Coral Sea Colony
- 1 Summary
- 2 Summary
- 3 Scribe Notes
- 3.1 Guild Day
- 3.2 2nd Frost
- 3.3 3rd Frost
- 3.4 5th Frost to 15th Frost
- 3.5 16th Frost to 18th Frost
- 3.6 19th Frost to 20th Frost
- 3.7 21st Frost (Session 3)
- 3.8 22nd Frost
- 3.9 23rd Frost
- 3.10 Session 6
- 3.11 Session 7
- 3.12 Session 8
- 3.13 Session 9
- 3.14 Maps
- 4 Mil-Sci
- 5 Loot and Expenses
- 6 Winter
- 7 Winter
- Rhiain - Ice mage, Female human (Wants to be known as a Lesser Noble) played by Chris R.
- Sno - Ice mage, Female, Sea Elf (Party Leader) - played by Annuskha
- Minerva - Solar Celestial Blast Mage, Human Female (Military Scientist), - played by Jacqui
- Elderan - Air mage, Male Elf, - played by IanA
- Christopher - Ice Mage Warrior - Male Human - played by MTB
- Lim - Water Mage, Male Elf (Scribe) - played by Bernard
- Octavia. A well trained music loving Warhorse, Beast Mastered by Rhiain.
- Storm. A magic warhorse, attached to Christopher
- Shadow. A dark coloured Wildcat, Beast Mastered by Sno.
- Aquila. A Large but short winged Eagle. Beast Mastered by Minerva.
10k cash + expenses up front. extra 10k on completion. Note, Further negotiation is happening on this due to the mission creep.
Days on Adventure:
Aqualina's To Do List for the Party:
- Lost colony in the north west of the Coral Sea - as well as missing adventurers including Ursula.
- Escorting the Diplomats to the The Great Shallows
- Evilish undersea temple - see SGT98
- Pan-Ds in the Abyss - see SGT98
Missing NPCs: Found NPCs:
- Aquana - Bard and Princess. Daughter of King Kierl and Princess Ariel's younger sister. Long blonde hair, orange tail.
- Ursula - Sister to King Kierl - Shriver and Necromancer (reformed). White hair, black tail.
- Princess Ariel - Currently in charge of the Coral Sea merfolk. Celestial Star Mage and Master Military Science.
- Mizuno - Mermaid female, Neck length blue hair and blue tail. Archivist, Water Mage & Master Healer. Wife to Kaoh.
- Kaoh - Aquatic Elf female, E&E, Long green hair, Aquatic elf liason to the merfolk. Wife to Mizuno.
- Gabrielle - Princess Ariel's Lady in Waiting. Pasifikan colouring, Dark hair, mute, uses sign language. Namer, Aqualina's current paramour.
- Neri - Young Aventi female. Spy/Thief skills.
- The Southern Shallows - 500 miles south of Pasifika on the way to Zeyland.
- The Great Shallows - SW of Palestrina
We start from Seagate, taking a ship down to Pasifika, then to the shallow seas south of Pasifika linked to Zeyland.
There we discover a large shallow area ringed in magical coral, where we uncover the workings of an Aboleth & slay it.
We return north to the 'Great Shallows' near Palestrina where we find a Zephar worshiping Merfolk empire, who we escape from.
We then explore the 'Ships Graveyard' in the same vicinity where we discover an undead horde, and possibly the escaped Aventi hiding out from the Merfolk.
We return to Seagate with our gains.
We assemble in one of the meeting rooms after the guild meeting, and as one might expect for what was introduced as a seaborne job we soon discover that we don't have a wide range of colleges, with 3 Ice Mages joining us of various levels of experience. A Celestial & an Air Mage also join us as one might expect for on ship, and myself as a Potion & Water Mage to round out the list.
