With a quiet splash, Vaygar disappears below the eerily smooth surface of the lake. The deck of the ship is your’s. But Sancero’s keen eyes spot the telltale signs of an army returning from the north. If there’s anything you want to do on the boat, it seems like you’d better get it done and be gone in fifteen minutes.
Well that’s hardly enough time. Although most of you have some acquaintance with the fleet of little fishing boats at Nesser, the operation of a massive galleon such as this is well outside your practical experience. Veiden is determined, however, and with only a couple of minutes to spare, the group has cut the moorings, brought in the anchor, and raised the sails. The vessel drifts out into the lake and our brave heroes realize that while the boat is hopefully out of reach of the undead army, the lake itself is probably incredibly dangerous in the Shadowfell and none of you know how to navigate a boat like this. It seems the your fate is in the hands of the twisted currents of this dark place.
Veralisse, Zerion, and Kaifi Pwent remain on deck while Sancero, Veiden, and Eliana decide to do some exploring. Unfortunately, it has been a long time since the wood of this ship has been made to bear the weight of anything but emaciated husks. A combination of raw muscle and steel armor is just too much and the stairs collapse, forcing the exploring part to find another way back onto the deck. They find their way to the captain’s cabin, which is a nightmare to behold. The floor, walls, ceiling, and even furniture is apolstered with human faces. Investigating the room, there are maps and a good deal of money, as well as the captains pet, a horrifically transformed rat which attacks, but proves to be little challenge for our powerful adventurers. Having cleared the first floor of threats, the group returns to the deck via another staircase to report in. They go back down, this time taking Veralisse and Kaifi, leaving Zerion alone, steering the ship through the endless night.
On the next floor down they find Vaygar’s quarters. While trying to get in, the wood of the door warps into the face of a haggard, severe old woman who demands to know who you are and what you’re doing. Unsatisfied with the answers, she sets Vaygar’s room on fire, trying to deny you whatever treasures lie within and possibly sinking the ship as well. Desperate to contain the fire before it kills everyone, Veralisse runs back to the deck to get Zerion, hoping that his powerful magics can solve the problem. Zerion, however, has problems of his own. While the undead have few ways to mount a fullscale assault to reclaim their ship, they’ve sent a pair of those winged zombies, carrying a particularly aggressive and dangerous looking wight. Zerion is cornered by their sudden arrival, but he uses Veralisse’s call for help as a distraction to call forth a little razzle-dazzle and slip between his aggressors and down below decks. He and Veralisse flee back to the others on the floor below.
Upon arriving, the undead close on their heels, Zerion immediately goes to work on the most urgent problem, summoning forth some of this most powerful magics to extinguish the fire in Vaygar’s room. By the time he turns around, the battle is joined and his friends are fighting desperately for their lives. The winged zombies are hardly in their element in the cramped confined of the ship, but the wight is as agile as his is deadly. Veiden and Sancero’s attempts to create a defensive line are no match for the wight’s reflexes. It slips past them and lashes at out the more vulnerable party members, tearing their flesh while it’s necrotic claws drain the life energy from its victims.
Although badly wounded from the onslaught, Sancero refuses to retreat and pressed forward, driving the wight in Vaygar’s room. The rest of the group follows (well, everyone but Kaifi) and the wight is pressed back into a corner. Suffering egregious wounds, Sancero finally falls, driving the wight into a frenzy. It bears down on Zerion, but Vedien manages to beat it back and finally, Eliana pins it with her arcane powers and destroys it.
With Sancero so close to his beloved Raven Queen and the rest of the group not much better off, the group barricades themselves inside Vaygar’s room and does their best to recuperate. Searching the room, they find a good luck charm that Vaygar had chosen not to wear earlier, as well as a finally crafted suit of plate mail. Vaygar doesn’t seem much like the knightly type, but perhaps he is. Or perhaps it was a family heirloom he traveled with. Either way, it’s Sancero’s now. Besides the magical equipment, Veralisse searches the room for any personal effects that might have escaped the fire. Most of Vaygar’s belongings are ash, but she find a chest of family portraits. On Vaygar’s father she recognizes the crest of one of the noble families at Night’s End. She also discovers that the face in the doorway was his mother.
Although the night’s rest has done Sancero and the others a world of good, investigating farther into the ship is a prospect no one finds inviting. Returning instead to the deck, they find that a night’s sailing with no one at the wheel has brought the ship close to the shoreline. Not wanting to remain in the Shadowfell and tempt fate any longer, they beach the ship, set it aflame, and use the Shadowkey medallion to pass between the worlds, arriving safely on the shores of the Blackwater Marshes. The relief and being back in the world of the living is tempered by the knowledge that the Blackwater is infested by the most dangerous and brazen of the kobold tribes. The group begins heading down the shore, hoping to reach the safety of Seabreak, still several days away.
Keenly aware that they stick out painfully in the swamp and that the kobolds are masters of stealth, our heroes suspect that they are being followed and prepare for a night raid. None comes, but upon awaking in the morning, they find their camp surrounded by a twisted network of ropes and traps. Veiden’s attempts to speak with the kobolds hiding out in the tall grass fail and Zerion begins attempting to clear a path with his magic, with no idea how many reptilian foes might be lying in wait.