The situation looks like it spells doom for the party. They must get Lakashtai back, but one wyvern was much to handle, let alone a whole flock of them. Obviously, stealth is the best method to get into the interior of this island where Lakashtai presumably was. Only, there doesn't seem to be any way to get close to the island with a huge airship. So, the party directs Dorian to circle the island looking for a place to get close enough to drop them off.
A small outcropping of jagged rock jutting out of the sea near the island seems to be the best option and Dorian gets as close to it as possible. The party dismounts the ship and makes their way from the outcropping to the island. Cade notices something new about this island soon though. The wyverns aren't its only inhabitants. A strange looking creature that resembles a human covered in fur, with the head of a hyena is standing on a chunk of rock near the base of the island. This creature can only be what folklore has deemed to be a gnoll. The gnoll leaps onto the back of a wyvern and flies to what seems to be a peak in the center of the island to some sort of fortification, resembling a tower, carved into the rock face. Another gnoll stands atop this tower looking out on the horizon. Cade and Temper decide to scout ahead under the guise of an invisibility spell cast by Shigure and one of the group's scrolls. A close call with a wyvern almost ends Cade and Temper's ascent, but they reach the base of the tower where Temper hears two gnolls arguing in their language of snarls and growls.
Shigure and Naaman decide to stay back and deliberate which spells to ready for the upcoming assault. But, a wyvern swoops in, nearly snatching up Naaman with its talons before screeching loudy and heading for the makeshift tower. Naaman believes the wyvern to be warning the gnolls, so he and Shigure make haste up the rocky terrain toward Cade and Temper. Only it's too late, apparently the gnolls had already heard the two scouts and Cade is forced to slay one of them with his trident. The second mounts a wyvern and flies off, turning to head back downward and attack. Naaman and Shigure continue up the mountain, but Shigure slips and falls, hurting herself and weakening the strap on her backpack. As she continues forward, casting spells at the wyvern attacking Cade and Temper, her backpack gives away and tumbles down the steep incline toward the base of the island. Cade and Temper dispatch the gnoll wyvern rider and his mount, but the circling wyverns are starting to take notice of this battle and one heads toward the tower.
The party uses an invisibily sphere to remain hidden from this last wyvern, and barely sneak past it, almost given away by Naaman's sneeze, toward a set of stairs that descend into the island. As the party descends into the mountain, they encounter another gnoll. Cade destroys the evil creature with a smite and then with another invisibily sphere the party is hidden again. It seems just in time as a couple more gnolls enter the same chamber. Shigure uses ghost sound to trick the gnolls into heading upstairs and then the party heads deeper into the island.
Naaman casts silence to sneak past a few sleeping gnolls in the next open cavern and the party continues on until they find a large open chamber deep into the island. This large chamber's floor is completely water except one small rocky island in the center of it. On that island, it appears Lakashtai is imprisoned in some sort of magical cage. Shigure also notices a platform suspended by chains at the very peak of the domed ceiling in this cavern. The party witnesses what appears to be the leader of the gnolls enter the chamber on a wyvern and have a discussion with Lakashtai. Only, Naaman thinks he hears Lakashtai announce the party's presence and order an attack against them.
This seems strange, but believing it to be some sort of illusion, Naaman dispels the cage and the party flies down, Temper grabbing Lakashtai for a swift getaway. Only, this Lakashtai isn't quite what she seems. Halfway out of the chamber, Lakashtai turns into her true form: a horrific sea hag. The hag dazes Temper with its awful glare and then proceeds to lure the party back down to the island, where they are ambushed by not one, but an entire covey (three) of sea hags. The party battles the hags and kill all three of them. It seems like the battle may be over when the leader of the gnolls enters the chamber on his wyvern and begins to swoop in for an attack. It's then that Shigure uses her dragonmark to suggest to the leader of gnolls that the party has destoyed the covey of hags, and it is now they who are the master of this island. The suggestion works and the gnoll leader helps the party escape. The party finds a chest hidden inside of a cave in the water. Shigure orders the gnoll leader to take her to Lakashtai and it turns out the true Lakashtai was on the suspended platform.
The party leaves the cavern, head toward the rally point where Dorian is there waiting, and board the airship. All seems well as the party has Lakashtai back and a nice stash of treasure the sea hags had accumulated over time.
Of course, when they notice Dorian's face turn ghostly white, something appears wrong.
"Dravago!" Dorian yells and heads for the helm changing course.
In the distance where Dorian was peering, a black pirate airship bound with a fire-elemental speeds toward The Last Breath. At the helm of this imposing ship a dark man stands, a sword, crackling with lightning, in one hand raised high to the sky.
To be continued...