Belmarniss can now sorta muddle along in the local common thanks to aggressive use of comprehend languages to hand-translate books after roping a local into teaching her the alphabet. Also she hates teleport traps with every fiber of her being. Also she has figured out at this point that she somehow leveled in sorcerer instead of wizard during the business with the pirates and has no idea why that happened or whether it will happen again. And she has sold this stupid arrowhead to two different curio shops and given up as it seems to be cursed. And she just needs to keep doing what she does, she guesses, till she can teleport herself home. The Yawning Portal is a nicely ironic name.
"I will imagine some subtle wordplay. I don't usually feel like I can use a new language for light reading till I've been fluent in it for longer than this."
Nod. "Deekin not fluent in anything except Common and Draconic and old kobold tribe pidgin, sounds stressful."
"Being suddenly on another planet is sure an experience improved by access to Comprehend Languages and Tongues."
"Deekin certainly imagine so."
He roots around in his backpack and pulls out a slightly beaten-up copy of The Shadows of Undrentide, the cover of which features a human in black armor facing off against a medusa. "Here, Deekin lend you copy. Deekin not want you buying from publisher unless you have to, bastards stiffed Deekin."
"Aw, thank you."
"No problem, uh... drow... lady... What be drow lady's name?"
"Nice to meet you! Deekin be Deekin. Scalesinger, but Deekin mostly just get surname for publicity."
"I don't have enough publicity to get fancy with so far."
"Saving the world and writing a bestseller helps with that, as it turns out. Who'd have known."
"I should try that."
"Everything's been super comfy. Somebody tried to assassinate me but honestly the housekeeper handled that real well."
Durnan sighs heavily. "Aye. Tamsil told me what happened. I cannot apologize enough. Once, I would have been able to ensure the safety of my guests, but no longer. The damnable - invaders," he stumbles only very slightly, "come and go as they please, it seems. The enemies of Waterdeep must have somehow learned you had answered our call for heroes; I don't know why they attacked you specifically, but it does not bode well."
"Are divinatory dreams often a thing here?"
"On my planet prophecy has been broken for a few decades but I had a dream last night that included some very melodramatic lady identifying me via some spell as a threat to her and sending the assassin."
(Deekin, who has been scribbling in his tome, underlines something he wrote down earlier a couple of times.)
Durnan's eyebrows raise. "Well, that's very unusual. Usually prophetic dreams are quite vague, and concern events of the future. But I've seen enough to know that having a powerful ally in your corner is something to be grateful for... usually. If someone sent you that dream, it might be a good idea to find out who."
"Well, who goes in for that kind of thing?"
"I'm not a man of much faith," Durnan admits, "so I don't know which gods might be interested in this little venture."
Jojo speaks up. "It's not likely to be one of the gods themselves; divine visions almost always go to the faithful, and as Durnan said they don't tend to be quite so clear-cut as what you saw. I'd put money on it coming from some high-level mortal caster. Unfortunately, there's no shortage of those. I think our best bet might be to simply keep an eye out for other clues. At least, as Durnan said, it's likely to be someone who wants to help - after all, it woke you in time to intercept the assassin."
"The assassin made the rookie mistake of looting before murdering, so that might have happened anyway."
Durnan nods thoughtfully. "It's possible that her job was to leave you defenseless for a more experienced killer, but we can't be sure. At any rate, I've gathered you all here for a reason. The city is under siege. Raiding parties of drow and other creatures rarely seen on the surface are attacking the city. We've determined that these attacks are coming through Undermountain."
"But Undermountain has existed for centuries. Why hasn't there been any trouble before?" Garrus wonders.
"That's what I need you all to find out. The labyrinth of Undermountain was created centuries ago by Halaster, a mage whose power may have rivaled Elminster himself. Halaster rules Undermountain with a tyrannical fist; it was his magic that kept the creatures within from pouring out to overrun Waterdeep. Now Halaster has suddenly decided to unleash his creatures on my city, and I want to know what that madman is up to!"
"Is it possible the drow agitated for it for some reason and he agreed with them?"
"That's the going theory. It's odd that Halaster would ally himself with the dark elves; he's never been too fond of them. But the drow are attacking through Undermountain, and that would be impossible without Halaster either cooperating or out of the picture. And if they somehow took out the archmage, we've got an even more serious situation on our hands."