The dock was not empty when The Escape sailed into Carleon. The captured Castillian Barque had not been challenged when she came into the harbor — while she did fly the Avalonian flag, she was obviously of Castillian design, and a warship. Her Captain Sean MacEarly O’Brian, expected to have to explain himself to some wary soldiers, or at the very least a dock master, but no such men awaited at the dock. Instead, amoung a mess of barrels, crates and other supplies, stood a woman with a small entourage of eclectically dressed men.
The gangplank had barely been lowered when the woman stepped on board. She identified herself as Sybil and asked to speak privately with Sean. 10 minutes later she emerged from his cabin, and Sean ordered his crew to begin loading the supplies on the dock. Sybil invited her companions to board the ship and introduced them as Hendrik van der Vos a young man from Vendel, Dietrich an Eisen noble and his man-at-arms Thomas the Hawk an Avalonian, and lastly Ecuyer Pierre Prasse du Rachetisse young Montagine Noble. As Sybil was departing the ship, she caught sight of Agustin de la Torre and paused, seeming to recognize him. “Of course you’re here” she said… then departed.
Each for their own reasons was helping Sybil find some missing scholars in Carouse… well each except Agustin, who’d only just met her. The party spoke of their goal, but not their reasons.
They left port for Montaigne the following morning, Agustin rushing to meet the ship, having apparently spent the night in the tavern with Sybil. While the crew had been loading ship the day before Sean had recruited some Avalon sailors and this the ship was full of new faces. Some of the new faces… Dietrich didn’t care for the notion of helping to sail the ship. Sean explained to that this was an Avalon ship and Avalon treated it’s sailors as Nobility, so his blood meant nothing on this ship. Dietrich acquiesced and joined in with the crew, the only one to not carry his load was Chris K, who maintained the Montaigne Noble stereo-type of being useless.
That afternoon the Escape encountered a pirate ship at sea. The ship appeared to be hostile, but when the crew was recognized to be Avalonian they didn’t attack. The Sea Dog pirates are mostly Avalonians, and they don’t target their own.
The ship reached the small port town Cruix in Montaigne a few days later. The party’s rowboat was met at the docks by one of Sybil’s contacts, a Minister of the church. He let the party know that Cruix had been hit by a plague (not the White Plague). He also offered transportation and a cover to get into Carouse. The party put to the road on two wagons.
A few days into their travel, the party was accosted by bandits in the night. After defeating them they interrogated their leader, who turned out to be a minor noble from the small town of Lierre Vallee. He’d turned to banditry after Le Emperor had taxed his town into poverty. The party decided to spare him and give him a sizable purse of guilders to help his starving people. Thomas took his sword, marked with the symbol of the swordsman guild and said he’d only give it back if they noble had been true to his word to not attack passing merchants again. Hendrick chatted him up and made friends with the noble though the evening and the party set out the next day.
When the party finally arrived at Charouse they found a line at the gated city. All goods were being inspected before entering the city, and a ‘tax’ had to be paid. Pierre made use of his Noble Montaigne blood and got the party in the gates, they then went to a small home his family maintained in the city.
After setting up the party went to home of The Cheville de Arnauld, where Sybil had said a contact might help the party find the scholars. They encountered the lady of the house and Dietrich made an impression, offering to play her piano. They also spoke with her Valet Charles, the contact and found out where the scholars where staying and where they’d been doing research… they’d been missing for about 6 weeks.
The party (sans Agustin) headed to the homes the scholars were renting and, after paying their late rent, gained access. Inside they found 2 scrolls hidden written in a language or code they couldn’t decipher. They also noted that the clothes didn’t seem to fit a man’s frame and made the deduction that the scholars were all women.
By the time they’d searched the 4 homes, it was well into the evening. Chris K went home and the rest of the party followed Sean’s lead and they found a Avalonian themed pub. They shared some of their stories with each-other (including how Sean came to be at the helm of The Escape) and with a Drunken passerby named George. he muttered something oddly cryptic to the effect of “count the beggars.”
The party was headed back to the Rachetisse Manor when they encountered the Laurent Courbe the Steward of the house, who was apparently out looking for them. It seemed odd that he’d be out and find them, and Sean sensed that he wasn’t the pleasantest of sorts, but he escorted them home without incident.
They slept, planning to visit the university where the Scholars were doing their research the following day.