New Age Rising

Interlude: Downtime in Torrenport

Following their harrowing, hour-long experience of hard adventuring aboard the sinking Midnight’s Mermaid, the fledgeling heroes head back to the Salty Shark for a much needed rest. Along the way, Thalmor stops midstride and abruptly turns to the east. A low, constricted growl escapes Thalmor’s lips as he stares intensely at the stars. His back arches and takes halting steps forward, as if resisting some unseen force taking control of his body. The catfolk oracle speaks with a deep, compelling voice that’s not his own.

“The tides of battle, blood and loss are coming to Wyrmgrave. The elder powers return to drink from the wine of life, and the old bones will wake from their ancient slumber to turn blue waters red.”

Thalmor’s body stiffens, screaming battle cries in different languages and voices simultaneously, and collapses to the ground motionless.

The catfolk’s companions rush to his side and check to see if he still lives. They find him unconscious, and his breathing shallow and ragged. Not wasting any time, his companions take him back to the tavern. The patrons of the Salty Shark all stare in quiet rapture as the group enters the tavern and makes their way upstairs. Once bedded down, they find the catfolk’s breathing and heart beat have stabilized.

Returning downstairs to the common room, they are approached by the proprietor, Jerkliff. “I don’t know, and I don’t care what your friend is on about or what your business is this night in Torrenport. Mark my words, mind you, that if you bring your troubles here you turn yourselves right around and leave.” With that, Jerkliff leaves and heads back to tending the bar.

Without missing a beat, Poppi spots games of chance going on at the corner tables and wanders off to join in. Dolgrin and Ix Chel follow along to share in the fun. With their new found coin, they do very well for themselves for winnings. Luck favors Poppi in dice, Ix Chel baffles the other patrons willing to place bets on who can guess where she’s from, and Dolgrin seems to have a natural talent at games of Knuckle Crunch and Break a Brow.

REWARDS
Dolgrin (360 xp, 45 sp)
Ix Chel (360 xp, 45 sp)
Poppi (400 xp, 50 sp)

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Excerpt from the journal of Dolgrin Coppertoe

I must admit my patience for this sorry town of Torrenport was coming to an end. My companion of these last few months and I found ourselves at silvers end, with the despicable taste of piscene broth between our lips. I was contemplating the dangerous trek across the unknown wilderness of this isle to another settlement. Anyplace a man might earn a decent wage. But something tugged at Ix Chels conscience, a weight that held her here. I wasn’t going anywhere without her. A pledge was made to see this through. I have nothing if not my word.

We were summoned, along with two others I would later know as Thalmor – a Feline mystic of a people I’ve only encountered here on Wyrmsgrave, and Poppi – a vexatious but competent human sell-sword, by a runner for Garren Dellehue, dock master of Torrenport. For lack of men willing to brave the reefs at night, he asked us to investigate a ship hung up on the rocks. We agreed for no other reason than the hope it would lead to better eating.

The ship, “Midnights Mermaid”, was covered in mold, moss and lichen, adrift and silent upon the water. We found her crew in similar condition. From their corpses erupted small, toothed demons, with the flesh of plants but the appetites of wolves. Resistant to piercing blades, the heavy edge of axe and crush of cudgel saw them laid still.

Among the casks of rum and other provisions, we found an iron bound oblong box, which we pried open, perhaps foolishly, to uncover a being within. Dandy-dressed but pale and drawn, we knew instantly this man was no man. I could feel Ix Chel tense beside me and knew we found our mark, but he was soon a cloud of mist, out the port hole and away toward the city. Ix Chel spoke not at all, and I followed her lead. Our new companions seemed trustworthy enough, but why burden another with this doomed mission? Vengeance is personal, and I had earned my invitation to deaths door once again through many months of trust.

In what remained of the ship, we found a fine cutlass, jewels bearing the coat of arms of Lord Polgerod, and three strange carved rods made of ivory, darkwood and mithral – all found in a hidden chamber revealed by our clever sellsword Poppi, whom I suspect has a talent for finding that which others wish to hide. I will keep a closer hand on my coin purse. A ledger and small amount of coins were also scavenged before we set the ship alight, hoping to stop what seemed to be a plague from drifting into the city. I suppose a more thorough cleansing would have included us as well, but I’m not sure my companions would agree, and there is still the greater mission.

The short return trip verified why the locals are loathe to take to the water at night, as were accosted by a beast bearing the worst traits of crab and eel. It is only through luck and well placed violence that we managed to get to shore before those of us clothed in steel sank to our graves.

The dock master tells us the ship must have been bearing his brothers’ heirlooms back, as the cutlass is clearly a Dellahue family blade. He believes this means his brother has perished, and I suspect he is correct. I sympathized, but collected my pay without comment nonetheless. I cannot bring comfort to others with words that I have not found for myself. I hope only he bears the grief better than I have.

REWARDS
1050 xp each
3 rods with strange runes (ivory, darkwood, mithril), 135 pp, Masterwork cutlass (Dellehue family heirloom, given to Portmaster Garren), Small chest of jewelry with Polgerod crest insignia

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Campaign Prelude - The Island Realm of Wyrmgrave

Ready and determined to seek adventure on the Isle of Wyrmgrave, your grand visions of wealth, glory and fame have taken a turn to more humble beginnings. Your meager purse of silver coins will pay for a few more days of room and board in the common room at the Salty Shark, Torrenport’s premier boarding establishment for sailors and adventurers down on their luck. Even multiple visits to the port master, Garren Dellehue, yielded nothing since most work is given to retainers of the Island Lords. Perhaps a new career as fishermen or crab wranglers is in order.

On the eve of your last nights meager stay at the Salty Shark, the last rays of sunlight giving way to dusk reflect off your watery bowl of fish soup, and find yourself scrutinizing the stale chunk of bread in your hand and attempt to divine a brighter future from it. Just as you think you’re on to something, you are rudely interrupted by a dockhand bursting through the tavern door, and calling you by name, and a few others as well. While passing curious looks back and forth from the dockhand and at each other, he yells, “Get off yer arses, you layabouts! The port master has called for you, unless you’ve something better to do!” With that, followed by raucous laughter from the taproom, the dock hand leaves.

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