Gamislore: Here it comes again




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  1. #1
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    Gamislore: Here it comes again

    Hullo. This'll be the first campaign I'm in to reach Story Hour, but hopefully not the last. At any rate, I hope you enjoy the upcoming adventures as my fellow players and I experience them. Because we're certainly having fun.

    A note before I begin; this campaign is set in a homebrewed setting of mine called Gamislore. I won't go into all the details of Gamislore in this post; instead I'll just give the ones important to the first episode of this campaign (i.e. our first session).

    First and foremost, Gamislore is an aquatic world. The majority of its races live within their own vaguely-defined and sometimes-overlapping territories on an ocean dotted with islands of varying size. Some races are more friendly to others than other races, and each race has 5 representative gods (some races share their pantheons with other races).

    Second, Gamislore has two completely homebrewed races. The important one to know for this session is the automatons, as one of the party is playing one. Automatons are living suits of empty armour. They have quite a few racial traits related to water, such as sinking to the bottom (so no swimming) and not needing to breathe beneath or above it. Other racial traits of the automatons exist and will get explained as they come up in this Story Hour topic. They receive Str +2, Int +2, and Dex -2 at character creation.

    Third, we've done some mild conversions on the 3.5e catfolk and brought them over as a playable race. One of the party is using one. The only major changes we added were a drop to Wis in their initial ability scores, thus giving them Dex +4, Cha +2, and Wis -2, and an addition of a pounce ability, allowing the use of Acrobatics to move in straight lines over occupied and difficult terrain without penalties or provoking AoO (pounce will be explained more when it comes up).

    Fourth, in addition to the two players already mentioned, the other half of our party are using a Gillman and a Lizardfolk. We kept these races unchanged from how we found them on the SRD. No houserules in effect on these two.
    Gillman: Gillman - Pathfinder_OGC
    Lizardfolk: Lizardfolk - Pathfinder_OGC

    And finally, Gamislore has its own calendar with 100-day years, holidays, four months named after the four seasons, and 25 four-day weeks. This is mostly background fluff, and while you may notice that this campaign begins in winter and that weeks follow a cycle of earthday, fireday, airday, and waterday, it has had no bearing on the story as of the time of this post.

    Among our players, I'm the only one at EN World. Our GM is here too though, having apparently been convinced to join by me. Maybe I'll try to get the other three to join too...

    Sizemet Tardaker (Gillman Fighter) - SnowleopardVK (me )
    Slaal Vitos (Lizardfolk Wizard-Abjurer)
    Yaros (Automaton Rogue)
    Maka (Catfolk Cleric of Sekmet)
    GM - Electric

    Thanks for bearing with me. The story starts in the next post.
    Last edited by SnowleopardVK; Tuesday, 19th July, 2011 at 10:11 PM.

 

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    This post seems to have doubled by mistake. Ignore it please ^_^
    Last edited by SnowleopardVK; Tuesday, 12th July, 2011 at 08:22 AM.

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    Here it comes again

    Episode 1: Now it starts again

    ***

    The 4th of winter, Airday, Year 712

    The Isle of Tadesche; situated where gillman and lizardfolk territory overlaps. The city of Tadesche; an underwater city built beneath the waves against the side of a cliff. Tadesche has four large surface towers each with thriving surface communities built upon them. Not all is well in Tadesche however, as the city frequently finds itself under attack. Sahuagin raiders from their fortress on the neighbouring island, Chikauna are a constant threat to both the surface and undersea communities of Tadesche.

    They all met in a tavern. In a surface-community of the gillman city of Tadesche, the Black Lobster tavern was decently crowded with patrons. Among them was Sizemet Tardaker, who sat in the central flooded area of the room. As a gillman he found it more comfortable, and he could feel at home socializing with the pleasant locals this way. The lizardman Slaal Vitos on the other hand sat against the far wall at a dry table; a large book occupied much of the center of the table leaving just enough room for his drink on one side of it and his toad on the other side. Additionally a living suit of armour, an automaton named Yaros lurked at a corner table and tried to not attract too much attention as he drank. Finally, a young catfolk girl named Maka gulped down milk at the bar, enjoying the effects of a formula that she’d paid a local alchemist to brew up to temporarily combat her lactose intolerance.

    As the night went on, each found themselves approached at one point by a hooded old elf. “Evening” he said curtly to each of them. “I’ve been seeking to hire adventurous-types for a small job, and you look like you might be suited for the task.” Sizemet was the first that the old man had approached and he looked up at him quizzically. “What do you hope that I do for you then sir?” he asked.

    “It’s a simple thing really” the old elf told him. “Everyone knows of the Sahuagin fortress on the coast of our neighbouring island, and the threat they represent. Recently however, one of the blasted creatures has supposedly left their ranks. There’s a tempting bounty on the heads of Sahuagins in this area and as it happens I spotted the outcast fleeing back to its lair. I’m too old though and not built for fighting, so I thought I should hire a few younger warriors to do this task for me. I can provide the beast’s location and then you would go fight it see? Even only one fifth of the reward is still worth my time.

    “Very well sir I’ll help” Sizemet said, “Although if I may I’d like to ask your name?”

    “It’s Glarius” the elf responded. “Now if you don’t mind, wait here, I have to hire a few others for this task.”

    After Glarius had explained the same situation to Slaal, the lizardfolk nodded. “Very well” he said, “You wish to hire me for my power over the arcane arts. I accept.”

    “Hmm” Yaros muttered when he was asked, “How much is this reward that’s being offered?”

    “The reward is seven-hundred fifty gold pieces if you can kill it and prove you did so” Glarius said. “I’ll be hiring four people for this job, so among each of you and myself that’s one-hundred fifty each. You adventurers could also divide anything of worth that might be inside the beast’s lair for yourself if you wish. I’m not greedy; a share of the reward is enough for me.”

    “That sounds worthwhile” Yaros said with a nod. “You have my sword then.”

    Maka was the last to be approached, and the quickest to accept. “Deal” she exclaimed, finishing her drink and slamming the mug back down on its coaster. “Consider the lady of slaughter, my goddess Sekmet to be on your side now mister.”

    It was late when Glarius had finally gathered the four together. “Thank you all for agreeing to help an old man” the elf said, “Now, it will take a couple hours to get to the next island so there’s no point in leaving now. I’ll pay for three rooms at this inn tonight, and we will set out tomorrow just after dawn.

    “Three men and me?” Maka asked in surprise “Well I can’t share a room if there’s no other girls in the group.”

    “Technically I am not a man” Yaros pointed out to her, “People of my race have no gender, neither male nor female.”

    “You’re still really big and sound very masculine” Maka pointed out. “We’re not sharing a room.”

    “Very well” Yaros said, “My people also do not need sleep, save for those who practice magical arts. If the tavern master allows it I will simply remain idle out here for the night.”

