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There are posters up inside Ms. Eva’s Saloon and the Blue Bridge Inn within the floating city of Aeraveska. They’re from an old woman who is looking for help finalizing her deceased husband’s estate. She writes that she wants to donate a lot of the items to the Mechanist’s Guild, so they can melt them down and use the scrap to continue repairing the city. It’s a simple job, just labor intensive–though it pays alright.
Should you go meet with the old woman who’s offering the job, you’ll find she lives in the wealthy district of Aeraveska, known as Old Glin’s Docks. When you arrive at her considerably well-maintained house (compared to the rest of the rusting city), a middle-aged maid will open the door and invite you inside. Once in, she’ll sit you down at a small coffee table in the midst of an indoor garden, before leaving to get the matron.
When the matron arrives, you’ll see she’s a woman easily in her 80s, with her gray hair tied up in a neat bun. She is wearing a long, blue dress and some simple jewelry made with expensive gold and colorful jewels, and moves smoothly.
She will welcome you warmly, before taking a seat opposite you. She’ll explain that her husband had a lot of things she has no need for, and since his passing she’s been tying up the loose ends to prepare for her own, eventual death. Her now-adult children moved away from Aeraveska many years ago you see, and they don’t have need for their father’s things. So, she’s decided to send much of it to the Mechanist’s Guild to become scrap and much-needed parts to repair the city. If you would take it there for her–chairs, mechanical contraptions, a metal workbench and some tools–she can pay you once the job is complete.
Should you accept, she will thank you, and pay you half in advance before getting her maid to show you where the things are located.
When you arrive at the Mechanist’s Guild, there are two burly men standing outside the front door, with light leather armor and weapons on their belts. Should you try to enter, they’ll say that you can’t in thick voices. If you ask why not, they’ll pause for a moment, before saying the Guild is closed for maintenance.
Should you explain that you’re bringing scrap to donate so that they can melt it down and use it to help repair the dying city, one will shake their head fervently and say that they’re not accepting scrap today, go take it elsewhere. At this point, however, a loud scream will sound from somewhere within the building.
If you insist on entering to see what’s going on, the “guards” will fight you rather than willingly letting you in. Should you make it past, you’ll find a handful more of the thugs beyond the door, in a room with a statue at its heart.
Further in, there are a couple of crumpled receptionists who have been knocked out and tied up behind the desks. If you succeed at waking either of them up, they’ll beg you to free them and warn you that there are armed men in the building looking for an artifact.
Should you free the girls, they’ll thank you before running out the way you came in, saying they’re going to go get help. In the room beyond the receptionist’s section, you’ll find a number of soot-stained tinkerers, wearing leather working clothes, who have been tied up and surrounded by more of the goons. If the goons see you, they’ll attack–muttering to themselves about “giving the boss more time to get the artifact”.
When you’ve defeated the goons and freed tinkerers, they’ll thank you before urging you to hurry. They’ll say that those goons don’t seem particularly bright and kept mumbling to themselves about this being some kind of a distraction!
There’s a loud bang from the upper floor as they say this. If you race up the stairs to see what it is, you’ll encounter a couple of men in brown leather armor with mechanical wings made of scrap metal. They’re in an outdoors area in front of Grand Artificer Alkali’s office. They will attack on sight, flying and using aerial combat to their advantage as well as any trained aeronaut.
The sounds of combat come from Alkali’s office while this happens.
Should you defeat the winged defenders and go into the office, there are a number of holes which have been cut into the ceiling. Dead goons lie on the floor (some with darts in their neck), but there is a tall man with mechanical wings still standing, quite alive. He is wearing light leather armor, with a crossbow aimed at Alkari, but one side of his face is covered with a splatter of blue dye and his body is already covered in scrape wounds.
Alkari is a person reminiscent of a raven, with smooth black feathers and a tool belt on his waist. He is wearing goggles over his eyes, and hefting a small contraption in a clawed “hand” at the tip of his wing, from where he perches on a desk. Unusual traps have been set off all over the tower, and they appear to have done damage to the tall, winged man–who is both frustrated and out of breath.
When you enter the tower you walk into this stalemate, and both the men will look at you in confusion. Alkari will twist his head at you thoughtfully, before asking if you have come to his aid. The winged man will spit, saying of course it’s outsiders. Then he will growl at you to leave the affairs of Aeraveska to the skyfolk, warning that you have no idea what you’re meddling with.
