As we sailed down the Sellen River aboard the Sellen Starling, we pass by the town of Bellis on the border of Andoran, the birthplace of freedom.
|Captain Skywin Frelling|
Our next acquisition is the Tricorn Hat of a captain, specifically Captain Vadrak of the Bloodwind, an unholy pirate vessel with red sails which we had the misfortune to have seen once before shortly after we left Thrushmoor.
Since we had concerns about this acquisition, we thought it prudent to try and contact our ally in the Dreamlands named Ash, by activating the clockwork eye which he had provided to us after we first met. Doing this allowed us to summon him, for just long enough for him to be able to provide us with some information on what we were up against.
The captain’s ship, the Bloodwind is said to be alive, with a mind and purpose of its own. The captain himself is said to have a reputation of leading many crews to their deaths, though he himself always returns. He works for another unsavoury individual that we once met – Weiralai, a slaver that operates both within the Dreamlands and outside of it. His boatswain is named Ellish, who is also probably another unnatural creature.
After that, the day passed relatively uneventfully, and that night we performed the usual ritual for entering the Dreamlands, with Winter Klazcka watching over us as usual. In our dream, we made our way down the steps, but then abruptly found ourselves waking in our cabin.
Winter seemed somewhat distant and reserved, and when we went above deck all seemed normal until we looked to the riverbank and saw what appeared to be some form of pink creature that looked a bit like a small elephant. I recognised it as a Buopoth, which is a creature of the Dreamlands.
The river water was too clear and filled with strange looking fish with too many legs, and the crew seemed as strangely distant as the Priestess Winter had. Ray moved to the stern of the ship, where Captain Frelling was navigating the Starling. Beyond him, far up the river I noted red sails over the tops of the trees – the Bloodwind – seemingly moving in our direction at unnatural speed.
It was then that Captain Frelling suddenly gave a nightmarish howl, threw back her head and arms and became a twisted, tormented mockery of a humanoid shape – a Fear Gaunt.
Ray was visibly shaken by this transformation, and its now ghostly claws reached out and tore at him. Though my sister was still locked up inside my mind, I still had something I could use against creatures such as this, and drew on my psychic energy to inflict a Purge Spirit upon it.
It screamed in agony, and was delayed long enough for Ray to run back towards us, allowing Erasmus to go to him and provide some healing. However it vanished from where it was, and appeared next to both of them – not far from me either. Gregor chanted his holy words, and drawing his bow shot at it, and I purged it and yet again caused it to stagger back. Erasmus lay a hex upon it, putting it into a deep slumber for long enough to Gregor to finish it off.
However, by this time the Bloodwind was almost upon us, drawing up along side the Starling and seemingly grasping our own ship in tentacles of chains. It was crewed by men, with Captain Vadrack at the helm, and Boatswain Ellish a shadowy figure that was first across to our deck.
It was then that Ash appeared to aid us, meeting the pirate crew head on. I at this point was desperately trying to call my sister from my mind, so missed much of what happened next. Erasmus laid a phantasm on the pirates, confusing them into thinking they were trapped in webs, and Gregor invoked his inquisitorial banes upon them. While the battle raged, Ray cloaked himself with invisibility, and flew across to the Bloodwind, succeeding in filching the hat from the head of that ship’s captain.
As both the boatswain and the captain fell, the Bloodwind let out a terrible scream, and began to crush our ship with its chains, seemingly to pull our ship into it. At this point though we had the hat we sought, and all tried desperately to wake ourselves from this terrible nightmare.
Back now upon the real Sellen Starling, we have a Captain’s Tricorn to add to our collection. We have a viscount’s signet ring, a feline tail, a skull of ghoul royalty, the heartstone of a night hag and a red webbed foot.
What is last on our list is a green stone idol of a water lizard. Once we have that we will be ready to follow in the footsteps of Count Haserton Lowls, and seek the Mad Poet who requires such gifts. Maybe then we will be able to ascertain what happened to our memories, and ourselves, before we awoke in that mad asylum in Thrushmoor so many weeks ago.