Fatigue saps Sajeek's strength, stealing the fine edge of his hands and hurting his ability to retain his grip (no progress onto the raft).
Revery slides part of the way onto the makeshift vessel and awaits someone else to counter his weight. Those that feverishly grab hold to the sides help to keep the vessel from tipping, but the enchanter will need to stay as low as possible to hold it steady.
The erudite gleans exactly what the barbarian had in terms of the creature that is stalking the group.
Maruusk rights himself and pushes himself to get back on the raft. "Pull a plank f-free from the r-railing! They're the only w-weapons we'll have!" Scrambling, he knows that death approaches, but refuses to just sink and let it take him without a fight.
(Fatigued, HP 5/9, non-lethal 5)
Climb: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (17) + 1 = 18
Climb: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (14) + 3 = 17
Gwendalyn realizes with a shock what it is that they face. "Oh no... it's a frenzied cauldron shark. It won't stop until it has to. We need to kill it or get to shore!" Eyes wide, the large Halasite carefully pulls herself onto the raft, and then -- still prone -- turns herself around. She lies with her weight spread out and fists up: improbably, she is prepared to elbow the shark if it gets close enough.
5/9 hp, 2/6 mana, Strengthen
Panting breaths become ragged gasps as exertion becomes the norm for those that were barely holding on just sitting huddled together (fatigued condition becomes exhausted for all save Gwen).
Maruusk and Gwendalyn join Revery on board the raft. Each person that commits their weight to the raft helps to stabilize it, permitting people to sit up and move about. As long as they take it slow, and remain on top of the sail they do not worry much about falling in (no balance check required for crawling).
Quin tries her hand at scampering up the torn section of sail using the rigging to maximum effect like a ring-tailed lemur (climb: 1d20 - 3 ⇒ (4) - 3 = 1), but she only gets part of the way out of the water before she cannot pull anymore and falls back to her starting position.
All are on board save Quin and Sajeek, who are feeling extremely exposed sharing the same environment with one of the apex predators of the animal kingdom.
(end of round)
(start new round)
You cannot see the shark, and it must be too low for Quin to even see its glow, but it will be piercing flesh in a scant handful of heartbeats judging by its previous speed and distance.
(tag PCs round 3 actions)
Revery: 1d20 + 0 ⇒ (12) + 0 = 12
Maruusk: 1d20 + 0 ⇒ (9) + 0 = 9
Gwen: 1d20 + 0 ⇒ (14) + 0 = 14
Quin: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (3) + 3 = 6)
Sajeek and Gwen hear something in the distance. Perhaps a voice, they cannot be sure.
Quin works to convince her frozen sinews to drag herself up the sail and onto the raft (climb: 1d20 - 5 ⇒ (10) - 5 = 5). Her muscles are equal to the task...barely.
The water roils and churns around Sajeek (immediate action), and the vah shir works to throw himself aside, warned a split second early of his impending doom by the pressure wave as the shark attacks from beneath (attack: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (3) + 5 = 8).
Somehow the monster of the depths misses Sajeek, but its momentum carries it far up into the air. You bear witness to a breaching frenzied cauldron shark, and the sight would be magnificent if it was not so horrifying.
Nearly a tonne of obsidian shark full extends out of the water, coming nearly 7' in the air. Water expels its gigantic maw, running torrents over rows of ragged-looking teeth. Each of you is sure that its pitch-black emotionless eyes had lingered on your tender flesh for a fleeting moment. And then the water explodes once again as the creature retreats into the depths.
There are at least two sharks and this latest arrival is the smaller of the two.
Sajeek has worn out his welcome playing in the waves and will be the sole recipient of all attacks unless he vacates the waters.
Gwendalyn's heart races with fear for Sajeek, while her mind races for a solution. Seeing how much weaker the others are now, she wants to help, needs to help; but she remembers what happened the last time they were both on the same side of the raft... "Revery and Maruusk, get to the opposite side from Sajeek, so we don't tip again. You too, Quina, if you can. I'll pull him out."
If (and only if!) they agree:
Gwendalyn carefully makes her way to the grey-furred Vah Shir, while others move to balance them out this time. "Sajeek! Take my hand."
Str check (with Strengthen): 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (16) + 3 = 19
Gwendalyn offers her hand to Sajeek, forgoing climbing and subtlety and simply muscling him on board.
The lack of proper leverage requires the beastlord to take up the lion share of the movement, but he is more than equal to the task, though he is missing a tuft of back hair from where the magically-enhanced barbarian grabbed him.
Though the finned-nightmares bump the boat, and work to frighten you into a catatonic state, they accomplish little. In due course they disappear 'neath the black, but you know them well enough that they are never far away.
(end of combat)
Your time floundering about in the frigid waters was not conducive to maintaining a core temperature (DC 18 fortitude save). Time has not been provided for the group to rejoin their defensive huddle (no +4 to fort save for wilderness lore).
Quinaweniel: 1d20 ⇒ 19 (1 subdual damage, exhausted)
Maruusk: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (20) + 1 = 21 (3 subdual damage, exhausted)
Sajeek: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (1) + 3 = 4 (5 subdual damage, exhausted)
Subdual Cold Damage: 1d6 ⇒ 3
Revery: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (1) + 2 = 3 (7 subdual damage, exhausted, unconscious)
Subdual Cold Damage: 1d6 ⇒ 4
Gwendalyn: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (2) + 2 = 4 (2 subdual damage, fatigued)
Subdual Cold Damage: 1d6 ⇒ 5
Maruusk finds a nice position of momentary warmth (critical success, 1 subdual damage healed).
Revery and Sajeek simply cannot find a place where the wind is not ripping through them (critical failure, 1 extra subdual damage) and the enchanter succumbs to unconsciousness as a result.
Everyone gathers and is able to share body heat (+4 from wilderness lore applied to future fort rolls vs. the cold).
Maruusk settes into hs warm spot. Things suck right now. "Nothing w-worse than being cold and wet..." Nodding to the water, "Except maybe getting eaten."
"I think we need to fashion this floating disaster into a raft with a mast." Pointing at the rail, he says, "I think we can fashion that into a mast, and we can use the sail for warmth and propulsion."
