Ye Gilde

Hag Reef

Meanwhile back on the Chelaxian coast, the successful adventurers bid farewell to the cursed oceanside village and its Aztlanti ruins. The reboarded the repaired Chelaxian navy scout ship and began the trip home to friendly waters. Hopefully the undercrewed vessel wouldn’t run into any more problems.

Run_Aground_Sunken_Ship_1_001.jpgNaturally that was too much to ask of Fate and one foggy morning in the Inner Sea the ship grounded on a dark black reef. What a rude awakening for those sleeping below deck. Everyone was separated during the chaos of the foundering ship. Balinda and Gwaiyu were befriended by Lemmyray and towed to a barnacle and mussel covered spit of rock jutting from the sea. Lemmywinks with her magic cloak took them into the yawning opening of a cave mouth looking for shelter from the rough sea. They could only hope that similar was happening to Bart, Jaron, and Cromag.

XP: 4240

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Lady Alinza's Holiday part 3
Exchange of Services for the Dead

After wrapping up their foray into the Cultist’s warehouse, the group chose to rest up for several days certain they will have a chance to follow Lady Alinza to Xer by catching a ride on the Star Goddess river barge. Unfortunately, they significantly underestimated the cost of passage. When Abe asked about only purchasing passage to Xer instead of all the way to Star Bay, the clerk blanched and then quickly asked them to leave.
Now unsure how they will follow Lady Alinza, the party began to ask around for new routes across Lake Encarthan. After some time, they quintet was approached by a gentleman suggesting he may have passage for them. Choosing to follow this person, since they lacked any other option, he eventually let them to the office of a small ship captain by the name of Skala Zemerin. She is a bawdy middle aged woman and carries a rapier on her hip. She is has a keen eye and speaks with confidence and swagger.
She begins by stating that she had heard they were looking for passage to Xer. When Kanina answered yes, Captain Zemerin said that they may be able to use her boat and that she can even help them get into touch with the underground in Xer, so as to avoid unnecessary antagonism from the church. However, her price was 100 gp each, as there is significant risk to herself, her ship and crew. Unsure if they are able to come up with such a sum, Abe suggests that maybe there can be an exchange of services. Skala, hoping for this possibility, suggests if the group is willing to get a book for her from an abandoned manor north of town she would be willing to reconsider her price.
While Piria, Kanina and Ursoc just wanted to know where the house was, Tendegor and Abe both expressed concern as to the nature of this book and what Captain Zemerin’s intentions were with it. She insists that she is searching for the book with the intention of giving it to the Pharasmin church. Despite having all the personality of a dead fish, Tendegor is incredibly skilled at noticing lies, and putting this skill to work, he decides that he trust’s her good intentions. She provides the group with the location of the manor and how to find the hidden entrance into the “lower levels.” As an added bonus, she said that the party could keep any other items they found during their search.
Gary, Captain Zemerin’s employee leads the party on the way, showing them how to get to the manor. As they approached the grounds, Tendegor expressed concern about going in through the front gate, so the party decided to climb the fence. Each person, and Tendegor, was able to climb the wall with little effort, except for Abe, who fell several times before vaulting himself over top. A quick search of the grounds revealed the location of the foundation crack and the opening to the cellar. As Tendegor can see in the dark, he had to go first into the unknown, and was able to see that the room was filled with sleeping bats. The group decided that stealth was the order of the day and sent Piria forward to check the door. She didn’t see the Pit Trap in the next hall, but was able to jump out of the way before falling to her death. Piria needed assistance to lift the trap door, so Kanina and Abe came across and helped, gaining access to the next room.
