So since the previous story brought Sir Karin & Alissa together with Jorale & Stonebreaker... I thought why not bring all six of them together (since they were all aboard the same ship when it went down) with Tawmis, Coy, Blaz'tik and Taren... And explain it... So there's the segment with Captain Bairon and how he acquires our original heroes... And then I had to dig up some of the older story segments to add at the bottom to piece it together...
And with this... we resume the current story with where everyone was left off at... Which I will probably need to do a refresher for (anyone reading this as well as myself!)...
Don't forget to check out: http://tawmis.com/grimrock/
Which has more information about this story than Jorale has had lovers!
Captain Bairon looked at Jorale, who had not slept with him now for several days, preferring the company of the barbarian chief that they had enslaved. She claimed she was “nursing him back to health” to fetch a higher profit, but at night, Captain Bairon heard her moans; he knew them well. He knew that she had been doing more than tending to his wounds. He approached her and said, “We are going to be stopping in Nothampton. Do you need to go by your alchemy store?”
Jorale shook her head, “No, I sold the store when we left. I will stay aboard the ship when we dock.”
Captain Bairon knew why she wanted to remain aboard the ship. “Fine,” he said, his words were intended to cut like a dagger; but she cared little for what he thought, so she kindly offered a false smile.
When the Elfin Wind docked, Captain Bairon walked through the streets of Nothampton and noticed that there was a noticeable amount of energy and people gathered and talking. He made his way to the Broken Dagger; a bar of some questionable establishment. Even there, everyone seemed unusually excited. Captain Bairon leaned on the bar and ordered a drink. When the bartender came and delivered his drink, Captain Bairon asked, “What’s all the excitement?”
“Have you not heard?” the bartender asked. “About the explosion?”
“Explosion?” Captain Bairon sipped his drink. “What explosion?”
“Grimrock,” the bartender replied. “It exploded. Caused massive damage and shockwaves.”
“Grimrock… exploded…” That seemed so unlikely; impossible to comprehend. “The prison? That Mount Grimrock?”
“One and the same,” the bartender assured him.
“How?” Captain Bairon stammered for words. This was certainly not what he had expected to hear. Being out to sea, the roar of the ocean, had covered any chance of hearing the explosion, if it did indeed explode.
“Well, no one knows for sure,” the bartender admitted. “However, there were what appears to be four survivors – people are saying they’re the ones who made the mountain explode. Some slavers docked with the survivors – they were supposedly found around the Great Lake. The slavers intend to sell them for a high price – as ‘the destroyers of Grimrock.’ I can’t help but imagine that would fetch a pretty penny to any slaver. If,” the bartender smiled, “you were into that kind of thing.” Most of the patrons in the Broken Dagger were indeed slavers, or murderers, and the ilk. Usually hiding here, waiting for the next ship to get off the main continent and escape justice.
“If I were into such a thing,” Captain Bairon reached deep into his pockets and slid several gold coins across the bar. “On which ship might I find these ‘destroyers of Grimrock’?”
“Well,” the bartender said, palming the coins, “from what I heard, the last group of slavers that has these ‘destroyers of Grimrock’ are the ones aboard the Night’s Moon.”
“Thank you,” Captain Bairon finished his drink and slid it across the bar and began to walk out.
“Be cautious however,” the bartender called out, fiddling with the coins. “From what I have heard, that’s the fifth ship they’ve been on; seems the slavers all have the same idea, and keep killing one another, to try and steal the slaves. So if you get them – you might think of sailing out as quickly as possible.”
Captain Bairon reached into his pouch and flipped another coin to the bartender who caught it easily, as if money simply gravitated to his hand. “Thank you for the advice,” Captain Bairon smiled.
He returned to the Elf Wind and gathered several men who made their move at night. Most of the crew of the Night’s Moon were extremely intoxicated, celebrating their victory of how much these slaves would fetch them. Captain Bairon’s men moved through the ship, slitting throats and throwing bodies over the edge. Below the deck, they found three prisoners unconscious – a human, minotaur, an insectoid and even a Ratling – who was the only one conscious. “What an odd collection of prisoners,” one of Captain Bairon’s men whispered.
“What are you doing?” Coy, the Ratling prisoner asked.
“We’re here to liberate you from the Night’s Moon,” Captain Bairon smiled.
“You’re slavers too,” Coy sneered.
“And you’re observant,” Captain Bairon snarled back. “Make a sound and we slice you wide open. Is that understood?”
“Crystal clear,” Coy replied. “But you will get yours before this is all done.”
“Oh, I’m sure,” Captain Bairon replied, as he gestured his men to try and lift Taren, the Minotaur.
