Arendelís Serpent's Skull Journal. (Complete! 06/25/13, With Pictures!)
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  1. #1

    Arendelís Serpent's Skull Journal. (Complete! 06/25/13, With Pictures!)

    Arendelís Serpent's Skull Journal.

    No, the Heroes of the Barrow have not returnedÖ Instead we have the 5 Castaways and their adventures through the Serpentís Skull Adventure Path. This is a Pathfinder game with 5 players and 1 DM. 4 of the participants you may recognize from the original Story Hour, with 2 new players, picked up during Shackled City. One of those 2 has decided to take the reins as DM, allowing me to participate as a player.

    Though many seem to dislike the ďjournalĒ style story hour, Iím going to use this as a tool to keep track of my characters experiences through the AP and hopefully someone will enjoy reading it. This journal will of course contain spoilers for the Serpents Skull AP and will be from the (perhaps limited) perspective of my character, Arendel Whisperson. Unlike most adventurers, Arendel is not a brooding orphan. He is a happy, well adjusted son of a single mother (a powerful Eldritch Knight) on a quest to sate his desire for knowledge. He prefers diplomacy (World Traveler (Diplomacy) Trait) over fighting, but will defend himself and his friends in a pinch.

    DM Ė Soanso

    The 5 PC castaways are as follows:

    Arendel Whisperson Ė Human Fire Elemental Wizard 1 (Abciximab)
    Chumba-Wumba Ė Human Female Barbarian 1 (Gretchen)
    Max ďLittleĒ Hammer Ė Human Fighter 1 (Peteinmaine)
    Acemodius and Kay Es Ė Tiefling Summoner 1 and his Eidolon. (Mundinironhand)
    Taraz Nadar (AKA: Tíar Roddan) Ė Aasimar Oracle 1 (Adam B.)

    As this is a playerís journal, my perspective on events may be skewed. Please keep future spoilers out of the thread.
    Last edited by Abciximab; Tuesday, 25th June, 2013 at 12:01 PM.

  2. #2
    Castaways.


    I am unsure of the date, the 20th of Erastus perhaps?

    It is evening now and a lot has happened today, so I will try not to forget anything. It began with dinner aboard the Jenevire (last night I believe), the ship I had booked passage on to complete my journey to Sargava. We had been invited to participate in a special dinner to celebrate 100 days at sea and our imminent arrival in Sargava. All the passenger were there as well as Captain Kovak, his First Mate Alton Devers and two crew members who had been a loyal part of his crew for the longest period of time. My memory of what happened next is foggy at best. We started the mealÖ then awoke on a beach being attacked by sea-scorpions!

    I awoke to find the ships healer, an oracle named Tíar Roddan, fending off one of the lobster-like creatures. I called forth a jet of flame and incinerated one of the monsters. The oracle crushed a second that was before him and Chumba-Wumba got up and crushed the third.

    With the immediate threat removed we took in our surroundings. All our gear was piled on the beach in boxes and we were all fairly dry, leading me to the conclusion we had been marooned. Purposefully put off the ship onto a deserted Isle!

    Just as we started cursing the Captain and his crew, we spotted the wreck of the Jenivere being pounded against some nearby rocks by the waves. It would seem someone had, in fact, rescued us. There were signs of a long boat having pulled up onto the beach, but no sign of any of the three longboats that had been on the Jenevire remained. How we got here remains a mystery. We gathered what we could and sorted our gear. We planned to explore what was left of the ship as soon as the tide receded to a point where we could reach it.

    In addition to myself there were the following survivors. Only two of the shipís crew seems to have benefited from our mysterious saviors. One was a tall, strong and capable sailor (with almost no actual sailing skill come to find out) named Max ďLittleĒ Hammer. I got the ďHammerĒ part right away, as he wields a Meteor Hammer, two steel balls connected by a length of chain. The ďLittleĒ I didnít get at first, but he has related to me that it was a nickname given to him by his father that just happened to ďstickĒ, as it were. The other crewmember was Tíar Roddan, the ships healer. Both seemed personable as well as capable.

    Of the passengers there was Chumba-Wumba, a tall, strong, Human Barbarian Woman and a Male Tiefling named Acemodius, or ďAceĒ as he likes to be called. It would seem Ace is a Summoner and has a somewhat demonic looking creature he calls Kay Es (pronounced like ďK SĒ) that follows him about and does his bidding. Both also seemed fairly personable and capable. The other passengers, Iím not so sure about. They are quite the handful and seemed to need be convinced to stay together and work as a team. Very strange.

