From the Journal of Inspector Delft
Hmmphf, as if they aren’t cocky enough, now the news rags are going to give them swelled heads! Ah well, at least they aren’t mentioned by name. Perhaps best that I remind them to stay OUT of the limelight.
Of course, the newspaper did get it right; they are heroes! Not much else you can call them after they save a King and stop the attempted sabotage of Risur’s newest flagship.
The evening started rather quietly after the “fun” with the quarter of Dockers at the beginning of the festivities. Speaking of Dockers, it seems that Elinora had a brief conversation with Thaddeus Grimsley the self-styled leader of Flint’s Dockers. Seems he’s a bit upset at the treatment the Dockers have been receiving from the authorities lately and he wanted Elinora to put in a good word with the Governor or King Aodhan. From some of the missives I’ve seen it seems that she was at least somewhat successful, probably, in no small part due to the group’s efforts in saving the King.
As the dignitaries gathered the Constables got a chance to rub elbows with them and partake of the refreshments (perhaps a bit too much partaking in some cases!!!!). Personages of note that the Constables met where Captain Rutger Smith, Geoff Masarde, and, at my behest, Prinicpal Minister Harkover Lee. The “old man”, Minister Lee that is, seemed to be taken with the Constables, if a bit taken aback by some of their idiosyncracies.
Sapheira also met Duchess Ethelyn and her servant, Handmaiden Sokana Rell, at this point. Little did Sapheira realize what was going to happen later that evening, though, as sharp as she is, I have no doubt that she may have had an inkling that something was amiss during this first conversation. The Duchess asked for a private spot to rest before the activities and Sapheira was able to find a suitable spot for her.
The King, fashionable late as usual, chose this moment to arrive. Children threw flowers and sang the Risur national anthem as the King christened the ship with a very expensive bottle of champagne. One would think that the ship didn’t really care about the vintage of the drink being smashed across its hull, but…I digress…
The Coaltongue sailed out of the harbor with its eight ship escort. Plumes of black smoke billowing from the smokestacks of the Coaltongue contrasted with the bright white sails of its escort, echoing the merging of Risur’s past and future in one breath-taking scene.
As the waning rays of the days light disappeared the main deck of the ship was turned into an outdoor banquet hall. Dignitaries partook of appetizers and more libations as they waited for the dinner to be served. As the commencement of the feast drew closer I realized that the King’s sister was missing and hurriedly dispatched the squad of Constables to find her. In my mind it would not do for the Duchess to be avoiding the festivities as it might have sent the wrong message to many parties. Of course, little did I realize what kind of message the Duchess was really planning on sending.
The Constables quickly found things amiss in the observation room where the Duchess was supposedly “resting”. The guards assigned to the room were both missing and the door was locked. The more magically inclined of the Constables sensed magic in the air, but knocking on the door only got a curt reply of, “One moment!”, from the Duchess’ handmaiden. At that point the Constables decided that the door needed opening immediately and proceeded to batter it into submission. Alhana was first into the room and raced towards an open window, arriving in time to see the Duchess astride a gigantic octopus or squid alongside one of the archfey. The monstrous creature quickly dove underwater with the Duchess in tow, disappearing from view before Alhana could do anything.
At this point the squad found themselves locked in combat with the handmaiden, Sokana, and a heretofore hidden halfling assassin. Sokana quickly wove strands of air magic together to immobilize Bacchuss and Darkkon before teleporting herself out of the room and down the stairs. Elinora and Sapheira tried to blast the fleeing Sokana with their magic but were unable to slow her momentum. Of course, the band on the main deck chose this moment to begin playing which effectively wiped out any chance for those of us there to hear any sounds of fighting.
Alhana engaged in battle with the halfling, realizing that Bacchuss and Darkkon, immobilized as they were, would be prime targets for the assassin. She was able to distract him enough for her two fellow squad members to come free of the magic and be healed by Sapheira’s magic. The halfling fell fairly quickly but not before he had severely wounded Darkkon.
Most of the squad had taken wounds in the initial few moments of the fight, but they all gave chase as Sokana headed down to the engine room. There they realized the full significance of the Duchess’ plan. The furnace was stoked full of firegems and was generating enough heat that the boiler would soon explode causing a chain reaction that would destroy the ship and every person aboard.
Sokana was attempting to hurry the entire process along by dumping more firegems into the furnace. The Constables realized that they quickly needed to stop the Handmaiden first and then deal with the furnace. They set about their task with grim determination, however..umm…lets just say that some of the squad could definitely use a bit more combat training! Nevertheless, Sokana finally fell, pincushioned with several of Alhana’s arrows.
The squad looked about the engine room and realized they had very little time before everything blew to kingdom come. Turning the steam relief valves and removing some of the burning firegems was only delaying the inevitable. Finally, Darkkon came up with a plan to blow a small hole in the side of the ship, which would allow water to rush into the room. If done properly there would be enough water to quench the fire in the furnace, but not enough to sink the ship.
Using Elinora’s knowledge of engines the squad hastily found some casks of firedust and placed them next to the hull at a precise spot, praying that they were not about to blast the entire hull apart. Alhana used her knowledge of explosives to construct a timed fuse and the squad fled to what they hoped was safety before the fuse was lit.
Luckily, for all of us, the Constables had figured everything out perfectly and the explosion was just enough to let water into the engine room and flood the furnace. Believe me, I nearly fainted during our debriefing, knowing how close I had come to death.
With the threat nullified the festivities continued, somewhat more subdued, of course. The King made his major announcement and certainly was major! Danor and Risur would sign a peace agreement in a year’s time and, to seal the deal, King Aodhan would be marrying a Danoran.