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A Tale of a Fateful Trip
So far, your voyage south to Eleder has been unexpectedly uneventful. Or so you think as you stand on the Jenivere’s deck, watching the placid sunset alongside several other of the ship’s passengers. The Jenivere’s resourceful Captain Kovack and his crew have been fortunate enough to avoid known dangers such as that dreaded whirlpool known as the Eye of Abednego, and the vicious Shackles pirates. Soon, the ship will be arriving at the Sargavan port of Eleder, along with the challenges and opportunities of that exotic city.
You turn from watching as the sun sinks down towards the western ocean, fluffy clouds turning pastel pinks and reds, and observe your fellow passengers. Nearby you see Savah Nevah, her hair flashing red as bright as the evening’s sky. You notice that since boarding at Ilizmagorti, she has gradually become more friendly and relaxed. Of course, anyone would be on edge in that city of assassins! At the moment she is conversing with the gnome passenger, Gelik Aberwhinge, who you see holding a small sketch of the sunset. It is amazing to see him quiet for a change, as he is usually speaking non-stop about his past adventures, notable persons that he has met, or generally dominate any conversation that includes him.
Further on you see the Tian man, Ishirou. The scruffy human appears as if he would fill the sails with his own breath if he could, and if he felt it would make the ship arrive in port any faster. Behind him, you see another fellow traveller, the bookish Varisian scholar Ieana, talking amicably with Captain Alizandru Kovack, then you watch them turn as the captain escorts the scholar down midship. Scattered about the deck, out of the way of the hardworking sailors, you see most of the other passengers, for the most part they look like scruffy adventurers – much like yourself. Notable by her absence, you don’t see the half-elven maiden, Aerys Mavato. You have exchanged few words with her on this voyage, and she appears to prefer to keep to her cabin. Likewise, you don’t see the human prisoner, Jask Derindi, who is kept in the small ship’s brig. You wonder, what need would there be to transport a prisoner on this voyage?
The sound of someone clearing their throat causes you to whip around. The friendly first mate, Alton Devers, stands at your elbow. “Pardon for disturbing you, but the captain wished me on his behalf to invite you to dine with him, this evening in the ship’s galley. Terillo, our ship’s cook, says it should be ready within the next bell.” Having given his invitation, he moves along, telling each of the passengers in turn.
Just as you turn to go, in order to look your best, the sun finally dips down below the horizon. Just then, you see an emerald flash on the horizon! When you stop First Mate Devers to ask about what you’ve just seen, he remarks, “Oh that, that be a green flash. Happens sometimes when the sun sets over water. Don’t ask me what makes it happen, most landlubbers see it as an omen, but when you’ve been sailing for a few years, you’ve seen your share of them. Will you join the captain for dinner? I think Terillo is making soup this evening. Then again, Terillo always makes soup, ha ha.”
A Fortitude check from everyone, if you please. Except perhaps Slicingsong - are you still stowed away at this point, or do the passengers/crew know about you?
|Rowena "Cat" Thennemen|
Listening to the first mate invite me and the other passengers for dinner, I feel my stomach turn at the thought of yet another meal of watery soup. Keeping my thoughts to myself, I find myself wishing there was a polite way to decline. As I can't think of any, I let my shoulders drop in resignation and accept the invitation.
Fort Save: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (13) + 2 = 15
Faey whips about at the first mate's arrival. "Oh dear, what a soft stepped man you are. Dinner, with the captain of this vessel? Why yes, that sounds particularly delightful." Faey seems unsure of herself in this, as well as nearly any other social situation she has found herself in thus far. She smiles a lot, and nods in enthusiasm when being spoken to, but always seems to be a little confused talking about anything nonacademic. At mention of the green light she seems to positively vibrate with restraint, as though she might know a scientific explanation for the phenomenon...but remains silent on the issue, knowing "sailors and their superstitions."
"Yes, that Terillo and his soup, haha! Always soup, yes. Very funny, soup..." There's a brief moment of very awkward silence as Faey and Devers are just staring at eachother blinking and then before it hit's the elf the conversation requires more on her part. "Yes!" She blurts. "I would love to dine on soup this evening! Thank you. haha! Soup!"
