Upon their return to Stormreach, the PCs unload their stolen airship through some unsavory though profitable channels. They find the captain of the undersea ship, but he needs a few more days to finish up some business before he can return to Khorvaire.
As the party walks around town, Beatdown sees a pretty awesome sight – the Rusty Nail, a bar that seems to cater to an almost exclusively warforged clientele. They serve all sorts of blended oils and alchemical fluids that are delicious to warforged. There are a few humanoids there and the barkeep does have a few bottles of elven wine for them, though he’s not entirely sure why anyone drinks it.
The party sits at the corner table and enjoys a drink while watching the locals and keeping their ears open for interesting gossip. A beautiful human woman with long hair comes in carrying a large container, which the barkeep fills with warforged drink. He also gives her a glass of wine, which she sips as she walks toward the party.
She strikes up a conversation with the party. They ask her about her container of warforged juice and she mentions she has a couple warforged that work for her at her inn just down the street. She mentions that she has some rooms available should the party be interested in a place to stay. The way she describes her Warforged Hospitality Suites makes Beatdown drool. They agree to come spend the night at her inn.
Hammersmith’s Inn is pretty nice and clean despite not being in the best shape. Lady Mellora gives them the keys to their rooms and they head off to bed. But they don’t rest long! A commotion downstairs startles Evan awake and he sneaks downstairs to investigate. He finds two Karrnathi Zombies and two Karrnathi Skeletons. Coming back upstairs, he finds a shifter who has also woken up and come out of his room. Evan wakes up the rest of the crew to tell them there are undead downstairs and they’re heading for the upper level. The shifter offers his cleric services to defeat the undead and follows the party down the stairs.
Evan was chased into the corner by a zombie early in the encounter, but he shot it in the face with his crossbow, sprinted across the room and dove over the bar, only to find Lady Mellora crouched back there, her hands busily working with some necromantic energy. She’s shocked to see him fly over the bar at her. Evan attacks her – ACTION POINT! – and with a lucky blow, bloodies her immediately.
After the fight, the party realizes that Lady Mellora’s body has reverted to its original changeling form. A whimpering from the back room is found to be the real Lady Mellora, bound and gagged. She thanks the PCs for releasing her and is near tears as she explains how the Emerald Claw agents invaded her inn and the changeling impersonated her. She offers the party free lodging and food for as long as they’re in town.
The warforged workers at the inn come downstairs, wondering what happened. Apparently their perceptive skills aren’t too keen. They let the party know that they’ll clean up the mess of bodies. The PCs return to bed and awaken to a totally clean inn as though nothing happened.
The next morning, Evan wants to head to the Tharashk enclave to see if they can pick up any work. Since they work for House Tharashk in Sharn, they should have some goodwill with the branch of the house here. Sure enough, Kurn d’Velderan recognizes their names and says Kava speaks very highly of them. He mentions that last he heard they were on some sort of vacation… “Something like that,” Evan grumbles.
Kurn offers them a bounty of 1,000 gold to capture a really sneaky dwarf thief and assassin named Drifter. (Apologies to hardcore Eberron folks – stole this name from a page when I realized I was having to totally make up this whole storyline on the spot.) Kurn’s regular employees have been having a hard time tracking the guy down so he hands the party a few copies of a drawing of him and says he’s been seen in the Harbor District.
“Don’t kill him. Well, at least if you kill him, don’t behead him. We need to talk to him.”
Beatdown is disappointed.
The adventurers head to the Harbor District to investigate:
- Cyd, Brick, and Fang meet the well-dressed half elf Berrigan Enge at the lighthouse. They ask him if he’s seen Drifter and he mentions that he has, but you really SMELL him before you see him. He smells much worse than the average dwarf. Berrigan lets them go to top of the lighthouse to get a better look over the city. Cyd notices a strange shack on top of a building that looks VERY newly built.
- Evan and Beatdown head to the Leaky Dinghy, the worst dive bar ever. They run into a crazy woman who rants about how the Storm Lords are poisoning the water and she’s had nothing to drink but alcohol for weeks. Evan gives her his water,which she guzzles down. A man shoos her away and introduces himself as Lord Gerald Goodblade, “practically the mayor of the Harbor District.” He is a sleazy salesman who tries to get Evan to buy some of his “magic” throwing stars…. or daggers… or throwing stars. (Could I interest you in some throwing stars?) He mentions that that Drifter’s been thrown out of the Dinghy for stirring up trouble and is probably at the Wavecrest. Oh, and by the way, the Wavecrest runs arm wrestling contests on Thursdays… and it’s Thursday!
- Cyd, Fang, and Brick find the building with the weird shack on top. It’s Dagoward’s Apothecary. Instead of going in and asking, they decide to use Cyd’s floating disc to head straight for the roof. The shack is unoccupied, but smells nasty and contains a cot and dwarf sized clothes. Fang decides to go in the front door of Dagoward’s and see if he can scare the dwarf up to the roof, but he’s not in there and the owner insists that she saw him heading to the Rusty Nail with a couple warforged.
- Beatdown and Evan go to Wavecrest to look for Drifter… and be in the armwrestling contest. I was totally NOT planning on running this but it was super fun. Page 27 of the Stormreach book details everything you need to know to run the arm wrestling contest, including profiles of the 3 “regular” contestants. Beatdown handily beat everyone (including Cyd) and earned 10 gold pieces and free drinks for the night. He gave his free drink card to the third contestant, Goragga the female ogre, who shot him lusty glances and wanted to get busy with him.
- Meanwhile, Drifter came home. Brick and Fang were waiting for him and Brick knocked him out and tied him up. They drag him back to the Tharashk enclave, where they collect their payment. Kurn asks them to return in the morning so he can give them some notes to deliver to Kava in Sharn.
The party returns to the inn to head to bed and finds two letters there for them. The first is a horribly misspelled love letter from Goragga to Beatdown. The second is from a member of House Cannith who wants to meet with the party regarding the items they retrieved for Lady Elaydren. Is he legit?
We’ll find out next time…