Saltmarsh

Into the Water
Life is just better, down where it's wetter, under the sea.

This post will cover off two sessions: the one from May 28th as well as the most recent one on June 28th.

After having defeated a platoon of sahuagin and their chuul friend, you set about exploring what you believe to be the top floor of the sahuagin lair. You discovered that most of the floor is under construction, with very little left to do. One particular location of note, however, was the slave quarters.

Arriving at the gated entrance to the slave pen, you found that it was filled with several types of humanoid: a hobgoblin, orcs, lizardfolk, and a single frail human right at the very back. You set the slaves free, with Massilich requesting that some of his soldiers being able to accompany the lizardfolk slaves to the cove that you arrived at so that they might be able to rendezvous with the ship as soon as possible, and you agreed to this. The old human in the back was a different story, however. Every attempt to move him revealed a new level of pain.

He was cognizant enough to introduce himself as “Elmo”, but his mind wandered easily and it was clear to you that he was living his last day. He used to be a great wizard, he said, and leader of a party of adventurers from The Hold of the Sea Princes. They were equipped for underwater adventuring, but made the mistake of entering through the sea cave and found themselves quickly overwhelmed. As far as he knew, he was the only survivor. He was forced to work as a slave, constructing this lair. He started his work “here, on this dry level, above the level [they] entered through.” He also remembered a beautiful piece of craftsmanship that he was forced to help construct in a room to the south, and his description was of a high quality secret door. He gave you a good idea of where to find this door before finally expiring.

You followed the route described and quickly found yourself in the room with the door. After using the Wand of Secrets, you discovered both the door and also the trap that guarded it. Knowing it was there, you decided to trigger it with a mage hand, which worked quite well by allowing you to hide outside of the powerful blast’s radius. You then gained entrance to the small room beyond.

In this other room, and after quite a bit of time resting, you found the following: a Cloak of the Manta Ray, a suit of magical studded leather Mariner’s Armour, a suit of Elven Chain +1, a Berserker Axe, an Instrument of the Bards (Canaith Mandolin), a Wand of Wonder, a Wand of Polymorphing, a Necklace of Adaptation, 8 vials of liquid (Potion of Waterbreathing), a Ring of Protection +1, a Ring of Swimming, a Periapt of Proof Against Poison, and a small packet containing Dust of Disappearance. In addition, you found a wizard’s spellbook (with detect magic, charm person, identify, shield, unseen servant, continual flame, spider climb, arcane lock, fireball, and water breathing), as well as Magical Scrolls of silence, continual flame, knock, and ice storm.

You then moved on to discover a large, unfinished room with stairs leading down deeper into the lair. Salt water lapped just below the second step, as the floor below appeared to be completely flooded.

I believe you chose to rest for the night at this point. Feel free to correct me if I’m wrong about that, though.

You then decided to explore the next floor down, into the water. Avire with her Wand of Polymorph turned three of you into aquatic elves so that you could breathe and move underwater (reducing number of charges on the wand to 19). You then made your way down into a large empty room at the foot of the stairs. Following the east passage, you found an empty room which appeared to belong to someone important. In it, you discovered an area of tall seaweed, anchored in the floor and occupying about 10′×10′ of space. You also found a platinum buckle worth 10gp, a leather bag with 2 small rubies (100gp each), and a small silver mirror (2gp) in the untrapped coffer in the room.

Continuing on, you arrived at a very large room with a large number of what you took to be females and their young. You may have gone unnoticed with the din, except that three females were on their way out of the room and stopped only a short distance from you when they realized you were there. They (and the other females in the room) immediately shifted from what may have been a peaceful scene into one of pure viciousness, and they came at you.

You fought them for a short time, realizing quickly that the scene was growing more dangerous by the moment and that they would soon swarm over you with sheer numbers. Luckily, the Wand of Wonders chose to provide help in the form of a massive fireball. The sahuagin were instantly cooked from the heat. Once the room was safe to enter again, you found that two narrow rooms branched off of the large central room, and these narrow rooms contained large strings of eggs. You were faced with a moral choice: to destroy the sahuagin menace, possibly saving numerous other humanoids including your friends in Saltmarsh, or to allow the ‘innocents’ to live. You chose to end the sahuagin threat altogether by eliminating the future threat of the eggs as well as the few remaining female guardians.

At this point, you had the notion of using the Wand of Polymorph to take on the form of sahuagin females to try to sneak your way through the fortress. This brought the wand down to 13 remaining charges.

You moved around to the west, then, looping back up toward the base of the stairs. On the way, you discovered the room of someone else who appeared to be of some importance. Amongst their belongings, you robbed six harnesses with gold buckles (1gp each), a leather bag containing two emeralds and a diamond (50gp each), a small gold locket on a fine chain (10gp, and the locket contains the drawing of a pretty girl as well as a lock of blonde hair), what you think is a Potion of Heroism, three Arrows +2, a Heward’s Handy Haversack, and what you believe to be a Potion of Gaseous Form.

Continuing on, you discovered another archway to a similar room, except this room was occupied. A single male sahuagin sat at a table eating a fish, a dagger on his hip and his spear laying on the floor behind him. You chose to bypass him, but he took interest in your group as you passed and he came out of his room to speak to you. You have no idea what he said, but you could see he became increasingly agitated as the “conversation” wound on. Eventually, you realized that he was not going to let you pass without a fight, and so you obliged, finishing him quickly.

You continued on and returned to the room containing the stairs up to the “dry floor”. Only once passage remained: to the north. You followed that passage, trying to look casual as you swam about in your adopted forms. Veering west at two of the intersections, you bypassed what sounded like a crowded room. Unfortunately, as you left two of your party members near that room, a sahuagin male noticed you there and started speaking to you. Once again, this did not go well, and words turned into hostile stances and finally an attack. You decided to press the attack against them and soon found yourself fighting almost two dozen sahuagin soldiers, including two lieutenants. With a combination of force of arms, and a little luck with the Wand of Wonder, you ended the night with the entrance to the room clogged with dense seaweed and probably little more than a half dozen sahuagin remaining alive beyond this temporary barrier.

Rewards:

For clearing the females’ quarters, you earned 1,850xp. The chieftain you fought was worth 700xp by himself. And for part of the room full of sahuagin, you receive 1,500xp. This gives you a total of 4,050xp, which (divided by six) comes to 675xp each. I believe this is either enough to bring Avire to 4th level, or is within a very close margin of doing so. HOWEVER, as always, players require a long rest to gain a new level.

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Compendium Sahuagin
The collected notes of the past two sessions

After being boarded by the octopodes, and successfully driving them off, your ship continued on towards the sahuagin threat. The captain woke you early the next morning, before sunrise. On the advice of Oceanus and Massalich, you elected to stop well short of the lair so as not to trigger their defenses. You waited until the sun had risen (when sahuagin are less likely to patrol) and made your way to a small harbour near the lair, sheltered by a rocky promontory.

Upon debarking, you made your way west around the headland and toward the lair. Nearing it, you saw that a low, rocky causeway leads from the salt marsh to a shaded entrance carved into the stone of the side of the hill. Massalich told you that the entrance is new, and in fact that the hill within which the lair was built is shorter now than it once was. He was quite confused and concerned by these changes.

