Day 14, Kargan Fonkenpeek
Earlier in the day, as Trist and Klembsy readied for their short expedition, Ein informed them that unfortunately he cannot take them just yet.
’He’s just received word from Hoken to stick around, looks like we may be heading out earlier than expected.’
The day winds down and as the party reconvenes at Charcoals for the evening, Hoken approaches the group.
“We caught a nice break. Harkris and Cyton, once charmed, told us all about the operation. Apparently Khoppy worked with two ‘snatch-men’ who ran crews plucking out ‘cargo’. They sold the slaves to the captain who delivered them and sold them off to someone we only know as ‘The Zhent Ghoul’. Khoppy then sold to Morslade all the stripped gear from the people taken. Cyton and ‘Pops’ would then turnaround and temporarily enchant the gear then sell it off as actual magic as well as creating fool’s gold coins. Copper or brass coins with a spell cast on them to make them appear to be real gold. These forgery schemes and what pirating they could do was building a fund to start a slaving operation themselves. Apparently Morslade convinced the snatch men to work for him instead of Khoppy. But he still needed the captain’s Zhent Ghoul connection. So the snatch men arranged to have Harkris hired on with Khoppy with the intent of him learning the identity of the Zhent Ghoul. But that drunken half orc pirate threw him overboard before he could find out. He also was so hammered when the snatch men hired him he couldn’t remember their names and Cyton never met them. That’s where hit a wall with leads until earlier today, our contacts in the thieves guild gave us the names. Kargan Fonkenpeak and Tain Fendown. We’re still trying to figure out more on Fendown but for now, we know Fonkenpeak runs with an bandit war party in the badlands. You’re going to go in and hunt him down. Bring him back alive if possible, we’ll need him to locate Fendown. If for some reason alive isn’t an option, bring back his head. Our priests can make the dead still talk. You’ll have a day to prep and then you’ll be off, the area is maybe 4-6 days north. Well? What do you think? Who’s still in?”
Maltron answers quickly, “Those two must have been directly involved in drugging and kidnapping us. I would certainly like to track them down and administer justice. Oh, alive you said. I can do that as well. I’m in! And what of any valuables we find on them?”
After everyone is able to speak their part, Maltron will approach Hoken and ask, “So Harkris was working for Morslade the whole time? He must have switched loyalties to us along the way, because he fought and killed Morslade’s crew in my defense. He also saved my life when Morslade cast a fireball at me. Now I admittedly charmed him, but I had a feeling that he was acting on his own free will for the most part. What is Harkris’s fate?”
Trist says to Lord Hoken,“You can count on me sir.” Speaking to the rest of the group,“I hope some of you can join, those of us already committed to going. If you can’t go for whatever reason I understand too”. Speaking to Ein,“Since we are going that way anyway, can we stop by the temple of Mielikki for Klembsy”?
Trist ask Lord Hoken,“Do you have any idea how many are in the bandit group? I suspect it is probably prudent to just plan for a large group and hope for a dozen or so. If you have reliable information on the bandits though it might be helpful”.
Hoken replies to Maltron. "Harkis worked for Kargan and Tain. He was clueless about Morslade and his plans. We’re not sure yet. Right now he’ll stay in the dungeons with Cyton. When we have all parties involved in custody, they may be hanged or exiled, hard to say at this point.
Speaking to Trist. Also hard to say. At least a dozen. I’ll arrange for some special equipment for the group but the key target is Kargan, brought back dead or alive, not wiping out his war party.
Kistol speaks with Jo about getting a “job” at her shop as a cover in case anybody asks what he does.
DM EDIT: Kistol has a job, he’s an ‘Adventurer’ which is a legit profession.
Oh, ok. Nevermind then.
Kistol rejoins the group and Hoken at Charcoal’s with Johanna in tow, they sit with the group and Kistol orders Jo’s high-priced favorite and a rich hard cider for himself.
“Hi, everybody. This is Johanna, the friend I was talking about. She owns and runs the Cheshire’s Grin. I wanted her to meet you all.”
