Our Intrepid Adventurers

Ambush on the River
Att the bend

Before the group can leave foul Crocport behind they accidentally corner the dretch in an alley. The fight is unnerving but over quickly. In Redoubt Gunnar is restored to health, removing the energy drain of the wight. Several magic items are identified and many items are sold for hard currency. They even have a magical Murylind’s Spoon crafted for them, so that they don’t have to spend so much money on expensive trail rations when food is tightly rationed by the government.

In Worlend they learn that someone is seeking them out. They pay to travel on a barge headed south on the Att River, but something is suspect about the woman at the oars. Three days out on the river she blows a whistle at sunset, and the boat is ambushed. Directing the attack is the mage woman in black that has been dogging them for some time now, trying to steal the magic items the group has been hired to retrieve. There are crossbowmen set up on the shores trying to pick them off, the crew turns on them and the wizard woman has a cleric of Iuz on her side this time. The fight ends when Silaka scores a critical hit on the woman, putting an arrow through her throat and ending her pursuit before she can disappear again.

The bodies are checked over for valuables and magic and the barge is taken to the city of Free Borough with the last surviving crew member held prisoner.

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A Dark Day in Crocport
A rough city beset with evil.

(Ok I just accidentally deleted everything that I wrote for this including the clipboard in case something happened to my internet. FUCK.)

Our group leaves Chendl prepared and travels to the fortified garrison city of Redoubt. There they learn a bit more what to expect in Crocport. The rest of the day is spent traveling to the city on the shore of Whysetil Lake. They arrive as the sun is setting; steeping the sky and the mirrored lake behind the city in red. Though it is high summer, a cold breeze blows off the waters from the north. Within the walls of the city torches burn with greasy black smoke. The city is intact, but whole portions of it are dark and unoccupied. The central hub of the new city is a coarse collection of adventurers, soldiers, drunkards, tough locals, and those enterprising collections of people that tend to gather where there is money and testosterone. The inn is packed full of people, an abundance of rowdy and stinking bodies. The city has a curfew and this is where everyone comes that has made or is hoping to make money from the reclamation of Crocport.

Gunnar bumps into a grisly and muscled and very inebriated old dwarf who gives him a friendly punch in the head and tells him to piss off. Gunnar punches back and a fight breaks out at the 4 foot level between the two dwarves. It is brutal and money changes hands quickly all around. The old dwarf calls Gunnar a little donkey dick; Gunnar then hits him so hard his eyes cross and he falls to the floor on his ass and begins laughing. Silaka drags him out of there, and manages to get a room. It is hot, stuffy, cramped, and bare, but it has four walls and a door that locks.

The next day they have cold mutton and watery ale for breakfast and walk into the old city. Deux sends out her screech owl familiar to scout the part of the city they are heading towards. It feels fear and pain and then quiet. She has been eaten. In the city they are ambushed by hobgoblins in the street and later by goblins on the rooftops with tar covered nets and torches. Down one alley Silaka sees something that chills her blood, a squat bulbous creature, arms dragging at its sides with beady eyes, pointed ears, and a slack jaw filled with lots of tiny pointed teeth. She sneaks away and the group takes a wide detour around the creature.

The group reached a town square in the old west dock quarter. The buildings are stone and the architecture is ornate with many carvings and sculptures. In the center of the square is a platform, host to the public executions during Iuz’s temporary dominance of the city. The cobbles seem to be stained red. There are tiny feathers, brown and white striped listing around. Silaka’s sharp eyes espy something wrong on the rooftops, though she isn’t sure what. They proceed slowly through the square, and then down the north road. Again she sees something amiss, pointing to a gargoyle that seems out of place in size and style. Deux attacks with a spectral shocking grasp and the gargoyle leaps into the air try an avoid it. It is enraged at the attack and drops like a rock onto Deux. She avoids the raking claws and cruel mouth. Silaka unsheathes Brightsong her new sword, a bane to monsterous humanoids. It deals a punishing blow and rings out when it strikes the creature. Deux grabs it with another shocking grasp as it tries to fly away, and it crumbles to pieces of stone on the pavement.

