Monday, November 28, 2016

Far Isles Session #51 - Boarding Action!

Rodrigo (Swashbuckler 4), with henchman Corvus (Fighter 2)
Kwinsea (Aquamancer 4), with familiar Hermes and henchman Jaz (Elf 1)
Chaff (Vivimancer 5), with familiar PrettyBird and riding dog PuppyWhuppy
Abdul el Abdul (Fighter 4)
Aug Wahmn (Calmonari 2)
Torak (Cleric 4) [NPC]

The party picked over the barrels and crates, all of which they recognized as coming from the "Purple Haze". Turning over one barrel, Chaff found a short note carved  in the side: 'attacked, fleeing, send message when back'. Well, that didn't tell them much they hadn't already learned from the octopus, but at least they had some supplies. Since Pretty Bird hadn't seen anything, Chaff decided to summon the ebony fly, and he and Kwinsea headed off to do a wider sweep of the area to look for their lost ship. Meanwhile, the rest of the party set up camp and started gathering wood to build a signal fire if that became necessary (Rodrigo narrowly missing getting stung by giant centipedes as he rooted through the underbrush).

Chaff and Kwinsea headed east from the cove, towards a trio of small islands on the other side of the sound. One was dominated by a tall tower of rock, behind which the sharp eyed Kwinsea spied a mast. Chaff brought the fly in low over the spire, and as he did they could see a man jump out of a dead tree, run towards to edge of the spire and start shouting. As the fly buzzed past him and over the edge, Chaff and Kwinsea could see a ship hiding in the lee of the isle. It was not the "Purple Haze", but the battered "Loreman's Passage". They also saw bustling activity on the deck below, as sailors started to raise sail, and a half dozen crossbowmen raised their weapons and fired on the flying spies. Both Chaff and Kwinsea were stuck by multiple bolts, so they quickly turned away and beat back towards the rest of the party. As they crossed the sound, they could see the "Loreman's Passage" coming around the small isle and then settling in to patrol the waters rather than pursue their flying foes.

Jungle Trek
After stopping to inform the rest of the party of what had happened (and to get a few cures from Torak), Chaff and Kwinsea jumped on the fly once more to scout the western edge of the Mandaro-Shanti island. At the southern tip there was a small islet separated from the main island by a narrow passage. It was overhung by trees and vines, but the sharp eyed Kwinsea once more spied a mast in the mess. Dropping to the deck, they were thrilled to find the "Purple Haze" waiting for them. The crew was likewise happy to see them, and Lynessa filled them in on the details of their escape.With the fly now exhausted for the day, Chaff sent PrettyBird back to the rest of the party with the news, and instructed them to move over land where the island was narrowest so they could meet the "Purple Haze" without the "Loreman's Passage" knowing they'd all rejoined their ship. Luckily, Abdul el Abdul, Rodrigo, Awg Wahmn, Torak, Corvus and Jaz were able to chop their way through the jungle overnight without getting lost or eaten by some large jungle beast.

With everyone now on board, the party burned with a desire for revenge on the "Loreman's Passage" and the band of ruffians who were running the ship. Unfortunately, the day dawned with heavy rain followed by thick fog, and they couldn't see much further than the end of the bowsprit. Lynessa slowly and carefully brought the  "Purple Haze" around the island and anchored at the entrance to the sound to wait out the weather. Thankfully, the next day dawned clear and bright, so they  raised sail and looped around the outer isles to come up on the last known location of the "Loreman's Passage" from behind. And luckily, they found their foe in much the same place as they'd left her two days ago. The party had Lynessa and the crew crowd on as much sail as possible; the "Loreman's Passage" did likewise, coming around and raising sail. The party, meanwhile, loaded up the catapult. Once in range, they let loose, aiming for the rigging and mast to try slowing down the approaching ship.  In this they were successful, but the two vessels were still closing fast. On the fore-deck of the "Loreman's Passage" stood the five adventurers, while in the rigging were a half dozen crossbowmen. As soon as they were in range, the party loosed a hail of pistol and bow shot, all of which missed. Chaff then cast instinct on one of the adventurers, who turned in a rage to attack one of his companions! Jaz followed with a sleep spell, which dropped most of the crew (cracking a few skulls on the deck as they fell from the rigging), which caused the ship the shudder and sway as it started to loose steerage. Finally, Kwinsea used tidal force to push all but one of the adventurers across the deck and over the rail into the sea. The three armored fighters sank like a stone and were not seen again,  but a pair of lightly encumbered men saved themselves and were left treading water.

