I had gone to the Rokuon Center to research the Rondorin Emerald. Arriving I had been given three books. The first, Invasion, told of Mondain's attack on Rondorin Castle and his defeat. The next two books were legends. One told of the Ikuchi, a fearsome eel that would sink ships. The other was of the Funa Yurei, angry ghosts, also known to sink ships. I couldn't help but wonder...what was the connection.
Looking up from my reading, I saw Royal spies arriving. "Hawkwind asked us to come speak with the Druid Jaana. He hopes that she know the location of the third gem." Apollo explained when I asked him.
Our wait for Jaana was short. "Hail, I am please that Hawkwind sent so many of you. To recover the Imperial Emerald will require all of your forces." Jaana said greeting us.
"Jaana, I've been trying to learn more of the third gem with little luck. It seems most of the records from that time no longer exist." I told her.
Jaana nodded ,"You are correct. The Shattering caused earthquakes, flooding and the Tokuno volcanoes to erupt. The people had little choice to but flee by ships taking only what they could carry." she paused, "Many of the Rondorin ships were sunk by Ikuchi. Including the ship carrying the imperial Emerald."
People began discussing what Jaana had just told them. "How are we going to find the Emerald." questioned Neireid. "The ships sank long ago."
"That is true Neireid. Jaana agreed.
"The Ikurchi?' I asked. "But surely the beasts that sank the ships have died."
Jaana shook her head, "Hawkwing believes that those Ikurchi live. He hopes that the emeralds are still deep in their bellies."
"Have there been sightings of the Ikurchi?" Hemp Knight asked. "How are we going to find them?"
"There have been reports sighitings and ships attacked." Jaana replied. " As to finding treasure ships, strange Rondorin markers have appeared along the shores of the three Tokuno Islands. Hawkwind believes that the marks hold the coordinates to the lost ships."
"So, we need to find the markers, then the ships?" I asked. "That doesn't sound to bad."
Lady Thalia shook her head, "It sounds too easy. Surely Minax wouldn't want us to find the Emerald."
"Yes, Lady Thalia, you are right. Travesty, Minax's ally has minions guarding each marker. Jaana warned. "And the Ikurchi will not be easy to defeat."
"Will you come with us?" I asked, "Your help would be welcome."
Walking towards the door, she motioned for us to follow. " I can go with you until summoned by Hawkwind."
Following her, we soon came to one of the markers. When we approached it, Travesty assassins attacked.
They were quickly defeated. I went to the marker and wrote down the coordinates...69o 32' north by 69o 32' west. The others continued up the coast. Each coordinate written down after the minons had been defeated.
Jaana stopped us when we had found 5.
"There are 20 markers in groups of five." she explained. "All guarded by minions. You need to decide do you want to find the rest? Or do you want to begin the search for the sunken ships?"
We gathered around to discuss our choices. Some felt it best to find all of the markers while others were eager to find the sunken ships. At last Mylene volunteered to continue the search for the markers. She would join us as soon as she had found them. The rest would follow the coordinates to the sunken ships. Jaana passed out communication crystals to allow us to stay in contact.
Breaking in to small groups we boarded the ships. I followed Jaana aboard Lady Thalia's ship.
It wasn't long before we arrived. In front of us was the mast of a ship. To my horror I saw it was guarded by a Funa Yurei. "Give me a spoon," its voice, a whisper above the sounds of the waves. Having read the legend of the Funa Yurei, I shouted no! "Then face the fury of the Ikurchi." It jeered fading away.
In its place a giant eel, the Ikurchi. Captain Cathleen quickly turned the wheel. I grabbed hold of the rail as the ship lurched around. Though the ship was fast, the Ikurchi was faster. "Head toward shore!" Lady Thalia yelled above the Ikurchi's roar.
We arrived and called the other groups. Gates were sent and the battle was joined.
Quickly it was found that the creature was using the cliffs against us. Mages unable to see it couldn't use summons. Dragons were also unable to attack. Captain Cathleen seeing the problem lured the eel to the west shore. Again warriors, dragons, and mages attacked. I quickly began healing warriors and dragons. Soon other mages joined me.
Death robes began build mounds. It was clear that the battle would be a long deadly one. Someone called to Captain Cathleen to fire her cannons. She shouted back that having been attacked by pirates early, she was out of ammo. Minutes passed into hours and still the battle raged. All were fast tiring.
At last the beast was defeated. Collapsing in fatigue, we looked at each other. 1 defeated and 19 more to fight. How could we possible do it. At last it was agreed that these creatures could not be allowed to prey on ships. As we rested, Jaana recieved word that Hawkwind need her. Her ship badly damaged, Captain Cathleen agreed to take her back to the docks.
Determined to reclaim our shores, we once more boarded the ships. Captain Dark Syde sailed back to the main land. The other ship close behind. Leaving us on shore, he bravely went back out to sea to find another Ikurchi. Looking around, it was decided the small shore line would be a trap. We moved up to a cove that I had found.
Looking at the cliffs that lined the shore, people began to argue if this was the best place to battle. "Look at the cliffs, it will be just like the last ones!"" No, these aren't as high and we can attack from three sides." I sat listening. Slowly a sound invaded my mind. The roar of a Ikurchi and the shouts of Captain Dark Syde, "Prepare for battle...the Ikurchi is right behind me...hurry take postions.
Once more we engaged the Ikurchi. The cove becoming a deadly trap for us. The cliffs just high enough to prevent us from reaching the eel. The eel, protected by the cliffs, had no problem wounding and killing both warriors and dragons. Mages unable to cast on it, tried to heal to no avail.
At last we were forced to retreat and try to regroup. Unable to see us, the beast raged in fury...at last slidding under the waves.
Sadly I looked around, so few of us left. Our weariness and defeat, a heavy weight, we returned to the city. Bowing to the brave men and women, I left to inform the King and Captain Corian of our defeat. Tomorrow new battle plans will be developed. No doubt the Navy will be recalled from hunting pirates. Captain Corain's forces would join ours. The defeat is not allowed. The Ikurchi will be driven from our seas.
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Royal Spies Defeated.
Once again the Royal Spies answered Hawkwind's call. Finding the Ikuchin, Warriors, Mages, and Tamers met it in battle. The battle was long...