Far – Barrakas 27th, 998 YK
Friday – August 27th, 998 YK
After 10 days at sea, you reach your destination. Rippling in the wake of a Zilargo trade ship, the setting sun casts a cold crimson reflection across Regalport Bay. The air is cool and windy and the gray evening clouds are rolling in. In the distance, a city lies nestled in the bay’s protective embrace. A handful of ivory towers rise from the city proper beyond Regalport’s lengthy stretch of boardwalks and docks. A large hospitality enclave, bearing the Blink Dog heraldry of House Ghallanda, sits in the center of the dock district, offering travelers respite after their long journey.
Too many ships to count line the docks, but one stands out among them like a half-orc at a gnome’s tea party: It is High Prince Rygar’s flagship and it is an impressive vessel, whose soarwood hull is finished with mithral plating wrought to appear like a scaly hide. From some angles, the ship resembles a gargantuan dragon riding the waves more than a mundane sailing vessel.
On a wide stretch of boardwalk spanning at least a mile is the famed Pirate Exchange, an enormous multistoried galleria bustling with sailors and newly arrived passengers and tourists. Within, merchants hawk their wares from booths, wooden stalls, and small peddler’s boats navigating narrow canals in the boardwalk. The market’s din, a cacophony of live animals and heated negotiations, carries across the bay.
As you dock your ship and step onto the boardwalk you notice several buildings in the midst of repair from fire damage. Further ahead, a large blackened section of the boardwalk lays empty save for some charred debris. Seadragon marines stand guard around its perimeter. You also notice several small offerings to the Keeper lay near the ruined structures.
Not far from your ship you see a rugged, yet fine looking corsair moored to the docks. It bears the name “The Resilient” and is also guarded by Seadragons. Two foppish merchants stand aboard the ship gesturing at its rigging, masts and sails. A young half-elf stands nearby and takes copious notes of their conversation.
You depart from the ship and head into town asking for information.
A toothless Lhazaarite smiles at your request. “Try the Rusty Anchor. It be down the Exchange’s boardwalk and to the left. You’ll see her sign, ye can’t miss it.”
You follow the Lhazaarite’s directions and eventually see the sign, a 4ft rusty anchor piercing the cobblestone near the inn’s entrance. Music and cheers flow out the wide-open double doors of the large, three-story tavern in the midst of the Pirate Exchange. As you step through the doors, a different sort of entertainment is in progress everywhere you look. A wide stage features jugglers, musicians, and other performers, while tables at one side of the hall are a venue for an intense arm-wrestling competition.
Near the wide bar, a list of names and numbers is chalked up on a slab of slate. An adjacent cleared space serves as a knife-throwing alley, where patrons hurl blades and insults with equal dexterity.
In the center of it all stands a railed platform a few feet above the floor. The tables there give a clear view of the Anchor’s entertainment. Denizens watch the musicians and cacophony of entertainment. As you make your entrance you can’t help but overhear talk of the upcoming Regalport Try-Games.
Through the crowd, you see an older human with graying hair and a plump belly behind the bar. He barks out several orders to the serving ladies, while busily cleaning the insides of several mugs.
Kohl addresses the barkeep and buys a round of drinks for your group.
“I want to know about a Sarlonan named Jheamast. Ever heard of him?”
“Sure I have, everyone’s heard of Jheamast round these parts. Sarlonan. Lived the lifetime of 10 men they say, then just left to die. How no one knows. He was reportedly buried with all his worldly possessions in the southern principalities. The exact location of the tomb remains a mystery, but it is said that an explorer named Eliam ir’Veldras found it not two years back.”
“Eliam? Who is that?” Kohl inquires.
“No one of importance really. What became of him, none can say, but his journal of the expedition was supposedly purchased by a Karrn expatriate named Vorgaard.”
Kohl sighs. “And where can we find this Vorgaard. What do you know of him?”
The barkeep continues. “Lord Vorgaard is a powerful Karrn wizard and protege of Count Vedim ir’Omik, Karrnathi Minister of the Dead. He built an estate on the mainland as a tribute to his passion for history. One of the strangest items in his collection is the preserved remains of a giant squid once known to terrorize the ships along the strait. The mansion sits on the mainland across Straight Far. It overlooks the strait from the cliffs. There is a private dock for the mansion.”