Day 270: A Canoe Come GoodEdit
After several hours of looting and snooping around for Mac, the group reconvenes to discuss next steps. First thing's first, dump the corpses. Then, get some rest to reset spells and such. Tyrant offers to keep watch all night. During the night, he notices the lifeboat's missing. He waits until the morning to report this fact.
The ladies unload the canoe that Tyrant made, using it to get to the small island nearby, leaving Ivan on the boat. On the shore, they fan out, agreeing to walk 10 minutes and then back, searching for signs of life. Finding nothing in their immediate vicinity. Lily Dudley tries to Detect Mac's hat, but is unable to find it within 120 yards. They decide to walk for three hours, and then reevaluate their position. Not seeing anything of interest, they decide to complete a circumference of the island, which takes them the rest of the day, seeing nothing but small animals. Eventually they make their way back to the ship to get some sleep. They dont see Ivan anywhere, but when December calls for him, he responds from below.
Day 271: Exploration, Part 1Edit
The group piles back into the canoe, intending to head to the large island. Ivan stays behind again, apparently suffering from a bout of sea sickness.
Day 275: We Left It Parked Right There...Edit
The group reunites on the North side of the island. Having found nothing, they plod their way through the center of the island to get back to their original point.
The canoe is where the group left it.... but the ship isn't. It's gone. Some desperation sets in, Tyrant going off to build a ship in the island's interior. The girls build up a giant signal fire, hoping to attract the attention of a rescue ship.
Day 278: An Officer And A GentlemanEdit
A ship finally comes within sight of the island... as it draws closer, they identify it as a very large Galley of the Royal Fleet, powered by oarsmen rather than sail, and is approaching. The Galley drops a rowboat to come find out what's going on. The ladies decide to go with the Palm Balm standard ploy. December tries to explain the concept of lying, but eventually settles with 'dont talk except to me.'
An officer with two sailors arrives onboard the rowboat. When they explain the situation, the officer mentions that it may have been the "third rate" pirate Captain Anemoi. The ladies play... well, Lady. The Silver Steed, the name of the Galley, is headed for Ulthuan.
Day 282: Second Rate PiratesEdit
Arriving in Ulthuan early afternoon, the group disembarks and stays at an inn. They have no intention of sticking around in such a militarized city, and plan to head for Fintrelk in the morning. Also during the journey they were required to provide a description of their pirates. They provide the description of the Black Beagle and it's known surviving crewmember, without giving a name for the ship.
"Our goal is to reach second rate pirates - at least." -Stephanie
Day 283: The CodeEdit
A discussion is had about if there is a Pirates Code and whether pirates attack other pirates. (EL: As Keeper of the Codex for this Brethren Court, I can say yes, and yes.)
As they start to listen for rumors of ships heading south, they pick up on a rumour of a redish-purple dragon who's terrorizing the area around Ironrock Mountain. A few towns have been completely destroyed. Fe suddenly is verrry self-concious about carrying the large gem around in her pocket.
They try to find a ship headed down to Sand Crest, but noone's headed that far from this small port. December books the group on a journey to Northal. December finally remembers she's kept Tyrant silent for 5 days now. Finally giving him the clearance to talk again. Fe asks him about his goals in life, but he doesnt have one, beyond crushing skulls.
Day 289: Back To The FutureEdit
The group returns to Northal - 3 weeks after they last left. However, soon after arriving they realize they are probably wanted here, they head to Vana.
Day 291: Seeking PassageEdit
The road is rough on the ladies, but they finally arrive, and begin seeking out passage to Sand Crest again. They do eventually locate one (The Josephine), but at a stiffer price than previous trips - 10 gold a head this time.
December strikes up conversation with the captain of the ship, about his father, and where the ship came from. For some reason he knows about Beggar's Cove (EL: Sunken Landing...) which strikes December as interesting.
Day 297: More Fish StoriesEdit
The group arrives in Sand Crest, and decides to seek out a decent inn for the night. While they listen to gossip, they sort of determine that maybe half of the people around them are either pirates or do business with the pirates. (EL: Leading towards a sort of 'known secret' of Sunken Landing, then). They also hear rumors developing towards fish stories about the dragon on the mainland.
Day 298: Murder And RevelationEdit
The next day, the team tries to overhear their way to a journey to Sunken Landing, stopping in the "Randy Bucket" to get their information. There are plenty of patrons about, as well as dancers on tables and the bar. Smells disgusting, money tossed around all over the place. (EL: So Sunken Landing Part 2.) For whatever reason, the dancers catch Fe's attention.
Lily suggests getting rid of the gem as soon as they get to Sunken Landing, suggesting the 'scary wizard' as a good potential person to sell it to. Eventually, December is given 5g and sent to talk to the Bartender about looking for someone headed to 'a certain location, no questions asked'. He eventually (with a 3g tip) identifies three shady-looking types they believe are going to Beggar's Cove.
