EBERRON 3.5 FOR HIRE

As is the case with many of you, the Coronas virus has disrupted your normal games. I was about to start one then found we couldn't have it since some players were caught up in the "Stay Home. Stay Safe" quarantine. However, many of the players live in the house as they are family so we have decided to start a new but different campaign.

This is it. I am not sure how long it will last but the four of us will play until the regular campaign can start.

Hope you enjoy it and as always- comments are welcomed.
 

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EBERRON: FOR HIRE
SEGMENT 001
“THE SILVER DRAGON”
4/19/20

DRAVAGO 12, 1000

The first day Silverwing checked on possible messages at the Sivis Station in Fairhaven she drew many looks and stares from the locals. Even the gnomes of House Sivis wrinkled their noses and eye brows at her. She proudly wore her weapons and armor in public but that was not it. She was a very rare sight in Aundair. She was a winged elf.

Her black feathers made many fearful she had fiendish blood. Her purple and bright blue hair was appreciated by the gnomes but still looked wrong to the humans in the city. Now, months later, she still easily parted crowds with her unique look and appearance. Izmet and Mohach were okay with this.

Izmet, an elven “druid” from Eldeen hated crowds. He often wondered why he remained with the two surviving members of their group. The Sivis Station was always busy and very crowded. Mohach, a kobold trapper with talents for magical illusions hated the Station since humans often didn’t see him until they stepped on his feet or cloak.

During the war, the three of them and several departed friends and allies worked for anyone willing to hire them. This included the governments of Breland, Cyre and Aundair. Most of the jobs were spying and fact gathering on other countries and even within their country. They also worked for certain companies and families including The Dragonmarked families. These families hired them to spy and to smuggle items during the war.

Generally the missions went smoothly but not always. House Orien still has issues with them from the lose of a Electric Rail cart filled with expensive goods set for a Cannith Post in Cyre in 993 and who hasn’t offended the Emerald Claw.

Silverclaw climbs the stairs to their small but roomie apartment above a small café. They have received a message written in a simple code. Mohach always felt these codes were weak. “Silver Dragon / Green Stone / 7th / Dressajk” Which easily translates as “Meet me at the Silver Dragon for Important Business at the 7th Bell- Commander Sander ir’Dressajk”

“I hope it won’t take long. The plants will dry out. Die even.” The elf quietly says once Silverwing finishes reading the message out loud. He gets up to check on the plants near the windows in the sun light.

“Dressajk still has a job for the Royal Eyes? Incredible. She has no sense for this kind of work. Damned glorified historian. She should work in an university.” Grumbles the blue scaled kobold as he looks for his pack to begin packing.

“I was getting bored. Any job will be good. Especially government work.” Comments the winged warrior as she looks for her traveling papers and ID papers.

It is not hard finding The Silver Dragon Tavern. It is well known for its unique fireplace. It is magical in function. Two Dragon Heads sit on chimneys 15ft apart. A fire is projected from one open mouth to another for entertainment, warmth and sometimes- carefully done cooking. It is also known as a local hangout for Aundairian war veterans. Many among them are also spies (not all for Aundair) and as such is always watched over and observed by various groups. Dressajk loves the place because of the wine they offer from a small vineyard nearby. More proof she is either a terrible spy / spy master or one of the best.

The courtyard even tells of the strong patriotic past found here. A public hanging stand still remains erected in the small part across the street from the tavern. A statue of the goddess Boldrei (God of Community and the Hearth) over looks the park and the Hanging Stand directly.

The three of them enter the Tavern and a gentle hush comes over the crowd. Winged Elves are one thing but a kobold wearing Brelander military markings are another. Mohach began his military training for Breland in the mountains near Cyre and Zilargo. He is quite proud of it though he will (and has) worked against Breland under the pay of another country.

A halfling woman that may have been confused with a human child if not for her large and mostly exposed breasts greets them. She brings them to the back near the famous fireplace where the Royal Eye is seated sipping a glass of wine and reading a small book.

“Aye good- you got the message.” She says as the three mercenaries arrive. She doesn’t get up and only puts the book aside after they sit down. Mohach notes the book title- “To Frostfell and Back” The book looks well read and worn.

Once the halfling hostess leaves Dressajk begins. “Have you ever heard of The Key to the Mind’s Eye?”

“A book title?” asks the trapster.

“No. It is a crystal. A magical Crystal used to read a specific parchment of historical use. For those that understand it at least.” The kobold can almost see her nose wrinkle at the hidden insult to certain allies that are more martial than studious.

“For the usual payments involved, I would like you to retrieve it for me….us… for Aundair.”

“Where. Who. How?” asks the Kobold.

“Do we need to…. Hurt …. Anyone?” asks the druid meekly.

“We can. We can hurt anyone involved.” Adds the winged elf with a smile that would worry most paladins.

“No! No don’t hurt him!” blurts out the government historian. “Boroman ir’Dayne and his family are not to be harmed.”

“I know the name. Explorer?” asks the Kobold.

“Not JUST an explorer. Possibly the best ever. The only person to have ever traveled to Frostfell and back and the first halfling to ever explore Xen’drik. He is not just famous but a world famous explorer and celebrity. He is not to be harmed. No. Matter. What.” She states while glaring at the aggressive winged elf.

“Why? Why us?” questions the druid looking at her book instead of her eyes.

“Deniability.” States Mohach.

“Yes. That and Boroman and our government are at an…. Empass of sort. He feels we act for something other than the people and as such will not even see us.”

“And how will we?” asks the druid.

“That is up to you.” She slides over a small pouch and a scroll case. “As normal.”
 

EBERRON: FOR HIRE
SEGMENT 002
“BOROMAN ir’DAYNE”
4/19/20

DRAVAGO 12, 1000

Several hours later, the three secret employees of the Aundair Royal Eyes step onto the Passage Orien station platform. The station is massive as it is the center of the Orien House Enclave. The city is also known for its trade and fishing industry. Among the points of interest is the noble home of ir’Dayne.

It takes the Kobold and his two companions an hour to walk and find the noble district and the ir’Dayne mansion. The mansion was built by human builders for human occupants before the war began over 100 years ago. In 957 the halfling adventurer bought it to settle down yet be in a centralized location to travel throughout the continent of Khorvaire and beyond. He added a wide and squat tower to the mansion where he stored the many marvels he collected. It also sometimes acts as the meeting place for Wayfinders Foundation attendees. In 993 he returned to Xen’drik to explore new regions. He returned cursed and with withered legs. Life can suck.

Their collective memory and talking to workers on the Rail gave them this much. The mansion was not the biggest they have ever seen but for a halfling family, even an extended one, it was much larger than they needed. Boroman lived here along with his daughter and her husband and their three children. The Orien employee said he idolized his grandchildren.

The three story building has a stone wall surrounding it with an iron rail fence on top of that. Thick bushes hug the base of the mansion with a few short trees in the restricted but well kept yard. There are no signs or plagues stating this is the home of the famed adventurer. They merely hope for the best as they go to the gate.

Silverwing looks about inside the yard as Mohach looks for magical wards. He is not disappointed but bothered by how easily he finds them. Even the druid inquires about the metal plate with embossed runes. Mohach touches the gate and activates the magic held within.

= Welcome to the Dayne residence and the Wayfinder Foundation. We are not excepting any proposals at this point nor doing any interviews. Please come back at another time. =

Mohach looks up at the druid with disappoint. He thinks magic wards should not be used for such mundane chores. He pushes against the gate as he ignores the magical messaging, Lacking the strength to do it, the winged warrior smirks and pushes with one hand and opens the gate. It squeaks and squeals to a halt and they go in. She thumps on the front door with her fist a few times and waits impatiently.

There is the sound of running inside and some excitement. Then the door opens. A halfling woman looks at the orange eyes of the kobold. “Hello. Can I help you?”

“We have come to speak to Boroman.” He states.

“Just a moment.” She closes the door and shortly there is yelling and an argument heard inside. The door opens again. The same female halfling is there but her face is flushed and she has a stressed smile as she waves for you to enter. “He is in his room. I can show you the way.”

A halfling child that is possibly one foot in height squeals and runs to the woman. “We have company! Some one to visit us?”

“No. Not us Kled. They are here to see your grandfather.”

“Oh. I thought Grandda-pah said-“

“This way. Please.” And she leads you down a hall. Though built for humans, the halfling family have placed furniture in such a way that it can be a squeeze for non-halflings- especially winged bigger people.

“Don’t mind the lizard. He is harmless.” She says while motioning to a two foot long Inix Lizard. The smaller child runs to it and the lizard moves away fearing being held and carried away by the child. It is a busy house-hold.

They are shown stairs that are newer than the rest of the house but designed for humans also. They lead up which they take. Mohach is slow and clumsy due to his size. They climb several floors up then reach a secure door that is unlocked. Mohach pushes it open and is “greeted” by a very old halfling in a strange looking chair. It has wheels on it to move about.

“She did let……” he begins angerly then takes a deep breath to collect himself. “I am not funding any expeditions at this point nor am I doing any interviews. So please turn around…..”

“We are not here as adventurers. We are fans.” Blurts out Silverwing. (Bluff 3 vs S Mot 27 😊 )

“Fans eh?” the old halfling comments as he looks over her armor, weapons, equipment and wings. (He does like the hair however) “And as fans….. you believe you can come here anytime to talk to me?”

Izmet knows they are on a bad route. “We have come a far distance to speak to you sir.” His eyes begin to wander around the room behind the wheeled halfling adventurer. From here he sees a stuffed Dire Bear, shelves of books, journals and scrolls, artifacts mundane and arcane and terrariums displaying things odd and unexplainable. Even eggs in a nest.

Something small falls in the back of the room out of view. Everyone hears it except for the old halfling (nat 1). No one moves waiting for the old man to react- and doesn’t. Silverwing assumed it was a ghost sound effect by Mohach but it wasn’t. Silverwing picks up a rock painted with a rainbow of colors. “Pretty”

“Ah- You have an eye for beauty. That is a friendship rock painted by a tribe of halflings in Talenta.”

“Really? What else? What is this, she searches for the word….”

“Fertility figure of the Fury made by the Orcs of the southern Mhor Holds. The male would make and give the mate this (a muscular and well endowed orc statue about 4 inches high) and the female would give one that represents herself. Please- don’t handle it like that. It might break off.” And the old halfling takes it from her smiling. Lying didn’t work. Maybe flirtation or flattery.

“Do you have anything from Valenar or even the elven islands?” She asks.

