The weather remains sticky and warm. Chrysta has been unwell – perhaps the weather, perhaps the food, perhaps seasickness – and spent most of the time in her cabin.
Alessandra navigated us downriver; I’m not sure how she was able to find the way, but evidently she did. Her brother Gerard was bored, and for better or worse Faye was appointed to entertain him by telling him stories and teaching weapon-play.
At night we pulled up by the shore and took shifts on watch. On the first night, Vall noticed something during his shift and went ashore to scout: five humanoids with pointy sticks. He crept back and woke us (sensible fellow) before going back for a closer look. They appeared somewhat reptilian, with scaly skin, although much larger than the kobolds we’d met previously.
Vall tried talking with them in Draconic, but sadly they didn’t reply in kind. Instead one threw a spear at him, so we fought back. Vall and Faye killed three between them and I knocked the last two out cold with a colour spray.
Faye killed one of the unconscious lizard-men; this was unnecessary and (as it turned out) regrettable, but to be fair to her she had been hit a couple of times with their javelins. We took the other prisoner, and when he woke up we conversed with him.
He told us they were starving as a result of the floods, and looking for food. We felt rather bad about killing them, even if they did attack us first, so we did what we could to help. They’re obligate carnivores, so plant-based food isn’t useful to them, but we were able to buy three barrels of salted fish from the boat’s cargo and give it to them. Apparently they’re also willing to eat their fallen comrades.
Around this time we felt the same flow of power that we’ve had a few times before, but this time it felt wrong for me and Chrysta, with a sour note to the magic. I presume this is the limit we had been hearing about. VERY annoying, and I do hope we can do something about this.
We continued downriver. I think Gerard was developing some sort of crush on Faye. As his legal guardian, I suppose I could have forbidden it, but I think that would have been counterproductive. Besides, Faye’s better company when somebody’s paying attention to her. I will keep an eye on them in case of any greater folly, but otherwise I’ll just leave well alone.
She was teaching him how to use a falchion. I suppose it’s a useful skill, if you don’t have proper magic.
…what am I saying? I don’t have proper magic. Argh. Definitely need to deal with this!
The next night we were visited by another group of lizard men, this time larger in number. Vall spoke to them and convinced them not to attack. We would have liked to organise some sort of food shipment but couldn’t figure out a way to make it work, given that it’s likely to be some weeks before the traders are ready to head back upstream.
In the end we gave up; we hadn’t solved their problem but at least we’d avoided bloodshed. Continuing downstream we found the swamp thinning, and could see the lights of Pont’s Cove up ahead.
Pont’s Cove is situated on a knob of rock that rises out of the water. Its walls are old and high, made with a clever mortarless locking construction; it’s a shame Chrysta was too ill to admire it. Because the space available is limited (about half the size of Rendel) people build high, with some buildings as high as five floors!
Anchored by the cove we saw a small fishing boat, and a larger seagoing vessel flying the King’s flag. Aha!
Vall went off to investigate options for feeding the lizard men, and the rest of us checked out the inn. We recognised our welcoming committee from the royal livery, and although the place was short of rooms, they found some for us when we made it clear that we were on the King’s business. The leader of their party is a Captain Bastian, a well-muscled fellow of perhaps thirty years. I presume Faye will make a pass at him at some point.
The rooms were very comfortable and clean; the building is made of old rocks (are there any new rocks?) and I think Chrysta appreciated that, although she was still rather unwell. After an uneventful night Bastian arrived with a ceremonial guard to take us (and Gerard, and Alessandra) aboard the ship to the capital.
Well, this has been an adventure! I wonder what the King has to say to us… and what they may know about my grandmother?
Shiny points: 12 carried over, 1 earned for summary = 13.