The World Beyond: al-Jazira Sadim

Mauser & the Mindless Minions

Despite the incredible mass of the treasure chests, Bronwyn, Gy, and the rest of their crew easily hauled it out of the swamp. In fact, on the way, they stumbled upon the crew member who had sunken into the mud pit but somehow managed to escape alive. So elated at seeing their massive haul, he forgot how they abandoned him and helped them back towards the village.

Night was falling as they left the swamp, and they heard shouts of terror from Orlane. As it came into view, they saw villagers rushing about between burning buildings, doing their best to salvage their ransacked homes. Some of the villagers saw the group and cried, “Look! There’s more of them!”

Stunned by a flashback to the destruction of Manhan, Gy barely composed himself enough to stay the villagers who had rushed toward the group, picks and makeshift clubs in hand. Although one farmhand remained unconvinced of the party’s harmlessness, Bronwyn kept him in check while Gy consorted with the remaining villagers.

Apparently, a band of pirates had just ransacked the village, kidnapping all of the able-bodied youth and setting most of the buildings on fire. Word had come to Orlane of similar raids on nearby villages, but they still had not been prepared for the swift brutality of Captain Mauser and his crew. Steeled at the mention of the villain who had destroyed his home, Gy persuaded one of the villagers to join Cotton’s crew as they set out to intercept Mauser.

By early morning, Cotton’s ship had Mauser’s surprisingly massive ship in its sights. Cotton’s deft maneuvering brought his vessel alongside Mauser’s, at which point his entire crew was shocked by a loud blast coming from Mauser’s ship. Despite the momentary disturbance, Gy, Bronwyn, and the heroic members of Cotton’s crew were able to board Mauser’s ship. Gy and Grinder found Mauser and prepared to make him pay for his crimes.

As swords clattered across the deck of the embattled ship, it became clear that something was wrong below. Hearing screams and smelling smoke, Bronwyn rushed below to see a fire raging across from the cages in which dozens of prisoners were being kept. Kicking some ass, she plowed through the few of Mauser’s crew trying to fend her off and busted open the prison cells. However, most of the prisoners seemed utterly mindless and uninterested in saving their own lives. Bronwyn realized getting these poor teenagers off the ship was more than she could handle alone, so she called up to Gy for help.

Above deck, Mauser had already cut down Grinder and was making a mockery of Gy’s swordsmanship. Gy, hearing Bronwyn’s cries, put his mission for vengeance on hold to marshal the escapees from the holding cells onto Cotton’s ship. Unfortunately, by the time they had rescued everyone, the fire had become too overwhelming to endure any search of the ship, so Gy and Bronwyn were forced to return to Cotton’s boat.

Over the next two weeks, Cotton’s ship returned the kidnapped youth to villages all along the coast of Lake Acheron, including Orlane. In all cases, the crew was given a heroes’ welcome, but Gy and Bronwyn could not help but feel uneasy. Was it too much to hope that Mauser had gone down with his ship? Were these kidnappings related to the eerily similar amassing of youth at the monastery from which Bronwyn had escaped?

The End

Into the Mire

After the open ocean, South Sea is Jebediah Cotton’s second home, so he led you and his daughter to Joppie’s, one of his favorite taverns. “It’s fair enough the Watch’ll think us beneath it, but not so fair that the lovely patrons’ll give us a skance,” reasoned Cotton, though Gy had to ask Bronwyn what “skance” meant.

Joppie, a jovial and stout Goblin, was so thrilled to see his old friend alive that agreed to put you all up for the evening. He also insisted on a hearty round of Megalan mead and a pot roast.

Over dinner, you all shared a bit about yourselves. Jebediah was at first interested in learning more about Gy, perhaps because his daughter seemed suddenly smitten with him, but it soon became apparent that he was most inclined to learn more about Bronwyn, whose daring bravery had saved him and the group earlier that evening. Lavishing fatherly praise upon the young Bronwyn was pleasant enough, but it was easy to notice Virginia’s mood sour slightly. Gy made sure this did not last too long.

The next morning, Jebediah and Bronwyn headed out to scrounge up a crew and a ship for their journey and learned that Captain Mauser had retaliated against Cotton’s crew while he was imprisoned at the manor. The few remaining loyal to Jebediah were hard to find.

Meanwhile, Gy and Virginia got up considerably later and returned to their former inn to retrieve the Lady’s possessions. While she gathered her things, the innkeeper approached Gy with a note that had been delivered by a “man in white” for Bronwyn the day before. The note was an apology of sorts and an invitation to meet at the Temple of Hu-Babeh before dawn.

