One: Reassignment

Nodding to Melanie Geoff says, "Why don't you join Mia in the hull, Melanie. Keep a sharp eye though, might be more trouble down there. I'll check the captain's quarters and chart room for any information."

Walking to the captain's quarters Geoof can't help but feel sorrow for the loss of life here today. He knows it didn't need to happen. As a squad they were just protecting themselves right? He dreads the thought of any paperwork that might need to be done. He thinks about having someone use the callbox to call for help but then thinks that he doesn't want anyone else taking credit for any illegal loot that surfaces.

Entering the cabin he pauses a little to let his eyes get accustomed to the dim light. Looking around he quickly takes in the surroundings. He sees a large desk with papers and maps on top and decides to start his search there.


Dendara and Saphira took control of the Herring, keeping a close eye on their two bound captives: The captain of the ship, and the crewman who had been knocked senseless by a flat-bladed blow from Melanie's sword. It was quiet aboard the ship; the one sailor who had jumped overboard was long gone by now, and the sound of his splashing had faded.

The captain started to shift in his bonds, groaning as he came to. "Ohh, my head..."


The captain's quarters...

Geoffrey, still holding to his training as an investigator first and foremost, ventured into the captain's cabin at the stern of the ship, intent on discovering just why the Herring's crew had attacked them, and what illicit business had prompted them to be so defensive about keeping their affairs out of the view of the law. With a casual
Taking 10, your search check is an 11
sweep about the small cabin, he saw that the captain lived simply: A small porthole gave him a view outside of the ship, his bed was lumpy and well past its prime. The enclosed space smelled strongly of tallow from too many burned candles and the faint smell of long-decayed potpourri. A small chest was tucked underneath the bed, and at the captain's desk, the logbook was opened to today's date.


Belowdecks, in the Hold...

Melanie and Mia, who had formed a strong bond over their shared elven
and the fact that their names both begin with M
heritage, unlatched the hold and pushed below. A stream of light followed them into the darkness, but failed to completely illuminate the hold. The hold seemed to run the length of the ship along the keel, and the waves rocked the ship gently at harbor. Thanks to their sharp eyes, they could make out the outlines of several barrels and large crates of product, including one that seemed bolted to the ship's keel at the center. The others slid about slightly due to the motion of the waves. Surprising to them was how empty the hold was: Normally, a ship took on as much as it could carry to maximize profits and minimize shipping costs. The hold of the Herring seemed only a third full. Of course, that was just from a cursory glance, and they had more work to do.

Melanie scans the area, glad to have something to do. Though she did not feel sick like Dendara, traces of guilt crawled inside her. Looking at what was in this ship would take her mind off the three deaths she had caused. Trying not to show what she is thinking, Melanie says to Mia, "Want to take one side? I can get the other."

"You take the right, I'll go for the left side" said Mia nodding, glancing at the other woman. "Are you ok, Mel?" she asked as she looked the first crate, opening and examining their contents.

While they not have all the time in the world, Mia is determined to do a good job, looking at each crate on her side and taking mental notes of their contents. Frowning, she notices the lack of cargo "This is too empty, and I don't think the threw the "rotten" cargo before arriving. Let's look for any secret compartment also and leave the bolted crate for last" she commented, once the easy part was done.

"I can't say I'm fine..." said Mia looking at another crate "Didn't expect bloodshed on our first assignment, neither a man comminting suicide for a smuggled cargo. Seems a bit like over reacting for me. Either that or whatever is here is very dangerous"

Sighing, Mia left unsaid the other thing that bothered her, even if it is little bit. She wanted to do this right, she wanted to be proud of being a Sword, and she couldn't do that in the shadow of another. "Maybe I'm taking this too seriously, and thinkinh too much of myself" she tought. She did not have a big ego, she just wanted to be the best

She had great expectations of this job, a lot of people have big expectations for her, and she felt she was not being up to par to that.

Placing the chest on the table next to the logbook Geoff takes a moment to look at the recent entries in the book. He finds some extra sheet of paper lying around and an inkpen to jot down anything that stands out. Once he's done with the book he examines the chest.

