SHADOW WAR: EBERRON MEETS DARKSUN MEETS RAVENLOFT MEETS EVERYTHING ELSE

megamania

Community Supporter
SHADOW WAR
SEGMENT 015
“THE BLACKENED FRUIT ISLAND”
11/10/18


LHARVION 16, 1003

Tabask, Xar, Dorque, Jack and another sailor climb down a rope and wood ladder to a large row boat now tied to the side of the ship. The water is calm but waves can be seen rising over the reef. As before, the weight of the warforged causes the row boat to lift until Jack and Tabask climb to the very bow to “even” the weight out.

The water is clear but deep enough to see little below. It is not until they are about 75 feet above the ocean floor that they begin to make out things. Fish, coral, rock, timbers and sand liter the floor. The closer they get to the waves the more they see. Fish of many types, sizes and color can be seen. Jack tries to identify them and point them out to Tabask. As they get close enough to see a change of the sea bottom Jack sits up right and acts as the guide through the reef using the map. Their row boat would most likely be destroyed if it got caught on the coral. The Azure Dragon would be breached and take on water. There is no way to get any closer than they are currently and be safe.

They reach the beach and drag the boat across the sand into the brush. Tabask questions this, after all- why hide it if there is no one here. “Just in case.” Says Jack.

There are hundreds of chirping and squawking birds of every color imaginable. There are paths however. What has made these paths? Between Xar and Tabask, little gets past them. Something heavy, with four legs that are hooved is tracked. What kind of creature could this be wonders the kobold.

Hours have passed and there is no sign of civilization still. This includes markers for buried treasure. They discover a fruit tree. Jack picks one of the fruit. Nothing. Shrugs and takes a juicy bite of the apple. “Good.” He says. However, as the others reach for fruit, his begins to bruise and brown. Frowning, he tosses the apple aside.

On the way back they spot the source of the hoof prints- a small Dire Boar. “Something other than fish to eat!” calls out the sailor pulling out a spear from his pack. A crossbow bolt hits it, a sword, a great sword then two spears from Jack and the other sailor kill the animal.

They are quick to butcher the meat and leave the island. On the ship they check the meat over. It is still good but shows signs of aging. Though hesitant, everyone has some.

The sailor crew that checked out the reef find little danger. There are some dangerous anemone here but no signs of sharks or worse predators. The surf can be hard to tread near the surface but Captain Lucious is certain everyone can do it.

Ezzirra has decided which ship to explore first. Several gold and silver coins are found just under the sand near the ships location. Ezzirra has determined it is not a treasure ship but a Karnnathi Hunter ship. These ships hunted pirate ships and would sink them on sight. She suspects it is The Firehorn from roughly 825. Records had reported it sank closer to shore during a hurricane. Appears instead, it ran aground here or chased a ship to here.

Open to try new things Tabask asks to go tomorrow. Xar also wants to go. “No.” states the warforged.
 

megamania

Community Supporter
SHADOW WAR
SEGMENT 016
“THE FIREHORN UPPER LEVELS”
11/10/18


LHARVION 17, 1003

“Drink half of the potion then pass the rest to another person.” Instructs Ezzy on the rolling boat. Tabask, Xar and two sailors do this. “This will allow you to breath under water as if you were a fish.”

“I will grow gills?” asks Xar as Tabask hands him half of the remaining potion.

“Less dramatic than that. Water in your mouth will release its air and you will survive on that.”

“There is air within the water?” asks a sailor.

“Fish farts?”

“Don’t worry about the details, it works.” Says the half-elf checking out Ezzy’s body. She is wearing a tied blouse and tight pants.

The Firehorn can be clearly seen on the reef. The stern is under water as the bow has been driven out of the water slightly on the reef. “These ropes are tied to shaped rocks. They will act as both an anchor and a line to swim up and down easily and safely.” And with that she signals for three rock rings to be sent over the edge. Xar watches with a mix of curiosity and fear as the line goes out and down towards the base of the reef near the submerged section of the large ship.

The upper deck’s rail is just a foot under the water. The row boat bumps against it repeatedly as the waves roll by onto the ship. There is slimy green moss and barnacles on the rail. Ezzirra nearly slips on the rail as she uses it as a step onto the submerged deck.

There are ropes, pullies and cords draped from the masts reaching into the water that are tripping hazards. To make it worse, patches of the floor are missing and / or covered by seaweed and growth.

“I’m surprised the ship is still intact. Are you sure it is over 150 years old?”

“Magic. Even then, magic was used to strengthen ships from the elements.” Answers the mage as she pushes through the water. The stairs leading from the “high” ground to main deck is angled and submerged. The explorers prefer to swim instead.

Everyone, including Ezzy, have a moment of panic as they finally step under the water’s surface and try not to drown. Due to his size, the kobold was first to deal with this. It is not what he wants.

Looking into what was the Captain’s cabin, they find the furniture has slid to the back into now broken windows. It is a dangerous mess to move about.

The bow’s cabin is largely empty as the goods inside have been swept out into the sea through the doorway.

