After Deth was saved from death’s door, we made the necessary preparations to set out for Rekkenmark. I mixed up some hair dye for Jaela, so that we can hopefully avoid repeating the disguise errors of the past. With nothing else to do, I wandered the streets and earned some money singing. It was like the old days again, almost. Earned: 23 silver.
Upon my return to the inn, I found a messenger from House Orrith inquiring after Cedric. He had a letter from his family. How nice. The messenger insisted that the person with the most commanding voice read it out loud, so the task necessarily fell to Garreth. It soon became clear that this was an Angry Letter from Cedric’s mother. Ferris apparently had sent a letter to Cedric’s family (since he was foolish enough to state his real name), providing his…extremely interesting version of events. One has to admire the asininity. One entertainment point for Ferris. Note: See if Tais can inquire after Ferris. Perhaps intelligence can be gained about the Fahrez individual through the bodies he chooses.
Travel was uneventful. We finally reached Rekkenmark. The only information I managed to get out of Deth re: his employers was that he was meant to keep tabs on the locations of the items. He was distressingly circumspect as to whom. Note: Most likely will be getting no further information from Deth. Further research required.
It was harder to find a ship in this gods-forsaken country than I thought. Pah. This wouldn’t be a problem in the Principalities, but alas, we are not there. All the ships were stupid expensive, and very few of them were headed anywhere near the right direction. I thought of commandeering one, but they were all irritatingly well-guarded. If I had a few weeks, I could manage something, but the others would most likely not have been willing to wait that long. Anna did come up with some creative ideas re: shipbuilding. One entertainment point to Anna. Note: Anna may be a good collaborator on some of my ideas regarding my arrows.
As we were discussing what to do, there came a knock at the door. Garreth answered to find a strange hooded man. He offered us a boat ride anywhere in exchange for fighting somebody. If that didn’t sound like a shady deal, I didn’t know what was. For some reason, the others all seemed inclined to go for it. Cedric said that he wasn’t evil—like that was a comfort. I’ve known plenty of shifty people in my day who I wouldn’t consider evil. They seemed to think that it was imperative that we make it to Arenal, beat Shale, find the diadem, blah blah blah. Hooded man called himself the Captain.
I DON’T REMEMBER SIGNING UP ON A QUEST TO SAVE THE DAMN WORLD, GUYS. NOT MY DEPARTMENT.
And then I remembered why the name of the ship was familiar. The Crimson Ship. Like that old story M always talked about. I’d dismissed it as a crazy legend, but…couldn’t remember the specifics. Deth made a comment about how the madstone opened the door to madness, and the diadem needed all the parts to function. Cedric identified the Captain as an outsider— daemon. Made it seem like even less of a good idea to go with him.
Cedric did something surprising. He talked me into it. ME. Said that I’d never get the chance to ride on a legendary ship again. Damn it all, he was right. I knew exactly what he was doing, but it didn’t make a difference. One entertainment point to Cedric.
Fine, we can go on the suspicious-ass ship. The fact that Ced was silver-talking doesn’t make it any less true. Before we set out, I went to the library to look up that old legend. The Crimson Ship: a mysterious—possibly demonic—captain offers a bargain: Fight one battle, and I’ll take you anywhere. Supposedly, his ship can travel anywhere, even other worlds, and travels unusually fast. No one knows when or where it will appear. M would love this.
Get out of my head; what did I say about your turn?
Also in town, I picked up some supplies. Purchased: 100 crossbow bolts for 10 gold. Two weeks’ worth of rations for 7 gold.
Came back. Jaela didn’t have a weapon, so I gave her my first dagger. Have to keep the tradition going for the youngsters, after all.
And I’m sick of those memories. Hope she puts it to as good of use as I did.
Set out. The Captain didn’t seem unfriendly, at least. Not that that means anything. There were other passengers on the boat: a couple, named Vandel and Trina. They were headed to Sharn on their honeymoon trip. (I miss Sharn. Nowhere else can ever compare. When I manage to shake these guys, that’s where I’m going. As long as I’m no one recognizable—it’s a big place. They wouldn’t find me.) I took the opportunity to inquire about this “fight” that the Captain has set up for us. Vandel, an extremely attractive blond man who seemed to be composed primarily of HAPPY, mentioned a “chessy thingy” that the Captain did after they’d won their battle. Unfortunately, he was not terribly specific as to what that was. The Captain called it “Conqueror.” It appears to be a board game.
