Pathfinder 2E Skull & Shackles (2E Conversion), solo campaign

Owlbrarian

The Librarian is Here
So onto the DM's perspective of this section.

So they went off the beaten path pretty quickly and I ultimately had them find a spring before they explored the rest of the island. In hindsight that could have ended poorly but it ended up working out alright. This comes down to me often reading the adventure and playing it at the same time. If I had read the module ahead of time I would known that the place the PC's were supposed get the water was later in this part of the adventure. Oh well like I said it worked out okay. I ended up inserting the giant frogs later from where the party was "supposed" to encounter them. Case of the Quantum Ogre or I guess Frog encounter.

Honestly I know that Paizo writes these adventures to be read more than played (or at least it feels that way sometimes) but I often find I really wish I just had some bullet points for each section rather than all the (admittedly well written) purple prose.

I loved the ghoul encounter as well. Lots of fun role-playing to be had there and a useful place to do some info dumping about the Infernus and what happened on the island. All in all nothing much was changed from the module though I could have had the final encounter be a bit more of a struggle. The vine chokers were kinda scary so it all works out.

One thing that I will say is I kinda wish we had started this like a week later so that by the time we got to this island I had the Bestiary 2 since they had many of the monsters that came up in this adventure. Oh well, all's well that ends well.
 

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Nthal

Lizard folk in disguise
I am very much enjoying this Story Hour thread! The back-and-forth posts between sole player and DM is a very cool setup. And good job on juggling four PCs at once, Crys - they've all got unique personalities and characteristics and make for enjoyable protagonists. I've never read through the "Skull and Shackles" adventures and have no experience with Pathfinder 2, so I'm looking forward to learning about both as the Story Hour progresses. Well done, both of you!

Johnathan

I agree, having 4 distinct pc/personalities is hard to pull off, and they do have that "Us against the world...on this ship" vibe to them. And it is well written journal style, with the DM insights as a bonus.

Glad you are having fun with the quartet. One question: What exactly is different between these posts and the one on your blog (which I don't see a link to)?
 

Crys

daydreamer and poet
I agree, having 4 distinct pc/personalities is hard to pull off, and they do have that "Us against the world...on this ship" vibe to them. And it is well written journal style, with the DM insights as a bonus.

Glad you are having fun with the quartet. One question: What exactly is different between these posts and the one on your blog (which I don't see a link to)?

I'm glad to hear you're enjoying it!

A lot of the difference in the posts here is cursing. The girls are rather fond of the f-word and other profanity (excepting Mirielle, she has cursed exactly once and it was an attempt to get Dolce to stop picking on her with a deception check she flubbed).

However, there are a few things of a more violent or delicate nature that I'm planning to be more vague and muted about here when they come up. Though honestly, we've encountered a couple points in particular that are written directly into the adventure path that are rather dark so I may censor parts of that too.

The reason there's no link to my blog is actually also because of the Keep it Clean rule...

"Keep it clean: Don't use obscenities or profanity, don't use clever tricks to run around the profanity filters, and don't link to sites with inappropriate content."

I figure by that ruling, since I'm not cleaning up the language on my blog posts I can't link to it here.
 

Nthal

Lizard folk in disguise
I'm glad to hear you're enjoying it!

A lot of the difference in the posts here is cursing. The girls are rather fond of the f-word and other profanity (excepting Mirielle, she has cursed exactly once and it was an attempt to get Dolce to stop picking on her with a deception check she flubbed).

However, there are a few things of a more violent or delicate nature that I'm planning to be more vague and muted about here when they come up. Though honestly, we've encountered a couple points in particular that are written directly into the adventure path that are rather dark so I may censor parts of that too.

The reason there's no link to my blog is actually also because of the Keep it Clean rule...

"Keep it clean: Don't use obscenities or profanity, don't use clever tricks to run around the profanity filters, and don't link to sites with inappropriate content."

I figure by that ruling, since I'm not cleaning up the language on my blog posts I can't link to it here.

Well, I'll ask for a link privately. Off course the other solution for you is word substitution for your own slang. "Frak","Farg,"Flip","Sodding","Pike that," etc. Its so common in media (film/TV and the last two are from TSR pre WoTC.). Rewriting drafts is a pain. :(
 

Crys

daydreamer and poet
Well, I'll ask for a link privately. Off course the other solution for you is word substitution for your own slang. "Frak","Farg,"Flip","Sodding","Pike that," etc. Its so common in media (film/TV and the last two are from TSR pre WoTC.). Rewriting drafts is a pain. :(

I've considered that. Ultimately I replaced them with emphasis (words in italics) or other word choices for posting here. The bright side is, it means most of my posts get a second read through before they go up here, which means I'm catching little typos as I go. :)
 

Crys

daydreamer and poet
Spoiler Warning: Many spoilers for the Skull & Shackles adventure path are contained within these story recap posts. If you don’t want your campaign spoiled, don’t read these!




Session 4 – What Lurks Below

They had kept a fire burning through the night as well as setting watches. The island had already proven quite deadly, and they didn’t particularly wish to be caught unawares in the night. The fire was to ward off mosquitoes as much as possible. After all, they really didn’t want to end up like the island’s other residents they’d met so far.

Dolce took the last watch so she would be awake before the rest. She spent the hours before they woke reviewing her spellbook, The Tome of Arcane Whimsy. She’d named it such so that it wouldn’t be obvious to others it was her spellbook and had taken great pains to come up with a magical shorthand closely resembling musical notation. One more deception among many, but it kept people guessing. Seeing the musical notes, most assumed she was a bard if they were even aware of her ability to wield magic.

Adjusting to waking before the ship’s day started had been difficult for Dolce. She’d always dreamed of being a pirate, but she’d lived by traveling from tavern to tavern singing shanties and bawdy songs for years, drinking and performing late into the night and waking late in the afternoon. Having time to study her book in the morning aboard the Wormwood had required her to wake before the morning bell. It seemed like this had taken months, but in truth she’d only been on that ship for about twenty days and had now spent a few on The Man’s Promise.

The elf considered their future as she sat there, between the old building and the walls surrounding it. Mr. Plugg hated Mirielle most, but his hate was shared with all four of them. Now they’d fought together and Mirielle, Nasha, and Revel were helping her try to find Quinn and Ambrose. It was not as though they needed to risk themselves. But… But this was the allure of pirating to Dolce. Sure, the riches were nice and the comfort they would afford her, but the sense of family and loyalty Besmara’s teachings and pirate stories told about…

Whole ships of people working in unison to one common goal, each soul aboard loyal to their captain for their own reasons. Most just simply to gain riches and enjoy a luxurious life at port. Dolce certainly planned to do that… But really, she wanted the sense of unity… family one could almost call it, of the crews in romanticized pirate tales.

