The party sets sail on a barge headed up the Silver River. Dwarves tend not to name their ships or work animals, and thus don’t develop an attachment to them. This barge is owned by Roki Fireshadow, and its captained by her husband Elgan.
Everyone settles into the hold, and the rain continues to pour. That evening the rain finally stops long enough for folks to enjoy supper on deck and get to know the crew.
The crew isn’t much compared to a sea-vessel. In fact, its nothing but rowers and the captain, who also takes his turn at rowing so he can cut down the costs of hiring another staff. The rowers are Ogan Woodhauler, Irak Marblehewer, Tola Coppershadow, and Hilde Metalsmith. Irak doesn’t seem to like the party much, and sits apart from them whenever possible. Ogan is extremely likable, and people take to him almost immediately.
That evening, just as the party is settling down to sleep, one of the barrels of fish begins to move. Subtle at first, it rocks harder, prompting Severath to wake the party and summon the captain. Grumpy at being disturbed, he grabs a crowbar and heads down. Tapping on the barrels, he notes that it sounds different on the moving one. Immediately after he pries the lid off, a soaking we dwarf child leaps out for air, finally able to get a full breath. He starts to swear, pulling the child out of the barrel and chastising it. It appears to be a young girl, and Elgan had seen her skulking about the docks the day before, trying to convince him to let her aboard. He knew she’d be up to no good, but thought for sure they had left without her. He takes her to the top of the barge and will decide what to do in the morning.
It turns out her name is Wanda Birchheart, and she’s an orphan looking for adventure. She wants to see the bridge made of silver. From stories shes heard, anyone can make a living in the Silver City. She wants to earn enough money to open her own shop – or any place, really, that she can settle down and make a life.
Reluctantly, Elgan allows her to stay on board. The women in the crew, including Roki, all take a liking to the girl and are glad to have her around. Elgan makes sure she earns her keep by cleaning the barge and scraping at the freshwater barnacles. Shes a bit whiny, but does it all the same.
It turns out she has some magical skill as well, and for that, Severath takes a liking to her. He spends a good chunk of the day instructing her on magical principles. Her talent seems to lie in a sorcerers ability, rather than wizard, so he can only train her so far. Still, she pays attention, and learns quickly.
The next few days pass smoothly. Wanda develops a cold from having been in a fish barrel for a day, and has to stay in bed for a time.
Occasionally you pass another barge heading the opposite direction. All have Redspear flags with the occasional subclan flag tacked on under it. Both barges ring their ship bells and stand outside to wave at the passing ship.
On the party’s fourth night on the river, Nuada notices another boat quietly attaching themselves to the barge. Running to the captains chamber, he wakes the crew then rings the signal bell. A group of Tyrantsbane bandits jump aboard and the party wakes to battle.
Everyone rushes upstairs as fast as possible. The crew never trained for battle, but do their best. Ogan seems to have battle experience, but he’s long put combat behind him. Hes tired of fighting. Luckily for everyone, the attackers weren’t expecting the party to be there. What would have been an easy catch quickly became a very heated battle. Severath cast Feeblemind on what appears to be a priest, rendering him useless.
Several members of the crew were badly injured, including the captain. Sadly, Tola was injured beyond healing and died in the heat of battle. Ogan ended up getting attacked, and the party notices he’s very well trained. His fighter instincts kick in and he moves well.
Three of the seven attackers tried to flee after seeing their priest become ineffective. Thanks to a well-placed acid flask, they didn’t make it too far. The priest and remaining fighters were all captured, with only three being killed.
Once the spell wears off, the crew questions all members involved. The priest, named Ygdrimm, has a brand on his chest – a hand with a hammer inside. Its the symbol of the Hand of Moradin, a strongly dogmatic religious cult. It turns out that the Tyrantsbane members didn’t know they were following a cult member, and were just carrying out orders. This was supposed to be a simple raid – takeover, leave the crew on the edge of the shore, and take the barge full of goods back to base. From there, Ygdrimm would pay them and fence the goods however he does. Ygdrimm wont say a word beyond his blind conviction of faith, but the others are glad enough to talk if it means they’ll live.
A small funeral is held for Tola before the party moves on.
For the next two days the prisoners are tied up below deck with the party. Once everyone reaches Aibhnichean oir (“Rivers Edge”), most of the party joins the captain in alerting the guards of your prisoners. Elgan heads in to tell the full story of events. Ogan seeks out Thorsun, and both let on that they’re more than they seem.
Meanwhile, Pe-ling notices several fliers along the dock wall. Most of them are wanted posters or missing persons – one in particular (posted several times) is the missing nephew to the Runicstone Hierophant. Pe-ling points out that the nephew, named Trinjal Runicstone, looks very much like Ogan. Nuada grabs the flier off the wall (upsetting one of the nearby guards, which becomes pacified by a copper) and quickly runs back to the barge. Interestingly enough, Pe-ling also finds a notice about his hero Magnus. In this flier, hes sketched out to be a large barbarian human male nicknamed “Magnus giant-slayer.” It appears that he slew a dozen giants in single combat, and the town would like to reward him for his heroism. Pe-ling takes this flier as well, once again upsetting the guards and pacifying him with a copper.
Back on the barge, Nuada interrupts Ogan and Thorsuns conversation to point out what Pe-ling said about the flier. Throsun can’t see the resemblance. Smiling and flattered, Ogan denies that its him. Nuada takes another look at the flier and is forced to admit that it really only somewhat resembles Ogan. He apologies then heads back to the rest of the group.
In that moment, Ogan does reveal to Thorsun that he’s Trinjal Runicstone. Throsun likewise reveals that he’s a Dragonaxe clan member. Thorsun tells Trinjal about the axe he found, as well as the hammer, and shows him the ancient scroll of peace between their clans. Thorsun tells him that he would like his help in finding out more about the Runicstone and whether or not they know anything about it. Trinjal refuses, saying he’s put that life behind him. He was being honest before, in that he’s done with fighting. Hes done with the war, and he just wants a peaceful life.
Pe-ling returns to the boat with his Magnus poster. In a strange twist of irony, Pe-ling kinda looks like the sketch of Magnus. Hes pictured standing dramatically on a pile of giant bodies, his face mostly obscured by a dark line under his furrowed brow, as if the sun was right behind him. In that moment, Pe-ling somewhat lets slip that Thorsun is in disguise. Being diplomatic, Ogan/Trinjal helps cover for the slip, and the matter is quickly forgotten.
After the party turns in the Tyrantsbane and the priest, they explore the market a while. This city is known for its mass production of bronze and brass items, and much of that can be seen through the market – from pots and pans to decorative items and armor. They spend some time selling a few things and exchanging their silver for gold. The items they can’t sell, they’ll save for the Silver City.
While selling some of their treasure, Severath meets up with a friendly priest of Moradin. Unlike the fanatic from earlier, this one is warm and genuine; only promoting the loving word of their creator. Severath mentions that he worships the Dead God, and the priest tells him that he encountered another group of worshipers at the Silver Bridge. Severath then promises to return for the evening mass.
Game pauses for the night.
Addressed to Thorsun:
“His hair looks different, just like you!” – Pe-ling
“Yes. I’m just like you” – Trinjal Runicstone