From the Journal of Beriana Elorelen:
After their adventure in the Sea Hag’s Lair, my new friends Daziel, Zazumet, and Tolfgar spent the following morning going through the treasure they had obtained during their recent battles. Money and items were divvied up between them, and a pile of items to sell was set aside. It was determined that Tolfgar would take care of the selling, as it was hoped (correctly) that his personal charm coupled with his imposing bulk would allow for a better return. Daziel, meanwhile, took a large portion of their coinage to a nearby exchange. He returned much less laden down with a nice pile of platinum to be distributed. For his part, Zazumet spent the time working diligently on plans for what he described as a “steam-powered prosthesis”. He attempted to explain it to me while he worked, or, at least, he kept up a running commentary on his work while he sketched out plans and made numerous measurements. I must admit that the bulk of it went well over my head, though I found it all fascinating despite my lack of understanding.
When all had returned, the three left the Floating Gull and made their way to the local offices of North Island Trading Company. There, they met with the shipping company’s local factor, a dwarf by the name of Balar Darban. Presenting Balar with the location of the hag’s lair, they explained to him that the hag had been working with someone in town to waylay the ships that had gone missing and steal their cargo. A shipping schedule had been found in the creature’s lair, notating ships that had been taken as well as future ships that might have succumbed to the same fate. Balar was understandably distressed by this news, and requested that the trio look into the matter of who the hag’s local contact was. A fee was negotiated for their services, and the three returned to the tavern to plan their next move.
While this was going on, I had ensconced myself at my usual table, spreading my books and papers about me while I continued to work on what I hoped would be the first of many volumes pertaining to the voyage of the Araen Horizon. While I was quite distracted by this work, I could not help but notice as two Firaliesti walked in the door. Elves are common in Elvedon, of course, but dark elves much less so, and the two created quite a stir among the few patrons currently in the tavern. The innkeeper approached them and they presented him with their chits. I smiled gently as I realized that they, like my three friends, would be journeying with me aboard the Horizon. The two paid the extra coin for private chambers and headed up the stairs after the innkeep, while I returned my attention to my words. When my friends returned, I made certain to tell them of the new arrivals. They showed interest, especially Daziel, but were quite focused on the task at hand.
The three of them determined that whoever the hag had been working with, they were responsible for the rash of warehouse burglaries that had plagued the town lately. Tolfgar excused himself and spent some time moving through town, sifting truth from rumor and gathering as much information as he could about who might possibly be behind the crimes. One name kept coming up through it all: the Sea Snakes. The Sea Snakes were a small crew with ambitions of being bigger, led by a woman named Cindra Levan. If anyone had the temerity and resources to pull all this off, it was them. Armed with this information, Tolfgar returned to the tavern and relayed what he knew to the two gnomes. Daziel offered to go out after nightfall and scout out possible sites for the next burglary. His size and comfort in the dark were well suited to this task. It wasn’t long after he left that he returned, stating he had seen some suspicious activity at one of the warehouses.
The three headed out, but arrived too late to stop the burglary. Searching around, they discovered the corpse of the guard North Island had posted on the warehouse, as well as tracks from the wagon the thieves had used. They followed the tracks to another warehouse, this one well out of the way and near the northwest edge of town. Approaching as silently as possible, they were nevertheless spotted by an observant lookout. The lookout was spotted in turn as they went to warn the rest of the gang, and the trio moved quickly before they lost surprise. Finding a side door, they picked the lock and entered the building as silently as possible. Spotting one of the half-orcs he had seen earlier, Daziel reacted quickly with a shot from his crossbow. Battle was joined.
The half-orc, along with a second half-orc, waged battle on the ground floor, while from the balcony above, Cindra used her bardic abilities to inspire their actions and cast spells upon the trio. The fourth gang member, a young halfling woman, rained crossbow bolts down from her perch on the balcony. Despite this, the battle seemed to be going the trio’s way. The first half-orc was dispatched quickly, while Zazumet and his enlarged eidolon Zero moved to take care of the second man. Tolfgar and his hunting dog made their way up the stairs while Daziel exchanged fire with the gang’s sniper after using an alchemical weapon to deafen Cindra and weakening her performance somewhat. Cindra responded by causing Daziel to fall into a magical slumber, allowing the gang to recover somewhat. It was not to be enough, however. Zero dispatched his half-orc opponent easily, while Zazumet moved to wake Daziel. On the balcony, Tolfgar waded into melee with both Cindra and her sniper. Sensing herself on the losing side, Cindra made herself invisible and tried to flee as Tolfgar felled the halfling. With the others down, the trio (and Zero) were able to concentrate on cornering their invisible foe. Zero used his reach and his four arms to attack the area Cindra was thought to be in. Luck was with them, as one of the attacks found her and the rest of them attacked.
The Sea Snakes taken out, with the surviving three members unconscious and bound, the trio searched the rest of the warehouse. In an office on the balcony, they discovered a halfling by the name of Sollie Oldfallo, patiently waiting. He calmly explained that he was not a member of the gang, but was instead merely an intermediary from the nearby city of Port Eldritch, here to do business with Cindra and her fellows. His words were couched in vagaries, and half-truths, but it was clear that he was a member of the extensive thieves’ guild operating in and around that city. Cindra had planned to buy her way into the guild and set herself up as a satellite operation here in Sunset Bay. When the group moved to detain Sollie, he used a magical ring he wore to teleport his way to safety.
Gathering up the Sea Snakes, and loading them into the wagon the gang had used for its robberies, the trio returned to North Island’s offices. Finding Balar, they turned over the gang, along with the location of the stolen goods. Grateful for their assistance in the matter, Balar happily provided the three of them with their fee. They then returned to the Floating Gull, where they eagerly regaled me with tales of their latest exploits. For my part, I was happy to hear all about it, as well as happy to be able to tell them that news had arrived from the docks. The Araen Horizon would be setting sail in less than a week. Buoyed by this information, my friends took advantage of their new wealth, and the time they had, to outfit themselves for the trip. Zazumet also spend a few days creating the prosthetic he had drafted and giving it to the sailor who he had crafted it for. While the sailor was delighted to have a new and much improved false leg, I believe he may have been a bit dumb-founded by some of the features Zazumet had built into it. I have no doubt, however, that he will earn to appreciate the inventiveness that went into it, given time.