For those in peril on the sea.

The burlap sack is mightier than the sword.
Episode 6

PROLOGUE

Christopher Perry barrel maker extraordinaire, sat nibbling his pinky nail. Watch was boring as hell since Commander Hannik and the other lads had taken care of the roving packs of undead. What could he do anyway if something did happen, he felt in his heart that he was a bit of a coward, not a warrior just a damn good cooper. He kicked his feet and whistled to himself and thought to himself, that it would be better in a few days when the walls were erected with the vines that Bootjack and the others had gathered.

A few minutes later Kendrick walked down the pier stifling a yawn with his hand. Perry smiled and wished Kendrick a good morning. The sky was starting to turn mauve as the sun began to think about rising. Perry stood and began the walk down the pier. Slash walked past him and nodded, heading to relieve the other watch.

They both heard it at the same time. A loud snarl and Kendrick crying out. He looked over and saw a large lizard like creature standing over a face down Kendrick. He could see blood oozing from several cuts on the young boy. The creature pawed at Ken a few more times seeming confused, before gathering him up in his mouth and barreling out into the jungle. Perry was stunned, it had moved so fast.

He shouted for Slash to sound the alarm, and tore into the jungle trying to find Kendrick. He ran as fast as he could sprinting through the trees in the direction he had seen the creature last moving and after a while he could see the creature ahead of him. It ran over the top of a hill and through some brush. Perry drew his knife, and moved forward cautiously. He caught some movement off to his left, and he slowly went down the hill and pushed through the shrubs. The creature turned back and stared and at him for a moment then bolted again through the brush.

Perry immediately attempted to bolt after the creature, but found he couldn’t move his legs. He looked down in time to see stone climbing up his chest and into his mouth. The last thought that went through his head was that his tongue felt so dry, and just like that, Christopher Perry, barrel maker extraordinaire was turned to stone.

Episode 6

The party was awakened to the ships bell being rapidly rung, sounding the alarm. Everyone got up rapidly and rushed to find out what had happened. They soon found out from the few remaining crew members that Kendrick had been snatched into the jungle by some large lizard like creature. Slash had sounded the alarm and Christopher Perry had stormed into the jungle to try to get him back alone. The party gathered their supplies and headed off into the jungle in search of their shipmates, with so many dead already they could not afford to lose more people.

They ran through the jungle Hannik and Wulfhelm alternating tracking the beast. After some time following the trail, they came upon a humanoid statue, they recognized as Perry. Disheartening as it was they couldn’t afford to lose another member of the crew.

After travelling a bit longer they came to a gully, inside the gully were scattered and broken stone remains of many creatures. The party found a small cave at the bottom of the gully, and approached it. They entered stealthily and inside found the large lizard like creature lording over its recently captured prey. Kendrick appeared to be unconscious still. The creature didn’t notice the party. Blake searched his memory banks for any information he could glean regarding this creature and he seemed to recall a creature that could turn things to stone with just its gaze. Hannik handed Wulfhelm a burlap bag and told him to get it on the creatures head so they could fight it safely. Wulf grabbed the bag and snuck up behind the creature, pouncing on it and getting the bag over its maw and eyes. The creature began to thrash around and tried to claw at Wulf, but he managed to hold strong keeping the bag over the creatures head. With the creatures prime means of defense, the party made short work of him.

Kendrick was recovered and the party returned to the city. Another expedition was mounted to recover Perry’s stone body. The party decided that getting walls up was the new priority and spent the next several days ensuring that the walls rose and were secure.

The party decided it was time to check the lighthouse and see if they could find their lost sister ship perhaps by using it.

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There's nothing ill can dwell in such a temple.
Episode 5

PROLOGUE
Chadarnook’s voice exploded through his head violently, causing him to nearly jerk fully off of his knees and pulling him out his hibernation. The voice rang through his being telling him he had failed. Telling him that a ray of light had landed and taken hold, that his minions hadn’t noticed! On and on he was chastised, each scream felt like his head was exploding… and then finally silence.

He had been commanded to deal with the intruders. Especially the one bringing the spark of light. Some god of light most likely, there was no shortage of them after all. He stretched and yawned, how long had he been out? He wasn’t sure, he let himself flow into the darkness and it consumed him. He flowed through the streets of the city. Seeing his dark minions marching and patrolling. How had they missed it? The light was easy to find, the entirety of the harbor was nearly covered in its glow. How had this happened? It was strong, and the light was fierce. When he tried to ooze into the pier and down into the shipyard the light pierced him and caused him pain. He had felt this before, but how was it possible. That god was dead. It had to be another. He lingered near the water listening. After several hours, he had learned several things. The light was coming to meet him on the morrow, the princess was still alive, and they had ended the reign of the Black Iron King. Lastly, the God with whom his battle would be, was named Paul. A rather dull name for a god he thought… but his light shone bright.

