Chris (Tiberium), Dean (Thic Duc), Tim (Otto/Cyrus), Jeff (Amathar), Mariel (Leah), Matt (Barron), Brian (Pyrcival), and Leah (Ahira) are returning cast members.
As we left the party, they had just finished their trial. Tiberium was convicted of assaulting a tax inspector and given 4 lashes (9hp). Barron was convicted of assault with a deadly weapon and evading arrest, sentenced to ten lashes (29 hp; he fainted as they were administered). Warin fainted before his lashes were administered at all. They will heal naturally (1 hp/day, or 2/day with care) and leave noticeable scarring.
Otto’s cousin and his band of halflings stole Otto… and the ship.
Various members of the party arranged for work in and around the anticipated arrival of the Princess’ ship. On the day she was expected to arrive – which had already been delayed several times – a reception and procession had been arranged from the docks to the castle. But when the ship arrived on the horizon, it was emitting vast clouds of smoke… Journal of Pyrcival the Gnome
Well, the kid paid for his lapse of judgement with four lashes, which he took like a man. I can't believe he was that impetuous. I'll have to remember not to be in the room when he tells his mother. Maybe I'll just write her a letter, so she has time to cool off first. Apparently, the hobgoblin doesn't have the stamina of a real hobgoblin, which makes me think he might actually be the half elf he claims to be, because a few lashes caused him to pass out and malinger in bed for damn near a week.
I hired a local girl to keep an eye on the kid and make sure the wounds don't fester, I'm not sure I trust Amathar to do so, he's ok with first aid, but always seems to exaggerate his own abilities. I decided to put together a seminar on the local laws to try to avoid anyone else getting arrested. Typical lawful neutral town, obey the laws and report in instead of taking matters into your own hands. The presentation goes pretty well, with the party now realizing they ought to just sit back and relax while crimes happen right in front of us, and then just report it later. I think the hobgoblin fell asleep ten minutes in, and missed Q&A. Thankfully, I don't think he'll go out of his way to help anyone and get in trouble. The ranger seemed too drunk for most of it to sink in.
My trainee and I acquired temp jobs at the Duke's residence for the wedding as security and spent most of the week getting to know the layout of the keep, even if the pay was little more than beans and beer money.
On the day of the Princess' arrival, she and I were on duty guarding gate #3, when the ship arrives, and even from where we were it was obvious there was something wrong -- smoke pouring from the hold, and the ship careening into the dock. Too soon after it slammed into the dock, a self claiming messenger arrived on a horse saying she has a message for the duke. I suspect there's something off, and get the idiot in charge of gate #3 to send myself and the trainee to catch up and make sure she's properly escorted (I have problems believing this guy is still alive after having seen the level of security he has). You'd think humans, who live so short to begin with, would value their years a little more, huh?
Well, the messenger arrives and tells the Duke the ship was pirated, and that she was a witness while in the form of a hawk. If that's the case, why did she stop to get a horse and not just fly straight up to the keep? Hmm. Well, anyway, we received instructions to retrieve the princess. The idiot dockmaster gave us a little grief about commandeering the boat and heading underway, but eventually things were settled out and we sail out of town and head to Restenford, which is where the shapeshifter said they were headed.
Once in town, the ranger stepped up, sobered up a bit, and we tracked a party of halflings and the princess out of town, towards the north. We followed them to the Inn, where it was on fire and most of the employees were dead. This particular group of halflings are murderous little monsters, I'm thinking the hobgoblin is hoping to catch them soon. I can't say I blame him -- they've murdered, pirated, and now burned down a natural stopping point for travelers.
At midday, we follow their path to yet another abandoned fortress (I'm beginning to think some of these ought to get restored), and approach cautiously. Barron finds some orcs on watch while the monk and Amathar climb some walls and are investigating off on their own. The new idiot yells at the orcs, and they charge us. My trainee and myself acquit ourselves well, slaying multiple orcs each. Immediately after, I investigate their den, and hear a whip, move in, and find a bunch of slaves chained to the wall, I charge in and head for the whip bearer, who drops his whip as the "slaves" all draw swords while the orc master casts a spell, causing the room to go black. I then feel very odd, and start walking away from him instead of charging, when the light returns, and I suddenly regain control of myself. The half orcs surrender when confronted with a third of them dead and another third caught in a web spell from the hobgoblin. The orc spills the beans on the layout of the place, saying it's basically a slavers stronghold, and Barron re-enforces the warning with a little pyromania as Amathar lets them go.
Journal of Tiberium Elyse III
Of the Third Starday of Harvester
Thank you, Pelor, for your lingering reminders of my failure of judgement. The lash marks continue to slowly heal, and with any significant movement, hurt like the Nine Hells. May the scars be a constant reminder of both vigilance.. and discretion.
Barron and I, having rested and healed as much as we can justify, have begun to join the party in preparations for the General's daughter to arrive in Highport. Despite my recent mistakes, the High Priest has agreed to allow me to participate, albeit from a distance, as they pray for Pelor to protect and guide the Duke in his marriage. The bride is due to arrive by ship tomorrow, though we fear that after many delays, all is not as it appears.
