The Origin of Hope

HLS Blink Dog - Charlene Dunn log2
Entry #5 - #8

Entry #5:
Mr. Sorrell found a strange thing attached to the drive of the ship, a metal-organic square-tube thing. In the middle of every side there was a depression, looking like an eye socket perhaps. It looks like it used to have eyes in there too. Every time I look at it it looks like kind of changing shape, almost, but not quite. Our translator recognized the structure. It is composed of metal and dried blood, the Gulchat technology! Horrible chaos tech!
Scout Middleton returned from her mission, she found a cave on a coast, a source of the creatures that attacked us last night. To prevent another attack, the Commander suggested that Ju, Cho, Rukan, Remus, and myself go to explore it further.

Entry #6:
Arriving to the entrance of the cave, there was a lot of lichen and moss growing all over the rocks. Sampled. I need to come back later to take a proper look, some of these looked like a new species I have never seen. The size of the cave entrance suggested to a natural cavity for the most of the part, with wet, natural stone. There were no limestone formations around. The air was filled with warm, rotten egg smell, indicating the source of where the creatures came from.
The path into the cave revealed tracks of the creatures coming in and out. The walls were covered with glowing lichen. Sampled. I wonder if I could extract the light creating chemical out of these. As we followed inside, the structure of the cave was more man made looking, with various improvised weapons lying around everywhere.

Note:
Try out a new distillation method according to Smith et al. to extract the lichen glow.

Entry #7:
We encountered several creatures as we continued inside. My companions are proving skilled in battle. I’m glad that they are here with me.
There was an interesting feature inside this cave-like structure, a fountain, looking like it was dedicated to some ancient god. Sampled the water. I managed to open a lock, revealing a Minotaur chest. And of course the hands creatures came with it.
The chest was dedicated to the Maiden godess of the Minotaurs. Found some strong healing potions inside, together with two strange potions, a yellow one and one green with red specks. I need to take these to the lab to analyse the contents.

Note:
Check for traps before you open any chests!

Entry #8:
It was a tough battle. They came from everywhere. Swarm of hands all over us. One hand even leaped on Cho’s face, it was not a pleasant sight. Remus, bravely charging through the creatures, managed to take out a lot of them. Also my sling proved to be handy this time.
As we started to catch our breath, there it was. A large gas lightning creature. A perfect ball shape composing of gas only. The gas atoms constantly colliding against each other keep the creature afloat. This also creates an electric charge constantly flashing all around the gas ball. Very impressive. No sample taken, unfortunately.
Remus tasted it’s power first, falling unconscious with the first stroke. Amazingly brave Ju, in an attempt to save him, swapped her place with him. She got burnt to a crisp on the spot immediately. I just met this strange elf, barely knew her, but still, a great shock fell upon me seeing her just die in front of me.
As that was not bad enough, Cho fell unconscious too. None of us were fast enough to get him back up. The creature drained all his life force out of him. I blasted flames into it as much as I could. The rest of us managed to kill the creature, but it was too late for Ju Ho and Cho. We took their bodies back to the ship and assured that they had a proper farewell service. The least we could do for our brave fellow adventurers.

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Journal of Rukan

I woke up to screams.

At first I thought it could have just been some bad rice wine, but it quickly became apparent that I was under attack. It seemed as though Kursk’s horde had some how flanked around the entrance and attacked. The screams were coming from the ship and it looked like others were already on there way up the tentacle. I followed rather nimble gnome up towards the ship. Once I arrived on the deck of the boat, I could barely understand what I was seeing. The ship’s crew was under attack by disembodied hands. I immediately drew my swords and attacked, they were not very strong, but they were quick and I did not want to see what they would do if they caught me. The translator showed some of his true abilities and swatted down many of them using spells that whipped right past me. While this makes me even more wary of the new visitors, it was nice to have some help in the fight. Juhuo and Cho couldn’t even make it up the tentacle, I doubt they would have the quickness to deal with the hands.

Just when it seemed that everything was winding down, I met the hands’ owners. Zombies summoned from some dark magics attacked the survivors back on the beach. It seemed as though everyone (except that nimble gnome) could not make it back to the beach fast enough using that slippery tentacle. We were not fast enough and many of the refugees had died. Tonight I will sleep on the boat and hope that we are not attacked again. I’m not sure where I am to go from here, but it seems as though my luck is running out on this adventure.

