The Sweet Delight

The Dawn Machine
Episode 6
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The Undersea
Episode 4

Days had passed. Days being a measurement of time. The sun never saw fit to grave the crew with its presence. Probably something to do with the endless stone roof which lay about a mile above the surface.

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The Valley of the Second Dawn
Episode 3

Captain Gideon had done a bad thing. A really bad thing. The kind of thing that’s so bad that he didn’t share it with his crew until after it was over. He had taken a job from the wrong employer. It was stupid. He knew it was stupid when he did it. What was he supposed to do though? The Cult of the Dragon Below offered payment up front, mostly in part due to their history of double-crossing freelancers in the past, and how was else was he supposed to get his baby back in the air?

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The crew was livid of course, but their apprehension about going to drop off the merchandise was only rivaled by their fear of what the reprisals might be for holding on to said merchandise. So into the Glowing Chasm, the very heart of the Mournland, they went; lazily flying deep into the earth past Kyhber Crystals dozens of feet long jutting out of either side. Glowing with an ugly inner light that provided the only illumination down here.

After several close calls they came upon a dock which lay on the lip of a subterranean river. The helmsman, with grace only a man of his experience could manage, lowered the ship into the waters and had the men tie off the only recently restored Sweet Delight.

At the dock waiting to greet them smiled a man. At least he was humanoid in shape. This man had no eyes and his smile showed that there were no gaps between his teeth. They more resembled a beak than anything else.

Scarlet : If that’s his face I’d hate see what he’s got hidden under that robe……..

The crew disembarked and Captain Gideon approached the “dockmaster” ; returning what he hoped was a confident smile.

Dockmaster: Ahh. You’re right on time. Delightful. You have completed your task?

Gideon : Yes. It’s all on board. One of the crates was damaged during the operation though. I’ll have the men unload it now.

The dockmaster frowned at the mention of the damage to some of the cargo but gestured down the tunnel.

Dockmaster: If you’ll follow me please. My master will see to your payment.

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Deeper into the earth they walked. For nearly an hour they traversed caverns lined with crystals which thrummed as though alive. Eventually the dockmaster came to a stop at a seemingly unremarkable stretch of wall and traced an arcane sigil on its surface. With an audible rumble the wall parted, spilling brilliant sunlight into the cave, and the crew advanced into the unlikeliest of sights.

A a sunlit valley, lush with greenery, and brimming with wildlife spread out before them. The cavern so far above that a few clouds could be seen overhead. Though if you peered hard enough you could make out a few stalactites.

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As the dockmaster lead them onto a wide swath of open plain riders in the distance immediately changed course to intercept. Upon coming close enough to see that they were escorted by the dockmaster however they did not even bother to stop the crew and after an hour long hike they approached the base of a massive spire, a worked stone column which appeared to be a natural rock formation once upon a time, which overlooked the miniature sun that lit this cavern. They wound the spiraling staircase of the tower until they stopped at an unremarkable stretch of wall. The dockmaster began tapping on the wall in an intricate pattern.

Immediately Arctus’ opened his arcane senses to detect the walls faint magical glow and Rowena made it a point to memorize the pattern in case it was important later. These are dangerous cultists, paying clients though they may be, and the need for a hasty exit unimpeded by magical doorways might not be out of the question.

After a few moments of gesturing from their guide the wall slide open; giving way to a balcony on the other side. With not just a little hesitation the crew stepped through onto the landing to meet with their “client”.

A few moments after emerging onto the precipice the crew is assaulted with a blaze of light. Everyone but Arctus is struck dumb, the faint tattoo symbolizing his secret worship of his dark god (who must not be named!) prickles slightly at the touch of the magic surrounding him.

The rest of the crew find themselves assaulted with a vast flood of images, feelings, sounds, and a few fleeting words. To converse with this being is unlike anything they’ve experienced. It rips through their minds for the information it seeks. Did they succeed in their task? Yes, but some of the cargo was damaged.

The being lets a wave of agony wash over those in its thrall. Though the accompanying feeling they get isn’t anger, but more a sense of a lord disciplining his vassal in the hopes that they will do better next time.

