Waterdeep - Dragon Heist - Chapter One
Below is our story in the Dungeons and Dragons adventure Dragon Heist. While each adventure is is different, with unique twists and turns based on the roll of the die and the decisions of the players, this story still may contain some spoilers for those who have yet to play it. Keep that in mind before proceeding. Also, please consider visiting my Ko-fi page, https://ko-fi.com/mlwlundeen, to support my work. Thank you! Enjoy!
The snow piled up around the ankles of his worn leather boots, but he trudged on, barely able to see in the dim candlelight, flickering inside their lanterns. The woolen clothes he wore offered little protection from the biting wind, and they soon became damp from the constant barrage of snowflakes that landed on him and melted into the fabric.
Wyatt pulled his green cloak tighter around him, using his other hand to pinch the base of his hood together to protect his face.
He felt relieved as he came upon the Inn of the Yawning Portal, and he hurried inside, quickly dusting the snow from his clothes before venturing in further.
There was a large roaring fire on the other end of the room, and he walked straight over to it, without even bothering to take in the rest of the room with the exception of a forty foot wide well in the center.
“Oi!” A voice called to him as he took off his sodden gloves and began to warm his hands, “This establishment is already taken! You’ll need to move on!”
Wyatt turned to see who was speaking to him, and his heart sank. The Bard’s lute was old, possibly older than Wyatt’s, and it was missing strings, but he still managed to play it well, and most of the Patrons were too drunk to notice otherwise anyway.
Looking out the window, he saw only darkness and snow. Here it was at least warm and did not reek as did some other parts of the town.
“I just needed to get out of the cold.” He replied, turning back to the fire.
“Fine, fine.” The bard said as he played on, “But just so’s you know, this is my place.”
“It’s your place.” Wyatt echoed, not looking for any trouble.
He took the leather case off his back and sat down at a table near the fireplace. Opening the case, he inspected his lute for any signs of damage for the weather.
Luck favored him it seemed, as his lute was in good condition considering its age and how often it was used. It needed a polish, and the strings would need to be replaced before too long, but he would worry about that another night. For tonight, he needed a place to sleep, and something to eat.
He had a few coins left, barely enough to cover the cost of bread and a drink. However, the innkeeper said she would allow him to sleep in the loft of the stables, so long as he did not disturb the horses.
It was as good as he could hope for. Dry bread, a cup of ale, and a somewhat warm bed to await the storm to pass.
He ate and drank slowly, relishing the warmth of the fire.
Across the room, he could see a tall figure gliding around the well and through the crowd with ease, dodging stumbling patrons, spilled drinks, and wandering eyes who did not seem to even notice her. She made her way to the bulletin board posted beside the three-stringed bard.
Wyatt had seen many Tabaxi before, but none this beautiful. She had long, raven hair that fell in waves down her back, and her fur varied from a dark pumpkin color to a bright cream around her eyes, mouth, and the underside of her tail. Her fur was also marked with black stripes along the tale, her feet, her forehead, and her cheeks.
The rest of her body was completely covered. She wore a long, loose white shirt underneath a brown vest with gold trim with various colored sashes tied about her waist.
Her pointed ears were pierced multiple times with various jeweled studs and small, golden hoops. She wore black gloves that formed to the shape of her hands, including her long, and very sharp looking claws.
She wore no skirt, but pants that were black and skintight, enhancing every movement, every muscle, every curve as the tails of her shirt and sashes swung silently between her legs as she walked.
Among the sashes, she wore a single leather belt with a bronzed buckle. Hanging from the belt was a rapier, which Wyatt recognized immediately. He was no weapons expert, but the rapier was one of the few weapons he had some skill in, along with the crossbow, only the hilt of his was plain, while hers was encrusted with jewels.
As if she felt him watching her, she turned her head and her eyes searched until she found him. Beautiful citrine colored eyes stared at him, and her lips curled into a smile, revealing sharp fangs.
He swallowed nervously, realizing he had been staring at her for some time, but she did not approach him. Instead, she made her way to the bar, once again maneuvering flawlessly through the crowd of drunken ramblers.
He returned his attention to his drink, which was almost gone. Near him, a table of rowdy Dwarves groaned under the weight of the food and ale laden upon its surface. Wyatt could smell the succulent meat and roasted potatoes, with large chunks of cheese and fresh baked bread.
His stomach growled angrily as he ate the last bite of his stale bread, and he downed the last of his drink, eager to get away from the cruel aroma that continued to tease him.
As he set down his cup, several people approached the table on the opposite end from where he was seated, and they began to speak as they sat down; ignoring him as if they were completely oblivious to his presence.
Two of them were Elves that he could see. One of the Elves resembled the High Elves, with long chestnut colored hair and eyes of deep blue. She wore a simple, yet elegant dress of purple with black and pink accents, with a long flowing cloak of matching colors clasped to her shoulders with golden pins. Her fair skin reminded him of porcelain dolls, yet her lips were full and pink, and the hint of a blush rested on her cheeks.
She had a kind, gentle expression, as if she were an innocent lamb, lost in a den of wolves, but there was something in the silver of her eyes that told Wyatt there was more to her than she let on.
In her hands, she carried a tall wooden staff, with an orb at its top that resembled a starry night, and she wore a crown of pink roses on her head, despite it being the dead of winter outside.
He could not help but grin, but his grin faded quickly as he looked to the other elf sitting with her.
She was as fearsome to behold as she was beautiful. Tall and slender, the ebony-skinned warrior was clad from the neck down with armor, her white hair was pulled back away from her face in a high ponytail. Yet, even pulled up, it hung past her waste as loose strands wisped about her face and neck.
