Kings of the Endless Sea

Session 46

Players: Chris C, Jeremy, Grant, Alison

The Urchins arrive at a rocky, mountainous island. They sail as far up a close bay as they can, then have to take a boat into a tunnel to get inland. Within the darkness of the tunnel they’re attacked by tentacles, and fight them off, though a few crewmembers get tossed in the water first.

At the end of the tunnel they pass over a chain net that sits just below the waterline, then enter a large clearing where the water is open the sky, but surrounded on all sides by high crags. They see the skeleton of a giant lying nearby, but have no time to puzzle over this before they’re attacked by a colossal kraken!

The fighting is close, but the Urchins eventually prevail, and the kraken is defeated. Hundreds of tentacles float to the surface of the pool.

XP: 1500 per player

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Session 45

Players: Chris C, Jeremy, Alison, Grant

A huge barfight quickly breaks out at the Barge, but first, the Urchins are appraised of the rules of the Barge. As a neutral area where all pirates can come and drink, the Barge doesn’t allow killing, nor does it allow fighting for reasons other than entertainment. So the Urchins make a bet with Lucos Cantera: if they win, they get information about what he’s been up to at the temples of Melora— plus his ship, the Ultra Suave. If he wins, he gets Myst, the hamadryad figurehead of the Urchins’ Lady Thief.

The Urchins defeat Cantera and his crew, but not without causing some serious property damage to the Barge and knocking out a few audience members. Cantera is a man of his word, and tells the Urchins that he was hired by Philhomel to deface every temple of Melora in the Ruby Sea with the hand-and-eye symbol of the Philhomen secret service. He also hands over the (metaphorical) keys to the Ultra Suave. A few of his crewmen choose to join the Urchins, but most stay at the Barge to join up with another crew.

The Urchins send the Ultra Suave back to Riverwatch with a prize crew, and decide that rather than continuing on to Mercia, they will head to Philhomel to make Cantera’s meeting with his contact there. But first, they will stop at a Meloran temple that is marked on their maps as being on the way…

XP: 1500 xp per player
Treasure: Ultra Suave

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Session 44

Players: Alison, Chris, Grant, Jeremy

Having defeated the Hangman Tree, the party can now hear a strange humming coming from the north, deeper into Arborheart. It almost sounds like monotonic chanting, and reminds Bronn of a hymn to Melora, if it were slowed down and sung backwards. They head in this direction and find a temple of Melora completely overgrown with vines and other vegetation.

Sneaking around to one side, Kun Aguero carefully pushes aside the vines and peers in a window. There he sees five shapes of vaguely humanoid plant creatures, moving about the in shadow. One stands near a stone altar. Bronn and Lyric move to the front door while Kun Aguero and Fuzzy stay at the window.

Bronn opens the door and curses the creatures in the name of Melora. At the mention of her name, the creature near the altar turns and lets out an awful hiss from a mouth of jagged splinter-teeth. The creatures attack, but eventually the Urchins prevail. They examine the altar, which was once carved with wilderness scenes that are now defaced with the same skeletal-hand-and-eye symbol seen in the last temple. The party intuits that the altar is the source of whatever curse afflicts Arborheart, and of the strange, pervasive chanting sound.

First Bronn attempts to destroy the altar, and deals it a mighty blow which immediately rebounds with a flash of black-purple light, dealing damage to the whole party. Next Kun Aguero attempts to scratch out the graffiti, but the touch of his weapon causes the same painful reaction in the altar. Lyric suggests that the party cover over the defaced carvings with mud, an act which seems to sooth the agitated divinity of the temple somewhat. They also replace a few scattered artifacts upon the altar, including a stone bowl that is clearly the main relic of the temple.

Bronn recalls an old sailors’ ritual of worship, in which petitioners beseeched Melora to turn sea water to clean, drinkable water, a minor miracle that helped them survive on the open ocean. Lyric and Kun Aguero set about cleaning up the ruined temple while Bronn and Fuzzy head back to the ocean for a bucket of seawater.

