Mol – Rhaan 9th, 998 YK
Monday – September 9th, 998 YK
You quickly make your way back to the underground harbor. The Laughing Lady floats gently in the cavern waterway. The unloading is completed, and now only a single gangplank connects the ship to the dock. Groups of dwarves patrol the cavern, a hulking ogre stands near another dwarf who you can only assume must be Warden Figlamn. Two massive ballistae, one at each end of the cavern, point ominously toward the waterway, though the siege weapons currently have no one at their controls.
The group of newly armed prisoners bursts onto the docks from a Prison entrances on the south wall. Having been captured and enslaved for so long, their resulting enthusiasm at a chance for escape proves to be the perfect distraction for you.
“Graax, Khazâd dur gundu!” shouts Figlamn as he raises his axe and charges the escaping prisoners.
Hearing the clamor of battle dockside you prepare to slip into the chamber via the eastern entrance, near the bow spirit of the Laughing Lady. Kirin leaves the corridor first. He spies only a few House Kundarak guards nearby the ship and motions for Morthos to follow.
As silent as the two of them are, the guards are hard pressed not to notice when Sejik and the heavily armored Kohl emerge from the hall. One of the dwarves shouts a short alarm in his gravelly native tongue and moves forward to engage you. Kohl and Sejik, realize their stealthy exit has been compromised and ready themselves for the attack.
Despite the alarm, the bulk of the dockside guards continue to assist Warden Figlamn in thwarting the freed prisoner’s valiant attempt to force their way onto the docks. Figlamn and his subordinate guards and the hulking Ogre make short work of any who actually manage to break free of the doorway.
Miklos is next to emerge from the east doorway. However, he is quickly outpaced by the large summoned scorpion under his control. The scorpion, mid run, lashes its barbed tail at one of the approaching guards. As the scorpion’s victim begins to spasm and froth at the mouth, Miklos runs past letting loose a swarm of beetles with a snap of his hands. Several of the nearby guards ineffectually swat at the cloud of insects, but quickly succumb to their bites and stings.
Taveah is last to emerge and must ensure Jukkeam gets to the boat safely. She wastes no time and grabs the boy about the waist, throws him over her shoulder, and bolts for the ship as fast as she can.
It’s then when you notice the large dockside ballista slowly rotate in your direction, The ballista is adorned with stylized armor plating in the form of a dragon. No crew stands at its controls but as it’s wings spread wide a cascading build up of electricity plays across the engraved plates as it begins to fire. An arc of electric fire crackles through the air.
As Kirin nears the wooden pier running alongside the ship, he is suddenly blasted off his feet with a loud thunderbolt-like crack. Morthos and Miklos, seeing the blackened scorch mark now adorning the front of Kirin’s leather jerkin. They each turn to find the source of the attack and realize the dragon ballista is pointed in their direction. The two steal a look at each other with some concern.
“It must be magically controlled,” exclaims Miklos momentarily fascinated by the lethal device.
“We need to stop it!” replies Morthos.
The second ballista on the far side of the chamber takes aim on the Laughing Lady. Fire erupts on the ship!
“Take down that blasted ballista before the Lady burns!” shouts Captain Damog as his crew frantically fight the flames.
Miklos overhears the captain’s yell. “I think I can do better than that,” says Miklos ”but . . . I’ll need a hand.” A mischievous twinkle can be seen in his eyes as he turns towards the tiefling. Morthos warily eyes the Ballista noticing how much closer it is to the battle raging on the other docks.
“I just know I’m going to regret this,” he mutters to himself and follows Miklos towards the enchanted siege engine.
Taveah reaches the end of the pier and takes a giant leap to land aboard ship with Jukkeam still over her shoulder. She quickly places him on his own two feet and races to the starboard side. She draws her bow and takes aim at the guards still harrying her friends.
Kirin struggles to his feet, ripe with the smell of ozone, and decides his best plan of action is to get on the boat as quickly as he can. Following Taveah’s example, Kirin bolts along the wooden pier and athletically leaps up to land deftly on the front railing of the Laughing Lady.
The ship continues to be assailed by the second ballista.
Seeing Kirin get on board, Kohl and Sejik decide it’s their turn. As they begin their run across the dock to the short pier it suddenly becomes clear that something is happening on the ship. The main and front sails grow taut in their riggings and a loud creaking can be heard as the Laughing Lady starts to slowly back out of her slip. Sejik and Kohl look to each other.
“How’s your long jump Kohl?” says Sejik with a grin.
“Jump… me?” says Kohl incredulously while he kicks a guard who had run forward to try and bar their way. Both men leave the sprawling dwarf and muster their best sprints toward the boat. As the two reach the pier itself, Kohl realizes that they are not going to make it in time. He reaches out and grabs hold of the quickly receding bow spirit, swinging his legs around it.
