Osrik, sitting on the bow of the Fafnir, watches the night sky. His thoughts reflect on who he is and what he should be doing. He takes out some coins and focuses his intent, drawing the magic inside of himself. He concentrates on that power inside him, what others have called Valkur, his god.
“On our journey to Waterdeep, how can I learn more about you or Valkur?” he says as he throws the gold coins into the river. They flare up into white light as they touch the surface of the water and vanish.
For a moment there is nothing. Osrik grows disappointed, but then is startled by the sudden appearance of the red-bearded Dwarf who has frequently appeared to him. He is sitting on the edge of the boat as if he had always been there. “Ya ‘ave a question?” he says with a casual tone.
“Yes,” says Osrik, shaking off his surprise of this sudden appearance.
“Ask me that question again,” the Dwarf says.
“These powers are helping me do good in the world, and I want to know more about the one giving them to me. I would like to know more about Valkur,” he says.
“Hmm,” the red-bearded Dwarf says. “What ya’ seek and what ya’ ask are not the same. Ya’ want answers?”
“I do,” says Osrik.
“In Waterdeep, seek out the Tavern of the Flagon Dragon, wait for the man wit a hammer-head on a walking stick. That’s the one ya’ want to talk to.”
“Does he have a name?” Osrik asks.
The red-bearded Dwarf chuckles, “Ya only get the answer to one question.”
“Fair enough,” says Osrik. “Good to see you again.”
“Be true to yourself, boy," he says and gives him a firm pat on the back. The next moment he is gone.
Morning comes to Loudwater. Jean Luc, Gamora, Dru, Osrik, and Mags make their way to the Green Tankard for breakfast. Jean Luc mentions that they will be departing to Waterdeep in the evening as Cora asked to wait for her. Osrik inquires about where she went with Khendrig and the party doesn’t know, but assures him that she will be back soon.
Jean Luc makes observations about Khendrig’s unique insight in the vault and Xenara’s rune markings, and the abilities she has displayed. He mentions how unique and unusual both situations are, but Mags counters that being attacked by a living magic sword in a suit of armor is also rather unique and unusual, which causes a chuckle at the table.
They inquire with Garwin as to the best place to get some magic potions, and he recommends the local apothecary. Mags asks, “why bother buying in Loudwater when Waterdeep has better stock?” Jean Luc says that the town would benefit from the economic stimulus after the recent attack. Osrik shrugs, not understanding what Jean Luc is talking about, and they make their way to the apothecary. The ladies remain in the Tankard enjoying some drinks and some downtime.
Jean Luc and Osrik meet the proprietor of apothecary, a sickly, twitchy, unhealthy looking half-elf by the name of Brosha Manx. They soon realize that the man is a bit unhinged, but nevertheless are able to purchase a few healing potions from him. Osrik purchases a Potion of Hill Giant Strength, which Brosha Manx boasts of being made out of genuine Hill Giant testicles. Osrik, realizing he is not lying asks, “How’d you get them?”
Manx replies, “It wasn’t easy…”
Jean Luc and Osrik rejoin Mags, Dru, and Gamora with their new purchases. Mags makes mention of needing to clean out her place. The others offer to help, while Osrik inquires about the place. On their way, Mags asks about the contraption currently occupying her portable hole, and she passes the manual to Jean Luc to inspect.
They make their way to the town square, where Mags places her hand in the water fountain. A door magically appears between two buildings, which she leads the party inside. The party respectfully enters, and Gamora asks if there is anything she can do. Mags asks not to let the cookies go bad, which Gamora takes as an invitation to eat all remaining cookies.
Mags and Dru make their way to a master bedroom where Mags opens a vault containing a large hoard of riches and trinkets. She takes a backpack from a rack and pushes the majority of the gold into the bag. It is obvious it’s a magical backpack as it is able to store most of the hoard and still easily be carried on Mag’s back.
She collects a large great sword from a sword rack within the vault. She walks over to Gamora and hands it to her. Gamora asks, “What’s this for, lass?”
“Barnaby used to carry this when he was younger,” she says. “I don’t think he needs it anymore.” She hands it to Gamora casually and walks out of the room. Inspecting the sword, its hilt has a fine gold and platinum engraving of a dragon. “And it won’t come alive and try to kill you.”
