The party decided to outfit their ship with more weapons, having recovered the light catapult from the wrecked ship in past weeks. We got two light ballistas and installed them on gimbles so that they can be moved from side to side on the ship.
While installing the weaponry, a couple of interesting side bits happened. Someone noticed that there was a curious absence of rats on the ship, and correctly concluded that something was eating them. A search of the ship revealed that the Quasit (from under the warehouse, a couple of adventures ago) was still rummaging about. The party cornered it in the bilge, but it was able to escape invisibly out over the port city.
Also, Neal’s cleric cast a Detect Undead spell and found evidence that there has been an undead presence on the ship recently (from a lingering aura), but he was unable to locate it or determine where it was.
After the weaponry was on-board, the party decided to go back to the Isle of Dread and see what they could find there, as several clues pointing to the Isle have been found here and there.
The voyage started off ok, but after a few days at sea, the party encountered another (smaller) vessel which closed into combat range. (Editor’s note: this is the first time we tried out the ship-to-ship combat rules. They need some work, but should suffice for our purposes). After a few rounds of maneuvering, the ships came together. We did not fire on them, and they seemed not to have any major weapons on their deck, but their deck was largely obscured by a Tiny Hut spell which prevented anyone from seeing about 1/3 of the ship’s deck. The captain of the other ship said he wanted to talk. (Second editor’s note: saying “talk” is entirely different from the later use of the specific word “parley”, which usually means surrender and negotiate terms).
Once the two ships were side to side, the other ship launched animated grapples and the figurehead also animated and moved to attack our ship. The fight across both decks was then engaged. Our hobgoblins stayed at their posts and got off one round of random ballista fire across the aft bow of the ship, but were quickly beset upon by the animated grapples a couple of rounds after the grapples had secured the ships.
Todd’s fighter and Eric’s barbarian went to the other ship and attacked the golem and a summoned dire wolf. Their captain/spellcaster cast spells from behind the opaque sphere. Roy’s witch was invaluable when he dispelled both the Resilient Sphere around Doug’s alchemist (or Doug would have been out of the fight), and when he also Dispelled the Confusion on the Barbarian (which could have sent the battle in an entirely different direction). We destroyed one of the grapples when Doug was able to blast it with bombs, but lost 4 of the Hobgoblin marines in the process (they could not overcome the hardness). Todd and Eric (and Doug) were able to take out the figurehead golem as well, and the party closed on the spellcaster. After a round or so of combat in the Obscurrring Mist Roy had put up, the caster asked to Parley, but the party cut him down anyway. The party is turning out to be quite the bloodthirsty pirates.
After the fight, 4 more of the other ship’s crew was discovered and they quickly surrendered and agreed to crew your ship if you would let them. We have yet to go through the spoils and treasure.
Both ships were damaged in the fight. Our ship from the grapples and from Doug’s bombs, their ship from Doug’s bombs and Jeff’s Druids spells. We will go over the damage later.