The Road to War

Clubbing with Halflings

The ship and crew arrives back at Sadrak’s Splinter and finds that Divak and his crew of delvers have not yet returned from their mission. The group spends the next few days waiting for the return of Divak. On the second day, the ship Fair Wind (nicknamed A Foul Wind) arrives at the splinter and the crew, the Black Arrow company disembarks.

Jason and Thorfin both recognize members of the crew, and the ship as being those that they had encountered previously at the “Dragon’s Splinter” back when they had been going after slaves captured by Sinruth and the Red Hand. The two decide to keep a low profile to avoid being recognized.

Yardstick the Immeasurable the crews new halfling wizard spends his time gambling with the crew of the Fair Wind, winning a considerable amount of money. Late in the evening a group of the Black Arrow crew approach Yardstick with an offer. They have heard the rumors that the Boltsmelter salvage crew found a new dwarven city ripe for plunder and offer him several hundred gold in exchange for the location of the outpost. Yardstick explains that he will need some time to get to the map, which is locked away in the captains quarters, but he should have it, or a copy of it in five or six hours. They plan to meet in a room on the third floor just after midnight.

While in the tavern, a man who had been marooned by another airship crew approaches the captain of the Fair Wind and attempts to sign on with the crew. The conversation between the two men soon turns sour and the marooned man is threatened with a beating unless he leaves the inn. As he turns to do so, Thorfin recognizes the man and follows him outside.

Once outside Thorfin gains the mans attention and steps into an empty store room and speaks with Capt. Blackstone of the Lions of Brindol. Blackstone explains that he has long suspected the Black Arrow company of being somehow involved with the slave trade and weapons smuggling, but has been unable to prove the charge. He was attempting to infiltrate their crew but due to the altercation with captain he will have to come up with another plan.

Later, Capt. Blackstone approaches Thorfin again. This time he has a plan. The Black Arrow company has been attempting to bribe many of the Boltsmelter Salvage crew into revealing the location of their latest find. The plan is to convince Jason to steal the map, join the crew, then work as a spy keeping an eye on their activity. They approach Jason, who reluctantly agrees and the trio head for the Elven Whore after dark and steal the ships charts.

Yardstick gladly hands over the ships charts and the location of the near pristine dwarven outpost over to Digby Holt (halfling navigator) of the Black Arrow company. Digby inspects the charts for a while, then hands over the 200 gp that was promised. Yardstick then heads back to the main room for some more drinking and gambling.

At almost 2 A.M. the elevator in the middle of the shaft grumbles to life, waking everyone in the inn. A half an hour later, a dirt and grime covered Divak and his crew emerge from the lift. They have a few beers and a some food before they head for their rooms to get some sleep. While eating, Divak and Vauglear Boltsmelter catch up. Divak reveals that they were unable to recover what they were after, but that he was already planning a return trip. One that should be shorter and easier. With any luck, the next time he will return with the Principia Elementus.

In the morning the crew of the Elven Whore kills time by preparing the ship or relaxing at the Inn while Divak’s crew catches up on some sleep. The Inn is mostly deserted as the Black Arrow crew is preparing their ship, and unloading and loading cargo. A couple of halfings from the Black Arrow crew show up and order a short keg of week beer. They tell Yardstick that they are on break for an hour and that a game of dice has already started over in the warehouse if he is interested in losing some money.

Yardstick heads off to the warehouse while the others stay behind in the Inn. Yardstick arrives in the warehouse and finds Digby Holt and eight other crew from the Black Arrow company waiting for him, clearly there is no dice game in progress. He quickly scans the room, sizing up his opponents and any means of escape. “So, you thought you could run a quick one on us, and that we wouldn’t figure it out eh?” grumbles Digby holding up Yardsticks map. “Well, it just so happens that we have the original charts, and well, your map just doesn’t jive with the ships charts” Yardstick holds up both arms, as if to signal his confusion and innocence, but this is merely a ploy and he uses his opponents lack of knowledge of his capabilities to surprise them a spell. A shock wave of force pushes Digby and several of the thugs standing near him, to the ground. Then the halfling wizard bolts for the door, only to find it guarded by more crew. The Black Arrow crew reacts quickly and they rain numerous savage blows down on the halfling as he desperately fights for a way out. A second spell knocks over a few more thugs and allows him to unbolt the door and run down the alley, but not before more blows from the thugs connect with his thick skull. The halfling runs through the doors of the Shaft, and between the waiting allies Brother Thorfin Hammerfist, and the 7’6" gnoll Vauglear Boltsmelter, who were alerted to his plight by his scream, which they had at first thought were the cries of a small helpless female child, before realizing that it was instead their crew member Yardstick.



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