Docked in Sharn for a bit. I hoped that the Captain wouldn’t take on any new passengers
dumb as it was; I mean, what are the chances of that? They couldn’t possibly be still looking. Even if they were, there’d be no reason to look in the harbor at some random ship.
Our first three days were uneventful. I drew quite a few sketches of the ship for M.
Just this once, Rynna. I played a game of Conquerors with the Captain. Lost, predictably, but I put up a decent fight. Sketched him too. Also Vandel and Trina, and gave the result to them for a wedding gift. It’s unlucky to let weddings go unrecognized.
Learned a bit about Cedric’s family. He’s from minor nobility, a tiefling house. The founder promised the goddess Dol Arrah that they’d fight for Aundair in exchange for a title. Cedric’s choice of profession is apparently a family tradition.
I took the opportunity of the few days on the boat to take care of the problem that had cropped up. Mixed up a potion…was fairly certain it would work. Called Garreth in, since he’d wanted to be notified. One usefulness point to Garreth for being helpful. UGH. It was disgusting. Made me feel like I was going to throw up. Sent Garreth out, rested a bit. Upon testing, the problem was gone. THANK GODS. At least the potion worked. Note: COME UP WITH PREVENTATIVE STRATEGY TO PREVENT FUTURE PROBLEMS.
Morning, day 2 on the ship. Manufactured: One (1) cure light wounds potion and one (1) comprehend languages extract, just to try it out. One entertainment point to Deth, Garreth, and Cedric for providing a show. One entertainment point to the Captain to also participating. Perhaps we won’t be brutally murdered in our sleep after all. Drew more of the ship. It’s been raining this whole time, except when docked in Sharn. Fog surrounds the ship. Key to its swift speed? Further research is needed.
Morning, day 3 on the ship. One usefulness point to Jaela for restoring my lost strength. Manufactured: One (1) cure light wounds potion. One (1) extract of bomber’s eye. The Captain said it was time for our battle, so we headed to a beach. The monster we had to fight was in a cave. One usefulness point to Pneu for impressive jumping.
AND THE MONSTER WAS A GIANT THING WITH A BUNCH OF HEADS. LOVELY. Used one (1) bomb, dealt some damage. Its wounds seemed to close up after I attacked it. OH IT’S A HEALING GIANT THING WITH A BUNCH OF HEADS. OF COURSE. Captain spoke in our minds, said to sever the heads. One usefulness point to Garreth for chopping one off. Drank one (1) extract of bomber’s eye. Used one (1) vial of acid. Missed. :-( The bottle sank. (Was later recovered.) One usefulness point to Deth for excellent shooting.
AND THEN IT GREW MORE HEADS. DX Used one (1) bomb to seal the next stump closed…fortunately, that seemed to do the trick. One usefulness point to Pneu for putting the monster to sleep. IT WAS TIME FOR STRATEGY. While it was sleeping, the others would all chop off the heads at once while Jaela, Anna and I sealed off the stumps. Used one (1) bomb to cauterize. (Jaela didn’t need to blow the Alchemist’s Fire, gave it back. One usefulness point to Jaela.) The cave looked like it had shinies, so I explored! Found: a crossbow that upon further inspection electrifies the arrows you shoot out of it. SCORE! Other things went to others.
Headed back to the boat. Captain moved a piece on the Conquerors board. Yup, we’re pawns in his game. Oh well. Interesting man, anyway.
M will never believe this. Had to go dry off, since we’d had to wade in the ocean. One entertainment point to Pneu for running around naked. Also one entertainment point to Deth for bathing fun.
Spent the next three days climbing around in the rigging. Next best thing to the Lady Luck are these ships. The Crimson is a lovely dromon, very well-made. I’d like to have it for my own, but I don’t think the Captain would be very pleased about that. And I like him well enough. Damn it, Rynna. I can see this is going to be a problem. Took the time to manufacture One (1) cure light wounds potion. Developing quite the stockpile.
