Chopper whooped in delight as the undead dragon eyeballed their tiny craft. "I know, I know," he grumbled. "You lot won't let me keep it." The dragon's head whipped around and it snapped at Ezikial, almost throwing him out of the boat and delivering a powerful electrical shock at the same time. Its wings whomped down, battering everyone severely.
"Bloody 'ells!" Sandara yelled. A series of loud cracking noises indicated that somewhere under there Ezikial was doing his best to turn the undead dragon into puree. Reiko bellowed and swung her katana, the blade cleaving into the dragon's neck and, amazingly, severing it. It promptly exploded, giving everyone a nasty dose of electricity as the remains of the skeleton sank into the water. Sandara waved her hands over the scorched group.
"Not sure how much longer I kin keep this up," she said.
"We 'preciate yer efforts," Chopper told her.
"We do have some potions to help . . . I think," Reiko added. On the far shore, an alarm bell began to ring.
"I suppose they noticed us," Leila sighed.
"We've knocked, we may as well go in," Ezikial said. He clambered out of the jollyhatboat and kicked in the door to the bastion. The guardpost was lit by a smoky oil lamp. Four big fellows with a patchwork of brown and blue-gray markings on their skin charged, becoming shark-like monstrosities as they moved.
"Are those contagious?" Feruzi asked, incredulous. "Because they look contagious."
"Maybe you shouldn't let yourself get bit then, just to be on the safe side," Reiko told her.
"Yeah, I couldn't manage being that ugly."
"But you can handle being . . . scaly. Right then."
Leila fired her bow at one of the weresharks, but the monster just lacked. "I have silver arrows in my quiver for just such an emergency," Feruzi told her, firing her own volley at the monsters.
The other door to the room flew open and an even bigger, MUCH angrier shark charged in, making a beeline for Chopper, grabbing him by the legs and swinging him through the air. Chopper's delighted "whee!" turned into an "ouch!" as his head collided with Reiko's shoulder.
"Seriously?!" Reiko demanded, going after the shark boss with her katana. Ezikial cut loose with the shooting and very shortly there was nothing left but a bunch of sashimi and some leftover enormous crescent-shaped bite marks. Sandara shook her head as she summoned more healing magic.
"So how many more guards do you think Bonefist has in this little secret lair?" Feruzi asked.
"More'n three," Chopper grunted. They left the bastion and crossed a patch of sandy beach toward what appeared to be a small fortress with familiar ship anchored nearby. The boom of a cannon sounded and Reiko disappeared in a blast of sand.
"Er, you forgot to duck," Feruzi said as Reiko staggered muzzily to her feet.
"STOP WASTING MY CANNONBALLS!" Ezikial yelled, shaking his fist at the cannon tower. They charged into the tower, encountering another group of weresharks and some human guards resulting in, yes, yet another furious battle, from which they emerged victorious.