"Ugh. This is too much right now. Sajeek, Gwen, we need to pry that up when we can get some strength..." Sinking back down to the deck he says, "Just a few more minutes of rest though..."
The dreams start with just one thing, cold. Not the cold of a crisp winter's day, with the wind biting his cheek while his wrapped frame moves around to keep his blood flowing. This is a more insidious cold, not biting but spreading throughout his body like the toys in a child's playroom. Soon every corner is affected.
There is a woman there, now he can see, and she is very, very large. But she is his mother. She has an angry look on her face, probably because he forgot to buy the food at the market. Instead, he sold all his belongings, even his clothes, to buy a book. She raises her arm to hit him, and he knows it's going to hurt......
Now he is in a room full of water, trying to swim faster than the sharks. He has never been much for swimming, so the shark bites off his leg below the knee. Revery looks with interest at the tendons and blood vessels now hanging from the stump. There is no pain. It is still cold.
Now that the immediate danger is gone, Gwendalyn has the attention to spare for other things. "Say, about the time that Quina got back on, I thought I heard something. Maybe a voice? Not close, and I was kind of focused on the shark, so I'm not sure."
Heal: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (2) + 5 = 7
Facing some difficult decisions, Gwen tries to judge how close Revery is to death or permanent injury. She's a trained shaman, but still. Southerners just don't handle the cold as well, and that makes it hard to tell.
Gwendalyn catologues her options. I can heal Revery, who could be near death for all I know; I can heal Sajeek, who looks nearly as bad. I can wait and see what happens, or I can heal myself. I can meditate and heal more others, or I can put up a sail to get us out of here. Tribunal! Please help me!
The devout Halasite's gods answer her prayer with silence, and with the common sense that they gave her: she won't have to do as much healing if they can get off the water. Small tears form in the corners of her eyes as she shivers. "I-I'm sorry, Revery. I'm s-sorry all of you. I should be m-meditating, but n-none of us will sssurvive if we d-don't get-t-t to shore. And you all need to r-rest more than I do."
Consulting with Maruusk and the others, the cold-resistant giantess tries to tear the rail off of the raft. Str check (fatigued, Strengthen): 1d20 + 2 - 1 + 1 ⇒ (6) + 2 - 1 + 1 = 8 Then she maybe tears the sail into parts for navigation and shelter, as suggested; but she thinks about it first. Untrained Wilderness Lore to tell if it's a good idea: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (11) + 3 = 14 Finally, she tries to tie the mast to the deck and the sail to the mast -- if she even made it that far. Untrained Use Rope (probably to help someone else): 1d20 - 1 ⇒ (8) - 1 = 7
Everyone hears the intermittent sound, once it is pointed out, though it seems to be further away.
It is lucky that the sail has only been caught up by a loose board, since Gwendalyn barely has the strength to prise that board back and remove it.
Sajeek sees the advantage of the heavy and water-resistant sail as a means of insulation to trap in some heat, ward off the chill, and most importantly shield them from the killing wind. Huddled together under the material provides the group the best chance of lasting longer.
As to ripping it, you understand how difficult a process that is after a few seconds of futilely tugging on the tough thick-threaded wool. This material has been made to withstand the strongest gale that the Timorous Deep might give birth to, and only succumbed to tearing after a dragon's talons sliced through it. You will need something sharp to tear it, and even then it will be a tediously long process. The side of the ship is ragged, but that will be placing your hands right near the water, and the sight of two giant sharks stalking you makes that less than ideal.
Everyone sits on the 45'x61' sail, though most of it hangs overboard. It takes a great deal of coordination to get it onto the "impromptu" ship.
Glancing up at the 4' high rail you wonder how it is possible to rig a sail. What's more pressing is the wonder how you will stop the ship from tipping with the first gust of wind that hits the fabric.
One thing that Gwendalyn knows about the unconscious is that they do not normally recover on their own untreated. She knows not what to do for his injuries and only has healing magics to try to treat him. He continues to breathe in shallow breaths, but possibly not for much longer.
The board can be pulled further, providing a 5' long club, though in doing so it will open a hole in the singular "wall" you have that wards off some of the wind. The club could be viewed as a crude paddle if one used thinking that refused to reside within a storage cube.
As to whether the sail is a good idea or not, you are left with the question of wondering if sailing blindly is wise. The Timorous Deep take weeks to sail across. Morning's light will reveal much more, and possibly give you something to try to sail towards. Then again you might not make it to morning.
Frustrated with her efforts to make a sail out of the sail, Gwendalyn realizes that there isn't much point anyway at the moment. "I think that for now, we should just make a shelter, like our first plan; we can do something about making the raft move when we know which way to go."
"And I really really need to meditate," she adds, afraid to use the last of her magic on Revery now that the cold is affecting her too. If she finds herself near unconsciousness, then she will cast Minor Healing on herself.
Barely able to move his body, Sajeek lies curled up next to the others. Teeth chattering, his eyes sluggishly move over the tough sail. Slowly, the thought comes to him. They could use the sail to cut the wind and huddle underneath for a degree of shelter.
It wasn't much, but it was better then just waiting an other hour or so and freezing to death. A ghost of a grin fades from his muzzle. He doubted it would even take an hour to free to death.
"W-w-we need to use the s-s-sail as a w-w-wind break. G-G-Gwnedalyn, can you h-h-help me?" Sajeek asks, looking very much like a drowned cat at the moment. "I-I-I barely have t-t-the strength to s-s-stand, but I-I-I will do my best. I-i-if we can cut the wind, t-t-the rest o-o-of might survive t-t-tonight.
Gwendalyn had barely sat down to begin meditating when Sajeek's plea reminded her of priorities: if they were warmer, then she wouldn't have to cast as many spells. The poor thing was freezing badly from the wind lifting heat from the water matting his fur, and he hadn't been healed since the ship was hit by Faydedar; it was a wonder that he was still moving at all.
