Tuesday, April 25, 2017

SESSION UPDATE "It's an Old Code Sir, But it Checks Out."

Dec. 11, 572pfk
North City Skydocks. Milum Deoria

     A few things need to get wrapped up before the crew can leave the Capitol of Milum and head south. First and foremost, at least in the mind of the Captain, is to fill the hold with something that pays. Old Charlie Duncombe arrives in the early morning with a short stack of potential contracts. After discarding some due to a tight turn-around, they eventually settle on a hundred tons of vellum parchment bound for an arcane college just south of their destination. It will fill the ship to the deck beams, but allows time for the "eventualities" that always seem to happen aboard the Maven.

     That bit of business out of the way, Calder, Harrick and Cawyn head to a nearby merchant's guild hall for a last meeting with Sorsha. The blind bard is accompanied by two Kirith-Syvani, a young man and a woman, Keldan and Balthoren. Together they make a diplomatic attempt to sway the Maven to immediately return to the Murk instead of playing the subtler "long game" of getting in good with Broke and Starbourne Industries. The officers of the Maven are equally diplomatic, but firm in their course of action. Balthoren is quietly angry, but Sorsha and Keldan are more understanding.

     While this is happening, Falco is having an agreeable meeting with Dreya. The Durin rogue puts his worries to rest by assuring Falco she had nothing to do with the kidnapping attempt. She gets a tour of the ship by the somewhat smitten Bosun Delver as they wait for the ship owners to return.

     After making some inquiries at the Imperial Deorian Engineers Guild, Calder learns that his chances of successfully enrolling as a guild member, and thus getting access to their schematics and resources, are somewhat small. he nonetheless applies for a test in six weeks.

     Back aboard the Maven, they are introduced to Dreya. She explains the mission and offers up 3000 gold to sweeten the pot. After some light questioning, the crew accepts Falco's debt of honor and tells Dreya they will help Falco steal a ledger from the apprentice's room aboard the nearby Imperial Skytower Outpost, Parnell's Aerie.

     In the afternoon of the following day, after the cargo has been loaded, and the dry goods and kitchen supplies for the Aerie have been strapped to the deck, the Maven takes sail once more, headed southwest under lead grey skies, much like their first flight so many weeks ago. Falco continues his lessons with wall. The trip takes several hours.

     They are hailed by Crystal comm upon arriving at the floating Imperial outpost, and their identity verified. The outpost is no more than a chunk of land with a square built tower built upon it and several thin bridges arrayed around it, extending to floating docks and outbuildings.

     With the lateness of the hour they are invited by the Imperial soldiers to stay the night. "The morning crew will bring out the hoists from the tower and offload the cargo at daybreak." The crew stays aboard the Maven, but the officers are invited to the hall for refreshments and socializing, as well as a room for the night.

     After being escorted past guards who appear alert they find themselves in a great hall at the base of the tower. Twenty to thirty off-duty soldiers linger there, eating, gaming and socializing; the blazing warmth of two huge fireplaces driving out the dual colds of winter and altitude.

     They are shown to their rooms on the second floor, where they deposit their cloaks and jackets before returning to the hall. Falco remains behind, hoping to get his mission over with quickly.

     Back in the hall they spot their likely target, a youngish man in the robes of an arcanist playing cards with a group of three soldiers. Since there doesn't appear to be a spot open, they take a seat at an empty table and order food and drink from the serving boy.

     Soon a man in the steel grey robes of a Wical of Culan approaches. He introduces himself as Armsman Reldan. While it quickly becomes apparent the warrior priest is interviewing them, he does so nicely, and seems genuinely friendly. The three covertly keep an eye on their mark, while chit-chatting with the Wical.

     Meanwhile, upstairs, Falco prepares. After waiting a good half candle with no one coming or going from the guest wing he cloaks himself in the arcanic seeming of a guardsman and sets out for the third floor. He passes the guards in the main corridor, and one questions his business, but he bluffs his way past the soldier with "his Lordship wants me to do a check upstairs."

     In the great hall an older robed man with a crown of whispy white hair puts away his ledgers and heads upstairs after having a word with the senior officer's table. Calder and his companions share a glance.