He exhaled and the darkness spat him out into his body. The battle would be fierce, he could not feel the presence of The Black One anymore, but the power he had been gifted with was still available. He stretched again and stood. He walked to the desecrated altar and lifted his mighty hammer off of it, tracing the runes of anguish with his fingers. He smiled as the pain shot through his body. He put the weapon back on the altar, and knelt down again and started to chant, smiling… anticipating the challenge.

On the Wave Drake, Bootjack was pulled from his sleep momentarily. He had dreamed of being pulled into a river of darkness, sinking so fast that there was no hope of recovery. Then the light surrounded him and pulled him through the blackness. He wiped the sweat from his brow, and rolled over back to sleep. The dream forgotten.

Episode 5

The party waited several days after their encounter with the king. They wanted to see if the patrols of skeletons stopped. They found that if anything the patrols had intensified, but they still steered clear of the docks. The party decided that they would explore the temple like building that was in the northern central area of the city. The party asked the Griselda for any information that she thought would be useful. She didn’t have much to tell them other than she had gone to the temple often as a young girl for various ceremonies and festivals, but that as she had gotten older that it was used less and less. She mentioned that the temple was the same as the symbol that Bootjack wore, when the party asked her if it was Paul, she simply stated that it was a different name, but she couldn’t remember it.

The party set off, the temple was a little farther away than the Black Iron Tower had been. The city was overrun with vines and plantlife, they moved what they could as they travelled The party headed North on the first tier until they found a large ramp/stair upwards, Unsure if they would have another chance to get up before hitting the edge of the city they ascended to the second tier. On the second tier a large patrol of skeletons was “searching” some of the ramshackle wooden structures that had been constructed on the curve of the tier overlooking the tier below. The party decided stealth was the way to proceed and began to sneak across the road. Everyone but Bootjack and Wulfhelm were across, Wulfhelm started to cross but stumbled into the street making a good deal of noise. About half of the patrol detected this and assaulted the party. The other half stayed searching the decrepit wooden hut. Bootjack sent his spiritual weapon to destroy the few pillars holding the building up, and the rest of the party entered combat. The wooden building came tumbling down onto the skeletons crushing them. The party then dealt with the rest of them in short order.

The party headed north again until they were nearly underneath of the temple. They sent Wulf to scout ahead and he returned after several minutes saying that there were at least 100 skeletons surrounding the Temple, also that all the vines and vegetation within 500 feet or so of the temple and withered and died. He did note that it looked like a part of the wall had crumbled and had sealed off a portion of the Temple from the Skeletons, and that they might be able to enter that way. The party decided to head west on the second tier until they found a stair up. They managed to avoid any skeleton patrols and headed back north to the area they thought they could sneak in.

Wulf dropped down first followed by Hannik, Bootjack, and Blake. Immediately they felt the air thicken and felt a dread, the sun seemed to fall behind the clouds even though it was still high above them. They were in a small alcove created by the debris. After some searching it became clear that there was no easy way in, just as their hope was running out, Blake decided he would try to transmute the wall. He transmuted a large section of the wall into wood, which the party quickly hacked out. They spent a good amount of time repeating this process until the hole was large enough to climb through.

After entering the Temple they found themselves in a small room covered in tattered white garments. There was a door which they slid open. They found that the door was designed to look like the wall on the other side. The place must have been elaborate and beautiful at some point, but it had been desecrated and corrupted. Showers of dried blood, who knew how old, covered the walls. Runes had been written in some sort of black ink or paint and the statue of the god of this temple had been destroyed. There was a large stair leading up curving up the northern wall of the Temple and the party decided to ascend it.

As they entered the second level, they could see that the ceiling was far above and was the dome shape they had seen from the outside. The room had a large alter on the East side and kneeling before this altar was a large man robed in black. The alter was covered in black, and there were large black runes on the floor. The man grabbed a large 2 handed mace off of the altar turned and offered a wicked grin his teeth filed to points, before exclaiming “I am ”/wikis/dark-priest-nedukah" class=“wiki-page-link”> Nedukah and I will be your doom. His face was pale and withered, his eyes black and sunken. Who dares bring light into our darkness, who is the priest? Bootjack didn’t respond as he didn’t think of himself as a priest or cleric of Paul… just a sucker getting abused by someone stronger than him. The Dark Priest smiled wickedly and said he planned to enjoy the challenge. He stamped his mace on the ground, and 4 of the large runes immediately started to glow a fiery red. Several skeletons rose from the piles of bones around the edges of the room and charged in.