Only Ursoc and Tendegor had to cross the room. Ursoc did so with no problem, but Ursoc with his medium armor and slow pace, could only get partially across before the bats were disturbed, forming a swarm around him. Ursoc was able to flee from them into the next room and avoid more damage. However he wasn’t out of danger yet, as in the next room several skeletons rose to attack. They were quickly dispatched by Kanina and Ursoc. Tendegor searched through the bones, looking to see if they were people bones, or dwarf bones, confirming that dwarves are not people. He also decided, in a morbid act, to take a human femur to use as a makeshift club.
The next room had a narrow path built over a spiked pit and an alter on the other side that had been defiled. As the group moved into the room a voice from the other end of the room spoke a word in some foreign tongue. Three flying heads emerged from shafts in the back wall and began attacking by using their slam attacks. Although the group quickly dispatched the first three, the voice raises again and three more emerge. Realizing that they much attack the source, Tendegor moved forward to confront the unseen foe. A Ghoul emerged and attacked, but was quickly dispatched. Abe was able to remove the last of the Beheaded. Abe took a moment to inspect the altar and found it had originally been an alter to Pharasma, but was defiled in the name of Geryon, the Archdevil of forbidden lore. Tendegor, being the only dwarf that doesn’t know anything about stonework didn’t notice that the altar was clearly much older that the structure, Abe did.
Tendegor again took the lead as the party entered a hall that lead down a set of stairs. Not paying attention, Tendegor walked right into an arrow trap, striking him in the chest (it is aimed for the gut on a person). The chamber at the bottom of the stairs had been covered with infernal drawings in blood and was home to three sootwing bats, small ghoulish cousins. Although small, they were able to infect Ursoc with ghoul fever. Through a set of double doors was a crypt with several alcoves containing dead bodies. Abe, suspecting they were actually undead, began to cast a spell. The four ghouls in the room, not wanting to wait for the spellcaster to finish, jumped down and pressed the attack. Kanina and Piria were the first to be paralyzed, and then Ursoc and Abe, leaving Tendegor to face down the last ghoul by himself. He was able to cleave it in two before it was able to afflict him as well.
Into the next room, the group found a large sarcophagus, and out came a wight on the attack. It was able to drain Tendegor almost immediately, putting him at risk of death. Piria and Abe moved around the back of the sarcophagus, hoping to flank, while Ursoc and Kanina moved in for the kill. The five were able to quickly overwhelm the wight before it was able to drain again. A secret door was found leading to another burial room. This one contained treasure in silver and gold, as well as a coffin with body buried with several magical items, and a book. Abe scanned the book, learning it had a faint evil aura about it, so the party decided against reading it. The coffin had runes written upon it as a ward against the raising of the undead.
Having completed their task, the five returned to town and gave the book to Captain Zemerin. She then agreed to take them to Xer at no additional cost and even agreed to help identify the items they found. Finally selling excess items, the group was able to afford a restoration on Tendegor, helping him shed the drain from the wight. The next morning the set off for Razmiran and where true danger awaits.
1203 exp.

