Part III: The Sea Wyvern’s Wake
Chapter 10: Come Sail Away
Poddle (Connor) Kobold Rogue
Jericho “Striker” Moonscar (Seth) Demon-Blooded Human Duskblade
Daegoth (Trevor S.) Lizardfolk Dragon Shaman
Rapton (David S.) Killoren Cleric
Nimlar Sumel (Lance) Elven Ranger
Daelis Eagleheart (David L.) Half-Elf Swashbuckler
Duerak Gildas (Nate) Half-Dwarf/Fire Giant Fighter
Sunday, July 18th, 1234 AY
The next day, the heroes relaxed. Lavinia had called them to a meeting that afternoon, so Daegoth spent the morning doing some shopping, while the others relaxed at the Vanderboren Manor.
Daegoth bought some heavy armor, which made him even more beastly.
About that time, Aniphastus Knowlern came to Rapton and Poddle with good news: the hotel (in its most basic form) was up and running! None of the more exotic renovations had been done yet, but the general layout was completed and guests had started to arrive.
Poddle also went to find a druid to cast a spell on his ape, WAR. He wanted WAR to be able to talk, and that was something the druid could do. Poddle’s ape was now awakened.
“Hello master!” WAR said, as the spell took effect. “My name is Walter Adolf Rasseldorf, how are you today?”
“WAR!” Poddle shouted, engulfing his pet in a big hug.
Poddle soon found, however, that WAR was a pacifist.
After this, Poddle bought two barrels of Firebelly ale and two spiked gauntlets for WAR, though the ape didn’t like the violence involved.
Nimlar also bought an improved quiver, which could hold up to fifty arrows.
Before the meeting started, Lavinia brought to their attention that Heldrath Kellani was having charges brought against her for the part she played in the Lotus Dragons business.
That afternoon, the characters met with Lavinia and she explained to them what their next “assignment” was.
“Do you recall this journal we recovered from my family vault?” Lavinia asked, and when Poddle (who was the only one who had been there) nodded, she continued. “It turns out that it was my mother’s. My parents may the gods rest their souls, were brave—foolish and rash some would say, but I have never been one to criticize an adventurous spirit. On the contrary—” she cast a wry smile at them all. "I admire it. In any event, it would seem that about four years ago, my mother and father undertook a risky endeavor. They sailed the Blue Nixie, along with a ship full of colonists, down south to a place they refer to as the Isle of Dread.
“You may have heard of this place—if you haven’t, it seems apparent from reading my mother’s journals that the place is aptly named. A jungle-covered abyss infested with immense reptilian monsters, feral savages, and peril at every turn. Yet the southern peninsula remains relatively sheltered from the menaces on the isle mainland, and it was here, among the villages of several friendly locals, that my parents founded the colony of Farshore.
“The Isle of Dread represents an untapped trove of resources—exotic lumber, spices, animals, foods, and even minerals like silver and gold. Once Farshore was up and running, the influx of trade would have guaranteed my family a relatively uncontested flow of wealth. Yet before mother and father were able to return to Farshore with supplies and more colonists… my brother made his move and left me in the state you found me a month ago.
“Since we recovered this journal, I have not been idle. If Farshore fails, than my parents’ last legacy fails. I intend to carry on their work, and have planned for a journey south to the Isle of Dread to resupply and join the colonists at Farshore for the rest of year. I have the Blue Nixie readying in the harbor to take fresh supplies to the colony, but I find myself a vessel short.” Lavinia’s face breaks into a glowing grin as she continues, “You wouldn’t know of anyone with stout hearts who might happen to be interested in helping me mount this expedition, do you? I fear the journey itself might grow dangerous at times, and there’s no way of knowing what state or condition Farshore is currently in, but I suspect danger is a vice you have.”
Talking to Lavinia after she gave her presentation, the heroes quickly learned Lavinia had already hired an able crew to sail the Sea Wyvern and the passengers were already confirmed. Lavinia had been getting the ships ready since the heroes left for the ruined temple almost a week ago, so she was very well prepared. Also, she told the heroes that they could leave tomorrow, if the heroes were up to the challenge.
