Sunday, September 25, 2016

Far Isles Session #46 - From Well to Palace

DRAMATIS PERSONAE:
Rodrigo (Swashbuckler 3)
Corvus (Fighter 2)
Kwinsea (Aquamancer 4), with familiar Hermes and henchman Jaz (Elf 1)
Abdul el Abdul (Fighter 5)
Chaff (Vivimancer 5), familiar PrettyBird, riding dog PuppyWhuppy & henchman"No 7" (Halfling 2)

The party expended a significant amount of brain power trying to puzzle their way through the secret of the rotating platforms. They came up with several options to try:
  • Swing the animated statue down to the lowest platform to see if that surface stayed steady when you avoided stepping on the upper surfaces. The statue hit the platform and flipped off the edge, going in the drink until No.7 lowered a rope and everyone hauled it back up (only to have it go inanimate once again after all that work);
  • Chaff summoned the ebony fly so he could get at the door without stepping on the upper platforms, on the assumption the spinning motion activated the lock on the door. Alas, this didn't work;
  • Kwinsea used her water  breathing to search below the surface of the piranha-plagued pool for another door, exit, or some other clue. This required something to distract the piranhas, so Abdul el Abdul and Corvus went back to the dead gorilla-centaurs and hacked off a few pieces to throw in the water and draw the fishes attention. That only worked so well, and the aquamancer did get rather bitten. She also didn't see anything of interest below the water.
In the end, they decided to tempt fate and turn the wheels. Corvus, being the biggest brute of the lot, was volunteered for this step. The first wheel was very hard to turn, and it was a few minutes before it turned all the way. A little testing with rope and grappling hook showed the second platform was now steady. So down went Corvus, turning the next wheel, and then finally to the lowest platform and turning the final wheel. When the rest of the party saw that Corvus was done (and was being shredded by piranha leaping out of the water), they rushed down posthaste. Opening the door, they found a tunnel, which led to a shaft and ladder going down. Above was a stone ceiling, and below was water. Just above the waters edge, however, was another door.

Gems
Down the ladder, and with Abdul el Abdul in the lead, into the door, the party advanced. Inside were three large stone blocks, each sitting atop a metal grate over a 20' deep pit. The room was also bone-dry, unlike the damp series of chambers they'd had to traverse thus far. After poking around for a bit, the party noted a couple of other key points. First, the ceiling above was polished like a mirror. It, however, did not reflect the simultaneous scene below it, but rather reflected what happens a few moments later in time i.e. it could be used to see the result of a action before it was taken. The other interesting point was the blocks were not so massive after-all, but seemed to float as light as a feather on the grates. The party proceeded to push the three blocks to the left, revealing behind each a small niche. In one lay a collection of gems, in the other a trio of silk hachimaki  inscribed with writing in the language of Madaro-Shanti which Kwinsea was able to roughly translate as  'water', 'dead', 'heal'. A search for secret doors or compartments in the alcoves and in  the dry pits revealed nothing more. Meanwhile, Abdul el Abdul has donned the hachimaki inscribed "heal", upon which the writing fading by half as he simultaneously had some health restored. 

Not convinced everything of value or interest had been found, the party decided to search in the water below the shaft. After first checking for piranhas, Kwinsea dove in and  swam below. She passed down a short shaft, then across a water filled chamber, and a short distance up another shaft. The shaft continued above, but there was no obvious way to climb. Going back to report, the party decided to leave her in the shaft and go back to the surface to re-set the well an see where the water carried the aquamancer.  What she found is the first shaft was filled with water (temporally blocked by a stone slab when they accessed the dry room) and ended at the top in a round 'bulb' with a weird stone torus on the ceiling. Several passages branched off this shaft, presumably leading to the series of chambers in the well. 

Death Monkey
While interesting, this exploration didn't reveal any further treasure or chambers, so the party headed back to the gatehouse to rest for the night and check on Awg-Wahmn. Next morning they headed for the palace, passing through the massive gate into an equally massive ruined hall. Along the north wall was a series of pillars, carved in the form of men and woman. Along the south wall a series of openings could be seem. On both sides rose three, room length and foot tall steps. Further on in the chamber was a pit in the floor, and a clay statue of a besital, naked half man/half monkey. Kwinsea immediately whipped out the crystal heart to animate the thing. Which was good, since just as Rodrigo was approaching the southern openings to check what was on the other side, a screaming mass of monkeys came pouring out and fell on the party. These did not look quite alive, and after  a close fight involving sword, spell, monkey statue and laser pistol, they were definitely now not alive. Rooting through the bodies the party found nothing, an for a lark Chaff tired the "death" hachimaki on one of the bodies. The monkey immediately healed of it's wounds and leapt to life, throwing itself at Chaff's feet. 

Before dealing with his new monkey henchman, Chaff had No. 7 lowered on a rope down into the pit. Once safely below the halfling was joined by Abdul el Abdul. The two found themselves in a chamber covered in bones, a mix of human and animal. They rooted through them for a moment, but didn't have much time as another screaming hoard of death-monkeys came pouring out of an opening in the north wall. The halfling and fighter luckily made it to the rope and were hauled up before too much damage was done, as Kwinsea held back the monkeys with a tidal force. They were eventually finished off by a mix of spells and missiles, leaving the party to decide what to do next ...

TOTAL XP
480

GAINS
5 Citrine (5 x 50gp)
3 Turquoise (3 x 20gp)
2 Blue Quartz (2 x 10gp)
3 magical silk hachimaki ('water', 'dead', 'heal')

KILLS
25 Ghoul Monkeys

LOSSES
none

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Far Isles Session #45 - Down the Well

DRAMATIS PERSONAE:
Rodrigo (Swashbuckler 3), with henchman Corvus (Fighter 2)
Kwinsea (Aquamancer 4), with familiar Hermes and henchman Jaz (Elf 1)
Abdul el Abdul (Fighter 5)
Chaff (Vivimancer 5), familiar PrettyBird, riding dog PuppyWhuppy & henchman"No 7" (Halfling 2)
Aug-Wahmn (Calmonari 1)
Torak (Cleric 4)

One look at the jungle convinced the party that poling the raft up the river would be easier than another slog through the tangled tropical undergrowth. And they did make pretty good progress for the reminder of that first day and the early hours of the next, until the river became too shallow and rapid to proceed. By this time, however, the remains of an old roadway were visible on the south bank. Heading ashore and tying up the raft, they found the massive paving stones heaved and cracked and anything but easy to travel over. But certainly easier than the thick jungle. They had not gone far when, coming around a bend, they spied the crumpled form of a body on the road ahead. Upon closer investigation, it was obvious the body had been here many years, as little was left except the skeleton, some old rags, a rusted dagger and backpack. Kwinsea dug into the backpack and among the ruined remains of basic equipment was a book wrapped in oilcloth. While the others settled down for lunch, the aquamancer read through what turned out to be a journal, written in an oddly archaic but still generally understandable Common.  It told of a previous group of explorers who had found the lost city, named Madaro-Shanti. The journal contained some information this previous party had gleaned from the ruins, including a handy 'Rosetta Stone' allowing at least partial translation of inscriptions in the ruined city. Kwinsea learned that the city fell many years ago to a dark army, which laid it and the surrounding jungle under a curse. The curse drove one of the protector sprints of the jungle, Cho-Oda, insane. From its insanity arose the black mist, which would drain the life from all living creatures if they spent more than  a few days in its midst.  There was also an unusual statement buried in the text, simply saying "The Well Moves the Walls".

