Act 3, Scene 1: Västervik

Act 3, Scene 1: Västervik

A cold wind billows through your cloaks and the sun glares in your eyes as you follow the dry gravel road into Västervik. Some centuries ago this harbor must have been a great hub of commerce, but now all that remains are two massive stone quays and a tall grey lighthouse, unlit and weathered with age. But whatever goods those ancient merchants sought and traded are long gone now and while merchants still ply the Sea of Varde beyond the Forræderiske Øer, few now brave the dangerous shoals and islands.

Västervik is a fishing town on the road to nowhere and travelers are few in its single tavern. But the town is vibrant nonetheless, every day dozens of boats set out into the islands beyond, most to fish but the more adventurous and foolhardy scavenge the wrecks that litter the islands and shoals of the Forræderiske Øer.

The tavernkeeper, an elderly Dwarf named Kjorn, is tending the hearth as you walk in the door, turning he is delighted to see you and speaks with a wide grin. "The wind in my sails you 're! I don't get to many folk lookin' fer beds these days. Few folk venture this far North on foot these days. Come, set by the fire and warm your bones and my boy'll get yer rooms ready." Kjorn tosses another log on the fire and turns towards the kitchen shouting, "Javik! Stop sampling the brew and get some rooms tidy!"

After a couple of drinks and an hour in front of Kjorn's fire you set out to explore the town. The sun hangs low in the later afternoon sky as you see a handful of fishing boats headed back to harbor, those few lucky and skillful enough to have already filled their baskets and nets. You pass the shops of smiths and coopers and other tradesmen hard at work and the warehouse of an elven merchant wrapped in a thick fur coat overseeing two carpenters raising a new sign over his door, Lansidel's Obscura, Arcana & Divine.

You reach the shore where the first stone quay extends out into the Sea, at the far end stands the Lighthouse, vacant. As you stare at the light house you are approached by a man with a heavy beard beginning to go grey at the ends, "They say it hasn't been lit in a hundred years, I ain't that old but its never been lit in my lifetime. Some say she's haunted, others that the people who built these quays snuffed it out so that no one could find their way into the heart the Forræderiske Øer. Some think there's a fortress in there, walls ten times the hight of a man. I doubt that's true, but the fisherman would pay a heft some to anyone who would light that thing again." You hear shouting from the direction the man came from, "Ach, that'll be the wife. Those nets aren't going to make themselves."

The sun begins to set and the bulk of the fishermen have finally arrive, the docks are filled with the smell of freshly caught fish as they are gutted, salted and put on ice. The wind has picked up again, so you head back towards the tavern for dinner and a good nights rest. There were only three or four in Kjorn's tavern this afternoon, but now it is packed with red-nosed fishermen just arrived from the days catch. A great pot of oil can be heard bubbling in the kitchen as Kjorn fries battered fish which he serves in large cloth-lined baskets. The fish is excellent, as is the beer, but you already knew that and after a delicious meal and a few drinks you head upstairs to a nice warm bed and a long sleep.

As the group arrives at the desolate port, Greil's nose crinkles, Lovely I'm sure everything here will smell of fish....just excellant The warmth of the tavern is appreciated and Greil slings a thick fur off his back. I knew I kept that with me for a reason, now food calls me. after some blundering around the building Greil does indeed get some meal.
As the group passes through the town Greil attempts to find a local map, or at least someone with the knowledge to help him procure one. Haven't been up this way yet, could be useful to know some local landmarks. As the group moves along Greil asks those friendly enough or those bold enough to make eye contact of anything nearby that could be of interest
As the group listens to the new-comer about tales of the lighthouse and the sea it lit, Greils mind wanders, I wonder how fast I could climb up there? he begins musing. His interest is immediately picked up again before the strangers departure, Who's calling who hefty now?

As the group wanes down their day in the now filled bar Greil grumbles into his mug of brew, by the way have I mentioned the fish smell?

That night in the tavern Orion turns to Boone, "Do you have a incantation that would let you fly? Both Griel and I could climb that lighthouse easily, but neither of us can conjure fire." he asks "But in the end we are going to need to clear the path for the fishermen and they will need to light it. As I'm sure these men will tell us 'Give a man a fish and he'll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish, and he'll eat for a lifetime.'"

