The group greeted the morning with vigor, determined to set out up the Gilder. Before the could get under way, Ebn appeared and invited them to his chambers. There he showed them an adamantine oil jug that he claimed pre-dated human colonization in the Hesperean. He told them that he believed that it was found in the Gilt range, and that he believed there must have been some kind of ancient civilization in the region before men. He wanted them to keep their eyes out for any similat artifacts.
After gathering a few provisions, they sought out and hired the hobbled dwarf Lehrinn to taker the chain ferry up to the mine country. He wanted to get back for the Belthis festival and the landing of the crown prince, but agreed to their price and aid in sailing. It was decided to take on three crewmen (two dwarves and a human) to allow the ferry to travel through the night as well as the day.
It was still morning when they pushed off Lehrinn’s cantilevered floating dock and the strange salamander’s breath-fueled vessel lockd into its course on the river. The group noted with some concern the number of small shacks and tents that had gone up on the slope of the river — destined to be swallowed by flood waters once the rains began.
Their day’s travel was largely unremarkable. They clanked through fields and light woods as they moved farther from the settled area around Wytchport. As they moved into the wilds they saw the trails of many fires as the forests were being burned off to clear new lands.
It was in the night when Boomah first saw the ripples of something long following in their wake. Searching about, he found another and realized the ship was being trailed by two substantial alligators. They made no overly aggressive action, so our heroes merely kept an eye on them as night waned.
As the first blush of morning began to color forest to the east, the ship was rocked as whatever mechanism drove the vessel forward from below got fouled in the weeds of low river. Its progress was stalled, and the crew began to stoke the engine to pull clear of the obstruction. The lurking gators took this opportunity to make a move on the ship, and three bulky shapes slapped over the wales and attacked — leaving one smacking the side of the low ferry’s deck.
Boomah saw a fiery bomb fizzle against smoking creatures and moved to wake the remaining sleepers. Luis leaped up to the attack, as did Dremahl — who had to abandon his armor in haste. Kallius charge his blade with magic and struck hard at the relentless predator, wounding it gravely.
Luix found that his flail was just as deadly against alligators, and caved in one’s skull in a single blow. The battle was furious but short, and the four large gators were soon being tossed back over the side (except for the choice parts kept by the goblin for stewing). Several smaller alligators and other creatures circled around for the castoffs, and it was plain by the scar and burn marks that these had been forced to the riverside from other locales.
Since the crew was awake, Lehrinn put them to work, in hopes of reaching the logging community at Bend in time to do some trading.