After lunch and story time, the party moved on again, and shortly encountered a strange situation. They'd been fighting jungle insects all the way, but as they passed through the latest fog of mosquitoes, the buzzing of the insects shifted and seemed to chant "Cho-Oda, Cho-Oda". The insects soon dissipated, however, with no other words.  It was not long after this that they noted the black mist staring to thicken, and the party was soon slogging through a thoroughly dead jungle where visibility came and went in accordance with the mists. After some hours of trudging through this bleak landscape, they could see through gaps in the black mist that the jungle was opening up. The road had led them to what would seem to be the ruins of the city. Little remained but fallen stone. The only obviously still standing structures were a massive gatehouse through which the road entered the city, and a large palace or similar building which could be seen near the centre of the ruins.

Gorilla-Centaur
The party deiced to skirt around the gatehouse, since the city walls themselves were fallen into ruin. Except Abdul el Abdul, who felt he had to approach the gatehouse proper and attempt to lift the massive portcullis found there. That didn't work, so he joined the rest of the party going around the structure. Which was good, as they were soon in need of the fighters help. As the party came around the side of the gatehouse, there galloped out of the mists a pair of strange creatures; gorilla-centaurs with the upper body of a gorilla on the lower body of a jungle antelope. These bellowed and smashed into the ranks of the party. One was cut down fairly quickly, while the second soon followed, but not before lashing out at Aug-Wahnm and crushing the calmonari below its body as it fell. Thankfully Aug-Wahnm survived (albeit at deaths door) and Torak bound his wounds and pulled his body out of the fighting line. For now four more  gorilla-centaurs  charged out of the mist. By this point the party had made it way towards the gatehouse, and were climbing the stairs they'd found leading to the top floor.  Rodrigo and Abdul el Abdul held the bottom of the stairs, Abdul el Abdul getting clawed, bitten and horribly crushed in a ape-hug by one gorilla-centaur. Meanwhile, from the stairs above, Jaz cast a sleep spell and Chaff a meld flesh. This left one gorilla-centaur asleep (soon to be permanently dispatched by Torak), and two others stumbling around as they were now joined at the arms. These two did not last long, falling to swords blows and a pistol shot from No 7. The last still living gorilla-centaurs turned to flee, but was likewise cut down.

Safe again, at least for the time being, the party grabbed Awg-Wahnm and carried his body up to the top floor of the gatehouse. Inside was an ancient charnel house, with bones lying shin-deep on the floor. It appeared the last defenders died to a man fighting. In the centre of the room also stood a large winch. The party rooted around in the bones, finding a leather purse with 5gp and a silver-studded leather hauberk. Abdul then went to the winch, and with relative ease turned it. From the sounds emanating from below, it would seem the portcullis that had defeated him before was now open. No. 7 climbed a ladder to the roof to look around, but thanks to the black mist there was little more to see than was visible from ground level. She did report movement of some sort to the north-east, and confirmed the large structure to the south-east was relatively intact and appeared to be a palace. After first making Awg-Wahnm comfortable, as they planned to leave him here to rest rather than drag him along, the party decided to head for the palace forthwith.

The party reached the palace without interference. There, in the courtyard in front of the building,  they also found a well. Square and ornately carved, it had two unusual features. The first was four stones head, one at each corner. The other was four handprints, one on each side. Torak looked closely at the heads and noticed that instead of pupils, those with open eyes have arrows circling in either a clockwise or counterclockwise direction. Each, with a single two-eyed exception, also had three eyes. As for the handprints, they were carved intaglio, but were unremarkable. Remembering the line from the journal about "The Well Moves the Walls", the party made various efforts to more or twist the well. Nothing happened, however, until four of them put hands in the carvings. A gurgling sound was heard, and Chaff could see (through Pretty Birds eyes) that the well was drained and mostly dry. At the bottom of the well shaft was a room, still damp with water on the floor, but otherwise accessible.
Stone Heads
After some discussion, it was determined Kwinsea would go down to investigate, figuring the aquamancer would survive any accidental release of water that would drown the rest. At the bottom of the well was a room, with a large brass valve/wheel set in the floor. On the east wall a steady pinprick stream of water arched into the room, while to the north was a niche 5' above the floor and holding a carved stone head similar to those above. After shouted consultation with her comrades above, Kwinsea turned the wheel on the floor clockwise (the only way it would go). As she did, the floor around it started to drop incrementally to form a circular staircase going down. So down she went, into a room with about a foot of water on the floor and two bronze wheels; one in the floor and one in the wall. At this point, the party above started examining the stone heads, and particular the eyes, assuming these were a clue as to how to turn the wheels. Shouting down directions, they told Kwinsea to turn the wheel on the wall clockwise and the one on the floor counterclockwise. Which once more worked, as a stone slab on the floor slide aside, allowing the water to drain and revealing a ladder going down.

By this time, with everything going without incident, the rest of the party followed Kwinsea down the well to the third room. This one had three wheels, one on the floor under three feet of water, and two on the walls. In the centre of the room was the rusted iron statue of a warrior, standing with spear and shield. There was also another niche in the north wall, this one about 15' above the floor. Based on their understanding of the eyes, the party started turning wheels. And immediately a section of wall opened on the east side and water began to pour in. The party tired to stop it by turning wheels back, but to no avail. As the water rose, the party started to climb back up to the previous room, but not before those still standing in the water were zapped by a shock of electricity emerging from the bronze wheels. That got them moving faster, and everyone was soon above. They decided in fact to go all the way up, resetting the well with the handprints above, and starting afresh. They had to do this five times before the proper steps were discovered; place a weight on a pressure plate in the niche, which unlocked all three wheels to turn clockwise. This opened a shaft in the floor, with another ladder leading down.
Down the Well

The ladder led into a room half submerged in water, with three platforms projecting from the wall. On each was a bronze wheel, and there was a door on lowermost platform. Once more, the water breathing Kwinsea was elected to scout ahead, and she jumped onto the first platform. Which promptly pivoted and dumped her into the water below. Where she was viciously attacked by a swarm of piranhas. Hauled back to the upper chamber via a rope lowered by her companions, she used the crystal heart to animate the iron statue so she could use it as a piranha guard. She and Rodrigo (and the statue) then splashed their way down into the water again and struggled through piranhas over to the lowest platform. Where the found the door solidly locked. The pair then decided to return above, taking the statue with them, to discuss with the rest of the party what to do next ...

