Act casual, but you know not too casual.

The heroes have successfully survived the close encounter with the magic armour and the process of healing the party’s wounds is over. The sound of the magic armour hacking at the soil around it with its battle axe is a constant reminder of the peril that could await around every corner. So, their approach to exploring the treasure room and the chest in the corridor is understandably cautious.

Fulton, the master locksmith, tackles the chests and recovers a small bag of coins. He lets the rest know that he has found these but neglects to reveal how much is in the bag. Meanwhile, Dagaard runs his experienced eyes over the chainmail shirt and decides it is made durable by its weight. However, it does not fit him and the rest will not wear it. He decides to take it for selling on later. The redwood staff is taken by Denig, who cannot determine its magical purposes, but keeps it anyway. The final item worthy of note in the treasure room is a book written in the local language and so only translatable by Aerandir and Fulton. Both sailors digest its contents and discover much about the traps in the rooms they have passed through. Consequently, the heroes decide not to investigate the treasure room seen earlier fearing that it is trapped in manner described in the book. They also worry about a trap called “The sword of Damoclese” which they have not encountered yet. Suddenly, every doorway has become more of a threat.

The chest in the corridor proves a challenge to open. Fulton takes a full quarter of an hour to release its old and complicated mechanism. It is also really heavy and it is clear why the assassin was struggling to get away. Inside, there is only an array of heavy rocks.

Reasoning that it will be easier to move slightly more empty, the adventurers set about removing the larger ones. Although, Fulton drops one on the armour to see the effect. It has none.

The chest emptied, the party move up the stairs beyond to find they lead out through a book case into a small office. The clerk who is working late is very surprised by the appearance of a stone man with a glowing hand and a short metal clad, war hammer wielding dwarf. Fulton’s attempt to allay his fears fall on deaf ears, in fact he only serves to convince the poor clerk that he is in fact a sorcerer of great power. The clerk flees the room, down the stairs and into the night.

Our heroes discuss the situation that they find themselves in. It becomes apparent, as Denig reveals that he may be viewed as a murder, that they may need to find some way to prove their innocence when they meet the authorities. A quick check of the area reveals that they are outside the port’s walls and should there be an alert, which Denig thinks likely due to his unusual appearance, getting past the guards will prove difficult.

Investigating the passage thrust at them with the words ” Zahrat Alnajma” find a pale blue cloak with gold trim. It clearly isn’t magical but they are at a loss why the man gave it to them. What does Zahrat mean? Aerandir and Fulton know it translates as “Flower of Stars”, but is that a person, place or organisation? Perhaps, it is a code word?

They debate returning the way they came with all the difficulties and even consider swimming out through the submerged chasm until Dagaard points out that he will never agree to such a plan. Once underwater was enough!

The debate is long and finally solved when they exit the offices and discover the clerk has brought the authorities to deal with the sorcerer and his demons who has appeared in his office. They run back the way they came closing the secret entrance behind them and trusting to the chest of stones to buy more time if needed. Across the pit with the magical armour they leap. First Dagaard and then Fulton, loses his footing on landing and bloodies his nose. Then Denig, prepares until Aerandir points to one of the tables in the bedroom chamber and suggests they use that to cross the pit.

The party make their way back across the chasm and through the thieves’ lair. They stop for a brief theological argument about the need for a blessing from Cloch to pass through the magical mist until Fulton points out that it is all an illusion and walks right on.

Soon they have reached the grain silo and are now confronted by a new problem. How to get out? The sides a covered in copper sheeting and the cranes used to lift the sacks are operated from the roof. For the lack of a ladder it looks as is they will be forced to swim after all. Looking around they find some crates which if stacked at he top of the moulder grain should allow the taller members of the party to reach the broken gantry by their finger tips. However, they decide that they need rope for insurance. Aerandir is dispatched to recover the rope.

