Tales from the Flooded Realms: Gorilla Village (session 2)

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The journey from the small port up to the keep proper was uneventful. However their first view of the keep itself was quite a shock. The central most turret was missing, it looked to be snapped off right at the base, but there were no stones lying on the ground, or cracks in the remaining masonry. They marveled at this for a moment, then headed to the main gate. After presenting their charge to the gatekeeper, they were escorted to bailiff Stanley's office. Bailif Stanley was an older, stern looking man. He glared at them from his high backed chair, "You understand the rules? No fighting, no drawn weapons, no stealing. Just because you've come to the borderlands doesn't mean the law has ceased to exist. Just the opposite, the law is to more strict here, as an example to the very wilderness itself." The two comrades blinked and resolutely gave their acknowledgement. "Good, now that the formalities are over, " he cracked an almost grandfatherly smile "what do you need to know about the keep and it's surrounding environs?" Garth wasted no time in asking the question formost on their mind, what had happened to the tower? "Oh that would be Etran's doing, that magical bastard. He teleported himself here some five years ago and used a shadowy portal to rip it clean off the fortress. He cackled about needing it for 'research'. We tried to shoot him out of the sky but failed, wizards being what they are. Shortly after the court wizards and Aquinae clerics cast protections on the keep and we haven't had any issues." Garth and Gornad gaped open mouthed. "A wizard just did that? And hasn't been punished?" "No he hasn't been caught. We are off the mainland, the magical protections keeping them in check don't exist here, or didn't at least. Thankfully, most wizards who don't join the court blow themselves up in hairbrained expiriments in short order." "I've never heard of Etran before, though he seems like a major threat?" The bailiff sighed. "Yes, but no more than most wizards are, and most wizards are fine or dead. I imagine he straightened himself out or died, because we havent heard since. The only reason we know his name is because he kept cackling it madly." The pair leaned back, not sure if they should be relieved or more uneasy. "Well, perhaps we should be getting along and seeing about our lodgings, if you need nothing else of us." Garth intoned, eager to begin prepping for their next adventure." The bailiff rose heavily "Of course, although I suggest you two find some companions before heading out into the wilderness beyond" ... They found themselves in a heated argument with a cleric and his ranger traveling companion. The ranger was a sultry young woman, clad in a fine leather jerkin and pants combo that left little to the imagination. "And why should we trust you!" She spat, "we just met you, and all you have to offer is the name 'Gleamshot' as if your lineage means anything out here!" "Now Nemyt, no need to get nasty." The cleric said soothingly "These two are merely offering suggestions for party leadership, they are not trying to run your life." The Aquinaen Cleric stood up, silvered holy symbol clinking against his chain shirt. "I see no reason not to let him lead in the field, nobles are often given command positions in the military. I am willing to accept these terms on the condition that I handle the parties finances." A cold glint came into Barry's eyes as he stared evenly at the dwarf and fighter in turn. "Not like you let me get hands on the gold anyway" Nemyt intoned, smoothing her golden curls back into position. "Fine I'll agree to that." Garth took a measured breath "That's acceptable to me, Gornad you?" "Ay, there be no problem from me." Business concluded, if tensely, they set about the important work of building cohesion, and set to drinking their fill. The one armed bartender, Thomas, gave all new adventurers the first night on the house. This would be the last kindess the world gave the band for awhile, and he knew it better than most. ... The next day, with heads hanging heavy from the nights festivities, they visited the important places in the keep. Chief among them was the Chapel, domain of Bishop Donley, who offered his assistance to the party, saying he would help them buy transport to the far side of the island where the monsters were rumored to dwell. A much more interesting encounter happened when they went to the guild to check the open bounties. The girl behind the counter caught Nemyt's lustful eye. Nemyt sidled up the counter and ask where a girl could go to have a "good time" and possibly get paid for her troubles. The guildgirl blushed deeply and said she wouldn't know about such a thing, but passed The ranger a note instructing her to come to the grain cellar at midnight. While this ecounter happened in the background, the rest of the party perused the bounty board, and learned of some strange corpse found northwest of the keep, and resolved to go check them out. ... They traveled for a better part of the afternoon before coming across the gorilla-man village. The large Apes had the intelligence of goblins, but lacked a langauage. They had been pushed out the caves they preffered by the monsters who dwelt there now. In recompense, they had built study grass huts on the plains and begun patrolling them visously. Sensing a chance of easy loot, the party launched into action. Nemyt let an arrow fly from her bow and struck one the beastmen in the skull, dropping it. Gornad dashed foward to fight the beasts toe to toe, while Barry and Garth run around, intending to flank. However, for some inscrutable reason, Garth ran far too wide, and was no were near Gornad for what happened next. The rest of the beasts, seven of them, were enraged at seeing one of their own die. Two rushed the dwarf, while the rest threw rocks, all roaring their bestial roars. The rocks landed shy of the dwarf, and the first Ape swung its fists wide. The second ape struck the dwarf directly in the jaw. The mighty blow rocked the dwarf to his core. The pain was immense, but brief. As the fist crashed into his jaw, and the second came down to cave his head in, helm and all, he had a vision. He was a dragon, a massive red dragon, with his hoard deep below the earth, far far from prying eyes. How long had he been here? In the dark, below the earth? 100 years, 200? No one had come to steal his hoard, and he had grown bored. There was no thrill to this senseless existence, something would have to change... The vision shifts... He was Gornad the Warlock, dragon patron who he only had a half-remembered meeting with... The vision blurs... He was Gornad the Great dwarven pit fighter with a dragon motiff... the vision sharpens... He's Gornard of the Fiery Caves, boarding a ship bound the human Kingdom of Salmaeus. This is his past, and his legacy, a dragon using magic to find adventure again, now dying in this unknown field to some thrice-blasted apes. He guessed it was a good run, but regretted that he would soon become Gornad the Dead... Garth watched in shocked horror as the ape caved his friend's skull in, and the ripped the head from the body. The beast roared its defiance, covered in the viscera of the dwarf. In the confusion, Nemyt was able to fell another of their number, and called for the group to retreat. Barry heeded the warning and began backpedaling, seeing that the dwarf was beyond saving. But Garth was blinded by his grief and rage, and charged the ape that killed his friend. The ape was confused by the charged, and stumbled back. Garth was able to cleave it's body in twain, and leave its corpse on the ground. He recovered Gornad's axe, and trudged back to the rest of the party weary from his exertion and grief. The party returned to the keep shaken to their cores.

