Lost Winterspire: Into the Void

Chapter 29 (Epilogue): Peak of the World
The end of Tiamat

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Epilogue for the Innkeepers of Winterspire: Chapters 1-29

Long before the age of man, these lands were ruled by the Giants and Dragons of Old. Tiamat, Queen of the Dragons, rose against the Giants, hoping to establish the Dragon as rulers of the primordial world. The Giants, in their last bastion of glory, banished Tiamat to the Nine Hells. And in doing so, they vanquished themselves, the Dragon and the ancient world they lived within.

As it often does, history repeats itself. During 1214, in the towering stone Moon Hills Inn, the legend began. An inn owned by the former adventurer Brutus on the border of the towering Winterspire Mountains was clamouring with adventurers. Each of them, for one reason or another, was seeking to climb to the Peak of Winterspire Mountains to be granted their legendary wish.

Instead, they found themselves embroiled in an ancient conflict between Dragon and Giant. An ill-spoken dragonborn known as Talimar sent them on a quest to retrieve his Serpent Herb, lost within the Misty Rock. Once retrieved, the adventurers discovered the truth: Tiamat has returned and seeks to devour the very world they live upon.

There was Rozzo, a moustached man who claims to be from the village of Merrittonia, though no one’s ever heard of that place.

Steeb, the gnome wizard seeking the infinite knowledge of the world beyond the confines of his cloister.

Niloc, the tiefling warlock raised by wolves within the Wild Forests.

Malachite, the tielfing trickster convict who escaped from Waterdeep and a profound mushroom entrepreneur.

Bal-darok, the battle-born half-orc paladin of Pelor and Atremis, a seasoned wizard of the divine and reknown son of Elminster of Waterdeep.

Festoon, the Halfling entertainer known for his extravagant accordion shows and his ability to transform into the circus animals he entertains with.

Farin, the dwarven pyromaniac wild sorcerer whose uncontrollable powers shock those around him.

And lastly, one who refused to join the Innkeepers and swore allegiance only to the Giants, Beats. The Goliath champion and avatar of ancient vengeance.

These are the adventurers who would form the Order of the Innkeepers alongside Brutus and Miri, owners of the Moon Hills Inn. And it was the Innkeepers would lead the call to arms against Tiamat’s return.

Under the reign of King Hrothgar, they helped form the Bannercall. That is, the march of the Winterspire’s thanes under one banner to meet Tiamat’s Black Legion from the East. The Innkeepers also traveled to Waterdeep and made themselves reknown among the cities masses. Using their political clout, they beseeched the Council of Waterdeep to form an army of their own to assist the Kingdom of Winterspire against Tiamat’s wrath.

With an army secured to stop the Black Legion, the Innkeepers now needed a means to vanquish Tiamat. Atremis, son of Elminster, revealed to them that he alone carried the Skull of Orcus. If they could find the Staff of Orcus, they could form Scepter that banished Tiamat prior.

As the armies of the Bannercall and Waterdeep clashed against Tiamat’s Black Legion, the adventurers climbed up Winterspire Peak, hoping to craft the Scepter of Orcus. Below, the Black Legion was stopped dead in their tracks, despite casualties on both sides. However, it bought Tiamat enough time to make her way up Winterspire Peak.

At the peak, the goliath Beats awaited his moment against Tiamat, having been foiled by Rozzo and the Innkeepers with a fake staff. As the Innkeepers reached Winterspire Peak, Oracles sat in anticipation of their arrival as the goliath brooded with vengeance.

With Tiamat momentarily bound by the wasted wish of a love-struck monk, the Innkeepers took their moment to strike. As Rozzo raised the Scepter of Orcus against Tiamat, he banished her to the Nine Hells.

Orcus, devil of the Nine Hells, decided to seize the moment and trade places with Tiamat. Sitting upon the Peak of Winterspire and the very peak of the World, he raised his weapon to rip the world asunder and unleash his devils upon Winterspire.

Instead, the Wizard Steeb used his wish to unleash a torrent of magical energy upon the Peak of World and opening a great void upon the skyline. As Orcus was ejected into a far off plane, the Void was controllable and the entire Kingdom of Winterspire with it.

And here, after this catastrophic moment, is where our adventurer begins. Into the Weird World of the Lost Void!

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Chapter 28: Siege of Winterspire

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On the 13th day of the Rotting, the Black Legion arrived in Winterspire, swarming from all directions.

