After that had completed their exploration and mapping of the dark creeper cave, Avaniel, Bu-Jinwen, and Jozan gathered their loot, Jang and horses and began the trek back to the city of Ailead. Once there, they reported to Junipero Olegario about their success. The group found him in the middle of organizing his troops to scour the sewers for explosives and assessing weaknesses in the city’s defense structure. He was particularly worried by the premise of a new type of mundane explosive. Such a thing would be difficult to uncover without extreme care. The captain then informed the group he would dispatch outriders to examine and verify the group’s work before he would issue them the writ they sought.
Bu-jinwen became very distraught and impatient with the whole process of acquiring passage to Urima. He was very much in a hurry to discover what happened to his mother and wanted desperately to be on his way, even going so far as to suggesting stealing a boat to Urima if necessary. Cooler heads prevailed, for now, but Bu-jinwen still made it a point to acquire a map that they could use to get their bearings. Going to a travel cartographer’s shop, he obtained a map that showed the major cities and layout of Daramis, the northern part of Perosh and the Urima western coast.
Concluding with their side trip, the allies made their way to the noble district to speak with Sosimo Primo Santos. Making their way up the hill that bordered the Hospitality District and Noble District, the group saw a pair of grand, tiered minarets dedicated to Farmourn and Yueya. The two were connected by a stacked pair of arch bridges, the topmost one connecting to the grand aqueduct that stretched towards the east to the Molagona Mountains. Upon passing the temples, the group encountered Roger and a traveling caravan carrying exotic animals to a new attraction, a “zoo”, created by a dwarven noble, Baranzar. Jozan studied the strange animals as best he could until wonder turned to terror about the roads.
A group of frost giants atop the aqueduct let loose a volley of stones which broke open one of the covered cages, releasing a dire hyena. Roger called for the group to address the hyena while he boldly leaped onto a building and scrambled up to a third story window with amazing speed. The giants levelled their aim to intercept him when next he appeared. Avaniel fired a mighty shot at the Hyena which flew cleanly into the beast, and Jozan tried his best to land a scraping blow with a thrown shortspear. The dog retaliated by rushing to Avaniel, and Jang was unable to stop the creature as it bit deep into the half- elf ranger’s stomach and pushed through, tripping him. Avaniel’s horse assisted in the assault as best it could by biting about the hyena. Bu-jinwen attempted to twist the fate of the beast, but the creature proved too resilient. Jang came to the aid of the fallen ranger by unleashing a sickening spit on the large beast.
Meanwhile, A loud scream from the woman’s dressing room Roger had jumped into indicated he was on the move. The huntsman got a running start and hopped from the windowsill of the building he climbed into. The blue skinned invaders unleashed a brutal payload towards the bearded, beret wearing huntsman. To the allies’ amazement, the wily veteran managed to evade the attacks and land upon the side of the temple to Farmourn. He continued his ascent up the new structure while digging in his belt pouches for a rope and grappling hook.
Avaniel struggled to his feet while the sickened hyena snapped ineffectually at his feet. The ranger backed up and fire, commanding his horse to take the front. Jozan quickly produced the healing wand he had and began treating Avaniel’s deep wounds. Unfortunately, Avaniel’s horse was no match for the strength of the enemy as jaws ripped at its front leg quarters and dragged it to the ground. Avaniel’s horse attempted to stand and was quickly injured by a bite to the neck. The mount started to bleed out. Bu-jinwen tried to fire a crossbow at the creature to little avail and pondered his next action. Jang continued to assault, biting powerfully on the skull of his prey.
Roger continued his theatrical journey towards the frost giants atop the aqueduct, using his grappling hook to create a climbing path to the top of the aqueduct. While he swung from the side of the temple, the rock throwers occupying the high ground mightily heaved their next volley. Roger defied all odds by spinning upside down to dodge the first stone while lobbing a black ball in retaliation. Continuing his motion, the upside down Roger began pushing himself up the rope with a lightning like speed. Upside down, and climbing up the rope, he moved fast enough to actually avoid the last two stones.
