Kings of the Endless Sea

Session 33
Over the rainbow

Players: Chris, Jeremy, Grant, Don T, Josh, Allison

Distraught over the disappearance of McGillicuddy, the Urchins follow his owl’s lead into the Southern Neutral Territory of Freeport. The area is a slum populated mainly by beggars who get no help from the pirates of the city. Once in this area, the owl seems a bit lost, so Corlynn stops an urchin boy and gives him a piece of silver and some rations in return for the cryptic advice, “You should ask the Tall Men!” A short time later, the Urchins come upon a few northern warrior types loitering by a ramshackle bar. They question the northerners about what happened at Itchy’s and overhear one whisper to another, “That’s the place Thongor messed up…” Corlynn stage-whispers an insult about one of the northerner’s mothers and the fight is on.

The Urchins quickly defeat the northerners, who turn out to be members of the Tall Men, Freeport’s mercenary brotherhood. Two Tall Men are killed, and Corlynn freezes two of them into a nearby fountain. Bronn buys them a skin of cheap wine to enjoy while they thaw out. The last Tall Man leads the Urchins to Tall Hall, seat of the Tall Men, an incongrous viking longhall nestled in the deepest slum. Here they speak with the Tallest Man, leader of the Tall Men, who refuses to divulge any information about the job they did at Itchy’s, as it would violate his sacred oath. Eventually he cuts the conversation short and leaves.

Fuzzy follows the Tallest Man stealthily as he heads north through the city, out of the slums and eventually to an area known as the Hookery, Freeport’s red-light district. The Tallest Man enters a brothel called “the Kingdom of Love,” decorated to appear like a castle. Fuzzy follows him in.

Back at Tall Hall, Lyric finds Thongor among the Tall Men and begins seducing him. Thongor is a loudmouthed fool who quickly spills some details of the job he did at Itchy’s: he disemboweled the deva, and captured McGillicuddy alive, bringing him to some shadowy strangers in an alley. He describes the badge one of the strangers was wearing to Lyric: a padlock with crossed keys below it, surrounded by mystic symbols. This is the symbol of the Church of the Holy Lock, a strange cult that has sprung up among the merchants of Freeport.

Meanwhile at the Kingdom of Love, Fuzzy interrogates a prostitue who tells him that the Tallest Man is a regular there. She hints that she has more information, but demands that Fuzzy pay her with a tale of romance, action, and heroism. Fuzzy insists that he has never been in a dangerous situation in his life, and cannot get any more out of the prostitute.

At Tall Hall, Bronn has decided to take his revenge on Thongor for the insult to the Sea Urchins. He challenges Thongor to single combat right there in the hall. A brutal fight ensues, but Bronn is victorious. The Tall Men cheer him for a battle well fought, and seem to show little sorrow at the death of the braggart Thongor.

The Urchins agree to rest for the night, and pick up in the morning by investigating the Church of the Holy Lock and the Tallest Man’s activities at the Kingdom of Love. They also discuss attempting to unite the fractured beggars of the city (an attempt had been made to form a Beggars’ Guild, but it failed) into a sort of spy network.

Experience per player: 600 xp

Session 32

Players: Jeremy, Chris, Grant, Don T

The Urchins finally confront the pirate lord Patch, who has been their nemesis almost since day one of their adventures. Having come up from the poison runoff tube, the party finds Patch standing before them with a dagger to Oliver the goblin’s throat. Fuzzy acts first, wasting no time in firing a pair of arrows at Patch, and the fight is on.

It is a lengthy battle. Patch quickly begins to display unexpected powers— psychic attacks, fire magic and resistance, teleportation— but the Urchins press the attack nonetheless. Kun Aguero and Bronn are quickly dominated and in a fit of cruelty, Patch forces Bronn to attack Oliver, who has escaped from Patch’s hands. Bronn deals a nearly killing blow to the poor goblin, who falls to the ground behind a table full of alchemical equipment to defend himself.

