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Siscia last won the day on September 8

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  1. BUILDING OUR ESCAPE In their search for supplies, my acquaintances had to pick the lock to the captain’s cabin--Phineas did like his privacy. Once again, Vander succeeded where others had failed to gain entry. A precariously-perched chair toppled onto the group, and hits Ilyana, Zenny, Verith. It must have been quite a large chair. Vander dodged effortlessly, so I hear. They found a curious, water-shooting crossbow. I had never head of such a thing. What a strange contraption. Zenny returned to the tiny island with a bed sheet to use as sail. That, I find quite practical. However, their loot also included a candelabra, a pillow…why? I still have not determined what is imaginative genius and what is pure idiocy in this party. Ilyana diligently produced paperwork that Bozek didn’t seem to need. “This is all well and good, but the thing we don’t have that we really need is water,” he proclaimed. I realized then that the peculiar crossbow in Vander’s hands might be a solution to this problem. He wanted to find a bowl to shoot it into, but I tell him I can catch it. Shooting it into a bowl would only splash everywhere and waste much of the water. Regardless of its potentially-infinite supply, that seemed like quite a waste of time. Was I worried about having a bolt of water shot toward me? Not particularly. I have seen Vander shoot many times already. It would take a terrible curse or an unlucky turn beyond reason for him to hit me if he did not intend to. And I was quite confident in my ability to shape the water, even as it moved quickly. As I later told Varou, shaping water requires focus and a very clear idea what you want it to do--it’s quite dependent upon your own conviction--but it otherwise isn’t terribly difficult. I can also create water with a bit of preparation. I have always had a fascination with water. It's quite lovely to watch the moon and stars reflected peacefully, or dance upon its surface when it ripples. As Vander shot the crossbow, I shaped the water bolt into a hovering, shining orb and ask for a bottle. Vander tells us he has a “good bottle”--it seemed to be just okay to me, nothing that special--and I funneled the water into it. Varou was brave enough to taste it. “Not pristine mountain water, but it’ll do.” So, not that good-tasting, even from a good bottle. Thankfully, this appeared to be a reliable source of fresh water. We feel quite a bit more prepared now. Food and drinking water accounted for. Enough wood to create a raft and oars, material for a sail. Zenny continues to swim out and drag in materials and barrels with Verith’s assistance. They lashed a rope onto a mostly-intact piece of the deck, and everyone pitched in to pull it. I felt obligated to try, but honestly strength is not… my strength. Verith outshone everyone with her surprising athleticism--with such a slender build she must know just how to achieve excellent leverage. Among the salvage, Varou found a bottle containing quite a strong spirit (the liquid kind, not the dead kind). Ilyana shared the bottle with Vander, but she tipped it up as he drank. Though it spilled down his beard, he seemed to be good-natured about it. Varou stifled a laugh. At least Ilyana seemed to be enjoying herself for the first time since the shipwreck. Unfortunately, our next finds were not so enjoyable. Vander and Verith found Phineas’ body floating a short way off, a gash in his head seemed to be his cause of death. Also they located the poor jolly cook, swelled with seawater and drifting lifeless. Working together, they managed to get a lifeboat un-wedged from its underwater vice and hauled it back to shore. Bozek is convinced that, “After everything that has happened, anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.” I quite agree. He suggests we set sail as soon as possible, before anything else happens--sharks find us, weather turns murderous again, or something else. There is an air of foreboding and bad luck. I would rather leave now. I begin to sort through supplies with Ilyana, separating what is critical from what we might be able to use. Zenny created her own carpentry tools and directs everyone in building a tiny flotilla. We have shelter from palm leaves, a sail from bed sheet, and even a dinghy to tow alongside. It all looked quite promising, but only Verith agreed with me that we should go immediately. So, we rested on the island until nightfall. SAIL AWAY Zentauri appeared to have a rough rest. She does not sleep, but seemed to have a waking nightmare of sorts. As she crossed the little plank-bridge between the islands, I heard her mutter almost to herself, “Oh the things that lurk in the deep dark of the abyss…” I ask Zenny to have a seat and tell us about it--but all she could tell us was that it was unspeakable horror. I take dreams quite seriously, as sometimes they are divine messages, or even warnings. This did not bode well for our journey. However, Zenny just wants to focus on her spell preparation and ignore the looming dread that emanated from her post-vision utterance. Verith then explains that they had located an ancient chest