At the Coppers Float tavern in the Archos district of Dominium City, the capitol of the empire, Slide the halfling (Dave) and Shadow the eladrin (Paul) are given their assignment for the day by an unusually cheery Bedros Bedros, the goliath bartender-bouncer on shift. They are charged with checking out a Dockside inn known as the Jaundiced Jellyfish. The boss has apparently targeted it as a possible revenue source for the Blackbirds of Terminus, the organization that employs our heroes.
Down at the Jellyfish (identified by the yellowed wooden triangle from which hang a tangled mass of yellow ropes that hangs over the door), Cordroy the goliath (Noah) has established himself as the security system for Clappet’s humble inn by chasing off a drunken band of orcish pirates with a few well-placed swings of his fists. Randoon, a human who has (like Cordroy) recently arrived in Dominium City from the edges of the empire, has been drawn into the goliath’s orbit. Having decided that the arrangement is beneficial, he has good-naturedly accepted the company of goliath and the hospitality of the inn.
Slide and Shadow arrive and determine that the jovial, but somewhat naive, Cordroy represents the extent of the Inn’s security. His primary skill seems to be annoying the scholarly Vanargen, a fortune-teller of some sort who is studiously lunching in the corner. The security of the place is threatened when the orcish pirate crew of the ship Seawolf arrives to avenge the beating that several of them suffered earlier at the hands of Cordroy.
Cordroy charges out into the street, eager to preserve the inn from damage. Randoon follows, drawing his mace, and worrying that he’s going to regret his choice of companions. Slide and Shadow stealthily follow the others. The gang of pirates, led by Bones, Black Dog and Silver, launch a variety of bolts, bombs and a trident, and then close with the wounded goliath. Slide interrupts the attack with a barrage of knives that turns the tide of the battle. Cordroy, Randoon and Shadow push forward and the rout is on. Only Bones and Silver survive to flee, leaving a blinded Black Dog to the not-so-tender mercies of the newly-formed party.
A plan is formed to finish the business of the pirates by raiding the Seawolf itself down on the docks. It’s made more urgent when the party learns that the fleeing pirates have snatched Beatrice the baker (presumably for her fine buns) from a nearby shop.
Under cover of darkness, the party discovers the Seawolf moored to a second ship, the Dauntless. The pirates are gathered around a brazier on the rain-spattered deck, plotting more revenge. Cordroy leaps aboard, followed by Slide, and the fight is on. In the chaos, a crazed bomb-tossing pirate and a martial artist with dragon-tooled leather armor leap to the attack at the command of Captain Flint, so called for his mighty stone axe. Red-sashed pirates surround Cordroy and pummel him into near-unconsciousness before tossing him overboard. Slide is set afire and tossed overboard as well.
Meanwhile, Shadow and Randoon race around to the gangplank leading to the deck of the Dauntless. Bones grabs the captain of the subdued vessel and attempts to employ him as a shield against Shadow’s sword. Randoon drops Silver on the gangplank and bolts him cursed magics. Shadow cuts over the flustered Captain Brim Breethstoke, and kills Silver.
Lanterns are being lit on neighboring ships, their crews alerted by the sounds of the fight. In the distance a horn call suggests that someone has alerted the city watch to the unrest aboard the two ships. There is a moment of respite as the two sides, pirates and party, regard one another. Standing toe to toe, each bloodied to a varying degree, it remains to be seen who will triumph. Stay tuned.