The Sea Word Sea Word docked in Centum Treyopolis the day before the King of the Hill Tournament. They passed by the Gren Mastius Shipyard and saw a half dozen warships belonging to the Galerius Brotherhood.
Retiring for the evening in the Divine Wineskin Tavern and Inn, the senior officers heard a lot of talk about the upcoming King of the Hill Tournament the following day. Most seemed unexcited about it, fearing that it would only last two rounds with only two defenders left to fight. Also overheard was rumors of a potential attack by the Arethrion Elves during the event.
The next morning, William the Bloody reminded everyone of his vision for the 90th time, since he is so adamant about sharing them. The crew headed over to the Gladiator Coliseum for the King of the Hill Tournament.
The stadium was massive, seating over 30,000 people, about the same amount that lives in the town of Elon back in Brind-Amor. The streets around the arena were festive, drinking, wagering, eating, the whole city was excited about today’s event. The senior officers bought tickets and entered.
To their surprise, Emperor Gavenius spoke to the crowd, “Today the heroes are just five round away from gaining their freedom! They are down to just two warriors, but rest assured, they will give you a fight to remember!”
Then they walked in. Trition was the first one to recognize them. It was Captain Ravenclaw and Quartermaster Yi of the United Pride, the people they have been looking for.
Fear struck them. They had worked so hard to track down the United Pride, gone for more than 7 years from Brind-Amor, only to see them die before their eyes. But, in a way, the Emperor saved them.
“As with our customs, those who wish to stand next to these brave warriors, may do so. People of the Empire, who will take up this challenge?”
The crowd roared with laughter, until four people from the Sea Word stood up to meet this challenge.
The crowd was mixed between laughter and pleading with them to reconsider. The Emperor’s gaze watched them approach as an Aqium Wizard whispered into his ear.
Introductions were quickly made and the United Pride members explained the rules to the Sea Word crew. The horn blew and a dozen orcs entered the arena and fanned out around the hill.
The fighting was fierce but with renewed optimism the defenders were able to hold the hill into round 2.
Next, an Aqium Necromancer herded out a handful of dangerous ghouls and lined them up around the hill.
Again the defenders were victorious as the caught their breath. Next up was a wave of deadly sabre-tooth tigers, which were also quickly dispatched.
The 4th wave included three flab giants from the Island of Minos as well as a yuan-ti pureblood acting as an archer.
Things got tense when one of the flab giants picked up Talison Jaffe and sat on him. Luckily, the giant was killed and rolled over to his side in just enough time to free the halfling bard.
There was some confusion as the 5th and final round was about to start. The announcer paused in the middle of his introduction while a nervous footsoldier brought out a sphere that swirled with arcane magics and carefully set it down at the base of the hill before darting out of the arena. The Emperor stood up and leaned on the railing in front of him, nodding at the defenders of the hill. The Aqium Wizard behind him waved his hand and in a puff of smoke the glode burst open, revealing the Scourge.
His flaming ranseur whipped through the air with deadly efficiency, “Final Round!” was blurted out by the announcer while half of the crowd shrieked in terror while others scrambled for the exits.
Courageously, Un’Goro stood his ground and held up high the Iron Flask and by the grace of Ao, forced the Scourge into the magical item. What was left of the crowd cheered with delight. The Emperor stood up and applauded. Perhaps his wasn’t completely bent out to kill the defenders.
Then the excitement quickly came to an end. An explosion at the far end of the arena disrupted everything. A large section of the stands burst apart, fragments falling into the arena floor. A dozen Arethrion Elves emerged through the rubble and began firing arrows everywhere. One even took a shot at the Emperor but the Aqium Wizard quickly nullified it with a shield. Although no one else waw this during the commotion, but it seemed like the Emperor nodded to them and motioned towards the exit.
The heroes darted through the back corridors and staging rooms of the arena and soon found themselves on the streets of Centum Treyopolis. A quick jaunt down to the docks and everyone was once again aboard the Sea Word.
The semi-paranoid Jaffe, who nearly strangled a beggar earlier thinking he was disguised as the Scourge, retired to his room after handing control of the ship over the Captain Ravenclaw. Changes were made to the senior officers of the Sea Word, and here is the latest lineup:
Captain: Saeryn Ravenclaw
Quartermaster: Testu-ko Yi
Helmsman: Triton 714
Master Gunner: William the Bloody
“Admiral”: Talison Jaffe
The Sea Word headed toward the area where the United Pride sank, and thanks to Quartermaster Yi’s calculations, they found the exact spot where it ended up. They recovered a great deal, including the a infusing stone (white), and a Jewel of the Pillar However, when they reached the actual shipwreck, near the coast, a few things came up missing.
Perhaps a new day would produce better results and the Sea Word waited for the following morning to attempt a second dive. Over night, Quartermaster Yi spotted movement along the coast near the shipwreck. The following morning they investigated the area and found a cave on the shore.
Nothing was found initially, but the light they brought in with them alerted the troglodytes who lived here. The party got split up; some fought a Bagiennik while the others fought troglodytes and a Water Leaper. The two forces reunited in the final room and dealt with the troglodytes once and for all.
A search of the other chambers found the missing cargo from the ship. Most of it. A single silver dragonegg was still missing from the wreckage of the United Pride.
Next, Un’Goro mentioned a vision he had from a recurring entity. The Lord of the Hunt has been speaking to him through an owl since they arrived in the Styrc Isles. The latest one seemed to be a message of importance. The Lord of the Hunt showed Un’Goro a travesty happening to the lands.
The senior officers trekked inland following the half-orc druid. The corruption of the land was clear and they followed a path to a small closing in the woods near some ruins. The officers carefully approached and caught the attention of a Vine Troll Skeleton and a handful of Tendril Puppets.
Shortly thereafter, the Vine Lord himself appeared and animated two treants to attack. The heroes inflicted a good deal of damage on the Vine Lord, but the treants prevented them approaching him to finish him off. Knowing defeat was imminent, the Vine Lord retreated into the woods and was never seen again by the heroes.
Un’Goro was distraught after this, feeling like he failed to prove his worthiness to the Lord of the Hunt.
The story continues in Dragon Hatchery.