The party attacked, Hannik and Wulf started attacking a skeleton trying to take it out fast, but for some reason they found that their attacks were doing very little if any damage to the skeleton. Blake and Bootjack attacked the Dark Priest Nedukah. Their attacks having very little effect on him. After skirmishing for a few moments Nedukah mocked Bootjack. See the power my god affords me! He cast a dark spell that filled the air with a purple and black miasma. Hannik and Wulf were caught in this but Bootjack had moved to check one of the runes that glowed on the floor. The cloud caused massive pain to Hannik and Wulf, nearly crumpling them to the ground. They both were unable to move as the priest allowed the cloud to flow over them.

Bootjack stamped out one of the runes, and Nedukah cursed at him mockingly. Wulf noticed that his hits were doing more damage to the skeleton Hannik and he were fighting. At this point the party started to snuff out the runes one by one, until they were doing full damage to Nedukah and the skeletons. The dark cloud continued to damage Hannik causing him to black out, with Wulfhelm barely managing to get out of it. Blake Griffin fired a spell at the dark priest and caused him to lose his concentration causing the miasma to dissipate. Wulf dove in to the fray attacking Nedukah with all he had, Bootjack ran to Hannik hands glowing with light, pulling him back from the edge of the abyss. Nedukah fire another dark spell at Blake causing him to fall. He sneered at Bootjack, how weak his god was. That this was true power.

Bootjack heard a voice in his head, “ask for help and it shall come, you just have to ask” He ignored it and fought on. Hannik re-engaging Nedukah cut deeply into the dark priests side causing him to curse in pain. He swung his large two handed mace and crushed Wulfhelm under its weight, gravely injuring him but not killing him. Again Bootjack heard the voice, but again ignored it. Racing over to Blake and layed hands on him. Blake had expended all by the most minor amounts of his magical power, as had Bootjack. The dark priest seemed to be weakening but not as fast as they were. The voice again sounded in Bootjacks head and he exasperatedly acknowledged it. He shouted out for Paul to aid him. A bright light shot forth and flowed over the dark priest. His companions felt strength return to them, and attacked Nedukah with all they had, Hannik landing the finishing blow, decapitating the man, hood and all. The party exhausted collapsed collectively, and Bootjack blacked out. They felt the darkness lift from the area, and they spent some time that night cleaning up what they could of the desecration before falling asleep without a watch due to exhaustion.

They stayed the night and when they awoke the next morning, a They found an ancient tome which Bootjack recognized as the teachings of Paul but somewhat different and much older, they decided against taking the dark priest’s giant mace and armor, there was a staff that they picked up though. All of the skeletons that had been outside were gone, and it felt like the sun was shining a bit brighter.

Bootjack finally awoke and couldn’t clearly remember the events of the previous night. They began to head home and decided they needed to find a wagon to pile debris and vines etc into it. The party found a cart that seemed serviceable and spent the day travelling back to the dock gathering vines and clearing vegetation. With no signs of any undead. Upon arriving back at Camp, The others celebrated their return and they prepared a large meal from a deer like creature Slash had caught while hunting, and clams that Kendrick had fished out of the water near the dock, and drank Bootjacks hooch that he had begun brewing a while back. It was a good night.

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The King that forgot his own name.
Episode 4

PROLOGUE
His ass itched, and he was unable to reach to scratch it. The itching was the worst of it these days. The small insects would crawl over him, at these times he would attempt to keep his mouth closed, just hoping they wouldn’t manage to make their way inside. He could shake a little and they would skitter off, but the itches… no, they wouldn’t leave him alone. He tried to recall a happy feeling, or thought, but could remember naught but sorrow.

The vines that permeated his being, grown through his chest, around his arms, into his skull, held him down. Secured forever upon the cold of his hard wooden throne. Not his real throne of course, no, that one was in the palace that used to sit up on hill before it had come crashing down into the mines below.

The vines weren’t even the most awful thing piercing his body either, his sons had betrayed him, stabbing him, all three, pierced one sword through his chest. The Black One had seen to them though, their betrayal was punished with a fate as horrible as his own. He had long since forgotten his own name, but the hatred, and sorrow he felt for his three sons, he recalled their names just fine. Sometimes he almost felt that a tear would well in his eye, but the tears had turned to dust long ago.

He whistled softly to himself, a song he couldn’t quite recall the name of. The days were long, and he slept often. This was not how he had imagined life eternal would be. He had sacrificed so much, so many, and for what? The woman who had introduced him to the black one, or was it a man, he couldn’t recall. They had warned him about making a deal with the Black One, but the Black One’s whispers and promises were too sweet.

