Akarna Awakens

Game Master Prosperum

An expedition to a hyperborean land in search of vast wealth and adventure


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Map

The adventure begins...


Map

The ads had been plastered all over town, particularly by the docks, their professional print and ubiquity a testament to their backing by serious people with serious money.

“House Dandolon seeking able-bodied crew for survey expedition to far north. Traveling by sail on Hellion’s Cry. Wilderness or nautical experience preferred, combat experience required. 8 gold signing bonus, 1500 gold on completion. Leaves: 3-12-870, return expected: late 871. See Cpt. Alphonse Ferrino at the Pink Conch, 8pm, 3-9-870”

Each ad had contained a small map pointing to a tavern at the edge of the red-light district, near the catfolk quarter. After sundown, it became a rough part of town, and you had kept a tight grip on your belongings and tried to look formidable as you strode the darkening streets.

After passing well beyond the district’s main hubs of activity (as well as most of its potential customers), you eventually arrive at a modest two-story wooden building with a wraparound stone patio outfitted with wooden tables designed for outdoor dining. They stand empty, as the only light source for quite a distance is the feeble light emanating from the large glass window, through which you can spy a booth and a few small tables, only one of which is lit.

The occasional yowls off in the distance inform you that you are nearly to catfolk territory, and the design of the building and its distance from any other structure tells you this was clearly once the house of someone who valued their privacy. They left, however, when the old shantytown further down the street became home to prowling, yowling Amurri. Whoever thought this would be a good place to open a tavern is utterly incompetent at business.

Upon entering the building, you discover the place to be plain but clean. Seventy feet by forty, the main room hosts a half dozen round dining tables lit by mica chips of everlight occupying the left side of the room, while the right remains largely open space, save for two booths—a large, somewhat lit one along the south wall, and a smaller, barely lit alcove in the southeast corner in which a rough, gruff human man lies sprawled in a stupor upon the cushions. An everlight was obviously once mounted in the ceiling over the right side of the room, but its fixture now lies vacant, leaving the small dance floor in gloom. An oaken bar stretches for twenty feet along the northeast wall beside a side exit, and in the northwest corner two wooden doors lie wreathed in shadow.

The staff consists entirely of women. Anywhere else, they would be stunning beyond compare, but by the standards of the Free Isles they are merely somewhat above average. Their tight clothing and improbable figures make you question if “tavern” is indeed the proper description of the Pink Conch’s business model. One is mopping the floor, another is dusting the tables, two are chatting with each other in low voices across the bar, and the last is standing attentively next to the only sober customers in the room: a human male of approximately thirty-five years of age whose choice of hat and air of command indicate he is the Captain Ferrino whom you seek, and a small cluster of curious characters scattered around the booth whom you can only assume are fellow would-be crewmen.

[Pink Conch Battlemap, night]

“It’s five after, I reckon that’s the last one,” Captain Ferrino booms out as you round the corner, nodding in your direction. His voice is a sonorous baritone perfect for being heard over howling winds. He turns to the server and smiles. “I’ll have a bowl of potato soup and a mug of dwarven stout.”

He smiles at the server and informs you that her name is Jenissa. She beams at you all and informs you that the one with the mop is Lilindi, the one dusting tables is Neesa, the barkeep is Marasina, and the girl chatting with her is Teesha. Introductions finished, the captain motions you into the booth, and you take a seat as the other respondents place their orders. When she reaches you, you order a light repast and a half-pint of weak cider.

She nods cheerfully and saunters away, stepping through one of the doors in the corner that presumably leads to the kitchen. The raven-haired member of her crew continues her steady progress with the mop.

Ferrino levels a penetrating gaze on each of you in turn before beginning...


“For hundreds of years, tales have told of a land far to the north where rivers glitter with precious stones and the hills teem with mithril and gold… A land known by the name of Thalis.”

He pauses and smirks.

“I know what you’re thinking: if it were true somebody would have stripped it bare by now. Or my flea-bitten plebeian arse would have at least heard of the damned place.”

He leans forward and continues.

“The reason nobody has ever settled the place in order to plunder it properly is because all who have tried it have died.”

He allows the silence to hang a beat too long before resuming.

“The problem is the virloga. A primitive race of orca-men, they patrol the iceberg-choked waters around Thalis and, with their sharp spears and their shamans’ command of wind and wave, destroy anyone who dares approach.”


Map

The server, together with one of her friends—both struggling to hide their interest in the conversation—return with pewter platters bearing weak booze. While not cold per se, it is at least cooler than the surrounding room.

“Your food will be ready any minute now,” Jenissa says, and returns to the kitchen with her coworker in tow. Meanwhile, the one with the mop is getting uncomfortably close to the drunkard lying passed out in the alcove.

As they stride off, Captain Ferrino takes an exploratory sip, finds its strength to his liking, and motions the rest of you to your drinks as he resumes his tale.


“So, if these fearsome orca-men chase off or kill anyone who tries to get close, how do we know anything about the interior? Good question! The answer is that once every hundred years, in the months when spring changes to summer, the warriors and shamans of the virlogan people seemed to migrate somewhere. We don’t know where—no one has ever seen it, wherever it is—and they apparently left the females and pups behind, along with a reduced guard that is rarely if ever seen above the surface and which can be bypassed on a small ship.”

He takes another sip.

“This absence lasts for roughly a season, and it just so happens to be the season when the ice at the southern tip of the island is thin enough for wooden ships to brave it. It’s enough time to traverse the coast or even venture inland for brief stints, but never enough to perform a proper survey, let alone dig a proper mine. The creatures were always back by the autumn equinox, and the Evil Ones take whoever was foolish enough to stay. Anyone who hadn’t set off for home by the first day of the ninth month was never heard from again.”

