Pathfinder: Skull & Shackles 2017

Session 126
August 23rd 2017

The Mark of Yunnarius…from a distance, it’s a sight to behold: all sweeping lines and elegant details, just as its elven creators intended, but with a hint of something rotten and sinister.

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As it gets closer, its nature becomes clear. The hull is blackened and scarred. The masts are splintered like lightning-wrought trees, and the tattered sails flutter like torn skin.

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Session 125
August 15th 2017

Kevin R./Ray Lan was ill and resigned to the ship’s head

Day 323 5PM Before the party settled in for their 2nd undisturbed evening in a row, Yacine paid the party a visit in the barracks. She warned that the Chelish attack has certainly been stopped and the party was successful in raising and restoring Sandara – there is still a risk of attacks aimed at Sandara and Father Pyrlig from any cut-throat in any port. Yacine added that a young woman, a ship mage is here on behalf of Captain Cordain of Hell Harbor. The party had the mage showed in – she introduced herself as Leilana Olee and serves aboard Captain Brok Cordain’s, or Madshanks, frigate, the Howl of Winter.

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Madshanks Fleet:

  1. Captain Brok “Madshanks” Cordain, Frigate – Howl of Winter
  2. Captain Belina Vontierez, Sloop – Shark Queen
  3. Captain Orsilir, Carrack – Fearsome Tide
  4. Captain Varossa Lanteri, Brig – Magpie Princess
  5. Captain Satekai, Brig – Red Fortune

Captain Madshanks’ fleet of five ships were bound for D.C.I. minus some time lost for a bit of pirating along the way. Captain Damiano advised that Madshanks and his fleet should arrive and get familiar with the surroundings to provide for a bit of defense and bolster the protection offered by the Aspis Consortium’s frigate. Leilana concurred and took her leave.

The party decided to question the dwarven captain, Kyan Kain. They found him zealous in his willingness to die for the Chelish cause. His resolve bolstered by the thought of devils, associated with the House of Thrune and priests of Asmodeus, would find his damned soul, should he be executed, and raise him up as one of their servants. Kyan did corroborate that the Chelish fleet was at Bhudrek Atoll, but offered nothing else about its defenses. The party decided to let him sit and stew.

Day 324 1AM Captain Damiano awoke in his bunk to a snarling man hovering over him. As the grayish-white apparition faded away, growling his hated toward Damiano, the Captain felt his mind assaulted, and coerced towards violence. Captain Damiano slipped from his bunk, his hand finding his rapier and he crossed the room to his brother, Mittens, with hatred in his eyes.

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Mittens and Temujin heard the faintest bit of a conversation as they were startled from their sleep – somewhere, nearby, they heard the barking of dogs. Mittens saw his brother close on him and leapt out of bed as he was struck by Damiano’s rapier. Temujin cast protective magics about the room but it didn’t not cause the possession upon Damiano to cease. The barking grew louder and many invisible dogs bit and nipped at Temujin. As Damiano drew blood against his brother for a second time, Temujin was able to displace the evil that was inside him. The floating form appeared again behind Damiano, threw his head back and howled. The party stood firm, mostly – Mittens had had enough and made for the door, filled with panic! Father Pyrlig, now awake, blasted energy at the ghost. Temujin realized that this rare form of ghost was called a duppy – a ghost of a bitter sailor – likely made even more bitter in that it was being controlled and forced upon the party.

Nico, finally awake, summoned a deva to counter attack the duppy. The angry ghost concentrated his attacks upon the Captain, striking with a punching dagger. The Captain parried furiously, but some of the ghost’s attacks sank home viciously. Father Pyrlig dispelled the fear that gripped Mittens before he left the room. Mittens attacked the ghost with tried-and-true magic missles. The party, now fully awake, ganged up upon the duppy – and dispelled the apparition. It appeared to be gone, as well as his pack of dogs, for now. The party healed up, and resumed their rest.

Day 324 7AM As the party prepared for their day, Nico enabled the teleport portal between the Chelish Fort and Sumitha.

Day 324 11:30AM The party checked the captured form of Calpurnia in the bag of holding and proceeded to the Tamarind Market. They arrived at the Master’s tent without issue. The gaunt human they spied during the attack on Pyrligburg, Mandeville, greeted them and showed them into the tent. Jhal Krystof greeted the party with a smile. They party stated that they wanted to deal with returning the circlet and after some back and forth, Jhal agreed to pay their asking price of 25,000 GPs. He stated repeatedly that he truly wished to do business, when they have something to trade. The party promised the most stability that this island had seen for many decades. However Jhal certainly didn’t go out of his way to make the party feel part of a protected or valued relationship. He did offer however to give the party the right of first refusal, should he be asked to broker another attack upon the party, which Jhan thought was rather sporting and generous. The party took the soft promise of a warning, and the 25,000 GPs and returned to the Chelish Fort.

Day 324 1PM After reviewing final details with Yacine, the party stepped upon the Black Purrl for the first time in many months. The ship, manned with 140 sailors pulled anchor and set sail, heading south. The wind was at their backs, sea spray in their faces – the sailors, and officers, hummed about the deck happily back at sea.

Day 325 6:30PM The Black Purrl sailed clear of the Rampore Isles, heading southwest towards Bag Island. As the frigate sailed round small islets and shoals, Coto yelled out, “Sail ho!” Off to the port side, the Captain spied a sleek elvin schooner also sailing south on a parallel tack. This vessel was still a few miles out but looked like the Vela that escaped them so many months ago when the party was on a tear bagging ships left and right. The Captain gave word to close, casually, and prepare to raise their white flag in order to talk – perhaps.

