Date: early Trical, 1333 Avard
After restoring Fort Drbth about twenty minutes' ride south of Rilan, they looked inside in the waning light. The place was a mess, there were still skeletons in the slave quarters, a foot of dirt all along the first floor, no beds, no food, no kitchen, nothing… but a building and a well and a big oak tree and walls and some dirty tapestries and slave cells.
They decided to go on up to Rilan and stay at the Blue Tyven.
While there, after a good performance by the Black Feather Troupe, they were approached by a sailor. The sailor said he was a bosun of the Drumkin looking for Eingrim. When Eingrim asked why, he found out that the mage known as Velanna had asked for him, but she was dead. Eingrim washed his hands of it and went to his room – Velanna was an ex of his he wanted nothing to do with.
The Black Feather Troupe, on the other hand, wanted to know more. The bosun had Velanna's travelling spellbook, which he handed over to Hiko. She had been hired by Therdan of Rilan to bring in a lot of armor and weapons 'off the books'. He had known of a tomb down in Lena and arranged for her to loot it and bring the equipment back to him. Velanna had secured a stone of antimagic field to keep the arcane defenses of the tomb from activating. Her spellbook showed that she had gotten the armory to the ship – only to have the stone begin to fail. Hurried study of the items showed them to belong to Uthinnar of P'tathikir, a Karatikan druid-battlemage. The last page of the book was covered in blood.
The troupe went with the bosun to meet the captain of the Drumkin. The captain – a petite woman with golden hoop rings – introduced herself as Captain Dorotea. She first asked if the troupe could keep any further information from the Guard. Once she was assured of silence, she filled them in on the rest. Whatever danger was aboard her ship, Velanna had warned them not to go into the hold. When she died up on deck, she told them to find Eingrim the Gold, and that he would help.
The troupe said that they would be able to help in the morning, but not that night. They would return before noon to assist.
That night, they rested from their travels through the ruins of Duradog and gnomish hidey spaces, and orc brigands. In the morning, they visited the armories and general stores, the temples and stables, and prepared themselves to deal with anything from a mage-killer to a poltergeist.
When they arrived back on the Drumkin, they had the bosun lift up the hatches for the cargo hold so they could recon. Detect magic saw nothing, and Roland's paladin abilities could find no fiends or evil-doers. The night before, Hiko's familiar had been poofed by something unseen, and the captain had remembered a poisonous gas or the like when they first went into the tomb.
Roland and Toox went down to the door into the hold via the passages. Hiko and Chimes stayed up above where they could see down into the hold.
The next thirty seconds were a blur of action as rugs and swords and suits of armor attacked them. The swords flew and slashed and danced in and out. The armor tried to pummel them down to the ground. The rugs wrapped around them and tried to constrict them. As the fast-paced battle wound on, they ran into two problems: One of the sailors was a mage-killer, and one of the mannequins was a wood golem that was creating more attacking arms and armor as time went on.
They battled hard, Chimes calling upon Habrem time and again to keep them alive, Roland using the burning purity of Xoriah, and Hiko using lightning every opportunity he had, while Toox fought and attacked and defended.
They almost ran. When one of the sailors turned out to be a Seeker – a mage-killer – they almost fled. When the wood golem made a halberd get up and fly and attack them, they almost sprinted off.
They were all beaten and bloodied when it was over. With the wood golem dead, Hiko studied it. Nystul's magical aura had been on it, cloaking its arcane nature – and the nature of all the other things in the hold. With the golem down, the magical nature of many things became apparent.
The troupe claimed the magical items and the remains of the golem, and left in a huff, pissed off and hangry for lunch. They even told the Guard about the whole situation. They grabbed their horses and mules and wagon and gear, and headed back to Fort Drbth, even changing its name to the Black Feather Fort whether Eingrim liked it or not.
While they had nearly died, Eingrim had been meeting with carpenters and stone masons and the like, hiring them out to clean up and clean out the fort. He would have been a tremendous asset during the battle, but his irritation with his ex blinded him. The troupe were not happy campers with how closely they had come to dying, nor with the nature of the foes they had faced.
DM's Notes: Caileb was not a happy camper with the bag of devouring, but I think they had a good time, none-the-less. They leveled up after his, making it to 5th-level. They had not chosen alignments, and just played what they wanted – and let me tell them what their alignments were after several sessions. This is what I feel they've played for their alignments…
Hiko - TN to NG
Chimes - CG to NG
Toox - CG to LG
Roland - LG to CG
None to date.