Seventeen Seas

Episode 73 - Devil's Plaything
Beneath The Island

Game Date: Clockways 165 – 166, Year 75
Starting Point: Tog
Player Characters Present: Hakari, Korbin “Pennyfeather” Quill, Nasira az-Yassin bin-Nurit, Lady Weed

Cooler heads prevailed. Once Inio was beaten to a pulp, Korbin proposed heading back into the jungle to search for suitable prey to sacrifice, in lieu of any sentient creature. While Sengka, Lady Weed and Korbin mounting a hunting expedition, Hakari, the senseless Inio and the scheming dragonborn siblings remained behind, whispering and plotting against one another. Once the hunting party returned with a sackful of lizards and a genuine surprise to see their companions unmurdered, a lizard was sacrificed, the way was opened and the pirates descended into the darkened passages below.

What they discovered below was a seemingly endless maze, a labyrinth of carved stone that appeared to run all beneath the island. Watched on all sides by the sneering face of Tog, our swashbuckling heroes started to make slow progress through the maze-like passages, with Korbin as guide and Hakari as scout. Meanwhile Inio, Fakira and Nasira sniped at each other and Lady Weed struggled to keep herself entertained.

It wasn’t long before they ran afoul of their first trap. Poisonous gas poured from the walls and the ceiling started to lower and lower, threatening to crush them beneath it. Once that trap was passed, they stumbled into another, one that nearly split the party into two halves but was circumvented by Korbin’s use of stone shape. After that, a massive boulder rolled from the ceiling and, in combination with a series of spears shot from the ceiling, could have flattened the pirates, were it not for Nasira and Fakira’s teamwork to stop the rolling stone. Next Fakira was the sole target of a swinging axe that tossed her into a spiked pit, much to Inio’s amusement.

Battered, beaten and losing their grip on reality, the pirates made an improvised shelter for the night and camped in the midst of the maze. They were awoken, quite rudely, however, by a very strange intruder – a massive mechanical bull, with an oddly familiar face – that came galloping into their campsite. Goring with its horns, stomping with its hooves and spewing petrifying gas, it managed to petrify both Inio and Lady Weed but was first banished, for all eternity, to the Elemental Plane of Water.

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The next morning, when Inio and Lady Weed were restored, the party was preparing to depart when they received a most unwelcome message from Woodward – two ships had suddenly appeared, trapping the Dragon Turtle in the bay. One of those ships was the Nymph, the personal flagship of Captain Corgaine the Cleaver.

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Episode 72 - Kneel Before Tog
Clash Between Captains

Game Date: Clockways 164 – 165, Year 75
Starting Point: Tog
Player Characters Present: Hakari, Korbin “Pennyfeather” Quill, Nasira az-Yassin bin-Nurit, Lady Weed

The trumpeting behemoth galloped towards the pirates, swinging its elongated neck and stomping its massive feet. While Korbin and Fakira were crushed, Sengka thrown back and Hakari scrambled onto its neck, Nasira played the butcher – hacking into the beast’s leg with her glaive and Lady Weed preserved the meat with a blast of freezing cold water. The enormous creature, despite its tremendous size, was defeated handily and its flesh carved for future meals.

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Marching through the mire, our swashbuckling heroes were next beset by poisoned darts, fired from cover. Deflecting the overwhelming majority of the missiles, the pirates were eventually confronted with a tribe of short humanoids, their faces painted blue in an eerie resemblance to Tog, pointing spears in their direction. While Lady Weed manages to induce most of them to flee, the one that remains squeaks the word “Inio” and Korbin, relieved, leaps into action. Casting tongues, he convinces this gnome to lead them to their warren to meet with “Captain” Inio.

In a secretive warren beneath a massive tree, the pirates reunite with Inio, now styled as the chieftain of the Otog tribe. Having convinced the gnomes that he was Ilisa’s representative returned to the island and won their loyalty, he’s initially cold to the party, even lifting the bone totem off Korbin’s person. He tells them he knows where the treasure is and that he’ll happily lead them there – if they reinstate him as captain and maroon Fakira. The rest of the party reluctantly agrees, even Nasira, assuring Inio that the treasure is more important to her than her own family.