Of the third Sunday of Harvester
The lady's been taken! As the entire city celebrated her arrival, the ship, utterless and without slowing, plowed into the prepared dock. Smoke bellowed from below in the hold, but there appeared to be no flame. Thic Ducc was able to successfully aid the port officials in bring the boat to dock, but no one was found aboard. Nor were any bodies recovered. The poop deck is awash in blood, however, signaling foul play on the high seas. We'd been right to fear for the safety of the 'princess' and crew.
We've been informed by Pryz, his dwarven friend, and a human cleric called Cyrus that the Duke has agreed to include our band in his rescue efforts. We are to take the not-burned out ship, and make for Restenford, where the presumed abductors appeared to have been sailing.
Of the third Waterday of Harvester
Having arrived in Restenford (This place is becoming something of a second home), we immediately set about asking of the locals had they seen the pack of halflings, or our missing Lady. Apparently, some six of the fiends disembarked with their hostage, before the ship returned to sea, destination unknown. Leah found cart tracks, however, and we've been following the kidnappers. The tracks appear to lead into an old, somewhat crumbling but fortified, fortress or temple. I smell orcs..
Drunken Rant to Leah by Barron
How did our friendly neighborhood hero end up in a fortress chasing halflings? It all started several days ago... I agreed to face the legal system in this backwards lame ass bureaucratic town of highport. I was being charged with piracy, and assault (allegedly). The young paladin approached me, and seeing an opportunity to have a paladin on my side I agreed to cooperate and face charges. His church promptly placed a spell on me that forced me to tell the truth and then promptly regretted it, because they could not handle the truth.
After working my charms on the judge my death sentence was reduced to a few pounds of flesh via lashing and pendence on my soul (suckers I sold that long ago). I insisted on taking the lashes like a man and stripped all the way down to my nothings. I noticed the whip master eyeing me, so I gave him something to look at and flexed... a near perfect butt pose. The thought of not being able to have me angered him and he struck me with his poison whip. After about 40 lashes, the poison took its course and I succumbed to the darkness (but not before pulling off a perfect butt flex to go out on). I awoke to the elf healing me. I am perfectly healthy now, but I donâ€™t tell him (donâ€™t want to hurt his delicate elf feelings).
After the gnome informed us, to just let crimes happened... I did. VACATION, just sipping pena colatas and getting massages from the elf. Then TD(thic duc) comes in all wet, saying someone took my ship. It was that little halfing bastard and his friends (I suppose if you add all 6 you might get 2 regular sized people). I promptly updated the "to kill/maim list" (going to need a bigger bag) to include all halflings starting with otto. Rumor also suggest the Duke gave them the ship. I updated my list again. Itâ€™s time to get serious.
Knowing my best bet at getting my ship back will probably involve piracy(for reals this time), I headed down to get an undercover job for the wedding. Taking a pass on something so obvious as security, I opted instead for showing my talents in comedy. Naturally I got the job, even if Tony Falcone was being rather limp (I hear thereâ€™s a pill for that now). I did however have a rather nice suit made for Tony, and proceeded to start winning over the crowds. Having arranged a stage show/alibi right on the docks for the "princess's" arrival, I got to work with making sure everyone saw/heard me on the stage. I admit I sacrificed some good material for the bad puns, just to make people notice me more... they did. Everything was falling into place, soon the princessâ€™s vessel would be mine, and I could go teach those little halfings a lesson. But thatâ€™s where everything derailed for everyone else (being a herald of the lord of chaos, one expects plans to go awry).
There was smoke bellowing from the deck, and she was not slowing down on her approach. Good thing we had that paladin with us, cause he leaped to action and cleared the docks. Saved a lot of lives, but most importantly keep blood off my soon to be new vessel. The ship successfully came to a stop after moving that pathetic dock aside(three times now the gods have favored me by presenting a ship to me) . TD reacted by climbing aboard in a way only he can. Seeing the source of the fire, he heroically peed on it. It went out. Everyone rejoiced.
I took this moment to try and break through the crowd to find where I left Leah... these people where not good at being a crowd and it took me forever. In the time it took me to fight the crowd, apparently a messenger made it up to the keepâ€¦and back to the docks with the other party members. Lords of Chaos were shining down on me as, the party had procured a legal way to commandeer this ship! Turns out those little bastards even kidnapped the princess. Technically this was mission accomplished as the wedding canâ€™t happen now, but these do-gooders must be rubbing off on me, cause I wanted to serve some justice (or possible I just hate halflings that much... TBD).
We set sail to the last know heading of "the fleet of misfits". After searching the hold, we found signs of ... a magic fight? And the princessâ€™s super cool hello kitty magic diary. Some real sweet spells in there... but captain do gooder ran down and tried to say it was an evil book (how can a book be evil? definitely checking this out later... for science). We arrive in Restenford, and discover those rat bastards recently dropped off a few halflings and a human female( also confirmed they somehow shrunk my ship... will do some research about making it bigger, cause boat size does matter). Leah does what she does best (other than drinking, and shooting), and managed to track them north. Much to our dismay, they burned down our newly acquired inn. I update the list again, adding to make sure I bill them for all damages before ending them.
