HHI Session 1: It's Just Good Business
12/4/907 A decade after the defeat of the Sunken God in the Battle of Kassadeia by the Royal Knights Brigade, four adventurers met at the seedy tavern Bocaccio's in the Sardivelian trading town of Silvio. Taking control of the rebuilding of many ruined cities like Hedgpeth and Galway, Sardivelia had become an influential player in the politics of Southern Pescat. The four adventurers gathered in Bocaccio's on a task for a Sardivelian merchant, one of the many grown wealthy from the nation's expansion. Ownka Ramm entered the tavern first, ordering a Sardivelian Snakebite and prowled the room to keep an eye on everybody who entered the building. Balasar Norixius and Ithilwen Donnabháin entered next, the two of them getting into a little dispute outside the tavern before taking seats at different sides of the tavern. Ithilwen ordered a Snakebite as well, complaining that it wasn't strong enough for her tastes. Finally, Ongo Gablogian walked into the room, taking a seat at the far end of the bar and leisurely sipping a Snakebite. Finally, a nobleman entered the seedy tavern, quickly assembling the four adventurers for his sensitive assignment. A few weeks earlier, one of the nobleman's vessels wrecked off a small kuo-toa village called Zolfo Springs a few days northwest of Silvio. A valuable item was left behind in the ship as most of the grew abandoned ship, and he would pay each adventurer 100GP for rescuing the item from the wreckage. While Ownka and Balasar were skeptical of working with an elf, everybody agreed to take the job. Pleased, the nobleman told them they could use one of his carriages to travel to Zolfo Springs. The party spent that evening stocking up on supplies and armor. Ithilwen found a blacksmith to upgrade her leather breastplate into studded leather, returning the next morning once the blacksmith finished the job. Ownka stocked up on supplies at a local general store, and a little while later Balasar went to the same store to buy some oil flasks. He struck up a conversation with the kuo-toa clerk, inadvertently incinerating her when his dragonborn fire breath suddenly went off. Fearing accusations of murder, Balasar set the store on fire and disguised himself as an old fisherman, leaping out of the building just as it collapsed into scorched ruins. That night the party slept at Bocaccio's in moth-eaten hammocks, two dwarves snoring in the opposite side of the room. Ithilwen had pissed off Thorgrim Herdez, the bartender, earlier in the day when she broke one of his glasses in front of him. Thorgrim demanded Ithilwen pay extra for her bed, so the elven ranger tossed the gold at the dwarf-dragonborn and chose to sleep on a nearby rooftop. Funny enough, she ended up sleeping better than the rest of party. Stocked up on supplies, the party traveled northwest towards Zolfo Springs and the mysterious shipwrecked item. Along the way a handful of kenkus tried to rob the party, but the party quickly dispatched with them. One tried running away while begging for its life, but Ownka and Balasar wanted no survivors and incinerated the poor thief. Ownka cut the head off one of the kenku as a trophy. The next day the party made it to Zolfo Springs, a miserable village where its dozen or so kuo-toa eked out a squalid existence fishing the rugged waters of the Karaga Ocean. Balasar went up to an old kuo-toa fisherman keeping watch over several fishing boats, paying him generously to keep watch over the party's carriage. In return, the kuo-toa told Balasar about the wrecked ship off Zolfo Springs' coast, how a couple of fishermen had tried investigating the wreckage but fled when they discovered something 'spooky'. Undeterred, the party rented out a boat from the old kuo-toa and started rowing out into the waters near the wrecked ship. As they got closer the party realized that the boat had become trapped between two rocks jutting from the waters, its bottom half sunk into the water while its top half jutted into the sky. Everybody boarded the shipwreck without any difficulties, Ithilwen investigating below deck while Balasar searched through the cargo hold by the light of one of his fire spells. After about half an hour of searching Balasar discovered the item the nobleman was asking about, a leatherbound case about five feet long and two feet wide with elaborate locks along its edges. The party had to fight a couple of ghosts as they tried to leave the shipwreck, but apart from Ithilwen falling unconscious the mission to retrieve the item proved rather successful. Back on land the old kuo-toa returned the carriage back to the party, saying that someone had come by earlier asking to meet with the party. Intrigued, the party started traveling uphill to the edge of town to meet with this mysterious individual. They came face-to-face with a revolting kuo-toa with a sickly green complexion, three vicious slash marks scarring its face. Giving a forced bow, the kuo-toa offered to make a deal with the party: give him the item for 150GP each, and they'd have steady employment for months to come. The kuo-toa, sensing the party's suspicion, elaborated on his offer. Once the party returned the item to the nobleman, they'd find themselves unemployed once more. But if they gave the item to the kuo-toa and his client, they'd be able to go on dozens of missions for his client in the year to come. His client, going by the alias the Great Old One, would be docked in Oridelfa on New Year's Day 908 for a meeting about future employment. To sweeten the deal, the kuo-toa agreed to pay every adventurer extra gold and give them 175GP each for the item. Ithilwen and Balasar were suspicious of this Great Old One and the mystery surrounding this kuo-toa's client, but curiosity got the better of them. Balasar admitted that they wouldn't be able to return to Silvio after making this deal, but the meeting with the Great Old One sounded a lot more promising. Handing over the item in return for gold, the kuo-toa disappeared after giving the party a sliver of paper with the name of his client's ship scrawled on it: The Color of Space.