Dragon Age: Descent

Descent into Darkness
The first instalment of our party's adventures...

The Fifth Blight is over. It caused death and destruction, which has left many in utter desolation. The Blight was ended before it had time to fully gain momentum, thanks to courageous acts carried out by the aptly titled Hero of Ferelden. Our ridiculously good-looking hero was of noble blood and nature; she now shares the throne with her beloved Alistair.

During the Blight, many took refuge in the City of Chains, Kirkwall. Now that the Blight is over, many are returning to their homeland. Unfortunately, the landscape has dramatically changed in many places, due to overwhelming numbers of Darkspawn, so those who return do not always find what they hoped for.

The ship, Andraste’s Gloves, provides the most comfortable transport between Kirkwall and Ferelden’s most bustling port, Amaranthine. For 10 sovereigns per ticket, you would expect only the best. This is the very boat where our party are destined to meet…

However, Kirkwall is a small place with only one pub, which means that they all find themselves in closer quarters than they might ever know, the night before their ship embarks and their destinies collide.

The Hanged Man is known for its cheap beer and perpetually merry customers. One (temporarily) sober and androgynous customer found itself in a generous mood. It charitably offered to buy the entire pub a round of drinks. 34 patrons gratefully pounced on the offer, and in the mass scramble, Alissa perceptibly took the opportunity to steal the baggily-clad figure’s remaining gold… scoring herself a tidy sum of 50 sovereigns. Needless to say that she was not so outlandishly generous with it.

This did leave our androgynous character without any gold to cover the cost of the next round that it ludicrously offered to its 34 new ‘friends’. Unfortunately, its ‘friends’ did not take kindly to its inability to see through its offer, and chased it out of the pub. Thus resulted in it sleeping by the harbour; its new ‘friend’ a barrel that it had drunkenly taken to (what a light-weight). When it had finally fallen asleep, a wandering drunkard became curious of its true gender, disrobing it and breaking the straps to its scalemail. His curiosity sated, he just couldn’t resist drawing several doodles (including a penis) on its unresponsive face with mud.

After the uproar in The Hanged Man had died down, a robed lady called Ezri Delmastro descended from her room to the bar, in order to ask Maria (a serving wench) what all the noise was about. After a brief explanation, she decided to sit and enjoy the bar least watered-down ale for one last night in the place she had temporarily called home.

The next morning, Ezri said her goodbye to the staff that she had come to know very well. She shared a teary goodbye with Maria, who gave her a purple silken scarf that had been passed to her from her Grandma.

Soon, our party all found themselves outside the boat that they had already bought their tickets for. Before the gangplank was lowered, our androgynous fellow decided to try to speak to a wealthy-looking gentleman. Unfortunately for it, the gent assumed it was a beggar and brushed it off rather brashly. Thankfully a chap called Valeros, who witnessed its blunder the previous night in the pub, was there to calm it down before it did something else stupid. Seriously, let’s all be really glad about that. Thanks, Valeros.

As soon as the sun rose over the horizon, the gangplank lowered, and Simon the Sailor approached the 10 eager passengers. He took their tickets, invited them on-board and gave them a tour of the ship – pointing out the areas which they were not to go in, no matter what. He then informed them that they would meet Captain Merek over breakfast, which would be as soon as the boat set sail.

He then left them to get comfortable in their rooms.

An Opening
Definitely not plagiarised.

Two mooses, both alike in dignity,
In fair Shrewsbury, where we lay our scene,
From ancient grudge break to new rabidity
Where rabid blood makes rabid hands unclean.
From forth the rabid loins of these two foes
A pair of shrew-cross’d mooses take their life;
Whose rabid NORMAL piteous overthrows
Do with their moose bury their muthies’ strife.
The rabid passage of their mooose-mark’d love,
And the philanthropy of their muthies’ rage,
Which, but their mooses’ end, nought could remove,
Is now the two hours’ moosing of our stage;
The which if you with rabid ears attend,
What here shall miss our Welsh National Party shall strive to mend.

