S&S: Session 28 – Special Occasions

Spoiler Warning: Many spoilers for the Skull & Shackles adventure path are contained within these story recap posts. If you don’t want your campaign spoiled, don’t read these!

Back aboard The Purr, Mirielle was getting some strange looks from her crew. They’d all seen her halo in combat, and all knew it usually faded fairly quickly. Eventually the captain said, “It’s not going anywhere.”

Ambrose, who had been the one staring at her to prompt the statement rubbed the back of his head. “I guess not. Never seen anything like it, Captain.”

“Yes, well you have now. The lot of you need to stop staring and get to work.” The later statement was directed at the swabs and mates who were loitering and watching Mirielle. They promptly hopped to work, assisting Revel and Nasha as they made their trips up from the Brine Banshee below.

Nasha was, unfortunately for her, the best suited to the task of retrieving the goods from the stern of the ship. Dolce made sure Revel at least could assist her. The crew tackled the prow together, for it was in shallower water and the cold wasn’t as damning.

They had emptied out Dolce’s Bag of Holding in order to use it to transport goods. Among the myriad possessions contained in the bag were the four buttons Dolce had claimed from the isle of the damned… One of them, she noticed, could be opened up. Inside the button was an Anchor Feather Token. The elf chuckled a bit when she saw it and put it with the others she had purchased in Port Peril while wondering how many other such things they’d missed.

Their second day of retrieving the treasures of the sunken Brine Banshee was quite inefficient. This because it was Revel’s nameday and everyone was celebrating with their Master-at-Arms. Still, there were quite a few trips made to the ship below and back up to The Purr. They’d be ready to sail on the following day.

Revel was distracted through the whole day though, because when they’d left Ollo she’d noticed a wrap package on her bed. Cog had stopped her from opening it and explained it was for her nameday. He’d proceeded to hide the gift. This morning he still wouldn’t let her open it, saying it was for the end of the day. When Revel finished eating with the crew below deck she and Cog retreated to her room and she looked at him expectantly. “So… where is it?”

Cog smirked. “I wondered how long it would-“

“Where is it!?” Revel asked again.

Now Cog was laughing. “Where would be the fun in it if I just tell you?”

Revel crossed her arms and adopted a sterner stance. “Do I need to pull rank on you?” She was trying to be just a little intimidating, but underestimated how scary her tone would come across. When Cog immediately started moving toward a secured chest of drawers in Revel’s room she relaxed, “Woah, woah. I’m not being serious.”

Cog looked surprised but seemed to want Revel to think he wasn’t. “I know that,” he said and knelt by the chest of drawers.

Revel saw he’d jammed the bottom drawer so it would only open partway and fashioned a false back of it that he now removed. “Clever bugger. I’d never have found the damn thing.”

Cog grinned up at her as he held out the brown package. “I know.”

Revel snatched it from his hands and plopped into their bed. It was nice being an officer. She snapped the ties around the package and opened the paper. Inside was a simple wooden box with a shark carved on it. “Aww, I love it!” Revel said, petting the shark.

“That’s not all,” Cog said.

Revel glanced at Cog and then opened the box. Inside of it was a soft, gray pillow. It had been jammed into the box by the look of how it was now puffing out over the edges. “A pillow, huh?” She pulled it free as she asked and saw the ‘pillow’ unfold into a more defined form. It was the shape of a shark, if a little rumpled, but Revel patted it gently to smooth down the odd lumps and get it smooth. When she’d done this, she looked up at Cog.

The human was leaned against the wall near her, smiling. “You like it?”

Revel snorted and set the box on the floor. The toy she set on the bed. “Yeah, I like it.” She stood up and tried to kiss him, standing on her tip toes to do it.

“You want more? Even after those wonderful gifts?” he asked, his voice teasing and mischievous.

Revel snorted again and grabbed the front of his shirt with her strong hands. She pulled him down and kissed him. “Yes,” she said, “and thank you. Definitely my favorite present.”

