Party of Scoundrels

Return to Sasserine Part I
New alliances and new faces launch a new chapter.

The two old crones had been squawking at each other for nearly an hour while in line to get into the court being held at Castle Teraknian. From what the guards could gather, the one with the mole had cut in line and the other’s grandson had called her a ‘batty old bitch’, and nearly came to blows with the first’s grandson. Even with each noble family of Sasserine holding a separate court within the castle it was still tedious and time consuming. For nearly the last 6 months, the Harbor District court was led by an appointed ward due to the absence of it’s now dishonored former Harbormaster, Captain Jack Christ. He had disappeared shortly after declaring Kajn and Arcadian wanted fugitives… shortly after, clumsy raids by pirate-esque bandits began on the road between Sasserine and Cauldron. When the ships donated to the cause by the Sunrise and Shadowshore District returned unscathed, they told of the ambush set by Jack, his betrayal and alliance with the Crimson Fleet. He was as wanted as those who had raised arms against him, a noble of Sasserine (at the time).
Once inside, the guards sent the crones to separate courts on opposite ends of the main hall. The one with the mole was headed to the Noble Court, and the other one to the Champion Court. On the way to the court, the one with the mole began to pull the underwear from her asscrack… it was extremely annoying, but Kajn was dedicated to his disguise, clad head to toe in standard women’s wear like an old lady. It was working though, he was nearly in front of a noble with his offer: he knew the location of the rebellion hero The Arrow, and was willing to deliver him. Now he just needed to contact the city officials in Cauldron and make “preparations.”
At the other end of the hall, the other old woman suddenly had a deeper voice, clearly recognizable as Jack Christ. “Fuckin old hag” he said of the “old woman” with the mole.
“Calm yourself” responded his “grandson”, actually his quartermaster playing the role. “Soon enough we will trade Lord Mayor Severen Navalant for a full pardon and a stocked ship. Once they agree, we will inform them that the ones behind the Arrow and the rebellion are the same wanted criminals they’ve sought for the last 6 months: Kajn and Arcadian.”
-———————————————
Six months had passed since the fall of Farshore. Due to the increased “pirate attacks” including the treachery Jack Christ had perpetrated, civilized nations have declared war on pirates. There was already a push from the nations of the Sword Coast, and now the elite of Sasserine see a chance to diminish the “lessers” of the city and push towards “legitimacy”. Rumors abound as the city requested a significant “grant” from Waterdeep to battle the increasing piracy, and a treasure galleon said to be carrying untold millions has left port in Waterdeep headed to Sasserine. Only a handful of legendary pirate captains remain, among them the Dread Pirate Morrison, Dread Pirate Blackbeard, Admiral Vanthus Vanderboren, and the Crimson fleet too.
Kajn & Arcadian are wanted men for attacking a noble, even a short lived one like Jack Christ. They fled to Cauldron and settled with some remnants of a guild Kajn left behind many years ago. Based out of an old abandoned circus tent setup inside of an even more abandoned warehouse, Kajn sent his rogues performing in the empty streets and robbing the already overtaxed peasants. Nobles were too hard to rob, they only walked the streets with armed guards, often orc mercenaries; but not too hard to kill. .. often they met violent deaths, the only sign left behind a single arrow with green fletchings in the badly burnt and sometimes unrecognizable bodies. Soon, this mysterious assassin of the corrupt became known as The Arrow, an inspiring figure for the rebellion.
The pirate himself, Jack Christ is now just as wanted for his treachery in Farshore and the more recent bandit raids between Sasserine and Cauldron. He removed his men from the Lotus Dragons Guildhall on the first day, and claimed the Mountain Door level of the Forge of Fury. The tax riots exacerbated by some dwarven brothers erupted into full on rebellion, and the lord mayor of Cauldron was on his way to Sasserine to plead for soldiers when he was kidnapped for ransom by Jack’s bandits.
Errondar the Barbarian joined Jack’s raiders.
Rochefogne took his windfall of gold and combined with his magic erected a tower in a number of weeks. Awed by the appearance of the tower, a nearby tribe of humanoids began to worship him and pay homage.
Doulph received the deed to the Sailor’s Grave from a fleeing Jack, and polished up the place, removing it’s ominous sign and returned to calling it the Plucked Parrot Inn.
The city of Sasserine found a gem in Ser Eein Rogarvia, the Ruby Knight of Shadowshore. Upon hearing the call to arms for experienced warriors, he took the name of the district in which he was drinking himself to death, fetched his greatsword Honey Black and his matching armor from a dusty old chest, and wandered to the arena in the Champion District. He walked out with the command of hundreds of men, having never spoken a word.
Ser Eein’s combat prowess was unmatched by any other in Sasserine. No matter the men or beasts put against him, he cut them down; with a single blow more often than not. At only six foot tall with thick fullplate and an oversized greatsword, he fought like giant but moved like a mountaincat. His legend preceded him and soon bards flocked to him, spreading his tale. The common folk took to calling him The Mountain That Rides, for he appeared even more sizable on horseback. He marched his troops out of Sasserine the very same day he took his command, setting off a day ahead of Ser Lawrence the Starry Knight, who was leading the other host of men-at-arms. They were on the road for less than an hour when a messenger boldly approached the knight.
“I have a message” he said inarticulately. “It’s from the Harbormaster, Captain Jack Christ.”
“He is Harbormaster no more. Nor a captain of any ship I know,” Eein said as sharply as he stared. “What business does a turncloak have with me?”
“… ‘Master’… Jack has received a pardon from the ”/wikis/dawn-council" class=“wiki-page-link”> nags runnin’ Sasserine. He’s returning the good Lord Mayor he captured, and plannin’ on keepin’ this good streak goin’. He knows the names of the rebel leaders."
“Give them.”
“The one they call The Arrow is the same fugitive sought for attacking nobles – Arcadian. His accomplice is his partner in crime, Kajn.”
“It should come as no surprise. An unjust rebellion is like honey to such flies. Is that all?”
The messenger traveled with them for another hour, telling Eein all that Jack knew of his former allies.

