Storms on the Seven Seas

Homecoming Party Gone Wrong
OR: Evildoers End Elegant Evening, Endure Equine Escapades Ending in Ephemeral Escape

Homecoming Party Gone Wrong

OR: Evildoers End Elegant Evening, Endure Equine Escapades Ending in Ephemeral Escape

Our Heros arrived at the Aria estate and it was announced that there would be a party to welcome home the eldest son that evening. Although the Lord was away on business, and Pho Mai (Tho Mai’s younger sister) was still away at boarding school, Lady Ariana and the Aria’s Majordomo Jarvinius were more than capable of organizing the feast. Everyone in the group was given formalwear by the house, and individuals spent the time before the party in their own individual ways.

While Della was off looking for “mysterious things” Niko was talking with Jarvinius and showing him his family token, which contained a likeness of his parents. The majordomo makes some comment and Niko notices that the picture of his father has a striking similarity to the paintings of Lord Aria hung around the grounds. Jarvinius made a hasty, somewhat suspicious retreat. Some of the other members of the party learned more about the fishing village to the north, hearing that it is a very old town somewhat known for the presence of “shipwreckers” aka false lighthouses and the bandits that salvage the wreckage. After a bit of time everyone went to change into their formal attire and the party was started.

People were dancing and eating, Zed was playing some “Hot Licks”, Tho was macking on some noble’s daughter, it was your fairly standard soiree. Eventually Della notices that Lady Ariana is missing, and then the rest of us notice that Tho Mai was also missing. One of these two events would turn out to be slightly more nefarious than the other. A hint, it was the one that didn’t have anything to do with a quickie in a hallway. It is at this point that Our Heros were informed that Steve Gondrian had just been found dead, his throat slit, just outside the main ballroom. So much for the fancy party.

The group walked outside to take a look at the body, Akenara used his (awesome) medical skills to determine that Steve had defensive wounds, it looked like he was held from behind and there were signs of a struggle. While most of the group went outside to investigate, a few were left behind to stand watch at the door and make sure no one left the party and to see if anyone inside started acting strangely. Someone did indeed start acting strangely, unfortunately it was Della. Asking the girl Niko had been talking with to try to get him to leave his post for… reasons? Anyway she failed, Niko was a good boy and stood his post, and the girl was creeped out and went away.

Once Della made it outside she used her tracking to find out there were 3 sets of footprints heading towards the stables, two large and one small. It seemed like Lady Aria was being abducted. Our Heros followed the footprints to the stables where they found all of the horses had been cut loose and/or stolen, along with a few more murdered servants. The group knew the kidnappers would start to outpace them so they decided they needed horses to try to catch them. Some of the group would continue following the path, the rest would try to go beg borrow or steal whatever horses they could find.

After a few successful bartering / charming / intimidating rounds three horses had been acquired, and it was decided that everyone could double up and they could still make good time. Eventually the group made it to the bank of a river, where it appeared the bandits had gotten onto a raft and started to head downstream. After a short stop a water mill (that is, a mill powered by water that is used to turn hard water into soft water, and separate some water from other water) and a temporary attempt to befriend a cat Our Heroes found themselves on the outskirts of a fishing village. They also saw a row boat heading out towards an anchored ship with black sails on a single mast that looked very fast. Akenara then yelled out a thaumatically boosted reassurance to Lady Aria and a threat to the bandits, in response Zed heard a few muffled cries reaffirming that the Lady was still alive. The crew of the sailing vessel called out for the rowboat to hurry up and get back, since they were obviously terrified of the yelling dwarf.

Will Our Heroes find out who the ship belongs to? What could these bandits want with Tho Mai’s mother? What would have been the name of the cat found at the water mill? And is that guy done with the party’s cloaks yet? Find out the answers to all of these questions (or none) next time!

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Introductions in the Town of Thimenster
OR: Bad Music + Rowdy Bar Patrons = Bar Fight!

Introductions in the Town of Thimenster

OR: Bad Music + Rowdy Bar Patrons = Bar Fight!

Sorry all but really busy weekend, so this is gonna be a short one.

Our Heros were still on the ship heading away from the island, a really giant thing grabbed the stone in the bag, and the Captain ended up ordering the rope cut. Akenara was very sad, but prayed a bit to Ra and felt better, as one does.

The ship eventually arrived at Thimenster, everyone decided to get cool looking dragon cloaks (or scroll bags) made using some wing leather and talons as fasteners. The cloaks will give some lightning resistance according to the tanner they hire to make them, and each person added some fancy touches to personalize their cloak.Tornval the wizard wants the heart, which is fine with the group. The rest of the dragon is sold to a Mr. Steve Gandrian at Ziggurat Trading Co. Some negotiations happened and Our Heroes got a very large amount of cash. The Captain (who is finally named as Ostric Yorr) gets his 30% cut and offers to possibly hire the group on as security / crew.

At this point the party splits and waders about the city some. Akenara went and found some temples, Thia looked for information on her parents, Zed and Niko bought some pies and gave them to orphans, and everyone else went to the bar. Della got some information out of one of the other patrons as the group learned of rumors of a Pirate (possibly Tyrant) King up north and of a lighthouse that had undead crews supposedly walking the beaches.