“This way. This way. I have a few scimitars and a horse saddle you may appreciate. This pains the kobold but he goes along with it. The druid stays at the door looking around. He can see dozens of chests, large and small, a painting of a two tailed brightly colored parrot-like bird and other wonders.

“You have so many artifacts here. What of The Key of The Mind’s Eye?” she asks as she ducks under a floating glowing blue orb.

He stops dead. Then looks up at her with distrust on his face. “The what?”

“I have an interest in keys. Do you have any here?” asks the Kobold in an attempt to keep suspicions down.

“Hum…… maybe in the back. By those beetles…… those damned beetles.” And he wheels the chair towards the far end of the tower level.

The druid attempts a simple ability to see magic and does so while staying behind. There are many things here including a minor artifact or relic. Then Izmet hears something again but this time the sound is coming from behind him, climbing the stairs. It is little Kled. With a beaming smile he finishes the climb and looks up to the druid. “Is granda pah here? Is he still mad?”

“He is here and he is not mad.” The druid says marveling at the child’s innocence.

“Then why are you here and not wib them?” he asks as he points to the three.

“I thought I heard something. I had hoped it was nothing and it appears to be so.”

“Maybe it was Issmat.”

“No. I am here.” Says the elf in some confusion.

“Silly. My lissard. My pet lissard Issmat.”

“Izmet is my name also. That is amazing. How did you come up with that name?”

“In some language in san’dret it means “animal poo.”

“Oh. Sorry I asked.”

“And here I have some crazy beetles I collected in a vast labyrinth under Droaam. They were in a round jar. Their shells were bright still so I thought them to be constructs. A few months ago, last year, they suddenly came to life (9/9/999 see The Hidden Storyhours). I had to cap the glass container to contain them. He comes to it and leans towards the glass. “So strange……” Silver wing leers in and is bored. Mohach gets close and suddenly a bright green beetle rushes the glass and tinks off it startling both Boroman and Mohach. “They’ve become aggressive!” Another but bright blue beetle rushes the glass. The kobold (with dragon blood) doesn’t like them. Something about thing is…..wrong.

“I have the skeleton key to Saint Thomas….. and a key to the Vault of-“

“Crystal. And its not a true key……”

“OUT!”

“But…” begins Silverwing even as the kobold is hurrying to the stairs.

“Ouuuugh…… granda pah is still unhappy.” Comments the child as they approach the stairs.

“OUT!”

They hurry down the stairs and the woman is there. “I’m sorry. I thought he needed to talk about his adventures to feel good again. I didn’t mean to place you in distress.”

“ARRRRGH !” they hear from the stairs.

“Oh dear. He is truly upset. Give me a moment and maybe I can calm him down.” Without speaking the three look to each other to decide what to do. They wait. The druid sits down and slowly crawls along the lizard whom rolls its eyes to check out the druid. “Good day little guy.” The druid says.

“Don’t let them leave!”

The kobold and Winged elf look at each other then turn to the Druid whom has now caste a spell on himself. “My name is Izmet. I am from the Great Forest.”

=Good for you. I am hungry=

The druid fishes out a few berries he uses for spells and gives them to the lizard. =fine=

“Do you know about The Key to The Mind’s Eye?”

=berry= nom nom =no=

“They stole it!” Declares the old halfling as he wheels out from another door wall nearby. “They stole The Key of The Mind’s Eye!”

“We have not done any such thing!” bursts out Silverwing hoping the druid didn’t steal it.

“Empty them! Empty your pockets!” demands the halfling as he searches his own pockets for something. He pulls out a gem and holds it up to his eye. He looks at everything they pull out then demands the many magical secret pockets in their belts and gloves are emptied next.

This continues for another 15 minutes then they are told to leave and never come back!
 

EBERRON: FOR HIRE
SEGMENT 003
“PEOPLE ON THE STREETS”
4/19/20

DRAVAGO 12, 1000 LATE EVENING, NEAR DUSK, IN PASSAGE OUTSIDE OF THE ir’ DAYNE MANSION-

“What just happened in there?!?” growls the kobold trapster of illusion.

“Didn’t go in with a proper plan.” The druid states the obvious.

“How? Civilians…. Halfling civilians can be so….. unpredictable !” declares the warrior.

“At least he wasn’t a gnome.”

“I hate gnomes.” Grumbles the kobold. Lets go- get a drink or three and figure out what is next.”

“I suspect it will involve that guy.” Says Silverwing looking to the mansion once more. Mohach turns just in time to see someone jump down a section of pipe from the side of the building. The druid also spotted the intruder and turns and as he runs down the street transforms into an eagle.

Izmet the eagle spots the cloaked figure drop from the outer wall in the shadows of a large tree. The person lands easily and looks down both sides of the side street he is on and calmly walks towards the main road where two others are hurrying his way.

He spots them and knows they saw him. He turns and runs. He goes around a corner out of view of the kobold and winged elf (whom is now taking to the air). Izmet the eagle spots the possible thief try to hide by climbing into a tree. The eagle lands and morphs back into elven form and castes a spell. The tree twists and throws the rogue to the street and entangles him.

“ah. Hee hee….. How are you doing?” asks the rogue.

“What were you doing at the Dayne Mansion? Stealing?” asks Silverwing after landing near the twisted tree.

“Don’t try to deny me my destiny.”

“Your destiny.?” Questions Silverwing.

“My Master told me to get the crystal.”

“Master? Just tell us everything.” Demands the kobold.

“My master, the Goddess Boldrei, came to me in a Dream. She said it was my destiny. She is so beautiful……”

“Do you have the crystal?”

Silence and a nervous glance as the elf looks at the ensnaring tree limbs.

“He has magic containing items on his belt and a stronger magic item within his cape.” Says the druid.

“But my destiny!” calls out the rogue as the kobold hops onto the branches and begins to pull and tuck at the cape looking for the secret pocket. “Stop it! Thief!”

The kobold stops and cocks his head to look at the rogue. “Thief? Are you suggesting you bought this? That you somehow own it?” The pinned rogue gives a ‘had to try’ look. Mohach finds the piece and removes it.

“Odd looking key.” Comments the winged elf. It looks like a wooden handled rolling pin with crystal being the roller.

The kobold hops off the rogue causing an out-take of air and the three leave him there- trapped.

“Shouldn’t we tell the halflings that we found it?” suggests the druid.

“They assumed we stole it. Let him continue to assume it.” Grumbles the kobold.

They reach the Orien station after dark and learn it will be an hour before the next rail goes to Fairhaven. They go for food and on the return trip spot a small figure watching them. “Trouble” grumbles the kobold.

“Rogue? Danger?” asks the druid.

“Worse. A Gnome.”

“Heard a rumor the ir’Dayne Mansion had a thief. Said thief was trapped within a tree.” Says a green haired gnome whom turns to address the three walkers. She smiles as the druid has a look of concern on his face.

“Rumors also speak of a kobold in robes, a winged elf and an elf with messy hair being there today to speak to the ir’Dayne family.” She inspects and notes everyone’s reactions.

“Non-sense. Lets go.” Growls the kobold showing his teeth to the gnome.

“Key to the Mind’s Eye…..?” She smiles at the winged elf’s surprised look.

“Never heard of it.” Growls the kobold whom growls again and strikes her shoulder to shoulder.

“Should I quote you on that? I work for the Korranberg Chronicle.”

The druid stares at her as he passes and Silverwing goes by ignoring her.

“Interesting……..” The nosey Gnome reporter says to herself with a look of satisfaction.
 

EBERRON: FOR HIRE
SEGMENT 004
“WARLORD GREGORY ir’FEMAR”
4/19/20

DRAVAGO 13, 1000 MID-DAY AT THE SILVER FOX TAVERN IN FAIRHAVEN

“You have it?” asks Commander ir’Dressajk as she sets aside her wine.

“Yes.” Answers Mohach as he hops onto the chair. “As you suggested- others have interest in it.”

“and?”

“A follower of Boldrei had beaten us to it at first.”

“The Goddess of the home and civilization? Curious.”

“Said she spoke to him in his dreams. It was his destiny.” Continues the kobold leader.

“His destiny? Curious choice of terms. Do you have it on you?” Asks the Royal Eye history expert in boredom of the non-historical.

Her eyes light up as the kobold pulls the “Key” out from his robes. She in turn pulls out a scroll case and opens it. Within it is a blank piece of parchment with runes along the edges. She carefully places the crystal at the bottom and rolls it to the top. She repeats this several times to understand it.

“The next piece of the puzzle- the map itself, is located in Grand Tree Branch.”

“Odd name for a town…. Or place. Eldeen?”

“Not one I know of.” Answers the druid.

“Northern Cyre. Within a Wayfinder Foundation building.”

“East, central or western border?”

“Go to Fort Zombie. Cross the Mists there. It is about a days walkin.”

“uuuugh. The Mournlands. I hate the Mournlands.” Sighs in misery the druid.

The three go to an inn nearby. Mohach gets a room but the other two insist on sleeping outside. “It is safer” suggests the winged warrior. They eat and discuss the trip from Aundair into Karrnath by Electric Rail and then on Foot into Cyre then back.

Silverwing and Izmet set up a tent and a “nest” in a tree behind the inn. Mohach then turns in for the night.

Near midnight, Mohach awakens saddened as he hears a gruff voice saying “This is it” then a sudden and violent crash into the door. A second crash caves in the door. An ogre wielding a miniature battering ram looks in. “Yup- he here- alone.” And he steps back and to the side.

Four gnomes (why gnomes?) with darkened faces rush in with crossbows and air them at the trapper. Then a medium sized robed and cloaked figure steps behind the shorter gnomes. “The Aurum commands you stay away from Grand Tree Branch and The Black Manifest.”

The kobold hears four crossbows fire and suddenly awakens. Gasping he watches the door expecting the ogre to attack. “Damn. A Dream.”

DRAVAGO 14, 1000 ORIEN STATION IN FAIRHAVEN 8th Bell

The three of them bring their paperwork to the ticket booth and the worker there gives them a curious look. It is rare to see a voucher for ANY Orien transportation for one ENTIRE month. These people are important or rich. Looking at the mismatched group the ticket master can not decide.

“How many cabins?”

“One” states the winged elf looking over her shoulder at the electric rail cars. Each car is strangely made to resemble little mobile cabins but with extra metal and wood bits to enhance the car somehow. The kobold and elf druid are busy searching the crowds. It is busy and chaotic on any Orien Station Platform.

