31st August 2020
It's a bank holiday Monday and we're round Vicky's.
It's time for Matt's fortieth and concluding session of 50 Fathoms.
Location: at port.
Several weeks had passed since the defeat of Torquemada and we had returned to a safe harbour. Now we were fully rested and our ships were in 'fighting condition'.
We knew that we soon had to face the sea hags.
Then one night I had a strange dream that I half-remembered. Speaking with the crew I would soon discover that all of us had experienced a similar event.
A yound girl appeared in the dream, perhaps eight to twelve years old.
- There was an overwhelming sense of peace when we saw her.
- There was a feeling that we were ready.
- We had to go to the Devil's Cross.
- We had to sail over where King Amemnus' castle used to be.
- The water from another world had to be poured into the sea over the castle.
- Then the sea hags had to be named.
- The fight with the enemy would not be an easy one.
Gathering what allies we had, we set sail for the centre of The Flotsam Sea, for The Devil's Cross, the heart of the vortex.
As we left harbour, we spoke with Califax and instructed him to contact our allies at Bluth's Crown and other places, to fly far and wide, to spread the word; now was the time to defeat the sea hags.
It took a month of sailing to reach the edge of The Flotsam Sea, when we arrived, we found a dozen ships waiting for us. Califax was among them.
After communicating with their captains, we learned that they too had recieved 'strange messages' telling them to come to The Flotsam Sea.
Califax admitted that he had nothing to do with any of this, the ships had already set sail before he reached any of them.
Our fleet contained representations of all the people of Ograpog, from Atani to Scurillions. This was a thing that affected everybody.
The fleet set sail for The Devil's Cross and the fate of Ograpog.
The closer we sailed, the rougher the seas became. We pushed on through the ever worsening storm and churning water until our eyes were met with a staggering sight.
Ahead, through the lashing rain and howling gale we could see that storm had intensified. It had intensified to such a degree that it had whipped up a visible tumultuous wall of wind and water. A wall so vast it stretched across the entire horizon.
This was no ordinary storm.
There was no turning back thought, so we sailed directly into this tempest.
In the moments it took to pass into this wall, it was like we had sailed into another world.
The sky had grown dim akin to the onset of twilight, the sun lost to sight behind the calamitous weather.
What had been rough going new became savage and brutal. Before we had to work to maintain our footing, now the crew was flung around like a child's toys. The only way to stay on deck was to tether yourself to the ship.
I lost sight of all the other ships as we lurched up and down on the rolling waves. We could only concentrate on navigating our way. Our ship was battered unyieldingly for three hours upon which time, the storm abruptly abated.
Behind us was the furious storm wall, we had made it through. Ahead the sea was calmer, but it was still raining and the sky was still grey.
Looking around, I saw that other ships were also making it through, however in total two ships had been lost.
We sailed on.
Soon we reached the spot that we surmised was the location of the castle and The Devil's Cross
Despite the miserable skies above, the waters below were curiously clear and gleaming. Then we saw it, the castle was there, it was bathed in an eerie, almost sinister green glow.
Without any pomp or ceremony, from aboard The Delilah we took the barrel of Earth water and poured it into The Flotsam Sea.
"Mala Mallus, Maka Mallus, Mana Mallus," we named the sea hags.
There was an echoing voice aboard The Delilah. "You have called us from the depths, my sisters come," spoke the voice.
The voice had come from a young girl who was somehow aboard The Delilah, sickly looking and dressed in tattered, worn clothes, she looked nine years old. She was the girl from our dreams - 'The Maiden'. A moment later she vanished from the deck.
Whilst we were left pondering what had just occurred, a patch of the sea to the port side of our fleet began bubbling, then bubbling appeared to the starboard side. Finally it started to bubble to the aft.
From these three spots we watched as the sea seemed to explode! Vast amounts of seawater were sent skyward to come crashing down on the fleet. Then three vast shapes, the three sea hags, the three sisters emerged from the ocean.
With slick grey, rotting and hanging skin, inky black hair and watery eyes, rising to their full height they towered above us and even the ships.
They turned to us and mocked us with rasping, gravelly voices. Then they vowed to kill us all.
The battle had begun.
Win had the archmage's heart, she took it out of its jar and squeezed as heard as she could. It exploded in energy and gore, showering Win in slick.
All the elementalists felt an endless, indescribable energy flow through them, saturate them. An energy they could tap into to power their spells for the next seventeen minutes.
Two of the sea hags attacked with lightning and one with her giant fists. They targeted the ships, smashing hulls, crushing decks and splintering masts.
We returned fire with cannons.
Aboard The Herodica my crew blasted at them with our cannons and I attacked with my pistol.
Every shot I fired hit it's mark, but none of them could harm the sea hags. At least my crew had better luck, wounding one of the sea hags.
Aboard The Delilah, Shia ordered the ship closer to the enormous sea hags.
Shia wielded L'Ollonaise's sword, it was a powerful weapon and she found within herself strength she did not believe existed.
Shia attacked furiously with all her might, most of her blows had no effect, but some struck true. Between the cannon fire and her attacks, the first of the sea hags fell.
Baxter was also aboard The Delilah, he used her cannons to great effect and killed a second sea hag.
Meanwhile, Rufus had dived into the sea and approached a sea hag from underwater. From here, he could see how vast the sea hags were, their lower torso and legs stretching down into the depths. They were large enough to actually stand on the seabed fifty fathoms below.
Rufus wielded The Sword of Amemnus, the blade gave him great advantage against giant-sized enemies, which he put to good use.
Rufus was stabbing at the legs of the final sea hag. Up above, we concentrated cannon fire on the hag and Shia manoeuvred The Delilah close and attacked as well.
In the end, the final sea hag falls to Rufus' blows.
All the sea hags were dead, their giant forms had collapsed into the sea. It was over.
The stormy weather dissipated, the sea calmed and the rain died off.
The Maiden reappeared on The Delilah, her tattered clothes replaced with prison clothes, she was Mara Mallus, the fourth and youngest daughter of King Amemnus and one of the sea hags' early victims in their grasp for power.
In the sky above, black clouds were dispersing and the sun seemed to shine down on Mara. She smiled, turning her face to the sun.
"Your quest is almost done," Mara told us. "I am sorry I had to pull you here from your own worlds, if you sail north and dream of home, you will return there. Now I must deal with my sisters," with that Mara stepped off the ship and sank into the depths.
Below us was the remains of King Amemnus' castle. We did what all good sea-folk would.. and looted the hell out of it. Sending down the Rufus and Rackham to scour the ruins for treasure before making off.
The day had been hard fought and won, we deserved a rest. Night would soon be upon us and the now gentle waves caught the last of the day's golden light. It was time to leave and we followed the setting sun.
Even though those of us from elsewhere had been given the option to return home, this was our home now, and who knew. There might be more adventures to have. Perhaps?
I play, I paint.