Far – Zarantyr 13th, 999 YK
Friday – January 13th, 999 YK
The morning brings a glimpse of Stormhome, the City of Escapes, its towers and bridges gleaming pink in the dawn’s first light. House Lyrandar’s ancestral home, its towers rise gracefully from the hills of the island, accentuating the natural contours of the land. Dominating the skyline is the Pole, the famous airship docking tower. It is a magnificent 200-foot tall structure of stone and wood that rises between a House Ghallanda beach resort and the Aundairian naval yards. Virtually unscathed during the Last War this city’s arching bridges and ornamental domes transform it into a work of art, that glitters under a sky kept perpetually blue by the weather magic of the dragonmarked house. However, the magic of Lyrandar is unable to thwart the powerful chill of this year’s winter. For the first time, the citizens of Stormhomesee snow fall over their city and many remain indoors afraid of the ill omen.
At the docks you find the Sea Tiger, a great galleon of Aereni soarwood, with two masts and an elegant aft cabin. It awaits your arrival. Circling her, behind the mainmast is a circle of elemental water, arcing high above the aft cabin and disappearing into the water on either side. The water is in constant motion, churning in great rippling waves. She flies the kraken banner of House Lyrandar.
At the railing is Captain Jordhan d’Lyrandar, an elf with skin darkened from years of sun exposure, blue eyes that gleam behind an aquiline nose, and deep wrinkles etching his face and accentuating a warm smile. His hair is close cropped sprinkling of black and gray, revealing tracings of a dragonmark that starts at one temple and extends behind his ear and making one more appearance on the side of his neck before disappearing.
“Ahoy!” he calls out. “Miklos sent word of your arrival. The Tiger is geared and ready to sail, all I need is your coin.”
“Good day Captain d’Lyrandar. You have come highly recommended. We will be up with the coin momentarily. What is the total?” Kohl calls from the dock.
The Captain looks at the group doing a quick head count.
”For all of you, the price will be 6,000 galifars.”
The paladin begins to collect the needed funds from each member of the party, looking to Sejik expectantly.
Sejik looks to his companions, an incredulous look painted on his face, ”I…" he stammers “I don’t have that coin! I am a man of the cloth, Disciple and Oracle of the Traveler. I’m on vacation!.”
Sejik folds his arms defensively.
“And who in a thousand names do you think purchases the components necessary to keep us amongst the land of the living?" Sejik points at Morthos accusingly. “and YOU don’t count! Absolutes can be found within a barrel, the skies are night, the kings are pawns, and not to mention bringing together the two halves of the whole. I mean, if it weren’t for the fact that no one remains for your question’s weight, then do not remain in the way of yourself. I mean really, do you expect me to believe that never is always and thoughtless is this? Take from here that nothing comes after this, wicked is the man without sin, and if you don’t believe me then go, seek out the templars, they know your quest!”
The entire group lock their gazes on Sejik, completely baffled by his nonsensical rant.
Sejik shakes his head as if waking from a dream, “What was I saying? Oh yes, unfortunately, I do not have enough coin for passage.”
“Perhaps the Captain could use the services of a priest of the Traveler, and you can work for your passage.” Morthos offers.
“That is a great idea! A ship, a vessel of travel, of course a priest of the Traveler can be useful. Do not worry, I got this.” Sejik walks half way up the gangplank to address the Captain.
Kohl turns to the group.
“I will cover a few hundred of Sejik’s faire.” Kohl offers.
“I will cover the rest.” Caiphys offers, ending the debate on how to cover the priests passage.
“Good Captain, surely you, a wise ship’s captain, wouldn’t charge such a price for a man of the cloth? Especially when I can use my talents to aide our travels, I can heal your crew, offer guidance, invaluable wisdom, and GIFTS! Yes, don’t forget about the gifts of the Traveler! I have this nifty ring here…” Sejik rummages through his bag.
The Captain looks over the priests shoulders, noting that Caiphys has offered to pay the priests faire.
“Our faith is our own good priest. My crew and I have no need for a preacher of the Dark Six as our ship is already protected against the Devourer’s storms. But you may come aboard.” The Captain smiles.