The Runaround

They finished collecting their spoils from The Brine Banshee in the early morning. Then they set their course for Beachcomber. Their four days on the sea were uneventful. They were welcomed in Beachcomber, as they had been before, and Dolce asked around in the same manner to draw the attention of Slip from The Temple of the Hidden Name. Soon enough she, Revel, and Mirielle were sitting with the halfling again.

“Well, back so soon? I can only assume that means you were successful,” Slip said.

Mirielle nodded and showed him a parchment containing Dolce’s description of the magic that made the wheel of The Brine Banshee work. “A secret for a secret.”

“Of course. You girls certainly work fast. Perhaps we can do business like this again sometime. As for the spy you’re interested in… I know of a spirit naga named Sarlis. She knows of a smuggler and spy who is dealing with a foreign power. You’ll find the naga on the Slithering Coast. You’re looking for a shallow cove located around here…” He indicated on a map of the Shackles the general location of the cove. “There’s a lone tree atop a hill. You’ll have to go into the jungle to find her meeting pool.”

Mirielle felt rather annoyed. After all, they’d tracked down the secret of The Brine Banshee and furnished it to the man and all they got in return was a person who knew a person who knew a spy. She bit her tongue because she knew making enemies here would not be smart no matter how annoyed she was.

“I have to say, I love your new look,” Slip said, gesturing to his own head.

Mirielle could only assume he meant her halo. “Yes well… If that’s all then.” She set Dolce’s notes on the desk in front of the man and began to rise.

“It’s actually not, Captain,” Dolce said. Mirielle shot the elf a curious look. “There’s the matter of the location of The Lady’s Sting.” Dolce said to Slip.

“Ah, yes. Well, since you’ve done so well I’d be willing to sell you that information for say… seven hundred gold in Absalom or Cheliax currency,” Slip said.

“Mm. But see, I’ve a secret for you. The location of this ship is not highly sought after, so I imagine a relatively insignificant secret will suffice in exchange?” Dolce asked, before telling him the secret she had in mind.

Slip looked curious. “Interesting. Here I thought you were rather averse to giving us a secret. Hmmm. You must have learned something you consider less risky?”

“Not something I learned so much as something I saw…” Dolce clarified.

“Well, plenty of nations have been toppled by ‘insignificant’ secrets, so by all means, let us transact this exchange.” Slip was smiling in a rather unnerving way.

“Right then. Captain Harrigan’s cabin girl, Caulky… She’s not a child at all, but a Changeling,” Dolce said.

Mirielle blinked in surprise. That certainly wasn’t a secret the girls minded sharing. If anything, it put Captain Harrigan in an interesting position because someone could potentially gain this knowledge and use it to leverage the cabin girl. Dolce was clever.

“Ooh, how interesting. Very well then. The woman you seek is known as Vakarla. She is a wrecker who has been preying on pirates southeast of the Rampore Isles. I wish you happy hunting,” Slip said.

“Now we’re done here,” Dolce said, looking at Mirielle.

Mirielle nodded and rose. “Thank you, Slip. We wish you well.”

With that the three girls left the Temple of the Hidden Name. They hoped they’d not be returning anytime soon.

Wrecking the Wrecker

They had arrived in Beachcomber in the morning and set sail to the Rampore Isles in the north the same day. They made it to the general area in a single day and started lazily roaming around the area looking for Vakarla. It was Alena, one of the first recruits who’d joined their crew in Rickety’s Squibs, who sighted the sails. It was a merchant vessel and the crew seemed to be trying to bail water.

When Dolce mounted the Crow’s Nest and looked through the Farglass she could see a Rahadoumi merchant vessel called The Shining Star, but there was no crew aboard. The pails of water being thrown overboard seemed to be moving of their own accord, as well as the rigging. The ship was passing through a perilously narrow break in a reef and seemed to be trying to escape the pirates. Dolce used the Farglass’ magic to cast Clairaudience… What she heard from the magically conjured sensor was… “pretend” Osiriani. The elf knew the language well, but this sounded like a rough proximity of it… As if those speaking it were doing so with their mouths closed. “Tell the captain it’s a trap,” Dolce said. She was trying to figure out the source of the magic she was witnessing and didn’t want to lose her sensor by moving her eye from the spyglass.