Seeing that it's locked he
Unable to find the game forum
looks all over for the key. Not finding anything he leaves the chest on the table and goes to the captain to search hi sbody for the key. Seeing him waking up Geoff asks, "Listen up captain. We took control of your ship. You may be granted leniency from us if you just tell us right now what is on board and where we can find it."

Standing over the captain with his hand on his hips Geoff adds, "I am also obligated to search your person for anything that could aid us in our search of the ship." Geoff then proceeds to pat down the captain.

In the Hold...

Mia's search was methodical and thorough: Although there were some crates with cargo from Ashra, she was surprised to find that several of the barrels loosely tied down in the hold were filled with something other than alcohol or dried fish...The smell of it smacked her in the face when she worked the lid of one open, and found a rumpled bolt of cloth. Pulling the cloth away, she discovered that the "fabrics" listed on the manifest were merely disguise for the true cargo. Underneath the fabric, a fine, silvery powder lay at rest. The motion caused by her search filled the air with dust. She backed off before she inhaled any, but the wafting scent of it was enough to make her sensitive nose burn.

It was unmistakably Gnomish
YESSSS, it's black gunpowder of a sort
blasting powder, a substance which was listed by the International Merchant's Alliance of Guilds as a Maundelay exclusive: the trade of it was forbidden, and possession of it away from the shores of Maundelay was strictly monitored and controlled. Only specially licensed gnomish construction crews were even allowed to be in possession of it, and clearly, there were no gnomes aboard the ship.

Glancing around as she took on the starboard side of the hold, Melanie used her senses to sound out the ship's interior. Halfway back, next to the bolted down crate, she noticed a scrap of fabric on the floor of the hold. Reaching down, she picked it up to examine it more closely: It was a handkerchief which bore a particularly unique
Knowledge Local for more information
insignia of a strangely unnatural feather inside of a circle. Frowning, Melanie pressed on.

Melanie had to watch her footing several times, almost slipping in puddles of condensation scattered around along the keel. The farther back she went into the hold, deeper towards the stern, a strange and pungent smell, different than the one Mia had found inside of the barrels, struck at her nose. She sniffed several times, trying to place it. It seemed an oil or a fuel of some sort. Lantern oil? Vegetable oil? No, that wasn't it. When she finally did place it, it was with a sudden sense of dread: Inactive Alchemist's Fire. Unlike the more traditional Alchemist's Fire favored by adventurers, IAF didn't ignite to exposure to the air, but required an external ignition source. She whirled around and realized that all the puddles she'd avoided inside the hold weren't seawater: They were puddles of Inactive Alchemist's Fire.

A flicker of movement caught her eye: the lid of the bolted cargo crate at the center of the hold moved slightly in the relative darkness, and a faint reflection from something metallic shone underneath.

Your high search check exposed the dangerous hidden cargo: Your high spot check revealed the true danger inside the hold, and also that there's something inside the central crate. Or someone.


Above Deck

Geoffrey found a set of keys inside the inside coat pocket of the captain, including one which seemed a match for the chest in his cabin. The captain sputtered.

"Look, all I know is there was a group of fellas when we made port in Crannogh Heights, and they paid us to take on some cargo, and a few of their men besides. It was a simple job: Get them here, no questions asked. They paid us really well, too." He bowed his head. "Not like that means much now...I'll tell you whatever you want to know if it means we can cut a deal, but they never told us who they were, so I can't help you there."

Straightening up Geoff tosses the keys lightly in the air before catching them again. "We'll see what happens." is all he said to the captain as he heads back to the quarters to try out the keys and see if one unlocks the chest.

"Blasting Powder? Now I see why they wanted to be out of here!" Said Mia quickly closing the barrels

"Melanie, what do you have? I have enough powder...." her words dies in her lips as she saw the movement. Crossing the hold in five steps, she tood besides the other woman and paled considerably at the sight of the liquid "This ship is a sailing bomb! We have to get out of here and get the ship to deep waters. Mel, get out of here, get the others out and warn the Lieutenant"

Moving to the bolted crate, she walked around it so the was by its hinges and examined it trying to see if it was locked and the lid was loose or of it was open, being very careful of not touching it

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