underwater, and that inside this chest Zenny found an old figurine, perhaps a statue or an idol. She did not get a very good look before Zenny pocketed the item with urgency. Is this the cause of the visions? Are they premonitions? Is something trying to drive Zentauri mad? Is it a warning? Zenny is unwilling to part with it, or to show us. And here we are about to board a raft and hope for a safe and uneventful journey to find a way to shore! It’s most concerning. Varou suggests Zenny prepare to Identify the curious crossbow, and produces the pearl she needs in order to focus her casting. He hands her the weapon and suggests she also Identify the figurine. She has no interest. This is quite unusual--I would think her curiosity should take precedence, but her manner is stubborn and cold about this item. As we board the raft, Bozek checks the star charts and points us mostly north to catch a shipping lane and--hopefully--we can be rescued quickly. Fortunately, the weather cooperates. It is relatively mild, but a slight favorable wind is better than none. With time, our island retreats into the distance. Varou and I are not great rowers, but agreed to shape water in lieu of physical labor. He was not confident it would work out, but I offered my assurances that with the right effort, this method would be extremely efficient. I tried to show him what I meant, but I think his nerves kept him from performing at his highest capability. Conviction truly is key to so many spells. Zenny was quite helpful in compensating with expert steering to keep us on track. After quite a lot of distance covered, we handed off the “rowing” to others. There is not much space on the raft to rest, but at least the open water is soothing, and the starlight shines upon us. I close my eyes for a time and pray to Sehanine for guidance as we sail ever north and hope the stars will lead us well.
  2. SHARKS & ROMANCE Zentauri headed into the water first, ready to explore the wreckage in search of anything we could use. I followed, with the intent to help--but I am not a fast swimmer and she was far ahead within moments. As I approached a large rock rising from the water, Zenny gave a shout and cast a magic missile at something. I scrambled up on the rock to get a good look--many sharks, circling Zenny and ganging up on her. Fresh breakfast for them, I assume. Vander quickly joined me on the rocky perch. In moments, a shark sunk teeth into flesh and blood clouded the water around Zenny. Behind me, Ilyana began to fling magic missiles into the pack of sharks. Vander gripped the rock with practiced ease and swung down over the ledge to reach Zenny. I heal her, not much but perhaps enough to buy time for him to get her out of immediate danger. Zenny leapt up as Vander clasped her arm. Just as her feet left the water, Varou lets loose a chaotic bolt of lightning--barely controlled, but quite effective. One shark was belly-up and several others were in pain. Once more I focus healing light on Zenny, but then turn my attention to the shark nearest the beach, the one that Ilyana injured. Although its thirst for violence and blood was strong as ever, I could feel the pull of the grave beckoning to the creature. I said a prayer, beseeching fate to exert its power now, and the toll of a deep, echoing bell rang out over the water’s surface. The shark swiftly met its end. With just a moment to recuperate and two sharks now drifting lifeless on the waves, Zenny jumped back into the sea! I think she is perhaps a little crazy, but she is much stronger than I so I cannot really say for sure what is insanity and what is confidence. As she attacks, Vander loosed several arrows in quick succession. He seemed so focused, this is natural to him--sharp eyes and sharp aim drove the last two beasts back, they began to retreat. As Zenny pursued the sharks, one of Vander’s arrows hit home. Only one shark survived the ambush--their ambush. As I looked back at the small island’s shore, Bozek had readied a club in his single hand, but never needed it. Verith stood in front of Ilyana to protect her. Varou’s fingertips crackled with magic. Everyone was safe. Vander set to work carving up the sharks for food. I am not particularly fond of eating animals, it is a rare thing to do in Sildëyuir, but at times it seems fish is more abundant than anything else. Zenny was ready to dive back in and recover materials from the shipwreck, but I did not want to take a chance again. I found a good perch on the rock and peered out over the water. No sharks. I motioned to Zenny that it was safe, but she gave me some sort of questionable thumb gesture in response. I don’t believe it was one of the rude ones, at least by her face she didn’t seem to be angry. Fortunately, she quickly located some planks we can use for a raft. Verith headed out to help haul it back to dry land. Zentauri also located a treasure trove of weapons in a crate. Tridents, spears, nets, and more. Some companions divided the weapons among themselves. A mysterious chest also surfaced, Bozek says his former crewmate kept it under their bunk--their most prized possession. The lid was locked tight, but Vander would not be deterred. Zenny agreed to lend her thieve’s tools, but not without