Storms on the Seven Seas

Tapestries: The Classy way to Hide your Valuables from Prying Eyes and Look Good Doing It!
OR: Love Potion Number NEIN!

On the way to the tower dragging the bodies of the dead changelings, the group passed by the run-down fishing shack. They decided to take a quick look inside but found it locked up and surprisingly sturdy for an abandoned wooden building. So much for dumping the bodies inside to divert suspicion, they thought, and unceremoniously tossed them in the river under the dock. To the tower!

Along the way they see the lower 5/6 of a familiar fur-clad half-orc, Gel! “How did you find me?” he asked. “Honestly, the fact that you weren’t being chased by primates and wolves was the better disguise” Zed riposted back.

The stone tower looked blown out and considerably worse off than the wooden fishing shack. Stones that once were walls and parapets were now scattered about the ground in piles, and the stairway leading up to the second floor was missing its lower half. Nonetheless, Rosalyn was able to command her magic rope to attach itself to the remaining stair and she quickly climbed up to the next level.

There she found the remains of a fire, possibly used for camp or signal purposes. The wall extended up a few feet here and there, offering shelter, but otherwise the room was exposed to the elements and offered a commanding view of the sky above and the river and forest below.

Meanwhile, Nico discovered a broken-in door under the part of the stairs that was still standing and opened it to find… a small pantry. Rotten food, signs of rodents, and shapes in the dust showing where thing once had been were all that remained. Hanging on the wall at the back of the room was a moldy tapestry, and behind that was a small alcove with a smaller box inside. The box is locked, but Nico soon finagles the lock open and finds two keys inside: one small and delicate and one large and rough-hewn. He also finds the makings for about half a bottle of Alchemist’s Fire. It appears the box was set to blow, possibly destroying the contents, if the latch was not properly disabled. Yeah, Nico!

Zed and Gel are looking around in the tower and out in the courtyard but find nothing more interesting than their conversation. Fresh off his lockpicking victory, Nico easily discerns that there is a door hidden under a pile of smaller rubble. It looks like a cellar door, locked from the inside. Inspired by Nico’s adroit opening of the box, Rosalyn jams her blade between the doors and breaks the simple latch on the inside clean off, allowing the doors to be swung open.

Zed takes Rosalyn’s spot upstairs and espies a rustling in the trees off towards where they encountered the changelings before. Something appears to be moving through the brush and disappears over a small hill into the valley beyond. Behind the valley the land rises up into taller mountains, so whatever it was likely stopped beyond the hill. He notes the location and heads back downstairs to help inspect the cellar.

With Del the rogue taking a cat-nap in the tower, it falls to Zed to steal into the darkness below and ascertain its contents. He finds a straight passage that turns to the right and ends in a locked door with a barred window. He does not see anything moving through the window and so motions for everyone else to come down. Nico, who can’t see for shit in the dark, gives Zed the small key. It fits! Inside is a room with a table and some benches. There are shelves along the wall with bits of rotten food, and a barrel containing musty drinking water. There is a locked door with a similar window at the back wall, which Zed covers with a cloth before they light the room so Nico can see. A scrap of parchment is soon discovered under the table. Unfurling it they find a few lines of crossed-out writing that look to be the opening of a letter.

The light is extinguished and the door unlocked using the same small key. Zed goes in first and finds a hallway with three windowed doors on each side and a seventh with no window at the end. The hallway smells of rotten meat, with the smell getting stronger the further in he goes. He peeks in each of the six in turn to find they are holding cells of some kind. One appears to be unlocked and swings open slightly when he approaches. Notably, this room has a large shape lying on the cot. Zed sneakily lifts the blanket off of the closest side to see who or what is lying underneath only to find the horrid mangled visage of a flesh golem! Immune to his charms, Zed is walloped mightily and quickly retreats back into the larger room, ceding the fight to his sturdier comrades.

Nico then shoots a total of six flaming bolts of fire at the beast, hitting with four and critting with one for a total of 56 damage. Rosalyn chops down the remainder of the creature’s HP and the beast is slain! She finds a silk handkerchief with a small tuft of ladies hair on the beast. A clue!

They open the last door and find… a fairly nice living room, much like one might find in a brothel. Plush chairs and a writing desk, flowers here and there, etc. The poetry on the desk is terrible, so Zed writes some better verse and signs his name perhaps a little too large but there you have it. Basically the place is a bachelor’s pad for doppelgangers. There are two doors at the back, one at either corner. Both are closed. They open one and then the other and find a bed in each. The beds are strewn with rose petals and have a small table at the side. Some plain tapestries adorn the walls. Gel looks behind the tapestries and finds a number of potions, likely employed in the clumsy seduction of the kidnapped ladies by the changelings. The potions are:

A potion of Vitality
A potion of Longevity
A potion of Heroism (Rosalyn claims this one)
A potion of Dimunition

It appears our heroes have hit a dead end in their investigation! Where are the ladies and what was the deal with the stinky flesh man? Will they try the other key on the fishing shack, or will they venture into the woods after whatever Zed spotted moving? And who will take notes with Dave gone? Tune in next time to find out!

Bridges, Capstans, and a World of Goo!
OR: An Empirical Study In Stealthy Cave Movement Utilizing Illusions

Bridges, Capstans, and a World of Goo!

OR: An Empirical Study In Stealthy Cave Movement Utilizing Illusions

Last time our dashing adventurers had come across a damsel in distress, and quickly followed some kid (and dad)nappers into some secretive caves. After a fair bit of spelunking they came across an ominously cut bridge! Intrigue!

As Our Heroes crossed the bridge, they noticed it was possible that the bridge has just eroded, and had not been cut by some nefarious ne’er-do-wells. On the other side there was a somewhat larger cave, with a cave in on the opposite wall. Leading out towards the giant boulder that was blocking the entrance was a chain connected to a capstan which could be used to open it, or at least that is what the party assumed.

