Itching to get out on the open sea again, and wondering what else was around this god-forsaken continent while piecing maps together, I decided to put together an exploration mission to sail south from Mariner’s Landing. Peren the Ranger, also approached me recently asking for help gathering information on Lt. Roth. Having been impressed with Rowen Oak, the Half Orc paladin from our last mission, I decided to recruit him for the job. He introduced me to Goran Waystrider, the Dwarven Druid, and Roy Wallace, a Human Ranger.
We booked a ship with the Seafarer’s Guild, and embarked on our expedition the following day.
Captain’s Log – Day 1
When I saw Captain Rocksalt’s ship, I got butterflies in my stomach. It was a 70ft beauty. Rocksalt says it’s what they use to hunt whales, and with the huge crossbow mounted on the front it looked legit. Donald, one of Rocksalt’s men, and Roy instantly took their post in the crow’s nest. I decided to stick by Rocksalt to rub elbows. Goran started taking orders for his fatty-bo-batty healing brews, and he quickly got to work making his concoctions. Finally, we were off.
After passing New Blainsport, Roy called out to us and pointed out some humanoid figures in the water. They appeared to be dead bodies that were tied to seaweed, and upon closer examination, we noticed they were Sahuagin. As we were staring at the dead Sahuagin a mermaid like creature with fins climbed aboard the ship! It was a Merrow. It attacked Goran and hit him, but Goran resisted its attempt to pull him off the boat. After a bit more back and forth, a second Merrow climbed aboard. The first Merrow harpooned me through the shoulder and dragged me overboard with it. Now, I had fallen overboard plenty of times in the past, usually while double fisting flagons of ale (and never spilled a drop I’m proud to say), but I’d never been dragged off a ship by a Merrow. I quickly grabbed hold of a tie off on the boat, and sternly Suggested, that the Merrow leave us be. Just as I convinced the Merrow to turn away, Roy put a crossbow bolt through its eye and then Rowan threw a rope down to help me get back to the top deck. Once the other Merrow saw Roy’s devastating shot he turned and swam away.
After an unremarkable 36 hrs we saw what looked to be a campsite on the shore, and decided to stop to investigate. As we got closer the water turned swampy, and we noticed that the campsite was long abandoned, and that there were some ruined huts mixed in with the tents. Our attention was immediately drawn to a large stone structure built into the side of a hill. On the structure was a sign that read, “Not worth it, powerful spirit watches”. “HA, I’ll be the judge of that!”, I thought. We followed Rowan into the tomb. There was a bowl on an altar in the room and written in Elvish above the alter were the words, “To our great protector Hilda”. Just then I caught a glance of a floating eye, but before I even knew what I saw, it disappeared. We pushed deeper into the tomb and came across a sarcophagus. Never one to stay out of trouble, Rowan kicked the lid off of the sarcophagus, revealing, wait for it…NOTHING inside. But then, hundreds of beetles started crawling into the room, then the hundreds turned into thousands, and the thousands turned into tens of thousands. The beetles converged near Rowan and finally formed an entity. Rowan tried to attack the being, but caught nothing but air. Then the entity cast a spell on Rowan, and commanded him to “Do good, Help those who cant help themselves, and leave this place in peace”. At this point, Roy, Goran and I started slowly stepping backwards. Then we noticed Rowan get into an offensive stance. Roy slapped his face with the palm of his hand, and I braced for death. As soon as Rowan brought his axe down, his head exploded. I don’t mean this as a figure of speech. His head literally exploded. Blood spewed out of every orifice in his head. Rowan crumpled to the ground, and then remarkably popped back up. We decided to apologize profusely, and leave. As we emerged from the tomb, I took a minute to write “concur” under the message at the entrance to the tomb, and Rowan inscribed, “Daedrick, try your best" in Dwarvish. Roy went on to explore a few of the ruined huts and found a total of 39g.
Goran informs us that the weather will be stormy tomorrow. Rocksalt brushes it aside and thinks we’ll be fine.
I notice storm clouds ahead. I nudge Rocksalt to get his attention and nod in the direction of the clouds. He gives me a wink, and announces that we should anchor for the storm. I mouth the words concur, and nod my head approvingly. We share a captain moment.
