Monday, January 30, 2017

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.


  1. Ah, morality! You just love tormenting people with that, don't you? Even the horse delivery was a morality test. ;)

    I find viewing this all through the lens of Harrick a little weird. He's not really concerned about grand scheme "good," but he has some buttons. 1) He feels a loyalty to those he's fought alongside (and on that note, is more interested in discovering the fate of Sorsha than Sariah, actually) and 2) slavery doesn't sit well with him. Enslaved woag villages "out there" aren't such a big deal, but right in front of him... yeah, he wasn't going to abide by that.

    So, he's not particularly invested in undermining whatever Starborn is doing to the Murk, himself.

  2. I'm definitely having fun with it right now, and I'm not rooting for any particular actions btw. I'm actually pushing Cawyn's buttons more than the rest of the crew. I was really surprised he let the horse thing go, and now he's giving at least a temporary pass on major natural order malfunctions. The Old Gods might take notice.

    Moral choices and their consequences make for good story. Don't you think? Plus, this makes for good future NPC interactions and complications.

    I think the crew is making smart financial decisions.

    1. It definitely adds an interesting facet to the story. I feel sorry for Cawyn. Harrick doesn't - he thinks if it matters to the durin, he ought to show some spine and stick with it. ;)