Forgotten Realms Artifact Hunters: Reassembling The Avatar of Torm

8. Onward towards Cimbar (Part 3)

With renewed vigor, the PCs find a shortcut- by sea.

After the death of the final bandit, we licked our wounds, caught our breath, and rested for the night. We were also pleased to come across Aramat, an elf rogue who had escaped her shackles and helped us to fight the Genasi and his band of brigands. A new female is always welcome in the party, we thought as we looted the corpses around us.

All together, we collected 618gp, a Circlet of Second Chances, Bracers of Archery, a Vicious Fullblade, and Leather Shockweave Armor.

Bandits Encounter 1525xp
1 Human Mage (175xp, MM)
4 Human Bandits (500xp, MM)
2 Fey Panthers (350xp, MM)
1 Genasi Stoneshield (500xp, MM2)

●Days 1: We arrived at Alaghon, the capital of Turmish. While at the market, we overheard a conversation between two traders that a ship was leaving from Sapra for Airspur in two days. Everyone in town was railing against the captain for being foolhearted- the trip would be too dangerous. After consulting your map, we realized that if we were to make it to Sapra in time, we must hurry and there would be no time for rest.

Mounting our horses and Scathebeast, we rushed eastward. Some of scouted ahead, looking for the best route, while others massaged our beasts, pushing them beyond their natural limits. Trying as a hard as we could, we couldn’t arrive in time for the ships departure, but luck was on our side- the same bad weather that slowed our progress had moored the ship at dock for another day.

●Days 2: We arrived in Sapra. When we arrived at the docks, we saw a crowd gathered around the only manned ship, aptly named Umberlee’s Vagina. The captain, desperately trying to ignore the sneers and jests of onlookers attempted to make sure his goods were safely on board. He was a taller than normal dwarf with blond hair and an impatient but stern demeanor. We introduced ourselves and asked for passage to Airspur.

“So you want passage” said the dwarf while not taking his attention away from the dockworkers. “60 gold each. I might be able to make some room, but I’d have to drop some cargo. Therefore, 60 gold each. And that’s a good deal considering I’m the only one who has the balls to sail the Sea of Fallen Stars anymore, what with the Sahuagin and the Aboleth’s running about.” The dwarf cursed at a small blue-haired gnome who had dropped a barrel of limes.

Morigan McBane approached the captain and offered our defensive services in exchange for a lower rate. Offended by the insinuation that he and his crew couldn’t handle their own, he raised the price to 65 gold. Rather than risk raising the stakes once again, we accepted the fee.

Meet me here in a couple hours and we’ll be off. My name is Gregorio by the way. Welcome aboard Umberlee’s Vagina, said the captain, his demeanor noticably warmer after gold had exchanged hands. Before we set sail, some of us ventured intot he city to restock on supplies while Morigan McBane made a point to rid himself of his steed. The horse was said to have let loose a tear as the artificer walked away proudly.

●Days 2: After the first day of sailing, the waters seemed safe enough. But to be cautious, we staked out safe spots on board to bed for the night. Ana Bella snuck up the crow’s nest and offered a handjob to the young sailor stationed there in exchange for his secrecy of her position. Morigan McBane, always looking for an easy escape, bedded down in a scooner on deck, tightly clutching a pair of oars like a security blanket. Marek the Silver cuddled up between some barrels next to Aramat on the top deck while ther est of us slept in the cargo hold with our horses.

As dawn broke, we were startled awake by a scream from the crow’s nest; “Sea Demon’s, off the bow! To Arms!” The sailors spurt colorful curses on deck as they rushed around the ship. We heard the sound of claws gripping the hull of the ship outside our cabin as they climbed to the deck. A small school of Sahuagin were soon upon us, the baron claiming ownership of the waters and all that sailed through it.

14) Attack on Umberlee’s Vagina 1552xp
1 Sahuagin Baron (1000xp, MM)
4 Sahuagin Guards (252xp, MM)
1 Sahuagin Priest (350xp, MM)

After the battles ends, the Captain thanked us for our heroism, and offered our money back in exchange for the Sahuagin leader’s Headdress. “I am thankful to have had you in Umberlee’s Vagina,” he says. thankfully, he didn’t notice the save of pearls we found tied to the waist of the Sahuagin Priest (5 white, 2 black; 1500gp).

●Days 2: A couple more nights at sea, and we arrived in Airspur. As Umberlee’s Vagina reached port, we spotted the shock of most of the multi-colored dock workers. Laid out before us was a glorious city littered with flashy colors and strange feats of engineering. Hugging the banks and mouth of a wide river, Airspur was a knot of confusion. We all felt like the odd men out in this city of the elemental-touched genasi.

“It’s a beautiful place, Airspur,” said captain Gregorio. “It’ll take some getting used to all the drakes. Tell you what- I’m going to unload this cargo and have myself a nice stiff drink. Meet me in a couple hours at Gaia’s Bosom, and I’ll buy; it’s in the Plaza of Leaping Fountains.” Gregorio pointed out a large earth mote floating a couple hundred feet above the river. “Tell the ‘tender that Gregorio sent you, and he’ll put you on my tab.”

As we headed to the bar, we passed through the cities markets, noticing that all elemental items were at a 20% discount compared to their usual prices. As we made our way through the bridges that led up to the floating neighborhood, we were in constant awe of the beautiful, magical city of colorful stones, dancing flames, flowing water, and tingling breezes.

