Jayse gives himself a quick once-over and finds no other unknown or mysterious baubles. He does find more tattooing however. He has smaller tattoos (of the same variety as those on his hands) on his elbows and knees. His feet are fully tattooed like his hands. And while he is searching himself, Fin calls out in her odd aquatic fashion. Apparently, Jayse has a long line of tattoos stretching down along his spine.
Straehan, thinking that his earlier search of his pouches and pack were enough, clearly rethinks that idea in light of the hidden glasses. He thoroughly pats himself down and finds nothing else of interest.
Earlier, Fin also searched through her goods and found nothing of particular note save her sword which seems unusually adept for work in water and is a hell of a shark killer.
Regarding travel - in Fin's search of the debris field she recovered a long spar of wood which could be used as a mast. Several lengths of rope. and a torn 4' x 8' piece of sail-cloth.
Under Fin's unclear directions but clear expertise Prof: Sailor + Craft:Boats + boat-making tools and the materials at hand you are able to rig up a modest lateen sail and a very primitive rudder as well as 2 (putting it generously) ersatz 'oars', if needed.
So are you guys going to head roughly NE towards the lingering clouds or some other direction?
Ushari grabs one of the makeshift oars, and starts to row, as best as she can. Her movements are somewhat jerky and uneven, but she presses on without a word of complaint.
NE gets my vote.
Findelgwing waves to Ushari and then points to the sky, then the sail and makes a pushing motion. She then puts her hands together as if in prayer, places her head alongside with eyes closed and makes a sound like exaggerated snoring.
"Hey, Ushari, I think she just said you're boring."
As they prep the sails, he is constantly looking at his tattoos. "okay, i hate to be 'that guy', but can anyone read these tattoos? Light, I'd be happy to know what language these letters are."
You can just hear him mutter, "Maybe i was a tattoo-ist."
Sense Motive 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (6) + 3 = 9
Ushari shoots a dark look at Jayse, before she resumes her turn at the oars. Only when Jayse gently nudges her, does she get the message that she needs to rest.
Straehan gives him a deadpan look. "Maybe you are that guy. Probably why you found yourself tied to an anchor before." A big grin splits his face.
He does examine the tattoos.
K: Arcana 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (11) + 8 = 19
Spellcraft 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (13) + 8 = 21
He whistles. "Some of these clearly look like an alphabet or syllabary because the characters repeat in different spots. Some look like plain old symbols and others look vaguely magical... but it isn't any magical script that I seem to know. And the alphabet stuff isn't in any language I can recognize." He tries to lighten the unhelpful information, "Maybe you had a job as a walking poster-board?"
SM 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (7) + 1 = 8
I could do without the raft trip. What is Ushari going to do anyway? Make googly eyes at Jayse all day long? He he.
Voyage of the Damned
Day 1 - A steady East wind blows all day, filling the meager sail of your raft and propelling you at a good clip. You see no sign of land and the only sharks you see are too small to be a threat. They circle only a few times out of curiosity before moving away. All of you find little distractions to keep your minds busy and to avoid dwelling on the vast holes in your memories. Straehan sits at the back of the boat, facing the water trying to figure out what spells he knows through trial and error. He sits here because one of his early experiments nearly torched the sail. He manages to make some headway after only a few mishaps - such as blinding everyone with a flash of light. The wind blows all night long propelling you through a large swath of luminescent plankton that provide a comforting light.
J's Perception 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (19) + 8 = 27
U's Perception 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (13) + 7 = 20
F's Perception 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (16) + 5 = 21
S's Perception 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (15) + 7 = 22
S's Spellcraft 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (7) + 8 = 15
Day 2 - The steady East wind has abandoned you. But the clouds you are aiming towards are still there in the far distance. The current still carries you sluggishly North-East but the sun is unrelenting. You paddle in teams and take refreshing dips in between shifts. About mid-day you run across a debris field - spars of wood and the like. You suspect it is from your ship, a fact confirmed when Jayse jumps in the water with a surprised shout and comes out bearing a long jacket and quarterstaff - both his. Straehan's magic experiments progress enough that he provides a minor fireworks show in the evening without setting the raft on fire. Ushari takes it into head to teach Fin the Common tongue. Fin only smiles.
