After a week of drinking and reading the book while the others tended to their own things, it all still seemed very confusing to me. I don’t think it was because of the alcohol though. Things became a bit clearer after we went to go to to the special shopkeeper lady about the book and she let us know that there were actually 3 books in total. We found out that the military had one of the books before everything went south and the other happened to be at Plunderhaven although the person who owned it wouldn’t sell it to her. They apparently knew it was kinda important I guess. Sigfried said he would look into getting the book from the military side of things. As I shook his hand, I slipped a little piece of our ship’s wood into his belt pouch. He wouldn’t tell us where they might have kept it hidden so I figured this way, when we see him again, we can do some sort of teleporting spell or scrying or something to see where they are keeping their important items for us to get later. I mean, they dont’ really exist any more so they shouldn’t really need them. And if they are working for Noctis, he REALLY doesn’t need any more weapons in his arsenal.
Now, we need to figure out where Plunderhaven is. But that could be anywhere. After some asking around, we find out that some escapees of the demolition got to Aqua 8, so that would be the best place to start. We also found out that Aqua 8 is under Noctis’s control now. Some of us wanted to just teleport there but Nightmare wasn’t having it. He said he’s help get us there, but he’s done fighting for a while. But he’ll only go by ship. not a problem for me. I don’t get to pilot the ship enough as it is so I’m down for a road trip. And we still have the Noctis flag we can try to slide our way in undiscovered. Rami said that Mav was staying behind to help the injured people still, which was ok since this was just an information gathering mission anyway. Shenora was also staying behind as well, although we really could have used her. I think she wanted to spend more time with Harold before this gets underway for some serious world changing shit possibly. But, she knows how to get to us if she needs to teleport to us when she’s ready.
After 3 days of travel, we’re within sight of Aqua 8. And since we had to take to open water, we made sure to fly the Noctis flag in case we came across anyone. Well, we didn’t while we were on open water but as we approached the city, we saw a Noctis ship, then a 2nd, then a whole fleet. Good god there were a lot of them. But Surhlock made the ship look good and we were all outfitted to look like Noctis employees. We even disguised the ship to look like the one we had taken and given to Nightmare. Once in dock, we see an entire galleon of austerians and lots of Noctis people. Uniformed type soldiers. And everyone either looking like beggars or wearing a Noctis pin to show their loyalty. I’m guessing the ones without the pins aren’t loyal. Maybe we can get some of them to come work for us. But with mine and Rami’s demeanors, we weren’t going to get any information. Best way would be to ask around in taverns and nobody is going to speak to us. Not nicely anyway. So, out of the 4 taverns, we randomly pick one. Rami, Dorric and I were following Suhrlock from the shadows. I mean, if something goes down, I don’t know what’ll happen. As we’re watching him go into the first one, he comes right back out again. Apparently, it was a Noctis supporter tavern. Not gonna get anything there. We decided to go to the poorer part of town. Probably the better way to go about things.This time we scouted it out first, checking to see what the clientele at this establishment looked like and lucky for us it was all downtrodden people. So Surhlock magic’ed out of his Noctis supporter attire to his regular attire right before going in. He was in there for about 10 minutes or so before coming back out and telling us that there was someone who was in jail and heard 2 guards say something about some prisoners and Plunderhaven. Great, so now we have to break into a jail unnoticed and find 2 people who might know where Plunderhaven sank? And to top it all off, the jail is in a section of town surrounded by unclimbable walls. So how do you get into a place surrounded by walls? The only way of course….the sewers. We stealthily(some more than others) traverse the exterior wall and happen to find a grated opening. Except the grate is cemented in place and not just a locked gate. We do have some ways around it but it could be a one way trip for a couple of us so we want to make sure it’s the right way first. Surhlock changes into a smoky cloud of gas and goes through the bars(which were still too tight for me to squeeze through) and does some scouting. Apparently, it dead ends into another grate so this is a dead end for us at this point. After doing some more searching, we found an ungrated pipe, although it was below water so we’d have to swim for it. Personally, I have no issues with that. Rami wasn’t too keen on it though