Parnell's Aerie. Milum Deoria
When last we left our intrepid adventurers, they were staying the night at Parnell's Aerie, a floating, military outpost of the Empire. While three quarters of the group played at cards and small talk in the main hall, Falco stooped motionless in the shadows, hoping the old, robed scholar wouldn't see him on his secret mission.
And thankfully, he didn't.
Once the preoccupied scholar passed, Falco continued his search, eventually finding Apprentice Thurgood's room. After inspecting the lock, he found an alarm spell. A Misty Step bypassed that nicely and he was in. It was quick matter to find the correct journal. He also found the plans to an interesting and confidential, Imperial Engineer's project, but there was no way to take them without it being noticed. the plans were signed, "M. Woodbridge."
With the book tucked away on his person, he returned to his rooms. The following morning, the crew left the fort, their theft unnoticed.
The Maven drops Dreya's book to an unknown contact in Glors, before the ship continues its journey south along the Great Line, crossing the inland sea of Fahl and the floating sky-fortresses that surround the Great Rift. Their journey is smooth for two days as they continue southward, but the third day they are attacked by a pirate cloudrunner while nearing the Manawyn border.
An air skirmish ensues, in which the skillful piloting of Falco, along with the equally skilled cannon-work of Harrick and the boys, sees their enemy crash-landing in the forest below. They opt to pursue, and end up forcing the pirates to surrender after their ship catches fire. They end up driving off a third party of Cull warriors with their Morodos Hill giant, with treasure, two injured prisoners and a freed Deorian noble named Josua Gold.
Gold attempts to convince the Maven to return him north to his home, but fearing a reprisal from more pirates, they choose to instead take him to the first southern skyport, of Fauradyr, in Manawyn.
In the Skyport they learn further bad news. Apparently the company contracting their parchment shipment is behind on shipping taxes. The government of Manawyn wants to seize their cargo or turn them back North. Either that, or they must pay the 7,000 gold owed. They also turn in an Imperial report on the pirate attack, leaving out anything about prisoners, since they promised the pirate captain they would release the pirates instead of turning them in.
Session Break (crib notes style)
Talk down Captain Nalik from searching the ship for pirate prisoners. Send off Sid Roy by featherfall. Dismember the dead pirate and feed him to the pyromite boilers. Problem solved.
Later morning: Return visit by Master Pallin. More grief about incorrect report. Falco comes back with, "Why are you busting our balls? We saved someone and killed some pirates." Pallin backs off. "Please revise the report and consider your stay at the Stags Inn on us." Calder still distrusts slimy Pallin. Harrick gives Nalik a tour while they wait. Pallin leaves with report for magistrate. Promises to have the cargo offloaded by tomorrow.
Rest for officers. Cawyn and Falco go to High District and Pallin's residence to speak with Ser Gold to renegotiate his passage. Meet Mathias Drumholler - tinker, on the way. Haggle for potions. Gather a little local intel about the pirate king Cullom Farcus. Rumors of Pirate bay on the West Coast. Gold is not currently at home. Palin explains he is meeting with a captain of a Windcutter to book swift passage back.
Meanwhile, Harrick takes a meeting meant for the captain with Lord Evanshard, a local factor, knight and businessman. Lord Evenshard has a business proposition for the Maven. Agree to rescue his shipment of Aether Spring water from a downed barge in the foothills and he will clear up the tax issues. The barge is holed up near an old ruin, in Knockfar territory, but they are still in Crystal communications. Time is of the essence. Harrick returns to tell the captain the offer, promises an answer quickly. Meets Cawyn and Falco on their way back to the ship. Offers ride in Evenshard's coach.
They do some more dealing with Mathias the Tinker, Buy potions of featherfall and a shiny lantern. They choose to accept Evenshard's deal and leave in the morning, headed west into the forested foothills in search of the downed zeppelin barge.
At first the trip goes well. They make contact with the barge captain, who explains that they were threatened by Knockfar in the forest and had to take their goods to a nearby ruined temple. He gives directions. When they finally find the valley known as Tiger's Vale, they have some difficulty spotting the landing site and no one responds to their crystal. Eventually they send a small team into the forest to make their way to the temple. Falco, Harrick, Boggs, Snap, McFall and Grail find old sign of Knockfar and newer sign of a cart and Neran tracks leading to the temple.
As they approach the densely forested old temple, they spy flying cats. Cawyn takes some time to talk to a bird or two, who only verifies that their are two-legs at the temple, and that the flying cats are dangerous to birds and small beasts.
The group carefully approaches. There are a dozen or so of the winged cats, but they don't do more than watch them. The pyramid style temple has an old and crumbling statue of a feminine feline/humanoid form at it's apex. They leave Grail at the entrance and go in, being very careful to check for traps.
In the main worship chamber they find another statue of a giant, winged feline figure with the upper torso of a Neran. One eye contains a sparkling red gem. As they are getting ready to explore further, the distant report of a cannon can be heard, followed by the resonant tone of a giant bell. The sound instantly knocks out the crew, who fall where they stood and do not rise again...
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 Starbourn 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.