Moved to compassion, Gwen prepares to get the sail in place over them -- and for that they could use Revery. "Of course, dear." The robust shaman taps into the last of her meager store of magic, casting a spell of healing on the high-browed shape-changer. Minor Healing: 1d10 ⇒ 5
"But we all need to work on this together, and carefully, so that we don't tip the raft again. Moving folds to the other side as more are brought on board." Gwendalyn begins pulling on the sail, working in concert with the others. In retrospect, I don't know what kind of check: 1d20 ⇒ 8
"Look out!" Revery sweats despite the cold. "Shark! He's got my mother!"
The eyes are tearful or sweaty, and they open and are wiped dryer by bare hands. They look around, and appear to remember this scene.
The warmth, the second time in a short while, is telling. "Thank you Gwendalyn. You were in my dreams... Are we all... safe? From the shark?"
He starts to shiver from the cold. "What is going on? What has happened?"
Reverry's absurd question brings a genuine laugh from Maruusk. He laughs for a moment, then says, "Shelter will save us. We can rig a mast an sail the Deep later..." He joins Sajeek and Gwen in trying to maneuver the sailcloth to provide sufficient cover for them all.
"Ancestors! This sail is heavy!" He arms and legs tremble with the effort in assisting them with the sail, but he's glad he helped since the activity warmed him up.
Revery slowly flutters to consciousness as the shaman's spell pervades his tissues.
Working together the group is able to fashion a surprisingly comfortable, as snuggly as one could be post abduction with killer sharks circling while they are adrift without supplies, tent that provides insulation above and below. More importantly it blocks the wind, rain and spray; though it also removes their ability to see anything at all. Those that leave the confines lose the warmth (no +4 to fort saves vs. the elements) and possibly worse they provide none to the others.
Huddled together under the thick fabric you gain the faintest glimmer of hope as time passes (1 hour, 1 subdual damage recovered) and only then do the elements come into play. As long as you remain in this position your chances of surviving the exposure is much greater (hourly fort checks from now on).
Though the elements have mounted their attacks and arrayed their forces against you, the latest move has held them at bay a bit longer than any of you would have likely thought possible (DC 15 fortitude save):
Sajeek: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (14) + 7 = 21 (4 subdual damage, exhausted)
Maruusk: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (9) + 5 = 14 (5 subdual damage, exhausted, staggered)
Subdual Cold Damage: 1d6 ⇒ 3
Quin: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (7) + 4 = 11 (1 subdual damage, exhausted)
Subdual Cold Damage: 1d6 ⇒ 1
Gwen: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (1) + 6 = 7 (1 subdual damage, fatigued)
Subdual Cold Damage: 1d6 ⇒ 3
Revery: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (13) + 6 = 19 (1 subdual damage, exhausted)
Maruusk is looking in a very bad way and is barely holding on. Though the cold is a factor, it is the injury he suffered upon leaving the boat that is really affecting him.
The noise disappears into the distance, but you are sure that it was a voice now that you have a minute to think.
Night continues on, but you imagine sunrise to be only about 3 hours away.
Revery, finally relaxing, starts meditating to regain his mana. Hoping against hope, he wonders if they'll see the sun. If they do, their prospects will be dismal rather than bleak.
He wonders if he'd be better off as a piece of wood. Well, he might, but the others would lose his small heat engine.
Meditation: 7 mana/hour
Minor Healing (Maruusk): 1d10 ⇒ 1
Minor Healing (Sajeek): 1d10 ⇒ 1
Minor Healing (Maruusk):1d10 ⇒ 6
As the one least-affected by the cold, Gwendalyn does her part to turn the sail into a tent -- and then immediately begins meditating, as she's been trying to do ever since climbing on board. If they weren't being rocked by the storm, then there was something she had to do; but she finally has a chance to commune with Norrath and draw its abundant magic into her small warehouse (more of a shed really).
The only sign that the reserved Halasite is doing anything at all is that every now and then, she'll stand up (hunched over under the sail/tent) and cast a spell. First she heals Maruusk a little, then Sajeek; the teenaged shaman doesn't dare show it, but she starts to panic at her slow progress. What if this is all I can do now?? Fear sharpens her focus, and she finally heals Maruusk completely. "Thank the Tribunal," she mutters as she sits back down on the sail-covered deck, limp with relief.
5/9 hp, 1/6 mana, 1 subdual, fatigued
Maruusk: 9/9 hp, 0 subdual, probably no conditions
Sajeek: 7/10 hp, 3 subdual, probably exhausted
An hour drifts by permitting everyone to do nothing more than rest (exhausted condition becomes fatigued, 1 subdual damage regained), but the cold is far from defeated.
Maruusk: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (17) + 5 = 22 (0 subdual damage, fatigued)
Quin: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (1) + 4 = 5 (2 subdual damage, fatigued)
Subdual Cold Damage: 1d6 ⇒ 1
Gwen: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (4) + 6 = 10 (0 subdual damage, fatigued)
Subdual Cold Damage: 1d6 ⇒ 1
Revery: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (15) + 6 = 21 (0 subdual damage, fatigued)
The law of averages catches up to Quin and later Sajeek and Gwen (critical failure, 1 extra subdual damage).
Another hour ends with a flicker of light on the horizon, which douses you with muted light that makes the fabric of the sail glow.
Subdual Cold Damage: 1d6 ⇒ 2
Maruusk: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (12) + 5 = 17 (0 subdual damage, fatigued)
Quin: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (19) + 4 = 23 (1 subdual damage, fatigued)
Gwen: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (1) + 6 = 7 (1 subdual damage, fatigued)
Subdual Cold Damage: 1d6 ⇒ 3
Revery: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (19) + 6 = 25 (0 subdual damage, fatigued)
As the light washes over to illuminate your surroundings you are privy to nothingness in every direction save for a tiny speck in the distance, which is either a piece of flotsam or a really far off ship or piece of land.
There is a bit of meagre warmth given off by the sun, which permits everyone to leave their sail cave for short periods of time.
Hunger affects all of you, but you will not last the day without something to drink (can last 1 day +CON hours without water before CON checks are required to avoid subdual damage from dehydration).
The raft provides a number of attachment points, forcing everyone to lay down and hope that the wind does not gust too heavily, lest the raft be upended, and though it can be probably be made to work you will lose your shelter.
