Mysteries of the Moonsea

The Return to Melvaunt

Melvaunt

Under new management, the building once known as the The Devil’s Fire Inn tripled in size overnight. Both Vargarian and Draelyn redirected the earth itself. They lifted the building foundation and all, another twenty four feet into the air. Once they had hollowed out the interior to their specifications, the crew they had hired set forth to begin their finish work. Over the next several days, unseen servants labored tirelessly working as assistants delivering tools and materials or simply disposing of any unwanted waste.

To many, this building would just be another place to drink the the days sorrows away. At best, it would be a place of curiosity and an alternative for travelers. He had no doubt that the inn would quickly become popular for its low prices, great food, and secure rooms. For Draelyn it would be much more; it would be a sanctuary.

He hated this city. Melvaunt the “City of a Thousand Forges”. As far as he was concerned the city should have been called the “City of a Thousand Greased Palms”. In his short time here, it has become readily apparent that those with enough coin could write their own laws. If all human cities were like this, no wonder his kind held them in such disdain. People are sold weekly like cattle and it is viewed as something both normal and perfectly acceptable. How he missed Myth Drannor. Why would people want to live like this? There was no nature. The smoke from the forges stayed trapped in the fog that rolled in from the bay. The air was gross and the non stop hammering in the forges might drive him insane. This place though, his new home would be the answer.

Deep below the ground, plans were already in place to excavate and construct not only large rooms for he and his friends but a laboratory where he could pursue his own studies undisturbed. Perhaps underground he would get a reprieve from this frontier mercantile city.

While not quite within his grasp yet, the young wizard had plans to enchant his rooms to make the ceilings appear as the nights sky. He figured a few subterranean trees would go a long way towards making him feel he was back home. Besides, the trees could be both aesthetic and functional.

Lost in thought he felt someone tap his shoulder. “Are you even listening Draeylin?” asked Vargarian. “Hm? Oh sorry” shrugged the half elf. “I was lost in my thoughts” he apologized. The human rested an arm on his friend’s shoulder “You could use some rest. You have been working on this too long, I can take over.”
“I would like to, but I can’t rest with all of this city’s damn noise”.
“Funny, while I’m certainly not in love with the city, the constant activity in the forges remind me of home.”
“Thats one of us… oh say, what were you trying to ask me?”
“Have you seen your brother lately?”
The young wizard blew a strand of hair from his face and shook his head in frustration. “I’m not sure what has gotten into him lately. It’s like hes a different person ever since we set foot here. He’s probably sharing the bed of another local resident. I suppose I can’t be too upset. We all deal with things differently, especially after Xul Jarak.”
Vargarian nodded solemnly, “It almost doesn’t seem real. I keep expecting Daegwyn to burst out of the inn explaining that he has decided to retire from adventuring and open up his own dragon dental practice or something!” They both shared a sad chuckle. “The Laughing Hafling” is a fitting name isn’t it?”
Pacing, Draelyn rubbed the tip of his ear and changed the topic. “Let me show you some of the the plans I have for the basement. I could use a change of scenery.”

With that, the duo descended the long stone steps to what would eventually become their headquarters. “Varg, what are we going to do about Heinder”? He’s getting worse.”
“Can you really blame him? He keeps losing those he has sworn to protect”
“I know, but I hate it. There has to be something we can do.”
“Some wounds just take time my friend. You won’t always find the answer in a book.” Draelyn raised an elven eyebrow, “Books haven’t let me down yet. And besides, I read a fascinating story just the other night!”
“About what?” inquired the cleric half afraid.
“Oh it was a charming story about a young human adventurer who decided to talk to a beautiful Kari-turi chief about their mutual passion…” “By Gond’s beard…” Vargarian groaned.
“for cooking of course” Draelyn winked with a crooked smile. He continued, “Seriously my friend. Why not? If nothing else, do it as a favor to me. You two can discuss recipes and menu design for when we open. Or did you think that all the fantastic meals you cooked by fire when we traveled went unnoticed? Think what you could do with a real kitchen!”
“Fine,” he acquiesced. “But only about the menu.”
“I have the utmost faith in you,” smirked the half elf.
“Only the menu,” Vargarian firmly stated.
“Is is because she doesn’t have a beard?”
Turning red, “This conversation is over.”
“Because I have a spell for that!” he laughed. Draelyn quickly received a look that confirmed this part of the conversation was over. “Ok, ok, enough fun, let’s head back up and see what still needs to be finished for the day.”
Appreciative for the change in subject the two friends traveled back up the stone tunnel.