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HLS Blink Dog - Charlene Dunn log
Entry#: 1-4

Entry #1:
On board of the HLS Blink Dog as part of the fleet of 11 ships of Her Lady’s Navy Eastern Exploratory fleet. We set sail from Plainsgate to the East. My task is to map the natural and, perhaps, also unnatural riches of the East. Everyone on the ship is keeping up with their duties.

Entry #2:
There was a storm. Very unusual, did not resemble any natural formation reported in books so far. On occasion, I could see dark shapes floating behind the static clouds. I could not distinguish if it was the effect of the weather or not, had to hide under the life boat to be able to take notes. It was Farod. As reported in books, blue tainted brass scales, huge dragon.

Farod chased us, the HLS Displacer Beast was in his reach when its commander threw the HLS Dire Wolf between them and Farod. The HLS Dire Wolf fell, took all its crew and the Commander Richard FitzRoy with it. There was a lot of lightning, and everything went white. We teleported somewhere far away.

The Blink Dog suffered quite some damage. The Extinguish Fire cantrip was useful in getting the fire spread under control. It will take some time to repair it into reasonable state though. There is even a mechanical tentacle hanging from the side of the ship.

We arrived into some kind of coastal area with a settlement that looks like a fishing village. The birds don’t look like anything familiar to me. It is impressive that we just landed on the East coast. According to the books, it should take several months to get anywhere close to the sight of the East coast. There is some movement around on the beach. It looks like a group of people, a lot of wounded and dead. Good that we have a translator on the Blink Dog, he might be useful in this situation.

Note:
It is a good practice to tie oneself with a rope to a stable part of the ship when in a storm.

Entry #3:
We arrived on the East coast. The people on shore speak the Eastern and the landscape with plants and animals are very different from what I have ever seen. The Commander FitzRoy and the Reverend Matthews have the situation under control and are helping the wounded. Some people keep talking to me funny. Weird.

An unusual amount of seaweed covers the beach. Maybe a seasonal pattern of the region? At times it grows in clumps resembling humanoid shapes, or covers the houses quite far from the sea. These plants do not look dangerous though. Possible two species, of land and sea origin. Perhaps sister clade? Took some samples of seaweed reproductive pods and leaves.

Beetles living on the beach are fascinating! The colours not yet observed anywhere in the West. Very active at night. Interesting behaviour, rolling a ball of glued sand around everywhere it goes. Sampled.

Note:
Research more on cultural habits of the Eastern fishing settlements.

Entry #4:
Woke up to the screams from the Blink Dog. We got attacked in the middle of the night. The clumps of seaweed observed earlier were alive and very dangerous. The claw like creatures crawled all over the Blink Dog. The cross section of the creature revealed a humanoid hand with a seaweed top layer. Claws are the reproductive pods, sharp ends facing outwards. Upon connection with a soft tissue the tip of the reproductive pod breaks and spores are deposited into the wound where a new seaweed anchors with a hook like structures. Mr Bino had a difficult time cleaning the spores out of the wounds, although the clerical healing seemed to have an easier time dealing with these. Sampled.

Skeletons missing their hands, covered in seaweed, became alive as well. My toy dragon was not a distraction for them, they did not even react to the loud sounds it makes. Seem to act on instincts only. Managed to take a sample of the ash of one creature just as it desintegrated in front of me. Should have enough samples to perform some testing in the lab.

A lot of people died that night. Our translator expressed an impressive amount of battle readiness. After he almost fell out of the ship during the storm, this was unexpected. The paladin from the East was playing a drowning flashlight instead, for the most of the attack. The elven ranger showed some water related skills comparable with dolphins. Possible ancestral trait? I should try to get a sample from him to confirm my theory in the lab.
I almost died that night. The cleric of the East helped me to stay alive and healed my wounds.

Note:
Research more on the effects of moons and night temperatures on seaweed activity.
Should probably start learning some Eastern, these people keep talking to me and acting weird.
Research cultural aspects of the East.
Don’t rush to the battle next time!

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The Journal of Cho Guiren - Entry 2

I was awakened by screams in the night. After cinching up my leather armor and grabbing my mace, I rushed to the center of the village to investigate. Screams continued to echo all around me – from the makeshift tents that housed wounded pilgrims, all the way up onto the mangled deck of the airship that still sat floating offshore. I summoned Ju’Hou and made my way to the shore, trying desperately to make some sense of the shapes shifting in the darkness.

