For those in peril on the sea.

The servant of The Black One

Episode 8

PROLOGUE
Kendrick couldn’t fucking believe it. He knew he was using the word in proper context because he heard the other sailors using it often, and it seemed appropriate here. First the giant Lizard monster that had turned Perry into the lovely stone statue that currently resided on the pier and now this. A small horde of skeletons some in tattered armor and carrying weapons trotted along behind the big purple thing. That one was scary. It stood nearly ten feet tall and was well muscled, it had black shining sharp horns that stuck out of its forehead, and a long purple tail that was barbed. It carried some sort of large pole-arm as well and gripped it with its claws, long black claws sticking off the end of each finger. It seemed to be in control of the skeletons as well.

At least It wasn’t just him this time, he could knew the purple one had Griselda and even though he had done a great job of fighting a bunch of them off, Slash was being drug along by several of the skeletons. Kendrick lay slung over the shoulder of one of them and any attempt to struggle resulted in the bony fingers tightening uncomfortably on him. He was oozing blood from several punctures at this point and had decided that he would wait for a better chance to escape.

They had been running for hours now and they had gone past the large black tower. Kendrick had assumed this would be where they were being taken but this was not the case. They ascended the cliff behind the tower via a winding road. As they crested the cliff, the sky, which had been a dark unsettling gray all day, turned gray black. Within minutes the rain had started, and the wind had picked up. A few minutes more and the thunder and lightning started. He hated thunder and lightning. The large group of skeletons began to catch up to the purple one, who was now kneeling on the ground performing some sort of drawing. Amazingly a giant green gate opened up in front of the purple thing. He grabbed up Griselda and walked through. Then came back out and grabbed Red whom Kendrick had not even noticed before,. Kendrick went next, the thing took him through the green portal and he felt a shiver as they passed it. Then he was out and in a dark pit with twisted metal everywhere. Slash came through last, he appeared to have been beaten fairly bad and was unconscious.

With a sinking feeling, Kendrick realized he had nowhere to run, and then the purple one grabbed him around the neck. He pulled Kendrick close to him and took a long sniff. The creature laughed again and said something in a language he couldn’t understand. Two little winged creatures that he hadn’t noticed before burst into a raucous laughter, as if it was the funniest thing they had heard. The purple one set him in manacles and hung up Slash last. The manacles were incredibly painful and dug into his skin. The more he wiggled to relieve the pressure the more it hurt. The creature had started doing more drawings around the platform and was issuing directions to the flying things. It was obvious this was some kind of a trap.. and he realized with a sinking feeling… that he was the bait.

Episode 8

The party immediately gathered their things and set off to find the missing crew. They counted themselves lucky as 6 or 7 men would have been out hunting otherwise it would have been worse. The sky grew dark, and the wind picked up. The rain started soon after and a few minutes later the sky started to thunder and lightning. The party was fairly certain by the direction the tracks were headed that their friends were being held in the Black Iron Tower. After several hours they reached the tower and sure enough the tracks were all around it. The party stopped a few hundred yards away and decided to plan their approach.

They devised a sneaky plan to use their spider-climb staff to climb up to the windows that were in the Kings room, and take the enemy by surprise. First they had Wulfhelm scout the place out using his stealth. He did not detect any enemies so the group moved forward together. They climbed the wall and entered the Kings chamber. It was completely dark inside as all of the torches that had been lit previously had gone out. There was no sign of the enemy. They descended the staircase, after Blake Griffin cast light on a stone and they searched the entire area where the traps had been including the room where they had found the heart. The entire tower was empty. The party began searching all over, Wulfhelm and Bootjack went up to examine the tracks again, and Bootjack found the road leading up the cliff behind covered in tracks. After wasting so much time the party rushed to the hill, hoping their friends would still be alive.

They ran forward once they reached the top, and nearly fell in the gaping chasm, seeing it only at the last moment when the lightning flashed. Hannik managed to grab Wulfhelm as he nearly went over the side. They could see light below and realized they would need to descend. The storm began a massive downpour, with great rivulets of water pouring down into the hole. The party using Blake’s light stone, (or darkvision if they have it) Found that they could descend by climbing down the twisted spears of metal and beams that were in abundance. It looked as if the entire building had crashed down into this hole. They climbed carefully down, nearing the end of their climb Blake slipped, he scrambled to grab something but slid over the edge. Bootjack reached down and grabbed his hand just before he vanished into the dark. The rest helped pull him back up and they finally reached the platform that had the lights.

They could see immediately that there were more runes, but higher and harder to get to. They also saw a huge purple beast kneeling in a similar manner as the dark priest had been. As they watched he looked up at them and grinned maniacally and with a flash he was gone. Red started to scream and they realized that the creature had teleported to Red and opened up his chest and then slashed across releasing his viscera. The mans guts tumbled out of his body and onto the ground. The creature pulled the heart from his chest and consumed it. His eyes glowing red as the blood ran down his chin. He looked back up at the party and waited for them.

They dropped down and attempted to surround him. One of the runes immediately spewed forth a disgusting slime like creature. Hannik immediately cut it down and headed towards the rune. Blake Griffin started firing spells at the Imps floating around the ceiling, and Bootjack and Wulf started attacking the purple beast. Before long the party had eliminated his imps and runes. The beast Chadarnook fought viciously and poisoned Hannik and Wulfhelm with its halberd. The party fought on though as they both fought through the poison. On and on they clashed until with a final blow Bootjack tackled the creature over the side, impaling it on one of the dark spikes. The party, exhausted cut down their crew mates both dead and alive. They gathered up the few items that were in the area, and started the long climb out. Leaving Red’s corpse behind as there was no way to haul it back with them. They made it to the Black Iron Tower, and slept there. Waking they headed back to the pier, feeling more demoralized than ever having lost 4 more members of the crew. They were hanging on by a thread.

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