They are careful entering the lower levels. The stairs are damaged and part-way out of the water. Again, they prefer to lower themselves into the water avoiding the use of the stairs. It is much darker here. Pieces of planks on the wall are missing allowing many small holes and cracks under the water. It is very distracting as thousands of small two inch fish come and go depending on the actions of the waves and how close the explorers come to the school.

Debris made of cannons, wood and metal crates and barrels have all shifted to one side as the ship didn’t settle straight up. Poking about the one sailor spooks a predatory animal- a large Moray Eel.
It doesn’t last long under the concentrated counter attack.

Surprised by it- Tabask says clearly- “Be careful. This is their boat now- not ours.”
 

megamania

Community Supporter
SHADOW WAR
SEGMENT 017
“THE CHASE BACK IN SHARN”
11/10/18

DRAVAGO 7, 1003 12th BELL, SHARN

Many sailors give wolf whistles and lecherous comments to Dawn as she tries to hurry to the lifts and then down to the docks. It is not too often a woman dressed like hurries through the docks. One sailor makes a mistake of stepping in her way to talk to her. He is swimming still.

“Where are they ?!?” the ditzy secretary grumbles. She begins to ask questions of people on the docks she feels will not attempt to touch or worse grope her. How hard is it to miss a kobold and a very large warforged followed by a dire weasel?

Men point, the women of the docks offer directions for money. They met up with others and are taking a ship out into the sea. She reaches the dock where the row boat was tied but no boat. Asking about the boat she learns they are on The Azure Dragon captained by Lucky Luke- a strange man with little sailing experience but plenty of money.

Angry she pulls off a high heel and throws it towards the ship while growling. A quiet ‘plink’ is heard as the shoe lands 10 feet from the dock’s edge. “Errrrr…… now look at what you made me do.”

Limping, the secretary makes her way back to Professor Zilshire’s office. It is time to get answers. Time he learns his ditzy secretary is a Royal Eye sent here by the Queen of Aundair to learn and locate the damned evil tome.

15th bell…..

“I don’t get kids these days. They think they can read one book and know everything. It is unreasonable and short….sighted…..” He opens his door and inside his office is his secretary (he thinks) and two rough looking men with orc blood somewhere in their bloodline.

“Ah Professor Zilshire…… it is time we had a talk. SIT.” She demands.
 

megamania

Community Supporter
SHADOW WAR
SEGMENT 018
“THE FIREHORN LOWER LEVELS”
11/24/18


LHARVION 17, 1003

They are much more careful now when searching the ruins of the ship. Ever dark area hidden in shadows could be hiding an eel, a dangerous fish or something not even thought of. Since Tabask and Xar had never even seen the ocean before Sharn…. There are many dangers they may not think of.

Poking a bit more, they find a few more lose coins and mundane cups and pots. Ezzy finds a bronze crank partially hidden by seaweed. She studies the mass of gently waving grass over the debris. She gives the crank a tug…. Then another. An area about 3X3X3 begins to twist and move. She motions for Tabask to check it out. Thirteen globes on thirteen turning rings move about. Neither make a connection at what it is (tracks moons…. 13?). Being too cumbersome, they leave it begin and move down to the stern where a door is.

The door literally caves in as Ezzy pushes on it. A cloud of 1000’s of shiny zig-zagging small fish dart in and out of a gapping hole. Fish seeking nutrients found in the sundered door disorient her briefly. Much of whatever was in this room is now gone. The entire bottom and back wall is torn out. Perhaps the ship hit the reef here.

Xar and a sailor check out the stairs leading down. It leads to the storage area that would have once held tons of rock used as ballast. Instead now it looks empty with pieces of dead coral thrusting through the floor in areas. Near the back- going deep is piled stone work and a small open area of the back wall. The bottom was ripped out and/or collapsed.

They go back to the top of the canon level to the room at the bow. It is hard to get leverage. The water is nearly ceiling height here. As such, the algae makes it hard to get leverage. What leverage the get is from very hard and sharp barnacles and pockets of shelled animals.

Tabask tries to push open the door here but has no luck. With their heads being above water, the half-elf calls out to the other half-elf. “I can’t push through but maybe I can get in from above.”

“Okay.” The magic user says to the cleric. Tabask pulls himself up onto the wet rotting deck. The boards are soft from damp rot as he struggles to climb the 30 degree angle deck to the door. Inside he stomps on the floor and begins to break into the room.

What a mess- The furniture and storage here has slid down into the door where Ezzirra is waiting. The kobold and sailors are hanging on the deck enjoying breathing like a normal person. Tabask drops down into the dark water. With a painful landing, he falls onto two foot water covered debris. Suddenly the door bursts before the wizard and sundered soaked and rotting goods and door burst and sinks into the canon room.

Ezzy is covered with slimy rot and debris. The five of them begin to sort the just uprooted goods. It is hard as the large school (swarm) of fish seek food in the thick murk. They still find a Short Sword +1 and many coins and a few gems.

Success !!!!

