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Lhynard
Posted by the GM
Per Multiversum
Chapter 1 — Void Scavver
Back at the docks, Szordrin, Jayce, Nargroth, Oma, and Kytharrah arrived, bringing with them both Martho, from the Interlink Consortium, and the simian sailor, whose name they learned was Bansh. They had made a quick stop at Martho's apartment in Low City for him to grab some maps first, but otherwise took the same route back as they come to get to the Interlink Consortium store.

   As they passed through the crowds of sailors and dockworkers, they noticed a new vessel now tied off there, a metal and wooden conglomeration with towers, steampipes, and massive waterwheels on each side. A crowd of gnomes were leading four monstrous-sized hamsters off the vessel, each larger than brown bears.

   "Giant hamsters?" asked Jayce, who still looked like a drow.

   "Giant space hamsters," corrected Bansh. "They make tasty sandwiches!"

   Martho explained things a bit more. "It is how the gnomes at least partially power their spelljammers, instead of using sails or wings, but they still have helms, too. I do not pretend to understand it." Martho shrugged. "That is gnomes for you!"

   When they reached the Frihet, they found Ombert deep in conversation with some men on the docks. They overheard him discussing how he might sell their Lantanese clockwork toys and smokepower for profit. They waited for the men to leave and then were welcomed back by their ship's Captain. Upon spotting Jayce, Ombert had a sudden look of fear or discomfort.

   "Good Captain, it is only I, noble Jayce," explained the drow.

   "Oh, yes, Jayce, I did not...," said Ombert.

   "I know! I am barely recognizable in this new outfit that I purchased at market, no?"

   Martho did not seem to suspect anything, thankfully, but Szordrin quickly changed the topic to their next plans. "Hakam and the elves will be back shortly, but they are running some side errands. We found someone who can guide us to the Interlink Consortium Corporate Asteroid. How soon can we set out?"

   "Now? Seriously?" asked Ombert. "How long is the voyage?"

   Szordrin looked back at Martho. The cloaked man answered, "How long? Oh, almost no time at all. It is in the Tears. Perhaps an hour, tops. The trick is navigating from rock to rock correctly to find the right one. Its location is not on any commonly sold maps."

   Ombert shook his head in surprise. "I am never going to get used to how things work in wildspace! To think that one would leave for a second destination in the very same day!"

   "I know! I love the Sea of Night!" exclaimed Nargroth.

   "Even so, I will not be able to take you anywhere for a while;" Ombert said, "I have to finish setting up a vendor's booth in the market. The men that you just saw me speaking with will be returning in a few hours to finalize some details with me. However, the ship is emptied of cargo, except that your mounts are still onboard, and we paid the berthing fees, so I could send her with Loreene in command and most of the rest of the crew, if you are in that big of a hurry."

   At this point, Ombert slowed his speech a little, having noticed the upright baboon with droopy skin standing there. Bansh stepped forward and introduced himself with a bow, extending one of his wing flaps like one might bow with a cape. "Bansh nee Rainbowchild, at your service," the creature said.

   "At my service, eh?"

   "He wants to join our crew," said Oma.

   Ombert yelled up at one of the sailors, who was working at the railing. "Frath, did everyone return yet?"

   "Nay, Cap'n. Patrik and Shemus came back just before the Mis..., just before our passengers, but Gorji still isn't here."

   "Well, Bansh, is it? It seems one of our crew could not count his hours, so Tymora may have smiled on you. What can you do?"

   "I grew up on deck, Captain. I can do almost any task that you ask of me, but I am no cook nor can I navigate."

   "Stern sails?"

   "Since I was four years old!"

   "I shall let you work with Loreene's crew on this short jaunt out and back, as a test, and if she likes what she sees, I shall consider taking you on for the long haul. Fair?"

   "It is most fair, Captain!" said Bansh, bowing again. "I thank you. It will be a pleasure to serve." The simian hurried aboard the vessel.

   "He did not even ask what I pay," Ombert said in a low voice. Then he yelled up to Frath again. "Frath, set this one to work with Guttar." Frath nodded.

   "Gorji is missing?" asked Jayce. "Do you think that he was kidnapped? Should we go looking for him?"

   "It has only been five hours," said Ombert. "He is very late, but I am sure that he just had too much fun on shore."


   Everyone else also boarded the vessel, and Solisar began to look over the Martho's map of the Tears with him.

   An hour later, when Hakam and the elves returned, Gorji was still absent. Ombert was more angry than concerned, but Hakam offered to pray for the means to locate him in the morning.

   "That will also give him time to show up," said Solisar.

   "I do not know...," said Jayce. "This worries me."

