Calidar: In Stranger Skies

Garrick's Folly

After a successful job, Cross and Mortarron approach the watering hole near the docks that they’d left their partner Garrick.

From accross the road Cross spies Garrick shuffling out the door with a roll of parchment stuffed in his meaty hands and a big grin on his face. “This can’t be good,” Cross grumbles to Mortarron. Garrick tears his eyes from the sheets of parchment long enough to notice the rest of the crew. “Guys!” he shouts, “I got something for us that’ll make us rich! I just won this here treasure map and boat deed from some poor sucker in a game of three dragons ante.” At that point Garrick goes into one of his long winded stories explaining how this guy got the map from another guy, who stole it from some adventurer who found it in a dragon’s cave all while walking them to the docks to where his galleon awaits.

The three of them walk past ship after ship of varying sizes and shapes. All being loaded with all manner of cargo. “Just past this one,” Garrick says excitedly. As Cross nears the slip, he sees the “ship” that Garrick had won and immediately turns around back to his room at the tavern. “There is no way on Calidar that we’re going anywhere in that. You’ve been swindled Garrick.” Cross growls. All Cross heard after that was some melodic mumbling from the bard and he suddenly felt incredibly tired and fell asleep on his feet.

Cross hears seaguls in the distance and the sound of the waves nearby. Garrick is yammering about gold and and being rich.

Opening his eyes, Cross is greeted by the blue sky and seagulls overhead. “You pintsized rock troll!” Cross stammers as he tries to get his bearing. He quickly notices Mortarron nearby assisting Garrick in paddling the small four-man boat. At the front of the boat is an individual he’s never met before. “Who’s that?” he asks. “Ah, he was a stow-away we found after pushing off, land-lubber.” Garrick teases. Once again, Cross isn’t amused by the dwarf’s sense of humor. “You’re telling me, you didn’t notice him when you stepped onto this?” he asks incredulously as he spreads his arms from one side of the boat to the other. An indignant expression washes over the dwarw, “it was dark, and you’re heavy. We were trying not to drop you into the bay.”

Garrick responds. Before they could get into it, Mortarron says in his usual firm voice “Land.” Garrick and Cross turn to look. “That’s it! That’s the island!” Garrick repeats as he pushes the oar deep into the water. “Have you even looked at the map since you left the harbor?” Cross asks Garrick. “No, but there’s treasure on all these islands out here you know” he responds. Looking at the tiny speck of land with three small bushes on it, it occured to Crossthat he’d always thought his end would come violently at the tip of a sword, arrow, or executioners blade, not by starvation out in the middle of the sea with a mad dwarf and mute elf.

Garrick hops out of the boat and starts digging, again without looking at the map. In disbelief Cross walks over and rests near one of the bushes on the island trying to use the shade to get out of the sun. He sees Mortarron slide a copper into the hole that Garrick was furiously digging in. Garrick stops his digging and lifts his copper treasure for everyone to see. “Look! I told you there was treasure out here!”

The cleric who has remained silent since his abduction by the mad dwarf, points at something in the distance. “It looks like another island over there, bigger I think.” Everyone turns to look, straining to make it out against the horizon. “Bigger island means bigger treasure, right?” Cross says, egging Garrick. “Definitely… lets go!” Garrick orders. With that, all four of them pile back into the little boat and wait for Garrick to paddle them to the new island.

As they approach it looks like the island had been underwater at some point. As they circle the island, it looks as though there’s a building on it, but no beaches to land on. They locate what seems to be the safest way onto the island and set anchor as close to the shore as possible. Garrick goes up first and manages to scramble up the side of the barnacle encrusted seawall with Cross following next with his glaive in had. Before the rest can get off the boat, Mortarron gestures to Garrick and Cross that something is moving amongst the rocks behind them. They turn around in time to see a large humanoid figure with fish-like features and two giant crab-like creatures flanking him. He threatens them in whatever language he speaks mulitple times. After a while of extreme provocation by the fishman, they crabs attack. The first crab manages to get a hold of the impish dwarf, while the other misses Cross completely. Meanwhile, the fishman seems content to watch from the back. Garrick easily gets out of the grip of the crab attacking him, only to get grabbed again. Clearly exasperated, the dwarf begins trying to wrestle free yet again. Not far from him, Cross spins his glaive deftly and slams the blade down, cleaving the crab neatly in two halves. The mystery cleric decides to help the floundering dwarf, and sets it alight with holy fire. Mortarron lands an arrow on the crab. Cross immediately attempts to strick the crab molesting Garrick, but is unable to land a hit without hitting his cohort. The fishman, seeing the tides turn against him, enters the fray with his trident. As the crab falls, the fishman launches a devastating strike at Garrick. The tines of the steel weapon bear down towards his chest. Cross and Mortarron both see the opening, first Cross strikes at the humanoid fish with his glaive opening up a deep wound in his chest. Mortarron, lets his arrow loose. The arrow flies between Cross and Garrick, the fletching shaving away from brushing against the blade of the glaive and strikes the creature in the heart through the fresh chest wound. The creature slumps to the ground, the trident droping just in front of Garrick before striking the death blow. Garrick opens his eyes, his hand frantically searching his chest for the wounds that were sure to end his life.