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Xul Jarak

Xul jarak

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Raiding Party

Ogre

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Must figure out how owlbear these bad jokes....

Owlbear

The group sets out in search of the scions of Melvaunt. Heading North on the road to Glister, before heading into the Thar, The party is met with a still angry Crew of the Cutlass. Valetine Shale sends his First-mate, Talis Bariyan w/ some of the crew to dispatch Nahara’s Liberators. With swarms of monkeys and pit magic the group defeated their attackers allowing just Hagrim Bladeborne, Ships master at arms to escape.

Shortly after heading into the Wilds of the Thar, the site of a previous Orc ambush is discovered. Among the Orc corpses are dead horses. The rotting flesh has drawn in some hungry wild life. 3 Owlbears bear down on the fresh meat that has just arrived.
During Battle, Draelyn’s attempt to summon an Earth Elemental’s aid instead yielded a more interesting outcome. 3 Mephits appeared on the field of battle, clearly having their card game interrupted. A Cryastal Mephit named Ixum, a Salt Mephit named Kurz & Sir Nerk, a Noble Knight of the Earth Mephits, or so he says…..

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Unexpected Summons

Draelyn sat cross legged inside his room within the Floating Fighter. Although not able to recuperate through reverie, he always found it helped him focus his thoughts. With a sigh he pulled a worn tome from his haversack. It smelled old. He had run the calculations though his head many times in the last few days. Nervous, he began to frame the binding of the book with his thumb and forefinger and moved them up and down the spine. He had purchased what components he lacked and drew all the proper sigils. Next to him was the summoning circle he had created from an assortment of crushed stone mixed with powdered opal. It had taken him nearly 30 minutes to pour it from the pouch correctly.

Due to strategically placed candles, shadows danced throughout the room. With his book open upon his lap, Draelyn began his incantation. “Tsalnoth nirintel Ixem. I summon you. Ixem, silineth folenti. I summon you”. Sweat began to bead down his half elven brow. He continued to chant. “I call you forth from the plane of earth. Ixem, I wish to commune with you”. Internally the wizard felt the pull. The whole room hummed with the energy of the weave and he could feel his energy flow through the circle he had created and connected to another point. The tethered energy quickly be came taut, and he realized something was wrong. The pull was too strong. He shouldn’t have had this kind of struggle with a mephit.

No longer a simple experiment, Draelyn immediately seized his staff to better focus his arcane energies. Standing he began to chant once more. “Tsalnoth nirintel silineth folenti. I summon you forth from the plane you call home. You will obey my summons". It wasn’t working. He continued to feel the pull from the circle and watched helpless as he unsuccessfully tried to terminate the spell. Resistance from the arcane tether lessend. Draelyn was only confused for a moment more.

Before him stood not the mephit as he had intended, but a vaguely humanoid shape. Sculpted from the earth itself, Its eyes cast a jade green light into the room. Despite the wards placed in the room, Draelyn couldn’t help but scramble backwards. He had no idea if the wards would be suffiient to contain him as it was constructed for a much smaller denizen of the earth plane. How had it even heard his call? The earth element then spoke. It’s voice was very similar to rocks rolling down the side of a hill. “wizardling, Who are you to come to my home uninvited”? Draelyn remained silent as he was unsure if the creature had really wanted an answer. “You seek the aid of one of our own. How have you proven yourself? We aid those that can help themselves. Prove that you are as strong as the earth itself and then perhaps.