    “Then I suppose you can take the first room” Sizemet told Maka, “The two of us will share the second room” he added to Slaal, “And sir Glarius, as he is the one playing these expenses, can have the third.”

    The group agreed and was about to head off to sleep when Glarius spoke one last time. “Once again, I’d like to thank you” he said, “Sizemet Tardaker, gillman fighter. Slaal Vitos, lizardfolk abjurer. Yaros, automaton rogue. Maka, catfolk cleric of Sekmet. I appreciate you all taking on this quest.”

    “Now get some rest. I trust in your abilities to survive, but tomorrow there will be danger nonetheless.”

    ***

    The 5th of winter, Waterday, Year 712

    The group set out while it was still dark to the edge of the surface tower where a small boat awaited them. It looked as though it would be dark all day, as grey clouds sprawled across the sky and light rain drizzled down upon them. As the party loaded their gear onto the boat however, Glarius approached them looking troubled.

    “I’ve been speaking to the captain” he explained, “He’s refusing to take his ship out in even light rain.”

    “What?” Sizemet asked in surprise, “But this is barely a drizzle!”

    “Unfortunately it’s his ship and his decision” Glarius sighed, “We may have to wait another day, but I fear another group may snatch up our mark at any moment if we delay.”

    “Hey let me try talking to the captain” Maka suggested, “I’m pretty good at convincing people about stuff. Maybe I can get him to change his mind.”

    “Well…” Glarius said uncertainly.

    “She does have a certain charm to her personality” Sizemet pointed out, “It’s worth a shot.”

    Glarius nodded and led Maka back towards the dock where the captain was waiting. “So what’s the captain’s name?” Maka asked on the way.

    “His name is Jack” Glarius told her, “He’s a friendly-enough man normally, I think we were just unfortunate to have this weather.”

    They reached the back of the dock a few moments later and Maka spotted what must be Jack, a human man with short black hair and dark skin wearing a red porkpie hat and brown coat. “Um, excuse me sir?” she called to him, “Are you Captain Jack?”

    The man turned, and upon seeing her approached. “I am indeed Jack young lady” he said, “I’d like to apologize for not being able to take the ship out in this weather. It’s too dangerous unfortunately, I mostly only go out when the weather’s clear.

    “Well you see” Maka told him, “This trip out is actually pretty important to us, and we were really hoping you would be willing to take the ship out today. Please?”

    Jack sighed. “If it’s so important I suppose I can make an exception” he said, turning to Glarius, “But if anything happens to this ship, the Dawn Dragon, whether it’s the weather or damage from monsters or raiders that came out during the rain…

    “I understand” Glarius said, “I will pay the cost of any damages you incur, although I hope that there turns out to be no need for such an agreement.”

    “Agreed” Jack said with a nod. “Well then, you’ve convinced me and it looks as though your friends have finished loading their belongings. We should cast off.”

    And so the party, along with Glarius and Captain Jack set off towards the neighbouring island Chikauna.

    “The main fortress of the enemy Sahuagin that have been attacking Tadesche is here” Glarius told the group, but we won’t be sailing anywhere near it. Instead we’ll be circling around to the south side of the island where your target has made his lair in a small cave accessible only by sea. We will be waiting for you outside, but we’ll have to stay back once we drop you off. Remember, if you encounter danger the ship won’t be right outside the cave to whisk you to safety.

    Yaros drew his sword halfway from its sheath, examining its blade before sliding it back in. “We’ll be fine” he assured the elf.

    “Indeed” Slaal agreed, loading a bolt into his crossbow as they sailed further around the island.

    “We’re here” Jack grunted solemnly, interrupting their conversation. “See there, the opening? I’ll have the ship alongside that in a minute or two, so prepare to get off.”

    The others studied the cliff wall of the island’s coast intently until they each spotted the small hole that Jack was sailing towards. It was almost at sea level, and water sloshed in and out with every wave that hit the rocky walls.

    “Our rogue Sahuagin’s likely inside right now” Glarius said in a whisper as the others climbed off the ship and into the narrow tunnel. “Good luck.”

    “I’ll go in first” Sizemet told the others, “Slaal, you follow me to provide support.”

    The others nodded.

    “And I’ll bring up the rear” Yaros assured them. “Maka, you follow Slaal.”

    The group proceeded down the narrow tunnel, water reaching up to their knees, nearly up to Maka’s neck. Not far in from where they entered, the tunnel widened. Sizemet was the first to step in to this larger area, and he spotted their quarry ahead of him. The Sahuagin spotted him as well and sank to a crouch, scrambling for a moment as if to find something in the water at its feet. It then seemed to find a grip on what it was looking for, and the creature lifted a dangerous looking trident fro m the shallow water.

    Sizemet dashed towards the creature, but stopped before he got too close. There was a point where the cave narrowed again, it was perhaps ten feet across at the most, and he knew that if he and any other one of his teammates could guard that gap, the creature they faced might be at a disadvantage. Sizemet braced himself for attack in the first half of the opening.

    Slaal moved forwards into the larger area next, and he took aim at the creature. He had a clear shot, and a bolt already loaded in his crossbow, there would be no better opportunity than this. He fired. His crossbow’s bolt flew true and slammed directly into the Sahuagin!

    Maka sprinted after the others into the cavern, and seeing what Sizemet was doing, specifically where he had chosen to take a defensive stance, she understood. Maka rushed to his side and braced herself for the worst.

    The Sahuagin broke into a furious rage and lunged at the party. The one that had hit it, the lizard, was not within reach. The aquatic one and the cat were however, and so the Sahuagin chose to attack the one that looked like a weaker target first, the little cat girl. It swung its trident and gnashed its teeth, but found every attack to be sidestepped, or his weapon would just barely ricochet off one of the metal studs in the cat’s leather armour.

    Yaros entered the wider cavern last. His allies were already blocking off the narrow part of the tunnel by the time he reached it, so he moved just far enough to put another layer of bodies between the enemy and their frail wizard Slaal.

    Sizemet swung his greatsword down hard, driving it through the Sahuagin’s frills and deep into its body through the shoulder. The creature sputtered for a moment and gasped once before collapsing into the shallow water at their feet.

    Slaal sighed and returned his crossbow to its place at his hip, Maka likewise relaxed. “We were only sent here to kill this one right?” she asked.

    “Indeed” Slaal agreed, “But geographically we do not seem to be at the far end of this cavern. There appears to be a door there, on the right.”

    The others turned to look, and there did indeed seem to be a small door, low to the ground at the black of the cavern on the right. They approached it cautiously and Yaros slowly pulled the door open. They were met with a dark tunnel that slowly descended, going completely black and underwater just a few feet in.

    “Hrm…” Slaal muttered, “There may be benefits for us if we go deeper, but I doubt any among us can see down there in the darkness.”

