Two days later, and the ship was ready to sail. The ship was lowered down from the docks, as was Captain Sparkletooth (“what shall we do with the drunken sailor?”). Those of us in better condition descended via ladders to board, and we set sail. The going was somewhat rough – while it was to be a couple of weeks until we reach Green Island, there would be plenty of green to go around among those of us less accustomed to life at sea.
We put in at a couple of islands along the way, supplying lighthouse keepers, etc. We then put in at a small island where the ship was to wait in dock for half a day while waiting for the right tides to sail again. We took advantage of the chance to go ashore (why is the ground washing up and down?) and chat with people. Apparently Green Island used to trade a lot more than it has recently – now, it seems to be regarded as unfriendly, with the waters around it reported to be more dangerous (with fierce critters and such). A couple of boats have also gone missing lately – merchant ships in the general area. Oh goodie.
And with that, back on the boat we went. Prompted by what we had heard during our last shore leave, we took watches throughout day & night, and late one morning Al spied an odd speck in the sky… which was coming closer… and closer. Alerting everyone on board, the sailors call out that it’s a dragon. At this, the captain tells them to “get the barrel”. “Get the barrel”? The dragon flew past low, close to the boat. It passed twice, and then the sailors threw the barrel overboard, which the dragon deftly picked up on its third pass. It appears the barrel was some kind of “toll”, and that the sailors are familiar with this dragon, who is apparently quite reasonable and would now leave us alone.
Reassured that not everything is out to kill us, but not reassured enough to stop setting watches. And just as well: in the middle of the night, Maul spotted a “green glowing thing” in the sky. Some distance above and ahead. We gradually gathered (with the exception of Cogs) around the helm, trying to figure out what it was. Eventually, someone noticed that it seemed to be a light (maybe a magical one) under a kite or similar. At that point, Maul heard a noise from astern, went back to investigate, and spotted a number of dark figures at the back of the ship. Looters! Fight!
Alo got shot at, Al cast up a mage armour, Maul cast an entropic shield and hid behind the mast, and Mel did a Leeroy Jenkins right up to the point she performed a tactical faceplant onto a barrel (which she had been attempting to jump over).
There followed a rather complicated (and entangled) battle, and after a couple of the turns-out-to-be-tengu had bit the dust (one of whom was attaching a balloon to a crate), Maul noticed that there was an airship up above us… and Cogs noticed that some of our rigging was on fire. This isn’t great.
The battle aboard the ship freed up a bit as Aloeine dispelled the entangle, meanwhile Almaz – alerted to the presence of the airship, decided it had to burn, and sent a fireball at it. Oh, the tengumanity! There is some concern among the worry-warts that a burning airship above us could be “a problem”, but Almaz was betting on it falling behind us by the time it becomes precipitously un-airworthy. Meanwhile, Maul began putting out our rigging with a water spell.
So, did we feel lucky, punks?
The airship above us falls apart, as does the resolve of one of the tengu, as does the structural integrity of the other remaining tengu. There is some damage done to our ship, and we learn that the tengu were “just” pirates trying to steal the cargo. This possibly explains the disappearance of ships in this area… although that should now have come to an end with the downing of the airship (although pirate activity probably does not explain Sparkletooth’s “the front fell off”). We’ll need to make some repairs to our ship, but we all at least have some time now to rest and recuperate.