Way of the Wicked
07 - The Lord's Dalliance
Chapter 6: The Lord’s Dalliance
The return trip to Cheliax was swift as we planned to disembark along the coast of Nidal not far from Jeggare Tower.
As we neared the drop-off point, Frohike mixed all of his reagents into three large fire bombs. We planted two of them with fuses at the bow and stern of the ship and young Tylus climbed into the rigging with the third bomb, filled with liquid death, dangling from his belt. Moments later, the first bomb exploded in the stern setting the ship and Captain Odenkirk, who stood at the tiller, ablaze.
The crewmen reacted instantly rushing to the stern and Tylus dropped his bomb in their midst causing more confusion. The third bomb went off a few moments later setting the bow ablaze although the crew had vacated this area moments before. Dunn roared to the stern and took on the bulk of the crew while Frohike leapt aboard some crates, used his Circlet of Disguise to change his visage to that of an ice elemental, and began cackling loudly while tossing his acid bombs freely.
I battled one of the crewmen in hand-to-hand combat near the stern while all three fires spread far more quickly than I imagined possible. I learned a valuable lesson about fire and wooden ship on that day and I remember it well these many years later. Amidst the ever growing blaze and billows of smoke I caught glimpses of Dunn’s flashing blade as he and the captain hammered away at one another. Tylus jumped into the fight stabbing at anything that moved while Frohike, still laughing madly while fire roared all around him, drove two more, screaming with fright, over the side and into the depths.
Tylus and I managed to kill the last sailor not fighting Dunn and then I set to trying to put out the blaze near me. I poured what I thought was water on it but apparently the skin was mislabeled and it set the blaze roaring literally on top me! I fell back with my hair ablaze and dumped a bucket of water on my head.
The fire from Tylus’s bomb leapt to the sail and we were quickly in a firestorm that was not going to be extinguished. The heat of the blazed seemed to set my blood boiling and I quickly unlimbered the shore-boat. Frohike and Tylus dashed back into the cargo, even as I screamed for them to abandon ship, and began going through the captain’s chest looking for gold as The Master instructed us to all those weeks ago. A moment later, coughing from the smoke, they tumbled into the boat and we cast off from the Frosthamer at the last moment. We pulled to the back of the vessel where a badly wounded Dunn stood on the stern railing as fire roared all around him. He jumped into the little boat and we were all away.
I busied myself pouring water onto Tylus and Frohike both of whose clothes were smoldering while Dunn smashed the sole survivor of the wreck, desperately trying to stay afloat, with a heavy wooden paddle. I watched the burning Frosthamar and remembered our shared experiences with Captain Odenkirk and his crew, now all dead. It was not without some melancholy that I saw her sink beneath the waves. The captain and his crew were good men, fine companions. I suspected that these would not be the last good men that I would kill. Those suspicions proved all too true. We who tread the path of the greater good must steel our hearts to the suffering of those who stand in the way, innocent though they may be.
We spent a day along the shore cleaning up and going through what little we managed to pull from the Frosthamar. Then we traveled overland to the town of Nisroch and arrived the next day.
We were directed to the Lord’s Dalliance and celebrated out triumphs with beer and good food. The next day we wandered town and resupplied our equipment. That night we spoke with several patrons of the Lord’s Dalliance and tried to learn as much as we could about Tower Jeggare.
- We found that a group of dwarf engineers are doing maintenance work. We considered the possibility of riffling their rooms while they are at the tower in the hopes of finding plans.
- We also learned that the famed acting troupe led by William Marcus Marlowe would be performing at the tower.
- A woman named Mama Louisa Guiseppe supplies the garrison with her special beef stew every Starday.
- We also thought to watch for patrols leaving the tower as we might slay them thus weakening the overall defenses.
All of our investigation put us into contact with the people of the town and it became apparent that while the time at Branderscar, a distant memory for us was not so much for everyone else. We realized that walking around town without disguises was a risky proposition. We decided that we should depart town and return with new guises later.
It is not easy to remember those early days when I had to disguise myself when traveling my beloved Cheliax. So much has changed.