Campaign of the Month: June 2012
Dorak - The Elephant appears on the Poop Deck
We set sail, on our way to the silk road and the continuation of our quest.
Since Ignatius had joined Kumori in the lamp, we were few in total but with a good crew. As it happened, we were attacked by large wasps with poisonous stingers. The trio of wasps were defeated, though Iz’Alma thought that the last one was teleported away rather than a summoning wearing off – not being a student of the arcane, I am not sure I understand the difference, other than the involvement with planes in some cases, but even that’s not entirely clear.
Regardless, after the wasps attacked us, I was on high alert, and with Kumori and Ignatius in the lamp, I was doubly anxious.
Thankfully, the rest of that day passed uneventfully, and shortly after breakfast the next morning, Ignatius appeared next to me, though Iz’Alma had been sucked in the night before.
The re-appearance of Kumori was heralded by a whinny and a splash as his horse appeared and fell into the ocean next to the ship while Kumori appeared near Ian.
Ignatius had prepared a quite useful set of spells, so he helped Kumori and his new horse walk on the water, the better to retrieve the horse. It was somewhat comical – not unlike a fawn that is newborn, sort of floundering and yet graceful, so too was the horse, spit out of an impossible land and unto uncertain tides.
Ian mentioned that he had a spell in his spell book, not prepared, that he thought could help the horse, though the problem of weight arose when he considered it further. I did not speak to what little I knew of such things, for I thought a wizard could call upon his connection to an object or animal to cast a spell they had not prepared. After all, why have him cast a spell that would not help?
No sooner had we gotten the horse aboard than we heard a scream from the hold. Kumori, lacking his armor and weapons, went into the hold with only Satori and his honor to defend him.
A dead seaman, tore apart by a large cat of some sort according to Ian and Kumori, was lying in a pool of blood at the end of the cramped hallway two decks down. I thought it best if Smriti open the door and face the creature, but Kumori wished to be the one to take on the beast.
Ultimately, the hallway was not big enough for the fight, and Kumori tried initially to speak to it soothingly, which he could not, in fact, do. Since he did not speak of his sense of the beast, I did not wish to scuttle those efforts by firing upon it. The truth is that both Ian and Ignatius tried to help, but even aiding him with spells was difficult, coming as it were through layers of people and doorways.
The beast was slain and the crewman avenged, but not long after, Kaminari was no longer linked to Kumori. Ignatius dispelled the hold on the creature momentarily, but it returned quickly.
That lead to the question of where these magics were coming from – the lieutenant, distrustful of us, blamed the lamp, while I thought back to Qasim and the tiger that pounced upon Smriti in mid-air as I recall. Ignatius and Ian thought searching the ship with Detect Magic would help, but given the use of mind control on the horse, I had to suggest that a similar search on the crew for signs of mental domination or enchantment be ferreted out first.
Thankfully, Ignatius was able to talk to the captain into allowing the unusual search. It was in the lowest hold, in the very room that Kumori fought and slew the beast, that the source of the magic was discovered.
After reviewing the contents of the room, it came to light that a box, ostensibly for The Explorers, was aboard. There was an encrypted communique that I deciphered relatively easily – it isn’t the strongest code. I have attached both for your review, mine in the usual cypher – but I believe you’ll understand that commerce has partnerships that span the globe that do not always appreciate the work we do, especially as they curate a museum of some infamy in the Midrealms.
It was determined that the artifact in the crates needed examination. Since I knew it was a gift from that global partnership, I inspected it carefully before putting crowbar to it.
It was about this time that a great commotion was heard upon deck, and so Kumori went up, where Smriti and Dusky had stayed (the hold is far too tight for the entire party). We had heard a dull sound like something slapping itself against the ship below deck, but apparently the waters around us were churning with sea life.
I think everyone was expecting an attack from the sea and a long and arduous battle against the tides and the life within it simultaneously.
t was a rather large surprise for everyone on the deck that an elephant had appeared on the forecastle, more surprising when it began to move, trampling man and ship alike as it moved.
I was not there, focused on the task at hand, but I understand it was carnage, and I certainly saw the after effects later. The mast and most of the forecastle was destroyed, and I think the poop deck took up more of the boat’s unsheltered wood, if you know what I was not stepping in…
We opened the crate and Ignatius cast a spell to target the magic of the artifact, doing so masterfully. Meanwhile, Kumori and Smriti were dodging the blows of the beast quite artfully, when this next bit actually happened – Smriti leapt upon the ear of the charging elephant, using her leverage to throw it off balance enough that it fell into the water. Perhaps there’s some way for her to change a jump into a throw as a full-round action using something like a bullrush to determine distance while getting a bonus from the jump results?
I could see that being useful, especially if the jump was high enough that you would not wish to fall from it normally, and the height she would have attained translating into the maximum height of the arc of her throw.
As Ian examined the artifact, Ignatius realized he may be needed above deck, from the din and the screams and the moans, while I shouted after him that I didn’t want to toss the artifact overboard.
This is the second animal themed artifact that the partnership was seeking for their consortium – maybe artifacts are more keen to use animals, having a closer connection to the animals than most do nowadays – but we’ll never be able to study it and do any sort of divination upon it, nor can we use it in a trap to smuggle agents into that museum.
Kumori came down, and talked me into the necessity of heaving it overboard, though I did try to get latitude and longitude, roughly, from the navigator later. Given the artifact can control sea creatures, I assume from what Kumori later explained of its motivation that they will be commanded to take it back home and from there whatever land animals it wished would haul it overland.
Indeed, a few apes and an elephant could likely do all that is necessary.
I include the coordinates in the hope that it can help the Explorer’s League if they are interested in capturing that relic to use in any sort of operation or divination into that global commerce partnership.
I think that’s all that’s of particular interest right now about the world outside the lamp, though Ignatius found out something about the lamp itself – there is a shrine there, and it had souls of people who did not die in the lamp, though most knew they were cursed.
He resurrected nearly six score souls, from what I gather. This is good news, for between Kushar and any possible trips into the lamp I may face, I hope there’s someone to teach me the agile strikes tricks that will help me contribute more to the team.
Also, Ignatius was sent by the lamp to a land without magic and saw gunpowder in action, much like the gun in the Mayor’s office in Stahl.
Looking back on this report, I don’t feel I contributed all that much. I killed a venomous snake that could have sickened Ignatius, though likely not killed with our resources, opened a crate using a pry bar, which any brute could have done, and deciphered a letter. The feeling of being unable to meaningfully contribute is not a pleasant one, though not as unpleasant as the look on Ignatius face when his spiritual weapon nearly hurt Kumori rather than the beast beyond. I don’t think I detract from our goals often, if at all, but I do somewhat hope we get a chance to fight some giants or giant-kin in our journeys – nice, meaty brutes who we would have to be careful lest we be caught unaware by their reach and their strength, but not insurmountable if we are wise. Hopefully in a fairly open setting, as squeezing and cover and all that can be tedious to worry about and think about.
Still, I travel with a good group of people and enjoy their company, for the most part. Speaking of company, the crew lost a fine soul or four, I am somewhat hopeful that the lamp provides the ship with the skills they need, though Lydia has signed up to be a craftsperson for the crew.
Ian is constantly casting a spell to try to heal the damage of the elephant – it seems to me that if he could put that into a wondrous item that constantly cast the spell upon the ship, it would be something like a ring of regeneration for the ship.
When I mentioned it to Ian, he had a tangent about an item that did that as well as prestidigitation – so that the ship was always clean and constantly repairing any wear on the vital components.
I like Ian. He’s a better collaborator than Coatl and almost as helpful as Falko, though Falko had fewer tricks.