That night, eating pork and potatoes, they talk about the eel and the strangeness of swimming and breathing within the ruins of a sunken ship. The sailors that traveled to the island tried to collect fruit but the mangos rotted before they reached the beach. They also speak of feeling watched. Superstious sailors think Tabask. Dorque stayed on the main ship. He will not admit it, but he is concerned about sinking. He doesn’t need to breath but he will sink. How will be resurface? He will someday go to the island…. But never the ruins of boats.
 

megamania

Community Supporter
SHADOW WAR
SEGMENT 019
“THE EIGHT ARMS OF DEATH”
11/24/18


LHARVION 18, 1003

The dire weasel continues to collect anything shiny and unattended. Someone will be looking for their glasses soon.

Dorque looks over the railing as the row boat collects the land crew. They go out with equal intentions of getting food and of exploring the back end of the island along the beach and edges of grasslands. Another boat is lowered on the opposite side. Tabask watches Ezzy from behind as she stretches her leg up and over the rail. He likes what he sees. He then watches her climb down the rope ladder. Once more, he enjoys what he sees. The Captain interrupts him. “Many a man has wanted to go down on her…. Many a man has only gone down. But the chase is fun.” And he laughs and claps the cleric on the shoulder. With a weak smile, Tabask climbs over the railing. A few of the sailors watch him.

Xar pats the weasel. “I will return in a few hours.” The bounty hunter then climbs / hopes down the ladder. They watch the ship seem to slide away as they row it back to the reef. “We’re here late- Tide is down already.” Comments the watchful sailor at the bow.

A foot of reef is visible above the cresting waves. Seagulls call out and either circle about or seem to hover as they ride the wind just above the coral hoping for some food. Tabask watches not the reef and birds but the island. He is curious about the curse and how it works. Food seems to rot once picked or killed. This rotting is quick but stops once on board the ship. How far does the curse reach out from the dry land? Can it be stopped?

“We’re there.” Says Ezzy as she begins to hand out potions. “Remember- drink half. I have a limited number of these and 4-5 hours is all we need to explore a single ship.”

“We’ll be fine. You do good work.” Flirts Tabask. She merely smiles- drinks half, and licks the fluid off her lips. Tabask feels warm inside.

It is only a bit harder to take that first breath under the water. Peering into the water, Tabask notes colorful fish working the reef looking for food. Parrot fish is there name. They have hard parrot-like beaks for mouths that they use to break and crack open coral and shells for food.

He follows the anchor line down to the sandy floor. Here, he sees a few aged metal cups within the sand. A good sign says Lucious. Once everyone is down, they begin to walk to the ship. The ship they are going to is smaller, smaller than ever The Azure Dragon. It has sank within a pocket of reef. They can not bring the boarding boat to it safely.

Xar and Tabask swim slowly to the base of the reef. Bright colors of different species of Coral and animals form this wall of the reef.

As Ezzirra and three sailors group up at the anchor the kobold and half-elf move ahead of them. They can just see the submerged ship. Many lose items are in the sand peeking out- some seem shiny. Perhaps this is part of why neither of them saw the creature.

A large octopus, camouflaged against the dark shadows at an over-hang of reef attacks. Four tentacles reach out- two for each swimmer. Tabask avoids one but is caught with another. The kobold is struck solidly by one and entangled with another. Critical damage is done (Did 37 dam to his 33 hp with him grappled)

Clutching his unique focus item, Tabask calls on the power of the Traveler and jets free from the crushing tentacle. The kobold has no such advantage. Bubbles mixed with blood burst from his mouth as he is squeezed (-10 in truth…. DM Cheat….-7). Ezzirra calls up her most powerful attack spell. The water is distorted behind the large octopus and crushes his main body. Being boneless, it takes damage but survives easily the sudden increased water pressure. Even as she does this again, two sailors draw weapons and one a curing potion.

With a second crush of the water pressure, the octopus lets go of the dying kobold and jets away into inky darkness. The potion fails to do much as it mixes with the salt water. But it is enough (heal 3- stabilized at –9). They take up to the surface quickly even as one of the sailors spots a shark seeking the source of the blood. They climb aboard the boat and Tabask begins to heal the kobold even as a few fins appear on the other side of the exposed reef. They go back to The Azure Dragon and call it a day. The Captain is disappointed but agrees to it. Maybe something good will come of the land crew.

Hours pass and finally Dorque and Rat spot people on the beach. They do not seem alarmed. They have no food however.

The land crew circled the entire island. Reef and wrecks can be seen on all sides. Other wise, there is no signs of intelligent life- just pigs, birds and a few turtles. No fresh water.

Not the best of days.
 

megamania

Community Supporter
SHADOW WAR
SEGMENT 020
“EVIDENCE OF INHABIATANTS”
11/24/18


LHARVION 19, 1003

“Are you sure?” asks Tabask.

“Yes.” Answers Dorque.

“You will join us today?” comments Xar.

“Yes. Explore island.” Answers the warforged as he steps towards the rope ladder hanging off the rails of the ship. It is not pretty but the warforged carefully climbs over the rail. It creaks as he adjusts his grip to descend the ladder to the boat below. Jack is uncertain of this. He remembers how the boat stressed under his weight when leaving Sharn.

Ezzy and a few sailors have already left and gone back to the ship from yesterday. So far, they seem to be doing okay.

Due to the extra weight, It is only Tabask, Xar, Dorque and Jack going. Jack works the boat away from the ship and towards the reef. Dorque doesn’t seem to have any interest in the reef or the creatures below. Xar checks out a 4 ft long sea turtle as it glides by them a mere three ft under the water’s surface.