Tickets in hand, Silverwing hands the scroll back to Mohach whom places it back deep into his robes. They climb onto the proper car. They are searching for their room when the druid spots someone in the crowd- someone they know all too well. Warlord Gregory ir’Femar of the Karrnathi Military Defense Ministry Division.

They first met the Paladin during the war. They were smuggling a scroll detailing spells to make new undead called “Bone Claws”. The hope was to learn of a weakness for general soldiers to exploit. They had left the underground military base near the Icetop Mountains and were trying to reach the Cyre Border. When the theft was discovered Karrnath sent the best man they had at the base- newly entitled Warlord ir’Femar.

The Bone Knight with his undead personal guard chased them on horseback then to the rail. They had to jump off the rail and here they stole horses and went into the deep southern sections of Karrnath hoping the Bone Knight would not follow. He did however. They entered what is now the Talenta Plains and still he chased them. As they then turned west into Cyre the knight tried to follow but twenty plus Cyrian soldiers met them and the chase ended.

Several more times they encountered him on missions. This is the first time seeing him since the Throne Accord was signed.

“Silverwing- duck and move along.” Whispers the hunched over druid. Mohach looks up with determination and concern.

“Don’t panic- but I thought I saw Femar.”

“Femar!” exclaims the winged elf.

“Relax. We are not doing anything illegal and the war is over. We are not even in Karrnath. He has no power here.”

They hurry along just the same. With their hunched down backs (even the Kobold drew his cowl further over his face), they fail to see the Knight’s reaction. He stares in their general direction from the sight of the tightly packed crowd.

Mohach and Silverwing sit in the cabin room to settle in. Izmet goes to the food car to get a drink. There are not many people here so soon after leaving a station. The few here are Karrnathi people judging by their haunted looks. The city limits disappear through the windows and the druid begins to relax.

Then he hears an unique but familiar sound- movement of leather, bone and strips of metal. A Bone Knight suit of armor. Without moving his head, the druid looks to the entrance of the food car and there he is- Warlord ir’Femar. The nervous druid can not move his eyes from the Knight as he sits down and stares.

A few of the other passengers leave. The remaining ones keep an eye on the Knight and the Druid. Either because of anticipation of a fight or they are frozen in fear. After a few minutes of waiting the Bone Knight gets up and walks over to the druid. “Do I know you?” He commands as much as asks.

“N-no.” says the druid. He finishes his drink and hopes to leave. Quickly.

“I feel I know you…… Aundairan or Eldeen?”

“Breland.” He lies.

Unseen by either the kobold walks in. He spots the bone armor and ducks under a table for cover.

“What did you do during the war?”

“ah…. Nothing really.”

Dead silence after a deep sigh from the Knight.

The druid gets up and moves away quickly. The Knight watches him leave. Even after the druid has left for a minute, the Knight looks at the doorway. Finally he turns away and the kobold takes this moment to hurry away. “Miss. Miss do you know that elf?”
 

EBERRON: FOR HIRE
SEGMENT 005
“KARRNATH”
4/19/20

DRAVAGO 14, 1000

[DM NOTE: I used my creative liberty on the bridge. I made it about 25 miles long instead of a few hundred feet and gave it some economic umph]

“Papers.” Asks the bored Orien employee.

Mohach looks up at the woman and sneers. “I got your papers right……” he stops himself and fishes them out of his robes. The woman, if she was offended- doesn’t show it, takes his traveling papers and looks them over before stamping them.

“Next” she states with her hand out to the druid. As she looks his papers over she asks “ever been to Karrnath before?” All three give a quick ‘no’. She pauses them stamps the papers. She holds out her hand for Silverwing’s papers. “You should try their foods. Some of it is very good.”. She stamps and returns the papers. Once she steps back Mohach closes the door.

Two doors down the Orien employees knock and the door is opened by the Knight. After a few pleasantries he asks “What can you tell me of the three down there. The kobold, the dirty elf and the winged elf?”

The sun is low by time the rail reaches the White Arch Bridge. During the war, it was heavily damaged. Most say Karrnath did it to stop Aundairian forces, the Karrns say it was them to avoid their forces. Others suggest it was a third party. It is generally accepted it was Karrnath. The bridge is a work of art created by Cannith and Orien and funded in part by Kundarak. It has two layers to it. The top layer is a raised platform that the Electric Rail runs on. The section below it is for foot traffic, horses and carts. Because of its length (over 20 miles) House Ghallanda built several small over hanging structures that act as food rest stops and even an inn near the center. The success of this led to other houses building structures and soon there were small pockets of mini-towns run by the Dragonmarked Houses. In some instances, stairs lead down the tall support structures to the bridge to the inlet below. Fishermen use it and some looking to go to Throneshold island use it.

Izmet looks down from his window and sees a tall sail ship 250 feet below. Seagulls call out as they circle around the intruder. Many of these gulls and other birds use the bridge as a nesting area. Just as the bases under water and the leftover rubble act as shelter for fish of all sorts including at least one known aquatic humanoid settlement.

The druid likes the trip over the bridge. With no structures except for an occasional service ladder or shelter to see it reminds him of flying. Flying high over the open water. It is why the mountain tunnel loving kobold doesn’t sit at the window.

The rail slows down as it begins to near the end of the bridge- into Karrnath. The view was of budding trees and greening grass with birds flying and calling when entering the bridge in Aundair but now it is dark with more stone and rock than fertile dirt as they enter the country of Karrnath. The city of Rekkenmark is just ahead as the Orien rail slows down further. Another knock on the door. The Orien employee is here to let everyone know they are in Karrnath and before reaching the station the government will conduct an inspection and possibly ask for papers again.

“You would think the war never ended.” Grumbles the druid.

“Did it?” asks the kobold.

Silverwing looks at her multiple weapons in deep thought……

Shortly- there is a knock at the door. The winged warrior answers it. Two Karrn soldiers are in the hall. May we see your papers….miss?” Clearly this young man has never seen a winged humanoid before. In turn, each hand over their traveling papers. “So many stamps. Clearly you travel a great deal. Business or Pleasure?”

“I hope for both.” Says Silverwing as per their agreed story. She flirts with the soldier whom stumbles with his clip board.

The method works as it usually does with young males. They leave after a few more questions. They don’t remember much of the answers…. Just her look and the partially undone leather armor she wore.

“Sick and sad….. me- a kobold- being caught up in the activities of two elves……”

The rail slowly crawls a bit further down the track into a walled and gated area. Rekkenmark. The druid is almost happy night has fallen. Rekkenmark is a dreary and stark city with a strong influence by its military. It will only get worse as they go deeper into the city. The military is largely made up of skeletons and zombies. At least two members of their group during the war were killed then recruited to join their forces.

DRAVAGO 15, 1000

By time they reach Korth the sun is rising again. It seems the Bone Knight truly doesn’t remember whom they are and has left them alone or got off at Rekkenmark. It is getting dark again by time they reach the small town built around the quiet fort known as Fort Zombie. It is called this due to the large number of preserved bodies stored underground in cataloged crypts. The fort’s purpose is to monitor activities from the Talenta Plains and from The Mournlands.

A small town has grown near the military fortress to service it. Little is here since so many of the fort’s occupant’s are undead. But the living require food, sleep and companionship. So it exists.

The three government hired trouble shooters find a room in the one inn here and settle in. The kobold outside and the two elves outside. None sleep peacefully. Tomorrow they enter the Mournlands- the dead but non-decaying country of Cyre. The biggest and possibly greatest causality of the Last War.
 

EBERRON: FOR HIRE
SEGMENT 006
“BRIDGE IN THE MISTS”
4/19/20

DRAVAGO 16, 1000

“This road will take up in?” asks Silverwing outside of the inn.

“Yes. The main road here in Fort Zombie used to go into Cyre and follow the shore line of the Cyre river.” Replies the Druid enjoying the cool morning air.

“We go in. Travel a few hours to Grand Tree Branch- find The Wayfinder’s building and return with the map.” States the kobold. He has been on edge all morning. It is as if he knows something bad is going to happen today- something dreadful.

From edge of town, near the fort they can see the clingy fog in the river valley; the fog that is the Mourn Mists. On Olarune 20, 994, between the 9th bell at night and midnight something happened in the country of Cyre. The country known for its fine art and dancing died. In its place is a mockery of what it once was.

The country was roughly covered and surrounded by a mist. Everything inside was altered in a supernatural or others would say a non-natural way. ALL died within it. Those that died either became undead or simply died. To make matters worse, these dead do not decay and rot. They remain there, cold and lifeless but as if they had just died a day ago. Worse, many of the undead feed on the corpses but a day or two later reform as if they had not been discovered or violated by the undead.

This defiance of the natural way was not restricted to the people and animals of Cyre. Man-made structure, including towns and cities, altered. Buildings mis-shaped and changed. Some say the capital- Metrol- was the worst hit. Entire multiple storied buildings turned inside out or flipped over while maintaining their shape and design.

This is where the three are walking and though it is not spoken of, disturbs them each.

It is late morning when they see the first of the events they know are coming. They witness a rabbit with deer antlers on its head. When it sees them, it breathes out smoke as if it were a dragon. Just to warn them to stay away. Then changing into an eagle, the druid looks to catch lunch in a river branching from the Cyre River and nearby mists. The fish he catches, a nice rainbow trout, has a third eye.

They eat road rations for lunch.

During their lunch break a stiff and steady breeze begins. A storm coming in or something worse? Much worse?

They stop a mere ten feet from the dense fog. It slowly is pushed back by the breeze but then rolls and claws its way back as the breeze subsides like a stubborn child. “Last time we were here…..” begins the elf.

“Was a week before….. it ended.” Finishes the kobold.

“When we stole the Cyrian general’s sword.” Adds Silverwing.

“Because it could increase the power of a cleric’s belief against the undead.”

“Well….crap. Lets go.” Grumbles the fearful kobold.

Silverwing is the first. She opens her wings and gives a few tentative “practice” flaps of her wings. She is ready to go airborne if anything bad happens in the mist. She sticks her hand in and nothing happens. Then her arm. She can not see her fingers as she wiggles them. “Mist is thick. Visibility is less than three feet. Out of habit she flaps and rises above the ground then slowly forward.

The sound of her flapping winds seem distant to her. Similar to hearing a bird take flight from a river or pond.

The kobold is immediately lost as he goes in. At least he can feel the stones of the road as he walks on them…. Or can he?