There was also a fairly large amount of evidence that some creatures had been here on this path, with a good deal of discarded scraps, refuse, and footprints. Bondo recognized some of the footprints as belonging to Gnolls (which he then explains to Gunnar using the phrase “our brains are the size of friendship!”) Trolls, and a few smaller Trolls. The group decided to head down the tunnel in search of the kidnapped family.

Bongo started popping up a minor illusion in front of the group, so that no one would see them coming. The fact that they wouldn’t be able to see anyone they might run into was promptly ignored. After a few twists and turns the group came upon some magical darkness. After investigating it with a thrown rock and an axe stuck inside and waved around a bit, Bongo detected magic and felt some conjuration vibes coming off of it, like from a portal or dimension door.

Our Brave Heroes decide that traveling to other planes of existence wasn’t in the agreement with the maiden, so they quickly decided to try one of the other branches of the cave system. Finding a path that ended abruptly with a non-natural wall (i.e. sloppily constructed bricks) Gunnar and Aken did the prudent thing and just straight pushed it down. Who needs brains when you have brawn!

The fact that the cave floor and walls are now suspiciously clean doesn’t seem to deter the party much, although at this point the thought did occur to them that the gnolls probably didn’t have enough time to brick up their path after taking the kidnappers into the caves. They did find a nice, natural fissure that seemed to have quite a few dead bodies / skeletons / general remains at the bottom, but since time was ticking away they decided that the hole in the ground wasn’t going anywhere and to head back.

While Thia was up front being all stealthy she suddenly signaled everyone to stop, as she felt like she just got some sort of acidic jelly on her face. Everyone freezes, and then realizes they are face to plane with a Gelatinous Cube! After a few attacks, and a flaming sphere spawned in the middle of it, Gunnar decided it would be a good idea to light the ground on fire. The cube then slid right over it, putting it out on its way to absorbing Aken into its acidic body. Bongo, who was riding on Aken’s shoulders for unknown reasons, was able to hop off just in time and land a few more shots against it, and Thia was able to finish it off with some fiery punches. While Aken could now breathe again, he was quite covered in some really sticky goo. But there was treasure to be had!

With the Goo defeated, and the hostages apparently forgotten again, Our Heroes went back towards the pit that they now knew to be the waste bin of the cube. While Aken lowered Gunnar down on a rope, Thia just jumped straight down since she is a monk, and can do cool stuff like that. Their spoils? Some bolts, a few pricey gems, and a bag full of beans! That are apparently magic!

With the Goo defeated will the party continue the search for the kidnapped Lum family? Will they bravely explore what is beyond the dimension door? Will there be any more wonton destruction of someone else’s walls that were probably a lot of work to put up? Find out next time!

Previously, on FRACAS: Ladies + Jerks = Compelling Plot Point!
OR: Wait, I thought we were group B?

With an over-booked wagon ride that went on seemingly for weeks finally over, half the party having left for some foppish soiree with someone’s twee uncle, and the only bar in town having banned them for nearly burning it down, our heroes found themselves with a mighty thirst and nowhere to quench it. Fortunately, they were able to discern that this town had not one, but two establishments that catered to whistle-wetting, though the latter was a good bit rougher than the former. But it seems that Zed Le Poulain, Rosalyn the Tiefling, Del the Thief, and Nico La Tess, might just prefer things a little rough?

After a rejuvenating feast of week-old bread rounds sopped in greasy beer, dusty whisky from dustier bottles, and broth as thin as the sheets in a whore-house, Zed takes a peek around and espies the barman heading their way with a tray of tankards courtesy of the hooded gent in the far corner. An opening gambit of this caliber deserves a response, and so the aforementioned ensemble make their way over to their boozy benefactor’s table and take a seat.

The unnamed man, covered in tattoos and sweat, may be devoid of a moniker but he does have quite a doozy of a story. He cautiously establishes that he was on board the first pirate ship in that fateful Battle of Breakers Point. The one that was cleft in twain with a flaming logjam and sank to the bottom neat as you please. ( See: Adventure Log from 16MAR15. -Ed ) Hurt, and apparently immune to magicks both harmful and healing, he slowly made his way down the coast before discovering the similarly sobriquet-less party of yours truly, et al., and establishing contact. ( See: Last paragraph. -Ed )

The ex-pirate explains how he found himself in the giant prison city up north, and was press-ganged into joining the crew led by Bozag the Great after taking part in the massive prison break, also led by by Bozag the Great. But the life of a pirate was not all rum and riches. It seems they also kidnapped their fair share of ladies, whom they then sold to a bunch of dudes in tricorn hats and baggy breeches and disturbingly consistent looks…

Wait! You say. Since when does anyone have a “fair share” of ladies to kidnap that isn’t exactly zero? Dear reader, you make an excellent point that our heroes similarly latched on to, at the momentary expense of all other realizations. Now be quiet and if you interrupt again I will be forced to alliterate my telling most excessively.

Ahem… The tat-ted man before them continues his tale of woe, for it seems he had taken a liking to one of the ladies scooped up in their raids, a young elven lass named Bethea whom even the love of an ex-con-cum-pirate could not keep from being sold into servitude as a changeling breeding slave.

As the tale unfolds, it dawns on the group that they had just been privy to the unpleasant end of another young elf woman’s life at the hands of a group similarly adorned and similarly similar to the one in this tale. Rocked by the verisimilitude, they agree to try and extract Bethea, along with any of her compatriots, by extracting the life essence of their captors. In return, they are promised half of a treasure map containing all of the important bits usually associated with maps detailing the location of treasure, save for the first half. But it does have an X on it!

