Day 92 7:15AM The party chased the fleeing young and aged sahuagin through the northern cave [D10], the ‘safe place.’ Having cornered the sahuagin, Temujin translated, and asked where the sahuagin master was – the sahuagin indicated the north eastern passage of the feeding hall [D9]. The party decided to leave the weak and infirm alive, and pulled back to the feeding hall. Before continuing up the indicated passage, the party decided to follow the path of the other escaped sahuagin that fled from Nico’s black tentacles in the guardroom [D6].
The party found themselves in a chamber, with seaweed hanging from the cave, with soft, pink ovoid shapes clinging gingerly to the seaweed. Dwag sliced one object open and it spewed its contents in a small cloud. Moving forward, Dwag entered the next chamber and the escaped sahuagin swam out of the shadowy cave and attacked. Dwag and the party quickly slew the wounded sahuagin and found themselves in a small cave – upon the wall was a wounded female locathah, her lower extremities severed. She was forced here to lay locathah eggs which the sahuagin would use for food and others allowed to grow up as slaves. The party freed her and healed her. While her lower limbs were still missing, she could swim, slowly, she gathered up the seaweed with her eggs and followed the party. She was asked if she knew, Adali, another locathah the party had met – and indeed he was a cousin with a distant tribe.
The party returned to the feeding chamber and moved up through the north eastern tunnel. Dwag leading the way, they came to a chamber, smallish, filled with seaweed [D19]. It was slow moving for Dwag swimming and forcing his way through the thick growth and searching for traps and signs of life, or danger. Before Dwag moved on, he tied a rope about himself and handed the end off to Damiano, to pull him back to safety, should the need arise. And Dwag again moved forward to investigate the northern tunnel that exited this chamber.
Day 92 7:30AM Captain Damiano, at this moment, had a sick feeling. It was as if there was a great disturbance in the force, as if many voices suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced. Damiano feared something terrible had happened. This feeling was followed up with a greater wave of unease but the Captain composed himself – thinking that this premonition had to be dealt with, he drew back on the line attached to Dwag. But Dwag resisted. Dwag spied a great chamber beyond, a two-leveled dias stepping up to a throne and yet another passage continuing on. Feeling resistance on the other end of the line, Damiano, getting frustrated, pulled yet harder on the rope – in turn, Dwag not wanting to return, pulled harder yet again – after a light bit of tug-of-war, Dwag decided to return to the party. Captain Damiano explained to the party how he felt.
Temujin communed with his Raven and found the bird had taken refuge in the crow’s nest as there was excitement aboard the Lash! Many men were descending into the hold – a fight was taking place in the lower decks. There was another ship out by the ‘big ships.’ They were being fired upon: Cannons firing at Temujin’s friends and their ships and Temujin’s friends firing back in return. So much ugly noise, smoke and chaos! Temujin relayed this communication from Raven to his party – the ships were under attack, from with the Lash and from another unknown vessel! They party decided they needed to return quickly – they asked the locathah matriarch to lead them the way out instead of back-tracking. She offered to do her best but had been wounded and not in her right mind when she was led into the caves by various tunnels.
The party returned to the feeding chamber and went into the south western tunnel. They found themselves among eight sahuagin, in a barracks cave [D14] – combat ensued. As the party engaged the sahuagin, Dwag quickly sped through the cave, aided and propelled by one of the many water elementals that Nico had summoned to get the party on its way out of the sahuagin caves. Dwag moved through an intersection, bearing right and into a large dark cave – a corral [D15] for the sahuagin’s pets and guards: four hammerhead sharks – they closed upon Dwag and attacked.
The hammerhead sharks circled about Dwag, snapping away at him. Mittens and Temujin found themselves in close combat with several sahuagin – they counter attacked and were aided by Nico’s elementals, as Damiano and Old Sawney fought with several other sahuagins. Eventually all the sahuagin guards were slain, and the party moved up to assist Dwag, who was slowly retreating and attempting to not allow the sharks to flank him. With Damiano, Sawney moving up to assist, eventually all the hammerhead sharks were slain.
Entering the shark corral, Dwag had noted and exit at the far end of the hall and a broken slab of rock nearby. Dwag noted no traps and pulled away a slab of stone – as he did so, the sound of rattling chains was heard and water-logged hand reached out for him. The party assembled, the elementals propelled Damiano, Dwag and Sawney into position. This ancient mariner gave off waves of despair, stunning Nico and his elementals. But the party, surrounded this undead menace shredded it in a few short moments.
Once the paralysis subsided, the elementals propelled themselves down towards the far tunnel, it descended into the darkness. The elementals communicated to Nico that the tunnel continued to descend sharply and that the open ocean was near, and the water beyond may be poisonous to both the party and the elementals themselves. The party decided that they were hear, they needed to press on. They pushed on and found themselves in another guardroom, this time, the only thing they saw was a large crab, 6’ across and it also had flippers. Dwag made a sudden noise and the beast rotated about and fled down another hall. The party followed and found themselves in a large room – the water was colder and more turbulent. Many members of the party looked about closely and carefully and saw a strange distortion in the water – they had seen this before – a massive swarm of jellyfish, like they had seen in the storm caves. Nico had his elementals create a vortex which pushed the jellies aside and the remainder of the elementals propelled the party out of the chamber.
The party found themselves in open water. The water, all about them was a brilliant blue, but they had little time to enjoy the view and the elementals pushed them hard up to the surface. They party were in deep water and ascended through the anoxic layer of the water, the toxins hurt the party and elementals alike. As they ascended, many party members noted derelict ships, masts and other ruin far, far below lying at the bottom of the blue hole.