Izmet look back at the hillside where the fort is almost wishes he was there with their protection. Almost. Then he moves on using his staff to poke and tap the ground before him. He is not sure if he has walked five feet or 500 ft when he first hears it. A moaning sound.

He then hears a squawk of surprise. “Silver….. Mo…… What….. Where are you?” Then suddenly heis falling then rolling. He hits something that grunts.

“I’m wet!” he hears the kobold curse.

“Not sure….but I think we’re off the road…. In the river…….” Begins the druid as he pats around until he feels the kobold’s body.

Though she heard her two companions fall into the water she has not responded. The winged warrior is not alone. She can a moaning. At first she thought it was the moving of the air but it would change. And it was coming from all directions and distances. Then she sees the mist move and swirl. It had eyes and a mouth. It was similar to an air elemental but it was not an elemental (Mourners). She blindly swings her weapons about her hoping to drive whatever it is away.

Below the druid stands up. He is knee deep in the water. He can feel reeds and water grass before him where the kobold illusionist was just a moment ago. He hears the kobold speak- “wind is changing again. Hear that?” Then suddenly the mist bursts around the druid and a somewhat humanoid shape flies into him. He knows he needs to get out of the water but why?He wonders (--6 Wis )

The kobold vaguely hears Silverwing above him when he feels pain and feels the wind move sharply around him. He has no idea what to do ! (--5 Wis ).

Her magical weapons drive two of the undead away. She hopes she is still flying straight across but is uncertain.

The druid begins to crawl out of the water onto the bank when he struck again (--5 Wis) and drops without understanding why he is dying. Mohach is also struck again…. And again….and again. Both the druid and the kobold die on the river’s bank. Mohach’s last thought involves an illusion that he doesn’t understand the importance of.

Silverwing bursts out of the mist into a grey world. Whatever the creatures were, they remain within the mist and have not followed her. She fears her friends are dead in the mists. Still, she takes a deep breath and flies back in. Still she can not see far before her. After a few minutes….? An hour or two? She exits the mist.

The road is no where to be seen. Looking to the sun’s location, she turns north and in a few hours locates the road once more. She considers trying to follow the road by foot to find her friends but doubts that would be wise.

Instead, she turns to the hills and walks to Fort Zombie.

It then hits her……. Mohach had the money and the Orien voucher!
 

EBERRON: FOR HIRE
SEGMENT 006
“A WARFORGED, A PALADIN AND A WAYWARD SPY”
4/25/20

DRAVAGO 17, 1000

Silverwing awakens and scrunches her face. Zombies in armor are marching nearby following an armored cleric dressed in the red and black colors of Karrnath. Not the smell she wants to wake up to any morning.

Having thought about the events of the prior day she has come to a conclusion. She wants to finish her mission for Aundair but can not do that on her own. Nor can she use any of the villagers. She will try a day or two and hope for some adventurers to come by and join her. It was a better idea than walking back to Fairhaven through the length of Karrnath. Especially if Warlord ir’Femar were on her trail.

The two hours of the morning go slow. She gets some bread from a local baker and watches the Orien station. Nothing. Then she hears a deep monotone voice nearby. The only beings that have that kind of voice are warforged and warforged were not used much in Karrnath. Maybe….

“Many Undead.”

“This, a warforged named Gyor, is bothered by the sight of ?” A tall and slender warforged carrying a Halberd and a short armor wearing gnome walk around the corner.

“For a paladin, you are very accepting.”

“ As I have told you before- I am not your average paladin of the Sovereign Host. There is more to the world than Black and White views.” Answered the serious but good-natured gnome.

The warforged thinks about this some before answering. “There are…. Colors?”

“Greys is what I was looking for. There are creatures that are purely Black. Liches, powerful undead and some goblins I have encountered. There is White. Angels and some rural people like farmers I have met. But most are not pure. They are a shade of grey. I prefer lighter shades but these people are darker. They do not relish the use nor presence of the undead. But these are the tools they have to use.”

The warforged looks at his hand. “Tools…. Like myself?”

“I prefer to think of you are being more than a construct- living or otherwise.”

“You are a wise man Sir Ryner.”

“I like to think so.” Smirks the gnome in a good manner.

“Except for why we are here. I do not understand why a wise man would enter the Mournlands. Go to this….. Grand Tree Branch town.”

Grand Tree Branch! Over hears the winged warrior. She gets up and makes way to intercept the two wanderers.

“Civilized people bury their dead.”

“Wasteful. You should repair instead.”

“I am beginning to think there is more of a Karrn in you than you will ever admit.” Comments the gnome. Suddenly a winged creature stands before him. “Oh- hello….miss……?”

“I am Silverwing.” She smiles at the gnome. Unknown to her, the paladin opens his heart and mind to hers……

“I am Sir Gali Calodus Ryner Paladin of the Sovereign Host and Knight of The Krona Peaks.”

“I am known as Gyor. Traveler.”

“How can we help you young lady?” The paladin asks even after learning she has a darker grey side to her.

“I have need to reenter the Mist and search for something lost in a small town there.” She tries her best to be sweet and sincere. Her aura gives her away.

“Oh. We are going there ourselves. Where to? I am originally from Cyre.”

“Grand Tree Branch.”

“As are we.” States the warforged lacking the surprise he means to express.

“Yes. Yes we are. What are you searching for?”

“I was hired to find- a scroll- inside a building there.” Her pause, however brief, gives her away. She is holding back on purpose.

“Would you like to travel with us? Perhaps you can help him with his family and we can help you with your search.” Offers the artificer-warrior.

The gnome is uncertain if this is wise but clearly, she will go in anyways. At least with them, he can learn what is happening. “Lady?”

“Okay. I accept your offer. When do we go?”

“First thing in the morning.”
 

EBERRON: FOR HIRE
SEGMENT 007
“CROSSING THE CYRE RIVER”
4/25/20

DRAVAGO 18, 1000

Silverwing shows Sir Gali where the baker is. “Very good. My thanks My Lady.”

She mistakes his politeness as being taken in by her. She figures he is being manipulated and get the scroll case and leave with no issues. She has limited exposure to paladins.

They walk for several hours down the road just as she had done the day before. The paladin talks nearly non-stop to the attentive warforged about philosophy, religion and what makes a person inherently good or bad. Silverwing hopes this goes smoothly.

Soon the misty wall that hugs and holds onto the land known as The Mournlands can be seen clearly.

They drop down a slow hill and Silverwing begins to walk slower.

“Is something amiss My Lady?” asks the paladin with sincere concern for her.

“Within the mists there is a river and a bridge goes over it.”

“Yes- I know it well. The Daigneault Bridge. I used to fish from it. Rainbow Trout.”

“It was there my friends were lost.”

“I thought they were killed.”

“I assume they died. I never found their bodies.”

“My apologies My Lady. He meant nothing by it. As for the bridge and ourselves- we have a different fate. I know the area well. We will become lost.”

“Have you ever breached the mists before?” She asks.

“This is the first time I have returned home since I left during the war.”

“This is no mere fog or mist. It is….. alive.”

A sudden but gentle breeze comes and the Gnome wonders…. Coincidence or a warning? Either way, it is merely an inconvenience to overcome. He marches directly up to it. He stops to look up then to each direction of north and south- then pushes forward and disappears into the milky and shifting mists.

Gyor enters and finds it difficult to see with his crystal eyes. Silverwing also follows. She walks in instead of flying hoping to not provoke the spirits (Mourners). Gyor speaks but it seems lost in distance and time. “Hold my hand. I will search with the halberd.” And he begins to tap and feel his way along.

The tapping sound shifts as he works his way along the stone and dirt road. Then he hears louder taps…. Like something walking.

“What is that?” The paladin asks hoping it is not a giant or a troll.

“I am uncertain. I think it is before us….. nearby.” Answers the warforged.

“I heard a creak. Something is on the bridge. Are we on the bridge?” asks the now unsettled winged elf.

The paladin senses evil above and below. They do reach the bridge and cross it. They arenot attacked but the sounds surround them of movement.

[ DM NOTE: Once in a while I like to mix things up. Molhach did die and now is slowly becoming a ghost. His power of illusion, specially Ghost Sound, will always activate if this bridge is crossed. ]

They exit the mists and they all breathe easier (the paladin just won’t admit it and the warforged well….)

“Not white. Not black. It is grey.” Comments the warforged as he looks across the farm fields.

“I had heard it was eternally twilight within the mists but I didn’t expect this. I hope the rumors of healing are not true.” Says the gnome as he also looks across the fields.

“It is not…. Natural” says Silverwing.

They walk for a ways looking everywhere. The sight before them is unsettling. Outside of the mists it is late spring. Here it is late winter. The snow is gone but little has begun to grown. Frozen. Frozen in time at the moment of Oralune 20…..

“What is that?” The winged elf asks pointing into the field near the road ahead of them. A pile of hay bales sit to be picked up by a farmer. Behind it, something moves. It looks like a thick yellow cloud.

“I never seen anything like it.” Says the gnome.

“I do not trust it Sir Gali.”

“Just what is it?” She asks then moves into the field to get a better look.

“My Lady! It may be unwise to intrude on….it.”

From a different angle, Silverwing sees it is a roiling and pillowing yellow cloud that has substance that is striking the hay bales.

“Why is it doing this?” asks the warforged hefting up its halberd into a defensive state.

“I’m not sure but I am certain we do not need to know. We should leave it alone. Let us divert the winged lady back to the road and go.”
 

EBERRON: FOR HIRE
SEGMENT 008
“GRAND TREE BRANCH”
4/25/20

DRAVAGO 18, 1000

“I was built for Breland and fought for them though I did not like it.” The warforged answers Silverwing’s question.

“Why not?” She asks with true interest and curiosity.

“On the battlefield I saw many of my kind turn to pieces and burnt by magic. Others damaged from weapons and construct weapons. They lived but the spark was dying.”

“No healers or artificers?”

Gyor doesn’t answer.

“Healers were reserved for the living. Artificers, unless they were Cannith, were targeted on the battlefield. Even with the protection of the Dragonmarked, “accidents” happened.” The gnome answers with regret and sorrow. “It is why he has come to learn a few tricks of the artificers. He is a healer- of his own kind. It is to be respected and honored.” Replies the gnome.

“With a name of Gyor…..”

“A cruel joke I am afraid.”

“BRE-934 was my original given name.”

“Gyor works.” Answers Silverwing uncertain if she likes either. “And what of you Sir Knight of the Peaks?”