You snuck across the causeway and to the entrance without trouble, but found that the large pair of stone doors ahead of you had no obvious means of being opened. In fact, the only feature visible was a small (6″×4″) slot cut into one of the doors, and blocked by a piece of metal barring the opening on the far side of the door.

Considering your options, you realized that one of you had the Knock spell and thus used that to force the door open. You caught the occupants of the room beyond by surprise, and fought through them without too much trouble. The only difficulty was that two of the sahuagin managed to escape during the confusion, running off in different directions. You offered pursuit, with the party following one of them, and the lizardfolk following the other. The lizardfolk returned to the entrance saying that they had caught their runner, while the party was less successful in their own task.

During our next session, you started out gathered in the entrance (the party, the lizardfolk, and the marines) and began exploring the largely-empty rooms on this level. You got the sense that construction was either complete, or very nearly so, but that these rooms were unoccupied at this time.

While turning a corner, Rakik (with their super-sensitive drow eyes) caught sight of some movement well to the south, beyond what looked like a gate or a grate. With a combination of the Message cantrip and Comprehend Languages, they were able to speak with them and understand their speech, but the creatures seemed to have no interest in conversing with Rakik. The last thing they heard was, ominously, “Send them all.”

Returning then to the entranceway, you organized your forces into four teams to guard the three hallways and the door you entered through. It did not take too long for the inevitable response. You were set upon simultaneously from two of the hallways by teams of sahuagin and even a chuul (the great, tentacled beast you’d fought in the lizardfolk’s fortress). The fight was long and difficult, but in the end you prevailed. The halls are now littered with the dead.

Rewards:

For clearing the entranceway to the sahuagin lair, you receive 1,200xp. For fighting the second encounter, you receive 2,400xp. This gives you a total of 3,600xp to split between you. I’m going to say that the lizardfolk and marines count for only one “share” of the fight experience, since their contributions are limited compared to your own. Oceanus gets a full share, though. This means splitting the experience eight ways, meaning you each get 450xp for those two fights. This is enough to cause Oceanus to gain a level (which he takes as a fighter, granting him a few extra hit points and “Action Surge”). It’s not quite enough to cause Amelia’s character to gain a level, though she’s getting closer to level 4 now.

The two sahuagin lieutenants wore plain gold armbands worth 20gp each, and that was the only objects of real value you have found so far in this fortress. Other than that you have 21 heavy crossbows (each with 10 quarrels), 21 tridents, two suits of scale mail (fit for a sahuagin), two spears, two daggers, several whips, and a small silver key.

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Welcome back! Fare well!
The heroes triumphantly return and depart.

Without much more than catching your breath from the fight against the sahuagin raiders, you made the rounds of the lair to offer your assistance where needed. What you found, however, were lizardfolk (and allies) recovering from their own battles against the sea devils. The fights took a serious toll. The temple was crowded with the dead, wounded, and a team of shamans moving between them and offering aid, both magical and mundane.

After talking to the chieftain at the western cave entrance, you decided to spend the day helping them recover and then leave for Saltmarsh the next morning. The day passed largely uneventfully.

The next morning, you found that the chieftain had assembled some emissaries to travel with you: Massilich the officer, Churrsa the shaman, and six pikers & warriors (among them Passith, the piker you rescued, who volunteered for this assignment). The journey back to Saltmarsh felt very quick and free of danger.

Back on dry land, the party halted out of sight of the Hool Wall while Taryn and Winq traveled ahead to ensure there would be no problems with bringing the lizardfolk into the town. They explained and reexplained the situation to several sets of guards and finally to Wallding the Scribe, who finally summoned the council to meet. It wasn’t long before they were explaining the situation one last time to the council itself, and returning to the wall with a note in hand vouchsafing passage for the lizardfolk. Captain Denning was surprised to see this note, but did as he was commanded, though he sent a squad of his men to accompany your group into the town.

The lizardfolk were allowed into the Town Hall, and most remained out in the atrium while Massilich and Churrsa followed the party into the council chamber. Lord Mayor Timertikos asked for and received a recounting of the events at the lizardfolk lair, and was surprised to hear that the situation was not as they’d believed. When the sahuagin threat was mentioned, however, the council’s mood sprinted from surprise to dread. To stem the panic, however, Massilich explained that the lizardfolk had assembled an alliance of species to try to counter the sahuagin threat, and that emissaries of those species were waiting in the waters off Oak Island to discuss matters further now that Saltmarsh seemed ready to commit to ally with them.

So the council, lizardfolk, soldiers, and yourselves marched off to ferries to take the short trip to Oak Island. The sun set on your way over, so you then traveled by torchlight across the island (led by Lady Tolivar) to the standing stone “circle” on the southern edge of the island. Just beyond it, a path led easily down to a rocky beach. There, some soldiers chopped driftwood and built a pile in the center of the beach, which Lady Tolivar ignited with a gesture.

Not long after, several heads popped out of the water nearby. Merfolk, Massilich explained. The Locathah with them could not breathe air nor speak common, and so the merfolk helpfully translated as the council, party, and lizardfolk gathered round the fire to discuss what would happen next.

Lord Lahti wanted to know where the lair is located, to which Massilich responded that their former home could be found 50 miles southwest of Saltmarsh, along the coast of the Hool Marsh. Lady Tolivar asked how many sahuagin could be found there, though neither Massilich nor Churrsa could answer that question. “Many… enough to kill most of our tribe, and drive out the rest.” Lord Lassiter, then, with a tinge of panic in his voice, said, “We should evacuate at once!” to which Lord Aerakin said, “Yes!” Lady Ivessa (high priest of Pelor) simply whimpered softly.

The party, however, suggested that the fight should be taken to the sahuagin. A strike force, to impair their ability to wage open war. Timertikos said that he would rule out no option, but that evacuation would not be his first choice. In fact, he believed that the party had the right idea: strike now, while they are not fully prepared and not expecting it. It is too soon for them to realize that their raiding party failed to drive out or break the lizardfolk, and so the alliance has some element of surprise on their side.

The lizardfolk, merfolk, and locathah explained that their tribes would need upwards of two months before they were fully prepared to go to war, though some negotiations brought them down to an estimate of three weeks for basic preparations to be concluded. In three weeks’ time, their forces would assemble at Saltmarsh in preparation for one massive assault.

Before that could take place, however, the alliance would need information:

  • How many soldiers and leaders do they have?
  • Where in the lair are the soldiers, leaders, and others housed?
  • What significant defensive measures do they have in place?
  • And finally, how advanced are their preparations? When will they be ready to wage war?

Timertikos asks you all if you will undertake this mission, as part of a larger force. At this point, you could choose to walk away if you wanted no part in the coming danger. But he is willing to offer you 2,000gp (total) as incentive, for any who are not buoyed by nobler motivations. He will also send a squad of six marines. Massilich then tells you that he has been authorized to offer himself and his six soldiers for such a mission, though Churrsa declines, saying that she must return to aid her people in their preparations. Oceanus, then, offers to speak to his own people to entreat them to join the alliance.

As a final token of friendship, Massilich offers Timertikos a golden goblet which had been taken from Saltmarsh during a raid many decades before and descended into the possession of the tribal chieftain. Timertikos said it had belonged to his father, and graciously accepted it. Saltmarsh was officially a part of the alliance.

