Escape From Portsmith

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Escape From Portsmith
Type Dungeon
Status Explored October 907 TA
Location Portsmith
Hex 7814
Campaign Voyage of the Wanton Wench
Adventure # 121
Map-portsmith.jpg

DM's Note: The City of Portsmith is described here. What follows are the actual missions undertaken in this campaign.

Prologue

It is 907 TA. It is a dark time.

The Western Reaches have fallen to the Old Kingdom - or so you have been told. The Eastern Reaches are filled with werewolves and strange folk from the Wolfshaunt who wander the streets by night. Yeah, times are sinister, but that's no reason for the Crusader of Portsmouth, Jana Blackfire, to come down on honest citizens and merchants. She rules Portsmith with an iron fist. And her zealousness seems to be increasing. Bah, who does she think she is? Bah to her and bah to her Order of Crusaders.

Her latest edict, not so affectionately known as The Gavel, gives the Order of the Silver Throne immense power to dispense punishment unilaterally. So, the last mayor of Portsmouth had a bit of demon blood in his veins, and, yeah, he had some peculiar appetites. That's probably why the good people of this port chose Blackfire - charismatic and honest to a fault. Aye, and there's the fault - her new rule of law is filling the prisons with merchants and traders just looking to make an honest profit. A simple brawl - jail. A whisper against the King - jail. And, so you find yourselves in a stinking jail cell with five stinking companions - all of you innocent by your own accounts - and just about to be branded by the holy Order with the mark of The Gavel.

Dark days. Maybe torture, maybe worse.

A bucket of hot coals sits nearby, a blackened branding iron heating. Footsteps from down the corridor - guards undoubtedly along with that ugly, scarred Justice Henry Meekson. You hope his face will not be the last you see. Suddenly, you hear a tapping - much too rhythmic to be rats. Someone is sending you a message. After six weeks in this stinking cell, maybe there is hope of rescue. The others hear it too. Maybe together you can decipher the code.

Escape from the Vault

Map of the Vault

Overlooking the harbor from the southern hills, the Vault is an old square stone building. Once used as a roasting house for barley and coffee due to a hot geyser just beneath the building. The Vault has been recently re-purposed to hold prisoners of "lesser offense". The most notable feature of the building is a central elevator which previously had been used to move the grain through various stages of preparation.

The building is 50' high and 50' on a side made of grey stone. There are five levels in the building (one is underground). The Vault is windowless, very hot, and smells of roasted grains and coffee.

DM's NOTE: The Upper Prison Level and Administration Level were not explored.

Middle Prison Level

You find yourselves in a small 10x10 room - a stinking prison cell. Beyond the thick iron bars is a 15'x15' room with two entrances on the south. The ceilings are 15' high here. The walls, ceiling and floor are made of stone. It is very warm here, and there is a strong smell of roasted coffee and grains.

You are each dressed in canvas cloth pants and shirts - boldly striped to denote your current status as prisoners.

A bucket of hot coals sits in the center of the room, a blackened iron heating. There is a stool nearby.

On the north wall is a fire pit with a wooden mantel above it. A number of objects sit on the mantel - a large copper spittoon, a pair of tongs, a large clay brick, and - most strangely - a large parrot on a perch with a long silver chain attached to one leg. The parrot appears to be sleeping, its head tucked under its wing. Beneath the mantel is a handled bucket filled with water and several lengths of thin rope - the cutting edges of which are familiar to your wrists.

You know that you have been brought to this cell to confess your sins or be branded forever with the Gavel. This marks you as a criminal. The branding is usually done by Justice Henry Meekson of the Order of the Silver Throne, an ugly scarred man burned by oil thrown on his face by a parishioner many years ago - an act which left its mark on more than just his flesh.

In fact, you hear footsteps coming down the hallway.

Suddenly, you hear a tapping from the back wall of your cell. It is much too rhythmic to be rats. Someone is sending you a message. After six weeks in this stinking cell, maybe there is hope of rescue. The others hear it too. Maybe together you can decipher the code.

Encounter 1: Wake bird. Use brick.

Notice Roll

  • DC 15 - A brick about 10 feet up on the wall is missing.
  • DC 25 - Shadow of someone watching from the southeastern hallway. This is Janet Meekson who just had her guard tap out the signal.

Henry Meekson is coming with one guard. He will offer the party absolution - so there will be no pain from the branding - in exchange for a geas of information. No deal, take 6 points of excruciating pain.

Find me the name of the head of the Family. Speak "Meekson Hear Me". The brand will disappear and you will be free to go. Wrong answer, death. Try to run away, slow lingering death that no cleric can heal.

Meekson has a book. Read it upside down, and it says that the prisoners have confessed and are to be released in two days. Meekson is crossing off the name of anyone who didn't take the pact.

Janet Meekson (Henry's daughter) works for the Family. She hates her father as cruel and unyielding. She is trying to find recruits - she is neither good nor evil. But, she is trying to stop the killing of potentially useful recruits. She is the key of the plot to let them go.

Later she will attempt to contact them again via Morse code.

The large clay brick on the mantle is a key that activates the Elevator - which is the room in which the prisoners are currently occupying. The bird is actually Java, one of the player characters. The trick will be to get the brick over to the party quickly in order to get the elevator moving.

The code tells the party to move UP. This will take them to the top level of the Vault. By then lowering the elevator, they can move up the shaft to the roof. There a large chute used for loading coffee beans stands abandoned - a sweet slide to the real world.

If they move DOWN, they can escape through the front doors - but the entire Vault will be on high alert.

The Staff

  • Faith Bladevale, Captain of the Vault
  • 12 guards on duty - Caleb Cooke, Cameron Stewart, Stanley Hopkins, Mollie Shaw, Alex Robertson, Tegan Elliott, Lea Rose, Heath Perkins, Max Hunt, Zachary Hunt
  • 12 guards off duty
  • 4 Blink Dogs - There are four guard dogs that are usually found on the ground floor. They can blink through the gates and doors. They will begin to go through the dungeon if the alarm is sounded.

Prisoners

DM's NOTE: Only those cells that were explored are included below.

26 cells (A-Z) 100 prisoners

  • Cell Q - Drunks (4)
  • Cell R - Wanton Wenches (3)
  • Cell S - Demon
  • Cell T - Clanpike Family (4)
  • Cell U - Father Cannon
  • Cell V - Screaming Sally
  • Cell W - Nick the Flick
  • Cell X - Lord Winsworth
  • Cell Y - Brothers Willowhisper (4)
  • Cell Z - Gabriel Gloommantle

Lord Winsworth

Sitting at a small table reading a tattered book, an older man looks up. Unlike you, he is dressed in well-laundered and repaired prison attire. He is balding with a fringe of grey hair and bright blue eyes. He wears spectacles and looks at you inquiringly. His cell has a regular straw bed, and the table has a pewter goblet, wine decanter and other items of luxury.

I am Lord James Winsworth. I have been imprisoned for two months for killing my wife, which I didn't do...