Roy spots a large city up ahead and as we get closer we realize that it looks to be 3x to 4x the size of Mariner’s Landing. And as we continue to get closer it dawns on us that the city looks…abandoned. We also notice the city is at the mouth of a large river, large enough for a ship to pass if one were so inclined. I ask Rocksalt, “what IS this place?”, and he responds with the Mariner’s Landing salute (an exaggerated shrug with a confused look on his face). It was getting late already so we decided to anchor nearby, sleep on the boat, and save exploration for the morning.
Captain Rocksalt dropped us off at the dock and informed us that he wasn’t going to wait around for us to explore. He said he’d be 10 minutes off-shore, and that we could signal him with a fire when we were ready for him to pick us up. Roy quickly found some tracks of a large arachnid and some fresh children footprints, while my attention turned to the two dry dock areas. We decided to scope out the dry dock areas first as they were close by. The first was empty. When we walked into the second, we found a 70ft, 2 mast ship that was left to rot while under construction. My heart started racing, as I instantly knew this was my opportunity to brave the sea independently again. I took a second to compose myself as to not look like a complete tool in front of the rest of the group. I made a lap around the ship and decided that with a little help from Rocksalt and his crew, we could put this ship in the water with about a day’s work. Then I’d have to convince Rocksalt to tow it back to the Landing where I could finish construction. We decided to move on and approach Rocksalt at night about our find.
When we left the dry dock, Roy spotted an orchard and so we headed that way. The orchard was surrounded by a fence and had a metal gate hung inside of a stone archway. Goran studied the craftsmanship of the gate and determined that this was elvish construction. As Goran studied the gate, a small crack appeared in the gate and an eye popped into my vision, then the gate quickly closed. Rowan and Roy attempted to climb the fence, but fell on top of each other, failing miserably. Goran and I chuckled before Goran nudged the gate open while staring at Roy and Rowan on the ground. Inside stood a Halfling holding a spear in front of him. We all put down our weapons, and he lowered his spear but still held it tightly. Eventually we learned his name was Gob and he lived in a hole with his wife Dee, son Reed, and daughter Pearl. They were born in this city, as were his previous 3 generations. The city was deserted when the darkness came which was before his great grandparents’ time. This family was scared to leave, in fear that it was worse outside of the city than inside it. Gob told us that the beasts come out at night, and during the day they hide in the buildings of the city, and mentioned that everyone he’s ever known to go into a building has never returned. We gave him and his family some food, and they gave us large ruby in return. Nice exchange rate they have here.
We decided to find a lone set of tracks so that we could try to handle these “beasts” one at a time. Roy led us to a small house, and Goran peaked in seeing nothing but spider webs. Rowan led the way into the house, and we discovered a chest that contained 103 gold pieces and a magic handaxe. Rowan explored further, to the back room and was instantly stuck in a large web. Then a white albino looking spider creature descended on Rowan. After a short melee the spider was defeated. We then noticed that there was a second spider that was already dead. Goran investigated the second spider and saw that it was full of eggs. He mentioned that they’d hatch soon so we decided to crack open the eggs and pour the baby spider goop into Goran’s vials, filling 11 vials in total. “These druids and their goop” I thought to myself. I tried not to pass judgement though since Goran was probably thinking the same thing about my ship find. Roy was then able to remove some of the spider plating. He thought it might be useful to craft armor in the future. It was getting late in the day by this point so we decided to report back to Rocksalt and spend the night on the ship rather than risk it here. I discussed my ship find with Rocksalt, and after much persuasion he agreed to let his crew help prepare the ship for tow the next day.
In the morning I led Rocksalt’s crew to the dry dock area and played inspirational teamwork music…
…while everyone worked to get the ship in order. After a long day of hard work, we decided to swing by Gob’s area. Goran, Roy, and Rowan were able to convince Gob that he should come with us and move his family to Mariner’s Landing.
We sailed back to Mariner’s Landing hugging the Northern coast of the gulf, and we marked the map where the Ghoul fog started and stopped.