As an ally, Massilich then requests the return of the weapons and shields which had been taken from the ship assaulted by the party not long before. And also that they be permitted to trade with Saltmarsh for needed provisions: oil, food, etc. Timertikos agrees to each of these terms.

And so the merfolk, locathah and Oceanus all departed together, heading to their homes to speed their preparations for war.

Most of the party gets a comfortable night’s sleep, while Varis stays with the lizardfolk on cots in the council chambers (for their own protection, as there are many in Saltmarsh who can lose their wisdom to drink or who are prone to ignorance without any assistance at all).

The next morning, after some quick shopping, the party is summoned to the dock where you find the Sea Ghost being prepared for the voyage. The ship is crewed by Captain “Red” Lambert, Mate Davey “The Duke” Jameson, Bosun Horatio “Speedy” Drummer, and eight other sailors. They seem capable, and once the ship is fully loaded it heads out into the Azure Sea. Varis and Rose keep watch from the crow’s nest. The weather is extremely favorable, with bright sunshine and an excellent tail wind. Your journey is smooth right up until the giant octopi attack, about six hours in.

From their perch on the aftcastle, Rakik is strangely unsurprised to notice several besuckered tentacles grasping the hull just as the ship begins to veer sharply to port and lose much of its speed. The party leaps to action as four giant octopi slowly climb the hull and try to come over the railing onto the deck. Rakik fended two off from up-close, while others launched arrows or spells from range. Rose flew behind the aft of the vessel and out of sight. Helen’s spiritual stave clocks one of the big heads right upside his jellonoggin. One of the beasts grabs Rakik in two massive tentacles, squeezing them harshly. The captain is similarly grabbed by another, and dragged slightly towards the creature’s beak-mouth. The one gripping Rakik is felled, and then another! Rose suddenly reappears and stings one, causing it to lapse into a giant, poison-induced slumber. Then the group focuses on the last giant octopus, but it decides this meal is too dangerous and drops from the railing to the water below (taking some parting shots on the way). One massive cloud of ink later, and it was gone. Oceanus skillfully dispatches the beast slumbering on deck, while the captain regains his composure and retakes the wheel.

The ship resumes its pace and direction, and the party and crew resume their duties.

Rewards:

For completing the second module and shepherding the people of Saltmarsh into an alliance with the lizardfolk, you receive 1,000XP. For defeating the four giant octopi, you receive 800XP. This, divided by six participants, gives you 300XP each, for a grand total of 3,407XP.

Treasure:

The council gives you a total of 2,500gp to divide among the group as payment for infiltrating the lizardfolk lair, as promised. Divided six ways, again, gives roughly 416gp each.

And we are well on our way to the third module! Yeehaw!

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Spirits from the Vasty Deep
But will they come when you do call for them?

After talking to Tennagak, the Lizardfolk Chieftain, you retreated to your room to rest up after your battle against Stenchbrute and the dragon wyrmling.

After almost two hours of rest, your door is knocked on and you are summoned by an officer to see the chief. Arriving, you find the chieftain, an officer, a shaman, and a hunched old lizard man at the far end of the room, as well as a dozen kobolds in the center. The tiny reptilian creatures look angry.

The chieftain explains that, as members of the alliance, the kobolds have a grievance against you and you have been summoned to clear the air. The leader of the kobolds explains (roughly) that you have killed their lord, Mirsoth, and that reparations must be made via the sacrifice of one of your group. Taryn, then, engaged his diplomacy skills to drive the kobolds to the tipping point of rage. Combat was joined.

As quickly as it had started, it seemed, it was over again. With the leader and many of his companions killed, Taryn was able to shout an intimidating “Surrender!” command which shook their resolve. The handful of remaining kobolds surrendered immediately, and soon skulked off to collect their things and leave the lair. They were done with the alliance, it seemed.

When asked why they had allied with kobolds at all, the chieftain explained that the small creatures were only interested in acquiring the lair once the lizardfolk were done with it. And now that their “Lord Mirsoth” was dead, they had no ties to the alliance at all. Tennagak seemed bemused, or perhaps relieved, by the events. The shaman had initially seemed hostile to the party, but following your quick victory and display of honour, even she seemed convinced to accept you into the alliance. She grudgingly offered healing to the party, for any who were inured by the kobold attacks, and told each of you that you should go to the temple if you found yourselves needing further healing, but that you should not approach the altar.

With the kobolds gone, however, the chieftain had a small problem: noone was available to guard the north entrance. As new alliance members, he reasoned, it would be good for you all to protect that entrance for the night, until reinforcements could be arranged the next day.

When you arrived at the north entrance, you found that the kobolds had transformed the area completely. Tunnels had been dug, and the dirt and stone had been piled up throughout a room and corridor to create a space that was ideal for the small creatures, but difficult to maneuver for anything larger than a halfling.

You also discovered traps that had been laid to repel unwary intruders: an oil-filled pit trap which you presumed should be lit on fire after victims fall in, and two chute-traps in small, elevated side tunnels which dumped victims into the central oil pit. A cage in a nearby area contains a large number of rats which can be swept into sacks for easy launching at enemies. While not strong in a “fair fight”, kobolds are clever when it comes to trapping and inconveniencing their enemies.

You settled in for the night, with Rakik and Rose keeping watch on the door while others slept or meditated. You were all awake for at least an hour when you heard the first yell. A lizardfolk “shieldwall” ran past you from the east, shouting about a sahuagin attack! Almost immediately after, you heard the first “boom!” from the northern door. Something was trying to bash it open! You readied yourselves and got into positions while you waited for the lock-bar to finally splinter.

When the door did give way, in poured the sahuagin. Two of them immediately fell into the oil pit, splashing oil all over the floor around the pit. Rakik lit the area with a fire bolt. The others were then more cautious, stepping around the pit (though taking damage from the licking flames), while the two oil-covered creatures crawled out and ran out of the lair. The fight began in earnest, then, with the sahuagin squeezing onto the raised piles of dirt and stone, and taking the brunt of attacks from the readied players. Shortly after, two more sahuagin fell down the side chute-traps into the oil pit, and likewise crawled out of the lair, completely alight. They kept coming, but none made it beyond the cramped pile of debris. You were victorious! But you felt sure there were other battles raging around the lair, and so you ran to assist.

Heading east, past the portcullis, you encountered a desperate, strange scene. A large group of sahuagin had cornered a squad of lizardfolk, and were slowly finishing them off, one by one. Looming over them was a horrible abomination: a giant creature with chitinous exoskeleton, huge claws, and ropy tentacles draped from where you imagined its mouth to be. As you entered, the creature had a squirming lizardfolk in one of its claws, whose body went limp as the tentacles draped around it. Then, one of the sahuagin smashed the lantern in the room, dropping it to a mix of dim light and darkness.

Taryn started your attack by launching his javelin of lightning towards the sahuagin leader; missing, but catching a couple of others in the fierce electrical blast. The giant, tentacled creature turned and scuttled directly for Taryn, trying (but failing) to catch him in its mighty claws. Several sahuagin were diverted to deal with you as well.

Rose flew off to survey the area around, presumably to find support or locate other skirmishes.

