We are streaking through the galaxy, space, and time with our fearless Star-Blind at the helm…until the ship shakes and streaks and it becomes apparent we need repairs. We enter into the restricted space of Absalon Station and request a two day layover for repairs under the Kuru Empire treaty. They grant our request, we dock, and armed guards arrive to escort Largram, Athelstan, Inara, and Samsara to the station administrator, Ambrus Valsin.
The rest of the group remains aboard the ship.
Valsin wants us to perform four “favors” for him in exchange for the repairs to our ship. He warns us not to embarrass him, since we are from the Kuru Empire and apparently, not highly regarded around here. He also tells us not to kill any innocent people, so we all agree to make sure we have good reason to stab someone.
Our first assignment is to go to a macabre curio shoppe on the docks called The Pickled Imp and meet with the owner, Guaril Karela. He wants us to retrieve a parcel that has been seized out of a nearby warehouse. He tells us his parcel is inside a crate with three crows in a triangle and that we can help ourselves to whatever else is in that crate as payment.
Inara is the first to enter the warehouse. Samsara, Largram, and Athelstan all follow. There is a freight-type ship in the loading/unloading dock, but no one is presently around. Inara finds the crate with the three crows on it.
Suddenly space rats scurry out from under it and attack! Largram charges them, then Athelstan kills one while Inara’s wolf kills another. Samsara took a swing at the rats with his quarterstaff, missed, and shooed them in the others’ direction, where they were easily dispatched.
We looted the crate, took the parcel back to the Pickled Imp, and then headed over to the Temple of the Shining Star to meet with Alista Zadrain. For our second assignment, she bids us to deliver a package of medicine to an orphanage called Auntie Baltwin’s Home for Recovery and speak with the headmistress Gilga Baltwin to ascertain whether we think everything is okay at the orphanage or not. She would rather hear our perceptions, unfettered by the rumors she has heard.
We head over to the orphanage, where there are children playing outside the building quietly. Athelstan talks to Miltus, one of the children who is missing an eye, about life in the orphanage and what it’s like. Miltus tells him Auntie Baltwin gets mad sometimes. Inara tries to talk to a younger child building a dirt castle without much success.
When we go into the headmistress’s office, Athelstan smells liquor and suspects she is drunk. Suspicious, Athelstan and Inara go look around some more while Largram and Samsara converse with the headmistress, trying to question her innocuously without alarming her.
Athelstan finds a warehouse of unused, expired medical supplies that were clearly not being used for the children. He returns to the office and gets Largram, pulling him aside. Samsara barely bats an eyelash that they are whispering in the corner, continuing to engage Auntie Baltwin in conversation, sympathetic to her plight of looking after hundreds of children. Athelstan, Largram, and Inara agree to confront Baltwin. While Athelstan found the medical supplies, Inara found additional children to question, who all reported that “all is good”, but Athelstan is still the most suspicious.
The paladin confronts her, and at first, she tries to resist. She is little match for Athelstan, though, and breaks down and confesses to us that the orphanage has a deal with the black market to buy the supplies (that are supposed to go to the children) in order for the orphanage to have income. Having heard more than enough, Inara knocks Baltwin out with the handle of her axe.
We leave the other administrators in charge of the kids, along with the newest package of medical supplies, and we take the unconscious Baltwin back to Zadrain in the temple. She drifted in and out of consciousness, courtesy of Inara’s axe. Zadrain seemed surprised that we brought the headmistress with us, but nodded knowingly after Athelstan and Largram explained what was happening. She bid us thanks, reassuring us that she would handle Auntie Baltwin personally.
Next we went to the estate of Dramdirt Salhar, one of the more influential families of this area, where we met with the trusted advisor, Amenopheus for our third assignment. He wants us to retrieve the key to the Salhar ancestral vaults, which is in an antechamber.
We follow Amenopheus to the antechamber, and then Inara charges ahead, followed by Samsara, Athelstan, and Largram. Once we get into the room, we see a chest of smooth dark wood with copper banding, a red lacquered chest with ruins in the middle, and a cube of steel. There is also a table with a jar on it and a wicker basket.
The door shuts behind us, and we see a note that says, “Within these chests lies your quest…and your way out.”
Inara and Athelstan start with the red lacquered chest. It’s locked. Athelstan then checks out the wicker basket. He found a blue stone key and a GROWLING three-eyed viper that almost bit him but he slammed the lid JUST in time! Largram looks at the steel case while Inara takes the blue stone key from Athelstan and opens the red lacquered chest.
