Friday, July 31, 2009

An Unadmirable Admiral

Mendez wanders through the city giving aid wherever he can. Shifting rubble to free those trapped and giving minor healing to those unable to find clerics.
Even though he has never felt that comfortable in urban areas, this doesn’t prevent him feeling pity for these poor people. People whose homes and lives have been demolished by the warring factions of Eolar’s idiot church.
Mendez still finds it hard to understand the motives of St Cuthbert and especially how an Elf like Eolar could have become a servant of such an uncaring god.
Still, at least Admiral Flaertes has been killed and hopefully those fools won’t raise him just so he can stand trail… Although, thinking about it, he wouldn’t put it past them.

Experience & Treasure

Destroying one-third of the church leadership is not without its rewards:

Bodush: Level 12: 67,741 xp (Sorcerer:12): What was he up to? New Level!

Chen: Level 12: 66,334 xp (Monk:11): Kicking Evil in the shins. New Level!

Durin: Level 12: 71,244 xp (Barbarian:11): Rage for fun and Profit. New Level!

Eolar: Level 14: 92,751 xp (Cleric:9/Ranger:4): Approaching Apotheosis. New Level!

Elogyn: Level 11: 60,260 xp (Cleric:5/Paladin:5): Dealing with Issues. New Level

Mendez: Level 14:93,514 xp (Ranger:7/Fighter:4/Barbarian:3): Shootier than you. New Level!

Thesis: Level 11(13): 65,510 xp (Fighter:10/Barbarian:1/Humanoid:2):The curse of the almost there strikes again.

Wer: Level 13: 82,249xp (Druid:12): Who’s afraid of the big bad bear? New Level!

Also there is treasure:

6 +1 Heavy Maces
1 +3 Heavy Mace
1 +3 Dragonmetal Bastard Sword
1 +3 Dragonmetal short sword

A ring of protection +3
Gloves of climbing and swimming

Jewels worth 2000 gp in the box from the ship.

And the value of the captured ships:

Tequila Sunrise is worth 15000 gold pieces
The two small galleys are worth about 20000 each
The two large galleys are worth 30000 each

Also there are sundries and other stuff which if sold would be worth about 30000 as well.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

We have met the enemy...

The party manages to get their ships ready to sail and spend the next few days moving south-west towards Febril. The seas are empty, completely devoid of any other shipping. Once in a while the small fleet comes across what looks like debris floating in the water, but apart from that, the only other clue to what awaits our heroes comes in the form of a lone survivor, desperately clinging on to a make-shift life raft. After being rescued he rambles on about a gigantic fleet of strange ships and flying monsters and liquid fire.

The small fleet naturally exercises some caution as they near Febril. In the afternoon of the last day, the see pillars of smoke rising into the sky from the direction of the city. As night falls, the party's ships close in on the harbour. Febril is burning. The walls of the the Temple compound has been breached and it seems that most of the buildings have been levelled.

The other ships at the temple docks are burning wrecks, with the exception of a galley belonging to the dragonmen, which seems abandoned.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

A companion to owls

Szandor Antonius looked down at the lights of Febril. His summer villa in the foothills above, was comfortably far away from the city itself and the lack of neighbours allowed him to entertain his 'special' guests in the manner in which they were accustomed. He hoped that his small army of servants had completed their cleaning up of the surrounding shrubland. Still, he had arranged for plenty of water in case of an emergency.

Hearing a sound behind him, he turned and came face to face with Bodush. He had often asked himself how he had become entangled with this sorcerer. At first glance, he was no different from a score of others like him, callous, reckless, and drunk with the possibilities of his own arcane power. Szandor would have killed him in a heartbeat, but Bodush' concern for his friends, which seemed to be the only redeeming quality the sorcerer had, made him easy to manipulate.

"Perhaps we should warn Eolar and the others?" Bodush' tone was strangely apprehensive.

"Why? They are already on their way, and what good would this warning do them? Febril is already doomed. You wanted the Church of St. Cuthbert humbled, and this is the only way." Szandor smiled magnanimously as he walked to rejoin the party.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Black Cowls on the Move

A person in a black cowl entered the room were the 7 were waiting. They all had their black hoods pulled down low to hide their faces from the light of the single candle flickering in the middle of the room. The 8th completed the circle.