At this point Zed decided to entertain the crowd with a few songs. It did not go well. Someone in the crowd threw a bottle and a bar fight broke out. While the rest of Our Heroes are fighting Zed showed he must have been hustling the crowd, if thats even a thing, and his musical talent went way up once he was fighting people at the same time. Whether or not Zed can play music with any skill while he isn’t fighting a crowd of people is yet to be seen.

What will Our Heroes do to kill the time until their cloaks are made? Will they sign on with the Golden Hyacinth, or head out on their own? Where will they go, possibly to the Pie-Tyrant, or the undead lighthouse? Will they even stick together? (My guess is yes since anything otherwise would be hard to manage) Find out next time!

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Fishing for Dragons!
OR: Discussions on the Semantics of Tyranny vs Captaincy

Fishing for Dragons!

OR: Discussions on the Semantics of Tyranny vs Captaincy

Our Heroes made their way back to the Golden Hyacinth as the island was slowly starting to come apart, back to join up with Niko (who had been hurt too badly and wanted to go back to the ship) and Della (who “just couldn’t even” anymore). The ship looked repaired, and Akenara showed the captain the lodestone that they had found. It definitely affected the compass, and the Wizard Tornvall seemed to think it might be a bit divine in nature, perhaps of an ancient God or something sacred among Dragons. And then Akenara made the mistake of asking if the captain thought they could get to a port while still hanging onto the divine stone, and a huge discussion commenced.

Many things were discussed, such as which ports the GH would be heading to, how much of a cut the captain should receive, how much Our Heroes should be paid for saving the ship from lizardmen, can a Captain of a ship be a Tyrant? And so on. Draco was generally of the feeling that the captain could suck a big one and shouldn’t get a cut, and in fact should be happy that the group was even staying with the ship. A few of the others seemed to think being stuck on an island that was slowly falling apart would be a bad thing. Although Draco was, for the most part, the most argumentative of the bunch, he also came up with the solution that made everyone (somewhat) happy. The stone would be put into a sack and tied to a very long rope, then drug underneath the ship letting it navigate without hinderance. After this argument was settled, there was much rejoicing.

Once the ship was underway Tho Mai spoke to Tornvall about the diamond, and the wizard noticed the color is similar to both Tho Mai and Niko’s eyes. In fact when Tornvall passed the stone over Niko’s eye Niko felt a wubbing. Yes, that is the technical term. When Niko held the stone he also felt a sputtering of the power that Tho Mai feels when it is in Tho Mai’s hands.

About this time Ron spotted something drifting along behind the ship, and the captain takes a look through his telescope and saw a single person on a drifting boat. The captain decided to reel it in and onboard was a lone Tiefling bard. (It’s Dave’s character!) This bard was brought on board and asked for some food and water with a very heavy french accent. He introduced himself as Zed Le Poulain, saying he was on a merchant boat that sank in a storm and he was the only survivor. As the introductions commenced there was a fair amount of tension between Zed and Tho Mai, possibly of a somewhat sexual nature. Unfortunately for them about this time a general alarm was raised up on the deck of the ship.

As well as Zed’s rowboat it looked like the tailing lodestone had attracted a few more dangerous beings of the Dragon variety. Two young Blue dragons to be exact. Our Heroes piled up on deck and it was fighting time. One of the dragons dove under the water and grabbed the rock, which was still attached to the ship, and stopped the ship dead in the water. The Bard showed off his skill with some cutting words and some general inspiration, the Wizard Tornvall did some impressive stuff, people were hit by lightning for very large amounts of damage, overall it was fairly chaotic. After Tho Mai twinned a chromatic orb and killed the larger of the two dragons, the surviving one nearly killed Draco, but luckily he was suddenly inspired to dodge out of the way. The last dragon starts to fly off after dropping the stone, which was made very hot by Our Heroes new friend the bard. Unfortunately for the dragon Della was really in a mood, and after Tornvall cast Fly on her she went after it, with her and Ron bringing it down before it flew out of range.

After taking down the two dragons, one of which was now lying dead on their ship, the group was feeling quite good about themselves. Will this last? Will they finally reach port? What is the divine stone that the dragons wanted really worth? Will Draco kill the captain in a fit of debate fueled rage? Find out next time!

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Adventures with Elementals
OR: Snakes, Orbs and Pentagrams Oh My!

Adventures with Elementals

OR: Snakes, Orbs and Pentagrams Oh My!

After a long rest Our Heros started off up the stairs towards the odd purple glow and chanting. About halfway up the stairs they found a deep pit, and tried to figure out a way to cross it. Tossing of the dwarf was brought up and quickly dismissed, and then Thia mentioned she could do what was referred to as “a cool thing” and get across. Draco was still in favor of tossing Akenara. While this discussion was taking place the rest of the party got curious, so they did what any adventuring crew worth their salt would and tossed a light-cantripped rock down the hole.

