The Senior Officers of the Sea Word return to Scalaycium to tell the townsfolk that the necrotic creatures that caused their nightmares, have been dealt with once and for all. But the town is not as receptive as you had hoped…
Triton, Jaffe, and Wil the Bloody all noticed something was going on. Mothers ushered in children, shutters were slammed shut, and the townsfolk (thought to be grateful for the heroes recent help) kept a weary eye on them.
Jaffe pulled out his crossbow and attempted to fire on one of the guards perched atop a building, but Wil the Bloody was quick to stop that. After getting a lay of the land, seeing over a dozen guards, Captain Ravenclaw devised a plan. They had to pick the lock of the backdoor to the tavern and then force their way past those inside holding it shut. But from here Ravenclaw looked at his options. There was no way these Galerius Brotherhood men could have known about their liberation of the Cerioth Hatchery, so boldly, he stepped out into the street to announce himself.
Chancellor Julius Cassius, a red dragonborn, stepped forward and announced the charges against them. They included aiding and abetting the Arethrion Elves in Savarius. And before negotiations could begin, Un’Goro had seen enough and cast lightning bolt in the center of the Brotherhood.
The heroes spread out and began to work their way towards the Sea Word. Jaffe knocked a couple of archers out with stinking cloud, while Tetsu-ko dashed to the roof of a building to knock out another archer there.
At some point, Quinvalur, waking up late aboard the Sea Word, made a ridiculous roll of a natural 20 that somehow managed to stay on the table.
Tetsu-ko made a phenominal, assassin’s creed-like leap from one building to the next to get the last of the guards. Soon after the crew was aboard the Sea Word once again.
However they were not safe yet. Two Brotherhood warships were starting to close in on the Sea Word.
The countless hours of training the crew had put in was starting to pay off as the Sea Word was able to fire their cannons at twice the rate of the two Brotherhood ships. Captain Ravenclaw ordered the dangerous yet effective maneuver of sailing between the ships and ordered a full broadside attack on both at the same time.
This left one of the warships disabled at sea, leaving this as a 1-on-1 fight, but the Sea Word was badly damaged. Tetsu-ko ducked down to the lower decks to see if their new friend might be able to lend a hand.
Kimerth agreed and she quickly made for the last warships. Moments later the ship was also disabled. Captain Ravenclaw ordered the remaining ships to be scuttled after they raided them for supplies.
The Sea Word limped out to sea to put some distance between them and Scalaycium and get some well needed rest.
The next morning began with Admiral Jaffe rounding up the crew for exciting news. He had found a cure for his slave branding that has been plaguing him for months. He claimed he was met in his nightmares/sleep by someone referred to as The Chronomancer. He told him that he could help him with his situation if Jaffe and his friends could help him escape from his time loop/self-imposed prison. Jaffe asked Wil the Bloody if he remembered meeting this Chronomancer, but he said he hadn’t. Jaffe produced the magic hourglass, broke it, and a portal appeared on deck to the Clockwork Prison/Hiding spot and the senior officers stepped through to the Clockwork Maze.
Wil the Bloody had a flashback to a time when he was a child. He met the Chronomancer and he gave him instructions to hide six keys in a prison/hideout so that (presumably) the Scourge could not find him. Young Wil would be able to vaguely figure out the relationship between traveling around this clockwork maze and manipulating time (past, present, future).
Fortunately, the first move the group made was literally in the right direction.
Starting in the 11 o’clock room and being in the past, the group was able to find notes that young Wil the Bloody left behind clues, in a carefully worded book, Wil the Bloody wrote a story that contained hints as to where and when the keys were hidden.
The heroes continued counter-clockwise to the 10 o’clock room, they also began to learn that any room in the ‘present’ would contain monsters to overcome, and treasure to be gained.
Here the heroes fought four hyenas that were circling around a fountain in the middle of the room. As the neared the center, the statues of Ao turn around and revealed themselves as gargoyles. The group was victorious and found a magical set of bracelets in the fountain. They were given to Quinvalur and once she put them on, she discovered a frightening truth about them:
Slave Bracelets of Ulsa – This item is cursed, a fact that is revealed only when you attune to it. Slave Bracelets of Ulsa are always crafted with a third ring that is not chained to the bracelet usually called a “master ring”. While you wear the bracelets, you are always charmed by the wearer of the master ring.
