The Motivation Into Greatness

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Maelstrom of Fate

The events leading up to present day have been a blur of scorching tropical days and warm island nights. Time blurs the lines between what has been and what might have passed; let this serve as a recounting of days and deeds gone by.

The setting is summer. Marwaan Suule sleeps in the midday heat of the oppressing daystar—no sane man works this day. A single form flits through the waves, scanning the undersea landscape: sunken boxes of nailed shut wood, many worn harshly by the harsh ocean water and strong currents—bones littering the sandy floor, skeletal limbs peeking out from coffins; picked clean by oceanic scavengers.

A dark shape passes overhead. A craft of some sort, though traffic here was of little concern. Another pine box slides into the water, this one wrapped in chains. Sileny notices a cloud of blood seeping from the seams of the enclosure. As she darts to it, a desperate beating on the inside of the lid can be heard. As the boat makes haste out to sea the elven woman attempts to break the chains and free the prisoner. A man whose, it would later be revealed, was a town guardsman. The well-made casket and strong chains, however, prove too much of a hinderance, and the man passes into oblivion before she can drag him to shore. Dark clouds gather on the horizon, the peal of thunder echoing across the island. There would be no pursuing the mysterious skiff yet. But instead shelter and then she would find someone to help her.

The same storm sets several other wheels in motion: Captain Bastard, his crew, and Dahara find themselves in the first real challenge at sea. Af the end of a long maiden voyage with half the crew malnourished and several days spent lost, and land finally in sight they find their luck turning from bad to worse as a squall rips across the seas, their own ship caught in it. Captain Bastard displays (at the time) an uncharacteristic heroic streak, rescuing his first mate Red from the churning ocean in the midst of the rain, wind, and chaos. Through what seemed like sheer luck the ship avoids major damage, ending up beached on the long sandbar marking the northeastern point of Marwan Suule.

Another crew, hoping to find anchorage off the west side of the island are not nearly so lucky: the storm dashes the ship pieces on the reef. Two lucky individuals survive: The captains only child and protege and the ship’s cook.

Two more sets of eyes watch the storm, perhaps faring the best, two of the isle’s natives. A makeshift tarp over a hole sheltering a young half-elven woman and her family’s pet turtle from the worst of the weather.

As the midday storm passes each pair makes their way aboud the island, slowly all tied together by a single thread of fate, and propelled by a Motivation Into Greatness

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Mystery Unfolding
Beginnings of the Investigation

DR: 1375. Flamerule the 17th. – Midday

As Sileny makes her way into the human settlement of Port Salvage Thalasia does the same.

Sileny heads directly to the guard post meeting Tormak Halfblood and Shenaer Halfblood (no relation). There she explains what had occured in the towns burial grounds, and the three set off for the beach she’d left the guard’s body at.

The half-elf goes to take care of business with the town’s carpenter, Farlane Nailer. Thalasia negotiates the price of a cart for hauling her turtle companion about effeciently on dry land. She and Nailer trade insults with one another, and she makes her way out to look around town. After a short walk she becomes disgusted with the goings on at the harbor and decides to make way back to Sul-gaerlin, chance sees her meeting the two Halfbloods and Sileny.

Travelling together, the four find giant crabs picking at the remains of the fallen. A short, fierce combat sees the monstrous creatures either slain or driven off. The landers catch a glimpse of an old crone watching them from afar, but she disappears after just a moment.

By the time everyone makes it back into town, the afternoon is long past. Sileny meets up with Lun Longshanks at the Tackle Biscuit for some lander food while Thalasia, Tormak, and Shanear head to the guardhouse, terse discourse ensues.

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Jailhouse Blues
In the Jailhouse Now
DR: 1375. Flamerule the 17th

Kyte and Ebrick had passed the previous night on the western shores of the island, a stone’s throw from the wreckage of Ebrick’s father’s ship. As dawn breaks they make their way around the island, attempting to find a settlement. Stubmling about the jungle for some time the two nearly succumb to the oppresive summer heat—Kyte being more seriously endangered, but both manage to limp into town. Near Port Salvage, a benevolent passerby (a man in a breathing apparatus and heavy, damp clothes) tends to him, then sends him on his way. After securing a room, Ebrick grudgingly accepts Kyte’s company as a temporary necessity and the two purchase lodging. The next day a series of run-ins with the guard, however, lead to Kyte being caught attempting to hide a tongue in a jar in a back alley, a casual search of his belongings turns up a bloody dagger as well—both of them are incarcerated.

