Starday, 24 Pharast, 4734
Having slain the Sandpoint Devil, laid the ghost cowboy to rest, and re-consecrated the lost Desnan shrine, the party makes camp on the Devil’s Platter. Vivi tries to sort out a lesson from her recent experience, in which everyone made poor decisions but things turned out okay. The Rune Wardens give her life advice.
The lyrakien azata Idun, explains that the bugbear cultists cursed Nualia, which was causing her arm to bulge painfully and distractingly. Marcus casts break enchantment, but Idun warns that the curse was interacting with a different affliction. Through her demon arm and the mark of Lamashtu over her womb, Nualia is still connected to the demon goddess. Lamashtu is using that link to torment her and spread the corruption from her arm to slowly continue the process of turning the aasimar into a demon.
Sunday, 25 Pharast, 4734
Upon the party’s return to Sandpoint, Zavian presents Nualia with an item he had been working on, the Bracer of the Unconquered Sun, which should disguise her demon arm and keep the corruption from spreading for a time.
An attempt to use the revelation quill to find a sacred Desnan site to cure her does not succeed. Lea then uses the Anathema Archive to discover the site of a Thassilonian artifact, the Therassic Flenser, that might do the job. It’s located way out in the Cinderlands. They decide to go after it once they return from Runeforge, while Nualia and her crew chill in Sandpoint in the meantime.
Seleval asks Lea to write a letter to her dad or the high priest letting them know about her situation and their arrangement, in case something should befall Lea. The paladin agrees to do so, scribing a letter to Knight-Captain Laori Vaus.
Shayliss wishes Marcus farewell, providing him with some more drawings to liven up his voyage. She also whispers “I love you Marcus Fengwathil” after kissing him goodbye and he realizes this is the first time she’s actually used the word “love” before. He urges her to have good dreams of him and makes a mental note to cast dreams during the trip.
Lea realizes that Ameiko had scheduled a shift for her right as they were preparing to leave. The innkeeper confesses that she just finds Lea adorable in her frilly uniform and takes the paladin aside to hastily change her clothes.
“Try not to get killed again,” Ameiko says, warning that future deaths will lead to more ridiculous outfits.
Lea makes no promises, but pulls her in for a passionate kiss. “I love you. I’ll be back.”
The party plus Shalelu and Seleval travel to Magnimar and spend several days making purchases in preparation for their trip. Amelia treats Lea and Seleval to a spa day at Fimblethwick’s Splendiferous Spa in the Alabaster District. Seleval enjoys the milk bath especially. In addition to shopping, Marcus continues to market his wares and can tell his name is starting to get out there. Astrid catches up with the barbarian blacksmith Neshka, sharing stories of her battles against the dragons.
Zavian has trouble finding a ship, finally going to the rat-infested Feiger’s Shack on Rag End. There he meets the lizardman Arakos, first mate on the Misericorde, a ship that might suit them. The captain is a young Bekyar woman named Daelyn. She agrees to transport them, but demands cash up front at twice the normal rate. Zavian negotiates her down to 150%, but she bumps it back up to 175% when he remarks on the familiar appearance she has with notorious pirate Keris Farima. Daelyn insists they set sail first thing the next morning. They agree to meet her at Docking Quay 94.
Moonday, 2 Gozran, 4734
After stowing the cart, horses, and hippogriff below decks, the Misericorde hastily pushes off from the docks ahead of an authority figure and a gang of thugs. Daelyn takes an interest in Amelia and invites her to dinner. Lea tries to talk with her, but stumbles over herself and is distracted by Seleval’s sea-sickness. Lea asks if there is any alcohol and Daelyn has grog brought up.
Zavian notices that the ship has a figurehead of Keris in armor, with a misericode jammed between the pauldron and gorget.
Amelia dines with the captain, who is interested to learn more about her and hear some of her songs. The bard notices she has a set of hand drums in her cabin. Initially wary of a trap, Amelia quickly realizes that this dinner is a genuine come on. She ends up spending the night in the captain’s cabin and its soft bed.
The rest of the party is relegated to a cramped room with a set of hammocks. A queasy Seleval insists on hammocking with Lea and mercifully falls asleep almost immediately. Marcus, meanwhile, bivouacs in the hold inside his levitating wagon, which is also warded with an alarm spell. He continues to cast dream spells every night to visit Shayliss.
Toilday, 3 Gozran, 4734
The next morning, Marcus finds the lizardman Arakos suspiciously eyeing the floating wagon, and the horses spiderwalking on the walls. When Marcus tries explaining the magic, Arakos asks if he can switch to Draconic. In doing so, the wizard discovers that the lizardman is far more eloquent in that language. The two have long conversations over the course of the journey.
Marcus and Lea talk to Shalelu that morning to get her sense of the ship and its crew. She notes that it is a pirate ship, but she’s mystified why it is missing its siege weapons. Marcus confirms that they aren’t magically hidden. Lea wonders if the crew has gone legit. Seleval pukes next to her and the paladin uses lay on hands to cure her nausea. The bedraggled lamia is very grateful.
