Critical Missions

Session of the 23rd of August:

The party plan their boarding of ‘The White Mare’, they decide to climb the mooring lines holding the boat to the dock. They prime the ship to go up in flames and loose the sails. Loki and Fidjit both try and make some rope ladders which can be let down subsequently for the rest of the crew to board the ship. Gann, Loki and Fidjit ‘volunteer’ as the bridgehead boarding party. As everyone gathers on deck to prepare Gann suggests that Cressa stay with Lyssia while he is boarding the boat. Cressa is very unhappy with the suggestion and say she would prefer to be in the early boarding party with Gann. While they are discussing Lyssia the Paladin focuses her supranatural attention on the Thane’s daughter to try and judge her soul. Lyssia is very disturbed when she sees Cressa’s soul as a dark seething blot surrounding the young woman.

There are a few guards on the dock but Lyssia and Teine run up to them and convince them that the town prison is under attack and they need reinforcements to keep the prisoners under control. This argument is leant some veracity by the plume of smoke which is now visible over the town centre. The guards rush off to give aid to their beleaguered comrades.

With the dock relatively clear the boarding commences. Loki manages to climb the rope without any problem and is soon up on the deck of ‘The White Mare’, Fidjit and Gann both have some issues getting up although Fidjit has constructed an ingenious safety harness to prevent her actually falling in the water. When Gann and Fidjit make it up to the deck Cressa seems to have vanished from sight. Loki is sent off to find the goblins and try to stop them from rowing. As Fidjit attaches the makeshift rope ladders to some moorings on deck and heads back down the rope to fix them at the dockside. As the gnome heads back down 3 guards/shipwrights burst out from one of the hatches leading below decks. They seem oblivious to Gann but 2 of them end up running in his direction, apparently desperate to escape something behind them.

On the dock Fidjit manages to secure the rope ladders and the crew start making their way up to the ship. As the guards run towards him Gann draws his weapons and catching sight of him the guards ready their own. With clash of steel Gann deflects one man’s blow but the other lands a solid blow drawing copious blood from the former Lord Protector. On the dock Teine and Lyssia use the rope ladders to climb up on deck, unfortunately Teine’s strength betrays him and he is unceremoniously dunked into the water beneath the ship. Just as Lyssia and some more of the crew clear the gunwales Gann cuts one man down and the other runs off, leaving Gann with another nasty knife wound to remember him by. The guard heads back down below calling for help.

Having waited for Teine to extricate himself from the water Fidjit joins him and both climb onto ‘The White Mare’. Things seem to have reached a hiatus with the decks clear of anyone not from ‘The Abatross’. In the temporary quiet Teine makes out that the hatch to one of the lower holds is open. Creeping forward Fidjit can see that a substantial body of ‘The White Mare’s crew seem to be rallying in the hold in preparation for a counter attack, whether against the goblins or the new boarding party is unclear. The gnome estimates there is something like a dozen men down in the hold. The party largely fail to notice that Gann is slowly bleeding to death despite still being on his feet.

Hoping to forestall further bloodshed the party, apart from the slowly dying Gann, head downstairs to try and seal up the doors of the hold to contain the ship’s original crew. As soon as they reach below decks they find themselves helplessly lost, with the corridors of the ship seeming to bend in unnatural topologies that lead them round in circles or deposit them at dead ends with no discernable reason.

Having found the goblins Loki has convinced them to stop rowing and take a break. The goblins with the hexing stick are performing some sort of peculiar ritual centred round Drust Morrigan’s severed hand which is glowing darkly.

Chain leads the Hethering-Hythe contingent below decks to contain the crew in the hold, but find themselves lost in the same maze of tunnels as the party. Above decks the group of Nobles who were in Lyssia’s charge and the pirates who just joined the crew have decided on a more direct attack and are sliding down whatever lines they can find to assault the hold. Aesha summons a giant spider directly into the middle of the hold to aid in the struggle.

The strange effect on the ships corridors seems to diminish and the party can hear the sounds of the struggle in the central hold. Fidjit and Lyssia head towards the sound while Teine returns above decks to see what is going on. Reaching the hold door Lyssia steps in only to be surprised when the gnome slams the door shut behind her. The gnome wastes no time in finding a board and starting to seal up the door. In the hold Lyssia tries to call some order between the struggling sides, she starts to get through to some people when Aesha replaces the summoned spider with a large brown bear which lashes out with its paws decapitating one of the ship’s guards. The large mound of furry violence distracts the fighters from Lyssia’s call for calm.

Above deck there is still a fight going on in the rigging and the body of a pirate pitches down from the crow’s nest. The whole of the crew have managed to make their way on deck and the dock’s are now clear, a few bystanders have gathered by the dockside to watch the peculiar boarding.

With a brief lull in the fighting in the hold Lyssia tries to talk the remaining guards into surrendering. Taking in their situation and the giant bear the guards decide that they don’t get paid enough to fight to the death. Lyssia gives the surrendering men her word that they will be put in boats and allowed to return to Quadraturin. As the fight stops Lyssia calls up out of that hold that Aesha should set fire to ‘The Albatross’. Dismissing her bear Aesha summons a Fire beetle which lifts off of her hand and drifts off towards ‘The Albatross’.

