Over the next five days the crew of the Voiskimmer and their blond mulan guest head in system towards Dragon Rock. At one point they are forced to stop and “play dead” while a trio of illithid nautiloids fly across their path. Despite that scare the trip is basically uneventful and is mostly spent in conversation Moswen as the group try to assess her character. Finally the pull into dock at Dragon Rock.
While Casimir takes care of paying the air taxes an other matters with the dock’s representative a group of twenty city guard march up. The leader presents himself to Casimir, calling him by his given name and saying that he has orders to take “Ibid of Ptah, the xixchil known as Xring Ke Kadu, and the warrior adept Lemmy Sorpic” into custody. “The order is signed by your mother, sir.” When asked what the charge is the guard tells Casimir that the three were seen by eyewitnesses delivering a shipment of devilweed to parties unknown.
Lemmy starts to reach for his sword and suddenly there are twenty starwheel pistols pointed at him. Casimir stays his hand. “We’ll get you out, I’ll talk to my mother,” he says. Cas then goes to the leader of the guard and impresses upon him that the prisoners are to be treated well. “Single rooms, good food, a moddicum of beer, etc.” Their gear confiscated the three leave the docks surrounded by guards and heading towards the dungeon.
Meanwhile, as everybody except Casimir has noticed, there is an illithid nautiloid parked two slips over. It is surrounded by work crews busy painting it pink. Violetta asks the half orc in charge of the work crew about it. He tells her that it was recently bought by “that Lucille woman,” who immediately had them begin painting it this color. Casimir speculates about her “taking her show on the road.”
Ibid and the others are taken immediately to prison and put in solitary room with no visitors.
While the group make their way to Lucille’s House Casimir splits off and makes a side trip to the prison bringing only Violetta. Discovering that they cannot visit he distracts the guard while Violetta uses a message spell to talk to Lemmy, whose face she can see through the barred window of the door. Lemmy knows only the change and that he is locked up with his gear confiscated. The bard reassures him that they will get him out.
Casimir meets with Roland, that Commander in charge of the dungeon. He leaves a liberal amount of gold to cover food, wine ad whatever his jailed compatriots might need, “Feel free to keep anything left over, but make sure that they do not lack.” He also distributes more gold amongst the guards on duty.
Then Cas head to the Manor his mother reserves for her visits to the Rock. Told she is not there he leaves a message asking that she meet him at ten bells at the Voidskimmer on a matter of utmost urgency.
Off to Lucille’s. When they enter Angel comes running through the common room and leaps into Violetta’s arms giving her a big kiss to welcome her back. The group moves into the common room for a few drinks and to get caught up on current events on the Rock. Angel tells them that Lucille recently accepted the salvaged nautiloid in payment for “a very large tab.” They also hear of increasing scro activity and a commensurate increase in Elven Fleet presence. Other than that the only notable news is a series of killings on the downside that has had the city guard puzzled for weeks.
Off to Lavinia Vanderboren’s next, where they are greeted by the old butler. From what he says Lavinia now owes a favor to the Temple of Ptah for having him brought back after being killed when the manor was taken during the Wyrmfall Festival.
Lavina tells them that there are five or six eyewitnesses including the Capt of the city guard, who saw Xring, Ibid, and Lemmy unloading three tons of devilweed from the Hamership “Streaker”. She has reached out to family connections in order to spring the others, but since the House’s fortunes are still questionable it is a slow and unsure process.
Lavinia also tells them that she has found her mother’s journal in the family vault they heped her access. It details a colony off to the south of the Mhair Jungles on Toril that her parents started. Located inside the zone of atmospheric turbulence that covers much of that area of the planet just south east of the Chult on the so called Isle of Dread.
The resources and exotic woods from this colony could fix her house’s financial ills. There is also a small chance that Vanth may know about it and be down there plundering. She says that the Star Wyvern and the Blue Nixie are being re-outfitted now for a departure in a week. “In the meantime, despite your protracted absences, your rooms are as you left them.”
Casimir finds a messenger and pens a quick note to the Order of Ptah teling them that he knows for a fact that Ibid is innocent as he was with him at the time of the supposed sighting.
