So this week in the Anduwin Chronicles…
In the town or Prior, after settling our issues, we make our way gradually to the port to await our nautical transport. The jetties span outwards, and a few single masted vessels are moored here. Ships which could be used to traverse from Prior to Booty Bay, but that their quality doesn’t seem to be such that we could go to any other place. Patch waits a while and sets off looking for a general store. He meets a man who is sweeping up the rubble and opening his shop. Patch investigates for more detailed maps of the area, and is able to buy maps of Onkonos, as well as naval routes around the seas, and a detailed map of the mountain leading to the temple on the island. This map isn’t complete, and from the cartographers notes, it appears there are warnings of danger against going up the mountain.
We reunite, and approach our vessel. A simple ship with red sails, staffed by sailors in red bandanas, seemingly a company of some sorts. Karl sees a man smiling, who we over hear has just inherited a large sum of money from a distant relative. Karl thinks this man must be sad, due to his bereavements. Karl approaches him, and offers him 10gold peices to help this man. Granuelle sees this, and the mans large bag on money, and attempts to charge him taxes for the war effort. The man is able to resist this, and challenges Granuelle’s duresticion in this area, before he walks away.
Eventually, the commotion settles down and we board the ship. It is sparse, and we are shown to an area of the hold, to rest and travel in. Beds have been set up for us as hammocks and bedrolls. The voyage is three days, and we each spend time on various activities. Brant uses his time to speak to Stenton. He believes this man, though different in appearance, must be the yuanti Stenton in disguise. the bard finds his target on the deck. He is continuously surrounded by other people, so finding time alone is difficult. Brant challenges him, and asks why Stenton is there, and who sent him. This man says he is here to guide us around around boot bay, and safeguard us. He subtly confirms that it was indeed the emperor of the sunken shores who sent him, which also confirms that this individual is the same Stenton from our time in the Zoo. Brant asks what Stenton or the emperor know of Shengrilah, and the elves who live and worship there. Brant warns of the elves possibly colluding with something darker. Brant tries to warn of threats to the world form these elves.
Granuelle conjures her Jackal, and attempts to meditate on the magical properties of the Chalice and the Jackal, both being symbols of the Anduwin, Paz. In this, and with the aid of her magical companion, the Jackal, she slowly begins to sense something more from the chalice. She senses a presence and sentinence in the item, and this presence seems to no feel calmer in the half orc’s presence. Whilst this is going on, Abraxos hears the same presence in his mind, screaming and shouting mentally. She also spends time casting spells into her armour augments, to try to imbue magic into this armour. Each time she cast the magic, the spell seems to stick into the armour slightly more. She imbues it was a spell to increase her armour and defensive powers. She cannot apply this sheet of magical metal to any other armour yet, as she needs time in a blacksmiths or a workshop.
The samurai, Abraxos, spends his travel time out of armour, due to its weight. He is bothered often by the mental voices from the chalice. He notices that the voice is louder when he is closer to Granuelle. The samurai tries to figure out the secret meaning of the book of soil and dirt, which seems to be written in an odd syntax and with strange grammar. Abraxos tries to keep himself to himself mostly, and on one night he finds himself alone, and sipping from a bottle of alcohol. In the night dark, he is joined by a man in a broad captions hair, in a red which matches the sail, with a long black overcoat. He carries a scimitar and a pistol, and offers his bottle to Abraxos. The talk about how Abraxos has the look of war about him. The samurai shares he is here due to an obligation, and learns this man is present due to bad navigating and didn’t want to be in Prior at all due to the issues with Shaka. This man offers his thanks, but Abraxos doesn’t think this counts as a win for the side of light. This man tells of the riches and treasures to be had in booty bay, and explains he has observes we are a capable group in combat, and we could aid him in finding amulets, scrolls and all manger of things. He wants an escort to a specific area in booty bay. He introduces himself as Coherinon, and tells how his really name was taken from him. Coherinon asks Abraxos to introduce him to Granuelle, as the leader and their employer. Coherinon shares he is part of the Scarlet Alliance – a group of pirates who don’t associate with the pirate band, or pirate ring. They operate in this area and aim to collect treasures from temples, and items of values, such as relics.
