Chapter 7 - Into the Vilhon Reach (1359DR, 19th Eleasias - 13th Eleint)
The wheels of my mind began spinning for a course of action; from our
previous (and disastrous) battle with these creatures I knew that their
speed was so great that only a skilled warrior like Amber stood a chance
of hitting one. Even if I got in a lucky swing, they could only be harmed
by enchanted weapons and the only one I owned was in Faergil's Portable
Hole. They were highly resistant to magic and completely immune to fire,
even if I could employ flame without the risk of burning down The Undying
Gaze. My options were limited to say the least.
Amber showed no such hesitation. In a flash her swords were in her hands
and she was calling out to the Fiends to face her. One seemed to be far
more interested in tearing up the deck in an attempt to get to the sleeping
crew below but one turned it's nightmarish head in our direction. In an
instant it had closed the distance between itself and Amber and lashed
out with both of it's huge, hook clawed hands and feet and made a plunging
thrust with its razor sharp beak. Even as it left behind the rendered
remains of the sailor it had killed a third Fiend dropped down from the
rigging to take it's place.
Luckily it seemed more interested in satisfying it's bloody appetite
then joining the fight. Somehow Amber was able to dodge on of the feet
but the rest tore into her. Blooded but unbroken she countered with two
swift strikes with one of her swords, forcing the creature to fall back
a few inches. I had fallen in behind Amber and calling upon Silvanus's
power over the flow of time imbedded her with the divine, if short-lived,
gift to nudge future events to her benefit.
The second Fiend had been slowed long enough by it's attempts to get
through the hatch to the lower decks for my friends below to prepare themselves.
Colatto renewed the Stone Skin spell upon himself while Faergil used his
mirror image spell to create magical decoys. Bazil and Primrose began
to clamber up to the deck in an attempt to reinforce Amber and myself
and Baldric called upon Tymora to imbue him with her divine energies.
By now the sailors were beginning to react and grab for their weapons
to battle the creatures. Amber and Baldric both called out to them to
keep back, that they would only be throwing their lives away.
The Fiend on Amber renewed its attack but aided by Silvanus she was able
dodge a foot and one hand and parry its second hand. Still the beak and
one clawed foot hit her. Before she could counter attack the Varok employed
one of Faergil's favourite tricks and created three illusionary decoys
of itself. Two of the decoys were dispelled in quick succession as Amber
slashed at them with two mighty blows. She made a thrust at one of the
two remaining Varok (one the real thing, the other an illusion) but it
slipped past her. I quickly took the opportunity to renew the blessing
The third Fiend had noticed Bazil's arrival on deck and lunged towards
him,. By calling on the power of his magical short-sword "Kithral" Bazil
was able to strike at a speed which rivalled the Varok. Both combatants
were frustrated as the halfling's blow was turned aside and the Fiend
only managed to make two successful slashes with it's feet. A second latter
Primrose was on deck beside Bazil and delivered a double-handed blow on
the Fiend with her enchanted blade.
The second V'rock was now through the hatch and dropped like a stone
onto Baldric, driving him to the ground with it's raking feet and piercing
him with it's beak before engulfing the lower decks in darkness. Quickly
Colatto pulled one of Faergil's Light Stones from his pocket, dispelling
the darkness. The Fiend now visible Faergil targeted it with a spell of
weakness but to no effect. A few seconds latter the silver handled knife
of Cpt. Tannor imbedded itself into the Fiend's flank. Seeing this some
of the braver sailors attempted to attack the beast but were driven back.
Baldric called upon The Lady again and bestowed upon Colatto a Battle
Up on deck the Fiends had renewed their attack; Amber took slashes from
both of the feet of her foe and it's beak and Bazil, despite a spirited
defence, suffered three slashes. The valiant halfling was beginning to
suffer. Bazil counter attacked but his skill with a sword was no match
for the Fiend's agility. Once more Primrose proved the luckier and her
blade bit deep into the V'rock. Amber hit and disrupted her opponent's
last magical duplicate leaving only the real Fiend. In a flash she had
brought the sword around and thrust it deep into the V'rock.