Kistol makes introductions and speaks to Hoken, “I’m in on the hunt. Anything I can do. Speaking of which, I’d like to join the adventurers guild. After all this, I’ve got an urge to see what else is out there.”
Hoken responds to Kistol. “Great news! I have the signaltarian come by tomorrow. Maltron, Bel, Marcetheus has asked you both to revisit him at the academy tomorrow morning. Eat, drink, get some rest. Take tomorrow to handle whatever business you need, let me know if you need any particulars and I’ll do my best to chase them down. We’ll reconvene once more tomorrow evening before you leave the following morning.”
With that the Frontier lord toasts the party and shouts “To heroes! The next round is on the house.” The room erupts in cheers and Hoken excuses himself from the party.
Dox excuses himself from the party. He thanks them all for the journey that has led him to this point but unfortunately he has decided not to continue with them. ‘This is where we part ways.’ He offers Maltron Jes the dagger and Klembsy the ring of waterwalking. Thanking them all once again, he hefts his gear, wishes them good luck and safe journey, then turns and leaves ’Charcoal’s’ without looking back.
The party has one day and one evening in Frontier to do whatever before they set out. If you have no specific actions for that time, please post so and your character will enjoy downtime. Once all specific actions are resolved we’ll move on to the hunt for Kargan.
@ Maltron: “I need to hire a man-at-arms, Maltron E’altur; I am afraid that I am indeed as fragile as I may appear [OOC: 7hp + 8AC = D20Death]. It seems there may be a call to duty for us both in the service of The Frontier < Bel squirms internally>. I would gladly enlist Max , but being that he seems committed to your own bodily protection, could you perhaps lend a recommendation as to how to find such a quality protector, or perhaps where one can thusly be hired on for a duration? I am offering a fair share plus an initial retainer consisting of a pre-paid contract fee.”
Bel will gauge Maltron’s (or anyone else’s within earshot) advice and then set off to find such a mercenary with whatever resources she can tap.
Maltron is pleasantly shocked by Dox’s offer of the dagger and quickly accepts. “That is the strangest changeling I’ve ever met,” he thinks to himself. “In fact he’s the only changeling I’ve met… I suppose,” and then he begins laughing to himself.
Unsheathing the dagger after Dox exits, “What did you do to him Jes? He gave you to me and left.” He briefs Jes on the pending mission asking what she thinks about it. Did Morslade talk about either one of the slavers they are looking for?
Responding to Bel, “We are a cohesive group, if you are attacked, we all shall be. As for a man-at-arms, perhaps if you flirt a bit with Francis, he will protect you. He seems easily swayed that way. If not, we can perhaps hire someone. That might complicate things, perhaps no. My backup muscle is in the clink right now (Harkris). We may be able to persuade the Guardians to let him go with us, but that may be asking too much.”
Max has been fretting all day about what to do about Walgold. He hides out in Charcoal’s, too scared he’ll run into Trakas again and have to pay back more debts. He’s relieved when everybody finally comes back.
After listening patiently, he says to Maltron, ‘I don’t know what to do! Walgold, my old boss when I fought in the pits before the slavers took us, says I owe him a ton of money for missing fights and drinking too much. He sent his brother Trakas after me this morning. I paid him off some, but he says I have to go back to the Duplicate Blessing out on Root River Island and settle up with Walgold. I don’t know if I’ll be able to come with you guys. Wally looked out for me, I can’t just leave him hanging. Plus, his brother’s got a reputation. I’ve seen him mess up some pretty big dudes. He never had cause to come after me, at least that is until now.’
Assuming Maltron asks how much Max owes, Max goes silent and replies morosely, feeling like a failure, “I don’t know, he said it was a lot, though.”
@ Maltron: " Sir Maltron do consider that if we are attacked as a group, which would be more than likely considering what lies ahead of us, I would not count my feminine “wiles” powerful enough to sway a man to put his physical safety secondary to my own. Coin is generally much more effective at this argument."
“Perhaps Sir Francis would be willing to take on the task, following a fair negotiation of terms, but seemingly his rogue independence may leave him as particularly resistant to such a contract. Nevertheless, some solution must be found; I am not a born adventurer and am certainly not accustomed to walking into deadly circumstances.”