The Freeport Chronicles

Battle on the Beach

Summary

  • The parade route is navigated, the companions reach the beach before the guards
  • A massive horned demon rises from the sand and is engaged in battle
  • Milos and Rooster, as well as Kendrick and Marcus Wade are summoned to fight the companions
  • Rooster defies his possession and allies with the group, the goat demon is vanquished
  • Captain SIl asks the companions to kill the current Captian of the Shadow Swift
  • The group boards the ship just ahead of an angry mob of civilians led by Hollister
  • A contract is signed, the companions join the ship’s crew
  • The Captain is found mid-child birth, the companions reconsider their mission

Details

The guards take possession of several of the parade floats and supporting vehicles in order to follow the companions. The Captain of the Guard, Chuck, leads the pursuit; he situates himself in a bunny themed chariot pulled by old pony. Other guards commandeer a float shaped like a giant wiener, as well as a large float populated by a brass band. Lastly, two toughs jump in a penny cab. Hollister screams at them from the ramparts above to bring him the heads of the companions.

The goblin and gnome, who introduce themselves as Glurp and Sprocket, instruct the group to hang on as they ignite the fireworks in the bed of the vehicle. The wagon rockets through the portcullis. The parade route opens in front of the companions – there are multiple switchbacks and other obstacles that will need to be navigated.

The guards on their tail, Lando casts a web spell across the gate as soon as the companions are through. The sticky web ensnares the first cart and disrupts the guard’s pursuit, providing some valuable time to create some distance between the companion’s wagon and the guards. The group focuses on the parade route:

  • The switchbacks are navigated to precision by the goblin and gnome
  • At a split in the road, the companions chose the less traveled route that goes through an underpass – there are few festival goers on this route, the revelers are distracted with a magical summons for free beer in the distance
  • At the next split, the group chooses a route that leads to a locked gate – the chime of opening is rung and the gate opens just in time for the companions to motor through
  • The wagon beginning to slow, the companions barely make the crest of the next hill. The descent has two paths, the companions choose one that leads into the city. A dirty street urchin is being bullied by several nobles. The companions use their elixir of forceful exhalation to buffet the nobles and provide the urchin time to escape.

The guards hopefully lost behind them, the companions choose to follow the straightest route to the docks, allowing several other potential detours to pass. With the fuel for their rockets almost spent, the companions exit the wagon near a theatre. Wanting to maintain their anonymity, Anton dons a mask and entertains the crowd while the other companions organize a cab. His performance complete, the companions pick up Anton as they pass.

The cabbie takes the group towards the docks, dropping them off at the edge of the beach. The companions walk onto the sand and spot the Shadow Swift, disguised as a gravel scow, at a nearby dock. Before they can make their way towards it, a giant black goat with massive horns and the face of a human, rises before the group. A bright blue aura emanates from the core of the goat. Although the docks are crowded with people, none seem to pay any attention to the extra-planar demon. Lando casts an obscuring mist to hide the battle to come, and provide more time before the guards are able to locate the companions.

“How should I crush you, who can hurt you the most? Let me look deep into your hearts and see the depths of hell in your souls.” The goat begins the motions of a spell. The companions begin to charge the beast. The summoning is completed well before they can close the distance – Milos and Rooster rise from the sands, appearing diminished, as if shades of themselves. “Ah, I see the fear in your eyes. Excellent. Attack my minions, complete in death what you could not in life.”

The companions decide to focus first on Milos and Rooster. Romica averts his charge and attacks the gunslinger with a nasty swing. Anton is right behind the hairy warrior and notes that Rooster appears conflicted, as if he attempting to fight the possession. “I know he have a complicated past Rooster, but we need you here to fight the good fight.” The gunslinger’s voice is cold steel, “I need more time. You need to give me more time.”

Anton moves past the gunslinger to attack the goat. Black whispers swirl in his mind, but he is able to resist their temptations. Magus Mike follows the swashbuckler and is also able to defy the dark thoughts in his head as he nears the goat demon. Milos successfully casts hold person on Lando, the wizened gnome is unable to move. Rooster, hands shaking, fires at Romica.

Romica joins Anton and Magus as they focus on the black goat. The demon appears frustrated with his minions, and that he must fend for himself. “If hate does not work, perhaps it is love that will win this day. Are there friends that you miss, friends that have died due to the decisions that you have made? Decisions that you now doubt.” With a flourish, the massive goat summons more minions – Kendrick and Marcus Wade rise from the sands to battle the companions.

