Saltmarsh

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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