# Akarna Awakens Game Master Prosperum

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

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The gunner yells a reply. "Understood. Preparing to fire!"

Tense minutes pass as the sahuagin war party approaches. To avoid encouraging the devils to split up or use better tactics, the captain orders the crew not to give away that they've spotted the sahuagin, so no lights are lit or cannonballs loaded.

As the monsters get within a few dozen feet of the ship, they breach the surface to ready their grappling spears and begin to split their party in two to flank the boat. Before they can act on either plan, Gunnar and Thaddrick strike.

A gout of oily yellow-green liquid sprays from amidships, tracking from fore to aft to douse the whole assembly of mounted sea devils. It leaves white smoke in the air from its passing, and upon contact with the monsters it hisses with alchemical fury. The sea devils begin to cry out as the corrosive distillate starts burning through their scales to reach the flesh beneath, but after less than two seconds the liquid detonates.

Compressing::::

Reflex save, sahuagin brute: 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (6) + 11 = 17 vs DC 37; critical failure
Damage, fire/acid: 20d8 ⇒ (2, 5, 5, 4, 5, 8, 4, 2, 7, 6, 1, 6, 3, 2, 4, 2, 5, 2, 5, 4) = 82

Reflex save, sahuagin brute: 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (9) + 11 = 20 vs DC 37; critical failure
Damage, fire/acid: 20d8 ⇒ (6, 2, 7, 1, 8, 7, 4, 8, 7, 8, 2, 1, 2, 4, 5, 5, 6, 5, 8, 2) = 98

Reflex save, sahuagin brute: 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (14) + 11 = 25 vs DC 37; critical failure
Damage, fire/acid: 20d8 ⇒ (6, 2, 4, 4, 7, 6, 6, 6, 6, 4, 1, 6, 7, 5, 2, 4, 7, 6, 3, 4) = 96

Reflex save, sahuagin brute: 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (14) + 11 = 25 vs DC 37; critical failure
Damage, fire/acid: 20d8 ⇒ (2, 7, 7, 5, 2, 4, 3, 4, 8, 2, 4, 2, 8, 6, 5, 6, 1, 5, 3, 7) = 91

Reflex save, sahuagin brute: 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (5) + 11 = 16 vs DC 37; critical failure
Damage, fire/acid: 20d8 ⇒ (2, 4, 3, 3, 4, 8, 2, 1, 6, 3, 5, 3, 7, 5, 8, 3, 1, 5, 5, 1) = 79

Reflex save, sahuagin brute: 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (17) + 11 = 28 vs DC 37
Damage, fire/acid: 10d8 ⇒ (6, 7, 5, 2, 4, 6, 7, 5, 7, 3) = 52

Reflex save, sahuagin brute: 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (9) + 11 = 20 vs DC 37; critical failure
Damage, fire/acid: 20d8 ⇒ (6, 1, 3, 1, 6, 5, 2, 6, 8, 4, 2, 3, 8, 7, 1, 6, 5, 3, 1, 5) = 83

Reflex save, sahuagin brute: 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (3) + 11 = 14 vs DC 37; critical failure
Damage, fire/acid: 20d8 ⇒ (7, 3, 4, 5, 3, 3, 6, 8, 1, 8, 2, 3, 2, 3, 2, 2, 7, 2, 6, 3) = 80

Reflex save, sahuagin brute: 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (15) + 11 = 26 vs DC 37; critical failure
Damage, fire/acid: 20d8 ⇒ (2, 3, 1, 1, 3, 2, 6, 8, 1, 8, 8, 2, 6, 3, 2, 1, 3, 4, 4, 8) = 76

Reflex save, sahuagin brute: 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (11) + 11 = 22 vs DC 37; critical failure
Damage, fire/acid: 20d8 ⇒ (5, 8, 7, 7, 3, 4, 1, 8, 5, 2, 3, 8, 6, 3, 1, 1, 6, 7, 2, 3) = 90

Reflex save, sahuagin brute: 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (12) + 11 = 23 vs DC 37; critical failure
Damage, fire/acid: 20d8 ⇒ (2, 6, 7, 6, 4, 2, 4, 8, 7, 4, 8, 4, 6, 7, 2, 8, 3, 1, 7, 4) = 100

Reflex save, sahuagin brute: 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (17) + 11 = 28 vs DC 37
Damage, fire/acid: 10d8 ⇒ (4, 5, 3, 6, 4, 1, 1, 7, 6, 2) = 39

Reflex save, sahuagin brute: 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (5) + 11 = 16 vs DC 37; critical failure
Damage, fire/acid: 20d8 ⇒ (1, 8, 1, 2, 3, 4, 4, 8, 1, 3, 6, 3, 1, 3, 4, 7, 2, 1, 5, 1) = 68

Reflex save, sahuagin brute: 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (17) + 11 = 28 vs DC 37
Damage, fire/acid: 10d8 ⇒ (4, 6, 5, 2, 4, 2, 6, 8, 5, 7) = 49

