Shards of Gaia: Ravenoak's Legacy

Chapter 1

Broken bows, black powder, and bullywugs

The Sunspray arrives at port in the city of Exalus—its intended destination—under duress. During the voyage, about 3 days from port, the Sunspray encountered a lightning storm which came on more quickly than anything its captain or navigator (Josh’s as yet unnamed character) had ever seen. An explosive lightning strike disabled the mainmast during a gust of wind, causing the mast itself to crack nearly in half. The crew had to use makeshift sails and use oars to paddle the rest of the way (6 days) to the city.

During the voyage, an Elf by the name of Sturm Drachen became particularly close with the ship’s Navigator. Sturm had left his Elven homeland on Asu, the northern continent, in order to break free from tradition and find his own path across Gaia. Not many from Exalus have traveled as far as the northern Elven kingdoms, and fewer still have lived there. [OOC: Sturm should feel free to fill us in on those details if he sees fit.]

The Sunpray’s captain Delmond charged The Navigator and Sturm to find information about acquiring materials for a new mainmast. Exalus is a city on a river delta adjacent to a desert, and there aren’t any trees of the required size anywhere near the city. Until the materials are found, however, the Sunspray will remain in port. Delmond sent them to speak with the well-known merchant Peter Lyasim who operates a trading post near the docks.

===

Earlier that same day, Callum, plucky treasure-hunter, finder of lost objects, and returner of stolen goods, was sneaking around the Chambers’ home looking for something to plunder. Specifically, he was rooting around for a golden trinket encased in crystal. He had heard that the object in question had been stolen from the Lopes family, one of the wealthiest and noblest families in Exalus. The Lopes’ have had a representative on the city council for over 400 years, and are widely regarded as the most powerful family in the Confederation. Callum wasn’t sure who had stolen the object, but the fence he interrogated had pointed him to the buyer. Any opportunity to get in their good standing would be worth Callum’s while. Even if it meant yoinking something from a minor noble house. The Chambers family was wealthy, and had a number of construction contracts throughout the city, but these glorified carpenters surely didn’t have an appreciation for fine art objects like the one he was looking for…

===

Aethelwulf, second son of the noble [insert family name] clan of the city of Mutavidos, arrived, after a relatively uneventful journey by caravan, at the Chambers’ house in the Old City neighborhood of Exalus. He looked around and could tell that the Old City had stood for quite some time compared to the rest of the metropolis. Indeed, the stone works and granite-based architecture of the old city seemed to have several hundred years of wear on them. The Chambers house, on the other hand, appeared almost new. Aethelwulf’s father, Wethelwulf, had told him that the Chamber’s mansion was modern, but it had been built over 60 years ago and it was made almost entirely of wood and glass. How a wooden house near the sea could be so well maintained was beyond his knowledge.

After knocking, the butler opened the door. As an expected guest and friend of the family, Aethelwulf was given refreshment and the opportunity to wash before being given an audience with the head of the household, Elmer Chambers. Aethelwulf was shown to the Great Room, where he encountered Elmer Chambers and his fourth son, Jacob. When the doors to the Great Room swung open, Callum quickly (and expertly) hid himself behind a couch. Elmer clapped Aethelwulf on the back and they greeted each other as an uncle would greet a nephew. In truth, Aethelwulf’s father is a long-time friend of Elmer. Apparently, Wethelwulf saved Elmer’s second wife, Diane, from some danger many years ago. Although she’s long dead Wethelwulf and Elmer still Send each other from time to time.

Elmer addressed his son Jacob and Aethelwulf in a jovial, but serious manner. He tossed a purse of coins at Jacob and told the pair of boys to make a pickup of 6 barrels of gunpowder at the docks. “1000 ducats for the second payment on the latest shipment due in today, and another 1000 for the first payment on another shipment from the next courier.”

Before showing the boys out, Elmer stopped, and sniffed at the air. He ducked behind a couch and picked up Callum by the scruff of his neck. Callum tried to protest by claiming he was “just cleaning behind the couch, milord”, but Elmer wouldn’t have it. Elmer tossed Callum out into the street and said “You tell Senor Lopes that if I catch any more of his runts poking around, I’ll have their heads!”

==

Four of our adventurers (shadowed closely by a 5th) arrived at about the same time at the trading house of Peter Lyasim. In the crowded house, all manner of goods were offered up for either buying, selling, trading. Lyasim’s office also deals with shipping and receiving. Jake, Sturm and [Druid] ended up chatting about the availability of lumber in this part of the world, and Jake’s older brother, Richard, might be able to help them acquire it. Following that conversation, Jacob questioned the merchant about the goods his father had ordered. While signed in at the docks, the barrels were not present at the trading house. Lyasim sent off one of his assistants, “Superhands”, to go down to the docks to figure out why the goods were not delivered. Jacob and the others elected to accompany Superhands on his errand.

After some confusion over the pronunciation of the Bullywug vessel (spelled Mckg’urgkll), and an inspection of the goods (all in good order), the frog man demanded triple the agreed-upon price for the gunpowder. Apparently, the dwarves he bought the gunpowder from had raised their prices. Arriving just in time, Lyasim (with an odd ease of effort) quickly got the frog men to agree to the originally agreed-upon price and future shipments could be purchased at a newly-negotiated price.

Superhands and Lyasim’s assistants loaded up the gunpowder barrels onto carts and began hauling the goods through the city, headed towards the Chambers’ household. On the way out, another FrogMan called after Jacob and said “Chambers! The price was supposed to be triple!” and 4 Bullywugs armed with clubs and 10-foot long tongues leapt onto the party in an attempt to extract their payment physically.

Callum, who had been following closely behind the purse this whole time, entered the melee to assist the party. After a few rounds of combat, while the Frogs seemed adept at knocking over the party members, a couple of quick blows from Sturm’s blade and Aethelwulf’s mace beat the Bullywug party into retreat. With 2 of his mates lying dying in the street, one of the remaining Bullywugs grabbed Jake’s purse and hopped off into the crowded streets! After an exciting chase through alleyways, over narrow pipes, and through flying debris, the party was able to catch up to the frog man, beat his brains in, and retrieve the purse. Nothing else of value was found on the Bullywug. Only one onlooker was injured in the melee: a small boy of 8 years old who was hit in the stomach by a club that went flying out of a Bullywug’s grasp. After some crying and fussing, his mom bought him a corn dog and he was fine.

The party decided to head back to the Chambers’ house to make sense of what occurred and perhaps get [Druid] and Sturm in touch with Richard.

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