Alena called down, “Dolce says it’s a trap, Captain!”

“Right then!” Mirielle bellowed, “Hard to port! We’ll go around the reef and take them on the other side!” The crew scrambled to obey, working the rigging and turning the wheel.

Moments later, The Lady’s Purr jerked violently under their feet and the splintering and groaning of wood assaulted their ears. Dolce nearly fell out of the Crow’s Nest but managed to keep her hold. She saw several other sailors in the rigging who had also barely managed to cling to the yardarms and sails.

More concerning than that though, she’d heard magical words spoken above her. Peering into the clouds she saw a woman floating in the sky. “NOW!!!” The woman yelled.

Far below, on the deck of The Lady’s Purr, four half-orcs scrambled aboard. They were an imposing collection of half-orcs, and their presence was not missed. Revel pulled Zul, the trident she’d claimed from the sahuagin king in Mancatcher Cove, out and threw it at the nearest even as she bellowed ferociously at the one that was farthest away.

The trident hit, but hardly hurt the half-orc and he literally chuckled at what little it did. “That the best you got?” he asked in Goblin. “I thought you were important being up there by your fancy captain and all.”

Revel snarled and said, “I keep my best on me… Why would I waste it on someone like you?”

“That so?” he asked.

Above them Dolce took the momentary distraction as an opportunity and cast Earthbind on the flying spellcaster. She saw the magic take hold and the woman sank from the air and landed in the water with a splash. “Fuck!” the caster exclaimed. She seemed to climb onto ‘nothing’ in Dolce’s gaze, but standing atop ‘nothing’ like it was a solid surface she cast a spell at the elf in return.

Dolce’s vision was suddenly dominated by a prominent image of what she imagined the obelisk of Kepre Dua to look like. She’d never seen it, of course, but in her mind it was tall and black with a golden pyramid atop it. She saw herself standing before it, her eyes glowing a dull blue as her hands touched its smooth, black surface. She knew in those moments she was losing herself to it. Her free will. She would forever long for the sea, but the longing would be buried beneath a haze of mindless obedience and she would remain on Kepre Dua for the rest of her days.

Just as quickly, the sight faded from her vision and the feelings she’d suffered faded from her mind. Dolce realized she was clinging to the railing of the crow’s nest with trembling hands. Her eyes narrowed at the spell caster. She knew well what spell she’d just been inflicted with and intended to return the discomfort to her and then some.

“Aww, don’t worry, Rashbad, I’ll take care of the big, scary hobgoblin for you.” The female half-orc cooed, moving past her companion and into Revel. She swung her sword ferociously, the blade driven with such fervor that Revel felt almost like she was contending with herself. It dug into Revel’s steel blue flesh but didn’t hurt too terribly much. Her second swing connected as well.

“I’m not scared of her!” Rashbad protested.

“Sure,” the female said with a voice dripping with sarcasm.

Another of the half-orcs charged across the deck and up onto the aftcastle. He swung his blade at Mirielle, but missed her spectacularly.

Rashbad himself rushed forth, going up the far steps of the aftcastle, but veering for Revel instead of Mirielle. “I’ll show you!” He bellowed at his female companion and swiped at Revel. His blade struck true as well.

“Idiot! Attack the captain, not the henchman!” The female called. She’d only gone for Revel because it was the most direct path to the captain, but her dimwitted companion had wasted a perfectly good opportunity to strike out at Mirielle in his eagerness to prove he wasn’t scared.

Nasha darted up the steps behind him, but she stopped beside the one menacing her captain. She shoved him away from Mirielle and followed in his wake. “Get away from my captain,” she said, her reptilian lips curled back so her fangs were bared.