Reflex save, sahuagin brute: 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (16) + 11 = 27 vs DC 37; critical failure
Damage, fire/acid: 20d8 ⇒ (5, 2, 6, 3, 5, 5, 8, 4, 5, 8, 4, 3, 3, 7, 8, 4, 5, 8, 6, 1) = 100

Reflex save, sahuagin brute: 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (4) + 11 = 15 vs DC 37; critical failure
Damage, fire/acid: 20d8 ⇒ (6, 7, 4, 8, 8, 7, 2, 2, 3, 2, 8, 7, 4, 4, 5, 7, 7, 2, 7, 3) = 103

Reflex save, sahuagin brute: 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (9) + 11 = 20 vs DC 37; critical failure
Damage, fire/acid: 20d8 ⇒ (1, 8, 7, 2, 5, 6, 3, 8, 7, 4, 4, 6, 1, 1, 8, 2, 5, 6, 2, 4) = 90

Reflex save, sahuagin brute: 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (19) + 11 = 30 vs DC 37
Damage, fire/acid: 10d8 ⇒ (6, 1, 8, 1, 2, 2, 7, 1, 5, 5) = 38

Reflex save, sahuagin brute: 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (10) + 11 = 21 vs DC 37; critical failure
Damage, fire/acid: 20d8 ⇒ (1, 8, 4, 4, 4, 4, 6, 3, 7, 8, 2, 3, 5, 2, 8, 7, 2, 6, 1, 5) = 90

Reflex save, sahuagin brute: 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (6) + 11 = 17 vs DC 37; critical failure
Damage, fire/acid: 20d8 ⇒ (3, 8, 8, 7, 8, 4, 7, 7, 4, 4, 3, 2, 3, 3, 4, 2, 2, 7, 2, 2) = 90

Reflex save, sahuagin brute: 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (10) + 11 = 21 vs DC 37; critical failure
Damage, fire/acid: 20d8 ⇒ (4, 6, 7, 7, 5, 6, 2, 2, 2, 8, 8, 8, 1, 4, 8, 2, 4, 6, 2, 6) = 98

Reflex save, sahuagin brute: 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (10) + 11 = 21 vs DC 37; critical failure
Damage, fire/acid: 20d8 ⇒ (8, 8, 3, 7, 7, 8, 5, 2, 8, 7, 3, 1, 6, 6, 2, 4, 2, 3, 1, 6) = 97

Reflex save, sahuagin brute: 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (7) + 11 = 18 vs DC 37; critical failure
Damage, fire/acid: 20d8 ⇒ (2, 2, 8, 8, 5, 1, 6, 3, 5, 6, 4, 2, 8, 2, 7, 7, 2, 1, 5, 7) = 91

Reflex save, sahuagin brute: 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (8) + 11 = 19 vs DC 37; critical failure
Damage, fire/acid: 20d8 ⇒ (6, 5, 4, 2, 4, 7, 2, 8, 5, 4, 6, 4, 8, 8, 4, 2, 8, 8, 1, 1) = 97

=======sharks=======

Reflex save, great white shark: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (8) + 10 = 18 vs DC 37; critical failure
Damage, fire/acid: 20d8 ⇒ (5, 8, 4, 8, 5, 8, 4, 5, 4, 4, 4, 3, 5, 3, 4, 1, 3, 6, 2, 5) = 91

Reflex save, great white shark: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (11) + 10 = 21 vs DC 37; critical failure
Damage, fire/acid: 20d8 ⇒ (8, 7, 6, 2, 1, 2, 1, 8, 1, 2, 8, 8, 3, 1, 1, 3, 3, 1, 2, 5) = 73

Reflex save, great white shark: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (1) + 10 = 11 vs DC 37; critical failure
Damage, fire/acid: 20d8 ⇒ (8, 3, 3, 8, 4, 2, 5, 2, 1, 2, 6, 7, 4, 7, 7, 7, 1, 1, 8, 7) = 93

Reflex save, great white shark: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (6) + 10 = 16 vs DC 37; critical failure
Damage, fire/acid: 20d8 ⇒ (2, 4, 5, 5, 5, 7, 3, 7, 3, 5, 2, 7, 7, 4, 1, 4, 6, 8, 2, 7) = 94

Reflex save, great white shark: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (12) + 10 = 22 vs DC 37; critical failure
Damage, fire/acid: 20d8 ⇒ (1, 4, 1, 5, 4, 6, 8, 1, 6, 3, 5, 8, 8, 2, 8, 7, 6, 2, 5, 2) = 92

Reflex save, great white shark: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (14) + 10 = 24 vs DC 37; critical failure
Damage, fire/acid: 20d8 ⇒ (4, 5, 5, 4, 5, 6, 2, 5, 6, 3, 1, 7, 4, 3, 4, 3, 4, 7, 2, 6) = 86

Reflex save, great white shark: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (20) + 10 = 30 vs DC 37
Damage, fire/acid: 10d8 ⇒ (8, 7, 6, 7, 5, 2, 8, 4, 2, 6) = 55

