After a morning mist lifted along the coast, the group could see Mount Waterdeep in the distance. Reaching the outer gates shortly after noon, the party entered the Field Ward to witness the poor souls not able to afford the city proper. Passing several fires burning inside stone pits surrounded by hunkered humanoids wrapped in strips of clothing, the group made their way to the North Gate entering the city proper of the North Ward.
Valdis immediately noticed the slight change in temperature and recognized the presence of a mythal so common to him during his time in Myth Drannor. As the group approached the town guard, they were queried on their business in town and Tamnai was singled out to wait a moment. Within a few minutes, a city watch official in the common green and yellow livery approached and asked Tamnai to join him in travel to the Sea Ward office to meet with Magistrate Hem. When asked why, he simply replied that she was a person of interest and her cooperation would be considered polite. Tamnai agreed and the others seemed concerned before deciding to split and meet later at Tamnai’s shop in Dock Ward, the Ninth Life.
Aelith wanted to visit the dragon scholar, Chalauth Yarghorn, in the North Ward and Droom decided to join him. Hearing mention of a dragon scholar, Serpentor asked to join them and they headed east. Carden wanted to accompany Tamnai and Valdis wanted to visit the temple to the Seldarine once it was mentioned. This left them following the city watch member to the west into the Sea Ward.
As the group travelled west, a patrol of the city watch accompanied them until they reached the Sea Ward Watch station of Magistrate Hem. Valdis asked directions to the Seldarine temple and Tamnai gave him directions along with some to her shop far to the south. Tamnai and Carden entered behind the watch member that originally approached the at the gate. The next hour was spent in astonishment by the priestess of Sune. After agreeing to questioning within a zone of truth provided by the priest on call, Tamnai and Carden learned that Tamnai had been witnessed at the Temple of Beauty shortly before the High Priestess Annalah Brightstar was discovered slain in her personal quarters and also witnessed at her guild hall paying a year’s dues with a necklace belonging to the slain high priestess. Further facts that Vain Selarris and Sarita, Tamnai’s mentor and sponsor, were reported missing and last seen a few days before Tamnai’s last visit to Waterdeep. Mention of her travel with a drow and the necklace from the deceased high priestess were items of discussion. After Tamnai and Carden testified their last visit was 27 Hammer and that they were in town for that day alone before departing south ended with the magistrate informing Tamnai that she was not to leave Waterdeep without requesting permission from him and that further discussion may prove necessary once her testimony was submitted. She agreed and headed south to pay her dues at her guild though she seemed empty and lost in her thoughts. Carden accompanied her to the guild, then he exited for a personal errand before meeting later at her shop. Tamnai’s day seemed to get worse as she quickly found the guild guarded and angered by their involvement by accepting a stolen necklace from a slain high priestess. Angered, she snapped back at the guild master and he quickly informed her that business of faith had nothing to do with guild business. She paid her dues with ample gold bars to cover a few years and this seemed to lower the guild’s ire, though they informed her that they would check with the watch to ensure she had been there as she stated. The tiefling headed to her shop with much on her mind.
Meanwhile Aelith, Droom, and Serpentor made it to the residence of scholar Yarghorn. Serpentor quickly discovered that the scholar was not a dragon, but a human scholar on dragons. Disappointed, the dragonborn spent most of the visit avoiding physical touch from the scholar who made every effort to touch his scales while commenting on dragonborn and their affinity to dragons. Aelith was able to barter the gem embedded green dragonscale for information on Imyrith. It was discovered that Imyrith was truly an ancient blue dragon of legend known as the “Doom of the Desert” and the “Dragon of Statues”. She was rumored to lair near Ascore along the western banks of the Anauroch Desert. Her titles come from her ferocity of leaving few alive that ever witnessed her up close and some ability to animate statues for her defense. Eventually, Serpentor’s frustration along with Chalauth’s babbling off topic and his consistent yawning gave cause for the group to depart for Tamnai’s shop.
Valdis discovered the temple of the Seldarine and was pleased to discuss elven matters with a fellow elf. He discovered that the temple here did not keep any lore beyond the history of the Seldarine and edicts for the faithful. However, he did receive information on the Temple of Wonders, Mystra’s nearby temple and the possibility of personal collections in the city belonging to nobles and sages. He journeyed next to the Temple of Wonders to discover it was not only a temple, but an academy as well as a library. After he paid for research into the Dusk Caracal or any knowledge of Myth Drannor lore removed from that city, he flagged down a coach and paid for a ride to the ‘Ninth Life’.
Carden’s quick visit to the City of the Dead brought luck when he encountered an actual doomguide departing the ward just as he entered. Probing for information, the rogue revealed to the doomguide his strange pact with an entity in league with Kelemvor only to discover that the doomguide found his recollection confusing. The doomguide informed Carden that Meirson Berekland was not a paladin of Kelemvor. The lore surrounding Meirson was that he was once a paladin of another deity, but reverted to the worship of Kelemvor when the god of the dead ascended to power. Meirson became Kelemvor’s first high priest and this was nearly a century and a half ago. Carden was stunned and more confused than ever, but the doomguide assured the rogue that Kelemvor’s tenants were clear and it seemed that he had accepted them in this pact he spoke. Carden rushed through the streets toward the Dock Ward unsure of wht this recent discovery meant for him.
The group eventually regrouped in the ‘Ninth Life’ as Oresta, the shop manager, welcomed them. Her cautious demeanor lifted once Tamnai arrived and the group quickly learned some of Tamnai’s situation. Yet again, the tiefling withheld much of the information from the party and Carden did not add anything as he was lost in his own thoughts. Carden shared some of his discovery as well and then Aelith shared the information learned from the dragon scholar. It was then that Oresta recalled a delivery for Tamnai several days past at the beginning of Alturiak. She retrieved a smooth wooden box with an inset lock. After it was discovered not be ensorcelled by Valdis, Carden picked the lock and Tamnai opened it. Three items rested within; a golden red flower finely crafted from pewter and tinted appropriately, a tiny miniature whip, and a crest that no one recognized. Tamnai admitted that the flower represented the grace and beauty of Sune. Droom quickly added that the whip was certainly representative of Loviatar. The crest was a mystery to all. It was advised that the box along with the items be placed in the bag of holding. At this moment, a young runner entered the shop with a message for those gathered in the ‘Ninth Life’ to come to the ‘Yawning Portal’. Knowing that the portal was in the southern part of Castle Ward just north of Dock Ward, the group decided to travel there as dusk approached. They would need a place to stay the night and the Yawning Portal was renowned for catering to adventurers.
Walking the snow blown streets, the group arrived just after dusk and entered the lively ground floor of the tavern. Music was playing and the din of a score of conversations from the few dozen occupants filled the air as the group entered. The gaping hole in the center known as the Yawning Portal was ringed by a low stone wall and the two balcony levels above seemed to be full of patrons as well.