Last Updated: October 14, 2018
Glory-Hound (flaw 1)
Harbinger of Ill Omen (flaw 2)
Lady Oriana surveyed the bustling market located in Virgin’s Square. Local legend had it that virgins were sacrificed to dragons on this spot, long before the founding of Waterdeep. She made a note of one Cult of the Dragon agent, marked by his deep purple robe, who was busy negotiating with some local sellswords on their fee and willingness to embark upon some fool’s quest or another. Another merchant was complaining of the heavy northern rains that have almost ruined this year’s potato crop.
A street urchin blocked her path. Eager scrawny fingers handed her a scrolled parchment in exchange for a silver shard. She promised the lad a matching coin if he waited for her to come back and deliver her reply. Breaking the seal, she devoured the note’s secrets. It was time. She made her way over to Snail Street and headed north a bit, to find herself in front of Meiroth’s Fine Silks.
Under normal circumstances, she would never enter such a shop. Although noble by birth, she was no lady. Freakishly strong, Lady Oriana preferred going about in full arms and armor and had no use for the latest fashions in evening gowns. What little beauty she had was marred by a vicious facial scar. Ghauntz the Cloaked always told her that they marked her as a favourite of the Hidden Lord, just as he was. Her family had apprenticed her to Ghauntz long ago to learn the merchant’s craft, only she had learned so much more from him.
Silks from faraway lands shimmered and fluttered in the wind as she opened the door and stepped inside the shop. She was greeted by Thelios, Meiroth’s manservant and bodyguard. Normally, she would be eager to use her steel to test his mettle, but Ghauntz had taught her that there are many paths to victory, especially against weak-minded fools such as Thelios. She touched the broken silver stag horn at her belt that Ghauntz had given her while calling upon the power of the Hidden Lord. Still touching the broken silver stag horn, she could hear the Hidden Lord's whispers that Thelios was hers now; that the Hidden Lord’s charm would make him more compliant to her requests.
She pressed a gold dragon coin into Thelios’ palm. “Here”, she said, “Be a good lad and go down to the Bowels of the Earth tavern down the street and fetch your master a cask of Rockbottom, it’s a stout dwarven ale from the Golden Rift. We have business to conduct, and I am sure he will need something strong to quaff once our business negotiations have completed.”
Once Thelios left, Lady Oriana turned to a full-sized silver mirror. Another prayer to the Hidden Lord, and she watched as her features shimmered and transformed into Thelios, Meiroth’s ever loyal but now absent manservant. Meiroth came out of the backrooms, unaware that his manservant was no longer who he appeared to be. As Meiroth marched past her to lay out some new bolts of silk, she came up behind him. There was no glory in striking a man from behind, so she coughed. Meiroth turned to face her, as her fist came crashing down upon his face. The world went black for Meiroth as he slumped to the ground unconscious…
Meiroth soon awoke to find his limbs lashed to a chair in the back storage room of his store. His head was still ringing, and he could taste blood in his mouth. His eyes soon focused on the hulking woman in front of him, dressed in arms and armor like a knight.
“What is the meaning of this? Do you know who I am? You will regret this? Untie me now and perhaps the Lords of Waterdeep will show mercy” blustered Meiroth at his captor.
The scars on Lady Oriana’s face contorted unnaturally as she smiled at the helpless merchant before her. “It is perhaps you who should be asking for mercy Master Meiroth,” warned Lady Oriana. “My associates are very disappointed that you have been refusing their very generous business terms and have sent me on their behalf.”
“Your associates?” querried Meiroth nervously.
She placed a thick gold coin on the table. It was emblazoned with a circular shield with a central eye, surrounded by a circle of diamonds. It had been minted by the Knights of the Shield and given to her by Lord Ruldegost. “Yes. My associates.”
Meiroth looked considerably paler as he looked at the thick gold coin on the table.
“Now then, if one my associates were to come sell you a bolt of silk that you would normally sell to your customers for 100 gold dragons, how much would you offer my associates to buy it from them,” whispered Lady Oriana into his ear.
“Well… I normally would offer 50 gold dragons,” stammered Meiroth, “After all I need to make a profit too.”
“But not at our expanse, buying a bolt of silk for 75 gold dragons from us would be more than fair. This way everyone makes a reasonable profit, wouldn’t you say?”
“And what if I don’t say?” spat Meiroth defiantly.
“Well, then I would I have to pay you another visit, only this time we would not be having a pleasant conversation like we are now,” Lady Oriana warned him. “After all, we would need to be compensated.”
“What do you mean?” asked Meiroth, nervous beads of sweat now dripping from his brow, as he struggled without success against the bonds holding him tight to his chair.
“You have three sons do you not? A man of your stature only needs an heir and a spare. The third we will take as compensation. If I am feeling generous, I might even let you pick which two you keep.”
“You wouldn’t dare!” shrieked Meiroth.
“How would you stop us? As I just demonstrated, I can be anyone, anywhere, anytime. You would never know when I would return. And if not me, then another of our agents will be here. You are an old man. Do you really want to spend what little remains of your life looking over your shoulder? “
Only sullen silence answered Lady Oriana.
“Our offer is reasonable. Everyone still profits. All we ask is that you be a bit less frugal when you are dealing with one of our associates. Do we understand each other?” She asked sweetly.
“Yes” murmured Meiroth, the last of his resolve fading as his shoulders slumped.
“Excellent” exclaimed Lady Oriana as she undid his bonds. “Now then, I do believe I hear your manservant Thelios returning with the ale I asked him to fetch. Rockbottom, your favourite, if my sources are correct. Consider it a gift to celebrate our agreement and newfound partnership.”
She left the back storage room just as Thelios entered the store. “Your master is in the back room. I believe he found our negotiation taxing and he is in dire need of a stiff drink. Be a good lad and bring him a pitcher of Rockbottom and a clean tankard to sup it with.”
“Of course m’lady” said Thelios, with a friendly smile and eager to please. “Is there anything else I can do for you?”
“Not today. You have already been very helpful,“ she thanked him as she exited the store and went out onto the busy street.
Going to a nearby café, she scrawled three messages on a fresh piece of parchment. One, that Meiroth had accepted their proposal and was now willing to do business as per the usual terms. Two, that the Cult of the Dragon was sending an expedition to the ruins of Reluraun’s Tomb in the Ardeep Forest. And three, that the potato crops were failing in the north, and that profit could be made by controlling the potato supply to the south. From a nearby candle, she poured hot sealing wax and applied her signet ring, sealing the scroll’s secrets within. Returning to Virgin’s Square, the scrawny young street urchin was still there. She gave him his coin for waiting and handed him the scroll. She promised him that Lord Ruldegost would give him 2 more silver shards upon delivery. She watched the beggar boy run off down the street with his charge, as she turned to go about her next assignment …
Chapter 11 - Oriana was slain after being poisonned by a wyvern's tail stinger. To pay for the raise dead, she had to give up her Torc of the Titans (3,300 gp), Helm of Vigilance (400 gp), Heavy Darkwood Shield +1 (1,257 gp) and 43 gp.
Chapter 13 - while unconcious, Barid claims to have "raised" her from the dead, requiring the "sacrifice" of her now missing Guantlets of Destruction (6,610 gp)
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