Cold ocean water sprayed over the ship’s bow as the Seekers gathered on the deck of the Albatross and encircled the dented and rusted iron oil lamp they found in the dragon’s lair. Creed reached down and slowly rubbed the lamp. It became warm to the touch and then a white vapor flowed from the spout. The vapor quickly condensed into a child-size, floating, semi-transparent humanoid form that seemed slightly overweight. He looked at the Seekers with overly large eyes and then smiled a toothy smile.
“Well, your faces sure beat that ugly dragon. I am Myrkyr, what may I fetch for you this day?”
Creed replied, “Greetings Myrkyr. We are the Seekers of the Shattered Isle and are pleased to make your acquaintance. Today we request that you retrieve a pearl necklace of twenty 100 gp pearls.”
“Greetings, Seekers.” Myrkyr said and gave the Seekers a very formal half bow. “Such a request is acceptable. But, first, allow me inform you of the rules.” Myrkyr smiled a toothy grin as a chill wind swept across the deck. "Firstly, only one item can be requested every 31 days. I cannot return until then. And not every item can be found. I will look… but no guarantees. After 31 days pass, rub the lamp and I shall emerge… hopefully with your requested item. Also, when I am summoned, if an item is not requested, I still cannot return for 31 days no matter how hard you rub the lamp. Secondly, the item must be paid for in advance. In this case, the fee will be 2400 gold, which is the cost of the necklace, a bit of profit for the seller, and a small commission fee for me. If I cannot locate an item, the money is returned to you minus my 10% fee. Thirdly, I do not… let me repeat… do not grant wishes. I just want to be clear on that. I have had issues in the past on that one.”
Finishing with a deep breath, and a quick look around, Myrkyr added, “Will that be all then? I wish to be on my way. Boats make me sick.”
Creed dug into his backpack to retrieve 900 gp and then added another 950 gp from the Albatross stash and got the final 550 gp from the lock box. He stopped for a moment to admire the pile of gold, never having seen so much at one time, and then pushed it over to Myrkyr.
When Myrkyr touched the gold, it disappeared. “The deal is done, then,” the pot-bellied apparition said with a toothy grin, which was oddly disconcerting on his cherub-like face. “Summon me again in 31 days.” Myrkyr eyed the endless waves for a moment. “And hopefully you won’t be on a boat.” The gaseous vapors of Myrkyr’s body were quickly drawn back into the dented iron lamp leaving the Seekers on the heaving deck of the Albatross with the shores of Verland lost in the cold distance.
The Seekers found themselves aboard the Albatross again. This time, they were leaving Spider Island on their way to the port of Gentry, which according to Captain Pollock was only three days away.
It was night time and the Seekers were fast asleep below deck when they were suddenly wakened by the frantic screams of Captain Pollock and the violent pitching of the ship. Tudor was the first to react, but he was hesitant to go above deck; he was afraid of going overboard… which was a fear he developed while trying to get on to Spider Island. Instead, Tudor stepped just far enough out of the cabin to see what was going on.
From there, Tudor could see the reason Captain Pollock was screaming. Wry, who had been a deckhand before being killed on Spider Island, was somehow on the helm with Captain Pollock. His body was partially decayed and had obviously been submerged for some time.
Rykson did not hesitate the way Tudor did. He ran up to the helm to help the captain. However, once he got to the helm of the ship, the stench of Wry’s decaying body made him nauseous. Viktor also did not hesitate. He made it all the way up to the helm of the ship, tumbled in behind Wry and drove his rapier home. Creed had an almost phobic fear of drowning, so he called upon Iynmar to grant the Seekers the ability to walk on water. The spell affected all the Seekers except Rykson and Tudor, who were too far away from Creed to receive the benefits of his spell. Wry turned on Viktor to attack him, but the swaying of the ship caused the creature to nearly fall.
Moradin, who had been sleeping very hard finally woke and moved out of the cabin. He tried to get up to the helm, but there was no room. Tudor, seeing the frustration on the dwarf’s face created a rift in time and space with which he was able to teleport Captain Pollock and Moradin to each other’s spot. Thus, the Captain was moved to safety and Moradin was put right in the midst of combat where he belonged. The normally tough-stomached dwarf was caught off guard by Wry’s stench though and became nauseous.
Rykson attacked Wry from his flanking position, but he missed. Viktor did not. He pierced Wry’s heart with his rapier, but it had little effect since Wry was already dead.
