As the suns rose above the horizon, and the surrounding trees began to root themselves back into the freshly aerated ground, Vuvu couldn’t get the irritating sound of a man crying out of her ears.
“Well I suppose we’d better help that guy.” She noted to Grash whilst looking at Damien sobbing on the floor. Jalana came from the area behind the altar holding a large glass ball and trying to see what it was.
“That’s a scrying ball, be very careful with that Jalana, who knows who is looking at you right now.” Said Hemmit. Jalana looked at the ball in her hands, squinted real hard at it, but got nothing. She popped it into her bag and went off looking for more plunder, as was her way.
Grash stood with arms folded, ‘I don’t want anything to do with this place, let’s go.” And he turned on his heel and started heading back to the ship. Vuvu watched him leave, happy that he’d gotten the weight of the last failure off his shoulders. She knew they had to fix all the broken pieces though, so she headed over to the sobbing Damien and kneeled down beside him. Damiens face was covered in filth and the tears had made tracks down his face. “Damien, we need to go now. We’re heading into the halflings forests, is there somewhere we can take you and your…daughter?” she asked, whilst placing a consoling hand on his shoulder.
Damien sniffed, brushed his daughers face and looked up at Vuvu. “Yes, we come from a place downriver about half a day, called Mallacs Rest. It’s on the way to the forests.” And with that he began to stand, carrying his daughter in his arms, back towards the DragunShip.
The group hoisted the sails, and with the help from their two new shipmates, Gerald and Arnold, the group got the ship out into the main waters failry quickly. Vuvu gave her room to Damien so that he could be with his daughter. Vuvu helped him clean the body and cover the girl in some linen.
As the hours pass a strong wind comes up from the east and brings rain and a larger swell, Grash retreats to his cabin with Vuvu at the helm and Jalana watching the way and navigating.
About a day later they arrive at Mallacs Rest, some guards come up to them and are hesitant but Damien tells them that everything is okay, that these are friends that helped him find his daughter again, if only for a little time. As the crowd is muttering and speaking of strangers and scary boats, Vuvu leaps down from the ship and gets onto a soap box and beings to play music and recants the tales of Damien the Hero, telling the town how brave he was and how they helped him defeat the evil Sorceress that had kept his daughter prisoner, and how his poor daughter suffered some malady by the sorceress that made her succumb to death. The crowd is pleased with the performance and, whilst he gives her a hand down from the soapbox, Damien asks for one last bubble bath from Vuvu before they depart, she declines.
The group comes down the gangplank onto the small jetty at Mallacs Rest, with the majority of the town now happy to see them due to Vuvus song. At the end of the jetty they decide that they need to see a carpenter to fix their ship as over the last few fights it had received a bit of a beating. Hemmit and Vuvu head up to the inn to get some grub and Grash and Jalana head to the carpenter after a few enquires as to his whereabouts.
Up the hill and into the shop they go, with the ring of a bell they enter and on the counter sits a little girl. She seems to be playing with a piece of wood, witling at it. She calls out for her father and scrurries out the back of the shop and a man in his early forties comes out, grey at the temples but of strong build. He introduces himself as Patrick Boatman and they discuss the ship and it’s requirements. He agrees to see them first thing in the morning for the quote and bids them good day.
Hemmit and Jalana decide to head to the inn and meet the others. Easy enough to find in the small town of Mallacs Rest, nestled at the edge of the forest and right next to the 100metre wide river running by it, the town seemed to be a sort of frontier settlement heading towards the Halfling forest. The inn was lively as there is a monthly shindig happening. Hemmit goes to the fire and strikes up conversation with some of the elders, swapping stories and learning some things about the town. The door opens and Patrick walks in, weary of the week and looking for a drink. He sees his wife there and approaches her, speaking about the visitors and their strange appearance. She assures him that they certainly aren’t the strangest people that have passed through but they sure are a funny bunch.
Vuvu is playing some music and making a few coppers, the crowd is regaled with stories of Dragunship Suddenly! and love every minute of it, generations will sing these songs!
As the night progresses Hemmit finds out that there is an old witch in the village, the villagers jokingly advise that he should get his fortune told. He summons her, like the little lord he is, and sure enough, after about an hour, she shows up. She comes into the inn out of the now pouring rain outside. Nobody seems too flustered at the old hags entry, even with her large staff and half her face covered by her long grey hair. She sits by Hemmit in a recently vacated seat and orders a drink, which is brought to her immediately. Hemmit asks her some mundane questions that don’t eventuate to anything. The old hag offered some good advice, saying that the group had amongst them a blade that was known as the Fate Carver. She also mentions that Baer had a child. The group listens not, and basically tell her to leave. The old hag feels like she was not treated well by the group, and does leave. On her way out into the rain Jalana ran out after her and offered apologies, the witch advised her that “Even those that cannot stand have their own paths to walk”. Jalana, in the rain and watching the lady disappear into the night, realises that she has had too much to drink and goes to find a tree to sleep in.
The evening progressed with Patrick beating everyone in feats of strength and getting very drunk. He woke the next day with the sun in his eyes and his daughter waking him up. “You’re late, daddy.” she said. Patrick sprung out of bed and went downstairs to his wife and grabbed some bread and immediately headed to the docks and found the group waiting for him.
“You’re late.” said Grash, sitting on an empty barrel on the deck.
Patrick inspected the ship, and after some time came across the claws that were attached to the ship, he knew them as Ursus Claws, great magical artefacts used by the Orcen Kingdoms as siege weapons. He had no idea how such a relic would have been brought here, but he knew that there was a way to control them, he just needed time to find a way, and magic was not his strong point.
He looked over the rest of the damage and advised that he could get it sorted for them in a month. He explained that much of the materials needed would have to be sourced from closer to the halflings territories if not from inside their boundaries. Which meant higher costs and longer repair times. They haggled and agreed on a price, but they wanted to bring Patrick with them to go get the wood needed to fix the obviously magical ship. He said he’d talk to his wife, as it was a dangerous journey, but promised nothing.
The heroes stayed on the ship, and Patrick went back to his family. That night, as he was discussing the issue with his wife, there was a knock on the door. Patrick got up and went to see who it was, it was a guard advising that there were prints found nearby the village, half a day’s ride north. The prints were those of Orcs, and they were headed to the village, but not getting any closer than a few miles. Patrick grabbed his sword and assured his horse that everything would be okay and headed out. After a quick assessment he advised the guards to ring the bells and muster the town defences, and for everyone to stay inside.
As he was organising the guards Vuvu and Jalana ran to his house and kicked down his door and tried to kidnap his wife, the woman resisted and screamed and kicked to be free of their grasping hands. The woman could smell wine and spirits on their breath and thought they’d come to kill her. Guards showed up to the screaming and told Jalana and Vuvu to stand down. Vuvu tried to explain what was happening and that they only wanted to help, but it all came out in a mumble and slur and the guard basically threw them both out of the house, letting them know that they would have to pay to repair the door.
Eventually they stopped trying to kidnap Patricks wife and left to find Patrick himself. They found him at the north side of the village, the opposite side to where the river swept past, and he advised them that orcs were nearby and the group prepared themselves.
A guard approached them, “Patrick, please, what do we do? We’ve never had to deal with this before! Actual Orcs! Do we sally out and find them before they cause more harm?”
Patrick stood in the rain, sword in hand, seemingly humming with latent violence.
“No, we wait here.”