He leans back, causing the red leather cushions of the booth to squeak.

“Almost everything we know about Thalis comes from the writings of ibn Rashad, sha’ir and chronicler from Abu Samsa, who visited there two hundred years ago and brought back a diamond the size of a child’s fist and a nugget of mithril weighing almost forty pounds. The current sultan, Haddesh, wears crown jewels made from those finds to this very day.”

He pauses for effect, amused by the amazement on your faces.

“Last year, unseasonal cyclones made it too dangerous for anyone to approach the island over the spring or summer. Daredevil explorers the world over despaired as they lost the one chance in their lifetime of striking it rich before the virloga returned.”

Then Ferrino leans forward, an expression of strange intensity on his face.

“Except they never did.

He pauses for a solid seven seconds, letting this revelation sink in. As you all lean forward, hanging on his every word, he smiles.

“It’s been almost six months, and not only have they not returned, but there’s been no sign of any of them. No reserves, no females, no pups.”

“This presents an unbelievable opportunity, if things are what they seem. Mithril is much, much stronger per unit weight than almost any other metal, so siege cannons casted from it could withstand powder loads and grain sizes no other metal can match. Of course, no one has ever collected enough mithril in one place to cast an entire siege cannon from it before, let alone a fleet of them. If House Dandolon could do so, the Forgewrights could craft weapons capable of punching through the walls of Nendasta like a hot knife through butter. Those bastards would never think of attacking us then.”

The mere mention of the rival island’s capital city makes Perrino’s lip curl in distaste.

“Of course, that’s putting the cart before the horse. The best diviners at the Scrivener’s Collegium have been investigating for weeks, and although we can’t be sure where the virloga are, we know they’re gone and have no indications that they will return at all, let alone soon.”

“Now, I’m sure that anybody who could walk the streets when the Thief Takers are out and about and not get mugged is either very tough or very lucky, both of which would serve us well if we were to employ you. However, out of operational concerns, I will need to know which is which before I hire you. So, starting on the left and going clockwise, I want each of you to tell me your name and explain why you think you’re qualified to come… on… the…”


Map

As he was speaking, the raven-haired girl had finally run out of floor not blocked by the drunkard, and had reluctantly tapped him awake. A muffled back and forth carried on for several seconds. Then the server drew herself up and said haughtily, “Vanira isn’t working tonight, and I don’t do that sort of thing.” As Perrino trailed off, she turned around and made to leave. Angered, the drunk staggers to his feet and grabs her around the waist, causing her to shriek.

As you all begin to react, she reaches up and grabs the necklace around her throat, uttering a word of command that causes the dull amber gem within to glow. The cabinet above and behind the bar flies open, and a swarm of silverware takes flight under its own power. It streaks across the room and begins dashing the drunk about the head.

Startled, he lets go and begins batting at the utensils in an effort to grab them, but to no avail. As they begin to draw blood, he howls and staggers to the side exit, pursued by the swarm of tableware. The raven-haired girl moves toward the bar, grabbing a pewter platter and whipping it at his head, missing by a mile.

At last fully awake (and now moving with remarkable speed), he slams the door on the tiny constructs before they can reach it and careens off into the night. The animate knives and forks hover in front of the door, buzzing angrily.


Captain Ferrino snorts.

“I guess that one solved itself.”

As the angry buzzing intensifies, and the bulk of the swarm turns toward the raven-haired girl, a look of concern crosses his face.

“Perhaps I spoke too soon.”


Map

Rolling initiative, brb


Map

Syper, Perception: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (18) + 5 = 23
Jade, Perception: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (19) + 6 = 25
Kork, Perception: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (16) + 4 = 20
Okoteck, Arcana*: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (4) + 6 = 10
Jaym'row, Perception: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (3) + 5 = 8
Magical Silverware, Perception: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (1) + 5 = 6
Captain Alphonse Ferrino: 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (7) + 12 = 19
Serving girls: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (17) + 9 = 26

*Arcana applies here as Okoteck's magical knowledge allowed him to detect that something was going wrong with the control charm before the construct turned to attack. Though he's not the only one trained in Arcana, he's the only one whose Arcana is higher than their Perception and would thus benefit from an alternate roll.

For ease of play, since literally everyone rolled higher than the monster I will collapse the friendly NPCs turns together.

Initiative Order
NPCS: 26
Jade: 25
Syper: 23
Kork: 20
Okoteck: 10
Jaym'row: 8

Lillindi shrieks and dashes to the nearest table, diving under it. Teesha vaults the bar and squats down next to Marasina to hide. Jenissa and Neesa duck under the nearest tables they can find.


The captain hops onto the table to get a better view of the door, a practiced grace allowing him to carefully avoid spilling any drinks. He then uses the following ability:

No Quarter! (auditory, concentrate, emotion, linguistic, mental): The captain orders their shipmates to fight without mercy. All allied creatures of equal or lower level within 20 feet of the ship captain gain a +1 status bonus to attack rolls and damage rolls until the end of the ship captain's next turn.

"If you're worth hiring, you shouldn't need my help. Get 'em!"


Map

Please indicate which actions you're using, in the order you're using them. If you decide not to use all three actions, indicate as such. You don't need to be completely pedantic ("I use the Stride action to move 25 feet to the east, then use the Cast a Spell activity to cast force barrage at rank 1"), but we should know exactly what you're doing for game purposes.

When using the Stride or Step action to move, indicate how much and in which direction, i.e. "I Stride/move 2 sq. (or 10 ft.) left, 1 sq. (or 5ft.) up, and 1 sq. (or 5 ft.) diagonally up and left."

