Session 36

After our talk with Corta Nariz, we meet up with Cavallo de Guerra to tell him about our knowledge of the dragon worms. We find the old orc in the banquet hall where he's having breakfast with his four sea chieftains Babaro, Thrag Vidalia, Perroroso and Danovio. Alonsa is present as well and the six of them seem to enjoy their chat about pit fights.

As soon as we greet them all, their eyes turn on us and Cavallo jokingly suggests that “the diplomats” may wish to proof their mettle in a fight. When we ask who would be our opponent then, Alonsa summons a hearth spirit which she directs to jump down the pit. Auryn offers to take on the spirit, but Carlyle insists that he cannot just sit idly by while the lady faces the dangerous opponent. Before Auryn can comment or maybe protest, he simply jumps down the pit and draws his weapon.

As we expected, there is not much of a fight as Carlyle can defeat the spirit before it can get even close to harming him. The sea chieftains congratulate him with a roaring applause and one of them asks for an encore. So Alonsa offers to let Carlyle fight her giant war bear, Chupacabra. Carlyle agrees even if he's hesitant to harm such a majestic creature and secretly decides to be more gentle this time. But as soon as Chupacabra enters the pit and exchanges glares with Carlyle, the bear turns out to be quite tame and refuses to fight. Instead, it trots towards Carlyle and licks him all over his face.

(A situation that was as challenging for Carlyle as a real fight would have been. He isn't really keen on being covered with bear drool.)

Alonsa is very much surprised to see her bear act that friendly towards a stranger, so Auryn says that it seems as if both of them share an affinity for bears. She tells the half-giant about her encounter with Feroz, the war bear of Brakken Heffanita and mentions that this bear seemed to like her as well. Cavallo laughs at this turn of events and adds that there may be more to these risuri than meets the eye. Seems as if we finally managed to be in Cavallo's good books.

The sea chieftains insist that we drink their traditional morning pint with them while we carefully tell Cavallo that we're having quite a good picture about the dragon worm infestation that's spread at the harbor region. Cavallo's mood turns a bit dark when we talk about the infection as being struck with parasites is traditionally seen as a curse or sign of bad character.

“Oh but it is merely a hungry worm, a predator if you'd like to call it so. So what we need to do is find the proper weapon against this creature. And I wouldn't say that only weak souls are haunted by this predator as it had been originally feasted upon dragons.” Carlyle says and adds that he knows that these worms are usually spread through waters that had been dragon bathing grounds in the days past.

Auryn then mentions that we got a call for help earlier this morning by someone we would call a friend. Someone who, coincidentally, happens to be the best doctor we know. On top of that, we think that he may have already found a treatment for the dragon worm, even if he's likely a prisoner of a goblin tribe.

“So that's what this letter was all about. Thought that it'd be obvious to hand the letter of a risuri to his fellow compatriots.” Cavallo says with a smirk.

We explain that this doctor isn't exactly a risuri, but rather a wandering philanthropist and someone we shared a short adventure with. Still the man is quite the miracle worker even if he doesn't use magic at all.

We then turn the subject to Corta Nariz and her seemingly great political and organizational talent when all of a sudden Lya Jierre enters the hall, foaming with anger. She demands that the petition she's written should be discussed and assessed right now as she and Danor's needs have been ignored for too long. We're quite surprised to see such an outburst from the clever and usually calm politician and realize that this is nothing but one grand show.

Lya continues her rant and, when her demands are being rebuffed again and again she throws her petition to the ground and storms off theatrically. Cavallo laughs at the tiefling's temper, commenting that she's quite the fiery temper for someone stemming from a technocracy. We on the other hand, saw Lya making well-hidden gestures towards the petition, so we decide to take a closer look on the sheet of paper once Cavallo and his crew are done with their breakfast.

