Wednesday, July 7, 2021

Duendewood: The Battles on the Waves

We’re on the boat on our way back to Annun, and we’re under attack. There are two dire sharks in front of the boat, and something huge and skeletal under the boat. “Brace yourselves!” cries Ruin, as the skeletal thing moves towards the bottom of the boat. Captain Halmar is calling instructions to the crew. The sharks appear to be acting in a coordinated fashion to redirect the boat. 

Tentacles pop out of the water. 

One of the arms grabs Azrael, inflicting some negative levels on him. Ruin hacks one of the arms off. Martini casts False Life on herself. Grand Elder Keishara drops a flame strike on the vampiric kraken’s head, injuring it somewhat. Eva reassumes her dragon form and takes to the air. Azrael uses Dimension Door to escape the tentacle, and thus frustrates a vampiric dire shark that was moving in for a snack. 

The Kraken then grabs Ruin, inflicting negative levels on him. Geddy and Martini both turn invisible, and Keishara drops another flame strike on the Kraken’s head. Ruin tries to Dimension Door out but fails. One of the sharks promptly dominates him and he starts dog paddling towards its mouth. Another sailor gets dominated and dives into the second shark’s mouth. 

Invisible Geddy drops Cure Serious Wounds on the vampire kraken’s head, becoming visible in the process. Martini makes use of her slippers of spider climb and heads straight up the mast, then moves down to try to retrieve Ruin. Eva drops another flame breath attack on one of the dire sharks. 

Azrael finishes the vampire kraken with Disintegrate. Martini Water Walks over to Ruin and Dimension Doors him back into the boat and drops the bar across the door. Azrael keeps using empowered Scorching Rays on one of the sharks. We pound on the sharks a bit more, and they finally give up and swim off. 

So at this point we need Restoration for both Ruin and Azrael, and there’s only one way to get it: from Sascha/Kroni. Geddy goes to Kroni, who’s shouting threats and epithets, Dominates him, and sends him into quiescence. Sascha, temporarily back in charge, takes time to rest and pray for spells. 

We rest. 

The next morning is the Second of May, and Sascha is ready to cure Azrael. The next day he’s able to restore Ruin. So we’re back at full strength a couple of days later when we realize that we’re being pursued by another ship that’s closing on us. It… doesn’t have sails, and it’s moving faster than we are. It also has to be after us; there’s nothing else on the water, and it’s not being coy about heading directly towards us. 

We go ahead and cast Death Ward on everybody and drop some other prep spells. Geddy and Eva take to the air, Geddy on his Ebony Fly and Eva in dragon form; they use Invisibility Sphere to vanish. 

A dragon leaps off the enemy boat and comes flying towards us, though not at full speed; it seems to be hanging back. Geddy and Eva are looking to see how the boat is propelled but can't tell. It seems to be some sort of magic.

Four Blasphemes teleport over to our boat. Keishara drops Flame Strike on them. The enemy dragon “Drak” comes tearing over towards us. The blasphemes rip apart four of the sailors, and the others flee towards the back. 

Drak flies closer and throws a fireball at those of us on the poop deck. The sailors who had retreated back here get immolated. Ruin attempts to Dimension Door onto Drak, and succeeds, thoroughly distracting the dragon. 

Martini grabs Captain Halmar and the First Mate, and Dimension Doors them down under the decks. She grabs Sascha’s equipment and dumps it out, then opens his cage. “We need your help!”

Azrael, meanwhile, is high in the air and uses an empowered Scorching Ray on one of the Blasphemes, which does a ridiculous amount of damage but doesn’t actually kill it. Geddy keeps moving towards the enemy boat. 

Drak now has an elf on his back. He tries to shake Ruin off, and mostly succeeds; but Ruin catches a claw and starts climbing back up. Azrael drops an empowered Fireball on the Blasphemes, wiping out the wounded one and injuring the others. 

Sascha is now out and pulling on his armor while the others help. Eva gets into position beside the enemy boat as Geddy continues approaching. 

Geddy casts Rainbow Pattern and becomes visible, but fascinates all but one of the enemy wizards and warriors on the foredeck of the EvilBoat. 

Up in the air, Drak tries to bite Ruin but fails. And begins flying higher. Much higher. “All right, you want to fly, sub-creature???”

The Blasphemes start scuttling around the deck, looking for living creatures. They’re still close enough together that Azrael can drop a fireball, so he does. Down in the hold, Martini turns Captain Halmar invisible. 

On the other ship, Kaz steps into a pool that’s been set up on the deck; a cloud comes overhead, and he hits Geddy with a lightning bolt. There are also some wizards on the poop deck of EvilShip, and they send a bunch of magic missiles at Geddy. Eva, meanwhile, scorches the foredeck and immolates almost everybody there, and even tags the Kaz for some fire damage; a Mirror Image springs into existence for him. The one remaining barbarian shoots an arrow at Geddy, who collapses and falls off the ebony fly and into the water. From the rear deck, two troopers turn magical ballistae to fire Acid Arrows at the young dragon. 

Drak is still heading up into the sky, intent on dropping Ruin from as high up as possible... 

Ruin Dimension Doors back down to the poop deck of our boat, leaving Drak way up in the air by himself. 

