The Compass Rose

Session 21 - Aug. 29/12
Murad's Own Crying Game

After repairs are completed, the two ships, The Walrus and Sea Bream, set sail back to the pirate camp. They encounter some storms along the way, but Manuel and the pilot of Sea Bream are able to minimize the damage to the sails. Eleven days into their journey, they spot a ship on the horizon – it is Lamona, the ship of the privateer, Antoine Sebourne. They encountered his ship when they first travelled to the Pearl Islands to find the privateer camp. He is known to be one of Maddy’s men. Lamona escorts the ships the rest of the way to Maddy’s camp.

Once inside the pirate cove, they set anchor and begin to go ashore. Manuel stays behind on The Walrus to keep a watch on things. After the others of the group come ashore, Cendrik, one of the men rescued from The Green Lady, approaches Murad. He informs Murad that he noticed on their journey that Horst didn’t “make water” over the side of the gunwale like the other sailors always do. Instead, he would always go below decks to the privy. Cendrick is concerned that he may be ill. Murad and Quintin discuss it. They decide to send Cendrick back to Sea Bream and instruct him to take Horst back with him.

Murad and Quintin continue on to Maddy’s hut. She greets them at the doorway with a smile. The three of them enter the hut while Rod stays outside of the door, in the shadows. They find Cam Rewyn inside. Brenn and Sebourne join them.

Murad tells the tale of their journey. After asking the group some questions, Maddy thanks them for thwarting Spue’s plans. She looks at Cam Rewyn and declares that their deal is complete. She will no longer be supporting the Lettanni and her ships will be accompanying them back to Princeton.

Before the party leaves, Maddy asks them what they know of a group called the Children of Zepha. They tell her of the encounters with the magus in Princeton and the sorcerer on The Walrus. They mention that they each possessed a “suicide” ring. Maddy informs them of what she learned. Harval Spue, when he was leader of her gang, was approached by a man from the Children of Zepha. He offered support for Spue if he were to make a play to take over all of the privateer gangs in West Hanum. When Maddy returned, this deal was put on hold. If Spue had escaped the party, he likely would have staged a revolt to retake control of Maddy’s gang, once he returned.

Eight days ago, when the party was at sea, Maddy was paid a visit by a member of the Children of Zepha. He was a man of Central Ashtarean descent and said that his name was Arbo. When the Quintin hears this, he remembers that this name is similar to the name of a Labreyan man who convinced their friend Palu to betray his fellow militiamen to the Gul. Maddy told Arbo that she would need time to consider the offer. He is due back any day and she is planning on not being here when he returns…

The group leaves Maddy’s hut and meets with Cam Rewyn alone, in his tent. He suggests that they do not wait for this Arbo to return. They are not certain what kind of force he may come with. Rewyn will return to Princeton with Maddy on the morrow and he asks that the party come with him. They agree. They ask that Cam come back with them to The Walrus as a precaution. As Rod and Quintin with Cam Rewyn and his guards row back to The Walrus, Murad changes into a gull and flies toward the ships.

While waiting for the others to return, Manuel hears a disturbance on Sea Bream. He goes to investigate and sees three men are holding a third man down, with a knife to his throat. The man being held is Horst and Cendrik seems to be in charge of the others. Cendrik claims that Horst is a spy. By this point, Murad has heard the commotion and has returned to Sea Bream. Using Detect Magic, Murad sees that Horst is laden with many magical items. Murad removes his boots and sees the four-pointed star tattoo of the Stars’ Children. Manuel renders him unconscious. As they remove the magical items form Horst, they notice that he is not a “he” at all, but a “she”. Cendrik and his men join the Walrus’s crew, while the party takes the prisoner into the captain’s quarters to question her.

She tells them that was sent by the Children of Zepha to spy on Vossian. He was working on their behest, but refused to allow any of their people on his ship. So, they sent her to gather information on his mission. She refuses to answer any more of their questions unless she is taken to Princeton to speak with the Stars’ Children master there. After some torture led by Rod and supported by Murad, she relents and agrees to their demand for more answers. Quintin is unwilling to observe the torture and leaves the room. He becomes ill and vomits over the rail.

She says that her real name is Azair. Quintin, having composed himself, has returned by now. He gives her his word that they will keep her safe, if she talks. She names the sorcerer on the Walrus as Cestus. She was to report her findings on Vossian to him. She is a sorcerer, who was recruited into their group, with promise of power and a threat regarding her friends, who are in the organization. After this mission, her first, she was to meet Arbo in Llantry, at a tavern called “The Broken Pickle". Once the party is satisfied that she has told the entire story, they leave her with Manuel.

The next morning, Quintin updates Cam Rewyn. Murad meets with Maddy – they agree that she will pilot The Walrus, on behalf of the party. This serves to shield the ship from the Governor’s expropriation and provides some use for the Gorman Flanck’s privateers. Once Madeleine is returned to Maddy, as per their agreement, she will return The Walrus to the party or purchase it from them.

The privateers break camp, leaving nothing behind. The party moves their items back to Sea Bream. She is rearmed. Sea Bream, The Walrus, Lamona, and two more of Maddy’s ships, Pinkbelly and Bilgerat, set sail for Princeton. The following day they rendezvous with Maddy’s five other ships.

