The party stood on the deck of the leaking ship in the still waters of the cove. The northern coastline of the Isle of Dread was visible in the distance to the south, but spoiling the view was the belly-up bloated body of a dragon turtle. Mendel set about examining the ship for damage, and found as intact as could be expected for a wreck that had spent much of the last few months torn open and beached on a reef. Zhedd asked his crocodiles to examine the body of the turtle for treasures, and finding none, then sent them into the waters below to look for any dropped rings or jewellery. A few moments after disappearing beneath the waves, some thrashing and and blood appeared in the water under the ship.
A few moments later, Mendel noticed the water levels in the bilges rising, and all on deck felt the ship lurch to port. Gerald and Faldak went to help deal with repairs, whilst the others on deck kept an eye on the water below. Antony spotted a tortle swimming in the sea off the port bow and being casting a spell.
Antony and Ji were caught by surprise when a woolly mammoth appeared on deck in their midst. The ship lurched suddenly as the beast wrapped its trunk around the main mast and tried to keep balance. Antony tried to keep out of its way and watch the tortle, as Ji used oil to unbalance the beast, and send it slipping off the side. The ship was almost pulled to its side, and below deck, Mendel and Faldak saw signs of a tortle boarding party ripping apart the warped planks at the keel. Dacien set about leading the offensive above decks, once Antony had held the tortle druid, by using a wall of force to make a bridge from the sinking ship to the corpse of the dragon turtle. The party made a retreat from the ship, leaving Faldak as honorary captain to do the noble thing. Ji was caught by a spell as he leapt from the ship, and polymorphed into a pteranadon. Dacien caught the tortle in a resilient sphere to give them some breathing space, and prepare themselves. Faldak finished off the tortle boarding party, and joined the others. Dacien and Zhedd were the only ones able to tackle the tortle without entering the water themselves, and eventually finished him off, but not before many of Zhedd's metal items had been transmuted into wood.
With the ship on its side and sinking, the party used water walking to make their way to shore, and then up onto the cliffs. Zhedd communed to identify the location of the dragon turtle's lair, which lay 6 miles to the south. But as the party started their trek, Faldak spotted signs of a roc, nesting on the side of the cliff. A little drained from the earlier battles, the party decided to retreat to Farshore. They dined with Lavinia that night, and planned their expedition to the turtle lair.
Knowing they were facing coral golems, and neither Zhedd nor Dacien recalling much about them, the party decided to visit Sasserine and ask for help of the libraries. Zhedd visited the Witchwardens, whilst Antony and Dacien went to Blenak's Bazaar, the home of a noted sage. Zhedd's research took long in part due to an elderly gnome not being the quickest bout his work, but was asked to meet with Her Dark Priestess Teranaki, head of the guild. She praised Zhedd again on his work bringing them the zombie from the Isle of Dread, and claimed to have learnt much already from its construction. Also, a local artifact of Nyx had been recovered. She asked Zhedd to look out for other specimens of unusual undead, and refrain from attacking intelligent undead if possible - using the Witchwarden's name if it would help broker a peaceful encounter. She also mentioned that they could use some help with the up coming full moon in guarding the undead at Chekitewhan, a local vault, where local 'do-gooder' adventurers would attack the undead guardians that the Witchwardens wanted to protect. Finally, as an enticement to make Zhedd a more proactive member of the Witchwardens, she asked about his retraining to become a necromancer.
Dacien and Antony has a less unnerving meeting, and afterwards they pooled their knowledge about weaknesses of the golems. Armed with this knowledge, the party made their way to the lair, navigated their way past a wall of dispel magic, and set about ransacking its loot. The two coral golems were contained by some careful tactics and preparation, and quickly dispatched. This left the party to recover the crates and chests of treasure the dragon turtle had collected over many years.
The Labourers Under the Volcano
1 hour ago