The party quickly noticed the rock rising back up to the surface, and more specifically the large snake-like thing rising up with it. Draco tried to use his Animal Handling on it, but since that is for domesticated animals and this thing wasn’t domesticated, or even an animal really, it didn’t work. The only thing it did manage to do was to somewhat intuit the intentions of this water-snake-thing, and Draco felt that it was “curiously hungry” That was all that the group needed to hear to start attacking the thing. After some back and forth blows the snake reared back and started speaking to the group in common, much to everyone’s surprise. It apparently thought we might have brought it a gift to eat, but since we did not it will settle for eating us, starting with the Dwarf.

Akenara was then quickly grappled and drug into the water, and injuring him quite a bit in the process as well. After more damage all around Draco dropped down a rope to Akenara, and once the water snake thing was defeated the dwarf was able to climb back up onto dry land. Thia then did the “cool thing” mentioned previously and shaped the water into a bridge that everyone could use to cross, no tossing required. Some healing and sneaking occurred, and eventually a doorway was reached.

This doorway had a decidedly nautical feel to it, shaped to look like a nautilus shell with sea scenes around the edges. The doors seemed locked from the inside, and Draco decided to try something new and novel. Knocking. The door is opened, and Our Heros are greeted by more lizardmen, including a shaman at the back who is chanting and doesn’t seem to be paying attention to anything else. Draco, Akenara and Thia went into the room, while Ron and Tho Mai stayed just on the outside, not quite as trusting as the others.

The Shaman approached from the back, holding a crystal ball, inside of which were visions of the party killing a lot of lizardmen. Draco decides that then would be a great time to negotiate, and asked Akenara for the piece of lodestone. Presenting this to the lizard, Draco asked to use the crystal ball. After a bit of initial recoiling the shaman relented, and Draco then conjured up the image of us smashing the lodestone. This did not please the Shaman. Neither did the small handful of gold that Draco then tried to offer as payment / bribery / tribute. In fact, that really pissed the dude off, and a fight was on.

A whole bunch of damage was done, Draco’s armor was turned red hot, more crocodiles were summoned, lizards were smashed with hammers; in general it was a good old fashioned brawl. Once all of the enemies were dispatched the room was thoroughly searched and a (somewhat difficult, longer duration) prayer of healing was performed. Among the goods a small pouch was found, that felt vaguely religious to Akenara. Draco decided that caution is for the weak and just opened the pouch, which set off a purple magic missile that ricocheted around the room a bit, luckily missing everyone. Inside the pouch Draco found some random crap and a very shiny gem that Tho Mai is very interested in, since it seems to have a streak of the same sort of blue in it as Tho Mai’s eyes. He had no idea why, although as soon as he touched it the form of the chromatic orb spell sprang into form in Tho Mai’s mind. A short rest is taken, in which Tho Mai kept making little chromatic bubbles.

Our Heros then proceeded onwards and upwards, to the top of the tower. There was another door, which was kicked open revealing three more lizardmen, 1 normal, 1 shaman, and one really big buff guy. There was also a very elaborate version of the earlier floor pentagrams, and encased inside was a whirling ton of mist. Every now and then the mist would seem to coalesce and form into some sort of being, which would then pound on the sides of the force field created by the symbol. Above this being and symbol was a large hole in the roof, and it seemed that the very essence of the mist/smoke being was being spewn out over the entire island. Our Heros had finally found the source of the fog! There was also another of those oh so useful crystal balls, this one with an image of the party’s ship, which seemed mostly intact much to Ron’s relief.

Draco decided that this aggression will not stand man, and body slammed the gladiator looking lizard into the field, and the fight was on. The Shaman quickly mucked things up by spawning a giant field of coral reef that was very nasty looking, basically causing everyone to freeze where they were. Akenara created a flaming sphere to harass the shaman with, hoping to break his concentration. Thia did a cool jumping maneuver, landing and then blasts a lizard back 15 feet through the thorns with a gust of wind, making his day significantly worse. Ron decided to try to move a bit through the coral to get a better vantage, and got hurt somewhat. How much he was hurt exactly was a matter of some debate for a few seconds, but once that was settled he proceeded to shoot Akenara in the back with an arrow, so at least it was worth it.

With Akenara’s Radiance of the Dawn the shaman’s concentration is finally broken, and the remaining enemies are quickly dispatched with the help of Tho Mai’s newly discovered Chromatic Orb and some other, less anticipated attacks. The room is looted, the cool crystal ball of seeing through stuff is collected, and the symbol on the floor is burned to a crisp with a flame orb. Once the mist creature was released Akenara and Draco hear what must be it’s voice in their heads. The creature then bowed to Our Heros, and then flew up out of the hole in the roof, never to be seen again! Maybe. The island outside was suddenly less foggy, and the group could even see the Golden Hyacinth from outside the window! They then realized that the tower they were in was basically a giant seashell! That was pretty cool! What wasn’t was that the island seemed to be starting to drift apart. The party decided that the lodestone they destroyed must have been attracting all sorts of things, organic and otherwise, for who knows how long. Without that in place the entire island was coming apart, and fast!

Will Our Heros make it back to the ship in time? Will they survive their questionable decision to slide down the outside of the tower like it was an icy hill? Will they be able to pick up any floating loot in their hopefully repaired ship? Find out next time!

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Dangers of the Cave Depths
OR: Dragonborn: The Preferred Meat of Spiders Everywhere!