During the voyage, Quintin and Murad identify several of the magical items taken from Azair:

  • +2 leather armour
  • meta-magic rod, silent spell (lesser)
  • a circlet of persuasion (+3 to charisma-based skills)
  • +1 adamantine dagger
  • potion of gaseous form
  • potion of cure moderate wounds
  • potion of cat’s grace

As they enter the reef channel to the east of Calmuth Island, just north of Plith, they encounter a squadron of Ealduran ships. Cam Rewyn speaks with them and they are allowed to pass. About a mile north of Princeton, the ships drop anchor. Maddy’s ships will remain here, under the command of Brenn. Maddy asks the party and Can Rewyn if she may accompany them aboard Sea Bream the rest of the way to Princeton. She wishes to speak with Lord Governor Darrow herself.

Soon after, Sea Bream reaches Princeton harbour. As they arrive, the party can see a large flotilla of ships in the military docks – over sixty, to be sure. The docks seem to be teaming with men, including many soldiers.

After Sea Bream docks, an officer, sent by the Governor, approaches them. He conveys the message that they are to accompany him to the Duke’s Keep, where an important meeting is taking place. The Governor sends an aid to fetch the party at once, to the Duke’s Keep for an important meeting. The party agrees, except that Quintin wishes to pass by the Stars’ Children Chapter House on the way. The officer, named Osten, informs Quintin, that, if he wishes to speak with the Master, he is actually at the meeting in the keep. Quintin then decides to come along, bringing the loot and their prisoner with him. Maddy insists that she come as well. Osten initially protests, but relents once the party and Cam Rewyn insist that she be allowed to join them. They march off toward the keep…

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Session 20
Das Limpet!

On their new folding ship, the party attempts to catch up to Sea Bream and The Walrus. Manuel is piloting the ship. In the morning, Murad heals three of the infected crew from The Green Lady and Quintin creates two vials of alchemist fire, so that Murad can use them to attack The Walrus.

Murad transforms into an albatross and flies off in the direction of the stolen ships. As he approaches, he sees that the crews are prepared for him. He drops the fire bombs onto The Walrus’ sails as the crews respond with crossbow fire. With a bolt of lightning, Murad rips apart The Walrus’ sails. After being hit with several crossbow bolts, Murad summons a cloud of fog to conceal himself. He uses this to cover his attacks. He then transforms into an incredible fish. After damaging the ship’s wheel sufficiently to slow her down, Murad ends the attack. He turns back to meet up with the rest of the party.

When the party is reunited, Manuel wonders if they might be able to head-off the pirates, before they get to where they are heading. After listening to Murad’s report on their ships’ heading and his own study of the maps and charts of the area, Manuel determines that this won’t be possible. They decide to send Murad out, the following day, to attempt to slow the ships again.

The next day Murad catches up to The Walrus and finds that she is abandoned. The pirates must have all fled the ship and gone aboard Sea Bream to make good their escape. Murad passes her by and flies on to Sea Bream. Once he catches up, Murad is able to burn her sails enough to force the ship to a complete stop.

While Murad engages Sea Bream, the rest of the party catches up to The Walrus. They inspect the ship and find that she is in need of some repair. The party folds up their boat, unloads their gear, and begins to repair The Walrus. Within eight hours, the ship is in condition to sail at a quarter speed. They set off in pursuit of Sea Bream.

After a few hours, The Walrus sights Sea Bream on the horizon. Murad transforms into an air elemental and carries the party, one by one, in his vortex to attack the ship. p. Quintin is dropped onto the crow’s nest. Murad pushes the priate that was occupying off with a rush of water. Then, Quintin proceeds to fling three bombs at Harval Spue. They explode into an inferno of acid around Spue’s body, reducing his upper body to a pile of burning flesh. During the confusion, Rod, invisible, sneaks behind Groman Flanck and deals him a death blow. Rod then shoves his lifeless body overboard, into the sea. At that point, Quintin cries out to the crew of Sea Bream: “I will accept your surrender”. Not wishing to meet the fate of their captains, the pirates drop their weapons and surrender.

After the battle, Rod questions the Flanck’s first mate, Lor. He swears that he will obey them and will sail Sea Bream back to West Hanum, unarmed and alongside The Walrus. Rod does not believe him. He attempts to obtain a “blood oath” from Lor, but he attempts to flee. Rod pursues him, but is stopped by Murad, who insists that he put an end to this madness.

During the clean up, it is discovered that the sailors that were saved from The Green Lady, including Horst, were not really members of her crew. They were part of a boarding party sent from Hangman after The Green Lady was found adrift. When they arrived onboard,they were attacked by Slime Zombies and became overcome by the plague. Two members of boarding party, after becoming infected, managed to take their boarding craft back to Hangman. It is unknown whether or not they made it back to her. The party decides that the fate of Hangman is something that they may have to wait to find out…

The party also learns from some of Spue’s men, that he intended to return to the pirate camp to stage an overthrow of Maddy. The group can take some satisfaction from the knowledge that they may have averted a potential disastrous situation…

Finally, it is decided that the Sea Bream will be disarmed and crewed with the pirates, with Lor as their captain. They will follow close to The Walrus as she heads back to the pirate camp to meet with Maddy and her gang…

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Session 19
Traps, daggers, and plants, oh my!

Murad returns to the cargo hold to confirm that the creature is dead. It seems that it has transformed into a large patch of grey-green slime. Murad notices that it is trying to cralw onto the ceiling. As he observes this, he sees that some zombie-like creatures, infected with the slime, are coming toward him from the other end of the hold. Murad flees to the upper deck to find Manuel. The zombies swarm Manuel while Murad takes to the air as an air elemental. Manuel pummels several of the zombies until they collapse into masses of slime and Murad finishes some of them off with his storm of lightning.

