The chimera sputtered and died at Bertram’s feet. Bertram stayed aboard the ship to fill in the gaps created by dead crew members. Archers rained bolts and arrows upon the Sea Wyvern from ledges high up in the cove. With the ship anchored, the party did its best to avoid the sniper fire as they jumped into the stagnant water and raced to the beach. The boom of cannon fire echoed throughout the dim cavern. Another ship came into view, carrying the sound of a female captain ordering her crew. Aleister recognized the ship and the voice as that of Bethany Razor, a pirate-turned-privateer, who rooted out criminals on behalf of Port Shaw. The captain was famous for exploits with her now-deceased husband, Jacob, and for being bold enough to take as her surname the very seas she sailed.
Seemingly, Captain Bethany was on their side and prevented the worst of the archer’s fire. As the privateer battled the snipers, the party stormed the beach. Dozens of thugs and scoundrels assaulted them, some with ranseurs and others with crossbows. A lobster-like chuul emerged from the depths to battle with Ono and Ozzy. Ono’s polearm and Ozzy’s croc tore the beast to shreds. Smugglers on the anchored barge dropped a plank and rushed to help their comrades, uncaging 4 lizard-like cockatrices in the process. The cockatrices bit into various party members, slowing down Ozzy as his bones calcified.
Keahilani healed frantically, channeling and maneuvering to cast Cure spells. To hold off the worst of the cockatrices and thugs, Ozzy cast Entangle and Aleister hexed many of them asleep. Ono cut a path of destruction through the thugs, getting help from a feline humanoid named Sir Maug, who Aleister and Ozzy freed from a sand pit, an apparent amusement for the smugglers. A giggling hyena-headed humanoid emerged from a cave. “I be Bonegnaw. Ye can tell t’ Ring they only get me help over the cut up portions of me body!
Just like I said last time!” The gnoll shot arrows in rapid succession, almost killing Aleister and filling Ozzy with bloody wounds. Aleister hexed Bonegnaw and the gnoll slumbered for brief moments before a hairy white arm scooped him up and dragged him into the shadows.
The bloody brawl went on for many minutes. Finally, the last thug jumped into the water and fled. After healing the party, Keahilani dispelled a clever Spike Growth trap set by gnoll. They entered a narrow cave entrance, Sir Maug and Ono rushing in. Bonegnaw hid behind stalactites while two four-armed girallons emerged from large alcoves. It was almost the end of both Ono and Sir Maug as the ape creatures pummeled them. Quick thinking by Ozzy, Aleister and Keahilani saved the day. With minimal healing and spells left, Ozzy used a summoned stirge and Crikey to push Bonegnaw further into the cave. The desperate gnoll unleashed a torrent of arrows, doing the most harm to human and elf members of the party. Aleister gingerly stepped into the cave and hexed one girallon to sleep. Taking the opportunity, Ono and Sir Maug slew the other before closing with Bonegnaw himself. In close quarters, the gnoll drug lord stood no chance and fell under an onslaught of attacks.
They looted the gnoll’s personal gear and then explored the anchored barge. Within was enough treasure to satisfy the greediest of mercenaries. They burned the large crates of dragonsmoke and plundered the rest. Now, to deal with Bethany Razor. And, perhaps, a future reward from Gregory Bonedeuce and Milliaukau for solving the same problem for each.