The group was glad to be away from the island but they still had no food or water. They also had the body of the prince still in the boat. That first night, Chronos and Ariston decided to commit the body back to the sea. The priest said a few words, invoking the powers of Ixion (the god of the sun and light), Protius (the god of the sea) and King Viledel’s most favored god, Diulanna. The Forestor spoke of the cycle of life and that all things return to their natural state. He spoke of it being right that the son of the Sea King should return to the sea, not stay buried under the ground. They then stripped him of his chain mail and slid him into the ocean. The body floated for a while, away from the boat then they could no longer see it. They went to sleep as Melisana softly shed tears for the lost prince.
The second day broke hot and calm. The group used the remains of the hammocks they had taken from the slave ship as nets. It was slow going but they did catch a fish which they all ate raw and hungrily. It was the first food they had had since shipwrecking.
None of the group knew anything about sailing, especially on the ocean. They used the sun as a guide and tried to rig the sail to push them north. They also used the oars but the activity quickly tapped their strength in the growing heat of the sun. Using the cloaks and the bastard sword, Flavius created a sort of tent which they all crowded under to avoid the sun. Unfortunately, their body heat made it hot underneath. For most of the day, they slept while taking turns searching the horizon for signs of ships or land. There was none.
The third day was very much like the second but worse. All of the rainwater they had collected was now gone. The salt water looked tempting to drink but Ariston kept them from touching it. “It will make you sick then thirstier than ever, if you do,” he said. Orin just stared and tried to lick his parched lips. He consoled himself with the thought of how much tobacco their recent haul would allow him to buy.
At the dawn of the next day at sea, they all awoke grumpily. Even Sarmboc was awake and unhappy.
- The docks
- Dinner with Melisana
- Yet Another Tavern
- Avery’s Aviary
- Meeting with Yolanda of Luln
- The Shopping Trip
- Leaving Town
The ship is the Arboreal, a small ocean-going ship belonging to Corrin Halligan, a prominent Threshold logger. The Arboreal is currently under the supervision of Corrin Halligan’s son, Nicolae. He has been on a surveying mission of forests off the coast of Karameikos. The Arboreal has already spotted the characters and is trying to determine if they are in distress. Unless the characters do something to dissuade the ship’s crew, the Arboreal will pull abreast of the characters and offer assistance. It will be clear that the Arboreal is not a pirate ship as it is flying the flag of the Halligan family (a green banner with three stars and a large tree) as well as the flag of Karameikos.
The characters will be welcomed aboard and given warm blankets and food. Unfortunately, there is not a spare cabin aboard but the characters can bunk with the crew or in the small stowage area (there are separate female and male quarters below as well as Nicolae’s, the captain’s and first mate’s quarters. The ship is a luxury one, not a freighter. However, Nicolae will be very interested in the characters’ journey. See Nicolae’s description for more information.
Nicolae has completed his scouting mission so he is now bound for Specularum and takes the characters there. He invites them to stay with him at the Travelers’ Rest, a high end Inn in the Merchants’ District. It is quite expensive. He also recommends the Crossed Swords Inn as a less expensive alternative. Melisana, who is a Specularum native, recommends the Crossed Swords as well. It is not too far from the temple where she is in training. She also states that her father may have room in his house but that they may feel more comfortable in the Inn.
Upon returning to Specularum, Melisana’s father is extremely grateful and pays the characters the sum of 1000 gp. He also has a meal in their honor. He does not suggest that they stay with him at his manor. During the meal, he mentions that he may have work for them, especially if they are interested in getting answers about the tie between the Iron Ring and Black Eagle Barony. He will pay them to escort some goods to Luln. Once in Luln, they should deliver the entire wagon to a trader there but should return to Specularum for their full pay. If they seek to find out more about Luln and the Iron Ring, Melisana’s father will recommend that they speak with a local singer, Mistress Yolanda of Luln, who performs at the XXXXXX Inn. This voyage will lead to the events of DDA3: Eye of Traldar.
Nicolae also makes an offer to the characters. He must return to Threshold with the report of his scouting mission. But would welcome the characters’ company. He is sure that adventures can found in Threshold due to the large number of sheared youth there. If they wish, they may go with his caravan to the city. He encourages them to stay at his father’s manor house or if they want to find adventure, at the Juggling Ogre Inn and Tavern.
Should the adventurers stay at the Juggling Ogre Inn, they will be swept up in the events of the Iron Ring adventure from the 2E Mystara Audio Adventure. If instead they stay with Nicolae, he will invite them to a town celebration in the town of Stallanford where B11: King’s Harvest begins. Should they so desire, they may also find clues to B1-9: In Search of Adventure.
Before the characters leave Specularum and while they are at the Crossed Swords Inn, they get their first taste of Bargle. A man who appears to be a merchant and who has obviously had a good day at the tavern, starts walking around the room saying how he was able to dupe Baron Von Hendriks and work away into selling items of luxury in the Black Eagle Barony without a permit or paying tribute. He says something disparaging about the power of Bargle. In his celebration, he bumps into a brown cloaked man and spills ale on him. The cloaked man looks up and his face changes, slight (releasing the change self spell). It is Bargle the Infamous! He casts a quick spell and the man begins to dance. He dances so furiously, the breaking of his wrists and ankles is heard clearly in the quiet inn. The crowd watches in muted horror as sweat drips from the now limping yet dancing man. He screams in agony as his legs collapse beneath him yet his body continues to writhe in some perverted jitterbug. Eventually he is silent and moves no more. Bargle walks to him and unties the purse of gold on the man’s hip. “That should settle your taxes, dear merchant.” Bargle walks towards the bar and drops a few gold coins to settle his own bill and the dead merchant’s. Without another word he moves to the door. The crowd parts before him. His form begins to fade as he reaches the door. He opens it and vanishes into the night. The town guard is called to pick up the dead merchant but no one is courageous enough to tell what happened.
- More and more frequent reports are made of monsters and desert folk skirmishing along the Sind Desert border of Darokin. No caravans return from Sind and no goods come from the desert kingdom. Soldiers are needed and Darokin agents frequent adventurer haunts.
- The King of Vestland has been missing for some time now (at least a year considering how slowly news travels to Karameikos from the Northern Reaches).
- Adventurers are being sought in Thyatis as the Empire is bent on conquering the Hinterlands. Adventurers who pursue this course will stumble into DDA1: Arenas of Thyatis.
- A new College of Wizards is being founded in Krakatos. The Duke just commissioned the building of the school on the site of the ruins.
- A bard is telling the tale of a warrior named Retameron who with a band of adventurers saved the village of Orlane from a powerful sea demon. If questioned, the bard says that he met the adventuring party near Retameron’s father’s home in Threshold. Those adventurers were planning on next finding the lost stronghold of Rogahn and Zelligar.
- While at the Crossed Swords Inn, the adventurers heard from Allyn Cadel, a Minroth bard, who described strange goings on in the village of Orlane, a small fishing village to the east of Karameikos, near the Thyatian border. Allyn describes the village as having missing people and shut doors, very unfriendly to travelers which is a change from its past.