They manage to remove the slime infection from Quintin and Rod by carefully burning it off. They attempt to repeat this with the infected sailors that attacked them, but it may be too late for them.

The party manages to open the locked and wedged door that the large slime mound was attempting to break down, before it was killed. Inside, they find a sailor, Horst who has been trapped for close to 2 weeks, in the foul smelling room.

The group explores the rest of the ship. Rod searches some chests. He becomes overconfident and triggers a trap, which renders him unconscious.

Quintin and Murad leave Rod to recover and find the captain’s cabin. In it is a pool of dried blood with a dagger in the centre. As Murad examines the scene, the dried blood on the dagger begins to drip. He is suddenly assaulted with a sudden wave of anxiety and desperation. Murad is able to resist the urge to kill himself. The sensation subsides and he wraps the dagger up in a blanket.

On the captain’s desk, they find maps and navigational equipment. Quintin finds two interesting books, a copy of Olin’s A Collection of Species and one of Wondrous Plants by the captain, Vossian, himself. He decides to sit down and read.

After Rod awakens from his convalescent slumber, he goes above deck to search the captain’s cabin. He opens the desk drawer to find more maps and a log book. Murad and him examine the captain’s wardrobe. They notice that it is covered with runes that radiate teleportation magic.

While opening the captain’s sea chest, Rod is attacked by some magical shattering force that tears at his bones. Damaged, he has to sit down, while Murad searches through the chest. He finds gold, a wand, and a magical box, carved into the shape of a boat.

Quinton reads through Captain Vossian’s log book and discovers what befell the crew.

Murad changes into an eagle to deliver a note back to The Walrus to tell them of their discoveries. He notices that both The Walrus and Sea Bream have moved farther away from The Green Lady but are close to each other. When Murad arrives at the ships, he notices that they are slowly sailing away from The Green Lady. Murad drops the note in front of Harval Spue, who is piloting The Walrus. He reads the note, then moves to attack Murad. Murad escapes into the sky and sees that Sea Bream is being piloted by Groman Flanck, the defeated ex-captain of The Walrus. Sea Bream’s previous captain, Willeon Borne, is nowhere to be seen. Murad returns to The Green Lady.

Quintin drinks a potion of invisibility and sneaks down to the lowest deck of the ship to see if the “Slime Mother” that Vossian referred to in his journal, is there. Quintin finds a large patch of olive slime that seems to be harbouring a moving ooze creature of some sort and some human slime zombies. Quintin is able to get past it unnoticed and proceeds to search the hold and the other rooms on the lowest deck. As he does so, he stumbles upon a body floating in the water. A swarm of eels, reacting to his smell, burst from the body and attack Quintin. He is able to fend off the attack with a magical shield that shocks the eels with each attack. This kills them.

Quintin returns to the main deck. He helps Murad and Rod to identify the magical box that they found in Vossian’s quarters. It is a folding boat. After some study, Quintin learns the command words to transform the box into a boat and a larger ship. They get the ship ready for departure. They load it with weapons and the heavy wardrobe from Vossian’s room. Quintin, Rod, Brenn, Horst, and the four infected sailors get aboard.

After loading the new ship, Murad and Manuel find some barrels of oil to light the patch of slime on fire. The zombies try to pursue but are afraid of the fire on the stairs leading up. Murad and Manuel make it back above deck, where they climb aboard the new ship. They leave The Green Lady behind to burn and head off in pursuit of the pirates…

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Session 18
Can you grapple a plant in the Coorish fashion?

After the battle, the party oversees the disarming of the Walrus’s crew and the rescue of the crewmen that fell overboard. As Quintin and Murad debate who should captain The Walrus, Rod searches the vessel for loot. After the party speaks with the both Harval Spue and Willeon Borne, it is decided that Spue will pilot The Walrus, while Borne will stay on as captain of Sea Bream. Both ships will continue on with the mission.

Murad, Rod, Manuel, and Spue try to convince The Walrus now-deposed captain, Groman Flanck and his first mate to switch sides in the war with Lettan. After receiving assurances from Murad regarding his safety, Flanck agrees to give them the information that they require.

The group learns that another ship, Hangman, sworn to Eddy Raffin’s privateer gang, is 3 days sail to the southwest. She is accompanying a merchant vessel, The Green Lady, in search of something. Unlike Hangman herself, The Green Lady is not believed to be well armed.

Flanck then instructs the crew of The Walrus that Harval Spue will be their captain. Murad promises them their usual cut of the spoils, much to Rod’s dismay. The party plans to sail with The Walrus. After moving the party equipment over to The Walrus, the ships set sail to the west to find The Green Lady and her escort, Hangman.

  • Day 1 – smooth sailing
  • Day 2 – the ships are hit by a massive storm, causing damage to the sails and hulls.
  • Day 3 – the storm abates by mid-day. The crew of The Walrus spots a kettle bobbing in the water. Rod, despite nearly falling in the water, is able to catch the piece of flotsam. He is disappointed to find that it does not contain any genies, or lost love notes.
  • Day 4 – While scouting ahead to the west, in bird form, Murad notices a ship in the distance, in very bad shape. The ship is Brindish. Her flag has been hung upside down – a sign of distress. Murad investigates the ship. He finds a dead sailor hanging by his ankle from the rigging of the main sail. On the main deck, Murad hears a banging sound coming from below. In the cargo hold below, he finds a strange plant creature banging on the bow wall of the hold. At this point, Murad decides to go back for help.

