War of the Burning Sky Session 29

The Wayfarer's Ship
The wind and rain had picked up slightly as Ulfgar, Katrina, and Cyrus chased Giorgio up the stairs to the deck of the Wayfarers’ Theater.

Cyrus called on his weapon bond, summoning his sword back to his hand.

Two half-orcs came to Giorgio’s aid, as he ran into the captain’s quarters. One was dressed in Ragesian plate armor. The other, a hulking figure, wore wizard’s robes and carried a greataxe on his back.

The deck of the ship began to crackle with thin wisps of flames, and an ominous hum filled the air.

As Ulfgar reached the deck, he was stabbed in the back by a gnome.

Ulfgar swung his staff at the gnome, who ducked under, but was caught by the monk’s kicks.

Reaching the deck, Katrina ran up to the fore deck and cast a spell.

The gnome rolled away from Ulfgar and nimbly scrambled up the ship’s rigging, almost to the crow’s nest.

“Katrina, blast that gnome!” Cyrus cried, and cast Tasha's caustic brew, covering the two half-orcs in a stream of acid.

As the two half-orcs screamed in pain, the robed half-orc cast a spell and the armored one began to enlarge until he was twice his size.

Cyrus withstood the enlarged half-orc’s attempt to shove him and dodged a swing from his battleaxe.

Ulfgar hit the robed half-orc with his staff and then a stunning strike.

From behind the robed half-orc, Giorgio pointed at Ulfgar and suggested, “Jump overboard.”

Katrina blasted the gnome with a scorching ray.

The gnome shot an arrow at Ulfgar, but the monk grabbed it out of the air and tossed it toward the rigging.

“Alarm! Alarm! Fire! Ships on fire!” Cyrus shouted as he slashed the armored half-orc and shrugged off its attempt to grab him.

Ulfgar ran off the edge of the deck and jumped into the stormy water below and began swimming.

* * *

Meanwhile, Xireas and I stayed in the theater below, maintaining a watch over the Headmaster, who sat with Bernardo Clemente and a burly warrior I did not recognize.

As the curtains began to open, I instructed Xireas to, “Get to the stage!” and we both made our way past the rows of seats and disgruntled attendants, who grumbled at our passing.

When we reached the Headmaster and his entourage, I urged in a hushed tone, “Headmaster, the trap has been sprung! Follow me! Do you have a way off the ship?”

“What's going on?” headmaster Simeon asked. “Please, please lower your voice.”

“We have to get out of here,” I reiterated. “It's Giorgio.”

“Lower your voice,” Simeon repeated. “Lower your voice. Be calm.”

“The trap has been sprung,” I urged them all. “It's Giorgio. He was caught fleeing. You have to come with me this way.”

Turning to Xireas, I pointed toward the stage, “Behind that curtain there are stairs going up.”

Xireas ran up the stairs, onto the stage, and disappeared behind the curtain.

Rising, Simeon said, “Okay, let us go.”

Together, we followed Xireas. Behind the curtain, I dashed ahead, leading them up the stairs and into the storage room off the main deck.

“Through there!” I instructed, as Xireas reached the storage room, the headmaster and his entourage close behind.

Xireas opened the door and ran out onto the deck, cursing at the sight she saw. She hit the armored half-orc with three magic missiles.

Not finding anything in the storage I could use as a weapon, I followed Xireas onto the deck, instructing the others to, “Stay there.”

The winds were blowing strong and the rain splashed all around. The deck was crackling with thin wisps of flame, and an ominous hum filled the air. Cyrus and Katrina were in a heated battle with a hulking half-orc and another twice as large, while a gnome targeted them with a shortbow from the rigging. Ulfgar was nowhere in sight.

“Kill them, Angradin!” Cyrus shouted.

I cast spiritual weapon and hit the gnome in the rigging.

The hulking half-orc in robes was splattered in acid, but standing still, right by the door, so I tried to grab the greataxe from its back but it was too strong.

From behind the half-orc, in the captain’s quarters, I saw Giorgio slam the door shut and heard what sounded like a bar sliding in place to secure it.

Katrina blasted the gnome with three scorching rays.

The gnome quaffed a potion and dived off the rigging into the water below.

Cyrus slashed the armored half-orc, who was also smoking from acid.

The robed half-orc carefully stepped into the storage room, and was immediately put down by Bernardo Clemente’s shadow blade.

Shrinking down to its normal, hulking size, the armored half-orc cried, “Brutus!” and quaffed a potion.

Reaching the anchor chain, Ulfgar pulled himself up to the fore deck and leapt down onto the main deck.

Xireas blasted the armored half-orc with three magic missiles.

“Giorgio’s in here, he barricaded himself in,” I informed the Headmaster while I grabbed the greataxe from the fallen half-orc and began battering down the barred door.

There was a loud ringing noise and suddenly a barrel on the deck shattered, sending flaming fragments flying into Cyrus, Ulfgar, Xireas, and the armored half-orc.

