Kings of the Endless Sea

Session 16
Getting there is half the game

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

Returning to the sunlight after their time spent battling ghosts of the past in the Vecnite dungeon on Black Bones Island, the Sea Urchins set out to explore the remainder of the island, making sure that they didn’t let any Bonesmen survive. At the beach where the Bonesmen had built a makeshift dock, they come upon a single ship. The beach is empty, as the ship seems to be. Suspecting a trap, the party approaches cautiously, but soon finds that the ship is indeed abandoned— except for two prisoners, chained on the lower decks among corpses and skeletons: Salus is a dwarven cleric, and is quick to pledge his allegiance to the party. There is also a shifty-looking sailor who signs on with the Urchins as well.

The newly-reinforced Urchins quickly steal the languishing ship, only to promptly hit a whirlpool that would sink them if not for some quick thinking and skilled sailing. The next day brings an encounter with a group of explorers from Karstark, come to make their names fighting ixitxachitls on Black Bones Island. These adventurers, know as the Bad-Ass Delvers, have heard of the Sea Urchins and their daring deeds of high-seas adventure, and quickly agree to share their knowledge of the Ruby Sea with the Urchins in return for an escort to the ixitxachitls’ lair. A few days’ sailing gets them there, and the Urchins gain knowledge of new places to explore in the seas north of Freeport.

The party sets sail for a small fishing village on the coast of Exonia to restock their supplies. They reach it, but not before being hit by an ice storm. This raises suspicions, and Captain Moonshadow soon determines that the new ship is in fact cursed— which is likely why it was abandoned.

The fishing village isn’t much better, though. Its inhabitants walk around as if in a daze, barely speaking or interacting with the newcomers in their midst. Even the mayor, Ortek, seems suspicious, though he has better control of his mental faculties than his constituents do.

The party soon makes its way to a great, open temple of Melora that stands atop a nearby hill. They find that the altar slides to one side, revealing a staircase painted with a mighty serpent descending into the hillside. Before they can investigate, though, a mob of villagers, led by Mayor Ortek, surrounds them…

Experience: 300 per player

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Session 15
Ghosts of the Past

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

The party fights off the sailors attacking them, who seem to believe they’re fighting against their own captain. The sailors seem to have the ability to move in and out of the illusionary village to the real world, but that doesn’t help them much. With the sailors defeated, the illusion disappears, revealing an empty stone room.

The party explores the rest of the dungeon, finding a letter written to Captain Argus by one Lieutenant Joseph -—-. In it, the lieutenant objects to some action that Argus is about to undertake. At last, the party opens and passes through the final door, which leads to a large, empty room. The back wall of the room, strangely, looks like the outer wall of a country house of whitewashed brick. Through its windows can be seen a cozy rural scene. The door slams shut behind them and three figures appear: each is identical, and is clearly the Pirate Lord Argus One-Eye, but each wears different clothes. One wears an Exonian sailor’s uniform, another a Philhomen uniform, and a third a pirate outfit and eyepatch.

It is a long and difficult fight. The party splits up to handle the three aspects of Argus One-Eye. Strife immediately attacks the one in the Philhomen uniform, and is eventually killed. Gully Thorntoe is killed as well, but the Sea Urchins are barely able to survive and defeat the spirits.

With the spirits defeated, the party looks through the windows on the far wall into the “house” beyond. There they see a scene from the life of Argus One-Eye play out…

Experience: 399 per player
Treasure found: Venemous Ki Focus

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Session 14
Secrets secrets

Players: Jeremy Condon, Greg Huelsenbeck, Don Thorpe, Riley Hamilton, Grant Martin, Chris Cluck

Interrogating the captive Aelric, underboss of the Brotherhood of the Black Bones, the party learns that there is another fortress on the island, in the wooded area east of the mountains. Captain Moonshadow then has Aelric tied up and sent to the room of chokedust at spearpoint, but Bronn, objecting to such treatment of a fellow warrior, attempts to kill Aelric then and there to give him a more honorable death. Instead he accidentally cuts his bonds, and after looking Bronn in the eyes, Aelric attacks him despite a lack of weapons or armor. The party quickly puts Aelric down, then finishes exploring the mountain fortress.

