With the travails of Bathyal behind them, the party and their swashbuckling companions set off North to Shinael, the isle of the elves.
Hearalded by the call of ‘land ho!’ from the crows nest, the isle of Shinael resolves itself through the cloudy winter day. Thick bitter cold rain droplets soak the deck and your cloak, and all but Prism look eagerly at the isle for respite from the foul tempered sea.
Graced by sweeping emerald green cliffsides and bursting with thriving verdant plant life, it’s hard to resist the sheer feeling of awe that washes over you. Even on a miserable day like this, the isle exudes a feeling of ancient and graceful mystery. Soon the scent of the sea is washed away by the heavy smell of rich earth and deep forest. Ahead, a village of sweeping moss-covered marble arches reaches out invitingly to the sea. The place seems forgotten, and a strange melancholy hovers about it.
The Sea Bitch makes way for the elven port’s docks – through the mist a crew member deduces they’ve come upon the town of Tavrobel. Things are eerily quiet in the town at they approach…
Tiny droplets of moisture swirl about heavily in the air, adding a sleepy quality to the grey wetness that infuses the port town of Tavrobel. Aside from the unusually gentle lapping of the ocean’s waves upon the shore, the town is utterly and eerily silent. Gathered atop the masterpiece of artistry that is the town’s dock carved into a massive soaring eagle, you surround an unconscious elven man. He’s soaked to the bone and chill to the touch, but doesn’t shiver and seems to be sleeping peacefully.
Laurian offers little in the way of insight into what may have caused the elf to slumber. The party has only a bit of luck deducing that the ailment is not inject poison (lack of wounds). Obviously, the sleep came gradually enough to allow the man to control his slump to the ground, but quickly enough that no other villagers could come to help.
In the dock master’s office, the party locates a shipping manifest detailing the location of some expensive emeralds and a cache of alchemical distillation agents. Following the trail of breadcrumbs, the party stumbles upon a band of satyrs taking advantage of the unconscious village…
Passing through the first screen of underbrush, the faint sounds of pan pipes and riotous laughter can be heard from deeper within the forested streets. Though you are not stealthy, the group of boisterous and drunk goat men in the village square seem to take no notice of you as you turn a corner, instead they are focused on picking clean the unconscious elves of their jewellery and gold – pausing in their thieving to inappropriately grope the pretty ones.
Engaging the satyrs, the party drives them off and continues to the alchemical works where the distillation agents were delivered. There they deduce the source of the unnatural slumber – modified spider egg paralysis poison, aerosolized in an experiment to distill the substance into a more potent form. With their expertise, they conclude that the poison must’ve unintentionally mixed with the mist surrounding the town and knocked out everyone within it; additionally the poison, though gone from the air, must’ve somehow become soporific in their bodies – meaning it could be decades before the elves awake (not a death sentence in Shinael).
Before they can process the information they’ve gathered, the party is attacked by a strange creature – an indistinct figure with a nightmarish shape, not quite human or animal or fiend.
The party engages and defeats the creature, identifying it as an animate dream, likely a manifestation of the unnatural sumber of the village residents.
With the mystery of the slumbering village at least somewhat solved, the party expresses their interest in relieving the town of their cache of emeralds while they sleep. Before they set off however, they spot another vessel approaching the town…
Meanwhile, in the waking world…
Nemos, Verthos, Dantalion, Leatha, and Kaetoridax didn’t succumb to the sleeping spell that fell over the Sea Bitch earlier that day. And though they put up a valiant fight, they could not adequately defend the ship from another vessel (the Salty Hag) when it attacked. Holding the unconscious Marsala hostage, the crew that remained awake surrendered.
The whole crew – awake and sleeping, were taken into the hold of the other ship and locked below; the conscious crew were locked in cells. It was obvious that the sleeping crew were trapped in some sort of dream as they could not be roused to help their imprisoned comrades. The rival ship’s crew underestimated Dantalion however, who used his teleportation ability to move into Leatha’s cell and his horns to cut her bindings. The time had come for these unlikely allies to plot their escape…