This is the second part of tonight’s adventuring. Which was completely under dark and completely on or in the water.
In the first half of the evening we escaped Demogorgon and leveled up. Now we’re taking turns long resting and navigating and foraging on our two keel boats to make our way to GrackleStugh. What’s in GrackleStugh you ask? I don’t know but it can’t be Demogorgon, can it? Then I’ll go there. Also, there’s no clear sign that the drow either went into Sloobidup or are following us on the water. If they are, I hope it’s going worse for them.
As we drift along, Haggin uses his ability to talk to fish to convince them that he’s got food for them. Sadly for the fish, he lied. They’re food for us. As the school of fish come to the surface, Haggin scoops them into a net to become dinner.
For three days our group floated. Sometimes the Darklake was wide, sometimes narrow. Most of the time it was cavernous, but for almost and entire day the party’s boats were barely able to drift more than side by side. Nearing the end of the third day, the travellers came to a crevasse in a barren cliff and saw no other way to proceed than through.
After tying the boats together back to front to prevent separation, the party went in. As the water flow increased, there began to be warning signs on the possible risks in this murder chute. There were gouges hewn into the rough rock ceiling which was barely out of reach. Soon after that, blood smears were illuminated by the glowing crossbow bolts that lined the front boats sides.
Despite these warning signs, the entire party was taken by surprise when three merrow rose from the water behind the second boat and launched a sneak attack. They nearly pulled Haggin overboard and tried but failed to knock characters out of the boat. Two of the merrow submerged after their attacks, but Eldreth had a clear shot at the one still out of water and so delivered a strong crossbow attack. Unfortunately for Eldreth, her ranged attack drew the ire of the merrow who knocked her out in a single harpoon attack and then yanked the harpoon, and her incapacitated body into the water to her inevitable doom. Another merrow resurfaced between the two boats and after being dealt and advisory blow severed one of the two ropes joining the boats.
Most of the party members having no visible targets just readied themselves to attack different positions primarily between the boats. Juma however may have felt a debt to Eldreth for not allowing him to drown earlier and courageously dove into the water without coming up for so much as a single breath until he had her head buoyed up out of the water.
Tragically, this pulled the merrow who had remained above water away from the boat and back to the loyal wizard who he dealt a harsh hit too. Luckily his grapple attempt failed and Juma was able to keep himself and Eldreth afloat. When RyuKira saw this he called upon his draconic legacy to levitate the merrow out of the water where it would be unable to either advance with the current or engage with Juma.
Previously, Haggin had dipped his hand into the water and summoned four reef sharks, who when hunting together developed quite the taste for merrow. The rushing waters quickly became bloodied after their first attack and then Haggin himself jumped into the water and turned into an octopus to help finish off the shark food merrow.
At roughly this time a merrow rose from the water attempting to sever the last rope, not knowing that Sarith had jumped to the lead boat and tied another rope. As the merrow attempted to hack at the rope, he realized he’d surfaced into a murder hole as he saw Calidan, Jim Jar, and Sarith waiting to end him. Which they did, quite fiercely.
Having dispatched the immediate threat and seeing an opportunity for eldreth due to the airborne merrow, Calidan casts aid on three injured party members, including Eldreth so she is instantly revived and able to navigate on her own into the boat. As Haggin is reentering the boat, his shark friends rend all but the cartilage from the remaining merrow’s tail. Realizing that the boat is taking RyuKira out of range to keep the merrow suspended and at their mercy, Juma deals the killing blow rather than returning to the boat thus ending combat.