“So much life is here. Strange with the curse.”

“Perhaps. I am trying to figure out this curse. What is it’s function?”

“To keep people away.” Comments Jack as he rows the boat carefully away from some reef that is less than three feet away.

“Exactly. To keep people away…. Much like this reef. It is a deterrent.”

Silence.

“Most assume curses are either caste by evil magic users or are a product of magic gone awry. What if it was done on purpose…. Not for evil but protection.”

Silence.

Tabask decides this is not the time nor the group to discuss this with. They clear the reef and soon find themselves at the beach. They pull the row boat far up the beach. Dorque places it by a tree and waits for the next task to be done.

They begin to go deeper into the island. A few trails made by boars can be found. The two trackers feel it is a mix of normal and dire boar that have used this trail. Possible food. Mid day they find an old pack. It is very weathered and has holes in it. Checking it out, they find damaged clothes, a CLW potion and one where the potion container was broken. Seems to be maybe 2-3 years old. Curious.

Coming out of a thick grouping of brush, they enter a field and see something new. There are three unicorns grazing. One picks its head up and watches the group intently.

“Horses with a horn.” Comments Dorque- completely without emotion.

“This is a good omen.” Adds Xar cupping his eyes to better see them. From his vantage point, he can just barely see them through the tall grass.

“Creatures of good. On a cursed island. This island is very curious indeed.” Comments the cleric to no one.

They watch the majestic animals for several minutes before the unicorns snort and wander back into the brush and no longer can be seen.

Turning back, they come into a new clearing. On the other side of a clearing is a moving mass of purple, yellow and white. They avoid it rather than investigate it. [DM NOTE: 1000’s of harmless butterflies]

They return to the boat and then the ship. As they near The Azure Dragon, they notice the crew is looking over the water team’s row boat. It looks damaged. They were caught with a rogue wave that pushed them into the exposed reef. It takes on water now. It will take a few days to repair. Tabask looks it over and uses a spell he has prepared in case this occurred to them- he magically mends it.

The Captain and crew are happy. Also happy when it is learned a small chest of coins was discovered. The coins date back to the Galifar government ruling. The coins are several hundred years old.
 

megamania

Community Supporter
SHADOW WAR
SEGMENT 021
“WE ARE NOT ALONE”
11/24/18


LHARVION 20, 1003

“Are you kidding?” Says Ezzirra to Xar and his eager weasel.

“Yes. He really wants to go to the island. It’s been over two months since he set his paws on earth.”

“Let the animal go. Maybe Morrus can get some rest finally. It has been a most trying trip for him.” Adds the Captain.

Tabask smirks as the animal paces and races around the kobold. “Guess he is going.”

Dorque says nothing and only pauses when he begins to climb down the ladder and Sarfuold hops down onto him. He happily paws at the air as if to say goodbye to Tabath and Xar whom watch from The Azure Dragon.

The row boat moves along to the shore easily enough. They pull the boat up away from the shore to safety. It is Xar, Tabath, Dorque, Sarfuold and a sailor named Hienes. It is not long before they find two regular boars searching for roots underground. Food!

It is killed quickly and they cut off a leg. Hienes is to take it directly to the ship immediately while the meat is still good. The sailor doesn’t argue and goes with his bloody mess. He will return and wait for them on the beach.

Going along they go deeper into the jungle-like forest. They spot a ledge and climb up to it to look around further. On the way they spot something odd ahead of them. Sarfuold bounds into the grass to check it out first. Curved wood. Worked curved wood. “What is it?” asks Xar standing next to it patting his weasel companion on the shoulders.

“I don’t know. It is clearly man made…. Manufactured.”

“Why the ring?” asks Dorque.

There is a large bronze and adamantine ring worked into the tip of the curved wood piece. It seems very much out of place here.

Looking about, they find a few more pieces of wood leading towards the center of the island. Looking they spot a trail leading nearby to the point they wishes to look at.

“Oh.”

From this point, one can clearly see The Azure Dragon, the reef and ship wrecks- even the submerged ones. Xar spots something more ominous. A footprint.

It is of a medium sized creature with three toes and the toes are clawed. Someone or something has been watching the activities of the ship. Most likely their own activities.

“Two days ago, they said they were being watched.” Begins Xar.

“…FELT like they were being watched. This is closest thing to any proof we are not alone.” Adds Tabask.

“Not Alone.” Follows the warforged as he begins to swivel and watch the brush more intently.

“Hienes is coming back.”

“Can we follow the tracks?” asks the cleric.

Looking around a bit the kobold nods and gives a strong “Yes”.

“I think so- especially if your companion helps. We both can track and he can sniff what ever we miss.” Adds Tabask as he begins up the trail.

“…but Hienes….” Begins the kobold looking out to the water.

“Will know when to return to the ship. We will get back tomorrow.”

“Ah.” Answers the kobold looking to the trail.
 

megamania

Community Supporter
SHADOW WAR
SEGMENT 022
“TO THE TOP….”
11/24/18


LHARVION 20, 1003

“Tabask- look.” Says the kobold pointing to the trail before him.

