Basajaun Gartzia back for a third report.
After all the excitement in my previous report, we Copper Crusaders decided to take another couple of tendays off to pursue our interests. I mean to check on Hory during the interim and see if he was doing okay, but- well, I got distracted and put it off too long and then the city got besieged!
For the first thirteen days, everything seemed normal. I spend some time practicing my magic, and I’m more or less back to the level of power I could command back home. After that, I decided I had given up too quick and started to search again for local druids. I think I was making some progress. Kirrin at the adventuring payment office in the Commonwealth knew some, remember, and I was trying to track which freebooter bands they were with.
On the fourteenth day, all of that got shoved aside. I woke up and there was yelling and running in the streets and smoke everywhere. I finally got a “Sovereign” (that’s what the people heavy into the free city anarchy stuff call themselves) to tell me what’s going on, and I find out a Netherese army has appeared from nowhere just outside the city walls. All of Neverwinter is surrounded. They’ve got catapults firing into the city, and Netherese soldiers are using their shadow magic to teleport in, attack, and teleport back out. I help some people out from under rubble and make my way to the Sunken Flagon.
Hory, Asterion, and Talyn show up there as well. Amafrey is missing, and we can only hope she hasn’t been hurt. Talyn tells us the Netherese have landed a black dragon on an earth mote and are using it to destroy any ship trying to leave the harbor. Hory tries to figure out how big the dragon is, but any dragon that can destroy a ship is too big for me!
I use Animal Messanger to send a bird to Kypreos asking what we should do, but that spell doesn’t come with a ‘reply’ function. Not wanting to wait on advice from our patron, we go to the Hall of Justice to see if they are organizing freebooter bands like us to do anything useful. Kirrin doesn’t have a lot of time to talk, but she tells us that they’re offering a reward for every siege engine destroyed.
We start to get a better grasp on the army that has the city encircled, and it is no mere raiding force. They have a lot of soldiers, mages, and seige engines that are constantly firing rocks into the city. They even have a bunch of golems that are supposed to be super duper special. No one has any idea how they got so close to the city undetected. Everybody woke up one morning and boom, there the army was. I mean, maybe they brought everyone through the Shadowfell? I don’t really know how that works, though. I thought you had to go through specific passages at specific places, not dump an army through all at once. But what do I know, I’m not an ancient empire of shadow mages.
We decide the best thing we could do to help would be to try and capture one of the soldiers. They presumably know how they got here, right? So it’s a stealth mission for the four of us (Amafrey still being missing). We slip out an entrance that isn’t being watched as closely and belly crawl our way there with Pass Without Trace active from my staff.
I thought about keeping on going. I really did. I’ve only been living in this city for less than two moons. This isn’t my war. If I have the chance to get out, shouldn’t I take it? Still, I don’t. Most of it is that I don’t want to let my new friends down. We’re the Copper Crusaders, right? It’s also that I like Neverwinter and the shadow people really are kind of an evil empire. And… if worse comes to worse and the city falls with me inside it, I can probably still sneak away as some small animal.
The mission is a disaster. The soldiers are veterans who are tougher than us. The mages are way more powerful than me or Talyn. Maybe if we had taken them seriously, all concentrated on taking down just one guy and getting away, we could have managed it. Instead we ended up fighting two squads at once and barely escaped with our lives, mostly because the mages got paranoid and fireball-happy. We only get away with our lives because they stay to guard their siege engines.
As they’re cracking open a gate to let us back in, that kobold working for Kypreos shows up with a box from Kypreos. Inside the box is a magical stone called a sending stone that allows Kypreos to talk to us. He advises us to go to the that tavern called the House of a 1000 faces, find the elf woman I know called Theryis, and tell her that Kypreos sent us and we can be trusted. We’re given some kind of code phrase I’ve already forgotten.
Kypreos tells us that the only thing that can save Neverwinter is its red dragon patron, Klauth. The problem is that the Netherese have figured out how to scare Klauth off. One of their mages has developed some kind of magic that interferes with some other kind of magic that Klauth “depends on” (whatever that means) and Klauth won’t show his scaly face until the mage goes away. Kypreos thinks that the mage is in Gloomwrought, the Shadowfell reflection of big city called Waterdeep to the south of here. Theryis can get us to Waterdeep.
I push back a little. I thought we wanted to keep Klauth from being the savior of Neverwinter? Seems like if there’s magic keeping him from the city, that’s great. Kypreos doesn’t see any other way to break the siege, though, so it’s going to be one of those stories where we invite in the snake to catch the rat and then have to deal with the snake. Still, it’s not like I have any better ideas and fleeing the city honorably doesn’t sound so terrible.
