Something made The Northern Star run aground, Crysx knew. A gaping hole in the keel of the ship indicated what had made the captain so daring, the ship was going down before it crashed here. The quarter deck of the ship was almost submerged in the ocean where as the forecastle pointed toward the sky. Almost completely on its side, the party could easily get inside the ship by going through the hole in the keel.

Strewn around the ship were five corpses, all armored in plate. Crysx took a look around to see if he could recognize anyone. Disturbingly enough, the corpses were on the fresh side. Attempting to determine the cause of the deaths, Lisbeth was able to see that some were stuck quarrels from a crossbow that punched right through the plate. Others had blood seeping around some gaps in the armor. These men were killed by sentient beings that had intelligence enough to know how to get around armor. Pulling out a quarrel with a heave, and a little help from Crysx, they were able to examine it. It came to a very fine point, the head itself a diamond shape if looked at from the front. Clearly a bolt designed specifically for this purpose.

Crysx didn’t recognize any of these paladins, much to his relief. There was a good chance Eitger managed to get away from whatever had attacked the unlucky group. There could be some evidence in the ship as to why they were truly coming here. Crysx decided to head into the ship.

Just as he got close to it, some figures came exploding out of the gash in the keel. They were bipedal, covered in scales and an gaping fish-like mouth, lined with rows of needle-like teeth. They all carried crossbows and a sword except for the biggest one, who had a rather cruel looking trident. Without hesitation, a fight ensued.

600_451152080

The party emerged victorious with only some minor wounds, but it was now obvious who had bested the paladins. Corbin guessed there were more of these creatures during the time of the attack and this was all that stayed behind. A sudden moment of sympathy washed over Crysx, he gave the dead paladin’s their proper burial rights and buried the bodies. Some of the undamaged equipment could be useful, he took a sword and shield, Corbin took a shield as well. With the way now clear, Crysx entered the ship.

After some rather confusing climbing about, he eventually got up to the captain’s quarters. When opening the door, which was under his feet due to the current positioning of the wreck, he could see that half of the quarter was filled with water. The furniture bobbed lazily in the water that nearly filled the room. Crysx lowered himself down and started rifling through the desks to see if there was anything salvageable.

He found a waterlogged journal written by Galethin Inestrahd, the captain of The Norhtern Star. Crysx decided that he’ll read it with the entire group. Returning to his comrades, they devoured the journal, hoping for any useful information. The only thing that the journal yielded was that Galethin had no clue as to why he was sailing to Omen with the Order of the Stars and was rather frustrated about it. He accused Eitger of having a sense of honor way beyond his capability as a fighter and “their quarry was not worth the time of the Order.”

Puzzling to read, to say the least, but it at least tells them that the Order of the Stars was here for a purpose, a tangible one. As to who they were hunting and why, no one could say at the time, but still valuable information to be in possession of. Having another look at the battlefield, they found signs of a large group running off into the forest. About 15-20 people, Corbin guessed. With their newfound direction, they followed the trail with ease into the brush.

Omen was eerie, deathly silent except for the occasional sound of some creature in the distance, though never revealed.The only resistance that was met was a swarm of stirges, which were quickly dispatched by Corbin seizing the abundance of magical energy around them. Augmenting a fireball spell to create a swirling wreath of flames, the stirges were quickly turned into charred and blackened versions of their former selves, laying lifelessly on the ground. Eventually the party found the end of the tracks; an ominous hole in the ground lay at the end of the footprints. It was dark in there, almost impossible to see anything from outside. Corbin looked closer at the opening and determined that this hole seems to be created by a sentient being. Chipping away some of the caked dirt around the hole reveled that it was actually constructed of brick, this used to be some structure that had dilapidated over time and fell apart, thus creating an opening.

“If this is where they went, this is where we are going,” Crysx said, eyes burning with determination.

Crysx deftly climbed through the opening, not disturbing the stone at all. Corbin and Lisbeth weren’t so lucky, when Lisbeth came through the opening after Corbin, the opening gave way. The once sturdy stone wall they climbed through collapsed after being disturbed. some of the rocks had hit Corbin and Lisbeth, them being closest to where the opening was. Darkness engulfed them until Corbin used his light spell to illuminate the top of his staff. Crysx brandished his magical flaming ax to provide a little extra light.

The room they were in was merely a shadow of its former self, slanted and warped by the long period of time underground and the constant, shifting abuse of living dungeons moving about. They knew not where they were…

But there’s only one place to go, thought Crysx, as he looked towards a deformed doorway…

 

Stay Metal \m/