The fluff takes longer than I expected, so I’ll do the abbreviated version first:
The whole party met together for thee first time in a meeting room brawl, when one meeting participant (whom we’ll call Abe) suddenly attacked another person, one Captain d’Orien. The party defeated and captured Abe and learned that he has an aberrant dragonmark and was paid a large sum of gold, presumably for the assassination.
The party decided to work together to solve this mystery, but before they could get very far they heard an alert that a large storm was coming. Attempts at outrunning or deflecting the storm failed and the party soon found out that the storm was part of a pirate attack. A wave of pirates boarded the cruise ship, creating chaos among the passengers and crew. The party jumped into action and fought back against the pirates, clearing the upper deck.
When we left off, the party was heading down to the main deck where the pirates were boarding from and noticed a pair of interesting people on the pirate ship that they think might be directing this attack.
Dun dun duuuun.
As the Lyrandar cruise ship The Seaward blew its final boarding whistle, Shaelyn d’Lyrandar wondered if her friends had all managed to safely (and quietly) make it aboard. This was her final voyage as Windwrightpprentice to Loraste, and she would rather not spend it making excuses for a couple feylings and their warforged pet.
“Get your head out of the clouds, Shaelyn!” hollered a familiar, gruff voice, startling Shaelyn. “This trip is your final exam, so make it a good one. Now, what do you make of that cloud formation?” Shaelyn put the thoughts of her friends away and got to work. If she was going to become a proper Windwright she could have no distractions.
“Oof! Hey, stop bouncing around so much! Things are pretty cramped here as it is without—are you even listening to me, ED? You didn’t shut down again did you? ED! Hey! Listen!"
“We started moving,” grumbled the slow, monotone voice of, having heard about enough of the other voice inside of him for one trip. ED, a very large warforged, wondered why he ever agreed to stow away in such a small crate.
“Oh, excellent. Let’s get out of here then. Just lift the top of—Woah, be careful!” shouted the first voice as ED-209 jerked up, breaking out of the wooden crate he was in. After brushing off the pieces of wood, a hatch opened up in his chest and the pixie Pippin Eventide flew out, rubbing the new bump on his head. “Not the way I would have done it, but I admire your enthusiasm. Well I guess our grand infiltration is complete, so…where to?”
After a few moments of ED’s blank stare, Pippin says, “Oh well, have it your way—I’m going exploring. Try not to break anything…else. Remember what we promised Shaelyn: best behavior. I’ll find you later, so just try to have some fun!” And with that, Pippin flew up and our of the nearest vent out of the cargo hold.
ED-209 only sighed.
Rhin was finding his new job exceptionally easy. Navigating a crowded ballroom full of excited passengers, with a tray of filled glasses in one hand, was nothing compared to chasing prey through the forest at a full sprint while aiming and firing his longbow. Despite what Shaelyn said, the only interesting part of the job so far was watching the less graceful waiters stumble and try to catch their drinks. But at least the tips were good. And he was starting to get control over his seasickness.
Meanwhile, in a quiet entertainment lounge on the upper decks…
The drone of idle gossip and the clinking glasses of well aged port was like a lullaby. May’m swallowed a yawn behind her decorative fan as General Richard d’Orien waxed on endlessly about his latest financial venture: investing in an expedition to learn more about the southern gnomes harvesting kawkaw beans, the newest rage in hot drinks amongst the fashionable of Sharn. The ostrich feathers tickled her nose. Her eyes watered with the effort to keep them open. Zane cleared his throat loudly, in a polite “Wake up, idiot” sort of way. In response, May’m blinked rapidly several times and sat up straight, trying to bring her focus back to Richard.
“…apparently palatable with enough sugar and cream. I said to Billy, ‘You can’t just pay the gnomes, the plantations will not be nearly efficient enough. You have to put elementals in place…’” Richard’s cousin, Korbin “Billy” Bilirubin d’Orien II, was the third highest ranking member of the House Orien. May’m was listening now. She and Zane exchanged a brief look that confirmed that he too was listening closely to glean more information about the possible mastermind behind the House Orien transportation conspiracy. Said conspirator would be joining them for sup and a hand of cards within the hour. Noting the time, May’m excused herself to powder her nose, lowering into a curtsy to fluff the General’s ego somewhat to make up for her brief lack of fawning over the last hour. The tightly laced bodice that revealed just enough, tasteful decolletage from behind the burgundy lace did not hurt, either. The General stood as she rose and passed her white gloved hand to Zane’s, “Keep her out of trouble for me, old boy.”
“Dickie, really, how much trouble could I find in the powder room?” Zane held his face stoically for all of 60 seconds before muttering under his breath. May’m didn’t catch all of it, something about the time in Kartush where he happened upon her dispatching a team of monk assassins in the public bath house of the local temple.
“Hush, ‘old boy,’ not everyone needs to hear that particular story. As I recall, you were the one who waltzed in after I cleaned up the mess you made with the High Priestess Timwa.” Zane grimaced at the derogatory nickname the General had taken to using for him. As if “General” was anything more than a family-bought-and-paid-for-never-seen-real-action title.
As for the task at hand, "May, we have come pretty far in this endeavor allowing the General to inflate his importance to the role of co-conspirator. If he wants to call me “boy” and hand me his inside information on a silver platter, I will answer gladly. Now, let’s go over this one more time…" The two conversed almost silently on the trip to and from the ladies’ water closet, rehashing their plans to further investigate and infiltrate House Orien. Just before coming within earshot of Richard, Zane squeeze May’m’s wrist until she turned sharply to greet his gaze. “Now, do not react to this.” She instantly exhaled, allowing her shoulders to drop and glanced away from her long time partner. “I have the feeling that you and your General are being surveyed. I have not yet seen the culprit but I want you to keep your guard up. Do you have your pins?” He refered to the poison tipped hair pins, lovely ivory darts that held her hair in elaborate waves of braids, in keeping with the latest from Sharn. Jet and ebony darts also made up the boning of her corset. Other weapons were hidden even further from view.
“Of course.” Her skirts swept the gleaming oak as they returned to the green felt gaming table where Dickie sat swirling a glass of liquid amber.
“Here you are, sir,” Zane assisted May’m to her seat next, “No trouble to be had this time.”
“Good man, we were about to deal our first hand.”
“Excellent,” May rubbed her hands together, anticipating more than cards, “Let the games begin.”
MORE TO COME SOON