The longest winter

A night on the Ghost Barge

season 3 opener (part 2)

The party:

Elden, the half-Elf warrior (played by Matt)
Elana, the Chronoid Time-thief (played by Leanne)
Frank, the half-Orc Barbarian (played by Steve)
Marellian, the half-Elf Cleric-Wizard (played by Dave)
Rayne, the Tiefling Sorcerer-thief (Player absent: played as N.P.C.)

As the barge sets sail, the wintry landscape seems to blur, and in it’s place are visions of other lands. The party sees all manner of strange places, including a vast desert, a shining city, a grassy plain and a vast forest. In some of these places, people can be seen walking around and going about their everyday lives, but none of them seem to see the ship, or hear the party.

While traversing a shadowy, misty place, a vortex of darkness forms off the starboard bow. Shadows pour forth from it’s dark maw, and head straight for the ship. They take no action against the ship’s crew, but are drawn somehow towards the party.

The party fights them, in total silence all around, and none of the crew seem to notice (or if they do, they do not come to the party’s aid), but go about their jobs as if there is nothing happening aboard deck. Elden, Frank and Rayne, in the bow, bear the brunt of the hand to hand fighting, while Elana and Marellian use ranged attacks. One of the shadows comes near to Marellian, but instead of attacking him, goes for Elana. Elana’s magical nature seems to give the Chronoid some sort of immunity to it’s life draining touch, or maybe the fact that Elana does not age is behind it.

The shadows are vanquished, and the party are relieved to find themselves uninjured despite the ferocity of the shadow’s attack.

Marellian attempts to speak to the captain of the Ghost barge, but the captain either does not seem to hear him or deliberately ignores him. Inspecting the crew closer, Marellian determines that they are not quite in the same reality, as a sort of ghostly glow surrounds them. This would explain why they were not attacked by the shadows.

As the night wears on, another vortex opens up off the port side of the ship. This time, winged snakes of some unknown type fly towards the party. Again, they seem to ignore the crew, and again Elana seems to be a greater target then Marellian, who is standing closer to one of the snakes. Elden asks Frank if he can make a snakeskin coat out of the dead bodies, or maybe a winged cape.

The last of the winged snakes is killed, and once more the party seem to have escaped serious injury. Marellian, however, has used up several spells fighting off the shadows and snakes. He hopes that nothing else disturbs their journey, but his hopes turn out to be short lived…

Shortly before dawn, a third vortex opens ahead of the ship, spewing out winged devils. They swoop down on the ship, and two of them lift Elden up. Realizing that he will be lost in time forever if they carry him off, he struggles against his captors. Luckily, the rest of the party also realize this, and concentrate their fire on these two devils, causing them to loose their grip on Elden enough for him to squirm free. The party quickly make short work of the devils, and anxiously await the dawn.

As the first rays of light fall upon the land, the party once more see the familiar tundra of Qulom. The frights are not over though, as the ghost barge sails right through the body of a grazing mammoth. Luckily, the mammoth is unharmed by it’s passing, although the effect is quite unsettling on the party. As dawn arrives, they find themselves in a familiar part of the land: Dragonscar ridge. A gangplank is set down on the ridge, and the party disembarks. Marellian whispers to the captain that he will find some way to free the crew from their cursed oath. As the party step off the gangplank, it is withdrawn, and the barge fades from view as the day washes over them.

An hour later sees the party looking at the gates of Flint-Harrow Picking up their pace, they stride towards Home at last…….

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