Skulls and Shackles

Session #24: Wiping the Cyclopes Out

This session included Hobbes, Manumit, Pirate Captain Pirate, Eremander, and Kanger (played by myself). After the celebration of Manumit's return, the party returned to the ruins. They cleared through the courtyard and the eastern side, fighting cyclopes and gargoyles. Their final challenge on the east side was a giant trapper known as The Great Mother. It smothered Manumit, slaying him for the 2nd time. Thankfully, Hobbes saved him with a breath of life and the PCs slayed the creature. After a night of resting back on The Jenny, they collected themselves and began to explore the western side. Their first battle was against a small group of cyclopes being led by a female cyclops lieutenant named Shaija. Manumit destroyed the minor cyclopes with a fireball, however Shaija was a tougher challenge. Just before she fell, she killed Eremander for the 2nd time and was finished off by Kanger. One of the cyclopes ran away to warn a supposed "Ishtoreth." After reviving Eremander and healing up, they gave chase to the runaway cyclops. They caught up with him along with several other cyclopes and defeated all of them before the runner could warn Ishtoreth. When they were defeated, the PCs readied themselves for the potential fight with Ishtoreth, moved into the next chamber and discovered him. As he reached for his weapon and roared, this is where the session ended.

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Session #23: The Return of Manumit

This session included Hobbes, Levin, Eremander, and Kanger (being played by myself). After successfully clearing the fort, the PCs decided on finding these ruins to destroy the Dreamstone. But first, they returned to Port Peril to sell their gathered treasures. Back on Sindus, they fought two triceratops'. They discovered a fork in the road, going right first as the ruins can be seen in the distance. Upon their arrival, the PCs were caught in a giant net trap, signaling two cyclopes. Thanks to Levin, he used dimension door to move the party behind the cyclopes and attacked. After slaying them, four more arrived. During the battle, both Kanger and Eremander were slain but brought back by Hobbes with Breath of Life. After another day of resting, the PCs went left on the road instead, only to find an abandoned lookout point that watches out over the sea. They then returned to the ruins and heard a feminine voice beckon them to the fountain. When they went over, they discovered Vailea, a female marid. The PCs wished her free from the bounds of the fountain and in thanks, she told them that the cyclopes have become ravenous due to starvation. Also as a reward, she granted them 1 wish. After some brief discussion, the PCs decided to use the wish to revive their fallen friend, Manumit. Thus, he was brought back from death, Vailea teleported away, and the PCs caught Manumit up with past events and were very happy to have him back. They returned back to The Jenny to celebrate his return. This is where the session ended.

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Session #22: The Master and His Apprentice

This session included Hobbes, Pirate Captain Pirate, Kanger, Levin, and Eremander. After his face off with death, Levin went to sleep and woke up, finding himself on the upper deck of an unknown ship. There were endless clouds and the ocean water was instead an empty, black void. Levin came across a woman at the front of the ship and asked her where he was. The woman was identified as an avatar of Besmara. She told Levin that his journey is not yet over as a pirate is meant to make an impact on the seas. Ending the conversation with, "You will not fail. You must not fail. Let this be your second chance." Upon waking up, he discovered a new tattoo on his upper arm of Besmara's holy symbol. After this ordeal, the party returned back to the fort to explore. Throughout the fort, they discovered strange, incorporeal entities who took the forms of those that the PCs have lost such as Crimson, Barhare, and Morrison. They defeated these entities, discovering they are not the true ghosts of their friends. The PCs also ran into Ederleigh Baines, Hobbes' childhood friend and Bikendi Otongu's apprentice. He was clearly mentally insane and attempted to run but was knocked unconscious and brought back to the Jenny. There, Hobbes used a previously discovered scroll of greater restoration to cure him. Ederleigh was extremely grateful and told the PCs everything he knew about Bikendi's ritual. The PCs then recruited Ederleigh into their crew and returned to the fort. Once there, the PCs went into the lower levels and discovered Bikendi's corpse and journal, revealing everything from his point of view. After learning this, Bikendi appeared and demanded that the PCs bring him the Dreamstone. They refused and a battle ensued. They defeated Bikendi, explored the remainder of the lower levels, cleared rubble leading into a ruined amphitheater, and learned from Ederleigh that Bikendi cannot be fully slain until the Dreamstone is destroyed. Ederleigh told the PCs the location of the ruins that contains the Dreamstone but warned them of the cyclopes. The session ended with the PCs preparing to head for the ruins, but not before leveling up to level 10.