"I bring news from the other councils. The day we have prepared for has finally come! Our master has summoned us to follow him into battle."
In unison the 8 chanted "Hallowed is HE who guides us!"
"Gather your acolytes and get them ready to move out. We will leave with the first rays of sunlight tomorrow morning."
"Hallowed is HE who perfects us!"
"Since HE left HIS deserts in the south to guide us to apotheosis, HE taught us that the day of the final ordeal is near. Rejoice brothers, for this day has come! The last step towards apotheosis lies ahead of us!"
"In HIS steps we follow!"
"All information you need for your journey is in the envelopes here. We will meet again at our destination. Brothers, join me for the last conjoint prayer of this council!"

The 8 creatures raised their arms and together looked up to the painting. The flickering light was just enough to illuminate the embossed shape of the winged creature at the ceiling of the small chamber. And the prayer started.

Righteous or Wrongeous?

After cooling down, Mendez returns to the brig to confront Lejon again.
“You don’t know me so I’ll excuse your insolence. Eolar has shown me the ways of St Cuthbert and although not fully persuaded, he has convinced me to put aside my anarchic ways. True I’m here, not out of loyalty to your god, but rather loyalty to my friend. There is not much profit to be made while caught up in a naval battle.
Now I ask you again, make me understand what’s occurring here. Who are these ‘Dragon-men’ and is Admiral Flaertes to be trusted? I will help you if I can.”

Monday, July 27, 2009

Why is it never Plain Sailing?

Seething from Lejon’s dismissal, Mendez skulks onto the deck.
This mission’s turned into a complete disaster. Mendez feels his loyalty to Eolar being severely tested.
Despite being a pompous buffoon, Lejon is obviously a righteous man and on the side of the Angels. This means that either Admiral Flaertes, or worse High Patriarch Rothgart, has sent them on a fool’s errand.
An honest error or deliberate deception?
The promised reward of captured ships has become farcical. They are either destroyed in battle or so damaged that they are largely worthless and no real treasure has been found.
Worse, they seem to be caught in the middle of an inter-species war!
Glancing up at the emerging Eolar, Mendez finds himself wondering, despite being on the same ship, are they all in the same boat?

Friday, July 24, 2009

I am a brother to dragons

Admiral Flaertes stood on the forward deck of his ship, watching the sunrise over Febril as his small flotilla prepared to dock. The dust of the hinterlands let the sunlight bathe the roofs of the city in brilliant red and orange hues. It was almost as the city was on fire.

It was almost complete. The fleet was gathering in the south, drilling and practicing for the battles to come. No longer would his mighty fleet be wasted on hunting down pirates for the benefit of the godless, ungrateful, money-grabbing merchants of the Furnace Coast. Now they would finally be able to meet the unbelievers, meet those who refused the wisdom of St. Cuthbert, in open battle, and smite them in his glorious name. Flaertes shuddered, he could feel the will of St. Cuthbert work through him. All that stood between the church and this glory, was the High Patriarch and Commander Therion.

The High Patriarch could be convinced. Therion, on the other hand, might prove more difficult to deal with…

The message from Krakataos regarding the useful idiots he had dispatched on the fool’s errand, had been unnerving, but it should not matter. The plan was already coming together.

I am become like dust and ashes

Lejon growls at Mendez. “Why should I speak to you, unbeliever? You are nothing but a fool, a leaf buffeted by the base winds of your desires, serving the commands of a church you do not believe in to fill your own purse.