Despite all odds, the siege was broken and the Black Legion was defeated by the united efforts of the Bannercall and Waterdeep, among others.

While victorious, Tiamat abandoned her army only to escape towards Winterspire Peak. There, she hoped to reach the Oracles and remake the world of Faerun to her liking.

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Chapter 27: Halls of the Elements
Staff of Orcus Part II

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Within the mining town of Stoneheim, the adventurers entered the mines to find the Halls of the Elements. According to Atremus, the ancient elemental tomb is the location of the Staff of Orcus, the second half to the only weapon that can defeat Tiamat (or any deity).

After passing the Trials of the Elements, the Staff of Orcus was discovered. However, it was snatched by Rozzo who quickly disappeared.

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Chapter 26: Gods among Men
Staff of Orcus Part I

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On the 4th day of the Rotting, the adventurers made their way up every grueling step of the Fortress of Frost, besieged by the Giants of Old on the far side of Icewind Glacier. With only 9 days before the Black Legion arrives, time was of the essence.

As Woestag, King of the Frost Orcs fell, so did his army. Their blackened hearts stopped in unison as they collapsed in silence. The Frost Orc were no more, and the siege of the Giants has been won. The Innkeepers had presumably gained favour with the Giants of Old.

Mighty roars of the Giants of the Old thundered across the frozen fortress in triumph. In the distance, the glacier began to crack and heave. From beneath, a gigantic fist burst through the ice, swelling with burning embers.

As his massive ancient arm pulled his body above the glacier, he spoke: “I am Ymir. King of the Giants of Old. The First Man!”

With the Giants on the war path, the Innkeepers decided to head towards Stoneheim, hoping to recruit the dwarves to the Bannercall and search for the Staff of Orcus, hidden within Stoneheim’s mines.

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Chapter 23-25: Fortress of Frost
Return of Bal-Darok and Woestag's end

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For generations, this mighty Orc fortress has stood at the end of Icewind Pass. Its impenetrable walls have miraculously stood against the the awakened Giants of Old, keeping them on the far side of Icewind Glacier. According to the seer Zashiera, the Frost Orc have sworn allegiance to Tiamat in exchange for eldritch power…

Recently, four adventurers, Bal-Darok, Rozzo, Malachite and Beats crawled beneath a small crater in the wall, finding themselves deep within an Orcish Dungeon. Within, Orcish clerics constructed monstrosities made of slain Giant parts.

The adventurer’s slowly made their way through the fortress, encountering a tortured giant head as well as an insane necromancer, ready to betray her King for the sake of the “Old Ones beneath the ice”.

The adventurers eventually fought their way up the frozen tower to meet King Woestag. There, the King pleaded the case for his people’s survival and warned them of the Giants. Despite his pleas, the adventurers beheaded the King, stopping his blackened heart and killing all of his people.

The siege of the Fortress of Frost was broken, and the Giants from beyond the glacier were free to aid the Innkeepers against Tiamat’s Black Legion.

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Chapter 22: Torinn's Detour

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With the stink of Westfurt’s bogs filling his nostrils, the ex-legionnaire Torinn perched in wait. His piercing draconic eyes stalked a cloaked figure as it skulked deep into the mist of the bog. Torinn’s eyes did not blink. They did not falter.

For hours he stalked his cloaked prey as it delved deeper into the foggy mist of the Boglands. There, his prey stepped upon an old, rotted tree stump and crawled within.

“It stinks of death here,” snorted Torinn to himself. “But not the walking corpse of Talimar. And so, a job for pawns” he sneered.

A few days later on the 1st day of the Rotting (November), Torinn sat alongside his so-called pawns: Rozzo, Niloc and Feros within the Dampwalk Inn of Westfurt.

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“The Cult of Tiamat reeks beneath your noses. It festers, like the undead that do her bidding. You may have killed the necromancer Zhul, but Tiamat’s greatest agent, Talimar, still wanders among these bogs. Pitiful humans, not unlike yourselves, have pledged allegiance to the Cult of Tiamat. And with it, they raise rotten dead men”.

“Take these cloaks and meet with Tiamat’s cultists. You will have to coerce them that you are one of them. Have them take you to their den of evil. Destroy it – or face legions of undead upon the battlefield of your Bannercall”.

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And so they did. For Torinn stalked the Innkeepers, in hopes they would bait Talimar’s presence. But it brought another instead. A great white-dragon known as Fenelux, older brother of the late-Farralax, swopped and hovered above the Innkeepers in all its glory. As its mighty wingspan covered them in shadow, they gazed up towards it, accompanied by cloaked cultists in reverence.