Dolce ran her fingers through her fair hair and looked around at her sleeping companions. Saving Quinn and Ambrose would be a step in the direction of the crew she wanted someday. If they were still alive… She took a long, slow breath and began to wake her friends.

When morning comes
On gilded wing
We greet the sun
And songs we sing

Rise now my friend
There’s much to do
And I will lend
My aid to you

Dolce roused her companions with a gentle song. Nasha woke easily with the first notes of her singing, Revel required a shake to her shoulder. Mirielle required many. Dolce couldn’t help but smile. This one had defied all odds. She was timid, she was not very strong, she was not as enduring as the rest. All Dolce could say for her was that she had healing magic and she seemed to understand the principals of sailing. Perhaps because her family had been so involved in it before. Who would have expected her to last this long? Especially with all the hard assignments Plugg had given her. Bilge duty nearly every day, and almost every day she’d collapsed into her hammock, exhausted… Yet, here she was. Sure, Dolce had lessened the burden with her little bit of trickery, but really, Besmara seemed to be showing this one some mercy.

Mirielle roused, though she still looked quite tired. She’d had the first watch. Dolce’s logic being that of the four them she had the hardest time waking in the morning. Despite being tired, the aasimar got to her feet. Their little camp came to life and they had breakfast. When they had finished Dolce asked if everyone was ready, but she was paying the most attention to Mirielle. Mirielle nodded. “My spells are renewed. Let’s find Quinn and Ambrose.”

The four set off, going back down toward the fields. There Dolce decided to dig up one of the mounds, and to their surprise a body was under the ground. Nasha and Revel unearthed the remains and Mirielle sighed and said, “The survivors must have buried them in the fields to help feed the crop.” She ran her hand along some of the wildly growing plants. What a harsh reality they’d faced. Like Quinn’s harsh reality, even before being kidnapped by the grindylows. Or Badger’s life before coming aboard the ship. Mirielle had never felt so humbled and privileged.

At the same time, she’d spent her whole life daydreaming about what she would do with freedom. Now she was free of her father’s rules, but had committed acts of piracy and couldn’t return to any semblance of her life before. She watched as they reburied the body, but noted Dolce and Revel had stripped the corpse of its jewelry. She was thankful the two didn’t decide to unearth every mound there in the fields after finding valuables on the first. It made sense. If the girls survived The Man’s Promise under Plugg they’d need money to pay for their lives when they made port and escaped the pirates.
Escaped to what though? The thought of that made Mirielle feel hollow. She had no idea where she would go or what she would do, and it was almost overwhelming. For now though… She could focus on helping Quinn and Ambrose.




Sheer and Slippery Walls

The “cave” did not open the way Mirielle imagined most caves opening, with a large mouth one could walk into from the surface. Rather it was a sheer drop down. Nasha stood atop the ledge looking below. She’d attached a rope to a sturdy rock above and had pitons in hand for the climb down. They would make this a relatively easy undertaking.

“I would just jump, but with the tide out there’s no telling how deep the water is below,” Nasha said. Dolce and Revel gave a nod. “I will go first, then you.” Nasha pointed at Dolce, who nodded agreement again. “Then Revel, then Mirielle. This way we stagger the stronger climbers between the weaker, yes?”

Dolce smiled. The lizardfolk didn’t talk often, but it was nice to see that when she did it was to provide insight worth considering. “Sounds like a plan.” There were… currently… no grindylows in sight.

Nasha gave a nod at their agreement and then lowered herself over the ledge. She made it look so easy. Her and Revel both, really. Mirielle was the weakest link when it came to climbing. Nasha was right about that. Dolce waited. She was supposed to start her descent when Nasha was about fifteen feet along the wall.

The elf never got the chance to climb before a loud buzzing sound filled the air. “What is that?” She asked.

Nasha shushed her, hanging from the rope by one hand, her clawed feet finding purchase on the wall. She seemed to be straining to hear. “From the walls.” The lizardfolk said, and shortly after Dolce saw bloodseekers emerge from the walls. They swarmed at Nasha, three of the vile critters, the size of barn cats with horrid barbed legs and long, wicked proboscises with which to leech blood from their prey.

From atop the cliff face, Dolce, Mirielle, and Revel watched as Nasha fended off the Bloodseekers to the best of her ability. Even dangling from the rope, the lizardfolk proved quite deadly. She kept one hand firmly rooted and wielded the claws of her free hand with scary precision, but three to one odds were proving difficult. And worse, more of the vermin were coming.

Revel loosed the javelin she’d found in the bilges at the vile creatures, more grateful then ever for the Returning rune upon it as it reappeared in her hand after each throw. Dolce flung cantrips at them, for from this angle she really couldn’t hit them with much else. Mirielle, meanwhile, called upon her angelic blood. A halo of light appeared around her head and she carefully monitored Nasha’s condition, preparing to use her healing magic as required.

It seemed like the tide of bloodseekers would never end, healing magic was precious too, and Dolce was keenly aware as not one, but two of Mirielle’s spells were spent on Nasha. The lizardfolk, for her own part, seemed unwilling to climb back up the rope, perhaps thinking she could weather the onslaught better than the rest of them. She may have had a point, Dolce reflected when at last the tide was stemmed.

The buzzing had abated and Dolce instructed Nasha to return to the top of the rope before going down any further. It wouldn’t do to encounter the grindylows with her injured, and the finite spells Mirielle had at her command would need to last them through the caves if they were to find Ambrose and Quinn.

Dolce pulled her healer’s kit from her bag and tended Nasha’s injuries. It was clear the lizardfolk remained effected even when the fresh injuries were bandaged and salved. “Are you alright to press on?” Dolce asked in earnest.

Nasha had been bitten at least four times, but she’d managed alright with Mirielle’s aid, and rather than lead the swarm to her more vulnerable companions she had chosen to serve as bait of a sort. The price was feeling a bit of her tenacity sapped away. But just a bit. She would be fine. In answer to Dolce she simply looked at the elf and nodded.

It made Dolce smile a little. And without further delay the girls descended into the caves below. Certain items were left hidden above. Dolce’s lute and spell book among them. She didn’t particularly want those getting wet in the low tides of the caves. When they reached the bottom they found the water was just above their knees… Excepting on Revel, who was more than a foot shorter than even Dolce. The water was practically up to the hobgoblin’s waist.
Not long after their descent, Mirielle cried out and rushed to one side of the cave wall. There, resting amid some rocks above the water level was Quinn’s tricorn hat. She lifted it in her hands and looked over at Dolce. “It really is his hat.” She sounded hopeful.

Dolce smiled a little as she moved to the aasimar’s side. She took the hat from Mirielle and rested it on top of her blond locks saying, “Aye, it is.” Her keen elven eyes narrowed as she saw the hat’s fit adjust slightly. “And.. it’s magical..” She took it off of Mirielle’s head and examined it more closely. Perhaps it had some power that would prove useful to them.

