Opting to take an extended rest in Tanaroa, the group rested in Malificious’ hut, away from the curious eyes of the locals. During this time,
The various villages have three “leaders”: one male chieftain, one female chieftain, and one medicine. The male chieftain is generally responsible for things beyond the walls of the village. The female chieftain holds sway over everything that happens within the walls. The medicine trumps both, but only in matters pertinent to their unenlightened gods. The three co-exist amicably, and only in the rarest of situations are two forced to put down the ambitions of the third.
Further complicating the village structure is the fact that each of the seven villages is comprised of four sub-clans that exist in all seven villages. These clans are matriarchal, with each one focusing on one area of village life. The Ape Clan are farmers and entertainers (primarily under the female chieftain). The Tiger Clan are hunters and gatherers (primarily under the male chieftain). The Sea Turtle Clan are fishermen and sailors (primarily under the medicine). The Boar Clan are builders and crafters (under no particular leader). As the three leaders are all generally in agreement, these divisions rarely matter.
The next morning, after resting, the group opted to tend to several critical quests. First, Sahrthin, accompanied by Malificious, paid a visit to Mvembi, the medicine of Tanaroa. He was peculiar, as most medicines are, and after noting Sahrthin’s stonetouched wound, calmly, several times, informed him that he would die. Second, Bargathungar brought his bag of holding into the local playground where he let some children play with it, only to get Urol’s blood on their hands, causing a minor ruckus. J’Kal, the male chieftain, met with the group and agreed to to watch the gateway and prevent anyone from moving southward through it.
The group decided to return north of the wall, where they would hopefully find signs of Darlon and the other Vanderborens. Traveling a day’s ride north, the group went to where they had last definitely seen tracks and after careful examination, determined that the Vanderborens had headed west and not south towards Tanaroa and Farshore.
This left the group with an unpleasant choice. They could follow the tracks west, but they were now at least one full day behind or they could return south and beat a fast trail to Farshore, where they could lay an ambush for the Vanderborens and seek a cure for Sahrthin’s illness.
They decided to head back south.
An overnight camp was, fortunately, undisturbed, and the group was able to get to the wall by midday on the 7th. Continuing southward, the group eventually arrived at the village of Mora late that evening.
Meeting with the female leader, Mialla, she agreed to get the group to Farshore the following morning. While resting that evening, Logan used his sending magic to contact the ship, which was apparently still grounded on the reef. They had closed up the lowest level of the boat and it didn’t seem to be taking on any additional water.
The next morning, a small launch was provided to the group, which they could use to get to Farshore. After 3 hours of rowing, the town came into view, nestled between two cliff faces and with several buildings that were very clearly lived in. The group rowed up to one of the piers, secured their launch, and then began to ask some questions.
Ro’ak and Bob, both of whom were feeling a bit overwhelmed by recent events and needing a drink or three, opted to visit the town’s only tavern. Meanwhile, the rest of the group headed over to the temple, which it turned out to be where Lomaran and Ayala were in charge. Neither of whom were capable of healing Sahrthin’s wounds, however. After thinking for a moment, they brought them next door to the curious greenhouse.
Where Kaskus Kiel greeted them.
He seemed surprised to see the party and as he examined Sahrthin’s wound, he inquired as to why they were in Farshore. He made it rather clear that he did not care for their presence here, but he would be able to cure the wound on the condition that they left afterwards. The group didn’t believe him.
They then wandered around town for a bit, being the only new people in town for months drew some curious gazes, but for the most part, people left them be. As evening was setting in, the group decided to go investigate the Vanderboren manor. As they approached it, they realized that it had never been completed and was, in fact, mostly just a shell of a building.
They went in to investigate. As they moved through the place, they noticed that someone had been living in one of the rooms on the second floor, but there was no sign of who this might be. As they were deciding what to do next, they heard someone coming in through the front door below.
There were four individuals: two archers, a swordsman, and Kaskus Kiel. They made a move to come up the stairs, calling for the group to come out. Apparently they had been seen or heard.
As they started moving up the stairs, Bargathungar jumped from the balcony and ran across the foyer and barricaded the door from the inside. As he was doing so, the swordsman demanded Bargthungar stop, which he did not, so he ordered the archers to open fire, which they did. And thus the Battle of Vanderboren Manor was begun.
The swordsman proved to be a highly competent fighter, and he continued moving up the stairs in an attempt to engage anyone who got in his way. The archers fired some arrows, but were generally ineffective. Kaskus Kiel began unleashing druidic magic with an ice storm on the second level, which weakened the already-damaged floor.
As the battle continued, attacks went back and forth, the swordsman demonstrated that he was capable of some highly unorthodox martial maneuvers. Kaskus created a wall of fire that would eventually engulf the entire manor house in flames. Through sheer numbers, however, the group drove the swordsman and Kaskus back towards the barricaded door, which had now caught fire.
After eventually breaking through the door, the swordsman and Kaskus attempted to flee, but not before Tavey has stabbed both of them with his Olmecan dagger, sealing their fates. The swordsman fell, and as Kaskus attempted to turn into an eagle and flee, he was grappled and stabbed to death.
By this point, a few people had come from the nearby houses, responding to the sounds of combat and the roaring fire that had washed over the old, abandoned manor. The group decided to drag the bodies back to the door and throw them into the fire, and then they fled the scene, hoping to hide.
They moved back in the direction of the tavern, only to learn that many of the townsfolk had gone to try to put out the fire. After debating the issue, it was decided that going to help would be suspicious, so they stayed behind in the tavern while who knew who else died from the conflagration.
An attempt was made to seduce the barmaid. This was at Bargathungar’s insistence, as Malificious struck out. There’s nothing like a little arson and murder to get one in the mood, right?
Aldrick eventually bribed the barkeep to lie about them having a room all night. This was after trying to determine whether he belonged to a thieves’ guild, which he did not. Apparently, there are few to no thieves in Farshore.
The next morning, things were disturbingly quiet. As the group went downstairs, the tavern was apparently abandoned. The streets outside were empty. People were noted hiding in their homes and afraid to leave.
As the group became suspicious, they decided it would be best to leave town, so they went to the pier, where they planned to commandeer one of the two cogs that had been there the day before.
The female captain of one of them, who had been somewhat civil the day before, launched into screaming at the group. “Get off my fucking ship!” she demanded. When asked why, she informed them that she knew they had murdered Lord Meravanchi the night before and that everyone knew it. The town was now doomed as he was the only one who could defend it against the Crimson Fleet; he was their protector, and he had been laid low by a bunch of thugs.
They decided to go back into town to loot. After all, they are pirates…
Next Week: Pillage the Village.