The next morning, Garrett is exhausted from a sleepless night while Beryl is battling a hangover. Jamna offers her a gnomish hangover cure, which works for the dwarf but leaves Hurk with an upset stomach. Raeyanne is drawn away on Harper business.
Garrett notices that Igach is waiting in a shadowy corner of the Yawning Portal. After determining that Beryl lacks a method to shield the party from eavesdropping, he seeks out an old contact amid the caravan masters in the South Ward.
Officially, Tenore Edorasil manages the Viridian Chalice service of caravan guides, but his real business is serving as a neutral fixer for Waterdeep’s underworld. For the price of 250gp (plus a hefty tip), he is able to arrange a secure room at the Thirsty Sage where the party can talk.
There, Garrett blurts out his situation to the party and asks for advice, as he is not keen on helping Xanathar. Larion insists that he’s already walked into worse dangers with Garrett and will stick with him. He also suggests seeking out a stronger ally.
Jamna reiterates her offer to join the Zhentarim, and the notoriously independent Garrett weighs the idea. Hurk argues against it, noting that the party can generally take care of itself and that the Zhents’ protection might not be worth much more than what the adventurer can already do.
Garrett decides to tell Igach to pass a “fuck you” on to Mr. X, but holds on to the vulgar cartoon he had Larion draw. Garrett also has to placate an angry Talis who contacts him via sending to ask about her brother.
Once the message to the Xanathar is conveyed, Garrett has a tense evening at the bar followed by a night of cuddles with Larion.
The next morning, the party arrives at the Lords Palace for the meeting of the First Council of Waterdeep. Larion and Jamna are asked to wait outside.
The Council consists of representatives from communities and organizations across the Sword Coast. It is chaired by Lord Dagult Neverember, Open Lord of Waterdeep and Lord of Neverwinter, the most powerful ruler in the region. Grand Duke Ulder Ravenguard of Baldur’s Gate is there, as is the elvish King Melandrach of the Misty Forest, Taern “Thunderspells” Hornblade of Silverymoon, and Sir Isteval of daggerford. Ambassador Connerad Brawnanvil is there representing the dwarves of the north. The Lady Mage of Waterdeep, Lady Laeral Silverhand is there. Remallia Haventree and Leosin Erlanthar are there for the Harpers. Ontharr Frume is there on behalf of the Order of the Gauntlet. Delaan Winterhound is there representing the Emerald Enclave.
The Council asks the party to relay the story of their exploits. Some council members are unhappy with how the dragon egg situation was resolved. Elia then informs everyone about the Draakhorn, which calls to dragons all over the world. It was last seen in the Sea of Moving Ice, which was also where the Draakhorn expert Maccath the Crimson disappeared three years ago.
Before the party can go there, however, Leosin reveals that the Harpers have discovered the location of one of the Cult’s Wyrmspeakers. Varram the White has been seen venturing out into the Serpent Hills northeast of Baldur’s Gate. With their resources spread thin, the Council wants the party to go after him. They offer to provide them with a writ of investigation, which would grant them authority and resources but place the adventurers under the Council’s oversight.
The party has a private huddle and grudgingly agrees to go along. They are informed that horses are available for their use and they have their choice of guide to take them into the Serpent Hills.
Outside the Council chambers, they spy Jamna talking to a mysterious tiefling. Hurk is approached by Ulder Ravenguard, who recruits him into the Lords’ Alliance and promises him an officer’s commission in the Flaming Fists when this is all over. The half-orc agrees.
Beryl is also approached by Ontharr Frume, who recruits her into the Order of the Gauntlet to increase the representation for the Church of Bahamut.