fter spending the night formulating their plans, the group makes some last minute preparations, including a last visit to check on the captive villagers. This investigation reveals the presence of buyers from Ironport – the slavers planned to sell Garra’s people that very afternoon and the heroes must step up their plan.
Cassandra heads for Trysta’s safe-house to advise her of the impending assault on Marder’s ship, while the rest of the group arm themselves and set out through the Ropeworks. Despite the presence of a heavy guard – Marder was obviously making preparations to leave port and taking no chances – the group struck hard and fast.
Templar engaged the corsairs on the dock allowing Azo, Jullian and Kraag to board the Black Swan, while Kalieb sent archers scrambling for cover against bolts of unrestrained chaos energy. The melee, chaotic and brutal, was short. The corsairs were numerous but no match for the adventurers’ martial skills. When Marder appeared to bellow a challenge, it was swiftly met by Azo and Jullian.
As the slaver captain was cut down his crew surrendered, leaving the Black Swan to be claimed by the party in Trysta’s name. She had wasted no time assembling her crew and soon arrived on the docks to claim her prize. The situation became dire, however, when a party of Dane’s men emerged from a dockside warehouse. Led by Mileen and the giant Kuragga, it was clear that they intended to claim the prize for the Butcher.
A challenge was issued and Trysta faced Kuragga in single combat for the right to take the Swan. Although Trysta was quick and lithe, Kuragga was able to match her speed and brought her low with a blow to the head from his massive steel-headed maul. As the maul came up to deliver the final strike, Mileen’s true loyalty became apparent. Faster than a striking cobra, her bow came up and delivered an arrow into the back or the giant’s head.
As Mileen helped her lover to her feet, Dane’s men were given an ultimatum: join or die. Most chose the former with only a few exceptions electing to run for the safety of the Red Keep. With Marder’s ship now in her hands, Trysta needed to withstand Dane’s wrath long enough to draw him out of his holdfast.
“There is bloody work yet to be done, and I have need of your sword arms”, she told the party.
loody work there was aplenty. For hours Trysta’s crews fought a desperate series of battles through the streets and alleys of the Rake. No quarter was given by either side as men and women butchered each other for the glory of their chosen captain. Wherever the fighting was thickest, Trysta sent the group of heroes that had started her coup.
Eventually, forced into a corner by weight of numbers, Trysta and the adventurers prepared to make a final stand as Dane himself led the charge against their line. Trysta and Dane found each other in the melee – spear thrust and sword cut splintering shields and tracing the lines of new scars. Dane was a ferocious warrior, combining speed and power, and it was soon obvious that Trysta was overmatched.
Azo leapt to her aid, but even their combined prowess was not enough to bring the Butcher down. Again and again they struck, their blows ringing off Dane’s armour and shield. Dane’s mistake was allowing his anger to distract him from the larger battle raging around them. The heroes, with Mileen’s timely arrival, had pushed Dane’s men to breaking point and the Butcher soon found himself surrounded by foe and cut down.
Spear in one hand, Dane’s severed head raised high in the other, Trysta claimed Slavetown as her own. A great cry went up from her men, as they celebrated their victory and saluted their bloody queen. To the heroes she owed a boon – the release of Garra’s villagers – and she was true to her word.
No time was wasted and the grateful villagers were embarked on Bentil’s newly arrived airship by nightfall. Soon they were cast off, flying towards whatever awaited them at the mysterious Tower of Elements.