City of the Dead: Ed Greenwood Presents: Waterdeep (Greenwood Presents Waterdeep) by Rosemary Jones

City of the Dead: Ed Greenwood Presents: Waterdeep (Greenwood Presents Waterdeep) by Rosemary Jones

Author:Rosemary Jones [Jones, Rosemary]
Language: eng
Format: epub
Publisher: Random House Inc Clients
Published: 2009-12-22T05:00:00+00:00


CHAPTER FIFTEEN

The wizard jumped, so startled by the disembodied voice behind them that he bumped into Sophraea and almost knocked her over. Her own heart raced and she was hard pressed not to scream.

“It’s early for you to be here,” said their unseen companion.

A shifting of green shadows tugged at Sophraea’s extra sense of the graveyard surrounding them.

“Briarsting, is that you?” Sophraea demanded, looking around. “Where are you?”

Leaves rustled in a hedge behind them. In the shadows, the topiary dragon blended with other more motionless shrubbery. The thorn gestured from under the shelter of the topiary dragons’ belly. “The dead will be back in their mausoleums, tombs, coffins, and graves in a moment.”

“You could have told us you were there,” she complained, the beat of her heart settling into a less panicked rhythm.

After patting the leafy dragon’s neck, Sophraea and Gustin slid out from behind the stone tree trunk and around the bristly beast. Above them, the sky turned dull gray as the early morning sunlight tried to penetrate the cloud cover. The main gate would be open to Waterdeep’s Watch. Patrols would go through the pathways to see what disturbances had occurred in the night. Soon the City of the Dead would also be open to the public, if the City Watch decided it was safe.

“When did it start last night?” Sophraea questioned Briarsting.

The little man scratched his nose and then shrugged. “Just after moonrise. I was dozing but the shrubbery here woke me.”

The topiary dragon waggled its ears at them.

“Straight down the paths and through our gate?” She thought she knew the answer but she had to ask.

Briarsting nodded. “Just as before.”

“And then off to haunt Rampage Stunk.” Sophraea sighed. More threats and sensation stories were sure to appear in every broadsheet in Waterdeep. The previous day’s Blue Unicorn had been bad enough. She still had it in her basket because she couldn’t bear to show it to her family and worry them even more.

“Was the same ghost leading them?” Sophraea asked the thorn.

“The dancing lady? Yes, I saw her clearly.” Briarsting had been their spy in the cemetery at night, as worried as they were about the constant disturbances, and more than willing to give what information he had. But the thorn and his shrubbery friend could do nothing to stop the constant escape of the dead from their tombs.

“I saw your father too,” he added.

“My father? When was that?”

“Last night. From sunset until almost midnight, sitting on the ground with his back against the gate.”

That made no sense to Sophraea. Surely he was mistaken. She had seen her father in the house last evening, going over plans for a strengthened gate with her uncles. “Are you sure it was my father?” she asked.

The thorn turned a brighter green from annoyance.

“I haven’t seen him in many a year, but I must tell you, young miss. He hasn’t changed a bit. Looks exactly the same as he did thirty years ago,” he declared. “I know Astute Carver when I see him.



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