The night of 21 Kythorn > 22 Kythorn 1487
(missing Tranled and Envar and Oak’s players ;_;)
The lava dragon settles, the rest of us take wary watch. Korotir is finding weak spots in case we have to kill it and making terrible small talk with Ferrindale. Tranled has been drugged into snoring sleep.
Ferrindale and Korotir discuss how one kills things. Ferrindale doesn’t use a shield. Korotir is nonplussed. Ferrindale insists they need all their hands for their instruments, and bad jokes. “How many bad jokes does it take to kill an ancient blue dragon?”
Atarah catches Korotir up on what happened in Waterdeep (including Zone of Truth shenanigans).
Oak talks about how the giants use us as tools and aren’t we doing the same to the dragon? Yes, but what other choice do we have?
Discussing how to get the dragon to Imyrith because he can’t fly, won’t be polymorphed, and doesn’t fit through the tree-stride portals. Nor can we conch-teleport to the Maelstrom with him, since all the fuss we went through to steal him from the Giants in the first place. We’ll have to walk him all the way to wherever Imyrith .
Oak asks about what else Sarissa asked us to do; find her father. The only lead is this wood coin with a gold duck on it. Ferrindale recognizes it as from a casino they used to work at and tips out a whole bag of them.
“Where did you get those from?” It is explained. The casino is in Yartar.
Atarah remembers her dad had a contact in Yartar—old Kolbaz. Now the party is split onto what to do— go to Yartar? Sneak the dragon there? Or just go to Imyrith?
Oak pipes up—it will take her a few days to even heal Fulmeris, and a while to fix the skeleton deformities. She’ll find other druids on the way to help, and start walking towards Imyrith. That will give us time to investigate in the casino to find King Hekaton. Atarah frets about how to get there; the vultures are back in the Grove and Envar has the conch (we have the cat mounts, but still—walking is not as fast or straight as flying).
Korotir takes the first watch. The dragon digs itself deeper into its lava pit. Tranled wakes up and starts calling for Korotir and Atarah. Korotir gives him water and tells him to shut up, people are sleeping. Tranled decides to go on a walk; needs to think, but is feeling slightly calmer.
Korotir trades with Tran for the next watch and beds down with QujMeh. Atarah was going to take second watch.
Ferrindale wakes first in the morning (they are totally an elf and don’t need sleep. totally) and spots a letter folded on Tran’s sleeping bag. It’s addressed to Atarah but Ferrindale reads it.
“Atarah, I have some things I need to take care of on my own. Don’t try to follow me. I’ll be back once my heart knows peace. With all my heart, Tranled”
Ferrindale wakes up Atarah (who comes up with sword in hand) with a yell. Atarah notes he has left his sleeping back (but did take food supplies)
Atarah asks QujMeh to track him, because dude needs his sleeping bag in this cold. The trail goes up to the lava pool where Fulmeris slept, and then out again to a lava tube in the middle of the woods. The tube dead ends fairly quickly.
Atarah gets suspicious and starts trying to sense for fiends and infernals. Finds nothing.
Ferrindale looks too, finds a message in cooled lava (nat 20): Tiefling, I can give you the vengeance you seek.
Atarah is annoyed. Korotir is resigned. But at least it isn’t Lorcan. Oak says she’ll go with the rest of them to Yartar and can open a tree portal. Atarah spends some time praying to Dad Summerheart first, asks him to watch over Tran (because done a stupid and potentially breaking his oath). Gets some worry but mostly bemusement, will definitely watch over him. This is what parenting is.
Ferrindale gives Oak a description of Yartar to be able to scry for a large enough tree to stride through. Park with a dessert shop (instant desire for ice cream), lots of hanging baskets with pansies—
We dive through the tree portal.
It is warmer here, and so there’s a lot more smells. Fish, old fish, horse dung, sourdough. The ice cream store is still there. It’s pricey but totally worth it, run by a mage college dropout with ray of frost. Five silver a cup, we splurge. Peanut butter flavor apparently is popular with half-orcs? Atarah buys mint for Oak and gets neapolitan for herself. Korotir gets a lavender flavored slushie.
