May Seshet and Thoth forgive my impertinence, but libraries are so BORING! I’ll bet they rigged the sticks… I will have to keep a sharper eye on who handles them next time. Tell me again why we can’t just ask someone else who enjoys stuffing their noses in dusty tomes?
Anyway… at least my sneezing and red eyes are not for naught.
After some searching I was able to find the name that Shou monk scribbled in the dirt. Ozamata Ku Murwara (what a mouthful!) is apparently one of the Council Captains of Braal, head of the Shu Trading Company, and the Underbaron of the Yakuza clan. Well that’s just wonderful. What in the world did we do to irritate this man? Perhaps nothing… perhaps some other group is just paying him to be irritated with us? It’s entirely possible when you work with mercenaries.
It seems that this Blackrazor the Pirate from the memory crystal Veddis found was put to death on Braal many years ago. Curious, however, that Kavalox survived? If he still lives, he would be an important key to the search for the Spelljammer. Unfortunately, I doubt I am the first one to think of this. There’s no telling if his brain has already become one of those pink candies in a jar thanks to those disgusting Mind Flayers. There is only one way to find out, though. We must go to Toril and search him out for ourselves.
Thankfully I was given some brief respite from my research by one of the aides in the Seeker library who returned the items we found from the Ilithid ship. It seems I have a new toy in the shape of a Ring of Invisibility! Oh yes… I’m not giving this one up to pay for the ship this time!
While they couldn’t magically identify the hexagonal token I found in the mouth of the dead Ilithid ambassador, it seems my aide could. While not the seal I hoped it might be… the token is indeed something important. It is the calling card of Caine, a high paid assassin who just happens to be on our bounty list. Imagine that.
The Ilithids are making deals with the Neogi. Was this ambassador using the Spelljjammer as a bargaining tool, or was it his own personal quest? Or were they trying to get the Neogi to join them in the search so they could use the Spelljammer together to create their own new world order? If that’s the case… then is the fact that the Ilithid Ambassador is dead a bad thing? Unless the people who hired Kain are worse than the Ilithids… or they use the ambassador’s death to start a war of their choosing. Of course… that’s assuming someone hired Kain in the first place, and he didn’t just do it because of his own personal search for the Spelljammer. Arrggh! So many variables… so many questions yet unanswered! Goddess give me the patience to get this all straightened out in my head.
Thankfully my companions chose the right moment to show up and pull me from my torment. It seems they got to have all the fun with a gang war in the streets while I was stuck in here… and blast it; they’ve all got guns now! This will just not do at all! I must invoke the power of pestering to see if I can obtain one. After Lenotta let me try her pistol in the temple courtyard, I’ve been dying to get one of my own. What can I say… they just feel… right, I guess; not to mention they’re a heck of a lot of fun to shoot.
After getting filled in on how they took out some members of the Red Mask clan that were the enemies of the Halflings, we came to the agreement that perhaps we should call in that favor with a Halfling named Rory to see if they can dig up some information for us on why the Shu are out for our blood. Meanwhile, Vedis is going to run some inquiries through her own contacts. Just as well… she probably seems as a giant to the Halflings. Come to think of it… I better start slouching.
Taking the long way around Shu Town, we made our way through the rather beautiful hills and mounds of Halfling Town to a Smoke Shop with a few Halflings resting outside with their pipes. Now who am I to break with custom? I purchased some of the Halfling pipe weed and a nice basic pipe, and did my best not to cough up a lung as I entertained the Halflings there with my story of the origin of my new sport, Monk Surfing.
After some laughs and tales told, we discovered that Rory was already there and sharing tales with us. After we explained our situation and desire for information, we thankfully were able to reach a suitable agreement that we sealed with the breaking of cheese.
Mmmm… cheese; so good… yet so bad for my feline digestion. Quite unfortunate really, considering Rory brought out real cheese from one of the few existing cows in this place, and Ef Utan contributed some of his heavenly cheese from Bitopia. I have to wonder what cheese from heavenly cows tastes like. The only heavenly cow in my Pantheon is Hathor… and I don’t think she’d take too kindly in the asking.
I’ve been told before that smoking the right herbs can lead to inspiration… and this incident is no different. After the cheese we started discussing the bounty list again and our attempts to find this Eric and his Orc Barbarians. The thought of setting a trap with our ship for bait is an interesting one. I’d be willing to set traps throughout the ship to hinder these barbarians, and I’m sure with the right equipment I could do it without causing TOO much damage. It really does come down to reconnaissance, however. We can’t truly make a plan past the idea stage until we figure out his numbers and his capabilities. How many barbarians does he travel with? Is Eric a mage, or is it one of the orcs that he uses to pilot his ship? Mayhap we should investigate any survivors of his previous attacks to gather some information. A Halfling named Balon lost his sister to Eric… perhaps he might be able to help us more?
In the meantime, it’s decided that we need to head to Sigil and from there find a portal to Toril. Sounds good to me… at least it’s not a library!
We made a pit stop at The Portal Jammer, a Hammerhead ship converted into a bar, where I couldn’t help but notice the interesting painting of the Spelljammer on their wall. A plaque attached was quoted from a Kali Makeabuck of the Dalelands. Would she be a worthy lead in the future? I wonder.
After dealing with distracted barmen and tattooed lizards we finally returned to Sigil and dropped another card with the legendary Gatekeeper to discover how best to get to Toril.
Imagine my surprise to discover that Toril is the name of my homeworld! When the card mentioned portals to Waterdeep, Cormyr and Gheldaneth, I had to pick my jaw up off the floor. While it made sense to head to Waterdeep first (because really, who hasn’t heard of that place), I am going to have to take extra special notes when/if we go through the gate to return home. I wonder if the Pharoh has run the place to the ground? If not, I must make sure to visit father once again to let him know what I’ve done.
Waterdeep is an amazingly beautiful place. While I had heard plenty of stories about it from sailors and the like, none of them did the place justice. I do my best not to gawk as we walk past the marble pillars and the armed guards flying above on their gryphon.
Sapphira mentions that she should register with the mages of Waterdeep while we’re here, and it hits me; we’re going to do research again! Ah Gods… this is my punishment for something I did in a past life, I know it. Well… no sense trying to deny my fate. As the others talk of going to the library, I grit my teeth and sigh.
“I’ll check the records at City Hall and meet up with you later."
Illustration by Syreene