As Eolar approaches he turns to him. “I demand that you bring me to justice. Bring me back to Febril and hand me over to Commander Therion’s men. I must be tried by my order and not by the likes of the Navy. They are as corrupt as the pirates they are claiming to fight. I have seen them, fanning out like a swarm of locusts, clearing the path for the dragon-men, attacking the innocent, burning and plundering ships, spilling the blood of believers into the sea. They attacked me when I challenged them, blockading me from reaching the Furnace Coast. I do not accept their justice, nor the justice of anyone flying under their colours.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Desmodu’s Operandi

Bresup sits in his cavern-top ‘nest’ and weeps.
The interlopers have taken his precious cloth and all his plans are in tatters.
He looks up at the cavern ceiling, although still holding, it has been considerably weakened. Perhaps he could still dig through?
Examining the stone he realises how futile any further attempt would be. Reinforced with diamonds as it is and with the granite slab magically created on top, it would be impossible to break through without magic.
It has taken him the best part of two weeks to climb back up to his perch. The loss of his trained, giant War bat has cost him more than just his mount; it has cost him his only friend.
Recalling the conversation with the weird, tiny creatures, Bresup realises that they were asking his name, not his race.
They were lying. They had to have been. It is how it always was. Water above air; air above ground.
Still, what if they were telling the truth? Perhaps they weren’t the hated Drow. Perhaps his plan would have caused harm to innocent creatures.
He thinks of the chaos of the Desmodu cities. Constant war. Infant sacrifice. The brutalisation of the women and the weak.
It was different once. After centuries of war with the diabolic Drow, they had finally been victorious. The people rejoiced and promised to build a better civilisation.
Slowly though, these noble sentiments became eroded and the Desmodu themselves began to fall into decadence and behave just like their former enemies.
There can be no salvation for them and now, thanks to the theft of the magical cloth, no punishment.
Taking the untethered end of one of the incredibly strong cords from the ‘nest’, Bresup calmly makes a loop and slips it over his head.
With a final look at where the hole had once been, Bresup steps off the ledge.
The crack of his neck snapping echoes around the cavern.
The sound lasts longer than the last good Desmodu.

Naval Gazing

While the majority of his team-mates are away, Mendez takes the opportunity to speak with the captive Paladin Lejon.
“As you probably realise, our leader Eolar has no interest in ‘Good’ and ‘Evil’ but I do. What’s happening here? Who are you battling and why has Admiral Flaertes sent us to kill you? I promise to help you and your wife if you confirm my suspicions.”
The conversation is interrupted however by the sound of Mendez’ friends returning.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Blood and Sand

On the surface now, Durin can see the ‘Pride of St Cuthbert’ in the distance.
Thankfully it still looks to be in one piece. Perhaps he’d let his imagination get the better of him?
Then he notices the water.
It’s a greasy mixture of red and black patches.
Blood and ink?
Climbing aboard, the Dwarf gazes around. There is blood everywhere. On the ship, in the sea and even on the island beaches.
Durin is distracted though as he smells the air. Is that the smell of Calamari cooking?

Money (also) always seems to find Me(ndez)

The giant tentacle manages to wrap itself around Mendez’ waist before he’s finally able to chop it off.
Suddenly the enormous creature disengages itself from the ship. With a gush of inky blackness, it rockets far away into safe water.
A cheer goes up from the men. Unbelievably no-one has been killed and better yet, the ship hasn’t suffered any further damage.
Unravelling the severed tentacle, Mendez notices something shiny…
Embedding within its suckers is the skeletal remains of a human hand…
A human hand with several jewelled rings on every finger!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Mendez empties his Quiver

Scanning the surface, Mendez grips his bow tightly. Why did he say he’d stay behind? Bad things always happen to the one left behind!
It’s been a few hours since he saw the dark shadow far off to the east. Perhaps he’d been mistaken? Perhaps he had been daydreaming?
He just starts to relax, when a colossal creature breaks the surface. It’s squid-like, but grown large beyond all reason.
Mendez mind goes blank as he fires arrow after arrow into it. Despite his dislike of Vidar, the sergeant leads his Marines in the defence of the ship admirably.
The battle seems to last for hours but in reality it can only be minutes before Mendez runs out of arrows.
Coming out of his trance-like state, Mendez looks around himself and draws his sword. The Kraken is peppered with scores of arrows and Ballista bolts. It’s tentacles slashed and bloody. One eye is missing but mindlessly, it continues to attack.
Scimitar in hand, Mendez leaps into the fray.

Where were you Durin the Action?

