Chapter 25: Things to do in Bargewright when you’re dead tired
or Issmaal Unchained
(Start of Book 5: The Edge of Apocalypse (working title)
“I’ll say this about Bargewright, it’s not much to look at.”
– Average wagon merchant
Desperate for some time away from cultists and combat, the Companions of the Bear stop a while at the industrious way station of Bargewright. Not only had many repairs been finished from the recent fires that swept the town during the earlier slave uprisings, but chained labor could be seen heaping stone and dirt to expand the raised earthenwork motte that formed the heart of Bargewright.
Settling down at Tabra’s Nook (owned and operated by the matronly Tabra Tattershawl , a converted monastary), the party members spends the next three days on personal matters.
- Jonas sought out the House of Good Cheer (the combination feast hall rental and shrine, not quite what he was looking for but the closest thing to a church Bargewright had to offer)
- Pepper continued to contemplate the awesome powers of her recently acquired war pick.
- Tariq battered and bargained with many a shrewd merchant to sell off acquired loot before being directed to the Blackpool Brotherhood headquarters, where he found himself in the middle of a fierce inquiry as to where he acquired his shield, a shield that was the twin to those that encircled him. Making a dramatic exit, he returns to the Nook to inform the party that he will be making an exit.
- Guille makes a blood oath with Issmaal, enslaved lizard folk leader, that he will help the lizard folk escape.
- Bale, having found new faith and new companions returns, accompanying the long Lost Brother Raymundo. Raymondo relates his tale his search for ancient books leading to his capture by slavers and his eventual crossing of paths with Bale. He also relates an extended reconstruction of the Book of Tyar Besil that the party had previously loaned him. Amid his rantings is a tale of the lost Forges of Besil Meer (which, according to his map is in the vicinity of Lake Khuna and the Fire Druids).
- Meredith interviews with Chief Sword Muruin (northern widow turned sell sword retiring into the position of a local reeve) and decides that maybe this is all too political for her and signs up with the local guard.
- The return of Aldren Foxglove (who apparently off scene knows people who knows people who know a mysterious stranger that has business with the Heroes of Alesport)
- Kara (the aforementioned mysterious stranger) joins the party to free to enslaved lizard folk brethren.
Three more days are spent in preparation, only to have a minor crisis / mystery interrupt their planning. A set of valued keys vital to the security of Bargewright have gone missing as well as lock box of funds and the second in command of the local guard. Aldren Foxglove is nowhere to be found, but he left a note detailing a river barge with twelve seats for ‘cast members’.
Under stormy skies of night, the Companions managed to sneak up on the slave houses, but stealth gave way to strength as spells and arrows filled the night. As the freed slaves (including half elves, humans, and yes, even the half orcs) scattered into the night, the town watch reported to the ruckus – led by their rookie sargeant – Meredith Buck, formerly of Merrovin. Spells quickly clouded the matters and felled the town guards, Meredith opted to tend the fallen rather than pursue, granting the Companions and slaves ample opportunity to flee into the night …