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Ship's Log: Entry #101: Amaya

Date: June 9th, 1883

Location: On board The Beholder, sailing towards the unknown.

Today is another day aboard this floating vessel known as The Beholder, and I find myself caught between boredom and an insatiable curiosity that tugs at my very being. The air is filled with the scent of sea salt and anticipation as we sail towards unknown horizons, both literally and metaphorically. Morale is a bit low as the Captain is ill and first mate Cornelius has taken charge of the ship. He has a map that indicates there is an island and possibly some ancient ruins that we are on our way to explore.

Napoleon, the ever-assertive commander, barks orders left and right, ensuring both the party and the ship's crew remain in line. It's fascinating how a person of such diminutive stature can exert such authority. We all know better than to mention his size, though. It's an unspoken rule, a fragile balance between power and vulnerability. Quinn stands diligently on deck, faithfully carrying out Napoleon's instructions. Her presence offers a sense of security, a shield against the unknown dangers that await us.

With a big stretch and low rumble or a roar that vibrates throughout the ship, Leo emerges from his slumber after a night of stargazing. I can't help but be drawn to his contemplative nature and the ancient wisdom he possesses from the heavens. Perhaps there's more to the universe than what meets the eye, and Leo's insights might hold the key to unlocking hidden truths.

Jay Stormbird, perched high in the crowsnest with an outstretched wing and an upturned feather monitoring the weather, finds himself in a predicament as he is unable to navigate his way down. It's amusing how fate plays with us mere mortals. But fear not, for the divination wizard Thera comes to the rescue, utilizing her powers to guide Jay safely to the ground. Oh, the wonders of magic and its ability to bend reality!

Mim, the cheerful linguist, busies herself tidying her cabin, accompanied by her invisible magpie servant who's ethereal presence brings a touch of whimsy to the mundane. Mim's knowledge and uplifting spirit are a breath of fresh air, a reminder that there's more to life than the confines of this ship.

Cyán, the self-assured thief turned culinary experimenter, embarks on a gastronomic adventure in the galley. While everyone else finds his creations repulsive, Cyan's unwavering confidence in his abilities is both amusing and admirable. The unexpected side effect of his peculiar treats invigorating our resolve to push forward—now, that's a testament to the power of determination.

Rundi, our stealthy bodyguard, snoozes atop misplaced bags of rice, a comical representation of our disjointed journey. Amidst the chaos, Rundi maintains her watchful eye, ready to protect us at a moment's notice. I can't help but wonder what lies beneath her coy facade—perhaps a yearning for a life less burdened by duty.

L., the archeology enthusiast is engrossed in books on deck. His covert abilities bring an air of mystery to our group, hinting at a world beyond the mundane. I find solace in the knowledge that even amidst the confines of this ship, hidden possibilities await those who dare to seek them.

Hold on! There was just a sighting of a red flash on the horizon and ... is that a ship? It seemingly appeared out of nowhere! Hoping this is a good omen and possible help for the captain, Cornelius sets a course for the ship. As we approach we can also see an island in the distance. Is this the one we are looking for? A thrill courses through my veins! What secrets lie upon that uncharted land? What mysteries yearn to be unraveled? An expedition crew are assembling to take the dinghy to the island. Got to go, I’ll write more later!

(several hours later)

Wowee, that was an adventure!! Under Lia's steady hand at the helm, assisted by the talented Quinn and Giada Masai, The Beholder steered toward a break in the reef while Quinn's sailing skills provided well appreciated assistance. Before we disembarked, quartermaster Bramble equipped us with weapons, potions of healing, and a potion of acid resistance. As Cornelius and the crew remained vigilant on The Beholder, we boarded the dinghy, setting foot on the newfound island where oxidized copper structures blended with the turquoise hues of the Adramare Sea. A cavern beckoned us, drawing us closer to its enigmatic embrace.

