Flames and Steel: The Chromatic War

The Escape From Crustakin Keep

The battle with the Sea Hag proved to be quite challenging for the group of adventurers. But they had had triumphed. The Hag, what may have been her pet and the remains of a zombie strewn across the floor along with an unconscious Velius, the heroes proceeded to search the room.

The boy they had been sent into the keep to search for was not too far from where all the fighting occurred. However, he was also unconscious but still breathing. Sindri was able to determine he was in no immediate danger. While he was seeing to the child, Crim Al’ev and a recently arrived Garyuu, who was dressed as a turtle, searched the rest of the room.

Al’ev, suspecting that the pool of water may be connected to the ocean due to the constant up and down motion, decided to take a closer look at the pool.

Crim, in the mean time, was able to find a piece of strange parchment, seemingly made of something from the sea, with strange writing all over it. Unable to puzzle out exactly what it was, the group pocketed the sea plant and continued to search the room.

Garyuu soon stumbled across what turned out to be a potion of healing. Mindful of the fact that Velius was in quite a bit of pain and that they also had the boy to consider, they debated who to use it on. When it was determined that Velius was in worse shape, Al’ev attempted to revive Velius.

He was quite surprised when, upon attempting mouth to mouth, Velius seemed to be returning his action! Was it the potion that had worked, or was it the “kiss”? Either way, he knew he’d never live this one down. Ever.

With one less person down due to injury, the group decided to see what was in the pool. Garyuu and Crim dived in and discovered that it was an underwater tunnel. Searching the tunnel, they found that it branched off about 30 feet in. Deciding to search the branch after determining where the main tunnel went, they continued on. About another 60 feet down the tunnel, they surfaced outside the cliffs next to a sandy beach. The beach lead straight to the town of Crustakin Hold! Diving back into the tunnel, they decided to search the branch before relating what they had found to the rest of the group.

The side tunnel was only 30 feet long. When the pair surfaced, they found a perfectly round room that had a small moat surrounding an island which appeared to have treasure chests on it. Eager for loot, Crim attempted to jump the gap between where they had come out of the water and the island….and came up short. Alarmingly, the mud he kicked up when he landed in the waste high water started to swirl around and attach to him. With some effort, Crim made it to the island’s shore just in reach of two treasure chests when the sticky mud rapidly hardened, making it impossible to move. Garyuu saw this and decided it was time to report what was happening to the rest of the group. He left Crim who was busily pounding away at the strange mud covering most of his lower body.

Garyuu related all that they had found to the rest of the group who began to consider how best to get the boy out of the cave. The sea hag had left most of them feeling exceedingly weak, but when Garyuu mentioned the chests, Al’ev had the beginnings of a plan form in his mind. That was all well and good, but they promptly realized they had only found one of the two missing people.

The man who was sent in to search for the boy, Jebadiah, had yet to be found. There was only one place they had yet to search, back beyond the slime creature that Garyuu had told them about upon meeting back up with the group. While this was happening Crim managed to break himself free and dragged one of the five empty chests back to the room with the pool.

The group, now all back together, proceeded back to the break in the cave’s path. Mindful that there was something slimy and alive likely down this corridor, they continued slowly. After a minute or so of walking, it was Velius who alerted them all the presence of the creature and pointed it out to the rest of the group. Al’ev was able to identify it as a Grey Ooze, a creature that tended to digest whatever it could get its slime all over. It was slow, and not overly perceptive. The entire group managed to sneak by it with no incident.

A bit further down they found the corridor’s end, which was another rocky room, though this one was littered with the bones of three beings. Searching through the remains, they were able to recognize this as the work of the ooze, one of its human victims a recent kill. Finding very little beyond a sword that had been pretty damaged, a handful of coins and a seemingly plain vial that had been sealed, the group turned to leave, only to find the ooze had followed them into the chamber. It was slowly approaching them when Al’ev had a thought; the edible rats he had purchased in Varalon proved to be just the distraction with a little telekinetic energy. The group once again evaded the hopelessly slow beast.

They returned to the room with the pool and the boy and quickly worked out the last of their plan. While they were debating some of the finer details, Sindri became aware of a soft whistling coming from his bag. Searching, he discovered the vial must have come undone, and he pulled it to put the stopper back in. Curiosity piqued, Al’ev investigated the vial a bit closer and realized that this was the answer to the main problem facing the group. The boy was unconscious and so couldn’t hold his breath while the group dragged him out underwater. This wouldn’t be a problem now that they had a Vial of Endless Air with them. Congratulating Sindri on his find, they finalized the plan. Al’ev would take the boy and make sure that his head remained under the upsidedown empty treasure chest Crim had brought back. Using the Vial, they would ensure the boy would have a continued air pocket despite the slow leak the chest contained. Crim and Garyuu would focus on making sure the chest remain level and didn’t lose all its air at once. The remainder of the group hitched a ride from a dolphin Sindri had summoned.

