We were headed south on the Dashing Stagon our way back to barter town. The day was clear and spirits were high after the great treatment we received in haven. We all looked forward to getting back to barter town and finishing the last of our business there. I think that several of the unchained need to train to 5th circle. We have info to collect from the great library. Purchase supplies for the boat. Then we will be ready to head out on our quest of looking for the staff.
I was down on the deck talking with some of the crew about Vridich’s training with his sword. When Stilicho hollered that he spotted smoke off the port bow. He moved to stand next to Dremnin at the wheel. I moved to the rail and look out over the tree tops of the forest below. There was a thin line of black smoke, several miles out. It looked like the smoke of a burning structure. Stilicho ordered the ship to move towards the smoke to investigate. I called the crew to quarters. All of the drilling Stilicho had the crew work on went in to action. Within moments the crew was armed, armored, and standing at battle stations. Urgral came up the stairs from below still putting on the last of his plate armor and came over to stand next to me. Suulin, Vridich, and Hanna came up the ladder on to the fore deck. Suulin moved to the rail and the two nethermancers moved up to the wheel with Dremnin.
We arrived at the source of the smoke to find it was a crash site. There was a stripped down vidette half buried in the forest floor. It had crashed through the tree a top leaving a wake of destruction in it’s after math. It appeared to have crashed the day before and was still smoldering. We could not see any survivors and vridich had his worm do a quick search of the wreckage. There was one dead body trapped inside the boat.
It was at this point that I saw the vidette’s banner. This was the escort ship for the slave barge I was kept on. I have to admit that I was happy to see it burnt. Thoughts of the man that had tricked me and captured me flooded in to my thoughts. Trejak. If I ever find that man I will give him a new set of scars. I snapped out of my anger and went and told the captain that there might be a slave barge somewhere nearby.
Vridich pointed out that there were a lot of claw marks on the trees around the downed boat. As we looked around we started to notice that that every tree had claw marks on it. The crew member that was in the crow’s nest shouted that she could see many flying silhouettes about ten miles to the south. We pulled the ship up out of the crater created by the ship. Everyone was looking to the south. Suulin pulled out her spy glass and said that she could see that the forms were blue. That was the last clue that Vridich needed. He told us that the problem we faced are called aspagra. Aspagra are fierce flying lizzards about two to three times longer than a man. They have large sharp claws and a spiked tail. They like to fly past and knock an opponent to the ground and then move in to attack.As we approached the beasts we fired bows and dropped one out of the sky. The rest dove down in to a hole in the canapé. As we pulled over the hole we found a slave barge. Not just a slave barge but the slave barge that transported me to the mine where I was sold to the ork taskmasters.
The barge was sitting at an angle. One end was on the ground 50 feet below and the other end was propped up in the trees. I could see that there was a troll on the far end of the boat up in the trees. He was partially hiding in a hold and fighting two of the aspagra. I looked back at the captain and shouted permission to go aground. Granted was all that came from Stilicho.
Suulin, Urgral, Wheeler, I, and one other crew member threw ropes over the side to slide down. I grabbed my hammer in my left hand the rope in the right and jumped over the side. I was intending to be the first on to the boat to lead the charge. I slid down the first five feet of rope where my hand it a knot in the rope. This knocked my hand lose from the rope and I started falling. I hit a couple of branches as I went down landing flat on my back with a thud. The air pushed out of my lungs and pain burst through my legs. The deck of the ship shook I looked over and saw that Suulin had fallen as well. She looked worse off than I. The others slid down there ropes.
I was trying to get my breath when an aspagra came in and attacked me. It hit me with a claw but my armor kept me safe. I drank a healing potion and I could feel my air and my senses come back to me. I brought up my hammer and my tail mace to defend myself. I blocked the claws and jumped to my feet. Urgral and Wheeler had moved up next to me to help out. I could not see Suulin anywhere. One of our crew was down and not moving.
The aspagra moved in again and swiped at me. I was tired of this aspagra and its attacks. I turned to my left and spun all the way around putting all of my weight in to the turn. The hammer smashed in to the side of the beast’s neck. The head snapped to the side and came back. There was a glaze in its eyes and its legs buckled underneith it. Urgral took advantage of its stunned state and sliced it with his sword and it went down. Wheeler moved in and stabbed it to end its life. That was the turning point on our end of the boat. The last aspagra flew off.
We turned our attention to the other end of the boat. It looked like they had fared even worse than we had. Two of our crew were down and Korack and Stilicho were doing their best to defend them. The troll I had seen on the boat had come out of the hold and was chasing down the last aspagra near him but failed to hit it with the giant sword he was swinging. The rest of us swarmed the aspagra putting it down.
Ardor Zomay Skram
4th circle Tail dancer