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From the pages of the personal journal of Victor Von Vargas…

S. Baldrick

From the pages of the personal journal of Victor Von Vargas…

For the second time, I am running the Freeport Trilogy from Green Ronin.
This is an account of the campaign as seen through the witting of Victor Von Vargas, a bard that is obsessed with death.

Here is the cast of characters:

Victor Von Vargas: Human Bard (Played by Chris)
Kerishen Tormalyne: Human Swashbuckler (Played by Amy)
Frek: Hellborn Cleric (Played by Mark)
Verwyn Synt: Elven Wizard (Played by Robin)

From the pages of the personal journal of Victor Von Vargas…

I being a healer with a small amount of bard training, begin this journey with the intent to travel to Freeport to aid with the pains and suffering that must be being accumulating amongst the workers attempting to construct the massive Lighthouse of Drac, a.k.a. “Milton’s Folly”. I hear they are working night and day to complete the project and there are surly no small amount of injuries, petty or otherwise, that shall need tending to. I will be able to live quite comfortably after words, and continue my research on the great mystery of Death.

Day 1: Afternoon –
Arrive in Freeport, leave docks, and fight off press gang. I go down fighting.
The sinister looking Frek, a cleric of some sort, seems to have saved me.
Kerishen, a human woman of some nobility with a quick eye and hand for danger, was nearby during our attempted abduction. A female elven wizard called Verwyn allied herself with us a well. We fought our way free of the thugs. Verwyn lost a dagger to the back of one of the thugs. We received healing, and a job from a cleric named Brother Egil. He needed us to help him find one of his fellow librarians named Lucius.
Lucius left the employ of the Temple of Knowledge for reasons unknown and returned about 10 months ago. He seemed to have changed, but could not remember his travels. Lucius recently tried to retrace his steps and has disappeared. Brother Egil has provided a key to Lucius’s home and some payment, so we agree to investigate.
There are so many notes, papers and books, and so little time. One note points us to a Captain Scarbelly, the very definition of local thug. An Orc captain, with a Orc crew on board a ship called Bloody Vengeance. We took our rest at a fine local inn The Scholar's Quill as I contemplate my own mortality before a fitful sleep takes me.

Day 2: Morning –
We meet at the Temple of Knowledge and are introduced to Milos, a smarmy, arrogant bastard, of a priest. We found out little and he brushed us away and said he would make arrangements for us to see the high priest in two days time.
Back to the docks. Carashin speaks orcish and she takes Frek along for company, as they parley with Scarily. They are safer as I fear another attempt from a press gang. We learn that Lucius traveled with Scarbelly and spoke to him 1 week ago about his forgotten past. The year old dock records are also of little help.
Night –
We are ambushed by a group of Yellow Shield mercenaries. We prevail.
Rittoro, a Yellow Shield, is carrying Lucius’s dagger. He directs us to a man named Enzo.
Enzo relates that a cult known as “The Brotherhood” of which he is a new member, paid to have us removed.
He also tells where to find the cult’s hole in the ground.

Day 3: Morning –
We send for Brother Egil, who provides some healing. We inform him of the developments, and he joins us as backup as we go to the abandoned stone building housing the cult.
We buy some weapons. Kerishen generously throws money at everything. I knew she was some form of nobility, but what noble allows their daughter to learn to fight with such a crude weapon as a chain? I will look into her past later.
After entering the basement, we find that the Priest Frek, has the ability to disintegrate multiple foes with a mere word, at least undead foes.
We also encounter Serpent Folk, a race of snake people thought long lost to history. They are guarding the Brotherhood’s temple. An interesting development that needs proper research, perhaps they found a way to cheat death?
We enter the brotherhood’s yellow temple and find Milos presiding over an obviously evil alter. After we kill him and his giggling minions, Milos reverts to his true serpent form, leaving us to wonder how many and who of Freeport’s people are actually serpents in disguise. Lucius is also found as is a letter conveying that N’Tal is coming to Freeport and to make sure all is ready, signed “The Brotherhood.”
We Take our finding to the high priest of knowledge and retire. I should speak with Frek about his abilities and views on Death.

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S. Baldrick

Where'd you get such a wierd name? ;)

Before I found out about a movie titled Raising Victor Vargas about five minutes ago from an Internet search, I thought the player was going for the "Van Helsing" vibe given the miniature that he used for the character. The miniature looked a lot like the Van Helsing character from the movie. Now that I know about the Victor Vargas movie, I'm not sure where it came from....
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Yeah, I wasn't serious. 'Vargas' is actually dirt-common - it's like Smith or Nguyen. Though 'von Vargas' is an odd juxtaposition of the Germanic and Iberian.