    A Human Male named Ishirou seems very laid back, taking things as they come. He doesnít seem particularly passionate about anything. After considerable convincing and discussion, he has offered to assist in the defense of our base camp.

    A Male Gnome named Gelik, seems flighty but friendly. After considerable convincing and discussion (you will note the theme in dealing with these troublesome individuals) he has offered to assist in keeping the camps moral up. (A responsibility he has not been very successful at thus far, as I will soon relate.)

    A human Named Jask, who was shackled in Irons initially, was a prisoner being transported aboard the Jenivire. He claims to be a cleric of Nethys and says his crimes were non-violent in nature. He seemed convincing and we planned to release him from his shackles as soon as a way to do so was found (which was not too long, it turned out). He has agreed to be the camps Healer (out of simple gratitude I suspect, as there was comparatively little convincing and discussion with him).

    The other two have proven to be difficult, nay, impossible. A Half-Elven woman named Aerys has refused all attempts to enlist her to our common cause (survival and rescue). She is apparently a raging alcoholic (having swiped some brandy from our salvaged supplies) and seems angry and bitter towards all of us.

    Sasha, a Human woman, has also proved challenging, but for other reasons. She seems very flighty, almost overly so. I suspect she may be faking it (it seems impossible anyone could be as clueless as her and be traveling alone). She is missing a pinky finger and seems to have marks on her back. I wonder if perhaps a traumatic experience has shattered her mind. She made vague references to her childhood and her mother, perhaps I should try a different tact to try and develop a rapport with her. I tried asking about her missing pinky hoping there was an interesting tale she would tell, but she was offended by my questions. Even Maxís attempts to assist me by relating an interesting tale of personal injury did not placate her. She just insulted him and continued her rant. She seems to be quite aÖ difficult individual.

  3. #3

    Salvage

    Salvage


    Using my knowledge of Geography and Aceís map (lucky break there), I determined we were somewhere in Desperation Bay, on one of the many unmarked islands.

    Our first order of business was to set up a base camp with what we had while we waited for the tide to go out so we could reach the remains of the Jenivere. I think recruiting the assistance of the other castaways was more work than setting up the actual camp was. Once our little camp was settled we set about recovering what we could from the Jenivere.

    We made our way across the slippery rocks upon which the Jenivire was wrecked and climbed inside through a hole in her hull. We found ourselves below what some called the Forecastle, though I personally believe itís the stern or ďpoopĒ-deck, where the officerís quarters were. In the First Mate's cabin (Alton Devers) we found his journal. He seemed to think the Captain's behavior had become somewhat erratic of late. In the Captain's quarters we found a locked desk, which Chumba quickly smashed open. Within we found a few baubles, some Brandy, a few useful potions and the Captainís log. We also found a ring of keys (upon which was the key to Jaskís shackles) and a map of an Island called Smugglerís Shiv.

    The log had some interesting clues as to our fate, and perhaps the fate of the Captain and one of our fellow travelers. It would seem the First Mateís concerns were quite valid. The Captain had become obsessed with a Passenger named Ieana, a woman who was rumored to be the owner of the Jenivere and perhaps the Captain's lover. His last entry was probably the most telling. It showed a strong distrust and dislike for the crew and passengers and indicated his intention to sail (with his ďBelovedĒ) to the Smugglerís Shiv, where they would begin their new lives and build their ďParadiseĒ together. It seems very likely that Smugglerís Shiv is where we have found ourselves.

    Continuing the exploration of the ship we found the supply closet. Within was another Sea Scorpion, which Chumba quickly dispatched, as well as the body of First Mate Devers. His body had rapier wounds and bites from the Sea Scorpions. Truly an unfortunate end for one who seemed to have been a good man. We also found many useful supplies.

    Our continued exploration led us to the kitchen and larder where we scavenged much food and water. We also came across the body of Ranbar, the ships (not so good) cook. It would seem he died from the bites of a snake. Many theories were bandied about, from a sorcerer with the serpent bloodline, to a hidden serpent familiar or animal companion. It seems unlikely a snake from the island came to the wreck and attacked him.

