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Summary[]

Join Alex, Helen, Bryn, Lydia, and Ben as the Vengeance touches down.

This week Hamid digs, Azu searches, Zolf keeps busy, and Cel finds a way.

Synopsis[]

The ship is crashing to the ground, with a number of crewmembers having been thrown from the deck into the forest below. Azu, Barnes, Friedrich, Carter, Draal, Sassraa, Meerk, and Wilde have all been thrown, with Wilde being thrown the farthest away. Hamid and Skraak, who have been attempting to guide the ship down, dodge the ship as it careens toward them; Skraak makes it safely to the ground, and Hamid manages to catch Draal as they’re thrown from the ship. The ship plows into the trees, ripping a chunk out of the side of it. The port engine is scraped and ripped up, tearing it away, and the ship tilts, coming in on an angle. It starts to capsize, but then rebalances as it scrapes along the clearing before coming to a stop against the far treeline.

There are no fire or explosions as the ship crashes, but a number of trees are bowled down, and then finally, there is silence. People are scattered across the clearing, but Zolf, Kiko, Siggif, Earhart, Natun, Tadyka, and Driaak are still on the ship, with Cel down in the engine room. Azu, meanwhile, has hit the ground hard, crashing through a tree trunk and landing face down on the floor (she takes 38 damage).

Hamid lands with Draal, directing them back toward the ship, and then returns to the trees to search for people. The first two people he spots are Barnes and Carter; Barnes has been impaled through the hip on a tree, and Carter has struck a boulder. Both are lying still. He pulls up in between them, still flying, and casts flare to mark their location, before heading toward the two kobolds who landed in the snow, landing next to them.

A three-panel digital greyscale comic. The comic shows Cel, a half-elf with light spiky hair and one scarred ear. they wear goggles on their forehead and a collared coat. In the first panel, they’re shown from the shoulders up, smiling, pointing at themself, and saying “we made it! No explosions, not even one!’ Their face falls and their hand slacks in the second panel, as they say “Everyone, uh —.“ The last panel shows Cel standing on the deck of the airship, surrounded by billowing smoke. They looked stunned, and are saying “What— N— no… no, not again, not again —.”

Cel emerges from the ship after the crash. Art by @sketch-cat on tumblr. Used with permission.

Azu, while Hamid is searching, stands up after having hit the ground and looks around, spotting Friedrich and two kobolds nearby; she cannot make out who the two kobolds are, but is able to tell that Friedrich seems to be alive but unconscious. She channels positive energy to hit all three of them; Hamid, crying, tells her that Barnes and Carter are the way he came, and Azu goes that way.

Cel, meanwhile, is back in the ship (in the engine room); they realise that the ship has crashed, but have no idea that people have been thrown off. They dash up to the deck, relatively cheerful as they tell everyone that they made it without any explosions. They see a few of the crewmembers start to scramble around, but everyone who’s on deck seems to be mostly fine. They run to the railing and realise that something is terribly wrong and begin to panic, freezing in place as they see bodies on the ground.

Right after Cel gets on deck, Zolf yells for everyone to find Azu and orders for everyone to bring anyone who needs healing to himself or Azu. He jumps over the side of the ship and lands, running toward the first person he can see. The crewmembers immediately start to obey him, although they seem a little dazed. Cel jumps off as well, following him and goes over to Friedrich. They start to speak to him before realising he’s unconscious; they pull out some warm weather gear and start to layer it on him.

An orange and grey digital illustration of Zolf Smith finding Oscar Wilde, impaled, after the crash. Zolf is a dwarf, with short hair and a braided beard, and he is wearing a long coat. He is looking down, in shock and distress, at Oscar Wilde, a human who is laying face down with a piece of wood stabbed through his chest. There are multiple pieces of broken wood surrounding the two of them, and smoke rising in the center of the image.

Zolf finds Wilde, impaled. Art by @bagelwhalee on twitter. Used with permission.