You don't need to copy-paste the whole ability each time, but we should be able to reconstruct the whole combat from the gameplay thread, plus my notes on starting locations.

Exampleman wrote:

I move 20 feet left and 5 up, cast single-action spell of placeholding.

Fire damage: 1d10 + 420 ⇒ (1) + 420 = 421.
Then I draw my crossbow and end turn.

Roll your damage for your attacks without waiting for me to say if it hit.


Map

Jade, you're up next!

A note about 2e: Reactive Strikes (what earlier editions called "Attacks of Opportunity") aren't a default ability. Only certain classes and monsters get them, so don't worry about running around or away from people unless I indicate they have the ability.

Another note about 2e: Multiple attacks are accessible right from level one, you don't need a +6 attack bonus. You can attack 3 times in one turn right from the get-go. However, the -5 and -10 penalties are WAY more detrimental in 2e's tightly-tuned math, so they're usually not worth taking unless you have literally nothing else to do with your action.

An additional note about the 2e remaster specifically: the Recall Knowledge ability no longer sucks.


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Remember to include the +1 bonus from No Quarter when rolling your attack and damage rolls (including spell attacks if they target AC).


Female (she/her) Catfolk Rogue (Captivator) 2 | AC 19 + nimble dodge hp 24/24 XP 60 | Map | Nautical Terms

I had to look this up just to be sure, so I'll point it out for those who might not know: The Multiple Attack Penalty is 0 on the first attack, –5 on your second attack and –10 on all subsequent attacks
(or –4 and –8 if your weapon or unarmed attack has the agile trait).

From my experience as GM, it is a good idea to indicate any bonuses and penalties to the roll in the dicebot text line. For example, the first attack could state [dice=Shortsword, No quarter]1d20 + 5 + 1... The second attack might state [dice=Shortsword 2, No quarter, MAP]1d20 + 5 + 1 - 5 ...


F Kineticist 2 (Air & Water) / Talisman Dabbler | Perc +5 (+2 circ. to Init.) | Stealth: +7| HP 32/32 | Speed: 25' | AC: 19 [21 w/shield] | Fort: +10 | Ref: +9 | Will: +5 | Class DC 18 | Conditions: OK | Hero Points: 1 | Shield HP 20/20 BT 10, Hd 5 | Deflecting Wave ⟳ Resistance 2 vs B or S dmg; 4 vs fire or acid | ◆ ◇ ↺

Jade, who had been listening to Captain Alphonse with rapt attention, breaks out of her reverie dreaming of rivers of gems and hills of gold and mithral as the captain trails off, having spotted the altercation between the raven-haired girl and the drunkard and the angry swarm.

"You don't see that every day," Jade mutters as she stands up and strides◆ over to get a clear shot at the swarm.

She concentrates a moment and her kinetic aura◆ flares to life, a storm of clouds, rain, and lightning swirling around her, although the air in the room, by all accounts, seems as still as it had before. She raises a hand and a bolt of lightning◇ streaks from her into the swarm of cutlery.

Elemental Blast: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (20) + 7 = 27
Electricity Damage: 1d6 ⇒ 4

Then she sends another lightning bolt◆ at them for good measure.
Elemental Blast -5: 1d20 + 7 - 5 ⇒ (11) + 7 - 5 = 13
Electricity Damage: 1d6 ⇒ 2

Deflecting Wave⟳ if she takes bludgeoning, slashing, acid, or fire damage:
A cascade of water blunts or disperses the incoming attack. You gain resistance to damage from the triggering effect equal to your level if it's bludgeoning or slashing, or double your level if it's acid or fire damage. If the effect deals more than one applicable type of damage, apply the highest resistance, but apply it only once.


Map

Now that someone has struck the monster, you all gain a decent idea of its ability to dodge attacks (It has an AC of 16, 12 when broken).

Jade's first strike is a critical hit (exceeding AC by 11), dealing 8 points of damage. The critical strike breaks the monster's construct armor, and removes its hardness 3 to physical.

Jade's first blast of lightning lances directly into the swarm, bouncing from knife to fork to spoon in a cascade of blinding light that melts dozens of the angry floating implements into useless blobs of blackened metal. Over half the swarm has been disabled.

Jade's second strike exceeds the new, lower AC, dealing 2 damage. You estimate that the monster is at about 30% health.

Her second strike blasts the weakened swarm, sending a second, smaller dusting of charred spall to the floor.

Syper, you're up next!


Male Changeling Human Bard 2|HP 24|AC 18|F4; R7; W6|Perc +6| Speed: 25|Conditions:|Hero Points: 1/3|Focus: 1/2|◆ ◇ ↺

"Lovely little trick you got there," Syper calls out as the drunk flees. As the cloud of cutlery turns back on everyone else, he adds, "But it looks like this fork is still a little dirty."

Syper leaps up to interpose himself between the spoony swarm and his new compatriot. "Sure would be a shame to see an innocent like yourself get stabbed in a game of Chaos Mumbly-Peg," he gestures to Jade with a tip of his hat. He draws his sword and faces the utensils. He speaks a single word from the bottom of his lungs.

"No."

The air in front of him shimmers like a ghostly plate. "Come and get it!" he calls.


Stride ◆, Draw ◆, Cast Shield◆.


Female (she/her) Catfolk Rogue (Captivator) 2 | AC 19 + nimble dodge hp 24/24 XP 60 | Map | Nautical Terms

There appears to be a partition extending about 15 feet from the wall just south of the furious flatware. Does that provide cover?


Map

Syper's enchantment fashions an ethereal bulwark that snaps into being within his clenched fist.

