We had just started running down the stairs when I heard Andon’s voice in my head. I should have known he’d be keeping an eye on us, so to speak. He said that there were four other dark skinned people aboard the ship. Just then we heard a woman’s voice echoing through the chamber, but this time it wasn’t translated. But that didn’t prevent Andon from telling us that the woman and her people were moving towards each other. But as we started to head in the same direction Andon stopped us. He told us that he’s also detected two other people, different from the dark skins that we’d seen, who seemed to be captives. Andon thought it best that we free them first while we had the chance. Raymus and Carlina had been sent to aid us and would hopefully arrive before we got into a battle with the dark skins.
We followed Andon’s directions to the first captive. We came to a locked door with a box mounted on the wall beside it. Several holes had been carved into the box and painted different colors. Markus found a hoop on the belt of one of the nearby dead dark skins which held several rods of different colors. He inserted one of the rods into one of the holes in the box and the door opened. Inside we found an attractive, human looking woman passed out on the floor with a large knot on her head. While Felix slowly revived her, I changed to human form to appear less threatening. When she awoke we found that she spoke a different language. Thankfully we were in another of the magic rooms that translated what was said. We quickly explained, in brief, what had happened and that we were trying to rescue here. She was still too dizzy to walk so I carried her as we headed towards the second captive.
The second prisoner was held in a less hospitable section of the ship. In spite of what I’d seen thus far, I was still surprised by the captive’s appearance. He looked human, more or less. But he stood about ten feet tall and he had two heads. And even more oddly, he was floating in the air. He was being held inside some kind of glowing orb. His wrists were bound, but I didn’t see the point as he couldn’t actually touch anything. There were more colored holes in one wall, along with some other strange devices. Felix pressed something he shouldn’t have and found himself hanging in the air as well. Markus used the rods again and eventually got both men back down on the ground.
The tall captive spoke our language. It was about time someone did. He introduced himself as Timon-Toenar and he was more than happy to escape out of the ship with us. We managed to find the hole out of the ship, but we weren’t alone. The dark skins had found it from a different direction. The race was on to see who could reach the hole first. We made it to the hole before the others, but when T&T stuck his heads out to look around he spotted a strange creature between us and where we needed to go. The creature was made up of tentacles and eye and far too many of both. It had been slowly working its way down the mountain towards the ground, but it stopped when it saw T&T. We paused, finding ourselves between a rock and a hard place. But when the dark skins start shooting their hot beams at us we had little choice but to escape the ship.
I handed the injured woman over to T&T, shifted back to my normal form and took up a position between our attackers and the rest of the group. Their beams hadn’t been very effective against me before, so I was the best choice to buy time for everyone else to escape. T&T ran past the tentacled creature and to everyone’s relief it didn’t attack. With everyone else safely outside I made my escape as well. But my curiosity got the better of me and I paused when I reached the odd tentacled creature. It wasn’t at all hostile. If anything it seemed rather curious itself. I was reaching out to touch it when I heard noises from the ship. The dark skins had emerged from the side of the ship and they looked none too happy. They were taking aim to fire their weapons when the female, I assume the captain of the ship, stopped them.
I couldn’t understand what she was saying, but it seemed obvious that she was afraid they might hit the creature. Whatever the creature was, it was important to them. And that meant that I didn’t want them to have it. I held out my hand and the creature reached out and gently wrapped a tentacle around it. I slowly lead it down the mountain towards my friends. The dark skins put their beam guns away, pulled out their clubs and head our direction. But before they could gain much ground Raymus and Carlina arrived. Carlina shot three of them with a bolt of lightning. They didn’t like taking it as much as dishing it out. They retreated back inside their ship. With Andon keeping a mental eye on them, we all return to the village.
Time seemed to speed up once we reached the village, so much was happening so quickly. We took the lady we rescued to Shari for healing. Though she couldn’t speak our language we did at least find out that her name is Samaritha Beldusk. We took our tentacled guest to an empty building and gave it food and water. We even discovered why the dark skins wanted it so badly. The creature turns bad air into good air, which must come in very handy on a ship with no windows. We also got to spend some time talking to Timon-Toenar over some mugs of beer.
Andon woke Felix, Markus and me in the middle of that next night. He told us that one of the dark skins was sneaking up to the village. We in turn snuck up on him, my night vision once again proving very useful, and made sure he wouldn’t be causing harm to anyone ever again.
The next day we heard a loud noise. The dark skins tried to move their ship, but they failed. A couple of days later Andon told us that they had abandoned their ship and had taken off through the woods on foot. Felix, Markus and I grabbed our horses to pursue them. T&T joined us for the hunt, but he didn’t need a horse. The big guy could run as fast as a horse all on his own.
They had a head start on us, but with Andon guiding the way they couldn’t escape. After a couple of hours we passed beyond the range of Andon’s mental eyes. But it didn’t mater, as we were very close. We topped a rise and were met by an unexpected sight; five men wearing plate armor were attacking the dark skins. Only two of our quarry were still alive.