Nasha and Revel kept watch at the entrance to the cave’s watery tunnel while the elf looked over the tricorn. About ten minutes passed before Dolce said, “Ah.. This could prove useful, but for now, I think it suits you.” She placed it back on Mirielle’s head, thinking her statement even further true considering the item’s magical properties. It was known as Besmara’s Tricorn, and if Besmara were the wearer’s deity, a command word would turn the hat into a boat for a period of eight hours or until the magical effect was dismissed. “Tell me, who do you pray to, Mirielle?”

The question seemed to surprise the aasimar, but she answered all the same, “My family gives prayers to Abadar primarily… Our fortune and holdings heavily relied on trade.” Her voice was quiet and disheartened. No surprise to Dolce, for she knew Mirielle had been a noble, and if her family prayed to Abadar then there was no way she could hope to return to them after participating in piracy. But maybe, with the right spinning of the tale, Mirielle could avoid being implicated in taking The Man’s Promise with the Wormwood‘s crew.

More puzzling though.. How did a worshiper of Abadar end up with Besmara’s blessing. “You spend a lot of time around ships then?” Dolce asked as they carefully passed through the watery tunnels. She was glad they’d come while the tide was low, swimming this far would have been exhausting.
Mirielle’s blue eyes turned on Dolce and she smiled faintly, “Yes. Enough at least to know my way around them and a good bit about how they’re run. The only thing I’ve had going for me in all of this aside from my healing magic.” She stumbled a little over the uneven cavern floor, but when she regained her balance she said, “Actually, I was born on a ship.”

Dolce studied the girl carefully. “Born on a ship? How did that come to pass?”

Mirielle chuckled, “My father had a new ship in his fleet and my mother wasn’t due to birth me for two weeks. The seas were calm and they loved sailing, so they went on a sail. I’m told one of the sailors had a pet parrot and it alighted on my mother’s shoulder just before her water broke.”

Dolce’s eyes widened slightly. Revel, Mirielle and Nasha took no notice. “So the bird scared your mom into labor?” Revel asked, sounding like she would start laughing any moment.

Mirielle brushed damp hair from her face and adjusted Quinn’s hat. “I don’t think it startled her. Father always said it was as if the bird had sensed my mother was going to start going into labor.” She shrugged her shoulders, then blinked a little and pulled her backpack off her shoulders. From the pack she drew out her turtle. “If we’re going to be trudging through water, might as well let you swim a little, huh Cupiir?” She didn’t speak in the Common tongue, but rather in the language of the angels.

Dolce blinked a little and laughed aloud. Revaress was resting on her shoulders, tentacles drooping around and clinging to her arms to help it stay in place. “You could swim too, you know.” The octopus made no response, but seemed to “nuzzle” up against the elf. “Or you could stay on my shoulder."

Her laughter had not been about the octopus, though the others would likely think it was. Rather, she was beginning to understand. Those born on the sea were said to have Besmara’s blessing… And Besmara delighted in raiding the celestial and fiendish outposts of other deities. Perhaps it was then, destined, that Mirielle be press ganged. Destined she gain her legs as a pirate. Besmara was having fun, attempting to “corrupt” an angel-blooded worshiper of Abadar… Or… perhaps not a worshiper? Mirielle had said her family primarily offered prayers to Abadar. “What strange circumstances for an Abadar worshiper to find themselves in, ey?”

A small test. Mirielle smiled and shrugged her shoulders. “A bit strange for all of us, I’d say.” Not confirmation of faith, nor denial. But was there some sense of uncertainty about the girl? Puzzles for another day.




Perils in the Caves

“Watch your step.” Dolce cautioned the others, pointing ahead of them. “There are weapons tangled up in the seaweed on chains. Most of them hooked.”
Nasha hadn’t seen it before, but the elf was right. One of two paths before them was blocked by seaweed, and mingled in the long, waxy plants were glimmers of metal. Of course, Nasha could only see them because of the Light spell Mirielle had cast upon her belt. All of her companions had better vision in the dark than she did.

The second path was narrow. Intended for smaller creatures. It made sense. The grinylow would be able to swim through either passage with little trouble as small as they were. Dolce motioned toward the narrow passage and Nasha nodded, heading down that course.

It was a tight squeeze, but as long and lithe as Nasha was, it posed little trouble for her. Revel followed second. It seemed the hobgoblin was content to force her way through any area that threatened to trap her. Mirielle was third, and they hadn’t even reached the opening of the narrow passage when she grunted and whimpered a little. “I’m stuck!” She tried to pull her leg free, but seemed to have no success.

This was when the attack came. Two grindylow moving into Nasha’s sight at the front of the tunnel, another two appearing where Dolce could see them at the other end near the seaweed. The elf was grateful she’d decided to take the rear guard because Mirielle couldn’t take a hit to save her life.

The battle tactic, while seemingly sound, did not gain the grindylows much advantage. They each carried only a single spear and were hesitant to throw them, resulting in them having to close into melee with Nasha and Dolce. Nasha slashed with her claws, and though she seemed drained by their earlier encounter with the bloodseekers, she still proved quite lethal. Dolce, on the other hand, sent crackling electricity coursing through her foes until they closed to melee, then pierced skillfully with a rapier, catching her opponents off-balance by feinting.

Revel, frustrated to be caught in the middle, threw her returning javelin whenever she could see the creatures. It was tricky to aim, but the hobgoblin managed not to hit any of her companions. Soon enough the grindylow withdrew into the chamber at the wider side of the tunnel. Nasha broke free and gave pursuit, only to have four spears thrown at her. There had been eight once, but four still hurt plenty. They didn’t take her down, but they surely left her close. She returned their attack with vicious swipes of her own. Felling two more in addition to the two she’d originally slain from the mouth of the tunnel.

Revel joined soon enough, but the water was deeper in this room, and swimming was not as natural to her as it was to Nasha. It took her long enough to reach the foe and keep above the water that she wasn’t getting in nearly as many attacks as she might have otherwise. Dolce found it was the same for her. They hurt one, but couldn’t finish it off even between the two of them, and Mirielle barely got into the room and called forth her halo before Nasha fell unconscious.

One of the creatures dragged Nasha to the far side of the chamber and seemed to be trying to take her further when Revel managed to kill the other straggler. Dolce tried to fling a Ray of Frost at the remaining one, but the ray flew wide as she had to struggle to stay above the water’s surface. Mirielle had to swim into the chamber. Thankfully the magic of the steel, blue ring let her do so with little effort and she was able to get close enough to cast another healing spell on Nasha.

