Having just taken your second long rest within the sahuagin lair, you prepared yourselves to head down into the water level once again. As soon as the first person stepped their toe into the water, the whole lair shook with the violence of an earthquake, and the water from the stairwell rose up enough to lap out onto the ground around. The quaking stopped as quickly as it started, then, and you carried on. Revisiting your disguise strategy, you chose to take shark form this time around. The process used the last of Avire’s wand of polymorph charges, and it became a “normal” stick with a dead frog tied to the end of it.
You swam your way through the dungeon until you got to the location of your previous ambush. There, at the very edge of your sharky senses you detected some slight movement. Then you heard a booming voice speaking common. The speaker taunted you to approach, and you accepted the call.
Arriving at the open double-doors of the 30 foot tall temple, you were greeted with a fearsome sight: a gigantic shark swam between the pillars and near the ceiling. Before the altar stood the largest sahuagin you’ve ever seen, and next to him the second largest sahuagin (who appeared to be a corpulent female). Arrayed before them were four armoured, tough-looking sahuagin.
As you started to move into the room, the shark descended to bite Avire. His bite was so deadly that it popped her out of shark form and she suddenly became a wounded (and drowning) half-elf. The large female moved forward and cast bane on three of you (only succeeding on Taryn… I realize now we forgot to take that into account while she was alive… whoops!). The soldiers moved forward as well and engaged the party, and eventually the large male moved forward to fight as well. When this male—“the baron” as you came to learn/guess—got within 30 feet of shark-Helen, he detached a large net from his waist and spoke a word in Sahuagin. The net surged forward, opening wide as it came, and wrapped Helen up tightly; restraining him.
As the fight progressed, everyone was eventually forced out of their shark-disguise form from the damage they took, and several party members even came close to death. Conservative use of healing magic got them back on their feet fairly quickly, though.
At one point, Taryn noticed that there was a key attached to a chain attached to a ring which was pierced through the giant shark’s dorsal fin. Winq (in shark form) took a bite at it and managed to cut it free.
First the high priestess was killed, then an elite guard dropped after taking significant punishment. The baron ran off to the north and through an archway, despite Avire’s attempt to restrain him with magic. He summoned the weakened shark, climbed on, and attempted to make one final charge but was stopped by Varis before he could wreak any further havoc. The shark succumbed to his wounds shortly after that. One by one, then, the elite guards were killed off until finally only one remained. The final guard attempted to make an escape, but was cut off by opportunity attacks from the party as he fled.
You then took a short time to lick your wounds and recover as best you could. Varis took a moment to mentally reach out to Rose, and showed him the dead sahuagin and shark before him. Rose sent back a similar scene of devastation, except that the bodies were those of humans and lizardfolk, and were accompanied by a feeling of panic. It was clear from the image that Rose was hiding in the ceiling’s shadows. Among the bodies on the ground was one sahuagin warrior.Scouring the bodies, you found the following: The baron wore a huge breastplate (now heavily damaged), was holding a large, seemingly-magical trident, had that magical net, and also had two normal (though nice-looking) daggers in sheaths on his harness. He wore a plain platinum armbad (20gp). In a pouch he had 14gp, a diamond (100gp), and a key. The high priestess, meanwhile, had an odd rod in a sheath at her side, and investigating it revealed that it seemed to be electrically charged. She also had a wand tucked into her belt, and a seemingly magical ring on her finger. She wore a plain platinum armband (20gp), and carried a pouch with 1pp and a ruby (50gp) in it. (I believe Helen expressed interest in that ruby… probably for the continual flame spell.) The elite guards all had tridents, nets (one destroyed now), scale mail, and wore electrum armbands (10gp each). They each carried 10gp in belt pouches.
Pushing on a little, you checked out the room which the baron had fled to, and there you discovered the vestry. In this room is a large coffer with its cover already lifted off (and some scorch marks visible on the wall behind it). The coffer contains six metal shark’s-head masks (4 electrum worth 100gp each, 1 gold worth 200gp, and 1 platinum worth a whopping 1,000gp), 4 golden gongs with golden strikers (200gp for each set), 4 gold necklaces set with coral beads (400gp each), and a platinum necklace set with pearls (1,500gp!).
For defeating the sahuagin baron’s war party, you received 6,500xp. And for reasons that you can best attribute to surviving such an intense onslaught, you receive an additional 1,000xp. This brings you to 7,500xp, which, when divided by the six of you, is a grand total of 1,250xp each for the evening. Most of you are thus at 6,315xp, while Avire is at 5,208xp except for one additional thing: upon learning the presumed fate of those upstairs, including her master Sergeant Barnabus Crowley, Avire begins to feel the pressure of duty upon her young soul and gains an additional 500xp as she realizes that she may be the sole survivor of the Saltmarsh marine force. This brings Avire to a total of 5,708xp.