Chapter 09: Three Wise Monkeys

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Session Number: 80
Date: Tuesday 28 December 2010
Venue: Denz'
PCs & Players:

Feren Rog9 (Yeran) (kills: 1)
Tomen Rgr9 (Ash) (kills: 2)
Troll Wiz9 (Densial) (kills: 8)
Shalélu Rgr5/Ftr2 (Craig) (kills: none)

XP Awarded: TBC

The party discuss their situation. They are here to secure a boat that is under the warehouse, and this they have found, although it appears that it can be boarded but not entered. Shalélu notes that there is no water flow where the boat is floating and no way for the boat to exit, concluding that it must be designed to submerge. Ethalyn helps to confirm the theory, pointing out that the original seven ships were designed to submerge, so it only makes sense that any other craft would also be able to submerge. The area where the boat is could be a dock, reachable from the water below.

Feren wonders how the original owner would have entered and exited the boat, given that the only obvious door is barred from the inside. Shalélu considers the mechanics of the boat. The inside appears to have seats. Towards the front, dimly-viewable through the tinted and blackened windows, the party see the remains of a wheel, possibly used to steer the boat. Tomen, while glancing through a window, catches sight of a glint. Peering closer, he identifies what could be charred remains on some of the seats. Closer inspection shows maybe two or three bodies towards the front of the boat.

Troll, thinking laterally, attempts Telekinesis on the bar on the inside of the door, but the weight is too much for his simple skill.

The party inspect the boat for damage, specifically damage caused by the creatures who were bashing it with hammers. Small dents or indentations are apparent around the windows, consistent with heavy constant bashing, however. Tomen inspects the boat and thinks the wood is special, not normal wood, otherwise the creatures should have made more of a dent. He thinks the boat itself is made of something he calls ironwood, quite special and quite hard. The party consider the construction of the boat, ironwood and glass-steel, or something similar.

The party considers the mechanism holding the boat. Two arms reach out from beneath the platform on pivots that would allow them to drop down and away. Hard, rubbery material at the ends of the arm and against the wharf seem to help to protect the boat as it gently sways back and forth in what little current swirls the water. It is obvious that the arms must drop away for the boat to be able to exit the room as there is not enough room otherwise, but it is not obvious where the controls are that allow this to happen.

As Tomen, Feren and Shalélu continue wandering over the boat looking for further clues they spot a small, reptilian head pop up out of the water a short distance from the wharf. The head swivels back and forth, eyes darting around the room before, with another plop, it starts to disappear into the murky depths. Shalélu automatically pulls her bow from her back and looses an arrow that splashes harmlessly in the water, immediately mimicked by Tomen, whose arrow pierces its shoulder.

Shalélu immediately exits the boat and heads for Troll, then gently reaches for another arrow as she scans the waves. Feren follows and takes up a place beside her, drawing his rapier and waiting patiently.

Two reptilian creates spring out of the water and land on the platform, each carrying a short spear. Feren diplomatically speaks. "Hello, I am Feren." He looks back towards Troll and nods towards the creatures. Troll repeats Feren's words in draconic, then in dwarvish and elven just to be sure. While the party wait for a reply six more similarly-armed creatures leap majestically from the water to land heavily on the platform. Each member of the party considers their options, turn and flee or stay and fight, but with Tomen still on the boat and on the other side of the line of creatures the choice is obvious.

Before the party can ready itself one of the creatures screams in a guttural language, and all eight charge forward, jabbing spears.

Round One: Fight

Shalélu, having readied her bow, fires three shots at the first charging enemy. Two arrows sink into the creature's torso, but neither stop him.

One of the creatures leaps forward and stabs at Feren heavily, the spear piercing his side.

Another creatures leaps up to Feren and stabs at him, his aim is not true though as Feren dodges his attack.

Feren feigns fear, looking wildly at each creature and stepping back slightly. They look smugly at each other and lower their guard as they prepare their next attack against their cowering foe. As the first leans forward and jeers at him, Feren quickly changes tactics, dancing forward and striking, his blade slipping between ribs to find a beating heart, and the first creature sinks gurgling to the wooden deck.