“Two. Two walkers.”

“Yes. And more- one uses a cane or staff. See here- consistent pokes into the earth.”

“Trail…ends.” Says the Warforged looking even further up the trail.

Looking up, the trail goes up a series of aged volcanic rock. It is harder but there are small scratches on the rock from the talons or toes of the bi-pedal humanoids. Possibly Lizard folk? They follow it up and a dirt trail begins again.

“Going to the top.” States Dorque.

“I think you’re right…. Which I don’t like.” Adds the half-elf.

“Why?”

“The mountain and the island appear to be a volcano.” States Tabask.

“We will be destroyed!” exclaims the kobold.

“I don’t think its active. These rocks…. They are what the alchemist’s refer to as igneous. They are rocks made from lava. They are overgrown with plants. I have seen no smoke.”

“Sarfuold is excited. He has found something.”

They catch up with the weasel whom has found a piece of glass. Looking about… they spot torn and aged cloth. Then a glass cup. A piece of wood- worked like the piece below. Looking around, there is a lot of similar items in similar condition on the ground.

“Ambush?” asks Dorque.

“I don’t think so. Let’s keep going.” Tabask looks to the sun and the top of the mountain. It will be dark soon. There appears to be a line of items that crosses the trail. Strange. Sarfuold finds a gold piece. “Mine?” asks Dorque.

“Not unless it was minted in Aundair in…. 976.” Answers Xar as he returns the coin to his concerned weasel.

“Look- “ suggests the warforged.

Ahead of them is more worked wood. “I don’t understand this. Not any of it.” Tabask grumbles as he kicks at a board. The kobold flips the board over. “This belonged to a crate. Held wine from Aundair.”

As a parakeet chirps, the warforged looks upward. “Answered.”

They all look up into the trees. The remains of an airship rests there- broken and torn up.

“Well…. What do you make of that.” States Tabask.

They continue on as the sun sets. Tabask appreciates the colors of orange, yellow and white of the water with the purple and dark blue of the sky. The trail is harder to follow but they make do. [DM NOTES Tabask has a +10, Xar +5 and Sarfuold has scent and a+2. Lowest score after assists was a 19- highest a 31]

They reach near the top. There is little vegetation here. They rest for several hours as Dorque watches. As a kobold and half-elf both with magic rings they only require 2-3 hours of sleep. They pick up from where they left off and reach the summit of the volcano. The trail goes inside. A carved ledge between 3 and 5 ft wide goes down into the darkness.

“Ready?” the cleric asks.
 

megamania

Community Supporter
SHADOW WAR
SEGMENT 023
“….ENTER INTO THE DARKNESS”
11/24/18


LHARVION 20, 1003

Dorque’s wide frame makes going down this manufactured ledge a slow process. He doesn’t fall but he is overly careful going down. He also lacks the improved sight the others have. The weasel hops to and fro with ease. Tabask and Xar see better than most and can see much of the opening which confuses them.

Tabask expected a rough and steaming stone cap. Most of the outer edges are hidden in deep shadows that his low-light vision can not see through but the center is well lit by the five moons that are up as the night’s darkness set in. Two of the moons are nearly full.

Going further down the ledge Tabask is further confused. He can now clearly see the center of the caldron. It is not rough steamy stone…. It is smooth- worked carefully. What have they walked into?
The weasel becomes more excited and hurries past them. Xar calls out to them but gets no answer.

“Your companion is going to alert anyone here that we are coming.” Says Tabask as he begins to search for threats in the deep shadows. Instead he sees a few flickers or glints of metal. What is this ?!?

Moving slowly…. Tabask and Xar begin to see what they are entering…. A roughly circular space that is about 120 feet across. On the outer edges are dozens… hundreds of crates, large vases with weapons, statues, piles of coins and gems….. the collected Pirate treasure of legend. It is in part what Captain Lucious was looking for.

They turn quickly as a clatter is made. Out runs the weasel with something shiny in its mouth. A coin. It places it into “its” pocket on Xar’s vest then hurries back into the darkness.

“I can’t believe it.” Tabask quietly states.

=Darsk para drelco=

“Your eyes are seeing true.” Translates Xar…. “Draconic.”

Five scaly tall figures step from the deep dakness into the moon light. =Taulk van greetak.=

“What are we doing here.” Translates the kobold.

“Explore… and Plunder.” States the warforged.

Tabask turns and gives an angry glare and waves his finger. “Let me do the talking.” He turns back and now there is another similar creature. Where the first ones were light blue, slender and carried staffs, this one is their height and wears armor with a sword and shield. Are there more?

=Bree Tark Heden=

“Why come to the volcano?”

“Tell them we are exploring and lost.”

=Sarz no Tal. No Tal Tai=

“Oh crap. They said we are not exploring.”

“You can speak our language?” asks Tabask.

One of the three toed gaunt creatures forward. “Some. We are taught this….if one came.”

“Came? You were expecting us?”

“Yes. Vespar knew you would come.”

“We mean no harm.”

Silence.

“What is your names.”

“I am Tabask Andorin of Khorvaire.”

“Welcome Tabask Andorin of Khorvaire.”

“I am Xargrolst of Zilargo.”