After returning to The Walrus, Murad describes what he finds. The group decides to investigate further. Spue agrees but warns of disease. He suggests that the two ships not approach closer than several hundred yards.

The party, with Brenn, takes The Walrus’ rowboat toward the derelict ship. As they approach her, they notice many sharks in the water. Her battered figurehead is sculpted in the image of a green nymph – The Green Lady, no doubt. Her sails are in tatters and she is badly listing to her starboard side. Soon after boarding her, four wild-eyed sailors burst out of a cabin in the stern castle and attack.

The crazed sailors appear to be infected with some sort of pale green scale. Quintin nauseates two of them with a Stinking Cloud bomb and the party manages to subdue them, knocking them unconscious. After tying them to the main mast, the party moves downstairs to confront the plant creature.

Murad first attempts to communicate with it, but it is clearly hostile and turns from its banging to attack the party. They notice that this shambling plant creature has large patches of a pale green slimy scale on it. During the battle, Rod gets badly beaten, slimed and spored, causing him to flee. Murad summons a water elemental. After damaging the creature with bombs of acid, Quintin decides he will grapple it. He succeeds, but the plant is able to break it and grapple Quintin in return. Not enjoying this in the least, Quintin tries to throw another bomb but misses. Instead he hits Manuel. This further encourages Manuel to continue to pummel the creature. The hits cause more spores to be released from the creature into the air. Although Manuel is able to tolerate it, Quintin becomes weakened. At the same time, the creature strikes him with one of its tendrils and infects him with the pale green slime. Manuel lands a final blow that causes the creature to collapse.

Now dead, the fibrous plant material begins to liquify. Soon, the creature is transformed into a patch of pale green slime, that pulsates on the floor.

Meanwhile, Rod finds himself above deck filling with anger. He feels a sudden need to harm Brenn, who is watching the prisoners. Rod sneaks up on him and lands a brutal blow, all but killing the privateer. Rod then feels compelled to drag the unconscious pirate below decks. By this time, Murad and Manuel have come back up to the main deck. They see that something is amiss. Manuel rushes over and knocks Rod out with a mighty fist. That allows Murad to tend to Brenn. He manages to staunch his bleeding. The battle is over, for now…

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Session 17
I am not comfortable with where your tentacle is touching me!

After discovering The Walrus and engaging the sorcerer, Murad makes haste back to Sea Bream. As he flies back, he realizes that he is being followed by the sorcerer. He is able to cover his escape by summoning ealges to attack and by creating a bank of fog. Murad makes his way back to the boat and reports his discoveries to Quintin. The two of them discuss the mission with the captain, Willeon Borne, and decide to speak with the pirate contingent onboard.

Their leader, Harvel Spue, opines that the only way that they would defeat The Walrus’ captain, Groman Flanck, is if Spue were allowed to pilot Sea Bream. Rod suggests that Borne may “take ill” and that Spue should stand by, just in case he is needed. The party debates attack options, including how to deal with the sorcerer. Quintin asks Rod if he can steal his material components. Rod makes a show of being offended, but says that he will try. Rod then requests a potion of invisibility. Quintin, reluctantly, agrees to make him one.

As they are conversing, they hear a sailor yell “Ship Ho!” Murad quickly asks Willeon Borne to consider the idea of letting Spue aid in the evading of the pirates. The captain is reticent, for the moment.

Rod goes to tell Spue to have his men hide weapons and have them at the ready. He then “convinces” the current captain, Willeon Borne, to let Spue take the wheel. Rod and Quintin then make arrangements to have Quintin in the masts to toss bombs down as needed. Quintin begins to juice up.

The pirates close and Quintin throws bombs at the enemy ship. He manages to nauseate much of the gun crew below decks and some of the crew above with a Stinking Cloud. The sorcerer returns with a fireball aimed at Sea Bream’s sails. Even in the rain, the sails catch fire. Murad attacks The Walrus’ crew with a Call Lightning spell.

As The Walrus is about to come up along Sea Bream to grapple her, Spue turns the ship to ram. With the ram fitted to her prow, Sea Bream does substantial damage to The Walrus’ hull. The party continue to trade spells, until the Walrus gets the upper hand and grapples Sea Bream.

Manuel makes a mighty leap across the boats, lands on The Walrus’ deck, and closes with the enemy sorcerer. The sorcerer is still able to get his spell off and engulfs the Sea Bream in Black Tentacles, decimating the ill-prepared crew.

As the battle rages and bolts fly, Manuel goes toe to toe vs. the enemy caster, who is aided by a very large and angry axe-wielder. Manuel manages to damage the sorcerer before taking some brutal hits from the large man. Manuel is laid low. The man turns his axe on the stirges that were summoned by Murad, and who are currently sucking the blood from the sorcerer. He becomes disabled and the large man crosses over to Sea Bream to attack her crew. Murad frees himself of the tentacles by changing into a large bird. He finishes off the disabled sorcerer with a a bolt of lightning.

The man goes after Rod, who has managed to pull himself free of the tentacles and up into the rigging. The large man becomes caught in the tentacles and Rod fires a few rounds of his pistol at him. Finally, the man breaks free and climbs the mast in pursuit of Rod. Just as he is taking a swing at Rod, Murad blasts the man with a Call Lightning spell. Dead, he falls backward into the sea.

