So much has happened I scarcely know where to begin. I suppose, I should start with the moustache man’s (Vedis and I nicknamed him this as he never gave us his own) strange appearance at the Laughing Beholder. As we entered, five drinks floated our way and hesaid “What took you so long, come on in kids and we’ll fill you in”.
The thing is…while he provided a few more clues of what might be happening, offered the aid of the Seekers should at least one of us join their group and share all the information we find and somehow wrangled us a ship from my godmother, he didn’t really fill us in. Truly, we aren’t that much more “enlightened” than we were to begin with, we just have more resources. I’m not complaining mind you, I love the little ship we have and space traveling doesn’t give me the queasy stomach that portal hopping does. We also apparently have turned privateer. While I acknowledge we have to pay our 50% (ship rent) 10% tithe (Seekers) as well as the costs of feeding our selves and overall ship’s costs somehow, I hadn’t quite expected that twist. The rest of my party I note accepted this new career path without qualms it seems, tho I do note that Sapphira went over the ship’s contract with House Moune with a fine tooth comb and wouldn’t
even consider letting us sign until she had he “boots on the deck inspection”.
But, I’m getting ahead of myself. Upon our arrival at the Laughing Beholder our new host led us to a shielded, private dining room where refreshments had already been laid out. Curiously, he began his tale with an admonishment for me to hold my piece. I hadn’t said anything! He want onto tell of three ethereal beings that were older and more powerful than the Gods, it is hard to argue this point when I had seen so much evidence to support it lately. Those three were the Serpent, The Lady of Pain and the Spelljammer. The Serpent himself had chosen a demi-human to teach and now Vekna was a God. It would seem our tattoos; our marks were indication that our fates had been rewoven on a primal level. Even without our marks, our return from the realm of dread, which we found a way out of was nothing short of a miracle itself. It would seem the Spelljammer for reasons as yet unknown had chosen us. The Seekers decided that we should be aided. Of course, nothing in life is free; in exchange for access to some information and access to a ship Kenari and I joined the Seekers and had to agree to share any and all information we learned as well as a mandatory 10% tithe, the ship a light, fast craft called the Silent Star that required a 50% share to house Moune as well as our allowing one of their men to join us for “supervision”. The good news is as soon as we pay them 150,000 gp or 10 years passes our little ship is ours free and clear.
Soon after a messenger from the inner city arrived; he clicked his heels and bowed to Moustache Man after he handed him a couple of scrolls and left. The scrolls were our Letters of Mark. They weren’t race specific but did contain some boundary rules. No Elvish or Bralian ships (duh) but Mindflayers, anyone on the bounty list and members of the 10th pit mercenary group were fair game. However, the letters of Mark only counted with ships underway in the Flow or Wildspace, so pulling into port finding our targets in a bar and conking them over the head wasn’t allowed, mores’ the pity. As a group we decide to have a look at the ship and the bounty list before signing our lives away (so to speak). Vedis asked if we could swing by her apartment to get her things before we head out (good idea, I should swing by my quarters at the temple and do the same thing).
We headed to Vedis’ apartment the back way when all of a sudden there in our path no more than 100 ft away were three monks. A half heartbeat later they saw us and took off running, one of them with a shimmery footprint. Just about the time I’m sighing in relief that they turned tale, Kenari yelled “It’s the damn monks again, get em”. Really! Oh, for
So we all gave chase through crowds and twists, alleys and byways until the monks flew up the side of a building and the chase continued on the rooftops. I have no climbing skills nor it seemed did Sapphira. We continued to follow Vedis, Kenari and Ef Utan from the ground. After a few blocks we heard Ef call from above us, he had a limp monk by the collar. Apparently, he had come upon one stuck in a crack between chimney’s and had knocked him out before hauling him (rather roughly judging from scrapes on his face) from his trap. He climbed down with his prize so I could try to lift some information from his mind. Just then, in the distance I saw Vedis fall. Moving as quickly as we could we dragged the monk between us and got to Vedis. A human might have been killed by such a fall and even her more dense structure was damaged and she was stunned, with a Cure Moderate wound spell she was good as new. Just them we heard a loud whoop and saw Kenari sailing to the ground riding on the back of a monk, steering with his braid like one might ride a wind sail. Needless to say he wasn’t in the best of shape upon landing.