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Next the being before them offers yet another task, vast sums of wealth which flood before the crews eyes is to be the reward. The crew has the profound sense that this being doesn’t lie because when you’re at the eschelon of power lying becomes irrelevant. The offer is a genuine one. After several moments of hesitation the Captain agrees. Partially out of fear for what this thing will do if it’s denied and partially because his unquenchable lust for riches.

Arctus follows the crew as they are carted back to their ship in a trance. He begins to question the dockmaster when he notices that his teeth feel strange. Probing them with his tongue he finds that they have grown together into a single solid piece, similar to that of their guide. He spends the next half hour waiting aboard the deck of the Sweet Delight, rubbing his tongue across his front teeth, and waiting for the crew to regain their senses.

When the crew wakes up the Captain doesn’t hesitate to start giving orders. Some of the ore they recovered from The Lightning Rail Heist is to be loaded into the engine and with it they are going to punch through the a new plane, recover an Element of Dawn (whatever that is), and bring it back for their “client”.

The portal yawns wide and a pitch black void stares out from its maw. Scarlet guides the ship into breach and it promptly closes behind them. The world around them is darkness, darkness in all directions, even those with darkvision find themselves blind on this plane.

Within moments of the breach closing the crew feels a powerful upward draft. For several seconds the crew looks about. Saren looks at the sails and then shouts

Saren_Auric: “HOLD ON TO SOMETHING!”

The pronouncement comes too late for many of the crew as the ships hull collides with inky black waters. The Sweet Delight nearly capsizes under the strain of the impact but ultimately manages to bob back to the surface.

Rowena smiles, how rare it is these days that she gets to be truly in her element. She approaches Scarlet at the ships wheel and directs her to the nearest land, her inability to see not phasing her innate navigation in the least.

With their heading decided, the Sweet Delight sailed off into the darkness……..

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The Lightning Rail Heist!
Episode 2

Again we open on the view of a horizon. The midday sun beats down overhead but the crew of the Sweet Delight find themselves enjoying the shade and cooling mist that comes from being inside of a massive cumulonimbus cloud, an unnatural bit of weather arranged for courtesy of the crews Sea Witch. The chief purpose of said cloud isn’t to cool off though but to provide cover for the upcoming ambush.

The job is simple. Get the cargo marked with a specific symbol, an eye with four daggers serving as the upper eyelash, from the train. The crew has been in place for the last half hour, watching the rail for the telltale sign of rail cars approaching. They don’t have to wait long. The rail begins to crackle with the electricity that keeps the cars aloft and everyone tenses with anticipation as the train comes into view.

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The crews helmsman waits, waits, and waits some more, wanting to hold off until the last moment to drop into sight. Too soon and the occupants of the train might notice them and with any luck they can make this a stealth job. Get the goods and get out with none the wiser.

Captain Gideon shoots the helmsman a sharp look but the helmsman ignores him. His grip on the wheel is light despite the look of intense concentration on his face. The drawback to this approach is that the Sweet Delight, or any airship for that manner, will find itself hard pressed to keep pace with a Lightning Rail. The captain notices the helmsmans grip tighten suddenly on the wheel at that cue the captain shouts “Brace!”.

The ship launches into a dive leaving a plunging trail of cloud behind as it swoops forward to level out along side the ship which is already outpacing them. Before long though the crew has anchors attached to one of the rail cars and the operation is underway!

Sliding down the anchor ropes most of the crew manages to get into place but some have more difficulty than others. Arctus, the crews wizard, finds himself hard pressed to slide down and ends up falling before catching himself with a flight spell. After a minute he makes his way up the train cars to rejoin the others.

The operation hasn’t been underway for more than a few minutes when they encounter the first hitch in their plans. The door is solid steel and from the look of it the crew can tell it won’t be easy to force. After about 5 minutes of bickering Rowena announces that if they can’t come up with something better she is going to derail the train by overpowering the rail with a lightning bolt.

With that added bit of incentive the crews wizard manages to lure one of the guards inside to open the door with a bit of auditory magic. The guard who come to investigate finds himself roughly yanked through the car door and thrown from the train by Captain Gideon.