The heroes got to work preparing the Sea Wyvern for the voyage.
The first order of business was the plotting of a course, but this was a short step, since Lavinia had already mapped out the voyage, and Jericho (who was to be the navigator for the Sea Wyvern) just looked them over to familiarize himself with them.
The second order of business was to secure a crew. Lavinia had already secured a crew and taken on passengers for the voyage, so the heroes didn’t have to do much here either. Three of them joined the crew (Striker [as the navigator], Daegoth and Nimlar [as run-of-the-mill crewmen]), while the rest stayed passengers, and they also brought some other passengers aboard as well; Derek, Metallica, and Jimmy Do (and WAR, who was proving to be an intelligent, capable gorilla). Zagon came as well, though he went on the Blue Nixie.
The heroes were introduced to the various crew and passengers, starting with their captain: Amella Venkalie. The heroes were slightly disbelieving that their captain was a woman, but they accepted Lavinia’s choice.
“You’re a girl!” Poddle said to Amella, when she was introduced as their captain.
“You’re a lizard!” Amella responded.
The other three crew members were Skald (the fey-touched ranger), Lirith Veldirose (the tom-boy warrior), and Tavey Nesk (the cabin boy).
The passengers of the ship were also introduced to the heroes.
Father Feres, a human priest of Atarian that was going to the Isle of Dread to do missionary work among the native tribes, was the first of these.
The second was Avner Meravanchi, the noble that Nimlar and Daelis met at the banquet.
Next was Urol Furol, a gnome druid that was an expert on the Isle of Dread, and Tovin Domini, the archer that Nimlar talked with.
Also, Kurgol, the estranged half-orc that was beaten up by the heroes in Rumblegut’s tavern, was on the voyage, though he seemed very sad and dejected, not even noticing the heroes.
The last person was Shefton: the half-elf that led the heroes to Vanthus and then mysteriously disappeared when the party was massacred in the caves below Parrot Island. He seemed to not pay much attention to them, and Poddle, being the only one who had met him, decided he was going to talk to him later.
The third order of business: supplies. The Sea Wyvern had sixty tons of space for supplies, ten tons of the space was consumed by repair supplies for the ship itself, a further ten tons for food and miscellaneous supplies, leaving forty tons for the heroes to work with. Ten tons of this space was used on Duerak’s warhorse and its feed and supplies. Twenty tons were then used for additional supplies for Farshore and food for the voyage. The last ten tons were used for Avner Meravanchi’s purebred horse, Thunderstrike.
The last order of business: armaments. The heroes (especially Daelis), wanted to outfit the Sea Wyvern with a ballistae. They did so. They also bought forty-nine ballistae bolts.
With that, they were ready to set sail.
Monday, July 19th, 1234 AY
The next day, the heroes prepared to set off, loading onto the Sea Wyvern and saying goodbye to their friends in Sasserine. Lavinia, the Jade Ravens, and Churtle went onto the Blue Nixie_, getting ready to head off as well. !(media-item-align-right)http://cdn.obsidianportal.com/assets/116100/FatherFeres.png(Father feres)!
Unfortunately, there were problems from the very beginning.
Avner Meravanchi, the last person to arrive (along with his servants, Banaby Chisk and Quenge Asper), came a half-an-hour late, and didn’t apologize. The servants immediately began loading on Avner’s horse Thunderstrike, as well as all of the animal’s numerous supplies and feed. It took another half-an-hour to get the horse in the jury-rigged pen that had been set up for in the Sea Wyvern’s hold, at which point Avner found out he was supposed to sleep with the “commoners”.
“I am not sleeping with the commoners!” Avner exploded at Amella, who was already losing patience with the stuck up nobleman. “Are you kidding me?! I demand my own quarters!”
“You’ll sleep with the rest of the passengers or you can stay in Sasserine,” Amella replied. “Your choice.”
Father Feres, in a pathetic attempt to calm down the noble, asked him to calm down. Avner promptly commented on the priest’s extraordinarily long ear hair, and the holy man was sent away sulking.