While the great, horrible lobster was having trouble grabbing up its prey, the sahuagin had pierced Taryn’s armor with crossbow bolts and then seemed driven by bloodlust as they closed on him with teeth bared and tridents in hand. At several points, it seemed like they would feast on his corpse, though magic was always able to keep him conscious and fighting, if barely.

Finally, the huge beast managed to catch Varis and Rakik in its claws and did a terrible amount of damage to each before trying to run its tentacles over Rakik. A kind of poison seemed to be penetrating their skin, but they fought through the effect and retained control of their body. The beast then accidentally dropped Varis to the ground while attempting a tighter grip, but Rakik was not as lucky. They were knocked unconscious by the unyielding force of the claw.

Varis received a mental image from Rose of a battle raging underwater nearby, in one of the sea caves to the east. This image repeated, with the addition of a shark fin in the dim grayness.

Arrow after arrow found their mark through the chitinous beast’s thick armor, until finally it could take no more. Winq drove in the final arrow, and it collapsed to the ground.

The party finished off the remaining few sahuagin and then ran to assist the lizardfolk, but found that most of them were dead or dying on the ground and only one remained. On the bright side, the lizardfolk had managed to kill several of the sahuagin as well.

Varis received an image from Rose of calmed waters, with a couple of lizardfolk climbing out of the water. A shark corpse floated nearby.

The party finished off the normal sahuagin, leaving only a lieutenant with four arms fighting the sole remaining lizardfolk. Several arrows and spells wounded the invader greatly.

At that point, Rose flew in silently and perched for just a moment on the lieutenant’s shoulder before plunging his tail-spike into its neck. Down went the last sahuagin in a heap of unconsciousness.

The lieutenant was dragged into a dry cell and locked in. Oceanus informed Varis that the thing wouldn’t live longer than four hours in that condition, but neither elf seemed bothered by that eventuality.

And that’s where we left off. We can handle the post-battle events via email if you like, so that we’re ready for action by next week.

Rewards:

The kobold fight netted you 300 XP total. The first sahuagin force was worth 1,000 XP, and the second was worth 1,800 XP. This gives a grand total of 3,100 XP, or 516 XP for each of the six of you. This brings you to a total of 3,107 XP, which means…

YOU ARE NOW LEVEL 4!

Congratulations! At level four, in addition to extra hit points, spells, and possibly other class-based features, you each get the choice to either increase your ability scores (like Strength, Intelligence, etc.) or take a “Feat”. This is a difficult and personal choice, so I’ll provide whatever assistance is needed to help you make it.

Treasure:

There is very little treasure to be had from these encounters:

  • The kobolds had little of value beyond some rough-iron daggers.
  • The sahuagin were equipped with a trident, a heavy crossbow, and 20 bolts each, along with a grand total of 200sp spread between them.
  • The sahuagin lieutenant had a spear and 10gp in coin.
  • Varis managed to collect components from “Lord Mirsoth” to potentially go towards the production of potions of acid resistance and maybe even a small suit of magical leather armor. Other components were gathered from the body, which I will detail later as I research the possibilities.
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Acid Trip
One enormous handbag, coming right up

The lizardfolk chief, Tennagak, had suggested a means of getting around the burden of weregild that he would traditionally levy as a part of any peace negotiations. His tribe has been having problems with a giant crocodile from the first days after they took over this lair. Normally able to calm and befriend reptiles of all sorts, the lizardfolk shamans could not seem to influence the beast they came to call Stenchbrute. Their attempts always led to violence, and even death in several cases. The giant crocodile didn’t just attack when they came near, either; it seemed that it was actively hunting them in the region.

Tennagak told you that his people were prohibited by the laws of their god from harming any of their kin, but that there were “ways” around such prohibitions. He suggested that if you resolved the problem for him, then he could convince his people that the weregild was unnecessary. And so you prepared yourselves and set off into the marshes the next morning.

You followed a stone-lined path south, through grasses and trees, until you came to a slight rise to the east. At that point, you detected a slight acrid smell in the air, and wisps of haze drifting through the grass. Off to the west, you believed you could hear the Dunwater River. You continued on.

Shortly after, you arrived at a marsh pond cloaked in a light haze, with a strongly acrid smell hanging over the area. The pond was being choked out by grasses and weeds. Helen threw stones off to the west by the shore, and suddenly what you took to be a grassy island launched itself out of the water with powerful propulsion and onto the shore near where the stones fell! It was a huge crocodile! Stenchbrute.

tarynsnack.gifThe fight then began, as Taryn stepped toward the beast and others launched attacks from a distance. The creature caught Taryn in a powerful bite, refusing to let go of its tinned snack. That’s when Varis pulled the Trident of Occasional Fish Command from his quiver, and pointed it towards Stenchbrute. The beast’s eyes seemed to glaze over, and it wasn’t long before its jaw had slackened enough for Taryn to tumble out, alive but badly wounded.

While patrolling the air over the battle, Rose noticed ripples across the pond from where you were fighting, as if something had slipped carefully into the water. It didn’t take long to solve the mystery, as a small black dragon emerged from the shoreline near Taryn to spew a column of acidic goo at him and others near him.

After being driven to the brink of death by each of you, the crocodile was finally dropped by a carefully aimed poke from Rose. The dragon reappeared to try to finish off Taryn and those near him, but they dodged well enough to avoid the worst of it (except Helen, who had to spend some time mending his armor after the battle). The dragon did not live for very much longer, and Varis quickly cut in front of Taryn to remove its head.

As you caught your breath, Rose sent images to Varis of a glade in the woods on the other side of the marsh pond which featured an oddly-carved stone platform. You ventured over there and discovered a huge boulder which had been reduced to a flat disc, apparently by acid and claws over a long period of time (Varis guessed the beast was no older than 5 or 6 years). At the center was carved an indentation, and it was filled with coins and objects of value. You then spent an hour recovering some health and identifying the objects.

Rewards:

For defeating Stenchbrute and the nameless Black Dragon Wyrmling you earn 2,250 XP. Divided 6 ways you earned 375 XP, bringing you to a total of 2,591 XP each. So close to your next level at 2,700 XP; but alas.

You found a great deal of treasure, however:

  • 960cp (worth 9.6gp)
  • 340gp
  • 16pp (worth 160gp)
  • an amethyst (100gp)
  • a jet (150gp)
  • a carved bone statuette (25gp)
  • a large gold bracelet (200gp)
  • a jade brooch (250gp)
  • a beautiful necklace studded with rubies and diamonds (760gp)
  • a stoppered bone tube containing a Scroll of Protection (Undead) (I think Rakik has this)
  • a set of Bracers of Archery (I believe Varis took these)
  • a suit of Glamoured Studded Leather Armor (I believe Helen took this)
  • and a small iron box containing three potions in glass vials (one makes you feel sturdy, one gives you a strong hint of health, and one gives you a boost of muscle strength).
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The Big Reveal
Wherein purpose is muddied

We picked up at the moment immediately following the big fight.

You caught your breath for a few minutes in the barracks amongst the scattering of lizardfolk bodies, while Helen spent 10 minutes working his magic to restore some health to the entire group, which was desperately needed.