Creed called upon the power of Iynmar, “Return to the land from whence you came!” A light beamed from the eyes of Eli, the name Creed had given the skull that hung from his belt, that was meant to lay the man to rest, but Wry stood strong.
Just as Moradin was taking a chunk out of Wry’s side with his axe, the dead body of Stefan climbed over the aft end of the Albatross and Wry ripped at Viktor’s chest with a vicious claw.
The sudden appearance of Stefan earned him Tudor’s verbal response of “Assid Arrow!” and two mighty slams from Dys. Rykson realized that Moradin and Viktor were about to finish off Wry, so he jumped over the railing to go quickly finish off Stefan. It was a great idea, but poorly executed and Wry tore a big cut into Kongo’s side as they leapt away.
Viktor tumbled into the spot Rykson had just vacated and ran his rapier through Wry’s throat – killing the disgusting creature. This time for good.
Creed refocused his attention and held a bright, glowing-eyed Eli aloft. His focus on the light overwhelmed Stefan, who tried to run from Creed as fast as it could. Before it could get away though, a large wave rocked the ship knocking Tudor, Creed and Rykson off their feet and Kongo overboard. Dys managed to keep his feet and killed Stefan with a huge metal fist.
Rykson was hanging to the side of the Albatross, considering jumping into the freezing waters to save Kongo, but as it turns out, Kongo was in better shape than the halfling. A barrel had washed overboard and Kongo had managed to climb on top of it and then jumped back on board the Albatross as a wave brought him close enough. Rykson eventually lost his grip and was washed away from the ship.
Creed would also have been washed over the side of the ship if not for Viktor’s quick reflexes. Viktor reached over the side of the Albatross and pulled Creed up and to his feet in one fluid movement.
Feeling like things were back under control, the Seekers turned their attention back to the ranger who was struggling to stay afloat. Pollock took back to the wheel. Viktor and Moradin grabbed rope to throw to Rykson and Tudor began summoning dolphins to help Rykson get back to the ship.
Then another, larger wave rocked the ship. Tudor lost his focus on his summons as the wave washed him overboard. The wave also slammed into Rykson pushing him well below the surface and out of site of the rest of the Seekers.
Dys was still able to walk on water due to Creed’s spell and he jumped overboard and went out to help Tudor, but as he reached down, he fell headfirst into the surf and began bobbing uncontrollably upside down in the waves.
Creed was also washed over the side and Captain Pollock lost control of the ship. Creed could walk on the water for a time, but he knew that his spell would expire before he would be able to get back aboard the Albatross. He could not see Rykson and both he and Tudor were being washed further away from the ship. But he maintained his cool, grabbed the White Flame Pendant that he had been carrying and made an inspiring call for help to whatever being would respond.
Once Creed finished his call for help, the pendant crumbled in his hand. The waters and winds immediately calmed and a final wind blew in bringing with it a being that looked to be a ten-foot-tall man of otherworldly origin.
“I am Jezerah, Blade of the One God”, the being announced.
Meanwhile, Rykson had been under water far too long. He could no longer tell which way was up, so he pulled out an ever glowing torch and lit it. Jezerah instantly saw the glowing light and dove down into the waters and brought the little halfling out of the water. After he returned Rykson to the Albatross, he gathered up the rest of the Seekers and brought them aboard the ship. Jezerah looked upon the Seekers and after an approving glance, he vanished.
Having barely survived the storm, the Seekers took a lot more precaution over the next few days during the journey to Verland. Every time one of the Seekers went out on the deck of the Albatross, they made sure to tie themselves off [see Seeker’s Standing Orders].
Luckily, the sky cleared and the rest of the way to Verland was uneventful. They arrived in Verland at the port of Gentry on Nivosus 28th – 4 days after leaving Spider Island.
Captain Pollock warned the Seekers about the strange customs Gentry had. In Gentry, all non-human races were considered devil spawn. Weapons were not allowed. All citizens wore black to acknowledge the sins of the world. Foreigners had to stay in the Three Piers or Eastford, which is where the Chaste Sailor, the tavern in which Pollock would be staying, was located. Before setting off for the Chaste Sailor, Captain Pollock told the Seekers that it would take a month to repair the ship.
Two other ships were docked near the Albatross. One, the Guinea, was much larger than the Albatross. It had two masts.
