Skull and Shackles

33 The Brine Banshee

Session Thirty Three

In this session of the Skulls and Shackles campaign, Dalvika is left in charge of the Femme Fatal while Tidus leads a scouting party made up of Captain Quade, De’de, and Wynter into the watery depths in search of the wreck of the Brine Banshee. De’de and Wynter prepare for the trip by calling upon their magical talents to weave elaborate defenses and counter measures that they believe they may encounter in the cold depths below. Once satisfied with their preparations, Wynter tows Quade along while the rest of the group swim down to the sea floor. Stony outcrops rise out of the sandy sea floor, and small sea plants grow in scattered clusters. Locating the Brine Banshee is relatively easy. The shipwreck lies on its side on the ocean floor. Only half the ship is visible, however; the Brine Banshee’s bow section rests next to a rift in the ocean floor.

De’de and Wynter noticed the wreck’s angle, with its prow pointed away from the fissure, suggesting that the ship split in two when she sank, and the vessel’s stern section dropped into the murky depths of the underwater trench. Quade is aware the rift is the location of Vargus Brack’s corpse. The group decides to explore the bow of the ship for plunder.

Tidus takes point and he is supported by De’de. Quade and Wynter takes up the rear guard. While searching room to room, the group manages to avoid the angry haunt of dead sailors within the cargo hold. The rear guard notice that they have attracted a large number of great white sharks that seem to be roaming around in the area. Quade keeps a wary eye on the sharks while Wynter assists De’de and Tidus in securing some of the plunder they acquired from the cabins. Quade manages to notice a sneaking merman that was trying to ambush him. As he attacks the merman stalker, Quade comes to realize that the aquatic humanoid is an undead lacedon and so are the great white sharks. Tidus is able to end the combat quickly by taking command of the undead.

After some debate the companions decide to spare the undead and use the creatures as pack mules to carry their plunder. They then move on with their undead slaves and dive deeper into the rift, where the water grows colder and the pressure becomes nearly unbearable. Wynter and De’de seem the worse affected by the cold, but manage to come up with a defensive ward that protects them against the cold depths. At the bottom of the chasm, the rift’s walls narrow and slope inwards, forming a ravine of pitch-black freezing water. The floor drops away at the northwest end into a vast sinkhole that continues even deeper underwater.

They are surprised to find that the ravine contains not one ship wreck but several others. Wynter deduces that there could be a sea monster nearby, while only Tidus seems to hear an eerie whale song that makes him feel comfortable. The Brine Banshee’s stern rests upright at the bottom of the rift, wedged against a shelf of dark rock. As the group draws closer to the sunken ship, a pack of lacedons emerge and move in to attack. Tidus takes command of a few lacedons and orders his undead shark minions to attack the rest. De’de quickly ends the conflict with a masterful display of his violent psionic talent. Pleased with their work, they move on to explore the ship.

Upon the poop deck they find an elven corpse lashed to the wheel. As they move in closer, the corpse animates and curses the pirates in elven. “Begone foul undead! You won’t eat my corpse this day!” The crypt thing then teleports De’de and Quade several hundreds of feet away, leaving Tidus and Wynter to deal with Captain Xiribal Jalhazar. Wynter realizes that Jalhazar is defending him against the lacedons and decides to use a diplomatic approach. She orders Tidus away while she calms the undead captain down, explaining that the group is here to learn the secret of the Brine Banshee’s speed. The witch manages to calm Jalhazar down and promises to take his corpse back to his people on Kepre Dua. Jalhazar then reveals the secret to Wynter that the secret of the Brine Banshee’s speed is the ship’s enchanted steering wheel. The undead elf captain seems to return back to torpor as Wynter adds his corpse and the wheel to her bag of holding. De’de and Quade eventually return, noticing more lacedons gathering. They ignore the problem and decide to explore the rest of the ship.

The group begin to move from room to room, putting down an angry ghoulish octopus and bagging up more plunder that they find. They eventually find the headless corpse of Vargus Brack, left alone by the lacedons. Quade decides to collect the corpse. When the group arrive in the cargo hold, they’re surprised to find the shattered petrified salt remains of Glick Hyde, the second Hurricane King. Wynter and De’de are excited about the discovery, while Quade recalls old memories of Turpin Irons’ betrayal by his back-stabbing first mate. De’de’s psionic ward that senses hostile intent suddenly picks up a malicious presence. The salty remains of Glick Hyde were reassembling into something vaguely humanoid. The creature curses Quade and demands the return of its piece of silver. The sylvan captain responds with a thundering spell strike and easily dispatches the undead monster. But De’de still senses the presence of something hostile in the area. Wynter’s enchanted senses is able to perceive the invisible spirit of Glick Hyde and realize that the undead creature is a Dybbuk. She sees that Hyde is currently stunned after Quade destroyed his corpse and decides to aid the others by pointing out where the creature is located while casting a defensive ward. Tidus attempts to strike down the unseen spirit, missing it. Quade follows up with another spell strike and critically strikes down the ghost. As Hyde’s spirit is destroyed like his petrified remains, falling apart piece by piece, he mistakes Quade for Turpin Irons and attempts to beg for his former captain’s mercy.

Quade gives none.

Pleased that the fight didn’t cost them that much of their resources, the group moves on. They’re surprised once again as hordes of lacedons emerge from the wrecks and move to swarm the group. Wynter was prepared for this scenario. She orders Tidus to flee with his shark minions while she prepares a defensive ward that will keep the undead out. This gives Quade and De’de time to unleash magic and psionic mayhem upon the approaching undead. All that is left after their onslaught is the remains of scores of twitching destroyed undead. Tidus returns back with his shark slaves, a few of his minions not having survived the destructive area attacks in time. The pirates collect their plunder and begin to strap down the undead sharks when Tidus realizes that he no longer hears the whale song.

That is when Wynter realizes that they’re in the lair of the Great White Ghoul Whale.

The undead whale emerges from the sinkhole, angry that its undead minions have been destroyed. It unleashes a devastating sonic attack that injures half the group. But Tidus moves forward to distract it and brings down his own series of ravaging attacks. De’de blasts it with another psionic onslaught, while Wynter places a vexing curse upon it, and the undead whale still lives. It nearly bites Tidus in half, but Quade moves in to finish off the weaken undead whale with another spellstrike. Tidus is furious that his opponent was stolen from him, much to the amusement of the other companions.

Wynter realizes that the sink hole may be a direct route down into the aquatic Under Dark and advises the other companions to keep clear of it. With victory in hand, the pirates loot the rest of the wrecks and then goad their undead shark mules to the surface with their booty. They return successfully to the Femme Fatal with their mission completed.

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