Our story began in the town of Harnemen. While many of the great ports of Arnor have been taken by the control of the queen, Harnemen remains as one of the few independent cities in The Frozen Seas. Everything there, from the trade ships that sail in from interplanar colonies through the North Gate to the shipbuilding and fishing industries that have kept the town alive is run by the discrete mercenary group known as The Golden Claw. Their political movements and methods of control over the town are so long and complex that it does not suffice to reveal them in this story, but it is safe to say, anyone that passes through Harnemen does not leave untouched by the Claw.
This story begins, like many stories of travel and adventure during this day and age, with a ship arriving at port after a long journey on the open seas. Two men aboard that ship, a human known as Pyter Darkwater and an elf by the name Adder, went through more than any other sailor arriving that day. These two individuals were members of a ship, The Carronna Mariner, an Arnorian Caravel, who had just returned to Arnor after a month long journey exploring and cataloging the Barrier Islands to the southwest. While this ship was among many when it left port, officially, none of them truly made it back from the trip. Month long journeys aboard ships such as the Mariner wear away at the minds and bodies of crewmen, and if a captain cannot temper this rising anger, then many crews take action. On the way back from the journey a mutiny led by the cook, a gruff human of the name Olivar Droverston, took the ship out of the hands of the captain and his first mate, Pyter and left them as well as several other crew members, including Adder, stranded in the Barrier Islands. A passing Arnorian merchant ship eventually spotted them and offered to bring them back to port after two days.
With one of the last snows of the winter lightly coating Harnemen in a layer of frost, the determined first mate without a ship and the lookout without a crow’s nest set off into the streets of Harnemen determined to set things right. Several days later, salvation was found, nailed to a post in the dockyard. “By Royal Decree,” it read “Her magesty, Queen Araella the Navigator calls upon all able bodied men and woman to hunt down and bring her the body of the dread pirate Olivar Droverston dead or alive.” It also included a significant reward and the official seal of the press of Harnemen.
Armed with the necessary knowledge to find and kill the man who ruined his career, Pyter set forth to gather a crew and secure a ship from the many people of Harnemen. There seemed to be no shortage of people waiting for a way out of the town or a way to earn a wage. Siladen Nalasita, a Gith Psion who had recently arrived through the North Gate, was quite willing to put his psionic prowess to use on the high seas. In the local tavern Kuno, a strong willed and skilled minotaur warden who escaped bondage from the Stygian slave trade some time in the last few months, and a pyromaniac half elf by the name of Blaze Firesteel with a penchant for hard liquor, were found and willing to aid the party in this venture. Many other willing crewmembers were also found and recruited for this journey.
The local dockmaster, or rather the apprentice to the dockmaster, saw potential in this band and agreed to fund their journey as an investment claim. 500g would buy them a ship and supplies, and they would return with a treasure of 13,000 gp to pay off their debt. Now armed with a ship and a crew, The party christened their new Arnorian Sloop “The Winter’s Maiden” and set off for Droverston’s last known location, the port of Demon’s Fall.