We open this session with the Sirens Bane going full stealth. Its rigging filled with a minimal number of crew the enormous ship coasted almost silently through the clouds. Thunder cracked overhead and around the ship from time to time, illuminating dark sails framed by dark clouds. What little light there was on deck came from the dark fire lanterns spread around. Through the air all around the little party rain lashed, a particularly malevolent droplet deciding to launch a singular assault on Lana’s eyeball.
The party watched as Sabetha and Voral shared a moment, with Gilla delivering another small pouch of something to the young woman. While she did this Cartwright took time to speak quietly with each member of the party, filling them with a little inspiration and resolve for the battle ahead.
As the rain continued to pour down and the weather worsened agreeably the party took a moment to put their hands together, joined by Sabetha. Their hands went up, and with that there was nothing left to do before they dropped. The party lined up on the edge, with Harlow decidedly avoiding holding Kangs hand. Sabetha and Voral leapt out into the night, diving out into the clouds and the darkness to retrieve the parties secret weapon.
While she did that, the party in various states relating to the phrase ‘nervous wreck’, leapt from the ship. Gilla, hanging off the side, cast feather fall on them as they fell. They sped through the clouds, unable to see anything beyond each other. For one crystalline moment they all almost hung there, suspended in the clouds and darkness with nothing but one another. And then they cleared the cloud line and saw Haven.
The sparkling lights of the city stretched out in front of them, while the harbour stayed as more of a dark expanse. Lana pulled the group through the air to aim roughly at their target destination, and as they did they saw Sabetha climb back onto Voral, having apparently decided free fall was just more fun until it became necessary for her to actually ride her dragon.
She and Voral punched through the shimmering blue shield just ahead of the party, leaving a large enough hole with their bolt for the party to follow unobstructed. Down and down the party fell, with the Skykiller still not illuminated for them. Arranging themselves just right the party slipped into the water with barely a splash, partly thanks to Gilla’s feather fall and partly due to what one can only assume to be abundant diving experience.
Bobbing there the party took a moment to marvel at the fact that they had in fact survived the first part of the journey. Not the most threatening part, but certainly a part. Their moment of relief however was rather disrupted when Harlow became a whale. Feeling rather obvious she dived below the surface, the party holding furiously to her fins. Alongside her Voral slipped silently through the water, his armour helping him blend into the gloom.
Whale-low eventually found what they were looking for, anchors so big they could only come from one source. Not to far away the other anchor also lay nestled in the sea floor. Whale-low, completely unable to communicate, was conveniently the only one to notice as something very large and presumably unpleasant or murderous in nature swam through the general vicinity. Never the less, after several rather botched attempts at moving the anchor (for someone with near superhuman strength Kang often shows himself to be rather lacklustre in the moving of heavy things department) Voral began to slowly move one chain. Kang and Loralai left Lana and Sabetha to guard the small dragon trudging through the muck at the sea floor and rode on Harlows new fins towards the second anchor.
When they reached this second anchor they got to work applying their… erm… intellect… to the task of moving this anchor. Several hilariously ineffectual attempts involving trying to bend the links in the chain, and using the swords as foot rests were made before eventually they managed to move it. Possibly with the help of the whale. Who’s to say.
They managed to shift it a little bit, while Harlow kept a watchful ear out for the circling shark. One close call as it swam close reminded the party all at once of that golden rule. Never split the party.
They hurried to rectify this, conducting what was in no way shape or form a retreat from the scary looming shark in the gloom. They found the other team without trouble and rapidly fell down a rabbit hole of poor logic which in turn nearly lead to Loralai attempting to shatter the links in the anchor chain. Instead the party dragged it a little further until they got the ship to move just a touch, and proceeded to hide. Harlow meanwhile exploited her echolocation to hang at an appropriate level in the water and listen for the splash of the out rider. It came not too long later, and she returned to the party.
With Lana’s help, as well as with the assistance of the muck at the bottom of the harbour the party concealed themselves and lay in wait. A few minutes later one hapless wyvern and its rider showed up to have a look at the chain. The party waited for the opportune moment, then Harlow rose from the muck like some sort of weird goo monster and earthbound the wyvern. Lashes of yellow energy reached from the sea bed and attached themselves to the wyvern, dragging it back down to the sea bed. The rider meanwhile engaged in some rather questionable panicking and attempted removal of his armour (people with deficiencies in the intellect department do not doff their plate armour before diving into the water). Realising he couldn’t do that he instead simply swam for the chain and attempted to start pulling himself up.