  • Will tell the party of Captain Bainbridge (of the King's Crown), his suspicions of their affair, and describe Clarinda as "a lovely young willow with golden hair and apple green eyes".
  • He knows nothing of the funeral - he was in prison.
  • He was a merchant - grandson of a successful merchant from Lichfield who was granted land and title under the Second Earl, William Redmond. James moved to Portsmith to escape the wanton advances of the Jamie Redmond who coveted his wife. They have lived in Portsmith for almost 10 years.
  • Clarinda is currently on the Wanton Wench, having dug herself out of her grave and gone after Bainbridge.

Let me go, and I will scrape up some money to pay you.

Wanton Wenches

Swinging Cindy (sailing master), Tanya (botswain), and Ginger (carpenter/surgeon) are in this cell.

Even dressed in the drab garb of the prison, these three women are alluringly beautiful. The most notable features of these three are their posture - swaggeringly confident. They seem to be sizing you up as much as you are sizing them up.

Gabriel Gloommantle

This cell has been cleared of its contents. Four shackles, very solid and newly constructed, suspend a man with wavy brown hair and fair features from the stone wall. His mouth is gagged, but he appears to be awake and alert. He is motioning with his eyes for you to help him.

Assassin. Very deadly. Kills anybody who spends any time looking at him.

Brothers Willowhisper

Four young men - identical quadruplets from the look of them - stand against the bars of this ordinary cell. Unlike the other prisoners, these four are chained together. "We are being persecuted because we all look alike - what kind of sin is that?"

Anton, Lucas, Kade, Barrett.

Drunks (4)

Two men and two woman are in the bunks in this cell. They appear to be sleeping - the sounds of snoring are deafening. The smell of alcohol is very strong here. They will not waken up even for loud noises or alarms.

Clanpike Family (4)

A young mother, father and two children (6,8) sit quietly in a circle in the center of the cell. They look up pitifully and beg for help.

They were arrested for vagrancy - or so they say. Actually, they are thieves.

Father Cannon

An immensely fat man is dressed in clerical robes - which makes his stand out from the prisoners in the other cells. He appears to be deep in prayer but looks up when you come by. "Please, help me, I was only trying to protect the children.... Tell Father Quinn at the Chapel of the Hearth that I'm here. "

He says that they didn't have any prison clothes big enough for him - just arrived today. The children were being beaten for stealing bread.

Father Cannon is actually a high ranking member of the Family. The children were stealing a bit more than bread. Father Quinn is actually a priest, but he has been pressed into service by the Family.

Nick the Flick

A young man with stringy black hair is leaning against the cell walls.

"You'll never get away. You need a place to hide. I can help you."

Nick is a member of the Dark Path.

Screaming Sally

A naked woman stands on top of her clothing. She is staring straight ahead and screaming at the top of her lungs. "They're coming. No. Stay away. I'll kill you."

Rumors Around Portsmith

  • We were going to get them four big brass gears from the scrap ship in the harbor. They are down in the hold, we'ze been told. Well, we get aboard - and ship stinks of death - but never you mind, we has a job to do. Well, Remy went down first. Said something about a pile of silver. The next thing we know, he screams and it sounds like a pack of dogs tearin' him apart. Well, his boot flew up through the companionway - his foot still inside. Just a fuckin' bloody stump. Well, me and Tyler here took off and jumped in the dinghy and were gone before you know it.
  • A siege engineer and three gunners are at the Lantern & Gargoyle looking for a ship out of Portsmith. They are willing to work without pay for one month in exchange for passage. Trying to get to Teufeldorf to fight in the war against the Old Kingdom. NOTE: These are the dopplegangers.

Captains

  • Lucky Lulu - she be down at the Lantern & Gargoyle gamblin'.
  • Captain Ian Whitehead - late of the King Ernest Goodfellows command. Lost his ship, the Trident of the Sea, to the Old Kingdom fleet at the Battle of Teufeldorf Harbor in July 906 TA. Now, he sits in the pub and drinks.

Mission 1: Mr. Dourmoor, Mrs. Dourmoor, and the Twins

A tall, pale, thin man with strangely full lips. Dressed in formal black clothing. He carries a walking stick that is very straight with a crystal ball on top. He appears otherwise unarmed.

(strong Transylvanian accent) - I could not help overhearing your conversation - I have very good ears. You are in need of gold, and I am in need of passage from Portsmith.

My wife and I and two young children - the twins - came from the Wolfshaunt in October 905 TA having stolen 8 tokens from Mr. Black and Mr. Sly. Dourmoor was a clerk for the bankers - having been bitten when they realized his penchant for numbers. Being a vampire for Mr. Sly, he is not bound to Grandfather Josiah or Grandfather Bela. He knows Radu and doesn't believe in the Great Grandfather.

He has several hundred gold - aid to outfit the Wanton Wench. He wants an inside cabin, and promises not to do anything to the crew - what would I do, I am an accountant after all. His children will catch rats - which freaks the crew out.

He might do a small job for the party in Portsmith - draining the life from someone who stands in their way.

Enroute, the crew will try to frame Dourmoor for a "disappearance" which is actually crew member hiding in the Crow's Nest. The party will have to act as arbiters.

Boarding the Dourmoors

At dusk, a tall, thin figure wrapped in black and two small figures mirroring the first in dimensions slip through the shadows - apparently unnoticed by the guards. The tall figure holds a small black leather bag.

I am Mrs. Dourmoor. My husband bade me to pay you the gold for our transport. May I come aboard?

I am Anastasia Dourmoor - may I come aboard?

I am Zachary Dourmoor - may I come aboard?

Mr. Dourmoor regrets to inform you that he will be late - most likely showing up just before daybreak. He is, how shall I say it, detained at the moment.

DC 15: Black dragon bag - worth a fortune.

You see the figure of Mr. Dourmoor running down the dock. He moves quickly, looking backwards often. He is silent and seems almost to flit from shadow to shadow.

I am Mr. Dourmoor - may I come aboard?

I'm afraid there are some wolves following... Just then, the howl of a pack of wolves breaks the air. They are very close - in fact, you see them loping towards the dock. The guards move to intercede. Four wolves stop to take care of the guards while six more lope forward. They are going to make the ship very, very quickly.

Cast off?

Mission 2: The Keys to Six Sisters

Map of the Six Sisters

The barkeep shows you a ring with six large iron keys on it. The keys are new and shiny - each about 4 inches long with a different symbol in the bow.

Six-sister-keys.jpg

Aye, these are the keys to the treasure of the six sisters. They were a strange lot - not really sisters by birth, sisters by occupation - although not quite nuns, if you know what I mean. Well, they ran a brothel up on Stonewall Close just outside Blackfire's Keep. Called it the Six Sisters. Very popular and very discrete.

Well, it's said that they amassed quite a fortune, the six sisters did. About ten years ago, five ruffians from Dreadfield rode in and paid the sisters a visit. They were schemers and brought back from their visit a key ring with six iron keys that they had stolen. They said the treasure of the six sisters lay behind six locks each of which needed to be turned at the same time - just at the break of dawn. Well, they knew the keys would be missed, so they hired a local boy, Derek Willhausen, to be their sixth that night and went back up to the house just before daybreak.

