Part 43: Everything's Better Down Where It's WetterUpdate 3: Everything's Better Down Where It's Wetter
"Not when the man on an obsessive quest to find his sister by sailing across the open ocean to a place nobody has ever heard of is displaying further signs of instability."
"It's never good news with you, is it?"
"I'm no sailor, but I am fairly certain that the mast isn't supposed to snap off like that."
"If you don't count this as lost, I'd hate to see what you consider a real problem!"
"We're.. underwater, aren't we?"
"Somehow we can breath. And this looks like a building "
"Outlanders, put up your weapons. You are among friends."
"I think we're going to need a bit more information before we take you at your word on that."
"My name is Lyzian. You see, what had happened was "
"As sailors, I'm sure they're quite aware of why they should be afraid of the things beneath them."
"Captain Daenor fared less well."
"You seemed capable of healing our friend, so we bound you with a deep sea spell and brought you here."
"I don't trust your implication that if we hadn't seemed capable of healing him you would have done something else with us."
"Yes, well, here is a ring that will help one of you move underwater.* When you have adjust- what is that?"
"You're from around here. You tell us!"
*A Ring of Free Action. In addition to being able to move freely underwater the bearer can't be slowed, entangled, or held. Very useful.
"How amazingly helpful and specific."
"Stand back! And keep the people away from here. Dragons are at this door!"
"Ha, I'll believe that when I see it!"
"You might want to turn around, then."
Introducing, the Sea Dragon! It's basically a giant turtle that breaths a cloud of superheated steam. Or would, if any of them actually lived long enough do anything. They still count as dragons to the dragonlance, and even with a much better armor class than most dragons Boo still has two attacks per turn and a better than 50% chance of hitting them.
After the battle, we make our way quickly to the safe halls.
"Hey, let us in!"
"We're not dragons or anything, we promise."
"I think that they do not precisely understand the meaning of the word 'safe'."
This time they're accompanied by Amphi dragons, which the manual describes as the offspring of Sea and Black dragons. They looked like winged toads, and serve as proof that dragons will breed with anything. They breath acid, and are minor annoyances. One thing to keep in mind with these creatures is that our fireball spells are completely ruined by the water. Lightning bolt acts like ice storm, but keeps the 1d6 per level setup. Naturally, Ishmael doesn't have a single regular fireball memorized. Other than Boo, who got the Ring of Free Action as our dragonlance wielder, everybody else is moving at 3 squares per turn.
"This place is a mess ."
"C'mon Rip, let's get to work."
For our troubles, we receive an enchanted scimitar. I'm not complaining.
We finally get an opportunity to train at this point and gain levels. It's not much of an issue for us, but I've had people who were ready to go up a couple of levels at this point before.
"Dragonblows have cracked it. If they strike again the door will give way!"
"We could replace the hinge, but somebody would have to go get one from the forge. Will you go in search of it, if we defend the door?"
"Eh, not like we're doing anything else."
"Excellent! Take this map and this Ring of Free Action!"
One of the nicest things about this area is the atmospherics they sprinkle around. It's hard to capture, but you'll also have things like schools of fish swimming around in front of you sometimes when you enter a room.
"That was suspiciously easy."
"That just means something will happen to us on the way back."
"Ouch. How does it feel being that completely wrong?"
"Changing the subject, what's wrong with those guys?"
"Looks like poison that's an easy one."
"They were found at the entrance to the palace. They are palace guards."
" is there anything you guys are good at?"
"They too have been savaged by the sea dragons, so Lyzian arranged a truce."
"The same dragons that have been rampaging through your city? Something doesn't add up here."
"And you want someone to deliver them? We'd be glad to."
"I agree. It's difficult to stay idle here in the safe hall."
There are actually random encounters along the way within Nautilus, including some with sea dragons.
This battle includes sea snakes are our latest addition. Giant sea snakes, as most sea snakes don't get much more than 2 meters long. These guys are, naturally, venomous, but are otherwise fairly simple enemies. They are vulnerable to snake charm, if you have any of those memorized.
"Y'know, I could get used to performing small, simple errands and just helping people."
"That's true, but I don't know if this really counts as heroism."
Returning to the halls...
"Sure kid, what's wrong? Something else the guards around here can't handle?"
"My sister is wandering the city somewhere! She is too young to fight! She said she was going to a guardroom, to kill dragons. I don't know which one!"
"Sounds like she's got spirit. I like her already."
"Come with us, and we'll take you back to your families."
"There are some more children over here."
"And some old people over here."
"The worst guards ever. They seem to have left half their population outside the safe halls."
"Oh, it wasn't anything special."
"Very humble of you."
"Never have I seen sea dragons so fierce! They seem determined to kill us all."
"Um about that "
"I trust you have had a boring time here in the safe hall."
"You could say it was boring, yes."
"You are out of your element, yet you have done well. I bow to you!"
"You never took us to find him, remember?"
"He is in the palace! I had forgotten that. And I was going to take you to heal him, when the dragons attacked us."
"I think you and all of your people are a bit scatterbrained."
"Now I cannot go. Nor have I any warriors to spare. You will have to go yourselves."
"Somehow I never expected anything else."
"And where was he located, specifically?"
"Oh, I left him in my chambers when the attack started. I figured it was the most comfortable room."
And with that, we leave.
On the way to the palace, more random encounters. Eyes of the Deep are sea-going cousins of the beholder, but lack the many magical abilities that make beholders so formidable. Without those, they're just freaky cyclopean monsters.
"Looks just like the rest of the place. I'm kind of disappointed."
"Yeah, with all the shipwrecks in the world to comb through I'd imagined something a bit fancier."
"Those don't sound like elves to me "
"That helps answer any question about what to do with them."
Meet the sahuagin, our antagonists for this section. They're really not impressive, and are mainly here for storyline value rather than to present any kind of challenge. A single lightning bolt can tear large groups apart, and their damage with their tridents is pretty sad.
"Talhook. The sahuagin. Stolen. Sea dragon. Eggs! He was here, looking. For. Treasure. Spoke of eggs!"
"We've got it. Take it easy now, we'll take you somewhere safe."
"We'll have to move him like he is. I don't know where these wards came from, but I can't do anything to help right now."
"Again I see I need not have worried."
"I'm having a hard time believing you were worried in the first place."
"Oh, but of course I was. What of Captain Daenor?"
"You had a treaty with fish men. How did you not expect this?"
"This explains the mindless cruelty of the sea dragons. They are fighting for their children. We cannot hope to find Talhook. It is a big ocean. But I suspect I know where he is keeping the eggs."
"At least that would get the sea dragons off of your backs. I wouldn't count on them being truly grateful, though."
"In particular, there is an old suite there, filled with air, that used to harbor outlander guests long ago."
"Let me guess, you want us to.."
"Why not? It beats waiting around here until we finish killing all the sea dragons in the ocean off."
"I believe I see a problem what of the spell that is making us breath water?"
"It has recorded two deep sea spells. Command it to speak when you reach the air chamber, and it will lift the spell upon you. Command it again when you have recovered the eggs, and the spell will be restored."
"One more question. Where is Celanost?"
"Didn't you look at your map? It's marked "to Celanost" right on the bottom. Just follow the long tunnel until you reach the end. Can't miss it."
Only a few changes here. Amanda is starting to pull ahead in levels from Boo, with just about everybody else in our party gaining a level this time around. Gable is our first character to cross over 20th level not that it makes much difference. For the curious, the second magical ring went to Sam, since he's out designated ass kicker.