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Session #21: Island Cleanup

This session included Hobbes, Levin, Pirate Captain Pirate, and Kanger played by myself. After the successful crab bombing took place, the party rested up on the Jenny. The next day, they decided to dock in a different bay; specifically the main bay of the island. When sailing out on a life boat, a giant spyglass octopus attacked. The party disposed of the octopus and salvaged as much as they could to provide Ambrose with food. Afterwards they decided to investigate the fort they saw when entering the bay. They fought giant fiendish harpies along the way then arrived at the fort. When investigating, the party fought numerous giant crawling hands. Levin was unfortunately killed in the battle, but thankfully, Hobbes succeeded a breath of life spell, returning Levin back to life. Continuing the search, the party decided to explore the wall and guard towers. In the main tower, the party ran into a phase spider rogue named Paeta. She attacked the party and also made demands to find the Dreamstone for her. The party refused and slayed her. After exploring the wall, the party explored the buildings in the main courtyard. In the chapel, the party fought more phase spiders and killed them quite fast. They then decided to return back to the Jenny to rest. This is where the session ended.

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Session #20: The Island of Empty Eyes

This session included Kanger, Hobbes, Levin, Pirate Captain Pirate, and Eremander. After having won the Regatta, the party made preparations for their journey to Sindus. Levin ordered an Insistent Doorknocker, a Lyre of Building, and a Marble Elephant Figurine of Wondrous Power, however the party would have to wait for these items to come into stock. Thus, they headed out to Sindus. They arrived at a massive dock, perhaps used by the cyclopes of the island and walked along the beach. There, they found a massive amount of crabs which Kanger proceeded to attack. Unfortunately, Hobbes was the only party member who could harm swarms so they were forced to retreat. During this time, they explored the swamp and killed a massive anaconda, explored a forest and killed some treants, and explored another beach and killed a sargassum fiend. They then found themselves at a grotto and met the nereid Sefina. She appeared trustworthy to the party so they allowed her to remain on the island. After this conversation the party returned to Port Peril to pick up their items. They then discussed what they could do against the crabs. Pirate Captain Pirate suggested lighting them on fire so Levin decided to purchase a large amount of alchemist's fires. Hobbes and Pirate Captain Pirate also came up with the idea of making the elephant fly so that the swarms can't hit them. So, the party returned to Sindus, Hobbes casted fly on the elephant, and the bombing began! After killing one of the three swarms, two massive shark-eating crabs arrived and pursued the party. Eremander had the elephant fly higher, however, the crabs stood on top of one another so they could reach it. The crab grabbed the elephant and dragged it, causing Eremander to plummet to the ground. The party quickly disposed of the massive crabs and the swarms ran away. This is where the session ended. 

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Session #19: The Free Captains Regatta

This session included Hobbes, Levin, Eremander, and Kanger. After the successful looting of the Brine Banshee, the party returned to Port Peril to sell a lot of loot they retrieved. Afterwards, they waited for the remaining days, relaxing and preparing. On the day of the race, they sailed the Jenny to Cauldron Rock where they saw Tessa, Pierce, Merrill, and the Wormwood, Barnabas Harrigan's ship. The party met with The Master of Gales, lord of Drenchport, who discussed the rules and the route of the Regatta. With this established, the race begins! The Jenny began with an excellent head start as they sailed the route. The party encountered many storm hazards throughout the race and various other threats. The main ones including Hirgenzosk, the dragon turtle, who capsized a competing ship, and a massive lightning elemental. The final foe was Zedonehz, the manticore from Morrison's past, who was on the Wormwood. He flew onto the Jenny to attack the party. Zedonehz was finally defeated by Eremander, who crushed his skull, turning his body to dust and ending him for good. With Zedonehz defeated, the Jenny crossed the finish line, winning the Regatta. Not only was the party met with roaring applause from the spectators, but they were granted a large amount of gold, the symbol of honor amongst the Shackles, and the deed to the island of Sindus, Hobbes' home island that was taken over a few years ago. The Master of Gales told the party if they are to clear out all threats on the island within 3 months, a few members of the Pirate Council will be visiting their island, so the party will also have to prepare a feast for them. The session ended with The Master of Gales leaving The Jenny and the party contemplating what to do next.

