After his cargo ship was ambushed by pirates on its way to Tradewind City, Sha’thys, a rarely seen Shadar-kai ranger, rode the current of the river for nearly an entire day until seen by a group of four “Whisper Thugs.” They brought him to a Genasi paladin by the name of Trillix, who did what he could to heal and bring hope to the starved and half dead ranger.
Sha’thys felt a strange sense of relief as his wounds mended together and life washed throughout his body. The Shadar-kai do not fear death, but embrace it, and this new found sensation of hope was beginning to take Sha’thys’ mindset to a new reality. His first thought concerned his father in Tradewind. The thought that his ship had been on its way to his father’s shop in Tradewind City made him fear the worst. He didn’t know what the pirates knew of his father, if anything.
Sha’thys snapped back into reality and addressed his current situation. He knew he was in some sort of a temple with a Genasi staring him in the eye. Behind him, he saw a Githyanki and a Shade, another race from the Shadowfell. This brought a level of peace to him as of fear of blatant discrimination. After much conversation between the group, Sha’thys thanked them for their help and announced his quest to go to Tradewind City in search of his father. The other three promptly offered their assistance. The Shade, a swordmage named Thanatos, felt obligated to help a fellow member of the Shadowfell.
As Sha’thys exited the temple, he looked around trying to find his whereabouts and which direction he needed to go in order to reach Tradewind. A halfling in a carriage pulled by two horses stopped just short of Sha’thys and noticed his discomfort.
“Ye seem to be lost, stranger!” the halfling yelled.
“Aye, I make way for Tradewind City,” Sha’thys respectfully responded.
“Well, what a coincidence! I make a round trip selling my goods to Tradewind and happen to be on my way there now. A mere three days work will get you four hundred gold pieces if you can protect me and my goods from the bandits along the way. They seem to be growing in number!”
“Three days? Tradewind is such a distance?” Sha’thys asked in surprise.
“It is. Do ye accept? I’m heading out now,” the halfling said with obvious impatience.
Sha’thys looked back to his group and said, “This seems to be our best course. Riding a carriage may not be as fast as walking ourselves but we will save energy along the road. I’m going to accept. If you wish to come along, you are more than welcome.” They accepted.
The second day came with minimal trouble. An attack of ravenous and starving wolves was but of little importance and the newly hired mercenaries were able to dispose of them with minimal effort. The group knew that trouble was still to come. The halfling had spoke of bandits along the road and being that they were nearing the end of their journey, they knew some would be coming along soon enough.
They veered around a bend to find a fallen tree across the road with a heavily armored mercenary oddly wielding a blade from the Tradewind armory. The mercenary and his other thugs swiftly attacked, killing the halfling and the four “Whisper Thugs” who were following closely behind the carriage. Defenigma, the Githyanki Wizard, took aim to the archers perched in the trees proceeded to cast endless spells causing electric pulses to surge throughout all of them at once. The battle ended with the decapitation of the two orc swordsman the mercenary kept close and the knock out blow dealt by Trillix.
Sha’thys took his rope and tied the mercenary up to begin an interrogation. The group was able to find that this mercenary was once a lowly ranked guard in the Tradewind military and was only following orders to provide for his family as given by his “Sergeant.” They knew by the intense fear in his eyes that he was telling the truth and was only trying to earn his share of money.
Sha’thys tied up the mercenary to a tree and left him. They agreed it was best to leave him near the road so he may be found again but he would not be able to harm or rob any other unfortunate enough to come into his path.
The group reached Tradewind City by nightfall. The large gates were closed for the night so Thanatos suggested they make camp for the night and try to enter by morning. Just then, a small halfling whispered from the shadows, just out of sight of the doorway.
“Hey! You guys trying to get into the city? I can show you a way!”
Trillix was obviously not impressed by the halfling’s small stature or the tone in his voice. He knew he was probably a thief by his looks alone, but he seemed to be a small time thief and didn’t want to cause trouble, but genuinely show off his stealthy skills to others who may me stealthy as well. Trillix urged the rest of the group not to go with the halfling, but they resisted his wisdom and ventured forth closely behind him. Sha’thys put finding his father as top priority and needed to be in the city immediately.
The halfling brought them to a large crack in the great wall outside of the city. He climbed up the wall and peaked back down to urge them it was safe to come. Sha’thys eyed him suspiciously but climbed stealthily into the crack. The room he enter was nearly empty. A few boxes covered spots on the floor; it was perhaps used as a storage room. The rest of the group climbed up and Sha’thys led the charge right behind the halfling as quietly as he could.
The halfling, Sha’thys, and Thanatos treaded over the wooden floor without making a sound, but Trillix, followed by Defenigma, was not as stealthy. He lost his footing and put his full weight into the door, crashing through, alerting a guard who was eating, as they entered the mess hall of the guardsman barracks. The halfling ran back through the crack they came from screaming and Trillix, infuriated by his mistake, charged towards the guard and let himself roar in attempt to intimidate the guard. The guard lifted his hand and wiped the saliva from his face and yelled, “Intruders!”
“Damn it, Trillix!” the group yelled.
They drew their weapons eagerly and waited, debating amongst themselves if they should attack or not. Sha’thys, bored with excessive talking, let his arrows free from the greatbow’s grasp and watched as his perfectly straight shots were easily deflected by the guard. The guard blocked and parried his way through all of the attacks, none finding their mark and none proving to be even the slightest challenge. A group of six more guards charged into the room surrounding Sha’thys and his three companions. “Put down your weapons!” The leader of the guards yelled.
Seeing that they were obviously outmatched in this battle, the group did as they were told.
“Shoulda listened to me,” said Trillix.
The group was sentenced to a public hanging to take place or they could fight for their life in a series of four arena matches. As they entered their cell, they noticed that all of the other cells were empty except for one, the one right next to theirs. Inside was a water Genasi named Valshelar. He told the group the city guard was turning into a racist colony against anything that wasn’t human ever since the new captain of the guard, Darkoth, was brought into power. This concerned Sha’thys since his father owned his shop in Tradewind and never left the city to work the shop so they never had to hire other employees.
Valshelar was sentenced to two arena matches for his freedom. His first was already won, his second was about to begin. They pulled all of them, including Valshelar out of their cells and brought them up to the arena grounds. As they were separated, Sha’thys had an idea that they were to be fighting each other. A four-versus-one match seemed hardly fair, but that was his sentence. The Genasi knew he would not live through this battle but understood that the others had no choice if they wanted their own freedom. As Sha’thys’ arrows pierced through his chest, he asked Thanatos to find his wife and tell her that he fought as hard as he could for his freedom. The life fled from Valshelar’s eyes as the group was escorted back into their cell.