Though she wore no jewels that he could see, her eyes shimmered like rare rubies in the light of the candles.
On her waist he could see two rapiers resting in their scabbards as they hung from her belt, as well as a small, one-handed crossbow which the Drow were famed for.
He wondered if the tips of her bolts were poisoned.
“We should order drinks.” One of them said, and Wyatt tore his eyes away from the frightening beauty and looked to the Half-Elf sitting with them.
Like his high-elf companion, he carried a staff with him, only instead of an orb at its top, his had a crescent moon.
He wore fancy robes of crimson trimmed with gold, with a golden band around his head. His long, brown hair was pulled back, and his expression was almost as cold as the weather outside the bar.
His eyes were a dark brown, almost black, enhanced by the long, dark lashes around his eyes.
He gestured to one of the barmaids, who rushed over.
“Five pints of your finest ale.” He said.
“You’re forgetting her majesty.” The Drow said with scoff, “Add another pint, but mix it with milk.”
“With milk?” The barmaid asked, making a face.
“I loathe repeating myself.” The Drow hissed, “You heard me.”
The barmaid gave a quick bob of a curtsy and hurried off.
“It is foolish to order their finest when work is scarce.” Said the Dragonborn who was sitting with them. He wore chainmail armor from his neck down to his ankles. His clawed hands and feet were exposed, and he wore no helmet, revealing scales of dark blue, and sharp spikes along the length of his tail.
He was intimidating enough without any weapons, yet he had a shield strapped to his back, and a mace strapped to his waist.
“We still have enough from our last job.” Said the Tiefling who sat across from him. With long horns atop his head, a long tail that swished behind him, and skin as red as his eyes. His hair was long and the same raven color as the armor he wore, including the chainmail underneath the tunic. Only his gloves, boots, pouches, and scabbards were a dark brown leather.
Six daggers crisscrossed one another down his chest, and two more rested on the front of his belt. Three more were strapped to one boot, and three more on the other. A large crossbow was strapped to his back, and a scimitar rested at his side.
After a while, the barmaid returned, carrying a tray full of drinks for the group. The Tiefling reached into the pouch at his side and then counted out the copper pieces before tossing them on the table.
The high elf cast him a scolding look but said nothing as she picked up the coins and handed them to the barmaid with thanks.
It was an odd sight to be sure. Wyatt had never seen such a mix-matched group before, but it became more interesting as the Tabaxi he had noticed before glided over to them and propped herself up on the table, crossing one leg over the other as she grabbed the pint that also contained the milk.
“Sorry, dears.” She said in a strange, high pitched accent, “The bulletin board has no postings, and bartender say there is no work.”
“Did you inquire about the Undermountain?” The Dragonborn asked, in a guttural voice.
“I did, but he say, it too dangerous for us.”
“And what would he know?” The Drow demanded, getting to her feet.
“Calm, Raven. He see adventurers like us every day. He has good eye.”
Raven snarled, “I’ll cut out his eyes.”
“So, there is nothing, Shade?” The High Elf asked.
“No, nothing.” Shade confirmed, “He say Undermountain is for more experienced warriors. Too many go, but do not come back.”
“Sit down, Raven.” The Tiefling said, his deep voice quiet, but commanding.
Raven shot him a nasty look, her ruby colored eyes almost glowing with rage, but before she could say anything, a loud voice carried over the noise of the tavern.
“Ya pig! Ya like killin’ me mates, does ya?”
All eyes turned towards the commotion as a Zhentariam Half-Orc charged five members of the Xanathar’s Guild.
“I’ve got my money on the orc.” Raven said, all her anger forgotten and replaced with an amused smile as she observed the brawl taking place.
“I take that bet.” Shade said, “She may be strong, but they’re too many.”
The High-Elf covered her face with her hands, but the rest of her party watched as the half-orc held her own against all five, even managing to take down one in the process before she was eventually overpowered.
The Drow grumbled and tossed a coin to the Tabaxi, who made a dramatic show of biting the coin to ensure it was real before adding it to her purse.
“Win some, lose some, my friend.”
She noticed Wyatt was watching her again, but this time he quickly looked away and watched as the Barkeep threw out each of the brawlers.
“That was boring.” Raven said, “They could have at least made it entertaining.”
“It was entertaining enough.” The High Elf said, looking frightened.
“Aww, little Lizzy.” Shade cooed, “I fear you too soft for this place.”
“I am not soft!” Lizzy said, raising her voice, but in doing so she drew the attention of an already aggravated barkeep, and she quickly looked down at the table.
“I am not soft.” She repeated, much quieter this time.
The Drow and the Tabaxi laughed, while the Tiefling only grinned at her.
The Half-elf, however, was not smiling. His eyes went wide, and he shot to his feet, “Look! What’s that coming up from the portal?”
Wyatt looked to where the Half-Elf was pointing, and saw two hands with long, razor sharp claws grasping the side. The room fell silent, and a low growl could be heard before a gruesome face appeared above the edge of the well.
It crawled out and stood up to its full height, towering over everyone in the room. A loincloth was its only piece of clothing, giving full view of its large and grotesque body, from the overly large nose, to the huge fangs dripping with saliva. From the matted dreadlocks of hair, to the huge, nasty bumps along its skin.
Those closes to it ran in fear as it slashed out with its arms which were almost the entire length of his body making its reach too great, and its claws caught one of the patrons, leaving huge gashes on the man’s backside.
The barkeep reached for a club that was hanging on a wall and rushed forward, shouting, “Troll!”