    So now we rest, preparing to explore the island to see what is offered by the jungle and what options we may find for escape.

    Gelik (he seems at least somewhat familiar with Smugglers Shiv) thinks we will find many shipwrecks around the island. In fact both Jask and Gelik have confided in me that they are hoping to find specific ships wrecked upon the shores of the Shiv. Jask seeks the Brine Demon, while Gelik seeks the Night Voice. Neither indicated why they might be searching for these vessels. Perhaps their reasons will come to light eventually.

    ----------

    Erastus the 21st.

    After our first night of sleep, many of our group reported disturbing dreams. In fact they each reported the same dream. They each described eyes staring at them from the sea. Iím not sure what to make of that. All were quite upset and required more than a little reassurance from us. By ďUsĒ I mean those of us that have quickly developed a bond and share common goals. Myself, Max, Ace, Chumba and Tíar Roddan . I have come to think of the five of us as the leaders of this band of castaways. I have come to rely on the thoughts and council of these four far more than the others. Though Gelik had assured us he would work to keep moral up, he needed as much reassurance as the others. I would like to explore this occurrence more, but fear that drawing attention to it would be detrimental.

    Today, a brief exploration of the beach a half days journey to the east did, in fact, result in the discovery of a wreck. There was no discernable name and little to be salvaged. Oddly enough, Chumba seems to have developed a rapport with Sasha, who eagerly suggested we go find shipwrecks. I wonder if she is seeking a specific wreck as wellÖ

    Max also explored the beach a short distance to the west, with little to report. We shall rest again tonight and try to relocate our base camp closer to a source of fresh water.
    Last edited by Abciximab; Thursday, 3rd February, 2011 at 03:20 PM.

  4. #4
    End of Session 1.

    A great start to what I hope (and expect) will be an interesting and exciting campaign. Not too much combat (and all combat was very short 1-2 rounds at most) and a whole lot of diplomacy.

    If any of you read my Barrow SH you may remember we are not diplomacy heavy normally. In this group we have 3 characters that excel at diplomacy (Oracle, Summoner and Wizard) and two that excel at failed diplomacy (Fighter, Barbarian).

    Diplomacy and Knowledge Checks were the majority of rolls that night and we did well on most. There were a couple poor rolls on Diplomacy and one really bad Knowledge Check for information on the Smugglerís Shiv (A whopping 9, uhg).

    Currently we play every two weeks on Monday. Updates will (hopefully) be up by the Friday following game day.

    As our next scheduled game was the 14th (Valentineís Day) and we all have significant others (and hope to keep it that way) we have moved up our next game to next Monday, February 7th, so hopefully I'll have another update next week.

  5. #5
    Session 2

    Erastus the 22nd.

    We are working on moving our base camp inland and closer to fresh water. We had a brief run in with more sea-scorpions last night, but they were of little trouble. Chumba and Max have proven to be quite effective fighters. I cannot wait for the day when my magic might rival the damage they mete out with hammer and chain.

    We traveled along the eastern shore of the island as best we could, but the rocky coastline made it difficult and we had to travel through the jungle in some parts. We encountered some of the local fauna. Thankfully, they were not too much trouble either. Angry goats of some type, this island is proving to be quite unusual.

    ----------

    Erastus the 23rd.

    First, I must mention that last night was a night of strange dreams all around. Though some reported different dreams, there was a definite trend and many similarities. Some dreamt of an undead First Mate Devers rowing us to shore, others of the last meal aboard the Jenivere and serpents in their mouths. Mine, I shall record as best I can recall.

    I was back aboard the Jenivere, bent over the railing, seasick. As I look back amidships I see that all the passenger and crew are sick as well, save the Captain and Ieana. She whispers to him and then kisses him on the cheek. At that point the Captain holds up a wooden spoon and I see that we all have spoons. I then realize that the ship is sinking and I must start bailing the ship with the spoon. I work feverishly, but the waters keep rushing in. Then I see the monstrous sea-scorpions clawing their way onto the ship… and then I awoke.

    A number of venomous snakes slithered into camp last night as well. One managed to latch onto me and left me feeling a sense of malaise that still has not passed. Cursed poison.

    On a better note, we have finally found an adequate campsite, halfway up a ridge near a freshwater stream. On the way, we found a couple of interesting things.

