Bumbling through Sundered Skies

Interlude: Roland Investigates Too!
Leaving ships unguarded is an excellent way to make new friends.

After finishing repairs on your ship, you take a look around. A number of ships are docked at port, many of them are being repaired by crews. You wonder if they had similar adventures to your own, or if they simply had less luck navigating into port.
You see one repair crew waiting under a sign haphazardly painted with the words “Protect your ship! Rockward hulls!”
At the edge of the port, you see two ships being sold: A tiny used Sky Sail and a brand new Galleon.

I head to the temple district to talk to people I know there. I want
to find out what they know about lightbringer, the previous ocean god,
or any of the things the god was referring to like the armor of
orcsbane, raven’s staff, fuel that burns in queen’s barge, etc.

You visit the temple of the Artificer and offer a short prayer in thanks for his eternal gifts. You walk over to a priest friend you’ve known for years, named Saldo. You notice that he rolls his eyes and turns away from you, but assume it means that he wants you to follow. Scurrying up beside him, you begin badgering him with questions.

He must be very busy, because his answers are very concise.
“You know as much as everyone does about the Lightbringer. He’s the god of the voidglow. He’s a god gone mad and infects this world with madness.”
“There’s no such thing as an ocean, that’s only legend.”
“Yes, yes, Orcbane, Raver Staff I’m sure your new inventions will be wonderous when you complete them.”
“Go talk to that lunatic Joeseth if you want to hear about the Bone Queen.”

And with that, he’s gone, breaking into a very unpriest-like sprint, if you’ve ever seen one.

Do I know who Joseph is? I yell after him to thank him for his time,
and that if he needed to go to the bathroom so bad, he should have
told me. It’s not good for his health to hold it in.

You know the name Joeseth as a worshipper of the Rotting One as the goddess of love. You seen him many times on God’s Parade and you’ve gotten along with him quite well. You know he has a ship called the Forgotten Purpose, so if he’s not here, he’s probably sailing aimlessly through the Shattered City.

I search around God’s Parade for Joeseth, and if I don’t find him, I
search the port to see if the Forgotten Purpose is around.

You don’t see Joeseth hanging around his common spots, so you head back to the dock to see if his ship is in port. At port, you don’t see the Forgotten Purpose. You ask around to see if anyone knows where he is, but they don’t seem to give you the time of day.

I spread the word to people that know Joeseth that I’m looking for him
to talk about his god. I realize that I need to check our ship and see
what, if any, rock or dirt has been stored on the ship by previous
captains for navigational purposes.

You don’t recognize anyone in port – it’s been a long time since you spent any significant time in Gateway, and the life expectancy of sailors is always low. Still, you let some dock workers know you’re looking for Joeseth. Their dismissive reactions indicate to you that without additional incentive, the message would more likely reach him stuffed in a bottle and tossed into the Void.

Shrugging, you board the Chance to check on it’s navigational equipment. As you stand at the stairs descending below deck, you think you hear something or someone below. You call out, “Who’s there?” to the cabins below. The noise you heard suddenly goes quiet.

Roland hears from below a soft voice.

It asks, “Oh, uh, hi, are you the captain?”

I call out, “Come out where I can see you. The captain will be along.
Who are you and what are you doing on our ship?” I draw my bow, drop
my pack, and nock an arrow at the ready but not drawn.

You see a young-ish male drakin step out from below deck. He’s about 4’ tall. Sheathed at his waist is what looks like a bone sword of some sort and he’s clad in the hides of various creatures. A helm dangles from his pack. Despite the relatively light appearance of the pack, he seems to be slowed by its weight. As he notices you, he relaxes a bit, though his right hand is clutched at his side, slightly out of your view.

“Good day gentle sir. It is I, Tyrath. I’ve been looking for a worthy vessel and this ship looked friendly. I didn’t see anyone above deck so I hoped to find the captain down below. I called out when I stepped aboard… you mustn’t have heard me… " he trails off.“Anyway, I seek passage. Do you have room for one more?”

He’s got a very bright gleam in his eye, but seems a bit naive.

You see before you an old man wearing hide armor that looks like it’s
seen many years of use. On his body look like many gadgets of
questionable purpose and durability. He’s holding a silver bow and
seems wary, yet curious as to why someone else would be here. “I see,
I am [potentially changed name here], a member of the crew. To where
do you seek passage, and how urgent is your need? Have you experience
sailing the void before? We have a small crew, and you might be
expected to pitch in.”