Lana saw this and elected to deny him that particular privilege, instead burying a crossbow bolt in his back. The rest of the party at this moment sprung into action, Loralai blasting him with her eldritch blasts while Kang engaged the wyvern while it was bound to the sea floor. The combat was, in summary, quick, violent and one sided.
This was not because the party stuck around to slug it out. Instead they viciously wounded the wyvern while Sabetha shot the armoured rider off the chain, allowing his armour to drag him down to join his loyal mount. The party disengaged, fleeing up the chain.
As the party did so they saw, swimming out of the darkness towards the scent of fresh blood an enormous shark. One assumes that whatever befell the poor armoured rider and his mount, it was not pleasant. They both would have been most of the way to suffocation by the time the shark even got there.
The party, washing their hands of any kind of morally upright nature altogether, advanced up the chain, with Kang stopping to help Harlow who proved to be struggling a bit underwater. As they got towards the surface Sabetha and Voral detached from the group. Voral swam towards the surface, and as he did so Sabetha placed her hand on a small depression in the armour. As she did so the runes all along the armour suddenly burst into light and Voral began to ripple and grow, becoming twice his normal size. That would however be the last the party would see of the pair for a while.
The party continued up the anchor chain, sneaking their way up out of the water. They were able to quite clearly hear the sounds of absolute bloody bedlam happening above as Sabetha and Voral introduced themselves. In a congenial and friendly fashion one assumes. One certainly not related to throwing men from ships.
The party climbed the chain, with only one minor incident involving the rather slippery nature of the chain. Relatively unscathed to date the party found themselves in a small room, not quite big enough to be perfectly comfortable, but thankfully personal space was not their highest concern at that moment.
The party crouched by the door, waited for a moment to see if the coast was clear, then burst in. With a degree of stealth that would have made anyone proud the party slipped through a mostly unadorned gun deck, with just a few boxes and ropes lying around. They reached the stair well without particular incident, and prepared to rappel down. Amazingly they did this with a surprising degree of confidence and competence, right up until misfortune decided to remind them of its existance.
Kangs ropes, perhaps more strained than the rest of the ropes, suddenly snapped. Thankfully Loralai was rappelling right next to him, and managed to catch him with only one of her ropes snapping before she could swing him down onto the stairs. Thankfully that was all that became of that rather heart stopping moment and the rest of the rappelling through enemy lines happened without incident. Amazing that one.
The party gathered at the bottom of the stairs, finding themselves faced with two doors, one forwards towards the bow and one backwards towards the stern. After some brief consideration they gathered facing the stern door, the party members spreading out and readying themselves to launch their assault. You could cut the tension with a knife as they pushed the door gently open.
The sight that faced them was truly threatening beyond anything anyone had expected. In past the door were vast dark shapes, shadows and a truly alarming smell. Upon closer inspection this proved to not be an evil lair filled with evil but a store room filled with boxes and ropes.
Having bravely asserted their dominance over this door and attached store room they turned to face the presumably equally hazardous other room. They prepared themselves on this other door and braced themselves for combat. Loralai cracked open the door and the four erm… ‘heroes’… crept into the room.
What they found in this room was decidedly not what they were expecting one imagines. In the room was an enormous moon pool, easily most of the length of the ship, and nearly as wide. Below the moon pool there was an enormous cage which hung down into the water, sealing the sharks out and presumably absolutely nothing of any threat level what so ever in with them. Apparently the entire party had failed to notice this in any capacity on their way up to the ship, a fact that will no doubt be surprising to exactly no one. Secure in their wild assumptions that there was nothing in the room despite not actually checking the group proceeded forwards. As they did so they took in more details of the room.
The room was possessed of a large platform in the middle, which had a war table of some kind on it. Linking around this platform, as well as linking either side of the moon pool were a series of smaller floating platforms and bridges joining each together.
The group advanced towards the middle of the room, immediately drawn by the obvious and not at all trap like looking table on the central platform. In their oblivious entry to the room they failed to notice a large dark shape shifting in the space at the bottom of the cage. Said shifting shape, a Hydra, noticed above as four rather noisy assassins began their assault on the Skykiller by simply walking into the place and discussing what the table could be.
