Sun Day 16th Sun’s Rise yr2534
- Summary:Investigation on the docks, bar brawl, sneak into the Scarlet Smile, Kyton battle, Raven, barn raising, travel to Lake Town, defeat Lizardfolk, Blum and Folkvar are killed in battle
After asking around they discover that fish haven’t been coming close to the shore, in fact one has to go almost a mile out to sea before anything can be caught- that is apart from the sharks. People have been talking about sharks swelling in great numbers around the jetties and boats docked at the city and even leaping out of the water to attack people. These rumours have yet to be proved however, currently being attributed only to sailors with too much rum in their bellies due to lack of proof.
Another rumour is that people have been going missing as of late, a lot more frequently than usual- a fact that Lt. Adele Sceppa of the Docks garrison can attest to. As far as the sailing community is concerned the main suspect for these disappearances is the warship Messenger which docked about a week and a half ago- about the same time as the disappearances began. Ill-disguised as a trading ship, armed men have been seen guarding its deck (which is covered in tarpaulin) and no-one has been seen entering or leaving the ship since it arrived.
Many people think the strange occurrences with the fish and the missing people are linked and solving one will solve the other.
Speaking to the Harbour Master, Gerard Rutan Mikhail discovers that three ships are still docked and are refusing to leave, the Arcadia, Red Ranseur and Messenger have all reported that they are missing crew and so have delayed leaving the docks which has caused a build-up of sea traffic and a massive headache for Gerard. He offers coin as a reward if the PCs can convince them to leave through whatever means necessary.
PCs decide to speak to the crews of the Arcadia and Red Ranseur for information. Captain Barucco of the Arcadia reports that their cook, ‘Lucky’ Prig is missing and the crew will not sail without him, especially a long voyage to the Dragonlands like they are planning. Meanwhile the Red Ranseur‘s Captain, Eaglesflight reports that their wizard, Afan Barlon is missing but doesn’t seem too bothered as he is already interviewing for his replacement and the crew think he was murdered by one of their own, Shiv.
Mikhail, Blum, Dashel and Boxer the sniffer dog head to the Sea Shanty to ask questions about the missing Prig while Alhena, Carlos and Folkvar decide to do a spot of fishing on the sea front while observing the Messenger and asking questions about the mysterious warship masquerading as a trading vessel.
At the Sea Shanty, the barkeep Gino says he knows nothing about any missing people but Mikhail eventually convinces him to explain the truth: Prig was at the tavern and paid for a room for the night for himself and two halfling ladies he got friendly with. He had disappeared before morning however which has happened a number of times recently. Eventually Mikhail and Blum convince the man to let them look around the room where Prig stayed while Dashel watches Gino and his wife Marda argue. Upstairs they find remnants of strange black thread in the bed sheets along with spots of halfling blood and items of clothing- unlikely to be left behind casually. Boxer sniffs out a trail to the wardrobe and inside, through a small opening which leads to a gap between two walls. Blum de-clothes and squeezes through the hole, following it down to the basement where small scratch marks and tracks can be seen exiting through a window into the street outside. Boxer sniffs out the trail and follows it to an abandoned shack.
Meanwhile at the Messenger no fish are being caught but the PCs gain some useful information. The ship is clearly a warship of Kondarian design and armed men have been seen patrolling its covered deck. The Captain, Lucius Verminius refuses to acknowledge that they are missing a crew member and ask the PCs to not interfere further. As they are leaving, they are approached by Meredith Cinquetta who says that their Captain is to proud to admit losing one of his own and so asks the PCs to investigate and find their missing crew member; Silvio Puzzi who was last seen around the Five Dead Monkeys in the docks.
Heading to the Five Dead Monkeys, a tavern and gambling den of ill-repute the PCs ask around the patrons about Puzzi but get no useful information. The bouncers/thugs of ‘The Monkey’ threaten the PCs into leaving but Folkvar stays behind to speak to Raven who says he saw Puzzi being taken into the back rooms at ‘The Monkey’. A fight soon breaks out between Folkvar and ‘Crazy’ Vito and his cronies. Raven helps and Mikhail and Alhena bust back in to help too. During the fight, Alhena manages to sneak past everybody and get into the back rooms using vanish. Vito and his men are finally defeated and Mikhail goes behind into the back rooms to help Alhena search while Folkvar and Raven head outside to talk about Puzzi. Mikhail and Alhena don’t find anything so they head out too.