The helmsman marches through the breach and proceeds to poke holes in the guards. Arctus notices that the crates which bear the legend they were told to look out for.

Arctus Tor: This is it

Gideon Gray: Stop the guards!

Arctus’ attention snaps to the end of the car. With a wave of his fingers and a few magical words he encases the end of the car in permafrost, effectively cutting off all escape but not before one of the guards slips through the mages icy grasp.

Within moments the crew has mopped up the remaining guards, save the one who surrendered, and immediately set to the work of extracting the cargo via Arctus’ floating disc magic.

Minutes later, the entire train has been roused, the element of surprise is gone, and the wall of ice that once seemed impregnable is beginning to look awfully fragile due to the repeated blows from the other side. The pile of crates has dwindled significantly. A few more trips should do it.

Of course right then the ice wall finally gives way. With a look of irritation and a flare of power Actus summons a rhinoceros to hold the unwelcome guards at bay while the crew finishes its work.

The crew’s helmsman stood as lookout. Upon seeing the knot of guards pressed against the exterior door of the rail car he went into action. He released the wheel, the ship was being dragged along behind the train anyway, and ran to the forward gun. After a few thunderous blasts of cannon fire he finally zero’d in on his targets and lit the fuse for the final time……

From inside the train car the crew heard another blast of cannon fire.

Nancy “Gnomageddon” Boi: I swear that idiots going to get us……

Suddenly the train bucked and the rail car went into a spiral. Crates, barrels, and men went flying in every direction. The squeal of metal and the crackle of lightning filled the ears of everyone for a mile in each direction.

When the crew came to the helmsman already had men loading the cargo. If his aim was off at least you couldn’t fault his practicality. The crew quickly boarded the Sweet Delight. Pursuit likely wouldn’t be far behind……..

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The Battle Over Sharn
Episode 1

The sun is setting over the city of Sharn casting the city’s silhouette into sharp relief. Breaking the interlocking weave of light and shadow a fiery blue portal yawns wide in the sky. Out of the breach a wooden prow emerges. A legend has been burnt into it reads “The Sweet Delight”. A one time merchant sea vessel now stolen pirate air ship.

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The captains vision recovers from the transition just in time to see the city rushing forward to greet them mere seconds away from impact. Captain Gideon screams “HARD TO PORT!” as the helmsman throws the wheel only just in time to scuff the lacquer on the starboard rail as they scrape along side one of the cities many towers.

Mere seconds after their narrow miss another vessel emerges from the portal. The Thune, a Deurgar mercenary ship comprised of dark ironwood planking and shining silver fittings, erupts from the portal and crashes dead center into the Sweet Delights port side, sending it crashing through building after building.

The impact of the Thune causes the deck of the Sweet Delight to pitch a sharp 90 degrees. The crew goes flying, hanging from railing and ropes. The crews gnome (every ship needs a gnome right?) hits the starboard rail, which now serves as a makeshift floor and goes flying end over end towards the ground before miraculously catching herself on a rope hanging from the rail of the ship.

The Captain of the Thune, a surly black skinned dwarf points at Gideon and screams “Give me the other half of the amulet!”. The captain in turn allows his dragonsbreath pistol to issue his reply.

Atop of the mast, Rowena Highmoor, the crews Sea Witch, exchanges a series of missiles with the Thune’s rifle expert for several seconds. Wood splinters around her as it scorches around him from the impact of the many near misses before Rowena ends the exchange with a well placed lightning bolt.

Meanwhile below the brutal mishmash of ships swings our intrepid gnome. A Deurgar found himself swinging from the same ropes due to an impact with the ship above and as a result has found himself subject to the vicious gnomes tender mercies. She swings back and forth, lashing out with each pass until she finds the rope she was using cut! Her ring of featherfall managed to bail her out of what would be a lethal fall and she was able to guide herself to one of the walkways intersecting the towers.

Before long the Sweet Delight is nothing but wreckage and the crew of the Thune have disengaged. Disappearing into another rift so that they can return on foot. It’s not going to be cheap to recover the ship, but at least the crew lives to thieve another day.

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