Bronn and Fuzzy return to the bay to see the Lady Thief under repairs. They speak with Jayne Sauzall, who tells them that they came briefly under fire from a ship flying a bright red flag featuring a befanged great cat’s skull. Bronn immediately recognizes this as the flag of the Rico Suaves, a crew who were his rivals during his years as a sellsword. It seems that the Suaves came out of nowhere, traded a few shots with the Lady Thief, then retreated to the north, an attack in keeping with their cowardly tactics.

Bronn and Fuzzy hustle back to Arborheart with the seawater, which is poured into the stone bowl, and the Urchins complete the ritual to Melora. An intangible breeze stirs the surface of the water, which indeed becomes pure and potable. The restless vines of Arborheart seem to settle, and move no more of their own accord.

Briefly exploring the rest of the town, the party finds another dead war wizard with an amulet to be looted. They then return to the Lady Thief and set sail northwards in chase of the Rico Suaves and on the path to Mercia. After a few uneventful days of sailing they spy a strange structure in the distance: a large floating thing made up of parts of ships cobbled together. Three ships are docked around it: one flying the flag of the Brotherhood of the Black Bones, one flying a flag that the Urchins don’t recognize, and one flying the bright red flag of the Rico Suaves. Lyric recognizes this strange structure from rumors told by sailors down from Tereu: a floating pirate bar where rival crews and the worse sort of merchants can share a drink in relatively peaceful neutrality.

The Urchins also drop anchor and enter the bar. As they take in the sights, sounds, and smells of a non-stop pirate party, Bronn feels a tap on his shoulder. He turns to see Lucos Cantera, leader of the Rico Suaves, who dashingly sweeps his mini-cape as he says, “Ah, Bronn, hello, my friend! I wish I could say it was a pleasure to see you again— but it’s not!”

Experience: 1500 xp per player
Treasure found: Amulet of Physical Resolve

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Session 43

Players: Grant, Jeremy, Alison, Chris

Having defeated the owlbears, the Urchins search the rest of the temple complex. They find the quarters of the high priestess, the drawing room of which features a wall map showing the locations of seven temples of Melora in the Ruby Sea, along with other notable features of the sea. Most of those temples have X’s carved across them, including the temple that the Urchins had rededicated after a temple of Zehir had been built beneath it. The party also finds a library, and in it, a chronicle of the temple reaching back hundreds of years. It tells how the temple was set up as a wildlife sanctuary as well as a place of worship for sailors. The last few entries describe how the temple was shut down as the church of Melora waned in influence and wealth, and how they were forced to leave two semi-tame owlbears, brought to the temple as babies, behind to fend for themselves. The high priestess tells that while many of her fellows were being relocated to temples on the mainland, she herself is retiring to Tereu, the capital city of Karstark.

The Urchins set sail again, and stop at the North Island not far from Freeport Island, where according to rumor and entire town simply disappeared. They quickly find reasonably fresh tracks, and following these inland to the site of the missing town, they encounter thick vines springing up from the otherwise barren ground. These vines react to being prodded with almost intelligent motions.

Eventually the party comes upon a huge dome of vegetation, hundreds of yards in diameter, on the previous site of the town. Near the dome is a sign reading “Welcome to Arborheart,” and there is a doorway-like opening in the plant structure. The tracks lead into it, so the Urchins boldly follow.

They find that the dome of vines has covered over the entire town of Arborheart, though its streets are still navigable and some of its buildings accessible. Exploring, they first find a very recent corpse of a garishly-dressed southerner. In another building they fight off malevolent growths that spring up as Fuzzy examines the years-old corpse of a Philhomen war wizard (and takes his magical amulet). From here they continue to the center of town and fight a giant Hangman Tree from which more old Philhomen corpses depend, and which almost digests Kun Aguero.

Experience: 1500 xp per player
Treasure found: Amulet of Physical Resolve

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Session 42

Players: Grant, Chris, Jeremy, Alison

The battle against the Mercian sellswords continues. They are eventually defeated, with Uli, the leader of this band, and Tor, one of his men, surrendering against the Sea Urchins’ obviously superior force. The Urchins offer their usual choice of join or die, and the mercenaries, knowing that their leader will kill them for failure, join the crew. They also agree to pay 300 gold to the Urchins, the money they had been given to attack them in the first place.

