Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Savage Tide 6 - The Sea Wyvern's Wake

The voyage to the Isle of Dread continues.

First up was a Crimson Fleet blockade. The Crimson Fleet is a faction of Shackles Pirates that has grown strong in recent years and focuses on controlling trade in the southern Garund waters. The fleet patrols an area around several islands (one of which contains a Crimson Fleet outpost). Lavinia's plan was to pass the blockade one ship at a time, close to show to make the ships harder to spot. The PCs wanted to pass through together in case something went wrong and so it was.

The Blue Nixie and the Sea Wyvern were unfortunately spotted by two ships. There was some hard sailing but in the end the Pirates were able to catch up. The PCs decided to take the fight to the pirates and boarded their vessel and managed to kill most of the enemy crew while only losing a few of their own.

The PCs decided that two ships was better than one and wanted to keep the Purity's Prow. Lacking the extra crew needed to sail a second ship, they decided to tow her. Lavinia frowned on the idea but left them to their own devices and agreed to meet them at Farshore.

Towing a ship proved to be problematic. They no longer could rely on the Blue Nixie to help keep them on track and the going was slow. Arrivnig at one of their planned supply stops to find that it had been burnt to the ground months earlier. As a solution, Bytor the cleric, began casting summon food and water to keep everyone alive since supplies were running low.

The next stop was a primitive settlement and the PCs decided that progress was just to slow towing the Purity's Prow and left her behind in a remote cove where they hoped they could later return and retrieve her. A few final supplies were purchased and the last outpost was left behind and the oceanic voyage began.

Things started out fairly smoothly. A storm blew through but caused little damage. A strange island appeared which the PCs spent a couple days scouting but decided to move on.

One morning a strange fog appeared from nowhere and the sea became strangely calm. That continued for a day and by next morning the fog cleared only to reveal the Sea Wyvern trapped in an enormous Sargasso that stretched to the horizon in almost every direction. There was a ship only a few hundred meters away that was covered on seaweed but didn't look as old as as distant as the other wrecks so the PCs decided to check it out.

On board, they were attacked by some plants but managed to retrieve a journal of the ship's former owner. His journal was mostly doom and gloom. They weeds grow back faster than they can be cut away. At night, plant creatures attack the ship. The owner's only hope is that there is some force out there that is controlling this animated threat and so he sets out with his few remaining cohorts toward the center of the mass.

Seeing few other options, the PCs decided to try the same tactic and hoped for a better result. It was slow going across the seaweed but they made it to an old ship near the centre of the mass that was both very old and strangely well preserved. As they approached they could feel an empathic call go out for a assistance and the word "Outsiders" formed in their minds. The Sargasso itself seemed to be stirring as if alive. The PCs began to hurry.

At the ship's heart was a room filled with plant growth. A strange stinking hole was in the floor of the ship consisting of solid plant matter that went well below the water line. As the PCs approached, the Mother rose up and attacked along with more of her vines. The Mother retreated into the hole forcing the PCs to follow. A hard battle was fought but in the end the PCs were victorious and the Mother of All was no more. With its death everything began to come apart. Thankfully there was lots of debris to cling to and before long the Sea Wyvern was spotted and picked them up.

With only a days voyage left another storm appeared on the horizon. This one looked worse than the last. The Sea Wyvern tried to outrun the storm but the massive hurricane struck and for ten hours the PCs, through both great skill and magic, managed to keep the ship afloat. When the worst had past, several crew were missing and the ship had taken damage. Rather than try and lip the rest of the way to Farshore, Isis decided to  beach the ship and try and repair her since the damage was quite severe.

Unfortunately a reef was struck and the Sea Wyvern was stuck.  Examining the extent of the ship's damage revealed that there were not sufficient supplies on hand for a repair of this magnitude and that Farshore would have to be reached overland to get help.

Surviving Crew:
Amella Venkalie
Tavey Nesk
Lirith Veld
Avner Meravanchi
Banaby Chisk
Morton Longfellow

Monday, February 08, 2016

Savage Tide 5 - The Sea Wyvern's Wake

Departure day arrives!

The crew is ready to go and the cargo is loaded. Unfortunately where is Avner MayorNenshi (he was renamed by the PCs)? He shows up 30 minutes late with 2 servants and his prize steed Thunderstriker as well as a wagon full of personal effects. There wasn't room for all of this so the PCs humored him to get him on board and then left most of it especially the horse behind. Aver was even more upset when Captain Isis evicted him from the captain's quarters which Avner had claimed as his own. Avner would continue to stir up trouble until Isis finally threatened his life if he didn't shut up and keep a low profile. Avner has continued to stew in silence ever since.

The second night Lavinia invited the PCs over to the Blue Nixie for a feast. Everything went pretty smooth until they tried to return to the Sea Wyvern. Someone had cut through most of rigging allowed passage between the two ships. Had anyone tried to use it, they would have ended up in the water.

To try to get a handle on the crew, Isis and Kaeless started having dinner with three different crew members a night. This led to the second attempt when someone tried to poison their meals. More interviews and some searching led to nothing.

The third attempt was when someone cut some of the rigging causing a yard arm to swing wildly and knock Trevain off the side of the ship. He was rescued quickly enough and Kaeless began a search of the ship top to bottom for a culprit. Searches had been done before but this time he was using See Invisibility. Down in the hold he spotted an invisible stowaway - Rowyn Kellani, former Lotus Dragon guild leader. Kaeless managed to resist her Hold Person spell but failed against her Charm Person. Kaeless tried to lure the other PCs away from Rowyn but Kaeless is much better at seeing through lies than telling them. The PCs figured out what was going on and search relentlessly for their old foe. They found her and short battle ensued where she was assisted with a summoned Babau but in the end she and her summoned minion were defeated. They looted the former guildmistress and then dumped her body over board.