Karl is still shaken by having killed children so recently, and so he resists the urge to drown his sorrows in drink. He takes his armour off, and notices his beer gut, and begins to think of the portraits of his family and how they look compared to his physique. He cleans himself up, and tried to trim his beard into a neater shape as well as starting to exercise and improve himself. The rocking of the boat makes this difficult for him to do his star jumps. Whilst this occurs, Patch sets about trying to review his maps of the area, and his long kept map to a treasure or relic on Onkonos. He is able to join his maps together and is working on a theory that his map of a relic will actually lead to he last resting place of the Anduwin Y’Shai. He asks for Kavan’s assistance, who has a history of this area. We are able to agree the city of Onkonia would be a good starting place as we don’t actually know where to start in his endeavour. After this conversation, Kavan spends more time practicing his invented darkness spell. Using his image magical talent and his notes from the Zoo, he feels that he is ready to cast the spell, without just practicing. He makes his way to the stern of the ship, and rubs a cloth of fabric in his hands, and casts the spell off the ship onto the cloth. As he casts, the magic is unstable, and a wild magic pulls him into the air, levitating unwillingly. As he rises, the boat continues to sail away from him. He panics and teleports to the under level of the boat, and is still floating, and so walks along ceiling and sits down, waiting for the spell to end, whilst startling the archeologist with his sudden ceiling appearance.
Meanwhile. Brant continues his conversation was Stenton who has speared a fish, and begins to eat this raw and wriggling. Brant learns Stenton hasn’t been to the surface for a long time. Not since there was a Great War between the people of Oskil and Maudraune. Brant chooses to leave Stenton and so starts thinking to himself, hoping to reach the emperor. He thinks to himself again trying to will his thoughts to the emperor to warn of the threat from the elves of Shengrilah. Brant gets no response and so returns to Stenton, who is again eating raw fish, and failing to blend in in his human disguise. Brant learns that he may be able to reach the emperor if he takes a sleep. He also learns that the emperor suggested we start with the temple at Onkonos. Frustrated with the conversation, Brant pushes Stenton overboard. The body flails, and several other sailors call the captain, Vincent LeCube, to stop the boat and rescue the man. The captain commands that actually they are all mistaken, and he has no intention of stopping to boat. Karl settles in to begin to atone for his sins and crimes when not exercising, he tries to meditate and apologises to Vollabuke for breaking the Laws of Vollabuke, as well as his crimes and murder of children. Satisfied with having pushed Stenton overboard, he begins to move underdeck, and passes a boatswain who is sweeping. The man shudders and then picks up a fish from a barrel, as the man has seemingly been taken over by the psychic essence of Stenton once more.
Sleep comes to us, but Brant is again pestered by nightmares of storms. Horrendous mountains, with a pathway leading into a courtyard area, as lightning flashes the sky. In the centre of he courtyard is a broken well, with crumbled stone. The dream ends and Brant startles awake in cold sweat.
Our voyage comes to a close as we approach the port at Booty Bay. The captain declares we have arrived, and bells begin to ring, announcing our arrival. We see a mountain range in the distance, with a city before us, which looks to be made of a thousand of more ships thrown into land, and boarded together in varying degrees of stability. We moor at a main dock, and before descending from the vessel, we see an armoured pirate congregation approaching the gang plank. This group are angry at the ship, as no boats of delivery have come from Prior in quite some time. We all descend and finally enter Booty Bay proper. Farandril sheepishly continues to follow us, and keeps quiet, recovering from his ordeal under the sea.
Coherinon approaches us, and asks Granuelle if our group can escort him across the city safely, through possibly unfriendly territory. He offers a handsome sum of gold for his safe return to a place of his description. Through Kavan, Abraxos and Granuelle’s insight, we figure out the Coherinon is not being honest about paying us, or the risk to our lives. We settle on having a prior engagement in service to the emperor. Whilst this conversation continues, Brant separates himself, wandering off towards the east of the city, to find the harbour master. The master is unhelpful, but Brant begins to read his mind, to learn more about how often shipments are sent to Shengrilah. He isn’t able to learn anything, and so pushes the man off, after a few attempt. With the master pushed into the port, a new man jumps into the role, and tell he has been after the job for some time. We are told that he should speak to the Administrator, who works as the king or chief of the city. And that the ships to Shengrilah come every few days, and they pay for slaves to be taken as sacrificies.
Stenton releases himself to us, in his newly borrowed body, hanks to Brant. He is here to guide us to a safe place in the city, as well as supervise us in our duties. He encourages us forward to the eastern part of the city to safety. We set off, and see a range of exotic races of people. Lizardfolk, dwarfs, Greyborn, elves and cat folk seem to saunter about and amongst the humans and other denizens here. Seeing the Greyborn, Kavan is unsettled and keeps his hand on his blade, knowing he has been marked as a target of Greyborn, for killing an Ortarch. Brant does not come with us, as he is trying to charter a boat to closer to the temple.
Weary of pickpockets, we make our way through the main thoroughfare towards a huge galleon of a ship in a clearing by itself. This ship forms a grand tavern and lodging house, and Kavan recognises this as The Salted Seadog, and a key place to be. Stenton gestures towards as side alley, with boats stacked up onto of each other, forming an unpleasant but functional hotel. We are told that old friends are waiting for Granuelle and Brant inside, as the empower touched their minds.
