Draconic Destinies Recap 3

The party begins in the tavern just north of the blockade, the Scuttled Crab, and will have to re-embark in the morning after getting whatever intel they can from the local sailors. They learn that there is some tensions between the six gangs in town, and that things have drastically escalated in the city with chaos beasts and demons appearing and roaming unchecked. Lazlo asks about what kind of law and order exists in the city and is told that it is largely lawless. Marten has his own State Police, the Sevensoul Stateys, that patrol the city and mainly just preserve the status quo and settle disputes, though their system of dispute resolution tends to be either based on whims or bribes.

As they pass through the blockade they are eyed by suspicious and scared looking imperial sailors, full broadsides aimed in their direction. Once inside the town they are immediately greeted by a crumbling stone wall that encircles the town, which seems to lean in different directions all at once, causing a headache if stared at for too long. Stone houses on the east bank of the river are of obvious dwarven construction, squat and sturdy, while the western bank is composed of elegant tall elven towers, gracefully thrusting into the sky. As the boat travels further into the city the structures get higher and higher, as if competing against eachother, daring them to reach greater heights, as well as scrabbling for space to stand. The dwarven structures are increasingly covered in wooden planks and shacks built into the sides of them, forming a shanty town on their rooftops upon which goblins and derelicts scramble and hustle about. The elven towers on the west appear to warp and bend, forming impossible angles, and runes encircle most windows and doors.

The ship docks at the northern docks, Brasscog Wharf, a sprawling mess of cranes, wooden wharfs, mechanical contraptions and goblins walking around in ramshackle lifter machines. Mekkgnomes are seen squabbling with goblins on the docks and fights occasionally break out between them. Merchant ships sit largely unused, docked due to the blockade keeping them from shipping whatever contraband they might have been trying to move before the imperial navy moved in. One such ship has been converted into a full on Inn for travelers passing through the docks, The Dingy Dinghy. All manner of pack beast are used moving goods around, and strangely enough, dinosaurs are seen among them, as the Ogrefleet has been procuring them recently and it's become the in-style thing for nobles to use the unusual beasts as mounts or pack animals. Flying dinosaurs are even seen roosting on the elven side of the city among the higher reaches of the towers.

In the center of the harbor sits a half-seen ship, which never seems to be in the same place twice when glanced at, which one of the sailors points out is the Shadowfleet's pride, The Raven's Eye, their oracle ship. Upon closer examination there are hooded elves and goblins moving about the decks performing all manner of obscure secretive tasks, and in the center of the ship is a massive smooth crystal suspended above a pool in the shape of an eye. Rumour has it that the eye changes colour based on who uses it to scry in the pool, and that when the leader of the Shadowfleet, Renkar Scarfeather, uses it it shimmers with a purple cold fire.

The river winds and splits as it moves south, moving underneath the city in parts to vast underground canal systems and lagoons large enough to host whole galleons. The ship stops to dock and a dockhand tells you that farther down the river is the true center of the town, a large lake over which a massive bridge was built by both the elves and dwarves of the city. Decades ago the chaos beast called the Tarrasque was lured onto the bridge, which was subsequently destroyed, plunging it into the lake. Then the demigod Morgan poured all of his essence, along with an elaborate magical ritual spanning the whole city, into creating a soul cage that trapped the beast in an extraplanar space below the lake. Over the years the bridge was supposed to be completely rebuilt, but as crime took off in the absence of any powerful authorities and the rise of Marten, it fell into disrepair. It is passable, but patrolled by bonded devils and Marten's militarized gang members the Sevensoul State Police, referred to derisively as Stateys by the locals. The waters in the lake were largely unused for fishing for a long time after the Tarrasque trapping, due to superstition and the worry of contamination by chaos corruption. Due to the blockade it's forced locals to start fishing the lake to get affordable food, and there are stories of wharf fishermen being attacked by bizarre aquatic beasts, or fishing up mutated two headed trout and the like, though whether that's from chaos corruption or the pollution that all the local gangs and companies dump into the lake is unclear.