What happened, nobody knows. Derek burst in the doors of this very pub about an hour later. He was dead white, shaking, and sweating. He looked at me, the ring of six keys in his hand. He muttered, "They're dead. All dead." And, his eyes rolled back in his head, and he died right there on the spot.

Well, the Six Sisters didn't open again that day or any day afterwards. The Captain of Lastra's guard came by a few days later looking for the keys. He had heard the rumors. I gave the keys to him, although I did happen to make copies before he arrived. The town boarded up the Six Sisters on Stonewall Close. Now, I'm willing to give the keys to you in return for half the treasure. I don't know what's in the old house, and I don't know where the treasure is. But, if you want to give it a go, it could be worth some good coin.

Exterior

The Six Sisters is a well-crafted stone building, although the grounds are now overgrown and the house is in a state of disrepair. The house is two stories with an odd pentagonal tower on the back. A path leads through an iron gate to a set of double doors on wide porch. Windows on both floors are boarded up, and an upper floor balcony door is sealed as well. The ground seems unusually marshy and the verge is thick and green.

The stone porch has two large wooden rocking chairs on either side of the ornate front doors. Two lanterns are mounted on either side of the door. The door itself has been pried off its hinges and then set back in place. Several boards have been nailed to the frame to bar entry into the home.

The windows have been boarded up, although gaps allow for glimpses into the room beyond. There are no windows in the pentagonal-shaped tower that makes up the back of the house.

NOTE: The middle window is broken and the boards appear to be pried away - only enough to allow a small creature to enter.

Mirth

As the party approaches, a young woman will intercept them dropping from a nearby tree - if they look like they are going to enter. My name is Mirth. Mirth is a thin woman, dressed in leather with short black hair and a thin rapier and several daggers poking out of her boots.

"I can tell you a secret if you let me go with you. I am looking for my grandfather's ring which he gave to the sisters to feed his habit. Bastard. It's the only heirloom our family had left."

Real story - I have been tasked by the Family to retrieve a thieves ring - and make it my own. It is my initiation into the organization. I know the frogs are here, but I can't get by them. I don't know anything else except my predecessor, Whispers, died here when doing a job for the Family.

The grounds are guarded by giant frogs that have taken up residence in the yard. They will attack if any sound is generated (i.e., removing the boards). NOTE: Their tongues can reach the upper balcony and windows.

Upper Story Hallway

A narrow hallway runs the length of the building. Three doors on either side of the hallway are evenly spaced. Several are open, but the rest are closed. The hallway is dusty and appears unoccupied. At the end of the hallway are two double doors. A light flickers along the edges of the door.

NOTE: The middle door is closed. The sound of flapping wings can be heard DC20.

Upper Story Bedroom

This room is generously sized for the era with a large window on the far wall. The window has been boarded up, so the room is gloomy. Luxurious green drapes are piled on the floor near the window. A large bed sits directly under the window - wide enough for four adults. The walls are richly paneled in oak with iron sconces and tastefully hung paintings - mostly nudes on the walls. A small basin, chest of drawers and chair are the only other items in the room.

The chests contain bed linens and towels. NOTE: No clothes or personal items can be found here.

NOTE: The symbols on the keys can be found interwoven into some of the fabrics - in the appropriate color - red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple.

Upper Story Bedroom - Cockatrice

The window of this room has been broken out. Two cockatrice have taken up residence here.

Upper Story - Seventh Sister

A strange rune flickers on the door to this room. A grid of squares are inset into the door. A number of tiles lie in a heap at the bottom of the door. Some have diagonal slashes others have dots painted on to their surface.

"Do not open this seal by order of Governor Linpool Lastra."

Six-sisters-puzzle.jpg

This room takes up the entirety of the pentagonal shaped tower. The ceiling is vaulted and the stone work is superior. The floors of the room are strewn with carpets and rugs - some textiles and other animal fur. Across from the door is a large bed with a canopy curtain drawn about it. You can sense rustling from the bed.

The walls are lined with shelves filled with curiosities - antique boxes, statuary, small mechanical devices, and the like.

Notice: A chain around the post of the bed runs under the curtain. If opened, the party will be attacked by the succubus inside the curtains. She will attempt Charm or Suggestion spells until her true nature is revealed. She can anywhere within the room, but she cannot leave the room - a silver chain on her leg prevents that from happening.

A naked woman stands before you. Several rings and a key (see treasure chest) hang in a chain about her neck. Behind her, bat wings belie a less-than-human encounter. Red hair and fiery gaze make you shudder as you look upon the demon.

Items of Interest - Rings around her neck include the thieves ring Mirth is seeking. The other magical ring is a ring of feather falling (2,200 gp). A vial of Stone Salve may be found here as well.

Common Room

This room was clearly repurposed from an older building. The walls and floor here are stone, and the sturdy wooden-beamed ceiling exceeds what would be expected from a typical home of the era. The ceiling of this room is 15 feet high. A stairway near the door leads up to the second story.

In the center of the room a large recessed, shallow stone pool is accessed from steps that lead down some five feet. The top of the pool is bright green.

One corner of the room has been made into a bar - complete with a glassware, lots of bottle of liquor, stools, and a long oak bar. Another corner of the room has several tables with knives, bowls and kitchenware items. The majority of the room, however, is filled with comfortable couches, cushions. A number of richly colored privacy screens stand around the edges of the room.

The pool is home to six skeletons covered with green slime. Each has a stone pendant - with a design that matches a key in a particular color. This tells the party which keys goes where.

Behind the pool, the statue of an angel - in the form of a young girl - holding aloft a lantern. While the statue appears to be stone, the lantern is made of crystal glass.

Angel-statue.jpg

Notice DC15: Around the base of the statue is written the following verse:

When the light of dawn comes to lifeless eyes, and the six keys in proper places turn,
Then will the stones part, the stairs lift, and the seventh sister's secret learn.

Notice DC20: The verse on the base is much newer than the statue itself.

NOTE: The statue can be rotated on its base. NOTE: The dawn's sun will hit the lantern in the statue - which can be rotated just so to reveal a beam of light on six hidden keyholes in the walls - red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple.

All the keys need to be inserted into the proper keyholes and turned just at dawn.

Each skeleton will have a colored necklace with the appropriate symbol on it. This will allow the party to know where each key must go - depending on where the prism lantern shoots its colored beam of light.

The Six Sister's Treasure Room

A grinding sound can be heard as the last key clicks into place. The far wall begins to split as two large stones swing open and a set of stone stairs rise from the ground.

The stairs lead downward into a small room - 20 feet in diameter. The edges of the room are lined with clothes - most regal finery, although some clearly meant for the brothel. Several vanities with mirrors can be found here - sporting large tins of powder, rogue and other makeup. In the center of the room is a large iron chest with a lock on it.

The far wall is made into small shrine. It shows a succubus with large bat-like wings seducing a human man. Several candles are around a circle drawn on the floor.

NOTE: This is window-dressing. It merely gives some clues about the seventh sister.

The chest can be unlocked by the seventh sister's key. Or, it can be mundanely picked. Each failure will cause the sound of a vial breaking. The chest contains: 1200 gold pieces, 120 silver, and 12 copper. It also contains a set of six silver daggers.

