The presumed leader of the raiding pirates stepped upon the main deck of the Primo Santos Family ship and began to mutilate the boarding party from the Steelsnout with a flaming greataxe. Men fell rapidly to the brutish leader as he cleft men in twain. Avaniel Cerelion taunted the burly pirate, causing him to rush his way to the boarding ropes while hacking those in his way. Seeing his chance, Bu-Jinwen Nivaye attempted to lull the pirate into a cursed sleep. The pirate steadied his resolve and managed to cross the rope before Avaniel could move to sever it. Seeing the dangerous combatant cornering his allies, Jozan retreated back to the Steelsnout to help manage the carnage that the flaming axe would surely bring, leaving Aldrazan and Captain Telletar Jacob to fend off the mob of murderous buccaneers on the other deck.
Pushed to a corner and hurt badly from the searing flames of the wicked pirate’s weapon, Avaniel jumped from the side of the ship. With pursuit an ill suited option, the pirate leader turned his fury upon Jozan, who was quickly hacked down to helplessness. Meanwhile, Avaniel struggled in his metal armor to make progress towards the accommodation ladder a crewmate had thrown down to him. Bu-jinwen thought quickly about his next move and settled on summoning a swarm of spiders to assail the fearsome opponent. Infuriated by this action, the pirate stumbled his way out of the swarm towards the son of Nivaye. Jacob and Aldrazan continued to battle through the swath of enemies on the other ship, gathering wounds from their greatly outnumbering opponents. Bu-jinwen required time for something to happen in the Steelsnout’s favor, and so he issued a command imbued by magic which forced the pirate leader’s actions. Struggling to control his body, the brute was forced to run back from the warlock before regaining his composure.
Suddenly, the cargo hull door blast open upon the deck of the Steelsnout as Kaspar Ottokar fired off a Drachen Darm. He encouraged Bu-jinwen to lure him closer or buy some time so the weapon could be brought to bear on the fearsome pirate leader. A pair of siege engineers rushed upon the deck and began dropping harnesses into the hull of the ship to bring the mighty weapon up. On the opposing ship, Captain Jacob fell to the final pair of pirates left. Aldrazan, fearing for his captain’s safety, pressed on and successfully defeated the duo. Rushing to Jacob’s side, he assisted in helping the captain recover. The pair then made their way back to the Steelsnout to deal with the ravenous pirate overlord. Bu-jinwen ran about the ship as the Drachen Darm was brought on deck. As the pirate leader chased the warlock, he cut down a pair of Steelsnout sailors before being bombarded in synthetic dragon fire. Bones and organs laid bare, the pirate trudged his way to cover behind a main mast and drank a potion which rejuvenated his body somewhat.
Continuing the chase to Bu-jinwen, the pirate was very careful to place himself behind the mast and out of the line of fire of the dangerous siege weapon. Jacob and Aldrazan had made their way on to the ship and moved to corner the demon of a sailor. Jacob took the lead, drawing the pirates attention with measured strikes from his keen blade. Luring his opponent to the edge of the ship, the captain hopped over the side of the ship, holding onto the bulwark, as the Drachen Darm let loose another stream of fire. Only a pile of fat, ashes, and gear remained of the fierce opponent.
Another boarding crew was assembled to delve deeper into the deck of the ship. After a cursory loot of the pirates, the group went into the hull of the ship to find the officers and captain tied up. The captain of the vessel, Diegas Altresca, said that the boat’s name was the Lady in Waiting. The ship was returning to Ailead from a prolonged trip at sea and was unaware the pirates on Easthaven Island had become so bold in their absence. He also mentioned that the pirates referred to a leader named Adaxus whose orders they had been following. Avaniel continued further below deck to find a locked cargo door with voices coming from within. Questioning Diegas, the captain assured the ranger that the sounds coming below deck were indeed his men. Prying the hinges from the deck with the help of some of the officers, and dodging a trap, Avaniel was able to free the crew. Jozan went on deck to start sorting out the useful gear from the pirates before casting the bodies overboard.
Altresca and Aldrazan pondered at the possibility of a spy being on the Lady in Waiting. The ships on the water had moved expertly to block the path of the Primo Santos vessel, buying time for reinforcements. The progress of the ship itself seemed labored as small things kept breaking from sail ascent ropes, to problems with the rigging, to a jamming at the helm. Searching the recruitment logs, Kaspar and Avaniel seemed to note the odd nature of one of the crew’s name. Realizing the very real possibility of a false identity, the group moved to the quarters of the man in question. Finding a puzzle book in the man’s room, Avaniel was able to decipher a code among the puzzle (in Items section). After some thought, the group decided the Blues mentioned could possibly be the frost giants of the Molagona Mountains that Roger had mentioned at the grand aqueduct. Who were these Grays though? Who was CR?
The questions continued to to gather as Altresca presented the group with a trio of magical items to assist them in the rough climate of northern Urima. After looting the pirate’s gear aboard the Lady in Waiting, the group returned to the Steelsnout to access and distribute the loot of the fearsome pirate leader. Although the ship was damaged, the captain and passengers decided it would be best to try to continue the journey and race to Northlight for repairs. The companions then settled in for the night.
Awakening the next morning, the crew was surprised by a giant anchor protruding from a black rip in the prow of the ship, near the water. Though no signs of damage appeared on the ship, the chain was holding the Steelsnout in place on the water, only a few hours distance away from the dangerous Easthaven Island and its pirates. After discovering a strong magic at the heart of the anchor’s existence, Avaniel tried his best to melt the chain with magic acid. Failing this, and discovering no way to deal with the anchor on the top side of the water, Jozan decided to make his way into the depths to try and discover what the anchor looked like on the sea floor.
Transforming into a gar, Jozan swam down the length of the chain. he grew closer and closer to the dark depths when he heard a tapping resonating through the metal of the chain. Jozan slowed and gathered in his surroundings, turning just in time to spot a ghastly, sickly looking humanoid covered in tattered clothes and seaweed racing towards him. Jozan shook off his initial shock, swimming quickly to the surface to escape, and struggled through the clawed hands on the creature on many occasions. Seeing that capturing the slippery druid would prove difficult, the creature ripped at the scales and fins of the fish. Once Jozan reached the surface, Avaniel was able to discern the danger his companion was in and let fly an arrow. The missile pierced the water with no efficacy against the waterborne creature. The creature moved to escape as it conjured an image of dread in Jozan’s mind. Luckily, Jozan again reasserted his steely will to escape the attack, and he was quickly pulled aboard.
The danger in the water was menacing. With little options at their disposal for removing the anchor, the crew thought to prepare for a hasty escape. There was a strong likelihood that the pirates of Easthaven would come to retaliate against the Steelsnout, and there was no doubt they would catch the Ryin ship given the anchor weighing them to the ocean floor. Reluctantly, Bu-jinwen suggested perhaps bargaining with the pirates. With much weighing on the group’s mind, they settled in for the night. In the middle of the night, a call came out that the anchor had disappeared. The companions and crew worked rapidly to raise the sails, but just as the wind filled the sturdy cloth, a sudden shock brought the boat again to a halt. After some thought and exploration, Bu-jinwen surmised that the new anchor was probably on the bottom of the boat. Looking out in the night sky, Jozan could only look nervously to Easthaven, where signal lanterns were being lit and boats streamed steadily into the caverns in Molagona bearing supplies.