Skald tried to stay out of the argument, busying himself with some rope, but Urol took an obnoxious interest in Thunderstrike’s pedigree.
Lirith seemed interested in Avner, in more ways than one.
“What seems to be the problem?” Said Daegoth, seeing the argument and trying to help.
“I don’t want to talk to you lizard! If you can’t help me get my own quarters, then I have nothing to say to you!”
“Why do you need your own quarters? Everyone sleeps in the same quarters, except for the captain of course.”
“I am a noble. I am not going to sleep with the commoners!”
“I’m the son of the chieftain of my tribe. Well, was.”
“Nobody gives a darn what you are!”
“How dare you!” Poddle said threateningly.
“I demand he is taken off the ship,” Avner said hotly. “Take him off right now!”
At this point, WAR came up on deck.
“Is there a problem?” The gorilla said, scratching his chin.
“What?!” Avner said, wide-eyed. “How is the ape talking? How is it talking?”
WAR looked at the noble with a deathly gaze.
“Okay! I’ll sleep with the commoners! I’ll be fine!”
Poddle went up to WAR, patting him appreciatively.
“Why thank you master.”
Avner was in a very bad mood that day.
After finishing up the preparations and getting Avner situated, the heroes set out for the Isle of Dread.
It was well into the afternoon when Poddle asked Jericho why he had mysteriously shown up when they began making preparations. Jericho admitted he had been in jail.
“What?! Then why are you on this ship? Go back in jail!”
“I don’t know how I got away…I just blacked out and woke up on the streets of Sasserine. I headed to Lavinia’s place and they pointed me down here.”
“Captain,” Poddle said later to Amella. “Jericho isn’t invited on this ship.”
“What do you mean? Of course he was.”
“He just told me that he was in jail earlier.”
“What? I don’t believe you, he’s a sixteen year-old kid for goodness sake’s!”
Amella wouldn’t listen to Poddle about the subject any further.
The heroes pressed Jericho for more information, and he confessed.
A week ago, before the heroes had headed out for the temple, Jericho had gone to a store to buy a new sword. The owner wouldn’t give him a good price, and then Jericho blacked out. The next thing he remembered was the body of the shop keeper on the floor and blood on his hands. He grabbed a lock-box and two fine swords and was about to leave when a young employee of the dead man walked in on the gruesome scene. Jericho attempted to kill him too. He failed, and the youngster managed to warn the guards. Jericho was chased by the guards, but managed to lose them in the sewers. He made it back to the Vanderboren Manor with his loot, but the lock-box only contained letters and business records, no money. The duskblade passed out in the basement of the manor and when he awoke, he was exhausted and felt even more tired than he had before. When he talked to Lavinia later that day, he found out disturbing news: the guards had found a shop-keeper, his apprentice, and two of their own dead in an alley. The heroes headed to the temple, but when Jericho returned to Sasserine, he was arrested and brought to jail.
The party then discussed what would be done with him.
While they did that, Poddle went up to Father Feres for help.
“My friend just told me that he broke out of prison, and he’s possessed by a demon.”
“And he’s on this ship?!”
“Well, I told the captain that he shouldn’t come, but…the captain doesn’t really listen to me, cause I’m a lizard.”
“My cleric training did not prepare me for this situation…I’m more of a heal-your-wounds kind of cleric.”
“So you don’t happen to have a magical ring that you made because you anticipated this exact situation?”
“No, no I do not. I don’t have a spell that could do that either, I’m not that powerful of a priest, sadly.”
The heroes finally decided to throw Jericho in the brig. Because of this, Urol Furol took over as navigator of the Sea Wyvern.
Later that day, Poddle talked with the captain.
“So, what’s up?”
“Nothing much. I’m kind of captaining the ship.”
Then they proceeded to talk about mundane things and the Isle of Dread and such, talking for most of the day.
Daegoth, seeing Kurgol in his dejected state, decided to introduce himself (he hadn’t met the half-orc yet anyway).
“Hello, I’m Daegoth.”
“Kurgol.” The half-orc sighed.
“I’ve noticed that you’re distraught, care to explain?”
“I don’t even know you.”
