A World Asunder

Chapter 63- "You have to protect me."

The final casualty count for the attack is 153 dead, 211 gravely wounded. Most were citizens. 26 volunteer fighters died in the ensuing fight with demons. At least a hundred Scourge cultists lie dead along with a handful of small flying demons.

The initial sweep of Detect evil reveals that the entire fortress is riddled with a mild evil aura, combined with patches of moderate and strong near the explosions and around the portals that spewed demons and cultists. (knowledge: religion check)

DC 15: Your experience fighting against magic of evil origin leads you to believe that there could be harmful residual effects from the spells within the area they affected.

DC 20: You recognize this specific spell. The Arkali commonly use it during raids as it provides rapid dominance by way of shock and awe combined with instant deployment behind the defenses of whoever they were raiding. After the raid, a lingering aura would curse the minds of those who spent more than a few minutes inside, causing them to go blind, deaf and mad in a matter of hours. The only ones immune were Arkali.

(players begin interviews)
Reilly set up a room for questioning in one of the outer guard towers. For hours, the same questions net the same answers. The place is crowded enough that everyone has an alibi. They’ve got many reasons for joining. Some for safety, some for the cause, the occasional glory seeker. Most came through Gildenport, though a few travelled on their own boats.

After 3 hours of checking and questioning, Reilly enters the room halfway through someone’s life story and says: “Sorry to interrupt. I’ve got someone outside who says they might have some information. Should I let them in?”

Reilly opens the door and a teenage dwarven boy with a short goatee steps inside and sits down.

(players ask a question)
The dwarf interrupts you partway through. “Hold on.” he says, “I didn’t know what I was doing. I know a lot of people will be angry, but I need to be alive to take care of my little brother. You need to promise me that no one will know what I told you and that I won’t be imprisoned, otherwise I won’t tell you anything.”

(kid will not agree without that promise)

“Okay. We came over on my dad’s old fishing boat. I used to provide fish for the others, but after Kaptal started sending patrols, it became too dangerous. So I started volunteering in the infirmary. We had a Cholera breakout a week back, so they needed extra hands. I was going down to the sea to fetch water for boiling and a soldier came up to me. He asked me to bring a crate to the infirmary. Said it was hooch for his friend who was wounded. I knew it wasn’t allowed in the infirmary, but he was one of the freeharbor fusiliers. A bloody hero. I took it up there and the next day the place blew up. I don’t know for sure that that was it.”

(What did he look like)
“Mid 30’s and Tall. He had shaggy black hair with grey flecks and a beard. He had kind of a gruff voice.”

(describe the box)
“It was about this big” The boy spaces out his arms to describe an approximate cube about a foot on each side. “It was labelled ‘Oakenhearth distillery, Gildenport’ with a burning oakleaf emblem.”

Inform players: "you recall “oakenhearth” was the name of a distillery that was destroyed during the gildenport uprising."

(players exit room)
Reilly is waiting for you outside: She says: “Messenger came by while you were questioning people. Christine found a lead on St. Laerta’s remains and she’s on her way back. Wants to meet at the Anchorman’s Rest. What did the kid say?”

(players tell Reilly)
Reilly curses under her breath. “His name is Farens. Good fighter. Story goes he destroyed a Kaptalis trebuchet by smashing it with half a broken barricade during the uprising. He was supposed to be on the expedition with us, but he sprained his ankle a few days before hand. He’s probably in his quarters right now.”

(players meet Farens in his quarters)
Farens is missing from his quarters, but his bunkmate said to try the dining hall.

(players go to dining hall)
You find him sitting at a table, sharpening a Kukri. He stands and salutes Reilly, then asks “Reilly, what’s going on?”

Reilly delivers a kick to the side of his knee, then twists his saluting arm around his back and holds his head to the table with what’s left of her right arm. “You betrayed us. That’s what happened.”

“Reilly, you know me better than that.” Farens turns to you: “What the seventh hell is she talking about?”

(players tell Farens)

“That’s what this is about? I ordered Jaren a crate of whiskey from the plant we used to work at. When one of us got injured on the job, their mates would arrange for a crate of whiskey to go missing and turn up at their hospital room. When Jaren took an arrow in the knee during a scouting run on the mainland, a few of us decided to continue the tradition. We ordered the crate directly from another distillery and put the Oakenhearth label on it for old time’s sake.”

(how did he get hurt)
“Scourge cultists ambushed his party on the outskirts of freeharbor. They barely got back to the city alive.”

(players ask which distillery)
“Emerald Orchard. Most of the folks from Oakenhearth went to ply our trade there after the uprising.”

(players end questioning)
Farens, rubbing his twisted arm, says: “Reilly, I know what I did was against the rules and I expect an earful from Cora about why they don’t let whiskey into the infirmary. If you’ll have me, I’d like to come with you to sort this out. I know people who work at Emerald Orchard and I’m looking for some payback for the attack.”

Reilly glances at you as she walks away and replies: “Not my call. I’m going to go check on Enfys and prepare the Dawn for departure. Hopefully they’ve patched her up enough to make it to Freeharbor.”

(note player decision on Farens)

Scant hours later, you board the Dawn of Orthalyn and cast off for Freeharbor. The sails unfurl to a favorable wind and the frigate begins to push off. The ship’s cargo hold has been cleared of all but the essentials to make for a swift voyage.

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