While we've been cruising around and smashing smaller boats while waiting for our vampire, Chuck, to recover, Durest has done some thinking. We've been ramming the attacking boats from behind, but the anti-teleportation devices have consistently been in the front.
So, this time we crash into the front of the last of the large boats, where the enemy has apparently been expecting us... to attack from the stern.
"Three-Fang, grab the orb!" yells a very nicely-dressed Solari who was facing the wrong way. Three-Fang is a Bugbear, and presumably either Solari or Solari-adjacent; he's standing in front of the door that we didn't come in.
Chuck moves first, and opens the hatch. He drops out and sends a Lightning Bolt through Three Fang and his two Orc friends. Jenny comes out behind him and finishes the nearest orc, then whips her spiked chain over into Three-Fang, who is both badly damaged and extremely pissed off. Jenny blows a kiss at him.
A priest comes charging down the hallway; Jenny blows him a kiss as well. He drops a Blade Barrier on Jenny and Chuck.
Hatch and Ramikin turn the crab-ship and try to smash the cage with a claw; it takes damage but doesn't immediately collapse.
The remaining orc in the room with us goes into a rage, but he doesn't have ranged weapons. Three-fang is yelling at him to grab the orb and get out.
Three-Fang, raging, pulls out two hand axes and starts trying to attack Jenny. He hits, despite the blade barrier, and does some damage; his nicely-dressed companion, a bard named Farakon the Fantastic, drops Otto's Irresistible Dance on Jenny.
Chuck steps out of the blade barrier, and drops his signature Fireball in the middle of the hallway. This wipes out the archers who were waiting in the side rooms to ambush us (and whom most of us haven't seen yet). The more powerful guys in the hall survive, but standing in the middle of a fireball is never fun.
Jenny, meanwhile, is busy dancing because of that thrice-cursed spell.
There's a big brute of human who's trying to push past Farakon the Fantastic; he slides briefly out of reality and steps directly into the middle of the crab. Durest calls upon the might of Indra and tags him with Destruction; he dies, immediately and irrevocably.
Hatch continues trying to claw the cage with the device in it.
The orc barbarian makes a run for the opening of the boat and pushes past Chuck, then jumps up into the crab. He takes a quick look around and power attacks Hatch... but misses. A second cleric tries to Flame Strike our crab, but fails against its spell resistance.
Farakon the Fantastic disappears. Three-fang attacks Jenny, damaging her, and Chuck attempts to use his vampiric power to Dominate him. Three-fang tries to resist, but is helpless before the force of Chuck's personality.
Jenny, unfortunately, is still dancing. The cleric tries again with Flame Strike, slightly damaging the crab and attempting to immolate Chuck and Jenny. Jenny is damaged; Chuck is barely on his feet.
Durest drops out of the crab and uses Cure Critical on Jenny, restoring a chunk of her hit points. "This one's yours, Hatch," he calls as ducks under the orc barbarian's arm on the way out.
Hatch uses Scorching Ray and drops the orc. Ramikin is very proud of his master.
The remaining cleric casts Magic Circle against Evil, because Chuck is a freakin' vampire. Jenny is still in the blades, but she's done dancing; she gets out of the blades but otherwise doesn't manage anything useful.
Chuck commands Three-fang to attack the cleric; he does. The result is not quite Cleric sashimi, but it's close...
The invisible Bard is still casting things at Jenny; her expression goes briefly blank as something takes hold, but none of us see it.
Chuck drops Touch of Idiocy on the cleric. The cleric attempts to cast Cure Critical Wounds on himself, despite the bugbear who's trying to murder him. He then retreats up the hallway, and the bugbear takes another swipe at him; he hits, hard.
Durest drops a Flame Strike in the hall, hitting everyone there.
Hatch continues smashing at the cage with the crab claw; he's damaging it, but it's still not open. The lesser cleric casts Mass Cure Light for himself and his master, but holds his ground.
This is a mistake for the cleric. Three-fangs advances and lays into him. He falls.
Jenny, meanwhile, attacks Chuck and hits him. She then attacks Three-fang, who survives the experience. The cleric heals his fallen companion.
Durest casts Hold Person on Jenny, and freezes her in place.
The newly restored cleric casts Inflict Critical on Three-Fang, who's still on feet and still under Chuck's control. Three-fang promptly kills him again, and steps forward to engage the other cleric again.
Jenny breaks out of the Hold Person, and attacks the bugbear, injuring both him and the remaining cleric. The cleric, for reasons best known to himself, heals the bugbear (Three-fangs). Then, as if we didn't have enough going on, a rogue tumbles into one of the side rooms and stabs Jenny.
Durest drops an Invisibility Purge, and we find Farakon the Fantastic waiting beside the cage. Hatch grabs him with the crab claw, and Farakon is grappled.
Another rogue tumbles in from the other side, but misses Jenny completely.
Three-fang finally breaks Chuck's hold on him, and turns on Jenny. Jenny attacks him -- she does some damage, but misses at one point and hits Farakon instead. Farakon is very confused by this. Chuck takes a final bit of damage and dissolves into mist form -- he's not indestructible, he just thinks he is -- and flows back towards the crab, our bag of holding, and his coffin inside.
Durest climbs back into the crab and reaches into the Bag of Holding to find Chuck's coffin. "Chuck? You in there?" He casts Slay Living on the vampire, which of course restores him to unlife.
So at this point, Chuck is at 1 HP, Durest and Chuck are both in the crab with Hatch and Ramikin. Farakon is pinned by the crab claw, and Jenny and Three-Fang are engaged in a battle of dominance that has almost nothing to do with which sides they're fighting for. There are two rogues and a cleric still around, but probably not for long.
We'll pick up with that next time, and then close on this party and pick up with our would-be Solari. It's going to be a bit weird playing the good guys...