Chapter 1: Warm Welcome
On a ship set for Crescent Isle several adventurers met. There was Kerry, the stoutfoot halfling ranger – a hermit who carried an ancient secret and travelled with his long-time gorilla friend, Harambe. There was Eogan, the human paladin, a soldier and survivor of a terrible attack on his company – forty entered, two came out. And there was Frazious, a drow sorcerer in search of power. They were greeted by Captain Xavier Position, a man who led his group of sailors on tasks of various procurement but had also begun ferrying the sudden influx of adventurers to Crescent Isle as a result of the rumors of riches in the newly exposed temple. The captain informed them that since the earthquakes there was supposedly a way into the old temple on the island and that adventurers were headed there for treasure and glory.
While on board, they met with some of the other passengers. This included a group of fellow adventurers, calling themselves Krell’s Banshees – or The Knights of Havoc, they weren’t certain. The group consisted of Krell, a large human barbarian wielding a hammer more fit for a minotaur than a man; Bruna, a well-armored woman bearing a medallion with the symbol of a sword with a lightning bolt crossguard; Julius, a sly-looking human man toying with daggers; Edras, a drow mage; and Helmund, a human fighter who disregarded the party entirely. The group informed the party that they might as well turn back since the treasure would be theirs alone. Leaving the adventurers, the party met a man who introduced himself as Rainard. Rainard informed the party that he was not an adventurer but was just headed to the island to meet with a friend of his. Upon further inquiry, Rainard said that his friend was named Hank and that they had not seen each other in some time. The party then headed below deck to explore the ship.
Below deck, the party found several exotic animals being kept in cages. One of the sailors noticed that the cage to the rhinoceros was cracked open instead of locked and, upon investigation, the dire wolf behind him leapt out of its cage and killed him. The dire wolf, in a rage, attacked the party. Kerry attempted to soothe the beast but it was inconsolable after being locked up. Upon dispatching the dire wolf, Captain Position headed down and was greatly upset by the turn of events. Revealing that he had been tasked to deliver these animals to some wealthy nobles on the far side of the island, the loss of the dire wolf would cut into his profits. Grateful to the party, however, and aware of their injuries from the attack, he invited them to visit his cabin and use one of his potions of healing. The captain also recommended that they stay at the Thirsty Pig Tavern once arriving in Planks, as it would be the safest place to stay. The party then went to his cabin, used the potion, and promptly stole whatever they could find before heading back to the deck and settling in for the rest of the journey to the pirate town of Planks.
Upon arriving in Planks, the party saw a strange mix of homeless people and adventurers filling the streets on their way to The Thirsty Pig. Entering the tavern, they saw an adventurer leaving the inn, upset that his friends had been killed in pursuit of the temple and stating that he was going back to farming. The proprietor of the tavern, Bernard, greeted the party and offered them the newly available room for 400 GP. Bernard explained to the party that they were welcome to stay and camp on the outskirts of town but that there have been problems lately with people disappearing into the woods, taken by goblins, and that his inn would be the only safe place to stay. Ready for the room but unable to pay, the party headed downstairs to the basement to check out the crowd. In the basement were several gamblers playing dice and card games as well as a large number of bouncers ready to take care of any potential troublemakers. Seeing little of interest, the party headed back upstairs to chat up the locals.
Eogan tried flirting with the barmaids but was tragically denied, as they were generally used to such behavior. Kerry found a sad man by the name of Samuel. Attempting to console him and get him to open up seemed futile, however, and Samuel sunk deeper into his alcohol. The party also met a young cleric of Pelor named Bianca who expressed clear contempt for adventurers in general, stating that it was a reckless endeavor, but that she was sent by Revered Father Landon specifically to take care of the people in Planks, adventurers included. While mingling with the locals in the Thirsty Pig, a group of elves and a group of dwarves began to argue, which turned into fighting involving both groups as well as several human adventurers.
Since the brawlers were threatening the safety of the inn and bouncers were nowhere to be found, Bernard called out for the party to assist him, adding that he’d let the party stay for free if they put an end to the fighting. Accepting the offer, Eogan hurled his spear past the faces of the fighters in an attempt to intimidate them. A couple of them paused for a moment but the rest were too drunk to comply or perhaps even notice. Engaging with the group through combat and further attempts to cow the brawlers,the party eventually prevailed, earning a free room for their stay. Rising the next morning, the party set out to explore the nearby forest, in search of what lie within and beyond.