Standing in the dark and foreboding cavern where two of your party have nearly meet their ends, you debate on what to do next. Low on hit points and spells, should you try to endure another encounter with the Quaggoth’s or wait to be caught in another Ettercap web? No, the decision is made to seek out the tracks you had been following and continue to find their beginning. So Sariel stealthily seeks her swords from the battle grounds where she had dropped them while some healing is being done back in the party. Once back the group makes its way back to the last spot the tracks were known to be. Sariel and Bruenor search and find the tracks and prepare to continue making your way through the dense mushroom forest. Pick decided to stay on the ground this time.
Howling and other sounds can be heard off in the distance echoing around the cavern as you make your way. Suddenly you come upon two more of the floating gas eye balls resembling a Beholder. Skirting around them by a wide margin you seem to elude any encounter with them. A bit further you move and you can see a stone wall ahead of you. Natural stone so you assume it is the cavern wall. Shortly before reaching the edge of the forest nearest the wall you are startled by a Shreiker sounding off as you approach. Bruenor follows the tracks out of the forest right up to the stone where he can see a narrow stone ledge climbing up and to the right along the cavern wall face. The rest of the party climbs onto the ledge single file and starts making their way up the path. Being in a hurry with enemy not far from you and a Shreiker signaling your location, the ledge becomes more difficult than you expected. Numerous dexterity checks and strength checks are made and failed causing many to start the climb over while Duergan starts tying a rope around several party members to aid and stop anyone from falling. It still ends up being quite a challenge but Sariel makes it to the top where she had begun seeing a light source further up the stone wall as she rounded a corner. Finding a small hole in the stone Sariel moves in with Pick close behind before everyone reaches this point to make sure it is safe.
Once all are in you find yourselves standing on a stone ledge high above a large natural cavern with a hole in the ceiling some 40’ off the floor near the center with daylight shining through it. Along with the light, there is also a large ship keel protruding into this cavern through that hole in the ceiling. It rests with its bow buried in the remains of a large skeletal creature on the cavern floor. It appears the masts have been broken off along with something wooden sheared off down the side of the hull running a good part of the length of what you can see. A rocky slope leads to a rubble and stone covered floor of this cavern as you make your way down and closer to the center of this 200’ diameter cavern. As ou near the ship you come around and can see the decks with access openings to the hold. The hull seems intact just the broken off extremities assumed to have been removed when it entered the opening in the ceiling. The skeletal remains is very large and once identified as the remains of a Remorhaze, a creature Starbreaker knows, you deduce that if the creature had been alive at the time the ship came to rest here, it would not have survived.
Starbreaker makes his way up through the remains and climbs onto the ship itself. He surprisingly “falls” onto the deck. He discovers that gravity holds him as if the ship were positioned level to the world and that he can walk normally even though the ship rests at a sharp angle. As more party members make their way aboard, Starbreaker moved up the ship towards the part of the ship still outside this cavern and in the open blue skies above the opening. Once he gets to the highest point he can see a 50’ radius around starting at the opening, a flat, smooth, leather looking surface. A small pool of water is half way to what seems to be an edge or end to this surface that looks to just drop away. He can see farther beyond, several hundred feet away, a similar shaped and topped structure like the one he is above. Dense forest can also be seen in all directions further below this elevation.
The ship’s hold is open and you can see the lower decks as you peer down. A ballista is positioned at the stern. As some move down below decks, Duergan searches the remains in the cavern. He finds wooden parts to the ship, a piece of the ship with some writing on it and large pieces of cloth. He can make out the words written in common as Brightstar. A quick knowledge check from Pick notes a pirate ship on the Moonsea was rumored to carry that name.
The man deck has a door at each end that enters the fore and aft chambers. The fore chamber is a storage room with debris scattered about. The aft chamber is the captain’s quarters with bedding, furniture and shelves. All appear to be empty. The lower decks contain a disarray of furniture, barrels and misc. debris. You notice wooden boxed-in structures running along the length of the interior on the outside wall or hull on this deck as well. Another deck below the second appears to have more debris and another hold access which seems to make for a very deep vessel. This is all viewed by Furthak through the eyes of his familiar. You decided to take a long rest in these two rooms. No encounters are had during your rest so hit points and spells along with magic items charges are regained.
Searching now, you concentrate on the three doors on the second level. As Pick approaches the aft door on that deck, a dark solid circle on that door produces a pair small mechanical creatures that attack him. A battle begins as more of these mechanical creatures move out this black hole as soon as one is destroyed in combat. This goes on for some time. They seem to have immunities and resistances especially to piercing and slashing weapons. That makes for an attempt for some to help equip others with blunt weapons. Much damage is taken and dealt during this fight as you reach a point where Duergan decides enough is enough and tries to plug the black hole with is body but in his attempt to reach the door, he is tripped up and falls short. Sometime after that additional creatures stop entering combat and you see the black hole fade away ending the battle. Pick picks the locked lock on this door and enters to find a large wooden circular pedestal supporting what was a 3’ diameter sphere upon it. The sphere is now broken but is made of what looks like clear glass. Nothing is within the broken sphere you can see. The pedestal has the name Brightstar carved in it on three spots around its surface. The walls are adorn with hundreds of names carved in common of words and names, some you recognize and most you do not. Several that stand out are Mulmaster, Skullport, Suzail, Baldur’s Gate, Greyhawk, Sigil, Haven, Tyr, Gloamnull and the City of Brass along with numerous more.
A short rest later Pick now approaches the aft doors, the right one first. Right is always right a clever rogue once said. When he attempts to pick the lock on this door, a streak of lightning shoots forth and forces saving throws to be made. Furthak does not make his save and takes full damage. Pick now gets the lock open and finds a room of bunks, a chest and book shelves containing books. (More info on this later) Discovering another magic ward on the left door, Furthak warns everyone. A plan to trigger it from a distance with mage hand works as a fireball blasts them room. Pick opens this lock to find a room with a desk and more shelves containing more books, papers and other items. (More on this later too) This leaves the lower decks unsearched but waiting…