Professional RP

Chapter 2: Big boat, bigger dudes.
How does Haggar do that kick anyway?

The companions awake somewhat early and decide to take some time to peruse Lodin’s wares before breakfast. Danath quickly decides that the prices are too outrageous, while the wiser Axen decides he may need a healing salve if the tournament fight doesn’t go their way. After readying themselves, they set out on the city streets to find a hearty meal.

After a brief discussion, they decide that going to a shady pub in the Admiral’s Fen would be far more interesting (and cheaper) than the fancier establishments near Lodin’s shop. They arrive outside the Thirsty Sailor, whose name isn’t known but among the regulars of the run-down tavern. They are not surprised to find that many patrons have already started drinking, if indeed they are not already drunk, before noon. Nonetheless the companions find a seat at the bar and ask the middle-aged bartender about breakfast. The woman brings them two plates of the only item on the menu: yesterday’s catch. Axen, true to his nature, orders a frothy ale. Danath orders a glass of orange juice. The bartender seems amused at this request, and promptly slides two not-so-clean mugs of pale ale across the bar.

Danath’s breakfast is suddenly cut short however, as large and surly man drunkenly pushes him out of his seat in an attempt to get to the bar. After a few exchanged words about “manhood”, the beastly man challenges Danath to a test of strength. The two square off across the nearest table and lock hands, while Axen is asked to count off for the arm wrestling competition. At first it seems Danath is caught off guard by the large man’s tremendous strength, and he nearly loses. He quickly regains his composure and even feigns weakness for a brief moment, which throws the drunken man off-guard. Seeing this opening, Danath puts all his strength behind one push and manages to secure a victory. Exclaiming disbelief, the surly brute reels back in shock. A brief moment later he rushes forward with raised fists, fully intending to show his strength in another way.

The two exchange blows over the table, and the angered man even taunts Axen to challenge him as well. Danath, once again taking advantage of the brute’s hubris, puts his guard down. When the man comes in for another swing, Danath quickly sucker-punches him square in the nose. Clearly dazed, the bloodied drunk steps back – only to catch a glimpse of Axen doing a hazardous double-legged flying kick straight into his chest – before being knocked out completely. He slumps against the bar, unconscious, with spilled beer dripping down onto his bruised face. Another rough looking patron quickly runs over to “Joe”, whose name the worried man repeats while trying to shake him awake. The bartender looks disgusted, probably more so with the mess, than the fight – and quickly tells everyone to leave.

The companions make their way to the docks, realizing they might be running late for the tournament. When they arrive they see a formidable crowd has formed around the platform, and the harbormaster is relieved to see them. It seems that they are indeed running late, and the fight is about to begin. They make their way up to the arena, and see the governor and baroness sitting in a makeshift balcony box. The baroness voices her satisfaction that the fight can finally begin. Their first opponent leers across the arena at them, a huge foreign looking man with many rolls of fat clinging to his mighty frame. Behind the opponent, peers out a short elder man smoking a cigar – apparently this large fighter’s manager – who appears to be speaking many encouraging words to the bulky man. The governor announces that the fight is on.

Axen focuses himself, calling out for the protection of Irori, and moves forward confidently. The bulky foreigner’s disposition quickly changes to utter rage, and calls out to Axen, before charging across the arena thunderously. Axen locks arms with the opponent, meaning to wrestle, while Danath moves in to strike the preoccupied fighter. After a minute of fierce grappling, Axen manages to slam the huge man to the arena floor – to which the crowd and governor seem greatly pleased. A fierce struggle ensues, and Danath manages to land several well-placed blows to his opponent. After a final strike, the huge man yells out in pain and fear – and staggers out of the arena in defeat. The elder manager angrily scolds him as they leave the port in shame. With the fight over, the governor makes his way up to Axen and compliments his wrestling style. He mentions that he hasn’t seen that level of skill in many years. The baroness seems quick to pull the governor away, and the crowd slowly thins out as well.

Still being early afternoon, the victorious companions decide to take a sight-seeing trip to the famous lighthouse Treacherous Jack. After a short walk on the beach of Cassomir, they reach the aged structure. Danath picks the lock on the door, after checking around for any human presence, and they enter the building quietly. Axen immediately notices a grate covering a passage to the basement, and he tests the strength of the bars. He tells Danath about Cassomir’s history of building up on top of itself – eventually forming a rather massive sewer system under the current streets. After finding nothing of interest they make their way to the top of the winding stairs, and climb up a ladder to the promontory. They immediately notice that the magical light of Treacherous Jack is currently out, which is not abnormal for this particular lighthouse. A moment later they hear the chatter of sailors below, as a ship heads in to the port, and Treacherous Jack suddenly lights back up – momentarily blinding the two. They decide that they’ve seen enough of Cassomir’s history for one day, and make their way back to the Thirsty Sailor.