The First Day

Once Simon had left them, everyone took to their rooms, most people decided to take that time to settle in and relax. Alissa, on the other hand, decided to make a closer inspection of her room in the hopes of finding something useful but the only thing she found was a dirty, smell old sock. Not wanting the sock in her room and feeling slightly mischievous, she picked a room at random and pushed the Sock under a door before running back to her room. Cursing could be heard all down the corridor as Malign got up to examine the mysterious object that had appeared under his door. Feeling his day could not get any worse, Malign picked up the sock which started to move as he did so. After a furious wrestling match, in which the sock was victorious, the sock began to circle slowly around Malign’s head although he could not see it no matter how he turned his head. As soon as the sock took up residence above his head, Malign’s hunger and thirst disappeared. Feeling there was no possible way his day could get worse; Malign headed out onto the deck and after 5 minutes of strange looks from the crew was sent back down to his room whilst they set off.
Shortly after this, Ezri emerged from her room just as they set off and headed into the dining room where she sat down at one of the tables and began to play patience. In the middle of her game Valeros enquires what she is doing and quickly wins Ezri over with his incredible catch up line “I have a lot of patience!”
Alissa is next into the dining room and notices Ezri smiling and looking at Valeros whilst he stares at the cards. Valeros invites her to come and join himself and Ezri at which point they start a card game they can all join in with. The wealthy couple come into the dining room and sit at the other table with a nod to the group playing cards. Not long after this, they heard Malign arguing with Simon the Sailor about why he was sent below deck whilst the others have been allowed into the dining room Simon kept his cool throughout the conversation but seemed slightly distracted and there were several shouts from Malign asking what he was looking at.
After looking around the dining room, Malign when to talk to the wealthy couple claiming he was obviously not a hobo as he was able to buy a ticket for the ship. The man responded saying “I don’t know who you stole your ticket from, but if you don’t stop bothering us I shall have you thrown off the boat even if we are the middle of the sea!” at which point Malign fell to his and burst into tears but received no sympathy from the man who just shuffled further away from the ‘sobbing hobo’ dragging his wife after him.
Disturbed by the scene at the other end of the dining room, Ezri looked up and, noticing the sock, nudges the other two to point out the sock and asks “What is that?”
“Looks like a sock” replied Valeros slightly shocked at which point Alissa looked slightly guilty but quickly hid it. After searching her bag for a minute, Ezri pulls out a counter which she flicked at the sock, catching the edge of the sock, knocking it slightly off course. Looking puzzled, she stands up and goes to collect the counter, limping slightly as she walks. When she nears him, Malign asked if she throw the counter at him before turning to the rest of group and asking “Why is the cripple throwing stuff at me? Why is this happening to me?”
In a few quick strides the wealthy man had crossed the distance between them and had pinned Malign by the neck to the wall, holding him a foot off the ground. “You, you pathetic little…..little thing, you are the cripple. A cripple to society. And if I ever hear you talking like that again about that charming lady, or anyone else for that matter, you will have me to deal with. Got it?” he hissed at Malign before dropping him and letting him fall to the floor. The wealthy guy pats Ezri on the shoulder and smiles at her as he returns to his seat. When Ezri gets back to her seat, Valeros puts his arm around her and asks if she is ok before calling Malign a piece of scum. After the shock had worn off, Malign began weeping again and started listing everything that had gone wrong and asking over and over again why it was happening to him.
Jerry and Emmeline, and a robed guy enter the dining room just in time to see the end of the confrontation and sit down at the far table, carefully skirting around Malign, giving him and the sock puzzled glances as they pass.
Captain Merek entered the dining room with a grey cat draped over his shoulders followed by Simon the Sailor. After giving Malign a confused, slightly disgusted look he asked “Are you ok, Miss?” and handed him a hankie which Malign took gratefully and, to the relief of everyone, began to stop crying. Captain Merek took one look at the state his hankie was now in and insisted Malign kept it. Simon nudged Captain Merek and quietly asked “Miss? Are you sure? I mean……”
Captain Merek replied “I just went with it. But he didn’t contradict me so…….”
With a shrug, Simon went to a hatch and started bringing out food to put on a table whilst the Captain started a welcome speech.
“Welcome to Andraste’s Gloves, this is Admiral” indicating cat on shoulder. Malign laughs.
“Is there something funny about my cat, Miss?”
“Good, because I don’t think so. Anyway, as I was saying welcome and I have one announcement to make. We will be taking a small detour through a port in Highever, this will add another day to the journey. We will be dropping off some cargo at this port….”
Malign interrupted “What cargo?”
Captain Merek quickly responded “You don’t need to know that” and before Malign could interrupted again he quickly carried on speaking. “The journey will now be about 4 days and you will be fed 3 meals a day, our chief is very good. Let me or Simon know if you have any problems on board. We will be eating our meals with you. Feel free to play with Admiral, he will only entry your room if he is invited in but please don’t trap him in your room. I think that’s all I need to say so let’s eat.”
Slowly everyone goes up for food. Malign takes his food back to his room whilst Ezri starts fussing over the Admiral and feeds him bacon. Valeros makes conversation with the wealthy couple (Francis and Bess Nods) and asks them to go slightly easier on Malign. Then the conversation turns to what is the thing above his head, at which point everyone in the room joins in the conversation but before they have a definitive answer Malign comes back into the dining room to bring his plate back.
Valeros, feeling concerned, decides to take Malign under his wing and advices him to keep his head down around the wealthy couple.
The robed guy goes up to Ezri and the cat, and starts acting like a cat, at which Ezri laughs awkwardly. The robed guy also laughs and says he is just kidding before introducing himself as Lucien.
“Do you like cats?” asked Ezri
“Yes a do, I am fond of animals” Lucien says as he opens up his robe and pulls out a bat. “Here is my pet bat, Tsu.”
“Can I stroke the bat?”
“Yes” Lucien replied with a smile. Noticing this, Valeros starts to get jealous.
Ezri and Lucien have a discussion about bats at the end of which they have they have decided Lucien is Batman! Throughout the conversation, Valeros made snide comes like “No real friends huh?”
After a disproved claim that Tsu can do trigonometry, Lucien suggests that “you, me, the cat and the bat go for a walk.”
As they exit, Malign asks Valeros what happened, to which he replied “Some twat with a bat”
“Been there Bro!” disclosed Malign. At which point Valeros called for ale and slammed his fist on the table.
After an introduction from Valeros, Malign asks Alissa if she knows Amaranthine and where the apothecary was, she said she did. Malign then said “Great, let’s stick together when we get there. I am very wealthy; there will be money in it”
Alissa looked a bit sceptical at this but before she could say anything Malign suggests they all go up on to the deck to “spy” on the Ezri, the twat, the bat, and the cat. After watching for a few minutes, Malign declares he is going over and before either of the other two can stop him, he flounces over to the other group.
“So what are you talking about? Malign, Cleric”
With a bemused look, Lucien replied “Nice to meet you”
“Pleasure, well for you anyway”
After Malign has stared at Ezri and Lucien for a couple of minutes whilst they just got more and more awkward, Valeros beckoned him back.
“He’s a tough nut to crack” exclaimed Malign
“Look mate, we need to do something about that sock.”
“What sock? Listen if we draw the cat away from them, I’m sure they will fall apart”
Valeros replied, sarcastically “we could just drown the bat”
Missing the sarcasm, Malign replied “Good idea, look I have a sling. I’m sure I can hit that bat from here”
“Errrr……… ok then, let’s just forget about it. Well it turns out I actually don’t have a lot of patience!”
“Well, if you change your mind, I’m sure they will separate at some point and then we can take out that bat”
“I have no issues with the bat, only with the twat!”
“Well if you want rid of the bat or the batman I’m your……..”
Before he could finish her sentence Bess Nods storms out on to the deck and holds a box over the side of the boat. As she reaches the rail, Francis also storms out onto the deck.
“I’ll do it Francis, I swear I will”
“No Bess don’t, my bracers are in there”
“It’s Bess Nods, you idiot. And I will as you obviously care more about them more then you care about me!”
“That’s not true darling”
“DO NOT CAL ME DARLING!” screamed Bess Nods before she throws the box over the side and storms off.
“NNNNNOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO” cries Francis before following his wife back inside.
Glancing over the side, Ezri shouts “we can get that” as she jumps over board and grabs the box before she starts struggling to stay afloat.
Valeros, who had started towards the rail as soon as Ezri had jumped over stopped to remove his shoes and ask Malign to watch them. Before he gets to the rail, Lucien had jumped in and was helping to keep Ezri afloat whilst a sailor threw them life rings. Valeros is not fuming and looks ready to kill the bat twat.
Simon comes along as they are pulled out of the water and asks “What were you doing?”
Shivering, Ezri replied “it looks important. I….I….I just didn’t think it through. Sorry.”
“Please don’t do that again” Exclaimed Simon, then as Ezri played the pity card he added “Just take better care of yourself in future” as he wraps towel around her that another sailor had fetched for them.
Ezri nods and smiles at Simon before turning and apologizing to Lucien. Who say she is happy to help and not to worry about it.
“Well I better go and get changed” said Ezri
“I’ll come with you” Lucien adds hurriedly. “Do you have spare clothes?”
“Yes thanks. Do you?”
“Um yes, although I don’t have another robe unfortunately, but it will dry” Lucien smiled “Will you join me for lunch?”
“Um yes, yes of course. That would be nice and it’s the least I can do seeing as how you saved my life”
By this time they were at Ezri’s room, at which point she thanked Lucien once more and when into her room. Leaving Lucien outside who stood there a minute or so before going to get changed.
Ezri then inspected the contents of the box and saw the bracers were good quality. She then carefully put them back in the box before she hid the box in her room.
By the time Ezri came back above deck, now dressed in armour, it was lunch time. As they headed back into the dining room Alissa overheard Malign say to Valeros “Can you make sure I remember to eat at meal times?”
“Um…….Yes I can, but why?”
“It’s…Um….never mind, just make sure I eat”
As Malign turned away to go into the dining room, Valeros shook his head, slightly bewildered. Then he tried to swipe at the sock but couldn’t catch it and instead clipped Malign around the ear.
Lucien and Ezri sat at one table with Jerry and Emmeline, and Francis who spent the whole meal staring angrily at his food, muttering occasionally, and drinking copious amounts of ale. Valeros and Malign sat at the other table talking and plotting and giving Twat Batman furious looks. Trying to ignore the unsubtle planning of Valeros and Malign, Alissa and Simon started chatting over the meal until Simon had to get back to work. After the meal, Jerry and Emmeline tried to cheer Francis up, shortly after which Ezri and Lucien joined in to help. Whilst the people on the other table slowly started going back to their rooms.
Valeros decided he would check on Bess Nods before going back to his room. When he knocked there was a scream through the door “Go away Francis, I don’t want to see you. Find somewhere else to sleep as you are NOT sleeping here”
“Um Bess Nods, it’s Valeros actually”
“Oh” she said before quickly opening the door and letting him in. “Sorry about that”
“No worries” Valeros smiled “Look I just wanted to check you were ok and let you know that if there is anything I can do just let me know”
Smiling Bess replied “That’s really sweet, Valeros, but there is nothing you can do. There is no saving my marriage; it’s been over a long time but we agreed to make one last attempted and take this ‘romantic’ trip. Well it’s well and truly over now!”
“That’s too bad, what happened” said Valeros as he put his hand on her arm.
“Oh I don’t want to talk about that now” she smiled and cuddled into him whilst she reached past him with one hand to lock the door………..

