Thousand Gods, Thousand Graves

Chapter 2: Lapis

The Faithful Star returns to port along with its pirate prisoner. En route, Shao sees to burying the dead on both sides of the conflict.

Back in port, the party along with many of the other passengers sans Milos and Tovik, begin interrogating the orc. Ojas takes the lead and uses his powerful innate charisma to convince the orc to cooperate. The orc’s accent is hard to understand, but ultimately it comes out that he was a crew member of the Grey Tooth serving under Captain Fever Hand, an orc pirate with a red and blistered right hand. He usually prowls the Northern waters, but has recently come South. They have made a couple of raids, including a Corusan fishing vessel just a few weeks ago. When pressed about why they came South, it seems to have started after a meeting with the Grosho the Stalker, a hobgoblin pirate and Captain of the Carrion Crow. The Captains made some sort of bargain on the island of Tubo to the North and Fever Hand ended up getting the Storm Caller banners. The prisoner did not think that the Grey Tooth was sent to specifically attack the Faithful Star, it just looked “sloppy” and was therefore an easy target.

Jido is able to add to the conversation by informing those present that there is a small human fort on the Southern side of Tubo. Apparently a dragon was routed from there a few years ago.

During the interrogation, Jido recognizes an opportunity and asks Shao, Theo, Asika and Karvara to go on a mission to the Corusan island of Lapis and meet with Dinko Hagley. There they are to make introductions and feel out what it would take to make a formal treaty with the island of Lapis. This could be important because the Corusans have access to at least two warships. Also, the timing could be right since a fishing vessel was just attacked.

They group spends some time trying to get more out of the orc and then uses their own resources to find out more about pirate activity, Tubo and Lapis. Not much is discovered other than the waters to the North are pretty hostile, but most already knew that.

The next day the group meets Jido for a quick breakfast with horrible tea. He drops some coin on the table and tells them they will be sailing with Captain Nanumas who will be making a trip to Lapis. He gives them a small bag of coins to cover any expenses and then is called away by a messenger.

On the way to Lapis, Nanumas directly asks what the group could be up to and why Jido would be paying for such an endeavor. When the group explain their diplomatic mission, he agrees that it makes sense. Besides, having more warships patrolling these waters would make his job easier, especially if there are orc pirates thinking about coming South. Nanumas says that he will be back in about 4 days depending on the tide.

Lapis, like many Corusan establishments, is known for its fine wines and brandies in addition to their giant pearls. However the port to Lapis is daunting and Nanumas has to direct all of his attention to the ship in order to not be dashed on the giant cliffs and rough breaking waves. The party departs and winds their way through the narrow path and meets up with their first guard.

An immediately good rapport is established with the guard, Hagata. Especially after the party gives him some much coveted sugar cane. “Sweets!” he exclaims. He runs them up to the path and past the various murder holes and other defensive emplacements. The fortifications of Lapis are for the most part in disrepair. Roughly a third of the building seems to be intact and the once intricately decorated walls have been repaired in a rather more functional manner.

It doesn’t take long before Dinko Hagley comes out to meet the diplomats. Dinko is a well dressed halfling in his prime. The party is a bit surprised that this is the Corusan they are to meet. Instead of trying to impress the party with the “riches” of Corusan, Dinko welcomes the party to a cozy and very well stocked kitchen. It is obvious that he has been preparing a meal. Dinko also introduces the group to Chalt Hagley, the head of this household.

Like all Corusan business dealings, the meal and wine comes well before the idea of talking specifics. Dinko is a great cook and in addition to awesome food and drink at his disposal he has made a sorbet. Chalt has a hard time keeping up with the conversation and Dinko soon puts him down for a nap.

Once some privacy is established Dinko takes time to listen to the party’s request, especially since Jido is named. Dinko also tenses up when the Storm Callers are mentioned. “It won’t be easy, you know.” Says Dinko. He goes on to describe how the Corusan’s are unable to verbalize their weakness. It seems their pride to too strong. However, Dinko agrees to set up a meeting between the party and Lord Dormant, ruler of Lapis.

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