Captain Bastard and Dahara also begin their journey toward the port that morning, having encountered the Sand Witch after their vessel was beached and bartering labor in exchange for curative magicks. She sents them the direction of the port town the next morning. Arriving in town Bastard immediately locates a shipwright and has his boat towed into port to be repaired—a drunken altercation in a seedy tavern sees the out-of-towners thrown into the cell neighboring Kyte and Ebrick. A casual scan by Shenaer paints the two an unfortunate alignment. Additionally, Bastard’s ship comes up similar enough to the vessel described by Sileny as having dropped the coffin into the water.

Evidence points to both pair, and they’re left to bicker in their jailcells for the next two days while more of the mystery unfolds on the island.

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Sarcophagus Salvage
Recovering Critical Evidence
DR: 1375. Flamerule the 17th – Night

Sileny and Lun Longshanks make a late-night expedition to the site of the murder first witnessed by the elf. There they dredge up the pieces of the coffin, finding that in addition the the chains, it had been weighed down with peculiar stones—jagged and sharp igneous, something not found on the island to their knowledge, in addition the maker’s brand is on the coffin’s inside. Deciding to head back to the port in the daylight the two collapse on the beach, exhausted.

Flamerule the 18th

Returning the next day to Port Salvage the two meet up with Thalasia wherein they discuss their findings. The half-elf points them in the direction of Farlane Nailer‘s Woodshoppe, advising Sileny to let Lun do the talking given the appearant disposition of the man toward non-landers. After convincing the old codger of his good intent and cooperation with the law, Nailer shows him where the storage shed for his finished product and lets him poke around. The old man admits that one of his coffins had been stolen, the building broken into by brute force and the culprit leaving a pool of slime in it’s wake. With their only clue being the end of the trail, the three disband to gather what knowledge they can. Sileny makes to circle the waters of Marwan Suule, Lun disapears into the crowds of the port and Thalasia makes her way into the wilderness of the island.

Sileny finds a freshly sunken ship off the eastern coast of the island with a peculiar seascape about it: chained to weights on the sandy bottom are several zombies shambling about, attempting futily to reach the elf. She returns to recruit assistance in salvaging the boat, talking Lun into hauling a boat out to the cove to help.

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Clue Cove
The case advances

DR1375 – Flamerule the 19th

With interrogations of Ebrick, Bastard, Kyte and Dahara leading nowhere , the situation begins to wear on Tormak and Shenaer, their usual bickering picking up again.

Sileny and Lun Longshanks follow the only lead they have this time, several undead chained outside a sunken ship. The two secure a winch and Lun rows them out to sea. Sileny dives down to investigate the familiar looking schooner and is greeted by two aquatic creatures flitting out from beneath decks. An attempt to parlay results in the lacedons baring their teeth and yowling for flesh to feast upon. The elf uses her superior aquatic speed to draw the creatures to shore where she skirmishes with them, Lun assisting with magic from the distant boat. After taking a few hits, the undead are destroyed and Sileny moves to investigate the sunken ship. The entire thing is in good repair, looking like it was intentionally scuttled.

Black onyx groupThrough judicious use of a crowbar the elf accesses a chest in the cabin, finding heavy clothes, boots, gloves, and a peculiar breathing apparatus as well as a sack full of onyx gems. Accessing the desk triggers an arrow trap that wounds the elf but she is relatively fine, taking a key and a tightly sealed scroll case. Sileny leaves with everything but the mask, instead writing a note to it’s owner daring them to come to town and retake their belongings. She makes it to the surface before succumbing to the poison that the arrow had delivered.

Sileny wakes up several hours later with Lun and his dog watching vigilantly in his bungalo. Night has long fallen and she has no idea what the time is. Gathering her strength, the two of them deliver the evidence to Shenaer, much to the captain’s relief.

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Mystery Inc. Cont'd
Shipwrecks, Sand Witches, and Sahuagin

DR 1375 – Flamerule 20th – Morning

Thalasia waits outside town for the four outsiders, after being attacked in the middle of the night by a Sahuagin intent on dragging her into the ocean she and Tamar look a little worse for the wear. Dahara and Captain Bastard arrive shortly followed by Captain Ebrick with Kyte in tow. Several dirty looks are passed his way, but he seems largely apathetic today. The five have decided to seek the counsel of the Sand Witch and begin the long hike up the coast trying to beat the oppressive heat of the midday.

