(This was a fairly light session, partly because I always flub openings a little and partly because I didn’t want to jump into things full-on when livioroxas couldn’t make it. It worked out well, because it gave us time to build the world up a bit together, as well as giving everyone time to reconfigure their characters. Mostly that meant fine-tuning Relationship dice, but for Decius it meant a full-on class-shift into Monk.)
Everything probably started innocently enough. A light, almost hesitant knock awoke Eric Porter from his slumber. It was Elke, the lonely and perhaps over-eager widowed matron of the Annex, with a fresh plate of croissants and an invitation to breakfast -on the house, of course. He chose his moment well and skulked past while she was preoccupied with children arguing over a cinnamon roll.
Across the street, Malika started her day by leaving the local tourist trap, the Dragon and Butterfly, making sure to chat up locals and drum up business for her performance later that night.
Further down the road, Decius leaves Oman’s manor, intent on checing the progress of the faux-family portrait he was having commissioned for his patron. On his way, he learns of an Imperial-sponsored Inquisition that has just rolled into town, looking for Dark Gods-know what.
Before long, rumors of a boat openly proclaiming to be from Shadow Port draws everyone’s interest, and they all find themselves on the docks. Decius mostly observes from a distance, speaking to local authorities and passersby, while the other two worm their way onto the ship; Eric under the guise of doing honest work and Malika through judiciously applied batted eyelashes. Over time, they piece together that not everything is as it seems. Not only is it odd for a ship to openly proclaim to be selling exotic and illicit goods from Shadow Port, but the dock workers are doing a terrible job. Eric knows a layabout when he sees one, and furthermore, Malika actually recognizes one of the workers as an actor she performed with back in Axis.
With hijinks already afoot, Malika convinces Eric to create a distraction, which he does admirably via a ritual that causes all the chickens on the rear starboard side of the boat to spontaneously combust while squawking the names of seven Lords of Hell (with a natural 20 on the ritual roll, to boot). In the confusion, they managed to sneak below deck and, after a quick larcenous scan of the goods, found a secret panel which concealed a bag marked, ominously enough, “DEMON EGGS”. Realizing that, real or not, these would make a good haul, Mal and Eric attempted a hasty exit, only to have the ship’s parrot try and alert everyone to their presence… so they stole the parrot, too.
Off the boat, down the road, Decius was distracting the authorities and asking them to make sure that his “fiance” made it back to him unscathed. Thanks to his testimony and her charms, the guards were happy to deliver Mal back to Decius. Everyone made plans to meet later at the Dragon and the Butterfly.
Meanwhile, Eric made his way to the New Port Municipal Library, finding their Animal Husbandry section in an almost alarming state of disarray. This, of course, made it the perfect hiding place. After stashing the goods, he donned his Kreth-Nugar costume and met up with the others. Unfortunately, no one recognized him or understood who the creepy, bronze-masked man was (Mal actually mistook him for one of the Inquisitors)so he was forced to leave and hire a messenger to alert Mal and Decius that he had stashed the stuff and that they couldn’t find it without him… you know, just in case. After what might have passed for tense negotiations, our ne’er-do-well protagonists heard a loud squawk, followed by the stolen parrot’s telltale cry of “INTRUDER!”, only cut-short mid-syllable. Upon investigating Mal’s room, they found a rent cage, a slimy print on the door handle, and a sheaf of paper marked with a webbed hand and the words “We know you have it”, accompanied by the wet slapping of what sounded like slimy feet against pavement. Forced between having to rescue a stolen parrot and checking on their ill-gotten gains, they opted for the latter.
Eric led them to the Library, where Mal was able to sneak in and handily evade the librarian, acquire the goods and make an escape. They found a quiet place to open their treasure. Inside the sack, they found a nice chest of human make, with an included dwarven lock. Inside the chest was another sack, and inside that sack was something akin to a perfectly sealed ceramic jar. And inside that jar sloshed around maybe a couple dozen century eggs.
A heady miasma of fermented egg and regret fills the air as Decius, Eric and Malika try and decide what to do.