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From Dragon Heist to Storm King’s Thunder

Waterdeep: Dragon Heist is an adventure that takes players from levels 1 to 5 in the city of Waterdeep. Storm King’s Thunder is an adventure that starts at either level 1 or level 5 just outside that city. Both Nightstone and Goldenfields are a stone’s throw away, and Triboar is not much further. The hill giant looting parties are about to take away Waterdeep’s food supply.

The natural way to connect the two is by leaning on a faction. Both adventures feature common D&D factions and societies.

Storm King's Thunder flowchart

Gray Hands

Gray Hands or Force Grey are the intelligence service of Waterdeep. Think CIA, FSB, Mossad, MI6. They report to the Blackstaff Vajra Safahr. Someone else who reports to her is the frost giant Harshnag.

Harshnag is instrumental in wrapping up Chapter 3 and starting Chapter 4 of Storm King’s Thunder. Vajra could easily send adventurers on a quest to debrief or rescue Harshnag, while first securing Waterdeep’s food supply.

Harshnag

Lord’s Alliance

Lady Laeral Silverhand is both the Open Lord of Waterdeep and Waterdeep’s representative in the Lords’ Alliance of the major cities. Lords’ Alliance has taken a blood-hungry view of the giant threat — they’ve put a bounty on every giant’s head.

This is not the first city Laeral Silverhand has ruled. Six centuries prior, she was the ruler of Port Llast when the Great Kraken Slarkrethel attacked and stole the Soaring Throne of the Witch Queen (Dragon Magazine #351, p. 74).

That throne has a glassteel seat shaped like a rampant griffin. Not coincidentally, it grants its owner the power to transform into a crystalline griffin.

Slarkrethel is one of the big bads of Storm King’s Thunder. Supposing that such a flying griffin had been seen circling Waterdeep, Laeral Silverhand could task adventurers with tracking down Slarkrethel and her throne, as well as secure Waterdeep’s food supply.

A couple other ways to round out the Kraken Society:

  • Make the cultists who come to bother Zephyros in Chapter 1 Kraken Cultists.
  • Run the Kraken’s Gamble during Chapter 3.

Harpers

The Harpers are a loose group of travelling do-gooders. They recently foiled the Cult of the Dragon in its bid to raise Tiamat and destroy the world. In Waterdeep, Harpers are headed by Mirt the Moneylender.

Suppose the player characters are new Harper recruits sent to Waterdeep for orientation orientation. The first quest, done as a montage, was to travel to the summit of Mount Waterdeep and talk to the hermit Hlam. Hlam gave them a cryptic prophecy, something along the lines of:

The bonds of the sea entwine

Lies behind blue eyes

But order sleeps

The PCs will dine at Mirt’s mansion that night. Mirt might tarry, giving them time to establish some session 0 questions: How do they know each other? Where are they from? Why did they join the Harpers? Finally, Mirt will arrive and give a rousing speech:

“Right, then, good recruits and worthy, I shall try to tell ye something of what it is to be a Harper.”
“A Harper holds peaceful sharing of the lands above all other goals.”
“By sharing, we mean all the races living in and under the land, where each prefers to live, trading together where desire and need stir them to, and respecting each other’s holds and ways—without the daily bloodletting that all too often holds sway in the Realms today.”
“True, we must fight, it seems often enough to keep our swords and our tempers both sharp enough. Yet, know ye; all of us fight when we must, or die. Moreover, ye only hear of blades drawn and death and spells hurled, and never know of the many, many times that a quiet word or a skillful deal has turned enemies aside from each other, forced a way clear where none was before, or distracted foes from the eager task of tearing each other’s throats out. That is the true Harper way: subtle and quiet, behind the shouting. Trust and wisdom, and outfoxing others is what we deal in.”

That’s a good cue to send them forth to secure the very Waterdeep food supply that brought them the food they are eating.

Other Factions

The Order of the Gauntlet is well-represented in Waterdeep. Important members are the aforementioned Hlam as well as Savra Belabranta.

The Emerald Enclave runs Goldenfields, the Granary of Waterdeep and one of the Chapter 2 branches. Their representatives in the city include Melannor Fellbranch.

The Zhentarim have two rival branches in Waterdeep, one headed by Manshoon and one by Istrid Horn and Yagra.

Finally, the Bregan D’aerthe connection to Storm King’s Thunder would centre on the the City of Luskan rather than on Waterdeep. Luskan is raided by Ice Giants in the adventure. Another adventure you could tie into that is The Styes in Ghost of Saltmarsh, which introduces a young kraken.

A great resource all the faction members in Storm King’s Thunder is A Guide to Storm King’s Thunder.

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