Zolf runs toward the nearest body and realises it’s Wilde. He’s been impaled on a piece of ship, and is dead. Zolf doesn’t stop, and just moves on to the next person he can see who needs help. He sees Hamid going toward the two kobolds on the ground, and heads over in that direction, since Hamid can’t heal them. The rest of the crew continues moving, running in different directions to see where they can help.

A digital drawing of Hamid, a brown-skinned halfling man with short brown hair and a three piece suit, kneeling in the middle of a snowy clearing. There is an anguished expression on his face and the dead bodies of Meerk and Sassraa lay in front of him. A large fire shoots upwards from his body, illuminating the the surrounding trees.

Hamid grieves Meerk and Sassraa. Art by @sketch-cat on tumblr. Used with permission.

Hamid starts digging through the snow to uncover the kobolds; he’s crying, and his hands have turned into claws as he scrabbles through the snow. He reveals Sassraa first, and it’s clear to him that she’s dead. He screams in grief, and then moves on to the second kobold. After pulling them out of the snow, he realises that it’s Meerk, and they are also dead. Hamid collapses into the snow, next to both of them, and screams into the sky. A streak of fire shoots up into the air, and then Hamid runs off into the forest.

A greyscale image of Howard Carter's forearm and hand, lifeless. There is blood dripping down his clothes and in the background, and two tarot cards lay on the ground where his hand is.

Howard Carter did not survive the crash. Art by @belleski on Tumblr. Used with permission.

Azu, meanwhile, has made it to Barnes and Carter, and channels positive energy again. Barnes wakes up, still impaled, and is clearly in a lot of pain as he comes to. Azu tells him to stay still, and Barnes obliges. He looks down and sees Carter. Both Azu and Carter realise that Carter is dead. Azu helps Barnes down from the tree and helps him back to camp, before helping to round everyone else up and bring them back to where Zolf is in the clearing. Once everyone has been gathered, she heads back out to find Hamid and make sure he’s alright.

Zolf is managing everyone else back at the center of the clearing; he’s keeping an eye on Earhart to ensure that she isn’t sinking back into nihilism, making sure that everyone is accounted for, and doing the business of laying out the bodies as they are brought back to him. He is, however, only dealing with Wilde and Carter’s bodies; he has left the rest of the kobolds to care for Sassraa and Meerk’s bodies, and is not interfering with their process, instead being very respectful and deferential to them. They lay the two kobolds out and kneel around the bodies in a circle.

At one point, he gathers everyone else around him, and channels positive energy three times to heal everyone who is still alive, sans Azu and Hamid, who are off in the woods. He heals everyone for an unstated amount of damage, but everyone is back up to full health.

A digital illustration of Celiquillithon Sidebottom, and James Barnes from Rusty Quill Gaming. Cel is a white half-elf, with fair freckled skin, and an undercut. Their hair is blond, short, and wavy. They have green googles, and are wearing a green coat, a white button down, and dark brown trousers. Barnes is a Malay human, with freckled dark skin, and neck-length brown wavy hair. The top half is tied into a ponytail. He is wearing a white collared shirt, blue pants, and a red sash around his waist. He has ear piercings. They are hugging each other amidst a ship wreckage. It is snowing lightly.

Cel and Barnes hug. Art by @coralreefskim on Twitter. Used with permission.

Cel, as all of this is happening, is mostly on autopilot at this point, doing anything that they can to help people; mostly, they’re trying to set up beds for everyone, and don’t allow themselves to stop. After Zolf heals everyone, they go over to Barnes and give him an incredibly tight hug. Barnes is completely fine, but will have a scar where he was impaled. Friedrich is also fine, and will not have a scar.

Time skips ahead a bit; while Zolf is laying the bodies out; after he has completed this, he is giving himself jobs to keep himself busy. Meanwhile, Skraak has begun combing the edges of the clearing to establish a perimeter.

A digital illustration of Azu hugging Hamid, with a grey circular background. Azu is a bald, Black orc with a big fuzzy coat on; Hamid is a halfling with dark skin and dark hair, wearing a purple and green suit. One of Azu's hands is on the back of Hamid's head, and her other arm is around his back.