The Island of Intrigue

It was dawn on the second day of the voyage. The human scum and I were all settled in the dining room and awaiting service, yet for some reason none was forthcoming. I found my stomach rumbling; yet there was no sight or smell of food – or the crew for that matter. Indeed, I even found myself watching the foolish interactions of the wench Bessnods as she seemed to be playing off two men at once. Humans eh?

Still, this mildly amusing distraction was abruptly brought to a halt as a commotion arose on the deck. Several of the human scum went out to query the crew, although I stayed back. No point in us all going, I reasoned, and in any case; if there was a fight or some such then there would be no point in risking my neck for it. Soon, they returned to the dining room with Simon the Sailor in tow. It seems that he wanted Lucien’s bat to investigate something…but what exactly?

I eased myself closer, my pointed ears pricking sharply at what I heard. It seemed that the human scum had found themselves charted on a collision course with an uncharted island, one that none of the sailors had come across before. It seemed to be some sort of enchanted island, for wherever they sailed, the island followed them, refusing to let them pass. I rolled my eyes; why I ever thought that these humans would get me home safely was a mystery to me.

I went on deck, only to witness the foolish humans sending Lucien’s bat towards the island. Of course, the poor creature failed to return, prompting Simon the Sailor to encourage us to board the rowing boats and go to the island. I queried him, but it seemed that there was no alternative option. After a disgusting display of affection between Bessnods and Valeros; we boarded the boats and the crew rowed us over. Normally I would not bother with such a risk to myself, but it seemed that the only way to get a sensible answer was for a sensible elf to be there. Alas that I was the only elf present to fulfil this role.

As we rowed towards the island, we saw strange flickering lights, evidently the work of sorcery. As we approached the island, a somewhat bedraggled creature of a man came over and hailed us. Hopping out of the boats, we conversed with the man. It seemed that he too was drawn to the island through the means of sorcery and could not escape. He had been here for a few days and had had ample opportunity to explore. It seemed that the heart of the magic of the island came from a mysterious cave that the odd man was unable to enter. Naturally, the foolish humans decided to investigate…

As we clambered up to the cave, the human’s chattered away dully while I observed my surroundings. The journey was about twenty minutes in total and soon we found ourselves clambering up a curious set of stone steps towards the odd cave. A strange stone door met our gaze with two holes in it, the bottom one was pitch black and looked rather ominous. Still, the stranger, whose name was Jory #Teamswag, attempted to poke his curious magical staff into the hole to a rather disappointing anti-climax of availing nothing. I called them to step aside and attempting to pick the lock myself, but alas it seemed it was beyond my skills. Embarrassed, I stepped aside to witness Alissa pick the lock easily to reveal a pitch black interior.

Cautiously, we stepped into the darkness. Jory cast the strange light spells that had drawn us too him earlier to reveal a straight passageway with two sets of crossroads along it. The crossroads had steps leading down both ways and the four passages all seemed to be the same. The humans bickered over which was to go but eventually they agreed to go down the right hand passage. We found ourselves eventually encountering thick plant growth which seemed to indicate the presence of another entrance to the cave system. We retraced our steps and went further into the cave, where an evident sense of evil was tangible. The straight passage split in two and we went down the left passage into a stony area. There was curious ivy on the wall and it took me but a moment to recognise it as demon weed. I warned the others to avoid it. Beyond this there were no other signs of life and we cautiously continued.

Jory ploughed on ahead down the passage and soon the inevitable happened – he got himself into trouble. The passage gave way to a steep slope down into an evidently magical darkness that no light could penetrate. We called down to him and it seemed that he had landed safely in an odd, thick, goopy substance. A few moments later, the smell of smoke assailed our senses and the sight of it exuding from the hole was somewhat unnerving. An ominous rolling, tumbling noise could be heard and suddenly an odd slot opened in the wall. Smoke tumbled from it thickly. Alissa tossed a rope down to Jory who tried to climb up, only to fall back down again. My growing sense of dread suddenly came to a climax as a firey cartwheel come out of the slot and fell down into the hole, yet still we could see nothing. Screams could be heard from Jory below but we managed to pull him up and quickly put out the flames that licked at his clothing.