Gamora draws the blade to appreciate its beauty. The sword’s silver blade is polished to a near mirror shine. Inspecting the blade, she makes out the faint tracing of blue flame markings along the blade’s edge.
Jean Luc takes some time to look over the manual and finds that the prototype device is incomplete. The device is mostly a magical housing that requires a large crystal used for binding elementals. The theory is that with the right type of elemental, a few modifications, and a method of controlling it, the engine, for a lack of a better word, would be able to provide significant improvement to existing modes of transportation. High-speed land vehicles that travel on lightning or burrow in the ground, undersea travel, and airships are a few of the possibilities. Though, he realizes, it would require resources and abilities currently out of his reach.
As the sun begins to rise and Cora realizes that Khendrig is nowhere to be found, she collects herself, physically drained from the ride and emotionally drained from all the loss she has experienced. She makes her way down the hill and inspects the ruins of the cabin. The ever-burning lantern is still there with its dancing magic light. She inspects the cabin and its interior is untouched from her last visit. She considers leaving a note, but decides against it. She mounts her horse, ready to push back to Loudwater, when a loud crack of thunder echoes through the valley. Cora turns to see a flash of light emanating from the tree on the hill, and a small figure steps out of the tree.
Cora instantly feels something around her neck begin to shiver. She rides to the tree to face the individual. Before her is a small-framed half-elf with green hair and purple eyes. It doesn’t take long to realize that it is Selvriane, though she looks stronger and more resolved than the innocent-natured girl she knew. Her tattoo, she notices, has spread down both arms instead of just the left.
Cora dismounts and rushes to her long missing friend. Cora asks, “Is that you, are you really here?” as she embraces her old friend. Cora mentions that Harlin has been looking for her and she just saw him recently.
Selvriane explains what happened to her in Phandalin; a person who matches Kitzu’s description tried to kill her. When she escaped, it was two years later and everyone was gone. She had left notes with Aeron and the innkeeper.
Cora mentions that Harlin found a note in Loudwater, and he was trying to find her. Selvriane wonders how he intends on finding her “with this on,” and shows her ring, then explains that it’s a ring of non-detection and that he gave it to her. Selvriane notices the ring is vibrating and wonders what it means. Cora takes out her ring, which is also vibrating, and she puts it on. They touch ring hands. To their surprise, the vibration suddenly stops.
Cora asks how she is there, and Selvriane explains that she can travel through trees as she has seen before. Cora asks why?
Selvriane explains that she felt an energy much like when she vanished in Phandalin. She sensed it a few times and came here to investigate it. Cora tells her that the man who attacked her was here, but doesn’t give much more details. Exhausted and visibly distraught Cora admits, “I feel like I’m losing my mind, but I think we traveled in time.”
She tells Selvriane, “This is where my family was killed, and the only thing I’ve wanted is to save them. To save my cousin. And…” she shakes her head. “I don’t know…”
After a moment of silence, she asks Selvriane if she will travel with her to Loudwater. She agrees, and they mount the horses. Cora asks, “What do you go by these days?”
“Still Vera,” she says. “What is Harlin going by?” she asks.
“Harlin Blackthorne,” she says. Selvriane begins crying. Cora, surprised, asks, “Why are you crying?”
“I gave him that name,” she says. “I’m Vera Blackthorne.” Selvriane tells the story of Harlin’s proposal, the night before she vanished. Cora places a hand on her shoulder to comfort her and soon after they ride back to Loudwater together.
On the road, Cora explains her group’s mission to stop the Cult of the Dragon from bringing the evil goddess Tiamat into the world, and tells her everything that has happened thus far and about her companions. Selvriane tells Cora about her journeys and well as the fate of Neminestrus.
Reven wanders around Seven Swords Mountain, remembering his time training there. Many of the faces are new and a few are familiar. He wanders until he finds Xenara observing a mage training to blend his magic with swordplay.
Reven asks if she is interested in this. She comments that she finds it interesting, but doesn’t understand why someone would spend so much time mixing magic with blade skill when they could put their efforts into higher levels of magic. She says she doesn’t mean to insult his fighting style, which is along the same principle, but she would rather hurl fire than wrap it around a sword.
