Waterdeep — Over the last tenday, Trades Ward has been the scene of many hauntings — a running woman pursued by sword-waving ogres in Irimar’s Walk; a floating head whose face peered in at windows by day and pursued folk up and down streets by night (an apparition that continues to be seen in and around Spindle Street and the Coffinmarch); a spectral fray of sword- and axe-wielding elves and dwarves who race and clash from Slipstone Street east to (but never into) the Court of the White Bull (a battle that city sages never happened in that vicinity, so far as they know); and ghostly riders — armored figures on armored warhorses that gallop facelessly and silently abreast down many streets in the ward, cloaks billowing out darkness in their wake).

Ward residents, city sages, and Watch speakers are all frankly puzzled as to what is causing these apparitions, both singly and in such a flood. There have been speculations that some sorcerer or wizard is experimenting with illusions or casting such spells for some sinister purpose (to spread fear and drive down local property values or harm local businesses, perhaps), but those putting forward these theories admit readily that their words are no more than unsupported speculations.

Other Waterdhavians are less unsure. Sheireera of the Prophecies claims, “These hauntings are the cries of the dead against the increasingly wanton and lawless lives we lead and our rulers steer us to here in Waterdeep!” The priest Thalomaun of Lathander, in a speech in Virgin’s Square, insisted the apparitions are “a sign from the dead to the living — ’tis time for change, and new ways, and new ventures, among those neighborhoods! The old businesses should be shed to make room for new, as-yet-unthought-of, enterprises! The way has been clearly shown to us; we have only to heed!” Sambral the Soothsayer warned, “The dead rise, restless, warning of battles to come. They bid us be armed and vigilant, and they come from below — so the attack they herald will come against us from below!”

More conflicting but loudly-stated local opinions are almost certain to be forthcoming.

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