The heroes do some research and also improve their armour.
Douganstahl’s spies discover that the captured Glantrian wizards accused of General Torion’s murder have escaped from the prisons in Alphatia. Which is unusual in that there are over 1,000 epic level wizards in Alphatia.
Tol spends his week frittering his time away carousing and drinking. He does discover there is an increasing integration between the Thyatians and the Tradalarians, recognising they are all Karameikan.
Parvel (Teldon’s stuttering assistant) tells us we are expected at the palace that evening.
It becomes obvious that we are being smuggled out in the dead of night….
Where the is a small but sumptuous banquet. The duke and duchess are present as is Master Teldon, Oliver Jowett, the head of the church of Karameikos and Father Nickelnevitch who is the head of the church of the Traldar.
Ozzie casts the light of Reality and sees that Kathka and Switch have a faint aura. Not quite what he would expect from a Creature from Beyond, but does this indicate that they have some form of the Beyond in them?
Teldon suggests that Alphatia is the natural place to hide as an arcane creature. Jowett suggest that the Immortals may be encouraging the belligerence rather than the creatures from the Beyond. This is supported by Memnnon for Halav and also for Tol with Zirchev.
Memnnon suggests that this reason is that the immortals sense this incursion from the beyond and seek to strengthen their followers.
Stefan suggests that we find out what is behind these ruins. He is keen that we should go out with as little fuss as possible. He is keen that none of the Glantrians, Alphatians or Thyatians know about our activity.
Telwin provides Ozzie with Pavl’s portal address. And Duke Stefan tells us that there are others also investigating this, and it is likely that other nations are also doing the same
It turns out that Tol had a dream about having the wind in his hair and the ground beneath him going up and down. There is a cryptic reference to seek the Pride of Dymrak, (a local curry house?) Memnon recalls that King Halav and Queen Petra gathered armies to fight the beastmen, and that King Milen and his people fled across the seas rather than fight the beastmen.
The party is presented with enamel badges of a white ship on a blue sea, which indicate that we are on official business from the duke.
Early the next morning, the party heads down to the harbour. There we see a thin mist, which helps hides our departure.
A young boy is waiting for us, who takes us out. His name is Nikki and takes us out in a jolly boat. It is a tight fit for the party
The Jolly boat is called the Pride of Dymrak after the ship. As we row out we see little skiffs setting out behind us with black robed individuals armed with Crossbows. Switch fires a warning shot, but they keep coming and rain crossbow bolts at the party. They would struggle to hit the brave adventurers, but their tactic becomes clear; they are shooting at the boat and their bolts explode with a blue alchemical fire. Soon the jolly boat is looking badly charred, all available heroes desperately try to extinguish the flames. Ozzie hits them with a crushing Titans fist and Tol continues to shoot them with his longbow killing two more. The last cultist shoots another alchemical arrow. We see three more coming out of the harbour and that there is a kerfuffle on the sea gate. Ozzie’s spell backfires, before Kathka and Dimitri dig in and power ahead, while Nikki (aided by Memnon) steps the mast and hoists the sail. Dead Specularum guards fall from the battlements as the boat sails underneath. From above the stuttery voice of Pavel can be heard. He says ‘I will get you’ then fires a magic missile directly at Ozzie, who quickly casts Shield to defend himself. the boat leaves the harbour and approaches the The Pride of Dymrak.
The heroes board the vessel and are introduced to Captain Ekatarina, who then gives a scroll to Switch who reads this to the companions. Duke Stefan has given the heroes a boat to save the world from this peril, however the heroes cannot be affiliated with the Duke. We are to masquerade as traders under the captain-ship of Katrina. The captain then explains the route which will be about a 4 week journey starting with Harbourtown on Trader’s Isle. Then south passed Blackrock Isle into the Sea of Dread and onto our destination. The route avoided involvements with the guilds and also navigates around the undersea kingdoms but does utilise the currents. At Trader’s Isle a pilot will be taken on board to help navigate through the tricky Minrothad waters.
The crew are mostly Traldarian/Karamiekan. The ship has no weapons as part of its structure but weapons are available for the crew to use if necessary, such as crossbows and cutlasses.
Ozzie will use his time to upgrade items. Switch wants to learn to sail as he is concerned the crew may not make it and he is concerned that we don’t have enough experience to secure this valuable ship in the event of a crisis…and when we come to sell it!