Session 1 2013-05-27
The Wandering Star
The Hunted each received a note via Animal Messenger, from an author only referring to themselves with the initials "BC" which warned them that they were in grave danger. It requested that they travel to the township of Barrowsea and identify themselves to the owner of the Seamstresses shop near the north gate.
Each member made their way to the town and were instructed by Belol Loris to be at the docks 2 hours before sundown, at which time a vessel belonging to the author of the note would arrive for them. Belol made arrangements for Magni's mount and Tharin's wagon.
The Wandering Star arrived, turning out to be an airship styled very much like a sailing vessel, which touches down on the water with barely time to come to a stop at the relatively small dock, sloshing water up onto the stonework. The gangplank was lowered and the waiting crowd urged to come aboard by the gruff First Mate while provisions are loaded on.
They were given a brief speech by the Captain, Veros Turneld while the crew loads a pallet of provisions into the hold via a large crane. He advises them to stay clear of edges and workings of the ship, let the crew of 5 do their jobs and directing them to the Life Rings located at the around the boat in case of emergency. He also indicates refreshments that have been laid out about the deck, and they are told that they will meet their benefactor soon after take-off.
As the ground falls away and is soon covered by clouds, we observe a variety of personalities, including:
- Male identical twins who bring to mind particularly delicate and softly spoken elves.
- A loud and outspoken bard/swashbuckler type who quickly draws a small crowd of admiring women.
- A heavily armored and powerfully built warrior in Full Plate, who has not taken his visor up since coming on board, and appears quite nervous and alert.
The Captain announces that they have reached cruising altitude of 5,000 feet and introduces Borathin Cirros, who is pushed out by the First Mate on a sort of wheeled throne, accompanied by some kind of healer who fusses over him. A thoroughly emaciated older man, who appears to be exhausted but somehow simultaneously virile, his eyes flashing as he ignores the attentions of his nurse. The assembled guests are shocked into silence by his deathly pallor, and though his voice is thin and hoarse all can hear him.
"Thank you for coming, I see some are missing and hope that we may warn them in time.
It may surprise you to know that less than a moon ago, I was in the best of health; a arcane theorist of some renown. However I found myself ambushed by two dark assailants, and though I was able to dispatch one, the other took advantage of a my distraction and struck true, leaving me in this condition. Knowing I could not survive another assault, I threw every shred of arcane power I possessed at it and succeeded in driving it off, but was left exhausted and close to death.
I have sought out those known across the continent for their expertise in the healing arts, yet no-one has been able to dispel the dread affliction which leaves me so fragile. It appears that whatever dark power is at work, it strikes at the very core of one's fortitude. I do not know what manner of being it was that attacked me, as the body of the first dissolved quickly into a foul black slime, but in that acrid pool I discovered this."
He feebly raises one claw-like hand to brandish a parchment, singed and stained dark in places as he goes on to explain.
"This is a list of names. You can see that some have been crossed out. Mine is the top-most of those remaining. Each of your names is on this list also. I have not been able to divine the threads that bind us together, but I hope to yet. I can only imagine that the author of this list wishes us all dead. I have summoned you here in the hope that we might be able to determine some commonality. It is my hope that the mobile nature of this vessel will keep us safe from further attacks until we have ascertained..."
A piercing shriek stabs through the air, seeming to come from the cargo hold. The sound is horrible, but worse is the way it suddenly cuts out.
Landra is the first to react, heading to the hold with every intention of entering it, but changes her mind when she sees a creature ascending and heads to the quarterdeck.creature that emerges from the hold appears to be composed of densely shifting shadows, giving a jarring impression of solidity even as the surface writhes. The head glows with a sickly green light as if lit from within, a flame of the same colour jetting from the single eye.
Borathin is quickly wheeled back into the cabin he emerged from as the rest of the occupants alternatively fight and flee from the creature. It tears through its foes, killing the pilot and sending the ship's nose lurching violently down. The Hunted each quickly realise that their best course of action is to abandon ship, most following Landra below decks. Tharin (who was on the bow of the ship when the beast emerged), is the last to make it off the main deck, heading into the Captain's cabin just as Borathin emerges and lunges at the controls, steadying the vessel. As the withered man tears a panel from the controls, Tharin breaks the string on the remaining Life Ring and plummets down into the darkening sky.
Moments later, The Wandering Star screams down past all of them, spinning rapidly on it's axis as it goes. All of The Hunted spot the creature, straining against some kind of glowing net which anchors it to the deck. Only a couple of them are able to take in the scene more completely, spotting Borathin Cirros dismembered at its feet.
Landra, Magni and Kul'theras each have a gentle landing close to each other thanks to the Life Rings, and soon Tharin and The Hand of Kali each emerge from the water. They decide to return to Barrowsea as a group, some seeking their belongings, all of them seeking answers.
Entering BarrowseaThe Hunted make their way back to Barrowsea, they come across a man who claims to have twisted his ankle in the dark. Naturally suspicious after their ordeal, they approach warily, and when the ruffians' companions spring an ambush they find themselves severely outclassed and are slaughtered.
Since this was their first victory together as a party, the spoils of this combat were later pooled and named somewhat optimistically "The Freet Mangol Memorial Airship Fund", after the leader of these bandits (presumably the man feigning the twisted ankle).
After explaining their bloody appearance to the guards manning the eastern gate, The Hunted enter Barrowsea and go looking for Belol Loris. Unable to find her at her place of work at this hour, they ask around and find that the barkeep at The Mossy Frog seems to where she lives but isn't telling. Kul'theras looms over the bar at him and suddenly he finds himself much more talkative.
On arriving at Belol Loris' home and waking her up, they tell her of the events which transpired on the ship. She becomes distraught and morbidly fatalistic, asserting that if Borathin was dead then there is no hope for them. She becomes even more upset at comments made by Tharin and demands that the party leave her home, but not before providing the name Moit Snabur when the party described the Dockmaster who supervised the loading of provisions onto the ship.
Now in the late evening, Kul'theras goes in search of Moit Snabur around the docks, but he is nowhere to be found. When the Hand of Kali indicates that she plans to visit the local temple to her god and maybe shelter there, Tharin, Magni & Landra accompany her.
Temple of Kali
Tharin asks one of the priests about their customs and decides to stay for a sermon of sorts occurring at midnight. While the sermon is mostly unremarkable, there is a point at which the priest delivering the sermon says "Kali will take us all in time, Kali takes everyone in time, you will see her face soon", delivering this last part to Tharin directly. Tharin heckles from his bench, receiving only glass-eyed stares in response. He then attempts to cast Light on one of the altars but strangely the spell fails.
The Hunted decide to spend the night at an Inn rather than the Temple of Kali.