Cavallo seems to be quite relieved that this whole rivalry issue just got solved by itself. Especially as he makes it pretty clear that he didn't think too highly of the Danorans anyway. Still he's done with diplomacy and talks for now, so he rallies his men and leaves the hall. Which gives us just the moment we've been waiting for. We take Lya's note and find it to be a perfectly normal petition at a first glance. However, we do spot a hidden message inside the text that hints at something happening during the 8th hour the next morning.

As we realize that going after von Recklinghausen might take quite a while, we decide to stay in Citada de Cavallo to see where Lya's hint may point to. So we put on orcish disguises and scan the harbor area for any kind of suspicious activities. After all, Lya just needs “someone” to attack Man Hill if she can convincingly blame it on Cavallo de Guerra afterward. We spot a lot of grand beran warships lying in the harbor and one smaller frigate which is just in the process of landing on a pier.

After the ship has landed, an orcish officer leaves the ship making a beeline towards Citada de Cavallo. We suspect that this officer might be a messenger and so Carlyle follows the man while Auryn stays in the harbor to catch some rumors. She enters the most famous tavern in citada harbor and instantly befriends a young officer candidate who's all excited to finally get his chance to shine in the upcoming battle. When Auryn asks him what kind of battle he might mean as “we're not in a war, aren't we?”, the orc tells her about the risuri fleet, including the majestic Coaltongue, heading towards Ber which usually means that a naval battle is about to take place very soon.

Meanwhile, Carlyle follows the messenger all the way to sea chieftain Babaro who is being told the very same news: That the risuri fleet is heading towards the beran strait and therefore Citada de Cavallo at full speed.

Carlyle then returns to Auryn and we both exchange our newly gained info. It seems as if our safety plan to reinforce Man Hill just backfired as the berans might take the moving fleet as a sign of an impeding attack. We try to discuss possible means of explaining the fleet's movement, but then decide to tell Cavallo the truth. After all, he's an honest and down to earth man who loves his family and who'll most likely understand our need to protect our soldiers in Man Hill.

So we ask to meet with sea chief Babaro and tell him that we know that he knows about our fleet. We then explain the whole situation to him: That both Lya Jierre and we got caught up in the dangerous game of Bruse Shantus. A game neither of us wanted to play, but are nonetheless forced to participate in as the result is of utmost importance for our two nations. And since it had been Lya's task to convince Cavallo to attack Man Hill, we decided to warn our soldiers and ask for reinforcements just in case.

Now we do know that all of this may look like preparations for a per-emptive strike, so we promise Babaro that we'll put the fleet to halt immediately. In return, we ask for the promise that no beran forces will attack Man Hill while the fort is understaffed.

The sea chieftain seems a bit disappointed that his moment of glory just ended before it even started, but he believes that we're more keen on helping his Lord Cavallo with his local problems. He promises that he'll talk to the other chieftains while we promise that we'll send a message to rear admiral Dawkins to ask him to stop the fleet before it gets too close to beran waters.

So we cast a sending spell to reach out to Dawkins and explain the whole situation. He returns that he'll leave the fleet close enough for a last minute intervention at Man Hill and adds that he'll try to contact his old “friendly rival” Beshela. His reply ends with a “goddess bless you two” and we're quite sure that the worst has been averted now.

We then talk about the possibility that someone might just get nervous and attack anyway, so we decide to go searching for von Recklinghausen right now. Carlyle takes the risk to teleport into the unknown yet again and luck would have it that we arrive at Lago Fuego in one piece and at the right spot. There, we find a dried out lake and a forsaken goblin village. We then take the directions “Elias” gave us in his note and follow them closely. By and by we spot the tracks of large insects and see goblin patrols in the distance. We decide to move around them though as we don't wish to pick up a fight yet.

Unfortunately, none of us speaks any goblin, so we have to use a comprehend languages spell which at least makes us able to follow their conversations. After a while we come to a cave entrance, leading to an intricate system of tunnels filled with lots of goblins and insects. We avoid them as well as possible and finally come to the conclusion that we might just got lost in a gigantic maze. As we're quite sure that the doctor will know more about these tunnels than we do, we hide in a small opening and send him a magical message, asking him for directions.

