The party boarded a merchantman headed for the south seas of Faerie, but once underway the elves dropped the glamour on the ship and revealed it to be the Elven war galley Eldenrith (WaveKnife) and the “passengers” to be conscripts headed for war with the Bright Goblins. The party, still disguised as gnoles, is outnumbered. There are twelve elves aboard, with a guard of three tiger poukas, one wolf pouka, and a dwarf. The crew consists of fourteen heron poukas, a gnome cook, a gargoyle scout, three Ogres, a hundred human galley slaves, and three human overseers. More than that, there are twenty other elven ships in the fleet and one very large wooden canoe in which six giants are paddling southward. Above the fleet circle witches, air elementals, harpies, and gargoyles.
The elves finish their breakfast with an orange tea thick with honey, sipping from cups of fine porcelain as the smell of human sweat and waste wafts from the underdecks. After tea, the elves gather their conscripts for inspection, an inspection in which it seems unlikely our heroes will escape detection. Fortuitously, inspection does not begin until the fleet is nearing the Teeth of Rethiel, group of islands often plagued by fog. Today the fog is especially thick and thickens further as the temperature drops. As the fog makes vision aboard ship impossible, the party edges towards the railings with the plan of moving forward and freeing the galley slaves and foment a rebellion. All agree, but Ranson is confused about where the ship’s facing and heads for the stern instead, followed by Quake. Dwain decides to follow the mage’s flapping Weylan cloak and protect him, while Blade, Venlok, and Skyler head forward on the port side. Letholdus heads into the fog starboard and runs into one of the heron crew, who realizes Letholdus is no gnole. “Humans!,” he shouts, “There are humans disguised as Gnoles!” Letholdus backpedals into the fog and climbs up the rigging of the mainmast, hoping to find a better position. Gui-D, meanwhile, is forward of Blade along with two passengers, Lady Shefa (a fox pouka) and Hammuth (an owl pouka mage).
Each round there are openings in the fog in different areas. In the first round, Blade, Venlok, and Skyler encounter several Herons and kill two of them easily. The third is Farsha the Fat (a misnomer), who proves a worthy opponent but is defeated by an attack on all sides by Blade, Skyler, air daggers and dancing blades. He is replaced by Magradak, one of the Tigers, who is nearly twice as big as any of the humans. He smashes Blade’s head to a pulp with a good hit, but after the judicious use of one of Blade’s Fairy Godmother points (these allow the reroll of any one roll), Magradak is forced to roll that hit again, fails, and goes down under a hail of blows. Venlok circles the combat to the right, hoping to take out a heron. He is engulfed in fog and finds himself next to something with fur, plate mail, and a very sharp axe. It is Tenrahen the Axe, the wolf pouka, the last person that Venlok wanted to meet. Venlok backpedals and thanks the fog, he escapes. Tenrahen pursues but kills Lady Shefa instead. Gui-D had mischievously set the Lady’s tail afire, and she had hurried away from him, only to meet Tenrahen’s axe as it sought out Venlok. During a brief break in the fog, Hammuth takes to the air, reasoning that getting lost in the fog is better than dying aboard the ship.
Meanwhile, Letholdus reaches the crow’s nest just as the fog around the base of the mast clears. He has a perfect shot of Anorak, the Heron, as he circles the mast looking for the human. He takes the shot and puts the Heron down definitively. The fog closes in again, however, and Letholdus returns to the deck and moves forward in search of his comrades.
Towards the stern, Ranson runs into Bentith (a Heron pouka), and when the fog clears, Ranson calls for Tsunami (in the sea) to come aboard and aid him but the Heron clonks Ranson on his unarmored noggin and Ranson goes down, hard. Dwain cannot come to his aid as he is fighting first two Herons and then Harsing Redbeard (a dwarf). Harsing hesitates to attack a fellow dwarf, which gives Dwain an opportunity to kill the Herons. When Harsing decides to attack, he fumbles, and goes down with an axe to the abdomen. Dwain uses his Flamesword to find Ranson (the blade burns off the fog five feet around him). He pours two Witchwood teas down Ranson’s throat, returning him to consciousness just as the fog clears around them again and Dwain is targeted by the elves Captain Milithiel and Jarneel. Dwain charges but takes two bowshots as he does. Bacha Bloodylips (one of the Tigers) joins the two elves in a fight against Dwain, one that puts him on the ground quite quickly. Ranson sics his Hand of Hosk (hiding under his cloak) on Bentith, but Bentith fights it off. Ranson then Dominates Bentith with fear, and the Heron flees sternward. Ranson turns in Dwain’s direction, but the fog surrounds the mage once more.
Letholdus joins Blade, Venlok, Skyler, and Gui-D in their fight, now joined by three more of the Herons and one of the elves, Senwin. Gui-D’s heat ray disintegrates one Heron’s head, and the party’s blades put down another. The battle is nearing its height, but some of the most skilled opponents remain.
TO BE CONTINUED NEXT SESSION
These are some of the miniatures for this fight…