Kings of the Endless Sea

Session 26
Wizard Needs Friends Badly

Players: Don T, Greg, Thomas, Rachel, Caleb

The tower’s owner is not on the top floor. Instead, the Urchins find some crystal statues holding up the roof of the tower. To nobody’s surprise, the statues animate and attack when the party moves near them. The party begins to tire of statues that animate and attack when someone moves near them. In a small side-chamber Kiera finds a single copper piece and a note that says “look behind you.” In the facing chamber is a Wand of Frost, which Corlynn says is a piece of junk but keeps anyway. Corlynn also pokes her head out the hole created when the golems tore away from the ceiling; there is nothing on the roof.

Next the Urchins head down to the third floor. Here they find a large, empty room with braziers in its corners and a wizard sitting in the center. The wizard introduces himself as Paraphraxes, and orders a demonic servant to fetch them all tea. He is clearly revealed to be somewhat off his nut, as he tells his tale. He once lived in Karstark, and was a famed artificer, beseeched by the powerful to perform great acts of creation on their behalf. He tired of this, wanting only to be left alone to work on his inventing, and so one day he tore his tower from the ground and flew it out to sea, where he could have blessed solitude. Blessed solitude soon turned to madness-inducing loneliness, however, and Paraphraxes began to long for friends. He is so very glad that the Urchins have come along, and knows that they will be the very best of friends forever.

Weirded out, Valenae tries to leave, so Paraphraxes hits her with a freeze ray, and the battle is on. The Urchins make short work of the old wizard and his demonic servitors. Jin hits Paraphraxes with a mighty shuriken attack that takes the addled inventor’s head clean off and sends it crashing through the window to smush on the deck of the Lady Thief below.

Experience per player: 471 xp

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Session 25
Go West, Young Gang

Players: Chris, Rachel, Don T, Greg, Dallas, Stretch

Leaving the Castle of the Merchant King behind, the Sea Urchins sail west, where they have heard rumors of a wizard’s tower wandering the waves. Six days of travelling and two ixitxachitl-skin cloaks later, the rumors prove to be true as the Urchins spy a tower floating in the distance. They approach, and after some debate, Corlynn flies to a third-floor window and lets down a rope. The rest of the crew follow her up with few falling-into-the-ocean mishaps occurring. There they find a chamber with many small rooms at its center and caged statues along the edges. To nobody’s surprise, the statues animate and attack as the party nears them. Mechanical dogs come out from corner rooms as well, but all the defenses are quickly put down. Exploration of the center rooms reveals various traps, many of them featuring a single copper piece as bait. Fuzzy is trapped by swirling magical chains, but eventually escapes, and the door is closed on that room forever.

The Urchins decide to take the stairs up, rather than down, reasoning that the tower’s owner would be on the top floor.

Experience per player: 517 xp each, except for Stretch who earned 267 xp because he joined late

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Session 24
Yours to Keep

Players: Chris, Don T, Rachel, Jeremy, Greg, Thomas, George

The Urchins make their way back to Riverwatch in the stolen Lady Thief, but first they tie the corpses of the dead Guildmen into a numeral “7” and float it back to Freeport. At Riverwatch, they set Jayne Sauzall and her men to building a moat and waterwheel. They also take 4 cannon from the Lady Thief to set up at the fort.

They then set sail to the south to see what there is to see. After a few days of sailing they fight some chuuls. The next day brings a heavy storm, though a lone mountain peak is visible in the distance throughout the day. The day after that dawns clear, and the Sea Urchins reach the peak, a single large mountainous crag stabbing up from the sea. There is a hardy keep built into the side of this mountain, with a long stone dock extending from its doors. Corlynn first flies to the top of the mountain to reconnoiter, but finds nothing of note up there.

The Urchins dock at the keep and walk to its doors. There they find two pikemen wearing the gray cloaks and empty badges of the Silent Ones. These guards are not silent, though, and the Urchins convince them to let them pass. They are led into the keep, through an entry hall, into a large meeting room where a man works at a desk. He introduces himself as Captain Horatio Morgenstern, right-hand man of the Nameless Lady. He informs the party that he is overseeing expeditions into the lower depths of the keep, which he names as the Castle of the Merchant King. He makes an offer to the Urchins: delve the keep, and they may keep any non-magical treasure they find as long as all magical items are turned over to Morgenstern. Haggling ensues, and a deal is struck, then the Urchins decide they’d rather not explore the keep anyway, and leave.