Even with the combined protection of The Art and Tymora Colatto, down
in the hold, attempted one of the bravest things I had ever heard of and
grappled with the Fiend. Incredibly he was able to pin it up against the
side of the hull and hold it there long enough for Baldric to call upon
Tymora to drain away the Fiend's resilience to magic. Then Baldric placed
his hand on the V'rock; unleashing the divine power he had been storing
inside of himself and Dispelling the Fiend from this plane. Now without
a target to attack below decks Faergil turned his attention to the hatch
through which the Fiend had gained entry. Looking up he could just about
see the Varock that was attacking Bazil and chanced his arm with another
spell. This time luck was with Faergil as a flurry of five magical darts
raked the Fiend. Snatching up his fallen dagger (it had remained behind
when the Varock had been banished) Tannor headed up on deck to continue
the defence of his ship.
Amber's wounds (wounds which I had no doubt would have killed me) were
starting to tell on her so I let the "time shaping" power subside and
instead channelled the life giving energies of Silvanus as best I could
in an attempt to cure the worst of her wounds. It was well that I did
because no more then a second latter Amber's foe found the opening it
needed to renew it's attack scoring three more savage blows on the rangeress.
Wearily she swung back at it. Once, twice she swang but both missed and
she took a more defensive posture. Quickly I moved in again to heal these
Below decks Baldric was healing the worst of his own injuries while Colatto
and Faergil began to make their way up on deck after Tannor.
Bazil continued to be the target of the third V'rock's attacks taking
one more clawed slash and one more jab from its beak before Primrose was
finally able to deliver a killing blow on the Fiend. Then the two mages
arrived. Seeing Amber in danger Colatto charged in making a double handed
chop with Sarth that struck home. Faergil conjured a blue orb of magical
energy, which he threw at the Fiend. Luckly Faergil missed by a mile since
both Amber and Colatto were in close combat with the Fiend and I was no
more then arms length away; in the confusion the chances that one of us
would have been hit instead must have been fairly high!
The last V'rock must have been feeling the pinch now. Amber had seriously
wounded it and now it faced two warriors with magical blades. Tannor and
Baldric had also arrived. Unleashing a terrible cry, which we endured
through gritted teeth, the Fiend simply disappeared. Quickly I headed
over to Bazil and used the power of Silvanus to heal him. As I did I heard
moaning coming from below, moans of pain rather then fear. Heading down
to look I found that some of the sailors were bleeding from the ears as
a result of the Varock's scream. I did what I could for their injuries
and called down Baldric to help.
By the time we were finished and had gone back up onto the deck Captain
Tannor was demanding a few answers. We confessed that the Varock had indeed
come after us and I explained to him about the drow and their unholy alliances.
Amber clearly didn't appreciate me telling Tannor as much as I did but
I have often found that the world has a way of rewarding trust. As it
did in this time when the captain asked if our reason for heading for
Nimpeth was to see the famous library of it's ruler Lord Woren. We took
the opportunity to speculate why the Varock had attacked that night and
not any other night since the battle in Deependale; if they could track
us unerringly via some form of magic it seemed strange that they would
have taken so long to catch up. Perhaps some event had occurred that we
were unaware of which had given away our position. Another theory, my
personal preference, was they had tracked us to Suzail but then had to
catch up with and investigate every ship that left port on the same day
as us until they found the correct one.
The danger past most of us returned to sleep. Amber had become grim since
the battle and instead of going to sleep took up watch on the stern of
the ship, scanning the horizon for any more signs of pursuit. A post she
maintained every night for the rest of the voyage whenever she was able.
Colatto paid a late night visit on Tannor and asked him about Abar, learning
that he was an ex-slave from Nimpeth who had managed to buy his own freedom.
