Day 4 at sea – 26th Declarations – afternoon
The rain picked up, and it made Brinn nervous. Cora was excited about the new food, and had to rest her voice after all the battle singing. Sir Didymus checked on the horses. Luhluh took a post-feast nap, then buzzed energetically about the ship. Sparkboom relaxed with some of his alchemist things.
There was a thunderstorm, and everyone got seasick (except for some of the ponies).
We all felt better, but still somewhat ill (-2 to attacks, etc). Brinn and Cora spotted something in the distance splashing (Luhluh could also hear it). They thought at first that it seemed to be a human torso in the water, and quickly suspected a merperson. Cora recalled that merfolk are aquatic humanoids with coloration varying by region. They rarely talk to non-merfolk, and usually steer sailors away from their homes. As the ship approached, we could see that the figure was a mermaid in a large patch of seaweed, caught in a fishnet. She answered Cora’s hail in Merchant’s Tongue, calling for help.
Sparkboom, Luhluh, Cora, and two seamen went down in a launch to aid her. When Sparkboom reached out to cut her free of the net, he was grabbed around the waist by some sort of tentacle and pulled from the boat! He responded by drinking a potion to breathe fire at it (which came out as steam under the water). More seaweed tentacles reached for Sparkboom and one of the two seamen. Luhluh used the blue portion of the rod to heal Sparkboom.
Brinn lept off the boat to attack the seaweed monster, but tripped and couldn’t strike it on the way down. Cora tried to use the wand of Magic Missile without success, and Sir Didymus determined that it was not, technically, evil (and thus he could not challenge it). As tentacles began to grab Brinn and Luhluh continued her healing efforts with the rod, Sir Didymus ran to the stockpile to grab a bow.
Sparkboom realized that the creature is a “Strangleweed”, a large aquatic plant that hunts by ambush. And it is also resistant to fire. They, actually; there were two of them. The tentacles tightened, and Cora hit with an arrow. She also used magic to help Sparkboom swim, and he managed to break free! But the tentacles quickly came for him again, grabbing Luhluh this time as well. She soon slipped out of it. Brinn struggled to stay afloat in his armor. Sir Didymus, after missing with his arrow, changed tactics. He downed a potion of Bull’s Strength and jumped into the water beside Brinn. Sparkboom also turned to potions, in his case Cure Light Wounds. Cora hit with another arrow, and observed that the first strangleweed seemed nearly dead.
Luhluh switched the rod from blue to gold, and we all found ourselves moving faster! We were able to strike more often and dodge more deftly. This was very helpful.
Luhluh also used the white portion of the rod on Brinn, which made him feel luckier. However, the choking tentacles had knocked him unconscious, and he seemed to be dying!
Cora was able to cast Cure Light Wounds on Sparkboom, and shoot the nearly-defeated monster. Sir Didymus cast about for a way to heal Brinn, and chose a spell which gave him temporary hit points. Sparkboom broke free of the tentacles once again and backed out of the way. The first monster struck at Cora, then dropped; it was dead. Yet the second was still hurting Brinn, and grappled Sir Didymus as well!
Luhluh tried to get to Brinn, diving gracefully to his side and giving him a potion, which stabilized him. Meanwhile Cora hit the second monster with one of two arrows, and aided Sir Didymus’s swimming with some magical inspiration. Sir Didymus then laid hands on Brinn, who woke up. Sparkboom, with his hands now free, switched to hurling ice bombs at the monster, which was more effective than fire.
The strangleweed continued to attack Brinn and Sir Didymus, and Luhluh and Cora continued to respond with potions and arrows. Then Sir Didymus smote the monster twice with his sword, and a final bomb from Sparkboom brought an end to its rampage.
Freed of the tentacles and insisting he was fine, Brinn swam to the mermaid and freed her from the net. She pressed an amulet into his hand in thanks, and quickly swam off. We all returned to the ship to share healing spells. Cora took a closer look at the amulet, determining that it held magic to make the skin grow tough fish scales, improve swimming ability, and something else she couldn’t quite identify.
