Aboard the Good Ship 'Elysium'
Players can join at: https://app.roll20.net/join/1903087/rU6eTA Game over, man. Game OVER!
AYE! Salty Pete, here, welcoming you aboard the good ship Elysium. Marissa said you might get into a spot of trouble and need a quick lift out. Shame about that necromancer dillyin' up the mainland. No trouble for us pira- er... sailors, though. Yes I sure would like to see a skeleton get aboard a ship at sea! Hahaha.
Pete: Anyway, you'll find some quarters yonder. It'll be a tight fit hav'n saved y'all. Better squeeze 5 to a room. We're making passage across the Tharmenian Sea and making landfall at the forests west'o them Chaos fools; the Citadel and the, er, Lay-yur.
Marissa: Peter, I was rather specific about where we needed to go.
Pete: Aye, as you were about how many were coming! If we're going to make it off to The Cloister with this many folk we'll need far more supplies than what we got on board. So to the forest it is, yeah?
Marissa: I don't suppose there's much that can be said to change your mind. Be off, then. I'll scout ahead and let the Cloister know we're delayed. I'll be back in a couple days, hopefully with some extra supplies so we can straighten out this trajectory.
Four days after Marissa's departure
As Elysium sailed, it entered a thick, foul, stagnant patch of stench clinging to the air. The smell coincided with clouds like a black sheep's wool overhead. The ship picked up speed, which would be good if it had been for any reason other than this stretch of sea being eerily still.
Lem didn't know all the signs, but knew well enough to frightened. He'd been Elysium's first mate for just shy of a year now, and sailing for 15 years before that. For any other sailor that would've been more than enough to be familiarized with all the wildlife you find on the sea. Lem, though, was adventurous and impulsive. The only way he'd settled down long enough to gain rank aboard Elysium was the assurance that it'd make port in no less than 4 nations. He had a thirst for the languages, the cultures, the foods and music of other peoples.
With his fear in hand, he went below decks to fetch the Captain. Though he was only human, he knew the area well and would be confident of what to do- provided Lem could wake him in time.
As a practicing Bard, Lem was old hat at putting people to sleep. Waking them from sleep, on the other hand, was a different story. It seemed like ages were being spent- wasted, really- prodding and jostling and even shouting at Salty Pete.
"GET OUT HERE YOU FAT BASTARD!" Crackling lines of blue framed the Dragonborn's command. Dragneel went through the War deck sword first, looking deep in the eyes of terrified sailors, searching for the coward that left them out to die.
Terrifying Chuul- TWO of them- had, only minutes ago, terrorized the top decks. Massive beasts with chitinous armor plating along every inch and absolutely incredibly sized pincers, Chuul are the bane of amateur sailors all along the Tharmenian Sea. Other waters aren't salty enough for them to surface, but here they grow bigger and have greater range due to the difference in buoyancy. It's also worth noting that the salinity hampers procreation, so in these parts Chuuls mate above the waterline using whatever flotsam may be passing by as a platform.
Most accomplished seamen in these parts can also recognize the signs of two Chuuls in heat: Black clouds, musky air, still waters. Furthermore, most know what to do if you're caught in the middle of two mating Chuuls: Wait it out below decks. The process is grotesque and may cause significant damage to a vessel, but eventually Nature's call passes and the satisfied Chuuls will return to the depths.
The alternative is to try and interrupt the beasts. This is inadvisable to laymen, given the formidable nature of the monsters. On the other hand, The Devout have an outstanding bounty on Chuuls. They're said to be hazardous not just to ships, but to smaller species swimming and competing in these waters. The tentacles of Chuuls secrete a paralytic toxin that saturates the water around them, making Chuul habitats a feeding ground for poison resistant fish which can upset the greater ecosystem.
"WHERE IS HE!?!?!" Barked Dragneel, who knew none of this information. From his point of view, Dragneel and his deckmates had been left to be eaten by terrifying sea beasts. Not a single crewman, nor their leader, nor the mad genie who brought them along on this hackneyed trip had been there fighting alongside him.
Moving deeper belowdecks, Dragneel found the quivering, hoglike mass of Salty Pete. "AND WHERE WERE YOU WHEN YOUR SHIP WAS TOSSED ABOUT?" Breathing heavily while slurring and stuttering the beginning of an answer, Salty Pete recoiled at the sight of Dragneel's skin and rage.
"Th- th- th- There's- Now- Err- Uhm- No need for-"
"ENOUGH!" Leveling his scimitar at Pete's throat, Dragneel explained how things would be from now on.
"We bled for this ship when you would not. If we hadn't fought for your lives, you'd be a slurry of fat and meat in some great crab's belly, rather than a slurry of fat whimpering in the bowels of MY SHIP!"
"You don't follow, see: Them were Chuuls what you fought-"
"I don't give a damn WHAT they're called!"
Kaylee was keen to see these humans put in their place. She knew saving lesser races was her solemn duty, but prolonged exposure to these bilge rats was nauseating. While he was no High Elf, this Dragonborn had certainly cut out a space for himself above the cowardly mortals.
"We will not be taking orders from you." continued Dragneel. "We will not be sharing quarters with you. We will plot the course, and you will trim the sails. Any questions?"
"Well then I'll give you some time in the brig to think on the answers. You there, crewman! Take the former captain away, show him his new quarters."
Eyes darted left and right. The crewman looked to glistening reptilian eyes that addressed him, then the watering, simple blues of a man he feared just an hour ago, then to those of the crewmen at his sides. With what little dignity he could muster, he helped Pete to his feet, and together they moved into the ship.
As the rest of the crew stood, panicking and motionless, Dragneel shouted "WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING AT?", which promptly sent them on their ways. All but one meager Gnome, who stood his ground.
"Who's this?" Growled the new ship captain.
Kaylee answered, "I think that's the first mate."
"Aye. First mate Lem, at your service, apparently. D'ya know even the first thing about seafaring?"
"Yeah." chimed in Bryn. "I'm no expert but I'm pretty sure its 'Don't let the ship get eaten'."
Browbeaten, Lem turned his face down in humility. "What should I tell the crew, cap'n?"