“Welcome Xargrolst of Zilargo.”

Everyone turns to Dorque. “Dorque. Soldier and warrior.”

“Welcome Dorque of Soldier and warrior.”

Pause.

“Who are your fourth member? The one exploring the collection?”

“Fourth? Oh- you mean Xar’s companion.” Reliezes Tabask.

Xar speaks for him. “Sarfuold of Zilargo.”

“Welcome Sarfuold of Zilargo. Do not hurt yourself on that.”

And with that another crash and sounds of things spilling on the stone floor.

The conversation is briefly broken up as a parakeet flies down to the leading creature. It tweets and chirps then flies off into the darkness.

“How long have you been here?” asks Tabask.

“Our clutch has been here…. Many years. Some clutches… 30…. Others less than 20.”

“Have you been watching us?” asks Xar.

“Yes. We had hoped you would not come.”

“Why? Are you afraid of us? There is no reason to fear us.”

“Plunder” Dorque quietly says.

“What is Plunder?”

“Ah…. Trade.” Lies Xar.

“Vespar did not think you were here to trade. She thought you were here to steal.”

“Who is Vespar?”

“She will be here soon. We have called to her.”

Pause

“What are your names?”

“I am known as Pin. This is Min, Zin, Quin and Sin. This one (the armored one) is Tawn.”

“Well met Min, Quin, Sin, Zin, and Tawn. And to yourself- Pin.”

Tabask’s fear of the volcano leaps to mind. There is a tremor on the floor. He kneels down and feels the stone for heat. Nothing burning. But another tremble. Suddenly there is a crashing sound and a wave of tumbling gems and coins as the Dire weasel charges from a crates and a bowl of goods recently collected. He runs and hides behind Xar and stares sniffing into the air at the direction he just came from.

Tabask stares into the darkness. Nothing. The trembles on the stone are growing stronger. Then whites of eyes can be seen in the darkness.

“I am Vespar.”

A gargantuan Green Dragon steps out of the darkness. “I thought you were here to steal also. Even to ‘plunder’ as your companion stated. Let us talk about this.”
 

megamania

Community Supporter
SHADOW WAR
SEGMENT 024
“I AM VESPARTARRAX”
11/24/18


LHARVION 20, 1003

Though they are not compelled to flee- it is all any- including Dorque- can think of. But they understand that there is no where to run. There is only one exit for them and all it does is rise them higher to be chewed on instead of clawed.

“What do you wish to plunder?” asks the 25 ft dragon.

“Nah- nothing.” Stammers the cleric.

“You came from that ship.”

“Yeh- Yeah…Yes. Yes we did.” Tabask works on building his confidence.

“Beware Mistress. The one is a magic user.” Says one of the silver lizardfolk.

“Oh?” Vesper says.

“It has a golem.”

Everyone turns to Dorque.

“No golem. Warforged.” Declares the fighter.

“Metal, wood and stone. Golem.”

Vesper seems to enjoy this discussion.

“He controls you…yes?” as the one thought to be Min points to Tabask.

“Free.”

“Not chained.”

“Free to do as I wish.” Declares the warforged.

“-within the laws.” Interjects the cleric.

The creature assumed to be named Min steps back…. Clearly wary of the answer. Vesper begins to ask questions now. “Who is your leader?”

Xar looks to the ground and the warforged glares as ‘Min’. Tabask sighs quietly. “I speak for us.”

“Not yourself. Who do you answer to?”

“Ah- do you mean the Captain?”

“Captain… as in the leader of the ship near the reef.”

“Captain Lucious.”

“He is your leader then.”

“Well- he did bring us here. We work for him.”

“To plunder.”

“NO. I mean no. He may be thinking about collecting treasure but we are not here to plunder.”

“Then what are you here for? To kill me?”

As he says this, a bright blue beetle squeezes free from between two plates in Dorque’s hip joint. It drops to the floor with a “tink” and begins to scurry quickly towards the green dragon. She lifts a claw to crush it but before doing so, Tabask grasps his unique medallion and calls on a spell. Fires reach out and kill the beetle. The blue scaled humanoids point their staffs and sword towards him.

“Thankyou Tabask Andorin of Khorvaire. You have killed a Dragon Fear. You have my favor.”

Xar gives them a look of disbelief. If he did that, he is certain the dragon and his people would have killed him on site.

“You came from the ship. Where did the ship come from?”

“Sharn”

“The Dragon Fear spreads. Sad.”

“Dragon Fear….. those beetles….?”

“Come forth cleric.” Commands the dragon as its eyes change to a glowing blue color. “Your spiritual focus is unique. Tabask stiffens. He will die before / during a dragon removing it from him. It was my fathers. And my father’s father. It has been in the family for generation.

His medallion is an adamantine mix of a rectangle with a sphere in the center. Rays of the sun reach out and hold the sphere in the rectangle. The metal is dark and rough to the touch.

“You follow the Traveler.”

“Yes.”

“Very interesting. This medallion has traveled far and wide. I smell other planes on it.”

THAT takes Tabask back. How would he know this and how is it he was never told of planar travel.