Day 6 on the ship. Storm. I was still in the rigging. BEST TIME EVER. Didn’t seem to be the Captain’s doing, though…he looked confused. And then it wasn’t fun anymore because Cedric went overboard and the ship started tilting sideways. I had to go after him. He’s one of my crew. Dove in. One of the ropes from the ship grabbed my ankle as I went down. How helpful. One usefulness point to the Crimson.
My swimming skills have sadly deteriorated since [illegible]. One usefulness point to Garreth for hauling me back up. He went in after Cedric as well.
BE A HERO, YOU SAID. IT’LL BE FUN, YOU SAID. I couldn’t just let him die. Of course I could; he’s fun, but it’s not like I couldn’t find another. People are not replaceable. Sure they are. And I am the most replaceable of all.
That’s the last thing I remember. Next thing I know, we were waking up on the beach. Shipwrecked. Fantastic. The Crimson was upside down on the sand. I hope she’ll be all right. AND THEN I REMEMBERED THAT ALL MY STUFF WAS IN THERE OH GODS. Luckily, it was all still in my room and dry, if rather tossed about. Gathered it all back up.
The Captain was just as confused as we were as regarding the shipwreck, no sign of artifice. Clearly this is not a common occurrence. He also didn’t know where we were, just that it wasn’t Arenal. Lovely. He had to perform some weird ritual with Garreth’s blood, and found that we were on the island of Serin, near Argonessa. The land of the dragons. The land of the fucking dragons. Apparently also dragon-worshiping barbarians, who aren’t very friendly to those without a dragon or a dragon mark.
Anna: “Assuming one of us had a dragon mark…” We all turned. OH RIGHT. How could I have forgotten? Anna has a mark. No doubt it’s how she’s managed to make it through her life so far. One usefulness point to Anna. Also one entertainment point to Anna for fashioning herself a seaweed crown. Just what I would have done in that situation. (When do we get to go to the island where everyone loves me?) I wasn’t sure if creating my dragon mark would have been a good idea or a bad idea in this situation—possible that people who worshiped dragons so fervently would have ways of spotting fake ones. Good thing we have Anna.
The Captain said that it would take about a week to fix the ship. I was all for hiding out on the beach and hoping dragon barbarians didn’t find us, but Anna chose that moment to ride off. WHY WOULD YOU EVEN. Deth tried to shoot her horse to stop her—great, like that wouldn’t attract everyone’s attention—but the horse kept going. Cedric took the other horse and went after her. At that point, Deth and Garreth decided to follow them into the damned jungle. Fucking great. NO ONE LISTENS TO ME WHEN I TELL THEM THAT THINGS ARE A BAD IDEA.
Found Anna and the others talking to barbarians. They only spoke Draconic, so Deth had to translate. I really hoped he wouldn’t screw it up. At least they weren’t killing us yet, thanks to Anna’s mark. Anna insisted that she wanted to ride a dragon. NOT THE TIME, SWEETHEART.
…we’re going to end up sacrificed again, aren’t we?
We were led towards the village. It was unremarkable, mostly straw huts and a GIANT PIT OF LEECHES IN THE MIDDLE. WITH A PERSON INSIDE. FUCKING DAMN, I DO NOT WANT TO END UP THERE. For some reason, Anna wanted to talk to him. Deth was trying to do damage control as a translator. One usefulness point to Deth. But then the chieftain came out. And he spoke Common. THERE GOES THAT PLAN. The chieftain said that Leech Guy was an outsider who’d trespassed on our land. OH HEY KIND OF LIKE US. One of the villagers, a witch lady with a hood, said that he’d put a curse on the chieftain, but the chieftain dismissed that as nonsense.
Anna requested that the guy get raised from the pit. Now he’s Anna’s servant. I wonder if that makes him our servant, too. He does owe us his life. The village prepared a feast. So far not dead. Good.
The hooded witch took us to our hut before the feast, said she needed to talk to us. Pretty lady. That’d be great, in other circumstances. I didn’t stick around; Anna wanted me to interrogate Leech Guy instead.