Several hour later…
Tawmis opened his eyes, and looked around. There was a familiar sight. And for a moment, he wondered if he had dreamed the entire event of Grimrock – and wondered if he was still in the prison cell in Curvia, where this had all begun.
But when he could barely stand, and not because he was groggy from the explosion, but because the ground seemed to sway beneath his feet; he grabbed the bars for balance. Then he could smell it. The fresh ocean breeze. The sound of waves crashing against a ship.
He looked around him and saw Taren, Blaz’tik and Coy.
“Where are we?” Tawmis asked, having no memory after the explosion that shook Grimrock.
“We’re on a slave ship,” Taren muttered, recognizing the interior of the ship.
“The Elf Wind,” Coy said, “to be exact. Chances are we’re headed up Daejon for Gladiator combat slavery.”
“What happened?” Tawmis asked.
“The explosion drew a lot of attention,” Coy replied. “Mages. Warriors. Thieves. All interested in what might be within Grimrock’s remains. Apparently we were fortunate enough to be found by slavers and traders down stream from the Great Lake.”
“That’s just wonderful,” Tawmis sighed, and sunk against the bars. “What else could possibly go wrong?”
They spent several days aboard the Elfin Wind, occasionally visited by an attractive woman, who seemed interested in how they had “destroyed” Grimrock – but none of them felt like talking.
Later that evening, Tawmis stood, hands on the bars of the cage and rattled them as much as he could, as if hoping he could bend them. "I refuse to fight in a gladiator ring again. I refuse to be a slave." Tawmis' eyes drifted to Taren who had been unusually silent. For both of them, they met in a gladiator ring. Together, they fought side by side and earned their freedom. But the time as a Gladiator was harsh. They had witness so much death, so much brutality. "We will find a way out of this," Tawmis assured the massive minotaur.
Taren turned and looked at Tawmis and gave him a weak smile. "I am sure we will. Our path is just unclear at the moment."
Suddenly the ship lurched to the right unexpectedly, sending all of them crashing painfully into the metal bars, unable to adjust to the sudden shift in the ship's direction. Blaz'tik tried to pull himself up, but the ship was still pulling hard to the right. "What -tic!- is going on?"
"I've been on enough ships," Taren replied. "This is not natural. I don't even hear any wind. Something is pulling the ship to the right. And pulling very hard."
Coy peered through one of portholes of the ship. "You may not hear winds, but those skies have turned black! Look!"
Outside it was as if a grey bottle of paint was spilled across the sky. Slowly, it spread, devouring the once blue skies, and making them dark and grey. Accompanying the change, the sea also began to surge; large waves slammed up against the ship, which rocked the entire boat. Down below, Tawmis and others found themselves being batted around their prison cages. Above deck, the crew members were shouting; the voices of most were clearly drenched in just as much fear as they were wet. Tawmis turned to Blaz'tik, "This you're doing?"
"I'm afraid not," Blaz'tik replied, his mandibles clicking nervously.
"This is not a natural storm," Taren stared out the porthole. The ship took a massive dive, her front piercing deep into the ocean as she came over the wave. As she came back over the next wave, an island came into view.
"That's Nex," Coy replied.
"Isn't that where you're from?" Tawmis asked.
"Yes," Coy replied, though he didn't sound excited.
Just then, someone in the crow's nest shouted something about land.
Then came the crash; and the coral reef ripped through the bottom of the boat, cutting her open, filling her with water.
The last thing Tawmis heard before the water washed over him was Coy mentioning something about "The Master."
Elsewhere on the island…
The tide crashed violently against the shore, and with it, more bodies and tattered remains of the slaver ship, The Elfin Wind. One of the bodies rose up, coughing and choking. It was a large, burly man, whose muscles showed signs of constant usage. His tribal markings up and down the left arm, as well as those on his forehead marked him as a barbarian from the Endless Tundra far to the northern lands.
Next to him, another body stirred; a tall man, whose long blond hair, and trimmed mustache showed he was someone of some class. On his side, a massive sword that had clearly meant something to him. He was helping a woman wearing red robes, whose blond hair and blue eyes, were striking and unusual features.
The fourth person to wash ashore was also another human, who wore slaver’s clothing. The fourth person stood up and immediately took a defensive position. “Do not try anything,” she warned, as she reached for her pouch and pulled out a crimson flask.
The large barbarian growled in response. The human with the large sword, put his hand back. “Hold,” he said to the barbarian. He looked around. “That was no natural storm that brought the ship down. And this island is not on any map that I have ever seen.”
“It was magic,” the woman in the red robes told him, still coughing and vomiting ocean water from her lungs. “I told you that I sensed magic as soon as the storm appeared.”