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Lady Alinza's Holiday part 2
Culling of the Warehouse District

As the day arrives, our intrepid adventurers have just left the barge owner’s shop. They decide to split up to tackle the two leads they have left simultaneously. Tendagor takes the key with him to the temple of Pharasma in hopes of identifying the house crest on the key, since Pharasma is both the god of birth and death, they would likely have highly detailed genealogy records. He is initially unsuccessful in his search, but with the help of Abe and the librarian, he is able to ID the crest as belonging to a now defunct noble house by the name of Farnfold.
The second group, consisting of Kanina, Ursoc and Piria are having much less success. With Abe helping Tendagor the only one with any social skills is the Halfling and it appears that Desna had deserted her as her honeyed words continued to sour before they left her tongue. Kanina decides to find a pub to ask if anyone has seen or heard of any Razmiri cultists operating on the city. Because Razmiran is just the next door country they don’t usually stick out, appearance wise. Additionally, as the Cult of Razmir is banned in Ustalov, they don’t usually work out in the open.
As the party reconvened, they were able to figure out that the Farnfold family may have had a warehouse in the west docks. A search of the area allowed them to discover a derelict building with the faintest of outlines of the same family crest. By now dusk had fallen, but the adventurers fearing nothing move to inspect the building. By chance, Ursoc noticed a set of footprints in the mud on the north end of the building leading to a well concealed hidden door. Applying their key to the door, they were able to gain entry into the warehouse.
Upon entry, the group encountered two cultists. Initially, they appeared confused, thinking the group were new cultists. However, once Tendegor started talking they realized the 5 were merely interlopers. One called the alarm as another attacked. Ursoc threw the bolt on one of the doors, hoping to slow down reinforcements. They were able to make quick work of the two cultists in the room, but three more, including a Bard, were able to kick down the door and tried to join the fight. Ursoc was too much for them and he and Abe made quick work of the mooks. The bard attempted to flee. Ursoc, using some quick thinking and good luck, decided to push over some crates onto the bard, catching him in his own trap.
Tendegor then kicked in the second door leading to a hallway, and moved into it. A new combatant exited the hidden door in the hall and called for reinforcements. Tendegor then found a clearly powerful separating him from the party and two more cultists coming down the hall, moving to flanking position. This person appeared to fit the description of the person asking around Calif township before they had left. The party would later learn his name to be Renic.
Ursoc charged into the hall in an attempt to defend his companion. However two swift blows by Renic quickly depleted Ursoc’s hp, causing him to flee. A clear stalemate developed, with no one able to come to Tendegor’s aid, but bad luck and good tactics kept Tendegor at least conscious. Tendegor stepped through the side door in the hall, granting him a reprieve from Renic’s blade. Renic then turned his attention to the party in the first room. Unbeknownst to him, Kenina had been biding her time and waiting for the right moment to pounce. As Renic entered the room, Kenina dealt several wounding blows, killing the cultist leader. The two remaining cultists were quickly dispatched and the fight was over.
Piria was able to deal with the trapped door to the second story room and the group was able to find Renic’s shrine to the Living God. In this room, they found Renic’s notes about his research into the Ritter and his longevity, including Renic’s belief the Ritter was between 105 and 115 years old, and a local legend about a swordsman by the name of Gunter Calif who defeated a powerful devil named Melphanes in the 4640s (current year being 4718). A search of Renic’s corps turned up a letter from another cultist congratulating Renic on his success and imploring him to destroy any evidence and then join them in Xer.
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Looting the corpses brings 8 more daggers, a potion of bull’s strength, potion of enlarge person (CL 3rd), 2 masterwork chain shirts, javelins (4), masterwork longsword, gold necklace, a razmiri iron mask, a silver holy symbol Razmir (15 gp), potion of invisibility, caltrops, silk rope, and 2 tanglefoot bags. Searching the building turned up a wand of cure light wounds (10 charges), two potions, a feather token bird, talisman of warrior’s courage, significant rations, a disguise kit, a healer’s kit, and 3 alchemist’s fire. The last two potions were unidentified, but clearly had an evil aura about them.

800 xp, and everyone is at level 2!

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Lady Alinza's Holiday part 1
I left my heart with von Calif