Old Kork, you're up!


Map
Jaym'row wrote:
There appears to be a partition extending about 15 feet from the wall just south of the furious flatware. Does that provide cover?

It's waist-high, so yes.


Goblin Bauble Finder Thaumaturge 2 |HP 12/28|AC 19|F7; R7; W5|Perc +5| Speed: 25|Thaumaturge DC 18|Conditions:|Hero Points: 2/3|◆ ◇ ↺

The ash-skinned, seemingly charred goblin initially listens to Ferrino, then his mind wanders somewhere else for a moment. Pondering something, he has a thousand-yard stare through the talking man.

And suddenly, loud noises wake him from his stupor. He watches a cloud of cutlery moving across the room, then aggressively turns back at the people in the... establishment. He raises his eyebrows, watches others jump into action, and does the same.

He walks just past the privacy panel (I assume?) to get a better look at the utensils.

"Oooh." he muses as he pulls a dagger from his belt, looks at the dagger, and wonders whether it makes sense to throw more knives into the cloud. He shrugs. "Knife - enemy of spoon and fork?" he chuckles.

Dagger, Thrown 10ft, Piercing: 1d20 + 6 + 1 ⇒ (13) + 6 + 1 = 201d4 + 4 + 1 ⇒ (1) + 4 + 1 = 6


Map

The goblin's dagger strikes a particularly large implement and ricochets about the cloud, breaking a few more utensils that had already been weakened by Jade's blast.

You beat the AC of 12 and deal 6 damage, 2 more than its remaining health.

As a critical mass of implements become damaged beyond repair, the entire magical matrix that gives the swarm life collapses, sending the rest of the silverware clattering inertly to the floor.

The raven-haired girl, Lillindi, lies curled up under the table, bleeding from a particularly nasty stray knife. Neesa, the girl who was cleaning tables, and Jenissa, the girl who was working the kitchen, dash over and begin trying to comfort her.

What does the party do?


F Kineticist 2 (Air & Water) / Talisman Dabbler | Perc +5 (+2 circ. to Init.) | Stealth: +7| HP 32/32 | Speed: 25' | AC: 19 [21 w/shield] | Fort: +10 | Ref: +9 | Will: +5 | Class DC 18 | Conditions: OK | Hero Points: 1 | Shield HP 20/20 BT 10, Hd 5 | Deflecting Wave ⟳ Resistance 2 vs B or S dmg; 4 vs fire or acid | ◆ ◇ ↺

"I had it handled," Jade says to Syper, "but thank you for your gallantry. I guess chivalry isn't dead after all," she adds with a smile. "I'm Jade." She offers her hand to Syper to shake.

Then, spying the bleeding girl, Jade walks over and says, "I've got some healing power, if you'll let me."

Assuming the raven-haired girl allows it, Jade will create healing water from her aura and touch the girl's wound.

Ocean's Balm Healing: 1d8 ⇒ 7


Map

As Jade weaves a soothing mist around Lillindi’s body, her wounds knit shut and the blood is washed away. She hugs the waterweaver and chokes out a heartfelt thanks. Though her body has mended, her clothes remain torn, and damp to boot. At some point one of the knives severed the left strap of her top, bringing the entire edifice close to collapse. As she notices the gazes of those around her, she at first blushes and tries to cover herself with her hands, but moments later shrugs and lowers them to her sides. “You’ve earned it,” she says by way of explanation, still shaken but covering it with humor.


“Well, well, well, so you can fight.”

Ferrino chuckles to himself as he gazes at each of you in turn.

“I guess that answers my question, except for the part where I still haven’t caught any of your names.”

He waits expectantly for you to introduce yourselves with names and a brief introduction.


Male Changeling Human Bard 2|HP 24|AC 18|F4; R7; W6|Perc +6| Speed: 25|Conditions:|Hero Points: 1/3|Focus: 1/2|◆ ◇ ↺

Syper smiles and shakes Jade's hand. "Name's Syper, pleased to meet you."

He looks around, seeing Jade already taking care of Lillindi's wounds. He takes a moment of concern, then, satisfied that the girl has the help she needs, looks for a bucket to scoop the silverware into.


"So you know the mystic arts. Interesting. From where do you hail, lad?"


Male Changeling Human Bard 2|HP 24|AC 18|F4; R7; W6|Perc +6| Speed: 25|Conditions:|Hero Points: 1/3|Focus: 1/2|◆ ◇ ↺

Syper looks up from his hunched position, one eye covered by an eyepatch. He wryly smirks as he responds, "I wouldn't say I know the mystical arts, really. She's more like a brief fling I keep running into."

He stands up tall for proper conversation, a collection of forks and spoons still in his hand.

He continues, "I'm from the Zuul Marsh. Outside of Genji. I've been sailing for the last year, brought me here. Right in the nick of time, it seems, too! I'd be glad to help out in this adventure!"


Upon hearing Syper's origin, the captain gives him a long stare, filled with grim portent.

“The swamps are a strange place, and many eldritch things stir in the bog. You have the air of elder things about you, mate, and of the far places. But if you’ve gotten this far, you’ll do great things. Terrible things, but great. Welcome aboard.”

He shakes Syper's hand and turns to the next companion.


M Tengu Magus 2 | HP 24/24 | AC: 18 | F +7 R +8 W +6| Perc: +4, Low-light vision | Speed: 25' | Spell DC 17 | Hero Points: 0 | Focus Pool: 0/1 | Spellstrike: 1 | Current Effects:

Okoteck rises swiftly to his feet. By the time he's drawn his blade, however, the danger is over. He silently notes that the bolt of lightning and the healing didn't take any sort of spellcasting. He's not unaware of such things, but it's always interesting to see in-person.