This accomplished, they head out to find the second fort on the island. After a few days’ travel they are attacked by a small remnant of the Black Bones’ force; interrogating one of these earns the location of the fort, but after revealing this secret, the Bonesman suddenly dies with purple-black flames spilling from his mouth, eyes, and ears.

Deep in the forest the party finds a tree marked in an ancient, nearly-forgotten script used by worshipers of Vecna. The tree contains a secret door hiding a staircase leading into the earth. Taking the staircase down, the party comes upon a small dungeon with some odd features. At the first junction they find two statues, one in a military salute and the other with its arms crossed over its chest. Taking the passage where the arms-crossed statue stands, they head down a long hallway filled with traps. At another junction elsewhere in the dungeon, the party finds two envelopes, one burnt to a crisp and still smoldering as though just pulled from a fire. Opening the other envelope reveals a letter, the decision of a court-martial ordering that a Captain Argus be put in forced retirement and never have sight of the sea again. The letter refers to the need for a scapegoat for some mission that Captain Argus undertook, the truth of which has been discovered and is being used to threaten the Crown.

A little more exploration finds a door that, when opened, leads to a scene from another time and place: the destruction of Strife’s village by what appear to be Philhomen sailors. As the party watches the village burn, a party of sailors approaches, its leader shouting, “Captain! I cannot allow this slaughter to continue!” With that the sailors attack…

Experience per player: 300 xp
Treasure gained: 210 sp, small gem worth 100 gp, 90 gp worth of Exonian armor, greatbow

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Session 13
Chained up

Players: Don Thorpe, Greg, Chris Cluck, Jeremy Condon, Grant Martin

The party climbs onto the roof of the Brotherhood’s mountain fort, hoping to surprise the Bonesmen through an alternate entrance. Unfortunately the gang is already aware of the Sea Urchins’ presence and sends fighters out the front door and wolves out the back to attack. These opponents are dispatched, and the Urchins set about exploring the fort. They find some left-behind coin and empty pens, but not much else until they enter the circular room built into the mountain. Strife, picking the lock, is surprised by three crazed assailants, who hurt him badly but die foaming at the mouth afterwards.

The party is attacked by a powerful, chain-wielding pirate with an eyepatch. Plainly the one in charge of the fort, this fighter clearly heard the party coming and set a trap for them. It almost worked, too: it is an extremely difficult fight, but quick thinking and strategic teamwork save the day. They trap the warrior in a pit covered with a bridge of roots cast by Fuzzy, which wins them the time they need to wear him down until he surrenders. In the circular chamber, they find a large treasure hoard that includes a magic sword.

The next order of business is to interrogate the captive about his gang and their connection to Vecna…

Experience per player: 369 xp
Treasure gained: 80 gp, 490 sp, Shielding Blade (level 4)

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Session 12
The black island

Players: Don Thorpe, Don Cee, Riley, Chris Cluck, Greg, Jeremy Condon

The party anchors in a small cove on the Black Bones island and brings the dinghy in through choppy, rocky waters. They hide the dinghy then set out to follow some tracks they found that clearly belong to a patrol. Following the tracks back towards the western mountains, they discover a hidden path leading through the mountains. They follow this until it splits, and head north to check out the sandy beach on the north side of the island. It is clearly a makeshift port for the Black Bonesmen, but no ships are docked at the moment. They return to where the path splits and follow the other direction towards the area where a captured Bonesman told them the Brotherhood’s fort was.

In a rocky mountain pass they discover a hidden tunnel; unfortunately, opening the tunnel brings down a rockslide. Exploring the tunnel, the party finds countless pathways carved into the rock. A thorough exploration reveals that while most lead to dead ends, one features a hidden door that opens into a small clearing, ringed on all sides by high mountains but open to the sky, where a small stone fort sits.