At this point, Zed, always a sucker for a maiden in trouble, stands with a start, slaps the table with his rapier yelling “for l’amour!”, and turns and walks out of the tavern. He soon returns, realizing he does not know where the camp of bastards is located. This is soon resolved, and he makes his leave again, this time with the rest of the group.

They quickly track down Brefy, that octogenarian cart-handler of such skill and renown that saved the day last time (See: No such file found -Ed), and convince him to take their asses up north. Past Breakers Point, past the town of Stinkyton, all the way to the river Tidus, which leads to the camp. Promises are made, currency exchanged (60 gp there, 10 gp back, if they make it), and they set out. Four days later, they pass through Stinkyton, where Zed has them stop so he can “borrow” some outfits from the local whorehouse to better enact their plan.

Their plan: Del, being the sneakiest and thus far unknown to the changelings, is to sneak up the river, past the tower to the shack and then the clearing described by Mr. Pirate Man and scope things out. He does. Then, Zed, Rosalyn, and Nico are to doll each other up so they look like ladies. Fortunately, Zed, Nico, and Del all have disguise kits. Unfortunately, the group is better at rogue than rouge, and the disguises are of varying success. At one end, Rosalyn looks much like one would expect a female of the species to look. Never mind that she was a she before all this went on. At the other end, Zed looks much like one would expect a male of the species to look while wearing a mishmash of burlap sacks and clown makeup.

But no matter! Del, now incognito as a Drow in dark-face, leads the other three, who are tied up with Rosalyn’s magic rope, to the clearing in an obvious attempt to make a sale, and is met with two changers, one leading three two-headed dogs. This meets with much skepticism directed at the obvious bulges protruding from Zed’s skull (i.e. his horns) and Nico’s pants (i.e. his pet mouse), to which Del plays dumb. All non-Drow look alike, apparently. Zed “suggests” (using magic of course) that they take the group to their camp anyway. The one without the dogs in tow agrees to take Rosalyn and Del, and Zed and Nico steal off into the woods about 15’, where they “hide” and try to “sneak” along after.

One of the six canine heads takes note of their ham-handedness (note: dogs love ham) and turns to pursue. Zed, thinking quickly, makes the silent image of a deer appear to try and throw the dog off, but the four-eyed dog sees right through that and continues towards them. Nico throws himself in front of the dog in a selfless sacrifice of hit points, while Del comes up behind the dog handler and shoots an arrow at Nico, intentionally missing him by inches. This convinces the bad guy of his loyalty just long enough for Del to slit his throat. Meanwhile, Rosalyn is pummeling the other changer with her fists and Zed is pummeling the dog with insults, both to limited success. Finally, Nico sets the dogs on fire and Del cuts everyone to ribbons.

Tired, Rosalyn declares her desire to lay down for a bit, and the rest of the group agrees. They head back to the tower by the river to hole up.

Will they be successful in their raid on the changeling camp? Will anyone find out why Zed wanted to try and save that last changeling’s life so bad? Will Bethea be alive when they get there? Will our crew even get there in one piece, or will this tower be the end of them? Find out next time!

Last Time! In Group B’s adventure in Kobolds and Caves!
OR: Maiden making mischief mayhaps?

Whew Its been a while since I’ve done one of these. Over 2 months if I am reading the date-stamps on my Google Drive correctly! Since I’m no longer using the time I had blocked out for this trying to come up with creative ways to kill you all, and work is finally calming down after being insane for the past three weeks or so, I should be able to start getting these up on a regular basis again. I’m still working on the writeup for my sessions as DM, turns out these are a lot easier to do with some form of notes. Also Group A, or 1, or whatever you all are in Matt’s game, someone should totally do some form of writeup for y’all’s session so we can follow along there as well! Anyway, on to the writeup!

Last Time! In Group B’s adventure in Kobolds and Caves!
OR: Maiden making mischief mayhaps?

After some general greetings between the crews after their fun with Werewolves (and an intimate study of the ship’s deck in Aken’s case) Tho Mai got a note from an Uncle in the nearby area inviting him and his companions to a dinner. Some of the crew quickly decided to join, because the last fancy dinner they went to ended so well! Of those that decided to join Tho were Thia – intrigued by the legends of the libraries of the House of Ari, Gunnar – who is always in for a party and revelry, Bongo – following the advice of “Captain” Niko to help those who need it, and to be a brother for Tho when Niko is otherwise occupied, and Akenara – who has just about had his fill of boats for the time being.

They all set out on a carriage and Gunnar and Aken got acquainted via Gunnar’s patented 5 (or is it 6?) questions. After the sharing of some various forms of alcohol the two seem to have formed a fast bond, while Bongo is his usual cheery, upbeat self and Thia is her usual… well… self. During the journey they came across a maiden in the road who says her carriage was attacked by dog like things and her brother and her father were taken. She told the group her name was Agnus Lum, her father and brother Angus and Agnew respectively. There’s is a very theme oriented family.

Thia and Gunnar snuck off to go scouting while Bongo and Aken stayed at the cart. Bongo believed the “dog like” men to be gnolls. After some well-timed flatulence from Gunnar the two scouts found the upturned carriage and confirmed the destruction was as the maiden said. One can never be too careful when finding random damsels in distress along the road.

After going back and getting the rest of the group Thia found some tracks leading to a nearby cave, and the group decided to leave the maiden with the capable looking driver and go to find to where the males of the family had been carried off. The tracks led to a cliff wall with a quite sizable boulder in front of it. There was also a small path to the side that Thia found that had a hidden entrance covered by a bush. While Bongo and Gunnar discussed the merits and possibilities of a shink/grow spell Thia took Aken the side cave, where there were some interesting items.