Hauling himself through the water as fast as his stubby arms will take him, Durin starts to regret not asking the Mermen to pull him.
Whatever made that shadow was big enough to snap the ship in two!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Diamonds and Pearls

After the celebrations, the Merfolk honour their promise. Each of the adventurers is given a small ‘gift bag’ containing three large and perfectly spherical pearls.
As Leone presents them, she also hands over the ‘Conch shell (bottle) of air’.
“Please accept this as a gift. You shall forever be known as friends of the Merfolk.”

Elogyn is surprisingly included in the gift presentation.

This is in addition to the wondrous ‘Portable hole’ and the assorted diamonds dug from the Desmodu cavern ceiling.

The Pearls are perfect and worth 100gp each. (Total value: 1,500gp.)
The ‘Conch shell (bottle) of air’ has a resale value of: 3,625gp.
The ‘Portable hole’ has a resale value of: 10,000gp.
The diamonds collected are put in a pile for equal division.
120 of the ‘Rough diamonds’ are worth 10gp each. (Total value: 1,200gp.)
44 of the ‘Rough diamonds’ are worth 25gp each. (Total value: 1,100gp.)

Not a bad haul considering.
Remember to delete any items/potions used during the two days.

Trouble always seems to find Me(ndez)

Mendez watches his friend leave and sighs. Why does he keep getting involved in these not-for-profit escapades?
As their shapes disappear under the waves his eyes flick to the east. What was that?

Hours later and miles away, Durin grins under the water. Heaving against the rock he finds it hard suppressing a laugh as he anticipates the coming battle.
Peering through the water a huge, dark shadow slides by above him heading towards the Archipelago. That wasn’t any crab!
Suffering a moment of indecision and unable to warn the others, Durin strikes back towards the ship.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Underwater Experience

Everyone played well, despite being out of their element. (Other than Wer, who also played well but is never out of her element.) Only Thesis gained a level though,

Bodush: Level 11: 60,481 xp (Sorcerer:11): Feels like he’s being watched.

Chen: Level 11: 59,734 xp (Monk:11): Sprinting forward.

Durin: Level 11: 64,644 xp (Barbarian:11): Shame he had to leave.

Eolar: Level 13: 86,151 xp (Cleric:9/Ranger:4): Maintains his awesomeness.

Elogyn: Level 10: 53,660 xp (Cleric:5/Paladin:5): Getting closer.

Mendez: Level 13: 86,914 xp (Ranger:6/Fighter:4/Barbarian:3): What happened on the boat?

Thesis: Level 11(13): 58,910 xp (Fighter:9/Barbarian:1/Humanoid:2): New level!

Wer: Level 12: 75,649xp (Druid:12): Filled Bodush’s shoes (of DM scupperance) despite being a tiny Halfling.

(In alphabetical order!)

Crabby Patties all Round

The Mermen hoist the party members onto their muscular shoulders and carry them back to the Merfolk settlement.
The victorious party are greeted by cheers of support. Even Leone’s father looks mollified. A scavenger group is sent out and a feast is quickly prepared.
The Mermaids and Mermen crunch easily through the giant crab shell with their pointed, needle-like teeth. Eolar, Chen and the other ‘Air-breathers’ (aside from Thesis) are forced to adopt a slightly more dainty approach.
Eating while under water proves to be a difficult task, but it can’t be denied… Giant crab tastes delicious!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

New Banner: Sombody took out the bath plug!

A little mini side adventure: Whole lot'a sinkin' goin' on.

The mermen, reluctantly, let us help with their little problem. The water was draining into a hole in the bottom of the ocean and atracting humungous crabs which were causing a little bit of a nuisance.

The crabs were fun to fight once we worked out a plan: Get someone to occupy their claws (Elogyn and Wer did an admirable job) and have Eolar on hand to heal them, then Thesis knocks 7 shades of crap out of them while Chen takes the frag. Easy!

Once we got to the hole we found a creature had made it and wanted it to stay open. Of course we couldn't have that and so ensued a battle under the ocean 900 feet in the air beside a massive waterfall with a hairy bat-faced creature who wanted to commit mass genocide.

Now it turns out that Desmondo was in fact a good creature wanting to kill a race of chaotic evil creatures. What to do? Well, of course we had severe problems with our moral directions but in the end we killed his flying mount and let him fall, defeated.

