Oh motherfucking nonexistent gods, THE PAIN!
We ventured deeper into the snake people’s burrows and encountered a cluster of several unchallenging specimens like the ones that ambushed us initially. Unfortunately, there was also a monstrous snake person wielding a flaming falchion. This one creature shut us down completely. It ensnared Gherr in its tail and whacked Shamus into quick unconsciousness. Then, when I raced around to heal Shamus, it got me with its horrible flaming sword also. Two quick smacks and I went from perfectly fine to unconscious and ON FIRE.
Shamus succeeded in slaying the awful thing by breathing cold on it (when did that happen? Is he turning into a dragon?), but we paid a high price for the battle. I am now completely incapacitated. I have horrible third degree burns on my face and the right side of my body. I can barely move, much less fight. How I wish I had some of Corby’s patented poppy tea right about now. Fortunately Gherr is being very diligent in applying salves or I would probably go insane.
With me down and Farbax still tied up in the captain’s quarters, we were not in good shape to fight. With the dam still up, we could not flee. With the current being as fierce as it is, we could not strategically withdraw. That left us with one option- talk our way out of it. We threw up a barrier at a narrow point in the initial passage, cut off the head of the horrible warrior that did so much damage to us, and mounted it on a pole with a note requesting negotiations.
Well, we negotiated. It did not go as well as I had hoped. We ended up striking a deal with the snake people to let us go in exchange for a promise to lure additional ships into the cut. We also had to give up all the loot we took from them plus additional magical items (they apparently like magic a lot), and we had to provide them with manflesh. Captain Dell sent ten of her sailors. Then they let us go.
It seems that we are now in business with a pirate. On the bright side, we have the beginnings of our own fleet and we own the Cut. That should give us a decided business advantage. On the downside, our new business partners are probably not very trustworthy. I leave it to Farbax to draw up the details in a contract, although I’ll have to review it to make sure his liaisons with Captain Dell aren’t affecting his judgment.
We have made it to port. We’ll be here a while because Captain Dell will need to disband her current crew and hire a new one. In the meantime, hopefully we can learn some way to cure my current condition.