“Knight of the Krona Peaks.” Corrects the gnome. “Is another story. As for who I am- we are entering my home, Grand Tree Branch, it defines me more than any given name.” The gnome answers with a smile.

Silver has seen similar towns before- especially in Cyre. Farms surround the town. The town itself has homes, mills, stores, one or two schools, a few temples and being Cyre- something to represent the arts.

“And this is the Hadly Theater. Several times a year either the elves would come by and do a play or show. Sometimes we did ourselves. It was…. A happier time.”

They continue on towards the far end of the town. On a hillside, they see a temple to the Silver Flame. Though it doesn’t fall under the beliefs of The Sovereign Host, it saddens him to see the once proud temple look dark and grey under the mists. In the mid-day sun it once shown bright and clear.

“You said it was the Wayfinder’s place? Asks again the gnome.

“Yes. Like the adventure club.”

“I would not call Boroman’s organization a “club” my Lady.”

“Have you ever met the halfling?” She asks.

“No. I have not.”

“I have. He is not as much of a hero as his books make him out to be.”

“Our heroes rarely are as we wish in real life.” The gnome replies. “It is just down this road.”

The three of them walk over to a large one story building made of wood and stone. The street seems slightly broken up and every twenty feet there is a grate to the sewers below.

“Ever been inside?” she asks the gnome.

“No. I wanted to but my father discouraged it. Uncle Urik had always promised to take me. Sadly, he never did.” Replies the gnome with sadness in his eyes.

Gyor tries the door. Locked.

Gali can just look into a nearby window and does. It is dark inside. He can see crates, barrels, shelves and various nick-knacks. Nothing too impressive.

Using his halberd, the warforged tries to force the lock and only scratches it. He pauses in frustration and tries again. There is a very loud grinding and squealing sound made with metal on metal. No one ever wonders why no one has broken into this place in the past 5+ years.

Frustrated with the lock, he now instead pushes in with the halberd. He forces the lock and metal brace in breaking very loudly the wood doors. He steps back and allows Silverwing to look in. She sees a pile of crates and some barrels near the door but nothing else. She shoves the damaged door in and the metal hinges squeal loudy. The gnome looks over at them from the window. “Trying to awaken the dead?” The gnome smiles at his joke.

She steps in and goes to the closest stack and begins to search through them. The warforged waits for the gnome as the gnome has caste an innate spell. Small globes of light illuminate the building. “It’s more of a store than a Wayfinder station.” he comments.

Then he stops. “Did you hear something?” he asks the warforged.

“Moans.”

“And the moans are coming from nearby.” He slowly turns from the window expecting an undead spirit to be there. Nothing.

“You did hear that?”

Inside, Silverwing has also heard something nearby but from within the building. Rattling and shifting of objects. Then she hears the gnome and turns to look out the doors where the warforged has moved into a defensive position.

A sewer cover clunks. Then another. “By a dwarf’s beard- “ His detect evil is alarmingly bright as a slender greyish-green arm lifts and slides over a cover. Then another. “Undead !” At this point something falls and then strikes the legs of the winged elf. She turns and it is a barrel marked “pickles”.

Dozens of ghouls rise from the openings in the street. Sir Ryner grips his symbol and raises it into the air. “Return to the ground you rose vile creatures. The Host demands it!” Many shriek and withdraw. One holds its ground and growls at him.

Silverwing pushes the barrel away in annoyance then suddenly it stops and rolls back at her and strikes her again. This time she pulls a weapon and as it comes at her again she dashes it. A nasty smell of pickle juice spills out. Then a crate topples from another pile. The damned stuff is animated!

The undead crowd into two groups standing at the ends of the building on the street near the sewer entrances. “I have them held back. Please do hurry My Lady !”calls out the gnome paladin.

She kicks at the crate to hold it back then strikes it with her mace. The wooden pieces break apart smoldering. She around a corner where two sets of shelves stand; one on either side. She tries to quickly look through the many titles of the books, journals and collected Chronicles. Suddenly one book falls to the floor. As it falls, it spits out pages that attach to her body including covering her face. She can not see nor breath.

From within one of the groups of ghouls a beam of light lashes out and explodes at the entrance of the building. “Spellcaster!” exclaims the gnome whom hurries to the doorway. The warforged stomps out some of the flames on the ground and bits of splintered wood. “Take cover Gyor!”

As they enter the building the two groups of ghouls inch closer themselves. The paladin’s powers of faith have kept them from advancing or in some cases destroyed them out right. Except for their mage and leader.

“Gyor- close the door and grab that bar.” Sir Ryner has spotted a means to lock the door from the inside. A simple drop bar made of thick wood.

Ripping the paper from her face, Silverwing discovers a suit of animated armor clunking at her. Gyor steps up to her wondering how this is happening. A Brazier on three legs walks at them. Its coals ignite and then it charges. Using his halberd, Gyor easily destroys it. Two chests and two candles come next. Meanwhile the ghouls claw at the door. One reaches in through the hole where the lock once was and the paladin strikes it. It howls and withdraws its hand.

Finally past the shelves they are now attacked by a statue of a nymph. Around her neck hangs a red and black scroll case on a chain. Silverwing reaches out and grabs it but can not break the chain. So Gyor breaks the animated statue. “Got it!”

Much of the next few hours are spent destroying a few animated items and waiting for the ghouls to withdraw. They do.

Carefully they sneak out of the building being careful not to cause any noise that may alert the ghouls below and hurry away.
 

Surrounded within a haunted and burning building....
scroll 2.jpg
 


EBERRON: FOR HIRE
SEGMENT 009
“SACRID FAMILY OATH”
4/26/20

DRAVAGO 18, 1000

“This is it- the Ryner homestead.” Says the gnome with a mix of pride and forlorn respect.

“A nice home you grew up in.” adds Gyor.

“Yeah.” Says Silverwing.

At the top of a gentle hill-rise sits a once white farmhouse. It is two stories tall with a wrap around porch. The 6’3 warforged can not go inside as the house was built for gnomes by gnomes. The winged elf crawls onto the porch and looks inside after the paladin enters.

Feeling unwelcome, she back tracks and waits for him to return.

Looking at the wall, he smiles as he is reminded of happier times. A family painting is hung up. It was painted by his aunt. He was only ten. His younger brothers were 6 and 4. Behind them are his mother and father. Next to them the painter and Uncle Urik.

His father wanted him to stay at the farm and grow corn and wheat. He wanted more. He wanted the life his Uncle had. He grew up in Zilargo and traveled throughout the country. He had learned draconic and worked as a negotiator with the kobolds whom fought over mining rites. Business was good even with the war of the “big peoples” happening all around them. Zilargo was dragged into it largely due to Breland but also because marauding goblinoids would sweep across the southern edge of Cyre and incidentally enter gnome lands.

His father and uncle argued often over what should have been his decision. When he saw this attempt at control tear into his younger brothers he decided and left. Like his uncle, he wanted to be a peace keeper in other lands and territories to avoid unnecessary bloodshed.

He moves out of the room into the reading room. He halts and can not enter the room any further. In the center of the room still sits the dead body. The dead and unrotting body of his uncle. Uncle Urik. Reading with a pipe still in his mouth.

Up stairs in bed he finds his two brothers. One in bed- eternally sleeping. He carefully wraps both in blankets and brings them down stairs. Once outside he sets each down in turn. Finding a shovel in a barn, Gyor has already begun digging holes by a fruit tree.

He fought with his father often but still wraps him up carefully gives him a kiss on the forehead. Then he retrieves his mother. He leaves the hardest for last.

It seems his Uncle Urik wanted one last laugh before death. He had fallen asleep then died reading. The book he was reading is one of the collected Korranberg Collections he enjoyed. “Theories of The Apocalypse”. It is a collection of how the world or areas of it could be destroyed. It included poems from famous poets and clergy. Powerful stuff.

He spends ten minutes talking to and remembering better times with his Uncle. Laughs, Tears and revelations later he brings him out with his pipe and the bag of leaves. He insists on digging his uncle’s grave himself. When he places his Uncle in the grave he also places a jade lion on his chest. Something of importance to Gali.

He stays there most of the night. The others give him space. Even the warforged fighter understands this.
 
Last edited:

EBERRON: FOR HIRE
SEGMENT 010
“RETURN TRIP TO THE MISTS”
4/26/20

DRAVAGO 19, 1000

Sir Ryner is chipper and happy to be walking again. However, he is not fooling either one of them. His eyes are red and his cheeks streaked. He had been crying after burying his family.

They enter the open fields where the strange cloud creature was ( Living Spell: Cloudkill ) and watch for it. They don’t see it by the hay bales and move on a bit more comfortable. That is until the warforged looks up and sees a giant bat above.

“Sure it’s a bat?” asks the paladin squinting to focus on the circling flying creature.

“Has leathery wings. Its not very sunny.”

“Could it be a dragon?” asks Silverwing.

“I don’t see four legs.” Says the paladin. Then- “Uh-oh……”

Whatever the flying creature is, it has spotted them and either wants to look at them closer or feels they are food as it curls in it’s wings and drops from the sky. There is no where to run and take cover for the three. As it gets closer the creature has purple scales with orange highlights. (Rift Drake) It sweeps down the road and spits out a ball of energy over them as they turn to flee or at least hope for the best. The ball of energy bursts and they are splattered by acid that burns and pits the armor of the warforged.

“Try that again you blasted beast!” calls out the winged warrior whom took the least damage of the three.

“Careful of what you ask for My Lady !” calls out the gnome. The large drake turns and swoops back at them. The gnome and warforged try to move away from each other but find they are suffering from a slowness they can not explain.

The drake flies close but not close enough for the more agile warrior to reach it. It lands twenty feet away and as it turns. Both the warforged and paladin burst forward and attack it. The warforged channels energy through his halberd as he attacks making it very destructive to the creature. By surrounding it they keep it from escaping and they avoid the bite and swinging tail. It goes down with one final growl.

Soon they can see the mists as they reach the shallow river valley. They get closer and they begin to wonder what is ahead of them. Something very very large is blocking the road as it enters the mists. Very big.

“What is it?” asks the winged elf.

“Not sure. It has a lot of metal on it. Shields?” wonders the paladin.

“Several of my kind perhaps. It is said there is a warforged leader in the Mournlands trying to organize a settlement. Others say an army.”

The paladin looks over his shoulder. He sighs then says “Let’s see what it is.”

Before leaving, Silverwing looks over her shoulder also. Did he see something? “I could fly closer- in the air. If its hostile, it will be less likely to see me.”