But what of the hole? It turns out it was portable so we just picked it up and swam off!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Mendez isn’t Shellfish

Mendez looks down on Eolar and Chen talking to the Mermaids. From the snippets he can hear, it sounds as if the Mermaids want them to follow them down under the waves?
Although a strong swimmer, Mendez’ instincts have always been to head upwards, not down.
“Although it sounds very exciting, someone has to stay and guard the ship. I shall make that sacrifice. Good luck my friends!”

Monday, July 13, 2009

It’s all up for Crabs

For obvious reasons, the Mermaid Leone and her companions are unable to get up onto the ship, so Eolar and Chen lower themselves down onto the water in one of the sea skiffs.
Close up the Mermaids have a distinct greenish hue to their skin. This isn’t unpleasant but both Eolar and Chen are disturbed to see sharp fang-like teeth partially hidden behind their lush lips.
“About a month ago a rift opened up in the sea floor less than a mile away from our settlement.
The water started to be pulled down it and as the new current formed, it started to drag things towards it.
This in itself isn’t so terrible but the detritus has attracted gigantic scavenging crabs. They are mindless but deadly.
Worse, the hole seems to be getting bigger.
It needs to be plugged before it’s irreparable. There are massive boulders nearby but the Merfolk aren’t strong enough to move them.
Worse still, the giant crabs attack and devour any creature that gets too near.
I know it's a lot to ask, but will you help us?”

Friday, July 10, 2009

Mermaid to Order

Eolar is on deck when his keen Elven eyes spot movement from the water beside the ship. Four shimmering shapes are moving swiftly towards the surface.
Calling to the others, Eolar leans over the ships rails to get a better look.
Blinking against the sunlight reflected from the water, he can hardly believe his eyes. Mermaids!
He’s heard of these beautiful creatures but never seen them.
As they break the water's surface, Eolar takes an odd pride in their Elven appearance. They are slenderly built until their powerful fish like tails.
“Air breather. We need your help!”

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Bobbing Along

A large shadow passes over their heads.
“It’s no good. If we don’t find help soon we’re going to have to abandon the settlement.”
The other three cast nervously about them.
“But ‘Air breathers’! What would your Father say?”
“My Father is set in his ways. We can’t solve this problem and it’s only going to get worse.”
Her mind made up, Leone strikes upwards towards the surface.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Dark Thoughts

They really thought they could just imprison him forever. Him! A commander of the armies of Hell! He looked at the spacious rooms that were his "prison". He knew the guards and the prison master. Did they really think he lost his web of contacts within the ranks?
He looked again at the note that was passed to him a short while ago. His allies on the material plane started to move into position. After a few setbacks like the stupid sorcerer in the human town he might have finally found a minion who was worth his attention.

He looked around his cell again. Soon he will leave this plane of Baator. But after taking over the material plane he will have enough power to come back and get his revenge. A smile scurried over his face. There should be no problem. Mortals are so weak!

New Banner : Bunnies, Eagles and Dragonborn

Notable absences from the tardy Mendez and the drunk Thesis in this one, but it seems that the session was both successful (no-one died and the group laid waste to everyone/thing!) and highly entertaining.

Two ships destroyed, one captured. One trounced by the tail-whip of a summoned whale. Flying Kobolds shot by balistas. Kobolds decimated, but still able to sabotage the guns. A water-elemental summoned and then turned back on the party. In the meanwhile knocking the highest level enemy into the water, magic sword, armour and all. And the hilarity of a Dragonborn cleric morphed into a bunny rabbit, but still able to cast spells and wreak havoc. But Wer-as-Eagle had the last laugh plucking him from his escape dinghy and dropping him into the water.

Epic and hilarious I'm sure you'll agree ;)

Friday, July 3, 2009

A barrel of fun

A swarm of multi-coloured insects move rapidly back and forth. They obscure everything ahead of them. The owrld is beating wings and shiny carapaces. But there appears to be a pattern. They move ever faster and slowly shapes among the swarm become clear and some of the insects merge into each other. Faster and faster. More patterns more merging but still chaos.

Then as if a great wizard snapped his fingers, the insects are no longer there - just a blur. Just his blurry vision.

