Ye Gilde

From Shore to Sea (part 2)
Let the taint begin ...

The tides did lower come morning. The party did their best to rest up and after speaking with several of the villagers, including the constable. They would investigate this wedding rock and the mysterious island of Nal-Kashel. A local fisherman named Estian even agreed to take them there. The idea of helping save the villagers plus the added incentive of a 1,000gp in Azlanti jewelry did not hurt much either. They first checked on Cromag, Adler and their boat. Adler agreed to begin working on repairs which he estimated at least two days to finish. More incentive to investigate the island where everyone believed these attacks started when their sorcerer/alchemist Gerlach disturbed something trying to help save them from their heritage.

With preparations made, they piled into Estian’s rowboat and headed out. The fog was thick and the strange man sang chants to himself to ward off evil. As they approached the island and the famous wedding rock beach, he pointed out the bloom of jellyfish all around them in the waters. Immediately after that, the man froze. Everyone else was watching the island come into view with portions of towers orbiting in the air like planets around the sun. Bart was the only one that saw Estian begin to twitch and change. The fisherman transformed into a savage fish man Jaron identified as a Scum. The scum began to rock the boat violently sending Balinda overboard into the jellyfish. She screamed as their stings burned her flesh and drained her strength. Bart reacted by shoving the scum face first from the boat and into the jellyfish. He too was stung repeatedly and sank beneath the waves. Gwaiyu quickly pulled the illusionist from the water. Bart rowed the rest of the way to shore and they began an investigation.

Powerful transmutation magic filled the air here and everyone felt light headed. The warping began. Bart and Balinda resisted the change but the others were not so lucky. Jaron suffered occasional vomiting and nausea as he felt his innards shifting about. Gwaiyu’s scaly skin became slick and coated in a fishy oil like a perpetual sweat. Poor little Lemmy seemed the most affected. Her eyes bulged, her nose flattened, and her lips cracked. A quick examination revealed this to be a powerful transformation magic, something that would not be easily remedied. They decided to investigate the island for the missing villagers and for a cure now.

The wedding rock held little interest for them so they crossed the island in the easiest route they could find with the least climbing involved, picking out a path that led to a structure with a grand crystal dome. The building turned out to be a library archive of some kind. Copper plates printed with Azlanti writings hung in bundles floating in mid air. They began searching through the archives for anything interesting. Gwaiyu and Balinda found several ‘books’: Idionestra’s Histories, the Seventh Column, and the Quicksilver Graveyard. Unfortunately they also found 3 rust monsters living here. The insects seemed ravenous and out for their metal. They dealt with the beasts but at the cost of both Gwaiyu’s shield and his morning star head, reduced to piles of rust. Several people were startled by glowing spheres that winked in and out of view at the deaths of the rust monsters. They manage to uncover a couple of magical treasures here, too. The group decided to camp for an hour to translate the books. Jaron failed with the seventh column, but Gwaiyu uncovered a map in his book plus a layout and history of the island while Balinda learned about the strange quicksilver graveyard. They decided the graveyard (a magical collection of soul drinking pools containing the knowledge of the ancients) would be a good place to visit.

On their way there another wave of stronger transformation energy washed over them. Balinda and Bart felt it this time. Her eyes began to weep a black blood and He developed a wracking phlegmy cough. Gwaiyu got worse and was covered in a slimy mucus. Jaron also grew worse and felt his organs shifting beneath his skin. Lemmy resisted.

They arrived at the quicksilver graveyard and found a pile of villager bodies with traces of the glowing silver pool waters on them. Plaques translated by Balinda and Lemmy respectively identified scholars they could call on for knowledge from the glowing pool and the ritual to call them. Gwaiyu wanted to give it a try so he did, calling forth one of the listed scholars and hearing his lecture on solar calculation. The man spoke in Azlanti so no one could understand him but upon completion of his speech he transformed into a silvery black pudding. Bart tumbled away and shot it with his crossbow. The pudding split into 2 equally huge creatures. Everyone scattered and Balinda summoned a spiked pit. The puddings both slipped into the pit but the spikes split them into 4 puddings. As they tried to climb out but failed again the party ran leaving at least 8 silver puddings behind.

They headed for the observatory and spotted a female villager running for her life from a trio of large flying creatures later identified as cloakers. One engulfed her and they raced to help the woman. The party pulled together to do an amazing job at slaughtering the cloakers without suffering much damage. More glowing balls winked in and out around them. This time they were identified as will-o-the-wisps. They freed the woman that turned out to be Sarah, Adler’s missing wife. She was horribly mutated with gills and a fishlike appearance but she told them of the villagers being held by Gerlach at the excavation site. He had gone mad. She spoke of the alchemist doing experiments on them. They tried to convince her to come with them but she decided with her new gills she could return and warn the villagers. Bart found more magical treasure in the folds of the cloakers flesh.

They continued to the excavation site but another wave of stronger energy hit them again. The warping worsened. Only Balinda and Gwaiyu resisted. Bart developed uncontrollable coughs that wracked his body. Jaron’s organs began to shift and pulse beneath his skin during moments of stress weakening his body and rendering him nauseous. Poor little Lemmy felt her head hurt again. When she pulled her hand away her topknot came loose with it. Her hair fell out and her eyes shifted slightly to the sides of her head. She acquired the nickname “Lemmy-toad”.

The group arrived at the far side of the island at the point marked excavation site on the map. They climbed down a 40 foot cliff and found a crevasse being worked by many enslaved villagers. They spotted 1 man in rags wandering the beach dangerously close to where the others were working so they decided to stop and warn him. Lemmy sneaked her way closer and called to him. The bedraggled villager raced towards her arms outstretched. When he got close the others watched as he threw her into his mouth and began chewing her toad-like head. Blood gushed from her body seemingly from nowhere as gashes opened and she hung from his face stiff with paralyzation. Horrified, they were unsure what to do when the man stumbled towards them with Lemmy hanging from his face, stiff and bloody. The man reached out to attack Bart and Jaron and the veil of illusion fell away revealing a Chuul. The massive creature dropped Lemmy-toad from its face tentacles when she stopped twitching and focused on the others. Gwaiyu attacked with his mere club, Bart jabbed with his trident and Jaron fired crossbow bolts while Balinda hasted them. The party dealt good damage but the chuul was ferocious. It grappled both Jaron and Bart then transferred the fighter into its paralytic tentacles. The man froze as blood gushed from his body. Jaron fell unconscious to wounds. Gwaiyu was next to be grappled and crushed. Balinda tried to help by dropping magical stones on the beast and even resorting to her magic sword to cut it, but it would not die. Jaron lie dying, Bart and Lemmy both paralyzed and Gwaiyu grappled. The oni-born priest resorted to his primal instincts and tore two huge mouthfuls from the insectoid creature’s arm that held him. It stumbled but held strong. Lemmy awoke from the paralysis and blasted the creature with her magic, killing it just in time. The carnage was serious. They healed what they could on the beach as they discussed what to do next ….

Bart, Lemmy, Jaron, Gwaiyu & Balinda each earned 3,020xp

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From Shore to Sea (part 1)
Keeping them wet

The journey to Augustana took time. The heroes of the cove formed a plan to visit the temple of Iomedae and acquire help to return and destroy the deadly Terraken. They took a ship from Chimera’s Cove and set out to the big city, leaving Balinda behind to keep watch and control over the undead beast. Though it required some convincing, they did receive the aid they sought. In addition, news of such a feat by this small band sparked other interests. Sponsors offered to set them up with a branch of The Guild for Andoran located in Augustana. The heroes accepted the offer, promising to return and establish the details once the Terraken had been dealt with. During the days needed for the Iomedae clergy to arrange their ship to collect the beast for disposal, Lemmy and her friends enjoyed the hospitality of a big city. They sold treasures and bought new items. They then returned with the religious expedition to claim the Terraken. The Iomedae priests took control of the beast and left immediately back to Augustana to destroy it.

A masterwork sword and shield claimed from the hobgoblin invaders was gifted to the village and they hung it proudly as “The Protectors of Chimera’s Cove Gear” to be donned in defense of the town. They even carved a wooden plaque with symbols representing the Terraken and naming each of the heroes. Bart was welcomed back as a local celebrity and a banquet was thrown in their honor. During the travel time Balinda had studied the pirate Spellbooks, released the fearful thrush Luko, and acquired a new familiar, a pooka named Fantasia.

