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Lykan

Savage Tide

Chapter One: There Is No Honor

Part One: A Noble in Need

Mirage, Burl, and Alton each receive letters at their places of residence, delivered by rather wizened looking halfling who introduces herself as Kora Whistlegap. The letter reads as follows:



She departs shortly after they give their answers (assuming they all say theyíre intrested), thus is unable to answer any questions that they may have about the opportunity in question.

***

Ghost the Gnome, long before this, has been tossed into a prison cell, and locked up. The prison guard growls

Crazy assed shortfolk...

She is imprisoned for almost two weeks before the captain of the guard approaches her cell, and opens it, slapping a pair of shackles on her wrists before she can properly react

Youíre being paroled... Consider yourself lucky that itís this early. Murder isnít an easy offense to shake.

He looks down at her

One of this city's noble people has requested your unique... Skills... To help her with some problems.

He waves a hand around, speaking some words of an unknown language, and a strange rune glows brightly on her forehead for a moment before disappearing

That there is called a Mark of Justice. If you do anything outside of Lady Vanderborenís orders, or if you hurt any other people of this city, it will trigger, and you wonít even remember how to fight properly, understand?

No matter her answer, the guard leads her out of the prison, still shackled, and to the Vanderboren Manor...
Amiria

Mirage Do'Lassar

Mirage ponders about the meaning of the message. "Could it be ... ? Yes, this could finally be it. Mom has really talked somebody's ear off and now they want me to do ... something ? I really hope that's the reason. Maybe I'll finally leave the city, that would be great. Oh, hmm, what should I put on tomorrow evening then ?"

The next evening, Mirage arrives at the Vanderboren Manor and knocks on the door. Her hair is bound in two long braids and she wears her red and blue entertainer's outfit. A dagger in a scabbard at her side and she has brought her lyre with her.

The other guests might know that she is one of the two female drow that live in the house of the Fallafabri family (minor nobles). From her looks and attire she must be the younger one of the two, the daughter of the other one.
Wukei

Ghost

Ghost stares at the man. His speech moved too quickly. She understood murder. He must be speaking of the act that she performed on those poachers. She understood the word 'skills' too...but she wasn't sure how they applied. Then he spoke strangely. He might have been talking about his own, then. He asked if she understood. Well there was a question she heard a lot, though never directed at her before. She follows after him as quickly as she can, no more than the height of one of these big people's small children.
Artemis

Alton Nightshade

Alton reads over the note, then grins up at the Halfling woman. "Please inform Lady Vanderboren that I would be happy to join her for dinner. "

The next night he arrives on Festival Street and walks towards the Vanderboren Estate. The dark-haired halfling is wearing a nice outfit in shades of black and deep blue, including a white shirt, blue vest and sash, and a black overcoat. Nothing too fancy as to make him stick out, but still appropriate for dinner in the Lady's home. Hiden in the sash is his dagger and sling, the bullets of which are in his coin purse, making it seem much fuller than it actually is. Concealed up his left sleeve are his thieve's tools, you never knew when they could come in handy, especially when dealing with a woman he'd never met.

Despite all these precautions, Alton is smiling and looking forward to a good meal and perhaps a business agreement.
Vael

Burl reads over the note swiftly, having no problems reading it like his less... educated brethen would have.
I'll be there. Go along now.
He waves a hand at Kora, dismissing her without another thought.

When Burl arrives the next evening, it becomes clear that he really didn't change much in his appearance, though he is thankfully devoid of the fish reek that normally emanates from the docks. His clothes are tidy enough, but are normal workman's clothes and hardly anything to look at. He could make his way in as a servant unquestioned.
However, at the front door he probably stands out, especially with the two short swords hanging at his sides. Furthermore, he has a dagger well hidden on his person.
His blue black hair is not neatly arranged, though his eyes glare at anyone who would dare comment on his appearance.
Lykan

Vanderboren Manor is located in the eastern section of the merchantís district, the seven foot high stone walls that surrounds the estate is hard to miss, as is the towering, gothic, three story that dominates the grounds within. Leering gargoyles and capering nymphs festoon the eves of the manorís roof, and several trees give the manor a nice buffer from the bustles of the city

The front gate has been left open, but no one greets them until they knock on the front door. Once they do, they are greeted by Kora once again, and let into an atrium where a wild looking gnome, a man wearing a polished breastplate and carrying a bastard sword, a half-elf wearing a dozen or so blades, a dwarf wearing brown robes and a sour expression, and a haughty looking woman wearing purple robes. The last four begin to depart from the building, and the armored man looks over at the assembled group, seemingly mentally judging them, before speaking

Hmm... You must be the help Laviniaís bringing in to do the chores. Best of luck to yah!


