Chapter 4 - Visiting Port Blackwell

Both ships had arrived at their first stop; Port Blackwell. Everyone was eager to debark and stretch their legs. Before departing, Ornrik set up a magical alarm on the gangplank of the ship, alerting all of the passengers of the password, "Redbeard," as they parted from the ship.

"Be certain that you say that password when coming or going from the ship," Ornrik urged.

Both ships took on new supplies and the party was soon approached by Port Blackwell's gracious and beautiful ruler: Governess Juliana Terwall with a request for help. It seems that a band of Redcaps had been terrorizing the port.

"Redcaps," interjected Skald. "Evil fey…like me. Well, not evil like me, but fey…well, I'm fey-touched, not really a full fey…you know what I mean. My point is that they're nasty, evil creatures that feed off of the suffering of others. They're resistant to damage but from weapons forged of cold iron."

"Can magic weapons harm them," asked Ornrik.

"I suppose if you hit them hard enough," replied Skald.

The heroes volunteered to investigate and Skald went with them.

They tracked the creatures to their lair, which was in a series of caves across a river from the small Kendari outpost. Everyone used the tree line for cover – everyone but Viselys, who marched boldly out to face the enemy. As a result, an advanced guard spotted them and sounded the alarm. Adameus, Diamondback, and Saris moved on the horn blower. Ornrik and Skald remained within the cover of the trees on the opposite side of the clearing while Viselys approached the riverbank.

The redcaps were fast – very fast. As if from nowhere, the far side of the river was lined with adversaries. Had he not been surrounded, the horn blower might have escaped, but he was the first to fall. That is, if you could call it “fall.” When the creature was spent, he turned into red dust and all that was left of him was a single tooth. Saris impulsively picked up the tooth, “just in case.”

Meanwhile, Viselys moved to position for better crossing. As he was moving, he felt magic come over him as he grew in strength and stature. Ornrik had moved through the woods and used his magic to bolster Viselys. The largest of the creatures continued moving to intercept him so quickly it was shocking. For quite some time, the two fought to a standstill.

The creatures fought with large scythes that seem rather too large for the small creatures – not to mention that they produced them from impossible concealment. Not only were they fast, but the were surprisingly tough for their size, seeming to take less damage than the hits they took should have dealt.

Saris moved down the line working his way towards the leader. Adameus and Diamondback found a good rhythm: Diamondback would tumble to the far side of a creature and draw its attention while Adameus flanked from behind and administered a killing blow. Skald did fairly well with his arrows, in one instance, opening a spurting wound in a creature’s throat, which would eventually have killed it if it hadn’t subsequently been dispatched by someone else.

Either the creatures were shaken, clumsy or just had ill luck, because they seemed to have a propensity for injuring themselves and each other. Viselys also fell victim to some ill luck. He swung at the chieftain, missed, and stumbled, falling upon his own sword. The wound was quite serious and he almost broke his cherished heirloom. Luckily, Ornrik was on hand to provide immediate healing.

At about this time, with all the other minion creatures vanquished, Saris came up behind the chief and ran him through. Clearly he’d pierced the heart, or at least one of the primary arteries, as blood gushed in a huge arc. It still did not fall, however. He stood for several more hits before expiring.

Wounded and bleeding, one could only hope that there were no more waiting inside the caves. Cautiously exploring the lair, no more vicious fey were found. Only their plunder remained:

- 1,246 gp
- 48 pp
- 2 wands
- 2 potions (one green, one black)
- Boots (radiating faint magic)
- Gloves (radiating faint magic)

Continue to Chapter 5...

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