They stood in muddy water outside a partially natural cavern. That rooms’s floor was dotted with small, muddy pools, none more than a foot deep. At least a dozen wooden boxes and chests lie in the dry areas, most open, with coins and weapons clearly visible within. Treasure!
Of course it was too good to be true that it was left unguarded. The construction of the concealed port many years ago, particularly the excavation via transmute rock to mud spells, attracted ooze mephits to the caves which proved a constant annoyance to Pelastour and his men.
“All this water is filling my codpiece!”
Their murmuring stopped. Was that Cromag? Why it was.
It was then that the mephits attacked with grease, acid arrows and a stinking cloud. The mephits were known to two of them so there were no surprises. Though weak they were clever combatants and flitted out of the range of hand weapons. They continued attacking with a breath of slime, more clouds, more grease, and another acid arrow. Between the obscured vision, water, mud, and furniture in the room it was difficult for the attackers to even get a chance to attack then the creatures had a resistance to all but magical weapons. Crossbow bolts and lead sling bullets flew and the monsters all began summoning. Balinda blinded the leader who was also a spellcaster. Fortunately all the summonings failed. Then Lemmwinks took down the sorcerous leader with three well placed shots. Bart spitted another with bolts and the last fled.
Shortly the clouds cleared and they searched the room. There was a thousand silver and a thousand copper. The rest of the stuff did not interest them. Gwaiyu picked a potion of invisibility off the pulped body of the leader.
They did not waste time advancing to the next little room.
This roughly spherical chamber is mostly dry, and the stone walls appear to be unworked. A passage in the east wall winds away to the northeast. A ghost manifests here when the PCs arrive and attempts to recruit them to its cause. The ghost appears as an insubstantial human figure young and energetic and dressed in sailing attire.
“Greetings, sailors. My name is Pelastour, and I built this place. I am ashamed to say that I am also the grandfather of Poltur, who seeks to sell our family’s honor to the highest bidder. My only hope is to help you destroy him.” He then readily tells the PCs the truth about Chimera Cove and the Terraken including the magical screening which prevents locating the Terraken with divination. He also explains that his ties to Poltur unfortunately keep him from attacking the scoundrel himself, and that it was he who added “The Accursed” to Poltur’s note in a failed attempt to scare off the baron. They spoke for a short time.
Where is Poltur now? “Very close, as the spirit flies. He is in a chamber known as Fluxhold, almost directly above us, and he remains there because Fluxhold offers a view of the Terraken and other locations within the islands through a scrying pool. Take the passage to the north, through the chamber, then northwest, then climb, and you’ll be there.”
What is the purpose of Fluxhold and the scrying pool? “An elemental is bound into the magic of Fluxhold, required by magical oath to lower and raise the water in the cove and the locks in response to certain signals. The scrying pool allows it to do this while remaining in Fluxhold.”
What is next? The next chamber contains Captain Vintresk and what remains of her crew. They are sea sworn and the Captain was a wizard in life. Her first mate was an Ulfen warrior. Three marines remain at their side.
Where is the Terraken? “Just where I left it 50 years ago: trapped in the oubliette, and unable to climb out as long as these tunnels remain dry. There, too, lies the amulet which controls it—the treasure Poltur is undoubtedly seeking even now.”
Why hasn’t Poltur released the Terraken already? “This may be my only success with Poltur to date. He has yet to locate the amulet that controls the Terraken, and is reluctant to make any further moves until he’s done so. Instead, he monitors the situation, too close to his goal to take a step back and find new allies, too concerned with you nipping at his heels to give the matter his full attention. The stage is set for you to confront him in Fluxhold.”
What can you do to help us? “Little, directly. As he is my own flesh, I have not dared attack him outright—the spells that bind this place are tied to me and my blood. I have some control over them, but he, being alive, has more. What would happen if he were to be slain, I do not know.”
Can you tell us more of the elemental? “Do not concern yourselves with it. It is a bound servant, and matters only if someone gives it the command to flood the oubliette.”
With that the ghost urges haste and fades away to nothing. They prepared themselves for battle with magical charms and Cromag drank his healing draughts. Then they proceeded to confront the Captain.
That fight is interupted when the last remaining mephit ambushes them. As the turn a sharp corner it spews slime breath on Bart and Jaron. Then it drops onto Bart’s face scratching and clawing. That proved to be a mistake. Although nobody else could reach it, Bart skewered it on his fine trident. Then he held it out for Gwaiyu to batter.
Ahead was a stone chamber filled with a roar every dozen heartbeats, similar to the sounds of surf, but amplified. A large pool of water fills the southern half of the chamber and extends shallow fingers almost to the northern wall. For decades Captain Vintresk, the sea-sworn pilot of the Terraken, has languished in this chamber.
The party saw her sitting behind a table with the tall Ulfen marine beside her. “Are we doing this?” Lemmywinks asked.
“Yes!” was the response, so she dodged through all the people in her way and entered the room. Immediately three marines burst out from the water and two were able to attack. One stabbed her viciously forcing her to spin to the left and exit down a short side passage. Good thing she was under the affects of expeditious retreat. Then she let rip with a scorching ray that destroyed the nearest marine.
Captain Vintresk got the right angle and with a word, unleashed a lightning bolt down the hall that zapped everyone and Cromag doubly so. The fight was well and truly on now. The Ulfen jumped on the table and began bellowing and flexing which left the first three people in line shaken. Then the remaining two marines moved up. Bart nicked one. The first attacked Bartholomew and missed and the wouned one continued up to Lemmy in the other passage and missed.
There was a general feeling of hopelessness, but the regular marines were quickly destroyed. Bart pierced the one over and over and Lemmy sprayed fired on the one after her. Jaron entered the room only to have the first mate jump down from the table and run him through with his longsword. The investigator wobbled on the edge of unconsiousness.
It was then that the ghost of Pelastour manifested again. Vintresk hissed at her old enemy who launched into a lively sea shanty that bolstered everyone’s spirits. They felt sure that victory would be snatched from the jaws of defeat! Pelastour also reached out and touched the Ulfen marine who wailed and collapsed into the water.
Vintresk burned the her old enemy with a ray of fire and then everyone else was upon her. She fought back primarily with spells although she was armed with an impressive trident herself. She took their blows sometime healing herself other times attacking. Cromag was held. Gwaiyu cast rage on Jaron allowing him to move over and deal the final blow to the captain and send her to her eternal reward.
Pelastour was gone but for the moment they were safe and Balinda excitedly announced that the room was full of magic. They grabbed armfuls of stuff and retreated to the chamber where the helpful ghost had first appeared. They barracaded it with things from the mephit’s room and then started treating wounds and identifying magic items.
It was clear they were done for the day even though it was 9 am. Most of them were close to unconsciousness and almost all magic was used up for the day. Adventuring is tough!