Before dusk, an official messenger was seen coming down the road from Sasserine. Skilled at what they do, he quickly caught up with the marching men, and their leader.
“It seems I am popular today,” Eein quipped.
“More and more every day,” a nearby singer said. He wore fine blue silks, a goatee tied into a single braid and dyed to match his blue hair, and blue leather boots (whether they came from a creature with a blue hide or were dyed blue, it cannot be said). “Your legend grows like the number of men you feed to the crows.” He smirked, entertained by his little rhyme.
“Ser!” the messenger gasped, trying to catch his breath. He had run a few miles, and could go farther still if needed. “Important news…” he gasped again.
“…From Sasserine,” Eein knew. “Hand me the parchment.” The message was simple enough: One of the rebels, one known as Kajn, was willing to give up the inspiring face of the movement – The Arrow. He had left detailed instructions where to find him in two days time… in a tower overlooking the podium where the new Lord Mayor of Cauldron, Lord Vhalantru, would be giving a speech welcoming Eein and his reinforcements. “I will be in attendance,” he told the messenger. “Return to ”/wikis/sasserine" class=“wiki-page-link”> Sasserine and let them know I will be there to ambush the rebels." They made camp rather uneventfully at nightall.
-———————————————
In the repurposed circus tent that served as their base, Kajn and Arcadian were arguing. Arcadian was in favor of backing the rebellion as he ahd been all along. He was angered and disappointed to learn Kajn was not only not helping the rebellion, but actively harassing the citizens he was protecting.
“Prove your allegiance” Arcadian said, hinting at his mistrust of Kajn. “Help me smash the incoming army in a single blow. Lend me some men for my cause. Our cause.”
“Not my cause,” Kajn said coldly. Chased around every corner, he was finally settling in only to find that city crumbling around him. It seemed everywhere he went, he left cities in ruin. He was tired and angry himself. “I’m spent. I’m done. I will not sacrifice my men anymore.”
“Why don’t you ask them?” the half-elf shot back. He knew many of the men were actually his, disenfranchised watching Kajn harass their friends and family among the citizens. He was planning on taking the guild for his own, adding their strength to the rebellion, but now was not the time.
“very well. Whoever wants to join the elf, may.” Kajn said sarcastically. He was not surprised to see Leoak rise and offer to join him. Without a word exchanged he knew the boy would act as a spy. He was however shocked to see Yenril rise and leave with Arcadian. “How many of my other men might be disloyal?” he thought.


Jack could hear the sweet sound of the songbird echoing enjoyably through the caves before it ever flew in arrow slits that guarded the entrance. It flew swiftly through the dimly lit cavern, now adorned with the trappings of many successful raids. Imported carpets and fancy sconces brighten most rooms, and the food stores are plentiful. The bird ignores it all, flying directly toward Jack, dining at a large wooden table in his large, wooden ‘throne’, a carved wood behemoth stolen from a caravan. Fancy gold bracelets and pearl bead necklaces were hanging anywhere they could on the seat, occasionally rattling when Jack stood or otherwise moved. They were eating hot spiced goat, fresh from the mountains where they resided. There was never any shortage of ale and wine either, that Jack made sure.
He noticed a small not tied to the bird’s leg and pulled it off.

“Captain Jack Christ the Daring,” it began. "I am sending you this letter at the request of the leaders of the rebellion in Cauldron. In exchange for a full pardon from the city of Cauldron’s new government and our backing should you seek one from Sasserine, as well as the remaining weapons and armor left from the ensuing battle, We Propose that you attack Ser Eein’s forces at the Lucky Monkey from the northern mountains at midnight on the day of their arrival. We will have archers in the woods to the south and mounted troops on the road to the east. I will know when you are in position and will launch a barrage of flaming arrows at the guards on the roof, that will be your signal to storm the building, drawing his troops out. Then our mounted troops will attack as they flee from the building we will have them evenly matched and have the element of suprise on our side. Send your reply via our Sparrow. The rebellion of Cauldron thanks you in advance, Captain.
Honorably, Ser Marriston, General of the Rebel Army
P.S. I know where the outlaw Kajn is hiding.

“Fetch me the maester,” Jack bellowed with a mouthful of food. “He has a note to pen.”

“What’re we to do?” one of his lieutenants dining with him asked.
“I don’t need their pardon when I have my own,” Jack revealed, “So we’re gonna tell this Ser Marristan we’ll help. And send this Marristan’s letter to Ser Eein so he knows what’s waiting for him.”
-———————————————
Just before dusk that evening, Ser Eein arrived at the abandoned Lucky Monkey Inn. He turned his horse and faced his men to speak. Arcadian watched from the woods to the south, with many of his men, rebels who had joined the cause after being rescued from corrupt officials. Ser Marristan was leading fifty horsemen up the road form the east, and Jack waited with his raiders in the hills to the north, watching the entire thing unfold. Errondar stroked his axe anxiously. And Orion, Arcadian’s eagle, could see it all from above.
“We are to be ambushed by cowards in our sleep!” Eein shouted, loud enough for those watching to hear. Jack smirked. Arcadian scowled. “Unless the leader of the rebels, this man calling himself The Arrow, is man enough to face the ”/characters/ser-eein-ruby-knight-of-shadowshore" class=“wiki-content-link”>Ruby Knight of Shadowshore in single combat!" Eein looked towards the woods and was met with silence. Upon hearing from Jack, Eein had sent messengers to Sasserine and Cauldron alike to spread word of this coward Arcadian. He knew he would refuse to face him. As his men began going inside and fortifying the inn, Eein continued. He pulled his massive greatsword from it’s sheath with one hand, and swung it with barely the tip dragging on the ground. “I’ll start from inside this circle, and you can start from your hiding spot coward!”

