Vacationing on the Whale Bone Islands…
After Taavi’s letter of request I head to the Haunted Hold down in Skullport of Waterdeep. I am familiar with the area having been to the Hold a few times after a trek out to sea – the booze is terrible but there’s lots of it for only a few coppers.
Getting inside I see a few of my friends – Garret is eating, that guy has the appetite of like three halflings, Maize has found a table, nice to see his short stature again. I also notice Brianne is here too, she looks to be working the crowd again. I go up behind Garret and steal a bite of his stew – it’s not good, but I don’t expect it to be from this place.
The slowly more of my old friends start pouring in – Gribble, the darkness around his eyes a little more noticeable than the last time I saw him. He joins us as Barrak and his twiggy beard join us, and as he is talking to the barman, Lavender and Lysander -shockingly not in their stick out like a sore thumb vestments on, they almost look normal, enter. We wave them over and all start catching up on what we’ve been up to for the last month Finally, Dzeph shows up and gives us a nod then goes and starts preforming – he apparently has a gig here tonight. Another half hour goes by and Gopar and Roland never show when a female dwarf shows up – we assume this is Rey, Taavi’s associate.
Barrak brings a round of drinks right away as we talk to Rey. We find out that Ageiron has fled to the Whale Bone Islands and that we should be able to get to the fishing village of Stegvick aboard the Seedcutter. As we drink and discuss, some of my friends just don’t have the stamina for cheap liquor and are already showing signs of its effects. Rey tells us that the Seedcutter’s first mate, Torvauld is the one to talk to about getting to Stegvick. I’ve heard of him before, a straight shooting merchant sailor – we should at least have no troubles on board this boat.
Rey tells us that he will meet us here, so while we wait we have a dragon boat race drinking contest. I fair all right, but in the end it comes down to Maize and Barrack, with no surprise, the dwarf wins. Rey has to leave no and Torvauld is still a no show. We wait a little more, then we let Barrack babysit Maize and Gribble (those two gnomes can’t handle their booze) and we go down to the docks.
We locate the Seedcutter rather easily and the guard John tells us that Torvauld is not available; we assume he’s on the job and we are right. We wait for a little bit and then decide to come back in the morning.
Brianne and I share a room at the Haunted Hold – she’s quite pretty when she isn’t trying to look like a small child… but never mind that, she’s a comrade in arms. I go to sleep.
The next day we are able to talk to Torvauld. I am able to haggle his price down for a our safe travel on his ship for helping out on the ship – nothing new to me, but it may be a bit of a shock for some of the rest of the team. We sail with the tide and by the noon the following day.
When we dock we fan out to ask about strange looking people. I end up helping a local fisherman who puts me to work more than gives me useful advice. Eventually we all end up at the local inn which is also a market and great eating hall. Brianne and I work the crowd trying to hear of find out useful information, Dzeph starts preforming, Barrack comes back from being a dog, and Lavender joins in on her horn. We find out that there was a weird guy wanting travel to Loki Sari about a week ago – he was rude and demanding and the locals didn’t like him, but he paid well.
6 young guys actually armed come in – Lythander says he saw the one with black hair watching several of us earlier. The sit in a corner and keep their eyes on us until Gribble leaves the Market Inn, then 3 of them get up and follow him out. Brianne and I go tell Dzeph that we may have trouble as the rest of our team follow. Which then causes the rest of their squad to follow.
By the time I’m outside a full out brawl has happened. Gribble looks like his face is one giant bruise. We quickly engage and these locals are subdued. Brianne sits on the black haired leaderish ones chest holding a knife to him as I lighten him of his coin purse – they got involved with the wrong strangers in town. I also take his sword away for a while – it’s on time out while we’re in town.
We end up not killing any of them as per our clerics requests – which is for the best because according to the mayor they were just trying to prove themselves and didn’t mean any harm… hmm. When I give Veed – that’s the black-haired ones name, back his sword at the end of the night but my clumsy hands drop it in some animal’s droppings.