The Purrl closed to a half mile as the sun was setting. Just as the sun sank below the horizon, the sky still lit a soft blue, the Captain took another look to see the graceful elvin schooner transformed with the coming night to a rotting hulk that shouldn’t be afloat with obvious holes in the side of its hull. The tattered sails strained at moldering ropes and the ship creaked and groaned as it started to come about and changed course, heading directly at the Black Purrl.

[end of session 125]
{Day 323-325}

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Session 124
August 1st 2017

Day 323 2AM The two surviving cyclops slew Nico’s summoned bebilith and faced off with Damiano. Mittens pushed into the storefront and engaged the duegar within. Flying above, the duergar were hard-pressed to engage Mittens – they threw daggers and hand axes – only striking occasionally – but Mittens realized that their weapons were slathered with poison as he felt his constitution weaken.

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Ray Lan headed into the tavern, the Point of No Return, joining the bralani against the duergar. Temujin healed Calpurnia before she bled out, and then backed up Damiano. Pyrlig moved through the plaza providing healing to the party.

Damiano eventually slew the cyclops. He moved on to join Mittens with his foes – they killed the three remaining duergar. Ray Lan and the bralani surrounded and slew the duergar in the tavern.

The party paused and realized that the battle in the main square was done. Some duergar had fled east, but the Loot Squad and the defending sailors chased them down.

The party gathered up, and secured, Calpurnia. They stopped by to talk to the gaunt human male on the rooftop – he introduced himself as Mandeville – and that his role here was strictly as an observer. He added that his master, Jhal Krystof, would likely be pleased at the outcome. He sought to return Calpurnia to the Tamarind Market and offered her items as the party’s prize – which was only fair. But the party didn’t buy it. He also sought to return with the gold ringlet in her hair, which Mandeville stated belonged to Jhal Krystof. He would be grateful for it’s return. The party denied that too, but let Mandeville go – and he teleported away.

The last of the derro were still being chased down, but the party was able to learn from the few captured combatants, the source of the forest entrance into the Darklands.

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As the party and the defending sailors regrouped in the main square, Quick Tom rolled out kegs of ale for all to celebrate in the continued survival of the D.C.I.!

Day 323 5AM The party returned to the Chelish Fort for some much needed rest. Father Pyrlig communed with {click link =>} Sandara’s spirit – and she very much wanted to live. They gathered their resources and raised Sandara and then restored her to full health afterwards. As the party rejoiced in a day without fighting, they reviewed their treasure and trained.

Day 323 5PM However, Yacine had work for the party. Many folks wanted to talk to them. First was the Captain of the Andoran Patriot – Captain Ahriman Ao. He offered his congratulations for the successful defense of the island and that he, as a representative of the Aspis Consortium, was happy to play a part towards that success. He did add that his role was to protect guild interests on D.C.I., and one ship can only do so much. Truly the party must work towards a larger fleet. His colleague, the bronze office-holder of the Aspis Consortium, Hollis Wood also expressed his admiration in the party’s defense of the island. He did offer that he knows that the party can offload treasure and rare items across the greater cities of the Shackles but some markets may get saturated. Any items that the party can’t sell, he, can purchase them for a 20% discount but can certainly liquidate them in the far flung markets that they have access to.

Yacine and Glaive hit up the party: between their ships and sailors working ashore – they had 100 dead from the last few days. About 150 wounded. All ships are undermanned. Sailors working ashore have been laboring hard and therefore fed extra rations to keep their energy up. That coupled with some damage from combat, the 10 points of stores purchased over three months ago is down to 3 points remaining. Stores need to be stocked up. D.C.I. needs more sailors and laborers. And the ships need to get to see. The men are growing barnacles. While they had proceeded through their practice paces as proscribed by Temujin – after three months they are bored. There is also damage spread across the town, boardwalk and warehouses that need repair. Lastly the wounded are spread across Pyrligburg – any work to be done will be done slowly as they recuperate. With this information, Captain Damiano gave the word that the Black Purrl is to be made ready to set sail for Port Peril. Other ships will be at anchor in the east harbor so that the Purrl is ready for sea, the remaining sailors will need to be set for various tasks of repairs on the D.C.I. and caring for the wounded, and making general repairs with the supplies that are available.

Captain Damiano sent word to the Wildcard and the Free Wind – both captains were to go a-pirating – to pillage and bring back any able vessels as possible.

In the morning, the party prepared to bring Calpurnia along and pay a visit to Jhal Krystof in the Darklands.

[end of session 124]
{Day 323}

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Session 123
July 25th 2017

Day 323 1:30AM The party is waiting for an attack to happen. {click link ==>} Ambrose Kroops arrives with word that the Aspis Consortium brig, The Briny Bastard, has finally anchored in the eastern harbor after waiting for the fighting to cease. A fellow by the name of Ray Lan disembarked too. Kroops continues, “He says,” looking at Damiano and Mittens, “that he is your kin!” The party gives Kroops leave to invite Ray Lan in – which he does, but Kroops is scrutinizing the stranger. Mittens gives him a warm welcome, and an explanation that due to a unfortunate death and reincarnation, he is now a lizard folk – but he is still a half brother! Ray Lan explains that he has had some bad luck in the past but is looking to try his luck with his brothers, if they give him the chance. Nico is also reviewing all he is seeing and hearing – and he is surprised that Damiano and Mittens are welcoming this stranger in so whole-heartedly. Kroops offers to take Ray out for a drink, with a few of the boys, “just like we did back at {click link ==>} Goatshead.” But Damiano states that isn’t necessary.