It was snowing out, so the Seekers set off to find a room at an inn. As they left the ship, two guards, one wearing green and the other wearing red, called them over to ask where they came from. After the Seekers gave their answers, the two men told them that Gentry does not tolerate disobedience or violence and gave them a long list of rules.
Most of the rules were common sense, but Tudor thought some of the other rules were extreme and an indicator or the type of harsh, controlling government Gentry must have. The rules included prohibitions on drinking, gambling, cursing and carrying arms, among a long list of other rules. One of the rules actually required citizens to be humble.
Creed did not like being there, partially because there were wanted posters with his face on them. He was wanted for the murder of Lord Luther’s men. Creed did kill those men before he met the other Seekers, but only after they had trapped the members of his village in his church then burned the building down. Since there were wanted posters, he decided to stay on the boat.
Viktor and Tudor were the only two Seekers not wanted by the local authorizes that could pass as humans, so they set off to find Captain Drake, who was captain of the Guinea. Before they could even get off the pier, a woman beggar approached them asking for help for a lady named Laura, who was very ill.
The beggar was named Nancy. Nancy used to live in Creed’s village and was one of the church members there. She was gone the day Luther’s forces burned the church and its patrons but her husband had been in that fire. So Viktor convinced Creed to come help the lady.
Nancy was very happy to see Creed. She knew what had happened and knew that Creed had done the right thing, even if it made him a wanted man. She led the three to Riverside – the slums of Verland.
After they had gotten well into Riverside, a man stepped out from between two shanties and demanded money to allow them to pass. Viktor decided to toss the man 5 gp to pay them off, but the bums only became more aggressive and demanded additional payment. Viktor, Creed and Tudor gave the thugs one last chance to leave peacefully and with the 5 gp, but the thugs were too greedy.
They made quick work of the thugs. One of the thugs actually tried to rape Nancy during the middle of the fight. But Moesser, who had answered Tudor’s summons as an earth elemental, killed the would-be rapist with one hit.
After the battle, Viktor quickly dragged the bodies of the dead thugs into an empty shanty.
When Creed went to tend Nancy’s wounds, she recoiled from him in fear. She became afraid of him after seeing his rage turned loose on the thugs. Chaplain Creed calmed her down though and talked her back to an emotionally stable position. Afterwards, they found Laura who was indeed suffering from a severe case of pneumonia and would probably die without attention. They stayed that night in Laura’s shack so that Creed could memorize a cure disease spell.
While Creed, Viktor and Tudor were in Riverside playing with thugs and diseases, the others were busy getting in trouble with the guards.
The Albatross was brought to the town guard’s attention after a repairman noticed that a little boy (Rykson) was aboard the ship and appeared to be malnourished. Some guards came to the ship to arrest the men. Rykson tried to bribe the Gentry Guards, but he only managed to infuriate them. The office in charge calmly told Moradin and Rykson that they must go with them.
Moradin acted like he was reaching for his gear to go with the guard, but instead, he grabbed his axe and swung it at the officer, yelling, “I ain’t no troll!” Moradin’s axe cut a deep gash into the captain’s leg.
The captain yelled out, “Demonic creature!” and returned the attack. The sword did not do as much damage as Moradin’s axe, but he was very good with it. Another of the guardsmen blew a whistle, calling more guards over for help.
Dys stepped off the ship and tried to help Rykson and Moradin, but there were too many guards. The fight lasted a long while and more guards were coming. Moradin and Rykson were going to be either captured or killed and Dys could do nothing about it, so he jumped into the water and clung to the bottom of the boat, effectively hiding from the guard.
Rykson managed to flee the scene on Kongo’s back. The guards were not able to keep up with the dog, so they kept their focus on Moradin, who was not cooperating even though he was captured.
The next morning, Creed woke in Laura’s shanty and cured her disease. Her cough immediately went away and she stopped wheezing. She even had enough strength to give Creed a big hug of thanks. Nancy also thanked Creed by giving him a mud-encrusted bracelet. It was very likely worth more than all the rest of Nancy’s possessions, but she made Creed take it with her. Viktor estimated that the bracelet was worth about 200 gp.
Nancy gave them some information regarding where Luther stays, of Luther’s Hymns of St. Adelphus and some information on a man named Eunice, who may help them. Creed recognized the name, “Hymns of St. Adelphus”. He knew that Luther had claimed to have celestial conversations with Adelphus, which inspired him to write the Hymns of St. Adelphus and uphold them as the law of the land.