   The sailors, however, shared Ombert's lack of concern. "He never really loved the sea enough to be a sailor anyhow," said Bollus, a young and bald crewmember from Calimshan with a dragon turtle tattooed on his back.

   "Probably found a pretty spurnarmor at a festhall and lost track of time," said Brad.

   "You always suspect a conspiracy, Jayce," said Leokas.

   "And I was correct the last time that I did, was I not?"

   "Forget about the missing sailor for now," said Szordrin. "Let me tell you what Martho explained to us about the rod of retracing. He said that the it was not a normal rod of retracing but rather a rod of intraplanar retracing. The rod would have functioned somewhat differently than we were told in the store. It still locked onto 'residual threads' in the Astral Plane and could then be used as a spell focus, but it did not retrace to the last cosmological plane that the target was on; rather, it retraced to the last gravity plane of the target within the same plane of existence, whether that be a planet, a worldlet, or even the deck of a spelljammer. This all means that the murdered started from somewhere in our own plane of existence, somewhere in Realmspace."

   "Realmspace is still very, very big," said Oma.

   "Would such a rod give further information beyond that?" asked Hakam.

   "As far as I understood it," replied Szordrin, "it could place you anywhere on the gravity plane, so let us hope that your target was on a small worldlet like the Rock of Bral and not on a full-sized planet like Toril. We still would need to know how the murderer found out that my master was in the Underdark."

   "How expensive is such a rod?" asked Hakam. "Do we know?"

   "We asked him that, and he said about 500 platinum trade bars."

   One of the nearby sailors nearly choked upon hearing the sum.

   Loreene came up to them. "Are you ready to head out, gang?" She already had her vest on that she always wore over her bandeau when it was her turn in command.

   They nodded. "If possible, we hope to be able to return back to the Rock to find an inn before nightfall," said Solisar, "assuming nightfall is even a thing on the Rock."

   "It must be," said Nargroth, "can you not tell that the Rock is revolving? The sun has moved, just like it would have on Toril."

   "You are right, Nargroth. Indeed, it has. At about the same rate as on Toril too, I think."

   "Well, let us sail, then!" said Loreene to the adventurers. "It is a good thing that I held back at the bar with Gren; no one told me that we would be setting sail again so quickly! But, I'm happy to take you where you need to go."

   As they waited for the sailors to untie the vessel from the dock, Szordrin asked Martho a question. "Are fires forbidden on the Interlink Asteroid?"

   "Generally, that rule is held on any small worldlet, yes."

   Jayce took the spelljamming helm again, since it was still linked to him from in the morning. Loreene assigned Rimardo, the Turmish fellow with dreads, as pilot. Solisar and Martho stood behind Rimardo at the map table and prepared to guide the Frihetfrom asteroid to asteroid in the cluster. Loreene began to issue commands to her fellow sailors, and soon, they were rising from the docks at the edge of the Rock of Bral and into the black sky of wildspace.

   Martho would explain to Solisar and Rimardo to which asteroid they should point next, Rimardo would issue commands for heading, which would be relayed, and the sailors would adjust the sails, pointing the spelljammer toward the destination, which was often invisible at such a distance. Then word would be relayed down to Jayce in the forecastle and almost instantly the rocky form of a small asteroid would be some hundred yards in front of the ship. Most of these asteroids were very tiny as far as asteroids go, some only hundreds of yards across.

   When they were about half way to the Consortium's headquarters, Szordrin, who was standing at the port-side railing of the main deck, was enjoying the view. Suddenly, from somewhere below the boat, a 20-foot-long, jet-black form emerged. Szordrin found his head and upper body held sideways in the gaping maw of some creature and felt countless teeth puncturing the flesh of his shoulders and upper chest and back. He struggled with his partly free right hand to press against the monster's pointed snout, which felt like sandpaper. His body went into so much shock, that he did not even feel the pain of the bite.

   Kytharrah spun around, hearing Szordrin's yell. He saw what could best be described as a black cyclopean shark, seemingly able to swim through empty space. Szordrin's entire head was currently in the beast's mouth. The minotaur bounded over and grabbed the "shark's" snout and lower jaw, struggling to pry open the mouth, but even Kytharrah was not strong enough to force the clamp open.

   Leokas launched a volley of arrows from the forecastle into what he hoped was the creature's vital organs.

   "Positively terrifying!" exclaimed Martho. He rose from the map table and covered his eyes. Oma gasped. Solisar looked over. The space shark's body was easily three times as thick as a man's. Its single eye strangely glowed. Solisar's magical vision showed an aura around the whole body as well. He rushed down the starboard steps from the sterncastle, extracting a bit of licorice root from his pouch as he descended. Several standing around him felt a sudden surge of energy and motion, but this transmutation magic was not soon enough for his friend.