Rodrigo, Ho!
As the two ships passed each other, Awg Wahmn dove in to take the surrender of the two in the water. The rest of the party tried to board the "Loreman's Passage", but were unable to get safely aboard the wildly swaying ship. It took some time to get the "Purple Haze" turned about to pursue, but the battered "Loreman's Passage" didn't have a chance. Coming alongside this time, Rodrigo swung from his perch in the crowsnest into the rigging of the  "Loreman's Passage", cutting down one of the men-at-arms stationed there. The rest of the party jumped the railing and rushed the last adventurer and the men at-arms. There was a short fight, but in the end all surrendered. That didn't save Rolf, the last adventurer, as Abdul el Abdul cut him down anyway. The party did accept the surrender of the rest of the men-at-arms as well as of the ship itself. They found their old companion,  Rold the erstwhile first mate, in charge of the ship. And likewise recognized the handful of crew who remained alive. After some discussion, it was decided that the men-at-arms would be pressed into helping crew the "Loreman's Passage", Lynessa's first mate would take over as captain, and both Rold and the magic user Dorban (one of those rescued from the water by Awg Wahmn)  would be kept prisoner on the "Purple Haze".

Meanwhile, Kwinsea and Awg Wahmn dove down to recover the bodies of the drowned adventurers, but were successful in finding just one in the deep water. From the body they recovered a handful of magical crossbow bolts, as well as a collection of gold bangles. They also relieved Dorban of his gold bangles and spell book, and gagged the magic user just in case. The party also flipped through the "Loreman's Passage" log and took down some notes on the location of the "Temple of the Sea Mother". They learned from Rold and the crew that the adventurers hadn't done much exploring of the "Temple", they being content mostly with attacking and robbing the other parties returning from the dungeons. But as far as they knew, no one had yet recovered the great pearl, the Egg of the Sea other.

After hauling the "Loreman's Passage" ashore for a few days to make repairs, the party decided to head towards the large island to the south and take up their half-forgotten plan to capture a dinosaur. Approaching the island, they observed a rocky and mountainous shore  to the west, and thick jungle and swamp to the east. The mountains came right down to the sea and offered no anchorage, but there was one cove which was less rugged, as well as a few locations along the jungle shore that looked promising ...


Pile of gold bangles (1200gp)
7 crossbow bolts +1
potion of climbing
Spellbook - 1/Sleep, 1/Read Magic, 1/Shield, 1/Magic Aura, 2/Scare, 2/Web, 2/Stinking Cloud 
A slightly battered "Loreman's Passage"
5 men-at arms and 1 magic user (Dorban) captured  

'The Dudes' - Martlet, Gusso, Breen & Rolf
1 man-at-arms


Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Far Isles Session #50 - Spiders and Suprises

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

As Chaff, No 7 and the menagerie ran in to join them, the party moved through the ruined east wall , finding a chamber with an empty pool at the centre. Looking around, they observed a mosaic on the wall they'd through which they'd come, showing what appeared to be the gatehouse with the city in the background. Abdul el Abdul looked really hard and squinted, and realized that scattered throughout the background were half hidden images of room walls opening and revealing hidden rooms or passages. But the mosaic was such a ruined jumble it wasn't really clear, so Kwinsea cast her reversed erosion spell to restore the crumbled artwork. It was then clear that the secret doors/walls were linked by faint red lines to the well and the palace, although the exact terminus of the lines was not clear.

Spider Attack!
Having learned all their fooling around in the well might have had some effect after all, the party moved on to loot some more. In the surrounding corridors, they found a pair of circular stairwells going down, and a pair of straight stairs going up.  They checked one stairwell and determined it descended deeper than the first level of the dungeon. Before descending, however, the consensus was to finish exploring above ground first. Climbing up, the party emerged onto the ruined balcony, they searched through destroyed furniture and stirge nests , finding a few coins and lapis lazuli gems for their efforts.  Moving on, they entered the northern side of another balcony, which overlooked the large entry chamber on the first floor. On the far side of the balcony was an open doorway which appeared to lead into some chambers. The party headed that way, and when they reach the opening and looked in, found a room covered in large, thick webs. And then heard the scurrying of many feet approaching from the inside. Abdul el Abdul and No 7 took up position in the doorway, the fighter wielding the mighty Terminaxe and the halfling a brace of laser pistols. They never had the opportunity to use them, however, as the spiders scurried out of the webs and sank a poisoned bite into each. Both fell to the floor, foaming at the mouth and twitching before finally stopping stone dead. A flurry of flighting from the rest of the party took out a few spiders, but others could be heard approaching. Kwinsea hauled out her wand of fear and sent the arachnids scurrying out through a hole in the wall and into the ruined city below.

Sadly putting their fallen aside for now, they remaining party members looted a trio of web-filled rooms. One was a ruined bedchamber with nothing of interest but some inlaid gems in the rotting bed frame. In the other room were six tall wardrobes, containing a mix of giant spider eggs (quickly destroyed), a larder of dead animals wrapped in webs, and the body of a dead warrior treated the same. They relieved the dead warrior of his few coins, then opened the last wardrobe to find a massive mirror of magnificent workmanship. They laid this alongside their fallen for later collection before heading west to explore the rest of this floor.

