Delphine had a wonderful plan. Unfortunately, her invisible servant was only a few tables in, flipping and knocking over drinks, when a large hippo-headed fellow stood from a nearby table and said, "Have you lot not seen a servant-spell before, eh? She's having you for a lark!"
After which, the room calmed back down somewhat, though the first tables she'd upset were angry, and that did have the desired effect of the dockworkers there chasing her out onto the street.
Delphine has one more roll, so perhaps she should lose them in the crowd. They'll soon figure out what's up and forget about her. This drawback has the benefit of leaving some left in the tavern for the other PCs, though!
Brother Phlox heard the cry of the Captain. A crew? A ship? Phlox's training had not prepared him for this. But still, the Captain, at least, seemed to know something, which was more than Phlox knew at this point. And what is a Captain without a crew? Phlox accompanied Delphine to the tavern, and watching as the commotion starts and the patrons seemed unmoved. Phlox was uncertain how to help ... while his mask commanded obedience from much of the town, he was painfully aware that his words rarely did.
Phlox studied the reaction of the Hippo-looking patron, and saw that he was unmoved by magic. But he could sense that he might be more interested in something that he feared.
Phlox approached the Hippo creature and from behind his mask, intoned, There is disease afoot. The captain is preparing the boat. You must leave now, or you will be here in quarantine with the sick and the dead.
Seeing the imminent threat to Selma and the other civilian, Gunther turned to Tanner and shouted over the din of the fleeing mob. "We need to help them, and quick!" He then pushed his way through the crowd, using his military training navigating battlefields to get to his target, all the while pulling Tanner after him. He misjudged the flow, and had to circle around more people than he'd have liked. "Get them up while I hold 'em back, lad!" He then planted his feet and became almost one with the earth, an immovable pillar that forced the masses to part.
Using a perception check to find a safe path through the mob. Then using athletics to plant his feet and force the crowd around Selma and the other civilian. Perception check: 1D20+7 = +7 = 9
The crowd parted around Gunthar, who stood like a solid pillar while Tanner helped Selma and the other fellow to their feet. When the throng subsided, Gunthar spotted crystal blights on the move toward them, and he turned and hustled the townsfolk away from the danger, until at last, they found themselves near the docks.
* * *
As Delphine exited the Drunken Seagull in frustration at her plan being foiled, Phlox took the measure of the hippo-folk sailor. He was surprised to find that the fellow regarded him curiously, with no recognition of the meaning behind his mask. Where was this man from that he did not recognize the servants of Incabulos?
Fortunately, his words worked, in quite the opposite fashion to his expected musings as he'd entered the tavern. The hippo-man's ears flickered and he said, "Disease, you say? How terrible! No, we would not want to be left behind."
He loudly banged on the table and hollered, "Captains' orders! Shore-leave is cancelled! Let us all return to our ships. You lot - no lollygagging! Out in orderly fashion, eh?"
While much of the tavern were filled with patrons from other ships, they all knew the call of a petty officer. There were moans and curses, but the singing stopped immediately, and even the drunks stood up wobblily and made their way out the door. The proprietor, standing behind the counter shot Phlox a dark look, but dared not say anything to him - the respect for the mask that Plox had expected.
* * *
Nic had accompanied the captain as she headed for her ship, and he stayed out of sight of any trouble at all - be it riotous townsfolk, crystal blights, or twisting vines with anthropomorphic intentions. Even Captain Sartell herself was unaware that he had followed her, and she was surprised to find him by her side when she finally reached pier four.
Return soon with the start of the next scene, and the overall results of the challenge.
Through various twists, turns, lanes, obstacles and setbacks, the group that had fought off the crystal blights in the marketplace found their way to pier four, where Captain Sartell's ship, the Moondancer lay moored to the dock. In tow, they had helped to deliver a total of 38 frightened and confused townsfolk. Soon Brother Phlox joined them with eight of the ship's crew, and a handful of sailors that belonged to other ships, but with time being what it was, would likely wind up joining them.
Unfortunately, the pier was close to the offices of a locally notorious crime-boss named Traevus, who had decided to take it upon his people to load himself and some of his ill-gotten valuables aboard the nearest ship, which happened to be the Moondancer. As the others arrived, Traevus' men were using the dock's crane to load a large flat of crates onto the deck of the ship and were holding the ship's few occupants under the threat of their crossbows.
"What's going on here?" asked Captain Sartell, "This is MY ship."
"Not anymore," answered Traevus with a sneer, "Stand back all of ya! Or my men will fire on ya, crowd or crew."
Shall this be a fight, or does anyone want to try to reason with Traevus? He has a dozen thugs.
Charlie sees the man and his thugs threatening the crew and acts without thinking. He quickly recites the incantation to charm the man and a couple of his friends. Charlie then steps forward.
