We arrived at the town of Blackcove in short order, only to discover that the town had recently been hit by a tidal wave and was mostly destroyed, reminding me of at least one other town we'd visited. Once the ship was moored, Captain Nortrom jumped onto the wharf and ran towards the village, intent on finding out what exactly happened to his village. Nortrom urged us to follow him, however a tingling sensation on the back of my neck made me instantly suspicious of the wharf, so I pushed Soma off the boat onto the dock. My suspicion was confirmed when Soma immediately crashed straight through the dock and landed in the water below, only to levitate out. Whitmore managed to get to land without incident, but I was still uneasy, my fears justified when Meda crashed through the dock as well. After fishing her out, I was left with no option but to try and make it to land, discovering that this dock had apparently been made of balsa wood because I too crashed through it. This situation was made worse by the addition of a sea cat which decided to bite me. Undeterred I bit him back and a few punches from me and Meda convinced the sea cat that an easier lunch would be found elsewhere.
Nortrom was rather upset by the delay and rushed into the town, telling us to look around and see what we could find. Our initial assessment was that Nortrom and his crew weren't very good pirates because there didn't seem to be any loot whatsoever. I mean, stealing from these people probably wouldn't be the wisest course of action, but I am determined to make a profit off of this. Aside from more evidence that the sea itself seemed to have declared war on these people, there was very little of interest. At least, until we got to an alchemy lab. As Whitmore poked around, finding various odds and ends in the surviving equipment, some of us noticed a gasping sound of labored breathing coming from a nearby vat, which suddenly stopped. Soma was adamant about finding what had been inside and it was left to me to shift the lid and poke it with a stick. The....object...turned out to be a weird fish-man hybrid sort of thing and a careful and thorough prodding with a stick proved it was, in fact dead. At least, it didn't jump up and try to eat me, which is dead enough for me.
Captain Nortrom soon returned and announced that people had been mysteriously disappearing from the island and things (surprise!) did not look good. Furthermore, he was unable to find his friend Gerlach, the town alchemist, who seems to have declared he was close to a breakthrough in saving the village and had retreated to the nearby island of Nalkashol, apparently a sacred spot to the people of this village and the location of their marriage rituals. (As well as the location of several ruins from the village's Azalanti ancestors) Nortrom's fears were exacerbated when we revealed what was in the vat, needlessly running it through several times with his cutlass. Nortrom then rushed off towards the lighthouse on the other side of the cove, where the survivors of the village had holed up for the time being.
By the time the rest of us had arrived at the lighthouse, it had descended into sheer anarchy with Nortrom and the rest of the village arguing, accusing, shouting in downright fear, it was pure bedlam. I utilized my great skills in convincing people it's in their best interest to shut up, enabling the captain to pump the survivors for any more information. They were able to fill in a few more details but seemed largely terrified at this recent turn of events. Our ensuing argument was soon interrupted by a very unusual tide coming into the bay. I quickly bolted the door to the lighthouse and, determining it wasn't waterproof, directed everyone to head upstairs and quickly began ascending the stairs myself. The villagers, for whatever reason, decided to continue to argue until water had begun leaking into the lighthouse, by which point I had already made good progress up the stairs to higher ground. However, the panicked mob soon caught up with me, which was further exacerbated by the appearance of four powerful tentacles through the windows of the lighthouse, which grabbed several villagers and drug them out the window. The party, the captain, and I quickly acted to stave off the tentacles, although it did little to calm the ensuing panic.
I will say this, seeing the captain disappear through a window in a tentacles suckery embrace and reappear through another window is quite hilarious, even if painful. Quite glad that someone else was taking a beating for once we set to work eliminating the tentacles. When I was able to actually hit the writhing forms severing the tentacles was a rather simple task, but hitting the damn things was the tricky part. We eventually managed to sever eight of the things before the tentacles, and the mysterious tide, soon departed. We ferried a very badly bruised captain and the remaining villagers back to the main island, having apparently no more need for the semi-fortified nature of the lighthouse.
The captain, after paying as a well-deserved if scanty fee, informed us that whatever the hell was going on was clearly on the island of Nalkashol, and Gerlach was almost definitely involved. However, it seems that none of his people could approach the island without running the risk of turning into freaky fish guys like the one we saw in the vat. As such he requested our services and promised to reward us handsomely. Meda was happy to be of assistance while Soma, Whitmore, and I were already arguing over what we should demand from them as a fee. I was ready to demand as much as 30% of their gross yearly earnings in perpetuity while Soma and Whitmore wanted to take just a flat fee. Determining that we should hash out the details of our financial transactions later, we agreed to assist the captain and were ferried to the island in the morning.
To really our utter unsurprise, our ferryman turned into one of the freaky fish guys when we approached the island and soon jumped out of the boat and into the water. Unfortunately, this sudden transformation resulted in both Meda and Soma falling out of the boat and being stung by a nest of jellyfish. Fortunately the stings were painful, but not terribly serious. On arriving on the island Soma determined it was steeped in quite a bit of magic and Whitmore and I looked forward to picking up whatever loot we could unearth from the ruins. I can only hope that we can resolve whatever the hell is going on here for once and get paid.