Entry the Sixth
14th day of Erastus, 4713 AR
As we walked away from Barnaby the crab thing to whom we had bequeathed directions ‘yond the sewers, I felt strange magicks besiege my body. Through my wizard’s eye I diagnosed it to be of the transmutation school, its aura very similar to that which I had seen whilst toiling and researching a longer-lasting Haste spell (this resulted in a rod I now had belted to my waist, but more ‘pon that subject later). Even as I looked ‘pon my flaming skin, said scales began to fade, extinguishing the very flames of which I speake. But lo! They be not the only change the magick enacted on my now scaleless form. I felt myself getting smarter and more dextrous, even as my strength seemed to fail me (luckily I carried naught but the rod of which I spoke ‘fore, which extended my spells to double their prior duration).
And then the biggest surprise o’ all befell me. One tha’ explained everything.
I felt my ears grow longer and sharper — I had become an elf! And with this transformation I realized how wastefully I had wielded my magick ‘fore. I used it likening unto a cudgel, and I weep as I think of all I could have accomplished. But no more! Now my magick skill hath grown ten-fold, and I’ll waste no more dallying on about this transformation.
I whirled towards tha’ front of tha sewers and with my keen insight on engineering, as well as the tracking prowess and logical reasoning of my fellows, whose telling I have neglected too long, strode on into the sewers to resume our hunt for the lost Tulita Jawbone of Kaho Ali’i. Yet we hath yet to venture more than but a trifling when we heard a pitter-patter of swarming feet (here my newfound elven ears were a blessing) which we identified as dire rats. Even as we reached that conclusion a dozen of the vile vermin swarmed us.
I took the initiative, casting the Extended Haste I spoke of. It doubled the speed of my friends, allowing them to attack twice as fast and dodge like lightning, and making them far harder to hit. My allies blasted through the beasts, Diana even managing to hit four at a time!
Having cleared the tunnel, we got into a dispute as to whether or not to keep going or to leave and return when we were better suited to find the skull. I argued for the latter against Diana, who supported the former. Eventually we reached a compromise: we would search for a little more time, and then if we hadn’t found the skull we would head back up. We agreed on this and went onward.
I was pondering as to the fact that we spent so much time in the sewers when we came upon some tracks. They were discovered to be skum tracks, and we decided to turn around at the discovery, as we saw no tracks belonging to humans, which was the race of the man we sought. It did not take an immensely long amount of time for us to find a cesspit in which there lay a body, face down.
Skarru used his ten foot pole to turn the man around, so that we might see his face. Out of his mouth swarmed centipedes, hundreds of them massed like one great big thinking creature. Diana whipped out her poisoned sand tube, even as I prepared to cast Fire Breath. The former took place after the latter, and we managed to kill all the centipedes by the second burst of flames. The bites of the centipedes hurt, but it was nothing permanent so we looked at the dead man. He matched the description given to us by the Tulita, and yet, to our surprise, he showed clear signs of being half Tulita himself! This confounded us, and I pondered it as the others looked at the cloth-wrapped object in his hand.
It was indeed the Jawbone, but it was several feet long! Hmph. If I had known this beforehand, I would ‘ave prepared a Shrink Item so we could just pop it in our pocket and leave but instead we had to lug it back to the Tulita camp. They were overjoyed to have their Jawbone back, but it was still not enough to convince all of them to join the revolution. Even worse, they had barely any noteworthy combat training, so we would have to train them ourselves! However, having had helped the Tulita, we decided to return to investigating the death of High Priest of Quell Archibald Noeliss.
Our lead led us to a tavern under the name of Barrett’s Barnacle, where Archibald’s body had been dumped. We saw there pirates, a dwarven bartender, a maid who crushed drunken people under her feet, several unimportant fellows, and, “Lady Lightfingers” the pick pocketer who had pocket picked our pick pocket picker twice, and had pick pocketed our pocketed pick of a noble. Skarru (the pick pocket picker mentioned above) flew into a rage at seeing her, and it was all we could do to stop him acting on it. We instead said to approach her subtly, so as to block off her escape. But as we walked up to her, and she, remembering us, said we had not much worth pick pocket picker pocket picking pick pocketing (again, I meant to write it like that) we noticed that there was a man, who, ‘pon seein’ us enter tha premises, had looked fearful and shady, and was beginin’ ta run off. So we left Lightfingers and made our pursuit.
When we caught up to him we asked him what was going on and he said that we had no right to ask and to go away. We did not and we followed him some more, when he and I (for I was facing his back) both saw a wereshark approach the lot of us. My friends prepared to fight it, Diana in particular who hated them, and I asked him if we could count on his aid against the beast, assuming he wanted it gone as much as we did. To the contrary, he looked positively delighted at its arrival, so I stayed behind him as I cast Haste yet again on my friends. As Diana fired on it four times, I saw to my horror our interrogee warping into a second wereshark! I immediately got to work blasting it with arcane might, even as I shouted to the others about this new threat. Thanks to my Haste, as well as the martial prowess of my allies, we made short work of the monsters.
