Chapter 7: Decisions / by Anthony Morales

The heroes arrive at a smoking, ruined, Thornbyr. Yuan-Ti defeated House Myoor soldiers and left the village mostly destroyed. But mistrust sows discord among agents of House Omvor. 

Aboard the Frigid Frikka, Evelyn Vinewood’s airship, the heroes interrogated the captured pirate officers. After hearing about the return of the Yuan-Ti, they spill the beans about being hired by Kyrsah a mysterious woman with a foreign look and strange accent. She hired them to get the Fang and told the pirates that the heroes would be headed to Thornbyr on the Frikka. They were to meet her in Thornbyr when the job was finished.

Evelyn, at the mention of her ship suspicious of the heroes’ allegiance, takes Macro to her quarters and demands to know what’s going on. She’s upset that her ship was attacked and worried about a mole. Macro tells her the whole story. Smitten with her still, he pledges allegiance to her and promises her glory and fame. Specifically he says something about adventuring, etc. “in her name.” She accepts. Says she’ll pay them a decent cut. She says she’s willing to get them to Thornbyr as she still has to deliver her cargo. Macro asks what’s she carrying. She says medical supplies, foodstuff, sundries but Macro can tell she’s holding something back. 

Meanwhile the captain asks Leon the cleric, a former military airman, if he can pilot a ship. Leon says yes. Shortly after Leon takes the helm, the lookout and the captain see Thornbyr is on fire. Once close enough they don’t see armed people, just what look like villagers.

Leon bungles the landing, crashes the ship. Pip and Adahn are thrown clear but take little damage. Evelyn screams in frustration at Leon, sets the crew to repairing the ship. Leon signs on to help. Salvador Ironfist, their contact in Thornbyr, greets Pip and Adahn. “Welcomes” them to Thornbyr. They volunteer to help in the medical tent. Pip and Adahn are told the story of the attack: Myoor troops arrived a few days earlier, interrogated and harassed the villagers and adventurers looking for treasure in the newly discovered Yuan-Ti ruins. They wanted to know who went digging, what was found and if anyone had left Thornbyr with anything. The Yuan-Ti attacked last night. Killed most, if not all, of the Myoor troops. Left for the Yuan-Ti ruins. 

Back on the ship a suspicious Macro looks through Evelyn’s cargo hold and finds a cache of very lethal, very illegal poisons. He leaves, pauses and decides to go back to keep a bottle of “Black Mercy” for himself. He is caught while leaving a decoy bottle to hide the theft. Stripped of his belongings, he is tied up and thrown in a hidey hole. Evelyn, furious at Macro’s theft, kicks Leon off the ship. 

Leon finds Adahn and Pip. Tells them what Macro has done. Adahn, Leon and Pip approach the Frikka. Pip turns into a rat, sneaks onto the ship. Evelyn confronts Adahn about Macro. Tells him what happened (allegiance offered, accepted and betrayed). Adahn suggests they call the law. Evelyn laughs and asks if he sees any ‘law’ in Thornbyr? Worried about the Yuan-Ti, she suggests they finish their task. She’ll hold onto the Fang as insurance and if they aren’t back by the time the ship is ready, she’s leaving them here. She agrees to the customary punishment for thieves: a public whipping.

While Adahn and Evelyn negotiate, Pip finds Macro and chews through his bindings. But his cage is opened by sailors who pull him out, take him on deck, retie him and hang him from a loading crane hook. He’s whipped until unconscious.

Pip sneaks into Evelyn’s cabin. Searches for Macro’s things. Still in rat form, he sniffs out Macro’s belongings, they’re in a locked iron chest. Pip transforms back into gnome to search the office. He finds a letter in the desk that reads: “E- Shipment intercepted. Caravan of Low King. Redirect to Thornbyr. Fang of Vasnagi. -R”, and is interrupted by Evelyn’s footsteps approaching. Pip hides under the bed. Sees Evelyn open the letter. She sighs to herself and says “I need to talk to Salvador.” Then to the paper, “I hope you made the right choice.” Then leaves. 

Pip attempts to pick the lock on the chest, fails and is pricked by a poison needle. Adahn and Leon take Macro to the medical tent in Thornbyr. Salvador, confused and angry, reveals that he and Evelyn are working for Lord Omvor.