“Books allow one to voyage to fantastic places. To dangerous places. To places you hope to remember and those you wish to forget.”
Breakfast was late. This was, according to Antonio, an intolerable state of existence. After a hearty appetizer of brandy, the trio went in search of Felix and Fay in the hopes of securing some morning victuals. Instead, they found themselves eavesdropping on a rather heated argument between the two gnomes. Ultimately, breakfast was served (alongside a bit of under-the-table assistance from Felix) and the party set out to complete the second task.
The travelers exited the Journey Inn and were met with a brisk ocean breeze, to which Yuudai strongly objected. It seems they had arrived not to far from a small coastal village. The group headed into town where Antonio decided to inspect the local message board. In amongst the ads for goods and services one particular posting caught their attention—a missing persons notice by a certain Adva Sunan of the Iriswood University. Recognizing the name from the recently discovered research journal, the party decided to call upon the young scholar.
While sad to hear of the passing of her colleague, Adva was intrigued by the prospect of learning more about the ancient people of Yuuphai. Certain that whatever the strange adventurers were offering was no worse than the tasks Professor Thulani meted out to university interns, the dwarf agreed to meet them on the morrow to offer whatever assistance she could. In the meantime, the party sought supplies at Prudence’s Potent Poultice & Potion Emporium in anticipation of facing the unknown depths. Having prepared as best they could, Antonio secured a room at the inn whilst Yuudai enthusiastically shared the wonders of fresh-caught seafood…with the baffled locals of the fishing village.
The sun shone brightly as the group gathered on the dock the next morning. With an appropriately extravagant flourish, Antonio produced a small box containing a model boat—the gift from Felix. A command word transformed the toy into an impressive ship fit for a grand adventure. The vessel took off like a rocket the moment the compass was housed snugly at the wheel. An instant later the group found themselves speeding down beneath the waves. Down, down, down they went until an enormous dome rose up from the sea floor before them . A grand adventure certainly awaited.
Upon their advise Adva opted to to stay on-board the ship. This ultimately turned out to be the wiser choice. The dome, much to the adventurers’ surprise, was warm and inviting and brightly lit, giving the illusion of a sunny esplanade. Strangely shaped buildings towered in the distance, gardens beckoned and over it all lay a strong sense of wrongness. It was far, far too quiet. Venturing down the main avenue the party passed great golden statues of strange humanoids sporting insect-like features. In the town square came the first indication of things amiss—neatly cleaned bones of long-dead inhabitants.
The group approached a small column in the center of the plaza, unsure of where to go next. After some trial and error, it became clear that this had been the primary means of travel within the domed city. The former inhabitants of Yuuphai had perished due to starvation and disease, trapped when their floating city malfunctioned and sank beneath the waves. Their mechanical servants remained behind, dutifully tending their long-dead masters’ affairs. Yuudai, Antonio, and Arbezai, increasingly unsettled by the whole affair, returned the ancient library book with all haste, but not before setting off an ancient alarm system.
Pursued by the now-animated golden statues, the group fled the dome to the safety of the enchanted ship and weighed anchor. Their relief, however, was premature. No sooner had the sunken city fallen into the distance than the ship was assaulted by a giant kraken. A pitched battle ensued. The heroes fought bravely, driving the beast back to the depths from whence it came. Adva was once again rethinking her life in academia.
The group emerged from the waves covered in viscera, but victorious. Bidding the young scholar adieu, they made their way back to the inn for a well-earned hot bath and (in Antonio’s case) strong drink.