First encountered was a long narrow chamber with a lapis lazuli decorated bronze throne at each end. On each sat a skeletal form, clad only in tattered rags. Kwinsea entered the room with the intent of prying out the gems. As she did so, the aquamancer was barely able to resist the urge to sit on one of the thrones herself. She was also finding it increasingly difficult to breath, so Torak cast a delay poison on her so she could get on with the looting. While she was doing so, Awg Wahmn went to check one of the other hallways leading beyond the room of thrones. In it he found an odd sight; a series of stones floating in mid air with similar stones scattered on the floor. Chaff came up and poked at one, which wobbled back and forth a bit before coming to rest in it's original place. Meanwhile Rodrigo and Corvus explored another hallway, which led to a large bronze door carved with the image of a woman lying in repose. On either side was a large censor out of which billowed a thick, yellow, acrid smoke. They went back to get the poison-poof Kwinsea to have a closer look. The door was solid and had no obvious handle; it looked like it needed some battering or other brute force to get it open. So the censors were covered with sacks to keep down the smoke level, and Corvus came up to help her get the door open. After much hacking for little effect (and some inhalation damage fro Corvus), the aquamancer attached  a rope to the door, and the collective strength of the party was able to haul in down, with a resounding 'thud' as it hit the floor.

Scarab Broach
Beyond the door was a tiny 10' chamber. A fire pit sat in the centre, a tiny barred window opened the outside at the far end, and a low stone bench lay to each side. Under each bench was a small stone coffer. These the party hauled away from the area of yellow smoke, and then broke them open. In one was a beautiful gold and tourmaline scarab broach, and a plain and smooth black stone. In the other was a demonic bronze mask and a small, sealed ceramic jar. All these items were scooped up, and the party headed for the circular stairs, to check out what further treasure lay down below.

After a few twists and turns, the party found themselves in a large room lined with bas-reliefs of what appeared to be warrior kings of Mandaro-Shanti. In front of each, carved in the floor, was a hieroglyphic. Kwinsea consulted her language notes and determined the glyphs were names, probably of the kings depicted. She stood in front of one, then another, and spoke the name as best she could. But nothing seemed to happen. Meanwhile, Chaff and a few others moved off to check another corridor, which led to a room with a massive press. Stacked against the walls were ingots of metal; gold, silver, copper and bronze. After a closer look, Chaff discovered the press was for minting coins. He called over the burly Corvus, and with his help placed an ingot of copper on the plates, which the fighter then transformed into monkey-embossed coinage with a hard turn of the press. Impressed, Chaff decided he wanted all the cold and silver turned into monkey coinage before the party moved on.

When done, the party did indeed move along.  Following a twisting corridor, they next came to a room with a blazing pit of fire in the centre. The heat was intense, and the party had to run quickly through to the opposite exit to avoid getting too crisped. Continuing on, they next emerged into a room which Torak immediately recognized. This was one of the rooms he'd explored before, with the five statues;
  • One of black volcanic rock depicting an evil looking human-like creature with six arms with tusked mouth. It held a skeleton in two of its arms, a corpse in two of its arms, and its last two hands were empty; 
  • Bronze statue of a seated humanoid creature with four arms. It held a baby in two arms, and a cow in each of the other two hands;
  • Clay statue of a fat sitting human with the head of a crocodile, holding an axe;
  • Wooden statue of a standing woman with the head of a long-beaked bird, very long fingers and hair that reached to her bare feet; and
  • Grey stone statue of a four armed human figure with the head of a gazelle. In one hand wass a bolt of lightning in one hand, a cloud in another, and a large ornate black basin in its lap.
Torak approached the gazelle statue to examine the bowl. As he did, a thunderous, bubbling voice spoke, saying “I am Cho-Oda, protector of the jungles; begone from my presence, mortal vermin, carriers of plague and madness. You have cursed me, and I shall take my revenge upon you and all your filthy kind.” At that point, a black oozy mass began to rise from the bowl and prepared to lash out at Torak. He and the rest of the party, however, had had enough a this point, and turned and fled from the wrath of Cho-Oda.

Stopping just long enough to collect Abdul el Abdul and No 7, the party trekked back through the jungle to rendezvous with the "Purple Haze". Unfortunately, when they arrived, their ship was gone. A small collection of barrels and crates lay on the strand. Chaff sent Pretty Bird aloft to look about, but the bird could see nothing of the ship or anything else of import in the immediate area. Kwinsea dove into the cove and tracked down an octopus. She cast charm aquatic animal on the tentacled beast, and it revealed that a second 'man-shell' had arrived and driven off the first, just a day or so ago.  Well, now what. At least Chaff found the missing  "death" hachimaki which he used to bring Abdul el Abdul back one more time ...


5 lapis lazuli gems (5x 10gp)
Collection of lapis lazuli furniture decoration (550gp)
Collection of gold and lapis lazuli bits and bobs (320gp)
Gems pried from cursed thrones (110gp)
Gold and gem scarab (2000gp)
Small ceramic jar, sealed
1200gp & 2100sp of newly minted coins
Fancy mirror (1000gp)
Bronze demon mask
Luckstone +1

4 Giant Spiders

Abdul el Abdul
No. 7