If you ask him what you’re meddling with, he’ll say plans that will enable his people to finally reach the true glory this city dreamed of–plans which Alkali Corvus is getting in the way of.
At this point Alkari will clack his beak, and say that if the True Defenders of Aeraveska’s plans for greatness rely on The Screw, they are doomed to fail. Far more goes into mechanical engineering than relying on a magical artifact.
Should you ask what The Screw is, he’ll explain that it’s a wondrous screw created by Kolgar the Frustrated. It will make any invention it’s added to work, though it doesn’t guarantee that it won’t explode or fail later on. Only a desperate man–or a fool–would wager important plans on such an item. Alkari will then look at the winged man, saying that, while he has had his differences with Magnus Sharpe, he never imagined he was a fool.
The winged man will growl, telling Alkari to stop speaking ill of his leader, and demanding that he hand over the artifact and let them be done with this nonsense. He’ll tell the bird that he does not want to harm one of the city’s own skyfolk–despite him killing so many of his men–but he will end him if he doesn’t hand over what he wants.
At this, Alkari will look at you, a twinkle in his eye, and say that he supposes that you are the deciding factor in this stalemate. He warns you that Magnus Sharpe is a religious extremist, as are his followers. The blood of many innocents are on their hands, and he has never found them to be reasonable. Whatever they are planning, it will not be good.
Should you side with Alkari, if the winged man is injured enough he will attempt to flee back out through one of the holes in the ceiling. Afterwards, Alkari will sigh, and say that today was a near miss. He’ll ask after the health of the mechanists below, and once he knows they were saved, he’ll visibly relax. Then he will hop down to his seat and open up a draw; pulling out a screw from a box amidst all the other junk.
He talks while he hops back over to you with it, saying that he supposes after today’s events it is far too dangerous to keep The Screw here. Magnus is the last person who should be allowed access to the artifact, due to the terrible damage he could do with it. So, as thanks for your good deeds today, you may have it, he says. He finishes with a small, gracious bow.
If you side with the winged man instead, Alkari will not surrender. Instead he will stare you down determinedly, saying that he will never hand over The Screw to a man known to be violent and wholly unreasonable. His death will slow you down, for it’s a large office to search for such a small screw–and by now, the Aeronauts will have heard of the fighting here. They’ll be here any minute.
Should you attack him, he’ll attempt to shoot you with a poison dart from his small revolver. If you manage to kill him, his dying words will be a warning that Magnus may be charming, but he will try to kill you. If you turn back now, you can still save the city from whatever evil he is planning…
Once Alkari is dead, the winged man will step on his small feathered body, spitting that he was a traitor to his true brethren; the skyfolk. He’ll then ask for your help pilfering through all the drawers for The Screw, and when he gets his hands on it, he will thank you for your assistance. After that, he’ll fly out through the hole in the ceiling, before dropping a firebomb from his belt into the room you’re still in; calling you a useful idiot.
He’ll laugh as he flies away, not looking back to see if you survived or not.
If you’d like to know more worldbuilding for the flying city of Aeraveska, download our free, illustrated adventurer’s guide! It details the area, as well as who the True Defenders of Aeraveska are, who Magnus Sharpe is, and the Aeronauts, etc.
It’s got some really great worldbuilding and a lot of love and effort went into it, from a bunch of talented people.
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LUKE: The founder of Seafoot Games, Luke's been making maps and RPG games since he was a child, and spent over a decade creating his own game systems from scratch to play with his brothers. That was before he discovered other TTRPGs existed. Now, he paints the realistic grimdark fantasy battlemaps we're known for, helps write adventures as needed, and spends his free time printing and painting 3D minis, as well as working on his forever in-development TTRPG system.
BEB: Luke's wife, Beb's been writing, painting, and graphically designing things her whole life. She published her first book when she was 20, alongside a handful of sci-fi short stories, and was responsible for writing almost all of our adventures until mid 2022 when Steve joined the team. Now she mostly creates the outlines for the adventurer's guides with Luke, graphically designs documents, handles the bookkeeping (or as she likes to call it, bureaucrat wrangling), and manages the website—but she is slowly delegating these responsibilities, so she can focus on raising her and Luke's beautiful son.