Upon further tracking we come across a old fortress. I use my magic invisible ring to scout out and discover the cart those halflings rented. I also discover some orcs. I rely this info to the crew, so we can set up a sweet ambush. New guy interrupts me to yell out "hey orcs come get us". I am speechless. They poke their heads out, and promptly lose them. Then the gnome decides to be a hero and runs inside cause he heard whipping. If I didnâ€™t fear exploding my head to face palming so hard, I would have. Can we say trap? Well turns out we found the slave traders, and did I mention it was a trap?
By the time I turn the corner, it was a barbarians wet dream (to bad we donâ€™t have one) of bad guys in a room. Settling for the next best thing, I used my tremendous chaos god given powers of the arcane... and cast web in the room. They immediately surrendered. Your welcome guys. After some interrogation, by Amathar ghost lawyer M.D., we discovered the slave ring is alive and well. Not being ok with that, I promptly light the web full of slavers on fire. Now it smells of burned hair and half orc. Sorry not sorry.
Found on posters throughout Highport
I want to introduce everyone to a new band of Heroes. One is a paladin guilty of assaulting a city official named fiber. Another is a pirate who had his own ship stolen. A third is a monk who likes to drink named Thin Dart. The last is a talkative mage called Amaurous.
This fellowship of the moon starts the adventure staring out from the dock.
"There goes my ship, stolen by the pirate dread otter. Woe is me."
Fiber: "we shall seek this villian and bring him to justice!"
The guard spies the four. "We seek the four people who have been exposing themselves on the dock". Three of the fellowship turn and look towards Thin Dart.
Thin Dart jumps into the boat claiming sanctuary. Seeing their friend in danger, the other three also end up in the boat.
Amaurous: Captain, set sail, we must seek out the book of doom."
To be continued in part two...
To be continued…
For reference: 200 cp = 20 sp = 2 ep = 1 gp = 1/5 pp A faintly magical cloak “Hello Kitty Spellbook” Treasure: 30gp (3gp each) Current Party Funds: 8582gp
Base xp for showing up (total): 800xp
6 orcs: 96xp
20 half-orc fake slaves: 320xp
1 orc cleric: 253xp
Bonus for providing notes: 500xp to Tim, Brian, Chris, and Barron
Treasure XP: 30xp
Group Total: 1499xp (187xp each)
Roleplaying moments and quotables
Dangling Threads of Fate
The princess has been kidnapped!
Warin owes the church a lot of money for his restoration spell
How to invest your ill-gotten gains...
Contents of “Hello Kitty Spellbook”
1st: Burning Hands
1st: Animate Familiar
1st: Charm Person
1st: Read/Detect Magic
2nd: Fool's Gold
3rd: Explosive Runes
4th: Polymorph Self
4th: Polymorph Other
4th: Animate Dead
The Diary of the Princess
(3 months ago); My father has told me I am to be married. To a Duke! I’m not sure what to make of this, as I have never met the man. I will ask my tutor Melissa to instruct me in appropriate spells to make the most of such a situation. She has told me I will need to be very careful with Snookums, as they will not understand him. I will heed her advice. Snookums must not be destroyed.
(2 months ago): I have been practicing extensively with new spells, and my understanding grows. I can change shape! Being a hawk is so exciting. I’ve always wanted to fly!
(1 month ago): I have prevailed upon Daddy to send my tutor with me to further my education. What he doesn’t know is that Melissa managed to obtain some messenger uniforms! We’ll be able to sneak out of the Highport castle to live among the people in secret, at least for a night or two sometimes. She can take my place in the castle if necessary. No one will know!
(2 weeks ago): On board ship! The captain is dull and doesn’t appreciate Snookums at all. He is from Highport and seems very stolid. The crew are much more fun after they pass out the rum ration. I’ve never tried rum. Daddy always said it was better I didn’t. Maybe he was wrong?
(1 week and 6 days ago): Daddy was right.
(1 week ago and 4 days ago): I used what Melissa taught me to become BFFs with the captain. Since I am to be married, and possibly locked in a tower (I understand that is traditional in other lands?), I should make the most of this chance to see the world. Perhaps I can convince him to make a few extra stops? Maybe even in a port with pirates? The Captain says absolutely not, but he did agree to stop in a few other ports that might have pirates in hiding. At least I will see a little more of the world on the way!
(1 week ago) We’ve stopped at several ports. The Captain is anxious about the delay, but I’m insisting on one more with actual pirates. Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum! Rum is actually rather nice once you get used to it. And even if the pirates are normally rather unsavory fellows, I’m sure I can make friends with them.
(Undated) Ran out of rum. The crew have reported sighting a ship on the horizon. They appear to be matching course with us. Pirates? A bit of excitement would be welcome. Maybe they have more rum!