The resistance on board seemed to have come to an end and the goblins disappeared into the dark corners of the new ship’s super structure. Teine casts dancing lights up into the rigging to try and find out who is up there, but no one on deck can see anyone. With everyone on board the ship’s sailors cut loose the remaining mooring lines and raise the anchor.

Gann is still managing to totter about, despite the heavy blood loss he has sustained, he finds Fidjit and asks if she has seen Cressa. Fidjit tells him that she last saw Cressa when they were boarding the ship but that Loki was with her on deck when she disappeared. Gann makes his way down to the lower deck and was never seen again.

In the hold Lyssia and the nobles have secured the remaining guards and are now trying to find some way past the doors that Fidjit secured.

Up on deck only Fidjit notices, as the boat drifts from the dockside, a number of rotting corpses drag themselves up onto the harbour from the sea below. The animated bodies are covered in seaweed and barnacles and look to be a cross-section of Quadraturin’s populace all lost at sea. The gnome shouts out a warning to the crowds on the dockside who, on noticing the undead rising from the deeps, turn and flee back into the town.

At this point the little fire beetle that has been drifting between the two ships alights on the deck of ‘The Albatross’. Flames run across the deck and leap up the rigging to engulf the sails, with an almighty ‘whumpf’ a blossoming cloud of flame burst out from the deck and the ship turned into a blazing pyre.

As the crew got the ship under sail they soon started to pick up the lifeboats with the cargo that were now strung out in a ragged line from the harbour. By morning Quadraturin was a faint, yet disturbing, memory.

The following day the party met up with Banning in her crew quarters. The captain told them that the next stop on the list that Teine had given her was the island of Icevarr. Leaving the captain Teine, Lyssia and Fidjit found a quite spot to discuss things. Lyssia told the others about the evil aura she had discerned around Cressa and warned them that the girl might not be the innocent victim that Gann had made her out to be. Getting into the revelatory nature of the discussion Fidjit informs the others of her discovery, aboard ‘The Albatross’, of the dismembered elves and shows them one of the desiccated rats she found nearby. On seeing the mummified rat Teine is reminded of the state of one of the corpses which was jettisoned from the ship in the aftermath of the battle.

Disturbed by all these revelations the party decide to revisit Banning and sound her out. In her cabin they found Kevraga in conversation with the captain while Cressa occupied a nearby chair and seemed to be playing with a small doll. The party asked if they could speak to Banning confidentially and the Captain instructed the others to leave, Cressa left with noticeably bad grace. Once they are alone Fidjit shows Banning the rat and tells her that she found many similar rats on the abandoned ‘Albatross’. Banning finds the dried rat quite disturbing but claims to know nothing about it, she herself mentions seeing some similarly desiccated bodies after the fight for the ship. While this conversation is going on Lyssia tries to determine if there is evil in the Captain, she senses none.

In the middle of the discussion a goblin enters the Captain’s cabin and introduces himself. The goblin is Alv, a bard, who claims he is there as an intermediary between the ship’s crew and the goblin stowaways. Despite his efforts to convince them he is trustworthy and can keep the other goblins in line, the party and Banning are very sceptical of his claims.

Banning tells the party some more details about their next destination. Icevarr is a harsh place ruled over by a ruthless Thane, a Norgan who is rumoured to be a murderer and is known as Eric the Bloody Handed. When the party ask Banning about how Cressa is doing she suggests that she, Banning, is something of a maternal figure to the girl and mentions how much time Cressa spends playing with her doll. Something about this talk of dolls sounds worrying to Lyssia but she can’t quite put her finger on it.

Hoping to ingratiate himself with the party Alv decides to spend some time spying on young Cressa since they seem so interested in her. Unfortunately the girl seems very keenly aware that she is being watched and half the time she seems to be the one watching him. Disheartened he goes back to try and rally support amongst the other goblins who have factionalised into several groups since boarding ‘The Albatross’, there are those who associate with the big orc Loki, those who have joined the tribes hexer in their disturbing reverence for the severed hand of Drust Morrigan and those who worship in the tribes traditional Maga cult.

Finally having the time Tiene and Lyssia make a concerted effort to glean some information from the elven statue that Drust had carried with him. Once Teine manages to operate the device reliably Lyssia ia able to translate the elvish recordings, fragmented though they are. The recordings do not seem to be ordered in any clear way but they do seem to respond to the environment, with many of the entries they hear being concerned with ships and sea travel.

From the diary they manage to get entries covering a discovery amongst the elves of a danger arising in Midgard. It appears that this is a resurgence of an old danger the elves defeated before. The elves have gone to the west both to escape the rising danger and to search for a weapon that was used in times past. A group of elven immortals apparently know how to access the weapon which the diary describes as a form of fiery vengeance. Much of this echoed the answers that the Itani paragon Ygraine had provided in the House of the Beloved.

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Mfisher

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