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"Something Wicked This Way Comes"





Week One

April 10th, 1997
Avg. Rating: 3.6

Starcarn, Marktel 11th (Ahgheiron's Day in Waterdeep), Year of the Shield

The tale began in The Stone Hearth, a quiet and comfortable tavern in the South Ward of Waterdeep. It was Marktel 11th, Ahgheiron's day, and the city was alive with the sights and sounds of celebration. In addition to many new faces, the Stone Hearth was also filled with most of its "regulars" : Olaf "Red Eye", Minya, and Einor Bjornson, owners; Gimmel the halfling; Kelly the barmaid; Tynian; Shreesha; Juliet; Erik; and others. All were enjoying a quiet drink and a few tales when Olaf made an announcement- "Free drinks for all!"

After the drinks were dispensed, Olaf continued. "In each of your mugs you will find a small bauble, hidden by your drink. Drain your mugs now, my friends, and let us match up...for the first annual Stone Hearth Ahgheiron's Day Scavenger Hunt!" News of this was greeted with laughter by some, groans by others, but all knew that Olaf would be hard to refuse. The teams were matched together, bound at the wrists by different colored ribbon, and given a list of fifteen items to be found and returned. Olaf, generous as always, offered the unusually large amount of 20 gold dragons to the winning team.

The items needed were:

  • a basket of oxen dung
  • a broken sword hilt
  • a child's toy
  • a meat pie
  • a vial of holy water
  • an ink pen and quill
  • goose down
  • a human tooth
  • a copper nib bent in half
  • a red cushion
  • three earth worms
  • a broom
  • an escort's key
  • a mug of sand from the gull leap
  • Lord Piergeiron's Glove

Scavenger hunts are a very popular form of entertainment in Waterdeep, and by local tradition any list of items for a scavenger hunt will include Lord Piergeiron's one is expected to actually get it, but the challenge is there (a few unscrupulous players over the years have attempted to "forge" Lord Piergeiron's Glove, but they have always been discovered as frauds, and they have always been most unwelcome at social gatherings from that day forth).

So the teams were matched, with Kelly (who had been relieved by Cynthea, the other barmaid of the Stone Hearth), Juliet, Shreesha, Tynian, and Erik all in one circle and bound by a yellow ribbon. They hurried out into the city to track down their items.

Their first stop was the House of the Moon, Selune's temple in Waterdeep. They were able to easily obtain a small clay vial of blessed holy water, for a small donation. They then hurried to the worst dive in the entire city, the Bloody Fist, to search for teeth patrons may have left behind. They found nothing in the street in front, but were lucky enough to be there as a fight broke out inside. As they watched a dozen or more men spill into the street, all swinging their fists and cursing their foes, the party waited for the situation to quiet down so they could harvest any newly-orphaned teeth.

It seemed apparent that none of the participants in this particular brawl had lost any teeth, so Shreesha stepped in; she taunted a rather large, boorish man into kicking some teeth loose from another brawler who had the unfortunate luck of being beaten into unconsciousness. With a satisfied grin the man lumbered away (although not before saying hello to Juliet), leaving the party with not one but five human teeth.

With two items checked off the list, the party, still joined at the wrists by yellow ribbon, headed towards the University (for an ink pen and quill) via the textile merchants of the Street of Silks (for a red cushion and perhaps some goose down).

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...God hurts only to heal. A cruel man might be bribed - might grow tired of his vile sport - might have a temporary fit of mercy. But suppose that what you are up against is a surgeon whose intentions are wholly good. The kinder and more conscientious he it, the more inexorably he will go on cutting.
--C.S. Lewis