Our story continues with the brazen and bold heroes making sail for Seabend (city of the Black Rose) aboard the Carnage. Astraddle their sturdy vessel thrusting forward through the warm, wet ocean with the wind filling their sails the party continued their pursuit of the dastardly Skamos, Evil Sorcerer Extraordinaire.
Having discovered that Skamos contracted the pirates through an agent by the name of Bill in Seabend, the party decides to <new_jersey_accent>, you know, see if Bill could, I don’t know, be _persuaded _ to provide a little more information</new_jersey_accent>. Quartermaster Edward Skittles, in exchange for continued access to, and use of, air, graciously agreed to introduce the party to Bill once they arrive.
But alas, the best laid plans of mice and, well, you get the idea. All were dismayed to discover that the repairs to the Carnage, while a fine effort, were found wanting. Lacking sufficient materials to affect additional repairs, the only option was to beach the Carnage on the soft sands about 50 miles south of Seabend. The race to catch Skamos must continue!
So with grace, skill and seafaring aplomb, the makeshift crew of the Carnage managed to gently ease the sturdy vessel onto the beach. Dropping anchor, our party stepped off the Carnage and onto dry land. Was it the sea spray of the crashing surf or just a subtle misty tear from those who fought, bled and emerged victorious in the battle for the mighty Carnage? Perhaps someday they will meet her again!
Heading north with a spring in their step, the party, with Edward Skittle, Wist and Kari resume the chase. As they neared the southern edge of Seabend, an exhausted and bedraggled group of refugees heading south approaches the group. Otis Tremblay explains that he and the others were awakened in the night by the screams of friends and neighbors. Some catalyst was raising all manor of foul undead. “We grabbed what we could and fled for our lives.” Otis cried “What horror my eyes beheld.” He continued “It’s the grace of Pelor that spared us the fate suffered by so many this night!” As Ellie questions the group, it’s discovered that Otis’s youngest daughter was playing and spotted someone that could be none other than the villainous Skamos himself. “He went into the cemetery” said the girl. and into the middle building.” Having provided all the information they could, Otis and the others continue south to Perle deMagie.
Ah, perhaps now they will exact justice on this treacherous demon! The party follows the directions to the South Seabend Cemetery.
Upon approach, it’s immediately evident something is amiss. Trees are dying in front of their eyes. The air is still and though it’s in the middle of the day, there is a gloom over the land. Colors are muted and it seems as though even the grass is almost gray.
Ilessa decides to perform some surprisingly skillful stealthy snaky sneaking shimmying among the sturdy Cypress seeking something skulking set to stalk, surprise or spring upon our heroes.
With a surprising level of skill one would expect from any other member of the party, Ilessa’s flawless performance enables the party to approach a group of ghouls loitering around the southern crypt. All that the party needs to do is traverse an itty, bitty stone wall. (Spoiler alert: if you have this episode recorded but haven’t watched it, STOP READING)
Now, before continuing, it’s only fair to point out that Thaerin is definitely one of the top ten members of this adventuring party. Personally, a finer Genasi I’ve never met. But twinkle toes was a little off his game for the deceptively simple mountaineering task at hand. “Oops” said Thaerin as the cap rock tumbled onto the ground.
There was a Genasi named Thaerin,
With smoke hair and red lines a wearin’,
When the rock made a tumble,
The ghouls came to rumble,
And Fezwick commenced with his swearin’!
Well, true to his character, Thaerin made quick use of his “Target On My Ass” power by marking everything in sight except the dire chipmunks hiding behind the wall, provoking a near-fatal assault by four hideous monstrosities. Quick to rush the aide of their comrade, this well-oiled machine, this blunt instrument of retribution, justice and might unloaded nothing less than the family-sized can of whoop ass. As Thaerin took the battering, blow after blow hitting home, Ilessa and Ellie leaped into the fray with sword and fan slashing at the vile creatures. Only Adara’s powerful mind kept Thaerin on his feet and out of the arms of the Raven Queen’s eternal embrace. The force of nature we all know as Fezwick, faced his share of challenges as the fates conspired against him. Successfully zotting between six and seven scary looking blades of grass, Fezwick’s confidence was clearly battered and his ego bruised. “Fuck” he exclaimed in what could only be interpreted as a fierce determination to not roll that shitty next time. At long last though, the party did emerge victorious wearing with a mixture of honor and disgust the pride of a job well done and some assorted ghoul pieces parts and various internal chunkies gouged, sliced and hacked off during the battle. So indefeasible did our heroes look at that moment that the chipmunks wisely chose not to attack but to protect their nuts instead.
At that moment, a scream was heard from the northern crypt! In rushed the party, and there they discovered more vile critters in the form of skeletons and zombies and a blood thirst pale reaver. Quickly the party struck, leaving no survivors. Locating the source of the scream, a woman and her child lay chained to the wall in a trench.
What happens next? Will Ilessa eat the child? Is it really a child at all? Could Skamos be in the central crypt, yet to be searched by our heroes? Tune in next time when we will find out. Same bat-time, same bat-channel!