I knew that Maestro fellow was untrustworthy from the start, but who am I to judge my dear human scoundrel friend for her choice of companions, after all our whole friendship was based on the merits of kidnapping. Even though writing is not my strongest of suits, I was tasked to write this part as I was the only conscious one of our trio during this part of the journey. But to not delay any further, let’s continue where the story ended. Upon seeing the mayhem that the beholder had brought to the confrontation I ran behind a nearest cover and hid, for I trusted his aim as much as I had trusted his words. I was a witness to the capture of my friend and the beholder, and I hoped that the slaver captain hadn’t noticed my departure. Fortunately, yet saddeningly it seems that many often don’t notice my presence in the presence of those two elements of chaos that are the Maestro and my thief companion, and so my absence was not of importance to the captain. I tried to listen to what she was yelling at her crew, so that I would know what my next course of action would be. From what I could hear, she lamented the breaking of one of the ship’s chains that tied the beasts of burden to the ship so that it could traverse the sea. She then said something about beholders being very profitable on the market, but that was unfortunately the end to my espionage as her crew started to prepare the ship for departure, and soon thereafter the ship left the shore I was hiding on and started to quickly vanish in the distance. It was obvious that I had to find a way to save my companions trapped on the ship, yet the notions as to how remained obscure to me for the moment. Given enough resources and ingredients, I could create some basic water-breathing and water-walking potions (courtesy to my training as the Ratxellene’s personal alchemist), but those ingredients were something I didn’t really have access to here in this strange land and I didn’t even have my apparatus on me, so the creation process would be time consuming and taxing nonetheless. Before succumbing to dread and self-loathing, I wanted to investigate my last possible ray of hope that still remained upon this shore, the broken chain of the ship. There was a chance that the creature on the other end of the chain was tamed or enslaved at least, and perhaps it could be used to give chase to the receding ship still visible on the horizon. This plan of mine however had one inconvenience, the chain had fallen into the sea and I wasn’t the most commendable of swimmers. I went as far into the cold water as my confidence let me, which meant I stopped as soon as I could feel it washing over my knees. Well, this wouldn’t work, however I got another idea. There was a large crystal stalagmite that was protruding from the sea about sixty feet away from the shore. I was not confident in my swimming abilities, but I was quite confident in my climbing abilities even if they were to be used underwater. Now only to traverse those sixty feet to the stalagmite. As the only thing that could be used as a rope here were my backpack straps, and those surely didn’t have sixty feet, I concluded that swimming is a necessary risk to save my friend. After all she had to deal with that…thing…The Gardener to help me and never really complained, and here I was shaking with fear, because of sixty feet of water. I took a deep breath and jumped into the water. The first ten feet were easier than I had expected, maybe my fear of swimming was truly something irrational and foolish. Those would be my thought if my fur hadn’t soaked up all the water after ten feet and I didn’t began descending towards the depths. I began to frantically move my legs and arms to try and reach the body of the stalagmite, but I moved only a little with each tempo and I was quickly running out of breath. My vision was turning black when my claws finally grabbed onto the hard structure of the stalagmite and I began to climb my way upwards towards air. My ears were hurting, my lungs were hurting, and my body began spasm, and then I finally reached the surface. I took a deep panicked breath and had to take a few moments to calm myself. Now, I needed to descend on the crystal structure to find out if the chained creature was still somewhere in the vicinity. I took a deep breath and I submerged myself once again. The water was quite clear and it was possible to see about 30 feet far in it, however it still took me quite a while before I could see the fate of the chained creature. The chain that had broken off had tangled itself with one of the big branches of the crystal structure, and by the way it was moving, the creature tied to it was desperately trying to free itself. That was fortunate, for if I were to free this creature, perhaps it would help me save my friends. I reached the chain, and I was confident that I still had quite enough breath for a way back, so I started to try and get the chain out of the crystal…It took me a few seconds but it was a simple enough task and before I knew it the chain was unstuck and the creature was free. Once the creature realized it was free, it quickly moved away from the stalagmite, dragging the chain behind it, however I was not fast enough and I was still holding the chain as it happened. I was yanked away from the safety of the stalagmite. My only chance to survive now was to hold tight to the chain and hope that the creature will swim towards the surface, however my hands soon began to lose strength and I had found myself losing grip of the chain and falling into the deep abyss. I was panicking, flailing with my arms and legs and trying to get towards air, but I knew it was meaningless. This would be my death, and what a horrible way to go it was. But then a giant shape appeared before my eyes. A shape of a shrimp-like head with playful, friendly eyes. Only its body was nearly as big as me and I couldn’t see the end of it was, however I was quite certain that it was the creature that I had saved. It swam even nearer to me and then rubbed its head against me. As soon as it touched me, air filled my lungs, and my hearing became clear. I could breathe now. As it was closer now, I could see that on the back of the creature was a saddle of sorts and the creature was looking at me in a way that seemed incentivizing to sit on it. I did so and strongly gripped the creature’s carapace, as it was the only thing keeping me from drowning. With a speed of an arrow, the creature then quickly surged and began swimming in a specific direction, a direction I assumed led to the slave’s ship. I don’t know whether the Shrimp Behemoth swam there because it was still loyal to its slaver master of because, or because it felt my distress and tried to help me save my friends. I like to think it was the latter, but be it as it may, I now finally had a way to save my friend.