The last grindylow was angered and rushed Mirielle, striking her with its tentacles. Revel took advantage of the creature coming closer and managed to get on the other side of it to take a bite out of it, ending its life. Mirielle swam over and reached for Nasha even as she emerged from the water’s surface sputtering and coughing. When Nasha had caught her breath her eyes fell on Mirielle and she said, “Again.. Thank you.”

They moved to the shallow water where Dolce treated the rest of their wounds with bandages and salves, save for Mirielle. Mirielle she had drink a potion. They’d gotten a few and Dolce didn’t think it would do to force Mirielle to heal naturally and bear scars. They might earn her rebuke from her father, who saw her as a daughter he loved but also as a tool.

The chamber the girls were in was carved to look like a great sea monster. They searched it while recovering and found various knickknacks of interest within, including a scrimshaw map of the region. It would net a tidy profit if they survived this island.

Deeper in the cave they fought a devilfish, a creature similar to an octopus but whose blood is infused with fiendish magic. The fight left all of them injured when the vile creature spewed a cloud of blood into the water that burned their flesh. They managed to slay it, and again took to shallower waters to treat their injuries. Mirielle had been the farthest from it and was the least injured when the combat settled, so she simply bore her wounds for the time being, assuring Dolce she would heal them later if required.




Enter the Tide…

The girls continued searching the caves, still having found no further sign of their friends. They entered into a particularly deep cave and were searching through it when they began hearing a roaring sound. Nasha realized what was coming first, “Hold to the walls!” She cried, grabbing Mirielle around the waist as she tried to dig her claws into the cave wall. They barely found purchase and Nasha could only hope it would be enough.

Dolce and Revel followed her example, clinging to the wall, seeking handholds. The water came soon after. It came from both sides, flooding from behind and before them, sweeping into them with amazing force. Try as she might, Nasha could not keep hold of Mirielle and the assimar’s own grip on the wall was weak as she was torn away and swept along the current. “MIRIELLE!” Nasha cried as she released the wall of her own volition.

Dolce and Revel were similarly torn from their handholds, and try though Nasha might, she was unable to keep pace with Mirielle and to her horror saw the tides swirling in one cave with four passages. Mirielle was quickly washed down one passage while Nasha, Dolce, and Revel were swept in another direction.

When they regained their “footing” the water was quite a bit higher. Now swimming was required throughout the passageway. Nasha growled and looked toward Dolce and Revel. They seemed unharmed. “I’m going to find Mirielle.”

Dolce frowned. “It might be best if we don’t split up.”

Nasha regarded Dolce coolly and the elf wondered what was going through her mind. She didn’t have to wonder long for Nasha soon said, “She is the weakest of us. If I can reach her more quickly she is more likely to survive.”

It was true, Dolce knew, and she scowled. “You’re right. Be careful. Her healing magic will not do much to fend off enemies in this place and we’ve already used a number of her spells. Take these.” Dolce handed Nasha two of the remaining three potions. She and Revel would just have to take care of one another.

With that Nasha swam off ahead in search of Mirielle.




An Audience with the Queen

The force of the water was astounding and Mirielle found herself gasping for air at every opportunity as it pushed her along. She held one arm over her head to shield it from potentially crashing into the wall or low-hanging ceilings of the caves, and otherwise just tried to keep herself upright and breath when she could.

When the current subsided she found herself facing a large, circular chamber. In front of her were two occupants. One a grindylow female. The first female she’d noticed among them. She supposed she’d assumed they were like Nasha. So lean and wiry was the lizardfolk that it was hard to tell her gender, but Mirielle had been mistaken, for this grindylow clearly had breasts.

She coughed and sputtered as she regained herself, grateful for her blue ring and fearful for her life as she heard the other occupant speak in a deep voice, “Food?” He was easily four times the size of a normal grindylow, perhaps more than that. His body was bloated to such an extant that she wondered if he could even use the more narrow tunnels she and her companions had traveled through to get here.

The female smiled, her jagged teeth bared in the chamber. There was no light, but it didn’t matter. Mirielle’s angelic heritage allowed her to see perfectly even without it, and unlike many others who had what was known as darkvision, her bloodline’s vision even allowed her to see color. The female grindylow held her hand out toward the massive male and said, “No my, love, at least.. I don’t think so.”

They were speaking in Common. Mirielle’s heart pounded in her chest. Why wasn’t she food? She hardly had time to ponder that when she saw the large one move forward toward the female and behind him chained to the wall so their heads were barely above the water and blood was trickling from their manacles were Ambrose and Quinn! Her eyes widened and a gasp escaped her lips.

“Ah, yes, I think not. These are your friends, hm?” The female asked, cooing as she pet her companion.

Mirielle blinked, clearing her thoughts. She could lie, she supposed. She was gifted at deceit, a necessary tool for life at court… But, what would it gain her in this instance? And what did they want? They hadn’t attacked her yet.

“It is quite rude to keep us waiting. What is your name, Dear?” The female cooed again.

Mirielle was shaken and feeling particularly vulnerable and at least a little panicked. She swallowed and tore her gaze away from Quinn and Ambrose to meet the female’s gaze. “M-Mirielle.”

“Ah, that’s much more polite. Now, are these your companions?” She asked again.

The time to decide was now, and convinced that lying would gain her little Mirielle said, “Y-yes. I’ve.. I’m here to return them.”

The female looked amused. “Oh-ho.. Return them? I was expecting someone but not so few. Hmm, that is a problem, isn’t it, Son?” she was was looking at the bloated grindylow again.

“I’m so hungry. Eat her?” The son asked, drool dribbling from his lips. Despite his girth it was clear he wasn’t weak, for muscles rippled beneath the layer of fat over his limbs and torso. His teeth looked sharper and larger than any of the others’ had been.

“Not yet, Dear. Not yet. Tell me, Mirielle. Are there others aboard your ship you do not like?” The woman was looking at her again.

Mirielle blinked at the strange question. There were, it was true, but what was her motive? “Umm.. yes…”

The grindylow female looked pleased. “Oh wonderful! You see, my precious son, here, he’s so very strong and powerful. Lamashtu blessed me with him, yes she did.” She was baby talking the giant grindylow, and he was nuzzling into the affections of both her hands and tentacles as she did so. Mirielle felt both alienated and as though they were somewhat relatable at the same time. “He is always so hungry. Aren’t you, Dear?”

The male rumbled his response, drawing out the word as though he could gain sustenance from it. “Foooooddd…”

“If you bring me.. eight.. eight men you don’t like, then I will return to you these two.” The female’s eyes were on her again.

Mirielle blinked, her brain struggling to digest everything she was hearing and witnessing. Eventually she stilled herself and took in a long breath. She nodded, “I will lead them here. It will take… at least a day to get them to come.”

The female frowned. “Why so long?” The question was more demand than inquiry.