Reflex save, great white shark: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (18) + 10 = 28 vs DC 37
Damage, fire/acid: 10d8 ⇒ (7, 2, 5, 4, 7, 4, 3, 4, 1, 8) = 45

Reflex save, great white shark: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (4) + 10 = 14 vs DC 37; critical failure
Damage, fire/acid: 20d8 ⇒ (1, 8, 8, 1, 7, 5, 5, 5, 3, 8, 7, 2, 4, 4, 1, 2, 6, 1, 7, 1) = 86

Reflex save, great white shark: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (11) + 10 = 21 vs DC 37; critical failure
Damage, fire/acid: 20d8 ⇒ (6, 3, 6, 6, 4, 4, 6, 5, 7, 2, 5, 1, 6, 4, 8, 6, 4, 2, 4, 4) = 93

Reflex save, great white shark: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (6) + 10 = 16 vs DC 37; critical failure
Damage, fire/acid: 20d8 ⇒ (2, 8, 5, 2, 5, 5, 1, 2, 7, 6, 1, 4, 1, 4, 6, 4, 5, 4, 3, 6) = 81

Reflex save, great white shark: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (17) + 10 = 27 vs DC 37; critical failure
Damage, fire/acid: 20d8 ⇒ (5, 8, 8, 5, 7, 8, 5, 8, 8, 5, 3, 3, 5, 3, 6, 3, 3, 1, 5, 2) = 101

Reflex save, great white shark: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (3) + 10 = 13 vs DC 37; critical failure
Damage, fire/acid: 20d8 ⇒ (1, 6, 4, 6, 4, 4, 5, 5, 8, 3, 2, 6, 4, 3, 3, 3, 8, 1, 7, 5) = 88

Reflex save, great white shark: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (11) + 10 = 21 vs DC 37; critical failure
Damage, fire/acid: 20d8 ⇒ (3, 7, 4, 8, 7, 3, 1, 8, 7, 8, 8, 2, 2, 4, 7, 3, 1, 8, 3, 8) = 102

Reflex save, great white shark: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (12) + 10 = 22 vs DC 37; critical failure
Damage, fire/acid: 20d8 ⇒ (1, 6, 4, 6, 5, 5, 6, 4, 3, 5, 8, 7, 1, 4, 8, 3, 5, 4, 8, 8) = 101

Reflex save, great white shark: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (9) + 10 = 19 vs DC 37; critical failure
Damage, fire/acid: 20d8 ⇒ (6, 3, 5, 7, 3, 3, 5, 1, 8, 1, 4, 3, 2, 4, 1, 5, 1, 7, 8, 6) = 83

Reflex save, great white shark: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (20) + 10 = 30 vs DC 37
Damage, fire/acid: 10d8 ⇒ (7, 6, 2, 3, 1, 4, 6, 6, 4, 1) = 40

Reflex save, great white shark: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (20) + 10 = 30 vs DC 37
Damage, fire/acid: 10d8 ⇒ (4, 8, 2, 8, 6, 1, 3, 7, 6, 3) = 48

Reflex save, great white shark: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (17) + 10 = 27 vs DC 37; critical failure
Damage, fire/acid: 20d8 ⇒ (8, 3, 3, 6, 3, 8, 1, 1, 8, 2, 7, 1, 5, 4, 5, 7, 4, 1, 8, 5) = 90

Reflex save, great white shark: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (15) + 10 = 25 vs DC 37; critical failure
Damage, fire/acid: 20d8 ⇒ (5, 4, 1, 2, 1, 2, 5, 2, 7, 2, 1, 6, 5, 1, 2, 1, 3, 4, 5, 8) = 67

Reflex save, great white shark: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (9) + 10 = 19 vs DC 37; critical failure
Damage, fire/acid: 20d8 ⇒ (3, 7, 1, 1, 5, 4, 5, 1, 3, 8, 6, 8, 3, 4, 7, 7, 4, 6, 8, 6) = 97

Reflex save, great white shark: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (16) + 10 = 26 vs DC 37; critical failure
Damage, fire/acid: 20d8 ⇒ (6, 7, 8, 5, 4, 4, 1, 5, 4, 5, 1, 5, 4, 1, 4, 2, 2, 6, 2, 7) = 83

Reflex save, great white shark: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (4) + 10 = 14 vs DC 37; critical failure
Damage, fire/acid: 20d8 ⇒ (7, 4, 1, 8, 5, 3, 1, 2, 2, 2, 1, 8, 5, 1, 2, 3, 3, 1, 7, 1) = 67

Reflex save, great white shark: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (12) + 10 = 22 vs DC 37; critical failure
Damage, fire/acid: 20d8 ⇒ (6, 4, 2, 2, 3, 8, 1, 6, 1, 7, 2, 3, 2, 1, 6, 7, 5, 5, 4, 3) = 78

Notes:

1 brute with 8/60hp.
1 brute with 11/60hp.
1 brute with 21/60hp.
1 brute with 22/60hp.