Finally, a hooded figure emerged from the woods. Under his cloak he wore a fine elven chainmail bearing the sigil of a long forgotten house; A green lightning bolt and a green arrow striking the ground on a black field.
“I accept” he said, launching three arrows as he began sprinting. All three missed their mark. Eein had not even flinched, and in that moment knew this was not the real Arrow.
In an instant, Eein disappeared and reappeared in front of the running archer, who lurched to a halt. Eein stood so close he could give him a peck on the lips, and he did. Before the archer could respond, he stopped breathing. Eeins sword had sliced clean through him, and no one had even seen him draw it.
A rain of fire arrows erupted from all along the woodline, and all hit their mark. The waterlogged wood of the Lucky Monkey didn’t take, though some of the arrows exploded with a cacophonous boom.
Eein disappeared and reappeared once again, this time in the woods behind one of the trees where one of the hooded figures was launching arrows. Another blindingly fast slash buried Eein’s sword in the tree, splitting the man-elf in half.
When Jack’s part of the attack came and went without a sign from him, Arcadian signaled for the rest of his men to retreat. Marristan would know to do the same when he failed to hear the sounds of mass combat. “I was not expecting him to be capable of that” Arcadian mumbled to himself as he strode through the woods. “Kajn will miss his little guild member, I’m sure. He was an expert in disguise.”
Eein entered the Lucky Monkey. “They are in retreat. Gather my messengers and send word to both cities: We have routed Arcadian, the Coward of Cauldron.”
“You have, Good Ser.” interjected the Blue Bard. Eein gave him a quizzical look. “You have routed the rebel army single-handedly… the singers will tell of this tale for ages.”
Though never defeated in combat, the losses he had suffered had humbled Eein to some extent. But the singer could be useful here. Slaying the face of the rebellion would only martyr him and embolden the enemy. Slaying the legend would turn out to be more effective. Eein slept soundly that night.


Arcadian returned to the warehouse nearly out of breath. His men poured in one after the other; they always traveled loosely when they moved as a group. Kajn arrived a few moments later, from wherever he had been.
“What are your plans?” Arcadian asked Kajn directly. His spies had mentioned the ambushing of some nobles on the morrow, but Kajn had said nothing to him yet. he said nothing now. “I know of the ambush.” Still Kajn said nothing. Arcadian drew his weapon.
“Ha!” Kajn laughed. “You pull your weapon on me in my own guildhall?”
“It may be your guildhall… but they’re my guild members.”
By now, the room had filled with nearly the entirety of both their followings. As if on cue nearly thirty men, some rogues and others rebels, drew their weapons and backed Arcadian. Half as many drew theirs and backed Kajn.
Kajn was aghast at the number of traitors in his guild.
“Help me, and we don’t have to do this” Arcadian said. “Join your forces to mine. Distract the Ruby Knight’s forces long enough for Ser Marristan’s horsemen to run them down.”
“Fine,” kajn said begrudgingly. “We have sent correspondence and drawn the leadership into one place. You take your position at the highest belltower in Cauldron, and take your pick.” he could tell from the way Arcadian and his men sheathed their swords, they were in. He smirked; finally one of his plans was coming together.


The following morning Eein’s host set off just after dawn. They would occupy the city, and then he would attend the noontime welcoming ceremony the Lord Mayor Vhlantru had planned to show their new found strength. The location was the steps of city hall, the same place that Arcadian was planning on assassinating the lord mayor, and would instead be ambushed thanks to Kajn’s betrayal. The crowds were surprisingly thick, surely as many were rebels there to verify the tales as were there to support the new lord mayor. Eein was unsure whether he should trust the information from any of the betrayers, each writhing in pain while twisting a knife in the back of the other, so he was on guard while dispersing his men. He put the majority at the base of the tower the Arrow was supposed to be, careful not to enter so as to alert the vigilante. He left the rest of his men on the other side of the town square should he have been deceived.

At noon exactly, Lord Mayor Vhalantru appeared from the City Hall, flanked by a few of the cities nobles, and the Ruby Knight himself. The mayor began his speech, exaggerating the already amazing claims about Eein, and then put a large medal medallion embedded with a ruby around the hero’s neck. When he returned to finish speaking, he was met in the chest with an arrow, it’s fletchings green.
As if on cue, several more arrows from separate locations met several of the members of Cauldron’s nobility. in the same moment, a nearby horse cart exploded, killing the horse and many of peasants in the crowd. Screams of terror erupted moments later.

Across the city, at Cauldron’s West Gate, a small circus caravan was leaving. They had only three carriages, painted in dark, muted colors save for the occasional bright trim. One was for the circus tent and supplies, one for various other needs and goods, and another carried the leader of the circus, a mysterious ringleader who hid his face and kept to himself when not performing. At the sound of the explosion, the gate guards had responded and so there was no one to stop their passage. The road to Sasserine would be more dangerous than the gates of Cauldron.

Arcadian dashed down the steps of the tower, and peered out a window a few floors lower. He could see the troops swarming at the base as they begin up the steps. Betrayed. He was good with his arrows; the only way they knew his position was if they were told. he leapt from a window.
Eein was already moving toward the tower, and saw the cloaked figure leap to the rooftops. He began chase immediately, moving shockingly fast in his ornate full plate, his newly awarded medal clanking softly against his armor. Somehow, he was gaining on the fugitive.
Arcadian was nearing the end of the rooftops near an alley. He could see a riderless horse below, certainly one of the guards who was chasing him. He didn’t see Ser Marristan, and he was glad. The old knight had been commanded to make a full retreat should anything seem awry, and he would be the last man out only after making sure everyone else was.
Eein saw Arcadian jump and land accurately on a horse, spurring it forward, so he took his own unoccupied ride. By the time they reached Cauldron’s North Gate, he was nearly upon him. Two guards who had held their position lowered their spears to prepare for the charge of the vigilante, but dropped their spears when struck by his arrows.