They haven't even started and there are already things catching his curiosity.

The tengu sheathes his blade and gives Captain Ferrino a slight bow. "I am Okoteck, originally of this very isle, though I've spent some time in Cornyria as well. I am a tengu of many talents--I speak seven languages, I've skill with both pen and sword, and I know a few tricks of elemental magic."


The captain nods warmly.

“A bird-man of breadth, it seems. Well, your kind is always welcome at sea. You take the bad luck from the rest of us and eat it for vittles.”

He glances at the tengu's weapon.

“Cornyrian steel, I take it?”


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Female (she/her) Catfolk Rogue (Captivator) 2 | AC 19 + nimble dodge hp 24/24 XP 60 | Map | Nautical Terms

While the captain paused to watch the ejection of the drunk, Jaym'row notices she can see her reflection in the soup spoon's back side. When she flips the spoon the other way around, her reflection in the bowl of the spoon is upside down. This amuses her and distracts her from the flying fortress of forks. Jade gets her attention with her flashy spell and she realizes something weird is happening. She's shift her weight to her feet and reaching for her starknife as Syper and Kork enter the fray, but by the time she stands fully and moves out from between the tables, the fight is over.

She puts her starknife back in its leather holster and attends to the servers. She's disappointed she did not react faster, but who expects to fight silverware?

Still she's quick with a joke. "Well, you bring knives, spoons, and forks to a magic fight, that's what happens."

After the servers recover and start picking up what's left of the eating utensils, she sits back down and takes a sip of her drink and listens to the conversation. After Syper and Okoteck have their interviews, she speaks next.

"I'm Jaym'row, of the Amurri m'rows. I am more than qualified to take up a life of adventure. I've survived in one of the most cuthroat environments there is, as an entertainer in the bars and taverns around the Norrennian Sea, as a female entertainer--a single female catfolk entertainer. I work with no bodyguards, no boyfriends, no one to save me when the drunks start feeling randy. Yet here I am. Truth to tell, I need a change in the scenery. I want to be part of a team, fighting shoulder to shoulder against orca-men, sahuagin, white dragons, silverware. And I'll do my share of treasure-hauling-in, as well." She finishes and strokes her whiskers, with a cat-that-ate-the-cannoli look on her face.


As Tomu nods and taps the hilt of his blade, the captain steps forward and whispers darkly,

“Elf magic can be a dangerous thing, son. Nearly destroyed the world one time, or so we’re told.”

Then he brightens, pats the tengu’s shoulder, and says loudly,

“Which is why I’m proud to have you aboard!”


As Jaym'row approaches, he turns and listens to her introduction. He nods at her appreciatively, trying just slightly too hard to keep his eyes high.

"Is that so? Well, if you fight as well as you say you do, you'll be quite the asset to have on this mission. Consider your scenery changed."

He steps forward.

“The trip will be long, and if you can dance as well as I think you might, you’ll be great for morale as well. Just don’t go breaking any hearts. My men are strong, but no one is invincible.”

He pauses and adds with an enigmatic grin,

"Except me."

He turns to the next companion.


F Kineticist 2 (Air & Water) / Talisman Dabbler | Perc +5 (+2 circ. to Init.) | Stealth: +7| HP 32/32 | Speed: 25' | AC: 19 [21 w/shield] | Fort: +10 | Ref: +9 | Will: +5 | Class DC 18 | Conditions: OK | Hero Points: 1 | Shield HP 20/20 BT 10, Hd 5 | Deflecting Wave ⟳ Resistance 2 vs B or S dmg; 4 vs fire or acid | ◆ ◇ ↺

As soon as she was done healing the girl and satisfied the threats were neutralized, Jade closed the kinetic gate and let her aura dissipate.

"I am Jade Morrow, daughter of Captain Jep Morrow of the Stormweaver. I was practically born on the sea and taught sailing arts by my father and his crew for my first 14 years. The sha'irs here in Eredorn have trained me to control the primal elemental energy that flows through me. You've seen the results of that, she says, beaming with pride. "I'd love to join a crew living on the sea and chasing treasure once more."


Goblin Bauble Finder Thaumaturge 2 |HP 12/28|AC 19|F7; R7; W5|Perc +5| Speed: 25|Thaumaturge DC 18|Conditions:|Hero Points: 2/3|◆ ◇ ↺

The goblin runs up to the cluster of silverware on the floor, and starts rummaging through as others speak. With a victorious "Hah!", he pulls out a knife, looks at it, and frowns. He tosses the knife away, and continues sifting through. After a few short moments, he pulls out his knife. "This..."

He stands up, seemingly satisfied, but keeps looking at the silverware for a few moments. He looks around, sees there are eyes on him, shrugs, and walks to the cluster of people in the room.

Noticing Ferrino's curious gaze, the goblin looks the man in the eye for a few moments. "What?" he jabs at the man verbally in a raspy, high-pitched voice.

"Oh." a realisation comes to him. "Kork is Kork. Visiting friend, getting ready to die... probably?" the goblin shrugs.

"This some business meeting Kork is interrupting? Kork just here for a drink. Not many places open now. But Kork can join your boat trip, no problem." he pauses for a second, lost in thought, rubs his chin, then raises a finger. "Kork is a collector!" he opens his cloak, revealing various trinkets hanging on the inside, not unlike a sketchy salesman. He pulls out a bundle of rat tails and wiggles them in Ferrino's face. He continues with his collection of small bones, vials containing... substances and powders, metal and wooden objects of various shapes and sizes, the list goes on. "But Kork also collect stories! Kork grew up in south, was slave, escaped, lived in posh gobbo city, then move here to say goodbye to friend. Now Kork here, and ready to move on."

