Very quickly, they learned that the Speaker of the Waterdeep Council was dead, and believed, at least by some, to be murdered. There were rumors that the Speaker was close to concluding a trade arrangement with the Kingdom of Many Arrows, and some, including Oleg Frunk, believed that to be true. There was also word and signs that a Citizen’s Militia was patrolling the streets.
Alfred visited the Temple of Sune, where he offered a donation and then spoke to the ranking priestess, a halfling named Rosalie. Alfred noted a large number of refugees in the Temple’s compound, many of mixed races, evidently fearing reprisals. Alfred reported the situation in Helensville. Rosalie replied that it would turn out to be very handy that Celine remained there, since there might soon be a need for a place for all the refugees.
Aprilane visited Krendel and bought some more arrows and caught up on the gossip about the Speaker. Krendel was unhappy with the new Citizen’s Militia and the implication that the guard wasn’t up to the job of keeping Waterdeep safe.
Aprilane then went to the Many Arrows embassy house, hoping to look in on Ugrun. But it seems there was a mob gathered outside of it, and it was boarded up tight. There were chants of “No more orcs” and accusations that orcs had killed the Speaker running through the crowd. It looked too ugly for Aprilane to chance, and she decided to report back to the rest of the party to get help for Ugrun.
Gnf visited Calfalas, finding him deeply enmeshed in translating the tome Chaundakil’s Journal, which he has taken to calling Chandakil’s Chronicle. From what he can tell, there is some spell blocking his progress, as it seems to affect his ability to remember things, so he is using a painstaking process that involves much indexing of words, and use of indirect associations. Calfalas was so deeply involved with his work, he had not yet heard of the death of the Speaker, but when he did, he asked the young clerk William to shutter the doors, so he could continue his work.
While there, Gnf received a sending from Tulvin Narnari, which said,
Elves of Abeir corroborate your story. Have discovered much about planar rift, interplanar matrix and confluence of such. Eager to discuss findings with you soonest.
Thank you. Will travel soonest to consult. Minimum week. Interesting developments re spellfire. Drow and Lolth involved. Will shared what we know when arrive.
Max wandered the streets for a bit, thinking he saw a glimpse of a gray-haired man. He then went by the bakery shop of Oleg Frunk, where he listened to Oleg’s fears of racial reprisals along with Alfred, while munching one of Oleg’s excellent krullers.
Gathering back at their favorite Inn, Alfred flirted with the serving wench as usual. Her response was to whisper in his ear, “I have a message for you.” Well, it wasn’t long before Alfred found himself with her in a lonely corner, and was in her embrace. However, events went off their usual course when the barmaid said, “I think you prefer girls, don’t you? I could be a boy if that’s what you really liked.” and while under Alfreds arms, her shape flowed and shifted into that of a handsome, male youth.
Naturally, Alfred was somewhat taken aback at this, but instantly recognized Shifty. Shifty explained that she-he (we’ll use she for now) works for Eldreth Deepwater now, and Deepwater wants to talk to Alfred and their group in private. This message was delivered by Shifty using Eldreth’s face and voice.
Once the group was reunited in the inn, they were brought to a private room in the inn, where Eldreth explained to them that the Speaker, as far as he was concerned, had indeed been murdered, and that he would be doing more about it, except that his daughter, Melia had been kidnapped and was being held as a hostage. Unable to act overtly to rescue her, could the party undertake this?
Of course the answer was yes. They set to work quickly. Alfred went to visit Harry Diggs of the Plumbers and Cellarers, and got a lot of information about which buildings have basements and access to the sewers. Then, with Shifty, he did some infiltration of the Citizen’s militia, further narrowing things down.
Aprilane and Gnf looked for clues first at Eldreth’s house, where the kidnapping had taken place. Aprilane found some signs of forcible kidnapping, and some mud that she thought might be a clue. Gnf found a few signs of arcane activity, such a silence ritual, and other signs of many subtle wards and spells about Eldreth’s residence. Since she was so strongly associated with Ugrun, Shifty used her disguise kit to alter Aprilane’s appearance significantly while she was on the streets.
Allyson was able to waylay a member of the Citizens Militia and scare some information out of him as to where the headquarters were. Max wandered the streets, shadowing some of the Militia members.
In the warehouse district, Aprilane was able to narrow in on some particular buildings by looking at the differences between mud, and Gnf noticed some form of summoning magic coming from the building in question. Alfred bluffed his way into the building, pretending to be interested in joining up, and scouted the area.
Once the building that Melia was being held in was determined, the party attacked. There was a tough fight on the main floor of the warehouse; several crossbowman were stationed on a catwalk above the warehouse floor. Leading the melee force was a Murderer who hit hard and was very tough to bring down. Eventually, though the party prevailed, dodging in and out behind crates to avoid the archer fire. Aprilane was repeatedly dazed by the powerful bolts of the crossbowmen, but Gnf turned the tables on them, using his newly aquired orb to transfer the dazed state from Aprilane to a crossbowman himself. Shifty also contributed strongly to the fight, with several sneak attacks. Eventually, the party prevailed.
In the back corner was a shaft with a ladder, leading down to a lower basement. Climbing down, the party found Melia in a cage, guarded by a pair of (human) hexers who had evidently summoned two Earth Elementals. This fight went better, with the first elemental dropping before it really had much of a chance to swing. Since it had been ordered not to attack anyone who stayed by the ladder down, the party managed to get into the cellar and launch their attack in a coordinated fashion.
In order to confirm that the girl in the cage was, in fact, Melia, Alfred asked her what the price of a song was, to which she replied, “I certainly hope I don’t have to kiss you in order to be rescued!”
And so the party retired to it’s headquarters, determined to both come to the aid of Ugrun and get Melia out of Waterdeep and to K’Lenth, as her father requested.