In the evening on the first day of Anoriul in the year 576 NR, chance—or perhaps fate—brought together an eclectic group of adventurers in the taproom of the Drunken Sailor.
The Drunken Sailor is one of the most popular taverns in Languard’s Fishshambles. Here gathered fisherfolk, dock workers and other nautical types, after a hard day’s work. Adventurers often visit the Drunken Sailor in search of sailors brave enough to carry them across Hard Bay’s troubled waters to the doom-drenched halls of Gloamhold.
Two groups of such brave folk, and a smattering of other adventuring types, were drinking in the Drunken Sailor. The taproom was busy, and those drinking alone were forced by the crush to share their tables with strangers. Introductions were made and new friendships formed.
As the night wore on, a richly dressed man entered the bar. Speaking briefly with the barkeep, he climbed onto the bar and called for silence. In a loud voice, he addressed the throng and introduced himself as Matti Jurva. Matti was in need of a “few good men and women” available at short notice “for a brief sea voyage of no more than a day or two”. On their return, each volunteer would receive 100 gp for their trouble!
Unsurprisingly, many of the adventurers in the bar leapt at the chance for what sounded like easy money. Shouting questions, some of the adventurers made their way toward Matti. Things quickly spiralled out of control when a bearded dwarf, sporting a mohican and wearing a red dress, punched a member of the other band in the face. Although a slender half-orc tried to calm the situation, he just ended up making things worse.
In the blink of an eye, chaos erupted and a full-scale brawl developed. As Matti stood on the bar, and the barkeep and his daughter, hastily began moving all their expensive drinks to the back of the bar, one of the strangers leapt into action.
A tall, powerful man he hurried behind the bar and helped Matti down before escorting him to safety outside. As he did, another of the strangers—who was wearing a city watch tabard—tried to quell the brawl with a well-aimed web spell. Sensing the bearded, dress-wearing dwarf was the cause of the chaos the watchman tried to arrest him but the sheer press of struggling bodies and his own web spell stymied his attempt.
By now the tall, handsome man had escorted Matti to the door. Seeing this, the man’s new friends—who had until now hadn’t interrupted their important drinking—joined him at the door and left the brawlers to sort themselves out.
Outside, Matti thanked his rescuers who in turn introduced themselves. The group comprised six humans and a half-elf:
- Artur Darklight a paladin and prospective member of the Order of the Eternal Watch
- Horsa Fellbranch a wizard and part-time fisherman
- Hell’en Starag a priestess of the Mother
- Dennan Ironheart a savage warrior hailing from the Picaroon Peninsula
- Grand Silvertongue a flamboyant bard and Languardian
- Luther Diaz a human member of the Dark Wardens—a branch of the city watch dealing with the sewers and caverns below High City
- Calzo the Brave a member of the city watch
It was an eclectic bunch. After a brief conversation, it was decided the group should escort Matti to the Fiddlers Three—a popular tavern in Low City near Vonya’s Span. The Grand Silvertongue’s family owned the tavern, and the flamboyant bard was keen to show off his talents. Of course, several of the group pointed out that no matter how good Silvertongue thought he was there was no way he could emulate the awesome talent of the legendary Vilimzair Aralivar, but the half-elf seemed intent on proving them wrong.
In short order, the group of new friends found themselves in the busy common room of the Fiddlers Three. Here, over drinks, Matti explained his problem.
Matti identified himself as the trusted servant of Vilutar Pakkanen a well known merchant based in High City. Vilutar Pakkanen deals in rare, expensive and high-value goods, and owns a small fleet of ships.
One of the ships, the Sea Sprite, set sail last year to the far-off southern waters of the Coral Sea in search of certain rare and expensive spices. The ship was long overdue and thought lost until it was sighted last night floundering on rocks in the grim shadow of the Mottled Spire within a bowshot of Gloamhold’s tenebrous entrance. Mariners are superstitious folk and few will willing sail such waters.
Matti, on behalf of Vilutar, needs a band of brave heroes to set sail on the dawn tide to recover Sea Sprite’s charts and logbook, find out what happened to the crew and recover any cargo which can be saved before Languard’s looters and wreckers overcome their fear of Gloamhold and loot the wreck.
Matti offered to provide a ship—the Valerr—to get the party to the Sea Sprite’s vicinity, but the waters thereabouts are treacherous. The heroes will have to row the last stretch of the journey. On their return, Matti would pay them each the agreed upon 100 gp.
After a brief discussion, the heroes agreed to Mattis’ proposal and decided to meet early the next morning at the docks to take full advantage of the morning tide…
The new group of heroes comprises:
- Artur Darklight (LG male human paladin [Darlen] 4)
- Horsa Fellbranch (LG male human wizard [war wizard] 4)
- Hell’en Starag (N female human cleric [the Mother] 4)
- Dennan Ironheart (N male human barbarian 4)
- Grand Silvertongue (N male half-elf bard 4)
- Luther Diaz (LN male human ranger [Gloom Stalker] 3/rogue 1)
- Calzo the Brave (N male human sorcerer 3/warlock 1)