The hydra swam up from the bottom of the cage, apparently surprising the party as it burst from the water and landed on the bridge in front of Loralai, each of its five heads turned to look at her at once. With the party accidentally bottlenecked the Hydra struck, each of its five heads lashing out at Loralai. It took a moment for the party to react to this, but when they did they did rather enthusiastically. Oh, and all of them had absolutely no idea what it was. Naturally.
Kang, in a bloodthirsty rage, rushed forward, only to have the majority of his offensive power offset by the fact that Loralai was standing between him and the beast. Sticking further to the back Lana and Harlow began to slowly fill the creature with arrows and attempt to immolate it respectively.
The hydra, feeling rather outnumbered it seemed, looked down at Kang and the magically attuned of the party felt a stirring of magic as Kang’s mind suddenly went blank and he turned, eyes full of fury, to Harlow behind him. Loralai, having gone down behind the Hydra, was able to do nothing as Kang rushed the little druid.
Lana, her arrows doing somewhat nominal damage to the hydra’s many heads, was unable to do anything as Kang began to tear into Harlow with his colossal sword. It was at this moment Loralai had a very important realisation. If they could break the Hydra’s concentration its hold over Kang would also be broken. She rather fervently relayed this to the rest of the party, who immediately began to target the Hydra over Kang.
Kang however got in one fateful round of blows upon Harlow before the rain of attacks on the Hydra lead it to loose concentration on its hold over Kangs mind. It slipped through the space and attempted to get between Harlow and Lana, but only succeeded in occupying this space briefly before Lana could disengage from it and Harlow could adopt a studier form.
Kang, newly freed from his mental hold, charged the beast and began to hack it to pieces, its regenerative nature not holding up under the weight of such blows. Loralai at this moment lashed out with the first piece of magic they’d ever seen her use, creating a whip made of crackling electricity and dragging the hydra into the water and away from her team mates.
This manoeuvre, even though it caused her to go down once again, allowed Harlow and Lana to get clear, while Kang and Loralai (having been brought back from the brink once again by the healing touch of Harlows words) closed in for the kill. It was Kang, in the end, who scored the final blow on the creature as he used his colossal sword to cleave straight through all five heads of the creature in one smooth motion. The beast decidedly dead he elected to kick it into the water for good measure before the party rushed to once again revive Loralai.
With all of the party standing (though in some cases only barely) they staggered in the general direction of the door at the end of the room, intending to see their job through to its conclusion. It was at this point they decided that perhaps instead a short break was in order before they proceeded. The group, exploiting their capacity to breathe underwater at this point, settled on the bottom of the cage and allowed themselves a moment.
This done, and with the party feeling somewhat more resilient and less fragile than they had a few moments before, they headed up and braced themselves against the door at the far side of the room. Taking a moment to brace themselves for battle the party stood aside and waited until Kang kicked out with one massive foot and kicked the door completely out of its frame, sending it skidding across a room and into another war table.
The room they had just kicked their way into was at the bow of the ship, featuring a large war table in the middle and a set of stairs to a raised platform with a large basin of silvery water. Oh, and it had the remaining two of the ships captains standing ready to meet the intruders.
Lyne, standing off to one side, muttered something arcane under her breath and cast a spell on the single most obvious target in the immediate vicinity… the towering half orc with the sword slightly too large for the cramped confines of the ship. For the second time that day Kang found his mind assaulted by forces far beyond hid own understanding and fear of Lyne rushed into him much like his own battle frenzy. It was at this point when Lana released her silence arrow, firing it towards Lyne. The captain almost contemptuously flicked an arcane shield between her and the enchanted arrow and sneered at the oncoming assailants.
Bodvar meanwhile came charging towards the group, intend to bring the colossal sword he held down on anyone he could see. Loralai, see Lyne as a much greater threat than Bodvar, dashed forwards and as she did a wave of silent energy flickered outwards and all sound within the area was deafened. Harlow darted to one side, hurling fire, while Lana backed up and filled Bodvar full of arrows. The two warriors Kang and Bodvar clashed, each laying into one another with their respective weapons. Meanwhile Loralai shone as she engaged in close quarters combat with Lyne. Trapped in the silence bubble and well within the reach of Loralai’s polearm she was unable to move for one crucial moment.