Slightly embarrassed, Reven dismisses the comment. He says that he’s sure the place would welcome her with open arms if she wanted to train under them. Xenara says that she doesn’t believe armed combat is where she excels.
Reven says that he plans on reuniting with their father. Xenara suggests that they meet up with the others in Waterdeep. Reven asks how she knows about Waterdeep and she tells him she spent most of the day with his companions, and it came up.
Xenara reminds Reven about the letter Cora gave him and says she wants to see Aeron before they leave. They make their way to the library, where they find Aeron with a cask of ale, reading a few tomes. Aeron invites Xenara to look over something he found in one of the tomes. Reven mentions they will be heading to Waterdeep soon. Aeron tells him that he and his father will do the same, making their way to the Wave Echo Cave. They agree to meet up in Waterdeep tomorrow when the Dwarves arrive. Reven, realizing his sister would rather look through the book, Reven excuses himself and looks for Master Vayer, but asks her to meet him at the entrance in twenty minutes.
Reven crosses paths with Grafter and asks if he can see Master Vayer. Grafter asks what he needs. Reven says he has a letter for Draken Dreadmoore.
Grafter initially asks him how he knows that name, and says that he hasn’t been to the mountain in a long time. Grafter convinces Reven to give the letter to him and says he will deliver it on Reven’s behalf. Reven reluctantly agrees and Grafter promises that Dreadmoore will get the letter. Reven hands him the letter and thanks him.
Reven meets Xenara and they make their way down the steps to the archway. Reven activates the teleportation gate and they leave Seven Swords Mountain.
As evening falls over Loudwater, the companions are already enjoying their dinner at the Green Tankard. Cora makes her way into the tavern, exhausted from her journey and asks Garwin if Reven is still around. He grumbles that he left sometime last night.
Selvriane, at Cora’s side, orders a round of drinks for all the companions. Cora takes her over and introduces her as Vera. She awkwardly puts the drinks on the table.
“That is the best introduction I’ve ever seen,” says Osrik taking a mug.
“I like you already,” Jean Luc laughs.
They ask about Khendrig, and Cora replies, “He’s where he needs to be.” No one presses the subject. After some exchanged pleasantries and introductions, Jean Luc tells them they will be traveling to Waterdeep that evening. Cora asks if Vera will join them and she excitedly agrees.
Cora mentions to Vera, “You know, that’s where Harlin lives now. He has a big house in Waterdeep. He’s one of the richest men there, maybe we can find him –“
“Whoa, whoa, whoa,” says Gamora, “he was rich?!?”
“He is rich,” Cora says. She asks Jean Luc if he can send him a message.
Jean Luc agrees and casts sending, informing Harlin that Vera is with them and they will be in Waterdeep. Harlin replies he will be there in two days. Vera, thankful, gives Jean Luc a hug.
Leaving the Green Tankard, Jean Luc uses the teleportation scroll given to him by Leosin and transports the party to the City of Splendors.
“Holy shit, it worked!” shouts Gamora.
After a couple seconds, they notice what appears to be the city guard surrounding them with weapons at the ready. “Who goes there?” one of them asks.
“Hello, my name is Jean Luc. I was instructed to come here to give testimony at the meeting tomorrow.”
“Leosin sent us!” Gamora interjects.
“Yes,” the lead guard says, “I recall getting word you would arrive. Well, this is not the place to hang out.” He escorts them to a great hall leading to the doorway of the castle. “You can return here the day after morrow,” as they are escorted outside the castle. "Welcome to Waterdeep.”
Osrik gets directions to the Flagon Dragon, and Vera suggests resting for the night when Cora vomits, a side effect of the teleportation spell. When they make their way to the Flagon Dragon, Dru and Mags break off from the party, saying they will meet up with them in the morning.
The Flagon Dragon is a lively place full of music and an energetic crowd. Cora spots Xenara sitting in a corner, enjoying herself. She notices them and waves. Cora whispers to Vera, “that’s Reven’s sister!”
“Where’s Reven?” Vera asks. They scan the room and spot him playing music, and Vera yells out, “Reven!” The crowd cheers and he makes his way to the group.