A short while of searching later and they have located the home and store of Helreich, the wizard. Though the sun shines down on them it does not shine brightly along this road. The building is styled in the way of the ancient Oeridians. It’s third floor is an open colonnaded balcony, but it seems steeped in deep shadow. Yet again Silaka picks out clearly a creature nested there. She lets fly with an arrow striking true, and it falls. Another takes flight with a keening wail that makes the soul cringe, yet their resolve holds. The thing resembles a head with ropey tentacles for hair and leathery bat wings sprouting from the sides. It is a vargouille. Gunnar and Deux bring it down swiftly.

Inside the building is ruined. There was once finery but it has been stripped. A gaping hole yawns in the ceiling to the second floor. Most of the building is charred as if from an explosive blast. The second floor is mostly empty. There is some orcish graffiti in one room. The third floor is intact. behind one door is a rotting bed and a zombie which Gunnar casually destroys. The second door is trapped. Behind is a wardrobe of fine clothes, linens and shoes. A robe and a pair of boots radiates a magical aura. The balcony blows open and still has a lingering feeling of evil from the vargouille. The party descends to the basement.

Gunnar goes first and is seized by a horrible undead creature. A wight begins draining him of life (and levels), but the others quickly surround it and hack it just before it could kill Gunnar. He looks withered and weak, but he is alive. They begin to search the basement for the book. Silaka finds a hidden panel and receives a lightning bolt for opening it. As soon as she lifts the box out of it a 60’ drop spiked pit opens beneath her and she is reduced to -6hp. Deux featherfalls down to heal her with her wand and get her pulled out. Gunnar locates a stone vault in part of the basement wall. Not wanting to take changes this time, Deux uses mage hand to trigger the mechanism. A 10’ x 10’ stone section of the ceiling drops down, churning up a lot of dust but everyone is alive. Behind, in a little 2 foot square opening, perched atop a delicate golden stand is a 2” iridescent orb. Deux carefully levers the orb out with mage hand, and a fusillade of tiny poisoned darts strikes Silaka and her companion Nodelkir. They live through the poisoning effects, though they are weakened.

They’ve achieved their goal and are in sore need of rest and head back towards safety. But after all that they are intercepted by a fledgling cleric of Iuz and two monk guardians. Deux casts burning hands, catching one monk fatally and wounding the cleric. The battle is over quickly, and the tired group makes it back to the inn.

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The Road To Chendyl
In which our adventurers don't find Jim Morrison's grave.

And so…

Our companions once again take to the road on their way to Crockport and all of its evil. They pass through some small towns and the weather finally turns, the downpour begins and the roads become a sticky troublesome mud. Deux kicks a small coffer that has been upturned by the roadside and finds within a puzzling map to “the Tomb of the Lost Minstrel.” The destination is roughly along their route and they decide to leave it until after Crocport concerned that Misqoui the Magnificent will be cross if they are unnecessarily delayed.

Fate would have it otherwise.

Silaka brought down a deer which ran after being shot, and Nodelkir went to retrieve it, yet two hobgoblin soldiers (no doubt sewing strife and dischord in the name of Old Wicked) wanted the carcass for themselves. They were felled by Silaka from afar, the search of the bodies revealed an old road covered over by grasses and lichens, long unused, and a match to a clue on the map.

The decision was made to follow the road North, which led them through fields of old dead, and a burned village claimed by nature, and then again unto more clues of their map and the eventual destination of the hidden tomb, one of a fallen elven bard. Silaka respectfully took from the tomb the minstrel’s sword, a magical elven blade, and they closed up the tomb and continued north.

The companions learned that the blight was still at work in Furyondy, and that Iuz had learned of its existence and had sent minions to burn grain stores and attack wagons with crops.

In some time they made it to Chendyl, the magnificent architectural marvel of all of Furyondy, and it’s capitol.

They have taken supplies and rest at exorbitant cost, and rested will depart for Crockport.

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New Employment Opportunities
Fired for smoking kobolds out behind the shed.

Introductions are made, but the gagged man has suffocated and is not telling any secrets.

The tower is a derelict looking thing having suffered much ravishment from time and the salt spray of the Nyr Dyv. Plaster bits flake off in the wind and small birds nests circle eaves of the coned peak. A broken sign, well worn from the elements lays by the door partially obscured by grasses; reads “Misquoi the Magnificent.”