Another creature leaps forward and lands heavily at Shalélu's feet, his spear hammering down as he lands, cutting a wide gouge in Shalélu's shoulder.

A fourth creates leaps up to Feren, slicing at him with a spear, only to miss in its excitement.

A fifth creature, smelling easy meat, navigates around friend and foe and sneaks up beside the princess. His spear slices an arc through the air and bites deeply into her royal highness' thigh. She gasps quietly and turns to defend herself, somewhat taken aback by the pain.

A sixth creates bounds forward jabbing its spear at Shalélu, its tip cutting a deep slice into her arm.

Troll's turn

Troll turns as he hears Ethalyn wince, notes the creature's grin as it shakes her blood from its blade, and notices another close enemy. He leans forward and whispers quietly to the princess "Don't move," then mutters a mild incantation and points a readied wand at it. Fire bursts from his hand, envelops the wand and continues, reaches a point just outside Ethalyn's range and disappears, only to be replaced by a muffled 'whumf' sound as a burst of flame suddenly expands and envelops the two creatures. Both stagger from the effects of the explosion, both obviously hurt quite badly. A smell of ozone taints the air.

Tomen takes a running leap from the boat, then quickly steps up behind one of the creates attacking Feren. Before the creature can react he swings his blade in an upward arc, slicing its back from buttock to opposite shoulder in a quick and easy move. Its scream pierces the air as it arches its back in pain.

Ethalyn, heartened by the damage Troll's spell caused, deftly stabs at her attacker. Her blade sinks deep into the charred and still smoking flesh of its stomach. She twists the blade in an uncharacteristically skilled maneuver, taking second blood as it shudders and drops to the ground.

The last two creatures, slow to react, charge menacingly at the party, swinging wildly their blades sing through the air but fail to find purchase.

Suddenly a wet flushing sound punctuates the air, a torrent of water bursts from beside the boat and four more creatures land splashing onto the platform. Each carries a short spear similar to their comrades. Each wears an evil grin. Each shakes and shivers itself of water and prepares to enter combat.

Round Two: Run

Shalélu calculates the number left: two down and four up, eight enemies left in total. She looks at her companions. Feren and Tomen are still damaged from the last encounter, Feren has taken a solid hit in this battle, as has the princess, and she herself has taken the brunt with three attacks from three separate spears. "Retreat!" she cries, and backs carefully away from her assailants, then bolts up the platform and through the door, taking up a space in the hall.

Feren, hearing her words and noting her retreat, carefully extricates himself from battle and leaps up the platform, turns and stands in the doorway, hoping to bar entry to any enemies.

One of the creatures swings its spear in a wide arc, its blade singing through the air as it glints in sunrod light. It steps forward deftly and its attack takes Ethalyn by surprise, the spear tip slicing deep into her arm.

Two more of the creatures, with nothing stopping them, leap forward and jab spears at Troll, each finding a mark as spear tips rake through his clothing and pierce his skin.

Troll looks at the creature who attacked Ethalyn, swivels his head to take in the four new entrants, wards the two attacking him with wands and comes to a quick decision. He quietly mutters a complex incantation to himself as he continues to ward against the two he faces. He calculates area and distance quickly, sweat beading on his forehead as he tries to concentrate on two tasks at once, then with a gentle flick of his wrist a small red glow appears to fling from his hand and land twenty feet away. "My momma didn't make no fool," he sings quietly to the two in front of him.

A loud and purposeful thunderclap pierces the room, air explodes then implodes as a great burst of fire envelops the four newcomers and four of their earlier companions. As the smoke quickly clears all that remains is the charred and burning remains of the eight creatures caught in the blast.

Before the last two can react, Tomen immediately steps up behind them. His twin blades slice skillfully through the air, one arcing down to remove one creature's arm, the other arcing upwards to cut a wedge deep in the other's side. Both scream in pain as they sink to the floor, all but dispatched.


With the enemy all gone Shalélu quickly steps up to Troll and takes note of his wound. She pulls a small stick from a pouch and traces the cuts while mumbling to herself, they slowly close and relief shows on Troll's face. She then looks at the princess, hesitates for an instant before repeating the process with her royal highness, then moves onto Feren, once again sealing wounds.