Creed, Viktor and Tudor were on a road to the Isaac Inn, when they noticed two large shapes moving towards them in the snow. It took them a moment to realize that the shapes were those of owlbears – vicious creatures whose name was fitting.
Viktor and Creed were nearly killed by the owlbears, but Tudor managed to distract them with summoned dogs long enough for the three of them to escape. However, they escaped in different directions with Tudor and Creed going the opposite way Viktor went.
Viktor managed to get to the guards at the nearby gate and tell them of the owlbears. Luckily, the guards did not notice Viktor’s elven ancestry, while Creed and Tudor reported back to the guards at the Riverside gate.
After speaking to the guards, Creed and Tudor decided to go back to the Albatross, but when they got to the pier, it was gone. They went over to the crew of the Guinea and asked them about what happened to the Albatross and everyone aboard. The drunken crew of the Guinea told them about the fight and that the guard had towed the Albatross to Three Piers to disassemble the ship. Creed thanked the crewmen by giving them a bit of gold.
Creed and Tudor headed off through town to get to the Three Piers. As they crossed into Three Piers, they heard a town crier call out, “Man of demonic intent is being burned on Penance Hill!” They looked at each other, worried that the man of demonic intent may be one of the Seekers.
They made their way through town and to a tavern called the Pious Maid. Amazingly, they found Viktor and Rykson at a table in the common room, so they joined them.
Viktor was still badly hurt from the owlbear attack, so Creed gave him some loving healing. The four of them swapped stories, including one about how Viktor and Rykson spoke to Roland – the man pushing the cart of tubers that they had met on the island weeks ago.
They spoke to Eunice, the tavern’s owner, but he was not as helpful as Nancy suggested he would be. After a while, they decided to head back to Gentry. They bought themselves a hay cart and a donkey to pull it. Viktor named the donkey Moradin… apparently finding some humor in naming an ass after his dwarven companion. Rykson hid in the cart, fearful that the guard would recognize him.
When they got back to Gentry, a snowball came flying from out of nowhere and nearly hit Viktor. It took a few moments for them to realize that it was Moradin who had thrown the snowball. They were amazed to find that he wasn’t in prison but didn’t have time to question him on it because they needed to keep him hidden.
They tried to continue on to Eastford to meet up with Captain Pollock, but the guard stopped them. Apparently, all citizens were required to watch the burning of the man with demonic intent. Not having anything else to do, the Seekers went to the burning.
Many citizens had gathered for the burning. Parents held fearful kids close and others bundled together to protect themselves from the cold. The man had been tied up in the center of a pyre. The guard was going to burn him alive.
Just as the guard set fire to the pyre, the man hysterically proclaimed, “Here’s something from my Master!” The man then disappeared and was replaced with a huge fire elemental. The elemental attacked everything in sight and killed several guardsmen within moments. The Seekers fled just like everyone else. They knew they were no match for the elemental.
They took advantage of the confusion to escape Gentry and make their way to the Chaste Sailor, called “Chasties” by its regulars.
Some rough, scarred-up man at Chasties decided to pick a fight with Rykson, who was only a quarter of the man’s size. Creed quickly interjected and stood to fight in Rykson’s stead. The rough man – a regular – beat the pulp out of the Chaplain, but Creed never gave up.
Creed knew he was going to lose the fight and hoped that the man’s aggression would be satiated with a win, so he took the man’s next punch squarely in the jaw and went down – partially on purpose to pretend that he was knocked out and partially because the punch hurt that badly. The thug stepped over to loot Creed, but Tudor stood from the table and shouted in as menacing a voice as he could, “The fight is over!”
The man seemed to think about attacking Tudor, but the bar’s bouncers interjected and stopped any potential fighting or looting.
After Creed managed to get himself up and back to the table with the rest of Seekers, Viktor approached the bar’s owner – a man named Grek. He asked Greck about Captain Pollock. Grek eyed Viktor for a moment then shoved a hand-written message into his hands. The message was from the captain and explained to the Seekers that he had to leave. He probably blamed the Seekers for his ship – his livelihood – being sunk. Rightfully so.
The Seekers were surprised by another chance meeting at the bar. One of Grek’s wenches had been married to a man named Eli. Eli led Luther’s guards in the attack on Creed’s tabernacle. His skull hung from Creed’s belt now and served as a sign of the Chaplain’s breakdown that night he exacted his revenge on Luther’s guards.