Garrick, unusually somber, agrees that they should all head towards the building for a rest. Cross goes back and grabs both halves of the giant crab that he slew. It was time to rest and eat some great seafood. After resting, they decide to enter the building at the top of the island. Inside, the cleric spots another fishman and immediately lights him aflame, his corpse hitting the dirt just as another leaps from the shadows at Cross, but is struck down swiftly before doing any harm.

At the back of the room, they find stairs leading down. The cleric, Spotrigus, as he claims to be called, decides to stay at the top of the stairs while Mortarron, Garrick, and Cross head down.

At the bottom of the stairs, an enormous rooms opens up before them. Four doors with very different ornamentation lie beyond a small bridge over a central waterway. Each door has a sculpture of a humanoid holding a chain above it. The chains lead to a main figure at the center of the room who is holding all the chains together, which lead up to an even larger, deific figure who looks entirely unfriendly. In the middle of the doors, underneath the deific figure, a large idol in the shape of a dragon made from a gem of some sort clutches a glowing sapphire in it’s jaws. After deliberation, they decide to continue. Mortarron stays inside the stairway covering both Cross and Garrick with his bow. As they approach the idol, Cross reaches out to take the sapphire. Before he does though, Mortarron warns that there are most certainly traps down here. Snapping out of it, Cross finds that the idol is indeed trapped. However, without finding any mechanical triggers, Garrick begins a ritual of detection to determine if there is any magic related to the trap and the doors in the room.Mortarron joins Cross in searching the rest of the room for any secret doors traps. Cross discovers a small panel in the back of the larger sculpture in the middle of the room. Reaching inside, Mortarron finds two vials of blue liquid that they quickly grab. Not soon after, Garrick reports that he’s detecting a strong aura of evocation emanating from the idol. They all know what evocation means, and decide to investigate further into the temple for clues on how to disable this trap.

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They discover another chamber filled with murky dark water and a dais in front of what looks like a passage to another antechamber. Cross carefully forges through the water to the dais using his glaive to test the footing. With Garrick swimming along side and Mortarron in tow, they are suddenly attacked by a giant sea creature. Mortarron launches a spear at the creature, striking true. As they try and hurry to the dais, a lithe rubbery tentacle narrowly misses Cross and Garrick.

However Mortarron is caught and dragged under. From above Cross rushes over to attack the creature beneath the water. Garrick invokes an arcane spell centered on the thrashing in the water to no avail. “It’s no use!” he exclaims as the water continues to thrash. Suddenly the water goes calm again, then another tentacles shoots from the water at Cross. He steps aside as the tentacle misses him again he slashes it off with the glaive and spins around and with a downstroke hits the creature once more. “Try again!” Cross yells at Garrick. Garrick has given in to despair, “it won’t work!” he responds.
Without hesitation or waver in his voice Cross responds “DO IT!” Garrick shrugs and tries again, but this time everything goes still. Only the gentle waves lapping against the walls created by the fierce battle remain. Cross drops stows his glaive and begins feeling for Mortarron. Running his hands over innumerable bones and sludge, he’s suddenly thankful he’s wearing gloved gauntlets. A light begins to shine through the murky water. The light illuminates the area and the silouette of Mortarrons lifeless figure. Cross quickly grabs him, the light, and something that resembles a blanket or cloak. Cross rushes through the water to the stairs to the main temple and sets Mortarron down. Using his knowledge of the body, usually for killing, Cross is able to get the water out from Mortarron’s organs. Fitfully coughing, Mortarron seems to be ok. The three exit the temple back to where the cleric is sleeping to finish resting and come up with a battle plan, for the sea creature is only asleep and “is only down for a minute”, according to Garrick.

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