The 26th Mace of Summer’s Rising
- Following the lurker attack in the underdocks, Ornela Girovenzi apologized profusely for the attack, and offered the party a “golden ticket” of sorts, free rides for a tenday on any Girovenzi gondola. Accepting the offer, the group moved on toward the Siren’s Call. Along the way, Ornela pointed out the arena along the Shoreward Slopes where gladiators battle viscous sharks with spears over narrow pylons and choppy water.
- Soon, the party stepped off the gondola along the slopes and made their way to their destination. While passing down a bustling street, several in the group recognized a Judge of Oldar walking past, the people on the avenue giving him plenty of space as he continued on. The group also noticed the massive calendar disk and water-clock that turned along the outer walls of The Heart. Noon was fast approaching, so the group made haste to the pub.
- Approaching the Siren’s Call, the foamcaller at it’s door urged the party inward. Constance Six-silver was her name, and she brought customers in hand over fist with a combination of flirtatious and back-handed comments. At the center of the feast-hall stood a beautifully hewn statue holding a harp. The party had been promised it would “sing a bawdy ditty at midday and midnight”. A large crowd had gathered around the statue and soon enough, the marble maiden animated and sing and play it did! Every patron in the feast-hall had her song on their lips, and clanked mugs and chugged in unison, and in time with the song.
- Asgrim approached the bar and introduced himself to Snowi and her brother Tevrius, the owners and operators of the Siren’s Call, and began to feel out the situation with dwarves within the Brineshell. He learned of the makers of The Heart, and that an old Furyforge dwarf had designed the water elements of the massive tower, but had turned away from the promise of it’s profits when people began to die from poor work conditions within the foundry. Apparently, whether he still lived, and where were of great debate, and Asgrim couldn’t learn more in that moment.
- Cahal took wing around the interior of The Brineshell, taking a closer examination of it’s many neighborhoods. Sarien sought information as well through arcane means, casting and arcane eye and willing it upward above the Driftdowns to the Topside of the massive shell. He saw what he had been promised: opulence, revelry, and flamboyancy. At the shell’s center, a castle reached upward for the sky. An observatory stood at the top of one of it’s many towers, and as his mind’s eye flew toward it, he felt a strong compulsion to continue no further; the castle had been strongly warded against scrying, he surmised.
- After some time of drinking and eating, and enjoying a song or two from a fellow named Busted Skull and his dancing pet otter Fin, the group retired to a nice room, and enjoyed a full night of sleep on land after a ten-day at sea.
The 27th Mace of Summer’s Rising
- The following day the group rose and made for the gondola dock once again, enjoying a free ride from the Girovenzi’s, they made it to the Wicked Widow in short time and without encounters. Along the street, Cahal recognized an acolyte of Vehana “lighting” the many bio-luminescent lanterns that lit the city by shaking it with a long pole.
- Another half-block brought the group to their destination. Outside, the Wicked Widow’s foamcaller seemed to be doing very little foamcalling, instead leaning menacingly against it’s outer wall. Walking past, the group noticed a long stilleto on the hip of Monique. The party continued inside and retrieved a sealed letter from the barkeep from Captain Two-beards. Within it, a letter stated that Shervin’s employer had graciously invited them to his hall. Also in the envelope was a heavy platinum coin with the number seven embossed on it’s back. They were instructed to give this coin to Monique if they wished to continue. Seeing that they would need all the help they could get in their mission, the group decided to go along with it. Thus, they brought the coin to Monique, Sarien using an arcane flourish in the hand-off. The foamcaller was briefly entertained, but soon returned to her normal stoicism, and told the group to go to the back of Tin Pan Alley, “The Don” would be expecting them.
- The group made their way back across the Central Piers, to the Seaward Slopes and to the alley where The Don’s estate stood. A large stone villa surrounded by an impressive and imposing stone wall now loomed before the group. Cahal noted that behind the walls stood large trees, the first of almost any flora he had seen in the cave-like city. The guards at the gate did their guardly duty, questioning and then admitting the “Saviors of the Sunfish” as Sarien put it.
