A Friend in Need
TSSF - Book 2
The Story So Far
Book 2: Waterdeep
PC Levels: 5 -
The following is a summary of the main events in the second book of A Friend In Need:
- Weeks passed. Trey sent mercenaries (the Cinders) to guard his trade interests in Three Stones and the entrance to the Thundering Cavern. After ensuring that the site was safe from imminent attack, all of the PCs except Aldan returned to Leilon, where they were welcomed graciously by Trey and his family. Quietly, the PCs, Trey, and his allies attempted to unlock the secrets of the Spellforge, but they were unable to discover how to make items enchanted in its fires retain their magic for more than a day. Only two artifacts recovered from the site, the mace Lightbringer and the breastplate Dragonguard, seem to be permanently enchanted. Trey decided it was time to seek additional help.
- Trey asked Ryu, Lanster, Unther, and Wil to take Dragonguard to Waterdeep and present it to Master Darvosh at the Starwatcher School of Arcane Arts & Sciences. Darvosh had mentored both Trey and Wil when they were students at the school, and Trey felt he might be convinced to travel to the Spellforge to help study it. However, since Trey and the PCs wanted to keep the knowledge of the Spellforge’s discovery a secret, they decided to smuggle the breastplate inside a routine shipment of lumber. The PCs would accompany the shipment as agents of Moorguard Mercantile, presumably to oversee payment and additional business dealings.
- Trey booked passage for the PCs and their cargo on a caravel named The Selkie. The ship’s captain, an elf named Erevelis Waveshadow, was a longtime friend of the Dellagato family, and had even sailed with Trey’s great-grandfather on one of his earliest adventures. The PCs boarded the ship and met the crew (including the first mate Davos Jonnessey, the bosun Teak, the cook Curly, and the ship’s boy Wart). They were also introduced to several others who had booked passage to Waterdeep: Sir Pylos Urgalla, a knight serving the Lord’s Alliance; Buppido, a gnome playwright of popular mystery stories; Geralt and Aurelia, two teenage lovers fleeing their disapproving families; and Mrs. Tanner, a modest white-haired woman that the crew suspected of being a witch.
- The first night aboard the Selkie was jovial for all but Ryu, who was horribly seasick. The PCs dined with the captain and their fellow crewmates. Urgalla was a blowhard, Buppido was charmingly candid, and Mrs. Tanner seemed shy and withdrawn. Unther took a fancy to the woman and tried to engage her. While she was polite, she rebuffed his attempts at conversation. The men and women were lodged in separate cabins (the men in the forward cabin, the women in the aft cabin), and bunked down for the night.
- The next day began slowly, but that changed when one of the PCs spotted blood in the water and found Wart’s mutilated corpse suspended from the aft railing. The crew suspected Mrs. Tanner of witchcraft, and Unther tried to console her while the captain and officers tried to sort things out. However, the appearance of sails on the horizon and the promise of a summer storm put thoughts of investigation out of everyone’s heads. The passengers were confined to their quarters below decks while the crew made ready to flee from pirates by heading into the storm.
- Below decks, things became increasingly tumultuous. As the ship entered the storm and began canting to and fro, the First Mate Davos came down with two other crewmen to “check on the passengers”. They entered the women’s cabin and barred the door behind themselves. Panicked for his darling Aurelia, Geralt threw himself at the door, and the PCs rushed to help him. They heard shouting and screaming, then saw a flash of light and heard a wet splattering sound. Davos and one of the crewmen stumbled out, covered in the blood of their companion. The third man had been shredded by some spontaneous magic from Mrs. Tanner.
- Chaos erupted below decks on the Selkie, and the PCs were caught in the middle. The ship pitched wildly in the storm, and the oil lantern in the common area was snuffed out. The surviving crewman (Dome) tried to flee. Davos stood in shock. Aurelia screamed hysterically. Mrs. Tanner stared sadly at the shredded corpse on the floor. Geralt was mysteriously eviscerated in the tumult (no one saw what happened), and was barely saved by a quick healing spell from Unther. Nevertheless, the boy seemed to be poisoned. The PCs managed to get the crewmen out of the way and the passengers back to their cabins, splitting up to calm the women and tend to Geralt. To make matters even stranger, Mrs. Tanner’s appearance had changed (she looked considerably younger than she had when she boarded the ship in Leilon).
- Before the PCs could make sense of what happened, they were thrown to the floor when the Selkie rammed into one of the pirate ships and was badly damaged. Rushing up on decks, the PCs fought to repel pirate boarders who were attempting to both flee their sinking ship and capture the Selkie. The attackers were ultimately repelled, though many of the Selkie’s crew were injured. The PCs helped as they could to enable the Selkie to ride out the rest of the storm. Exhausted, they returned to their bunks to catch a brief rest before trying to make sense of the events of the evening.
- The next morning, Captain Erevelis keelhauled Davos and Dome for attacking the passengers, then privately informed Mrs. Tanner that she would be escorted from the ship when it anchored near land to make repairs. While she argued with the Captain, Wil and Lanster investigated her room and found more evidence that she was a spellcaster, along with lots of writing she had done about the Fey (particularly the Gossamer Queen Illedri and the Cold Hunter Ektero). Around the same time, while checking on Geralt’s progress, Unther and Ryu found that the unconscious boy had been further tortured by having the symbol of Malar, the Beastlord, carved into his back (through the mattress) while he lay in his bunk.
The Selkie eventually made its way to a sheltered cove and Mrs. Tanner was rowed away by two crewmen.
- With Mrs. Tanner gone, spirits on the The Selkie improved, and the damage was slowly repaired. Geralt was moved to the aft cabin, where Aurelia could tend to him privately. After taking a day to replace a broken mast and patch up some holes, the Selkie began sailing south again. Sadly, the tragedy was not over. Shortly after the ship was underway, Lanster discovered that both Aurelia and Geralt had been gruesomely murdered, and symbols of Malar had been painted on the walls in their blood. The PCs hoped to use Unther’s clerical powers to Speak with the Dead, and so convinced the captain to keep the murder quiet for a day, until Unther could pray for the spell. Still, Erevelis confiscated almost all of the weapons on board of both the passengers and crew, and locked them in his cabin. the PCs spent the remainder of the day trying to deduce who was committing the murders.
- That night, when Lanster left his watch to go up on deck to urinate, he was stabbed and poisoned by an unseen attacker. The others found him nearly dead the next morning, with the symbol of Malar carved on his back. Unther was able to save the monk’s life by magically neutralizing the poison, and Ryu found a clue that made him suspect that Buppido might be the murderer.