The caravan that Cyr and Arvo are riding with arrives in Osmunds Town. As soon as they stop in a market place of some kind, Cyr demands payment for services rendered.
Cyr- “Well that was dull. Can we have our silver pieces now?”
The caravan master hands over six silver pieces each to Cyr and Arvo, and walks away from Cyr as if his chances of re-employment aren’t that great.
Cyr shrugs. “Okay, lets find you a ship headed to Moffat Island!”
Arvo- “Ehhh, OK. Come, Essel!”
Off they go to the port, where Cyr asks around for a ship headed out that day or the next.
They are able to find a ship headed to Port Kitts without too much trouble. It’s headed to Port Kitts tomorrow. Cyr and Arvo pay one gold piece each to secure passage, and then go find a nearby inn. They each get a room, and then hang out in the bar drinking drinks.
They sit and listen to a bard that goes by the name of Cheng, who is singing songs about pining for his homeland. Cyr attempts to eavesdrop on conversations as he moves around the room. He hears about a few instances in the last 50 years of the green wyrm eating people, especially when she doesn’t get her tribute, which consists mainly of gems.
Cyr relays this information to Arvo. “It sounds like you might need some help on your quest, my friend.”
Arvo- “Yes, it is so.”
Cyr- “This sounds more interesting than being a journeyman locksmith, so I think I’ll go with you, what do you say?”
Arvo shrugs- “It is up to you. I am happy for help.”
Cyr smiles. “Excellent!”
Both Cyr and Arvo notice a figure that looks like a halfling over in a corner smoking a pipe.
Cyr nods to Arvo. “Does that look like one of your countrymen?”
Arvo- “I do not know him, I think, but I am speak to him.”
Arvo gets up, walks over to the halfling-size individual, and says, in halfling- “Blessings of Sheela Peryroyl to you, my friend. I am Arvolur Indythea, late of the Halfling Hollow. May I join you at your table and break bread with you?”
The halfling-size individual says- “Sure.”
Arvo sits down. “Might I have your name, my friend?”
Isengrim- “My name is Isengrim.”
Arvo starts- “You are one of the halflings I was sent to find! We had not heard from your for a year, and so the elders feared for your life and safety. A passing merchant said he saw halflings on Moffat’s Island, enslaved, and so I was dispatched to rescue you. Are you alright, and do you know the whereabouts of Peregrim?”
Isengrim- “Peregrim was arrested for filching from the public treasury. I was too, but these clowns have no way of keeping me bound.” His wrists still have manacles on them. He flips his wrists and frees himself. “Peregrim is on the list of people who get to go see the Green Wyrm, up in the hills above Port Kitts”
Arvo- “Do you know how soon he’ll be executed? I have to get there.”
Isengrim- “The treasure train for the Wyrm’s tribute is supposed to leave Port Kitts in two weeks.”
Arvo considers this for a minute. “That should be fine, the human I’m travelling with has booked us passage on a ship leaving tomorrow. Even if it takes two days to sail to the island, I’ll still have ten days to find and rescue Peregrim. Will you accompany us?”
Arvo smiles. “Excellent. Do you need anything? Clothing, weapons? I have a little money, but it would be enough to arm you with a dagger or two.”
Isengrim says he’s well equipped.
Arvo- “Good, good. Then we leave in the morning. Would you come sit with my human companion and me? He will want to know this good tiding.”
Isengrim agrees to go sit down with Arvo and Cyr, so they move back over. Arvo makes introductions. “This Isengrim, one of halfling I seek. He tell me other halfling still on Moffat Island, and execute two week by Green Wyrm, so we hurry.”
Cyr’s eyes bug out a little. “Wow, okay, I did not expect that. Yeah, we’ll need to hurry.”
Isengrim gives directions to Cyr and Arvo about how to get to the tribute grounds from Port Kitts: follow the G & P Road.
Saluki heads to the warehouse, with Phaedra following. Saluki noticed that he is being followed, but does not say anything.
Unfortunately, the two of them manage to make some noise while approaching the warehouse, and they hear from inside, “Did you hear that?”