Around the fire that night, our swashbuckling heroes scheme and scheme. Nasira wants to kill Inio once he’s revealed the location of the treasure but the rest of the party is conflicted, especially Korbin, the moral center of the group and the one who went to all the trouble to rescue the captain in the first place. With nothing truly resolved, the pirates head to bed, putting off the decision of what to do with two captains for another day.

En route to the treasure, our swashbuckling heroes, plus their growing retinue of guides and retainers, survive both a Tog-inspired earthquake and navigate the bubbling tar pits. At the center of the tar pits, they discover a totem of Tog and a blood-stained altar. It takes little guesswork to surmise that a sacrifice is necessary. Before anyone can react, Nasira leaps into action, seizes Inio and attempts to use him as sacrifice. A short scuffle ensues, during which lines are drawn between the party. When the dust settles, Fakira’s been injured “accidentally” by Hakari, Inio’s subdued by Fakira and Korbin and Lady Weed call for peace.

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Episode 71 - Castaway Island
End of the Line

Game Date: Clockways 163 – 164, Year 75
Starting Point: Tog
Player Characters Present: Hakari, Korbin “Pennyfeather” Quill, Nasira az-Yassin bin-Nurit, Lady Weed

The Dragon Turtle dropped anchor in the island’s expansive bay. Preparing to send launches ashore, our swashbuckling heroes made one paling discovery – neither Korbin nor the bone totem where anywhere to be found.

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On the island, deep inland, Korbin spotted the black-sailed ship drop anchor in the bay. Considering the wide expanse of jungle between himself and that bay, he quickly departed towards the beach. Along the way, he encountered waterfalls, crocodiles and the carved face of Tog, leering at him from every rock, stump and trunk.

As the launches crossed the bay, a massive behemoth surfaced from deep water to attack the small boats. It destroyed one, ate three sailors and stranded the rest on the shore. No sooner than they arrived than Korbin, disguised as a certain half-elf maroon, wandered out from the trees. Once his illusion was pierced, the captain arrived on the shore, thanks to a fly spell from the ship’s spellsail, and they debated their next move. Having scouted the terrain somewhat from his perch high above the island, the group agreed that the shipwrecks might offers some answers and agreed to head west. Before they did, they agreed to elect the most untrustworthy crew imaginable to watch the ship in their absence – Deadrick as captain, Nadia Knuckles as first mate, Yasha Battle-Beast as quartermaster and Massak as bosun.

It took the rest of the day to reach the wrecks. After camping in a sheltered alcove, our swashbuckling heroes discovered not only a colony of winged behemoths in the rigging but also a colony of castaways dwelling.in the wrecks. Impressing their leader, an illumian named Squiggles, they conscripted the two dozen desperadoes into their scavenging party, sending them back to assist the other crew in gathering food and supplies. Meanwhile, the party chose one of the castaways – a bizarre cactus-man named Sengka – to guide them north, towards a totem to the primordial Tog that might point them towards the treasure they sought.

Along the way, as they crossed through the marshlands, our swashbuckling heroes were set upon by an enormous, tower-necked behemoth, its face cast in a rictus eerily reminiscent of the face of Tog!

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Episode 70 - Pistols, Then Swords
A New Captain

Game Date: Clockways 158 – 162, Year 75
Starting Point: Ilisan Sea
Player Characters Present: Hakari, Korbin “Pennyfeather” Quill, Lady Weed, Nasira az-Yassin bin-Nurit

With Lady Weed back aboard the Dragon Turtle_, the duel could commence. Obviously poisoned, Captain Inio simply couldn’t stand to Fakira and was quickly dispatched via her twirling axes and her poison breath. When he collapsed to the deck, Korbin ran to ""check his vitals":http://engl393-dnd5th.wikia.com/wiki/FeignDeath" and proclaimed him dead. Fakira az-Yassin ibbin-Nuritt was declared the ship’s new captain.

A small congregation of pirates turned up for Inio’s funeral rites, sharing stories and supplying the former captain with two pistols and a cutlass. He was tossed overboard, Korbin ensured, with a pearl in his mouth and, once the coast was clear, Korbin leapt into the water to retrieve him. Much to his anxiety, he discovered that Inio had fallen into a trench, possibly a volcano vent, and was carried along swiftly underwater through heated channels. Refusing to allow his friend and former captive to disappear, Korbin gave chase through the vent.

