Monday, December 28, 2015

Savage Tide Session 52

The party reconvened in the Dealer's Consortium, with Tyrlandi taking stock of her new domain and going through Kedward's paperwork. She asked the party if they had found Kedward's stash of treasure, and then coyly offered a race to find it. The party spent some time examining the interior but found no sign of secret doors. Outside, Mendel and Faldak examined the outside - eventually spotting the construction was such to accommodate a hole in the foundation. Antony spoke with thin figure lurking in the shadows - who turned out to be a former agent of Kedward's and eager to be a key contact for the new boss. Eventually, they spotted a disturbance in the structure, which they surmised to be a elemental or ethereal creature moving about the brickwork. Inside the building, Zhedd summoned some earth elementals and sent them below in search of a chamber whilst Faldak set about being a good dwarf, and took to digging a hole in the floor. After the elementals failed to return, a second foray was sent and reported back that spiky skinned fiends were present in a chamber  some 40ft below, with a dark aura that mad them feel unwelcome. Tyrlandi emerged from the upper floor, and angrily berated the party for damaging 'her' building. She then revealed that she had located the chamber and Kedward's treasures, and the demons were now under her control. Mendel seemed to set about berating and provoking her, which she did not take well to, and said he would no longer be welcome.

The party then sent some time planning how to get a boat or ship form the Scuttlecove harbour to use in their reconnaissance of the pirate base. Several ships seemed suitable,including Jerome's Up the Nooga, but the problem was to how to escape the maze of scuttled ships in the harbour without arousing suspicion. Then, it suddenly struck the party that Scuttlecove wasn't the only city nearby - on the main island Ne'er-do-Well, the city Crossroads where they met King Koryn could also be a safer place to set out from. Dacien teleported them there, and they spent a few days planning, shopping and spell-scribing there. Antony found a local fisherman named Wetherby, who was persuaded to take them out in a dogger he used for trawling in the seas east of Lesser Ne'er-do-Well.

 Wetherby took them out at dawn, and with a good wind at their back they made good time through the straits. Jerome pointed out the arched stone marker, and there, a half-mile off shore, Wetherby dropped a sea anchor. Most of the party managed to pierce the illusions protecting the pirate base - visible to them as a small scattering of huts around a tower in the midst of a wide saltmarsh. The party, using seeming, set about pretending to be fishermen, whilst Zhedd, invisible and in the guise of a seabird, let for a more detailed reconnoitre. He spent quite some time examining the base, seeing several dishevelled red-skinned figures in gibbets scattered about the base. Occasionally, pirates would emerge from the huts and stroll around swollen, squeaking walkways, on guard or latrine duty. The most remarkable feature was a trio of large petrified trees to the rear of the base, with five ships of various sizes impossibly hanging in their midst. They were connected by rope ladders and rope bridges (string in the picture), and a few pirates were on the decks. Ballistae were visible on the uppermost ship, and at the base, a large elephant-like spider demon stood guard.

Zhedd flew out into the saltmarsh and looked for areas to rendez-vous if things went sour, but as he flew back closer to the ships one of the pirates seemed to notice Zhedd despite his disguise and sounded an alarm - trying also to dispel the invisibility. Three harpies flew out to he ship, invisible, and threw the party into disarray as some were lured overboard - but were eventually fought off. Zhedd flew back to the fishing ship by a roundabout route, but Wetherby felt a tingle as Dacien confirmed they were being scryed. A pirate teleported on board scimitar in hand, but suprised the party as they closed in and it reverted to its true form

The creatures resistances made it a slow battle, but it focussed its many attacks on Mendel in fear of the sun blade he carried. It's scimitars and piercing gaze seemed to carry a supernatural damage that drained the party to their core, and the fishing crew too - the party were to later calculate that this damage would need to be treated in specially consecrated areas into order to be healed. Eventually, the creature sought to escape, and dove into the water, desperately trying to dispel the dimensional anchor Dacien had placed up on it. The party limped back to Crossroads to recover and plan.

Saturday, December 05, 2015

Savage Tide Session 51

The party decided to take up the ruse of selling Rhemus the aranea body parts as an excuse for meeting with the gnome. His dark stone premises near the north gate were covered in skulls and bones - Dacien recognised at least one bone golem hidden amongst the grisly decor. What appeared to be a flesh golem greeted the party at the door, and Felix quickly sketch out a calling card, portraying the party as purveyors of post-mortem pieces. Rhemus later welcomed them in and they discussed business for a short time, hearing of Rhemus' work and interest in the provenance of the body parts; features of the donor creature could impart unique properties, and he told the story of using the hands of a paladin on a flesh golem for a client in Karameikos.

