Ah yes, here we come to the close of the first chapter in our adventure. You all have had some wonderful time to play, develop characters, explore the world, try out a new system, and develop some relationships (p.s. the explorer banged the baroness).
Herein below, contains a simple summary of all that has transpired up to this point, without spoiling or meta-game information, for reference and refreshing memories in the future.
“Our fresh-faced adventurers have sailed the better part of a year across the Dunsul Sea to the new world of Siendart, for reasons wide and varied, but all their own. Hired and bound by one Sir Hogthurpe in exchange for passage, their travel held much excitement. Fending off coastal pirates not long after they left the safe port in the Old World, they fended off a number of dangers in their journey, from sea monsters to ocean nomads, even narrowly avoiding a massive storm stretching farther than the eye could see, a hurricane! Solidifying their bond and honing their skills and teamwork, their arrival to the new world was no less exciting.
Upon arrival at Five Port, the group was targeted by pickpockets, who thankfully were caught thanks to sharp eyes amongst them. Afterwards the news that came was even more dour. It seems that the guild who had struck agreement for the party’s employer…was no more. In the time it had taken the group to arrive in the new world, the guild had gone under. Apparently a not uncommon occurrence with the wild nature and risks of the new world. Finding a place to secure and store their valued wares, they pondered their
At a loss, the party found their way to The Wicker Goat, a moderate inn with fair prices and drink, to determine the next course of action. After making some inquiries and careful information, the group found a large guild in the city willing to buy most of the goods Hogthurpe had procured. During this, it was impossible not to notice something was occurring in town.
Dark, thick smoke was billowing out from the warehouse district the group had arrived from not a day or two before. Of divided mind, some of the group split off to investigate, others chose to remain behind at the inn.
Those that arrived at the warehouses found a scene of chaos. A burning blaze was engulfing one of the smaller warehouses, and spreading to the others. A water line was formed through the thick smoke to fight the fire, until figures charged out of the smoke and haze…thieves and bandits!
Facing the new threat, those of the party that had gone to the fire fought, but were unable to stop all of the assailants from fleeing, and took quite a beating themselves in the process. Finally, with no other assailants or targets in sight, and the fire finally down under control, the party limped back to regroup and lick their wounds.
Back at The Wicker Goat, words and disagreements were had as well as the structure of employment up to this point. However, the group was joined by a stranger introducing himself as ‘Red’ with an uncomfortably intimate amount of knowledge about everyone. Offering a seemingly too-good-to-be-true deal, he informed the party that they would have a request made to them; they only needed to take it and he would reward them on top of any compensation they received.
As it turned out, the stranger’s words proved to be true, for the next day, the guild Sáraigh, who had purchased the wares brought over by the group, made a request of a delicate political nature, to retrieve the stolen signet ring of a powerful local noble. Striking some agreeable terms, the party set out on a ship, The Swift Sparrow and her Captain Harroway, with whom travel arrangements had been made with. The ship was true to her name, and made incredible time sailing north to Gonost, the largest standing city in all of the new world, despite having fought strange shambling men seemingly made of seaweed and a vicious sea serpent as they sailed through the supposed territory of The Three Sisters.
Not given time to dawdle long upon arrival, much less sight-see, horses were procured for the adventurers, who rode long and hard north into the Timberway Ridge region in haste to stay hot on the trail of the thief who had taken the noble’s ring. After taking a half-day to recover in the small hamlet they had been directed to, they set out north-west towards a hunting lodge in an area known as Bluerock crest where the thief had apparently joined up with a hunting party. After traveling and navigating through the harsh wilderness, they found the cabin as well as the the thief…less than than human, and the hunting party deceased. Retrieving the ring from the mad robber, the party found themselves lost and stalked by a creature of evil.
The party managed to slay the creature, found that a terrible curse had been bestowed on them, slowly twisting their minds and bodies into the same kind of creature that had nearly killed them! Doing their best to return to civilization in attempts to slow or remove the curse befallen them, they found themselves growing more and more lost in the expansive woods.
Fortune did seem to fall upon them, as a lady and her beastly companion intercepted them, seemingly guardians of these woods, sizing up the intruding party upon their domain. Quick thinking and quick words to the fey-like woman earned them some sympathy towards their plight, and somehow found themselves stumbling out of the woods into the hamlet they had left almost two weeks prior.
Informing the elder of the village of what had befallen their hunting party and securing their horses and other belongings that they had left behind, they went to hurry back to Gonost, only to find fortune literally at the crossroads. A gypsy caravan had circled wagons there, and in their camp Antonio was able to talk and negotiate with the caravan leader, who removed the curse laid upon them in exchange for small payment from each of them. All acquiesced, and the supernatural changes and hunger gnawing at them vanished. During their stay, Hogthurpe wandered off into the woods, where there was a brilliant display of lightning in the clear evening sky, and vanished, only a small crater of glass where he once stood.
At a loss for direction with their merchant commander gone, the party decided to return to Gonost to meet up with the guild contact and finish the task given to them. They met up with another like minded individual, with more skill and talent than the average commoner, and took him on to fill the current gap in their numbers with Hogthurpe gone.
Decided to take advantage of their location while waiting on the guild contact, they explored a small sliver of Gonost, seeing what the outmost ring of the city had to offer, even going on a tour of the underpinnings of the massive dwarven constructions, seeing wondrous feats of magic and architecture that defied explanations deep beneath the foundations.
Luck being the fickle mistress she is, some members of the party ran afoul of certain undesirables in the city, and decided to set sail back to Five Port to complete their current quest. Securing passage back with a half-orc Captainess Belva on her ship, the ‘Screaming Gull’, Gonost was soon behind them.
