The next morning, the group of new friends gathered on the docks at the base of Vaterr’s gangplank. It was a bright, sunny morning and the weather looked good for a trip across Hard Bay. Matti Jurva, who Colzo had picked up on the way to the docks, hailed the ship and almost immediately a bald man with a ferociously tangled beard—captain Knut Untamo—appeared on deck and welcomed the party aboard.
With pleasantries made, Matti went ashore and Valerr prepared for departure. Although none of the party had any real experience on sailing ships, the crew seemed to be experienced. Before long, the ship was at sea and sailing west towards Gloamhold and Sea Sprite’s wreck.
The short voyage—barely three or so hours—was without major incident. As the sun reached its zenith Valerr dropped anchor as close as Knut dared to the stricken wreck. Sailors manhandled a large rowboat over the side and, with their final preparations made, the party shoved off.
Sea Sprite lay barely a bowshot away. However, the many hidden rocks lurking just under the sea’s undulating surface, forced the party to take a careful, circuitous route to the wreck.
After an hour or so, they arrived, and cautiously surveyed the wreck. Horsa spotted a motionless figure standing at the ship’s wheel. Hell’en used her powers to ascertain the figure was not undead. After Horsa’s octopus familiar circled the ship—and discovered it was holed and that the hold was part-flooded—the heroes clambered aboard the wreck. This was made much easier by Luther’s magic climbing rope.
Once aboard, the party spread out to search the upper deck. Horsa made an unfortunate discovery when he stepped on something squishy. Investigation revealed he had stood on an ear—obviously ripped from some unfortunate’s head. Casting about, Luther discovered other signs of a fight on deck, while Artur and Colzo examined the body on the poop deck.
It transpired the man had been lashed to the wheel and that he had suffered a terrible wound to his right leg. The pool of dried blood about the wheel attested to his cause of death. A rough circle of charred and burnt wood also surrounded the wheel—it seemed the man had tried to keep something at bay. His fatal wound suggested he had failed.
The party found a ring of keys around the man’s neck. Deciding the charts and maps probably lay in the captain’s cabin the heroes broke into the rearmost cabin under the poop deck. This was indeed the captain’s cabin. Chief among the interesting objects therein was a closed sea chest. Artur, taking the keys found minutes ago, crossed the cabin and knelt down in front of the chest. As he pushed the right key into the chest’s lock, a large brown rat shot out from under the nearby bed and bit him. Colzo and Dennan leapt into action, to help their new friend. Colzo struck the rat a glancing blow, and it fled back under the bed. Seeing this Dennan burst into the cabin and started trying to destroy the bed…