Bodvar saw this and decided to go to his allies aid. He disappeared from Kangs vicinity, appearing behind Loralai and taking a moment to cleave into her with his sword. While bloodied the warlock stood and her friends rushed to her aid. Unfortunately this was a moment too late and Lyne took the opportunity to slip from the bubble of silence and ended up on the platform next to the alter. She looked at Loralai, vengeance in her eyes, and cast the same spell she had on Kang. Loralai’s mind, unable to hold up to the psychic pressure, caused her to collapse briefly, which in turn dropped the bubble of silence.
Everyone, even Lana who had crept to the door, heard it when Bodvar quite clearly touched his hand to his ear and then told them to surrender as they had captured Sabetha. When no one responded he simply ordered his men to kill her and proceeded to return to the fight.
Loralai, brought back to consciousness once again by Harlow, awoke just in time to see Lyne realise the fight was not a winnable one and, with a twist of her hands and an arcane mutter, she blinked out of existance.
With his ally departed it was a short, bloody and wholly unpleasant fight for Bodvar, which ended rather quickly with Loralai taking his head clean off his shoulders. Barely a second passed after this before Lana was off, running back towards the ship’s main staircase, desperately hoping of a chance to save Sabetha.
Kang caught her up to her and held her, but for the first time since they had known each other found himself rather intimidated by the little half elf. This moment did however buy the other two a chance to catch up and they all sprinted up the stairs together.
The sight that greeted them on the deck was not a pretty one. They came up near the stern of the ship, and could see Sabetha standing at the very front of the ship. Or rather, what remained of Sabetha. Half her face had been torn clear off, leaving nothing but exposed skin and blood pouring off her in rivers. She was clearly limping, with a bolt sticking cleanly through where her knee had been and she was bleeding from hundreds of smaller less notable injuries. She still stood though, and she stood in front of Voral. Voral looked to be in a similar state, holding one clawed foot off the ground to avoid putting weight on it and with holes all through his wings. Some of the holes could have fit a grown man’s torso through them, if not one the size of Kang.
It appeared that she had been backed into a corner, with what looked like close to 30 soldiers gathered around her pointing various weapons at her. She stood, her twin hand crossbows held at the ready as she waited for someone to make the first move.
As the party crept forwards slowly she didn’t appear to have noticed them or their calls to her over the ear ring, her ear having apparently been lost with the majority of her face. Creeping forward however Kang surprised the group by having a startling realisation. The Sirens Bane was probably hanging around in the clouds above them. The Sirens Bane that, now that the siege weaponry on the deck had been splintered by Voral, could dip below the clouds.
Harlow, using a hurried message scrawled by Loralai, called forth fey creatures and sent them up into the sky to deliver a message to what they hoped would be their trump card. This done they crept forwards as the standoff continued between Sabetha and all of the soldiers on deck.
The party reacted, having just come into reasonable range, when one of the soldiers reached for Sabetha and tried to grab for her. The girl, even though she resembled nothing more than a face made primarily of mince, reacted with surprising speed, instantly stepping back and firing one of the crossbows at him. There was a momentary shock from the group as the mans face, it appeared, combusted with alchemical fire.
Just as the party began to run forward in a mad attempt to help the girl Harlow and Lana noticed the clouds overhear roil and then breach as the keep of an enormous air ship broke free from the storm. The Sirens Bane, its canons pointed directly for the Skykiller, rolled to provide an angle and spat hundreds of feet of flame all at once towards the ship.
Now, it is worth noting at this point that the ship had formerly held a large amount of siege engines. Siege engines made from wood. Wood now reduced to splinters by making the acquaintance of a particularly upset wyvern. It was therefore not as surprising as everyone seems to consider it when the side of the ship that was briefly bathed in the ships cannon fire almost instantly started to burn.
The party stood, momentarily bewildered, as the crew of the Skykiller fled for their lives down the rat lines into the waters below. They rushed instead for Sabetha and though they were unable to offer her more than a perfectly common healing potion they did manage to get her to feed it to Voral. Seeing the modicum of healing it did the battered dragon Sabetha immediately swung herself up onto him (and one simply cannot imagine how much that would have hurt her newly ruined knee) onto Voral and they leapt into the sky as the Sirens Bane fed the Skykiller another gout of flame before it began to ascend towards the cloud line once again.
Sabetha and Voral, upon reaching the shield that stretched over the city, briefly disappeared in a puff of darkness, reappearing on the other side and continuing onwards towards their home. The party watched this, smiling a little sadly, each of them not quite clicking that they might want to be doing something.
