The Flight Back…
The heroes flight takes several days before returning to Gateway’s port. As they pull up to dock the party realizes they’re receiving a smattering of raised eyebrows which is only natural since their arriving in a skiff that once was on the death barge.
After docking the group takes note that their is a presence of gang-types roaming the port area. All the riff raff of this particular gang don facial tattoo’s and go by the moniker, The Ferals. One particular “leader” of this motley crew takes a great interest in Ricter and engages him in talk— by demanding coin for docking at “their” port. Ricter, never one for subtley, agitates the leader but the matter is quickly smoothed over by the diplomatic Jarek.
The heroes seek out Tomas and see if there has been any news on Merkas’ dealings. Tomas assures them that he is still safe but had a slight run-in with some supposed hired hoods but nothing came of it. The party inquires about a locksmith who might be able to open the locked chests they secured from the Soulflame. Tomas points them to an ample dwarf in the market. Tomas also tells the party that news of the defeat of the Bone Queen travelled quickly to the ears of many upon Gateway— and undoubtedly throughout the Sundered Skies because of the cosmic rift created by her demise. Tomas reveals that Joeseth Truthsayer has already begun his amass his own faction of The Beloved followers, who are even more pacifist than the main cult.
The trio set forth to the market to find Gruin Lockhammerwho is sitting behind the counter of his dusty shop. The group challenges Gruin to open the small chests, which he successfully does and reveals three chests filled with cogs (200; 200; 300 c.) and the fourth containing a silver whistle and a Blood Rosependant.
The heroes then seek out Joeseth in God’s Parade. He is at his same corner but the listeners of his sermons have grown considerably. Adults and children alike huddle around the charismatic preacher to hear his words. He greets the party as they approach and congratulates them are their good deed. He asks them to elaborate to his flock the entirety of the quest, which they do, along with a climatic finish with Marlow shooting his dragon pistol in the air. The crowd gasps and cheers.
Marlow finds that firing the gun has changed his mood and he has become more aggressive. Joeseth reveals that the transformed gun is actually the “fuel artifact” the heroes need to use towards protecting the shield.
The heroes also learn of the various gangs located throughout Gateway:
- The Godless, a group of troublemakers plaguing God’s Parade by preying upon the temples. They usually resort to petty vandalism, but sometimes going as far as assaulting priests or worshippers.
- The Ferals, a gang of thugs, who operate in the Port area. Gang members sport facial tattoos, which give them a bestial appearance. Their leader claims to be a non-wildling Untamed, though whether his claim is true is yet to be discovered.
- The Chosen, Not a gang of drakin, but a gang that claims to be led by a dragon, although whether this is true or not is unknown. The Chosen are currently locked in a vicious turf war with the Savages. Their weapon of choice is a bone cestus.
- The Savages, An orcish gang who have carved out territory, as well as a nasty reputation in the Undercity. Their favored weapon is the stamp hammer, though few have the strength to wield it effectively.
- The Glowmad, A truly vicious gang who are battling the Godless for territory around God’s Parade. Their dress apes the appearance of the glowmad, and they fight with a wild abandon.
The Birchstaff Brothers
Joeseth invites the heroes back to the Windblown Flotsam to treat them to a victory meal. While all are dining Jarle and Jeche Birchstaff stop by the table to congratulate the trio on their latest victory and tell them they are developing quite a name for themselves in the bustling town.
A note is slipped to Jarek by a bar maiden while being served. The note asks the wizard to meet with the Brothers later that evening to discuss a possible job. The trio retire to their perspective rooms at the lavish inn. A treat for their adventure-weary bones.
