The rebirth of IO

Ranger Log Entry 6; We're Still Here!? (Don't Take The Black Potion!)

There’s a small chance someone slipped me some of that hallucinogenic moss. Either I’m tripping or the strangest thing I’ve ever seen just happened.

Note to self; do not drink from the black vials.

Sorry, I need to back up a bit. Just a couple of days. Back to before that really weird thing happened.

Remember that boat our crew came to? The one I wrote about in my last entry? We decided to board it, since any boat at this point seemed better than swimming. The closest, easiest entrance led us to the lowest level of the old vessel. Inside we found what clearly used to be sleeping quarters, a few lockers and a foot or so of water.

This boat wasn’t going to carry us anywhere.

So we rummaged though the storage lockers. Among the treasures found, Errol uncovered three vials of black liquid and I found two daggers. Other than gold, there wasn’t much else noteworthy or worth the weight, so we continued our search through the ship.

We found nothing in the kitchen. Well, not “nothing”. I found some kind of fire rat – three of them, rather – hanging out in the oven. Errol and I made Maal smash them with a frying pan, which he happily did before adding the pan to his weapons inventory.

Up to the second level we went where we found three treasure chests, some storage lockers and about 15 unmarked, sealed barrels. Searching the trunks yielded more gold and some other trinkets. I found some kind of stick that doesn’t look like much, but I took it anyway since it had been stored away in a box.

I think it’s around here Maal randomly decide to drink a yellow potion. That’s not why I felt like I was hallucinating, although it was strange to watch Maal turn black. So now we have Maal, the black half Orc barbarian and John, the blue human sorcerer.

Note to self; do not drink the yellow potions either.

Anyway, we pried the tops off the barrels and found most of them to be filled with oil or water or some kind of alcohol. I’m sure they would have all come in use for some reason or another, but the practicality in taking even one of them was nonexistent. So we resealed them and moved on.

On deck we discovered a broken mast and no steering wheel. Not that we could have gone far with a leak at the bottom, but it was still disheartening to see. All I wanted to do was get out of that stupid ocean.

We did discover more than a broken mast and disappointment at the top. Another ship was connected by a plank. While the second vessel was in even worse wear, we decided “what the hell” and, after a tricky crossing where Maal and Errol almost plummeted into the ocean, we boarded ship number two.

Of course there were treasure chests to search and we did find some gold. That wasn’t the only thing we found in these chests. Upon opening them, strange blue creatures lunged at us in an effort to keep us away from their gold. They got in a few scratches, sure, but really they weren’t much of a match for us and we killed each of them before taking their (presumably stolen) treasure.

To keep this entry somewhat short, I won’t go into much detail about the ship graveyard we had found ourselves amongst. Each ship we boarded had another ship nearby, some in worse wear than others. Maal, of course, wanted to search every last one for weapons and gold, but I had to put my foot down and insist we press forward. I became more insistent when, while crossing a plank to another ship, I fell into the watery abyss and nearly drowned. Thanks to my elf friend, Errol, I was saved.

Another notable event was the chain monster we encountered in another ship. While it was incredibly bizarre to watch a pile of chains animate themselves into the form of a human, that’s also not why I think someone slipped me that blue moss. The thing did put up a hell of a fight though. Not only did we have to fight the chain monster, upon opening each of the chests it stood in front of, we met more bad luck. One chest led to all exists being sealed. Another started to flood the ship. We managed to escape when Yun punched a hole in the side and we all made a swim for it.

We sought camp on one of the several abandoned wrecks for the night. Unable to build a fire on a wooden structure surrounded by water, I again fell ill. This didn’t stop me from pressing forward. Not until we reached the shores of a small, rocky island. It was there we rested until I felt well enough to restart the day’s quest.

Stranded on an island more bare than the one we had left only a couple days prior, we found ourselves with a single option; explore the cave whose entrance we easily found on one side of a massive rock formation at the center of the island. At first it appeared to be just a natural cave formation that seemed to have a gradual decline in it’s smooth floor. The further we traveled, we discovered signs of humanoid life. The walls and ceiling progressively smoothed out and became more intricate in design.

