The beard had a bright, fiery beard and a bald head, looking rather younger than Gunnar had. The dwarf, Gunnar, stirred a little. “I feel strange,” he mumbled.
“You look strange, too,” I commented.
The other two were suspicious, but after a short time, we became certain that Gunnar was himself. He wrapped himself in his clothing, and we left the prison cell block to speak to the Warden, who seemed rather surprised to see us and even more surprised that Gunnar had changed form. Nonetheless, he paid us (1,589pp paid).
A fair bit richer, we departed the prison, heading for the docks. Shipping was, as we had seen before, was at a standstill due to a bone ship situation being titled the most dangerous thing to have happened on the seas. We agreed to hook onto a caravan heading north to the next port city in order to take a ship from there.
When we found a caravan, we arranged to meet them later in the day and prepared ourselves for the trip, purchasing a wand of Cure Moderate Wounds and several potions of the same to ensure our safety. Darvin had still not returned from his captivity, something that concerned me. But, perhaps it was best for now that he not be suffering more than necessary.
As we wandered through the city, I remembered vaguely some sort of thing happening between Port LeMort and the City of a Thousand Nights. Involving elves. Though I couldn’t remember what. Perhaps in the Emerald hills? It had been some time since I heard the news, and for the life of me, I couldn’t remember more.
I also commented to the others that we should probably investigate the source of our tattoos—when we had completed the quest to save our friend, Darvin.
We joined up with a textiles caravan heading north to the next town and from there they were heading to the capital. They paid us two gold and a silver each to act as caravan guards without food up the coast.
During the trip, we heard a general alarm go up as several peasants came down the road past us, screaming, “They came from the sea; they came from the sea!”
Up ahead, I heard some strange roaring followed by a crack of lightning originating at the ground and several shapes swirling across the earth. Alerting our superiors, we warned them to stay where they were. The eight other caravan guards desired to follow, claiming we were attempting to steal their glory and their money. Instead of allowing them to follow us to what I believed to be certain death, I paid them each a gold piece to protect the caravan while we went on ahead to see what lay beyond.
A short way down the road, we discovered several strange sea serpent/dragon hybrid monstrosities destroying a cart and eating the oxen. Elif and Asakku rushed forward to engage the monsters, followed by Gunnar. I hung back for a moment, watching the creatures to try and decide the best course of action.
One of the beasts moved closer, rearing back and launching a ball of lightning toward Elif and Gunnar with a shriek. Elif stepped to the side, and the lightning clipped her side and arced from her to Gunnar. Another swooped around behind Asakku, trying to sink its teeth into him.
Choosing the one nearest me, I stomped over and attacked it with my falchion. The beast snarled in discomfort as my sword slid along its scales. It fled, moving a short distance away and spitting lightning at me. Pain screamed through my muscles, and I held my sword tightly as the electricity shrieked through me. I chased the creature down, slamming my sword into it a second time.
It didn’t take much longer to kill them, though last one screamed something in Draconic and fled into the sea.
After that, we cleared the road of the remains of the wagon and oxen carcasses. The caravan then continued on the next day after camping overnight. We played cards and told stories—the usual campfire fare.
The next evening, after a quiet day of travel, a scream came from several carts behind us. I turned my head, seeing a warg launching itself at one of the caravan guards. I leaped down from the wagon and immediately engaged, hearing my travelling companions doing so around me.
The wargs tore into the caravan guards, ripping them apart. The men and women around us screamed in pain and fear, some screams ending with the sudden silence of death while others dragged on into the terrible moans of the doomed. By the time the battle ended, several of them had died, though a few remained breathing, covered in blood.
While Asakku and Elif gutted and skinned the creature, I healed those who needed it and helped set up camp. The pair returned, excitedly chatting about the scrolls and wands they found in the guts of the wolves. I found it rather horrifying, but they were pleased with it at least. Enough for me.