A Necessary Alliance

Deals under duress

The party makes its way into the only business on the island, adjacent to a moderately busy dock, The Rusty Hook, and make acquaintance of its owner, Ruza. The tavern owner, once she has learned something of the strangers, decides that an honorable holy warrior would be a perfect trustworthy individual to deliver her beloved sword Red Razor to its new owner, Myslek Byormyn, who has charge of Korsakov Tower. Ruza arranges for the chartered ship, Windswift, and its crew to shuttle them across the sea. Durog takes a moment to engage Ruza regarding an unfamiliar card game, Kavek, he had seen her playing and while learning the fundamentals of the game, also finds out that Ruza had won the Rusty Hook and lost Red Razor in a game of the ornate placards. En route to the ship, C’haill has an unpleasant encounter with a sailor that goes from bad to worse as she knocks herself dizzy while Aleksandre fails to catch the awkward maiden, leaving her crashing to the ground. Once Windswift is located the party makes its way onboard, meeting Captain Percis, navigator Mortin, rope and sail man Jomby, chef Gustus and shipboy Kip. Tasks are assigned to all the passengers and are engaged by all but Gruntu, who waves off the barked orders of the diminutive shipboy Kip. The trip is largely uneventful for the first several days, though C’haill learns Kavek from Gustus who reveals that he and Percis have been on the seas for 30 years together. The calm is broken when a strange race of flying bat-like tiger men attack the boat. The captain and Aleksandre hurry everyone below board before making the move to the stairs heading below. Unfortunately Captain Percis is horribly and mortally wounded before he can make it to safety. Aleksandre is horrified that the only crew member who seemed receptive to his religious proselytizing is dead and carries the man’s body below the deck and immediately begins blessing and preparing the body for consecration despite the threat above and the fact that the ship’s wheel is wildly spinning. Durog cuts two small holes in the roof above them, leading to the deck, and fashions a rope and pulley system to operate the wheel from safety. Gustus is enraged that his childhood friend has been killed and marshals support from most of the others and they head above deck and avenge the captain. Once the enemy lay dead, Aleksandre goes back to preparing the body for burial at sea and does not take the ship’s wheel until that task is done. With the help of Durog and Mortin, the paladin is able to guide the vessel back on course and within a matter of hours their destination becomes visible on the horizon, Korsakov Tower.

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