Sagiro's Story Hour: The FINAL Adventures of Abernathy's Company (FINISHED 7/3/14)

Actually, George blogs constantly. Would that he spent half that time writing.
Blogging about being a novelist does not correlate to "updating" as it applies to the story hour. Updating the story hour is releasing a new installment. Blogging is NOT writing book 6 of A Song of Fire and Ice.

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First Post
Blogging about being a novelist does not correlate to "updating" as it applies to the story hour. Updating the story hour is releasing a new installment. Blogging is NOT writing book 6 of A Song of Fire and Ice.

Yes, that's exactly what I was saying in so many words. It doesn't lessen my respect for his writing, but I do wish he would learn that the football score means far less than Westeros. He never will, of course.

And I've read Gaiman's "GRRM is not your bitch" before, and while it's dryly witty in Gaiman's facile way, he chose to simply ignore GRRM's endlessly wishful thinking about meeting deadlines that created the whole mess. Had he written at the end of A Feast for Crows in 2005, "the next book is going to take a very long time indeed -- five or six years, I'd guess, I've never been good at deadlines", folks would have grumbled, but the fan world would not have blown up in his face. But he chose to write, "no sweat, folks!! ADWD next year, I hope!" and then he chose to announce that every year for the next four years. And then he chose to publicly feel sorry for himself on the blog all the time.


This is not meant to steer the thread off-topic -- just a reply to the two GRRM posts that preceded me. Just to remind, we got here by comparing process times of two epics, and by chatting about the guy with the oversized teeth whom the Company asked for directions to Kivia once.


Guys, this isn't the place for an authorly digression, please. It's an interesting topic, but better suited for the media forum.

We played last night; Sagiro reports that there's only a small chance that he'll be able to do an update before he heads out on his family vacation. That pushes the next update out to a month from now or so unless we get lucky.

Last night was game #260. We have about 9 more games left before the end of the campaign. I have trouble believing this.

In other news, I am pleased to report that a Daern's Instant Fortress proves efficaceous in oh so many unusual circumstances, and that last night we kicked it old school by getting swallowed by horrible gargantuan creatures. Hilarity - and an excessive amount of digestive acid - ensued.


Rodent of Uncertain Parentage
We played last night; Sagiro reports that there's only a small chance that he'll be able to do an update before he heads out ...

Well, here's a small update. It turns out that made the chance a bit better.

Sagiro’s Story Hour, Part 332
Shipsorrow Pinnacle

It is mid-evening, and over dinner at the Greenhouse the Company discusses what should be next on their agenda. Their thoughts turn to the three red-armored villains still at large: Tarsos, Meledien and Octesian. The last of these, according to one of Aravis’s Maze-dreams, is marauding through the Dreaming looking for Morningstar, while the other two are in the company of the Black Circle adept Seven Dark Words. Aravis fumes at not knowing what that evil trio is up to, but it’s unlikely that they’ll be able to find out anything more via divinations.

Dranko suggests that the party search for Cencerra and her adventuring group, long missing after they had set off to explore beyond a Gartine Arch on the Dwarven island of Karth. That group, once the Spire’s elite strike force, had served the cause well. They had cleared out one of the Black Circle bestiaries, and slain all of Lapis’s original party, and prevented a second Blood Gargoyle from being released into the world by Black Circle agents. But no one has heard from them for well over a year, and attempts to communicate with them or divine their whereabouts have been uniformly unsuccessful.

Morningstar brings up the possibility of rescuing Tor from the clutches of the Delfirians, but there’s the nagging problem that Tor doesn’t want to be rescued. When that generates little enthusiasm, Morningstar also considers that they could venture into the Greatwood to seek Darkeye and the hidden fortress of the Sharshun. “I’m worried that if we leave her for too long, it’s going to come back and haunt us,” she says. Kibi, meanwhile, continues to beat the drum for liberating the enslaved Dwarves in Kivia.

After some back-and-forth on these possibilities, the party decides that they will head to Karth, to see if they can learn the fates of Cencerra & Co. From discussions with Ozilinsh, they know that scry spells and their ilk have failed, and that true resurrection had no effect. (There was not even an inkling that Cencerra’s soul was in an afterlife, declining to return, which makes the Spire hopeful that she is still alive.) On the other hand, commune spells have resulted in answers akin to what was gleaned about the Company during their seven weeks of presumed non-existence, leading the Company to wonder if the Gartine Arch leads to a parallel world, or takes people back in time. But the first thing to do is to find the Arch, before worrying about where it leads.