“Petty humans” Fenelux laughed. “You’re dusk has come. Worship me! Worship Tiamat! Raise your dead Hrothgar warriors from beneath these swamps. You must prepare for the coming of the Black Legion. Be ready. Frosthold will be sieged by the 13th day of the Rotting. Her day is now. Tiamat will reach Winterspire’s Peak and your servitude will not be forgotten!”

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With those wretched words, the white dragon swopped away into the distance, “Our time has come!” he roared in victory across the Boglands, “The Age of Destruction! The Age of Tiamat!”

In the distance, Torinn’s eyes remained fixated on Niloc, Feros and Rozzo as they proceeded to slay their ‘fellow’ cultists and crawled beneath a rotted log into a hidden den of evil.

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“How fitting,” spoke Torinn. “They’re not useless after-all. Perhaps they will prevent the dead from serving Tiamat. They may have failed to vanquish Talimar – but all is not lost … yet”.

As the new day’s sun began to dawn in the distance, a thundering explosion was heard beneath the swamp. First, Niloc came rushing out from the den and vanished into the mist’s shadows. Second, came Rozzo cackling with delight. And lastly, came Feros, as the thick bog water rushed into the collapsing den.

Torinn’s draconic eyes focused upon them and listened to their celebrations. They had collapsed the den with a well-placed wave of thunder. And with it, buried a den of necromancers bent on resurrecting the dead to serve Tiamat.

“One less legion upon the battlefield,” Torinn whispered. “I must find my own Lost Legion. We have little time to join mankind’s Bannercall”. The dragonborn turned and triumphantly stepped into the fog – only to immediately stop in his tracks.

“That wretched smell of rotting scale,” spoke Torinn. “I am not the only dragonborn who witnessed tonight’s spectacle!" He turned backwards as Rozzo and Feros trekked away in joyious delight.

Talimar…!”

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Chapter 21: Journey to Icewind Pass
Introducing the Singing Fish!

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With the shattered gears and piles of scarecrow hay behind them, the four adventurers gave a nod to one another as they trekked north to the edge of the world known as Icewind Pass.

Among the four was the mighty goliath known as Beats, the whimsical halfling named Festoon, and two devilish tieflings: the bejewelled Malachite and the gibbering Niloc.

As their great northern wandering on the 29th of Leaffall took them further from the warmth of Brutus’ comforting hearth, they recalled the words of fortune-teller Zashiera:

“Let it be known among the pale-folk,” I spoke, “Beyond Icewind pass lies the Fortress of Frost. The last bastion of the unrelenting Frost Orc. It is there the Giants of Old lay their siege upon the orc to bring about the Giant’s reckoning upon Tiamat and her allies”.

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“And if you find yourself upon the frozen edge of the world, it is there you will find yourselves!"

As Zashiera, seer of the south, my words will tell this tale true:

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Within a day’s march the adventurers found themselves wrapped in the fur of bear, deer and wolf as they gazed upon the snow-covered horizon. Festoon gripped his satchel tightly as the whispering moss continually prodded him from within.

“Festoon! It is Brunnhilde! I sense your soul has stepped upon the Icewind snow! Closer, now! To the nearby cave where I am held captive! Please Festoon, you are my only hope!”

As Festoon spoke those words to his nearby allies, he was interrupted by the mighty roar of a polar bear upon a frozen rock. The adventurers stepped back with their hands upon spell and sword. But Festoon stepped forward.

“Rwar! Ruar, rauure, roaugh, rhoar – eh, roar!” spoke Festoon. The white bear retorted, “Ruaor, roar-re-ra-roar!”

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And with a nod, the halfling druid turned to his party and informed them that they shall pass, so long as they free the beast from its giant masters. The same giants, he suspected, held the wild woman Brunnhilde against her will.

The bear led them to a nearby rocky opening framed by jagged icicles. Stepping closer to the cave, they could hear the rumbling bickering of two towering hill giants, mere peons of the Giants of Old.

“No stinkin’ Frost Giant can tell me what to do! I ain’t dying to break some orc or to kill some dragies! Those orcs be killing us all! I’ve got me my purty doll and that’s all me needs!”

“She be my doll! Not you’s!” the other argued, pointing to the captive Brunnhilde.

