Tuesday, September 3, 2013

The Rescue of Thedric, part 3

…and now for the exciting conclusion of “The Rescue of Thedric”, continued from here.

The 9Q’s: Questions 7-9


an act of heroic infiltration
Scene: A busy port, a tangle of cargo, a high amount of watchful guards

The two furtively made their way down to the docks where just the night before they had made their hurried escape from the warehouses. Even in the morning, dock hands were busy loading provisions and cargo to the quays where they were to be hoisted into the cargo holds of their respective transports. Netted and crated cargo was piled everywhere, making the docks a veritable mess. Tengrym also spied a large number of guards patrolling the ways in groups of four—no doubt from last night’s disturbance.

From their vantage, they spied a good number of dock hands handling a large load into a sizable caravel—likely one due soon to depart. Tengrym pointed. “We need to get on board. This may be messy…”

Like rogues, the two stole closer to the departing ship, the Sea Spray—a coster out of the far South. It’s dusky-skinned crew was at work lashing cargo into place. Some had one or more blue circles tattooed to their foreheads in the manner of the men there.

Tengrym waited until two dock hands approached and spoke a few words of magic. The two fell where their stood in deep slumber, and were close enough that Tengrym and Thedric could catch them before they fell with a noise. Quickly, they stripped to two hands of their workers' clothes and corded their hands, dragging them to a hidden shadowed corner. They dressed as the laborers. Tengrym’s elvish mail was light enough that the corselet was invisible under the loose tunic. His sword and scabbard he stuffed into a few packs of sailcloth, took a load and walked toward the gangplank of the Sea Spray. Thedric did the same.

They boarded without problem and went below decks to the hold. They dropped their load and quickly found a dark closet to hide within.

pointing man

Just then, Zuzala appeared on the dock throughway. A host of guards escorted her. The strange light was about her eyes again, through which her goddess granted her true sight. She pointed to the Sea Spray.

“There!” she said. “Search that ship and you shall find last night’s perpetrators.”

Quickly, the guards fanned out and approached the ship. They hailed the captain, a white-haired sturdily-built experienced seaman with three circles about his forehead.

“You, sir,” called the captain of the guard. “Are you the captain of this ship?”

“I am,” the man said. “Captain Cauhlath is the name.”

“This ship is not to leave port without a search.”

The captain scowled, but relented. He could not deny their authority.

It was then that Tengrym realized something was wrong. Many booted feet creaked on the planks above their head. “Company,” Tengrym said grimly. He threw off his disguise and strapped his sword back to place. Thedric made his way to the galley and found two long filleting knives.


phone, Zuzala nears the completion of her goals
On this occasion, Zuzala has also enlisted the help of the drow to waylay the city guards in case they are successful in subduing Tengrym and Thedric
Scene: tight quarters aboard the ship, teeming with guards and crewmen, lots of line and beams

Booted steps on wooden planks approached. Tengrym understood that a search was underway. In a hushed whisper he said, “Be ready! We can’t be caught below decks pinched with no way out.”

Together, they sought a way out through a porthole or small hatch. There were none but the main hatch and the cargo hatch. Just then, the gangway hatch opened and soldiers poured down one at a time.

“Hang on!”

Just then, Tengrym grabbed onto Thedric and spoke a word of magic. Suddenly, Tengrym sprang up as if he were a giant grasshopper, his half-brother grasped about his midsection. They burst through the cargo hatch cover, splintering it into pieces, and arced over the astonished heads of the crew and searching city watchmen alike to alight gracefully on the quay.

They were not free yet. Guards scrambled from the ship and there were still those forming a line across the entry to the pier. These drew weapons and set themselves for the approaching two. Tengrym now had his sword in hand and Thedric wielded his two knives. However, they were trapped on a narrow quay between two fronts of soldiers. Their chances for escape looked bleak. And watching all this from relative safety, Zuzala smiled, seeing success come within her grasp—as long as she could trust her dark elf contacts.

The situation was dire. “Stay close!” Tengrym warned.

The half-elf charged the quay toward the docks against the wall of waiting men. He uttered two more words of magic and from outstretched fingers, blue-white electricity crackled in build up for a powerful release. Suddenly, a hatchet was tossed from the deck of the Sea Spray by the captain of the ship. Tengrym’s shirt of mail stopped the axe from cleaving him. His spell was interrupted, fizzling in a mild display of light.

Suddenly, dark figures appeared out of nowhere along the docks. Guards, deckhands, and crewmen all cried out in warning. Dark elves cloaked in black appeared, wielding dark blades and handheld crossbows, surrounding Ravensbluff watchmen and crew alike.

Chaos erupted, and most men turned their efforts from Tengrym and Thedric to the drow that engaged them in battle. Captain Cauhlath called out to his crew to release the moorings of his ship. He planned to depart amid the chaos. Watchmen began pouring down the gangplank or toppling over the ship’s rails into the water in an effort to flee or confront the new supernatural enemy. Cries of battle went up along with the ring of steel. The drow quickly began cutting a swath of destruction toward their goal—Tengrym and Thedric. Even now, the Sea Spray caught some wind in its jib and began to pull away.
Still dazed from the hatchet, Tengrym called to Thedric. “Make a grab for any of those lines! We have to get away aboard that ship!”

Still with sword in hand, Tengrym dove off the pier and made a grab. Despite such daunting chances, he grasped a dangling line one-handed. Thedric, too, managed the grab and still had his two daggers clenched in his teeth. Around them, bolts from the dark elves' crossbows splashed. The pier fell away as the fighting grew more intense. With effort, the two clambered over the rail of the ship to the deck to face a ring of angry crewmen.

The two plopped to the deck, drenched and panting. Captain Cauhlath came to stand over them, blocking out the sun.

“I can explain,” said Tengrym in gasps.


tree, the enemy grows in its efforts to retrieve Thedric, and to discover the identity of Tengrym

The Sea Spray sailed away without further mishap or encounter. Likely, Ravensbluff had enough on the docks to deal with than to send pursuit after the southern caravel.
Aboard the ship, Tengrym had to do some explaining, careful to use the names of Veldis and Feldor. In the end, Captain Cauhlath agreed to take the two as far south as the crew intended to travel, and it was bound for Alaghôn. The captain was a shrewd businessman, and it came to Tengrym offering the man his magical blade, a priceless sword of considerable magic. The half-elf had no regrets…he still owed the southern mariner their lives, and the Deep South would offer some time and separation for him to come up with a plan.

In the meantime, Zuzala of Waterdeep met a slow and painful death. Likely, her goddess would have found it a worthy death, but not before her drow captors pried all knowledge of Thedric’s lineage and past from her tortured skull. The dark elves of Kasdarehk'an were cunning researchers and conspirators, with connections far (and deep), and slowly a plot grew to recover the last of the Drowsbane and destroy his accomplice, whoever that was. New eyes watched for the whereabouts of their new prey.

In far away Alaghôn, a trap would await Thedric and his rescuer. The Sea Spray’s destination was the easiest thing to discover.

The officials of Ravensbluff also inquired of their contacts regarding the destruction of a dockside warehouse and the death of at least one watchman. They would not so easily abandon the search for these perpetrators, Sir Trevor would see to that!

In the meanwhile, the two half-brothers learned much about one another on their long journey south to Turmish. Tengrym lost much of his fey outlook with fresh hope that he saw reflected in the young eyes of his kin. He was not the last Drowsbane. Perhaps Selûne’s prophecy would come true.

After this adventure, I picked up on some of the hooks from the new NPCs, and made a pirate adventure featuring another daring rescue from the infamous islands of the pirates on the Sea of Fallen Stars. Stay tuned…

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