Inside was a handful of black cauldron / urns. in the back, a pool of water which seemed fairly fresh. After calling over the other two Gunnar inspected the urns/pots/thingies and found some food residue in the first two, with the third containing the scraps of animals. Knowing where the true delicacies are always hidden Gunnar reached into the Urn with all of the guts and found a gizzard in the which he then promptly ate. He also found a ruby (25gp worth) in the meat vase, but was not very concerned with it. I mean, there were gizzards to be had!

While Gunnar washed himself off in the conveniently placed pool Aken tossed a lit rock down and the group took a look at what was apparently more than just a pool, with a connecting cave system at the bottom of about 10-20 feet of water. Apparently at some point Tho Mai came up to join the group, because at this point Thia knocked him into the pool for some comment he made. Gunnar took the opportunity to get into the (very very cold) water for a nice bath, after being covered in guts due to his earlier upending of one of the Urns.

How exactly to get through this cave, covertly if possible, turned out to be a matter of a fair bit of (totally not inebriated) conversation. Eventually it is decided that the two strongest swimmers (Aken and Gunnar) would tow the two weakest swimmers (Bongo and Tho Mai) while they had upturned urns on their heads for a source of air. Thia, wanting basically nothing to do with everyone else’s crazy ideas, decided to just, you know, swim. Like a normal person. There was also some discussion of mage hand and its uses for signaling. It got very confusing.

Eventually everyone got through the tunnel and emerged on the other side, where it turns out there was absolutely no one waiting. (Insert anti-climactic sad trombone effect here). What there was, was a bridge! Or, more specifically, what was left of one. After an impressive display of athleticism and swimming prowess, that was totally necessary and not at all unneeded, Gunnar brought the remains of the bridge over and Aken mended it to make it whole again.

What will await the group on the other side of the bridge? Possibly Dog Men? Is the “Maiden” robbing them blind while they are off cave-spelunking? What will Gunnar eat next? Find out next time on Group B!

A Rocky Situation
Four Weeks, Three Ships, Two factions and One Disappearing Wizard.

A Rocky Situation

OR: Four Weeks, Three Ships, Two factions and One Disappearing Wizard.

Last time we met Our Heroes has just encountered some new faces and said goodbye to old friends, there was captain identity confusion and much rejoicing after the pirate ship in the bay had been taken out. As night fell the party headed towards the remaining two pirate ships, after sending a message to The Harpy’s Call to meet them in battle at midnight.

As they approached each member was doing their own thing on the boat, Zed was outfitting Niko in a getup befitting a captain, Aken was setting up oil barrels near the ballistas to light things on fire with, Thia was actually steering the ship (being the only one with prior sailing knowledge) and Roselyn was practicing her sweet moves.

Once they were close to Breakers Point Roselyn alerted the crew to what looked like a lightning storm just over the horizon, which turned out to be the battle already underway. The two farthest ships were the Harpy’s Call and one of the pirate ships, with the second pirate ship in between us and the main battle. Although it looked like most of the pirates had joined in on the battle there were still a few to be dealt with on board the near ship, which was closing fast.

With the distance closing between the ships the party noticed some sort of bright light heading their way, which Aken jealously recognized as a Fireball. The Pirate’s were using Our Heroes tricks against them! As this happened Zed noticed the orb in his pocket starting to vibrate. Always polite, Zed answered and had a short conversation with what appeared to be two wizards that may have been less than sane. After yelling at one of them Zed convinced them to end the call.

Both ships opened fire (quite literally), and after dousing the ship with unlit skins of oil the third shot from the party’s commandeered pirate ship was a flaming arrow to light the enemy ship on fire. Once it was nice and toasty Zed took a called shot at the large stack of oil barrels on their ship, nailed it, and blew the everloving smithereens out of the back of their ship. This knocked out their steering and caused their ship to generally be in really bad shape, and as it burned and someone onboard laughed Roselyn scored one last hit, splitting the ship in half with the ballista.

As they moved away Zed couldn’t resist one last orb call to taunt the now sinking wizard, but all he sees is the surface of the ocean getting farther and farther away. Everyone was very sure that wizard totally wouldn’t come back to haunt them later.

Closing with the other ships the party sees that the Harpy’s Call is smashed up on the rocks, but the other ship isn’t in much better condition. Both crews are mixed over both decks, so Our Heroes general ship combat tactics of shooting things until they are on fire wasn’t exactly a viable plan this time.

Instead, there was a very large fight involving many people in which many epic things happened. As the fight was just about over, Tho Mai mentioned that he wondered where the other wizard went, and then promptly went into the captains quarters and took a nap, leaving everyone else to deal with the rest of the enemy crew and whatever that cackling thing was that was floating over the water approaching at high speed.

After a bit of back and forth damage slinging, Thia threw a shield/wall made of ice up to block the wizard’s path and Niko hit him with a shatter for an unknown amount of damage. After the ice wall fell the wizard was nowhere to be seen. Again, Our Heroes figured that was the end of him and everything would surely be fine. Bongo checked the other wizard, who was lying dead on the ship, and found a matching Orb to Zed’s if the party can ever figure out how to use them. Aken made a few medicine checks to make sure the wizard was actually dead, and as his body was pushed over the side the battle was officially over.

After a nights long rest on the rocks, with watchers on all three ships, it is decided (with a bit of nudging from Halvard) to head back to Thimenster where he can hire people to go salvage the Harpy’s Call. After having sorted out both the kidnapping of Lady Ari and the Ghost Pirate problem, Our Heroes were looking forward to a calm relaxing cruise down the coast. Would that happen, or would they get sidetracked by some sort of short but exciting quest filled with intrigue and danger? My money is on the latter!

The Departure of Old Friends, the Arrival of New.
OR: Shopping and Talking, It’s a regular Teenage Girls Night Out! Now With More Oil!

The Departure of Old Friends, the Arrival of New.

