Caribdus: Dark Waters

Prologue

The Rebecca, an English built frigate operating out of the British East India Company is hauling lumber from the Free Towns to The Kieran Empire.

The captain, Jonas Abraham is the epitome of a British swashbuckler and handles his crew well. he is assisted by his stern mannered Doreen mate Dahk. The crew like both well enough as they balance each other out and put the crew at ease. The crew themselves get on well though its noticeable that there is a bit of disdain toward Hopper a Kehana slave who is often seen swabbing the deck.

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Hopper Journal Entry 1

As a slave one would expect to come across those who would do me harm, but one would also think that when your boat is sinking and that same slave is trying to repair the ship to stop it from sinking then those people may let him do his job and not try stick a knife in his back. You would think that, unfortunately it seems the Rebecca doesn’t have the brightest crew on board.

So there I am trying to repair a hole in the ship, water freely flowing in, when our first mate tries to stab me in the back. Wait a minute, lets just put this in perspective, he knew I would fix the ship and he waited, not caring about the water gushing on board and then as I was about to start tried to kill me. He may of been first mate but I will defend myself against anyone but he is Doreen and I will punish him, not only for putting the ship in danger but for being stupid.

The first mate had been systematically taking out each of the Kehana slaves and I was the last one. In reality there was no need for me to stay once the other Kehana died, the ships crew had got a bit lazy and didn’t always shackle me so I could of jumped over board at any time but I didn’t. Not sure why to tell the truth but now that the first mate is dead I feel no need to stick around as a slave. We shall see, as of right now we have no ship.

The Rebecca was sinking and that squarely lands on the shoulders of our first mate, Dahk and to some extent to Grug. Whilst Dahk was attacking me Grug and Teran Terik came with supplies to fix the ship. Did I kill Dahk, damn straight I did and where Teran was more concerned about getting the ship fixed, our Red-Man, so called friend, decided to attack me. If he was a bit smarter he would of realized that Dahk was the one behind the killings of the Kehana but that would be too much to ask. Really, he was just looking for any excuse to kill someone, from what I have observed he gets a bit twitchy if he hasn’t had a good brawl. Fortunately for me those two imbeciles aren’t as good as they think. Dahk is dead and Grug missed once and backed off, I suppose he really didn’t care for our first mate after all, his life was good for one lazy swing at his slave killer.

I am with no doubt had those two idiots helped me instead of trying to kill me the Rebecca would still be floating. Instead we are marooned on an island and the Rebecca has been burnt, crew missing. That leaves a handful of us to figure our what happened. Can’t say I care too much, being a slave and all but that is all about to change. If we find the Captain, he has no ship, my days of being a slave are done.

End Journal.

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Episode 1
Maiden Voyage part I

Ella Valham sat in the crows nest overlooking the seas and down at the crew. Next to her was the Kehana slave, Hopper, the last Kehana on ship, the rest had disappeared over the past few months. The captain was down on deck commanding his vessel whilst the others worked away. Pots was filling the sail with the wind needed to continue our journey, a wind magician who is very necessary in an environment like this.

The Rebecca was moving smoothly through the water when it struck something large causing most to loose their balance. Hopper looked down and saw a large shadow move through the water and then disappear. Ella glides down to the deck as the others regain their footing and go to the edge of the ship to look at what happened.

Ethalamandas and Teran Terik lean over the edge to see a gaping hole in the bow and now everyone is on alert. Grug starts to gather equipment to help with the repair effort and the crew start to get busy.

Hek mean while spotted some sharks circling 3 crew members who fell in the water so she decides to jump in. Ella throws down some rope for the crew to climb up whilst the Doreen keeps the sharks busy. The crew overboard got safely on the ship and Hek with the support of Pots, who from on deck provided magical assistance killed all three sharks.

Hopper, now down from the crows nest heads towards the damaged area of the ship below deck, now flooded knee deep in water. He grabs a plank and braces the side of the ship so it doesn’t buckle any further. Dahk, the ships Doreen first mate, who was also there had taken this opportunity to knife the Kehana in the back but missed. When Grug and Teran arrived the two were fighting and it looked like the slave was attacking the first mate. Having none of that Grug also took a swing at Hopper, can’t have slaves attacking the ships crew and especially not killing the first mate. Unfortunately Grug missed and Dahk died. Hopper could not believe that everyone was trying to kill him whilst trying to repair the ship, but it didn’t look good and he knew the Captain would not be happy. In fact he was lucky Grug didn’t kill him on the spot, a punishment suitable for the crime, whether Dahk started it or not a slave just can’t do that kind of thing.

Teran settle things down and Hopper tried to fix things but the damage was too extensive and there was too much water. The ship was going to sink, it was now a question of could we get to land before that happened. As it turned out we managed to get to Torath-Ka, the Red Man savage world.