He heard a clatter out on the stairwell. The damn hounds again no doubt, he thought to himself, or perhaps some more skeletons had wandered in, though they tended to steer clear of the tower… a blessing of the Black One no doubt. Then he heard voices, was he dreaming? He couldn’t be sure. After a few moments the large double doors opened and three men and a dwarf entered. Maybe things were looking up after all. Today would be a good day to die… finally, and he could ensure the safety of his most valuable treasure, should the men prove to be honorable. A good day to die indeed.

Episode 4
Norrain lead the party to a port that he remembered. it was from 6 days south of the fingers the trip was uneventful and they managed to do repairs on the wave Drake. as they neared land they noticed the sky had a sort of darkness to it even at midday.

As they came around the northern coast of the island the city unfolded before them. It was a multi-tiered city that was cut into the face of a cliff. The entire city appeared to be made from or cut from stone. There were three immediately noticeable landmarks; to the north what appeared to be a massive lighthouse, to the far south east a large black tower and to the center north of the city a dome shaped building with large pillars supporting the dome.

The harbor was scattered with wrecked ships and several broken piers. On the far south side of the city was a large stone dock that looked as if it would be large enough for both ships.

They set a watch at the end of the dock and begin to explore the city. What they found was disturbing, there was no sign of life and there were piles of bones everywhere. after spending most of the afternoon exploring the city the party returned and ate some of the fresh fruit and freshwater that had been found nearby. The watch that evening sounded the alarm. there was a mob of skeletons wandering through the city. they would run in and out of buildings as if looking for something, over and over. The night passed uneventfully and the next morning the party decided to set out to the large black tower to the south eastern part of the city.

Upon entering the tower they found nothing inside, however; the torches on the wall were lit. They poked around but found nothing of interest but a locked door that even the mighty Wulfhelm was unable to pick. They attempted to go up the stairs stealthily but Bootjack and Hannik both proved to be too loud. They clattered their way to a large set of double doors. Rather than enter stealthy Wulfhelm barged through the doors. They found an incredibly old looking man, with three swords run through his chest and vines wrapped around and through his body. His chest was covered in a long thin unhealthy looking beard, and his eyes were opaque and glazed over. He engaged them in conversation a raspy and gravelly voice. After a bit of conversation he revealed that he had been the king of this city, and helped create and build it, other than that he claimed he remembered very little, other than it was his fault that the Kingdom and its citizens had fallen, but would offer no specifics.

He offered the party his most valuable treasure if they would descend below the tower and end his life. His heart had been removed from his body and much like a Liche’s phylactery had been hidden away behind traps and guardians. The party would have to gather three keys which were hidden behind traps, once they had the keys they would have to defeat the guardians of his heart… his three sons made undead. He had them take a royal signet from his finger and told them that it was the key to entering the basement below. The party agreed and set off.

The party opened the door that they had found earlier and started to descend. The stairs were made of a jet black metal, the same as the tower, and descended freely with no rail in open space. There was the occasional torch providing light on the pillar that the stair circled, but other than that it was pitch black.

Upon reaching the bottom they found themselves in a circular room with 4 doors. The northern door had three keyholes in it, the other three doors were locked with a single key. The party went to the door on the west side of the room and Wulfhelm was able to pick the lock. Inside was a room full of mirrors, each mirror showing only a single reflection of each party member. The party realized they were able to manipulate things inside of the reflection when one of the keys suddenly materialized inside of the mirror and Bootjack could manipulate it. They couldn’t figure out how to grab it though. Blake decided to try the more direct approach and tried to reach into the mirror and grab it. Upon doing this he was teleported into a gray nether, surrounded by reflections of his party. The reflections started to attack Blake. On the outside Blake’s reflection had appeared where Blake was standing, and began to attack the party. Eventually the party smashed one of the mirrors and noticed that it caused great pain to the reflections, allowing them to defeat them with ease. Upon smashing the last mirror the key lay on the floor in the broken glass.

The next room had a ceiling made of glass, and inside the ceiling was covered in gold coins, gems, and other finery. Also inside the glass was a key with wings on it. When they would get close to the key it would zip to the other side. The party wisely avoided breaking the glass and were able to move one by one to locations where they eventually caused the key to maneuver through a small channel and tumble down a chute into Hannik’s hand. As they were exiting the room, Wulfhelm decided to break the glass and grab as much wealth as he could. The door started to close and the floor opened up to reveal a large grinding wheel that started spinning at high speed. Wulf narrowly avoided being crushed and escaped through the door before it slammed shut. Gained a few coins but not enough to risk his life!