Over the next few days Baldric and I worked to erase the physical scars
of the battle with the V'rock. The sea was an azure blue and we had a
nice breeze though it was getting hotter. Bazil wanted a few magical trinkets
he had picked up over his adventures examined. Faergil had a spell which
did just that but usually didn't cast it due to the period of weakness
it caused him and the fact it required a valuable pearl. Bazil had purchased
such a pearl off of Cpt. Tannor so Faergil agreed. Wisely, considering
recent happenings, Colatto asked if his cloak could be examined too. The
first item to be tested was an amulet Bazil had taken from a sorceress
he had battled. Under Faergil's power it was revealed to protect the owner
from attempts at possession and that, if he were slain, his soul would
reside in the amulet rather then depart this plane. The second was a magical
circulate that a lich which "lived" beneath Stringfellow's Keep had given
him. Unfortunately the spell revealed nothing new, which was the same
result when Faergil tried the amulet that Bazil had found at the sight
of the drow's death in Immersea. Colatto's cloak gave some surprising
results. We knew it gave the wearer the power to change his form. It also
had undefined but potent protective abilities against both magic and mundane
attacks and more importantly it contained memories and a soul. Some other
magics were cast during this time; Baldric and Faergil stocked up on their
"light stones", Faergil cast a long lasting protection spell on himself
and Colatto cast a Stoneskin on Bazil.
In the afternoon of the second day after the battle with the Fiends
the lookout called "Look-ahead". Going to the prow with many of the other
sailors for a look I saw the shape of large predatory fish, sharks, gilding
about just below the surface. Their attention had been drawn by a collection
of human remains floating on the surface. The sailors considered the sharks
an ill omen but I found them fascinating creatures and I watched them
until we had passed beyond visual range. No more then half and hour later
we saw a pillar of smoke coming from the coast, from what Tannor estimated
was the village of Cheam. Speculation onboard was that they had been subject
to pirate raiders and, with a little encouragement from Amber, Tannor
gave the order to change course and offer aid. Most of The Company of
the Silver Coin, myself included, were eager to join the rescue party
and once The Undying Gaze was anchored off the coast we went ashore in
it's two rowing boats.
Cheam had clearly been the site of a battle but not a massacre. There
were plenty of battle weary villagers trying to make a start at rebuilding
their burnt homes. Initially they though we were more attackers but when
they learnt there were priests in the party they welcomed us. We quickly
discovered that they had been attacked not by pirates but by Sea Devils!
I'm afraid to say that my enthusiasm got the best of my tact as the village
spokesman took us to see the one of their attackers that had been killed.
Luckily Amber was there to remind me of the gravity of the situation.
Even dead the Sea Devil was a striking being to behold. It had long limbs,
ending in webbed hands and feet, and a flat, frog-like face with nasty
fangs. It's slick skin was a blackish-green on the back and it's belly
was more pinkish. A ridge of spines ran down its back. It clearly had
a sense of modesty as it wore a loincloth but the garment struck me a
inappropriate for life under the sea. Even dead the villagers were still
a little nervous of the Sea Devil and it still lay were it had been slain
in battle on the beach. Once again it was time for Baldric and myself
to bring the divine power of Silvanus and Tymora to the injured. While
I worked I asked the villagers about the attack; the Sea Devils had simply
risen out of the water without warning and come ashore. They had attacked
with spears, tridents and nets and grabbed burning brands from cooking
fires to set fire to buildings. They had killed and wounded many and taken
a few with them as prisoners; perhaps the origin of the body parts we
had seen earlier that day. However I though it seemed a waste of effort
to take prisoners if all you were going to do was slaughter them so quickly,
unless they were some kind of sacrifice. I also learnt that some of the
Sea Devils were bigger then the other and had an extra set of arms.
Once we had done all we could we returned to The Undying Gaze. We were
now in an area of sea full of reefs and navigating them by night would
be next to impossible so, for now, we would not travel during darkness.
The next day the temperature rose dramatically. About noon there was
another call from the lookout. This time "Ship Ahoy!" From his position
with Nimth in the crows-nest Bazil called down that he could see a caravel,
like The Undying Gaze, armed with a ballista and flying a white skull
on a black flag. Furthermore the ship was coming about to face us. The
crew of The Undying Gaze went to battle stations; weapons were brought
out of storage and our ballista was readied. Tannor told us that the white
skull was the emblem of Taldar "Pirate King of the Pirate Isles" and said
to be an arch-mage. Amber began to tell the captain that after the brutality
of our last encounter with pirates she had no desire to participate in
another similar battle. But if any of us thought that this fight was going
to be like the last we were very much mistaken.