A few of the humans tended to him and healed him a little, before we continued sensibly and carefully around, using a ledge around the pit. We found ourselves in a cave covered with dark ivy with a waterfall tumbling down from the top of the cave. Jory, somewhat recovered from the previous incident, tried to freeze the waterfall, his magical powers rather powerful, although his attempts failed. It was evident to me that the waterfall tumbled down into a cavern below where a ledge awaited us.
Down we went, leaving a few of our number behind. Climbing down, we found ourselves in a cavern, filled with a plunge pool from the waterfall and a river leading off it. As Jory cast lights around the room, we noticed an odd floating orb that was evidently very magical. Alissa checked around and disabled a few traps that were hidden around the cavern. Meanwhile, Simon the Sailor hit the orb with a stone which caused a beautiful array of light to emanate around the room. The orb began to crack and to my horror of horrors it revealed a dreaded rage demon…

Instinctively I dived into the water for cover and tugged out my bow while Jory fired a flare at the creature causing it to howl. I shot it, landing a powerful blow and could not help but grin in triumph. Still, it was not dead yet and soon we were all battling the dread creature. Yet the damage was done and soon it collapsed down, the mortal blow struck by Simon the Sailor. The fell beast disintegrated before our very eyes into nothing but a pile of ashes and a strange ring.

Jory seemed somewhat overawed and warned us to stay back as it turned out to be what Jory called a fade ring. I had no wish to entangle myself with such magic. Jory investigated the ring, sending his lights over for a closer look only to watch them spark and crackle – a testament to its power it would seem. He approached it slowly…when suddenly his lights came back and dazzled our eyes in a blinding flash. By the time we could see again Jory had the ring.
Quickly, I assessed the situation and decided to ally myself with this evidently powerful sorcery. No point in risking my neck for the pathetic humans. It turned out the Jory was the reason why we were all here and had drawn us all this way. He was an apostate who had been searching for this ring all his life and had it now. With an evident rush for power, he summoned an array of demons at the humans, protecting me from their villainous ways.
The humans fled much to my satisfaction and Alissa fell. Simon the Sailor went to help him but by then the demons had reached them and they were forced to fight, both taking some considerable damage. Jory froze the foolish Valeros so that he could not move and Malign the cleric fled the scene. As they battled to and fro, I could not help but grimace, glad to be on the side of the stranger if nothing else. Still, he took the demons away and released them before they were killed. Suddenly, a huge flash of light erupted and both Jory and I vanished into the fade….

Healing and Beard Bandages
Will they ever find the bat? Will Simon's beard grow back?

- Excerpt from the diary of Ezri Delmastro -

Second day of voyage, evening

Well, at least we got back to the ship without incident; although we did have to carry an injured Simon and Alissa. I say ‘we’; technically it was Valeros and the other sailors who did the heavy lifting.

Back on the ship, I got my medical gear together and went to Alissa’s cabin. She was badly injured – looked about a whisper away from death – and the ship’s surgeon was nowhere in sight. I went straight in with the heavy-duty healing I learned in the chantry, and guess what? Alissa, back to full health before the ships surgeon had even arrived! Seriously, all her wounds healed, all her exhaustion evaporated, her scars vanished, and I swear her hair even looked glossier when I was done with her. That girl owes me.

She did thank me – after she got over her confusion at awakening to find me dancing triumphantly by her bedside, anyway – but I don’t think she really understands quite how amazing that piece of healing was. To be honest, no one seemed as impressed as I was expecting.
Note: find ship’s surgeon tomorrow, see if HE’S impressed.

Went to see if I could do anything for Simon. Idiot sailors had already filled him with most of a bottle of whisky ‘for the pain’, and wrapped his wounded beard in bandages. I fixed him up as best I could, but I could have done better if they’d waited for me – did I mention how brilliantly I managed to heal Alissa?

Went to dining hall. Captain says the voyage is now going to take an extra day. Also, Malign, Cleric, had been confined to his quarters this evening– not sure what he did to deserve that, but I console myself with the thought that he almost certainly DID deserve it.
Note: MUST ask him about that sock

Sat with Lucien, turns out Tsu the bat still hasn’t shown up. Poor Lucien looks pretty cut up about it all. We’re under sail now, so the odds of getting him back now aren’t good.
Note: Leave some scraps outside the porthole tonight, maybe it’ll attract him into my cabin?
Note: Attract the BAT into my cabin, that is, not Lucien.
Note: Although…

Anyway, tried to lift the mood at dinner a little by slagging off Jory and the elf, Faunella, and saying the Templars should hunt down all rogue mages like him. Turns out Lucien has family who were circle mages and mistreated by the Templars. Managed to upset him even more. So much for lifting the mood…

Alissa left the table to go check on Simon. She could walk fine, by the way, thanks to me. I confess, I followed a little way behind her to admire my handiwork (she was practically SKIPPING down the stairs), and I overheard a little of the conversation between her and Simon. He was blind drunk, and mortified at the damage to his beard. She reassured him, and was very sweet about it.
Note: Surely romance just waiting to happen?
In return, Simon tried to walk her back to her cabin, but (thanks to the whisky) couldn’t quite master the walking part. He then dropped his bed-sheet; which was the only thing preserving his modesty. Judging by the sharp intake of breath from Alissa, the modesty it had been preserving wasn’t terribly modest.
Note: Must ask Alissa what she thought, on a scale of 1-100. My guess is about 86%
Anyway, she tucked him up and took away the rest of the whisky so he couldn’t get himself any more drunk than he already was. It was all very touching.

Went back to my cabin. While getting ready for bed, overheard Valeros and Bessnods arguing in the corridor. Seems Valeros is less keen than she is, and wants his bed to himself tonight.
Note: He sleeps with her, despite the fact she’s married and her husband’s aboard, then chucks her? Scumbag.
They managed to reach a compromise,-
Note: Those muscles, though…
- with Bessnods sleeping in the empty cabin left by Faunella’s abrupt (betrayal) departure. Wonder how that’ll develop? Can’t help but feel a bit sorry for Valeros, Bessnods is clearly just using him to get revenge on her husband. Still, he’s not exactly being a paragon of virtue…

The One in which Valeros loses it.

Deep in the darkest depths of the night, Ezri & Alissa awake to the noise of creaking chains. All else is quiet onboard. In the darkness, Alissa spots Zane shiftily looking through the doorway which is usually kept locked. Hmm… Slowly and quietly, Alissa Nightingale sneaks up on the unsuspecting sailor. It is soon apparent that Zane is not alone. “Hurry up! We don’t have much time!” And with that, the sailors disappear. Alissa lurks in the darkness. She sees a room filled with barrels and crates. The intrigue is almost too much. What is hidden in here? She fumbles with a lock, but in the darkness and with the swaying of the boat, fails to pick it. Defeated, she heads back to her cabin.

