Weary and brokenhearted, Sorsha and Ninti returned through the caves and back to the surface to deliver the bad news about their friends. They began to retrace their steps through the cavern to return to the lighthouse and try again to signal a way off of this cursed island.
One Week Prior in the Sargavan Capital of Eleder:
An unlikely trio was planning a trip to seek out the infamous island of Smuggler’s Shiv. A tengu and two humans were busy making attempts to entice any ship they could find to take them to Smuggler’s Shiv or its vicinity. After a long search and a great deal of coin, the trio found a ship that would drop them with a row boat in the channel nearest to the Shiv.
After a week’s passage on the ship, they were left, as promised, in a tiny row boat. The group began to navigate the waters and head east. Zayde, the largest of the humans, did most of the rowing, seemingly content in his task. The waters were in their favor, and Sir Fowlwin, the other human, attempted to make small talk to get to know his new companions. Texkyn, the tengu, was not much for conversation, as he was lost in thought, distracted and worried.
The current was with them and they made good time. They barely noticed the time passing before the speck of what they hoped was Smuggler’s Shiv appeared on the horizon. The noon-day sun beat down on them when they noticed that the current appeared to be picking up in intensity. Waves began to buffet the tiny boat. They soon realized there was no need to row, since the current was carrying them swiftly toward the island. It wasn’t long before the boat was hurtling toward the island, and all they could do was hang on for their lives.
Meanwhile on shore, the pair of somber castaways emerged from the caves. Sorsha scanned the ocean for any sign of a ship. Far out on the waters approaching the island, she noticed a small vessel, and stopped Ninti so she could take another look. Ever careful, Sorsha strode quietly through the brush at the edge of the cliff, heading down toward the beach, after telling Ninti to remain behind. Moments later, she heard the clang of armored plates as Ninti barreled through the bushes. Ninti, having just lost 3 of her dearest companions, was not about to let the other one go off by herself.
The companions in the row boat were, by that time, traveling so swiftly, that any wave was a likelihood of falling overboard. Sir Fowlwin clung to the barrels of goods he had been careful to include on the boat. Clinging so fiercely to his barrels, he was unable to hold on to the ship, even though the shore was now in site. He was thrown from the boat, with an oar in one hand and his other hand looped through the rope tied to his barrels.
The remaining pair in the boat attempted to catch their friend but were unable to get him in time. They looked back at him in dismay. Turning to look forward, they realized they were hurtling toward the shore, and right for a shipwreck already perched in their path. Zayde managed to use the other oar to turn a hard left to avoid the wreck, but moments later, they were both bounced violently from the boat and toward the approaching beach.
Sir Fowlwin managed to drape himself over his barrels. He had anticipated this event, and
prepared two barrels, sealed air tight, to carry his weight to shore. He used the oar to right himself and then turned to see which way the current was tossing him. He could see the row boat ahead of him, and the rapidly approaching beach beyond them. Suddenly, they veered hard to port, and left him staring at the advancing hull of a shipwreck.
Having realized the approaching craft had people, and seeing their rapid approach to shore, Ninti & Sorsha headed down the path to the beach to intercept these strangers.
Zayde and Texkyn swam sputtering to shore, and turned to look for their companion that had fallen. Sir Fowlwin, with nowhere to go, slammed straight through the rotted wood of the ship and into her lower deck, skidding to a stop, with his precious goods in tow. After a moment to acclimate himself, he could see the bones of 3 fallen sailors littered the cabin, but they were not done with living for the moment. They dragged their bones to standing, and turned to face the paladin.
Texkyn and Zayde watched as Sir Fowlwin exploded through the ship. They carefully approached the ship, entering through holes in the rotted wood. They saw the skeletal sailors had surrounded and were clawing at their friend. Sir Fowlwin, looking longingly at his barrel of equipment, summoned the healing of Ragathiel to smite the undead fiends.
Sorsha and Ninti arrived just as the three newcomers were finishing off the skeletons. Ninti was mistrustful, but still asked Pharasma to seal their wounds. After a moment, the two stared amazed at Texkyn, who looked exactly like the tengu they had just burned in the caves under their feet. Shektyn, it would appear, had a twin brother, who had been worried and searching for his kin.
After a brief discussion, the five of them turned their rage on Marrok, the blind cannibal who they believed had lead the party into a trap.
Marrok sensed their arrival, and threats from an enraged Ninti quickly turned to blows when Sir Fowlwin entered the room and beheld the evil cleric before him. Marrok quickly succumbed to their righteous rage, finally losing his head to the paladin’s sword. All the while, the cannibals’ children howled and screamed. Some attempted to beat at Marrok’s attackers, the others hid wherever they could seek refuge.
Sir Fowlwin recognized the symbol on the dead man’s chest as the mark of Urgathoa, an evil goddess of disease and cannibalism. Marrok had indicated they were doing the work of his goddess, but what that could mean had not been made clear yet. Either way, Marrok would not be giving them any more information, as his head now rested in the refuse heap outside.
Finally, the new castaways and the old had a chance to rest and recover from a long journey and a hard loss.