Greg Mann as Morik Martok
Vincent Pecoraro as Elosian Sylvres
Miguel Correa as Laurence Van Drake
Christine Scott as Aelanah Beastfriend
Michael Graziano as Adon Thunderclaw
Paul Vilbig as Saleos Me’Serachte
Marc Greco as Mardak Fletcher
The Order did battle against the mounting forces of the undead, commanded by the black-crystal-bearing ogre. They overcame this challenge thanks largely to a strong tactical approach by Mardak, as well as a massive display of power from Sarah, Aelanah, and Kaerysa, whose abilities seemed far more potent now that they were in close proximity to one another. Unfortunately they were not able to salvage the entire crystal from the ogre’s head. The crystal shattered and vaporized as soon as the ogre’s life-force faltered. However, upon examining the crystal dust, Sarah produced some similar dust that she had gathered previously elsewhere. She said that this dust is part of the reason she traveled to the mainland. Her search brought her to seek the now-missing caverns, where it was said that this dust might have originated. Now, seeing that the dust she was investigating and the head-crystals are related, Sarah says she made the right call letting the Order join her. Laurence said “That’s strike two.”
Elosian asked where she found the dust she was investigating. She looked to Aelanah and said she would explain on the way to the ship. Laurence asked Sarah why she thought he was going to let her anywhere near his ship. He said that she hadn’t proven either useful or reliable, and he doesn’t let people on his ship that he doesn’t know he can trust. So, he demanded that she explain everything, not later, not in private, but here, now, and in front of everyone. Sarah knew she had no choice, and that though she was loathe to admit it, she needed the Order far more than the Order needed her.
Sarah told the group that the dust came from the old inactive volcanic caverns that ran beneath Stonehaven. They were the same tunnels the original Crossel once lived in. The island’s volcanoes have been inactive for countless generations, and they suddenly, recently, became active again. The activity was unnatural, and despite the insistence of Melchior to the contrary, Sarah surreptitiously attained access to the volcanic caves in order to determine the cause of the new volcanic activity. When she got into the caverns, she found evidence that there had been recent foot traffic through the area, and she found some of this dust she had in her belt-pouch.
Finally, she “spoke to the volcano”, a statement only Kaerysa and Aelanah weren’t surprised to hear, and it told her that the strange ones woke it up and wouldn’t let it return to its eternal slumber. It mentioned that the strange ones had gone, that it could feel their feet treading the deep-earth of a thousand leagues southwest. The volcano begged Sarah to find these strange ones and force them to let it go back to sleep. It doesn’t want to erupt, but if they don’t find a way to stop these “strange ones” soon, all of Stonehaven would be destroyed.
After loading onto the ship, Sarah proceeded to bark orders at Laurence’s helmsman. Laurence grabbed Sarah by the arm, telling the helmsman to lift the Redeemer off on a course heading northeast. He dragged Sarah to the aft railing on the main deck. Sarah yanked her hand away from Laurence and threatened to make him pay for his insolence. Aelanah and Elosian attempted to calm the situation down, but Laurence was having none of it. He told them to stand down, his ship, his rules. He told Sarah that, in no uncertain terms, she was here with them as a courtesy, out of respect for Aelanah, not because they needed her or wanted her there. On this ship, she would not bark orders at the crew. While in his presence, she was to remember that he was in charge, and he wouldn’t tolerate her foul demeanor or disrespect to him, the crew of this ship, or any member of the Order. As far as he was concerned, she’s lower than any of them, and if she wants respect, she can earn it like anyone else.
Sarah conjured a storm in the sky surrounding the ship, and Laurence smirked. He reminded her that she needed the Order a lot more than the Order needed her, and that it was a long swim back to Stonehaven. Elosian implored Sarah to relent in her posturing, that if she opened her eyes, she would see that she is among friends. Laurence walked away, putting his hand on Elosian’s shoulder, smiling and saying under his breath, “Don’t speak for me. I hate that bitch, and I ain’t her friend.”
