Virgin DM Monologues: Pirates On the Lightning Rail

Welcome to the recap of the 27th session of my Eberron campaign, which took place on Tuesday, October 12th, 2010. When we last saw the party, they had accepted a job as bodyguards to the renowned opera singer Lady Tyasha d’Phiarlan as she traveled around the continent to lecture students at the Five Demesnes. The trip had nearly been delayed due to a strange sorceress named Beaf who was making it rain acid down on Wroat, closing the lightning rail station there.

The PCs are en route to Korth, which is over a week’s travel from Sharn, by way of Fairhaven in Aundair. The lightning rail administration has given them special badges that denote them as guards so they won’t be given trouble for being wherever they need to be on the train.  Lady Tyasha’s car is in the back of the train. She has a private bedroom complete with panic room – rich people travel in style and security! – with the entourage area behind it where the PCs can sleep.  Her assistant will be bringing her all her meals and tending to her needs. The PCs just need to keep her alive, as there was an assassination attempt on her recently.

Jun, Brick, and Fang explore the train, leaving Cyd, Jelly, and Beatdown to watch over Lady Tyasha. Everything looks to be pretty normal. The sleeper car rooms contain a family of halflings, two university students traveling home to visit family, and a single human who looks pretty innocuous. Beyond that is a car with various livestock, then the dining car, then the regular seating car.

Just before the engine room is the storage car full of crates, boxes, and luggage. Seated in the front corner of the storage car is a half-giant male, who is reading from a large story book to an audience of red kobolds. The kobolds are seated in a semi-circle around him, staring up at  him intently as he reads.

Funny thing: The PCs that were exploring did not know who this half-giant was, but the others did. It is Frank, the crazy(?) cleric they met in the House Ghallanda enclave in Xen’drik many months ago.  Frank spent many years living with the red kobolds in Xen’drik, learning their ways, and writing a book about them. Of course, he wrote it on leaves and it tended to get mixed up when he tried to move it, but that’s besides the point.  Frank was looking to get his book published and wanted to get to the university in Sharn and the PCs gave him a ride there and helped him find his way to the university. A pony with a taste for sentient flesh may have been involved.

Jun, Fang, and Brick return to Lady Tyasha’s car and relay what they’ve seen. Jelly, Cyd, and Beatdown chorus: “Frank” when they hear about the half-giant and the kobolds. They explain to their newer party members about how they met Frank, his research on red kobolds, and his book.

The PCs decide to spread out so each of them is patrolling one of the cars. Brick, of course, is keenly interested in the dining car. He determines that tonight’s dessert is apple pie, but tomorrow’s will be some sort of lemon creme pie. It’s not a lemon bar (his treat of choice), but it’s pretty damn close.

Jelly goes to the storage car and verifies that it is indeed Frank sitting there with the red kobolds. He’s delighted to see her. She explains that they’re on a job and inquires as to his recent activities. He excitedly tells her of his plans, which involve relocating these Xen’drik red kobolds to the mountains of Aundair where he hopes they will breed with the kobolds there, eliminating a particularly nasty genetic disorder that plagues Xen’drik kobolds. It should only take a few generations. In the meantime, he’s been teaching them to read and write basic phrases in Khorvaire Common so they can start to integrate more into society. Red kobolds aren’t monsters, after all, just misunderstood.

Frank: “So you have some new people… whatever happened to that rogue you were working with? The one with the nice hair. You know, for a guy. If I were into guys, I’d say he had nice hair.”

Jelly: “Oh, Evan? He’s no longer with us.”

Frank: “You mean he’s not working with you anymore?”

Jelly: (shifty eyes) “Yes! That’s exactly it.

A young kobold shyly approaches Jelly and pokes her leg. He’s holding a book open and begins to read from it slowly. It’s pretty adorable.  Since installing the crazy tooth she picked up in Xen’drik, Jelly’s developed a knack for languages (but a slightly uglier face). She converses with the kobolds in their native tongue and finds them to be completely enamored with Frank and excited about the life he has promised them in Aundair.

Jelly sits down to read some stories to the younger kobolds when her dragonmark begins to burn slightly. She pauses to focus and can hear the sound of an airship closing in on the train. She makes a hasty exit, warning the guards at the door to the engine room that there may be trouble coming from above.

And sure enough, an airskiff is approaching the train and hovers over the dining car. Four pirates jump from the ship, swinging on ropes and crashing through the windows and into the car. Fearing for Lady Tyasha’s safety, they close her and her assistant in the panic room, leaving Ulvein and Fang to stand guard just in case. The rest of the party rushes toward the dining car and finds it full of screaming patrons being robbed by pirates.

Highlights of the fight:

  • Cyd, despite having war wizardry, has a very unlucky roll and crits Beatdown.
  • Brick uses his new gloves (thanks, House Cannith!) to pick up one pirate and hurl him at another, knocking them both to the ground. Badass!
  • The second wave of pirates lands on the roof while the last pirate of the first wave tries to escape back to the air skiff.
  • Beatdown is yelling about being Captain Samuel Axelord, and is shocked when the leader of the pirate crew says that *he* is the real Captain Samuel Axelord. (The PCs were pretty angry about that, and killed him first.)
  • Jun the sorcerer’s hurricane sweeps the remaining pirates off the top of the car and (luckily) leaves all the PCs that were up there in place.
  • Beatdown really wanted to grab a rope and climb up to the air skiff to claim HIS ship, but the rest of the party convinced him it wasn’t worth it.

Jelly provides some healing assistance for the passengers that were injured in the pirate encounter while the rest of the crew ensures the rest of the train is secure. They let the other passengers know that the threat has passed and everyone is very grateful for the PCs’ help. The cleaning crew works furiously to clean up the blood and broken glass in the dining cart and promises to have it reopened for dinner service, albeit a bit late.

Later that evening, a note is delivered to Jelly by one of the lightning rail staff. It’s from one of the kobold children.




Awww. Too cute.

Well, that’s one day saved. There’s still another day until Aundair…

Stay tuned next Tuesday for our next adventure!

About e

Since 2008, E. Foley of Geek’s Dream Girl has been helping geeks from around the world find love. She writes amazing online dating profiles for her fellow geeks and guides them through the perilous waters of the dating scene and out the other side. She's totally proud to report that she's even caused a couple geek weddings! She lives in Maryland with DaveTheGame, her adorable cats, Mr. Peanut & Don Juan, and Titania, Queen of the Cocker Spaniels. (Email e, or follow @geeksdreamgirl on Twitter.)

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