Both men on horseback dashed through the gate before a third guard could lower the portcullis. Kicking up dust, Eein’s horse was now within biting distance of Arcadian. On the road ahead, Ser Marristan was following his men out of town, but turned back when he saw Arcadian in trouble. Eein leapt form his horse, landing awkwardly on the back of Arcadian’s. The elf drew his scimitar, but Eein drew his greatsword still faster and with one hand slashed the legs off the horse, sending them both tumbling into a cloud of dust.
Arcadian was on his feet moments before Eein, and Ser Marristan was there to pull him onto his steed. Just as quickly, Eein dash forward closing the distance and with another massive swing cleaved both hind legs off the beast, sending Arcadian and Ser Maristan flying into the dusty road. He walked forward intently.

Ser Marristan rose, drawing his longblade. It was finely made and even carried a reputation, Shatterspike they called it. It had sundered the prize weapon of many a knight in it’s heyday. Arcadian fired three arrows, one sailing past Eein, one bouncing off his formidable plate, but one finding it’s mark. the point pierced his plate with an unnatural cacophonous boom, shocking and singing metal and flesh alike. Eein did little more than grimace and counter Ser Marristan’s blow in reaction.
Eein parried one of Marristan’s blows and countered with his own, but the old man was good and dodged it. They traded only for a little while, two knights in full plate clashing while Arcadian sprinted for the treeline. Eein enjoyed the skilled opponent, but would be generous to call him a threat. The combat would end when Eein decided it would.
Ser Marristan was determined to destroy this legendary sword carried by the Ruby Knight, and he swung violently at it. So violently in fact that he stumbled, leaving an opening for his opponent. The last thing Arcadian saw as he was scooped up by one of Marristan’s horseman was Eein not hesitating to bury his sword in Ser Marristan. The blade entered near the shoulder that was exposed with the bumbled attack, and ended buried in the old knight’s tassets. Eein’s silk laced medal clanked softly to a rest against his armor. Later when the took the rebel leader’s head, they would learn he was split in two inside his armor by the blow.

View
Tides of Dread (Part II)
Savage Tide AP Part V

They had done much to prepare for the onset of the Crimson fleet.

First things first they sailed north with a repair crew and fixed the Sea Wyvern, limping her back to Farshore.

Then Rowyn teleported Jack Christ to Sasserine to gather a fleet of reinforcements.

Traveling into the jungle to recruit friendly villagers, they failed miserably, instead watching villages destroyed by flaming abts.

Gathering tar for pitch and sealant at the tar pits, they battled a one-eyed T-Rex alongside tiny creatures known as Phanatons.

The phanatons invited the party back to their village, and pointed the way to the temple of the jaguar. There they recovered ancient weapons to arm Farshore.

All of this while simultaneously building the defenses of Farshore; walls, ballistae, trained militiamen, etc.


Then the pirates came.

A crimson sunset matched by the glow of the red sails of the Crimson Fleet as the sun shone at their backs. THe cry went up in Farshore, and the people began to take their places. Civilians all of them, but the women and children hid in shuttered homes and makeshift safehouses. The men grabbed their crude arms and even cruder armor, and took positions throught the city. The men camping at the ballistae on the cliffs were already loading the machines.

It was a relief to see friendly sails from the north, coming to intercept the pirates. It went realtively unnoticed that there were so few, only two: An elven wingship, and a human ship of a similar design. They were sent force to attack the entire fleet of pirates. As they did this, Jack ordered his remaining fleet to drop their flags and raise the black – they were joining the pirates in the raid on Farshore.

Noticing the betrayal, the speedy Elven wingship and it’s counterpart immediately took evasive maneuvers, quickly outpacing the pirates, who directed their attention at Farshore anyway. Most of the pirate ships rained cannon and ballista fire on the colony, while a couple rowed into the harbor and began storming the beach. The cliffside ballistae returned fire. One was quickly destroyed by a direct hit, and the defenses of Farshore began to domino.

The heroes ran through the streets, dashing between burning buildings and slaying every pirate they saw, but it was not enough, even with the wizard Rochefogne torching the occasional rowboat full of pirates. Before long, a wave of Flesh Golems emerged on the beach, pushing back the heroes.Nearly the entire town on fire, the party fell back a few hundred yards to the new Kellani Manor (formely the vanderboren manor in Farshore), it’s stone walls providing the last bastion of defense. As the pirates and their new Admiral, a horrifically transformed Vanthus Vanderboren stormed the beach, Arcadian unleashed an arrow at the leader.

The hand carved wooden arrow with dark green fletchings whistled through the air, sailing almost 600 feet before snapping still with a thud dead on it’s mark – the heart of Vanthus Vanderboren… Or where there would have been a heart, were he not the creature he is now. Vanthus looked down at the arrow in his chest, pulled it out still in a single piece, and tossed it on the ground.
Vanthus_zpsc9cb3f97.jpg
Half amazed at Arcadian’s shot and half amazed at Vanthus reaction, the scoundrels piled into the manor. Before long, they heard a familiar voice calling to them. “Friends, friends,” the Sasserine Harbormaster Admiral Jack Christ called out to the party of scoundrels. “I’m here to rescue you!” Incredulous the party all stood with mouths agape, almost unable to believe what they heard. Jack continued, “I have parlayed with the pirates and secured your safe passage. Come join me on my flagship.”
“And I?” Rowyn Kellani inquired.
“You are in Vanthus’ hands now,” Jack smirked. “I had to trade something for our safety.”

rowyn_stare.jpg
Rowyn didn’t say anything, just stared at Jack with an icy glare as the heroes left. She should have known better than to trust the pirate, but such risks were common in her line of work. The scoundrels departed as Vanthus’ men approached the manor.