As the party crested the surface of the water, the captain was hailed by Canale – who was aboard a jollyboat, waiting for the party. As the group made their way back to the Lash, Canale explained what has happened in the last half hour.
It turns out that Louisa Scott and another, a fully armored woman, called Zenobia, teleported to the hold, they proceeded to slit the throats of the Chelish marine, Gravis, the Nidalese Bosun’s mate, Bails Lesan and Captain Kilee. The halfling, Kauthus Wyk was freed and given a weapon. This was all immediately reported by the only surviving prisoner, the Rahadoumi merchant, Simon Templeton. Besides this information, Mr. Templeton also provided a warning as he screamed as the first throat was slit and kept screaming and screaming until he was knocked out by Sahji, some moments later. The first responding sailors were cut down by Zenobia, as Kauthus and Louisa pushed the dead bodies into a magical hole that she had unfolded upon the deck floor. When this was done, Kauthus assisted Zenobia, because, by this time, Fergal, Sahji, Sandara and Otondo had descended and engaged the Chelish envoy.
Louisa Scott wondered aloud where Captain Damiano was, but not seeing him and having overwhelmed Sandara and Otondo – their bodies too were added to the magical cloth, which was then folded up by Louisa. Soon after, the three, Louisa, Zenobia and Kauthus disappeared, by magic. Fergal and Sahji raced back to the main deck.
Fergal commanded for all able men to man the guns as a sloop was in sight – this ship, the Night Voyager, was firing its cannons into the Shale and Devil’s Pallor. Sahji rallied the sailors to get the sails in order and close the distance to the Night Voyager. As the Lash made way, multiple simultaneous salvo’s of fireballs sprang from the Night Voyager into all four of the parties’ fleet. As the fireball wreaked its havoc upon men, sails and rigging, a beast, an owlbear was summoned aboard the Barracuda – Knuckled closed his ship in and boarded the Barracuda and slew the beast single-handedly. Fergal gave word for Canale to take a brace of men armed with blunderbuss’ and take a jollyboat to Mancatcher Cove to wait for the Captain and the party to arrive.
The Lash closed the distance towards the Night Voyager, the other three vessels struggled with the chaos of the assault. At this time, the Night Voyager turned about and hoisted full sail and moved off, heading due west. Fergal gave word for all ships to tighten formation, to assist each other to get the fires out, clear their decks and the new crewmate, Ophelia Blue, would provided healing aid as she could.
As the party arrived at the Lash and the Captain assumed command, the word was given to prepare a pursuit of the Night Voyager. Mittens saw to it that the Barracuda and the Devil’s Pallor were driven into the shallows – all crews were transferred to the Lash and to the Shale. Cog was given active command of the Shale and officers from the other two ships took up positions upon the Shale. No extraneous time was alloted and some repairs would be undertaken as the ships were on their way
Day 92 8:30AM Nico assisted Captain Damiano in rallying all the sailors and pushing them to redouble their efforts, getting the two ships up-to-snuff in a jiffy. The Lash and the Shale burst forth from the archipelago surrounding Mancatcher Cove, heading due west after the Night Voyager less than an hour after the attack had passed.
While the deck was a fury of activity, Kroops slid up the command deck, and asked for a moment from the Captain. Kroops quietly said to the captain, “You know Fergal, since we came across him has been nothing but helpful, whenever you ask him for help. He can be pretty warm-hearted, mild, only really hear him bark a bit prickish-like, when he’s getting his gun crews in line. Hell, if you find yourself low on rum, he even shares his cup with you – so I’ve heard. But a bit ago, what I saw in him, this was different. He was all fire and steel – he commanded everyone! I’ve never heard that voice in him. When he gave the word, when them Chelish were killing folks in the hold, Sahji fell right in line. And when the fightin’ was done, they was back on deck, barely a word between them. Sahji getting the deck cleared and the sails a’right while Fergal was getting men back to the guns and them primed for action. If the Night Voyager didn’t head out, I don’t know whether we would have taken the fight right to their decks – but his blood was up. When that sloop sailed off, he had Sahji pull alongside the Barracuda and Shale and see what that Ophelia could do for the wounded…and sent Canale back for you of course.”
“Oh, and one more thing,” Kroops continued. “Well, one of them old salts that came up at Father Pyrlig’s coattails, Jonesy. When he heard Fergal coming out of the hold, giving orders to the crew, well everyone hopped to. But not Jonesy, he fell apart like a babe, crying and wailing. We dragged him down to his hammock so no harm come to anyone, but he was goin’ on,‘…O,’ heaven’s help us. By all that is good upon the waves…that voice. Like steel. By Storm and Salt, preserve us. Save us from Captain Cordy Black. ‘Her Dark Waters [a pirate barque],’ sank our merchantman into the sea. No stealin’ from the wreck. That bastard Captain [Captain Black] had an itch against our Rahadoumi master and came out of the dark near Hell Harbor to sink us. And sink us he did. Don’t sign with no captain offering to pay higher rate – they got the mark on them. And Captain Cordy Black found his mark for sure!’ After that he was just babblin’ to Gozreh and then Besmara and anyone else who might save his hide. He is still in his hammock, Sir!” With that, Kroops excused himself and got back to work with the rest of the crew.
The party, arrayed upon the aft-deck of the Lash, prepared themselves for what would be coming next, when they had the Night Voyager in their gun sights!
[end of session 35]