Thanks Sean for the write up!
The revelations in the graveyard leave many of the party unsettled and unsure of what to do next. But, they travel to the temple to take the hospitality offered by Verity. An acolyte informs them that a crate has arrived marked for Aran. Verity goes to ensure that all get rooms. The rest of the party begins to disperse to their own activities. Amalia begins to smoke her pipe in the vast space of the chapel while Ford heads off to the kitchen.
Aran discovers by the letter on the crate that the items inside are the enchanted ones from their most recent battle that were identified by Lyra. Amalia, Aran and Morwen work on dividing up the gear to best benefit them. The only item which puzzled them was Horn of Triton which the vampires formerly held.
As they are wondering, Ford returns with food and mead. They question him on use of items like the horn. Ford guesses that this item may have been used to still the waters around his ship. Which would explain the unnatural drift of the vessel for so many years. It seems as though the relics stolen from the Excelsior may have been under the gaze of some dark purpose long ago. Yet, no one seems sure how to proceed in investigating the events.
Following deliberation, Aran goes with Verity to research a lead on the old order based around Vecna. Amalia, Morwen and Ford go to pose more questions to Zygor which proves a fruitless endeavor. However, Ford has an idea of how to possibly find a lead on the crates and requests to be taken down by the docks. With the guidance of Morwen and Amalia, they search through the low city for places near the docks that the crates may have been secreted away to. As they walk about, Ford scrys for the familiar picture of the crates. The distinct black crates with their red runners and odd markings fail to reveal themselves to his arcane sight. And, as the hour grows late, they return to the temple. Aranand Verity report a much more successful search. In their studying they confirmed that the cult of Vecna was indeed poisoning the food supply with the taint of vampirism and may be searching for great artifacts for some old and evil purpose.
Sleep is the resolution that comes to the investigation with hopes that the morning light will shed clearer insight on their search. As they come back together to break the fast, Aran resolves to go make his own investigation at the bakery and re-check the accounts there. Ford and Amalia accompany him there and Aran grows frustrated that Ford cannot remember the markings that were on the side of the crates which could have provided some hint as to their origin.
The baker Mires gratefully opens his books and shop to Aran. But accounts from the staff reveal only vague description of shady figures who match those of the now dead vampires. This prompts Aran and Amalia into a thorough digging into the baker’s books. This search yields only a great deal of boredom and frustration as the morning wears on. Ford, for his part samples baked goods, being happy to eat bread that was not hard-tack.
Meanwhile, Morwen and Verity make their way to the docks to check into Whitecap shipping. Populating the front office of Whitecap Shipping is a greasy looking Halfling who gets immediately keen to Morwen. Morwen leans on the counter to pour on the charm. Then Verity gets down to questioning the man about the breadth of his shipping involvement. It quickly comes to light that both the Intrepid and its captain, “Blackbeard,” were associates of the company. The man behind the counter becomes increasingly concerned and attempts to be more circumspect. But, Verity pushes forward, insinuating that his informal help with information would stave off any kind of formal, rigorous and probably unnecessary investigation into an honest business. The beleaguered Flanigan caves and admits that Blackbeard has screwed him on some deals in the past. He guesses that if the crates went anywhere it would likely be the black market. He of course has no idea where it might be but has heard rumors of a secrete current that can slip smugglers into a tucked away cove.
Morwen and Verity contract him to take them out on a tour to search for the black market entrance. And, while the dubious Halfling is not directly helpful in spotting it, Morwen does locate a spot along the coast that looks promising. Feigning failure, the two return to the docks to gather the others for a more private trip to the smugglers entrance without Flanigan the lecherous Halfling.
Amalia, Aran and Ford finish up at the Bakers and track the other two ladies to Whitecap Shipping. They find that Morwen and Verity are out and decide to attend their own business while they wait. Aran finds his way to the Curio Shop to see about pricing out the enchanted items he no longer needs. And, is promptly snared by the slim blonde woman behind the counter. He attempts to schmooze despite the deathly glare of the large guard dog. He does end up finding a price for the shield and says he must confer with his fellows before selling their gear. Ford for his part finds a pair of buckled black boots made of supple leather for quick plank work. Amalia remains down by the docks and chats up local fishermen in hopes of gleaning any helpful tidbits of information on their missing cargo, but it seems that no one had seen anything useful the day of the disappearance.
Upon the return of Morwen and Verity, the party reunites for a brief conversation to share what their respective searches yielded. The whole group of them resolves to re-gather the missing Ulrich and make a search of the black market.
Aran says that before they move on they should give Lindy the mace that none of them have use of as her part of the equipment they took. Amalia and Ford are unable to locate Lindy, only receiving reports that she has left town. They leave it in trust for her with Tobias. Morwen goes to meet with Jadel and the others make their preparations before the scheduled meeting at the Silver Raven to plan their excursion.