Eryndir steps into the sarcophagus and begins running his hands over the surfaces within. After a moment, he pauses. He steps back out.
"There is a magic about this thing. Something within it. I am not familiar enough with the arcane to know what it is, but it is there."
Kairon inspects the sarcophagus. "There must be some sort of activation incantation or a gesture. What triggered it last time?" The tiefling wonders aloud. Her previous impassive demeanor is replaced with an active curiosity.
Caleb moves back over to where Pryth was standing when the desiccated halfling corpse appeared inside the sarcophagus. He looks at the stone pedestal briefly then raises a hand over the middle, eyeing Eryndir questioningly.
"Are you ready?" The look on his face says the correct answer is and must necessarily be, "NO! Don't do it! Don't send me to my certain doom!" but he will defer to the elf.
"Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag and begin slitting throats." - H.L. Mencken
The wood elf merely offers a roguish grin. His hand instinctively drops to the dagger on his belt.
Prythurkan roars his approval. "Good. Things are happening!"
As Caleb goes to activate the altar, the dragonborn also slams his hand down on the device. Caleb's touch is enough to cause Eryndir to vanish momentarily from existence. Prythurkan's hammerfist causes Eryndir to return less than a second later.
"Oh. Too much is happening." The dragonborn appears abashed.
Eryndir vanishes as the picture of elvish arrogance. Grinning, ready for anything, sure that he is ready for whatever may come.
He reappears a very different person. The color has drained from his face, which now bears an expression of horror. His dagger is gripped impotently in his white-knuckled fist.
He stumbles from the sarcophagus and gasps, grateful for the relatively clean air he's able to take into his lungs. The relief lasts only a moment as he makes his way to a corner of the room and vomits.
Finally, he seems able to catch his breath, sheaths his dagger, and some semblance of his normal complexion replaces the pallor in his face.
"This ship seems to have many passengers still. Vast numbers of them - at least I hope they were passengers. Held in sarcophagi, some still in stasis. Some have been awakened but remain trapped. Some are being devoured by creatures that are breaking into their holding chambers."
He offers the sarcophagus a glance and gulps audibly. "This seems to be the only way in or out."
Caleb is surprised at Pryth's sudden movement, although in the grand scheme of things acting so impulsively may have just saved Eryndir's life. The cleric frowns. "Do you think we have to go back through there to do what we came here to do? Or should we keep exploring for another option?" Glancing back over his shoulder at the door across the room, he seems more than willing to abandon the surviving crew to their fate.
Eryndir's look is plaintive. Nothing is more appealing to him right now than accepting Caleb's invitation to move on and forget what he saw.
But he steels himself and purses his lips.
"If we do nothing, their deaths will be on our head."
Eryndir walks to the altar of glass and steel. "This is the device that can manipulate time and space somehow, transporting one from this chamber to the other. If we determine how it works, we may be able to bring the passengers from there to here."
He looks to the others. "Whether we should bring them here now -- in this very moment -- is one we can discuss. It may make more sense to try to contain whatever infection is afflicting that monk first, lest we transport them from one dangerous situation to another."
Caleb is even more relieved at this suggestion than he was to see Eryndir didn't die on his escapade. "You are the best judge of how much time they have. Either way, we should not tarry."
Bird makes a sound like a crackling hearth, then builds it to the sounds of a raging inferno from a forest fire.
Kairom shakes her head at the Kenku. "No, it is a good idea but fire doesn't solve everything." The Kenku pouts.
Prythrkan grunts. "Maybe there are more weapons further in the ship?" The dragonborn hefts his crowned great axe.
Darusthanav chips in. "It has been many years since the ship crashed. Time seems off here. We will want to study it."
This displeases the dragonborn. "Can we study it after we've killed the monsters, hatchling, or do you want to pay us guard duty fees as part of our new arrangements?"
The kobold looks up to Prythrkan. "No, no," barks the kobold, "we don't have to study it now. Please, kill away." Darusthanav's claws push away from the diminutive scaled creature in a dismissive motion.
Caleb nods at Pryth then gestures toward the door, unslinging his shield and strapping it to his arm. "After you, then, Sir Prythkan. I will follow."
Charn similarly readies his arms. "We can return here after we sweep the rest of the ship," he concurs.
Eryndir nods and moves towards the front of the group.
"I'll take point. As we now know there are passages into and out of this room, someone should also watch our rear."
Cor'val quietly steps up to take second in the marching order.
The party opens the doors ready for action. From the darkness, only stale and musty air greets them. The shadows cling to the walls of the middle deck and the explorers can do very little to fully banish the darkness with their wielded light. The deck is different than the one above in that it is mostly open - either side of the vessel has a number of gunports that reveal the fused rock walls that encase the ship. At some point, something must have happened to the boat's ability to travel - several of the cannons appear to have been grabbed by the fused rock as the boat was travelling. Jagged lines in the external fuselage show the transit of the ship only continued for another couple of feet once the cannons made contact with the rocky walls. The cannons sticking out of the rocks look impossible to remove without a dedicated team armed with picks. It is all Prythurkan can do to prevent Darusthanav from trying to "rescue" the odd cannons sticking out from the walls.
The wood toward the inside of the ship remains in pristine condition, however. Perfectly cut and formed boards compose the insides of this massive vessel, and, shielded from the rocky exterior, they are mostly undamaged. This entire area was a war room of some kind - guns, extra sails, ropes, and chests line the exterior of three rooms. Each of the three rooms are placed in the middle of the ship, one after the other. Each has a single door, facing the direction the explorers came from. At the very far end is another set of stairs, leading further down.
The first door has some sort of text in red. The second door has some sort of text in blue. The last door has some sort of text in black.
Eryndir stalks past the doors of the three rooms, offering a cursory examination of the writing on the doors. He has little to offer in that regard, and begins investigating the chests for anything that might of use or value.
He is a bit more cautious on this deck than he has been previously. The experience of the ship has taught him to move with less abandon. Rather than simply kicking open the chests, he seeks to ensure they're not contaminated with an infection or likely to produce animated objects that will attack the party before opening them.
Charn, for his part, stands near Eryndir somewhat protectively, ready to bash the first object that suddenly becomes animated. To his fellows, he muses somewhat darkly, "We seem to be awash in violently killed halflings this trip."
Eryndir examines the L-shaped devices and gestures to Cor'Val. "More pistols."
He stands and looks at the doors. "Can anyone decipher that writing?"