Before long, the sounds of battle rang out from off shore. The mechanical tentacle, still attached to the side of the hulking bulkhead, seemed a natural route to scale the ship and assist the sailors. With such a harsh blanket of darkness all around us, I thought it wise to imbue Ju’Hou’s shield with light, to better guide our way. With a valiant shout and a flash of her scimitar, Ju’Hou began to rush up the tentacle. Alas, the combination of slippery, wet metal and cruel shadows betrayed her footing, and the Elf plunged into the dark waters below. I shouted out for her, but saw that she managed to pull herself back up. Quite a bit more moist than before, she continued trudging up the tentacle towards the intensifying sounds of a battle on the deck.

Certain that Ju’Hou had found her footing, I rushed back towards the village to rouse Reverend Matthews. He approached me from his tent, clad in full ornamental garb of The Lady, and I could’ve sworn I saw a slight smile upon his face. I argued with him in an attempt to figure out just what in the Hells was happening aboard that ship, but he talked in circles. Exasperated, I abandoned the Reverend and rushed back to the tentacle, just in time to watch Ju’Hou the Clumsy Elf splash down into the sea, again.

Fearing the worst, I rolled up my sleeves and cautiously made my way nearly halfway up the slippery tentacle. With unsure footing and tired arms, I managed to help Ju’Hou pull herself back up, but the darkness got the best of me and, in an effort to help her regain her balance, I somehow managed to point her in the wrong direction. I couldn’t help but laugh a little when Ju’Hou took a brave step into the darkness and, for the third time, plunged into the sea.

In that moment of distraction, I must have caught my shoe on an errant chunk of metal and, to my dismay, fell into the drink, landing alongside Ju’Hou the Watery Elf. I began to swim towards a ladder that was hanging from the ship, but turned back when I heard Ju’Hou struggling against the undertow in her heavy plate armor. With a grunt and a groan, I swam back to aid her. I must have overestimated my own strength, as Ju’Hou struggled like a stuck pig and managed to drag me under the waves with her. Just as I began to come to grips with the idea that this would be it…the legend of Cho Guiren, Cleric of The Light, would end in a watery grave…a weighted rope splashed down in the water from above.

I bucked the weight of Ju’Hou from my shoulders and grabbed for the rope, hoping that I’d be able to drag her up with a sturdy handhold. Sure enough, I pulled her toward the rope and sent her up first. The nimble Elf clambered up and disappeared over the edge of the ship. The waterlogged, exhausted Cleric, however, only managed to get halfway up the rope before losing his grip and plunging…again…into the waters below. Good grief. After another failed attempt to scale the ship, I turned and swam back to shore, surprised to find that the battle had now shifted from the deck to the village.

I regained my footing on the sand just in time to see the Gnome blast a blinding bolt of lighting at some sort of shambling creature. Panic set in – I surveyed the village and saw nearly a dozen shambling creatures, some clad in the recognizable vestments of our pilgrims. What dark magic is this to cause followers of The Light to rise from the dead in these twisted forms?! Before I had time to think, another creature emerged from the shadows and nearly got the drop on the Gnome. With a Sacred Flame at the ready, I blasted the creature in mid-strike, turning it into ash that scattered atop its intended target.

As I leaned in to help the gnome back to her feet, a sudden jolt of pain raged through my body – a sharp, wooden stake extended from my abdomen. In my haste to help, I failed to notice another shambler behind me and found myself on the end of its wretched, homemade spear. I collapsed onto the sand, quite unsure about when or if anyone would rescue me.

To my surprise, Ju’Hou somehow made her way back to the shore from the ship and laid hands upon me. It’s hard to describe the feeling of being healed back from the brink of death, but you never get used to it. After thanking the Elf, I readied my mind and let fly a cone of flame, torching 3 shamblers that seemed to be heading towards the center of the village. I tromped through their ashes and finished off several other weakened creatures with my trusty mace. Another fight seemed to be raging in the darkness ahead of me, but was quickly ended by a searing bolt of bright purple energy – was the Warlock on our side? Apparently so, for the time being, at least.

After the hostilities had died down, Reverend Matthews emerged from his tent to offer healing services. Still suspicious of this servant of The Lady, I refused. As the gnome, the Warlock, and the Ranger stood on the water’s edge arguing about seaweed, I decided to retire to a quiet corner of the ship until sunrise. What a night, I mumbled aloud as I drifted off into an uneasy sleep.

