Campaign of the Month: January 2013
DANgerous Kalamar 4
An independent merchant who frequently transported shipments for the Golden Alliance, Captain Alon was first encountered by the commissioned investigators of the Cosolen Military Academy in the dock district of Cunvden on Declarations 16th, when investigator Brendolm Minel chartered passage to Cosolen for the Group aboard the “Audacious”. Having just been rewarded for both their role in the capture of wanted criminal Ichrinthan Stroon, and the return of valuable heirlooms to Lady Sarenva Blord; the Investigators sought to use their newly acquired funds to resupply and purchase upgraded equipment.
The trip allowed Alon to have minor ship repairs done and conduct various sideline business deals while the Group tended to their affairs and purchased items from the wizard’s guild broker Forberon. Being in the capital, he had assumed the “Audacious” to be perfectly safe under the eyes of the City Watch and had thus given most of his crewmen leave during the brief downtime. On the morning of departure for the return trip to Cunvden, his preoccupation with planning a transport for another client had resulted in only a cursory glance at the current cargo manifest, unknowingly permitting several members of The Pox to stow away.
The Pox members, intending to take vengeance against the investigative unit and murder investigator Hilg, had come at the behest of the previously mind-wiped Rogue Defon and began their attack by holding the woman Cosdrelita hostage. Dumbfounded at the revelation of murderous stowaways aboard his vessel, Alon could do nothing but numbly maintain his course while his charter passengers battled the villains and saved the day. At the conclusion of the fight, he feebly commented on his thankfulness that the attempt to set the rigging on fire had been stopped before any appreciable damage could be done.
With the investigators delivered and the remaining Pox handed over to Cunvden’s captain of the guard Edton Birorn, Alon resumed his normal mercantile lifestyle, making cargo runs and ferrying the occasional charter passengers to varied ports around the Bay. His path would not cross the Group again until Mid-season Harvest 25th, when (during a brief stop to the capital), he was ordered by decree of Prince Sevlen to transport the investigators – Agents of the Prince by that time – to the lighthouse-bearing island offshore from the small town of Itven as they pursued the criminal slaver Grusenomar Vleddril.
The subsequent assaults filled Alon with aggravation and despair. Accustomed to choosing his own assignments and making his own way, the order to remain offshore from the island and allow rescued women to be rowed out to the ship by the agents’ allies Grond Plonnor and Ervaln Norforn was severely disheartening. Arguments with the traumatized maidens over the unavailability of special accommodations only added to his frustration, making him long for an end to the whole affair. A sudden signal for a rendezvous offered a glimpse of hope, as the agents had confiscated a ship after arresting the Brolenese slaver Melnul Corguld and his consort Uziah – who had come to purchase women from the island.
Thinking that he would transfer the women from his ship and be on his way, Alon hurried to the meeting, only to be disappointed. One of the agents, Zeph Proctor had been murdered in the night, and the Group ordered a temporary return trip to Cosolen to procure his reincarnation. The Prince’s later decision to return the seized ship to Corguld so he could begin transporting previously kidnapped Cosdolite ladies home in exchange for his own freedom assured Alon’s continued involvement. Worse still, Proctor’s reincarnation had left him incapable of fighting, and the agents were forced to return without him anyway.
When final victory over the slave ring was at last declared, Alon was overjoyed. A full week had passed since the fighting begun, and he was now only too happy to have the liberated ladies embark so he could deliver them to the capital and return to his tradesman’s life. Perhaps he would even be granted a reward for his service to the kingdom. His time at the island had been utterly unbearable, and completely without profit. As a merchant sailor, a week with no profit in sight had been akin to torture.
The onset of thick fog-cover over the Voldor Bay on the morning of the return trip seemed almost a cruel jest by the gods. Defiantly, Alon ordered the crew to set sail – he had waited long enough, and vowed that nothing would prevent his voyage to be rid of this charge. The odds of other ships being out and about on such a day seemed remote to him, as the severely reduced visibility would keep all but the most experienced or foolhardy captains at dock. He muttered a prayer to The Traveler and proceeded full sail, grateful that both the combat weary agents and formerly enslaved women wished to return to Cosolen as desperately as he did.
Tragically, the assumption that the “Audacious” had the Bay “to itself” proved to be an incorrect one. Another vessel, the bulky cargo hauler “Frontier Legacy”, had also been making good time on the supposedly deserted waters. Unable to see (or be seen from) far enough away to allow for evasive maneuvers, the “Legacy” struck the “Audacious” perpendicularly on the front quarter, bursting completely through the smaller boat and cleaving it in two. Alon, devastated over his part in killing many of his newly freed passengers, and seeing no hope for survival so far from land, made no attempt at escape – allowing himself to go down with the ship as it sunk to the depths of the Voldor Bay.
He only hoped the gods would take pity on his soul.