With a rapport built of a potential steady supply of creature parts, talk came around to favours that Rhemus could offer the party - namely an introduction to Kedward Bone. Warily, Rhemus brought up that he could make an introduction, especially using Mendel's Zzonga sample to entice the drug dealer, but was more interested in what the party could do for him. He mentioned Matylda, Kedward's familiar, was in love with him, and he needed a skilled team who could get her away from Kedward's person and bring Matylda to him. The catch was, Kedward would have to be alive to achieve this, or his bond to the familiar would be lost. In return, the party could claim a large emerald Kedward kept in his chambers. Rhemus also explained how Kedward contracted a strange disease on his travels as a pirate and had become a recluse since, possibly linked to the emerald. The party agreed on a course of action, taking on Rhemus' advice that Kedward liked a bit of rough and tumble and could be enticed into melee.. Before they left, Mendel damaged relations with Rhemus by placing part of the Gakarak wood he obtained from  Emerond on to the table - which turned out to be a golem carved from treant wood. the plank was absorbed into the table and Rhemus was unhappy at the potential complication this might cause.

Kedward Bone and his Dire Scythe

Rhemus was true to his word and arranged for a private appointment with Kedward and his advisers. They were led to the dome shaped top of a tower, into Kedward's offices where two people flanked the old pirate at his desk. Kedward was grossly disfigured, bone spurs painfully protruding over his body, and interfering with his breathing and speech.  A large overwrought scythe leant at his side. Kedward talked politely with them, very interested in the supply of zzonga and at pains to stress he had the contacts ready to ensure supply through most of the mainland Alphatian empire. The party almost forgot that they weren't (or at least some of them weren't) professional drug importers, and got lost in the business deal, before Felix made a stage whisper to Antony about peering under a covered pedestal to steal what lay beneath. Kedward's eye flared in anger, and battle started. Faldak rammed the desk into Kedward, toppling him over, but the mage was able to cast time stop and stun the party with mass charm and hold spells. Kedward's companions revelaed themselves to be a mummified druid and a cleric of Masauwu, who were (along with half the party) quickly subdued by Gerald's Holy Word. The druid was blinded, and after stumbling around threw a bag of purple lotus powder into the midst of the room. It was veering over the party'd heads when Mendel shot it out of the air, spraying the powder over himself, Dacien and Faldak. The party were to later find out that this drug was a special preparation of the church of Masauwu, and far from a normal narcotic; Mendel resisted the potent efects, but Dacien and Faldak were less fortunate. Faldak was struck with a curse that meant no one believed a word he uttered. Dacien was struck with an overwhelming compulsion to move overseas to marry. Knowing only one eligible bachelorette in town that met his exacting standards, Dacien immediately teleported to Porphyry House to speak with Tyrlandi

The battle became more fraught as two barbed fiends joined the fray and a wall of force bisected the room and left Mendel exposed. Felix leapt out a window to skirt around the outside of the building. Kedward and Mendel faced off in melee. Gerald's quick thinking managed to heal Mendel just in time before Kedward cut him down. Faldak fled to safety, taking the covered pedestal with him. Meanwhile, Dacien had proposed to Tyrlandi, who spotted an opportunity that was unlikely to come up again, and agreed - sealing it with a blood oath. She joined him on the return to Kedward's, ready to join in the take over of the Dealer's Consortium. She quickly earned her place, dissolving the mummy with a well timed heal. Mendel bought enough time for Felix to crash through the window and finish Kedward with a rapier through the spleen.

The party stabilised Kedward and brought him low with a feeblemind, and recovered Matylda, an imp held in a cage on Kedward's person. The Dealer's Consortium was theirs , which became a wedding present to Tyrlandi. The party sealed the deal with Rhemus by handing over Kedward and the imp. They found a stash of drugs and Kedward's spell book. Elsewhere in the tower, the workforce had fled during the combat, leaving well equipped indoor drug farms and alchemical labs. The party rested overnight, Dacien enjoying his wedding night with Tyrlandi, being waited on by a simulacrum of Mendel. The others, started to examine the pedestal under the cloth, revealing a large uncut emerald - which Gerald's true seeing showed to be alive...