The catacombs stretched out before you, long and labyrinthine. The acrid smell of fetid water and decay clung to all the walls as you treaded through one foot of water. Without warning, a large snake fifteen feet in length wrapped itself around Kamarii. With great skill and greater luck, Kamarri was able to extricate himself from the serpent’s vice-like grip. From there the party made quick work of the beast, with Thorstein ultimately beheading it.
Moving through the catacombs, the party came upon a large chamber used to prevent flooding. Across the expanse was a tunnel guarded by four horrible demons. Kamarri and Chayaa were shaken to the very core of their being by the grotesque, other-worldly visages before them. Not wanting to risk a frontal assault, the party used the advantage of its position to remove the fiends one by one. The first of them fell through a coordinated, ranged attack. Each dretch was removed with similar celerity .
Scouting ahead, Kamarri discovered yet another chamber, albeit larger than the first. In the center of the chamber between access tunnels, a circle of arcane glyphs illuminated and pulsed as three, green-robbed individuals bearing the mark of Tsathoggus chanted in an unknown, degenerate tongue. Casting their hands to the ceiling, the pitch and timbre of their voices changed as the chamber erupted in spasmodic tremors. With great flourish, the apparent leader threw back his hood, revealing himself to be known other that the villainous Shar Eil. Kamarri retreated back to the party to recount his discovery.
Coming up with a plan to escape, the party made haste to exit the catacombs. Chayaa alone made it to the tunnel. As the others approached the exit, the hermetic ritual concluded as the two lesser cultists slit their wrists over the summoning circle. The room convulsed and summoning circle opened into a mystic portal out of which came stepped a bearded devil. The sheer horror of this creature from beyond the realms of human ken rendered Chayaa incoherent, stunned Kamarri, and left Thorstein experiencing dreadful hallucinations. Shaken but not inactive, the party sprung into action.
Thorstein immediately attacked Shar Eil, delivering a powerful blow with a battleaxe, an attack which appeared to reek havoc on the bearded devil as well.. Chayaa also focused her attention on the sorcerer, delivering kama attacks with the deft ability of a highly skilled martial artist. Kamarri used the distraction to deliver a devastating crossbow bolt into Shar Eil’s chest. The sheer ferocity of the assault caused Shar Eil to fall into the summoning circle and disappear from this plane of existence leaving only cultists and the devil behind. The party dispatched the remaining foes, but not before Chayaa suffered an unnatural wound from the glaive of the bearded devil. With the fiend defeated, Thorstein took its glaive, and the party exited the catacombs.
The tunnel the party followed terminated at the Western Sea. Finding themselves at daybreak on an open beach, it was decided that a ship must be found in order to flee the borders of Ashkelon. As Kamarri, Chayaa, and Thorstein approach the docks, they notice that there are armed guards searching all of the people and cargo. After narrowly slipping past the sentries, the party notices a two sailors sneaking a chest onto a ship. Running as fast as possible, the party jumped from the docks as the ship was puling away and landed on the deck amidst a rain of spears thrown by guards who were alerted by the party’s brash actions.
On the ship, the party immediately was surrounded by a group of pirates and their apparent leader. After a failed attempt at diplomacy on Kamarri’s part, the pirates attacked. Wielding his new glaive, Thorstein felt the a rush of bloodlust he’d never before experienced. Chayaa killed four pirates in the ensuing melee, but the party was ultimately overwhelmed by still more of the ship’s crew. Things were looking dire when out of the blue a whistle was heard. The source of the whistle appeared to be a finely dressed, dark haired woman brandishing whip and sword who slid down the rigging of the mainsail. Identifying the party’s main assailant as Salih, the woman introduced herself as Demetria Cofresi, captain of the Scorpion; names that evoked stories told of the notorious ship and her infamous, bloodthirsty captain. Since the party had killed five of her crew, Cpt. Cofresi offered them a simple proposition: service or keelhaul.