As we rejoin our group they are deep in conversation about where to head next. Risks of returning to Deepwell the main concern. Eventually they conclude their escapades May not be public knowledge yet and opt to return to Alice’s tavern.
They manage to return to the small village by 4pm and find little of interest. Alice welcomes them and with some chatter they discover the Mayor hasn’t been seen all day. Urko and Missy manage to establish he does have a lady who lives with him called Jenna, though it is unknown if they are ever seen together.
After a few hours they spot the mayors manservant running around the village talking to locals. Irminric suggests he’s trying to round up a mob to deal with them. Though the others disagree believing they haven’t the strength to take them on.
At this point Hans and Irminric decide to get some early rest and order a room and some food, then retire to it to get some rest.
Missy spots the manservant talking to more locals in an animated manner and spots him being thrown out of a woman’s home. He then comes running in to the bar very flustered.
when he spots members of the group he looks a little panicked but they enquire after the mayor and with a little unease he simply explains the mayor isn’t himself today and is a little distressed. The man asks Alice for a couple of bottles of his masters favourite which are quickly supplied and suggests he may be back with need for more.
He asks after the large ruffian that assaulted him to which Missy claims their ally had died in an incident with some trolls in the swamps, whilst the gent doesn’t believe the story he is grateful the brute isn’t in the room. Then with the bottles in hand he quickly rushes out and heads to the Mayors house.
As the Evening closes in a familiar voice appears in Urko’s mind, having never experienced that before it takes a few minutes before he realises who it is. Eventually settling upon Eva Oweland’s accent.
The voice gives a brief message. “Dear Friend, Job Offer on behalf renowned Aubreck Dallion, Urgent Salvage Operation, Meet Sunset tomorrow. Mariners Guildhall, Saltmarsh. Five figure reward for success. Don’t Be Late”
He immediately relays the message to his companions, the thought of a five figure reward is sufficient to convince him of the importance of getting back to Saltmarsh in time.
He speaks with Alice who suggests they can probably rent a cart from Old Man Hardacre, a relatively wealthy farm owner and she directs Urko to him.
What followed was a negotiation in which the Rogue did his best to avoid paying the amount the man wanted for the use of his cart, eventually ending with an agreement that Missy would help renovate the cart so it was in a suitable state to bring back a load of wood from the town.
The cart and driver Lyam arrived an hour later and Missy spent a few hours working on the wheels and bodywork of the vehicle significantly improving its state.
With the help of Hobbes and Urko she also helped paint the cart to include the phrase ‘Hardacre’s glorious goods’ with some Gnomish, Dwarvern, Draconic and Elvish script with messages explaining how the owner will try to screw over buyers.
Lyam agreed he could get the group to Saltmarsh by sunset if they left in the morning and he agreed to continue working on the cart into the early hours of the morning. Spending his time replacing damaged planks.
The evening passed without any other event, no sign of the mayor or his staff and no other problems. Urko manages to find some time to fiddle with his special rod, and with careful investigation was able to spot a small area at the base of the shaft which could be slightly depressed. Which excited him greatly when he discovered the rod couldn’t be moved after he pushed it.
By sunrise Alice had cooked a huge breakfast for the group, Hans decided to accept it in a doggy bag and hide in the cart hoping he wouldn’t be noticed, though no one really understood why.
The gang set off soon afterward and as they made their way towards Saltmarsh discovered the area had completely recovered from the incursion of the magical swamp, dozens of workers were in the fields and as their cart made its way back to the town they spotted numerous heavily laden carts containing building materials. Hobbes noted with some concern he felt they had returned the area to a feudal society.
It took longer than anticipated to get to Saltmarsh and by the time they reached the Mariners Guildhall the sun was almost setting. Luckily when they walked in they found Eva waiting for them with an elderly well dressed human, seemingly in the wealthy fashions of years gone by. The group initially took him to be a Dandy with a penchant for Vintage clothing.
Eva welcomed Urko, explaining she had been concerned they might not make it. Introducing Aubreck, in her direct manner, she told them he’d had a rough few years but his fortunes were improving and asked him to explain their needs.
The man confirmed the job is a salvage operation. His ship the Emperor of the Waves had been lost at sea 15 years earlier containing a very important cargo, over the years there have been numerous sightings but none have been accurate until the ship was spotted in a storm deep in the Sea of Fallen Stars.
Eva has loaned Aubreck a ship and is supporting his mission to recover the valuable item from the Emeperor. To this end Aubreck offers the group 20,000 gold if the can successfully recover his chest.
Irminric and Urko express doubt the chest will be present but Aubreck considers it unlikely to have been removed. It’s weight is exceptional and he is certain there is no one with the skills necessary to open it. If they can return with his item the gold is there’s as are any other items they find on their travels. He provides a description of the blue metal chest with a large engraved letter A advising it had been deep in the ships cargo hold when he last saw it.
Eva insists the group leave immediately, her ship the Soul of Winter is ready to leave, they were just waiting to confirm the adventurers that would be joining them.