Taryn, then, decided it was time to get some answers from the prisoner you had trussed up in the lizard cave. He returned to the cave and began to carry the lizardfolk warrior when he realized there were banging sounds coming from the north. It seems that someone in the room with the heavily-spiked door wanted out. Disregarding this, Taryn resumed carrying the creature to the door of the barracks. Just at that moment, two things happened: first, he heard the sounds of approaching lizardfolk (the subtle clanking of armor and weapons, the footsteps on packed earth), and then the prisoner began to thrash to escape his grasp. The prisoner actually managed to break free, but being trussed up he simply fell onto the ground. In no mood to coddle, Taryn grabbed him by his feet and hauled him into the room, closing the door behind him.

Moments passed, and then: a banging on the door! Breaths were held.

In draconic, a voice said, “You got coin?”

Varis, improvising quickly, responded, “Tonight.”

After a tense moment, the voice said, “Okay.” and the sound of soldiers marching receded.

Varis felt inspired by his quick thinking as the party congratulated him.

Loosening the prisoner’s muzzle a little, Taryn asked him some questions but was met with stubborn anger. The questioning did not last long, however, as the sound of soldiers charging toward the room seemed to drown out other noises.

With only moments to react, the party threw benches against the doorway to slow down any intrusion, and flipped the table on its side for cover. No sooner had this been done, then an lizardfolk officer in his bronze splint armor pulled open the door. Lines of lizardfolk soldiers stood behind him, at the ready.

The party focused its ire against the officer, and exacted a heavy price from him. Almost dropping him before he’d even had the chance to enter the room. Almost.

By the time the slow lizardfolk had had a chance to act, you found yourself completely sealed into the room, facing nine angry soldiers (including the officer, who had moved around to flank Taryn). Their attacks rained down upon you, their weapons finding purchase in your fertile armor. There was a great deal of cutting, bruising, and bleeding.

Things were looking grim.

Helen mentioned parley, and the group was surprised to find that the officer actually could speak a little of the common tongue. The officer called you invaders, “like the others,” and wondered why you should be granted any sort of parley after taking such aggressions. Taryn made a case for why he felt that your group had acted honourably, citing the impending invasion of Saltmarsh along with a half-hearted “we were attacked as we broke into your lair”. It was a flustered presentation in the heat of battle, but the meaning was clear and it must have had the taste of honesty because the officer paused to consider it for a moment before speaking.

“We are not going to attack Saltmarsh.”

The words broke like a fever. What did this mean? The officer seemed to read the turmoil on your faces, and he instructed his soldiers to hold their attacks.

Words poured out from Taryn and Varis (and others?) as they launched into what I can best describe as an apolexcuse. The people of Saltmarsh… a misunderstanding… very, very sorry. The words churned as your minds reeled over the implications of what he had revealed.

The real question soon came into focus: if they were not arming themselves to fight the humans of Saltmarsh, then who were they preparing to fight?

At this question, the officer paused for a moment and then said, “You need to talk to the chief.” After some herding, he convinced you all to accompany him. You wandered through hundreds and hundreds of feet of corridor, past doors and side halls. Someone remarked that this isn’t just a barracks, it’s a village, and the more you saw the more you were convinced that this was correct.

Eventually, you were brought to a room with four soldiers sitting at a table in front of a closed, stout, iron-bound door with a keyhole. The officer instructed a soldier to unlock the door which he proceeded to do. He also instructed you to lay your weapons on the table, which you hesitatingly (and somewhat incompletely) did. Then he led you into the dark room beyond the locked door. Down some stairs you found yourselves in a long room with five stout, iron-bound doors, each with keyholes. He unlocked the 2nd and 3rd doors and instructed you to step inside the two rooms in two groups of three. The doors were then closed and locked behind you. The cells proved to be nearly sound-proof.

You rest for an hour or more, feeling much better by the time you hear the key in the door and are welcomed back into the light. The officer collects you from your cells, and you are taken to meet the chief.

On the way, you cut through a large room with six thick wooden pillars. On the far end a mattress was pegged to the wall, and splayed across it appeared to be the body of a humanoid. Nobody recognized it except—barely—Oceanus. He spat out the word “sahuagin” (sa-how-gan), and explained that these vile creatures come from the deep sea. They are vicious and cruel. He would probably have elaborated further, but you suddenly arrived at your destination and were led into the throne room.

The room was also quite large, with six thick wooden pillars. At the far end, a carved wooden throne inlaid with what appear to be gems. On the walls, the mounted heads of various creatures. Sitting on the throne, with his shield and battleaxe near at hand, was the largest lizardfolk you’ve yet seen. The chief.

He dismissed the officer who accompanied you, and then turned to look at Oceanus. He told you that a warrior had returned to the lair recently after having escaped from a fight on the ship he was traveling aboard. The warrior was one of three assigned to monitor the trading of arms and armour for the lair. When the aquatic elf (Oceanus) was captured aboard the ship, the lizardfolk shaman on board speculated that he might be a malenti. This is the term used for a sahuagin born with the form of an aquatic elf, which happens every century or so according to legend. Such creatures can sow great discord and act as perfect and dangerous spies. Oceanus protested the accusation immediately (understanding only that single elven word, “malenti”), but the chief did not understand elven. Some translating took place back and forth between them, but the chief could not be dissuaded of the possibility that the rumour was true. So he asked that Oceanus return to the cell to await some means of discerning the truth. Oceanus very reluctantly agreed, asking the party only that you not leave him in that cell for the rest of his life.

Once Oceanus had been led out by armed guards, the chief resumed the conversation. You took away some key points:

  • He intimated that the loss of the shaman in your earlier battle may have actually helped him.
  • He reaffirmed that the lizardfolk do not intend any harm to Saltmarsh.
  • The reason they are arming themselves is because they are going to fight the sahuagin.
  • He revealed that this is not their lair. In fact, it was the lair of a tribe of lizardfolk from many, many years ago, but had been long abandoned due to its proximity to Saltmarsh.
  • The sahuagin had actually chased them from their lair, and they’ve been rebuilding their strength to return and retake it.
  • Their original lair is far to the south.
  • There may be a way for Oceanus to help prove his innocence. You will hear more of this later.

He told you that to attain peace between you and his people, you had to do two things: first, you must return everything taken from lizardfolk in this lair, and second, you must pay the weregild price. Weregild (also spelled wergild, wergeld, weregeld, etc.), also known as “man price”, is a value placed on every being and piece of property. These two stipulations may be painful, but the chief indicated that he was in a difficult position since he needed to show his people that you had paid for your actions. Then he said that while the return of treasure was non-negotiable, there was an alternative to weregild.

When the lizardfolk retreated to this lair, he began, they quickly realized that a giant crocodile lived in the marshes nearby. They took this as a good omen from Semuanya (you don’t know who this is, thought by context it may be their god), except for some reason they were unable to control this particular reptile. After several deadly attempts to befriend the beast, they gave up and decided to ignore it and avoid its pool. Not long ago, however, the beast began attacking their hunting and foraging parties out farther in the marshes. The crocodile’s hunger seems to be growing, and they still have no means to control it.

“And that’s where you can help,” he said. The lizardfolk are prohibited from harming reptiles, so they cannot kill it and can’t even drive it away. If your group killed it, however, that would solve the problem. You get the sense that the chief is a bit of a pragmatist, though obviously paying some mind to their religious traditions.

