On arriving in the boomtown chaos of Whitehook, our small group brought Captain Rugin to the nearest temple, one dedicated to Pahzu for healing. Finding the service in full swing, most chose to remain indoors and attend while the paladin was cared for by several acolytes. Shaw took this moment as his cue to report to the Baron and departed from the temple. Uncomfortable, Hsei Yun slipped outside, only to retreat to the group on finding a disturbance outside- a crowd gathering around an imminent duel between a local man and a lizardfolk warrior. Zheng, followed by Hsei Yun and Khandris, left to investigate, with both participants now lightly wounded. On realizing that the man was Coran Wong, and that lizardfolk are prone to killing enemies (having no known dueling tradition) Khandris chose to interfere, loudly disturbing the fight to distract the lizardfolk and allowing Coran the win. The immediate response of the lizardfolk’s companion, an onlooker to the fight, was to shoot Khandris. With a snake.
Able to speak with the lizardfolk, Zheng stepped in to make sure that everyone involved accepted that the duel was over, while Hsei Yun tried to keep Coran from escalating any further. In a strange coincidence, the pair of lizardfolk intended to see the Baron themselves, and opted to follow the only people who had shown them any regard or actual willingness to give directions, introducing themselves as Tsen Ka and Tsen Law.
Elsewhere, Alita and Niem were called to the Captain’s bedside, as he had woken moderately lucid. Faced with a demand for the immediate turnover of the two artifacts, the pair attempted to press him for details of what had happened to his group. Rugin described only “an invisible attacker with unnaturally fast swords”, seeming unaware of any cause or connection to the black powder mafia. The talk was interrupted by High Priest Ingvald’s arrival and banter with the Captain. On learning the situation the High Priest suggested that perhaps the artifacts should be tuned over to him, leading to something of an altercation between the two. Having left to fetch Zheng in hopes that the Captain would listen more readily to a fellow member of the church, Niem returned with the rest of the group in time to find Rugin suddenly asleep and the High Priest leaving.
Uncomfortable with having so many organizations’ focus on them and their baggage, unfamiliar with the High Priest, and fairly certain that the Captain would not be able to handle protecting the artifacts in his current state and without backup, the group chose to get rid of the things before anything else tried to kill them, lizardfolk in tow.
Baron Wong, accompanied by Shaw, was quite happy with our arrival- incredibly so, leading to the sneaking suspicion that we were not the first group sent to find these things. After a good deal of arguing back and forth and Zhengs’ offer to part with his share the Baron was convinced to part with some information. Using what appeared to be a pair of glass gloves, he retrieved a sphere from each urn, describing them as both being very ancient weapons; a sphere of annihilation and an orb of dragonkind. For our service, Baron Wong offered another contract- working to escort a purchase of his from Port DuVois.
Leaving to spend their pay, though Khandris first sought out Coran for a duel, the group reconvened at a tavern, eventually deciding to take the job with varying degrees of reluctance. While the others made purchases and looked into buying a carriage, Alita went looking for somewhere to pass off the guns we recovered from the assassins.
Finding some sort of ring-symbol burned somewhere inconspicuous on a number of shops, she assumed (correctly) that she’d found a black market connection and after a bit of finagling, was led into a back hall- only to spot a very familiar assassin gambling at another table. After an unsuccessful attempt to sell the guns that led to the discovery that they’d been marked, she managed to leave as subtly as possible before convincing the rest of the group that it was very much time to leave town.
After some time on the road to Port DuVois, the group encountered an overturned and utterly destroyed wagon. Suspicious after finding a musket left in a sturdy box but no sign of the owner, the majority of the group traipsed along the path of destruction made by whatever attacked. After quite some time wandering the odd, labyrinthine path, we eventually stumbled into a clearing, clearly a camp of some sort, full of oversize belongings but far to slovenly to belong to a giant. Hearing something approaching, everyone bolted for cover – except for Khandris, who remained standing in the center of camp.
The…person…entering camp was very recognizable – a minotaur leading a triceratops, the notorious bandit Five Horns. Khandris’ friendly overtures toward the man-eater did little good when he realized there were others in the woods, and the situation devolved rapidly. Several near-death encounters later, the group fled as Niem led the minotaur on a wild chase before losing him in the woods, eventually limping back to rejoin Shaw at the carriage.