    “I can cast a light spell” Maka commented, “But unlike the rest of you I can’t breathe water, or not breathe, or hold my breath for a really long time. Unless we actually know what’s down there I’m not going to risk trying to go down myself.”

    “Then how about two of us go” Yaros suggested, “And Maka and one other can stay here, both to contact Jack and Glarius, and to await the resurfacing of the other two?

    “It’s not a bad plan” Sizemet agreed. “How about you and Yaros go deeper in then Slaal? I’d be more effective protecting our healer than you would.”

    The others all nodded and the group was in agreement. Maka cast her spell of light on Yaros’ sword, causing the blade to shine in defiance of the blackness of the flooded tunnel. “It only lasts for ten minutes” Maka warned him.

    With that the other two went deeper and both Sizemet and Maka got down to work. They finished off the unconscious and dying Sahuagin and Sizemet dragged its body back to the entrance to signal and call back Jack and Glarius. What he saw when he reached the entrance shocked him…

    Maka waited in the now-empty, but still half-flooded room, when suddenly something caught her attention. It was Sizemet running back inside from the entrance!

    “They’re gone” he panted.

    ***

    Yaros walked deeper into the water, he was heavy due to being an automaton, and didn’t swim. He didn’t breathe either, so being down here felt almost no different than being on land. Behind him Slaal took a deep breath of air before following him into the water.

    They followed the flooded tunnel deeper, Yaros’ sword shining in front of them, until they reached a cavern slightly smaller than the one they’d come down from. In this room were various containers; boxes, barrels, chests. All of them were scabbed with huge clusters of barnacles however and when Yaros tried to pry one chest open he found that the little encrusters had left the box sealed tightly shut!

    There was a tap on Yaros’ shoulder. “What is it?” he asked. No response. Then another tap.

    Yaros turned and saw that Slaal was pointing. He realized that the lizardfolk likely couldn’t talk underwater as his own people could. Yaros held his sword forwards and saw that to the right from where they’d come out of the tunnel was an ornate archway of gray stone in the wall. It looked as though the Sahuagin who lived here cleaned this particular arch regularly, as it was completely free of barnacles unlike the rest of the room. As Yaros moved his glowing sword closer they both saw that there was writing etched into the stone.

    It was Draconic Slaal realized immediately, recognizing the language. He glanced at Yaros, wondering if the automaton could also tell. No, he realized, without exception automatons never knew languages other than Common. Slaal turned back to the arch and read.

    Most of the words written upon the stone were mere decorations; religious quotes from among various tribes mostly. There was one message clearly separated from the rest however, and it was written right above the arch on the highest point of the stone. “Through here lies the Black Dragon. Turn back or die.”

    ***

    “What do you mean gone?” Maka demanded.

    “I don’t know for sure” Sizemet answered, “But I saw no sign of the ship. We haven’t been in here long enough for it to sail completely out of sight though, and I did see the dorsal fins of at least half a dozen sharks out in the sea.”

    “Sharks?!” Maka gasped.

    “Indeed” Sizemet sighed, “We came here to kill a rogue Sahuagin, but I think our benefactors may have just had a run-in with troops from the fortress.”

    He shook his head in frustration “This whole cavern is partly flooded and we spilled blood in here. With sharks on their side we’re likely to have more Sahuagin coming this way in a minute or two. We won’t survive here.”

    “If sharks are coming then we have to get to drier ground” Maka mused.

    “Agreed” Sizemet said, “But there is no dry land here.” He turned towards the flooded tunnel that their allies had gone through earlier. “Our best hope is that this underwater section of the cave may come out somewhere safer. Even if it doesn’t, we need to rejoin the others. Four of us have a better fighting-chance than two of us.”

    “Even if this passage comes up, I’m not sure I could make it to the other end” Maka said worriedly, “I’m not a very good swimmer.”

    Sizemet sheathed his sword and wrapped an arm around Maka, lifing the small catfolk girl and holding her with one arm at his side. “I am a good swimmer” he assured her. “Try to hold your breath. We’re going under.”

    Sizemet dove into the deeper waters of the tunnel, closing the small door behind him. Ahead he could see light. Yaros and Slaal hadn’t gone too far yet.

    ***

    Yaros moved closer to the arch when Slaal swam in front of him and shook his head. He tapped the writing, hoping that Yaros would realize that Slaal could read it and that they shouldn’t proceed.

    “Hmm” Yaros thought aloud, “If you think we should not go that way perhaps it would be best to turn back then.”

    He and Slaal began to move back towards the tunnel when Sizemet came swimming down it with Maka in tow! “This cave isn’t safe” Sizemet explained hastily, “Glarius and Jack are likely dead and we believe there may be multiple Sahuagin and sharks coming. We have to find another way out, no time for discussion.”

    Yaros glanced back at the archway. “There may be a way through there” he said, “I don’t know. Slaal seems to know something but cannot talk underwater. I get the impression that he strongly suggests we do not go that way however.”

    “Slaal” Sizemet said bluntly, “There are at least half a dozen Sahuagin-allied sharks behind us, maybe more. There are also almost certainly many Sahuagin with them, five to ten for every shark I would guess. If we go back the way we came, they will kill us.”

    “Additionally” he said, “If we simply wait here both you and Maka will die from lack of air sooner or later, and I will die from lack of food. Yaros may survive longer, but he’ll be alone and heavily outnumbered.”

    “So answer me yes or no. Will whatever is ahead kill us instantly like angry sharks and Sahuagin would? Is there any possible way to go through that arch and avoid, defeat, or talk-down whatever danger might lie ahead that way? Because there’s no other direction for us to go.”

    Slaal gritted his teeth and nodded. He turned towards the gate and began swimming forward. The others followed him through.

    To be continued…
    Last edited by SnowleopardVK; Sunday, 17th July, 2011 at 03:06 PM.

  • #4
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    Episode 2: Away we go again

    ***

    “Through here lies the Black Dragon.”

    Only Slaal knew that those words had been written on the archway they’d gone through. He’d been unable to tell the others. The group moved on as quickly as they could, hoping to find air soon, as Maka wouldn’t be able to hold her breath much longer. The tunnel twisted to the left, and then back to the right as they went along, and it soon arrived at a ladder.

    Slaal glanced back momentarily before beginning to climb it, the others followed him up. After several dozen feet of ascending they broke through to the surface!

    “Phew” Maka gasped, “It’s good to breathe again.”

    “Shh!” Slaal hissed, “The words on the archways said that there’s a black dragon in here.”

    The others immediately fell silent and glanced around the cave. It was a small room they were in, and dark too. If it weren’t for Yaros’ sword still glowing the cave would be pitch black. There was no dragon though, only the water they’d surfaced from, a section of land which they’d climbed onto, and two passages, each leading out of the small cavern in different directions.