a word of caution: “Just don’t break them.” I am not sure what Vander did, but the lid swung open easily to reveal a large pearl--just the right size to hold in a closed fist. Zenny and Verith approach another underwater chest--very ornate and half-buried in the sand. Verith mentioned to me later that it looked much older than anything else nearby. Perhaps not part of the ship’s contents. It took them quite a long time to figure out if it was safe enough to open, and Ilyana and Vander waited together with a long, heavy silence between them. Then I heard Vander ask if she was alright. “I’ve never been in a boat when it was cracked in half… but I’m starting to feel better than I was, thank you.” Ilyana’s musical voice had more than a hint of shakiness, but she seems to always seek out a silver lining, as they call it. Perhaps sometimes she creates her own silver lining. They shared some drink that had Vander looking quite flushed. Ilyana enjoyed it quite a lot. I wonder if the drink was that strong, or perhaps it was just some strange flirting ritual. They seem to know each other, since Vander next said something like, “I wanted to apologize for how we left things last time.” Ilyana responded, “Hopefully he doesn’t feel too… awkward around me.” Vander seems to think it’s funny. I feel I must note here that I stopped listening--it did not seem to be a conversation for other ears, no matter how small the island and how perceptive the ears. However, I suspect Varou and Ilyana may have been romantic and it must have ended poorly. Perhaps one of my new companions broke another’s heart? But now Vander and Ilyana are quietly flirting over drinks and I am quite confused--it seems that Vander would wish to put his brother’s feelings above his own in every other circumstance. I suppose it’s one of those mysterious things I must unravel with time. ------------------------------------------------------ TENTACLES ARE NOT FOR TOUCHING I am quite glad I left some space on this page for more observations on romantic ties amongst my party. I was just informed--several days later, mind--about what was transpiring between Zentauri and Verith while the rest of us were beginning work on the raft (or sharing sweet whispers on the beach). Staring intently at the ornate chest they had liberated from the depths, Zenny told Verith, “If you would take a step back, I am going to try to open this. It’s an unknown school of magic to me.” Verith--with appropriate caution--moved back swiftly, but still gazed over Zenny’s shoulder to view the contents of the mysterious container. Nestled within was a golden figurine--an idol?--in the shape of a tentacle. Zentauri found it quite “interesting,” and immediately she started caressing it. Verith thought she seemed to be concentrating in a dark way. Zenny did not tell anyone else about the find until later. It seems quite odd that she was so furtive rather than excited to share her find. I will note here that when one locates a particularly alluring and mesmerizing object in a long-buried undersea chest (or other likewise hidden area), one should not caress the object without thorough research into its possible origins. I will continue my notes regarding this object on the following pages as it becomes relevant.
  3. Eilyra Caiden's Journal. First page. Due to recent events, I begin this journal anew. The loss of my original volume is unfortunate--had I not been writing in it when circumstances went suddenly awry, it might have survived relatively unscathed in my bag instead of being lost to the depths with the rest of the Sea Dragon. However, what is done cannot be undone. I can only hope that my memory is sharp enough to retain most details of my journey from Sildëyuir to the Yuirwood and across the continent to the Sword Coast. I have seen so much that I never could have dreamed before. Perhaps I will commit some of that memory to paper once more, but for now I begin where I am. Or, rather, with what brought me to where I am. It was a familiar job, and should have been easy coin and passage. I sailed with the Sea Dragon before, and the crew was known to me (may Sehanine guard their eternal rest). Pirates are to be expected along the route from Waterdeep to Neverwinter, so capable mercenaries and healers are welcomed aboard. The weather was ominous. The air was thick with fog and wind battered everyone on deck. I left the crew to do their best with it, and headed below for something to eat. I sit with Verith often, and we enjoy a quiet conversation with the evening meal, but poor weather inspired many people to head to the mess. I think the term is “sardines,” if I heard the cook correctly. I took a seat at her table with several other individuals. They do become important as this entry unfolds, so I describe them below. VERITH Verith is a friend, at least that is how I consider her. We have traveled on the Sea Dragon several times together--I often stay at port for some time and when the ship docked once more, I board it again to offer my services as a healer. Verith would already be there, a slender dark-haired figure in typical mercenary garb, one hand on her sword hilt and ready to react to anything. When I joined the table, I saw her copper face soften from a