J's Perception 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (19) + 8 = 27
U's Perception 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (10) + 7 = 17
F's Perception 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (5) + 5 = 10
S's Perception 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (5) + 7 = 12
S's Spellcraft 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (2) + 8 = 10
Day 3 - The East wind has again rejoined your expedition. It blows mightily, hurtling your small craft along at a tremendous pace. Jayse and Fin man the guide ropes to the mast to keep it in place. All day long, you see a massive storm system approaching from the West. Clearly these winds are a precursor to an ugly storm that is bearing down on you. A blessing and a curse, the winds push you noticably closer the persistent clouds in the North-East. With Fin's fishing skills, Straehan's growing control of fire, and the meager rations you have - you all eat pretty well and food does not appear to be a problem. The water, however, is running low. With judicious use, it might last 3 more days. However, you expect a LOT of rainfall this night as the storm will no doubt hit you. As the storm approaches, everything is driven before it. Uncanny, thick, wisps of fog eddy around the raft and quickly pass on. They move so quickly it is almost as if the raft is a rock in a stream and the mists are passing you by. Most banks are small but some are quite large and serpentine. Somehow the storms winds do not break them up as you would expect. It seems vaguely unnatural. As evening drops its grey blanket over you, you hear the sound of gulls and albatross, also fleeing the storm. You watch them pass quickly overhead heading in the same direction as you are going, roughly North-East. It strikes you that gulls are a sign of land. The vast banks of fog in front of you make it impossible to see land and the only sound you hear is the fast approaching storm on your rear. And then you notice something else...
J's Perception 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (7) + 8 = 15
U's Perception 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (14) + 7 = 21
F's Perception 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (18) + 5 = 23
S's Perception 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (15) + 7 = 22
S's Spellcraft 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (17) + 8 = 25
More to come...
There is a distinct smell of smoke on the water. Behind you on the starboard side, perhaps 100 yards away, is ship that seems to be pouring smoke from its central hold. It rises in a column that is quickly blown apart by the winds. Its sails are stepped. There is also a central glow that illuminates the boat. After a moment a column of flames rises amid the smoke. Clearly the roaring fire is the source of the glow - silhouetting the boat and a few figures aboard her. Somehow, in the fog, you must have passed the ship. Even now you are pulling further away.
Ushari stares at the billowing flames erupting from the ship, and a pang of empathy wells in her heart. There has to be something we can do for them! But she almost sobs at the folly of that thinking, considering the dire straits they were already in. If anyone needed to be rescued, it was her and her newfound friends.
She strains to gather any additional information about the ship, looking for any naval insignia, or other identifying marks on its sails or hull.
Perception 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (12) + 7 = 19
Ushari stares at the scene. Unfortunately, due to the distance, fading light, and silhouetting effect of the flames, Ushari can't quite make out the name of the ship. Upon scanning the rigging, she notes two people standing in the rigging motionless. She also notes two flags flying, one on top of the other. As they flap in the wind, they are briefly illuminated by the growing fire. Both are rectangular. The upper one is a picture of a black machete-like blade sitting diagonally on a white background. The lower flag is all black punctuated with the symbol of blood red hand open, fingers spread.
Findelgwing stares at the scene the unsettling feeling that she has seen this before filling her with a mixed combination of fear and hatred. Her hand hesitates by the hilt of her sword as she struggles to recall why she is having these feelings...
Pro: Sailor 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (15) + 7 = 22 to see if she recognizes the insignia/flags
Ushari studies the burning pyre of the ship, and a feeling of fear spreads from her heart throughout her body. It wasn't one glaring thing that caused this feeling of terror, just several things, like the motionless bodies, and the flags flying, that individually meant little, but when put together...the whole picture terrified her.
Ushari looks over to her companions, "I...I think we should let that ship burn...it scares me, the people on it scare me!"
