That night as some slept and some kept watch, from behind the curtain that shielded the statue of the goddess came a glow the shade of the deep sea and a bell tolling three times. When they looked behind the curtain, the statue had come to life.
In words that sound in their head like the rolling of waves upon the shore, the Goddess Varunae, Lady of the Sea said:
You see about you the results of the raid of the Hak-kubra, the pirate orcs. They have defiled my sanctuary. When men came hither three generations ago, they slew the men of this island, but let my temple be — as is proper. Since then, my sanctuary has been subject to wind and storm, age and rot, but I was not offended, for that is nature’s right — to beat down what men have raised. But the acts of debasement you see about you have offended me. I choose to destroy this island, and all living upon it: a proper cleansing of the stain made by the Hak-kubra. I see no reason for you to die for another’s offense, however. So I will not cleanse this island this night, as I had planned, but will stay my hand another day, and lay waste to this place at nightfall tomorrow. If you are fled by then, I will adjudge you fit to survive, and the storm which destroys this place will do no harm to your craft.
It is a difficult test. I see you have not chosen your path willingly and many will raise their hands against you through no choice of your own. So this aid will I give you, carry now with you the luck of the sea. As well, in the palace are several treasures that may aide your escape.
The glow fades away, leaving the statue whole and undamaged.
With that excellent news, the party see that dawn is nearly upon them and realise that they have only one short day to get off the island. Keestake then told them that he knows how to get in to the hidden treasure vaults and in one of the tombs is a small ship which was entombed with Viledel’s son and if they got the ship in there, there must be a way to get it out as well. He says that they if they can get in to the vaults, they can take the ship and the treasure and then sail away and leave the pirates to their doom. When questioned about the treasures mentioned by the Goddess, Keestake said:
“Aye, I know about some odd bits and pieces hereabouts. The Sea King had many treasures from his years of adventuring before settlin’ down here. The pirates ran off with most of ‘em, but they didn’t recognize all of ‘em. Nor would I. But one of ’em that he gave the queen was this little stick o’ wood that would throb in your hand when it was near the Sea King’s funny treasures. I never bothered with it, these 60 years. Not my place to be meddlin’ with the treasures of the family. Nor yours either, if it weren’t life and death. I’ll show you where it is, if you want.”
He also told them of a depression that runs up close to the palace walls and will give them cover from the orc and goblin guards and that near the depression, one of the windows has bars that can be pulled apart.
With little option but to try it, the party agreed to this plan and headed out. Upon reaching the outskirts of the palace:
The mansion, just as the old man described, is an “H”-shaped building, very long and low. It seems to be built of granite. The exterior looks like it has stood up to the elements better than the temple. Unlike the temple, all the exterior windows have solid-looking, if rusty, iron bars across them. It looks as though it was made to be defended, though it’s no castle. You can see the orcs and goblins at opposite ends of the manor. There is a cluster of orc guards in front of the entrance to the northwest wing, and a trickle of orc traffic between there and the barracks, a little north-west of the manor. There is a somewhat larger cluster of goblin guards in front of the entrance to the southeast wing, and a corresponding trickle of goblin traffic between there and the stables, a little to the south-east.
The terrain around the manor is rolling, with great patches of grasses and weeds and scrub growing all over. Keestake points out the depression, a sort of little ditch or break in the ground — which starts a few hundred feet southwest of the manor and runs almost to the southwest wing. “That’s how I’d creep up on the thing,” he says. “Along that ridge. We couldn’t go in the door there, we’d be spotted in a second, but that window on the west wall near the south side that’s where the bars are loose. I ’magine we can get in there.”
And sure enough it worked just as planned and soon the party were ensconced inside the palace in an abandoned bedroom. With that they sneaked out to find the wand that Keestake mentioned. Dodging an orc patrol, they reached the Queen’s Chambers to discover that a group of orcs had found the wand. A quick battle resulted in the goblins being dispossessed of both their lives and the wand. using the wand to assist them, they discovered some more valuable items, a potion, a magical dagger of some potency and a magical harpoon, hidden inside a decorative wooden plaque as a carved harpoon. After a period of successfully dodging orc and goblin patrols and finding significant loot, they realised that time was getting away and that they better make their way to the tombs and start their escape.
Making their way in to the library, Keestake went to the bookshelf and reached up to the hidden button to open the secret door. A loud grinding noise came from behind the book shelf, but it did not move. Realising that the noise would soon attract unwanted company, Urr and Don Orlando started levering the bookshelf off the wall. Meanwhile the rest of the party barricaded the door as best they could. Soon a group of goblins pushed their way in to the room only to be hacked down by the rest of the party, but one got away. With a screech, the book shelf fell away from the wall on top of Urr, to reveal a small shaft, 2 feet square. The shaft is lined with bricks. Small steel staples, somewhat rusted, act as rungs for descending. In a rush, the party descended as they hear shouts and running footsteps coming towards the room.
Scrambling to the bottom of the shaft, they find themselves in a dark cellar, above the curses of orcs fill the air and a couple of arrows come shooting down the shaft, followed by the clanging of rungs as someone descends. Keestake throws himself at a lever next to the shaft but can’t seem to move it. Seren leaps to help him and together pull it down.
A tremendous crash resounded from overhead and the sounds of descent changed momentarily to screams, and then to silence. Then a tremendous cloud of dust rushed out of the shaft and a hail of medium to large rocks crashed to the bottom of the shaft. The party desperately threw themselves out of the way, ending up sprawled away from the shaft. Finally, a solemn silence descended over the chamber.
New Feat: Luck of the Sea – once per Lunar month, the character can elect to re-roll any roll.