The paladin thinks about this and how long the drake must have been flying over head before attacking. “Very well.”

She takes to the air as the two remaining hunch down behind a small rise of the road. She flies high then over and sees just what is in the road- Giant Warforged! Military issue Titans!

They look to be guarding the road as they are occasionally moving their upper bodies to search for something on the horizon. Then they look up and one points! At her! She swoops back and hurries back to her fellow travelers.

“What is she doing?” asks the gnome to the warforged.

“I believe she is leading the two back towards us.” Answers the warforged as he gets up and readies his weapon.

The two charging warforged titans are there very quickly. For such huge constructs they move very quickly when they want to.

“We are here to take all magic stuff” one of the titans state.

The three travelers look at each other. The paladin steps forward.

“We came to tend to my deceased family.”

“All are deceased. Give us the magic so that The Lord of Blades may grow stronger.”

“He is already mighty.” States Gyor.

The paladin waves him back. “I did find one thing. Maybe he can use it.” He fishes around on his hip pack and pulls out a metal and glass rod. He then thumps the metal end on the ground that releases a fluid within the glass. A bright light appears. “Found it within the town back there.”

“He can not see well in the dark. That would be useful. Give us.”

“I could only carry this one.”

It leans forward casting a shadow over the much smaller gnome. “Give me the light stick.”

“As I said- I have but one. It was all I could carry.” He begins to hand it over then pulls it back. “There are more.”

“Tell us.”

“What do I gain from telling you this- secret.”

“Life” says the second Titan as it now also leans over him.

“If you can answer this one question I will.”

“No. Give us the light thing.” It raises a stone block it has for a hand that is bigger than the gnome high over its head.

“Tell me if this sentence is true. As a paladin I can detect a lie.”

They hesitate as they try to think this through.

“Okay.”

“If we are wrong you get smashed still.”

“This Sentence Is False.”

“Tell us the sentence.”

“I just did.”

“Retell”

“This Sentence is False.”

Confused and distracted, they lower their weaponized arms to think.

“Sentence….False?”

“No. Give us Magic Now!”

“I really shouldn’t. I mean it is such a pretty well in the middle of the town”

“The Well!” the two dim-witted Titans call out together and suddenly they stomp off towards town.

“Let’s go. Eventually they will know there is no magic there.”

“Maybe they will stir up the last of those ghouls.” Suggests the winged elf.

They move quickly to the mists then pause. The mists can be a daunting barrier to deal with. They enter it slowly and both hear and feel their way along the broken road hoping it will not mislead them as it had Mohach and Ezmet a few days ago. As they slowly cross they can hear wind over head wailing very loudly but nothing comes of it as they exit the mists and even on the road.
 

EBERRON: FOR HIRE
SEGMENT 011
“TROUBLE WAITING IN FORT ZOMBIE”
4/26/20

DRAVAGO 19, 1000

Thankful to be out of the mists and out of the Mournlands, the three head for the inn to get some rest and food. As they step onto the wooden porch to the inn, Silverwing hears a familiar voice.

“Welcome back Silverwing. Where are your allies in crime?”

She and the others turn to face the voice. “Warlock ir’Femar, How not so nice to see you again…. And so soon.”

“Sir Gali Calodus Ryner, Knight of the Krona Peaks and Paladin of the Sovereign Host.” And the paladin holds out his hand for a formal greeting. It is not returned. Six armored zombies wielding metal shields and swords step up to stand in the defense of the Bone Knight.

“And what name do you go by construct?” demands the Karrnathi Knight of the warforged.

“I am Gyor.”

“Indeed.”

“And I repeat- Where are your associates- Izmet- Renegade druid and Mohach- kobold bombing terrorist?”

“Dead. Killed by the mists.”

After determining the Knight’s alignment isn’t evil but possibly a shade of grey, the paladin tries for a truce. “I have seen nothing in her actions to suggest she is a dangerous criminal nor heard of anything of her past to suggest it. What crimes do you accuse her of?”

“Crimes against the great country of Karrnath. Theft, terrorism, murder, and also wanted for crimes against the Ministry of Arms and Defense.”

“Crimes most grave. What is your proof Sir Knight?”

“Proof ?!? We stand at a military fort within the country of Karrnath and you want proof?!? I am the law here- not you ‘Knight of Krona’…. Which I see no proof.”

“Do you speak of a symbol…. Or my race?” Counters the paladin. “Racism is so unbecoming a person. Knight or otherwise.”

“Hold. I am not done with you!” The Bone Knight snarls as Silverwing had begun to slowly move away. The zombies now create a circle surrounding them all. Gyor positions himself defensively.

“There must be a way to settle this peacefully.”

“Only when she sees court- Karrnathi court for her crimes against The State…. And her peoples.”

“As a true paladin and knight- I can watch over and guide her on her righteous path to redeption.”

“Whaaaat ?!?”

“She is no doubt involved in something dangerous and she is in over her head no doubt. I and my traveling companion can watch over her and her from doing any such crimes against your nation or any other. Perhaps even help the world.”

“Or I can arrest the lot of you.”

“Try you mean.” States Gyor.

Suddenly an alarm horn is blown and the citizens that were gathering to watch from a safe distance hurry off or out right flee. Human clerics and other Bone Knights lead undead troops this way and that. A messenger hurries to Warlord ir’Femar. “Sir! We are under attack. The fields.”

The Bone Knight glares at the paladin. “I have business here.”

“You can not abandon and leave your people. More- we can prove ourselves and aid you. What attacks your town and fort?”

“Trolls good sir- Trolls from the mists we believe.”

“I hope to find you still in town when I return.” The Karrnathi noble declares and he turns away from them.

“We will follow.” Says the gnome as he withdraws his weapon. He gives the winged elf a look that demands no argument.

Several groups of defenders spread from the small town into the fields and storage areas. It is not long before Warlord ir’Femar and his zombie force spot some trolls. He immediately summons undead to further help him. If it bothers the paladin, he doesn’t show it. Tools he had once told the warforged of how the Karrnathi people look at undead.


The trolls grumble and snarl at the sight of them. They then are outraged as a dropped troll from a prior battle stumbles out of the forest nearby. The skeleton attacks the intruders before the rest can reach the group of trolls. The trolls are quick to counter. The very rib cage is ripped free as one troll strikes and rends its undead kin. The one weapon held by the winged warrior erupts in fire and she begins to strike at a troll. The zombies form a defensive wall to protect the Bone Knight. With the trolls engaged with the zombies, Sir Gali and Gyor move around to flank and trap the trolls.

Within the minute, these four first trolls are defeated. There are more. Many more. For the most part they fare well against the marauding intruders. Few civilians are injured and nearly no trolls enter the town itself.

The battle ends as a few surviving trolls run to flee back into the mists. The Bone Knight turns back to the paladin. “I am not one to ease up when I have the best position but I have at least an hour here helping people. The three of you may do whatever you wish in that time.” He smiles then, grim but as pleasant as he has ever shown them. “The Orien Station is not even 500 feet that way. I am certain a craft leaves soon. I will wait for you here at the inn. I am not known for my patience. I wouldn’t dwell long in one place.” And with that he goes to the infirmary to tend to any injured.

“What just happened?” Asks Silverwing.

“We have less than an hour to avoid the full force of a Bone Knight to come down onto you and ourselves. Let us go.” And the gnome takes her by the arm and points her in the direction of the Orien Station.

Having lost the Orien Pass, Sir Gali buys the three of them tickets to Passage. He hopes that Warlord ir’Femar will go there to find them- not Fairhaven.
 

EBERRON: FOR HIRE
SEGMENT 012
“BRACKTON ir’STONEFACE”
4/26/20

DRAVAGO 20, 1000 WHITE ARCH BRIDGE MID- DAY

The gnome relaxes and the Winged Elf exhales as they leave the Rekkenmark Orien Station. If there was to be trouble with the Karrnathi government, it would have occurred there. Even the warforged seems to relax now as he no longer feels the need to hold onto his halberd.

Gyor accompanies his two friends to the food car. Gali orders the fish and Silverwing asks for a cup of wine to relax with. “We will reach Fairhaven tonight and then see your contact tomorrow.” States the gnome. “What should I expect?”

“Expect?”

“This Commander. Is she going to be agreeable to our presence?” asks the paladin.

“She is government. She doesn’t approve of anyone.” She comments. “Agh. Not really in the mood.”

“?!?”

“That dwarf. He has been staring at me for the past five minutes. Smiling.” She says.

Careful to not make it obvious, the paladin looks over his shoulder. He sees a well dressed dwarf with rings on all of his fingers including his thumbs. Carefully carved gems are threaded into his beard. And he is looking at her like she is a piece of meat.

“Maybe he will get the hint and go away.” Suggests Sir Gali.

“No.” states the warforged.

“Why not?”

“The one in question is getting up and moving to our table.”

Grooooan

“Hello fine fellow travelers. My name is Brackton ir’Stoneface. Is there room for one more?” Before any can answer he calls out for drinks for the table and sits down. “And your name lovely lady?”

“Silver.”

“Beautiful name. I love the hair and feathers. Do they all match?”

Great. A Drunken Leach. Thinks the winged elf. She ignores him.

“The feathers are dark as well as her hair.” Says the warforged.

“Its not what he was getting at.” She grumbles.

“Then what….” Begins the warforged looking away from the amused dwarf.

“What are you looking for sir dwarf?” asks the paladin to change the subject.

“Fun, Games and Friendship. To begin- names if you please.”

“Gyor.” Says the warforged.

“Your name….. so Karrnathi. Are you Karrnathi?”

“They prefer recycled soldiers over warforged. No I am of… Aundair creation.”

Perhaps the warforged is not as lost as I thought believes Silverwing. He is a Brelander but told the nosey dwarf a lie. Smart.

“Sir Gali Calodus Ryner, Paladin of the Sovereign Host and KNIGHT of the Krona Peaks.” Declares the gnome hoping the Paladin and Krona Knighthood would scare him away. It doesn’t.

“A Knight of Krona…..? But you are not…. Well not a dwarf.” Says the confused and disbelieving dwarf.

“I spent quality time in the Mhor Holds.”

“Indeed. And you winged beauty. Most female elves are beautiful…. But those wings….. You are like an angel.”

“Eyes are up here. Wings are to the side.”

“My pardons. I am smitten by you.”

The paladin gives her a look of ‘don’t’ as she makes a fist. She relaxes and decides to go with it.

[DM NOTE: I hate Role Playing flirtation with my daughter]

“Those rings….. silver?”