While the task was difficult, the three emerged from the underwater cavern with only a few minor hindrances. Al’ev took the boy on his shoulder and the group proceeded down the beach that lead to Crustakin Hold. The only obstacle in their path turned out to be a Monsterous Crab that had apparently thought itself well hidden by burying its head into the sand. Almost laughing, the group swam around the giant crustacean and continued on to the town.

They learned from the town’s barkeep that the boy was in the care of Mayor McFry and brought him back to the Mayor. The Mayor was both overjoyed and deeply saddened by all that the group had to relate. They told of the mimic, the giant cricket, and the sea hag fight. The mayor was somewhat disbelieving, as sea hags were things of fairy-tales, not reality.

Seemingly taking that as a prompt, Crim pulled out an object he had found partially burried in the room of the treasure chests. Inspecting it, Al’ev identified it as the scale of a young dragon. The mayor was on edge, but Al’ev assured him that the scale had likely just washed ashore. It could have come from anywhere in the world. Promising they would ask Groatal via the bags of sharing about healing the boy, the mayor sent them off to the inn to get a well deserved rest.

The following morning brought a message from Goat explaining how to treat the kidnapped child as well as their next mission. Kassadin was having troubles with their water supply. With this knowledge in mind, Al’ev and Velius set out to the mayor’s house to tell him of what Goat suggested then they made their way to the docks where they were told they could find someone who could decipher the sea weed parchment.

After asking around for a little while, they were able to figure out that it was an elderly man named Norman who they needed to speak with. Going to his house, they knocked and found Norman to be quite old indeed. After a bit of time, and some fumbling around helping him make some tea, they were able to learn a little about Norman and a little about the parchment as well.

Norman identified the parchment as a seaweed found in the deep ocean waters. The writing was in Aquan. Deciphering what it said exactly took some time. While this was going on, Al’ev decided it was time to see what he could learn about Sindri, the halfling sorcerer.

Finding him wasn’t much of a challenge, surprisingly, as he ran into him on the way to the inn. They talked for a short time about how Sindri was able to use the spells he did. He explained that in order to cast spells without the use of a book, as Sindri did, one had to have some kind of special bloodline. But the halfling didn’t know much about it. So Al’ev decided to leave it at that and see if Norman had made any headway on deciphering the Aquan scroll.

Norman had indeed figured out what the scroll read. It was fairly ominous. The scroll basically stated that the Sahuagin people were waiting for a sign from the “Enlightened One”. It didn’t say much more beyond that. Thanking the old man for his work and promising to visit again the next time they were in town, Velius and Al’ev went back to the inn to share what they had learned.

Meanwhile, Sindri, having finished learning what he could from the local fishermen and their netting techniques, also decided it was time to head back to the inn. He was stopped by a man with piercing eyes and a warning.

“You’re meant to stay here and help these people.” The man left no room for arguement. Sindri wanted more information, but all he could get from the stranger was that danger was coming from the sea. Whether that meant the water itself would rise or that there was something more sinister below the waves, he did not clarify. Leaving the halfling with questions still unanswered, he disappeared. Sindri found himself making haste back to McTavern’s, already the details of the encounter growing fuzzy in his mind. There was a sense of urgency gnawing at him, and he was quickly forgetting why.

Swapping stories, Sindri managed to convince the adventurers that it wasn’t quite time to leave the town yet. With the ominous translation from Norman and the halfling’s gut feeling, something seemed off. The group purchased a room for the night and went to sleep.

It was about nine hours later when they were awoken by the sound of screaming and raging fire. Sindri’s feeling fresh on all their minds, they prepared themselves for combat. Well, all except Desira (who was now disguised as a panda) and Tel’regar (who was disguised as a sea hag hooker). Just as they finished preparations, two Sahuagin warriors barged into the room, tridents at the ready.

Combat quickly ensued, and almost as quickly was ended. The adventurers had a little trouble at first, with Crim taking a serious blow from a trident and falling unconscious. Sindri, Al’ev, Velius and Garyuu handled the two warriors with no further incident.

The night was long from over. From outside their window, they could hear and see that the town was in chaos. The Sahuagin were attacking…

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HwjSdj-RWt0

The Escape From Crustakin Keep
Azcatryo

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