The Strangle Sea went on for miles. Each step across the tangled weave of seaweed and flotsam proved hazardous and nerve-wracking. One wrong step sent Paffling plunging through the weed mat and at the mercy of a hungry shark. The Strangle Sea seemed a haven for predatory flora and fauna. The sea weed mat itself was mildly acidic and irritated any flesh that was in contact too long which made the need for more solid shelter a necessity. Scanning the horizon the heroes marked a toppled mask far in the distance and headed that way hoping for some sort of safety.
What they found instead were other castaways. A mixed-race crew of humanoids had set up a guard post of sorts with large signal pyres waiting to be lit. The guards themselves seemed a miserable lot, their clothing sun-bleached and their weapons mostly of the makeshift variety. Not willing to make a move without more information Peru decided to scout out these strangers to see if they were a threat. To blend in to the surroundings he crafted a suit from the sea weed and attempted to crawl along the mat. Sight of the weed cloaked ranger alerted the guards who immediately went on the offensive.
Unwilling to let their ally die to these wreck rats the rest of the party charged into battle. The first wave of castaways were cut down quickly but not before calling for help from the nearby ship wreck. Paffling took control of the ballista and prepared to bear it against the wreck rats but an act of sabotage by a swashbuckling rake put an end to that plan. Katrihil drew upon the choas infused energies of the storm tossed sea to bring down the reinforcements and together the trio investigated the wreckage.
Inside they were met with little resistance from the infirm and mad remaining members of the crew. A crippled half-orc bosun introduced himself as Hask and seemed indifferent to the murder of his crewmates. Apparently the Strangle Sea could get inside your head and everyone stranded here went mad sooner or later. Peru, having cloaked himself in the weeds, must have spooked the guards who thought him a seaweed shambler. These hideous creatures acted as the direct agents of the Strangle Sea’s malevolence by controlling the corpses of those who die on the weedmat. Realizing how many dead or dying were left from the previous battle the heroes prepared for attack.
The shamblers were vicious foes. They seemed to feel no pain and know no fear. It was only through teamwork that the party was able to tear them apart until the corpses that acted as the framework for the monstrosities were too damaged to function.
Hask, having seen these new castaways in action thought that they may be his best chance off the accursed weed mat. He informed the heroes of a nest of sea goblins nearby that may know something of their missing dwarf-friend. Having pointed them in the right direction he immediately began hatching plans to find their vessel and be free once and for all.