Attack of the Sahuagins

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The name Glimmersea is well chosen: although it is very dark, the waves shimmer with a light of their own. One of the Kua-Toas takes position in front of the vessel, another in the back and the third scouts in all directions. They are alert and take their quest seriously. The journey is very boring: the Xaniqos siblings can see only a few feet around the boat. The only visible things are stalactites and small islands and rock formations, which soon disappear into the dark again.

After two days, the Kua-toas gather more often, speaking aggressively among themselves, while their silver color slowly changes to red. Something is amiss! One of their guides hops into the boat and warns them of danger: a group of Sahuagin is drawing closer!

The Sahuagin are a lizard-like aquatic race, the predators of the Glimmersea. They hunt in packs, live to fight and hate Drow – especially spell-casters – with a vengeance. The Sahuagin society is patriarchal, with kings and princes. The law of the jungle rules: the strongest is appointed king.

Before long the Drow spot several rafts, fish heads bobbing next to them. The creatures have scales and fins and are as large as humans. Furthermore, the water is seething with sharks.

Jharrath casts a fireball in between the two front rafts and hits them well, therewith announcing his spell-casting abilities to the magic-loathing Sahuagins. Two Kua-Toas unite their powers and send a sizzling bolt of lightning towards the predators, shattering the last remnants of one of the four rafts. Lilith activates her spiritual weapon and directs it over the raft on the left, while Alvra readies for action.

The lizards clamber aboard their rafts and attack the sisters – Scout and Cleric – from a distance with nets. Both Phaedra and Lilith get entangled; the male siblings are able to stay free of the nets. When a Sahuagin tries to board the boat, the Drow Fighter attacks. Jharrath summons an Earth Elemental. Whereas Phaedra manages to escape, Lilith gets dragged against the edge of the wooden boat and is rendered immobile. Unable to join the fight, she hisses with frustration. Her spiritual weapon continues to do damage. Alvra is in a fight with the Sahuagin, while the Kua-toas are in deathly battle with the sharks in the water. More aquatic warriors climb into the boat.

One of their attackers is bigger than the rest and has an extra set of arms and legs. This must be the leader of the Sahuagins, since this kind of abnormality often comes with extra strength. The eight-limb beast dives into the water and joins the fray.

Suddenly a screen of smoke appears, forming an acid curtain between the boat and new attackers: Wizard in action. There’s a lot of confusion and hissing going on in there. The Elemental kills the first Sahuagin, and Phaedra slices another one. Alvra goes into a fit, hacking and slashing like a madman, resulting in a frenzied reaction of the beast, which is quickly cut off as the Elemental makes his second victim. Two more of the monstrous humanoids climb up from the water and attack Jharrath. The body of a Kua-Toa floats lifeless in the water, killed by a shark.

The Scout feels a thud near her feet and discovers she’s being attacked by crossbows. While the Wizard casts another wall of smoke – this one stationary – Phaedra attacks a creature in the boat and manages to kill it. Lilith’s spiritual weapon ends the life of another seawolf, and when the Cleric sees two muscled salamander feet next to her, she quickly redirects it onto this opponent. Alvra succeeds in severing a couple of threads of the net around his Cleric sister, which gives her a bit more freedom of movement.

More Sahuagin step through the smoke into the middle of the boat, chanting Flesh. They suddenly look very hungry and attack the spell-caster with their claws, causing deep wounds. Enraged, Jharrath summons a new Earth Elemental and together they pummel another Sahuagin to death. Taking advantage of the turmoil aboard, Phaedra completely cuts through the net that is holding her sister and frees her. Hurriedly, the Cleric tries to get her blood circulation working again. Her sister protects her by firing bolts at her assailant.

While the leader of the waterwolves disappears under water, Alvra hurls a javelin towards one of the few remaining raft-riders. The Sahuagin slowly topples forward, the net falling from its claws. Then the Drow Fighter is attacked from behind by the leader of the Sahuagin, whose trident is a frenzied blur.

Kellgore’s Firebolt – sent by the Wizard – ends the life of a waterwolf, and the sisters defend the boat against the entering of more Sahuagins, dealing blows on grabbing hands with flail and spiked chain alike. When Lilith kills one of the remaining Sahuagins, the Spider Queen grants her extra powers (Lolth’s Meat).