Confused and confounded, “I did not call for you for I know not your name. Where is the mephit I tried to summon”? inquired the wizard. The elemental tilted it’s head and stared at the half elf and then began to laugh. Draelyn could feel the bass beneath his feet. “I felt your summons to one of my clan and it had a familiar…taste to it. I should have know this was a waste of my time”. It was then the creature of rock noticed the staff gripped in the half elven wizards hand. “Youngling, where did you get the staff”?
“Hm?”
“The staff… Where did you get it? The last time I saw it, It belonged to another”.
Confused by how quickly this situation had changed, “It was a gift from my mother”. Draelyn replied, “She accumulated many such items in her travels. I know not it’s origin”.
“hmmmm” The elemental intoned. “Perhaps I have been to hasty in my judgment of you youngling. Meeting you could turn into quite the fortunate twist of fate. “When you are ready I grant you the service of Ixem.

Before Draelyn could ask any questions, alarmed that he may have some how unwittingly entered into some sort of pact, The elemental melted into the ground. Mamdrok had returned back to his home. Exhausted, and unsure what had just happened, he settled onto the end of the bed and stared at his crystalline staff as if for the first time. He tried to sort out his thoughts but the spell had left him sorely fatigued and darkness quickly overtook him.

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It's Always Sunny in Melvaunt

The sleeping sea dragon

With Corwyn Jaffe’s quick exit from Melvaunt, The Devil’s Fire inn in finds itself lacking ownership. Without hesitation, Daegwyn realizes he has always wanted to own a bar and that he should now own this one.
Upon returning to The Devil’s Fire Inn, they find Dagnarr, a lone dwarf helping himself to some ale. With a quick “jogging of his memory” and claim of ownership by Daegwyn, Dagnarr realizing that he outnumbered & probably should pay for what he is drinking and gives a few silver to the halfling. Daegwyn coming to the quick realization that his bar is severely understaffed offers Dagnarr a job as Bouncer of his soon to be opened “Sleeping Sea Dragon Inn.” Working for a little coin, all the Ale he can drink & the bed in the loft, Dagnarr and his “Mug of Authority” are put to the test only moments after accepting the position.

A group of mercenary thugs arrive, clearly not looking for drinks, questioning the adventurers about the slaves they discovered and what they new. Satisfied with what they heard but still wanting to tie up loose ends they impolitely deny the request for their exit of the establishment by brandishing their blades and having at thee. With the assistance of Dagnarr, the thugs are bested. Two of the brigands, Leesan Durato & Roseph Bitero, are left alive explain that they are just to poor to turn down even such unsavory jobs such as these. 10 gold for one bar fight was too good to pass up. The Leesan & Roseph are set free with the understanding that they will be called upon later for their services. Vargarion had over heard the name “Theoderus” whispered softly by the mercenary leading this pack of ruffians. Perhaps Ulbyn will know more about this reclusive dwarven craftsmen.

Daegwyn has only “owned” the tavern for a few minutes, hasn’t yet had a customer and he already has to clean up his new bar. With Draelyn’s enthusiastic guidance, they head to the City Clerk’s office to discover that due to the illegal nature of what was discovered there, the city has seized the rights to the building & property. Once processed the building will be auctioned off to the highest bidder. Daegwyn is hoping to make the right friends and earn enough gold to be the highest bidder when auction time comes.

With Ulbyn’s directions guiding them, they discover the Drop box customers use to contact Theoderus regarding his work and the Gate guarding his recessed underground home. Draelyn drops the piece of Jade they found and a note detailing some of his golem crafting theory into the drop box asking to get together with the elusive mage to discuss his opinions on the crafting arts.

Realizing they left Dagnarr at The Sleeping SeaDragon thinking they owned it, they return to make sure he leaves with them and doesn’t get arrested for breaking and entering on government owned property. To their surprise they find Dagnarr serving Nahara, and himself, some ale. Nahara and Daegwyn discuss their recent adventures in the past day and a 1/2. Escorting the Dwarf and the halfing safely out of the building they offer to put up Dagnarr at the Floating Fighter and encourage Nahara to continue playing his game of “hide and go seek” with Capt. Shale that he has been so successful at since arriving in Melvaunt.