Both Phaedra and Saluki freeze. They see lights go on on the second floor, and see someone looking out the window. Phaedra goes up to Saluki and grabs his arm, and start to pull him away. She isn’t very strong, but he decides to go along with her anyway.
Phaedra - “Breaking into heavily guarded warehouses is a bad plan. We need to be up early tomorrow to catch the boat.”
Saluki - “You, my dear, have no sense of adventure.”
He allows her to drag him back to inn, but makes a mental note to revisit the place next time he’s in Osmund’s Town. He also considers that learning better stealth skills would be helpful. Phaedra heads to bed, and Saluki spends the evening in the tavern with the rest of the caravaners.
The next morning! The caravan embarks on the boat to Port Kitts, with Saluki and Phaedra in tow. The boat leaves at noon.
While eating breakfast prior to boarding the ship, Cyr and Arvo notice that everyone who is in the inn has a whole lot of gems on them.
As they finish their breakfast and get up to to leave, Cyr says, “Go ahead to the ship, I want to ask the barkeep a question.” He elbows his way up to the bar, and starts talking to the barkeep, while attempting to pick a pocket.
The bag starts yelling, “Help! Thief! Help Thief!”
Cyr jumps and recoils, “Hey, your bag is kind of overactive! Sorry I bumped into you!” And then he briskly leaves the inn, and picks up Isengrim and Arvo on his way out. “Lets be on our way, shall we?”
And they head to the ship.
When they get to the ship, the captain meets them on the gangplank and asks if they know anything about a disturbance at the inn.”
Cyr fesses up immediately. “Yeah, that was me, I was heading up to the bar to pay, and bumped into some guy with a magic mouth on his purse. The magic mouth went off, so I paid and we left and came straight here.
The captain lets them onto the ship. Cyr and Arvo find some berthing and then go sit on deck to watch everyone else board. Arvo takes Essel to look around cause they’ve never been on a ship before.
Cyr hops up suddenly and tracks down the captain. “Oh captain, how long until the ship sails? I have some shopping I need to do.”
Captain- “The ship sails at about noon, at high tide today.”
Cyr looks at his nonexistent watch. “Okay, I’ll be back! Arvo, stay on the ship, I’m just going to go buy some different armor.” And charges off the ship to find an armorer.
Cyr trades his chain shirt for leather armor, and decides not to try to swindle anyone just now. Then it’s off to look for a wizard who might be able to identify the magic sword the river bandit gave to him. Cyr runs around for 90 minutes or so looking for a wizard and finds one.
Cyr, slightly breathless from running- “Hey wizard guy, I found this sword and I think it’s magical, can you tell me what it is? He slams a bag of 100 gp down on the counter.”
Wizard, impressed by the bag of money- “Yeah, I’ll identify your sword for you. Come back tomorrow.”
Cyr stares at him for a minute. “Mmmm, I’m leaving in like an hour. So look, I have this battle axe that’s worth 300 gold pieces, will that speed things up?”
The wizard is convinced to work faster.
Cyr- “Awesome! Can you identify the sword right now?”
Wizard- “It is a frost sword, so it does cold damage to things.”
Cyr- “Cool! Haha, okay, I gotta run, thanks, oh, hey, I think you dropped something over there.” He attempts to distract him long enough to grab the bag of gold on his way out the door.
The wizard, lightning fast, stabs Cyr’s hand as he a tries to leave with his bag.
Cyr- “S*%&! Ow!” And he charges out the door, but notices a gold filigree item laying on the floor, which he grabs while stumbling out. ‘“Doesn’t work every time, oh well.” Cyr manages to get to the ship without too much more ruckus. He greets Arvo casually. They sit on the ship and watch people board as Cyr bandages his hand.
Cyr- “Anyone interesting board while I was gone?”
Arvo- “No, no one.”
Not causing trouble, the boat sails at precisely noonish, and arrives in Port Kitts two days later. The winds are weak.
Phaedra notices that right before they set off, a box with 4 guards is loaded onto the ship. The guards are looking around at everybody suspiciously. The guards also embark. They are carrying some really sharp spears.