    First an old wreck infested with zombies. We managed to clear them out and found a little gold and more importantly (to me anyway), an arcane scroll that will allow me to comprehend languages that are unknown to me. I shall scribe it into my spellbook at the first opportunity.

    Further along, we also found what we believe to be the point where Captain Kovak and Ieana came ashore. There was no sign of their longboat other than the marks in the sand where it was beached, but we did find the remains of an old campsite and a few scarves reminiscent of the ones Ieana is so fond of. There were tracks leading inland as well. Now that we are set up in our new camp we plan to see where the tracks lead in the morning.

    ----------

    Erastus the 24th.

    The effects of the poison still linger, though I am feeling somewhat better.

    Leaving the others at the new camp, Max, Chumba, Ace, T’ar and I have gone to see where the Captain and his new “First Mate” might have gone. The tracks approached the western shore of the island where we found the remains of an old shanty style camp made from rotting driftwood along the bay. Besides the three rotten shacks, which contained little of value, there was an odd zombie. I was able to identify it as a Yellow Musk Zombie, the progeny of a Yellow Musk Creeper, a plant whose spores appropriate the bodies of living creatures, infest them with growths that kill them and then re-animates them as disgusting zombies. Chumba killed it quickly and there was only the one, thankfully. We are taking a short rest and should continue our exploration soon. We must keep our eyes peeled for this monstrous plant and its malefic pollen. I feel we should burn the remains of the zombie before we leave to ensure no trace of the spores remains. We wouldn’t want to have to pass through later to find a Yellow Musk Creeper growing in its place.
    Last edited by Abciximab; Tuesday, 21st June, 2011 at 03:18 PM.

  6. #6
    End of Session 2.

    In 30 years of playing D&D (now Pathfinder), Iíve never played a Wizard. Iíve discovered 1st level is painful. I never thought Iíd live to see the day when I would fear a DC13 Fort Save. Poison, ouch. I only lost 3 Con, but after 1 day of rest Iím still down 1 HP (out of 7).

    The best part of being a 1st level Wizard is hitting a creature with a spell for 6 hp of damage or less, only to have a fighter or a barbarian kill the creature by hitting for 18 hp, which is more than the creature started with. Maybe I should just work on buffingÖ actually I started to type that ďtongue in cheekĒ, but now that I think about it, thatís probably a good idea. (No, I will not buff the Eidolon.)

    It was a fun game, though my head wasnít in it. My daughter was off getting an x-ray on her elbow and I couldnít find my notes from last session so I wasnít exactly at my peak. Regardless, the session went well and now we have a goal! (In addition to getting rescued.) Find the Captain and his girl and thank them for this lovely side trip.

    The 2 fighter types had a lot of crits (I think 5 confirmed crits between the 2 of them?), very lucky with the dice that night. Max is using a Ball and Chain combo that offers reach and a threat range of 19-20 (Meteor Hammer) and Chumba-Wumba uses some type of hammer that does 2d6 dmg and has a x3 multiplier (Both are from The Adventurerís Armory I believe).

    Iím beginning to get the impression all the NPCís on the island with us have a mission that needs to be accomplished (Like the Side Quests from Kingmaker). It would seem Sasha wants a pet Dinosaur? Weíll see how that goes. I think we only need to figure out Ishirouís QuestÖ

  7. #7

    Aaaand, Weíre Back!

    I have fallen a bit behind, but should be good to go to wrap up this SH.

    Weíve had quite a few sessions since my last update so Iíll be blending them together into a few updates over the next few weeks.

    How many? Iím not sure, but Iíd like to catch up to where we are so that, in about two weeks, Iíll be able to post the most recent session which will be Session 55. Weíre very close to the end!

  8. #8
    Great to see you back (albeit not yet on track as it seems )!

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Azkorra View Post
    Great to see you back (albeit not yet on track as it seems )!
    Thanks for the "Welcome Back", I should have two more updates early next week. That will put us up to date.

  10. #10
    Kuthona the 1st.

    We returned to the southern Morlock tribe to meet with Udara. She told us the general location of the Hunters Maze, though the region is greatly feared by her people so they would not be providing a guide. She gave us directions and we set off.