The banquet was held in the dock house in honor of the first place they met the heroes and merriment plus toasts were shared. The fun ended abruptly when a scream sounded from the pier. A woman spotted a ship sailing into the cove sporting the sails of Cheliax. Everyone hurried to get a better look. Lemmy’s Keen halfling eyes spotted hobgoblins manning the ship. Jaron actually recognized this particular ship from his investigations. The “Devil’s Debt” was a scouting ship. He was certain this was the preliminary vessel to send word back to the Cheliax’s reinforcements about claiming the cove and Terraken. The village elder begged Bart to stop it before it could call down those reinforcements and destroy them for sure. The party planned to let the ship dock then take it by surprise but Bart spotted them using a spyglass and turning about when the village appeared unclaimed by hobgoblins.

In a desperate plan they hopped into their small boat with Bart at the wheel. He estimated they could catch the ship before it escaped the cove and made it back out to sea. No one besides Bart was particularly excited about a battle on the waves but their options seemed limited. True to his word, the sailor warrior raced after the ship and caught up with it. Several arrows rained down on them during the pursuit but only Jaron felt the sting of a solid hit. As Bart sidled up next to the ship a plan was formed. Invisible Balinda would climb aboard with her magic claws and toss the anchor. They could board and overpower them. Jaron drank a potion and leapt out to stick to the side of the ship while Lemmy transformed into a raven and darted into the empty crows nest for a good vantage point. The plan looked promising until the spray of rain hit their faces and the water grew rough. They caught the ship just as they passed through the islands leaving cove for open sea. Bart spotted the storm descending upon them first. The sailor knew their tiny ship could not survive the impending hurricane raging towards them. He called out a warning that he was turning back immediately! Against his better judgement he held his place a second to allow Jaron to leap back to the boat but the initial assault of waves struck them, tossing both ships like toys. Hobgoblins fell to the decks with shouts, one was lost overboard and another fell from the crows nest to his death. Gwaiyu and Balinda were likewise tossed into the sea. Cromag dove and caught Balinda, hauling her back into the boat. Gwaiyu called on his oni heritage and transformed himself into a gillman so he could swim, then crawled back into the boat. Poor little Lemmy, seeing her friends departing, called out a curse and unleashed raining rocks on the goblin ship adding to the chaos. Bart was tossed aside losing control of the boat when another bigger wave struck. This one nearly overturned the goblin ship and threw Gwaiyu, Cromag and Lemmy into the raging waters. Luckily Cromag was a strong swimmer. The whole time Jaron was thankful that his spider climb potion kept him attached to the boat. Bart Warned them that they were caught in the pull of the storm now. They needed to board the larger ship if they had any chance for survival. Everyone made their way aboard. The waves had all but washed the ship clean of hobgoblins. Bart dove into the sea and rescued Lemmy and Gwaiyu with his newly acquired cloak of the manta ray.

With everyone aboard the larger ship Bart took control of the vessel with help from the others. A day and a half of hard sailing just to keep afloat in the hurricane deposited them far out at sea. Once free of the storm, they were able to piece together their respective knowledge to pin down a general location. Everyone agreed they were definitely in Cheliax waters now, far from Andoran boarders. Remembering a small port town in a cove similar to his home town, Bart set his course. Lemmy, Jaron and Balinda all confirmed that their ship was damaged and taking in water – they were slowly sinking and needed to find a safe place to administer repairs.

Pulling into Black Cove they spotted the ramshackle village in the distance. They also heard cries for help. A lone fisherman was caught in his canoe on the rocks being attacked by a giant crab. Bart pulled the ship in as close as he dared then dove overboard with Gwaiyu to rescue the man. They killed the crab and fled before others arrived. Adler introduced himself and offered them a golden comb worth at least 200gp if they’d help save the village. He claimed creatures were crawling from the sea to steal them away in the night, including his wife, Sarah. The comb was later identified as an ancient Azlanti treasure. He claimed they had more if the party would please help.

They docked at the dilapidated pier and quickly realized this town had seen better days. It appeared abandoned. Cromag and Adler stayed aboard the ship while the others investigated. They met a couple of odd people, a crazy man, a pair of old pasty men, and a strangely creepy woman, before making their way to the lighthouse where the townsfolk were gathered for safety. Jaron with Lemmy’s help managed to miraculously sway the overly cautious people to accept their help. They listened to a few tales and suspicions on what was happening or had happened before another storm began to rage outside the lighthouse. The waters rose dangerously high, flooding the lower level and threatening to spill into this area. The ground shook and something enormous attacked. Tentacles burst through the windows from all sides. The townsfolk flew into hysteria while the party tried to defend them. Time after time random people were grabbed and dragged screaming out the windows. Even Jaron was grabbed but managed to cut the tentacle off in time. All in all two villagers were rescued from the tentacles and six were lost. Many giant tentacles lay twitching about the room. Bart even dove outside during the battle to see the source. He quickly returned unable to identify the gargantuan mass of purple flesh and tentacles. Doing their best to administer healing and gather themselves the party debates what to do next. The villagers assure them the tides will fall come morning ….

Cromag got 430 xp

Jaron, Bart, lemmy, Balinda and Gwaiyu got 1,270 xp

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Chimeras Cove: Glorious Victory and Success or Bloody Defeat and Failure
The Battle at the Fluxhold and Releasing the Terraken

Twang!

The hand crossbow bolt lodged in Jaron who promptly fell over.

“Ha Ha! I have returned to complete our duel” shouted Poltur from the other side of the makeshift barricade.

Bart sprung into action making an opening he could pass through. He crossed over and saw Poltur waiting for him further back in the passage where it turns sharply to the right. The fighter strode up to the smirking duelist and thrust Capt Vintresk’s magical trident into his belly.

Then the surprised man’s pained face was hidden by Balinda’s illusion cloud. He escaped down the passage and the rest of the group joined Bart including Jaron who had been partially healed by Gwaiyu. They returned together to their room and talked about what to do.

They decided Poltur was not going to let them recover all day and night. They would explore further. Balinda created an illusory Bartholomew and marched him down the passage while she followed invisibly. The rest followed her bringing light.

Capt Vintresk’s room was empty but there was an empty vial floating in the water. Poltur probably had healed himself. There was also light coming from the passage Lemmywinks had previously darted down during that earlier fight. They continued in that direction behind the illusion.

Illusionary Bart entered the 30 foot square room shouting for Poltur.

Radiance poured out of a giant water droplet suspended from the roof fills the chamber with more light than a noon sun. The fat droplet was fifteen feet in diameter and just as long, and quivered slightly in the still air. Within it, something serpentine and translucent undulated slowly. Poltur called out them calling them scoundrels. He was there but not fooled by the illusion.

Now that Balinda was closer she could see inside better. It was blinding in comparison to the rest of the caverns. The floor of the chamber is divided into five separate pools of clear water. Ten feet below the giant droplet was a square pool 10 feet across bounded by a stone walkway 1 foot wide. Small openings enter the chamber from each of the four corners of the room, and a narrow stone path leads to the central pool, with four trapezoidal pools formed by the intersecting pathways. The walls and ceiling are smooth, worked stone, glistening with moisture.

Jaron and Cromag were in the first rank. They had not entered the room but stayed in the hallway. Poltur took a shot at Jaron again but his bolt missed. He moved along the narrow ledge to them. Behind him two big snake heads poked out of the giant water drop.

Balinda conjured up a roomful of black tentacles that whipped around. Only the snake was grappled though. The giant water droplet is the prison of Shirqual, a water elemental and his pet amphisbaena, a snake with a head on each end. Poltur spoke to the elemental in it’s native tongue and it stepped out of the drop and took a badly aimed swing at Cromag.

At this the ghost of Pelastour materialized, calling out to his grandson that he hadn’t just released the water elemental from the drop only to fight but from also from it’s binding. The elemental gurgled angrily as it’s pet was being crushed. The ghost again started up it’s singing and raised the morale of the group. It seemed the fight was inevitable.

Jaron and Cromag fought back but the duelist was almost impossible to hit. Lemmywinks fired a scorching ray which he sidestepped but the second blasted the elemental. Balinda burst a glitterdust into the room and blinded Poltur but the duelist was undeterred. He lunged and ran Jaron through with his rapier. The man fell to the ground for the second time that morning. The elemental slammed Cromag with his watery fists then it was hit with a snowball spell from Lemmywinks. The tentacles continued to flap around but only successfully grappled the two headed snake.

Pelastour floated over and began healing. Jaron was awake again. Gwaiyu confused the amphisbeana but it continued to act normally. Lemmywinks drew on her magus powers and recalled her ray attack. She sent another two burning rays into the elemental critically wounding it. Cromag slashed and it retreated into the waterdrop.

