After much discussion and argument, Papa Samdi decided to bear the mysterious bicorn that we had retrieved from the sea. Unsure of what the effects might be and unable to form a coherent hypothesis concerning them, my companions seemed to fear this bicorn. I, however, decided to observe Samdi while he slept in the chance of noticing any side-effects. My efforts were not to be in vain, it seems, as before long a translucent figure appeared, rocking beside Samdi as he slept.
I tried communicating repeatedly with the figure, but to no avail; it seemed fixated on Samdi, so I decided to awaken him. Samdi began to communicate with the figure, which I later learned was a “ghost”, some sort of incorporeal undead. Through labored communication, we were able to learn that this ghost was one Captain Sim Balta, a most illogical being who insisted upon gold despite being unable to physically handle it. Unfortunately, we were unable to get Captain Balta to divulge much more than this, so Samdi called for Captain Boniva while I went to ask Prophetess Kaledith what was to be done about the situation. Kaledith seemed rather perturbed that the ghost seemed to be after our wealth and informed me that my recently acquired scythe would be effective at harming it, should negotiations fail. She insisted that I stay close and I complied, as it was in accordance with the deal I struck with her earlier: in exchange for access to discounted upgrades, I would act as her bodyguard and butler. This would turn out to be a quite prudent move, as soon a commotion began outside.
Captain Boniva had raced above decks in search of Araris, while Samdi remained below. Not long after I observed this did strange, skeletal humanoids begin boarding the ship. I later learned that these were draugr, humans cursed with strange unlife and Captain Sim Balta’s crew. In any event, it seemed that negotiations with the ghost had in fact failed. I set about clearing the decks of these draugr, while the Captain Balta pursued Boniva with Samdi in tow. Captain Balta was a most fearsome foe, resistant to many attacks and extraordinarily mobile due to his powers of unrestricted flight and intangibility, while more than capable of unleashing devastating force of his own. However, he and his crew were apparently vulnerable to the appearance of gold, as my companions quite cleverly deduced. Conclusion: Despite often being illogical, people are quite capable of employing logic to great effect. Also, illogical tendencies only seem to increase in undeath, as observed in Captain Sim Balta. Samdi roared at Kaledith to throw coin overboard, which she was loathe to do, but this tactic turned out to be quite effective. After a prolonged struggle, we defeated Captain Balta and his crew. My other compatriots were conspicuously missing from the battle, save Araris who kept the remaining draugr at bay by flying around the ship and firing upon them as they attempted to climb onto the deck. Perhaps some of the draugr were able to occupy the Marchioness and Alcades below decks.
After the battle, my companions revealed what they had learned from the ghost captain. According to Captain Balta, he and his crew failed to make any offerings to the goddess Besmara. One absent offering, however, was particularly egregious, and the goddess cursed the captain and his crew with unlife below the waves. Conclusion: The gods on this world do have power and are not merely anthropomorphic idols.
Error. Logs irretrievable.
After searching the sunken vessel of Captain Balta, we tracked the three treasures the Kelpie’s Wrath insisted we find to what Samdi called a “rune hull”, or a construct of aboleth origin. Though it was warded with traps, we were able to navigate the structure and encountered its inhabitants. The first was an aboleth, though upon further interaction we deemed to be illusory. The other we inadvertently released from its adamantite prison, a strange creature known as a “living rune”. Such creatures, though small in size, are quite potent. This was apparently one of Besmara’s treasures, though it did not think of itself as such and became hostile at any mention of being returned. Samdi was able to negotiate with it, however, and convinced it to hide inside of his own flesh. How this is possible is beyond my knowledge and bears further investigation. Conclusion: Papa Samdi is more than a mere half-orc conjurer. He has an intimate understanding of the aboleth and their civilization and, although unorthodox in his methods, is quite intelligent. He also has some strange powers that I have never before witnessed.