Map_Lake_Encarthon____Selen.jpg
The newest recruits of the Guild Ursoc the Bear-barian, Abe the harried father of 7 in search of success abroad, Pirira the Calistrian rogue, Tindigor the gruff and stoic Pharasman dwarf warpriest, and Kaninia the warebunny have arrived in the small town of Calif, the home of the venerable and ancient Ritter Gunter von Calif.
The group paid a visit to the manor house, which is regal in its design but clearly in need of some maintenance. The butler ushered them into a parlor where the Ritter von Calif was waiting. He explained that the daughter of his daughter’s son, Lady Alinza von Calfif, had embarked on a journey to visit her cousin on her mother’s side in Cassomir, the Taldan city at Star Bay. She had departed about a month prior, but never arrived in Cassomir, being over a week late already. Desperate for help, and knowing the trail goes cold with each passing day he requests of our intrepid adventurers to seek her out, offering 1000 gp for her safe return or 300 gp for the retrieval of her earthly remains. To assist in their search the Ritter provided several items. First a horse and wagon to travel to Caliphas, the capital city of Ustalav, second 30 gp for expenses, and finally a letter of reference with the name and address of Sir Valdas Nalor, an associate of Rutter Van Calif who was to assist Lady Alinza in booking passage for her journey.
After taking their leave of the Ritter, Abednego suggested that they search Lady Alinza’s effects, in hopes of finding some clue as to her whereabouts. The search of her room produced a letter from Lady Olenda of Cassomir addressed to “my dearest cousin Alinza,” expressing excitement of the prospect of her visit and all the fun they will have in Taldane society events. While the others searched for clues of the missing young lady, clearly concerned for her safety, Tindegor, aka Nintendo, took the opportunity to carve Pharasma’s double spiral in every surface he could reach.
Upon leaving the manor, the group asked about for information about Alinza, hoping that she had maybe ran off with the local farm boy instead of some more sinister plot. Many towns folk expressed dismay at the idea that the proper young lady would socialize in that way with those below her stature. They did learn that she was a kind and doting great-granddaughter and had lived with him in at the von Calif estate since the death of her parents when she was but an infant.
Piria, with literally the best roll of the night by the GM by about 10, got a 26 on her diplomacy roll. While asking around, the stable boy mentioned that a stranger was in town a few days before Lady Alinza left of on her journey poking around and asking questions about the Ritter’s age and longevity. The inn keeper was able to give a fuller description of this stranger, describing him as a tall, powerfully built man with dark close cropped hair and a beard. He was in his later twenties or early thirties, carried a sword and moved with confidence. He left town then next day and did not leave a name. Pira and Kenina shared one room at the Inn, and Abe and Tendagor the other. Ursoc chose to sleep in the barn, which was only slightly less pleasant than Abe being forced to listening to Tendegor sleep-eating this 4 foot loaf all night.
The next morning the quintet set off for the big city. Around noon they were waylayed a a group of half starved bandits and a few trained dogs. Short work was made of the would be attackers as they couldn’t roll above a 3 for most of the fight. As evening set in Kenina suggested that the ditch on the side of the road looked very cozy and mostly leach free. Thankfully, Abe was able to locate a clearly marked campground just off the road with an existing fire pit and everything. As the dawn approached, Abe was looked to the east in a moment of divine providence as the light from the dying embers illuminated the eye of a pair of hungry wolves. Although they moved with great speed, attacking the sleeping forms of Ursoc and Kanina before Abe could yell out a warning, thankfully the wolves were so inept they couldn’t even hit an unconscious naked person. The group made quick work of the blind and toothless wolves and enjoyed a nice breakfast of fried wolf meat and collected two pelts for their troubles.
The next day was much less eventful. As the party joined the main road, traffic became much heavier, they even stopped to help a group who had broken down in the road, with Tendegor’s bulging muscles doing what Ursoc’s could not. Once at town, Abe set off to find a very poor Inn to spend the night, unsuccessfully attempting to talk down the very minimal price for a place on the floor. They then went in search of address of Sir Nalor.
As they approached, the party was clearly distracted and only just barely heard the sounds of distress coming from around the corner. Round the bend, 6 masked people surrounded a middle-aged man. Seeing the adventurers, the likely leader orders his minions to finish the man. One stabs him in the back, while two flee with the assistance of a smoke pellet. The witch in the back cast sleep on the party, but only Piria fell victim to the spell. Seeing the injured man, Tendegor rushed forward to give aid, but due to his short legs, he was only able to move and take no other action. Ursoc also ran forward, but not all the way, hanging back to avoid being hit. The brigands, seeing Tendegor out all by himself each step up, two getting sneak attack damage and almost killing him in one round. Abe rushes forward to heal Tendegor, thus leaving the napping Piria behind. After another spell by the witch the party quickly defeats the brigands. They then turn their attention to the bleeding man on the ground. Despite their attempts to heal him, they were only able to help him gain consciousness for a few moments.
The man told Tendegor that the men came by asking about the Ritter two days ago and they wanted the info about passage for Alinza. He then died from his wounds. In searching the bodies, Abe found a brand marking the witch as a cultist of Razmir, the Living God and rule of Razmiran, a large autocratic theocracy to the east. The only other thing you found was a mysterious key on her person.
Searching Nalor’s shop, you find evidence to suggest that the man was in fact Sir Valdas Nalor as the party had suspected. There was a ledger with a notation of a ticket for Lady Alinza, a letter from Ritter von Calif, requesting Nalor book her passage, and the receipt taken from Nalor’s body for passage on the River Nymph. At this point the heros decided to hide the bodies in Nalor’s shop and then get some rest, as it was getting late at night.
The next morning, Abe was able to find someone to point the five to the barge owners of the River Nymph. After some negotiating the clerk does confirm that Lady Alinza was on the passenger manifest and appears to have been on board when it departed. The River Nymph is not expected back in Ustalav for another month, as the passage up river is much slower than down. They do learn that the barge goes past Xer, which is in Razmir and suspect that Lady Alinza may have been captured there. Additionally the Star Goddess, the company’s other barge is leaving for the same route in 3 days.
The lead grows cold and more desperate, and more dangerous by the day…