 A flotsom ooze attacked the ship and killed several red shirt crew members before being destroyed. A few supplied were purchased at a trading outpost. Father Feres became deathly ill and was only saved from a ghastly death by the timely intervention of a cure disease spell. Father Feres admitted that he is actually not a priest and was only a courier that was supposed to deliver a package to some cultists at Fort Blackwell. He was only able to cast spells due to Imbue with Spells that he had had cast on him.

As the expedition approached the Ruins of Tamoachan, Morton Longfellow admitted he had a sketchy treasure map for these ruins. As the PCs dealt with the variety of threats: Basilisk, Varrangoin, Gibbering Mouthers, Will O' Wisps and a multitude of traps; Longfellow made numerous notes and sketches and generally tried to record as much as possible. The treasure turned out to be a golden statue of decent value that was magical. The exact nature of the magic was indeterminable but it seems to be some sort of key. Unable to find the door to which the key belonged, the PCs returned to the ship and carried onward.

So far, the weather has remained great.

Tuesday, February 02, 2016

Savage Tide 4 - The Bullywug Gambit

Wisely, the PCs decided to wait for the storm to pass before returning to Eleder. By morning, the skies had mostly cleared and the seas were calm enough to sail back. It still wasn't easy going rowing and they didn't arrive at the docks until early evening only to find that the Serpentfall festival was in full effect. Celebrating the fall of Ydersius and the failed Serpentfolk coup attempt in Eleder, many of the locals were dressed up in elaborate snake costumes.

The PCs pushed their way down streets packed with party goers and ran into some trouble. A drunken gnome was tossed into the crowd but 3 stilt-walking assassins were not so easily dealt with. Eventually they were knocked down and dispatched and the PCs continued on to the disturbingly quiet and dark Vanderboren manor.

A few dead guards were found outside along along with a bullywug still searching the body. They made quick work of him and then sneaked into the manor. Since the PCs live in the manor they knew most of its layout well and guessed the that first mate was either on the top floor or the basement. The guessed the top floor and went their first.

In the master bedroom they found Lavinia and two unconscious Jade Ravens. Guarding them was Drevoraz Kabran, Captain Javell's first mate and the shaman of the bullywug tribe. Expecting Vanthus and not the PCs, Drevoraz realized he'd been duped and tried to murder Lavinia but the PCs were too quick for him. Isis disarmed him and largely removed him as a threat. The shaman was a little more difficult, but being outnumbered, died quickly enough.

Lavinia thanked them for the rescue and explained how she managed to stall them by telling them Vanthus was due to return in a few hours. Devoraz wanted to kill Lavinia and her minions in front of Vanthus. Unfortunately, the halfling servant was killed to prove how serious he was.

After returning to consciousness, Morgoth and Ivy explained how the bullywugs gained entry from the basement. The Jade Ravens had fought most of the tribe in the courtyard but had been overrun and seperated. Jessica and Ruggan had escaped but their current whereabouts were not known.

The PCs went to the basement only to hear a woman shrieking. Silver spoons had been tied to the remains of Jessica's dress and she was being chased around the basement by what the PCs would late realize was a rust monster. The chief of the bullywugs and some of his tribe were still present enjoying the show. When the rust monster destroys the last of the silverware, the chieftain had promised to eat Jessica alive.

After the rust monster devoured McDougal's armor, everyone tended to shy away from the monster.  It was finally killed followed by the bullywugs although the chieftain got in some big hits with his club.

Ruggan was later found unconscious in the secret armory. He had been knocked unconscious by a trap he'd accidentally sprung. The last of the bullywugs were found in the games room. The tribe's chief hunter put up a fight but she too was eventually dispatched.

Over the next few weeks things around the manor were restored and returned to normal. Vanthus' trail went cold and slowly Lavinia's burning desire for justice faded as her focus moved on. She spent more time reading her mother's journal and eventually decided to carry on her parent's ambitions.

They had started a trading colony on the far off Isle of Dread. The local natives were reasonably friendly and willing to trade local spices and exotic lumber. Many exotic animals live on the island that can fetch a good price is brought back to civilization.

Lavinia was looking for a second ship for the expedition and the PCs had just the ship in mind. They returned to Kraken's cove to find the Sea Wyvern right where they'd last seen it. They sailed it back to port and offered to leave it to Lavinia in exchange for some magic items.

As the departure day draws nearer the ships are being loaded with cargo and potential colonists and investors are being sought.

So far the crew includes:

Isis: Pilot
Kaeless: Navigator
Amella Venkalie: First Mate. A slight but powerful woman with fine blonde hair tied neatly back from her forehead. She dresses to fight and sail. A thin scar graces her right cheek.

Tavey Nesk: Cabinboy

McDougal: Crew
Trevain: Crew
Bytor: Crew
Iowa: Crew
Johnston: Crew
Marty: Crew
Barth: Crew
Mango: Crew
Lirith Veld: Crew. A red haired tomboy sailor who wears flamboyant scarves and silks.

Father Feres: Middle aged balding priest of Abadar

Avner Meravanchi: A local nobleman's son. His father is funding part of the expedition and Avner is representing that interest.
Banaby Chisk: Avner's servant
Quenge Asper: Avner's servant
Skald: A shifty-looking, hunch shouldered man with pale skin a nasally voice and unsettling eyes.

Morton Longfellow: an eccentric scholar of Olman civilization. Has requested a stop at the Ruins of Tamoachan.