The airship was well on its way to Eastgate by the end of the last episode. Now, as it touches down, the heroes-to-be are allowed to leave the ship as new fuel is loaded on, as well as two important passengers. As the group (with the exception of Willow, who remains tied up) left the ship, they came face to face with its owners, the Lord and Lady Fennelbane. Suffice to say, they were a bit puzzled by the strange welcome. After being assured by Zachary Kulight that they were in fact under a powerful curse, the two nobles allowed them to continue to use their impressive sky vessel.
As they ;left Eastgate, now joined by the Lord and Lady, everything seemed to be going smoothly. The Men of Business were starting to think that things were going their way. In a few hours, the city of Kura was within their sights. That was when everything went south.
As everyone stared outside the port windows looking at Kura, no one seemed to notice that the engine on the opposite side of the ship began to spew black smoke. Suddenly an explosion rocked the ship, as the engine caught fire. The wicks of flame licked at the air, getting dangerously close to the hydrogen-filled chamber that gave the ship its power of flight. In an act of immense bravery, Grok crawled out onto the ship. All of the passengers watched with dread as the Half-Orc teetered from side to side. One step could send him plummeting to his death. Still, he managed to reach the engine. Once he reached the faulty machinery, Grok Punch did what he did best: Apply brute force where needed. With two powerful strikes of his great ax, the large humanoid cleaved the engine right off, and used his weapons to climb back to the nearest window.
Out of the frying pan, and into the fire, as the saying goes. Though they were no longer concerned that the ship would explode before they could escape, as the dirigible made an emergency landing in a field, everyone fled through any exit they could as the airship began to fall to one side. Everyone managed to escape with the exception of the captain, who died in the explosion while trying to find his pipe.
The explosion itself threw the adventuring party to the ground, and knocked all of them unconscious. When the group came to, they would find that they had been tied up, and stripped of their equipment. Strangely, only Grok, Zubair, Willow, Pyros, Dalber, and the Baron were there. The others were nowhere to be found. The first to get free was Grok, who broke his bindings with ease, then helped free the others. As everyone tried to get their bearings, they were approached by a Halfling woman, with a very familiar condition. From her chest was a bright green glow. She too had been cursed by Venomheart. With her help, and the aid of Grok’s talking cloak, they learned that after the crash, they had been kidnapped by goblins.
Their first challenge was to get past the two ferocious-looking hounds that guarded their equipment. This would prove easier than they thought, though, as Zubair managed to charm the two canines rather quickly. Once everyone had gotten their gear, it was discovered that only two things were missing, Grok’s bowlers hat, and Holly’s pistols.
Knowing that their destination couldn’t be far away, they were filled with new determination. They fought their way through the goblin’s lair, progressing at a steady pace. The goblins were surprised that the prisoners had broken free, and were no match for the heroes. After a short time, they found themselves fighting the goblin chieftain, who had Grok’s hat and Holly’s pistols. While Dalber and Willow kept the remaining goblins occupied, Grok and Holly battled the over-sized alpha, and stood victorious as Grok finished him off using one of Holly’s guns. On the way out, Grok decided to keep the large catapult the goblins had made in hopes of flinging a drop team over the town wall.
Soon, they found their way to daylight, and found themselves in a similar field, though it wasn’t the same as the one that their ship had crashed in. Holly seemed particularly happy that they were free, until she began to cough up blood. Everyone watched in silent horror as she started to asphyxiate, and it quickly became clear what was happening. With a heavy heart, Zubair asked Grok to snap her neck, in hopes of giving her a quick death. Sorrow soaked into their hearts as everyone heard the sickening crunch, and watched the lifeless body of their new found comrade fall to the earth.
Not long after, Zachary Kulight rode in on the back of Dughat, followed by the Lord and Lady, along with the inventor, who was on a stretcher, and Xander. He then told them that Marcus the businessman and Sara the curator hadn’t survived the explosion, but Kura was only an hours walk away. So with a quick ceremony to honor the fallen, they would continue on their mission to lift the curse, with only 24 hours left on the clock.