Raven explains that he was actually looking for the PCs. He has a proposition for them involving exploring Greenwood Vale to find another item which supposedly works with the Talisman which the PCs have. Raven is working for a priest of Bahamut from Lesshta in the Dragonlands who is seeking a way to destroy artifacts such as the talisman. Raven agrees to help the PCs in their investigation first before heading south.
Raven joins the party
The Beast and the Harlots
Back at the abandoned shack, the PCs search using light from Raven’s magical katana and find a pile of abandoned clothes covered in tiny pin pricks and specks of blood along with more samples of the strange black thread. As they search, Alhena references her book of outsiders and finds that the black thread could have come from ‘broodlings’- small outsiders which are generally kept by Demons and Devils alike as pets or servants. Some breeds have the ability to ‘stitch’ victims together using internally produced cord, leaving them helpless for their masters to find. The PCs agree that this description fits the bill but can find no other exit from the shack. Folkvar’s tracking skill confirms that a swarm of small clawed creatures and a large humanoid entered the shack but none exited. The PCs deduce that they must have left through magical means.
Seeing no other clues to follow, the PCs return to the Messenger and speak to Meredith Cinquetta about their findings who reluctantly explains her ship’s presence in the city. The crew of the Messenger are from Kondar and are seeking out a Night Hag who they believe is currently residing in Salamonis. The talk of kidnappings and now the mention of broodlings confirms her suspicions and she tells the PCs that they might be in over their heads. The PCs offer their assistance anyway and Meredith explains that Silvio was looking at three places in particular in the docks: The Sea Shanty, The Five Dead Monkeys and The Scarlet Smile. The first two had already been investigated by the PCs so they head to the third.
The Scarlet Smile is a bordello with very aggressive business tactics. Inside they find people engaged in all kinds of debauched activities but suspect them of kidnapping as they see a drunk man with no obvious kind of wealth led into the back rooms by two attractive prostitutes. Deciding to go in for a closer look, the PCs book a private room and are taken downstairs into the basement to a locker room where they are asked to remove all weapons and armour. Mikhail and Folkvar refuse and stay in the locker room while Alhena, Blum and Carlos go to the room where a dancer performs for them. During the performance, the dancer’s bardic abilities become clear as Carlos and Blum fall into a seduced trance. Alhena, having none of it blasts the dancer with a scorching ray, killing her instantly and snapping the boys out of their trance.
A fight soon breaks out as Scarlet Smile security arrive- who turn out to be members of the Chain Gang. The fight spills into more of the back rooms where a matron joins in with her spells but is quickly cut down by Folkvar’s axe, although Mikhail’s quick actions prevent any of the down civilians dying from their wounds. Carlos sneaks out during the confusion, his brother’s warnings of “never kill a prostitute” ringing clearly in his head as more armed security storms downstairs after the PCs.
Finding a secret door, the PCs slip through it away from the security and stumble upon a locked, trapped door leading to secret chambers in the sewers beneath Salamonis. Within they find more Chain Gang members conducting a ritual before some kind of portal using an evil-looking tome. They leap into battle as a Kyton joins in, manipulating the chains hanging around the room to attack the PCs. Blum is severely injured during the fight, losing most of the flesh from his right leg and so crawls away invisible to avoid further injury. While Mikhail occupies the Kyton’s attention, Alhena,Folkvar and Raven press the attack and quickly defeat the Chain Gang cultists before launching attacks on the devil. Despite the outsider’s unnatural resistances robbing thier blows of their usual killing power they do give Mikahil an opening to score the killing blow with a Smite Evil attack. After tending to Blum, they discover a series of cells containing around two dozen prisoners all malnourished and scared including ‘Lucky’ Prig, Afan Barlon and Silvio Puzzi. The PCs lead the captives through the sewers to safety.
