The heroes have little luck convincing any ship out of Caer-Dineval to sail anywhere but a direct route to Easthaven . They’ll not risk being pirate fodder or their livelihood. The are told that they can talk to the ferryman Creedon if they wish to sail immediately, as the larger ships must unload and reload their cargo.
Creedon is a bit of a cur and charges twice his normal rate. When they near Easthaven, it’s under attack! “Already?!” Creedon mumbles, but dismisses if asked to elaborate. (He’s tipped off the pirates while the “merchants” sailed out into deeper waters. A trap to lure the pirates into a fight in the open sea). Instead, they used a different ship and attacked Easthaven while it was defenseless.
It takes a lot if coaxing to get Creedon to sail to the dock (he fears being spotted bringing in heroes by the pirates he tipped off).
The party manages to convince him to drop them off nearby the docks where they try to thwart the attack and defend an armory. Inside they have a run in with the maniacle Derrick the Drownder and what’s left of his men standing over the body of a dwarf. The fight is on and eventually they manage to capture the pirate leader. They then force Derrick to lead them to cove, but once in sight of the cove…the Howling Fiend docks with it. Derrick tries to save his own skin and have the heroes killed, but Pyrse turns on him in his weakened state…runs him thru…and tosses him overboard. The heroes fight valiantly, but are losing the fight. The monk has an idea and makes for the ships lower level under the cover of a fog cloud spell. He then fires the cannons and the Howling fiend and sinks her in one fell swoop. Most pirates seeing the black ice ram going down, jump in the frigid water to try and salvage it but all perish and sink to the depths. The ship they’re on lists as the Howling Fiend slips below the waves still tethered to their own. They manage to cut the lines and avert being dragged down as well. Deciding to sail for Caer-Dineval, they do their best to bring the ship on a heading due north. They anchor off shore and use a rowboat to return to shore. The speaker is at first angered by the black ice ram lying in the bottom of the sea, but is thankful for the pirate menace being stopped. The group returns to Easthaven to receive payment for ending the pirate threat and reveal Creedo’s treachery to the speaker. With reward in hand and Vaelish Gant no longer a threat, they set about tracking down the ice witch. Their travels take them half of ten towns in search of the cultists of Auril. They hope to find some clue as to the high priest’s whereabouts and that he can lead them to Hedrun.
The trail takes them from Termalaine to the frontier town of Lonelywood. From there, they take a ferry across Maer Dualdon to the town of Bremen. The information learned along the way has led to the head priest of Auril. However, Davrick Fain‘s well known shop is being tended by someone else. After searching the shop and feeling like they are being watched, they hear someone rush out the back. The foot race is on as they catch sight of the cult leader Davrick Fane. He turns down an alley and right into an ambush by his cultists. This time they also have a dark adept as well as Davrick to contend with. It’s a bloody fight, but the heroes manage to kill all but one cultist who surrenders and Davrick who they put to sleep with drow poison.
Will they discover what the cult’s plans are? And will that lead them to the witch’s true lair? What ever happened to Akar Kessel?
Find out next time on…