Campaign of the Month: April 2016

Adoraith: Echoes of Epirus

Sail West Young Man

No one makes a sound, choosing instead to concentrate on keeping your balance and more importantly, dinner, as your ship heaves heavily back and forth. Waves thirty feet tall pound the deck of the Gannet while lighting cracks all around. Suddenly, the silence is broken when the hatch to the deck pops open sending rain and sea water into the hold. Quickly clamoring down the steps and into the hold is a soaked and windblown sailor who seems to be laughing as he struggles to re-secure the hatch behind him. He is short, lean, and wears tattered clothes with no shoes. As he turns, you see the weathered face and broken smile of Leofrik the Bosun’s mate. Hooting loudly Leofrik shakes his head and pulls at his scraggly beard spraying water about the room. “Its a wild one tonight!” Leofrik says laughing. “A good storm can be an honest sailor’s best friend I tell you. Thems pirate waters out there and were not likely to runs into one of those buggers with that ballyhoo outside! Did I ever tells you folks about the time we were…” Fixing your eyes on the floor, Leofrik’s voice fades as you stop listening. Normally one of his stories would be a welcome diversion from the boredom of a long voyage but this storm was particularly violent and you are in no mood for tales of mermaids and buried treasure. Three weeks at sea didn’t seem like that long when you first had the idea of making the voyage but now, caught in stormy weather, you question how wise a decision this was. Lost in thought about the home you left behind you are suddenly jarred back to reality as Leofrik slaps you on the back laughing heartily. “Ain’t that right!” Leofrik shouts, concluding his story. Giving a polite smile you nod to the old man while your companions laugh at some punchline you had missed. “Tis beyond me why any of you’s would want to sail west. Lots of bad juju out here I tell you.” he says, his face becoming more serious. Rising slowly his eyes turn towards the topside hatch. “Something aint right…” He mutters. It was then that you noticed that the ship had stopped rocking and the sound of waves and rain had ceased. “I thought fer sure that storm would be with us for a few hours at least. But weirdness and odd goings ons are normal out here.” Bringing you all closer Leofrik lowers his voice, “I thinks its the work of demons and black magic!” Looking back at the hatch again Leofrik gives his beard a tug, “weirdness…” Turning back to you the sailor gives you a half smile, “You’s know the stories right? I’m’s sure that college boy over there could tell you if he weren’t praying to Triton” Leofrik motions jokingly to a gnome who was tightly gripping a bronze receptacle between his legs to catch his days rations. “The ancients, the ones who comes before us. They were warring with the snake people. You know the ones…the ones that peoples still say live in the Firian. Well, those ancient folk were winning the war, somes says they nearly wiped out those slimy sods but the snakes had one last trick. The snakes, theys summoned an army that came straight from..” Lowering his voice, “the abyss.” Speaking normally again Leofrik continues, “Well, that was that for the ancients, thems all gone now leaving only weirdness and odd happenings out here. But you all knows the stories. I guess you know your business and it aint the place of an old sea dog like me telling you what fer.”

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