The last door opens into a room with runes all on the ground. On each wall is written a message in a foreign language and on the fourth wall a key held in the grasp of 3 stone hands. Blake was able to cast a spell that allowed him to read the writing. He found that they were riddles and read them to the party, then found that the runes on the floor were letters. The party answered the riddles and leapt from tile to tile, after answering each riddle correctly the hands each loosened their grip on the key until it was free to be grabbed by the party.

Upon opening the last door they walked into a long passageway, and it lead to a rectangular room with a large chest in the back. Sitting in the center of the room were three ghoulish creatures. One was massive and had a helmet nailed to his head allowing only his ears to be uncovered, one was tall and skinny and had claws nearly 2 feet long from his hands. His entire head was covered with the exception of his mouth. The last one was average size and carried a large mallet. His head was covered by a nailed on helmet with the exception of his eyes. The party rapidly deduced that the three of them shared senses and were able to defeat them by killing the eyes and the ears. Bootjack managed to subdue the mouth nearly the entire battle by turning him and having some lucky rolls go his way. Upon defeating the brothers the party opened the chest, and inside they found a beating human heart. They took the heart to the king, who requested they kill him by stabbing the heart. He told them his greatest treasure was in the room to his right and that the door was hidden behind the overgrowth of vines. The party stabbed the heart and the king turned into dust before their eyes.

They opened the treasure room, and laying upon a bed was a beautiful auburn haired maiden. As they entered the room she sat up awake. She was confused and felt sore, hungry and thirsty. The party gave her food and drink, and took her with them back to the ship. Unsure what to think of their new treasure. Wulfhelm attempted to pretend to be smitten with the princess… even though everyone knows hes gay. The princess took an immediate liking to Hannik, and an immediate dislike of Bootjack. She managed to give them some information regarding the island they were on but mostly the party didn’t ask her many questions regarding their new place of residence.

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40 years a slave
Episode 3

PROLOGUE

Scoop, throw, hiss, scoop, throw, hiss. This had made up the bulk of his life for the past 40 years. He hadn’t given up hope, but it didn’t make it easier. Scoop, throw, hiss… He supposed there was some small amount of karmic justice being done here, but he didn’t regret what he had done, nor would he change it. The bastards had deserved what they got. He winced as he shoveled the goblin, ogre, and hobgoblin shit into the hot tank below. He had lost track how long he had been a prisoner on his own ship… if it could even be called that now.

His ship was a massive war machine, but the vermin had strung smaller wooden ships and built scaffolds all over it, even put up tiny sails and a giant mast on top of the main deck. The 3 ogres and the Orc wizard that ran the show had somehow perched cabins on top of wooden beams far above the ship. Somehow they stayed up there though.

There was a commotion above, not that this was abnormal though, two separate tribes of goblins, a tribe of hobgoblins, several ogres, and an orc leading the whole thing, made for never a dull moment. But this wasn’t the standard bickering and scrapping, this was fresh meat. He knew it before the horns started blaring, maybe this time the vermin would bite off more than they could chew and he would be freed… and hopefully not out of the frying pan and into the fire. The horns blared again, and then he heard the firing of the harpoons. He closed his eyes, and uttered a prayer to any sod that would listen. Then resumed. Scoop, throw, hiss… scoop, throw, hiss… scoop, throw, hiss…

Episode 3

The crew was looking to Commander Hannik and Blake Griffin for answers. There was a goliath of a ship bearing down on them, smoke billowed from the hull as it moved closer and closer. It seemed like an amalgamation of multiple ships tied together with line. The crew was honestly unsure how it even floated. The bulk of this beast was a metal monstrosity designed to look like a shark with its mouth agape. It must have been 600 feet long and 300 feet wide. They had never seen anything like it. Hannik and Blake decided to remove the ship from the fingers and to let it fall into the water. The ship began to founder immediately and they realized they were not going to be able to run.

It was determined that hiding in the bilge would be the best course of action. The party and the few remaining crew members piled into the bilge and listened as the boarding began. They could hear harpoons striking their ship and could hear high pitch voices very similar to the goblins they had rescued. One of the rescued goblins made his way into the bilge and thanked them for helping him, told them that he would pay back the favor. He yelled up to his companions that there was nothing down below then crept back down and told the crew to wait a while. The crew decided to trust the goblin and after several hours he returned with a dwarf named Norrain. He convinced the party that they would be safest aboard the ship down in the engineering area where he spent most of his time alone. The crew with limited options decided this would be the way to go.