Xenara calls out to Jean Luc, "Here, I wrote this last night. I ran out of paper, sorry.” She hands him a stack of paper the size of a manuscript.
“This is wonderful. Thank you very much!” Jean Luc says to Xenara.
“I was stuck in a monastery for the night and I didn’t know what to do, so I just decided to write that.” Xanara appears very excited, and shows him schematics for a pair of Winged Boots she has created. Jean Luc looks impressed and she continues, telling him how a friend of hers showed her a more effective way of creating them that would minimize construction time.
Reven seems surprised to see Vera and questions how she is alive. She doesn’t offer much in the way of explanations, and he soon learns that Harlin will be joining them in a few days.
Cora leaves and goes for a walk, while Vera and Jean Luc go dance, breaking new ground on what bad dancing looks like. Gamora retires for the night.
Osrik inquires about the man with the hammer staff, then he takes a seat at a table and waits. Vera joins him, showing him a card game, which Reven joins in.
Jean Luc makes the acquaintance of a lovely lady and soon retires with her to his quarters. Vera also retires to get some rest.
Cora returns from her walk, during which she visited her aunt’s home, though she doesn’t share this. She sits with Reven, who was playing cards with Osrik, and he tells her about his mission and resurrecting his father’s old friend, and how she fixed his visions which resulted in his blue eyes. During the conversation, Reven notices the ring on Cora’s finger, but he says nothing about it.
Osrik interjects, asking about Reven’s visions, the resurrection, and the name of the card game. Reven says the name of the game is Jengala, and then he and Cora retire to Reven’s room to continue their conversation in private.
Cora tries to explain the situation with the time traveling and her not-vision. She tells Reven she feels she is losing her mind. She shows him the twin scimitars and tells him about her cousin. Reven goes to reply, but a dart strikes him in the neck, Cora as well. They both collapse, darkness engulfing them.
Dru makes her way to her secret vault, accompanied by Mags. Dru hasn’t visited this location since she set out on the journey after Howard was first murdered by the Cult of the Dragon. She opens her vault and to her surprise, most of the gold still remains, but her equipment, the armor, weapons, and cloak, are missing. Dru begins to panic, wondering what happened to everything.
Mags finds a note that reads: “Sorry love. Borrowed your stuff. Come get me if you want it back.” It has the mark of the Black Trident.
Dru realizes the letter was from her brother, Praxx. She tells Mags, “He’s here, and he took my stuff!”
Dru and Mags discuss whether this is a result of killing Darlandra or if he simply needs the equipment to kill an enemy of some sort. They both seem uneasy about the situation regardless. Mags mentions how it’s probably for the best that the gear is gone as there was a lot of bloodshed connected to it, and Dru is trying to move past that part of her life.
Mags is a bit uneasy about leaving the gold in an unsecured vault. She leaves some of her funds, but suggests that they place a few traps just in case.
They leave and head to the South Ward Children’s House, where they reunite with many of the children and Rianann, the brass dragonborn who is the main caretaker of the house and close friend of Dru. She welcomes them and sets a place for dinner for the two of them.
Mags draws the attention of a few children who come to greet her, and she grants them a gift of a gold coin, reminding herself to bring gifts next time. The three have dinner together and have a pleasant discussion about things at the Children’s House.
Dru asks the dragonborn if she has noticed anyone scouting around or watching the house. Not that she has noticed, she replies, asking if she should be worried.
Dru reassures Rianann that it’s nothing to worry about they share a drink. Dru tells Rianann about her journey and what has transpired since she left Waterdeep. Rianann admits that the lure of adventure and battle sounds appealing and she wishes she could fight by her side, but feels more fulfilled and needed here at the house.
They talk till rather late in the evening, until the house is silent and ready for the next day. Mags, already asleep, is taken to a room for the night. Rianann wishes her well and also retires for the evening.
With everyone asleep, Dru leaves the Children’s House and searches for her brother. It doesn’t take long to find him, and as she is traveling through an alley, a voice calls out to her from above, “hey there.”
Though they have been apart for nearly twenty-seven years, Dru recognizes the Drow as her brother. More familiar is his armor and the blade on his side, and a small wave of annoyance passes over her as she realizes his coat is made out of the same material as her old cloak. Unlike Darlandra, there is no fear at his presence, as Praxx was always kind to her as a child. Though, they aren’t children anymore, and who knows why he has made himself known after all this time. “Nice digs,” she says, maintaining her calm.
