Skies of Arcadia

Summary of last two sessions

May 9 Session

Having convinced Captain Drachma to let them use The Little Jack as an escort vessel for the Nasrad merchant in exchange for a Valuan passport, the party set out for the South Danalii Strait.

As the merchant had feared, the ships encountered The Blackbeard along the way, and Captain Baltor attacked them without hesitation. He did not expect the Little Jack to have a competent battle crew, though, and the Blackbeard was deep-skied. When the ships reached the Strait, their merchant client handed over the passport as agreed, and also signed an affidavit which would allow Captain Drachma to claim the bounty on Captain Baltor. The party rode the glow of victory all the way back to Sailor’s Island.

(Seriously, we just tested the ship combat rules and not a lot else that evening. Not that it took long – Jessica didn’t want to move the plot along much further until we thought everyone else could be there.)

May 30 session

While Captain Drachma collected his bounty and re-provisioned his ship for a trip to Valua, the party made their own preparations. Jessica found a buyer for the Valuan ceremonial pistol, deciding that the potential for a higher price in Valua proper was not worth the inherent risk of talking to a lot of Valuans on their home turf. She also leased a storage space for a two-month contract, and instructed the party to leave behind everything they didn’t need and anything that might draw negative attention to them (e.g. redundant gear, her dress clothes, Nazar’s helmet puppet). Lastly, she went and bought two full changes of clothes for herself and Hanna (who is her size), just to be overcautious about not being distinctive.

Captain Drachma met them for dinner and dropped a large unwieldy package at Nazar’s feet. While the bulk of the bounty was payable via a note of credit he’d be able to use to get his harpoon cannon, some of the other smaller bounties were actually paid out in trade goods for which he had no use. The most remarkable was a greatbow, which naturally went to Hanna. There was also a bolt of white samite, a pearl brooch, and a tin of rare Nasran spices. Drachma instructed them to turn in early; it would be a full day and night’s sailing to Valua, and they wanted to be there early on that morning. The Grand Fortress’s gate only opens for a couple of hours in the morning and in the evening; if they were not already queued up by the time it opened in the morning, odds were they would not be admitted until evening – time they could not afford to lose.

The route from Sailor’s Island to Valua was too well-traveled for them to encounter any trouble, and as dawn struggled to break through the thick cloud cover, the Grand Fortress loomed from one edge of their vision to the other. Navy vessels patrolled the forming queue and inspected the ships for contraband. It also appeared as if they were actively trying to goad the Captain and party into misbehaving, but none of them bit – even Drachma kept his curmudgeonliness to acceptable levels. The Valuans were apparently so disheartened by their good behaviour that they failed to notice the passport wasn’t actually for their ship. They moved on, and when the gate finally swung open, they sailed through.

The city was fronted by the decadent Palace, and was visibly divided into upper- and lower-class regions. The party stopped for a barely-palatable breakfast in the first tavern they could find, and listened to the conversations. The native patrons were thoroughly ground down by their impoverished lives, and it showed in their posture and voices. The party learned little besides that the piratical execution was tomorrow morning, and where to find the colosseum where it would be happening.

They went to examine the colosseum to see how it would affect their rescue plans. So intent were they on this that Hanna almost didn’t see the street urchin snatching Jessica’s purse – and absolutely didn’t see that hers and Nazar’s had already been taken! She cried out and chased after the boy, and Tyrhe followed without any initial idea who the target was.

After eventually catching the boy and literally carrying him back to the rest of the party, Jessica attempted to calm him down and establish they weren’t his enemies, while Nazar waved coins in his face and promised them to him in exchange for information. The boy never gave his name, but was able to tell them that the rest of the crew was going to be held inside the Grand Fortress until morning, when they would be transported via monorail (so THAT’s what that weird-looking thing was!) directly into the colosseum. He also mentioned that what was now the sewer system for Valua had initially been a series of catacombs, that they ran pretty much under the entire city, and he often used them himself to hide from pursuers. The party talked him into sketching them a map, but when they asked him to join them as their guide, he got terrified and refused. Further attempts to convince him caused him to panic, break Tyrhe’s grab on him with a quick kick to the ankle, and take off at top speed.

