The Emperor’s Revenge

As the morning arrives following their encounter with the Sahuagin, the ships crew call forth to announce the sighting of a large ship on the horizon, as the Soul of Winter draws closer it becomes obvious they have discovered the missing ship, the Emperor of the Waves.

Hobbes immediately notices the ship is in a poor state and relays this information to his allies, opting to get things moving quickly they discuss how to proceed. Missy decides to remain behind being unwell from the difficult journey the night before.

As their cleric couldn’t join them the crew put forward their medic, a familiar face to our allies who recognise him as a town guard they’ve met before. Hjolmund. They take a rowboat across to the hulk, taking the easiest route possible they board on the side closest to the Soul of Winter.

The dwarves immediately take the rowboat back to their ship, opting to remain as far away as they can for safety as they believe the Emperor is drifting. Hans, Hobbes, Irminric and Urko do their best to determine the best way forward, the top deck appears to be completely deserted.

Hans decides to investigate the rear cabin of the ship and smashes the door down, the room itself being mostly empty and ruined they discover an area appears to have been dedicated to some kind of worship, as they look at the altar, they are surprised by a large group of giant spiders that immediately attack.

Hobbes panics and hangs back whilst Irminric and Hans dive in slashing and hacking the creatures to shreds. Urko sensibly uses his abilities to stay out of range where he can and between them they finish the spiders fairly quickly. They also discover an unusual creature that seems to be controlling the spiders, it tries to catch the group in webs but doesn’t manage to do so before it too is slain.

They root around the remains and find some minor trinkets before the group decide to descend deeper in to the ship. The stairs open up into another similarly sized room full of webs, with a pair of large double doors. Again Hans immediately runs forward and smashes through them exposing another group of spiders, another small creature like the previous that fires webs and they also see a half-orc humanoid who seems shocked by their arrival.

Immediately the situation descends into another battle as Hans again does his best to slash the spiders into tiny pieces. Hobbes regains his confidence and Hjolmund does his best to shore up the rear.

The Half-Orc turns out to be a spell caster and causes Hans some problems, but before long the group force him to flee as they finish off his spiders. He runs through a doorway and another corridor full of spider webs and disappears out of sight.

Our allies follow closely behind but discover themselves in an area of the ship with multiple rooms, they do their best to explore each but find little other than wrecked furniture and broken, flooded hull. they finally open a small room which contains a bed roll and some materials suggesting it was the Half-Orc’s room.

Moving to the front of the deck they find a sealed door, Urko and Hans determine to open it and between them they manage to prise the door open, immediately spotting four cocoons in the space. Urko, having been trapped inside one before, does his best to investigate them, but finds his action just disturbs whatever is inside and he’s immediately confronted by a tiny demon, and seconds later three more break out of the other cocoons.

It’s a savage but quick fight, the barbarian and Urko immediately kill two and as Irminric and Hjolmund make their way in the last two demons are quickly dispatched. The group find more small trinkets in the room but nothing of any real interest and no sign of the chest Aubreck has sent them for. However Hans is starting to feel the effects of his frenzied attacks quite severely as exhaustion sets in.

There’s a minor disagreement over whether to go up top to find the druid or to move down to the cargo hold to find the chest. they eventually conclude they need to descend to find the chest in the hold. Returning to the rear of the ship they find a ladder leading down.

Hans leads the way leaping down and discovers himself three feet deep in filthy bilge water, he and his colleagues press forward and eventually spot a wooden chest at the front of the ship, just above the level of the water. Our allies reach it and try to open it, but struggle to get past its lock until the barbarian swings at it and smashes the wood revealing a metal chest with an engraved A.

Almost as soon as the chest was revealed four creatures would rise from the bilge water and attack, the Ghasts would focus on the Barbarian and Irminric, which gave Hjolmund and Urko the freedom to try to catch them by surprise. The battle is again brief but as soon as it is done the ship is rocked by a savage movement, the wood around them begins to crack, creak and leak.

In a moment of strength Hans lifts the exceptionally heavy chest, realising he can’t carry it alone they quickly secret it into their bag of holding and move to escape the hold. It takes them a while and every time they move the boat is moved or hit again

They slowly work their way back to the ladders to escape the bilge water, but the boat is damaged badly and begins to list heavily to port. As they make it up to the next level water begins flooding through at a quick rate.

Hans, Irminric, Hobbes and Hjolmund continue moving up the levels. However, Urko having a better ability to navigate under water opts to move in a different direction. Finding a hole in the hull he swims outside the ship.

The other members of the group make their way up too and as they reach the daylight they discover a hectic scene, the Druid and his spiders are being assaulted by enormous tentacles from an unseen creature. The deck is covered in dead spiders, flooding water and Ichor.

Within moments of appearing our group also find themselves being lashed by the huge tentacles, they quickly strike back causing the tentacles to recede but this only encourages whatever the creature is to attack the wooden ship.

Very quickly the situation becomes more serious and the ship begins to sink at an increased rate. Urko suddenly appears on the surface, fighting off a few tentacles himself.

As our group begins to believe their final moments are upon them, they spot a small rowboat moving towards them quickly. Urko, grabs the bag and quickly dives for the small boat, swimming as fast as he can.

The remaining party members do their best to avoid the spiders and tentacles feeling the pressure rising with the level of the water over the deck.

Thankfully the dwarf makes it to the rowboat and with his help it makes quicker time reaching a distance the allies can jump for safety.

They reach the boat, but Hjolmund is seized and grappled by a tentacle as he tries to leap from the Emperor. Luckily for him Urko refuses to leave the dwarf behind and manages to free him from the creatures grasp.

With some effort they begin to put some distance between themselves and the Emperor, within minutes the Emporer lurches one last time and then disappears beneath the waves.

As it does so the dwarves complain with the belief the Soul of Winter will be next and redouble their efforts to get back to their ship, they begin to complain they believe the creature was a Kraken.

source: WotC (Ghosts of Saltmarsh)

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