Moonday 17th Sun’s Rise yr2534
After handing the matter of the Kyton and possible Night Hag presence in the docks over to the clergy of the Cathedral who send a contingent of Knights to investigate, the PCs gear up to travel south with Raven to explore Greenwood Vale.
Along the way, the PCs spot a farm which is potentially in a lot of trouble- the barn appeared to be be sinking lopsidedly into the ground. On investigation they discover that a sinkhole had been caused by collapsing tunnels under the ground. The farmer- Stanwell Zochor says that several sheep had fallen into the tunnels and scattered in fear. The PCs agree to help him- Blum, Mikhail and Folkvar climb down into the tunnels and begin scouring them in search of the missing sheep- rescuing three of them and finding one dead. Folkvar discovers a narrow crack in the rocks with sheep’s wool snagged on it. Proceeding forward he comes face-to-face with three angry Ankhegs who hiss and spit acid at him. He manages to land a solid blow on one of them with his axe before having to retreat due to injuries.
Folkvar appears sprinting out of the tunnel followed by the three Ankhegs who burrow through the earth and spit acid at the rest of the PCs. They do battle with the creatures and eventually defeat them with only minor injuries (apart from Folkvar who was torn to shreds and is barley alive). They rest the night at Stanwell’s farm where he cooks for them in thanks for rescuing his sheep and explains he is old and alone- he never would have got the sheep back on his own.
Trueday 18th Sun’s Rise yr2534
The next morning, Blum comes up with an idea to solve the problem of the collapsed barn.
He drinks a whole bunch of infusions including enlarge person, bull’s strength and ant haul while the PCs tie ropes all around the barn structure and attach them to their team of horses and to Blum himself. With a great heave, Blum and the Horses (supervised by Mikhail and Alhena) drag the barn back out of the hole and on to solid ground completely intact! Stanwell is incredibly thankful and gifts the PCs with a basket of wine, cheese, bread and fine meats along with a pouch of coin (which is refused) in thanks and appreciation.
The PCs continue on their way to Lake Town to rendezvous with Raven’s ally and make plans for searching the Vale.
Liberation of Lake Town
As they approach the town they spot black smoke rising from some of the buildings- not a good sign. On the road ahead of them, armoured men block the way. As they approach, the PCs come under fire from crossbow bolts. Using Alhena’s spyglass, Raven identifies their assailants as Lizardfolk from Karnok in the Dragonlands. They are wearing ill-fitted chain armour and helmets in the style of Salamon guards. The PCs charge in to attack atop their horses and wagon driven by Blum and defeat the Lizards without too much trouble. They capture one and Raven interrogates him, finding that the Lizards are part of a raiding force led by ‘Xengi’- a Blackscale Lizardfolk warrior. The town has been completely subdued.
Knowing the fate of the captive townsfolk to be grim indeed the party decide to launch a rescue attempt. Retreating to a nearby hilltop the party rest, recover and scount the town. Folkvar and Mikhail quickly check the surrounding countryside for any signs of allies while Alhena and Dashel keep a watchful eye on the town to estimate lizardman numbers. Finding no help nearby and facing approximatly two score lizardfolk the party sit down to discuss tactics. Raven confirms that most lizardfolk do not possess darkvision so the party decide to attack in the night, Blum’s spells can quickly get the party over the walls and keep the element of surprise. The party can then split up to draw away the lizards and rescue the townspeople.
Attacking in the dead of night, the plan goes smoothly, the party quickly scale the walls without raising the alarm. Blum, under an invisibility potion, heads straight into the town to secure the hostages before the alarm is raised. They then split into two teams, Carlos and Raven sneaking off into the dark to eliminate as many lizards as possible from ambush to spread disruption and confusion. Meanwhile, team Noisy, consisting of Mikhail, Alhena and Folkvar sprint off along the south wall to get to the hostages.
