Haven

Pirates!

Lanyk, Varus, and Vestas are sitting in the newly established Pig and Whistle Tavern, enjoying a performance by Haven’s first bard, when a commotion outside grabs their attention. A mage approaches, carrying a scroll. He addresses the adventurers directly.

“We have taken twenty of your fellow citizens captive, and they will all die unless you do as we ask. We seek the Caelo Ignus, an artifact of great power.” He hands Lanyk the scroll. “This will tell you what you need to know. Our ship is anchored just off the coast. You will retrieve Caelo Ignus and bring it to us there. If you approach without it, the prisoners die first.”

They take the map back to the tavern to study it over another drink. It is very old, but they are familiar with the area to which it points: the same tiefling cemetery where Dolovar had been hiding out. Somewhat to their surprise, the bard approaches offering her aid.

“I am Estar, and I would see mages such as that one put down like rabid dogs.” She spits. “Let me accompany you on this task, and then let me help you crush those who would use the innocent for their own gain.”

Impressed by her passion, the party readily agrees to take her along, and they head off.

Despite the map’s age, it is readily apparent to which tomb it points. Inside however, the room seems no different than any other: a simple stone room with a sarcophagus in the center. After they take a quick glance around, Vestas slides the large stone slab to look inside. Two things happen then which take them by surprise. First, poison arrows shoot from the walls, which no one enjoys. Second, the sarcophagus turns out not to be that at all, but rather a deep, dark pit.

Ominously, any light they throw down the hole is quickly extinguished. And as they climb their way down, they discover the cause. Spiders. Thousands of them. Lanyk convinces Vestas to carry him on his shoulders, but it does little to prevent the spiders from crawling all over him. As Varus and Lanyk soon discover, these spiders hate the light and become extremely aggressive when it is present. And so they make their way blindly down the stone tunnel.

They soon reach a dead end which they realize is a magically sealed stone door with some kind of Abyssal script engraved in to it. Careful to keep their light sources away from their bodies, they wait patiently while Lanyk performs a ritual to translate the text.

“It says, ‘Arnak the Despised’.”

The door slides open, and the spiders recede.

They light the chamber before them, step inside, and meet Arnak and his undead minions. Or rather, Arnak meets Lanyk, who does not like to be touched. And so the once mighty Arnak spends a few minutes flailing around on the ground, covered in ice, before meeting his fate.

They also discover in the chamber a marble statue of a man wielding a bolt of lightning, and soon determine that this is the artifact they are seeking. They unleash the unseen servants and haul it back to town.

Once back in Haven, the party discusses possible ways to deceive the kidnappers and rescue the hostages without bringing Caelo Ignus along. But in the end, they decide the safest way is to play along. They load into a small boat, Caelo Ignus in tow on a floating disk.

Almost immediately after delivering the prize, the wizard unsurprisingly betrays the party, and they are attacked by the ship’s crew. The evil mage barely has time to realize what a mistake this is. Seconds later an enraged Varus fires a series of flaming arrows directly into his heart. Several pirates are killed, and as soon as their captain is defeated, the rest surrender.

The missing Havenites are safe down in the ship’s hold. The party decides that Caelo Ignus would make a nice adornment to their newly constructed temple to Kord. And the pirate ship, that will be useful too.

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