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Beetle, Centipedes & Spiders - Oh My

Bentoozie and cursebloom

Local Tavern & Inn, The Floating Fighter, is having some Vermin issues beyond its control. It has had to shut down the Sauna and bathhouse located in its basement do to freshly dug cracks in the floor that spew forth all sorts of Spiders, beetles and the like. Dwarven owner Garidun Ironstone has enlisted his friend Ulbyn to provide some adventurers to sort this debacle out.

Back into the sewer the crew goes in search of what is causing these creepy crawlers up through the foundation. After braving the stench and a lot of crunching under boot they discover a pair of Mite’s commanding Vermin mounts and swarms of minions at their disposal. The Mite’s being quick to anger at the presence of a “gnome” engaged the party casting their dark magics forcing the group to slay the vermin and their masters.

After returning to the Floating Fighter the group realizes they are being watched and Kumori chases after the over-interested observer. He ran himself right into an ambush of Cutlass crew members who demanded he hand over the Captain’s halfing. Upon being non-compliant with their demands, they attacked. Few of the crew members managed to retreat, but the rest lay dead in the alley. The group decides it best to move on and not be associated with what happened tonight.

Coinciding with Corwyn’s trail out of the city, City Watch warns of increased bandit/pirate attacks along the Phalan road. traveling with a merchant caravan headed out of Melvaunt to the west, the group defends the caravan from a bandit attack and follows their trail back to the cavern hideout in the coastal hills. Corwyn manages to escape again during the heat the battle.

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The Cutlass

The cutlass

The Passage from Hillsfar proved nothing less then entertaining. The group meets Nahara, The Captain’s Halfling good luck charm, for the first time & watch a Dragon Turtle destroy a Zhent Pirate ship. Upon learning of Nahara’s in ability to leave the ship upon per the Captain’s “Request.” Dagweyn’s Hijinx is released upon the ship to rectify the Captain’s “Arrangement” with Nahara.

Upon reaching Melvaunt, Ublyn puts the group to work very quickly investigating some black-market slavery rumors around the city. Investigation of former Pirate turned legitimate Tavern owner, Corwyn Jaffe, the group discovers he did not leave behind his pirate ways and stores freshly imported slaves in the sewers underneath his Tavern. A few of the slaves in Corwyn’s possession bear the same unusual tattoos, and seem worth some investigation.

One of the recently captured humans was Heindar, a barbarian of Rashamen, whose honor has bound him to repaying his debt for his rescue. The group’s acceptance may give this large sword wielding barbarian a purpose he has not had in quite sometime.

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Melvaunt

The ship lurches in the wind as a black blot appears on the horizon. Melvaunt, the City of Swords. The City glows with the light of a thousand forges. It is a city of metalsmiths and merchants where smoke from the workshops hangs in the air like a black curtian. It is this cold black mist that persists in the minds of many foreigners. The moisture mixes with the smoke and ash to kill most traces of vegetation and it leaves an oily residue on buildings, ships, and people. A bright yellow light shines on the western side of the city beconing in ships from the harsh waters.
You rode the churning waves of the moonsea upon a vessel called “The Cutlass” with 14 other passengers and a shipload of grains from the Vast to the South. You step off the boat onto the crowded dock. The wind howls loudly in your ears as you make your way toward dry land. All around you, workers load and unload ships with goods of all kinds. You see many uniformed guards and dock inspectors charging thier tariffs as the captain gives orders to move the merchandise. Off to the west a man with a whip moves a single file line of humans chained at the ankles. A guard nods and waves to the man with the whip as they pass.

Known as the “City of a Thousand Forges”, Melvaunt is either the last city on many northerly trade routes, or the first port of call for the vast, untapped wealth that flows southward from the frontier settlements north of the Moonsea. The city is an almost iconic representative of the mores and culture of the rough lands of the Moonsea. With it’s location in the swampy estuary of the glacial River Svalich, it’s deep harbor, and it’s inarguable wealth, the city has managed to withstand the press of hostile humanoid tribes in the to the northeast, the unremitant ambitions of the people of Zhentil Keep to the west, and even the occasional dragon attack from the untamed lands far to the north. The history of Melvaunt dates back all the way to the first tentative ventures of “civilized” humanity into the forbidding lands of the Thar, and arguably, beyond even that.

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