Stardeate: Neth (November) 10, 4706
All of you are from the city of Korvosa, the Jewel of Varisia. Originally, this was a site sacred to the Shoanti, who protected the strange and ancient stepped-pyramid that dominates the landscape of this island at the mouth of the Jeggare River. 300 years ago, Field Marshal Jakthion Korvosa lead an invading force of marines that quickly fortified the area, making it Cheliax’s primary base of operations in the conquest of Varisia. The Shoanti resisted fiercely, even burning Fort Korvosa to the ground in the Great Fire. But eventually, the Chelaxians prevailed, driving the barbarian tribes into the Cinderlands. One of the most visible landmarks is Castle Korvosa, which is built on top of the Thassilonian pyramid. Old Korvosa is the site of the original fort. When the Chelaxian Empire collapsed following the death of Aroden (about 100 years ago), Korvosa became independent. Shortly afterwards, a group of separatists left Korvosa to found the city of Magnimar. More details are available in the Player’s Guide to the Crimson Throne.
You were going about your daily business in Korvosa when suddenly you were bonked on the head and everything went black. Fatty Bob was digging a grave; Fiametta Lisabella was investigating the dissapearance of Varisian children, when she turned down the wrong alley; Arrherrothere! had just finished playing cards and was stretching his legs; Finn was on his way to his lockshop; Morvious Galonnica had slept late and was rushing to get to class; Nobody was tracking his morning breakfast, a nice fat juicy rat.
When you woke up you were chained in the hold of a slaveship, stacked with many others like cordwood. The stench was unbearable. The key to your chains, to freedom, hangs tantalizingly out of reach, on a beam at the bottom of the stairs to the topdeck. Early in the journey, you hear a gnome screaming loudly. A large half-orc, your overseer (whose name is Hafkris, you later learn), comes down from the topdeck and beats the gnome severely. The gnome won’t quit, though, and he is beaten to unconsciousness. When he wakes up, he starts screaming again. This makes Hafkris really angry, so this time he gags the gnome with barbed wire. The ever resourceful Finn then chews through the barbed wire, breaking off a piece that he thinks is just the right size for a lockpick.
Not long into the second day of your voyage, you hear the wind pick up, and the ship starts getting tossed around in a storm that grows fiercer and fiercer. A few hours into the storm, Hafkris comes below deck and picks out a crew of the largest slaves to bring above deck. You hear the rhythmic crack of a whip and the order, “Stroke! Stroke! Stroke!” Occassionally, the rhythm is interrupted by the crash of a large wave and the screams of someone getting washed overboard. A few hours later, Hafkris comes below deck to assemble another crew. And then another. And another. Fatty Bob and Awherrothere! are among the rowers who were washed overboard.
Suddenly, there’s a large grinding noise, followed by the splintering of timbers. When your wits settle, you can see that the ship has crashed into a large boulder, and the bow has been ripped off entirely. Through the misty rain driving through the opening, you can vaguely see the outlines of a rocky cliff in the distance. You are very cold, and unfortunately, still chained up.
Finn spits the piece of wire out of his mouth with amazing accuracy, catching it in one of his chained hands. With skill and determination, he manages to pick the lock. He looks around for something to free the others. Nobody just stares at the key and mutters to himself, “Stupid fucking white man.”
Everyone is eventually freed, including the party members plus an NPC, Melissana, a beautiful merchant’s daughter from Magnimar. You search around and realize you can make an improvised club from the splintered ship’s timber. Someone creeps up to the opening where the bow used to be, and sees your nemesis Hafkris, drunk out of his mind, strutting up and down the beach like a soldier on parade, screaming at the top of his lungs, “What shall we do with the drunken sailor?” Nobody and Finn decide there must be more useful stuff on board the ship, so they climb up to the topdeck and have a look around. They find a heavy crossbow, some bolts, and other useful stuff. Nobody takes up a position on the deck with the crossbow, and the others jump into the surf, scrambling to the shore.
Nobody shoots and misses Hafkris repeatedly, as the rest of the party scrambles forward. Lisabella, the firece freedom loving gypsy fortuneteller, reaches Hafkris first, and a fierce fight ensues. Lisabella is severely wounded, but she gets a few good hits on the half-orc. Nobody’s crossbow cracks and breaks, so he leaps into the surf as well, arriving to the battle just in time to plant a killing blow to the back of the half-orc’s head, just after he drops Lisabella. Melissana, the merchant’s daughter, rushes to her side and gives her first aid.
The party explores the area, and using scaps of sailcloth and broken timber, build a very crude (and ineffective) shelter against the clifface. Morvious stays by Lisabella’s side, mindful of every ragged breath and gasp of pain. And so ends our first adventure.