After the events of the previous week, the Thirteenth found themselves in possession of a trapped elemental… and while we have a ship that we got from the Shadowfell, it was a pretty small one — clearly not one worthy of being our airship. But we were promised a ship by Duke Kordaric, and it was time to collect. Pavis and his team joined us on the ship, sailing its way to Ostavar. From there, one team would take the ship Kordaric had for us and continue on to Zilargo, while the other one would return back to Thronehold.
So, we set out for our meeting point on the seas near Ostavar… and arrived there without incident, to find Kordaric on a ship waiting for us. He wasn’t piloting the ship himself, but had one of his most trusted captains there instead. At any rate, he invited us onto the ship (we came aboard — Pavis’ team stayed behind, with their ship connected to Kordaric’s) and we also took him up on his invitation to enjoy some of the wine in the wardroom. Why would adventurers pass up free booze?
We found ourselves regretting our “sure, what the hell” attitude when we heard fighting outside and found the door to our cabin locked… and that we were feeling pretty queasy despite the fact that we only drank a little bit of the wine. We broke down the door to find Kordaric and his crew fighting Pavis’ team… and us. The wine was spiked, and that Kordaric was a changeling. In that fight, the pirate crew broke Pavis’ ship away (with Pavis and his team on it), and the changeling — having changed form — tried to convince us that he was Pavis, betraying us because he was secretly working for House Orien all along! (Nobody bought it.)
Once we finished with them, we held their captain for questioning. They were working for the Diresharks, led by Prince Kolberkon — looking to overthrow the Seadragons, led by High Prince Ryger ir’Wynarn (nominal ruler of the Lhazaar Principalities), whom Kordaric works for. To finance their schemes, the Diresharks have allied themselves with the Emerald Claw and House Lyrandar. More to the point, they wanted us dead for reasons that the captain couldn’t say (or didn’t know). His crew was supposed to do the job, but in case that failed (as it did), they had another ship on the way. Once we spotted the ship (which was likely to blow us apart with its cannons if we stayed still, we fled our current ship on a lifeboat… but not before Bunny thanked the captain for his cooperation by shoving him off the ship, of course.
We took the lifeboat to a cave in the sea. We could see the ship well enough to notice that it was flying a flag with a dire shark on it — and while the entire ship couldn’t quite follow us into the cave, they got close enough to send some of their crew out to fight us. We managed to beat them down, but couldn’t stick around forever because they would just send more and more people out to fight us. So, we started exploring the cave…
…and ran into some uncomfortably familiar people. Crazy, creepy, naked people — the same ones that we me when we rescued Kordaric a while back. They started talking about the draconic prophecy that they believe in. “The thirteenth will defeat the dream dragon,” it says… and as vague as that is, they thought the fact that our organization was named The Thirteenth was no coincidence. They let us know that they were testing us: If we live through their challenges, we may be able to face whatever threat the “dream dragon” would pose — if we die, then we clearly weren’t the thirteenth that was mentioned in the prophecy.
Once they finished with that, they offered us some advice on where to go next — the cave we were in was at the base of a mountain, and there was a beacon at the top. The real Kordaric was still supposed to meet us, after all — he just needed to find us. So we climbed up, making our way to a snowy mountaintop with a small building on the other side of it…
…and a dragon in the middle, who had it out for us. The dragon claimed that we had killed its parents when it was just a child, and that it had been training itself up since that day to fight us and get its revenge. Our attempts to convince it otherwise — since the dragon was likely old enough that we couldn’t have done any such thing — were in vain. The dragon went down with surprisingly little trouble, however, making even Bunny feel bad about looting its horde of treasure.
We climbed to the top of the building and managed to light the magical beacon. A trio of ships came and chased the Diresharks off… flying the Seadragon flag, and with the real Kordaric on board. Once we were reunited with him and Pavis, we had a choice to make — do we let Pavis and his team take the ship and the elemental to Zilargo to make an airship with them while we head back to base, or do we go to Zilargo ourselves instead? In the end, we chose the latter option — we haven’t been there yet, after all!