The Troubled, and the Secret Hoard

Prologue: Lances at Dawn

The start of a rivalry, a mystery, and a threat

Upon the 30th of Eleint, 1356 DR, a large caravan of knights, warriors and merchants came to the end of their long trek from Baldur’s Gate to the City of Splendours, Waterdeep. Notable among them were Grand Duke Entar Silvershield – a Cavalier Commander of great renown, seeking to defend his title as the two-time running champion of the Tournament of the Knight; Grand Duke Eltan, head of the Flaming Fist mercenary company; and Cael Silvershield, an up-and-coming knight, seeking to take the Tournament of the Squire for himself.

Upon reaching the Castle Ward of Waterdeep, where the nobles of the Baldur’s Gate caravan would be staying, Cael headed off to find a temple to Tyr. He found one short by, running off the mansion of the Unmasked Lord of Waterdeep, Piergeion “the Paladinson”. The temple is mainly devoted to the god of Justice himself, but also maintains two small shrines, one on each side, to the other two gods of the Triad – Torm, and Illmater. And it was in the shrine of Torm whom resigned Tristan Eltorchul, a Paladin.

Amongst the various knights who were paying respect to their patron gods, Cael knelt down and began to pray. Stating loudly, he prayed for the protection of those who might fall off their horses, and that the Tournament this year would be a Silvershield victory. Many knights raised their eyes at this, including Tristan, who questioned the lack of humility this knight demonstrated. As Cael left, Tristan confided in the Priest of the shrine of Torm, Berdon, seeking to teach these young, prideful knights the meaning of Humility.

The next day marked the first of the two holidays before the beginning of the month of Marpenoth – Highharvestide. Tables lined the streets of the city, with peasants and nobles alike bring out various items of food to fill the tables around the place. Cael and Tristan, independently, went out to the feast, enjoyed their fill, and met with a few of the other competitors in the Tournament of the Squire. Most notable of those was Marketh Azoun, who proclaimed to be the nephew of King Azoun IV of Cormyr (a city state a fair distance to the east). Marketh dismissed both of the knights, seeing them as nowhere near his social status or level of skill, remarking that he would enjoy knocking them off their horses.

Cael, satisfied with his food and intel on the competition, returned to the Silvershield lodgings to train in private. He met with his trainer, who challenged him to a practice tilt. The two lined up, charged at each other, and Cael knocked his trainer unconscious with the impressive force of his blow.

Tristan, on the other hand, sought out a public practice ground, and came across a rather cocky knight, who seemed to be berating the ability of others. He challenged him to a tilt, rode, and Tristian humbled him with relative ease. With a smirk, the Paladin used his ability to Lay on Hands upon his opponent, rubbing the defeat in that small bit further. As the knight stormed off, the crowd who had amassed applauded the Paladin.

The day after saw the start of the Tournament. Cael rode up first, and quite quickly dispatched his first three opponents, each in the first tilt. Tristan, on the other hand, came up against Marketh in the second round. The match was close, but the Azoun managed to defeat him.

As the semi-finals approached, the knights were given a reprieve as the first rounds of the Tournament of the Knight began. Entar, who had been watching Cael’s progress, tossed him a small bag of gold, and stated he should go and take a look around the markets. Tristan remained by to watch the Tournament.

As Cael walked into the city, basking in the glory of his victories thus far, he heard a scream. There was a smashing of glass as a Halfling, garbed in a mixture of blacks and browns, burst through the door of a shop named “The Emerald of the Stars”, and ran as fast as possible. Unlike the stunned populace, Cael shouted for the City Watch to be called, and gave chase. Within a minute or two of running, the low trembling note of the Watch’s emergency horns had been blown. Tristan started running to the direction of the horn.

The Halfling tried to evade the chasing Cavalier by running into the side streets, but with Cael outpacing him it was hard to evade. Eventually he ran out into a main street, Cael close behind with his sword drawn. The City Guard on the gate started moving to blockade the entrance, so the Halfling dived off into another side. Cael followed, being joined by a small contingent of Watch accompanied by a black-robed Magister. The group eventually pinned the Halfling at a dead end, him half-way up a wall, under the orders of “surrender, or we will shoot”.

Tristan arrived to find that the culprit had been apprehended. Being searched down, the Watch discovered two daggers (one of them bloody), a note, and a brass ring of a dragon biting it’s own tail. Another Watch member came along from the crime scene, had a discussion with the Magister. With that, the Magister charged the Halfling with committing a Severe Crime of the Second Plaint, and a Serious Crime of the Fourth Plaint. Tristan questioned the Halfling as to if he had committed murder, and the Halfling confessed.

The note itself read:

Ressat,
Your duty is to go to the Emeralds of the Stars, and take from them a small brass ring, which looks like a dragon biting it’s tail. It is currently being held in a back room. Kill the owner, and then leave the city to the south. You will find us at a waystation a couple of miles from the city.
You will receive your reward there. Do not make me wait.
Garth

The two decided to return to the crime scene, and investigated around. They found a shaken old woman, who had witnessed the Halfling running out of the shop, stowing a blade, and saw the deceased body of the owner. Taking a look in the back room, the pair found an opened, small black box with red cushioning, which seemed to be empty. The body didn’t have any finger marks, indicating that he hadn’t been wearing the ring at the time. His wounds seemed to be a single, deep stab wound to the back, which struck the heart.

Cael returned to the Tournament, witnessing the master of his family winning his third round match. Tristan stayed behind with the body, until a Cleric of the god of the dead, Myrkul.

After about 10 minutes, the cleric arrived, dressed in full black robes with a hood over the head, and the mark of the skull in an arch upon the back of the robe. He thanked Tristan for attending to the body, who appeared to be his friend. Tristan questioned if the cleric, whom served an evil god, had met with the Halfling before, but the Cleric had not. With that, Tristan returned to the Tournament.

Cael came up against Torail, a knight of Neverwinter. Torail’s first blow to Cael almost knocked him clean out. But with a mixture of luck and skill, he managed to hold on, and knock Torail off of his horse.

He then came across Marketh Azoun in the final round. Most of the crowd cheered the name “Silvershield” as Cael rode up to the best of three match. In the first two rounds, Cael took some blows, but in both cases smashed his lance swiftly against the purple dragon shield, and won victory.

Entar Silvershield won victory in the Tournament of the Knight, and the crowds rejoiced and chanted the name Silvershield as the two knights received their prizes – 200gp for Cael, and 10,000gp for Entar (whom donated the prize to Baldur’s Gate).

In the evening, Cael and the Silvershield family spent much of their night celebrating, while Tristan took a night’s watch. In the morning after, Tristan came to visit Cael, to find that Piergerion was visiting Entar, and the Paladinson remarked to his friend how Cael and Tristan seemed “very familiar”. Tristan asked Cael for a single tilt, to which Cael accepted gladly. Cael crushed him easily.

XP:
Cael – 850
Tristan – 450
Calani – 0
Irerly – 0
Riza – 0

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