Cavanaugh took a swim in the warm waters (was it warm before he got in?) while everyone was trying to be constructive with their time as to their current predicament. Peldu finally whipped out his fishing rod that was “OH SO IMPORTANT” for him to get right away in Waterdeep. Remember, he had a personal shopper fetch it for him and paid much more than the thing was worth? Well, he caught something. Everyone was eager with anticipation. Unfortunately for them, he caught a sea hag. Yes, a toothless, balding wretch of a woman who now had a fish hook in her cheek. Did the fish hook make an improvement to her face by distracting one’s eyes from her face sores? No! It actually created a shortcut for her rotting breath to escape out of. Instead of showing the grotesque woman pleasantries such as, “I am sorry”, “Let me mend your wounds fair maiden”, “Would you like a makeover?” Or even the not so popular, “My bad.” Peldu went a totally different approach; quite the opposite actually. First, he tried to throw her back, but his muscles were no match for this waterlogged PERSON. Second, he insulted her and urged her to go way (as if she could with the hook still in her). Third, he cut the line and waved her on. Finally, he tried to intimidate her into submission, but Peldu was about one hit away from death himself and this wouldn’t have worked on a small child, let alone a woman of the sea.
The rest of the adventurers (who were on land) braced for the incoming fight, as they do. Instead, the sea hag beckoned the barbarian closer with a whisper. Peldu was hesitant, but he indulged her request and came close enough to hear her words without getting in the water. He leaned in as close as he could, and the sea hag (with fish hook and all) burped loudly in his ear, which followed by a kiss. I am sure this is the first time the sea hag has been penetrated in her life, and she wasn’t going to leave without a kiss. Her laughter escalated louder as she descended back into the water. Urth inspected the black rotting lip stain that was now on his face, and it was confirmed – Peldu was cursed! Unable to level until it was lifted. Cavanaugh, while underwater, noticed the sea hag swimming away with fish hook and line trailing behind. He stayed clear of the thing, but not before checking her out as a possible mate. He kept to his first assumption to say away, as far as possible!
The party was getting a little worried about Cavanaugh who was gone for quite some time, but did no action to try to locate him. Annabelle took the initiative, and attempted to split the party and scout out a cave opening a short climb away. While doing so, unfortunately, she fell back into the water – SPLASH! Peldu with little to no life, decided that he could do better, and followed in Annabelle’s footsteps. He too slipped, but for some reason his hand was stuck inside the rock. While trying to swim to shore, Annabelle was also stuck, but in the water. No one had any course of action except throw a rope to Annabelle. While Peldu stood there dumbfounded, the rock came alive and punched him in the face. So that is what an earth elemental looks like! Peldu, fell in the water and started to die, again. Annabelle managed to break free from the water elemental that took hold of her foot and she rescued the careless barbarian (which is now what we call him). Urth administered more healing on Peldu, and everyone wondered if the little guy was getting addicted to dying. With Urth’s know-how, Tim’s brains and Annabelle’s womanly ability to craft stuff, they decided to make a raft out of ship wreckage! Seeing as Peldu had nothing to offer, he went to search for wood. On land he got a couple usable planks, he decided to go underwater to get some more. Urth thought this to be a dreadful idea, but sarcastically urged him to proceed, not thinking that if the barbarian should perish it might end badly for himself too. Like it or not, they were in this together.
After some underwater smashing, Peldu came up for air with 2 more planks of wood. Urth was impatient with how slow this task was, but also didn’t want to lend a hand. He opted to make a really lame raft with 4 planks of wood, and his spider-silk rope. It looked worse than it sounded, and everyone knew at that moment that Urth didn’t have the “know-how”, Annbelle was quite atrocious at crafting and Tim had “shit-for-brains”. Nevertheless, they decided to use the garbage pile as a flotation device. Annabelle and Peldu sat on top, where as Tim and Urth held on and kicked to make the thing propel. This was necessary because it could barely hold the two smallest members and no one thought to make oars.