Some members of the group express concern they require more equipment for the journey including potions of healing, some arrows and Irminric complains he still wants to procure some plate armour.
Eva advises the ship is well equipped and has a small stock of the items they’re looking for but Irminric will need to commission the item he desires, she agrees to arrange this form him and feels up the Paladin to get a better understanding of his build, explaining she has some similar sized men to use as a base she will speak with Mafera at the Anvil and arrange for the item he wants to be made. She does caution it will be costly.
They briefly discuss the offer and try to inflate the reward level but the man remains firm confirming the five figure amount offered is sufficient for a similarly talented group to undertake the task on his behalf. So they eventually agree.
There’s some brief discussion about the Mayor of Deepwell and his wife but Eva advises they really need to talk with Eliander, who had been good friends with the Mayor previously, she is aware he isn’t corresponding with the Mayor currently but doesn’t know why.
Travelling to the docks they are quickly introduced to the Captain Wolgar on the Soul of Winter a sleek, well designed sloop. He shouts and demands the travellers climb aboard so he can get going and within minutes the ship pulls away in a pre-planned course.
As the night sets in they mingle with the crew a little, though most are quiet and disinterested in the new arrivals, they do acknowledge the journey ahead is expected to be problematic and as a result the almost entirely Dwarvern crews focus is getting it done quickly.
The first three days travel are smooth and fast, on the second day they pass through the Lis straight which leads in to The Dragon Reach, and by the fourth day the ship makes it into the Sea of Fallen Stars.
Being a little more friendly by this time the crew share rumours of how the sea was given its name, though it’s difficult to know whether these legends have any accuracy.
On the evening of the fourth day the ship begins to navigate some shallow shoals and the group identify some familiar looking humanoids in the water, they believe to be Sahuagin. Upon making the captain aware the crew and allies make so much noise the threat recedes and throughout the evening and the fifth day there’s no sign of the fishmen.
However on the evening of the fifth day the weather takes a severe turn into heavy storm conditions and by the morning Irminric, Urko and Missy are suffering from extreme sickness.
This continues through the day and by the evening of the sixth day the three of them are struggling with exhaustion and unable to sleep. Hans and Hobbes do their best to keep watch and despite the conditions spot three Sahuagin to the port side of the ship, as Hans and Hobbes react the ranger notices 12 more of the creatures to the Starboard side and within moments the ship has been boarded.
the Dwarvern crew and Sahuagin set upon each other first but the savagery of the attackers is such the crewmen stand little chance and within moments 12 dwarves like dead, with only one kill to their name.
Hans and Hobbes begin to fight back but are quickly surrounded and begin to take damage from multiple enemies.
Their companions in the cabin are woken by the mayhem up top and charge to the upper deck in a rush, Urko and Irminric manage to make their way in to battle, between them taking a couple of the Sahuagin warriors to their graves.
Quickly the fight escalates as more Sahuagin climb aboard the ship, a priestess unleashes a bolt of light at Hans which seem to light him up on the battlefield for a moment and a huge Baron leaps aboard to defend his priestess from Irminric’s savagery.
Missy cleverly uses to ability to place a spiritual weapon beside an enemy, strike at one creature and then tries to shut the door she had appeared from. The creature she hit forces the door open on her, but moments later is cut down before he can injure the cleric.
Hobbes does his best to withstand the blows but realising he can’t continue he disengages from the fight and climbs 15 foot up the central mast. Hoping to reach the crows nest.
Unfortunately a Sahuagin watches him and throws a spear which catches him in a severe way and it leaps up to follow managing to strike him with a claw which is enough to pull the elf off the mast and drop him to the floor which knocks him unconcious.
Seeing the mayhem Hans steps in to the middle of a group of Sahuagin and quickly thins the herd whilst, Irminric and Urko do their best to take down their targets. Missy pops her head out again, moves and attacks with the spiritual weapon before casting a mass effect healing spell which revives Hobbes and bolsters the others.
Just as things seemed at their most difficult, suddenly the tide begins to turn and within a short window of time, Irminric kills the priestess, Hobbes, Hans and Urko do enough to incapacitate four other Sahuagin warriors and force another to flee.
Missy pops out of the cabin again, sneaks a blow on a creature and again bolsters her allies with some quick healing. Before Urko lands a savage attack on the Baron which leaves it teetering on the edge of existence. It opts to direct its allies to flee and tries to leave itself but as it leaps over the side Hans manages to get his sword in the way and the creature impales itself, dying at the barbarians hands.
As their leader dies the few remaining Sahuagin do their best to get away, a couple manage to escape. With the danger passing the dwarves return to their duties and begin throwing the dead overboard. Their comrades are taken below deck to be assisted if possible or bagged to be buried according to their customs later.
Wolgar insists the sloop must continue on its course and although concerned the storm may take them off course, is confident he can keen get them to the expected rendezvous within the next two days. Providing of course, the Emperor hasn’t sunk beneath the waves.
And so the night continues and we await the groups decisions.