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Posts Tagged ‘Savage Tide’

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After a bruising final battle with a Korpru Cleric and his huge napalm breathing mate, a battle that left the Wizard a drooling shell of a man, and very nearly killed everyone else about 3 times, the desperate intervention by the Favoured Soul and liberal use of healing potions kept everyone above 0 Hp…most of the time.  Our battered, burnt and bleeding companions flee to the surface, only hours ahead of the flood they have unleashed on the city.

From there they heal the Wizard and Teleport back to Farshore, and are greeted by Lavinia who informs them that Jakara, the Olman guy they released from the Troglodyte village early in the last adventure,  is recovering in the town’s chapel being cared for by the priest.  He hands over a scroll with a message from Noltus Innersol to the head of his order, Kera Gosalar, in Sasserine.  The letter states that he is leading a group Pelor followers to the central plateau of the Isle of Dread to investigate a reawakened evil.

The gang level up, use Teleport spells to travel back to Sasserine to deliver the message and spend most of their hard-earned plunder, on a fairly epic spending spree.

So having spent several fortunes on shiny new toys, the party return to the Dreaded Isle to continue the fight against baddies with scary black pearls that when activated  turn everything around into crazy, feral, zombie thingies.

See this old post: https://strategicgamesbgs.wordpress.com/2010/07/20/cohen-speaks-starting-the-bullywug-gambit/  to see why that’s important.

Using the handy-dandy Teleport Spell a couple more times our heroic heroes travel to the top of the plateau and begin the process of finding the Cleric and his followers.  After a day of wandering about and finding a hidden trail, they end up near an area of wetlands, they are challenged, and soon greeted by a number of Lizard folk who turn out to be followers of Pelor, each wearing the god’s holy symbol openly.  The group is eventually welcomed into the camp but are told that Noltus is on patrol, and should have been back by now.

Low and behold the next morning the cleric and the rest of his followers return, battered but alive.  Noltus and the rest of the patrol are greeted and introduced to the new comers, Noltus asks about their adventures and shares his group’s experiences in turn.   After a while however, Harok notices that although all of the returned warriors appear normal, none of the lizard folk wear Pelor’s symbol…

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Well, I pick up this account of our intrepid troupe as they near the end of the adventure “The Lightless Depths”.  The 6th adventure in the savage tides adventure path, everyone is now 11th level.  Also, I am sad to say, the last of my original players finished year 12 last year (2012).  So now the entire party is made up of players who only know the Savage Tides adventure path via this blog, and the occasional rambling anecdote by me.  Which when I come to think of it are kinda the same thing…  To those players who started this story, and So many other stories, with me my thanks, you are missed.  Your madcap exploits will live on in the memories of those of us who remember.  Your Triumphs and Epic Fails will live on in SGC mythology.  You know who you are. 🙂

Over the last few weeks a large influx of new players has seen the party line up change dramatically   Slightly too many, but that’s cool I’m used to it and everyone seems to be having fun.  Briefly, after almost a week of game time, travelling through the underdark of the Isle of Dread. During their travels they faced many dangers, including diseased fanatical Troglodytes, townships guarded by Umberhulks, Elder black puddings, giant insect thingies.  Finally come to a huge subterranean city that looks like a huge coral reef that has been deprived of water for centuries.

The cavern is lit be 3 pillars of purple flame that sickens anyone who approaches.  While marching through the alien cityscape through a miasma you would have trouble carving with a +3 Holy Avenger, the party is surprised by a couple of puddles that suddenly animate and start whomping our heroes like a willow…made of not quite right water…okay bad analogy, but I couldn’t resist the alliteration. 😛  Harok, a Half Orc fighter wielding a Goliath Maul [Anvil on a Stick] sets about making a splash, but gets as good as he gives, finishing the battle on only 3 HP.  One of the animated puddles (constructs of some kind) creates a Wall of Ice, cutting Harok and a couple of others off from the rest of the abnormally large party.  The Favoured Soul, Smitty uses Stone Shape to carve a passage around the Ice Wall through a building.  The rest of the party slowly make their way through the passage.  Soon the tide turns and the puddles are overwhelmed.

The City, as mentioned is weird and icky. As our heroes travel the length of it they are startled by howls and screams, turns out this is the buildings themselves giving vent to their agony.  A purple worm is found pinned by a building that is apparently eating it. and the Whole group is buried in an avalanche of rotting flesh as a building collapses on them.  A group of Korpru and their Troglodyte slaves are destroyed when the Wizard, who managed to teleported out of the gunk, surprised them with a Fireball.