The boy was more familiar with the city, and more reckless in his flight (i.e. he was using the Run move action), so it actually took a bit to catch him, but Tyrhe finally got in front of him, and Hanna saw and immediately took the opportunity for a clear shot at the boy. The boy collapsed, but his yelp of pain got the attention of some Valuan guards. The party actually fled for a short distance before Jessica suddenly stopped and turned around. She truthfully said that they had been chasing the boy for taking their purses, and falsely claimed the only reason they fled the guards was panic instinct. The guards agreed to let the party be on their way in exchange for the boy. They were not exactly happy with the offer, for different reasons, but they couldn’t risk getting arrested BEFORE pulling off their big heist, and let the guards take the boy away.

One of the things the boy had pointed out to them was that there was a large sewer grate in the center of the colosseum, the better to drain blood and keep the floor clean. It would be quite possible to approach the colosseum from below, tear out the grate, and guide their crewmates through the sewers to emerge near the docks, where they could board a passenger ship and (probably) be on their way out of Valua before anyone figured out they were immediately making a break for it rather than hiding out in the sewers for days first.

Brief Summary of 4/18 session

The party set off in the morning despite Catrin’s excessive grogginess. Immediately before leaving, Jessica purchased two bottles of high-quality blue loqua for good luck.

The leg of the trip which took them to Shrine Island was uneventful. As they turned toward Sailor’s Island, though, a thick and unnatural fog closed in around them. They noticed just a little too late that the silhouette of an impossibly large arkwhale was closing in on them.

Thud, crunch, fade to black.

One by one people woke up, aching severely, to find themselves lying in hammocks. As they struggled to stand, a man with an eyepatch and large metal arm entered their space. Upon seeing they were conscious, he began berating them severely for having gotten too close to the arkwhale and obligating him to save their idiotic lives. The party learned the man’s name was Drachma, and he had been hunting the colossal beast for most of his life. Nazar, inquiring more about the arkwhale, only made the captain more livid. Eventually Jessica (taking cues from Hanna) was able to talk him into transporting them to Sailor’s Island – they would make themselves useful on the way (Captain Drachma is normally the sole crewman on his ship) and then they would bother him no longer.

Upon reaching Sailor’s Island, Jessica surreptitiously put one of the bottles of loqua in the ship’s galley for the captain to find later, and the party headed directly to Polly’s Tavern for a break and to find a lead on a way into Valua. To their delight, one of the prominent rumors circulating was that Admiral Alfonso had been relieved of his duties in Middle Ocean for gross incompetence and falsification of records (to cover up said incompetence), though he somehow retained his rank and position. They also heard tell that Valua was now making a harpoon-cannon available for general public purchase as a ship weapon – their military felt it was not dangerous enough to keep all to themselves.

Fortunately, the news about the recently captured pirates was that their execution was set for about a week in the future. Unfortunately, they learned that there were not any passenger ships heading to Valua at the moment, no ships were allowed into Valua without a proper passport, and when they checked with the Sailor’s Guild about obtaining a ship’s passport to sail there themselves, they learned it would be a three-month process to obtain one.

As they left the guildhall, a white-haired Nasran approached them, saying that he would give them his Valuan passport in exchange for them escorting him back to Nasrad – Baltor the Bearded had been spotted in the skies near there and he was fearful of making the journey alone.

The group returned to Polly’s and noticed that Captain Drachma had sat down to a meal at the bar. They told him of the Valuan harpoon-cannon technology, which roused his interest greatly, but he had neither a passport nor the funds for such an upgrade. The group knew how to get a passport easily enough, now, but the idea of amassing hundreds of thousands of gold pieces stymied them. Jessica gave in to despair, but eventually Nazar was inspired to check the Sailor’s Guild again. Sure enough, there were numerous and large enough bounties set on Baltor’s head that if they encountered and defeated him while escorting their newest acquaintance back to Nasrad, it would equal or exceed the cost of the harpoon-cannon.

When Nazar brought the bounty notices back to Captain Drachma, he nearly slapped Nazar upside the head for the sheer idiocy of the proposed plan. Tyrhe began to upbraid Drachma for his cowardice, and this time Jessica did not stop him. Eventually, and with the help of a well-timed suggestion spell from Nazar, Drachma agreed to let the Little Jack serve as an escort vessel.

