The standard winter weather pattern has returned to the nine peaks. High above the mountains and away from the warm cities the air dips below freezing any chance it gets. Sailors plying their trade in the open air find themselves in a constant battle with ice forming on their ship’s hulls and rigging. It serves to remind the uninitiated just how uncomfortable and dangerous it is to travel between the cities.
Early in the morning the Nora Perdy, en-route to Jaser, is hailed by a government frigate at extreme range. Ordered to heave-to for inspection, Captain Frye considers his options then sends for his engineer and Lord von Iosia. While it is unlikely that the frigate knows which ship they have hailed and what her cargo is, it is decided among the group leaders to evade rather than risk a confrontation. The Nora Perdy is more than capable of producing the speed necessary and easily escapes the frigate. As night falls, the little sloop slides in to the safety of darkness.
The harsh conditions continue as does the journey. The crew turns to each other for entertainment and camaraderie. The endless battle against the elements continues as they work to remove ice from the desk and to keep the ship turned against the biting wind.
Late in the morning the Nora Perdy glides into the harbor at Jaser. Immediately it becomes clear that things are not quite right in the city. As the ship descends on the quay a cadre of armed guard can be seen waiting for their arrival. Quickly the party acts to conceal their identities. Faylee, Bart, and Reginald seek protection in the ship’s smuggling compartments while Albrecht, Harrison, and Logan don disguises. As soon as the gangway is lowered, ten troopers storm aboard the ship.
While the captain is questioned by the squad’s officer, the rest of the soldiers fan to over the ship. Bart hears the footfalls of the men directly above his head as they make their way towards engineering. It is there that tense situation begins to tumble towards a dramatic resolution. The troopers attempt to deactivate the ship’s reactor. When Whisper protests she is struck by the troopers. Logan quickly jumps to her defense, cold-cocking one man. The other attempts to shoot Logan in defense of his squad mate, but his musket misfires. Whisper quickly grabs the man’s shins from her place on the floor and pulls the man down. Logan falls on the man with his dagger drawing first blood.
On deck, the sound of gunfire spurs other to action. Marnie grabs the trooper nearest her grappling with his firearm. Harrison unfurls his whip and strikes another guard. Lord von Isoia summons his magic about him then drops a load of conjured grease on the gangway. The rest of the crew on deck leaps onto the other troopers, or toss them overboard, and errant shots ring out.
In the lower hold, Bart, Faylee, and Reginald spring form their hiding place to attack the men in their area. Bart opens with a blast from his blunderbuss, knee-capping the men and sending them to the deck in front of Logan, who in turn drive home with a captured bayonet. Faylee and Reginald use magic or their mechanical body to keep the wounded men prone.
It at this time that cooler head prevail and the captain calls for peace. It was clear that the young “officer” was way over his head and the action of his guards had gotten out of his control. As for the captain, the tenacity of his crew would not hold up when reinforcements arrived, or when the shore batteries began firing into the harbor. It was clear inexperience was at fault here. The troopers were not soldiers, but civilians pressed into service. Jaser was in open defiance of the hegemony, and mundane authorities controlled the city. It was a curious situation that needed sorting.
The captain set out to investigate the situation while the errant officer was dressed down by his superior. The party, for the moment, was left to discover the situation on their own. Deep rifts in the morale and political ideals of each party member became apparent as each discussed their own take on the situation. Even later, when the party took to the streets in the harbor and the positive effects of the change in ruler ship (if even only superficial) were discovered, some in the party could not see any good in the current events.
The return of the captain confirmed some dire news. While things in the city were going well, to prevent the government from learning of the fate of the city of Jaser, no ship was allowed to depart. This included the Nora Perdy. While the captain and crew would aim to conduct fruitful business while the blockade was in place, the party would need to find long term relief. Captain Frye set up a meeting between the party and the new military commander of the city, General Donaldson.
Representatives of the party joined General Donaldson at breakfast. The general was sensible man and sympathized with the party and their needs. However control of the city was in the hands of a democratic town council and their resolution was beyond his power. He recommended talking to two council representatives in an attempt to curry enough favor for an exemption to the bloackade. This is what the party resolved to do.
Logan was sent solo to speak with a man by the name of Tayvon <something>. Logan’s expedition was not successful and it was unclear if it was Logan ineptness or Tayvon intransigence that led to the failure. However the party had more success with Bridgette Long, a mage that had sided with the new government. Lady Long outlined the difficulties the new government faced and suggested means of assistance the party could render. Doing so might garner the favor they so desired.
Below the city, on the agricultural shelf, where naturally grown crops were sown lived a band of goblins. These goblins had, until recently, worked as field slaves for the city authorities assisting in the farming. When the city fell into anarchy during the coup, the guards abandoned their post on the shelf and left the goblins to fend for themselves. Naturally the goblins declared their own independence and selected their own king. To protect themselves they held months of grain as hostage to prevent a counterattack from the city above. The party would need to liberate the grain.
When the party met with the goblins it became clear that all was not well. The goblins acted strangely even by goblin standards. It was determined that the goblins were in an early stage of Brume poisoning. The cause of such poisoning was not readily known as in the cold winter the Brume was still a couple hundred feet from the surface of the shelf. The goblin’s deteriorated mental state was easily exploited by Faylee and her seductive magic and the goblins changed their tune. The party was able to secure a significant portion of the withheld grain.
While loading the grain for transport back up to the city, Lord von Iosia discovered a complete by inactive summoning circle. During his investigation, he decided to activate the circle using his own power. Moments after he did a duo of humans appeared within the circle. The two humans were obviously government mages, and believing that Albrecht had assisted them, thanked the group and disappeared into the city. It was Faylee that correctly identified the two men and the gravity of von Iosia’s folly: a seeker squad.
The party returned to the city with the grain and a warning for the rebel leaders. Two highly trained bounty hunter / assassins were now in the city and there was a high probability that the government knew of the capture of Jaser by dissidents. Now caught between their own safety, their own ideals, and their own unwitting role in the situation the party stands at an impasse. That evening on the Nora Perdy tensions were high as each person mulled their options.