The drakin releases his fist and the gleam in his eyes subsides. He flashes a disarming smile and drops his arms to his sides casually. “Sir, it is the utmost pleasure to… I mean, uh, nice to meet you. Anywhere will do…. I’m just looking to get off this rock.”

“I have sailed the void a bit. In fact,” he reaches down and pulls out his rib sword gently in a non-threatening way and dispalys it proudly, “I didst have the honor of, uh, I mean, I killed me the skyler this sword came from.” He slides the sword back into the sheathe." So to answer your question I can crew. Am better at putting down beasties than I am at sailing a vessel, but I’ve had a modicum, uh, bit, of training. I have but one condition, and tell me truly…" an intensity and a surge of anger fill his draconic eyes, “do you sail with Shepherds?” You notice his right hand begin to clench slightly as he spits out the last word.

“Now, now, sonny. No need to talk all stupid like. I can understand
you just fine, though some of my companions might not fare so well.”
The old man puts his bow and arrow away. “Just trying to get off this
rock, eh? Hope you’re not running from something. Nope, no shepherds
here. But that does remind me of this one time…” The old man starts
into a long rambling story about a past encounter with shepherds where
he saw some shepherds in the distance while searching for tech
salvage. You get the feeling the story could go on for a long time.

The drakin looks puzzled briefly, but relaxes again and his smile returns.
“Stupid? Oh uh sure. Just trying to break a habit of mine… but yeah, that’s definitely an interesting story and I’m sorry to interrupt… I came to Gateway expecting it to be a glamorous place full of adventure… somewhere to stretch my wings, so to speak. Turns out it’s more of a heap than I had hoped. Too many damn Shepherds around too. I’m looking to make a name for myself… stop living under the shadow of my fa…uh, nevermind. I just want to see the skies, amass some riches, explore some ruins, find some ancient artifacts. You know, the regular stuff of youth… all youth except Drakin youth.” He mumbles the last part so that its barely audible, then catches himself and looks up again. “Might I beg of you, er, think I can have a berth aboard yer ship? If I may ask, who are the other crew?”

Interlude: Cap'n Smith Tries Diplomacy
Charisma. It's worth it!

And so Cap’n Smith went to research the Gods:
You make your way to the Navigator Hall of Gateway. The city archives should be below, with all the information you could hope to find. You see a number of captains entering and exiting the structure as they prepare for they attune themselves to their next destination. Off to the side of the building, you see a group of people gathered and excitedly chattering.

Right. How does the attunement thing for the ship work again? Is there something I need to bring from the ship to get bound to this island? If there was, can we assume I have it with me so I/The Chance can be bound to Gateway since my character would know this?

Regardless, I nonchalantly make my way closer to the group of people to see if I can find out what the commotion is all about. Research can wait.

Navigator Halls are found in every port and contain earth from all islands, except Deepsky (the Dwarf homeland). A nominal fee (10 cogs) allows an hour’s access to the hall. A ship’s captain must handle earth from his destination island before attuning his ship’s waysphere.

Wayspheres are navigation crystal globes, filled with magically charged water, with a flint-tipped arrow suspended at their center. A captain must handle rock or dirt from the island he wishes to travel to, no more than 13 hours before attuning the sphere. Then, all he has to do is concentrate on the island, and the arrow points the way.

Presumably, you could sail back to Gateway from the ruined tower because Karr Luckbringer had already attuned the ship’s waysphere. For future trips, you should attune the ship to your destination, and probably bring a sample of where you’re leaving from, in case your destination does not contain a Navigation Hall (such as when doing bounty hunter/scavenging tasks).

You approach the crowd slowly and ask one of the men near the back about the commotion. He turns to you and informs you that, apparently, a smuggler has gotten his hands on a sample of earth from Deepsky Citadel, capital city of the Dwarves. He’s apparently selling attunement time to those captains who want to try their luck at trading, exploring, or preying on the Dwarves.

Your common knowledge about Deepsky Citadel:
It’s the lowest inhabited isle and is a floating fortress. Only the navigator hall at Ironport on Mount Ore holds earth from the Deepsky Citadel, until now, anyways. The Dwarf King occasionally presents small amounts of earth to those who prove themselves great friends of the dwarves, which makes it the rarest of samples in the Skies. It is likely that if the dwarves know of this sample in the wild, they’re likely not happy about it.

I shrug. Hard to believe we have the money to pay the smuggler for a chance to handle the dwarven dirt. Even if we did, no way we’re going to have a chance at the island on our dingy little ship against all these other fools. Easier money to be made elsewhere.