Squinting as the light from the morning sun reflects off the ocean surface, Sajeek looks out. The Vah Shir sees nothing. Just the empty water. The Sajeek's heart sunk. No sight of land or another ship. He silently looks off, lost in his own thoughts.
After a bit, someone notices the speck of something off in the distance. The sight gives Sajeek a spot of hope. They had no idea what it was. It could be a floating bit of the ship, a mountain off in the distance, or nothing more then a ragged bit of icy covered land.
Tearing his gaze from the unknown speck off in the distance, Sajeek looks at the others that shared the raft.
"Well, a speck of hope is better then endless ocean," Sajeek glances back as if checking to make sure the speck didn't dissappear. "Do we have enough extra sail to rig up some type of sail? That way we don't lose our shelter." Sajeek swallows, his tongues feeling thick. He frowns slightly, feeling like he had been out drinking the night before. Sajeek's head was muddled, and had the brewing sensation of a headache in his future.
The Beastlord glances as the water nearby the raft and shudders as he remembers how close the shark's teeth had come to ending his life. It wouldn't have taken more then a single chomp either.
"If it involves swimming then I forget what I said about rigging a sail. I'd rather hope we float to the speck off in the distance and hope we down't die of thirt before then, rather then get back into the water." Sajeek's grin is full of gallow's humor.
Meditation: 7 mana/hour
Minor Healing (Gwendalyn): 1d10 ⇒ 1
Minor Healing (Sajeek): 1d10 ⇒ 7
Minor Healing (Gwendalyn): 1d10 ⇒ 9
Gwendalyn spends most of the next two hours doing little more than meditate, truly earning the appellation "statuesque" with her stillness. She finally heals herself a little, for the first time since waking up a shackled slave in a doomed ship. Then she finishes healing Sajeek and herself, so that now at least no one has to contend with injuries in addition to the cold.
In the morning, they see a speck on the horizon. The thoughtful shaman replies to Sajeek's query. "We have a lot of sail, but it's tougher than it looks, and anyway we don't have much raft. I can't see how to rig it to catch the wind and protect us from the wind at the same time. I thought of using Revery; but without rope to hold him taut, he'd be more of a flag than a sail, and that's if we didn't lose him entirely -- and we don't want that!" She briefly rests a reassuring hand on the shape-changer's shoulder.
Gwendalyn brightens. "But we have plenty of sail here to make a bowl of sorts and hold some water! We'd have to take turns holding it up in pairs while the others drank, but I think it would work... We could really use that bread and water that you were talking about earlier, Quina. I think it's worth a try!"
The young Halasite grows serious again. "But then we need to make a decision about how to move this raft. It might be better for me to pull that board completely off and use it as a paddle. It would probably be slower; but at least the rest of you could stay warm, and I can handle the cold better since I grew up in it."
9/9 hp, 6/6 mana, 1 subdual, fatigued
Sajeek (full health, no subdual damage) feels his wounds knit closed, and though the damage the cold wrought on his system has been repaired, he still feels the fine edge of his movements have been stolen from him (fatigued).
Perhaps it is a coincidence, but the waves are bringing you towards the distant shape. It is likely that it is something floating as well, since dumb luck, in accidentally bumping into land, does not appear to be your forte as late.
The magician's spell will provide water, but it requires a container. Gwen's idea is solid, holding the thick sail and letting others sip out of it should permit most of the water to go down gullets, and not back into the seas. It will be brackish, but at this point it is the difference between life and death.
You have a 9.5' long and 4' high railing to draw boards from. Many paddles/clubs could be fashioned, and now with your sail fort you do not need it to shelter you from the winds as much as you had previously.
Storm clouds brew. By afternoon rain will fall and the oceans will roil up anew.
"I like the water plan. Let's try that," says Revery, looking at Quinaweniel expectantly. He wants to make sure it's done right, so he looks around for the best section of sail to use for a water receptacle. He will help to set it up so that it's easy to drink from, for everyone.
As he looks around, he looks up at the sky and wonders where he is. If he could see the stars, he might be able to guess a location, but even if he did that, it would not be much good at the moment.
His mind goes back to an earlier thought which has been scratching at the door trying to get back in. He lets it in and tries to feed it. He looks back at the sail, and searches for any loose rope attached to it.
Looking at the sky, Maruusk says from his spot laying on his back, "I do not like the look of those clouds. I'm not expert, and new to this land, but I've been rained on since I arrived, and those look like the clouds tha rained on me when I landed." His hackles rise and his ears go flat against hs head, his displeasure evident.
"Do you think we can fashion some paddles from the rail, and maybe something to steer this floating wreck?" He looks over at Sajeek and Reverry, "We need to catch up to whatever is ahead of us there." Nodding in the direction, he says, "I'm no longer injured, but I feel like I could sleep for a week... But, ill be sleeping forever if we lose it. For good or ill, we need to paddle as best we can..."
9/9 HP, fatigued
It only takes a few moments to prise free sufficient planks to provide everyone with 5' long club/paddles. There is some primordial part of your brain that feels better with such an implement in hand.
The sail is prepared, all it needs is Quin to shake free of her reverie and cast the spell.
Day's light pours over the horizon, obliterating the stars, but even that light is muted since the storm is coming to eradicate its warmth. The nights are long and days are short during the winter months, and storms are the norm on Norrath.
Several hundred feet of hemp rope are attached to the sail.
Paddling will be a tricky business to coordinate, since it will require people to move right to the edge of the frost slippery decking, and everyone knows that weight distribution is key to ensure that the raft is not tipped once again (please describe the placement of the group if rowing is the plan).
Fear and shame led Quinaweniel to withdraw within herself,where she stayied for some time,praying and sobbing.
She shook out of her numbeness when she felt hungry,and realized she wasn't alone in that.
"Sorry,i'll provide at once" she said while concentrating.