“You think so?” he says with a smile, showing off the clothing. “I found them lying about. Bring out the shine in my eyes ,I think.”
“What are you doing here?” Dru asks pointedly.
He grins, “Saving your ass, and those of your friends is all.” He takes a leap off the roof and flips in the air, landing right front of her.
“Didn’t know I was in need of saving. Seemed to be doing fine since being thrown in the ocean,” says Dru, unimpressed with his acrobatics.
“Well, I had nothing to do with that,” he says with a look of distaste. “Tez’zak was a superstitious man. That Deep Gnome Soothsayer had got in his head that sacrificing you to the sea would avoid the dark prophecy of his demise. Seems the joke was on him, just made it happen. Stupid old father,” he chuckles, “No loss I suppose, he got what he deserved. Never trust a gnome, I say.”
“And? Why now?” asks Dru.
“Darlandra’s dead…” says Praxx, eyeing her carefully.
“I’ve heard that,” says Dru straight-faced.
He nods and resumes his smile, “Well, no one minded much with our father’s death, but Darlandra… Well, that, some within the house take issue with very much. Darlandra took the reigns after Tez’zak’s demise, and it seems that many suspected that she was behind his fall. When the Nightingales were destroyed by a single Drow assassin believed to be in Darlandra’s employ, the house maintained its status and no one dared challenge her capability. All blood was paid.”
“But with Darlandra killed in the Underdark by a group of outsiders, lead by the same assassin once in her employ, the question is, was it an act of aggression against the house, or a move to ascend to power? Duplicity is the way of the Drow, but outsiders daring to attack our leader is not something we will tolerate,” he pulls the coat aside showing the silver hilt of a blade that looks like a hummingbird with outstretched wings.
The sight of the blade makes Dru’s fingers twitch as she as she thinks of three different ways to take that blade from him and cut him down. “She didn’t run in very trustworthy circles. It’s likely she was killed by one of her other allies.”
Praxx nods, apparently agreeing with her, but then looks at her and grins, “You have her book, Dru. We know you were involved.”
“She… gave it to me…” she says, then just shrugs off any pretense of deception.
He shakes his head, “The house has already found your people and they are in our custody. Alive, though, for how long depends on you. They are holding their blades until after this parlay. As you are House Dra’dax, there is a chance to make this all go away.”
“You can just let them go,” she says.
He grunts, “No, no, no,” he says. “If I tell them to back down it, will make me look weak. And I’m not going to put myself on the line for them. But if you confess you killed Darlandra and assume control, well then… things will go in your favor.”
“Why don’t you just take over?” she says.
“Well, well. I’ve thought about that but I’m not a man who leads anyone but my damn self. And no one would believe I hired an assassin anyway, I take care of things with my own hands.” he says with a smile of pride. “Besides, it still leaves us in the situation where someone will have to pay for this.” He paces about, seeming to think of a solution, “But if you tell me who actually killed her, I may be able to convince the others to let the rest of them go. Possibly, the blood of the murder will be enough to appease the house.”
Dru stands, listening to his words, her outward expression betraying none of her inner thoughts or feelings. Yet somehow she senses that he is reading her like an open book. “And if I admit I killed her, what happens then,” she asks.
“Well then, you are the boss,” he shrugs. “Granted, some will challenge you, but you would have to put them in their place. Otherwise the strongest and the most cunning lead the house.” He looks at her, all playful demeanor aside, “You can’t just up and say you killed her. We have rules, you know. Just take your position of power, and if anyone challenges your right to lead, well, you need to deal with that.” He draws out Hummingbird and hands it to her with a grin. “If you do that, I would have your back.”
Her hand hesitates, reaching for the blade, “Do I… have time to think about it…” she asks.
He shakes his head disapprovingly, drawing Hummingbird back into its scabbard. “You have four hours before sunrise. When the sun rises, their blood will be cold where they sleep.” He pulls his hood up and vanishes.