“What are you on the ship for?” Daegoth said awkwardly.
“Eh, trying to make a new life for myself in Farshore. Just volunteered and they had me aboard.”
“I come from a tribe that lives on the Isle of Dread; I lived there myself most of my life…until my brother pushed over the side of our canoe…but that’s a long story. And now I’m here, finally going back.”
“You’re homeland is the Isle of Dread?”
“Can you describe it to me? I’ve never been there.”
Daegoth described the Isle of Dread and all of its jungles, volcanoes, landscapes, terrifying creatures, man-eating plants, and horrible giant reptiles.
“Why am I going to this place?” Kurgol said after the horrifying description of the dangers therein.
“I don’t know…”
Jericho, during this time, managed to bribe Poddle, Daelis, and Duerak with his gold and weapons to allow him to get out of the brig. He then took back his job as the navigator from Urol.
Nimlar was sent to help Skald with the resetting of some rigging, and while doing this, got into a conversation. The two talked about the ship and Nimlar asked about the various parts and how they worked, admitting that he was not experienced with sailing in the slightest. Skald gave him a basic explanation of how the ship worked, what to do in given situations, etc.
As the day started to wind down into the evening, the heroes caught sight of an unidentifiable carcass being eaten by three sharks.
Nimlar, Daelis, and Daegoth decided to retrieve the carcass (possibly a humanoid) and kill the sharks, so they readied their weapons and the Sea Wyvern slowed down. Nimlar drew his bow and fired off two shots almost simultaneously, the arrows sinking into the flesh of one of the sharks. Yeris, flying in low, clawed at the sharks as well, barely missing being bitten in half by one of the bloodthirsty creatures. Daelis let loose a bolt from his crossbow at the second shark, drawing blood.
Daegoth, leaping off the deck of the ship, crashed into the first shark, axe cutting into the beast and almost felling it, but instead sending it into a rage.
The other two sharks, gathering around the now fresh meal of their dying companion, attempted to take the lizardfolk down as well, but Daegoth managed to beat them back. The first shark attempted to shake off the dragon shaman, thrashing about as it slowly bled out, but Daegoth finally ended its struggle with another chop of his axe.
Nimlar hit again with his bow, this time on the second shark, and almost took it down. Daelis fired off his crossbow and hit the second shark, though still not killing it.
Daegoth, crashing into another of the sharks, slashed with his axe, teared with his claws, and bit with his very sharp teeth. It died.
The last shark, in a frantic attempt to still get a meal, bit at Daegoth, but it failed.
Nimlar fired another shot and hit the third shark, while his eagle clawed at the same shark, tearing an eye out and causing the beast to thrash and start to turn away, attempting to flee.
Daelis got another bolt into the beast, but it wasn’t enough to bring it down, so Daegoth swam towards it and took it down with a blow to the head with his axe.
The heroes brought up the shark’s bodies and the other carcass and began examining them. The carcass the sharks had been eating was an aquatic beast that lived near the Isle of Dread (and not a humanoid as the heroes thought). They ate the sharks, but kept the teeth for an amulet (Duerak) and for proof to give to the Iron Brigade representatives in Fort Blackwell, the first stop on their way to the Isle of Dread, to give them more prestige (Daegoth, Nimlar, Duerak, and Daelis).
The sun set on day one of the heroes’ voyage to the Isle of Dread.
Tuesday, July 20th, 1234 AY
The second day of travel along the Amedio coast was non-eventful (except for a chat between Jericho and Amella), leaving the heroes to their thoughts. They were finally realizing what a long voyage this really was. It began to dawn on them that they weren’t going to see Sasserine (which had been their home for over a month) for at least eight more months, and that fact put a slight pall in the air the first few days of the journey.
That day, Jericho attempted to “woo” the captain.
“You have beautiful eyes,” Jericho said, in a pathetic attempt to flirt with Amella. The captain looked at him in disbelief.
“Aren’t young a little young?”
“Physically not mentally, dear.”