Strife picks the lock on the front door and the party quickly dispatches two guards— but there is the sound of commotion from within the fort…

Experience per player: 350

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Session 11
A Long, Strange Trip

Players: Don Thorpe, Chris Cluck, Grant Martin, Molly Mercier, Greg

The Sea Urchins head out from Riverwatch to travel to the northeast island on Marok Stern’s orders. They traverse the whirlpool again only to come out into a storm that hides the approach of three giant frogs, which the Urchins quickly dispatch. The next day sees rain and a sighting of a merchant caravan that the crew leaves alone. The next two days are windy, and the caravan is spotted again on its way to Monmouth.

On May 1st, the Feast of Corellon, the Urchins reach Monmouth to restock. Heading into port, they encounter a ship belonging to the Hands of Graal. Unable to avoid it, they fly the Sea Dragons flag and parley with a half-orc captain who demands to know their business but ultimate lets them go without a fight. During the conversation, a few sharp-eyed Urchins spot smoke rising from Monmouth. Upon arriving in the city they discover that Meraxes’ Curio Shop has been burned to the ground and the Bloodstone of Morgai (along with the rest of Meraxes’ magical items) is gone. They do find a small strongbox containing 240 gp, and Corlynn takes some bone ash from Meraxes’ scorched body.

The Urchins restock and head back out to sea, but find that while they were on land two chuuls got into their hold. The monsters are quickly dispatched and the party enjoys a lobster dinner that they hide from the rest of the crew, although the two crewmen (Nightblades both) who were snoozing on the watch when the chuuls came aboard get two lashes each as punishment.

The next few days pass uneventfully, and as they travel up the coast the Urchins save a small fishing boat from two more chuuls, which are obviously plentiful in these waters. In gratitude the fishermen give the Urchins their day’s catch and tell them of a rumored cave upcoast where Exonian sailors were supposed to hide their treasures. A day of sailing in the fog brings the Nightblade to a small sea cave half-obscured by the water, which would plainly be completely invisible at high tide. They enter carefully, and find a crate containing 600 silver pieces and a small trapped chest (which attacks, but doesn’t harm, Strife and Fuzzy) containing a small gem and a safewing amulet. After looting the treasure, Corlynn leaves a note on the cave wall: “Thank you! – The Guild (4)”

Despite doldrums and rain, the rest of the trip is uneventful until the Urchins reach the island of the Black Bonesmen. As they approach, they are attacked by ixitxachitls, demon rays that fly at them from the island. These are dispatched with the help of the ship’s powerful ballistas, and one is knocked out and tied up instead of killed.

The way now seems clear to make landing on the island and test the true strength of the Brotherhood of the Black Bones…

XP: Don, Chris, Molly: 568; Grant & Greg: 260
Treasure Gained: 240 gp, 600 sp, small gem worth 100 gp, Safewing Amulet (level 3)

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Session 10
Urchins and Dragons

Players: Don Thorpe, Chris Cluck, Grant Martin, Jeremy Condon, Andy, Molly Mercier

The Sea Urchins beat a quick retreat from Freeport after killing the Guild thugs. They return to the peninsula where the fort Riverwatch stands and pick up Admiral Pendergast from they cave where they stowed him. He demands control of the Nightblade but is soon convinced to accept the next ship the Urchins capture (or the Nightblade back if the Urchins take something better).

With this settled, the Urchins head up the bay to meet with the Sea Dragons about control of Riverwatch. To enter the bay, however, they must first navigate a dangerous zone of elemental magic. As they enter a huge whirlpool that blocks the bay, their figurehead comes alive as the hamadryad cleric Myst just in time to aid them against an attack by some water elementals. They defeat the elementals and navigate the whirlpool, and beyond, they find a peaceful bay with a few Sea Dragon ships.

They are hailed from the Wrathfire by Zorion the Mindbender, who hears their offer and takes them ashore to meet with Commander Marok Stern. They walk from the bay to Riverwatch atop its cliff, following a magical upward-flowing river. At Riverwatch, they meet with Stern while checking out the Sea Dragons’ defenses and manpower. After some debate, they make a deal with Stern: there is an island to the northeast that has been taken over by the Brotherhood of the Black Bones, a minor pirate gang whom the Sea Dragons consider their blood enemies. If the Sea Urchins rid the island of the Bonesmen and claim it for the Sea Dragons, the Dragons will cede control of Riverwatch.

