041410 Game Night Recap:
Omega jumped into action, having Dughan in the bellows and 2 waves of zombie hordes between them and the river. After a very brief deliberation of tactics, Tripper (carrying the bellows), Corwyn, and Thon sprinted out the broken front gates behind Rusty who was already working on clearing a path through the sea of walking corpses. Ethos mounted the Griffin after Tripper’s failed attempt to do so, and took to the air for aerial support. Astrid levitated up to take her position atop Rusty.
The 3 escorts (Tripper, Corwyn, and Thon) muscled their way through the dense crowd of zombies at a brisk pace, aided by a well-placed fireball that thinned the herd out just enough to give them passage along with a volley of arrows from Ethos above, as well as Thon and Corwyn’s aid to help shrug off any who might have snagged them along the way.
Ethos continued to take out as many as he could that would get in the path of the runners, while Astrid lay a cover fire from behind at various intervals, thwarting any pursuit.
Once through the second wave of the zombie horde, only a scant few roamers stood between the escorts and the water and they broke into a dead sprint. Ethos continuing to pin zombies in place, creating a path for the runners, while Astrid lay a pattern of elemental death behind for any walking corpses foolish enough to pursue. And many did. And died. All the while, Rusty happily and eagerly swept through the crowd, bodies and body parts flying this way and that. As well, the keep was not stagnant, the ballistiae and ranged fighters continued to thin the horde from within the keep walls.
Once to the water, Corwyn and Thon ran interference of any attackers while Tripper attempted to submerge the full bellows. It took a couple of attempts to position himself properly to sink, but finally doing so, he slowly descended to the river bed where he secured the bellows to the floor with stones. Content with this solution, knowing from his discussions from Corwyn that Dughan was surely already dead after just being submerged, he made his way back to the surface.
After about an hour, Tripper arrived back on shore to find his friends and the keep making final work of any remaining zombies. A party was formed to investigate the woods where they emerged and they found no more. To be safe, Tripper asked Astrid to burn down the old farmhouse nearby to hide the underground passage to Vathirond and eliminate any possible cover it might provide for future attacks.
Back in the keep, Tripper finished his arrangements and everyone bedded down for the night. But just before, the group questioned Ol’ Salty on the best possible means of getting to Lhazaar, to which he suggested getting a soarwood ship, as it’s the best thing short of a Lyrander ship for speed. Also that Vathirond docks are about all they have at their disposal.
The next morning they made way to Vathirond to secure a ship to get to Lhazaar. There, they went to the old church, now a Deneith/Brelish Army strong hold. Inside Tripper approached the most official-looking person there and asked about a ship, to which he got a snide reply, but his equally sarcastic response softened the harsh Captain and he got a recommendation to seek out “Troy” at the docks. “You can’t miss him.”
At the docks, amid the average-looking dock workers a single human stood out staggering about the docks singing incoherently to himself. He was dressed so flamboyantly it was almost comical. The stereotypical “pirate captain” with the high boots, long dark coat, and the typical tricorner hat with a long white feather. Apprehensive about the man, guessing him to be “Troy,” Omega polled a nearby worker of the “best” captain at the docks. The reply was “Squidsy.” When asked what boat, he pointed to the only white boat at the docks. When they queried his ability, the worker noted he is renowned for his ability to avoid trouble, particularly that of territorial routes of dangerous sea creatures. When queries about “Troy,” the worker only laughed and said he was the “luckiest Captain he knows of, but he’d never work for him because no one who ever does work for him will do so again. He’s a rather unorthadox captain.”
With this information, Omega thanks him and moves on to the white ship being careful to avoid “Troy” who nearly staggers right into one or two in the group, completely oblivious of them.
At the white ship, they each make way up the gangplank behind some deckhands. On board they see a stocky, fit dwarf, bald with a short gray bushy beard barking orders to all the deckhands. He is covered in tattoos, several of which Astrid recognizes as Karrnathi army-related. Tripper wastes no time in introducing himself and asking for assistance, but is immediately met with hostility from the dwarf who makes all sorts of racist and seemingly unprovoked attacks on Tripper. The exchange elevates to violence just before Tripper finally storms off the boat and the slurs and insults continue to volley back and forth from dock to deck while Astrid tries to intervene. Meanwhile Corwyn interrogates some of the deckhands to find that the boat is a soarwood boat.
Astrid does eventually get some useful information from the dwarf, but not much. And just before he finally tries to kick them off the boat, a stunning half-elf dressed in simple, but commanding attire emerges from what is apparently the Captain’s quarters. He approaches apologizing for his First-Mate Bento’s rudeness, dismissing him as “passionate” and saying he fought for Karrnath in the Last War and has a particular disdain for Warforged. After some negotiation and diplomacy, Astrid and then eventually Tripper work Squidsy into an agreement to escort them to Stormhome, his destination, where they will then determine the next course of action to get them to Regalport, Lhazaar.
Amid the negotiations, Squidsy questioned Tripper’s claim of being proprietor of the keep that protects Vathirond, to which Tripper replied by having Tome launch a fireball into the sky. On seeing this, Squidsy allowed them a hefty discount noting their honorable intentions, thus far.
They set sail a day later after Omega helped with the repairs on the ship. The journey north was gloomy under the looming dread of the Gray Mists of the Mournland, but nothing ever came forth to issue a challenge. Once past the mists and around Thronehold, they made good time and arrived at Stormhome a day earlier than planned, thanks in large part to Astrid’s offering to feed everyone from her bag of provisions. This freed up the cooking duties and allowed those sailors to assist in the sailing duties.
DMG entry on Stormhome (Squidsy wouldn’t have issue revealing this info): STORMHOME Island Paradise; Population 14,000 Until House Lyrandar secured rights to this island at the mouth of Scions Sound, Stormhome was a rugged and desolate place, a windswept rock home only to a garrison of demoralized soldiers. Six hundred years ago, Lyrandar chose this spot to build its enclave and used weather-controlling magic to divert the worst storms away from the island. The results were astonishing: Storm home became an island paradise, a testament to House Lyrander’s wealth and power. Stormhome remains part of Aundair but is left to its own devices, making it an ideal retreat for foreign dignitilries and nobles. Even Queen Aurala seems enchanted with the place, spending a portion of each year in the company of Lyrandar’s baron, swapping secrets and rumors to the dismay of both their advisors. As the premier destination for the wealthy and powerful, Stormhome has emerged as a hotbed of intrigue and agents come to broker alliances and gather intelligence about their rivals.
Once docked, Squidsy says he’ll be back after reporting to his benefactor. The group has liberty to explore the island as they wish and seek out new passage, if need be. When Squidsy returned he said he was granted leave to take on a new contract, if he wanted, which meant he could continue to Regalport, if Omega wanted to hire him. Still with 34 days on the journey (give-or-take), Omega weighed the option of paying considerably more to charter a Stormship and shorten the trip by half, but ultimately they decided to stick it out with Squidsy, even after his insistance that they at least reveal a portion of their reason for going, so he could be sure he could trust them aboard the ship. In the end, Squidsy accepted one of the acquired Khyber Shards as payment for the journey to Regalport.