    “We should go as soon as possible” Yaros muttered.

    “Indeed” Slaal whispered, “Which direction should we choose?”

    “I would go with that tunnel” Maka said, indicating the one on the right, “The other one turns right off the bat. I’d prefer to be able to see what’s coming.”

    “I agree” Sizemet said, “Any objections?”

    No objections were raised, so the group set off to the right tunnel. The moment Yaros took a single step into the tunnel however, the air around them boomed with a terrible dragon roar!

    The four shrunk back, retreating into the room they’d started from. “I think it may be safer to go the other way” Sizemet whispered.

    “Yeah the other way works fine” Maka agreed, nodding vigorously.

    The group rearranged themselves so as to travel down the opposite passage instead, but in the same order. Yaros led the way with his glowing sword, followed by Slaal and Maka, and then Sizemet at the rear.

    The tunnel twisted left immediately and then sharply to the right only a few feet later, turning almost back on itself. It then quickly began to widen and the group knew they were in a larger cavern, as the light from Yaros’ sword didn’t reach a far wall. It did reach something else however. Something big.

    “What is that?” Slaal whispered, squinting in the darkness.

    “A ship” Maka gasped, her bright green feline eyes seeing what was in front of them better than the others in group. “A huge ship!”

    As if in response, a flicker of pale blue light appeared above the ship, then another, and another until the ship was outlined by a pale blue glow, and tiny balls of blue fire danced in the air around its tattered black sails.

    “It’s a pirate ship” Maka gasped.

    “A ruined one” Slaal muttered, noting that the ship, now fully illuminated by the eerie light was torn in two down the middle. Its front, which was closer to them drifted silently in what appeared to be a great subterranean bay, while its back lay without its sails against the far wall.

    “Look there” Sizement exclaimed suddenly. The others followed his gaze back to the ship’s railing that faced them and saw what appeared to be the skeleton of a lizardfolk riding a wolf made of rolling black smoke. Both of the creepy creatures stared down silently at the group, as if waiting for them to make a move.

    Maka stepped back slightly, edging behind the large automaton Yaros when another roar echoed through the cave, this one much louder. Then, crawling from the murky water behind the ship came a massive black dragon. It loomed over both the ship and the skeleton and its mount, and it snarled down at the four adventurers who were tiny in comparison, acid dripping from its jaws.

    As if to indicate the severity of the situation, the cool blue of the glowing lights around the ship began to blaze bright orange until the ship seemed to be on fire. No… It was on fire! Everything was! Panicked, the four adventurers realized that much of the cave, the walls, the floor, even the ship had somehow caught fire, and the flames were quickly spreading to close the exit behind them!

    That was certainly enough indication of what to do. “Run!” Sizemet hollered, whirling back towards the tunnel behind them. He knew they likely wouldn’t stand a chance fighting against the sahuagins and sharks that were behind them, but somehow they’d found a situation where they stood even less of a chance right here.

    Sizemet bolted down the tunnel, knowing the group had turned to follow him. There was a flash of light behind him as he rounded the corner back into the cavern they’d surfaced in. Then everything went black, and silent.

    Sizemet froze. He was still conscious, but the light was gone. Where had it gone to? After nearly a minute of waiting, unable to see a thing in the pitch black cave, the same ghostly blue lights that had earlier surrounded the ship flickered into existence in this room, and a glow outlined Sizemet himself, illuminating the area around him so that he could see.

    He was alone. The others, it seemed, had not been able to follow him out of the larger cave.

    “Oh no…” Sizemet muttered.

    To be continued...

    ***

    And... The party splits. Apparently I can manage to make a will save that a 1st level fighter shouldn't possibly have succeeded at, but I can't manage to notice that the rest of my party failed it. Ah well, they're the bigger group so the next section of adventure goes to them, and then I get a bit of solo adventuring time. I really hope we survive this (I was honestly not expecting the warning about a black dragon to be real), and I'm wondering if we've wandered into a dungeon that we weren't intended to go into this early. Maybe we should've stayed to fight the sahuagins earlier... Yeesh, I feel like we're gonna end up with a very fast TPK at this rate.
    Last edited by SnowleopardVK; Saturday, 23rd July, 2011 at 10:57 PM.

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    Episode 3: Breaking apart again

    ***

    Slaal, Yaros, and Maka awoke in a cramped room, or what would be a cramped room at any rate if it had not been missing one of its walls.

    “We’re inside the ship” Maka gasped, seeing the torn back half of the vessel through the opening in the wall.

    “Shh” Slaal whispered, “We have company.”

    The other two could see the bars on the door, but they were not sitting at an angle to see what was on the other side. The skeleton of a lizardfolk, armed with a spear stood in the hall for a moment, looking through the bars before it turned and stalked off out of sight, patrolling.

    “It’s gone” Slaal sighed. “The skeleton again. How did we end up here?”

    “I think we’ve been captured” Maka said, “This must be some kind of holding room on the ship. Not the best one though considering we could just jump out through the open wall.”

    “I’d rather not leap into that water without knowing what’s in there” Yaros muttered, “Especially not without our full group.”

    “Sizemet is missing” Slaal agreed, “Hopefully he has avoided capture and is doing better than the rest of us.”

    “We’ll have to trust that he’ll be fine on his own” Maka said, “Our first priority is getting out of here.” She got to her feet and quickly examined her body, there were no injuries, and she still had her weapons and armour. The others appeared to be in the same condition.

    “If going into the water isn’t an option, then how about breaking down the door?” Maka asked.

    Yaros moved to the bars and tugged one, testing it. “I don’t think the bars themselves will break easily” he commented, “But the wood they’re anchored in might give way. It looks as though it’s been here for quite a while and may have rotted a bit.”

    Maka stepped up to the door beside him. “Alright, we’ll try that” she agreed. “If the bars break there’s going to be fighting, probably right away, so I’ll go in first.”

    “You?” Slaal asked “You intend to go in first?”

    “Trust me” Maka said, “Without Sizemet around I’m the best choice for the front lines. Yaros, you follow me in and Slaal you bring up the rear.

    Yaros pulled hard on the iron bars of their cell, the wood they were mounted in creaked but they did not give way. Not one to be dissuaded he tried again, still with no success.

    “Perhaps we should use a different tactic” Slaal muttered.

    “I’m going to give it one more shot” Yaros grunted, grasping the bars and pulling with all his might. His effort was met with a resounding crack as the doorframe gave way and the bars were torn completely from the rotting wood around them!

    “Great” Maka whispered, quickly stepping through the now-open door and peering down the hallway. The hall was empty though, dimly lit by covered lamps of pale blue fire mounted on the right wall. “No skeleton” she muttered, “I’m going to take a look ahead. Don’t fall too far behind me.” With that she quickly crept down the dim hall, a few feet past a single closed door on her right and to the far end, peering around a corner to see that the hall itself ended from there, but that a ladder ascended to an upper level.

