IV: The Devil’s Due

Zarantyr 6, 998 YYK

The Crown set a course to the south to intercept the Karrnathi Freighter, an errand requested by Riggy Rockface they were all too happy to carry out. When the Reclamation sighted the Crown, it immediately turned to starboard to seek refuge in a storm, unworried about potential injuries to its undead crew.

The Crown boldly met Reclamation in the storm, and through vigorous maneuvering, was able to safely pelt the Reclamation with its ballistae until the freighter was crippled and leaking. A too-close pass gave the Reclamation’s captain, a powerful necromancer, a brief opportunity to wield his magic, but he was quickly put down, causing the crew to disintegrate, consigning the mortally wounded ship to the deep.

Zarantyr 11, 998 YK

A little under a week later, the Crown made port in Port Verge. After asking the harbor pilot, Mika, a few questions, they confirmed that Arazka and the Mercurial do indeed sail here frequently, unloading cargo. Arazka apparently enjoys a close relationship with Prince Kolberkon.

The party disembarked and, as pirates do, sought out the local dive, the Squall, to hunt for information. There, they were met by Gal Feinn, a mysterious figure who had heard of their arrival and seemed eager to meet them… discreetly.

Gal was reluctant to share her intentions or how she knew of the Crown and its crew, but offered help with the party’s mission to pin down the nature of Arazka’s operation here. Thorpe convinced her, however, that the Crown was her ally by establishing their rock-solid enmity with Arazka and their efforts to burn his Dreamlily operation.

Gal then revealed that she was a member of the King’s Dark Lanterns and was tasked with tracing the flow of Dreamlily into the Sharn… and the flow of certain goods (which the party knows to be Dragonshards) out. It’s now known that Arazka is the source. The mystery, then, is what he is doing with his purchases. The clues are to be found, it is hoped, in Kolberkon’s estate: Axe-Head keep.

The other mystery is, of course, where Captain Tyrn is. Midge, telepathically communicating with him, knows he is alive, and he claims to be in a prison. But he clearly went to great lengths to hide these meetings with Arazka, and perhaps he can’t be trusted. What did he have to hide? What happened to him when he got to Regalport? Will the party find clues to this, too, in Port Verge?

Last session, the party discussed with the mysterious Gal Feinn their target: Prince Kolberkon’s personal estate, Axe-Head Keep. As Gal explained, Captain Arazka spends many evenings and nights there, and she believes she shares a mutual interest with the party in finding out just what he’s been up to. She shared what she knew of the keep’s layout and detailed its occupants. Broadly, there are four different groups: first, Prince Kolberkon himself and his wife and young daughter; second, his personal guard of Valenar mercenaries headed by a young knight by the name of Reluraun Qindi; third, an envoy-priest from the theocracy of Thrane and his attendant priests and paladins; and finally, the keep’s usual watch as provided by the Direshark raider alliance.

Zarantyr 12, 998 YK

The party did a bit of their own reconnaissance. Captain Thorpe and First Mate Fox watched all entrances and exits, making note of the help leaving in shifts. Oracle and Evie tailed some of the help, learning that they were fishmongers, and that a well-placed bribe to the estate’s Majordomo would greatly increase the prospects of any potential vendor to the estate, especially while it was entertaining dignitaries. Finally, Krijkor and Henry Chatham… drank a lot, and narrowly avoided a duel-to-the-death with Reluraun Qindi.

Now disguised as orange vendors, half of the party has their foot in the door but is being stonewalled by an ornery Valenar watchstander near the greathall.

The party reunited, hauling in barrels of oranges to fulfil their promised service to the majordomo of Axe-Head Keep, Karl Arnsson. But they sensed an opportunity in the Valenar captain returning from his break, and they cornered him in the empty throne room and waylaid him, killing him and allowing Midge to adopt his face and wear his armor.

The guise adopted, Midge convinced the Valenar guard upstairs to leave his post to investigate an incident in the courtyard, and the party snuck upstairs, killing another Valenar guard and giving Midge the opportunity to adopt his persona. A brief search of the small but lavishly decorated living quarters yielded some small treasures, as well as a brief conversation with Kolberkon’s young daughter Frieda, and a glimpse of a strange and gruesome ritual room. The ritual room seemed to be the object of this mission; Arazka’s dragonshards appear to arrive here in large numbers, for reasons unknown. The party grabbed a bound ritual book and departed, bluffing their way past a livid Reluraun Qindi and passing along the oranges—and a pair of dead elves—to the kitchen on their way out.

The party delivered the ritual book to Gal Feinn and she made good on her deal: the ranking Brelish diplomat in Regalport, Testra ir’Gawaine, should know Captain Tyrn’s whereabouts. The party set sail right away, guided out of the increasingly hostile harbor by an amused Mika.