1 great white shark with 5/60hp.
1 great white shark with 12/60hp.
1 great white shark with 15/60hp.
1 great white shark with 20/60hp.

A cataclysmic blast of heat and light nearly washes out your vision, and your hearing is reduced to an empty ringing inside your head. Towers of greasy black smoke billow into the night sky, joining a light hail of charcoal briquettes that were once limbs and organs. Your hearing does not recover in time to detect the patter of the grisly rain as it returns to the sea.

As the cloud of smoke thins, you are able to make out the scene by the light from the burning corpses. Of the two dozen shark-rider teams, only one remains alive, though in a half-dozen other cases one or the other survived as their partner took the full force of the blast. Spooked by the heat of the flames and maddened by the pain of their injuries, the few remaining sharks swim away, refusing their master's commands. The lone rider still atop a living shark is quickly thrown by a barrel roll, and the Hellion's Cry, with no viable pursuit, is now free and clear.

Over the annoying hum in your ears, you hear the gunner whoop with excitement and yell, "Whatever they paid for this stuff, it wasn't enough!"

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Goblin Bauble Finder Thaumaturge 2 |HP 28|AC 19|F7; R7; W5|Perc +5| Speed: 25|Thaumaturge DC 18|Conditions:|Hero Points: 1/3|◆ ◇ ↺

Jade laughs at the nickname, "I do have quite a few, don't I? My father said my mom had them too..." She touches her face as her voice trails off. She looks up to the stars for a few beats before shaking her head, as if to shrug off a fly, and turning back to Kork.

"No, I'm not a doctor. I'm a kineticist. I channel elemental forces from the planes through kinetic gates in my body. I guide healing water from Yomul through my hand to the wound, and the water does all the healing for me." Jade says to the goblin. "What about you? Do those bits and bobs you use to weaken things really work on their own, or do you have to do something to them first?"

"Interesting. Kork hear of your kind, never see." the goblin ponders, then Jade asks her question, and he taps his forehead. "Kork show example..." he seems oblivious to the happenings on the deck as he gives his presentation. He pulls out a flint rock and a length of fuse rope from his coat. While Alphonse and Gunnar face imminent doom, Kork walks around the deck with a lit fuse, all happy and merry. The thing slowly burns in his hand. He walks up to Jade, and does not notice her mind is occupied by something else entirely. "Need to think like this." he taps his forehead. "How Freckles stop fire?" he points at the fuse, waits for a response, then continues without one. "Answer clear! Water! Everything have weakness. Maybe hide well, but have. Find one, then use." and he tosses the wick overboard, and the fuse lands on the surface of the water and goes out. Unbeknownst to Kork, Gunnar launches the accelerated chemical dissolver at the same time, and the goblin drops to the floor screaming.

Gunnar Thurvardsson wrote:
Over the annoying hum in your ears, you hear the gunner whoop with excitement and yell, "Whatever they paid for this stuff, it wasn't enough!"

Kork pulls out the rest of the fuse rope from his coat, and gazes at it with a bewildered look. "True. Kork need more of this thing."

Gideon Klotrich wrote:
"That's some trick. I get the feeling, however, that it can't be learned by just anyone."

Before Jade can reply to his observation, Gideon hears the gunner shout his warning.

"You'd better go," he says, packing up his equipment.

...

After the explosion, the surgeon gathers the crew belowdecks in his office and produces a vial of eardrops that restore your hearing and silence the lingering tinnitus.

The gunner's mate breaks his customary silence and says softly, "Well, at least we know it works." A rare smile tugs at the corner of his lips for a moment before he continues soberly. "Unfortunately it took a whole barrel of the stuff in one go."

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 watches the sea burn as his ears ring.

"One barrel? And to think the scamp wanted to burn them all!"

The gunner's mate nods grimly. "Without the proper catalyst and dispersion method, it wouldn't have been nearly as powerful, since it uses air to improve the explosive force, but I doubt there would have been much of that square left if he'd managed to light them."

"Of course, that little light show cost us a twelfth of our stock," Thurvardsson adds. "Of course, it was necessary, mind ye, but if incidents like that one that threaten the entire ship become the norm, we'll run out long before we've completed our mission."

The captain dips his head in acknowledgement of the dwarf's point.

"Hopefully," he replies, "we won't need any more of it. We're nearly to the edge of the Deep Empire, and as the seas get colder we'll stand less and less of a chance of running into a sea serpent or other monster."

He pauses, then adds ominously, "I hope."

Female (she/her) Catfolk Rogue (Captivator) 2 | AC 19 + nimble dodge hp 24/24 XP 0 | Map | Nautical Terms

Jaym'row is righteously amazed at the healing arts displayed by Jade and Gideon.

After the sea devils attack is thwarted:

She cautiously gazes at the remnants of the sea devils and sharks. She smiles and thinks, Catfolk and cats should eat fish. Fishfolk should not eat catfolk. Good riddance.

She breaks out her fiddle and plays a celebratory tune for everyone.

The crew does their best to appreciate Jaym'row's music, but most quickly fall asleep, save the captain, who takes the wheel, and the quartermaster, who mans the rigging.