Thu, 04 Nov 2021 00:02:30 -0500

Tales from the Flooded Realms: The Broken Tower (session 1)

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And there it was, a stone tower jutting crookedly from a small sandbar. The captain swore under his breath and called for a full stop alongside, once again planning to put the adventurers in his care to use. He had a bad feeling about this, as the tower was new, and new things in the ocean were invariably bad news. This tower appeared to have once been part of a larger structure, snapped off and placed ungracefully upon the sandbar. The sandbar was new too, however that was less worrisome, as the waters in this area were particularly mercurial. But this tower had clearly come from somewhere, and not the bottom of the ocean. "Lads, I am sending you out to investigate but heed my words. I don't get paid for delivering corpses to the keep. Take a look around, but don't get in over your head, retreat if you get into trouble" rumbled the captain at the two adventurers. They gave their acknowledgement and boarded the dingy and road over to the sandbar.

The interior of the tower was well lit, so they stowed their lanterns and stood in the large entry room and took stock of the locale. It appeared by all rights to be a turret tower from an average fort, and some preliminary investigation found two storage areas full of weapons rusted beyond usefulness and two closed doors.

"I do believe this to be another empty mystery, beardless. Let us be on our way" growled Gornad "We have wasted enough time in our journey, and I be ready to be on solid ground again." "Let's look a bit longer, there may be treasure here. Imagine reaching the keep with our fortunes made" Garth replied. "Aye, perhaps you have the right of the thing. The place seems abandoned by rights. Gold will make for a softer bed and easier landing once we are ashore." With there path resolved, the adventurers chose the western door to try first. The dwarf pushed it open, and it offered no resistance. Once the door had swung slightly open, there was a faint click. The Dwarf ducked, and a spiked ball whistled overhead and settled in the door frame. "Yargh!, mayhap, this place be not as about as we first assumed. This trap was set intentionally." huffed the dwarf. Garth made no comment, but peered into the room, past the spiked ball. It was full of old bed frames, the mattresses long ago rotted away. "I knew it, this is a guard tower, probably from a keep much like the one we are headed too. The regiment sleeps here, with the lower ranks in the room in front of us. There will be a room for the officers, and a room with an office for the ranking officer." Garth whispered. That office will have gold, even if all the perishables have rotted away." They walked into the room, intending to continue down the halls to the office. "Look, Garth. The other doors were trapped, but one has been been sprung and the door closed." "From what I know about forts, the sprung one is most likely another armory. Can you disarm the other so we do not risk injury?" "Aye, but it will take time. Keep watch, something feels off about this place." The dwarf set to work, and Garth kept watch. An hour or so passed uneventfully before the dwarf was finished. The door grabbed their gear and started down the hall when a low moaning started emanating from one of the beds. "See I told you this place was no right!" Unheeded, Garth stalked over to the bed and plunged his sword through the frame. The moaning quieted, and turned to tell the dwarf all was fine, when three shadowy figures appeared in front of him. They were all shadow, save for their helms and spears. The helms appeared to be standard issue imperial military, but what they were doing on shadows Garth had no idea. He had little time to ponder it though, as the spears were plunging towards him. He managed to skate back and bring his sword to bear on one of the shadows. His sword arm felt resistance, as it were biting into flesh and not insubstantial shadow. Gornad swung his axe, but went wide. The shadow closest to Garth reached out a hand and clutched at his chest, as if trying to arrest him. Garth felt his strength go out of him, as if his muscles had suddenly decayed. Gornad's axe buried itself into the shadow's back, and creature fell. It and it's companion slowly dissolving on the floor. The remaining shadow retreated to a nearby wall and sunk into the shadows there. "Well, that was a shock. I feel I need to rest before we continue. That shadow did something to my body." Garth panted. "Let's go to the entry hall, and pass some time." They headed back and pulled out some rations and passed the time. By and by, Garth felt his strength coming back. Once he had recovered sufficiently, they delved deeper into the fortress. On the way past the fallen shadows, they picked up the helms on a whim.