The party is met in town by a street urchin who asks Lerris for a coin, and when he gets closer to him produces a paper saying "you dropped this mister" before disappearing into the crowd. Upon opening it he reads that it is a summons from Slim Jim, telling him to bring the party to meet him at the Dingy Dinghy, in room 4B. Once there he briefs them on what he knows of the gang situation, without ever once explaining how he got there ahead of them, or how he is so well established in the small room which really seems bigger on the inside than it should be. He has been planning some disruptive action on the local gang element for some time but has not had an opportunity to do so with a somewhat trusted agent before, and if John can pull this off he will cement his place in the Towering Oaks and Ossian government. He is aware that they are there for Dranoxeris, but he thinks some concurrent activity would benefit all of them, and he also has intel that Dranoxeris has gone into hiding over the last couple days anyway so it might take some work to get to the beast. Also, if they can successfully disrupt the operations of at least 3 gangs he will lend them the use of a specialized gunslinger called a Wyrmsniper, cousin to Sappy Jack, Shady Johnny. A perception check by Lerris discerns that Sappy Jack is not the same person as the last time he met him. He would also desperately like to find out how the gangs are slipping the blockade and showing up around the world.

He lets them know that there is a local drug dealer witch, Shezra Blacktongue, a dark elderly goblin with ties to the Shadow Fleet, who can maybe get them started, but as for the rest of the factions, they might have to hit the ground and do some intelligence gathering themselves. He does give them a bit of a rundown on the gangs, on their composition, relative power, and ranking.

The party heads down to Shezra's bayou cottage on the water, where she invites them in for a chat. She tells them more about the gangs, and their relationships.

Consolidated Intel on Gangs

Demonfleet - The Demonfleet is the strongest, ostensibly commanded by Marten, though he has a naval commander who handles things while he's occupied.
Dragonfleet -
Ghostfleet -
Ogrefleet -
Steamfleet -
Shadowfleet -