Female (she/her) Catfolk Rogue (Captivator) 2 | AC 19 + nimble dodge hp 24/24 XP 0 | Map | Nautical Terms

Jaym'row is too buzzed from all the excitement to sleep, plus she tends to like to stay up late. She volunteers to help keep watch and climbs up to a high vantage point, at least for an hour or so.

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: 2 | Shield HP 20/20 BT 10, Hd 5 | Deflecting Wave ⟳ Resistance 2 vs B or S dmg; 4 vs fire or acid | ◆ ◇ ↺

"We need a new name for that thing. Bite is way too tame a word for burninating two dozen enemies at once," she says over the ringing in her ears, rubbing her eyes in a vain attempt to clear the afterimage burned into them by the Dragonsbite.

Once the tinnitus subsides a bit, Jade turns to Kork and says, "Thank you for the, er, demonstration, Kork. It was very enlightening."

Goblin Bauble Finder Thaumaturge 2 |HP 28|AC 19|F7; R7; W5|Perc +5| Speed: 25|Thaumaturge DC 18|Conditions:|Hero Points: 1/3|◆ ◇ ↺

"Very..." Kork notes, not taking his gaze off the fuse. "Enlightening be right word." He pulls out a knife and cuts off a SIGNIFICANTLY shorter piece. He walks to the railing, sets the thing alight and tosses is as far as he can into the water. He covers his ears and ducks immediately afterwards, but keeps an eye on the wick.

It lands flaccidly on the water's surface with a quiet hiss. "Hmm..." Kork stands up with a pensive look on his face. Puzzled, he puts the fuse back into his cloak but keeps it open to look at any other curios that might have been touching it.

"Odd." he mumbles, pulling out a vial and meticulously checking it for cracks or damage.

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: 1 | Focus Pool: 1/1 | Spellstrike: 0 | Current Effects: Arcane Cascade

Okoteck is grateful for the healing, but he's too aware of the continued danger to relax. He watches warily for signs of pursuit, though he isn't the first to see them in the end.

The tengu watches the operation of their special weapon with considerable interest, right up until the moment of ignition. He stumbles back a bit, as much from how startled he was as from any actual physical effects. As he blinks to clear his sight, something of the blaze seems to linger in his eyes... in more than one way.

He's quite happy to get to rest afterward, however. Okoteck had shed entirely too much blood during the fight, and while Jade's connection with elemental water had cured his wounds, his body still needed to recuperate properly. As he settles down to sleep, however, he cannot help but think of the blaze on the water... and how that was only the beginning of wonders.

The remaining twelve days of the journey are uneventful. The balmy weather of the equator rapidly chills as you move northward, though the spring weather is far warmer than the wintry depths that must have wrought the vast floating glaciers through which the Hellion's Cry delicately picks.

You spot Thalis on the 28th day after leaving Cornyria. The ice sheets that form a girdle around the continent in winter are barely more than slush by this point in the year as trade winds and seasonal currents bring in warm water to break up the ice from below. The land itself, or at least the portion you behold upon approach, is largely featureless and snow-covered, with seaside cliffs presenting a daunting façade for mile after mile as you travel northwest along the coast.

Shortly before noon on day 29 you find a good natural harbor with plenty of nearby lumber not far from where legends say ibn Rashad found his legendary mithril ingot. There is a break in the cliffs here that leads into the interior, shrouded by a densely packed pine forest through which a frozen river slices. You drop anchor in the small cove and begin unloading the ship. Seven tents go up quickly, and the crew begin the necessary task of chopping down trees to build a palisade around the camp.

Steep cliffs protect the camp from threats and harsh weather conditions to the north, while shallow ones do the same to a lesser degree to the south. Smaller boulders scattered around the camp also make approaching it difficult, so with a palisade it will be quite defensible.

4-17-870

On the morning of your third full day on Thalis, as you help lever one of the wooden stakes into an upright position, Captain Ferrino approaches the party. He gives an appreciative nod as the stake bites into the frozen ground.

“The wall is beginning to take shape. I hate to tear you away, but I think the rest of the crew can handle it from here. I need you to scout the lay of the land. We need to know what’s upriver, past the trees. We could also stand to find out what’s at the top of those cliffs above the camp. You can do them in whatever order, we just need them both surveyed.”

He hands each of you a minor elixir of life and points at the supply tent.

“We have just enough climber’s kits for the five of you, if you’re doing the cliff first.”

Female (she/her) Catfolk Rogue (Captivator) 2 | AC 19 + nimble dodge hp 24/24 XP 0 | Map | Nautical Terms

Jaym'row is happy to hear "Land Ho!" ring out after so many days of nothing but ocean water. She finds herself increasingly uneasy cooped up in such a small area with no where to go but pace the deck. She enjoys the feel of land under her feet again and pitches in on the construction tasks with gusto, helping directly and providing music when her muscle is not needed.

She's also grateful for the challenge of exploring.