Mission 3: The Demon's Masquerade

Map of the Clay Estate

Tapped

A cloaked figure approaches you, she is dressed in an unnaturally dark robe. She appears unarmed, but her gait is confident and unafraid. She has brown eyes, brown hair and a pleasant friendly smile.

They call me Slip. I'm a member of the Family. May I congratulate you on one of the clumsiest escapes of all time. The mass escape diversion and fog were clever, but you left a trail a mile wide to your hideout on that old ship. By Brandobaris, setting the ship on fire - you can't believe what we've had to do to keep Blackfire's dogs from taking you back to the Vault. I don't see what She sees in you, but I've been ordered to be your "tapman" for the Family. So, consider yourselves tapped.

Do you accept? If not, we'll let Janna Blackfire and the Dark Path fight over your corpses. Well, I'll let you think about it. If you are interested, meet me at the Lantern & Gargoyle on Friday at dusk. We have a job for you to do. Pays 600 gold and a child could do it in her sleep. Don't be late.

BTW, Sternbrew, the owner and barman is trustworthy - loyal to the Family. He waylaid the guards while y'all were drinking in the pub - after escaping prison, you stop for a drink. Yeah, some sort of stupid you all are. Don't know what She sees in you.

Mission: Theft at the Demon's Masquerade

This mission pays 600 gold pieces. And, it's very simple - even you five should be able to do it without any mishaps. <smiles>

There is a party tonight at the Clay Estate. The Clay's only daughter, Miranda, is announcing her engagement to James Sharpington, a merchant of the Guild, at the party. Our interest is not in the party, however. The Clays were close with Linpool Lastra, the late Governor of Portsmith. As you know, he made demons popular here in town. <glances at Oppy> In fact, the party is a demon's masquerade. Everyone will be wearing demon masks. Lots of dancing, drink and fine food. About 60 rich folk - but keep your mind on the task at hand.

We have secured your invitation to the party as entertainers. I have some costumes for each of you and some demon masks. Now, Jana Blackfire hates these things going on in her town - so there won't be any town guards there. But, the Clays have hired merchant guards from the Keymasters. They are loyal, tough and smart - so be careful.

Your mission is to steal a chest from an underground trove of demon artifacts that the Clays have collected over the years. The chest lies at the end of a short hallway lined with cases of artifacts. Now, and I can't stress this enough, don't take anything from the cases. The chest at the end of the hallway is a small copper affair, about a foot on a side, with a lock in the form of a smiling demon. Now, and I can't stress this enough. Take the chest. Don't open it. Bring back to the pub, and I'll meet you with the gold.

To get to the chest, you will have to pass through a doorway in the Vestibule. A staircase will take you to the Summoning Room. There, you will see an altar in the form of a seated demon. There is a secret passage that can only be reached from a balcony that rings the summoning room and ends at the left side of the seated demon statue. The summoning room should be empty with the party going on, so you should be safe.

BTW, make sure your performance is good enough so that the Clays invite you to mingle. If you botch it, you will be tossed out of the grounds and the mission will fail.

Oh, and I have some maps of the old Clay house - at least the public parts of the house. The red X is a secret door which leads down to the Summoning Room. That's the easy way in since the Vestibule is unguarded. The other way is fighting through the guards in the Courtyard.

The secret to the door has something to do with touching symbols on the door. Our man inside sent along these drawings to help you out. He couldn't see the order the symbols were moved - he just drew the starting and final locations. Good luck on that one. Yeah, a piece of cake.

Arriving at the Party

As the party arrives at the party - assuming they are dressed in their costumes - they will be met by Giles the Butler who will point them around the house to the "stage".

The Stage and Grounds

The grounds of the Clay House is well tended with lots of high shrubs and trees. Several paths wind around and behind the house. There are no lights on the grounds, although the house and stage are brightly lit by torches. The sounds of merriment and music can be heard floating on the air.

The stage is a sturdy wooden affair - well-built albeit temporary. There are torches around the stage throwing it in light. In the courtyard, you see several dozen men and women - all well-dressed. Six armed guards stand discretely in the corners - their eyes watchful. Each bears the green and yellow key and sword symbol of the Merchant Keymasters.

Getting Ready for the Stage

At the stage, the party is met by the stage mistress, Rebecca Strange. She is a large woman with a commanding voice and rosy cheeks. She quickly assesses the party's show and tells them they will be up next. The party is to stand directly behind the stage and go on when the three singing sisters are finished with the last of their heart wrenching arias - the Siren's Wail and the Widow's Walk.

After the Performance

The party will be greeted by Miranda Clay and James Sharpington. They will either thank you for your service or they will invite you to join in food and drink.

Performance DC with help. Or the party can actually do something.

Sub-Plot Encounter: The Assassination of Miranda Clay

DC 20: You overhear the act coming up next (thus standing behind the stage). Six men who are dressed in fancy red and black robes with stringed instruments and large floppy hats. One with a long, drooping black mustache, acne scars and blackened teeth is speaking to the others in hushed tones.

"Okay, that's the woman, Miranda Clay. Right after our performance, she will go for a walk in the grounds behind the stage. There's an old statue out there, and she has been given a note to meet an old friend there. Milo will duck out while the rest of us take our accolades - he will do the deed. Remember, disperse quickly into the crowd so that nobody notices that Milo is missing. Head back to the pub as quickly as possible. This will be easiest 1000 gold that the Dark Path has ever paid us."

The Parlour

This sitting room is line with large windows on the outside walls and bookcases made of mahogany and oak on the inside walls. A number of leather couches and armchairs are strewn about the room. The bookcases are filled with leather-bound volumes on a variety of subjects - many of them trade, commerce and shipping. In a case on the east wall is an illuminated manuscript from the Second Age showing a sea serpent being slain by a knight as it attempts to attack a woman in a red dress.

Sea serpent.jpg

Several other seascapes adorn the walls of this room.

Ship seacape 2.jpg

Ship seascape.jpg

Dining Room

This room is dominated by a large table filled with a variety of fine foods - roasted whole fish, crab chowder and lamb stew. Fresh fruit and vegetables are in abundance as well as sweet fruit pies and tarts. The expected dining room chairs are absent, but a large cabinet in the northeast corner holds beautiful china and crystal. The silverware appears to be just that - silver. Linen napkins complete the display of opulence.

Three servants behind the table keep a watchful eye for hungry guests.

Front Hall

This room is dark mahogany wood and veined black marble. It is well-lit by sconces around the walls. A number of fine paintings hang here on the northern walls. Servants bustle through with drinks and food from the kitchens in the east heading towards the Dining Room and Courtyard.

A few groups of well-dressed guests loiter here, deep in conversation and away from the gala atmosphere of the Courtyard. Several guards are stationed here, discretely hidden in the dark recesses of the room's corners.

Painted Room

This gallery, a mirror image of the Hall below, is in contrast quiet.

The dark mahogany wood and veined black marble of the front hall flicker from the light of a dozen candles as a small group of twelve well dressed men and women huddle about a round table in the southwestern corner of this room. A thirteenth figure sits at the table, her head wrapped in a scarf. The old woman, a mystic replete with crystal ball, is performing a séance. Her voice is low and hypnotic as she calls upon the spirit world to answer her.