Knowledge (nature): 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (1) + 9 = 10 for the lights if applicable.
Zaghigoth is barely cognizant of Devers' arrival at first. The solemn half-orc seems mesmerized by the ocean expanding before him, entranced with the roll of each wave and every spray of salt. At the mention of food, however, Zag turns to regard him, suddenly hungry. His stomach lets out a low rumble as he nods to the first mate and mutters thanks. The flash of green light on the horizon draws his attention back to the world beyond the ship, however, and he listens to Alton's explanation intently.
"Amazing....Temmit spoke true. How little I have seen," he says in a low voice. Shaking his head, he looks back to Alton. "Food...most welcome."
Fort Save: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (6) + 4 = 10
Temmit was the gnome who taught Zag the druidric arts, by the way.
|Rowena "Cat" Thennemen|
As soon as Devers has left, a thought occurs to me and I turn towards the galley to find the cook. "'scuse me, Master Terillo, but I was wondering if you'd mind me helping out in food preparation. I'm something of a cook myself, and maybe we could exchange some receipes." Barely waiting for Terillo's response, I move past him and have a look at the different ingredients available. "Mmmhm. Okay. Aha! What if we combine this with that? That ought to work. Next some pork chops, seared in that skillet, add some onions and a couple of hands of mushrooms. Then we need us a good helping of bacon, diced and baked to perfection. Taters! We need taters! And carrots. Ah, there. We need these boiled and mashed."
Once the potatoes and carrots are cooked and mashed, I toss in the baked onions and start mashing everything into an enormous bowl of stew. Tasting a bit of it, I add some more spices until I am satisfied. Adding the baked dice of bacon and a good splash of gravy, I stir everything together until a rich, creamy mass of vegetable stew sits steaming in the bowl. Looking at Terillo, I smile. "I bet this will surprise them. Let's get this served up."
One of my favorite Dutch winter dishes is the described stew of carrots, onions, potatoes, diced bacon, all mashed together and served with smoked sausage (in one piece or thickly sliced) and gravy.
As Zaghigoth enters the mess-cabin, he pauses for a moment, looking for a seat. He chooses a spot carefully, and the mental debate is apparent on his face. He ends up sitting down far enough from the biggest congestion as to not be considered part, but not too far as to be alone. His choice still seems uncomfortable, as his unsure expression suggests. After shrugging to himself, he begins to watch the room intently, trying to be aware of as many things at once. He is particularly interested in those interacting with their fellows. Anyone that meets his gaze whilst doing so is greeted by a tusky half-smile and a somewhat overanxious nod. Upon noticing the looks of awkwardness in the crew when he does this, he slumps a bit in his seat and resigns his eyes to the table, waiting to be served.
Rowena: Terillo the ship's cook is surprised when you invite yourself into the ship's galley, looking at you oddly. However, as you merrily rummage through his stock of ingredients, he smiles knowingly and busies himself about the place. After a few minutes, he excuses himself, slipping out the door.
All passengers: You assemble in the cabin, ready for dinner. The ship's senior crew members join as well, including the captain and the placid-looking first mate, Devers. After a few minutes of conversation, in which the captain informs Yekskya that the Jenivere is on course to make Eleder in a few days, Rowena comes through from the galley, helping to serve up soup. The crew start digging in, with one of them commenting, "Wow, Terillo's really outdone himself this time. This actually tastes great! Did you help?" he asks, looking up at Rowena.
Haha! Soup!" Faey says with what she hopes appears to be light-hearted enthusiasm, though looking around the room and not seeing anyone else enjoying the jest she thought she made she decides Devers sense of humor isn't as pronounced as she thought it was.
