Stranded on the shore after the mysterious explosion and attack by mutant nasties, the heroines decide to split into three groups and approach the remaining monsters in a three pronged attack. As the monsters attack a hut in the village, the heroines plan their assault, tie up the very annoying Avner so they can actually concentrate, and leave the non-combatants behind in safety so that they can blindside the monsters.
The fight that followed was a long and grueling one. The monsters totaled about fifty, as well as an exceptionally strong specimen that appeared to have once been a Burowao chief or warleader of some sort. Ranu-Yani was almost killed by the mob and had to be rescued by Aldi. Kyo was also badly wounded, and both Chastity and Torra Tailor used up most of their spells, while Rowyn waded into melee. Eventually, Chastity slew the final monster in the mob with a well-placed arrow.
As soon as the mob was defeated, a loud mouthed woman with long-black hair and a scottish accent charged out of the hut where she’d been hiding and flung a dagger at the back of the last remaining “fishy bastard”. Aldi then finished the mutant chief off.
The woman, who introduced herself as Harliss Jarvell, after being thoroughly hit on by Chastity) began to reveal some very disturbing truths. She had been hired by Lavinia’s own brother, Vanthus Vanderboren, to kill his sister and all her crew. His motives weren’t made entirely clear, save that it had something to do with wiping out his whole family to gain control of the family fortune. Vanthus apparently is a member of The Crimson Fleet, a group of pirates who are known to make pacts with demons in exchange for power. He’s been dealing in dangerous drugs, and apparently his parents grew wise to Vanthus’s drug-selling.
Vanthus, and probably the fleet, are also involved in some sort of plan to use mysterious pearls to destroy entire continents worth of people. Harliss, wanting nothing to do with such mass murder, confronted Vanthus on the deck of his ship. In the struggle, the pearl accidentally went off, triggering a mile-radius wave of mutation and madness.
The only three to survive unchanged were Harliss, Vanthus, and a sea-witch working for Vanthus. The sea-witch had just finished summoning a deadly current with which to trap the approaching Lavinia, so the now-uncontrollable ships both crashed into the rocks. Harliss hauled herself ashore and hid in a hut, while Vanthus and his sea witch, Ingred, flew off to gather their forces and attack Larissa and Vareck Vanderboren in Farshore.
Lavinia, almost incoherent with rage, wanted to tie Harliss up and take her with them, but before she could, Harliss threw a wink at Chastity and drank a Potion of Gaseous Form, turning her into a cloud of mist and allowing her to escape.
Quickly, so as not to lose the drop on the pirates, our heroines got some healing from Father Conrad Feresand hopped into Torra Tailor‘s portable boat (though not without first hearing about Willam Nesk’s admiration for Aldi, or instructing the noncombatants to hide safely in the huts.
After long rowing, they rounded the point and headed for the samll island of Tremute, on which Farshore rests. Ahead of them, they saw two longboats, which keen vision allowed them to clearly discern: each held six rough and ready Crimson Fleet pirates acting as rowers. One boat was steered by a woman in a sea-green cloak accompanied by a mechanical monster called a “shield guardian”. The other was steered by Vanthus himself, still in full demonic form. He then noticed the boat following him, and proceeded to taunt his sister, after ordering Ingred the sea-witch, to keep the pursuers occupied while he went off and "dealt with the parents.
Will they manage to stop Vanthus? Who are The Crimson Fleet, and what horrible plans do they have in store? What side is Harliss on anyway?
Find out next week, when the Savage Tide is revealed!