Up above them Dolce had retrieved a scroll of Feather Fall from her Bag of Holding. She used it now, jumping from the crow’s nest and casting the spell so she could safely land beside Revel. She readied her rapier on contact with the deck.

Revel tore into the female half-orc from above while Dolce harried her from the main deck. Mirielle’s attacker snarled at the lizardfolk. “You can’t push me around!” He declared.

Unimpressed, Nasha slashed at him twice with her claws and then said, “Yes. I can.” And pushed him off the aftcastle and into the ocean behind the stern of the ship. She turned her focus to the male half-orc attacking Revel.

Mirielle moved to safety and used her magic to aid and bolster her companions. Soon both the female and the male half-orc attacking Revel were dead… One from Dolce’s slender rapier, Brine’s Sting. The other from Revel’s devastating teeth.

Vakarla, the spell-casting half-orc who had initiated this whole attack, said, “Fine then. We’ll claim your treasures from the bottom of the ocean!” She cast Fireball, centering its effects on the wheel.

Dolce didn’t know what exactly Vakarla was casting, but she knew very quickly that it was doing real damage to the ship. Acting fast, Dolce cast Shadow Siphon and exchanged some of the energy from the Fireball for energy from the plane of shadow… Her quick actions greatly mitigated the damage of the Fireball, but so did Mirielle’s quick command of the ship.

“FUCK!” Vakarla cursed. “That’s it, elf!” Vakarla moved forward, closing the distance between her and Dolce with murderous intent.

Dolce gracefully stepped to Vakarla’s side and stabbed her with Brine’s Sting. The half-orc called out in pain. Revel came bearing down on the half-orc soon after and Dolce snapped, “Don’t kill this one, Revel. We need her alive!”

Revel grumbled. “Fine, fine.” She bit at Vakarla once, but missed, and then grabbed hold of her with both of her powerful arms.

Nasha moved to better position beside the half-orc, and Mirielle edged forward on the aftcastle so her halo’s aura would envelop her friends.

“Now then-” Dolce began.

Vakarla murmured the words of another spell, barely managing the somatic components due to Revel’s grasp. The half-orc was instantly gone from their ship, and in the distance Dolce saw her appear standing on seemingly nothing. Standing though. Not flying.

“FIRE THE PORT BALLISTAE!” Nasha yelled as she caught sight of the half-orc in the distance. She, like Dolce, had realized the woman must be on her ship.

“Aye-aye, Nasha!” Conchobar yelled with excitement as he rushed to the nearest ballistae. Soon enough they all fired toward the unseen ship.

Mirielle smirked and closed her eyes. A strange, red light entered into her halo’s glow as she murmured new words of power. Thirty feet from her, flying in the air, appeared a Flame Drake. Mirielle’s eyes were open as the spell completed and on seeing the drake appear she spoke words in a language none of the others on her crew were familiar with… Draconic. “Burn that woman.”

The drake responded to her words with an unnerving voice, though his words were lost on all but Miri as he said, “With pleasure.” There was a rumbling sound from his throat before a ball of fire launched forth from his jaws aiming for the half-orc woman. When it reached her it exploded violently.

Dolce and the crew aboard The Purr witnessed flames bursting into existence for a brief moment before disappearing from their sight. “It caught the ship on fire, right?” One of the crewmen asked, looking to Dolce, who nodded as she moved to the aftcastle. “Since you’re focused on your spell, Captain, I’ll handle piloting the ship, yeah?” Dolce asked.

“Yes. Make me proud, Dolce,” Mirielle responded, though she hadn’t taken her gaze from the drake.

“HARD TO PORT!” Dolce bellowed. Their ship was still perilously close to the Wall of Force, but she could see where it was in the water before them by how the waves sloshed against it.  With enough effort and a hard enough turn she believed their drift would allow them to clear the obstacle.

“FIRE GREED!” Revel called as the ship moved into a viable position to attack with their lead catapult.

Conch eagerly obliged, but the shot missed its mark. Nasha helped reload Greed.