You told him that you would need to rest for the night to gather your strength. You also asked if Oceanus could assist you with the fight, and he agreed to that. He gave each of you a red feather token from a lace around his neck and told you that these tokens would allow you free passage. He did warn you about three things, though: first, you should not draw your weapons or act in a threatening manner around his people since they might react poorly to such behaviour; second, you should avoid the koalinth pool to the east since they are brutish and kind of evil; and third, you should avoid the darkened areas to the north since that area is defended by kobolds who are notorious for their cunning and traps. Also, he gave you the password to bypass the portcullises: “electrum” in draconic. Taryn mentioned that he would need some extra sleep to be ready for the fight, so they should not wake him too early.

You were then led to the room where your weapons were being stored. Opening the door to the darkened “lumber room”, you found your weapons thrown unceremoniously on the ground near the door. You also got a powerful wiff of rot and decay from the room, though none was visually apparent from the lighting you used.

Winq used mage hand to pull the weapons out of the room, but curiosity got the better of the group and Rakik used its Wand of Magic Detection to find something magical in the southwest corner of the room. Taryn stepped in and discovered the body of a dead elf half-covered with sack cloth and other debris. Removing the cloth, it was apparent the body was killed some time ago, and had obviously been through a fierce battle. Its padded armor was almost destroyed, and it held the hilt of a broken shortsword in one hand. The magic, Rakik told him, was below the body. So Taryn lifted it with his sword and you discovered a six inch long ivory wand, as well as a backpack being worn by the corpse, along with a belt pouch.

The backpack mostly contained rotting garbage, but a couple of items stood out: a set of decently-intact thieves’ tools, and a bone tube with a roll of parchment stuffed inside. The purse contained 5gp, 11sp, a topaz (15gp), and a scrap of paper with the word “Boorabap” written on it in the common script.

Your guide then pointed you to your temporary quarters, directly across the hall from the lumber room. You set up in the room (even poking around a little and discovering a valuable-looking chunk of amber in a chest) and eventually got comfortable. Meals and water were brought to you.

Varis studied the Trident of Occasional Fish Command, while Taryn studied the Javelin of Lightning, and Rakik studied the Wand of Secrets. The scroll was discovered to be a Scroll of Knock, which is capable of opening a locked or closed object though with the drawback of making quite a lot of noise.

During the night, Varis visited Oceanus in his cell and told him about what was going on. Oceanus informed him that he’d been treated well enough, and he was happy to hear that he might be given the chance to prove his innocence.

Rewards:

While you did not defeat the lizardfolk guards by strength, you did manage to overcome their challenge by quick thinking and some lucky fast-talk. Therefore you earn the full 1250xp for that fight.

In addition, for learning the truth about the true “Danger at Dunwater” ©™, you earn 1000xp.

This means 375xp each, which brings your total to 2216xp (next level: 2700).

Treasure was pretty slim this time:
- You lose the few coins and items you got from fighting the previous battles in the lair (see “loot” from previous two Adventure Logs).
- Helen volunteered the Staff of the Adder, which had been taken from the lizardfolk quarters on the Sea Ghost.
- Rakik has the Wand of Secrets which did not belong to the lizardfolk.
- You found 5gp, 11sp, and a topaz (15gp) which did not belong to the lizardfolk.
- By the same logic, Taryn aims to keep the Javelin of Lightning which also did not belong to the lizardfolk.

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What's Behind Door Number One?
Zonk!

progress-map.jpgHaving scouted north and south a short ways, you settled on spiking the door to the north (beyond which you heard a great deal of susurration, sounding like the casual chatter of a large number of lizardfolk). You then proceeded south to the room marked with a red X on the attached progress map. Fewer voices were heard inside, and so you took it to be less of a risk.

Throwing open the door, you quickly realized that you were looking at a crude barracks. Fifteen straw mattresses lay on the ground with a small wooden chest at the foot of each. The center of the room has a long table with wooden benches and chairs surrounding it. A lit lantern sits on the center of the table.

It appeared that nine lizardfolk soldiers were being formed up by a heavily armoured leader. A shaman stood off to the side in a corner, observing the proceedings.

Four of the soldiers had turtleshell-style spiked shields (actually made of metal, like those you’ve seen before) and spears. Three others had morningstars, spiked shields and javelins. The two remaining soldiers had long spears (pikes) and javelins. The officer was armed with a longsword and longbow, and wore bronze splint mail with a shield. The shaman wore no armor, and had no apparent weapons.

You managed to catch the room by surprise. Taryn seized the moment by pushing into the room while others made attacks from the hallway. Rose kept watch up and down the hall, to make sure you would not be interrupted. Winq cast Sleep on the room, but was disappointed to find that it only affected two of the crowd.

It was a hard fight, but you were making good progress despite their best efforts. And then the shaman changed things up. She created thick fog in the hallway, blocking all lines of sight into the room. Suddenly Taryn was in trouble, with some lucky shots from the soldiers surrounding him. He dropped quickly. Helen, who had pushed into the room beside Taryn, used his duplicate power to make a hasty retreat. Rose flew in to lend his blindsight to Varis by perching above the lintel of the door and projecting what he saw directly into Varis’ mind.

Rakik used its magic to help drag Taryn from the room, while Varis continued his assault thanks to Rose’s vision. Winq decided to give Sleep one more try, and the group was relieved when, immediately after, the fog quickly dissipated; the shaman had been knocked out! Out of tricks, the lizardfolk were then overwhelmed by the group’s force as they pushed into the room.

You then stood over the corpses of eleven lizardfolk, and claimed your rewards:

9 soldiers @ 100xp each = 900xp
1 leader @ 450xp = 450xp
1 shaman @ 450xp = 450xp
Total = 1800xp, divided 6 ways = 300xp each

This brings you to a grand total of 1841xp (next level: 2700).

Looting through the room, you find:

10x leather bandoleer (worn by soldiers & leader)
4x spear
7x spiked shield
3x morningstar
2x pike
21x javelin
1x bronze splint mail
1x shield
1x longsword
1x longbow
1x quiver w/ 10 arrows
1x staff
1x fine silver chain with an ivory plaque (15gp) (found on a soldier)
1x silver collar (15gp) (worn by the leader)
1x silver collar set with pearls (15gp) (worn by the shaman)
15x bottle of vegetable oil (chests)
60x oily cloths of various bright colours (chests)
5x leather bandoleers (chests)
5x purse containing money (total 15 electrum pieces) (chests)
1x whetstone (chest)
1x dagger w/ scabbard (chest)
1x crude wooden carving of a crocodile (chest)

The room is quite spartan, and a quick search reveals nothing beyond what is listed above.

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Into the Lair of the Lizardfolk
Now, we begin to see the Danger at Dunwater!

The night began with you resting after your fight against the Bullywugs. A short rest revealed the magical nature of the following items:

  • Ioun Stone (iridescent spindle): when orbiting the owner’s head, they no longer need to breathe air. (Taryn, requires attunement)
  • Cap of Water Breathing: while worn underwater, the wearer can speak its command word as an action to create a bubble of air around their head. (Nameless Bard, who found the word “Styx” sewn into the cap’s headband).
  • Quiver of Ehlonna: has three compartments (arrow-sized, javelin-sized, and spear-sized). Currently contains 24 arrows, 10 magical +1 arrows, and what Oceanus believes is a Trident of Fish Command. (Varis)

After the rest, you continued on toward the lizardfolk lair.