With the two ships heading for each other there was not the long wait
as there had been previously. Like most of the crew I was at the front
of the ship. I wanted to reduce the enemy's ability to hurt us and without
enough time to summon another plague of insects I had decided to disable
the enemy's ballista by calling on the power of Silvanus to warp the wood
it was made of. I could do this over a little more then three hundred
yards range which, I had learnt, was the range of a ballista. I would
use that as my benchmark, as soon as either ballista fired I would call
upon Silvanus. As it happened both fired almost simultaneously, the Undying
Gaze's going wide of the mark and the enemy's punching a whole in our
hull worryingly close to the water line. The First Mate, Nathan, sent
a repair team below decks to see to the damage. I invoked Silvanus and
a couple of moments latter Bazil called down that the pirates were having
trouble reloading their weapon.
Baldric had taken the time to invoke the Battle Bless again and then
used a miracle common to both of our faiths "Barkskin" to turn his skin
into living, wooden armour. The mages, Colatto up on the foredeck with
the rest of us and Faergil somewhere at the back of the ship, waited until
the two ships were at little closer before using The Art. Colatto unleashing
a storm of magical darts at one of the enemy pirates, who was wearing
a red bandanna. Faergil induced a temporary madness in a handful of the
The pirate's counter attack took us all off guard; the Undying Gaze's
foredeck was suddenly engulfed in flame, someone had fireballed us! Luckily
I had inherited an immunity to flame from my father while Colatto had
Sarth drawn and was therefore shielded from flame. Everyone else wasn't
so lucky. My companions, with the exception of Baldric, and Tannor managed
to avoid the worst of the flame but the rest suffered badly as the foredeck
caught alight. Concerned about losing the ship I began to intone a prayer
to Silvanus. Before I could finish a wave of arrows from the pirate ship
rained down on us. Several more of the Undying Gaze's crew fell but of
The Company only Baldric was hit. I managed to finish the miracle, creating
a "Fireward" on the foredeck inside of which no flame could exist, therefore
putting out the fires created by the fireball. A second volley of enemy
arrows came down a second later. This time I was not so lucky, as was
Amber but neither of us took serious injuries.
Someone (Amber I think) shouted over to me if there was anything I could
do about the hole in the hull so I raced off below decks after the repair
team. I was barely below decks when there was a tremendous crashing from
the wooden ceiling above my head. The enemy mage had unleashed an Ice
Storm that pelted the foredeck of the ship with hailstones the size of
an ogre's fist. After shouting down the helpful if a little late advice
"don't stand so close together" Bazil fired off two shots from his short
bow into two sailors, one being Colatto's bandanna wearing target from
A few seconds latter the two vessels came along side each other. The
pirates were ready to board us but Faergil, safe from fire and ice at
the far end of the ship, used a Web spell to entangle most of the enemy
crew. By now Tannor, many of his crew injured or dead, had given up on
capturing the pirate ship and gave my companions leave to destroy it.
Quickly Amber produced her magical crossbow and, loading a makeshift flaming-arrow,
fired it into the web. Colatto and Faergil tore into the ship with fire
and ice of their own; a Wall of Fire the length of the deck from Colatto
and an Ice Storm from Faergil. Baldric badly injured by fire, hail and
arrow had retreated below decks to heal his injuries. On advice from Amber
via Colatto Bazil had been checking the masts of the enemy ship for a
place where a mage could be launching his spells and spotted a man lashed
to the main mast ten feet below the crow's nest. The halfling signalled
his discovery and then put two arrows into the man who retaliated by hurling
a bolt of lightning at Bazil. Bazil leapt from the crow's nest at the
last moment but Nimth was incinerated. The halfling deftly grabbed hold
of the rigging and swung out of the way of as the top ten feet of the
mast began to slowly shear-off and fall. Seeing the danger posed by the
falling mast Amber executed a brilliant plan; dashing over to the main
sail she slashed effortlessly through the ropes holding the boom in place.
Caught by the wind and with nothing to hold it in place the boom and sail
swung across, deflecting the falling section of mast away from the main
deck and out to sea with only minor damage to the gunwale. Faergil and
Colatto finished of the mage with a Lightning Bolt of our own (Faergil)
and a volley of magical darts (Colatto). Baldric had finished healing
himself and headed back topside to find the fight was over. By now I had
caught up with the repair crew and it was a simple matter to call upon
the Oak Father to reshape the damaged hull and plug the hole.
