The next day Legitimate Business Enterprises, LLP awoke sore & damp. A salty mist was hovering around everything.
“The storms going to hit soon, and hard.” Rick said as he wiggled his eyebrows and examined the leaves of the oak they’d slept under in the enemy’s camp. The company packed up and headed on towards Ashenport.
Two rain-soaked miserable days later, after braving the worst storm in centuries (so I’m told…) the group got a dismal first look at their destination through the steady flashes of lightning. They picked their way over the rocky Cliffside for another couple hours before they finally arrived at their destination.
The town before Legitimate Business Enterprises bustled: gruff fisherman went this way and that despite the terrible weather. The company made their way to the Smooth Sailing Tavern & Inn,
“Not just the nicest inn in town, but also the only one!” a less-gruff local informed Jin.
Once their good were securely locked away and everyone had had a hot bath (except Tusk), the real work started. Jin, in one of his numerous forms, scoped out the other travelers and chatted up some folks from the Gold Leaf Trading Consortium, out of Avalide. Tusk sat across the room and observed Jin’s failed attempt at spreading the brand whilst collecting info, laughing to himself all the while.
Meanwhile Rick, who was at this point still more used to talking to trees than people, had an awkward exchange with Jandal Phen. He informed Rick that the trade faire had been postponed until the storm let up. Phen, a jeweler out of Raltz, also mentioned that all the salvaged treasures were being collectively traded by the town, not individually.
What followed was, as I’ve heard it, a series of plans to “collect” the coins, each more ingenious than the next. All plans were abandoned in the long run in favor of a warm bed and a good night’s sleep.
Something had other ideas, though. Legitimate Business Enterprises were nudged from sleep by a dread call from out over the sea. Most of the group, at any rate. Jin peered out his window to see several of the traders he had met earlier making their way steadily down the street, towards the ocean. Tusk, one room over, heard Bonaventure leave his room across the hall. A minute later Tusk, Jin & Valens met in the hall. Rick & Bonaventure’s doors were left wide. The three ran downstairs and out into the blinding rain to find their companions walking to the sea with the others. Neither man responded and when confronted simply kept walking without recognition. Tusk decided to solve this problem like all others and delivered two quick jabs to Rick’s rib cage, knocking him to the ground with the force of the blows. Rick didn’t even seem to feel it, but just got up and kept walking. Valens & Jin attempted to subdue Bonaventure, but he proved far too determined to reveal the source of the mourning call of the ocean. Becoming frustrated, Jin decided to stop dicking around and unleashed a blast of psychic energy at both his companions, which finally broke them from the siren song of the deep. A few of the strangers were saved in similar fashion, but ultimately they could naught but watch as men walked into the sea to be claimed by the waves.
The survivors returned to the Smooth Sailing to find a trader from Ishtar (whose name had been forgotten as he shortly met his end) arguing with Phen about what their next course of action should be. Bonaventure pointed out that only out-of-towners seemed to be affected and, in fact, no one else was around at all. The inn proved to be empty of anyone else so a decision was made to break into teams and search the town.
As Legitimate Business Enterprises moved through the pre-dawn town Rick pondered aloud:
“Do elves grow pubic hair?” A question which was met with stunned silence.
After seeing a candle hastily snuffed in a small house near a large grove of Ash trees at the town center, the company confronted the houses occupant. He informed them the reason no one else was out was that everyone was hiding from the call they heard the night prior.
They left the man frightened and with a broken door. Tusk pointed out that there were several forms nearby, and all saw the mad eyes that stared from behind the constant curtain of rain. The unknown assailants charged, so Tusk and the others rushed through the mud to meet them in battle. After a brutal fight Legitimate Business Enterprises managed to defeat and question their attackers.
Other than all giving the same name (they all referred to themselves as Murphy), Jin and the gang were able to scare and trick out of them that the men were Meloran cultists. They sought to protect a ritual being held under the church that night that was meant to protect the town from Melora’s wrath by offering the out-of-towners as sacrifices.
Once they had everything useful from their assailants the group turned their attentions towards Elderman Ritter’s (basically the town mayor) home, where it was rumored all the salvaged goods could be found.