Next morning, everyone heads to the dining hall for breakfast. A whole lot of meat is consumed, largely by Valeros, whose passion for bacon is matched only by his passion for honour. Above the chit chat and small talk, the passengers began to hear the sweet sounds of a ukulele, coming from up on deck. Enchanted, everyone makes their way up to find a small selection of sailors, lead by Zach the Sailor, strumming away on various instruments. The mood is light and jovial. Crew and passengers are dancing. Feeling confident, Valeros plucks up the courage to ask Ezri to dance. To his joy, she accepts! However, disaster strikes. Either he is taken by the moment and a little over zealous with movements, or he just has poor coordination and somehow he manages to twirl Ezri right over board. The music stops. The crowd are horrified. Immediately, Valeros takes off his shoes and dives overboard. Lucien follows and scoops up the floundering Ezri. Valeros is enraged. The sailors throw a ring overboard and the soggy trio are hoisted back onboard. Humiliated and frustrated, Valeros takes to his cabin (*Note: he does NOT flounce.)

Meanwhile, a rather damp and flustered Ezri Delmastro also returns to her room. Her diary entry that night reads thus:

“Definitely not sure about that Valeros. Note to self; warn ”/characters/bessnods" class=“wiki-content-link”>Bess Nods not to dance with him."

Poor Valeros. He decides to seek out his seemingly only ally on board, Malign. Unfortunately for Valeros, Malign, Cleric does not respond to the raps on his door. Dejected, he heads back to his room to each lunch in solitude.

Eventually, he decides to try and make amends with his fellow passengers. Heading up to the main hall, he initiates some awkward conversation. Soon, all is forgiven. Everyone heads up on deck for some fresh air. Valeros spots an island, out on the horizon. He points the island out to some of the others, who all look at him, rather bemused. It soon becomes apparent that Valeros is the only one who can see this island. He states that there is a mansion on the island, which is clearly visible to him. The others begin to worry for his sanity as he is begins to proclaim he can see fireworks, and they all see nothing but open water. Suspicious, Ezri decides to attempt to detect magic. Sure enough. Something is not all as it seems. Perhaps our Valeros is not so mentally unstable after all… Hmm… THE INTRIGUE.

"Man of Honour!!!!"