Solemnly Baldric and I went to work tending the to the injured, which
included almost everyone who was still alive. Once our divine prayers
were spent Baldric continued to employ the healing arts he had learnt
as a novice. Primrose was had suffered both injuries of the body and heart
during the fierce fighting, I was able to tend to the former and I encouraged
Bazil to see to the latter. Amber, Bazil and Colatto helped out resetting
the rigging. The bosun, Devon, was among the casualties and a man called
Corm took the role. Amber and Baldric saw to the final arrangements for
the dead. I steered clear of this task; as a priest of Silvanus my beliefs
on the treatment of the dead are considered by some to be heartless and
I did not want to cause the crew anymore grief. The dead numbered 23;
the loss that seemed to strike the crew the deepest was that of Nimth.
Captain Tannor took us aside and explained that with his crew diminished
we would have to take a more active part in the running of the ship. Now
Baldric revealed that his grace with The Lady was such that he could now
raise the dead but only if they were still relatively intact and less
then a ten-day dead. This meant that Tannor had to choose which of his
crew he wanted back. I made my displeasure of tampering with the Divine
Cycle of Life clear, as I always had in the past, and Amber objected to
Baldric putting such a harsh choice on Tannor. In the end the captain
decided to turn down Baldric's offer. His men had known the risks and
died as warriors.
Faergil, who was starting to go a little twitchy after such a long time
without wine, suggested that a wake be thrown for the dead but the captain
turned that down too. In three days, he told us, the Undying Gaze would
reach Alaghôn and the men would have a night's shore leave.
The next three days were very hard as The Company went to work. Bazil
and Colatto already knew what they were doing and Amber, with her great
strength and stamina, not to mention skill with rope, took to the task
admirably. I will simply say the rest of us did our best.
Over that period Colatto took what had always seemed to be the obvious
course of action about Abar and talked to him. Something about Colatto
seemed familiar to the sailor and he wanted to know why he was travelling
to the "City of Slaves"; apparently Nimpeth was notable for far more then
fine wines and a good library. Abar warned Colatto that it was a dangerous
city but, having seen him in battle, he could probably look after himself.
A column of smoke heralded our approach to the city of Alaghôn, the capital
of Turmish. The city was a sprawling affair of red, sun backed brick (it
was very hot by day) spread out along the coast between two hills. As
we approached it was possible to see the old city walls in the middle
of the metropolis but the city had escaped their hold years ago. The only
city I had seen at that point which was bigger was Waterdeep. On our final
approach to the bustling harbour, which was deep enough for a ship of
our size to pull up to the gangplanks, we saw a disturbing sight. A large
vessel with its sail dyed red was coming under fire from flaming missiles
hurled from catapults on two military-looking vessels. I could just about
make out the crew of the stricken vessel, few seemed to making an attempt
to resist and those that did seemed to be tied down. I asked one of the
Undying Gaze's crew what we were seeing and was told that the red sail
denoted a plague ship. There was much speculation that they had sailed
too close a cursed, plague-ridden island somewhere nearby.
Once we had docked all but a skeleton crew went ashore looking for alcohol
and the comfort of a good (or at least lice free) woman. Before going
ashore a small jar containing a blue paste was handed around. I was prepared
for this from my conversations with the crew. One's level of education
in Turmish was indicated by a number of dots painted on the forehead,
from one for basic literacy up to three for knowledge of The Art. Most
of our crew (including myself) was illiterate but to have no dots meant
enduring constant patronising so a little deceit was in order. None of
The Company left the ship without at least one dot to our name.
I expressed a desire to see The Assembly Building after hearing the
descriptions of it from the crew over our voyage; the halflings offered
to come with me. The streets of the metropolis were narrow, winding and
crowded, often opening up unexpectedly on market places. The buildings
looked like they had been built on top of each other and archways supporting
other roads frequently crossed the streets we walked down. Luckily the
Assembly wasn't easy to miss. It was a massive, fortified structure of
white marble inlaid in many places; particularly it's many towers, with
gold. It was guarded by stern-faced soldiers in domed helmets surmounted
with spikes and with chain-mail falling down the back to protect the neck.