We are joined in the meeting room by Aqualina who seems to be acting on behalf of the Merfolk the best I can determine the story. It starts out sounding not too bad, go look what's happened to a colony and escort some diplomats places, then it just gets worse and worse and worse. They've been using Bards to shout across the Ocean at each other for communication, with waters infested by "Horrors from beyond the veil" and "Old ones from the deep" between them. There are shrivers apparently in the area somewhere, possible necromantic armies, Sahuagin invasions, oh, and where we are taking the diplomats is right on the Drow primary invasion route as they sailed their Floating Island fleet in..... I'm not sure if some of these issues are in the past or not at this stage but it's become decidedly less simple from the sounds of things, so we negotiate a significant increase in pay to cover expenses.
This increase tentatively agreed to pending further confirmation with the real employers, we get onto organising required bits & pieces for such a trip, starting with Lessers & Greaters, Greaters we end up getting from an Enchanter called Villa, though we do discuss Lucius, Aaron & Carrie also, Villa is the first of the list to be found and does excellent greaters and a fair price. Lessers people arrange themselves as needed from familiar Earth Mages. We also lay in a stock of herbs and alchemical supplies, and do an initial batch of potions.
After this we get onto planning transport. The 700 Mile as the crow flies trip to the Sea of Grass portal doesn't seem very popular overall, being as it's a pretty long flight for all it is within our Air Mages range. Discussion heads onto just using Ship Strength to summon up a boat, that's just heretical, and from there we think about hiring a boat or signing onto one going the right way, before deciding that with the wealth in the party we can just go and buy a smaller caravel instead, and the group can be the crew for it. We won't have enough to man it with siege weapons or anything like that, but honestly we probably won't fight that way anyway if we have to fight from it. So Minerva organises some viewings of available ships for the next few days. This done we then have to get the magical ritual done to teach the rest how to sail, so we go drinking that night, the party manages to make a right mess of the bar by most of them going well beyond the 'just drunk' needed for the ritual, especially one of the horses. The other horse, Storm it says it's name is when it chats, has a better grasp of when to stop drinking.
With some of the party nursing their hangovers which can't be magically cured without disrupting the ritual, we head off to the docks fairly early in the morning to start inspecting possible vessels. A couple of no goers for sure, then we look at a small caravel currently out of the water having just completed repairs called The Squall Eater. The current owners claim there are other interested parties wanting to buy it, but more I see it as a probable ex smugglers vessel given it's smaller size and the nature of some of the repairs. It will however suit us as this should allow us to get away with our small crew size without problems, and so we buy it, christening it The Sand Tiger.
Now we have a ship the party puts forward the idea of hauling some cargo down with us, and after a very nearly highly expensive mistake of thinking they might need hardwood before we remember their off plane access to such, we settle on trying to acquire a cargo based more around cloth, wool and continental alcohols.
We buy suitable cargo from the markets, focusing mainly on wool, cloth & alcohol, along with some valuable but light items like local herbs which always sell well. We get some locals to help load it over the day and next day.
5th Frost to 15th Frost
5th Frost We leave harbour, the Harbour Master is apparently under pressure from the Duke as they demand an accounting of our plans, so we tell them we are heading to Freetown. We head West.
8th Frost Clear the Kingdom of Flugelheim to our North and head out into the true open sea. The party have all found their sea legs, even magical help doesn't do it in a single hour.
10th Frost Sail spotted to the West, identified as a Destinian ship, moving at clearly magical speeds also, I believe we have the edge on them in pace but not significantly. Neither of us attempt to close with the other and we pass at about a miles distance.
12th Frost Measurements indicate we are at the right place to turn south, the Elven Isles are visible to the SE by the clouds above them.
14th Frost We pass through a storm. Sufficient to endanger a ship without a water or air mage, but of little consequence given we can ignore the natural wind and calm the waves.
15th Frost We enter the Pasifika region, noticeable easily by the sudden slowing of the Mage Current, thankfully the Caravel itself still has a good speed allowing us to make swift passage regardless. We travel down the East Coast of Rangiwhero spotting the clouds rising from the Cliffs of Fire far to the west and rounding the East Point somewhere near midnight, staying a good distance out to sea to avoid any shoals.