Party loot: several daggers, a letter of reference from the Ritter, a letter from the Ritter to Sir Nalor, 21 gp left from the original 30 and a mysterious key.
625 xp.

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From Shore to Sea (part 4)
Another ancient evil released

After healing what they could and pausing for 15 minutes to let Balinda and Lemmywinks memorize new spells, the party continued. They wound through the ancient Azlanti organic architecture and arrived at another pod-like room. This one was filled knee deep with murky water, complete with tangled seaweed floating near the back. Balinda detected magic and picked up something specific from the back corner of the room, below the water’s surface. Bart tossed a rock into the water but nothing happened. Not wanting to miss anything that might come in handy, Bart waded into the water with Lemmy-toad on his shoulders. The others waiting cautiously. As they moved closer the seaweed sprang to life. The pair of disguised cloakers attacked with simultaneous moans. The first caused panic to ignite in both Bart and Lemmy, the second paralyzed Bart. Lemmy dove from his shoulders to flee but landed face first in the chest deep waters, her staffsling lost in the room. One of the cloakers flew forward to engulf Bart while the other engulfed Lemmy. Balinda snowballed one and Jaron moved in to engage it. Gwaiyu waded out to help Bart. The cloakers tails lashed about and several bites were delivered but the party beat them down. They even uncovered an Azlanti magic spear in the water on a skeleton that just happened to provide a component for a spell Lemmy was carrying. Jaron claimed the spear and was excited to learn it was aberration bane, designed to battle horrors from the past!

On they continued down the circular tunnels. Bart spotted a familiar creature in the opening ahead, waiting as if guarding the passage. The Chuul stood, clicking and watching them. The cloakers moans must have alerted it. They set their weapons expecting a charge but it did not advance. Lemmy took a shot at it and missed, so Balinda fired her crossbow and nicked it. The Chuul pulled back around a corner. The party advanced cautiously. Just before passing the next break, Jaron heard a shuffling sound and leapt around the corner to surprise whatever was hiding there. A second Chuul greeted him. Evidently the first one was leading them to an ambush. A battle began and the first Chuul raced out to join the fight. Bart and Jaron were both grappled, but scorching rays from Lemmy, Gwaiyu’s club, Jaron’s spear, Bart’s trident and ice spears from Balinda did an impressive job at destroying the pair of powerful creatures. Gwaiyu, Jaron and Bart suffered some injuries but they all felt lucky to get out so well off. Searching their lair they uncovered an old urn filled with restorative ointment which several of them slathered over their wounds. Lemmy chastised then for wasting this valuable ointment.

