Day 306 6PM The carrack, the Captain’s Lady, groaned under the pressure as the Lusca wrapped itself around the vessel. It’s three heads bit and battered away at the hull of the ship. From the crow’s nest Dwag and Damiano attacked with crossbows and daggers. Nico summoned elementals to harry and attack the lusca from behind. Mittens grabbed Varren and took to the skies, safely out of harm’s reach – however Temujin was grabbed and swept off the fore deck with one great tentacle. Temujin magically spirited himself away into the ship’s hold to regroup.
The air crackled about the main deck as the lusca blasted the party with lightning. As Mittens fell slowly back towards the ship, Varren holding on for dear life, Mittens struck back at the lusca with frosty bolts, slowing the beast down, entangled in frozen tendrils. Nico’s elementals and a newly summoned whale battered away at the lusca’s hindquarters. Irritated the monster lashed out at Nico’s creatures, again with lightning.
The concentrated their attacks upon the lusca and Nico’s beasties hammered it with a killing blow – it’s body releasing the ship and it sank into the depths of the sea. Father Pyrlig spent some time mending the ship – as it was now taking in some water. Mittens’ spirit sailors and the human crew could keep up but the Captain’s Lady had seen better days.
Day 307 2PM After continued mending, the party’s carrack was floating a bit higher in the water and under sail, when they saw a brig, the Wildcard ahead of them – flying the ensign of Quent. The signaled the ship which slowed down to parlay.
The Wildcard was under command of the free booter Captain Christopher Hawke. Captain Hawke knew of Captain Damiano and the party – he was aware of Delamona Burie, out of Lilywhite, having sailed up to the D.C.I. for the feast. Captain Hawke had broken off of Captain Burie’s fleet to do some pirating further north than his usual waters. As a matter of fact, he was shadowing the fine schooner, the Sagitta, some few miles ahead. The party and Captain Hawke decided to make a party of it and set sail together.
Day 307 7PM As dusk approached, the two ships changed course heading directly south, most likely to Shark Island. Temujin sent his raven out to keep an eye upon the ship, which had slowed with nightfall. Both the Captain’s Lady and the Wildcard pushed on, catching up to the Sagitta shortly before midnight.
Day 307 11PM As the party’s carrack closed in upon the schooner, they were greeted by a jolly male voice – belonging to Captain Alford Thenn, out of Maidenpool. They were transporting passengers to Black Blood Cay, on the north side of Shark Island. The party probed Captain Thenn, sizing him up for a shakedown but the captain stood firm with his comrades spread across the main deck. There was a human female, armed like a fighter, standing near the fore deck. A female half-orc more lightly dressed and armed, stood at the helm. A large, winged ape (known as a derhii), dressed in a slicker greeted the party, standing beside Captain Thenn. The party queried the nature of the Sagitta’s passenger. But before he would divulge any information he stated that he would check with his client first.
Moments later he said that the party was welcome to come aboard, to meet his client, Grosvene, a priest of Norgerber, out of Arena. As the party came aboard, Captain Damiano attempted to palm a trinket off the ship. The ape-man said, “No!” and the Captain put his hands back at his sides. The party went below decks to the captain’s quarters. They saw armed and armored guards below and as they entered the quarters, they saw an old man, in black robes, sitting and eyeing the party pleasantly. The old man, the priest – Grosvene, was accompanied by two more body guards and three sub priests.
Grosvene greeted the party warmly. When asked his business, he was direct – he was here at the behest of a former pupil, a priestess named Luccaria, who was unable to travel. So he was coming to her. He was to be picked up by a duo – Reicudan and Brona Dhu. Luccaria served Free Captain Barnabus Harrigan.
The party insinuated that Captain Harrigan was in service to the Chelish – a fact that appeared to be known to the old priest. They also pressed to determine his allegiance. While Grosvene served a fell god – a keeper of secrets – he seemed quite forthright that he was Shackles born and bred and would see that the Shackles remain free of outsiders. With that he told his sub priest, Janson, to give the party his holy symbol of Norgerber. Also, he invited the party too look Janson over – see that mole on his neck – that scar on his forearm – know him, remember him! I will leave him with Luccaria. Should you ever come across him – treat him well.
The party’s last request was for information – anything that Grosvene might glean while in the company of Luccaria and possibly Captain Harrigan. Grosvene invited the party to visit him at his temple in Arena. For an appropriate tithing, anything could be learned.
With that, the party departed Grosvene’s company and that of Captain Alford of the Sagitta.
Day 309 Noon The party arrived at the isle of the Black Tower. The air was hot and humid. The black tower rose like a spike off a high promontory. The tower was wrapped in vines and foliage – the top, covered in a rich green canopy. The party departed the Captain Lady and left the Wildcard at anchor. At the shallow beachhead, they found a narrow trail that wound up through the cliffs.
At the base of the tower they found no doors or windows. Nico summoned an elemental to probe around, it settled into the ground to begin its reconnaissance. The party searched the various trails and found large three toed, bipedal footsteps nearby.
As they explored the environs around the tower, they heard activity, noise in the thick brush some 100’ away. Nico summoned another elemental as a guard. All of a sudden – the ground beneath the party turned to mud. They sank up to their chests. The party started crawling or flying their way out of the mud – and as they did, Dwag and Damiano were struck by a wave of sickness. The pair shrugged it off and got to their feet. Some 80’ away they saw a large humanoid monster. It had a large head, with jaws dividing the skull, and four arms. It looked familiar! They believe it was a gug – a beast they fought in the caverns at Undertow Island some months ago. Then there was a second beast coming forward, just a few steps out of the tree line. Damiano charged and found the ground, under the cover of the foliage, was filled with sharp stony spikes that dug into his feet. Damiano leaped to clear the obstacle and closed with the second beast – as he did so, it raked at him with its claws.
The fight was on. Nico sent in his elemental and summoned another. Temujin provided suppressing fire with his bow, once he freed himself from the mud. Mittens enlarged himself, raked the row of monsters with lightning before closing in with his spear. Dwag closed in and the duo were surrounded as two more of the large humanoids joined in the fray. Captain Damiano managed to parry the array of attacks coming at him. As the party closed in on the beasts, they softened them up and finished them off in a few moments.
Day 309 2PM The jungle was quiet again except for the sound of jungle birds and chirping of insects. It was hot and sticky in the foliage. Nico realized his elemental didn’t return. He prepared to send his new pair out for more reconnaissance, together. They had instructions to play it cagey – play it safe and report back should they come across a threat.
The party wasn’t entirely ready to force their way into the tower – once they found a way in. But they were willing to do a bit more casual investigation before returning to their ship and gird themselves for a full scale insertion into the Black Tower.
[end of session 100]