Crow's Nest Perception 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (2) + 7 = 9
Hand of Fate 1d100 ⇒ 68
Fin stares at the ship, her brow furrowed, something lurking just below her conscious mind...
She can't make out the name on the ship but the stillness of the men and the glow strikes her as strange... if the hold were burning, how could the entire boat be silhouetted? Why wasn't the rigging on fire?
With a roar that eclipses the approaching storm's fury for a moment, a huge ball of flame shoots up and several figures on the ship raise their arms, waving curved blades. She can almost hear the cheers.
As fortune would have it, the ship shifts in the tempestuous sea and the small party sees... there isn't one ship, there are two. The small sloop, previously hidden by the larger galley is burning like an inferno. The figures on the deck of the galley cheer and laugh, enjoying their bloody-handed work.
Fin doesn't know many words of Common, but the one indelibly marked in her mind is Pirate.
Your raft is now 150 yards from the ship and still moving away.
Straehan gasps as the scene unfolds. With uncanny vision, he peers through the darkness and manages to barely make out the ship's name as the vessel's shifting briefly allows the hull to be illuminated better - Wages of Sin. And he sees something along the rail of the main deck, facing the fire, that he will take to his grave.
Perception 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (18) + 7 = 25
Bluff (to cover his reaction) 1d20 + 9 - 5 ⇒ (13) + 9 - 5 = 17 shock
Findelgwing grips the hilt of her blade behind her shoulder, her pretty features contorted into a snarl of rage. Her teeth grind as the ship slips further and further away. In a moment of recollection, smoldering green eyes turn on Jayse and Ushari and every muscle in Fin's body tenses.
Sense Motive 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (14) + 4 = 18
For a moment, it looks like the tall girl is about to bare steel on the two humans before her eyes register the fear evident on Ushari's face — fear not directed at her, but at the men on the dark ship. Tears of frustration born of impotence of your situation begin to stream unbidden down her face and she collapses to her hands and knees punching at the deck of the raft until she can focus instead on the pain of her bleeding knuckles.
A feeling of utter helplessness engulfs Ushari's heart as the realization the other ship was being victimized by the brutal pirates on the dark ship. She is thankful then for the cloud cover which obscures the small raft's passage.
Findelgwing's reaction to the pirate ship discovery fills her heart with a sense of depression, bordering on suicidal insanity. For a brief moment, she wishes she could smite down that ship, with all of her willpower, taking the form of a white hot bolt of lightning that vaporizes the ship. In a brief instance, she actually believes such an event just occurred. But looking back towards the ships, she knows nothing of the sort took place.
Seeing Findelgwing hurting herself like that, she realizes the other woman was in pain, and needed healing, more of the soul than from physical hurts. She touches Fin's hand and leans close, whispering to her in the elvish tongue:
The raft slips further away from the Wages of Sin as darkness falls and the storm closes in. The pirate ship slowly pulls away from the dying sloop which is burning down near the waterline. Straehan takes the rudder, piloting them in a beeline away from the pirate ship, angling towards the nearest bank of fog. He focuses on the task at hand - in part to give Fin as much privacy as possible on the tiny raft and in part to avoid thinking about what he saw. He shivers and it is only partly from the approaching storm.
Crow's Nest Perception (last possible check) 1d20 + 7 - 20 ⇒ (9) + 7 - 20 = -4 cumulative crappy factors - distance, darkness, etc.
Jayce stands transfixed by what he's seen, his desire to help warring with his sense of self-preservation. I wonder what good we could have done those people.
sense Motive (on Strae's reaction a few posts back) 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (7) + 8 = 15.
He helps the gnome pilot their life raft away into the darkness, glancing back every few heartbeats, "There wasn't anything we could have done, right? I mean, they were as good as dead when we arrived, don't ya think?"
Still, his eyes seem to seek out the pirate ship behind them despite his best efforts to look away.
oh heck, I want a looksie 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (19) + 8 = 27.
Nice roll, Jayse. Be careful what you wish for...
Without looking back, Straehan replies with certainty, "They were dead long before we passed by." His words, however, don't dissuade Jayse from looking back...