Session ended there both because of player fatigue and strong hinting from the GM that ship-to-ship combat was inevitable in the near future, so best to try for having everyone present. Next session scheduled for May 9th. Review of Ship Combat Rules recommended.

Diary following moonstone retrieval (Jessica)

Right now might very well be the best definition of “irony” that I’ve encountered in my life. The time when I most feel like I need my dad here to guide me is the time that HE needs ME to come and rescue him.

And I swear, when I do, the first words I speak to him after that will be “I told you so”. I KNEW the Valuans wanted that Fina girl. I TOLD him that much, and that I was worried about her being here. If he had just put her on board the Albatross and taken off for somewhere else… then the Valuans might not even have been able to accuse us of piracy. As far as mom can tell, they were using the notion of routing pirates as an excuse to bully the islands into giving up the girl if they had her. It was just rotten luck that she happened to be sojourning on an island that was secretly a pirate port too. But they went ahead and took advantage of that too. The Albatross is at the bottom of Deep Sky, and dad and the crew are on their way to Valua to be publicly executed.

We’re going after them. We have to. There just isn’t another choice that can be taken by decent human beings. But … for a couple seconds … I was tempted to … not.

I’d had the whole thing planned out in my head since last night. After reporting on the mission itself, I was going to tell Dad that I accepted the idea that I’d have to marry a man for the sake of having kids – the price of the pedigree is producing progeny to perpetuate it – but that I was going to need him to pick my husband for me, and that whichever poor bastard got the short end of that stick was going to need to know that I’m a lesbian and I would never love him. “Care about” would be as far as it could get. Nothing even close to what mom and dad have for each other, or what’s expected of a married couple. I wrote a letter to Catrin, telling her how much I loved her and that I was finally going to tell my dad about it. I gave it to Hanna and told her to hand it off when I went to report to him. And then we found out the island’s been smashed and my dad isn’t there anymore.

And for a brief moment, I considered that maybe I could just take our little boat and go. Go somewhere else, where I wasn’t a captain’s kid and wasn’t fated to govern, where it wouldn’t matter whether I got married, or to whom. And that maybe someplace like that, I could have Catrin back. Which is stupid right there in and of itself – since I don’t know/remember why it ended to begin with, odds are it was something stupid I did or said and not that there wasn’t a future in it. But it was so very tempting for just a little while.

We set out tomorrow. They’re resupplying the ship now.

I have to get him back. I can’t do this without him.

Happenings at 3/28 session
It's about one moment...

The party began trying to navigate around the outside of the “shrine” again, hoping to get to the large doors from the outside and drain the water as they had earlier. Another grounder attempted to snack on them, without success. The remoras which had latched on either met their doom or decided the party was not worth the effort.

Similar to before, the walkway ended suddenly, with another tall holding tank not far beyond and below. While Jessica hadn’t had problems jumping from ledge to holding tank last time, she seized up with fear this time. Catrin decided to help, but even her expertise wasn’t enough to completely override the panic attack, and Jessica ended up face-planted on top of the tank with a bleeding nose.

The walkway adjacent to the holding tank went directly beneath their previous path, but it did not end at a door. Instead, the narrow remnants of a perpendicular walkway continued to hug the outer wall of the building. They singly filed along it until it met with the ruins of another wall with the double doors just beyond. Tyrhe had no trouble touching the doors to open them and then flying back to safely before the flood poured out. Fifteen minutes later, enough water had been cleared for it to be safe to enter.

The floor of the “shrine” was littered with debris of various size. The ramp they had used to travel the non-submerged parts of the building wound its way up to the main entrance, and a deep puddle gleamed silver with light from the moonstone inside. As the party drew near, several pieces of debris flew into the air and assembled themselves into a giant metal beast which attempted to destroy them. Its body deflected a lot of strikes, but the few well-placed shots that found joints or weaknesses did damage it. Nazar yelled for folks to stay clear of what he was about to do, and conjured up a flaming sphere, which he used to harry it from a distance. Eventually the creature fell apart into its component pieces again – on top of Jessica, who had been standing next to it.

Hanna dove down and retrieved the moonstone, along with a sopping mass of cloth that came up with it. Nazar cleaned and dried it, and realized it was a robe. It must have been in the cloakroom the moonstone smashed through, and the impact of the stone had infused the robe with enough moondust to make it shimmer.