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 breaks out his parka and looks over the cliffs. "I want to see what's up there," he comments. "If only to see what else might be following us here."

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: 1 | Focus Pool: 1/1 | Spellstrike: 0 | Current Effects: Arcane Cascade

Okoteck continues his usual routine for the remainder of the voyage, though he seems more interested than before in their unique weapon. He's glad enough to reach their destination, however--indeed, he seems to have some difficulty restraining himself to help with the camp rather than immediately charging off to explore, based on how much time in the evening he spends staring towards the unknown lands ahead.

"I certainly approve of getting a birds-eye view," the tengu jokes in response to Syper's suggestion. "I even volunteer to climb first--I have less to fear from falling than the rest of you."

Female (she/her) Catfolk Rogue (Captivator) 2 | AC 19 + nimble dodge hp 24/24 XP 0 | Map | Nautical Terms

Jaym'row opens her trunk and begins selecting items for her backpack. She sets out a pup tent, a bedroll, flint and steel, a water skin, a signal whistle, a lantern and oil, matchsticks, and her elixirs of life. She tries to fit it all in and puts it on her back to see how heavy it is. She could lift it, but sadly, she couldn't bring her violin. She shrugs, thinking it's probably for the best. She wouldn't want it broken.

She puts on her winter clothing and visits the ship's crafters. "When I was getting equipment for this adventure, I wanted to get some snowshoes, but I couldn't afford them. Do you think you can make some for us when we have to tromp over snow drifts? That is, if the captain approves?"

She reports for duty.

With the climbing kit, she is 1 bulk short of the maximum encumbrance for traveling without penalties.

"I have just the thing," replies the carpenter. After a brief dive into the cargo bay, he returns with a small crate of snowshoes--enough for a party of 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: 2 | Shield HP 20/20 BT 10, Hd 5 | Deflecting Wave ⟳ Resistance 2 vs B or S dmg; 4 vs fire or acid | ◆ ◇ ↺

As she's packing the contents of her own footlocker into her backpack, Jade spies Jaym'row packing her pup tent into her pack. "Were we supposed to buy tents?" she asks, not really listening for or expecting a response, filled with excitement and dreams of mithral ingots.

She searches for Mirian to ask about procuring a tent. "I saw Jaym'row packing a tent into her bag and just realized I had thought they'd be provided by the expedition. Do you have any spares?"

The quartermaster rubs her chin for a moment. "We could use some of the canvas and spare lumber to rig up something, but since the tents hold two people each, and you've got two of them, I think you can manage with what you have, provided Kork is alright with sleeping in tight quarters."

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: 2 | Shield HP 20/20 BT 10, Hd 5 | Deflecting Wave ⟳ Resistance 2 vs B or S dmg; 4 vs fire or acid | ◆ ◇ ↺

"Come to think of it, we should probably have at least one person on watch all through the night, so we wouldn't even need to squeeze 5 people into 2 tents at once unless we're all hunkering down against a storm," Jade says, relieved. "I should probably find the others."

As soon as Jade picks up her climbing kit and snowshoes later, her back starts aching with all the gear she's carrying. She returns to her footlocker and stows her repair kit, net, and her third set of winter clothing inside. Surely she won't break her shield in the time between scouting the cliffs and returning to camp. Jade finds a piece of wood to knock on at the thought, and joins the others.

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: 1 | Focus Pool: 1/1 | Spellstrike: 0 | Current Effects: Arcane Cascade

Okoteck also has a tent, not sure if that's one of the two the quartermaster was counting.

Jade and Jaym'row find Okoteck waiting anxiously at the edge of camp after they've picked up their equipment. He seems a little odd in his heavy winter clothing, a bird buried in furs... but he's quite eager to be off. "Now, does everyone have what they need? If so, let us not delay and begin!"

Female (she/her) Catfolk Rogue (Captivator) 2 | AC 19 + nimble dodge hp 24/24 XP 0 | Map | Nautical Terms

When Jaym'row learns that two-person tents are being provided, she takes her pup tent and stows it in her chest. "More room for all the mithral ingots we'll be lugging back," she says with a wink. She still leaves her violin behind, not wanting it damaged if she takes a tumble.

Disregard the preceding post by Jaym'row; her tent is one of the two to which the quartermaster was referring.

Female (she/her) Catfolk Rogue (Captivator) 2 | AC 19 + nimble dodge hp 24/24 XP 0 | Map | Nautical Terms

Noted. After realizing the mistake, the catfolk rogue repacks her tent.

She sets her pack down and looks at the cliffs to be climbed. "When I was a kit, we used to climb what we thought were mountains. They were really just low hills with steep sides. This looks more challenging. Where do you all reckon we should start?"

The navigator eyes the sheer cliff face. "Attempting to scale the cliffs right here at the camp seems practically impossible, so you will have to go around and try to find an easier path up the back end. If I recall correctly, the slope lessens considerably about three miles southwest of the camp. That might mean there's a pass or other declivity that could offer a path upward."

