The Pale Kingdoms

Session 24

Big City Blues

Eleint 24 (afternoon): It’s been a long trip, but the (“Party”) finally makes their way to the city of Waterdeep. They are stopped by the gate guards and asked to fill out an entry form while they are informed of what the laws of the city are like. Dame Corlinn is given an invitation to attend Rottenham Hall “at her earliest convenience”; the Rottenhams were her adoptive family after her parents died in Neverwinter, when Mount Hotenow erupted. She learns that Blayne Rottenham, one of the two twins who used to bully her during her brief stay at Rottenham Hall almost thirty years ago, is now Captain Civilar of the North Ward of Waterdeep.

Once in the city, the group heads straight to Rottenham Hall. They are met by the family butler, Mr. Grichton, and Dame Corlinn has to suffer through being reintroduced to people she had hoped never to see again: Mabella, head of the family (Oswalt, her husband, spends these days surrounded by books in his study); Nevan, Oswalt’s senile father; Tristell, Mabella’s son and Blayne’s twin brother; and Tristell’s kids, the creepy Deidre and psychopath-to-be Goldberg.

To her distress, Dame Corlinn (whose real name happens to be Wilhelmina) also learns that her little sister Cymril, absent from the proceedings, ended up marrying Tristell…

During the awkward dinner, Dame Corlinn brings up the subject of werewolves. Blayne points out that “those crazies at the Church of Selûne” are known to befriend and ally themselves with lycanthropes. Wilhelmina later refuses to stay the night at Rottenham Hall, and the group leaves for the Grinning Lion, a tavern and inn in the North Ward recommended by Mr. Grichton.

At the tavern, the group discusses their plans for the next day — and meet a young elven ranger, Silamen, who is accompanied by no other than Selsior. It’s around that time that a group of dragonborn enter the Grinning Lion looking for Heskan. When they find him, they drag him away and tell him his sisters wishes to “have words” with him…

Selsior and Silamen ask to join the (“Party”). They accede but, before they know it, Selsior is already striking on his own: he spends the night at the Smiling Siren, a festhall in Castle Ward. Of what happens there, it’s better not to speculate.

Eleint 25: The (“Party”)’s first stop is the House of the Moon, a temple devoted to Selûne (also known as the Moonmaiden and Our Lady in Silver). It is tended by Naneatha Suaril, Priestess of the High Moonlight.

The group asks her if there’s a cure for lycanthropy; she tells them that the Temple offers no cure, as they don’t consider it an illness, but simply a gift from the goddess. “Worthy ones” accept, control, and use the gift for good; “unworthy ones” are consumed by bloodlust and use it for evil. They do acknowledge that werewolves cannot control their instincts during nights of full moon, however, and use control collars during those times to sap them of their aggressiveness — and any other emotions they may feel.

She offers to forge a control collar for Dame Corlinn, but they’ll need a vial of her blood to bond it to her; she decides to think on it for a while. Naneatha warns that collars are given during a ritual on nights of full moon, the next one being on Eleint 30; if she wants her collar by then, she needs to provide them with the blood by Eleint 28.

The (“Party”) goes then to visit Preslee, a friend and informant of Vi. Preslee is an elf who works at the Smiling Siren as a highcoin lass (Realmspeak for “female prostitute”. The more you know!) as a means to an end: gathering and distributing information. She tells the group of the current state of affairs at Waterdeep: there is an open conflict between the Xanathar Thieves’ Guild, who are trying to eliminate all competition (including Vi’s old fence, Paerro), and the Shadow Thieves, the only other criminal organization of note.

She’s also heard from Tharos, one of her clients, that there’s a “new halfling thug in town” — Rasolk, her aunt Qelline‘s old partner. Apparently he’s in Waterdeep to establish a branch of yet another criminal group, calling themselves “the fucking sewer rats or something”…

Therenden asks her about how to find a body for Fred, but that’s beyond her area of expertise; all she can recommend is contacting a wizard specialized in giving life to bodies such as golems.

After speaking with Preslee, the {"Party") spends the afternoon at the Font of Knowledge, Waterdeep’s Temple of Oghma and public library, all in one. While Silver Fang enjoys a restful nap, they learn the following information in there:

  • Selsior finds new information about the Staff of Defense that Therenden obtained from Glasstaff: It’s actually a staff of Defense and Resurrection; if used on a creature who’s expired, it has a chance of bringing it back to life. The sooner this is done, the bigger the chance. Regardless of the outcome, after being used in this fashion the staff shatters.
  • Therenden can’t find any particular information on the Staff of the Spider that he took from the Black Spider, but he confirms it was made by drow mages. He reads some books on the Underdark and the city of Menzoberranzan.
  • Vi finds an old children’s coloring book containing a depiction of a Nothic. The text reads: “N is for Nothics, who dwell in stinky caves. / They eat crickets / steal your secrets / and come from Outer Planes.”
  • Dame Corlinn and Silamen find the books The canon of medicine as applied to lycanthropic case studies by Hugebart Klerck (which suggests trepanation as a way to “offer the wolf spirits a way to escape the body”), On the tyranny of tides: Rejecting the shackles of Selûnite belief by Jurne Veles (which posits that destroying the moon would do a lot to solve the problems of the world, including werewolf transformations) and Furry beasts took my baby: The true shocking account of a plausible shocking tale of an overheard, possibly shocking, conversation about a woman’s quest to unlock the mystery of the cult of the were-hamsters by Chazaria Lintel (mostly incomprehensible, but it does offer another solution to eliminate lycanthropy: full body depilation). Dame Corlinn isn’t impressed with any of them.
  • Finally, Puddleduck finds a chapbook by Timox Herden titled The Were-Transference, published in Waterdeep some years ago by a small press called “The Mount Waterdeep Crier”. The author explains that lycanthropy is a very powerful curse bestowed by the gods and, as such, is impossible to eliminate without killing the victim; the only way to get rid of it is to transfer it to another host. Herden claims to be an ex-werewolf himself, having successfully performed this feat.

The (“Party”) decides to investigate this possibility on the morrow. For the time being, they return to the Grinning Lion for supper, where they are met by Mr. Grichton. The butler asks them for help: a young man, a linkboy (lantern-carrier) for a nobleman, has disappeared and nobody is looking into it. “Nobody cares about us servants, you see.” It’s actually the linkboy’s sister, Esvele Kettlesmith, who’s terribly distressed and begging for assistance; Mr. Grichton asks if the group would be willing to hear her out, if he arranges for them to meet. They accede…

Comments

Jorge

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