It was the screams of the men from the water that brought them back to awareness of their surroundings. That they were on a ship. A flaming ship. A flaming ship that was now slowly sinking into the harbour as its remaining crew tried to flee for the shore. That didn’t seem like somewhere they particularly wanted to be, so by way of mutual and surprisingly sensible decision they fled the ship, climbing down the rat lines towards the water. As they did they were in a prime position to notice that one of the sailors who had been on the ship was swimming towards the pier. They were also in a prime position to notice when he was bitten in half by an enormous dark shape in the water.
It is sometimes amazing how resourceful heroes can be. How amazingly they can use their various incredible powers for the greater good, harnessing vast knowledge, incredible skill and impossible strength to overcome the impossible. This was not one of those times. This was one of those times when stupidity saved the party. To be precise, it was the stupid moment, all those weeks ago, when Loralai threw a weird crossbow bolt at another airship that saved the party. It was the rowbolt that saved the party.
Quickly absconding with some chunks of wood from the mostly flaming deck the party again hurried down the ratlines and when they reached the water Loralai deployed their greatest weapon.
They clambered in and, each member taking up a piece of wood, began to madly and only some what effectually paddle and splash their way towards the pier. On their way a panicked and desperate sailor tried to clamber his way into their little boat to avoid the certain death that lurked in the waves. Loralai, without the slightest care for the mans wellbeing, shot a blast of the night sky itself at him, pushing him away from the little boat and almost directly into the jaws of one of the great sharks enjoying the feeding frenzy.
Still madly paddling the party headed for the pier as the burning ship slowly began to sink beneath the waves behind them and sharks murdered men in the waves around them. The party’s luck momentarily ran out however when the rowbolt, having served them faithfully for so long, disappeared from under then just as they were reaching the pier. After a moment of panic where Harlow proved her incredible newfound strength by nearly drowning the party clambered up onto the pier, soggy, exhausted but quite decidedly alive.
They stood there, momentarily admiring their handiwork until once again they realised they should probably not be doing the thing they were doing. It is, rather unfortunately, a trend.
Seeing the crowds slowly gathering in the harbour the party decided to slip away into darker alleyways to deliberate their next move. Now, in the interests of time they considered options such as attempting to sneak out the locked and guarded gates and climb over the walls before settling on the sewers as a possible means of escape. After finding a sewer grate and slipping down once again into the sewerage of the city (they’re 2 for 2, for those playing along at home) they wandered for nearly an hour before realising that perhaps they were not do adept at finding secret passageways as they might otherwise have presumed.
It was at this point that something truly incredible happened. Something that topped the war they had halted, their badass dive through the clouds, even their mad paddle from the flaming hulk of the ship. Loralai made a suggestion that truly indicated how desperate they were to hide from the city guard. She suggested that they hide in the sewers, and sleep there.
The party, after recovering from the shock, agreed that this was not a terrible idea and searched for a place and eventually settled on a small cistern. Loralai and Lana stood watch while Harlow slept to allow her magic to slowly return to her and Kang slept to not be so sleepy. Priorities people. Over the course of their watch Loralai and Lana heard various soldiers marching around in the sewers, apparently scouring them but seemed unable to find the parties little hide away.
Kang and Harlow awoke in the early hours of the morning and the group conferred on what to do about their current predicament. Not the sewer one. If Loralai was suggesting they do it clearly these sort of conditions were to be expected from now on. No instead they discussed how they intended to get out of the city and decided on the usual plan of sending up Harlow as a mouse to investigate.
Mouse-low, little, brown, adorable and smelling rather decidedly of sewer, crept up onto the street level and scurried around doing a brief inspection of their previous options to note that the soldiers atop the wall had been increased, and the gates in and out of the city were barred. She also ascertained that there was a guard station not too far from their present position, and that they would need to be very stealthy about their escape.
Said extremely stealthy escape took the form of Harlow summoning a flock of giant owls. Because you know, thats how sneaking is done. The party, sitting astride their majestic beasts, took off straight into the sky. Almost immediately arrows began to fill the sky around them, but miraculously few seemed to find their marks. Retreating into the sky and then heading out over the forests around Haven the party had a moment to just enjoy soaring. They had to put down briefly so that Harlow could renew the spell keeping them flying as they sped away from the city over the treetops.
