Faith and Twila entered the Wavecrest and saw Compel sitting with Holman Kyerrh and the halfling servant of the d'Jorasco woman. Holman's hair appeared to be wet. Ardan was deep in conversation with a local woman on the other side of the room. Compel waved them over.
"And you have no idea what she needed to tell me, Wilm?" Holman was interrogating the halfling.
"All I know is that we had no plans to stay in Korthos longer than it took to restock the ship until Lady d'Jorasco had a meeting with Gustavine Kyerrh and Basmore Trask. She came back from the Citadel of the Twelve with a scroll and told me to plan for a one-night stopover here on our way to Khorvaire as she had a message to deliver," Wilm answered him.
"And you are sure there are no other details that you can remember?" pressed Holman. "Why did she not give me this message yesterday?"
"Only that she needed to deliver a message of great importance on Korthos Island," Wilm was starting to look annoyed. "I am her servant, not her confidant. She does not share her business matters with me; my job is to protect her."
"And a bloody mess you've made of that," sniped Holman, losing patience. "Now she's missing and I have no idea what she needed to tell me."
"I came to you for assistance but I don't have to take this from you. Either do this job and rescue her or don't and I'll find someone else who will," retorted Wilm, rising from the table.
"No one else can do this job," snorted Holman. "You would trust your mistress's life to a bunch of wet-behind-the-ears whelps, would you? How would they even get outside of the gate?"
"Good day," Wilm said as he stomped towards the door.
"Myself and my team will require a handsome reward as well as renown and career experience," Holman called to him, without turning his head to look at the retreating halfling. "It has to be official."
"You shall have it. If you succeed," the halfling replied and slammed the door as he left.
Holman turned his gaze to Faith and Twila.
"These are your friends, Compel? Not much to look at, are they?"
"Who in Fernia do you think you are?" Twila exploded. "How dare you?"
"Oh, I know exactly who I am and what my capabilities are. I do not however, know yours."
"Holman is putting together a group to try and find Lady d'Jorasco," Compel said calmly. "I'm going out on his team and I'd like you two to join us."
"Like you just said Compel, this is my team. You aren't in charge of staffing it," Holman warned.
"Surely you trust my judgement?" Compel's eyes flickered at him.
"I trust your skill. I only trust my own judgement. However I don't have time to interview additional team members, we leave in an hour. You may bring them if you desire," Holman aquiesed, although he didn't look very pleased.
"Thank you Holman, you won't be disappointed."
Holman Kyerrh gathered his things and said, "One hour. Don't be late. And bring a water breathing item. Not you of course, Compel."
Compel nodded slightly as he took his leave of them.
"Why do you think we would want to work with him? Why would you want to work with him?" Twila demanded.
"Several reasons," Compel replied. "First, he's a genius. He really is. Second, he's found out where the tunnels lead. It's the only way out to the wilderness since Mayor Storr had the gates sealed. And third, most importantly, I think it's our only chance to save these people and the island. Everything is crazy right now and Holman is the only one taking action. "
"Wait, you mean we are swimming through the tunnels?" Faith was apprehensive.
"I don't know if I can stand him for very long," Twila said. "I mean this looks like a really bad idea."
"Fame and fortune await as well as good deeds and lives saved," Compel tried to convince them. "All you have to do is put up with a self-centered, socially-challenged leader for a while."
Twila's eyes lit up. "True," she said. "We could help save everyone and I'm not opposed to some handsome rewards..."
"I don't know," said Faith. "I just don't like being around people who treat other people badly. It's wrong on so many levels. I feel like I'm encouraging it or condoning it if we work with him."
"He's going with or without help," reasoned Compel. "We might as well be part of it. Look, I'll swim ahead, be sure it's safe. I don't need water breathing; we warforged don't breathe like you do. I have scrolls of water breathing I'll cast on you before we go in. Just try to stay out of Holman's way and it should be fine."
Just then the mayor came in, followed by Master Braam.
"You can't do this, Viggie, you just can't" Master Braam said. "Do you know how many families here have lost people to the sahuagin?"
"As far as we know, no one's been kidnapped before," argued the pudgy mayor. "For all we know the others joined the cult of their own free will."
Master Braam turned nearly purple with rage.
"How can you say that, man? Are you blind or just crazy? You know good and well most of the cultists are under some sort of mind control! If you start telling people around here their wives, husbands, children and friends all joined the sahuagin willingly, they will have you strung up first and then go after the sahuagin."
"What do you expect me to do, Braam? Leave my daughter to be eaten as a sacrifice? How can I?" answered Storr angrily.
"You need to be a leader! Giving in to the sahuagin's demands, locking down the village and evacuating all those who could fight them does not mean you'll get your daughter back- since when do the sahuagin keep their promises?" Master Braam turned and stomped out the door.
Viggie Storr pulled out a scrap of parchment, apparently the one with the sahuagin's demands and reading it over, he started to sob. Ingrid brought him a bowl of cornmeal and a drink and patted him on the shoulder comfortingly. He continued to sob quietly, his bald head resting on his arms..
"We'll help," said Faith, her heart going out to the man who'd lost his only daughter. She looked at Twila. "We have to."
"I'll see you shortly, Heyton's Crypt," Compel said and to her surprise, Faith grabbed her arm and stopped her from walking away.
"Really? The crypt? Why?" Faith had gone pale.
"It appears to be the shortest tunnel to the sahuagin stronghold, why? Are you worried?"
Faith took another look at the miserable mayor and said, "No, we'll be there."
Compel left them to go prepare for the task ahead and they saw Ardan take his leave of the woman he was talking to. He started to walk out of the tavern when he caught sight of Faith and Twila. They waved and he came over and sat down.
"How are you ladies today?" he asked them intently.
"Better than Malut. You know he's really sick, right?" Twila asked.
"Aye. I saw him splattering his guts on the rocks this morning but I wasn't in range to give my sympathies," Ardan replied. He lowered his voice. "The mayor has locked down the main access points out of the village. He doesn't want anyone to risk upsetting the sahuagin and getting his daughter killed. The gate guards have been ordered not to let anyone out into the sahuagin territory."
"See that lady I was talking to? That's Ursa Jernsvard, one of the gate guards. She believes Lars Heyton is still alive and somewhere on the island. I've gotten to know her pretty well these past few weeks of training, we chat as I head out to do my scouting each day. She knows that no one knows this island better than I do at the moment. At least I know the surface of the island pretty well."
"What makes you think you'll find him today when you haven't found anyone yet?" asked Faith, but then she realized how rude that sounded. "I mean, if you know it, are you looking for something different?"
"Patterns, traffic, who is going where," Ardan explained. "We've shaken them up quite a bit with all last night's goings on and I think if I watch, I might be able to find their strongholds. Lars Heyton might be flushed out as well with all the upheaval. I know we don't have much time, but we have to know what they are up to."
"Well, we're off with Mr. Personality to see if we can save the d'Jorasco woman and maybe some of the other prisoners. He thinks he knows where she is and he's somehow got a map of the underwater tunnels. " Twila informed him.
"You're working on Holman Kyerrh's team?" Ardan was surprised.
"Only because Compel asked us to," Faith answered. "She made some good points."
"Watch yourselves," he warned. "That man will sacrifice anyone to save his own skin. I'm off to see if I can recruit Thysmac to come with me- I've got some invisibility scrolls and if he can cast him, it will make our task a lot easier. We've a lot to do if we are going to beat the sahuagin's evacuation deadline."