PREVIOUSLY: The heroes arrive in Three Pines Ford. After meeting with a shady elven inn-keeper, known by Evarl to be a retired assassin, the heroes come across a call for help from a druid who is keen to learn why one of the ancient three Dyrad Trees, after which the town is named, has begun to die. The druid provides a guide in the form of a fighter named Voldar Riffolk, who agrees to assist the heroes. Shortly after accepting the druid’s call for assistance, the heroes stumble across a tunnel under one of the trees. Upon investigating further, the heroes learn that the trees are being somehow magically poisoned with ritualistic necromancy, but not before being set upon by several tainted fey. After defeating the creatures, the heroes return to the druid who confirms their theory, but explains she would need to examine the site further. In the meantime, the druid suggests the heroes visit the magic shop called the Ageng and Elyelen’s Vault where some of the supplies for the evil ritual may have been purchased from…
As night fell, the heroes bid their fare-well to the druid and her assistant Voldar Riffolk, and made their way back to the Black Mist. Given the late hour, the four aimed to return to their investigations in the morning at the alchemist shop. During the evening, Evarl and Nell noticed that the ship was under surveillance by a cloaked individual. Rather than starting an incident, the heroes kept the man under close watch, but by the end of first watch, the man had disappeared.
As dawn broke, those heroes who were not on watch were awoken to the sounds and smells of cooking bacon and eggs, courtesy of the Black Mist‘s first mate, Ewem. After breakfast, the heroes made their way through the busy morning markets to the alchemists store, known as Ageng and Elyelen’s Vault. There, they met an aging female dwarf shop keeper named Ageng after whom the shop was named. Kal and Sam engaged the shopkeeper in conversation whilst Evarl and Nell looked about the store. Eve noticed that the store was well stocked, but was dusty in some areas. In a corner, in a particularly dusty section, both she and Nell noticed a rectangular shaped print indicating that something had been there recently. Meanwhile, during the discussion with the shop keeper, Kal discovered that the powder was definitely sold at the store, and that powder and wax of the kind that was found at the tree would be contained in an alchemist kit. When Kal asked if one had been sold recently, the shopkeeper became tight lipped, claiming that she may know more if a purchase of some goods was had. After sampling the store’s wares, Kal made a purchase of some Oil of Bless Weapon for 50gp, after which the the shopkeeper became more loose lipped.
The aging dwarf revealed that a pale skinned gnome had attended her shop just over a day ago, and had made a purchase of a portable alchemists kit, and points to where Evarl and Nell were examining. She further explained that the gnome said little, paid extra for the purchase of the kits, and left. Nothing else was purchased.
During the conversation with the shopkeeper, a man enters the store, remaining near the front door and examining books. Evarl noticed the man to be similar shape and build to the humanoid who had been watching the Black Mist the previous evening. Evarl slipped up next to the man without him noticing, and carefully watched his movements. Suddenly the man turned his head towards the young elf, nodded, and then bolted for the front door, dropping the book as he ran.
The man dashed across the road, with Evarl in hot pursuit. Nell and Sam following closely behind. Evarl caught the man slipping into a general store across the road, and followed. As she approached however, she heard commotion from within. As Evarl darted into the store, she noticed the shopkeeper assaulting the would-be-spy with a broom, and a tray of eggs smashed on the floor beside them. The woman was yelling for the man to get out. Evarl took advantage of the situation, and grabbed a hessian bag from the counter. Whilst the man was otherwise occupied, Evarl forced the bag over the man’s head in an attempt to drag him to the ground. The shopkeeper, an elderly woman, went to threaten Evarl, thinking that she was about to be robbed, but through fast talking, Evarl convinced the woman her that she was there to apprehend the would-be criminal.
Nell remained on the roadway, as Sam dashed across the road to join Evarl in the store. Kal and the dwarven store owner joined Nell on the street to see what was going on. Suddenly from around the corner, three guards barreling towards the direction of the disturbance. Nell engaged the guards in conversation, claiming that it was only her Uncle that was have a reaction of some bad stew. The guards, somewhat bedazzled by the red-haired sorcerer’s words, held their ground, seeming to believe her.
Meanwhile inside the store, the man had escaped by cutting open the bag with a concealed knife. The man spun to face his attackers, and the old shopkeeper backed away. Evarl drew her sword, and threatened the man to surrender. At that moment, Sam burst through the front door, his intimidating prowess convincing the man that surrender was a good option. Evarl quickly questioned the man, but he was more that tight lipped that the dwarven shop-keeper. With a few jarring blows from Sam‘s fists, and the fact that he saw the guards awaiting him outside, the would-be spy loosened his tongue. The man, named Ewis Arrerk, spilled the story, stating that he worked for an accountant named Andre Colton who was a spy for the Molthune Government. The man claimed that he was regularly paid by Andre to keep a watchful eye on the new-comers to the town, and report back any unusual activities. He claimed he had been tracking the heroes since they arrived, but did not expect them to be as resourceful and perceptive as they had been. When asked about the gnome, the man knew nothing, although had heard them talking about it in the magic shop.