Around 2AM, the party hears ‘popping’ in the distance. Tiny flashes are occurring over at Pyrligburg. Is this but one front of the attack, the party ponders? As the party starts buffing themselves with protective magics, in the distance they hear a roar – a cacophony of many wild voices raised in battle. Standing out from the many voices is a monstrous bellow – the party decides there may be enough of a fight in Pyrligburg to warrant their attention. They finish buffing, with Temujin and Ray jumping in the bag, near the corpse of Sandara and teleport to the ledge above the town.

Looking down upon Pyrligburg, the street lamps are lit along the avenue – the party can make out fleeting silhouettes of derros attacking through the streets. The Loot Squad is pushing the townsfolk to fight defensively and to stay away from the cyclops. The party takes flight (magically) and closes in on the cyclops. As Mittens draws close, he casts glitterdust on the alley way exposing the cyclops bard – it also exposes a young human female standing atop the roof – the Lady Calpurnia that the party met at the Tamarind Market. Damiano closes in and attacks Calpurnia with Aiger’s Kiss, preventing her from teleporting away. Ray engages a cyclops along the eastern edge of the main square. Nico summons a bebilith at the livestock stockade, which engages one of the greater cyclops. Damiano lays into Calpurnia with the broadside of this blade, knocking her unconscious.

As Ray melees with one cyclops, the largest, 30’ tall, strides over to engage Ray and Father Pyrlig. As Mittens and Temujin move into the square to best counter the cyclops’ threat, the massive foe fighting Ray, turns about and from his eye, blasts the duo with a ray of force. He continues to fight, until slain by Father Pyrlig, Ray and Captain Damiano. Mittens and Temujin rain down bolts of chain lightning, weakening the cyclops and destroying their derro forces.

As Mittens is flying across the central plaza, heading west, he notices a gaunt human male that was also at the Tamarind Market (he served the drider major domo for Jhal Krystof). While having no part in the attack, he certainly watched intently from the rooftop of the tavern, The Point of No Return – run by ol’ Quick Tom, formerly of doomed Barter Town. While a battle raged through the bar, Tom’s fevered voice could clearly be made out, “Please don’t burn down my bar!"

Nico’s bebilith continued to fight two cyclops – so Nico summoned a squad of bralani – to help aid the townsfolk from the attacking derro. The western side of the wooden boulevard started to pitch as the cycloptic druid turned the underlying dirt to mud. She then joined some derro and entered a mercantile shop. Mittens flies up behind the druid, stabbing her with a spear, slaying her. In the center of the plaza, Temujin flew high, taking shots with his bow.

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The battle rages on…

[end of session 123]
{Day 323}

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Session 122
July 18th 2017

Day 322 8:15PM The party, standing in the dusty, rubble-filled hallway debated their options. Chase down the mages spread across D.C.I. or chase down the cyclops. The footprints showed evidence of cyclops tracks.

Temujin cast an augury and discerned that the Chelish mages did indeed leave the island, returning to their haven at Bhudrek Atoll – and they could easily return at any time. With that information in hand, the party headed down the eastern tunnel to chase down the band of cyclops.

Damiano led the party down the sloping corridor into the intersection. He heard the faint scraping of movement, and a giggle or two. As the party cautiously entered the intersection where they had met the svirfneblin, Fribur Nererguard – they were greeted by the disappointed faces of svirfneblin children.

Over a bit of discussion in the gnomish language, the party learned that the children were here, excited for the opportunity to glimpse cyclops. But dismayed to see only surface dwellers. Alas. Catfolk, lizard folk and tengu are rare, but not nearly as exciting as cyclops! The party continued their trek down the south tunnel following the cyclops footprints.

Day 322 9:00 PM Damiano in the lead again, noted large stealthy shapes approaching, staying to the left-hand side of the tunnel. From out of the darkness, came four large spiders, being ridden by bald, grey-skinned dwarves, wearing plate armor. Damiano greeted the dwarves, who pulled their spiders to a halt 30’ distant. The dwarves confirmed that the Tamarind Market was behind them, they had just come from there and they were heading north to merge onto the Long Walk – the tunnel that will lead them to the duergar city of Fellstrok. Giving each other distance, but seeing no reason for a tussle, both parties went their separate ways.

Day 322 9:30PM Temujin joined Captain Damiano at front of the party. They both noted another cumbersome shape approaching out the darkness of the tunnel. A great lizard pulled a cart of casks – on the back of the cart was a male svirfneblin, goading the lizard through the tunnel. The svirfneblin greeted the party – his name was Brickers, and he was a wine merchant returning to his village of Shambour. Brickers slid off the cart and from a box procured some wooden mugs which he filled with a dark purplish wine. He saluted to their health and drank deeply. The party drank as well and found that it was a strong, exotic taste, but perhaps they could find a market for it on the surface. They suggested trade with Brickers – he paused, looked about and commented that he was surprised to see surface-folk down here. There was word that a group of derro came into the market a few days back. They were called the Dark Devils and were a death squad. Word had it that they were waiting for the word and they would funnel out of a small postern gate of the market – also called the forest gate as it exited in a thick stand of trees on D.C.I. Brickers didn’t know where this gate was, but it was likely secured by Jhal Krystof, the master of the Tamarind Market. The party wished him well, and Brickers climbed back up into his cart and prodded the lizard to move – they slowly proceeded north up the tunnel. The party continued south.