OR: Shopping and Talking, It’s a regular Teenage Girls Night Out! Now With More Oil!

As we last met Our Heroes had just saved (captured) Lady Ari from the clutches of the evil rebel pirates, and commandeered a big old pirate ship of their very own.

As the crew (except for Tho Mai and Aken) sailed into harbor on the longboat of their newly acquired ship, a small gathering had developed on the shore in celebration for the party, having freed the town of their Piratical Menace. Gathered in commemoration were some whores, some general citizens, one little firework went off and someone even threw a small bouquet of flowers! The tavern keeper offered free drinks to the adventurous Heroes, as well as a free place to stay that night.

Among the crowd were a few citizens who, emboldened by the courageous actions of Our Heroes, step up wishing to join the group and help rid the town of the remaining two pirates. Among them were Rosalyn, a tiefling Fighter who had a very high opinion of herself, and Bongo, a gnomish Wizard. Rosalyn pegged Zed as the defacto leader of the group, having seen him spouting tales and songs of their great deeds. Bongo, on the other hand, was convinced that Niko la Tes was in fact the captain, and Niko did absolutely nothing to dissuage him of that opinion. Bongo even arranged to pay Niko 3 Gold Pieces to cover travel expenses on the ship.

While the party was happening on shore, Tho and Aken were busy interrogating the last remaining pirate. He isn’t able to give much information, so Aken insisted that they take the pirate to the on shore authorities, and since they would receive a bounty for him Tho agreed. During the interrogation when Aken wasn’t looking Tho had cut off one of the ears of the Pirate, and on the way to the local jail he kindly washed it out with seawater after dragging him along a bit in the sand.

In the mean time “Captain” Niko took Rosalyn and Bongo shopping to get supplies to prepare them for a long sea voyage. Thia (being an actual sailor) tagged along, purely for entertainment purposes. They arrive at a shop equipped to handle their every need, as long as those needs involved basic seagoing supplies. Niko was actually holding onto the ruse fairly well, until the sextants came out. Barely managing to contain his giggles at every mention of the name of the device, Niko somehow managed to not let his ruse of captain-hood fall. At this point Thia got bored and went off to find Tho and Aken, and bring them up to speed.

After catching up with Tho and Aken, and whacking Tho on the head due to the state of the prisoner, Thia led them to the local jail, where the Pirate is handed over to the authorities and Thia collected the bounty. Thia then lead Tho and Aken back to the main group, and introductions were made with the two newest party members. This naturally lead to what to do next, with Bongo insisting the whole time that he would do whatever Captain Niko said. Aken was just kind of going along with the whole thing (even though he might think the gnome is actually a child), while Tho was very confused as to who this Niko was, and why Patches seemed to have this gnome at his beck and call. While a few discussions are taking place, Aken sent an urchin running to the Harpy’s Call to update them on the situation and tell them to be ready to attack the other Pirates at midnight.

While the discussion of who was captain, who was Patches, and how the ship should be run, Zed snuck off the side to “attend to some business”. Zed then went to talk to the prisoner in the jail, while impersonating one of the pirates and getting all buddy buddy with the prisoner using the note with the mark of the dark star on it.

Eventually the rest of the party decided to head back to the ship to clean it up and sail it to port to claim the rest of the bounties from the other dead pirates. After the ship is brought back to port, Della, Draco and Lady Ari were dropped off at the inn to head out in the next ship towards the elven lands. Many goodbyes were said, Tho and his mom had a bit of a chat as she disembarked, but he was still oblivious as to the new “bond” between his mom and Della.

Once that business was taken care of it was time to form a plan on how to take out the other two Pirate ships, which just happened to be captained by two crazy wizards. Someone purchased a 55 gallon drum of oil and 20 skins, and while its explosive properties were not quite up to what Aken was hoping, Our Heroes still felt it might come in handy to light the ships on fire. Or the water. Or something. One way or another that oil was going to be lit on fire.

Will Our Heroes be able to take out both Pirate ships? Will the Harpy’s Call be able to assist in the fight? What, or who, will be lit on fire? Find out next time!

Also, as an aside, here is the loot breakdown from the last few weeks just to get everyone up to speed on who got what:

Niko got: one really nice sparkly dagger (+1 magical dagger), a map that seems different than the rest of the paperwork, a potion of greater healing,

Tho got: a gem that seems very beautiful, the most beautiful he has ever seen (elemental gem – conjure elemental – air)

Zed got: a coin that is elaborate, more so than any regular minted coin – coin of luck (while on a person gets a +1 to ability checks and saving throws), deck of 27 cards (deck of illusions. throw down a card and a random creature illusion pops up), a fancy pouch of dust (dust of disappearance. Maybe.)

Thia got: a medallion of thoughts (3 charges. can cast detect thoughts spell. It gains 1d3 expended charges at dawn), a potion of firey looking liquid (pot of fire dragonstrength. For 1 hour their str goes up to 25 (max) str), a +1 quarterstaff, 2 scrolls of a magic variety (animal messenger and identify)

Akenara got: a very finely crafted pair of boots (boots of striding and springing. speed becomes 30 ft and speed isn’t reduced when encumbered. can jump 3 times normal distance, but not farther than a normal move would allow)

Bongo got: tosh’s hideous laughter (used a scroll and some of the plundered gold to learn it)

Left over (to be split by everyone, assuming 7 ways)

436 GP (62 each, 2 left over)
200 SP (28 each, 4 left over)
800 CP (114 each, 2 left over)

nice silk cloth – maybe worth something
very fancy chain shirt – chainshirt that appears to have resistance to poison – hanging on to for now, probably to sell later since it is medium armor and apparently no one uses that.

The (unwanted) Rescue of Lady Ari!
OR: A Handjob Leads to Romance, in the most convoluted way possible.

The (unwanted) Rescue of Lady Ari!