He then leaves, catching up with his comrades.

Ryvin Blackwind

Soon after they leave, a flustered looking human enters, leaning against a wall to catch his breath

Phew... Not late...

His dark brown hair is short and astray, and his mismatched eyes of gold and gray show a certain excitement to the situation at hand, if not also a certain wariness he had attained staying up most nights in libraries, trying to learn as much about the world outside the city as he possibly can. He wears a sleaved cloak, a chain shirt made of some dull, greenish metal, a pair of cotton slacks, and a pair of worn leather boots. A hammer, made from the same green metal as his armor hangs from his belt, and a wooden symbol of a dragon coiled around the sun hangs from a thin leather strap wrapped around his wrist. He looks around, smiling slightly at the others
Artemis

Alton Nightshade

The halfling chuckles. "Chores?! Hardly something as menial as that. I've been invited to dinner." He smiles at the others, letting them know he's joking. Certainly the armored man hadn't been refering to actual chores. "And what about the rest of you? Are you here for the same reasons I am?"
Amiria

Mirage Do'Lassar

"I was also invited to dinner by Lady Lavinia Vanderboren.", says the dark elven maiden and flashes a smile. "If I am here for the same reasons as you I cannot say. But I won't be doing 'chores', I hope for some more important task."
Vael

Burl crosses his arms.
I believe I'm here for the same.
He looks over the others in a rather rude but very thorough fashion, wondering just who he would be working with.
Great. A midget, a foppish drow, and a holy man.
He briefly contemplates the upside of killing them all, dumping them in the alley, and claiming he was the only one who showed up. Not that he would ever do something like that, it was quite ridiculous, and the guard would surely catch him and jail him for something that stupid and obvious... bah. He wasn't going to hold out his head for the noose.
Still, getting rid of these morons seemed a pleasant idea.
His displeasure is somewhat obvious as he looks among them.
Then again... sometimes people were more useful than they seem. Might as well give them a little benefit of the doubt....
So who am I working with? What are your capabilities?
Wukei

Ghost

The gnome considers the newcomers, quietly. It seemed that they all liked to hear themselves speak...a lot. And they spoke too quickly, damn them. Well, just pretend that their words didn't matter. None of them seemed in charge here. She turns her attention away from them.
Lykan

((Eh, so much for an introduction to the other party members... Sorry this took so long))

Ryvin nods

I got the memo about a Vanderboren job as well...


He looks to Burl

Iím a healer, I guess... Itís thíonly really potent ability I have unless weíre in a room full of zombies...


Then, a door opens at the end of the hall, and Kora calls out to the adventurers

If you would all come, the lady is ready to speak to you.

She leads the group into a comfortable and cozy dining hall, lit by wall mounted lanterns. A window overlooks the manorís central courtyard, and the carpet is thick and soft. A large portrait hangs on the wall, a fine work depicting a handsome young man with a short beard. Standing before the portrait is an attractive human woman wearing a long, flowing blue dress. She smiles

Good evening... My name is Lavinia Vanderboren.

As you may have heard, I recently inherited my parentís estate. Along with this fine house, unfortunately, came a fine amount of debt owed the Dawn Council, the harbor-master, and quite a few guildhalls. It seems my parents, for all their success as adventurers, were not as skilled in finance as one might expect. If Iím going to get these taxes paid, Iíll need to access my familyís vault under Castle Teraknian.

And thatís the problem, you see. The vaults are magically lockedĖkeyed to specific signet rings. Both of my parents had these rings, at least, until recently. My mother lost hers a few months ago. She arranged for a replacement, but it wonít be done for another month or so, too late for me. Which leaves my fatherís ring. He never wore itĖhe had a thing about men wearing jewelry. He kept it hidden somewhere on his ship, the Blue Nixie. The problem there us the harbor-masterís seized the ship until someone pays for the last four months of mooring. Iíve paid the fines to the man who the harbor-master has put in charge of my ship, a brute named Soller Vark. Yet when I went to claim my ship, Varkís men wouldnít let me board, claiming that I hadnít yet paid the fines. I spoke to Vark again and he denied ever receiving my payment. My complaints to the harbor-master have fallen on deaf earsĖheís a doddering old fool who trusts his man and wonít relent.

Vark and his men are up to something on my ship, I know it. What I need is to find out what exactly theyíre up to. Unfortunately, Varkís not the type to react well to diplomacy or logic. I need someone who speaks his language... Which is where you come in. If you can find out what heís using my ship for, or even better, recover the money I paid him, Iíll pay you each 200 gold in return once Iíve access to my vault.