Nodding in agreement with the random crew member, Faey adds, "Yes, it is quite paletable. I would say this is very likely to make anyone sick too. Having heard the crew speak of the cook's abilities, I came to this meal very concerned, I must admit."
|Rowena "Cat" Thennemen|
Nodding at the sailor, I smile: "Yep. It's a recipe I learned from a halfling chef. You know how they are about food. He told me that there is no such thing as bad meals as long as the cook has imagination and knows how to use it and the ingredients at his disposal. I'm sure that Terillo is a great cook. He just needed to a few pointers. And a bit of appreciation from his fellow crew members will go a long way in keeping his enthusiasm going. Which in turn will see y'alls enjoying more food like this. Here, have some more."
Slicingsong didn't know why fruit could be an issue for a ship of this size, he'd always liked currants, but reefs and islands sounded dangerous. But on a ship the captain was half chief and half shaman. He should be respected.
Slicingsong stretched his muscles and cracked his neck. I think I will stay awake this night anyway. If there is a problem, I could be trapped down here, he thought. Respect was one thing but respect did not make one stupid or a slave.
Slicingsong retrieved his spears and armor from where he had stashed them and began cleaning and sharpening his things.
|Rowena "Cat" Thennemen|
"Don't know, Yekskya. I think my folks would have a stroke if they saw this. As a hobby, okay. But not as a job. But I can do a few more until we arrive in Eleder. No need to keep slurping soup, when solid food is available. You'd like that?"
Doing my cooking honor, I get myself a second helping of stew, winking at Yekskya as I munch on a piece of bacon with obvious delight. Then I look at Zhagigoth, and a grin splits my face: "Looks like you're enjoying it too, ain't ya, big guy?"
Sitting alone in the perpetual dark of the ship's hold, Slicingsong finished sharpening and polishing his totem spear and began trailing his fingers along the intricate carving that allowed it to make its mournful music. He remembered his father helping him to carve it.
Just like that. Now curve the channel upward and we'll awl a hole there...too much smoke for the cook fires...Slowly now, you want to get to the center channel but just a little. Too much and there will be no music...The tents of his people, burned to the ground and still smoldering...Very good. Lets start on a lower hole. If you keep going this well, we'll be able to try it out tonight. It will only make one note but it will be yours. Your note...Bodies everywhere. Women and children, too. His father, broken totem spear lying across his ruined chest. Died protecting his mother and little brother. Not enough, they...
Slicingsong threw the totem spear away violently and it clattered to rest somewhere in the hold. He buried his head in his hands, trying to escape the memories that haunted him, as if by not seeing the present he could stop seeing the past. After a few minutes he began to crawl along the floor of the hold trying to find his totem spear in the gloom. A sharp pain announced its location. He had found the blade, of course. He sucked on his cut finger and cursed himself for a fool. He gripped the spear, this time by the haft and kissed it in apology, the coppery taste of his blood still in his mouth.
The captain also appears appreciative of the improvement in the quality of the meal, and offers a rare compliment to Rowena. As the meal goes on, one of the other passengers, the human woman Sasha Nevah, blurts out: "Where is the scholar? Ieana? Did she not want to join us?" Before anyone else has a chance to comment, the captain responds, "She's busy with her studies. Terillo has taken her something to eat. And as a matter of fact, we need to be seeing to the ship. Devers, come with me." Captain Kovack nods to Devers his first mate, who puts down his spoon. The two stand up and take their leave, and you can hear their footsteps going up on deck.
|Rowena "Cat" Thennemen|
Pushing away my empty bowl, I let out a contented sigh. "That was good, if I do say so myself. Now, if y'alls will excuse me, I'm going to get me some fresh air, on deck. It was kinda hot in the galley. Besides, I feel stuffed and in need of a workout. Anyone else coming?" Getting up and turning around, I leave and head to my cabin to get my armor and weapons. Putting on my gear, I head towards the deck, intent on getting some serious exercise.
Zag looks up at Rowena, somewhat surprised by the acknowledgement. Hm..? Oh, yes. Much so. I'm no cook... eat raw, mostly, or a bit of meat over a campfire at most. This is a good change. I do like carrots."
After Rowena gets up and says she will be going topdeck, Zag downs the rest of his soup and stands, clearing his throat. "Hm. I would much like to watch for more of those green flashes..."