Status: HP 4/4 Sub 1 Fatigued
mana not sure if she recovered the 2 pnts spent; i guess she has no need to roll chann.checks for casting Summon Drink and Summon Food
The choice of where to sit, if rowing is the agreed upon as the best course of action, is presented by Gwendalyn. With a 4' high rail, looking like a child's gap-toothed grin now that so many boards have been ripped out, you trail in front of slightly disconcerting moaning sounds as the wind runs through the holes. Testing your sitting arrangement you are positive that it will work. What will happen when one of the sharks hits the boat, or starts biting a side, thus moving/killing the rower there and offsetting the weight, is anyone's guess.
Sitting that close to the edge will leave everyone with a choice: either keep the tarp over themselves as much as possible to keep warm (+2 to wilderness lore bonus for fort save vs. cold), but lose any peripheral vision for potential shark attacks, or go without (no bonus to fort roll) and possibly freeze and fall into the waters unconscious.
Quinaweniel works to focus on her spell (channeling check vs. DC 15), filling the bowled sail immediately (Channeling: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (20) + 4 = 24), though it takes several fizzles to produce food (Channeling: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (6) + 4 = 101d20 + 4 ⇒ (7) + 4 = 111d20 + 4 ⇒ (17) + 4 = 21) she is able to persevere.
The water is wholesome and potable when it departs the magician's fingertips, but is brackish by the time it finds its way down your throat; not that you care the least. 1 gallon of water barely slakes your thirst, since each of you need 1 gallon of water per day and you are not sure how long it has been since you have had a drink. Much more water is needed if you expect to survive these travails.
3 loaves of impossibly bland, akin to sucking on ice as a garnish, black bread appear and are devoured in short order. It is the same story with the bread, since it would take all 3 loaves to just feed one of you.
All in all you feel a bit of clarity return to your thoughts and the dehydration headaches disappear.
Perhaps it is your eyes playing with you, but you are positive that you are not making up ground on the distance dot, which once again lends credence to the thought that it is being carried by the same current that is affecting you.
The size of this ocean is mind boggling. None of you have experienced such distances where you can look in every direction and only see nothingness.
"Thank you for the bread and water Quinaweniel," Sajeek turns and smiles at the magician, keeping his eyes locked on her face. The lack of clothing seemed to bother her more then the others. And not for the protection from the elements. It was as if she was embarrassed to be seen without clothing. That was something Sajeek couldn't understand, he hated wearing clothing.
The water and bit of impossibly bland bread helped a great deal. The bread had awakened his stomach. His stomach had begun to think that his throat had been cut.
"Not to complain," the vah shir grins, his green eyes bright. "But I could really go for some meat. Not shark, I wanted to clarify to any spirits that might be listening. I meant some bird would be great," he chuckles. "Thanks again Quinaweniel."
A little bit later, Sajeek finds himself nodding as Gwendalyn instructs them where to sit so they can row more effectively. Not going back into the freezing ocean was all the reason anyone sane would need to listen to the towering female.
Looking over at his fellow Vah Shir, Sajeek smiles.
"I've lived planetside for about a full turn of the seasons," Sajeek nods towards the the approaching clouds. "Your right, that looks like a storm coming our way." Sajeek says, from where he is half bundled in the sail. If the sharks where going to sneak up from behind them, Sajeek would rather not see it.
Revery eats the bread in shivering silence, as if he's in a reverie of his own. When Sajeek mentions eating meat, Revery finally speaks.
"Bird would be wonderful, or shark, for that matter. While we're dreaming, I would like some vegetables and fruit too, please." This is directed to no-one in particular.
When they get ready to start rowing, he pipes up again, saying, "I tell you this. If our rowing seems slow and we need to hurry, I can buff us all so that we are stronger in the arm. The problem is that it only lasts about five hundred heartbeats -- or over a thousand if a shark is attacking, heh heh." He laughs at his own joke, and it is difficult to tell what part about it he considers funny...
(fatigued, full hp, full mana)
Quina waits until she has finished the piece of bread she just put in her mouth,without much enthusiasm, before answering the vah shir "Don't mention it Sajeek,i'm well aware it tastes horrible."
She manages to smile,if only briefly, at the request for bird or vegetables.
"Just a moment milord,i'll be back as soon as possible with the most delicious dishes our chef has prepared.What will you have to drink?"
Hungry sharks bump the ship and your makeshift oars. Summoned food and drink is ingested. The weather takes its toll, but between Sajeek's coordination, the sail, and Gwendalyn's healing it is neutralized. You make up ground, but not enough to get a proper glimpse at the two individuals you follow, before the storm hits:it hits with an absolute vengeance.
You hold on with all of your strength. All thought of rowing lost as you cling together and get as low as possible. Ice rain falls, shards of rain stab at the sails.
It lasts for days and there is nothing you can do about it.
Then, in the middle of the night (all at full health, full mana, no subdual damage, all remain fatigued), seemingly propelled by the crash of too close thunder, you feel the impact that you have been dreading since the first sign of the shark. You are all thrown far from the group's embrace, crashing into the unforgiving ocean water, only to be raked by the ragged jaws of the beast of the depths.
(Damage: 3d6 ⇒ (4, 2, 3) = 9)
Waves draw you further from the others and away to the grinding of the waves.
Just before you start to swim you are dashed against snow-covered land. It only takes a few seconds before the unconscious are found (group spot check: 1d20 ⇒ 20) and gathered together.
Sajeek: 1/10 hit points (fatigued)
Maruusk: 0/9 hit points (fatigued), disabled)
Quin: -5 hit points (fatigued, unconscious)
Gwen: 0/9 hit points (fatigued, disabled)
Revery:-3/6 hit points (fatigued, unconscious)
In your searching, utilizing the flashes of lighting, you find bits of shattered raft, sails, rigging and another two bodies.
As the nightmare continues, it is sometimes hard to tell the difference between the reality of the waves, the cold, the sharks, and the waking dreams that come in between the moments of clarity. Eventually even the real dreams seem more like dreamy reality and the lines blur, only to be washed away by the sleet that makes the nightmare complete.
It is more reaction, instinct even, that keeps Revery holding on, fighting the water and the cold, and trying but failing to escape the living death that courts their ramshackle raft's every move. Later, Revery would question it, as he had believed his race's instinct had been left behind with the animals. But thinking on it, he would realize it had not. The animal was still there, deep down, hidden far beneath the surface. He had seen it once before, perhaps. That leviathan would someday rise to see the sun, and would not be pretty.