    On our way, we stopped off to see the Urdefhan Izon to let him know his renegade General had been dealt with. He was pleased and told us we would be able to move freely through his territory. When we told him of the coming resurgence of the Serpent-Folk he seemed rather apathetic, though he said our allies would be given free reign through his territory as well. While continuing our journey north, we discussed adopting an ďif youíre not with us youíre against usĒ attitude in the coming conflict.

    Upon reaching the region of the maze, we noticed many small structures made of stone slabs. While surveying the ruined huts, we noted a number of Urdefhan hiding among them. Recalling that Izon had mentioned that a portion of his army had been cut off in the northern region of Ilmurea we attempted to parlay, mentioning that we were ďalliesĒ of Izon. They answered with arrows, crying out that their allegiance now belonged to another and would not be returning to Izonís service.

    As we spread out to confront them, another, even greater threat emerged. Out of a slime filled aqueduct rose a Shoggoth. We focused our attention on the great, slimy beast until it was defeated, then returned our attention to the last few Urdefhan.

    We noted a fortress upon a high bluff. There were gravel ramps leading up to the northern and southern entrances. We chose to Dimension Door to just outside the northern entrance. There we found a number of Urdefhan and a large pen filled with Morlocks. Once the Urdefhan were dealt with we attempted to free the Morlocks, but once again they rebuffed our attempts to free them. They continued to sit there, even as we walked away leaving the gate wide open.

    Entering the fortress we encountered a few traps in the long entrance hall, pits and a Symbol of Fear. Once we made it past them we found ourselves in a room with a gold tiled circle in the center and three other exits. The area was defended by a number of Urdefhan and a Meladaemon. The Daemon gave us a little trouble with its spells, including a Horrid Wilting that affected every one of us, but they were all finally defeated.

    We determined the circle was magical, though we could not figure out exactly what it did. We decided to avoid it and adopted Tarazís plan of ďalways go leftĒ to explore the maze. Many of the halls were roughly circular in shape, cut through the natural stone as if by a worm. We noted the walls were etched with runes and mocking words and phrases written in Aklo.

    As we made our way through, an Urdefhan archer pestered us a bit. Sniping at us from the dark and then running off. We chose not to pursue in case he was trying to lead us into an ambush. Sure enough we came across a small stone room with what appeared to be Serpent-Folk standing at parade rest upon stone altars. It turns out they were illusions and, contained within each was an Urdefhan soldier.

    Our next encounter was with a group of Urdefhan guarding a glowing magical Gate. Aiding them in their defense was another Meladaemon. Once they were defeated, we turned our attention to the Gate. We quickly determined it was linked to Abaddon, the bleak plane where Daemons reside. We figured that must be where the Urdefhan are getting their Daemon defenders and set upon determining a way to close, or at least disable the Gate.

    We discovered that once a creature was summoned through the Gate, it would shut down for some time until some dark right was performed to reactivate it. We decided it was the best option and Ace (Our Summoner after all) pulled through a number of Piscodaemons. The Gate closed as they stepped through to our plane and once they were dealt with, we moved on.

    We soon came across another room that contained a number of small non-magical artifacts and weapons, all obviously quite ancient. They were held in a large display case protected by a Forcecage. As it is not unheard of for even mundane objects to become powerful under the right circumstances, I Disintegrated the Forcecage and we gathered the items.

    In the next room we found ourselves confronted by the new Urdefhan leader and the rest of his forces. To our dismay, they had an Astrodaemon as an ally. As Max rushed in to deal with the Urdefhan the Astrodaemon ran up to me and grabbed me within its powerful jaws. I was able to escape the creatureís jaws with magic, but even turning Invisible did not turn its attention from me and he soon grabbed me again. I escaped once more with my last Dimension Door only to see it then grab Taraz who was unable to escape it jaws.

    We all watched in horror as the creature drew out and then consumed Tarazís soul. With a flourish, the creature threw Tarazís dead body to the floor. Finding a sense of determination in our anger we brought all our resources toward the defeat of this creature. Gravely wounded by our assault, it soon fled, Teleporting off somewhere safe from our ire.

    Luckily we still had a scroll of Raise Dead we had found long ago back on the Shiv. Ace was able to use it to return Taraz to life. Thankfully the creature did not consume his soul completely. He was drained from the experience, but his restorative prayers soon had him back to his old self once again. Our resources spent, we returned to the Pathfinder Camp to rest and reequip.

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