With this confession, Evarl and Sam took the man outside and handed him over to the authorities. Nell, not wnating to be accusing of lying to the guards, and perhaps thereafter being dragged away, slunk back into the magic store until they had left. Meanwhile Evarl, Kal and Sam followed the guards back to the Three Pines Ford Keep and spoke with the Captain of the Guard. The heroes told them of the story and what the man had confessed. The heroes were commended for their efforts, and awarded 400gp as a reward for apprehending a Molthune spy.
Meanwhile Nell commenced her return to the Black Mist. Whilst making her way through the docks, Nell overheard a group of sailors claiming that they were from a ship called the Grinning Parrot and that had come from up river a few days earlier. She further heard that some were claiming that they had be haunted during their trip by what they identified as a ghouling halfling with pale skin and eyes. Nell deduced that this was a similar description of the gnome the magic shop owner had seen previously. Nell then returned to the boat and was later joined by the other three heroes. After sharing the reward for the capture of the spy, the heroes and Captain Walren’s crew prepared to set sail. Shortly before leaving, the heroes learned that the Molthune spy, who had been acting as an accountant had got wind of the situation, and had fled the town. The crew then fare-welled the town, and the Black Mist then headed off down the Tourondel River to continue its journey to Tamran.
Th third day was relatively uneventful, as the crew made their way through the mouth of the river an into Lake Encarthen. As night fell, the eerie light show of bright green and blue flashes on the horizon from the direction of what was known as the Isle of Terror haunted the heroes. This prompted Kal to seek guidance from Erastil, after which he cast a divine spell which provided him with the fore-sight to predict the oncoming weather.
The evening of the forth day saw a violent store reek havoc on the ship. Crewman Anthond Bowe was injured during the storm, and was taken below decks to rest and recover. The rest of the crew handled themselves remarkably well, gaining the praises of Captain Walren.
On the evening of the last day, approximately 2 hours out from Tamran, a mist had formed, which Kal had also predicted, which blocked the way into Tamran‘s bay. Captain Waldren was wary, and readied everyone, except crewman Bowe who was still unwell, for battle. Evarl was the first to spot the ambush, a cutter vessel flying a Molthune Privateer flag came into view.
Evarl warned the crew, and Nell yelled out, claiming that the Black Mist was a plague ship, and not to come closer. Evarl could clearly see the crew of the incoming vessel, who comprised of seven soldiers, and a Captain. Evarl confirmed that Nell’s plan appeared to have worked, as most of the men aboard the vessel appeared uneasy. However, instead of the ship moving away, the Molthuni Captain yelled for his men to burn the boat. With that, two alchemist’s fires were thrown at the ship. Evarl and Sam were quick enough to move to a position where the containers would land. Evarl caught the first, but Sam was not nimble enough, the flask slipping through his fingers, and the contents smashing on the ground under him. The explosion engulfed the young warrior, however the discharge was not as bad as he first though although he was now covered in partially flaming goo.
However, Nell‘s distraction was enough to allow her to unleash a burning hands spell, across the middle section of the Molthuni ship, which caused the deaths of several of the Molthuni crewmen. Ewem flung a spear in the direction of another crewman, which collected the sailor in the chest, sending him skittering across the deck. Several of the sailors attempted to swing across to the Black Mist, with two reaching their intended target, and another making it only to the side rail. Evarl took it upon herself to deal with this poor sap, while Nell stepped back to again flame the advancing sailors. Meanwhile, the Molthuni Captain had swung across the stern of the ship to engage Captain Walren himself in combat. The two traded blows, but clearly the aged dwarven captain was no match for the much younger Molthuni. Kal quickly cast a spell on Sam to further protect him in the fight, as Sam raced to protect Captain Waldren. Several of the sailors continued their advance, with Ewen receiving several severe wounds from Molthuni blades. But the attacks were not enough to sway the Kellid’s respove to protect his ship, and with the assistance of Kal, and Nell‘s magic missile spells from her wand, two of the would be pirates fell. Sam bravely defended Captain Walren, and soon after beheaded the Molthuni Captain. Having seen his captain beheaded, the last surviving privateer jumped into the shadowy depths of Lake Encarthen.
The heroes initially considered taking possession of the Molthuni ship, but upon further inspection found that it was heavily damaged, and not just from the fire caused by Nell’s spell, but because it had been neglected and severely damaged through attacks from other vessels. The heroes, after some suggestions from Captain Walren, cleared the ship of its cargo and supplies, and sent the boat to the depths of Lake Encarthen.
During the search, a locked safe was located, the contents of which were a small treasure of coins, a magical feather token, and a letter of marquee from the Molthuni Government. Also found board were supplies, and a series of military orders pertaining to ship movements in the area. Captain Walren informed the heroes that this would be an advantage as they would be able to claim several rewards for the recovery of those documents, and for the heads of the Mothuni Privateers from the Tamran council.
With that, the heroes and the crew of the Black Mist continued on their journey, and soon after arrived at Tamran…