Whether by a freak effect of the fog clearing and the sloop burning intensely, or the hand of a cruel God who wants Jayse's curiosity fully satisfied - the scene comes into view. The gnome spoke truly. The sloop's passengers have been dead for some time. Their headless corpses have been disemboweled and splayed out on the hull of the pirate galley facing the fire. The mutilation of their bodies is butcher-shop precise... they are 'dressed' like game animals. And their flaming craft is the bonfire used to cook them. And while that horror is bad enough, Jayse sees the final abomination on the deck above. Their severed heads are spiked upright in a row on the deck rail, their dead faces aimed outward to stare at their burning craft. Jayse notes that there are many more fleshless skulls along the rail. Most of the railing along the ship's length is lined with heads in various states of decomposition.
Straehan watches the monk take in the scene, hoping his eyesight isn't up to the task at this distance. A welcome swath of the unnatural fog blocks any further view of the two ships in their wake.
When Ushari is finally able to calm Findelgwing down, the exhausted girl passes out on the deck hugging her large sword to her the way a child might hug a stuffed toy or a doll. She makes no effort to convey who the pirates were, but you have the distinct feeling that she has encountered them before.
Ushari lays Findelgwing down, and covers her up as best she can with an old cloak that was stuffed in her pack. She gives Jayse a long look, and deciding not to take offense, simply says, "It makes sense, she is an elf at home in the sea, and those pirates show no mercy towards either human or elf." She sighs, and gazes at the sleeping form, "It is a story she will share with us, if she cares to."
Turning her attention to the raft, she says to Straehan, "Do you need any help steering the raft?"
Four or five hours after sunset, the storm hits in full force - sheets of rain, howling winds, and waves cresting over 10' high. The party lash themselves to each other and the raft. Sliding from crest to trough to crest to trough, it is almost impossible to maintain a hold on the guide ropes that keep the mast in place. By midnight, the pounding of the waves and the shrieking wind tear the mast and sail away. Even the timbers of the raft itself start coming loose. An errant wave snaps away the barrel and oars. The hours stretch out infinitely as the storm tosses them. A lifetime after midnight, flashes of lightning reveal a black shoreline less than a mile away. Fin and Straehan try to tell the others but the weather makes it all but impossible. They both kick furiously in the water trying to propel the raft to shore. Jayse and Ushari quickly follow suit. A series of waves carry them over a reef no more than a 100 yards from shore. So close.
F's Perception 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (8) + 5 = 13
S's Perception 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (17) + 7 = 24
Wave spotted at 100'
Too late to give much warning, Straehan spots the 25' high rogue wave bearing down on you. He only has time to yell a brief warning and you all manage to dive as the crushing wall of water drops on the raft. The last thing Jayse, Ushari, or Straehan remembers is the roar of the wave and the sharp cracks of the raft splintering under the onslaught...
Fin, aquatic born, manages to avoid the worst of the buffeting. She retains a narrow grip on consciousness and swims towards shore, the rope around her waist dragging her companions along. More waves strike propelling her forward. Some time later she manages to drag the crew ashore, they are all still breathing, miraculously. She collapses unconscious on the sand.
Reflex Save for 1/2 - DC:15
Damage: 3d6 ⇒ (2, 6, 4) = 12 non-lethal
F's Reflex Save 1d20 + 5 + 3 ⇒ (16) + 5 + 3 = 24 warning bonus DAM: 6
J's Reflex Save 1d20 + 5 + 3 ⇒ (6) + 5 + 3 = 14 warning bonus DAM: 12 Unconscious
U's Reflex Save 1d20 + 6 + 3 ⇒ (4) + 6 + 3 = 13 warning bonus DAM: 12 Unconscious
S's Reflex Save 1d20 + 3 + 3 ⇒ (2) + 3 + 3 = 8 warning bonus DAM: 12 Unconscious
Get out of my brain...