Alvra casts a globe of darkness on the leader, also obscuring the Scout and Wizard. Taking a few steps back, Jharrath orders his Elementals to attack in the pitch black, aided by the Fighter and his Scout sister. Lilith is outside the globe and throws the corpses of the slayed Sahuagins overboard. When she hears grunts and hissing, she dispels the globe of darkness to see what is going on. Alvra is not amused by this action – she has taken away his advantage to fight in the dark – but takes the opportunity to drink a potion. Eight-Limbs  jumps into action and bull rushes Phaedra overboard. Lilith attacks the scaled beast, soon joined by Alvra. The Drow Fighter manages to kill the raid leader, the last of their opponents.

The Cleric helps her sister back on board, who is followed by the two remaining Kua-Toas. One of them is heavily wounded and Lilith heals him as well as her brother. The other Kua-Toa jumps back in the water to retrieve Alvra’s javelin. The raiding party has been beaten off and the Glimmersea is quiet once more.

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Blessed Seahaven

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Filled with the adrenaline of executing their Matron Mother’s wishes – and of executing the Bard – the siblings swiftly travel the Underdark towards Blessed Seahaven. It is a small village in and on the water, centered around a temple. The inhabitants, the Kua-Toas, worship Blid Dool Poolp, a great sea god – although sea monster would be a more correct term. Still the Kua-Toas gain special powers through their worship. The Glimmersea glistens in the distance, while a small lake is nearby.

The Kua-Toas have fish heads with vaguely human features. They are scaly, have webbed hands and feet and are armed with small shields and tridents. One could say they are very ugly. But they can fight! These cruel green creatures are very alert and well trained warriors. The skin color of Kua-Toas changes, depending on their emotions. When they are white, they are scared, and when in anger, red. The eyesight of these creatures is extremely good, they even see invisible things. Poisons can’t harm them, and though they are water creatures, they manage remarkably well on land. It is good the Kua-Toas are friendly towards the Honorary Drow.

The Xaniqos walk up to the temple and the closer they come, the more their noses are assaulted by a heavy rotting-fish odor. It completely permeates the air. They enter the stone structure and find themselves in a big hall. Even on the inside there is a water basin. A Priestess, wearing a gold cap and a pincer staff, is in the middle of leading a service. The Kua-Toas are completely devoted and in their eyes total fanaticism gleams. When the sermon reaches its crescendo, two acolytes drift outwards and return with a wretched creature: a captured goblin. The Priestess accompanies the acolytes towards the water basin and drowns the prisoner, offering its life to her God. The butt end of the staff striking the ground announces the end of the ceremony.

Then the Priestess introduces herself to the Cleric as Plill Seachild and respectfully bids them welcome. She was already awaiting the Xaniqos and tells Lilith that the trip to Looblishar will take four to five days by water.

It will be a dangerous passage. The Glimmersea is an underground sea; there is no wind to use as power for transportation. In stead travelers magically create wind, or simply row. There is a current in the lukewarm water since it is enormously deep and vast.

On your journey over the Glimmersea, you will be accompanied by three of my faithful acolytes. Afterwards they will continue on their pilgrimage to The Goddess, the Holy Mother. Oh, and by the way, I have a request on behalf of Sloomik Goldscale, my second-in-command. Could you give this letter to Vuon in the Temple of Looblishar?

Lilith examines the ‘letter’, a chain made of shells that convey a sound – a message – when moved through water. Plill doesn’t seem to be charmed by her very ambitious second-in-command. She continues:

The only God who holds sway over Looblishar is Shar, Mistress of the Night. And although there is a Kua-Toas settlement in the  city, alas they have left our real God. The city is utterly and completely dark and the only merchandise is information. Beware of the many dangers that lurk out there. Apart from intrigue, you might encounter bats, hookhorrors and darkmantles.

The Priestess leads the way towards a jetty, where several boats are moored. One of them is rather large, with six hobgoblins on board. The acolytes swim towards the vessel, and the Xaniqos wade after them. The boat has no cabin, no luxury whatsoever. There are only the hobgoblins, who turn out to be dead yet alive, and their oars. One of the Kua-Toas commands the zombies to row and off the party goes, heading out onto the Glimmersea.

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