Before going to sleep, Kibi decides to cast vision, hoping to learn something more about his dream (now almost a year old) of the “Thorn in the side of Abernia.” His spell succeeds after a fashion, and he is given a feeling that lasts less than a second: the emanating hot evil of the Adversary’s blood. Even that much leaves him staggered, his head aching. After a calming mug of beer, he shakes his head. “I thought that the big lake of black goo was the thorn. Too bad there’s nothing we can do about it.” Which is certainly true, given that even with protective spells in place, the Company was unable to get within miles of the place.


The next morning they make arrangements to sail to Karth, opting to eschew the usual wind walk. Kibi feels this is a mixed blessing at best; he hates airy travel, but a shipboard voyage is hardly preferable. The party finds that their old hired navigator, Sutton, is already out on the water and won’t return for over a week. (It seems he had gotten tired of waiting on extended retainer, and besides, the Company hasn’t actually paid him in quite a while.) But the party does find that Mad Captain Lyle, the risk-loving navigator they once hired years earlier, is available and looking for work. He’s been having some difficulty finding employment after what happened to his last ship. They find him in the back of a dockside tavern, getting an early start on a day’s drinking. He perks up immediately at the offer of employment.

“And where be we goin’?” he asks eagerly.

“Karth,” says Aravis. “And we’d like to go today. Immediately, would be best.”

“Karth,” repeats Lyle. He gets a twinkle in his eye. “Well, come this way. I’ll take you to my ship, the Spotted Flotsam.”

He leads them to the end of a battered pier, and the Flotsam is in sore shape indeed: peeling paint, broken railings, rusted anchor chain. “It’s a little run down, but it was all I could afford,” says Lyle. But while the party still wishes to sail, they see no need to go in a leaky bucket, and so they pop open Burning Sail.

Lyle stands agog as the boat unfolds. “That’s the most incredible thing I’ve ever seen!” he exclaims.

“Wait until you see the invisible sailors,” says Dranko.

“Are you tellin’ me I don’t need to bring my own crew?” asks Lyle.

“Well, if you want, you can…”

“No, no!” says Lyle. “You don’ understand. There’s more money in me pocket if I leave ‘em behind! Invisible crew it is! All aboard!”

The party boards the ship, and Captain Lyle takes a minute to get used to a crew of invisible servants that obeys his commands with ready precision. As he steers Burning Sail out of the harbor, the Captain tells the Company, “We can get there faster if we go past Shipsorrow Pinnacle. I’ve always wanted to run that one!”

His suggestion is met with a nervous silence that lingers awkwardly for a few seconds, until Dranko grins and says, “Shipsorrow Pinnacle it is!”


Karth consists of one main wedge-shaped island, and a half-dozen smaller islands to the south and south-east. The large island is about 150 miles north-to-south, and half that east-to-west. Cencerra and her group had planned to start their search at the only coastal town on the large island’s eastern shore, a place called Elkin’s Bay. As Captain Lyle sails northward, he explains that the fastest route into Elkin’s Bay will be to come up from the south, though formations of rocky shoals and treacherous sandbars mean that a ship must run past Shipsorrow Pinnacle. The Pinnacle is a slender spike of rock that extends up some sixty feet out of the water. The problem, explains Lyle, is that there’s barely room for a ship to squeeze between the Pinnacle and the cliff wall that forms the south-eastern shore of the island itself. They could try a safer route, going northward dozens of miles before a slow and still-perilous return south, but a successful ‘shoot of the Pinnacle” will shave a day and a half from their sailing time.

Captain Lyle clearly can’t wait to try it.

Kibi has been down in the small hold, trying not be sick, but comes up in time to hear about the plan to shoot the Pinnacle. Showing just how little he likes the plan, he asks plaintively, “Can’t we fold up the ship and just wind walk when we get to that point?”

Of course, as they approach the shores of Karth, a storm blows in, tossing Burning Sail about and sending Kibi and Ernie scurrying for the hold. The sun is setting behind the island, but Captain Lyle thinks there’s enough daylight left to brave the narrows. Morningstar offers to use magic to quell the winds.

“No!” roars Lyle. “I want to take the Pinnacle on my own. How am I going to boast of my skills, if I had a priestess messing around with the wind?”

“How are you going to brag if you don’t get back to port?” asks Grey Wolf.

“I’ll make it,” says Lyle. “I almost always do!”

