Land of Dark Dreams

Tiegel: Port Newstark

Tiegel, Noodle, Kalanak, and Skeledi reach Marshton in short order. Tiegel, realizing that he has no desire whatsoever to keep the two newcomers in his company, slaps around Skeledi until the artificer tells him about Zayre, the Stone of the Crushing Depths, and Vyrndae, all the while Kalanak watches silently. Tiegel takes Vyrndae’s future payment, the +4 greataxe, and with Noodle travels around Marshton and heads towards Port Newstark. Meanwhile, the Collectors are ever hot on their tail.

Tiegel and Noodle arrive at Port Newstark to find it overrun by refugees, who are fleeing the island in face of the tidings that the orc invasion is moving its way west and north. Tiegel notes a small, one-masted ship coming towards Port Newstark.

The owners of the three docked mercantile ships are auctioning off spots for refugees, and one of them sets sail. However, when Tiegel joins the crowd, the refugees panic and those who do not run away all try to pile on to the ships despite the protests of the owners. Six guards hold fast in the face of Tiegel. Their leader is unafraid and says that his family has served in the guards for generations, and there’s no way he will disappoint them by letting a serial killer on these boats. With that, he runs away, leaving five guards to stall Tiegel, and the man lights the first of two remaining boats on fire, forcing the hundred or so refugees there to abandon ship. Noodle shoots him before he makes it to the second boat.

The final boat begins to leave but Noodle sticks the anchor operators full of arrows. Tiegel runs to try and get on the boat, and Noodle kills the remaining guards, who after witnessing the brave death of their superior, try also to set the final boat afire. Noodle keeps an eye on the anchor while Tiegel runs up the boarding plank. Tiegel makes it to the deck, but the huge mob aboard the ship wrestle furiously with Tiegel and manage to push him into the water.

Meanwhile, someone on the incoming ship Tiegel saw earlier does an interesting thing. He fires lighted arrows into the sails of the remaining ship in the harbor, burning it and forcing the refugees aboard to jump into the water. The person is recognized as Taemaris, one of the Eleven Legendary Heroes. He fires off many arrows at Tiegel, but most of the arrows bounce off his armor, and he hides behind a rock. In short-lived shock, Noodle proclaims that Taemaris Nighthawk is his father, but also says that Taemaris is an inferior archer. He has no qualms about harming his father and so shoots four arrows which all hit Taemaris, forcing him to hide in his ship.

Taemaris’ ship reaches the pier, and the elf and his companion, a shifter named Tarok, step off the ship. With Noodle and Tiegel standing at the other end of the pier, Taemaris explains his actions. He says that Noodle’s actions have shamed him both as a member of the Nighthawk clan and as a member of the Eleven. With that, Tarok transforms into a fierce raging tiger-man and charges at Tiegel. Noodle anticlimactically kills his father with another quick round of arrows. The two defeat Tarok, and he kneels in defeat. Tarok says that this is the second time he has ever been defeated in combat, and he requests that Tiegel either mercy-kill him or let him serve Tiegel. Tiegel decides to let him serve.

The victory is short-lived as the party’s diversions gave the Collectors a chance to catch up. The four are revealed: the evil cleric Thriton, the enchantress Nyss, the chain-master Osaya, and the sadist tracker-rogue Ashmos. Tiegel points out that there is no longer a bounty on his head, because he already died. Thriton says that they were hired to capture Tiegel for interrogation purposes. Tiegel’s party flees, but Thriton stops Noodle and Tarok in their tracks with greater command and Tiegel becomes trapped in Nyss’s Otiluke’s resilient sphere. After the sphere ends, Thriton attempts to cast another spell to trap Tiegel and fails. However, Tiegel, recognizing that there is really no way out with both of his party members still trapped, surrenders. The Collectors place the party in powerful magic manacles and lead them to a hidden cove. Inside, a private Collector ship is docked.

On the sea, Tarok and Noodle are strapped to a mast and Tiegel on another. There are two Collectors on guard at all times. Tiegel claims that he will die before being able to be interrogated if Osaya doesn’t get him some food. Osaya obliges and goes below decks. Tiegel, having already tried to break the manacles and failing, whispers a plan to Tarok while the other guard, Thriton, is distracted.

Thriton rolls a 1 on his Sense Motive and is convinced that Tarok’s throat is itchy and that he needs to punch it to relieve it. Tarok Tiger Rages, breaks through the manacles and chains, and bull rushes Thriton off the boat. After multiple attempts, Tarok pulls Tiegel’s manacles off, though Noodle is still shackled. The three run down into the crew quarters, and Noodle and Tiegel hold the two doors while Tarok fights Osaya, who had been down there to get food, with his bare hands. After suffering many wounds, Tarok knocks Osaya unconscious. Tiegel sends Noodle into the adjacent storage room to find their weapons while Tarok replaces Noodle at the pounding door.

After a few seconds, a huge line of blade barrier springs up, chopping up the ship’s deck and destroying Tiegel’s door. Nyss’s hold monster threatens to trap Tiegel inside the blades, but Tarok yanks Tiegel out. Noodle appears with the party’s weapons, but Nyss’s hold person traps him as well. Thriton runs to the other door and summons several locust swarms, and Tarok is forced to take his two frozen companions by the arm and retreat to the storage room.

After a couple of rounds, Nyss and Thriton break through the door with their weapons, but Tarok knocks Nyss out with his fists in a single round. However, hope is lost when Thriton’s flame strike turns Tarok into a charred corpse and nearly kills Tiegel.

Freshly shackled with magic manacles, Tiegel and Noodle are once again strapped to the masts of the ship, awaiting whatever lies in wait for them at Port Bellwyn in Unfael.

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