3/8/1472: 22:05 – 22:20: The group are helped to get on board the SC by ropes thrown over the sides by their crew, and as they approach, it is clear that some kind of terrible battle is raging on its decks. With the hot rain lashing down at them, and the night skies still boiling with writhing dimensional tension, that leap like streaks of pale orange lightning, the party haul themselves onto the main deck, where they behold carnage.
At least ten men lie slain, their bodies showing the work of blades and magic. Another three men stand utterly still, their flesh having been turned to solid stone through some dire magic, and pretty quickly, the group can see the source of this horror. Up on the aft castle stands the swordmage they know as Silas; an arrogant bore who would often try and chat up Lia in the taproom of the Fighter's Gift. A Vaedeccian, he has an olive complexion, and long, black hair. Handsome, a sneer is on his face as his sword unleashes a burst of killing lightning towards several sailors, dropping them and cooking them in an instant, he spies the group and laughs boisterously.
“Weela, look'a who it'a is'a!”
Helping Silas are five pirates, who gleefully put to the sword anyone that gets too close, whilst the whole lot of them fight around the greatest horror on deck – Silas' pet basilisk, “Stone Eye”. A truly repugnant beast, the six-legged lizard resembles a great armoured crocodile with chameleon like eyes, its huge mouth already red with blood. It waddles across the deck, its petrifying glare forcing the few men trying to fight the doughty squad to flee with their eyes closed – all the easier for Silas and his men to murder.
There is no sign of Skull, and the group realise that he has either been dispatched or is elsewhere. Within moments of them arriving on deck Silas has spotted them, and the pirates under his command quickly run to intercept the group. Three of these men die before they even get chance to raise their blades; peppered with venom shrouded quarrels from the assassin's crossbow. The others however leap in, their swords opening fearsome wounds in those they strike.
The group are absolutely exhausted, having had no time to rest since they emerged from the basement, and things get no better for them, for within moments, Silas is unleashing an apocalypse, the air seething with his swordmagic. Lia realises that this battle is going to be hard won (if won at all) and calls upon her most potent psychic defence, the aft' castle becoming shrouded in a veil of her minds' energy. She then leaps to attack one of the pirates, though she is quickly bound by shackles of dehydrating quasi-elemental salt, conjured by the swordmage, which burn her skin and drain her strength with every passing second.
Thatari and Jaeger hang back on the main deck, keeping as much distance between them and the battle as possible. Varracuda is with them at first, but soon leaps into the fray, his own blade snarling as he calls upon what spells he has remaining. However, he makes the mistake of getting too close to Stone Eye, and suddenly feels a horrible leaden chill infuse his whole body. His limbs grow stiff and heavy, and he feels a choking constriction around his neck and chest. With horror, he realises his normally pale skin, which is covered in swirling elemental sigils of brilliant hue, is turning more and more ashen...more like...
And suddenly Varracuda knows nothing more, his body turned to lifeless stone.
Grigori sees this, and as he charges the basilisk, Balskuss' chainsword screaming in his grasp, yells out that he can easily reverse the petrification once the battle is over. Bellowing incoherently next to him, Shnecke is already hacking at the massive reptile, his jagged axe chipping away at its emerald scales, soliciting furious hisses and vicious return bites from its deadly jaws, and with the petrification of Varracuda, everyone suddenly starts to pay more attention to the reptile than the swordmage.
Jaeger teleports to the aft' castle, and slashes at the beast. However, as he arrives, the air buckles around him, the skin of reality rebelling against his arcane mode of movement. A flickering, fiery portal, about the size of a wardrobe, suddenly appears next to him, emitting a high pitched whine that sends shivers down the spines of all who hear it. Cartwheeling away, the assassin vows to lay off the teleportive magics for now, at least, until they are not in an area so recently fractured by plane-warping magics.
Silas is peppered by fire thrown by the warlock, a series of thorned, flaming runes sticking to his flesh and burning inwards. He roars in rage, and unleashes a blast of scouring ice across the deck, smashing into the adventurers, burning and numbing their flesh, whilst Stone Eye unleashes a horrific belch of burning, green gas, which irritates eyes and throats and causes horrible chemical damage to everyone within its reach. Silas is knocked to the floor as a poison used by the assassin on one of his quarrels takes effect, the swordmage's legs going numb. He hits hard, and sends more lightning arcing across the deck.
Grigori is next to feel the petrifying glare of the basilisk, his flesh hardening and freezing in stone as he rips the chainblade free of the monster's meaty hide again.
“NOOOOARRRRGH!” Howls Shnecke, his own weapon finally tearing through the heavy scales that cover the beast, liberating smoking droplets of oily black gore...droplets that begin to fume and fill the air around it with choking, burning poison. “YOU ARE GOING TO DIE NOW!!”
Lia has managed to break free of the caustic shackles that held her, and is using her potent powers to heal those around her. Shaking the sweat and blood from his eyes, Silas mutters a word of power, and leaps into the air – high into the air, flying over the battle, and dropping several sizzling bombs of elemental energy down to the deck, blasting Lia and Shnecke to the floor. Landing near the nascent portal, he leaps back as the raging barbarian surges up and swipes the basilisk, trying to force it into the gate. The massive reptile is caught by surprise and is rolled violently into its maw. The air briefly convulses around the portal's quivering edges, and for a second all hope it has been whisked away to some extraplanar hell. Alas, it reappears, no worse for wear moments later, the twinkling mote apparently linked to nothing!
The fight ends abruptly shortly afterwards.
The basilisk is finally chopped down, the air seething with the deadly fumes pouring from its oxidising gore, and at sight of this, Silas suddenly raises his hands, and with a scream begs for parlay.
“I'a know where dere is'a a great'a trea'sure! Spare'a me, and'a I'll...”
He never finishes his sentence, for the assassin suddenly appears by him, places the tip of a loaded crossbow bolt into the swordmage's ear, and pulls the trigger, dropping him instantly. Silas slumps, his legs kicking brokenly as his bladder and bowels empty out with surprising force.
A single one of the pirates that first helped Silas remains, and at sight of his former boss' death, he throws down his sword, and begins to beg for his life. His words are lost in a rush of gore however, as Shnecke almost cuts him in two with a nonchalant swing of his axe, his blood mingling with the piss pooling darkly around Silas' still form...
4/8/1472 – 01:00: The SC sails away from the flaming ruins of Dhenz'Vhashal, headed southeast, towards the distant pirate city of Auran'Dyre; the infamous “Carrion Port”. The hope is that amongst its scheming pirate enclaves and intrigue laden streets, they will be able to find someone to return their allies to life – and maybe, identify what the strange blade segment they recovered from Silas is; a section of broad black metal, that becomes transparent towards the edges, and is carved with sweeping purple runes.
Also recovered from the slain swordmage is a large, sweating green crystal, that Thatari identifies as containing the essence of a Shator Demodand, and a potent scimitar who's blade is perpetually wreathed in arcing bolts of agitated lightning.