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Session #18: The Brine Banshee

This session included Kanger, Hobbes, Levin, Eremander, and Pirate Captain Pirate. After learning from Fitch about the ring, the party quickly introduced themselves to Levin and sailed off to find "Milksop" Morton. They succeeded in doing so where Morton immediately tried to rob them but failed after being borderline turned into swiss cheese by Pirate Captain Pirate, who killed him instantly. After dealing with the constructs that were also on board, including the ship's figurehead that sprung to life, they looted Morton and the ship, retrieving the Ring of the Iron Skull. They returned it to Fitch who asked to join them on their ship to look for the Brine Banshee. Using the ring to track the ship, they found the shipwreck a few hours away from Ollo. Leaving Rotgut, Hobbes' familiar, and Fitch behind, the party drank their water breathing potions and dived in. Not long after swimming in, they were attacked by a merfolk druid and a small pack of sharks. They were quickly defeated and the party pressed on to search the ship. Collecting large amounts of treasure, they discovered that the ship was split in two, with the other half falling into a deep rift below the ocean. Thus, the party swam further down, taking occasional damage from the pressure and low temperatures. Similar to when they dove down, they were attacked by a charda who spewed its freezing, black bile upon the party, but he was also quickly killed. Continuing the search, the party found the dead body of the captain lying by a magical wheel. Levin tampered with the captain which resulted in him being cursed but retrieved the captain's ring of force shield. The party also retrieved the wheel, discovering this was the item behind the Brine Banshee's speed. Not finding a lot of coins to give to Fitch, the party continued exploring the ship to find more treasure, which resulted in them encountering a massive sea anemone. Since it was unable to move, they swam around it as they explored, and ignored the confrontation. Swimming farther in, the party was assaulted with a large number of illusions out of nowhere. It began with an illusion of a huge shark but after it was disbelieved by the party, it vanished and an illusion of an aboleth appeared. The creature behind this also began to dominate Eremander and Kanger, as it saw how powerful they were. He forced Eremander to attack Kanger and forced Kanger to attack Pirate Captain Pirate. After this illusion was removed, the true aboleth revealed himself to attack the party. The true threat was Eremander and Kanger who almost killed Pirate Captain Pirate, but after a fortunate series of low concentration checks on the aboleth thanks to Hobbes attacking him, the domination ended and Eremander saved Pirate Captain Pirate. In a furious rage, Kanger cut the aboleth down in only a couple of attacks, ending the potential total party kill. After this aboleth was dead, the party knew they had to escape, so they quickly skimmed through the remaining parts of the ship, finding the coins they needed for Fitch, returned to their ship, payed Fitch, and dropped him off at Ollo. The session ended with the party returning to Port Peril for final preparations for the Free Captains Regatta.

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Session #17: The Original Falls

This session included Kanger, Hobbes, Eremander, and Manumit. After pushing farther into the Jasperleaf Apothecary, the party fought a dusk kamadan known as Shimerae. Eventually finding Zarskia, a battle began between her and the party. The party struggled to fight Zarskia as she had greater invisibility on her and she threw constant bombs at them. Manumit fell quickly and could not be saved fast enough and passed away, burning to death from the blast radius. Kanger killed Zarskia and the party began to mourn the loss of Manumit. They looted his body, looted Zarskia, and found the evidence necessary to bring forth to Tessa. The party fled the apothecary and buried Manumit, giving their final blessings before going on, not yet telling the crew what happened to him. After sleeping a difficult rest, the party then went on a massive shopping spree and returned to Tessa with the evidence of the spies. She was very thankful of their work and the PCs even joined their fleet. With their payment, Tessa recommended them joining the Free Captains Regatta, in which they agreed. Tessa had a guest in her home when they visited. An Aasimar bard named Levin. With his ship previously destroyed, Levin joined the party to become a new addition to their crew. With 2 weeks of preparation, the party decided to investigate the Brine Banshee to discover if it has possible upgrades for the Jenny.   Now, with Levin being a new party member and only 3 remaining Wormwood PCs: Pirate Captain Pirate, Scrinti, and Hobbes, the threat of Harrigan amongst the PCs is seemingly less important.

