The attack on Farshore
The party were surrounded by excited phanatons, chanting about a 'Grooming' to be held in honour of the party's victory over the fabled Tyrannosaurus Rex That had plagued their tar pits for so long. This was largely ignored by the party as they debated and argued over their next move - leaving Krunk to start work on hacking the flesh off the head of the dinosaur he'd collected as a trophy. Eventually it was decided that the party split into two groups - one teleport back, leaving the others to make their way on foot. This allowed Zhedd and Dacien to work on some spell research and item construction, Mendel to continue drilling the militia, and Stefanie to scry again for the pirates. On the second attempt, she managed to find Vanthus, aboard a ship and accompanied by 2 other vessels - at full sail and much closer to Farshore.
The rest of the party arrived safely back at Farshore, along with 20 Tanaroan native warriors, and 8 Phanaton Rangers followed soon after. That left the party to then convene with the town council and plan for the assault. The chain was erected across the harbour front, just below the water line, the Hellfish was tarred and ready to be set alight, barricades were set up along the beachfront, and rooftop archer positions were set up. The quays were trapped, and Dacien spent some time making alchemical toxins with the bananas they recovered from the troglodyte grove. A Phanaton crew were sent to the east shore to keep an eye out for signals form the other villages. The Jade Ravens and Thanti Sparrow were guarding th northern edge of the shore, whilst the Sea Turtle clan warriors waited in canoes by the Blue Nixie.
When the signal came, Mendel levitated up to try to spot the ships, but only saw them far off to the south-west - sailing past the islands, the party assumed, on their way to Rat's End. The rest of the day passed nervously. As night fell the following day, the ships reappeared on the horizon - five of them, flying the Sea Reavers of the Crimson Fleet colours; The Hag, The Kraken, The Sea Witch's Curse, The Stygian Shark and The Brine Harlot. All ships slowed about half a mile from the harbour mouth, and a fireball burst above the water. After several minutes, the ships unfurled their sails again, and advanced - The Hag and The Kraken leading the attack. Both ships, unaware of the trap, crashed into the harbour chain; wrenching it from its mooring. The captain of The Hag realised the problem in time, loosed the sails and brough the ship to bear. The Kraken fared less well, as the ship was brought to an abrupt stop, and the main mast cracked under the strain. The ship veered to starboard and straight towards the rocks. Stefanie cast Control Water, to conjure a whirlpool in the harbour mouth, which the captain of The Hag did well to survive. Mendel commanded the archers to let loose on the floundering ships, as he tried to pick of key crew memebers. The ballista crew let fly, and the phanatons readied their alchemical grenades.
A barrage from the catapults on the remaining ships began, bombarding he shore, but most flying over the heads of the militia gathered there. Zhedd and Anthony noticed one missile looked humanoid, and crashed into Krunk's behind them. Zhedd and Krunk dashed off to investigate - finding a flesh golem composed of stitched-together pirate parts busy trying to bring down the building. Whilst Krunk fought this creature, four more emerged from beneath the waves on the beach. (Note: There had been 4 golems waiting in the water all the time, and the fireball was their signal to advance. You guys had talked about buidling spurs on the sea floor, which meant you could have encountered these earlier, which would have been interesting...). The party fought off the golems, with Jardek manning the barricade and Antony ushering the locals well out of the main combat as it was clear their attacks were doing nothing. As this battle was going on, the whirlpool appeared to be dispelled, but The Hag was left facing in the wrong direction. Two plumes of smoke were seen thrown up to one of the ballista platforms, and this was soon enshrouded in flame by another long range fireball. The Hag sailed out of the harbour, as Dacien quickly followed it with fireballs from his new wand. The Stygian Shark and the Sea Witch's Curse moved to take the harbour - only to be met by another whirlpool courtesy of Stefanie. The Stygian Shark was caught fast; The Sea Witch's Curse escaped and headed quickly to the shore, only to be met by more arrows and more fireballs. Dacien's fireballs picked off the crews as they tried to lower boats into the water. The captain tried to then just beach the boat, but the Symbol of Sleep left near the shore left more pirates dying in the water.
Two figures were seen flying off The Stygian Shark and over the cliffs to the north. Mendel caught one with an arrow, before they disappeared from view. An alarm bell rang in the centre of the compound, indicating trouble. Krunk ran off to investigate with Zhedd not far behind, to find a cluster of 5 wizened demonic bird creatures standing over the bodies of some dead militia. (Note: here, you guys were unlucky. There were originally 3 vrocks, but each had a 35% chance of summoning more; 2 did...). Three of the creatures joined hands and began to dance in a ring, whilst the other two turned to face Krunk's charge, hoisting him aloft and carrying him into the air as Krunk struggled to bash their heads together. The rest of the party arrived on the scene, Mendel firing his arrows, as Jardek charged ahead. Antony tried to disrupt the dancing demons using a Ring of the Ram, but they managed to stand their ground. Jardek was heavily wounded and had to retreat. Dacien managed to banish one of the dancing creatures, disrupting their dance, and quickly caught another in a resilient sphere. Krunk was thrown to the ground as the airborne vrocks looked to engage the party. Eventually they were all dispatched or fled, but consuming much of the party's resources and strength.
Meanwhile, Jardek had fled back to the north, and spotted a battle going on between the two remaining Jade Ravens and Thanti Sparrow facing a large scorpion-centaur type creature, and a spellcaster. They were struggling against these foes, and Jardek ran in as they fell to the ground bleeding. The manscorpion tripped Jardek and kept him on the ground as the spell caster tried to charm the dwarf. Feigning the effect of the spell, Jardek played along, and agreed to escort the pair to find the Mayor - only taking the long way round. When he came across the party, he told the manscoprion and mage to wait, whilst he warned the other. As the rest of the party blew the dwarves ruse and charged after the enemy, the spellcaster stepped out unleashed a bolt of lightning which ran through Krunk, Jardek and Stefanie. Jardek was left as a charred corpse. Krunk faced off against the mansorpion, only to be knocked back on his feet and a halberd driven through his heart. Two of the party lay dead.
Antony darted behind the spellcaster and tried to stab him as Mendel peppered him with arrows. The mage desperately needed cover, taking a blow from Antony. Seeing how serious things had gotten, Stefanie called upon Vanya to burn her enemies, and Dacien followed up with another fireball, leaving only scorched shadows in the wall of the Farshore Hall of Records. Mendel swung into the other side of the building and hauled himself onto the roof, wondering what the noise was.
Zhedd, now an invisible eagle, flew over the sea to observe the other pirate ships. The Hag and The Brine Harlot were sailing out along the eastern cliffs to the south. Vanthus was on deck alongside two winged minotaurs (enduks) and the vrock they had faced earlier. Heading back to explain this to the party, Dacien teleported Mendel, Zhedd and Antony to the cliff top to then head out to the ships, leaving Stefanie to offer what healing she could the the villagers. As they arrived on the cliffs, they spotted three figures flying overhead - Vanthus and the two enduks. Mendel let fly his arrows, as Zhedd summoned some hippogriffs. Vanthus swept down and suggested the party head back into the village to better defend it. Only Dacien thought this was a good idea, and promptly disappeared. The two enduks landed to confront the others, as Vanthus darted away, chased by the hippogriff. Mendel picked off one enduk, only to be butted off the cliff by the other, as Antony pushed it after Mendel with well timed use of the Ring of the Ram. Dacien met up with Stefanie, and saw Vanthus diving down behind the pallisade to the south - close to Lavinia's mansion...
Choose your own sci-fi stock art.
4 hours ago