Shadows in the Abyss

Arrival at Freeport

Captain Brandon Rockheart was never a well liked member of the Privateer’s Council. His election as a member, at the hands of a drunken Karahil Stormrider, was close to accidental. Bran never rose to the challenge of leadership, and prefered to keep his head down, attending only the meetings he truly needed to attend. All of this had made his seat all the more enticing to the more ambitious members of the council. Unable to reject his own seat and only able to pass it on in the event of his death, Bran had yet to name a successor, a dangerous position for a Pirate Lord, especially one so unpopular.
The arrival of the Mad Shark at the harbour of Freeport was not met with fanfare or adoring masses, but with a harbourmaster trying to swindle a few gold pieces out of Captain Bran. The party were ordered to pick up a few supplies for the captain prior to the council meeting that Milton had called, and so set out into the thronging streets of Freeport, the city of adventure. Not familiar with the roads and alleys of such a huge place, the party quickly lost themselves amongst the crowds, dodging pickpockets and peddlars at every turn. Escaping the wild mass of Bloodwater, and through the well guarded gates of the Western Quarter, at last they found quiet in the gardens of the banking district, and through to the well to do hustle and bustle of the Western Market Square, where the aspirational classes of Freeport brush shoulders with the new money of its banks and guilds. Purses hung heavy on these scoundrel princes, and with a flash of the hand Olo found himself a day or two’s pay in no time at all.
Olo and Gweth, charged with picking up a new set of wands made their way to Kalifax’s, the finest wand emporium outside of Waterside. Stories vary on exactly how the altercation started, but most versions agree that Gweth was the one who threw the first stone, and before long both he and Olo found themselves escaping the ire of the shopkeeper. Spells sailed down the streets as they ran, their arms full of display wands, crashing through the assembled shoppers and dashing towards the safety of the ship. It was here, that Aramis, naked as on his name day, clutching everything he owned, and sprinting from an enraged orcish barkeep (herself in a state of post-coital undress), crashed into the pair. Together they made their escape from the Western Quarter, over the rooftops and out to the ship, having failed to collect almost every item Captain Bran asked for.
Bran, exhasperated, asked the party to follow up on a lead he had uncovered concerning some plot against Freeport and the Pirate’s Council. Fearing the ambitions of the others at the table, he resolved to prepare himself for a leadership challenge.  It was in the catacombs of the city, that the party would venture, and seek out information regarding the plot against him.
Freeport, a city built upon a city, is honeycombed with tunnels and caves. Beneath it, the labyrinth of the serpentfolk winds seemingly infinitely towards the depths of Atmar beneath it. How deep and how old the city beneath is, no one is rightly sure, but the tunnels and catacombs have served both as a welcome retreat for smugglers and a fearful danger throughout the history of Freeport. The beasts and remaining serpentfolk that dwell beneath the streets have their own agendas, alien and deadly to those who live on the surface, though for the most part the two halves of the great city tolerate each other, as much out of hatred for the darkness and the light, as out of respect and fear.
And so, the party set out for the caverns of the Eastern Cove, but not before picking up a guide to assist them along their way. Steve Seashackle, a name known to many a green pirate, had lived in Freeport maybe longer than any other man. A homeless addict, he nevertheless gave exceptional tours of the city, knew the secret places no other man knew, and which tunnels and caves were safe, and where the serpentfolk lay in wait. The party enlisted his help reaching the Eastern Cove, promising to pay him upon arrival, and Steve was happy to oblige.
Setting out from Waterside, the crew climbed the walls of the Eastern Cliffs, past tiny smugglers beaches, and jagged reefs. The sea crashed against the rocks beneath them as they marched up that winding cliff path, the dark expanse of the Voidsea watching their passage with malice. Along the way, the four companions uncovered a small sackcloth bag, buried in the shrubs by the roadside. Within, a small jade statuette, intricately carved and gleaming in the mid morning light. In a moment, every member of the crew was obsessed, and made it their sole desire to own that statuette. Matheus, Aramis, Gweth, Olo and Glanwolfe stood back from one another and demanded Olo drop the prize and hand it over to each of them. Swords were drawn, tempers flared, and foul words were exchanged between the gang. Gweth, threatening to burn all present to ashes, extended those horrifying claws for which he became so well known. Aramis took aim at Gweth, and Olo at Aramis, Matheus, comfortable in the knowledge he could overpower any one of the men drew the icy blade of Mr Freeze and roared to Olo to give up the trinket. Aramis, catching a glimpse of the item before Olo could hide it away, noticed the guild stamp at its base and put the crossbow away.
“It’s worthless guys.” He said sheepishly, turning back to the path and setting off towards the cave. The others slowly put down their weapons, agreed that since Olo found it first it was only right he keep it, and went along their way.
Stepping down to the cove which hid their quarry, protecting Steve their guide from vile reefclaws which sprung up from the shoreline to feed on them and clambering over rough hewn rocks to the entrance. Until at last, they found the smuggler’s cave, dank and hollow, and entered the labyrinth beneath the city.



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