While mooching on a function at Khan Academy (hey, free food!), our valiant (?) adventurers received a summons from Lady Elamnea. Having little better to do (aww… more free food?), the party promptly answered the summons and attended Lady Elamnea at her residence. On arrival, Lady Elamnea told the party of the theft of a small, magical jewelled bird, which had been on a ship en route to her, and was stolen from the captain’s cabin shortly after the ship arrived in dock. The party agreed to investigate and retrieve the bird for Lady Elamnea (after Cog persuaded her to part with a modest advance of 50gp for “expenses”).
The party then travelled to the docks, where Mel set about gaining employment unloading the ship in question – the better to overhear rumours of who might have been involved in the theft – while those without any strength worth employing snuck around the ship investigating various locations that might hold clues to the bird’s disappearance.
The sailors and dockworkers, being the rough-and-ready-and-racist sort, were all quick to lay blame for the theft on the Tengu… a possibility that was supported by Cog’s discovery of a long black feather on a rope outside the galley of the ship. Having little else to go on, Cog and Almaz sought out Skrark, a local community leader of the Tengu, while Mel went along with half a dozen of the lads to the local inn, in the hope that camaraderie (and substantial quantities of ale) might encourage leaks of information about the theft.
Cog suggested to Skrark that it might be good for the reputation of the Tengu if we were able to find the stolen bird with their assistance, and then to publicise widely how helpful the Tengu had been. Conversely, Skrark offered to help on the condition that we ensured the name of the Tengu was not associated with the event at all – quite reasonably, he was concerned that the only things the wider population would hear would be “theft” and “Tengu”, leading to a worsening rather than improvement of inter-race relations. Skrark offered his daughter, Chirreep, as a guide to take our party to the Undercity, where we would meet with some Tengu who he suspected were involved in the theft.
The party (now rejoined by Mel, who had been avoiding sleep at the local inn, hoping to hear a clue should one of the sailors talk in his sleep) followed Chirreep into the Undercity… or at least, attempted to do so, before a rotten bridge gave way under the combined weight of the party (the lighter two of whom were being carried by Mel, in an attempt to speed things up). This dumped the party unceremoniously onto a midden heap, and three quite angry dire rats, who immediately started biting Mel.
Displaying their impressive levels of inexperience, Mel proceeded to miss her attempt to thump one of the rats, Al attempted to cast a spell while still in range of the rats (resulting in a failed spell and a nasty bite), and Cog completely failed in his attempt to skewer a rat with his crossbow. Once bitten, twice shy, Al got out of the way of the rats before putting two of them to sleep, Mel successfully smashed the one remaining conscious rat, and the party pulled themselves out of the heap of filth just as Chirreep returned to find out where they had gone.
Cleaning themselves up (Prestidigitation!) and hauling themselves up (with a rope but no grappling hook, some
thing one else had to be thrown… and let us never speak of that again), and with a bit of healing from Chirreep, the party set off for Skerrikrak‘s house. On arrival, the party met several Tengu, including Skerrikrak and Chirreep’s girlfriend, Rakkakk, and began to question the Tengu. While the Tengu were reluctant to assist, a combination of diplomacy (Cog), bluffing and intimidation (Al) eventually extracted the truth: first Chirreep privately admitted that she and Rakkakk had stolen and hidden the jewelled bird, but that it had gone from it’s hiding place; shortly after that, Rakkakk – in fear of an embarrassing discovery – handed over a somewhat dented box containing the bird… thus disclosing to Chirreep that she had re-stolen the bird for herself, betraying Chirreep’s trust. The party thanked Rakkakk for returning the bird, reaffirmed that they would keep the details of the theft confidential, and accompanied a now-distraught Chirreep back to her father’s house in the docks.
Thanking Chirreep for her help with some consolation and questionable advice (“Save petty theft for somebody really special!” – the neutral good party member), the party returned to Lady Elamnea, returning the bird to its rightful owner and receiving their due rewards (GP! XP!)
What does the future hold for our valiant (?) adventurers? Glory, Renown, and Higher Levels, or a grisly death at the hands of a couple of kobolds? Tune in next episode to find out!