Looking back, he sees Sejik running and yells “Grab hold Sejik. I’ll pull you aboard."
“It’s no good Kohl,” replies the priest as he reaches the end of the pier, “it’s too far.”
Meanwhile, Miklos wades his way towards the dragon ballista with minimal interference. He is fascinated at the arcane workings invested into the machine. Morthos is right behind him to keep any guards from interfering with the gnome’s work.
Figlamn, in the midst of battle with the prisoners, spots the gnome’s tinkering. “Graax, morn gnurn!”
”I’ve almost got it,” says Miklos, his faced creased with concentration.
”You better hurry. We’re about to have a very big problem,” growls Morthos.
”Got it!” cries Miklos. The ballista starts to turn towards Figlamn and the ring of guards enmeshed in battle with the remaining prisoners. Looking up from his work and past Morthos, Miklos sees the hulking Graax closing in. The ogre swings a massive flail overhead.
Taveah spies her allies’ predicaments. ”Stop your ship Captain, were not yet all aboard.” she orders.
Damog Hellscurvy turns from giving orders to his crew and replies, “Were taking fire from the lightning spitter. We’ll be sunk if she takes anymore damage. We must go now!”
Taveah takes stock of the situation and notices that several fires have broken out across the deck of the ship. Crew members rush back and forth with buckets doing their best to extinguish the small blazes before they get out of control.
”You’ll stop this ship long enough for our remaining companions to board Captain. I won’t take no for an answer,” the lithe Kael says quite calmly drawing her bow on the Captain.
Damog steps aback, hands in the air. ”Since ye put it that way lassy, I can’t see reason t’ argue.”
The captain barks more orders and the ship lurches forward. “You’d best tell your friends to hurry! We are running out of time.”
Kohl still clutching to the bow spirit senses the change in the ships direction. Two Kundarak guards also see the change and course and rush Kohl. The first leaps from the dock and clutches onto the spirit. The second also makes the attempt but stumbles and falls into the see his plate armor dragging him to his death below the surface.
Kohl furiously defends himself, but is knocked sideways from the dwarfs attack. Kohl spills off the spirit, but not before he grabs hold of the dwarf’s leg, ensuring they both fall. The ship’s change in direction provides fortune as they both crash back onto the docks. Kohl shoves is gauntlet into the dwarf’s teeth shattering his jaw. The dwarf howls in pain. Kohl jumps to his feet and kicks the dwarf into the sea.
Sejik, not far smiles. “Welcome back friend!”
From the bow railing Kirin sends a bolt of crimson into a group of House Kundarak guards and watches as the bolt ricochets from dwarf to dwarf, causing noticeable pain and injury to each in turn.
”You better fire this damn thing at that approaching behemoth Miklos or I’ll skin you myself,” growls Morthos.
A sizzling sounds and a tracery of blue energy builds in the maw of the metallic dragon head at the front of the ballista. The smell of ozone permeates the air and with an audible bang, a bolt of jagged light erupts from the device and into Graax. It staggers back, obviously surprised but recovers and bellows its displeasure.
”Great, all we did was make it angry,” says Morthos, sarcasm dripping from every word.
Graax, enraged from the attack, spins in a full circle, his flail held out like a counterweight. On his second spin, Graax quickly changes his footing and reaches out with the flail, centrifugal forces propelling it to a blinding speed. Morthos and Miklos have nowhere to retreat from the ferocious incoming blow. The club hits Morthos first and he crumples under the force. Miklos, standing slightly further back than the tiefling is struck as well and propelled over the stony edge of the dock. A distinct splash can be heard as he hits the water below.
Graax roars in triumph and whirls his flail to finish off the unconscious Morthos. Seeing his friend in dire straights, Kirin leans out from the railing of the ship, one hand holding a sail rope the other pointing his longsword at Graax. A broad scintillating light shoots forth from the blade and erupts to encompass the ogre. The light grows to a brilliant almost blinding level and then seems to shrink to the size of a pinprick, taking the ogre with it. With a pop, the light explodes back out and Miklos, wet and sputtering, lands on the dock where the ogre stood moments before.
Sejik and Kohl round the ballista. With no time to heal their fallen allies, Sekjik and Kohl grab them and each throw one of them over their shoulders. They quickly rush to the starboard side of this ship, which finally slows to a stop. They throw a wooden gang plank down to the dock. A few more feet and there would have no longer been a dock left to board from.
They hurry onto the ship, the tiefling and gnome obviously still suffering from the powerful blows they received. With everyone now onboard, Damog bellows another command and the ship begins to pull back from the dock to start its voyage away from Cape Far and Dreadhold Prison.