Elosian sought to speak with Sarah, hoping to get her to ease up on all the hostility. The conversation didn’t go very well. Saleos taunted him for falling in love with the one woman in the world he stood absolutely no chance with. Elosian told Saleos that he’s been with more beautiful women in his life than Saleos had ever seen, and that the thrill wasn’t in bedding a woman, but in chasing her. Sarah’s attitude was distasteful and vulgar, but it presented a challenge Elosian found irresistable. “Besides,” Elosian added. “She’s hot!” Saleos smiled and agreed with him, saying that if he wanted his help with her, he would put in a good word. Morik asked if Saleos would do the same for him with Kaerysa, as he was beginning to develop strong feelings for the girl, Saleos told Morik that she was already falling over to spend time with him, and that all he would have to do is tell her how he felt to win her heart. Morik said he would do that, but he didn’t get the chance…
Suddenly, a crew member in the crow’s nest on the main mast called down that he saw a shadow of motion on the horizon. Laurence found Adon and Mardak near the front of the ship. Adon had just been handed a Crystech telescope by Mardak. “Pirates.”
Handing Laurence the telescope, Adon and Mardak rushed back to rally the crew into their battlestations. Laurence gazed for a moment through the lens of the telescope, noticing the design of the flag, and realizing who it was that was captaining that ship.
“Xevious,” he said. “That’s Malth Xevious’s ship. He’s a Nomoid sky pirate. He have… history.” Laurence explained that when Morik and Crossel brought Elosian to meet him in the bar in Drogynia, he was there to drown away the memories of his most recent battle. That battle was against Xevious, and it cost Laurence a few pints of blood and a dozen good friends. He was the only one that survived from his group other than Sir Pac, his squad leader. Laurence got up onto a barrel and called for everyone’s attention. He informed the crew and the rest of the Order that the pirates pursuing them are a deadly, dangerous band of killers and fiends. They are slavers, rapists, and savages, and they represent everything the Order of Draconius stands against. Laurence told his crew that they should pray to Draconius for victory on this day, because he was planning to order the Redeemer into battle against Xevious’s ship. Saleos and Mardak agreed with Laurence, but Elosian resisted his logic. Xevious’s ship, the Marauder, was nearly four-times the size of the Redeemer, and it looked to have at least as many more crew and cannons. It was too important that they get to Stonehaven. They had to flee.
Laurence brought Elosian over to the edge of the ship. He said “Elosian, you have proven that you are an honorable man, and you have earned my respect. You’re well on your way to earning my friendship, as well, and that’s something neither of us could have expected. But so you know? This isn’t a damned clubhouse, and we aren’t a damned committee. We’re turning about and facing Xevious. You can either stand at my side or you can throw yourself overboard, but this ship, and all those aboard, are doing the work of the Order. Xevious is a butcher. We stop him, here and now, or we die trying.”
Elosian looked down at the ocean passing below the ship. It was a tempting alternative to dying needlessly. Revenon reminded him of his oath, and that because he was on Laurence’s team, he was honor-bound to follow Laurence’s lead. Elo nodded to Laurence, Laurence nodded back, and the two went to work, getting ready for what was sure to be a massive battle soon to come…
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Chapter O-1: The Order in… On the Road to Yonsalyre
Chapter O-2: The Order in… Before It’s Too Late, Part 1 of 3
Chapter O-3: The Order in… Before It’s Too Late, Part 2 of 3
Chapter O-4: The Order in… Before It’s Too Late, Part 3 of 3
Chapter O-5: The Order in… Legacy of Glory, Part 1 of 2
Chapter O-6: The Order in… Legacy of Glory, Part 2 of 2
Chapter O-7: The Order in… Trials of Glory, Part 1 of 3
Chapter O-8: The Order in… Trials of Glory, Part 2 of 3
Chapter O-9: Order in… Trials of Glory, Part 3 of 3
Chapter O-10: The Order & The Current in… To Slay the Darkness
Chapter O-11: The Order & The Current in… To Save the Light
Chapter O-12: The Order in… Prophecies, Epiphanies, and Tragedies, Part 1 of 3
Chapter O-13: The Order in… Prophesies, Epiphanies, and Tragedies, Part 2 of 3
Chapter O-14: The Order in… Prophecies, Epiphanies, and Tragedies, Part 3 of 3
Chapter O-15: The Order in… The Horns of Agony
Chapter O-16: The Order in… Sailing Through the Maelstrom
Chapter O-17: The Order in… Shi Di Ma Under Siege
Chapter O-18: The Order in… “Against All Threats Great And Small…”
Chapter O-19: The Order in… “…We’ll Overcome And Never Fall.”
Chapter O-20: The Order in Hell