    Yaros and Slaal followed, although not as quickly, and Maka glanced back at them. “It goes up from here” she informed the two, “I think we should check the other room first though.”

    The other two nodded and approached the other door as Maka hurried back to join them. They opened to door and stepped inside to find that the room was dark, only receiving a very small amount of light from the hallway behind them.

    “Yaros, your sword” Slaal commented.

    “Right” Yaros said with a nod, holding the glowing blade up to illuminate the room. It was dank and mostly bare, with a few long-ruined hammocks strewn about the floor or still hanging above on frayed ropes, rocking back and forth gently in time with the ship.

    Suddenly a new source of light began to enter the room as several glowing orbs of white light began to fade into existence, hanging in the air in front of them. The adventurers only had time to note that there were around twenty of these orbs, and that they varied in size from being as small as a tooth to as large as a head. After they had all appeared the orbs immediately began to whirl slowly around the room, picking up speed quickly until they were whizzing past dangerously close to the adventurers’ heads. As the orbs picked up speed, the door they had entered through slammed shut!

    Maka and Yaros immediately ducked to try and avoid the whirling orbs. “We have to get out of here” Maka shouted.

    Yaros nodded and attempted to push the closed door open with his shoulder, but failed. Maka attempted to push it as well, but also had no success.

    “There is no danger” Slaal growled. In an attempt to prove his point he held up a claw, allowing one of the orbs to pass through it with no effect. The others didn’t seem to notice however, and were still doing their best to escape the room in a panic.

    Slaal sighed and turned to survey the room once more. There was another door at the left that was slightly ajar, and Slaal could see that it only led to what appeared to be a storage closet. Seeing no way of dealing with the panic-inducing lights or his teammates, his moved towards the closet. Inside were mostly old and broken things, torn mould-covered blankets, and an awful smell. Slaal was now certain that this room had once been the sleeping-quarters of this ship’s old crew. He also noticed a small bronze key that glinted faintly in the light of the whizzing orbs. He reached for the key and touched it tentatively to see if it would provoke any reaction from the orbs. It did not, so Slaal picked it up and tucked it into his robes.

    Yaros and Maka continued throwing their weight against the door in hopes of forcing it open, and this time were met with more success. Whatever malevolent effect had slammed it could not resist Yaros’ strength, and gave way. The automaton stumbled into the hall as the door suddenly swung open, and Maka quickly darted out after him. In the hallway they were met once again with the lizardfolk skeleton, which had apparently returned from its patrol of the upper levels.

    Slaal turned as he heard the other door crash open, just in time to see Yaros and Maka stumble through it and the door slam shut again. The orbs of light froze at that moment and then, as if realizing they would now do more harm by retreating, flickered out of sight. Without Yaros’ sword or the orbs to provide light, the room descended into pitch-black darkness.

    Slaal cursed under his breath.

    ***

    The skeleton stepped forwards, giving no sound or facial expression of hostility but indicating it well enough by ramming its spear straight into Yaros! The automaton grunted in pain and clutched at its stomach-area as the weapon pierced into his internal frame.

    “Heads up” Maka called, quickly stepping behind Yaros and falling to a crouch. “Hope this works” she muttered, realizing she had never really bothered to practice any acrobatic skills. Still, what she was about to attempt was something rather common among her race, so she hoped she could manage to pull it off. With that last hopeful thought in mind, Maka sprang. She leapt over Yaros’s head, and the skeleton’s too and landed on the other side of her enemy! “That oughta make things a little easier” Maka said with a grin, rising from her landing and turning to face the skeleton. Now she and Yaros were on opposite sides of the monster.

    “He’s all yours” Maka grinned.

    Yaros straightened once again to his full height, sword impressively glowing in his hand. “I appreciate the help” he said before thrusting it into the undead enemy. The sword’s point shattered the creature’s ribcage and pierced into its spine, tearing it in two!

    ***

    Meanwhile on the other side of the door Slaal was moving in the now-dark room. He placed his claw on the wall and began feeling his way slowly along until he came to the door Maka and Yaros had exited through. Slaal then made sure he was directly in front of the door before taking a single step back and rushing it with his shoulder. He smashed through with the charge, but didn’t come out in the hallway as he’d expected.

    To be continued...

    ***

    Aw man, that was mean Electric. I'm beginning to think you're splitting the party deliberately (Also, I wasn't even in this one. *sadface*). Great moves from Maka this time though, and an amazing hit from Yaros. Sneak Attack is awesome.

    So Maka has at last used the homebrew catfolk pounce ability we made. Well I'm not going to bore you with all the really specific details of the pounce rules here, but essentially it allows a catfolk to make an acrobatics check to jump in a straight line. A successful pounce passes over difficult terrain, enemies, and allies as if the catfolk was going through empty space, and the maneuver causes her to avoid AoO during the move, unless it fails, in which case she doesn't move at all and provokes AoO.
    Last edited by SnowleopardVK; Tuesday, 19th July, 2011 at 10:08 PM.

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    Episode 4: Over the edge again

    ***

    Sizemet crept slowly back through the tunnel towards the ship and peered around the corner. With a blue glow still surrounding him he knew he would probably have no success being stealthy, but it was still worth a shot.

    The fire in the large cavern had returned to the form of floating blue flames around the ship, and oddly enough nothing seemed to be burned. The dragon, the skeleton, and the ghostly wolf steed had all disappeared from the deck of the ship, so Sizemet drew his sword and inched further into the cavern.

    As soon as he’d gone more than a few feet out of the tunnel an arrow thudded into the ground at Sizemet’s feet. He turned in surprise just in time to see another one flying at him! The second arrow buried itself into Sizemet’s shoulder and he winced, but he could see the attacker. A lizardfolk skeleton with a bow was to his left, backing away along the ledge now that it had fired its shots. When the skeleton had reached the end of the ledge it did something unexpected; it stepped back onto the flat, wide bowsprit of the ship which extended over the ledge and it continued to retreat!

    Sword already out, Sizement chased after the undead creature, moving quickly along the edge and catching up to the creature just as it stepped off the bowsprit and onto the deck of the ship. Sizemet grimaced as he saw a second lizardfolk skeleton, one wielding a sword, advancing towards him from further along the deck. It must’ve been behind the mast when he had first looked into the cavern.

    The first skeleton, the one with the bow, took a single step back and fired another shot at Sizemet, but fortunately it wasn’t powerful enough to pierce the gillman’s armour. At the same time the second skeleton advanced to a position beside its teammate, sword at the ready.

    Sizemet stepped forwards to strike and was met with a slash from the second skeleton that deflected off his armour. He then swung his sword at the one with the bow but missed.