With the agreement made, the Urchins head off for the island. Stern sends two Sea Dragons with the Urchins to make sure they hold up their end of the bargain: Strife, an elven monk, and Gully Thorntoe, a charmingly roguish halfling bard.

XP per player: 288

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Session 9
Wrecks

Players: Jeremy Condon, Don Cee, Kaye, Don Thorpe, Robert Griffin

Aboard the Nightblade, Fuzzy, Corlynn, Zevon, and Xyrora watch their ship sink. There is no time for mourning, though, because the rest of the Sea Urchins (the name having been changed) are going down with the ship, and there’s still most of the crew of the Nightblade to deal with. Sandokan and Bronn the Bold swim to safety and climb aboard the Nightblade, and the Urchins begin pulling in their crew. Meanwhile, belowdecks, Echo Cavalera, a halfling rogue who was captured by the Nightblades, sees her chance as the sailors around her are distracted by the fighting above. She retrieves the lockpick she keeps in her cheek and slips her shackles. Bronn opens the hatch, letting the sailors pour up spoiling for a fight, only to be faced with Bronn, Kun Aguero, and Sandokan standing together, which stops them in their tracks.

Zevon and Corlynn work on saving the rest of crew: Zevon lights the way for crewmembers trapped in the hull of the sinking ship while Corlynn inspires them to keep fighting for their lives, and warns them of a piece of the prow breaking off into the water. Zevon also retrieves the ale casks. Meanwhile, Bronn offers the Nightblades a choice: join us or die. Echo eagerly joins, and the Nightblade sailors are about to switch allegiances when their first mate, a tiefling named Mordaine Hull, berates them for their cowardice. Bronn puts his spear into the bound Hull, Corlynn finishes the job with a magic missile, and the Nightblades are now Sea Urchins.

The rescue is completed, with only two crew lost to the sea: Tony the wizard and Lady Storm, the master of arms. The Urchins set Jayne Sauzall, the carpenter, to building a dinghy while they dive for the lost treasure of their sunken ship. Bronn dives deep with a rope around him and manages to find the chest with five locks and return with it mere seconds before he would run out of air. As they take stock of what’s aboard the Nightblade, Echo informs them of a hidden compartment she noticed in the hold. She easily opens it and extracts three silver chalices and a large chest, which she quickly unlocks, revealing a huge wealth of gold and gems.

After two days, Sauzall is done with the dinghy, and the Urchins put Axelrod Pendergast, the once-captain of the Nightblade, ashore in a small cave in the cliffs nearby. They give him food and drink for a week, and are about to head for Freeport when they are approached by a Sea Dragon ship flying the flag of parley. The ship, the Wrathfire, is captained by Marok Stern, the humorless half-dwarf second-in-command of the Sea Dragons. He informs them that Riverwatch, the fort atop the cliff, belongs to the Sea Dragons, and demands to know what the Urchins are doing standing off the shore for days. Stern laughs when he learns that the Urchins had just taken the Nightblade, as he considers the Nightblades weaklings and false pirates. As for the Guild, Stern is cautiously complimentary— they are competitors, but honorable ones. The Urchins give him a gift of a barrel of ale, which attracts the attention of Zorion the Mindbender, Stern’s flamboyant tiefling lieutenant. Compliments are given to Stern’s nice hat and Zorion’s colorful robes. The Urchins sail away without a fight, thinking that perhaps the Sea Dragons will make for a good alliance in the future.

Aside from informing a passing Philhomen ship that Exonia is up to something in these waters, the trip to Freeport is uneventful. In Freeport, the Sea Urchins meet with Thohorn Pactmaker, head of the Nightblades, in his headquarters in a house he inherited from his grandmother. He is horrified to see Pendergast’s signature bandanna with blood on it, and eventually agrees to an alliance with the Urchins when he recognizes how tough they are, and that he has little other choice. Their crews will merge, with all men to be treated equally.