As the crew members rowed Admiral Jack Christ and his party back to his ship, he regaled them with tales of his supposed grandeur, and informed them that they were all welcome members of his new guild, the Lotus Dragons. They began to follow Jack up the rope ladder to the deck, Arcadian first followed by Kajn. Standing on the deck of Jack’s flagship was too much for Kajn. He hadn’t said a word since jack appeared on the beach. He was in a stupor of rage and pain, having finally been bested by his former ally and current rival. Now, he believed, all the men he’d planted in the Lotus Dragons were for naught. In an instant, Grim and Grudge were drawn and slashing at Jack.

Jack reacted just as quickly, narrowly dodging the blades as he reached for the pearl earring he had crafted in Sasserine. His crew responded drawing swords and attacking, but many were met and felled by Arcadian’s arrows. Kajn continued to swing, at best nicking the ever evasive Jack, barely drawing blood. Such wounds were not what Kajn sought, and later Jack would be in a brothel or tavern, telling a working girl a wondrous tale about how he got the little scars. Arcadian continued to trim down the number of crew members encircling he and Kajn, sending two or three to the deck limp or writhing and screeching in pain from an jutting arrow every time he drew his bow.

Rochefogne decided to remain in the boat at the bottom of the ladder, opting to stay out of the skirmish. He listened intently to the sounds of combat above, doing his best to judge exactly what was taking place. He knew the spell when Jack Christ made his next move.

Parrying Kajns blows with his scimitar, Jack used his other hand to unfasten the pearl from the silver and slam it to the deck. He grinned at Kajn as it shattered, and in an instant was gone. Kajn swung angrily at the black air where Jack had been as Arcadian peered over the edge. Jack had enough crew to overwhelm the pair, and even if they took the ship he had other ships that would sink them. Arcadian hopped over the edge, yelling at Kajn to join him as he landed in the rowboat.


. . . Meanwhile, in Sasserine, Jack appeared in the yard of his new manor in the (a luxury any leader of a district in Sasserine received). He called for his new servants, who were mildly shocked at the sudden return of their master but obeyed none the less. Before long he had sent word – Kajn and Arcadian had betrayed the colony and attacked him – a noble of Sasserine… and there was only one penalty for such a crime.


. . . Back in the rowboat left behind by Jack’s pirates, listing on the still waters off the coast of the Isle of Dread, Kajn was still seething and Arcadian pondered aloud what to do. Rochefogne knew. “I could teleport you” he suggested. Arcadian and Kajn obliged, and with a blink all three appeared outside of the southern gate of Sasserine.

“Shit,” Kajn muttered. “What should we do? The guildhouse is compromised. Jack’s going to be searching for us.”
“Not for a few weeks” Rochefogne informed them. “He still thinks you’re on the water, and it will require at least eight weeks to sail back. Do you have a stash perhaps?”
Kajn thought for a few moments… “We have a pile of coin in the basement of the Plucked Parrot!” Rochefogne’s brow raised at that. “But what will we do after that?”
“The Sunrise District” Arcadian interjected. “I have connections there, and we don’t need to use the city gates. Follow me.”

Before long, they had a change of clothes and made their way towards the Plucked Parrot. Sneaking into the basement, they found the stash they’d left months ago, a pile they estimated at 35,000gp with a glance, and still guarded by the Hoardmaster placed within. Arcadian began filling a backpack, and Kajn cursed for forgetting his. He stuff a few coins in his pockets, and pulled the Hoardmaster from the stash.
“Here” he said handing it to Rochefogne." For teleporting us. You’ve given us a few weeks head start on Jack. We’ll have to come back for the rest."
The wizard gladly accepted the minor artifact, and came up with a plan. One he wasn’t going to mention.
“Let’s go.” Arcadian said sternly. “The sooner we make our way to Cauldron, the better. We can lay low there and regroup.”
“Yes,” the rogue agreed. “There I have contacts.”

As quickly as he could retrieve his pack, Kajn returned to take the gold, only to find the entire pile was gone. He surmised Jack beat him there, and cursing again he did his best to rejoin Arcadian on the march to Cauldron. When Jack arrived at the Plucked Parrot and found the basement empty, he surmised that kajn had taken the gold, and met up with his men in the mountains South of Sasserine.

Walking West out of Sasserine towards Carver’s Pit, a Rochefogne who looked suspiciously like jack dismissed his magical disguise and began counting the coin in his bag of holding. It came to nearly 35,000gp, minus what Arcadian had taken from the hoard.

sasserine_region.jpg

View
Tides of Dread (Part I)
Savage Tide AP Part V

The colony of Farshore has survived on its own for years, a secluded and struggling hamlet perched on the western shore or the tiny island or Temute. An island dwarfed by the savage landscape across a narrow channel to the north, a landscape of rugged mountains, tangled jungles, and trackless swamps. This is the Isle of Dread, and its resources and hidden treasures are matched only by its peril. Yet for all these dangers, what may bring doom to Farshore is not an invasion of inhuman monsters from the mainland, but an invasion of all-too-human monsters from across the sea.

The Heroes arrive at Farshore to discover it under attack by pirates. After aiding the colony’s defense, the Heroes are reunited with Lavinia Vanderboren. She tells them of her own troubles at sea, and of the new problem facing the colony. A pirate captured during the attack reveals that he and his mates were merely scouts. The Crimson Fleet knows of the colony’s location, and in approximately two months, they will arrive in force to take what they can and bum the rest.

Before this event, the Heroes are called upon to do what they can to prepare Farshore for the attack. Some of these tasks can he handled quickly and locally, but the most important missions take the Heroes onto the mainland of the Isle of Dread, where they’ll need to forge alliances with native peoples, secure access to natural resources, recover and repair the Sea Wyvern, and even face down the physical manifestation of an ancient Olman god.

When the Crimson Fleet arrives, the heroes’ accomplishments will be the determining factor in the ensuing battle… or will they neglect to negate the biggest factor of all. . .

View
Here There Be Monsters
Savage Tide AP Part IV

A long, perilous ocean journey behind them, another begins. The crew of the Sea Wyvern finds itself investigating the Isle of Dread. Their destination lies well over 150 miles to the south. the jungles are heavy with the threat of the island’s terrible inhabitants, yet the unknown enemies are far more sinister, far more than just dinosaurs hunt the vast jungles. Before long, a cunning fiend picks up their trail, and its duplicitous master demands their sacrifice.