With pride- “Platinum”

“All of them?”

“Yes. And these are emeralds and rubies” he says as he pulls his beard up for all to see.

The paladin ignores the excess of wealth. The warforged looks at them. “You are a wealthy dwarf.”

“Yes. Yes I am.” He says looking at Silverwing hoping that at least impresses her.

The drinks arrive. “Anything for you my ‘forged friend?” the dwarf asks.

“No.”

“What brings you to the White Arch Bridge?” the dwarf asks as a series of buildings used by Orien go by quickly.

“We buried family and retrieved an item for her.”

“What kind of item?” he asks.

“Personal.” She states trying to intimidate the dwarf.

“Oh. I’m sorry. I didn’t mean anything by it.” He pauses. “How personal?”

Without answering, she and the paladin get up. Gyor watches them leave then turns to the dwarf. “Very.”

And the dwarf frown and gets up hoping to catch up with his ‘angel’.
 

EBERRON: FOR HIRE
SEGMENT 013
“REPORT IN AND LEAVE QUICKLY”
4/26/20

DRAVAGO 22, 1000

The three of them get off the car and exit off the Fairhaven Orien Station platform that night. As calculated, it is late and much of the city has closed except for some less reputable taverns and the inns. Once more the Paladin pays for services. He and Gyor take a room and the winged warrior gets her own room.

They sleep well and rest even better. Late morning they agree to meet and walk towards the Silver Dragon Inn together. As they near it they split up so as to “arrive” separately to not suggest they are together. Silverwing spots the Commander easily in her usual spot. She has finished the prior book and reads something new. It has images of a strange black and yellow structures in a desert. It is autographed.

“Were you successful?” Commander ir’Dressajk asks.

“Yes.”

“Where are you teammates? The druid and the kobold?”

“Dead.”

A pause. “Sorry. May I have the map?”

“Do you care? I mean really care?”

“It was a dangerous mission. You knew that ahead of time. As did they.” She holds out her hand for the scroll.

“They died entering The Mournlands. The mist itself killed them.”

“Hu-hum…….” And she takes the scroll case and empties it onto her palm.

She mumbles as she looks at a map with strange writing on the sides. She turns it this way and that as she works on deciphering the wording.

“Mohach died with the payment on him. I couldn’t retrieve his or Ezmet’s bodies.”

“Yes yes.” The government historian grumbles in slight annoyance.

“I had to have other’s pay to me…. That map to you.”

She grumbles more then looks away from the map and to the winged elf. “What do you want? What are you hinting at? You were paid. I can not help itif you placed all your eggs in one basket.”

“What do you mean?”

“You were paid. It was lost….or spent. Either way, it is on you- not me- not Aundair.”

“But-“ Silverwing begins.

“However, there could be a second mission. You can be paid for that. You will need a team however.”

“I have one.”

“Oh? Who?”

“The ones that aided me to retrieve the map. They can help again.” She sits down and waves over a tall warforged and a gnome.

“A gnome ?!? Are you certain of this?” comments a startled taskmaster. “They can not be trusted.”

“Ma’am- “ says the gnome. “I am Sir Gali Calodus Ryner. Paladin of The Sovereign Host and Knight of Kronas. I have been known to keep a secret or two.”

“Paladin?!? A Knight?!?”

“I am Gyor.” States the warforged.

“As time is important- my contacts say there are other parties involved still, the offer remains on the table.”

“Lets talk details.” Answers Silverwing.
 

EBERRON: FOR HIRE
SEGMENT 014
“THREAT OF THE EMERALD CLAW”
4/26/20

DRAVAGO 23, 1000

The Electric Rail’s sound of movement is somewhat peaceful to the gnome. The three of them must share a room which is cramped. Worse, it has but one bed. As the gnome prepares for sleep, he does his prayers. Silverwing quickly and silently takes the bed. He turns ands finds he will be sleeping on the floor.

Gyor stands before the door as a guard. They taking The Commander’s threat of “other parties” very seriously. An hour goes by. Silverwing is in her meditative state that all elves use to rest. Sir Gali has fallen asleep sitting upright in the corner. Gyor is like any warforged. He passes as a statue more than anything alive and awake.

Then Gyor hears activity outside in the hallway. Several people are grouping up before the door. A gentle knock but no voices. Another knock, harder this time. “Late. Return in the morning” He says.

WHAM! Something strikes the door. It is followed by two more slams before the door splitters. Silverwing wakes up and pushes up from the bed- “Wha-?” The paladin seems tangled in his blanket but gets to his feet. “Let us in!” Hisses a dark and deep voice from outside. Through the crack something tries to peer in. Gyor kicks down the broken door taking the broken door and the person behind it back into the hallway. Several men dressed in tattered and torn green and black armor with “half-faced” helmets stare at him. They are bottle-necked by the door and the warforged keeps them at bay. They are fast and hit hard but his ability to ignore damage (DR and DM bad rolls) makes it uneventful. Then he looks at their eyes. Their eyes!

The face is black and in constant shadow. Their eyes glow blood red. Suddenly, Silverwing hears something behind her- something at the window. The paladin turns and sees it also. A possible Emerald Claw soldier clinging to the side of the car from the outside! His flail is drawn out from the momentum of the speeding car. It first knocks off his helmet then hits his forehead repeatedly. Not hard but often. A flab of skin is torn back and flabs in the wind along with the flail.

The leader pushes the warforged back and out of the way. “Turn back or deal with The Emerald Claw and The Black Manifest!”

“VAMPIRES!” calls out the Paladin.

“Wha! Where” Calls out the winged elf from the bed.

“Gali- you are having…. A bad dream.” Says the warforged whom is standing before a closed door.

“Yes. Yes…. A dream. It was just a dream. A bad dream.”
 

EBERRON: FOR HIRE
SEGMENT 015
“SHARN, MORGRAVE AND THE INQUISITIVE”
5/03/20

DRAVAGO 24, 1000

The sun is very low to the ground. Low enough the paladin gnome can easily imagine it as being a yellowish-orange ball setting on the ground. The Electric Rail was following The Dagger River while traveling through a thick and overgrown forest. He had once heard a bard speak of white colored tigers being here. He liked tigers. They were large, fast and regal. Lions were said to be the kings of the plains, tigers were no doubt the kings of the forest.

The tracks take them away from the river’s edge and dive directly into this thick forest. The sun begins to set and it grows dark. Between the setting sun and entering the forest’s embrace, it becomes dark very quickly. Time to convene with the others. The winged elf had occasionally looked out to watch the river but was not as captivated by it as the gnome was. This was her adventure really. She appears to be a trouble shooter for hire now working for the country of Aundair. Eventually we would reach Xen’drik and locate a magical item or device the government felt was very powerful and too dangerous to leave alone for others to find. This item has been sitting in this ruin for hundreds and maybe thousands of years. It seems well hidden already. Then there was Gyor, or BRE-934 to the less caring. The gnome met this warforged fighter turned healer (artificer) on the Electric Rail. One wanted a purpose and the other had a mission. They have traveled together ever since. The three of them met at Fort Zombie and traveled together into The Mournlands. She had her mission to complete and he had a personal responsibility to do. Now he feels he can redirect her at times careless and dangerous actions into a force for good. It will take time he has discovered. “The world to Gali- The world to Gali-“

“Sorry. I was just thinking.”

“Of?”

“The wonders of the river and forest we are traveling past and now through.”

“We will arrive in Sharn soon” states the warforged.

“Okay…. So- what do we know?” The gnome asks so as to plan their actions once inside the city.

“We will get off the Orien Electric Rail. We will go three “levels” up and locate a Jack Boniface. He will direct us further to get to the continent of Xen’drik.” Begins the Winged Elf.

“Reach the settlement of Stormreach. Item she seeks is in the jungle there.” Follows the fighter turned healer.

“Sigh….. and that is all we know. I do not like working with governments. They seem to enjoy not telling you the whole story.” The gnome is saddened and perplexed by this. “And that usually means they have their own agenda.” He adds.

He then notes that Silverwing and Gyor are not looking at him. Instead they are looking at something outside of the Rail. He turns and finds himself mesmerized as well. Bits of light in the distance. Beginning from the ground and going high into the sky- into the clouds themselves. Sharn !

Now traveling through fields outside of Sharn, the rail continues towards the world’s largest human city. It then turns and follows the edge of it. Many tall buildings are here in view of the rail. Farmers homes and trades people Gali assumes. Then he sees a flag representing House Deneith. This is a military compound where they train soldiers, guards and even some magic users. Most stay in Breland but some are sold or paid to work for other countries. The words he heard a few weeks ago haunt him- “Has the war really ended?”

The rail begins to dip steeply and rides a stone carved bridge onto the earthen shelf of which parts of the city lie. He has heard there are crypts carved into the rock walls that can only be accessed through the city. Incredible. The gnome is awed by it all as the rail slows down and enters the city through an opening of a tall wall with catwalks built onto it patrolled by city guards. The rail slows down further as it begins to exit the tunnel and emerge into a cramped area of alleyways and clothes lines.

Then it stops and begins to inch forward.

Looking out the window one last time, they see a House Orien station with the words “TERMINUS/ LOWER TAVIK’S LANDING/SHARN/BRELAND” above the ticket window. It is crowded and difficult to exit the car as dozens of people are also trying to exit and even others enter the car at the same time. The three step onto the Station and find themselves caught up still in the crowd and move with it. Gyor spots a goblin moving within the crown whom seems to be trying to get around them. Silverwing also notes his movement and varied her goods are tied to her belt or otherwise secured. As the goblin moves behind her he withdraws a small knife. It is perfect for cutting lines and leather straps that are often used to secure coin purses to belts. “No. If I were you- I would rethink your wayward ways.” Suggests the paladin whom is just a bit taller than the goblin and can see him well even with her wings providing some cover. The goblin gives a sharp-toothed wide smile and a nod and drops back- no doubt for another target.

The crowd thins out and they can finally take in their surroundings away from the Electric Rail. Dirty.

The station was obviously kept clean for the benefit of new comers and travelers by the Dragonmarked House. Once a few blocks away they find the area of Lower Tavik’s Landing is in squalor and disuse. It seems the homeless come here which saddens the gnome. Many look to be Cyran. Too many of them. Certainly too many to help. They find a door marked as an Inn. Looking up, it is the base of a thick wall going up hundreds of feet. The base of a tower! The inn has no rooms so they move along to another inn, and another. This close to the station at this time of day it should not surprise any of them. The seventh inn, “Carson’s Inn & Storage” has one room. By the look of the Inn, it most likely has hourly rates available. Still, they have a secure place to rest and sleep for the night.