TOTAL XP
565

GAINS
A silver-studded leather hauberk
5 gp

KILLS
5 gorilla centaurs

LOSSES
Aug-Wahmn (temporarily) 

Friday, September 9, 2016

Far Isles Session #44 - Jungle, Ho!

DRAMATIS PERSONAE:
Rodrigo (Swashbuckler 3), with henchman Corvus (Fighter 2)
Kwinsea (Aquamancer 4), with familiar Hermes and henchman Jaz (Elf 1)
Abdul el Abdul (Fighter 5)
Chaff (Vivimancer 5), familiar PrettyBird, riding dog PuppyWhuppy & henchman"No 7" (Halfling 2)
Aug-Wahmn (Calmonari 1)

Gorbo of Jalwar
Just as the party was about to embark, Chaff suddenly remembered he still hadn't identified the potions and oil from the temple of the sea demon. He asked around the Collegium, hoping the learned types there could help. In the end he was directed to go find the alchemist Gorbo of Jalwar in the Blackmilk, that dreary and dark slum down on the river. He found the dilapidated old building with a sign out front advertising the services of an alchemist, an apothecary, and a sage. Chaff chose the first  option, and headed down into the acrid basement. There he met the short, round, Gorbo, who after some wheeling and dealing offered to identify the four items for a paltry 800gp.  Chaff learned therefore that he was the proud owner of a potion of healing, potion of watery death, and a potion of water breathing. The bottle of bath oil was actually oil of true seeing, which applied to the eyelids allowed one to see through illusions. Abdul el Abdul, who'd tagged along for the fun, attempted to get the fast talking little man to tell him about the scimitar. Alas Gorbo was not an expert on weapons, and instead chased the fighter out of the basement in a scowling fit. Outside, Abdul el Abdul shrugged and passed the scimitar along to Awg-Wahmn for the calmonari to try.

Back at the "Purple Haze", Captain Lynessa informed them it was quite stormy and they'd be fighting a head wind, so they choose to lay low and wait out the inclement weather. The next day was still brisk, but the wind had swung around to the south-west, giving them a fast voyage  to the Anchorage, reaching the isle in just one day. They encountered another vessel along the way, which turned out to be the sad-sack "Two for Trouble" headed to the same location. At the Anchorage already were Nalco's rowboat, the merchant Marios, as well as the "Serpents Revenge" and "Quall's Folly". The party decided to ignore all the vessels at anchor, and headed over the hill to report to Bellephrone on the successful delivery of the box to the Pale Lady.  Which the witch seemed to already know. Curious that.

With no fanfare or lights, the party had Captain Lynessa take the "Purple Haze" out to sea in the pre-dawn darkness, and they set course for the south-east and the Lost Jungle Isles. They made good progress on the first day, but sunrise on the second found the ship tossed and turned in the grips of a winter storm. Luckily they sighted land ahead, and the crew skillfully brought the "Purple Haze" into a wooded cove to wait out the gale. It lifted the next day, and after a quick circumnavigation of the island (which consisted of a central peak, a mix of forest and meadow, a possible town in a sheltered harbour, and a lot of sheep and goats) before raising sail once again and plotting course to the south-east.

Snake Rider
Another day of fair sail brought them to what looked like their goal; a small group of jungle-covered islands appeared over the horizon. Checking their log notes and questioning Pablo, the crewman hired away from the "San Lorenzo", they weren't sure if they were in the thick of dinosaur country yet. But they seemed to be on the right track.  Of the four islands, only one attracted any immediate interest.  There, columns of smoke climbed into the sky, hinting at some sort of civilized or intelligent life. The party decided to land ashore, taking the ships' boat in through the rocky reefs to land on the thoroughly overgrown island. There was no sign of any civilization at this level, nor anything in the way of a trias. So the bigger brutes in the party took turns hacking through the thick undergrowth, taking hours to make scant progress. While taking for a bit of a breather, however, Rodrigo glanced up into the canopy and discovered they were not alone. Giant snakes was slithering through the branches above them, surprisingly ridden by outlandishly decorated tribesmen. The party tried to communicate in all the languages they know, but without much luck. They tried offering a gift of coins and metal objects, leaving it on the ground and backing away. The trio took the offering, and as the natives spoke among themselves, Rodrigo discovered he understood bits and pieces of their conversation as it sounded a lot like the pidgin  he'd heard in his previous swashbuckling travels. The natives were talking about giving the offerings to Ungobungo, the Great Serpent, apparently their god. Through a combination of Chaff's pantomime and Rodrigo's snip-its of language, the party was able to convince the three snake-riders to take them to their tribal chief.

Carried by the snake riders, the party made it to the centre of the island much faster than they would on foot. They found that the tribe did not live on the ground, but on platforms suspended from the jungle trees. In fact it appeared that the natives never touched the ground but lived a nearly competently arboreal existence with their snakes. Of which a half dozen (with riders) now gazed on the party as they met with the chief. The party made further gifts to the chief, but he was unimpressed with trinkets and copper pieces. Although there was little glitter of gem and jewelry to be seen on the tribesmen, the chief seemed to expect such gifts 'as offerings to Ungobungo the Great Serpent'. He was placated by a gem and jeweled dagger, and answered the parties questions as best he could given the communication difficulties. They learned there were no other human inhabitants on the surrounding isles, nor were there dinosaurs. They did glean that all the tribes treasure was offered to the Great Serpent, who lived in the tallest trees at the north end of the island. While this information caused party ears to perk up, in the end they decided to take their leave of the natives and return to the "Purple Haze". The next day, however, they did scout the north end of the island, with Chaff and No. 7 buzzing the jungle on the fly. There were signs of something enormous moving in the treetops, but nothing could be seen through the thick canopy. While the idea of looting a snake-god was tempting, the party decided to move on and stick to their original quest; go find some dinosaurs to capture for sale in Xin.