The sea wyvern is holed, impaled on a reef a few hundred feet from shore, having left only one option for its survivors – a dangerous overland journey to Farshore. As the heroes take stock of the situation, a hungry tyrannosaurus wanders out of the jungle looking for a quick meal. After dealing with the beast, their expert Ural Forol plots the most likely route taken to survive. Before the party leaves the shore, they gather up all the provisions they can find while they go in search of Farshore.

The journey to Farshore takes the heroes through a jungle inhabited by large predatory bird-like creatures and hungry dinosaurs. After encountering an outcast Aranea, the Heroes come to an ancient underground ruin manned by monstrous scavengers and the restless dead. As they leave, they can’t shake the suspicion that they are being watched.

On the other side of the mountains, the trail winds along a stretch of shoreline cliffs. A primitive band of gargoyles strikes at the party numerous times before they can leave the cliffs for the island interior. This transition is hampered by a number of mishaps, and eventually the group heads into the island interior.

The Heroes then find themselves in a fog-shrouded jungle with no apparent way out. That night, the fiend who has been silently stalking them (a simian demon known as a bar-Igura) finally strikes, abducting Urol in the process.

View
The Sea Wyvern's Wake
Savage Tide AP Part III

All ocean voyages are fraught with peril, yet a voyage to the infamous Isle of Dread might seem to some old salts to be deliberate goading of the gods of the sea. Many of those who attempted the voyage before and manged to return to civilization often choose not to speak of the trials they experienced on the dangerous route, yet those whose lips can be loosened by a draught of grog whisper amazing stories… tales of pirates, sea monsters, terrifying storms, and perhaps most harrowing of hall, of a strange and sinister land without land, a floating graveyard of dead ships mired in a sargasso the size of an island. the place has many names, but its most well-known may be it’s most apt – Journey’s End.

Their betrayl now obvious, Lavinia has lost her ship, her fortune, and her hope for any change, locking herself in her manor. The scoundrels have joined the Lotus Dragons, and having previously captured a ship, one of their first missions has them taking a long journey south to visit and resupply the colony of Farshore on the Isle of Dread. Their journey takes them from the city of Sasserine along the coast of the Amedio Jungle, and along the way they encounter several dangers and perils, including possible treachery from within. After a quick stop at the infamous ruins of Tamoachan to do a bit of exploring, they must contend with a vicious hydra.

Eventually, they hit the open sea and arrive at an immense sargasso sea in which dozens of ancient ships lie lodged. The Sea Wyvern becomes enmeshed in the creepy seaweed as well. In order to free their ship and continue onward, they must defeat the vine horrors of the sargasso and slay the heart of the seaweed, a plant monster known as the Mother of All. Finally, they reach the Isle of Dread after a tremendous storm… but not the way they intended.

View
The Bullywug Gambit
The Scoundrels brave the Savage Tide. . .

savagedino.jpg

Fortunately for Vanthus Vanderboren, lack of ambition has never been a problem. Now the Vanderborens’ prodigal son slinks east along the coast to Blood Bay, lured by rumors of an incredible prize kept in a smuggler’s hideout called Kraken’s Cove. Yet what he is destined to find there is far more than a lucrative bit of banditry. What awaits him is the Savage Tide.

Unbeknownst to Lavinia Vanderboren she has been betrayed, but the scoundrels are still seeking Vanthus for their new employer, Guildmistress Rowyn Kellani. “Borrowing” the Blue Nixie and spurred on by discoveries made after joining the Lotus Dragons, the heroes seek out Kraken’s Cove nestled within the scarlet reaches of Blood Bay. savagepirate.jpg Expecting to find a secret pirate hideout, the heroes instead discover the place in the grips of utter bedlam. Arriving shortly after Vanthus releases the Savage Tide, the heroes must contend with savage flesh-eating pirates. To make matters worse, this particular crew was transporting dangerous and exotic creatures in the holds of their ships, and now their deadly cargo, infected by the Abyssal energies of the Tide, had escaped. Mutated man and deformed beast alike haunted the cove’s twisting passageways as the party navigate the caverns of Kraken’s Cove while enduring an onslaught of savage enemies.

harlissEDIT.jpg
Eventually, in the darkest depths they encounter Captain Harliss Javell, one of the few pirates to survive the Savage Tide intact. Impressed with her combat prowess, the party parlays and learns that she sent her first mate and a band of frog-like bullywug conscripts into Sasserine to extract revenge for Vanthus at the Vanderboren Manor, erroneously assuming the cowardly man fled there from Kraken’s Cove. wormfallfestival.jpg The party races back to Vanderboren Manor to save their presumed patron from suffering at the slimy hands of bullywug mercenaries.

To their surprise, in order to reach the manor the heroes must first navigate a city in the throes of a wild celebration. Parades and revelry reign in the streets, and the heroes must wind their way through the wild throng to Vanderboren Manor. The heroes reach Vanderboren Manor with little time to lose. Inside, Drevoraz Kabran, Captain Harliss Javell’s first mate, had captured Lavinia and her household.

“Stopping” the pirates with a parlay (but really just giving them a secret command from their new ally to stand down), the party pretended to “free” Lavinia, further earning the naive noble’s trust.

View
There is No Honor
The Party of Scoundrels twist the fates. . .

The city of Sasserine is still finding its feet after emerging from a century of oppressive rule during which the traditional thieves’ guilds were destroyed. Dozens of minor guilds now squabble for control of the city’s underworld, one guild in particular has risen above the in-fighting, and is now poised to become a major player in city politics.

sasserinstreets.jpg

This is the Lotus Dragons, a band of murderers, burglars, and smugglers led by a charismatic and ambitious woman named Rowyn Kellani – a woman who just happens to be the daughter of one of the city’s noble families. When Rowyn enters an alliance with the scion of another noble family, a scoundrel named Vanthus vanderboren, the final piece of her plan falls into place and she prepares to seize control of the city’s seatrade.