Mirielle maintained the energy required to keep the drake in the world as it flew toward their enemy with startling speed… In addition she called, “AGAIN!” as Nasha finished loading the catapult. This attack flew true and destroyed the oars of the ship just as it appeared in their vision. Cheering broke out among the sailors, for the sails of the ship were tattered and in flames. She was crippled now, with no forward momentum.

Dolce pulled alongside the vessel and their flag came hurriedly down. Surrender. It seemed their captain had finally run out of tricks. Mirielle had Vakarla brought aboard The Lady’s Purr while Dolce oversaw keeping her pitiful ship afloat.

The Golden Vespal

Revel accompanied Mirielle to the captain’s cabin. Once inside Mirielle seated herself and said, “Well then, I believe you’ve found yourself in quite a disadvantaged position. We’re after a particular item that was aboard a ship known as The Lady’s Sting.”

“I don’t remember the ship. We’ve wrecked plenty of them,” Vakarla said. She was, of course, manacled, and Revel was right beside her in case she should try anything foolish.

Mirielle looked between the half-orc and her hobgoblin friend briefly before saying, “Perhaps you will remember the item then. It was a statue of a golden wasp.”

“Mm, I do remember that. I tell you what.. You let me and my crew go and we’ll show you to my base and the wasp.” After a moment she seemed to remember the state of her ship because she said, “Or I guess, you take us there.”

Mirielle considered this. She’d debated trying to recruit Vakarla as her third captain. Milksop, being the second, of course. But Vakarla had a certain edge to her. She’d seen it in the way they fought. To this woman her crew was nothing more than tools to get what she wanted. “Why are you here?” Mirielle asked.

“What?” Vakarla asked in turn, taken by surprise by the change of topic. “What do you mean?”

Here. In the Shackles… Preying on pirates.” Mirielle clarified. She’d originally thought that perhaps Vakalra and her crew preyed upon pirates because they didn’t want to harm innocent civilian ships, but now she believed this was false.

Vakarla snorted. “You make it so damn easy. Why should I go to all the trouble of hunting down ships when I can lay in waiting and you fuckers’ll come right to me?”

Yeah… Mirielle had been misguided in thinking there was any merit to the nature of their choice of prey. “I suppose a fair point. I wonder though… Would it be worth it to you to hunt down prey for a bigger payoff?”

“We get a pretty decent payoff with far less time wasted the way I run things,” Vakarla said dismissively.

“Hmm. Well then, as we are only interested in the wasp statue, I will happily transport both you and your crew to your base of operations. Shall we get this moving?” Mirielle said it without missing a beat. Of course, she purposefully avoided any mention of agreeing to the woman’s terms.

It seemed her ploy had worked, for the half-orc agreed. They first retrieved the single half-orc boarder who had survived engaging with Revel and Nasha – this being the half-orc Nasha had pushed overboard – and then set their course for the island on which Vakarla’s base was set up. Her ship they allowed to sink into the ocean. Of course, they retrieved everything of worth off of it before doing so, but it wasn’t worth the effort to truly save.

Vakarla’s base wasn’t far off, taking only forty minutes to reach. Granted, this was in part because of the speed The Lady’s Purr now enjoyed with its magical wheel. Mirielle found a moment in the hold to tell Dolce that they weren’t earnestly going along with Vakarla’s proposition, but it ended up being a short moment before more of the crew came below.

They saw three ship’s boats at her camp, as well as quite a collection of arms and armor. All of the structures were ramshackle shacks. Vakarla led them to one in particular, and inside it was The Golden Vespal. Dolce struck then, drawing Brine’s Sting and driving it mercilessly into the woman’s back. She still breathed after the first strike, but when Dolce’s blade sank into her flesh again the life fled her eyes and she slumped onto the ground.

“D-Dolce!” Mirielle shouted.

“What?” The elf asked, honestly confused. “You said we weren’t truly going along with her plan, right?”

Mirielle blinked. “I- I did, yes.. but… I didn’t mean… I would have left her alive.”