Bess Nods and Francis sit at one table whilst Ezri, Alissa and Admiral sit at the other table subtly trying to see what is happening between Bess and Francis but neither of them notices anything. After a while they give up the spying lark and discuss what had happened earlier with the mysterious exploding island. Alissa enquires whether Zane and Zach were around when Ezri had tried to detected magic and found it was somewhere on the boat. Ezri wasn’t sure but thought they could have been. As the discuss this further, Alissa getting more suspicious of Z2 and more determined to break into the locked area near their cabins.
Valeros enters the dining room and looks around, he nods as Bess Nods who doesn’t seem to notice before going to sit with Lucien who was playing patience, determined to put everything behind him and prove he is a man of honour! After a bit of awkward general chit chat and the PDA of Bess Nods and Francis, Lucien asks what happened between Valeros and Bess Nods and what rate he would give her out of 10.
“No, no, I can’t. I am a man of honour; I can’t do that, no.”
“Doesn’t sleeping with another man’s wife not destroy that honour?” questioned Lucien
“Look man, they were on a break. When I slept with her they were all but over. Everything’s gone wrong! This voyage has been nothing but one big misunderstanding!”
“What do you mean? You weren’t supposed to be on this boat?”
“No. I was supposed to be on an earlier one. It’s…..er…it’s a long story”
“Please, enlighten me. We have time; prove you are a ‘man of honour’”
Missing the sarcasm, Valeros launched into the story. “Well I was staying in the Hanged Man. I had to stay an extra day. The bar staff had some trouble and they asked me to sort it out. Man of honour, see. They repaid me by putting on this ship as I missed the other one.”
“What needed doing?”
“What needed doing is classified” Said Valeros mysteriously.
“Are you a mercenary?”
“I have done things…….”
Lucien waited for Valeros to continue but when he didn’t Lucien asked “Ever assassinated anyone” Lucien leaded forward in his seat, showing more interest in the conversation now.
“An assassin doesn’t reveal that”
“Yeah, yeah, ‘man of honour’. Well have you ever done anything interesting you can tell me about?”
“Maybe after a few drinks!”
“Ok then and then will you rate Bess Nods out of 10?”
Lucien and Valeros started playing poker together for pride and honour!!!!!
Alissa points out to Ezri that Lucien and Valeros were getting on. Ezri looked confused by this but before Valeros and Lucien invited them over to join in the card game. The four of them played card games until diner.
Captain Merek andSimon the Sailor entered the dining room and came to join the table the four were sat at.
“I say Captain, nice hat” commented Valeros as soon as they sat down
“Thank you” Replied the Captain slightly confused. “Feeling better?”
“Yes, much better thank you”
“Good. Ok then, well we will be arriving the day after tomorrow at Highever where we will be unloading some cargo. This will take a few hours and you will be able to go ashore for this time and explore Highever.”
After this speech, they started to eat and Ezri asked Simon how he was feeling and, more importantly, how his beard was.
He replied, “Yeah, I’m feeling much better. My hangover is gone, finally, and I think my beard is starting to grow a little bit.” He ran his hand protectively over his beard.
“Well I’m a cleric so have some healing ability so let me know if you need some. I’m mean I healed Alissa and she’d looking great. Go on Alissa, twirl for us!"
“Yeah go on Alissa twirl!” Chipped in Simon and soon the rest of them joined in with a chant of ‘twirl’ unti, embarrassed, Alissa stood up and twirled before sitting down quickly before they asked her to do it again.
When she sat down, she noticed Simon grinning madly/manly at her, she smiled back, turning bright red. After a minute or so, Simon asks Ezri how she is feeling after being thrown overboard which starts a conversation about wet beards and just how generally awesome beards are.
“You know, I am determined to learn to swim now. I mean I’ve been overboard twice now and I think I really should learn. Maybe I’ll find a pond when we dock!”
To which Valeros quickly.piped up and said “I can teach you. Well actually maybe you don’t want to……I….I mean….forget it.”
This starts everyone laughing and Ezri and Valerie start to joke about him teaching her to swim.
After a while Valeros asks “shall I invite Bess Nods over….. and Francis”
Ezri looks skeptical but says “if you think it is a good idea!”
Deciding he doesn’t want to witness this horrendous idea, Simon takes his leave and says he must get back to work.
“Oh hang on Simon, before you go I need to give you your whiskey back”
Simon offers to go down to the cabins to fetch the whiskey and the two of them disappearing below deck……..
After they leave Ezri catches Francis’ eye and invites him over to join them. After he glares as Valeros for a bit he comes over to join them, much to the surprise of Bess Nods who sits alone for a few seconds before hurrying to catch Francis up.
When they get to the table, Francis sits next to Valeros. After a few awkward minutes, Valeros (man of honour) asks "so……..how’s your day been?
“Great, me and Bess Nods are back together. You know love conquers everything and anyone!”
“Good, yeah, marriage values,important!!!!”
“Well you know tensions grew on ship”
Valeros nods, “cabin fever.”
They then start talking about the meal.
“So Bess Nods” said Ezri, nudging her when she doesn’t respond “Hi!”
“Oh hi, sorry hardly noticed you. I’m back with Francis again. You know he’s good in the sack! I really love him”
“Ok. I did not need to know that!”
" Oh isn’t he handsome!" Bess babbled, taking no notice of anyone else and just sitting there stroking Francis’ arm.
Valeros coughs. “Ladies, would you like to accompany me to get some wine” he looks pointedly at Ezri. The two of them go to get wine for them and Francis and Bess Nods. Lucien doesn’t want any.
“What’s wrong with Bess Nods?”
“She’s in love”
“No, that is not her. There is something wrong with her. Cast your magic and see”
“I think they just made up but ok.”
Ezri detects magical residue on Francis that is connected to B.N.
When she finishes, Valeros says “am I right or what”
“This ship, Francis magic.”
“did he have something to do with island, do you think?”
Ezri shrugs. They come up with a plan to split the two of them up and question them before heading back to the table, where Lucien and Francis are chatting and Bess is just watching Francis.
“Bess, would you like to come up on deck with me? I’m scare to go on my own, I mean I have been overboard twice already and I at least need someone with me to rise the alarm if I end up overboard again!”
“Er….Ok and I guess Francis will come too”
“No, we’ll play some cards whilst you’re gone” chipped in Valeros
Before she will even stand up to go on deck, Bess gets Francis permission to go before telling him she won’t be long.
As they walk Bess keeps glancing over her shoulder at Francis.as they talk Ezri detects magic on Bess.every chance she gets, she brings up Francis.
He’s allergic to cats, he is so kind to forgive for the fling, he’s 1/1000000000.
After a few mins Ezri asks “what does he do? Is it something to do with magic?”
“No, he is not a member of the circle. Invests in things. Got a lot of parents from parents. We throw a lot of dinner parties, I’ve always loved that”
“Are you involved in his business?”
“No I’m not involved in the business, I just hang out with my friend. It’s always good when he works at home as we have lots of dinner parties then but he works away from Kirkwall quite a bit”
“So no hard feelings Francis?”
“Upset Bess came back to me?”
“I – I am honourable sir”
“What code of honour do you follow?!?”
“Hey look, Bess assured me you two were over and she was very upset.”
“Are you calling my wife a whore?”
At this point Lucien quietly disappears from the dining room and heads below deck.
“Look man mistakes occasionally happen!”
“A mistake which nearly cost me my marriage. How did you persuade her to sleep with you?!”
“Persuasion!!! Friend she wanted me!”
“It’s this how you treat your friends?”
With this Francis stands up and swings at Valeros and hits him in the face, knocking him off his stool.
“Ok, I will allow you that one” as Valeros finishes saying this, Francis swings as Valeros again, hard. At this point Francis eyes turn black and Valeros shots for help as Francis hits him again. Valeros tries to restrain Francis and just about manages to as Ezri runs in after hearing the cry for help. Francis gets angrier and struggles to break free.
“Francis, my poor Francis, what have you done?” Cried Bess Nods.
“Look at his eyes, look at his eyes. Help me.” Shouts Valeros struggling to keep Francis restrained.
Ezri keeps a cool head “Bess go find Simon or the Captain”
“Ok, take care of Francis” she says as she runs out on deck. Ezri runs over and tries to help restrain Francis but even with two of them the barely manage to keep Francis under control.
“I swear he just went mental!”
""We’ll talk about it later" Ezri says whilst trying to reason with Francis.
“Francis calm down” but by now Francis is foaming at the mouth.
“Valeros you’re gonna have to trust me I have a plan but I need to let go to carry it out.”
Valeros tries to hold Francis whilst Ezri casts a spell and then tells Valeros what she’d done before telling him not to attack Francis.
“I haven’t!”
“I’m good at magic!” States Ezri as Bess comes back into the room with Z2.
“What’s going on?” Asked Zach
“Not sure but he’s dangerous, look at his eyes!” Says Ezri.
Z2 take one look at Francis’ eyes before running over and restraining him and taking him below deck. Bess Nods runs after them.
""Bess don’t go, you can see what he’s really like now!" Shouts Valeros, shaking his head when Bess still follows them below deck. “Ezri help, look at my face!”
Ezri fully heals Valeros before he said “you are amazing Ezri. But we have a problem!”
“The eyes!”
“Hoping you’d know more about what the heck is going on with him”
“I hope he threw the first punch.”
“Man of honour me, I didn’t hit him once. I may have put my for in my mouth and something is definitely a foot but it is not in my mouth!”

Meanwhile below deck, oblivious to the drama going on in the dining room, Simon followed Alissa into her cabin and coded the door behind him. She hands the whiskey back to him.
“Thanks, I’m surprised there’s still some left.if it had been me I would have drunk it by now!” He smiled at her.
“Well I only took it cos I thought you’d probably had enough to drink”
He laughed “yeah I think you were right, my head was killing me when I woke up!”
“Well it was the least i could do considering you saved my life!” She smiled a him.
“When we get to Highever, can I take you for a drink?”
“Sure, I’d like that” she replied with a smile.
At this Simon started beaming before leaning in to kiss Alissa…….

"Bitches Be Crazy"
In which Cupid's arrow strikes a blanket fort...

- Excerpt from the diary of Ezri Delmastro -

Fifth day of voyage, morning.

Have terrible hangover. Think I may be dying. Memories of last night are hazy, but beginning to return.

Started drinking after Francis was dragged off (purely medicinal, at that point). I blame Valeros – he was the one pouring. I was already a few ahead by the time Alissa got back to the dining room and joined us.
Note: She was looking a little flushed. Wonder if Simon had been making her blush? Must ask…

Zach came back soon after to find all three of us drinking. He told us Francis was being restrained, and Bessnods had been locked in her room as she wouldn’t stay away from him. Zach asked if we could account for her strange behaviour. Valeros suggested it was because ‘bitches be crazy’. Zach suggested they seek professional advice in Highever. Sounded like they thought Francis might be possessed, or on the road to possession. I (emboldened by a moderate quantity of alcohol in my bloodstream) suggested we may be due compensation, considering what we had suffered on this voyage. Zach left.
Note: Mention this to Captain (without slurring this time).

Everything starts to get a bit blurrier from here. We drank some more, then someone decided it would be a good idea to go get Lucien. Someone else decided it would be a good idea to go see the Captain.
Note: Why did we think this was a good idea?