He gives Ferrino a curious look. "Featherhat man pays for trip? Kork not very rich, but curious about Thalis place."


M Tengu Magus 2 | HP 24/24 | AC: 18 | F +7 R +8 W +6| Perc: +4, Low-light vision | Speed: 25' | Spell DC 17 | Hero Points: 0 | Focus Pool: 0/1 | Spellstrike: 1 | Current Effects:
Alphonse Ferrino wrote:

As Tomu nods and taps the hilt of his blade, the captain steps forward and whispers darkly,

“Elf magic can be a dangerous thing, son. Nearly destroyed the world one time, or so we’re told.”

Then he brightens, pats the tengu’s shoulder, and says loudly,

“Which is why I’m proud to have you aboard!”

"Like any tool, magic is dangerous if misused," Okoteck replies. "You'll find when I wield it magic is dangerous only to my enemies."

He steps back and returns to his seat to watch the others. While it had been a risk mentioning his magic, it was better to find out now if it was going to be a problem than in the middle of a battle at sea. After all, if he had to flee now there was somewhere to go other than ocean.

His talons itch to get out one of his notebooks and start recording his thoughts about what he's already observed, but he doesn't think it would give the best impression, so the tengu instead focuses on watching and listening intently, trying to memorize what he wants to put in writing.


Upon hearing her name, the captain’s eyes widen in recognition and newfound respect.

“Ah! Jep's girl. The Spellweaver is a fine ship, and has outrun and outfought better men than me.”

A cryptical grin tugs at his lips as he raises a hand, causing a faint zephyr to rustle the folds of his tunic and a twinge of ozone to wrinkle your nostrils.

“And while I’m not as book-learnt as that old buzzard Maheem, we Ferrinos have done our best to keep the ancient lore of the pirate kings alive into this decadent age. Perhaps I can teach you a few things myself.”

He chuckles.

”I don’t have the raw power you do, but I make up for it with technique. I—"

The sound of Kork rummaging through the debris causes him to turn, blink, and stare for a moment. As the goblin offers his strange introduction, the captain’s bemusement turns to pleasant surprise.

”You may be small, but as you tell it, you have escaped terrible fates before, and First Ones willing, you will continue to wriggle out of Morghast’s clutches and make fools of Doom and Fate."

Morghast is the greater deity of death, fate, and judgment, similar to Pharasma. Doom and Fate are his two most famous exarchs.

He smiles and continues.

”Some folks around here would harbor prejudice against goblins. But I long ago learned that looks can be deceiving. Flames of Zemak, when I was just starting out as a deckhand, I wasn’t the greenest recruit they hired that season: that honor went to the swabby who had died the previous winter but was looking for work regardless.

"Few people would deal with a walking corpse in any manner but to smite them with fire, but our captain saw the value in a pirate who didn't need to breathe, eat, or sleep, even if he did need oil to keep the smell down and heavy makeup to go ashore. The rest of the crew, superstitious ninnies that they were, took some convincing, though. It's a good thing several knew him before he'd died, and could vouch he was all still there."

The captain’s eyes focus on a memory only he can see, and he chuckles.

”Jonar was a hoot. He’d pull out his eye, cover the socket with a patch, and leave it somewhere with a good view. Unless you could see both eyes, trying to bluff him at cards was a good way to lose coin.”

His grin grows wistful as the memory continues.

”Then one day we attacked a Nendastan nobleman’s junk, looking to ransom it. But when the snooty aristocrat who owned the vessel came forward to pay, Jonar pulled out a dagger, rammed him through the neck and out the spine, then turned to ash in front of us. I suppose the man had been an even bigger bastard than was usual for those effete snobs.”

The captain’s amused chuckle at this story of immense violence tells you much about his character, and all you need to know about the state of relations between Eredor and Nendasta.

"That was twenty years ago now," he sighs wistfully. "The world was a different place. People knew where they stood. Now the Free Isles are beset by rumors of war, and the Eternal City is ruled by a prophet no one had even heard of three years ago. But at least events have given me the chance to go straight and avoid the noose."

He shakes his head before continuing.

”Well, if I can befriend a revenant corpse for two years, a goblin presents no issue whatsoever. And yes, son, the trip will be paid for, though not by me.”

Satisfied with introductions, he reaches up and removes his hat. Placing it on the table, he performs a quick series of complicated gestures, then reaches inside it, pulling out several scroll tubes. He opens them and unfurls navigational maps, logistical charts, and all manner of dry, meticulous minutiae.

==================================================
Sailing Lore (Jade Morrow): 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (15) + 3 = 18
Success against DC 16

Sailing Lore success, Jade Morrow:

“These charts detail an expedition to Thalis with a stopover in Jurgen’s Fist in Cornyria. The overall voyage will take approximately 30 to 90 days depending on weather.

Arcana (Okoteck): 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (2) + 6 = 8
Arcana (Jaym'row): 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (4) + 4 = 8
Neither of you can glean anything about the hat.
==================================================

“The plan is to leave in two and a half days from dock 6. With favorable winds it’ll be a week to ten days to reach Jurgen’s Fist in Cornyria, where we can resupply.”

He jabs at the map.

“Then it’ll probably be another three to six weeks for us to reach Thalis, by which point the ice should be just starting to thaw, creating a slush our ship can break through here. If we’re unlucky and it takes three months, it might have already thawed completely by the time we get there and we’ll have lost valuable weeks. The place is so close to the arctic circle that days in <<December>> can last as little as three hours, and I’d like to have finished setting up a base camp long before then.”