“I have to travel all the way back to the ship and convince them to aid me. But I can do it. And I will. Tomorrow you will have them.” She was, of course, bluffing.

“HUNGRY!” The male protested, seeming to at least understand what was being said despite his rather small vocabulary throughout the conversation.
The mother cooed and pet him more, her tentacles coiling around him partially, “It’s alright, my sweet, strong son. She will return and you will have more food. It is a good exchange. Just be patient.”

The son grumbled but nodded and the female looked at Mirielle again. “If you don’t return by midday, he will eat them both.” She gave Mirielle a cold smile.

“I- I understand.” Mirielle found herself thankful the men were unconscious where they hung. They wouldn’t be feeling the pain of their manacles biting their flesh or hearing the conversation regarding their fate. At least they would be spared some discomfort. “I will return by midday.” With that she turned and started swimming away.

“Don’t kill my children as you leave.” The female’s voice called from behind.

“I-I won’t. And I will return!” She said again, swimming more hurriedly up the tunnel. She had to find Nasha and the others!




Reunion

Nasha found Mirielle first. She caught up to her at the junction where they’d been swept apart in the first place and was happy enough to see Mirielle she actually hugged the aasimar. “We worried.” She said simply.

Mirielle found she was shaking a little and gave Nasha a sheepish smile. “I was worried too. Where are-” She felt something press up against her thigh and panicked for a moment before seeing Cupiir. “Oh, Baby! I’m so glad you’re okay!” She realized, with a little guilt, that she hadn’t even thought about her familiar since being swept away from Nasha and the others. She supposed that was alright considering how scared and rattled she was feeling, but the guilty feeling remained despite her logic. She lifted the turtle out of the water long enough to kiss the top of its head. She wiped her lips and looked back at Nasha. “Where are Dolce and Revel?”

“Behind,” Nasha said. “I made haste to find you.”

Though the lizardfolk didn’t say it aloud, Mirielle was able to discern why. They worried she couldn’t take care of herself, and they were likely right. She excelled at lifting up and renewing others in combat, but she had very little ability to inflict harm when required. “We need to get back to them. I found Quinn and Ambrose!”

Nasha seemed to smile, the scales around her lips stretching backward. She gave a nod. “This way.” She began to swim, slower than her usual pace to allow Mirielle to keep up. Mirielle felt Cupiir press himself up against her hand on occasion as they moved through the water and felt relief at his safety every time he did so.

When they reunited with Dolce and Revel it was several caves and passages toward the entry way. Dolce was looking haggard. “Boy am I glad to see you two,” she said.

Mirielle thought for a moment that Dolce might give her a hug as well, but to her surprise the elf took Quinn’s hat and put it on. She steadied herself in the accursed water and focused on the hat, “Windfall.” It was the word of power for the hat and coupled with her intent to activate it she felt the magic of the hat respond. She took it from her head and tossed it into the middle of the cavern as it began turning into a ship. The caves would prove tight for them, and in places require them to force it below the water, but being as the ship was magical in nature she supposed it would hold up well.

When it reached its full twenty feet the elf crawled aboard looking not unlike a drowned rat. Nasha and Revel got up easily enough and held their hands out to aid Mirielle, who joined them next. “Thank you.”

Nasha nodded and Revel flashed her a toothy grin, “No problem.”

Dolce now put her hands on Mirielle’s shoulders. “Well, it looks like you made it alright.”

“Yes! I found Quinn and Ambrose!” Quickly she explained what all she had seen and heard and how she’d gotten out of their alive with the lie of intending to return. While she was explaining Dolce was casting Prestidigitation on her pack and the healing kit and her clothing, getting everything all dried out with a few expenditures of magic, though she paused when Mirielle described the state of Ambrose and Quinn, heads just above the water, blood trickling down their arms from their manacles.

Ambrose didn’t deserve that. He’d suffered enough without falling victim to sea monsters. He’d once told Dolce the skin of his back was so callused from lashes that he couldn’t feel them anymore… And of course Mr. Plugg had lashed his chest when the officers had gotten sick from some of the leftover reefclaw aboard the Wormwood. It pained her to think of her friend suffering now too.

“Well then, I guess we know where we’re going. I’ve got… some ideas about this.” She’d been saving her more potent spells. The right application of True Strike and Acid Arrow would be almost certain she hit her mark. She also had one more Chilling Spray prepared. And she could yet draw on the magic she’d vested into her rapier to recast expended spells twice today.

“Nasha, we’ll have you hide in the water in front of the boat since you can hold your breath so long. Mirielle, we’ll have you in the water behind the boat since you have the Ring of Swimming and you’re the only one they’ve seen. Maybe we’ll get lucky and they’ll stop to talk to us to and we can catch them off guard.” It sounded like a good plan to Dolce and the others readily agreed.

Dolce took the time to dress everyone’s wounds since they weren’t expected until the next day. With that done they set off to save Quinn and Ambrose.



Confrontation…

The plan worked at least in part, for Revel rowed the boat and Dolce watched from behind, spells at the ready. Mirielle was holding on the back of the boat, using it to hide behind and to keep her afloat as well as drag her through the water so she could better keep up. Nasha was invisible to the untrained eye.

Unfortunately, it seemed the grindylow priestess… or perhaps druid… was not interested in talking again, for as soon as she saw the boat she said something in a strange language to her son and the male rushed forward.

After that chaos erupted. The female was the quickest into combat, using magic to call upon aid from the natural world and summoning a large eel-like creature to the combat. She sent it toward the boat, but it saw Nasha since it was in the water and engaged with her instead. Puzzled, the female looked below the water and saw the lizardfolk as well. More words in her strange language seemed to alert her son.

Revel rowed the boat, driving them forward into the room and closing the distance to Nasha somewhat. They ended their movement about ten feet from the lizardfolk as Revel was moving to draw the oars again. Dolce stood in the boat and cast her True Strike and Acid Arrow, focusing the attack on the female.

A cry of pain sounded out, though it was much less effective than Dolce had hoped, searing only some of the flesh from their enemy. Still, the spell had a way of lingering if you weren’t particularly resilient or particularly lucky. She pinned her hopes on that.

Even as she did so the son closed the distance between them and took the boat in his strong hands, flipping it over so that Revel and Dolce were deposited in the water. Nasha, meanwhile, was bleeding from the Eel’s attack and returned its attentions with her claws.

Mirielle emerged from behind the boat, squeezing between its overturned back and the wall. She got close enough she could reach Nasha and cast a healing spell on her, calling on one of her more powerful spells of the day.. Only one remained.

The female cursed and cast a spell all too familiar to Dolce, sending electricity coursing through her body and Revel’s. Dolce hissed in pain, but managed to keep hold of her rapier. Revel seemed to come alive from the pain, howling loudly and smiling crazily. Her jaw elongated the way it did when her blood started racing, and Dolce swore the veins were bulging from her skin as she said, “YESSSS! I LOVE A GOOD FIGHT!”