     Once on the third floor Falco immediately begins checking rooms. After two barracks he heads back to check the left hall, only to hear the old man coming up the stairs. With little time, he picks the darkest shadow he can find, in the curved cannonade section of the hall and ducks for cover. The old man gets to the top of the stairs a moment later, and heads right toward Falco's hall, where he will surely pass within six feet of the hiding rogue....

join us next time.
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Current Contracts


Package For Baron Broke (Shipping) UNDERWAY

Torellan, Manawyn to (Destination revealed by Shipper)
Start Date: By Dec 30, 572
Delivery Date: Unspecified.
Baron Broke of Starborn Industries wants a package picked up from Sunstrider Exports in the Capital City of Torellan. Delivery location will be revealed by shipping agent, Mavrus Tynebough.
Payment: 9,000 gold upon delivery. (10,000 - 10% Retainer Fee)

Paper Pushing (Shipping) UNDERWAY
Milum, Deoria to the College of the Southern Arcanum, Torellan, Manawyn
Delivery Date: Jun 30, 573
Deliver 100 Tons (16hs) of Parchment to the College of the Southern Arcanum, 20 miles south of Torellan in the Brass Forest.
Payment: 7500 gold upon delivery.

Nick the Arcanist's Ledger (Illegal Job) UNDERWAY
Dreya's crew needs something procured from a sky platform over the King’s Wood. She got your ship a contract for delivery of goods. That’ll get you in. What they want is a book in the quarters of one Brinnley Thurgood (Third Order Arcanist). The book is bound in blue leather with the House emblem of Baxter. Retrieve it and take it to a drop in Glors to satisfy Falco's debt to his friend... and for 3000 gold.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

SESSION UPDATES "Full Steam Southbound"

     The Maven flies high over Mudton Flats and finds the home of Sariah Greenleaf in the frosty mists of the murk. After anchoring down they find no immediate sign that anyone is home. After careful investigation, they find the chimney to have been recently active, and the pigs appear fed. Inside Sariah's cottage they are made aware of an invisible presence.

     They find Sorsha, alive and well, and in a deep sleep, tucked neatly into the fur lined bed, and when they do, they also are made aware of a tiny, invisible creature named Scritch who is protecting the bard. The Thorn sprite explains that he was charged with nursing the Kirith Syvani while his mistress, The Lady Greenleaf, was recuperating from her own illness.

     While Scritch won't go into the details of his Mistress' illness, he declines their offer of aid and permits them to take Sorsha into their own care. He promises to pass the message to Sariah that the group has left the murk for now and hopes to come back.

     Returning to the Maven with Sorsha, they are just beginning their ascent when they hear the cry of an enraged Wyvern in the fog. Readying themselves, they are sprayed with a cone of ice and frost and attacked by a large, angry male that induces momentary fear in most of the crew.

     Between Harrick's valiant charge and Calder's eventual rally of the sailors, they are able to give the beast a belly full of shard and blade, causing it to flee as the Maven breaks the fog cover and takes to the sky.

After sending a mechanical messenger to Sorsha's contact in Miach, they begin their journey south toward Milum.

     A day of travel finds them somewhat heartened to see the last of the Murk disappear off the stern. Though a snowstorm and engine troubles cause small delays, they generally make good time and arrive in Milum, where they visit The Church of the Tiller and give the sad news to Pastor Vernell - and collect their fee.

     Since there's time, the Captain grants the crew leave while they're back in the home tower so to speak. The officers visit Charlie Elsworth, pay his fee and pass on their story. Charlie offers to scare up a cargo for their trip south.

Falco takes the opportunity to track down and visit Dreya, the Duranos leader of his old Second story crew. Dreya lays on the guilt over her missing right arm and tells him that someone learned of his "lack of being dead-ness" and has hired a group of local assassins, Fado's men, to remedy the situation if they get the opportunity.

    Right after Dreya's departure, Fado's men attack. Though Falco tries to arcanically charm his way past the lead assassin, the Syvani calls his bluff and they capture him without a scuffle. He's carted away while hooded and gagged.

     When Falco misses the evening meeting aboard the Maven, the rest of the crew is mildly annoyed. They send Jeffer Sharpe, who has some familiarity with the seedy side of the merchant district, to find him. Sharpe eventually returns with a story about a kidnapping at O'Heer's Pub. Further discreet questioning leads the crew to a likely base of operations for Fado's men across town, in the warehouse district.

     Meanwhile, Falco's been having a hard time of it. After one nearly successful escape attempt, he's been sitting shackled, gagged and hooded in a dank cell. When the crew starts a commotion above, and his jailers come to kill him, he's got one last shot. He manages to slip the shackles and cast one last Charm, and this time it works.

In the warehouse above, the others are making their way through several henchmen with slag rifles and cutlasses. Cawyn's summoned wolves spook the one-horse, nobles carriage and it careens out the doors into the yard. About the time that nobleman in question is trying to make his way out the back door, Harrick is coming in the back door.