Dru spends some time thinking about the situation and her options. After some time she realizes what she must do and goes back to the Children’s House. The house is untouched and everyone is safe. Even the Black Trident wouldn’t violate the sanctuary laws put in place on the Children’s House. She leaves a letter for Mags and makes her way to the Flagon Dragon, steeling herself for what must happen next.
When she arrives at the Flagon Dragon, nothing seems out of place from the outside. When she approaches the door, the silence is deafening. She enters the inn and sees about twenty Drow occupying the tavern. There are several patrons, along with the bartender, darted with Drow quills. Osrik is laying on the floor, face-first, with four darts in his neck,]. Dru turns to her brother who walks beside her.
“You told me they would be unharmed,” her eyes pierce through him.
“He was a tough one,” Praxx says almost apologetically. “We needed to club him to put him down. But he’ll recover with no injuries.”
She looks at the Drow occupying the room, “Leave them be. It’s time to go,” she says.
Praxx sits back, “You heard the lady. We are done here.”
“No,” says one Drow, who stands with two others behind him. “We are to believe that you killed Darlandra?” He accuses Dru.
She walks to him, slowly looking at his eyes. He seems fast and strong, a warrior by the look of the twin blades on his side. Remembering what her brother told her, she realizes that a different approach will be needed. “Yes,” she said. “I killed her.” With lightning fast speed, she pulls the upstart Drow’s own blade from his hip and drives it through his heart. “And I killed you too…”
She spins, pulling out the second blade, and cuts the throat of the second Drow behind his back. She crosses the two bloodied short swords at the third Drow’s neck, “Anyone got a problem with that…”
The third Drow, with horror and fear in his eyes, bows his head. “No Matron. No problem at all. Please, mercy….”
She slices his throat. “There is no mercy. Only my command… is that understood?”
The room echoes in agreement. Long has the Black Trident, or House Dra’dax, heard of the Drow assassin of the Nightingales, how she single-handedly defeated four of their top assassins and killed their leader. She then went on to hunt down and kill every member of the Nightingales, her own organization. This assassin became known as the Nightingale, an urban legend to some, but now, seeing her in action, makes the House Dra’dax elders realize that she is indeed true to her reputation and not one to challenge.
Dru walks to her brother, “Clean this place up. I want nothing showing we were here. Except the darts. Leave them as a warning,” she draws Hummingbird from his side as she walks away, “This belongs to me.”
Praxx smiles, “It will be as you command, Matron.” His plan is already well on it’s way and he can’t wait to see the results….
Mags wakes in the morning, finding the letter. As she reads it, tears come to her eyes.
I have to leave to save everyone. What they are doing will save the world and I have to do my part. You can stay in the Children’s House or travel with them, but I ask you do not come and find me. You need to do what whatever will be right for your soul. You’ve grown into your own and I am proud of you. I love you.
Your sister, always.
As the group begins to stir in the morning they are rather confused about what happened. Jean Luc shouts for help and Gamora breaks into his room seeing him naked and tied up. She averts her eyes and awkwardly tries to untie him. Osrik mentions seeing Drow before he was knocked out. Gamora asks about Mags and Dru wondering if they came back. Jean Luc uses sending to reach out to Mags, but she enters the Flagon Dragon mid-reply, her hair pulled back in a ponytail with a serious look on her face.
“Where is Dru?” asks Jean Luc.
“She’s gone,” says Mags. “She needs to handle something.”
“When will she be back?” asks Cora.
“She will find us if she needs us,” says Mags.
Jean Luc asks, “Is she okay?”
“She’s fine, " she replies.
“Are you okay?” asks Jean Luc.
“No, but I will be,” she says.
Cora asks, “Is it related to what happened in Loudwater?”
“Probably,” says Mags. “Everything has consequences, and she is making sure those consequences don’t interfere with our mission. She will do what she needs to do, and let us do what we need to do.”
Jean Luc uses sending to reach out to Dru, but there is no response. He states that considering everyone is alive, uninjured, and none of their possessions have been taken. that he believes that this matter is settled for now. He advises that Leosin will send for them tomorrow at noon. Dealing with the violation of the attack, the party does their best to move on past the situation.
They take their breakfast in silence, trying to process what has happened. Some of the patrons seem confused, and the bartender more so than any other, but as the hours pass, life seems to resume and be business as usual.
