It’s been a hectic last day.
After finding the list of names from the Zhentarim, the heroes decided to warn the remaining names they could find. Saradoc tried to speak with Magister Cyvarian, who cockily and defiantly expressed apathy. Tobias spoke with the baker Rhys, who was concerned and asked if there was anything he could do. Kaloy spoke with Varia, who did not deny she was a Masked Lord and decided to fill the power vacuum by announcing herself as the new Open Lord.
The heroes accompany Varia to Castle Waterdeep, where she intends to reveal herself as the new Open Lord at the Lords’ Court, the most public appearance for the Masked Lords. Arriving at Castle Waterdeep, a large crowd had already gathered. Only one other Masked Lord sat at the high table in the Audience Chamber. Cyvarian, who normally sat with the magisters, was nowhere in sight.
As Varia addressed the gathered crowd, on the precipice of revealing herself as the new Open Lord, explosions rocked opposite ends of the city. Lt. Arjahn of the Watch arrived and filled the Masked Lords and the heroes in on the situation. The city was under attack by the Gith. An airship flew over the Dock Ward, firing upon the city. Gith warriors had begun to attack the Markets. To make things even worse, the undead in the City of the Dead had been riled up and were trying to force their way out.
The heroes tried to figure out what to do next and decided to go to Skullport to enlist Captain Lockright’s help. Tobias is conflicted however and argues that he can do the most good in the City of the Dead, fighting back the undead. The party convinces him they need his help in the air, and he begrudgingly comes along.
Varia’s chauffeur, the gnome Archibald, takes the heroes in a carriage and races to the entrance to the Skullport they know about. Dodging through the fleeing crowds, the carriage is struck by a cannonball from the airship overhead, destroying it outright. The heroes escaped relatively unhurt. As they continued on to Skullport, Archibald disappeared into the chaos to retrieve the fleeing horses.
The heroes navigated the secret passage back down to Skullport and arrived in the same alley as before. However, rather than entering the city unnoticed, they instead came upon Rhosius Vane waiting for them at the end of the alley. He asked if they had any information for him regarding Varia’s lineage. Kaloy responded honestly that they didn’t. Rhosius said he liked them well enough not to kill them outright and let them slip past. But everyone was aware of the strange, evil aura he exuded.
In the High Tide alehouse, they found Mason at the same table again. Imploring for his help, he at first reacted apathetically … until another halfling arrived at the table demanding to know if the heroes were paying clients and if they could pay them. When the heroes responded that, indeed, they could bankroll Lockright’s crew with Lady Mil’baer’s patronage, the halfling forced Lockright to agree to do whatever they wanted.
The heroes walked with Lockright and the halfling, Laelyn, the “trade negotiator” of the crew, to the Gypsy Dawn at the Port of Shadows. There, they met the rest of Lockright’s dysfunctional crew: his aggressive sister Carbry, the harpooner half-orc Skruk, and their helmsman Skinny the Skeleton.
The Gypsy Dawn hovered out of the Port of Shadows by way of a portal in the cavern’s ceiling, arriving on the other side of a rock just outside of Waterdeep. Flying straight to the attacking airship, Lockright identified it as the Scurvy Scamp, an airship operated by Captain Maergrette. While Saradoc jury-rigged the Gypsy Dawn’s only remaining (and broken) canon, the Scurvy Scamp fired upon them. Dodging the cannonballs, the two airships arrived up close to one another.
The Scurvy Scamp was flown by a crew of Zhentarim and Gith, working together. While the Black Cloaks waited on the deck for the heroes to attack, the Gith piloted the ship, further over the city of Waterdeep.
Ooga cast an ice storm over the Scurvy Scamp, covering the deck in ice and pelting everyone aboard with snow and hail. Saradoc, Kaloy, and Tobias jumped aboard to handle the Zhentarim. However, when the ship lurched as the gith lost control due to Ooga’s spell, Kaloy fell and was rescued at the last possible moment by Saradoc.
They made quick work of the Zhentarim, tearing up the deck in the process, and made their way to the remaining Gith. Fighting through the ice storm and the wildly rocking ship, they attacked one Gith while the other steered the ship. When the Gith was finally taken down, the last remaining survivor set the airship on a nosedive for the city. Thinking quickly, Kaloy cast suggestion on the Gith and had him stabilize the ship.
Having successfully commandeered the Scurvy Scamp, they surveyed the damage to the ship and the city. Tobias found the bodies of the Scamp’s original crew below deck, murdered when the Zhentarim and Gith took it over. The fighting in the Markets and the City of the Dead had mostly wrapped out but with many, many casualties. Tobias grew upset at what he saw, convinced that he could have made a difference if he had gone to help in the graveyard instead.
Unsure of how to proceed, Saradoc called to the voice that spoke to him when he was near death, begging for help. The voice responded: “The pawns of the gods are in play at Castle Waterdeep.”
Carbry navigated the Scamp over Waterdeep to the castle. Above the courtyard, they could see the corpses of many dead Watchmen strewn about, all of them killed bloodlessly. Rather than charging in head on, the heroes infiltrated by way of one of its rooks. Descending through the rooms, they found the castle completely empty, completely devoid of life. None of the servants who maintained the castle were about, and there were no signs of any other inhabitants.
Arriving in the audience chamber where the Lords’ Court was held, they found it empty except for Lord Alwyn, in pain, his eyes glowing a fiery red. They questioned him about what happened, and Alwyn responded that “our plans had to accelerate.” Suddenly, where Alwyn once was, a shadow demon took his place. The heroes were able to successfully fight him off, blasting him into oblivion with a burst of radiant energy.
Before proceeding toward the Seat of the Open Lord in the next room, Saradoc tried to sense the magic in the area and discovered another, familiar evil presence making its way toward them from the opposite direction. Ignoring it, the heroes went forward and burst into the next chamber to find a Black Fire open before them. Two Masked Lords were bound on the ground before it, with a Gith Mage behind them.
“One of you is among the Martyrs’ Progeny,” he said to his hostages. “If you tell me which one of you it is, I will make the torture stop. And maybe I won’t kill everyone.” Kaloy openly challenged the GIth, at which point he struck one of the Masked Lords. Not wanting to hold back anymore, the heroes moved to make their attack on the Gith but he was able to get a spell off first. The Gith and the two Masked Lords disappeared into a bright flash of light.
Just then, Rhosius appeared from behind. “Too bad,” he said. “If only you’d just told me what I wanted to know, I could have just killed Varia outright and saved us all the trouble.”
The heroes threatened to kill him instead but he countered: “If you kill me, then how will you find out where the Gith went with his hostages?”
He’s prepared to offer another deal, if the heroes are willing.