Norrain with the assistance of the Sharkfin Tribe of Goblins, snuck onto the Iron Anchor with the crew and everyone hid in the engine room. The hobgoblins, and ogres as well as the Redgill Tribe were all very intoxicated and had feasted on the remains of the supplies from the Wave Drake. Blake Griffin and Wulfhelm felt that it was a good time to strike. Wulfhelm volunteered to go out and survey the area, Blake cast spiderclimb on him from the magic staff they had received from Margan’s quarters. After successfully stealthing around the area, Wulf returned and described the ramshackle way the “ship” was put together. After discussion it was determined that most of the extraneous superstructure could be brought down by chopping down several beams, cutting adrift the 2 ships roped to the hull, and cutting several lines above the top decks. The Sharkfin tribe was to get the redgill tribe even farther drunk, and then kill them and take the ship that was roped to the port side of the ship. The ground part of the party would be going to the starboard side and chopping down the mast on that ship prior to cutting the lines and watching her fall. Wulfhelm was required to stealthily cut the lines above without raising the alarm.

The plan went flawlessly (lucky high rolling bastards), the lines were cut as were the posts before the ogres and their orc captain knew what was happening the entire superstructure went tumbling into the sea, finished off by a tremendous firebolt from Blake Griffin. The Redgills were either killed or thrown overboard, the sharkfins broke free and with the last the party saw of them was as they sailed past celebrating and dancing wildly. The two leaders that had been rescued by the party waving wildly. The hobgoblins were quickly dealth with, and within an hour, the Iron Anchor had been reclaimed.

Blake Griffin maneuvered the Wave Drake onto the “jaws area” of the Anchor. The ship just fit on the deck as long as the mouth remained open. Over the next few days the crew made repairs to the Wave Drake, but supplies were running low. They consulted Norrain on if he knew of any ports nearby. He said he did, and he would take them there, but didn’t know if he would be staying past that. With that they set off.

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Through the black night and driving rain A ship is struggling, all in vain, To live upon the stormy main
Episode 2

PROLOGUE

He brooded as he sat in the cabin. The ship heaved this way and that, the cacophany of men screaming , crying out in pain, filled the air. Calling for their mothers, wives, daughters and sons, people they would never see again. A thought passed through his mind, that he should step out, make an appearance, sling a spell or two, at this enemy, but decided against it. The truth was he didn’t care whether he lived or died.

A large snapping sound brought him up, out of his thoughts. Maybe, he thought, this beast will sink us, and I won’t even have to do anything. He wondered briefly if his plan was perhaps mad, then his thoughts returned to the voices that echoed within the depths of his mind. A slow smile crept across his face, until it had spread from ear to ear with a vile intensity that was frightening to behold. He sauntered over to his bed, he refused to call it a “rack”, and pulled it upwards on the hinge. The ship lurched and he heard further cracking of lumber. He reached inside and pulled out a large green vial, removed the stopper, and took a long thirsting drink from the vial. The result was almost immediate, the voices that had withdrawn to whispers at the edge of his periphery, roared back to the forefront of his mind. Each one speaking, plotting, laughing, goading him. He closed his bed and fell back on it grinning, letting the warmth cover him from belly outward, a soft sigh, followed by a giggle escaped his lips.

He heard a tremendous explosion and realized the main battery had been fired. It came to him suddenly, it was then he knew what he had to do, these men couldn’t die this night. No they would die happy, drunken, a smile on their face. Forced to sleep by his potions, and then sent to rest in their eternal dark tomb the Wave Drake… NO The Spell Forge. This was his ship, he had designed it, he had supervised the building of it, but the bastard elf Ralston had taken the name from him. He would deal with the Captain, then the crew, before finding his rest inside his child.

His thoughts were interrupted by a pounding at his door. He sat up on the bed then scooted over to the door. He opened it giving his most annoyed look. It was Griffin, he was an able young man with much potential. It almost seemed a waste that he would suffer the same fate as these simpletons, but that was just the lads poor luck.

“The Captain is dead! As are half the crew! The ship is foundering and the storm is pushing us towards the rocks.”
“I guess I have to do this myself” he sneered, staggering forward and reaching into his cloak.

He pulled the rod from an inside pocket and smiled smugly. The rocks were alarmingly close and a normal ship would have surely been smashed across them. He raised the rod and thought his the Wave Drake… NO The Spell Forge into movement. The massive dragon arm and leg that appeared to be a decorative item across the port side of the ship reached forward, each grasping one of the tall slender fingers or black rock jutting from the water. With a creak, and the roar of rushing water, the ship pulled itself from the inky black water. The starboard side legs each reached across and pushed up to form a brace underneath. They were suspended between the two pillars, held firm by the ship herself.

He smiled inwardly at the amazement of the crew. He loved it, every part of him, every voice loved it, this was truly the response that his amazing creation deserved. Outwardly he acted apathetic, shouted something about having to do everything himself. He stormed back to the ward room… then entered the Captain’s, no… HIS quarters. He yelled for Meyers, who promptly scampered into his room. He immediately set about telling Meyers his plan, Meyers was a dark soul and a kindred spirit. He would help him.

