ANVIL - Episode 1

Attempts at Snake Charming (Mike GM - 12/13/12)

Members of the blacksmith guild ANVIL have been dispatched by their boss, Sarkhelm, to find his son, Sorkar. Sarkhelm doesn't believe his son to be in any danger himself, the only danger being the boy spending all off his father's (and thus the guild's) money.

Mace Shieldskin, Donald Victus, and Ricky Spanish are walking along a main traveling road in the Northeast of Taern, not far from their guild's location when they come to a decision.

In the middle of the night, someone stoles their provisions out of their bags and replaced them with snakes, except for Mace's bag which had something explosive awaiting him. Fearing that someone is seeking to stop their pursuit of Sorkar, the party decides to split up to speed up Sorkar's recovery.

A small path through the forest leads North to the sea, and while the town of Sippa is where the map indicates it leads to, none in the party seem to recall every meeting anyone who had been to said town. Regardless Mace and Donald decide to check it out while Ricky will continue on the main road to a larger city, where hopefully another ANVIL party has some work on Sorkar's location. After all, it is far easier to spend money in the big city of Coldhedge.

Ricky Spanish soon starts a fight with two gnome travelers, a man and wife, after they are coy with their answers about snakes and explosives (in Ricky's mind, coy is not giving him the answers he wants). Before the encounter can escalate, a wall of flames appears in the road and Ricky dives for cover in a ditch. The gnome husband is shot with an arrow from a hillside to the east, and Ricky follows them to the woods fleeing the snake in the ditch.

In the woods, Mace and Donald find a blood trail that leads to a dwarf sitting on a tree trunk… With a bloody hand laying in front of him. The dwarf says that the hand is of no concern, as it was the result of an already resolved dispute. Donald checks to make sure the blood trail ends with the dwarf and he finds this to be true.

Around this time the gnome couple come plowing through the forest along with snake-scared Ricky Spanish. The gnome wife reveals at the snakes are her property and at she was robbed of them the previous night. She does not know why someone chose to use her business of poisonous snakes against the party but at the moment she is more concerned with the health of her husband who she is taking to the town of Sippa to seek healing. The party decides to continue on to Sippa but Ricky has another goal in mind…

The mysterious dwarf has gained Ricky's curiosity and Mr. Spanish follows him to the beach. The dwarf literally draws a line in the sand, this being his only warning to Ricky if he choose to cross it. The dwarf enters the ocean for a swim whereupon Ricky tries to wrestle him. Ricky Spanish is promptly drowned by the dwarf.

While Mace walks under water to retrieve Mr. Spanish, Donald heads to the docks as there appears to be a lot of activity on the ships in the area. There he meets a very enthusiastic and proud fellow dragonborn by the name of Sutan. He gives his permission to ask around the docks, and one busy ship crew has caught Donald's eye.

Mace finds Ricky's body under water but no sign of the dwarf. The warforged carries the pathetic body of Ricky Spanish onto the docks, and a now perplexed Sutan points them to the healer's.

Donald speaks to the busy group of crewman and discovers that this is Sorkar's ship. The crew tells Donald that he can be found, as usual, at the tavern.

Ricky insists that he can make it to the healer on his own, and there he encounters the gnome wife. She is awaiting word on her husband, but now seems far more concerned about Ricky. The gnome woman looks at a fresh wound and her face goes pale. She reveals that while her snakes are meant to look poisonous that they are in fact not, but that poisons are her profession… And that Ricky Spanish has been infected with a very dangerous toxin.

Donald finds the tavern to be a rowdy place, where the drinking starts early, and music is always being played. The bartender answers his question with bemusement, pointing to the stage when Sorkar's name is dropped. Mace enters the bar cautiously, and good thing, because Sorkar shoots a poisoned dart at Donald who goes down. The bartender states matter of factly that "The bards around here are dangerous."

Mace gives chase and in his fear of the warforged, Sorkar drops his sack of gems and gold, but does make it to his ship. Shieldskin looks into the bag and a simple look is all it takes to reveal that the loot is substantial. Faced with a choice, Mace simply holds up the bag to the ship as it starts to set sail.

The crewman unsheathe their swords in response…

And then turn them towards Sorkar.

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