In-Character - Down from the door where it began...

Miska the Misanthropic

“Paying”, the cleric says, holding out his hand, a gold coin glistening in his palm.

The shipmaster's demeanor calms, but also turns toward scowling confusion, "Eh? The market's that way, if you're looking for potatoes..." he says, jerking his thumb over his shoulder, back towards the centre of the city, "Or am I missing the joke?"

Miska the Misanthropic

“Passage, not potatoes,” says the cleric, “We seek to travel to Orleans, and have the means to pay.”

The man's scowl lifts somewhat, "It's Ore-lee-ann...and what would you lot want with that place?" he asks, looking you up and down, and then, seemingly thinking better of it "Ah, never mind then. Trouble is your own business. If it's passage you're looking for, passage I can provide..." he sweeps his arm round behind him, " the Dawnchaser's as fine and fast a ship as you could ask for. Iago..." he says, calling over his shoulder, "Bring our guests aboard, and get them seated out of the way. We'll need 5 silver apiece, plus a gold if you think that four-legged dung-factory is coming aboard!" he finishes, glancing pointedly at Kerrick's horse.

A second man appears at the rail, and Masov recognises him as the stocky, swarthy drunk from the Fool's Day Feast the night before. Iago dodges the loading cargo with the practiced ease of a lifelong saillor, coming down the plank to the pier where the party stands.

"I'll take the coin now," he says curtly, palming the money and then pointing at the horse, "And you keep the beast reined in."

OOC: everyone deduct 5sp, except for Kerrick who pays 1gp and 5sp

Iago halts the loading of potatoes, leading the party up the steep gangplank, watching with some amusement as Kerrick's steed is carefully led aboard. He then half leads and half points you to positions on the deck that seem mostly out of the way.

Several hours pass, the sun climbing to its zenith as the loading of the Dawnchaser is completed without incident. None of the ship's small crew or her master so much as look at you during the process. Once the ship and her cargo is ssecured, the crew begins moving about the ship in time with the shouted commands of her master. Lines are untied, sail is raised, and the Dawnchaser turns from the pier and sails towards the mouth of Misery Bay, as Castle Blackmarsh falls behind you.

With the ship underway, the crew's flurry of activity calms, and Iago finds time to approach the party again. He is an odd looking man, short and broad, certainly, but bowlegged with an ugly face: thin lips, wide flat nose, and slightly bulging eyes under a mop of unruly black hair. He rubs sweat from his forehead before speaking, "Master Bartle said you're headed for Orlean. What's your business there?"


Kerrick Helmsworth

“Investigation, my good man. Raiders have been spotted moving up the river, but the watch-fires at Orleans were never lit.”

Kerrick pauses speaking to give his horse another brush before continuing.

“We seek to find out why the fires were dark, and if necessary, deal with whatever caused it.”

Miska the Misanthropic

Miska glares at the man. If there was one thing life had taught him, it is that men named “Iago” are not to be trusted. When no one is within earshot, he murmurs to his companions that it may be best to set a watch this night.

Kaul the thief:

“ill take first wach, its better to be safe than sorry, or dead” “allways have a hard time falling sleep anyway”

Iago licks his lips in apparent trepidation, "Here? So early?" he glances back at the ship's master, then continues, "I'm sure they would've lit the beacons had they seen Vasan raiders. They're good folk..."

Master Bartle speaks up, though you would've thought him unable to hear your conversation over the wind and waves, "Come now, Iago...they're a strange lot, and things have been tense the last few times we've gone ashore in Orlean. Back in Blackmarsh, the sailors talk...a creature with many heads stalking the night, stealing people from their homes...the well water poisoned...children being replaced by changelings. No doubt none of it's true, but there you have it."

Iago casts his eyes towards the deck before speaking more softly - you strain to make out his words over the snap of the sails, "There are fewer folk there, of late. Something that village."

The man appears to watch the ship's master out of the corner of his eye for a moment, then moves away towards the bow. Looking back at Master Bartle, you can see him looking away out across the expanse of the Smoking Bay.

The remainder of the trip is uneventful, the seas relatively calm and the skies clear, and the Dawnchaser arrives off Fire Pot Isle within a couple of hours. Iago and a pair of other sailors lowers the launch into the water, then Iago turns to Kerrick, "I hope the beast can swim."

The party clambers down ropes into the launch while Kerrick works on cajoling his horse overboard. In the end, it's quite spectacular, the horse running down a half-lowered gangplank to lunge into the sea. Kerrick quickly climbs aboard the launch, holding his horse's lead, whilst Iago sets the men to rowing towards shore.

The island itself is rough and rocky, with dense forest beginning a few dozen feet from the water. The launch rows in behind an ancient and man-made breakwall, the swell of the sea calming behind the barrier. Karrick leaps from the launch into the shallows, leading his exhausted horse up out of the water, as the rest of the party clambers onto an old wooden pier. A couple other small boats bob on the water, tied to the pier, but there doesn't appear to be anyone else around. In the distance, you can hear the crash of waves on shore, and the call of gulls.

"Up the path there..." Iago says, pointing to a trail winding upslope on the rocky shore and disappearing into the trees, "...a bit strange there's no one here, but most folk will still be out fishing."

As you look around, you spot the reason for the island's name: several large, rocky pillars stand along the shore, presumably formed by the wind and waves. Some are topped with vegetation, but others are blackened near the upper rim, as if by fire.

