A brief note on who’s where on board. Crew assignment on the Black Drake: ship’s crew in the forward crew berth, Zyn and Mal in aft crew berthing, Xax meditates in the chart room (the geode is hidden under the ship’s helm to mask its mystic signature), Angus sleeps in the cargo deck hold area, and Hanos sleeps in the helmsman’s study on the main deck.
Zyn feels rested but still untrusted and out of sorts. Having lost her pattern book when the neogi attacked the Demeter, Hanos conditionally allows her to study his own book and barters with her to add her spells to his book of intricacies in exchange for recopying her own. Since the captain (nor Xax) will let her near the ship’s helm, she feels she has nothing better to do in the meantime.
About Mr. Gorus? One of the outermost known habitations, Moil Colony was rumored to once have been an armada of Elven slave ships loaded with criminals that went far off course. It’s also rumored that the elves were overpowered or even decided to revolt and help their captives. Whatever the reason, the ships stopped here and either crashed or were dismantled, but a peaceful colony was established that caters to spelljammers this far out. It’s a stormy, muddy world, but it’s also a good place to disappear if someone’s after you. Mr. Gorus was sent to find an elven chartmaker rumored to be hiding there and should be waiting at the local tavern to be retrieved.
Planet fall! Storms roil about the surface of Moil Colony, but the ship lands safely in the ocean not too far from the main port. Captain Tenth puts Xax in charge to put together an away team. Zyn is invited in along with the Last Born to find Mr. Gorus. Once tied up to dock, Tenth warns Zyn to behave or he’ll strand her ashore. Wearing rain gear (Angus in tarp, Hanos in wide-brimmed hat). Two men come down to meet the away crew, both with beacon lanterns that shine brightly beneath the dark gray skies.
As the away team make their way up the path, entering the small town (in spite of the weather) turns out everyone. Each home is a shop, and each opens as the travelers pass through the narrow streets. The guide takes them straight to The Bartering, a local inn and taproom. After fending off the merchants (aka townsfolk), the innkeep confesses that Mr. Gorus was seen out seeking the elves’ temple and never returned. Their guide offers to take them the six-hour journey to reach the temple. On the way out, they see signs advertising the local favorite dish: scavenger and potatoes.
Around four hours through the pelting rain, Xax spots the local wildlife: a worg-like beast called a scavenger. One appears on the path ahead while then three behind the group. Angus shoots at it his bow at the forward one that then ducks out of sight. Zyn’s magic missile barely registers on one of the beats before Hanos put one of the back three to sleep. Xax causes another to think itself dead from even the slightest damage (which Mal obliges) and Angus finishes off the last of the three with two well-placed arrows. The wounded lead scavenger limps away in the commotion.
Villagers following close by move in to finish the kills and stake their claim on the meat, but Angus lets them know who’s kill it actually was (and convinces them to present coin for it).
The away team arrives at the elven temple soon after, a pyramid-shaped construct of vines of differing thicknesses. Two elven priest, Liramar and Duramir (worshippers of the elven goddess Maeidyn), welcome the group and announce that they were expected. Xax waits by the entrance (and maintains mind contact with the party) while the rest follow the priests deep within, finding vast underground passages and exotic fruits that grow from the temple walls. Inside a particular chamber, the priests reveal the body of Mr. Gorus who was found dying nearby. The elves tried to save him, but too much blood had been lost for him to bear mystical healing.
Liramar exits to fetch the chartmaker, Orgrim, whom he believes is who the group is seeking. Xax then hurries to catch up with the group as the aged chartmaker enters. When recognized as an illithid by the chartmaster, Xax drops all pretense and introduces himself as a priest of Sanguine. Zyn initially panics before laughing in spite of herself; she’d nearly been enslaved to a neogi days earlier only to be saved by a mind flayer and his cattle waiting for slaughter? It is also clear that the rest of the party isn’t happy that Xax readily gave up their cover story.
Orgrim demonstrates no love for his former employers in the elven imperium but also shows knowledge of Sanguine. He reasons that the Sanguine scrolls refer a new home found in a planet-centric binary star configuration but confesses he knows of no such system. The party takes Mr. Gorus’s body back with them, noticing that the elves apparently set fire to their own temple after they departed, perhaps to protect the chartmaster’s secrets from elven discovery. When the guide begins to lament the elves’ passing and loss of the temple, he is told more of Sanguine as the party heads back to the village.
In a secluded room of the tavern, a heated exchange takes place among the Last Born with Zyn as a witness; Hanos is very cross. Xax also reveals his true form to Zyn as a sign of faith that he is trusting her. Could the Moil Colony become the first of many new places of worship for Sanguine?
Session XP: 1675 per player (before applicable 10% bonuses)