Experience per player: 300 xp

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Session 23
A Sweet Ruse (Part 2)

Players: Grant, Chris, Jeremy, Don T, Greg, Thomas

Having joined the Most Honorable Guild of Wealth Redistribution, the Urchins are given their first mission— travel along the coast to a ship anchored a few miles from Freeport, and take on guard duty there. They do so, relieving the pirates who are currently stationed there, and immediately set out to discover what they are guarding. Down in the hold, they find a single large chest in the otherwise empty room. Jin disarms a trap on it and opens it, releasing powerful arcane spirits bound to the chest, which attack.

With the spirits defeated, the Urchins look to see what was in the chest. They discover… another, smaller chest! Jin disarms the traps on this one as well, and the party opens it to find the Bloodstone of Morgai, last seen leaving Monmouth with the Hands of Graal.

The Urchins now concoct a plan. Jin forges some documents to look like orders from Lord Patch, telling the Urchins to take the Guild’s best ship and bring the Bloodstone to him. The party returns to Freeport, where Jin changes his face and acts as his own courier, taking the orders to the Guild Harbormaster. He accepts the orders and sends notice to the Urchins to take command of the Lady Thief, a Guild caravel.

The Urchins relieve the crew of the Lady Thief and begin to put out to sea— where they are promptly attacked by a hidden force of Guildmen! Plainly the Harbormaster saw through their ruse and set an ambush for them. The Guild force, however, is quickly defeated, and the Urchins make good their escape, having successfully obtained a lovely new ship.

Experience per player: 400 xp

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Session 22
A Sweet Ruse (Part 1)

Players: Jeremy, Grant, Thomas, Greg, Chris, Don T, David

The Urchins reach Freeport without further incident. There is some debate about how best to disrupt the activities of the hated Guild, but soon a sweet ruse is decided upon: having learned that everybody in the Guild who knows them is out of town, the Urchins will infiltrate the Guild by joining it. With this in mind they head to the Most Honorable Bar of Liquor Redistribution, a well-known Guild hangout right across the street from the Guild’s HQ.

At the Bar they chat with some Guild members, including a drunken pirate named Porro, whom they tell the truth about Lord Patch really being a dwarf named Pargrim. Soon they meet Remwick, a halfling, who is one of Patch’s lieutenants. He will allow them to join the Guild, but they must undergo a test first.

The Urchins are taken to the basement of the Guild HQ, where they are sent into a room with a door at the far end. Statues and columns alternate along the side walls, and the columns support a gallery from which the Guildmen watch and call out encouragement, bets, and insults. Two sarcophagi lie upon the floor of the room. Remwick tells them that to pass the test, they must simply exit the room. The Urchins begin moving towards the far door, and the doors by which they entered slam shut. Unsurprisingly, once they reach the center of the room the statues begin coming to life and attacking. The Urchins fight off a few rounds of statue assault before Corlynn reaches the far door, only to find it is an illusion. Many smashed statues later, they discover that the sarcophagus nearest the door hides a secret exit. They pass down a short flight of stairs, through a short tunnel, and out into the welcoming arms of their new Guild brothers.

XP per player: 475 xp, except for Grant, who left early and only got 300 xp

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Session 21
...and back again

Players: Don T, Chris, Jeremy, Grant, Greg

Heading to make their rendezvous with Marok Stern at Riverwatch, the party encounters a small Philhomen ship in a heavy fog. The outclassed Philhomen captain admits that he was sent by Captain Schermerhorn, the Philhomen captain whom the Urchins had told about the Exonian beachhead on Freeport Island, to investigate that base. After some deliberation, the party lets the Philhomen ship go on its way, and follows surreptitiously behind. They wait in the fog as the Philhomen ship enters the cove where the Exonian beachhead is, and they heard the sound of cannonfire come muffled across the water. Eventually the cannonfire dies away. The Urchins wait for the rest of the day, but the Philhomen ship never returns, so they up anchor and continue for Riverwatch.

They make Riverwatch without further incident, traverse the whirlpool that guards its bay, and ride their dinghy up the uphill river. At Riverwatch, Marok Stern is saddened to hear of the deaths of the Sea Dragons he sent with the Urchins, but glad to know that Black Bones Island is taken. He gives control of Riverwatch to the Sea Urchins and sets about moving his men and gear out of the fort. The Urchins ask about the whirlpool, and Stern tells them that it is the work of a wizard on behalf of the Sea Dragons, who have more powerful allies than the Urchins might know. The whirlpool will soon be gone.