S. Baldrick

I spent the last two weeks, studying and plying my trade as healer to those in need. Not all could afford a professional’s services so I took payment only where I could.
Day 18: Morning –
Swag Fest begins today. I meet with my companions to join in the drunken fray. We learn that Capt. Lydon wants a seat on the ruling Council, and so has sponsored much of this year’s festivities. During the commencement speech, a cloaked woman attacked the good Captain. We shout a warning and stopped her, then relieved her of a few items of interest. The festivities continue.
Frek participates in “Jack’s Last Stand” one person/Frek vs. 12 pirates for the prize money. Frek gave a Valiant effort against overwhelming odds but did not succeed in reenacting the legendary battle. He only pummeled one opponent down before being felled, no prize for that.
We healed him and move on to the “Catch the Fat Rat” contest. A Dire rat is greased and turned loose into the city. The reward is higher upon its live return. We manage to follow it to an abandon house where we follow only to find six bodies cocooned in webbing and do battle with a speaking, spell casting arachnid. We defeated the areana, gain some useful items, and free a woman named Faun from death’s slow grip. She works at the “Serenity House” and as a reward for our services rendered; her employer has offered us each a pass for an evening of services rendered by her skilled employees.
We capture the rat and return it for the reward of 75 gold... (in exotic spices) not overly useful.
We enjoy the two days of merriment and a day of recovery. I test various remedies for hangovers but I fear that I require more training in alchemy.
As a group we journey out to the lighthouse but see very little of interest. Two more weeks pass uneventfully as I ply my skills, rendering aid to those in need.
Day 32: Afternoon –
We meet with Brother Egil for lunch at the Quill. He is greatly disturbed, and paranoid. He claims to have seen a intruder that smelled like a serpent enter Lucius’ room (while Egil was working and feigning asleep) and steal some parchment scrolls. Egil also does not believe that the guard is actually doing anything about “cleaning out” the serpent’s nest we found.
We track Milo’s movements and learn he had an alias of Delvin a merchant, staying at the Marquis Moon. We get into his room and search, finding notes about Verlaine (who owns all of the masonry shops in town.) and a sketch page in the back of a book, with many unknown magical symbols that pertain to the construction of the lighthouse.
Upon leaving, a young man cries out for help. He is “seemingly” accosted by two orcs. It is a diversion so he can try to steal the book we recovered. The boy escapes and flees towards the East Gate, back towards the Serpent’s nest.
We take secure the valuable book we found, then follow the thief, and re-enter the snake den. Someone has thoroughly cleaned out the serpent’s temple. We defeat four more snake men, a priest, and the young thief. We search more thoroughly; they are still trying to recover the inlayed metal from the temple. I can only assume the snakes were commanded to “Leave No Trace!” Some crates were found, full of bricks with “the yellow sign” carved into them. We assume for use in the lighthouse, so we dumped them out in the bay. A note tells of transit from Bierce Vintners to 100 Wave Ave. We will rest and go to visit Verlaine’s home at 100 Wave Ave., tomorrow.
Upon arriving home, I’m certain that each of us found our quarters ransacked. But the book is safe.

S. Baldrick

Day 33: Morning –
We visit Bryce Vinter’s but spot nothing out of the ordinary. Next Reed at the public records tells us that Verlaine’s men want maps of the sewers connecting the Eastern District, Scurvy Town, and the Merchant’s Quarter. We copy the map, find their route, and made a rubbing of the indentation of their map tracing thru the sewers.
Capt. Reikert and ten-armed guard escort us from the public records to the Hall of Justice. We miss lunch and dinner before Verlaine comes for a visit with us. He tells us we are leaving town now! We expect an escort to a ship bound for the main land in the morning.
Day 34: Morning –
Brother Egil comes to free us with a writ of protection from the temple of knowledge. Membership has its privileges. Lady Elsie Grossette helped to finance our release. Egil also tells of Lucius’s kidnapping by the Snakes. We immediately travel to the Eastern District, enter the vile sewer filth, and follow the map to a dead-end and find a secret door.
Brother Egil tries to push us into a trapped room/meat grinder. Frek splits the false Egil’s skull and we find magical pigments a ring and a map on the body. The map leads us to another secret door. That takes us down a sloping tube into a storage area, then to a library full of Serpent script books. Only one book is in common “The True and Secret History of the Brotherhood of Freeport” It also contains maps of the ancient continent of Valossa. Snakes are running the Temple of Knowledge.
Afternoon –
We find the new Yellow Temple and kill many snakes. The real Egil is being held on the alter ready to be branded with the yellow sign. A parchment in serpent script says something indecipherable, but also bears all of our names. Egil says, that the snakes said, “After tonight your kind will no longer be a problem.” It is here and now that we devise the “anti-snake code”.
Down the hall is a rather nice wine cellar. The stairs lead into Verlaine’s basement. A cold untouched meal rests untouched. Nobody is home. Upstairs in the master bedroom we find Verlaine and his guards dead. I kneel to inspect the bodies, and hear the twang of a cross-bow, and the all-powerful Black embraces me...