Death's cold grasp comes so very close to taking him forever. She is still close, waiting patiently for fate or carelessness to bring him within her strong clutch.
Heal (Quina) First Aid vs. DC 15: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (2) + 5 = 7
Heal (Revery) First Aid vs. DC 15: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (10) + 5 = 15
Minor Healing (Gwendalyn): 1d10 ⇒ 2
Minor Healing (Quinaweniel): 1d10 ⇒ 4
The storm goes on, and on, and on. Gwendalyn manages to keep everyone healthy, but only by spending every spare minute meditating when she isn't sleeping. And thank goodness for Quinaweniel's magical sustenance! Since that's what keeps the young shaman going, to keep everyone else going.
And then it happens. Their small raft is hit so hard that Gwen feels herself fly for the second time, and then her nightmare comes true: a monster of the deep takes the bite out of her that it's been waiting for. Most of a thigh is simply gone -- and while it begins numb with shock, the salt water against her raw flesh starts to burn until she starts to scream. The blood loss is brutal and swift, and though by some miracle she suddenly finds herself on land, she can barely move.
Then Sajeek limps along to help her, she points out Quina's limp form, they find Maruusk together, and the black-furred Vah Shir notices Revery's unconscious body in the dark. A group effort to be sure -- and then some, since they find two more. But Quina and Revery look to be in bad shape, so Gwen tries to get them stable first with mundane means, learned in the Church of the Tribunal.
Unfortunately, while she's able to at least keep Revery from bleeding out more, Quina is a lost cause without magic. But even the little exertion from casting a spell would be too much for her weakness and injuries, unless she heals herself first; so that's what she does. Looking selfish in order to be selfless. Gwen barely heals herself enough to be able to move safely, and then she heals Quina as best she can. But it isn't enough to wake up the tiny high elf, unless she uses the rest of her magic; and there are still some strangers to attend to.
1/9 hp, 2/6 mana, fatigued
Quinaweniel: -1/4 hp
You are all but blind in the darkness of the storm. Occasional flashes of lightning illuminate the scene, but even those help very little since they tend to overload rather than reveal the truth of what is transpiring around you.
Gwen's ministrations either bring the others back from the brink, or fix them in place. Her own casting had torn her own wounds open (strenuous activity, 1 damage), but she is able to offset the motion by the liberal application of healing. It is a dangerous game she plays, but this is the time for crazed moves.
Gwen is surprised when she recognizes the wounds not to be from a shark's teeth, but from what she will later determine to be the unforgiving coral reef the party went over.
A strong calloused hand rests on Gwendalyn's shoulder from behind, giving her a very familiar comforting squeeze. Glancing over her shoulder she is the first to become aware that one of the two naked bodies had found its way to its feet and has stomped over to lend assistance. Rivulets of rainwater spiral down a beard so long that it brushes against the dwarf's thighs.
Holding his arms up, as if to collect his god's message, the dwarf leans down and caresses the cheek of Revery (Minor Healing: 1d10 ⇒ 6) and then moments later Quinaweniel (Minor Healing: 1d10 ⇒ 2) beaming down a surprising amount of warmth when both breathe anew and regain consciousness.
Both of you wake with a bawdy drinking song of the god Brell in your head.
All of you have seen healing magic before, which is why it is jarring to see it performed without words. Timing your observation to the flashes of lightning reveals a wicked scar running along the dwarf's jaw and neck. Something tried to take this mute cleric's head off and failed miserably.
The other body, a naked wood elf, remains still.
Revery's large green eyes open and try to make out what is going on. The ground is moving uncomfortably - no, wait, it is not moving! Why not? He sees the snow-covered ground, feels the cold wind, and realizes they have been washed ashore. He survived the shark! He looks around, expecting to find fewer than the five of the raft, but instead finds six, and another dead one.
He rubs his arms with his hands to warm himself, but his hands are so cold it does little to help. They were on ground - they need a fire.
Revery's misery is compounded when he quickly realizes how completely useless his intellect has been over this trying time. And it still is. He didn't really know how to light a fire - at least, he'd never done it. He didn't know how to catch food, although small game might fall prey to one of his spells. Outside the walls of Erudin, or another city, he was akin to a child, dependent upon the adults to help him survive. His brow furrows as he looks down at himself, disgusted. This was what Professor Elric was always ranting about - the difference between book learning and real world experience.
Revery looks up at the dwarf who had left a song in his head. How had he done that? Is this the dwarf who had helped them escape the sinking ship? Likely it is.
He stands up and looks around for whatever debris has survived. A sail-tent would again be necessary, and he thinks he sees some of the sail and ropes. His eyes scan the horizon for any kind of civilization. Oh, how wonderful a fire, and some roasted fowl would be! But his eyes see little in the darkness, so far away. Only when the lightning crashes does he catch glimpses of his surroundings.
Again looking at the dwarf, and quickly to the body he assumes is dead, Revery says to him, "I am Revery. And this is Gwendalyn, Quinaweniel, Ssjeek, and Maruusk. You helped save us from the sinking ship."
(3/6 hp, fatigued)
Falling into the ocean as the raft finally came apart. The sharks had grown tired of waiting for their meal to go for a swim it seemed. Floundering in the water, trying to make sense of what had just happened, Sajeek had been blasted out of the water, as if slugged by a raging water elemental.
What he had thought was that one of the sharks had charged him from underneath, slamming into the red tiger stripped, grey furred vah shir. What saved Sajeek's miserable hide was that the shark didn't had a solid chomp on the beastlord's torso. The impact had sent Sajeek spinning through the air. In truth, as it was later discovered, he had been thrown into a coral reef, lacerating his back.
Slamming back into the water in a pile of debris that had been the raft, Sajeek floated as his hot life blood cooled as soon as it left his flesh. The puncture wounds leaked his vital fluids. Half-frozen, the vah shir's blood flows out sluggishly, saving him from bleeding out.