The Sea Urchins set off for Freeport by foot, and after a few days of travel near the city. Before they can reach it, though, they encounter a large group of silent fanatics in grey robes. Each wears a simple silver circle stitched on his arm as a badge. One of the fanatics, now identified as mysterious Silent Ones, the gang run by the Nameless Lady, approaches the Urchins, serenly demanding they hand over all their magic items. The Urchins naturally refuse, and attempt to intimidate the Silent One leader, but the fanatics attack.

Though they number some 35 men and women, the Silent Ones are eventually defeated. The Urchins leave one alive, and the assassin uses his changeling powers to take on the face of the leader with whom the Urchins had been speaking. The surviving Silent One babbles about “The Mission,” and demands the assassin commit ritual suicide when he claims (in the guise of the leader of the group of fanatics) to have forgotten what the Mission is. Eventually the survivor wises up to the ruse, and bites down on a poison pellet concealed in his mouth, killing himself before the Sea Urchins can learn more about the mysterious Mission.

Experience per player: 350 xp

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Session 20
Fire and water

Players: Jeremy, Chris, Greg, Don T

Fresh off their victory over the cultists, the Urchins barely have a moment to rest before they sense danger yet again. There is a tingling of magic; the room grows hotter; they smell smoke. Opening the single door from the hidden chamber reveals a hallway ablaze with purple-black fire. A quick check reveals no other exits, so the Urchins brave the blazing hall. They dash down the twisted corridors as ceilings crumble on them and floors collapse into dangerous pits. Eventually the whole party makes it out, running up the snake-painted stairs into warm summer sunlight as a last gout of purple-black flame bursts up behind them. Turning to watch the snake-temple’s last gasp, they see a vision appear in the flames…

As the vision fades, Morzia approaches, leading the townsfolk, all of whom carry construction gear. He is there to fill in the temple of Zehir and make it nothing but a memory, and he is glad to hear that having given up its secrets, it is burning.

The Urchins return to the cursed ship, which they nickname Charlie Brown for the bad luck that seems to follow it like a cloud. They make for Monmouth to restock, and are immediately hit by an unnatural, punishing heat. It passes, but another day out, they are attacked by some water elementals. They stop at the hidden cave along the Exonian coast where they once found some treasure and left a note for the Guild, and find it just as they left it. They stop at a fishing village to buy food, and fortunately find it untroubled by cults or curses. After a few days of rain a helpful breeze, blessing of Melora, sees them safely to Monmouth.

In the city the assassin asks around to discover where the Urchins might get magical goods now that Meraxes’ Curio Shop is burned down. He is recommended to see Jorzin, a rat-faced, greasy-haired acolyte of Pelor who can be convinced to get things for the right price. Captain Moonshadow has him find her a ritual of Familiar Mount. Meanwhile, the rest of the crew sells off the Charlie Brown and buys a fine caravel called the Freerunner. Last but not least, Captain Moonshadow buys herself a glorious new hat. It is a deep red-purple, made from tanned red dragon hide, topped with a feather taken from a newborn phoenix, which eternally smolders with some of the bird’s trapped heat. Its band is made of alternating links of silver, gold, and platinum, woven by the finest chainsmiths in the land. It also has a nice felt lining, for comfort. No longer needing her old hat, Moonshadow has it enchanted as a Casque of Tactics and resized as a gift for Kun Aguero.

The next day, the part moves their gear to the Freerunner and sets off into the Ruby Sea once more, only to be attacked by chuuls.

Experience: 463 per player

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Session 19
Hall of mirrors

Players: Don T, Jeremy, Jake, Chris, Greg, Grant

With the dragon gone, the Sea Urchins settle down for a much-earned rest. It is quickly disrupted, however, by a few wandering cultists and their snake pet. The Urchins make short work of these few, and keep one of them alive for questioning. The cultist, a human named Morzia, explains that with Sibillis dead, the cultists are now wandering aimlessly, without leadership. There are, however, a fanatical few who have retreated into another hidden chamber of the temple— where, Morzia does not know.

After much cajoling, and the slaying of a few more wandering cultists, Morzia is convinced to give up the worship of Zehir. Captain Moonshadow entreats him to gather the villagers, now free of Sibillis’s mind-controlling influence, and use them to re-consecrate the temple of Melora. Morzia himself is to lead worship of Melora, a concept that Morzia, formerly a low-ranking cultist, finds quite appealing, even if he doesn’t quite grasp the difference between a cult and a religion.