Yekskya laughs, "You bet I'd like that. Anything to improve that thin soup we've had so far." He finishes off the bowl with delight and pushes his own bowl back. "I would spar with you Rowena. How about you Sasha...or Zaghigoth, either of you coming?" He gets his things to go up to the deck.
Finishing off her own bowl Faey stands up excited, "I myself would love to see some fisticuff action! I myself have studied some combat manuvers, though I'm only skilled with my sword. Not a good sparing weapon I would imagine."
|Rowena "Cat" Thennemen|
Waiting for the others to join me on the deck, I use the time to do a little warming up and stretching. When I'm satisfied that pulling muscles or straining tendons is no longer a veritable threat I start going through the motions of a virtual fight, practicing various moves with a combination of rapier and short sword, using the sword to block imaginary attacks and creating openings for my rapier to take advantage of. Once the others join me, I look at Yekskya and Faey: "Alright. Who wants to go first? Or would you like to warm up as well first?"
Stepping back, I wait for either of the others to step forward to join me in a sparring match.
"Well, we could also fight to first blood as we do in my homeland. I thought most of you from the cold lands prefer not to get hurt too badly while practicing. I've seen your wooden blades before. It seems better to at least fight with what you would use in battle."
You head up onto the deck to spar with the others. However, you begin to notice that you are swaying more than the rocking of the ship would warrant. It’s becoming difficult to stand up, and your vision is becoming blurred. What’s happening? you wonder as you sink down into deep darkness…
You don’t know how you survived, but somehow you made it onto the beach, where you start looking for the others. You find them just as the encounter below is starting. You can start to act on Round 2.
Rowena: Everything is dark and silent. Gradually, sensation comes back to your body. The grainy feel of sand. The sound of breaking waves. Something tugging at your boot. Suddenly, whatever is tugging at your boot slashes your foot. Agony! You open your eyes and see that your gear is stacked more or less neatly by your side, and that a strange sea creature that looks like a cross between a lobster and a scorpion seems intent on having your leg for breakfast! What’s more, a quick look reveals that some of your fellow passengers lie nearby, and that two more of the creatures are emerging from the surf.
Rowena, you can roll initiative and act next round. Each round, another character will wake up – next round is Faey. You might all want to roll initiative now so you're ready. As you wake up, you all feel sickened (-2 penalty on attack rolls, damage rolls, saving throws, skill and ability checks), dizzy and nauseous.
A tactical map can be found here. Please excuse the funny looking squares, I had to cannibalize the map from somewhere else. Rowena, Faey, Yekskya, and Zaghigoth are lying prone on the beach, as are some of the NPC passengers: Ishirou, Sasha Nevah, Gelik Aberwhinge, Jask Derindi, and Aerys Mavato. Slicingsong is currently out of sight in the jungle. Grym will appear forthwith. A picture of the creatures can be had here.
Welcome to the Serpent’s Skull Game!
|Rowena "Cat" Thennemen|
"What in Cayden's name?! That hurts! What is that thing?" Shelving my questions for later, I look at the monster trying to satisfy his hunger with parts of my body. Reaching down to my belt, I thank Cayden Cailean to find my rapier where I expect it to be. Kicking at the monster, I scramble backwards before getting up. Once I'm back on my feet, I draw my blade and stab at the monster, trying to find a chink in its carapace, where my blade can hurt it. While drawing my blade, I let out a battlecry, trying to wake up the others.
Described more than one round of actions, so that you can work from that, Hedgehog. Btw, I'm using italics for unspoken thoughts.
Initiative:1d20 + 5 ⇒ (9) + 5 = 14
Initiative: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (2) + 2 = 4
"Professor? We are practicing with the abacus today?" Faey mumbles upon hearing the clacking of the creatures. Opening her crusted shut eyes and seeing the predicament her and her new companions are in she yelps and gets to her feet, scrambling for her pouches of reactants...
If she can get a bomb up and ready on her turn that's what she'll do, if not she's going to try and gather her bow and arrows, and if those are out of reach her sword.