The woman is Maleva. She is a gypsy-born oracle who is one of the few in Portsmith actually capable of contacting the dead. The crystal ball is a prop.

The séance is attempting to contact the spirit of the previous mayor, Linpool Lastra. Maleva is attempting to find out if the coming storm is demon-borne or a natural occurrence. She will channel a strange voice.

They are coming. Those who live in the storm. Hide for they cannot enter your homes. Beware, they float upon the wind and lightning is their companion. Hide. Hate. They must feed. The storm drives them forward. Beware. It is an evil storm. Hide. Hide or die. Seek the staff from the undying. Only then will you be safe....

Long Gallery

This room comprises the entire eastern edge of the great house. A few patrons walk the length of the gallery looking at the pictures. In ten glass cases along the edge of the room are ten magnificent wooden sailing ship models. Each is fully rigged and look remarkably lifelike - down the crates on the deck. There are no sailor figures on any of the boats - which is unusual for these types of models. Four guards are here.

A drunk woman, Tipsy Taylor, is slumped on a bench - apparently passed out already. She is middle aged and dressed in a beautiful blue dress - a string of pearls around her neck. A middle-aged man is trying to revive her. He looks up desperately, and you can see that she has vomited on his suit.

The ships are all merchant galleys - none of them the Wanton Wench. The Peaceful Sorcerer, The Lone Dawn, Dressed To Kill, The Laura, The Scurvy Shark, Privateer's Strumpet.....

The Vestibule

This small room has openings to the north, south and east. A single window takes up the west wall. In the center of the room is a large glass case. The glass forms a sheath over a square pedestal. Inside the case is a the head of a trident - seemingly carved from sapphires set in platinum.

Trident.jpg

Appraise: 500 gold.

The only way to open the case is to lift the glass off of the pedestal. This will create a suction of air which will cause the trident to be pulled into the base - where a latch will drop, locking the item safely away.

The other notable item in the vestibule is a door in the northeast corner.

Opening the door leads to a spiral staircase leading down to the large summoning room below the courtyard.

Masquerade-puzzle.jpg

Behind the Vestibule Door

A spiral staircase leads down. The landing also leads forward to a heavy iron door which most likely leads into the Courtyard. The sound of the party can be heard - very muffled from beyond the door.

Unlike the fine finishes of polished marble and hardwoods from the rest of the manor, the stairs here are rough stone. They are warm to the touch, perhaps even a bit slick - as if slightly sweating.

A number of pegs are on the wall. Although most are empty, a number of red cloaks hang from the remaining pegs. The cloaks are light linen without pockets. Each has a cowled hood.

As your ears adjust to the staircase, you can hear the sounds of chanting - slow and rhythmic - coming from below.

Summoning Room

The spiral stairs dump you into a circular room. You are on a ledge that leads around a large circular pit some 60 feet in diameter. Directly in front of you, a grand staircase continues down to the bottom of the pit. The ledge extends on either side of you, following the circular curve of the walls. On the far wall is the giant statue of a seated demon. Sitting on the bottom of the pit, its form dominates the far end of the room interrupting the ledge and filling the 50 foot depth of the summoning room pit.

Below you, twenty figures in red robes sway back and forth. They form a loose circle about a central altar in the room. On the red marble of the altar is the form of a mermaid - her long tail hanging slightly over the edges of the stone. A lone figure in red robes trimmed in gold holds a dagger with a wickedly sharp blade over the prone figure. All attention is turned towards the dagger as you can sense its impending plunge.

The figure is actually that of a young girl that has been dressed in a mermaid's tail. She has been drugged and is asleep. Her name is Ariel. Will she be sacrificed?

Demon's Entrance

On the left side of the demon statue is a small door. It appears to be made of metal. A trace of purple electricity moves quickly about its edges. In the center of the door is a flickering pattern of arrows.

Shade some of the arrows so that each shaded arrow points at exactly 2 other shaded arrows.

Masquerade-puzzle-2.jpg

The ceremony will ramp up. After 5 minutes - the sacrifice!

Upon solving the puzzle, the door into the demon statue disappears without a sound or trace leaving a small opening to a hallway beyond. The area beyond is dark, hot and fetid.

Demon's Treasure Room

This hallway room radiates a strong aura of magic - a sickening mix of necromancy and divination. The hallway is lined with wooden shelves and glass cases. Each is overflowing with items - human skulls in various stages of dissection, bones and skulls of strange animals and birds, half-burnt candles, statues of skeletons, hand-stitched dolls, small shrines, beads, tokens, and other paraphernalia.

At the T in the hallway, a low table holds three chests. Each is similar in size - about a foot on each side - but very different in appearance. One is copper with a demon's face protruding - a keyhole for the demon's mouth. Another is silver - carved to appear to be made out of thousands of small bones without an apparent lock. The last is gold with ornate feet and a gilded lid of black, onxy skulls. This chest has a simple lock made of gold.

The hallway extends at the T for 15 feet. On the left end is the form of a mummy - clearly not human - with demon horns and a massive physic. It is wrapped in brown linen cloth which is adorned with hundreds of black runes drawn in ink on its surface. The other end of the hallway has a map, drawn of gold foil. The map is clearly of the Inner Sea coastline, although there are no towns or cities marked. The map is in a heavy wooden frame and glows slightly in the darkness.

Opening or touching anything will cause a spirit to fly visibly into the air and enter the mummy at the far end of the T.

As Oppy or Wrane approaches, a light (near Tegel Village) glows faintly with a small horned symbol nearby.

Mission 4: The Bomb

Map of Frakesworthy Hall

I, Jonathan Frakesworthy, seek adventurers who are experts at solving puzzles to help me open a chest that was left to me by my father - the late Jameson Frakesworthy. For this help, I will pay 600 gold pieces. However, it must be done under my supervision and terms.

Frakesworthy enters with three females guards. They are dressed in plate mail with long swords and long bows.

We have to blindfold you, so you can't see where you are going.

Frakesworthy Hall is a luxurious house on Upper Castle Court. Stone steps lead up to large patio lit with sconces. A large green door is bound in copper. Through an entryway and a sharp right into a waiting room. Two doors in and out. All the window shades have been drawn. The floors are walnut, the walls are walnut, and the ceiling has a mural of a seascape showing ships sailing in front of an impending storm.

Hawkes is the old man servant.

NOTE: A guard is in front of each window and door.

In the center of the room is a box about 6 inches by 12 inches and 3 inches deep. It appears to be made of silver carved with the intricate form of a dragon. Frakesworthy holds it out and you can see that the dragon has a pattern of letters on it - namely A's and Z's.

The Frakesworthy Ritual

Stand by close and hear my voice for those away are dead.
This dragon's words are four letters long with only A and Zed.
Sixteen words all different be will keep his fire at bay.
But hurry fast his belly heats and his temper starts to fray.

Disarming the box will cause an explosion. Frakesworthy will drop the box and look at the party. His guards will be blown through the window. Within a few rounds, the local constables will come. The party will hear whistles.

The box contains a diamond necklace worth 1000 gold.