    The first skeleton stepped even further away and loosed another arrow at Sizemet as the second swung its sword. Both arrow and blade struck the fighter’s armour uselessly however, and Sizemet smirked.

    He swung his sword confidently at the undead, but unfortunately failed to hit once again.

    The first skeleton fired another arrow, and this time it hit hard. The shot slammed painfully into Sizemet’s abdominal area and the gillman staggered back in pain, fortunately avoiding a sword-swing from the other skeleton as a result.

    Sizemet shakily swung his sword, but it was a wide miss. He winced again at the pain from the two shots he’d taken, especially the second, and knew that at this rate another good shot might bring him down whereas he still had two enemies that he'd not even begun to hit yet. He realized that retreating back along the ledge where the skeleton with the bow could rain arrows on him was not the best idea. It would probably get three or four shots before he made it to the tunnel, not to mention the second skeleton would likely be following him all the way. He knew the other option that had just come to mind was also not the best idea, but decided that if it might save him it was worth a shot.

    Sizemet dove backwards off the bow of the ship, the skeleton above slashing and missing as he went, and he plunged into the black water below.

    To be continued...

    ***

    Argh, that was awful. I finally get the spotlight and the dice hate me. Not one good roll (seriously, the best I got was a 6 and that was for the initiative). Ah well, such is the life of a PC. We rerolled initiative since it's a new session, and the numbers mostly reversed. I went from second highest in the initiative count to (as far as I can tell) the lowest with an initiative of 8. My teammates on the other hand did great, Yaros has 22 Initiative, Maka has 21, and Slaal got 20. And yet according to Electric the skeletons have apparently beat all three of them! (darn improved initiative...)

    My choice at the end of this session was pretty bad, but I honestly think I would have faced PC death if I'd stayed to keep fighting. Perhaps I should've run the moment I realized there were two skeletons. Ah well, hopefully there's nothing waiting in the water when the spotlight comes back to me.

    Also, this topic has over 100 views now! I know a lot of them are just me constantly fixing all my typos when I spot them, but I'm still thrilled. Thanks for reading everybody, and I hope you're enjoying our adventures.
    Last edited by SnowleopardVK; Saturday, 23rd July, 2011 at 11:00 PM.

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    Episode 5: Into the dark again

    ***

    Slaal stumbled through the door not into the hallway where Yaros and Maka were as he’d expected, but onto the deck of the ship. The wrong deck. He realized quickly that he’d somehow been brought to the other side of the main cavern, and was on the back half of the ship, which was stuck among the rocks on the far wall, across the water from the tunnel where they’d entered the cavern the first time. There was a tunnel on his right that led into the cave, it looked as though the ship had been jammed against the wall at the perfect height to enter it easily. There were also stairs leading down from the poop deck where Slaal stood to the deck itself, although the ship was torn in half just five or ten feet beyond the bottom of those stairs.

    Slaal stepped forwards and then turned to look behind him. It seemed he had come through some sort of magic portal in the rock, although now it had the look of glass, and it didn’t seem as though he could go back through it to where he came. He moved further forwards to the rail of the poop deck and looked down below. There seemed to be a door that led into the cabin and below decks, but Slaal was more concerned about the skeleton.

    An undead lizardfolk with a dagger in each bony hand stood in front of the door below him, although it hadn’t noticed Slaal yet. As silently as he could, the wizard made the necessary hand signs to unleash a spell, and then whispered “Acid Splash” before quickly ducking, trying to get out of sight as his acidic missile fell towards the undead below.

    There it was coming up the stairs to see what had dropped acid from it above. The skeleton was silent, showing no pain, but Slaal could now see that his attack had been successful. Unfortunately the skeleton could now see him too, but hiding had given Slaal an extra few seconds to prepare his next move.

    “Acid Splash” he exclaimed, flinging his claw in the monster’s direction and unleashing another blast of acidic goop. The skeleton was coated and began breaking apart at the joints before Slaal’s very eyes! Within moments it was a smoking pile of bones at the top of the stairs.

    Slaal sighed with relief and glanced back towards the tunnel behind him. It was too dark in there, he wouldn’t be able to see. Turning back towards the rest of the cavern Slaal noticed two other skeletons, barely visible at the bow on the ship’s front half, which floated out of reach across the water. He knew they were much too far for him to aim a magical attack at though.

    “Let’s see what’s below deck then” he muttered, descending the stairs and casting a spell of Mage Armor on himself as he went. Slaal reached the door to the cabin and pulled at the handle, but found it wouldn’t budge.

    He paused for a moment before remembering the key he’d found on the other half of the ship. Slaal retrieved it from his robes and tried it on the door. There was a click as the door unlocked and swung outwards, but Slaal was surprised to find his way blocked by another door. There seemed to be a wooden plaque mounted on this one with writing carved into it.

    Shipwrecked we are, once a proud crew,
    Evening finds us, stranded and few;
    Victory was ours, but now has its cost,
    Even so, we must count the lost.
    Now we see, only several have survived,
    To think our crew, at thirty arrived,
    Everyone at rest, we must ask you,
    Engage in the counting, how many are the few?
    Now I have given the clue, it's all up to you.


    The strange rhyming passage itself was in Common, but below that was a small bit of Draconic text; it almost looked like a signature, but Slaal saw no name. It simply said “Captain of the Black Fury”.

    Slaal paused to consider the text for a moment before trying the door. It refused to budge. “Is that how it’s going to be?” he muttered. “All right then…” He spent several minutes staring at the writing, rereading it for hints at the riddle, and muttering to himself. He was in the middle of grumbling that all he could tell was that the number was less than thirty for the fourth time when he stopped mid-sentence and his eyes widened.

    “Oh I see” Slaal said with a smirk. “Not bad.” He traced a claw along the first letter of each line of the riddle, spelling out the hidden answer as he did. “It’s seventeen” he said aloud, sure of himself.

    He was rewarded with a small click, and the door swung gently open. Slaal stepped slowly into the cabin, dimly lit by covered lamps of pale blue fire.

    “Hello.”

    To be continued...

    ***

    Just to avoid confusion, it wasn't Slaal who said hello at the end. It was someone inside the cabin. Darn cliffhangers, but this isn't just a convenient spot I chose to end the episode, it's actually where Electric chose to move the spotlight over to Yaros and Maka. Also, unlike me, Slaal was awesome. Touch attacks that ignore damage reduction on flat-footed enemies are pure gold. Plus he solved a riddle. Go Slaal go!
    Last edited by SnowleopardVK; Sunday, 24th July, 2011 at 08:19 PM.

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    Episode 6: To fall away again

    ***

    “Slaal?” Their fight with the skeletal guard finished, Maka pulled the door to the crew quarters back open. She and Yaros were surprised to find it empty though. “Slaal quit kidding around” Maka called into the room, “We’re heading up the ladder now”. She was met with no response however.

