Fury in Freeport

Part Fifteen

All hands on deck

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With all immediate demon threats dealt with the group realise that they have lost sight of the creature holding the dagger. They check the nearby alleyways and soon notice some disturbed trash and decide to follow the trail where they quickly come upon a number of lit houses whose weary occupants are peering out into the dark streets from their bedroom windows. The woken witnesses point the group in the general direction of the demon and a short time later they emerge at the Old Town gates, which are standing open, unguarded by the two nearby bodies of the city guard. Edward investigates the corpses which bear talon marks matching those inflicted by the demons and takes a discarded halberd. The group follow the easily detectable path of the two Dretches all the way to the Merchant District docks where they spot the Narwhale and what appears to be a lot of activity around it.

Not entirely sure what they are up against Izzard makes the decision to call on Tarmon using the talisman he gave them. For once they appear to have caught the worldly wizard at a good time, perchance due to the dirty lizard’s magical touch. They quickly inform the mage that they briefly had possession of a enchanted dagger that was in the box and that it has been stolen from them by unholy creatures and they have chased it down to the docks. Tarmon agrees to dispatch a contingent of guards to assist in the matter. Once more left alone to their devices, Gito opts to scout forward and observe what is transpiring on the Narwhale; he sees a number of the exotic sailors standing guard at the front of the jetty while the rest of the crew appears to be on deck making preparations to set sail. The Goblin thief creeps around all the crates until he reaches the bow of the ship where he then climbs one of the mooring ropes and reaches the starboard side of the vessel; peering over he sees many of the sailors are unfurling the sails and that a loaded ballista is affixed the forecastle. He then decides to stealthily handrail along the outside starboard side of the vessel until he reaches the aft; he then jumps onto the deck, where he is finally spotted by members of the crew.

The rest of the group, losing sight of the Goblin thief, decide that they need to make a distraction. Izzard takes the initiative and strolls boldly over to the guarded jetty and attempts to talk his way onto ship once more; this time he has even less success and one of the foreign sailors comes at him with his curved sword. The Kobold conman quickly turns and hides amongst the nearby crates and pallets while three scimitar wielding guards search for him. Lucern and Edward observe the distraction working and use this moment to creep over to the same spot where Gito climbed aboard the Narwhale. Edward scales the mooring rope and peers over the rails, eyeing up the ballista. After several minutes hunting one of the mariners finally locates Izzard and attempts to strike him, but the slippery lizard avoids the blow and then uses his claws to gouge the man in the face – bizarrely the man does not scream, but simply frantically flails; one of his colleagues comes rushing over and manages to deliver a vicious sword blow to Izzard’s back. Edward, spotting his colleague in imminent danger, springs aboard the vessel, races over to the ballista, manages to swivel it at two of the nearby forecastle guards and fires – one of the sailors is killed outright and the other is sent flying down the stairs to the deck, breaking his neck. Lucern also jumps onboard and draws her dagger. A number of the sailors on the main deck come rushing forward to defend the vessel. Gito races past a number of deckhands and reaches a door to the lower decks; he shoots through the door and slams it shut behind him, races down the steps and into Farastay’s cabin, and barricades himself inside – he is too fast for his pursuers, who have failed to observe where he went and instead they head down into the bowels of the ship. While safely hidden in the cabin the Goblin opens a window and then sets about searching the contents of the room where he eventually locates the Captain’s log; a quick read of this handwritten journal reveals that the vessel is from the notorious slave port of Mazzin – and if there’s one thing not abided in Freeport it’s Slavers.

Tarmon’s city guard are searching the Merchant District docks for the adventurers when they spot commotion up ahead. The eight guards go running in and encounter a badly injured Izzard who informs them of the situation. The two sailors turn and run back for the jetty but one of them is taken out by a sword to the back as the city guard give pursuit. A skirmish ensues and although one of the guardsmen is sent sprawling they do manage to gain the upper hand in the fight from their superiority in numbers. Edward meanwhile straddles one of the foredeck stairs and defends it against the approaching deckhands, swinging the halberd in sharp arcs; however, he is not adept with the new weapon and one of his adversaries is surer with his scimitar and manages to dodge all oncoming blows while deliver a couple of savage cuts to the musketeer. Lucern, defending the other set of stairs on the forecastle, fares better and manages to plunge a knife into the chest of the first attacker, knocking down the second, and she skips down to deliver a coup de gras. At the same time Edward is finished off by the sailors and they return to the deck to deal battle with the cleric, only to find the victorious city guard storming aboard. A short battle ensues and the sailors are dealt with. Gito hears the sound of combat and climbs out of the cabin window, scaling the aft castle and meets up with the guards. Lucern pops her head inside the forecastle and discovers the ship’s mess and a pre-occupied cook before returning to join the others.

The top deck is now secure but there is no sign of Farastay or the dagger. The group, led by the city guard lieutenant, head into the ship and down the decks, where upon they encounter four sailors blocking their progress. A narrow fight erupts and the lieutenant is injured, but the rest of the group manages to push through the melee and deal with the opposition. They are now at the bottom of the ship and there are two closed door at either end; the large group divides into two with each going to a different door. The first group only encounter a storeroom. The second group, consists of Izzard, Lucern and two guardsmen; they open the door and see the shocking sight of Aporcus on his knees, being held at swordpoint by the First Mate while O’Tarkan Farastay, enchanted emerald dagger in hand, is mid-spell in front of a swirling red vortex over a pentagram. The two guardsmen rush forward and attack the slaver mage, disrupting the spell, which results in two Dretches materialising. Farastay makes short work of both of the guardsmen but is then himself attacked by one of the unbound demons. The other Dretch bounds towards Lucern and Izzard, injuring the former with a vicious swipe of its claws. Izzard then manages to take the hell-born creature out with his own deadly claws.

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