Roger’s own projectile sailed towards one of the creatures, who nonchalantly catched the ball. Laughing, the being reeled back his arm to throw his new ‘rock’ back at its unfortunate owner. Much to the surprise of the creature and its companions, the catcher’s arm detonated under an explosive force, spraying blood, fingers and bits of bone all about. Arm muscles and red fluid plopped down on the street level. Roger seemed to be reaching the top overpass some sixty feet about street level. The onlookers could only marvel at the potential of the man.
Back on street level, the Avaniel staunched the blood flow of his mount’s wound as best he could. Jozan continued to play medic. The hyena continued to rip at the still horse while Bu-jinwen managed to dig deep and hex the creature to sleep. Jang quickly ripped at the beast with his bite, finishing it.
Roger disappeared over the top of the overshadowing structure above. The raiders went to meet him and the loud sound of their brutal, tribal warcry was not missed by any present. This cry was responded to with a murderous, blood boiling roar that those in attendance assumed came from Roger. The sound of it though was so full of pain, so full of strength, so ancient and so primal. The sound after was anything but inspiring. A scream resounded from the giants, it frightened all the living creatures around to hear the noise, let alone see or experience whatever horror had befallen the huge behemoths. Woman started to cry with fear and became silent, quieting their previous screams. The men looked equally terrified, shaking noticeably on rubbery legs. At that moment, all around had a rapport, no matter how slight, with the others experiencing this event.
The sounds died off, replaced with the sound of a man pounding the remains of his foes into paste on granite stone with a hunting axe. Then, there was silence. After a brief moment in retrospect of the events, the surrounding nobles applauded the adventurers. Roger made his way back into the temple and started his descent down. The group tended to their wounds as Roger exited the temple. He seemed to care much less for the events being noble as others were. The grizzly man brushed the dirt and bits of bone from his outfit, an outfit that held onto trickles of blood throughout. He slumped his way to a stone bench not far from the scene and began to smoke from his pipe. Blood ran from fingertip to bicep on his arm in a splashed pattern. The look on his face was tired, weary in the way a war jaded veteran appeared when he retired from the battles of a bloody day.
Roger assured Jozan that it was okay to approach. The druid asked the old fighter if he needed help which Roger assured him he did not. Roger said the giants were probably from Molagona. Roger then decided he would eat and rest, giving the party directions to the house of Primo Santos. It began to become late in the day, but the party continued on to seek an audience with Sosimo. They found their path blocked by the house guards. While they understood that the group was directed here by Alexander Scipio, they barred entrance from seeing the Primo Santos Family to the rugged and slovenly looking adventurers.
The group went into the market to acquire new clothes, sell new gear, and resupply. Avaniel felt the need to pick up more magic was becoming a necessity and invested in a spellbook to study. The group grabbed their recommendation from Olegario, and Avaniel and Bu-jinwen went to make camp while Jozan went to change coins. At the Rule of Gold al’Ailead, Jozan mistakenly included unmarked coins from the adventure in Anvil Crawler Brake. Guards were sent to address the situation with an official. Luckily, a note found with the coins corroborated Jozan’s story, and he was rewarded for bringing the coins and news of the dead individual back. The day concluded, and, for the next two days the group rested.
The party returned in new attire to meet with Sosimo. This time, the guards escorted them right in to the grand estate to speak with their patron. They found Sosimo discussing some sort of business with a man named Anatoly Olnarov. Explaining their desire to reach Urima, Sosimo made a proposition. Currently, the embargo threatened the financial stability of the Primo Santos trade empire. Requiring an exemption from this, the noble offered the group to go in his stead to the Tribunal Republic. He asked the allies to rally enough of the senators there allow Primo Santos ships to escape the boycott.
If the companions failed, they were to use the noble’s writ as influence to acquire passage on a ship. From there, Sosimo planned to orchestrate a halt on the ship’s journey near Easthaven Island. A band of privateers there had been raiding private, secret ports and sinking ships from the Primo Santos private fleet. The group and agent were to deal with the pirates, either through violence or coercion, and stop them from attacking Primo Santos ships.
The group agreed. Jozan openly expressed a concern over their ability to argue the cause of a family they knew little about. Sosimo suggested trying to figure out what senators wanted and play with that. He assured Jozan that his family was genuinely a group of good people, many of whom served in the prestigious knight order, Alariel’s Knights of the Blessed Peace. The group had a new mission, and Urima began to look easily within grasp.