Which was not easy, as the wind had now shifted, such that the ship was sailing in irons as they tried to head south-east. It took Lynessa and the crew three days of constant tacking to inch the "Purple Haze" towards the next island. This one was much larger, stretching almost a hundred miles from north to south. Although it was covered by thick jungle to the north, towards the south it was a mix man-high sword grass and blasted, bare rock. From the jungle itself drifted occasional tendrils of black mist or fog. They circumnavigated the island, and found a tidy cove on the east side into which flowed a fairly substantial river. The tandem pair of Awg-Wahmn the calmonari and Kwinsea the aquamancer found a school of sillago swimming in the river, and proceeded to question the fish for information about the jungle upstream.  Their piscian informant told them of the ruins of a human city, long abandoned. That seemed like a place to check out for loot, so the party decided to put dinosaur hunting aside for awhile and explore the ruined city.

TOTAL XP
825

GAINS
none

KILLS
none

LOSSES
A few trinkets, coins and a jeweled dagger 

Friday, September 2, 2016

Far Isles Session #43 - The Heist

DRAMATIS PERSONAE:
Rodrigo (Swashbuckler 3), with henchman Corvus (Fighter 1)
Kwinsea (Aquamancer 4), with henchman Jaz and familiar Hermes
Abdul el Abdul (Fighter 5)

The Guns
While Chaff, No. 7, and Awg Wahmn scattered off on business of their own, the rest of the party hoisted Torak's body and carried him off towards the temple of the Drowned God. Halfway there, Kwinsea called a halt. Chaff had left the yellow box with her, giving strict instructions to check the contents in his absence. Thinking said contents may induce a need for additional clerical assistance, she wanted to open it before they finished business with the priests of Brall. Carefully cracking open the case, she found two curious pistols. Red, made of some strange material and with no obvious way for a ball the exit the barrel, she thought it best to just close up the box once more and let Chaff deal with it later. 

Hauling Torak behind them, they soon arrived at the temple. The meeting with the High Priest was a little rocky as three of them (Abdul el Abdul having gone off to mourn Otock and buy a pet rat weasel mouse meerkat ferret) tried to cut a better deal in return for the conch. In particular, Kwinsea hoped to get few help with the golden hand print over her heart, and perhaps a deal on some healing potions.  In the end, rising tempers and a tightening circle of temple guards and acolytes had the party backing down on the demands. The High Priest did agree to take Torak's body and have him both returned from the dead and healed of his impediments. Kwinsea ended up forking over 1000gp to have the cursed hand of Hazzr the Golden Lich removed from her chest. As for healing potions, they shopped around to a few other temples and ended up buying a few at atemple of Anthor the Peacemaker, Lord of War and Peace.

Rejoined by Abdul el Abdul and his ferret Otock, the party stopped by the Purple Haze  to give instruction to Captain Lynessa  regarding provisioning of the ship and installation of rings, chains and cages for their upcoming dinosaur hunting expedition. After a few stops to have recently acquired treasures appraised and detected, and some other provisions (rabbits and sleep poison) purchased,  the party headed for the San Lorenzo. They were curious about the status of the vessel (currently under bond by the port bailiff and in the middle of legal proceedings due to the uncertainty over ownership/captaincy), news on Captain de Moncada (none), and details on their dinosaur sale (through a fence by the name of Lorenz of Nar, not directly to the buyer). Kwinsea also convinced one of the senior able seaman to jump ship and join the crew of the Purple Haze. The aqumancer figured he could help them navigate the Jungle Isles with more certainly, and point out places to avoid or explore. 

Meanwhile, Corvus and Rodrigo were starting to get uneasy, thinking that someone was always watching them. Corvus, tired of jumping at shadows, decided to face his demons straight on. Taking the ring of invisibility on loan from Torak, he headed for the fighting pits of the Collegium to find Tolk the Brute and whoever else might have sent the assassins. Corvus and the party eventually learned that Tolk was now washed out of the wrestling matches and forced to fight in the quasi-illegal death pits. They also learned the man who had sent the assassins was likely a bookie by the name of Houl. The party managed to arrange a meeting with the man, and tried to make a deal where Corvus would throw a match and make Houl's money back for him. That was a little too risky on his part for Houl, but he did offer a second option. He was owed a debt from a 'jeweler' by the name of Ogo. Now Ogo seems to have disappeared some time ago, but his shop was ripe for the looting. If Corvus and friends could break in and collect on the debt, Houl was magnanimous enough to let bygones be bygones. The party could even keep anything they gathered beyond the 2500gp Houl wanted to square away the debt. Although half-convinced this was a set-up, they agreed to take the deal and prepared to hit the shop that night. 

It was pitch black and pouring rain when the party, now reinforced by a fully recovered Jaz,  approached Ogo's shop. Corvus donned the ring of invisibility once more and moved forward to check out possible ways into the darkened building. Hauling himself up to the top of the garden wall, he found a scene to send shivers down an arachnophobes spine. The garden was draped in thick layers of webs, through which thousands of small spiders skittered.  That didn't look hopeful, so Rodrigo now took the ring and climbed to the roof of the adjoining building, in order to access a window without being seen too easily from the street. With a crowbar he cracked open the locked shutters, only to find the window bricked over on the inside. A quick check of other accessible windows revealed the same. Grumbling, Rodrigo returned to street level with the news. Next check was a sewer grate, which seemed to lead nowhere but a sewer. Abdul el Abdul finally took a turn with ring and grapple, this time climbing to the roof to check the chimney. Access to this was blocked by a trio of clay vents which blocked the opening. Getting frustrated, he had one last look around and noticed, just below the eaves, a round stained glass window. It was not shuttered, and more importantly, seemed to be free of bricks. The fighter signaled for everyone to climb the rope to the roof, and then had the beefier types lower him down to the window.  Using the crowbar, he carefully pulled off the sills and carefully turned the glass and pushed it inside the building.

Ogo's Shop
Abdul el Abdul, swiftly followed by the rest of the party, entered through the open window and looked around. And was unimpressed, as they stood in what looked like a plain dormitory. Apart from a few straw sleeping mats and a crude table, there was nothing to see except a set of stairs going down, a door, and a large fire place. Abdul el Abdul, foiled once by the chimney, was determined to outsmart it this time.   Looking in the flue, he saw first that the ashes were ice cold; no one had lit a fire in days or weeks. He also noted the chimney extended to the lower floors, and was wide enough to scouch down if he doffed his armor. Doing so, he found on the next level a frightful room with a demon's skull and a burning red candle, all in the centre of a magic circle. On the other side he found the tattered and torn remnants of a library or study. Inching down to the ground floor, he found himself in a kitchen. Abdul el Abdul scurried back up to report to the rest of the party, who then discussed what to do next. Avoid the demon skull was the first plan. The second plan was to deal with the shadowy figure watching Ogo's shop from a nearby roof, whom Jaz had spied with her infravision while keeping watch through the window.

