For Love of Beer

Axel vonStumpwasser, Jenestra vonStumpwasser, Shuk, and Kurgan stagger out of the bars at night and stagger into the night. We pass by the Dauntless Dolphin and there is a “Help Wanted – Adventures Inquire Within.” In seems like a great opportunity to refill our empty pouches. It seems like they are closing, but we are here for work – not more entertainment. We meet a young woman who owns the bar along with her husband, Bealtor, who is sleeping off the nights activities upstairs. She explains that she engages in a large number shipments overseas, but several ships have met with unfortunate accidents. For this reason we have orders some of the Best Black Beer. It is a secret recipe that is sure to bring in customers. Unfortunately the ship was captured by pirates and the five barrels were captured. She is looking for brave souls willing to recover the barrels and has rented the Merry Maiden to take some adventures near the pirates’ landing at Fang rock.

Around midnight on the third night we are awakened by screaming and shouting from the deck above. Kurgan had been standing watch in our room discovers the door has been barred. Using his rope of climbing he gets to the skylight while everyone else gets ready for trouble. It seems like some of the crew has muntitied and has herded the rest of the loyal crew to the bow. Breaking the window he climbs out on deck as the rest of us scramble up the rope. The captain is on the aft castle fighting defensively but falls under the knives before we can reach him. The ship is lit only by a few lanterns making the battle difficult for some. In the end the we put the mutanity down and lock them in the bilge.

Six pirate ships are anchored off the off the rock. Several longboats are plying the waters ferrying crew to the rock. The sea is shallow and surrounded by reefs, but the Merry Maiden’s draft is shallow so it will not have a problems. The captain tells us that we should pretend to be traders as many people come here from Amthydor to acquire things that are illegal in the city. Under the cover story of merchants looking for “fine wines at deep discounts” we reach the docks. A old blind sailor that was shipwrecked here years ago asks us to please take him off this rock. His sob story moves Kurgan who helps him unto the ship. The captain is not willing to accept any new sailors, but with some extra pay is mollified.

Upon the beech is the general market we are gathered in by a very pushy merchant. For a heavy gold purse Kurgan acquires a raw of rare chocolates, a gnome statue, and unroasted coffee beans. The merchant takes the money and heads to the main auction house in the cave. He tells us they are auctioning off Beltor’s Best Black Beer for five-hundred gold per keg. This is exactly what we need to acquire so we head towards the cave following him. There are two guards that refuse to allow anyone into the auction house until tomorrow. A weasley man standing outside argues with us. He is auctioning off five barrels tomorrow and will not allow anyone to see the goods until tomorrow.

With time on our hands we scout the small rock island and find a small inlet where the Maiden can squeeze through. Under fading light the captain navigates into the channel. There is a washout cave where we might find a passage into the main cave. Using the captain’s longboat we oar into the cave in complete darkness. Before we can reach the cave nearly a dozen sea cats attack the logboat. It sinks the longboat, but with some Kurgan’s magic allows us to walk on water. We defeat or drive of the sea cats with enough time to spare to walk through the small vent. We have to crawl through a small vent which gives us access to their storage facility.

Shuk strengthens himself and drags the large barrels into the water. We float the barrels back to the ship hearing the screams of the pirates as they discover the theft. We reach the ship as the Maiden prepares to leave Fang Rock. The largest pirate ships, the Ungari, fills its sails and overtakes us. She gets close enough to board our ship, but the Maiden’s captain pulls a few tricks out of his pocket and breaks few. Unfortunately the ship again runs us down. There is a fierce struggle on the deck and we emerge victorious.

When we reach Amthydor we turn over all five kegs. The captain attempted several times during the voyage to purchase one of the kegs, but we resist. The innkeeper pays us our fee along with a small keg of beer.

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