Then the Urchins go shopping, picking up a large telescope, a ritual of Water Walk for Zevon, and two ballistas to mount on the prow and stern of their new ship. As a last act before leaving Freeport, Corlynn sends Echo with a note to nail to the Guild’s door. It simply says “Two.” Unfortunately, Echo is caught in the act, and can’t quite lie her way out of it. The Guild guards are incensed when they learn she’s from the Sea Urchins, and Echo flees, but can’t make good her escape. The Urchins, wondering what’s become of their new rogue, go looking and come upon her surrounded in an alley near the Guild’s headquarters. There is a brief fight, the halfling is saved, and Corlynn writes a new note in a Guildman’s blood: “Three.” She boldly nails it to the Guild headquarters’ door.

Experience per player: 400
Treasure gained: 890 gp, 3 silver chalices worth 250 gp each, pouch of Woundstitch Powder

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Session 8
And down she goes

Players: Don Thorpe, Chris Cluck, Robert Griffin, Tom Shavor

Having stocked up and decided upon a plan to set up a “toll station” on Freeport Island, the Urchins head back that way from Monmouth. On the first day, they help a Karstarki merchant ship with some chuuls, and are rewarded with fine Illuvian silks. The second day finds them blown a bit off course but traveling down the Freeport coastline, where they spy an Exonian ship unloading a lot of gear near a ruined fort. Eventually the decision is made to leave it for now, since taking on a pinnace full of Exonian military is probably a bad idea, but to return to explore later. On day three they see a greatship belonging to the Hands of Graal in the distance, but avoid it by prestidigitating their own flag to match the Hands’. Day four sees an attack by monstrous frogs. On day five, nearing their destination, the Urchins run into a pinnace belonging to the Nightblades. They try to bluff their way onto the ship, telling its captain (a halfling named Axelrod Pendergast) that they’re from the new Nightblade outpost in Monmouth. At the last minute, Pendergast sees through their deception, and the Urchins attack. It’s a hard-fought battle, and the Nightblades get in three full broadsides with their cannon, the last of which sets the Urchins’ ship sinking. As the ship goes down, the Urchins teleport and leap to the Nightblade, leaving Pendergast aboard their own ship. Panicked, Pendergast surrenders his ship, and Fuzzy helps him back aboard the Nightblade with a bridge of roots, an honorable act for which Pendergast says he will be eternally grateful. The Urchins’ ship sinks, leaving four Urchins aboard the Nightblade with ten Nightblades who’ve just surrendered and the rest of the Street Urchins (and all their supplies and treasure) headed for the briny deep…

Experience per player: 581
Treasure gained: 100 gp worth of fine Illuvian silk

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Session 7
City slickers

Players: Don Thorpe, Chris Cluck, Amanda Hinkle, Robert Griffin, Grant Martin, Jeremy Condon

Having made quite a bit of money from the sale of a few ships and a lot of loot, the Street Urchins head to the temple of Melora to have Kun Aguero raised. The temple is far larger and more opulent and busy than most temples to the wilderness goddess, but that’s to be expected for a major port city. While the priests of Melora perform the raising ritual, the rest of the gang wanders into the Twisted Wrist, a tavern known as a hang-out for mages. There they pick up two new spellcasters, one of whom has just turned Seltous into a pile of ash in the dueling yard out back of the tavern.
Meanwhile Kun Aguero has returned to life and wandered into the sea to wash the stench of death off himself; the party hunts him down and then sets off to restock their ship. They buy a large amount of food and ale, then cannonballs and powder at the Filthy Cannon, a shop run by a filthy dwarf with a huge black beard. They load up and set forth for Freeport Island, only to be stuck in the doldrums. After watching a fishing boat row by, the Urchins hear a strange banging sound coming from belowdecks. Mr. Tentacles, Lareena the Sea-Witch’s familiar, transmits a strong sense of danger just before a gang of bullywugs clamber onto the ship and attack! They are beaten back, though not before Zevon Spellshaft is knocked unconscious. Hopefully the trip will go more smoothly from here on out…

Experience per player: 177 xp
Treasure gained: 140 gp

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