Back on the Dragon Turtle, the crew prepared to stage Hakari’s pantomime of Castaway Island. While Deadrick and Nasira bickered about donations and asking price, Lady Weed was ferried to the performance by her coterie of admirers, Hakari sought to reconcile Yu and Woodward and the whole crew had an absolute raucous blast, throwing two afterparties to celebrate their successful show.

Meanwhile, Korbin continued to drift down the vent.

The next morning, a fierce thunderstorm rolled over the pirate galley. Scrambling to their stations, the crew attempted to weather-proof the ship but when great fists of water rose from the sea and began slamming the ship, they knew they’d encountered something different than an ordinary thunderstorm. Nasira attempted to stow cargo, Lady Weed sang to inspire the sailors and a hungover Hakari struggled with a rope, back and forth across the deck. Miraculously, this somehow succeeded in steering the vessel through the thunderstorm.

Meanwhile, Korbin continued to drift down the vent.

That is, until he wasn’t. Emerging amid a small body of freshwater, Korbin was exhausted, enervated and senseless, after two days of drifting after his disappeared captain. He’d arrived on a massive jungled island, complete with carvings of the bone totem he carried in his pocket. He was confronted by a number of small, thick-skulled inhabitants and, brushing aside their darts, wandered senselessly through the jungle until he saw something on the horizon.

There was a ship with black sails arriving in the bay. The Dragon Turtle had, after many long months at sea, had arrived at the island of treasure.

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Episode 69 - Mutiny Most Foul
Tensions Mount

Game Date: Clockways 152–158, Year 75
Starting Point: Ilisan Sea
Player Characters Present: Hakari, Korbin “Pennyfeather” Quill, Nasira az-Yassin bin-Nurit

On the island of books, Korbin and Yu wrack their brain to solve Ilisa’s anagram puzzle. Hakari, Nasira and Fakira discover a very strange monster – a librivore – in the midst of the book warrens. After Hakari captures the creature and Nasira dreams of schemes they might run with the beast’s aide, Korbin discovers the clue – “SEADEVIL” – and, uncovering a text by that name, collects the final bone trinket.

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Back aboard the Dragon Turtle, Captain Inio is only too pleased to assemble the full bone medallion but is unsure what this accomplishes. As the ship sails onward, the weather and the morale are both gloomy, heavy with portent. Amid a scuffle on deck, Korbin overhears a rumor – Khalothrax the Green is broke – and is pleased. A drunken confrontation in the tavern between Yu and Woodward sees one storming off and another polymorphed into a red macaw. Working together, Hakari and Korbin mediate the conflict, punish Woodward and prepare to mount a strange theatrical production, via the use of the librivore and an exciting shipwreck story.

Meanwhile, Nasira has more serious schemes with her sister. Over the course of the voyage, she slowly starts to convince her to challenge Inio for his captaincy. Uncertain, Fakira says she will only act if she has the support of one of the officers – either Hakari or Korbin. While Hakari and his orcs refuse to choose a side, Korbin concurs, agreeing that the leadership of the vessel is in peril and that, perhaps, Inio’s time has come.

With this support, Fakira challenges Inio who blithely accepts. Unwilling to kill his halfling friend, Korbin schemes up a means to prevent his death, even in defeat. The Captain, meanwhile, confronts Nasira, asking her to ask her sister to step down. When Nasira holds firm, Inio sadly informs her that, should she lose, he’ll have no choice but to kill her. Nasira is undaunted.

Come sunset, the duel is ready to commence. Inio begins to give a speech, exhorting the crew for their faithlessness, when a bright light starts to emanate from the surrounding water. As that water bubbles and foams, Korbin and Hakari flash on the last time they saw such a thing but are both surprised when, instead of a sea monster, a sea maiden emerges. She floats onto the deck and alights there, a vision of aquatic splendor and pelagic beauty.

She is Lady Weed and she has returned.