Dangers of the Cave Depths

OR: Dragonborn: The Preferred Meat of Spiders Everywhere!

When we last saw Our Hero’s they were standing at the entrance of a cave covered in thick spiderwebs. At this point Tho Mai started shooting off FireBolts to clear out the cave and the party advanced, eventually coming to a larger circular room with a pillar in the middle. Draco advanced around the left side as Akenara took point around the right.

A very large spider, possibly of the dangerous Horseblanket species, is seen on the other side of the room, and Draco noticed another one down the hall a bit. The first spider hit Thia with a web, and the second one hit Draco with a very similar spell. Both spiders then retreated down the hall. The group then spent a turn cutting their other members out of their webby cocoons, with Tho Mai using his family heirloom dagger to great effect.

Eventually the group followed the spiders down the tunnel and engaged them, with Ron drawing first blood as usual. After a few failed attacks Niko was finally fed up and showed the group how it was done, and that yes sometimes you do in fact have to touch the creepy, gross spiders to do damage to them. After this Ron killed one of the spiders, and the other ran away again, like the coward it was.

Our Heros followed down the tunnel until they ran into a three way split. Seeing that the spider went down the rightmost one Tho Mai entered the area, but almost immediately had webbing shot at him from the leftmost tunnel, meaning there was at least one more spider. Della tried to snag one of the spiders, but apparently it is harder to tangle up a spider hanging from the ceiling than it would appear. Draco finally reminded the party of how inspired they all could be at times, and did some fair damage to one of the creepy beasts.

At this point a third spider emerged from the depths of the cave, and both Draco and Della were webbed and Draco narrowly avoided being poisoned by a nasty bite from one of the creatures. Thia then showed Niko how to attack spiders without touching them, by creating a small compressed section of air and launching it at one of them, hitting it square in the face like a mighty fist. Draco, who was suitably impressed, also wanted to show off some new skills and was able to command Della to shoot at the new spider from inside of his cocoon. Whether or not Della went along with this willingly was a matter of some debate.

After this command, Draco was immediately bitten, poisoned, paralyzed, knocked out and drug off into the darkness of the Cave. Overall a bad time for him. Della was also bitten and slightly poisoned, if one can even be slightly poisoned, but she was at least still conscious. Niko, or Patches as he is quickly becoming known as, then touched another spider directly (albeit with burning hands), which was quickly followed up by Thia showing off her fire snake inspired fang move thingy, which killed off the last spider. Well, big spider at least. Akenara appreciated the use of fire and fire themed attacks, but was starting to be entirely done with the whole spider thing.

After Akenara retrieved the still unconscious and paralyzed Dragonborn he did a quick medicine check on him and determined that Draco was, in fact, paralyzed. It was a very informative medicine check. The rest of the group was checking out the surroundings, finding a new set of chainmail and some cash. Ron scouted ahead and found that they were at the other webby entrance that had been discovered earlier, and someone suggested a long rest. In the middle of the spider nest. Akenara had some problems with this, having been down in the dark of the cave for a few days straight he was begging to get a bit twitchy, and the spiders weren’t helping. Our Hero’s moved up into the next cave, and after a quick healing prayer settled down for a long rest.

Akenara volunteered to take the first watch, and spent the majority of it running around smashing spiders with his warhammer. The rest of the group didn’t get much sleep, surprisingly. Tho Mai spends his watch paying attention to the weird chanting heard coming from above the staircase, but it doesn’t seem to have had any change. Whoever is up there didn’t seem to be too bothered by the presence of a veritable extermination crew coming into the lower levels of the cave.

During Della’s watch the elven maiden was apparently daydreaming (night dreaming? cave dreaming?) and didn’t notice the large number of smaller spiders coming through the entrance from their nest. Tho Mai is then woken up rather abruptly by a sharp pain in a rather tender area, followed by no feeling at all. With all this happening he still tried to get Della to “suck out the poison”, and she quickly responded by punching him in the leg and giving him a charlie horse. The rest of the long rest seemed to pass uneventfully.

Next Time: Will Our Hero’s find out who is doing that creepy chanting? What are the odds that it has to do with the odd purple light at the top of the staircase? Probably pretty good eh? Will Akenara ever get to see his beloved Sun again? Will Ron ever get to see his beloved Golden Hyacinth again? Will Tho Mai ever get to feel his beloved nether regions again? Tune in to find out!

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Week 4: Battle in the Swamp
OR: Is that a Dwarf, or a Bug Zapper come to life?

Week 4: Battle in the Swamp

OR: Is that a Dwarf, or a Bug Zapper come to life?

We rejoin Our Heroes shortly after they realized that the strange symbol on the ground might not have been a summoning ritual, but a warding ritual instead. The group noticed the pulsing symbol was slowing down, but there was a few hours until it seemed like it would stop on its own. Draco suggested a short rest, which was quickly agreed to. During the rest a bit of healing was done, and the fog-like potion from earlier was identified as a Potion of Gaseous Form, letting the imbiber turn into a cloud and move around (slowly) in that state.

