Illustration by Syreene
Well, it took some “creative” writing, but I think I’ve come up with a proper recruitment poster to start spreading around Bral. So we’ve got a haunted ship and numerous organizations are out to kill us… but hey, who cares when you’re crewing with a bunch of sexy conquering bitches, right? Am I right? Heh… don’t need to be if I can make this poster good enough. Of course, if we’re lucky, we may just manage to get some experienced crew who have seen enough that they just don’t care that it’s haunted.
I’m sprinking some sand on my finished parchment when Lenata joins me on the bridge and stretches to greet the morning. “What do you think?” I ask as I shake off the excess sand and stand beside her.
Lenata raises an eyebrow and snickers as she finishes reading. “I’m sure that’s bound to get people lined up… just not sure what kind of people.”
I grin and place a hand on my hip. “You just let me worry about that. In the meantime…” I say quickly as I make my way towards the gangplank, “How about you go check on Vedis? I’m going to go put up the notices and set up the table. Bye!”
“Thanks…” I hear her mutter as I make my way outside and breathe a sigh of relief. Vedis after a bender is bad enough… but Vedis after a bender finding out she’s been locked in a hold and all her alcohol has been sold… I say let the cleric explain how it was for her own good, because I value my hide.
By the time I’ve changed into my more frilly outfit and set up the table Ef Utan is walking down the gangplank with a low whistle and roll of his eyes.
“Yeah… I think it’s going to be safer out here for a bit,” I say as the ship suddenly rattles with the force of a frustrated scream from inside. “Care to join me?” I say as I pull out a chair.
As it gets nearer to 2 bells, I am amazed to see a mobile Vedis and a still-living Lenata dressed up and walking down the gangplank. See… I knew that cleric would be able to talk her down better than the rest of us. I already had to give up some of my own treasures “for the good of the ship,” so needless to say… I wouldn’t have been the most sympathetic to her plight.
No more time for pondering about grumpy Maenads, though… it looks like people are finally starting to show up.
Hmmph… well that was a bit of a waste. We spent all day at the table and interviewed over 25 people, but none of them really stood out to me. Well… other than the 4 that were obviously spies from the various groups out to kill us, but who needs that kind of stress in the workplace?
As we’re about to call it a day, however, a most interesting character comes up to our table. How do I explain him… let’s just say that I won’t be calling Simi a “space monkey” anymore after seeing this guy. Heh… considering he’s at least 6 ft. tall and covered with muscle and fur, I doubt I’ll be calling him that, either.
“It’s your lucky day, berks!” he exclaims as he sets down his duffle bag with a “THUMP” and shakes each of our hands vigorously.
“I highly doubt that,” Vedis mutters from under the wide-brimmed hat she’s wearing to block the sun.
“Do tell,” I say with a smile as I shake his hand. “The name’s Kenari, and this here is Ef Utan, Lenata and Vedis…” Lenata nudges me and whispers in my ear.
“I’m sorry… Captain Vedis,” I say as I plaster the grin on my face. Ok… I guess it took bribes instead of smooth talk to get Vedis to calm down.
“The name’s Hatuk,” he replies. “It’s your lucky day because I’ve got 6 years experience with an EIN Oath Pact and nothing better to do with my time right now than to whip this ship into shape. Heck… I didn’t even know the Nomad still existed till today.”
“Work with the EIN, eh? Sounds impressive,” Lenata says with a smile as the others nod. “Why don’t we talk further at the Laughing Beholder while we go through the rest of the applications?”
“Feel free to cross 5 others off that list,” Hatuk grins as he gives a whistle over his shoulder and 5 others of his kind show up. “Meet the rest of the family.”
“And they’re all trained space hands, I take it?” Ef Utan with a raised brow.
Hatuk grins even wider and gives another whistle. Before we can even ask what he’s doing, he’s barking orders to the rest of his family that have climbed aboard deck to manage the rigging sails.
“Impressive,” Ef Utan mutters.
“As I said, mate… your lucky day.” Hatuk slaps Ef Utan on the back and chuckles.