OR: A Handjob Leads to Romance, in the most convoluted way possible.

Last time we met: Our Heroes had just fought off a ghost pirate ship while on their way to the rendezvous point to rescue the fair, helpless, totally innocent Lady Ari. Baddies had been killed, loot had been acquired, and things were going forward in a fairly normal manner. That wouldn’t last long.

(Note: this is long, so I have split it into a few parts. If anyone reads this whole thing I will be impressed.)

Part 1: Dalliances in Town (for every sense of the word)

As the Harpy’s Call approached Breaker’s Point some of the crew used Captain Halvard’s spyglass to look at the Pirate ships that had come into view. Zed had the idea to try holding up one of the black dots that was on the ransom note up to the spyglass, and was able to negate the magical illusion surrounding the ships. Surprising no one, the pirate ships were full of pirates.

As there was still two days and a night until the designated meeting time, some of the crew (Tho, Della, and Draco) decided to head into the nearby town to see what they could find. The rest of the crew decided to stay on the beach near the meeting point to keep an eye out for any sort of shenanigans.

Once in the town Draco decided to go shopping, and this was where the effects of what can only be assumed to be an enchantment over this strange little town started showing up. The local potion seller was an old Sea-Hag, who had some generic snake oil wares for sale. However, after Draco decided to spontaneously french the Hag, she suddenly had a poison potion that she would sell to Draco for 30GP.

At the same time Tho and Della went to the bar, as one does, in search of some information. The barkeep was almost too busy insulting Tho’s pitiful attempt to blend in with his fancy clothes and noble-ness, at least until Tho paid 5GP for a drink. Then the barkeep became very friendly, mentioning that the local drunk – Marty “Drunky” McGoo might have some answers. Drunky was apparently the source of the rumors that had been circulating about town that an Elf maiden was on the pirate ships, and rather than being a captive might have been free to roam around the deck.

On approach to Drunky it was obvious that Tho wouldn’t get far, since most drunks have a respectable distrust of nobility. Luckily Tho had no qualms about gently encouraging Della to go talk to him. And Tho’s version of gently encouraging in this case meant physically shoving Della towards Drunky. It was a meeting pre-ordained by fate to start off a chain of events that would forever change Della’s life.

Della started talking with Drunky. He talked at first, but then slowly started to realize he might be able to make some money for the information he had. So Della bought him a drink or two. But this Drunky was looking for more than just a drink, and with Della putting on her charm to try to win over some information he had his way in. It can be debated who was playing who at this point, but all that your dear narrator remembers at this point is the two then went up to Drunky’s room above the bar, and certain acts were performed in exchange for information. Acts involving Della’s hand. Or hands. No one is really sure, but the end result was a sleeping, apparently satisfied Drunky who was then robbed blind. Some would argue that Della, having made 150GP for her troubles, could now be considered a “working girl” but your narrator would never stoop so low.

Part 2: Whore Fight! (but not in that way)

At this point the group in the city, having learned some valuable information about the Pirates, decided to go and get the others that were keeping watch on Breaker’s Point. Once they were retrieved it was shared that a certain group of the pirates liked to come into Stinkyton (the name of the small fishing town) and purchase supplies and frequent the local house of ill repute. Or very good repute, according to Drunky.

Niko, Della and Tho decided to head to the whorehouse to do some investigating. This may or may not have been Tho’s idea, but since it actually seemed prudent to head to the whorehouse for once everyone else went along with it. After a bit of negotiating the Madame agreed to help lure a group of the pirates to shore where Our Heroes would bravely drug them and dispatch of them in their sleep. Once those Pirates had been taken care of the group would then don some of their clothes (the Pirates, not the Whores) (Unless Tho got his way. He really wanted to dress up as a Whore) and then head out to the Pirate ship that was docked off the coast of the city, away from the two that were docked at Breaker’s point.

The Madame put up the Red Banners and a good chunk of the Pirates headed toward the Brothel. Tho finally got his wish, as he, Della, Draco and Zed all dressed up as Ladies of the Night, as Niko made himself up like a servant boy and Akenara (thoroughly disgusted by the whole thing) hid in a back party room ready to come out swinging, and also passing out weapons. Apparently it is hard to hide a warhammer beneath a frilly dress.

Once a good portion of the Pirates were passed out from the roofie flask that Della had “appropriated” from Drunky McGoo Della lead the remainder back to the party room, where they were all promptly beaten into a fine pulp. While this was happening Niko was going around the outer room zapping unconscious Pirates to death. After all of the Pirates were dealt with, looting happened, and everyone took a disguise to use to get onto the Pirate ship. Amazingly, Our Heroes had a plan that they executed without any major hiccups, and it seems to have worked! It isn’t known how long it will take news of the Nine Hells freezing over to reach the mortal plane, but it is surely incoming.

Part 3: Confronting the Mother

After a bit of rowing, Our Heroes closed in on the Pirate ship while wearing the cloaks that mask their identities. On the way it is decided that they will act like they have captured Tho in town, and are bringing him back for another hostage. Hoping this will draw out the captain for a quick kill, the group approached the ship. Zed, being the charismatic one, is volunteered to respond to the hails coming from the Pirates, and gets everyone on board without incident, mostly thanks to a very inept watchman on deck.

Once on the ship Tho started yelling about his mom, demanding quite a lot for a person who was supposedly a prisoner. Taking a chance that wouldn’t come around very often a few of the party members might have been a bit too convincing in the shots they took at him to keep him quiet. The captain eventually came out to see Tho, taunting him the entire time, and then called for Tho’s mom to come out! The Lady Ari was in on it the entire time!