Day 322 9:45PM As the party neared the market, they could hear the noise – many exotic languages were spoken here. The tunnel opened up into a large domed chamber, the roof was about 100’ high. Most of the buildings were stone and only a single story tall. The chamber was shadowy, but different colored lights – reddish orange of oil lamps, and green, purple and blue lights of an alchemical or phosphorescent nature glowed through the darkness.

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Besides svirfneblin, there were all kinds of creatures moving through the narrow streets: drow, troglodytes, ghouls, cave giants, morlocks, serpent folk and gugs. The party even heard the polyglot dialect of common, known through the Shackles – as there were human slaves bearing bands on their arms signifying that they were property.

The party asked for information for the master of the market and while receiving many odd stares, they were provided the information – they proceeded to the center of the market where a large stone-walled pavilion was erected. The guards summoned a servant – a pale-faced, gaunt human, who scurried inside – out came a scarred drider – the major domo, named Ardeth Bey. Ardeth led the party inside and announced them. There were many underlings and fawning supplicants throughout the tent. The drider showed the party to the master, Jhal Krystof, a denizen of Leng. While humanoid, and dressed in finery, he had goatish legs and his face had short tentacles and claws about his mouth. Despite his odd appearance, he greeted the party warmly. Jhal Krystof indicated that he knew the Captain and his officers had pacified the island, but understood that they were still quite busy – so he understood that they might not be ready to discuss business or trade – but perhaps in the near future.

The party asked whether the rumors were true that a derro death squad, operating out of this market, that Jhal might be responsible for it. He indicated that he indeed was, as an entrepreneur, business was business. When the party pushed, he added the house of Rampore, under Bedu Hanji was an agent of this deal – Jhal turned and indicated a richly dressed human male sitting upon a bed of pillows. At the man’s side was a lovely young woman. Jhal introduced them as Khan Noonian Singh, a member of house Hanji and Lady Calpurnia.

KHAN!!!
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Khan was also cordial, if a bit patronizing – but Jhal didn’t give him much license to speak. Jhal did offer the party, that for a sum of 25,000 gold pieces, the attack could be withdrawn. The party discussed it briefly and refused the offer. The meeting was quite cordial for the interesting arrangement of parties that sat together under the pavilion – the discussion ended with the possibility that the party could do other business with Jhal Krystof in the future.

As they departed, the party tried to determine where the cyclops might be. The party had learned that the derro would use the forest gate, but the cyclops would likely be dropped onto the island surface magically. They had also learned that the cyclops were likely taking rest at a temple of Rovagug, called the Corpus House. Unwilling to push too deeply into the market, the party teleported back to the Chelish fort.

Day 322 10:30PM The party were getting a bit of rest at the Chelish fort. They spent some time whiling away the hours inspecting some of the magical loot they had gathered recently. Nico started dismantling the teleportation circle in the basement to insure that no one could sneak in from Sumitha.

Day 323 1:30 AM Nico had finished locking down the teleportation circle. Word had been sent to the ships to be on watch. Word had also been sent for all folk at Pyrligburg to be rested and ready for any attack from the derro or cyclops. The party waited…

[end of session 122]
{Day 322-323}

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Session 121
July 11th 2017

Day 322 12:15. The party, aboard the Splash, closed in on the Dominator – Glaive set a course to stay to the Dominator’s stern as the other, larger members of the D.C.I. fleet shot their broadsides into the Chelish man-o-war. As they closed, the Dominator, which had come to a full stop due to Nico’s control water spell, slowly moved forward as the spell had been negated by some unknown caster.

The party buffed themselves, and repeatedly covered themselves in fog clouds as they closed in. Breaking through a magical fog bank, the captain of the Dominator jerked up, eyeing Father Pyrlig and gave the word to his two bodyguards – they repeatedly took aim with their long bows and crossbows – only occasionally grazing him.

Aboard the Dominator, the crew slid open the hatches – as they did so, smoke oozed out of the hold and a huge nightmare stretched it wings and took to the air. Upon it’s back was a female knight in heavy black plate mail. She was shadowed by an eryines. The trio flew towards the Splash. Captain Damiano, also flying, headed directly to these new foes – upon his arrival, he critically smote the knight. She stayed in her saddle, but was swaying a bit. Mittens, Father Pyrlig and Temujin helped finish off the trio and one by one they fell into the sea, dead.

As the Splash closed within one hundred feet of the Dominator, Mittens flew across and engaged the dwarven captain and his two bodyguards. As Mittens took advantage of his size and kept the soldiers at bay, the captain dropped his crossbow and closed with Mittens, wielding a war axe. Captain Damiano joined Mittens at the stern and Mittens and Pyrlig kept washing the main deck with spells to kill the crew, or at the very least, off balance. Mittens and Damiano, together, injured and then knocked the captain unconscious – his two bodyguards surrendered.

The Dominator was starting to sink beneath the waves. Father Pyrlig cast water breathing and the party quickly swam through lower decks as water poured in through the holes in the hull. They grabbed maps, charts and other notes they could get their hands on before the water damaged them and escaped from the ship as it submerged and rested upon the ocean floor. Word was given that minimal survivors were to be pulled from the sea.

Day 322 1PM The party reviewed their status with the other captains – they sent the ships to patrol around the island looking for any other vessels, then they returned to the Chelish Fort. Yacine had gotten the fort guards regrouped and had the Loot and Brute Squads cleaning out the final pockets of resistance. Nico summoned a dog capable of smelling out incorporeal creatures, like ghosts. They found a trail that lead throughout the fort, until it led outside – heading north to Sumitha. The party took some well needed rest, collapsing into some spare bunks in the fort.