The Seekers had come to Verland in pursuit of Creed’s revelation, but they needed a safe way out of the city. They had been told that Grek could help with that and so they asked him for help getting out of the city. As they were missing most of their weapons, they also asked Grek for help retrieving them from the guard.
Grek was accustomed to helping men flee the law and always made a lot of gold in doing so. He eyed the Seekers knowing that they would be able to deliver more gold than most and complete a little task that he thought was too dangerous for his enforcers. He had loaned a man some money and that man had never repaid. Today that man was sent to be burned at the stake, but he disappeared. However, Grek suspected that the man had some valuables in his house. Retrieving those valuables was the task that he deemed too dangerous for his enforcers, so he agreed to help the Seekers escape the Gentry area unnoticed and return as much of their lost gear as possible as long as they would go into the house and retrieve any valuables to repay the debt.
The Seekers agreed then went to their rooms to rest until midnight. While the others were resting, Viktor managed to go out and buy some weapons.
At some point in the evening, a guard named Lucas came to their room. He had recognized Creed and believed him to be a murderer as stated on the wanted posters. He didn’t come to arrest Creed though. Instead, he came to thank him for saving his mother, Laura, who was the lady suffering from pneumonia in Riverside.
The man impressed the Seekers. Tudor gave him 20 gp to make sure that he had money to take care of his mother. Lucas was obviously an honorable man, but he also wasn’t comfortable with breaking the law by allowing a wanted man to go. He did so though with a warning that the Seekers must leave soon or he would be forced to arrest them.
The Seekers left Chasties at about midnight to go to Geeb’s house – Geeb being the name of the sorcerer. When they got to the house, it was all boarded up. The windows, the doors, everything was boarded up. The house had a certain creepiness to it that made it easy to understand why Grek’s men wouldn’t enter.
Not seeing any other obvious way in, Moradin pulled the boards blocking the door. It made a loud snapping noise that luckily didn’t attract any attention. Viktor checked and didn’t find any traps on the door.
It was apparent that the city guard did not check the house before they boarded it up because the Seekers found the body of a lady they assumed to be Geeb’s wife. She had been cut open from neck to genitals and had a wickedly curved black dagger driven into her heart. The dagger had Infernal markings all over it and had an aura of moderate transmutation. Tudor also found a glass bottle that radiated moderate conjuration. He didn’t want to have anything to do with the dagger, but he took the bottle.
Tudor could only guess that it had been done to power some form of dark magic. It was infuriating. Where Tudor grew up, folks that could use magic were put to death. The people feared magic and when he saw what this man had done to his wife in the name of magic, he could understand why some people feared it so.
Viktor busied himself with an inspection of the room. It served as a good distraction for keeping his attention away from the corpse and also turned up a small chest. Viktor eyed the chest hungrily. He checked it for traps and when he found none, he opened it. He had hoped to find something valuable, but only found some sailor’s clothes. So he continued to check around the upstairs area of the house but found nothing of interest for the Seekers or Grek. However, he did find a trap door behind some kitchen cabinets.
While Viktor was searching the main level, Rykson investigated the loft. He found some hay-filled mattresses and a chest. The chest was rather small, so he tossed it down to Moradin to hand to Viktor so that he could check it for traps. He didn’t find any traps and clothes filled the chest. Another disappointment.
They moved on down to the cellar and found a locked door. Viktor tried to pick the lock, but he accidentally broke one of the lockpicks and the pieces of it got lodged in the lock. So Moradin broke the door down. At least, that’s what he imagined would happen when he struck the padlock with his axe. In reality, he barely scratched the padlock and nearly chopped off his foot.
Rykson looked at the dwarf then contemptuously popped the door open with one hand. He had used a prybar, but Moradin didn’t see it and Rykson didn’t see any reason to tell him he had.
The door screeched loudly and opened into a dark, dark tunnel leading down, which opened into a circular chamber. Inside the chamber, was an evil-looking statue paved with flagstones. Creed recognized the statue for what it was: the statue of a demon. His investigation of the statue was cut short by a sudden flash of light followed by sinister laughter and scratching sounds.
Tudor was the first to react. He cast a spell that made the rest of the Seekers move and act more quickly than normal, giving them a nearly supernatural advantage that was especially handy during combat.
