The party finally set sail aboard the Elfmaid bound for Ruathym. Hrolf was immensely happy to see them, and Ibn was his usual, stoic self.
Aboard, they met a handsome sea elf named Xzorsh who immediately had eyes for Ielenia.
Roberto Brightwater met with Duke Abdel and High Councilor Trost for the first time. Immediately he found Trost to be a pleasant, understanding man, and Abdel to be an abusive tyrant with a short temper. Finding this contrary to what he had expected, he called upon his divine strength to determine the nature of their hearts, and found Abdel to be glowing with light, and Trost strangely lacking it. Although not evil, Trost is clearly more likely to preserve his own life before others in the face of a genuine threat.
Upon deliberating his findings with the group, they have a split opinion of the two men, and are still wary of anything Tsernoth may have touched – fearing their minds might not be their own. After the sad death of Zelphar Thann, they are cautious of the evil mage’s deceptions.
The first night at sea brought battle, swift and fast. In high wind, and under cover of darkness, a pirate ship anchored itself to the starboard of the Elfmaid as it approached the Whalebones, determined to ram it into the rocks. Pirates clambered across the steel chains that had been buried into the hull with giant hooks launched from cannons. The party helped the crew fend off the pirates and break the enemy ship’s grip – the release of tension threw it off course, and it met the very fate it had intended for the Elfmaid and its crew, slamming into the rocks.
During the battle, Ielanea was knocked unconscious by Abdel when she tried to use fire magic.
The morning brought discussion. Hrolf was pleased to know everyone was ok, as was Trost, who apologised for his absence citing sea-sickness. As Grocks was complaining of the same ailment, Xi rummaged through his herbs and found some that, if chewed on, would settle the stomach and calm any dizziness.
Abdel called upon Roberto to speak alone about the battle, and while commending him for performing better than he had expected, still chastised him for not leading his party and co-ordinating them in battle. A suspicious Roberto formed a zone of truth around them, intending to resolve his conflicting views of the man, asking why Abdel did not trust him since Roberto trusted Abdel. Abdel responded by pointing out that the man who supposedly trusted him had just formed a zone of truth around him to see if he was lying, and so couldn’t possibly trust him (metagame: Abdel caught Roberto lying inside a zone of truth, itself a challenge of Abdel’s trustworthiness – this has very negatively affected his opinion of Roberto and, consequently, the party).
Xzorsh approached Ielanea and asked if he should take a look at the bruise on her face. Whilst Xzorsh gently applied various herbal pastes to her cheek to calm the swelling, they got to talking, and eventually came to the topic of books. Xzorsh admitted he could not read, so Ielanea began showing him some of her favourites. She noticed he was paying less attention to the words on the page and more to the words on her lips.
Grocks spoke with Ibn after the battle. They have formed somewhat of a bond, and Ibn felt bad that he had been rude to Grocks’ elven friends. He explained to Grocks the story of a journey they made to Ruathym ten years ago. On board at the time was Liriel, a beautiful drow mage, whom Ibn fell in love with. She did not requite his feelings, but instead took up with Xzorsh. When she had succeeded in her quest on Ruathym, they took her home to Waterdeep, but on the way the Elfmaid was attacked by a kraken. During the battle, Liriel held the weakened monster with her magic, and Xzorsh was to shoot it in its eye – but he missed that shot. Ibn feels that it would have been impossible to miss. A mix of jealousy and blame is what fuels his dislike of elvenkind, but he told Grocks he was genuinely sorry that he couldn’t be more friendly with the others.
The Elfmaid is making good time, and is currently being steered through the Whalebones by Grocks, under instruction from Hrolf.