Log 19: They Bought a Boat
TLDR of session:
"Wow" said Tiddles. "These stories are drrryyyyyyy..." He vanished into his bracelet. Opal heaved a heavy sigh. Putting down her book, she walked over and picked up her bracelet. She passed by Ryder and Naro on her way back. The two of them were tossing a thick book back and forth, bored. Opal rolled her eyes, and resumed reading the stack of books in front of her.
Three hours later, Opal shut the last book with a heavy thud. She stared at her companions, her frustration clearly shown on her face. "Did y'all even read a single book?" Ryder fumbled the book Naro had tossed at him, dropping it on the floor. They both turned and looked at the witch. "We uhhhh...." started Ryder. "Nope." said Naro. "Uhg. I'll give you the highlights then." said Opal. She turned and waved the two after her, leading them out of the library. As they walked, she filled them in on the history of this ocean floor. ... "So we should probably find some maps." said Naro, knowingly. Opal rolled her eyes, and agreed. The trio checked the map of Blackridgepool , pinpointing where the map storage was. They set off in that direction. As they passed through the city, they noticed the shadows were getting dimmer, as the sky was becoming darker slowly. They found fewer residents outside as well. They found of one the few remaining residents near the map storage building. They asked him about the maps, and if they had seen their dwarf friend pass through here earlier that day. "Yeah, map storage is just over there. All the maps been stolen though. Dunno who did it. Think it was some dude with magic though. As for the dwarf, yeah he passed through here. Said he was lookin for healing at the shipbuilders headquarters, so I pointed him in the right direction. That all?" The party thanked the man, and went to check out the map headquarters. Inside, they found the place in a very orderly state of ransacked. Every single map with any significant information on it appeared to have been stolen. All that was left behind was scraps of blank paper. Naro and Opal looked at the floor, and noticed there were some metal scratchings that appeared to match the kind left by clockwork servitors on stone floors. They could also detect hints of strong magic residue left behind. Ryder gave them a look. "Jaxton?" The two nodded back at him. "Jaxton"
With the map storage being a bust, they decided to check the map makers guild instead. Inside, they found three vaguely smart looking people arguing among themselves. One woman pointed down fiercely. "No, it was HERE!" The old dwarf beside her shook his head. "No, no. It was coming from this direction here." An equally old dwarf laughed. He looked at the others derisively. "You two don't remember a thing, do you?" Ryder, Opal, and Naro walked in to the room, unnoticed. They took stock of the scene before them, and then looked around the room. "DOG!" Cried Naro. He swiftly moved to the mantle, where a dog was comfortably lying next to a roaring fire. "GOOD DOG" he said, stroking the animal's fur. Ryder moved quickly beside, admiring the dog. Opal instead walked over to the arguing map makers. She joined their conversation, and quickly learned that the three of them couldn't agree on anything. They were attempting to recreate some maps that had been stolen, but their endless bickering was getting in the way of it. Disgruntled, she turned to leave. The lady gnome grabbed at Opal's sleeve. "One moment! If you have a map, I'll quickly jot down where the last storms were. I'm the only one that seems to remember." She said, shooting her companions a look. The map making guild mostly focused on maps of storm patterns, as best they could. They had general maps of where the islands were, but hadn't made any new or detailed maps of them in ages. Opal took out her map of the fourth floor, and handed it over. She thanked the gnome graciously as it was marked up quickly with some crude drawings of storms. "Well" said Opal, rounding the other two up. "Let's go check out the labs I guess? Maybe they'll be a bit more helpful"
On the way to the labs, the party mused about where Rusticus might be. The question was met mostly with shrugs. As they moved through the town, Ryder pointed something out on the map. "Hey, aren't we passing by the Inn? Lets stop in there for a bit. It's getting kinda dark anyways." Seeing logic in his words, Naro and Opal agreed. They made their way to the Inn, and found the innkeeper sitting outside. A few brief words were exchanged, and the party was let into the inn. "You folk are looking mighty tired!" the innkeeper said, unprompted. "How bout a round on the house?" Ryder and Naro nodded appreciatively. Opal smiled, and asked "What do you have? Some fine cider? Wine? Mead?" The innkeeper turned behind the bar, and returned, clunking three heavy mugs down, full of amber liquid. "Beer!" She