Shards of Trastenfen

The next morning was a bright one in Trastenfen. I had made it a point to finally meet this Captain Kisto I had hear so much about and, hopefully, find some answers as to how and why certain ships crash and others do not. The Tavern of the West Winds was a bright establishment, with large chandeliers hanging from the ceiling. Ralpheo accompanied me and set about proselytizing to the bar-goers. We stayed for many hours and I noticed that Ralpheo had more than a few dwarven ales during our stay. I ended up in a protracted conversation with two green-robed wizards named Gristla and Abracus. After a few Red Moon whiskeys for myself, and some dwarven ales for the magic-users, Abracus left the tavern. Gristla was more open with his thoughts after his comrade left. He told me that he was in charge of monitoring the the Baon’s household. He handled internal security, mainly monitoring spell components and anything else that can be weaponized in the household. The Baron, it seemed, was quite worried about his staff. Gristla did not like the Baron much, not does he like the way the household is ordered.

Across town, Barick and Ashvact were busy drinking at Falco’s. Ashvact lost a gold piece in a dart game to a young Fishtowner. Barick’s thoughts drifted to his lost brother and he soon drank more than his fill. Smacking his hands hard against the table, Barick suggested continuing their session at “The Fuzzy Minotaur.” The Dying Minotaur was the name of an elegant restaurant in town. Ashvact reluctantly followed his friend. The Dying Minotaur was a two-storied establishment with round tables coated in white linen. Barick threw open the front doors and stopped the diners cold. “As you were,” he told the crowd. There were no open seats at the bar. Ashvact talked with head of the staff, but when he turned around Barick was gone. He sat at an empty table reserved for the Baron’s daughter Tiffany, tucking the table cloth down his shirt. The head of staff insisted Ashvact leave with Barick at once. Barick stood, knocking the crystal off the table in the process, and backed off the two bouncers closing in on him. “Easy big fella,” he said. He bowed and left the Inn, passing Tiffany’s carriage in the process.

Captain Kisto finally arrived at the Tavern of the West Winds in the early evening. Gristla arranged an introduction and the two of us discussed shipping within the town. My cover was as a representative of the Maestrum’s. Kisto was an interesting man, calm and measured in his actions and seemingly devoid of all moral compass. I felt I understood the man immediately, though. Growing up, I watched my father deal with many men who understood one principal above all others: money. I felt that money was his word and his word was money. He assumed I had a lot of it and I let him assume. Kisto told me that all Trastenfen ships were safe and that the Chimera, the ship Barick, Ralpheo, and his brother arrived on, had a chance to be safe. It seemed safety has its price in Trastenfen. Kisto seemed intrigued by the thought of a Maestrum presence in town and suggested I speak with Peltar if I wanted to learn more about the shipwrecks and obtaining a “trade card” for the Maestrum’s.

Ralpheo spent the evening talking to various tavern-goers at the West Winds. He heard of a disturbance at an Inn in town. “At the Flying Minotaur?” he asked. The two bouncers bragged that they had thrown the dwarf out into the street. He heard rumors of people being drugged in town as well. Rodnick, a guard at the warehouse, told Ralpheo that people are scared in town, but did not elaborate as to why. Later, Ralpheo paid a visit to the “Prancing Minotaur” and spoke to the head of staff, Leon, who told him of the incident. He then went to the Abbey of Straben and was asked to deliver a package to Fraywood for the church. He declined. Barick continued his theatrics, this time at the Baron’s keep, knocking on the gates and talking to a guard before going home.

The following morning fell hard on me. Red Moon whiskey is not for the uninitiated. Fortunately, Barick had Falco mix up a batch of a dwarven hangover cure. It was a foul potion, but its effects were profound. Word of Barick’s dining adventure had made the rounds, it seemed. Falco had already heard the rumors of Barick being “thrown out on his arse.”

We agreed to set off to investigate the goblin raids in the north. We went to Fishtown to contact our comrades, but only one of their houses was not empty. Tolmuk answered and explained that Izera and Odran had left to find a barge and leave town with their families. Since coming into a fortune during our adventure in the temple of healing, the three men have been harassed by the Baron’s forces. We began a frantic search for Odran and Izera. I visited Captain Kisto at the Dying Minotaur and was able to hash out an agreement for a barge and crew with no questions asked. The little Fishtown boy named Andy told Ashvact that his father, too, was missing.

It was Barick who finally tracked down the prisoners, though he was alone when he did so. It sounded as if they were being beaten in the north guardhouse. Barick lured the two guards out into the open. “We can do this the hard way or the fun way,” Barick scowled. They chose the fun way. Though he was able to knock one of the guards unconscious, the other overpowered him and locked him away. Ashvact and Ralpheo soon tracked him down and brought me to the guardhouse. I used a burning hands spell to melt the lock on the door and the three of us overpowered the remaining guard. The three men were indeed prisoners there, as well as Barick and the half-orc named Grimvock. Barick suggested we leave him. I took pity on him, though, and revived him with a potion. I asked him where he wished to go and it was decided he would come with us on the barge. We made it there and set off in the darkness, over two dozen souls heading into the darkness beyond. Ralpheo and I stood at the back of the barge, watching Trastenfen slip into the darkness. Ralpheo shot me a grave look. “It’s a long way to Pull Port,” I said.

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RRKelley

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