The morning started most oddly, neither Selly nor Bronn were anywhere to be found, and Consul and Lady Aerith were also absent, I hope they have a good story to tell when they return. As I was eating my breakfast and reading a fascinating narrative on the discovery of
thaumaturgical entanglement, Squib arrived and asked for assistance, we went to the tanner to see if Stron was available, luckily he was.
It seems that renowned philosopher and mystic Lady Halsekka has decided to sequester herself on one of the wake islands for a meditative retreat. unbeknownst to her, the Koru behemoths’ migration is unseasonable early and there is danger of flooding for those islands. We must locate her and evacuate her to safety.
The only ship available on such short notice was the Ladyslipper – Captain Archibald Bletch’s vessel. He was amenable to assisting our mission, and his presence and comments were tolerable. Barely.
Our first stop was an island called “The Boot.” It is hard to imagine why the island was named this, the shape is certainly not evocative of a boot, and no one seems to know the origin of the name.
We set out searching the Boot for clues of habitation, we found an ancient cutlass and a shoe with some ancient metatarsals (probably human), shortly after these artifacts were discovered, I noticed a lone over-sized Formicidae scouting about. Unsure if it had seen us and was attempting to bring reinforcements, I unleashed a bolt of arcane force at it. Unfortunately I didn’t kill it outright and it was able to release a cloud of pheromones to alert the colony.
The ground nearby began to shake, and immediately erupted with a swarm of angry insects with one particular specimen slightly larger than the others, with a distended abdomen. This insect immediately sprayed some sort of goo onto Squib and Stron, but the discharge fell short of my position. I began the Song Of Heroes to inspire my companions and attempted to crush the insects climbing on me without hurting myself. Ston extricated himself from the swarm and fired arrow after arrow into the mass, Squib speared a few, but was overwhelmed by their numbers and they attempted to drag his unconscious form into their tunnel.
It took a few attempts, but I was able to disengage from my foes and use a potion to revive Squib before he was dragged into the nest. We finished off the rest and returned to the ship.
We continued our search of the islands, Spider Point and Critterisle were small enough for us to determine that Lady Halsekka was not there without having to disembark. We continued on to Follyrock with only minor delays.
Upon approach to Follyrock, we saw that there was an elegant elven vessel that had been pulled up onto the beach. We examined it – the mast had been snapped and there was a warning written on the hull in goblin letters: “Go Away!”
We surreptitiously approached the structure on a slight rise from the beach, and saw another goblin sign: “claimed in the name of the Queen!” We were able to see that there was a small group of goblins inside, scurrying about at the direction of what was obviously their Queen. I snuck a bit closer and was able to cast Charm on her before we were detected. Then I backed out and announced our presence by knocking at the entrance.
They were surprised to see us, and many of the goblins began to ready weapons, but the Queen ordered them to stand down and greeted us warmly. We asked her about Lady Halsekka and were informed that she had been sentenced to Ghouldoom as punishment, and we were forbidden from interfering with that judgement. We assured her that we had no intention of doing so and that we were going to return to our home.
The Queen demanded gifts before we departed: Squib presented a cutlass (the one we had found on the Boot), the goblins were impressed. Stron presented a tanning knife, but unfortunately it had been damaged and the goblins became agitated. It fell to me to sooth their mood, and I knew only one thing would suffice, though I was loath to part with it: The puppet in my likeness that Genevieve the Fair had crafted.
The Queen was overjoyed and we bid our farewells. Upon arriving at the beach, we pushed the elven craft back into the water and attached a tow rope to bring it with us. The goblins became quite upset, but by the time they arrived at the beach, we were underway.
Upon arrival at Ghouldoom island we learned that we would need to wade ashore or risk beaching our ship. We waded ashore, upon climbing up onto the beach we immediately learned that it is always twilight on Ghouldoom island, while we were puzzling out this phenomenon, a swarm of dire rats attacked. Squib attempted to dissuade them, but their
hunger won out. We were able to fend them off without too much difficulty.
We traveled to a lone pine tree a short distance from the shore, and located Lady Halsekka part way up. Unfortunately, there were a number of ghouls milling about in the vicinity, one who refused to identify himself told us to leave, and when we refused rush to attack us. We
were able to defeat the ghouls, but not permanently, I’m sure they will return before long. We escorted Lady Halsekka to the Ladyslipper, and while Captain Bletch made numerous inappropriate comments on the voyage back to Briarton he did at least attempt to do so out of earshot. Undoubtedly Lady Halsekka heard them, but she graciously ignored him. We arrived without incident. Lady Halsekka confided in me that she believes my presence on Ghouldoom was no coincidence and is instead a portent. She alluded to a prophecy of a dwarven hero arriving to avert certain doom. Previously it was believed to be <<local>>, but Lady Halsekka seems to think I am the hero of legend. Time will tell.