Eleint 26 (night): Selsior and Lord Korras Anteos arrive at Downshadow, an ancient dungeon situated under Mount Waterdeep. It’s actually the top level of a very deep dungeon known as Undermountain, now refurbished as the living quarters of a group of outcasts, including a number of spellscarred (creatures mutated when the Spellplague hit Toril).
A tiefling called Morthos greets the couple, but Lord Anteos quickly takes Selsior to the Red Dog, a filthy tavern where he’s instructed to stay put while he conducts his “business”.
Meanwhile the rest of the (“Party”) (Silver Fang, Vi, Therenden, Silamen, Dame Corlinn and PuddleDuck) talk with Rasolk, who appears to be leader of a small group of ratmen belonging to a bigger organization of petty criminals called
The Fucking Sewer Rats the Dead Rats. Rasolk wants the group’s help with his mission in Waterdeep, but won’t speak to them in the sewers; they are suspicious of his motives but Vi hopes he’ll provide a clue to the whereabouts of her lost brother Kieran. They agree to meet him on the night of the 27th at the Dagger’s Rest Inn.
The (“Party”) arrives at Downshadow, and between PuddleDuck’s charms and Vi’s coin, they obtain some information from Morthos: some of Downshadow’s passages lead to a long abandoned temple dedicated to “some dragon deity”; Lord Anteos is part of a group of regulars who worship at the temple; and Torst Kettlesmith, his missing linkboy, disappeared a few nights ago after nosing around his master’s business at the temple. Before heading there, the group proceeds to the Red Dog to pick up Selsior; but when they exit the tavern, they are greeted by a group of thugs led by a spellscarred dwarf called Grimvok and his second in command, Bromley.
The thugs demand payment before the (“Party”) can continue forward: all their magic items and coin. To the surprise of absolutely no one ever, this leads to a fight. Grimvok dies and an instantly-promoted and badly beaten up Bromley quickly capitulates and lets the group continue on their quest.
Watching the temple’s entrance, the (“Party”) sees Lord Anteos talking to a mysterious figure. From the shadows, an old… acquaintance, Favria, makes an appearance and reveals the figure is no other than Langdedrosa Cyanwrath!
Favria reveals that she’s been on the half-dragon’s trail since the Battle for Thundertree; she completely failed on her mission to provide a dracolich for her “employers”, and the phylactery they entrusted her with was destroyed as well; fearing for her life if he returned to her employers completely empty-handed, she decided to follow Langdedrosa instead. Now he’s managed to get back to the rest of the Cult of the Dragon, of which Lord Anteos appears to be a member.
Lord Anteos and Langdedrosa are meeting that night with a colorful and diverse mob, including some orcs and a brown-robed wizard that Therenden identifies as an apprentice to a Red Wizard of Thay (Thay is a region far to the east, ruled with an iron fist by a powerful and utterly evil lich called Szass Tam. They have an embassy in Waterdeep called the Red Enclave, and due to Thay’s warmongering and thirst for conquest, their presence in the city is only barely tolerated).
Favria seems surprised by this, and they all sneak into the temple to overhear their conversation. They learn some important information:
- The Cult of the Dragon is under new management: a certain Severin. Under his guidance, the Cult has stopped trying to create dracoliches and instead is allying itself with the evil chromatic dragons to try and bring Tiamat, the Dragon Queen, back into the mortal world (Tiamat was banished to the Nine Hells a long time ago).
- For some reason the Cult needs a lot of wealth to summon Tiamat. Because of this, they’ve been raiding and pillaging countryside towns with the help of local orcish tribes. Langdedrosa, with a bone to pick against the (“Party”), suggests Phandalin as the next target. Lord Anteos informs him that they’re aware of the town’s newfound wealth and they’re “considering it”.
- The wizard present at the meeting, Samas Kul, is indeed the apprentice to a Red Wizard of Thay. It appears there’s a rogue faction of Red Wizards helping the Cult of the Dragon in their plans without Szass Tam’s knowledge.
- Langdedrosa retells the events that happened at Thundertree, adding some extra information: Favria’s mysterious “employer” is a lich called Valindra Shadowmantle, who is an agent of the Red Wizards of Thay — the “main” Red Wizards of Thay, that is, still loyal to Szass Tam and not allied to the Cult of the Dragon. Favria admits this to be true.
While this is being discussed, another orc enters the room — none other than Steve, Silver Fang’s father! Steve’s a werewolf and apparently part of the Wormsnapper clan, the orc tribe which leader, Crubash, is present at the meeting. But before anybody can process this information, Therenden gives in to his impulsive side and hurls a bolt of lightning at the cultists, beginning the battle!
During the fight that ensues, Samas Kul manages to flee; Lord Anteos is knocked unconscious; Langdedrosa and Crubash die at the hands of the (“Party”); and as for Steve…
Dame Corlinn remembers the words of Timox Herden earlier that day, and sees her opportunity to get rid of her curse of lycanthropy by biting the werewolf. She takes her chance, transforming into a werewolf for the first time and sinking her fangs into the orc — which seems to work. She reverts to her human form, severely weakened, while Steve suddenly becomes more powerful than ever… or does he? Moments later, he clutches his chest and stumbles on the ground…
After some tense moments, he slowly gets up and stands on unsteady feet; he appears to be stable, at least for the time being, and retaining his extra strength. But for how long? Is he going to live? And if he doesn’t, did Dame Corlinn get rid of her curse, or was it for nothing?