Unfortunately we couldn't get in and no one would spare us the time, such
is often the way with mercantile folk, to explain the finer points of
the building. So instead the three of use enjoyed the local food, a hot
but sweet meat dish, and then saw what secrets the markets and bizarre
held. All three of us picked up clothing better suited for hotter climes.
Bazil purchased rugs and statuettes to decorate his castle with and we
found several sellers of rare herbs. Both of us were interested in acquiring
sleeping venom, the supply which Bazil had liberated from the drow was
running out. Both of us knew our herbs (Bazil having learnt at his mother's
knee) and between us we selected ingredients to create a similar, if not
as potent, replacement. I also took to opportunity to see if I could find
a few more exotic plants.
Returning to the ship we found that the rest of The Company had had similar
ideas about up-dating their wardrobe in the markets. Before nightfall
Nathan approached me. He had heard how I had miraculously repaired the
hull and wanted to know if I could do the same with the gunwale and the
main mast. The gunwale was no problem but the mast was another matter.
The section of mast that had been blasted off had been reclaimed from
the sea after the battle. Faergil levitated it up to the top of the broken
mast where sailors lashed it in place. Now all I had to do was be pulled
up there and then fuse the two parts together. From sixty feet up the
ship looked very small and every small pitch and roll it made was exaggerated
a hundred-fold. To say the least, by the time it was over I had a new
respect for the efforts of Bazil and the late Nimth.
We left Alaghôn early the next day. Overnight Colatto had learnt from
the crew that Tannor had once succumb to the demons of drink, which was
the cause of his insistence on a dry ship.
Five more days of sailing brought us within sight of Ilighôn, one of
the Eyes of Silvanus and the centre of the Emerald Enclave's power. As
we drew closer I could make out more detail; the island was covered in
thick forestation with a mountain range at its heart. Thousands of exotically
coloured birds flew over the island and a distinct barrier reef surrounded
it like a castle wall. As we drew closer still Amber and I set to work
trying to get a message across to Lady Shadowmoon, between us we wrote
a letter, outlining our mission and asking for aid. I then asked, in Silvanus's
name, for one of the many gulls that were flying around the ship to take
the message across to Ilighôn and give it to the first human or elf it
saw. In an attempt to add weight to the message I again invoked the power
of Silvanus as Shaper of Life to temporary imbue the gull with the gift
of speech so it could ask for the message to be given to Lady Shadowmoon.
More specifically it gained the power to speak the sacred tongue of my
order, the Druids' Cant.
I watched as the gull went on its mission and then waited. True to his
word Tannor was not prepared to stop his ship in the waters. As the daylight
dwindled we rounded the island and two smaller ones came into view, about
ten miles away. It was Tannor's intention to pass between then in one
go the coming day. The next day the waters were rough and the ship was
carried along its course like it had been fired from a gigantic bow. By
evening, after days at sea, we were finally into the Vilhon Reach.
Over the next few days we followed a mountainous coastline. Three days
past the Eyes of Silvanus we passed a lighthouse perched at the end of
a long spur of land which jutted out into the sea at right angles to the
coast. There was no sign of a response from Lady Shadowmoon or the Emerald
Enclave and I came to the conclusion that we had failed to arouse their
interest, I wasn't surprised but a little disappointed. Luckily we had
Lord Woren's Library ahead of us.
From his conversations with Abar Colatto had learnt a few worrying facts
about Lord Woren. He was a powerful mage who had been the Magician Royal
to the last king of Nimpeth. Woren had overthrown and killed the royal
bloodline, the Carifier family, himself and taken control of the city.
To further blacken his character Woren did not approve of slaves buying
their own freedom. One fact that struck home was that when the King had
been slain, his blood spilt on the marble floors of his own palace, his
white cloak had turned red. It was this image that had drawn Abar to Colatto
and his red cloak. Coincidence? I doubted it but only time would tell.