The Kaz tags Eva with a Ray of Enfeeblement, but she breathes fire again and kills him and another guy on the foredeck. The ballistae hit her again, but she moves down next to where Geddy fell. 

Drak realizes that Ruin is gone, and dives towards the boat, aiming for Azrael. 

Ruin silvers his blade and moves after the Blasphemes. Martini and the others have finished getting Sascha armored just as the Blasphemes find their way down into the hold; she tumbles around behind him. Then she make Keishara invisible. 

Azrael looks up and sees Drak on the way down, tries to hit him with a quickened Ray of Enfeeblement but fails, and uses Dimension Door to get over to the other boat… where he promptly gets hit by all the magic missiles in the whole world, which is not quite enough to kill him. 

Eva plucks Geddy from the water and flies him back over to the other boat, taking a couple of more hits from the Ballistae on the way. 

Azrael drops Cloudkill on the front half of the boat, and drops down under the bow to use the boat for cover. (He's flying; he's been flying ever since the battle started.)

Ruin comes in behind the Blasphemes and tries to attack, but slips and instead throws his sword at Sasha. Sascha smites one of the Blasphemes and takes it out, then turns and smites the second one and continues attacking it. 

Eva manages to heal Geddy back to consciousness, and he makes the two them invisible again. 

Ruin takes himself over beside Sascha and picks his sword back up. (He's still invisible, and has been since just before he teleported onto Drak; Martini took care of it for him.)

Azrael’s Cloudkill is making its way across EvilBoat, tearing up the enemy forces. 

Drak, meanwhile, tries to pilot our boat and fails, sending us veering off in a random direction. Keishara, meanwhile, is an invisible bird who’s summoned a lightning storm and is dropping lightning bolts onto Evilboat. 

Sascha smites one of the Blasphemes and takes it down, then starts smiting the next one; it goes as well. Ruin returns to visibility beside him: “How do you feel about dragons?” 

Sascha: “Evil dragons?” 

Ruin: “Very.”

Sacha: “I’ve got a few smites left.” 

Ruin: “Then let’s take this thing.”

Eva drops her weakening gas on Drak, who’s still on the poop deck trying to steer our ship. 

Azrael throws Obscuring Mist above his head, where it will sweep back along the deck of evilboat and hide him from view next round. 

At this point, Drak sees Eva and Geddy; he flies up off the deck and tries to hurl a cone of sleep gas back at them. Eva shrugs it off; Geddy passes out. 

Azrael rises up behind his cloud and drops Black Tentacles on the back of the boat, capturing two of the ogre barbarians and the one remaining wizard. Keishara takes a moment to cure Sascha of some of the damage he took. The boat turns abruptly, but everybody manages to keep their balance. 

Eva shakes Geddy awake and breathes her weakening breath on Drak again. Ruin, meanwhile, has charged up behind it and hit it on the tail. Geddy hits Drak with Tasha’s Hideous Laughter, and he collapses to the deck, dragon-laughing helplessly. 

Azrael sinks back down out of the line of sight, leaving the tentacles to do their work. 


Eva puts Geddy down and jumps on top of Drak. “Don’t you hurt uncle Geddy!”


Sasha hits the dragon, and at this point we’re pretty much all just pounding on him. Ruin is carving him up when Martini -- who’s been studying the dragon for the last three rounds -- steps in and assassinates him. 

Over on EvilBoat, one of the wizards miraculously escapes the tentacles, only to stop as Eva the dragon lands on the boat. Then Kasheira hits him with a lightning bolt and he dies. 

The barbarian who had ducked down below decks comes back up and sinks his greataxe into Eva. 

Geddy heads downstairs to get Captain Halmar so we can have someone steering our ship again. The rest of us head over to EvilBoat, and Azrael comes up and blinds the barbarian with Glitterdust… right before Eva burns his face off. Sascha moves over to engage King Charth, the ogre, who moves in to attack him; Kasheira drops a lightning bolt on Charth. Charth bludgeons Sascha pretty thoroughly, but Ruin charges in from the other side and does some damage; Eva moves in as well and bites him. Kasheira drops lighting on his head. Sasha takes a 5-foot step back and lays hands on himself, healing a lot of the damage that Charth did. 

The boats are now just a couple of hundred feet apart, and more or less on a collision course; Captain Halmar finally takes the wheel of our boat again. 

Charth turns and tries to power attack Ruin, hitting… once. Ruin counters, and slays him as Martini finishes killing off the last of the ogres who are still trapped in the tentacles. The battle is over, and while our crew has been slaughtered we now have two boats at our disposal: one a traditional sailing ship, and the other magically-propelled monstrosity that we're absolutely planning to keep. 


We leave Captain Halmar and Grand Elder Kasheira to take our ship to a nearby island where they can recruit a new crew before heading back to Annun; the First Mate, Selussa,  joins us and takes over the steering of our new magical boat, which Ruin has tentatively named the Unwise Decisions. Our plan is still to stop at a point along the coast, then cross overland to where we can ambush the forces of Vecna as they try to bring the Apparatus of Kwalish through the jungle to retrieve the Hand of Vecna from the depths of Mar Dentro. We'll need to do this before the Hierophant Malefar arrives, because he's insanely powerful and he's likely to arrive with powerful lieutenants.

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