The <<>> indicate an in-universe word replaced with an exact equivalent for the purpose of not annoying and confusing you.

He pauses, rolls up the map, and looks at each of you in turn.

“You five, along with scoutmaster Andrino whom you’ll meet on the ship, will make up the main scouting party while most of the rest of us set up a base camp or man the Hellion’s Cry. If something happens to it, nobody is going home, so it must be well protected. Our job is to find an ideal spot for a base camp, and one where we can anchor the ship close enough to defend it via cannon, while yours is to scout the surrounding area for threats and opportunities.”

He takes another sip of stout, pausing to glance at Marasina as she picks sadly through the ruined silverware, careful not to bump into Kork at the other end of the pile.

“We will winter at base camp, and try to spend two springs and summers exploring the island, performing a proper mining survey and determining what will be needed for a larger, multi-ship expedition.”

“Then we will booby-trap the base camp to deter squatters and return home the way we came, taking several weeks longer due to the prevailing winds. What the nobles are planning for Thalis after that is above my pay grade.”

He pulls a silver-tipped quill pen from his newly-bottomless hat, retrieves a contract from a scroll tube and unrolls it with a flourish.

“Once you sign the contract, there is no going back. Desertion is punishable by imprisonment for not less than three years. So, if any of you have any questions, please ask them now.”

If nobody says anything, he will continue at 7:30 central time tonight, 8:30 ET


Male Changeling Human Bard 2|HP 24|AC 18|F4; R7; W6|Perc +6| Speed: 25|Conditions:|Hero Points: 1/3|Focus: 1/2|◆ ◇ ↺

Syper peers over the logistical charts and blinks, as if to shake loose a tear or insect. Nearly unconsciously, he picks up an unused tide chart, and sniffs it before putting it back.

Would my Bardic Lore (+5) discover anything here?

Mulling over the plan, he asks, "Ten days then resupply, then over a year before the next resupply. Do we know what we'll be able to find in Thalis to eat?"

Then, he shrugs. "There will always be fish, at least."

He looks straight at Captain Ferrino. "I'm in."


Ferrino hands Syper a copy of the contract and a pen, nodding at his astute question. "According to ibn Rashad, there are, or at least were, indigenous people on the island capable of subsisting through hunting, gathering, and fishing, so even in the worst case scenario, as long as we get there in one piece we should be able to eke out a living."

He points to the ledgers.

Bardic Lore: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (13) + 5 = 18

Bardic Lore:
The ledgers show the purchase of years' worth of predominantly elven food, with a smattering of Cornyrian cuisine.

"But of course, since this expedition has heavy implications for the balance of power in the Isles, House Dandolon has spared no expense. The ship is equipped with an extradimensional stasis larder capable of holding three years worth of food in a space no larger than a sizable closet, where time only flows when the door is open. Just don't let the door close on you while you're in there, or you'll be trapped by the temporal stasis field until someone else lets you out. And don't bring any active magical effects inside the larder or the enchantment might fail entirely and we'll be stuck eating smoked lutefisk."

He casts his gaze across the assembled party.

"Anyone else have questions?"


M Tengu Magus 2 | HP 24/24 | AC: 18 | F +7 R +8 W +6| Perc: +4, Low-light vision | Speed: 25' | Spell DC 17 | Hero Points: 0 | Focus Pool: 0/1 | Spellstrike: 1 | Current Effects:

Okoteck taps a talon to his beak thoughtfully. "Are there any other supplies that will be aboard the ship we should be aware of? Healing resources will likely be particularly important, given all the dangers of building on unexplored shores."


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He turns to face Okoteck.

"Our ship's surgeon, Gideon Klotrich, is quite experienced, and we will of course have a small arsenal of antidotes, antiplagues, and elixirs of life onboard; not so many we can afford to be wasteful, but enough to equip the scouting party for dangerous missions."

He thinks for a moment, reviewing items in his mind's eye.

"Black powder for the cannons, flasks of acid and naphtha, a few thousand arrows and crossbow bolts, climbing kits, a small workshop with an alchemist's lab and repair kit, navigational equipment, and plenty of items I'm not recalling off the top of my head. As to weapons, we'll have plenty of spare hatchets, daggers, bows, and harpoons, but if you want anything more exotic you'll need to bring it yourself."

He pauses as a thought occurs to him.

"You will also receive a share of any booty taken over the course of the expedition, with a bonus share for combat pay if applicable."


Female (she/her) Catfolk Rogue (Captivator) 2 | AC 19 + nimble dodge hp 24/24 XP 60 | Map | Nautical Terms
Syper wrote:

Then, he shrugs. "There will always be fish, at least."

Jaym'row's tail wags and she gives a little 'mrrrp' of anticipatory pleasure.

Alphonse Ferrino wrote:

He pauses as a thought occurs to him.

"You will also receive a share of any booty taken over the course of the expedition, with a bonus share for combat pay if applicable."

"Do these contracts define 'a share' with any mathematical precision?" She keeps a smile on her lips but watches the captain carefully. She's had more than a few agents and bar owners try to stiff her by not specifying payment amounts or percentages with sufficient precision to allow objections at pay-day.


He pauses for a moment, unsure whether to be insulted or not. After a few beats pass, he decides against taking offense and says,

"The contract divides up the booty evenly amongst the crew, except that I and the quartermaster get two shares, and other officers such as the bosun and cox'n get a share and a quarter."

He smiles knowingly.

"Everything is logged by the quartermaster on a ledger accessible to any crewman at any time, don't you worry!"

Nothing about his body language indicates the slightest dishonesty.