16th Frost to 18th Frost
As we travel down the SE coast of Rangiwhero it is evident that there is a lot of building going on, with the sea busy with smaller coastal vessels in the local styles hauling supplies as well as a fairly significant amount of fishing going on. We stay further out to sea as befits a larger vessel rather than plough through the middle of them all with our Mage Current on. Of the discussed Sea Dangers we see none this far North as expected, reaching what used to be the Trading Post near evening, though it appears to have exploded into a massive sprawling mess of several towns or villages mashed together.
Anchoring seems right out but there are some piers, and one appears to have been kept clear for us given the presence of Aqualina & Princess Ariel of the Merfolk on the end of it, so we dispel the Mage Current and bring Sand Tiger into the pier, tying off.
We hold a meeting on board that evening to discuss matters further, getting a rough layout of what is known of the area and the current events, and plan our travels to the area directly so we can bring the caravel, though they also offer a portal of some kind from the Merfolk town just south down past the various threats to a safe outpost we decline this. We do however get Aqualina to organise us a few local crew so we aren't as reliant on just a couple of anchors to keep our vessel safe while we do exploration.
With these important matters done we get onto unloading & selling the cargo that was brought down here, while a few of us study local information that we will need to know. This takes us a few days to organise all of this and fresh supplies.
19th Frost to 20th Frost
We leave as expected from the trading post and head on a westerly arc to avoid the worst of the deep chasm & the horror infested waters, having had a look at local charts now. We have an uneventful voyage over the deep ocean, it not being till we are getting near the edge of the coral reef on the evening of the 20th that we are attacked by 3 strange Decapods, 4 legs, 4 arms and 2 wings, that Minerva reads the aura of to identify them as Mi-Go's during the fight, seemingly some kind of animate plant creature summoned from one of those weird places that aren't the hells or heavens.
We get plenty of time as they approach, Minerva creating herself a mid-castle of light on the ship, Christopher dropping some neat Ice Magic on a few people in preparation, and several of us putting some ranged fire into them before Aquila the Eagle gets overly enthusiastic and takes off to fight all three alone. Christopher saves them from certain doom with some more neat Ice Magic though they do end up with a crippled wing. All this while we are right on top of the coral reef makes for a little bit of an interesting situation but once we discover their claws are about as deadly as untrained daggers things do improve and they are removed from this plane shortly after that.
We make passage through the reef, and find a sensible spot to anchor rather than sail the shallows at night, first watch get interrupted with what appeared to be a face briefly at the railing, which is rather odd, but we aren't equipped to try and give chase at night. In the middle of the night we discover an intruder on deck riffling through our stuff, so take them down before they can escape though oddly several members of the party seem to find this objectionable, discovering it is an apparently young Female Avanti called Neri. They claim to be from a small colony of Avanti about 50 miles east of here, and probably a similar distance in a kind of NNW direction from the missing colony, maybe 50 of them live there. She has from birth Control Person/Binding Will type magic on her from the Mind college. We don't get much more useful information from her and release her to avoid a follow up attack that might be avoidable, Christopher helping her back over the side.
Anonymous Quote. She's too small, toss her back
21st Frost (Session 3)
We spend some time while we wait in case of further incident discussing the previous fights and how to improve tactics before settling back to watches, I still struggle to understand how an expert stealther who has crept on deck and is going through stuff isn't an imminent threat, but apparently half the party believe that is the case. In any case, a number of improvements to tactics are discussed, most of them quite smart, and we make it through to dawn without further incident.
We weigh anchor and head SSEish along the reef line mostly for the day, reaching where we want to anchor the ship long term by dusk, perhaps 40 or 50 miles east of the Merfolk colony. We call a merfolk to see if any actually survived the colony disappearance, discovering that they are still living in the colony and happy, and they are about to have a festival, oddly timed exactly whenever we arrive at the colony. The Merfolk has a very hesitant speech pattern much like someone being controlled and DA's confirm that this is the case.
Minerva then spends time chatting to Dolphins whom we discover are also under a controlling type magic, and they are not very helpful, demanding fish before they even bother to chat, let alone do anything. They do however accidentally give away Neri hanging out on our ship by the rudder in order to continue to Spy on us. Christopher smartly sends her to gather more fish so we can have a brief private conversation about what to do next.
As part of this Minerva consults with a Dragon Spirit who's statuette she has, and discovered a number of pieces of information.