Still, information like this could be useful… I look around to see if there seem to be any people very interested in this commotion who stand out? (e.g. staring intently, but not in the crowd, guards paying a little too much attention, etc.)

Notice (1d4) – 1 on my d4, 6 on my d6

Even if this isn’t something you plan to exploit today, you take a step back and try to get a bigger picture on the situation. The crowd is gathered around a small human with a grey beard. You hear one of the crowd call him by the name of Norf. He has two bodyguards, a tall elf and a badger wildling. The wildling seems to stand too condescending to the crowd to be a slave.

However, the two bodyguards don’t seem to have that much to do, as it’s obvious that Norf doesn’t have the sample here – he’s only taking offers. Someone in the crowd has offered 1000cog, but Norf hasn’t seemed to have accepted any offers.

As you prepare to leave the scene, you catch a glimpse of a figure on the roof of a building across the street. The figure seems to be shorter than the average human, and given the context, you can only imagine that it is a dwarf.

I glance down at the entrance of the building, trying to figure out if it is something I think I can easily enter and make my way to the dwarf (e.g. a public building or busy shop as opposed to a private house).

Not that I really care if this Norf is selling a chance to reach the dwarven lands. But since there is no way I can afford to play their game, maybe I’ll have a better chance with the other side.

It looks like another officious looking building of some sort, perhaps a government building or trade council building. It’s hard to tell how hard it would be to get to the roof, though it does look like it would be difficult to cross the street to get to the building without the figure seeing you approach.

Shooting near the dwarf to get his attention is probably not a good idea. With my luck I would roll a 1 and hit him, and it would probably hurt my negotiating position. (My quirk hindrance is breaking the 4th wall!)

Maybe a piece of paper wrapped around a rock? I could toss it up there. But I need to find paper, and something to write with. And then hope no one yells at me throwing stones at a government building. Less attention, not more. Probably not a good idea.

Ah, screw it. I wave at the dwarf, curious to see what his reaction will be.

The dwarf sees you wave and quickly ducks out of sight. Unfortunately, one of the bodyguards also sees you wave. Pushing through the crowd, the elf makes his way toward you. He shouts, “You!”

You figure you have time for an action or at most two before he reaches you.

I stand there calmly. No! Arrogantly! I check for dirt under the fingers of one hand as I wait for him to approach me. The other hand calmly rests on the butt of my pistol.

The elf grabs you by the cuff and shouts into your face, “Who are you? Who were you signalling?”

You notice many of the crowd backing away.

“Is this really how you treat all interested buyers?” I ask the elf to his face. After being caught leading a failed mutiny on a pirate ship, getting a little spit on my face from a two-bit elf bodyguard should not be particularly intimidating.

“What’s the plan?” I ask, raising my voice loud enough so the other people nearby can hear. “Get us to offer you a price? Then tell your dwarf friend on the roof so he can later come after us? Squeeze us from both end?”

Taunt (3)

I look directly at the Norf character. “Unless none of you knew he was there. In which case, sounds like you could use my help.”

You fail to notice the other bodyguard moving around you until you feel a sharp smack on the back of your skull. Luckily you only take one wound of damage. The elf looks at the wildling in disgust, as if saying “Really? That’s it?”
Rolling his eyes, he proceeds to attempt to turn the grabbing of a cuff into a headlock. In the brief scuffle (opposed strength check goes here), he emerges holding a piece of your collar and you are quite miraculously free from his grasp. (critical fail ftw!)

You see the old man draw a rifle from his back and realize it’s time to act.

SURELY the old man isn’t a musketeer! SURELY it will take him some time to load and prime the weapon before he can take a potshot at me.

Surely it’s time to get the hell out of here.

The Navigation Hall could be a possible escape. Or a disaster. No way of knowing if any guards are there. With my luck, I’d probably run smack into Palmstorm. And wouldn’t that just be a happy little reunion? Right before he gutted me for my little mutiny. No, the Navigation Hall was out.

And the main street was too busy. Can’t make good time through the crowd. The side streets however… that one SHOULD lead me back towards The Chance. I’ll have to come back to get attuned later.

“You morons [Hindrance: Mean] really leave your boss like that? Or did you really think that was the only one dwarf interesting in getting that dirt back?” [Smarts: d6]

If they fall for it and glance to see if their boss is being attacked, I run. If there is a flicker of doubt or wonder in their eyes, I run. If they get angry and try and hit me again, I run.

Basically. I run. But hopefully with a slight advantage.

To be continued…

The Scavenger Hunt
In which our heroes discover the Sundered Skies

First Session Placeholder?


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