Mission 5: Lord Winsworth

The Church of the Silver Throne is set back from the main road to the lighthouse in a grove of old growth oak and hickory trees. The chapel building is in excellent repair and is built on the site of a monastery ruin from the early Third Age. It is an active church with daily services attended by numerous clerics and paladins found within Portsmith. Commoners tend to attend services at the Chapel of the Hearth.

Surrounding the chapel is an extensive graveyard which pushes as deep as Crow Hill. The cemetery is still in use, although the fishermen and sailors prefer burial at sea. The oldest stones - nearest the front of the graveyard date from the late sixth century. New graves are typically dug in the back areas of the site.

Near a large oak, you notice a grave has been disturbed, the ground around it is broken and bits of wood are strewn about. From the looks of it, this has been done in the last few weeks. The headstone reads:

Lady Clarinda Winsworth
May She Rest Eternally
March 12, 859 TA - August 15, 907 TA

Stepping out from behind the tree is the bedragled form of Lord Winsworth. He is still dressed in his prisoner's garb. His grey hair is matted, his spectacles smeared, and his bright blue eyes are rimmed in red.

"Who would have done this?"

After escaping, Lord Winsworth returned to his home to find it occupied by another family - who promptly blew the whistle to summon the guards. He fled to a neighbor's house and found a temporary place to hide. He was able to retrieve a small bag of gold - which he is willing to give to find out what has happened to Clarinda.

My Friends,

I write this letter, undoubtedly my last, from the prison cell from which you helped me escape. For your help, I am grateful.

I have confessed to the crimes which led to the death of Jonathan Frakesworthy and the destruction of his estate. The necklace has been taken by the Crown, and its return has insured only the delivery of this letter and my burial in the family plot.

The news you brought of the death of my Clarinda provides some comfort in its closure, although the mystery of the circumstances will undoubtedly remain unsolved. I will soon join Clarinda, as I am scheduled to be hanged for my crimes on the Sunday following the Third Harvest holiday. My death will be a welcome release except for one lingering issue.

I am hoping that the gold that I gave you will persuade you to grant me a dying wish. Find the bones of my Clarinda and bury them in her grave, next to mine. You did not tell me where she lay, but the dead have all eternity, so I hope - in time - that she may be at my side again.

Best wishes in your journey. Godspeed.

Lord James Winsworth

DM's Note: Lord James Winsworth was executed at high noon on Sunday, October 16 - during a great storm. He is now buried in a plot next to Lady Clarinda Winsworth.

Mission 6: Merfolk Murder

A middle-aged man with rotting teeth and a glassy-eyed gaze from watery brown eyes approaches your table. He is dressed somewhat fashionably, although his shirt is stained and his trousers are threadbare in places. He speak quietly and quickly.

G'Day gentlemen. I have a job ye might want to consider takin', being the fine adventurers you are. Yes siree, you are going places gentlemen.

DC20: It's Nick the Flick

Okay, here's the job. This will set you right with Dark Path, Juju, at least until you cross them again.

There is a wealthy merchant - Byron Bigby - runs the local tannery. Disgusting business, but very profitable in a town like this. Seems over the years that he is only person who can run a tannery without it burning to the ground. He's a hard man, and a dangerous one. And, he makes regular payments to both the Family and the Dark Path - just to keep himself well protected.

Well, an offer has come in that the Dark Path really wants to take, but they can't - how shall we say - get directly involved. So, they are looking for some, er, independent agents - completely unknown here in Portsmith to undertake the job. It seems that Bigby has been dumping his tanin and crap in big barrels at the island just north of the lighthouse. The locals complained about the stench so much he had to do something with it. Well, it's pissed off somebody. Somebody who is willing to pay 600 gp to see it stop.

Every night, Bigby takes his supper at the Deep Ship Arms. Then, he walks along docks towards the Keymaster's Guildhall - where he usually plays a few hands of cards. You need to make the snatch just as he's leaving the back door of the inn. Take him along the shore a bit to the north where you will meet his enemies. They will take care of the actual killing - not sure what they have in mind, but you just deliver Bigby alive to them. They'll give you a package. Don't open it. Just bring it back to the pub, and I'll give you the 600 gp.

Now, Bigby usually has a couple of guards with him - local hired thugs. Kill them or whatever. Just make sure Bigby is alive and conscious when you take him along the shore.

The Snatch

Exactly as Nick described, the back of the Deep Ship Arms leads out onto the docks at the far western edge. A warehouse nearby is dark. No sentries can be seen here.

Bigby exits the inn dressed in fine robes. A raven sits on his shoulder. With him, two large men in studded leather, longswords, and crossbows follow a few steps behind - watching the area carefully.

Into the Barrel

As you move north up the shore, you come across a large barrel - clearly marked with the company crest of Bigby & Sons, Tanners and Fellmongers, Portsmith, North Province.

The smell from the barrel is clearly that of used tannin - an overpowering stench. As you approach, a swirl in the water near the shore draws your attention. Two merfolk - one male and one female - surface. The female is carrying a bundle wrapped in oil cloth.

The will mime for the party to turn Bigby upside down and stuff him in the barrel of goo - a clear sign that the dumping of tannin at the island should stop.

After the deed is done (and the feet stop twitching), the female merfolk will swim over and place the package on the shore. She will quickly turn and the duo will depart.

Inside the bundle is a heavy chain necklace with a platinum medallion. It glows slightly and looks to be in pristine condition.

NOTE: The merfolk live in an underwater cave near the island.

Mission 7: To Dock, A Declaration, and Cargo Loading

To The Dock

It is 2:00pm when you hear the shuffling on board and Captain Lulu calling all crew onboard.

Two long, thick ropes - about 250' each have been strung to the eastern dock of Portsmith Harbor. One at the front of the ship and the other on the port side. They have been tied to the fore and port sides of the ship. On the dock, the fore rope runs through a pulley attached to the dock's end post and has been tied to yoke around the necks of a pair of draft horses who stamp uneasily on the dock. Jen and Layla are on the dock overseeing the pulleys.

You can see that a large pile of crates, barrels, bundles and boxes have been piled on the dock. Netting has been placed over the cargo. Tanya and Emily sit atop the pile - more closely watching the crowd that has gathered than the activities of the ship.

A large crowd of onlookers like the dock and shore nearby watching the activity. An enterprising young woman is selling mugs of beer while a young man follows her with meat pies and pastries. You notice Slip is sitting on four neatly stacked barrels near the end of the pier. It is cold and very windy with strong gusts from the SE. The crowd is bundled against the weather, and it feels like rain is immanent. You notice the docks are battened down for the storm which is predicted tomorrow.

PERCEPTION: The Lady of the Waves and the King's Crown have left. The docks are empty except for the Wanton Wench.

"Hold tight, mateys, the Wanton Wench is movin'." At Lulu's signal, the old man tending the horses claps his hands and the two draft horses begin to pull. The ship glides forward, her bow swinging towards the dock. A cheer comes up from the crowd.