He didn’t see Kendrick, huddled on the floor trying dutifully to clean up the water that had poured into the ward room.

He didn’t mean to but, Kendrick heard everything, every last word. He was frozen with fear. He crept silently towards the door. Each step felt a mile, and the ship seemed so quiet now that it wasn’t constantly rocking and shifting. Thunder blasted through the air and he ran out the cabin door. He needed to tell someone, but it had to be someone he could trust. Captain Hannik, or Crag. He was unsure. The one thing he knew was right now, his crew mates needed his help and that was a proper excuse to think over what he had heard. The dead and wounded were all around. He took a deep breath, and went to Bootjack for orders as he seemed to have the situation under control. He couldn’t believe the Captain was gone… just like that.

Episode 2

Blake ran to tell the XO that the ship was going to be smashed upon the rocks. He used the control rod and had the ship pull itself out of the water and brace itself. The water drained from the ship and they could see that there was fairly substantial damage.

The dead were given sea burials, and put to rest. Bootjack treated the wounded as did Blake. Wulfhelm after spending the last while snuggling with Slash removed himself from the dinghy and helped Slash out. Slash smiled warmly at him.

Many of the crew started to cut up pieces of the creatures tentacle to dine upon. Bootjack would have nothing to do with it, and eventually talked the crew out of eating it, they pushed it over the side with the rest of the dead things. After things had been situated, the crew went to rest for the rest of the night.

The next morning everyone was awoken to the sound of the ship’s bell ringing. The XO was holding captains call, a pre dawn captains call. He told the sailors that they had received word from their sister ship that land was 6 days south. They were going to patch the ship up and head south, starting tomorrow. Today would be a day of rest, that night food would be in no short supply and all the rest of the ale casks would be opened and shared. The men cheered, however there were members of the party who were unsure of why this happening now, and unsure of the judgement to let the men drink and eat their stores up.

Kendrick came clean to Bootjack in the hold what he had heard. They gathered together with Wulfhelm, Hannik, and Blake, as well as Billows the chief quartermaster, Barry Ironpike and Crag. They formulated a plan in which the new captain would be lured to the hold and then attacked and brought to justice. Barry Ironpike and Billows volunteered to lure the captain, while the rest prepared to ambush the captain.

Barry came through the door and followed by Billows, and Captain Margan just behind him. As Barry made it through the door, Billows stabbed him from behind through the chest, killing him instantly and shouted to start the attack. The captain and 10 crew members assaulted the small group of mutineers. The captain turned his magic on Crag and felled him, the members of the party, realizing they would not win this battle, decided to focus all of their efforts on Margan. Their blows fell furiously with everyone striking a blow, with Hannik landing the deciding blow. With the Captain down many of the attackers immediately threw down arms.

The Captain, Billows, and Martin Meyers were to be hanged. Meyers managed to weasel his way out of being killed and was set free on a dinghy with a week supply of food and water. Margan and Billows were both hanged. Cut down early the next morning and tossed over the side. Wulfhelm, was standing watch in the crows nest saw the goblins they had rescued squatting on one of the finger like rocks jutting out of the water, and then he saw it… a large, smoking, island? He realized it was moving towards them and notified the rest of the crew. The ships bell rang the alarm. The ship was unable to move, and something was bearing down on them…

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"We must free ourselves of the hope that the sea will ever rest. We must learn to sail in high winds."
Episode 1

PROLOGUE

The ship had been at sea over six months. Riley had been lead to believe that they should have found something, anything by now. They hadn’t. They had lost sight of their sister ships following a rather bad storm, but had been able to remain in contact via the “magic boxes” that had been provided by the guild, but the constant cloud cover made it near to impossible for the ships to coordinate returning to each other’s side, and on top of that The Mermaids Tail had not been in contact with them for multiple days now.

As if things weren’t bad enough the quartermaster, had informed him that he had found mold growing in several barrels of beans and would have to dispose of them. He found the source of the contamination to be water leaked from the fresh supply, and he felt as if the barrells had been broken intentionally, also there was a suspicious amount of beans, rice, and water missing from the effected barrels. Riley’s first thought was that it was the assistant QM, the dwarf Bootjack he called himself, as if that were a name. Dwarves were known to have a large appetite, and this one was a known thief, even if he had given up those ways… allegedly. The QM assured him that the dwarf wasn’t his culprit that he was “hard working stout soul, and honest to BOOT” he remembered the stupid grin on the QM’s face as he made his pun… no doubt he’d been saving that one up for some time.