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The Journal of Cho Guiren - Entry 1

Apologies for the delay in updating my logs – after having lost my treasured journal during an overnight escape from those marauding Orcs, I was unable to procure another notebook until now. Without going into too much detail, the caravan and I have been through a harrowing ordeal since those frightful nights. After reaching what we thought was a safe place to rest for a bit, an immense airship came crashing out of the sky, dragging some sort of mechanical tentacle along with it and laying waste to most of the village and, sadly, many of the pilgrims in the caravan.

After meeting the surviving crew, and excusing the poor manners of my Elven Paladin companion, I had words with the Captain of the ship, a shapely tiefling by the name of FitzRoy. Her deckhands, a group of Warforged sailors, set about recovering and repairing what little they could of the ship. Other survivors included an odd-tempered Warlock, a shifty Ranger, and an inquisitive Gnome who seemed more content to take measurements and catalog plants than to assist with the recovery efforts.

I also exchanged cautious words with the Missionary of the ship, Reverend Matthews. An imposing figure with blood red skin and horns, he clearly held a high position in the service of The Lady, something that I thought would trouble my Paladin companion more than it has. While the Reverend and I disagree in many ways, he seemed to show concern for the wellbeing of our pilgrims, as well as his injured crewmembers, so I grudgingly decided to accept his assistance. We managed to return the village to some semblance of stability before setting a watch and retiring for the night. Unfortunately, that’s when the real trouble began.

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The Clumsy Elf
The first night with the westerners

As the screams woke me at night, I immediately regretted not having slept in my armor. Even though it kept me well rested, it slowed me considerably in those crucial moments. Finally, when I attached my trusted sword to my hip and took my holy shield into my hand, I ran out, and noticed that my companions were already standing at the edge of the shore and looking out into the darkness. Despite my improved night vision, I couldn’t tell what was happening on the Blinkdog except that shapes were moving and seemingly fighting.

Did the Westerns go mad? Or was this an attack? Did the Orcs somehow reach us? No… whatever it was, it seemed to originate from the ship itself. And I couldn’t stand by while lives were in danger!

My fellow elf and the curious gnome were up on the mechanical tentacle in a blink of an eye, and by the time I reached them at the shore, they were already half-way towards the ship. Well, how hard could it be to climb this thing?

The inspiring cleric Cho has shone divine light on my shield and made it glow brightly. At least I could see now where I was stepping… though it didn’t help my slipping when I tried running up the tentacle. Really, who crafted this mechanism? It’s entirely not viable for traversal! I pulled myself vigorously out of the dark waters, with a determination to reach the Blinkdog as fast as possible, but alas, the Light was not smiling on my feet! Fall after fall, I tasted the cold water, gurgling and nearly drowning, while Cho came to try and help me. But as fate would have it, I nearly drowned him as well!

In the process of trying to stay afloat, I noticed that the translator Remus was on the Blinkdog, casting awe-inspiring bolts of purple magic that evaporated the attacking—…hands? — As my struggles led me closer to the ship still, I could see that those were severed, undead hands, which were jumping at the people on the ship! I was equally mesmerized by the acrobatics and slicing of those hands by the gnome Charlene, as well as the incredible feats of grace by my elvish kin, Rukan! Having grown in a home with humans, I rarely had a chance to see what elves were really capable of… well, other elves, except for me, of course.

Luckily, Rukan had thrown rope to save Cho and I, and as I climbed up to the ship, I noticed with sadness the bodies of the sailors who were torn apart by those undead fingers, although I was glad to see some survivors and that my companions were still alive. In fact, they have cleared out the entire ship with hardly a scratch. Except for Remus, he came up closer from the bow of the ship, and I could see his bloodied robes. Calling to the blessings of the Light, I applied Lay on Hands to stabilize his condition, even though I couldn’t fully close his wounds yet.

However, this was only the beginning! I stared in stupefied horror as shambling figures appeared on the beach, heading towards the tents where the wounded lay! I looked at the tentacle, then the water, then the beach, and realized that with my luck, I was either going to drown on my way back, or get there too late. As a result, I decided to just jump into a small boat attached to the big ship, cutting off the ropes that held it against the hull, and praying that it will stay afloat. This time, my prayers were answered, and I could row my way back to the shore. I tried offering my companions to join me in the boat, by they all decided to either take the path of the tentacle or to swim, or both… after a few slips… which were probably caused by me splashing all that water on the surface…

Nonetheless, the gnome was the fastest on her feet, dashing towards the shore and drawing the attention of those seaweed-covered undead. It tore me apart to have to watch her from a distance, as she was hit by those handless horrors! Her magic was impressive, it reminded me of druidic incantations… but it was a miracle that she was still standing after those attacks!