The Rebecca was now beached and scout parties ventured forth. Pots, Grug, Ella and Hopper headed west and came across and old skiff, one which may offer a way off this island if it can be repaired. To the east Etha, Teran and Hek came across some large foot prints, not human but Yellowback, a large fierce reptile. Teran looked up from the footprint to see three Yellowback’s charging.

Back at the Rebecca the two teams come together, after spotting smoke bellowing from the ship. Etha, Terran and Hek tell of their tale of the yellowbacks and how they were defeated but they have to move on. The crew has been taken, dragged into the jungle and the provisions gone.

It looks like we are stuck here for the moment…

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Hopper Journal Entry 2

My days as a slave are now over. The Rebecca is destroyed and the crew is dead. Those that are left came on board recently so I don’t think I need to worry about them, maybe the Doreen, Hek, we shall see though.

As the day comes to an end I sit on the beach and reflect at the events of the afternoon and realise I still don’t like land. Nothing good comes from being on land and the land creatures who inhabit it are strange and sometimes I just don’t understand.

Today I have seen a tribe of Red Men attack and kidnap our crew and then have some sort of ceremony and sacrifice them into a pit of red water which seems to eat their flesh in the most disgusting of fashion.

I have seen a sharman summon a giant monkey some 20 feet tall who then proceeded to attack us. I have seen giant sea creatures before but this was a first for me.

Our own Red Man, Grug, died today. I have known him for a few months and you know what, I’m not that upset. When you are a slave who was not treated the best it is hard to feel sorrow for those same individuals. On reflection I would say I am happy these events have occurred.

On the upside, I have found a friend in my pet seahawk, Kiki (short name that everyone could pronounce). He held up nicely against the red men. In all honestly I found him more effective than I.

I have repaired the skiff and look to get off this island and head to a port. Since I no longer consider myself a slave why would I stay? Well, it’s a dangerous world out there and some of the people I kind of, well, find interesting. Pots is a strange one but he’s growing on me. Also I’ve never been to Brigandy Bay so I am kind of curious.

I will end this on the same note I started, my days as a slave are over.

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Episode 2
Maiden Voyage - Part II

On the beach of Torath-Ka the surviving members of the Rebecca plan their next move. Hopper curious about the footprints takes off and heads into the jungle, wanting to stay together the others follow. Hek and Ethalamandasstay behind on the shore to keep an eye out and guard the skiff.

It’s tough going through the jungle and together the team manage to make good time and eventually hear some chanting. The jungle stops and they come across a well traveled path, something they are thankful for. Along the way they spot some ruins just off to the side and once again Hopper takes a detour. Everyone has a good look yet Pots and Hopper find it very interesting and are reluctant to leave but there really isn’t much to it.

The path eventually opens up to show a large raised platform. In the middle is a red crimson pool of tar, bubbling away and overlooking it on the far side is a statue of a monkey. Looking from within the safety of the jungle the group see 12 Red Men surrounding the six remaining crew members whilst a shaman continues his chant. Looking like something bad was going to happen, more than likely some form of sacrifice, the group comes to the conclusion that they must attack and what better way than a direct assault. Take them by surprise and we have the range on them, although Pots does mention he needs some rest before he can cast to many spells, he thinks he has one more left in him. Without a healer in Etha and Hek we are two down and with a tired Pots the odds are against us.

Teran heads in first and fires an arrow at the closest enemy, it misses. Ella follows closely with her rifle and takes out the first Red Man. The Red Men are now fully aware of the group and charge armed only with spears and clubs. Ella and Teran fend off the first few quite effectively allowing the others to get up onto the platform.

The shaman who is still chanting starts to kick in the crew members one at a time. With all that is going on it turns out that we will save no one, we are just too far away. The crimson tar acts like acid and eats the flesh off each victim. With everything that is going on the shaman summons a 20 foot Yeowri who rises from the pool.

Grug has now taken from position and fending off the attack in hand to hand. Potts uses all his might to cast two bolts at the shaman, wounding him slightly, then drawing his pistols readies himself for combat. Ella Valham and Teran Terik continue to take out Red Men at range with Grug bearing the brunt of the attack whilst Pots is holding the other side.

The ape charges and strikes at Grug and wounds him quite badly. Grug tries to fight back but the odds are too overwhelming. The ape sweeps all around him, annoyed at being hit by, well everyone. Grug goes down and as it happens one of the Red Men gets knocked into the tar pit. Potts and Hopper defend the rear, with help from Kiki, Hoppers seahawk, when Pots got a boost of energy and started firing bolts again. No idea where he found this new lease of energy but we were glad he did. We are still unsure if he just forgot he could do that or what happened, he is a strange creature but thankful he found that burst when he did.

The shaman saw that things were not going well, the Red Men were almost all dead and those that were alive were running away. The ape is getting hit by everyone and will not last. He opens a secret door in the statue and disappears, something Teran notices.