said. Opal grimaced, and sipped at the beer to appear polite. The Innkeeper smiled and nodded, then looked closely at Ryder. "Hmm, he's lookin a bit more than tired. Tell you what, I don't hear new stories very often. Why don't you tell me something, and I'll give your friend here some more things to help him feel better." While Opal began telling a story from their adventures, the Innkeeper began to again rummage around behind the bar. "What a great story!" She said. She returned, and put down 4 stoppered bottles. "That earned a few potions here. These two'll remove curses, and the other two are good for poison. You get better now, ya hear?" "Thanks!" Opal said. The innkeeper left the party to their drinks, and moved across the Inn, joining the only other occupied table. The party sat sipping their drinks, eavesdropping on the innkeeper and the other two guests. They heard tale of the woes at sea; a pirate had returned, there was some great crimson whale terrorizing smaller vessels, and a great clockwork beast had again resurfaced. Without the weather maps, the storms made things much harder as well. Opal walked over to the table. "Couldn't help but overhear, sounds like there's some problems out on the open ocean! We may not look it, but we're actually a group of very capable adventurers. Might we solve your problems?" The table looked at Opal, then shared a look among themselves. Looking back, the innkeeper responded. "Well, you'd need a boat." Suddenly, the Inn's door burst open, and two gruff looking people stomped in. A woman in a bright crimson cloak held up a vibrant crystal bracelet. "Someone lose a friend?" She called. Ryder leaned out around the table. "Uhhh.... dwarf?" "Yup. Came into guild headquarters, asked for healing, then promptly vanished into this thing here. He one of yours?" Ryder looked at Naro, before turning back to the woman. "Yeah he's with u-USSsS-" Ryder's words were broken off as the woman under hand tossed the bracelet at him. He fumbled with it before securing it. "T-thanks" he called. He tucked the bracelet into his pocket. The newcomers sat at a table between the party and the innkeeper and company. Opal returned to Naro and Ryder, her previous conversation cut short. The woman in crimson talked in a loud voice, easy for the party to overhear. "Alright, lets see if you can actually earn any of your goods back, William!" she called. She shook out some dice. Her companion groaned. "I only got a few things to wager this time... Lets play 3 dice." Ryder fidgeted in his seat. A short burst of commotion and dice rolling was heard, before the woman laughed loudly. "Took you for everything you got again! Ha ha!" She turned and surveyed the Inn. "Ol' William here doesn't have it cut out to be my gambling opponent. Anyone else feeling brave enough to take on me, the great Isemred?" Opal turned to look at her companions. "Sounds kinda fun! ...wheres Ryder?" Naro found Markus to be holding him to the table fast. He looked hopelessly at Opal, and shrugged. Opal turned and saw that Ryder was already at the table, sitting across Isemred. She got up, and followed him over there. As she approached, she caught the rules of the game. "First one to get all matching dice wins. If you get a '1', you lose. If we both lose, we restart. Got it?" Ryder nodded grimly. "Three dice, lets go. I wager these potions." Isemred smiled and nodded back. "Three... two.. one..." ... Ryder got up from his chair, potionless. Losing twice in a row had tempered his enthusiasm for gambling. Opal sat down in his place. "Ya'll got any masterwork daggers?" Isemred smiled and said "Yup, thanks to ol lucky William over there." William sighed as Opal and Isemred laid out the dice. A quick sequence of rolls later, and Opal was the proud new owner of a masterwork dagger. "Alright, I want back in." Ryder said. He motioned Opal away, who went back to join Naro. "Three soul coins, for all my stuff back, and a bit more on top. Final offer." He looked at Isemred, with fire in his eyes. His opponent eyed him, and then eyed the dice. She shrugged. "Sure, deal." She dropped her dice on the table, and Ryder placed his down. "Lets do 3 dice again?" Ryder nodded, and picked up three dice. "In three... two... one..."
Opal and Naro witness a very sad Ryder return to the table. He fished around in his pocket, and grabbed two more soul coins. "Here" He said to Naro. "You take these. Don't trust me with them." As Naro put them in his pocket, Ryder lay his head down on the table, dejected. Naro and Opal sipped at their beers a while longer, before the Innkeeper came over again. "It's gettin pretty late and I'm about to close up the bar. There's some open rooms you're welcome to. If you're lookin for a boat tomorrow, you'll wanna head to the docks. Komouth and Hiri will set you up." The party thanked her, chose their own rooms, and slept the days troubles away.