Sejik frowns and steps aboard.
Something is wrong with Sejik, he truly has gone mad cousin. Taveah says to her cousin through their telepathic link.
Agreed. Kohl thinks.
“Not that I saw, but anything is possible." He gives a concerned look to Sejik, then finishes his thought. “I think I will retire to my cabin, Sejik why don’t you do the same.”
Sar – Zarantyr 21st, 999 YK
Saturday – January 21st, 999 YK
Twilight before dawn
With each passing day at sea, the weather grows colder and more turbulent. On the final day of your voyage, looms what might be the most threatening storm ever seen. Foreboding black clouds filled with flashes of lightning that illuminate the blizzard raging beneath it stretches across the horizon. Directly beneath the storm are the frozen cliffs of the Isle of Farlnen.
The voyage through the storm is a nightmare of unnatural wind, waves, lightning and snow. Time and again, massive sea swells hammer the Sea Tiger. As the captain struggles to maintain a steady course, a strange gust of icy wind blows through the walls of the Sea Tiger and with it swarm of howling souls washes over the ship. The souls, dragged along by the relentless winds, shriek in agony. Within the horrific wind you see old foes and allies long dead.
”We see you and you shall perish!” they warn.
Sejik, Morthos and Caiphys see something even darker in the fell swarm – their own images. Their gazes each meet theirs and for a brief moment they see their macabre faces grin before disappearing into the torrent of lost souls.
After surviving the storm and escaping it’s wicked grasp, the captain spots a hollow of glacier cliff face and guides the Sea Tiger towards it. The ship comes to a rest inside a large cave carved into the ice, just above water level. Ropes, crates and barrels are piled upon the frozen shore. In the back of the cave, a set of steps carved into the ice head upward to a platform before ascending further upward and inward toward the interior of the snow covered island. At the foot of the steps a frozen dwarven corpse lies huddled against the wall, clutching a tattered piece of parchment in a closed fist.
Taveah rushes to tear the parchment from the dead dwarf’s frozen grip. The brittle parchment shatters into icy fragments.
“Oops,” Taveah says, sheepishly.
Kohl sighs. “Do be careful, cousin. As I’ve heard the Brelish say: Curiosity killed the cat — Look out!”
Taveah spins to see the frozen dwarf stumble to its feet, groaning inarticulately—and then its frozen body, unable to take the strain of animating into a zombie, shatters into dozens of pieces. The party heaves a collective sigh.
“And the cat’s friends,” Caiphys grumbles.
“I said, ‘Oops,’ didn’t I?” Taveah says.
“I knew that man,” Morthos says, sounding almost distracted.
“A friend of yours?” Taveah asks.
“He was Belroar,” Morthos says. “Another of the Shades of Darkness. He was with Moyshanna.”
“It seems we’re on the right trail, then.” Taveah gathers her coat closer as the cold bites at her limbs.
“Taveah, I’m certain a frozen corpse never marks the ‘right’ trail,” Caiphys says.
“Will you all please keep these disruptions to a minimum?” Sejik cries as he leans against an icy outcropping of stone. “I’m on vacation.”
They eye him strangely for a moment. Meanwhile, Kohl searches through the barrels and crates near the shattered corpse. They are filled with foodstuffs. Kohl asks Jordhan to load the barrels and crates, which appear to be the property of the Blood Sails onto the ship. Jordhan agrees.
“That doesn’t seem very lawful,” Caiphys mumbles.
Kohl’s face darkens, obviously tired of hearing this sort of thing. “We follow the law of the land, Caiphys.”
Caiphys’ eyebrows rise. “Your god would find friends among the Dark Six, I think.”
For a moment Kohl considers whether this is blasphemy worthy of execution, but then shrugs. “Perhaps.”
Sejik performs a ritual to cleanse him, Caiphys and Morthos from any curses that may have befallen them from the strange winds. Jordhan informs the group that he will not wait for their return, but if they contact him via sending stone he will sail back to retrieve them, assuming they can pay his fee. The group begrudgingly agrees, after which they head out of the cave.