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And within a moment, the flash of Beat’s blade of vengeance interrupted their bickering as it pierced the gut of their chained owlbear pet. Behind him, Festoon crept past towards Brunnhilde, locked within a cage like a pet. The roar of their polar bear ally echoed across the cave as Malachite unveiled her spiritual sickles and Niloc unleashed his chaotic eldritch fury.

In their defense the hill giants slammed their primitive clubs towards the party, knocking them back and forth with stupefied might. Yet, despite taking some injury, the adventurers overcame the cowardly hill giants as their gargantuan corpses tumbled to the ground.

All the while, Festoon had freed Brunnhilde from captivity. Weakened with starvation, she spoke with gratitude: “You have freed me … and I thank you all. But there is no time to rejoice“.

She continued with a bloody cough, “Can you hear the thunder? The Giants of Old continue their siege and we must assist them. For it is foretold in the whispers of the trees: Tiamat cannot be stopped without the might of the Giants!”

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“Go!” she shouted with barbaric fury, “We must go to the Fortress of Frost!”

Yet, before they could leave – a crack within the wall caught Malachite’s curiosity. She crept towards it, inspecting it with her devilish eyes. “What lies beyond here?” she whispered, gently tapping the hollowed stone.

“Give it a swift knock!” shouted Beats, as he crashed a nearby great club into it, crumbing the wall and revealing a small icy pond. With a grin, Niloc cackled “What lies within such darkness?”

“A job for my duplicate!” Malachite called proudly, promptly sending her illusionary copy beneath the ice. Before her eyes swam a glowing blue fish that immediately its gaping mouth for a kiss.

“It’s a beautiful tiefling! Lost beneath the water!” sang the musical trout as it splashed its head above the surface.

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“Such a whimsical crew I have found!” continued the singing fish, “Here I swim! I swim! Across the frozen seas, only to find a magical number of thee!”

Each member of the Innkeepers looked to one another in confusion but swiftly agreed with a nod:

“At last! A majestic voice to join my whimsical band!” called Festoon.

“A strange creature to echo my thunderous call to the Giants” bellowed Beats.

“Blue, shiny and a delight to my ears!” cackled Malachite.

“A curious creature. Perhaps a mishap of nature..?” grinned Niloc.

“When you’re done with that affront to nature, can we please save this world’s existence now?” beckoned Brunnhilde as she struggled to her feet.

And with an applause, the Innkeepers greeted their newest member: a blue, singing fish on the 30th day of Leaffall! What remained before them was a daunting task: the unbreakable Fortress of Frost.

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Chapter 20: Dragonfall
Introducing Beats

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With his long spine-like fingers the grinning manticore carved the following words into an orange, frosted stone within Winterspire’s Crags: “On the 28th of Leaffall, the Dragon fell”.

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“The day I devoured the soul of a god!” yelped the red-maned manticore, bearing his rows of shark teeth while his spined scorpion tail wagged with excitement. “What savoury taste is the soul of a Dragon of Old!

“Ah, I remember it well…”

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With a crackle of thunder in the sky, the night skies of Winterspire were illuminated with a flash of green lightning. All could hear his thunderous voice calling across the skies: “Begon, demon of Tiamat!” the old wizard shouted.

And as the clouds parted above, a great green comet plummeted from the sky. At its centre, the frantic wings of a Dragon of Old, daughter of Tiamat, struggled to catch wind.

As she crashed into our earth the crags rattled with her fall. The world trembled under her might – or rather, her demise. She exploded into the ground, leaving a massive crater as if to bury her own grave.

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But she lived on.

With her heart and ribcage exposed, pounding with every last breath of life, she laid on her deathbed, gushing her acidic blood as her wyrmlings flocked to her. She wept, and wept as four adventurers came to her.

Yes, it was Rozzo, Feros and Niloc, seeking out their spoils of Waterdeep and hoping to discover Elminster’s fate. A fate that was already sealed in his sacrifice. And as they approached they saw vengeance personified: a goliath-man now called Beats.

The goliath paladin cut his way through her wyrmling swarm with steadfast determination – the tip of his blade had one mission: Lady Silverstar’s heart.

But it was not without due challenge as a dragonborn legionnaire came souring down from the skies, riding his own young dragon. As he crashed upon the earth, I heard his familiar call: “I am Zhul! Necromancer of the Black Legion! I come to breathe undeath into our princess of Old, Lady Silverstar as I have Talimar!”