“You wouldn’t want her alive,” Shade said. He gave a nod of respect to Dolce before continuing, “If you betrayed her and took all of her hard-won plunder… I don’t think she’s the sort to let a thing like that go, Captain.”

“Neither do I,” Dolce said. It had become an odd thing to her to realize how often she and Shade were on the same page about things like this.

Mirielle frowned. She hadn’t intended this, but she also hadn’t explicitly explained that much. So far as she could tell, Dolce hadn’t realized her intent in conveying that this was a ruse was not to queue the elf to murder the woman. On the off chance that Vakarla wasn’t truly gone from the world, Mirielle cast Stabilize. This did not restore the half-orc. The aasimar sighed and said, “Well, it’s a moot point now, but in the future… Ask me if I want you to kill someone if you think that’s what I’m suggesting.”

Dolce nodded. “Will do, Captain.” It was odd to the elf that Mirielle seemed to care so much about murdering people when they were all but killing people anyways. Taking all of their wealth and stranding them in a port in the Shackles…

The girls sorted through all of Vakarla’s possessions. They found many magical items in addition to The Golden Vespal. They moved everything aboard The Lady’s Purr. Their ship was full up with the treasures of this and The Brine Banshee. They’d need a larger port soon.

The crew of Vakarla’s ship was brought aboard The Purr and given the option of being dropped at their next port of call or becoming Mirielle’s pirates. They agreed to the latter and The Lady’s Purr went from having zero half-orcs to having nine. Only one of these was from Vakarla’s boarding crew. A half-orc by the name of Lukluk.

Revel was delighted to see the unruly half-orcs join the crew. She rightfully suspected she’d get to wield her whip more often as they adjusted to their new lives aboard The Purr. She did find, however, that she had to escalate their punishments a bit more harshly than she’d needed to for the existing crew. This because they responded to a single lash with laughter, and even three was trivial to them.

The House of Stolen Kisses

They made their way back to Quent after plundering Vakarla’s base. Here Mirielle sent Dolce to return The Golden Vespal. Dolce gained access to Dindreann relatively quickly this time, for the priestess was eager for the relic’s return. She ushered the elf into her personal quarters. A man lay passed out in her bed, completely naked and looking rather content. Dolce raised an eyebrow at that, but Dindreann simply said, “You needn’t worry about him. He payed very well and lasted very little.”

The comment made Dolce chuckle. “I imagine many earn such a review from a lady like yourself, being one of Calistria’s high priestesses.”

Dindreann smiled and said, “You’d be right to imagine that.” She sat in a finely upholstered chair and gestured for Dolce to do the same. “I trust you’ve found my errant relic then?”

“I’m happy to report we have.” Dolce pulled The Golden Vespal from her Bag of Holding and held it out to Dindreann.

The priestess took it with delight. “Oh, you are wonderful!” She said, her accent drawling a little as she pet the golden relic’s back. “She doesn’t even look disturbed. Thank you, Dolce.” She set the relic aside and turned to face Dolce more fully. “You wanted to know about a spy. I have called upon my contacts and I’m pretty sure a scrimshander by the name of Jaymiss Keft knows about your spy. He lives in Drenchport.”

Dolce nodded. Of course, another deed done for another lead to someone else who knew about a spy. At least this was more pleasant than visiting the Temple of the Hidden Name. “Thank you for that, Priestess Dindreann. I wonder, are you powerful enough to cast the strongest form of the spell Restoration? We would supply the diamond dust, of course.”

“Mm, I would dearly love to help you, Dolce, but I’m afraid I don’t quite have that power. However, since you’ve done us such a great service, I will tell you my sister of the cloth, Froras, at the House of Stolen Hearts in Port Peril, she can definitely cast the spell with the power you require.” Dindreann was smiling. “There are other services I could provide if you’re inclined.”

Dolce took the priestess’ meaning well. While she couldn’t help but be curious what sleeping with a high priestess of Calistria would be like, she didn’t really need the distraction and she wasn’t sure Captain Mirielle would accept the delay. “I’m honored that you would offer such a blessing, Priestess, but you know I keep my faith with Besmara and she would not approve of me delaying my captain’s errands.”