Zavian asks around discreetly about Daelyn’s connection to Keris. He finally ends up talking to a halfling sailor named Rarder, who says that the captain is the youngest of Keris’ daughters. However, Daelyn had a big falling out with her mother a few years back and is out on her own. That’s why she is operating in these northerly waters, far from the Shackles. Zavian stops the halfling from picking his pocket, but pays Rarder 100gp for his information and his silence. The cleric shares this information with the others.
Oathday, 5 Gozran, 4734
On the fourth day of their voyage, the Misericorde passes by one of the great landmarks of the Varisian Gulf—Hollow Mountain. Marcus uses arcane eye to get a closer look. The shores of the island contain ruined structures of Thassilonian design, while hanging overhead is an enormous broken bridge that appears to be the other half of Magnimar’s fabled Irespan.
Carved onto the side of the mountain is the familiar glaring face of [[;alaznist | Runelord Alaznist]]. The wizard spies movement amid the ruins, including several strange spider-like creatures that remind him of the shriezyx monsters that had been released from the Irespan long ago.
Meanwhile, a sailor on the Misericorde slips and falls, breaking his leg. Lea rushes to heal the man and mend his bones. Rarder uses the distraction to try to rummage through Marcus’ pockets and triggers the wizard’s alarm spell. Marcus awakes to see Daelyn holding up Rarder in one hand. The half-elf warns the sailor off from touching him again and makes careful note of his features.
Fireday, 6 Gozran, 4734
On the fifth day of the journey, they leave the relatively quiet waters of the Varisian Gulf for the colder, choppier Steaming Sea. Seleval is truly miserable and has started rationing Lea’s nausea-alleviating lay on hands. The paladin brainstorms with the rest of the party to find some way to help the seasick lamia. Eventually they put her up in the levitating wagon, where the jostling isn’t as bad. Lea stays with her and at Seleval’s request, starts reciting passages from from the Acts of Iomedae.
Sunday, 8 Gozran, 4734
On the seventh day, the Misericorde enters Bunyip Bay, named after the vicious aquatic mammals that dwell there. That morning, a large albatross crashes into the sails and falls to the deck with a broken wing. Lea heals it, but Rarder nonetheless warns that it is an ill omen for the voyage.
That night, Daelyn invites the rest of the party to join her and Amelia in the captain’s cabin for dinner. The meal is interrupted, however, by the eerie calls of bunyips. The ship is placed on alert as the Rune Wardens head out onto the deck and see a massive swarm of bunyips gathered around the ship.
Then the Misericorde jolts under their feet once, then twice, then three times. Daelyn warns that something is caught against the underside of the vessel. Lea and Astrid volunteer to rappel down and investigate. Zavian uses control water to briefly force back the bunyip feeding frenzy. Marcus casts various buffs on himself, including enlarge.
Going over the side, Lea and Astrid discover with their magically-aided sight that a giant octopus has attached itself to the ship and is using its tentacles to batter the keel. One tentacle has even punched through into the cargo hold. They begin attacking the creature, but Astrid is quickly grabbed in one tentacle.
Flying overhead, enlarged Marcus spies several figures climbing the aft of the ship. He shouts a warning to Amelia and Daelyn, who are nearby. Amelia’s daze spell fizzes against the fishmen, but the captain does shoot one.
Two more fishmen race out onto the deck and Amelia overhears them discussing their targets: “the apostate and the cleric.” Marcus spears one with his enormous ranseur, while Arakos blocks the other from getting further. Zavian uses hold person on the fishman threatening Amelia, and the bard skewers it with her laptop. Marcus senses his alarm spell on the wagon going off.
On the underside of the Misericorde, Lea presses past the creature’s tentacles to jam her sword in its brain. She and Astrid then begin cutting the body lose from the ship.
Up top, the two surviving fishmen decide to make a break for it. Daelyn shoots one down as it tries to swim away. Marcus uses a fireball to disperse the bunyips, while warning that something is in the cargo hold.
Zavian races downstairs to find an enormous orange tentacle lying limp in the hold and water bubbling up through a hole in the floor. The wagon has taken some damage. Marcus, in water elemental form, quickly joins the cleric in plugging up the leak. Seleval emerges from the wagon and asks if she had killed the monster. Zavian tells her yes. She remarks that krakens are real pushovers.
Reverting to half-elf form, Marcus begins repairs on his wagon. Seleval offers to help, but finds there is little she can do beyond hold a hammer. Once Lea, dripping wet, stomps into the hold, the hammer is forgotten as the knightly lamia fusses over her soggy princess—at least until the seasickness catches up with her.
The crew resigns themselves to a lot of calamari dinners, while Daelyn decides to make use of the adrenaline by taking Amelia back to her cabin. Zavian unsuccessfully tries to sense any shipwrecks below to investigate.
Wealday, 11 Gozran, 4734
On the tenth day, the Misericorde draws near the ruined Brinewall Castle. A lookout warns of seeing an enormous flying beast far off in the distance. Marcus only gets the barest glimpse of it before the shape disappears below the eastern horizon. Daelyn orders the ship to anchor well off the coast from the haunted castle and promises to take the party ashore the next morning.