It takes about 2 days to get to Port Kitts.
All of the ships reach port Kitts at approximately the same time, disgorging their passengers on to the docks.
Cyr, Arvo, Essel, and Isengrim all debark from the ship. Cyr and Arvo see some guards pushing a large, locked box on a set of rails away from one of the other ships that arrived as they did. The guards are unusual in that a half-orc appears to be in charge.
Cyr nudges Arvo. “Huh, look at that. Say, Isengrim, are there a lot of half-orcs around here?”
Isengrim- “I’ve seen quite a few half-orc guards, but I’ve tried not to have any contact with them.”
Cyr- “Well we can investigate that tonight or tomorrow, maybe. Let’s go find an inn?”
Phaedra notices that lockbox is removed under guard from her ship and put on rails to move up the hill, past a large building bearing the symbol of St. Cuthbert of the Cudgel.
Arjun and Yudhisthir look around, gaping like the back-country rubes they are. They move farther away from the ship so as to get out of the way of cargo and other passengers.
Everyone notices the presence of some really odd-looking passengers just off the ships.
Phaedra squees at the dog and runs up to Arvo and says, “Bless the sun, your dog is so cute! I don’t suppose I can touch it?” Her eyes sparkle. Saluki is giving her a look like she’s nuts.
Arvo, stunned, doeessss not know what to do. “Eh….please no, she may not like stranger.”
Cyr is also slightly stunned. “Um, Arvo, this isn’t abnormal, at least in cities, so why don’t we introduce ourselves? I’m Cyr. “ He holds out his hand to Phaedra.
Phaedra straightens up and smiles at Cyr, and shakes his hand. “Greetings to you, I am Phaedra of West Elm.”
Arvo- “My name, ehh, Arvolur, and dog, Essel.”
Phaedra shakes his hand as well, and offers her hand to Essel to sniff. “Greetings, Lady Essel.”
Essel sniffs her hand thoroughly.
Phaedra tries not to squee too loudly so as not to scare Essel. She will stroke Essel’s head if Essel seems okay with that.
Essel thinks it’s okay.
Phaedra is very happy. Saluki takes this moment to introduce himself as well. “Hello, my name is Saluki, I am Phaedra’s traveling companion.” Phaedra is too distracted by Essel to object to that characterization.
Cyr and Arvo shake his hand, and greet him politely.
Yudhisthir cringes at the high-pitched squeal emanating from the really tall woman with… silver hair? Arjun, intrigued, cranes his neck to get a better view. Yudhisthir whaps him. “Let’s find an inn and see if anyone’s heard of Zod.” They wander through the crowd looking for a likely place to gather information.
Phaedra starts to chat with Arvo and Cyr, and suggest that they join her and Saluki at the inn that their caravan is going to, assuming they have no other plans.
Cyr sees no reason not to, and drags Arvo, Isengrim and Essel with him.
Arvo notices that the box is now out of the quay, and has a green label that says “Property of Bevacizumab.” He takes note of the name, but says nothing about it just yet.
The group heads to an inn adorned with a large picture of a green dragon chewing on a couple of (probably) half-orcs. After Phaedra and Saluki settle up with the caravan owner, they join Arvo, Cyr, and Isengrim at their table. There is a bard in the inn, using very foreign instruments, who looks remarkably similar to one in Osmonds Town.
Arjun and Yudhisthir enter the same inn. Arjun goes up the bard and greets him “Cheng! Good to see you, man!” Yudhisthir looks around suspiciously and notices the shrill woman’s group. He shudders and turns his back on them.
Cheng asks “What brings you here?”
Arjun “Oh you know, information gathering, following trails, seeing sights. The usual. Say, you haven’t heard of any travelers by the name of Zod, have you?
Cheng “I have not. But I have seen an awful lot of gems and priests in town. Many more than one would expect for such a small town.”
Arjun “Huh. Too bad we’re not looking for gems. If you hear anything about this Zod guy, would you let us know?”
