Eberron PbP Story Hour – Chapter 3: Sharn rain is a hard rain
As the shocked heroes made their way down the ladders, Ilyra stopped to look at the device attached to a hook on the roof. It seems the warforged was wearing a belt that had a 10-foot rope attached to it. The other end of the rope went into a retracting device that latched to a hook on the roof. She picked it up and made her way back to the car.
She arrived to see everyone back in the car, surveying the damage.
“I don’t suppose any of you can re-glaze the window?” asked Jebber. “If not, let’s find a conductor and see if they’ve got a spare.”
Ilyra turned red in the face and started pacing the floor, hers hand gesturing dramatically. “Why is re-glazing the window a priority? Someone tried to kill, disable, or… whatever the warforged, and it could have been us. It obviously had something to do with Master Geldem, because of those ‘last words.’ What was that?!?!?! Am I the only one here really scared about it??”
Lealani put a hand on Ilyria’s arm to calm her. “It may be upsetting but it’s not a surprise. Why else would he call us all together? And the way he did it was rush, totally not like him. Still, we need to notify the engineers what happened here.”
Shrapnel spoke. “Suspicious for good reason, he looked at the falling warforged as the train sped by. For what reason had he attacked, and why did he go after the other warforged who had been sitting completely alone? Did he get on the train normally, or did he jump on at some point? Why had he said what he said? Shrapnel turned to the others and asked…”
No one said a word.
“It should also be taken into consideration that someone among this group had more knowledge of the attack. It is not entirely incomprehensible that one of these individuals was, in fact, on the attacker’s side… and had simply been denied an opportunity to show his true colors. The warforged became suspicious of those around him, though he kept quiet for now. If there was a villain among them, it may become imperative to remain quiet on the matter till the list of suspects could be narrowed down. The warforged appeared disinterested, and did not say anything at all to the idea that someone here might know more.”
Lealani looked to the others than back to the Warforged and laughed. She spoke loudly in his
direction, “You do realize you’re malfunctioning, yes? Were you on your way to Geldam to be fixed?”
“Malfunctioning? How could she tell? Almost all physical signs of damage had been… hidden… under a fresh coat of paint. Perhaps she knew why the warforged was here by other means. Had there been any mention of his intentions? No… there were not. Perhaps she was in alliance with the other attacker. All things considered, there we should avoid raising any alarms. It would be appropriate to come up with a story then. Yes. A story…”
Shrapnel made a bunch of handwavy gestures, but didn’t say anything.
“It looks like they bought it… with some luck. If the woman had some outside knowledge to claim that something said was a lie, it would be easy enough to dismiss. This way, it should be easy to test.”
Shrapnel’s monologues helped to break the tension in the car. With a sigh, Ilyra calmed down a bit and tried to rationalize the attack, but without any clear conclusions
“Let’s see, the attacker knew about Master Geldem, and knew exactly what car to attack. It probably knew we were all going to see him. Now, I don’t believe it thought we were as many as six, because as soon as it saw us all it ran away. Maybe it believed Master Geldem called for someone but not all of us? Maybe it knew why Master Geldem called us? Or maybe it wasn’t really trying to kill us, but to scare us?”
While mumbling all those theories, Ilyra followed Lealani to warn the train engineers what happened. They were able to find one of the train employees and he apologized profusely for what happened. They gladly gave the group another car to stay in and blocked off the old one while they fixed it.
“Now what?” Ilyra asked as they got settled into their new car. “Shall we resume our intention to eat and talk about what happened over dinner?”
Kolthak spoke up gruffly. “I could do with a drink after that. And next time I’m staying in the bloody train!”
The group, sans Shrapnel, made its way to the dining car, hesitating slightly for any signs of attack. Once settled, Lealani decided to start the conversation.
“We might as well get to know each other better then. Where is everyone from?” she asked between bites.
Rathan spoke first, “I am from a small hamlet here in Breland that goes by the name Freebird. I am, err was, the blacksmith there.”
“That’s very interesting, is that a family business?”
“It is. My father taught me and his father taught him. My family is disappointed that I have chosen to leave and seek a life of adventuring.”
Jebber spoke up. “Perhaps you’ll return some day, with new insight. That’s my plan, at least.” The smile he gave Rathan could only be described as “gnomic”.
“Perhaps. I would like to be able to return one day with enough to allow my family to live well for the rest of their days.”
“Are times hard in your village?”
“Times are hard everywhere, are they not? The war has taken a toll on all.”
Kolthak grimly nodded. “Some more than others though. Cyre took the worst of the brunt, and some Houses came out if it very well indeed.”
“I wonder if we’ll ever know the truth behind the ruin of Cyre,” said Jebber. “My own home in Zilargo was largely untouched, though through the stories of many travelers I understand we were unusually lucky in being spared.”
Lealani just nodded, making no comment on the talk of the war. She then smiled, “I suppose a life of adventuring is an exciting way to spend your days, rather than toil away in a hot forge. Me, I’m looking for some life experience.” Her smile widened, “And some fun.”
After a couple of more days travel, the heroes finally pulled into the Sharn rail station. For those of who had never been to Sharn before, the city was surely a sight to behold. Curtains of water fell from the sky as they traversed the labyrinthine walkways of Sharn. The stone and wooden paths wound around and between the towers and spires high above the ground, forming a complex latticework that could be very confusing on evenings such as this. The rain fell hard, running off higher walkways and balconies in drenching waves, making it difficult to see much more than a few feet ahead. The distant glow of everbright lanterns, barely visible in the soaking gloom, did little to light the paths on this warm, wet evening. They made your way towards the designated meeting place; a skybridge in the upper city.
Shrapnel began to speak. “As I arrived in this strange city of men, I pondered how it was that such perilous, high, strange structures could exist. What sort of technology could create such things in the same world that something like me might be created? How can such monoliths exist, and yet I sit here, perilously damaged beyond repair? I remained silent on the matter. Better not to reveal my naiveté and ignorance of such things to these strangers. Yes, I would follow them, without muttering single word, and wait for my opportunity to confront one Bonal Geldam.”
Just as Shrapnel finished, Rathan shouted and pointed ahead of them. “”Look there! Someone just jumped off a skybridge!”
“What?” Lea whipped her head around to try and see what was happening. “Is it like the warforged that jumped off the train down the gorge a couple of days ago?”
“It was too dark to tell.”
They ran as fast as they could to the skybridge, which spanned the distance between platforms attached to the sides of two different towers — Dalannan Tower and the Kelsa Spire. A body lay on the floor of the bridge, and they saw a mixture of rain and blood pooling around it. A leather satchel, still clutched tightly in the body’s hand, lay in the expanding puddle of water and gore.
They moved up to the body and everyone immediately recognized him; it was Bonal Geldam, the one who had requested they all meet him in Sharn.