Hidden History of Alaraan

And so it begins...

It was just after noon as our soon-to-be heroes began to board the Swift Rooster, a ship heading for Zhark with goods from the Solaris excavation to be auctioned upon arrival. Fizzle hovered over the shoulders of the loading crew, or at least he tried his best considering his stature. More than once, the capable crew would "stumble", sending Fizzle into near shock each time. Fizzle and his companion, Dr. Whathefak, had been sent to oversee the shipment of a particular artifact which resembles the energy source which powers Gnomehaven's defenses. Nami, the only Triton onboard, or indeed in Solaris at the time, regaled the crew with tales of her people's heroics. The crew smiled and nodded when appropriate, as they were familiar with Triton's and how to "properly" interact with them. Beikas, as he does in each town he visits, asked around after sightings of the elf who took his family, but no one in Solaris had any information for him. Oddryk, having decided he had progressed his power all he could in Solaris, had decided to head out in search of something greater. And possibly a way to end his curse. Also, Yialis was there.

Just about 2 hours into the trip, Nami noticed an immense shadow rise from the depths a few hundred yards off the side of the ship. And as a colossal fin began to pierce the surface, the ship ceased it's forward momentum and began to slowly turn in place. It was at this time Oddryk began to feel something nagging at the back of his mind, like he was being called toward the great beast by some ancient force. Many smaller shadows approached the ship, and suddenly, the crew was being accosted by a small legion of Sahuagin. Crew were being flung to the sharks waiting below, while getting in a few good blows themselves. The captain himself was even felled, saved only by Beikas' quick thinking. When it became apparent the passengers of the ship were far more formidable than expected, the Sahuagin decided to prioritize their task over slaughtering those aboard. One unlucky sap made the mistake of opening the door to the good doctor's cabin while searching for the cargo, and received a slug in the gut for his trouble. Meanwhile, a large Ape had appeared in the galley and was making a sport out of flinging Sahuagin up the stairs back onto the deck. At the same time, Fizzle appeared below deck and covered the stairs with grease, causing hillarity to ensue and clustering most of the Sahuagin at the bottom of the stairs. The wounded Sahuagin managed to find the cargo, and his target, but as he attempted to leave, he was clubbed to death by the Doctor, flinging the artifact towards his allies. Before the artifact could be claimed however, it floated into the air and began flying back towards the cargo area. This of course, confused the poor Sahuagin, as they were unaware an invisible Nami was actually carrying the object. Several brutal executions later, the Sahuagin were routed and the ship began to settle. Returning to the deck, there was no sign of the immense creature , and the ship was quickly set back on course.

Once the ship arrived in Khark, it was quickly unloaded and the items were sent to the auction house, where the Braintrust agent accompanying Fizzle and the Doctor purchased the artifact, along with some "incentives" for the group who had saved him. Beikas was finally able to obtain information regarding his family. Word has been spreading that the town of Dewford, just outside the eastern edge of the swamps, had been ravaged by figures resembling Beikas' description. These rumors cannot be confirmed, however, due to the only surviving witness being a small child, describing the attackers as "red-eyed, yellow demons". After the auction, the Braintrust agent summoned the group to his room at the inn with a proposition. It had become apparent to him that the since the Sahuagin seek the artifact, the direct naval route back to Gnomehaven would be ill-advised. He offered the party an up front payment of 50gp each, as well as three magical items he had purchased with the remainder of his auction budget. In exchange, the party would take responsibility for the safe delivery of the artifact to Gnomehaven. He suggested the party's first course of action would be to reach Kimcardine by land, lessening the chances of Sahuagin attack. The party agreed, and the agent gave them a horse and buggy as a final parting gift, before boarding the next ship back to Gnomehaven. Afterwards, the party was approached by an odd old man who reeked of magic, among other things. The man requested to see the artifact. Upon a very brief examination, he told them it was an Orb of Umberlee, one of 9 such artifacts in Alaraan. While no one is sure the exact purpose of the orbs or the identity of the Umberlee they are named for, it is known the great shark Iakhovas both seeks and fears them. The man then left without a word, not even bothering to say farewell to the party.

After a good night's rest, the party set out. They decided the town of Hogsfeet should be their first stop. Hogsfeet is a modest, rural town on the western border of the swamp, and the people who live there are known for their hospitality. However, the first person the party met upon arriving was an ornery old man named Bobert. He began to tell/yell at them about the witch/bitch who turned his dear wife Betty into a pig. He also introduced them to his dog Lester, whom the group promptly euthanized and replaced with a clockwork replica. Bobert seemed not to notice, mistaking the creature's robotic motions for his extremely elderly dog's natural movement. The party agreed to confront the witch on Bobert's behalf, as he directed them to a house on the northern edge of town. Upon arriving, the party encountered two women, one elderly, the other younger. The older woman introduced herself as Beth, and introduced the younger, quiet one as Susan. When accused of witchcraft, Beth seemed very confused. The Doctor could also detect no magic whatsoever in the area. When the party informed her of the accusations, Beth immediately recognized them as more of Bobert's insane ramblings. She told the party that Bobert's wife had been dead for some years now, and that she had personally sold him that pig only last week. Confident this was a misunderstanding, the party returned to Bobert's home and, after several VERY short naps, had slaughtered his pig and left him with an almost perfect animatronic replica of his late wife, which he occasionally believes is real, depending on his most recent nap.

Confident in the good of their horrible deeds, the party headed for the local tavern. While discussing their next move, Nami and Yialis noticed a pair of tieflings watching the group from the corner of the bar. When Nami attempted to approach them, they promptly left. When Yialis followed them outside, they had vanished. Several patrons passed Yialis entering the bar, among them a young wood elf couple. This time, it was noticed the couple was watching the group. When Beikas confronted the couple, they flung their table across the room and assaulted Beikas with two immense battle axes. After a heated battle, the couple was revealed to be a pair of shape shifting sea creatures, the likes of which no one had seen before, although Nami had heard stories of such beings. The Doctor helped the barkeep repair the damages while the party patched their wounds and retired for the evening.

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