Year 26435 A.B.
Once again I’m writing this from my cabin in the ship, and once again we are sailing for Eknil, much sooner than expected. The gnomes are with us as we cannot help but uproot the lives of others, though most of them are certainly willing enough in this case, at least.
Elliphany and I spoke with Dan-Ei the village leader and his son, Dong-Ei, about our situation the morning after our crash landing. They told us that the chains would keep pulling the ship inland to the mouth of the cave and eventually crush it, so we decided it would be best to go get the captain and a few others to bring back to the village to better decide a course of action.
Elliphany and I went back to the ship with a couple of the gnomes who came with us to aid our direction. Upon arrival we saw that the ship had been dragged at least ten feet inland by the chains, exactly what we were told would happen. I spoke with the captain about the situation while Elliphany went out on the dinghy with a few of the crew and guards to find her familiar that was blown away and injured by storm, trapped on a rock or debris near the island. When she came back I healed his broken wing, and we started back for the village with the captain, first mate, the ship’s carpenter, and two of the king’s guard.
Upon arrival at the village we found an argument taking place, and came to find that it was about the ultimate fate of the village. Their survival had depended until this point upon scavenging supplies from the ships that the chains pulled in on a regular basis. The very fact that we survived the ordeal was throwing their own survival into question. Ultimately it was decided that they would assist us in an attempt to go into the cave, find the source of the chains, and destroy or get rid of it; most of the villagers seemed to agree, though there were a few that were resistant to the idea.
While this discussion was taking place, a few of their warriors had to run off to defend the area from a goblin raid, though they acted very casual about it; I assumed that it was a fairly common occurrence. This particular raid, however, turned out to be less than what they considered to be normal, much larger and longer lasting than any of them had expected or seen before. They were still able to defend against it easily enough, and we knew that if we were going to go into the cave, it needed to be then.
The first part of the cave was fairly uneventful, filled with troglodytes and kobolds as expected, with the green chains running taught along either side of a central wall. Dong-Ei and the dragon priestess came with us along with another of their warriors named Goon, as well as all four King’s Guard, which made the going much easier. We did find a supply cache, lending more credence to the idea that the gnomes would come with us when we departed the island. I also found a gorgeous new scythe that looks as though it had never been used, the edge so keen and sharp that one could split a hair in twain, or an entire kobold for that matter.
The source of the chains turned out to be a bloody mind flayer that had taken up residence in the back of the cave, using great green crystals to focus its energy. The chains themselves came from a massive portal filled with the things at the back wall of the place, all glowing the same, caustic green as the crystals. The mind flayer put up some sort of magical shield around himself, rendering him unreachable.
We set Goon to guard our rear flank and bade the priestess stay near to him. After clearing some of the kobolds and troglodytes from the cavern, we were able to go after the crystals to try to break the mind flayer’s power. Dong-Ei got the first one, and immediately after a new chain lashed out at him from the writhing mass at the back and smote him down. His body was cut into two pieces that then burnt to naught but ash. I broke the next crystal and managed to dodge the chain that lashed out, but the royal guardsman that broke the third wasn’t so lucky, and nearly got killed himself.
Upon the breaking of the third crystal, the chains stopped glowing, and at the same time the mind flayer’s shield went down. I immediately moved over to the thing and struck as hard as I could just as a huge form made of nothing but chains stepped out of the portal at the back of the room. My strike brought the mind flayer to the ground, only to feel a dagger in my back! We had failed to kill Darkhands it seems, despite throwing him off a balcony, and he had followed us, presumably hiding on the ship.
Elliphany came through just then, tossing some sort of orb in the midst of the three of us, which promptly exploded. Amazed to find myself unharmed, I saw the mind flayer had been knocked over and looked near death, so I laid into Darkhands. A portal of some sort had opened behind him, and Elliphany was urging us to try to push him through. In short order we had the mage surrounded, and I suppose he must have realized that the odds were against him; instead of facing us, the coward slipped through the portal and disappeared. Elliphany chased him through, but came back reporting there to be no sign of him.
With our goal accomplished, we retreated from the cave. The chains were easy to remove from the ship now that the mind flayer had been dealt with and the decision was made that the gnomes would come with us. In the end, it turned out to be an easy choice, especially after they not only repaired the ship, but built living quarters for themselves into it. We salvaged all the supplies that we could from the village and cave before setting out from the island. Good riddance to bad rubbish, I say.
There is a gnome
His name is Goon
He likes to spin
And seal your doom