After a few attempts they manage to rouse the wizard indoors, a dottering bespectacled man in reddish brown robes who seems a bit hard of hearing and talks out loud occasionally to some unseen entity. And the staff is exchanged for a bag full of rubies. Gunnar’s package delivery turns out to be a sandwich, which Misquoi eats in celebration of obtaining the staff of serpents. He ponders for a bit and offers the group a contract job to retrieve more items for hims. This time he is looking for a spellbook and orb from the ungovernable Crocport in northern Furyondy. The city has been reclaimed more than two years now from the forces of Iuz, the Old One, but there are many vile things left behind. Rumors abound of lawlessness, murders, and arrests in recent weeks.

Our adventurers accept, and take Gunnar with them for a full share of the rewards. They also poke around Walthain in the taverns, and the adventurers guild, and the temples for a fourth adventurer, with intent for a healer. They have spotty luck all around until they decide to purchase the skills of a cleric of Pelor, effectively sponsoring an individual in their mission to rid the world of some vile evils. They enlist the help of a young high-elven woman by the name of Vandia Silverfrond; blonde, graceful and fairly short, and also clad in the gold hued stole and half plate armor of Pelor’s church.

Three days out they are ambushed by a wagonload of bandits at the crossroad to Blackwell and are very nearly all slain. A phantasm of a Hill giant felled Vandia and Deux with a single blow and Gunnar is flanked by two with short swords while one stands on a wagon and carefully fires his crossbow repeatedly into the dwarf. Silaka breaks from the fight and begins to pick off the rogues with her bow and Nodelkir, her hound, is wounded in the fight. Silaka triumphs with a single brigand running for his life, and she stabilizes Deux, Vandia, and Gunnar seconds before their approaching deaths. Revived and healed they cautiously move onward.

They reach Libernen on the 5th day and then Littleberg 5 days following that. There they take a break for a day and recouperate, visit the tavern, visit Silaka’s half-elven mother and the family farm, and poke about before heading on. Locals comment on the exceptionally dry spell they’ve been having. Good that it ended the blight, but the crops could use rain as they approach midsummer. Deux learns of troublesome kobold activity on the west fork trail and is adamant about pursuing and slaying any kobolds she can find. Vandia agrees that to rid the area of the foul threat would be a boon to Littleberg and help to free the trail.

Three days into the trail they find kobold track hardened into the dry mud of the road in the marshy wood are ambushed by kobolds as they venture off of the path. There are at least a dozen and a half kobolds with spears that land a few significant blows before being scattered. Silaka loses them, but after a lengthy walk about the area the kobold trail through the knee high grasses is discovered. Deux immediately sets fire to the dry grass thinking to catch the kobolds in the blaze, but the wind turns southerly and the fires are fanned back towards Littleberg. Deux sends her owl familiar back towards Littleberg to warn the village. Silaka goes back to get the horses out of harms way should the flames reach the wood, but she is attacked by three parched looking bullywugs. The horses bolt and the cart is lost, though the bullywugs are quickly laid down.

Back in the grasses Deux, Gunnar, and Vandia have found a hole by some small boulders that is being defended by several vicious kobolds. A strike of lightning from the dark opening nearly finishes off Deux. The kobolds have a sorcerer, and several elite kobold guards press back at Gunnar and Vandia while it summons a fiendish hawk. Silaka returns to the group and brings down the fiend with a well placed shot. The battle is an obvious stalemate unless one side or the other develops a strategy, and they settle for pushing one of the boulders into the whole and Silaka makes a marathon run for Littleberg.

The fire is eventually put out.

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Return to Walthain
In which we make some strange allies.

Aoust is stripped of his possessions and ousted off ship into the Nyr Dyv along with the rest of the crew in an en masse burial a sea. It was regrettable, especially since the trip across the Nyr Dyv to Tristor was made for Aoust’s sake in the first place. (Someone will have to write to his dear Aunty.)

The Albers limps its way back to port in Walthain of Furyondy where the merchants are very happy to look after the ship and cargo until a suitable crew could be found. There is suspicion and rumor going on about the fate of the ship and crew, but since the tales of the other survivors match, mostly, Deux and Silaka are free to go. It is unfortunately noted, that Vincenz has disappeared, wanted for “butchery of children” in Furyondy, for which he was to stand trial and likely be hanged.