Day 322 7PM The party went to Pyrligburg to survey the damage. While they were there, Captain Damiano stood up in the main square and spoke, reassuring the people and bolstering their spirits.

When Damiano was done, the party saw Ann Sharpe in the crowd, she was accompanied with a clean cut black gentlemen, wearing a top hat and sporting a walking cane. The party greeted the duo. The party quickly guessed that the gentlemen was Carrefour, with a fresh new appearance.

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The party asked why he was here in town, and if any of this chaos was his doing. The insinuation he flatly denied – but he stated that he sensed tremors in the ground of things to come – ‘Mind the ground,’ he persisted. Carrefour was asked about Damiano and Mittens’ father – which he clearly stated that Lawrence D’Coco was a free man, a free spirit and perhaps had a mind to live up to his sons – who were now Free Captains. Ann Sharpe added that she and her fellow priestess, Lila Kurundi, had heard that the word on the street is that there is a mark out for Father Pyrlig – if word had reached free roaming sailors here at far flung D.C.I. then surely word has reached other major ports. Word was, to kill Pyrlig and bring his corpse to any temple of Norgerber, Asmodeus or Rovagug for a rich payoff. For such a rich bounty of 5,000 GPs, many eyes would be upon Father Pyrlig!

Day 322 8PM The party took their leave, and returned to Sumitha via the portal at the Chelish Fort. The party was wary. They immediately found giantish, cyclop tracks in the compound. They followed the path to the tunnels that led to the Darklands – the earth and stone that Nico’s elementals had filled the tunnel had been magically excavated. The party pondered what to do. They felt that they needed to follow them down into the Tamarind Market.

[end of session 121]
{Day 322}

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Session 120
July 5th 2017

Day 322 12:05 In the courtyard of the Chelish Fort, the party quickly rallied, buffing themselves with more magical defenses and doling out potions of flying. Nico’s deva took to the air and confirmed Laetitia’s claim – a pack of a half dozen humanoids, one burdened, were running quickly, south across the sand. The party took to the air in pursuit.

The deva arrived first, launching a holy smite upon the Leng Ghouls. Immediately, two quaffed potions and became invisible – the deva shared this detail with the party. Another pair fired scorching rays at her, but their magic didn’t eke it’s way through her magical defenses.

The party flew in and engaged the ghouls. Temujin stayed in the air and fired upon targets of opportunity with his bow. Father Pyrlig channeled healing and pain across the party and the ghouls. Damiano and Mittens closed in for melee combat. While nasty, their claws had a hard time getting purchase – few hits were to be had. The two invisible ghouls appeared, flanking the Captain and one bite from a Leng Ghoul snuck past Damiano’s defenses – he felt his constitution wane, his dexterity flag a bit and the diseased bite would continue to wound him further. Father Pyrlig rushed to the Captain’s side and administered healing magic which cured the Leng Ghoul Fever. The party successfully slew all six ghouls, and recovered Sandara’s corpse.

Temujin, flying high, could make out five sets of masts at the southeastern tip of D.C.I. Their fleet was mobilizing, and closing upon the Dominator. Wanting to make best use of their time, the party teleported to the main square of Pyrligburg.

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As they arrived, musketeer marksmen started taking shots at the party. The party reoriented and flew to engage the musketeers up on the bluff. As the party closed for melee, the musketeers quickly repositioned and continued shooting. Some of the Chelish marines already had bayonets fixed and stabbed away at the party. As the front line started to falter, Damaino and Mittens closed in on the officer, set back from his men about 20’. The duo drew blood on the Chelish officer and seeing his men on the verge of being overwhelmed, he expertly cast a teleport and escaped.

The party finished off the Chelish marines and quickly conferred, cyclops or the Dominator? They decided to join their crew aboard the Splash – they teleported aboard the ship, joining acting captain Glaive Snaggletooth.

Day 322 12:15 The party got the status report from Glaive. Initially, Glaive had lead the counter attack in Pyrligburg. He had teleported in with the Loot Squad to rush various musketeer positions. Glaive had also provided covering fire with fireballs with the Brute Squad but couldn’t provide his full attention. While acting bravely, the Brute Squad had suffered high losses.

Glaive added that during the fighting, Ann Sharpe from the House of Yellow Sails, appears to be a spell caster as she fought back throwing fireballs at the Chelish Marines. Her comrade, Lady Lila Kurundi, had rallied her fellow priestesses to help the wounded when there was sufficient distraction across the square. Some may be holed up in the brothel at this point in time.

After the initial counter attack, Glaive teleported back to the Splash, to push the engagement against the Dominator. Captain Ao of the Andoran Patriot offered to run point against the Dominator, while the two brigs, the Lehigh and the Free Wind also harried the Chelish vessel. The goal of all five ships was to keep it trapped against the shoals along the southern harbor – and after Glaive clarified with the Captain, that it should be pounded on until is sank. Word was spread to the other four ships, to attack with extreme prejudice.

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As the Dominator realized the danger in it’s position, it allowed itself to take damage, it’s crew began raising full sail as it sought to make for the open seas, only to have Nico give an infamous and disreputable word and stop the man-o-war, held fast in the magical churn of a control water spell.

