The crew and passengers set sail from Monteain knowing the voyage would take about 4 weeks with steady winds, but nothing ever goes as planned…
After sailing for 9 days under a light wind and constant rain the crew have gotten used to the passengers.
- Augustus Snowhart – Half Snow Elf Knight – sailing at the behest of his king with a sealed scroll containing his mission
- Phrixus – Centaur – fleeing Monteain to escape racism from the Human majority, after winning the lottery
- Vanguard-27 “Silver” – Warforged Artificer – can’t remember
- Lord and Ms. Greymine – Dwarf Father-Daughter nobles – fleeing an arranged marriage with their liege lord
- Halfling Adept – heard about new types of magic and wants to learn
The sun sets and all seems quiet on the high seas. The First Mate is up at the helm (although he nods off every now and then), two sailors patrol the decks with torches trying to discern threats, and all the while a sleepless Silver toils at his crafting of magical items.
Some time later the three people on deck hear a change in the sound of the waves against the hull. The two deckhands walk over to the port side and peer over the gunwale to see into the darkness when the aft gentleman disappears over without so much as a sound. Silver springs into action pulling the remaining sailor from the edge and steels himself (pun intended) as two Kapoacinth climb onto the decks dripping water from their coral bodies. Weapons are removed and combat begun.
The foes are quickly proving to be formidable from their hard exteriors deflecting all but the strongest blows. Noticing the scuffle, the First Mate severs a guide line to the mast and swings in kicking a Kapoacinth back from his crew mate. Silver quickly invokes something on the deckhands cutlass and the point seems to glint from the torchlight. The sailor is petrified of these rocky foes and flees below decks to awaken the other crew.
Rousing from slumber, Phrixus grabs his lance and sprints up the stairs to witness the commotion. Charging across the deck he strikes the Kapoacinth square in the chest impaling him up to the hilt. Crumbling off the lance in small coral chunks, the remaining foe is easily outmatched and knows it. Before he can flee Captain Birgitte Dawn emerges from her quarters armed and armored prepared to defend her vessel. Augustus, having been awoken by the cabin boy Shoal, comes onto the deck in black breastplate and heavy shield to issue a challenge to the beast.
But before the knight’s honor can be tested the Kapoacinth flings himself over the gunwale and into the safety of the ocean. However Capt. Birgitte will not stand to let this monster flee after slaying one of her crew and jumps after the beast. Having expected no such actions the Kapoacinth had not begun to swim away and was caught by the Aquatic Half-Elf and summarily diced.
Returning to sleep the passengers and crew knew they were in the company of a Legendary Captain.
Another few days go by and the rain finally relents for a naval tradition, the Day of Celebration. On the first clear day the crew compete in 4 challenges: rowing, climbing, knife throwing, and wrestling. A few passengers were allowed to participate because of their help defeating the Kapoacinth, but they quickly lost out to skill and experience amongst the crew.
That night drinking was had for all and two passengers entered into a drinking contest. Augustus Snowhart vs. Lord Greymine. After 17 drinks, Augustus passed out in the galley and the festivities of the day drew to a close.
When Augustus Snowhart awoke he found the vessel full of life, bustling deckhands, noisy passengers, and most importantly the chef’s most recent handiwork. Staggering to the galley, Augustus found that the breakfast is always the previous days’ gruel reheated in the same cast iron pot, choking some down he emerged onto deck to see well nothing. The ship was completely shrouded in fog. The crew had relaxed the sails to only catch part of the wind and not rush headlong into the unknown at full speed. At a modest 2 knots, the Red Tide sailed west towards a threat no one on board would be able to see.
An hour later, the boat rocked violently as it stuck sargasso. As Capt Birgitte explained, sargasso is a formation from seaweed and kelp that builds up on the surface until the plants are woven together into a sturdy blanket on the surface preventing any travel. The crew quickly climbs overboard to walk on the sargasso mat and begin cutting sections to extract the Red Tide before it becomes beached in the middle of the ocean. Another couple hours pass with rhythmic periods of cutting and breaks for hydration until the rising sun burns off the fog and some of the passengers notice another ship, about 350 ft away, but stuck on top of the sargasso.
Augustus, Silver, and Phrixus inform the captain they wish to explore the derelict ship, and she tells them to be careful because she won’t come to their aid. The crew has done their jobs well and the sargasso mat has been thinned and trimmed back from the aft section of the ship, however the passengers decide to venture onto the sargasso mat to walk towards the ship. The thin mat is unstable and the rough seas do not help matters. The three adventurers fall through the mat into the water numerous times and have to tread water before carefully extracting themselves onto the surviving adjacent mat. Eventually they all three make their way to the thicker uncut mat and can walk with relative ease where they encounter three crabs that are easily dispatched. Drawing closer to the derelict ship, they note that the hull is molded and broken in patches, and the prow has the name Maelstrom carved.
Climbing the outer hull to the remnants of the deck the group descends through a hole into the vessel’s interior. Silver quickly does something and he begins to radiate light. Cautiously heading into the hallway they chance upon a room with some kind of monstrosity in the corner. Upon further inspection, it’s a statue constructed of green plant matter in a humanoid shape but it’s nearly 11 ft tall, six ft wide and has a tail. Phrixus levels his lance and charges the thing. He overestimates the construction and easily runs through it and cant avoid hitting the hull. The centaur then comes bursting through the hull and falls almost 15 feet onto the sargasso mat and immediately plunges through into the water.
Augustus and Silver are flabbergasted but unconcerned, they continue searching on until they find a room with small cages containing more plant statues and a pile of linens in a corner. Listening carefully Silver notices breathing from the pile, drawing closer a frail human emerges hunched over and speaking with a traditional old person rasp.
“How dare you enter here and disturb me, Lord Tempess!”
The two explorers dont know what to say when the man says, “how did you enter past my guard beast? D’hruka should have been able to wipe you out with one Mighty Swing.”