Passing up the western side of the island, Ebrick and Kyte wish to inspect the ship that had wrecked and stranded them there. As they approach the wreckage Ebrick notices an elf with a sack picking through the debris, wearing the deceased captain’s tricorn (the man who was also Ebrick’s father). An exchange of shouted obscenities and obscene gestures leads the pirate’s offspring to wade out into the water with murderous intent. Thalasia notes that she doesn’t recognize this particular elf, who has begun loading a bolt into the ballista still mounted on the hull of the ship. 250px tiger shark

Kyte makes himself useful, pelting the rucksacker with arrows while the others wade slowly against the heavy surf, cutting themselves on the coral and being pushed back by the rough whiteheads. The strange elf coaxes a nearby shark into attacking the swimmers as they approach the boat, Bastard taking a hit from the ballista. It’s not long before the elf is surrounded and everyone is prodding everyone else with a trident. The unknown salvager goes berserk, knocking Thalasia unconcious but eventually being cut down by Ebrick. Dahara shoves a potion down their ward’s throat, knowing that if she dies four heads will roll, literally, off the executioner’s block.

With another strange happenstance piled on this riddle—the unknown elf with rows of pointed teeth, they arrive at the Sand Witch’shut. In exchange for current news from the port she reveals to them that the thing they had fought was a Malenti; a mutant Sahuagin born to infiltrate aquatic elven communities and that they have an affinity for sharks in addition to their violent natures. Unfortunately Mazheva knows little about the nature of the murder and can only warn them that foul magicks are at work about Marwan Suule.

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Mystery Inc.
The Price of Freedom

DR 1375 – Flamerule the 19th – Evening

With the delivery of proof solid enough to grant them bail, Captian Ebrick, Captain Bastard, Dahara, and Kyte all breath the fresh air of free men once more. Their last task in the jailhouse is to change the straw lining their holding cells. Several rats emerge from the new straw as it is loaded into the barred rooms, attacking the four former inmates. Things seem to be going relatively well until Kyte belches flame on the rodents, igniting the straw and shortly thereafter the entire guardhouse. Ratstraw

Everyone escapes relatively unscathed and the bucket brigade manages to keep the fire from causing a town-wide catastrophe, but the evidence granting them their freedom went up in flames with the rest of the building. Now Kyte is on the hook for the cost of the guardhouse and the responsibility of finding the real murderer and proving their own innocence falls on the rest of the group who begrudgingly take the mysterious Kyte with them.

With Sileny ill for an indeterminate amount of time as she battles against the ravages of ghoul fever, Thalasia is tasked with overseeing the outsiders and ensuring that any more collateral damage they cause is kept to a bare minimum. With the day already late and many people sick of each other’s faces the five agree to meet on the morning of the next day to beseech The Sand Witch’s counsel.

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Clues in the Muck
Unravelling threads

DR 1375 – Flamerule 20th – Evening
Thalasia, Ebrick, Kyte, Dahara, and Bastard make their way back in the late evening. The trek to the northern end of the isle took nearly the whole day and the four foreigners are eager to return to civilization. Stumbling through the jungle, the five of them stumble across an oozing corpse which lunges to attack them. Investigation reveals the slimy beast is a zombified skum guarding a small chest of valuables. The monster is dispatched but it is morning before they return to the port and pawn the chests contents.

With several of them showing signs of coral scratch, heat exhaustion, and hurt by the skum, everyone disbands for several days rest.

Flamerule 23rd – Morning

Sileny, mostly recovered from her own illness, sets out to ask around the waterfront. The town is bustling, preparing not only for the midsummer’s festival occuring in a few days but also the wedding of one of the councilmen’s daughters. Several hours of asking and dealing leads her to the Calishite merchant Rajiid Ringfingers; a fast talking purveyor of luxury goods. Wading through several sales pitches, she wheedles from the man that an individual dressed in garb matching what had been found in the sunken vessel had recently purchased quite a few onyx gemstones. She returns to the Elven village to confer with her peers.


Meanwhile:

Thalasia has nearly fully recovered from her wounds but several of the others had become even more ill from the infections they’d contracted from the coral. The town guard send a message to Kyte with a bill enclosed for the cost of rebuilding the jailhouse—it’s suggested he enter as many of the events in the coming Midsummer Festival as he can to generate some quick cash.

The next several days are spent recovering from their assorted maladies and learning more about the events of the Midsummer Festival, as well as becoming acquainted with some of the notable denizens of Port Salvage. Despite some earnest inquiries, little information is made available concerning the murders. With the guard focusing more and more on tight security for the festival, the watchful eyes of the two Halfbloods turn toward the influx of strangers and away from our party, leaving a fine opportunity to take in the festivities.

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