The bartender doesn’t seem very pleased to see the return of Axen and Danath, and quickly voices her distaste. Danath, however, manages to shift the blame of the earlier confrontation on to the brutish Joe. She lets the two sit and be served. During their meal, they ask the bartender if she knows the missing pathfinder Garin. She immediately brightens up, and claims to know the man – he was a regular patron in fact. She mentions that he often came in rather dirty, and told some stories of his exploration below the city. She is not so happy to be asked about the mysterious baroness, whom she dislikes for keeping the governor away from his job – and for throwing parties for the wealthy citizens of Cassomir, but never bothering to do anything for the lower class. The companions finish their meal uneventfully and return to Lodin’s shop.

Lodin is surprised to hear that the companions were able win the first round of the tournament and seems genuinely impressed with the adventurers. They make their way up to their rooms to get some sleep. Before they can get settled, there is a knock on the door. A shaggy looking man along his two twin children stand outside their room. The man immediately recognizes Danath, who answers the door, and informs him of his plight. The man is apparently very poor and has lost not only his wealth, but his wife and home as well. He tells the tired heroes that he is to fight in the tournament tomorrow, and pleads with them to allow him to win – so that he may also win the cash prize. Danath seems rather annoyed at this request and untruthfully informs him that he’s already winning it for charity (The Absalom Orphanage for Blind Lepers in fact). Axen pulls out 5 gold and hands it to the man, but states that he can’t afford to lose the tournament either. He seems very grateful for the donation, but still remarks his wishes for them to reconsider. After a firm response, the downtrodden family leaves in frustration.

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Chapter 1: Introduction to Cassomir
Man, that's a big monorail cat.

After a midday nap, our companions awake to find the normally industrious city of Cassomir within view. They have been sailing for several uneventful days, guided along by the steady hands of Captain Vernon – a stern and skillful sailor. Axen and Danath try to garner knowledge about the city from the more experienced crew as they pull into the harbor. Captain Vernon is especially helpful, and mentions that they might find assistance from a local enchanter (and once pathfinder) by the name of Lodin. He also mentions that he will only be in port for a week, as he has been hired to help track down a dangerous sea-beast in the south.

They haven’t been given much information about this mission of theirs, only that there is something suspicious going on in Cassomir. Trade has trickled to a stop, many locals find themselves out of work, and it all seems to be linked to a strange affair going on between the governor and a mysterious baroness. A pathfinder named Garin was sent a few months before to investigate these issues, but he has since gone missing. If our young heroes can solve this mystery, they have been promised promotion as full-fledged pathfinders.

The city reaches out around them as they step off the boat. They immediately notice that the port isn’t as crowded as they might expect for such a reputable place. They overhear one of the crew arguing with the harbormaster about promised merchandise. He explains that the governor hasn’t been keeping up with foreign trade, and much of the city’s workforce has taken to fishing instead of shipbuilding. The only building going on here is the construction of large wooden platform which, according to a local carpenter, is to be used for a tournament starting the following day. Excited by this news, and their chance to win money, the companions begrudgingly return to the mission at hand. They set out through the winding streets to find the shop ran by Lodin the enchanter.

It’s getting late as they find and enter the ramshackle tower/potion shop. A young and rather scrawny young boy is working behind the counter, from whom they demand to fetch the enchanter. After some arguing upstairs, Lodin appears before the two travelers. At first he doesn’t seem to trust Axen or Danath, and he wonders why the society would send two inexperienced men to deal with the problems of a city. With some ill-begotten yet well-placed words, Danath manages to gain his trust. He tells them that he used to be a pathfinder himself, and mentions that they would be wise not to use that title in Cassomir given the nature of their work. They find out that Garin was staying upstairs before he went missing, and that they may use the room as well. Lodin finds their interest in the local tournament amusing, and mentions that it is actually hosted by the Baroness Laurimore for the governor – and that the winners will be invited to a party to be thrown afterward at the noblewoman’s estate.

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