I'm going to just use treasure-per-encounter as a rough guideline and excuse the discrepancies in your favor with the combat pay provision. Doing all that math accurately for a 20+ member crew would be a huge pain and a waste of time.


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F Kineticist 2 (Air & Water) / Talisman Dabbler | Perc +5 (+2 circ. to Init.) | Stealth: +7| HP 32/32 | Speed: 25' | AC: 19 [21 w/shield] | Fort: +10 | Ref: +9 | Will: +5 | Class DC 18 | Conditions: OK | Hero Points: 1 | Shield HP 20/20 BT 10, Hd 5 | Deflecting Wave ⟳ Resistance 2 vs B or S dmg; 4 vs fire or acid | ◆ ◇ ↺

"What will our accommodations be? Bunking with the rest of the crew or in private cabins? And of course barring a storm or other emergencies when it's all hands on deck, what are our responsibilities during the voyage?" Jade asks, giving the contract a look, more to appear savvy than to understand it. It's all Ilideri to her, not having any experience with legal documents.


Goblin Bauble Finder Thaumaturge 2 |HP 12/28|AC 19|F7; R7; W5|Perc +5| Speed: 25|Thaumaturge DC 18|Conditions:|Hero Points: 2/3|◆ ◇ ↺

The goblin looks Ferrino up and down with a grimace. "Featherhat not green at all! No wonder Featherman not greenest in the crew."

He picks up his mug from the table and swirls it a bit, then takes a sip. When Ferrino starts pulling things from the hat, the goblin's interest immediately shifts to the enigmatic storage container."Land of mystery. Hmm... Kork like. Will go find secrets of Thalis."

A very short pause and a few curious looks later, the goblin points to the hat on the table. "Kork fancy your hat. Buy hat for... half of Kork's pay?" the goblin spits on his hand and extends it towards Ferrino for a handshake.


M Tengu Magus 2 | HP 24/24 | AC: 18 | F +7 R +8 W +6| Perc: +4, Low-light vision | Speed: 25' | Spell DC 17 | Hero Points: 0 | Focus Pool: 0/1 | Spellstrike: 1 | Current Effects:

Okoteck reviews the contract. He's copied and translated a fair number of them, so he has some idea of what to look out for in the way of tricks. He rather doubts anyone would be so foolish as to try to trick people they'll be relying on for two years with no support, but it's not impossible.

Scribing Lore: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (10) + 6 = 16


Female (she/her) Catfolk Rogue (Captivator) 2 | AC 19 + nimble dodge hp 24/24 XP 60 | Map | Nautical Terms

Jaym'row nods approvingly at the captain's answer to her question about shares. Getting a straight answer on something like this tells her most of what she wants to know about the professionalism of the enterprise. She is still wary. She has heard enough sailor's tales to know that a tale of riches to be had for the taking could be a clever way to lure a crew into captivity and slavery. This feels legit, although she is going to keep an eye on things for signs of a trick.

She picks up a contract and reads it carefully, pretending that the words really matter and that she might refuse the offer if all is not right. She wants to hide the fact that she needs to get out of town quickly, and this fit the bill, even if she found it was a trap for fools and had to figure out how to escape it later.

She signs the contract and starts to study the other crew recruits.


Okoteck, Scribing Lore:
Success against DC 16. It is a standard contract with no hidden riders. The ink was printed less than two weeks ago with an elaborate, dual-toothed copperplate press, which attests even more to its authenticity than the official House Dandolon letterhead.

The captain addresses Jade respectfully.

"Even with the larder freeing up a great deal of space, our ship is not so large that every crewman can get a private room. Hammocks deal best with the rolling sea, and everyone save the quartermaster and I will bunk in one large room belowdecks. You will be provided with wooden lockers for your possessions, and a padlock for when we hit port.

"As to your responsibilities, every crewman has the responsibility to follow the orders of me, the quartermaster, and the bosun, in that order. You'll participate in the watch schedule; we always need someone on deck, since we'll frequently sail at night as long as there are stars to navigate by. And if we need a dogsbody, you'll be expected to step up, but on an equal basis to the other recruits of course."

Dogsbody refers to a seaman who performs menial tasks such as swabbing the deck or cleaning dishes.

No sooner has their exchange concluded than Kork interjects with his slightly nauseating offer.

Ferrino takes it in stride, smiles, and waves his hand in a pleasant no-thank-you.

"Seven hundred and fifty gold is far too much for this old thing. If we both come back alive, though, you can have it for free; My captain's pay will be more than enough to buy another."

He chuckles and continues.

"Until then, I'll need it to captain effectively. But I promise, when we get back, you'll have everything it takes to captain your own ship if you wish, and you'll need a hat for when that day comes."

He pulls out a copy of the contract, retrieves a pen, scans to the line reading Upon completion, employee will receive 1500 gold pieces in coins or bullion, and writes in, and one (1) captain's bottomless hat. He holds out the pen and the contract to Kork.


Goblin Bauble Finder Thaumaturge 2 |HP 12/28|AC 19|F7; R7; W5|Perc +5| Speed: 25|Thaumaturge DC 18|Conditions:|Hero Points: 2/3|◆ ◇ ↺

Kork blows a rapsberry at the counter offer. "Kork want hat. Not pen."

A little disappointed, he takes the pen and puts it into his coat. Then it hits him and he pulls out out again, licks the tip, and scribbles a signature on the contract in surprisingly nice cursive, ending the signature with a flourish. "If Kork is alive next year, Kork buy Featherhat some wine."

He looks at the other candidates, still reading the contract. "What do for two days?" his eyes go wide. "Kork knows! Go hunt ravens for black feathers!"

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