While watching this pathetic attempt to be clever, I noticed some kind of serpent swimming around them. None of the sailors (if you could call them that) noticed. Annabelle and Peldu were too busy having a romantic boat ride, fully equipped with two gondoliers. One thing was quite clear, they would have been much faster if they just swam, and kicking and splashing around, like they were, was creating quite a commotion. As the hydra (5 headed gargantuan sea monster) circled around them, I started to write the ending to my journal to prepare their tales for sale.
I personally thought they went through all the raft building efforts to cross the subterranean sea, but instead they just wanted to bypass the earth elemental and climb up to the cave. First Annabelle scaled the cliff with ease. Then Peldu went up, but of course he fell down, crashing into the raft, smashing it into pieces and splashing into the water. He started to drown but Urth and Tim saved him, again.
After feeling quite rejuvenated, Cavanaugh returned to land to find his friends gone. After a little observation he spotted them splashing and crashing about in the sea. It looked like they were having a splash fight, maybe playing torpedo your balls. It looked fun at any rate. Cavanaugh observed his friends from an outside perspective and for the first time he realized how, “downright retarded,” they all were.
Next, Tim tried to climb the rope but it was impossible. (We’ve all seen the fat kid in gym class). Finally, Urth helped Peldu up, then went up himself. It took the combined efforts of everyone to pull up the gnome, who was wider than he was tall! Cavanaugh saw an easier way, by scaling the cliff, and met them at this cave they were having trouble getting to. While climbing Cavanaugh’s hand got stuck like Peldu’s. He scratched at it with his flute/dagger but was not able to scratch himself free. Also like Peldu, the earth elemental punched him in the face knocking him into the water. And one more time, like Peldu he was a few hit points away from death! He tried to swim over to them, but suddenly his body was caught on something. He tried to use his hands to free himself (thinking it was algae) but there was nothing there. Finally, the thing pulled him under and his lungs started to take in water! He mightily tried to break free, but to no avail. He was running out of options and air. He had to think of something fast! If only Cavanaugh was present for the two elementals when the party fell for it the first time, then everyone wouldn’t have to read about it twice.
Tim was at the lip of the cave when one of the hydra heads swopped in to eat a tasty, gnome dinner. Tim used his mage-shield to protect himself from the attack. This act saved him once again. Once Tim got to his feet he did the smart thing, he ran away deep into the cave! Urth stayed back, goading the beast constantly until each member of their team was safe. The beast snapped at him once or twice, but missed its intended target. Annabelle, loving to kill things, collaborated with Urth on a plan to try and out-smart the beast. Tim and Peldu knew better, and would have nothing to do with such a foolish act. Urth ran up to its head and did a mighty swing with his mace. Annabelle was a little less brave and threw stuff at it from afar. After getting damaged, the four other heads joined the fight! Each one snapped at Urth, while only one head connected with a single attack almost killed the cleric. If all heads hadn’t missed their mark he would have been fish food… or snake food… monster food… who knows – he would be gone!
Realizing their mistake, the two fled back into the cave, ready for sleep even more so than they were upon first entering Sodomorea. On the other side of the cave in the far off distance, they saw what they had looked forward to for a long time. It was an opening leading out! Out of the Underdark and into the sun again! The only problem was that there was a large gnoll (half hyena, half man) encampment standing in their way. Now they really needed to rest as no one had any more heals or spells, except Tim, who had one spell left.
Behind them stood an angry hydra, and in front of them was what they estimated to be (with all the patrols) about 100 or so gnolls standing between them and their freedom. So, Tim setup his magic-hut spell and they decided to camp in the gnolls backyard in plain sight! Cavanaugh desperately wanted to rejoin his friends, but the hydra blocked his access to them. He attempted to swim/sneak past the thing, but it didn’t work because that is a totally made-up, fairy tale thing. The great hydra was advancing upon the lonely Cavanaugh as he used his exceptional dog-paddle technique to escape. But the hydra had an aquatic technique of his own, it was called “real swimming”, and he used this move to gain on the frantic bard-monk who was leaving a trail of urine in his wake. The hydra was about to make sushi out Cavanaugh when he felt a hand upon his shoulder, and with a simple heave, Cavanaugh was jolted out of the water and face-to-face with a hero of some sort… or at least someone who looked like one anyhow. He wasn’t sure exactly, as it was his first time seeing one.