These posts are from our DnD group's latest game. The current adventure is a return to the world of Eberron, and specifically Xen'drik. With their scouting completed, the (mostly) dwarven pirate crew set sail for Stormreach, for well deserved down-time, and their greatly desired financial compensation!! This post is a recap of things that happened via email in-between games.
The Tale heard by the Dread Pirate Kami
Whilst searching through the taverns on the dock for a good, cheap supply to restock her vessel, Kami came across an old friend - Captain Spack Jarrow, her first ever captain. After much discussion about her recent adventures, and much drinking, Captain Spack shared a tale with her.
"Did I be ever tellin' ye about why I stopped captaining? The story already be told that it be me loosing one too many crew; that th' spark for adventure were quenched by th' sorrow over too many deaths. That be true - in part - but th' whole story, it be something much, much more." Even though there were only the two of the at the table, Captain Spack leaned in closely. "Me first mate at th' time, a rutheless fellow by the name o' "Hawes the Coldhearted" (though, mind ye, th' last bit weren't so much his family name as it be how we be calling him). He be a nasty piece o' work, even on a ship full o' nasty pieces o' work. But he got th' job dome, and he obeyed me commands pretty quick, so I be putting up with his...less than warm attitudes."
"Well, one time, we take over this one ship, nary a crew member left alive by the time we boarded, and way too much fire and soot to tell why. But the treasure, oh, Kami, t'was a sight to behold! We each had our share that time! Each had gold and trinkets aplenty. And gems - crystals, mind ye, big, blood red stones th' likings of which I'd never come across." Pausing to finish is current tankard - and then another one, just to be sure - Captain Spack eventually continued.
"Now - I know, ye'd probably been seeing these things yerself now, moreso these days, now'at the war done gone make them special. But in those days, we aint seen dragonshards before, we aint knowing their power. An' the few o' us that did, well, we figured it was more'n just talk, just something ta let the Houses collect them more easily like. So when old Hawes took th' big one, hey, more gold for me, right?"
"...see, stuff that be buried, should sometimes stay buried. We know the tales, of how Khyber killed Siberys, of how Eberron saved what was left o' the world, and trapped Khyber good an' proper like below. Well, sometimes, some part of that ancient dragon works its way back to the surface - as it did with Hawes. An' Hawes ain't a friendly type beforehand. W' th' darkness o' Khyber inside o' 'im, there weren't nothing 'e weren't do. Slowly, but as sure as th' tide, he turned from a coldhearted first mate ta something spawned o' th' darkness itself! Th' crew - some were corrupted, taking their own chunks o' dragonshards, or being implanted wi' them by 'im, but the lucky ones, they simply died. A scarce few o' us survived, made it t' shore near Zantashk, an' slowly worked our way back up 'ere. I know th' ship went down... but I be sure that Hawkes lives on. I feel it in here. An', he needs to be put down."
By now, there were more than a few other interested folk watching the pair, but the Captain was focused on Kami. His collection of mugs empty, his tale told, and his burden now shared, he pleaded his case before his former crew member. "Kami, ye be needing t' find th' man. Ye be needing t' do 'im in."
Hassan Elfbane, and The Man with One Hand
And, as it turned out, a knight with which Hassan was already familiar with - Sir Edric the Gauche.
"Hassan Elfbane, we meet again!" he spoke, simply giving the dwarf a curt nod, instead of offering a hand in greeting. "I believe you took something from me when last we parted...I hope you still have it on you?" The item he referred to was his hand - a mechanical device, created by a particularly insightful House Cannith artificer to make up for the one lost in the Last War. In a particularly vicious bar fight, Sir Edric had saved Hassan from a similar fate, but his own hand had become detached in the process. "I searched that bar quite thoroughly after I finished off those who dared stand before me, but two things continued to be most elusive - one, my hand, and two, the dwarf I had fought beside, had defended, even though, as I recall it, he was one of the instigators. So - do you still have it?"
Waving a hand - his one, remaining hand - towards the chest, he added "I know what lies inside it. I have been researching these items for some time, ever since I learned of the destruction that came down upon our sister order. It is one of three sacred vessels with which I intend to purify the temple, and banish the evil presence that seeks to sully the good name of my brethren! You will take me back there, and I will complete this most noble quest!"
Urquilla the Scaled is Given a Vision
The news there was both good and disturbing. Good, for his father's injuries had shown great strides in recovery; though, instead of scar tissue, he had grown scales back over the wounds that had almost claimed his life. It was not unheard of, but even within their tribe, it was a sign of strange things happening. And indeed, there were great movements in the glimpses of draconic prophecy they managed to snatch.
Jillepse the Blind, the tribe's oldest shaman, shared a recurring vision he had been experiencing. There was a mountain, with the red waters washing up it, trying to drown all who sought refuge upon it. Dragons flew overhead, swarming as thick as crows, blotting out the sun. Stars formed within them, to rain down death and destruction, until one man stood against the onslaught. Reaching up, he grabbed at the sky, though the sky. His hand moved, grasping at the moons, feeling them, but letting go, until finally, it reached the thirteenth moon, the unseen satellite, and pulled it down to the earth. It struck with a resounding explosion, scattering the dragon-swarm for a moment, and then he held it aloft - the invisible moon was now a sword, a sword that would cut down any dragon that stood against it. No longer would the dragons destroy every threat that rose against them; finally, the time of dragons was ended, the time of the Takamak tribe was only just beginning!
Clearly, the other tribal elders explained, much of the vision was strange shapes and images, and probably wasn't directly related to the real world situation. But there were more and more reports of many dragons scouting around the south-eastern coast of Xen'drik, and their presence felt like the precursor to another annihilation event. Something has upset them - something big, and that means something dangerous. Jillepse believed that Urquilla was the one to find this "weapon of the moon", and wield it in defence of their people - of all the people of Xen'drik. And with nothing else to go on, the tribal elders all stood backing this choice.