DRAVAGO 25, 1000

They awake and step out from the inn. They have asked about food which Carl’s employee smartly comments “This is no Ghallanda Inn- go left and up the stairs.” When they reach a series of steps leading up they can see an Electric Rail series of cars moving away from the city below. Far below. The rail itself is above the ground by many levels. The gnome feels overwhelmed by the city’s design. Gyor asks about the boats. The gnome looks about and sees no water then the winged elf points out what he was referring to. What looks like small boats are “flying” in the air in the distance. Occasionally one dips below them to possibly the Orien Rail station. Incredible.

They find a small bakery at the top of the stairs and as they eat the crescent moon shaped airy rolls and fruit juice (so good) they discuss what to do first. When in their rooms, it was suggested they should learn more about Xen’drik before going to see Mr. Boniface. “Morgrave is the place.” Suggests the gnome whom has always wanted to visit the University and the Library.

They go to the baker and ask how to visit the place. They have only a general idea from a map they saw at the Orien Station as they were being stalked by the goblin. The baker begins with “Go Left, 2nd Right, through the tunnel take a stair up one flight then right…..” That was about all they could collectively remember. Then Sir Gali spots one of the flying boats. It is not until the third person, an elf dressed in yellow and black, that they get instructions to get a ride on a “Sky Coach”.

Going there, they find themselves on a bridge connecting to separate towers that seem to share the same base. On the bridge is a widened flat area near the center where the Sky Coaches fly in and take passengers. “How much?” asks the awed gnome as he watches a craft leave. Seeing an opportunity, the salesman says twice the going rate and wishes he had said three times when the gnome happily pays him for all three. The craft arrives, lets off a few passengers, then takes them and lifts up. “Where to?”

Shortly, they come to a landing zone near the college. It is so high up that the gnome and winged elf feel slightly winded just from breathing. So strange.

Going into the library was easier than the paladin expected. He had thought he would need to pay for his entrance or have to use his Paladin of the Sovereign Host status to gain entrance. No. He merely walked in…. along with Silverwing and Gyor.

They go to a counter where a young half-elf is sorting books and scrolls. He doesn’t look up as the paladin speaks. However when Silverwing, a woman, speaks, the student smiles and looks up. They he has a beaming smile. “How can I help you today miss…..?”

“Silverwing.”

“How can I help you Miss. Silverwing?” flirts the young man.

“It is he you can help.” And she nods down to the much shorter and ignored gnome.

“Good day Master….?”

“Andrew.”

“Ah yes. Gooday Master Andrew. I wish to learn about Xen’drik. Do you have any books on the subject?”

“It is THE Morgrave University. Back wall, The five big shelves marked red. Ask the student aid there for specifics. Have a beautiful day Silverwing.”

Shortly after they walk away from the student- “You seem to have that effect on many young males.”

“What effect is that?” she smiles knowing full well what the paladin was suggesting.

They reach the back and find the shelves marked “Xen’drik Studies” on a black wooden sign. A human female is here pushing an empty cart around.

“Ma’am- perhaps you can help me. Young Master Andrew has directed me to-“

“Travel, Geography, Legends, Ruins, History or Expeditions?” she asked impatiently.

“Well…. A bit of it all I guess would be best.”

The girl gives him a sour look and asks- “Written in common or another language-maybe in Gnome.?”

“I suppose common would be best.”

She wheels the book cart away and returns in five minutes. “I have a few books here, some copies of Korranberg Chronicles and some notes and transcripts from explorers. Do you want a table or your own private room?”

“Table is fine.” Says the gnome eyeing the mountain of reading material before him.

Several hours later he a general concept of what it will be like to visit Xen’drik. He hopes they take an airship to avoid the Sahuagin. He further hopes they will not run into the Drow ( especially the cannibals 😉 ) nor the barbaric giants. He thanks the aid then asks about books involving the Occult or Cult-like groups. She returns with a few books then goes about returning the prior books about Xen’drik.

Though he has little time to research, he hopes to learn about The Black Manifest. He finds nothing.

They thank her again and the original student aid before taking a sky coach back to the Orien Station. From here they need to ask for directions to locate the mysterious Jack Boniface. People seem to not care for the Inquisitive much.

They follow the directions and find themselves going down dark and narrow stairways. The smell of urine and feces can be detected. The gnome with his over-sized nose is not impressed. He and Silverwing are very careful where they step. Trash is in the tunnel that acts as a street along with pieces of discarded clothes and wood. Finally they find the door with the proper numbers and name above. They look at the door and are disgusted. Feces has been smeared onto it. Dried blood, both red and blue in origin, are splattered on it. Silverwing looks at the gnome with apprehension as she finds a “clean” spot to knock apon.

There is a moment of silence then some creaking and shuffling from within. “Who is it?” is called out by a deep and gruff voice.

“Silverwing.”

Silence.

“Ah…. Okay. Comon in.”

She carefully opens the door and spots a large man dressed in slept in clothes, a dirty trench coat and heavy boots which are on his poorly made and further damaged desk. He is pointing a wand directly at her. Through blurry and squinting dark eyes he checks her over. “Comon. I was expecting-“

Gyor steps in behind her and startles the inquisitive whom thrusts the wand in his direction. His eyes become twitchy as then the gnome steps in and puts his hands up. “No need for that Kind Sir.”

“Eh…..yeah the Commander Chic said there might be a tall warforged and a small paladin traveling with you.” And he thumps his feet off the desk onto the floor. He relaxes his arm holding the wand but it remains pointed at them. “Don’t need the details but obviously you three are hot.”

Blushing a bit, Silverwing nods and says “Yes.”

“We have stirred some unwanted interest recently. What have you been told?” asks the paladin.

“The fact “The Commander” isn’t using her real name. But by saying ‘commander’ suggests she is of Aundairan origin. Aundair likes to play the ‘deniable’ angle when dealing with the Royal Eyes and going into other countries to take stuff. And the best yet- Tried to get you on an airship. House Lyrandar not only said no but wanted to know the whole “where when and how many”. They wanted you- literally. House Orien however were okay with getting you to board an already scheduled ship heading from here to Stormreach.”

The paladin and winged warrior give each other an uneasy look of concern.

“Thankyou Master Boniface.”

“Guess I should get you going then.” He gets up and shrugs as he puts the wand away. “Occupational hazard.” And he then grabs another few items and a satchel. “Expected you sooner. We don’t have a lot of time left.”

Shortly they are walking quickly through a maze of tunnels with interconnecting stairs. As they go you pass several goblins whom watch you with some curiosity. He and Boniface speak in goblin. Gyor, whom speaks some goblin, understands they are greeting each other and asking about the city guard or other eyes. Finally they end up in a warehouse.

The few guards and employees here look with a start then relax when they see the Inquisitive. After a few turns within the maze of crates and barrels, they come to an open area to the outside. It is a 10x10 ft opening. A magical lift works here lifting storage from below to this or other warehouses built into Sharn.

Now on the docks they walk by several very nice Orien ships and Lyrandar ships. Then they pass nice personal ships and finally nearing the none-dock area they reach the fishing ships. Still, they walk onward until they spot a ship that needs basic repair and upkeep. “Welcome to the Sea Tiger.”
 

EBERRON: FOR HIRE
SEGMENT 016
“THE SEA TIGER”
5/03/20

DRAVAGO 25, 1000

“Welcome aboard- be sure to stay out of the crew’s way” says a man dressed better than the rest of the crew.

Silverwing turns to clarify if this is the correct ship. He is gone. Only a short and fat dwarf can be seen waddling down the dock. He stops and scratches his head as if confused at which way to go then shrugs and continues on pulling out a flask and drinking from it. She turns back around to identify a wolf whistle she hears and assumes is aimed at her. It belongs to an ugly half-orc. It will be a long trip.

Shortly the ship readies for sail and heads out.

NYMM 5, 1000

For these first five days the warforged has stood perfectly still against the main mast. He, in his mind, is out of the crew’s way while guarding and watching everything on the deck. Silverwing perches on the mast or crow’s nest most of the time. This way, Orcus, the half-orc admirer, could not ogle her face to face. Sir Gali stays below deck most of the time. He reads books he has found on the ship (odd items to have on board).

He is reading a book that collected Korranberg Chronicle War Time Stories. Beggars can’t be Choosers. He sighs as he begins a story that takes place in Cyre bringing back memories. Then he hears something bump against the ship wall at water level. Alarmed, he puts aside his book and sits up right. More thumps. He goes for the ladders leading up. Meanwhile, far above him, sits the winged elf. Sits back on the beams above. Looking over her shoulder, she spots a huge shadow within the water. It is swimming very quickly and keeping pace with the ship. As the tail fin breaks the water’s surface it is clear what it is- a huge shark! Then she spots another one. Then humanoid shapes.

“Sahuagin!” calls out the otherwise quiet crow’s nest lookout.

Sahuagin begin to climb up the ship’s sides in groups of two.

Captain Tubbs straightens up his jacket before walking out onto the deck to face the Sahuagin. A four armed fish man has just come over the rails. “Gub Glub Dub.”

“Cub Gub Gub.” Answers the Captain. He turns to Gyor. “He was unaware there where warforged sailors.”

The two speak making many strange ‘Glubbing’ sounds. The paladin reaches the top of the stairs as the Captain hands over a bag of money. “Gup Gup.”

The captain sighs. “Yes the diamond. I didn’t forget.” “Gub Gaw.” And he hands a large gem over. Satisfied, the Sahuagin calls back his support and they all dive back into the ship.

“I thought we were under attack…..” begins the Gnome.

“Battle. We had a battle of sorts. A battle of words.” Looking at the remaining gold in his money pouch.

“Oh. The Sahuagin. And….?”

“I have safe passage to Xen’drik. At least from he and his cousins. So relax- but not too comfortably.”


NYMM 14, 1000

Silverwing spots the islands that pepper the continent of Xen’drik. She watches as strange brightly colored birds similar to parrots fly by. She always thought they were jungle birds only. Large fish and sea turtles can be seen in the clear blueish-green water. Bits of view of the coral reefs can be seen.


NYMM 15, 1000

Captain Tubbs and Sir Gali are on the deck together watching the bay close up around them. “When we reach Stormreach you are to go to House Kundarak. Look for the gnome Amilene d’Sivis. She will have a message for you for the next part of the journey.
 

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