Confused, Sajeek stares blankly up into the raging clouds as his mind struggles to orientate itself. Snarling, Sajeek rolls himself over and starts to swim. Instict had kept the beastlord alive, especially growning up feral. Sajeek starts to swim with all of his remaining strength, fleeing as best he can. While his mind was still trying to figure out what happened, his will to continue living got his body moving.
All he was aware of was being thrown about by the waves, attempting to swim, and trying to get a breath of air, and not water. And then his half dead carcass was slammed into the ice cold ground with a jolt and a half drowned moan of pain. Crawling and pulling himself forwards with his claws, Sajeek drags himself out of the surf. The vah shir lies face down on the frozen ground, panting raggedly.
Images of his new friends flash before his Mind's Eye, and he sees them all thrown from the raft. his eyes snap back open, burning brightly, as he forces himself to his feet. Snarling in pain as he stretches the ice that had somewhat sealed his puncture wounds, Sajeek spots the giantess and limps his way over.
Nodding as Gwendalyn starts to work on the others, Sajeek staggers over to to look at his fellow vah shir. Maruusk didn't look like was doing that well at all. He looked almost frozen and drowned. If wasn't for his breath freezing in the cold air, he would have thought him dead. Heal cheack1d20 + 2 ⇒ (10) + 2 = 12
"Don't move around, I'll get Gwendalyn," Sajeek says to comfort the other vah shir, if Maruusk was even aware of what the beastlord was saying.
Getting up with a groan, Sajeek heads over and sees what had happens. The dwarf! The same dwarf had helped them free the others and help him get out of the sinking slave ship. At his touch, Revery and Quinaweniel stir. His green eyes widen in surprise. The dwarf was a shaman! The spirits must be keeping an eye an Sajeek.
"Hello friend!" Sajeek gingerly walks over, avoiding straining his back more. He felt like he had been flayed and salted. "I'm glad to see that you lived. The spirits must favor you," he smiles, muzzle stretching wide. He looks over at Gwendalyn and nods. "Maruusk is in rough shape. I know your hurting as well, but he isn't really moving under his own power, and I don't wan't to drag him any further."
"I'm going to gather up the sail so we have shelther," Sajeek nods and smiles at the giantess and dwarf. A flash of lightning reveils the elf lying on the frozen grown. He doesn't seem to be moving at all. Sajeek's smile fades. He makes his way over to the elf to see if the former slave was still alive. He could check for the sail in a few moments.
Khae smiles at the others as they are introduced. He follow suit by entombing his mouth with a calloused palm and shakes his head to affirm that those waiting for words to spill forth will be disappointed. He writes his name in the snow using an extended finger.
You are confident that this is the dwarf that helped you escape, though he is too modest to take credit for such things.
The horizon is stolen by the raging storm, but you do catch glimpses of mountains and a tree line.
Sajeek sees tracks as he walks over to the elf. The storm has conspired to hide much of their truth from you, but you know you are not alone in this place.
Khae joins Sajeek beside the elf, and points to a horrific leg wound. The bone has been shattered and the blackened tissue speaks of poison. It is good that the elf is unconscious, since he will be in devastating pain when he wakes.
When the dwarf, Khae, writes his name, Revery is unsure how to pronounce it. He tries it as he thinks it is supposed to sound, with a sound in between a k and an h at the beginning, and an "ah-ey" at the end, and then looks inquisitively at the name's owner. It seems his hearing is fine, or at least, Revery assumes it is.
When Khae and Sajeek go to the other body and start discussing it as if it is alive, Revery joins them to take a look, more out of curiosity than anything. No doubt, they would try to save the elf.
He looks around at the nearby terrain, wondering if there are caves, overhangs, or any kind of sheltered area where the shivering group could huddle together.
Quinaweniel remembers being on a raft at the mercy of the waves,in a cold and dark sea at night.Not that she had ever wished so, but it was better that being chained in a slave hold.
At least she thought so.....then a sudden crash and the raft is gone;she is caught by the water.
After that everything becomes dark.
The high elf felt pain for an istant all over her legs, abdomen and chest then everything is dark;she only have flashes of her parents' faces,she heard them shouting her name,calling her.
She feels warmth after she doesn't know how much time,and slowly opens her eyes again to find herself lying on some kind of cold ground.
At first she can only moan in pain as she tries to stand up but finds she cannot.After a few seconds
she gives up as her battered bady refuses to obey.
“Who was that saved me? Where is everyone? Help me, i'm awake but the pain is so much.”
Khae's eyes open wide foreshadowing the breathy seal-like laughter that follows. He shrugs good-naturedly and leaves everyone to come up with their own version of his name, since it doesn't really matter to him either way.
The wood elf is a mess, covered in the blood from numerous scrapes that have since been healed. Glancing at him, then at the dwarf makes you wonder if they came separately, since Khae has no blood on himself, and you cannot imagine anyone would be crazy enough to worry about cleaning themselves at this point.
Beneath the blood the wood elf is attractive and fit, carrying a number of scars suggestive of a well-trained melee combatant.
Seeing the rigging, the dwarf grabs a couple slats of wood and works to cut off a long enough piece of rope to tie a splint. It will take him a few minutes to get it done, but he looks more than capable of carrying it out without assistance.
The group will need to foray further from the shore if they wish to seek out the things Revery looks for. The storm rages far too viciously to see the surroundings in such detail. The mountains are the best place to find such things though...
Before anyone can move the elements take their toll (fort save vs. DC 16):
Gwendalyn: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (1) + 3 = 4 (1/9 HPs, 1 subdual, fatigued, staggered, half speed)
Subdual Cold Damage: 1d6 ⇒ 4
Revery: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (5) + 1 = 6 (3/6 HPs, 3 subdual, fatigued, staggered)
Subdual Cold Damage: 1d6 ⇒ 3
Quinaweniel: 1d20 ⇒ 16 (1/4 HPs, 0 subdual, fatigued)
Sajeek: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (17) + 2 = 19 (1/10 HPs, 0 subdual, fatigued)
Maruusk: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (6) + 2 = 8 (6/9 HPs, 0 subdual, fatigued)
Subdual Cold Damage: 1d6 ⇒ 5
Gwen feels ice crystals build up under the skin of her feet (critical failure), making it painful to move (half speed maximum or damage until they have been warmed sufficiently).
