As we awoke the next day, we saw a fort atop this rocky area and decided to investigate, hopefully there would be something of value inside. Along the way we found a stream of fresh water, Rak began doing some tests, but seeing as it looked fine to me, and I was quite tired of drinking coconut water, I drank my fill and seemed to feel fine. Mirei, didnt seem to feel the same, but I suspect she must not have a great immune system or something because Rak had some shortly after and he seemed fine.
Anyway, we approached the fort, it seemed well constructed of sturdy wood with a large tree inside whose branches dangled far out of the barrier itself. Whilst the others went inside, I decided to have a look around the perimeter so as not to be taken by surprise. The outside seemed fine and I casually walked inside. A brief worried look from Harvus was all I got before I saw a frightening face come from above and wrap its arms around my neck. In a panic, something sparked again in me and my arms ignited in flame. I swiped at the creature holding me, the fire scorching it slightly, causing it to drop me to the ground. I shouted to Harvus and the others that there were terrible vines and when asked if we should burn the place I struck the wooden barrier with my flame engulfed arm and shouted yes.
Harvus and I left the barricade and waited as we waited for Mirei and Rak to grab something from inside. I spotted one of the creatures heading in the direction of Mirei and started to sprint off towards it, but was caught short when I heard Rak making the sounds of a struggle and turned to help. However once again I was caught off guard and pulled upward by familiar choking vines. I could make out Harvus attempting to throw rocks with some success at the ones holding Rak, but I found myself being hard of breath. I attempted to tap into that power I had only a few moments before but sensed it was empty for the time being and it was up to my physical strength to deal with the problem. With some effort, I pried the vines free and dropped to the ground, making sure to get a lot of distance between myself and the vines of the tree. Rak fortunately was able to drink one of his concoctions and grew double his size, forcing the creature holding him to let go. We all quickly made our way out of there where Rak and Mirei told of their discovery.
They had told us about a grindilow on the coast of the southwestern part of the island wearing Sandara‘s hat. Harvus’ face turned incredibly serious and he made it known that was exactly where he was going. Despite my physical condition at the time, I knew he must care for Sandara to risk heading there. I gave a smile and patted Harvus’ shoulder, reassuring him that he had my support, and the others seemed quite adamant about doing so as well, and so off we went.
We made our way to the coves Rak and Mirei mentioned and decided wed try to climb our way down slowly. Thankfully Rak had a climbers kit with him. (Seriously what doesnt he have? he he) Harvus was the first down, Rak on the rope behind him. Harvus in a fit of concern cried out for Sandara when he reached the bottom. (Not the smartest move, but I know his heart was in the right place.) No sooner than he called out did four disgusting batlike bug creatures come swooping in after him.
Rak saw this and dove in without a second thought, but poor Harvus had one latch itself onto his back before he had the chance to dive. With the two of them in the water the creatures turned their attention to Mirei and myself. With a little hesitation I ran and dove into the water, successfully not getting hurt in the process, but finding a goofily grinning Rak upside down in the water. Mirei was soon to follow, ever gracefully entering the water, we soon found our way into one of two caves. The one we went into had the water flowing into it rather than out, which made the process of it much easier.
Harvus took point, being that he and Mirei were the only two who could really see in the cave. I could see a little, but once we got to the point the sun didnt peer any light in, Rak and I were essentially blind. I guarded the rear whilst the sounds of combat came from within. It would appear that Harvus was battling some of the grindilows that were spotted earlier. Feeling like we might need an exit, I made my way back to the entrance only to find more grindilows ambushing us from behind. I took a few swings and crushed the skulls of the two in front, but in my condition the other two took a couple of stabs to my shoulder and leg respectively and I fell unconscious. I had a dream about Agatha for the first time in a while, I wonder if it had something to do with the floating sensation, or being held that had something to do with it, but regardless the next thing I remember was coming to with Mirei feeding me a potion to bring me back from the depths.
I was told that Rak rescued me from the grindilows that had stabbed me, and that Harvus was heading further into the cave to take some of them on. I felt an additional surge of energy, perhaps the potion had a latent effect in my body, but Id happily take it. I was no good to them as a limp body. Mirei moved over to Rak and as though trying something shed only heard about she cast a spell that lit up Rak’s trousers light a torch, providing some much needed light for the two of us unable to see in the dark. Not sure why she picked his pants, but a light is a light I suppose. Its a good thing too, as some grindilows came swimming into our tunnel, giving us the light needed to quickly dispatch them.
Shortly after, Rak noticed Harvus come back to the entrance, Ive never seen him so haggard, it looked as though only pure anger and desperation were keeping him conscious. This was made even more obvious as he passed out on our way back through the tunnel. We decided to brave the upstream waters of the other tunnel and managed to swim out of the area into the open ocean on the other side. There Rak and Mirei spotted a sunken ship. But we were concerned more with getting back to land. We couldnt carry Harvus in his condition, much less ours, so Rak tasked Mirei with guarding him whilst he and I climbed the cliff face to reclaim the rope we left behind.
After obtaining the rope, the disgusting flying creatures stirred once again and without hesitation the both of us dove into the pool below again, swimming back out to sea. Once there, I made the climb again, securing the rope at the top and taking a much needed rest whilst the others made their way up, Rak carrying Harvus on his back. Honestly I feel like I might have had Rak all wrong, his violence on the mans promise had me worried, but his desire to help out all of us leads me to believe he has quite the kind side as well.
Once at the top, we rested a few minutes more. Harvus began to come to, and given our current situation, we decided to make a retreat for now, with the intent to come back sometime after we contacted the crew of the ship. We made it all the way back to the blazing fire the others had created a couple of days prior and rested for the night.