Taking leave of Lavinia the group pays a gold enhanced visit to the docks. Financial lubrication gains them entrance, guard escorted, to the Hammership Streaker with its three tons of devilweed. As they enter Moswen catches the eye of what is obviously the guard-mage and flirts with him as they head into the ship. Moswen and Casimir head for the Captain’s quarters wile Hissarmau and Violette check the crew quarters.
Moswen immediately notices the soft glow of magic around several items in the Captain’s cabin. A pillow, an inkwell and quill, and a severe looking painting of a harsh desert landscape with a huge red sun filling more than half of its sky. After a moments study she determines that while the painting radiates abjuration/force magic there is something else beneath it.
While Violetta and Hissarmau find (but cannot open) a secret compartment in the doorframe of one set of crew quarters Moswen accidentally sets off the explosive runes trap on painting. The blast blows her across the room and into the wall leaving her in a smoking heap on the floor against the baseboards.
The bard and the feline come running in. Seeing Moswen obviously quite hurt Hissarmau pours a healing potion down her throat. As the mulan regains consciousness Violetta says “here, smoke this” and hands her a small pipe loaded with silverleaf (halfling pipeweed of healing). As she puffs on the pipe her burns and bruises fade. The girly, vindictive facade drops for a moment and Moswen offers her obviously sincere thanks.
Sidling up to Casimir Violetta whispers in his ear “we need you to open a lock.” While the guards are distracted by the injured woman with the large bust the rest of our heroes (except Hissarmau) duck out and go across the hall. Hissarmau tries to help distract the guards. Pulling out his lockpicks Casimir is successful for a change. Inside the compartment is a two ounce bag of devilweed.
Distracted by Moswen’s heaving bosom the guards fail to notice the depopulation of the room. Playing it up a bit Moswen begins to wail about having broken her ink well. “How will I write my honored mother now?” Falling for her ploy exactly as intended, one of the guards passes her the inkwell from the desk, the one that radiates magic, and says “here, this won’t be missed. Now you can write home all you wish.”
Realizing suddenly that some of the group are unsupervised the guards run into the hall when they are met by Casimir who points over his shoulder to the now open secret compartment. “You missed a spot,” he quips. It is at this point that Moswen realizes that where the painting had been there is now a map in its place in the frame. In addition a huge scorch mark covers the wall around and behind the picture frame. Sharply angular lettering labels the map in an unknown language, while the scenery it depicts is stark and bleak.
Violetta notices the map as she enters the room and takes a moment to use her eidetic lock to commit it to memory permanently. “Thats enough excitement for one visit, we will have to escort you off of the ship now” says the guard, and does so. On their way out Moswen sees the guard-mage she was flirting with earlier and winks at him. He walks over and squeezes her hand, “My name is Cyrus and I’m off at ten bells.”
The group head off to the Seeker’s Library where they purchase a private room and guest privileges through Hissarmau. As the catfolk monk begins looking for info in the library stacks Violetta projects a minor image of the strange map for Casimir who creates a perfect copy of it. As Casimir studies the text he realizes that it seems to share traits with both ancient Suel and ancient Thorass. Dead languages from two different spheres. The planetary name on the map reads simply Athas. At about 9 bells Moswen excuses herself and leaves to meet Cyrus at the docks.
Moswen and Cyrus find a moderately quiet tavern and have a few drinks. Moswen asks him all about his style of magic and how it works. She shows him a tiny example of her eldritch blast arcing between her two outstretched hands. As the conversation continues and the alcohol takes its toll she tells him her curse ad basically spills her guts (without naming names) about her past. When he seems genuinely concerned and solicitous of her welfare she decides to take him home. Sex on the ceiling is one great advantage of having an invocation that mimics spider climb. After a few hours of this, she goes to Lavinia’s where she finds the crew debating in the library.
Extremely drunk, and wearing that freshly f*cked look Moswen drunkenly spills her guts to our heroes. Her curse is that “she shall love no man.” She also tells about her sloppy break up with Vanth and infidelities all around.
Having become paranoid about duplicates and future selves running around under foot Casimir and Violetta make arrangements at both the docks and at Lucille’s that service or running of a tab can only be done if a password is provided.
Absences: Ibid, Xring, Lemmy: The Jalbirds.