Monday, April 17, 2017

Castles over Waterdeep - The Journal of Aisha Yethtai

Castle in the Clouds by Everlight

With the residents of Nightstone rescued and returned to their devastated homes, we set about repairing and replacing our stores. I, for one, found it necessary to replace the armor that the black pudding had damaged when it nearly killed me. Other than that we replaced some arrows and rations before taking to the road North to Waterdeep with an eye of reporting these situations to the authorities there.

It was not long before we encountered the aftermath of a bandit ambush. A merchant caravan had been assaulted and we arrived to find several bandits picking through the carts and among the dead. Gwenfys and I immediately split to either side of the path and started advancing as quietly as possible along the sides. Filia likewise took cover, but Tarnish took a different tact by addressing the bandits directly and calling them out at extreme range.

The bandits began to try and open fire upon the sorceress who returned their efforts with an array of magical bolts of force. It was a commonly known spell, each bolt had minimal power, but they hit unerringly and practiced spell casters could unleash a large number of such bolts in a single casting. This left Tarnish much better prepared for the fight than the bandits who seemed largely unable to land a successful hit despite the fact that she was standing in the middle of the road.

Gwenfys released arrows to support the sorceress. The bandit captain, meanwhile, ducked under cover where neither Tarnish nor Gwenfys had any real shot. He persisted in shouting at his minions to kill the sorceress. Taking cover may have preserved him in the short term but it didn't really do him any favors to be shouting at his men to make further attempts when they were already doing so.
The bandits were so focused on the silver dragonborn that they somehow failed to notice me approaching them from the flank, though they caught sight of Filia some several rods distance behind me. The fact that she was unleashing fire while Tarnish turned to ice might have had something to do with that but it is not as if I am geared for stealthy action. It is an inexcusable fact that they could not see the maroon skinned tiefling with large, verticle horns dressed in bright blue and silver approaching them from their flank with a longbow in hand.

Once I was in position, I rose out of my cover and used my own longbow to release an arrow at the bandit captain. It struck him firmly in the shoulder causing him to stumble backwards out of the cover and leaving him quite open for Gwenfys to take another shot after I called out the opportunity. The bandit captain was somehow still standing despite the barrage of magical missiles and several expertly placed arrows, but Filia then took this chance to drop a massive ball rolling fire atop the bandits.

I had seen the odd woman employ the rolling ball of fire earlier against the black pudding, chasing it about the cave with the bouncing ball of fire. This time, however, she did not have to maintain its existence for long as the bandits were burned to cinders almost in the first instant the ball of fire came into being.

This left an examination of the cargo which turned out to be a rather sizeable shipment of weapons bound for Carnath Roadhouse some days travel north of Waterdeep past the southern spur of the Sword Mountains.

A bit of a mystery was answered here as Gwenfys and myself refreshed our quivers. Apparently, the bandits had been rushed by our impromptu ambush and had taken to grabbing arrows to use with their crossbows rather than the bolts that they should have been using. It is no wonder that not a single one managed to land a blow on Tarnish. It was just Filia's luck that the only bandit maintaining the wherewithal to make sure he was using the correct ammunition had taken aim in her direction. At this discovery I had to wonder how the original caravan guards and staff had been defeated. Were they even more inept at basic tactics than these bandits?

We set about to take the shipment north, planning to inquire at Waterdeep while we reported the issue of the giants. Assuming there was no issue, it was then thought that we would deliver the cargo the rest of the way. We were heading north regardless to bring word of one of the deaths in Nightstone to an individual in Triboar. The gates of Waterdeep were busy as normal but it was minimal difficulty to get past the guards after a confirmation of my identity of a Knight in Silver and thus a soldier of one of the cities of the Lord's Alliance.

I managed to arrange for my companions and myself some lodgings in the Silverymoon embassy and we were on our way there when the castle appeared in the sky above us. All within the city stopped what they were doing to watch the slow appearance of this massive structure and the way it simply hung in the air over us. We rushed to the embassy at this point and in my attempt to report to my superiors, I was told the local ambassador was at Castle Waterdeep for business and so I ran on ahead to give my report.

The guards at Waterdeep let me through easily enough and I gave them description of the others who would be following me. At this point I was well-prepared to find myself defending the city against a barrage of giants. What I had not expected was to be ushered into a discussion between my city's representative, the Open Lord herself, what I can only assume was every one of the Masked Lords, and the unexpected sight of a massive cloud giant.

The only thing more surprising afterwards was the appearance of my other comrades including a curiously subdued and oddly considerate Tarnish Bright. I suppose the gravity of the matter was obvious even to her, though it didn't take too long before she again became the Tarnish who is aptly named. The crux of the matter is that it seems the lot of us have been allocated a task of investigating a band of rogue giants seeking a dangerous force.

The good news, however, is that Tarnish has confirmed that she will be allowed to drink ale and other spirits on this quest. Crimson General forbid that she be denied that basic consideration.

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