|Start||Melora's Moon, 21|
|End||Melora's Moon, 22|
Melora's Moon, 21
As the emblem of the Rising Dawn and Erathis grows in the distance, the Adventure Friends make preparations for their encounter with… the Law! Nydry cooks the books to make it appear as though the ship has no illegal booty (obtained by the previous captain) while Grog and the rest of the crew work on moving the valuable goods (everything other than fish and shark meat) into the smuggling compartments of the FriendShip. After Nydry cooks the books, she palms a dagger… just in case.
The Moradin's Hammer sails next to the Friendship 2. A friendly half-elf hails from the steering wheel and introduces himself as Captain John Seafare. After exchanging pleasantries, he informs the Friendship 2 that they have entered the Harpoon Isles and need to pay any necessary taxes to the Rising Dawn. He goes below deck and retrieves LIeutenant Hardrir Eros, a dwarven paladin of Erathis. He boards the Friendship 2 with some other sailors, and they go through the captains log and ship's inventory. Nothing seems off, and Lt. Eros offers to host the party in the captains quarters for a dinner of something other than summoned food and shark meat.
Eros and the party made small talk over the meal, but Eros quickly turned serious after the final course. He pulled their Bucaneer Bay banner from a nearby chest as he grimly states, "I'm sorry for the deception, but we know that you are pirates." Grog corrects him by informing him that they are simply mercenaries who have been hired by Davy Jones. Eros responds, "Well, in that case, how would you feel about being hired to pose as pirates?" The party, confused, asks why he would hire them to do that.
He explains the situation in the Harpoon Isles. The Rising Dawn is attempting to establish a base of operations to hit a chromatic dragon uprising in Xibalba, but Urmag and the Pirate Cove do no appreciate the incursion on their territory especially as the Rising Dawn begins to force Gulm and the country residents to provide food and resources to supply this venture. The situation has since been escalated by the kidnapping of Commader Gamli's daughter, Neerla. They strongly suspect that Urmag is behind the abduction based on their investigations. He would like the party to infiltrate Tortuga and find Neerla if they can. They agree, but Grog is hesitant to accept money from Eros. Eros cuts a deal to pay them a little bit and take the "taxes" from the "fee." The group agrees, and the party returns to the deck of the Moradin's Hammer.
A storm erupts rapidly as the group says its goodbyes with Eros, and from the sky drops a hulking half-orcish figure into the deck of the ship. A half-orcish figures stands from the crater wielding a greataxe glowing with red and black energy followed shortly by two copper dragons. "EROS! You backstabbing traitor!" Urmag and Eros exchange sharp words, and it becomes clear that Urmag and Eros knew each other in the past and that that relationship has soured substantially on the opposite sides of the battle lines. Urmag growls at Eros, "For the friendship we once had, I will let you live. But only if you deliver a message to Gamli. I'm coming for him. My entire navy and army is going to crush the Rising Dawn, and I want a good fight." Eros agrees and turns to instruct Captain Seafare (who has been tensely watching from the wheel).
Urmag and his dragons embark the Friendship 2 followed by the party as the Moradin's Hammer departs. Urmag roars at the open ocean in anger. The younger dragon, Crazhyx, talks to Mizuki – "Hey… Hey, so uh… Was I scary? It's my first mission with Urmag." MIzuki and Nydry both assure Crazhyx that he was very scary to which he seems very proud. Grog enhances his charisma and approaches the powerful barbarian and asks him what's wrong. Urmag turns to face the party, blood and fury in his eyes, "They have my son! That son of a bitch Gamli stole my Kiriag! I'll kill them all and rip their corpses to pieces if anything happened to him!" The party, confused as hell at this point, informs him of their mission from Eros. Urmag adamantly insists that Eros is either lying or Gamli has deceived him because he has never nor would he ever kidnap a dwarven girl for political expediency. The party convinces him to investigate his underlings and city in Tortuga in exchange for no advance payment on his mission to find Kiriag. After some convincing, he agrees but makes no promises – it doesn't seem like he's too interested in pursuing a ridiculous claim such as this. Urmag prepares to leave as the sun rises, and Nydry asks if she can hug Crazhyx. Urmag chuckles and allows it – Crazhyx purrs loudly as his skin crackles with acid. He seems happy. Urmag leaves the Friendship 2.
Melora's Moon, 22
The party determines that they need to reach Eros and discuss what the hell is going on here. They use Grandma Nim's familiar, Squibble to deliver a message to the Moradin's Hammer asking Eros what the hell is going on and informing him of what Urmag told them. They receive a letter from Eros saying that he knows nothing of a kidnapping by the Rising Dawn and suggests another meeting. The party sends another message to meet at the nearby fishing town of Horacha and sends Squibble off.
The party then comes to the realization that they must part ways from the Drow crew or break their word, for they have reached the Harpoon Isles. Grog talks to Tarn and informs him that they have control of the ship and will be parting ways. Tarn seems sad as he has grown attached to Grog's boisterous nature but makes preparations to make port in Tortuga. Grog asks Tarn if he can investigate the disappearance of Neerla in Tortuga. Tarn agrees, but he will not pursue it very far as he is anxious to return to his boyfriend in Micarmeth – he has been at sea for many months now.
The party parts ways with the Drow but not before a young Drow returns to Nim with a solved Sudoku puzzle. The party tries to convince him to join their crew as a cabinboy and fellow adventurer, but he declines choosing instead to stay with his friends and crew aboard the ship. The party boards the Friendship 2 with all the gold and loot and makes their way to Horacha. They arrive and head to the local tavern.
Grog immediately goes the bar and asks for a good, strong drink. The bartender, a rambuncious halfling, suggests the Island Special as she runs to the back. She returns with a coconut that she chops a whole into, fills with rum and fruit juice, and tops off with a bamboo straw with a small grass umbrella. Mizuki orders a Kahlua and the bartender seems confused – "You mean coffee?" Mizuki hesitantly agrees, and the bartender runs to the back, brings out another coconut, chops off the top, and fills it with a dark alcohol. The rest of the party orders their respective drinks and look around the bar for Eros. They see a poorly disguised, cloaked figure in the corner, and approach him. "OH, Good day, Tom! Why, yes, I would love to exchange the latest fishing stories!" exclaims the dwarf (definitely Eros) loudly so those nearby can hear. Grog attempts to tell a metaphorical story about a mercernary fisherman who was asked to track down two fishes that were supposedly stolen by two different people and is now very confused. They quit speaking in lies and stories but in hushed tones. Eros is clearly extremely surprised by the news that Urmag's son has gone missing. The party suggests that this could be a lovers' escape, and Eros agrees that that is possible, but he has never seen the two together. At this point, the party and Eros are concerned that if this is not resolved soon, there will be much bloodshed as Urmag and Eros stand ready to slaughter the other over both territory and personal disputes. The party informs that Urmag is at the very least aware there is some conflicting information, but Gamli needs to be kept in check as best as possible. Eros agrees to try, but he's not a high-ranking soldier thus does not have much sway. The party parts ways with Eros and resume an evening of heavy drinking to celebrate THEIR FIRST DAY IN THE HARPOON ISLES!