By now the concentrated attacks on Poltur were taking their toll and he backflipped into the pool. He was underwater and temporarily safe but the dwarf hustled along the narrow ledge dodging tentacles. He was waiting for Poltur to surface. Then the elemental leaned down to stroke his pet, the confused amphisbaena lashed out and bit him. The elemental splashed apart. Gwaiyu using freedom of movement jumped in the pool after Poltur. He came up behind the man and struck him with his morningstar. The swing was true and Poltur stopped moving. Bubbles drifted up from his mouth.

The magic tentacles disappeared.

Two stones from a sling staff finished the giant magic snake. Poltur died as he was brought up to the ledge and his ghostly grandfather wailed. Pelestour began to fade. He told them that magic was no longer containing the water. He urged them to avoid fighting the Terraken directly but try to capture the amulet that controls it which was at the bottom of the oubliette. Then he was gone.

There was a rumble in the distance and they could feel tremors. Jaron was near death and ran out of the room. Cromag crawled into one of the water tubes leading out, or into, the room. Balinda crawled into another but she needed light so Lemmy went with her. Bartholomew crawled into another. Gwaiyu followed Jaron out. Nobody knew where the oubliette was.

Cromag found the correct way and the fatigued dwarfed called out. Balinda and Lemmywinks tube had ended in collapsed rock so they were on the way back and the only ones to hear him. His tunnel passed into the other side of the dry channel past the collapsed section. There was a breeze and the smell of salt water. They ran and left the fatigued dwarf behind telling him to get out.

The two of them took the old canal to it’s end. The channel opened into a huge pit at least one hundred feet across. A horizontal geyser of water shot from a fissure in the far wall thirty feet below the channel and blasted into the opposite stone wall and fell into a swirling froth eighty feet below. The water level was rapidly rising. At the bottom of the pit drifts the partially decomposed corpse of an enormous beast.

Balinda suggested Lemmywinks go down there and fish out the controlling amulet while she distracted the Terraken. The halfling was horrified and refused. The second plan was better.

As the shaft filled up Balinda created a fake wall to hide them from the beast. They stayed quiet and when the water lever reached the top, the Terraken roared in victory and scuttled down the old channel. The water kept rising and followed the undead dragon turtle.

Balinda and Lemmywinks took deep breaths and spider climbed down the wall into the churning water. They reached the bottom quickly. Balinda had a little trouble casting her detect magic but Lemmy’s worked right away. There was magic present. They stayed close and moved along the bottom of the pit.

Unfortunately the magic item turned out to be a sword and not the amulet. They continued on and this time Balinda sensed the next aura. This one required some probing but the wizard found it quickly – a ring still on a finger bone. She slipped it on and discovered it helped her swim.

Lemmy was becoming out out of breath when they found the Cloak of the Manta Ray. Now Balinda could breath and she took the halfling to the top before continuing. The water was flowing into the old canal now.

Balinda dove deep and zeroed in on the remaining magical aura. She found the Terraken amulet!

With the amulet she was able to see through the creature’s eyes and command it. It had been digging through the collapsed portion of the canal.

XP: 2000


Balinda and Lemmywinks returned to the rest of the party in the inner port. All the rooms and passages were flooding and the water level in the inner port was rising but there would always be at least a dome of trapped air. They spent the rest of the night there in relative safety arguing about what to do.

Gwaiyu, using the cloak made a heroic effort to kill the creature with magic but all that did was make him realize that it both healed and struggled against the amulet’s control when commanded to ignore something attacking it.

Ultimately they decided to leave Balinda behind and seek out a church that could handle the destruction of the creature. Most of them left for Augustana the next day. That turned out to be the best decision.

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Draining the Swamp in Riddleport
or Sometimes it's too good to be true.

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Pema the Monk, Mark the gnomish sorcerer, Jigsaw the catfolk Rogue and Uncle Sparrow The Bard Oracle are the remains of a down on your luck adventuring crew. They chose to decamp from Magnimar after a delve into the city sewers went sideways resulting in their companion, an Inquisitor of Pharasma, being swallowed by what appeared to be a mass of tentacles with teeth. This incident caused some bad blood with the authorities, so they thought an out of town job may be just what the barber ordered. They encountered a posting for a job in Riddleport requesting adventurers in retrieving information needed by a person by the name of Cyphermage Grimbowl. It offered a 500 gp award, but was otherwise vague on the details. Needing to get out of town and having no other destination in mind, the four sold theirr horses and grabbed the first ship headed north.

After about 5 days at sea they arrived in Riddleport late at night. It was notable that the ship was docking without any lanterns lit and the crew was whispering the whole time. After an unceremonious disembarkation, the four all spent the night in a seedy inn along the waterfront, awaking the next morning to begin their newest adventure!

After getting an okay night’s rest they asked the bartender about the Cyphermages. He had some information to give, telling them they needed to take the ferry across the river. Uncle Sparrow decided to play a song on the street corner or passers-by not realizing that panhandling there’s a monopoly on panhandling by one of the city gangs. After being unceremoniously shoved to the side and having his boot stolen, the group decided to proceed to the ferry. They took the ferry across the river and met with Grimbowls estate. Grimbowl told them that they just needed to go to the Publican house to ask the High Publican Arnando Rolf for the map. No one thought to ask why he would offer 500 gold for them to just walk across town or realize that there’s has to be a catch to this job.
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The group went to the Publican house but it was too early in the morning and it was still closed. Uncle Sparrow ask a nearby hobo who was able to answer some questions about the High Publican as well as the Publican house. While speaking with the hobo a young halfling pickpocket attempted to steal Uncle sparrows purse. The whole group being wide awake and alert noticed the halfling and Pema with her quick reflexes punched him into submission. The gathered hobos, seeing the group attack a pickpocket, fled the scene for fear of reprisals by the pickpocket Guild. Everyone decided it would be best to dump the unconscious halfling in a bin and then flee the scene. At this point, hoping to kill some time until the Publican House opens everyone decided to go to the market where they were able to purchase a pair of replacement boots for Uncle Sparrow.

That evening the group paid a visit to the Publican House where they found a raucous tavern like situation. They mingled among the crowd, attempting to gather information about the Publican Rolf and the possible job that they agreed to do. Jigsaw mingled amongst the crowd looking for free drinks. Uncle Sparrow decided to play a song with the band which was quite a morose and melancholy tune. Mark made friends with a couple other gnomes, Lini the druid, Bob and So-and-so. Pema went to the bar to try to bribe some information out of the bartender. She asked the bartender if the High Publican was going to be around saying that she was an old friend of his, not realizing that she was speaking to the High Publican himself. He asked her who is asking and when she stumbled over her answer he then told her Publican Rolf would be around. Pema then attempted to sneak into the office but was caught.

Mark asked his new friends if they knew who the High Publican was and they pointed out that it was the bartender that Pema was speaking with earlier. The group then introduce themselves to Arnando and he welcome them into his office to speak about their job. He asked them what they were there for and they told him that they were told to ask for the map. Publican Rolf told them that they could have the map after they do something for him, specifically they needed to clear out the gang run by Ziphras that is holed up in the Boneyard. When asked for more information the High Publican told them that if they gave him a hundred gold pieces he would give them all the information they needed or they could try to find it out on their own. Blanching at the cost of the information the group decided to just ask around.

Mark’s new friends came in handy because So-and-so new some information about the Boneyard. He was able to tell them that it is a salt marsh to the east of the city that has a large number of derelict ships in it. He also mentioned that there were rodents of unusual size or ROUSes there and to stay out of the water because they are dangerous animals as well. He also disclosed that he was stabbed twice by the gang who didn’t like him being there. When asked if any of the three would be interested in helping, they politely declined. The group purchased rooms at the Inn for that night.

The next day our intrepid adventurers proceeded to the Boneyard which is located east of the city’s eastern ridge. Climbing over the ridge, Boneyard Cut passage ascends almost 200 feet at a near-45-degree angle. Many old hulks and collections of ships’ ribs protrude from the swampy ground of the Boneyard. The whole area is a partially flooded salt marsh that is generally two to three feet deep, although some hidden patches of quicksand are much deeper.

Our group proceeded into the swamp, moving towards the larger collections of ships. They initially encountered a group of 3 gang members. They got the drop on the group and was able to get an opening volley. Luckily, One of the gang members fumbled his crossbow. After a few rounds Pema was able to get the better of the small group. One fled the scene, but was struck down by Pema.

While moving through the swamp, the foursome was able to see the swamp barracuda before it was within striking distance. They were able to go around and avoid that encounter. Coming up on a large collection of derelict boats, they again encountered 4 gang members. Mark used his scroll of fog cloud to block the gang’s vision and attempted to confuse them with a ghost sound. Mark also helped to increase Pema’s effectiveness by casting bull’s strength from a scroll as well. This was ineffective because the gang members were able to take their true form, wererats and use their scent to navigate the cloud. The fight quickly turned in our hero’s favor, with both Pema and Jigsaw attacking the remaining gang members inside their hideout. One agreed to help them if he was spared.