The party made their way back to their ship. As they exited the shrine and skirted the lagoon, they saw a large fleet of Valuan ships heading north (back toward Valua) at full speed. They recognized one of them as The Serpent. The sight cast a pall over their victory, and they headed back to their home at full speed. En route, Jessica surreptitiously slipped Hanna the sealed paper from the night before, asking her to give it to Catrin while Jessica reported to her father about the expedition.

The island was in ruins. Some buildings smoldered; some were smashed. Jessica’s mother met them at the docks, weeping with relief that they were safe. The Valuans had never before thought it worth the bother or the risk of political ill will to try and bully the islands in Middle Ocean, but apparently the strange girl was valuable enough to them that now it was. Upon discovering the Dynes were Blue Rogues, the Valuans seized not only the girl, but Jessica’s father and everyone who served as crew aboard the Albatross – which got scuttled. The crew were being taken to Valua for public execution.

Tyrhe couldn’t decide whether they needed to rescue the crew from the Valuans or rescue the Valuans from his mother and sister in the crew. Jessica couldn’t decide whether to abandon all hope or to set off on the rescue mission immediately. Mrs. Dyne began to tear up again, to hear her daughter think that way, but sadly agreed that the Captain needed her more than the island did at the moment (and remarked that Jessica strongly took after her father). She then harshly ordered Jessica to her room until morning when their ship would be re-provisioned, and Jessica was so startled that she obeyed. On her way up the stairs, she gestured to Hanna to go ahead and hand over the letter to Catrin.

The rest of the party handed over the moonstone to aid in repair efforts on the island, sold and traded some of the treasures they’d found on Shrine Island for some of the goods the merchants had been able to hide from the Valuan raiders, then went back to what remained of their respective homes.

Tyrhe, in an attempt to center himself, got to work in the kitchen and then took the fruits of his labor to his friends.

Catrin read Jessica’s letter and burst into tears.

Hanna stoically surveyed the wreckage of her home and curled up to sleep on the porch.

Nazar went back to Jessica’s house to deliver the ritual and components she’d been interested in. The two talked for a while. He then went home feeling like a fool.

Vague Summary of 3/7 happenings
Sorry, basketball adrenaline has overwritten my memory cache
  • Party got reassurance from GM that having opened this door would mean water level would not rise past this level
  • Party argued about whether to open subsequent doors from the inside or outside
  • Arguing attracted wandering monsters
  • Katrin pointed out to the party just how friggin’ exhausted she was; party agreed to withdraw to the ship and rest for a while (Tyrhe carrying Nazar on his back this time while making his prodigious leap)
  • Party camps out on the deck, night passes uneventfully, Jessica writes summary of events so far in her diary to double as a ship’s log. She also writes on a separate page, and eventually tears it out, folds it up, and seals it with wax. Nazar catches her doing this; she refuses to elaborate.
  • Jessica wakes the party at 4:15 am because she can’t sleep – combination of excitement at possible success, and nervousness because she knows the Captain “expects” them back by a certain time or he’ll know things went sub-optimally
  • Party decides to follow the spiraling pathway up. Above the door is a vine-covered circular aperture (too perfect to not be deliberately made), and a crystal that is floating loose from its mooring. Nazar touches the crystal and pushes it back down. Mooring animates, locks around it, and the building comes to life with light and power. Loud booming sounds heard below. Light also illuminates skeletal corpse carrying an antique Valuan ceremonial pistol (inherent value 1000gp, historic value +1000 gp).
  • Party cannot figure out what precisely has happened, decides to retrace steps. They make it to the front door and find that it is closed. That must have been the booming sound. Someone touches the door; it opens at the touch. Door stays open as long as someone is in front of it, and for about thirty seconds afterward, then closes automatically.
  • Party crosses that awful waterfall again and makes it to the door previously opened. It is closed now, and the water is now a few inches over the pathway. This door also opens at a touch, and it looks like the slow but steady flow of water out that door is enough to keep the door ajar.
  • More arguing, more wandering monsters attracted. One of the organic critters has the some indigestible bits of a previous meal still in its guts. A golden breastplate is of little immediate use but definitely looks valuable.
  • Jessica finally agrees to let the party walk on the exposed catwalk-like paths around the bottom of the shrine, though she still frets when they don’t stay close to the center. A few random skyfish come to investigate and are promptly dispatched (and dissected). Where the sidewalk ends, a five-foot hop puts them atop an ancient but sturdy storage talk with a ladder down to another catwalk – this one leading to one of the doors the party wants to open.
  • Small crumbled room discovered just in front of the door. Weapon rack on the wall has a lot of stuff that is genuinely corroded beyond usability and a scimitar that isn’t (it’s just covered in guck). Nazar cleans it off, can’t quite figure out the runes on it. Jessica looks, realizes Nazar doesn’t parse them because it’s a bardic weapon – a harsh songblade +1.
  • Somewhere in all this we’ve also found a ruby scabbard, which Catrin takes
  • After much more arguing, party plan is to tie one of their ropes around the catwalk and tie Tyrhe off to that. While party stays on top of the storage tank, Tyrhe walks up, touches the door, and then runs into the crumbled room while the door’s still opening. Jessica screams herself hoarse trying to get him to maintain SOME kind of line of sight, but cannot be heard over the din of the water. It takes about forty-five minutes for the water to drain out such that the catwalk can be safely used again.
  • Party heads back inside, notices there aren’t any lights at this level so it’s a bit dimmer. Moonstone is still visible. Eventually party is able to make out another door, even larger than the others, on the “floor” level of the shrine. Jessica frets that opening the door will cause the water to sweep away the moonstone; others in the party are pretty sure the moonstone lodged itself pretty solidly in the floor when it made impact and it’ll be fine. More arguing attracts more wandering monsters.
  • Session ends; Katie suspends her freaking out over whether the player group is going to self-destruct
Happenings at 2/14 session
Don't tell me what I got wrong; get in here and fix it. ~ F

