And so, our intrepid heroes continue on their way, growing farther from Felixtowe as they travel across the ocean to the city of Ji’Got, puzzling out who the traitor was in their midst. Just as they are about to piece together the murder, they hear a commotion coming from the crow’s nest. Cippola, one of the crew, shouts out “This is for you my pretties,” and throws Arrigo out of the crow’s nest where he splatters onto the deck. Cippola, his face covered in the white chalk we had found hidden in the depths of the Soyukaze, begins an incantation and suddenly the still waters begin to churn and boil as a huge wave hits the ship.
The crew start running frantically, when someone spots an enormous black eye peering over the gunwhales, and the word screams out from all corners of the ship, “Kraken!”
Because the heroes saved the lives of two of the three sailors, and gained goodwill in attempting to uncover Dante’s murderer, morale is high, and the sailors immediately spring into action. The party snaps into battle mode, and begins to give tactical orders, with help from Captain Brainbridge to protect the ship.
This fearsome beast, with its eight tentacles, grabs hold of the Soyukaze, and slams a gargantuan tentacle onto the deck, searching blindly for fresh slaves. A fog of decay, from a thousand lonely shipwrecks, clings to its cold rubbery flesh like a veil, poisoning those around it.
Chaos breaks loose.
Lucy jumps to the harpoon gun, but Frederick, the priest, soils himself in a stunning display of diversion. Belgold freezes in terror, but Taksum leads the charge sending forth a burst of lightning, while Sariel pulls Ruby out of the way of the poisonous fog. The stoic Ilekothi charges over to the tentacle and drives his stone spear into its rubbery hide.
Cippola casts down a bolt of lightning, adding to the maelstrom.
Belgold then at long last awakens, picks up his banjo and bursts into song:
The crew was sailing east until it faced a giant beast.
Cippola summoned the slimy fiend by killing his poor friend. If Dante were still here, he might have stopped the untimely end. Two men of stone, a dragonborn, a bard, and a curious fey; one dwarf, a man of the cloth, and a shardmind stood up to fight that day.
Their strength and brotherhood allowed them to be swift of foot. They passed through the monster’s goo like air as though it wasn’t there. The sailors rallied hard when they saw the strength of the shard, and found their fortitude when they heard the song of the noble bard.
The song rouses the sailors and warriors and they renew their attack with ferocity and abandon.
Partway through the battle, Sariel seems to remember something and spontaneously asks Belgold if he has any instruments. Belgold says that he has a banjo, and his voice. Sariel then asks specifically if he has a silver clarinet. Belgold is taken aback and stammers, looking suspect. Sariel implores him to play it, and Belgold runs into his quarters.
Suddenly, the kraken thrashes violently three times, and the captain’s face turns ashen. The dwarf gets pulled under by a tentacle, and fire erupts all around.
In the meantime, Taksum continues his arcane assault on the kraken, flinging acid into its vile visage, and trying to destroy the flurry of tentacles around him. More lightning spits forth from Cippola, and Ilek takes a running leap, somehow blinking up to the crows nest and blasting Cippola out of it. They both catch different parts of the ladder, and stare each other down.
At that moment, Belgold emerges with a beautiful silver clarinet in his hands, and he begins to play. Everything grows still with the breathtaking song, and the kraken retreats into the depths, but not before it drags Cippola screaming along with it.
The crew give a service for their fallen comrades, including Dante, Philipe the Dwarf, Belgold, and even Cippola. Benci is shocked that his dear friend Cippola could go so far astray.
A meal is served in the galley, and eaten in sullen silence.
The next day, the party awakens. The ship is moving, albeit not quite as smoothly as it did before.
Suddenly, a huge spout of water extends from the sea, and the crew braces for another attack, but without cause. A man’s head emerges. A beautiful merman approaches the ship, with escorts.
The sailors seem to recognize the merfolk, and greet them warmly. The merman comes aboard the Soyukaze, and people welcome him with smiles and excitement. It’s Gululess! Gululess’ body is covered in shells and coral, but his skin is human, but shimmers, almost like fish scales.
He greets the captain, “Bainbridge, I cannot believe your ill fortune.”
Someone whispers to you that Gululess is an ambassador.
A woman mermaid steps aboard, with turquoise hair, and emerald eyes. “We merfolk are like the Eladrin of the sea," and addresses Sariel. "We must be cousins. You’re so beautiful. May I take your hand?”
The woman takes Sariel’s hand and gives her a seashell. Sariel’s eyes roll back into their sockets, and her body begins to spasm.
In her head, Sariel hears the following:
Maintain your sense of duty, accept your hard trials push forward. Murder and deceit will continuously plague your journey but you must hold your integrity… when the 3 sea stacks form a fish, go down and save my brethren and the halo of a golden trident will aid you in your quest to open the Breach… fail, and our people will turn foe.
The mermaid leaves her the seashell – “a gift for a pretty lady.”
The mermaid looks at all of us – including Ruby. “I sense that you have a very great journey ahead.” And I fear you may not be up to the task. If you are not, more people will suffer than this world can take.” With a sad smile, she says, “but for now, we can get you to Shi’Ares.”
A whale lobs a bag of tools onto the deck and the crew starts scrambling to begin repairs. Because whales.
The mermaid continues, “Your friend is friend no more.” She has a pained look in her eyes. She touches the sides of Sariel’s cheek and says, “I’m sorry dear. Remember what I said. Your journey will be full of strife.”
Gululess says, “We can help you get to your destination faster. We’ll tie your boat to the whale. Captain Bainbridge is a very honoured person. He has helped our people many times. You are lucky. You survived the Kraken, and you have the best ship to do it.”