Remember walking (although not in a very straight line) to his cabin. Zane was there, and told us we couldn’t see the Captain. Also remember a bottle of black liquid, suspiciously potion-like, on the Captain’s desk. Odd.

We thought about looking for Simon, then someone (and I have a horrible suspicion it was me…) suggested we bring all our blankets and pillows to the dining room and stay together for safety. Valeros asked Lucien if he was going to sleep with us. Lucien got the wrong end of the stick, thought Valeros was propositioning him, and then it all got a bit complicated.

Had drunk quite a lot of rum, by this point. I recall us banging on Malign’s door and Alissa trying to pick the lock when we couldn’t get a reply. Valeros and Alissa went off somewhere, muttering about Simon’s master key. Lucien and I carried the blankets and pillows upstairs, drank more rum, and built a blanket fort. Then it all gets very hazy.

I remember settling down in the blanket fort with my bottle of rum, and Lucien offering me a blanket. I must have said yes, because the next thing I remember is him snuggling up to me and tucking me in. He also kept his arms around me after the blanket was in place. Not sure if I agreed to that or not. Anyway, remember getting very cosy and cuddling right up to him, then him leaning in and… hang on. Wait a minute. Did I? Did we? Uh oh…

Moving swiftly on…

Valeros and Alissa returned, having failed to persuade an irate and sleepy Simon to part with his master key. We drank some more, then someone (me?) spilled rum all over Alissa. She went to get changed, and I accompanied her ‘for safety’.
Note: It’s funny. At the time, my offer to stand guard while she got undressed seemed quite heroic. Looking back, it seems… a little creepy.

When we got back, Lucien was muttering something about ‘mixed signals’ and sharing a man-hug with Valeros. Not sure what that was about, but it all looked very touching.

Settled down for the night next to Alissa. Think Lucien tried for a cuddle, but I was settled with my head on Alissa’s shoulder and didn’t pay him much attention. Must have fallen asleep then, because the next thing I remember is waking up this morning with the mother of all hangovers.

The Battle of the Sea Serpent

After the sailors pull them back on board, Ezri heads off to find her weapons. Alissa asks Simon for one of his weapons – he says he is better with a crossbow so she takes his sword and Valeros asks if there are any harpoons on board.
“They are in the captain’s deck wait here I’ll go get you one.” Says Simon
“You have a weapon, it makes more sense for me to go”
“Yes but you’re not meant to go to the captain’s deck”
“Oh just let him go we need help here.” Shouts Zane.
Simon nods once before running off to help fight the sea serpent whilst Valeros runs to the captain’s cabin tons search for the harpoon. After trying the cupboards and discovering they are locked, he finds a key on the desk next to a bottle of sleeping potion before walking a few steps back towards the cupboards. After thinking it through he decided to put the bottle back, at which point he finds a box of fancy chocolates and a bottle of cyanide next to them. After taking stock, Valeros pockets the two bottles along with the chocolates before getting back to searching for weapons. He finds some armour which he puts on, as well as a floaty life jacket. Deciding it’s not safe to carry the swords, he takes both harpoons and both crossbows and bolts. As he turns to leave Valeros notices a hatch in the floor of the cabin in the corner he thinks for a bit before deciding there was no time, and heading back on to deck.
Alissa looks at the sea serpent and realises it is only a baby one, fortunately, which means they may stand a chance against it!!!!!!! Ezri picks up her slingshot and Francis’ bracers before heading back to join them. The sailors manage to hit the sea serpent but this only angers it and it lashes out with its tail, hitting Simon. From the other side of the deck, Lucien starts to cast a spell but his hands are shaking too much with cold after his dip in the ocean and it blows up in his face causing his to be flung overboard once more.
When he reaches them, Valeros hands Alissa a crossbow whilst asking where Lucien is. When they look at where they last saw him they realise he has gone somewhere (below deck they assume) at which point Valeros hands the harpoons he brought to Z^2. They don’t have much time to wonder about Lucien as the serpents tail swings at them again, hitting a sailor and knocking him of his feet but allowing Simon and the other sailors to get a few shots in and cause some damage to the serpent.
Ezri sees Lucien fall overboard as she comes back with her weapons. She runs to the rail and throws him a life ring which Lucien manages to grab. Ezri ties the rope to the ship before attempting to pull Lucien back on to the ship. In the water Lucien casts feather fall on himself hoping it would be enough to help Ezri pull him back onto the boat but it is not enough and she doesn’t manage to pull him in. Just as Valeros hits the sea serpent with a bolt, the boat tips to the side Ezri and Lucien are on and Lucien takes his chance and levitate up into the air and lands back on deck with a dramatic flourish. Ezri stares at Lucien opened-mouthed for a minute, as she takes in the fact that he is in fact a mage, while at the other side of the deck, Alissa hits the sea serpent causing it to hiss and roar before lunging at a sailor and biting him in half. It swallows the first half but the legs get thrown in the air when the man is ripped apart and lands on Alissa. Gritting her teeth, Alissa manages to ignore the blood and guts slots dropping down from the legs and push them off before carrying on. Simon hits the serpent again and Lucien runs across the deck and cast ready of frost at the serpents face but to little effect.
As Valeros hits the sea serpent again, the bolt caught on the crossbow Alissa was using and before she could do anything, the bolt fired and hit Zach, cutting his arm but not causing too much harm.
“What the flip?!” Shouted Zach. Alissa shrugged and without thinking, her self-preservation kicked in and she nodded towards Valeros.
“What the flip, Valeros?” Zach shouted
“Look we don’t have time for this. Keep fighting.” Replied Valeros as Lucien used magic missiles on the sea serpent.
Just then the sea serpent started to wrap it’s tail around the ship. Ezri, Lucien and another sailor starts to fall over board. Z^2 pulls them all back onto to the boat while Simon hits the serpent with another crossbow bolt. The serpent constricted around the ship causing the ship to start to creak and Ezri to fall back overboard, dropping her sling as she fell. As she falls, Ezri sees the ring she threw to Lucien earlier but doesn’t manage to catch it. Valeros, Simon and the sailors all hit the sea serpent whilst Lucien burns it.
As the others continue to battle the sea serpent, Simon runs into the captain’s cabin and disappears from sight. As Ezri manages to grab hold of the ring the sea serpent recoils in pain, bringing its tail up and around near his head so it is no longer crushing the ship. Before they could breath a sigh of relief, the serpent brought it’s tail smashing down on the ship. The force knocked Lucien unconscious and caused Alissa and Valeros a significant amount of damage and snapped the bolt loaded on Alissa’s crossbow. Somehow despite getting hit, Zach escape with only a few minor scratches.
Ezri tries and failed to climb the rope back onto the boat. Alissa hits the serpent with a crossbow bolt. The serpent wrapped it’s tail back around the ship and slammed it down again, knocking Valeros and Alissa unconscious.
Just then, Malign, Cleric, appeared from the dining room, he looked left and right taking everything in before running to the left to try and pull Ezri back up into the ship. In typical Malign style, he falls into the sea. As she pulled him to the ring, she said “Hi Malign Cleric”
“Hi. Well that went well. I was supposed to be saving you. It’s cold, isn’t it. Let’s huddle for warmth”
The sea serpent constricted again, causing the ship to start to break in two and barrels start to roll into the water. After a brief discussion Malign and Ezri both cast stabilise, hitting Lucien and Alissa respectively and ensuring that, unless hit again, neither of them would bleed out. Valeros also stops bleeding for the moment. Just then, the captain ran out of the dining room with a red haired girl slung over his shoulders accompanied by another sailor and Simon who was ushering them, trying to get him to move quicker.
Ezri cast a second stabilise spell and manages to stabilise Valeros but as soon as she’d done so, the sea serpent constricted once more and with a final creak and a groan the ship ripped in half leaving Valeros alone on the side of the captain’s cabin. Malign made an attempt to climb the rope into the boat but only succeeded in splashing Ezri, who was not happy about that. Noticing that movement, Simon goes over and pulls Ezri and malign out of the water. The captain shouts “abandon ship” and Simon dashes back to the dining room shooting for Z^2 to follow him.
As the sea serpent moves away from the boat, Valeros, Alissa, Lucien and a sailor, still incongruous, slid into the water. There was a clicking, metal against wood sounds before Simon came back out from the dining room with the top of one of the dining tables and Z^2 carrying the other one.
“The boats are smashed but maybe these will float.” Said Simon.
Whilst the sea serpent is going crazy, threading around in the water. Simon threw the table into the water and jumps on top and then bails for some water before helping the Captain and the red headed girl onto the ‘boat’. The rest of the sailors pile onto the two treble tops. Malign, Cleric, held his hand out to Ezri. “Give me your hands, we’ll jump together”
Ezri shook her head, “no, I’m gonna try and save them lot” nodding at the unconscious group in the water. She ran over to where they were and Malign followed. When Ezri looked at her/him he shrugged and said “I’m sticking with you lot, you’re my friends and you have the added bonus of not holding me hostage!”
When they reach the group, they both cast healing spells. Malign helped Valeros and Ezri helped Alissa and they both woke up and managed to climbed onto some of the debris. Next they heal Lucien and the sailor and they all managed to get safely onto the debris. As the sea serpent thrashed about in pain, the debris swirled around it and one of the pieces stabbed the sea serpent causing quite a bit of damage.