And my brave, loyal soldiers of the 7th Legion! They fought to their last breath, trying to protect those wounded men, women and children, and it was more painful to watch them fall than it was to receive any kind of wound myself. Cho had also made it to the front line, protecting Charlene, holding off the unholy onslaught of the undead, but they have overwhelmed him!

Finally, I was at the shore, as were Rukan and Remus. One of the shambling figures used his arm as a spear, but by the power of the Light, I knocked it away with my shield. It was now or never, Cho was unconscious and bleeding out, and I only had a tiny bit of divine power still in me. With a defiant yell, I ignored the undead completely and ran towards the cleric and the gnome. An attack from behind me found its way past a weak point in my armor, making sharp pain shoot at my side and blood spill forth. The wound was deep, and I had to fall to one knee as I reached Cho, before placing a bloody hand on his stomach to whisper my Lay on Hands incantation and partially close the horrific injury. There was no more that I could do.

Having gotten up to his feet, the cleric seemed to have gathered the might of the heavens and smote the three undead minions with divine fire! All I could do was simply try to hold back the undead to the right of me to keep him away from anyone else, while my companions have expertly dispatched of the attackers. Rukan was so graceful and effective that nothing could stand in his way, and Charlene did not back away even though she looked on the verge of falling over! She summoned a dragon! Well, a toy one. And very loud. It was fascinating! That is a courageous one. And as for Remus, I’ve never seen a mage come up close to an enemy when he didn’t have to… and let me tell you, you don’t see a point-blank-spell every day.

It was only after all of the undead were defeated, that we heard Reverend Matthews coming out from one of the buildings. Apparently he helped save some of the refugees, and I am grateful at least for that. It saddened me greatly to see how many of our people had died this night. Almost all of the people whom my father had tried to save… and… all of my fellow legionnaires. I was the last of the 7th legion now…

And then there was the matter of the seaweed. It had made me uncomfortable from the start, and now that I’ve seen all that gross green stuff on the undead and on their limbs, I felt even more uneasy. The gnome seemed interested in that flora, but I had a nagging feeling that we should stay as far away as possible from it. Thankfully Cho helped me convince Charlene and Remus to put an effort into clearing out the seaweed from their wounds… which strangely seemed to not want to get detached from their hosts. Whatever magic this was, I did not like it.

For the rest of the night, we helped with putting the dead to rest, and then all went to the Blinkdog to catch another wink of sleep.

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Journal of the Drunken Elf

I found myself after another bounty; some lowlife that had made the wrong enemy one way or another – doesn’t matter, just as long as the pay day keeps me going for another month or two. I had nearly cornered him in this small town in the middle of nowhere when Kursk’s horde attacked. It took everything in me not to stay and fight for what they had done to my family, but they were too many and there was no chance for revenge. I have spent the past several weeks traveling with a group of refugees – no sign of my bounty. Not that I had much choice, there was no where else to run with Kursk’s forces hunting us.

The local cleric and some noble-looking elf seemed to be running the show, fine by me as long as we make it out of this mess. The elf speaks the dragon’s tongue, which makes me wonder why someone with a high born status like herself would care to dabble in such things, but could prove to be a useful ally as we share multiple languages.

A new challenge arose as we reached an abandoned fishing village today. Not only had we run out of room to run, but the village was completely empty. It was an eerie feeling as if the entire population had just vanished into thin air. I knew in my heart Kursk had something to do with this, I can only hope that his forces are still far enough behind us. This feeling quickly changed to imminent danger as some sort of flying ship fell out of the sky and appeared before us. I have no idea of what kind of magics could be responsible for such a sight. Not only that, but it looked as if it had done battle with some sort of metal sea creature – it had a giant metal tentacle pierced through it’s hull. As several figures emerged, I readied my bow and prepared for the worst Kursk could throw at me.

As it turned out, the unexpected arrival were actually military forces from across the sea. A military commander, a cleric, and some sort of translator were on the front end explaining that they would help the refugees with the current situation, but I still don’t know the real reason they are here and am wary of their intentions. I did not speak the language that they were using half of the time, but I could tell they were no different than the highborns of Anar. They spoke down to us from the moment they arrived, and I do not believe for a second they have our interests at heart. That being said, they helped distribute some food we had found among the people, of course making sure they got their “fair share” as well. With a full belly and a dark night, it was time I emptied a drink and got some much needed rest.