At the sound of the gunshots, two Dragoons came rushing outside the Barnacle, just in time to see the sharks’ forms before the deaths of the beasts morphed them back to humans. Suddenly, a third wereshark appears from behind a corner and begins to rush at us! Thankfully it drops with a scream, and beyond it stands our picky pocket picker Lady Lightfingers, holding a knife now stained in the shark’s blood. We walk over to her and I thank her for her help, and she begins to inquire as to our business at the Barnacle. We shush her and whisper that now is not the place for such talk, gesturing towards the Dragoons who were still poking and prodding the weresharks. She nodded, and asked us to meet her at the Kraken’s Maw, a “fine dining” establishment in Port Shaw. We agree and head back to the Barnacle to continue our investigation.
Back inside the Barnacle, we see the band of pirates, who reveal themselves to be the crew of The Mermaid’s Nipple. We ask them if they would like to see the Dragoons overthrown and they said yes but when asked about joining such a revolution they said no for we do not have the proper force to do so, and pirates tend to fight each other more than the Dragoons anyway so organising it would be quite hard. We thanked The Mermaid’s Nipple and went off to talk to a man who was called Lester Farrows by some and Sewer Rat by most. Said he knew the sewers like the back of his hand and that he could take us whe’e’er we wan’ed, fer a fee. I, saving my own gold to craft a Headband o’ Vas’ Intelligence, decided against doing so. Even as I decided similarly with a dragonsmoke dealer. I remembered our encounter with Dragoons and dragonsmoke and stayed away from the clear chance of a repeat. And besides, he wasn’t very polite.
After all that business with Farrows and the dealer we headed over to the bartender, a dwarf who revealed himself to be Barrett, hence the name of the tavern. We talked to him, and got a feeling that there was more to ‘im than met the eye. However we were not able to prove this hunch correct by talking with him so we decided to call it a day and head home to wait and get dressed for Lightfingers’ appointment, I using Prestidigitation to make myself appear all the better. Thus set, we head off to the Maw, and meet her there as promised.
She says that her name is Jalia Ramires (obviously her surname wasn’t *really* Lightfingers) and that she was at the Barnacle because she was investigating the Ring of the Kraken and that she believed Barrett was a member of that vile band of assassins. We remembered a tidbit we had picked up from Zalen Trafalgar and, in hushed voices, told her that $%@%*##!! was a member also. She was quite shocked at this, so we tell her what gave us this opinion so that she would believe us. Then the waitress came to take our orders and as I was, again, nursing my beltpouch for the headband, Diana paid for my meal, and Lightfingers paid Skarru’s, saying it was to make up the picky pick pocket pocket picking pick pocket picker pockets. It was I who put it that way, and we all had a laugh.
Having eaten dinner we resumed our conversation. She said that she suspected Barrett because she had seen the body of someone who had attempted to warn the authorities about the Ring of the Kraken dumped at Barrett’s. We, having said our part before dinner, thanked her and got up to leave. However, as we went outside, we saw a ghost walking along the pier!
We yelled at nearby Dragoons to look at the ghost, but they couldn’t see it! Odd. We walked up to the ghost and asked it who it had been. He said that he was the ghost Durrell Ravenkith, someone on Garr Bloodbane’s crew! Anyways, we told him about how Skarru and Ziara were children of Garr, and he remarked about how they did indeed look like their father. He said that he was here as a ghost because his body needed a proper burial (how many ghosts come for something else?) and that he was looking for brave people to do the deed for him. He pointed out how brave we ourselves must have been to approach a ghost who might have easily cut them down. And so he asked us if we could do so for him, promising “vast riches” if we did. We asked about the nature of these riches and he said Garr’s. We told him that that wouldn’t work because the Dragoons had already found it, on Halgrim’s Rest. He burst out laughing at the location, saying through his fit of guffaws that the Dragoons had found no such treasure if that’s where they looked. He said that he, unlike the dragoons, knew where the treasure of Garr Bloodbane was, and could show us it in exchange for a burial. We heartily accepted and followed him down… into the sewers. Again!
Agh! Even worse, as we followed him down, eight skum approached us. As usual, I cast Haste on my allies and the ghost, and got ready to cast Slow on the skum. Luckily, the Haste and my friends (and the ghost) made short work of them, except for one, whom I couldn’t catch with a spell in time, and who escaped before anyone else had a chance to do anything. We continued into the sewers, but that is a story for another time.
Lord Nightflame the Phoenix
XP so far:
Bala Artemis Diana – 27,600
Nightflame – 33,778
Skarru Bloodbane – 33,200
Ziara Bloodbane – 32,400