Episode 26: The King's Hunt Report
Raves and Rendezvouses
The Crew finish their audience with the Cabron Elf-King and head to the Orchards of Industry and enjoy some shore leave at an elf goth club called the Bloody Flag near Valentine's Flag.
The captain gets a hex message tells the Crew to be back at the Royal Palace of Ash for brunch then says she has business to take care of. Nia is answering a booty call from King Cabron. "No one has ever made me wait that long before answering me. I appreciate that, Dread Baron!"
After Round 1, he reveals that he knows her true changeling nature. He reveals part that he has his own fae transforming qualities. They get to exploring what its like to be a pair of shapechanging lovers.
DJ Uppercut and MC Artificery play a set at the Bloody Flag while El does some pole dancing. El also activates her divine sense as a precaution and sense a few undead who quietly leave after being sensed. She mentions it to the others, and a goth elf girl explains how the vampires have turned some of the Entulesse up on the moon into vampires or dhampirs. She then proceeds to seduce Lance.
The Crew express some interest in speaking to a dhampir or vampire of the Blood Moon Covenant, but don't get a solid lead before heading to an inn and collapsing in a bunch of chairs around the unoccupied bed in the room.
The Dreams of Elenwe
El initially intends to trance, but a nagging sensation bids her to dream, and she too allows herself to sleep. In her dreams, the souls of the millions of elves lost in The First Armada cry out to her for vengeance. With some exasperation, El tries to explain that they have been avenged, but the dead never cease their cries.
The next morning, El complains and asks how anyone can deal with sleeping. Spark replies that he dreamed up an idea for a new kind of lantern he wants to tinker out back at the ship, and Lance's shadow, dancing as his body dozed, does not cease as Lance rolls up out of his chair with, "Let's keep the party rolling."
The Royal Palace of Ash
They clean up and head to the Royal Palace of Ash to see a very satisfied King Cabron and Captain Nia. The Dowager Queen Mother Aphedril is there as well. Cabron gloats a little bit about his nighttime escapades, Spark encourages them to practice a little subtlety. Nia gets a little suspicious about the number of times they got up to things. However, the king brings his attention to Elenwe.
He declares that he understands the Crew wants to go to the Shattered Moon. The moonblade of House Heskiloth speaks to him and says El can earn them passage into Taur na Cair by hunting the Silver Hart of Hartshome once more.
Our heroes agree and Cabron is called off by Lord Chamberlain Estadir. The Queen Mother than tells the Crew that what they really need to hunt is the Dark Hart who is ascendant and poisoning the will of the elves turning them back into the cold soldier who once savaged the stars. The Crew agrees and prepare for a night hunt.
A Convenient Artificer
During the day, they are approached by Father Ozniah Zug, an artificer wants some dragon brains and hearts and heard the Crew had a dragon corpse. They agree to trade if Zug would complete the dragon scale mail for El, and make a dragon vessel out of one of the horns. Deal made between goblin and man with a spit and shake.
Hart of Silver, Hart of Darkness
That evening, the Crew creep into Hartshome forest. Nia and Lance make out several sets of Hart tracks, and they follow the larger to the north. Exploring a forested clearing, they hear some creature calling out for them to leave since it can no longer restrain itself. Spark opens his mind with telepathy and sense the creatures conflicting thought, constraining back urges to murder. A few moments of silent conversation with the captain, and Spark fires off a faerie fire which begins a brawl by a night black unicorn and its accompanying wisps.
As the Crew battles, they see the black unicorn sometimes flash silver for moments. So, El and Spark conspire to bring it down non-lethally. As soon as it is down, a new dark stag bursts from the southern brush and Nia orders the Crew to protect the fallen unicorn.
No one follow the orders more steadily than Mekkamutt who gets beaten to scrap standing in the way of the fallen fae equine. The only attack that gets past him is halted by Spark's telekinetic shield. Nia exerts her charms over the dark stag, drawing it to her despite its overflowing feelings of rage and violence. Her familiar Tiik, in baku form, puts a protective circle around the fallen unicorn purging it of possession, and Lance heals it.
El and Spark clean up the remaining wisps until all the is left if the veangeful dark hart stirring with the rage of a million lost elves who gives in to Nia's tender ministrations and rests its head in her lap. She tells Elenwe to make it quick and painless to cease the hart's suffering. El produces the Moonblade of Heskiloth and snicker snacks the stag.
We're Done, Right?
Returning victorious, the Crew gives the stag's head and body to Cabron who prepares it for a feast and grants access to the starship grove.
The Crew head to Zug's workshop to collect their agreed to gear when a cry comes from within the warehouse. A multi-headed dragon roars and bursts out the doors, a flashing ruby embedded in its chest.