While it’s true what you told your goliath companion, Bit–that your journey to Icewind Dale was inspired by your desire to write untold tales of derring-do in the frozen north–that inspiration wasn’t technically what prompted you to leave Waterdeep in the first place. That had more to do with some lurid tales you had told about certain individuals who turned out to hold positions of much greater influence than you had realized, necessitating your swift relocation to a place far removed from the City of Splendors.
But the past is prelude, as they say, The secret is what happened some weeks after you and Bit started traveling together.
It was in Luskan, the City of Sails, that you found yourself approached by one Vellynne Harpell, a member of the prestigious Harpell wizarding family and also, from what you could ascertain, a member of the infamous Arcane Brotherhood. As if meeting such a wizard were not nerve-wracking enough, Vellynne was attended by a retinue of half a dozen kobolds who scampered about the pair of you as you spoke, sniffing at your heels and plucking at your cloak.
“I’ve seen you wandering about the city in the company of a goliath,” she began. “Quite an intriguing fellow. He possesses a power unlike any I’ve ever seen. I should quite like to meet him. However, I’ve also noticed he has something of a temper.” Your mind flicked back to the dive bar you left in a wreck two nights ago after some local thugs tried to teach Bit some manners. “I have a tea, here, that calms the mind and soothes the spirit. If you could see your way to serving some to your companion and then bringing him to meet me, alone and unarmed, I would be most grateful. In exchange, I could whisper in a few ears on your behalf, smooth things over in the City of Splendors.” Her eyes crinkled in amusement. “Oh yes, bard, your stories precede you. But perhaps you mean to travel a while yet? In that case, I could offer you, say, a thousand gold pieces? Think on it. But do not think too long.”
To say you were conflicted over Vellynne’s offer would be an understatement. It took you three agonizing days to make your decision. On the third day, you brewed the tea.
You had just poured it out, and Bit was raising the steaming cup to his lips, when the door to the inn slammed open. The thugs were back, and this time they’d brought friends. The tea cup, and the table, was shattered as your companion unleashed a barrage of force blades, driving back the thugs. You could immediately see that there were more than even the two of you could handle, though, and diving through the opening Bit had created you dragged your goliath friend out of the inn, and out of Luskan. You turned your steps northward, and haven’t looked back.
In the days since then, you’ve felt enormous relief at how things turned out. You like the goliath, strange as he is–he’s a good listener, and that’s a rare skill. And you didn’t want to sell him out to the wizard, not really–it was just a lapse of judgement on your part, a moment of weakness. You’ve resolved never to entertain an idea like that again. That said, you also haven’t told Bit about your encounter with Vellynne Harpell, or about her interest in him. You’re not sure you could keep the guilt out of your voice, and the memory of that wrecked bar gives you pause.
Oh, and you still have a bit of that tea left. Just in case.