The wrap up continued this meeting, sort of the denouement as we made the trip home. The question of the flying barge was discussed at length (the write up doesn't go into detail) but it was decided to sell the damned thing and be done with it - we're adventurers, not merchants.
Write up follows:
It was Icemonth the 6th and the party and our hirelings were exhausted after being drained by the enchanted barge as it flew us over Midway’s Crossing before landing a mile or so further downriver. Healing was dispensed and we broke for lunch, taking care of our passengers as well. We anchored on the south side of the river again to avoid any northern observance and to keep the center of the river clear since the odd tree and detritus was still shaking loose from the log jam we had flown over.
By 12 we felt better but opted to wait longer, strapping down more of the boxes and gear as well as chatting with the passengers we had saved so far. Finally, Steiner took over the barge as 2 and we continued our way eventually towards Brewer’s Bridge and home. We stayed low and near the shallows, not wanting to push the rowers and attract attention.
By 4 we were coming to view of River Watch (Last Town) and after discussing our over laden barge and the difficulty we’ve been having getting it underway as well as aloft, the decision was made not to stop or slow down, but to continue on and leave anyone still there behind. Plus, we know as Sir Balderi had garrisoned this keep and being as he was associated with the defunct leadership and guild aspects of Varohelm, it was another reason to avoid any encounters.
We took the barge up to 15’ and passed by the keep (ruined) and town (also ruined) spotting a few plumes of smoke and a half dozen or so survivors at the keep pointing to us and calling for us to stop. We pressed on and the miles drifted away. By sunset we had come upon the edge of Darkenwood and with the plains of Argos ahead of us, we once more brought the barge to anchor and rested for the night.
It took 2 more days of rowing downstream, the Black Water River showing many signs of its flooding and subsequent ebbing some days ago. There were spots where fisher’s huts and small thorps of riverfolk were just wiped away. Even now, many days later, broken trees and detritus floated its way downriver. By the afternoon of the 8th we arrived at the wrecked dock and bridges of Brewer’s Bridge.
The city had suffered from the flooding waters and from the longshoreman’s accounts, the kraken assault as well. River traffic was at a standstill, many caravans just couldn’t proceed there were almost no serviceable large barges available. Ours was nice (not to mention the fact that it could fly), but it was more for personal use and not major transport. However, given the dire needs from Brewer’s Bridge and points beyond, any transport was welcome.
The survivors of Varohelm left with our good thanks and appreciation. We left some of our people on board as we established docking protocol with the wharfmaster and the fact that we didn’t want anyone to see our treasures and goods.
What happened over the next two days was a cataloging of all the riches we had brought back and then a rough approximation of value on what we could. Shares were doled out and coins were tabulated. We left Nyssa’s body here and paid for her funerary rites, the same was done with Corane Halfblood and Dugan Fartooth. Bonus money was paid to both the porter and torchbearer and we gave them our thanks and well wishes.
Corane was going to join us on our trip back to Shakun, there being little here to keep him in place at Brewer’s Bridge. Prices were already beginning to rise and certain goods were in short supply. We did get an audience with the Viscount and after giving him a measured and cautiously omitted accounting of what had happened and what we had seen, the conversation then turned to our future.
Some dealing went on for a time and he settled on offering us a heavily reinforced wagon and oxen to make the trip home, and homesteaded us 72 acres at Shakun for a period of three years tax-free maintenance in exchange for the barge. We weren’t going to emigrate to Brewer’s Bridge so for us, it made sense.
We were then made aware of another disturbing fact – it seems that after the passing of the Kraken, the touched priests of Zeus were unable to call upon the miraculous touch of the king of the gods. In fact, the situation was much further spread than just Brewer’s Bridge according to aviaries that were still coming in. This also included the healing elixirs, draughts, and potions that filled the apothecists vaults – they simply did not have the healing effect that had once been their hallmark.
With this new information in mind we bid farewell to Brewer’s Bridge on Icemonth the 10th at 9 AM and began the trek home with our treasures, hirelings still in tow, wagon, and Sky Chariot. We hoped the weather would hold long enough for us to make Marbledale before sunset.