It is not long in the streets before Deux and Silaka are recognized and a messenger discreetly palms a note to Deux to meet in a tavern. Another man walks in, orders drinks and brings them to the table, idly chats and leaves without a drink. Deux notices that they are being watched by a woman in black, with a black cloak. Under his mug is a message to bring “it” to the old tower on the cliff outside of town. And so they leave, and are nearly there when they are ambushed by an interesting group of rogues and thugs. They handle themselves well, but are overpowered and webbed down, and Deux’s pack is cut away.

But there is an intercessor… A dwarf in splint mail (with a large axe) who doesn’t like the look the overly styled man in black with the two daggers is giving him. The rest is bloody for several members of the band, and the rogue is hounded by Silaka’s hound, Nodelkir. Deux frees herself and delivers a shocking grasp to the woman in black’s horse- which unhorses her. A few crossbow shots are exchanged and the woman disappears. The pack remains. The dwarf, by the name of Gunner, introduces himself with one of the rogues bound and manacled, dragging behind, and pleasantly suggests interrogation.

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The dark ship
In which we lose half the crew and Aoust to the curs├Ęd Scourge

The mysterious ship is boarded, and there is no living crew left aboard. They do find the remains of Captain Orlando of the Sea Maiden, worthy vessel of the Merchant Alliance. And they pick up his battered and sea ravaged journal in which Aoust makes out some details of a voyage cursed with madness and a tragic end to Orlando’s crew… locked in the hold to die slowly. Deux, Aoust, and Silaka decide not to open the hold.

Back aboard, Huxley and the Albers let the ship drift away. But trouble is not gone for long. In the night the fog thickens, and a ship propelled on black sails clips by and those on deck are ambushed by a half dozen half-rotted undead sailors. They are dispatched with some difficulty, two crewmembers are slain. One of the crew is injured badly and is barely alive. His wounds look infected and he does not respond to any healing. And the bodies of the two fallen crew have disappeared. A watch is set, and everyone is on edge from the moans of the dying man. Selene begins pacing the deck and talking to herself, clearly distraught, saying “He will return!”

Deux asks a few questions of Vincenz who reveals vague legends of an angry-mad sea god and his fleet of black sailed ships, crewed by undead “scourges.” He seems uneasy about being locked up below deck with the infected crewmember. Then a clamor breaks out on deck and the crew, especially Ox, seems ready to string up Huxley. Ox had apparently found the captain’s glass eye in Huxley’s possession. In a very tense moment Aoust, Silaka, and Deux make a case for leaving Huxley to live at least until he can be properly tried on shore. Morale is low, and anarchy or mutiny are but a hair’s breadth away.

Just before dawn the fog thins out, revealing the black silhouette of the cursed ship sailing fast on unfelt winds. The Albers is rammed before it can maneuver out of the way, and the two ships become locked as their rigging and rails enmeshed. Silaka is thrown overboard with the impact. Undead scourges leap aboard tearing into the crew with vigor. Two of the scourges look very like the two fallen sailors who only recently were slain. The crew of the Albers is poorly organized, each man fighting for himself and none heeding Huxley’s barked commands.

Deux and Aoust enter the fray. Aoust discovers that undead creatures have no vital organs – to his dismay. He is left hacking somewhat ineffectually with his kukri. Deux dispatches several scourges rather quickly with her fire magic, but she is out-matched when it comes to melee. Silaka climbs up the rigging and sees that the two ships have begun to dip and are carried in a maelstrom. The dark ship is dragging them down. As she swings over onto the foredeck several more scourges intercept her, and to everyone’s surprise Captain Fenn, looking pale and menacing, is commanding them from the deck of the dark ship!

Selene goes mad at this point and begins attacking her own crew, crying out to Fenn that she is coming to him. Silaka will have none of it and hits her off the foredeck with her quarterstaff. Deux delivers two mighty shocks to the former Captain via her owl familiar, and it looks like he is dispatched; the scourges are all stunned for a moment. A scream below deck tells them what they had suspected would happen, the dying sailor has become a scourge and begun attacking the crew still below. Fenn is not down, however, and he boards the Albers and orders three of his scourges to converge upon Huxley. Ox is killed by a scourge, and Fenn kills Huxley and then turns his undead wrath upon Aoust, who is injured and then done in by a crushing blow to the skull, a scourge from behind. Old Pete fires a heavy crossbow into the scourge, but it is too late for Aoust.

