Realms by Night: Part One

The Veiled Lady of Sail Street

Every ghost has a sad tale to tell, but figuring out how to communicate without getting attacked by them is always the hard part. What were the circumstances around their death, and what will it take to release their tortured spirit? Join designer Steven Schend as he reveals ghosts from Waterdeep, the City of Splendors.

by Steven E. Schend

Typical Location: Dock Ward-Any festhall along Sail Street, though most of her manifestations occur in Harlequin's Bells.

"Never look into the eyes of the Veiled Lady, for you'll only find death looking back at you."

A ghost walks among the taverns and festhalls of Sail Street in lower Dock Ward, looking for the one who wronged her in life. Found most often in the Harlequin's Bells festhall where Sail and Dock Streets meet, the Veiled Lady appears suddenly but never startlingly. When she appears, she looks like a normal mortal, simply coming from around a pillar or a corner. She appears randomly during the summer months, and she seems (until the very last moment) to be a very voluptuous Calishite dancing girl clad in white silk veils and silver jewelry, and the lower half of her face is covered by a diaphanous white silk veil; those who have seen her pass by say her eyes are wet with tears though they still flash with anger. Her vibrant long curls reach down to her waist, but they are matted in the back by dripping blood which falls to the floor but fades when she does. Those schooled in the ways of Calishite slaves notice her slave's manacle is a slim silver band about her upper right forearm, but those who try and decipher the mosaic markings on the bracelet have either failed to get a good look at the bracelet or died at the ghost's bidding for having dared attract her attention. The Veiled Lady's identity has never been determined as the only clue to her identity is her manacle, which either has her name or the name of her owner on it.

The Veiled Lady began appearing over 30 years ago, and in all that time, she has made over 100 manifestations, each one with nearly the identical scenarios. She appears as a normal person would enter from out of sight-an opening curtain, a pillar, a closed door, or any temporarily blocking of a person's line of sight-and immediately engages the attention of her victim, whether by dancing nearby or approaching very close to the person. Then, once the person's attentions are fully engaged (Charisma 16 for purposes of reaction checks by targets), she removes her facial veil slowly, and lets it drop slowly. If the veil drops at the target's feet, good fortune will soon be found in the way of something silver. If it floats onto the face of the target (moving as if on an arcane breeze, stopped only by a mantle or prismatic sphere), it feels like real silk and slides off easily, leaving the target chilled and shivering-and this has been perceived as a death sentence, since those who feel the veil soon die under random and mysterious circumstances. Regardless of its activity, the veil and the Veiled Lady vanish without a trace the instant the veil comes in contact with the floor.

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The Veiled Lady's choice of targets seems random, given the length and unexpected locations of her appearances, but all those who have been marked for death met their ends within three months of feeling the veil upon their faces. Another Sail Street ghost-the Blazing Pasha, which races crazily and noisily down Sail Street to Fish Street where it disappears, its turban and robes aflame as it runs-was apparently the first victim of the Veiled Lady, as the pasha (and amoral slaver) Aban yn Aban el Kadham died within minutes of viewing her by a mishap with a spilled drink and a candle. No other victims have become local ghosts, but the Blazing Pasha always makes its fiery screaming exit from the festhall the moment after the Veiled Lady dissipates, always drawing attention to her passing.

Realms by Night Archive

(Intro) (Part 1) (Part 2) Part 3) (Part 4) (Part 5) (Part 6) (Part 7) (Part 8) (Part 9)