We are on boat. Mother fuckers. We’ve been at sea for three weeks. The wine is getting watered down. Hayden wakes to a warm tingly sensation around his mouth… he awakes to see Strelok pumping something into his mouth from a small barrel. It is sweet. “The fuck?” Strelok giggles.
He then takes the keg hose for himself and pumps the top of the keg wildly. He reveals that he took the stuff they found in the Forest and mixed it with booze. He is wearing only his belt, cloak, and sword. He cackles and runs out of the cabin. Hayden sighs. Strelok may have been at sea too long.
Hayden goes up to the deck, where he meets Sheila. It is very early, and few ship hands are on deck. There is loud snoring from below. Sheila begins doing bare-hand forms. Strelok is trying to get to the crows’ nest. He has only made it about three feet up. Sheila asks if he’s slept; Strelok apparently doesn’t need sleep, and recommends “the stuff!” (blue goo + strong booze from abandoned village) Hayden says it is quite strong, and asks if anyone else hears humming. Strelok asks why he was climbing… there was something important, but he forgot… Sheila suggests he come back down, and he does somewhat reluctantly. He goes over to Sheila and slings an arm around her. He still is wearing little other than munitions. Upon Sheila’s inquiry, he says he has never been better.
Hayden decides to go up to the crow’s nest. He sees no land. He sighs and remarks that it is taking far too long, and that this is a tiny boat. Bored….
The days are long and stressful, and all are relieved to finally see land. We ’d expected to see the port city. Instead, there is lots of debris in the water; entire docks ripped from their places, skeletal remains of great trading ships. We wonder if the lumber was needed to burn bodies. Suddenly there is a thundering screech echoing – Strelok drops to the deck and screams. Zephyr has read about the larger beasts roaring to warn off potential rivals; how large, the book did not say. As she finishes telling everyone this, two answering screeches are heard. Hayden: “Well, sounds like something that needs us to go kill it.”
Later that day, a sailor calls to say he’s spotted actual land… which is about 30 miles out from shore. We discuss our plans – land somewhere open where there are not hiding places where things can jump us as we disembark. We’ll land as close to the wall as possible. We will, if need be, fight our way to the wall. We are overheard by a shiphand, and told we aren’t landing anywhere near here… we’re going are the wall. This is not the safe side. Reports say the wall does indeed stretch to the coast. Hayden is pleased by this news, and asks how long. He is displeased when told it will be another 4-5 days. He hopes we will not encounter what we heard before; we know the small ones seem not to like water, but we don’t know about the larger ones.
The next morning, we wake to cries and exclamations from above deck. We go up and see a gathering of shipmates on the port side of the ship. Then we hear another screech… much closer and louder. Zephyr pushes her way through and sees one of the plague beasts in the water. It looks like [insert description here. Include: very tall; almost like combining an Alien™ with a baboon. kinda insectoid, kinda armor plated, but shorter rear legs and longer arms. As they grow out of the human host, the human skin sometimes doesn’t fall off all the way, giving the appearance of being worn as a loin cloth.] It is 35 feet tall, perhaps half as long. This one is walking through the shallows, towards the port city – not towards us. The possibility of testing the weapons comes up, but it is likely too far away (about half a mile). We hear another roar, and see a smaller movement before it; borrowing a sailor’s spy glass, we see it is chasing a smaller one. It will absorb it and get bigger. Strelok says he can kill it. He still seems a bit unstable… perhaps not just from the drinking, but also a seeming change in his mood over the past few weeks. We decide not to break our course, and as we sail off, we watch the larger crush the smaller before gathering it to its mouth. Strelok asks if under the arm might be a good place to attack, a weak spot; Zephyr is unsure, as there was no information about the creature anatomy at this late a stage that would reveal weak points. Hayden looks down at his sword, then at the giant creature, and sighs. “This isn’t going to end well.” Strelok reminds him that he has offered before to teach him about firearms. Hayden agrees. Strelok hands him a gun. Hayden looks at it a bit, “Sooo…” Strelok says, “point it at things you don’t like and pull the trigger! Preferably not things that are the hull of the ship.” Hayden tries shooting it at the water, and is a bit surprised by the recoil. A sad, lonely fish floats to the surface. Hayden’s ears hurt. He tries again… and kills another poor fish. Strelok adjusts his aim a bit. He leaves Hayden to practice. Many seabirds die that day. The TerrorBird down in the hold begins to get restless from the sounds of bird death.
Later, Hayden asks how the bullets so small are supposed to hurt something so big. Strelok advises him to “fire enough of them”.
A few days later, we pass the wall. By then we have seen more of the creatures, at least three of which were larger than the first we saw; one perhaps 50ft, another about 60. Some have swollen abdomens. Finally we see the wall, which does indeed extend out into the sea. The wall here is unmanned. There is no evidence that the creatures have gone far out enough to sea to get around the wall. We go to shore in a small dinghy, and need a few trips to get all the equipment. Hayden strikes a dramatic pose in the bow of the dinghy. Suddenly, in a spire in the wall, a man appears. He asks what our business is. Strelok waxes eloquent about bringing hope… and deat— Zephyr pushes him into the water. We tell him we have brought weapons, despite there not being many of us. He tells us to go see Niam, and gives us directions. Zephyr fishes a struggling Strelok out of the water. He complains about the taste of salt water. Between our wagon and dozens of bags of holding that Zephyr purchased, we can get everything along.