In the beginning…
..there was Lawrence Minnick. He had hired a group of ragtag adventurers from across Kauzza, planning to accompany him on his journey to the Isle of the Minotaurs in order to help set up his Spice trading operation. He had hired a number of people:
- Tinkyr Orkas, a member of the Lylh Albawm Mafia family, whom Minnick had ties with. The Family had asked Tinkyr to watch over and protect him, as it would be a true shame for the family to lose such a valuable resource.
- Rodonye, a mysterious gunslinger for hire that managed to find his way into Minnick’s employ.
- Asheth Magefire, a gunmage of no small skill who had been chosen for his unique ability to blend Magic and Gunmanship.
- Therin, a Sylvian elf whom had traveled to Kauzza to show people the power of nature and bring them back to the “correct” way of things.
- Audie, a lieutenant privateer of the World Navy, who happened to be off duty and decided to earn some money on the side.
The party met at a tavern, and introduced each other. It was obvious from the beginning that Therin and Audie would not work well together – given the recent escalation in violence between Sylvia and the Navy, it was clear that there was bad blood. Minnick left to prepare the ship, and Audie followed him a few moments later, feeling out of place in the group.
In about an hour’s time, the party met at the ship, Audie included, and proceeded to set sail. The flight was relatively uneventful – Tinkyr sat on the edge of the ship looking into the Stream and reading his holy book, while Magefire stood on the bow of the ship, looking over. Audie chose to stand at the stern, near the captain, while both Rodonye and Therin took to their respective rooms. It was not long before the captain asked Minnick below deck to speak to him, and Minnick did so. Moments later, Therin and Rodonye saw a flash of light outside their rooms and rushed out to see an unconscious halfling, along with Minnick and the captain running onto the deck.
“Mutiny!” Minnick cried out, and the fight began. Rodonye and Therin quickly dispatched the captain from below deck while Tinkyr, Magefire, and Audie took care of his traitorous underlings. It was not long before the bodies of halflings covered the ship, and the party was left with no idea how to sail the airship. After giving Minnick his healing potion, Therin traveled downstairs to the hold to retrieve one of the extra potions for himself. While he was down there, he discovered a group of bound and gagged halflings – the original crew. He quickly freed them, solving the problem of piloting the ship, and the group continued on their way.
Before long, the ship came to rest in front of a swampy island, filled with a large bog. The party disembarked off of the ship, and proceeded to go to the village of the Minotaurs, the residents of the island. They recognized Minnick, but Therin noticed something was off. Taking advantage of the fact that he was nature-born like them, he took over the role of party diplomat, asking the minotaurs why they were so afraid.
The minotaurs informed Therin that they had been attacked many times in recent days by a group of Bullywugs living on the island, who had mysteriously become armed with modern technology – namely, firearms. Curious as to why any person would arm a bullywug, Therin proposed that the party venture out to rescue the minotaurs that had been taken hostage. He also suggested that Minnick stay behind for his own safety, an idea that Minnick reluctantly agreed with. In thanks for his help, Therin was gifted with the cloak of the former chieftain of the minotaurs, pledging to return it once the chieftain returned.
The party ventured off into the swamp and traveled a ways to come upon an unconscious minotaur surrounded by four bullywugs, one of whom was wielding a large rifle. The party sprang into action, defeating the loathsome creatures before they were able to get close enough to effectively use their swords and clubs. Once defeated, the party aroused the minotaur, sending him on his way home. Magefire chose to take the head bullywug’s rifle, noticing that it was stronger than his current one.
The party continued on to the bullywug camp, defeating a group of vine beasts, and happened upon a landed ship behind a number of both military style tents and bullywug mud-huts. The party was able to get a few attacks off before their opponents mobilized, and were able to defeat them soundly while only taking minor injuries. Audie and Rodonye chose to stay behind and help the hostage minotaurs, while the other three chose to investigate the ship.