After they eat, Vera asks Mags if she knows where they sell peanut butter and how to get it. Mags says she will take her and anyone else who would like, to go shopping. Xenara decides to join them to look for components for her winged boots. Cora decides to go with Vera, and Reven also accompanies them. As they leave, Vera asks Jean Luc, Gamora, or Osrik if they need anything.
Mags is reminded by Gamora and Jean Luc that Rusty has been looking for magic boots that increase his speed. She says she’ll keep an eye out for them. When they hit the markets, the group encounters many vendors, most with shops, and others, foreigners, who travel around the world selling their wares. Throughout the morning they are able to find ingredients for peanut butter, Xenara’s components, and the magic boots.
As they shop, Cora asks about Harlin Blackthorne, gathering any information on him. With a few gold coins and some time, she is able to learn where to find his home in Waterdeep.
Jean Luc spends the rest of the day in his room, coming out only for food breaks. He is determined to finish scribing his spells over to the new spellbook he acquired in Loudwater.
Osrik remains at the Flagon Dragon with Gamora keeping him company. He teaches her the game he learned from Vera, “Jembala.” They talk a bit and have lunch, all the time rather uneventful.
Later that afternoon looking past his cards, Osrik notices a flash of light emanate from a small storage closet. The door swings open and two red-bearded Dwarves come out, rather amused and laughing.
The younger of the two wears a humble-looking scale mail with a brown traveling coat and travel bag. His broad chest and muscular neck show that he is rather strong and rather formidable physically.
The second Dwarf looks a bit older, with some flecks of gray in his beard. He wears no armor, but rather long white priest vestments with clear gemstones attached at even intervals. His beard is braided, with a single stone bead of little importance holding it together. He walks using a stone staff with a hammer on the head.
Gamora shouts, “Ha! Check out this one. Oh! Hammerstaff!”
Osrik looks at her, “What are you…”
He startles the two Dwarves and the younger one shouts back, “Oi, What the fuck ya two been drinkin’? I want some of that, haha!”
Osrik gets them an order of drinks and tells the older Dwarf, “I was told to find you here.”
“Um,” the older Dwarf looks at him, “That’s rather creepy, son.”
“It’s creeper to come out of a closet,” says Gamora.
“Aye,” he says looking back, “Odd place to put a teleportation circle.”
“Oi!” says the younger. “It’s supposed to be a secret!”
“Oh yes, that’s right,” says the senior. “Don’t tell anyone…” They sit at the table and enjoy their drinks.
Osrik introduces himself and tells the pair his story. how he lost his memory after being attacked by a Intellect Devourer and that he was a cleric of Valkur. He is still able to use his magic, but he wants to know how to learn more about his power. When he called out to his god about what he should do, he was told to find a Dwarf matching the older Dwarf’s description here at the Flagon Dragon.
The old man says he isn’t very knowledgeable about Valkur, and admits he’s never heard of him. He claims to be a humble servant of Dumathoin, Keeper of the Secrets Under the Mountain.
Osrik asks him his name, and he introduces himself as Tork Glitterstone, saying that he is traveling with his son, Aeron Glitterstone. Aeron, finishing off the beer, leans over and says, “Pop, I’m gonna head out to get some supplies. I dunna think I’m gonna be much help here.”
“Ya gonna leave an old man with these strangers,” says Tork. “You have no idea what I’ll do to them.” He says this with a laugh, but both Gamora and Osrik notice that there is a steel to the older Dwarf’s eyes, warning that to trifle with him would be a mistake. He pats his son on the back, “Go ahead son. I want to hear what the young lad has to say.”
Osrik tells more of his story, recounting all he can over some more drinks, which Tork happily accepts. When Osrik mentions the Dwarven angel that had appeared to him in his dream on the boat, Tork seems to pay special attention. He asks him to describe the “angel” several times, listening to every detail. He sits silently, absorbing the information, and asks Osrik to tell him what the “angel” said. Osrik, in his excitement, can’t seem to remember the angel’s words, but he says he gave him something, placing the small hammer on the table.
Tork picks up the hammer and a grin comes to his face. “Hmm, I know this,” he says. “We met a long time ago.”
