Apparently Darius’s grandfather had been the one to find the crypt. Then some old man came to the family and offered to help them with their business in exchange for their help with … I just realized that Darius didn’t say with what. This was also about the time that the undead started spearing. Darius tried to distance himself from the deal, which went about as well as you’d think.
We told the sheriff about the tunnel, but by the time he got there, it didn’t exist anymore. Of course. In other weirdness news, Snake spotted another Darius walking around town. The new one radiates magic.
Darius tried to bribe us with his treasure trove if we rescue his wife. He outlined the traps in the tunnel to the basement. We headed off to his mansion while I was trying to decide how I felt about this. I don’t care about his wife, but I don’t especially want any harm to come to her either. I do want Darius to hurt some, though.
When we got there I discovered an extra trap in the tunnel: one that set off a fireball, announcing our presence. We decided to abort the mission (I’ve always wanted to say that) and return tomorrow night. Darius was gone when we returned. I reminded everyone that I had wanted to tie him up. Several times.
We relocated back to Snake the Idjit’s place and Severd showed up that night. We fill him in on everything, including the bit about the boss chain-thingy teleporting out with the orb. He couldn’t believe that we hadn’t worked out that the orb can’t BE teleported – why else would Angel have sent it with us on a ship to deliver it by hand? He was also incredulous that we bought Darius’s story. Looking back, we have been stupid. We never questioned anything anyone told us. Severd called us a bunch of idiots, told us he’ll get reinforcements and ordered us to watch for anything unusual. Umm, if we’re such dumbasses (which we kind of have been), then how would we recognize that something’s unusual?
Pascha knows about the chain-things and something called Khytons. Those are beings that just adore pain and suffering, even gaining powers from it. If they are working together, things will get really bad. That much I can work out for myself.
Three days later, Severd returned with warriors, magic users, and instructions. If he doesn’t return from the raid on the Griffon house, we are to take some message of his to Parrin Bay. More importantly, we are to try to find the orb and take that to Parrin Bay. Yeah, giving us that job worked so well the first time. He told to stay away from Griffon House because the fight is way over our heads. I could have told him that. I think I actually did once.
We split up to go and watch things and make ourselves useful. Bob and I went to the docks, Snake decided to fly around the Griffon house (that we’re staying away from) and Pascha and Gimbell wanted to try the tunnel to the basement again. We are slow learners.
Around 4 am, an unscheduled ship pulls out. The Marbled Wave. What a name. We need to tell the sheriff about this, us being such law-abiding types and all. Actually, I’m just looking forward to pounding the door and waking him up in the middle of the night. Sheriff was not happy. This may be the highpoint of my day. Bob had told me to keep my mouth shut, but mouthing off the sheriff is a reflexive action, so I spent the rest of the night in jail.
Snake, I later found out, observed the magic user that had lightning-bolted him ride out from the Griffon house with a couple of mildly injured guys. He followed them north and watched them take some trouble to hide their tracks. In the morning, they teleported. So, no orb. See, we can learn.
Pascha and Gimbell went to the mansion in the early morning and discovered it completely abandoned. The gate was open and although there were signs of battle, there were no bodies.
Gimbell sprung me from jail and we collected Bob on the way to find the elusive tunnel to the basement at the Griffon mansion. Took me about five tries to disable the fireball trap and then I “discovered” another trap 30 feet in which collapsed the tunnel on me. Do you know that the guys got me out instead of cutting their losses? I didn’t know what to say. I couldn’t even look them in the eye after that.
Bellintine 20, 1011
Following up on the Marbled Wave, we talked to the harbormaster. Its final destination is Falak and it only left about 8 to 12 hours early. We pooled our money and bought a ship of our own (I can’t believe that I just wrote that sentence) and followed it. Their first scheduled stop was at North John Hollow. We got there just in time to see it pulling away from the docks. We could see the sailors moving around on deck, but something about it was off. Snake shape-changed into a bird and flew over to look more closely. The crew’s clothing was way too baggy on them all. That plus the gloves and bandanas over the faces made him believe they’re skeletons. He counted a crew of about 10 to 15, not counting my buddy Darius. No surprise that the ship is not headed towards its next scheduled stop. We caught up to it since our ship is lighter and guess what? They have a new flag. The symbol of the new god of death. I guess that explains the undead motif.
Each ship hooked the other and got ready for battle. The skeletons were the same as the ones from the crypt – both the easily destroyed ones and the tougher ones. The wimpy ones mostly disappeared when Gimbell did his cleric thing. Impressive. Darius came up on deck followed by a cleric of his own. Oops. A hellhound appeared on our deck and killed off most of our crew pretty quickly. I was busy fighting some skeletons on the Marbled Wave and missed out on that. The cleric floated around in the air and did his evil version of Gimbell’s healing. That hurt quite a bit. When I went down, the hellhound and all the skeletons were gone. When I came to I crawled over to a dinghy to try to sneak up on the cleric. Who did his damage output thing and knocked me out again. Gimbell woke me up again and I tried shooting at the cleric. After a ton of misses, I got in a lucky shot and Snake (who had shape-changed into a giant … wait for it … snake) took him down. The battle being pretty much over, I charged at Darius. Gimbell shot icicles at him, Snake flanked him with me and I skewered him. Good riddance.