Revel moved behind the big guy, putting him between her and Dolce, and chomped down on his arm as hard as she could. The hobgoblin scored a deadly hit, nearly tearing his arm straight off with her vicious fangs. The male cried out in pain and alarm, but Dolce didn’t give him time to react further before stabbing at him with her rapier, not once, but twice.

Both attacks connected, the first leaving him bleeding in the water and howling anew, the second causing his eyes to roll back and his limp body to disappear beneath the surface as a pool of dark blood spread. Her eyes turned on the mother and she said, “You’re next.” Her voice held that steely and unnerving edge she so rarely used…

But the mother didn’t seem to care as she wailed aloud, “My BABY!” and began sobbing.

Nasha, meanwhile, had a few bites taken out of her by the eel, but managed to kill the thing, slashing its throat open with her claws only to see it disappear. She moved alongside the queen, whose skin still burned from acid, and struck mercilessly at the one who had kidnapped Quinn and Ambrose. It wasn’t quite enough to kill her, but she was looking to be in a sorry state.

Mirielle swam forward further, her eyes travelling from the relatively uninjured Revel and Dolce to Nasha. She didn’t look amazing, but she also didn’t look like she was in danger of passing out any moment. Still, Mirielle readied herself in case the worst should happen.

Revel swam forward, eyes still crazed and smile still wicked. She had no hesitation about biting into the female as she wept over the loss of her son. Her teeth caught the grindylow by the throat and more blood spilled into the water as she ripped them free. After swallowing her enemy’s flesh Revel said, sounding all too content, “Gods I love the taste of blood.”

Mirielle was unnerved in earnest, and once again grateful the hobgoblin was not her enemy. She quietly asked, “Can we turn the ship? We’ll need it for them.” She gestured to Quinn and Ambrose.

The girls righted their overturned boat and climbed back aboard, except for Nasha. The lizardfolk searched the bodies of the fallen grindylows and found the key to the manacles imprisoning their friends. They lowered them into the boat only to find they had been poisoned. Sea urchin poison if Dolce was correct. They would live, but it would take some time for them to recover… Which might complicate the story she planned to sell to Master Scourge and Mr. Plugg.

Still… for now she settled into relief that they had not only found them, but been able to rescue them. Getting them out of here would prove difficult if they went up the cave wall, but if they were lucky another exit would exist from the cave system and they could use the boat to go to the beach before returning it to Besmara’s Tricorn. For now she focused on tending to everyone’s wounds.. And there were a lot of wounds to tend.




OOC Notes

So where I said it was a difficult adjustment for Dolce to wake before the ship's bell? We couldn't decide what we should roll for her attempts to do that, and eventually settled on Will saves. She's got a 12 Wisdom and is proficient in saves at this point, so probably like a +6 or something? I couldn't roll above a five on the die for days worth of in game time. Eventually she got it two consecutive days and we decided she'd managed to adjust her sleep schedule.

So.. That part where Mirielle got swept off by herself? Owlbrarian decided to have this happen because the athletics checks were abysmal for clinging to the wall. I literally rolled a 1, 2, 3, and 4 on my four d20s. Needless to say, I was sweating bullets! She's just so squishy compared to everyone else, and to have her swept into a chamber with Quinn and Ambrose and such an unusual pair of grindylow. My mind was screaming 'Final Boss!!' We rolled randomly to determine which character got swept off that way, so it's not like Owlbrarian specifically singled her out.

Also of note, Owlbrarian watched me agonize about whether or not to lie to the queen and her son for a good minute or so before I finally decided Mirielle would be honest. He started laughing and told me I was lucky. After the conversation concluded he explained that if Mirielle had convinced them she wasn't here to reclaim Quinn and Ambrose they would have just attacked her outright and I'd have been rolling a new character. Phew.

Lastly, I'd like to say Acid Arrow has been quite a troll for Dolce. She uses it regularly because the spell does 3d8 initial damage and 1d6 persistent damage. The way persistent damage works, you take the listed damage and then have to roll a flat check (that is a d20 with no modifiers) at the end of your turn to stop the effect. The DC on the flat check is a 15 unless otherwise stated. So, the persistent damage has been very useful in combats, but I've cast the spell probably six times now and managed to roll a total of 5 or less damage on those 3d8 for literally four of them. What are the odds? Anyway, if you ever see 'the spell was less effective than she hoped', just know my dice are trolling me.
 
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Owlbrarian

The Librarian is Here
Yeah I can be mean sometimes. Honestly as far as Mirielle going off by herself that is not something I would do in a normal game. At least not in a game like PF2. Maybe in something like Numenera or Invisible Sun where GM shifts/intrusions are a thing. Honestly I sort of hated that sort of concept when I first read about them in Numenera but over time I found that I enjoy adding things that complicate the players life and give something mechanical to the player.

I might end up adding something like that but giving Hero Points or perhaps give Crys some extra experience. I enjoyed the Bloodseekers (AKA stirges). Even though they were a pretty weak foe, 8 of them drained Nasha up something fierce. It is a good thing she is a good climber otherwise that encounter would have been much worse.

So the Grindylows.

Oh the Grindylows.

So you see the Queen wants food for her "baby" boy Whale. Who "can't leave" the cave even though the walls of the cave according to the map are large enough that a large sized creature should be able to escape. But I digress, the Queen is all about food. That is why the Grindylows attacked the PC's ship in the first place.

So they capture Fishguts and Quinn and in the original module they have them tied up near some Ghouls and let the ghouls go when the PC's fight them. Like I get that this is a cool bit of spectacle forcing the PC's to split their attention. However, why in the heck are Fishguts and Quinn even alive at that point? Why didn't they become fish food for Whale?

So with my version of it Quinn and Fishguts were kept alive so that more people would travel to their cave. The queen was hoping to parlay with those that came to save the two of them to try and get more food for Whale. If nothing else it meant that they got more than just two people. Anyways, that this was the first dungeon for the party.

Something I do like about Skull & Shackles is that the dungeons rarely have a lot of traps in them. Typically no more than one or two per dungeon. Traps, if done poorly, tend to grind my gears a little bit.

Also of course Grindylows were another monster in the Bestiary 2 that I had converted beforehand. Oh well.
 

Crys

daydreamer and poet
Side note for today, I just realized I'd led all my posts on my blog and here with the word 'Disclaimer' when I really meant 'Spoiler Warning'. Whoops. I spent a good thirty minutes going through all the postings to correct that.




Spoiler Warning: Many spoilers for the Skull & Shackles adventure path are contained within these story recap posts. If you don’t want your campaign spoiled, don’t read these!