The next room was a smaller barracks, just as Garth had predicted. They opened the next door too a short hallway. At the end was an ornate wooden door, and a shadow wearing an officers helm. He performed the imperial salute and, when they returned it, stepped aside and motioned them in. The room was a modest office, with a shadow sitting behind the desk, looking at them expectantly. They walked towards the desk reluctantly, and were handed a parchment. It was a writ of passage, with a seal that Garth identified as an older version of the Imperial Seal, last used around five years ago. The writ granted the bearer passage to inspect the fort. They left the office, more confused than with they had entered. The door guard gave them a crisp salute as they walked by.

As the entered the officers barracks, they received another unwelcome surprise, a raiding party of merman. Upon sighting the adventurers, the merman hesitated, which become their downfall. A mighty swing of Garth's two hander downed one and injured another, the hewed into the third. The injured one ran, and Garth gave chase. The third got a lucky spear strike into the dwarf, before meeting its end. Garth hunted the survivor down, shrugging off the inky spit the beast spewed and hacking its head off. After cleaning themselves off a bit, and bandaging their wounds. They continued exploring. They walked through a training hall and a mess room, both full shadows. The Shadows paid them no mind, continuing to eat, or pantomime eating food.

As they were nearing completion of the floor, the dwarf spied false masonry towards the back of the mess hall. They spent and hour clearing it, and uncovered a stairwell, with a small storage area. The storage area contained some old chests, containing a few precious gemstones. "Treasure, finally. Now we can beat a retreat before something we can no handle comes along and splatters us along the wall." "One more room, then we will retire to the ship. The kitchen is still left." They walked over to the kitchen door, and promptly regretted it. Inside was another merman raiding party, locked in battle with a massive Ooze. The merman plunged their spears in unison, only for those spears to be dissolved, followed quickly by the ooze crashing down on them and consuming them. The adventurers closed the door and went quickly and quietly back to the ship.

Once back aboard, they reported their findings to the captain. The captain considered what they said, and gave the orders to set sail again. He had his own opinions on the matter, but chose to keep them silent for now. This time the journey was not interrupted, and they finished the voyage to King's Grasp.

Tue, 12 Oct 2021 21:17:32 -0500

Tales from the Flooded Realms - The Ship (session 0)

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The ship was weird, there was no doubt about that. They had come across it two days into their seven day journey from the port of Falsmouth, to King's Grasp Island. The spotter in the crows nest had spied the old frigate, listing aimlessly in the open ocean and called down to the captain. The captain decided that since he had two adventurers on board, he might as well put them to work, and pulled along side the hulk, and roused them from below deck.

Garth Gleamshot, a disgraced noble, and Gornad of the Fiery Caves a dwarf from the sea mines in the northern sea; stepped onto the creaking, arcane symbol covered ship. They shared a glance, shouldered their gear and began exploring the upper deck. "Beardless, I do believe this ship be not moving. Neither with the surf or wind. Aye, the sails be dead, while the wind yet howls." growled Gornad, "It be strange and not comforting at all". "It is strange, dwarf, let's investigate the sails a little closer before we venture deeper in." They walked over to the sails, and cut out a square patch from the main sail. As the last thread was sliced off, the patch began to flutter as if it had been imprisoned and relished its newfound freedom. "Odd indeed, I suspect these arcane runes are to blame. I know nothing about the arcane, but it contains the glyphs for flight in dragonic. Let's descend into the bowels know and take a look." They trudged into the lowest levels of the ship, finding nothing but a broken arcane lab, and the skeleton of a spellcaster wearing an expensive robe. Garth, looking to help cushion their lodging and living expenses once they reached the fort, removed the robe and placed it in his bag. While doing so, he dislodged the bare skull. "Hold, there be something inside the skull!" Gornad brought his warhammer down with a hearty crack, smashing the skull open. A note written on parchment fluttered out. "Brother, Your research is a waste, and you have disgraced our order. You will never amount to anything, and killing you is the best for all involved. May this note find you in the afterlife. -E" "Strange, is this a human custom?" inquired Gornad "Nay, at least not one I have heard of" Replied the nobleman "Perhaps it some caster foolishness. In either case, it is time we take our leave. There is nothing else we can learn here." They returned to their transport, the HMS Royal Orc, and reported their findings to the captain. Who agreed that it was best left alone until an arcane scholar could be sent from the Glass Tower to inspect the ship and spell woven upon it.

They were underway only half a day before the next mystery appeared, jutting from the sea like an accusatory finger.

Tue, 12 Oct 2021 15:10:40 -0500