The one remaining wererat as able to tell the four the lay of the land where Ziphras had his hideout. More importantly, he was able to give them a silver knife that allowed the wielder to cut through the wererat’s magically thick hide. Pema drank a potion of fly and Jigsaw a potion of invisibility. Pema flew up to the lookout and pushed him out of his crow’s nest. Jigsaw stood at the bottom and was able to sneak attack him. An all out melee then ensued with several close calls, particularly for Mark and Uncle Sparrow. Pema also benefited from Ziphras’s inability to successfully feint her, preventing him from getting in a sneak attack. In the end Ziphras was killed, being stabbed in the back as he attempted to flee from the constant onslaught of the silver dagger.

Having defeated Ziphras, the heros returned to Publican Rolf and gave him Ziphras’s dagger in exchange for the “map.” Which turned out to be a mysterious wooden box, along with a warning not to attempt to open it. They then returned it to Cyphermage Grimbowl and received their reward.

500gp and 1825 exp.

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Chimeras Cove: Release the Terraken!
Not so fast. We need to heal up first.

They stood in muddy water outside a partially natural cavern. That rooms’s floor was dotted with small, muddy pools, none more than a foot deep. At least a dozen wooden boxes and chests lie in the dry areas, most open, with coins and weapons clearly visible within. Treasure!

Of course it was too good to be true that it was left unguarded. The construction of the concealed port many years ago, particularly the excavation via transmute rock to mud spells, attracted ooze mephits to the caves which proved a constant annoyance to Pelastour and his men.

“All this water is filling my codpiece!”

Their murmuring stopped. Was that Cromag? Why it was.

It was then that the mephits attacked with grease, acid arrows and a stinking cloud. The mephits were known to two of them so there were no surprises. Though weak they were clever combatants and flitted out of the range of hand weapons. They continued attacking with a breath of slime, more clouds, more grease, and another acid arrow. Between the obscured vision, water, mud, and furniture in the room it was difficult for the attackers to even get a chance to attack then the creatures had a resistance to all but magical weapons. Crossbow bolts and lead sling bullets flew and the monsters all began summoning. Balinda blinded the leader who was also a spellcaster. Fortunately all the summonings failed. Then Lemmwinks took down the sorcerous leader with three well placed shots. Bart spitted another with bolts and the last fled.

Shortly the clouds cleared and they searched the room. There was a thousand silver and a thousand copper. The rest of the stuff did not interest them. Gwaiyu picked a potion of invisibility off the pulped body of the leader.

They did not waste time advancing to the next little room.

This roughly spherical chamber is mostly dry, and the stone walls appear to be unworked. A passage in the east wall winds away to the northeast. A ghost manifests here when the PCs arrive and attempts to recruit them to its cause. The ghost appears as an insubstantial human figure young and energetic and dressed in sailing attire.

“Greetings, sailors. My name is Pelastour, and I built this place. I am ashamed to say that I am also the grandfather of Poltur, who seeks to sell our family’s honor to the highest bidder. My only hope is to help you destroy him.” He then readily tells the PCs the truth about Chimera Cove and the Terraken including the magical screening which prevents locating the Terraken with divination. He also explains that his ties to Poltur unfortunately keep him from attacking the scoundrel himself, and that it was he who added “The Accursed” to Poltur’s note in a failed attempt to scare off the baron. They spoke for a short time.

Where is Poltur now? “Very close, as the spirit flies. He is in a chamber known as Fluxhold, almost directly above us, and he remains there because Fluxhold offers a view of the Terraken and other locations within the islands through a scrying pool. Take the passage to the north, through the chamber, then northwest, then climb, and you’ll be there.”

What is the purpose of Fluxhold and the scrying pool? “An elemental is bound into the magic of Fluxhold, required by magical oath to lower and raise the water in the cove and the locks in response to certain signals. The scrying pool allows it to do this while remaining in Fluxhold.”

What is next? The next chamber contains Captain Vintresk and what remains of her crew. They are sea sworn and the Captain was a wizard in life. Her first mate was an Ulfen warrior. Three marines remain at their side.

Where is the Terraken? “Just where I left it 50 years ago: trapped in the oubliette, and unable to climb out as long as these tunnels remain dry. There, too, lies the amulet which controls it—the treasure Poltur is undoubtedly seeking even now.”

Why hasn’t Poltur released the Terraken already? “This may be my only success with Poltur to date. He has yet to locate the amulet that controls the Terraken, and is reluctant to make any further moves until he’s done so. Instead, he monitors the situation, too close to his goal to take a step back and find new allies, too concerned with you nipping at his heels to give the matter his full attention. The stage is set for you to confront him in Fluxhold.”

What can you do to help us? “Little, directly. As he is my own flesh, I have not dared attack him outright—the spells that bind this place are tied to me and my blood. I have some control over them, but he, being alive, has more. What would happen if he were to be slain, I do not know.”

Can you tell us more of the elemental? “Do not concern yourselves with it. It is a bound servant, and matters only if someone gives it the command to flood the oubliette.”

With that the ghost urges haste and fades away to nothing. They prepared themselves for battle with magical charms and Cromag drank his healing draughts. Then they proceeded to confront the Captain.

That fight is interupted when the last remaining mephit ambushes them. As the turn a sharp corner it spews slime breath on Bart and Jaron. Then it drops onto Bart’s face scratching and clawing. That proved to be a mistake. Although nobody else could reach it, Bart skewered it on his fine trident. Then he held it out for Gwaiyu to batter.

Ahead was a stone chamber filled with a roar every dozen heartbeats, similar to the sounds of surf, but amplified. A large pool of water fills the southern half of the chamber and extends shallow fingers almost to the northern wall. For decades Captain Vintresk, the sea-sworn pilot of the Terraken, has languished in this chamber.

The party saw her sitting behind a table with the tall Ulfen marine beside her. “Are we doing this?” Lemmywinks asked.

“Yes!” was the response, so she dodged through all the people in her way and entered the room. Immediately three marines burst out from the water and two were able to attack. One stabbed her viciously forcing her to spin to the left and exit down a short side passage. Good thing she was under the affects of expeditious retreat. Then she let rip with a scorching ray that destroyed the nearest marine.

Captain Vintresk got the right angle and with a word, unleashed a lightning bolt down the hall that zapped everyone and Cromag doubly so. The fight was well and truly on now. The Ulfen jumped on the table and began bellowing and flexing which left the first three people in line shaken. Then the remaining two marines moved up. Bart nicked one. The first attacked Bartholomew and missed and the wouned one continued up to Lemmy in the other passage and missed.

There was a general feeling of hopelessness, but the regular marines were quickly destroyed. Bart pierced the one over and over and Lemmy sprayed fired on the one after her. Jaron entered the room only to have the first mate jump down from the table and run him through with his longsword. The investigator wobbled on the edge of unconsiousness.

It was then that the ghost of Pelastour manifested again. Vintresk hissed at her old enemy who launched into a lively sea shanty that bolstered everyone’s spirits. They felt sure that victory would be snatched from the jaws of defeat! Pelastour also reached out and touched the Ulfen marine who wailed and collapsed into the water.

Vintresk burned the her old enemy with a ray of fire and then everyone else was upon her. She fought back primarily with spells although she was armed with an impressive trident herself. She took their blows sometime healing herself other times attacking. Cromag was held. Gwaiyu cast rage on Jaron allowing him to move over and deal the final blow to the captain and send her to her eternal reward.

Pelastour was gone but for the moment they were safe and Balinda excitedly announced that the room was full of magic. They grabbed armfuls of stuff and retreated to the chamber where the helpful ghost had first appeared. They barracaded it with things from the mephit’s room and then started treating wounds and identifying magic items.

It was clear they were done for the day even though it was 9 am. Most of them were close to unconsciousness and almost all magic was used up for the day. Adventuring is tough!

XP: 1867

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Chimeras Cove: This Water Is Filling My Codpiece

Cromag inexpertly returned the catboat to the dock. During the burning of the Chelish ship, Cromag paddled away from the inferno. The task was harder than the sailor had made it look he thought. By the time he had returned to the dock his loud companions were disappearing from the inner port.

The dwarf waited for some time watching the merchant vessle burn. The two wounded hobgoblins that still remained were unable to ascend the ramp to the top of the lock due to the smoke and noxious fumes. Seeing the dwarf alone they descended. Cromap quit the small boat to meet them on the dock.

