spires of the Morning and get your Fellowship together. Start at the Field of Triumph- Waterdeep’s Arena. The Night Lord which you seek is not there at this moment, but one of our palace guards disappeared there nonetheless. I will write ye a charter which provides you full access to the entirety of the Arena. Ye shall have the same access as the Waterdeep Guard. They shall not harass you with this as it is a direct order from a high official. I shall give ye my honorary insignia stamped upon the bottom in pure gold.”

Council Member Dethrick Melbar of Tyr pulls a parchment which is already prepared with the Fellowship of Lightning’s name upon it from the papers on his desk. He signs the bottom and uses an ancient looking stamp with magically melted gold- poured from a plain looking inkwell on his desk and presses his seal into the base of the document. The seal is Tyr’s hammer surrounded by the symbol of Waterdeep – a cresent moon reflected on the water with eight diamonds around the bottom. Within this seal is Dethrick’s full name in both common and elvish. Dethrick Melbar hands Queless the rolled up official document to hold while he seals the rolled up parchment with a red wax seal with the emblem of the Waterdeep City Council.

“Gather your Fellowship and head immediately to the Fields of Triumph. Look for anything out of the ordinary. Both Rionnius and Wendel vanished there last evening. I do not know if this Night Lord is involved in these particular disappearances as his movements are very hard for my mage friend to trace. This could be a copycat criminal or possibly more roaming zombies. Either way, take great care. If you are able to find Rionnius the city shall grant you her help in your efforts against the great evil.”

“If you return with Rionnius and Wendel I shall hopefully have the neccesary documents prepared. As soon as Wendel lays his signature and seal upon them you shall have full access to the entirety of Waterdeep’s sewage system.”

Council Member Dethrick Melbar of Tyr stands and salutes Queless. “Good luck and great haste Queless Huldane of Shadowdale.” The two shake in the traditional Dalelander fashion.

Queless drops to a knee and bows. “Most gracious of you sir. Your patronage will not be wasted up on us, The Fellowship of Lightning!

“We shall trust the safety of our conversations to thine mage friend. Please give him our thanks.”

Queless is escorted out of the palace. Standing outside he breathes in the morning air. Thinking to himself: Here I stand in the greatest city of all the realms speaking to the very people who make and uphold the laws…. Charged with a job that sounds more like a suicide mission than gainful employment. How did I stumble into this mess? Oh well, I can’t go avoid it now, guess I’ll have to go though it.

“VC, it’s time to gather my friends.”

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About Jonathan G. Nelson

Jonathan G. Nelson is the editor-in-chief and owner of NERD TREK. He is also owner/publisher at AAW Games / AdventureAWeek.com, a tabletop gaming company based in Snoqualmie, WA. Connect with Jonathan via Facebook.