Day 7 – 29th Declarations
A sunny day. Luhluh hung out with Seaman Gary Gygax in the crow’s nest. Brinn stood in the prow looking out. He spied a small vessel ahead to the east. It was a coracle with three skeletons in it (not animated skeletons, but skeletal corpses), wearing pirate hats. Cora grabbed a hat with Mage Hand, cleaned it with Prestidigitation, and wore it for the rest of the day. There was nothing else of value in the coracle.
Later in the day we spotted a hat floating in the water. Cora snagged this one with Mage Hand too, but a spider hopped out and bit her! Sparkboom threw a bomb at the spider. Luhluh tried to catch it in her listening cone, but it was too fast for her. Yet somehow, Brinn shot it with an arrow! When Cora calmed down, she identified the spider. It was indeed poisonous, but she was okay.
In the evening, we saw a floating chest, and fished it out of the water. It was a standard woman’s hope chest, containing linens embroidered with the initials E. S.
Cora spotted a large red thing in the water. It proved to be the soggy red wax coating from a wheel of cheese. It reminded one of the sailors of a story, which he then shared. The long tale of Captain Coravel, a fearsome pirate. His ship was blown off course, and Sirens lured some of his crew off his boat to an island. The Captain had the rest of the crew plug their ears with wax from cheese to resist the tempting song. There was a fight which lasted days. In the end, the pirates stole a giant pearl from the island, but it was cursed. The Captain renamed his ship the Siren’s Prize in its honor. Some time later, he murdered his whole crew in a storm.
Cora had heard a bit of this legend before, but not in such detail. The group decided that the wax may be useful and kept it.
Just after lunch, there was a cry of Land Ho! We had arrived at the city of Dralven. In the harbor, we saw a fleet of beautiful ships in their own private part of the docks. They were flying a flag with a golden serpent and the symbol of the king of Eldor.
We observed that the countryside features low rolling hills, houses, plowed fields, and a fancy house on a hill. The town has one major road, between the crowded dock district and the more open rest of the city. Dralven is bigger than Yelden, but smaller than Dayolen. The buildings are made primarily of a deep red wood. There are only humans in the city, just a few non-humans in the docks. The citizens are dressed in browns and tans. It is a well-kept city with a reserved, serious look. The Captain reminded us to check in at the guard post before doing anything else. Later, we should send just Brinn and Sir Didymus with him to claim the prize money for taking down a pirate ship. The docking paperwork and unloading began in a much more quiet and orderly fashion than we were used to.
At the guard post, Brinn did the talking and slipped the man there two gold. He gave us paperwork and told us to check in again when we left town. We reported that we only planned to stay the night before leaving. Next, Brinn, Sir Didymus, and Captain Gale turned in the captured pirates. They were told that the reward would be delivered in the morning.
We walked to the Temple of the Stars. On the way, people stared at our group and yelled rude and racist comments. We discussed our options, and chose to stay the night at the Temple. It’s clean, safe, and quiet. The staff are a little hostile toward us, but we don’t expect the trouble we may encounter at the tavern.
Despite their distant attitude toward foreigners and non-humans (particularly elves), Cora is able to learn gossip from the Temple staff. The cursed town we have heard about is called Hilnden. It is 38 miles by road to the north. Rumor has it that a demon lives near there, and has turned the creek black, the fish are dying. Cora thinks the various details are paranoid exaggeration. She also hears rumor that Lord Colbrander is practicing necromancy, and that the Breezekeeper, a ship which vanished years ago, has been sighted.
Brinn also converses with locals. He hears more about Hilnden, reports of ghosts in the woods and livestock going missing. Also, it seems a wizard lives north of here in a tower on the cliffs. The locals do not view him as welcome, but he’s dangerous. Finally, one of the Gilded Runners (the fancy ships we saw in the harbor) has crashed into the cliffs.
There is not much shopping to be done in Dalven, mostly just seafood. Prices are quite high in general, and will be even worse for foreigners and demihumans.
“Orc’s balls!” -Kara
“I think the seamen act on your turn.” – Jimmy to Mike
“It’s got a mouthfull of blue seamen.” – Mike
Kara: “And Sparkboom, you’re feeling less cursed.”
Tommy: “I don’t know if that’s true.”
Mike: “Lefty, my lap is warm.”
Meghan: “First world problems.”