The clatter of oars draws your attention back around, as Iago has the men ready the oars and begin rowing back to the ship, leaving you to your own devices...the feeling of being stranded is very strong. The sun is low in the sky, with perhaps an hour or two left before sunset. The village of Orlean is supposed to be only a short hike from the shore.

Kerrick Helmsworth

“I think perhaps you were right to distrust Iago, Miska. He seemed more surprised by the timing of the raiders than their presence.”

“Let us be on our guard. I don’t like these rumors.”

Kerrick leads his horse down the path, rather than mounting, allowing it to rest after its swim.

“I don’t like them much either. I hope its not monsters, but something is off. The watchfires not being lit… I’m not sure what would be worse, if they weren’t keeping the watch or the raiders made sure to avoid the town.” Andrew speculates as he goes down the path.

Miska the Misanthropic

“Hmmmph. If there’s one thing I’ve learned in life, it’s that you should never trust anyone, ever. That way, you will never be disappointed by their inevitable betrayal .” He looks about. “Let us fall into out predetermined marching order and set out for Orleans, checking for traps and signs of habitation as we go.”


I ready my crossbow and remain vigilant, in case of somthing that may look like a possible trap i make the group stop for a more detailed search. In case of weird noises ill scout ahead carring as little as posible to remain fast and movil.

“ok lets all be ready for trouble, if you hear, see or smell (as i pat Cynis in the head) somthing strange let me know so i can scout ahead”

Miska the Misanthropic

A thought occurs to the cunning cleric. “I distrust the motives of the captain and his man Iago and felt they were not entirely honest with us. How about we head up the trail, far enough to be out of sight, and wait for a half-hour or so to make sure we are not followed, or they do not set off a signal or other such skullduggery?”

Kerrick Helmsworth

Kerrick thinks for a moment before replying.

“We may not have enough sunlight to wait and still get to Orleans before dark. It is not supposed to be far from the shore, but without knowing the path, what we know for sure is that we don’t have much daylight left. Given everything we’ve heard, I’d rather make certain to arrive while light remains, if we can.”

“or we could find a place to bunker out for the night and go to Orleans at first light, i would not like to find that the town isnt safe and have the night fall upon us”
i said as i look around for a posible refuge for the night.

Miska the Misanthropic

Miska agrees with this sentiment.


I’d be surprised if we found a defensible camp betwixt the ocean and the trees, but it may be worth looking, if Kaul and Andrew haven’t made it too far up the trail already. If I’m given a moment, I’d like to see if there’s been activity around the sea stacks; a prepared but unlit fire, perhaps.

[quote="Miska the Misanthropic"] "How about we head up the trail, far enough to be out of sight, and wait for a half-hour or so to make sure we are not followed, or they do not set off a signal or other such skullduggery?" [/quote]

[quote="Kerrick Helmsworth"] "We may not have enough sunlight to wait and still get to Orleans before dark." [/quote]

There appears to be between one and two hours of light left, depending on the terrain you encounter (i.e. close to two hours before sunset, unless behind a hill or in a canyon). Orlean is supposedly much less than half-an-hour's hike up the trail.

[quote="Kaul"] "Or we could find a place to bunker out for the night and go to Orleans at first light, i would not like to find that the town isnt safe and have the night fall upon us" [/quote]

[quote="Masov"] "I'd be surprised if we found a defensible camp betwixt the ocean and the trees, but it may be worth looking, if Kaul and Andrew haven't made it too far up the trail already." [/quote]

Kaul and Andrew are still nearby, as is Aria (who has been weirdly silent). There doesn't appear to be anything of use between the water and the trees, but the forest closes in some thirty to fifty feet from the shore. You wouldn't have to move far off the trail to be concealed, although lighting a fire would be a different proposition, and would require moving a great deal farther from the trail and shore. The weather at this time of year is still quite cold at night.

[quote="Masov"] "If I'm given a moment, I'd like to see if there's been activity around the sea stacks; a prepared but unlit fire, perhaps." [/quote]

You scramble along the rocky shore some eighty paces or so, finding yourself at the base of the nearest pot. The pinnacle looks like it would be a difficult but not impossible climb for someone with some skill, however, there is a knotted rope hanging down the shore side of the stack, frayed and discoloured from the salt spray of the ocean. Masov pulls on it, testing it with his weight, and finds it seems secure. Planting his feet, he begins climbing, hand-over-hand, up the knotted length of rope. Upon reaching the top, he can see a pile of brush, twigs, and pine needles sitiing in a shallow depression in the flat top of the pinnacle, with several flat rocks stacked atop the pile, presumably to help keep it from being swept away by the wind. Nothing further protects the material from the elements, and it would likely take a considerable amount of oil to ignite the pile after a rain, although it currently appears dry. The shallow depression atop the pinnacle is heavily marked with soot, ash, and charcoal. The rope is anchored to a corroded iron spike, driven into a crack in the rock.


“we could find some refuge in the forest, or go to orleans right now to arrive whit some light light in our favor” “I prefer to find refuge in the woods, but what do you think?” I ask to the group.

“in case of finding refue we should try to find a place that hides some of the light from or camp fire” “and/or a defensible position”

[quote="Gwydion"] searches the local area near the foot of the pinnacle for anything unusual and otherwise attempts to remain alert for trouble. [/quote] To Gwydion's untrained eye, there is nothing unusual around the base of the rock formation. In fact, you see nothing to indicate the presence of anyone in the vicinity.