Chapter 4 - To Sasserine!!!!

In a hustle to get back to Sasserine to prevent Captain Harliss Javell's first mate, Drevoraz, from harming all those within Vanderboren Manor, the gang scurried out of Kracken's Cove. Along the way, they took notice of a decent sized ship that managed to escape the fires that ravaged the cove. It looked to be a three-masted caravel that had seen plenty of action. Its sails were decorated with stylized wyverns, rearing to attack. The figurehead bore the same motif, and emblazoned on the side was the name The Sea Wyvern.

"We should take this ship," Viselys said as he advanced on it.

"It's too big for a four-man crew," Saris quickly pointed out, earning him a scowl from Viselys. Saris continued before Viselys could argue, "Look it's stuck tight in the reefs. There's no way we can get it out quickly, and even if we did, with only the four of us, we wouldn't be able to operate it well enough to take advantage of the speed the sails would offer."

"Fine!" Viselys agreed roughly. "But we need to hurry!"

No one argued that as they raced back to the rowboat they had left safely moored farther up the shoreline. With the two days it had taken them to row to Kracken's Cove, even with their best efforts, they could expect about the same for the return trip. This gave the heroes much time to think upon what troubles might await.

"Best make use of the time to heal us," Ornrik commented as he got to it. That done he set about identifying an unusual magic item that had been found in the cove.

"What have you got there?" Saris asked idly.

"Hm, looks to be Slippers of Spider Climbing," Ornrik responded thoughtfully.

Saris shrugged in disinterest. Idae took note before turning his attention to Viselys as they rowed. Idae and Viselys had a heart-to-heart about taking sides and making judgments.

Two days later, as the group rowed in toward Sasserine at nightfall, an eerie green glow rose above the city as The Wormfall Festival was in full swing. The harbor was full of boats shooting fireworks into the sky, celebrating. Unable to get the boat all the way into the harbor, the dockworkers guided them to another pier where they could drop off the boat and head in on foot.

Chaos filled the streets as the festival was well underway. Everywhere they turned there were crowds of people cheering on street acrobats, musicians, and performers of all sorts. Fighting to get through the crowd quickly proved to be pretty challenging.

"This isn't working, guys," said Idae, "We've got to find a quicker way to the manor. Lavinia may be in danger! They may not have let us bring our boat in, but we could probably catch a water taxi across." It worked like a charm.

Upon reaching Harbor Market in the Merchant District, Viselys began to suspect that something was not right. "Hey, I think those guys on stilts are up to someth-", uttered Viselys, but too late.

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Flames burst as a stilt-walking acrobat hurled alchemist's fire towards Idae, striking him in the back. Panicked citizens of Sasserine screamed in fear as the attacks took place, and the joyous celebration broke into complete pandemonium. A few moments later, a lithe young woman in a black leotard with a skeleton design upon it cartwheeled her way towards Viselys, and began to tussle with him. She was quick and nimble, keeping Viselys well engaged while the others dealt with the stilt-walkers.

The leotard clad woman was as graceful as she was focused. The fight carried on for a while, with the stilt-walkers eventually being brought down to earth (ha, get it? sigh…).

Saris challenged one of them, "Why are you fighting me?"

"What do you mean…she paid us," retorted the street thug as he continued the fight without the advantage of his previous height.

Idae, finding himself short on daggers, hurled an apple he grabbed from a nearby cart. "Sorry 'bout that," he apologized to the vendor, who was busily hiding under his fruit cart in the market.

It was not long before our heroes turned the tables on the street thugs. The acrobatic woman, seeing the imminent danger, turned from the fight muttering, "Bad odds," and tried to disappear into the crowd.

"Oh, no you don't," Saris said giving chase, and quickly tracked her down. He promptly struck her down, and threw her over his shoulder. "I guess we'll have to question her later," he said coolly, "but we need to get to Lavinia's. Something's not right about this."

A few moments later, the gang was gathered just outside the manor. Chaos continued to fill the streets of Sasserine, yet Vanderboren Manor seemed quiet.

A little too quiet…

Continue to Chapter 5...

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