As Maruusk face plants it is Khae that steps forth to help. He leans down and caresses the vah shir's cheek, imparting healing magic and the song of Brell (Minor Healing: 1d10 ⇒ 6). The cleric wipes his hands across each other several times to convey that he has no more magic to cast until he has properly rested.
Suffice to say that the party is an absolute mess and you need to get to shelter as fast as possible.
The last days are a haze of storm-lashed fever dreams in which great monsters rise from the waves to accost the beleaguered crew of the tiny raft. Time and again, the behemoths rise, only to tease and terrify before subsiding with cacophonous crashes.
The dreams finally come true one day, as some monstrous thing attacks and destroys the raft and hope. Bodies fly like rag dolls into the water, only to be scored and savaged by denizens too quick and terrible to comprehend. Pain is the norm, and only fear of drowning immediately keeps Maruusk from succumbing.
He vaguely remembers being washes ashore somewhere, he sees bodies of his friends close, but the cold and wounds have stolen his urgency. He knows he needs to move, so he crawls a bit out of the breakers where he collapses.
Movement omes slowly, but that is too much for him. He listens as Sajeek and Gwen work on the rest of their little group. Movement must have indicated more facility than existed in him. He winces, but lets them work on the others. If the Ancestors wish to punish him thusly, he work not complain but put on a stoic face.
The decision to move on is an easy one, as staying where they were guaranteed death. Not that motion guaranteed life, but Maruusk always felt better when on the move.
Unfortunately, he was weaker than he though and when he rose to move on, his weakened body refused the orders. The hard ground hurt terribly as he crashed semi-conscious into it, full lucidity comes when the strange dwarf heals him.
Maruusk bows his thanks to the dwarf and sets out to help where he can.
"Can we salvage any of the sail or rigging? We could use them as a tent again." He goes to check the wreckage at the water's edge, before joining the others to walk out of this frozen hell hole.
Minor Healing (Gwendalyn): 1d10 ⇒ 2
Gwendalyn feels the ice seep into her feet, and the chill that strikes her heart is fear. "I'm afraid that I can't move very far, or at least not very fast. I think I'm getting frostbitten," the proud Halasite reluctantly admits. "But even if I could, I don't know how long we'd all last anyway."
The practical shaman considers the situation carefully. "I can't help anyone else if I'm unconscious, and I'm close to done. I can feel it. I'm going to have to heal myself again, and then that's it." Pointing at the wood elf she adds, "So the only way that guy survives is if we get him warm and I start meditating as soon as possible."
Looking grim, Gwendalyn continues. "And that could be true of several of us. We need to get up off the beach and set up another sail tent right away. Does anyone know any fire spells? Maybe we could even use pieces of the raft to make a little fire to help heat up the tent. Just a tiny one, not enough to risk the canvas."
3/9 hp, 0/6 mana, 0 subdual, fatigued, half speed
Now fully awake and again in control of her mind and emotions,Quina realizes how dire their situation is,and that it was the dwarf who saved her short ago.
She struggles to get back on her feet,and fights to resist giving in to the cold.
She approaches the rest of the party;seeing the dwarf busy in taking care of a wounded,unconscious wood elf she waits to talks to him,turning instead on Gwendalyn.
"I know one combat fire spell.It'll probably require several casting before it can make a pile of wood catch fire,so better we hurry before i'm too much exhausted too"
Channeling 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (5) + 4 = 9
Channeling 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (10) + 4 = 14
Channeling 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (13) + 4 = 17
Revery nods and says, "Yes, can someone with better night vision than me make sure we are above the high tide line? Let's make a small tent there right away. Put the injured fellow in there first and surround him. As for firewood, the dryest will be farthest from the shore. How will your fire spell fare against a wet canvas tent? Will it destroy it, or just toast it a light brown, Quenaweniel?"
Incoming waves of seawater pitch a fierce battle against the thick blanket of snow that has occupied the beachhead. Both sides unrelenting in their stance to either cover the jagged stones, or to reveal them. It is not really a beach you stand upon as much as it is a shore, for there is no sand beneath you, only rocks. The shoreline is extremely narrow and at points overrun by the abundance of thick snow-covered foliage spilling forth from the isolated rock you have landed upon.
The sail has survived relatively unscathed, save for a few minor tears it is ready for more punishment. Beyond the section of hemp rope that was removed for the splint, you have all you had before. As to bits of wood you have the bulk of what you had before, plus the remnants of a shattered row boat that the dwarf and wood elf had been sailing upon, and two oars. A pile of wood begins, and is formed higher than what you expect high tide would steal.
Floating merrily in the lapping waves is a barrel of expensive whiskey. The barrel will be cumbersome to bring with you, since it weighs in excess of 120lbs and is almost the size of the dwarf. The liquid within is flammable though, since it is 90 proof.
Khae tightens the final knot and then claps to get the other's attention to let them know that the wood elf was as fit for travel as he could make him. There was not time to make a litter, not that his nearly frozen fingers would permit him to. Patting the wood elf's chest he writes in the snow, "Syn," then pats him again, so the others would understand that it was elf's name.
Either Khae is slightly addled, slightly stupid, or does not speak the common tongue of the realms. His interactions are rare and consist mainly of gestures. Outside of that he resides as an onlooker of the throne room of Brell.
It will be a difficult task to muscle the sail and ropes along, let alone an unconscious elf, and the wood, so decisions will need to be made about how to accomplish that the most efficient way you can conceptualize.
Revery leads the way and the gods themselves must conspire to reveal something that would normally be impossible to see (spot: 1d20 - 4 ⇒ (20) - 4 = 16, critical success). He sees a low cave entrance about a mile away from your current position. None of the others see it, so to commit to the movement will be an incredible act of trust. Perhaps the erudite has something to offer the group after all.
A mile of slogging through the heavy undergrowth, made slippery by the snow, will be arduous. Navigation will be easy with Sajeek's wilderness skills, as long as Revery provides him with a heading. The trip through the forest will provide a great opportunity to collect deadfall to start a fire.
If the storm continues as it has then all sign of you passing will be erased, as long as you bring everything with you now.