Azu comforts Hamid. Art by @moofbat on twitter. Used with permission.

The scene cuts to Hamid; he has flown through the forest and found a solid rock outcropping that he has curled up on and is sobbing. Azu is tracking Hamid through the forest; Hamid is sobbing loudly and hasn’t gotten very far, so it doesn’t take a while before she finds him. She goes up to him and begins to comfort him, pulling him into a hug and rocking him a bit. Hamid, still sobbing, thanks her, and says that he knows that he needs to return and not let everyone else deal with it, but that he can’t make himself go back. Azu continues to comfort him as he cries, and the scene slowly pans out as Hamid and Azu grieve.

Digital art of Cel, drawn in yellow from the shoulders up. They are a nonbinary half elf with short wavy hair and a scar across their nose. They wear a cloak with fur edges over a collared shirt and tie. They are crying as they say: “I - I’m so sorry. If I’d done it right - everyone would be fine. The background is cream-coloured.
Digital art of Zolf, drawn in green from the shoulders up. He is a dwarf man with short, light wavy hair and a short beard. He wears a striped turtleneck underneath a coat. He has tears in his eyes as he says: “Cel - Cel, it’s not science.” The background is cream-coloured.

Cel and Zolf talk. Art by @altoart_ on Instagram. Used with permission.

While Azu and Hamid are out in the forest, Cel goes to Zolf and asks if he has resurrection and if he can bring them back. Zolf says that he can’t, sounding like he’s on the verge of a breakdown, and Cel doesn’t seem to understand, asking why he isn’t able to cast resurrection if he’s powerful enough to summon elementals. Zolf replies that he isn’t strong enough, and both of them fall into a momentary silence until Cel apologises, saying that they should have done better. They ask if Azu can bring people back, but Zolf says that she can’t - it’s not for paladins, it’s for clerics. Cel asks if he’s ever tried to bring someone back, and that since Zolf is strong, he should be able to. They continue, clearly starting to spiral a bit, asking for him to try, because maybe the wild magic gave him an extra ability. Zolf, also clearly starting to break down, says that this isn’t something scientific, and it’s not something he can just do - if he could do it, he would know, and he would have done it already. He tells them that this isn’t anyone’s fault, either; there were so many factors that built up to this moment, and it going wrong was not anything that a single one of them could have protected. He reminds them that everyone on the journey knew exactly how dangerous it was going to be, and decided to come anyway, and that they can’t put all of this on themselves. The main goal, he says, is getting the ship flying and functional again so that they can move on and continue the mission. He asks for them to check the damage and tell the rest of them what they need to do. He adds that he isn’t telling them not to grieve, but that they have jobs to do and they need to get moving still.

Cel says that they can refit the ship once they’ve inspected it, but it’s going to be difficult without any sort of easily attainable resources. They are aware of some trade happening in the area, and that there are people around this area; however, they aren’t sure where people actually are or how to find them. Regardless, the trade will most likely not be helpful; there’s a chance that they could find a sawmill somewhere around, but finding something like a shipyard would be incredibly unrealistic. They tell Zolf that they’ll go do an assessment of the ship and see what they need. Zolf tells them that they’ll find a way to get through this, and then Earhart comes over. She asks if it would be alright for her to accompany Cel, and they agree; Cel seems to fall back into their cheery personality, although it is clearly a front. Earhart tells Zolf that he has the camp, and then she and Cel head back toward the ship.

Back to Hamid and Azu: Hmaid is incredibly distressed over the deaths of their friends, and exceedingly so over the death of Meerk and Sassraa. He blames himself for it, and doesn’t know how he can face the other kobolds; Azu tells him that it isn’t his fault, and reminds him that the kobolds chose to come here on their own power, not because of Hamid. Hamid concedes the point, saying that Skraak did tell him this, and that he needs to be able to be there for the kobolds, since they’re the ones who truly lost their family. Azu asks if Hamid will be able to do that, considering the state he’s in, and Hamid says that he can; this isn’t the first time that he or Azu have had to go through this.  