Five days after the lighthouse we reached the city of Hlondeth where
we would put into port but Tannor discouraged anyone going ashore. Between
my waiting for a possible reply from Lady Shadowmoon and helping to crew
the ship I had forgotten to ask about the city and as we arrived that
evening I was in for a shock. The city seemed to be made of a hundred
types a jade, all a different shade of green, and was illuminated by hundreds
of lights, some magical others natural but all green. The effect was as
if the city was made of emerald. There were several strange architectural
conceits used by the city designers one of which was a complete lack of
steps. Where another city would have a single step or a flight of stairs
there was instead a ramp, some no more then a foot long, others like green
ribbons. In the centre of the city was a tall, cathedral-like building
decorated, like much of the city was, with snakes. I discovered the reason
for the snake-insignia and the ramps when I saw the city's inhabitance.
Many were human, the same as humans that you could see in Arabel, Suzail
or Waterdeep but many were a fusion of man and snake in many different,
jarring combinations including having serpent's bodies and no legs. The
crew told me that the natives of the city were called Yaun-ti, and I could
detect disgust in their voices when they said it.
The air over and around the city seemed particularly hot, even at night,
and still and was full of large, lazy insects. A strange, hypnotic music
permitted the air spreading a heavy lethargy over the ship and its crew
like a shroud but still sleep was a long time coming for us.
In the still of night Colatto awoke to what he initially thought was
another dream. He sensed a presence near him in the darkness, a soft hissing
and the rhythmic flicking of a tongue. Then the hiss became a soft voice,
no more then a whisper but close enough that he could feel the speaker's
breath on his face;
"So, the sighs are true. You dare return. The Extaminos will finish what
Woren could not!"
I used the following references:
Pirates of the Fallen Stars: General information on ships, Useful glossary
of maritime terms.
Sea of Fallen Stars: Information on Freesails, maritime customs.
Vilhon Reach. Lots of relevant information on Turmish, Eyes of Silvanus,
Hlondeth and the Vilhon Reach in general
This was a busy evening and Nick's long write-up reflects this. We overan
though - sorry guys...
The fight with the V'rock went much better for the PCs this time. The
biggest problem with these demons is the sheer amount of damage they deal
out. Amber, Bazil and Baldric all suffered at the claws of them. There's
this player joke that my DM's dice are loaded as they all suffer in my
games. All I can say that if this is the case then they failed me big
time this evening. I can't remember the number of low-single To-Hit rolls
I made. Baldric did well with his spells. He cast a lower resistance on
the V'rock he was fighting and, after Collato managed to pin the creature,
finished it off with a Dispel Evil. There was a cheer when that thing
Amber suffered with hers and it was only Thorns constant healing spells
that saved her.
After the fight Edd said that Bazil and Primrose made a great team. He
diverted the demon (it kept attacking him!) whilst she killed it!
The game moved on pretty quickly after that, with a small diversion with
the aftermath of a Sahuagin attack on a village.
The encounter with the pirates was a different kind of battle than the
first (see chapter 7 for details). It was definitely a chance for the
mages (both PC and NPC) to flex their muscles and the barrage of spells
back and forth was quite horrible.
At the beginning of the fight Roy (Collato) asked if any of the pirates
'stood out', I assume he was looking for a possible Captain candidate.
I pointed out that there were no uniforms amongst the other crew and they
all looked pretty individual. I did describe one with a Red Bandana, and
he became the subject of Collato's Magic Missile spell. A couple of rounds
later Bazil fired a couple of arrows into the poor pirate (no others were
being individually attacked at the time). It became a bit of joke, though
I think the pirate survived longer than the PCs were expecting him to.
I made a classic boob at the end of the encounter. Faergil Lightning Bolted
the opposing mage and I described him as being burnt to a cinder, commenting
that it was unfortunate that I'd rolled a 20 on the save. Darrell of course
pointed out that a 20 was an auto-save. Oops! Rewinding my description,
the Mage lasted just long enough for Collato to Magic Missile him...
The arrival at the Turmish capital of Alaghon gave me an opportunity evoke
a bit of local colour, though I will say that there wasn't much to go
on in the Sourcebooks. I believe Polyhedron did some articles on Turmish
years ago, not that I could find my copies.
I finished the evening with the arrival at Hlondeth and a surprise encounter
Return to The Journey...