She just kept staring…
Wednesday, July 21st, 1234 AY
On the third day, Lavinia sent a message via a rowboat piloted by one of her crew. She wanted to invite the heroes, their crew, and Avner Meravanchi over to the Blue Nixie for dinner to celebrate the start of the expedition. As dusk fell, the two ships drew close and a line was thrown between the two, a pulley was attached, and a net seat was hoisted, allowing for safe crossing between the Blue Nixie and the Sea Wyvern.
Lavinia looked very fine that evening, dressed in a silk shirt, jewelry and a dress. She led the heroes into the ship’s galley, where the feast was to be held. The Blue Nixie was a bit bigger than the Sea Wyvern, and even after a couple of days, the party and their crew were much more relieved to get a little more elbow room.
A fine spread was laid out on the table, including grouse, peacock, and elven wine imported from Azatharia. Lavinia, the Jade Ravens, the heroes, their crew, and Avner sat down to eat.
“I know this is really weird,” Amella said to Daelis, who happened to be sitting next to her during the feast. “But you remind me…of my dead husband.”
“I’m sorry…that was a little awkward I know. But really, the resemblance is so uncanny…”
“Who was he?”
“Heldram Venkalie. He was a sailor, and a darn good one. We used to smuggle goods past numerous Dragon Armada ships. Unfortunately, my husband was killed by a group of gnomes. Their leader was a treacherous cur named Shortstone Badgewell.”
“Oh, I’m sorry to hear that…what happened?”
“We were doing business with the group, smuggled goods and the like, when they betrayed us and killed him.”
“Is he still alive?”
“Yes, unfortunately I haven’t found him yet.”
After a long silence, they went back to eating.
Later that evening, Rapton gave Lavinia a poem he had worked on the previous day.
She loved it.
Unfortunately however, Avner had talked to Lavinia and had gotten himself his own quarters, whining until their patron granted his request. The nobleman was flaunted this fact the next couple of days, further establishing his jerk status.
Jericho went back to the boat almost directly after the meal, using the neat seat and pulley system that had been set up. As he began to swing to the other side, the rope suddenly jerked and Jericho was falling…and then he was in the water, struggling to stay afloat.
As he thrashed about in the water, he saw a large jar plop into the water. The lid opened up by itself, and out came a small, blue, horned creature with bat-like wings (a mephit), screeching and lunging for Jericho.
A lump of acid flew from the creature’s fingertips, not hitting Jericho but instead clumsily landing in the dark water and throwing up a cloud of steam as it sizzled in the ocean. Jericho had managed to calm himself to keep from drowning, but reached for his swords and remembered that he had traded them for his freedom. Luckily, he did have a kukri, and drew the curved weapon and attacked the mephit, wounded it, if only slightly.
The mephit, in response, shot a cloud of poisonous gas at him, but Jericho resisted the effects of the cloud and struck out with his kukri again, slicing the creature’s throat and silencing it.
After being thrown a rope and drying off, Jericho relayed the event to the other party members and Lavinia. Clearly, this was no accident, and the heroes were determined to find out the one who was responsible.
Saturday, July 24th, 1234 AY
Over the next three days, Daegoth and Poddle went fishing, Daelis, Amella, Nimlar, and Jericho practiced their swordsmanship and sparred each other, Rapton wrote poems, and Duerak slept.
The heroes noticed in that time that Lirith and Avner were “involved”, but it was obvious that Lirith just liked him for his wealth.
Jericho, noticing this going on (and still wondering about the incident with the mephit), went over to talk to them.
“Hello,” Jericho said, waltzing up to the couple boldly.
“Hi Jericho,” Lirith said awkwardly.
“Did you guys see my stunt a couple nights ago?” Jericho asked. “That involved me falling off the boat?”
“No,” Avner replied. “But we heard about it.”
Jericho was suspicious of their motives, and as such he suspected Avner (and possibly Lirith) of being involved with the “accident”.
Later, Jericho talked with Nimlar and Daelis about what they had said and how he thought Avner was lying. The latter two asked Avner the same question, and they both thought he was hiding something as well.
Jericho, Daelis, and Nimlar brought in Daegoth and Poddle on this turn of events, and they asked the pair to do a little intimidating.