Session 5 – Trouble at Home

Pulling Quinn and Ambrose from the chains had been easy enough when Nasha had handed over the keys. Their wrists, while injured, weren’t as bad as they could have been. Dolce checked their throats for any sign of the leaf they’d found over Narwhale’s mouth while they were still unconscious, but found none.

The girls set about making their way out. They knew the tunnels they’d come from would be difficult to pass what with their ceilings being so low and the tide being in, so they rowed their way up the other tunnels, hoping to find better luck there. It was a bit of a gamble.

They explored the chambers as they came to them, believing it would give Ambrose and Quinn more time to recover from the poison. In one chamber they found a pair of ghouls trapped in a submerged cage. Perhaps the ghouls responsible for the infestation of the rest of the humans on the island? Dolce thought so. She and Nasha disposed of the ghouls from outside the cage’s bars, Nasha employing a spear they’d taken from the female grindylow.
In the cage they found a scattering of gold coins and silver. Dolce also noted some fine-looking buttons on one of the ghoul’s coats and removed them, thinking perhaps she’d use them if she one of her companions lost a button of their own.

They continued in the boat, but found they did have to capsize it and take it below the rocky ceilings on occasion. Revel and Nasha saw to this while Mirielle and Dolce held Quinn and Ambrose aloft inside the overturned boat so they could breath. They would not have done well holding their breath while paralyzed by the poison.

The tunnel connected to their original tunnel and they passed by the cliff face where the bloodseekers had swarmed Nasha. They lingered there while the lizardfolk scaled the cliff and returned with the belongings they’d left above. Tired though she was, she still managed to make climbing it look effortless, even as she removed the pitons from the wall in her wake on her way back down.

With their possessions in the boat, the girls took the opposite route up the main tunnel and soon found themselves out in the ocean. More grindylows attacked them, but they made the mistake of swarming the boat and clustering up in front of it so Dolce’s Chilling Spray spell encompassed almost all of them, trivializing the combat.

Once beyond the cave’s mouth the girls debated heading straight up the beach… However, Mirielle still had some spells and they knew the sunken wreckage of The Infernus was nearby. They decided to go explore that and give Ambrose and Quinn more time to recover.




In the Wreckage

They made anchor above the wreckage and left Revel on the boat with the two men. Using both Mirielle’s final powerful spell as well as a potion of Water Breathing they were able to ensure that all four of them and the two men could breath water. Dolce didn’t want the men to drown if something should happen and the boat capsized, however unlikely that may have been.

Mirielle moved effortlessly through the water with her ring, and Nasha had great skill at moving in the water too. Dolce, however, still had to make an effort to swim, and occasionally found herself lagging behind the others. Nasha and Mirielle responded by slowing their pace.

Soon enough they were drawing near the ship, and down below in the wreckage a very conspicuous tail was visible poking out from under some of the ship’s ruins. Dolce signaled the girls to fall back, and at a further distance she used a casting of Magic Missile to get the creature’s attention.

What came for them was an eel, not unlike the one that had been summoned to fight Nasha in Quinn and Ambrose’s prison chamber. This one was bigger though. Dolce found herself grateful that Mirielle still had some of her weaker spells available.

The battle was rougher than it would have been with Revel alongside them, but they managed well enough. Mirielle expended her last minor healing spells in the combat. In the wreckage of the ship the girls found some knickknacks worth taking above. They had accrued a good deal of wealth from the island, as well as some Alchemist’s Fire, some Potions of Healing, and a Wand of Mirror Image. Dolce held onto the wand and alchemist’s fire, but divided the healing potions between them.




Water

They rowed the boat back around the tip of the island until they found the beach just south of the marsh. It wouldn’t do to have Mr. Plugg and Master Scourge see the magical properties of the hat. By now Quinn and Ambrose were speaking and able to move, though, very slowly. When everyone had disembarked Dolce touched the side of the boat and dismissed its magical effect. The wood shrank and transformed in her fingers until she was holding Quinn’s hat.

He looked quite surprised by the transformation and Dolce smiled a little. “I guess you weren’t aware it could do that, hmm? Only works for the faithful of Besmara.” She took the hat and put it on Quinn’s head, where its size adjusted once again.

They traveled through the marsh, following the path they’d taken before. They passed the smoldering remains of the ghouls’ tent and eventually made their way around the stream again. Back in the village’s husk they collected the empty water barrels and rolled them to the waterfall to fill them.

It was all quite time-consuming and tedious, but ultimately the four girls were in high spirits. Mirielle confessed to the others she had no desire to return to her noble life. Not just because she’d committed acts of piracy, either. Rather, she found the idea of being free to choose her own direction in life appealing. This brought Dolce a smile and she felt Besmara’s machinations at work.

Dolce had coached Ambrose and Quinn on the lies they would tell Master Scourge about how the six came to be reunited. The men had to try to convince him they’d escaped during a moment when the grindylows’ attention had lapsed.

As they rolled the barrels out of the marsh with Quinn and Ambrose leaning on one another for support, Dolce saw a number of crew on the beach as well as a pile of dead Rahadoumi, the original crew of The Man’s Promise. The pirates were all those that Dolce, Revel, Nasha, and Mirielle had not managed to befriend. Although, thankfully Ratline and Narwhale were also among them, and Mirielle had managed to win them over with enough effort. An uneasy feeling set over Dolce and she slid her Wand of Mirror Image into her palm as she found herself feeling thankful she’d saved one casting of Acid Arrow.

The pirates were loading barrels of water, at least she assumed that was what was in them, into longboats. Master Scourge called out to them first. “Well, look who it is, and look who they’ve found!”

Dolce spoke up first, planning to keep to the story she’d concocted. “Yeah, these two caught up with us this morning. We had to go quite a ways into the island to find water. Might have even gotten lost!”

Mr. Plugg snorted and said, “Funny that, since we found tracks by the waterfall where we filled our barrels.”

Dolce wasn’t sure what to say to that. There were other inhabitants on the island, but would they believe the girls had been able to overcome three ghouls? And what would ghouls be doing by the waterfall? Looking for prey? She started to say that but Master Scourge spoke first, “It’s just as well. You were never going to leave this island.” He looked so pleased with himself it made Dolce’s blood boil.

Since they and all their friends were readying for a fight anyway Dolce said, “Well, just as well then, cause I’m really sick of biting my tongue. Between your stupidity and his incompetence you’ve made a right mess of what could have been a perfectly fine crew! And the kind of hostility you ferment in your own crew!? It’s despicable! Besmara would never condone your treachery, you sorry sod!” The tirade went on a few seconds more as Dolce highlighted specific incidences of their “infractions”. Of course, her audience didn’t particularly care, but she was giving Revel, Nasha, and Mirielle time to prepare for the combat that was soon to follow.

