While the Hand of Destiny waited for news of Mirt’s movements from Milo’s raven familiar, they walked towards the Blackstaff Tower to see if they needed anything. When they arrived, a diminutive older gnome showed them to the Blackstaff’s office and asked them to wait. They didn’t wait for long as Vajra came walking through the doors within minutes to give them their next assignment.
There was a man hanging around the Yawning Portal that required observation. Their assignment was to watch this man and report any strange behavior. They were not to engage the target unless lives were at risk. His name was Mirloon Wardragon. He had been a fun, happy-go-lucky person until a few months ago. Then he changed, he started hanging around the bar more often, drinking copious amounts of alcohol, beyond normal amounts. He wasn’t a mean drunk, never got into fights or arguments. He just sat there, in silence, drinking for days. They were to watch him for three days after which, if nothing happened, they would cease observation.
The group accepted their assignment and left to deal with some of their other problems. They still had to find out why Karris had woken up in blood soaked sheets. They were walking through the Seaward when a young boy standing on the corner waved a few sheets of paper in their faces. He yelled out, “Murder on the Docks: Bodies piled high after rampant animal attack!” The group stopped for a moment, exchanged a look and adjusted their course to head towards the docks. It was just too convenient that on the day a group member, a were-hippo, woke up drenched in blood that bodies would show up.
The docks were a flurry of activity and although people were out and about their business, the group did notice a cart off to the side guarded by a pair of soldiers. They didn’t seem too preoccupied about preserving the bodies and were standing far away from the wagon because of the smell. Aleera and Kaladrax provided a distraction, asking the soldiers about what was going on. This drew their attention and allowed Kariss to get to the cart from the opposing direction. She walked up, covering her face with her mantle to manage the stench.
Kariss examined the bodies and, although they did have bite marks and evidence of mauling, she also noticed that these bodies were far into the decomposition stage. They had been dead long before last night. She realized in the moment that this was a frame job. Someone must have found out that she was a were-hippo and was trying to frame her. There was so much mystery and hidden political turmoil in Waterdeep that trying to find the mastermind would be nigh impossible. She walked away from the cart and met up with the rest of the group.
They walked off down the rest of the docks as Kariss filled them in on her findings. They grew even more worried when she explained why she thought she was being framed. They reached the end of the dock and found themselves in a large crowd. Ahead was a troupe of acrobats. They were all human men dressed in bright reds and purples to draw attention to their impressive feats of contortion. Behind them was a ship decorated in similar colors and beyond, out in the bay, was an even bigger version of the docked ship. The Hand of Destiny made their way to the front of the gathered crowd to get a better view. The men were performing a complicated tumbling routine interspersed with daring jumps and rapid twists. Something seemed off, however.
Being suspicious enough at the moment Kariss was tired of being lied to at every turn. She cast Dispel magic at one of the acrobats to reveal anything they might be hiding. After the few moments that it took to cast the spell she focused on one of the acrobats and witnessed his glamour fall away to reveal a drow male dressed in all the same clothes. There was nothing sinister about this except that the drow preferred to entertain without the stigma of their heritage to scare potential customers away. The group of acrobats surged quickly to cover the newly revealed drow and hid him until they reached the entrance to the ship and the drow was able to sneak aboard without anyone seeing him.
They had covered themselves well. The group watched a little longer and came to the same conclusion as Kariss. These were just a group of drow acrobats trying to stay hidden and make their way in the world. They had no ulterior motives and, after careful observation, Aleera let the group know that no one was pickpocketing either. These were legitimate, hard-working acrobats. The party decided to leave them alone. They weren’t hurting anyone. They watched the performances until the group made their way aboard the ship and left the harbor for the day. They were offering rides around the bay aboard their ship for the rest of the day and a line formed to make their way aboard.
The group felt a bit silly after starting to see everything in a sinister light. It was hard not to with all the intrigue that surrounded the city. So many hidden hands were working to gain power that there was no way to keep track of them all. They watched the ship leave and people began partying on the deck as music played and acrobats danced. It was nice to know that not everyone in the city was out for blood or glory. That was when Milo received a message from his raven that Mirt was on the move and headed somewhere in a hurry.