The mayor lets us use his boat the next day to head to Loki Sari. With my excellent guidance of rowing, Barrak and Garret are able to get us there just before sundown. We are at the base of a hill with overgrown brambles. Barrak guides us through the dense foliage. As we climb the foliage starts to become thick brambles and rather uninviting looking. After about an hour we see the dilapidated ruins with a crumbling door and it is then that we are ambushed. Vines start trying to wrap around us. I am able to break free of the first set, but then another set gets me. We then see a pair of these weird vine men on either side of the path. We quickly respond although being all tangled up causes its delay. The vines seem to be stronger so I give up trying to break out and try taking aim at these stupid plants’ heads.
Garret is able to trident one of them, Barrak tries some thunder magic but then bears out. After several failed attempts – it’s hard to get a good shot in when the vines are squeezing and pulling, my bold finds its mark and goes right through the eye of one of these plants and it falls. We eventually make it inside after the vine men are dealt with. The door had crumbled away when Dzeph tried to get inside. Thank goodness for those clerics, they seem to have kept us from being hurt too much from the brambles.
Inside we see two towers and a large well. The others check the well depth while I investigate the doors for any traps – who knows that this rogue wizard is capable of. No traps just more rotten doors – behind one are blood marks that head towards the well.
We decided to have dinner before descending into the depth of the well. Brianne is able to tell us a soothing tale while Dzepth accompanies her on his loot. It seems to rejuvenate us so that after dinner we are ready to go down the hole. Maize and Garret had some rope that I am able to tie together so that it reaches the bottom. Dzepth, Lavender, Lysander, Garret and Barrack go down first. Followed by Maize, Gribble, Brianne and finally myself. One of the first loses their grip so Dzeph uses some magic to make the first 5 of us float down like a feather. When I am about half way down I hear a voice in my head warning me ‘make sure you don’t fall down to your death…like the others’. Apparently I am not the only one who hears something, as we all seem to quicken our descent.
We all make it down safely and this large room has chains hanging from the ceiling with bodies wrapped up and attached. Where the well drops to is a bowl shaped depression with an iron door in one of the sides. The rest of the team looks around while Maize holds a torch for me to ‘open’ this door. The corrosion causes me to take a little longer than planned, but I eventually get the door open.
Below is a long staircase going into the depths. We start our climb down, I try and stay near the front being wary of an nefarious traps that befall us. Eventually there is moisture on the walls – we must be below sea level, and the stairs open up into a large room. Garret is tired of taking things slow so he pushes past Barrak and I and Barrak is pushed over the edge of the staircase. He catches himself and I help him up.
The room is rectangular with a walkway on the left and right of what looks like an empty pool. While the clerics investigate the mosaic tiling of the pool floor – apparently something dedicated to a water goddess. We can’t see the far end of the room so Gribble decides to fire some of his eldritch fire into the darkness. Purple flames illuminate the darkness and I wish it hadn’t. Standing in the opposite corner is a great fiend. Spikes and barbs cover its entire body and it laughs menacingly in our heads.
We quickly fan out and advance – spiked chains fly at us as we approach. Eventually the pool ends and Garret charges the thing. His illuminated shield thanks to someone’s light spell gives the rest of us the sight we needed to start our full attack.
Brianne and Dzepth start assaulting it with vicious magical words. Our friends in faith fire radiant bolts at it. Garret hacks at it, Maize pummel and swipes, Barrak goes bear on the fiend and Gribble continues to fire his purple fire – now having better luck that it’s illuminated. And I duck down into the pool, firing from cover and sinking bolts deep into its hide.
The battle is long as its barbs pierce my friend and the spike chains tear their flesh but eventually the fiend falls. In the corner behind it we find Thayan wizard clothes, coins, and a beautifully carved staff with an emerald that glows like candlelight, but no sign of Ageiron.
The room appears empty so after gathering up our treasures we go back to the chain room. It looks like these are the bodies of someone matching Ageiron’s description – however, since we don’t know for certain we take all their heads to prove we stopped him. Not the best way to travel, but when you have to take 9 heads in a made up sack, that’s what you have to do.
We eventually make it back to Waterdeep and meet with Raboc at the Thayan conclave. We show him heads until he recognizes Ageiron’s. But he also asks about the staff, we give it over – turns out that was what they wanted more. He goes and gets Taavi while we get served wine and cheese. Tasty. A few moments later, Taavi comes out, offers his deepest gratitude to us and then demandingly asks us to leave. We saved our friend, once again. Time to divvy up the loot.