Interrogating the sellswords reveals little. They are members of the Red Snows Company, a famous Mercian sellsword company based out of the frontier town of Broken Back and led by Dagmer Thorvaldsson. Uli doesn’t know who contracted with the Red Snows Company to have the Sea Dragons and Sea Urchins killed; only Dagmer has that information. The mystery only deepens as the party, looting the dead mercenaries, find a small tattoo on the sole of the foot on one of them, depicting a fist clutching an eyeball. Uli has never seen it before, but Moros Jonn of the Church of the Holy Lock is ultimately able to identify it as the symbol of the Philhomen Secret Police. He is clearly very afraid and demands that the Urchins not get him involved in whatever business they’re wrapped up in.

The Urchins decide on a new course of action: they will sail north towards Mercia to confront Dagmer Thorvaldsson and unravel the mystery of who hired the Red Snows Company. On the way they will examine the temples of Melora that are being vandalized and explore any other adventure they may come upon. From Mercia they will head west to Illuvia to speak with the sages of Lorenelin about their plague and demon problems.

The Urchins set sail, and on Bean Island, just off the coast of Freeport Island, they see a large temple of Melora with thick black smoke pouring from it. They drop anchor and investigate. There is indeed a symbol scrawled in ash on the front door: a skeletal hand clutching an eyeball. While Kun Augero, Bronn, and Fuzzy set up a bucket brigade to put out the fire, Lyric enters the temple to find something to write with. She finds it long abandoned and grabs some paper and a stick of graphite, but not before hearing a loud screeching and sounds of battle coming from the temple’s central garden.

The party heads to the garden to investigate the noises Lyric heard. There they find two owlbears locked in mortal combat. As they watch, one brutally slays the other, tearing out its throat in a bloody display. It then turns on them. They begin to fight the owlbear, which quickly grabs Kun Aguero and tears a huge chunk from his neck as well, nearly killing him. Meanwhile the dead owlbear reanimates and begins coming towards them with the awkward movements of the walking dead.

As they begin to wear down the owlbears, the Urchins discover that the creatures are being controlled by ghostly puppeteers. These are phantoms in the shape of armored skeletons, but instead of skulls, their heads are giant eyeballs clutched in skeletal hands, mimicing the symbol scrawled on the door of the temple. Eventually the party defeats the monsters, but the mystery of what is going on here still remains…

Experience: 1000 xp per player

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Session 41

Players: Grant, Chris, Jeremy, Alison

The Urchins meet with the Sea Dragons to discuss their plans going forward. They find the Sea Dragons in a state of mourning, with somber attitudes and black clothing. They are eventually greeted by Lady McLeod, Marok Stern, and Sarah. McLeod informs them that Zorion the Mindbender died stopping the Philhomel bomb from spreading further. The Urchins also notice that Sarah’s eyes are now solid black. Lady McLeod tells the Urchins that she has her hands full keeping things under control in Freeport, especially with the loss of Zorion. She gratefully accepts their offer to sek out the source and cure of the plague and to do something about the targeted killings of Urchins and Dragons in the streets of the city.

The party sets out looking for trouble, but first they outfit themselves against the plague with masks, gloves, and rubbing alcohol. They begin asking questions about the street killings, and find themselves in the southern slums. The street children start to tell them about what they know of the demons, who come out at night and are often seen stalking the slums. A few of the children begin acting strangely, sweating and looking nervous. Bronn grabs one of them, and it promptly peels in half like a banana, revealing a demon beneath.