Morzia is let free, and exploration of the temple recommences. After more traps and winding halls, the party comes upon a room full of mirrors. Each mirror shows an idealized version of the viewer— for example, Kun Aguero wears a goliath prince’s garb, topped by the biggest, fanciest hat imaginable. Aguero explores the room, and eventually comes upon a mirror in which he sees himself reflected not as an ideal, but as a halfling. He touches this mirror— and disappears.

The rest of the party finds their way to the halfling mirror, and also disappear upon touching it. They reappear in a room that is mirrored on all four walls, floor, and ceiling. In it stand two pillars, with writing on all four sides, and a mirror facing each side. Close examination reveals that the writing on the pillars is made up of eight words, one each in eight different languages.

The party notices that each word written on the pillar reflects in the mirrors as the same word, but in a different language. They quickly learn that the pillars turn, so that each word can be translated into various languages. The left-hand pillar can eventually be turned so that every word is reflected in Dwarven; the right-hand pillar can be turned so that every word reflects in Common. Eventually the messages are deciphered: “Break the invisible door,” says the left pillar. “Behold the sky shard,” reads the right.

At this, the party sets about smashing the mirrors in the room. Kun Aguero shatters the ceiling, and soon notices that one of the shards of mirror that has fallen around him reflects a key that is nowhere in the room. Reaching behind him to where the key should be allows him to grasp it out of thin air.

The question still remains as to how to leave this room. Soon, however, the party discovers that wherever the word “door” faces from the left pillar, a door appears behind the mirrors on that wall. They pass through this door and come back out through the halfling mirror. Still experimenting with his shard, Kun Aguero discovers that in this room, it reflects a small wooden chest. He takes the chest out of the air and opens it to find it filled with gold.

Leaving the hall of mirrors, the party quickly makes its way through the rest of the temple. They find a final secret door leading to another hidden chamber, where the last few fanatical devotees have holed up. These are quickly defeated, and a trapped statue in the back of the room is found to have a small compartment in its base. This compartment contains two large, sickly-green gems, presumably the “Hearts of the Serpent” referred to in the cryptic note from Mayor Ortek’s house.

Experience: 367 per player
Treasure gained: “The Hearts of the Serpent,” two gems worth 500 gp each; 160 gp

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Session 18
The wellspring

Players: Don C, Jeremy, Grant, Chris, Riley, Don T

The Urchins make quick work of the cultists deep in the snake temple, whom they’ve caught in the act of performing a profane ritual upon some snake venom. The party saves the venom in a canteen.

Further exploration of the temple, and further avoidance of its traps, leads the party to a room containing a young green dragon penned in behind a flimsy-looking wooden palisade. The dragon, a wicked, suspicious creature, nevertheless reveals to the party that it is a prisoner of Sibillis, the leader of this cult. The dragon avows that it is stuck behind an impenetrable barrier. Kun Aguero quickly puts the lie to this by smashing a few bars from the palisade.

The party decides to lie in wait for Sibillis, who according to the dragon, comes every day to milk venom from its fangs. Eventually Sibillis comes, and spying intruders in his temple, commands the dragon to attack!

It does so, smashing down the wooden palisade in its hurry to get at the Sea Urchins. Sibillis is quickly killed, and while the dragon puts up quite a fight, it is eventually beaten and Sibillis’s powerful mental hold on it is broken. In gratitude, the dragon gives the party some more information about the wonders that lay hidden out in the Ruby Sea. In addition, it graciously offers not to eat them, saying instead that they shall never meet it again in this life. It takes its exit, squeezing uncomfortably through the winding halls of the temple.

Experience: 400 per player

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Session 17
Enter the serpent

Players: Jeremy, Don T, Riley, Chris, Jake, Grant

The Sea Urchins are surrounded! Brainwashed villagers attack, led by their wicked mayor. With the help of a gnome bard who has wandered unwittingly into the scene of chaos, the Sea Urchins defeat the addled townsfolk.

They keep one villager alive, and question him. He reveals that a man named Sibillis, notable for his sickly yellow eyes, came to the town a few weeks ago. Hoping to gain more information about Sibillis, the party searches Mayor Ortek’s residence and the inn where Sibillis stayed. In the mayor’s residence, they find a bit of treasure beneath the mattress and a scroll-case beneath the floorboards.

In the scroll-case is a scroll decorated with twisting serpents and symbols of Zehir, the evil god of snakes, poison, and assassins. The scroll reads, “The hearts of the serpent are within the heart of the serpents.”

Armed with this enigmatic knowledge, the party descends into the depths beneath the temple of Melora. Here they brave twisting corridors filled with traps until the stumble upon a deep chamber where an unholy ritual is taking place…

Experience: 375 per player

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