And luck fell further from their side as they journeyed. A strange birdlike creature with two heads perched high up in the crows nest, a misfortune seemed to befall everyone on the ship. Everything that could go wrong, from dice games to breaking bones to spoiled food, did, while the ship played unwilling host to the nonchalant eagle.
The bad luck came to a head as the ship was attacked by a ghostly ship, killing several of the crew and wounding a good many, party included. But it seems the bad luck had run it’s course, for during the battle the eagle screeched and took flight, circling the ship twice before disappearing into the fog. All at once, it seemed no one could do no wrong. Blows in the fight that should have missed found chinks in armor, and the ship’s unearthly crew was soon defeated. They were even so lucky as to retrieve a chest teeming with treasure, though the Captain and her crew wouldn’t have so much as a copper from it.
Luck continued to grace them, for as the fog cleared from the battle and sightings were taken, it seemed the ship was not even a day’s travel from Hammer Point, a cliff-side cove where the ship could dock for some much needed repairs and supplies. Making good time there, they sailed through the concealed entrance in the mallet-shaped cliff point, and found safe harbor at last.
While there was a variety of intrigue and happenings going on in Hammer Point, some fallout happened between the party members when the Jolias fell dead from sampling a poisonous and hallucinogenic oyster at the direction of the alchemist. Though Jolias was revived, it drove a wedge between the party members.
Letting cooler heads prevail and goodness of heart, the party agreed to let the alchemist rejoin them, before setting sail again for Five Port. It seemed not all was well however, as a dark blot appeared on the horizon, which as they sailed forward turned out to be a sickly bank of black smoke. Changing course seemed to do no good, and the ship was swiftly swallowed. In the dim light, they came to realize they were the only ones left aboard, till with a lurch it ran aground on a small island in the middle of the smog. Given no respite, the ship seemed to rot and fall apart, leaving them no choice but to leap over into the sand.
Barren save for some stone and a single burning torch, they discovered a maze-like dungeon below, home to a powerful, if eccentric undead, seemingly amused at the party’s arrival and exploration below. Making their way through with difficulty, they discovered at the end of the maze lay demonic creatures, a mysterious figure that vanished as soon as the party entered…and the alchemist, having betrayed the party and led them to this trap!
Struggling for their lives, the party narrowly defeated their foes as the alchemist and his new-found allies escaped, and with it, the party found themselves standing on the shore near where their vessel had been swallowed up by the smoke. Giving a parting offering for the ship and it’s crew, they set their sights towards trekking back to Five Port.
Running dangerously low on supplies, the found themselves stumbling across an orcish camp still days out from Five Port, settled in on an oasis. Making peace, they were invited into the camp under the protection of one of their hunters, and secured provisions, some supplies, and a few horses of orcish breed, intimidating in stature and temperament. They discovered the orcs had a wide variety of trinkets and plunder from fights, raids and trading, and exchanged goods to acquire some, including a strange gem and elvish sword.
After a night of drinking and celebration at the departure of some of the tribe’s prize steeds, the party had a friendly race back to Five Port. Upon arrival and taking some much needed rest, they returned the ring to the guild, much to everyone’s relief. Assuring the party that they had been quite successful, they informed them their reward would be delivered and that the noble himself was throwing a party in their name as personal thanks.
After leaving, the stranger ‘Red’ congratulated them on their success in a surprisingly empty area of the busy merchant isle, delivered his reward as promised, with a promise that he would be seeing them soon for more tasks in their future.
Putting it aside, the party took some time to rest and prepare for the Lord Eirwright’s feast in their honor, with the assistance of a footman retainer. The actual dinner was wonderful, a feast with delicacies and drink that they’d barely heard of, much less tasted in their lives. Music and entertainment, as well as some interesting sport with crossbows and game. Some of the party mingled with other guests of nobility and standing, and found a new, promising member that they added tentatively to their group. The lord of the manor saved the best for last, revealing that the largest part of the reward he had in store for the party was a newly built ship from his fleet, and the crew’s wages paid for in full for three months! A generous gift to be sure, the party celebrated the rest of the evening, rubbing shoulders with the guests there before most of them making their way back to their inn, the explorer having left with the baroness.
They did run into a small patrol of guards, seemingly injured while pursuing a thief, whom they helped by healing their injuries. The guards thanked them, and continued hurriedly on their mission, while the party made their way back to bed and fell asleep…
…only to be woken in the wee hours of the morning by alarms and shouts echoing all about the town. Hungover, they hastily grabbed arms and armament and rushed to the commotion, to discover a ghastly scene; the Temple of Soldral had been attacked in the night! Rushing to aid the injured and survivors, they came to discover that a stealth attack had been launched before turning into a full-blown skirmish. They had been repelled finally by the High Incantator, fleeing about town to boats, to the party’s horror as they heard some of them had disguised themselves as town guard to flee. The boats had made haste for the north, the lead one an elven wingship bearing both their leader, a wild looking woman who the only name they were able to wring from the surviving attackers was ‘Caira’, and a familiar silhouette of their former comrade the alchemist…
Stranger still, it seems the attack on the temple was related to the assault a month or so earlier on the warehouses. The main force had been a distraction while a smaller group broke into the hidden library housed beneath the building, and copied a manuscript of seemingly inconsequential nature. Taking some time in the days that followed to decipher it, it was a book that referenced and old elven outpost deep in the woods of south Mith Taure, referencing something about an old repository there.
Between pursuing the tome and the request of the head priest of the temple, the group began preparations to set sail in their newly acquired ship in pusuit. What befalls them next…well, that is a tale for another time…