Week EighteenFebruary 26th, 1998
Avg. Rating: 3.8
Starcarn, Manayar 11th, Year of the Shield, Morning
The party began the episode deep in the sewers, in front of the magic gateway they had found. Erik stuck his sword into the blackness of the doorway- when he pulled it out it was extraordinarily cold, but didn't seem otherwise damaged. He touched it with his finger, then immediately pulled it away- the skin of his finger burned from the cold, and his nail turned black. It seemed clear there was no way to pass this doorway, so the party returned to the main tunnel.
They continued forward, in the direction they had been heading, until they came to a four way intersection. Unsure of how to proceed, Kelly chose straight across; after a few yards, however, Talyth discovered bear traps beneath the water level. Willow parted the water, revealing more traps; after finding nothing but more passages at the end of this tunnel, the party returned to the intersection and went in a different direction.
This tunnel soon ended at a thick wooden door. The corridor here was piled high with wooden crates, some containing weapons, others containing cloth. Gregory listened at the door and could hear muffled crying- he and Erik quickly kicked the door in.
Inside the huge chamber behind the door was Gino, bound and gagged; a tall dark skinned elven woman, holding a staff; and an enormous beholder, 6 feet across, slowly floating towards Gino. Erik charged the beholder and plunged his sword right into its huge central eye, not once but twice. Talyth also wounded the beast, then Willow magically 'pushed' Erik's sword even deeper into the eye tyrant's brain. The wicked creature never had a chance- it crashed to the floor, dead.
Gregory had charged the woman, and after a brief exchange of blows she lay unconscious at his feet. As all of this was happening Tristan was attacked by a dwarven warrior who leapt from the shadows, previously unnoticed. With one mighty swing Tristan's knee was torn open, and he quickly crumpled to the ground. The dwarf charged on to attack Kelly. Kelly, panicked, threw up her hands and screamed for the dwarf to "Get away!" The dwarf instantly blinked out of sight.
With all of their foes dead, incapacitated, or missing, the party began to recover from the surprisingly brief battle. The chamber was enormous, dominated by a large circular water tank. The floors were covered with expensive rugs and pillows, the walls were lined with tapestries and smaller artworks. Kelly noticed a few of the items as having been stolen from around the city in the past year or so. She also discovered three icons amongst the artwork, one each of Myrkul, Mask, and Talos. Talyth bandaged Tristan's wounded knee, while Gregory bound the elven woman (he found 2 poisoned daggers and a poisoning ring on her). Erik found and retrieved a large iron key from the bottom of the water tank, and Willow sent her dove, Felicity, to Lord Piergeiron with a message tied to its leg- "Bring guards, follow me, Willow". The party then set about exploring the doors about the chamber.
Directly behind the water tank were two large double doors. The tunnel beyond looked as though it had not been used for quite a long time, so further searching was postponed. The party also discovered: a pantry, piled high with exquisite foodstuffs and spirits; two living quarters, apparently for the elven (drow) woman and the dwarf; a large storeroom, packed with crates of weapons, Shieldbreaker tabards, armor and supplies; a library, filled with maps and scrolls written in an unknown code; and a locked vault, containing roughly 300 small metal drawers, each filled with 1,000 pieces of silver (the key Erik had found in the water tank unlocked the vault door).
After the explorations the drow woman began to wake. She seemed to speak only drow, so Tristan did his best to translate the interrogations. She said her name was Caldia, and that she had worked for Xanathar the beholder for the past two years (since Xanathar was dead she felt no guilt about telling all she knew). A few months ago Xanathar unearthed "powerful magics" while expanding his lair, magics which he attempted to use but couldn't control. The result was all the troubles Waterdeep has been suffering.
As she spoke, Willow noticed a strange dynamic between Caldia and Tristan, as though Tristan were more parroting back her answers verbatim than simply translating the language. Knowing of some drow's mental powers, Willow magically stunned the prisoner, breaking her connection with Tristan. As Tristan explained the feeling of mental control he had just experienced, Lord Piergeiron and Sivantri arrived with a dozen heavily armored guardsmen. (Piergeiron's left arm seemed to hang limply, but he made no mention of it).
The party quickly explained all that had occurred here, and what they had so far learned from Caldia. More guardsmen soon arrived and helped pack up the contents of Xanathar's lair. Lord Piergeiron naturally took possession of the contents of the vault and all the artwork, to be returned to those citizens from whom they had been stolen. All the food and drink he allowed the party to keep, and also made mention of a sizeable reward for their heroism.
Kelly spoke with Sivantri about what she had done, about how she had only wished for the dwarf to disappear and he did. Sivantri cast a small spell over the area where the dwarf had been, and it revealed the dwarf elsewhere, walking towards Waterdeep from 20 miles away! Sivantri was quite impressed with Kelly's natural ability. He asked which of her parents was a mage, and seemed quite intrigued when she answered that they had been farmers. Sivantri stopped quizzing her about her parents only because he could see it upset her.
The episode ended with Piergeiron's men preparing to move the recovered treasures to the castle. Kelly was in the library with Sivantri, who was trying to decipher the code used on all the scrolls; Gregory was exploring just a short way down the large tunnel behind the double doors; Willow was in Caldia's quarters, examining some of the many maps from the library; Tristan was sitting on the floor outside the library, also trying to decipher the code; and Erik was in the pantry packing up the provisions, particularly the very expensive Frostwine...