Quintin, after having nauseated much of the crew with another Stinking Cloud bomb, turns his attention to Groman Flanck. He fires many rounds of arrows into him, as Flanck desperately tries to turn his ship to flee. With much of his crew engaged in combat, he is unable to sail the ship away.

With The Walrus grappled, Rod joins Murad and Manuel aboard the enemy ship to help finish off her crew. After seeing his top men fall and a recovered Manuel mopping the deck with his crew, Flanck is convinced by Murad to surrender his vessel. He orders his men to stand down and surrender.

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Session 16
My name is Manuel Fidello...

It is sunrise. As the party heads to the docks, they notice a bustle at the base of the Duke’s compound. The party goes to investigate, and sees a gallows with 2 men. Quintin comments: “Take heed Rod”. Rod shrugs. Then the hangman pulls the lever and the men drop, soiling themselves. As the party heads off to find the ship, Sea Bream, Quintin and Murad discuss points of view on the law of the lands.

At the boat, the party meets the envoy Cam Rewyn. Quintin gives him a thunderstone to summon the party in emergencies. Before the party boards, Maddy (former prisoner, taken from the Madeleine) asks Murad if they are headed to the Pearl Islands. She tells him that she wants to get back to her young son who is there. Murad senses she is not saying everything. He convinces her to admit that she wants to take him back to Princeton so that she will need passage back as well. Quinton and Murad discuss what to do. They agree to aid her under the condition that she stay in her room for the entire voyage and not mingle with the crew. She agrees. The party boards Sea Bream. Quinton meets the captain, Willeon Borne, and informs him that he is bringing another passenger on board. The captain reluctantly agrees after being convinced by Murad.

Quinton and Rod have a disscussion on morality. Meanwhile, Murad and Manuel suspect that Borne is inexperienced and offer their help. This seems to both upset and reassure the captain.

The captain informs the party that they will not be taking the direct passage to the Pearl Islands, but going via the island of Westbar. This route will serve to minimize the chances of any entanglements with the Lettanni or Gul. The estimated travel time is 5 days.

Quinton gives Rod and Manual 3 potions of cure light each. Rod pays him 75g for them.

On the second day of travel, a double hulled canoe is spotted, but it quickly changes direction and heads off. Early on the third day, Westbar is spotted and the ship changes direction to due north. On the fifth day, another ship is spotted, heading towards them. This ship is a caravel, flying the privateer Red Jack, a Lettanni flag, and a small black flag with a golden mermaid on it.

Murad asks the envoy, Cam Rewyn, if he should destroy the ship. Rewyn orders Murad not to. Instead, he suggests that he get the prisoner, Brenn, and we bring him above deck. Quintin moves to the forecastle. Murad moves back and turns into as Albatross. He flies towards the enemy boat and lands on the tip of the main mast.

Brenn informs them that the privateer ship is “Lamona” and that her captain is Antoine Sebourne. The boats meet and the enemy ship’s captain calls to demand that they state their business and that they are about to take the ship. Brenn gives his required speech and tries to convince Sebourne not to take the ship, but to lead Sea Bream to Harval Spue, leader of one of the privateer gangs. Lamona’s captain comes aboard with a dozen of his crew, armed. As they wander about Sea Bream’s deck, Cam Rewyn orders one of his guards to get something from below decks. The guard returns with a pouch. Rewyn gives to the pirate captain, who seems satisfied. He tells them to follow him to the privateer camp.

Sea Bream follows behind Lamona for several more hours. All the while, Murad, in bird form, torments a sailor on Lamona. They arrive at the privateer cove. They are ordered to set anchor. Three other ships are sitting in the bay. On shore, is a small camp of four wooden huts and several canvas tents.

Maddy starts calling for Murad, but Quintin attends her instead. She demands to go ashore and look for her son, but Quinton flat out says no. After a while, she relents and agrees to stay until the party returns.

The party, with the 2 guards, the envoy, and Brenn board the launch and head to shore. They are led to a hut where they meet with Harval Spue, the privateer leader. He asks what their business is here. As Cam Rewyn attempts to explain, they hear some scuffling outside, on the beach. Murad, as a bird, sits atop the hut and sees a woman coming out of the water after clearly having swam from Sea Bream. He can see that it is Maddy. The privateer sailors escort her into the cabin.

Inside the hut, Maddy reveals that she is in fact the leader of the pirate gang. She politely thanks Spue and asks him to vacate the chair. Quintin notices that Harval Spue looks none-too-pleased with this turn of events. Cam Rewyn regains his composure and continues on with the Governor’s offer.

In exchange for ending the attacks on Ealduran shipping, renouncing their deal with the Lettanni and accepting a Letter of Marque from the Queen of Ealdur, the privateers will be given a pardon for past crimes, the usual spoils from Lettanni ships that are attacked, and an additional 1000g per captain. They are also assured that there will be no attempt to root them out of the Pearl Islands during or after the war.

Maddy asks why should she agree – why shouldn’t she take their ship, sell them to the Lettanni or use them to bargain for JE Ritter, their former leader? Rewyn makes the point that Ealdur is winning the war and that would be more profitable for the privateers to be on the winning side. She ponders it and replies that she needs time to talk to her captains and that she will let Rewyn know by morning. They are led to another hut where Cam will be d for the night. The party camps outside the hut.

Quintin suggests that Rod mingle with the pirates, quipping that they share loose morals. Rod thinks on it – he decides that he is really not offended and goes and mingles. He joins a card game and procedes to lose each game. In the process he learns that some of the men are not comfortable with Maddy leading the gang.