“Avner,” Daegoth said, pulling the noble off to the side. “Do you know anything about the net collapsing and the mephit in the water that almost killed Jericho?”
“No,” Avner replied. “I don’t know a thing about it.”
“Are you sure?”
“Yes, I’m very sure.”
“Well, just so you know, if you are holding something back…I’m gonna have to hurt you. Like really bad.”
“How dare you threaten me! I did not do anything to Jericho!”
“Threaten you? You want to see threatening?”
Daegoth grabbed Avner by the neck, shoved him against the wall, and put his axe to the noble’s throat.
“Seriously!” Avner said, terrified. “I don’t know anything about it, please don’t hurt me!”
Poddle judged the noble’s reaction and was convinced…that he was telling the truth.
“He’s telling the truth, Daegoth.” Poddle said, believing the noble.
“Well, thanks for this chat,” Daegoth said, dropping Avner and leaving. “Oh and by the way, if you’re lying, I’m gonna kill you.”
Avner sat on the deck, hyperventilating.
At this time, the entire party was brought in on what they were doing here, and they came up with a plan on how to find out who did it.
They would gather as many people as possible into an area and Rapton would cast a spell, which made everyone in a certain zone have to tell the truth. They would systematically do this until they had asked everyone on the Sea Wyvern.
Every single person knew nothing about the incident.
Sunday, July 25th, 1234 AY
The next day, the heroes proceeded to do the same thing to everyone on the Blue Nixie. Still the same result.
The party returned to their ship empty-handed.
That day, after their afternoon meal, Poddle began to feel extremely sick. He managed to shake it off at first, but then he took a turn for the worse.
Rapton, casting a spell, found that Poddle had been poisoned. He was bed-ridden, being tended to by WAR and Metallica, while the heroes looked for the culprit.
When the heroes investigated the poisoning of Poddle, a colonist spoke up and said that he had seen Tovin Domini around the pantry, acting strange.
Unfortunately, another zone of truth directed at Tovin revealed that he knew nothing about it, and that he hadn’t even been near the pantry.
Again, the heroes weren’t any closer to solving the mystery.
Monday, July 26th, 1234 AY
The next day, the heroes decided that to find the culprit, they needed to search every inch of the ship.
In the hold of the Sea Wyvern, the heroes found Roywn Kellani, the guildmistress of the Lotus Dragons that escaped their grasp. She had stowed away in the cargo hold of their ship and was not the same calm, collected individual that they had met in the guildhouse. She was high-strung, emotional, and utterly crazy.
Rapton, who found her first, immediately cast a spell and shot a jet of flame from his hands, setting Roywn on fire. Duerak, hearing the commotion, drew his bow and headed down the stairs to the hold to find Rapton, Daegoth, Nimlar and Daelis attacking Rowyn.
Daelis charged the psychotic Rowyn, stabbing her in the arm and causing her to screech in pain, pouring out curses and death threats. She seemed to ignore the fire now engulfing her clothing, however.
Rowyn slashed Daelis with her own blade, and howled in glee, even though the wound was fairly minor and she was surrounded by her enemies.
Daegoth, lifting his great waraxe, cut Rowyn’s head off.
The heroes looted her numerous magical items and various other equipment, including scrolls, magical leather armor, potions, and her magical rapier. Then, they burned her body (though they kept her head for future purposes…)
Tuesday, July 27th, 1234 AY
The next day, the Sea Wyvern was attacked by a lone gargoyle, a water species called a kapoacinth.
During the following battle, Poddle got out of bed (he was still sick, but getting better) and went into Avner’s room, stole his clothes and his wine, and threw them overboard (well, the clothes anyway), all the while laughing maniacally. He then put Rowyn’s head in the empty chest that had once held Avner’s clothes.
Back on deck, the gargoyle swooped in on the ship, going for Jericho. The duskblade, who was navigating at the time, drew his swords, launched himself off of the wheel, and clipped the gargoyle’s wings, knocking it to the ground. Daelis, drawing his own blade and rushing towards the downed kapoacinth, delivered a killing blow to the head, finishing the monster.
