Having survived the wrath of the Crimson Fleet the people of Farshore were slowly putting their lives back together. Still it was only a matter of days before rumours spread about the death of Lavinia Vanderboren’s brother Vanthus, and his demonic nature and involvement with the Crimson Fleet. In the wake of these stories some have come to question Lavinia’s right to lead the people of the colony. They whisper of a hidden fiendish taint to her soul, not helped by the fact one of her companions was witness to have flown with demonic wings during the battle.
Lavinia suspect the Meravanchi family are some how involved in spreading the rumours, as they always seek to undermine her authority, but lacks any proof. Realising the impact the colonists’ unease might have she called the adventurers to a meeting over breakfast where she revealed what she had discovered in the log of the Brine Harlot (Vanthus’ flagship that was captured in the battle).
There was only one shadow pearl ready for us. I made clear my displeasure, but the simpering lepers convinced me that they were being truthful, and promised several more in a few months’ time. I’ve tried to avoid staring at the pearl overmuch. Its depth are hypnotic. After seeing what one of these little beauties did on Kraken’s Cove, I made sure to keep it in a padded container at all times.
It’s too bad we can’t just toss the thing into Farshore with a catapult and let them kill each other off, but I’ll not be the one to tell command we broke another of their toys.
She also needed the group to engage in a tricky negotiation with Emraag, a huge Dragon Turtle that was know to the locals as “the Glutton” on account of his appetite for consuming ships. The log made it clear that it also had an appetite for gold, and if safe passage could be arranged for Vanderboren ships it would do a lot to relieve the fears of the colonists. The adventurers were given a large chest and tribute with which to buy off the Glutton, and set off that very morning.
Unfortunately Emraag wasn’t the only terror that lived in the depths around the Isle of Dread, a Giant Octopus1, the stuff of sailor’s legends and nightmares, also hunted in those waters. It would normally feed on the larger predators that came in to feed on the fish at the reefs but pickings had been slim recently so it saw the Sea Wyvern as a sizeable meal. Latching two of it’s large tentacles around the hull of the ship it swung its remaining appendages across the deck looking for food.
Trantil ran below decks to shore up the hull where the giant mollusc’s wear crushing the wooden beams. The rest of the crew set about attacking it with sword, bow, thunder, lightning and fire. “Two Feathers” was grasped by one of the tentacles and dragged over the side of the ship, when Shallasar lashed it with a flurry of dizzying blows it released it’s hold. She was just able to make a frantic grab for the rail and haul herself back into the ship. Meanwhile the tentacles, thicker than the masts in parts were tearing the rigging apart as they flailed about sending all manner of debris across the ship2.
Dalrin was knocked to the floor several times, unable to smite the creature, perhaps because it too was an agent of the Sea Gods. Tamzana and Valdis let fly with arcane spells until the creature was so enraged it climbed out of the water and swung it tentacles across the deck knocking nearly all the adventurers on their backs. It’s lashing tentacles grasped Dalrin and Two Feathers once more flinging her across the deck when she threw a dagger into it’s rubbery hide. The killing blow came soon after and the creature sank beneath the waves.
The ship was badly damaged and in need of repair, the adventures remembered the abandoned Olman settlement just up the coast that they had pasted when walking south along the coast road3. They had not been down to the settlement on their journey south but recall seeing several large timbers from the cliff, that would do for repairs to the yardarm and other parts of the ship that were damaged. It would mean a short detour and unfortunately the return of an unwelcome enemy.
East of the outpost was a spit of land known as Gargoyle Ridge, due to the creatures that inhabited it. The last time the heroes had past this way they had been attacked by them, and Trantil had claimed a stone crown from their king, after slaying him in battle. This time they wanted it back4.
The creatures were peppered with arrows5 from “Two Feathers” bow and Valdis’ Furious Bolts. By the time they got into melee several were already bloodied. Unfortunately the normal gargoyles were not immune to the aura of the Nabassu gargoyle that was leading them so when they were set a flame, it drained additional life from them and the fight was quickly over.
With the gargoyles defeated it was a clear run to the Olman outpost. The heroes anchored the Sea Wyvern just off shore and rowed up to the beach in a small boat, to see what supplies could be recovered. Several vertical burnt wooden posts were protruding from the sand the sand. The arrangement suggesting they would have once supported raised buildings, but higher up the beach there were some longer timbers suitable for repairs to the ship.
As the party advance up the beach “Two Feathers” noticed among the sand human bones, stripped clean, and bleached white by the action of sun, sea and scavengers. The sand around them seems to swirl in the wind lifting off the ground and taking a human form, and these spirit forms attacked.
(First session ended here)
The spirits possessed “Two Feathers” and Shallasar, where there allies stood they instead saw horrific humanoids wearing the skins of demons. They were reliving the battled that had claimed the lives of these Ghost Legionnaires. As they managed to shake off the possession the ghost gained control of other heroes, soon the allies were attacking each other, until they managed to lay the spirits to rest. With the outpost finally safe they made the repairs they needed to make to their ship in order to continue on to Gallivant Cove and their meeting with the Glutton.
1 After the combat it was generally thought that the Fortitude of the Giant Octopus was too high in relation to AC (it was 31 in play, compared to 28 AC). As a solo I had added the plus +2 bonus to Fortitude and it already had an advantage due to high Strength. I’ve lowered the Strength and swapped the solo +2 defense from Fortitude to AC in the stats shown here.
2 leading to complaints about being attacked by the scenery. Perhaps they wouldn’t have complain so much if the Octopus had hit more often as it was, I rolled something like seven 1’s and only a handful of rolls above 10 (mainly against Dalrin) during the whole fight. Except for the scenery that seemed to always be on target.
3 see Here Be Monsters
4 Unfortunately Trantil’s player wasn’t there, and people were having enough trouble getting use to their 4th Ed characters that no one would run his as well. So he was below deck, making the chance of the gargoyles getting their crown back slim indeed.
5 Two Feathers first use of the Spitting Cobra Stance, and probably the last as it is written in the book. She had over 10 attacks in two rounds, seems a little strong even for a Daily, at level 5. That was when the creatures were trying to avoid triggering the power. Probably needs a house rule.