Fe gets the job of going to make contact with the three - a human an elf and a dwarf. She buys four glasses of beer, moves over to the table and sets the beers down, and then asks for passage to the Cove. One of them reaches for Fe's hair, implying that she could pay for things in other ways. She strongly suggests he not think about it. Tyrant, seeing what's going on, moves over to the table, and reaches to twirl one of the guys' hair as well. When drawn swords come out for this action, heated words follow. The pirate stabs at Tyrant's hand, which causes him to retaliate. Fe tries to intervene, but when she does, Tyrant switches to a headbutt rather than slamming the man down. Tyrant is a minotaur. Headbutt ends about as well as one might expect, as the man drops dead with a hole in his head.
Tyrant walks out emotionlessly. December and Lily are blending into the crowd, and Fe makes an exhasperated departure after Tyrant. December makes her way out of the bar, kicking Tyrant in the shin as she passes.
December asks Lily and Fe quietly if they should get rid of Tyrant, but Fe points out that he can kill people with a headbutt, which December appears to value. December and Lily go to another bar to try and repeat the process.
People start to freak out, as things on and around people start to glow with a light for a few moments, causing mass panic as people start to try and cover up their magical things. There's actually quite a few magical things here, which is interesting.
A lot of people try and leave the bar, including Lily and December. As they're on the way out, they hear a cackling of an elderly woman, catching their attention. Lily and December go to investigate, finding an old woman in a rocking chair, laughing and rocking. She claims not to be a witch, just an old woman looking to have fun with the 'young-uns'. She threatens to turn people into newts.
Fe, seeing the people streaming out of the bar, sends Tyrant in to see what's going on.
Lily offers to help the old woman; she scoffs at the help and begins to cast a spell. Lily casts Dispel Magic as a counterspell. (EL: In doing so, Lily actually also dispels the healing potion that December is carrying). This pleases the woman, who asks what Lily is doing and where she is going. Lily actually says they're headed for Beggar's Cove. Lily asks for advice on becoming a more powerful spellcaster, to which she responds with a demand to kill one of the bar patrons present. Lily casts Glitterdust, which succeeds in blinding everyone in the room except for Lily and the woman (EL: Including December, yes).
Mini-Combat: Lily's Wizardly Ways. Lily summons a Fire Beetle, which cleaves the man in half. The woman disappears at the beginning of the battle, which lasts all of one round. As soon as combat is over, the old woman shows back up, and the magics are dispelled from the area. The old woman gives Lily a scroll for entertaining her. December pulls out her potion, noticing its not bubbling anymore, and asks the old woman very politely if she can reenchant it. The woman reaches out to touch December's face, seeming to be reading her face like a palm. She wants a story to know why December is sad. The woman identifies herself as Sylph. (EL: Oh dear.)
December relates that she just lost her horse, but Sylph says there is something deeper, and that December must be a spoiled little brat if her sadness is over a horse. Lily chastizes December for making Sylph upset (EL: Lily really quick to swap loyalty to those with more power...)
December, after getting the room 'alone' (The bartender on the receiving end of some magic missiles from Sylph), begins to relate the story in her past, about her lost friend. She does not remember her parents, growing up in a hidden complex with a group of assassins called the Nameless Ones, who seek to bring balance to good and evil. One can only become a Nameless One if they have been trained from childhood. Every year they were tested for their skills. Most of her group died during the course of their testing and lives. December's last test was to find and bring back (not kill) a person of royal heritage - Vorus Longborn. She found him, and brought him back, but he continually talked to her about things she had never heard of - friendship, love, humanity, happiness. Once she brought him back, he was not allowed to see her again. This is what caused December to question what she had been taught about life. She was sent on her final mission, but rather than going to complete it, she ran. Now she questions e verything, and mostly just follows along with what Lily says. (EL: I tried to capture this as faithfully as I could. Apologies if it's not accurate enough, Anna.)
The woman offers to show December Vorus again; December is uncertain if she wants to see him again. When she tries to consult Lily, Sylph tells her to decide for herself. When December waffles, she flips a coin to decide her answer, which is yes. Sylph gestures December towards a glass of wine on the table beside her. Waving a hand over it, a vision appears; a man, sitting on a chair, presumably holding audience, though seems to be tired or bored. It seems Vorus is alive, if bored. Sylph declares it's time for her nap, and to beware of Beggar's Cove. She starts to hobble out.
December inquires if there is something she can pay to get Sylph to tell her where Vorus is; she responds that watching the group's adventures will provide her pleasure, and continues to hobble away. She mentions to Fe to be careful with the gem, which she couldnt possibly have seen, and disappears down the road.