Any questions?
Vael

Burl frowns and thinks about it.
Yeah, will you be upset if we kill anyone?
Subtlety was never his thing.
Wukei

Ghost

Ghost nods. Humans mad if kill humans. Even if they ones doing wrong. She at least understood him, anyway...
Amiria

Mirage

"Yes, we'll most likely have to do illegal things to get this job done. How much money did you give this Vark ?", asks Mirage.
Lykan

Lavinia's jaw sets when she hears Burl's question

I'd prefer you not throw the first punch, if you can avoid it... But in the end, why would they put up a fight at all unless they were up to no good?

She then looks to Mirage

I gave him 100 platinum coins for payment...

Ryvin, meanwhile, is looking about the room

... You said you just inherited your parent's estate... What happened to them?

Lavnia seems taken aback, though after a moment, she speaks again in a quiet voice

They burned to death in a ship fire about a month ago... They were taking the recently purchased ship for a cruise when something caused the ship to catch fire and burn to the waterline.

She sighs, looking a little distraught

There werenít any survivors.

After a few moments, she looks to the adventurers again

Any more questions?
Vael

Burl makes notes of it all in his head.
Artemis

Alton

Alton listens to everything quietly and shakes his head when asked if he had any questions. The job seemed pretty clear to him: find out what happened to the lady's payment and get a hold of the signet ring.
Wukei

Ghost

Ghost considers the rest of the group instead of the Lady. She decides to speak to Alton. Something told her that he may be able to answer any questions she had a bit more slowly.
Amiria

Mirage

The drow shakes her head slightly in response to the Lady's question.
Lykan

Ryvin shakes his head as well

Lavinia nods slightly

Well, once you finish our meals, I beg you to please begin on this mission... The sooner I can find out what they're doing with that ship, the better.

Several servants bring out dishes consisting of finely cooked meats and vegetables, as well as a glass of strong drink and water for each member of the party.

Ryvin remains quiet as he eats, silently going over various things in his head. He spares a glance ever so often at the drow and orc, though doesn't say anything.
Wukei

Ghost

Ghost tears into her food animalistically. Despite this, she isn't just eating meat, apparently she understands the natural balance needed of vegetables along with the meat. She sniffs the alcoholic drink and makes a face before drinking her water.
Vael

Burl eats with enough decorum to be passable, but doesn't make much effort to follow table etiquette. He's too busy thinking over the situation and how he'd like to start.
Amiria

Mirage

Mirage displays the table etiquette of the upper class during the meal. She eats and drinks a moderate amount of everything offered, including the strong drink.
Lykan

Ryvin looks down, closing his eyes

... Right... So I'm doing a mercenary job with the daughter of Ilyasimee the bard, the Poacher-Killer, esteemed water orc mercenary Bulk, and local thief Alton Nighshade...


He opens his eyes, grinning

Wicked.
Vael

Burl coughs.
Burl.
Lykan

((... woah, I didn't even mean to do it that time.))

He bites his lip

I was close.
Amiria

Mirage

Mirage giggles restrained behind her napkin.
Lykan

Ryvin gives her a slight smile

I guess I should get adequate sleep before I try to act like I'm smart in front of complete strangers.
Vael

Burl glares between Ryvin and Mirage and gives a small 'hmph.'
Artemis

Alton Nightshade

The Halfling helps himself to large portions of everything, although he does take it easy on the alcohol. He chuckles as Ryvin tries to name them all. "Indeed. My name is Nightshade, by the way."He says, emphasizing the T. "And I am pleasantly surprised my reputation has reached you Mr..." Alton lets his sentence hang in the air, wanting the healer to fill in his name.
Lykan

((damn you, spelling errors!))

Blackwind. Ryvin Blackwind.


He looks over at Alton

I have problems sleeping... So most nights I'd stay up reading old newspapers and books and stuff. Some things have a tendency to stick in my head...


He puts down his eating utensils and pushes the plate away

Alright, I'm ready for a bit of fun.
Wukei

Ghost

Ghost stares down at her empty plate, obviously full and content but she runs over the past conversations, trying to see if she can understand any of the words spoken.
Lykan

Ryvin bites his lip

Alright, I'm ready to go. What about you people?
Wukei

Ghost

Ghost hears the word 'go' and nods. Yes.
Vael

I've got what I need.
Burl crosses his arms and leans back.
Amiria

Mirage

Mirage raises an eyebrow in surprise. "So you want to go to the docks right now ?", she asks. "Uh, I'd have to go home and fetch some gear. But I don't live far from here."
Lykan