Just before reaching the bank of the Dunwater River, you were confronted with an intersection. You followed the path to the east and came to the spot where the river meets the Azure Sea. Across the river to the south you saw a sizeable hill, which fit the general location of the lair shown on the map you’d been following.

The mouth of the river was choked with grassy islands. You sent Oceanus into the water to scout ahead. No sooner had he set out, it seemed, than he reappeared. He charged out of the water in a full run, pursued closely by two gigantic crayfish. They followed him up onto the shore next to the party.

You took care of the creatures with haste, and pushed on again immediately.

Moving back to the west, you passed the intersection and continued on to the inland bank of the Dunwater River. The river at this area looked fordable, with shallows leading to a grassy island in the middle of the stream. You all crossed safely, and found yourselves on the southern bank of the river with the lair hill ahead of you to the south east.

The hour was getting late at this point, and you felt that pushing on would have been unwise. You made a clearing in the high grass off the main path and concealed your tracks. The night watch was only roused once by the sound of many armoured creatures moving along the path toward the east.

The next morning allowed you to confirm that the tracks left on the path were those of lizardfolk, and they seemed to lead to the hill ahead of you.

Rose flew reconnaissance, which allowed you to see a large cave mouth in the western side of the hill. This seemed to be where the tracks were leading, as well, and so you pursued right up to the mouth of the cave.

You had not managed to get far into the muddy cave mouth when you realized that the cave was not, in fact, empty. Several large lizards sprang to life and charged at you across the thick, muddy floor.

During your fight with them, a small group of lizardfolk appeared and moved to join the fight. They demanded your surrender (in the draconic language) as they approached, but they didn’t seem willing to wait long for your answer before launching their attacks.

The fight continued until only two lizardfolk remained. One of them ordered the other to run for help just before he died, and the second tried to make a run for the southern archway. Rose, however, was prepared to intercept him and managed to inject enough poison to knock him out cold.

You tied him up, gagged him, and propped him up in the mud to await some delayed justice.

A battered breastplate was discovered in the mud, on the northern side of the cave (sorry, I can’t remember who discovered it… maybe Varis?). This seemed to be unusable, but beneath it in the mud was found a silvery metallic javelin. The word “Arc” is engraved in delicate script along the shaft of the weapon.

Meanwhile, you all moved on to the stone walkway at the back of the cavern. You first investigated the northern archway (from whence the lizardfolk had come) with the bard sneaking on ahead. She discovered the guard room (now empty), a door (with many lizardfolk voices behind it), and eventually a portcullis. She returned to the group.

Moving to the southern archway, she discovered that it turned east fairly quickly and that the first door to her left also had a number of voices beyond it.

This is where we left things off.

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Bullywug Bullies
The perils of a forced marsh

You began on the deck of the Sea Ghost, with Tom Stoutly warning you of inclement weather ahead. Not wanting to chance the strength of an unfamiliar anchor chain, he suggested that you all pitch in and follow orders to get the ship back to Saltmarsh safely. Each taking various tasks, you did your best to keep the ship off the rocks and headed toward the distant light of town.

The weather grew worse with each passing mile, and there were times when it felt like you were struggling for each inch of forward progress. Will and Tom did their best to bark orders, but you could see from their faces that they knew things weren’t going well. Inspiration struck Varis, though, when he realized that someone needed to lead the effort (and that Will and Tom lacked those social skills). Boogiestein stepped up and started coordinating efforts and raising morale, and things started to work as more of a machine. Before the storm had a chance to reach its apex, you rounded the turn into Saltmarsh’s rivermouth “harbour”. Things weren’t all good, though, as the ship had too much momentum and struck the dock with a bone-shuddering scrape, causing an unknown amount of damage to both the ship and dock. The ship seemed stable, at least, which Will took as a “good enough” situation. Lesly Luscomb was less impressed, though she did at least seem happy that you all made it back alive (especially her men).

After a quick debrief, and at your request, she brought you to the Town Hall where you put in a fire and settled in to wait for the Council to arrive. Some time later, with the council in attendance, you recounted your tale in full to those assembled. They were alarmed at the news of lizardfolk arming themselves with advanced weaponry. The thought that a colony arming for conflict could be living so close to the town was something that they could not afford to ignore. They sent the party off to get some sleep and to return in the morning.

In the morning, while the paladin dozed, the elves ran some errands. Eventually, a young man named Alfic came to get you. Oceanus was waiting with him at The Silver Raven where you’d spent the night. You returned to the Town Hall.

The council looked like they had not slept, but welcomed you and had some food set out for you. They gave you each the 200gp you were promised for defeating the crew of the Sea Ghost and capturing the ship and smuggled goods. They then sat you down to discuss their resolutions.

First, they have enacted conscription to call up and arm all capable citizens of the town. This won’t be enough to withstand a full scale attack, but it may slow the assault until help can arrive.

Next, they have notified the soldiers at the Hool Wall (the only line of defense against a land-based attack from the Hool Marsh), as well as dispatching a cutter to Redshore Island which is the seat of the Viscounty of Salinmoor (the region of Keoland you are currently in). They hope the viscount will have soldiers to send to Saltmarsh’s aid.

And finally, they need information on the lizardfolk colony. This is where you come in. They offered you 2,500gp (i.e. 500gp each) to scout the lizardfolk base, learn its troop strength, and discover what their plans are.

You agreed to take on this task, and the council seemed grateful for it.

You set off on foot the next morning, with some assistance from Lady Tolivar (a female halfling who always seems dressed for the road). She suggested that you would want to travel during the low tide, as the marsh becomes very difficult to traverse at high tide. Also, she suggested you only travel during the day, as the marsh becomes enshrouded by thick fog at night.

Setting off into the marsh, with Rose keeping watch from above and guiding you along a relatively steady path, you kept up a fast pace for several hours and closed about half of the distance to the River Dunwater (where you expect to find the lair).

You then slowed to a normal pace and so were able to notice an oddity ahead before stumbling into what might be a trap. Rose sent aerial surveillance pictures to Varis of what appeared to be giant frogs waiting by the path, stealthily. Helen used his new “clone” ability to send a double of himself walking along the path. It was then that the ambush was sprung, as several frogmen leapt out of swampy water and tried to drive their spears into the illusory Helen. Thus sprung, combat ensued. Several bullywugs (for that is what they are called) kept up their attack on Helen’s double, while others fought the creatures from range with arrows and spells. Taryn eventually charged ahead on the path to take on the foes directly.
Bullywug_Twitcher.jpg
Wave after wave of the bullywugs leapt out of the shadows of the swamp and attacked the party, and many of their attacks found the mark. But through skill and determination you cut the creatures down until their bodies sank into the swamp. You rested for several minutes while Helen granted Fharlanghn’s healing power to each of you.

Acting on an educated hunch, you find the bullywug encampment on a dry patch of ground within a grove of weeping willows to the east of the path. At the encampment, you find some treasure (below) gathered into a well-tied sack. The clearing is marked with a ring of beaten down reeds and grass where you believe the bullywugs slept and ate. The sack is found at the very center of that ring, almost as if it held some especial significance for the creatures.