After the short rest Draco decided that he had dealt with the mystery of the glowing symbol on the floor for long enough, and promptly urinated on it. Unsurprisingly this wasn’t the greatest idea, as the symbol was still pulsing with arcane power, and proceeded to electrocute him for a good bit of damage. However this did clear up the question of how to deactivate the symbol, as it proceeded to flicker a few times and then go completely inert.

Akenara took a quick listen at the door, hearing some water gurgling and some frogs, but nothing any more spooky than that. The group discusses options on how to proceed through the door, the gas form potion is brought up as an option, but lets be honest, everyone knows how they decided to go in. Take down the makeshift barrier, send Ron to stealth in, and just sort of barge right in. A more natural, friendly, less arcane glowing is seen coming from down the path, specifically from a large chamber. Inside this area there were a few natural pools with some large glowing purple mushrooms and some over-sized frogs. Tho Mai recognized the mushrooms as Violet Fungus, a dangerous breed that can sense any warm blooded animals nearby, and shoot out spores that will seriously ruin your day. The ponds seem shallow and unoccupied at the moment, completely innocuous and nonthreatening.

Tho Mai, knowing that the mushrooms are bad news, shoots a firebolt at one and the groups prepares for combat, as the frogs don’t take too kindly to their home being burned down. Thia tried to be tricky and skip across one of the ponds to get to a Frog of Unusual Size while avoiding the fungus, but the pond was apparently an Ooze, and it smacked her across the face. The fight was on in full, oozes oozed towards the group, frogs tried to eat people, and a lot of things were killed. Draco found out the hard way that the oozes’ bodies were corrosive to his metal armor, which was pitted and made to be less effective after being hit by one of the oozes. Vowing to pick up another set of armor from the previously ransacked equipment room, the group proceeded to look around the newly empty room. The most significant find was a large uncut gem, which Niko believes to be a hunk of moonstone worth about 100gp.

Our Hero’s decide to head back into the room with the symbol on the floor for a long rest, deciding that re-barricading the doorway would be just as good as going back one more room and shutting an actual door. Surprisingly, this doesn’t turn out well. A few hours into the long rest Della heard a buzzing noise coming from right outside the debris pile, and decided to wake up the rest of the group. It is decided that these are probably Sturges, so the best option would be to set the debris pile on fire, because of course fire, and then stack up on the other side to take out anything that comes in the door. This tactic actually works fairly well, taking out a sizable group that was first through the door. After that, with the doorway cleared, the fight was on. Tho Mai decided it would be a great idea to shoot Akenara with a firebolt (possibly not on purpose), Draco took out a large number of Sturges with a well placed ice breath, a few of the bugs are smashed mercilessly after attaching themselves to various group members, and the bugs are eventually taken out.

Akenara, still concerned with the sound of buzzing coming from the previously cleared out swamp, wanted to press on and take out the rest of the threat. A few other members decide to join him, with Draco, Thia and Niko (aka patches) staying back. Akenara ran to the edge of the swamp, set off his Radiance of the Dawn, and basically nuked 12 sturges in one shot. Everyone goes back, behind an actual door this time, to complete the long rest.

After everyone was rested up and refreshed from the long rest the group slowly moved back through the swamp, killing bugs along the way. Moving past the swamp, Ron stealthed up to an area that opened up, which had a very hive-like feel to it. In the middle of this room was a very large hunk of angular, crystalline metal, about the size of a man’s forearm. Ron also noticed that he was starting to feel very dizzy, possibly because of this rock. He went back to re rest of the group and reported his findings. It was decided that this large chunk of metal was most likely a lodestone, which was what was causing the ship’s compass to spin around like crazy.

Besides the hunk of crystal, Ron also reported that there was an absolute ton of bugs in the room, including a few larger than normal centipedes and a ton of Sturges. Akenara decided it was his time to shine, quite literally. Downing the fog potion, he slowly crept into the middle of the hive without the bugs noticing anything amiss. With the rest of the crew just down the tunnel ready to back him up he sprung back into form and ignited another Radiance of the Dawn.It was Bugmageddon. The rest of Our Hero’s would not be needed for this fight.

With the room cleared of around 30+ bugs of various sizes, the rest of the group entered the room to examine the rock in the center. Everyone started hitting it with various weapons, and then Tho Mai figures since it is metal it might melt, and hits it with a flame bolt. Seeing it weakened Akenara then shattered it with his hammer, and then was hit by Tho Mai’s second fire bolt. Akenara then has a very in depth discussion with Tho Mai about the difference between liking fire, and liking to be set on fire. It is a small, but important, distinction.

With the mystery of the spinning compass solved will Our Heroes find an equally unnatural source of the Fog? What mysteries will be found at the top of the spiral staircase with the glowing purple light? Will they ever run into whatever is putting up all these webs? Will those things also glow in some fashion? Find out next time!

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Week 3: It’s Fighting Time!
OR: How throwing a rock isn’t always completely useless!

Week 3: It’s Fighting Time!

OR: How throwing a rock isn’t always completely useless!

Our Adventurers started off this week having a quick discussion on tactics, and then proceeded to “find” the door that was totally there the whole time. While searching for the door, and then attempting to shove it open, Niko specified that he actually has witch bolts and not magic missile, and besides, witch bolts are totally much cooler.