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Journal of Ju'Huo 菊火
Adventure Week 1

It has been almost two months since the light wall began to fade, and with it, came the brutal end to the safety and peace that we have all been blessed with. My family – the kindest humans that I’ve ever known – did not lose faith in the Light, just as they wholeheartedly embraced me, an elf, even if it garnered them endless scorn from other members of nobility. I cannot bring myself to speak of my father, the Centurion, who I lost after the magical cataclysm on the bridge during our escape from the Orcs. It pained me even more to hear that some of the soldiers thought that it was his foolishness that will get us killed. I stand firmly by everything that he believed, and his legacy will echo through me. He would have never left those in need, and neither will I. He believed in the Light so strongly as to even see something within this darkness, and I will try to see the same. He had given me the artifact that he was keeping safe, and which must be brought to the Cathedral of Light. I will see this through. I do not know what the artifact is, but he instructed me not to look upon it, and I will not disobey his wishes. I am no leader. But as the daughter of the Centurion, I must do whatever I can to fulfill my duties to the 7th Legion.

Among the refugees that my father helped save, there was a cleric and a ranger, both of whom I was glad to have met. The human cleric is an interesting being, who at first shocked me with his bluntness when I tried inspiring some of the refugees to keep going, but then he came over and succeeded where I had failed. Since then, he was kind to me, despite me being an elf. There is also a spiritual connection that I feel, as we are both followers of the Light, but his flame of faith seemed to have somewhat subsided as of late.

The ranger is a fellow elf, and we can both speak our native tongue, as well as the tongue of the dragon-beasts. I’m sure it would look odd to those who do not know us, but how exhilarating it is to be able to practice a multitude of tongues! One never knows when the occasion would call for it. But of course, he is somewhat of a sneaky Elf, preferring to climb and hide and be overall agile… something I never got good at myself. Nonetheless, he is quite skillful, and helped me explore the abandoned village at the edge of the coast, even finding food for the survivors.

The village is where we have come to a stop after continuously running from the horde of orcs that chase us. It is here that I blame myself for not having stopped the refugee advance towards the boats, because that’s were an unimaginable thing happened. Through some kind of powerful magic, there was a blinding explosion, and all those gathered around the boats were dead – including my trusted legionnaire who was born in this village! – and the rest of us were flung back from the shockwave. When we came to, we couldn’t believe our eyes – there was an enormous ship falling from the sky! Black smoke, fire, a mechanical tentacle, it was all just too much to make sense of! When everything settled down, it turned out that these creatures – who looked like humans, and dwarves and gnomes – were just as disoriented as us. They spoke some strange language, and wore very strange clothes. Their mechanical and steam-like attire seemed somewhat unnerving. And lo-and-behold, who was their Captain? A Tiefling, along with a dark priest… bearing the symbols of The Lady. Luckily, I did not sense evil from them, and explained our own predicament. They were kind enough to help us with our wounded, although it made me uncomfortable that their priest began spreading his influence and turning our refugees away from The Light. Not to mention that he spoke with me as if he was speaking with a little child… it seems that even those strangers were just as distrustful of elves as the denizens of Anar.

For most of the day, their Captain was nowhere to be seen, and I wasn’t allowed to go to their ship to look for her and to ask what her next plans are. Although Reverent Matthews was correct in pointing out that we have a bit of a language barrier… at least our cleric can speak Western Common, and they also have an interpreter. That human interpreter seemed to have been of a high rank among them, as he hangs a lot around their priest and Captain. He also seemed to be familiar with a little gnome from their ship, who seemed to like to keep to herself, but who looked incredibly interested in… seaweed. The last time that I saw her near the beach, she was looking and touching that muck. Well… to each their own. I’m sure that seaweed is useful – probably edible.

My greatest concern is getting all of these people to safety, and fast. The orcs are still chasing us, and Light-knows how fast they’ll find us. The Tiefling had apparently sent her scout to look for any sign of the orcs, and then reported back that she saw none, but that the entrance to this coast has become blocked off. Well… we weren’t planning on going back that way, were we? And now that we have no boats… perhaps we could use this strange flying ship to escape? If it is still functional, and if those Westerns would be hospitable enough…

As the night fell, I stayed at the refugee encampment near the beach, to watch over the survivors, and I have awoken in terror to the sound of screams coming from the ship!

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