A huge fight breaks out, with a few more of the urchin children revealing themselves as demons. A few of the street children are killed, but the Sea Urchins seem able to overcome the demons. Kun Aguero brutally slays the demon lord who is commanding them, tearing out his ribcage with ghostly thorns. Just as the party gains the upper hand, however, they are attacked by the Mercian sellswords as well. The sellswords and demons fight each other as well, but the party is hard pressed to defeat all these foes…

Experience: 1200 XP per player

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Session 40

Players: Jeremy, Grant, Chris, Alison

A fight breaks out with Commander Cormarrin as his bomb goes off, creating a huge hole in the center of the courtyard that begins expanding at an alarming rate, swallowing up tents and threatening the people in the yard. After a hard fight, the Urchins take down Cormarrin and his last few men, as the fighting between the Philhomen soldiers and the various pirate gangs floods into the yard.

They quickly loot a couple of the tents before these fall into the expanding hole, finding a strongbox full of gold and a small chest of silver. Bronn grabs the unconscious Cormarrin, but is promptly swallowed up by the bomb hole, which shows no signs of slowing its expansion as the ground crumbles away. Luckily, Lyric is there with the last remaining pirate minion, and they throw a rope to Bronn, who easily climbs out after hooking Cormarrin’s body with his spear.

The Urchins flee to the beach, where Cha’ka Graal and Lady McLeod’s lieutenants are directing the mop-up and capture of the few remaining Philhomen soldiers. As the fortress crumbles into ruin behind them, the Urchins argue with Cha’ka Graal over who will interrogate Cormarrin. Bronn and Graal play tug-of-war for a moment, nearly tearing the Philhomen commander in half, and Graal laughingly lets the Urchins have him. Cormarrin refuses to give up any information about when the next Philhomen attack might come, though he says that a huge assault is planned. He also warns the Urchins that all his war wizards, who could have stopped the expanding bomb blast, have been killed.

The Urchins turn Cormarrin over to Cha’ka Graal, who grabs him by a leg and drags him off through the sand. They then speak with Zorion the Mindbender, asking him to attempt to stop the expanding bomb, which has now destroyed the fort and threatens to expand to the rest of the island. Zorion and Sarah cautiously examine the explosion, and though Zorion seems uncertain how to deal with it, Sarah whispers something in his ear and he asks the Urchins to move away and let him handle the situation. The Urchins get a few pirates to row them to the surviving Philhomen troop transport ship, which they claim as their own. As they cross the water, they heard a strange sound, like a thousand bees trying to speak a human language. Suddenly a translucent red dome flickers into life around the roiling chaos of the explosion, penning it in, though within the dome the ground continues to churn endlessly. Everything suddenly falls silent.

The Urchins sail their new transport ship and the Lady Thief back to Freeport, where they’re intercepted by Dirk the Ropesman on his ship, the Gaptooth Grin. Dirk looks extremely ill and has a panicked, exhausted attitude. He calms down enough to tell the Urchins of what’s been happening in Freeport in their absence:

-The Bloodstone of Morgai, which Corlynn left with Dirk while she went off on a mysterious errand, has been glowing constantly. Dirk won’t let the Bloodstone out of his sight, but says that it whispers to him at night and he cannot sleep.
-The plague that’s stricken Freeport has been getting worse, killing indiscriminately.
-The people of Freeport are anxious about the possibility of a Philhomen invasion.
-Rumors abound of demons walking the streets at night.
-Dirk is certain that Sea Urchin and Sea Dragon gang members are being targeted for assault and murder in the alleys every night.

The Urchins do some digging and discover that some of the dead Urchins and Dragons have been backstabbed, had their throats slit, and so on, but others have been brutally torn apart in a manner fitting for minor chaos demons. Some pirates swear it’s demons doing the killing, but others insist that the attacks didn’t start until a gang of Mercian sellswords came into town about a week ago. As they seek information about demons and possible cures for the plague, the Urchins are constantly told to head to Lorenelin, the capital city of Illuvia, the elven nation across the Ruby Sea to the west. This cosmopolitan city is renowned as a center of scholarship and learning, and many answers can be found there. They also hear rumors that more temples of Melora scattered throughout the Ruby Sea have been defiled, the symbols of Melora painted over with sigils of other gods. Finally, Corlynn reappears, telling the party that she’s been doing research into the Bloodstone. She believes that the Bloodstone’s recent activity is magically linked to the plague somehow, and that the best place to find more information would be Morgai itself, where the Bloodstone was first discovered.