They charged and Cromag bellowed deeply intimidating them both. Yet he was struck with a longsword and the other mercenary moved behind him. The naked dwarf traded blows with the sword and shield wielding hobgoblin. The creature behind him chopped him with hand ax and short sword. The barbarian took a liking to the masterwork breastplates worn by his opponents. He knocked the one senseless with his greatclub and concentrated on the other. They fought back and forth before Cromag decapitated the hobgoblin with a tremendous blow.

Cromag left the dock wearing an ill fitting breastplate, carrying a masterwork steel shield, and armed with a fine longsword. In his belt was a sharp new hand axe. He also sported several new injuries.

The dwarf exited the port and spent some time rummaging the guardroom. He retrieved some coins and pulled three mysterious oils from a small lead box before collecting six candles. Then he hiked the ledge alongside the dry canal until reaching the landing.

At the landing he looked with interest on the two large bloody pools in front of the iron double doors which were ajar. Cromag stared at the three iron levers set in the wall and the open doors. He dragged over some mouldy rope so the doors couldn’t close behind him and then followed the sets of bloody footprints inside.

He poked around a dead chimera for a time. Then moved on to a water logged chamber with two dead zombie marines in it. The barnacle encrutsed gear was in a poor state. Here he heard some noises and left the room. He recognized them as his companions from Falcon’s Hollow. He hurried through the twisting passage.

“All this water is filling my codpiece!” he shouted.

XP: 2000

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Chimeras Cove: The Secret Port

That evening the village had another reason to celebrate. Bartholomew Roberts was rowed ashore from his ship. He was a favorite of the inhabitants and freshly returned from a year at sea. He was so grateful that he immediately insisted on joining them the following day.

They wasted no time in the morning. They took the items Lemmywinks had brought, the holy symbol and silver wire, and climbed into a small boat. Bart sailed the catboat into the center of the cove and Lemmywinks lowered the holy symbol. It was as easy as that.

Almost immediately, the winds and waters calm. The spray gradually ceases and waves that were crashing against rocks now lap placidly against them. Although the fog remains, where gaps between the shore and the islands were once visible leading out to the open sea, now stone seawalls are visible, slowly rising. It quickly becomes clear that the seawalls only rise a short distance and thereafter it is the water level in the cove that starts to fall. More and more of the steep, rocky sides of the islands become visible, until the three islands appear as a single connected mass. The retreating water leaves the dock below the village’s boathouse lying in muck. The southwestern face of the largest island reveals a large cave mouth below the low-tide mark.

But the lowered water revealed something else. A giant octopus was left stranded above water on a rocky promenance 650 feet away. As it slithered toward the water Bart told them about this particular nasty. The Inner Sea is home to the Hand of the Deep, a rare breed of giant octopus that has evolved a paralytic poison in its tentacle suckers. The Hands are even more aggressive than the typical giant octopus, and superstitious sailors have named them for their tendency to pluck single crewmembers from the edges of ships’ decks and whisk them beneath the waves.

Not liking the sound of that Balinda quickly magicked up an illusion of a giant hungry orca to swim around between their boat and the beast. It seemed to do the trick and they headed directly into the cave mouth.

The cavern was huge – big enough for more than one large ship. To either side of the cave mouth, stone ramps five feet wide rise out of the water and cling to the cavern walls, gradually rising upward to end at a height of thirty five feet at the far wall. At that wall the west ramp opens into another chamber from which faint light emanates. Thick ropes hang into the water here and there, some anchored to rusting cleats set into the walls, others lying in loose coils.

Dominating the far wall are gigantic wooden double doors, twenty-five feet in height and forty feet in width, composed of planks which could be ships’ timbers and are heavily reinforced with rusting steel. The top of the doors are flush with the top of the wall, while the bottom is ten feet above water level. The many barnacles indicate the door is typically submerged to a depth of twenty feet. No hinges are visible, making it appear the doors open inward.

Standing atop the far wall to either side of the giant doors is a pair of wooden and steel contraptions which resemble small siege engines. A stout wooden base supports a pivoting mechanism enclosing an open chute ten feet long and one foot in width, with attached gears used to adjust the angle of the chute. Three hobgoblin mercenaries watched them from the upper ledge. They appeared to have been spear fishing. Now they eyed the newcomers curiously.

Realizing that the hobgoblins were expecting reinforcements Balinda bluffed her way into their trust. They were told to move the catboat to the lock doors on the far end. The hobgoblins would open the doors and let the boat inside. Bartholomew again proved his worthiness and expertly piloted the boat inside the lock. The giant doors closed behind them. Now the water could rise behind them concealing the port.

The inner port was not as big as the initial cavern but still big enough for 2-3 ships to dock. In fact there was a Chelish merchant ship there now but the name of “Silver Reign”. It looked low in the water. Light was provided by multiple magical sources high in the ship’s rigging. Bart docked near the ship and all but Cromag exited. They though someone should stay with their escape vessel.

To their surprise, they immediately spotted Poltur running up the gangplank to the ship. He stopped at the top to stare at them. He was a tall, tanned man in his thirties with a black eyepatch over his right eye. He wears flashy clothes but despite the garishness of his outfit, his every movement conveys a precise sense of balance. He had a rapier on his hip and a crossbow on his back.

Balinda again tried to pass them off as the expected reinforcements but her initial success waned. It seemed like he knew Bartholomew was too goody goody to go against the town or perhaps Balinda’s story was thin on specifics. Poltur demanded a duel with Bart who was happy to oblige. Before that could start though the rest of the group began to conspire and Poltur stepped back out of view while calling his mercenaries.

They immediately rushed aboard the ship but Poltur was nowhere to be seen. The deck of this ship was completely bare under the flickering supernatural lights attached to the mast, with shadow-nets cast through the rigging dancing across the planks. Two hatches, each with a steep ladder, stand open to the hold below. Jaron threw an alchemist fire down one hatch. No reaction from below. Then Jaron became invisible and descended the other ladder followed by Gwaiyu while the others guarded the two hatches. The ship’s interior is a single empty cargo compartment, broken only by two rows of thick stanchions and a ropeless windlass in the center of the deck.

Poltur remained hidden while the other occupant, a hell cat, attacked the invisible Jaron sinking only its teeth into the man. Gwaiyu and Jaron began combat with the otherworldly cat which was soon suffering from Gwaiyu’s curses. The cleric debilitated the beast further with each passing round.

Above deck the others were fighting six hobgoblin mercenaries bottlenecked on the boarding plank and some suffered from magical stunning.

Both fights carried on and suddenly Poltur exited from below decks. He crossed the ship stabbing others when he could before leaping to the dock when the fight appeared to be going against his side. As his mercenaries dropped into the water and the hell cat suffered, he ran into the darkness. The fight only continued a couple of more rounds. Then the two remaining wounded hobgoblins retreated.

Poltur was gone.

They left the burning ship and hastily checked the remaining bodies. No money but they had some expensive gear. The group moved off into the darkness after their quarry. Balinda scanned for magic in the guardroom and came up empty. So the group followed a ledge that ran alongside a dry channel until it came up on an old landing.

Opposite the dock where two large iron doors with a set of three iron levels set in a plate on the wall. Bart and Jaron checked them out but accidentally triggered a terrible spike trap that impaled the two of them for 1 minute before it reset. The others helped them through the doors and Gwaiyu reluctantly performed some magical healing.

The party formed ranks again and marched down the passage until it opened into a narrow chamber. As they entered a sea sworn chimera sprung from around the corner and blasted three of them with a line of acid. The five of them made the beast pay dearly however. Gwaiyu used magic to pass behind it but took a hit from the tail and his lungs filled with saltwater. Jaron and Bart took the brunt of the heads and claws. It was a nasty but short fight. The chimera was cut down and they passed on.

A short section of hallway separated them from the next room. That one had water on the floor and rotting furnishings. There were also two submerged bodies that animated as Bartholomew approached to poke one with his trident. The were undead Chelish marines and not nearly the challenge the chimera was.

The room had nothing of value in it and they moved on quickly. The twisty passage led them to another room. This large cavern’s floor was dotted with small, muddy pools, none more than a foot deep. At least a dozen wooden boxes and chests lie in the dry areas, most open, with coins and weapons clearly visible within. And there was movement inside.

