Carlos is Dungeon Mastering today--awesome! Always love to see someone I haven’t watched run a game before. You can watch this episode on Youtube.
(Surena Marie) Ashbourne - 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
Time slows down as the arrow that Ziraj shot at Ashbourne last time flies to meet its mark. Nocnoc yells, “KILL SHOT!” But it’s too late, the arrow strikes home before anyone can stop it, and she thinks,
“Mother... mother, I’ve failed you.”
She closes her eyes and feels a pressure slam into her shoulder, but... it doesn’t feel painful. She wonders if this is what death is like. Rinn sees something else however, a red blur leap in front of Ashbourne--it’s a kobold... the middle one. The pressure was the kobold’s body crashing into her after leaping in front of the arrow so it hit him instead.
Ashbourne goes over and craddles the middle kobold. Perrin’s charm spell wore off and the other two kobolds left, but the middle kobold, Duo... he stayed. The arrow pierced straight through him, and he’s bleeding out. Duo says that he’s never been a hero before... Ash removes the arrow and casts ‘Cure Wounds’, saving him! Made me tear up there--great opening to an episode. Well done!
When everyone turns from this scene, they spot Ziraj and Lavant, the tiefling woman with the eyepatch, standing together. Shaka tries to reason with the half-orc, clarifying that they are not friends of the Xanathar whatsoever! Ziraj points his bow at Ashbourne again and says that he knows that they aren’t friends of the crime lord, but the Xanathar wants “the girl with the claw” (if you remember, Ash has an enormous golden claw in place of one of her arms), for what purpose, Ziraj does not know, but he WON’T let the beholder get what he wants. Selise steps in front of Ash to shield her, and Rinn stands beside her--”You’re not taking my sister.”
Ziraj reveals that he works for the Zhentarim, the rivals of the Xanathar’s Guild. Lavant the tiefling keeps leaning in and whispering into his ear. Shaka turns to question her, and Lavant explains that Ziraj wasn’t firing at her to try and kill her, this whole thing--Shaka spotting Ziraj on the rooftop and finding the flyer that led them to this auction--it was all a setup to get them here, to lure out Ashbourne. Her and the kaleidoscope were both bait. Shaka is impressed.
The party want to forge an alliance with Ziraj, and reveal to him that they came to Waterdeep to rescue the people of Nightstone who were trapped by Graz’zt. That’s why they can’t just leave. They NEED the hoard of golden dragons that supposedly lies below the city. Ziraj is convinced to introduce them to the Zhents for safety’s sake. Selise is concerned because she’s a paladin of Tyr, and asks if she can get black armor if she joins. The answer?YES!
The amphitheater has cleared out from the commotion, when they hear a clap coming from the stage. A man in a blue uniform steps out of the shadows. He points out that he’s fine with the gangs fighting and killing each other out in the backstreets--it’s when they bring their problem here, to the houses of good people like the Cassalanters that it becomes an issue. He starts insulting everyone in the party and Selise begins to march towards him angrily. Ziraj puts his hand on her shoulder and whispers that this man is the Captain of the Watch, and that they’re currently surrounded by over one hundred armed guards.
Making a run for it, the party are able to escape up a stairway and onto the roof. They scale the cliff to the sea far below. Lavant stays behind to hold off the guards if they break through before the party make it all the way down the rope. Some archers notice the very shiny Rinn as he loses his grip for a moment. Selise catches him, but the archers open fire. Ziraj fires back. Everyone reaches the bottom except for Selise and Rinn, who feel the rope get wet and begin to unwind in their hands. They slide the rest of the way down, and get rope-burn! Ash and Shaka see with their darkvision that their companions aren’t wet with water--but with blood. Lavant’s blood.
Ziraj is shell-shocked. Shaka gives him a comforting hug. Ziraj is staring at the seawall, which is covered in centuries worth of graffiti--the history of gangs come and gone, of forgotten loves and silly jokes, the history of Waterdeep and her people... even those who the leaders and lords would rather not be remembered. The party empathize with Ziraj’s loss, they’ve all lost people close to them--”it’s a pain that hurts, and will never stop hurting.”
They depart for the Zhentarim safehouse.