The party eventually located a small campsite near a river, where they were able to throw up a message to the Sirens Bane. It took a while, but eventually Harlow heard Gilla’s voice in her head as the little halfling wizard cast Sending to speak to them. It was through this, and some clever use of skywriting, that Harlow was able to direct the ship to their rough location. The party saw the anchor of the ship break the cloud line and drop into the forest nearby and a short time later they were on their way upwards towards the ship.
What greeted them aboard the ship was not a pleasant sight. Cartwright stood on deck waiting for them and though she did not say it anger and disappointment flowed off her in waves. Even the less perceptive in the party noticed that perhaps she was less than pleased with them. Maybe its because her outrider was returned to her missing half her face. Or you know, maybe not.
She did however acknowledge that they had technically done their job and that so long as Captain Lyne remained removed from play it would be fair to consider their contract settled. She told them of an island she knew where she recommended they lay low for a while, given that a very large group of people would like be wanting them dead. In this conversation Harlow, for all intents and purposes, did an excellent job of confirming who the party were precisely and what their connection to the Predator was. With the end of their conversation Cartwright turned, long dark oil cloak flapping, and headed up to the quarterdeck leaving the party to their own business.
The party took some time to deliberate, eventually deciding to go to the island and try and arrange for Sly to meet them there. They returned to Cartwright with this decision and thus it was arranged. Gilla helped Harlow contact Sly again, while the rest of the party milled around on the ship. Lana spent the days confined to her bunk, trying not to think of the slaughter and trying to enchant her boots a little. Loralai bullied the entire group into braving seeing Cartwright again to collect their payment. Kang joined a work party, helping with manual labour around the ship. Harlow spent time with her mice and worked on her armour. Loralai, with help from several of the others, ended up slipping a note under Sabetha’s door along with some flowers.
It was later that evening, as they all lay in their bunks, that they saw Sabetha for the first time since the deck of the Skykiller. She was recognisable mostly by her profile, as much of what had previously defined her was not present in the young woman. The fiery spirit was no where to be seen, neither was the smile or the boundless energy. She limped, carrying herself without any kind of spring in her step, and her face was hidden behind an almost featureless black mask that wrapped almost entirely around her face. This mask hid her features from view, preventing the party from gaining and understanding of how she had healed or even what she looked like anymore.
Sabetha, clearly different, stared at the party for a long moment before turning to leave, their farewell note still in hand. Not one of the party did a thing as the young woman limped back to the stairs and slowly down towards her quarters.
Apart from these events the two days passed reasonably quietly, with nothing out of the ordinary happening. The party were eventually called to deck as the ship pulled down over a small speck of green in the deep blue of the waves far below them. The party took a moment to say a fleeting goodbye to Vitira, who smiled and waved them off, and with nothing more than that the party stepped off the Sirens Bane and once again found themselves plummeting downwards.
Air whipped by the party as they fell, though in a notably more relaxed context to the last time they did so. The four of them touched down on the sand of an enormous beach with hardly a shift in the golden surface of the beach. They all got a moment to stop an appreciate the beauty of the little island getaway they were to spend a little while on. Golden sand stretched for several hundred feet to lapping waves of an almost perfectly transparent blue sea. Birds chirped gently in the tropical rainforest behind them and palm trees littered the beach on every available surface.
Rising in front of them was a small cliffside which apparently rose from the beach to their left. At the top of this stood what was apparently a mostly intact lighthouse. In fact, looking around, there were a few buildings or ruins therein around the island. One stood back at the edge of this very beach, while others were littered further back and away from the shoreline. Another stood atop the sandbank that enclosed the bay they resided in. This sandbank apparently served as an excellent wave break, because a small coral reef was located inside this harbour.
Harlow immediately flopped into the beach, followed by Loralai who apparently thought sand angels are a thing. Lana decided to, finally, get herself out of her armour and enjoy the feeling of the sun and wind on her skin for a little while. Kang began erecting a small defensive position using the spears in the bags of holding. Naturally.
It took only a few minutes before the party decided they needed to go exploring. Following Harlows lead they set off into the jungle, apparently walking in a random direction. At no point did they notice the eyes watching them. Not once did they stop to consider that, perhaps, there was more than them on this island.
Glerg the goblin watched the group of… he didn’t quite know how to think of them… unnaturally clean things he supposed. Glerg watched the group of unnaturals land on the beach, apparently without regards to any kind of injury they might take from this undertaking. They immediately began discarding possessions, placing them on the sand or sticking their spears into the sand. Presents perhaps?
