(( Sin (Sintera Barona)’s player and Eve’s player were both absent. DM machvergil played Hadron Rook to compensate for the missing Leader. ))
The adventure begins with our heroes traveling to Coreta aboard the Skystrider. During the journey, Kenneth Raptor speaks to the “New hires” to try and get them up to speed. First he talks to them about Korin Tyson, an Actavian bounty hunter looking for the Skystrider, during which Raptor has to explain how he and Claudia Aspiria came to be in charge of the Skystrider (See Raptor’s Backstory for more details), and some debate occurs between him and Hadron Rook over whether or not the ship was stolen.
The second bit of information the captain conveys is his reasons for being hesitant to go to Coreta. The town was his place of birth where he and his sister, Tyra Peters, grew up as orphans. He explains that after he had been tricked into thinking he was a Raptor family heir that he was too enamored with his new life to notice the conspirator’s efforts to rid him of his sister. When she narrowly escaped an attempt on her life, she tried to convince Raptor to come back to Coreta with her. He refused to believe her and left her to leave on her own, betraying a childhood promise to always protect her. He regrets this now, as an adult, especially since the whole “Being an Acktavian Noble” thing didn’t work out, but he knows that she’s okay, and quite influential in Coreta. That being said, they still haven’t spoken since then, and he’s not eager to see her again. Caelestis Nailo takes a stab at Raptor commenting on such a upstanding person he clearly was.
Finally, Captain Raptor takes some time to talk to Caelestis and Ten about their devotion to the Raven Queen, and their long term goals aboard the ship. Content with their answers, he lightly suggests that they be careful they don’t grant the “Raven Queen’s Judgement” to everyone who crosses their path, they may be more useful alive. Ten and Caelestis have a bit of a fight over this.
As the ship approaches Coreta, they find it being blockaded by 5 airships. These ships belong to Acktavia, and are out-of place as Coreta is on the border of Acktavian territory, it is still a city of Riddel. The ships hail the Skystrider and inform them that no one is allowed in or out until they complete their investigations regarding an attack that happened two days ago. Our heroes and the crew discuss many options as to how they could proceed: They could contact the Riddel government, but that might take too long. They could try to sneak in, but there are probably ground forces as well as air. In addition, if the ship got ID’d as the Skystrider, the Acktavians may try to take them in for the stolen ship, and these 5 airships-of-the-line would over power them. Eventually, “Ruin” will suggest that they ask the Acktavians if they need help as mercenaries. Turns out, the Acktavians wanted to track down the Wizard who attacked the town with constructs and took the Mayor’s wife with him when he escaped. They want to track him down, but they can’t because his hide out, an Arcane Sciences Academy called Ashiel, is far enough into Riddel territory they can’t attack without political permission from Acktavia, which is taking for ever to get. As a team of neutral adventures, our heroes could make the assault without the political pressure. In exchange for a hefty pay, they agree to take the job. At mention of Ashiel, Hadron Rook demands that he goes with them. Rook reveals that Ashiel was once an Academy of Arcane Sciences in Riddel that was founded in the early 200’s UA, over 150years ago, and was believed to be a myth. Story says it fell into its own pocket dimension when experiments there went horribly wrong.
The ship heads to the location given by the Acktavians, and the shore party of Ten, Hadron Rook, Caelestis Nailo, Norlan Donaaran, and Ash drop into the forest near a gateway portal. They subdue the mages protecting it, taking control of their arcane ballista and leaving it to guard the portal after they head in. They use the portal to enter Ashiel, and soon find themselves inside a ruined classroom with several panels on the floor. After pressing a panel, portals open to the room and warforged flooded in. After finally pressing the panels in the right sequence, the portals closed and our heroes could proceed.
The party then crossed a bridge between towers that allowed them to see into the courtyard of ghosts below. The ghosts were of the academy’s former students and teachers, still carrying on as if they were still alive. While Caelistis struggled to not find a way down there to send them all to the afterlife, Ash yelled down to them, and got their attention. The ghosts seemed wary of the intruders, and sent a ghostly faculty member to investigate.
After the bridge our heroes ran into Forgemaster Vosk Dawnscale, a dragonborn put in charge of the arcane forges inside of Ashiel. Our heroes managed to convince him they were of friendly intent, claiming to be Riddel soldiers investigating the attacks on Coreta. They manage to get out of him that he worked for a group called The Order of the Forgotten Fang a group that clearly seeks to oppose Gahzrital and the Skystrider’s efforts to aid him. This throws Norlan into enough of a rage to strike, and with the party’s help, Dawnscale is slain and Ten claims his Fullblade for himself. Meanwhile, the ghosts Ash alerted destroy those working on the forge, and after the battle, Hadron and Caelstis work to destroy the forge’s controls so no one can get them running again without substantial effort.
With the forge dealt with our heroes find a hidden passage in Dawnscale’s room. They get the drop on a group of mages and after Norlan convinces one Tiefling to surrender, they slay the others. They convince the tiefling to impart what he knows, and he reveals to them the location of the mayor’s wife, who turns out to be Captain Raptor’s sister. He also hands them their latest orders from the order, signed by an enigmatic commander known only as “M”. The orders explain that Brandis Adrin and the The Arcanist’s Compass had left for the Feywild and were hiding out at a place called the Tower of the Hollow Eclipse on an island in the Verdant Sea of the Feywild. As Ten carried Tyra out, our heroes returned to the ship, and Ken and Tyra had a heartfelt reunion, ending their long spent silence.
Our heroes then used the return of Tyra as a reason to get past the Acktavian blockade and returned her to the mayor. In exchange the crew received the payment from Acktavia and phased into the Feywild before they could be discovered as the Skystrider.
BONUS RP: Before they left Coreta, Tyra told Ken that she hopes he gives up this adventuring thing some day because “She wants her children to get to know their uncle someday.” At the end of the session Caelestis uses the “Hat of Disguise” that she acquired during the adventure to portray herself as Claudia and sneak up on Ken and seduce him saying “Someday maybe you should be more than just someone’s Uncle” and then leave. She does this in front of Rook who is impressed but also a little frightened by her joke. This leads him to try and flirt with her a bit more, and when that turns up empty, he ask Ash about his relationship with Eve. Ash explains that while he and Eve are close, its in more of the pack-brother/sister sense as opposed to as lovers. Rook jokes that this disappoints him since he can’t ask him how Shifter’s are in bed. Caelestis also spends some time re-tailoring her new robes to fit her better, chatting with Letharyis Skyedge while doing so.
Also, they took the Arcane Ballista back with them and affixed it to the bow of the ship.