The next morning the group meets with Maddy and her captains. She informs them that they will agree to the terms of the offer, with 2 conditions:

  1. Return the Madeleine to her
  2. The other privateer gangs must join them in this agreement with Ealdur.

Maddy offers a way to convince Eddy Raffin, the leader of the largest privateer gang, to come over:

  • About three and a half months ago, Raffin sent two ships to the west to accompany a merchant ship on some sort of mission – she wants them to investigate their activities and retrieve anything that they might have found.
  • She will use this information and any items acquired to “convince” Raffin to join them.
  • Once Raffin’s men are onside, the other gangs are sure to follow.

Maddy suggests that the party goes. Rewyn offers the party 2000g to investigate the ships. Quintin and Murad argue points. Rewyn says the party will get an extra 4000g and first choice on any loot found on the privateers’ ships. The party is split: Manual and Quintin do not wish to preform the mission; Rod and Murad agree to it. After much debate, Rewyn convinces Manual to join the meeting after binding Rewyn with a blood oath. Quintin also agrees to join the mission in exchange for including in the agreement that Coorish vessels will also be spared attack. The party is given a bank note for 2000g; the remainder will be paid upon their return.

The next morning, Maddy and the party meet. They confirm the terms of the agreement and go over the plan. The party will take the Sea Bream – she is outfitted with a ram and boarding equipment. Quinton makes 6 potions: 4 for Rod and 2 for Manuel.

On the 10th day at see, while Murad is scouting in the air, he sees another ship. She is flying a red jack flag. Using the information given by Maddy’s privateers, he identifies it as one of Raffin’s ships – The Walrus. He lands and casts wind wall to slow it down. He then drops a fog cloud on the deck and proceeds to set the sails on fire with a flaming sphere. The ship’s crew scrambles to deal with the spreading fire.

During the chaos, Murad sees a figure with a staff flying towards him. Murad summons four eagles to attack the figure. The attacker hits Murad with a lighting bolt. They continue to trade spells back and forth until the sorcerer, heavily wounded, withdraws to the ship. Murad calls forth lightning to set alight two powder kegs on the deck. This causes some damage to the ship, although she appears rather sturdy. The crew comes to the aid of the sorcerer, but, being near death, he is forced to retreat below decks. Murad does more damage to the ship’s sails before flying off…

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Session 15
A River Too Far...

The rest of the party returns to Princeton. Palen pays 4400g (1000 in gold, 3400 in credit) for the specimens. Rod orders a simple container for the sword.

Rod and Quinton go see the lord Governor, and have light refreshments as they wait for him. Murad and Manual go to the Labreyan village, and meet with the village elder, Sota. They discuss raising a grove, and generally improving the village. Sota suggests that the Ealduran government may not approve and may oppose the effort. They agree that it would work better if they move the village to the other side of the river. Sota mentions that Saladin is not fitting in well being idle, and wants to move back into the town.

Murad and Manual go and see the craftsman, Luro, about the magic tree items; the staff is ready, but the shield is not, as the wood is difficult to work with. Manual thanks Luro for the staff. As they walk back to the boat, Murad explains to Manual his plans for the village. They find Yulando sleeping in it. They decide to take the boat for a sail; Manual goes to bring Saladin along. Saladin explains he is bored, and wants to move back to town. Manual convinces him to teach the village lads to sail.

Rod and Quintin meet with Lord Governor Darrow. He asks if the party saw any of his patrols. They say that they didn’t. The Lord Governor agrees to pay Quintin 300g for the maps. Quintin requests 150 in coin and the rest as payment for the loaning of one his stone masons to work on Rod’s house. The Lord Governor says that he will consider if he can spare someone.

Rod then goes to the bank and cashes in some of the notes – 1600g worth (each party member gets 400g; 600g still in credit) and buys some furniture and hires some local women to clean out the house for 3g for a week.

Murad and Manual take Yulando and Saladin out and they sail past where Murad hopes to resettle the Labreyan village. Murad and Yulando disembark and survey the land as Manual and Saladin keep sailing around and see a ship being careened. Murad spends the next few days surveying the land he seeks to acquire and begins to fashion a dwelling for himself, using magic.

Meanwhile, Quinton takes the magic sword to the Stars’ Children, informing them of the danger. He asks the wizard, Lyle if they have a way to protect people from its harmful effects. Quintin inquires if it would be possible for them to further “enhance” his about-to-be-completed shield. He also asks for a Potion of Heroism and a Potion of Haste. Finally, Quintin requests a meeting with Master Arthund. Lyle informs him that the items and information he needs will take some time, a few days. In the meantime, Quintin meets with Arthund and gives him his book back as well as an updated copy that Quintin made while on the expedition. Arthund seems pleased with it, but seems to be in a sombre mood. Quintin asks if there is anything wrong that he can help with. Arthund replies that it is it kind of him to ask, but it is nothing that he should concern himself with now. Quintin bids good-day and leaves.

Rod gets the smith to make a 400lb lead box to store the magic sword. Once the box is complete, Murad buries it under Rod’s house in the stone and seals it in.

The party meets with Tomes Finchey, the harbourmaster. He explains that he discovered a little more about Golat and his men – it is possible that, although he was publicly dismissed by the merchant House of Fenne months ago, Ivor Golat may still have been working for them when he was taken into custody. The party agrees to meet Finchey at the Pearl before their meeting with the Lord Governor.