Experience. You receive 950 XP (158 XP each) for defeating the bullywug horde.

Treasure. 110gp, 5 rubies (50gp each), leather pouch containing a spindle-shaped iridescent stone, a leather cap, and a very nice looking quiver. Examining these items leads you to believe that the stone, cap and quiver might be magical. You will need a short rest (i.e. 1 hour) to assess the magic further.

In addition, the bullywug leader wore a breastplate (now scorched) and carried a longsword. Each of the 18 other bullywugs carried spears and wore hide armor.

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Snakes on a Boat
I've had it with these motherfucking snakes on this motherfucking boat!

As we began the evening, you were on a smuggler vessel named the Sea Ghost anchored two miles offshore from the “haunted” house. You had previously attempted to sneak aboard the ship, but attracted the attention of the crew a little early and combat ensued. This evening, you finished that fight.

Taryn and Rakik were on the poop deck fighting the captain and a crewman. Boogie, Helen, Will and Tom were on the main deck fighting the mate and another crewman. Varis was keeping a crow’s-eye view of things from the nest.

After a rough battle during which Will was unconscious and nearly dead, you took a moment to collect yourselves and get Will back on his feet. No sooner had spells been cast and potions been drunk, however, when the remaining crewmen emerged from the forecastle led by an angry bosun!

The hook-handed bosun made straight for Tom, while the four crewmen spread out to attack those nearby. That fight saw Tom rendered unconscious as well while you continued to try to take down the last of the crew.

Snake_Crushes_Cutter.jpgAs the last of the crew were killed, you heard a horrible crunching sound and turned to see a huge snake wrapped around the cutter you arrived in! A moment later the boat was mere splinters and sail cloth floating on the ocean waves, while the snake was nowhere to be seen. You got Tom back on his feet, just as Varis was hearing a hissing sound coming from the front of the ship.

A moment later, the snake had climbed up the port side of the ship and coiled itself on the main deck! Rakik sent a ball of electricity shooting towards it, but missed and instead destroyed a section of railing around the forecastle. The light from that attack revealed two lizardfolk and a crocodile making their way over the top of the forecastle!

Taryn_battles_lizards.jpgThings were looking pretty dark for our beleaguered team, but you pressed on valiantly. The snake (whose head was as large as any of you) lunged and tried to sink its teeth into Taryn, but failed. The lizardfolk moved down onto the main deck, one moving in next to Taryn, and the other confronting Will and Tom. The crocodile slid down the ladder and turned to grasp Taryn in its mighty jaws, succeeding in locking him in a death-grapple.

Pseudodragon.jpgMost of you focussed on killing the snake, while Taryn defended himself from his attackers and Will was once again knocked unconscious. Helen, meanwhile, was holding his position near the poop deck and was thus surprised to find a tiny dragon perched on his shoulders, and the tiny dragon’s poison-barbed tail driven into his neck. Helen lost consciousness at that point, and the tiny dragon flew away into the darkness. It returned several seconds later but was spotted by Rakik and so chose to avoid the drow and fly a slow circle instead. As it was passing, Rakik spoke to it in Draconic and it stared at the drow while projecting an image into Rakik’s brain: the image of a tiny dragon happily eating a morsel of food. Rakik then woke up Helen with a quick kick and returned to killing the giant snake with the others. In the next round, the tiny dragon appeared on Rakik’s shoulders, projected an image of an unhappy tiny dragon starving to death into the drow’s brain, and then injected some poison (though without knocking Rakik out). The tiny dragon then flew away, though was clipped by Rakik’s scimitar as it launched itself into the air.

It wasn’t too much longer before the snake was dealt a death blow, an event which resulted in the snake seeming to pop like a balloon; disappearing with a bang but no other trace!

The team then focussed its efforts against the crocodile and lizardfolk, killing one of each before the final lizardfolk decided to break from combat and leap into the ocean, disappearing into the dark waters below. As the crocodile expired, it began to quickly transform into a lizardfolk (which you assume to be a female, due to the slighter frame and plain appearance).
Lizards_defeated.jpg

Finally, the ship grew peaceful and you were able to collect yourselves, get Will back on his feet again, and move into the aft-castle for some exploration and/or a rest. As he was moving towards the aft-castle, an image appeared in Varis’ mind: of a tiny dragon happily eating a morsel of food. He threw a piece of meat up into the air, and the pseudodragon (for that is what it was) swooped past and gobbled it out of the air. He received an image of a happy pseudodragon, and the tiny creature perched on the rigging above him briefly before hopping down onto his shoulder. Russ, I’ll send you some information on your new pet.

We won’t need to get together to play out the rest of the ship, since there is no combat left to resolve and I assume you will carefully inspect the vessel before taking a long rest. So I will instead post a link to the wiki which will walk you through the various rooms of the ship and describe to you what you find there. If you have any comments, concerns, or actions you’d like to take in response to the wiki, we can resolve them by email.

Experience:
Mate “Bloody” Bjorn = 100xp
Sea Ghost Crew = 25xp each (200xp total)
Punketah (the spellcaster you killed immediately) = 100xp
Captain Sigurd “Snake Eyes” = 200xp
Bosun “Foul” Frithoff = 50xp
Lizardfolk = 100xp each (200xp total)
Lizardfolk Shaman = 450xp
Giant Constrictor Snake = 450xp
Pseudodragon = 50xp
Reward for capturing the Sea Ghost = 500xp
Total = 2300xp split between 7 people (Will and Tom earn xps, of course) = 330xp each

That brings your total experience to-date to 745xp + 330xp = 1075xp. That means… DING! You’ve each reached level 3! Congratulations! Level three is considered to be the first turning point for characters, when they truly begin to embody their chosen classes. Being as it’s so important, I’d like to take some time soon to get together one-on-one to go over each of your characters for an hour or two. I’ll send individual emails about that.

Treasure:
chain shirt x3
leather armor x8
robes
helmet x3
spiked shield
longsword (magical)
longsword (magical)
longsword x2
shortsword x8
dagger x11
iron hook (formerly attached to the arm of the bosun)
light crossbow w/ 8 bolts
shortbow w/ 12 arrows
darts x6
javelin x3
wand (magical)
gold finger ring (15gp)
gold arm-band (20gp) x2
gold chain with ‘lucky charm’ (10gp) x2
gold finger-ring (5gp)
gold ear-ring (5gp)
gold finger-ring with small gems (75gp)
gold finger-ring with small gems (50gp)
gold ear-ring (10gp)
Lizardfolk_Symbol.jpgsilver collar (5gp) with an engraved emblem of a lizard with forked tongue extended.
gem (50gp)
gem (75gp)
gem (100gp)
pouch of spell components
15gp, 67sp, and 23cp in belt pouches on the various crewmen.

Will and Tom had hoped to receive some small amount of treasure for helping with the combat (i.e. a tip), but given how dangerous their roles turned out to be they will politely ask to receive an equitable portion of the loot you take. They each bear scars which may stay with them for a lifetime.

(Note: the treasure listed above only includes what you find on the dead bodies. My description of each of the rooms of the vessel may contain more treasure, which you can decide the fate of.)

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