Rivals of Waterdeep - Episode 2: “Hell to Pay”
You can watch this episode on Youtube, or listen to a podcast version!
The party are on the High Road, two days south of Waterdeep. We pick up right where Episode 1 left off.
Aram Vartian - Dungeon Master
(Surena Marie) Ashborne - Half-Elf Ranger
(Carlos Luna) Nocnoc - Half-Orc Fighter
(Cicero Holmes) Perrin
- Halfling Bard
(Tanya DePass) Selise - Human Paladin of Tyr
(Shareef Jackson) Shaka - Tiefling Warlock
(Brandon Stennis) Rinn - High Elf Sorcerer
We start off with the dreams everyone is having during their long rest...
Selise is a lawyer. The judge declares her clients witches, and they are taken outside to be executed. Selise tries to intervene as they are cut down. One of Graz’zt’s cambions, Devonia, appears (she sounds like Gretchen Wieners from Mean Girls), and gives Selise a tome with the words ‘BURN BOOK’ written on it. There’s 999 pages, each with a drawing of a person and the heinous crimes that they’ve gotten away with, as well as their location in Waterdeep.
Shaka puts the finishing touches on a map. Suddenly, the morning mists part, and a black tower rises before him. The tower is said to contain forbidden knowledge from across Faerun, including the true names of demons. Every morning at dawn, the tower moves to a new location. He runs into the mists, but loses his way. He runs into the other cambion, Corsan. Corsan tells Shaka that this is “a preview”, and offers the warlock a book that can answer any question asked IF he does him a favor--bring him a brass cube from the Dragon Hoard in Waterdeep.
Ashborne is playing hide-and-seek with her fox, Chips. She finds a bear over the body of Chips and loses her composure. She leaps onto the bear’s back and tears into it with her claw. The bear runs off, but it’s too late... Chips is gone. Devonia steps up and brings Chips back to life, and says that she can make it so that as long as Ashborne is alive, Chips will also be alive. She also offers to restore Ash’s mutated arm. All she needs to do is bring Devonia a copper box from the Dragon Hoard in Waterdeep. They pinky swear. Ash feels as Chips' heart begins to beat as one with her own.
Nocnoc finds himself at the tavern in Nightstone, and sneaks out the front door. He steps through... back into the tavern. He tries different doors, but it keeps happening, and when he tries to ask for help, nobody looks at him. Suddenly, everything goes dark. He says “Knock-knock”, and Corsan answers, “Who’s there?” Corsan shows him an army as it clear-cuts the forest where Nocnoc’s monastery is located. The soldiers attack the bubble around Nightstone, but as it pops, everything is destroyed. The cambion says it will only take two, maybe three months before human predictability leads to this outcome, but he gives Nocnoc divining rods to help the half-orc find enough gold to lift the curse before that. In return, Corsan wants a copper box from the Dragon Hoard. Uh-oh... Does anybody else smell the seeds of inter-party conflict being sown?
Rinn is an elf, so it is WEIRD seeing other people sleep. He pokes Selise and wakes her up, she grabs his hand. He just wanted to say hello. As Selise gets up, she feels the Burn Book beside her. She opens it and sees that there’s actually 1000 pages--the last one is “the person she’s been looking for”. I think that was entirely improv on Tanya’s part, and Aram said it’s 100% canon. Awesome!
Rinn begins his trance. He sees himself in a store with all sorts of cool stuff, but he has no money to buy any of it! He touches something and it turns to gold. He touches the shopkeep... BOOM, GOLD! Rinn freaks out as everyone and everything around him starts turning to gold. Devonia steps out and says she loves what he’s done with the place. If Rinn gets her the brass cube from the Dragon Hoard, she’ll let Rinn have all one million gold pieces given to free the people of Nightstone...
Perrin sleeps perfectly soundly. He’s never slept better in his life. His boss, Gundren, had a dream though, and it freaked him out. Everyone was fighting a dragon... everyone except for Perrin. The two cambions were there too. Gundren wants nothing to do with this, packs up his stuff, and leaves.
Lliira appears before Selise during her morning prayer, and says that there is a way to replace the good people of Nightstone with the bad people in the Burn Book using the map that Shaka drew last session (the map now has moving silver dots representing the townsfolk on it)! Everyone else wakes up just in time for breakfast, prepared by Perrin’s ‘Unseen Servant’. They discuss their troubled sleep, and the strange gifts offered to them by Corsan and Devonia.
Rinn lies and tells everyone that the demons offered to make it so he wouldn’t feel the compulsion to steal from other people anymore, but Perrin sees through it and gets the elf to tell him the real deal in private. Rinn offers to split the gold half-and-half with Perrin, and the halfling agrees to keep this secret between them.
On the road, they run into Waterdhavian scouts who ask them about Nightstone. They now have an escort the rest of the way to Waterdeep.
As they camp that night, hunters from Daggerford surround them, led by a lord who’s brother was sliced in half when the bubble around Nightstone appeared. They saw the party leaving the village and say that they’re arresting all of them. Perrin casts ‘Suggestion’ and convinces the lordling to leave them alone, but another archer realizes that the bard used magic on their boss and fires!
They fight off the attackers, who flee. The mayor of Nightstone is amazed at how well they work together as a team. Maybe they’ll actually be able to find this mysterious Dragon Hoard and save the people of her village from Graz’zt’s curse after all.
Aram mentioned that we’ll have one more episode before catching up with where the session at the Stream of Many Eyes (which, it turns out, is Episode 4) left off. So far, we’ve been going at a one in-game day per episode pace, and, given that the party have one day’s travel to Waterdeep still, that seems like it’ll be continuing.