Chapter 14: The Fate of Est Harbour
In our last adventure, the party arrived in Est Harbour disguised as travelling mummers, in order to meet with Lady Ashwind and broker a deal where Vermese nobles would escape and surrender the city peacefully.
While escaping the burning Rose and Crown, where the Scorpion’s had surprised the party with a night attack, the party’s wagon limps damaged through the back cobblestone streets of Est Harbour as a heavy snow starts to fall. The Silver Spear has been stolen from Pat. As Vermese guards swarm the streets in response to the fire, the party is flagged down by the Portly Father Hubbins of Est Abbey, who has heard from his club-footed acolyte Jon about the appearance of the party performing at the Inn.
Hubbins directs the wagon into the Rope Walk, a long warehouse that bisects that working-class Old Town of Est Harbour. The Ropemaker, and elderly man who lost his sons to Vermese conscription, agrees to house the party in his building. The party rests in the hemp-filled rope walk. They examine the body of the demon-masked wizard (recognized as the driver of Lasy Ashwind’s chariot from the Truce) and interrogate Sargeant Goodwin as well as a hired thug that attacked the party at the Inn (Blotto). Goodwin tells the party that The Magistrate, the man who ran Lakewood during the occupation, has been brought back from the deal by Baron Rottli and is secretly running evil plans from the desecrated Church of the Lost Seamen in Est Harbour. Goodwin was lured to the side of the Vermese by the rogue female Renda, and now the Scorpions are helping the Baron out of fear for their own lives and lack of choices, except for the almond-eyed monk Hazel, who seems to be in on all of the Baron’s plans.
Goodwin agrees to leave and never encounter the party again, expressing hope that the party can kill the Magistrate. However, while resting, Goodwin is assassinated by an Iron Cobra which gets away. The party realizes that their hiding position is compromised and leaves the Rope Walk, coercing Blotto into finding them a second place to hide, a wine sink called the Thirsty Crow. The party realizes they need to scout the Church where the magistrate is holed up, and also meet with Ashwind to secure the surrender of the city. While navigating the smuggling tunnels under the city, the party encounters (and charms) a Vermese general and his wife, who were planning to meet with Ashwind and escape. The party scouts the church but sees nothing odd, and scouts the Dromond that supposedly transported the Magistrate, where they learn that Renda dropped off a package earlier.
The party decides to meet Ashwind first. There, they see Vermese nobles, their faces covered in sacks, being tortured by a strange humanoid creature covered in chains and piercings. The party attacks, and fights the Chain Devil while Radcliffe tries to rescue who they assume is Ashwind, but is really a Medusa baiting a trap. Radcliffe is turned to stone before the devil and medusa can be killed, with the help of Ashwind who arrives shortly thereafter.
With Radcliffe out of the picture, the rest of the party proceeds to the church, covered in snow, where they fight their way past guards and then a bugbear with hellhounds to take the church grounds. Meanwhile, Jon summons Hubbins, who uses a scroll to save Radcliffe, who luckily survives the transformation. Radcliffe, making his way to the church, encounters Vermese soldiers who are placing pitch bombs throughtout the city in an attempt to destroy parts of the town and force the Tyrese to attack, which will deal great damage to the city. Radcliffe stops a pair of soldiers but loses track of Renda, and returns to the church. There, the party has used a ballista with flame bolts to sink the Magistrate’s ship before proceeding to the crypt, where they encounter the Magistrate, who has been reborn as a Mummy, as well as undead versions of the archer Cherra and the bear Cinnamon, and the wizard Chezlit. After a pitched battle, Chezlit and the Magistrate are killed, the party returns to the surface to find that a battle is raging in the town, as Vermese soldiers have started burning the city and the blocking Tyrese armies attack.
In the chaos, the party makes their way back to the Rope Walk, weakened. As they near the Rope Walk, the giant warehouse explodes in a great flash and thunderous boom, covering the party with debris.
After the battle, the party has been relocated to Est Abbey, having been found by Jon and Father Hubbins. The Red Knight and Lord Eddington are there as well. There, they informed that a quarter of the town has been burned, but the Tyrese have retaken it. The Duke and much of the realm that knew of the party have been convinced that their failure to secure the city has shown that they ultimately were failures, and have dubbed the group no better than Hot Garbage. The Red Knight and his entourage have spread the word that the traveling mummers died in the Battle of Est Harbour, and the Silver Spear has been lost.
However, the Red Knight brandishes the Silver Spear, which was located below the harbour in the sunken Magistrates ship, and asks the party to work with them while the land believes them dead. He plans to use this as a surprise to liberate Pallmoor Gates. The details of the plans are unclear, but the Red Knight lets them in on one secret: they have discovered that the Gate used to attack Tyn from Pallmoor Gates works both ways.