Skull and Shackles
The Journal of Ezikial Hands, Journeyman Gunner Part Twenty-One
Whilst our previous experiments in provoking the Beast of the Cove did produce no new information, we chose to err on the side of caution and approach the Cove in saylight. To provide some more security, I had the ballistae loaded and Chopper ordered the deck to be well lit during the night. Even so, we chose to enter the Cove for our own protection from the fickleness of the sea.
Once within the Cove, I did espy the writhing of tentacle- like vines making as to attack us on the ship. Grok, Rosie, and Chopper were all immediately grasped by these vines and then pulled from the deck.
Springing to the ballistae, I managed to fire a bolt into the center of the mass of moving vines, eliciting a squeal of pain from the creature on the top of the cliff. While Feruzi managed to place three of her arrows near the thing’s beak, it grasped Maoud and began to pull him away as well. Chopper was slashing wildly with his axe and I had hard pressed to miss him when I fired the second ballista bolt into the beast. Much to my chagrin, the ballistae would not be ready for another shoot soon and my pistols lacked the range to hit it with all but the luckiest of shots.
Fortunately, Chopper managed to hit a vital spot from close range and the beast began to fall. To my horror, so did all those captured by the beast. We did our best to catch those that fell, but Maoud was missed and shattered himself upon the deck.
With that, we set ourselves to a long night watch and were alarmed only once by Sahuagin, but they were spotted and left as soon as they knew they had been.
In the daylight we climbed the cliff to the hole that would have been the skull’s right eye, and there we found a cavern and, at the end, a great tree with the semblance of a human face in the bark. We thought this to be the “Old King” and began to dig.
This led us to another cavern below. One filled with water, but, with the aid of Sandara’s spells, we were abele to traverse it with ease until we reached a chamber of air that was covered in flowers. These flowers proved to have a fragrance of Sleep and Chopper was overcome, but soon recovered.
When he awakened we discovered what was the head of Reiko’s father.