Back past the scary skeleton (woo), through the mist (stumble stumble), past the fire gem under the ice wall (szsh szsh), up the stairs (trudge, trudge) and up to the chasm. Oh no! The rope is on the other side! Aerandir makes the leap (run, run, leap). It is simple to untie it and wrap it round his waist. Then back to the party. Over the chasm (run, run, leap), down the stairs (trudge, trudge), past the fire gem (szsh, szsh), through the mist (stumble stumble), past the skeleton (woo, woo) and back to the party.

Finally, the party are out of the grain silo and make their way to the exit where they discover a pair of guards at the crime scene. Denig prays again for a boon; asking Cloch that the guards will not be aggressive.

Act casual, but don’t look like you are looking casual,” Denig tells his companions but it is not enough. They are spotted and challenged by one of the soldiers in an aggressive fashion. The heroes run but are followed by one guard who they eventually lose by splitting up.

Soon the party arrive at the dockside from different directions and end up hiding in pairs separated from each other. On the dock and the ship are soldiers of Mutasaliq Eali. The crew of the ship are being chained up and Captain Reiss does not look happy at this turn of events. In the bay, the warships look menacing. A midnight escape to sea looks to be unlikely.

Denig decides that the only decent thing to do is surrender as it is he who was seen with the body of the old man. Perhaps, the crew will be released without any need for bloodshed. Handing his weapons and the blue cloak to Aerandir he walks towards the ship.

Meanwhile, Fulton, who is hiding behind some cargo elsewhere on the docks, sees Denig making his way towards the soldiers. He too decides to surrender; reasoning that only he can represent Denig to the authorities, especially as Denig doesn’t speak the local language.

The crew are chained and thrown in prison and Aerandir and Dagaard are forced to spend a few days on the street. In prison, Fulton learns of the demise of one of his crew mates. Laegion of Gondor fell from the rigging and broke his neck. Fulton wonders if the ship is cursed and several of his crew mates would appear to agree this is the case ever since leaving port in Far Harad.

Eventually, the case of the murder is brought before the Amyr. It appears that the murdered man was Qubtan Tubki, a valued sea captain of the Amyr’s warships. He had not long retired to look after his son after the death of his beloved wife. Indeed, it was his son’s birthday the very day he was murdered.

Eloquent as ever, Fulton manages to partially convince the hawk-nosed ruler by claiming that he alone chased the assassin and that Denig merely tried to save the man’s life. However, the crew are returned to prison while an investigation is made into the Fulton’s extravagant claims.

Several more days pass as the claims are investigated and proved to be, at least to those investigating true. Accordingly, the Amyr frees the crew and grants them leave to return to the ship, but not to leave the island. He informs Fulton that there have been cases of these Zilal Ramadiatan (Grey Shadows) attacking others on the island. However, as they were commoners it was thought the Zilal Ramadiatan were no more than rogues or thieves. Amyr Fatih Albahr wishes to speak with the mighty Fulton about this at another time.

The crew are escorted from the throne room. As they leave, Denig sees a flash of golden hair, a woman in silk clothing moving through a room beyond a lattice work screen. He swears he hears the laughter of Vanwa, which would explain why she has not been seen.

Back at the Ulmo’s Beard, the adventurers catch up and compare notes. Aerandir is most perturbed by Fulton’s failure to find where Vanwa has gone, since she should have been with the crew. Even more so when he hears Denig’s news. For now though, all the group can do is settle down and wait for the Amyr’s summons.

One thought on “Act casual, but you know not too casual.

  1. Yes dear reader, they really did turn walking backwards and forwards through the rogue’s den into a version of “We’re going on a bear hunt” There were a few for forays up and down than I included in the recount. Mostly, because I lost track of the number of times they went up and down the stairs for various reasons as they tried to make up their minds what to do.

    It was, however, a tremendously fun session to be part of. The players really were doing all the work as they discussed/argued over what to do. Met impossible choices and eventually found themselves back at the start again. As one player put it – what would have happened if we had just gone to the pub?

    Like

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