Inside, we encountered Amaya, a spirit adorned in garments of ancient origin. L. recognized the attire as remnants of a forgotten era. Green slime mixed with algae descended from the ceiling, acid eating away at Mim's delicate feathers and skin. Jay, ever resourceful, conjured water to cleanse her wounds. Carvings of constellations graced the chamber walls, depicting a story of interconnected stars revolving around a central body. Leo attempted to capture their essence through rubbings, but quickly abandoned the idea when met with a side-eye from Amaya. Instead, he enlisted her aid in recreating the carvings through drawings in his notebook.

The next room revealed a non-running fountain, its ancient elvish plaque reading, “Seek the source where droplets weep, To honor the secrets this temple keeps.” Jay, in a moment of brilliance, rushed back to the entrance, collected sea water and splashed it onto the fountain awakening its dormant magic as the water began to flow. Cyán wanted to investigate further and with the help of L. and Giada Masai, was able to get up into the recess of the ceiling. But he lost his balance and as he began to fall he tore a patch off his cloak and wished for a ladder that appeared just in time! He bravely took a sip of the water and found he was strengthened with resolve and vitality. He then belayed down his secured rope and took special notice of the dragon head shaped carving that was now spewing water. Rundi noticed some doors to the next room unlocked and she proceeded to enter.

Inside she discovered gargoyles with heart-shaped cavities in their chests. Not trusting them, she tried to tie their legs together and the heads animated as lightening struck! L. believed this to mean that the place is sacred and needs to be treated with respect or we will be punished. Rundi then tattled on L., telling the gargoyles that she tied their legs together because L. told her to and they sent a bolt of lightening to L.! With her unique ability to speak with the dead, Amaya was able to learn their tragic tale. They were transformed into stone just days ago by a power-hungry individual who stole a sacred gem that resembled the stellar story depicted on the walls. The gargoyles directed us to seek Valtarian.

We continued our exploration and stumbled upon a note left upon the altar. In a moment of impulsiveness, Napoleon seized it. The note, taunting us to chase him, was left by someone named Carver Grimwood (see attached).

It became clear it was a bad idea to take the note as it triggered the awakening of ancient constructs, animated objects and the release of acidic gas. Chaos ensued, and we found ourselves thrust into an unexpected battle. Rundi was able to make a running shove attack and push it prone giving advantage to the rest of the party. Just as it got up, Masai was able to do the same thing. And when it got up again, Cyán threw ball bearings on the ground and made it fall down again. Quinn grappled it causing damage with her quilled armor as she -- with it locked in her arms -- dove off the side of the temple. Meanwhile, L. imbued their rope with metal flakes from their weapon, and doused it with water and salt from their rations. They then tied the rope around the big copper legs and, with careful charade-like communication with the gargoyles, tied the rope to the gargoyles and begged them to send a bolt of lightening. Thankfully they got the message and a massive bolt of lightening shot through the rope of super conduction causing the construct to shatter! Thank goodness Bramble sent us with those healing potions! We downed them and proceeded to investigate the rest of the temple, hoping to find answers for Amaya.

When we entered the crypt Amaya spoke up expressing a kinship to the people of this lost civilization and thought the heart stone mentioned in the letter could help her find home. We all gathered around her and promised to help her. She joined the party as we tried to figure out how to get back to the ship since Cornelius had taken the dinghy. But it was not a problem for us! Leo shaped himself into a crocodile and we all got on his back, while Jay used his mighty wings to make a magical motor of wind. And in a moment of joy, Napoleon showed off his athletic abilities and waterskied his way back to the ship with 2 swords strapped to his paws holding a rope tied to Leo's crocodilian body.

Once aboard, Cyán made dinner and to our relief he used a classic recipe that was tasty and nutritious. We all ate together regaling the rest of the crew with the tales of our adventure before retiring to our quarters where I sit and update this log. I am signing off now, hoping for good rest and bad luck for Carver Grimwood and his hooligans!

Until the next entry, may the winds of curiosity guide us through the tempestuous sea of uncertainty.

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