Deux and Silaka manage to finish off Fenn and the remaining scourges. The few crewmembers alive scramble to hack apart the two ships as they are still being dragged down into the maelstrom. Deux goes below and finds that Vincenz has escaped and gone into the hold. He is climbing out as she descends with a vile of purple worm’s stomach acid. “Eats through anything,” he informs her. They employ it on the rigging and watch as the dark ship breaks free and swirls to its otherworldly grave… the plaque inscribed, “Sea Maiden” just discernible on its side.

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Murder Mystery Cruise
What kind of cruise is this? The captain is dead, and the food is terrible!

The trio has spent a rough morning following the death of Captain Fenn. They began questioning the The Crew of the Albers, starting with Selene and keeping on the good side of First Mate Huxley. But as the day wears on, suspicions grow. Everyone is on edge, and certain individuals are making themselves scarce. To make matters worse, a terribly thick fog surrounds the ship and the moon Celene is blood red in the sky and eclipsing. Fog only comes near land… and the Albers is supposed to be in the middle of the Nyr Dyv.

Thomas the ship’s navigator informs them that the Captain had plotted them on a new course, and he’s unsure of where they are now. Selene has been slinking about, possibly speaking with the prisoner, and keeping pretty close to Thomas.

Deux has been taking things in stride. Unconcerned about the eclipse, and on her leave sleeping the night away. She spent much of the morning questioning Selene.

Aoust finds the Cap’n’s logbook and four names circled: Ox, Wen, Thom, and Hux. And later he finds Dert the cabin boy bringing food to Thomas… or maybe the prisoner. But there’s something suspicious about the boy’s actions and definite concern for poisoning, especially when he and Huxley find the hold has been broken into, and a rare poison is missing from the cargo.

Silaka and Aoust hear about a downed ship in the Nyr Dyv after mentioning to Old Pete the name “Maiden.” Rumors are that ill-tempered gods were involved. Silaka also finds Huxley sprawled out on deck with a good bump on his head. Later she finds him on the quarterdeck with Fenn’s glass eye in his coat pocket. But he seems pretty surprised to find it there himself.

Just before dawn a cry breaks out from the crew on deck. A ship is spotted in the fog, listing low in the water… its rigging is torn and no sails hang from its mast.

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To Sail!
The journey West.

Arriving at Radigast City the PCs find their ship the Anna Marie, however it appears that the destination of this ship has suddenly changed and they are instead directed to the Salty Wench, to meet with a Captain Fenn. They are hired on by the captain, as bodyguards. The crew has apparently been edgy about his bringing of his lover on board the ship. The PCs are expected to keep watch over his cabin, but they will make port in Walthain in just over a week. The party accepts his terms and are hired onto the Albers.

The trip is pleasant enough for the first two days. The party establishes a rotating watch and they impress the crew (especially Silaka) with helping out where they can. They are on generally good terms with everyone, including the first mate Huxley, Old Pete the man in the crow’s nest, and Ox, a burly and simple sailor. They are asked to a game of cards, which Aoust accepts, and that night Aoust discovers that Ox plays dirty. Even so, Aoust comes up on top.

The next day has the crew rather upset with sighting of a dragon turtle. It seems a way off though and uninterested with the ship. Still they are uneasy. To make matters worse, rumor quickly spreads of an eclipse which is a very bad omen for ships at sea. Huxley seeks to relieve some of the tension with a good natured boxing round, which Silaka, being the physically toughest of the three, participates in. She is to fight the very large and very strong Ox. The excitement and amusement is heightened and bets are placed. Then Ox, after landing a few good blows, is knocked flat on his arse with a single roundhouse punch from Silaka. There is a lot of shock, and then laughter and cheers and jeers as money changes hands. “One-Punch Sally” is her new name. Huxley breaks open a barrel of ale and the night ends jovially.

It doesn’t last for long.

In the morning the crew is awakened by Selene’s scream. She’s locked herself in the captain’s cabin, and Deux tries to get her to open up while Aoust picks at the lock. Huxley is woken and takes control of the situation. Deux takes Selene aside to question her. The cap’n said he’d be working late and asked Dert to bring him dinner. (Which Aoust confirms, having been on evening watch.) Selene fell asleep without having eaten her portion. She did seem to thing that the captain was disturbed by something… and possibly was afraid for the safety of the crew.

In short order the captain is buried at sea, and Huxley is effectively the new captain of the Albers.

Aoust, Deux, and Silaka begin questioning the crew.

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