A few area attacks in the vicinity of that table cause some of its contents to explode, letting loose a small fire elemental, a small ooze, and various other alchemical effects. Oliver is caught in the flames of one such burst and is killed. In wrathful vengeance, Bronn deals a huge amount of damage to Patch and cuts off his avenue of escape, a cleverly hidden secret door.

Near death, Patch again dominates Bronn and Kun Aguero, who have him cornered. He then attempts to flee for the runoff tube by which the party entered, but is cut down by a quick arrow from Fuzzy’s bow. For a moment it seems that the long-time enemy Lord Patch is at last slain, but before the party’s very eyes his flesh seems to melt away in a gout of purple-black smoke. As the smoke clears, the corpse is revealed to be that of Remwick, the devil who earlier took the form of one of Patch’s halfling lieutenants. Whether this is Patch’s true form, or just another devilish ruse by Remwick, is an open question.

Corlynn takes Patch/Remwick’s brain and stores it in a jar. Bronn gathers up Oliver’s corpse. The Urchins loot the third floor, finding a heap of platinum and some magical items, including a long-desired bag of holding, into which the goblin’s corpse is stowed after being wrapped in a bedsheet. They proceed to the second floor as the magic that was twisting the buildings corridors fades with Patch/Remwick’s death. The second floor is revealed to be a long hall of bedrooms for the Guild’s higher-ups. Some little treasure is found here, and Kun Aguero hears a group of Guild pirates trying to sneak away. They are quickly convinced to join up with the Urchins. Bronn asks them where in the city he might get a resurrection, and is given the name of Morakk, a white-haired old dwarf who is something of a back-alley cleric.

With the Guild HQ cleared out, the Urchins return to the Most Honorable Bar of Liquor Redistribution to consolidate their gains in manpower. They enter to find a shocking sight: Uriel, the deva who fought with them briefly, lies spread-eagled and gutted, dead on the bar floor. Corlynn takes some of his blood. The bar is otherwise empty, except for the owl belonging to McGillicuddy, the bartender. The owl flits down to land on Bronn’s shoulder and hoots mournfully.

Experience per player: 550 xp

Session 31

Players: Chris, Don T, Grant, Jeremy

Having just defeated Morgrim, the Urchins standing out in the street see an illusion appear above the roof of the Guild HQ. It shows Lord Patch standing with a dagger at the throat of Oliver the goblin! “I have your goblin friend,” booms the illusory Patch. “We’re on the third floor of the Guild Hall. Come and get him.”

A debate ensues about just how expendable Oliver is, and eventually Bronn wins out. The doors of the Guild Hall are summarily kicked in, and the Urchins are greeted with a surprising sight: the building seems to have magically reconfigured itself. A short hallway leads to a small chamber where a fight breaks out with some archers and swordsmen, all using poisoned weapons, and a magical rug that tosses anybody who steps on it into the wall. The Guild warriors are bested, and the rug is burnt after it is determined that it’s stuck to the floor. Another door leads to a hallway that splits left and right. Stairs leading up are visible to the right but the Urchins examine the left path instead.

At its end, double doors open into a large chamber with two pillars carved into the likeness of twisting snakes. Farther back in the chamber is a stone vat of some nasty, noisome liquid. Kun Aguero boldly steps between the snake pillars, which to nobody’s surprise, animate and attack him. He is quickly grabbed by one of the stonesnakes, while two fire snakes slither forth from the vat of liquid in the back. The battle is long and fierce; the powerful snakes put fear into the Urchins before they are at last bested.

The party examines the vat of liquid. They determine it to be a nasty, sludgy water with faint traces of poison, though not enough to cause harm. It seems to be runoff or wastewater from poisonous experiments. A rope dropped into it reveals that it continues down about seventy feet, so the goliath boldly swims down into the murky depths. There is enough light to tell that many small snakes live in the stuff, and that at the bottom the tube curves, extends horizontally for a short distance, then begins heading back up the way it came. More than that the goliath cannot tell for darkness.