“Come forward Xargrolst of Zilargo.” The kobold steps up warily. Again, with the glowing eyes… detection spells at work no doubt, the dragon looks him over. “Why do you carry mantacles? Were you a slave or are you a slaver?”

“Ah…. I am a bounty Hunter. I seek wrong doers and capture them to have them answer for their deeds. Most often Gnomes.”

The dragon looks him over more. “And the creature…. He is yours also?”

“Yes. Sarfuold is my animal companion. He helps me find people.”

“Yes… and he seems to enjoy Prince Reynoldson’s gems from 200 years ago.” Sarfuold has several gems and coins in Xar’s pocket. “It is okay. He has no more need for them.”

“And yourself Sir Dorque.”

Dorque steps up as commanded. “When were you created Sir Dorque?”

Sir wonders Tabask.

“During the war.”

“Yes. Yes of course you were.”

“I have much to ponder and you should rest.”

“We do not require rest.”

“But I need time to think Bounty Hunter.”

Xar looks about. There is no arguing here.

“Pin- take these guests to a room.”

“Guests?” questions the battle minded warforged.

“Guests sound better. This place is not a prison. Nor is the volcano we sit within. The island however…. Guests sounds much better to me.”

They are led to a tunnel that leads down. There are no doors anywhere. Even to the room they will stay in. Treasure sits in buckets, vases and boxes within the hallway. Several generations…. 100’s of years of pirate booty and now dragon hoard.

“Wow.” Is all Tabask can say.
 

megamania

Community Supporter
SHADOW WAR
SEGMENT 025
“PROBLEMS & SOLUTIONS”
11/24/18


LHARVION 21, 1003

Tabask sits in a corner and meditates surrounded by incense and rune marked sticks of wood. He is working his divine magic to contact his ancestral family line.

The others sit and try not to stare or look at anything. Sarfuold is not so concerned. He checks out the hallway and moves about freely.

Tabask’s conscious drifts and he reaches out to contact his father’s human ancestry. “Will good come from meeting this dragon?” He waits as he tries to sense any reply. The sensation is warm and positive. Tabask believes this is a good reply. “Should we return to the ship?” A long pause before he feels a cold chill. Bad?

Sarfuold returns with a copper coin… a very shiny copper coin. Xar accepts it and places it into his pocket with no zeal. Then sighs.

“Am I on the right path?” Silence. No sensation. Nothing. Even in meditation, the half-elf sighs in disappointment.

He opens his eyes. “Anything happen?”

“No” states the warforged.

“Sarfuold is collecting coins. I hope he didn’t get me killed.”

“Us.” States the warforged turning to the kobold. “Kill us.”

A few hours pass before Min comes to them. “Vesper awaits you in her room.” They stand up to stretch then follow the silver skinned being. They go to a new room. It is a large half-circle room. A large open hole over looks the water and reef. Thick vines and vegetation hang over the opening creating cover from being seen outside. The dragon is looking through this cover at a ship anchored a hundred feet beyond the wreck filled reef.

“Welcome and good morning. Did you rest well?” asks the dragon with his back turned to the group. Min bows and leaves the group with Vespar.

“Yes. Thankyou for the room.” Answers Tabask.

“I find myself …. How do you say it…. Between a rock and a hard place. The Caldron is a secret and must remain a secret. My existence must also remain a secret. I suffer from… a dysfunctional family. My great grandfather…. Meant well doing what he did to end the war with the elves. Instead it made it worse. Now others hate us. Sad. Truly sad.” The long neck of the gargantuan green dragon slowly turns to regard the group. “The easy solution is a final one. I… wish not to do this.”

They don’t mean to but the group sigh in relief.

“The captain and his crew…. All of his crew could join other ships already sunken at the reef. This seemed to work at first but I find more and more coming here. Did he have a map?”

“In Sharn, he said he had bought a map. I would assume the map led to here.” Offers Tabask.

“Hmmmm Too bad.”

Tabask looks out the window. He can see The Azure Dragon anchored there. If they come to pick them up it will be soon.

“I sense good in you. Destiny also. Perhaps our paths were meant to connect.”

“I believe so.” Agrees Tabask hoping to avoid returning to the possibility of wiping them out.

The dragon looks back to the ship. “They come.”

“Who?” asks Dorque truly not understanding the persons involved.

“The woman and several men. I have mere minutes to decide and act.” A short sword sized talon taps in frustration.

“Perhaps a new ploy.”

“Go on.”

“The curse…. I assume you created it to scare sailors away. It has but now the thought has become old. Sailors are superstitious but they have pride. Curses do not hold the same power and fear as before. Perhaps a new curse. One more powerful.”

“Like what?”

“Undead. Sailors fear undead.” Offers Xar.

“NO!” the dragon roars then calms down shaking and bristling his spins and frills of his neck and shoulders. “Nothing undead. I do not like undead.”

Tabask shrugs as he looks to his allies. Xar is uncertain.

“Giant Monsters.” States the warforged.

“Again- glory hounds will seek it out.” Interjects Tabask.

“Giant…… Fiends.”

“Ah. That would scare many if not most away. At least from the island.” Vespar asks as he notes the row boat nears the reef. They are near to passing the line….. the line of no return.

“I think I know a scare that will drive the Captain away.”