Dindreann twirled her finger through her silky hair and said, “Such a shame. I imagine I would have enjoyed you… And that you would have lasted much longer than he did.” She gestured idly at the naked man on her bed. “Well, if you ever have a spare moment, Darling, you know you’re welcome here. Do extend my thanks to your captain as well, for the return of our beloved relic.”

“Of course, Priestess Dindreann. I’m sure Mirielle will be pleased to know you are satisfied with our transaction.” Dolce rose from her seat. She could now steer her captain to Port Peril where they could sell their plunder and see to Haneilius’ ailing mind, and then to Drenchport on their initial errand for Captain Freewind. “Thank you for your end of this as well.”

“Off in such a hurry? At least tell me this, did you visit Calistria’s divine vengeance upon the fiends who wrecked our poor Lady’s Sting?” Dindreann asked.

Dolce chuckled a little. “Most of them, aye. The captain died, much of her crew. The rest are hard at work on The Lady’s Purr where you can rest assured, they won’t be harassing your ships without provocation.”

“Oh, well I would have rather they’d all died, but at least I know they’re in good hands,” Dindreann said. She rose and offered her hand to Dolce. The elf shook it. “Do take care now, and remember, you’re always welcome here, Dolce.”

Dolce nodded. “Of course. Thank you again.” She bowed slightly and took her leave of the charismatic woman. When she returned to The Lady’s Purr she informed Mirielle, Nasha, and Revel of what she’d learned.

When Dolce finished relaying Dindreann’s appreciation Mirielle sighed and said, “These information brokers… An errand for a rumor. It’s a bit exhausting.”

Dolce chuckled. “At least we have a rumor to go on now, Captain. I’m not sure we’d learn much at all without that.”

“Everything must start with something, and before them we had no place to begin,” Nasha said quietly.

“Fucking annoying,” Revel said.

Mirielle nodded. “I’m with you on this one, Revel. All the same, I suppose we can make for Port Peril first to sell all the treasures in our hold, and then for Drenchport. That will also allow us to make good on our promise to Haneilius.”

“You read my mind, Cap.” Dolce popped her knuckles. “And I will have time to study Vakarla’s spellbook while we’re in route.”

Mirielle chuckled. “Do you have the supplies to copy any spells out of it?”

“I do,” Dolce said, a little defensively.

Mirielle could smell blood and with a smirk she asked, “Is that because you bungled copying some scroll or other and the magic of the inks wasn’t expended?”

“Tch. You know too much for your own good, Captain.”

Revel started laughing before saying, “What? You bungled copying a scroll? I thought you were the smart one!”

Dolce eyed Revel flatly. “I am smart, but so are you.”

“Yeah, but no one expects it from me!” Revel said, laughing some more. “I’m sure that’s fine though. I’m sure you’ll do better next time.”

“Ugh. May I go?” Dolce asked Mirielle. Her cheeks were a little pink at this point. The aasimar mercifully nodded and Dolce left the captain’s cabin.

Seeing Dolce leave in this manner caused even quiet Nasha to snicker in her oddly hissing way. “Perhaps she is not as patient as I imagined.”

Revel snorted. “I don’t think she’s nearly as patient as you imagine. She likes to get things done right the first go around.”

“This is true. Hopefully she is able to make good use of the spellbook at least.” Nasha’s tail gently thudded on the floor of the cabin.

“I’ve no doubt she will. Let’s get back to work, hm?” this was Mirielle. And as she asked the others nodded and left the cabin. Mirielle was behind them and soon enough had the ship sailing for Port Peril.

Port Peril

Dolce managed to copy over a few of the spells Vakarla had mastered that she had not herself while on the way to Port Peril.

Nasha spent the nights discussing the stars and the Iruxi with Emilia; the woman’s knowledge of her people was still very surprising to Nasha, and she could only imagine this indicated how close Emilia must have felt to Oxaquae, the lizardfolk from whom she’d learned.