In the end all of our crew that we came to rescue died as well as Grug and as much as we looked we could not find the entrance to the statue where the shaman disappeared. We headed back to the shore and Hopper fixed the skiff over the next 4 hours. Teran got some Yellowback meat enough for a trip to Brigandy Bay.

We set sail.

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Hopper Journal Entry 3

It was seven days on a skiff with a Doreen. From what I’ve seen so far she has kept to herself for the most part which is good. I had never seen a Scurillian before and now I share a small boat with two, I must say though this new member, Equius has so far proved to be annoying and I would just as soon through her overboard. Mind you I am really keen on seeing this sea creature that is sinking boats, it must be big and powerful, that is two boats now in the space of a few days.

I have taken this opportunity to swim freely in the ocean. Since the destruction of the Rebecca and my status of being a slave being lifted, even if I did that myself, swimming in the ocean feels refreshing and free. It was a moment of clarity when I caught my own dinner, I did it for no other reason than the thrill of fishing, at that moment I realised that my days of belonging to someone were over.

Brigandy Bay is what I expected for a land based dwelling and I must say that I am very glad we have found work on a ship so quickly, I just don’t understand how they live on land for such a long periods.

Potts is very keen on us going to the Teeth to see this arch mage who apparently is a master of all the elements and I have never seen one of these mages so I would be very curious to get a glimpse of something so rare. Before that can happen though we need to get ourselves a ship and I am hoping that this new Captain will keep her promise.

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Episode 3
Maiden Voyage Pt III

It is going to be seven days to Brigandy Bay in a small skiff with limited supplies, seven days in cramped conditions with a small crew and no defences. Despite the dire circumstances we set sail with Pots filling the sail, enhancing our speed in the hope of shaving some time off the journey, taking a course using the seas currents to our advantage. Six hours in we spot a dark area in the seas ahead and change heading for an intercept course. As we get closer we find a ship wrecked, [[The Layla’s Pride]] and as it turns out had the same issues as the Rebecca, all apart from the burning bit and giant ape that is.

The lone survivor, a self important Scurillian, Equais is taken on board. She was measuring the water depth and has many maps as she has been surveying the world. From her estimates the water is continuing to rise which is more of a concern for the land dwellers. With another body on board it is now a very tight fit and Equais seems very, well bossy and she even starts throwing some of the yellowback meat overboard as it was smelly and we shouldn’t eat it. I don’t think anyone would disagree that it was smelly and that we would rather eat something else but we had no choice.

The days slowly went by with the water dwellers taking time to swim in the ocean and get off the boat to stretch, we survived a storm and Hopper went fishing as a giant school of tuna swam by. Towards the end of day five we spot a clipper circling the area and in our wisdom we head towards them. After a brief conversation with the captain the clipper sailed away and we realised that the pirates we just encountered deemed us too small a fish to even bother plundering. We must be in a bad state.

Half way through day seven we arrived in Brigandy Bay, a free town, the only free town which was setup by the pirates. We all disembark the skiff and head for the nicest tavern in town, The Black Queen, we each get a room so we can have some space, followed by some food and drinks. Teran unfortunately does not get a room, it seems that Edda Elamis an old flame works at the tavern and things did not end well. It seems that there are a few different stories on the way it ended and Teran’s version is not the one that his one-time friend Rogar Reddergar and her new love told her. Teran Terik though has taken some solace in that she now has fallen so low as to work in an establishment like this that on the surface he doesn’t seem to care.

Ella Valham decides to go for a walk outside in the search of some open space and just outside the door is Prickly Pete, an obnoxious, womanising old man. After knocking back his advances Ella heads back indoors and Pete follows. A young human named, Lewis Robertson, watches as Pete follows Ella and as Pete starts to climb the stairs he grabs Pete and gets a drinking game going in the disguise of a previous meeting where Pete owed him some money. In the end Pete was so drunk that he passed out and then thrown out of the Tavern. Ella who was watching from the top of the stairs came down to thank Lewis for helping her out.

The next day, on a rumour, we head down to the docks and find ourselves a job on the Witches Brew and make a deal with the Captain Bryn Brokar to work for food and lodging in exchange for any working ship we can find. Now we have a job we just need to get ourselves a ship so we can head towards The Teeth where there is apparently an arch mage, something Pots is very keen on.

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An Explosive Situation

The new crew members of the fine ship Witches Brew meet their fellow shipmates:

  • Grurg, a Grael
  • First Mate Darin Dedroni, a Masaquani
  • the ship’s cook, Pepper Paraxis, also a Masaquani
  • Hogurd, an Atani
  • Bryn Brokar, the intrepid captain

Before departing Teran Terik attempts to apologize to Edda Elamis at the tavern but makes a complete arse of it. Terse words are exchanged, and Rogar Reddergar makes an appearance to add insult to injury. Both blame Teran for their exile.

