The party receives their next mission: So switch out the cargo manifest on a ship called the Wide Wench before it makes port in Sagespire.
The party does some research and learns that the ship is currently in the south, heading north. It will pass Sagespire, dock at Crackedspine Hold, then return to Sagespire.
Acquiring horses, Pusher, Lofren, Merk, and Tallulah ride south to the small town of Saltmouth.
On the way, the party discovers a small group of bandits demanding a toll on the road. The party kills the bandits with minor difficulty. Lofren follows the bandits’ footprints back to their camp where he single-handedly subdues two more bandits and steals their ill-gotten loot. The rest of the trip south is uneventful.
Arriving in Saltmouth, the party just catch the Wide Wench being loaded for an evening departure. Pusher inquires with the captain about signing on as a passenger or member of the crew. The captain offers Pusher one spot as a passenger for a fee of 15 gold. Pusher accepts.
Meanwhile, Tallulah gets friendly with the crew, trying to draw some of them from their duties to be ambushed by Merk and Lofren. She is unsuccessful in luring away multiple men, but finds one who is willing to meet her for dinner. She informs the party that she shouldn’t have any trouble keeping him from reporting for duty at sunset.
Merk, Lofren, and Pusher go to the docks shortly before sunset, leaving Tallulah in the inn with her date. When the captain discovers one of his crew missing, he offers to let one of Pusher’s friends take the missing seaman’s place. Merk is chosen, and Lofren is left behind.
The captain decides that he will waive the fee for Pusher’s travel in exchange for not paying Merk for his service on the ship. The party agrees.
Lofren and Tallulah ride north back to Sagespire, encountering the two bandits that Lofren previously subdued. They were still working the make-shift toll station. Lofren beat the two men up again, and he and Tallulah made it the rest of the way to Sagespire in peace.
Meanwhile, on the Wide Wench, Merk went about his duties in a rather misanthropic fashion while Pusher made friends with the crew. Pusher gained the trust of the first mate, who aproached the captain and giving Pusher a trial at joining the crew.
The captain let Pusher accompany him into the Crackspine Hold dockmaster’s office, where he and the dockmaster created the new manifest. Pusher watched carefully, noticing that the captain returned the mainfest to his own cabin.
Over the next few days, the crew put Pusher to work, giving him long shifts and the worst jobs. Pusher suffered through good-naturedly, portraying that the spirit was willing but the flesh was weak.
Pusher gave Merk his gloaming armor, so that Merk would be able to turn invisible on the night of the manifest-swap.
Merk, meanwhile, scoped out the captain’s cabin, eventually finding a dark night when less competent men were on duty. He turned invisible and fey-stepped into the captain’s cabin to find him asleep. He carefully searched the captain’s desk in the dark, finding a likely locked drawer. Merk quietly picked the lock and found the leather folio containing the manifest. He replaced the real manifest with the counterfeit that Theren had provided, being careful to put it in exactly the same place that the real one had been. He mad minor trouble relocking the drawer, but eventually, the deed was done.
Looking for a way out of the captain’s chamber, Merk searched the windows, but decorative scrollwork made the latch difficult to locate in the dark. Merk decided to try the door, and snuck around to the other end of the cabin. Knowing that he was no-longer invisible, Merk looked for a key-hole or gap under the door through which he could fey-step. Unfortunately, no such option was available, so Merk was forced to pick the lock. The lock proved too difficult in the dark, so Merk carefully brought out his everburning torch, keeping most of it masked, to illuminate the lock. With the light, Merk was able to pick the lock.
Merk opened the door just wide enough to take a look around. Seeing no one on the deck, he slipped through the door and carefully locked it behind him. As he finished, a voice behind him asked what he was doing.
Merk turned around to see one of the young human crew members watching him with a puzzled expression. Merk tried to bluff the young man, but he was uncinvinced. Merk acted quickly and quietly, murdering the boy and dropping him into the black waters. Taking another look around, he seemed to have completed the deed unseen.
The next moring, the bosun interrogated each member of the crew about the young man’s disappearance, but no evidence could be found. Several days later, the Wide Wench docked in Sagespire. Pusher and Merk were asked politely to leave the ship. They were told that their services were no longer required. The first mate was disappointed that Pusher had been unable to hold his own as a sailor, but no one seemed to suspect that Pusher had alterior motives for his time aboard the Wide Wench.
The crew dispersed into the docklands of Sagespire, but the bosun called Merk back. Pusher immediately ran into an alley and got as far from the docks as possible.
The bosun acused Merk of murdering the dead crew member and tried to seize the eladrin. Merk produced a smoke bomb, disorienting the bosun, and escaped, leaving the confused sailor with a message, “remember the name, Black Hearts.”
The party presented the stolen manifest to Theren, who paid the party for their hard work.
Theren always has more jobs for his crew, but who knows what the future holds for Pusher, Lofren, Merk, Fatima, and Tallulah?