They cautiously proceeded. Up ahead they heard clanking sounds. Creeping forward, they spotted 5 skum working to excavate a wall. The sound of surf from outside and the spouts of seawater pouring in let them know the tide was just beyond. The chamber was again knee deep in water. They held their ground just outside the water and fired on the skum. Balinda injured one and they stopped digging and came to attack the intruders. The skum swarmed forward and were cut down neatly. There were a few minor scrapes to Bart and Gwaiyu but one managed to deliver a critical blow to Jaron on its way down. As they picked over the bodies a ghostly image appeared before them. It was shriveled and dry, with long tentacles and three stacked eyes. It looked alien and just a step above dead. The insubstantial aboleth, as Balinda identified it, floated towards them and reached out with its mind to dominate Bart. As Jaron moved past him, the fighter lashed out and dealt a devastating blow, knocking the investigator unconscious in the waves. Fantasia the pooka held his head above water to keep him from drowning. Another skum entered from the opposite side of the flooded chamber. This one wore fancy robes – it was Gerlach. The ghostly aboleth vanished and Bart was suddenly their biggest concern. The fighter’s attacks were tearing through them like butter. It was great when he was on their side but now he was a killing machine targeted back at them. Gwaiyu suffered a solid hit when he reached out to heal Jaron. Balinda surrounded Bart with an illusory wall then slipped past him invisibly and Gwaiyu darkened his vision with a touch. Balinda then rooted him to the spot by his shadow. They couldn’t afford to let him hit them again. Everyone was too weak. Bart all but dropped Gwaiyu with his next attack. Debating their targets Lemmy focused her shots on the sailor and pelted him unconscious. Gerlach unleashed a lightning bolt at Balinda. Evidently, he could see her invisible form. The party entered the water-filled room slowly fanning out to make less of a target for the lightning bolts. They fired a few shots at Gerlach but he seemed to shrug them off. He was definitely shielded by magic. A mass of black tentacles slowed the skum alchemist/sorcerer’s approach but everyone just struggled to get to him before he unleashed anymore magic. Gwaiyu headed him off to keep him from escaping the black tentacles. He took a couple a scratches from the skum in the process and swayed on his feet. Gerlach’s arms seemed incredibly long. Jaron and Balinda were on their last legs as was Gwaiyu. Everyone sat on the brink of collapse. The investigator and priest tried to hold the skum at bay. Lemmy stood with Bart’s unconscious form for protection. A wandering star mote spell from Balinda dazed the skum and Gwaiyu took the opportunity to bash in his skull. With the immediate fight won, there came a collective sigh of relief. They picked a few treasures from the skum’s corpse. No one was aware that the aboleth was taking control of poor little Lemmy’s mind. The halfling began assaulting the loose wall in an effort to break it and release the tide to flood this area. Jaron’s assessment was that she was making headway and fast. Water began to fill the room faster. The party hurried to stop her from drowning them all. Lemmy pulled back to blast Jaron with a spell and exposed herself. He launched an attack, dropping her unconscious. A quick debate led to a decision to retreat. Bart and Lemmy were both dominated and unconscious, Jaron, Gwaiyu and Balinda barely had enough life to stay standing between them and no magic to speak of left. No one wanted to face off against this lurking aboleth. They pulled back out to the natatorium surface to rest. When they regrouped to heal after sleeping with the dominated members safely tied up, they realized the entire lower chambers had flooded. A search showed the loose wall to the chamber below broken through. The aboleth identified as Mohl’Omog was free of his thousands of years prison and back to terrorize the ocean. In some way, it seemed a Guild tradition – right?

The village was freed from the hold of the aboleth and from Gerlach when the observatory was repaired. Their leaders met the party and escorted them back to the village of Blackcove. The people were thankful for their rescue and paid the party the 1,000gp in Azlanti jewelry as promised. They also uncovered a collection of alchemical mixtures in Gerlach’s lab. With Jaron’s help, they completed the mixtures known as Elixers of True Form. Each of the party members consumed one and returned to his or her’s original form before the taint of the island took hold. With their bodies back to normal, boat repaired and reward received, they set out in hopes of returning to Andoran to begin building their new branch of The Guild. No one need ever know of the village, it’s heritage or the fact that Mohl’Omog was free once more.

