As with my first post I decided that these little story updates for our D&D campaign would work better as little pieces of in-game writing. I could easily rattle off what happened in a blow-by-blow manner but that mostly comes off as mechanical.
But at the same time in-character posts are limited to what the characters involved with them would see. This post is a ship’s log from the captain of the vessel where the first game centered around. So while he is aware of the major fights on board the ship he was unaware of events like any of the private conversations that went on in the various passenger’s rooms or characters being stealthy in the background.
So while a lot of the little details might be lost I think for the overall feel of the game these notes just seem more fun. But if you are passionate either way let me know.
Oisin’s Log – Mounichion 3rd
This should be been a simple run from Crossroads to Smaragaid. It seemed like a golden run. We had a full cargo hold, a wealthy merchant on board, seemingly normal passengers (for crossroads), and a fairly calm sea for the beginning of spring. It seemed like there was nothing that could go wrong. As any experienced sea dog will tell you that is probably when you should be the most worried. It seems like sailors filled with hubris and complacency are the tastiest treat for the Queen of the Sea.
Titan the talkative Orc was on board but the only major complaint I ever have about him is that he never shuts up. But that wizard has also done some incredible feats with his spellcraft over the course of the three years he has been crossing The Lord’s Narrow. I know Red owes his life to him and journeys tend to go a little smoother with him around.
Huang Fu seemed like good customer. We had transported his goods in the past and he’s always paid bills like a Dwarven timepiece. The man was always a bit of a skinflint but any merchant worth his salt should be able to buy low and sell high as casually as a helmsmen turns the wheel. I swear only Dunmharu could have seen his true nature but maybe I am just a poor judge of character.
If anyone was an exemplary passenger it was Maeve. She was quite pleasant to look upon and she mostly stayed in her damn room. I think that was partially because she was sea sick but I part of me wishes more passengers suffered from that.
Then there was a motley crew from that mercenary company Skyfall. A Elvin ranger (my sister is a ranger so I can spot one from a mile away), a bookish dwarf, a half-elf death goddess paladin, a human merc, and an insect priest. They sound like the start of a joke. But Crossroads tends to match up people who would normally have nothing to do with each other. Nothing will be odder than that woman who married to a fae aboard my ship. Everything else will be second place to her.
The trip seemed like easy sailing. It was a clear day. Faramond the Paladin was striking up a conversation with Titan so the crew could get their jobs done it seemed like the winds were at my back. Sam the bug man and Crenshaw were even having a bit friendly duel. And not that normal mercenary styled “I have a bit too much grog in my belly” slug fest. An honest duel like you would see in court at the capital. It was a good fast draw competition. The men ate up and both combatants walked away honorably. I wish all the distractions on the ship were that pleasant.
Not that long after that is when everything started going wrong. It started with an explosion in the cargo hold. It seems that Faramond caught wind of something amiss on the ship. It turns out that the SLIGHT problem was Huang Fu was smuggling demonic artifacts with cargo. When Hunag Fu realized the warrior priest figured something was amiss he had to take him out silently before he could inform anyone else. To add insult to injury it seems that Ghillie was in league with this monster. I liked that kid too. He was picking up navigation quite well. But once again maybe I am just a poor judge of character.
All I know is by the time I got downstairs I had two crates of vases and one crate of spice spilled out all over the place, a dead crew member (who was a secret demon worshiper), and an infernal circle burned into the bottom of my ship. Faramond might have been conversing with the Lord of the Depths had Titan’s inquisitive nature not had him follow behind. Apparently Huang Fu had some method of fast travel so I could not take my lost cargo out of his hide but I will sell what he was carrying as at least a minor recompense.
Although I am a bit worried about selling what he left on board just in case it has any other “surprises.” I will make sure I sell off his good at a price that moves it quickly but is still not low enough to raise any eyebrows. Anyone in the market at Smaragaid knows that there is always a bad story behind a deal that is too good to be true.
After things settled down and we had something resembling answers the crew changed shifts smoothly despite being a little on edge. It seemed like that would be the low-light of the evening. Then in the dead of the night a full galleon appeared in front of us. It even snuck up on the ranger in the crow’s nest. It was a ship of the Troll Heart Eaters pirate clan. It is one thing to hear they have invisibility spells on their ships but it is another thing to see it. The foul things also had those spirit shields they love so much in the Orcish Empire. The next thing we know there was a hand to hand battle.
Thankfully our guests seemed more than capable of repelling any attacks. The wind spell from a slightly less sea sick Maeve made sure we were not cut to pieces from distance fire on board the galleon and from the water. On deck the mercenaries proved that people are spending good gold went they contract their services. They cut open pirates like a whirlwind of blades and arrows. The little lady, Arnanel and her Dwarven friend Xin killed several pirates before they even got one foot on board. Crenshaw’s mace and Sam’s queer crystal spear tore thought the scum like they were made of brittle parchment. The Paladin’s golden chains let him capture one brigand and dispatch another despite still having wounds from his earlier fight. Titian’s lightning took out several mermen in the water which let Maeve cast her protection spell. And only a fool fights a druid when there is anything wooden around them.
After it was clear the battle was not going their way the leaders of the raiding party fled with their tails in between their legs. We lost 6 men in the attack but it probably one have been the whole ship had we not had our current passengers. No small loss but it clearly could have been worse. Troll Heart Eaters don’t take prisoners or leave survivors. They eat the hearts of anyone the defeat. Living or dead.
After that gentle Dunmharu had some pity on us and the rest of the trip was fairly smooth sailing. Having a Paladin of Navaios abroad meant that everyone be they pirate or sailor got a proper burial at sea. While it did not take off the full bite of the evening it helped by providing some amount of comfort to know that our boys would be welcomed to the Heavenly Gardens and that those monsters would be thrown in the cold hells on Nikkal and Yarikh.
Soon enough we let off our remaining passengers. While I wish them no ill because they pulled their weight when we were at our most needy I can’t say I was sorry to see them go either. But I will thank them for giving us half the spoils of the battle. While it will do little for our comrades we lost it will help ease the pain of those of us who remain.
I’m not greedy enough to wish that my next entry balances this one out. All I can pray for is that it is far less exciting than this one.