Saltmarsh and the band of seven

Loss at the Bottom

With their planning complete, the trio went back into the depths to save Dolce and Rilara. Finding their way back to the wreckage of the vagabond, the ranger used his skills to track the colossal crabs tracks until they came across a ridge and saw a field of the beasts tracks and a deep trench. They had found the beasts stomping ground and its masters lair. As stealthily as they could, the group edged their way to the watery canyon and saw a hidden entrance at the bottom. Lachlan started to swim towards it, but was snatched mid-stroke by the shipbreaker crab, they had been standing on the motionless behemoth and mistaken it for part of the terrain! The crab began to slam Lachlan around, the fighters bones shaking in his armor with each thunderous hit. Evan went into action, casting grease on the fighter to ease his escape as the ranger called on his magic to buff himself. The monstrous crustacean continued its assault with the fighter still locked in its massive claw. The ranger enchanted his bow further, it thrumming with energies ready to strike at the beast; but it was to late. The crab grabbed hold of Lachlan, and in one mighty wrench, tore the fighter asunder. Blood filled the water, arrows swam, and the shipbreaker crab was no more. Little did they know, Lachlans lifeblood had attracted the master’s watchdog: The Megaladon, a shark of immense size and power. With barely a moment to mourn their loss and relish their victory, the shark devoured Clint in one fell swoop, and turned on the bard. Using his evasive training he dodged the ancient beasts maw and back peddled to the edge of the crevice. Meanwhile, in the belly of the beast, Clint was slowly being digested, crushed by stomach muscles. He slid an arrow out and cut a hole in the stomach, crawling and stabbing until he saw a lone bard. Calling on his inner ki, he turned invisible and swam to the tight corridors of the caves below, but there was a lot of water between them. As the shark charged Clint, spurred on by his lost meal and the smell of blood. Thinking on his feet (or at least using the fighters) the bard jammed one of Lachlan’s bloody leg stumps in each of the beasts nostrils, momentarily blinding it and catching up to the ranger. Clint turned in mid-stroke, pulling his still heavily powered bow and unleashing his arrows into the megaladon’s most vital points and it was still. Continuing on their journey, the now duo turned invisible and stealthed, ironically the ranger found a wand of hide from animals in his bag, and decided to use it now. They came across a large underwater auditorium, filled with sahahugin worshipers, dozens of sharks swimming in geometrical patterns, and their malicious leader. Before him, chained to a pillar was Dolce and Rilara, still unconscious. The priest was in trance, initiating a ritual to sacrifice his captives to a dark god. The bard quickly went into action, pulling out a wand and sending waves of cold into the crowd of evil cultists. The ranger followed suit, unleashing a scroll of flame that boiled the water around another group. The vile deacon, infuriated that surface dwellers would dare infiltrate his lair, let alone kill his guards, unleashed a blast of unholy hellfire into the ranger, flinging him back into the wall while all of his followers swarmed Evan, stabbing at him with their spears and tridents. He quickly and expertly dodged each attack, dancing around each thrust and stab. Clint regained his footing and swam into the air, taking careful aim at the sahahugin leader and let loose a volley of arrows. Few hit their target, as he seemed to be in three places at once. Then, the sharks all swam around their master, shielding him from harm as he said, “you kill two of mine, i kill two of you”. He laughed an insidious laugh as he brought his ritual dagger to Dolce’s throat and drew her life’s blood, killing her. Evan shot and stabbed all around him, desperately trying to get away, but to no avail. Clint pulled a handful of special, seeking arrows out of his quiver, and let loose a barrage that careened around the circling shark cloud right into his targets flesh. The priest howled in fury and charged into Clint, pulling out 4 wicked looking cutlasses in each arm and slashed away furiously at the ranger, surrounding them both in a dense swarm of blood thirsty sharks, still unable to find the duo hidden by their magic. The bard finally broke free of the dog-pile and shot at the priest, dodging shark and spear. Clint pumped his bow in rapid succession and swords slashed in blind fury until only one remained. The Sahahguin priest slowly floated upward, motionless and full of arrows and bullet wounds. His flock flees in terror at the loss of their master and sharks disperse, no longer called by anyone. The bard and ranger take a breath of relief and release Rilara and Dolce from their bonds, reviving the sorceress and laying to rest the paladin in an extra-dimensional space. The party moved to a room behind the altar, the priests quarters, and in a heavily trapped chest they found their prize. An old and powerful pistol wielded by a legendary pirate decades ago: The artifact aegis-bane. The party quickly swam to the surface and found the Evermist and planned their next move.

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