Tyranny of Dragons

Book 2, Episode 12: The Fourth Council of Waterdeep

The fourth council is the final meeting between the faction leaders and the adventurers. Hundreds of chromatic dragons have been sighted near the Well of Dragons, and the time has come to strike. At the end of this council, the delegates make their final decisions of support for the adventurers.

At an appropriate point in the council meetings, Rian Nightshade approaches the characters and asks for a private audience. She explains her position as an emissary of the Zhentarim, and of the Zhentarim’s interest in current affairs. She bemoans the dithering of the other factions, stating that the Black Network is willing to act immediately and unflinchingly if the party can help arrange agreeable terms for the Zhentarim’s support. Rian points out that the Zhentarim have a keen interest in Xonthal’s Tower. Ownership of the tower is under discussion by the council, but the tiefling wants to deal directly with the adventurers, who have claim to the tower by right of conquest. The Zhentarim are willing to purchase the adventurers’ interest in the tower for 50,000 gold pieces, and Rian can throw in a potion of greater healing, a potion of frost giantstrength, and a scroll of earthquake to sweeten the deal.

Any alliance with the Red Wizards is a mixed blessing. More pragmatic factions and delegates—including the Harpers, King Melandrach, Dagult Neverember, and Taern Hornblade—are impressed by the diplomacy such an arrangement demonstrates, and know that regardless of the Red Wizards’ character and previous plots against the Sword Coast, they are a significant asset. Sir Isteval, Ambassador Brawnanvil, and the Order of the Gauntlet object to the idea of even opening dialogue with the Red Wizards, and believe that the Thayans would agree to an alliance only if it furthered their own plots to rule the Sword Coast and all Faerftn. Lady Laeral and Ulder Ravengard both think the Red Wizards unpredictable but necessary, believing that the only important factor is how the Thayans influence the outcome of the final battle.

The outcome of the support of the metallic dragons (as allocated in the third council) is accounted for in this fourth council. Factions that did not receive draconic aid suffer terribly in the cult’s raids, and some delegates resent the adventurers for withholding the service of their dragon allies. Only Isteval, Connerad, and the Harpers maintain their respect for the adventurers regardless of how the dragons were assigned. Cormyr remains largely untouched by the cult, whose operations remain focused on the Sword Coast. The Harpers have no strongholds, and so suffer less than other factions. Ambassador Brawnanvil appreciates the value of dragon guards, but his strongholds are deep underground and hard for the cult to reach—and all dwarves know how even good dragons covet dwarven gems and gold.

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MrRuffles

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