More of this in coming weeks.

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Okay, I’m not going to try for a detailed account of every session that has gone since my last update.  Suffice to say the party slew the orangutan demons, rescued Ural Fural, and eventually made it to Farshore.  Just in time to help beat off a Pirate raid.  Lucky!  A captive pirate called Lefty reveals that a Much larger group of Pirates called the Crimson brotherhood is on its way to take Farshore for their own use.  The residents of Farshore have about 2 months to prepare. 

What follows is an intensive program of upgrades to Farshore’s defenses, new towers, a ditch and spikes arrangement around the town, the training and recruitment of extra militia, and arming the general population.  Politically, the hero’s throw their weight behind Lavinia for Mayor, and seek to secure alliances with the Native Olmans and a lemur like people called Phanatons who inhabit the treetops…YUB! YUB!  While doing these things they also secure several powerful Magical items (weapons, armour etc), and return the Gold Bat Statuette that they picked up in the ruins on the way to farshore to the volcano god of the Olmans, who is cranky about its theft and was acting out a bit, you know, spewing ash, earthquakes, that sort of thing.  They also retrieve a cache of beautiful Masterwork weapons from an abandoned Rakasta temple, helping to arm the defenders with some quality weapons.  All in all the preparations for the defense of Farshore have progressed well. 

The party at this time, is attempting to re-float the stricken Sea Wyvern, and get back her back to Farshore in time for the assault.  The timeline says they are cutting things close, however they have taken a ship full of materials,  two work parties  2 skilled carpenters and 2 spell casters with wood shaping spells at their disposal, so they should manage it. 

The group leave the Blue Nixie anchored offshore and take a skiff over to the wreck to scout, and assess the damage to the Sea Wyvern.  As they approach the shore, a huge head breaches the water and munches on the Cleric.  A knowledge nature check reveals this is an Elasmosaurus, (think the Loc Ness monster), a big one. 

The Druid, Percy jumps in to the water and wild shapes into a large shark, as the (new) rogue, Iron Hand, (or is that Iron Head), makes a huge leap from the boat and jams his new Tiger claw/spiked gauntlet into the long smooth neck  and hangs on for dear life.  The Paladin fires his crossbow and wonder of wonders makes a crit. doing over 20 hp damage.  The (new) Dragon Shaman taking advantage of his water breathing ability straps on his shield, draws his flaming long sword and steps over the side into the 10ft deep water that lies between the sandbar the Sea Wyvern is stuck on, and the shore. In his full plate he sinks like a stone.    

The highlight of this session for me though, was Jax’s (Duskblade/Rogue) awesome first move.  Jax dimension hops to just above the dinosaur’s head in an attempt to strike from above with a combined sneak attack/channeled spell, and if he hadn’t rolled a 1 on his attack it would have been awesome.  Instead, it was a spectacular Fail and a bloody good laugh.

Druid changes to a smaller Elasmosaurus and begins a call lightning spell, dinosaur bites the dragon shaman,as he returns the favor from the sea floor.  The Paladin leans out of the boat and stabs the dinosaur as it passes under the boat, and the new Dwarven Cleric (a longbow wielding dwarf called Honydew…Yes I know, a little fey) gets one shot off and them he too plunges into the water.  So we have half the party standing around on the bottom holding their collective breaths, they make their way, slowly to the sand bar where the Sea Wyvern rests.  Since its high tide this brings them to about waist deep water, or shoulder deep in the case of the dwarf.  A Call Lightning spell goes off and it’s not from the party’s druid.  The bolt smacks into the Paladin but does negligible damage.  Small dinosaur Druid releases his Call Lightning Storm spell and finishes off the larger Elasmosaurus.  In the shadows of one of the large holes in the hull of the Sea Wyvern, the Dragon Shaman spots a weird creature, all green and squid…y, who appears to be directing the storm/lightning blasts.  He responds by bathing the creature, and the side of the Sea Wyvern in flame with his breath weapon, a cone of fire.  Now that the true opponent has been spotted everyone has started to wail on it.  Except Jax, who came to the sandbar on the wrong side of the wreck has decided not to do any more swimming in half plate and instead,  just blows a hole in the side of the Sea Wyvern, and makes his way through to where the battle rages.

 What’s one more hole… right?

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A second Gargoyle attack, this time led by the chieftain, wearing the crown of the gargoyles.  The Crown bestows DR/5 adamantine on the wearer and the Chief has level in Barbarian.  These capabilities added to his inherent Gargoyle features make him a pretty tough customer.  The Warblade engages the chieftain while the two remaining Gargoyles rip into the rest of the party.  One of them tries to barge Ural off the cliff, but doesn’t quite manage it.  Minsc is more than a match for the crowned Gargoyle and once he takes  it down, the Warblade is free to help dispatch the remaining enemies, the skirmish is soon over.