[end of session 120]
{Day 322}

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Session 119
June 27th 2017

Day 322 7AM Before retiring to take some rest at Sumitha, Yacine added that there was one more item to discuss. A priest of Norgerber, named Josiah Harlan wished to speak with the party. He was sent for while the party took their breakfast. Josiah Harlan arrived. He was a human in his 30s, dressed smartly, all in black. The party had seen him as one of the sub priests, serving Lord Grosvene aboard the schooner, the Sagitta, about three weeks ago.

Josiah bowed, introduced himself, and extended an opportunity for the party to meet with his master, at a destination and time of their convenience. With a sly smile he suggested that Arena may not be best for the party. They agreed on Day 329, at Quent. The party would be met in the main square by a carriage sent by Lord Grosvene. Business concluded, Josiah bowed and took his leave.

Day 322 9AM The party headed to the teleportation portal and returned to Sumitha. Nico dropped magical alarms around the compound while Mittens and Temujin scanned for anything amiss – everything seemed quiet, normal. The party settled in for some well needed rest.

Day 322 Noon Nico came to. A mental ping tripped from the alarm spell at the teleportation circle woke him. He walked over to the front door, but there was nothing there in the compound. He started waking the party went an audible alarm rang from the back door – the party moved up – it was Haddon Pike, who said, “There is fighting at the fort. Yacine sent me to wake you. There are also gunshots at Pyrligburg!” The party dressed, gathered their gear and buffed themselves with magical protections. As they traversed the compound to return to the teleportation circle, they could hear muted musket shots and the occasional fiery bloom of a fireball in the distance.

Day 322 12:03 Arriving in the basement of the cyclop’s tower, the party moved up preparing to head up the great stair. Temujin heard soft sounds of combat behind the former secret door heading to the old vault and underground cells – the latter, where Sandara’s corpse was in repose. They formed up, with Damiano pulling open the door and heading in. Beyond, in the vault, was a creepy thin man, reinforced by gaunt, grey-skinned ghouls, attacking some fort guards. The party weighed into the narrow confines of the room.

The ghouls had a hard time laying a hand on the party, but occasionally got a claw on the party. Their fangs spread a dangerous disease, capable of rending anyone into a ghouls, while their claws could paralyze their foes. The creepy thin man – which they weren’t sure was dead, alive or undead – pulled out a pistol and continued to shoot at Damiano. As the party pushed into the room, slaying the undead, known as Leng Ghouls, the creepy thin man shuddered, his whole body disincorporating into a swarm of rats which fled out the rear door of the chamber.

The party sought to make quick work of their foes and put the chase to the creepy thin man. Nico summoned a deva which pushed through with Captain Damiano, into the next hall and into the foyer of the cells. As Damiano entered, he felt an exceptionally cold breeze up the side stair to the cells at ground level – he also heard the distant barking of hounds. Temujin blocked escape by sealing all exits with a wall of stone. Reinforced by Mittens, Temujin and Pyrlig in the hallway, Damiano and the deva pushed the creepy thin man and his two remaining ghouls to the rear of the chamber, and slew them.

Yacine and Haddon came up behind the party. Yacine added that there was more fighting above, with ghouls and a ghost – nothing that she could effect. The party smashed through the wall and found Sandara’s corpse missing from it’s cell. Instead of backtracking they smashed the wall in front of the stairs and headed up to the courtyard.

Day 322 12:04 The party saw that fighting had clearly taken place. Here and there were dead sailors, others still alive but wounded by claws and bites. The corpses of half a dozen ghouls were scattered across the courtyard.

The party made out, just outside the southern harbor, the Chelish man o’ war, the Dominator – floating near the defensive islets of the harbor – its ballista and cannons primed and pulled into position – ready to fire!

To the east, from Pyrligburg, the party could hear the occasional scream floating across the southern harbor. They could see smoke smoldering over their brand new town. The quiet was occasionally interrupted by the crack of musket fire.

Laetitia, one of the party’s sorcerers, landed among them. She reported to the party that she had just left the north watch. Landing craft had just deposited a half dozen cyclops upon the north shore. Also, as Laetitia was landing, she spotted a half dozen humanoids (not sailors) a quarter mile away. They were moving unnaturally fast, heading south towards the tip of the harbor – they were carrying something bulky.

[end of session 119]
{Day 322}

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Session 118
June 20th 2017

Day 322 3:30AM The manor house in the upper quarter of Hell Harbor is in flames. The majority of the party is standing among the ruins of the burning foyer. Mittens had dropped his magical bag of holding between himself and Pyrlig, waiting for Nico – or whatever body he was inhabiting – to come and claim it. Temujin flew high overhead and reminded the party of the encroaching infernal spiders hanging on the outside of the manor’s edifice.

On the magic link the party shared, they were aware of Sandara’s dismay, as she had shouldered Gorebeard’s corpse and slid off the rear balcony into the waiting claws of two more infernal hunters – they pounced upon her!

Three of Nico’s eryines closed in on the hunters – the latter closed in on the window and stabbed at Pyrlig through the smashed window. Bolts from a chain lightning rained down on the front street, striking the eryines, Mittens and Father Pyrlig. Pyrlig quickly healed up to steady himself on his two feet. Mittens saw through the window of the opposing house, to triangulate where the stroke originated from. He countered with a lightning ball of his own which lit up the house. Nico’s other two eryines, headed up the street to truss up the halfling stealthy out of the alley, north of the burning manor house. Temujin flew back over the rooftops to Sandara’s defense.

In the gem, time and again, Nico sought a body to oust and settle in with his magic jar – but each host, thick in the battle, with their resolve up, resisted his attempts to take control – and Nico stayed in the gem.