A sharp knock at Jarek’s door comes several hours later. The brother enter and discuss their need for the capable heroes to deliver some “goods” for them in Roseport— the market district in Heartland. The brother’s reveal that they are, in fact, Boughbreakers, who aide the resistance to free Wildlings from their oppressors, the Willow Queen and her Oakthorn army. The brothers suggest, if the heroes accept the quest, to visit Anya Brightclad in the market. Anya, who uses her shop as a front, stores weapons for the brothers that are used in the resistance. They ask that these weapons be delivered to an elf named Gareth in the Roseport Market Garden of Heartland. To make assure Gareth that they were sent from the Birchstaff’s the heroes must use the code, “The light bleeds through the trees.” Upon delivery Gareth will send back with the heroes a token and sealed note detailing the value of the weapons.If the letters and token are returned to the brothers, they pay the heroes twice the value of the goods. They also recommend to Jarek that The Chance can be modified by their friend, Jared Nilsenn, down at the Gateway shipyard to create hidden compartments for smuggling in the hull of the ship. Jeche mentions that if the heroes have plans to disappear with the haul and sell it elsewhere, then they had better never return to Gateway. He never forgets a business deal, and those who have broken a deal with him live to regret it…but not for long.
Jarek says he will present the offer to his compatriots and will give them an answer in the morning. The party discusses…and agrees.
Preparing for the Journey
The group rests overnight before heading to the shipyard to find master builder Jared Nilsenn so he can fabricate the hidden compartments in the Chance’s hull. Nilsenn agrees to the work at a price of 250c. for work that will take several days time. Jarek also tosses a few coins to Jared to disappear the Harbor office so the wizard can investigate shipping records. It is revealed that Merkas Gladwing has his hands dipped into the coffers of all goods floating in and out of the port. It appears that he’s taking both for the Trade Council and then a share for himself. He has also been making notations on Tomas’ activity and has gained a more than curious interest in the Heroes of the Chance.
While the party waits for the construction to be completed they pay a visit to Tomas. He offers to buy the undead skiff from them for a fair price of 6,500 c. The price is lower than usual because of it’s need to be blessed to remove the cursed taint before it can be resold.
The trio also visit Anya Brightclad to acquire the crates of weapons in a hidden compartment in her basement. They also meet Anya’s adopted human son, Tal and a cat-like wildling companion, Kaa-Lin. She tells the heroes that she rescued Kaa-Lin so he has pledged servitude to the elven woman. She tells the group to hire a cart to transport the crates back their ship..
The group also meets back up with Myrlak to puchase more wares. Jarek acquires two fire burst scrolls for 200 cogs. Plus a Dispel Magic scroll for 150. He also gets a prosthetic arm created 50 cogs. The artificial limb is hollowed out and can carry small items. Jarek keeps the arm tucked in his robe— concealing it’s true nature.
A quick visit to HONEST HAYRI’S DIRT CHEAP EMPORIUM is also on their “to do” list. Hayri offers the lowest prices for waysphere dirt in Gateway. They purchase a pouch of Heartland soil and are wished safe travels by the merchant.
The heroes also get their ship outfitted with a cannon and 30 cannon shots and purchase 12 more bolts for the ballistae
- Ricter uses his skills to convert some of the ballistae bolts into explosive harpoons using the black powder they found from their previous quest at the tower.
Where are you going!?!
With the hidden compartments built the heroes are ready to begin their run…
After loading up the cart from Anya’s Shop the trio makes its way to the docks. Before long they are stopped by the town militia led by Marcius Valerus, the human commander of the town militia.
With a slight show of force, Valerus questions the party on their comings & goings. He also makes it apparent that if goods are to be shipped to and from Gateway that his liege, Merkus Gladwing, should be involved. Valerus offers to look the other way just this once if the party agrees to pay a “toll” of 100c. Jarek, showing foresight with reasoning, agrees to the terms and pays the fee. Marcius smiles, accepts the toll and smugly divvies up the newly acquired coin amongst his fellow guardsmen. The heroes vow to kill Marcius at an appropriate time.
With that conflict resolved the party continues towards the port only to be stopped a second time— by the same Feral gang member who was harassing Ricter several days prior. This time the party acts. With one devastating pistol shot, Ricter’s slug explodes the assailant’s kneecap, severing a major artery and causing the thug to bleed out. Half-a-dozen fellow gang members come to their fallen comrade’s aid only to be dealt with swiftly by pistol, sword and spell.