A digital drawing of Hamid, an Egyptian halfling man, and Azu, a Black orc woman. Hamid is clutching Azu’s leg; she has a comforting hand on his back while she looks up at the sky in surprise. They are standing in a clearing in a forest, and on the ground is the shadow of a massive eagle.

The eagle flies over Azu and Hamid. Art by @sketch-cat on tumblr. Used with permission.

As he’s speaking, Azu realises that there is a massive eagle (large enough to eat Hamid) sitting in the trees above them. It is perched as high up as it can be, and is unmoving, doing nothing but observing them. Azu isn’t particularly concerned yet, but she does tell Hamid that they should move soon; Hamid agrees, saying that he’s okay and that they should go back to the others. Azu tells him that it’s okay if he isn’t, and apologises to him, which Hamid returns. As they start to walk back, Hamid notices the eagle, and asks what it is. Azu tells him not to worry; Hamid still seems to be quite worried, but hides it well as he and Azu walk slowly away from the eagle, back in the direction of the ship. The eagle continues to track them as they return to the clearing; Azu pauses for a moment before they join the others and gets down on a knee to be on Hamid’s level. She tells Hamid that she knows that they have both lost people before, but that just because they’ve lost people before it doesn’t mean that Hamid automatically needs to get back to normal. She promises to be close by, and says that she doesn’t know how he grieves; they’ve never had to deal with actually having bodies before, and neither of them have had much time to grieve with how quickly everything has been moving. Hamid understands and agrees, saying that when this is all over they should honor Sasha and Grizzop and raise a glass to friends who are gone. Azu wonders if she should learn to shoot people. [Meta note: Ben says this is what Grizzop would have wanted.]

Hamid says that he’s okay, again, and Azu tells him that she knows he isn’t; Hamid walks it back, saying that he knows that he can’t always be the one who needs help, and that he appreciates Azu being there. They both become aware that the eagle is back and continuing to track them, flying through the air. Azu says that she knows she won’t always be the strong one, but that in this instant, she can be. Hamid hugs her again, and then they walk back to the ship, keeping an eye on the bird.

As they return, a few of the crewmembers have gotten a fire going; the kobolds are still sitting vigil around the bodies, and Skraak is still creating a perimeter. Zolf is doing what he can to create a space that will keep them all safe from the elements. Azu goes up to him to chat, becoming more businesslike, and Zolf immediately asks how Hamid is. Azu says that she’s keeping an eye on him, and Zolf asks how she is. She says that she’s functional, and that it’s more helpful for her to be functional now as opposed to later. Zolf says that its the same for him, and asks what’s going on; Azu points out the eagle that has been following her and Hamid. Zolf seems confused, and Azu shows him.

The eagle itself is acting strangely; it’s perched as close as it can to the camp, just watching them. Zolf goes to check on Skraak, since the eagle could eat him in one go; Hamid had also gone over to Skraak when he re-entered the clearing, and is offering him any help he can provide. Skraak is talking to himself, walking through all the steps of establishing the perimeter; Hamid can’t help with this, not really, but he stays near Skraak, keeping an eye on the eagle.

A traditional sketch of Sohra, shown from the shoulders up in profile. She is an elderly human woman with long black hair and a large feather behind each ear. She wears a hooded cloak. She looks forward with a neutral expression. The art is drawn in black ink, with grey marker highlight.

Sohra, the stranger. Art by @magnetarsss on Twitter. Used with permission.

At this moment, the eagle leaves it perch and swoops toward the ground; to Azu, it looks like it’s going to pounce on someone. It moves incredibly quickly, but just swoops directly downward; the wings swoop inward and begin to shrink, and where the eagle was, there stands a figure wearing a massive cloak made of feathers and a cowl pulled over their head. They stand there for a moment, and then sweep their hands wide in a show of peace. Cel goes over before anyone else can, saying hello in seven different languages. The person pulls back their cowl; they are an elderly human woman, with braids that run down their back. They touch their mouth and then their ear, and gesture for Cel to come forward; Cel does, and the person touches their own forehead before touching Cel’s. They recognise it as the spell comprehend languages.