XP: 5120

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Treasure of the Blue Moon (part 2)
Nothing like a good pack dog

An uninterrupted night’s rest helped lift the spirits of the party. Laramore the pack dog was loaded down with Rillivis’ satchels and spear since the elf was still too weak to carry those things effectively. Wounds were healed though, and so the hunt for the treasure continued. Elmer led the way with a swig of alcohol, scouting out the beach and their best path up to the hill tops on the penesula. The pirate’s tale spoke of a cave near the top somewhere. Sophie and Rillivis followed the fighter, but they both basically took in the sea vistas and fresh air offering nothing useful in the way of scouting. Elmer chose a good spot to climb to the forested bluff and head towards the hill tops, one with numerous handholds and trees to help the others climb. After a failed attempt, the weakened elf required Elmer to haul him up via rope anyway. They hiked a path to the nearest hill top, unsure where to begin their search. On the way up they found a mineshaft, well fortified but unused for some time. The decision was made to explore it. They needed to find a cave, right?

Elmer led them in with Rillivis lighting the way for the 2 humans plus himself. Sophie and Elmer paused at the first side passage when they both spotted a large black spider hanging in a web watching them. It was the size of a mule. Sophie identified it as a giant black widow then told Elmer to “kill it!” The party paused for minute in a staring contest, neither spider nor person daring to move first. When Elmer sent Laramore away everything changed as a web shot out to entangle the poor dog. The spider lurched forward and Elmer moved to chop it. Sophie started telling jokes and Rillivis sent a sparkle of lights to dazzled it, informing the others that his magical light and fire attacks were only effective against evil. They could not hurt the insect. The massive spider bit Sophie and she felt the strong poison taking effect. The comedian’s performance suffered as she wept between verses. Seconds later another of the large spiders raced along the ceiling from deeper within the mineshaft. Elmer, with sophie’s help managed to slay the first spider but the fighter was soon entangled by the second creature’s webbing. He broke free in time to beat it back but took a nasty bite in the process. Meanwhile Sophie was quickly deteriorating due to the poison in her bloodstream, her constitution draining away. Eventually she was able to use her bard magic to break free of the poison. Rillivis summoned a small fire elemental to attack and the spider retreated after being burned. Elmer did not want to lose track of it so he chased it deeper into the mine with everyone following. They cornered the spider and, as it tried to escape, cut it down.

The mine ended abruptly but they collected a bag of onyx chips Rillivis estimated at about 60gp value, placing the new bag on Laramore’s back. It wasn’t a treasure perse, but it was something. Seeing nothing else here they headed out and continued up the hillside. They came upon another mine but this one looked much more random, like a hole dug in the dirt without supports. Cautiously entering, they heard clinking sounds deeper inside. The farm boy fighter noted that the ceiling here wasn’t very stable. Elmer had Rillivis cast light on an arrow to fire inside and see the source of the clinking. After a poorly aimed shot that barely lit the ground beyond their feet, they tried again and this time saw that 6 humanoids were digging with picks. The humanoids noticed them and turned dropping the tools. Sophie called out “zombies!” As the dead lumbered in their direction. Slow moving, the party used their vantage to fire arrows and eventually heavenly flame at them, destroying half of them before they were within range to strike. The others were cut down mostly by Elmer, but not before landing a couple of solid blows on the elf. Inside they found nothing but rusted picks … odd. And so they carried on climbing further up the hillside. Elmer decided that was worth another drink!

Sophie spotted a structure above them, actual stonework. Elmer climbed to it and discovered a finely constructed well adorned in sigils and blackened as if burned. He pulled the others up and they identified risidual magic, probably from the sigils, and religious markings representing Norgorber God of Assassins and Deceit. They heard a crunch alerting them to something moving nearby and they hid behind the well. Actually only Elmer hid, both Sophie and Rillivis just crouched to either side of it in plain sight. A voice called down to them to come out. It was a pair of harpies perched on a ledge some 20 feet above them. The women held morning stars and bid the trio to surrender and be escorted to Tirarus. Elmer used his surprise to shoot one of them with his bow and a battle broke out. Rillivis blasted them with his light burst while Sophie started up her jokes to inspire the group “waka waka waka!” One of the harpies began to sing but everyone managed to resist her charming song. Down she went with another blast and some well-placed arrows. The remaining harpy swooped to attack Elmer and stop his deadly bow. She batted and clawed the farm boy pretty severely before he brought out his 2-handed sword and cut her from the air. The harpies had little to offer but they did find a large silver key inside the well. They continued on up.

Topping the hill, they found a strange pentagram Rillivis suspected of being a summoning circle. Seated a few feet away was a large creature with the body of a lion, face of a bearded man and dragon wings, plus a heavily spiked tail. “A manticore!” Sophie blurted out. She immediately asked if he was Tirarus which angered the creature immensely. To calm him, Sophie did what Sophie does best and flashed him. Her breasts jiggled and it worked. They began a dialogue, learning that Musa the Manticore and Tirarus the chimera were both summoned by Garazandal the mad dwarf wizard to guard his domain. The wizard vanished years ago and the pair of creatures now battled over who ruled this area. Elmer mentioned the harpies and angered the manticore again, they worked for Tirarus. But Sophie flashed him another peek (jiggle jiggle with a smile) to calm him. Musa offered them a deal, kill Tirarus and they could leave safely with the Garanzandal’s treasure in tow. They agreed to the deal and set out towards the moon-shaped cave they could see on the distant hilltop. Elmer later informed them that the manticore was definitely lying! They shrugged, that was a problem for the future. For now, they were headed for the treasure!

The group hiked another couple of hours to reach the tallest peak and the lair of the dwarf wizard. It was a 20 foot steep climb to reach the large landing and cave. Sophie turned Elmer invisible so he could sneak inside and possibly slay the chimera in its sleep. Rillivis informed them it was quite dangerous, quite stupid and quite evil. Elmer scaled the cliff and crept inside to find the large 3-headed creature hiding and waiting to ambush them. Evidently it had spotted them on their way here. The lion head, goat head and black dragon head all stared intently waiting for signs of someone climbing over the ledge. Elmer carefully retreated back to explain the situation to the others.

They took a few minutes to form a plan then set into action. Sophie used her ghost sound ability to again make the loud roar of a lion followed by her silent image of Masu circling far away as if challenging Tirarus. The ruse worked and the stupid chimera bounded out of the cave launching into the air and heading straight for the manticore. As it flew by, Elmer hurried up the cliff again and hauled the others up with his rope. Time was very limited as the chimera blasted the illusion with its acid breath discovering its true nature. They ran as fast as they could into the cave and hurried on through the only door they saw, a large stone portal marked with religious symbols and runes. They slammed the door and prepared to bar it behind them when Rillivis pointed out the chamber before them. Black and white checkered stones paved the floor each with symbols drawn on it. Sophie recalled seeing one of those symbols over the door as she ran inside. “We have to peek at the door again, quickly!” She cried. Elmer opened the door while the other 2 stepped outside to take a quick look at the symbols and words. The chimera would be returning any second so they had to hurry. They then closed and barred the door behind them. The trio spent a good amount of time trying to decipher the puzzle, assuming horrible traps awaited them with a misstep. Finally they just gave up and went with Elmer’s guess. Sophie started crossing the floor in the pattern he called out. Miraculously he was right and she made it safely to the other side. The door on the far end was locked but the key from the well did the trick. Inside was a bedroom and alchemical workshop of sorts. A 7 foot black onyx pyramid marked with unholy symbols dedicated to Norgorber sat in the center, rillivis valued it at around 15,000gp but at 1,000 lbs it was far too bulky and heavy to carry out. They discovered all sorts of metals in vials and a notebook describing Garanzandal’s many attempts to convert metals to gold. He thought that Norgorber had gifted him secrets only to learn the evil God was merely teasing the mad dwarf. There was a magical rod, a spell book and the skeletal remains of a dwarf in his bed here, too. Sophie claimed the rod and then grabbed the spell book. Out of the darkness came a creature of pure shadow. Rillivis identified it as a greater shadow, Garanzandal’s spirit. It attacked Sophie and she screamed. The bard was immediately drained of most of her strength. She fell to the ground under the weight of her equipment and began crawling away begging for help. Rillivis stepped away to blast it with his light magic, warning them that if it drained all your strength you’d rise as a shadow in moments. His current strength of 5 meant he needed to keep his distance. Elmer charged in to save the bard and landed a few solid blows with his magic weapons. Rillivis added more light blasts to the fray. Elmer slumped due his own loss of strength now and fight looked grim. Sophie pointed the rod at it and activated it blindly filling the chamber with hundreds of butterflies, basically blinding herself. Rillivis, out of light blasts, switched to heavenly fire, and Elmer landed two heavy blows destroying the creature in the nick of time. They rested and debated their situation, while loading some of Sophie’s gear onto poor Laramore’s back. They found no other exits and pointedly no dwarf treasure. The notes suggested that the mad dwarf was obsessed with creating gold but ultimately failed. Thank the Gods that spell book was valuable.