Damiano and Father Pyrlig started withdrawing through the burning house, to the rear, where Sandara was trapped between the pair of infernal hunters. Temujin arrived to see Sandara drop prone, pierced by a series of brutal claw strikes. Damiano moved through them, explicitly drawing their attacks – which they did – some he parried, and with some he felt the pain they had to give out. But Temujin moved in safely and brought Sandara back to life – but barely. A valiant, yet short-lived rescue as the hunter struck Sandara yet another fatal strike and then turned on Temujin, and brought him down too – luckily, his powers of regeneration quickly stabilized him.

The power of Damiano’s ring ebbed, his time was up – once again the realistic killing blow from the cyclops was in his face, but Captain Damiano was resolute and survived the shock to his system and was ready to fight on!

Mittens shadow-walked behind the building and was aware of another presence about 40’ to his right. Mittens shrugged off another magical attack and lit the hunters up with more lightning, as Damiano attacked with his weapons. Soon afterwards, one hunter was laid low and it fell onto it’s side – the party ganged up on the other beast – Mittens felt a slice up his back as a magical blade of force struck him. As the second hunter was slain, Mittens was aware of the spell-caster to his right, disappeared, and soon afterwards, the magical blade also faded. On the front street, the hunters were still in melee with two eryines, they paused, and disappeared. For now, it appeared that the battle was over.

The fire brigade had arrived and Nico took possession of a body and joined his comrades that were congregating. The eryines returned with the prone form of a trussed up halfling. They had the bodies of Lady Isawyn and the corpses of Lady Nightshade, Gorebeard Trench and Sandara. Temujin was healed and got to his feet. The party didn’t tarry long in the shadow of the burned building – Nico and Mittens ran to recover the smoldering ruins of his bag of holding and they teleported back to D.C.I.

Day 322 4:30AM The party had Yacine secure Lady Isawyn and the halfling – who was the major domo of the burning building. His name was Persil Prans, and he fled when the shit went down, grabbing a bag of valuables (15K in diamonds) for his severance pay. In the bag, also, was a note to his employer, Sevine Dillux.

To Sevine Dillux, Hell Harbor,

It is my understanding that Kividus is undertaking the contract for the two priests. It is best that they die. Kividus is hard to negotiate with. However, should you be able to capture their Captain alive, I would pay handsomely for him.

I think to humiliate a Free Captain in my private fighting pits, would be something, select guests would pay highly to see.
Regards,
Andronicus

Nico found his gear and successfully made whole, the beloved bag of holding with much of their gear. Now usable, he opened it to find a screaming Stephen Fantome – in a panic, lying sandwiched between the prone body of Nico (which Nico was ready to return to), and a unconscious barbed devil. Temujin put Stephen to sleep, and he was secured in a cell. The party questioned Stephen when he came to. They felt while he was complicit in writing content disparaging to Arronax Endymion, that was the limit of his involvement – he was an artiste, after all.

The party moved on to question Lady Isawyn. She was aware that she was in a bad spot, but attempted to be cool. Tired of dancing around the conversation, Nico summoned four succubi who successfully charmed and garnered her secrets. She was definitely in the employ of the Chelish – specifically to do as much damage to Lord Arronax as possible. She hoped to win her freedom to get clear of the politics of the Shackles and the entanglements of the Chelish.

One other important bit of information learned from the charmed Lady Isawyn: Stephen Fantome had stolen occultic notes from, the Lady Sabella Ezeel, ne’e Stratheen, who was Lady Camilla, the lead actress at the World’s Stage Theatre in High Eastwind, Port Peril. Lady Camilla, from Chelish notes that the party uncovered, was the love interest of Lord Bonefist.

Despite Mittens persuasive arguments on her behalf, Nico gave the word and his succubi slew Lady Isawyn.

Dawn was breaking on D.C.I. It had been a long and active twenty-four hours. Yacine added that after the party denied Lawrence D’Coco captaincy of the vessel that Captain Hawke had recently captured, he had joined aboard the supply junk, The Harbor Crossing, under the command of Captain Gabwell.

Day 322 7AM The party planned to get some rest, peruse their gains, and then push onward, with Temujin’s magical aid, to the jungle lair of Sahzara, who resided in the Southern Shackles near Bloodcove.

[end of session 118]
{Day 322}

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Session 117
June 13th 2017

Day 322 3:30AM The barbed devil was down, incapacitated upon the floor – smoldering arrows shot through the window by the eryines, smoked in his hide. The elderly couple were up, awake in their bed howling in fear, until Temujin put them into a magical sleep. The party picked up the devil and pulled back to the actor’s apartment and mended the hole in the wall.

The party deposited the prone devil into Nico’s bag of holding, next to Nico’s body! They also grabbed the sleep-drunk actor, Stephen Fantome, and dropped him in the bag – perhaps he would be useful for further questioning.

Nico summoned wave upon wave of eryines and shadow demons and sent them spiraling out from the apartment on the search for the three rogue actors. Temujin went roof-side and sent his Raven out to scout as well. The evening was quiet and at this point in time, there was no visible sign of the actors.

The party teleported back to the Corruption Theatre. Arriving in the changing room, Nico jumped into the body of a sleeping cook. He ventured downstairs, made himself known to the party and started looking around the theatre – it was quiet, and empty except for the few staff sleeping in the third floor loft above the kitchen. Temujin sent his Raven out to keep an eye for any flares sent up by Nico’s eryines and shadow demons. Nico ventured to the front of the building – all was quiet.