Well, now that we’ve got everything moved over and the beginnings of a new crew to help us along with our Hammership, it looks like we’re ready to take off. The other applicants here on Bral just weren’t that impressive… so it looks like we’ll see what we can find on Sigil and Spiral. Besides… Vedis needs to consult her temple about that Queen of Thistles once she’s done being grumpy, and we’ve got a few sages to ply for information.
Well frak… I was hoping Theron would be able to give us some information on the events going on with that Orc and the EIN these days… but it looks like his lips are sealed. Ah well… there’s always Gezria The Sage over in Sigil.
Sigil… it might be a good place to pick up a Planar type for our crew. Now that we’ve got those neat sails, it wouln’t hurt to have somebody with some experience. You know, I almost forgot, but we need to check out the Portaljammer Bar there too. Wasn’t that Spelljammer Tapestry supposed to be there? Maybe we can check it out while I post some edited flyers there for new crew.
First things first, though. Gezria is a…what was it… a Githyanki, and they’re from another plane, right? Maybe he’d have some knowledge about how we would get around in the Ethereal Plane. Worth a try, anyway.
And thankfully, it was a decent try at that. Gezria was at least able to give us a name or two to go on: The Freehold City on the Border Ethereal, and the Ether Farers Guild. And once you’ve got a name of a place… who better than Lissandra The Gatekeeper to tell you how to get there?
On the way to Lissandra’s we can’t help but notice that something odd is going on in Sigil. Go ahead, laugh… but seriously, something seems to be up around here. Things are a bit more…tense. There definitely seems to be a lot more fights going on than the usual, too. I slip off to ask around a bit and manage to pick up that a Rowan Darkwood is stirring up trouble as some “Fated” faction leader. You’ve got me who that is, though, other than a sign that we need to get out of here sooner than later.
I wonder if the Seekers are involved in these faction fights? I’d ask… but I don’t want to get wrapped up in somebody elses fight. We’ve got enough of our own going on these days.
Anyway… we leave the usual card request at Lissandras and head over to the Portaljammer Bar to take a load off of our feet and check out the tapestries.
“Aw come on… I just want to look at it!” I moan to the bartender.
“And that’s just what you’re doing right now,” the bartender says dryly. “Patrons aren’t allowed behind the bar.”
“Then I’ll stop buying anything and won’t be a patron anymore!” I declare with a slightly inebriated smile. “Just give me a few minutes to look at it closely… please?”
The bartender looks at us closely then scoffs, “You’re looking for the Spelljammer, aren’t you?”
“Isn’t everybody?” I say with a shrug of my shoulders.
The bartender snorts. “Fine, you’ve got 5 minutes.”
I grin and leap from my stool to behind the bar and carefully peer at the tapestry for any hidden marks or writing. The only thing interesting I can find, though, is the pattern of the stars in the sky behind the Spelljammer in the picture. They seem familiar… like I’ve seen these constellations before. In fact, after spotting the constellation for Anubis, I am sure that this is Realmspace.
We are pondering what this could mean for our search for the fabled ship when Lenata is tapped on the shoulder by someone who looks like they are just oozing “bright and cheerful.”
“Excuse me, but I couldn’t help but notice your flyer. My name is Nerak, and I would be interested in joining your expedition.”
“Hey, name’s Kenari,” I say as I shake his hand. “Please don’t take this the wrong way… but we’re specificaly looking for planar types today. May I ask your background?”
“Certainly,” Nerak says with a calm smile. “I am a Positai.”
“As opposed to a Negatai, I take it,” I say with a snort as I take another sip of my ale.
I try not to cough up my drink. “Honestly, I was just joking… what’s a Positai?”
“We are of the Positive Energy Plane, just as Aasimar are Celestial, and Tieflings well… aren’t.”
“Outstanding!” I say as I clap Nerak on the shoulder. “Hey, our last mage took off on a walkabout on Bral… by any chance, can you…”
Nerak smiles knowingly and steps back as his natural glow starts to increase. Lenata does her best to hide a chuckle as some of the more inebriated barflies complain about the excess light.
“I think you’ll fit in just fine, Nerak. Join us for a drink as we go over a few things, though,” Ef Utan announces as he tosses a few gold to the bartender and we all get up from the bar to move to a more comfortable table in the back.
“By the way…” I say with a grin as I throw an arm around his shoulder. “Do you have any allergies to fur dander?”