Breaking out a piece of the wall reveals that the tube continues up above the first floor. The theory is floated that it is a waste receptacle from some higher floor that lets out into the first-floor chamber. Bronn and Kun Aguero then swim down holding a lit sunrod. They find that the pipe continues up about twenty feet more, suggesting that it lets out on the third floor. They reach a spot where there is a small layer of air, then a heavy wooden cap closing off the pipe.

Fuzzy and Corlynn follow, but are somewhat weakened by the horrible filth and odor. Nevertheless they reach the pocket of air. Bronn and Kun Aguero lift off the heavy wooden cap, trying to do it silently but failing as the thing clatters to the floor. Having lost any element of surprise, the party leaps into the room, to find Patch standing just as he had in the illusion, his knife at Oliver’s throat.

“I was expecting you,” he says, “though not from that direction!”

Experience per player: 800 xp each

Session 30
The Lieutenant's Last Stand

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

McGillicuddy, the owl-riding leprechaun barman, is unfazed by the change of ownership at Itchy’s. He merely shrugs and goes about his business. The Guild, however, doesn’t take it so lightly. They send a force to retake the bar, which surrounds the Urchins and attacks from all sides. These are quickly defeated, though. The Urchins dump the corpses into the waters of the bay.

Next the Urchins head across the street to the Guild headquarters. They sneak in a side door and enter Morgrim’s office, where they ring the replacement bell on his desk. A subaltern comes running, whom they tell to fetch Morgrim.

Morgrim comes, but not as expected. He comes in force, and assaults the Urchins both from the side door and from the alley behind his office. The fighting spills out into one of Freeport’s main plazas. It is a difficult battle, and Morgrim is a powerful opponent, but eventually the Guildmen are defeated. Corlynn puts her hands on Morgrim’s head and lets loose a fiery blast that destroys the dwarven lieutenant and a good portion of the corner wall of the Guild HQ.

Bronn sends for Oliver to come from Riverwatch.

Now all that remains is to hunt down Lord Patch, who is still said to be out of the city on business.

Experience per player: 380 xp

Session 29
Urchins and Dragons II

Players: Don T, Chris, Jeremy, Grant

The Urchins bequeath the newly-taken Guild ship to Dirk the Ropesman, who is overjoyed at his promotion. The ship is christened Rope-a-Dope. Dirk is given orders to sail it to Riverwatch and use it to stand patrol there. Meanwhile, the tower is named Roxie Shieldskin.

The Urchins fly the slow tower towards Riverwatch, and see a few chuuls pass by in the water below. Just off of Freeport, they are approached by a greatship flying the flag of the Sea Dragons. It is the flagship of Lady Molly McLeod, currently captained by Marok Stern, the half-dwarf. He hails the Urchins in friendship and informs them that Lady McLeod wishes to meet with them at Sea Dragon Hall in Freeport. They agree.

The Urchins stop at Riverwatch to drop off their tower. They leave Oliver the goblin there with orders to spear rats in the basement with a pitchfork, and order Jayne Sauzall to begin constructing a giant chain that will encircle the fortress and can be powered by the water wheel, which is now complete.

The Urchins sail to Freeport and arrive at Sea Dragon Hall in their finest clothes. They are shown in by an obsequious butler. The place is lush and tastefully appointed. They are taken to a large dining room and seated, where they wait only a few moments before Lady McLeod enters, flanked by her three lieutenants. These are Marok Stern, a scarred, eye-patch wearing dragonborn called Arktos Covered-in-Glory, and a plain-looking human woman with stringy blonde hair and pale blue eyes, simply called Sarah. Sarah exudes a powerful magical aura, and seems a bit off. The more perceptive members of the Urchins ntoice that Lady McLeod is wearing heavy mail beneath her formal finery.

Lady McLeod informs the Urchins that she’s asked them here to treat with her. She has been very impressed by their quick rise to power, and admits that she believes the Urchins will soon be replacing the Guild as one of the five pirate gangs of Freeport. She would like to formalize the alliance between the Urchins and the Dragons.