    “I don’t think he’s in there” Yaros said somberly. “Something is strange about this place. We should continue onwards.”

    Maka glanced back into the dark room one last time before sighing and nodding. She closed the door and the two continued down the hall, rounding the corner to the ladder the led out of the depths of the ship. Yaros went first and Maka followed him up.

    The room they had climbed into was dark, although Yaros’ sword was lighting it well enough to see. Boxes, barrels, an old damaged boat, and a table littered with maps, mugs, books, and various knickknacks. There was also junk, cloth, and bits of old rope strewn across the floor. There was a door in the far corner and it looked as though what they’d climbed through was once a trapdoor that was now lacking a cover.

    As they moved forwards into the room, the stool at the far end of the table, as well as a plate and a book from the tabletop lifted into the air and flung towards the two! Maka ducked as the book flung past her head, and Yaros reacted quickly, catching the stool in midair with a swing of his sword as it flew towards him. The plate shattered against the side of his head as he was knocking the stool away however, and Yaros grunted in annoyance at the pain.

    “It’s some sort of ghost” Maka exclaimed, realizing that there were no creatures physically in the room. “Should we run?”

    “Try using your healing energy” Yaros suggested as he crouched to a low, defensive position.

    “Right” Maka agreed, building up her aura of positive energy and releasing it into the air around them. She had already been unhurt, so she didn’t feel the difference, but she heard Yaros sigh in relief and saw the objects floating around the room shudder, several of them dropping out of the air.

    Her tactic of choice however prompted the unseen ghost to fling two more stools and a large barrel in their direction with a high degree of speed and accuracy. Both adventurers were met with stools to the face, and Maka just barely managed to duck beneath the flying barrel.

    “Ugh” Yaros grunted, “We need cover.” Grabbing the table beside them with a hand on each edge, he flipped it on its side so that the two could duck behind it.

    Maka forced more energy into the room, erasing the pain that the stool hitting her in the face had caused, and she heard more noises of shattering as the ghost dropped even more of its floating items.

    A mug whizzed past the table as the two adventurers ducked behind it, and they heard the sound of a blade bury itself in the wood on the other side. A barrel also smashed against Yaros’ shoulder, which was partially exposed.

    “Give it one more go” Yaros urged, “It’s got to be working by now.”

    “I think so too” Maka said with a nod, but if this doesn’t finish it I think we should run. I can’t keep these up all day.” With that she unleashed one final surge of energy. There was a crash in response as all the floating objects in the room dropped to the floor suddenly, the force holding them gone.

    “Ah, never mind then” she said with a sigh of relief, “I think that’s done.”

    The room was now a mess, and littered with broken junk. Both Yaros and Maka noticed that there were a few objects that looked as though they might be of some use; the dagger that had embedded itself in the side of a the table they’d used as cover was one, and a tiny silver ring laying on the floor also looked as though it could be important. The maps were old and torn, but they might be able to get some use out of those as well.

    “I think we were fighting some sort of ghost” Maka said, “But I’m going to take a look with a detect magic spell just in case.” She cast her spell and immediately felt a faint presence of magic. “Hold on” she told Yaros, trying for several seconds to narrow in on it before realizing that it was emanating faintly from the ring.

    “The ring is magic” Maka exclaimed, “Although just barely, and I can’t tell what it does.” The two examined it closely and noticed fish-like designs across its surface.

    “I bet Slaal knows how to tell what stuff like this is” Maka commented, “We should just hang onto it for now and try to meet back up with him as soon as possible. Sizemet too.”

    She pocketed the ring, Yaros took the dagger and rolled up the maps, and the two proceeded to move towards the door. The next room was like the cell and hallway on the lower level; open to the cave outside through a missing wall. It didn’t seem to have any other doors either.

    “This room’s about as big as the cell was” Yaros commented. “If that’s the case there should be a hallway to our right.” He proceeded to the opening in the far wall and leaned forwards to look around the wall on the right. Sure enough there was a hall to the right of them that also opened up at its end into the cave.

    “There’s a hallway” he told Maka, “If we climb around the end of this wall over the broken ledge we may be able to access it and move further. Maka nodded in agreement and Yaros gripped the wall, stretching his left leg around it and touching solid ground on the other side, then swinging his right leg around to the hall side as well. “Alright now you” he began to say, before noticing the skeletal lizardfolk advancing towards him down the hallway. “Shoot. There’s another undead.”

    “I’ll try to get over there as quick as possible Maka assured him, try to hold it off for now.” She began to repeat his tactic of stepping with one leg around the wall first, but when Maka moved to swing her right leg across she slipped and fell backwards, crying out in surprise.

    “Maka!” Yaros shouted in alarm when he glanced back and saw her fall. “Argh!” He spun back to face the skeleton, hoping that she would be alright. He cringed as he heard the splash of her hitting the water below behind him.

    To be continued...

    ***

    Yes. The last two to stick together finally got separated.

    Electric claims he didn't do this one on purpose. He said "It's not my fault Maka got a natural 1 on an easy acrobatics check."

    Well at least this time the separation didn't involve a magic portal, or the cave plunging into darkness. Hopefully once Yaros deals with the skeletons they can reunite without much trouble.

    We actually made a ton of progress though. I've got about 3 episodes nearly ready to post up (just have to clean them up so they look nice), so I may do a double-update tomorrow morning.
    Last edited by SnowleopardVK; Tuesday, 26th July, 2011 at 02:39 AM.

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    Episode 7: Meeting up again

    ***

    Sizemet was sinking. His armour was too heavy. He could breathe underwater, but it was weighing him down. He tried desperately to pull it off as he sank further into the depths of the black water.

    He was sinking too fast. He hadn’t gotten it more than half off when he saw the dragon. It was right under him at the bottom, and it didn’t seem to see him, he couldn’t see its eyes from the way it was curled up though; maybe it was asleep. But that wouldn’t matter because he was sinking right towards it! Sizemet continued to pull desperately at his armour as the dragon grew clearer and clearer in the light from the glow that surrounded Sizemet. With one last-ditch effort he tried to pull his legs away, so as not to bump into the monster. He failed.

    Sizemet sank straight through the dragon and felt his feet touch bottom! It’s not real? As the thought crossed his mind the dragon faded away around him and Sizemet found himself alone in the darkness at the bottom of the water. “Why fake a dragon?” he wondered aloud.

    The waters around him remained silent.

    “I’d better find the others” Sizemet decided. Knowing that the ledge that the bowsprit hung over was on his left, and that there was no way for him to get up there and enemies waiting anyways, Sizemet set off in the other direction. He travelled along the bottom for a bit to avoid potential arrow fire from above before eventually reaching what he assumed must be the hull of the other half of the ship. He decided now was as good a time as any to surface, and so began swimming up.

    The moment he reached the surface he heard a worried shout. “Maka!” It was Yaros he realized in surprise.

