On Monday, October 21st, Verdis is nearly recovered from his near death experience in the tombs, though Frank is still weakened from the sword blade broken inside him (he noticed it and Matthias was able to heal him before he died, but full restoration will take time). With most of the adventurers not up for a trip and the weather looking beautiful, two decide to make a trip down river from the Vale in search of a rumored ocean to the South:
- Verdis the Prickly (HuS): Level 4 Human Fighter
- Simon (JeA): Level 2 Human Druid
They borrow the Satyr cornucopia from Peter, pack a day of rations each, and set out after an early breakfast. They head to Carrie, where William is happy to ferry them across the lake in thanks for Simon and others saving his reputation earlier in the year. Once William has dropped them off, they set out Southward.
The first day passes uneventfully and they make camp almost 20 miles down river, Simon taking a 5.5 hour watch (sunset to midnight), and then Verdis another (midnight to sunrise). On the second day they finish their rations at breakfast, use the cornucopia for lunch, and travel another 20 miles or so before coming upon an unusual and large (over 150′ long) boat run aground on the river bank where a second river joins the one they have been following. They decide to make camp early and explore the boat in the morning. They finish the cornucopia food protected by Verdis’ preserving bowl against magical rotting apparent on food hanging out of the bowl and Simon does some spear fishing in a turbulent pool created by the grounded boat.
Simon again takes the sunset-midnight watch, smoking the fish. He hears spear fishing after dark in the pool and goes to look, seeing nothing. Returning to the fire, the sound resumes, this time with more of them. He also hears tapping sounds from the boat. Since the watch change is close, he wakes Verdis and they investigate together, eventually seeing what looks like a rock that wasn’t there before in the water near the boat. They decide not to get in the water, but start three more fires along the bank before Simon turns in.
Early in Verdis’ watch, one of the fires goes out in a sizzle of water. When a second goes out, he approaches in time to see a shape like a rock drifting along the shore. When it spurts water and extinguishes the last fire, Verdis returns to the camp fire, not wanting to remain in the dark with the creature. The rest of the night is quiet.
In the morning October 23rd, Simon attempts to use Call Animal to draw the creature(s) out, and while he gets a wolf companion, the creatures do not emerge. They decide to investigate the boat; Verdis swims around to where he can scramble onto the main deck and then helps lift Simon up onto it. With access to a few doors and a hatch, Verdis lifts the hatch to the lower deck with a mighty (18 on 3d6) pull and they see a second hatch and some stairs below. While Verdis struggles to hold the hatch up, Simon used his hatchet to chop away a plush chair inside open door at the front of the boat, using it to prop the hatch open. Simon’s wolf (Fenris) joins them and they scramble down the hatch. They get Verdis’ lantern out and see water halfway down of the downward stairs. A galley surrounds the stairs and they continue down the starboard side where they see some pipes, a hatch, and more of the stones.
Simon calls out in elvish and eye stalks appear. Soon giant crabs are moving toward them, clicking and brandishing pincers and spears. They withdraw quickly and are not pursued, only pressured lightly. Verdis lifts Fenris out through hatch, then climbs up himself before pulling Simon up.
They leave the boat, seeing “Midnight Queen” painted in elvish on the side as they continue to the South. By Noon they are doubting the presence of the sea as they eat the last of their smoked fish for lunch. The decide to continue the rest of the day and head back in the morning and are reward with the sight of the sea around 4PM. On the shore near the river they see a building of stone and approach it, finding it to be a small dome held up with pillars and open to the air. It is overgrown, but Simon makes out the words “A gift to the augers in return for their gifts, a symbol of friendship with the Osprytes.” The words are in elvish, but the last word he doesn’t recognize, doing his best to pronounce it from the spelling. Inside is a shrine and Simon makes out signs of large bird feet walking through the leaves and other detritus around the shrine.
They make camp again near the shrine, awaking without event on the 24th. They sweep the area for signs of civilization and potentially massive birds but quickly decide there is little chance of them being there, given the age of the tracks. They begin a hurried hike back, stopping at the “Midnight Queen” pool to catch enough fish for the two days back to the Vale.
As they are nearing the Vale on the 26th, they come upon a pack of six hungry-looking wolves working their way up river toward the Vale, picking over rocks on the bank for food. They determine that the pack may be a threat to the citizens in Carrie and confront them. The fight leaves them a little damaged, but they triumph and Verdis heals them. With time to spare, they skin the wolves before continuing. They reach the Vale Lake and find William fishing nearby. He picks them up and bring them back to Carrie.
They make it back to Citadel and report to Matthias. They have some questions about the Osprytes and the tool-using crabs and when Satyrs arrive at church the 27th, they grill them for information about both, getting some tidbits.
Simon levels up, strengthening his wolf and gaining the ability to speak to him, learning to swim, learning fire magic, and becoming still more perceptive.