battle-ready glare to a little smile of relief. She would not have to face such a crowded mealtime without an ally. But her hand was on the sword hilt, as always. I was glad to see she relaxed as the evening went on. The burden of conversation did not fall to her, she has mastered the art of becoming one with her surroundings. Perhaps that is a wood elf trait. She’s quite good. ILYANA Unlike a mild-mannered elf, a tiefling cannot easily be overlooked--they are fascinating people and thus Ilyana was the first individual I noticed after spotting Verith. Ilyana is a porcelain beauty, her features are perfect in a surreal way. She has a quality about her much like the creatures of Sildëyuir. She is enchanting, graceful, and animated. Were she Ruar-tel-quessir rather than tiefling, she would remind me very much of home. Her jewelry makes music when she moves, which she does quite often. Ilyana has a way of putting others at ease that I think shall prove very helpful to this band of elven introverts. She already seems to be acquainted with the two brothers in the party. VAROU & VANDER I unfortunately overlooked that the man to my left was trying to reserve the seat I chose. Yet another Sword Coast lesson: When one places their arm across a table, they generally intend to lay claim to the space. I only learned of my error when his brother, Vander, sat to my right and spent the entire meal leaning forward and back to see around my head. I think Varou was as embarrassed by our misunderstanding about seating as I. These brothers share several features, though they have just as many differences. They both have hair as black as obsidian, streaked with deep blue. Varou wears flowing dark gray silk and a full cape that drapes over one shoulder. At a glance, he certainly appears to be one who wields magic rather than blades. I sense kindness in him, too, but he is nearly as reserved as Verith. Vander has a full beard, which I find intriguing--elves where I am from do not grow facial hair and to see it even on a half-elf is fascinating (actually, to see half-elves at all is fascinating, there are none in Sildëyuir). He seems to favor a beautiful dark wood bow inlaid with silver, but a black cloak only partially covers several blades. He speaks in friendly tones, but with great care. I wonder if he was dangerous, sitting elbow-to-elbow with him like that, but I remember he is probably paid to be dangerous to anyone who would threaten a merchant vessel. Varou is not a fan of ships, I think. He seemed anxious and his eyes darted, seeming to take in every detail. Once the food arrived, however, he had eyes only for his bowl. And mine. And Vander’s. And anyone else’s bowl that contained leftover broth and vegetables. ZENTAURI To round out my circle of intriguing new acquaintances, I describe Zentauri here. She was not impressed by the soup, and handed it off to Varou quite early on. Her finned ears and skin as blue as clear water reflecting the sky are striking features, to be sure, but it was her dress that truly captured my attention. The fine scale design was topped off with a sparkling aquamarine. To my eyes, she looked dressed for a ball--not a table of mercenaries next to a ship’s galley--yet she is perhaps more at home on a ship than even I am. She didn’t speak much, but sketched in her notebook between reluctant bites of stew. Ilyana peered over her shoulder and asked if Zentauri would design dresses for her as well. The style is very marine-inspired. I quite like it, too. After the dishes were cleared away, I brought out my cards to begin a game of Andreth. I intended to play alone, as everyone else would be departing the mess. However, they did not depart and instead Ilyana asked me to show her the game. Surprised and unsure how to translate the rules for others to join, I handed her the deck. The entire table stayed to play her game of Fune. I am not sure that I understand it, but I am also not sure that she does, either. It was a nice way to pass some time. Unfortunately, our game was cut short by the trouble above. PIRATES, AS EXPECTED Shouts erupted from above deck, and Zentauri--Zenny, as we call her now--leapt into action. She pressed the seemingly-decorative gem on her dress and the scales shifted into gleaming plate armor as she bounded upstairs. The rest of us scrambled after to address the danger. Pirates, of course. A ship jutted out of the dense fog and five pirates boarded the Sea Dragon within moments. The hobgoblin leader of the group, cursing with each exhale, convinced his companions that we must be merely sailors and would be no trouble to dispatch. Vander didn’t wait for them to make the first move. A bluish-black magical mark appeared over one of the goblins, and an arrow from his dark bow killed it immediately. I note here that I was correct in assuming he is a dangerous sort. In coming up from below deck, I’d emerged far too close to the pirates. I had no business being so exposed, so I quickly blessed the three companions between myself and the intruders and stepped well back, against the railing. Zenny sternly informed the hobgoblin that he made a grave mistake in boarding the Sea Dragon, and a crash of magical thunder erupted from her hands. The hobgoblin collapsed