    He turned in the direction of the shout just in time to see a large splash as something hit the water twenty or thirty feet away from him.

    ***

    “Fish designs” Maka realised as the black water surrounded her. She felt through her pockets and quickly found the mystery ring. “Please be something helpful” she pleaded silently as she slipped the ring on her finger.

    Maka felt a sudden ease in the water when the ring went on her finger. The panic subsiding, she swam back to the surface easily.

    ***

    The skeleton lunged at Yaros, and with no weapons in its hands it attempted to tear at him with it claws! He felt a pain as it ripped part of his frame out of shape through a gap in his armour.

    Yaros gripped his sword and swung back at the attacking undead. “One moment Maka” he thought to himself. “I just have to deal with this thing first.”

    ***

    “Maka?!” Sizemet exclaimed as the cat girl broke through to the surface just a few feet from him. He had been swimming over to investigate what had fallen into the water, but had never imagined it would be one of his fellow adventurers.

    “Sizemet!” Maka gasped joyfully, “It’s good to see you’re alright. I was worried when we woke up and you weren’t with the rest of us.”

    “I was too” Sizemet said. “I heard Yaros a moment ago. Are he and Slaal still on the ship? And for that matter how did you end up down here in the water?”

    Maka glanced away at the question “Yaros is” she said, “But Slaal… Well, we don’t know. He disappeared.”

    “Oh... Well, three of us is still better than nothing” Sizemet reassured her. “We should meet up with Yaros first, and then we can all focus on finding Slaal.” He glanced to his left; there was a slope leading out of the water and up to a ledge in that direction.

    ***

    Back inside the ship, the skeleton continued to attempt to tear at Yaros. “Off with you” the automaton grunted, shoving the bony reptile off. “And enough of this.”

    He swung his sword only for it to rebound off the monster’s tough bones, not appearing to do a thing.

    Yaros cursed as the creature methodically clawed at him again, but he pushed it away without suffering any major damage.

    “Cursed undead” the automaton growled, throwing his sword to the ground and grabbing the creature. The skeleton smacked at him as he grabbed it, but Yaros’ armour protected him. With a firm grip on his enemy, the automaton turned and threw the skeleton through the open wall of the ship and out into open air!

    “Maka! Yaros shouted, “It’s coming down!” The skeleton splashed into the black water beside Maka and Sizemet, and the two grabbed their weapons.

    Maka swung her mace just as the skeleton hit the water, and she smashed through its ribcage. The skeleton broke apart with the hit, leaving individual bones floating around them.

    “Yaros” Maka called up to the ship, “I found Sizemet!”

    Yaros looked down through the open wall and saw the two adventurers in the water.

    “We’re heading for land in that direction” Sizemet called up to the automaton. “Can you meet us over there?”

    Yaros glanced behind him; there seemed to be some sort of open hatch in the side of the ship that it looked as though he might be able to climb out of. He turned back toward his teammates and shouted down “Not a problem.”

    To be continued...

    ***

    Yay! After getting split up into four separate individuals we managed to meet up. Me and Maka are together again, which is great because I need a cleric, and Yaros is on his way.

    Now we just need to find Slaal... Well, he gets the next update anyways. Let's see who he's just run into shall we?
    Last edited by SnowleopardVK; Tuesday, 26th July, 2011 at 12:26 PM.

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    Episode 8: A history lesson again

    ***

    An incorporeal lizardfolk eyed Slaal from across the cabin. “Nobody living has come in here since my death” it muttered to itself in draconic. It then stood to its full height, floating a few inches off the ground and addressed the wizard directly.

    “Normally you’d be killed for what you’ve just done, an outsider boarding the ship without permission and entering the captain’s cabin.”

    Slaal took a step back defensively.

    “The rules change when you’re dead with a mutinous crew though” the ghost chuckled. “So let’s not be hostile for now. I am Captain Cortez and this once-great pirate ship is known as the Black Fury.” He peered at Slaal. “So just who are you?”

    “Hold on” Slaal said, stopping the ghost with a wave of his hand. “I know my history well enough. There’s a hole in your story.”

    “Is there now amigo?” Cortez said, eyes narrowing, “Do tell.”

    “The Black Fury was captained by the pirate Mirandel” Slaal said, “Not Cortez.”

    “The captain died” Cortez snapped, “Died before the rest of us I mean. When she did, I took command. I was captain only for a few hours before I too met my end, but I was captain nonetheless. Now you still haven’t answered me. Who are you?”

    “Slaal” Slaal told him. “I’m a wizard.”

    “And what are you doing here?” Cortez asked.

    “I was hired to kill a monster” Slaal said simply.

    Cortez chuckled. “And that’s led you here?” he asked. “I wasn’t even aware anyone knew I was in here. Do they consider me a monster already?”

    “Not you” Slaal corrected him, “One of the Sahuagins native to this island. I killed it close to the entrance to this cave, but more were coming and I was forced to flee through an underwater tunnel further into the cave. To here.”

    “Ah” Cortez said, nodding, “I should have assumed you came through that tunnel; it’s the only way in after all.”

    “The only way?...” Slaal gasped, “Oh no.”

    “What?” Cortez laughed, “Need another way out? Then I may have an offer for you.”

    “Yes?” Slaal asked, his attention caught by the potential of another exit.”

    “How do you think the ship got in here?” Cortez asked. “We didn’t build it in a cave with no exit; that would be foolish. There was once an opening in the northwest wall of the large cavern just wide enough for the Fury to fit through. We would sail her into the bay outside it, then drag her in here with ropes where she would be hidden. This grotto was our retreat.”

    “There is no ship-sized hole in the large cavern’s wall” Slaal interjected bluntly.

    “Of course there isn’t any more” Cortez snapped. “The Sahuagins followed us secretly and waited until we were pulling her into the grotto. They collapsed the entrance; the falling rocks tore the fury in two. With the last of her strength captain Mirandel pushed both halves of the ship the rest of the way in to save those still on board. She was killed after that, either by falling rocks or by the more powerful Sahuagins and their sharks. Although I’ll bet they had a hard time bringing her down. She was strong, even for a dragon.”

    The words took a moment to sink in. When Slaal realized what had been said he was shocked. “Captain Mirandel was a DRAGON?!”

    To be continued...

    ***

    A black dragon I wonder? Hm, well that's interesting to know, but I sure hope Cortez was being honest about helping us get out. And why bring up the hole in the wall if it's closed now? Hmm, I wonder...

    On an unrelated note; I don't think Slaal has failed a roll yet. Granted he hasn't made too many, but his crossbow shot against the Sahuagin, his attempt to break down the door, his Acid Spash spells, and now a Knowledge: History check. The lizardy man is doing well.
    Last edited by SnowleopardVK; Tuesday, 26th July, 2011 at 12:37 PM.

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