Later Urol Furol the gnome introduced himself to Daelis and they had a conversation.
“So, why are you on the voyage?” Urol asked, his face showing extreme interest.
“Well, my companions and myself are accompanying Lavinia on her voyage to Farshore.”
“Oh right, you’re with the group of adventurers that work for her! Nice to meet you, I’m Urol Furol.”
“My name is Daelis Eagleheart, it is a pleasure to meet you.”
“No really, the pleasure is all mine! I was once an adventurer myself, but those days are long behind me…”
“Really? Do you have any good stories you’d like to share?”
“I could spin a tale or two…we have the time of course…”
“That we do,” Daelis laughed.
“I actually went to the Isle of Dread once…fascinating place. Sadly, my stay on the island was unfortunately short—due to events beyond my control, I might add! We’ve certainly nothing to fear this time around!”
“I’m glad we have someone with at least a little experience with our destination…Other than the natives I guess.”
“Ahh the natives! Fascinating culture…The Olmans, or as they call themselves, the Uliri’Olma-Ixlata, are a people that used to have a vast empire…but, according to their legends, their capital Thanaclan was destroyed by a giant black pearl, which dominoed across their empire and ultimately brought about their downfall…”
Daelis wasn’t expecting that one.
“That’s very interesting, we had a run-in with a similar pearl not so long ago…”
“Really?” The old gnome said. “Was it obsidian, about the size of your fist, and you could see things swirling around in it?”
“Yes that sounds correct. We found it shattered in a cove infested with savage creatures…men turned into monsters.”
“It seems that the pearl exploded and released some kind of gas, which changed everyone in the cove.”
“That description is very similar to the legends of the downfall of Thanaclan…here read this.”
Urol left to get a dusty tome and read a passage aloud to Daelis.
“…Unleashed from the cruel heart of the fell seed known as the Shadow Pearl, the wave swept over an ancient city perched atop the crown of a remote island. The tide transformed beggar and noble, merchant and thief, resident and visitor into feral, ravenous fiends. The fruits of centuries of labor came crumbling down in a matter of days, and when the survivors tried to stem the tide by destroying the pearl, the resulting blast of power sunk the city into a boiling lake of death."
“….Wow that’s incredible.”
“Do you think the two could be related? If not, the coincidence would be incredible…”
“It seems they must be,” Daelis replied. “I hope we don’t encounter another…”
And with that ominous statement, the conversation ended.
Wednesday, July 28th, 1234 AY
On the coastline of the Amedio Jungle, there laid a teetering stone village. The heroes passed it.
That afternoon, Avner finally noticed that his items were missing (and saw Rowyn’s head), and came to the heroes to complain.
“Who stole my clothes?!” Avner said, huffing and puffing haughtily. “And my wine?!”
“Calm down,” Jericho said. “I don’t know who took your clothes, but I’ll investigate.”
“Now just go to your room, and I’ll give you some of my clothes.”
Poddle, being his usual devious self, decided to further the web. He pulled Avner aside and blatantly lied to him.
“Who do you think stole your clothes? The demon-possessed kid. I saw him after the gargoyle attack, going downstairs to the quarters. His eyes were red, just like before.”
“What do you suppose we do?”
“Tell the captain and throw him overboard.”
“What are you talking about? We can’t kill him!”
“Who said we were going to kill him?”
“We’ll let the ocean decide.”
Avner went up to Jericho and accused him of taking his wine. Jericho admitted to it, even though he didn’t do it.
“You took my wine and my clothes, didn’t you?!”
“I didn’t take your clothes. I don’t like your style.”
“Well…that is very insulting, but still! You did take my clothes! He said so!”
Avner pointed to Poddle.
After more arguing, Avner spoke up again.
“That was extremely expensive wine! I’m taking this up with the captain!”
“If you’re taking this up with the captain,” Jericho said. “You better find yourself a new navigator.”
When Avner insisted, Jericho made a sharp turn to the right, sending Avner flying off deck into the ocean.
Daegoth, always the honorable one, leaped into the water after him, and Nimlar threw a rope to help them on board. Avner, not getting the message, still complained to the captain.