but decided it was our only way in. We dive in and swim for it after Dorric casts some spells on them to be able to breathe underwater. I politely refused, what with my were-shark abilities and whatnot allowed me to change into a full shark. I don’t think Dorric was expecting that but he got to see it first hand as I dove off the cliff and turned into the shark before hitting the water. I’m guessing he thought he was the only shapeshifter in the party. We go through the pipe which eventually come to a large cavern-like area. With the way the pipe looks, it looks like it just broke off and fell into the darkness below. It should have the pipe on the other side but I can’t see it. So, we decide to hug the wall and follow it around to the right. We came across an opening that I think just led back out to the ocean. Then another that also felt the same. Except for this one, there was a giant chain link attached above the door. and Just 1 chain was about the size of our ship. I want no part of whatever is down there. We continue around and come back around again, following the wall, to where we started. We found more chain links all leading down into the depths below. So 3(4 total if the one hadn’t broken off where we started from) huge chains are holding something at bay? Now I definitely don’t want anything to do with that. This time we follow it around but stick to the ceiling and finally find an upward shaft. As I surface in my shark form, I finally get my first glimpse of what’s going on. I see convicts and guards. There’s a bridge crossing the space above the shaft but the shaft extends up quite a way with more criss-crossing bridges, more convicts, and more guards. We definitely aren’t going to be able to find who we’re looking for with guards around. After letting the guys know what I saw, we decide to keep following the wall around to see if there’s another option. And luckily there was. it led to a manhole and as I used all of my newfound strength to lift the lid enough to see, I could tell we were definitely in the upper city where the jail is. We also figure out that we’re on a back street so we have a chance to get out unnoticed. Using my keen sense of direction, we follow back in the direction the jail is in, sticking to the shadows. We see sentries walking the perimeter and a guard shack at the front where the entrance to the jail clearly is. Just as I was about to sneak off and take out the guard in the shack, Surhlock grabs may arm. Apparently there are wards and spells guarding the area. Some against invisibility and some against just people that aren’t approved to be there. But as he’s scanning, he notices that there is a slight break int he wards as they are sweeping around. About a 27 second window. So I start humming a tune so I can keep up with the allotted time and sneak over and take out the guard. Dorric and Rami follow with Surhlock coming up last since he needs to cast some spells as we go. I take out the guard with Urgot, hoping that it reanimates as a zombie fast enough but as time ticks down, it’s clearly not going to happen so we just prop him up in the chair and make it look like he’s sleeping and slip in the back door into the prison. We do some listening and more sneaking around, avoiding walking sentries, and finally find the holding area. And there’s a shitload of people. How are we going to find the right 2 people? Just ask. We semi-silently ask about anyone that knows anything about Plunderhaven. 1 guy speaks up and as we approach him, wouldn’t you know it. It’s that asshole shopkeeper who fucked us over on the logpose, giving us that 1gp logpose when we paid for a 1000gp one. He said he was there when the sea turtle was killed and knows where it is and will take us there if we promise not to kill him. I’m totally going to kill him, but I’ll let him believe I won’t. To cover our tracks, I pick out about 20 people who said they were good at picking locks and set them free so they could set everyone else free and make a dash for it. We let them know that if any of them are looking to sail on a crew, or are looking for work to meet us at the flower islands. Surhlock tells them where that is. We get back out, wait for our 27 second window and make a dash for it. We get outside close tot he wall and Suhrlock teleports us right to the dock and the gangway for our ship. As we’re getting ready to set sail, we notice that the ship with all of the austerians on it is gone. Fine by me. As soon as we’re ready, we get out of there, Noctis flag flying. LJ Silver, the shopkeeper, gives us a general heading. I’m sure he doesn’t believe we’ll spare him so I’m sure he isn’t giving us as much info as he should be. There’s only so much we can threaten with. We swing by the Flower islands and pick up about 50 or so people. Of those, about 38 are sailors, or claim to know how to sail as well as fight. It may displace some of the current crew but oh well. We need the best. The rest can work in the mine’s or apprentice to get better while doing shit