The gunner's mate pipes up. "It seems you could either head inland and try to get around it to the west, or follow the coast down and try to climb it further to the southeast."

Goblin Bauble Finder Thaumaturge 2 |HP 28|AC 19|F7; R7; W5|Perc +5| Speed: 25|Thaumaturge DC 18|Conditions:|Hero Points: 1/3|◆ ◇ ↺

The goblin tosses his backpack on the floor and starts pulling out equipment. He pulls out an extra set of winter clothing, and offers it to whoever wants it.

He looks at Ferrino. "Widehat maybe want to build sentry tower on cliff? Maybe set up pulley while there? Hmm?"

Ferrino glances up at the cliffside. "Now that's a thought..." he responds positively. "We have rope to spare."

He turns to the carpenter. "Do you have any pulleys or anything of that sort?"

The carpenter nods. "We can use one of the spare pulleys from the ship until the blacksmith can set up his portable forge and fashion a proper block and tackle."

He hands Kork the fist-sized contraption. "Take care when hammering in the piton, you don't want to break it."

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: 1 | Focus Pool: 1/1 | Spellstrike: 0 | Current Effects: Arcane Cascade

"I would think it better to go inland," Okoteck opines. "Danger may well come from the sea given the trouble we had on the way here, so it would be good to have a prepared location we can retreat to should we have to abandon the beach. A rope we can pull up after us would serve us well."

Female (she/her) Catfolk Rogue (Captivator) 2 | AC 19 + nimble dodge hp 24/24 XP 0 | Map | Nautical Terms

Taking in the comments from the crew, Jaym'row opines, "What say we survey the base of the cliff in each direction and watch for the best route up. It will be good to know what's nearby the camp anyway."

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: 2 | Shield HP 20/20 BT 10, Hd 5 | Deflecting Wave ⟳ Resistance 2 vs B or S dmg; 4 vs fire or acid | ◆ ◇ ↺

Jade stretches tall and yawns dramatically. "We're burning daylight, crew. Let's head inland like Okoteck said. Then we'll have all the way to the pass to think about if we want to turn back and scout around the coast like Jaym'row suggested before heading up the cliff."

She checks the straps on her shield and her snowshoes (assuming there's snow on the ground here) to make sure they are both secure and takes a few tentative steps in that direction.

"Redhair shows wisdom. We already know what lies along the coast to the south, as we just came that way."

Goblin Bauble Finder Thaumaturge 2 |HP 28|AC 19|F7; R7; W5|Perc +5| Speed: 25|Thaumaturge DC 18|Conditions:|Hero Points: 1/3|◆ ◇ ↺

Kork nods and jauntily takes off after Jade. "Freckles has right idea."

Jaym'row, as the best survivalist, takes the lead, followed by Okoteck, Kork, Jade, and Syper.

Jaymie, Survival: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (16) + 3 = 19

The cove where the ship is anchored has a thin crust of cracked, slushy ice plates, and is fed by a frozen river thirty feet across that leads into the deep interior. The taiga blocks your view completely beyond a few dozen yards. The trees abutting the cliffside are far smaller, their growth stunted by the hard rock that thwarted their growing roots, and you begin to pick your way through them.

Nature: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (18) + 4 = 22
The cliffs appear to be the face of a small kraton, disconnected geologically from the surrounding features long ago by some unidentified process. There are likely mineralogical oddities within the kraton that could prove valuable.

Perception:
Jade: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (13) + 4 = 17
Jaym'row: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (8) + 5 = 13
Kork: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (16) + 4 = 20
Syper: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (2) + 5 = 7
Okoteck: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (2) + 3 = 5

After two hours of trekking through old growth pines, their needles dusted with twinkling frost, Kork spots a path upward. The cliffs have partially crumbled here, and most of the rockslide debris was buried under thickly-packed snow. Jaym'row detects a somewhat-faded goatish scent that tells her reasonably large animals use this path regularly.

To reach the top is about 80 feet vertically and 150 feet horizontally, for a ~28º angle; difficult and dangerous to climb without tools. It would take about 170 feet of rope to reach from the base to the top of the cliff.

Female (she/her) Catfolk Rogue (Captivator) 2 | AC 19 + nimble dodge hp 24/24 XP 0 | Map | Nautical Terms

I wrote this earlier today and then forgot to submit it.

Jaym'row is game to go with the flow. She is mostly anxious to get under way and fidgets nervously until a direction is decided and the group begins to move.

Later that same day.

Jaym'row sniffs the air and says, "I smell goat piss. That's probably a game trail. Shall we get out our climbing kits or keep going in case there is an easier way up further along?"

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: 2 | Shield HP 20/20 BT 10, Hd 5 | Deflecting Wave ⟳ Resistance 2 vs B or S dmg; 4 vs fire or acid | ◆ ◇ ↺

"These cliffs are part of a kraton--a place where basement rock has been shoved up to the surface. That's the stuff below the bedrock. We should probably let the captain know. There's probably some unique or undiscovered minerals to be found within," Jade says knowledgeably. "Maheem insisted I learn about all the elements, not just air and water."