Viktor tumbled into the room and attacked one of the devils as it was getting its bearing. He missed. Tudor’s spell also gave him a second attack before the devil could respond, but he missed that attack too.
Creed moved up to surround a devil with Rykson and Kongo. Moradin tried to join them but the devil stabbed him with a nasty-looking glaive just as he tried to move in. Rykson and Kongo each managed to hurt the devil. The devil barely noticed. Rykson was not done though because he was attacking supernaturally fast due to Tudor’s spell, so he attacked again before the devil could face him. He missed so horribly that he tripped over Kongo fell prone.
Moradin got close enough to hit the little devil and cut a gash into its side. Tudor called out ‘AaaSid!’ and a small orb of acid shot out of his fingertips splashing into the devil’s side. It failed to burn the devil as he would have expected.
Viktor tumbled into a flanking position and dealt a punishing blow while Creed moved in to heal the nasty wound that Moradin had just received.
The devil blinked out for a brief moment then summoned another devil. The Seekers were slowly wearing down the original devil when Ron suddenly screwed up the order on the battle sheet.
The combat was intense – the devils blinked in and out and magic and did significant damage to the Seekers. Tudor called forth Rauck, who appeared as a small earth elemental, and sent magical force missiles that overcame the devil’s natural spell resistance.
Creed attacked the devil but slipped on some of the blood that covered the floor. The devil lashed out at him but he had fully recovered and swept the attack aside. He then began casting a spell from a defensive stance, but his boots were still slick with blood and he slipped again just enough to disturb his spell casting.
The devils blinked in behind Tudor and attacked. One of them hurt the young mage, but the second devil blinked back in facing the wrong direction.
Rykson chased after them and hit the first devil with his lance but he took a nasty shot from the devil’s glaive in the process. Rykson was in serious danger and needed to get out of reach of the devil’s glaive, but he wouldn’t leave his friends.
Moradin was cutting into the devil with nearly every attack, but the devil resisted a lot of the damage from his axe and some of his psychic attacks. Creed kept the Seekers healed as well as he could but channeling Iynmar’s power was difficult and some of his spells didn’t work.
Viktor tumbled all around throughout the fight and was the one that delivered the killing blows to both devils.
During the fight, Moradin contracted a disease from a devil’s beard which Tudor recognized. According to his studies, the disease was magical in nature and would drain his strength if it remained untreated.
They found a statue in the room. Rykson and Creed studied the statue and Creed recognized the stone from which the statue was carved. The stone was actually harvested from an area near his home village called the Cattle Trough. The area got its name because a narrow ravine split the otherwise flat area for about 50 feet. The ravine was deep and its walls were solid stone. It filled with water whenever it rained, making it look like a cattle trough. They decided that it was too bad that the stone was used for this purpose and then they destroyed the statue.
The Seekers grabbed one of the glaives and the dagger that was sticking out of Ms. Geeb’s heart. Creed was the one to grab the dagger. He was very careful when he grabbed the dagger – he even wrapped a cloth around it before touching it.
They took the things back to Grek at the Chaste Sailor, just as they had promised. And just as Grek had promised, he had recovered as much of their missing gear as possible – which was Rykson’s lance and Viktor’s boots. A lot of gear was not recovered.
As promised, Grek showed them the way out of the village, which was through the sewer. He had an entrance to the sewer in the basement of the Chaste Sailor which the Seekers used to enter the sewers. That is where they spent the rest of their night – trying to catch up on sleep in the sewer.
An ankle-deep layer of water covered the sewer, which was about 5’ wide and 8’ tall. The Seekers followed the running water to an intersection which contained a large drain. The Seekers lowered a rope down the drain and Rykson began to descend. Creed created a Protective Ward on Rykson before his descent.
Rykson and Viktor made it safely down into the chamber below and were watching Moradin descend the rope when tentacles shot out of the rubbish towards Moradin. Moradin lost his grip on the rope trying to keep away from the tentacles and ended up falling. It took only a moment for Rykson to recover from the surprise. He did so by hitting the source of the tentacles – a nightmarish otyugh – with an expertly placed sling bullet.
The otyugh shot more tentacles out, catching and grappling the tiny halfling. Moradin managed to stand and hit the smelly creature, but the creature quickly grabbed him too.
Creed and Tudor saw what was going on and tried to get below as quickly as they could. Creed began climbing down the rope and once he was close enough to the ground to drop without hurting himself too severely, he did so.