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Episode 68 - Between the Lines
Farewell to Weed

Game Date: Clockways 150-152, Year 75
Starting Point: Aquos
Player Characters Present: Hakari, Korbin “Pennyfeather” Quill, Nasira az-Yassin bin-Nurit, Weed

The battle for Weed’s soul was a fierce one. On the Elemental Plane of Water, in the castle’s throne room, our swashbuckling did battle with not only the Lady of Weeds but with Weed herself, ensorcelled by a strand of seaweed. While Korbin summoned a swarm of krill to chew through one of the Lady’s kelp strands, Hakari attempted to free Weed by attacking the strand that held her and Nasira fought her way through the emerging coral-men battalions in league with the Lady. Weed, meanwhile, brought down cold and lightning and crowns of madness upon her allies.

In her mind, however, Weed fought another battle. She dreamt she was a princess in an underwater castle, with servants to attend her and balls every night and the Lady of Weeds as her true mother. Even as the memories of her real life and her adopted family faded, Weed held fast to them and refused to be seduced by the fairy tale the Lady of Weeds conjured for her.

In the end, it was Korbin whose sacred flame severed the cord and freed Weed. With the sorceress back on their side, Weed unleashed a finger of drowning on her wicked stepmother, nearly killing her in the process. It was ultimately Hakari who dealt the savage blow and slew the Lady of Weeds, spilling her oily black guts into the water. Upon her death, the castle began to right itself and, as the others fled, Inio and Hakari looted all they could from the castle. The Knight of Weeds, however, invited his daughter to retire with him to his castle and rebuild everything she destroyed.

Back aboard the Dragon Turtle, the pirates threw a tremendous party to say farewell to Weed. Each in their own way, our swashbuckling heroes said their goodbyes – some more awkwardly than others – and, with that, Weed and her father disappeared to the Elemental Plane of Water.

Continuing on their voyage, the Turtle arrived at the next island and discovered it to be the strangest yet. “Between the Lines” was composed entirely of books. Books in a hundred languages, on every subject imaginable, in mountains, canyons, caves, beaches, forests and rivers. After overcoming their initial shock, a landing party – plus Fakira and Yu – were sent ashore to investigate. Searching through various texts, they uncovered a strange cipher – various letters on various pages were circled. Collecting all these texts together, they need only unscramble them to uncover a vital clue about where Ilisa hid the final piece.

Hakari, meanwhile, pursued a strange creature, deep in the depth of a book-cave.

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Episode 67 - Hasten To Thee
Kingdom of Kelp

Game Date: Clockways 142 – 150, Year 75
Starting Point: Ilisan Sea
Player Characters Present: Hakari, Korbin “Pennyfeather” Quill, Nasira az-Yassin bin-Nurit, Weed

En route to the next island, the Dragon Turtle is beset by troubles. Korbin discovers Sister Mallet dead in her bunk, her soul seemingly sucked out, and this inspires him to hunt down most of the rest of the escaped creatures aboard. Hakari celebrated the Tusked Moon among his orcish peers and even invited Yu to join in the hallucinogenic festivities. Four days into the voyage, Malek openly challenged Inio for the captaincy. While the crew squirmed and whispered and fidgeted, Inio defeated the dragonborn handily and retired to his cabin to sulk.

Eight days into the voyage, Weed spotted a massive hole in the middle of the ocean, descending down into darkness. Gathering her companions – including Inio, via an elaborate ruse involving a dummy and Massak standing guard – Weed sent Swannie paddling towards the rift. While Korbin wished only to reconnoiter the opening, believing it to lead somewhere extraplanar, Weed sent them all tumbling over the side by a judiciously timed dismissal of her swan boat.

When they surfaced, they were back in the familiar waters of Aquos, in the midst of an unfamiliar kelp forest. Led by Ghostcrab to a particular strand of kelp, the pirates descended down and down through the seaweed until they arrived at a strange structure – a castle, inverted and tangled in kelp. They navigated the castle’s catacombs and eventually discovered there – of all people – Toruka Kaia, imprisoned in a dungeon cell. He’d only time to warn them that they shouldn’t have come, that this was all a trap before a seaweed strand snatched Weed and yanked her away.

Freeing the Knight of Weeds, the crew gave chase through the underwater castle, following the trail of bubbles left in Weed’s wake. When they finally caught up with her, they were confronted by the Lady of Weeds herself, installed in the castle’s throne room and with Weed in her clutches. She was outraged that they had freed Toruka Kaia and, puppeteering Weed like a marionette, she lashed out at our swashbuckling heroes with spell and seaweed.

