The companions woke up on an unknown beach, surrounded by the bloated corpses of men, women and children being eaten by strange crustaceans of all sizes. Small crabs could be seen climbing in and out of mouths, nostrils, ears, wounds and even eye sockets from which the eyeballs had already been eaten. The group collectively gathered their wits just in time to face several small and medium sized crabs in combat.
When Tudor woke, he realized that he didn’t really understand how this had happened. “What happened?” He said aloud with a dumbstruck look on his face. However, he didn’t have time to think on it because several dog-sized crabs were skittering up the beach to feast on bodies and he needed to stop them from attacking any would-be survivors, including himself.
He jumped up, focused his will and called forth into being a huge mastiff that he affectionately called Deesul. The feeling of harnessing those energies filled him with completeness. Once Tudor had Deesul attack the crabs, he turned his attention to finding survivors.
Luckily, several other survivors had also recovered and were beating back the crabs. There was a middle-aged man named Creed who carried a skull on his belt. A heavily-armored dwarf, whom he later came to know as Moradin, seemed to be taking some joy in hacking away at the crabs with his axe. A dark and slender hooded man named Viktor killed a nearby crab then turned his attention to the other survivors. And there was a Halfling named Rykson, whom Tudor mistook for a young boy at first.
Tudor found himself simply awestruck by the new and different people he continued to meet since leaving Bufree. He would never have met a Dwarf or a Halfling, but not he was meeting one of each at the same time! The thought nearly made him smile, but he needed to figure out how he got here and what happened.
He had no idea where he was and from the looks on the others’ faces, neither did they. He and the others survivors banded together and cooked up some crab meat on the beach and took some time by the fire to gather their wits and develop a plan.
As they were eating, a quirky old man pulling a turnip cart approached them and introduced himself as Roland. Roland told the companions of a nearby trail leading to a village and warned them about a witch’s tower on the island. After some light conversation, Roland shared some tubers with the hungry companions who then headed off towards the village and travelled into evening.
During the night, a loud buzzing noise woke Moradin from his sleep – while he was on watch. He quickly jumped up to alert the others and pretended as if he’d been awake the whole time. They all peered out in the darkness and were able to make out a shape floating several feet above the ground.
As it turned out, the shape wasn’t floating – it was flying. It looked like some type of giant wasp with a grotesquely too-human face. Moradin shouted a challenge at the wasp creature he attacked, knowing that he needed to make up for sleeping on the watch.
The grueling battle with the wasp creature ended when Rykson slayed the beast with a mighty thrust of his tiny lance. Even though they had won the fight, they still found themselves confused, wounded and fearful of an encounter with another wasp. So instead of going back to sleep, they abandoned the camp and made their way down the beach.
Roland was the only person who knew of their whereabouts, so the companions suspected that he may very well be responsible for the wasp attack during the night. Since Roland knew of their whereabouts, they decided to avoid the trail leading to the town, hoping to throw Roland, or whoever it was that pursued them, off their trail.
The group of survivors found a former whaling camp with several decrepit buildings. A quick recon of the area showed no threat, so they decided to hunker down in one of the ramshackle bunkhouses to lick their wounds and decide on a course of action. During the night, they all heard the telltale buzzing of more of the wasp creatures making their rounds through the area – apparently hunting for them. The companions remained quiet enough to avoid attention. Old Man Creed got restless after a while and offered dutch rudders to the rest of the group. Creed tried to convince the others that it would be holy and not at all weird, but they each still declined his offer.
After Creed healed the group, they set off for the supposed village of which old Roland had spoken. On the trail, they once again heard the buzzing sound of one of the wasp creatures. The companions hid and remained as still as they could. They did not want to fight another one of those creatures, but it was quickly approaching and they could easily find themselves with no other option. Rykson saved them from a fight though. The diminutive, furry-footed warrior pulled out his sling and expertly hurtled a stone into the distance. The wasp heard the stone’s impact and pursued the noise, allowing the companions to hastily make their escape.
