Episode 14 : The Lost Continent
 

Day 96. By dawn the Lucky Maiden is on her way, Rowers take her out of the harbour before sail is set and she begins her passage across the Blood Sea.

During the afternoon the ship is attacked by a large dragon turtle; as Captain Swift organises the defence below decks, the party take the task into their own hands and do battle with it. After a tough fight it is finally killed, much to the relief of the ships crew.

In the evening the party and ships crew celebrate with dragon turtle soup. Most of the party feel more powerful, Moon however feels too poorly to improve much.

Day 97. The ship sails on but by early afternoon a heavy fog rises despite the presence of a gentle breeze moving them forwards. A hasty watch is set up to guard against the fog. Shiloh spots and retrieves a floating bottle that contains a note. The badly damaged note reads on one side:

"You are respectfully invited to attend a great gathering in the North...
forces loyal to the Lord of Bones...
Skills and experience will be of great service...
The usurper, Lothian, and all who stand against...
...Qwes, ruined city."

The other side has hastily scrawled handwriting on it:

"...under siege by undead on floating kelp forest please rescue me big reward".

As the party and crew debate the meaning of the note, the Lucky Maiden runs herself aground on what appears to be a gigantic floating kelp forest. Nearby can be seen the wrecked remains of several other ships. Soon the ship is assailed by the undead remains of crews from the wrecked ships, turned now into Lacedons - they are beaten back despite the palpable evil of the island.

The Lucky Maiden appears to be stuck fast and holed. The Captain estimates that at least a day will be required to fix the hull, however a more serious problem is that the kelp is visibly growing into the ship - slowly tearing it to pieces and affixing it to the island as it has done the other ships.

As the crew work on the lucky Maiden, the party decide to explore the island. Soon they find a reasonably intact ship looming through the fog and go aboard. Inside a cabin they find 800 Steel pieces, a magic stick, and a set of magical full plate armour. The other ships they encounter are found to be too unsafe to board.

Exploring further they encounter a Kobold in a row boat, frantically rowing along a small stream and being chased by several lacedons. When the party rescue him they discover that he is Master Yap, writer of the note that they found. He was on his way to the ruined city of Qwes to join a force that opposes Lothian when his ship ran aground upon this place. He describes himself as a master necromancer, the party find out that he is lawful but evil. They all return to the Lucky Maiden to spend the night.

Day 98. They party explore further toward the centre of the island, here they find a circular wall made of seaweed - it is about 60 feet in diameter and 20 feet high. Grog is persuaded not to chop into it, instead the party airwalk over the top of it. Inside the wall they discover an idyllic clearing with a small grove of trees. At the centre is a single willow tree that is in sculpted into the shape of a woman, the roots of the tree extend out beyond the wall of seaweed. Held by the trees limbs is a perfectly formed human infant, sleeping peacefully. The party fervently wish they had a druid in attendance....

Eventually Grog touches the tree and is instantly filled with memory:

The tree is Migerna, once a druid of long ago who fell in love with a sailor. When her sailor was killed by the sea she begged first her own god, Chislev, and then the dark goddess of the tempest, Zeboim, to return her lover.

Zeboim agreed, on the condition that the first born of their union would be delivered to her in payment. Migerna agreed and her lover was returned.

Years later and a child was born, Zeboim demanded the childís life but was refused - in retribution she once again took the sailor, Migernaís lover, to his death and then came again for the baby.

In desperation Migerna once again begged her goddess Chislev to protect her and her baby girl. This Chislev did (for she had no liking of the schemes of Zeboim) and she transformed Migerna into a Willow tree and set strong wards around her grove - holding her and the baby at peace for all time.

Zeboim was incensed, when the land of Istar finally sank in the cataclysm, Zeboim was able to attack the grove - eventually lifting it to the surface supported on a bed of ravenous kelp and hidden by a persistent fog. Here she wailed to overcome the protective barriers protecting Migerna, all the while drifting on the Blood Sea to ensnare hapless ships - turning their crews into the wandering lacedons.

Zeboim requires the baby, or another willing soul, to be sacrificed to her to satisfy the ancient bargain.