[u] Initiative [/u]
22 – Yekskya (can act beginning Round 4 unless woken)
14 – Rowena (can act beginning Round 1)
11 – 3 ochre eurypterids
10 – Slicingsong (can act beginning Round 2)
6 – Zaghigoth (can act beginning Round 2)
4 – Faey (can act beginning Round 2)
I read the encounter description wrong – all gear that wasn’t strapped on your person (such as if it was scabbarded or slung over your shoulder, etc.) is in a pile 10ft from where Rowena was lying; I’ve marked it as the purple circle on the tactical map.
Coming to her senses, Rowena scuttles backwards, away from the creepy sea creature. Scrambling back out of reach of the creature, she stands up just as it moves forward, trying to catch her in its claws. However, she is able to dodge the thing’s attacks, even though she has a stack of gear on one side and the prone form of Sasha Nevah on the other. She lets out a battlecry, trying to wake the others, to no effect!
Meanwhile, the other two creatures move forward, tentatively nipping at the bodies of Faey and Zaghigoth before them. Both wake suddenly at the pain as the claws probe their flesh! The others, however, remain motionless on the beach, heedless to the danger in their midst.
Faey and Zag both take 1 point of damage from the eurypterids poking you with their claws. The up side is that you both are now awake and can act next round. Rowena, forgot to say that you took 1 point of damage as well from having it nibble at your foot. I’ve taken your moves into account, you should be able to draw your sword and attack next round. Looks like the others need a bit more than noise to wake them up.
Here is the updated map
Round 2, Initiative count 10, after Rowena and the scorpi-lobsters
Hearing Rowena's yell, Slicingsong hurries in the direction of the combat bursting through the trees onto a beach. Three terrible looking creatures threaten people from the Jenivere.
If Slcingsong still has his gear he'll move 30' towards the eurypterids and pull his spear from the harness on his back. If his stuff is in a pile like the other's he'll double move to the pile or as close as he can get (depending on if the greenery or beach is difficult terrain. He'll also try to remember anything he may have heard about these things while in Port Peril or onboard the Jenivere.
Knowledge Nature: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (1) + 5 = 6
Edit: Ouch. Slicingsong is fairly certain they are a type of plant made out of jellybeans...
Zaghigoth wakes up with a start, feeling the jolt of pain in his leg and looks down the length of his body, seeing the source.
"Arg! he growls, shaking his leg. He scrambles to his feet as well as he is able, trying to get a sense of his surroundings. Noticing a conscious Rowena, he calls out "Are you all right?" before moving to position himself between the hungry creature and the unconscious Yekskya. He takes a defensive stance while muttering woefully "My armor..."
He uses a move action to stand up, accepting any attack of opportunity, five foot steps one square to the left (to G12) and uses his standard to assume a total defense, making his AC 15 (+1 dex, +4 dodge). If Yekskya is woken up before Zag's turn, he'll still follow the same course of action.
He will also attempt to recall anything about these creatures:
1d20 + 6 ⇒ (18) + 6 = 24
|Rowena "Cat" Thennemen|
Realizing another passenger is lying nearby, unable to defend herself, I draw my rapier from its scabbard and lunge at the creature. Using the shift in balance, I kick the prone form of the passenger, foregoing subtlety to make sure she wakes up. "On your feet! We're under attack"!
Attack Rapier:1d20 + 1 ⇒ (11) + 1 = 12 Damage Rapier: 1d6 - 1 ⇒ (2) - 1 = 1
AC: 16 / Current HP: 9/10
Eurypterid attack Round Two
Eurypterid 1 claws: 1d20 ⇒ 11; damage 1d2 - 1 ⇒ (1) - 1 = 0
Eurypterid 2 claws: 1d20 ⇒ 9; damage 1d2 - 1 ⇒ (1) - 1 = 0
Eurypterid 3 stinger: 1d20 ⇒ 3; damage 1d2 - 1 ⇒ (1) - 1 = 0 plus poison
Rowena lunges at the creature in front of her with her rapier. Unfortunately, the creature’s hard exoskeleton stops her attack, the chitin jarring her wrist badly. She takes advantage of the moment to try to wake the woman lying unconscious beside her, and with her kick the woman starts and begins to wake, spluttering. From the corner of her eye, Rowena can see that it is Sasha Nevah, the human woman who had been with the ship since Ilizimagorti.