Ryvin shrugs

I guess it'd be a good idea to go get it now, then.
Artemis

Alton Nightshade

Alton frowns, not liking that dinner would be cut short. "I suppose I'm ready to leave if we must, but they've only just served dessert." the halfling is reluctant to leave the sweets behind and go tramping around the docks in the middle of the night.
Wukei

Ghost

Ghost notices the desert, as well, but her reaction is suspicion to the strange substance. It wasn't natural in shape. She sniffs it and takes a nibble. Her eyes widen in surprise and she starts tearing into the sweet food.
Vael

Burl tastes some of the sweets, but doesn't eat much.
It wouldn't pay to gorge if they were going to head out soon.
Amiria

Mirage

Mirage eats some spoonfuls of the vanilla pudding but seems to be poised to leave any moment.
Lykan

Ryvin shrugs, and munches on the sweets. As each person finishes, a servent comes to take away what remains.

Lavinia looks around

Any final requests to take care of before you all head out on your mission?


((it's not dusk yet, Artemis))
Wukei

Ghost

Ghost frowns at the servant that 'steals' her plate.
Vael

Burl shakes his head.
Amiria

Mirage

Mirage says "No."
Artemis

((I just assumed because this was dinner, and by the time we'd finish it would likely be dark out. Maybe I just eat later than others *shrugs*))

"Final requests?" Alton asks, an eyebrow raised. "that doesn't sound very promising, but no, I have nothing I could ask for."
Wukei

(I eat that late, too, but most people [according to my job] eat around 5-7 and are done at the latest by 8, and it's still light out.)
Lykan

Lavinia nods

Good luck, then.

Ryvin looks to Mirage

Good time to get your adventuring gear?
Amiria

Mirage

"Precisely. Let's go. It is only a five minutes walk from here and then I'll only need another five minutes to get the stuff."

Mirage rises from her chair. "Lady Vanderboren, it was a pleasure to be a guest at your table. Good bye."
Lykan

Lavinia nods to Mirage, and the group leaves, heading to Mirage's house
Amiria

Mirage

It is as Mirage has prophesied and 10 minutes later she comes out of the side entrance of the Fallafabri Manor. She now wears a tight-fitting black leather armor over her outfit and also has a shortbow and quiver on her back.

((Now equipped with everything on the sheet but the quarterstaff and the backpack with all its content. No encumberance now.))
Lykan

Part Two: Trouble on the Blue Nixie

The group then heads down to the docks, where the Blue Nixie has been said to be docked. It's a dismal place, seeming to have fallen into the hands of thieves and smugglers. The smell of rotting fish and sea water taints the air, and most of the buildings are seeing the effects of neglect and disrepair.

Out of all the boats lined along the pier, none of them bare the Blue Nixie's name...

((Everyone make Spot checks))
Amiria

Spot: 1d20+2 = 21.
Vael

1d20-1=1

(("Holy crap!" Burl exclaims. "Where did the ground go?"))
Wukei

(I friggin hate invisiblecastle and you knew that when you roped me into this!)

http://invisiblecastle.com/find.py?id=1220431
Lykan

((Ryvin gets a 12, Alton gets a 14))

Ryvin looks out into the bay

You guys see the boat out in the harbor?
Wukei

Ghost

Ghost, not understanding any of the words follows his gaze. That big thing in the water must be the boat. But why did he call the water a harbor? That must be what an endless water is called, she decides.
Vael

Burl nods to Ryvin.
Lykan

He bites his lip

It's the Blue Nixie.


Indeed, almost 100 feet out in the middle of the water is the ship...
Artemis

Alton points to the ship. "There she is."
Amiria

Mirage

"Indeed. Looks like we need a rowboat.", says Mirage.
Lykan

Ryvin looks at her, raising an eyebrow

Where are we gonna get one of those in this ever so delightful part of the city?


He bites his lip

Is anyone on board? Maybe we could just swim or something.
Vael

Burl shrugs.
I could go and check, if you wanted me to.
Lykan

He nods

I got an idea... I can knock the guys on board out from here.

He points out the two men chatting on the maindeck, and a third on the quarterdeck

If you can get on board from there, you think you can send us any lifeboats?