Gaia’s Bosom was dramatic building, tall purple walls covered in orange vines that ended in glowing, pale blue flowers. The wide door was covered in a soft red fur. Inside, the air smelled like cinnamon, nutmeg, and pumpkin pie. In the corner, an air genasi sang a song that sounded like wind whistling through trees. Two fire genasi’s were playing a dice game on the counter while smoking pipes filled with mouth watering herbs. Serving them was a greenish-brown genasi with deep set gray eyes, a pointy nose, and broad shoulders. He smiled and speaks to us in Primordial. After recognizing our lack of understanding, he repeated himself in common.

“Welcome to Gaia’s Bosom, the name is Shale. what can I get you?” It was hard for him to fake the smile, he seemed really sad and his mind is elsewhere.

We explained that Gregorio sent us, and that he is buying. “Okay, but that Gregorio owes me a lot of money, soon he’ll be in Astral Diamond territory” he says with a forced chuckle that sounded like crumbling rocks. “What can I get you? We are currently serving a fresh cask of Limestone Lager, Coal-boiled Brandy, and I has a 5 year old bottle of White Lightning."

After a few heavy shots of our drink, to which Shale also partook, he began to open up to the strangers with which he shared his spirits.

“I really shouldn’t say this, but if Gregorio trusts you with his tab, I think I can do the same. It’s my younger brother, Manganese. You see, he is not all that… wise. He is obsessed with the earth motes, always wondering what makes them fly, why some move, and others do not. I keep telling him it’s the Primordial’s will, and we do not have the ability to understand it. You see, he’s a geologist, and he can’t let anything go unobserved.

“Anyhow, a few nights ago, maybe 10, he goes out to study the earth motes between here and Brassune, near the northern cliffs of the Akanapeaks. He never returned. I have since sent word to the Firestorm Cabal in the Brassune Safehold, but haven’t seen him. They told me I should buy a scroll of Sending, but I’m not too sure how to use it. By any chance, do you think you guys could help me out?”

While Morigan’s knowledge of the spell was limited, Gavail told us about the spell: “You convey a mental message of up to 25 words to a person you know. If the target is within range, he or she receives the message mentally and can respond likewise.”

Gavail Pontiff, particularly interested in this ritual, agreed to help witht he rest of us also following suit.

“Thank you so much!” said the barkeep. He waved to the air genasi singer and said something to her in primordial. “Here,” he turned back to us, “come with me to the back.” Shale led us to a smaller, more austere room. The dark wooden walls smelled of cedar and the air was warm.

Shale explained that he had two scrolls, in case the first fails. Morigan McBane attempted first, laying out the sigils and reciting the words on the paper. Unfortunately, his message didn’t make it much farther than the front door of the bar. Gavail Pontiff, confident in his own knowledge of ritual casting, tried casting teh second scroll.

After completing the ritual, Shale communicated through space-time to his missing brother:

Manganese, where are you? Do you need help? Are you being held? Who has you? How can I find you? Respond in 25 words.” The air gre stale and warmer. Suddenly, Shale spoke again, this time in primordial, and this time in a voice other than his own. Moments later, he opened his eyes and translated.

Earthmote. Ruins. Banish Cult. Chimney peak is south, Titan falls is east. Halfway up Mount Akanus, mote attached by vine. Don’t trust her. Help, please.”

We all looked at each other and then back to Shale. “Thank the stone, he is still alive. As for where he is describing, I think I can point it out on your map, but if he is describing the mote that I am thinking about, you have one hell of a climb ahead of you. I mean, that is you are to save him. I can offer you all that I have, which isn’t much outside the deed to this tavern. I’d give you that, but it’s not exactly legal for non genasi to own property, especially for a Dragonborn. Just, please, bring him home safe. Oh, and here, this might help; it was my father’s, and these belong to Manganese. Might come in handy.” Shale retreated to an armoire by his bed, and pulled out a red silken cape and a pair of furry black gloves.

After consulting with each other and considering the need for a good geologist, we decided to help Shale and rescue his brother. As we stepped out of the backroom, we spotted a familiar face at the bar. Gregorio slammed his fat hand on the counter, scaring the female air genasi barkeep. “Shale, my friend, how’s it been! I see you met my friends: impressive lots, they. Tell me you still have that 5 year-old bottle of Lightning. By the way, where is Manganese, I have some underdark crystal for him.” Shale shuffles up to Gregorio and fills him in.

“Oh, I see,” moans Gregorio. “That little bastard was, IS always causing trouble. Well I tell you what; you never would have found a better batch of adventurers. Good luck, guys, and bring him back home, I’m sure he could use a drink.”

We headed to the spot marked on our map by Shale, arriving about an hour before sunset.
It had been a strenuous hike to a cliff that juts out of the side of Mount Akanus. To the south, we saw a tall narrow stone structure, Chimney Peak, looming over us. To the east, we could still hear the rushing water of Titan Falls. We were in the shadow of a massive earthmote, its lowest point floating about 60 feet above us, the surface being maybe 125.

Growing from the bottom of it was a thick mass of roots and vines, averaging 5 feet across, falling towards the cliff and anchoring it in place at the edge. Donning the Cat Paws, Morigan McBane was the first one up, climbing with grace and at a steady, quick pace. As he peaked his head over the ledge, he saw the sun setting behind a small stone building. It looked very old and ruined in many parts. Cracks spiderwebbed along its walls, as do blackened vines. Facing him was the entrance: two large stone doors 5 feet wide each and 10 feet tall. On either side sat an unlit brazier, and out front laid a pile of corpses of various creatures. Painted on the doors was the unmistakable symbol of Bane.

After anchoring the rope to a nearby root, Morigan dropped the other end of the line along with the climber’s kit and the Cat Paws. Eventuall the we all made it to the top safely, while George, Gavail’s mount, just slimed his way up on his own.

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Rustyham

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