Dawn over the Free Sea

The first encounter

How it all started

The beginning

All has began in the oldest human settlement – the city of Marakin. Hiding from the heat of the day we find thirteen people under the roof of old warehouse that served now as a “church” under the Temple of the Free Sea.

Olaf, the monster hunter, whose adventures turned his hair grey long before its time, Zosya, young sorceress bound with a spirit of earth, charming, but deadly, her search has brought many adventures on her head, Cade Pipe, a human midget, his deeds in the past may not be noble or even legal, but notable in any case and Silvur, a lone wolf of Shalas island, hunter without anyone to hunt for except himself. These four will be the heroes of our story, and for now we wouldn’t say anything of other nine.

So, as I began my tale, fate has gathered our friends in the old warehouse. Boring preaching of the priest, calm blue walls of the “church”, all of it came out to be a perfect place to have a midday sleep. Or it would have, if not for some stranger, who stormed inside, slamming the door open. His appearance was full with marks of recent fight, blood stains on his face covered his left eye. Immediately he began accusing the Temple of lies, telling that this world is not the only one, that the Free Sea is far from edgeless, that he came here from beyond on the ship. He was trying to say more, but preacher took out some magic stick, and in a flash of light, head of the newcomer exploded into blood mist.

After this priest quietly told visitors to keep calm, expressed his regret and ordered to kill them all. In a second high-ranked goblin guard showed up from secret door on the back wall and attacked everyone. Priest, at that time, retreated though the open passage. Chaos, which erupted after this is hard to describe, but when all became silent again guards, as well as four other visitor were killed. Our heroes decided to flee from fresh reinforcements, that were coming to finish the job.

Later that evening they gathered in the dirtiest of the inns in Marakin – Rotten Maggot, which so happen to be a temporary home for Olaf. After some questioning around they found out that all of them are wanted criminals with a nice reward on their heads. Accused of all killings that happened in the warehouse, searched by both city guards and temple servants they agreed, that there is not much holding them in Marakin.

The escape

After night in smelly, dark and cold rooms the group had found an old fisherman who was just going to leave to the village, a little north of the city. Taking help with loading and unloading goods he carried in his small sailboat old man, whose name heroes never asked, agreed to take them out of the city. No-one ever gave them second look, as piece of wood with sail took them away from temple, priest, other hunted fools, Rotten Maggot and who knows what else, peacefully riding waves of the Free Sea to the north.

Neither village

After less than a day of travel our heroes arrive to the Neither village. Not the smallest ever, but far from big settlement, Neither is one of those places you never hear about until some horrible thing destroys it. And even then you only remember it for an hour or so. Not a second passed after boat hit the shore, four travelers started searching for some way to get even further from cursed temple reach. At first it looked like there was no chance to find a boat in this forsaken place and they are stuck here for at least few days, but fortunately, Antony Grum, a local pharmacist had planned to sail to the Lone Harbor. Noticing that adventurers are heavily armed, pharmacist agreed to take them with him, if they will collect imp stool mushrooms from a cave half-day walk from the village. Having not many alternatives, next morning Silvur, Olaf, Zosya and Cade went to the cave.

Mushroom cave

Several hours of travel along with a wagon and they stumbled upon said cave. But again, it looked like nothing goes exactly as planned, and this time a gang of thugs, called Rat Queen’s gang, picked this cave as their base. Introducing themselves as Antony’s hirelings proved to be a bad move, leading to short but violent battle. Adventurers killed four out of five gang members and two dogs, spearing life of the fifth one – dwarf Bob. Looting all valuables from corpses and hidden strongbox and offering Bob to choose between death and lifelong servitude. Accompanied by their new henchmen, heroes returned back to Neither with freshly acquired treasure. Antony was really happy, although a little aggressive, when he met them, but imp stool was brought and one part of the deal was over.

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