Captain Moonshadow accepts on behalf of the Urchins, and the talk moves to the combined gangs’ goals. The Urchins impress Lady McLeod with their ambition, stating that they intend first to destroy or absorb the other three pirate gangs, then to take the fight to Exonia, who have been attempting to reestablish control of Freeport and the near Ruby Sea. Lady McLeod is clearly intrigued by this plan. She reveals that when Exonia lost control of Freeport, it was the final straw for her. Her husband, Lord Alexander McLeod, is one of the Trade Lords of Monmouth, where he lives with their two sons, Alexander, Jr. and Christopher. Lady McLeod, however, became disgusted with the corruption and cronyism of Exonian politics, and felt that the good people of Monmouth and the Exonian navy were left to rot as attention turned to the politicking in Whitehall, Exonia’s faraway capital. Thus she fled from Monmouth and turned pirate herself, throwing off the shackles of being a lord’s wife and letting her hidden brilliance out as she quickly became leader of the most powerful gang in Freeport. It is her sworn mission to destroy the Exonian navy once and for all, winning freedom for the Ruby Sea.

The dinner meeting successfully concluded, the Urchins repair to the Most Honorable Bar of Liquor Redistribution for a nightcap. They begin nailing up signs ordering Guildmen to join up with the Urchins instead, and are quickly attacked. A short while later, the bar is theirs. They rename it Itchy’s and give it a cute ixitxachitl mascot.

Experience per player: 450 xp each

Session 28
What the Devil?

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

The Urchins begin flying their new tower home to Riverwatch. The tower is tired from floating for so long and wants only to rest for a while. It is excited to have a new home on solid ground.

Three days into the journey, and towing the Lady Thief behind, the Urchins are met by a Guild pinnace captained by none other than Remwick, the halfling lieutenant. He demands that the Urchins give up the Lady Thief; the Urchins refuse; the fight is joined— but not in the way that was expected. As the Urchins begin to assault the Guild men aboard their ship, and a few broadsides are exchanged between them, Remwick disappears in a puff of smoke.

He reappears in the tower, now revealed as not a halfling but a minor devil, of the sort that likes to wreak chaos in mortal affairs. Remwick is eventually defeated, having been knocked out a window to fall to the remnant of earth still clinging to the bottom of the tower. Corlynn demands that he surrender and join the Urchins, or else die. In response, Remwick simply disappears in a puff of smoke.

The Urchins quickly defeat the rest of the Guildmen, killing them all except for a scrappy little goblin whom Bronn takes a liking to. Bronn takes the goblin as his henchman and names him Oliver.

Experience per player: 425 xp

Session 27
Towers Have Feelings, Too

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

Continuing down the tower after the brutal death of poor old Paraphraxes, the Urchins pass through a cluttered storage level and into the first basement level, which along with some clutter holds a huge metal box with complex patterns inscribed into its sides. They quickly determine that the patterns are gearworks covering a simple box within, and at the first attempt at moving them, the sides of the box turn into magical warriors made of floating scrap metal.

The Urchins battle these warriors for a while, and quickly learn that when defeated, the scrap-metal fighters fly back to the box and reattach to cover it once again. Thus to get into the box, they must pick each of its locks, one per side, before defeating the metal warrior that guards that side. This is eventually achieved, and the box opens to reveal a stairwell leading down to the sub-basement of the tower.

The lowest level of the tower is scribed with a huge magic circle. Clearly this is the spell that keeps the tower afloat. Corlynn determines that it can be controlled and rerouted, but only with difficulty, at at the first sign of an attempt, more demonic servitors begin attacking the party. Most of the Urchins fight these off while Corlynn and Bronn exert their wills upon the tower. Eventually the arcane patterns of the spell are warped to Corlynn’s control, and the tower is theirs.

It is revealed to have the personality of a needy teenager.

Experience per player: 567 xp

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

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

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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