The group of survivors reach a small mountain pass early the next afternoon,  a few miles beyond the pass a huge section of the ancient highway is just gone, the victim of time and erosion.  The group head inland, and spend the night in the narrow pass.  Emerging late the following morning to face the Fogmire Jungle.  As the name suggests the jungle is very foggy… and wet, with visibility down to about 60 ft.  The creatures and plants of this jungle are twisted and deformed. 

As dusk approaches the travellers discover some ruins.  Not liking the  idea of spending the night here they decide to fortify the camp as much as they can before dark.  With a decent Knowledge Architecture from the Druid, and some considerable brawn from Warblade and Monk, they do a respectable job.  Turns out the effort was worth it.

The camp is crowded but the low walls are easily defended, large bonfires burn about 15-20 feet out from the walls to illuminate anyone approaching,  unfortunately when the enemy does come no-one sees them…   The first hint of an attack is a slight shifting of the loose gravel beside Lightfist as if something large had landed right beside him (on the inside of the wall), nothing is visible though.  Jax a twinblade fighter doesn’t hear gravel,  but something worse…a hastely silenced Giggle, as if a four-year old girl, who just happened to be Seven Foot Tall, weigh 300 lbs, and have teeth much to large for her mouth, had slapped a paw over her face to stifle a titter.  The smell of rank, wet fur wafts through the camp.   An instant later all hell breaks loose, two bipedal beauties appear in the parties midst, each is around seven ft tall with huge claws and teeth.   They resemble overgrown feral orangutans, however they wear clothing and jewellry and their bloodshot eyes hold a malevolent intelligence.  The horse takes one look at these creatures  and bolts into the dark foggy night, taking with it the fishing net that had been draped around one side of the camp.

The one beside Lightfist rips into him taking him down to half Hp, the other begins shredding the fighter.  At this point a third beastie appears atop the low wall directly beside Minsc, who also takes a face full of claws and teeth.  Minsc replies by hacking into the thing atop the low wall with two attacks, he uses Warblade maneuvers, almost pulls off a crit. and his damage  rolls are very high, however due to Damage Reductions and Resistances, Minsc does much less damage than anticipated.  The Beast that appeared near Lightfist makes a successful grab at Ural and the pair of them flicker in and out reality, as Ural resists being teleported out of the camp.  The creature’s abduction attemp has failed and she looks startled and peeved then decides to give herself some room to try again.  picking Ural up by his head, claws digging into his face, She dashes off into the jungle with him.  Lightfist is too badly hurt to attempt an immediate rescue and waits for the Druid to heal him a bit.  Jax slices into the creature next to him causing some minor wounds.  Charia channels a Shocking Grasp spell through his pole-arm, unfortunately this doesn’t even scorch the enemy’s matted orange fur. 

Off in the jungle Lightfist hears Ural give a grunt of pain and then nothing more.   The large beastie atop the wall leaps onto Charia, who’s armour holds surprisingly well, so that only one claw attack hurts him.  Then, using him as a springboard the creature leaps over the wall on the other side of the camp and drops out of sight.  Minsc, Lightfist and Percy give chase, only to see the thing disappear in a flash of purple light and foul-smelling smoke.  The remaining creature, realizing she has been abandoned by her companions, disengages and disappears in a similar fashion.  The Demonic beasties are gone but so is Ural.

Note:  These demons have  fast and mobile combat tactics.  The thrive on charges and a formidable Pounce attack (works like a Spring or Ride by attack).  Confining the camp within fairly solid stone walls and a netted area forced these creatures to restrict their movements and attacks.  Things could have been a lot worse guys, well done. 🙂

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Terror birds attack that night drawn to the beach by the scent of the dead T.rexs.  Spotting the people around the fire they decide to go for some smaller more portable food.  Three of the predators make a frontal assault as a distraction while the last two circle around and lunge out of the jungle.  One snaps at Urol Furol who manages to fend off the large,carniverous, flightless bird.  Tavey Nesk isn’t so lucky, his scream of pain and fright spurs Lightfist to action.  Covering the ground swiftly the blocky Monk kicks the predator in the head forcing it to drop its dinner and face the unexpected threat. 

Terror Birds!