We make our way in, joining the few coughing patrons, disturbing the dust. The barkeep tells he doesn’t have any rooms. Looking around, Abraxos sees a man curiously looking at Granuelle. She feels like she recognises him. When asking who he is, he speaks in an accent of Vespard, and he knows Brant Goldust. This man is Maurice, who Brant knew before the Great War. He looks old now, and is scruffier now. This establishment is run by the Silver Assault, and Granuelle sets off with her bodyguard, Karl, to find Brant and prove who we are, whilst the rest of us wait at the tavern. The bar is warded with glyphs against greyborn’s being able to sense Kavan. Whilst we wait, Abraxos gets us drinks, and Kavan casts his new darkness spell over a candle, but it is still unstable and as he casts, he is shrunk 7 inches permanently as the wild magic warps around him. Kavan, Abraxos and Patch are all moser than a little surprised by his sudden change in height and stature, and so turn to drink to try and understand it.
Brant continues his exploration of the city for a captain who he can charter a boat from, and learns the name of Captain Trenton Burtshore, who can be found drinking at the Salty Seadog. Brant asks for additional information about the shores of the isle and who could sail to the northern shores close to the temple. Granuelle rejoins Brant and persuades him to come to the bar and speak with Maurice.
Brant recognises Maurice, and here is some confusion as Brant saw Maurice three months ago, at the start of this adventure, but Maurice says this wasn’t him. Maurice confirms that he cannot use any of the magics that the precious Maurice showed he could do. Teleporting and changing form into petals. The conversation heats up when Brant learns on of his close friends and the Silver Assault’s former leaders – half dead John – has died a week ago. Granuelle steps into the conversation and Brant tells her this isn’t her time, because he wants to protect the Silver Assault and the world, and return them to their proper purpose. Granuelle swings her hammer and connects it into Brant’s head. Abraxos scrabbles to stop her but isn’t able to prevent the blow. Brant starts to challenge Granuelle and claims that all she cares about is lining her own pockets. He feels he is trying to save the world. Granuelle tells she is doing her job for the mission, and that everything she does is for the mission. They argue with Granuelle asking Brant who he has helped host wasn’t himself, but he becomes very irate. She lunges past Abraxos toward her target, Brant, and he casts a hold person spell to paralyse her. In that moment, Kavan teleports across the room to intrupt the spell, by swinging his blade at the bard.
Combat instigates. Patch speeds as the first to react, casting a spell to increase his speed further. The cat rushes at Brant, and picks him up, taking the bard outside. Patch then triggers the time dagger, and reversing the flow of time around the cat who then tries to shove the half orc away, hoping to separate the pair. Patch then rejoins Brant to try and keep the peace. Abraxos stands and tries to impose himself between Granuelle and where Brant was. Kavan readies himself for if Granuelle tells him to stand down, and waits. Brant begins to cast hold person again in case he sees Granuelle or Kavan. Inside the tavern, Granuelle makes her way towards Brant, directly, to stop towards him, with a plan to not even use the doors. Seeing this, Kavan throws a piece of clay, containing his magical darkness coin and the spell takes effect over Abraxos and Karl. The samurai can see, but the paladin cannot. As the half orc moves away, the samurai attempts a grapple from behind, and he is able to hold her down and stop her from movement. Kavan then tries to move through Abraxos space, as he is grappling Granuelle blocking the door out of the tavern. The heavy armour in the doorway makes it hard for anyone to get out, and the darkness fades, as Karl begins to take action. He reaches out and shouts “sit” commanding Kavan to magically sit, which he does. He tries to calm the fight, and wants Granuelle to let things go, as we are meant to be a team. She says he cannot let him be, as he knows too much.
Outside the boat tavern, Patch looks to Brant for guidance, and prepares to grab Brant and run, if the bard takes damage. Abraxos then tells Granuelle to calm and talk about things. Kavan stands from his sit, and steps towards Karl. He transforms into a formless mist which swirls through the air, and appears behind Karl. He whispers a magical suggestion “his is getting out of hand, why don’t you go look for some friends in the pirate ring”. The shadow mage places the coin into a strap on Karl’s armour, and causes darkness to envelope the paladin again, obscuring his vision and leaving them an stumbling in the dark.
Farandril comes over to support Abraxos in his grapple of Granuelle to try and end the in fighting. He implored the half orc to calm down, and focus on the mission, even though Brant can be annoying. Back outside, Brant tells Patch that he doesn’t want to hurt anyone, but he is trying to just prevent him from being damaged. He prepares a defensive spell again.
Granuelle strugs out of her grapple, and rushes closer to the wall, knowing Brant is on the other side. She draws in he fighting spirit and takes out her wand. She casts through the wall, and leeches health from the bard with dark necrotic magic. Seeing Brant injured from the spell, Patch speeds with the bard in tow, to get out of range. Granuelle screams after them that he needs to get on board and be part of the team and follow the mission.
And that’s where we left off.