After a short debate amongst ourselves about the best location for debriefing our quarry we chose a dark alley a short distance away. My simple mind read was only for surface thoughts and their discipline was fierce. I got nothing. Vedis was pissed off and channeled her rage into her question and got into one of the monk’s face. His face paled and he drew a pictogram in the dirt. Just them moonlight gleamed through the dark and revealed a silvery scar across his throat. He was a mute. The pictogram was a symbol for “Muwara”. Ef Utan knocked their heads together and rendered them senseless. Kenari relieved he prey of his shimmery boots and bundled hastily into her pack and we left the alley.
Quickly, we made our way to Vedis’ apt and collected her belongings. We then made our way to the docks. There in slip 5 was a beautiful little dragonfly ship. I called for permission to board and upon ascertaining who we were bid to enter. It wasn’t new but new enough, piloted by a minor relic in the shape of a chair. Just its foot was a metal rune set into the floor. Just past the helm were the captain’s and crews quarters followed by the hold, which was significantly bigger on the inside than it should have been.
We left the ship and returned to the Laughing Beholder where we signed all the contracts and received a list of potential marks.
Tal Gilgalad aboard the Hammership Barracuda – 8,000gp
Eric the Human aboard the Groundling ship Raven – 5,000gp
No name aboard the Squid ship Frostfire – 7,000gp
Menara aboard the Galleon Nex – 10,000gp
Cain aboard the Hammership Rampage – 10,000gp
We decided since our ship was not heavily armed nor protected to go for the Human Eric first.
Before we left though Kenari and I had to join the Seekers and I figured we’d get some maps and I’d take a quick look in the library. We also needed provisions for ourselves and munitions for the ship. Vedis decided to stay behind and work one last shift at the Laughing Beholder while the rest of us left for the Library of Spheres at Seeker headquarters and arrived without incident. The library itself was beautiful, it could have been a Celestian temple with its inlaid marble floor, soaring domed roof and stylized starscape decorating the walls. In the center was a 30 foot circular counter with
filing cabinets and shelves manned by a couple of Librarians. Kenari and I announced ourselves and were directed “down the hall, first left, second right and fourth door on the left.” A gnome answered the door and apparently had heard of Kenari and my use of the Celestian foyer as a shooting range. Great! He went over the rules and stressed that we must keep a journal and of course the 10% tithe. A quick trip through the library revealed only one entry about the Spelljammer’s ultimate helm. It seemed to not be species or gender specific referenced were a variety ranged from a human female pirate to an instectoid and everything in between, with the most recent reference about 2500 years ago. While I was in the library Kenari finally found out what those shimmery boots she relieved the monk of did. Apparently they allowed the wearer to walk without sound or track and they were worth about 5,000 gp to the right buyer. Satisfied, we joined our friends and made our way back to get Vedis.
It cost about 500 gp each for 8mos worth of provisions. Sapphira suggested a communal account and Ef Utan offered to keep the books. We also decided to share the work instead of hiring a crew that would also need to fed and paid. Graciously, after some sincere expressions of gratitude Kenari agreed to see the boots she lifted from the monk as she had a better pair for her own use. She only got 3,000 at the market but it was enough to initially fund our voyage. I purchased a few maps of the system and we arranged for ammunition from the dwarves (in other words we bought rocks) for use in our catapult and headed back to the ship to finish outfitting her before leaving. We had gotten word from Luigi that Eric the human was last seen at a place called Barr Sinister.
We arrived at the ship and all was quiet, we had just entered the crew’s quarters when we noticed a rather large berth and sizable cache of weapons. It would seem our overseer had arrived. In the hold we found her…all 9 ft of her, humanoid…kind of. Except the 9 feet tall with bulk to match and the head of an Oerth Hippopotamus, her uniform was
militarily crisp and her only tribute to her gender was a small pink bow between her little piggy ears. She seized my hand and pumped it furiously as she introduced herself. We explained who we would go after first and explained his last known whereabouts. She seemed to titter to herself, indicating to me at least she was no stranger to the place. Good! That combined with her size and weaponry make me feel a bit better at least