The companions fumbled their way through thick mists to get to the village and found that had been abandoned long ago. A large building that appeared to have once been an inn drew their attention so they moved forward to investigate. Once inside, they found a giant pile full of dung, offal and refuse.
Happy to be safe from the wasp creature, the oblivious companions entered the former inn and stumbled into the lair of a giant centipede. The centipede’s attack came quickly and nearly got Kongo, but it left itself open to counter-attack in doing so. They slew the beast before it could recover. Another giant centipede scrambled out of the dung to take its place but he companions were ready and killed the bug before it was able to hurt anyone.
Tired, weary, disappointed and at a loss as to how they should proceed, they took shelter in one of the dead town’s rundown shacks. Again they had to decline dutch rudders from the skull-toting chaplain, who apparently couldn’t find anything else with which to pass his time. And again, one of those wasp creatures paid them a visit in the night. This time, the companions decided to stand and fight instead of running so they quickly made a plan and got into position to make the attack.
The ambush went horribly wrong. They accidentally crashed one of the walls out of the weathered shack and botched a poorly planned attempt to net the wasp creature. Through sheer luck and determination, the companions managed to kill the thing but not before they paid a heavy price. The mighty dwarven knight, Moradin, who kept the beast’s attention eventually fell to the beast.
They buried their stout friend and used his shield as a headstone. After briefly considering the market value of his weapons, armor, and supplies, they decided that they should not plunder his goods. Viktor suggested that Creed give the corpse a dutch rudder, but after several long, uncomfortable moments, Creed decided that he couldn’t do that to his dead companion’s body.
Just as Tudor, Creed, Viktor and Rykson finished burying the dwarf’s body, heavy, heavy footsteps approached.
Viktor looked at Moradin’s grave and then at the approaching footsteps and excitedly said, “What did I say? What did I say! The stupid dwarf is dead and now there is a fucking giant. Yep, a giant!”
He yelled something at the giant out of frustration. The stupid look on the giant’s face betrayed the fact that it didn’t understand anything Viktor had just said.
Creed knew that they wouldn’t survive a fight with a giant, so he prepared to face the giant alone so the rest of the group could get away. In this way, he could finally save his flock.
Viktor was still frustrated and thought to himself, “Great! The giant is even dumber then the dwarf. And now our bat-shit-crazy chaplin is going to fight the giant by himself.” Throwing his hands up in the air, he claimed “This is going to end well.”
Luckily, the group didn’t have to fight the giant because a lady, potentially the witch Roland had cautioned them against, stepped out from behind a building and called the giant off, as if it were her pet. Then she began to cast another spell. Tudor felt the power of the spell and knew it was going to put him to sleep. As he drifted off, he saw that his new companions were also drifting to sleep.
Viktor didn’t fall asleep immediately though and before he succumbed to sleep, he heard the witch say to someone, “there are supposed to be five of them.”
When the companions woke, Moradin was alive, as if his death had just been a dream. Creed’s first response to seeing Moradin alive and well was relief that he didn’t dutch rudder him. The companions barely had time to celebrate this miracle because the witch quickly corralled them to her tower. She made them go to her tower quickly because she needed to hide them from some sinister man.
The witch guided the companions into a secret tunnel and gave them each a tingly kiss on the cheek, which she referred to as the Kiss of Astoras. Tudor could only guess that the kiss provided some type of blessing or protection but he was not sure.
Before they escaped down the witch’s tunnel, the companions heard the witch and some man holding a heated discussion that seemed to be about them. They did not stay long to figure it out and moved down the tunnel as fast as the dwarf could move.
During the escape from the tunnel, Viktor found a very special, magically enhanced rapier in a chest along with a map.
The companions wanted to follow the map to what appeared to be a treasure. However, they gave up too quickly and sailed off aboard the Albatross before finding any treasure.