The Surviving Lords of Waterdeep (led by Laerel Silverhand and the Blackstaff) are in hiding, and House D’Leanore has, with the Zhentarim, finished rebuilding the City of Splendor. Unfortunately, this has given them a great deal of influence among the citizens, with tacit support from the nobility that they keep indentured through assorted skeletons in closets. There is a push to elevate a single individual as Lord Protector of Waterdeep, and have them act as the first true “ruler” of the city, until the Council of Waterdeep can be established once again. The candidates are:
• Renaer Neverember, the son of Dagault Neverember, heir to his claim on Neverwinter, and an alleged member of the Moonstars, has used numerous resources to keep the peace among those who distrust House D’Leanore for their alleged nefarious connections and those who trust them a little too much.
• Arginine D’Leanore, the “rightful heir” to House D’Leanore, and one of the only members of the family who has stayed “untainted” by the rumors surrounding the House. He is also a survivor of the destruction of the Council of Waterdeep, and is rumored to have personally saved Laerel Silverhand from death.
• Lady Mariel B. Nerisaga, one of the wealthiest nobles of Waterdeep, and another supposed survivor of the destruction of the Council of Waterdeep. She has spent much of her family’s fortune keeping the people fed and safe (as well as given many of her lands to house those who need homes). No one has spent more than her, and the people of Waterdeep are loathed to add to her troubles the burden of leadership (and yet some would want to see her elevated).
Why have the surviving lords been so quiet? Several rumors abound, but Gorcorp has found themselves receiving missives from “The Lost” as they no call themselves. “The Lost” are dispersed around Faerûn, chasing leads and putting their considerable power and influence to good use while the “nefarious ones” do the heavy lifting of rebuilding and stabilizing Waterdeep for them. Why? Because Lolth has set her sights on domination of not just the Abyss, but the Nine Hells as well. With all demons united under her banner, she has brought order to the chaotic brood, and is making more headway in the Blood War than any could have anticipated. The Dukes of the Hells, loathed to admit it, have united to face her…but their own machinations to replicate Lolth’s path to success has kept their alliance in check. It is not a matter of if, but when Lolth succeeds in defeating them and becomes the Queen of Evil, and finally sets her sights on Faerûn.
As such, the Lost have been seeking out ways to defeat Lolth, and her allies (the Drow/Duergar Confederacy, which currently has Neverwinter under their control, and House D’Leanore, which holds Waterdeep). To strike her down, it is not enough to build an army capable of fighting the combined forces of the Abyss and the Hells…they must scour her from existence. The only way, the Lost posit, are to find artifacts known as “The Essence of the Primordial,” items that possess traces of the forces of creation itself. Once found, a “prime essence” can be bound with its opposite, and create a powerful brand that can, in the right hands, hurt a god or goddess. With enough, it can even kill them.
The Lost also posit that it isn’t enough to kill Lolth; there are other rituals that must be taken to contain the evil she is growing to represent. What those are, they have yet to uncover.