   Szordrin continued to struggle, but to no avail. "Ormur!" he shouted, hoping to summon their magic rope from within its pack. The black, one-eyed shark opened its jaw rapidly, surprisingly wide, and its teeth jerked forward before the wizard could respond. In about three seconds, Szordrin's entire body was gulped into the beast's mouth.

   Szordrin was gone.

   Belvin appeared beside Kytharrah and laid hands on him. A surge of strength rushed through the minotaur, but the minotaur had no idea what to do. The monster had just eaten his friend! Belvin began screaming threats and obscenities at the beast in Sylvan, commanding it to spit out his companion. Leokas continued to shoot arrows, now aiming for the shark's tail so as not to also strike his swallowed friend.

   The sailors only just recognized what was happening and began screaming out, "Shark!" Nargroth roared in rage and charged down the steps from beside Oma to the main deck, but he could not reach the shark-like creature in time. It lifted its large head from the railing and was turning in space, about to "swim" away.

   From the top of the mizzen-mast, Bansh dove down recklessly, wings extended and cutlass drawn. He struck the side of beast, slashing its flesh open behind its tail fin, but the four-inch deep gash was not even enough to draw blood. Bansh continued to shoot past the shark into the reverse gravity below the ship's central plane.

   "Man overboard!" shouted Rimardo.

   Hakam burst through the port-side door from the forecastle, having no idea what the commotion was outside on the deck. Seeing a massive shark directly in front of him, he called on power from Anachtyr and boldly pressed his open hand against the shark's side. Black, crackling energy spread through the monstrous shark's body, and it twitched and writhed, but it was still not dead. Only then did Hakam seem to process how large and dangerous his opponent seemed. He stumbled against the railing and grabbed hold tightly.

   The shark flapped its tail to jet away from the side of the ship, but it was pummeled by two blasts of force from one of Oma's spells. It rolled to the side a bit, giving Kytharrah clear access to its thick neck.

   Hasted by Solisar's magic, and strengthened by Belvin's spell, he drove his blade down with great speed and power. The first swing opened up its neck, spraying blood on everyone nearby. The eerie glow in its one eye immediately faded, but not before Kytharrah could stop his second swing, which almost entirely cut the shark's head off.

   The massive, limp form of the beast slapped against the side of the ship and then tumbled. Bobbing in the gravity plane, it began to drift away, but Bansh, also bobbing, grabbed its tail and heaved it back. He reached his hand into the exposed gullet of the shark and tugged an unconscious Szordrin from the creature, covered in vile ooze. Gore and mostly digested bits from earlier meals now floated out of the shark's body to spread out over the invisible gravity plane.

   Sailors and adventures all hurried to help get the bodies of Szordrin and the shark back onto the ship, and they tossed ropes out to Bansh.

   "That was verifiably terrible!" exclaimed Martho.

   Belvin and Hakam were both examining Szordrin on the deck. "He still has a pulse," Belvin said. Oma gasped in relief.

   The druid neutralized the poison that Szordrin had inadvertently ingested, while the cleric used his magic to close the multiplicity of dagger-like bite wounds.

   Szordrin came to consciousness and coughed up a mess of stomach acid from the shark. Thankfully, his fiendish blood granted him magical protection from many acids, granting him the few more seconds that his teammates had needed to free him.

   "Is this dinner?" asked Kytharrah.

   "Might not be safe to eat, my man," said Diero, another Turmish man.

   "Certifiably not!" said Martho.

   "No, I have eaten void scavver meat," said Bansh. "It is not as delicious as night scavver meat, but it is still delicious."

   "A scavver?" asked Belvin and Solisar together.

   "The smaller ones are just annoying scavengers," said Bansh, "but these kind are person-eaters. All scavvers hang around the air envelopes of small wildspace objects, hitching rides on passing vessels. The small ones are actually nice for tossing waste out to, and the night scavvers are, as I said, delicious, but these big ones,..." He didn't finish his thought.

   Szordrin stood silent, still in shock, as the others discussed eating the monster that had so nearly eaten him. Belvin finished decapitating the scavver, and more of its stomach contents oozed out. There was something shiny there. Out of habit, Szordrin swiped it. It was coin. He wiped the poisonous goo off and saw a woman's face on the coin. The iconography looked familiar. He went below deck without saying anything else to the others. He had a lot to think about.
Session: 105th Game Session - Wednesday, Aug 22 2018 from 7:00 PM to 10:00 PM
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