Carlos, Raven and Blum all enjoy significant success in thier actions, killing over half of the lizardfolk defenders as well as a half-dragon mage without taking serious injury or raising the alarm. The battle is joined in earnest around the South Gate where Folkvar, in the midst of a rage engages a handful of lizardmen, alone, in plain view. He quickly slaughters his inferior foes but is sorely injured in the process. Before Mikhail and Alhena can catch up a half dozen massive lizardfolk emerge from the town’s keep led by a lizardman bedecked in shamanistic talismans and weilding a huge greatclub. Fatigued and bleeding from a dozen wounds Folkvar gives up ground, heading into the town and drawing off a pair of the lizardmen. Meanwhile, Mikhail and Alhena arrive at the south gate, Alhena launching a pyrotechnic barrage of the lizardmen and bringing the rest of the large lizard folk to them. The lizard leader however, heads straight for the hostages. With the rest of the party heavily engaged Blum steps forward to stop him hoping to buy enough time for the rest of the party to get the hostages to safety. Despite striking the lizard a fearsome blow with his hammer Blum is overwhelmed by the sheer power of the lizard’s attacks and quickly falls. Meanwhile, Raven reappears behind the battle and calls a challenge on the lizardman leader.
The rest of the party fare little better, Alhena and Mikhail wielding weapon and spell to defeat thier opponents but far too slowly to be able to offer aid to thier beleagered allies. Despite killing one lizard man Folkvar is struck heavily and falls as well. As Carlos engages lizardman crossbows on the roof of the keep, Mikhail, beliving the battle may turn against them, orders Alhena to get the civilians to safety. Seeing Raven still battling the Lizardman leader and incensed by the sight of Blum’s still form Mikhail, rushes towards Raven’s fight, loosing shots from his bow. However, Raven’s prowess allows him to overcome his monstrous enemy despite being sorely wounded. As Mikhail drops the last of the lizardman in melee the town falls suddenly silent except for the parties exhasted breathing. Lake town has been liberated and it’s people saved from a grisly death, but with the deaths of two party members the cost has been high.
But even as the party reels from thier losses an unknown, young dwarf suddenly sees a new path unfolding in front of her…
After following up on some rumours of deaths and disappearances in the Docks we find a number of clues that suggest something odd is happening. We find that a few individuals are missing and theres a sercret chamber with some strange scratch marks and some dark threads. While trying to find one of the missing people we go into a tavern and start asking around. The guards there seem to bored and try to push us out, but I refuse to be treated that way by someone who is simply showing off to his friends. While at the tavern we find a man by the name of Raven, who was looking for us to help him find more information on the Amulet. While im dubious of his motives I think he can help us with our current task.
One of the last places where one of the missing people was seen is a whore house, so reluctantly I follow. When there we are told that the perverted patrons that inhabit this place receive private shows in the basement. It seems possible that someone could be easily ambushed with their guard so low. Not wanting to see the debauchery that the basement contains I opt to stay upstairs, but am quickly alerted by a fight that breaks out soon after the other Griffons decend. After a quick battle we find a secret door, that once breached reveals a passage that is a sanctum for some cultists and their dark abomination. Once defeated we find the missing people in cages, which we set free without question.
Raven explains that he is seeking a lost artifact that is somehow links to the Amulet we posses. He suspects that this artifact is to be found in a place called the Greenwood Vale, which is close to the southern Lake Town, the place where we were asked to sojourn to in order to expland Salamonis’s borders. It seems far to serendipidous an occurance to ignore, so we set off the next morning.
Our journey is pleasant as the sun shines and as we go further south we are greeted by warmer climes. As we travel we encounter a farmer with a large sinkhole that has opened up under his barn. This sinkhole led to a network of tunnels inhabited by large insect-like creatures that spit burning acid. Once dealt with we help the farmer reconstruct his barn. Im not sure why it was felt that we needed to help this man put up his barn, but the majority decided and I must follow.
Eventually we make it to Lake Town, only to discover that it has been overrun by evil Lizardmen. It is evident that in order to proceed we must first liberate Lake Town. We decide that the best time would be to attack at night with the element of surprise. With each Griffon to a role that suits thier talents we attack. I lead the charge and kill many foes until eventually encountering a hulking creature that must be thier leader. We exchange blows and a fell one of his larger subordinates but a blow to my head makes everything go dark.