Swordcoast Adventures

Footsteps in the Dark

In which the Company of the Silvertree indulge in a little skullduggery

An extract from the Diary of Silwe Torvalin

20th of Flamerule 1371 DR

Dearest Husband, this could be the last time I write to you, for if the fates are not kind, then we will soon be together in the hereafter. Our suspicions about the mutineers have proved all too true; with the rest of the Company pretending to carouse on the main deck, I was free to prowl the bowels of the ship unmolested. I had decided to investigate the cabins of Olaf, the first mate, and of his friends, the cleric and that red-haired doxy Sherid, who calls herself a wizard, as they seem the likeliest mutineers. I managed the locks easily; I am afraid my years working for the Eye have made me all too skilled with locks and I no longer even feel shame. Sometimes I wonder if there is any of the old Silwe left; what have I become my love, and will you recognise me when we meet again?

I found evidence in the cleric’s cabin of worship of Dagon; Kyrai and the others later told me me that this watery god is only one step away from being a demon. Sherid’s cabin was more dangerous; she had enspelled her chest with a firetrap and I was careless and set it off. Luckily I was not injured, but the chest was consumed in a flaming burst. It proved to be full of gems; I thought at the time that these were the very ones the first mate had mentioned to Kyrai. As I crouched in the dark cabin I overheard Captain Von Bastion talking to Kyrai on the deck above; she was ‘asking’ for more money for she claimed to have had word of dark deeds afoot in Mintarn and wished to stand off the coast for three more days until the danger was past. As her words seemed to confirm what Olaf warned Kyrai about; that she would break her word and try to extort money out of us, I quickly gathered up the gems, hoping to use them to bargain with if events took a turn for the worst.

I then set about Olaf’s cabin and found a letter from his brother Calawishis. From the letter it seems that Olaf and his sibling are involved in some plot at Candlekeep and that he has to be there in just two days or their foul scheme will be ruined ‘for another five years’. This then, is the reason Olaf needs control of the ship, for the Maelstrom could only just make Candlekeep in time if we altered course this very night. Upon reading the letter I swore a private oath to deal with Olaf’s brother when time is convienent.

Just as I was leaving Olaf’s cabin, I was assailed by a terrible thing; a sea-monster of fiercesome aspect somehow came through the very stern of the ship and entered his cabin. I have never seen a beast so terrible, not even in Skullport; it was a horrid mass of slime and tentacles with a head like a horse. The creature tried to enspell me but I threw off the dweomer before it could take hold and ran like the wind up the companionway. The creature gave chase but I soon outdistanced the shambling horror, just as it veiled itself from common sight with another spell. Once on the upper deck I gave my account to the Captain and her crew, also blaming the creature for entering Selgae’s cabin. How easily lies trip off my tongue now husband; please forgive me!

Whilst the Captain and her crew searched below-decks for the thing, I gave the gems to Owen to hide and told the Company of my discoveries down-below. We resolved to let the Captain know about the mutiny, reasoning that although she had tried to get more gold from us, her crime was small when compared with that of Olaf and his minions. When Von Bastion stormed up the stairs, I quickly unlaced my trousers and explained, once she had finished shouting at me, that I had only been on the lower deck seeking out the jakes. She seemed satisfied with my story, though the ruse was more for Olaf’s benefit than for hers, as I did not want to force his hand before we were ready.

Once she ordered all hands below-decks, Kyrai related how he had noticed a number of the crew abstaining from the grog. At his words, my heart misgave me, for the rest of the crew were now inebriated and so could take little part in the night’s events in defence of the Captain. As we talked on the foc’sle, a crewman staggered up to us, intent on going straight over the ship’s rail. Owen and Kyrai stopped him and woke him from an enchantment by means of a bucket of seawater. He was unable to tell us anything useful, but it was clear that the foul sea-creature I saw, had beguiled him with its magic. A suspicion began to form in my mind; that this creature is a minion of Dagon and that the Cleric is also in league with Olaf and his brother. Who knows what madness this unholy trio plan but I swear on the Moon-goddess that they shall taste Thorn and Bright-Nail ere they succeed!

Quickly we ran to Von Bastion’s cabin and I finally convinced her to listen. It was the letter but most especially the gems that brought her round at the last; perhaps because the gems proved to be worthless coloured glass and also because the flamed-haired Sherid had neglected to mention them to the Captain. Clearly the bitch is also in on Olaf’s scheme and must pay for her part in this. It also seems possible that the gems are Olaf’s way to tricking the crew into aiding him; if so then I must try and turn his allies against him with the news of their worthlessness.

I have just urged the Captain to don her armour and I am hastily scribbling this now as she finally does as she is bade. Pray for me Tarek; I fear this battle will go hard with our Company and already the ship’s bell has sounded midnight; the appointed hour for mutiny. All that is certain now is that the mutineers are on their way and that we are very few who stand against them. May my grandfather’s blades serve me well this night, for both Thorn and Bright-Nail are yet naked in my hands. If I go to the Goddess, know that it was proudly, in the manner of Old my love. I must now go, for we are all now gird for war. Farewell beloved!

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