It’s a series of pulleys and ropes, and a golden key drops about 6 inches out of the (15-foot) ceiling. With minimal discussion and without hesitation, Largram picks up Inara and tosses her toward the key. She grabs it, and he catches her.
Samsara inspects the dark wood/copper chest and figures out it’s an illusion.
Athelstan sees a copper key in the jar on the table. He breaks the jar, yelping angrily as he gets burned by acid. The key dissolves right in front of his eyes. Then Inara opens the steel case with the gold key, narrowly avoiding a trap! We find a wand and a map of the ancestral vaults. Samsara notices there are runes on the wand, but he has become fatigued from being up for a pretty long time and can hardly think straight.
Inara tries the blue stone key and the gold key in the door, but the exit door will not open. Samsara inspects the note on the door while Largram searches every inch of the room for another clue.
We decide that now is as good of a time as any to go ahead and rest, so we sleep in shifts right there in the room. Athelstan prays to Iomedae for guidance while Samsara meditates on the teachings of Gorum. Inara cleaved the viper in the basket, then fed it to her wolf, who was hungry. (Then we all went to sleep.)
Once we are all refreshed and awake, Samsara reads the runes on the wand. It says “Knock.” He knocks on the wand to no avail, and then Athelstan takes the wand from him and uses it to knock on the exit door…which opens!
A servant is waiting on us with a tray of wine, bread, and cheese. Samsara casts Purify on it, just to be sure. We go back to the study to meet Amenopheus and give him the key. He then informs us of our fourth assignment, which is to retrieve an item that was borrowed from the ancestral vaults of Salhar.
This takes us to a townhouse in the Ivy District where we meet Paracountess Dralneen, who takes a shine to Athelstan, even though he Detects Evil from her. She tells us that she is misunderstood as a ‘devil worshipper’. She knows we are there to retrieve the item she borrowed from the ancestral vaults of Salhar, but it is in the other room. She hands Athelstan a silver letter opener and bids us good luck.
We enter into the other room, only to see a devil imp disappear. Largram got it to show itself, and then Inara with her battleaxe and Athelstan (with his enormous shield in one hand and the letter opener in the other) smote the devil imp and we returned the borrowed item, a 7-lock box, to Amenopheus, to back into the Salhar vaults.
Meanwhile Largram and Inara stuff the devil imp’s body in a bag, and we take it back to Karela at the Pickled Imp and sell it to him. As we are heading back to the station administrator’s office to inform him of our success in performing his favors, we are blocked by a large street performance. While we are discussing our options, standing on the sidewalk on the corner of the street, four of the entertainers break out and come taunt us as “Kuru imperial scum.”
The group is a female cleric, a female caster, a rogue with a rapier, and a halfling savage. They challenged us, then attacked! The caster fired Magic Missile at Athelstan while the rapier rogue and the halfling both went after Inara. Largram charged the caster, but she attacked him with Color Spray, knocking him prone.
Athelstan shot his bow at the caster and killed her. Then Inara killed the rogue, until their cleric healed BOTH of them and they were back in the fight! Largram got up and cleaved the caster AND the cleric! Athelstan drew his sword and went after the rogue. His rapier was no match for Iomedae’s warrior, who struck him down where he stood! Inara was taking a lot of damage from all sides, so Samsara healed her with a Cure Light Wounds spell and then moved into position to Channel Energy. The halfling was the only enemy still living, and we had him surrounded. Samsara stepped back far enough so that the burst would reach Athelstan, Largram, and Inara but not the halfling, and he Channeled Energy, giving Inara enough strength to take the savage down! Then we looted the bodies and got escorted back to Valsin’s office, where he deigned to tell us that he wouldn’t ‘condemn’ us for defending ourselves.
Inara was angry and trembling at the implication, causing Athelstan and Samsara to have to hold her back from hacking him with her axe. Meanwhile, Star-Blind was overseeing the repairs on the ship and logging more simulator time to get better at piloting the Peregrinus, and as soon as the repairs were finished, we lifted off.
Unfortunately, we didn’t get very far before the engines shut down and the ship began to drift. Then suddenly we heard the ship, our ship, the Peregrinus, which was a Kuru Imperial Harvester in a fleet of 2,345, make us a proposition…
The ship itself was commanded by the empire to strike us down and harvest our souls for good, but it didn’t. It basically had to fake its own death, so now we are all a bunch of lost rebels and warriors floating around in space.
It told us that it needs our lives, but there is another way to power the ship (besides draining us of life again). It wanted an accord before it would tell us what that ‘other way’ was.