Roleplaying table top games make for great stories! The Envoys of Spark is a Dungeons and Dragons campaign created by Elyse T. Join hilarious and entertaining player characters on their voyage in an unknown world, as they try to accomplish an enigmatic mission.
The Envoys of Spark Chronicles are published every Monday! Check back for new adventures!
Checking on Things
The Etching of Undergrounds was left behind, worn by Xelif, ancient ally of Spark. Thanks to the Envoys, Xelif’s volcano is once again active, blocking the way for the Eashane Invasion to the northern kingdoms. Not wanting to meet an Eashanee reinforcements, the Waveweaver raised anchor quickly, leaving the smoking volcanic landscape behind them.
“Sea Bar!” Regor and Beatrice shouted as the ship headed northwest.
“Yes, of course we want to rest and relax for a while. But Perhaps we should stop at Miapolafa Lighthouse on the way, make sure our ex-bandits are still doing ok?” Medea seemed this time to be the voice of reason. Kohmai and Virgil also insisted that checking in might be a good idea, and the Sea Bar was promised for later.
The lighthouse already looked in better shape. The new lighthouse keepers must have been hard at work to restore it. They greeted the heroes nervously, disappointed to not have more work to show for their newly found loyalty. All the ex-bandits wore a yellow sash, displaying the symbol of the Goddess Miapolafa. They informed the heroes that the shrine, now free of bandits and of the Etching of Greed’s curse, was once again the home of a small clergy, who welcomed pilgrims. The trading post was booming with business, and a large portion of the profits was used to fix the lighthouse, as well as to help travelers and merchants. The small group of fighters now proudly called themselves protectors of the region, as the Keepers of Miapolafa, appointed by the Envoys of Spark.
The heroes were glad to see such progress was already underway in so little time. They however suggested to the new Keepers to avoid mentioning that they were allied to Spark and his Envoys, as Eashanee troops might perceive Miapolafa as an enemy. Soon, King Duzuaac’s forces would have no choice but to circle Xelif’s volcano in order to reach Dunnri to the North, and Miapolafa Lighthouse would be right on their path. The Keepers understood this, as Miapolafa had always been a neutral authority. They looked forward to perhaps making a profit from the Eashane’s passage.
Satisfied, the Envoys raised anchor and headed towards this “floating stock of organic materials and liquids” identified by the Waveweaver, affectionately dubbed the Sea Bar. The ocean was calm and each, of course except Kohmai, retired to their cabin for some rest.
A bit after midnight, the Envoys were awakened by the Waveweaver’s voice echoing across the ship:
“Alert. Unidentified cluster of embarkations ahead. Alert.”
“What’s happening?” Beatrice said, running from her cozy spot by the kitchens to the main sleeping quarters. The group ascended to the upper deck and saw in the moonlight three triremes flying no flags, surrounding a small row boat. The small embarkation had been boarded by two men, who seemed to be holding a screaming robed man by the upside down by the ankles. As the Waveweaver approached they could hear “No! No-flags leave alone mage alone as he was! No-flags, alone mage we have no treasures!”
“It sounds like that mage we set free back in the volcano,” Medea said, “we should help him.”
Regor jumped overboard and dove under the waves as the ship turned. Kohmai loaded the cannons and asked to Waveweaver to aim them for the triremes.
The no-flags quickly decided that the Waveweaver was a much more worthwhile prize than the small row boat. The triremes moved closer, aiming their own weapons in turn.
Regor reached the deranged mage and attempted to pull him into the water without nearby pirates noticing. The mage took the hint and plunged into the water, swimming towards a rope ladder Virgil had let down. He reached it and began climbing aboard, but not without drawing attention to himself. As a first trireme lost its mast and began taking on water due to cannon and wizard-of-the-first-order attacks, the survivors aimed for the rope ladder as well, trying to board the Waveweaver.
