The heros continued the last leg of their ocean voyage to M'Chek. Captain Garrack informed them that they would be putting into port at the capital city of Mikona. He explained to them that once there, they would be on their own with no assistance. However, he told them to feel free to dispatch any messengers to the Kurathene Empire should they find any evidence of slave trading occurring in the city.
This conversation was interrupted by the sighting of a ship on the horizon.... the ship bore a striking resemblance to the slave ship which took the heros to the Seven Cities against their will. Garrack noted this as well, and made the decision to attack this ship even though he was somewhat low on crew. After a brief battle, most of the orcs, and one ogre on the ship were killed. They had a mage on board for defense, but that was taken out swiftly by an arrow from Orianna. Once the ship was looted, and the slaves were freed, the heros set off. Ari found a curious, and familiar gem on board the slave ship. It was a clear, quartz-like prizm. She somehow knew what it was, but she couldn't quite put her finger on it. While taking a nap later that day, she remembered that there was a word associated with the crystal. When she woke up, she held the crystal and tentatively said the command word. A bright beam of light appeared to shine from the crystal. After some tinkering and some help from Andrinor, they figured out that the direction of the beam of light could be controlled mentally.
Soon, they docked in Mikona and disembarked after saying their goodbyes to Garrack. The first order of business from there was to get past the customs agents. They were a little hesitant about letting elvinkind into the city, but the party members each decided to give them about 5 golden reasons why they should be let in. The next order of business was to find a place to settle. They decided that since they were in a strange city, it would be good to stick togethor until they each got their bearings. Upon sighting an Inn, they approached it only to find a man hunched over in the alley. The man turned out to be Andreion, Van's mentor. He was in pretty bad shape from a poison dagger stuck in his side. While he was dying, he said his goodbyes to Van, and told her that after leaving the Seven Cities, he decided to investigate the slave trade in M'Chek. He must have gotten too far in his inquiries because a Dominator of Valok found him and told him that his inquiries would end. Before that he found out why Valok's men attacked him.... the head cleric of Valok, Mandaharuk, has decided to help Lord Dagroth store and sort slaves in an effort to take over some of Arvanos' land way up in the Kurathene Empire. Lord Dagroth is power hungry and eager to settle new areas, and Mandaharuk of Valok was none to happy to oblidge him his request for some unknown reason. Andreion also handed the heros an invitation to a party at Dagroth's palace commemorating the Spring governmental session.
The heros decided that they would need to get into this party and find out more, and hopefully avenge Andreion. Orianna left to get forgeries. Ari left to find out where Dagroth's palace was located. Vanoviel left to try to get a job at Dagroth's palace as an easy entry to the party, after stopping off to make friends with a cleric of Mikon. The cleric told him the general layout of the theologies present in Mikona. Andrinor left to find anything he could get his hands on, and to get a lay of the city.
The party members then met up back at the inn with their new forgeries. Van left immediately to go report for work. The party was the next day.
At the party, there were many festive events. Van walked around serving drinks while Orianna listened in on conversations. Each member of the party was able to piece togethor small amounts of information. Van learned by flirting wtih Mandaharuk that something was suspicious between him and Dagroth. Orianna confirmed that Dagroth was asking Mandaharuk to store some slaves in the bottom of his temple before they could be covertly shipped out at night. The cleric agreed. He also mentioned his attack plans for Arvanos, and that shortly he would begin sending slaves to the basement.
At that point it got ugly. Party members were being clandestinely attacked at the party. They had to flee, but on their way out they ran into the Dominator that killed Andreion.
After a short and brutal exchange of blows, the heros realized they were outmatched. They beat a hasty retreat back to the Inn where they left their weapons and armor. The Dominator was in hot pursuit, and he would have caught them if he was not delayed by a darkness spell from Andrinor which was centered on his sword... the same one used by Ari's family for generations.
Once they retrieved their gear, they had lost the Dominator. Van decided to head back to the temple of Mikon to tell the cleric what happened to them, and maybe get some assistance with the Dominator. The cleric received them well, but he said that he would not interfere in such affairs. At that point, the Dominator caught up to the party while they were exiting the temple. A grand fight ensued on the steps. Ari, and Orianna pelted the warrior with their bows, and Andrinor with his crossbow. Van waded in and engaged. It was hard fought because of the wounds the party members received from their first encounter. But because of the healing they got from the cleric of Mikon, and Van they managed to pull through.... the Dominator was slain.
The END: Chapter 4
[Edited on 2/13/02 by Orleron]