- notes are found in Erick the Entertainer’s office relating to blackblood shipments to Gregor’s Brewery
- the companions become silent partners in The Honey Pot
- dismantling the bookcase in Carson’s residence leads to a dead end
- the companions visit the Bloody Vengeance
- conversation quickly leads to confrontation, Scarbelly and his 1st mate are captured
- Scarbelly confirms that Carson visited the ship but was turned away
- the companions take ownership of the Bloody Vengeance after beheading Scarbelly and his 1st mate in front of the crew
- the companions repay their loan to Eagel
Brughan takes control of The Honey Pot, escorting patrons from the bar in an orderly manner. A search of Erick the Entertainer’s body provides a key as well as a handful of coins. The key unlocks the door to his office behind the bar. Inside is a small wooden desk, book shelves and a locked chest. A door leads to an inner room. Searching the desk provides plans related to products and the general business, as well as some notes mentioning a prepaid delivery of blackbood to Gregor’s Brewery.
The companions are unable to open the locked chest. Unveiling the Chime of Liberation, a simple ring opens both the trunk as well as the door to the back room. There are two containers in the trunk with liquor – one is an elvish absinthe and the other a fine dwaven fireale.
The back room is a simple bedroom with a small cot, bedside table and lantern, and locked footlocker. The footlocker is covered in etched runes. Lando confirms that the etching is decorative as opposed to magical. The chime is used again to unlock the footlocker, inside is a velvet container with 3 vials of a dark-grey powder labelled “highly illegal abyss dust”.
Back at the bar, Brughan and Kendrick are discussing what should be done with The Honey Pot. With the companions input, it is decided it best that the establishment continue to operate as normal, with Brughan and Kendrick managing the day-to-day activities, and the companions functioning as silent partners.
With the affairs of The Honey Pot in order, the companions head back to Carson’s residence to take care of unfinished business. With the tools acquired from Martin, the group dismantles the “newer” shelving. Removing the bookcase reveals a stone wall, the masonry behind the shelving of similar age and quality as the rest of the room. Romica, with his engineering knowledge, confirms there is no passage – this lead is a dead end.
Slightly disheartened, the companions take to the bookshelves to see if they can find any clues. The shelves contain many, many records and books, all of which appear to be handwritten by Carson. The collection is rather random in assortment, featuring travel charts, maps, geographical accounts etc. all of which is at least 4 years old. Reading through the texts, it appears that Carson was travelling rather haphazardly, with no recognizable pattern. The books note that he was interested in visiting libraries and universities on his travels. The last chart details his time on a ship travelling back to Freeport.
No further ahead in their investigation, the companions take a cab to the docks to locate Scarbelly’s ship, the Bloody Vengeance. It is where Ansor said it would be, and the group has no issues finding it. Perhaps speaking to its reputation, the ship is anchored by itself with no other vessels for some distance. The Bloody Vengeance is a crudely built vessel of orcish design, about 90 feet in length, it appears battle-scarred but seaworthy. There are two half-orc guards barring the gangway, swords barred, with armed lookouts in the ship’s various crows nests.
The companions attempt to engage the guards in conversation, explaining that they are looking for a colleague named Carson. He was last seen in the general vicinity. The guards are not forthcoming and tell them to get lost. Romica, not impressed by their candor, takes our his eyeballs and waves his war axe in the air, making grunting sounds. The guards are intimidated by the gesture and motion for their commanding officer, Agro, to come to the gangway.
From the forecastle comes a huge, rather disgusting looking half-orc. A foul odor precedes him by several feet. He appears rather unimpressed. The companions explain that they have a business opportunity that the would like to discuss with Captain Scarbelly. Further, they are looking for a colleague, Carson, that was on the ship recently. Agro asks about the business opportunity and the group discusses the abyss dust. He advises that Scarbelly is not interested, but Agro would offer 650 gp for the dust. The companions wish to discuss directly with the Captain. Agro tells the group that Carson was here last week and he told him to get lost, just like the companions should do before they get hurt. The half-orcs in the crows nests cock their bows and several shipmates can been seen in the forecastle brandishing weapons.
