(Long over due update..catching up 2 sessions!)
Bamiyan and Trunk check on Zaulker.. he is alive. Barely. Taken back to the ship he and Candlestick give slightly different accounts, but agree the vampire girl is dead. Trunk, Bamiyan and others are dubious and soon an expedition is led by to the liar of the Undead blue girl. Zaulker removes the heavy lid of the vampire tomb with ease and nothing but dust and sand remain inside.
Satisfied the vampire is gone the party head back to the Double Quick, with plans to head back to the main camp.
Soon, it is obvious there is still something out there: 2 sailors died.
The party divides over whether to declare victory and head home or to keep searching. Eventually a deal is struck with the acting captain and one more search undertaken.
At Sir Bamiyan's suggestion the Double Quick is sailed into the interior, up the river spotted when the party first came to the island.
Miles up the river it divides and the Double Quick takes a course that eventually shows itself to form an island when the water way meets up with the main river again. On the island some man made structures are seen.. a log palisade and more.
Sailing to a little harbor, the party discovers a ship abandoned many years before. They made land and found the remains of a small village.. in the distance they see an estate. It is built in the style of a wealthy mansion in Corsland, but somewhat roughly done.
Entering the mansion and into a lavish entertaining room a woman greeted them..and was immediately disposed of... it becoming obvious she was no true woman but almost a bag of blood with magic powers and an attractive outlayer of skin fashioned onto "her".
The rest of the house was eventually searched and cleared.. with each member of the party having different recollections of how it went. What was clear was: no vampire. Out the south window however a trail led into a thick grove of trees.
The trailed was followed and led to a small cave with a tomb inside. The lid was removed and a middle aged, distinguished looking man lay inside. His eyes went wide but before anything else was done a stake was driven into him and he turned to dust.
The next couple of days were spent searching and acquiring valuables from about the island: thousands in gold, furniture, weapons, gems, books, mirrors, and more.
Preparations were made to sail home, with work crews left behind to set up trapping and trading.
Six weeks later the Double Quick arrived in Vale to a hero's welcome. As word spread that Far Way Island had been explored, cleared and put into operation ..and that a small group of heroes had returned as Vampire Slayers the excitement in the town was palpable.
The docks were crowded with those on official business greeting the ship and others just hoping to get a look at the Vampire Slayers, and others trying to see what exotic cargo might have been brought back from Far Way Island. Only one man seemed less than overjoyed at the appearance of the Double Quick: Renfield DeWitt, the high level clerk in the Far West Trading Company who organized the expedition to Far Way Island. He appeared slightly puzzled by the ships return, and perhaps fearful. But in the event, too much was happening to get further into.
The Far West Trading Company gave the party a compound in Dwarf Town near the Steam Line and parties and invites flowed.
That very same night Trunk, Sir Bamiyan and Zaulker attended a hastily arranged party in their honor held in the Castle.
Many people toasted them, and listened with rapt attention of their exploits and vanquishing of the Vampires of Far Way Island, and Bamiyan at one point was heard to exclaim the vampire was laid low by his custom made rifle.
One person seemed less than taken in by the stories and voiced skeptisism at the whole thing.. a man who turned out to be Marshal Bennington, First Secretary to the Provincial Minister and Chief of the Provincial Guards. Things turned ugly and eventually a duel was challenged.
In the meantime, dances were held and went reasonably well, except for Bamiyan who trampled the feet of a poor girl.
Seeking to make up for the embarrassment, Bamiyan accepted a shooting challenge: a target at 100 yards (90meters). Bets were made, with Bennington betting heavily against Bamiyan making the shot.
In fact, judging the wind and using the precision sights on his high quality new rifle Bamiyan made the shot cleanly, winning those who had bet on him hefty sums. When Trunk attempted to collect from Bennington he refused to honor the bet with liars and cowards and things quickly turned violent -- full on combat was narrowly avoided and the duel confirmed for the next morning at the Government Pier.
Morning came and Trunk asked Bamiyan to step into his place. Seconds and observers in place, including a Lady Benshell and her entourage -- at the invite of Trunk. The neutral judge seemed to object to the initial weapon chosen by Marshal Bennington, and he had to swap out weapons.
When the duel began, Bamiyan was utterly calm and cool and collected. He drew his pistol first, a fraction of a second faster than Bennington, took quick aim and.. the pistol blew up in his hand! His fingers and palm a bloody mess Bamiyan bravely accepted his fate and Bennington , with a self satisfied grin aimed a fatal shot and fired! But only managed to WOUND the stalwart Bamiyan.
