Along with the newly freed townsfolk you commandeer a wagon and head back to Black Pit. The reunion was joyous if not subdued. The former slaves were whisked off to rooms in the inn and tended to by the serving girls.
After a hot meal and bath the party talked to Joseph and Earnin about a course of action. They learned where Crawar was located and which roads to take in order to assist the unsuspecting traveller. Earnin also settled up with the group with the remaining 100 gp reward with instructions to present it to Ragnolin upon their return.
In the meantime the supply wagon for Orile showed up. It did not take long for the wagon drivers to hightail it to safety once they realized that their contacts were no longer in charge. The party left the supplies to the townsfolk and decided to head South to the Kings Road that led to Crawar the next morning.
The party travelled the roads looking for the lone traveller. No one met the description until about noon on 13 Rhaan.
As the party was approaching a swampy fork in the road they heard the sounds of a pursuit coming towards them. Larien hid off in the rocks and shrubs off the road while the rest of the party waited to see what approached them. It took only seconds for an exhausted looking man to round the corner and head straight toward them calling "My name is Hirelle! I plead with you to assist me!" In pursuit were a large number of kobolds. Sterling quickly gave the order to close with the enemy in order to stem the tide of blades closing in on their prey.
The battle was fierce.
Kobold slingers attacked the group with their special shot while a pack of minions swarmed Braddoc and Jonathan. Meanwhile two dragonshields protected a wiley wyrmpriest who tossed energy orbs and his dragon breath to great effect.
Then something odd occured. Through the middle of the battle a tiefling rode by on his horse. He avoided the combat but slowed long enough to see what was happening before galloping off down the southwest fork. Thinking he was not an immmediate threat the party finished dispatching the kobolds. That was when the tiefling's plan came into fruition.
He had rode through the swamp just south of the battle and come up behind the human who was now collapsing on his feet. Pulling a scroll from his pouch he proceeded to somehow hold the entire party in place as helpless bystanders. He dismounted.
"A fine chase it was Hirelle but you are caught. Even your newfound friends can not help you now. Hand over that which my Master desires and you may live another day to serve him."
Hirelle spat. "You know I can do no such thing. It would betray my employer and the rest of Khorvaire."
The tiefling paused. "Then here you shall die." As quick as the eye could see he brought his longsword from behind his back and dealt a fatal blow to Hirelle.
At this time several of the party members started to regain their faculties. Larien took a mighty shot that lodged into the sword arm of their adversary.
As the teifling smirked and deliberately looked Larien up and down he said, "Lay down your arms so that you do not meet the same fate as your comrade. My Master may have use of your talents one day."
Delian charged forward but was unable to strike true. The tiefling answered with a flick of his wrist and Delian seemed to glow with arcane energy before he fell in a heap beside Hirelle's corpse.
Wisely realizing that they were outmatched in sheer power, Sterling quickly ordered the party to stand down. The tiefling reached down, picked up a sack that had fallen from Hirelle's pack and, mounting his horse, galloped off to the south.
The party quickly tended to Delian's wounds and then settled in on the side of the road to decide what to do. A log book in Hirelle's pack indicated that he was actually a member of the Clifftop Adventurer's Guild and was, in fact, enroute to Sharn! Requiring some guidance they used Orile's message ring to contact Ragnolin. A short time after burying Hirelle's corpse they received instruction from their guild leader. They were to return to Sharn as soon as they could. There was nothing more they could do to assist in the matter.
A little more than a month passes and the party finally trudges into the guildhouse. With a wave, Ragnolin has the bartender bring a round of drinks for the group as he ushers them into one of the private tables. After recounting your escapades to him, Ragnolin he has some news of his own: each one of the group has been offered membership into the guild if they so choose to join! Otherwise they can continue working at the guildhouse in their previous capacity. Needless to say each one of you gladly accepted memberhip. You are now full-fledged members and can now accept any work that is available to be had.
A man by the name of Aubreck came into the guildhouse today. He was looking for a few handy sorts willing to help get a small chest from a ship that he lost a few years back. It seems his ship - The Emporer of the Seas - went missing in a terrible storm. Because of it he lost almost everything he owned. However, it was sighted just a few days ago. It lies about a weeks sailing journey from Sharn. Your job is to board the ship, retrieve the blue chest, and return it to him. He gives each of you 100 gold up front with the promise of another 100 gold each should you be successful. He has a ship ready to leave in the morning.
A group of sturdy dwarves manning a ship known as The Soul of Winter has successfully ferried your group to The Emporer. The Soul stays 500 feet from the derelict ship and you are rowed to your destination in a small boat. That boat waits about 100 feet away should you get into trouble.
Upon boarding the deck you note that it is empty of life. There are dried blood stains around, the masts have been sheered off, and the rudder is broken. The ship lists slightly to port. It is hard to say how much longer the Emporer will be afloat at all.
Heading towards the stern you enter a large room that has been turned into an altar of sorts. Debris is everywhere - even choking a stairway that used to lead below deck. When two of the team enter the room a Monstrous Centipede Hive-Lord bursts from the debris and attacks. Spitting poison and biting the group it attempts to defeat you. However, solid tactics help the adventurer's prevail against the creature.
A quick search reveals a Frost Bastard Sword lying behind the altar. Apparently it was left as an offering of sorts. Delian takes this new weapon as a gift from his gods.
The adventure continues next week.