In the morning, the party packed up quickly. They thanked the innkeeper, and left for the docks. ON the way, they found a sad woman with dark purple skin, sitting alone in the corner. Ryder approached, and asked if they were near the docks. The woman looked surprised that someone had talked to her. "Y...yeah." She responded in short, concise words. "It's there. Not far." She looked over at Naro, and here eyes widened a bit. Naro's entire body was rigid, and he stared at the purple skinned woman with intensity. "Are you..." he began, his words biting. "Drow?" the woman asked. "Like you?" Naro's eyes flashed as he shouted at her. "NO." He moved towards her, then paused. He froze for a moment, then stomped away. Opal ran to catch up. Ryder looked at the woman apologetically. "Sorry. Have a dice day!" As the party left, the woman appeared to be fighting down the urge to smile. The smile faltered, as out of the corner of her eye, she caught sight of Naro viciously punching a wooden post in anger.
The trio moved through the houses, and found the docks. They quickly found the dock master, an angry half elf woman named Komouth, who was berating a young half orc named Hiri. "AND THIS TIME, DON'T FUCK IT UP." "Sorry!" "AND NEXT TIME WARN ME WHEN PEOPLE ARE APPROACHING" Komouth yelled, as she turned to find the party approaching her. "Sorry!" said Hiri again, in a small voice. Opal lead the way. "We're here to buy a boat and solve your ocean problems!" Komouth shook her head. "Wrong and Wrong. I don't sell boats, and I don't believe you can solve anything. You can have the old boat behind us though, and try to do some fixing." Opal blinked. "Old boat? what about a new one?" "No." She tried again. "We can pay for i-" "No." Opal sighed. "Alright. I guess we can manage with the old boat. How hard can it be." Komouth smiled. "Good, get this old thing out of my way. Which of you knows how to sail?" When no one raised their hand, she sighed. "Here's the deal. Pay me, and I'll teach you how to sail. You give me something shiny, and pick your roles." The party handed Komouth a soul coin, and elected Naro captain of the vessel. Opal volunteered to head up the crows nest, while Ryder and Kir would be the deck hands. Komouth quickly gave each one a rundown of their tasks they'd need to do to keep the boat in working condition. "And now, you need to name it before you can take it." Komouth said. "HIRI, GRAB THE PAINT." "Sorry!" The half orc cried, running over to a supplies shed. The party huddled together, and began discussing their options. Finally, they settled on a name for the boat. One to strike fear in the hearts of enemies. A name to embolden the party. A name to ensure good fortune. The name they chose was "Fire Resistant". Komouth laughed. "What, you think if you name it that, the wood of the boat wont catch fire? Whatever. HIRI, PAINT IT ON THE BOW." Hiri quickly painted the words on the boat, while Opal, Naro, and Ryder made themselves at home on the boat. The trio assumed their positions. Komouth and Hiri stood on the dock, and waved as the Fire Resistant made its way away from the shore. "They're so fucked." Remarked Komouth.
Opal climbed up the crows nest, and took out her Planar Tuning Fork . Holding it in her hands, she pondered about the best plan of action. She decided to attune the fork to Naro, in case she needs to act on him quickly. Meanwhile, Naro was getting used to the helm of the boat. He looked ahead and surveyed the scene, as Ryder and Kir pulled on ropes and tried to look busy. Having only a slight idea of what to do, Naro called out to Ryder. "Full sail ahead!" Ryder grabbed some rope, and pulled, hoping he was doing the right thing. Opal teleported down from the crows nest, directly beside Naro. "EUhaagHGh!" He cried out in surprise. "I can see Black Ruins ahead!" Opal said, as she stood directly beside Naro. Naro thanked her, and she climbed back up the mast. Once his nerves calmed down, Naro gripped the ship's wheel, and gently steered the Fire Resistant in the direction Opal had indicated.
