After the flank steaks, the party went below deck for some rest and rejuvenation. They took turns keeping watch. During ScuttleButt’s watch, he heard an explosion below deck. When he investigated, he noticed a terrible stench coming from the orc quarters where Ortag was resting. He bravely opened the door and found Ortag covered in his own feces. Although he could not determine if it was the uncooked steak or the fact that he kept putting his fingers in the wounds from the earlier battle, Decker concluded that the only course of action was to allow Warthog ’s body to heal itself.
The remaining party members left Captain Jack and Botox on the ship, hoping that they could quickly recover the shaft and that Ortag would recover soon enough to be able to clear the stench from the Night Ranger. The party quickly made it back to the site of their earlier battle, and found that one of the bull ferals had been completely torn asunder. The disemboweled feral was in the middle of the path in the middle of a circle of windswept dirt in the path. With his keen senses, Decker noticed that the trees around the feral had been swept back, that there was writing in the circle. They approached the circle, and Zev identified the language of the writing as the ancient language of magic. The message in the path said to turn back and leave, but the party continued knowing that they would never be able to leave without the new crank shaft.
Further down the path, the party spotted a group of three glowmad humans feasting on something. Rather than try to fight them, the party moved around them as quietly as possible. The glowmad heard them but could not find them because they were careful to stay out of their sight range. Shortly thereafter, the party found the lake, the cave, and the water wheel. Marn was sure that the shaft connected to the water wheel would work for his repairs but wanted to figure out how it was mounted before exploring the cave. After a quick investigation, Marn knew exactly how the shaft was mounted and that it could be removed in less than a minute. Unfortunately, the process of working the shaft free disturbed the lake and the center began swirling in circles.
As the lake swirled, the party decided that this would be a good time to explore the cave. Unfortunately, ScuttleButt was not able to get off the platform before a small whirlwind lifted him off the ground. Guessing that the wind was a sentient wind elemental, Decker tried to persuade the wind that they meant no harm, only wishing to get what they needed and leave. Decker’s so persuasive that the wind ceased its attack on ScuttleButt, despite the fact that it did not understand the common tongue. Guessing that wind probably only understood the arcane language, Zev followed Decker’s lead in trying to persuade the wind to leave us in peace, this time using the language of magic. Persuasion seemed to be working, but the wind still held ScuttleButt suspended above the platform.
The standoff ended when Marn headed towards the cave with his Marn-o-matic lantern. Suddenly a water elemental reached from the water and slammed Marn into the wall, leaving him stunned. ScuttleButt used the diversion to break the grip of the wind and leap from the platform. Zev used his mystic powers to burrow under the ground and move into the cave. Using the light from the Marn-o-matic, Zev could tell that the cave was uninhabited, containing only the crates and barrels that were likely supplies for the builders of the water wheel. Attuning his senses to the arcane spectrum, Zev found that there was something of magical origin in one of the crates. More importantly, Zev noticed a story written on the ceiling in the same arcane language as the bloody scrawl seen earlier.
As Zev began reading the story on the ceiling, the rest of the party was rushing to get into the cave and away from the elementals. Decker ran into the entrance of the cave and tried to pull the stunned Marn with him. His initial grab came up empty, but he was able to grab and pull Marn into the cave with his offhand. ScuttleButt soon came barreling behind the others. The wind elemental tried to attack the party in the tunnel but could not focus its cone of wind enough to harm the party who had made it inside the cave.
The story Zev found on the ceiling was of the priestess of an ancient water god. She fell in love with a man and abandoned the priesthood. The water god, in a vengeful moment, cursed the woman and the man. The woman was turned into a water elemental while the man was turned into an air elemental, keeping them separated forever. Using this knowledge, Zev bravely went to the edge of the cave, telling the elementals that he knew their story and offering to help in any way he could. The response from the water elemental required Zev to walk to the edge of the lake. The elementals said that they wanted to be left alone. Zev told them that he and the party would remove the water wheel and the other supplies from this island. Additionally, he convinced the air elemental to assist them with their evacuation.
Marn examined the contents of the cave and found that the crate holding the magic item was padlocked. However, the lock was no match for a precise shot from the Marn-o-matic laser. Marn found a wristwatch in the crate as well as a number of samples of soil. The party could only hope that one of the samples would lead to the half pipe where Tony was located. Marn expertly directed the deconstruction of the water wheel and used spare parts to create a travois to help carry supplies. The party meticulously retrieved everything in the area that did not belong and began making their way back to the ship.
As they approached the encampment, they saw that the Night Ranger had pulled away from the dock to avoid several glowmad from boarding it and finding out if the orc below deck tasted as bad as he smelled. With the help of the air elemental, the party quickly and efficiently dispatched their adversaries. Zev chose to burn down the encampment buildings, just to see if he could. The others loaded all the supplies onto the ship while Marn used the shaft to repair the Night Ranger.
Once everything was properly stored, the crew left the island and its two inhabitants behind as the Night Ranger headed towards Mount Ore.