This was not the sort of offering Glerg the goblin appreciated. He preferred things several days rotted. Organic refuse was his vice of choice.
Crouched atop a small lookout point in the ruins at the base of the beach he squinted at the group as they began, as far as he could tell, rolling around in the sand. Odd. Irrespective he couldn’t stand for this intrusion upon their territory. They would have to be taught a lesson. Glerg leapt from the tower down to ground level and hurried back to the campsite where the others were. In hushed tones he conveyed the situation and, after about twenty minutes of vicious bickering, the goblins as a whole agreed that while Glerg was absolutely not right about any sort of intruders (for Glerg cannot be right about anything, its simply not allowed) they should investigate the beach. Just in case there were intruders.
Glerg, rather miserably, walked the back of their little pack as they marched to the edge of the forest and observed the intruders. His leader, much to Glergs disappointment, assigned him to the ‘takers of things’ rather than the ‘hitters of things’ group.
The hitters of things broke off from the two particularly mangey goblins Glerg had been paired with and stalked the intruders as they ventured towards the treeline. The takers of things meanwhile crouched in wait for the sounds of battle to begin. It didn’t take long. In the distance Glerg and his compatriots heard the sound of battle as the mighty hitters of things clashed with the intruders. Apparently their ambush had been sprung, and thus the signal was given and he and his fellows began to run out towards where they had left their things.
Upon arriving Glerg found a wooden… half person… thing… along with a number of scraps of leather, a few weapons and the like. After a nominal amount of time spent bickering (its tradition, you have to) all the things were loaded into the half person wood thing and hoisted above their heads. It was just as the three little goblins were beginning to sprint for the treeline that one of the intruders, the one who’s things they carried, appeared from where the ambush had been. Clearly the lone survivor of their cunning ambush.
Glerg screeched just a little bit as she began running, only to be relived when she didn’t immediately begin running towards them. It took him perhaps close to 30 seconds to realise that while she was not running towards them she was running in such a way as to intersect with their path. That kind of mental consideration hurt his brain. It hurt his brain more when he noticed that there was some kind of giant cat with the intruder, and it seemed rather fast.
The goblins crashed into the treeline, with Lana and a wild shaped Harlow close on their heels. Try as they might the goblins were simply not as fast as the druid, and she slowly closed on them. The moment she came within range Harlow pounced, gutting a goblin with one swipe of her claws. Lana kept closing the distance. Harlow squared off against the two goblins, which would obviously have been a truly challenging and potentially deadly fight if not for the timely intervention of Lana the amazing punching ranger. Or almost. She instead decided to back up and protect their gear, but it was a close call.
As Harlow swatted the second goblin down Glerg looked around in a panic. He was clearly not going to win this, but the other goblins didn’t need to know that. He squeaked and bolted through the trees. What Glerg was perhaps unfamiliar with is the following; large cats are fairly reasonable at tracking, as are rangers. It was thus with this, as he ran through the forest thinking he was free and clear that he came face to face with a large rather angry looking tiger. Glerg turned, intending to flee madly, and was rather unfortunately pinned to a tree by way of an arrow through his skull.
So ends the heroic tale of Glerg the goblin. Cut down in the prime of his life by a pair of unscrupulous adventurers who wanted to steal what was clearly rightfully his.
Anyway, back to the four idiots. It is around this time that the ever helpful Loralai and Kang arrived on the scene, ready to vanquish the terrible foes that… wait its over? Oh, oh okay then.
The party, feeling rather embarrassed at having been duped by such a simple ruse, returned to the beach where they all felt the need to wash off any goblin stink that had been erm… attached to their gear. As they concluded this very important matter of business it came to their attention that the sun was setting and they should probably find a campsite for the night. Beaches aren’t the best places for that, on account of little things like the tide.
Harlow, being the ever brilliant master of the powers of the earth, cast water walking on the group and they just sorta wandered over to the little ruin on the sandbank. Along the way Kang uncovered some very important information… the reef was obviously hostile and out to get him.
The party gathered inside the second (much dryer) floor of the little ruin and bedded down for the night. Their watches past rather uneventfully with the only minor note that Harlow saw a flickering of light inside the lighthouse, and Kang kept up a constant vigil for goblins during his watch. Lana also took some time to tune into her primeval awareness, discovering a small undead presence somewhere on the island.
As the sun rises of Maesa Sari the party stirs to consciousness once again. Who knows what strange new sights and incredibly harrowing battles await them on this new day?