Sea of Madness

From the Journal of Cassius Wolfslayer, Book Two: Page 3

We have been through a lot in the last couple of weeks. We escaped Baba Yaga’s hut. We found the room where the hut could be controlled from and Nod used it to bring us back to the mortal realm. Our ship was there, fully restored, but missing the Meloran artifacts we had collected.

The ship was empty, but in good repair, so we sailed it to Lurd where we hired a new crew. We were able to find one of our old crew-mates, who pointed us in the direction of Sam. Sam was working as an apprentice of sorts for a scholar.

With our crew waiting for us at the ship, we trekked to the tower where we found Sam. He was aiding in the research on an old arcane book; a book that had fallen into the hands of some dark elves deep in the Underdark. In order for Sam to be freed of his service, we needed to get the book.

Once again we found ourselves in the Underdark battling drow and other terrible monsters. After a couple of harrowing fights, we found ourselves up against the leader of that particularly unwelcoming group. She was a haughty bitch, standing high above us on a tall platform. She sent her minions after us: spiders and a fire elemental. We destroyed them and she quickly followed them to oblivion. With the book in hand we returned to the tower and Sam was finally back with us.

Next, we learned of Linny’s whereabouts. Turns out he was in prison (can’t say we were surprised). He was in some small, out-of-the-way town in the country of Connery. With the help of a teleportation ritual, we were in Connery on Linny’s trail.

The prison was obscenely devious, like nothing I’ve ever seen or read about. It’s built in an old wizard’s tower. We spent several days carefully trying to learn about the place. We knew it was a favorite for the people of Connery to imprison pirates. It sat on a cliff, linked to the mainland only by a single bridge.

During the time we spent trying to learn more we tried concocting various plans, and there was some disagreement among the group with how to proceed. While I haven’t always seen eye-to-eye with him, Nod and I were in agreement with how we wanted to proceed on this issue. Suldren may be the captain, but I was apprehensive about following his course of action, as it seemed to put me at too much risk. In our many battles, I’ve always done my best to avoid being caught in the fray, rather, I skirt around it. My ability to stay mobile is one of my greatest advantages, and I am starkly aware of it. Going into that tower under the guise of a court official felt like walking into a trap. It felt like those walls would close up around me. I know my apprehension is in part a lingering effect of our internment in the Feywild. I’ve never felt so vulnerable, so trapped, as when I was caught there. It was suffocating. I couldn’t even scream out in pain. I didn’t want to walk into that prison.

The court official that stayed in town while we were there, I’m quite certain he’s a vampire. His visage and his behavior made me suspicious of this, but then when Nod tried to follow him he moved with supernatural speed and agility. We’re leaving Connery, so I don’t expect to see him again, but stranger things have happened. I’ll have to remember his face.

Nod and I decided on using animal messenger rituals and my own ability to turn into a swarm of bats to learn of Linny’s location in the tower. We succeeded, but there was a rub. Linny, and everyone else in the tower, was invisible. It would seem that they salvaged some of the old wizard’s magic when renovating the place into a prison.

Nod and I were able to manufacture some stone-eater acid. That, along with Nod’s mantis charm, we packaged into a little gift for Linny. With my ability to transform into bats, and my ability to cling to walls, I was able to get the care-package to Linny through his cell’s window. The tower’s defenses activated, but we were all able to get away. Linny was not looking his best after the mantis was destroyed during the escape attempt and he took a fall, but he lived.

Our next course of action is to get back to the ship and hunt down the artifacts that were stolen from us. I can’t feel them the way I could when they were on the ship. When we attuned ourselves to them we had to “give up” a piece of ourselves. And that’s what it really felt like, it felt like something punctured me inside, and there was this hole there. But when the ritual completed, a new “piece” was placed and I felt complete. Without the artifacts there’s this nagging feeling of being somehow incomplete.

We will find them. We must.

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