Beatrice fires small, specially designed slingshot ammunition, gift of the Waveweaver at the no-flags, Virgil played with their minds and made them imagine fire all around them, while Regor pulled some of their swimming invaders under water while laughing maniacally. Kohmai kept reloading the cannons until their fire had completely taken down two of the three triremes. Eventually the remaining unlucky pirates boarded their last broken boat and rowed desperately away.
On the Waveweaver, the mage was asked to explain who he was, and here he was going.
“We, mage of Juuls. Into Xelif’s burning stone, we fell. Xelif returned mage, kind volcano. Burns hurt, through We, Etching burned through We.
They called mage unlucky, and We became alone.
Etching, knifes in back of the King. Let me follow the voices of Etchings within palms.”
The newcomer treated each Envoy with reverence, and was delighted when he was invited to remain on the Waveweaver. A Juuls mage, whether he had been permanently affected by Etching magic or not, was still an ex-ally of Eashane, and an important source of information.
The Singing Anchovy
The Envoys reached the “Sea Bar” just as darkness fell. They came in from the cold, to The Singing Anchovy, a floating building surrounded by a few haphazard docks. The interior was lavishly decorated and lit by tinted oil lamps, giving the surprisingly relaxing atmosphere a cozy glow. A large fireplace in the centre of the room was keeping a delicious stew warm. Sitting by the fire, a beautiful young maiden was skillfully and peacefully playing a flat stringed instrument. Though the room was full of patrons, each was keeping their voice at a casual volume to not interfere with the Singing Anchovy’s mood. Even the LizardFolks the heroes noticed at the back of the room were sitting up straight, drinking herbal tea. They politely saluted the Envoys with a recognizing nod.
They were greeted by the smiling Mistress Geraldine, who wore a practical but very elegant dress, and a lace trimmed apron. She invited the heroes to a comfortable table, with an embroided table cloth and vase of dried flowers. She spoke with a gentle voice:
“Welcome, new friends. What can I serve you?”
The Envoys were unsure what to ask for, so the Mistress simply giggled and left for the kitchens. She returned with a cartful of food, four large bowls of stew, a warm loaf of bread baked with a crust of flower petals, a dish filled with neon green jam, and a bowl of seared clams with a ginger-esque aroma. The ale was lightly spiced and smooth.
Aside from the LizardFolk, the group noticed a small band of fishermen sitting close to the fire. They were drinking their ale without spilling, taking care to say please and thank you to Mistress Geraldine. Beatrice went to ask them how their business had been going, sneaking a small mention of the Miapolafa Trading Post. She enjoyed their way of relaxing with a drink, as it reminded her of home.
Near the stairwell upstairs, a man with a dusty overcoat was starring at his cooling tea.
Near a window, a young man of about 16 years of age was sitting alone, poking his food with his fork without eating it. Mistress Geraldine in passing by, reminded him that he really should eat.
In a darker area, fitted with a comfortable divan, a middle-aged woman in fancy dress sat alone as well, she stared ahead of her with a melancholic look on her face. Medea approached her respectfully, asking her what she was doing so far at sea.
An elderly woman, was in the right corner, nearest to the entrance. She was rotating a set of four crystal pyramids in front of her. Kohmai became very courious, and decided to go ask what the pyramids were for. She happily told him that she was a medium, and used the crystals to conduct séances, and contact the dead, of course, for a fee. Kohmai was a bit skeptical, as he had always understood death to mean an end.
Virgil, having overheard this, asked Mistress Geraldine:
“What sort of place is this?”
She answered respectfully: “We are a one of a kind place, sir. You must be indeed from very far away, strangers. This is the closest resting stop to Whisper Mist, where the souls of the dead travel and, we hope, find the path to the afterlife. We at The Singing Anchovy offer services to the grieving, funeral rites of all sorts, and of course, a warm atmosphere.”
It was clear that bereavement traditions in this world were different than what the Envoys were used to.
At the bar, a well-dressed man was reading a set of papers with interest. He conversed with Mistress Geraldine as she returned to her station, and Regor approached them slightly, meaning to eavesdrop.