The scuffle with the pod of eels attracted a Marakan and some puffer fish, which (thankfully) were dispatched much more efficiently – and saved in pieces for the evening meal. The rest of the journey to Shrine Island was uneventful, save that only about five hours’ daylight remained.

Shrine Island is named for the huge building which takes up most of the landmass. The party made a quick circle around the island, and noticed that erosion had exposed some catwalks and corridors. Sadly, they were too close together to safely tie off the ship and make the jump onto them. The party choose to moor on the side of the island with a lagoon adjacent to what was probably the front door of the shrine.

The moonstone had punched through the building, near the bottom of the wall, and water was flooding into the building from the lagoon. Jessica had gotten a little too focused on retrieving the moonstone as quickly as possible, and began trying to figure out if there was a safe way to ride the water directly to it. Tyrhe even tried to spike a piton into the building wall – and was surprised to find he could not even chip it. Catrin, ever Jessica’s voice of reason, suggested they simply walk through the door and make their way down gradually. She inspected the double-doors for locks and hazards, and found none. Neither did she find any sort of mechanism to open them. They did yield to being pried apart, and the party wasn’t sure whether it was good or bad that they could not find any mechanism to close the doors behind them.

The foyer opened into a large room with stairways ringing the walls, joining up with catwalks at various levels. The remnants of a cloakroom stood just a little to the right; Catrin explored it and found a small ruby ring. The water was rushing downward and muddling view a little bit, but the flooded floors below seemed to converge like the walls of a funnel. The silver moonstone glowed like a faraway star in its depths. There were doors at each level of catwalk, and Jessica suggested they might be able to open them one level at a time and lower the depth of the water before attempting to dive for the stone – at the very least it would keep the water levels from rising. The party decided the best way to practice was to find a door near their current level, expecting all the interior doors would be similar.

Their first challenge was getting to such a door, which of course happened to be on the other side of the rushing water. Tyrhe and Hanna volunteered to hold the ends of a rope so the others could use it to aid their crossing. Tyrhe made a prodigious leap to the far “bank”, and Jessica got across without difficulty thanks to the rope. Catrin had one close call but no trouble. Nazar was overwhelmed by the current several times and actually had to be hauled out of the water. Hanna might as well have been walking on top of the water, as easy as it was for her.