Taking things cautiously, Therin and the group were able to surprise an aged dwarf sitting in the hold of the ship, reading a letter. Due in part to their individual skill and preparation, plus a few lucky shots, Therin, Magefire, and Tinkyr were able to defeat the dwarf, whom they assumed was responsible for the attack on the minotaurs. Magefire’s inner darkness showed as he tried to get the dwarf to tell who his master was, and eventually chose to slay him. The three took care to clean up their tracks, especially after Tinkyr noticed that the armor the dwarf was wearing was of Navy make. They inspected to letter to find that it was from a Lord Admiral Dracolnir, a well known person among the Lord Admirals. Therin stored the letter as the party looted the now ownerless ship. Tinkyr found new boots.
After that incident, Magefire agreed to fly the ship back to a rendezvous with Minnick’s ship, taking Tinkyr and Rodonye with him. Audie accompanied the minotaurs back to their camp, with Therin joining her out of suspicion. Before long, the party arrived back at the camp. Unfortunately, the chieftain had been killed in battle, so the minotaurs let Therin keep the cloak they had given him. He said he was greatly indebted to them, and arranged for the Spice trading to occur. Victorious, the party left once more for Kauzza.
The party’s flight back was uninterrupted, and they arrived at Kauzza intact. At the decks, Naval officers inquired as to the origins of Magefire’s mysterious new ship. He spoke frankly, saying that it was a pirate vessel salvaged from the pirates themselves. However, since he did not have the necessary paperwork, the ship was requisitioned by the military. As they did so, Audie spoke the the naval officer, informing them that Magefire spoke the truth and asking if they had any business she was needed for. There was not. Also, Rodonye wandered off, tired of working for Minnick.
It was then that another member of the Lylh Albawm, Lady Jackyllina, approached Tinkyr, asking if he and his party would be so kind as to join her for dinner at a shady tavern in the shadier part of Kauzza. As a family member, Tinkyr couldn’t well do much else but accept, and received the address and time. Before the dinner, however, Tinkyr, Magefire, and Therin, having become good friends, chose to use their payment and loot and go shopping, making sure they were adequately equipped for future missions.
As the group, Audie included, met Lady Jackyllina, a shardmind named Heolos Minetai-Nerucuarte was introduced to the party. Another member of Lylh Albawm, he had been called by Lady Jackyllina to join her on the mission. The party sat and chatted with her, until her face shimmered for a second to reveal her true identity – Cardea, a changeling assassin.
As the fight began, Cardea found herself overwhelmed by the party, unprepared for their power despite the fact that Audie fled at the first signs of violence. She called out to the bartender, whose form fell away to reveal Slade, the boss of a rival mafia family, The Black Cuttlefish. Cardea fled the scene, but Slade was not so lucky. Within minutes, his body was dead on the tavern floor. The party was unsure what to do, so they decided to seek refuge with the Lylh Albawm on advice from Tinkyr and Heolos.
Tinkyr and Heolos, carrying the dead body of Slade, lad the party through a convoluted path to the house of the Lylh Albawm. Once there, Tinkyr requested an audience with the Don, and was soon given it, as a trusted member of the family. Within minutes the party found themselves before the Don of the Lylh Albawm. Beside him was a young woman who the party would soon know as Del Collins.
They told him of their work killing Slade – something the man seemed pleased with. He talked to Tinkyr about the fact that Slade, a lesser boss, was able to afford the services of a Changeling – one with a hiring fee of ten million “currency”. He commanded the party too seek out this “Cardea” and make her pay for her trespasses against the Lylh Albawm. Therin, not being used to such amounts of technology and easily intimidated by the Don, was terrified. However, both Therin and Magefire were “asked” to join the family, now that they knew of the hideout of the Lylh Albawm. They both accepted.
The party was then sent to their rooms for the night – rooms that had been prepared for them by the Don’s servants upon formally joining the family. Their hunt for Cardea begins…