The next morning, Gy and Bronwyn found their way to the temple to meet the “man in white.” The abandoned structure reeked decay yet still retained the calming allure that once drew so many worshipers. Bronwyn ascended the curved ramp to the dark entryway and entered upon a moonlit amphitheater, at the center of which lay a crumpled body upon an altar.

Bronwyn stole her way to the altar and, overturning the body, was stunned to find the decaying corpse of Aporcus Beedle, that slimy character who’d tricked them into looking for his stupid box. Then, from the shadows emerged the man in white himself, grasping an emerald dagger with his blood-soaked hands.

The man in white uttered some nonsense about his “transformation” and how Bronwyn was the “only one who could stop him,” and, incensed by her wisecracks, leaped forth and cast her into the temple wall. Hearing Bronwyn’s cries, Gy and Grinder rushed into the temple, but the man in white easily kept them at bay with his dark magics.

As he moved in upon Bronwyn, the man in white suddenly appeared disturbed. Disappointedly, he proclaimed that she was not the “Slayer” and left the trio in the temple to suffer.

For the next two days, the group gathered a ragtag crew to set sail for Cotton’s treasure. Recruitment was tougher than it would have been because Bronwyn kept getting into brawls in taverns and Gy came off a bit too ardently on several occasions, but Cotton’s experience as a seasoned pirate made up for these limitations.

After a four day journey up the canal and then along the western coast of Lake Acheron, the ship anchored near Orlane, a small village near the hidden treasure. Cotton was still weak from his imprisonment, so he sent Jerry, his inept first mate, along with Gy and Bronwyn and a few other crew members ashore.

Skirting Orlane, the band made its way to the stream by which they were to find the cave in which the treasure resided, but recent rains had flooded the nearby land into a marsh. Following Jerry’s lead, the group became hopelessly lost and one crew member found himself sinking into a mud pit. Although Gy argued that losing a party member is simply a part of the natural order of the wild, Bronwyn attempted to kick some ass but failed to rescue the poor sap.

Together, Gy and Bronwyn wrested control of the group from the idiot Jerry and got them heading in the right direction. They finally found the three massive treasure chests within the promised cave. Now, they had to figure out how to get these enormous objects back through the muck to the ship…

Breaking In & Breaking Out

Silent as the wind, Gy Manhan skirted the wall outside the auction house. Below, Bronwyn the Slayer unleashes Grinder upon the guard by the front gate, who drops his sheaf of papers and flees in terror. She unlocks the front door as Gy distracts the other two guards with some well-thrown pebbles and then swings down from the roof to the main entrance.

Now posing as a concerned, law-abiding citizen, Gy engages the two guards inside the auction house as Bronwyn slips into the rear warehouse. Using the papers she grabbed from the guard, she is able to find the palette with the Kirkland properties, but Beedle’s case is nowhere to be found. She spots a fearsome cloaked form rapidly approaching her. Despite its stony, burning flesh sears the two guards who rush to stop the intruder, but Bronwyn dispatches the creature with ease. After a quick search of the rest of the auction house, the pair flee into the night with Grinder.

The next day, they revisit the auction house, where the guards are taking credit for having fended off an attack by a “Dark One” the night before. Beedle’s case is never auctioned off, and the other attendees, including a mysterious man in white, are either uninteresting or dismissive.

The heroes spend the rest of the day preparing for the masked ball at Baron Pettigrew’s manor. Bronwyn’s lack of familiarity with South Sea flusters her, wasting Gy’s pack of hodgepodge items on failed attempts and makeshift costumes. She then nearly gets caught trying to steal clothes and has to lay low until sundown. Fortunately, Gy manages to secure a servant’s attire and a rough sketch of Pettigrew’s manor from the hotel kitchen staff.

Once at Pettigrew’s manor, Gy makes his way into the kitchen while Lady Cotton persuades the butler to get a mask for Bronwyn so she can attend the ball in style. These two try to head upstairs, but hostile guards embarrass Lady Cotton despite her best attempts at seducing come ons. Meanwhile, Gy realizes that the manor does not have a basement and develops a ruse that sends the entire servant staff looking for a missing brooch.

This ploy gets the group to the guards’ hangout on the other side of the manor, where Jebediah Cotton is being held. Gy sends away the staff and guests while Bronwyn kicks some guard ass while making a few lighthearted quips. The group rushes outside and heads down a pathway into the woods.

While this move gets a couple guards off their trail, another pair intercepts them as they leave the woods back to the road. Bronwyn gets a little bruised up fending off these goons as the rest of the groups flees.