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Episode 66 - Brave the Cold
The Appearance of Hoxorabad

Game Date: Clockways 134–142, Year 75
Starting Point: Ilisan Sea
Player Characters Present: Hakari, Korbin “Pennyfeather” Quill, Nasira az-Yassin bin-Nurit, Weed

The Dragon Turtle sailed south. Along the way, Hakari employed his tankard of truth to get some answers from Woodward about her unrequited feelings for him. Nasira conspired with the ship’s purser to cut down on the crew’s rations – under Inio’s apparent orders. Weed spent some time with Bubbles and Korbin was dismayed to discover all his specimen – the will o’the wisp, the cranium rat and all the rest – released from his cages.

Before Korbin could track them all down, however, a new danger presented itself. A white dragon appeared quite suddenly from the clouds and bathed the Turtle in its freezing breath. As it flapped past the ship, Nasira saw something remarkable, frozen to its underside – another bone trinket.

This sparked a fierce debate among the crew. The dragonborn members – Nasira and Fakira chief among them – were overawed by the religious ramifications of another dragon, of this size and power, existing out here. Hakari wanted nothing to do with a dragon, preparing to depart in the dinghy rather than face the creature. Captain Inio, of course, wanted that bone trinket and, with Hakari’s eventual help, started crafting a scheme whereby they could recover it without fighting the creature. Nasira eventually employed Taryoc to go and ask for parley with the beast and, when the pseudodragon returned, was enraged to discover it had swapped allegiances, now swearing loyalty to Hoxorabad the White, its new master.

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Trapping the treacherous familiar in an empty birdcage, the party took Weed’s swanboat westward, towards the dragon’s island. After disembarking and stomping across the icy terrain, they eventually encountered the dragon, in all her august finery. Bribing her with a hero’s feast and a pittance of gold and gems from the ship’s dragonborn and attempting to ensorcel her with a few hidden glyphs, it was Nasira – with some help from Fakira – who ultimately negotiated the surrender of the bone trinket from the dragon. In the process, she informed Hoxorabad about the Dragonate, of which she seemed ignorant, and also proposed returning all Ilisa’s treasure to the dragon in tribute.

As the ship departed, the white dragon made one final strafing run past the ship, the dragonborn crew marveling at the sight.

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Episode 65 - Crazed Old Crone
Long Story Short

Game Date: Clockways 132 – 134, Year 75
Starting Point: Ilisan Sea
Player Characters Present: Hakari, Korbin “Pennyfeather” Quill, Nasira az-Yassin bin-Nurit, Weed

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Two sea serpent heads arose from the ocean, their fangs bared, ready to devour the hapless crew of the Dragon Turtle. Weed urged the crew, in accordance with her story, not to fight the creature’s heads, that they would fight each other, but her demands went largely ignored. Nasira waded gleefully into battle, carving away at the the heads with her enchanted glaive, only to see more and more heads sprout from the severed stumps. Korbin wrought mighty magic, felling several heads with harm and fire storm. It was Hakari who ultimately decided the thing. After suggesting Inio fly the black sails, he leapt into the water, swam down towards the creature’s body, found an unconventional exit and ripped it apart from the inside.

No sooner was the hydra slain than another thunderstorm descended upon the Turtle. This time, the Captain sailed into the tempest blindfolded and the crew paid the price. With two pirates lost overboard, morale was low when the galley dropped anchor at Crazed Old Crone.

Going ashore with Fakira and Yu in tow, our swashbuckling heroes explored the rocky, dismal island they found. After a short debate about whether to follow the footprints on the beach or the road to the ruins, the party eventually headed up, through the hills and towards the abandoned city. En route, Nasira dispatched Taryoc to follow the footprints and Hakari instructed Yu and Weed to keep an eye on each other.

Arriving at the city’s walls, a paranoid Korbin elected to stay outside and keep an eye on the ship, convinced that they would attempt to abandon the party. The rest of the heroes explored the ruins, found them vast and impressive but oddly abandoned, with no signs of life anywhere to be found. Before long, Taryoc returned, informing Nasira that he’d found the old woman and, at that moment, the entire city started to crumble. Towers fell. Walls collapsed. Buidlings disintegrated into rubble. Running and leaping and helping each other along, our swashbuckling heroes only just managed to escape the collapsing city.