After giving them the scoop on the gangs she sends them on a mission to retrieve some money owed to her by a Dragonfleet Lt, Grax the Grey. He's a snuff addict, dreamswill dabbler, and party boy, and he owes Shezra a lot of cash, so she wants them to either milk 6,000 GP out of him somehow, or bring him back to her. They find a bar in the elven half that is known to be frequented by Grax, the Crescent Moon, and rent a backroom for a private party that night. After some discussion on how to approach the situation, they decide to throw a bit of a party, sweet talk some girls into bringing them back to the room with them and use them to lure Grax into the backroom and into an ambush. After having a couple drinks they realize that they really have no idea how to approach women and that it would actually put them in danger, so they decide to just kind of wing it and see how they can do it. Grax comes in with his entourage of the day; an elven sorcerer, an imperial navy sailor on a 2 week bender, and four half-orc dockworkers. The group gets rowdy as the newcomers start drinking and eventually manage to work their way into their circle of drinking buddies, as well as buying some Oakwood Apple Whiskey for the barmaids to bank some goodwill. Eventually Lerris and Aywin head upstairs to get in place for the ambush, and when Grax goes to head outside to relieve himself, the cavalier convinces him to come upstairs as well and use their private bathroom, as well as break into some of the snuff they got from Shezra.
As they head up, the elf gets up to join them and Lazlo stays down with the remainder to keep from arousing suspicions. The group heads into their private room and as Grax enters their private bathroom the cavalier dispatches the elf with a thrust to his back, then as he turns a slash across his stomach and a decapitating strike. Grax calls out, but his suspicion is allayed as the cavalier tells him it's okay, that he just fell sitting down, and then stands in front of the bathroom door. When Grax opens it he thrust kicks the half-dragon back into the bathroom. Grax's claws extend and his mouth drips with poison as he spits a highly corrosive jet of acid out of his mouth at him in retaliation. Drax charges out the front door at him and is shot by Aywin who drops down from the rafters. Lerris sprints across the rafters, slipping at the last moment but manages to catch himself and launch downwards in a devastating sneak attack that drops Drax. Aywin stabilizes the half-dragon, but he wakes up just as they go to bind him for interrogation, and punches the cavalier in the face with a heavy draconic fist.
They manage to restrain him and interrogate him about the money he owed Shezra. He doesn't have any money on him, or really any to his name, saying that everyone just buys him whatever he wants. He does say that there is a deed for a ship he'd captured in his inside coat pocket, and that he already had a buyer for it which would get him at least 8,000gp. Aywin decides it's best for him to leave at this point, as he doesn't want to be witness to any torture that might happen. The cavalier pulls the paper out and reads it, it's actually just a blank sheet of paper with two words written on it, "ESCAPE PLAN". The two words are the trigger for an explosive runes spell and it explodes in their faces, freeing Grax, who bolts for the door. He manages to slip past Aywin and start to unfurl his wings before he can react, but Sasha manages to grab him by the foot and slam him into the ground knocking him unconscious again.
Once the half-dragon is pulled back into the room they strip him down and, after some discussion, decide to bring him to Shezra alive. They lower the unconscious drug addict out the window to the cavalier with his horse ready, which they load him onto wrapped in a blanket.
Once back to Shezra's cottage they hand him over and she gives the party a wand which will help soften the defences of Dranoxeris, whom she has ascertained that they are there to kill. Her next bit of advice is to see a vampire Lt in the Ghostfleet that she has contact with who wants his own commander taken down a peg. The party agrees that it would be a decent next move, holed up for the night, and then goes to sell what they got off of Grax. The only thing they end up selling first is the Boarding Poke he had, netting them 4,000gp which they divide up evenly. Then they go to an alchemist to sell a unicorn horn that Lerris had. Just after he sells that they hear a commotion outside and come out to see 3 chaos beasts rampaging down the road, turning people into amorphous blobs with a touch. A miniature zeppelin is chasing the beasts with a pair of ballistas attempting to kill or net them. Lazlo runs in front of a group of women and children and stands his ground to provide them some time to escape and the cavalier charges ahead of him to help take them down. In the chaos Aywin shoots an arrow that ends up striking a little girl in the back, nearly killing her. He calls his wolf out to drag her by the ankle to safety where Lerris could use a healing potion to keep her alive. They pull back to the shop slowly, attacking where they can and drop two of the beasts; however, the cavalier is struck a number of times and loses all control of his body momentarily as he is stricken by the chaos beast's amorphous blob curse. He manages to hold onto his form long enough to charge into the shop where Lazlo slams the door and braces against the beast's hammering blows. The shopkeeper knows that the only way to reliably stop the curse is to change his form magically, unfortunately they don't have anything on them so he throws them a special order sex change potion he had for another client. Aywin takes the last beast down just as the door is splintering with a few well aimed shots. Without asking what the potion was the cavalier chugs it down and is transformed into a small purple haired female gnome, permanently. The shopkeeper demands 2250gp to replace the potion for his client, which Lazlo and Aywin help him pay off. They discuss buying one to turn him back, but Lerris seems less than willing to contribute his funds to the cause, saying that this might work out for him and to just let it play out for now.
The mekkgnomes who were piloting the airship drop down a ladder and speak with the party briefly, inviting them to the Steam Fleet's ship in Cog Harbor to discuss some work against the Ogre Fleet if they would be interested. Once aboard the ship the gnome explains that the Ogre Fleet bullies them and they would like them to help them get even by sabotaging their zoo ship The Thunder Lizard and letting all the dinosaurs loose. When pressed about their relationship to the Ghostfleet the gnome also offers them a possible job against them; bringing a device aboard the skeleton powered galley known as The Boneyard, which will sever the skeleton's connection and turn them to dust.
Game ends there, Aywin levels to 7 or 8? Lerris is close to level, and the cavalier also levels and takes the leadership feat.