S1: Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh
The 17th full game session. Dean (Thic Duc), Mary (Kriselle), Matt (Barron), Mariel (Leah), and Larry (Michael) are returning cast members. Dean and Mary had to leave early, and Sean (Baroch?) and Jonathan (Elion) entered play for the first time.
As we left the party, they had just arranged for the resurrection of Kriselle and were considering a change of venue when they received a message from Chesty the ex-marine. Among other things, the scooby gang had disappeared investigating the lizardfolk weapons smuggling ring. Perhaps it was this that inspired the party to return their homeland, or perhaps it was simply fear of the next dungeon level below…
After talking it over among themselves, the party decided to take a carriage ride back to the City of Greyhawk docks, and from there seek passage to Rookroost on a merchant ship.
Before actually leaving, of course, it was necessary to go shopping. Barron bought several more doses of poison, and spent time learning to use a sabre (which, for future reference, is documented in the Fighter’s Handbook) so that he could use the enchanted sabre the party captured from the captain previously. He had that weapon identified (+1 to hit and damage). He then successfully pickpocketed a very drunk minor noble in the bar, surprising Michael by leaving without a mob chasing him. Nonetheless, the party felt it was the better part of wisdom to depart hastily in the waiting carriage. (Barron’s stolen purse contained 160gp).
Once at the docks, Michael found a ship headed to Rookroost (the Sea Sprite) and arranged passage, while Barron took a spellbook from the party stash into the marketplace to sell (250gp) and commissioned a small cloak with a hood from a local sail mender. He also took the opportunity to ask about necromancy at a local magic shop, learning that a reversed healing spell might be able to restore his winged abomination should it take damage. While there, he bought a children’s starter magic kit, which included a strange air-filled bladder of mysterious purpose, while Leah waited outside the shop trying to conceal Pyro and the necromantic monstrosity riding upon it.
The ship was scheduled to depart with the morning tide, and so the party took rooms at a dockside tavern. While there, they met a strange barbarian, traveling with his goat and a large keg of beer. Apparently, this worthy young man was seeking knowledge of brewing better beer from the civilized city folk, but he was willing enough to accompany the party on their travels in return for the chance to sample more varieties of beer. Of course, somehow Michael failed to emphasize the nature of his profession during this discussion…
Morning arrived without incident, unless the barbarian’s hangover counts, or the “prayer cushion”.
The party boarded the ship and were promptly introduced to their fellow passenger Elion, a half-elf of somewhat noble bearing in a cloak and robes. Upon being introduced to Beroch, Elion prompted began a series of arcane gestures, and Beroch (having failed his intelligence check to identify a spell being cast, and failed his saving throw versus Charm Person) immediately felt very friendly towards Elion. (Beroch will get a new chance to save versus spells every 3 weeks, or any time he notices Elion casting a spell).
On the second day of their travel across the Nyr Dyv, the ship noticed a humanoid figure on the horizon, apparently floating (or perhaps swimming) in the middle of the vast waters. As they approached, it gradually became clear that the lone figure was no shipwrecked sailor adrift. Indeed, he made no cries for help or gestures seeking attention, and the features of his face had more in common with a fish than a man. As the ship approached, he was joined by two more figures, all somehow floating in the water miles from land or other ships.
The captain prepared to toss them a rope and haul them on board, but as he drew within range, two of the figures produced harpoons and hurled them at the ship. While the crew and the party began to react, the third fish-man creature held up a sack and withdrew the contents: a horrid fishy eye with little stumpy arms and tentacles. The gaze of the creature swept over the party and the ship’s crew, forcing them to shudder in revulsion. Michael in particular was horrified by the resemblance of the creature to Howard, a similar creature living peacefully in the petting zoo, and could not bring himself to act for several minutes while the attack commenced (failed his save versus spell). Most of the sailors were similarly paralyzed by their horror, and without anyone keeping the sails trimmed, the ship began to slow.
The rest of the party successfully prevented the two boarders from reaching the deck. Elion contributed his charm person spell, keeping one of the mermen out of the fight in confusion. (Charm Person is insufficient to convert an enemy of the party into a friend of the party, and will not cause someone to attack their friends; at most it will convert an enemy of the party into a friend of the caster. Nor will other party members automatically know that you have charmed an enemy, unless you somehow announce it, and indicate which one. As the spell has no visible special effects, it can be cast without being obvious about it; Beroch did not notice it).
Barron launched his drone zombie bird monstrosity and it flew around the ship attacking mermen of opportunity. (Beroch likely did notice this, as it was bloody obvious, and he screamed something about keeping the bloody bird away from him; there may be consequences later). Leah shot at mermen, sent Pyro to guard the other side of the ship, and rescued Elion when he fell overboard after trying to pull one of the harpoons out of the ship. Michael eventually recovered from his paralysis and began to chant from behind the lines. (Beroch did not notice or object, as Michael was behind him and chanting during a battle has no visible spell effects).
On the other side of the ship, a row of 5 mermen gained the deck of the ship and squared off against the sailors. Two more remained in the water, having set harpoons deep into the ship’s hull and attached the lines to a team of giant seahorses. The seahorses swam fiercely, tilting the ship and threatening to capsize her, but the party’s intervention combined with the gaze effect wearing off was enough to shift the battle against the boarders. Beroch continued shooting at the eye of the deep, even as it floated helplessly just below the surface. Eventually, one of his arrows punctured something explosive, and the creature blew up, sending a surge of bubbles to the surface of the water (two natural 20s in a row with his short bow).
The party was able to travel the rest of the way to Rookroost without incident.
To be continued…
Experience and Treasure
100xp each for showing up Eye of the Deep (crippled by mermen, explosively destroyed by the barbarian): 220xp 10 mermen (killed or driven off): 160 xp Everyone gets a 100xp bonus for roleplaying (since we spent literally hours on it this session) Treasure: 250xp Total Group Experience: 630xp (not including individual bonuses) Barron sold a captured spellbook for 250gp (without informing the rest of the party)
Roleplaying moments and quotables
Too many to record
Dangling Threads of Fate
The Scooby Gang has gone missing again There are mermen attacking ordinary shipping through the Nyr Dyv