The Salty Maiden’s deck tossed in the swells, a fierce storm this was that her crew were trying to weather. “Damn his hide, where in the nine hells is that lazy good for nothing man?” Shouted her captain as sailors rushed to drop the sails and secure the lines. I’ll keel haul him once we’re through this storm he thought to himself before barking orders to the men.
“Life boat away Skipper.” One of the sailors called out pointing out at one of the Salty Maiden’s few life boats as it rocked in the swells. As he did another sailor poked his head up from a hatch calling. “Skipper it’s Mavis, he’s… Someone’s gutted him Sir.” Just then a fiery explosion rocked the ship then another and another as barrels of rum caught fire and exploded spraying flaming liquid and splinters everywhere, it wasn’t long before the Salty Maiden was no more…
…“Life boat away Skipper.” The strange man in gray heard shortly before the ship exploded. It was unfortunate, he would have preferred to stay aboard until shortly before the ship docked in Palanthus, but he could not risk the sailor he had caught rifling through his belongings divulging his secrets to the rest of the crew. Looking down at his side where a water skin hung from his shoulder he thought to himself he was lucky to have been able to find a full water skin before leaving the ship but he wished he had been able to get his hands on some food. It was going to be hard going, while he floated ashore but only if he managed to stay afloat that long. He then set about keeping the boat upright as best he could, bailing the sea out and holding on for dear life, it would be a long four days indeed…
… T’Jana knelt at the door quickly sorting through her lock picks to find the one she needed, hurriedly she inserted it into the lock trying desperately to get the door open so the adventurers could escape the nauseating smell of the wall made of rotting carrion. With two tumblers left to go the a ghoulish hand reach out and gripped T’Jana’s wrist pulling her into it, when she pulled back the fingers wrapped around her wrist lost their hold but more hands reached out to grab at her. “Please help me.”, “Quick pull me free!”, “HELLLLLP MEEEEEEE.” The wall of once living flesh pleaded and moaned as it gripped T’Jana again, this time by her ankle and sleeve, the once living flesh was weak but with more and more hands reaching out soon the half elf was absorbed to writhe in agony as part of the living wall. With no way to save their friend and no way to pick the locked door the adventurers fell back to regroup and recover their strength outside the ruins.
That evening as the adventurers were sitting around their fire a small boat washed up on shore, Tamuril went to investigate and found a strange man wearing even stranger clothes. In a thickly accented tongue the man said. “Oh thank the ancestors.” As he fell out of the boat and kissed the sandy beach, then looking up to see Tamuril standing there he asked. “Please, do you have food to spare? My ship was lost out at sea, I haven’t eaten in days.” As the man spoke his stomach growled loudly confirming his hunger.
Tamuril replied. “There’s plenty of food in our camp” And showed the man to the campfire where he immediately grabbed a bowl and ladled himself some stew before digging in, in fact the strange man ate with such fervor that it looked as if he might eat the bowl as well. Tamuril began to speak, intending to introduce the party of adventurers to the newcomer but was interrupted by Cornelius.
“No no no, you must observe my position and address me first,” Cornelius said tsking before continuing. “I am Cornelius Uthwait…”
Erastin was quick to speak next, cutting Cornelius off. “And I am Sir Erastin of Rivenguard, a knight of the knights of Sholamnia.”
Last another feminine shape spoke in a hoarse whisper. “I’m Alethe.” Her words dripped venom and it was apparent she didn’t care much for a stranger eating their food.
As the adventurers introduced themselves the strange man looked up at them from his bowl of stew, then when they finished he said. “Where are my manners?” Before standing and walking over to Cornelius where he knelt and forming a triangle with his forefingers and thumbs bowed his head to his hands on the ground. “Many thanks most noble one, I am called Kinjo.” He said before telling the party about how his ship went down as a result of the storm and how he has been making his way as a wanderer for many years.
Upon hearing that the party of adventurers were traveling to the Circeum University Kinjo asked to be allowed to travel with them so he could repay their kindness with service, cutting Tamuril off as she was asking if he wanted to accompany them. When this was agreed to it was decided that it was time to turn in for the night. Recognizing spell casters when he saw them and eager to repay the debt of charity Kinjo spoke up again. “Worry not; I will stand watch so you may be well rested and able to cast your spells in the morning.”
Alethe clearly distrustful of Kinjo replied. “So you can knife us in our sleep no doubt, we’ll keep our own watch.” She then set about assigning watch shifts to the others.
“I have no knives to knife you with, but as you wish good elf” Kinjo said before settling down in front of the fire to meditate. He sat there starring into the fire, seemingly oblivious to everything around him until a few hours later on Erastin’s watch when he noticed movement in the darkness.
“Did you see that?” Kinjo hissed at Erastin, quickly standing and pointing off into the darkness.
“What is that?” Erastin asked when he looked where Kinjo was pointing, not quite sure what it was he was seeing.
“Wake the other’s, quickly” Kinjo hissed as he stepped around the fire and dropped into a stance to face the unknown enemy.
Erastin quickly woke the others and as Tamuril stood her half elven eyes told her exactly what the threat was. “Kobolds.” She called out gripping her staff and trying to look intimidating.
Kinjo held his ground waiting for the enemy to charge as Erastin and Cornelius came up to either side of him. When the charge never came, Tamuril suggested. “Maybe we could scare them off.” Kinjo then looked over at the two men and nodded to them before drawing a hidden blade and advancing on the kobolds with Erastin at his side. When the kobolds barked at the two advancing men and backed off, they continued their advance. The kobolds, having lost the element of surprise and being clearly out matched by men with swords and armor broke ranks and ran off into the night.
The men returned to the fire where Erastin spoke of Kinjo’s impressive eyesight and of his hidden blade in shock, while Kinjo returned to the fire and his meditation having already sheathed his blade, seemingly having made it disappear altogether.