Rodrigo once more took the ring, climbed down to the street, then up to the roof behind the watcher. Unfortunately, in the dark and rain, the swashbuckler scuffed a foot on the shingles. The watching figure turned with a start, but the invisible Rodrigo escaped detection. When the figure turned away, Rodrigo crept up behind him and put a dagger and sword to his neck, demanding to know for whom he was working and what was going on. The gutter-rogue replied he was working for Sarzuk, Ogo's second in command, and was under orders to make sure no one got into the shop. Next to him sat a cage with a raven, with which he was supposed to summon help if he spied anyone. The bird was still there, so at least the alarm had not been raised. Rodrigo silenced the watcher with a slice of his sword, and headed back to Ogo's shop. He related what he'd learned to the rest of the party, and all decided it would be best to search quickly, grab whatever loot they could, and get out before they were caught.

Abdel el Abdul scurried back down the chimney to the ground floor, followed by Rodrigo and Kwinsea. Corvus and Jaz stayed in the attic room to keep watch. Fanning out, they quickly explored the kitchen and a storeroom, then found the front room of the shop. There, behind a counter, lay a series of strong boxes built into the wall. Kwinsea carefully took point, searching for traps and leading the three behind the counter. There they spread out, checking each strongbox for traps and locks. Unfortunately, as Abdul el Abdul checked his first strong box, the floor below him collapsed. Kwinsea quickly cast featherfall on the fighter to break his fall. On gentle landing, Abdul el Abdul found himself in a small cage. This was not too disconcerting at first, but as he waited for a rope from above, a swarm of small spiders emerged from the darkness and started to weave him in  a mass of webs. Luckily Kwinsea and Rodrigo pulled him out before he was covered too completely.

The three turned their attention once more to the strong boxes. Most were opened and unlocked and empty, but a few had traps which were avoided. In one they found a small velvet bag of gems, and in another a silver and ruby necklace. But the greatest haul was in a secret compartment found by Kwinsea; 3 flawless rubies, 4 sparkling diamonds, and a bejeweled  snake-shaped dagger. This looked like enough to cover their debt to Houl and then some, so they scooped it all up then gathered Jaz and Corvus. Under the cover of a fog cloud from Kwinsea, the exited the window and headed to meet with Houl and made the transaction. Mission completed and payoff done, they all returned to the Purple Haze to prepare for departure to the Jungle Isles.

TOTAL XP
6665

GAINS
Velvet bag containing 10 amethyst (10x100gp)
Silver and ruby necklace [paste] (5pg)
3 Rubies (3x500gp)
4 Diamonds (4x1000gp)
Jewel encrusted, serpent shaped dagger (150gp)

KILLS
One of Sarzuk's goons

LOSSES
None

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Far Isles Session # 42 - We Have the Conch!

DRAMATIS PERSONAE:
Rodrigo (Swashbuckler 3), with henchman Corvus (Fighter 1)
Kwinsea (Aquamancer 4), with familiar Hermes
Abdul el Abdul (Fighter 5), with henchman Otock (Dwarf 1)
Chaff (Vivimancer 4), familiar Pretty Bird, riding dog Puppy Whuppy
"No 7" (Halfling 2)
Aug-Wahmn (Calmonari 1)

Satyr Head
Before proceeding, Chaff rook a few moments to loot Torek's body of potentially useful magic items, ring of invisibility  and light dagger. As this was underway, a newcomer arrived amid the chaos; Awg-Wahmn, a calmonari guest of Rodrigo's recent bacchanalian brouhaha. As the new addition to the group settled in, Rodrigo lit a torch and lead the party down a wide corridor towards the sound of the running water. It led into a room covered in blue and yellow tile, with gaudy and misshaped brass ornaments on the walls. The sound emanated from a fountain in one corner, the water pouring from a bearded, leering satyrs' head, into a large basin. Abdul el Abdul strolled over the the satyr and was about to yank it off the wall when Chaff stopped him. The vivimancer had noticed hidden shelves behind the head, and proceeded to use his cantrips to lift a collection of bottles filled with scented powders and oils off the shelf and onto the floor. One would not budge, so Abdul el Abdul simply grabbed it and placed it with the rest. Meanwhile, Kwinsea poked around in the bottom of the fountain and in the drain, hoping to find a bit of lost treasure or two.  But with no luck.

Moving on, Rodrigo and Corvus once more took the lead, entering a long narrow passage. At one end was a set of stairs going down, and at the other was  the doorway leading into the High Priests wine storage. In the middle lay another room, lit by the soft glow of moonlight beaming through rounds glass windows in the domed ceiling.  The light all focused on a silver decanter which sat on a pedestal in the centre of the room.  Kwinsea, Otock and Awg-Wahmn immediately had a sense of danger and started to search from the door to the pillar for traps. They found nothing, but upon reaching the pillar noted the decanter was covered in alchemical symbols.  Awg-Wahmn glanced inside the decanter, and saw it contained a clear liquid, perhaps water, as well as droplets of distillate clinging to the sides of the neck. After much consideration and debate, the calmonari touched the water, and luckily nothing happened except a feeling of sanctification.  So Awg-Wahmn emptied his waterskin and filled it with the mystery liquid before pocketing the now empty vessel.

The Hand Print
That exploration complete, the party headed for the stairs, entering a room which chilled them with an unnatural cold. The acoustics were likewise icily sharp, the party footsteps echoing with ponderous doom as they passed through to exit a pair of archways in the south wall. These led to another domed room with a pool. Abdul el Abdul glanced into the water, observing another chamber at the bottom. This looked like a job for one of the water-breathers, so Awg-Wahmn stripped down, tied a rope around his waist, and dove in. The rest of the party immediately saw the pool fill with blood as the calmonari yanked frantically on the rope. When he emerged from the water, Awg-Wahmn was covered in long razor-like lacerations, reporting there were some sort of invisible blades around the walls of the pool. Chaff, poking around with his bone staff, confirmed the location of the blades. With the danger now known, Kwinsea dove into the water, emerging in a magically suspended column of water in a plain dungeon room.  She swam back up to report her findings, and the party started to prepare to dive down to explore. Rodrigo and Corvus first did a quick scout of this floor, to make sure they were not leaving any danger or enemies in their rear. Finding nothing but prayer spaces and a library, they returned and joined the dive. Kwninsea, meanwhile, went back to the first cold room to try figuring out what was causing the chill. As she stood in silent contemplation, a ghostly figure appeared and reached out to touch the aquamancer over her heart. The figure then disappeared as she screamed, and Kwinsea immediately felt as if a heavy load had been placed on her shoulders. Further investigation also showed a golden hand print was now burned into the skin over her heart.