Weary and confused, they decided to decamp down the hills, find the old woman and leave this strange place. Following her footprints, they met the old crone and, with Korbin keeping an eye on the ship and Nasira and her sister touching base, they listened to her lengthy story. The old woman told them about her life, a long-winded and impossibly long story about princesses and star-crossed love and evil curses and mistaken identity and storms and dragons and treacherous viziers. Hakari and Yu started to nod off during this tale but Weed sat patiently and listened to the whole thing. When it was over, the old crone gave Weed another bone trinket and thanked her for listening.

After an unsuccessful attempt by Hakari to convince the party to capture her, they piled back into the swanboat and headed for their ship.

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Episode 64 - Find The Fire
Fire and Brimstone

Game Date: Clockways 120 – 132, Year 75
Starting Point: Ilisan Sea
Player Characters Present: Hakari, Korbin “Pennyfeather” Quill, Nasira az-Yassin bin-Nurit, Weed

The skull storm swept across the Dragon Turtle, hurling bones at the unsuspecting crew. Despite the crew’s best efforts, the ship suffered heavy damage during the storm and even lost a pair of hands, putting a damper on the remaining of the Skullsday festivities.

In short order, they arrived at the next island – “Find The Fire” – and discovered a volcanic archipelago of black sand and bleached palm trees. Dispatching two more landing parties to search for supplies, our swashbuckling heroes found clues left behind by Captain Ilisa and went scrambling up the side of the volcano. While Nasira grew weary from the climbing, Hakari suffered from the heat, rising to an almost unbearable level the closer they came to the summit.

At the summit, the pirates spotted a bone trinket, set precarious atop a pillar of rock in the center of the bubbling caldera. No sooner had they arrived, however, than a massive fire primordial appeared and began walking around the caldera’s edge. As she did, the level of magma rose and rose, quickly setting a timer on how long the swashbucklers had to retrieve that bone trinket.

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Hakari made a daring leap across the chasm and nearly fell into the lava as a result. Weed cast cold magic to build a bridge to help him back across. Nasira moved to confront the primordial but, upon feeling the sheer heat radiating off her body, had second thoughts and retreated. Korbin, meanwhile, shifted onto the ethereal plane and began to study the living god, scribbling as many notes as he could, all while resisting the pull of Ignos, the Elemental Plane of Fire.

Once Hakari had recovered the bone trinket, our swashbuckling heroes beat a hasty and cumbersome retreat. Fleeing just feet ahead of the overflowing lava, Hakari attempted to ride his shield down the volcano’s slopes to mixed results. Weed, similarly, attempted to use her teleport as best she could and spent much of the descent tumbling. Nasira, much more careful with her footwork, was eventually reduced to simply scampering down the slopes. Korbin, meanwhile, continued to study the primordial until much later, when he appeared aboard the ship, supposedly burnt and scarred, in another of his elaborate ruses.

En route to the next island, the disease ravaging the crew grew worse and worse. Hakari sought a spiritual solution and, at the advice of Shazalq, butched a swordfish as a sacrifice to appease Skadi, goddess of winter. Nasira, meanwhile, observed Taryoc potentially communicating telepathically with Fakira, setting her a little on edge. Weed spoke briefly with a bubblefly, fluttering past, and learned of a potential portal to the Elemental Plane of Water somewhere to the south. Korbin, still attending his regular therapy sessions with Vito, noticed that more and more pirates were deferring to Inio, rather than his own orders.

It was Nasira who eventually called a meeting to discuss the disease issue. A number of good practices were put into place, at the behest of Akvar. Those already infected were to be quarantined, specifically prohibited from congregating in the tavern. The ship’s divine spellcasters – Korbin, Sister Mallet, Shazalq and Yasha – were conscripted to use their magic to cure the prostitutes and purify the food, to prevent the sickness spreading. Extra soap and extra baths were ordered for all the crew, to attempt to keep everyone sanitary and healthy. Whether these new changes will drive out the sickness remains to be seen.

Eight days into their voyage, however, a more pressing threat literally reared its head. A pair of sea serpents, rising from the ocean, attacked the Dragon Turtle, filling Weed with excitement, for this was the next sight predicted in her storybook.

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