Day 36: Morning –
I awake to find myself in the care of the Temple of the Sea God, and learn that Lady Elsie Grossette paid for the magic to wrest my soul back from Deaths embrace. I must learn why she wishes to aid us so.
Afternoon –
Egil staggers to us in bad shape missing a finger. Apparently he owes a debt (which we paid with) for the gold he used to gain our services.
We rush to the temple to warn them of a possible attack by the Snake men. By evening we are set upon by many yellow cultists and snakes in disguise. We repel the snakes from the holy grounds of the temple, and heal the wounded. Later learned that the high priest Thuron is actually a non-evil Snake in disguise. We rest then prepare to make a visit to Egil’s loan broker, to make certain he knows not to be so heavy handed.

S. Baldrick

Day 38: Afternoon –
We arrive at a tavern to return payment to a syndicate thug and make a correction of our own for his error. I surgically remove the same pinky finger he removed from Egil, but with less fuss and more skill, I am certain then he managed.
Evening –
That evening we are invited to a ball at Milton Drakes home. We entered the event, expecting to be summarily put to death. Instead, we are made part of the upper crust of Freeport’s high society, and are thrown a graceful and informative party. We are awarded the Drake metal of Honor for saving the city from snake men. Capt. Lydon tells us that Sea Lord Drake is part of the Yellow Sign cult and bears the tattoo on this thigh. (probably don’t want to know how he knows.)
Many strange items have been seen entering port. Serpent people have been sighted, as well as corpses of owl bears, a strange green metal called serpent’s blood, yellow summoning candles, a large gemstone used for focusing magical power. An elderly disheveled man enters and shouts a prophecy in ryme to those gathered, before he transforms into a snake and slithers out.

“The Yellowed Sign once again shall appear,
Then the time for Yig’s revenge will be near.

As the finger of evil rises toward heaven, (the lighthouse)
One must pay heed to the calling of his brethren.

Search below the waves for that which was unmade,
And return with the Serpent carved of Jade.

When the madness is unleashed upon the land,
The icon of jade alone shall stand.

The end of the creature from outside, (extraplanar)
Contained within the Serpent deep inside.”

We are then approached by Brok Wallace, who tell us (in secret) that the lighthouse will be the focus for the summoning of an army of beasts to attack the mainland. He also asks us to assassinate Milton Drake. (Drake may be in the same position as Verlayne and still trustable, but that is only a guess.) We refuse and Brok disappears from the ball.
I gathered a list of people on the Captain’s Council...
Milton Drake the Sea Lord. Those that follow him are Melkior Maeorgan (with his sundering shortsword), Brok Wallace, Arias Soderheim (a half elf), Garth Varellion, Hector Torain, and Verlayne who is dead.
Lady Elise Grassotte is a challenger for the Sea Lord’s position and a great dancer. Her followers are Dirwin Arnig (a gnome gem cutter), Xavier Gordon, Liam Blackhammer, Marcus Roberts, and Sister Gwendolyn (a green haired priestess of the sea god).

Midnight –
After the ball late at night, we go tot he temple of knowledge to speak with Theron and research the prophecy. We learn that the Jade Serpent was sunk somewhere near Freeport. (as it this is the central area of old Valossa.) A pirate named Blackdog, was rumored to have found the Jade Serpent, and some of his crew may yet live.
The lighthouse is top open in three days. Time is short and life here is a great deal more hectic than I ever thought it could be.