The girls took advantage, adjusting their positions so Mirielle was behind the rest, and Quinn and Ambrose were behind her. When at last Dolce fell silent Mr. Plugg said, “Is that all?”

Dolce looked as though considering before nodding, “Aye, think that about covers it, Bosun.” She made a point of calling him Bosun because he’d made such a point of correcting others and telling them to call him Captain since boarding The Man’s Promise.

“Good. Kill them all!” He shouted to his men. Chaos ensued, but Mr. Plugg started it off by brandishing his fancy little sword at Dolce and saying, “Since you’re so fond of Besmara, let’s see how you enjoy her embrace!” He activated the sword’s magic, casting Hydraulic Push through the weapon. Water spewed forth in a forceful burst that struck Dolce clear on her chest and sent her skidding back ten feet despite her best efforts to hold her ground. Laughter erupted from the pirates as Plugg said, “Pathetic!”

Dolce snarled, her grip on her wand tightening. She had intended to use it, but first.. First… This monster needed a lesson of his own. “You know, I had a feeling about today. I saved one of these for just this occasion!” She intoned the words of power and formed the gestures required to send an Acid Arrow soaring right back at Mr. Plugg. Unfortunately, the arrow struck his shoulder and was far less effective than she’d hoped it would be. Still, the acid would linger, she knew, even as more laughter sounded in her ears.

“Is that the best you can do, Elf? And you thought they were dangerous!” Plugg said to Master Scourge. Scourge’s eyes were on Mirielle all the while. With a frustrated grunt Dolce hurled her rapier at Master Scourge. He was a good sixty feet away, but with Hand of the Apprentice the distance was no trouble at all. The rapier struck true and she had gained Scourge’s attention, at least for the moment.

Nasha sprang forward, covering the ground between her and Mr. Plugg in hardly any time at all. Soon the lizardfolk was upon him, claws brandished in deadly fashion. She scored one hit, but it didn’t stagger Plugg the way it may have staggered a lesser man.

Scourge looked torn, but Plugg shouted orders and he ripped his gaze from Mirielle, instead moving forward and lashing Nasha. The whip strikes were well practiced and red blood flowed from her blue scales, making some of them appear almost purple in color.

Revel sprang forward, her jaw twisting, her fangs growing sharper. She closed the distance between the girls and Plugg and Scourge in a hurry, coming to Nasha’s aid while confronting Plugg directly. The pirates also descended on them, though Ratline and Narwhale broke from the group and made for the marsh. Master Scourge was infuriated and yelled after them to get back into the fray, but they didn’t listen.

Mirielle felt helpless as she’d already expended all of her spells. She got her potion at the ready and drew close enough to cast Forbidding Ward on Revel, to help shield her from Plugg. Only a cantrip, true, but it would at least do some good. Doing this drew Scourge’s attention and she heard him shout, “Kill her!”

Jaundice Jape closed in on Mirielle with a wicked smile, “With pleasure.” He stabbed her and the feeling of the blade tearing her flesh reminded her all too much of the fight she’d had with him and Narwhale in the bilges.

Ambrose staggered forward, not really able to move effectively. He still moved to her side and took an awkward swing at Jape with his cutlass. It went wide, but Ambrose still assured Mirielle, “Don’t you worry none, I’ll protect ya.”

As Ambrose was speaking Quinn used his magic to heal Mirielle’s wounds, casting Soothe. She’d all but forgotten he had command of magic at all, and suddenly found herself grateful for his presence there, though now Scourge was telling the crew to kill him instead of her.

The battle went on, Quinn, Revel, and Nasha taking the brunt of the injuries. Dolce cast Mirror Image from her wand before engaging Plugg, and all three of his next attacks simply dispersed her illusory clones rather than causing her any harm. She did spare a moment to throw a Ray of Frost at Jape, finishing him off even as he was trying to do the same to Quinn.

In the end, Revel ripped a solid chunk of Plugg’s shoulder off with her powerful fangs and jaws, leaving a gaping wound that made him bleed out quickly. Master Scourge tried to run for a longboat and managed to get aboard it and shove it off, but Revel and Nasha pursued. Dolce instructed them to keep Scourge alive. She had plans for him.

Had Revel landed the final blow, he might well have died then and there, but it was Nasha who took him down, leaving Revel to visit her ferocity on the last remaining pirate.

As the girls took stock of the field distant cheering reached them. It was travelling over the water from the ship. They must have seen the fighting going down. To Dolce’s delight, Ratline and Narwhale had entered the fray to help defend Quinn, Mirielle, and Ambrose. It certainly seemed Mirielle had way with people, for both of these men had at one point been targeting her specifically. Then again, saving Narwhale’s life from the grindylow had probably helped.

Dolce looked out across the water at The Man’s Promise. A ship without a captain now… But… not for long. She looked back at Mirielle and smiled. This plan suited her well. “Let’s get this water aboard and get underway. I think Rickety’s Squibs is still going to prove a wise destination.”

Ambrose nodded his agreement and they picked through the bodies, retrieving the magical boarding pike that had once been wielded by The Man’s Promise‘s original captain, as well as the sword Plugg wielded, which Dolce renamed Besmara’s Embrace and claimed as her own. Some coin was collected, but the bodies they left to rot on the beach as they rowed the two longboats back to The Man’s Promise with more water than they would need for a month.

Dolce was amused when she noticed that Quinn seemed to have given Mirielle his hat. She wasn’t on the same longboat, so she couldn’t be sure, but at least at that moment, Mirielle was wearing his tricorn and the two were laughing over something or other while Narwhale and Ratline helped row them out toward the ship.




OOC Notes

Let's start with those buttons on the ghouls. I failed my perception check (as it turns out), and had no idea until referencing the adventure (with Owlbrarian's approval) to get some proper names. There's a Feather Token, Anchor hidden in one of those buttons. Funnily enough, they were not among the treasures I would eventually sell because he described them as four rather impressive buttons and there are four girls and Dolce is the sort to think it would be fun to make them a memento some day down the line if they all survived this... So she still has them. (I decided to keep them long before coming to learn there was more to them than fancy buttons, mind you). We decided when her passive perception bonus beats the DC she'll automatically notice the secret treasure. At that time we will roll randomly to see which of the gals is wearing it (assuming Dolce's done anything with them by then).

The eel was rather comically hidden in the sunken remains of the ship. Apparently it rolled a natural one on the die, so Owlbrarian described it as, "You see a massive snake-like thing sticking out from below a piece of rubble..." And when it came out he added, "You realize basically all that was actually hidden from sight was the creature's head."

That Wand of Mirror Image was clutch. Owlbrarian rolled the damage to see what it would have been if Plugg had hit Dolce and she'd have been unconscious for sure. All of the attacks hit her AC, but the Mirror Image die saved her.
 
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