Digital art of Cel and Sohra. Both are shown in full body drawings, standing on an unseen surface and drawn in shades of gray against a solid pale yellow background. Sohra is a human woman with medium-dark skin and long locs gathered at the nape of her neck. She is wearing several layers of cold weather gear, along with a long cloak made of feathers. Cel is a pale nonbinary half-elf with light hair that sticks straight up, held back by goggles on their forehead. Similarly to Sohra, Cel is wearing several layers, though the majority of their clothing is hidden under a high-collared long coat. Sohra is facing Cel, reaching out with a hand beside each of Cel's temples. Cel has their head bowed and is smiling slightly. Both of them have their eyes closed. There is a light source between and behind the pair of them, illuminating their faces and fronts.

The stranger casts a spell on Cel. Art by @liv_doodles on Twitter. Used with permission.

The person asks if Cel can hear them, and Cel greets them, introducing themselves and explaining the situation briefly. They tell the person that they have some friends who have died, and the person says that they can help if Cel and the rest are willing to accept their aid. Cel immediately agrees, and offers greetings from their old village in the northeast side of America. The person reaches out and puts a finger on Cel’s lip, and they stop talking. She greets Cel, mentioning that they are from the Ursans, and asks how recently the crash occurred. Cel says that it was very recent, and has only been maybe 20 minutes. The person says that they would like to meet with the rest of the group and offer aid.

Hamid approaches the conversation; he doesn’t understand the language, and casts comprehend languages on himself so that he can understand as well. Cel, meanwhile, calls back to everyone and says that it’s possible for this person to resurrect their friends. They turn back to the woman and mention that they didn’t share their name. They introduce themselves as Sohra, and that they are here to help. She adds that more of her people will need to help in order for this to work; Cel asks what they need, voice breaking and sounding almost desperate as they promise to give them whatever they need, and that they will work off the debt if needed. The person simply says that they need their consent and goodwill, and Cel responds that they have a lot of that.

Quotes[]

Alex: "Alex is looking up one last thing"
Helen: "Oh, I don't like that face! [crosstalk] That is a bad face!"
Lydia: "Oh, I don't like that face! [unintelligible] Wipe that face off your face, in fact I don't think you're allowed- you have lost your face privileges."
Helen: "How dare you have that face on your face."
Ben: "Put a bag over your head dammit."
―Alex has rolled a lot of damage.

Alex: "Let's just give Alex a moment-"
Ben: "Ohh feck!"
Alex: "-to, to make sure that his narrative isn't broken."
Helen and Ben: "Oh no!"
―Alex faces the results of his rolls.

Alex: "You see, straight out of the gate, Barnes is in a tree and impaled. Certainly not conscious."
Helen: "Oh god..."
Ben: "The first of yikes."
Alex: "Carter is not moving, is also seemingly unconscious, and landed literally on a boulder." (Everyone gasps)
Helen: "Oh no!"
Lydia: "Oh, oh, oh Alex, why?"
Ben: "Yikes."
―Hamid finds the first bodies.

Alex: "The nearest person to you is Friedrich. He is unconscious, face down in the snow nearby. You can tell from this distance he appears unconscious not, like, dead."
Helen: "Ok."
Alex: "You also see a couple of smaller snow piles which are definitely kobold. You don't know who cause they're just completely mounded in snow."
―Azu finds more bodies.

