The raid on House Fell successfully completed, the adventuring party recovers and regroups in their Bolt safehouse. G’Yest, having stayed behind to complete his ritual passing of the souls to the Raven Queen joins the group shortly thereafter.
Together, they examine the documents in the metal box hurriedly snatched from the merchant house as the flames were catching. The documents show an agreement between Merchant Houses Fell and Gambon on the topic of limiting the flow of goods to Helra while simultaneously establishing profitable underground trade routes. The party discusses these documents, interested and yet also puzzled by these brief windows into larger political intrigue in the Kingdom.
Most interestingly, the group examines a scroll with an intricate seal. It is recent, and indicates that there is some important cargo to be brought into the city. Specifically, the cargo is from Maleva, one of the Southern kingdoms, and contains a talisman to be delivered in Vyborg, a city in Samia province.
The party discusses these developments. Having completed the raid and assassination in the Fell library, the adventurers had earlier decided to continue their investigation into the unsettling stirrings of the Cult of Vecna, some concerns were voiced that the party was losing sight of the greater danger and enemy. Coming to an agreement, the group decides to do this one last job in Shorehold to further weaken the merchant house and sow distrust, and then move on to their other objectives.
That day, the adventurers check out the harbor. It is bustling with activity. Torinn recalls from earlier study that Malevan fashion features reds and purples, and the adventurers keep their eyes peeled for signs of those styles. G’Yest, stakes out the ship while the rest of the crew decides to knock back a few with some salty sailors to get word of this mysterious cargo and anything else that can be strategically useful.
G’Yest finds the ship, Gond’s Hammer, at the end of a dock. He notices four sentries on the deck, all armed with crossbows and wearing green cloaks with sigils of scales and a sword. He strolls back to meet the rest at the bar. At the tavern, Tkar buys a round for some sailors who are already good and drunk. He chats them up with some talk about the ladies and gets them to share what they know about the Gond’s Hammer and her crew. They claim that the Malevite soldiers drink harder stuff at the bar and are eager to get the cargo and its unsettling guards off their vessel. Tkar rents a rowboat from them for the evening and leaves them to continue their mid-morning consumption.
Our adventurers reconvene and strategize at the safehouse. They decide on a stealth attack, using distraction from the docks and sneak attacks from the boat. After night falls, Torinn and Tkar approach by way of the dock and Torinn loudly makes a scene regarding some financial dispute. Simultaneously, G’Yest and Noor deftly climb the ship using grappling gear, and G’Yest creeps forward silently sending their souls to his queen. Torinn bumbles a charge, nearly falling on his own weapon, and one of the guards screams out for help.
Good ol’ fashioned melee breaks out between our adventurers and the guards. Hatches fly open, and the bowmen are joined by two humans- though something is amiss. They are covered in bandages, and their skin has a sickly pallor to it. They attack with crooked fingers and growled words, sucking life energy from their targets, and at close range have a knack for using razors and cutting deep. With Noor’s rally cries, Torinn’s brazen front attacks, G’Yest’s nimble blade, and Tkar’s fiery sorcery the enemies are all slain. The bandaged men have mysterious tattoos on their chests, similar to the runes seen before. The adventurers go below decks.
Our heroes find a small wooden chest containing 500 gold pieces and a vial full of a purple and gray viscous liquid. Tkar takes a sniff of it and identifies it as a Gravespawn Potion, which bestows some special healing properties to be described in full detail later. The party also finds an Evil Eye Fetish 2 to fort., refl., and will).
In another chamber below deck the crew finds an iron cage covered by a heavy cloth. Bracing themselves for the worst, Torinn throws off the cloth to reveal a creature of legend before their very eyes; a young Tiefling, in a cloak, looking out at them with alert, careful eyes. The Tiefling is Tio, and ze has been held captive on this ship. Is Tio the precious cargo? We think so.
The adventurers decide to free Tio and look further into the circumstances of Tio’s abduction. Who captured Tio? For what diabolical purpose? Torinn hands Tio hir knife, and the crew leaves the ship, setting it ablaze.