They had returned to the ship, said their farewells to General Zetchr’r and made ready to sail on.
Jock decided to accompany the General back to Tunarrath, city of the Githyanki. His master, the Lich Arghul Norrimass, had commanded him to investigate this “dead god and the Lich Queen’s scheme to transform into a god!”.
Deckard, after crawling naked from the bag of holding, explained to them that, while he was dead, he had spoken with the spirit of the Dead God and received his blessing for getting rid of the Book of Vile Darkness. This blessing seems to have made him more confident and charismatic, granted his words the effect of the Inspiring Leader feat and also enables him to cast Healing Word three times per day (replenishes after a Long rest).
As a result of their recent experiences, Inquisitor Abraham realised he had now got access to more powerful divine magic, including a spell called Plane Shift, that can take him and 8 companions almost anywhere instantly!
Skizz, the goblin warlock/engineer was still working on the ship, reconnecting magical conduits between the Helm and the embedded starwhal bones. He should have restored enough speed in a few days to make them equivalent to a MEDIUM ship but to go faster, or to get the ship’s handling sorted out will require more crew to manage the rigging.
Before Skizz had finished reconnecting (while any ship manoeuvring would be risky), a huge ship was seen passing by.
It was shaped like a monstrous wooden octopus, perhaps 5 times larger than the Hammership. It seemed to have been in a recent battle as many of the forward tentacles seemed damaged. It was towing an even more badly damaged Vorandan Warship.
They had the chance to turn and head back through the Chaos Portal, but decided to set a collision course and ram!
Rurick scanned the oncoming leviathan through his spyglass and saw it was full of Neogi – small creatures, a cross between spiders and moray eels.
These things had mind-control powers and each one seemed to be carried by some sort of larger monster – Umber Hulks (large humanoid insects), Manticores (winged lion-headed scorpions) and the captain was carried by some sort of Oni (Japanese ogre with magical powers) – as well as the Neogi and their carriers, there were lots of human and orc crew running about.
There was an exchange of long-range fire – Clayton risked double-shotting the cannons and scored a hit on the enemy captain’s deck. The Neogi ship flung some odd-looking magical artefact and after a couple of near misses, managed to land one on the deck. The next round creatures began to materialise next to the artefact – two Umberhulks carrying their Neogi masters and one Manticore with a Neogi in a saddle.
The fight was on!
Abraham managed to guide the damaged Hammership through the wooden arms of the Octopus, jamming the ramming horn deep into the wreckage. The impact catapulted Mulan (invisible) aboard the enemy ship. [GM: Sadly I forgot the Umberhulks had tremorsense and she managed to make her way undetected to the Oni and the Neogi Captain].
Each round more monsters teleported to the Hammership until Mulan shot the Captain through the brain, breaking his concentration on the spell. His Oni slave tried to shield him and he did manage to cast another spell, missing the stealthy rogue, before she shot him again and finished him.
On the ship the umberhulks proved tricky to fight as they had to look away from their glittering multi-faceted eyes or become confused. The Neogi all seemed to be spellcasters and unleashed Hunger of Hadar.
Clayton met this with his Spirit Guardians while Abraham blasted the enemy ship with a Firestorm, setting it ablaze (and almost killing the invisible Mulan!). She got a message back and the Inquisitor began withdrawing the ship’s ram. Deckard protected the Inquisitor while he concentrated on steering the ship – only just managing to do it without blowing-up Skizz’s jury-rigged controls.
The enemy crew were fully occupied fighting the fires. The Oni suddenly seemed to shake himself out of his mental confusion and shouted that he was taking over and they should disengage and retreat. He managed to bully the remaining Neogi into accepting his leadership and the two ships drifted apart.
Mulan managed to disconnect the captured Vornadan Warship and the Octopus ship fled.
Back on board Clayton, Rurick and Deckard managed to kill the last of the attackers, but not before one of them killed Magnus Hammerhand – recently returned Red Orc Priest of Torkas.
Abraham’s revivify spell restored Magnus to life just in time.
They have now got the abandoned Warship which they can scavenge for supplies.
There are three captured, chained-up Vorandans – humans, covered with magcal tattoos of the sun god, infected with the berserker madness. It looks like they have been interrogated by the Neogi but the magic of their tattoos means that they regenerate.
Abraham manages to read their minds a little and between the mindless rage and hatred, learns that this ship “Blazing Pride of Battle” was one of three that was bringing a “Fire Seed” to the nearby Scro system “Scrovania”. It was their intention to drop the Fire Seed into the Scrovanian sun, turning it red and spreading the power of the Red Sun madness. They have branding irons aboard that look like they would burn the Pryuss symbol and were going to brand all captives to expand their armies. The other two ships had continued on to Scrovania, leaving the Pride to delay the Neogi. They were a week away from Scrovania (approaching it from the unprotected Portal).
Distances shown in Weeks for a FAST Ship in a good “Flow”. Normal ships take TWICE as long. Slow ships take FOUR TIMES as long.
Distance FAST (without a FLOW) 1 (week) 7 days (70 days)
MEDIUM (without a FLOW) 14 days (140 days)
SLOW (without a FLOW) 28 days (280 days)
After much debate, they decided that the three main options for them were…
1) Ignore the interstellar war they triggered and sail on to find Torkas. They now have enough materials to do their own repairs in about a week.
2) Head to Scrovania and try to stop the Vorandans from triggering the Red Sun there. They might be able to get repaired by Scro and even pick up some additional Red Orc crew.
3) Planeshift back to Voranda Prime and defeat the mad High Priest behind the whole Red Sun plot. They should be able to Planeshift back to the ship as long as it hasn’t moved.
They have chosen option 3 so will be heading to Deckard’s homeworld, hopefully to a stronghold of the Resistance.
What they know of Voranda…
Single Human culture – worshippers of Pyruss, god of Fire and the Sun.
There are Dwarves – maybe 1% of the population, most living in the underdark – even the allied clans are second-class citizens.
Prince G’Vrain’s father, R’Treel, King of Vorander is very old and came to increasingly rely on his First Minister Bu’Tross, making him Lord Protector about 8 years ago. The Lord Protector was a high priest of Pyruss who decided to close the borders of Vorander 5 years ago to avoid getting dragged into the war between the Elves and Scro. Once the borders were closed – the regime became more and more severe – executing people who tried to communicate with the worlds beyond and spreading the belief that all outsiders are Infidels who will burn in hell.
Prince G’Vrain led a faction “The resistance” that opposed this isolationism. G’Vrain needed the help of the Dwarves and so made promises of equal rights once he had been placed on the throne.
With G’Vrain dead and the Lord Protector Bu’Tross in charge with his fanatic regenerating troops, Deckard is worried that the Resistance will have collapsed.
Possible locations they could Plane-shift to…
a) Secret underground base of the resistance – used for meetings ? Has teleportation circle so you can get to homes of some other Rebel Leaders
b) Manor House of K’Rakas (G’Vrain’s old tutor – a powerful wizard who was in fact the Prince’s trusted advisor and secret leader of the Rebel forces)? The Manor House is on the outskirts of the Capital City.