Gwaiyu, Bart, Jaron, Lemmywinks and Balinda each earned 3,840xp

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From Shore to Sea (part 3)
Azlanti Architecture

After recovering from the veiled Chuul attack the party chose to investigate the crevasse where the villagers were digging. Jaron took the lead, trying to interact with them and see what they were doing. He quickly realized that they were not in their right minds. Balinda identified the magic holding them as a powerful domination effect which also meant their controller could view them through the villagers’ senses. That’s why each person studied them for a second before continuing to work digging out this tunnel. Jaron also spotted a skum peeking from beneath the waves in the tunnel to watch him. They followed the entirety of the excavation sight but it ended at a solid wall where they continued to dig. Several skum were spotted in the water along the way and at least 60 to 70 villagers.

Feeling like this was a literal dead end, the party back-tracked up an ancient staircase to the observatory. Having bypassed this building before, they discovered it to be a miracle of ancient engineering and magic. Mechanical orbs and floating lenses filled the 200 foot diameter, 60 foot high dome. Glyphs and writing in Azlanti marked various plaques and lined the walls. It appeared as a giant model of the solar system twisting and reforming while they moved through it. Jaron, assisted by Balinda, decided to study the markings and engineering to try to learn what he could. The others scouted for exits and treasure. They found a single archway leading to the once massive armillary tower. During their extensive investigation, Jaron realized this massive model was not functioning properly. A large central lens was shattered and the entire model held great danger potential in the form of traps. Balinda decided it was once used for incredible magic, including the altering of the weather. Just then a stray orb swung around and bashed into her. That hurt. Jaron called out that it was a giant trap and everyone hustled for the archway to the armillary tower. Bart dodged a magical ray firing from one of the lenses. In his fatigued state, he could not run. Gwaiyu realized that his armillary amulet afforded him immunity to the observatory’s attacks. Their calls and haste drew the attention of the local predators. A mated pair of phase spiders appeared, taking bites out of Bart and Jaron before vanishing. Jaron stumbled away, half dead. Their poison was strong and their sudden appearance then disappearance sent the party into a panic to escape. Someone called out “those are phase spiders!” Everyone hustled for the exit save for Bart. The sailor readied his trident to strike if they reappeared. They did, and he skewered one of them. They both bit him and his wounds gushed blood. Seeing the others had fled, he joined in their exodus. When the giant human-headed spiders reappeared they were in pursuit. One charged little Lemmy and critically bit her. The halfling could not deal with the assault and stumbled away near death and poisoned. The party rallied and together injured the male enough that he phased away and fled, then slew the female outright. A handful of will-o-the wisps appeared at her death then blinked out again.

With the immediate threat gone, they focused on the armillary tower. A quick search revealed that most of it was destroyed. Only a littered shell remained with a crumbling wall and a partial spiral staircase climbing 70 feet into the air. A large portion, about two stories at the top of the tower, toppled through the air in that strange magical orbit about 80 feet up. Jaron held a flying formula and debated investigating the floating tower top while carrying Lemmy but discarded the idea when he realized how heavy little Lemmy-toad really was. After Gwaiyu studied his copper plates on the armillary tower, he learned it likely stored supplies for the observatory. It was agreed he’d save this investigation for a later date.