Tudor called forth Deesul, who had taken the form of a celestial hippogriff. Deesul flew down and attacked the otyugh doing considerable damage with its taloned claws. Then Tudor drank a potion of levitation and jumped down the drain to slowly float down.
Viktor moved in to attack the otyugh in a vulnerable spot, but he didn’t find one and his attack was swept aside. Moradin was in the creature’s grapple and could not hit with his axe, so he tried to think nasty thoughts at the creature, but he was unable to maintain his concentration through the grapple.
Rykson tried to escape the grapple, but the creature held tightly. The otyugh then squeezed the hell out of Rykson and Moradin, causing Rykson to go unconscious. Creed moved in to heal Rykson and tried to cast defensively, but he failed and lost his spell.
Tudor casted a haste spell on the rest of the Seekers and Deesul just as Deesul swooped in for another vicious attack on the Otyugh. Viktor attacked again and then again. He missed again and again.
Moradin tried thinking more nasty thoughts at the creature and this time wounded the creature’s psyche…a wound every bit as serious as one from his axe.
Rykson bled on the otyugh, so it dropped him to deal with the other threats. Creed was right there to tend to the halfling’s wounds, channeling the healing power of Iynmar through Rykson’s body.
Tudor and Deesul continued their assault from above. Tudor shouted, ‘Assid!” and launched a small orb of acid that seemed to come from his fingertips. The ball of acid slammed into the creature’s face and began burning. Deesul swooped in and racked the creature again.
Viktor shuffled over to get a better spot and hopefully kill the otyugh with a well-placed strike. He missed though. Moradin tried another psychic assault, but he couldn’t maintain his concentration and in the next moment, Moradin went unconscious from his wounds. Then the otyugh attacked Kongo and Viktor. It hit Kongo with one of its tentacles and bit Viktor.
The bite was nasty so Creed quickly moved over to him and healed Viktor. Tudor fired magical missiles at the creature then Viktor jabbed twice with his rapier. He missed… the first attack, but the second attack killed the beast.
Tudor floated on down to the room looking too clean and Creed busied himself with healing the rest of the Seekers.
The Seekers found signs that others had come this way and not survived. Tudor was able to find a magical armband that gave off a faint aura of transmutation and Viktor found a small flask which was filled with sooty black powder. The flask emanated a faint aura of necromancy, so Creed took it. They also found several pieces of silver.
Creed searched around the room looking for another human skull. After being tempted by the former Mrs. Geeb’s skull, he decided that he really wanted another skull. He kicked around pile after pile of garbage and bone. His mood became very anxious until finally he yelled, “Just give me a damned skull!” He went quiet after that outburst.
The Seekers continued on until they found a road that would lead them to Creed’s tabernacle.
They breathed a collective sigh of relief that they had made it without anyone dying or being sentenced to death.
It is the first day of Ibernus and the Seekers had just escaped from Gentry via the Smugglers’ Tunnels below the city. They were finally ready to set foot upon the path to Silas and Creed’s revelation. Unfortunately, Viktor couldn’t join the rest of the Seekers just then. They still don’t know his motives for remaining in Gentry. They didn’t believe his insistence that he had to go back to Gentry for “treatment”. The rest of the Seekers just assumed that one of the nasty wenches he bought gave him a bug, so they didn’t push their questioning.
They followed the Vale Road out of Gentry to the north. As they looked back at Gentry, they saw a threatening storm front directly to the south. Luckily, they had just missed the storm. It was nice to get a break for once, or so they thought. It was still cold out, so Creed, Tudor and Rykson each used a minor incantation to protect the group from the freezing temperatures.
They were off to fulfill Creed’s Revelation. They had purpose and were excited but mindful of potential dangers along the road. But they not prepared to deal with Creed’s past, with a specific moment in his past that will forever shape the man he will be.
The first night on the Vale Road, the Seekers found a clearing of trees just off to the side. It was tree-encircled and provided a terrific natural windbreak. They were even able to light a fire for additional warmth. The night sky was beautiful. They sat around the fire and roasted treats, made jokes about Moradin’s potent stench.
As they sat there, the night calm was disrupted by hollow voices floating across the breeze. “It’s the Chaplain,” “ The Chaplain must pay” and “Murderer”. They were being surrounded by the ghosts of the men that had murdered Creed’s flock – men whom Creed had killed in a revenge-fueled rampage.