We go to the House of a 1000 faces. I give the code phrase and we get sent to a back room to talk to this other woman waiting with a sword. Apparently she’s this famous hero in these parts named Luusi Wintermere. We introduce ourselves to her, although she already knows who Talyn is. I am not clear on why we have to meet her in secret if she’s famous or what all these code phrases are about, because what she asks us to do is pretty straight forward and not secret at all.
Dwarves from Delzoun have a shipment of mithril they were going to load onto a ship called the Silverstar that’s supposed to go to Waterdeep. They want to send it along with news of the attack to their allies in the Lord’s Alliance. The only issue is that black dragon attacking all the escaping ships. Apparently his name is Garundar the Vile, and he’s this really old black dragon who used to lair in a place charmingly called “the Mere of Dead Men”. He’s far too powerful to fight head on. In fact, there’s a good chance that he could take the city by himself, but I guess the Netherese aren’t paying him enough to risk himself against Neverwinter’s most desperate defenses.
Anyway, there’re going to try to distract him with this flying tower and sneak the Silverstar out of the harbor. They think he won’t chase us too far away from the harbor if we get out. I’m not clear why that is. What’s our job in all this? To escort the ship out as security.
We head over to the River District to see the Delzoun. Along the way we finally run into Amafrey fighting off some Netherese soldiers. They duck back into the shadows quick once they’re facing real opposition, and we reunite with Amafrey. She’s been helping some other wizards from her academy fight all day. We explain what’s happening and she comes with us.
There’s a whole crowd of dwarves when we report at this counter to take the mission. Hory wants to know why everyone doesn’t just evacuate through the portal to Delzoun, or at least use it to being in supplies to withstand a long siege. The answer is that Delzoun is completely cut off underground. They don’t even have a good path to get to the surface, much less trade routes there. This portal is their only door out right now. That seems… not good.
I make a crack about how come adventurers aren’t lined up around the block to take the mission as a way to escape the city. The woman at the counter tells me they all consider it pretty much suicide with the dragon and all. I don’t see how that can be. If the ship captain doesn’t believe the ship can make it, why would he or she agree to go?
Asterion and I don’t have many ties in the city, but Talyn and Amafrey do. (No idea how Hory feels.) I suggest everybody split up to say their goodbyes, because who knows when we’ll be able to come back or if Neverwinter will fall before we can. (I maybe don’t say that last part out loud.) I don’t have anyone to say goodbye to, so I visit Helder Stormcrow and give him as many goodberries as I can make. At least that’ll feed a few people today and let them save their real food for tomorrow.
We report in the next day to a dwarf called Rogin Ironfist, who has us escort a bunch of mithril-filled crates to the harbor. There we meet the Silverstar’s captain, Westra Lackman. She quizzes us about our capabilities and all the crates are loaded.
The escape is actually kind of anti-climatic. Talyn has this gust of wind spell she uses to fill the sails, and we’re out of the harbor and onto open sea before Garundar can stop us. The end. We all go to bed relieved.
We all wake up in the middle of the night, alarmed. The Silverstar gets attacked by a bunch of skeleton pirates in a rotted ship. It’s tough being caught without armor, but Asterion and I don’t have time to wriggle into it. Instead I slap a Barkskin on him and we do the best that we can. I have to turn into a bear twice, but we win in the end. The rest of us besides Talyn get a chance to earn our pay.
From there it’s a couple of days more sail to Waterdeep. Amafrey gets antsy, though, and she sneaks into the hold and looks in the crates. Buried underneath the mithril in one, she finds a chest. She and Hory and Asterion want to figure out what’s in it and if it’s why the skeleton pirates attacked us.
My take is that there’s no reason to invade the privacy of the Delzoun just because we’re curious, and if they want to keep secrets from us they have a right to do that. My take doesn’t seem to have much sway, so Talyn and I sit things out while the other three investigate further.
Eventually they come back and Hory tells me that the crates had a bunch of powerful evil magical artifacts. Well okay then, it makes sense they want to keep those things away from the evil shadow empire, especially if they’re afraid Delzoun itself will get invaded through the portal and fall. Talyn wants to confront Captain Lackman about it, which I think is crazy. She could literally have us keelhauled or any other horrible thing she could think of. Ship captains can do whatever they want on the ocean, and I can’t manage any water-breathing forms yet.
Talyn listens to reason, but Hory and Amafrey are still worried. Not sure how Asterion feels. Anyway, I tune out after they come to some plan to satisfy themselves that the evil artifacts aren’t going to evil people. Good to know.
Finally we arrive in Waterdeep. It’s an amazing city, just as big as Tarmalune. I don’t get much time to look around, though. Kypreos contacts us and tells us something bad is going down in Neverwinter right now, and we have to get to Gloomwrought tonight, no waiting. Not good.
The dwarves they try to sneak
The skeletons they try to peek
But the mithril blocks all
Save for Amafrey’s curiositall
So it’s the wizard that gets the sneakpeek
Oh that’s good. I think my poetry is improving! A little?