“It seems that trading near the Miapolafa Lighthouse is popular again, we ought to be getting more customers soon,” he said.
“Truly? I heard the place was overrun with bandits, Miapolafa has become the name of Sham, not Business,” the Mistress argued.
“Things are different now, there is an authority in the area, the Envoys of Spark they are apparently called. Set the place right, now the ex-bandits are called the Keepers of Miapolafa.”
“Well that is a dangerous name to wear around, carefully not to say that out loud if I have any Eashanees in the Anchovy. Why would bandits suddenly decide to change their ways like that and devote themselves to honest trading?”
“Why not? It seems these Envoys of Spark have put them on the path to riches. And look, Eashane has already put bounties on their heads.” He showed Mistress Geraldine a set of papers. She looks at them and muffled a snort, and then looked at her new patrons, the man followed her gaze and cracked an awkward smile.
“Maybe, give our guests some rooms, in case some Eashanees do come passing through, hm?”
Mistress Geraldine walked back to the table taken up by the Envoys and casually refilled their drinks. She amicably dropped the stack of papers on the table and walked away. It was a set of Wanted Posters, distributed by Eashane authorities in the areas. They were claiming bounties of 10,000 Solems for a Pompous Wizard, and Arsonist, a Small Sneak Thief, and a Flying Frog, as well as 15,000 Solems for a Giant who may take the appearance of an Eashanee Soldier. Kohmai, when he returned to the table, was very curious as to why the bounty that seemed to be intended for him was of higher value. By the crude sketches on these posters, the Eashanees still had a weak grasp of who the Envoys actually were.
Medea was conversing with the melancholic milady:
“I’ve only been here a season, they say I could be waiting a lot longer. Either “it” comes, or I’ll simply will myself to leave, hopefully before I go mad. Have you heard them in your sleep too?”
“Excuse me, we are merely travelers in the area. But you came here waiting for something?” The confused Wizard asked.
“People come here because they have heard their deceased loved ones. The island to the north of here is named Whisper Mist and is said to be where the dead, who were not ready to die, roam until they find the strength to go on. The island is dangerous and is said to be haunted by both helpless spirts and deadly ones. Legends say that the living are sometimes called by Whisper Mist by the dead, and that sometimes, the mysteries of the island unfold, and return the dead we miss dearly back to life.
I heard it, my dear husband, he said “Whisper Mist will Open, come meet me”. Here I am, waiting for the next signal of the legend, for him to appear to me again, this time to say that Whisper Mist is open, so that I may venture across the waters and find my lost love. Only then, supposedly, will it be safe for me to set foot on Whisper Mist.
It is very risky to venture on Whisper Mist, for this reason, many typically ignore the call, and leave their dead be. Many who claim to have hear the final call and departed for the island never returned, and only in legend is it claimed that the dead actually return. To me, however, whether I am reunited with my husband in life, or afterlife, it is all the same.”
“Is there anything, perhaps, that we, my friends and I, could do?” Medea asked.
The woman hesitated, then pointed at the elderly woman Kohmai had spoken to.
“The old woman there, she claims to be a medium, who can channel the voices of the inhabitants of Whisper Mist. She has offered to perform a séance for me, so that I may perhaps contact my husband…but I am afraid. I do not want to go through this alone. Would you please take part?”
Medea agreed that the Envoys would be present for the séance.
It was getting late and the group decided to take up Mistress Geraldine’s invitation for rooms. Kohmai, uncertain about the solidity of the Anchovy, asked Mistress Geraldine for something high up, and was taken to the Observation Room. The room was a study with a comfortable bed in a corner, and a spy-glass mounted at the window. Kohmai made himself comfortable, and could not resist looking at the northern island, the mysterious Whisper Mist, when the Anchovy was fast asleep. On the shores of the island, through the spy-glass, Kohmai was sure he spotted dark silhouettes, roaming the beaches languidly.