F=1, J=2, U=3, S=4 1d4 ⇒ 2
Jayse awakens by a persistent bumping at his thigh. He rolls over and groans, coughing up sand and aching from the storm's pounding. It is a bright day, around noon, and the sensation of solid earth instead of a moving deck is passing strange.
He sits up and looks around - he is on a long sweep of beach. The rest of the party are stretched out across the sand, still connected by the silk rope, amid the remnants of your wreck and possibly others. The ship remains are strewn across a half mile of white sand. It seems that many of the fragments of the wreck were caught in the same current that carried your raft. Almost as if seeking attention, the last unshattered bit of the raft - no more than 3' across now - bumps against Jayse's leg in the light surf. He looks down and sees that there are large carved letters painted in gold on it. Unfortunately, all that remains is the last section composed of an obliterated letter followed by ...doria.
Jayse gets up, working his arms and shoulders to ease out some of the soreness. He begis to rouse the others, moving from one to another, first checking for any obvious injuries then trying to wake them. Once they all start coming around, he turns to the gnome, "Next time maybe we can try for a gentler landing, eh?"
Heal 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (4) + 4 = 8.
As the others begin to come to (and if they're okay), Jayse casts an eye over the beach, into the water, and then at what is beyond the beach, looking for signs of humanity or civilization.
Perception 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (3) + 8 = 11.
When Fin gets to her feet, he checks his knives and asks, "What are the chances this stretch of beach is on that map of yours?" He then looks around the wreckage for his coat and quarterstaff.
Sense Motive 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (16) + 4 = 20
Perception 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (2) + 5 = 7
Know: Geography 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (15) + 4 = 19
Findelgwing looks around to see if there are any recognizable landmarks here (including the wreckage of multiple ships) then racks her memory and checks her maps to see if anything looks even remotely familiar.
Ushari crawls to her feet after being roused by Jayse. All in all, she has certainly felt better before in her life, even though she could not remember when that was.
She walks over to each of the other party members and makes sure their wounds suffered earlier in the shark attack are healing properly.
Heal 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (17) + 3 = 20
Then she looks around the shoreline for anything else missed by her compatriots. She also checks out the flotsam for any useful supplies that can be scavenged.
Perception 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (3) + 7 = 10
In case you really care.... You all collapsed on the beach at 4AM and it is now noon, after three previous days of travel with accelerated healing courtesy of Ushari. So, at the point you ran across the pirates everyone's shark wounds were completely healed except Fin who was down a single point which she would have gotten back today. So, you are all at full health despite feeling like you have been run through a grist mill. :) Since you have 'slept' for 8 hours (technically closer to 9 hours for you slackers who can't body-surf) we adjust the non-lethal totals and... presto... Fin is fully restored on her non-lethal health. Ushari, Jayse, and Straehan are each down 4 non-lethal. Now, I'm pretty sure you aren't going to run into monsters in the next 4 hours that do non-lethal... so we will just pop that up to full as well. Since we did a 'fast forward' I didn't bother telling you your daily increases, hope you don't mind.
Fin pulls out her serious set of maps and studies them, comparing features, landmasses, everything. The frown on her face conveys better than words that this place isn't on any of her maps as far as she can tell. Given the vegetation, and comparing to his snatch of vision, Jayse also rules this out as his home island as well.
Jayse spots his coat, now crusty with salt, on the surf's edge. Ushari's beachcoming turns up the nearly empty barrel of water (enough for 4 people for 2 days), and Jayse's quarterstaff. She is about to turn back when she spies a pile of wrecked cargo and flotsam wound in torn cargo netting. She sprints over, well, lopes over, and starts digging through it. She finds a sand-abraded backpack stiff with salt cross-strapped with a crossbow. Being a naturally curious sort, she takes a peek inside the bag. Aside from shrieking at the intensely blue crab that scuttles out across her hand, the thing most of note is a knife that, upon inspection, looks very much like Jayse's. She takes her prizes - minus the crab - and rolls the barrel back to the others.