Next the group continued counter-clockwise and found their first key in the 9 o’clock room floating in the bottom of a murky pool. They ducked down to the 7 o’clock room and fought a mage with two guard captains with an emblem on their shields that was from the Field Journal.
The swung back to 8 o’clock and picked up another key before taking the portal “across” the map to 4 o’clock.
In a crypt of some sort the crew fought and defeated a guardian of some sort that formed through a swirl of dust in the room. Afterwards, the group saw four sarcophagi in the room labeled: Reshk, Vaddix, Lintheass, SaDordone.
Inside the Lintheass sarcophagi Jaffe found the_ boot of knocking_.
Next they moved to the 3 o’clock room and quickly jumped to the central platform as the room began to fill with lava. Two dead neogi were also atop it and hundreds of cranium rats lie strewn about the room. They activated the pressure plates and slowly the lava seeped out of the room, allowing them to move on to the 2 o’clock room.
Eventually they would appear in this room in two time periods, first in the past where they saw the dead bodies, and once again later in the present where they had to defeat a Bahtu, a kobold alchemist, and two ghouls, and grabbing another key here in the process.
Somewhere around this time they were also able to swing down to the 5 o’clock fungus room to snag the key hidden in the past, and also down to the 6 o’clock room to get the key in the past.
With only one key remaining, the crew made their way back to the 11 o’clock room in the present. There they fought and killed a grey slaad and also retrieved the Capharran War Glaive in the process.
A return to the 12 o’clock main room and inserted all six keys triggered a portal to another section. One by one they entered and found themselves in a completely new area.
They all appeared, spread out in an Egyptian-like tomb. Each of the five sphinx gave them answers to a riddle that would open the final chamber. Once that was figured out, then entered hoping to find the Chronomancer.
Instead the discovered the last barrier. A half-dozen orcs lept out of secret rooms while a beholder-like Death Kiss floated in from the chamber beyond. This was a vicious fight and it took every bit of guile and determination for the group to succeed.
Exhausted, yet exhilarated the group was met by the Chronomancer himself. His time with them was brief and they never got a chance to engage him or ask questions. But the things he did say would stick with the group for the rest of their lives:
I feel like I’ve slept for a century! Or…maybe it was just a minute, Tick-Tock! (standing in front of the now dead defenders of this chamber). I hope they weren’t too much trouble for you, you know, I gotta stay protected.
The Chronomancer walked around the room to meet each person.
Captain Ravenclaw, leader of the Righteous! Tell me about the time you finally confronted Gavenius, not quite what you expected, eh?
Tetsu-ko, the longtime Quartermaster skips over being a captain, and now goes straight to commanding a fleet of ships. Congratulations on that, well done!
Un’Goro, there you are, slayer of the Vine Lord, finally), and binder of the…well, you know what you had in that Iron Flask, right? Wow, the look on your face when you let it out? Priceless.
Raveroth? Is that you? I almost didn’t recognize you in this contraption. Sheesh, you’ve seen the ending…what…twice now? Coming up on a third? Incredible!
Quinvalur, the on-again, off-again part time officer and wizard. Have you told the rest of them where you have been in your downtimes? You conduct some dangerous experiments my friend, especially with those bracelets on. But you had the best of intentions, right?
Young William, you did a great job hiding the keys. Have you been getting my messages? What am I saying, of course you have. Oh, did you stop the rest of your group here in time from that…sorry, I’m getting ahead of myself.
Jaffe! Congratulations on winning the Test of Reshk, you’ve really…hmm, what’s this marking on your arm…Oh wait, I said I would fix that, didn’t I….obviously I haven’t done it yet? Let’s see, you stand right here….take off your hat…do you still wear that hat you picked up? Anyways, stare directly into my eye, aaaaand your good. Oh well done everyone!
Well, these must be desperate times to call upon the Chronomancer, so I better start to get to work!
And just like that, he was gone.
He did reappear seconds later to provide a portal for the group back to the Sea Word, but then he disappeared as quickly as he did the first time.
The journey continues in Into the Citadel.