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And how naïve those arrogant dragonborn are. Zhul’s aggression only united the adventurers, as Beats found new allies in the moustached man, thunderous elf and the smirking warlock. Zhul and the Dragon of Old both met their demise that day. The adventurers pierced the Dragon of Old’s heart and with it, her soul leapt from her body. It reached out to those that would let her ancient soul linger within them, as it always has.

And always will.

“Her ancient soul was consumed” whispered Icarus with a snivelling grin. “Of course, by me. And others, too … Some, but not all of the Innkeepers joined me in my feast of immortality”.

“And with it,” spoke the manticore as he gazed at the stars beyond Winterspire’s peak, “We gained the soul of a god. What better way to defile the gods than to become one yourself?”

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Chapter 19: The Opera of the Council

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With the smell of fish and the squawking of albatross behind them, four members of the Innkeepers (Atremus, Rozzo, Niloc and Feros), gathered their supplies and prepared to return to Winterspire. Behind them, a familiar half-orc voice was heard:

“Condolences on your late father, Atremus” gently spoke Argeist as he approached the Innkeepers. “His sacrifice for the lives of the council members, my life and certainly your own lives will not be forgotten”.

With a presumed nod from Atremus, Rozzo, Feros and Niloc, the agent Argeist continued.

“If it means no offence, I hope to join you on your journey back to the Moon Hills Inn. The Council of the Five Lords has asked me to be their eyes and ears, coordinating the arrival of the army of Waterdeep and most importantly, to answer any questions or concerns you may have with our united city”.

With a single puff from his pipe and a scratch on the head of his scruffy black cat, Argeist gently pulled a scroll from his satchel and spoke:

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“Before I forget, I figured you ought to see what the people of Waterdeep are saying about you. And, perhaps it will serve as a memento for you, Atremus”.

As he handed the Innkeepers the scroll, the date could be seen on the newspaper: 28th of Leaffal, 1214. It read:

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The critics are in: “The Lords of the Lovers Opera was a hit”. While some reviews were mixed, the overall consensus of the peoples of Waterdeep was that the Opera was a grand success.

The first Act ‘Two Star Crossed Lovers’ set the tone for the Opera. Maria, played by Niloc and Venetio, played by Rozzo, showed their ability to draw the audience in and really become invested in their love. According to some audience members, “the arrival of the Kobold snipers are quite a twist! It really gave the feeling that Maria and Venetio’s love was hunted at every corner!”

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The second Act “The Duel of the Lost Lover” really tested the actor’s ability to improvise. While there was a few hiccups in the performance of the actors as bows and flames billowed from above, the act nearly fell apart. However, a strong recovery from Rozzo and Niloc during the duel with Maria’s betrothed lover Gestalt saved the show: “I really liked the role reversal of Maria and Venetio! These days the princess in distress is so overplayed and to see Maria unleash her hidden powers really made the show” spoke one fan. “I hope to see this trend more often”!

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The third Act “The Flood of Fate” was met with cheers as the audience was invited on stage to actively participate in the Opera’s culmination. While previous “Lords of the Lovers” presentations ended with a rather anticlimactic flooding and survival, this years instead ended with an attack of a vile “boar demon”, presumably a representation of the same evil forces that threaten Waterdeep to this very day. As both the boar and its evil drow assistant were dragged (and splattered!) off stage, the Opera ended with a grand finale, as the house stood and applauded in a standing ovation. A notable performance by Gestalt (Atremus), who found himself now forgiving Venetio as the demon arrived.

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“Two thumbs up!” shouted Rogero and Ebertus, who rated it “Five out of Five Lords. A must see!”

Yet such a spectacular performance was followed by a tumultuous yet united Council of Waterdeep, 1214 that ended in tragedy. While much of the city presumably witnessed the draconic aberration and is in mourning of Elminster’s sacrifice, it is indeed important that the truth, as it happened, be clearly presented to all.

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Two major propositioned were voted upon. The first asked for unity among the Five Lords and to march Waterdeep’s army to Winterspire and prevent the prophesied return of Tiamat, an apocalyptic warning proclaimed to the city by the Champions of Waterdeep.

The vote passed, 77-55 in favour of “Yea. The army of the Five Lords should march against the Black Legion”.

The second and highly controversial (at least, at the time) was made against the former White Lord,Lady Silverstar. Once a symbol of righteousness, temperance and purity she was now being accused (by Rozzo, Tirlonde and Elminster) of plotting against the people of Waterdeep (and all of Faerun) with the Dragon Queen Tiamat and the wanted dragonborn Talimar.