The Urchins hatch a plan: first, they extract their people from the city to salvage what crew they can from the ravages of the plague. These pirates are sent either to Riverwatch to keep guard or on raids on the sea as a show of strength. Next, the party will spend a night walking the streets of Freeport on a demon hunt, both as a show of strength and in hopes of drawing out the killers and beating some truth from them. Once this is accomplished they will sail west to Illuvia, checking in on temples of Melora on the way and likely making landfall in Morgai first to explore the mystery of the Bloodstone further.

XP: 1000 xp per player

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Session 39

Players: Chris, Grant, Alison

The Urchins continue their assault on the Philhomen-held fortress. They fight their way across a broken bridge and into the armory, where they kill a few more soldiers then use the stockpile of gunpowder to set a trap against anyone who might think to follow them. Fighting their way through the close inner halls of the fort, they come to the central courtyard, which is being used as an officers’ camp.

Kun Aguero boldly approaches Commander Cormarrin, the leader of the Philhomen expeditionary force. They face off in the center of the yard as Fuzzy and Lyric cautiously watch from the stairwell. Cormarrin is confident and dismissive, and informs Kun Aguero that Freeport has no hope of fighting off the Philhomen invasion. Cormarrin haughtily tells him that there is only one man brilliant enough in war to save Freeport, a Philhomen general named Zerak Hull whom Cormarrin refers to as “the greatest of us all.”

What became of this General Hull is left a mystery, though, as Cormarrin then tells Kun Aguero that it’s time to die— and even if the allied pirate assault on the fort succeeds, Cormarrin has a bomb just waiting to go off.

XP: 1000 per player

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Session 38

Players: Chris, Alison, Josh

The Sea Urchins plan their assault on the Philhomen fort on Freeport Island. After much debate, it is decided that the Hands of Graal and Sea Dragons will attack by sea. The sound of their cannon will be the signal to the reserve forces to prepare to attack by land. These forces, consisting of the Sea Urchins and One-Eyes, will attack from the forest (the same way the Urchins approached previously, when scouting) and overland, thus creating a two-pronged surprise assault once the Philhomen are busy with the sea attack.

The plan is put into action and the Urchins, with about 50 One-Eyes, successfully sneak up on the fort through the forest. After the sea assault begins, they wait a few minutes, letting many of the guards at their side of the fort move away to reinforce the main force. Luckily, the fort wall has crumbled here, so the Urchins send the One-Eye mob to assault the breach while the Urchins themselves sneak in a door to a tower that faces the sea. Cannonfire is coming heavily from this tower and the Urchins plan to put a stop to it.

They fight their way up the tower and kill everyone manning the cannon. They then pause for a breather, but are quickly interrupted by a stronger force of Philhomen, led by a lightning-tossing war wizard, come to retake the tower. These are handily defeated, and the Urchins bar the door to give themselves time for a proper short rest and to scuttle the cannons, shoving one down the stairs and the others out the windows.

Experience: 800 xp per player

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Session 37

Players: Don, Grant, Chris, Alison, Rachel, Jeremy

Question McGillicuddy, rest, go to meeting place 8 hours ahead of time, Corlynn uses Inquisitive’s Eyes (-125 gp) ritual, sees One-Eyes and Hands of Graal scout area, Fuzzy and Kiera find Eye of Alarm on door, they wait outside, One-Eyes show up, then Sea Dragons, Lady McLeod rubs off Eye, enter, big table with color-coded chairs, (One-Eyes: red, Hands: green, Silent Ones: white, Dragons: blue, Guild/Urchins: gold) Hands of Graal enter, double chair, Silent Ones enter.

Argus declares plague, shows hand, heal checks confirm. Tiny residual magic. Also concerned about Philhomen foothold— two things related? All agree to assault Philhomen, except Silent Ones; Urchins insult them, they leave. Graal won’t follow Urchin plan; insults; Graal demands fight, gets one, respects strength, agrees to follow plan.

Experience: 700 xp per player

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