“Min, get the others. I suspect Tabask Andorin of Khorvaire has an idea.”
 

megamania

Community Supporter
SHADOW WAR
SEGMENT 026
“PROBLEMS & SOLUTIONS”
11/24/18

LHARVION 21, 1003

“I’m glad you saw it my way.” Answers the half-elf mage.

“Like I have a choice.” Sulks the captain as he looks on.

“Jack, Rat and Hienes are going with me also.” Ezzy states…. Not suggests.

“Anyone else?” comments the defeated Captain.

“Perhaps Tenner?”

“You have enough. This will cost us a day of recovery.”

“Going somewhere?” She asks as the mage begins down the rope ladder.

“Maybe.”

She smirks and gives a “naughty-naughty” wave of her pointing finger.

The four of them start off. They have come to trust and like Tabask. The kobold is okay. His weasel broke up the boredom playing cat & mouse with Morrus. Dorque….. well they do like the cleric. She? She has come to like the cute cleric. His flirts and glances have not escaped her notice. At times she put on a show for him. She hopes he is okay.

It was worrisome that they sent Hienes back to the ship with food. Then they never returned to the beach for pick up. She argued to go then but she had used several spells defending off a shark. Now, the next day they can only hope nothing of harm has come of Tabask and his friends.

As they pass the reef, they spot a shark in the water. It ignores them as it swims about the reef. Then they see a black and purple sea turtle. “The Darque Turtle is a bad omen.” Grumbles Rat.

“Don’t be so superstitious. It is just a sea turtle with dark colors instead of green or brown.” Ezzirra states while thinking about spell choices she has.

They cross the reef and look to the island. Smoke begins to rise from the mountain top. “It’s active!” Jack declares looking up and pointing. “If it explodes it will destroy the treasure!”

“Treasure? I would fear the falling rock and waves. Hurry Hienes…. We must find them quickly.”

“Wha… what is that?”

Ezzirra and the others look. Birds take to sky by the dozens from the jungle. “Something comes!”

Bursting out of the jungle and crossing the grass is a gargantuan monster. It has a panther’s head by crab-like claws. A rough chitin covered back and tail. It roars at them. “Oh……no.” The mage whispers and a tear fills her eye. Hienes begins to reverse the rowing back towards the reef.

“Now we understand why the ships never see the reef- They are attacked by a demon.” Calls out Rat in a panic.

“I have heard of this beast. The men in the tavern said it was further up the island chain…. I..I…” Jack can not finish it. His fear is overwhelming. As the creature gets closer they all feel the Fearsome Presence.

It disturbs Ezzirra when she notes no one on the ship is pointing at the giant demonic creature. In less time to leave the ship they return. “What is that thing?”

“Sahuagin! Do you not remember what a Sea Devil looks like?!?” Demands Captain Lucious of the ship’s mage.

“Where?” She looks back. More birds burst into the air. The demon is no where to be seen now.

“There!” calls out Rat pointing.

A ten foot tall fin rises out of the water. It cuts through the water easily. “Jaws of Sorrow.” Whimpers Rat.

[DM NOTES: who remembers my Jaws of Sorrow encounter?]

It disappears below water which panics the crew. Even the Captain has signs of fear on his face. His luck (Thru Golden Cat) may not work against that. He has heard of the legends. A monstrous undead giant shark that is immune to magic…. Bigger than many ships. “Pull up the damned anchor!” He calls out.

The monstrous shark rises to the surface again. Now five Sahuagin holding staffs rides it’s back. “The anchor is caught on something. Captain.” Calls out a sailor.

“Then cut the line!”

Ezzirra calls up a wind she intended to use to propel the row boat. Now it is used to fill the sails of the ship.

“Go damn it! Go!” screams out the captain as the shark (same size as their ship) swims by.

And so… the origin of the newest legend of terror of the sea and reason to stay away from this island begins.
 

megamania

Community Supporter
SHADOW WAR
SEGMENT 027
“SHARN”
11/24/18

DRAVAGO 8, 1003 SHARN

“Thankyou for coming Sentinel Corrigan. It was unnecessary however.” The Dark Lantern Cole motions for the House Denieth Bounty Hunter to sit down. He doesn’t.

“Hmmm…. I heard there was over six killed. All in key positions to receive special Breland government training.”

“Do you believe every rumor you hear Sentinel Marshal?”

“One of those was the eldest son of a noble family with close ties to the Tain family. Very close.” The middle-aged man stares down the Lantern.

“Sorry. I know nothing of it.”

“Doubtful but I had hoped for your aid. If not then permission to investigate.”

“Look away.” Cole answers purposely leaving a double-meaning to his answer.

He leaves and Cole wonders. What has he gotten himself into.

DRAVAGO 9, 1003

“What do you know of the murders of the city watch?”

Zilshire is panicked. It was terrible enough that his secretary has been possessed or worse- injured and become a mean bitch but now bounty hunters…..

“Nothing. They came and left.”

“WHO? Who came and left. I want names, descriptions and answers. No detail is too small.”

Suddenly the professor wished he had never met the damned Aundairian Saas. Maybe even wishes he took to farming instead of ancient history studies.
 

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