They rested for a full day and another half, recouping what they could of their dwindled abilities. It was time to escape. They prepared for the worst, throwing the stone door wide and racing in to attack the chimera. Tirarus did not disappoint, he melted the summoned fire elemental with acid and tore into Elmer. The fighter got lucky as several attacks missed, most importantly that large central lion head. Sophie supplied jokes “waka waka waka!” while Rillivis supplied light blasts. Chop after chop dug holes into the beast and it’s claws and heads did the same to Elmer. Sophie stepped up to take some attacks and suffered a pair of huge claw wounds. 2 more chops and Elmer stood over the body of the dead chimera, both bathed in blood. He beheaded it 3 times. Everyone rejoiced having expected certain death. They healed and Looted the chimera nest uncovering a valuable fire opal and a pair of large black pearls altogether totally around 1,900gp in Rillivis’ estimate. There were large chunks of raw gold ore but that was far too heavy to move.

Triumphant, they crawled from the cave and used magic sounds and lights to call for Musa. The manticore arrived hovering overhead and thanked them as Elmer produced all three severed chimera heads. Musa then launched his tail spikes at them, striking everyone including poor Laramore. They knew it was a possibility and so Elmer was ready. He shot arrows, Rillivis blasted it with light and Sophie started up her comedy act to inspire them. The manticore launched more spikes nailing each of them again with a critical hit that left the dog splayed on the floor.

They fell back inside the cave. They were being slaughtered. Elmer, bringing up the rear, took three more spikes including a critical hit. Sophie did manage to tap Laramore with a cure as she passed and the dog scurried away to hide. Musa entered the cave in pure confidence. They had barely scratched him thus far. Everyone was heavily injured. Rillivis blasted him with more light magic and was filled with tail spikes for the effort. The elf was barely left standing. Sophie was in a similar state at his side, one spike imbedded in each of her large bussoms. Elmer charged from behind the beast and landed a critical hit, cutting a huge gash in the manticore. Suddenly, the tables had turned. It looked as if Musa might flee so Rillivis burned it with his fire and Sophie ran in to stab it with her dagger, amazingly delivering the killing blow. Half dead and bedraggled, the party healed what they could and fled for the beach and their boat. They made it back, paid the overdraft fees for their time away with the boat (9 days) and then returned to Absalom to sort and sell their goods. All in all, they did walk away with a hefty treasure including the 300gp writ from Fillego Mahd despite the fact that there never really was a Blue Moon treasure to begin with.

Elmer was invited to join the guild with Sophie and Rillivis vouching for him, and he even got a cool souvenir in the form of a black dragon chimera head mounted on his shield. Unfortunately for Sophie, the youth also realized he now had too much respect for her to buy her services anymore.

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Treasure of the Blue Moon (part 1)
You’ve got to spend money to make money

A routine day in the Absalom Guild House began with Chad catching the first available member he could find for a mission commissioned by one of their regular clients, Felligo Mahd of Mahd’s Maps. Chad came to Sophie’s door and due to the noise knew she was present. He knocked, she answered half dressed and propositioned him as usual. The youth rolled his eyes and presented her with a writ for services with a brief description: she would gather another member or two and take the role of caravan guards on a short trip to Diobel. She remembered this was how she and her sister’s introduction to The Guild started long ago. She also recognized the name of the client and sighed. Her current John overheard the discussion and was looking for work so he asked to accompany her. She cracked a joke which made Chad groan and walk away then invited the stray man along. He looked capable enough. Sophie was all about making money, not so much the details of how so she leapt at the opportunity. Elmer, the current John, hooked up with Sophie the night before. The youth had just arrived from the distant lands of Andoran and was in need of a job to pay for the expensive city at the center of the world. The farm boy had already invested multiple silvers in the bard prostitute’s time. Together they dressed and headed to the mess hall to gather another body for the mission. Rillivis sat alone enjoying his quiet meal when Sophie approached with a joke followed by a lewd proposition. The prim elf calmed himself before responding and reluctantly accepting the task to help the local merchant. He was less concerned with the mission and more at odds with his company, Sophie the tramp bard and her latest “client”.

The trio set about gathering things and meeting the two wagon, 3 passenger caravan at the gates to the city for their journey. The writ promised them each 100gp for escorting the caravan safely to The port town. They set out. Over the next couple of days all went well, better than expected actually. Rillivis kept watch over the procession from his horse, Sophie propositioned all the men from her camel (a camel that she acquired through her special talents – aka a roll in the hay – much to Elmer’s chargrin. The youth had fallen for the pretty bard). Only a lone lion stalked their caravan but Sophie used her magic to create a roaring lion twice as loud as a standard one to scare the cat away. It worked! It also spooked the caravan camels and Rillivis’ horse. That caused Sophie to be dumped to the ground when her new camel fled. Elmer was quick to catch and calm the animal for her. The farm boy followed the procession on foot with his trusty pack dog, Laramore. He couldn’t afford a riding camel or horse.

They arrived in Diobel safe and sound and turned over the caravan to the dock master. The man signed their writ and they decided to hit a tavern before finding rooms for the night and heading back to collect their pay. The nearest place was The Blue Moon Tavern. Sophie knew a few local stories about the place. It was rumored to have a treasure map to the infamous Blue Moon treasure. They arrived to the dump and purchased drinks. Elmer went expensive buying two big drafts of the best beer for him and his dog, while Rillivis purchased a lite moon and stars ale. Sophie, always trying to make a deal, propositioned the bartender first but accepted his request to fix the broken window for a free drink. Her glass of yellow stain ale (the cheapest drink in the house) cost her 10 minutes of mending magic accompanied by rubbing her breasts against the glass from outside as she worked. She had to look sexy. Perhaps it wasn’t the best deal after all she thought as she returned for the drink, sweating profusely.

Conversation turned to the local legend of the Blue Moon treasure. The bartender explained that his grandfather and founder of the tavern was a pirate back in the day and the sign outside was a piece of his original ship and supposed map to the treasure that got away. Blue Moon was the name of his ship. He offered to sell it to them for a few hundred gold but that seemed a little steep so they declined. The trio took time to examine the sign but made little of it besides that it might be concealing something, so both Sophie and Rillivis made copies of the sign. Sophie’s was a nice kid’s sketch but Rillivis was an actual artist. His drawing proved a perfect copy. They debated finding the treasure and Sophie led the bandwagon on making some real money! “Anything for a coin!”

They spent the night and returned. After studying the map more they uncovered a few tidbits hidden in the work. There seemed to be a legitamit map here. Asking more questions about the map led them to an old shiphand of the dead grandfather and last surviving member of the ship. The man wanted them to go away but they persisted. Rillivis waited outside. The pirate’s place was absolutely filthy. Elmer bonded with the old pirate by offering booze (both seemed to be alcoholics). Sophie tried flashing her breasts and making him an offer first but the man was too old to partake. A few drinks led to a tale of the night the Blue Moon sank and the rumored treasure of legend. He spoke of a location which matched the map and of barrels of gold carried by undead in service of a mad dwarf wizard. The tale intrigued the farm boy and harlot. The man offered them a magic amulet he kept and they purchased it for 300gp even though noone seemed to know what it actually did. From there they decided it would be a faster route to rent a boat, 2 days versus 2 weeks on land. Rillivis boasted some skill at sailing, reassuring them it would be simple enough. That ended up costing them 500gp for a week’s rental plus extra coin to stable their mounts. Elmer seemed unsure about a boat trip but having only invested 30gp in their current 800+gp fiasco the other two held more sway. The running response was, “we’re already 800gp in, we need to make this work!” The 300gp writ from Fillego was not enough to cover their expenses at this point.

They set sail on day 1 of their 7 day rental. It was a 2 day journey there and back leaving them with 3 days to explore for the treasure – a solid enough plan. Rillivis began the journey by sailing in the wrong direction so Elmer had to correct the course … maybe it wasn’t such a great plan after all…

The first night out on Elmer’s watch while he dipped into the first of three kegs of alcohol he brought with him the ship was assaulted by a merciless spirit of a dead sailor seeking revenge. The Duppy proved a powerful opponent, each touch draining strength and life. Elmer was touched multiple times and collapsed to the boat deck under the weight of his own gear. Rillivis blasted the spirit repeatedly with his light magic which seemed to work well. The star elf sorcerer boasted about how his celestial bloodline often dealt with the undead as well as evil outsiders. Unfortunately, he too felt the draining touch until he had to drop his spear and lean against the mast for support. Sophie turned herself and Elmer invisible while they regrouped, hoping to gain a surprise advantage. She added her inspiring comedy to the fray. “Waka waka waka!” Rillivis’s magic plus Elmer’s magic weapon dispatched the Duppy. Drained and severely weakened, the party had no choice but to return to Diobel and seek medical treatment from the local priests. They rested a night and magically treated their strength loss, spending another 240gp and mustering most of what they lost. Sophie and Rillivis reasoned that the two day boat trip would be enough time to recoup the rest. Elmer was not so confident. But once again they were now over 1,000 gp in and needed this treasure to cover their loses. Elmer had few drinks and accepted the course. With 2 days lost on their boat rental for returning they now had 1 day to explore the peninsula and find the treasure – still a viable plan.