Quoth Leech Guy:
His name is Rebalte Mastofaro. He CHOSE to come here, because clearly he wants to die. From Karlacten in southern Breland.
A countryman! He kept talking about his destiny. He’s a wizard, specializing in dead societies. Apparently a personal prophecy sent him here. His order, one of cataclysm mages, studies the cataclysms of the world and tries to harness the resulting energy. Some think that such a cataclysm is coming now. He was reluctant to talk about his personal prophecy…said that it was necessary to fulfill it before he could develop his power further. Finally confessed that according to his prophecy, his destiny is to marry a Serin witch. (Hey, I know one of those.) He studies crafting techniques. This is relevant to my interests. Witch lady’s name is Hartha.
Feast. At least the food was more palatable than our previous experience. One entertainment point to Anna for being surprisingly subtle in her interrogation techniques. (She’s clearly more intelligent than she appears. Deliberate ruse. It all makes sense now.) To no avail, alas…the chief was a smug bastard. He knows something. He’s also smarter than he’s letting on.
They consider the dragons gods. We tried to get Anna to ask about the special stone the chief apparently has…unfortunately, the chief understands Elven and/or Dwarven. SHIT. He was definitely laughing at us. He said he didn’t know of any special stones. Yeah, right. His son seems afraid of him, keeps shooting him glances. Garreth and I took him aside to talk to him.
He was seriously freaking out, asked us what we thought of spirits walking the earth. Kept saying that “he knows I know.” Finally got it out of him that he’d killed his father in order to become the next chief—or he thought he had. He put a spear through him, tossed him into the quicksand, and returned to the village…only to find his father there, alive. (An imposter? Cheated death in some way?) The chief has something he didn’t have before, a black stone with metal around it on a necklace. He’s making the men dig a hole, but no one knows why.
Back to everyone else. Hartha said that the chieftain is leading hunts oddly. We went to talk to her again. Note: Make Comprehend Languages extract EVERY GODDAMN DAY UNTIL WE LEAVE THIS ISLAND. I’m sick of not knowing what these people are saying. She said that Fiq—that’s the son of the chieftain—would make a bad chief. Hmm…dissension. I tried to encourage her to challenge the chief instead, implied that she’d make a better chief than him. (She’s certainly a lot smarter.) One usefulness point to Deth for assisting. According to her, the chief has been leading more hunts and bringing back a lot of game. There’s more than they can use, so they set the extra aside and it’s gone in the morning. So what’s the chief giving it to, eh…? The pit the chief is making them dig is behind his hut, fenced off. Everyone seems keen on investigating it.
I’m still confused as to why we care. As far as I’m concerned, as long as these people aren’t going to kill us, best to keep our heads down until we get off this rock. They’re all so boring.
This is growing tedious.
End of Day 11: Traveling. Shipping out. Suspicious.
Days 12-13: Sailing. Fun. :D
Day 14: Fight. Not a scratch. Fun.
Day 15-16: Sailing. Fun. :D
Day 17: STORM. DISLIKE. Woke up on land. Barbarians. Unpleasant. Can we get off this rock already?
Money- 23 silver
Loot- +1 shock crossbow
Ranking of companions:
Anna: Usefulness- 1 point. Entertainment value- 3 points.
Garreth: Usefulness- 3 points. Entertainment value- 1 point.
Cedric: Entertainment value- 2 points.
Jaela: Usefulness- 2 points.
Deth: Usefulness- 3 points. Entertainment value- 2 points.
Pneu: Usefulness- 2 points. Entertainment value- 1 point.
Captain: Entertainment value- 1 point.
The Crimson: Usefulness- 1 point.
Ferris: Entertainment value- 1 point.
Ranking totals to date:
Anna: Usefulness- 11 points. Entertainment value- 11 points.
Garreth: Usefulness- 18 points. Entertainment value- 7 points.
Deth: Usefulness- 11 points. Entertainment value- 9 points.
Cedric: Usefulness- 12 points. Entertainment value- 5 points.
Pneu: Usefulness- 10 points. Entertainment value- 11 points.
Jaela: Usefulness- 5 points. Entertainment value- 2 points.