Then the followers of both sides were at the verge of spilling into the fight.. a sleep spell was cast as the crew of Bennington closed onto the scene with an eye of making it a larger ordeal. Calmer heads prevailed and the risk of arrest being very real the sides separated, neither feeling satisfied. Lady Benshell took the opportunity to invite the party to an event celebrating the New World and its Wonders two nights later.
Following that the party decided to take the time to follow up on their treasures from the Vampires.
They discovered upon visiting various magic shops that Zaulker had Power stones in his possession, stones which store Mana (magic power) and in the weakened magic state of the world, are in depend by wizards.
And then upon visiting the old wizard Dorithastus the Incomplete that the Vampire Journals were written in Alametasian. Alas, Dorithastus can not read them.. no one can read the ancient magical language except for a very small handful of Magical Scholars. Doristhastus offers to introduce one of the few remaining wizards who can read it, if the party can just bring him 2 Dwarven Kindling Stones to use in the magic brooches he was working on. The party agrees, and takes monetary help -- 500 gold!
The next day brings a further surprise as a visit is paid to their compound by an old friend of Dorithastus, who offers his help on their journey. He offers up a sword for them to use, an ancient, magicked sword and also the assistance of his most trusted warrior. The party agrees and continues preparations to head south to visit the dwarfs to acquire the Kindling Stones.
Zaulker visited his home Temple and had a short talk with his immediate Older Brother.. who seemed a bit concerned with him while also offering to induct Trunk and Bamiyan onto beginning to climb the Ladder. They beat a hasty retreat.
Finally the party prepared to attend the Benshell New World Wonders event. Trunk sought advice and prepared flowers and a ribboned dagger for the Lady Laurina Benshell.
The night of the event, the group arranged a coach and arrived in high spirits looking forward to more well earned foods, drinks, and entertainment. After weeks on an island of terror the perils of the social circles of Vale proved to pale in comparison.
But from the first moment things went wrong. Alighting from the carriage into the courtyard, the party notices 4 cages: one in each corner..well lit by torches. In each cage stood a blue humanoid.. varying shades of blue.. with long hair, clothed in nothing but a breech cloth. Immediately the party recalled the Native Vampire of Far Way Island. Invited to poke or prod the humanoids in the cages the party declines, Trunk outraged at the treatment, perhaps remembering his own treatment as a half orc at the hands of full humans who disagreed to this day that even half orcs should be admitted to polite society.
Inside the party Trunk confronted Lady Benshell about the captive New Worlders, knowing it must be some mistake or appealing to her "humanity". She laughed off his concerns, letting him know this was the Natural Order of things and inviting him to sit and enjoy as soon they would be passing about artifacts and stories from over the sea.
While Zaulker and Bamiyan made the best of the party, flirting with attractive women or making the acquaintance of important people about town, Trunk left his presents intended for Lady Benshell on a desk top and made his outside.
Looking at the cages, his mind was made up. He would free the New Worlders, protect them, shelter them, and show everyone wrong. He would show them they were people too! He broke open the the first cage, preparing to greet his new made friend and fellow persecuted being.
The New Worlder immediately went for Trunks throat! Trunk was too fast and too strong for the long captive being though and quickly escaped the situation, as the Benshell family guards closed in to investigate! He made a dash for the front gate and made his escape, hearing throttled screams in the background.
Inside at the party, Lady Benshell a few moments later turns white as her butler whispers in her ear. The event is cancelled -- the New Worlders have escaped and killed 2 guards and injured another.. and are on the loose in Vale! Everyone is asked to go home , with their lackeys keeping an extra careful look out. Murderous New Worlders on the loose.. Vale will not sleep easy tonight.
Everyone wonders how they escaped, and someone notices that Half Orc was no where to be seen.. and the ribboned dagger he had awkardly carried was there on the table. Yes, he had left early in a huff. The injured guard remembers how the Half Orc Vampire Slayer had set on him with 2 of the New Worlders!
Zaulker and Bamiyan exchange glances, but no words, ignore their hired carriage and hurry back to their compound in Dwarf Town, wondering if Trunk will be there, and will he be with New Worlders? By morning will he be a wanted criminal? What about them?
What a change a night brings.