Blackwater Blues

The mysterious stranger in the Hills of Shade provided us with a mask that would fool the Blackwater spirits into thinking we were one of their own. We traveled to the Blackwater Encampment and came across a man named Javis on the beach. He was looking for his helper Fendal and sent me to find him. I found Fendal drinking in the pup and informed Jarvis. Jarvis said Fendal had been acting strange lately and asked us to chat with him and find out what. We bought him drinks but could get nothing out of him so we decided to humor his suggestion to get him Absinthe. We went to Old Shaffer and brought him the ingredients we had collected in our encounters with the Mushrooms and he made us Absinthe. He toasted us with the following: 'To beauty! And also to radiance, splendor . . . and to adoration and cherishment. A toast to those and many other words that escape my tongue.' Fendel continuedto ramble on, The absinthe was clearly starting to affect him. Under the influence of a beverage with kick, Fendel revealed the cause of his recent strange behavior: he was in love. Fendel continued, 'What is a word? How can the utterance of a simple sound accurately describe the beauty of a flower? It cannot! Words cannot do her justice!' Fendel's voice grows louder. I suspected the entire town could hear his ranting now. Fendel continued, 'I drink not for the sake of drinking, but because it dulls the pain. Ah to be away for a moment. Even a moments is an eternity. How many nights have I tossed and turned, unable to rest, tormented by the very thought of her? It's been too long since I've seen my Amber. Wait, what was that noise? Is Jarvis yelling? This sounds serious! We should go see what he wants.'
We ran to Jarvis and found him staring out over the water at the ships in the harbor, they were burning. He yelled, 'You've got to help! Quickly! The boats have been lit afire. Men are trapped on board. Save them!'. We traveled to the ilse near the boats and found that there were fire spirit elemetals on the ships. We destroyed each elemetanal and in its place was a human spirit. The spirits were finally rescued from the everlasting fires. After the fires had been put out we returned to Jarvis and he said 'We saw them. People with dark skin and strange clothes. They swam out to sea and torched our ships! Many a good man died today. We cannot let this injustice go unpunished. Turn over every stone and rotten log until you incover the snake's den. When you've found there encampment, give them a small taste of the pain they've given us. It's the least we can do to avenge our lost brethren.'
We traveled to the encampment of the Kirathas and destroyed a dozen or so spirits and returned. We returned to Jarvis and he said, 'That'll teach the lot of them. What did you call the dark-skinned ruffians . . . the Elddar? Whatever name they go by, they will think twice before coming here and taking advantage of us fishing folk, We're not so humble that we'll stand for being slaughtered. With that mess behind us, there's an unfortunate task yet to be done. We lost many men in the attack on our ships and the dead need to be interred. See to Captain Jensen when you can. Stranded out here in the middle of nowhere. He's about the closest thing we have to a priest.'
Captain Jensen was beside himself with grief. He said, 'Tis a mournful time. Good men have died. We're stranded in this god-forsaken place now that the ships've been flame scuttled. We've got a heap of problems facing us, but everything can wait until we've buried the deceased. It'll be one funeral for the lot of them. If you could say a few words during the ceremony, I'd be appreciative. Speak to the villagers, console them if you can, and find out what each of the deceased was best know for. Use this to give a personal touch for each person that we're laying to rest. It'll mean a lot to the village if done propery' We spoke to the villagers and each gave us something or spoke about the person. We found thier graves in Camp Valor and spoke the words or put the items on the graves, putting the spirits to rest.
On our return, Captain Jensen said, 'Thank you so much, Omegga. The spirits of our dead will rest a little easier now. Now we must focus our efforts on our current predicament. If we're to have any hope of leaving this accursed land, we'll have to repair the boats. Speak with Stefani if you are willing and able to help further.'
Stefani said, 'Now that our ships have been destroyed, we're stranded in these hills. And it may as well be the edge of the world. The captain deliberately kept this place a secret, so we can't expect anyone to come looking for us, even if they knew we were in trouble. The supplies can only last so long. Our sole option is to repair the boats.' I asked if we could help with the repairs and she said, 'Thank you for volunteering. Someone needs to assess the damage done to the ships, and we also need able-bodied folk to head down to the grove to harvest lumber for the repairs. You'll find Paul along with several woodcutters already there with the work underway.'
