Session 6: Frito Lei

Day 18; Kip's 17th birthday; Early Summer; August 10, 2023

As the Dawn's Light approaches the eastern edge of the world, both Kip and Bessie become agitated by the cold. Barnabas knows that Bessie has plenty of blubber to get through even the coldest of winters, but Kip is a cold-blooded insectoid, and might have a little more trouble. They burn some seaweed to keep him warm for the time being, while Frito, Little Johnny, and Ren fly out to investigate the seas ahead.

In the distance, the seas are blocked by icebergs of various sizes. Bessie in particular will have difficulty getting through without injuring herself. Ren also spots two islands: one perfectly round, and covered in green grass and quaint houses, and one longer, hanging over the edge of the world, with a small halfling village and a small village built partly underground. Barnabas offers to pilot the ship through the icebergs, but is refused, and Johnny takes up the role instead, with help from Ren flying above. Though Johnny impressively navigates the icebergs, as soon as they are through the field, a new threat emerges: a swarm of sharp-toothed quippers that seem intent on eating through the boat's hull. Johnny tries to gun it to the round island, but the quippers make short work of the ship, and it once again crash lands on the beach.

On the round island there are five homes:

The crew first heads to the house with the flower garden. They are greeted by a middle-aged halfling with flowers in her hair and a friendly demeanor, who introduces herself as Ella Amida, Order of Water and Platinum. Ella explains that the main island, called Easternwall, is being uncooperative, and not letting her or her merchant colleagues do any business. Oliver convinces her to give them some flowers as bait, so that the Order of Empty Sky will see the quality of their wares and allow them to set up shop. Ella also notes that the orcs on Easternwall have a boat, which they use to ferry messages and people back and forth between the two islands.

Ren decides to head to Easternwall to meet the orcs and see if they'll be willing to help out in some way. She seeks out Chief Tama, the leader of the orcs, while the rest of the group heads to the stone tower and meets Vikram Ashila, who looks like a wizard but claims not to be. According to Ella, he sells containers - boxes, bags, etc. He even knows Marinus Samaritas, who "sold" Laverne to Ren. Vikram is less friendly than Ellen, but has the same complaint about the Order of Empty Sky. The crew says that they acquired one of Ren's boxes on board their ship, which sparks Vikram's interest, and he buys it for a whopping 35 Pearls and two buckets.

They then move on to the house with the wooden balcony, where they meet Tax Gandara, a woodcarver, who agrees to work Marto's pocket watch into a staff, and may be able to help with the wrecked boat as well, though they will need the help of Constantine Pel, who sells raw materials.

Chief Tama has welcomed Ren to his orcish family, and offers to help however he can. He knows where to get the Smokeweed that allows the orcs to cross the ocean without getting wrecked by the quippers. However, when Ren reveals that her knowledge of the Termite Folk goes deeper than average, he becomes a little defensive, but then slips up, revealing that the Order of Water and Platinum is trying to establish a base of operations in Easternwall, and that the Order of Empty Sky will not let them. He doesn't know exactly what they are up to, but asks Ren to keep his secret, since the orcs are hoping to maintain neutrality. His people are split, some of them wanting to remain on good terms with Water and Platinum in case they take over, and others remaining loyal to their original lords, the Order of Empty Sky. Ren offers to help them resolve their stalemate (though she doesn't specify how), in exchange for health potions.

Ren returns as the crew are visiting the final home, belonging to Nala Dan, who is a mason. She has a harsh, demanding personality, and seems to have more difficulty retaining her appearance as a merchant compared to the others. She gets caught up in a story about religion when asked about the Old Gods worshipped by the Scooters, and instead tells them about Simba, god of life, who takes the form of a great ape with flames for his head. She leads them in a prayer (which she might have made up on the spot), but the crew eventually manages to get her to move the islands closer together so they can deal with the Order of Empty Sky - she tells them all they have to do is find a machine, and pull a lever.

Barnabas opens up a little bit, noting that none of these people can be trusted, and confirming that the Old Gods correspond to the five clans, who also correspond to the five Schools of Creation:

While getting the boat back in shape with the help of Constantine Pel, Ren hatches a plan to find out more about what's really going on here. She claims to be looking for the bathroom, and goes back to Constantine's house, where she finds a secret door under the couch. This leads to a chamber containing many floating balls of light, which have different magical effects. Oliver soon follows after, and is also fascinated by the lights. Beyond this room are several signs pointing out the names of the inhabitants of other domiciles on the island, and a sign pointing to the "control room", assumed to be the controls for moving the island.

Rather than continuing to explore, they return to the others, and then head across to Easternwall. There, they run into a businesshalfling who is apparently running late, but they ask for directions, and are told to go talk to Foreman Scylax, in the big hill overlooking the edge of the world. The foreman and the other board members are discussing the orcs, but they stop when the crew comes in, and switch to a discussion about economics. The foreman claims that the Order of Water and Platinum has refused to follow protocol, so they simply cannot be allowed to set up shop and act independently with no oversight, for the good of the citizens. Ren once again performs reconnaissance, and finds a catwalk out back leading to another entrance. They decide to deal with it in the morning; in the meantime, they take up residence at the home of Leonard of Facula, the halfling who was running late. Tomorrow? Maybe tomorrow they'll pull the lever.