After defeating Szartharrax, Turnabout’s resident dragon ringleader, the party returned to the Archer’s Poise, the elemental galleon docked at House Tharashk’s Dragonshard mine.
As Dorn’s crew of kobolds and orcs began final preparation for departure, the party were caught up on the events surrounding their elven ranger companion Cirie since her departure a day and a half previously. She was currently below decks, recovering from a serious beating at the hands of a tribe of Szartharrax’s yeti she encountered while scouting the island. If not for the intercession of another tribe (likely of the same disposition, if not the same tribe, as those who took in a young Zatz she may not have survived, but would likely be out of commission until she received better treatment at Windlost.
As the ship kedged out, however, it was suddenly attacked from the ocean. Regrouped from their defeated the previous day, the sahuagin had taken advantage of the group’s extended rest to come back for one last attack. Swarming the ship’s sides and attacking with spells from mounted seasnakes, the sahuagin did their best to stop the Poise from reaching the open sea, ultimately failing in their efforts.
The galleon’s elemental activated by Morgaine’s Mark of Storm, the ship sped off, destination: the merchant village of Tradewind on Windlost, home of Prince Koulton Brightwind and his Wind Whisperers.
Further investigation of the holds revealed a cache of gold in the late Elster Arroway’s cabin, as well as a textbook for young Lyrandar recruits. In addition to its chapters of basic geography, history, and mathematics, the book covered basic sailing techniques. In its back it also gave the formulae for the four rituals that can be used by all Stormmarks.
As the crew settled in and the elemental found its rhythm, the group settled down for an information exchange. Finally, they learned the details of Project Aboleth and why House Cannith and Cyre wanted it stopped.
Aboleth began, as all previous elemental projects, as a joint venture between Cannith, Lyrandar, and the gnomish nation of Zilargo. Recently, however, the plans for the project disappeared from Cannith’s foundries, how and by whom remain unknown. What is known, however, is that Lyrandar is now continuing the project, on its own, using a converted shipyard on the coast of Valenar to sell to the highest bidder.
Aboleth is unique in that it is the first known vehicle in Eberron to travel, and attack, from underwater. The enchantments and tech required to pull this off effectively are extremely complex, but what is known is that it will be the first elemental vessel to require two types of elements: water for propulsion, and air for life support, both of which require specialized dragonshard containment systems to coexist. It is also equipped with weaponry that can be fired from underwater.
While Lyrandar plans to sell to whoever is willing to buy, Cyre is certain that completion of the project will doom the nation. With very few friendly neighbors remaining, its shrinking shore is one of the nations dwindling lifelines, sure to be choked off completely if any of the other Five Nations fortify their blockades on Scions Sound and Kracken Bay with such powerful stealth weaponry. The nation’s war chest is shrinking, and they are sure that they will be unable to match any bid for the vehicles.
Cannith, on the other hand, will gladly build the new galleons for Cyre. The House considers the nation their home, and will do whatever they can to undermine House Lyrandar’s treachery.
Their mission now cleared up, the first few days of the journey went relatively smoothly. Morgaine developed a bit of camaraderie with the orc and kobold crew of the Poise, especially one beefy orc by the name of Gurrp. She taught him the ways of piloting a ship, and even gave him a hat.
In exchange for his new friendship, Gurrp lent the group his axe hand when, on the second day of the voyage, they were set upon by pirates intent on capturing the elemental galleon. Speeding alongside the vessel, the sailors attacked the Poise with cannons that fired volleys of arrows while their raiders swung across on ropes.
The group made quick work of them, however, thanks in no small part to XVIII’s command, Berien’s ice attacks, and Gurrp’s axe. And then there was Daphne’s bald pirate in a frilly dress…
Anyway, the battle won, the group decided, rather than sink the pirate ship, to bring it to Tradewind in an attempt to sell it to the Whisperers. Unable to find any more accomplished pilots, Morgaine nominates Gurrp for the job, under Dorn’s supervision.
And so the group presses on to Tradewind…