The tunnel took us to a set of doors. Finding them to be unlocked, we invited ourselves into the great room on the other side. The room was mostly empty, save for another set of doors and a lone statue of a knight who stood in the center of the room. John detected magic on the statue, so I, along with the sorcerer and the monk, decided our best option was to maneuver ourselves along the wall to reach the second set of doors. Maal, being the plundering half Orc he is, wanted to check out the statue and take anything he could from it.

There was a reason I wanted to avoid the statue. And not just because it was kind of creepy looking. When John says there’s magic in or around an armed figure, real or not, I’m avoiding it.

When the knight statue lashed out and attacked Maal, I can’t say I was terribly surprised. My lack of surprise didn’t stop me from attempting to help him. From my spot along the wall I launched arrows set ablaze while John used his magical abilities. Yun, whose fists are her weapon, had to charge the knight in order to assist our friends.

Meanwhile, as the three of us were trying to take the statue down, Maal and Errol were getting the living stuffing ripped out of them. Literally. The knight statue was, almost effortlessly, gutting our half Orc and our Elf friends. By the time we had vanquished our cave foe, Maal had sustained numerous injuries. But he was alive. Errol was less fortunate and in death’s clammy grasp.

I stabilized him with my healing skills, but it was all I could do. Without a healing potion to be found or a nearby Cleric, Errol stood a good chance of passing through death’s door. But we couldn’t just leave him or let him die.

So Yun suggested we try the black potions Errol had been carrying. None of us knew what it would do. I objected to using the Elf as a test subject, but we had little time to debate the morality of such a thing.

So Yun poured it down the unconscious Elf’s throat. He shook. He convulsed and thrashed. And he morphed…

… Into a Kobold.

When Errol awoke, I wasn’t sure how to tell him what he had become. I think our gaping expressions gave him the hint that something was amiss. When he looked down at his reptilian hands, he realized something very wrong had happened.

Yun confessed to what she had done and pointed out that, despite the changing effects the potion had, it did help him come back from the brink of death. Grateful he wasn’t dead, Errol was still less than pleased with his new form. “Freaked out” isn’t really the term I want to use, but it’s the first one that comes to mind.

Errol quickly snatched the second potion of black liquid and consumed it without hesitance. Again he shook, convulsed and thrashed around until he transformed into a half Orc. Maal was particularly happy to have another half Orc on the team, but to Errol that was almost worse than being a Kobold. So down the hatch went the last of the black potions.

And now Errol is a dwarf.

Can you see now why I’m wondering if I ingested that hallucinogenic moss? I’m having a hard time getting used to Errol’s new form. I can only imagine how difficult it is for him.

With the knight dead and Errol alive in a Dwarf’s body, we finally found our way through the doors. On the other side we found the most beautiful thing I’ve seen in days. A fine sailing vessel with an intact mast, sails and no (visible) holes. I was so excited to see this boat, I didn’t even wait for the rest of my team. I scurried aboard and began searching it for signs of enemies and other things that would ruin my excitement.

The ship, as it turns out, was quite nice and ocean ready. In the captain’s quarters I found an intricate map of the world (it even listed Amakash, so I’m guessing, despite it’s clean appearance, it is an old map) and five small wooden horse figurines. John was able to detect magic on each of these objects, but that didn’t stop me from adding the map to my list of inventories, nor did it stop any of us from each taking a horse.

For now, that’s where we are. I write this from the captain’s desk as we debate heading for the high seas immediately or if we should rest first. To be honest, I’m too excited for my four hours of meditation. We finally get to leave this Chorellon Larethian damn rock. We finally get to sail north to land and move on with our quest. We still have three pieces to find and three continents to cover. I can only pray there’s still enough time to recover them all and save the world. Surviving this island won’t mean much if we can’t free IO.

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SterlingWinchester

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