- Through the gate, the group moved into a wide courtyard teeming with plants, trees, and buzzing bees. Cahal took a closer look and surmised that these were all being grown with alchemical botany. Soon more guards appeared and showed the party through the villa, to a large hall. On the walls hung a hundred priceless paintings, tastefully lit with bio-luminescent lamps… by all means the room felt like an art gallery. The Don turned and greeted the group warmly.
- Introducing him self as Don Vireli Carza, the Don thanked the group for their heroics in protecting one of his many investments, and praised them for defeating Garius and the Needlework Pirates, who’d haunted these waters for many years. With a shrill whistle, The Don beckoned a chest to be brought to the center of the room which when opened, looked to be completely full of gold coins. This was what the party had saved The Don on that day… he wished not only to give what was nearly lost, but to forge a further relationship with the group, as men of their talents would be useful to have around.
- The party thanked The Don for his payment to them, but asked instead for help to the topside. The Don knew just the person to help them, but insisted that the party take his coin for the deed they had done, and bartered his help to them on another deed he had yet completed. The Don told the group of his recent troubles with the Shadow Syndicate. Apparently they were attempting to expand their grasp far beyond Delta City, and had found a foothold here in the Downs, and had recently become a nuisance to The Don’s operations, costing him and The Sevens a fortune in the process. The Syndicate had even infiltrated The Sevens themselves, or as The Don put it: “We’ve got a rat in our midst, and I loath rats.” The Don had set into motion a plan to find the rat within his organization, and he needed the party’s aid in this. With another shrill whistle, ten or so men and women strode into the room, each one looking as well-trained and battle-wise as the next. The Don addressed the whole group now, telling them he sought the head of “The Shadow Blade”, the apparent leader of the Syndicate invaders. It was said she couldn’t be killed, that she was like shadow herself, but The Don knew otherwise, “for if it bleeds, we can kill it”. He would give each group a phoney package of drugs and would see what group got attacked to find his rat (for he had told his three suspects, three different delivery places). The hit-teams were to kill the Shadow Blade if she showed, and if not, were to capture whatever Syndicate thugs they could for questioning.
- Having heard The Don’s plan, the group asked for a private chamber where they might discuss their direction. A guard ushered them to a side room, and the group took to questioning the job being asked of them. None of the party felt comfortable with being hired killers for a crime lord, and hoped that they might simply capture the Shadow Blade and return her to the Don’s estate. Seeing little other opportunity to reach the Topside, the group agreed that this was their best course of action.
- The party returned to the hall of paintings and told The Don that they would do this job for him if he could get them through Heaven’s Gate. The Don agreed and introduced them to Lirah Cendra. She was one of The Don’s most trusted and valued employees, a deadly courtesan with all the knowledge of the mannerisms and customs of the Topside aristocracy; a talented actress and master of disguise who’d made scores of trips through Heaven’s Gate and back. She had been hired by The Don to train his men on such deception, for though passage to the Topside was very risky, it was a necessity to his operations. The Don proposed to send Lirah with the group on their current mission, as she was great with a blade. In addition, if they succeeded in their mission, Lirah would be the one helping the group go Topside, so better they get to know each-other tonight first. With that, everyone had come to an agreement. The job would go down at sunfall, they would be ready.
- The group set-out just before sundown, Lirah leading the way. The courtesan lead them through the southern opening in The Brineshell, and around the Seaward Slopes to the Driftwood Kingdom. None in the party had ever seen a place so fraught with despair. It was as if the denizens of the Kingdom had simply given up on life. The party reached their destination and closely surveyed their surroundings. Though they scrutinized the people around them, their true forms were soon shown, as they shed their rags to reveal themselves as Shadow Syndicate thugs: it was an ambush!
- Lead by a particularly strong rogue, the Syndicate attack was fierce, but still wasn’t enough to overcome the brave party and their new acquaintance, the deadly courtesan. As Asgrim buried his axe into the rogue’s head for what would surely be the killing blow, the body of the man shook as he (for the first time) bared a pair of fangs at the group, hissed, then disintegrated into a billowy dark mist. The mist held some amount of form, and quickly sped off, against the wind, down the grimy docks of the Driftwood Kingdoms.
|A Trip to Tin Pan Alley (Roleplay with Don Carza||6,000|
|Shadow Syndicate Thugs||2||600||8||4,600|
|Subtotal||37,800 / 6|