Meanwhile Hopper scavenged in the harbor and amongst the stinking detritus found some silver coins.

Shortly thereafter the Witches Brew sets sail with the tide, making for the Flotsam and, hopefully, fortune and glory (and a ship!).

The novelty of being at sea again quickly wears off and a routine of utter boredom quickly settles in.

On Day 9 – excitement as a pillar of smoke is spotted on the horizon! As the Witches Brew sneaks closer, the smoke is discovered to be from a burning ship which is crawling with strange fire-folk, which Hopper identifies as ‘Salamanders’, creatures from the depths of the Kehana Flumes.

The bold band of adventurers boards the ship, ready for anything, and are slightly disappointed to find themselves ignored by the Salamanders, who seem more intent on setting things alight. As the party explores the ship things quickly turn sour, however, as Lewis Robertson attempts to prevent a Salamander from setting a barrel of gunpowder aflame. He drives his blade home, but is shocked when the rapier melts to the pommel!

Fleeing, Lewis shouts a warning to the others who manage to jump overboard before the ships magazines go up, obliterating the vessel!

Returning to the Witches Brew, Lewis replaces with his lost blade with a rusty rapier, which all agree is perhaps The Worst Weapon ever.

On Day 13 the crew encounters a Hoy named El Gato Del Mar, which has a broken mast and is adrift, seemingly deserted. Boarding, the heroes find an ominous pool of blood on deck and drag marks to the port side of the vessel.

Hek leaps into the water, intent on investigating – and all hell breaks loose! The ship is under attack by a myriad of tentacles and bipedal sea creatures – Octopons! Furious battle is waged, with Lewis standing against a giant monster in defense of Hek.

Pots hurls powerful magic at the creature and the battle (and a ship!) is won – but is it at the cost of Lewis’s life?

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Hopper Journal Entry 4

Swimming around Brigandy Bay was kind of disgusting, with bottles and all sorts of junk. The land dwellers just don’t treat the ocean with respect and they wonder why the ocean is rising, it’s payback.

My first venture out salvaging ship and treasure so far has been rather slow. Many days not finding anything really does get to you after a while yet we did find two ships across 15 days or so.

The first was on fire and to my enjoyment I got to see a Salamander for the first time. They were burning everything in site and it eventually got to dangerous and we had to get off the ship before it was completely burnt. As it turns out it is the second ship we have been around that has had that problem, maybe the Doreen is bad luck.

I remember hearing stories of the fire Salamander’s as a kid and always wanted to see one although I probably should of followed them into the water as to see them in their natural environment would have been something. Oh well maybe we shall come across them again.

The second ship was in better shape but once again things didn’t quite go as expected. More sea creatures decided they also liked this ship and attacked us. This time they were some octopus type of creature, maybe 12 of them and one big mother. I am still alive to write this so suffice to say we killed them all even if some of our crew took a beating.

We are going to have to head back to Brigandy Bay shortly and hopefully it will be in this new ship we have found. The land dwellers need supplies and can’t survive at sea for very long so they need to continuously go back home to restock, if only they knew how to live off the ocean it would be so much easier.

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Hopper Journal Entry 5

I am now back at Brigandy Bay after a month or so at sea and I enjoyed every minute of it. The last week or so was rather interesting and I saw some things I had never seen before including an Englishman and a giant whirlpool.

Our deal with the captain of the Witches Brew was fulfilled and with much luck we found a salvageable ship rather quickly, with the only problem being a busted mask and yes I know that is a major flaw but the ship itself is just what we needed. We attached a rope to the Witches Brew and were towed back for the rest of our journey. Me, Ella and the human Lewis stayed on board to man my new ship whilst as agreed Potts stayed on the Witches Brew.

Going back a few days, Lewis survived his near fatal encounter with the giant octopus creature which is good news, he seems quite capable even if he does smell funny, must be a human thing I guess.

Anyway where was I, ahhh, that right, the whirlpool, we came across a giant whirlpool and it was quite a sight to behold, even had an English ship in there being tethered to a rock by a single rope. The crew of the Witches Brew pulled the ship out of danger thanks to Ella flying a rope over there and befriended the English Captain. All in all it was a day of firsts for me.

Speaking of firsts, I forgot about the seaweed creatures. The night before the whirlpool we sailed through some thick seaweed, I should of known something would happen. I was at the helm when these seaweed creatures boarded, we did repel them even if it was difficult. They did not smell pleasant at all and if I wasn’t so scared I think I would of vomited. Lewis, Ella and me killed them all even if I was bloody useless, they were tough.

Anyway that was our trip and now we are back on land again and have made a deal to sell our small skiff to get a mast for our larger, newly acquired vessel. We shall see how things unfold but I feel that I shall be seeing many new wonders over the coming months.

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