The outcome of the battle balancing on a knife’s blade, the arrival of Kendrick and Marcus had the potential to tip the scales – and also to provide Rooster the needed push to overcome his possession. “Gentlemen, you cannot let this dock fiend prevail, let’s drive him back through the gates of hell!” The gunslinger unloads his pistols into an unsuspecting Milos, returning the snake person to the land of the dead. The death of Milos also breaks Lando’s imprisonment, allowing the gnome once more the use of his body. The gnomish wizard provides Rooster with a near-toothless grin, “Didn’t believe much in karma ‘till now. My thanks sir. And in return I will grant you this – your sister lives.” The gunslinger’s smile brings a tear to the old man’s eye.

Riding high from the turn of events, Lando decides to push his luck – the wizard casts a grease spell centered on the goat. Engaged on three sides, the goat is unable to maintain his balance in the slippery substance and loses his footing, crashing to the ground. The companions focus on the prone goat, while Rooster battles with Kendrick and Marcus.

Given the dire predicament, the black goat tries one more time to turn the tide of the battle. The demon casts a summoning a spell – Magus Mike receives a premonition and recoils in fear. Dark tentacles, incorporeal in substance, rise from the ocean and approach the city. They head directly for the docks, although the people there are unable to see them. The tentacles attach themselves to the citizens, who continue on with their daily routines.

The companions continue to hack on the vulnerable goat demon, attempting to banish it from this realm. Freight lands a mighty blow, severing the head of the goat. The demon liquefies into a dark molten puddle, and the goat’s minions fall lifeless to the ground. A sudden calm descends on the beach.

The mist dissipates to reveal Chuck and the rest of his guards approaching the beach. A large mob of civilians rides in their wake, ready to rip the companions to pieces for their perceived injustices. Hollister can be seen on the fringe, rallying the crowd to attack the group.

Artificial twilight suddenly descends and a strange green brightness alights the sky. A black swath appears, a giant flag falling towards the ship announcing the arrival of Capitan Sil. “Well done, well done, I knew you could do this! We have almost completed our introduction. I have one last task for you, one last objective before I am restored to my noble destiny. I need you to enter the Captain’s quarters and strike down the Captain. Do this and this mission is complete.” The Captain shimmers and fades from view.

With a veritable sea of dissenters chasing, the companions make haste to the Shadow Swift and arrive at the ship seconds before the guards. Boarding the vessel, they are met with the quartermaster, a stout gentleman with the head of a hammerhead shark. “Ladies and gentlemen, we are heading out of port shortly. Are you here to sign up? If not, you can leave post-haste.” A contract is produced, similar to that seen from Captain Kell’s vision.

Nowhere to turn, the companions agree to the terms of the contract, although Lando produces a writ to note that the contract is signed under duress. The quartermaster welcomes the companions aboard, at the same time allowing five ancient and beleaguered sailors to exit the ship. Tattoos appear on each of the companions on the skin between the index finger and thumb – Romica receives an anchor, Lando a quill, Freight a scroll case, Magus Mike a gong, and Anton a crow’s nest.

With a signal from the quartermaster, the tie lines are removed and the sails unfurled. The wind catches the sails and the ship moves into the channel. Hollister and his guards scream from the shore, waving their fists.

The companions make their way inside the ship, intent to find the Captain’s quarters. On their way, they meet Pretty Ike and Rockinsky the carpenter who tend to the delivered cargo. The group watches as they pull back the canvas to reveal what looks to be a portal, similar in shape and size to the one viewed in Thrall Thangar. The companions ask Pretty Ike and Rockinsky to join them, but they refuse as they have their own mission to attend to.

Directions are provided, and the companions locate the Captain’s quarters soon thereafter. Opening the door, the group bursts in on a surprising scene – an angelic creature lays atop a bed in the midst of child birth, attended by the ships tiefling physician. The angelic creature, the ship’s Captain, addresses the group, “I bet that imbecile Captain Sil sent you, didn’t he – Sil always knows best, that one. So what are you going to do?” The doctor, not hiding his contempt, points to the door. “Not a good time, why don’t you come back later to talk.” The Captain grunts in pain as the labour takes its toll, sweat streaking down her face. She regains her composure after the contraction passes, “Let me make this easy for you. I am Captain of the Shadow Swift, and I see from the tattoos on your hands that you have joined the crew. Well as Captain, I order you to your stations. Go.”

The companions, unsure of what to do, decide it best to leave the room and find their quarters for some well-deserved rest.

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