The morning of the meeting, the party meets Finchey at the Pearl to break their fast. After breakfast, they go to see the Lord Governor. Murad introduces Finchey, who the Governor recognizes. Finchey presents his proposal; Murad and Manual use magical means (Guidance and Ki) to aid in his presentation. The Lord Governor says that he will think on it, with a smirk and asks Finchey to await him outside the room, as he meets with the party. Once Finchey leaves, the Lord Governor explains his new plan for the party.

The Lettani have hired the pirates to harass and attack Ealduran shipping. There have been reports of Coorish ships being attacked as well. Lord Governor Darrow wants the party to accompany a special envoy of his to one of the privateer camps. There, he will treat with one of the their leaders to convince them to split with the Lettanni and support Ealdur in the war. The party is to make certain that the envoy arrives there safely and is safely returned to Princeton.

While the Governor explains, Rod notices a tiny slight against the Queen. Rod responds that he is happy to assist him and the Duke. The Lord Governor seems to picks up on this. The rest of the party agrees. He will pay 3000g on successful completion of the mission. They will be travelling on the Sea Bream and will depart in two days, on the Sea Bream. Her captain is Willeon Borne and the envoy that they will be escorting is Cam Rewyn. They will also be taking a captured privateer with them to guide them to the camp. Lord Governor Darrow informs Rod that he can spare a stone mason for a week to help with the work on his estate. He then dismisses the party, except Murad.

Murad stays behind and makes his pitch about relocating the Labreyan village across the river. The Lord Governor says that the land is restricted due to the war, and will consider Murad’s request at the conclusion of the conflict. Murad explains that he can be even more useful to the war effort – that he could increase the yield of Princeton’s crops. The Lord Governor expresses some doubt in this statement until Murad changes himself into an eagle and back. Lord Governor Darrow seems more convinced and suggests that they speak again, after they return.

Before departing Princeton, Rod asks Aeric and Alurha to take care of his estate while they are gone. They happily agree. By this time, Quintin has obtained a Potion of Heroism (350g), has his +1 shield enhanced to a +2 shield (1500g), and learns more about the flaming short sword. Also, Manuel successfully trains Saladin to sail the double hulled sailing canoe.

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Session 14
Bats, and Rats and Boobys Oh My!

The search for the specimens of flora and fauna continues. As Murad uses magic to call the animals to him, Quintin and Rod go off on their own to find some of the plant specimens. They stumble upon two army ant hills and are swarmed. They suffer light injuries from the ant bites, but manage to shake them off by wading into the river. By this point, Murad and Manuel have arrived. Murad and Quintin finish off the ants with magic and bombs, respectively.

The next day the party marches on. Manual and Quinton scout off ahead fording the river about 2hrs out from the others. they spot some trees, and find an orchid growing on it and harvest it from the tree, but only find the one.

Back at the camp, Murad see one of the birds they are looking for and attempts to sooth and catch it. The party sits and awaits the Dragon Lizard, Murad sits by the river while Rod hides in a nearby tree. Shortly it appears and Murad feeds it a rat and tries to be friends then casts hold animal and forces it into the cage, and muscles it into the cart, and dig up some smelly plants to mask the other animals smell from the lizard. At dusk Murad attempts to call the bat. Four appear, they net 3 and cast hold animal on the fourth. Manuel runs and catches it before it hits the ground.

The Party decides to go north and east around the mountain ranges and down the coast.
Murad has the talk with Rod about his sword.

On the way around the mountains, the party starts getting sick everyday. Murad, Manuel, and Quinton go off and talk about the sword and decide to send Rod off ahead with Manuel about a half mile.

Murad calls more animals and set traps, as Palen, Kuy, and Desmod go into Pilff for supplies. and another cart to carry all the animals. A few hours later Palen returns and says they can get the cart but it will cost twice (20gp). Quintin has to pay.

The party attempts to catch a giant sea turtle, the turtle spots the net and tries to get away, Quintin thows the net but it pulls the net out of his hands, but catches it and pull it ashore

The next day Palen returns with a bucket, a barrel and cart and Murad catches the last fish and they head for home.

Manuel and Rod get back a day early and see smith for a lead box, and inquires in town for some simple beds, and trunks for his house.

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Session 13
Friends in high places, are better than a rogue with nature

When last we met our adventurers, they had just gathered for a meeting at the Pearl, awaiting Palen. Quinton bluntly tells Rod not to steal from Palen, where Rod informs Quinton he is not some petty thief or pickpocket.
At which point Palen enters the Pearl with two other fellows Raul of Coorish decent, and Kuy a Labreyan (who Rod determines is currently drunk)
Time is spent getting to know one another, but soon several member drift off to sleep and rest for the early departure in the morning.

Murad and Manuel retire to Rod’s estate for the night where a dock worker meets and informs them that Harbor Master Finchey wishes to meet with them. They go, and meet with him collecting Rod along the way (knowing that Rod would still be up enjoying this last night in town)
During the meeting Finchey informs the party that he wishes to become Mayor of Princeton, and is hoping the group will assist him getting in good with the Lord Governor. stating that it would benefit them to have a friend in high places.
Murad says they may put in a good word if Finchey lays out a plan they agree with upon their return.
The next morning the party meets up, and heads out. On their way out of town the company passes two stern looking Knights of the Just (paladins of Galus), who glower at the party causing Rod to blow them a kiss, Quinton looks at Rod horrified with a look of “WHAT THE FUCK ROD!” to which Rod casually replies “Don’t judge me”.