Apparently Tho’s dad had been a bit free with his “companionship” and Lady Ari was tired of it, and decided to get some revenge, both against Lord Ari and the Empire as a whole. As Tho and his mother were sorting out their family issues and the Captain was laughing his little pirate head off, Draco was getting bored. For our regular readers, you should know what happened next. As the Lady was lamenting the fact that Tho had been dragged into the situation Draco figured it would be good for everybody to Chill Out – and unleashed his Ice Breath. This may have also been because Draco thought he recognized the captain as one of the gladiators from his early childhood prison named Bozag the Great, or it could have been because he was bored. Your Narrator gives the odds at about 50/50.

The fight was on. Akenara lit off his Radiance of the Dawn, Thia grabbed a rope and started swinging around kicking people in their faces and then got knocked out, other people did other cool things, it was your typical melee on a boat. And yes, of course Draco threw down some ball bearings and caltrops, this time effectively stopping reinforcements from coming up from below decks.

During the fight Zed somehow ended up in a locked room with Tho’s Mom, who explained how Tho’s dad had been unfaithful and she had met the Pirate Captain at a dinner party and fallen madly in love. Zed used his magic detecting want to check if there was any sort of spell causing Tho’s mom to be charmed, but unfortunately for Tho it seemed his mom was a Ho fo Sho. One of the pieces of evidence Lady Ari used to know that Tho’s dad had been unfaithful was word of another son, an unknown brother to Tho that is out in the world somewhere. Zed kept his suspicions that this son was Niko to himself. No need to kick a traitor when they are down.

The fight was over, but what would Our Heroes decide to do with the captive traitor Lady Ari?

Part 4: Happily Ever After (for some at least)

Tho plead for his mother to be released, and the rest of the party agreed as long as it was to the Elves and that they were given full knowledge of what her crimes were, and tasked with keeping her in their lands. While this discussion is being had Della was comforting the Lady. Did I mention that Lady Ari was one of the most beautiful elven maidens ever? And Della was fairly easily swayed? Anyway, Della and Lady Ari found a secluded place to talk, where Della mentioned that she might know the other ill-gotten son. This obviously upset Lady Ari, but luckily for both of them Della was there to “comfort” her.

While Tho was trying to decide what to do with his Mother, Draco, Zed and Niko went about looting the pirate ship, finding many shiny things. Someone interrogated the last remaining Pirate and found that the password for approaching other ships is “element autur”. Also, that these three ships are the whole fleet, but the other two ships are run by mad wizards that were from the city/prison that draco was from. Also, Draco found a spyglass at some point.

It is decided to send Lady Ari back to live with her kind in the Elven lands, but she would need someone to watch over her and make sure she didn’t try to pull any more rebellions against the Empire. Also, she would have to be found again. Where was she? Also had anyone seen Della? Draco volunteered to go find them, and find them he did, in a more than slightly compromising position. Or positions. No one really knows how long Draco watched before he let them know he was there.

As Della had formed a close bond with Lady Ari, she volunteered to travel with the Lady and watch over her. As Draco was a bit of a Perv, he volunteered to follow with them and act as a bodyguard. He promised to watch them very closely.

Since Lady Ari had tried to claim that the Elves were a part of the rebellion against the Empire, they were asked about this when it came time to drop off Lady Ari. When the situation had been explained, and after the Elves had said their usual racist remarks about how humans can’t stay faithful, they said they had no issues with the Empire and they would be happy to take tho’s mom into custody. Draco also volunteered to go undercover into elven culture and see if there was any truth to the rebellion claims. How a Draconian was going to go undercover in Elven culture was a question he didn’t think to ask.

Finally, as Della and Lady Ari left the deck of the Harpy’s Call into Elven lands holding hands, the exact nature of their “bond” hit Tho. He was slightly less than pleased, but could do nothing at this point. Della, Lady Ari, and Draco were off to live in the Elven lands, and there was still a fairly large pirate rebellion problem to deal with back in the Empire. Tho would just have to deal with it. And the mental images. And the weird feelings.

Will our Heroes finish up their commitment to the Empire as mercenaries? Is there a larger Rebellion plot at hand? Will they randomly meet a few more adventurers in the next day or two? Find out next time!

We’re Sailing Away... From Pirates. And/Or Fighting Them.
OR: Get Your Towels Ready, Its About to Go Down!

We’re Sailing Away… From Pirates. And/Or Fighting Them.

OR: Get Your Towels Ready, Its About to Go Down!

When we last left Our Heroes… well it was a while ago. Anyway, now they are on a boat! Sailing with the mercenary crew of the Harpy’s Call, captained by the esteemed (some might say haughty) Halvard the Paladin, on their way to fight pirates in the North and attempt to recover Lady Ari.

Before sailing North Draco made sure to re-stock is supply of ball bearings and found a new toy, or rather lots of new toys, in a bag of caltrops. Anyone fighting Draco from this point better watch their feet! That is, if they even have feet! (Oooh, foreshadowing!)

During the journey up North the group takes turns taking watches, seeing a few ships, and mostly keeping their distance from any other signs of life. At one point a galleon started to follow the Harpy’s Call, trying to catch up to it. Everyone made some checks, mostly they went well, sometimes they didn’t. At one point Zed decided he wanted to get all fancy and shimmied up a mast in order to jump off and snag a line that had come loose. Everyone was very impressed. Eventually the galleon started to close the gap, until it was in range of the Harpy’s ballista. At this point, thanks to a barrel of oil and a flaming sphere from Akenara the group was able to set the approaching ship’s sails on fire, and then outpace them.

At the end of the night Niko saw another pirate ship swiftly approaching, and it looked like there would be no out running it this time. The ship had a greenish glow, which helped Captain Hal identify it as the Pearlescent Pearl – a pirate ship said to be crewed by the dead. This sounds rather inviting to Our Heroes, who were itching for a fight at this point. Although it seemed like it was going to take a bit to scratch that itch for most of the party, but Della and Aken were all about that fiery arrow business, and started taking shots at the Pearly Pearl. While they were doing that, the rest of the party prepared by… not doing much of anything really. There were talks of setting up traps for once the combat became hand to hand, but it was determined that these might be more of a hindrance to the crew than a help.