Yet for all of her scheming and plotting, Rowyn’s capacity for evil and cruelty pales in comparison to that of her new lover. Vanthus, in an attempt to prove his value and worth to the Lotus Dragons (and to impress it’s beautiful guildmistress), recently committed a horrendous crime. Knowing his parents had just purchased a new ship and were planning on taking a relaxing trip up the coast, he smuggled a dozen barrels of alchemist’s fire into the ship’s hold and arranged for an"accident." The resulting fire burned the ship to the waterline and left its crew (and Vanthus’s parents) dead.

vanthusEDIT.jpg
Alas, his plan to inherit his estate (and then use its resources to bolster the Lotus Dragons) fell through when a reading of his parents’ will revealed that the estate was to be passed along entirely to his older sister Lavinia Vanderboren. lavinia2EDIT.jpgSeething with rage but unwilling to take drastic action against his sister, Vanthus did what he could to rob the family vault before she could claim its riches. Fortunately, he was able to make off with enough money to ensure his place in the guild – and after he abandoned the competition in a series of undead-haunted smuggler’s tunnels, his position high in the Lotus Dragon’s ranks was ensured.

The adventure begins as the party gathers at Vanderboren Manor. They’ve earned quite a reputation as reliable, yet underhanded mercenaries, and through their bartender benefactor Lavinia asks them to aid her in securing access to her family’s vault, the key to which is hidden on her father’s ship. She tells them she has the Jade Ravens serving her, but needs a less… public… group to do some bidding. Once she learns the true nature of her estate, empty vaults and all, Lavinia turns her attention to her true concern. Her brother Vanthus has been missing for weeks. She’s heard rumors that he’s fallen in with some unsavory types, but hopes he can be convinced to return to civilized society. She sends the party out on his trail, and their investigations lead them to a small smuggler’s complex under Parrot Island. There, Vanthus springs a trap and locks them in the tunnels, forcing them to navigate an escape while dealing with the hungry undead that dwell within. They eventually emerge, having Kamui swim them one by one past the poisonous urchins lining an underwater tunnel.

Having learned that Vanthus has taken up with a much more dangerous thieves guild called the Lotus Dragons. They locate the guildhouse, and discover the guild is preparing to take control of the city’s sea trade. rowynkellani.jpg After multiple attempts to raid the guild end in failure, they decide to take a more stealthy approach. Arriving face to face with the guildmistress herself, she is most impressed with their skill and offers them a chance to join, replacing her lost crew.

They accept.

Alas, despite betraying their employer Vanthus is no where to be found, although clues as to his trail are located. Rowyn explains he has betrayed the guild also, and made for Kraken’s Cove. She gives the new recruits their first assignment, pursuing the defector.

View
Deep in the Dwarven stronghold

Party journeyed on into the natural cave network, and freed the hobbits & arcadian. He thanked them for saving him, but refused to demean himself by dressing as an orc. He agreed to follow behind the party, in order to not give up their disguise.
The party wandered into the orc quarters, and with his hatred burning arcadian drew his bow. Jack reacted qickly, clobbering arcadian and tossing him on the floor in front of the orcs, playing it off as if he escaped & snuck up on them. The party pummeled arcadian into submission with fist & weapon, and allowed the orcs to haul him to the prison once again.
This was only a ruse. They ambushed his captors when the chance arose. Battered and bruised but still alive, arcadian got the message: staying alive was more important than his antics. They proceeded through the orc commons, and spent a couple hours moving crates and barrels blocking the path into a tunnel. The clutter had been plugging up the tunnel for a reason, and for their hard work they were rewarded with an attack by Stirges, which they fended off easily. They approached the door to the north, and trigger a spray of alchemists fire which engulfed them.
In a nearby room they encountered and orc shaman, and after dispatching her proceeded down the grand stairs.
The stairs continued for some time, finally being intersected by a rushing stream that exit a crevice on one side, and entered one on the other side. Kain, Felina, Kamui & Errandor continued down the natural steps into the large cavern below. Arcadian & Jack Christ decided to enter the crevice & scale the steep decline the stream rushed down.they slipped and tumbled down, crashing into a small natural cavern. The room housed a dwarven corpse & a stirge nest.
Stirge
The creatures stirred, & Jack grabbed the corpse, threw it in the rushing stream, and rode it down the crevice. Arcadian attempted to follow suit, but instead of sliding safely down the cascade of water, he tumbled clumsily, landing hard in the room where the stream exited the wall – right in front of the party, who stood at the base of the steps. The party fended off the stirges, and Jack looted the dwarven corpse. Exhausted, the party made camp & rested.
Incredibly beaten, arcadian stayed behind to rest while the party moved on. The stream exited the room under a primitive mud wall to the east. Seeing reptile/bird tracks & slither marks near it, the party decided to wade under it in the neck deep stream, and entered another large cavern.
Foul smell, rotten remnants of game corpses hanging on the wall, something lived here. The party was jumped by Troglodytes on ledges above them, and as Kamui, Felina, Kain, & Errandor scrambled out of the stream and onto the ledges to fight back, Captain Jack simply stood in the water &, after drying his pistol powder, shot the trogs dead. At the far end of the cavern, the stream pooled, and then continued to carve small tunnels throughout the cave complex. Near the pool, a mud wall similar to the one the swam under caught their attention, & they decided to smash through it.
Doing so revealed a room full of dwarven sepulchers. Most were empty and unused, but in a couple of them the party found some treasure. Mor amazing than the tombs though was the cavern just down the steps.
The great cavern known as the Glitterhame was easily a hundred feet across, and went an unknown distance into the endless dark.Giant fungi as tall as a human & glowing puffballs 3 hands wide grew there, and the party was able to make rations of it, and much to the delite of the pirate, collect some of the puffball juice for later distillation. Such rations could give them enough food to explore the caverns and dwarven ruins for days!
Faced with the prospect of wandering further into the wide open darkness, Kain, Jack, & Kamui left the party at rest and snuck down some nearby stairs. In this small cavern, the river, literally and figuratively the lifeblood of the caverns, toppled of a ledge, creating a waterfall that dropped an unknown distance into the darkness. Following even more stairs even deeper into the earth, they eventually came across the cavern at the base of the waterfall and some old dwarven store rooms.
Inside the damp store rooms, piles of expired foodstuffs, crates, barrels, and small pools of water waited. As they took their time searching for loot, a Grey Ooze attacked! As Kamui & kain struggled with the creature, Jack continued searcvhing the room. Deciding to flee, they were joined by the now awake party members, and all traveled up river through the cavern.
In a room with a number of stalactites & stalagmites, an especially odd one drew the attention of Kain. …