The first couple days go by quickly, with the party collecting several of the items on Quinton’s list, and updating maps
On the third day, while exploring the party is attacked my magic resistant plants, resulting in Rod almost dying, and forcing the party to make camp for several days for him to recover, during which Murad, Desmond, Palen, Kuy, and Raul become ill, and again Murad blames it on Rod’s magic sword. Quinton and Murad spend the time searching the surroundings the best they can in the rain. they come across a tree with a holy symbol carved into it, prompting Murad to try and talk to it. Quinton decides to return to camp. Murad’s attempt to speak with the plant results in a startling discovery that the tree is an illusion, over a long dead tree. Murad decides to camp out under the tree and meditate on this.

The next morning a crow lands in the tree near Murad. He calls out a greeting in Druidic which seems to prompt the bird to fly a short distance away. Murad shape changes into an eagle and follows it to a distant hut, where a Labreyan man awaits him.
He introduces himself as Taipa, from the island of Brya (New Cahorn), who moved here years ago for the solitude. Murad tells him about himself, and recent goings on, including the ancient Labreyan tomb/complex they found
Taipa explains he felt that a darkness had escaped the complex, and that it’s power is not gone as the party thought but now free. He also confirms Murad’s suspicions about Rod’s sword being evil and the source of the illnesses and should be sealed in lead.

Murad bids Taipa good bye and asks if he may visit him again, which Taipa agrees to, as long as he does not tell his friends about him or lead them to him.
Murad makes the long walk back to the camp and his friends.

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Session 12
What gems? Those? I was just holding them for safe keeping...

After defeating Ivor Golat and his thugs, the group searched the warehouse and Golat’s office. Not much is found but some inconsequential papers containing Golat’s writing. Meanwhile, Rod searches a dark hallway below the warehouse. The rest of the group soon follows.

They find a store room with 2 guards in it. They knock one of them unconscious and the other yields. Murad convinces him to show them the rest of the underground complex. They are led through a secret door to an office. They find a ledger, with Golat’s handwriting. It contains evidence of goods and weapons smuggling. Murad finds some burned scraps of paper in the fireplace and, with the help of a Mending spell, partially pieces back together a cancelled bank note. It contains what appears to be the signature of the banker, Berto Gaide. A large cabinet in the room is found to contain 10 large chests filled with coin, mostly Gold Swans. There is a single bag of gems, but, while Murad and Quintin are busy with something, the bag goes missing…

The group is led to another store room that contains weapons and armour. After searching the entire complex and finding the entrance to the harbour, the group returns to the warehouse, where Golat is restrained. After some questioning and some harsh threats from Rod, involving a dagger, Golat reveals that he was receiving aid from a group known as the Children of Zepha. According to him, at least some of them dabble in the arcane arts. They were able to pass the information about the bank deposit shipments onto him and a group of privateers. After the privateers intercepted the money, some of it made its way back to Golat…

The group discusses how best to proceed. They ultimately decide to take the information to the Governor first. Ont he way to see him, they summon the town militia to guard the complex. At the Governor’s Offices, they tell him the tale. He agrees to send some of his own men to lock down the complex. He insists that they return the money to the Bank at once. The Governor also informs them that the Patriarch of the Church of Galus, Castance, made a complaint against the group. The Governor says that it had something to do with an interaction between the group and one of his priests, Elrew. Murad explains that Elrew was preaching to children and was not welcome in the Labreyan village. The Governor cautions them to act respectfully and carefully when dealing with the Church. He also chastises Quintin for occupying the smith with his time-consuming armour project. He informs them that they should refer to him as Lord Governor Darrow from now on. Finally, he thanks them for their efforts and bids them good luck on their upcoming expedition into the jungle.

Manuel awaits the others, with the money, at Rod’s estate house. After informing Berto Gaide, the banker, of Golat’s operation, the rest of the group accompanies him to the house. He inspects the money and is pleased that they recovered this much. However, he is disturbed that no gems were among the coins. There were four or five bags of them in the original deposits. He asks the group if any of them had seen them during their search. No one comes forward, until Quintin says that he remembers seeing a bag of gems but that it is no longer with them. The banker seems suspicious and asks the group to revisit the complex to have another look. Perhaps they missed something…

After the banker leaves with the chests of money, a heated discussion within the group ensues. Although it is obvious that Rod took the gems, Quintin and Murad argue the morality of it. Ultimately, Rod admits that he took the gems. He hands them over to Murad, who must return them to the banker. He first goes back to the smuggler’s complex to make it look like he just found the gems, then he visits Berto Gaide’s own home. The banker is pleased that they found the gems on a second look. He then agrees to give them 2000 gold worth of gemstones as a finder’s fee. He also agrees to delay the departure of the bank for another 3-4 weeks to await confirmation from his masters in Caldy as to how to proceed.

Murad meets with Jaymond Smoore, attorney for the West Hanum Merchant’s Guild. The agreed upon reward is given. He also informs them that most of the guild’s members will extend discounted goods and services to the group, should the bank decide to remain in West Hanum.

Meanwhile, Quintin checks on his armour and Rod’s sword at the smithy. The armour is complete, although Quintin is no longer in need of it. An apprentice informs Quintin that the smith, Gerold, managed to determine that the sword is magical and that it contains some adamantium. He was unable to find out more because he took ill, as did another apprentice that was assisting him with the sword.

After meeting back at the Pearl, the group awaits the arrival of Palen, the merchant…

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