F inally back on the surface, the party’s freedom was once again short-lived as they were apprehended by the City Watch. However, the Watch insisted that the group’s arrest was simply for their own safety by order of Piergeron Paladinson himself. Led by Castle Ward Civilar Helm Maddryn, they were escorted toward the Palace for a face-to-face meeting with the Open Lord of Waterdeep. As they approached the palace guard station, chaos quickly broke out as one of Helm’s men was gunned down by an invisible attacker.
Scrambling for cover, the party watched as one man after another fell to the hidden sniper’s bolts. Before they could collect their wits, they were ambushed by a group of thugs and, of all things, a young Beholder who had somehow snuck into the city. A fierce battle ensued in the streets of Waterdeep, leaving only the party against the attackers, surrounded by the bodies of their former protectors. Reinforcements from the Palace could not arrive soon enough, just as Havard finally located the sniper and put an end to his treachery. They managed to keep one of the thugs alive for questioning, but he was swiftly placed under arrest by the Watch. Maddryn hurried them up the mountainside toward the Palace before any other potential attackers could show their faces.
Within the opulent chambers of the Open Lord, Piergeron Paladinson greeted the party with stoic dignity. The party’s actions in the Runestone chambers had not gone unnoticed, and Paladinson confessed his mages knew that the artifact had been destroyed. Maintaining a strictly neutral stance on their decision, he stressed to the party that their actions would not be without consequence, and that certain powerful figures within Waterdeep would expect answers. As if on cue, a livid Lady Mage Silverhand stormed into the chamber, demanding an explanation. No amount of rationale or reassurance would soothe her angers, save for a stern warning from Paladinson. Excusing herself briskly, she reminded the party that they had made no friends in the Tower of Blackstaff.
Recognizing the party’s position but still seeing their value, Paladinson offered the group a chance to make good and potentially undo the diplomatic crisis their actions had caused. He explained that an important emissary from Amn had recently visited the city, but had mysteriously vanished with no trace. City authorities had turned up little evidence of the entourage in the fortnight since their disappearance, but Paladinson hoped that the party’s skills would be uniquely suited to succeeded where his own men had henceforth failed. Insisting that this mission was more offer than demand, he left the party to decide on their next actions.
With even more questions than answers since their initial forays into Undermountain, the party regrouped decided on their next moves. Realizing the potential in assisting the Lords of Waterdeep, they agreed to investigate the case of the missing emissary. With few leads beyond the City Watch’s most recent scouting report, and little time to waste, each adventurer took the evening to collect their supplies and their wits before venturing out into new perils and plunder…