We went to the docks at the appropriate hour to lie in wait for whatever it was.
We weren’t there long when a noise on one of the boats attracted our attention. It turned out to be some small things that resembled a cross between a gnoll and a crab. Unpleasant. Ceor, naturally, charged right in. We had the upper hand, up until they started conjuring this sort of nasty, viscous ooze. I managed to avoid it, but Ceor got caught in it. It looked like a sort of water bubble. I eliminated the thing that tried to wrap me in it.
They had some sort of glowing creature, a willowisp or witchlight or something, that seemed inclined to launch rays of light at everyone, and Miaako got his feathers singed. Ceor managed to more or less extricate himself… at least enough that he wasn’t in danger, so I didn’t bother doing something about it. One of them tried to engulf Reeshka; I don’t know why, she was blindly firing in the dark.
Ceor got a lucky swing and took one out in a single blow. The single remaining creature seemed to think this was all hiliarious. Miaako was ineffectual and got singed again. Reeshka missed wildly. I dealt with the remaining creature and Ceor managed to take out the ball of light.
We decided to check the larger ship just to be safe, because that was too easy. Reeshka used Ceor as a ladder, and immediately declared that she did not want to be on the ship. So we decided to get up there. Ceor managed it easily, but I decided to wait until I could get a rope up there. Once Reeshka tied it off, Miaako and I were able to climb up.
There were more gremlins up there, of course.
And that was about the time another witchlight decided to light up like a flare.
Starting to hate those things… I’ll be seeing spots for weeks.
Reeshka apparently took exception, because she promptly bitch slapped the one in front of her with dark energy. And set them all off cackling again. I was still dazed by the flash of light, and managed only to lightly frost over a sleeping sailor. Miaako didn’t do much better, sending a crossbow bolt into the water and losing a few more feathers.
One of the little wretches managed to pinch me, and he will suffer for it. Reeshka was similarly displeased when it hit her. I tried to take a swing at one with my staff, but it ducked out of the way. It did stop laughing, though.
There was no telling what Miaako was doing; I doubt he was really aiming for the mast.
Given the noise, that was about the time Ceor got pinched somewhere sensitive.
All in all, I was rather annoyed, and smashed the one in front of me with the staff. I happened to use the end that glowed blue, and as I did, I saw frost on it. Interesting.
Miaako managed to do something useful and put the last little thing down. The witchlight decided to scorch him one last time and bolt, but we were not inclined to let it go. As Ceor smashed it, he saw more of the little assholes on the pier.
Because of course there were.
As we had a few minutes, Reeshka was able to determine the lights were manufactured out of quartz and silver dust, and probably came from the Free City of Zobeck. She was concerned that there might be someone controlling them. I’m not sure, the wretched gremlins might have just stolen them.
That was about the time we heard the most beautiful singing. It was something we had to investigate…
I snapped out of it when one of those motherfucking gremlins pinched me. And then I set that bitch on fire. Managed to pop the witchlight too. And then she stabbed me, which really wasn’t surprising. I’ve been hanging around Miaako too long; she stabs the same way he does. Reeshka was also annoyed, and smacked her with dark energy. Ceor snapped out of it when she screamed in his face, and ran her through. Two of the gremlins decided to run for it. I hit the remaining one with my staff, the red side just to experiment. That time left a scorch mark. One side is fire, one side is ice. I like this.
Once the gremlins were dealt with, we turned to the bitch. Reeshka was able to figure out she was a bog nixie. Nasty creatures, with a tendency to drown those they entrance. Apparently, they also grant wishes, but I don’t feel the need to have a wish granted by a malicious fae. Wishes are always traps, and somehow I think in this case it would be more so. I might need to argue about it. Turn her in for a reward, sure. But I’d rather not have a wicked fae grant me wishes.
Ceor woke the guards who had been knocked out, and they indicated that there might be someone we could rouse in the guard tower. Naturally, carrying a mostly naked, bound woman through town is bound to end splendidly, so I think one of us should get the guards and bring them here. It turned out to be me, and I extracted a promise from the others that they wouldn’t be stupid and release her, on pain of being set on fire. To my surprise, they actually listened to me.
We hung around long enough to make sure nothing else was going to happen, then went home. At dawn, a courier woke me up with a commendation for my valiant efforts on behalf of the town and 100 gold.
I do think I like this place.
Given the preening, I believe everyone else got the same thing, or the equivalent.
I wanted to see if I could find out more about my staff, so I spent the day in the bookshop researching. The symbol on it belongs to a nation that used to be in the Western Wastes, that was involved in the Mage Wars. Apparently, the rulers of the city tended to carry such a staff, one end always coated in frost, and the other always coated in flame. My research seemed to indicate that the rulers were at one time very intermixed with infernal blood, though the last few generation seemed to be trying to get rid of that, which I can get behind. So I may well have a royal staff of office, for a nation that no longer exists.
I don’t know what Ceor was up to, but a half-elf barmaid showed up at his door. I don’t want to know, but if he catches anything unpleasant, I will point and laugh.
I will laugh a lot.