Marko doesn’t work for the ice cream shop any more, he got a better offer. Sad. Atarah tries to wheedle the info out of the shopkeeper as to where he is, Korotir claims he’ll fight the entire town and whoever defeats him can get 10k gold, or if their name is Marko they can have 20k.
The shopkeeper tells Atarah maybe she’ll do better without the war getup. “Look, just because I have a fuck-off big sword—”
Korotir claims he’ll find him. Ferrindale says he’s a halfling and probably doesn’t want to fight a hulking half-orc in full plate. Atarah accuses Korotir of just wanting to fight, which he admits. “We can do an exhibition match if you want to hit something, bro.” This sounds like a great idea to Korotir.
The ice cream vendor (Mrs. Robbins) tells Ferrindale that Marko took a job on the docks and that was the last she saw of him. So the party heads that way.
Atarah pulls a guard aside on the way and asks for directions—the casino we’re looking for is a ship, called the Grand Dame and has a duck flag. There is insulting banter.
Ferrindale gives the grand tour of the dry docks while looking for Marko, tells about tavern experiences at the “Dry Magpie” and “Duckfeathers,” asks about Marko on the way.
Some random dock worker catcalls Oak, because Tabaxi are rare, and Atarah scruffs them and threatens a broken nose the next time that worker catcalls anyone.
Eventually, someone grabs Ferrin and offers to tell about Marko, for a price. Atarah, who noticed Ferrin get taken, looms: “Oh really, how much?”
Dude will not work with Atarah — the beacon— tells Ferrin if they want to do business to come back with 500g and without the beacon. “16 Charisma huh?” “It’s not SNEAKY charisma! I am not meant for sneaky!”
Korotir did not notice the dodge, gets accosted by another half-orc who says I heard you want to fight? Talks about the Eel Tavern, they have fights there, but the rules are no armor, no weapons because we’re not fighting your purse.
The group reluctantly agrees maybe Korotir and Atarah should take off their armor. We go grab beds at the Eel tavern hostel, Korotir rents a chest for his gear with a confused tavernkeeper who doesn’t understand being tipped.
The half-orc who talked to Korotir is named Mog. Fights are till knockout. The tavernkeeper recognizes Ferrin, invites them to play during the fights because business is always better. “Mr. Orbrider”
Atarah dumps her armor in her bag of holding and attempts to dye her hair again. So since Korotir apparently has an appointment, and Ferrin’s gonna play, Atarah will sit and drink and try to gather some gossip about whoever was hired to kidnap a giant. Atarah makes sure to sit close enough to the ring Korotir can benefit from her paladin aura.
Ferrin’s playing brings in a huge crowd and eventually pulls in 20g worth of small tips. The fights begin, they are ranked.
Orbrider gets Korotir’s name wrong (“Lockbreaker” not “Giantbane”) but the fight begins, first up: The Demolisher. Korotir wins without much effort.
Next: “The Terror of the North” — human, older. Not as strong as Korotir, does have some fighter levels but not as many. He takes the first round but then Korotir pounds him into the dirt.
Next: “The undefeated Mog!” Evenly matched, Korotir takes a good hit but badly injures Mog’s leg, and Korotir takes advantage. He goes down once, but Mog is a halforc and comes back up. Korotir outlasts him.
Atarah is spending silver like water, buying the defeated fighters and anyone around her drinks and encouraging them to talk about previous fights and unusual contracts in the last x months (when Hekaton was kidnapped). After the fight she kicks on Aura of Vitality and heals all the fighters.
(the older fighter is named Yurgen Kaneko, Atarah discovers, which makes her player choke because that’s the Bull of the North in Exalted) Yurgen is from Fireshear, is thinking of heading back to deal with the frost giants there to keep his family safe.