View
Into the Dwarven stronghold
Silence & sneaking win the day as the party slips into the dwarven fortress

High on adventure from their last bounty, the party decided to delve deeper hoping for a larger payout. Having heard the rumors of Durgeddin’s Vault, they were employed by one Baron Althon to retrieve what remains of Durgeddin’s famous arms. Felina tapped into her savings & purchased a carriage & a few horses, making the week long journey to the Stone Tooth that much more manageable.

Upon approaching the small town of Blasingdell, the party was introduced to the mayor, Sir Miles Berrick. He directed them towards Stone Tooth, and offered a bounty for proof of every orc slain.
Locating the Stone Tooth was not hard, the landmark sat atop a massive hill. The party travelled up the hillside trail, noting the tracks left by orc patrols. Finally reaching the peak of the hill and the base of the Stone Tooth, they followed the trail into the canyon below.

The canyon eventually sloped down to a hairpin bend, where the party spotted a couple orc sentries. Acting quickly, Jack Christ disguised himself as an orc, and wandered down the path. Distracting his “fellow” orcs with an offering of rum, Kain & Felina slinked up in tandem behind the orcs, dropping them quickly & quietly with killing blows. Noticing the arrow slits in the wall along the approach, the party snuck carefully under the windows as the pirate strolled by, unnoticed as an orc. His disguise was so effective, he convinced the orc archers to open the mountain door for him. For their folly, they were rewarded with the sharp end of the thieves weapons.

Inside the dwarven door, they decided to disguise the entire party as orcs. In front of them waited the endless darkness of a giant chasm, the slight sound of rushing water emanating from hundreds of feet below. Only a narrow, frayed rope bridge allowed them to cross, and Kamuai spotted two snarling orcs hiding on the other side. Once again, Jack Christ proceeded the party, distracting the orcs with a combination of wits, rum, & devilweed.
Ropebridge
As the other members were crossing the bridge, Felina slipped, plummeting into the darkness. With the same blinding speed he draws his blade, the samurai darted his hand towards the falling thief, barely catching her by the fingertips, sparing her certain death from the fall.
They proceeded across the creaking rope bridge, catching the distracted orcs unaware. Jack Christ grumbled in his best attempt at orcish, “Beware, this rum will hit you,” as the party’s weapons came crashing down on the unsuspecting orcs.

Continuing into the dungeon, Kamui & Felina wandered past a dwarven statue – which promptly dropped its jaw & blasted a cloud of noxious gas in their faces, leaving them feeling ill & weak.
In the doorway beyond the statue, the party entered what appeared to be the orc barracks, a large room with bunks & a group of orcs resting & eating. Quickly, with the rogues sneaking through the darkness to flank the orcs, the rest of the party approached the group, and Jack Crist lit a sunrod, blinding & stunning the orcs. Errandor slammed his axe through one of the orcs, pinning him against the wall. The leader of the orcs chucked a couple axes at the party, both missing their mark, and charged at Jack Christ. Kamui’s blade met him across the waist, and only half the orc made it to the pirate.

View
Dwarven Descent
Will greed get the better of the party, drawing them deep into the earth in search of riches?

A few centuries past, the great dwarven smith Durgeddin the Black carved a secret stronghold from the caverns riddling a hill known as the Stone Tooth. Laboring cease-lessly in their halls under the mountain, Durgeddin’s clan forged enchanted weapons for use in their vendetta against the orcs that had driven them out of their old homes. Durgeddin and his followers are long dead, but the dwarf-hold is not empty. Deadly peril waits in the caverns beneath the Stone Tooth, as well as Durgeddin’s hidden armory of matchless weaponry.
Stonetooth
Two centuries ago, Durgeddin the Black was driven from his home by a horde of fierce orcs and trolls. They plundered his ancestral halls and slew all they could catch. Fleeing his enemies, Durgeddin led the destitute remnants of his clan in search of a new
home. After years of wandering, the dwarves discovered a great cavern system beneath the Stone Tooth, which is a rugged, forested hill crowned by a bare rocky crag. There Durgeddin and his followers founded the secret strong hold of Khundrukar—the Glitterhame. About one hundred years ago, one of Durgeddin’s clans-men was captured by orcs during a raid, and a powerful orc tribe learned the secret of their enemy’s stronghold. The orcish chieftains raised a great army and marched on Khundrukar. In a hard-fought siege lasting months, the orcs tunneled around the dwarven defenses and stormed the place, putting all within to the sword. The monsters
abandoned the scene, carrying off wagonloads of booty. In the years since the great battle, various goblin or orc bands have occupied the Glitterhame and used the dwarf-hold as a base for their raids. At other times, the caverns have lain empty except for the mindless and
bloodthirsty monsters that haunt such places. Today legends of Durgeddin’s Vengeance, the Smith’s War, and the extraor dinary blades he forged in anger still surface from time to time in the lands near the Stone Tooth.

View

I'm sorry, but we no longer support this web browser. Please upgrade your browser or install Chrome or Firefox to enjoy the full functionality of this site.