The party head into the corridor intent on examining the octagonal room again, Tomen stops just inside the door, "I will stay here and guard in case they return, you continue searching". Princess Ethalyn nods her approval and follows the rest of the group down the corridor.

Shalélu turns to the princess. "Your highness, maybe you should return to the surface, it would be safer."

Ethalyn considers her options. "I would rather not leave, Tomen should probably come with me and he has proved useful, plus I am quite interested in what we find."

"Maybe to the warehouse then?" asks Shalélu, thinking anywhere except in the corridor would be better. "You could stay in the room above, within earshot…" but out of trouble she implies.

"That might prove to be unwise," replies Ethalyn. "The owners may return, then I would be alone with them." The princess, obviously used to making her own decisions, squares up to the ranger. "No, I think I shall remain, but thank you for your consideration."

Shalélu looks at Feren, who shrugs his shoulders. He learned years ago not to try and dissuade members of the elven royal family, they were all independent and assertive, sometimes to a fault. She turns back to the princess. "Well could you at least stay to the rear of the group," then adds quickly, "in case something happens, then you will be closer to Tomen."

Ethalyn's eyes go hard and her lips thin, she looks up at Shalélu, but before she can speak Feren speaks up. "Sister," he says gently but forcefully. She looks at her younger brother, her eyes soften and she nods, then moves back.

An inspection of the octagonal room shows two exits besides the one to the corridor.

Shalélu and Feren inspect the edges of one door, the fit looks snug, no play and no gaps.

"We'll have to bash it open I think," says the young ranger.

"Agreed," replies the young scout.

They both step back to the edge of the platform, each sizing up the door. "One…" says Shalélu, as she rocks forward, then back. "Two…" Rock, rock… "…Three!" she shouts and they both shoulder-charge the edge of the door, colliding as they aim for the same spot. Shalélu is pushed off-center, she slams into the wall beside the door, Feren suffers less as he hits the hinge side hard.

"Well that was less than interesting," pipes up a young royal voice from the rear of the group.

Shalélu and Feren both look back, then square their shoulders and once again inspect the door.

"How about you charge," says Shalélu, "and aim for here." She indicates an area on the door. "I will kick, hard, here," she indicates another area, close to the opening edge.

Feren steps back, then eyes Shalélu. "Try not to hit my foot," she adds as he starts to count.

"One… Two… Three!" Feren launches himself at the door. Shalélu waits and times her kick exactly, they both hit in the same instant and the door pops open, only to slam shut again as water spurts from around the edges.

Shalélu and Feren both jump back, look at each other and then at the door.

"Well I'm not going to open that door anytime soon," she declares, then looks to the other unopened exit. "Or that one," she indicates.

"What next then?" asks Feren as he wrings some of the water from his clothes.

The group head back to the boat, picking up Tomen on the way. "What happened?" he asks as they pass him.

"I got wet," Feren says as he wanders past. "Nothing but water that way."

Tomen looks at the princess as she reaches him. "Well, nothing but water this way either," he says, adding, "I mean we are under water now, technically."

Shalélu and Feren stop and turn. "What?" they exclaim in concert.

Tomen looks at them both, blinking. "Well, we came down, what, fifteen, maybe twenty feet, right? The platform's maybe five or ten feet above sea level, right?" He stops and looks at the ceiling of the hallway. "Only makes sense, we're probably about ten feet below the surface level of the sea."

Shalélu looks at Feren. "I think he's right".

"So how come where not wet down here?" he asks her, then looks at the boat bobbing slightly on the water. "By rights, all that water should fill up this space."

"Magic," blurts Troll. As the party turn to face him, he continues. "There's a shimmer of magic over the water, obviously magic is keeping the water level down."

"So how come it's not down back there?" Feren asks, indicating the octagonal room.

"Those doors are watertight," answers Shalélu. "If the magic failed back there, then that area would be filled, and the watertight doors would keep the water from entering this area."

"Nice design," adds Tomen.

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