Shards of Light, Shards of Shadow

Unfriendly Skies (Sessions 4–5)

Piracy in the Sky!

Unfriendly Skies

Sessions 4 & 5

15 Sul Eyre

After giving the crew their rewards, Vhir wanders away without word. Having some time to themselves before the airship departs, some of the crew make last minute forays into Sharn. Humphrey makes an errand into town to find Master Omrish’s favorite boot polish. On a whim, Zinnia drags Jak along to follow, but the hobgoblin is quickly lost in the crowd. Instead, the two spend time in a fine porcelain wares shop (where Jak harms nothing) and in a bookstore in Middle Dura where Zinnia procures some discarded folios from Master Omrish and some additional reading for herself and her bodyguard.

The docks of Lyrandar Tower suffer some random pickpockets, but nothing too serious. As twilight approaches, Humphrey returns with the polish. Just in time for takeoff.

During the evening, a newcomer cloaked figure is seen on deck. Jak has a few words with in Giantish, but the dark skinned man is stand-offish. Bosun Miri is also told of the stranger by the captain, who just states “He’s with the kobold. Leave him be.”

16 Mol Eyre

The Storm Ascendant departs early in the morning, a day delayed. Midmorning, Captain d’Lyrandar gathers all the expedition together, including the formerly sleeping cloaked one, for a ship’s tour. Mal discusses the basic of the ships Unseen Servant enhanced functionality, where meals will be taken, and the basics of the lightning ballista and skiff operation.

Over the next day, the crew mingles. Humphrey loses money to (what he calls) cheating Blademarks, Lyrandar midshipmen, and their second mate Zorra. Jak discovers Cookie’s secret stash of drink and “special meats.” Zinna attempts a ritual to deaden Lecturer Omrish’s snoring which causes Humphrey consternation in the morning.

17 Zor Eyre

On the second day of the three day journey to Stormreach, the weather gets rough. Before being forced belowdecks, Jak and the cloaked one notice Professor Gourthan and Sergeant d’Deneith arguing over something. While biding time midship, the group overhears two crew members discuss the ‘bad luck’ following the expedition; one mentions the attack at the party, another mentions a pale bird he saw at night meaning death. Cookie listens interested.

Night comes, the storm unabated. The group is relaxing with some of the crew while Xandros keeps to himself in the dark part of the ship where some crewmembers are sleeping. Xandros notices a sudden ‘puff’ as a crystal globe is flung from below, but the drow resists the sleepiness that suddenly washes over him. Soon, a group of shifty invidials creep of the stair near the hidden drow, and toss two more globes at the lounge where the others sit. Miri, Humphrey, and the crewmen he was gambling with are overcome while the gnome and the tough minotaur fight it off. The battle is joined!

Jak rushes to the fore, meeting the boarders head on. The continually assault him, dazing him, but he fights back effectively. Zandros faces a few of them on his own, but they too wear cloaks and the others confuse him with one of the foes. This is driven home when Zinnia’s flaming sphere almost smashes into him! The gnome manages to awaken Miri and Humphrey who also press the attack. Soon, none of the true enemy remain, but the mistaken Jak, Zinnia, and Humphrey pursue the misidentified drow down the stairs as a foe!

Belowdecks, Xandros finds more scoundrels roaming about the stores while a half-elf performs a ritual on the vault door. One of the ruffians rush the dark one while the half-elf calls forth lightning against the drow. In addition, she fills the area with sparks that distract the warlock and make it harder to see his foes. He ducks behind some boxes just as the others make their way below and into the fray.

The group, seeing the real threat, focus on the scoundrels and the half-elf whom Miri recognizes as a renegade House Lyrandar scion named Eloshia. Knowing of the rumors of her piratical ways and the rumors of an affair with a half-orc pirate queen, the Bosun quickly realizes the intent of the attack. Eloshia too recognizes the House Livery on the Bosun, and calls lightning against her and the minotaur Jak. The battle soon turns against the renegade, and limping back to the open skiff-bay doors, she leaps into the stormy darkness. The party races to the side of the Ascendant only to see another smaller airship, now with Elosia on board, sail upwards towards the topdeck. There must be more pirates!

(Jak does warn the the ship is “taking on air” seeing the open door. No one says anything to the confused minotaur.)

Taking only a moment to catch their breath, the group rushes topside to see more brigands aboard. The mysterious warforged guarding the rear cabin has been disabled, and no other living crew is seen. Instead, five khorvar scum, a dwarf with a keen eye and a deadlier crossbow, a pirate lieutenant and Koshalla Tormsh, Half-orc Pirate Queen, roamed topside. Jak and Miri rushed at the attractive half-orc only to face her fury—her wicked blade struck at both of them as she directed her allies on the best place to strike the minotaur. Well aimed bolts from the dwarf conspired to fell the wounded minotaur, and soon Miri joined him on the red deck. Humphrey and Zinna attempted to assault the pirate queen, but their best efforts had little effect. Even after tending to Miri and Jak’s wound, the combined effort of the party was almost for naught. Though her wounds were finally catching up to her, the dread corsair managed to drop the hated Lyrandar Bosun, the minotaur defender, and the hobgoblin servant, even after the former had attempted to turn one of the mighty ballista against the pirate!

Xandros watched, having already dispatched his share of the thugs and the bolter. Desperate, he tended to the disabled warforged, brining it back to function. “The Master must be protected,” the former whispered, and the construct brute shattered the door to the luxury cabin that had been held by some alchemical substance. Only Xandros, the warforged, and the hiding Zinna saw what came next. Striding from the back room came a cloaked woman bearing two wands. With a quick flick, she hurled flame and force at the pirate, burning her and flinging her off the deck. Zinnia glanced over to see the halfork sprawled—but very much alive—on the retreating airship, Eloshia at the helm.

The cloaked figure shock her head once and spoke briefly to the well-dressed kobold that had just emerged from the back room. “Take care of this,” came the strong voice. Zinnia just managed to catch a glimpse of a House Cannith dragonmark on the woman’s cheek before the door closed again

Vhir and the Captain soon put together what had happened. Eloshia and her renegade crew had come up beneath the Ascendant, opening the skiff-bay doors from the outside somehow. Others had climbed the slick airship sides, opening the portholes and using their sleep-bombs to incapacitate the others. Then, they assaulted the topdeck, disabling the warforged and sealing the cabin doors. It was then the others attacked those midship. It was the party’s effort that saved the Ascendant.

But the cost was high. Two Blademarks belowdecks had given their life, and one Lyrandar crewman was missing, assumed dead. But the most grievous loss was that of Bosun Miri who gave her life in defense of the ship and crew.



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