Day 39: Late Morning –
We search the hall of public records and find an address for Gareth, one of Blackdog’s crew.
By noon we go to speak with him. For some coin he tells us where the cave is and that the trick is to enter at low tide.
Night –
With the help of Kerishen’s meager sailing skills, we enter the caves but Frek falls overboard. We recover him, and even the dip in the surf does not seem to extinguish his hellish fires. We are over cautious in investigating a shining magical cutlass stuck in the sand, as we triggered the shadows attack anyway. Frek and I used our god’s might to turn the undead away. We then leave to investigate other areas within the complex. We fight a large spider again, and if not for my medical prowess, its poison may have proven fatal to Verwyn.
We find Blackdog’s treasure and his ghost. We converse with the undead pirate who tells us, where the door that he sealed up, can be found.
We find and enter the cavern of Yig. Written in Valossan, (good thing I studied all the writings I could find on the language.) we learn that to open the door, bravery must be proven, by surviving a hallucination of the snake biting ones hand and a very real, strong, splash of strength draining poison. Kerishen and Frek both tried and could not open the door, and after wards could hardly breathe in their armor. We return to port at midnight and send a runner for aid from the temple. Theron, Egil, and Lady Gwendolin arrive with and some restoration magic. We are restored, rested, and then we return.

Day 40: Morning –
Frek tries the door again and prevails. Inside we fight shadow snakes and learn that the Gifts of the Serpent (Amulet, Fangs, Venom, and Scales of the Serpent) and a Sacrifice will bring forth or restore the Jade Serpent. We delve further swimming into an air pocket to fight Vrosh, some sort of ghost in the “Scales” an invulnerable suit of armor with an electric battleaxe. We prevail and gain the Scales of the Serpent.
I feel that I am constantly pushing the souls of those who we fight behind me to gain some distance between myself, and death’s cold embrace. 2 days to go.

S. Baldrick

The following was recovered from a burned by mostly intact journal that was found in the debris field that was created when the top of the Freeport lighthouse (commonly referred to as "Milton's Folly") mysteriously exploded the night that it was to celebrate its grand opening. Prior to the explosion, a mysterious yellow sign briefly appeared in the sky over the Freeport harbor. This sign apparently drove a number of people to madness.

Day 40: Night –

We continue our search of the sunken temple of Yig. After fighting off shadows, we enter a room warded by a magical compulsion the kill anyone near you. I gain a book. The Way of Yig.

The next room holds three shadowy serpent men and a ramp up.

The next chamber holds a shadowy serpent prisoner. Answering its riddle

I create life and also nourish it.
I contain life and the future for some.
I am first, although some say I came last.
I am fragile, yet strong enough to hold precious cargo.
What am I? (An EGG)

After answering the riddle, the shadow serpent reveals the location of the Venom of the Serpent. It was found in a secret stash inside a statue not far from the cell. I also found an old Valossan journal stating concerns about worship of the Unspeakable one, and a chest with a shadow snake, 500 gold, 2 potions of cure moderate wounds, and 2 potions of lesser restoration. Kerishen drank both restoration potions to restore her strength and health.

We encounter two shadow serpent folk who appear to have been arguing for eons. They each want the other destroyed to reclaim the other half of the room they are haunting. We destroyed both to be fair.

Next, we have a rather refreshing fight. Ten short zombies. At least they have solid flesh to be destroyed. Blades and flaming sphere put their souls to rest.

ext, we find a large Jade statue to recover on our way out. Next is a statue of a snake. Its eyes emit light holding a set of double doors shut. We close the eyes and an enormous dead snake attacks. It bears the Fangs of the Serpent as its fangs. After we open the statue’s eyes twice, closing the doors and giving us time to breath and heal, we defeated the dead snake and recover the Fangs of the Serpent.

We take the amulet, vial, daggers and armor back to Allister’s spirit on the second floor. It performs the ritual and Kerishen sacrifices her blood to reform the Jade Serpent. We take all we can and return to the temple of knowledge.

1 Day to go...

Day 41, Having recovered from our wounds and from the ill effects of the attacks for the undead serpents of the lost temple of Yig, we are planning to assault the lighthouse. Sister Gwendolyn from the Temple of the Sea God has provided Frek with a healing wand. I am certain that we will need it. Gwendolyn and Thuron believe that the Brotherhood of the Yellow Sign will attempt to summon their vile god the Unspeakable One tonight. They also both believe that Milton Drac himself will be there himself to oversee the ritual. We must stop them. Hopefully with the aid of the Jade Serpent we can be victorious.
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