There was a big throwdown with Frost Giants four months ago but they were chased off.
There was talk that the Lords Alliance were the ones who took out a Storm Giant who visited Waterdeep, assassinated her. Not what Atarah is looking for. Atarah invites him to join the crew mustering at Grove Keep for taking out the Frost Giant Jarl.
Yurgen finally recognizes Korotir, talks about the Ulgin. Asks if he’s considered conquering other Orc tribes? Korotir has considered it but wants to know why? Seems to Yurgen they’re weak, could use Korotir’s leadership.
Yurgen wants to take out the Frost Giant plague; Atarah says they have a solution but they need more information. Yurgen will help any way he can; they explain the kidnapping and the coin.
The Grand Dame is a ritzy place. Yurgen doesn’t go there.
Atarah smacks herself in the head. They’re going at this backward. She knows who hired the people, so she should be looking for who Imyrith hired, not contracts on giants. Yurgen doesn’t recognize the name and is sorry he can’t be more helpful.
Atarah takes another tack: has anyone come unexpectedly into a lot of money recently? YES. (nat 20) Yurgen tells about a ship that comes in recently with no cargo but flush with cash, who hired a bunch of locals hush hush. That crew took off and hasn’t been heard from but the old crew is still here spending cash like water.
Ferrindale notices the hat man from earlier loitering. They go over to talk, and promises to tell Korotir if pummeling needs to occur. Ferrindale makes the deal with him for the info and calls Atarah over for cash. Atarah drops a handful of platinum as a down payment, says the rest on delivery. He tells them to leave first because he doesn’t want to be seen with them and go to the door from earlier.
Atarah gets the location of the where the old crew hangs out from Yurgen, and physical descriptions. They leave the Eel Tavern. Korotir gets his armor and QujMeh (who has acquired a frisbee new toy stolen from scared college students).
The door from earlier—the hat guy is concerned that our Siege Engine (Korotir) will break down the building. It is threatened that if they mess with our friend, yes, that will happen.
There’s a magic circle inside for privacy. They step inside, along with Ferrin, activate it, and tell Ferrin everything about Marko. The ship Marko went on was owned by the Kraken Society — tentacle obsession. The only other times this has been mentioned; just saying the name guys shoot blood out of their eyes and ears and die horrifically. The Kraken Society is a cult to a dark god. Marko is wrapped up with them. They show up, hire a bunch of dockhands, tell them they’ll be “guards” and ship them out. They went downstream, their boat is equipped for ocean travel.
Word is, members of the Kraken Society are trying to worm their way into the authorities of Yartar, and Mr Dryland (Casino Owner) is helping them; and rumor is he or his creepy mage have mind control powers using to corrupt the aristocracy and take over Yartar.
Guy asks: What are you going to tell your friends? You can’t tell them the truth. Avoid proper nouns.
Also he wants his payment. Korotir wants the hat. But he’s kidding. It takes a moment for that to be realized.
Ferrindale: “So I’ve been told that your heads are going to explode if I tell you anything I was just told, but I’m pretty sure there’s a way around that so as soon as I figure that out I’ll tell you.”
Korotir: “Wait, our heads are going to explode?”
Ferrindale: “Oh I probably shouldn’t have told you that.”
Atarha ignores this, “…Let’s move on and find drunk crew to beat information out of, ok. Ok.”
Ferrindale helps find the old crew with a nat 19, has an octopus tattoo. Atarah and Korotir start smelling something on fire. The drunk sees Korotir in armor and starts trying to flee. Atarah goes to grab him (19 vs 2) and pulls him in.
He slurs No no no… very drunk.
Atarah casts Lesser Restoration, the guy snaps sober and says “You shouldn’t have done that,” and starts bleeding from the eyes and nose. Dies in seconds.
Korotir tries to knock on doors and find a place we can talk to this guy, gets no answers.
Atarah tries “Remove Curse” and then “Revivify” — it doesn’t help, he dies again in blood and agony.