"My good man, we are all friends here. I know you would like to leave this town post haste but you happened to have chosen the ship of my captain here. Now we are all reasonable men. Why don't we move you and your men to a new ship."
Charlie point towards the Manticore which was moored only a a couple slips down.
"That ship looks perfect for you. Fast with a large hold. I'll even help you move your things."
Casting Charm Person at 3rd level. Targeting Traevus and two thugs with crossbows within 30 ft of him. All need to make a DC15 WIS save or be charmed by me.
Traevus turned to look at the Manticore, who's captain was shooing away frightened townsfolk with little success, as they were currently swarming onto his deck. He compared the confused and useless crew there to the determined looks on the group gathered here and calculated that Charlie may just be right.
Traevus "Fine. Boys! We're shifting our lot to the Manticore! She's a faster ship than this one."
The two closest thugs nodded and smiled at Charlie, happy that their 'friend' had lowered the tension-level. They swung the crane around and began to load the crates toward the unsuspecting other ship.
Captain Sartell tipped her hat to Charlie and took command as the thugs left her ship. "Let's get these folks aboard and shove-off as soon as we can. Everyone remain calm and come aboard in an orderly fashion! We'll get you squared away, safe and sound."
When she saw the big hippo-man in the crowd she called out, "Monty! Get up here. How many crew are we still missing?"
The two of them began to confer while the townsfolk and their guardians worked their way up the plank and onto the main deck of the Moondancer.
Charlie lets out a sigh of relief. That could have gone much worse. He watches the back of the thugs as they head towards the other ship. He felt a little bad for diverting the man that way but the other ships captain was kind of a jerk.
Charlies attention is brought back to Captain Sartell and those around him. He begins to help get the people onto the ship.
Gunther released the grip on the his short blade upon seeing the smugglers move towards the other ship. Turning to his assistant, Tanner, he then jerked his thumb towards Selma. "Take her to the Wavedancer and on to safety, lad. Go up the coast to hidden cove - you know the one - where we keep the stash of supplies. I think I'll stick with Nic and the Captain to lend a hand." He then followed Nic and the others as they moved to board the Moondancer.
Nic lets go a sigh of relief. He truly disliked Traevus; the man had coerced him on a few occasions to open chests he didn't want to open. He now just hoped the ship would sail away as soon as possible.
Phlox boarded the ship and stood passively near the Captain and the hippo-man named Griff, unsure what to do. His training had not prepared him for this, and underneath his mask, his face twitched slightly with some feeling he was not familiar with ... perhaps it was fear that he was not following the strictures of his order, or perhaps it was anticipation.
"I suspect that it's going to be long." Captain Sartell answered Glau as the ship lurched when a crystal vine-root burst through the nearby customs house and threw stones into the bay. In their panic, ships were putting off half-loaded, and the larger ones anchored in the bay were setting sail while shore-boats were furiously rowing toward them.
Across the way, Charlie smiled in grim satisfaction to see Traevus was thrown into the bay as a stone burst through the dock next to the Manticore. Two of his men desperately tried to stop a crate from sliding through the hole after him, but it was too heavily laden with ill-gotten loot: it slid from the dock (taking one of the thugs with it) and plunged into the water just as Traevus was surfacing. He was not seen again.
* * *
The hippo-man spoke to Phlox, while lifting women and children down the fore-hatch. "Oh no, the name's not Griff - you heard one of the boys describe me. I am a Giff - no 'R', but the name is Montgomery Pelew, ship's gunner."
"And cook!" said the sailor that he was passing the people to.
"Yes, indeed: And Cook." nodded the Giff's big head, "Everyone calls me Monty. The captain runs a disciplined ship, but an informal one."
* * *
Gunther had instructed Tanner to take Selma to another ship that they knew, one whose Captain and crew were familiar to them, but the two didn't get far before the way was blocked by stones, broken dock, a panicked mob, and other obstacles. They were forced to turn back, which would prove fortunate for them later, and they were the last aboard before the Moondancer pulled away from the dock.
There were more people running about that needed rescuing, but the the whole port had all fallen into chaos as crystal blights appeared from the north and began to wrap their tendrils around townsfolk, changing them into more of the creatures. It quickly became utterly impossible to do any more for them.
The bay was crowded with boats, ships, and swimmers. The Moondancer hadn't gone more than a hundred feet from the dock when the captain decided that there was no longer any point in discretion. She thumped her foot on the deck and called out, "Forget this. Flapjack! Take us UP!"
Suddenly the ship began to rise out of the water, gaining speed as it rose up over the bay, providing a terrifying view of the chaos below.
I will keep going soon, but feel free to react to that.