Monday, April 30, 2018

Far Isles Session # 84 - Goodbye, Land of the Silver Lotus; Coral Cays, Ho!

Wilhelm (Musketeer 2)
Torak (Cleric 6)
Chaff (Vivimancer 6), with familiar Pretty Bird and riding dog Puppy Whuppy
Kwinsea (Aquamancer 6), with familiar Hermes

Whether related to the power of the stone circle or not, Awg felt a sudden urge to begin the annual calmonari molting cycle. He/she begged Chaff for the use of the fly to get back to the sea for a few days to go through the process. The little vivmancer grudgingly let him borrow the magic item, which some time latter returned with Torak in tow. The cleric then joined his comrades in trying to decipher the riddle of the stones. The party pitched a variety of other flora and fauna into the bare patch of dirt; the flora withered and died, while the fauna fled. Chaff then dug around inside the patch, finding a variety of exceedingly old bone fragments. Torak, examining the dark stains on the rock, suddenly whipped out his dagger and sliced open his hand, dripping his blood over the tentacle stone. That provoked a response, as a mist started to rise from the ground, gradually coalescing into the faint image of tentacles. This didn't last, however, and the mirage faded as quickly as it appeared. The cleric tried the same with the circle and dagger stones, with similar tentacled results. Discussing it with his companions, the cleric figured a greater sacrifice was needed to unlock the power of the stones. No one seemed willing the volunteer, so the party decided to camp for the night (some distance away from the stones, of course). 

Next morning, they headed back to the ruined city to explore a few of the other more intact parts of the ruins. They bypassed the main gate with its vine-dangling skeletons, and headed for the curved wall of some decayed arena or amphitheater Chaff had seen in his earlier aerial reconnaissance. The wall looked to be barely standing, liable to fall over at any point. The party kept away from the base, at least until the sharp eyed Kwinsea spied a booted foot sticking out from behind a pile of stones. Approaching cautiously, the party found the remains of a campsite with seven bodies scattered about. They were all horribly mangled, in the advanced stages of decay, and obviously dead for months at least. They were not dressed as natives, and several had the weirdly blue-tinged skin of the abandoned swamp pygmy's prisoner.  Everyone started to root around, finding mainly a variety of rotting and rusted gear. They did luck out with a little treasure, all in unfamiliar coinage. There was also  an oilskin satchel, inside which they found a crude book. It looked to be stitched together from a variety of scraps of paper, pages from other volumes, and so on. By luck Chaff was able to read the writing, it being similar to a language he'd encountered in past days of researching forbidden ancient lore. It was a travel log of sorts, telling of a voyage from some land a week or so to the north. The dead party (presumably) had traveled here in a small sailing boat, but ended up wrecked on the reefs at the eastern edges of the Isles of the Silver Lotus. After a brief time at the village of Barana as guests of King Tiku, they'd heard stories of the lost city and the Forbidden Mountain, and had made their way there to find fame and fortune. At that point the narrative ended. 

Chaff then started flipping through the backs of the pages and found something of greater interest to the party; mention of Empyrius! A half page of text talked of Empyrius (and other 'Adonians') as gods who walked among men, who had taught men the arts and sciences to raise the great realm of the warrior Terocolids. And frustratingly, that was about it. However, the fact that it was written in the same language as the travel journal gave them a hint. Looks like the party was going to be heading north! Kwinsea, referring to her maps,  then noted that that direction and distance would put them to generally the same area as shown on the map taken from Ondry the wereshark. At least they knew one possible danger. 

Before heading out on the high seas again however, the party had a few other stops to make. First, Torak animated a half dozen of the fallen travelers as his new skeletal legion. Then, everyone trudged back to the mausoleum. After a little more fruitless poking about, they tried their nuclear option: summoning the instant fortress to crush the structure. To their surprise, the fortress simply toppled over, causing nary a scratch to the mausoleum. Frustrated with the lack of success, the party rested for the night in the ruin, then headed back to the waterfall and subsequently the "No Man's Sea". The crew of which were not happy to have Torak's new friends on board. It took some convincing, and a promise that the skeletons would take over scrubbing the deck, before the crew grudgingly accepted their new undead mates. Meanwhile, while the crew got the "No Man's Sea' ready to sail, Kwinsea and Torak (as a shark thanks to the shark spear) went searching for more treasure at the base of the waterfall. It was slim pickings, and nearly fatal for Kwinsea. The pair rather easily fought off a ghostly underwater apparition, but Kwinsea ended up disturbing a massive octopus that nearly flayed the skin from her bones. A well timed bite from Torak-shark scared the thing away, and Kwnisea decided she's had enough of diving for trinkets.   

At a council of war, the party decided their best bet going forward in search of Empyrius would be to have a guide. So plans were hatched to return to the swamp pygmy village and rescue Korun the blue-man, under the assumption he hailed from the same place as the ex-adventuring party who were now scrubbing the ship. And their plan was pretty much the same as before; Chaff and the fly would go in while invisible and snatch the captive. Now that they knew the village layout, the vivimancer hoped to avoid attack by dropping straight down on the prison island and getting out before anyone noticed anything. To help, Torak agreed to send his skeletal hoard to attack over land and draw the attention of the swamp pygmies. And the heist went off without a hitch. The skeletons pulled away any potential opposition, Chaff dropped down on the prison island, and Korun was overjoyed to actually be rescued this time as Chaff had promised weeks ago. With all due haste, Chaff, Korun and the fly returned to the "No Man's Sea".

After giving the near-skeletal Korun some time to eat and drink, the party got down to interrogating the agyria-tinged fellow. He confirmed the general story given in the journal. Korun referred to himself (and his companions) as 'Creekmen', which the party interpreted as some sort of buccaneer/maroon. They came from a group of isles known as the Coral Islands or Cays. Once home to the mighty militaristic kingdoms of the Terocolids, the Cays now contained nothing but remnants of empire and scattered warring communities.  The Creekmen were a brotherhood opposed the the Amazon tribes who held most of the power in the Cays. In fact, those Creekmen like Korun who exhibited blue skin  were male offspring of the amphibious Blue Amazons, held as slaves with their gills surgically removed to prevent escape.  There was at least one other Amazon tribe as well, but Korun couldn't provide much information on them. He also noted the Creekmen often served various weresharks as boat crew and hired muscle. He and his fellow travelers had been in the service of one wereshark named Dusek, but had decided to go AWOL on the mercurial creature and take their chances on the rumored new lands that appeared after the mist lifted. When asked about Empyrius and the Adonians, he admitted the names were familiar, but more as legendary figures rather than 'people he knew'. So the party had a better idea of where to search for Empyrius, but weren't yet home free.

With that information in hand, Lynessa raised sail on the "No Man's Sea" and headed to the north-east towards the Coral Cays. Sis days sail brought them within sight of a small island, notable for the huge statue of a man standing on a promontory at the southern end. And further in the distance were signs of more islands to explore ...


800gp of exotic coins
100gp worth of various golden grave goods (rings, bangles, chains, etc)
Korun the Creekman

1 Sea Wraith


* 2xp/gp house rule in effect

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