     He takes the blast of the henchmen's pistol fire on his shield and mows them down, but finds the Syvani assassin to be a tougher nut to crack. The mysterious nobleman retreats while his bodyguards keep Harrick - who is feeling quite poisoned, busy.

     After escaping the dungeon cellar, Falco puts an end to his short friendship with the jailer. At about the time he's rushing to aid Harrick, and the others are coming at the nobleman and assassin from the other side. Seemingly cornered, the assassin pulls out another trick and dimension doors away with his charge.

     A quick ransack of the office reveals a hidden compartment with a signed contract for Falco's capture or death. The bounty was apparently offered by a member of house Durantin. They're nearly incinerated while investigating the carriage, when a fireball is hurled from the rooftop, utterly destroying the vehicle.

     With the alarm bells of the watch drawing close, the group decides it best to depart the scene before questions are asked. They split up and lie low, eventually returning to the ship by morning.

     Falco thanks the crew and reveals a bit of his past, telling them how he was the half-son of a destroyed Merchant house. He officially signs on as a junior officer of the Maven and they get their affairs in order, readying to leave Milum and it's dangers behind them as soon as possible.

Monday, January 30, 2017

SESSION UPDATES "Swampy Moral Ground"

     After a brief and uneventful trip back to the missionary camp, where they find Sorsha's hideout ransacked but otherwise no sign of her death or Sariah's presence, they return to the Hometree with plenty of time to help the Woag clear out the rest of the mining operation and begin to set their home in order.

     The Blackwolf arrives on the following day, bringing the Woag chieftain, King Duwalabwa,  back to the Hometree. The exchange is quick and the crew barely has time to receive his thanks before being loaded aboard the ship. It is at this point that Luther announces his decision to stay with the Woags. During the quick passage back to the crossroads outside of Miach, the Baron hands over the late Bishop Doyle's holy symbol and clerical rings of office, once more expressing his regret at the unnecessary death. He also gives Captain Calder the contract for the Delivery pickup from Torellan, and lastly, the twenty thousand gold retainer of services.

     Dropped off discreetly outside of town, the crew makes their way through the gates and toward the nearest inn, eager to bathe and scrub away the mud. blood and grime of a week in frozen hell. On their walk, they can't help but notice the unrest of the rural citizenry of Miach. A large gathering of angry fishermen and dock workers are gathered around a warehouse, loudly complaining about lost wages and unfulfilled contracts. A drunkard is tossed out of a dockside tavern, slurringly complaining of his penniless state. Inside the Inn, business is lackluster and mainly consists of a few silent patrons drinking alone or in small groups. The hostess gladly takes their coin and points them toward the bath house in the back.

    Newly clothed and back aboard the Maven, the officers divvy the gold, paying the crew their wages and shares, restocking the larder and rum and seeing to the needs of the ship. Falco is officially offered and accepts a position aboard the Maven as Assistant Weapons Officer, taking Grimm's portion of the shares.

     In the morning, Calder, Harrick, Cawyn and Falco make their way to Captain Scrim's Arcanicraft dock. They find the Dinari in the process of packing for a somewhat permanent looking trip. Putting aside the implied break of contract, they get a ride to Mudton Flats to pick up Sharpe and Grail. Unfortunately, the simple retrieval of crew gets complicated by Gerald Longstaff's questions, and Cawyn's less than convincing, evasive answers.

     The Camp leader asks questions about the murk and the weather. When Cawyn comfirms his fears by admitting to an arcanist influence, then backpedals, Gerald's suspicions flare. Meanwhile a pair of rogues that have been watching Sharpe are paying too much attention to the conversation. The Crew is forced to admit the dangers, but remain vague on details.

    Gerald pleads with the crew to return with him to Miach and speak with the Town Governor of what they know, in hopes of gaing Imperial aid. When he's made aware of the possible spies, he gathers some help and heads off to find them.

    Things are getting uncomfortable for the crew now. On one side are the unknown agents who are most probably in the employ of Broke and Starborn. On the other side is Gerald Longstaff, worried for the fate of his camp, his family and his workers. After a covert meeting with one of the two rogues, they agree to a "distraction" that will allow them to leave without Longstaff. When the cries of "Fire!" are heard on the north end of town, the crew makes their break, returning to Miach with a confused Captain Scrim.

     They return once more to the Maven. After judging that they have at least a day before anyone from Mudton Flats can reach Miach, they decide to wait until midnight for a mechanical messenger Calder sent out to Sariah's house.

