As seen at the end of our last session, our intrepid band of adventurers was summoned to Waterdeep by the archmage Khelben Arunsun. The Blackstaff sent a High Forest elf and a pride of griffins to fly the party back to the city.
The group was flown to Khelben's tower, where they were reunited with Marn, the apprentice who had helped them use a portal to teleport to the High Forest way back in the campaign's first session. The apprentice was glad to see them, but related how he had been reprimanded by the archmage once Khelben discovered Marn had used the portal. As a result, Marn had been under a sort of probation since the party left the city nearly a month before (the party left Waterdeep on the 3rd of the month of Tarsakh, and had returned on the 28th).
Marn asked the party to turn over the small orb in the black iron box that the Shadow Thieves had ordered them to take into Waterdeep. The apprentice assured them it would be in good hands, as would the party (who expressed concerned at the threat of the Shadow Thieves making a move against them, or even worse killing their friend Keseim). The group was also introduced to an elven wizard named Celcifer (the character of our newest player, Mark) and told that the elf was assigned to accompany them about the city, to help keep them safe.
From there, the party was free to do as they pleased. Cleric of Lathander Oisin decided it would be prudent to return to the Spires of the Morning, Lathander's great temple in the city. He was eager to return and report on the results of their quest (NPC cleric Leela, whose faith had faltered in the face of a friend's death and grievous injury, was also eager to return). The group received a chilly reception from Oisin's fellow cleric Rorik, who listened to their tale of success against the undead in the High Forest with much skepticism. The cleric told them he would report their news to the high priest, Dawnmaster Asperis, and then walked quickly away.
From there, the party headed to the market to trade in some of the treasures they had accumulated and purchase new gear. Milo in particular was interested in upgrading his gear, and haggled with a jeweller over three large gems he had recovered after the group's fight with a bull-like construct.
In the market, the group noticed they were being tailed by a group of unsavory-looking characters. Oisin and Kale recognized the thugs were being led by Taim, a ruffian that they had encountered in the first session. The group decided to lead the thugs to a secluded street and then make a move against them.
The party was able to overcome the thugs, and they questioned Taim as to why he was following them. The man told them that he and his cronies had recently started receiving messages on scraps of parchment from an unknown source. These messages (which were being left in the thugs' supposedly secret hideouts) had ordered the thugs to start harassing certain individuals in Waterdeep in exchange for coin, and the mysterious benefactor had indeed paid them well for their services. The night before the party returned to Waterdeep, Taim received a message that warned of the group's arrival. The note also commanded Taim and his cronies to keep an eye out for the party.
The group suspected that Taim and his gang might be pawns for the Shadow Thieves. In order to discover who was giving the orders to Taim, the party decided to set up an ambush. They would stake out one of the hideouts and see who, if anyone, would turn up.
To be continued...