Question: what do you get when your crew decides to allow a wet-behind-the-ears cleric, an evangelical rogue, a sweet-but-potential-serial-killer barbarian, the oddest Genasi (?) of all time, and a reckless bard on board your ship?
Answer: A really entertaining evening.
First of all, I want to be clear: nothing about this night was supposed to be difficult. We just had to pick up a few crates of Keoghtom’s Ointment the Lord’s Alliance wouldn’t miss, but right away the bard and our mystical Genasi start banging into each other when we’re supposed to be playing the quiet game. Fortunately, they didn’t complain when I sent them in the water to retrieve our crates of the ointment.
That’s when the fireworks started. From the boat, we spotted some magical blasts on the shore:
I knew right away the ambushers making a scene weren’t actually Zhentarim. They were practically twirling their mustaches. But a lot of bad dudes like to pretend that they’re more important than they are, and they did seem to be attacking some helpless missionaries. The landlubbers voted to help out, and I definitely had to see how this would play out. The result was not what I expected.
The “Zhentarim” were easily chased off, and we thought that would be it. But when we were helping the missionaries into our rowboat, something quite unexpected unfolded. I didn’t see exactly what because the Barbarian was bending over and I was enjoying the view, but our eagle-eyed rogue must’ve spotted something amiss because suddenly knives were drawn and insults hurled.
The missionaries clearly were wearing hoods of disguise, because when they threw them back, they turned out to be armored in plate and after a very specific prize: our new bard. Apparently she ran away from a rich husband-to-be that…wasn’t her first choice. Elves are so possessive, amirite? Anyway, these dudes meant business. They had clearly staged the earlier attack to draw us in and allow them on board. And they seemed to be paladins? Which, I mean, gag me with a sea urchin. I’ll never understand people obsessed with the letter of the law at the expense of everything else. If you can’t stand up against forced marriage just because it’s the law of whatever land to which you swear your stupid sword, what good are you? But I digress.
The biggest paladin seemed like a handful, and I figured eventually I’d have to step in.
But the new kids actually cleaned them up pretty nicely. Even the cleric with a stick up his ass (and I say that with kindness) acquitted himself rather well. I gave them an extra ration of rum after we got the cargo on board as a reward for keeping a bunch of asshole paladins off my ship.
Questions remain, though. Why did this elf go through so much trouble for his bard babe? How did he know his fiance was going to be on my ship? How did they know where we were going to be, and if they did, why didn’t they mess with our cargo? I’m worried there’s a rat on board… Could one of the new crew members be hiding more than just a jealous ex?
I’d better find out, and soon.