     When it doesn't show, they set sail. Rejoining the crew of the Maven, they have made the decision to risk the wyverns of the murk just long enough to find Mistress Greenleaf's home, before saying at least a temporary farewell to the Marfach Murk and it's squishy moral grounds.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

SESSION UPDATE - "You Win Some, You Negotiate Some"

      Bwub is able to aid Harrick to the surface and the group fights their way across the docks and up the winding stair. In the treehouses of the Woag, they continue their battle with the Draci, slowing gaining ground with magic, blade and daring rope work. When they finally face the Draci chieftain, Korgall, it is with the aid of the Great Gwah.

      Near the end, Korgall cries out in premature victory as the sound of engines can be heard in the sky above. Unfortunately for the Draci, whatever aid might be winging it's way toward them is too late to help. Blades sink into the brute and he dies with the last of his guards about him.

     Now the party has time to register and source the growing sound. From his perch in the branches, Falco is able to make out the massive shape of a Storm Galleon. Correction: THE Storm Galleon that blew his ship into the aether! When Calder and the others get a look, they can see it is the same ship that hounded them on the moors south of Kaergot. It's not the best news they've had all day.

      In addition to this development, they look down to see that some of the Draci remaining below have set fire to the Oilhouse. There's little time for railing against their luck. Action is called for! Falco grabs up one of the Ice-throwers and sets about trying to douse the fires below. Cawyn frees the woag imprisoned in the treehouses above and the Great Gwah levers itself over the railing and jumps in one huge, elemental belly flop, extinguishing the flames.

      With their leader dead and the Great Gwah on the scene, the remaining Draci make themselves scarce.  As the remaining Woags are set free, rifles are loaded and the party prepares with some trepidation to repel boarders, a loading platform is lowered from the descending ship. Aboard appears to be a single red-coated figure waving a white flag of truce and gripping desperately at the chains. This comes as a bit of a surprise to the heroes.

Wary of ambush, but willing to play this one out, they find that the old man; one Baron Bartholamus Broke of Starborn Industries, is offering a temporary six candle truce. Since no one was really looking forward to facing the full might of the sixty gun warship, they decide to accept.

Leaving Luther and McFall with the Woags, the rest of the crew boards the Blackwolf and is lead through the impressive vessel. Along the route they see dozens upon dozens of Skeletal Cogs working the guns and performing various sailor's functions. There are several heavy war cogs as well, and many scruffy looking pirates, of various races, all eyeing the party with curiosity and suspicion. 

When they are all seated around an oak table in the officer's mess, the Baron, with his Kuldan brute in coattails at his back, lays out his proposal. He claims all the previous hostilities were for the most part due to a simple lack of communications. He claims that the Captain of the Blackwolf is a partner of Starborn Industries. That they are currently involved in a mining and manufacturing enterprise in the Marfach Murk.

When Calder explains their purpose here, Broke confirms that Bishop Doyle was attacked by the Draci, who are nominally under the command of the Captain - or as the Draci know him, General Shard. Unfortunately, the Bishop is dead. He offers them the Bishop's personal possessions and a generous contract as a retainer of Starborn Industries. One year for twenty thousand gold and a first mission to Manawyn worth ten thousand.

When the group asks about the details of their operation, Broke tells them that they have built a pyromite factory in the ice of Ven-Mura Meer, at the heart of the murk. The cold is due to a random rift to Ruafa Manos that they have been trying to stabilize. He goes on to explain that the Fommish government is unaware of their presence, and he sees no reason to pay taxes for the use of otherwise undesirable and unclaimed land.

     Of the Woag and their Hometree, Broke explains that what he does for the tribesmen is actually in their best interest, though they don't realize it. He explains that he is teaching them the value of the Spring they reside over, giving them a means to survive the changing conditions of the swamp and move forward into the modern era of Aeranos as educated members of society. The crew smile and nod.

     After further discussion, he agrees to give them back their freedom and their Chieftain, who they have hostage at the Factory, as part of the deal. Captain Shard is not happy, but accepts the news at Broke's urging.

     When finished, the Maven has decided to hire on to Starborn Industries payroll. They agree to wait at the Hometree while the Blackwolf retrieves the Bishop's belongings and the Woag Chieftain. From there they will be transported to a location near Miach, where they can return to their ship.

     Not discussed were the fate of Sorsha Eledwyn, the heroic bard at the mission camp, or Sariah Greenleaf. Nor was their mention of the deal made with The Bloodroot. And a point of note to the crew was an unexplained, momentary break in Broke's diplomatic composure when Calder used the name "Shard" when speaking of the Kaaj captain.

     As the Blackwolf powers away the crew makes plan for a quick canoe ride back to the mission camp, with plans on returning before their new allies do.