RECAP: BDC, 10-6-23: North-northwest, by Sea

The road north from Colleton was clear and the markets of Sternhaven welcomed them with open arms. Armed with money, new intelligence and a clear path toward the third part of the Rod, the liberators from White Moon Cove too the opportunity to re-arm and re-supply in the greatest capital city of the south.

Wondrous items:

JarlebankWand of Dispel Magic5625 gp5.625 days
JarlebankWand of Magic Missiles750 gp.75 days
JarlebankAbjurer Salt (x3)900 gp.9 days
JarlebankAmulet of Natural Armor (+2)4000 gp4 days
SimonBoots of Springing/Striding2750 gp2.75 days
PeachesHat of Disguise900 gp.9 days
PeachesRope of Climbing1500 gp1.5 days
SonjaBoots of Springing/Striding2750 gp2.75 days

Total: 19175 gp, 20 days work.

Also acquired:

  • Additional stores and supplies for the ship
    • Included was five barrels of fine wine, for trade at Port Toli with Tolith
  • Details maps, charts and compass, 500 gp
  • 4 pots of carefully crafted ink, per the book from Colleton, at 300 gp each

Jarlebank descended early to the common room of the Rave Inn, before his comrades, for a quiet pre-supper drink. It had been a long day in the lab, and a piece he’d been laboring over was almost complete – tomorrow it would be done, for sure.

“Mr. Vitt,” said a cultured voice from across the room. Sitting at a table a few paces away was a man, small of stature but dressed in exquisite samites and a robe of thick silk. He had the look of a wealthy merchant about him, which normally would not be of great interest to Jarlebank, but there was something about this man, subtle though it might be, that commanded attention.

“Mr. Vitt,” he repeated. “Won’t you join me? I’ve taken the liberty of ordering wine, I hope you’ll elect to share some of it with me.”

Jarlebank sat, as the man across from him smiled and filled a second glass. “You have me at a disadvantage, sir,” Jarlebank said after accepting the glass. “You are obviously aware that I am Jarlebank Vitt of White Moon Cove…”

“Indeed, and I am also aware that you studied the abjuring arts under Korgen The Red at Wolverton,” the man interrupted. “My apologies; I am Aurora – Verstrate Aurora, and I’m pleased to make your acquaintance.”

Jarlebank shook his hand. “Now then,” Aurora said. “It has been brought to my attention that you have been acquiring significant materials of a decidedly thaumaturgical nature.”

“I’ve made no secret about it,” Jarlebank said evenly. “What’s your interest?”

Aurora and Jarlebank talked for several minutes, and Jarlebank found the smaller man an engaging conversationalist. He was at once erudite and disarming, and the conversation meandered through various topics, although often it returned to Jarlebank’s past and magical theory. Surprisingly, Aurora showed no interest in their search for the pieces of the Rod, for which Jarlebank was relieved. Since the attack by the Ta’anari at White Moon Cove, Jarlebank was growing increasingly paranoid about the interests of others.

But it wasn’t long before Aurora stood, shook Jarlebank’s hand once more, and made to depart. “One final thing, Jarebank,” Aurora said. “When your powers reach the point that Teleport is within your reach, you will hear from me again. Then, it will be an invitation.”

Aurora then departed, the door to the Rave Inn opening wide to allow him egress. At his side materialized an immense wolf, a guardian previously invisible. Jarlebank had never suspected it was there.

After three weeks in Sternhaven, it was finally time to head north, and many discussions were had amongst the party about where COELUM was leading them. Port Toli was obviously the first stop after a day or two at White Moon Cove, to deliver the wine and gather what intel could be found.

The voyage proceeded without incident, and the overnight stop at the Cove was a welcome respite. It was only into the Jeklea Bay, approaching Port Toli from the south. In the distance, columns of thick black smoke rose high into the air. It was visible quite far off, and the smoke at first looked like low clouds on the horizon but, upon approach, was discernable as multiple columns of smoke. The Mandible closed as near as it dared, and through the ship’s spyglass they viewed the scene:: the burning carcasses of at least a dozen ships, bearing flags of various colors, and the inaudible (from this distance) cries of men and livestock struggling against the implacable sea. Winding about them were warships, flying banners with a dragon sigil. Peaches stared at them through the spyglass for a long moment: “My best guess?” she asked. “Those ships are merchant vessels from Toli, Monmurg, elsewhere – ill-equipped to defend against warships. And they…” Peaches lowered the glass. “… are privateers, bearing both letters of marque and the dragon banner of the Sea Drakes. We would do well to leave this place before they see us, else we’ll almost certainly face the same fate as those poor devils.” The helmsman turned swiftly and made haste toward Port Toli.

Toli was a welcome sight and, now familiar with the port ad it’s city, they were welcomed as returned traders. They met with Tolith and sold him the wine they’d brought from Sternhaven, then contracted with Tolith to bring herbs, fresh fruits and rare woods to Gradsul. Profits would be as high as 15%. Tolith also advised them that rum and hardwoods were prized in Port Toli, and upon their return (for to Tolith, the captains and crew of the Mandible were traders from the south and nothing more) to bring those things, along with the wine, and he’d buy all they brought at excellent rates.

Tolith invited the party to his home for the evening’s repast, which the group happily accepted. Over a fine supper, Tolith told them he was pleased to have new trading partners from the south, and everyone toasted their continued success and profits. Tolith also confirmed that privateers licensed by the Sea Drakes had been preying upon shipping up and down the coast. Caution should be their watchword, he warned.

The next day as the tide went out, the Mandible let Port Toli and headed north through the Flotsam and Jetsam Isles, hewing closely to the coast and moving as fast as the double-masted caravel could take them. They arrived at Gradsul,, on teh Keoland coast, without incident. Gradsul, like Port Toli and Monmurg, were human cities, with few demi-humans. Despite them being welcomed as traders and the welcoming reputation that Keoland enjoys, more than a few sidelong glances were directed at the dwarves and elves among the party and crew.