The catwalk turned and became a short flight of stairs, which had obscured the bizarre creatures the party encountered next. Two of them were about as dangerous as the puffer fish which had harassed them earlier; Jessica was able to defeat one just by laughing at its strange looks. The third one seemed to be nothing but a magically animated carapace, made out of a strange material that was as scratch-resistant as the walls of the shrine. Tyrhe, consumed by curiosity, insisted that they take it with them, offering to tie it to his back and refusing to consider the possibility of just coming back for it later (since perhaps they would not leave by the same path they came in).

Finally they reached the door they’d aimed for. This interior door was similar to the front door in construction, and they pried it open as they had the other. It opened into a corridor. Catrin saw light around one of its bends. Following it, she saw sunlight; this was one of the catwalks they had seen on their initial circuit of the island. She returned and also pointed out the door she’d passed by on the way – it had been fine to ignore originally, but she did not like the idea of leaving a possibly dangerous unknown at their backs.

Catrin and Tyrhe pried open that door, and a wave of stench assaulted the party worse than the eels had. Hanna quietly pointed out what she called a carrion crawler clinging to the wall just above the door. While a pile of rotted somethings on one side of the room seemed to be sustaining it for now, their opening the door had gotten its attention and it was poised to add them to the pile. After a few attempts to attack it at range, Tyrhe finally threw to the wind what little caution he had and stepped inside to menace it close-up. A phantom bolt from Nazar sent the beast scuttling downward, where it promptly met with its doom.

When the party was sure the crawler was dead, Tyrhe made a wry quip about needing to next take out whatever beast was hiding inside the refuse heap. Unfortunately, while he was not surprised to discover an otyugh holed up in it, he was also not prepared for where its attack was coming from, and only barely dodged its initial attempts to grab him. It did eventually latch hold of him, and kept hold of him despite efforts by both Nazar and Jessica to forcibly separate them by magic. But without its carrion crawler ally to assist it, the otyugh fell too. The party then rummaged through the refuse pile and found a cloak, and also found a book made out of a different strange material, much more sturdy than paper and possibly waterproof. After repeatedly using the Prestidigitation cantrip to clean everything and everyone, Nazar flipped through the book and felt like he should be able to recognize what was written in it, as the symbols had an arcane style to them. Jessica read over his shoulder, and together they puzzled out that one of the chapters was an arcane ritual for creating a Floating Disc. The other passages remain a mystery.

Happenings at 1/31 session
Not a diary entry because session ended mid-day

With Alfonso’s pet bull defeated, the party collected the unconscious girl and (at Catrin’s brilliant suggestion) commandeered a couple of the abandoned “lifeboats” to return to the Albatross and report their findings. After all necessary repairs were made to the ship’s hull, the Albatross returned to its secret port inside Windmill Island, and Captain Dyne divided up the spoils from its raid on the Alexander. (Note to absent players: 14 gp and one magic item of your choice up to level 4 – the GM is being generous, and the Captain is known for being mindful of what his people need.)

The successful raid was a rite of passage for the player characters, and Tyrhe’s mother and sister all but dragged him to the pirates-only tavern which he (and the others) were now finally permitted to enter. Hanna’s father, on the other hand, dragged her off for another session of intense training since her death during the raid clearly meant she’d not been working hard enough. (OOC: The GM has allowed Hanna to retrain from Two-Blade fighting style to Hunter fighting style.) Jessica and Catrin also decided that going and spending some of their new-gotten gains on a bottle or two of loqua was a very appropriate use of their time, and went to go join the O’Hares.

After sampling some of all the flavors of loqua the tavern had to offer, Jessica had just purchased a bottle of blue (her favorite, and her dad’s) and poured a glass when the first officer tapped her shoulder and said that Captain Dyne wished to speak with her. Jessica paled, downed her glass, handed the bottle to Catrin for either safekeeping or mixology experiments, and reported to her father’s office. She was gone for less than an hour, including the walk there and back, but she returned chastened and on the verge of tears. She refused to say anything about it at the time, except that her father had heard from Nazar what had gone down during their hunt for a water supply. Catrin then noticed that Nazar was (wisely) nowhere to be seen. The three of them stayed and drank at the tavern until rousted out, and went their separate ways for the night.