Thesis tries to focus and make sense of the sight ahead of him. A circle of light, a tail. And pain - mostly in his neck and back - and head. So much pain.

Later, when he had extracted himslef from the rum barrel and laid still for an eternity. The events of the previous couple of hours become clear. He had thought to take a drink after the insane battle on the pirate ship. A little wine to heal the wounds and calm the soul. But, it wasn't wine, it was the sailor's ruin - rum. How he had ended up head first inside the damn barrel was anyones guess.

He ventured above decks. Eyes smarting from the extreme light. The smell of burning wood and tar, the tang of blood and the stench of a hundred sailors assaulted his nostrils. But he spied Eolar and went over to him: "Did I miss anything?" he asked, in all innocence!

Greed, Cowardice and Pride

While rummaging for treasure below deck of Lejon’s captured ship, Mendez hears a noise from above.
Fearing the worst, Mendez looks for a defensible position; his arrows won’t be much use in these cramped confines. Ignoring the thunder of feet above, Mendez finds a storeroom with a single narrow doorway. Even creatures the size of Kobolds could only pass through one at a time.
One at a time, Mendez fancies his swordsmanship the equal of any single opponent.
Minutes tick by…
Breathing heavily, he waits…
He waits some more…
Wait; is that Durin’s voice?


Eolar: Level 13: 82,089 xp (Cleric:8/Ranger:4) :New Level!

Elogyn: Level 10: 50,535 xp (Cleric:5/Paladin:5): Still holding on

Durin: Level 11: 64,544 xp (Barbarian:11): Closing in

Wer: Level 12: 71,587xp (Druid:11) : Still not at the level of destroyer of worlds yet

Bodush: Level 11: 60,481 xp (Sorcerer:11)
: Life in Febril is uneventful

Thesis: Level 10(12): 54,848 xp (Fighter:9/Barbarian:1/Humanoid:2)So close

Chen: Level 11: 55,672 xp (Monk:10) New Level!

Mendez: Level 13: 82,455 xp (Ranger:6/Fighter:4/Barbarian:3) Holding still

Sinking into Apotheosis

Krakataos held the sword of his grandfathers clenched tight in his hands as his heavy armour dragged him down to the depths. The sight of the sunlight glittering on the silvery metal dimming as he sank away from the surface, comforted him. He had died fighting the enemies of his clan and his Queen, his crews had fought bravely, even destroying themselves and their ship when they were left with no choice.

His only regret was that his blade would go to the depths without tasting the blood of the mon-keigh. They were not the mindless animals he had thought them at first. It would have been glorious to cut them down and let his sword revel in death one last time. It had served him well, as it had his ancestors since it was forged in the breath of a great red wyrm at the dawn of time. But now it was sinking into darkness and obscurity.

Krakataos felt his life ebbing away as the cool waters surrounded him. He offered a prayer of forgiveness and devotion to the Dark Queen of the Depths into whose embrace he was slowly falling. He could only hope that his failure to destroy the mon-keighs would not endanger the rest of the fleet, and that his comrades would make good their age-old promise of revenge upon the usurping mammals.

He turned in the water, staring down into the abyss, facing his destiny with open eyes. Before consciousness left him, he thought he saw a shape of a dragon sliding through the waters below him. A dragon and a...bunny rabbit?


Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Mendez Misses the Boat

After laying the Sorceress, Belit, gently down upon the deck of the ‘Pride of St Cuthbert’, Mendez dashed across the deck of Lejon’s stricken ship.
Intending to usher the crew of the recently renamed ‘Tequila Sunrise’ to safety, Mendez made the, often fatal, mistake of assuming too much time.
After gathering up his precious belongings, Mendez clambered up the stairwell only to see the mighty Thesis leaping over to Eolar’s departing ship.
Licking his lips, Mendez looks from the ever-growing distance between the ships down to the magical boots purloined from Captain Ironheart.
Could he make it?
The sight of the three advancing Kobold ships changing tack makes Mendez’ mind up for him.
He still owes Eolar for his life, but surely the beautiful Sorceress and handsome Paladin can’t be the villains in this saga?
Slinking below deck of Lejon’s crippled ship, Mendez looks for a place to hide...
And perhaps some treasure?