At this point, with nothing directly in front of him he could punch, Draco started thinking of ways to get closer to things he could punch. He, Bregg the Barbarian Cook and Steve the First Mate decided to lower the longboat and try to sneak off a bit in order to board the boat from the back side and attack the ghost pirates from the rear. With the boats closing into arrow range a few more of the fighters got in the mix, until eventually the party could start to make out the actual people (if you could call them that) on the approaching ship. There were a few skeletal humanoids that were slightly green looking roaming around on the deck, one of which was large and muscley, along with a ghouly looking dude and a white ghouly looking lady. In the crows nest there was a disembodied skull that was straight up on fire.

They looked weird, and Our Heroes had already been shooting at them with giant arrows, so they figured diplomacy was probably not an option at that point. Ron, ranger extraordinaire, hopped on the Harpy’s second ballista and proceeded to shoot tree trunks at the larger skeleton. The stealth boat crew successfully climbed up the back side of the enemy ship, and immediately got freaked out by the Banshee, but not so much that they didn’t start attacking it. Aken found out quite to his dismay that the already on fire floating skull head was immune to more fire, but Niko found out the ghoul was decidedly not, and started flinging scorching rays from his sniper tower up in the crows nest. The banshee made a lot of noise, people hit things with swords, overall it was a good old fashioned brawl. At one point Draco tried to throw an axe at the floating banshee, only to miss terribly and send it straight through the longboat, making a sizeable hole in the bottom of it. Zed also started to talk shit to the banshee, reminding her that no one liked her and she wasn’t fun at parties and her hair was stupid. It got personal. Near the end of the fight Aken decided he wanted to be on the enemy boat, and 15 feet isn’t that far really, and decided to jump for it, tossing off a sacred flame that finished off the banshee at the same time. So what if she only had a single hit point left, it still counts! Unfortunately his landing was less than graceful, and he proceeded to slide into the mast quite painfully.

At this point with all of the main baddies dead the ship started to vanish out from under Our Heroes. So did they immediately escape back to safety? Of course not! There was loot to be had! In the captains room Zed found a few nifty items, a compass and a small chest with a wand inside. In the main hold there was quite a bit of gold, a nice weapons rack, and a really creepy looking chest with dried blood around it. Zed was called in, due to his confidence in all things lock-picky, and was able to pop it open revealing some more gold, gems, and a nice magical ring. At this point the ship was very nearly just air, so Our Heroes got off it with as much stuff as they could carry.

Will our Heroes learn the nature of the weapons and ring they found? Were any of the items cursed, like maybe the shawl that a freaking banshee was wearing? Would anyone remember that they were supposed to be rescuing… someone? Find out next time!

Week mumblemumble
A quick reminder of some main points

Ok in order to get this out in time for a recap before tonight (hopefully) this is going to be quick and dirty without much flair, and be more of an important bits reminder than a true recap. After tonight though I promise my writeups will get back on track.

Our Current Situation:

On the Harpy’s Call directly after a duel between Draco and a guy named Steve. Duel is to get the reward price down to 3g/head of pirates, the house Ari is contracting the HC to go fight some pirates and get his mom back.

Stuff to remember that is probably important:

We got a ransom note from the pirates saying to bring 100,000 GP to Breakers Point at midnight of the full moon, do not contact the empire, two servants and no weapons in a row boat can approach from the south, Lady Ari will be returned unharmed once gold is verified.

We don’t really know how long it is until a full moon, might be a bit important to ask this?

Breaker’s Point is the same place that the lighthouse was with apparent undead coming back to life and robbing people. It is about a full day and night’s travel away from us currently.

The ransom note smelled faintly of cherries, not sure if that mattered. It also had the same purply black dot that the cloth that I grabbed from the dudes that jumped us had. If you hold them back to back over a light it is like an anti-eclipse, definitely necromantic magic.

Thia remembers an independent prison city that had the symbol of the black sun, and the prison city that Draco grew up in was called Dark Star, may have been related, obsidian production might be involved? Also not sure if Draco made this connection or not. I think I remember a failed check.

Zed has a set of the dark clothing from the guys that jumped us, I have a cloth strip with a purply black dot, might be useful.

For some less vital, but maybe useful things:

Zed might have a cat friend he gave some jerky to. I can’t remember if the cat actually followed him or not. Also he was getting an instrument maker named Sionius to make some Dragongut strings for him, they are going to take about a month until they are ready.

Della is getting a small man/horse statuette-ette (it’s very small) whittled. I have zero recollection as to why. Just the creepy drawings on the play mat.

I also had a note to give Arlo 358 exp from a few weeks ago, not sure if we ever did that.
Week 10
I think some things happened

Sorry all but it looks like I have lost my notes from last week. From what I can remember:

  • Bartender didn’t seem to know anything about anyone.
  • Della hit on some dude at the bar and got him to mention a friend who had escaped from what sounded like the same pirates, but he was already asleep.
  • Harbormaster will keep an eye out for our ship, but none with Black Sails have docked there for a while
  • Food and Drink were bargained for, and Zed played his way into some comped meals.
  • We had decided to head back to Tho Mai’s house to see if there was any news from there, and maybe to hire a ship to go track down the kidnappers.
  • On our way back to some horses we got Mugged by dude’s with shadows for faces.
  • The Av’s lost in a shootout (har har)
  • We promptly kicked those shadowy faces, or at least mostly kicked them (we were in the middle of the fight when we ended)

I’ll make sure to take my notes online again this week so they get backed up. My bad!


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