Katrina blasted the armored half-orc, who was still smoldering from acid, with a scorching ray.

Cyrus slammed the armored half-orc up against the mast and smashed it in the face with the pommel of his sword, knocking it out cold.

“What happened to that midget that was in the rigging?” Ulfgar cried. “Should I go after them?”

“No,” Cyrus replied. “Giorgio's below deck. Let's cover all exits.”

“We need to get Giorgio,” I replied. “He's in here.”

The humming noise grew louder and the wisps of flame grew thicker.

Looking over the side of the ship, Ulfgar saw a dinghy with three charred elven corpses in it.

“There's a dinghy by the side,” Ulfgar shouted. “We should get the dignitaries out, as many as we can, as quickly as we can.”

“What are we gonna do?” Xireas asked. “What the hell's going on here? I've never seen anything like this.”

“Xireas, can you get this door open?” I asked.

“I don't have Knock or anything like that,” Xireas replied.

“Sir, we must get you out of here,” Bernardo said, stepping out onto the deck. “It looks like we can pass now.”

I smashed into the door with the greataxe, but sensed it must be reinforced with steel as it did not budge.

“Giorgio locked himself in here,” I informed Bernardo and Simeon. “This door seems reinforced. Can you help me open it?”

“We cannot,” Bernardo replied. “We must leave this place immediately. I must get him to safety. You’ll have to handle it.”

“I understand,” I acknowledged.

There was another loud ringing noise and the other barrel on the deck shattered, sending flaming fragments flying into Cyrus, Ulfgar, Xireas, and killing the armored half-orc.

“Let's get the Headmaster out of here,” Katrina called, waving them over to the dinghy. “This way, sir. There's a boat over here.”

“Give me a hand,” I called to Cyrus.

Summoning his handaxe to his hand and sheathing it, Cyrus kicked at the door.

After using his elemental attunement to send a shower of sparks into the air, Ulfgar dashed all the way down the stairs with his step of the wind.

The wooden door at the bottom was closed and locked and there was banging coming from the other side. Ulfgar saw a sigil on the door.

“Go downstairs and bring people up from the stage,” I suggested to Xireas.

“Right, good idea,” Xireas replied and dashed into the storage room, disappearing down the stairs.

Bernardo and Simeon climbed over the railing and down into the dinghy while their bodyguard stood by the railing.

As I was preparing to take another swing at the door, it became somewhat transparent.

“Wait, what?” I puzzled. “There's no door here. It's an illusion. It's just an illusion.”

I walked past the illusion and into a room where Giorgio was standing at a desk with his back to me. On the desk was a console encrusted with illuminated gems and flashing lights that Giorgio appeared to be operating.

“Surrender!” I commanded, casting spirit guardians and moved my spiritual weapon toward the room.

Turning around, Giorgio looked shocked for an instant as the illusory door disappeared, and then he suggested, “”Defend me.”

Katrina blasted Giorgio with two scorching rays and I no longer felt any compulsion to comply with his suggestion.

Cyrus grabbed Giorgio and tossed him onto a nearby bed.

Running back up the stairs to the deck, Ulfgar shouted, “The ambassadors are trapped downstairs. There's what looks like a magical door holding them in.”

“Get Xireas,” I suggested.

“Where is she?” Ulfgar asked.

I smashed Giorgio on the side of the head with the flat of the greataxe.

Turning to Cyrus, Giorgio suggested, “You wanna let me go and defend me,” but Cyrus was unphased.

Cyrus bashed Giorgio with the palm of his sword.

Ulfgar ran back down the circular stairs.

Xireas stepped back onto the deck, followed by the Guildmistress Sheena Larkins and her bodyguard, Hawkins.

A stream of people were following them.

I bashed Giorgio with my spiritual weapon and cast dispel magic on the desk, but there was no change to the console, so I dismissed my spirit guardians.

“Giorgio, what the hell is going on here?” the Guildmistress demanded, walking into her quarters.

“I'll take care of this,” the Guildmistress said irately, walking up to the desk and beginning to flip some levers and press some buttons.

“Please check his hands for some rings, please,” the Guildmistress requested of me.

Checking Giorgio’s hands, I found a big gold ring, and ripped it off his finger, handing it to the Guildmistress.

With the ring, the Guildmistress continued operating the control panel until the humming dissipated and the wispy flames flickered out.

“Is that like a teleport machine?” Cyrus asked.

“That's exactly what it is,” the Guildmistress replied. “This is how we get our ship around, and this idiot knows he would have killed everybody on board the ship! You've got a lot to be held accountable for, Giorgio! This is not what we do!”

“All these years of service and you never recognized me!” Giorgio cried. “At least the Ragesians will give me my just desserts. They'll reward me properly, unlike this damn guild!”

“Oh yeah, you're gonna get your just desserts alright,” Cyrus snickered as he tied the bard up, tossing his shortsword to the floor.

“You’re working with the Ragesians?” I asked.

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