He steers the ship toward the island; Shipsorrow Pinnacle is not yet in sight, as rain lashes the deck and wind ripples the sails. Up and down the ship pitches, as the cliff wall of Karth looms ever nearer.

“This is fantastic!” yells Captain Lyle from the helm. “I know we’ll make it. I’ll be a legend!”

Dranko casts augury, asking Delioch for a summary of their prospects should they continue on this course. The answers to such queries are often vague, but not this time.


“God says woe!” shouts Dranko.

Captain Lyle is now laughing maniacally as he steers the ship, his sparse hair whipping in the wind. “Batten down the hatches!” he cries to his unseen servants. “The rest of you, either get down below, or grab hold a’ something’!”

The ship plunges down alarmingly, and then up again at a steep pitch. Thunder rumbles and wild spray stings their faces. A huge wave sloshes across the deck.

“We’ve got to do something!” Morningstar yells over the din.

“We should let him try it,” says Dranko. “We can always bail him out.”

“You’re insane,” Morningstar answers, “and you haven’t even invoked your tentacles!”

Through the failing light and shroud of rainfall, the rock tower of Shipsorrow Pinnacle comes into view, a shadow giant so close to the cliff wall that it seems impossible for a ship to fit between, even in calm weather. In this gale, it’s clearly suicide. Everyone is grabbing onto ropes and trying not to be flung overboard, and a particularly severe wave sends the ship careening to the point where the prow is pointing straight to the sky, before it crashes back to the sea. Over the mind-link, Morningstar reminds everyone that they have refuge tokens which will take them safely back to the Greenhouse. Grey Wolf grips the hilt of Bostock with one hand, expecting that any minute now, not needing to breathe will come in right handy.

Closer, closer. It’s obvious to everyone except Captain Lyle that shooting the Pinnacle in this storm is madness, but that’s probably why he’s known as “Mad Captain Lyle.” Aravis, though, has a plan that will get them safely to shore without ruining Lyle’s aspirations. He shares it with the others, and gets unanimous approval, given the certain alternative. “Kibi, Ernie,” he thinks. “You’d best get up on deck right away.”

“Why?” asks Ernie.

“Because in a minute, the hold is going to vanish.”

“Here I come!” roars Captain Lyle into the howling gale.

“Grab ropes!” thinks Aravis.

When everyone is on deck and secure, Dranko activates the folding boat, changing it into the smaller longboat version. As it starts to fold and shrink, the wheel starts to sink into the floor of the bridge deck. Lyle lets go, utterly aghast. “Oh no!” he cries. “What’s happened to the boat?”

Then, just as suddenly, the world blinks, and Shipsorrow Pinnacle is somehow behind him. Aravis has dimension door-ed the boat and everyone on it, a trick that would only work with the smaller form of the ship. As soon at they’ve cleared the Pinnacle, Dranko orders the boat to expand again. The wheel rises again beneath Lyle’s hands.

“No wonder!” shouts the Captain. “The narrows be enchanted! Some magic takes away your wheel, and sinks your boat while you cannot steer. But I got us through! We lived to tell about it! We did! They’ll be tellin’ stories about Mad Captain Lyle and his invisible sailors for a hundred years! Now, onward to shore!”

…to be continued…


First Post
Well Well....

Just marathoned the whole Story Hour since last Thursday.

This has been a Awesome Week. Only 2nd story hour i have read (first being Tales of wyre), and i am really impressed- while part 1 was much more session summary it was still good, and by now it has grown into a full fledge story with a very involved plot.

Any other story hour half as good as this one (was quite disappointed in tales of wyre after a bit)?
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Well Well....

Just marathoned the whole Story Hour since last Thursday.

This has been a Awesome Week. Only 2nd story hour i have read (first being Tales of wyre), and i am really impressed- while part 1 was much more session summary it was still good, and by now it has grown into a full fledge story with a very involved plot.

Any other story hour half as good as this one (was quite disappointed in tales of wyre after a bit)?

I've read and enjoyed the following Story Hours:

By JollyDoc:

Based in the Halmae:

By Lazybones: (plus check the links in his sig)

I may have checked out a few others over the years, but the links aren't coming up readily at the moment. I tend to look for threads with a lot of entries - like Sagiro's! :) I hope some of these linked SH threads are to your liking.

And welcome! :)


First Post
Shilsen's Eberron, EternalNewbie's al-Qarim, and Talien's Beginning of the End SH are all pretty awesome. They're still on the first page of this forum.

An Abernathy update was what I needed to begin the last day of this month's classes without being ragingly cranky. :)
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