As the group searched deeper into the cave it became apparent that it was getting less and less foggy. Eventually the path split into three directions, one that went downwards, one that stayed level, and then to everyone’s utter surprise there was one that went up. Being a pragmatic (if somewhat indecisive) group, Our adventurers decided to check out the level option first.

Ron, being the stealthiest (and a slightly more expandable member of the party) snuck around a path until he found a door with seemingly regular light coming from it, and heard some lizards “talking”. It is decided to just bust in the door and go for it, so the group moved into breach formation and knocked down the door. Unfortunately the group didn’t get very far in, and a bunch of giant lizards stacked up on the entrance. Since they had decided to be more tactical this time around the group tried retreating, under cover of a well timed Draco ice breath that hit 5 of the enemy.

Some of the lizards followed into the other room, so the group started taking them out. The Monk (who happens to be named Thia) started throwing rocks at things. Not hitting them, just throwing in their general direction. The battle was on in full at this point. Hammers, Flails, and Arrows are flying around doing damage, and the Lizards and Lizardmen are holding their own as well. At one point Akenara is hit with a crit, which he negated with a flare. The second try at the attack also crit, which was then negated by a Protection from Draco. The third and final attack seemed to be very close to a critical attack, about two degrees off of doing some major damage. At that point Akenara learned not to screw around with the lizards.

Just about everyone got in on the action, including an amazingly aimed rock from Thia that somehow killed one of the lizardmen. When there was only one enemy left alive Thia the Monk finally moved in, about to show everyone the amazing skills of a Monk, since she had et to attack anything in the cave. She moved in, eyed her opponent, and… missed. Luckily Tho Mai, the half elf sorcerer, hit with an extremely efficient chill touch, doing just enough to end the life of the last Lizardmen. Everyone suddenly felt more powerful, skillful, and richer to boot! Akenara got a fancy golden statue of a falcon headed deity from the south, Niko La Tes got a bunch of daggers, and everyone got some cash.

About this time Della woke up from her wine coma and decided to come find the rest of the group. While Thia was trying to explain to everyone that being able to do more Monk-ey things is totally different from being able to do monkey things, Della was ambushed by a lone lizardman. After dispatching her attacker, Della met up with the group, and the room that was so recently vacated was explored. The only thing of note was a makeshift barricade that was set up to keep something OUT of the room, so the group wisely decided not to touch it, and headed back to the room with the three forking paths.

Our Adventurers checked out the path leading upwards, which was more like a steep spiral staircase. There was a weird purply glow coming from farther up the stairs, so the group bravely decided to check out their other options. Down the stairs there was a nice friendly wooden door, with some regular, non weird light coming from under the door. The group definitely liked this better than weird purply glowing things. Bursting in they found a few more roguish lizardmen, with a bit of a thievery look to them. Some might say they had a thiever, and the only prescription was Akenara’s hammer and Della’s arrow. Well, that is, if prescriptions were things that killed you. The other thiefy-Lizardman died due to something, and the room was examined.

Ron heard something creepy, some rhythmic chanting, and saw a pulsing light coming from under the door. So much for the “safe” route. As usual, the group subtly smashed in the door, revealing a motley crew of Lizardmen including a Rogue, a Guard, and a Wizard/Shaman looking dude. Our Adventurers all shared a look, nodded, and then some Rammstein started playing. Awesome spells are being fired off left and right, action surges are being used, the fact that warding flare’s have to be set off before the attack is made is discussed, shamans are self-healed, awesome spells are then dispelled, basically shit got real for a bit. Tho Mai finally finished off the last aggressor with a firebolt cantrip, and the dust started to settle.

Our Adventurers looked around, grabbed some gems and potions off of a small table in the middle, and then someone realized it might be worth taking a look at the giant glowing circle in the floor that seemed to be pulsing at a slower and slower rate. It appeared that the Shaman may not have been trying to summon something, but was in fact performing a warding ritual to keep something out.

Will Our Heroes find out that maybe it is a good idea to figure out the nature of odd magical symbols on the floor before they kill everyone in the room? What monstrosity was being held back by the warding ritual? What mysteries await the group at the top of the curved staircase? Find out next time!

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Week 2: The Mysterious Foggy Caves of Mystery!
OR: How distracting can one song and one person’s terrible handwriting truly be?

OR: How distracting can one song and one person’s terrible handwriting truly be?

After the exciting end of last week’s adventure Our Hero’s found themselves on the deck of the Golden Hyacinth looking over the aftermath of the fight. On second look, some of the crew members were only mostly dead, and were able to be brought back with some successful medicine checks. While Akenara the Dwarf was going about mending the wounded, the Half Elf sorcerer is busy wandering around the deck yelling for Ron (more like ROOOOOON), which is apparently the name of the crewmember formerly knows as Third Eye. The group learned that the ship was attacked almost immediately after the away team left to explore the island, almost as if the ship (which had just rammed into the island at full speed) was being watched from the shadows! Of fog! Shadogs? Fogdows? Either way, something is definitely out there!