A Declaration

As the ship begins to slow arc towards the end of the east dock, you notice a young woman dressed in plate mail and wearing the sword and orb the Paladins of the Order of the Crusaders break through the crowd. She is accompanied by a young man (Patrick Wood) wearing the red robes of the Order of the Silver Throne. Both are blond, tall and thin. They could be brother and sister. Following behind the pair are 12 guards - also dressed in plate mail. They walk purposefully to the end of the dock and wait. Hands folded. The young woman is holding a scroll in her right hand.

"I am Amelia Wood, Paladin Knight of the Holy Order of the Crusaders. By commission of Janna Blackfire, I am here to take the escaped prisoners from the Vault back to their cells. In addition to their past crimes, they are charged with burglary of the Estate of Nicholas and Ella Clay, the assassination of Byron Bigby, the murder and destruction of the Estate of Jonathan Frakesworth, the murder of two town guards - Billy Doyle and Ella Buck, and general mayhem about Portsmith. Prepare to be boarded."

"Permission denied. I am Captain Lulu Gill. Captain of the Wanton Wench by papers filed with the dock master of Portsmith and accepted by the Crown on Friday, October 13, 907 of the Third Age. I now declare, in front of the witnesses assembled here on the docks of Portsmith that the Wanton Wench is declared a sanctuary vessel under the protectorate of the Church of the Gyre in the care of the High Priest Chironomous. I invoke the fifth article of the Nautical Act of Ernest Goodfellow, King of the Eastern Reaches, making this ship a protectorate of all patrons seeking religious asylum. As long as this ship stays at sea, the power of the local authorities of Portsmith are not recognized on board."

At this, a great murmuring starts among the crowd. Amelia confers with the young man. Heated words are exchanged.

"The Crown does not recognize your authority to grant asylum. Guards, take the prisoners."

"Permission denied. Goodfellow's Nautical Act requires a hearing to challenge the religious asylum of any ship claiming such status for its patrons. The hearing requires a magistrate, and I see no such magistrate on this dock. The law is clearly on our side. The Wanton Wench will wait for such a jury, as we believe the law should be upheld.

At this the crowd erupts and the guards falter. It is a standoff. After a few more minutes of heated silence, Amelia and the young man turn and stride purposefully from the crowd, six guards following them.

The other six guards move to the land's end of the dock where they take position watching the ship - presumably to make sure that none of the prisoners leave.

Lulu immediately takes action and orders the stores and provisions loaded onto the Wanton Wench.

"That was fun. However, it is only a temporary fix. The courts closed early today for the long Third Harvest festival, so it will take Amelia a long while to find a magistrate and get an answer from the Crown. This should give us a window - at least until tomorrow morning - when we are safe at sea. Y'all will need to sneak out and avoid those guards if you want to go back into town. It might not be safe, but I suspect y'all never take the safe way out."

Cargo Loading

As soon as the guards leave the dock, the crew jumps into action. Crates and boxes are carried, barrels rolled to the ship, and the process of loading supplies begins. Lulu oversees the actions, pushing her crew to get the ship loaded by nightfall.

The Courier

A young girl comes dashing down the dock. She is wearing adventuring attire with a large leather beltpouch and a dagger at her side. She has long black hair and dark features. She looks to be 12 or 13.

I am Aimee. I have a two letters. One is for - and she looks around - and points at Wrane. NOTE: This letter has been opened and resealed. Two guards have been posted at the grave - waiting to catch the party. See Lord Winsworth above for letter.

Aimee will wait for a tip. She might even ask Lulu for a job aboard. Lulu will refuse. Aimee will also take Chironomous' letter to Janna explaining that a succubus is living in the Six Sisters. (not done).

The other is for a parrot. Aimee giggles.

My Dear Java.

Father thinks I'm silly for writing to a bird, but I know that you are very clever and can probably read this note.

I wanted to thank you again for saving my life. The Crown has been by the house to investigate what happened at the party. Father was vague with them, but they suspect that you and your friends are to blame.

I just wanted you to know that we know the truth and you are welcome at the Clay House anytime. If you get tired of the coffee beans at the pub, you can always come stay here. I can show you lots of sounds. Lovingly yours.

Miranda.

Smuggler's Hold

Slip approaches the ship. Permission to board. Granted, Slip. Welcome aboard.

Ah, my dear Juju. Well, it looks like you will be leaving our little port just when it is getting interesting around here. See Juju for details.

Mission 8: The Dock Master

Slip tells Juju.

  • Spyglass. Need anything else? Spyglass at Old Alfred's. Shop's called The Dock Master. His office will be closed, but he has a safe that should be simple for you to crack behind the counter - hidden under some loose blankets, I'm told. Not very safe, but he's not too bright. The spyglass is in the safe along with some other pricey sailing tools. Nothing magical. No gold.
  • Arbalest. Yeah, that will be harder to steal. You got gold? Not sure how you are going to get that one by the guards. Those come in some pretty big crates. I'll see what I can do. What about a crew?

The Dock Master is a small building with a simple front door leading from the street. A sign on the door reads, "Private - Enter from Dockside". The back of the building is mostly windows looking out on the harbor. These have been boarded up for the upcoming storm. The door into the shop is locked with a large iron padlock (DC15).

The interior of the shop is mostly tables formed into rows and piled with nautical equipment - ropes, signal lanterns, nets, hooks, buoys, and the like. Near the door, a suit of armor holds a halberd. The merchandise appears to be somewhat organized, but the sheer volume is slightly overwhelming. A counter in the back sits in front of a single door that leads back into the building.

Behind the counter, under a pile of grey blankets is a large chest - sunk into the floor. A rune traces around the edges of the chest. Touch the meeting point to open:

Dockmaster-Puzzle.jpg

The chest contains: spyglass (1000 gp), astrolabe (1000 gp), sextant (500 gp).

The room is guarded by a clockwork soldier. It is 6 feet tall and weighs about 500 pounds. It will begin to whir when the shop is entered.

Eventually, the noise from a battle will wake Old Alfred - if it is after midnight when he gets back from the pub.

Mission 9: Willem Buckholder, Falconer

A magical clip was put into Java's wing by Henry Meekson who wanted to keep the bird for a pet - without having it fly off. The magical clip was put there by the Master Falconer, Willem Buckholder.

Buckholder was searching for the escaped convicts last night. Now, he's sleeping at his hut at the edge of town.

He has a weakness for gambling and drink - which he is not very good at. He has also lost one of his birds - Ripley - in a cave under Crow's Hill. Either might be a way to get him to do the job. He will require the party to promise to get Java out of town if he does it.

Other birds are Saber, Echo, and Shade.

NOTE: Didn't find any because of the Family - if he sees Juju's ring.

Won't take the clip off - Jana will kill me. Fuck off.

A small ramshackle building has the light from several candles coming from it. The roof of the building has partially collapsed - the glow showing that there is a hole in it.

On top of the roof sits a giant falcon. The falcon will alert Buckholder to anyone approaching. It will attack if ordered. It's name is Sabath.

The inside of the small house is a single room. The stench of bird offal is overwhelming. In one corner, a bed is pushed up with blankets piles haphazardly. A man has passed out on the bed, an empty bottle nearby. A short sword and crossbow lean against the bed. A single wooden table is filled with piles of feathers. A small cage holds a number of mice that are squeaking excitedly. Several decks of cards are on the table. Neatly arranged on the far wall are four cages. Three have beautiful falcons in them. Each has a small silk cover over their head. A four cage stands, well tended, but empty.