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With a vote of 88-57 in favour of “Yea. Tirlonde should replace the conspirator Lady Silverstar” the haggish virgin was promptly arrested and taken away. Our suspicions were immediately confirmed, when nearly a third of the council members revealed themselves as agents of Tiamat, frantically attacking those around him in honour of her freedom.

What happened next will certainly be one for the history books. While no-one witnessed her “transformation”, it can only be presumed that the Lady Silverstar revealed herself as a black Dragon of Old – an ancient dragon usually spoke of only in myth and legend.

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Her attempted transgressions were promptly halted, however. Both the champions Rozzo and Feros fiercely defending their loyal council members, slaying the cultist agents in their tracks. Our late, respected and wise Elminster bravely charged into the wretched darkness of the ancient black dragon. While no-one truly witnessed how our Green Lord Elminster sacrificed himself to save our city, it became clear that his magicks bested the dragon as its destructive breath was extinguished.

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And as I am sure many of you witnesses, the gargantuan Dragon of Old as its acidic blood rained down upon the skies of Waterdeep as it flew northwards in defeat.

May Elminster rest in peace as of the 29th day of Leaffal. Funeral services will begin on the 31st day of Leaffal to mark the end of the Highharvestide celebrations in his honour. The Lords have asked the city respect his sacrifice with a month of mourning as Atremus, Elminster’s son, has been asked to assume his Lordship of the Harpers in his honour.

As the scroll’s print comes to an end, Argeist whispered to the Champions as his black cat crawled atop his shoulder:

“May his eternal soul rest in peace for his sacrifice. We now march north with purpose: to honour Elminster’s sacrifice. And perhaps, it might do well to pay a visit to what remains of Lady Silverstar?"

Argiest grinned, “Shall we?”

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Chapter 18: The Lords of Waterdeep

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The clamours of merchants shouting echoed through the cold, narrow windows of the Vault of the Shield, headquarters of the Knights of the Shield and the Black Lord of Waterdeep. The black stone warehouse proudly watched every detail over the skyline of Waterdeep with its four mighty towers. Within it, a chronicler of the Shield dipped his quill into the thick, viscous ink and began to write:

“To be submitted into the annals of the Knight of the Shield, this document dictates the historical records on the ‘Champions of Waterdeep, 1214’. The events of the 22nd day of Leaffall will be reserved for the collective eyes of the Shield and none other. For it is our eyes that are open, to bear witness, and to know.

Henceforth, the Champions of 1214 will be known as Atremus, Feros, Niloc and Rozzo. This record begins with the Champion’s convening within the Salty Sailor, arranged to be emptied and abandoned. Here, the bitter Deadwalk Templar, former champion and Paladin sought his revenge. Instead, he found the silver tongue of Rozzo, who twisted not only his words, but the intelligence of the Paladin. Believing them to be costumed fans of the Champions, he cursed them as he left, vowing to seek his revenge until the last breath leaves his body.

Before departing the Salty Sailor Inn, Atremus informed his fellow Champions that his father, the Green Lord Elminster, requested their gathering at a dinner within the Halls of Harpers. Knowing now their reputation now preceded them, the Champions decided to split ways to treat with each of the Lords of Waterdeep.

Atremus, oddly costumed as a chubby man-baby, waddled his way to the deepest roots of the Halls of the Harpers, land of the Green Lord.

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The Halls of Harpers

Feros proudly marched himself through the docks of the Red Sash Canton, the port authority of the Red Lord.

Niloc, recognizing the supremacy of the watchful Knights, stepped towards the mighty stone doors of the Vault of the Shield, home the vigilant and all-knowing Black Lord.

Rozzo, knowing his silver-tongue would find best company within the Silverstar’s Basilica, costumed himself as a pompous noble known as Montgomery Goodcock and trotted across the ivory cobblestoned paths of the White Lady.

While their words may have been their own, but the Knights of the Shield own all that is spoken within the City of Splendour.

Atremus’ weary waddle led him into a den of barbarians, seeking an easy robbing from a strange man-child. Instead, they found themselves within a trap as thunder rattled from the babe’s blubber, throwing the bandits upon their asses. Tearing his costume from his body and revealing his true self, the elderly wizard commanded they flee to the north, seeking an invaluable treasure hidden upon the Manticore’s perch. Agreeing to such an opportunity, the barbarians fled Waterdeep to the Crags of the north to, presumably, have their skin devoured from their living bodies.

