Echoes of Glory
In the dead of night, the frog was awakened by an eerie calm. She attempted to alert her comrades, but they were slow to rouse. When the crack of gunfire made it abundantly clear that evil was afoot, the heroes charged out onto the deck of the ship to discover a bloodbath. Pirates, lured by the rumor of high-value cargo, intended to seize the ship. All involved conducted themselves with aplomb, though the wizard was laid low by a vicious slice from a longsword and had to be rescued by the priestess. The warrior, feeling down over his perceived failure in the barfight, proved his worth, slaying many men and saving a mercenary officer’s life. Despite later claims to the contrary (he was, at this point, still struggling with the transition from academic to cold-blooded killer), the wizard was responsible for drowning two men.
The aftermath revealed that many mercenary fighters had been slain in the assault, leaving Aldan with few resources with which to carry out his business, and he would soon have to ask our heroes for aid.
It wasn’t long before Aldan broached the issue. He needed an organized and well armed group to complete sale and return to him the earnings of his first business transaction in Taldor. The more details Aldan revealed, the more the affair began to smack of a smuggling operation, but a promised payment of 100 platinum pieces quickly alleviated any qualms our heroes might have had. The priestess demanded her orcish comrade be included in the job, a request that surprised Aldan but which he had no problem granting. Meanwhile, the warrior bestows his old, bloodstained armor upon a young girl, to her ultimate delight.
Our heroes departed without delay for the relatively nearby village of Carver’s Cove, well provisioned and accompanied by two additional fighters to strengthen their number against assault. Unusual scarring across the dirt road prompted the priestess to regale her comrades with tales of mighty flying machines and the horrific destruction she once witnessed when one such zeppelin had a catastrophic malfunction. In reply, the wizard spun a tale about the haunted ruin that once was Astelle Keep, the horror said to lurk below, and the night of slaughter that befell the house when the lady, driven insane by the blackness in her heart, finally took up an ax against her husband and slaughtered all who stood in her way.