They set out again and reached the peninsula they sought after fending off a sea gremlin and grindylow. They spotted a shadow in the sea. Guessing it was the wreckage of The Blue Moon, they knew they were in the right spot but avoided the ship due to the old pirate’s mentioning of the terrible tentacle beast that sunk it years ago.

They pulled their boat ashore and decided to scout the area. They came upon an odd surprise. Two women in big hats and fancy gowns were having a picknic on a blanket spread on the beach. Sophie led the approach while the men stayed wary. The old women stood and moved to greet the pretty girl. As they moved closer one woman threw off her hat to reveal a horrific creature underneath. Sophie immediately identified them as sea hags even as she resisted the horror. The other hag dove into the ocean and began swimming around to flank the group while the first one attacked the bard. Elmer charged to protect Sophie while assigning his dog to guard Rillivis. The elf sorcerer blasted the hags with his light magic and heavenly fire. The hags repeatedly tried using their evil eye curses and horrific appearance against the party. Only Elmer succumbed to the curse and Rillivis lost strength again from the horrible appearance. They all suffered a few nasty gashes from the hag claws. Feeling weakened again, the trio decided to camp on the beach for the night and recover some before proceeding inland. They did acquire two bags of pearls, though, which Rillivis appraised at around 1,800gp value. There was much rejoicing in the fact that they had at least recovered their loses ….

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The Pearl of Penelope (part 1)

It began in the dimly lit back corner of the Grog Pit, a tavern in the dock district of Absalom known for its interesting house grog and its unscrupuled atmosphere. Yaethen Barg, a mature, robust, slightly intoxicated one-eyed man led the rountable discussion of a covert mission funded by a wealthy third party. He gathered a team to undergo the task of locating a ship wreckage to recover a treasure of significant value lost to Absalom’s Flotsom Graveyard decades past. The modest if charming halfling priest to Iomedae Pawter, the dainty and flighty Sylph sorcerer with the elemental bloodline Luft, and the beautiful and exotic aasimar chellish bard Valentyr, plus one of his trusted associates Roy, a sailor of some skill. Together they would use the rowboat he left docked for them under the cover of nightfall to recover the pearl necklace. He did not want the sailor’s guild nor the starwatch claiming any piece of the pie and taxing them. He gifted them a crude map and a “Star compass” which Luft examined eagerly. The broken compass with a star drawn on the front was foreign to any of the newbies and so they carried it with pride.

The new recruits seemed a bit wary of the water and boat idea. None of them held any skill at swimming. Pawter proved a wealth of information about the man behind the mission ‘Lord Frath’ as well as his family history and the lost ship known as ‘Kelp’s Embrace’. The studious little halfling even knew of the stories of the ‘Pearl of Penelope’ a magical necklace taken from the merfolk decades past. All in all the young priest remained unsure of the mission and his involvement, but when in Absalom one must earn their keep! The city at the center of the world was not cheap. The others were less concerned with the details.

Together they left the Grog Pit with plans to claim the necklace and regroup in two days to make the exchange and earn their reward. Strangely enough, no one bothered to ask what that reward might actually be. They hit the market to gather a few supplies for the mission, including: rope, air bladders, and a large cobblestone from the road to use as a weight – compliments of Luft.
As they loaded their nondescript rowboat, Pawter decided to remove his armor. He was not a strong swimmer and didn’t want to chance any extra danger of drowning. While Roy took the map to plot a course and Luft and Valentyr loaded the boat, a pair of dangerous looking individuals crept their way in the shadows. The two ruffians intended to take them by surprise but were so loud everyone heard them coming from a mile away.

Valentyr took the lead and sprang into a soul-wrenching performance of song and dance. Both ruffians were fascinated by her beauty and otherworldly performance, so much so they could do little but pause to watch. Unfortunately, her performance was a little too good. Both Pawter and Luft were likewise entranced. Roy was the only one uninterested in the diva. He woke Luft from his ogling with a smack on the rump and the pair set about unhitching the boat. Valentyr hopped aboard as the would-be attackers watched her, still mesmerized. They sailed away before the cut throats could regain their senses. Roy guided their way while Luft rowed. The delicate sorcerer in his silk robes was a bit perplexed as to why he rowed alone but Pawter explained he was too short, and Valentyr was … well … a diva. Pawter noticed that someone had cut a hole in the boat, likely sabatoge. Luckily Iomedae had seen fit to bless him with the magical power of mending for the day and so he repair it quickly.

They reached the X on the map with some unsteady moments of Luft rowing but they arrived nonetheless. They found a ship cracked in half, one of many among the ship’s graveyard of the Flotsam. Roy deigned to remain with the rowboat while the others boarded the aft portion of the broken ship wreckage. Luft insisted that his ‘Star Compass’ guided him here. The trio leapt aboard the slick deck, Luft and Valentyr both gracefully and poor little Pawter not so. The ship sat at an angle so they were forced to move carefully or risk losing their footing and possibly tumbling into the dark waters. Luft led the way, being the only one gifted with night vision.

The sorcerer guided them to the deck cabin in his dancing light-footed way, ripping the door from its rotted hinges in the process. A ladder led deeper in the ship. Roy warned them of a passing patrol so he hid in the rowboat while the others ducked into the cabin and proceeded below decks. Luft insisted he saw merman footprints inside so they should be cautious. Pawter only shook his head – merman footprints. Tired of the darkness, Valentyr ignited her heavenly halo to light the Chamber. Again Luft led the exploration of three doors by ripping the first from its hinges. The lean Sylph had wiry strength. He drifted inside to examine a built-in desk and deftly leapt clear of a rotted floor that gave way to the dark waters flooding the lower deck. While examining the desk he broke a drawer but revealed a hidden compartment below filled with silver jewelry. He quickly stuffed the trinkets in his silk-robed pockets for later examination. Next they moved to the second door. Luft again ripped it from the wall and found a hallway with more doors. The hallway dipped into the water at its end. Pawter advised they not leave an unchecked door at their backs and so
Luft moved to the next door and once again tore the hinges from the rotted wood. He seemed to enjoy that. This time a tentacle of some kind darted at him but missed. He really wished he could put the door back this time. Inside the chamber was a huge bloated frog easily as big as a large man. It had a nest inside the chamber with a hole leading out of the ship to the water. Valentyr broke into an inspiring performance of “I will survive” but immediately following her song the giant frog clamped it’s huge mouth down on Luft viciously shaking the poor Sylph with a critical attack that dropped him unconscious to the floor. Pawter tried to channel his divine healing to wake their primary warrior but the healing was not enough. The frog then lashed out with its tongue catching the halfling firmly and dragging him closer. Valentyr stepped up and sank her rapier into the amphibian but he still gulped down the halfling priest in one smooth bite. Her inspiring song turned tears as she watched the battle shift to hopeless. In a last ditch effort, the diva cast a cure spell on Luft and his eyes fluttered open. Meanwhile the frog tried to bite her but missed. It’s stomach gurgled as it digested the halfling struggling inside. Pawter had no edged weapons to cut with and no real way out of the creatures belly. He tried futilely to cast spells and kick his way out. When Luft stood he unleashed his elemental magic and electricity courses through the frog. Valentyr followed suit, cutting it with razor shards of sound. The frog backed away, injured and full. It made a break for it, diving into the black waters through the hole in the wall. Luft was not about to let it escape so easily. He dove in after it and released another bolt of electricity nearly ending it. Something golden and serpentine moved by him in the water. He dared not swim away from the ship. But, the frog swam on with poor Pawter trapped in his belly. The halfling only survived due to his healing blessing he managed to access.
As the frog swam away it shuddered and slid below the waves. Luft and Valentyr gasped, having lost their tiny friend to the Flotsam’s depths. Miraculously the halfling shot to the surface and called for help which Roy quickly offered in the form of the rowboat. The little priest had a magical bubble of air around his head. A mermaid had rescued him, a golden mermaid by the name of Seashimmer. They thanked her and learned she was here too seeking the Pearl of Penelope. It was an heirloom from her people stolen by the Frath family many years ago. It’s whereabouts had just recently been discovered. Upon hearing her tale, Pawter knew his original mission was over ….

Pawter, Luft & Valentyr each earned 367xp

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