Feros would find himself surrounded by the pirates, smugglers and petty thieves of the Red Canton. He sought a young Halfling and current member of the Shield by the name of Shadow, only learning that she has taken a short leave of absence. With little luck, he inquired upon the mood of the Canton in wake of Rozzo’s prophecy, learning that while much of the Red Sash held his word’s to be true, they instead resorted to their own indulgences rather than mobilize a fighting force. Yet, prior to meeting the elven pirate-queen and Lord of the Red Sash, Feros learned that a small force of young thugs had organized themselves, hoping to recruit and aid a small force in defiance of Tiamat’s return. Here, he learned of the Red Lady’s reservations of the looming civil war. She knew it would be the downtrodden of Waterdeep who would suffer the most.

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The Red Sash Canton

Niloc marched deep within the blackened stone walls of the Vault of the Shield. Gazing ahead, his devilish eyes focused on our mercenary Lord Roderigo, clad in his iron armour and slouched upon his mighty throne. Here, Niloc shared stories of his past, notably having been raised by wolves as a child. Impressed his hardships that many of the Shield can sympathize with, Roderigo offered Niloc an opportunity to work for our glorious agency. While it may be stripped from future records, he was tasked with preventing the Silverstar’s attempt at triggering an open civil war. For Roderigo seeks to ensure the Shield’s absolute lordship over Waterdeep, rather than provoke a march of Silverstars and the Guards of Castle Waterdeep. Subterfuge, our Lord spoke, is the best means to usurp a city.

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The Lord of the Shield and his Fears

Montgomery Goodcock’s (Rozzo’s) valiant stride into the Silverstar’s Basilica muddled our intel. Even the Spies of the Shield cannot penetrate the blinding light of the elven Lady Silverstar. However, our informants do know of the Queen of Temperance’s devious plot purify the city of its sins by triggering a civil war. That is, their so-called righteous and holy crusade upon the Lords of the Red and Black. One can only hope that Rozzo was not tempted by her renown beauty and purity that few have been said to resist.

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Rozzo approaches the Throne of Lady Silverstar

As the Champions returned to meet with Elminster, father of Atremus, each of them learned of the coming of the Opera titled the Lords of Lovers. Such an event marks the biannual Council of Waterdeep where the Lords must renew their vows to unity, settle any differences and elect any or all of the five lords, if necessary. While each gaining differing propositions, they were asked to secretly participate within the Opera to thwart (or perhaps, to ensure) an assassination attempt that could trigger an all-out civil war amongst the Lords.

Yet, their dinner plans had become interrupted. Cloaked shadows emerged from the rooftops and fired upon them with arrows dipped in paralyzing Drow poison. Inquiries into these assassins have been met with misleading sources but their connections seem to spread to each of the five Lords. As of the day of this record, the allegiance of these assassins are unknown, but rumours claim they serve Tiamat, the mythical Dragon Queen of the stories of Old.

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Regardless of the origins of these assassins, their attempts were inevitably futile. The Champions proved their resilience despite numerous occasions where their allies lay in paralysis. Clouds of fog and maddening darkness blurred the accuracy of their arrows and the Champions slowly, but surely, slayed each assassin one by one, as they ripped their fellow Champions from their noxious slumbers. Let it be known, the assassins and their dungeon master had been utterly foiled. The players of this great game were victorious against all odds.

Realizing that their notoriety had reached those who would rather see them dead, Rozzo and Atremus quickly rushed to the Halls of Harpers to meet Elminster for their planned dinner. Having witnessed a remaining cloaked figure escape into a nearby manhole, Feros and Niloc decided to follow the shadow deeper into the sewers.

Within those sewers they found a spy of our own. A key to the origin of the assassins: the former Boss Shadow of Haz’ran. Caught off guard alongside Foil, former doctor (and torturer) of the Shadow Thieves, they confessed their plot. A plot, our agents must further investigate…”

The chronicler dated the document and gently folded the parchment as he walked over the iron cabinets that covered all four walls. Removing a key from his pocket, he unlocked the cabinet and pulled out one of the leather folders and placed the document within.

“For the eyes of the Shield only,” he whispered to himself as he locked the cabinet. “We shall see how this influences the Opera in two days hence. Now, to write the history for public eyes" he grinned as the night sky of the 22nd of Leaffall crept over Waterdeep.

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