Out of the very same fog a voice was heard responding to the sorcerer’s calls, but who could it be? Ron, or some other Unknown Threat? It was Ron. Sorry Mr. U.T. but you will have to wait for another time. The group helped Ron get back via some yelling, some really loud yelling, and some flares made from fire bolt cantrips. Ron, who was in fairly bad shape, told his story of being captured by the lizardmen, being taken to a cave mouth where he heard more of the hissing “language” and then escaping after a failed distraction attempt.

About this time a strange fugue state overcame Our Adventurers; mostly pertaining to a specific maiden with an alcohol-inspired name, and the relative merits of how said maiden would perform as a lifelong companion. After much discussion, mostly between Draco the Dragonborn fighter and an ominous voice from the clouds, it was decided that she would perform admirably at this task.

The group discovered that Ron “Third Eye” Blackwood is in fact the first mate of the Golden Hyacinth, and a fairly adept Ranger as well. While the debate about the alcohol-named maiden is ongoing (much to the Monk’s dismay) the group took a short rest and those that needed it recovered a small, but not insignificant amount of health. According to Ron the lizardmen use cairns to navigate through the fog, so it sounds like that isn’t going to clear up any time soon. After a bit of persuasion Ron decided to show us the way back to the cave, and after attaching a rope to every member of the group the surely epic Journey to the Cave of Lizardmen was started.

Our Heros promptly arrived at the Cave of Lizardmen with no incident, besides being met by Della the elven Ranger, who must have slept in on the ship or something. That seems to happen a lot. The group started to approach the cave and after much cautious stealthing and smelling, the inside was found to be fairly, well, cavelike. While the rest of the group was cautiously exploring the cave, as would seem prudent, Draco the Fighter got bored. When Fighters get bored they start barging into rooms, and sometimes those rooms are full of angry lizardmen that want to put a sword through you because you may or may not be invading their home. In this case that was exactly what the group was doing, so a fight broke out.

The fight started off for Our Heros, with frost breaths, shocking grasps, sacred flames and mouth-piercing arrows being flung around generally causing the lizard men to have very bad days. The lizardmen were giving some back as well, with one eventually taking out Draco with an arrow, but thanks to some (awesome) healing he was soon back on his feet. For a bit at least.The last lizardman seemed to be very agile, because the group spent the next few turns missing him quite badly. Once he was finally taken down there was looting to be done. A small bit of cash and a cask of very fine wine (claimed by Della) later Our Heros decided to venture further into the cave to see what mysteries it held.

Or Lizardmen, the cave could also hold more lizard men. Did, in fact, hold more lizardmen. This time of the fancy variety. After some dispute about the legibility of some of what could only be called cave art that may or may not have been related to the order of who went when during the fight, and a quick food break (which quickly devolved into a repeat discussion of a certain maiden’s marriage acumen), shit got real. During this fight, after being scarred by getting knocked out in the earlier skirmish Draco (who may or may not specialize in defence) decided he would lead from the rear of the group, and not dare go past the very narrow doorway under any circumstances.

After a lengthy battle that saw the groups Monk, Ranger and the First Mate of the ship all go down the human sorcerer Niko La Tes finally remembered he had Magic Missile (which hits automatically) and promptly killed the last Lizardman. The group, in desperate need of a long rest, then spent a while debating the nature of tides and caves, specifically if tides tended to fill certain caves with water when they rose. It was decided the best course of action would be to build hammocks from all of the crates, cloth bits, and various other sundry items that were scattered in the cave. Then, when someone pointed out that all of those things wouldn’t be there if the water rose that high the hammock idea was, unfortunately, abandoned.

The long rest passed uneventfully besides the previously looted potin being identified as being of the healing variety, and that is where this week’s adventure came to an end. Next Week: Are there more Lizards in this cave? Possibly behind the newly found door that totally didn’t just appear out of nowhere? Will our Fighter learn what his Shield is actually for? Will our Sorcerers remember what spells they have prepared before the very last second when death appears inevitable? Stay Tuned to find out!

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Week 1 Our Adventure Begins!
Or: How fog can ruin a perfectly good sea journey.

So this turned out fairly long, but we did a lot of non combat stuff this week. No promises that the writeup will be this detailed every week but if I have an hour or so I’ll try to keep up with it and make it somewhat entertaining.

Our adventurers found themselves on the merchant vessel Golden Hyacinth, all for various reasons ranging from glory and treasure seeking to a simple bed and warm meal earned by working on the ship. Along with the crew and the various adventurers there were two other passengers of note; one being an official of the empire complete with message satchel, the other being a well off-appearing noble of advanced age that had kept to himself for the most part up to this point in the voyage. The Golden Hyacinth was sailing from Progonozt, an outer city of the Rhye empire located in the southern outskirts of the civilized world, with its listed destination as Thimenster.

Draco, a large male dragonborn Fighter (played by Michael) had struck up a conversation with a somewhat affluent looking male half elf Sorcerer (played by Drew) on the deck. The topic of conversation quickly turned to the young elf maiden Ranger (played by Kim) who was, shall we say, unreceptive towards the advances of the half elf and dragonborn. The Elven Maiden may or may not have been paying more attention to the female half elf Monk (played by Amy) that was a part of the crew of the Golden Hyacinth.