The rest of the party scrambles for weapons amongst the snapping beaks and slashing talons, recovering from the flanking attack.  The latest addition to the troupe a, Human Druid, casts a calm animal spell causing two of the attackers to stand docile in the midst of the battle.  The Warmage blasts three with a lightning bolt but the damage is pitiful, and two of them make their saving throws, taking only half damage.  Malcivar sends three arrows into the nearest Terror Bird dropping it dead.  The Combat continues, with the birds ripping and slashing with beaks and talons, dealing out vicous wounds.  These predators are outmatched though, and all of the attacking monsters are killed or flee.  The party prudently heals up wounds taken during the ambush.

The Following day the large group of shipwreck survivers set off through the jungle. Following Urol’s map and proposed route which should take them around 10 days to reach the settlement of Farshore.  Through the morning the Ranger leads them with great skill and they manage to dodge most of the hunting packs of terror birds,  all bar one.  One bird creates a distraction at the front of the party, while a second moves in and snatches Tavey, who manages to wail “Not Again!” before being dragged unconscious into the jungle.  Lightfist once again plays the hero and smacks the hungry bird to make him drop the boy.  The Combat is swift and messy and neither bird escapes.

Here's the Isle of Dread boys and girls.

Around midday the jungle opens up to an area of open rough grassland.  A meteor struck here a few decades ago and the jungle hasn’t reclaimed the land yet.  A family of Diplodocus make this their home.  Often coming to the treeline to graze.  Being so huge they are easily avoided as the group moves out across the 1 mile wide 6 mile long scar in the thick jungle.

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Around midday, several days after the ship escapes the Sargasso, Sneaky spots land.  Unfortunately storm clouds are gathering and by early afternoon a huge storm is battering the ship.  A couple of the characters almost get washed overboard as they struggle to sail the Wyvern.  

All their effort are in vain though and with a grinding crunch the Wyvern runs aground on Masher Reef after a long battle with the elements.  The ship leans badly to port and traversing the deck is perilous in this weather.  As the rest of the crew work frantically to patch the hole and  refloat the stricken Sea Wyvern, Dancia goes down into the hold to see if the ship’s carpenter and those working in the dark and rising bilge water need any help.  As the cleric gets about halfway there the rest of the heroes are surprised by one of the local denizens, a huge spiny eel like creature called a Masher that makes this reef it’s home.  The Masher arrives under cover of the storm and darkness, and surprises the party, munching Malcivar more than 20 hp.

Mmmm Rangerlicious! Nom!

Sneaky does what he does best and sneaks up to get in a sneak attack unfortunately for him the poisoned spines that cover the huge eel thing react instinctively and stab him and do 4 points damage as well 2 points of Constitution damage.  Malcivar shoots 3 arrows into the monster but the masher reacts with an AoO and bites him down to -9 hp, sending the Ranger’s bleeding and torn body tumbling down the deck,  fetching up against the ship’s boat on the other side of the vessel.   Lightfist attempts to stab the thing with a long spear to avoid the spines but misses.  Minsc attempts a grapple attack of all things but gets hit by the AoO by one of the spines and gets poisoned taking 4 points of Con. damage his trouble.  Israphel carefully makes his way down the deck and pours a healing potion into the dying Ranger.  Nugai hammers a beam of searing heat into the monster. 

Malcivar retrieves his bow and resumes the arrow barrage.  Lightfist slips a successful attack past the spines with his long spear and Sneaky takes another sneak attack and this time avoids the twitching spines.  The Masher takes the hint and slides off the side of the ship into the dark turbulent waters. 

The efforts of the Captain and the rest of the crew finally pay off and with a shuddering groan the Sea Wyvern is freed from Masher Reef.  However the damage is too extensive and after limping down the treacherous coast for another couple of hours there is a huge crash and the ship rolls, the cold dark waters rise up and take them all.

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Two week update.

Week One.

After the first harrowing night, our fearless heroes decide the faster they find a way out of the Sargasso the better.  Baring any better ideas it is decided to follow the journal’s advice and search out the Dark Heart of this unnatural land.  Despite the fact that this vast mat of seaweed is floating and therefore constantly changing relative position to the sun, Malcivar manages to stick to a fairly straight line straight into the centre mass of the Sargasso thanks to an awesome survival roll.  After a little more than half a day’s travel they find the original victim of this malicious organism, a ship called the Thunderer, which has been mired in the Sargasso for more than half a century.  This vessel is better preserved than the others, however it is still vine choked and rotting.  Skeletons and equipment are clearly discernible among the weed. 

As the party duck into the hold Sneaky and Malcivar spot a vast horde of ZTs converging slowly on the ship… Adding a bit of urgency to the expedition. 

