After a month off from my last expedition to rest, I decided it was time to explore again. I was beginning to get a feel for this godforsaken island, but there was still a surprising amount of unknowns about the landscape. Given my good standing with the Seafarer’s Guild, I decided to pay a visit to Rocksalt.
Rocksalt greeted me with a smile and said they had been studying the ship that I brought back from my last voyage. He added that they had been in contact with the cartography guild and offered to accept the maps that I had put together as payment for completing the ship. They had also received backing from a young wizard named Gil to speed things along, and some funding from an adventurer named Tahli. I was grateful but a little suspicious. I had only met Tahli and Gil last week while I tagged along with Mac during their meeting with the Hobgoblins. I wondered what they would want in return for this generosity…
Rocksalt asked me to provide him some rough sketches for ship details, and told me to come back in a week. I could hardly believe this was happening, so I rushed out to put together an expedition party to set off once my ship was completed. I found some previous adventuring mates Thero, Finrick, and Asmund and they all agreed to accompany me up the east coast on my maiden voyage. I searched for Mac, but when I found her she regrettably told me she wasn’t available for the trip, she did introduce me to Erevan though, and recommended him for the job.
So with the party together and a week passed we arrived back at the Seafarer’s Guild eager to see my ship. This ship was beautiful, so beautiful in fact that I felt a little less heartbroken about the altercation that cost me my previous ship. The sails had a headshot of me smiling giving a “thumbs up” sign. The captain’s quarters had a 10ft square bed, which was almost big enough to fit all of my admirers. The cargo hold was large enough to hold 100’s of gallons of ale! “Land ahoy parties would be EPIC”, I thought.
Erevan asked if he could carve the figurehead for the bow of the ship as a gift. He had a wooden sculpture of a mermaid completed in no time. Rocksalt came over to give us a tour. When he got to the ballista, he noted that he used the money from Tahli to procure it. He chuckled and said, “We’ve been calling it the Tahlista!” My eyes darted to the rest of the party so that we could laugh together, but before I let out my first giggle, I caught Thero out of the corner of my eye shaking his head in disagreement. “No way”, he said. So that…was the end of that.
Just then, Gil appeared out of nowhere and scared the bejesus out of us. “What?” Gil asked, “I’ve literally been here the entire time.” Gil then said he had one final gift and began waving his arms and chanting towards the ship. “Now”, Gil began, “every time you board the ship or say something inappropriate, Captain Ron’s portrait on the sails will wink and the mermaid figurehead will shimmy; and they’ll both cry out, ‘eeyyyyyyyyyyyyyy’. A tear trickled down Ron’s face as he gave Gil a bro-hug.
Asmund then christened the ship with a bottle of mead and a prayer to Tyr and we were off.
The first few days were uneventful. By day 4 we had reached Fort Dawnbreak. We decided to port to check-in on their preparations to storm the Ghoul capital. Once we rallied the troops we boarded the Frisky Mermaid and continued on our journey north.
Day 5 was spent at sea.
On day 6 I spent more time marveling at my ship than watching where I was going, and before I knew it the coast was no longer in sight. About that time Asmund called out in a booming voice from the Galley that there was scratching on the bottom of the boat.
That caused the 5 fish people to emerge from the water and appear on the top deck. The crew performed admirably and the ship stayed true during the fight. Thero, Finrick, Erevan, and Asmund all showed skill and bravery in the fray. When it was all over, Asmund had been knocked unconscious and had sustained a broken leg. I healed him to awaken him, and luckly he was able to tend to his own broken leg.
Once the fight was behind us several of the crew began to comment that those fish people were from Pleasure Island, yet it was nowhere to be found. This confused everyone, as the island had apparently…moved. However, knowing where we were did allow us to get back on our original course.
By day 7 we were back in view of the coast, and on day 9 Erevan found a watertight wooden box floating in the ocean. Thero and Finrick stood over the box while Erevan and Asmund awoke me and told me about the box. “We call 6ft wooden boxes coffins where I come from”, I said. Asmund agreed.
Erevan noticed a name written on the box. “Casius” he read. (Pronounced KAY see us) No sooner had he read the name, Thero began picking the lock on the box. Asmund kicked the lid off revealing a young elf in the box. Asmund cast Zone of Truth, but it appeared to have no effect on the elf. After a line of questioning, the elf told us:
• his name was Casius,
• he was from Drochtredia, and was grateful for us saving him
• Orcs stuffed him in the box
• He didn’t know how long he was in there or why he was stuffed in there
We decided to restrain him and place him in medical observation by Asmund. By the end of day 9 we had ventured farther than any maps had previously shown and found a new cape that was worth exploring. We decided to anchor for the night and let Erevan send his familiar to scout the land ahead. That night we had our first “land ahoy party” aboard the Frisky Mermaid. The first of many I might add. It was LEGENDARY. Our tiny crew consumed 9 gallons of ale with Finrick leading the way.
The next morning we approached the cape that we eventually named, “The Mermaid’s Tail”. We found what looked to be some abandoned Orcish campsites that were about 2 days old, which was exactly what Erevan discussed with us from his recon. We brought Casius with us, and when we touched land he asked if we had a spare cloak to put on.
We decided to follow the tracks inland, until the tracks turned north. At the entrance to the forest we found some larger tracks with the Orc tracks. Asmund identified the tracks as Hill Giant tracks. Where the tracks turned north we kept heading west, directly through the forest and towards the mountains in the distance. That night we camped in a clearing in the forest.
On day 11 we got to the edge of the mountains, Erevan sent his familiar to see what was on the other side…desert, for as far as the eye could see, but for one large lake in the middle with a small grass plot on its southern bank. “Just as I suspected”, I called out. We then travelled north along the mountains until we came across some Bullfather tracks. Erevan sent his familiar to the Frisky Mermaid to inform them we were traveling north and to meet us at a second cape North of the Mermaid’s Tail. We followed the Bullfather tracks to the edge of the forest, as the mountains began to bend west. Unfortunately, we were out of time for this expedition as we were running out of supplies. So we decided to head back to the ship.
That night on the ship, after I had turned in for the night, I was awakened by a figure in my room. Before I could move I was paralyzed by magic. The figure stepped forward until he was visible in the moonlight. “I don’t want to do this”, Casius said, “but I have to”, as he revealed his fangs. He began slowly walking towards me, and all I could do was call for help. Seconds later Asmund broke into my quarters and form tackled the vampire to the floor. Casius threw Asmund off of him, darted out of my quarters, and then disappeared. When he was out of sight, I was able to move again.
“Thanks” I said, “I’d hate to think what would have happened if you showed up but a moment later.” “Anytime, Captain”, Asmund replied, “and don’t worry, I’d been spiking your jalapeno shooters with garlic since we brought Casius on board.”
When we returned to the Seafarer’s Guild at Mariner’s landing we were greeted by all. They were excited to receive the map of the uncharted territory so they reimbursed me for the supplies that I bought for the mission, and handed everyone else in the party 125gp. Rocksalt then waved me over to the guildhall. He walked over to a glass case and said, “This once belonged to a celebrated captain around these parts” as he reached for a spyglass from the case. He put it in my hand and said, “May this serve you as well as it served the great Captain Lingo!”