November 28th 1357, nightfall
After a night full of desperate fighting in the streets, the Guard, the Watch and several other adventurers have managed to mostly take the street back from the dead. The area east of the High Road from Suldown street and the River gate are overrun. Hundreds if not thousands of undead are within but are not making any concentrated efforts to escape. They will charge the barricades in motley groups of anything from half a dozen to a hundred, are repulsed and then start again an hour later. Every now and then, a group of undead appear elsewhere in the City, usually coming up from the sewers.
As it stands, the Guard is out in force with the Watch covering for them on the walls. Adventurers and anyone capable of fighting has been enrolled (some say press ganged) into fighting the undead. The clerics from all the temples in the city are either assisting in repulsing the dead or healing the wounded, of which there is an ever increasing number. Mages can be seen in the sky, scouting the area as well as the gryphon riders of Waterdeep.
You now sit in the Bowels of the Earth tavern, your old haunt, with about 20 other adventurers from about four different groups. All of you are tired, dirty and bear at least some sort of wounds (each player is at full HP – 2d6). You are, however, at least freshly rested. The Guard are rotating their troops, the Regs and the newly minted militia, off the lines to rest. You are part of the latest group having rested your 8 hours.
Several Guardsmen stand near the bar, obviously waiting for someone. They stand straighter as a short bald man enters the tavern. He nods to the Guards at the bar and turns to face you and the other adventurers.
“Greetings! I have to give this speech to five other groups within the hour, so I will be brief. I am Helve Urtrace, Senior Armaster of the Guard of Waterdeep. For the duration of the current emergency, you may consider me your employer. As of nightfall today, all persons fighting for us will be paid. No, you don’t get paid for the anything up to now, sorry. You were fighting for your own survival, so I figure you should do it for free anyways.
The situation: the undead are contained. We know where they are coming from and are taking steps to stop the influx of more undead. That is NOT what I am here for. That is a task for Force Grey. What I need is different. We have need of people who can conduct specific tasks without having their hands held. For a variety of reasons, you have been identified as such. None the less, you will be accompanied by a Guardsmen in all these tasks. Therefore, the tasks are:
Wall duty: we still control the walls around the City of the Dead but cannot close the gates due to the large number of corpses in the gate. You will access the walls at the River gate with several others, make you way along the wall to the City of the Dead south gate and assist in any way necessary with the clearing of the gate and its closure. Several teams of horses and handlers will rush forward, under escort, to try and clear out the actual space of the gate, to permit us to close them. 20 gp per person.
House clearing: Several houses in the Trades Ward are infested by the Dead. Your task is to enter the house and destroy all undead within. We are doing this systematically in the areas that have been secured and will eventually do this within the infested area as we cut off the reinforcements of the undead. 10 gp per person.
Rescue mission: Several families are stranded within the infested area. They have secured their houses but they are stuck. Your job is to get them out.20 gp per person.
Sewer duty: the Dead are traveling using the sewers. We have grates at certain points in the sewer. We need you to reach the grates, confirmed they are intact and guard them. Later, we will need you to push forward, locking the grates as you go to push the undead towards the City of the Dead. You will be accompanied by a member of the cellarers and plumbers’ guild. 20 gp per person.
Patrol and barricade duty: You will man one of the barricades around the infested area and repulse any attempt by the dead to leave the area. In addition, I expect you to help anyone trying to leave the area. 10 gp per person.
Before any of you start to complain about the pay for these missions, I will remind you my men are doing all of this and more on their standard Guard pay, so shut it. You may signify to these Guardsmen which tasks you wish to accomplish. Good luck.”
With a curt nod, Helve leaves the tavern. The other guardsmen let you talk amongst yourselves and they wait at the bar for you decision. Already, another group seems to have made up their mind and s heading for the bar.