After defeating the Guards the Heroes entered The Wail Tavern to find themselves a crew. With the help of Captain Thurman (and a fair amount of Guldan), ten men were found to sail the Red Raven. Just about ready to depart, the Heroes wondered what to do about their horses. Thor must have been listening as they were approached by a man named Colgrim who offered to transport their horses to Ruathin (for some more Guldan of course…) and offered some advice. He said that Thurman was a good man and trustworthy and his ship the best around. He also said that Ala the Sea Witch had been here in her pitch black boat not a few days before. The black sail displayed a red coiled serpent and she had an inhuman crew, maybe some scaly skinned trolls. He also mentioned that her island home, Narvendul, moves around so may be tricky to find. The heroes thanked old Colgrim and set sail to find Ala the Sea Witch of Narvendul. Using the Sorona, Thorsgrim pointed to the east and said in his Sorona inspired voice “Go East 14 and North 2”. Looking at the map, the Heroes plotted a course. The journey was hazardous to say the least. The first day had strong winds and large waves making both Sven and Skrogg quite ill. A lightning storm in the distance gave the crew a light show to watch but also a scare as a black sailed Ghost ship came sailing out of it! Thanks be to Thor, it sailed right on by and left the Red Raven in peace. The next day was worse with a full blown storm hitting the Red Raven, but with skilful captaincy and much bailing the ship pulled through undamaged. However, the storm had caused the heroes to veer from their course and it took much of the day to get back in the right direction. With the weather much more calm, the Red Raven came across a Thyatian Galley floating on the sea with sails tattered and looking quite abandoned. Thinking it a wreck from the storm the Heroes boarded it to search for survivors or salvage. There was no-one on board, but signs indicated a hasty departure with unfinished meals on tables and little damage. Clearly this was more than a storm wreck. Finding the Captains cabin and his log the mystery deepened. The ship had taken a cargo of a single box, odd in itself, but during the voyage then crew began to get unwell and eventually die. The Captain, too, eventually succumbing to the illness. Where were the bodies? The heroes went to the cargo hold to discover the gruesome remains of the crew. Bodies littered the floor and in the middle of the carnage stood the box. Stealing themselves against the smell and sight of the rotting crew, the heroes moved to investigate the box. Thorsgrim with his holy symbol and Kurin with his protection from energy drain approached the box. As they neared it a voice was heard behind Sven, who quickly ran down the stairs into the cargo hold. The voice belonged to an accursed Vampire who had clearly killed the crew. The unnatural beast wanted the heroes to transport him to his destination. Naturally the heroes declined to help. The bodies on the floor started to get up, apparently the Vampire had some Ghoul-Friends. Thorsgrim showed the Vampire the power of THOR and he fled in a gaseous cloud, but not before Sven attempted to shoot the fiend. With much gusto the heroes got stuck into the ghouls. Ragnar with his axe, Kurin with his Dragon-Hammer, Skrogg with sword and shield, Sven with sword and Thorsgrim with his holy symbol. Soon the foul undead lay more dead. The box was investigated and found to contain dirt, obviously the coffin and resting place of the vampire. The heroes tipped the dirt out to find some coins and proceeded to prep the ship for a burning. Thorsgrim’s Holy Symbol and the power of Thor kept the vampire away from the heroes and on the burning boat. The curses of the beast could be heard as the ship burnt and sank. One more servant of Darkness defeated and sent to the netherworld where it belongs.
The heroes continued their voyage in search of the wandering Island and soon, as predicted by the Sorona, a small island with a castle on top of it was spied in the distance. No way in could be seen, except for the front door, which would involve a tricky swim and climb. As the heroes pondered this, a secret entrance in the rock was revealed to them. Either Thor or the Sorona had dispelled the illusion covering a sea cave under the castle. Not needing a second invitation, the heroes sailed the Red Raven into the cave and discovered a harbour of sorts. Moored to a wooden dock was a pitch black ship with a black sail displaying a coiled red serpent. This was indeed the Sea Witch’s ship. Unfortunately the area was crawling with green scaled lizard men (maybe the inhuman crew talked about back on the mainland?), so naturally a battle ensued. The lizard men were no match for the Wolves of Ravenholm and soon the cave lay quiet except for the lapping of the sea against the dock.
Where to from here? What other guardians will the Sea Witch have? Stayed tuned for next episode when you’ll hear Kurin say “I never thought I could be healed by an arrow…”