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: 1 | Focus Pool: 1/1 | Spellstrike: 0 | Current Effects: Arcane Cascade

Okoteck looks around eagerly as the group travels into the taiga, his dark eyes darting from tree to soil to anything else that catches his interest. Several times he starts to reach for his notebook before regretfully letting his hands drop back to his sides, suspecting that the party wouldn't want to stop repeatedly just for him to sketch something.

"They were wise, then," Okoteck states in response to Jade. "And well-spotted. We may well have use for any such minerals ourselves. Now, as to our route, I would say climbing here is best. We will do better to have a good view of the area sooner rather than later, and we are equipped for a climb such as this."

Climb checks:
Okoteck: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (15) + 1 = 16
Jaym'row: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (19) + 4 = 23
Syper: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (3) + 4 = 7
Kork: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (20) + 5 = 25
Jade: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (11) + 4 = 15

Syper: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (15) + 4 = 19
Jade: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (20) + 4 = 24

Okoteck, light as a feather, climbs the height of the declivity, hammering pitons and anchor points into the rock at key junctures to affix guide ropes. To avoid disturbing the snow or stressing the ropes unduly, only one party member scales the cliff at a time.

Jade and Syper both have close calls, but with the guideropes tied to their carabiners, they manage to avoid falling and reach the summit unharmed.

Between the two-hour trek and two and a half hours scaling the cliff, it is a half-hour after noon when you all reach the summit.

What few trees grow in the rocky soil of the summit are even smaller, sparser, and more scraggly than those that abut the base of the cliff.

You estimate that the kraton is about 1200 feet wide east to west, averages from 80 to 100 feet above sea level, and runs for about another half a mile to the south and runs about three miles north before ending at the camp.

You can see over a dozen miles in each direction from atop the kraton, the better part of a day's journey. Endless snow-covered taiga stretches away from you, here and there undulating upon the backs of small hills hidden completely by the trees. Though itself unseen, the frozen river slices a path through the pines, stretching off to the northwest beyond the horizon.

As you head back toward the camp, you discover, shortly after 2pm about a quarter mile from the edge, a small cave hidden inside a hollow snow-covered hillock. Visible from outside it are several geodes of unusual coloration.

Nature: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (2) + 4 = 6
You cannot identify anything about the geology of the cave or the geodes.

Okoteck:
Nature: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (8) + 3 = 11
You cannot identify anything about the geology of the cave or the geodes.

Jaym'row:
Nature: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (6) + 3 = 9
You cannot identify anything about the geology of the cave or the geodes.

Kork:
Nature: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (16) + 2 = 18
The geodes are made of argyrite, and highly likely to contain certain metal ores, such as silver and mithril.

What do you do?

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: 1 | Focus Pool: 1/1 | Spellstrike: 0 | Current Effects: Arcane Cascade

Okoteck takes as much time as he can convince the others to give him to sketch out the view from the top of the cliff--perhaps while the others set up the pulley.

Upon finding the cave, Okoteck stares at it for a long moment. "Something interesting may well be inside... but it might also be a den of an animal or other beast."

He draws his blade. "So, we should be cautious in our exploration."

He creeps warily towards the cave, as silently as possible.

Stealth: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (20) + 7 = 27

In the future, put Stealth checks in a spoiler so you can avoid looking at them.

As you step closer, you notice two large icicles hanging from the roof of the cave entrance just behind the lip. You will take care not to step directly under them.

Getting a better look inside the cave you notice more, larger geodes, one of which in the north end of the cave is striated with metallic inclusions.

Female (she/her) Catfolk Rogue (Captivator) 2 | AC 19 + nimble dodge hp 24/24 XP 0 | Map | Nautical Terms

"I don't know what they are, but they're pretty. Let's collect a few."

Before reaching for any, however, she focuses on cautiously exploring the cave for hostile denizens or hazards. "Who takes point?"

Upon glancing inside, none of you detect any sign of habitation. Searching thoroughly, you find several geodes embedded in the walls or lying buried in the snow. After five minutes or so, Syper uncovers a mining pick, entombed in the rime for many years, the blade rusted to uselessness.

Syper:
Bardic Lore: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (4) + 5 = 9
The rust on the blade is the work of decades, not years or centuries, but you can't tell how many. As to the handle, it's sandalwood, but you can't tell what style or make.

Of the geodes, there are four that are worthy of investigation. The first three are of interest because they can be easily removed from the cave (All light bulk, total weight 1 Bulk): a reddish geode with silvery druse lying on the floor of the cavern, a dull brown geode that has cracked away from the wall under the pressure of expanding ice, now only loosely held in place by the surrounding rock and able to be yanked out without a pick, and a chalky geode with a faint yellow tinge, also recovered from the cavern floor.

But the great prize is a silvery gray geode lodged in the wall of the north end of the cave. It will take some work with the climbing pick to pry it out of the wall, and will be quite heavy, but you can see streaks of some shiny metal emerging from the crust here and there.

If removed from the wall, it would be Bulk 6.