Along the same time a male dwarf Cleric named Akenara (played by Ken) was taking in the sights on deck, having never been on a sailing vessel of this size before. The dwarf had been striking up conversations with various crew members, including the Monk, speaking on various subjects including: spirituality, how great the sun is, how inspiring it is to be out in search of adventure, how breathtaking the sea is, how impressive the Golden Hyacinth is, and how, generally, everything is awesome. During these rounds the Dwarf noticed what he assumed to be the deck boy, a young human (played by Arlo) that looked like he was taken directly out of a gutter and put to work doing various odd jobs around the ship. While staring off into the horizon the young elf ranger mentioned to Akenara that it looked like a storm was coming, and due to her previous experience sailing the dwarf immediately believed her. So he did the prudent thing and went straightaway to the captain, whom he had just been speaking with about the general awesomeness of the day.

Meanwhile in the mess hall (deck? room? general area?) the half elf sorcerer found the old rich noble, and promptly challenged him to a game of Dragon Chess. The sorcerer lost the first game, almost too easily, and then proposed to up the stakes to a gold piece. Once there was money on the line the sorcerer somehow managed to win the game handily. During the discussion around the game it was revealed that the old man, who introduced himself as Tornval Aromander, knew of the sorcerer’s family name and a bit of their history including the homesickness of the elven lady of the house who provided the sorcerer with his more exotic half. Tornval himself was known to be a wizard of some note who had previously been involved in the imperial court.

The assumed cabin boy, tired of being ignored by all the rich people, wanted to try his hand at this fancy person’s game. Without knowing a thing about Dragon Chess he tried to cheat at it using a sleight of hand and failed. Some might say critically. Luckily the old wizard found this rather amusing, as did everyone else in the mess. About this time is when everyone seemed to have noticed the odd bar of color in the young human’s eye, which may or may not be a very similar color to the eyes of the half elf sorcerer. Due to the amusing nature of his attempt at Dragon Chess the young elf maiden ranger seems to have taken a friendly shine to the young human, and starts up a conversation that quickly turns to the young human’s pet pocket mouse, which was a small mouse that, oddly enough, lives in his pocket. The halfling chef also noticed the mouse, but seemed to be almost critically pleased to see it, as he once had a hat-mouse himself.

That night seemed to pass uneventfully, and in the morning rose an angry red sun. With no clouds or wind anywhere, the Golden Hyacinth was becalmed on the water and there seemed nothing that the crew or our band of adventurers could do about it. Suddenly out of nowhere (or possibly the sea) came a rogue wave, knocking the half elf sorcerer into the ocean! Showing surprising decisiveness, and a concern for the sorcerer that did not seem present before this moment, the elven ranger dove in after the half elf, struggling to keep him afloat. An apparent quick thinker, the Monk crewmember tossed in a rope after the two. Upon pulling the two back onto the deck the other members noticed there appeared to be sharks approaching, so it was a good thing they were able to get everyone aboard again so quickly.

Shortly after a large fog bank surrounded the ship, generally spooking the crew and captain. The dwarf cleric went up to speak with the captain and inform him of his extremely useful, and awesome, ability to dismiss a very small portion of the fog and found the captain tapping at a compass that seemed to be spinning. When asked he told the dwarf that no, this was in fact not how compasses usually functioned. Near the end of this conversation the Golden Hyacinth ran aground into an island that had sprung from nowhere and surrounded by even more fog. Neither the island or the fog were on any of the charts that the captain had, although it would have been very odd if any of the maps had fog marked on them.
The captain then took Akenara up on his ability to clear out some of the fog, but all this seemed to reveal was more coastline and fog. After an hour of waiting to see if anything would move on the coast our adventurers volunteered to go down and see if they could right the ship and shove it off of the island. While they were able to right it, thanks to Draco being really quite large, they did notice it had a hole that would need to be patched before the ship would sail again.

While the hull was being patched our adventurers, along with three crew members dubbed Dapper, Third Eye Blind and the Saiyan, perhaps due to their appearance, went out to explore the shore. Thinking it would be a good idea not to get lost from their only mode of transportation they tied off all of their rope and secured it to the ship. Using the other end as a flashlight thanks to an (awesome) light cantrip the group ventured out into the island. After some rather uneventful walking through fog the group noticed they were in between what appeared to be a section of bones that resembled a rather large rib cage. Oh, and Third Eye was gone. Deciding to trace their steps backwards in hope of finding Third Eye the group soon heard the sounds of shouting and quickly ran back to the ship and completely forgot about him.

Upon reaching the ship they saw a group of lizardmen attacking the crew, and took the initiative to join the fight. During the fight it was made apparent that the old wizard is a complete bad ass, as he took out three of the aggressors in a single ice wall attack. After much ranged combat, a few alligator attacks while trying to climb in the boat, and finding out that the half elf sorcerer has a very hard time climbing up ropes, the enemy was dispatched. Oh and seemingly all of the crew besides the captain and halfling cook (and our Monk) were killed. Luckily the two other passengers, the wizard and the imperial official, were both still alive.

Will our adventurers learn to sail a ship? Or will they decided to investigate the very moist-aired island? Will they remember Third Eye and try to find him? Will your trusty narrator ever learn the party’s character’s names? Find out next time!

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