Moradin was the first to react. As usual, he had his crossbow sitting within arm’s reach ready to be fired. He grabbed the crossbow and shot one of the ghosts. The bolt passed through the ghost as if it weren’t there.
“Murderer! Murderer! Murderer!” wailed the ghosts as they moved closer yet.
Creed immediately recognized the ghosts and knew the threat they posed to his friends. So he gave Iynmar’s blessing to the Seekers.
Little Rykson jumped up and tried to fast-mount Kongo. Normally, the spry Halfling would have no issues doing this, but the ghosts had him so shaken that he slipped out of the saddle. At least Tudor responded well enough to blast one of the ghosts with three bolts of force.
The ghosts were only interested in Creed and ignored the rest of the Seekers. One of the ghosts touched Creed and drained his strength. A second ghost moved in to flank Creed.
Moradin decided to use an old trick…he gave one of them a dirty look. It was a particularly mean look, but the ghosts didn’t notice.
Creed was able to turn the two ghosts that surrounded him, but other ghosts moved into the clearing and came after him.
The battle continued, with Moradin making faces at the ghosts with no affect, Creed turning ghosts and Tudor using his magic against the ghosts. This continued until Creed recognized that this was the very place that he had killed these men. He quickly scanned the area and found the remains of Eli, whose skull he continues to carry at his belt, and most likely saved the Seekers by doing so. He needed to get to Eli’s remains and put his spirit to rest. Eli, of course, is what Creed named the skull he wears on his belt.
He grabbed the headless remains of Eli and the Seekers made haste to get away from the haunted grounds. They continued on for a while until they felt they were sufficiently far enough away for Creed to lay Eli to rest without being disturbed.
Creed removed a set of magical gauntlets from the remains and then set about building a cairn. He then called the rest of the Seeker’s over and performed a moon-lit requiem finally laying Eli to rest. Creed had now effectively killed the man twice.
Tudor, feeling encouraged by Creed put on the armbands he had picked up in the otyugh lair in the tunnels beneath Gentry. He wasn’t able to tell if they had any effect, but he knew they were magical. Afterwards, they finally got some much needed rest.
Early the next day, they were back on the road and had been marching all when they finally arrived at Silas only to find that it was empty. The Seekers sought out Creed’s old cottage as a place to rest. On the way to his cottage, the Seekers found a newly built home that was not vacant. Creed did not know whose home it was, but he remembered that the cottage was just being built when the “incident” occurred.
Creed knocked on the door and a huge man named Vance Kriggle answered. Vance was a typical country gent. He was very friendly and invited the Seekers in to the warmth of his home. As the Seekers entered the cottage, Vance kindly suggested that Rykson go play with the other kids, which brought a round of laughter from the rest of the Seekers.
Rykson, as always, was very polite in his response and kindly explained that he was a halfling, not a little boy. He went even further and gifted a bottle of perfume to Vance’s wife for their hospitality. Doing so made him feel more like an adult.
After a while of some pleasant conversation with Vance, a shy little girl that Vance and his family had taken in came down to where the adults were and said in a quiet voice, “Horses”. The Seekers then heard the sound of hooves and stepped outside to find that Darrin – a knight who owed the Seekers a blood debt – and Lord Luther had arrived with several of Darrin’s men.
Lord Luther had come for Creed’s head. Creed was a wanted man in Gentry for killing Lord Luther’s guards after they had burned down the Silas tabernacle while it was full of the town’s citizens. Lord Luther was also furious that he had to hang his cousin, Lucas, for what he considered to be aid to the Seekers. Creed had cured Lucas’ mother before a disease took her life and in return, Lucas did not arrest the Seekers after he had discovered them in Gentry.
Luther wanted Darrin and his men to arrest Creed, but they would not so Luther challenged Creed to a one-on-one battle to the death. Creed accepted the challenge. The rest of the Seekers were worried for their friend. Even though they frequently put their lives in Creed’s hands, he was still getting old.
When the fight first started, Creed looked to be in serious trouble. The two older men circled each other, trading blows. Luther landed several critical blows, but in the end, Creed remained standing. As Lord Luther died, his last words were, “In the end, we’re both evil”.
The Seekers collectively released a huge breath…it was a close fight.
Darrin and his men watched the fight without interfering. After the fight, they gathered the body of Lord Luther and carried him back to Gentry. Darrin gave the Seekers a respectful nod as he rode away.