Not wanting to unleash the wrath of the half-orcs, Anton provides a distraction while Lando casts a spell. The performance proves sufficiently distracting and the enchantment is weaved without notice. Lando produces a writ to the now friendly Agro, knowing that he is unable to read it, that he explains grants them audience with Scarbelly. Agro nods and motions the companions to follow him below deck. The three shipmates from the forecastle trail behind.
The giant half-orc leads the group past the sailors quarters into the Captain’s cabin. Scarbelly is sitting behind a large table having dinner. He does not appear happy to be disturbed. The table, instead of legs, sits on top of a large chest.
The companions apologize for the interruption. In recompense for the disturbance, they would like to share with the good Captain a bottle of dwarven fireale to complement his meal. This puts Scarbelly in a good mood and he pours a round for the group. He chugs his mug after a boisterous cheers. The guards retreat to the door.
As he continues with his meal, Scarbelly inquires as to why the companions seek his audience. The group describes that they are looking for someone of repute to have business dealings with. They have abyss dust and are looking for a partner. Scarbelly is interested. Further, the companions are looking for information regarding a colleague named Carson who has history with the Bloody Vengeance. Scarbelly confirms that Carson was on board for some time but adds nothing further.
Lando tries to push his luck by casting another spell unnoticed, but this time he is unsuccessful. Scarbelly notes the spellcasting motions and immediately grabs his sword, yelling to his boys to seal the exits. Agro runs to a large bell in the back of the cabin to sound the alarm.
The companions engage Scarbelly and the guards in melee. Lando rings the Chime of Silence, effectively sealing off all sounds to the outside world. Not only are shipmates in the next room unable to hear the sounds of battle, but the peal of the alarm bell goes unheard. The half-orcs smile as the bell is sounded, thinking that reinforcements are on their way.
Anton and Romica concentrate on Scarbelly while Freight engages the three guards. The first falls immediately. Lando sprays the remaining two with a cone of colorful patterns, resulting in one falling to the ground unconscious. The third attempts to strike down the defenseless wizard but trips over his sleeping mate and stabs himself in the throat. Barnicle Bill wraps Agro in a net. With the remainder of the half-orcs neutralized, Captain Scarbelly is quickly overcome despite his martial prowess.
The companions bind and gag both Scarbelly and his 1st mate Agro. A quick survey of the room and half-orc bodies yields a nasty looking battle axe, scimitar, various rings and jewelry, coin and a key. Lando detects magic and locates a divine aura emanating from under the table. Removing the tabletop reveals a large chest, which is opened with Scarbelly’s key. Within is a small hoard of coins as well as a powerful staff that features a scale motif.
The clerics channel energy to heal the grievous wounds both Scarbelly and Romica endured during the combat. Scarbelly is a little more forthcoming during a second round of questioning and provides some information regarding Carson – he paid to join the crew, he acted a little odd but stayed out of the way. He was aboard for a total of 3 months and took extensive notes of the sailor’s daily routines and their ports of call. Scarbelly is unsure who this was reported to, but he was left at a random port of call at his bequest. He was not seen again for about 3 years until he showed up recently to inquire as to his whereabouts during his time aboard. He was promptly turned away.
The companions discuss their options with Scarbelly and Argo. Lando makes it known that he cannot condone some of the options under consideration, especially those that involve killing an unarmed prisoner. He excuses himself from the discussion and heads back to their tavern. The remainder of the companions, fearing the wrath of Scarbelly and his pirate crew, decide it best to cut the head off the snake. Scarbelly and Argo are marched topside, lined up on the gangplank, beheaded and thrown into the harbour in front of the crew. Cowed by the experience, the half-orcs quickly swear fealty to their new masters. The companions take de facto ownership of the vessel.
Before leaving the ship, the abyss dust is sold to the crew and the remaining alcohol is gifted in good faith. The companions hope it represents a first step in fostering a long-standing relationship with the half-orc sailors. The companions set off for Martin Hawks’ store to dispose of some gear before heading back to the Sword of the Edict’s guild to settle their debt with Eagel. Lastly, the group returns to the tavern to catch some shuteye.