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Session #16: Further Investigation

This session included Hobbes, Pirate Captain Pirate, Manumit, and Eremander. After having looted the wrecker's base, the party returned to the House of Stolen Kisses to bring back the Golden Vespal. To return the favor, Dindreann told them of Jaymiss Keft, a scrimshaw maker in Drenchport who knows some information on the spies. They then made their way to Drenchport to meet Jaymiss, convinced him to tell them of the spies, where he told them about Haddon Pike. Haddon was involved in the smuggling business but recently vanished. The party made their way to Haddon's home where they discovered he was murdered and found strange sheet music and a piece of driftwood resembling a tengu. They showed this to Jaymiss and he revealed the tengu wood is similar to one of Haddon's shipmates, Corlan. He told them of his location in Hell Harbor and they searched for him. Upon meeting Corlan, he was quickly killed by a mysterious assassin known as Giles Halmis. The party chased after Giles and killed him to discover he was hired by a strange person in an apothecary in Port Peril known as "Z." Thus the party went to Port Peril to find the apothecary and learned of Zarskia Galembar, owner of the Jasperleaf Apothecary who opened up trade of poisons and contraband. They also learned of a secret message to get inside. They made their way to the apothecary, gave the guards the password, and were let inside. When they were let inside, they were brought into a private room and met Zarskia where she revealed to had hired Giles and ordered him to kill Haddon and Corlan. She fled after the reveal where her guards attack. They dispatched them quickly and began making their way through the apothecary and found more guards. After killing them as well, the session ended.

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Session #15: A Spy in the Shackles

This session included Kanger, Manumit, Hobbes, Pirate Captain Pirate, and Eremander. After proving themselves to Tsadok and preparing themselves for Kerdak's celebration, the party headed to Fort Hazard. They participated in the celebration, eavesdropping and learning of the Free Captains Regatta and 3 pirates quickly gaining infamy through the Shackles. Kerdak demanded a story from the party to prove themselves to him. Hobbes told the story of their journey into Mancatcher Cove but during the story they were constantly being heckled and interrupted by 3 rude pirates but were quieted through intimidation. Their story was approved by Kerdak and they were granted their letter of marque and became free captains. Shortly after the celebration, they were invited to dinner the following day by Tessa Fairwind at her townhouse. The next day they arrived and introduced themselves to Tessa where she questioned their knowledge on Shackles politics. Their knowledge was little but Tessa informed them of the potential invasion from Cheliax upon the Shackles. Tessa also believed there are Chelish spies within the Shackles and requested the party to find evidence of spies so she may bring the evidence to the pirate council. The PCs accepted and Tessa granted them her Charts of the Fair Winds and told them of two potential locations to investigate, The House of Stolen Kisses in Quent and The Temple of the Hidden Name in Beachcomber. They went to Quent first and met Dindreann, high priestess of Calistria. She promised she would grant them information on spies if they retrieved the Golden Vespal, a golden wasp statue that is very important to them that was stolen by ship wreckers. After this they went to Beachcomber and met a halfling priest of Norgorber where he promised information as well if they find the wreck of the Brine Banshee and discover why it was one of the fastest ships in the Shackles. The halfling also revealed the wrecker's leader as Vakarla, a half orc wizard who hides out southeast of the Rampore Isles. The party went to search for the wreckers and ran into an illusory terrain which covered up a reef, causing The Jenny to run aground. As it ran aground, the wreckers climbed onto their ship and attacked along with Vakarla. She was killed by Eremander and she, her wreckers, and their base was looted. Manumit took her spellbook and they retrieved the Golden Vespal. This is where the session ended.

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