Even though everyone is beginning to wake up and proving not to be easy prey, the creatures do not give up. They must be hungry! The one closest to Rowena tries to crush her in its claws, but she manages to dance away. Likewise, another has a swipe at Faey who has just awoken, but the nimble elf is able to dodge the attack. The third rounds on Zaghigoth trying to pin the groggy half-orc to the sand with its wicked looking stinger. The druid however move out of the way easily.
Suddenly a man crashes through the undergrowth onto the beach, brandishing a spear and running towards the fracas. His body looks muscled and tanned, though his appearance looks a bit filthy. He seems to be yelling a warcry: “Hacha!” The noise distracts the creatures momentarily, who turn briefly to look at this new threat. It’s enough time for Faey and Zaghigoth to stand up.
Zaghigoth moves over to Yekskya, trying to wake him up while covering both of them defensively. At the same time, he studies the creature in front of him. Yekskya continues to doze.
Just need an action from Faey and everyone can also post their next round actions. Faey, you can still lob a bomb at the middle beast, I think it would draw an attack of opportunity. One of the passengers, Sasha Nevah, is awake now and can act next round.
Edit: almost forgot updated combat map. Here you go
Faey snatches a vile of clear liquid out from one of her many pouches, giving it a violent shake and tossing it over the vile sea creature's head.
Bomb attack at D9: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (12) + 2 = 14; Drawing AoO from Enemy
Splash Damage on Enemy: 6 = 6; Reflex DC: 16 for half
AC: 12; Tch: 12; Flt: 10; CMD: 12;
HP: 8; Current: 7;
Fort: +2; Refl: +4; Will: +0;
Faey's vial of liquid sails out over and behind the creature in front of her. Suddenly she ducks her head as the vial explodes, the shards and the explosion ripping into the creature. When she looks again, there are bits of chitin everywhere, and the beast's body twitches in death.
Eurypterid 2 Reflex save: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (11) + 1 = 12
|Rowena "Cat" Thennemen|
A grimace distorts my face as the bonejarring impact from the rapier on the hard chitin exoskeleton of my opponent travels up my blade and my arm. "Damn you. Stand still, you overgrimp shrimp and let me skewer you. I'm above you in the foodchain. I'll be feasting on seafood when I'm done with you."
From the corner of my eye I see Sasha wake up and a dariong plan forms in my mind. With a jubilant cry, I leap into the air, tumbling over the monster and landing behind it, catching it between myself and Sasha.
Acrobatics: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (10) + 5 = 15
Attack: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (11) + 3 = 14
Damage: 1d6 - 1 ⇒ (4) - 1 = 3
Sneak: 1d6 - 1 ⇒ (4) - 1 = 3
Current hp: 9/10
22 – Yekskya (can act beginning Round 4 unless woken sooner)
14 – Rowena
11 – ochre eurypterids (2 still fighting, 1 dying)
10 – Slicingsong
6 – Sasha Nevah, Zaghigoth
4 – Faey
Rowena curses at the sea beast and uses her acrobatic skill to leap over. The eurypterid attempts to catch her with its claws but it's far too slow. As she lands, she jabs her rapier in a weak spot, stabbing deep into its body. The creature shudders, then collapses on the beach, green ichor spilling out of the wound.
The remaining eurypterid continues to advance on Zaghigoth and the prone Yekskya. It attempts to claw at the half-orc, but unsuccessfully.
ochre eurypterid 3 claw attack: 1d20 ⇒ 8
ochre eurypterid damage: 1d21 ⇒ 4
Slicingsong hurries across the sand towards the final creature. Stopping a few feet away he hurls his spear.
attack roll: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (20) + 2 = 22
critical damage!: 3d8 + 12 ⇒ (2, 7, 7) + 12 = 28
The spear hits the thing so hard it is carried out somewhat into the surf. Slicingsong hurries after it to make sure he doesn't lose it.