It was now the week of Richfest, in midsummer, something the old blind druid, Cadwin, was very aware of. The entire week of Richfest is sacred amongst those who still practice the Old Faith of the ancient Flan. Somewhere in the Flanaess, druid circles were performing powerful rituals designed to maintain the balance - but Cadwin had more important things on his mind. Searching for a cure for the Red Death brought him to Elredd, where he was captured by the slave lords. Keeping a low profile, he would not let on that he was a druid, or that he could shapeshift into a bat and fly away at any time. These slavers were onto something, and the alchemist who was recently brought on-board from Safeton may have had important information. Unfortunately, Cadwin was unable to learn much from the man before one of the newcomers, Pontus that barbarian, killed the alchemist in a botched attempt at escaping. For now, Cadwin just needed to bide his time until the ship docks again, whenever that would be.
The 4th Day of Richfest is on Godsday, the middle of the week, and is also known as Midsummer's Day - the exact middle of the year. The evening of Midsummer is also the only time of the year that Oerth's two moons, Celene and Luna, are both full at the same time, which is important to cleric's of most faiths, druids and mages alike. The evening of Midsummer is the time when many great
The captain, presumably having obtained what he was looking for, sent the ship immediately back south, down the Selintan River, into the Wooly Bay and back toward Highport. The journey would take another three weeks in total, during which time Cadwin tried to learn everything he could. To call him truly blind would not be entirely accurate, as Cadwin had an uncanny sense of hearing and smell, which, when combined with his high wisdom, made him able to see many things that others could not. Cadwin was able to learn much about the newcomers - the party of Hartsbane, and realized that, despite their impulsive actions, were trying to do good in fighting against the slavers. He decided to share with Sarril that Luapan was still alive, and assisting the captain in finding whatever it was that he was looking for - possibly under some sort of charm, and that the captain had kept his word to resurrect any dead party members, having resurrected Jarrus, who was recovering in a cell on the upper deck. The captain could only resurrect one party member, and so Sir Gerard was gone for good, his body tossed to the fishes. He also informed Sarril that they would have the best opportunity to escape when the ship docked at Highport, as the captain and most of the guards are usually busy unloading cargo during that time.
Sure enough, when the ship docked, the captain, most of the crew and the overseers began unloading cargo and took up positions along the dock. They secured all of the slaves in their shackles first, to prevent escape, but that did not stop Cadwin, who was able to transform into a bat and get out. At the same time, Jarrus, who had been pretending to still be in an extremely weakened state after his resurrection, received a note slipped in with meal that said "Go Now!" And so he escaped. He and Cadwin met up and and managed to get Sarril and Pontus and Luapan free, then jumped over the side of the ship opposite the dock - but not before grabbing the chest from the captain's quarters. Jarrus put on the Helm of Underwater Action that the captain had is in quarters and walked with the chest underwater until he reached an empty dock further down the pier where the party agreed to meet. There wasn't much equipment in the chest, but there was some money, enough for the party to get themselves outfitted at a basic level.
Highport, like all cities on the Wild Coast, was once a thriving city built on trade, but since the Pomarj hoards and Slavelord have swept through, is now mostly abandoned buildings. That makes five escaped slaves trying to hide much easier. The party took refuge in the first abandoned building they could find, and started making plans. The first thing they did was sent Cadwin out to find a locksmith, which didn't take too long. After agreeing a fee to both remove the shackles and to keep quiet about it, the party was now free. But despite paying for his silence, and even charming him for good measure, the party did not feel safe now that they have been seen, and so the next morning, they moved on to another warehouse. They bought clothes and basic equipment and went looking for an herbalist, which is not a profession that would be practicing openly in a city like this. After bribing a bartender at a bar, they learned of an herbalist in the city who operated in secret, but would likely be able to help Sarril, Luapan and Cadwin replenish most of their spell components. As they left the bar, they were followed by another party who chased them into an alley where a fight broke out. Victory meant even more equipment for the party, some of it magical. Things were starting to look up, but at the same time, the party understood now that they could never truly be safe here.
|Temple Ruins Entrance|
The party then explored some temple ruins just outside of town that they learned slaves were taken to. During they day they didn't learn much, but at night they saw slaves being moved into the building, confirming earlier rumors. The party decided their next move would be to try to get inside, but first they needed to finish equipping, so they headed back to their new hideout. That evening they were stalked by four thieves on the roof. Cadwin's superior senses alerted the party to their presence, and they were able to dispatch them and avoid being slaughtered in their sleep. The party decided having the blind druid around probably wasn't so bad.
And so it is the evening of the 19th Day of Reaping, 580 CY, the second day of the 3-day festival of Boccob, which is quite appropriate given that Sarril's familiar, Krek, has found his way back to him, restoring Sarril's tongue and making him fully functional again.