Players: Jeremy, Grant, Chris, Alison
A fight breaks out with Commander Cormarrin as his bomb goes off, creating a huge hole in the center of the courtyard that begins expanding at an alarming rate, swallowing up tents and threatening the people in the yard. After a hard fight, the Urchins take down Cormarrin and his last few men, as the fighting between the Philhomen soldiers and the various pirate gangs floods into the yard.
They quickly loot a couple of the tents before these fall into the expanding hole, finding a strongbox full of gold and a small chest of silver. Bronn grabs the unconscious Cormarrin, but is promptly swallowed up by the bomb hole, which shows no signs of slowing its expansion as the ground crumbles away. Luckily, Lyric is there with the last remaining pirate minion, and they throw a rope to Bronn, who easily climbs out after hooking Cormarrin’s body with his spear.
The Urchins flee to the beach, where Cha’ka Graal and Lady McLeod’s lieutenants are directing the mop-up and capture of the few remaining Philhomen soldiers. As the fortress crumbles into ruin behind them, the Urchins argue with Cha’ka Graal over who will interrogate Cormarrin. Bronn and Graal play tug-of-war for a moment, nearly tearing the Philhomen commander in half, and Graal laughingly lets the Urchins have him. Cormarrin refuses to give up any information about when the next Philhomen attack might come, though he says that a huge assault is planned. He also warns the Urchins that all his war wizards, who could have stopped the expanding bomb blast, have been killed.
The Urchins turn Cormarrin over to Cha’ka Graal, who grabs him by a leg and drags him off through the sand. They then speak with Zorion the Mindbender, asking him to attempt to stop the expanding bomb, which has now destroyed the fort and threatens to expand to the rest of the island. Zorion and Sarah cautiously examine the explosion, and though Zorion seems uncertain how to deal with it, Sarah whispers something in his ear and he asks the Urchins to move away and let him handle the situation. The Urchins get a few pirates to row them to the surviving Philhomen troop transport ship, which they claim as their own. As they cross the water, they heard a strange sound, like a thousand bees trying to speak a human language. Suddenly a translucent red dome flickers into life around the roiling chaos of the explosion, penning it in, though within the dome the ground continues to churn endlessly. Everything suddenly falls silent.
The Urchins sail their new transport ship and the Lady Thief back to Freeport, where they’re intercepted by Dirk the Ropesman on his ship, the Gaptooth Grin. Dirk looks extremely ill and has a panicked, exhausted attitude. He calms down enough to tell the Urchins of what’s been happening in Freeport in their absence:
-The Bloodstone of Morgai, which Corlynn left with Dirk while she went off on a mysterious errand, has been glowing constantly. Dirk won’t let the Bloodstone out of his sight, but says that it whispers to him at night and he cannot sleep.
-The plague that’s stricken Freeport has been getting worse, killing indiscriminately.
-The people of Freeport are anxious about the possibility of a Philhomen invasion.
-Rumors abound of demons walking the streets at night.
-Dirk is certain that Sea Urchin and Sea Dragon gang members are being targeted for assault and murder in the alleys every night.
The Urchins do some digging and discover that some of the dead Urchins and Dragons have been backstabbed, had their throats slit, and so on, but others have been brutally torn apart in a manner fitting for minor chaos demons. Some pirates swear it’s demons doing the killing, but others insist that the attacks didn’t start until a gang of Mercian sellswords came into town about a week ago. As they seek information about demons and possible cures for the plague, the Urchins are constantly told to head to Lorenelin, the capital city of Illuvia, the elven nation across the Ruby Sea to the west. This cosmopolitan city is renowned as a center of scholarship and learning, and many answers can be found there. They also hear rumors that more temples of Melora scattered throughout the Ruby Sea have been defiled, the symbols of Melora painted over with sigils of other gods. Finally, Corlynn reappears, telling the party that she’s been doing research into the Bloodstone. She believes that the Bloodstone’s recent activity is magically linked to the plague somehow, and that the best place to find more information would be Morgai itself, where the Bloodstone was first discovered.
The Urchins hatch a plan: first, they extract their people from the city to salvage what crew they can from the ravages of the plague. These pirates are sent either to Riverwatch to keep guard or on raids on the sea as a show of strength. Next, the party will spend a night walking the streets of Freeport on a demon hunt, both as a show of strength and in hopes of drawing out the killers and beating some truth from them. Once this is accomplished they will sail west to Illuvia, checking in on temples of Melora on the way and likely making landfall in Morgai first to explore the mystery of the Bloodstone further.
XP: 1000 xp per player