Now donewith this level, a series of ropes were strung to allow easy travel down the water column to the lower level.  Once gathered below, everyone felt a sense of sinister foreboding in the air, and resolved to search quickly for the conch. They were also well aware that time was running short if they wanted to emerge from the temple before sunrise sent it back to the dream-realms. The party swiftly passed through a room with another fountain, a large chamber with eight sealed stone wells, a room of junk storage, and several seemingly empty rooms. They at last entered yet anther domed room decorated in yellow and blue tile. A second archway opened into a dimly lite room filled with a scattering of treasures.  Kwinsea, Otock and Awg-Wahmn once more started to search the entrance for traps, but Chaff, Rodrigo and Corvus decided to carefully huge to edge of the passage to get into the treasure room. But found themselves instead in an identical blue and yellow domed room, which looked back on the treasure room and their companions on the far side. They had somehow passed through  the treasure room without stopping.

Meanwhile, the trap-searchers had not turned up any danger, but Kwinsea did read an inscription on the floor. It stated "MAY ONLY THE LIGHT OF YOUR PURPOSE LEAD".  After some thought and discussion, the party decided to cover their light sources and try entering the treasure room again. This time it worked, and all found themselves safely in the room.  A golden pattern of watchful eyes covered the black dome overhead. The room was lit by an amber glow from a basin of fluid in the centre, which also contained some red and gold fish.  Around the basin lay many objects, including:
  • six heavy silver decanters;
  • a large iron bound chest;
  • three sets of blue plate mail on stands;
  • a scimitar in a mother-of-pearl scabbard;
  • a series of glass prisms on a brass table;
  • a small yellowish box made of some unknown substance; and
  • a gold and silver gilded conch.
The Eyes
Although everyone was eager to grab the conch and other treasure, the building sense of oppression made them wary. Awg-Wahmn used aquatic telepathy to 'speak' with the fish in the basin. He received from his piscean friends a sense that overwhelming malevolence, doom and terror awaited them if they lingered. That got action. Focusing first on the conch, Chaff tried to cantrip it off its pedestal, but with no success. The party was then hit with a feeling of sharp pressure and a metallic taste in their mouths, adding to the sense of oppression. Feeling the need to move fast, Rodrigo used his sword to knock the conch into a sack held by Corvus. Everyone then headed at full speed out of the treasure room. Abdul el Abdul grabbed the scimitar on the way, and Chaff doubled back to grab the strange box. As he was leaving the treasure room with his loot, however, the little vivimancer felt an overwhelming force, as if he was being pulled apart limb from limb. He stumbled back to the entry room to join the rest of the party, and they started to discuss how to get the rest of the treasure.  They didn't talk long, however, as Rodrigo now experienced the same rending force as Chaff, quickly followed by Otock being torn to shreds and scattered about the room by the same force. That got everyone moving, and FAST! Without pause, the party rushed back to the water column, swam back up to ground level, recovered Torak's body, and ran out of the temple just as the eastern sky was brightening with the rising of the sun. They watched for a while as the image of the temple began to waver, before finally disappearing in the first rays of sunlight to leave just the ruined and deserted plaza once more.

TOTAL XP
1390

GAINS
6 bottles of bath salts (6 x4 0gp)
5 bottles of bath oil (5 x 30gp)
1 botle of magical bath oil
silver decanter covered in alchemical symbols (500gp)
Scimitar in a mother-of-pearl scabbard (500gp for scabbard)
Weird yellowish box (containing two laser pistols and 3 extra power packs)
THE CONCH!

KILLS
none

LOSSES
Otock

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Far Isles Session # 41 - "Give Us the Conch!"

DRAMATIS PERSONAE:
Rodrigo (Swashbuckler 3), with henchman Corvus (Fighter 1)
Kwinsea (Aquamancer 4), with familiar Hermes
Abdul el Abdul (Fighter 5), with henchman Otock (Dwarf 1)
Chaff (Vivimancer 4), familiar Pretty Bird, riding dog Puppy Whuppy, henchman "No 7" (Halfling 2)
Torak (Cleric 4)

With everyone back in Xin, Torak now rejoined the party to inform them that the proper time had come to delve into the phantasmal Temple of the Sea Demon and recover the conch of the sea demon for the Drowned God. The moon and the stars would be just right a few nights hence. Which left just enough time for Rodrigo, flush with cash and martial vigor, to rent the “Hangman and Witch” for a big party with all his friends and a whole lot of other people who just showed up. Including a few non-friendly types, such as the two cloaked and daggered figures who tried to shank Corvus in the alley. Luckily, they were somewhat inept assassins, as the beefy fighter heard them approach and stabbed one in the face, while the other fled into the night.  Examining the body in the moonlight, Corvus noted that the man had a faint circle tattooed on his forehead.

The Party
Meanwhile, back inside the tavern, the party had gotten a little out of control. Somewhere in the ruckus, Rodrigo was trying to do swashbuckley things with the candles in the chandelier. And in his drunken state, dropped a handful of lit candles in the straw on the floor. The ensuing conflagration burnt the decrepit old tavern to the ground, and by morning nothing was left but smoldering cinders. The remaining revelers didn’t seem aware that Rodriogo was responsible, but a few noted a man had made a circuit of the crowd watching the tavern burned, whispering sly hints that he knew who was responsible. The mystery man had disappeared by the time The Purple and fire watch arrived. A few wags in the area noted burning the place wasn’t a bad idea; at least it took care of the rats that infested the place.

Abdul el Abdul's New Armor
The party quietly nursed their hangovers throughout the day, and then buckled on their armor (including Abdul el Abdul in the fancy new armor looted from the Cha'nrk Marshal Commandant) and weapons when night fell. Following the directions provided by the Temple of Brall, the party weaved their way through back alleys until they reached an abandoned plaza. There was no-one about, but in the centre stood a slightly mirage-like black, boxy structure.  There was no visible entrance or window, except at the base of the dome that formed one end of the temple. There, faint light leaked out through a pillared opening. With Torak and Abdul el Abdul in the lead, the party headed for the light. Reaching the entrance, they glanced inside, spying a large pool which filled most of the space. Apart from a circular stairwell that curved up the wall and another pillared opening, the main point of interest was the man standing next to the pool. Dressed in charcoal robes and with face hidden, he noted Torak and Abdul el Abdul in the entrance and challenged them: “Who dares enter the sanctuary of the Sea Demon without leave? Identify yourselves!”  Abdul el Abdul stumbled out am innocuous reply, while Torak identified himself as a priest of the temple of Brall. With that revelation, the figures straightened, and he shouted “Heretic! Worshiper of the false human aspect of the Sea Demon! Feel the wrath of the depths!” The priest stared to chant, and a cloud of mist arose from the pool, filling most of the room and blocking the party’s view.  Rushing forward, those near the front of the line moved around the edge of the room to where the priest had stood. There, they found him in the process of turning and running out through the other pillared entrance. He didn’t make it, as Kwinsea used command rope to tie his feet, while Abdul el Abdul took advantage of his immobility to hack him to death.