The group headed to the Natatorium next but found little more than a couple of stagnant pools and dried up swimming holes. Their options for places to investigate were dwindling. They set their sights on the auquarium and made their way there. It seemed as if this structure with its reliefs and magical waterfall fixture complete with a huge floating murky ball of water appeared to be recently restored. Jaron, Balinda and Gwaiyu headed in to study the images and search for secret passages. Bart refused to set foot in this chamber. He merely stared at the floating ball of water and remembered how that went last time in the Terracken den. Lemmy remained outside on watch. She felt too vulnerable with her extensive injuries. Sure enough, as the trio studied the reliefs, Bart watched the water globe turn pitch black. He called out a warning. Jaron took the first step to flee and a large tentacle lashed out entangling and injuring him, then dragging him towards the water globe. Balinda turned invisible and fled while Gwaiyu exited,too. The oni-born priest miraculously dodged the tentacle that reached for him. That left Jaron alone in the chamber with the unseen creature. “Bastards!” He mumbled. 1 tentacle held him while 7 others lashed out. They shredded him. Jaron puked and tried futiley to escape its grip. Lemmy blasted the water bubble and it popped, dumping a mutated giant octopus into the room. Jaron was already saying his last prayers when he slipped free of its grip. Balinda threw up an illusory wall separating him from the octopus. It worked. Bart charged in to impale the creature, but was met by 8 slashing tentacles and a nasty beak bite. Lemmywinks dealt the killing blows followed by admonishing words to Bart about rushing in when she could have killed it from a distance. Gwaiyu was once again drained of healing as the others emptied their stash of potions. They found a skum body in the water with some magic but no signs of secret doors or leads on where to go next. With no other place unvisited on the map, they headed to the growing ruin.

Labeled the growing ruin, it was once a marvel of Azlanti organic architecture. The giant shell carved into a living building somehow continued to grow, shedding shale shards that rained down around it. Bart and Lemmy took up the mantle to investigate. A shard slashed through Bart when he got too close. The pair decided to race for the entrance but a giant frilled lizard charged from the opening to bite Bart. The sailor tore into it and Lemmy and Gwaiyu joined in dropping the lizard dead. They investigated the ruins inside the growing tower and found a magic horn in the lizard’s poop. With no place left to go they discussed options. The only place they found left to search was the orbiting armillary tower.

Jaron downed his fly formula and resisted the orbital energies to reach the tower top. He investigated the inside of the tower, uncovering several pieces of ancient art. He also found 3 large floating lenses which turned out to be trapped as an arc of electricity zapped him. He claimed one and descended. Gwaiyu loaned him the artillary amulet and Jaron replaced the broken central lens in the observatory with the new lens, repairing the mechanism. A tremor shook the island as much of the magical energies in the air faded. They went back to the natatorium and discovered a recently opened stairwell surrounded by several skum. The party tried to speak with them but the skum would not let them near the stairwell. Balinda created the illusion of heavy fog but it stumped a couple of party members in addition to all but 1 of the skum. Balinda led Jaron through while Gwaiyu led Lemmy through and they all descended the steps. When the one skum tried to stop them Jaron rendered it unconscious with sundial damage. No one wanted to harm the villagers and they feared the skum might be villagers transformed.

At the base of the massive descent of winding stairs they found a room littered with debris and a box on the far wall containing vials of liquid. Jaron took the lead this time and moved to check the vials. A loud sliding sound was followed by a crunch and scream as Jaron fell seemingly straight through the floor. Balinda identified the floor and debris as an illusion covering a sphincter-like shutter in the floor that was rapidly opening and closing. It led to a chute and a sloped tunnel. A splash of blood let her know Jaron did not pass unscathed. Balinda tried to disable the shutter and with Bart’s help she succeeded. Bart hastily claimed the vials as everyone dove down the chute after Jaron.

Meanwhile Jaron landed in chest deep water with serpentine figures sliding beneath the surface. He tried to warn the others as they arrived but everyone just started struggling to walk out through the water. Balinda was shocked by an electric eel, but Jaron was grappled by a giant moray eel. Nearly dead, he was rescued by Lemmy and her magic aided by Bart’s trident and Gwaiyu’s club. They moved deeper through the tunnels and back to dry land. A side tunnel revealed groups of dying villagers caught in nets and skewered or slashed open and bleeding. Gwaiyu immediately moved to help them, as did Lemmy and Bart. They found the image to be an illusion set to cover the trap of a falling wall and debris that crushed them. The party pulled back and regrouped in the hallway …. where do they go next? Depleted, mutated, and injured, they stand in the tunnel debating their next move …..

Lemmy, Bart, Jaron, Gwaiyu and Balinda each earned 4,260xpt

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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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