Cheng: “If I hear something I will let you know.”
Arjun: “Thanks, man! We appreciate it”
Saluki is attempting to listen in, intrigued by both the wings and the unusual instruments, but can’t quite make out what they’re saying.
Arjun and Yudhisthir look around for a table to sit at. They find one and sit.
Phaedra - “Did you guys notice the tracks going up from the quay? I’ve never seen a contraptions quite like that for moving goods before.”
Cyr- “I’ve never seen anything like that either, I thought it was pretty interesting.”
Phaedra - “They took a box from our ship and put it on those tracks, it had a bunch of guards. I wonder what was in it?”
Cyr considers this. “Obviously something valuable. Hmmmm….”
Arvo- “The box say ‘Property of Bevacizumab’ on side. Who is this? Isengrim, you know?”
Isengrim thinks. “I think it’s the name of the dragon that the town give tribute to.”
Arvo- “Same as sacrifice of people?”
Phaedra - “Give tribute? Why?”
Isengrim- “Because the dragon is bigger than everyone else. And yes, the same one that people get sacrificed to.”
Arvo- “Where are tribute people kept before?”
Isengrim- “They grab random people in town, especially if they’ve offended the priests of St. Cuthbert.”
Phaedra - “How horrible.”
Arvo- “Hmmm okay, so Peregrim is in mountains. We must leave fast to find him.”
Isengrim- “There’s a group that works very hard to free people from getting captured. Sometimes they’re successful, sometimes not.”
Arvo- “How to find them?”
Isengrim- “If you want to join me in attacking one of the slave caravans, we can try and free some people that way, before they’re sent into the mountains. If you’re interested. It has certain risks, like irritating the priests of St. Cuthbert.”
Phaedra says - “I would also like offer my assistance, no one deserves to be sacrificed to a dragon.” She will nudge Saluki. “What about you, you seem to like adventure.”
Saluki, who was totally not listening, says, -”What, huh? Adventure? Of course, sign me up!” with a dashing grin.
Arvo- “I go, it is why I am here.”
Cyr- “Do you know if the people and whatever’s in the giant locked box will be in the same caravan?”
Isengrim- “I do not know, I haven’t been that close.”
Cyr- “Hmmmm, well if I can get some help acquiring one of those locked chests later, I’ll go too.”
Saluki - “Locked chests, eh? I’m all for that.”
It was after this session that the DM had to drop out and I took over, so a bit of exposition (and retconning) followed the next time we played:
The situation in Moffatt remains as it was described. Isengrim is still on the island, but most of the people he sailed back over with have all vanished, having apparently caught a terminal case of the Vaporizing Flu, or suddenly decided they’re urgently needed elsewhere. Little does he know that the Temporal Monks brought out the Time Fracture Wickets in order to correct some oddities in the timeline.
Yudhisthir and his brother, upon arriving on the island of Moffatt, learn that Zod was only in town a couple hours before leaving again on another ship heading north. They both hop on a ship heading north the next day, to a country called Gran March. Their boat arrives in... <Insert Name of Town here!>... in a couple of days.
Cyr, upon getting the halflings pointed in the right direction, changes her (or his, depending on who you ask) mind about rescuing halflings from an enslavement they got themselves into; sounds like not very profitable. So he hops on some ship heading back north, figuring that the areas infested by giants are as good or better as any other place to make some money, and the people who don’t like her probably won’t try to follow her. Him. Whichever. All he has to do is avoid whatever town it was that he tried to rob. He espies a couple of other passengers, warrior looking types, one with wings, who look like easy marks.
Arvolur does care about enslaved halflings, so he is on the island of Moffat with Isengrim. Essell, being a dog, and Arvolur’s animal companion stays as well. Essell seems put out when Saluki leaves.
Phaedra give her apologies to the halflings, as her father instructed her to head north for her adventuring. Saluki decides to join her, and she is too polite to tell him to shove off. She says a sad goodbye to Essel. The board a ship that’s heading north, and happen to see Cyr board a bit later.
The Plot Convenience weighs anchor the next morning, and off to the north!