Phase of the Moon; HP 88/88 AC 26 Fort 26 Ref 26 Will 27 AP 1 Surges 1/9 used

Finally escaping from those wretched humanoids and that heinous devil Princess, Rune is glad to be back out in the "fresh" air, or so he's told it's fresh that is. Wandering towards the water however is a mere problem for him, he just has to make sure Greil doesn't get too rowdy or he is going one poor excuse for a submarine. Making sure that everything is still intact and nothing appears to be amiss, he walks around the town to get acquainted with it first before they all retire to the only tavern in the town.

After they all go in to rest at the tavern, Rune cannot help but comment on the stupidity of the cooks, they always want to have him eat but do they not realize that he is incapable of digesting any of this food. So like usual, Rune just passes his plate along to Greil and tries to not be disgusted by the way he just inhales his food instead of chews it like you are supposed to.

After everyone goes to bed, Rune cannot help but linger and see what all the fuss is about in the corner.

"Fly?" Boone asks. "I do not know about flying. But I fancy I could climb if I had to. And perhaps there is a spell here that will serve if the ascent is too challenging." Boone turns to one of the nearest fishermen. "Say, what can you tell me about Anaximander old man? I hear he's taking apprentices, and it's been awhile since I studied with a master. Mayhaps I can earn a few coins and learn something too, do you think?"

Interesting... Finley thought as he rolled through the cold town. Food and grog to warm his gullet seemed most appealing as he made his way to the tavern to hear the local scuttlebutt.

Waking the next morning you find yourselves surprisingly well rested, the heavy ale and fried fish was delicious going down but it felt like a rock in your stomach. But the next morning is another story, sober and full of vigor you head downstairs for breakfast and to gather knowledge and decide what next to do. As soon as you are seated Kjorn is at your table with mugs of steaming cider and a platter of fried potatoes, tomatoes, mushrooms, sausages, bacon and pretty much anything else you'd consider frying for breakfast. Apparently the dwarf likes to fry, thankfully he's damn good at it.

At breakfast the next morning, Boone takes some care to explain how the ascent up the lighthouse might be made by use of a ritual he knows--the Flying Disc ritual. "There may be another way," Boone says, "but at the least, I could carry a few of our party up with the Disc so long as I myself can get up the side of the tower. Perhaps if Griel and I attempted the climb using ropes and carabiners, I could bring up the rest with the Flying Disc in trail.

"By the by, there is a wizard in town, Anaximander, whom I'd like to investigate if we get the chance. It seems he's taken half the young boys in town as apprentices, and that they're almost never seen again. Probably some monkey business there, I'd expect. And more to the point, there may be something worth learning there as well.

"My best current lead is an elf named Lansidel, though I've also heard we may catch the wizard's latest errand boy in Kjorn's tavern if we look. Apparently, Anaximander lives out on an island, so we may need to hire a ride if we wish to inspect the place in person. Or we could perhaps try the Phantom Steed ritual. In fact, that one may serve for the lighthouse problem as well, if I cast it right."

Orion nods as he finishes a ricecake he pulled from his pack, this heavy food not sitting well in his stomach. "Well, Griel and I can certainly make the climb. If you can get to the top by magic, then we can fix ropes and pull the others up. Then we could light the fire, and make our way down the interior of the tower. Remember, in the end the townsfolk must be able to light and maintain the lighthouse no their own, otherwise our work is for naught."

He then turns to another subject, "It seems that everyone is getting some news of the surrounds. I myself have been told of a monastery out in the sound, though the monks have not been heard from in quite some time. And Griel was told of some orcs ravaging a nearby river. It seems in light of these kidnappings and pillaging my news is somewhat less pressing, we should return those children to their parents and try to stop the orc's rampage. Does anyone else have news?"

"As for transportation I have no doubt that your spectral horses could carry us, but I worry about riding on the open sea. Whipped by spray and wind, no shelter from storms. I think we should procure a boat. I think the townsfolk would be happy to lend us one in return for lighting the lighthouse?"

"Well," Boone says, rubbing his chin, "the orc raiders are probably the most pressing of the threats you've mentioned, perhaps followed by this issue with the monastery. In my opinion, our reclusive wizard will keep until the more immediate threats are dealt with. After all, I don't know that the wizard is actually kidnapping anyone. I think he is merely taking advantage of the foolish, who'd be easy prey for the threats of the world regardless of our actions. I vote for confronting the orcs first and foremost."


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