He would have to have Hannik launch an investigation, his Stone Thorns were tough and disciplined. That was a man you could depend on to get things done. Riley always enjoyed their meetings, he appreciated the firm grasp on reality Hennik took on things. Very different from the mages with which he was forced to deal with regularly.

Speaking of the mages that was another problem altogether, because there weren’t enough already. The executive or “first mage” as he liked to call himself, had been acting strangely lately. Strange for Grenul Margan was most definitely a relative term, but nonetheless he was off. Captain Riley had seen this before in men that weren’t sailors on long voyages. Margan had taken to staying in his cabin and only coming out when official duties mandated he do so. He had removed himself from the watch rotations, and this had made him very unpopular amongst the crew. He was going to have to set that man straight very soon, once the real problems were resolved.

The ships bell began to ring, and the navigators assistant burst through the door. He could never remember the young mans name, wulfy? Wulfhat… Wulf… something, fuck it he thought.
“Wulf, what is the situation”. Wulf hurriedly explained that a burning ship had been spotted on the horizon, and requested orders. Riley thought for a moment.
“Only one ship?”
“Yessir”
“Bring us to within 200 yards, and drop a smallboat, Have captain Hannik take a small compliment of men, volunteers preferably, if not have Crag help them find their courage and volunteer for them, also I want a mage over there, so tell Griffin he is volunteered, since he’s the only one I can afford to lose”.

The man dashed out the door. Wulfhelm, it popped into his head, of course, after the kid was gone.
He sighed and rubbed his temples, it was just going to be one of those days.

Episode 1

The party boarded the smoldering ship. A light layer of char covered the entire external area of the ship. A man with his skin charred had been crucified on the mainmast A red flag with a black star flew over his head. Hannik recognized it as the flag of the smallest guild joining the voyage south, The Black Star. They were a group known for their readiness to do anything shady from smuggling and black market sales, to assassinations and human trafficking. They were shrewd customers though as any charges levied against them fell flat before the council. Some believed that several guilds on the council used their services from time to time.

They searched the ship over and found nothing but the remnants of combat, a few hams, and a barrel of onions. They went down into the below decks area and could hear two things talking to each other in the dark. They were very odd voices and not human. They inched forward and found that several boards had been nailed across an angle to make a small, jail cell of sorts. After some trepidation the party moved forward and found that there were two goblins locked inside. Goblins do not exist in the northern lands so this was akin to meeting the boogeyman for the party. The goblins were in wretched shape and were starving and needed water as well. They did not free them and sent Blake back to verify what the skipper wanted to do. Upon returning Blake informed the rest of the group that the captain wanted them freed and brought aboard. They would be bound to the mainmast and questioned. They got off the Mermaid’s Tail just as it began to sink.

The ship set sail and began heading south again. After about a week heading south, they were assaulted by a large storm. Thunder and lightning pounded and slashed through the blackness of the night. The rain hammered the deck, with only those on watch above decks. Wulfhelm noticed 5 large pillars of stone a few hundred yards away from the ship. The propulsion mage was able to slow the ship enough that they did not slam into the stones. They started to celebrate their good fortune for not having been skewered on the rocks. Then it attacked them.

Multiple gigantic, black. slime covered tentacles gripped the ship, followed by an octopus like black head with a singular yellow eye. The ship shuddered, and Wulfhelm rushed to the ships bell and began ringing it. The crew awakened from their slumber rushed to the deck to find they had been accosted by this creature. The captain drew his cutlass and began hacking at one of the tentacles of the creature. The party stormed the deck, and immediately began manning the harpoon guns. The creature is skewered by several of the harpoons but the party was unable to retrieve the harpoons from the creatures body. The creature smashed down onto Captain Riley and then grappled him, drawing the good Captain into his mouth and devouring him. The creature smashed down on Wulfhelm, nearly killing him, however Wulf avoided the grasp of the creature. The creature sprayed vomit over the deck and in it were small parasites. These paralyzed Slash. Wulfhelm was able to slide Slash into one of the longboats, and clambered in behind him. Everyone knows what happened next, and to this day Slash still loves Wulf. Each sailor the creature ate, it would vomit up more small parasites onto the deck which would sting and paralyze more sailors throwing them towards the creatures ring toothed maw. The party continued to fire harpoons into the tentacles of the creature until it let go of the ship. The creature changed positions so that it was grappled onto the front of the ship and began to crush and tip the ship. The party and crew frantically began trying to finish the creature off. Eventually after removing several tentacles Blake Griffin found the ordinance mage and they fired the front cannon directly into the creatures head. The creature burning and mortally wounded slipped off of the ship and into the frothing storm churned water. 15 members of the crew, including the captain. The ship was severely damaged and was taking on water. The executive officer was nowhere to be found.

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