Taking a momentary breather, the party decided to head up the stairs. With Abdul el Abdul once more in the lead (and Kwinsea standing guard at the back, watching for any intrusion through the pillared opening), the party climbed quickly. At the top was a door of black wood, which the fighter easily opened. On the other side was a narrow, rail-less span which arced though the night sky to a second door in the other half of the temple. Carefully, the fighter crossed the span, giving everyone else the signal to follow when he reached the other side unscathed.  Once everyone had gathered behind him, the fighter once more proved his worth as a door opener and barged through the portal and into a room on the other side.

The High Priest
At first glance, the room was largely empty, except for a pile of pillows in one corner and a long curtain draped across one side.  On the pillows lay another priest, somewhat better dressed than the last, laying back and smoking a water pipe. Startled he jumped up as the party barged in, each one yelling “Give us the Conch!!” as they charged upon the confused man. He didn’t stay confused for long, breathing a cloud of mist at Chaff that paralyzing the vivmancer and his riding hound. A flurry of attacks followed as the priest cast another spell, yelled for help, and then died under a flurry of blows. There was a short lull as Torak cast a cure spell on Chaff to release him from paralysis, and others had a quick look behind the curtain and around the room to make sure there were no other surprises waiting.

The surprise instead came through the same door they’d entered, which now burst open and a pack of priests rushed in with tridents at the ready. The priests slashed wildly, drawing much blood. Focusing many of their attacks on the heretical Torak, they dealt the cleric the hand of death. Meanwhile, Chaff melded two of the priests together, and the rest of the party fought back furiously with sword and axe and trident and pistol. As the priests started to fall, one facing off against Corvus managed to bull rush past the big fighter and dove into the pillows on the floor, frantically trying to reach something below them. He never reached whatever he was looking for, as Corvus decapitated the man with a mighty swing of his two-handed sword. At about the same time, the two melded priests disengaged and shuffled towards the door. They made good progress considering their impediment, but Rodrigo chased them out onto the bridge. He stabbed one to death, and as the body fell over the edge, it dragged it’s still melded companion with him to a screaming death below.  

Back inside the room, Torak's remains were gently laid in a few pillows to be dealt with later, and everyone started searching the space. Corvus pushed the pillows aside and found a trap door hidden beneath them. Kwinsea when to check behind the curtain, and found crates, barrels and amphorae filled with wine (a bottle of which she pocketed). There was also a door, at which Abdul el Abdul and Otock had a listen, but heard nothing. Corvus also noted a series of niches in the wall behind the pillows, each holding a grotesquely misshapen lead figure.  Chaff and No 7 went through the opening in the north wall, where they found a low table surrounded by more pillows. On the table was a silver censer and an ewar of wine, plus a mass of papers. Reading a few, Chaff discovered these described a hidden dream city that existed parallel and opposition to Xin, sections of which could be reached through one's dreams. There was not enough detail to tell you how to do so, and it certainly did read like the ravings of a madman.  But C|haff pocketed them just the same

Two additional exits led out of this room, so Chaff led a group to check out one and Rodrigo headed for the other. Chaff found a small room containing a shallow font filled with water. Three tiny vials sat on the rim, arranged in a triangular formation. While Kwinsea checked for secret doors, Chaff sniffed each of the vials. One smelled familiar, but the vivimancer couldn't quite place it. Regardless, he pocketed all three for later examination and/or use. Rodrigo meanwhile, glanced into a wide empty hall. The swashbuckler heard nothing, but caught the sound of running water somewhere ahead ...

TOTAL XP
1200 (Rodrigo)
1114

GAINS
3gp, 1sp
silver censer (140gp)
A bottle of fine wine (30gp)
3 unideitifed potions (?)
A whole bunch of tridents

KILLS
9 Lesser Priests of the Sea Demon
1 High Priest of the Sea Demon

LOSSES
Torak

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Far Isles Session #40 - The Pale Lady

DRAMATIS PERSONAE:
Kwinsea (Aquamancer 4), with familiar Hermes and henchman Jaz (Elf 1)
Abdul el Abdul (Fighter 5), with henchman Otock (Dwarf 1)
Chaff (Vivimancer 4), familiar Pretty Bird, and henchman "No 7" (Halfling 1)

Pushing on, the party continued up the winding river, having to make a few decisions along the way about which channel to follow. Late in the afternoon, as they were coming upon another branch in the river, they first had to deal with a threat from above. As they passed under a grove of overhanging swamp cypress, three black snakes dropped onto the boat and raft. One each landed on Kwinsea and Jaz. The aquamancer escaped with just a small scratch, but the one on the elf bit deep and injected venom. Jaz dropped like a stone, frothing at the mouth. Kwinsea jumped in the water to avoid getting bitten again, and Chaff used instinct to force all three serpents to flee into the river. Otock bravely jumped from raft to boat, and successfully sucked the poison from the fallen elf, leaving her limp but hanging to life.

Fire Pig
When that ruckus died down, the party was forced to once more make a choice about direction. The northernmost channel became quite shallow, with mudbanks and sandbanks making it a difficult stream to navigate. It was also teeming with crocodiles. Chaff sent Pretty Bird aloft to scout, and the bird reported back with a bewildering array of possible paths ahead. In the end, the party decided to take the widest channel, which led to the west. They did not go far, however, as night was falling. Finding a suitable spot, they pulled the raft and boat up on a bank and got ready to kindle a fire. Before they could do much, they saw a small canoe come around the bend, silhouetted against the setting sun. Everyone went silent, and waited to see what danger approached. It turned out to be three men and a pig, the porcine occupant hogtied and with a heavy leather bag over its head. The men seemed to be talking about hunting or searching for something, and were headed back to Xin after having no luck in their search.  At this point, Abdul el Abdul shouted a challenge. The three men turned with  start, and the pig let out a low squeal. Relived to see there was no immediate danger, but still quite vary, the three (Jaro, Murl and Goz)  fell into conversation with the party. They remained coy when questioned about what they were doing here in the back swamps. And everyone was quite curious about the pig. They were told it was a decoy, and when pressed about the hood, Jarro whipped it off the creatures head for a demonstration. Under the hood was a regular boars head, but when it opened it's mouth, a gout of fire shot out. This was no regular pig. The three men were obviously quite knowledgeable about these swamps, so Chaff tried to convince them to join up with the party. When they showed no interest in this proposal, the party instead pumped them for information on the swamp and The Pale Lady. The swamp, they learned, was crawling with chameleon-men, crocodiles and pteranodon. Of the Pale Lady, they knew nothing. But did mention a weird spot further upriver, populated by midget adventurers in the services of some 'lady'. Pleasantries complete, the 'hunters' continued on, tracked for a while by Pretty Bird, who learned they were looking for plants or something similar.