jobs on the ship. As we round a cliff close to where LJ says Plunderhaven is, we see 2 ships flying Noctis’s flag with some sort of crane in the water. As we’re looking, we hear a splash and I dont’ see Silver anywhere. Dammit! I dive in after him, changing in midair and as I hit the water and look around, I see multiple versions of him swimming away. But I’m no dummy. I know that illusions won’t displace as much water when swimming, but unfortunately that only narrowed it down to 2, swimming in different directions and only time to catch 1. I went after one of them and bit into thin air. Double dammit! he got away. I come back up and let the team know what happened. Their next suggestion is I go swim over and check out the other ships and what they are doing. Makes sense since I look like a shark so it would be totally normal. I head over, surfacing as I get closer and find that the ship with the crane is the austerian ship. Awesome. I also see them lift out a huge net filled with stuff that clearly looks like it came from Plunderhaven. They beat us too it. But I’m hoping they won’t care about books. The 2nd ship looks like just a few austerian officers and some prisoners on board. Not enough to crew the ship though, which is odd. I dive down and as I do, I pass by several body parts. That can’t be good. As I get closer to Plunderhaven, I can see that the magical air bubble is still intact and that there are prisoners down there loading stuff into huge rope nets. With a couple officers looking after them. it’s not like they have anywhere to go. Clearly if they try to leave the sharks get a meal. I thought about just biting the rope and making the austerian crane ship have to go back to Aqua 8 to refit for more rope but apparently Rami and the team saw some sort of island with a port in it so they wouldn’t be gone very long. Ok, plan B. we wait until it’s dark when the recovery operation stops for the night. Dorric does the water breathing thing on the guys again, just like at the prison and we swim down. Clearly they break for the night and with no fear of being swarmed by the prisoners and no attacks from anyone else coming down, even the officers don’t take shifts and we sneak up on them and kill them. Nice quick slashes to the throat. Nice and quiet. Once again, with Urgot on the big one that way we can send him back up with instructions to go nuts on any austerians on the boat after becoming a zombie. Maybe they’ll just think he went crazy from something down here. We free the prisoners and send them back to our boat. I tell the sharks not to eat them. These are friends, not food. They didn’t seem happy about it so we did feed them the other smaller austerian. I’m betting he was more meaty than all of the prisoners combined anyway.
We went through a few different shops and didn’t find anything for books, but we did find a secret hiding spot in LJ’s shop that had some nice little treasures for us to take back with us as a nice parting gift. Then it hits us. it’s a book. Where do you find books? We headed to the library and it was wrecked. While we didn’t find the book, we found something else. There was a note from LJ with a map. The note read “Don’t say I never did anything for you”. It must be the book. We follow the map and it leads us to the business hall or whatever it’s called. it’s locked so I get it open and inside is a shambles, however, using his map, we are able to find the book. We head back, though I take a short detour to the austerian cran ship just to see if there’s some way I can get in to get some of the loot but there just isn’t any good way to do it. We get back to the ship and there is Shenora, waiting on the deck with the new guys getting them prepped. oh, now it’s on. We fill her in on everything, show her the book, and get down to doing what we do….making boats sink by shitting themselves. Shenora and I sneak over to the austerian ship while Surhlock, Dorric, and Rami head to the smaller ship where currently only prisoners are that are left. Shenora does her thing and as soon as the wood turns to stone, the ship starts tilting back out of the water. Apparently Surhlock had to calm down the prisoners on the other ship who were freaking out. Good thing he went over there. As soon as the ship was at 45 degrees or so, Shenora finished it off and turned the stone to mud, causing a gaping hole in the boat. It went down fast, loot spilling out of it like it was just shitting mud and gold, taking the austerians down with it. We figure that the austerians weren’t much of swimmers, considering they have hooves and stuff. And even if they get into Plunderhaven, they’ll run out of food and water soon enough and die of hunger and thirst. Now all that loot is ours. Even better than we could have anticipated. Yay for Shenora showing up at just the right time. We head back to Nidhogg’s Grave with the book and as we get there and settled in, Sigfried shows up with the 3rd book. Time to get reading. And time to see exactly where it is he went…..