Back in town, Jebediah reluctantly admits to his life as a pirate and the massive haul for which he was captured. However, he qualifies this heist by pointing out that stole it from the infamous villain Captain Mauser, rather than directly from Megalan merchants. In gratitude, he offers the heroes a share of the treasure, which they will retrieve together.

The Lady Betrayed

The heroes’ first sight upon being casy into the filth of South Sea is the attempted kidnaping of the beautiful Lady Cotton. Quite Heroically, Gy rushes to her aid, and Bronwyn follows. The two struggle with the lowly pirate until Bronwyn knocks his cutlass from his hand, and Gy uses it to slay him in a single blow.

Dragging the assailant and the Lady into a nearby alley, the heroes are approached by the odd Aporcus Beedle, who, impressed with their heroics, wants them to help secure a black cask for him from the auction house. Before they can complete the deal, Lady Cotton awakens and, shrieking at the sight of murder, forces the group to rush to the Royal Crown Tavern, where they are to meet someone who can help her find her missing father.

At the Royal Crown, the group finds out that Cotton’s father, a pirate, is being held prisoner at Baron Pettigrew’s manor. When he realizes she has no idea where her father’s stolen treasure is, the informant calls upon a group of thugs to seize her.

Bronwyn whisks Cotton to the kitchen, where they prepare a trap for her attackers should they get through the door. Meanwhile, Gy and Beedle fend of the thugs and rush outside when Bronwyn tells them to escape. Once outside, the heroes agree to secure Beedle’s possession that evening and meet him at the Cussing Crow in Scurvytown after sundown. The kitchen eventually begins to burn down, forcing the group to flee.

Cotton pays for the heroes’ new gear, and then they proceed to the auction house. Here, she flirts with and distracts a guard while Bronwyn snags his keys. Gy tries to convince two other guards to let them into the warehouse while Bronwyn sneaks back there alone. Two additonal guards there nearly spot her, but she and the others manage to slip away.

After talking an innkeeper into taking Cotton for the evening, the heroes return to the auction house as the sun sets. Gy successfully climbs the outer wall and spots two guards patroling the pathway around the auction house. Bronwyn anxiously awaits his signal below…

Learning from Experience

  • Bronwyn: Fighting, Stealth
  • Gy: Fighting, Persuasion
Smugglers on the Run

Gy Manhan and Bronwyn the Slayer have been aboard a smuggling vessel for a couple days, making stops at various small villas along the coast of Acheron, before they are called upon to make deliveries themselves.

Under the cover of a low mist, the pair heads to shore and unfortunately soil some of the deliveries with a poor landing on a hidden beach north of town. After a half hour of trekking through the woods, they make it to a residential portion of the village.

Their first stop, at a church, is brief, though the priest, accepting a delivery of Megalan wine, is insistent that the pair share a drink with him. Their next stop is less successful, as they lose patience waiting for Lady Fairchilde in her manor and instead steal three silver candelabras to make up for the lost payment on her goods.

Making their way quickly back down towards the docks, Gy persuades inquisitive watchmen that their business in town is innocent and gets them to point them toward the King’s Head Tavern. There, the bartender slips them a note indicating that their next recipient is being watched. Slipping outside, the pair opens the delivery, a note written in an unreadable foreign language. As they debate their next move, a band of watchmen hurrying toward the tavern stop and question Gy as Bronwyn slips into the shadows.

Gy manages to convince them that he has no idea of the whereabouts of the ruffians who robbed Lady Fairchilde’s manor. Meanwhile, Bronwyn has snuck around to the other side of the tavern, where she creates a distraction by smashing the window. The watchmen barge inside, clearing the way for the pair to make a mad dash to the docks.

Two watchmen on the dock intercept the pair as they steal a rowboat, and one of them wounds Gy. Although the pair manages to outrow the watchmen swimming after them, another group follows them to the smugglers’ ship, which is forced to depart early.

The captain, enraged that the pair not only failed to make three of the four deliveries but also brought the town watch directly to the hull of the ship, has confiscated their possessions and locked them up beneath the deck, to be punished at his discretion once the ship is far from Araterre.

Learning from Experience

  • Gy: Boating, Stealth, Notice, Agility
  • Bronwyn: Boating, Notice

Adventure Post-Script

The next morning, the Captain takes the heroes above deck for a public flogging of twenty lashes each. Although dramatic, the flogging itself was weak, but the Captain nonetheless is able to strike fear into the heroes’ hearts when he tells them of his plans for them. They will be banished from the ship deposited without weapons or money in South Sea, the infamous center of all piracy, crime, and destitution in Ytarria. With this, he casts them back to their holding cells. Gy’s wound from the docks remains untended and will have to heal naturally.


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