After an uneventful night, the party pushed out into the stream once more and continued on their way. There were fewer channels now, and the land was getting higher and drier as they approached mountains on the horizon. They passed a chain of ox-bow lakes that seemed to lead north, but elected to continue along the river instead.This proved to be a poor choice when they were attacked again, this time by a band of chameleon-men who dropped on them from the trees above. The chameleon-men tried to take a captive using nets, but the party's swords and a meld flesh spell from Chaff ended that plan, leaving two of them dead on the deck, and the rest fleeing through then trees. 

Just a few hours later, they finally poled the raft to their destination. Off on the left bank, a man-made canal joined the river, and waiting there in the tall grass were two tiny figures. Dressed and equip as adventurers, but only 2' tall, the pair challenged  the party in their high squeaky voices. Once informed of the delivery from Bellephrone, the pair waved the raft and boat down the canal. It led into a long narrow bayou, at the end of which stood a massive cypress. Height-wise, it was impressive but not particularly notable. The roots, however, spread wide and high, formed a large entrance leading under the tree. As it was dry ground under the roots, the party carried the box ashore and headed deep into the tangle. It didn't take long before they came to a shimmering curtain of light, like sunlight reflecting off a spray of water. Chaff cautiously pushed his staff through the curtain, and it came back unharmed. That made the party feel a little safer, so they marched straight through. To their surprise, they found themselves standing in a field of flowers under bright sunlight. Scattered throughout the fields were pairs of the midget-adventurers, overseeing strange emaciated rabbit-creatures that were tending the flowers. At the end of the field stood a structure, a series of interconnected domes formed out of rose briers. Intercepted once more by midget-adventurers, the party stated their purpose and were directed to see "The Lady" in the brier structure.

Entrance to the Realm of the Pale Lady
The party came to a pair of bronze bound wooden doors guarded by a pair of midget-adventurers. These opened the portals and let the party inside, where they found a most unusual sight. In the centre of the room, flanked by more midget-adventurers, was The Pale Lady. White of skin, hair, and even eyes, she sat on a cascading throne of water, wearing nothing but a crown of thrones. Haughtily and sharply, she demanded to know their business. Informed of their burden, she accepted the box from Bellephrone, "the one who sees all in the Isles", and then brusquely ordered them out. Chaff engaged the frightful lady in conversation, asking if there might be some boon for fulfilling their task. First of all insisting that 'the cattle' (Abdul el Abdul, Otock, No 7) leave, she did deign to engage Kwinsea, and especially Chaff, in a terse conversation. She offered a boon, either a look in her mirror (which would allow them to locate anything they desired in the world), or teaching a spell. Or a chance to learn the word of creation, which she frankly did not recommend, noting that mere mortals cold not handle the power. In the end, Chaff and Kwinsea took the easy route, and choose to learn a spell. While they discussed which of them would accept the boon, the Lady spoke again. She offered to teach a second spell, in return for Chaff spending the night with her. That sounded OK to him, so while Kwinsea bedded down in the audience chamber and the rest of the party in the fields, Chaff spent the night with a fairy goddess ...

The Pale Lady
... and awoke in the morning, in a haze reminiscent of cheap wine and expensive perfume, to find that she was very visibly pregnant! And not interested in further companionship; she taught the spells to Kwinsea and Chaff, and then abruptly forced them to leave. Picking up Abdul el Abdul, Otock, and No 7 on the way, everyone trudged silently back to raft and boat for the journey back.

The journey back was largely uneventful, until the pteranodon attacked just before they reached the ruined fort where Rodrigo, Corvus and Captain Solond awaited. The prehistoric creature dove from the sky and at the raft, which everyone was frantically trying to get in under the trees for protection. After a few unsuccessful passes, the boat and raft were safely hidden, and the creature had been pummeled with missile fire and rope work by Kwinsea. It crashed into the water, and as it flailed about and tried to rise back into the sky, a final burst of missile fire finished it off.

The rest of the journey was likewise uneventful. They transported Captian Soland and several of his men back to the Palace of the Faceless Inquisitor in Xin, where the officer arranged for more transport to go back and get his men. The party, meanwhile, scattered again about their respective urban business:
  • Chaff went looking for apprentice mages, so he could get them drunk and drain some blood (to pay for the spells he wanted from the vivimancer Volana).  He was successful, but took too much blood from one poor fellow. He was on his way to dying of shock until Chaff forced a potion of healing down his throat, before rolling the unconscious mage into the alley with his companion;
  • Chaff and No 7 then went on a bender, the vivmancer to wipe the memories of his night with the Pale Lady from his brain, and No 7 to celebrtae being out of the gods-forsaken swamp.  Chaff ended up arrested for some bad prank involving removing someones toe and putting in their drink. But thanks to the intervention of Captain Solond, got away with just a small fine. No. 7 ended up with a tattoo of "Smoke if You Got 'Em" with  a rather limp and phallic looking stogy beneath;
  • Kwinsea also went looking for spells, hopefully without having to sacrifice anyone. She did track down a scruffy, smelly old aquamancer on the docks who agree to teach her in return for gold and a live octopus. Gold delivered, but octopus still to come. 
  • Abdul el Abdul was the sober one this time, and went looking for rumors of the "San Lorenzo" and the shape shifting Captain Moncada. He found out that the ship was in port and captain-less, Higo de Moncada having disappeared just after they delivered their dinosaur captive to a buyer in the Decadent Menagerie
The party also hit the taverns to hunt down rumors of the Far Isles:

  • A new archipelago had been discovered and was open for exploration to the north-east. Well populated by humans, and overrun by pirates. And a dragon in the service of the pirates. 
  • Several vessels were still plying the Jungle Isles to the south, bringing back dinosaur parts and outlandish treasure. And leaving behind a few lost ships and men.
  • One drunk sailor, who claimed to be a former crew member from the "Waverunner", told them of a miles' wide cluster of sea stacks, grottoes, and arches, studded with secret shrines, hidden treasure vaults, and walls of gems. And something about pink fluffy unicorns, so who knows if he's talking the truth ...
TOTAL XP
426

GAINS
A few new spells, courtesy of The Pale Lady

KILLS
2 chameleon-men
1 Pteranodon

LOSSES
Jaz (temporarily)