Morning / early afternoon brought hangovers of varying intensity, and the desire to check in on the girl they’d rescued. Mrs. Dyne had been personally tending to her, so after Jessica had gone to round up Tyrhe and Catrin and Hanna (Nazar was still nowhere to be seen), they carefully entered the guest bedroom to strike up a conversation. The girl thanked them for retrieving her from the Valuans, and said that Mrs. Dyne had been very good to her. In the course of conversation, she introduced herself as Fina, but became very tense and tight-lipped when asked where she was from (the party let that question drop). At the end, Jessica promised Fina that as a guest in the Dyne house, she would be as safe and cared for as they could possibly make her.

As they all stepped outside to get more fresh air and discuss the girl a little more, they were treated to the sight of a moonstone shower. Catrin thought she saw the signs of a moonstone actually landing on nearby Shrine Island. Silver moonstones are quite rare because of how few and small the landmasses are in Middle Ocean, and Jessica thought that if Catrin had noticed an impact from this distance, it would probably be a pretty sizeable chunk. She declared that the four of them and Nazar should set out to retrieve it, and invited them to stay for dinner and help her convince her dad to agree. Captain Dyne was hesitant, but Jessica pointed out that it would be a good opportunity to promptly work on the lessons he’d demanded she remember (and Katie rolled a natural 20 on a Diplomacy check). Dad spluttered a bit, mom laughed, and the party was given permission to provision and sail one of the small launches from the surface port the next day.

The Captain’s reluctance was perhaps not entirely unfounded; while they had little difficulty provisioning the ship and getting it underway, conflicting attempts at avoiding a pod of eels meant the poor ship ran right into them. Their sheer numbers made it a challenge for the party to take down (OOC: two of the monsters were swarms, and the wizard was absent), but much to Jessica’s chagrin, her father’s lecture from two nights before was actually sound advice, and they came through more or less in one piece, though the beating they took in the process was likely to mean the mission would take longer than originally planned.

Penance and redemption
WARNING: diary of a teenage girl.

When I woke up after last time, it was Dad. When I woke up after this time, it was Nazar. That tells me all I need to know, but I already know I’m still not going to listen. The worst part is not knowing why it was never her, but I’d rather face down another one of those Valuan bulls than ask her that.

Apparently despite my massive failure last time, we were still able to raid the Valuan ship. It was just that since we didn’t kill its engines fast enough, they dug into our side a little in the process. So we put in at one of the wooded islands, and I got told to take Tyrhe and Catrin and Nazar to go find water (and thus make sure we could take the time we’d need to make repairs). Hanna should have been with us, and she probably would have if she wasn’t still in critical condition. That was my fault too.

We started to track the water, and ran into a pack of somethings that obviously like to hunt down things tracking water. Eventually we found the water source. We weren’t the only ones. All the Valuans that jumped ship before we got to them had sailed their lifeboats here and actually started settling in a bit. Which meant we got to have our revenge on the engineers who bested us two days before. It didn’t go swimmingly, but we all survived this time. And when the fight drew the attention of some more Valuans, we actually managed to take them down as well. Though it took me a few tries to figure out what is actually insulting to a Valuan’s mother.

The reinforcements came in yelling something about protecting the Admiral. If Alphonse was on this island, odds were so was that girl he’d made off with, so Tyrhe was all about trying to find her. Alphonse and the lifeboats were set up on the beach just a little widdershins from us; it was total luck that we hadn’t pulled right up next to them coming in. Alphonse was arguing with the other guy we’d seen him with, and then just shoved him off the edge of the island with his sword. I was too appalled to keep completely silent, and I ended up blowing our cover before Tyrhe could sneak over and snatch the girl.

Alphonse ended up siccing this bull-thing on us so he could make his getaway – thankfully without the girl. It knocked me silly, but we took it down. Nazar got upset with me for letting one of his friends get hurt. It took me a while to get it.

I hope they don’t snitch to dad that it went that bad for me. I’m still amazed I didn’t get grounded after last time. She probably will, though. I heard her grousing about still being on punishment detail when dad told her to come with me.

First forays

Best summed up in five words:

Ow. Ow, ow, ow…ow.


I'm sorry, but we no longer support this web browser. Please upgrade your browser or install Chrome or Firefox to enjoy the full functionality of this site.