"Alright, trim the sails! We gotta stop!" "Uhhhhhhhhh okay....!" Ryder and Kir fumbled about with the rigging again, managing to tie up the sails. The boat slowed down, and they dropped anchor. The Fire Resistant halted her movement, having arrived at the Black Ruins. Around the boat there were old stone arches, pillars, and walls sticking up out of the water. Below the boat, the party could look through the clear water to see the bottom. Around 50' down they could see the ocean floor, more old stone buildings in a ruined state. The three of them leaned over the side of the boat, and surveyed the ruins. "Oooo, shiny things!" Called Opal. She took out her book, turned around, and sat down. She began flipping through the pages rapidly, speaking in a low voice, mostly to her self. "Now if I remember correctly... I got a lil spell here... can bring about a downright helpful creature... just give me a moment..." There was a massive -SPLASH- as Naro dove into the water. Opal ignored him, and continued flipping through her book. About a minute later, Naro resurfaced. "Found some stuff." He said, casually. He held it out to Opal, who had finally closed her book. "Oh wow! That was fast. Let's see here..." She said. "Looks like you got a masterwork dagger, and a potion of ant haul here. Very nice!" She smiled at Naro. "Did you see much else down there?" Naro nodded. He quickly gestured to the area he had swam to, and then pointed east to where he saw more things sparkling under water. Opal thanked him, and moved to the edge of the boat. Her hands began to glow as she started her summoning ritual. Moments later, there was a second splash, as a Merfolk materialized. Opal quickly instructed it to swim down and collect as much as it could. The merfolk nodded, and took off underwater. "So, you like water?" Asked Ryder, as they waited for the merfolk to return. Opal stared nonplussed, while Naro nodded enthusiastically. There was a bubbling sound as the merfolk surfaced. "I have collected you four things." It said in it's calm, clear voice. "There was yet more to be found below. I have not much time. There was a dark spike buried in the ground, but I dared not touch it. It looks powerful, yet important." The merfolk tossed the four items upwards. Two clear bottles, an ornate box, and a set of chain mail soared upwards, and the party scrambled to catch it all. "Alas, I am gone." The merfolk winked out of existence. Opal collected all the goods and gave them a once over. She began pointing at them one by one, identifying them. "Looks like we got a masterwork chain shirt, a potion of pass without trace, a potion of shield of faith, and a very nice gold and mithril chess set!" The three of them quickly divvied up the loot. Opal and Naro looked at each other. "More?" Naro asked. "More." Nodded Opal. Opal rummaged around in her pack, and took out one of the feather tokens she had purchased in Blackridgepool . "Let's get a bit closer to the western ruins, so we don't have to swim so far!" She activated the feather token, and a rowboat appeared in air. It dropped to the water with a massive splash. Naro and Opal climbed down the ladder on the Fire Resistant, and hopped into the newly summoned rowboat. They looked up at Ryder, who shrugged and followed after. "I'll watch the boat while you swim." he said. The pair dove into the water, and quickly began moving in separate directions. However, they were very quickly interrupted. Before either of them could even reach the loot they so desired, a trio of sharks entered the area. The sharks swam towards the nearest target: Naro. The first shark cut through the water rapidly, and slammed into Naro. It's teeth sunk into Naro's abdomen, and he let out a gasp of air as it tore a large chunk out of him. He clasped his fists and slammed down on the shark, battering it away. The other sharks smelled blood in the water, and charged him. A second shark swam in and bit at Naro again. It too sunk its teeth in, and it thrashed about, tearing large wounds into Naro. Naro's outline shimmered, and suddenly 4 of his arms disappeared, as Markus vanished. Opal witness the whole thing, having turned around before reaching the item she was swimming for. She panicked, and thought hard, as she witnessed her friend being torn to shreds. She remembered attuning her fork to Naro, and realized that meant she could act on him as if she was touching him from any distance. She cast dimension door, and teleported herself and Naro back onto the deck of the fire resistant. "I HATE SHARKS" called Naro in pain. He was doubled over, hands clamped on his wounds, as blood spilled between his fingers. "Hang on hang on!" Opal began quickly casting healing spells on him. "What the hell happened, where is Markus?" "I really really HATE sharks." is all Naro offered. "W... what the hell?" Asked Ryder, alone in the rowboat. He turned to see Opal and Naro back aboard the Fire Resistant. He began paddling back over. "What happened? Sharks? There's sharks in the water? What the hell??" He climbed aboard to find Naro in a mostly stable, but angry state. "So uhhh... All in favor of leaving?" He asked. He received an "Aye" from both Naro and Opal. Naro heaved himself to his feet, and moved over to the helm. "Alright." Naro called. Opal had ascended the mast again, while Kir and Ryder raised anchor. "Let's get the fuck out of here." Together, they sailed the Fire Resistant out of the Black Ruins.