Nico sensed a powerful life force above the theatre – perhaps upon the roof. He sent word to the party. As Nico continued to check the front of the theatre, the party floated up to the roof to see another barbed devil sitting on the peak. As they closed in, it shot scorching rays at Damiano. Damiano, wielding Aiger’s Kiss, prevented the beast from transporting away to escape. Outnumbered, the party quickly closed in and finished the beast off. Raven gave word to Temujin that it spotted a fireball a quarter mile to the north – the party was on the move, and teleported to a building vaguely silhouetted in the moonlight – and they arrived safely. Nico summoned an air elemental, saddled up and raced north to join the party.

The party, on a rooftop, were close to the nicer part of town. Before them was a small, square townhouse, all the windows had drapes pulled, but each room was clearly lit up with candles and oil lamps. Damiano leapt to the rear balcony, as Mittens shadow walked over to his side and punched in the french door. Damiano moved into the small library, crossed the room and found the hallway door, unlocked – he opened the door and peered down the hallway. Thirty feet to his left a butler turned about in surprise, holding a lit taper. Mittens entered the library, followed by Temujin, Father Pyrlig and Sandara.

Nico converged on the manor house, mentally summoning any stray eryines to his side as they closed in on their destination.

Captain Damiano brushed past the butler and headed down the grand stair to the first floor. Lady Isawyin was at the front door and Lady Nightshade (the “Princess”) was at the rear of the foyer. Damiano stated that they should not flee – but Lady Isawyn retorted that the Captain was in no official capacity and she didn’t need to stand down on his account. Lady Nightshade ‘yabble-dabbled’ and disappeared from view. Captain Damiano drew Aiger’s Kiss and closed in upon Lady Isawyn.

Upstairs, a door opened down the hall from Pylig, who stood outside the library – it was the “Courtier,” Gorebeard Trench! He raced at Pyrlig and smote him with his fist. He continued to rain blows up Pyrlig, until Temujin appeared in the library doorway and with a grin, Gorebeard turned his effort to punching in Temujin’s beak. Sandara moved up to Temujin’s side and attacked Gorebeard. Nico arrived on the scene and joined the party in the library – he summoned an elemental, which started smashing a hole in the wall, to get around the bottleneck combat taking place between Gorebeard, Pyrlig and Temujin.

In the first floor foyer, Lady Isawyn ‘yabble-dabbled’ at Damiano – he felt magic clamping down on his mind, but he shrugged it off, and struck her with Aiger’s Kiss – she was prevented from teleporting away to safety. In quick succession he was struck with magical attacks – a thin green ray came out of nowhere and hit him – the energy ripping at his flesh – he rolled away from it but the ray still burned. A great cyclops, in a flash, appeared before his eyes stabbing at Damiano with a great spear – the captain flinched and was struck critically in the chest. The cyclops disappeared and as the Captain faltered, knowing that he might fall, he used the last stone in his ring of delayed doom to buy himself some time. He struck Isawyn grievously with his sword and she attempted to make her escape, smashing the window and throwing herself outside to the turf.

Hearing the combat downstairs, Mittens shadow walked to the foyer, to help Damiano. He heard, but could not see, a male and female voice somewhere in the echoing foyer – the female voice was that of the “Princess.” The male voice was unknown. As he arrived, Mittens heard the incantation for a Power Word, Stun – and saw Captain Damiano stiffen up. Mittens moved down into the chamber trying to focus on the location of his hidden foes and glitter-dusted the hallway, illuminating Lady Nightshade.

Upstairs, Gorebeard took mighty swings at Temujin – as he did so, Pyrlig squared up on Gorebeard’s flank and counter attacked. Temujin pulled back deeper into the library and the elemental stopped his teardown of the wall and swung at Gorebeard as well. Beset on all sides, Gorebeard fought on, but was starting to slow down.

Mittens moved up and pinned Lady Nightshade against the wall and attacked! Then there was a great whoosh, as the floor of the foyer exploded up in a ball of flame – debris and fire ripped through the building. Lady Nightshade and Gorebeard both collapsed; and Pyrlig moved downstairs to Damiano and Mittens. Mittens failed to dispel the Captain’s condition but Pyrlig was able to successfully cancel it out. Pyrlig then collapsed from damage due to the fiery burst. Temujin stepped out onto the balcony and flew up and over the roof toward the front of the building.

Outside, Lady Isawyn, still unable to magic herself to safety, was assaulted by the eryines who were on overhead, and alert. The eryines pounced upon Lady Isawyn and trussed her up in the street.

Damiano, now able to move, poured a potion of healing down Pyrlig’s throat – while conscious, Father Pyrlig was still grievously wounded. Father Pyrlig healed himself, Mittens and Damiano and they braced themselves at the front door – the entire foyer engulfed in flames. Mittens picked up the body of Lady Nightshade as they prepared to exit the building.

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As Temujin flew over the building she spied two great spiders hanging onto the edge of the building just over the front door – they were massive, infernal beasts looking down at the street below – Temujin sent warning to his companions.

Nico’s body – the cook, was engulfed in flames – he jumped into the gem, and then briefly into Pyrlig’s body. He was aware of three things. His eryines informed him telepathically of the huge spiders that were outside hanging upon the building. The eryines spied a small creature, perhaps a halfling, creeping out of the alley, about to head up the street and away from the fiery inferno. Lastly, of all the life forms that Nico could sense, the spiders were weaker then himself. However, somewhere, across the street there was a single life force greater then himself.

Off in the distance, the warning bell of the fire brigade rang through the city streets.

[end of session 117]
{Day 322}

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