The Adventures of Unconscious Dave
Land Ahoy! What land? That land! I don't see any land? It's over ther- oh wait. It's gone again. (repeat as necessary)

- Excerpt from the diary of Ezri Delmastro -

Fifth day of voyage (I think), evening.

Well, that couldn’t have gone much worse.
Note: never get on a boat again. Ever.

Managed to cling to a bit of debris, along with Alissa (alive) and Lucien (barely alive), when the ship disintegrated. Valeros (alive), Malign (very much alive) and Dave the sailor (unconscious, but alive) had also managed to get hold of something. As we drifted away from the wreck, Valeros gave our little raft an ‘ahoy there’, and we had a go at hooking the debris together.

Looking ahead, I could see Simon and the other sailors in front, floating on upturned tables. Zane and Zach were there, fishing some of the other sailors out of the water, and the Captain was still clinging to his red-head, but I couldn’t make out much more. Valeros, hero that he is, dared to look back.

According to him, the sea serpent was busy smashing up the remains of the ship and seemed unconcerned with our bedraggled little raft – for now, anyway. Malign, Cleric, seemed pretty relaxed about the whole situation. Weirdly relaxed. Inappropriately relaxed.
Note: Beginning to suspect Malign may be an imbecile…
Alissa took it pretty well – she managed to keep calm, at any rate.
Note: My healing skills clearly a contributory factor to her impressive mental stability.
Lucien got quite wobbly and seemed pretty distressed, almost losing his grip on the raft.
Note: He had his healing from Malign. Inferior healing, obviously.
Valeros, a veritable pillar of strength up to this point, suddenly began to look unsure and panicky.
Note: Could just have been the thought of all that delicious bacon sinking to the bottom of the ocean.
Dave, the unconscious sailor, remained unconscious.

As for me? I fainted. Not terribly heroic, I confess, but hardly surprising considering all that had happened. Someone must have lifted me onto the raft because when I came to myself, Lucien was in the water and I was sprawled on the rubble next to unconscious Dave (still unconscious).

Alissa started splashing excitably, pointing to an empty bit of ocean and shouting ‘land ahoy’. Began to doubt her mental stability at this point, but thought it best to humour her. Had a quick search for magic and could feel something, but not very clearly.
Note: Are sea serpents magical?
The others were trying to convince her there was nothing there, when she suddenly shook her head and declared, sounding very irritated about it, the island had disappeared.
Note: Starting to feel like déjà vu…

Valeros, who clearly has more testosterone than sense, seemed keen to go back and finish off the sea serpent. Not entirely sure what his battle plan was, and how he intended to defeat a sea serpent with Alissa hallucinating islands, Lucien wounded, both healers exhausted and unconscious Dave still unconscious, but I guess you have to give him credit for trying.

Luckily, I sighted land and managed to distract him. Half expected everyone to say ‘what land?’, but it appears my eyesight (and mental stability) can still be depended on. Unluckily, the distraction was all too much for our poor, brave, man of honour. Valeros fainted.

Think I may have been infected with some of Valeros’s heroism, because I immediately dived off the raft to help him. Clearly, I am no (wo)man of honour, because I missed Valeros completely and started sinking. It appears I didn’t miss Lucien, however, and he had to be hauled (unconscious) onto the raft with my boot-print on his forehead. Oops.

Malign managed to get me back to the raft to assess the casualties. Valeros: unconscious. Lucien: unconscious. Unconscious Dave: unconscious. Me, Alissa and Malign? Still conscious! Three out of six isn’t bad, right?

Valeros recovered himself fairly quickly, actually, and looked heartily ashamed of his fainting fit when he did. I healed Lucien myself. He looked pretty annoyed when he came round, but I pretended not to know what he was talking about and told him a bit of the debris had come loose and concussed him. He didn’t look entirely convinced, but I think I got away with it.
Note: Probably best to keep him away from mirrors until the bruise on his forehead is a bit less foot-shaped…

Changing the subject, I suggested we lash the debris together a bit more tightly, and point ourselves towards the shore. This, we did. Well, most of us. Dave, the unconscious sailor, remained unconscious.


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