Gaius, Linny, Medivh, and Osborne awoke in their beds at Lues’ Inn in Almamoon just after learning their true purpose from Sol and saying goodbye to Ye’Kan. Linny rushed to the bard’s room to see if he was still there, but found his room empty. They all went downstairs to the lobby to discuss what they had just experienced, still in shock that their fates were so intertwined in some kind of war. They remembered Sol’s words about having to wait three days for their next sign, and they each decided to spend those three days alone pursuing their own interests. Linny, having once been a hermit, decided to go out into the forest with her fox to do some quiet soul searching in the comfort of nature; Medivh elected to spend the time going through the books in Almamoon’s library, searching for anything that might be relevant to the war or to history but only finding his interest piqued by books discussing the relationship between magic and science; Gaius, his faith shaken by the horrors he experienced in the Ivory Tower, spent his three days visiting Almamoon’s unitarian church to reflect on religion and the gods and search for some kind of guidance; and Osborne searched the town and talked to the locals for any remnants of the Redbrand, the gang of thieves to which he once belonged.
After the three days had passed, Linny was approached in the forest by a distinguished-looking elf woman wearing a long black robe. The woman introduced herself as Miran and asked if Linny was one of the people who defeated the evil in the tower. When she confirmed, Miran said she was in need of assistance and asked if she could sit down with the whole group to speak with them. She and Linny returned to town to round up the three boys, and they returned to Lues’ Inn to discuss her request. Miran revealed that she was the Open Lord of the city of Waterdeep, a metropolis port city of over two million people to the north. She had been in Castaway Cove looking for someone to help with her issue when she met the badly injured Vincent Dorrin the morning after the group’s battle with the hag in the Miasma Marshlands. Vincent told her all about the party and their actions on the island and in the swamp, so Miran had sent a ward to track and find out more about them. The ward missed them by a few hours at the Forgotten Keep but heard about their heroics in the catacombs, then arrived in Almamoon the same morning the party returned from the Ivory Tower. Sure that this was the kind of group they were looking for, the ward returned to Miran, who immediately set out to find them in Almamoon.
Miran then revealed what she needed them for: many years ago, a scientist working for the National Advancement of Science Administration invented a ship like no other ship before it. Dubbed the Phantom Limit, this ship was capable of passing through planes of existence and exploring that which was previously unexplorable. With a crew of twelve on board, the Phantom Limit left the port of Waterdeep seven years ago — but was never heard from again. Fearing questions and backlash from the public, the Lords of Waterdeep leaked a story that the ship had sank, going so far as to hold funerals for the crew. But now, seven years later, the ship had suddenly reappeared far out in the middle of the ocean sending an automated distress signal. All attempts to contact the ship had failed, but the signal persisted. Knowing she could not send the militia from her own town to investigate and reveal that the story of the ship’s fate was a lie, Miran asked the group if they would come to Waterdeep and join the small crew of a top secret rescue ship to journey out to the Phantom Limit and learn what had happened.
The group debated in private for a while, but understanding this was the sign that Sol had told them they would receive in three days, they knew they had to go along. Miran promised them 1,000 gold each, and the party also asked for payment in the form of information — the whereabouts of Linny’s daughter, knowledge about Sol or the war, et cetera. Miran said that with the size and wealth of Waterdeep she was sure she could put her best men on it, so the terms were agreed. She asked that they leave immediately, so they quickly packed up their belongings and left Almamoon in her luxury carriage. On the first day of the journey Miran told them that the scientist who invented the Phantom Limit was Dr. Neillan Nigel, which instantly rang a bell for Medivh since there had been a statue of this man celebrating his achievements at the college Medivh had attended and worked at, and the rest of the group also remembered seeing this statue in their very first dream sequence into Medivh’s future. On the second day of travel, their carriage came to a stop when four bandits blocked the road and demanded that the group hand over all of their belongings. Miran politely asked the party to take care of the situation, and the bandits were handled when Medivh reanimated the corpse of the first one they killed and had the zombie kill the second, causing the remaining two to flee in fear.
The next day they finally reached Waterdeep, the largest and nicest city any of the group had ever seen before. Miran took the group straight to Dr. Nigel’s headquarters on the north end of town and dropped them off, reminding them that they were to leave for the docks early the next morning. The party went inside and were led upstairs to the labs by the receptionist named Craigory. There they met Dr. Nigel and discussed the Phantom Limit and his history as an inventor, the whole time getting the feeling that the doctor cared more about his inventions than the people who used them. He was excited to show off more of his work including the Polymorpher, which he used to turn Osborne into a ferret, and his first-ever invention the Freedom of Movement strap which he later gave to the rogue as a gift. The doctor also offered the adventurers orbs of elemental effects in exchange for anything worthy of scientific study, and Linny gave him the strange schematic she had found during her hermitage that contributed to her rejoining society. With the day dwindling, Dr. Nigel excused himself to finish final preparations before leaving in the morning, so the party left for their lodgings.
They were given a luxury suite at the Waterdeep Winchester, the fanciest room any of them had ever slept in except for Gaius. Medivh tore the embroidered “WW” pillowcase and fashioned into a new, higher thread-count blindfold, though he turned it upside down so it read “MM.” After sleeping for just four hours, Osborne awoke and entered the living room to find Miran already sitting on the couch waiting. She apologized for the early start but asked that the rest of the party be woken up to leave for the docks immediately. As they were preparing to leave, she also asked Linny if she would like to leave her fox in the hotel’s care instead of bringing it along for the mission. After much internal debate, Linny decided to leave the fox but promised to return for it.
They left the hotel and arrived at the docks just as the sun was rising. Miran reminded them that once they were on board the rescue ship Meriweather the mission was going to officially begin and there was no turning back. She allowed them to take one last trip into a large shop at the harbor to stock up on supplies, and the group found the shop to be unlike any they had found in Phandalin or Almamoon. Given Waterdeep’s propensity for drawing adventurers from all over the world and it’s spot as the trade hub of the continent, the shop featured many specialty items that had been pawned or sold by sailors looking to finance their goals. In addition to basic supplies, each member of the group spent nearly all of their gold to walk away with two specialty items: a necklace of adaptation and stone of good luck for Linny, a philter of love and jar of bees for Gaius, a ring of recall and spell scroll for Medivh, and boots of haste and gloves of thievery for Osborne. Now equipped to the nines, the party met back up with Miran, who told them it was time to meet the crew of the Meriweather and for the mission to begin.