He explains that we'll have to look out for a barricade and also warns us that the tribe's leader, a shaman, might not be happy to have us here. Oh and he's also the one controlling the giant insects. So we continue our journey during which we're being attacked by radiant force-beetles. They turn out to be quite tough, but don't pose too much of a threat and dissolve into light after some quick coordinated blows.

We finally reach the barricade and the already mentioned goblin shaman. As we still don't wish to fight these strange goblins, we tell the shaman that we know that they got our friend, the doctor, and that we came here to help him with his work. The goblins are a bit suspicious as we're no orcs and that letter had been sent to “the nasty orcses” and not to humans. We explain that we got the letter from said orcs and promise that we'll try to convince them that driving the goblins away from their village wasn't the best of ideas.

The chief is still wary but leads us to the doctor anyway as the weak lad could really need some help. We find Dr. von Recklinghausen in a rather poor condition while he's busy making medicine for the goblins. Still we're happy to find him in one piece and especially Auryn is more than glad to see him again after we said goodbye almost a year ago. The doctor is pleasantly surprised that it had been us who got his letter and found him. He then tells us how he got into this mess: He had simply tried to help these goblins getting rid of dragon worms and, after being successful, they simply refused to let him go, naming more and more ludicrous reasons for why they'd need to keep him there.

“Just imagine how afraid my poor Lynn must be, especially after this metal mage debacle.” he says and then tells us that Lynn Kindleton might very well still be studying anthropological findings in Seobriga as he didn't want to expose her to sickly, and potentially dangerous goblins.

(It seems as if he prefers to play the damsel in distress all alome)

We decide that while we do wish to help these goblins who got chased out of their home, we're also running out of time and cannot afford to stay in these tunnels for a prolonged time. So we convince the doctor that he and we will have much better chances to get them their home back once the dragon worm infections in Citada de Cavallo have been dealt with. As soon as Dr. von Recklinghausen agrees, Carlyle takes him by the hand and teleports the three of us back to the fortress.

We take him to the bathroom so he may finally take the shower he'd needed for weeks. After that, we tell him everything we got to know about the parasites so far, including the most likely source of the infection. He replies that we're quite correct with our findings and explains that he's found a rather quick, but painful, procedure to get a patient rid of the worms quickly. A procedure he's willing to share with us and the beran doctors. We praise him for his superior skills and suggest that we propose the procedure to Corta Nariz.

Before we go to Cavallo's daughter, Auryn takes the doctor aside to thank him for his valuable gift that has proven to be effective against the most terrible of fiends and aberrations. After that, we do reveal that we now know that von Recklinghausen didn't flee from “Porter”, or Cillian Creed, alone, but also from Andrei. When the doctor doesn't recognize the name, we explain that Andrei von Recklinghausen is the name of his son, a young man he must have created years ago. Dr. Recklinghausen pales at this revelation and then confirms our theory.

“My son... this poor creature... was the result of my hybris. I tried to create life from death, to create an Übermensch. And I succeeded, but the world and even I were not ready for him. So I put him to sleep, hoping that he may wake up in a better world.”

The doctor sighs with grief, but we tell him about Andrei being a wonderful young man with a big heart, even if he's quite naïve and inexperienced. Auryn adds that Andrei knows nothing but love and care for his friends, including young Isobel, her eladrin student. We then offer Recklinghausen to visit Andrei once this mission is over so he may see who his son has become. After all, Andrei had been looking for his father as well.

Dr. von Recklinghausen is a bit reluctant to agree yet, so we finally take him to Corta Nariz where he explains the whole procedure to her. She then calls for her son while Carlyle prepares some anesthetics to ease the boy's pain.

And as the doctor promised, he's able to turn the dragon worm completely to stone. Corta is more than happy to see her son being rid of the terrible parasite and we offer her to heal all the sick citizens as well as long as the doctor gets to speak to her father soon. Corta agrees and we take it upon ourselves to tell the Lord about the successful treatment of his grandson.