The Grinder

With high priestess Carol Saagan of Celestian accompanying us on our journey to the stars, we learned a bit more about our universe than we had hoped or imagined. Our first day out after our jaunt to Nyrond had her by the window gleefully talking about the sun, Liga, our two moons and how our universe was geocentric in nature. Educational to all, it packed a rather dull two days with a question and answer discussion on the bridge of the ship while I sat happily on the helm. Amongst the stars of Greyspace, Rainiar was put at ease only slightly. The rest took turns looking out the windows through a telescope Carol brought with her or watched the illusion light display of the universe provided by the helm.

With a day of rest around Luna, or Raenei to some, Ivorian tried to soothe Rainiar’s mind with stories of how the moon was covered in untouched forests and mega-fauna. This seemed to do the trick. With this done, Ivorian retired to his quarters to study his spell books and consult star charts he had purchased in Greyhawk. In the morning, we set our sights on a settlement called Freeport on an asteroid called Ceres in the asteroid belt called The Grinder. The saddle shaped rock had a large round lake where ships could land with buildings crowding the shores. Once we landed, we found the only tavern and inn with a curious, yet friendly beholder bartender!

Rainiar suggested we find a bard to record our tales of adventure. With everyone in agreement, we were pointed to a strange, brightly painted building on the edge of the settlement by the beholder bartender. The Reigar couple were of a race of androgynous artists that inhabited the brightly colored home. While friendly and hospitable, they declined to leave their home and pointed to another asteroid populated by dwarves. With Kel and Pholtharian behind in the bar, the rest of the group journeyed to Motherload, the dwarven settlement. That’s when we had an unexpected visit…

A large oak door, framed with demonic carvings appeared in the bridge room of our ship. Rainiar knocked on the door and we could hear distant footsteps coming toward the door. The door opened and within stood Iggwilv! Insisting that we were in no danger, she thanked us for destroying her simulacrum below the ruins of Castle Greyhawk and bid us to come inside. Reluctantly, and only after a strange insect-like demon was sent away, did we agree to sit at the witch’s table. It seems Iggwilv had a series of jobs for us, if we wanted it, to collect locks of her hair from her former lovers. While we declined to say whether or not this interested us, she gave us a lantern we could use to communicate with her. Tirion questioned the witch about the Spelljammer and she told us a little about the life cycle of the living ship, which shed some light on what we might potentially explore. Iggwilv explained, after she chided us for such a simple request for a reward, that the Spelljammer flits between the crystal spheres searching for it’s captain. It orbits the largest fire body of that system for months, waiting for her captain to show, while it soaks up the warmth. Once a captain arrives, the garden ship shuts it’s doors and a great famine erupts, causing much strife. Months later, the Spelljammer gives birth to many small ships and leaves the universe. Satisfied with this tale, we left, placed the lantern in Echo’s chest cavity for… safe keeping… and returned to our ship through the strange door. With that, the door disappeared.

Once we nearly reached an orbiting dwarven citadel circling Motherload, the dwarven ships escorted us to their outpost and asked us what business we had there. After they knew we weren’t claim jumpers and we only wanted to employ a bard, the dwarves practically threw a human bard at us named Alphonse. While not from Oerth, he informed us he was from a distant planet called Ginsel in our solar system and had the misfortune of being abandoned by his adventuring group on the dwarven rock. On our way back, Rainiar gave Alphonse an additional task of coming up with a new name for the group! Another task taken off of my shoulders and I couldn’t be more pleased.

Back in Freeport, Kel and Pholtharian chatted up three adventurers who were bound for the outer reaches and planned on landing on the Spelljammer in search of treasure. While this initial meeting went well and some information was exchanged, Kel felt that they weren’t telling us everything and were withholding some key information. With the group reunited, a dance began between our group and this group of ruffians from Ratik… if that was surely where they hailed from, began. The Blackbird Trading company invited us aboard their ship and then asked to see our ship. It was clear they were sizing us up and from the collections of weaponry on their ship, they were a formidable force. Knocking our helm as just a “minor” one, the female captain began to brag about her bejeweled eye-patch. She called it an “Ultimate Helm” and showed us how she could control her ship with her thoughts from within the walls of our ship.

That’s when Rainiar and Pholtharian hatched a rather crazy plan and began to scry on their group to find out if our mistrust was well placed. The pirates, not only wanted to land on the Spelljammer, but they wanted to seize control of it. Our ruse began as Pholtharian proposed a purchase any magical items they might want to part with while he sent his mephit familiar over to their ship to rob it blind. A well placed charm spell from Echo’s helmet began the plan to divide and conquer. Kel purchased a brooch which produced breathable air and Pholtharian buying a ring of telekinesis, then dropped the ruse while Rainiar bungled a baleful polymorph spell on the female pirate with the eyepatch, transforming her into a chipmunk-human hybrid. Seeing this, Pholtharian rectified the matter by changing her into a canary and placed her in a bone cage provided by Rainiar. Pholtharian used an illusion to imitate the female captains voice asking for help with carrying the gold, sending each man in to meet Tirion’s arrows of doom. Our gold was put back in the vault.

Thankfully Carol was in her room reading, but Alphonse the bard had all he could bear and scuttled off to his room and shut and locked the door. With the pirates unable to flee without their captain’s eyepatch, a sizable treasure mentioned above and several swords purloined by the mephit, and their captain now in the form of a canary in a cage, we now had to figure out what our next move was to be. Ivorian decided to let the group discuss their plans and retreated to his private quarters with a smashing headache.



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