Paul and several loggers were near the Borrower nesting area. Paul glanced around fearfully and said, Paul glances behind you, fearfully, 'Did you see anyone on your way here? I could swear we were being watched. There's rustling in the leaves, eyes in the darkness, and shadows darting between the trees. Listen, as the new guy you can keep an eye out while we work and warn us if there's trouble. Hold them off for us while we finish preparing the lumber. Keep your eyes peeled, they could be anywhere! Look there! Behind that tree!' Suddenly elves charged the loggers. We defended the loggers and finally defeated the Kirathas Captain. After the loggers were safe we returned to Stefani. She exclaimed, 'Another ambush?! During the lumber harvesting? It's just like these savages to come at us when we're unprepared and defenseless. Who do these cowards think we are? We're not going to lie down passively and be slaughtered like farm animals. It's time we stood up for ourselves. It's time we launched a counter-attack. We know where their encampment lies now and we know there aren't many more of them than us. Bring the fight to the savages again. Cut down the murderers, in retribution for this atrocity.'
On our way back to the Kirathus village we came across some other Blackwater raiders preparing to assault the village. They told us about traps and one gave us some more interesting information, 'There's a child here, a babe. I saw it myself, and it's not one of them. It's half-savage and HALF human! We have to tell Stefani!' The assault started and the combat was reenacted as it had been in the past. After the raid was over we returned to Stefani.
Stefani was suprised with the news and said, 'A half-breed found in the Elddar encampment, you say? Well that explains a lot of things. Let's have a chat with Fendel.' We went back to talk to Fendal, he said, 'What!? Are you sure? My dearest Amber had a daughter? I must be completely honest with you. Amber and I care for each other deeply, but I haven't seen her in months. It has been impossible to get near her since the fighting between her people and our people began. And that kills me. It's torture to be separated from her for so long. This fighting be damned. All I want is to see my love. And now, you're telling me that she had my child? I must see her again. I must go to Amber and my daughter. The others might not understand. No doubt they're upset at me for hiding in a bottle these past few months and keeping my romance a secret. I have to convince them to help rescue my child. Speak to Jarvis, Captain Jensen, Stefani, and Old Scheffer and persuade them to lead one final foray into the forest with the goal of rescuing my love and child. It won't be easy to garner support, but depending on the person, they can be swayed if you use the right tact. Try mentioning that my child is in danger, a father has a right to see his daughter, love is important, or that this will bring a definitive conclusion to the conflict.'
I told Jarvis, 'The child is in danger' He replied, 'Aye, she probably is. I can personally vouch for the danger of those savages and I wouldn't be surprised if they'd kill their own kind as brutally as they've come after us. You've convinced me.' To Captain Jenson I said, 'You must let Fendal go to Amber, a father has a right to see his child' He replied, 'Yes, I suppose he does. As a father of three little girls myself, I can understand his concern. You have my support.' Old Shaffer agreed that Love was important, he said, 'You're speaking the truth there. I can sympathize with Fendel's love for Amber and after hearing him go on and on about her it's clear he cares deeply for the lass.' Stefani was the last one we convinced to help, she said, 'You think that if Fendel and his love are reunited that this would bring a conclusion to the conflict? I can buy that. It's worth a shot, anyway.'
Fendal when informed of the new said, 'It's settled then! We leave tonight. Soon, Amber and I will be reunited and this horrible nightmare will come to an end. Let's hurry!' We hurried to the raider camp and Fendal said when we arrived, 'Thank goodness you're here. We must search these huts until we find Amber! She must be here somewhere!'
Using the distraction of the raid, we snuck into the main building in the village and found Amber with her child.
Amber leaped to her feet to greet Fendel and they embraced. Fendel was overjoyed, 'It's been so long! I never thought I'd see you again.' Amber said, 'Welcome back, my love. I want you to meet our daughter.' While they were talking a figure emerged unseen out of the shadows and sliped behind Amber. The shadowy figure spoke, revealing himself as Valthun, her father, 'You continue to betray my trust by fraternizing with the corruptors. For the good of us all, this must end now.' Amber slumped to the floor, quivering in a pool of her own blood. Fendel collapsed to his knees and screamed, 'Gods, no! How could you?!'
And then we heard the voice of the goddess, Erollisi Marr, 'This union, of which I gave my personal blessing, has produced nothing more than bloodshed, anguish, and petty squabbling. Look upon the horror of your misdeeds, humans and elves. Look at the pain you have caused. You have made a mockery of my gift. You have taken something beautiful and twisted it into endless pain. I will teach you of endless pain and you will know my scorn. You now bear the curse of Erollisi Marr. Forevermore will you relive these mistakes, until you recognize the error of your ways. You will be cursed until you understand the value of love.'
Finally we understood the secret of the curse that befell this land. We returned to the stranger and he bade us to come again another time and experience it from the Elddar point of view.