the fortunate dead are buried or burned their souls are sent to their gods or returned to the earth or they pass into oblivion we the drowned are not so lucky there is no rest for us when the moon is dark perhaps we sleep but under the full moon we return again to wander our grave the sea we wander the sea forever there are others around me thousands of the drowned who moan and wander much like i do but i cannot see them i only hear them i suppose they can hear me too once i was a captain of the navy in service of the king i fought pirates and foreign navies i drowned some of the drowned no i drowned many of them sometimes men come here in their ships their presence awakens us some of us warn them away some instead beg for company but the living never hear us often they join us in our grave their voices join ours in crying to the next ships it has been like this for a hundred years or a thousand i am here forever a living man awakes me on a bright day he bears the mark of necromancy i am thus drawn to him he bears the mouth bear pot of nerall he anchors his ship where the water is still deep and with his minions rows into our grave he seeks out the ships that had carried us down he seeks our secrets he descrates our grave regardless of his intent he desecrates our grave other men draw me with their power they arrive on the ship of the necromancer magic flares a demon is summoned to destroy them she could destroy any one of them but they are many they surround and dispel her one of them dies but does not join the drowned his soul flees but then his soul returns and he lives again such should not happen yet wish i it would happen to me now they themselves row into our grave they seek the necromancer and find him each group rains fire on the other their boats begin to fall apart the necromancer stands alone against his foes one of them becomes a sahuagin and swims beneath the necromancer the necromancer casts evil magic at his enemies until the sahaugin silences him with magic the necromancer now jumps into the water and sinks his armor sends him to the bottom yet a draught enables him to breathe water the sahaugin follows him and keeps him silent the necromancer channels foul power to harm him No, not foul! The power breathes life into us. It strengthens us, and weakens his enemy! Time after time, he channels that power, and each time I feel renewed. More aware. More alive. Now his enemies have separated themselves. A dwarven priest, a halfling and a monk remain above the water, walking upon it as if it were ground. Confronting the necromancer under the sea are the sahaugin, a druid, and a halfling sorceror. It was he, the latter, who had died and had returned. I feel something new, something I haven't felt since I was alive. I feel emotion again, and what I feel is hate. Especially for this thief who steals life. The sahaugin, invisibly, ties a string to the necromancer. It is this string which cloaks him in silence. The necromancer attempts to flee along the bottom, yet he is unable to escape his attackers. He trods along in armor, while they swim with grace. The sahaugin reveals his position with magical lights, and thus the dwarf assails him with lightning. The sorceror stings him with missiles. The druid swims around. The necromancer does drain the sorceror, nearly killing him. Again. It makes me feel better. Can I steal the sorceror's body while his soul hangs on by a weakened thread? But the druid rescues him. The sahaugin keeps the necormancer silent. Finally, when the necromancer is himself near death, the sahuagin reveals himself in a giant's form. He slashes at the necromancer and steals his weapon. His companions help him deal the fatal blows. As the necromancer falls, the sahaugin draws a black blade, and beheads him. Power flares around me, but not as pure as the necromancer's. The sword screams, but only we dead can hear it. It seeks the necromancer's soul, yet for some reason is not sated. The necromancer's soul is gone before the sword can drink; perhaps is has been drawn away to its master? Now I watch the victors flee the sunken battleground. They have left me no bodies to possess. I think I can do that now. I can roam more freely now, along the seabed, and perhaps into the night air. I must now decide which is more important to sate: My newfound hunger? If so, I will travel ashore, and consume as many of the living as I desire. My hate for the sorceror? In which case I will pursue him. Perhaps his will be the first life I drink. After all, it is not deservedly his. That is the plan, then - I will find the sorceror, and satisfy both my hate and my hunger with his death! The unfortunate dead are buried, or burned, or drowned. The fortunate dead are freed from their shackles... of a mortal body, a soul, a conscience. I will wander the world forever, thanks to Nerall's blessing, and the living will not be so lucky.
Session 12 - The Drowned Captain's Tale