While Lily is explaining what went on inside, a group of guards makes their way towards the bar. The party retreats inside, and a Rope Trick later, they hide. The guards do a bit of investigating, hauling the bodies out. It seems that they left 3 witnesses. Lily gets lowered by Fe through the dimensional portal, and summons some more monsters. Okay, one Goblin, who immediately starts to attack. And slay. 2 guards, the bartender's wife, two children... all dead. They use it as a diversion, and make their way out of town into the jungle.
"I think I might have... feelings." "I think I might have just LOST my feelings." -December and Fe.
A lot of very awkward back-and-forth between December and Tyrant later, the group bed down for the night, and try and figure out passage in the morning.
Day 299: Time To Get OutEdit
December and a head-scarf wrapped Fe make their way into town to try and secure passage. Tyrant is way too known, and Lily's hair is nearly impossible to hide.
Avoiding bars this time, they seek out workers around the dock. December tips a guy, and gets a lead on the "Thread and Needle". Lily suggests an odd plan involving Ride the Wind, perfect winds, and an assumption that the spell never fails because Tyrant cant swim. This is deemed to be a suicidal idea. Fe suggests Lily try it herself while the others ride a boat. (EL: I suggested they tie a rope to Lily's foot and fly her like a kite on the way with a boat.)
December moves stealthily to the Thread and Needle. It's fairly empty (about a third full). Bartenders sitting on the bar, a few patrons scattered about. December selects the most sober looking one, and goes to have a chat. He only has room for one, though, so she moves on to the next most sober one. Eventually, she finds someone who's headed that way, but he's not doing it on the cheap - 60g a head, he's been bitten before by pirates. December declines, and eventually finds someone who says 40g a head, no questions asked, and he doesnt want to talk to anyone during the trip.
December makes a decision on her own; they'll take the boat. The ship is called the Old Sailor. It's not much to look at, but it gets them there, it's fast and quiet. She spends money buying daggers and quarrels. Fe buys some replacement Silk rope.
Day 300: Ominous ShadowsEdit
The party boards the Old Sailor. December notices in the distance back at Sand Crest, that there's a very large something is flying over the city. December advises having Rope Trick at the ready for the future. Lily meanwhile reads her scroll, identifying it as a Fireball spell. She decides to try and learn it, which she succeeds in doing.
Day 303: Setting The PriceEdit
The Old Sailor arrives in Sunken Landing. The party doesnt notice the BanaNARS or the Black Beagle present on the way into dock.
December, unable to locate a Harbormaster or someone in charge, goes to a bar, the Rabbit Pelt. She orders a shot of whiskey, and the bartender pours himself one as well. She asks who might be interested in high-value loot, and is directed towards 'the' wizard.
Lily discusses her ability to obscure object from being detected by all but magical means. They discuss how they should approach the wizard, and how soon. Tyrant is reminded his job here was to get the gem, and sell it.
The girls make straight for the wizard's tower (after getting directions), walk straight up to the front door, and knock. He invites them in by calling down from above, and they ascend to the fourth floor, where the wizard awaits.
The wizard is a young (mid-to-upper 20s) human male, very attractive (Appearance 17). He's wearing normal clothing, rather than robes, which catches the group off-guard. When questioned, he dances around it a bit by talking about the wizard's guild's practices. (EL: Indicating he's either a renegade wizard, or it's laundry day).
The women discuss the gem; when they mention that they found it in Ironrock Mountain, he gets a very curious expression on his face and slips into the room directly behind himself. A couple of minutes later he returns with a very old book in his hand (EL: Lily gets a description that she calls "Creepy", but doesnt discuss at present). He states that they are the ones who woke the dragon. December bluffs at knowing what they were doing, but its pretty obvious she's got no clue.
The Wizard inquires what they're after in exchange for the gem. This leads to a very long discussion about demands. In the end, the deal is struck as follows:
Tyrant will be paid 500g (in Platinum) and teleported back to his home.
The girls will be teleported to their ship, with enchanted weapons sufficient to retake the ship.
Location of another person (Vorus, for December)
In exchange, the wizard gets the gem, and all of the information about the gem and the note that the ladies have. He'll pay up tomorrow.
He agrees to send Tyrant home today, and the party says their goodbyes to their minotaur. December gives Tyrant a quarrel for his kids, but he snaps it in half, rejecting it as not a minotaur weapon. After a question about whether Tyrant is squeemish about the sight of blood, as he's 'spilled some things' back there, he is escorted back into the back room of this floor, the door closing behind them without letting the others see what's inside as they walk out.
On that cliffhanger, we close for the week, and bid a fond farewell to Geoff as Tyrant departs the show for the land of Minotauria once more.
- Recap from EtoileLion on reddit. Editorial notes are theirs.