... I mean, it's gotta have lifeboats, right?
Vael

Burl nods to him.
It's likely, and I'm sure I could get some. Want me to try?
He looks at the group.
Artemis

"Couldn't we borrow a boat from somewhere over here and all go? I mean, we don't know what's on that ship. You could run into trouble if you go alone." Alton looks around for any boats nearby, preferably something that could fit all of them.
Lykan

All about are the boats currently tied to the docks... Several have life boats attached, but they're tied down

Ryvin looks at the people standing guard on the Blue Nixie

I could hit them with a spell that makes them fall asleep... That could help in out approach, at least. I mean, if they have some kind of ranged weapons, I think we'd all get skewered.
Amiria

Mirage

"We have to be careful, all of them are armed. But the one there is asleep.", says the drow.
Vael

Burl waits for the others to make a decision.
Artemis

"I think I'll work on procuring us some transportation." Alton looks for one that could be easily 'borrowed' without anyone noticing. Ropes are no problem, he still has his dagger.
Amiria

Mirage

"Alright, I'll keep watch if you find one.", murmurs Mirage and follows the halfling.
Lykan

There is a perfect boat of that sort nearby... The boat looks sturdy, but the ropes holding it down seem quite worn

Ryvin looks back to Burl

Alright, I can put them to sleep... You think you can keep them down without killing them?
Artemis

The halfling grins when he spots the boat. "Perfect. Come on." Alton motions for Mirage to follow him as he works on releasing the ropes from the boat, using his dagger if necessary, and leaving at least one tied so the vessel doesn't float off without them.
Vael

Burl frowns but nods to Ryvin.
Lykan

He nods

Alright... One last thing before we beat their faces in. You live around here, right? Do you know what Vark looks like? He'd probably be the best person to catch alive, if it's possible.
Vael

Burl thinks about it.

((Knowledge Local with a bonus, p'raps?))
Lykan

((Yeah))
Vael

((1d20+5=13
That's his regular roll/bonus))
Lykan

((You made it))
Vael

Burl nods to him.
Yeah, I know his face.
Lykan

He nods, looking to the rest of the group

Everyone ready?
Artemis

Alton looks up from his work with the boat. "I think I've found us some transportation. All aboard!" the halfling grins.
Amiria

Mirage

The drow carefully climbs into the boat.
Vael

Burl gets in after Mirage.
Lykan

Ryvin concentrates a moment, waving a hand around before a few wisps of black energy flow from his holy symbol to the visible pirates on board. All three slump to the ground. Ryvin grins, and hops in the boat, looking back at Ghost

Let's go.
Artemis

Assuming Ghost joins them on the boat, Alton unties the last line realeasing the boat. Someone else might want to take up the oars though, I doubt the Halfling would get them very far.
Wukei

Ghost

Ghost climbs into the boat, looking at it suspiciously. She would have rathered swam to wherever they were going.
Lykan

Ryvin takes one of the oars and begins rowing the boat
Amiria

Mirage

With a viperish sideglance to Burl, Mirage takes the other oar and rows in time with Ryvin.
Lykan

Their approach is rather smooth; Aside from a few large waves, they make it to the boat unnoticed by anyone on board. Rigging hangs down low enough on the sides of the Blue Nixie to allow easy climbing to the deck above.

((10 ft. Climb; DC 10))

Ryvin reaches for the riggings, and begins to scramble up the side of the boat, before falling right back into the rowboat, causing it to rock dangerously. He groans a bit

You guys go first.
Vael

Burl nods and begins climbing, trying to be quiet.
Climb: 1d20+8=18
Move silently: 1d20+5=13
Artemis

Alton ties the boat to the rigging, so it doesn't drift off on them, before quietly following after Burl.

Climb1d20+3=14
Move Silently 1d20+7=9
Hide? 1d20+13=25
Lykan

((Artemis, it's 2 Climb checks. you don't have to do anything else.))
Amiria

Mirage

Mirage carefully climbs up the riggings.

((taking 10 on climb checks for a ... 10))
Lykan

Ryvin attempts to to scramble up the ropes again, but only ends up getting tangled and falls back into the boat once again

... You guys go without me. I'll guard the boat.


***

Ghost scrambles up after the rest of the group


The ship is nearly 115 feet long, with a stairway leading down into the galley towards the stern of the ship, a door leading to a room under the Foc's'le Deck on the bow of the ship, and a door under leading to under the quarterdeck on the stern. A door down to the hold lays behind the mast of the ship.

Two of the thugs snooze softly on the main deck, while another leis asleep on the quarterdeck
Vael

Burl crouches and considers his options, wondering which place would be most likely to hold clues of what they were looking for.
Amiria

Mirage

"So what now ?", whispers Mirage. "Sneak through the ship, beat everyone unconscious, bind and gag them ... and then either search the ship or interrogate Vark ?"
Wukei

Ghost

Ghost looks around, not too sure what they're doing here.
Artemis

"Sounds like a plan, but I'd prefer to do the searching without anyone noticing" Alton remarks.
Lykan

A thunk sounds from where the rowboat is docked next to the Nixie.

Apparently Ryvin had tried and failed to climb the rigging. Again.

((Listen check DC 15, if you will))

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