Amella dealt out captain’s justice and decreed that Jericho had to spend a day in the brig and give Avner almost all his clothes and something from his inventory. Avner took one of Jericho’s favorite wands, so the duskblade punched him. Avner got his other wand as well.
Jericho was in a foul mood.
While this was going on, Poddle decided to play another little trick on Avner. He made a trap. A rope tied to the ceiling and then a noose on the ground, that when stepped on, launched the victim into the air and left him hanging.
Meanwhile, Jericho talked Nimlar into going into Avner’s room and stealing the duskblade’s wands back. Nimlar, who had grown to trust Jericho, agreed.
That night, Nimlar sneaked into Avner’s room…and was caught in a rope, launched to the ceiling, and hung by one leg from it.
Avner drowsily came awake…
The noble grabbed a candle and lit it, shocked to see someone hanging from his ceiling. Nimlar grabbed his bow, drew an arrow, knocked off the tip, and shot it, knocking the candle from his hand.
Avner screamed and ran forward, slamming into Nimlar and knocking himself to the ground.
And…the lit candle set Avner’s bed on fire.
It was about this time that Poddle entered the scene.
“Whoa! What’s happening?”
Poddle decided to attempt to put out the fire…with a pillow. The pillow went on fire as well. The kobold threw the flaming pillow, which narrowly missed Avner.
And then Rapton entered.
“What the heck?”
Rapton put out the fire with a spell, shooting forth water from his outstretched palm.
Daegoth, Daelis, and Amella also came running on to the scene.
“What happened here?” Amella said.
“Captain,” Poddle said. “I have no idea what happened. I heard some screaming in here, I ran in—”
“Shut up. Someone better tell me what happened here in the next five seconds or I’m going to be very, very mad.”
“What did I say?” Poddle said.
“I’m waiting,” Amella said impatiently. “Anyone want to explain this?”
“It was my fault,” Rapton said. “My candle dropped.”
“Well, what were you doing in this room?”
“Uhh…We were having a party!”
“Okay…What kind of a party?”
“I can’t exactly tell you what happened because I’m so drunk right now.”
It was at this point that Avner came to.
“Avner,” Amella said, really losing her patience now. “Do you know what happened here?”
“I just woke up…and I didn’t know what was going on…”
“Don’t you remember the party?” Rapton said, nudging the others to play along.
“What are you talking about?”
“Don’t you remember?” Nimlar said, catching on. “We were having such a fun time that I accidentally hit your head with my mug?”
“What? I don’t remember this…LEAVE ME ALONE!”
The heroes and Amella argued some more, and then Avner whimpered something.
“Can I…go to sleep now?”
“Oh, well I guess I can’t…my sheets are burned to a crisp.”
“And you’re pillow is burned to a crisp!”
“You can use my sheets and pillows,” Daegoth said kindly. “I don’t use them anyway, I sleep up on deck.”
Avner whimpered and climbed into bed.
Nimlar, however, did manage to grab Jericho’s two wands in the confusion…
Thursday, July 29th, 1234 AY
Daegoth and Kurgol went fishing most of the day, getting to know each other even more. Daegoth finally understood why the half-orc was so sad when he told him this: the gnome friend he had (the person Poddle stole money from) committed suicide two weeks ago.
The party’s attitude towards Kurgol was a lot less hostile after that…
Friday, July 30th, 1234 AY
The day was non-eventful, except for a small chat between Daelis and Father Feres.
“So, what brings a priest to a perilous place like the Isle of Dread?” Daelis asked.
“Ehh, I just want to help the destitute people who live on the island, of course…”
“Well that is a noble cause. There isn’t any personal incentive?”
“No, of course not!”
After an awkward silence, Daelis ended the conversation.
“Well, its been good talking to you. We appreciate your selfless contribution to our journey.”
Father Feres excused himself and walked away.
Saturday, July 31st, 1234 AY
That Saturday, the heroes finally came in sight of their first resting stop: Fort Blackwell. The skies grew ever darker as they came in sight of the settlement, promising the first storm of the voyage.