Sundered Skies: Session 5
by, 06-14-2009 at 11:01 PM (1195 Views)
Three weeks into their travel across the endless Void, the Firefly comes across another ship heading in the opposite direction. As the ships close, the lookout discovers that the other ship is an orcish war raft, a raiding vessel built by lashing multiple ships together as one. The captain prepares her ship and crew for an attack but upon coming into close range, the war raft is revealed to made of only smaller ships and the orcs are detered by the apparent skill, armament and size of Firefly's crew. This is one prize that seems too risky to take and so they pull away and simply allow the Firefly to pass. The mere presence of orcish raiding parties this far from the upper reaches however, is a troubling sign that does not escape Captain Ia's attention.
In her seventh week of voyage, the natural bounty of the Skies seemed to be thinning out. The large drag nets that the Firefly (and, in fact, virtually all skyships) deploys behind her to collect the driftweed, skylers and other food sources were coming up short and her food stocks were getting dangerously low. The Captain and Brother Fran offered up half of their own rationing to assure that the other crew would have enough to eat until they can arrive in port to restock.
A few days later, nearing Heartland, the crew came across a mass adrift in the Void. At first mistaking it for a small chunk of land with a single oak tree sprouting from its center, closer inspection revealed it to be an elven ship. A small skiff, probably a patrol or fishing boat. Climbing aboard, they discover evidence most foul: a rope dangling out one of the ship's portholes and severed and the only crew member in the aft cabin, apparently a victim of suicide. A few moments later, they hear shouting coming from the Firefly, an attempt to warn them of an impending attack. Suddenly, they are set upon by three wolf-like beasts formed out of living, moving brambles. After dispatching the strange creatures, they decide to tow the ship a few days away from Heartland to tie it off to a small deserted island, hoping to retrieve it on their return trip to Gateway.
They resume their journey, arriving at Heartland five days later. After being greeted and inspected by an elven patrol ship, they are allowed to dock at Roseport, the only city on Heartland accessible to outsiders. They disembark and are exposed to some of the bizarre majesty of the elven homeland. They must pass through an enormous open-air temple to reach the market district, the temple filled with organically grown statuary and murals dedicated to their god, the Leaflord, the royal families and prominent spiritual leaders. Entering the city proper, they discover that all the buildings are made from enormous hollowed-out trees and the streets are crawling with elven guards, large and fearsome attack beasts known as Ferals and scampering wilding slaves delivering messages and running errands for their masters.
Captain Ia meets with Gereth, their contact and informs him of the cargo they are carrying. Gereth is pleased and relieved that they have come to his aid. Impressed with their courage and dedication, Gereth promises even greater payment if they see fit to perform another favor for the Boughbreaker cause. He reveals that a group of about a dozen wildlings have recently been recovered and the Boughbreakers are trying to get them away from Heartland before they are discovered. If the Firefly can sneak the wildlings aboard and get them to the island of Canopy in the Ice Isles of the upper reaches, they should be safe. With the help of a little creative negotiating, the Captain makes amicable arrangements to smuggle the wildlings and help ensure her crew's safe voyage.
Meanwhile, at the Nature Temple, pondering the significance of the voice of the Lightbringer heard aboard the ship weeks ago, Leo decides to inquire with one of the temple priests for insight. Fearing that the already strange dwarf may be going insane from glowmadness, the priesthood first offers to seek help for Leo but with is protestations decide instead to shoo him away, removing him from the temple and encouraging him to return to the docks.