Osrik asks, “Are you the rightful owner?”
“Moradin is the rightful owner,” he says. “This is the Shaping Hammer, one of the four Great Tools that were gifted to the First King Silvervein by Moradin himself. Where did you get this?”
Osrik explains that he found it in Shadowheart’s vault, which makes Tork’s expression turn rather serious. He continues his story, telling him about the battle with Hazirawn, including the visit of the red Dwarf angel telling him the command word, which allowed him to wield the hammer and destroy Hazirawn.
Tork tells him he is fortunate and warns, “The Shaping Hammer is not a weapon. It is a tool and as it has not left you it still has a purpose. If you find the other tools, I may be able to help you, though they have been lost for ages.”
Osrik asks of the tools, which Tork names as the Shaping Hammer, the Brutal Pick, the Earthheart Forge, and the Anvil of Songs. He tells Osrik that with the four of them, he would be able to make something grand. He says with some pride, “They don’t call me the Soul Forger for nothing.”
Gamora remembers the words “Soul Forger” from her experience with Wind, her Owlbear spirit guide. She asks the Dwarf what he means by forging souls.
Tork says that any essence or object can be forged into steel with the right tools, be it a soul or ore. He recounts how he forged an ax and set of armor with the fires of the Soul Forge. Although, he doesn’t remember what happened to them.
Gamora tells him she may need his skills one day, if he is willing to help, and the Dwarf says that if the cause is right, he will always be willing to help. She tells him of the Spirit Sword that came to her during the battle with Hazirawn and asks how she can make something like it.
Tork realizes that she is an Ondanti, and tells her that the only way he knows to manifest a soul weapon in the material plane is by binding it with a special silver ore that can be found in the Feydark or in Pandora. With enough ore he might be able to do this, but it has risks. He only knows one person who had a blade of that metal, but doesn’t share the name.
He turns to Osrik and asks him for his holy symbol. Osrik presents the blank wooden talisman and explains it turned blank after he lost himself. Tork takes the object and concentrates, muttering a prayer. After a moment, there is a flash of light and the holy symbol reveals itself. Where once was the symbol of Valkur is the image of a boot overlapped by a mace. “Aye, of course. Marthammor Duin.”
He shows the holy symbol to Osrik, “Young volamtar,” a Dwarven word meaning blazer of fresh trails, "He is the Watcher over Wanderers, Finder-of-Trails. He is the patron of Dwarves who have left the clanholds to explore the world under the sun. Always curious to see the next horizon, and always willing to trade stories of his travels at the campfire. He is the divine spirit of Dwarven exploration, his curiosity like quick bursts of lighting from the sky.”
Osrik says, “What does he expect of me? Is there a temple? Any restrictions I….”
Torks laughs at his eagerness, “I am not the expert you need. I am the child of Dumathoin who is the god Under the Mountain. Your god is the one beyond the mountain. You are his son, and in your heart you already know the path you need to follow. All the other stuff you’ll figure out as you go.”
Osrik looks at him, a bit confused. “Let’s go for a walk,” he says.
He and Gamora settle their tab and follow the elder Dwarf through the streets of Waterdeep. Their pace is slow as the old Dwarf seems to have a heavy limp.
He notices that Osrik’s shield bears his son’s mark. He mentions it was probably one of Aeron’s early creations as a child, noticing some imperfections in the etching. He goes on to say that Aeron runs the Wave Echo Cave up north and is a master craftsman in his own right. He holds one of the three Glitterstone fortresses along the Sword Coast.
Tork leads them to an old bookstore that is clearly Dwarven. He wanders the stacks until he finds a heavy meta-bound book. He hands it to Osrik, telling him this is what he wants and that there is much for him to learn in this book. The book is a tome of the Morndinsamman, the Dwarven pantheon, and he tells him to read up.
As Osrik pays, Tork looks through some of the scrolls with weapon diagrams and schematics. He finds a few he likes and others he laughs at. Gamora mentions Xenara’s appreciation for schematics, though Tork seems to not recognize the name.
Osrik asks if there is a temple in Waterdeep, and Tork suggests the Plinth in the Trades Ward. It’s an open temple for all faiths, he says, and also mentions it’s where the Town Guard land their griffons.