The party works out the details of hitching the team to the carriage and gets on their way. A few miles down the road, the carriage comes to a roadblock manned by three Peacekeepers and a High Strangler, using their spare time to torment Chumley, the erudite half-giant from Riverton. The party attacks, and nearly all of them would have been slain in an explosion of magical fire from the Strangler had there not been divine intervention. They eventually overwhelm the Southerners and free Chumley. The party patches him up and he heads off to find Jacob Dain and evacuate with them to the North.
The party travels without incident down the Imperial roads for ten days before coming to Penshin. When they glimpse the massive Imperial city for the first time, they notice several hundred troop transports moored in the bay, and more under construction at the city’s dry docks, presumably preparing for a sea invasion of the North. After some clumsy legerdemain at the city’s gate, the party passes into the city unhindered, stows their carriage at a boarding house for a week and ensconces themselves in Harfur’s safehouse in the darkest slums of the city.
Poppyâ€™s soliloquy of lamentsâ€¦.as witnessed by the shadows of Harfurâ€™s safehouse
I have my Adderâ€¦which nearly caught fire
I have my blanketâ€¦which I thought caught fire
I have my mysterious black hatâ€¦.which I had safely tucked in my bag so that it wouldnâ€™t catch fire
I have my Morielâ€¦I saw her on fire, but oddly enough sheâ€™s not even singed.
I have my goldâ€¦good olâ€™ gold doesnâ€™t catch fireâ€¦it just melts together and makes bigger gold
I have my pink dressâ€¦.that was on fire, but isnâ€™t burnt, but ended up getting an arrow hole in it that Banagher tried to sew, but did a dreadful job of it.
Banagher needs to learn to sew better. He knows all that stuff from books, youâ€™d figure something as useful as sewing would be in one of those books! Arenâ€™t books supposed to be filled with useful things? I thought the whole point of reading was to learn to sew, knit, and be able to use big words?
Iâ€™m in a city, the most glorious of cities! I want to shop. I have gold so that I can shop. But if I shop someone may cut off my hands. Itâ€™s a dilemma. I need my hands to use my Adder, but I need to shop so that I can be all that Poppy should be. *sighs* A dilemma.
Poppy continues chattering on about dresses, candy, and new hats late into the nightâ€¦.the shadows continue moving through the night as shadows should, finally casting the sleeping halfing into shadow promoting sleep.
It took them quite a while to figure out how to get the horses hitched to the wagon. It seemed to take the dwarf and the human driving even longer to figure out how to make the horses move. Eventually, they got it moving, but Moriel suspected it was going to be a long trip, in more than one way.
They had not gone far when the wagon stopped. A roadblock was set up across the road. It was manned by a couple of Peacekeepers, who seemed to be busy tormenting the half-giant they had met in Riverton.
The wagon stopped, and one of the Peacekeepers opened the door, looking inside. Moriel let her arrow fly. The man did the only sensible thing and slammed the door shut. Moriel opened the door on the other side, but before she got all the way out, the wagon exploded in purple fire.
And just as quick, the fire died. It was as if some force had just blown it out. Probably Banagher or his goddess, she thought. Not that she was complaining. Whoever, or whatever, it was, had probably saved their lives.
The fight was soon over, and they went over the half-giant to free him. Much to Moriel’s surprise, the first thing was to rush over to the fire, desperately beating at what looked like burning remains of books.
Eventually, they sent the half-giant off to the north, telling him to find Jacob and join the other refugees. As she watched him plod off in the rain, his arms clutching the remains of burned book, along with a bag of rice, to his chest, she wondered what would happen if he actually made it across the mountains. She doubted he would be able to use the same way they had used, through the tunnels, but she suspected that if he made it to the mountains, he would manage. And it would probably be a good thing if the refugees reached Hillcrest before the him, at least that way there was a chance the guards would not shoot the moment they saw him.
Despite Moriel’s misgivings, they reached Penshin without trouble. Even getting inside went far easier than she had expected. The city itself, though, was terrifying. There were people everywhere. Everyone was talking, or yelling, probably to be able to hear themselves think.
She had no idea how they were going to find the one they were looking for, nor how to actually find anything here, the place was just too big. And there was Poppy. Most likely, Moriel and Poppy would spend most of the time hiding, since there was no way Poppy could go out without risking being discovered, and leaving Poppy alone here was not an option.
Action Report: Southland Mission: Entry 4
After quickly hitching the horses together with deft precision, Gronk and I spurred the horses to a quick gallop. After quickly realising the pace we set was no longer necessary, we settled into a more comfortable pace toward Penshin. Not long down the road we happened upon a peacekeeper checkpoint.
At this checkpoint was a half giant we had encountered before, Chumley. He was chained up, and it looked like they were burning some of his books and torturing him, so we decided to attack. Little did we know that hiding within a tent nearby was a strangler. He stepped from his hiding place and erupted our carriage in purple flame.
How the others in the carriage survived I still do not know, yet somehow one by one exited the carriage to fight and we destroyed them. After freeing Chumley, he dove for the fire in an attempt to save his books, but all he could save was the wooden cover of the sword of aluviel. After a short discussion with him, we sent him to join the other refugees with what we could spare, and moved on.
When we arrived in Penshin, I quickly fooled the guard into letting us in without a search, and we were able to access the society safehouse within the city, now we just have to deal with the nearly limitless number of troop transport vessels we found upon our arrival, preparing to sail for the north. Our mission has become much more difficult.