The party discuss their options to help Mirgerna and her baby. As no agreement can be reached they decide to walk around the island, looting a couple of ships as they go. By evening they return to the Lucky Maiden to spend the night.

Day 99. The party wake with several plans in hand. Moon casts a divination, but her god can only inform her that there is no curse on Migerna. Shiloh tries his hand at ship removals using water elementals for muscle. The ship moves fractionally but is then stuck fast. The party return to Migerna's grove.

After more debate Grog slips away and attempts to sacrifice himself to satisfy the demands of Zeboim, but he is stopped by Ralph who doesn't think that is such a good idea. Hildegard also decides to sacrifice himself and walks into the waters surrounding the island, finally disappearing into the surf. Grog goes swimming in search of Hildegard's body but is unable to find any trace. The party return to Migerna's grove.

Here they are able to tell Migerna of Hilegard's sacrifice. With the debt to Zeboim repaid, Migerna is released from her bonds and goes to join her goddess Chislev. Zeboim and Chislev enter into negotiations and decide to return Hildegard, although part of his life will forever remain with Zeboim. Hildegard is tasked to tend and protect Migerna's baby girl, Cinnamon, for the rest of his life. Fortunately Zeboim appears to have kept the part of Hildegard's soul that is evil, now his mortal body radiates only goodness.

The party return to the Lucky Maiden bearing Migerna's baby. The kelp island is beginning to break up and by mid afternoon the ship is floating freely. Captain Swift decides that a side trip to the nearby port of Ogrebond will be necessary to complete the repairs. He sets sail immediately.

Day 100. By mid-afternoon the Lucky Maiden limps into Ogrebond. As repairs commence on the Lucky Maiden, the party seek lodgings at the Horned Prow Alehouse. This inn is one of the few that will happily serve non-ogres and is run by Jameka deRusto, a minotaur ex-pirate. Jameka takes a liking to Grog, who returns the interest with interest (and money). The party learn that slavery is rampant in Ogrebond, there being a huge market for elf slaves - apparently something to do with the troubles in the North.

The party rest for the night, Grog goes missing for the night and gets less rest than the others.

Day 101. The party travel to the lower city to attend the markets. They are warned not to get separated from Moon lest she be mistaken for a runaway slave. Several items are purchased including pearls, braces for the baby, and a lovely platinum nose ring for Jameka.

After a quick lunch in the markets the party set to more shopping when they are interrupted by the sound of fighting from the slave markets. Soon the cry goes up that the slaves are revolting.

Hurrying to the slave markets near the docks, the party are met by a scene of pure chaos as slaves (mostly elves) fight ogres amidst a panicking crowd of onlookers. The party decide to help the slaves in the chaos, quickly they move toward the combat seething around a tall elf named Pelmathenas. The combat rages back and forwards as more groups of ogres and slaves join in, but soon it is clear that the slaves are losing.

Shiloh attempts to confuse the ogres by making slaves, including Pelmathenas, disappear. A band of slave goblins appear and attack all indiscriminately, including the party, other slaves, civilians, and the ogres. Beset on all sides, Hildegard is forced to retreat to the center of the battle. Shiloh casts a couple of fireballs (killing several civilians) before he and the invisible Pelmathenas make a run for the Lucky Maiden. The rest of the party soon follow as the remaining freed slaves make their escape into alleys, hotly pursued by the rising number of ogre guards.

Aboard the Lucky Maiden Captain Swift has already made preparations for a hasty departure. The party provide money for the passage of Pelmathenas and 5 other elves from the city of Ogrebond. They head for the open sea and soon the land is lost to sight.

Day 102. By midday storm clouds can be seen on the horizon and they swiftly overtake the Lucky Maiden. As the storm closes with ship the party and crew spot a huge black shape under the dark clouds. The captain identifies it as Melmanas, an undead whale with a voracious appetite. Attempts are made to turn and to control it, but it seems nothing can stop the whale as it speeds straight towards the side of the Lucky Maiden.

The shout goes up to brace for impact but still the collision with Melmanas is devastating. Many are injured and the Lucky Maiden is stopped dead in the water. Suddenly dark shapes can be seen climbing aboard.

 

 
(c) 2007 Dragonlance Roleplaying Campaign Journal by Chris Burton  
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