Alex: "Zolf, you are up."
Ben: "Nearest body that I was running to, who is? What happen?"
Alex: "To you, that will be Wilde." (people gasp)
Ben: "Just go to Wilde. Do I get there in a move action?"
Alex: "Yes, easily. Wilde has been completely impaled on a fragment of ship." (more gasps)
Helen: "Oh god.."
Alex: "You can tell at a glance, you don't need a Heal check. He's dead. Wilde's dead."
Helen: "Alex!"
Lydia: "Oh my word, why would- ohh.."
Ben: "Big yikes."
Alex: "As in, this is a...yeah. This isn't a case of like 'oh, maybe-', like, he's- he's gone. He's gone."
Helen: "Ooh, god.."
Bryn: (whispered) "Alex."
Lydia: "There was so much story in this little body."
Ben: (deep breath) "Move on."
―Wilde is dead.

Bryn: "Hamid starts digging into the piles of snow, like frantically- he's crying, he's- he probably- his hands will claw up and he's trying to suppress it and failing as he just kinda scrabbles to try and pull the two kobolds out their little snow mounds."
Alex: "You first find Sassraa. Sassraa is dead, Sassraa is dead. Like-"
Lydia: "Ooh, oh man."
Bryn: "There is a scream, like, a proper grief scream from Hamid but he flings himself into the other pile of snow."
―Sassraa is dead.

Alex: "Barnes, up the tree, still sort of impaled but through near the hip, awakens, just like"
Barnes: "Oh! Ooooh..."
Helen: "Ok, Azu yells up."
Azu: "Stay still!"
Barnes: "Yeah, yeah, yeah, that's fine. How we doing?" (looks down) "Oh no..."
Alex: "There is no movement from Carter." (several people gasp)
Helen: "Carter's gone too."
―Carter is dead.

Bryn: "Alex, the second kobold, Hamid digs them out."
Alex: "And this is what I'm gonna lead to. The second kobold, Meerk is also dead."
Lydia: "Oh! Ooh, ooh..."
Bryn: "Hamid collapses onto his knees and screams into the sky and a line of fire just shoots out of his whole body directly upwards."
―Meerk is dead.

Dice rolls & mechanics[]

  • Hamid and Skraak make a Reflex check to dodge the ship: Hamid gets 26, Skraak gets 11
  • All NPCs make a Reflex save to not get thrown from the ship: Azu, Barnes, Friedrich, Carter, Draal, Sassraa, and Meerk fail their saves. Wilde fails with a nat 1.
  • Cel makes a Reflex save as the ship crashes: 18
  • Cel makes a Knowledge (history) on the northern wastes: 16
  • Azu and Hamid make a Perception check: Azu gets a 22, Hamid gets a nat 1
  • Azu makes a Knowledge (nature) check: 9
  • Azu and Hamid make a Perception check on the bird: Azu gets a 29, Hamid gets a nat 20

Crash breakdown[]

Initiative: Hamid (19), Azu (19), Cel (17), Zolf (16)

Round 1

  • Hamid: Lands with Draal and makes a Perception check: 33. He sees Barnes, impaled up in a tree, and Carter, who landed on a boulder. 
  • Azu: Stands up and makes a Perception check: 18. She sees Friedrich, who is the closest person to her, face down in the snow. Near him are two piles of snow - kobolds. 
  • Cel: Runs up on deck and sees a few crewmembers on deck.
  • Zolf: Tells the crew to find Azu and then bring any injured to him or Azu before vaulting off the deck.

Round 2

  • Hamid: Casts flare to alert people to where Barnes and Carter are.
  • Azu: Channels positive energy around Friedrich and the two kobolds, to stabilise them. It heals them for 12 hit points.
  • Cel: Jumps off deck and runs over to Friedrich, covering him with warm weather gear.
  • Zolf: Runs toward the closest body - Wilde, who has been impaled, and is dead. He moves on to find someone who needs help, and makes a Perception check: 22. He notices the kobolds on the ground and goes over to help them.

Round 3

  • Hamid: Starts digging into the snow to reveal who the kobolds are. He reveals Sassraa, realises that she’s dead, and then moves on to the second pile, who is Meerk, and they are also dead. 
  • Azu: Runs toward Barnes and Carter and channels positive energy, healing for 14 hit points. Barnes wakes up, but Carter is dead. 

Plot Notes[]

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