The four of you look around. You are in a semi-sheltered bay that stretches on for miles. The coastline heads South and then must wrap Eastward for it is quickly lost to sight. The coast continues North of your position for several miles and then stretches a wide arm West until it is lost to sight. The beach is approximately 40' wide and quickly disappears into light scrub 'inland' (West) and, looking northwards up the coast, you see evidence of evergreen forests. To the South and Southeast, you only see scrubby vegetation. Looking due West, which is clearly 'inland', in the middle and far distances, you see the risings of a very precipitous mountain chain that speaks to the volcanic past of this island. The chain starts somewhere Southeast of your position and then continues to grow as it moves Northeast from there. Some stray clouds hang about the highest peaks you can see which are at least 100 miles away, at a guess. These are soaring, monstrous peaks.
The only sign of civilization you see, ironically, is in the water. There is a brown buoy floating about 40' offshore. It is holding position.
Hand of Fate 1d100 ⇒ 39 Nope
Ushari walks over to Jayse, a half smile playing on her lips, as she asks him, "Did you lose something, Jayse?" as she hands over his pack.
She turns her attention to the others, "I am sure we need to do something about finding some shelter, and also a source of water. This barrel of water will not last very long."
Looking at the floating bouy, she adds, "What do you suppose that bouy is doing there?"
Profession, Sailor 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (7) + 7 = 14
Any chance of a map of the coastline?
Jayse hefts the backpack and the crossbow, "Well, they do seem familiar." He methodically checks the crossbow over for wear, meticulously rubbing down all the moving parts and the string. Then he does the same for the backpack, shaking out the bedroll, testing the strength of the rope, and flaring up the flint and steel a few times before re-packing it. He speaks as he works, not looking up, "I think I agree with Ushari. It'd be good to find some fresh water and some shelter since the only sign of civilization is that buoy." Can we tell from here if it's an old or recently used buoy? "Me and Fin could swim out to the buoy to see if it looks recent. Or if it's got anything interesting underwater. How much of that shark meat do we have left? Shoudl we begin scavenging or hunting for food now? Not that I'm any good for any of that, but I'll help out however I can."
What is the weather like? warm? hot? stow the coat? :) Also, do i have the crossbow bolts? Or am i in the possession of a pricey and unwieldy club?
When his gear is checked, re-packed, on his back, he hefts his quarterstaff onto his shoulder, "No sign, again, of what I was before in the pack. Other than a traveler." He smirks and cuts his eyes over at the gnome, "So maybe I was a TRAVELING poster-board, then, huh?"
Sense Motive1d20 + 4 ⇒ (1) + 4 = 5
Findelgwing gives a sigh and puts her maps away, clueless as to the meaning of the banter around her while she was studying them.
With a sigh, the tall girl stands up, dusts the sand off herself and gives a *hmmph!* upon seeing the buoy. The then looks around for some place with a better vantage point, such as a tree, dune, or outcropping.
Perception 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (17) + 5 = 22
Climb (if needed) 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (9) + 7 = 16
If she fails to see any other signs of civilization, she will at least try to see if she can spy any more wreckage they can search or if there is evidence of anything usable for shelter (cave, hulk of a ruined ship, debris). She'll also do her best to locate fresh water and food for everyone.
Survival DC 16 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (9) + 7 = 16 rock!
Before Findelgwing goes, an idea strikes her. She whistles loudly to get your attention, shakes to her map case to emphasize it, points to both eyes, and then points to the debris Ushari was searching.
Ushari decides to check her own pack and see if there are any clues to her own past. The only thing she found of note was a coil of silk rope, 50' long, and also a waterproofed bag. When she opened the bag, she discovered an blue silk dress, low cut, and obviously expensive, and fitted to her exact size. Also there is a makeup kit bundled with it. She blushes as she looks over the tight fitting dress. She wonders how many times she has worn the dress before. The thought of wearing it filled her with a sense of excitement and dread at the same time.
When did I get this dress? Was it a gift? Is there a man who likes me? Who gave it to me? Sighing, she stows it away again.
When Fin whistles, her attention is drawn to the elf girl's pantomine. On hearing Straehan's comment, she replies, "Well, I could always ask her"