Waterdeep. The City of Splendors. Unfortunately those splendors are fading. The Brainlessly Hasty Adventuring Party, also known as the Heroes of the Orphanage or simply, The Orphans, is finally coming together again after five long years. Their separation was not surprising. After the tumultuous events involving the resurrection of the Church of Ibrandul, a period of contemplation was to be expected. But things in Waterdeep are changing and not for the better.
Halem has finally come to grips with his father’s death and his own. He has learned to accept the change that he has experienced. His adventures alone during the last five years have made him more confident and more at peace. He still retains much of his brusque demeanor but his compassionate side is more evident. He passed the intervening years in Baldur’s Gate, Tethyr and Amn.
Pan has become acting Abbott of the Gaelin Orphanage, taking the place of his mentor and father figure Aebric Caen. Aebric has been work with his sister, Mary, attempting to rebuild the temple to Ibrandul that lies far beneath the orphanage. Pan carries the weight of responsibility comfortably on his broad shoulders. He has shown no inclination to ever leave the safety of its walls and strike out like Halem and Kevros have. Instead he has overseen a resurgence of the orphanage. Many more orphans have flooded the establishment, leaving Pan scrambling to find the resources to make everything work. He also has been hard at work building the network of urban gardens that now dot the landscape of the city.
Kevros opted to stay in Waterdeep, assisting at the orphanage and at the temple to Ilmater. But after two years he decided that it was time to see the world and follow where Ilmater lead him. He too ended up in Tethyr, assisting the local populace in rebuilding their society. He became a teacher of bowmen and a healer. He touched countless lives and saved many.
Jade has been in the city for the entire interim periods. She regularly spent time at the orphanage, helping Pan and arguing with Phineus. But she spent the rest of her time working with the resurgent Shadow Thieves, growing in skill and cunning and seeking advancement that leads to glory and riches.
Lila married Rhaegar and the two have split their time between their home in the Moonshaes and their home in Waterdeep. She learned much about the way her business functioned and at the same time became avidly interested in the way magic works. She has become a well recognized member of the city’s elite and is much more comfortable at the fancy gatherings in the richer quarters of the city.
Waterdeep itself has changed. Over the past five years the city has suffered through two wars. These conflicts have helped to drain the city of able bodied soldiers and guards and also depleted the treasury. Taxes have risen in order to continue to allow the city to govern. The increased taxes have lead to a number of businesses to relocate to Baldur’s Gate. At the same time, piracy has become an increasingly common event. The weather itself appears to have turned its back on the city. A drought has been afflicting the city for the past four years and crops have wilted and died in the fields. Prices for food have doubled or tripled and many of the common poor are on the verge of starvation.
The Lords of Waterdeep are aging and seldom is their presence felt. Crime is on the rise and temples who once welcomed the destitute now bar their doors at night. A strange lethargy hangs over the city and at night, buildings burn, the fire dancing across rooftops.
Will the return of the Orphans help Waterdeep or have things gone too far?