Moving quickly through the rotting hulk, the party finds a massive hole 15 ft x 15 ft in the hold of the Thunderer. Three ZTs drag themselves free of the weed covered walls and attack savagely from many points, drawing attention from the gaping hole that drops 100 ft straight down into the Sargasso.  Confident now in dealing with these Vine Horrors the party makes short work of them and only one enemy is left standing as we wind up play for the session.

Week Two.

Feeling her children being slaughtered at such close range is more than the Dark Mother of the Sargasso can stand. She bursts from the Maw, slashing and biting as she rises.  Lightfist is caught by a claw, the second claw misses, but her huge teeth close around Sneaky with a sickening crunch, munching him down to 7 Hp with a Critical Hit.     

“She is a huge, foul-smelling sack of vegetation that is wreathed in screaming humanoid forms struggling to free themselves. A vast distended belly bathed in foul green mucus hangs from the vaguely humanoid form. Infantile cries echo from the hideous passengers that pull themselves from their mother. Twenty feet tall, the grotesque hybrid of woman and plant is a nightmare of mucoid arms and clustered eyes. It was a deviant thing of rot, a bulk that rises to a head of eyes and barbed, thorny teeth”   Usually found in jungles and swamps, this rare subspecies of Mother of All, is aquatic, old and vast.

Insert Assorted Mum Cliches Here...

The First round of combat goes badly for Mummy dearest.  Malcivar takes damage from an attack of opportunity while peppering her with arrows, doing serious damage despite her DR to weapon not made of cold iron.   Artix lashes out with his trusty great sword using Power attack and Smite Evil as well as His Sword’s vicious ability.  The Smite Evil is wasted, since Mum is not evil.  Despite this and the DR/5,  she Still takes over 70 Hp damage and is down to about 1/3 Hp!  In Half a Combat Round! 😡   Things are looking very grim.  Big Momma is shocked and enraged, no-one has hurt her like this for decades, and none have ever survived after offering such disrespect.

More ZTs turn up to pound the characters, keeping their efforts uncoordinated and them pinning them down.  The children thrashing about on Mum’s sides miss with most of their attacks, their slender tendrils whipping ineffectually through empty space.  Lightfist slips up to the edge of the maw delivering sledgehammer punches and kicks to the stinking torso of the creature.  Minsc has a very good go at grappling the monstrous plant, but doesn’t quite manage to get a good grip on the Huge Slimy Plant Creature, surprise, surprise…  Sneaky jabs with his rapier, whittling away at her dwindling Hp. Nugai, badly hurt by ZTs gulps down Cure Mod. Wounds potion and is restored to 13 Hp.  The Dark Mother lashes out desperately and with horrible effect.  Minsc’s and Lightfist’s Hp are brought down to dangerous levels.  Nugai however, who had just healed himself up to 13 Hp, finds himself being munched on like a puppy’s chew toy, taking 22 Hp damage!  This takes him to death’s door at -9 Hp, he has 1 combat round to either stabilize or be treated with a healing spell.  Dancia is on the other side of the room with the huge angry plant Mum between herself and Nugai.  Not good 🙂 

Most of our heroes have been beaten and chomped down to low Hp.  So when Malcivar slams three more arrows into the thrashing mass, quickly followed up by a deadly slash by Artix, sending the stinking mass of slime, weed, claws and teeth collapses back into the maw, there is a cheer and a palpable sense of relief.  This is short-lived,  as tremors pass through the ship, and water rushes to fill the maw.  The organism that held the Sargasso together for more than 60 years is dead, and now this dark unnatural land is coming apart.

Minsc pours a healing potion down Nugai’s throat, he Artix and Dancia help him on deck and start constructing a rickety raft from the sodden timber of the Thunderer.  Enough to hold equipment and armour and cling to for a rest while treading water.  Lightfist and Sneaky make a swift check of the rest of the hold and find a stash of treasure scattered across the floor from chests long fallen apart.  As well as a tower shield and a scroll case containing three arcane spells.  All is gathered up and tipped into Dancia’s portable hole. 

Within 20 minutes the ship has sunk beneath the waves, as have all other ships within sight.  The party has a fairly easy time treading water until the sea wyvern turns up and pulls them from the ocean, there are 2 Cloaks of the Manta ray in the party and plenty of wreckage to cling to. 

This adventure nears its conclusion.  The Isle of Dread draws near, and all will be well once they team up with Lavinia and the crew of the Blur Nixie at Farshore… Right? 😉

Come on!  Where would be the fun in that?

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