to the deck before he could agree with her. One of his compatriots took a cowardly jab at Ilyana before jumping ship. Varou flung bolts of energy at the pirates, and some wisely retreated before he could truly take aim. Ahead, Ilyana flourished her elven longsword and shimmered with powerful magic. She confronted a remaining bugbear pirate with a void-like darkness encompassing her blade, and slashed his arm. The pirate howled and took his revenge, returning Ilyana’s blow by cracking her shoulder with his morningstar. I immediately tried to heal her, as she was still quite vulnerable and facing our foes head-on. “RISE!” I shouted, but it wasn’t as effective as I hoped. It is fortunate that Zentauri was able to step in, finishing off the bugbear with a gruesome armored punch through its chest that showered everyone nearby in blood. The pirate ship began to sail away, and Zenny called after them, “Smart move!” Vander, however, harbors no mercy for cowards. He took careful aim and his last arrow flew straight into a pirate heart as the ship disappeared from view. Perhaps by reflecting on these recent events and refocusing my faith, I will be better prepared for the next time. With all that has happened already, I feel there is much more healing to come. I will not be shocked to see someone--possibly Ilyana--at death’s door before long. I shall be ready. Noting Ilyana’s distress at being covered in blood (her own and the resulting gore from Zenny’s fatal punch), I summoned an orb of seawater from the side of the ship to rinse her. Varou looked horrified at the globe hovering above, I am not sure why he was not glad of the assistance, but he had already begun magically removing every trace of blood from our companion and I let the water drop overboard. He clearly had the right of it. THE SEA DRAGON'S FATE The sailors directed us below deck so they could continue navigating through the thickening fog and howling winds. Ominous weather, indeed. For all his unease about the ship in general, Varou fared the best as we dodged loose supplies and swaying hammocks to get situated. I pulled out my now-lost journal and began to recount the recent battle. It was approaching dawn, I think, when I heard--and felt--a huge crash. The whole ship seemed to rise up and then began to fall. My hammock gently arched toward the cabin ceiling. For a moment, everything seemed weightless and eerily silent. And then there was an ear-splitting crack. The hull split open, the ship’s halves fell into the sea, and the water overtook us. I tried to swim up, but however I turned I seemed to be going sideways. The drowning ship created a strong current that pulled at me. I owe my breath to Zentauri, who deftly took my arm and dragged me to the surface. She did what she could for others, but only the first mate and the group described above seem to have survived the ordeal. The fog has lifted today, and the summer heat is not welcome. We find ourselves on a small island, connected to another by a few rough planks. It is the best anyone can manage. We are stranded with only what supplies we had on our persons, and perhaps whatever we can salvage from the nearby wreckage. We will need a means of escape, but the question remains--was it merely a storm that sent the Sea Dragon to her watery grave, or was it something else?
  4. Sanaaaaaaaa! You better be there!!!!!
  5. I currently have NO PLANS that day so can do pretty much any time. BUT if we do this before 8:30 eastern time, my 7-year-old will 100% insist on participating. I definitely want to visit and can host as well!
  6. @sojourner202 I would like to be looped in about one-shots and guest appearance opportunities. I can’t commit to Sundays but every now and then I can likely drop in!
  7. I am looking at playing a cleric of some type. Exact route will depend on the group/other supports, etc!
  8. I wouldn’t let inexperience worry you. I was brand new to D&D for our last campaign (several of us were, actually), and everybody is really cool about it.
  9. I will play! 8:30-11:30 is about the only time slot I can consistently be around for, so ya got me!
  10. I’m willing to host and visit!
  11. Creating channels is easy, but they might have a limit to what they want to add to avoid too much clutter. idk--we'll see! BTW, I am not sure if I'll be playing on Sunday, with it being Valentine's Day. Might have a movie night or something.
  12. @Phoenix could decide on this. I do think it would be helpful for planning and chatting. Not to mention, more folks might join in if they see a channel on discord for it.
  13. Everywhere I looked, barbarians!! I am definitely down to play most Sundays. That was really fun. I'm good with one-shots, we could possibly start in a later era or something... I haven't tried that before. You know, give the Barbarians boats and gunpowder from the get-go.
  14. So, around 6 eastern tomorrow? I can do that! @Cowboy I didn't mean to tag cowboy but my phone won't let me delete it... Oops!
  15. I love cooperative mode! I haven't played in ages, so set the bar really low. Saturday evening or Sunday working around PvP time is fine for me (but still bedtime at 11:30 or I turn into a pumpkin).
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