Cave of the Dancing Swords

Falconer.jpg

You have to crawl on your belly to get into the cave. It stinks to high heaven - both partially rotted fish and something else. There is something big in the cave. My bird is trapped inside, but I can't get to him.You see a set double-doors at the end of a short sloping passage. The doors are very old and appear to have been unused in years. Propped up against the door is the skeleton of a man dressed in a shipwright's leathers. He is missing both his legs under the knee. He has a scroll case in his hand. You also see the glint of gold.

Inside the scroll case is a map:

Map-cave-of-dancing-sword.jpg

DM's Note: Dungeon not explored.

Mission 10: Recruiting the Siege Engineers and Gunners

An old man, a young woman, and two young men are sitting around a table, nursing what smells like four stale beers. They appear ragtag. Their clothes are new, but ill-fitting. The old man is telling a story about how his ship took down an Old Kingdom warship with flaming bolts shot from an arbalest. The young ones are asking about trajectories and arcs.

Siege Engineer Henry Rogers, Gunners Faith, Sincere, and Deacon. Aye, my wife died and I'm looking to get back in the service. Want to fight them damn Old Kingdom dogs - gettin' myself and the young 'ins to Teufeldorf. Lookin' for a ship, but they've all sailed....

NOTE: They killed the guards, robbed them, and are wearing their clothes.

Mission 11: Fixin' The Wench

Wanton Wench - Top Deck
Wanton Wench - Berth Deck
Wanton Wench - Hold

DM's Note: The current status of the Wanton Wench can be found here. What follows is a description of the explored portions of the ship. Much is left unexplored.

When first encountered, the Wanton Wench is scrapped off the shore in Portsmith.

Berth Deck - Fore

Three ladders descend into the fore birth deck. The boat rocks back and forth rhythmically, and air is stale and fetid. At the far aft of the ship, a single candle glows on a table. The fore portion of the berth deck is dark. With illumination, you can see that the ship looks ransacked. The galley and storerooms are empty.

Cook's Room - Wendy

The door to the Cook's room has been nailed shut. A silver coin showing the orb and cross of the Order of the Silver Throne - a holy symbol of sorts - has also been nailed to the door.

Opening the door or removing the coin will "free" the spirit of the Wanton Wench.

A gust of cold wind floods the still, calm air of the berth deck. The ship creaks and groans as you detect it suddenly shifting in the water - almost in reaction to the figure in front of you. A ghostly apparition of a young, busty woman dressed in pirate's attire floats before you. Her continence is a mixture of sorrow, anger and despair.

If placated, Wendy - the Wanton Wench - will sink into the ship.

Berth Deck - Aft

The mustiness of the air is overwhelming as you descend the ladder into the aft berth deck. Groans, once the ordinary creaking of the hull ribs and decks, seem amplified and unworldly in the darkness.

Wardroom

As you descend the ladder, you can hear the scuttling of small forms, moving in the darkness - or at least that is what your mind tells you.

A single candle illuminates a pile of silver pieces piled neatly on the wardroom table. The wardroom beyond is wrecked - pewter mugs and plates are strewn about the table and floors. Instruments and tools are scattered as if a hurricane passed through the area. Beyond, you can see the openness of the crew area. Nine doors all stand slightly ajar. A foul stench seeps from the door behind you - leading to the captain's quarters.

Hidden in niches and behind doors are eight dire rats and their fey master, Shadowlack.

Shadowlack is a quickling that has taken up residence here and will attack the party using his large rats as decoys. If outgunned, the quickling will insult the party, threaten them, try to get them to leave. He particularly hates elves, gnomes and other fey.

Shadowlack looks like a short, slight elf wearing drab clothes and a wicked grin. Standing just over 2-1/2 feet tall, he weighs 15 pounds. In a blink, Shadowlack darts from sight.

Captain's Room

Upon opening the door, a desiccated figure of a what must have once been a woman in green robes lunges at you from a leather chair she is sitting in near the door. Wisps of blonde hair and glowing green eyes are all that are left of her beauty. The smell of death is overwhelming.

This is the Lady Clarinda (see below).

Across from the leather chair, an ornate mirror hangs from the wall. Its frame is of a blackened wood carved with fantastical beasts in wondrous precision. The mirror grabs your attention as several thumb-sized gems glow dully from filigreed settings in the frame.

Careful examination shows five gems - two rubies, two emeralds, and one sapphire in place. A one space is empty. It looks like the stone and setting have been pried out.

The reflection in the mirror is the room - including the current occupants - with the sole exception of the leather chair - which reflects the skeletal form of a human sitting in repose.

Lady Clarinda Winsworth

Lady Clarinda died several months ago when her lover, Captain Bainbridge, discovered that she was pregnant with his child. The captain strangled her on the night before he was to leave Portsmith for the war in Teufeldorf on his ship, the Scarlet Ranger. The elder Lord Winsworth was accused of the murder and is imprisoned in the Vault.

Clarinda was actually in a coma when buried. When she died (becoming a coffer corpse), she clawed her way back to the surface, still dressed in her funerary and went to find a boat to follow Captain Bainbridge. She has a brooch with a "CW" on it.

Sailing Master's Quarters

These quarters are identical to the other officer's quarters with the exception of the sailing master's quarters. On the wall of this small room is a strange metal box mounted to the wall. It is square in profile and about 6 inches thick. A strange pattern on the front.

Wanton-wench-puzzle.jpg

Tracing the pattern causes the box to open, hinges along the bottom form a small desk. Sitting on the desk is a book - Log Book of the Wanton Wench.

The Hold

The large cargo doors to the hold are open. Four rope ladders descend into the darkness below. Other than the creaking of the ship and an occasional rat squeaking, the area is quiet, dark and foreboding.

The hold runs the length of the ship. A wide galley in the middle is empty - with storage space for many barrels, crates and boxes.

The walls of the hold are a strange sight. Four large brass gears about six feet in diameter are attached to the wall at the fore and aft of the ship, two on the port and two on the starboard. These gears are connected by a series of metal shafts which run in and out of a series of wooden boxes mounted along the walls. In the center of the port and starboard walls is a large lever, currently in the up position. To the side of each levers is a small silver box currently closed. A set of wires run from the silver box into the machinery.

Your attention is drawn to the fore of the hold. A pile of 300 silver is strewn on the floor. Lying on the silver is a small sleeping green dragon. It has a brightly colored pair of butterfly wings sprouting from its back.

It does not seem to have noticed you.

DC to check and see whether Tammie notices you or you notice Tammie.

A creaking hinge behind you reveals a very well hidden smuggler's compartment opening in the wall with the machinery.

Watch out for the dragon's breath weapon - it's a stinking cloud of noxious fumes. Knocked me out. Luckily I came awake before the dragon or its little imp friend could eat me....

Smuggler's Compartments

This does not change a ship’s cargo capacity. A smuggling compartment can hold anything that fits within a 5-foot cubic space.

A DC 20 Perception check is required to locate smuggling compartments in a search of the ship.

There are two on the ship - one port and one starboard.