Revel spent most of her days looking for half-orc infractions to discipline; though she never overstepped like Master Scourge had. She ate her dinner with the crew and spent her nights with Cog.

Mirielle, of course, spent her days captaining her ship, and still found herself surprised at the freedom she had to do so. She also got to know her knew crewmen, the half-orcs better. Each of them was assigned to the day shift for now, to maximize Mirielle’s time to interact with them. Quinn was sharing her room at night, so the two ate with the officers before making their way to bed.

At Port Peril they sold their ill-gotten gains for a tidy profit. Haneilius made over three thousand gold from his share since he’d required an even share of what was claimed from the Brine Banshee before disclosing its location.

Dolce and Shade headed for the House of Stolen Hearts. This place was even more opulently appointed than the House of Stolen Kisses. Honestly, Dolce had expected it would be. Pirates were a superstitious lot – herself included – and they believed gold was good luck. Dolce spoke with a dwarven man who seemed to be organizing the ‘work’ taking place in the temple. He said Froras likely had the spell prepared but would be terribly bored to hear this was all they required.

Dolce and Shade retrieved Haneilius and led him to the temple after acquiring the required diamond dust. Within they met an Ulfen woman with quite a bored countenance. Dolce couldn’t help but try to gain the woman’s attention, and so she used playful words and flirtations to see if she could. The elf was at least successful in making Froras less bored, for she was offered a discount should she choose to partake in the priestess’ more ‘mundane’ services.

Haneilius paid for the casting of the spell out of his share as well as for the diamond dust. Still, he was moved by the fact that Mirielle had chosen to help him find a spell caster and had sent her crew to see he got what he required. When they returned to the ship he informed Mirielle that he had decided to take her up on her offer of residing at Tidewater Rock. Mirielle told him it might be a while before they headed back that way, but Haneilius said this was no trouble. He’d simply stay aboard and assist in any medicinal needs while he was there if he was allowed.

With this accomplished they set out for Drenchport to track down Jaymiss Keft and see what he knew about a Chelaxian spy.

OOC Notes

Shadow Siphon became one of my favorite spells. I already thought I liked it, but this was my first chance to see it in action. So it’s a Reaction spell, the trigger is “A spell or magical effect deals damage”. The range is 60ft (but thankfully, Dolce was right where the fireball went off). It requires a successful counteract check (so a roll using your spellcasting bonus against the caster’s DC) with a +2 bonus, and reduces the damage dealt by the triggering spell by half. It worked as beautifully as I thought it would… And the targets of the spell (my characters + my ship) still got to make their saves to reduce the damage they took by half again… Mirielle and Revel failed that, Nasha succeeded, Dolce critically succeeded, the ship succeeded… So the ship and Nasha took ¼ damage, Dolce took 0 damage, and Mirielle and Revel took ½ damage.

Freaking Dimension Door, am I right? She rolled a 6 on her flat check to cast a spell while being grabbed… And I forgot that somatic components trigger Revel’s Attack of Opportunity feat, so she got away unscathed. -.-

Mirielle got a feat last level that allowed her to learn one spell from a tradition other than her bloodline tradition (which is Divine)… So I opted for Summon Dragon from the Arcane tree. Dragons are just so useful… Fly speed, special senses, breath weapons, multiple attacks… Of course, at this level she can only summon up to level 5 dragons and they have to be common (as opposed to monsters with the Uncommon, Rare, or Unique traits), so she only has like three options… But in the future she will have many more.

Dolce has been rolling so bad on copying spells, and she has to wait til her next level up to attempt any particular spell she fails a second time. At least this isn’t like 3.0, where the scroll would be wasted on a failure.

I don’t remember if I mentioned that Shade finally left the ship while in the port of Quent. He was in the waiting are when Dolce finished meeting with Dindreann (I think this was the first time she went to The House of Stolen Kisses). This is the second time he’s left the ship. Dolce is pleased he’s taking the ‘risk’ of doing so because of her songs.

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