- The control is likely an Aboleth given we are at sea, though there are other creatures who have similar control magics also.
- There is a magic Giant Clam in the area that may have something of use inside it.
- The Clam is guarded by Giant Crustations.
Minerva: "Crabs are fun"
This Clam appears to be located somewhere near the merfolk colony, less than a mile away from it.
After this we discuss our best course of action and decide we need to leave on a cloud to warn the other Merfolk about the Aboleth before we go charging in and become charmed by it. We organise a fog and fly off from the middle of it in a rough SE direction to the other colony.
With dawn having just broken we arrive in the area of the colony, discovering Aqualina on a baby island on the outskirts of the colony, getting some actual air.
Minerva: "I lash her with my DA".
The colony itself appears very.... sparse at this stage with no semblance of order or defences, being based around some buildings and a large ruined ship, somewhat suggestive of a Great Galleon in size and hull shape. There can also be seen a square sided & stepped Pyramid who's top forms the island. After some suggesting to her that things are urgent, we get her to take us to Princess Ariel's presence.
Here our party leader Sno does a briefing, with some of the 'upper' class in the party cutting in repeatedly while she does this, & we let her know about the Aboleth threat, at which point we get a very terrifying briefing in return about how the temple they live right by (and Aqualina was using to sunbathe on) happens to be dedicated to the Aboleth also, and as you go into it's depths things become truly horrific, directions twist, and the explorers lost parts of their memory of searching.... but they are sure that there are no Aboleths or other things living there..... The party are unconvinced about this.
After this we decide that we should go somewhere safer like the Village being controlled by an Aboleth to find a Giant Clam, the Princess turns a couple of animals into sea animals,
Christopher: "We should go before it Clams up"
And we then get back onto our cloud flying NWish to where the Clam is following Elderan's directions, imprinted on him by the Dragon Spirit. We arrive over the location near dusk and prepare properly as we descend ready to dive into the water and be in & out as fast as we can manage.
We jump in from the cloud, rapidly entering a tunnel Elderan directs us to and then onwards into a cavern complex underneath the sea floor located there. We estimate we might be as much as 70' under the surface, and 40' under the sea floor.
Once inside we rapidly encounter some sharks who aren't keen to let us past, being magically compelled & enhanced in some way as Guardians of this place. We attempt talking but they move in to attack, being backed up by what we call the Three Blind Mice (GTN Bunyip, Sea variant, have an AoE roar of fear & a bleeder inducing bite that's pretty accurate), & Danger Mice (GTN Grindylow, about as dangerous as goblins, in this case poor goblins), all of them under the Guardianship magic effect. This seems to make them considerably tougher, better natural armour & immune to stun of all kinds, but most of them are not particularly deadly given none of us are novices. We control the sharks moving them out of the way, fear most of the Bunyips, & the Danger Mice refuse to get out of the way so get beaten, mainly by Lightning Explosions underwater & some Blackfire, as well as some well placed Celestial bolt sprays, while the Ice mages hold the line.
Further into the complex we discover the giant clam, guarded by a half dozen giant crustaceans, that we again control and move out of our path, before asking the clam nicely to open up, surprisingly this works as it hadn't been given any direct instructions not to, and was as smart as a regular clam, we find 2 Sleeping Mermaids inside (One Blonde with Orange tail, 1 White haired with Black tail), 6 Coral Tridents, 6 Dolphin Figurines, & a significant number of large pearls, along with some assorted other items of less note.
We collect all of this rapidly and head back to the Cloud before we do further investigations, the two Merfolk are Aquana (Bard) & Ursala (Necro/E&E Dual + more), they had magically slept themselves, 'shrived' memories just in case they were captured etc as they had felt themselves under attack by control magic, their 4 companions were controlled, 3 warriors, 1 namer.
We discuss what to do next.
A decision is reached that we need to consult with the Merfolk again as if we continue on we could find ourselves in a situation where significant numbers of Merfolk under the Aboleth's control end up dead and they might get upset if we do this without talking to them first, so we take off and head back South through the night yet again, with Aquana attempting to expand her spy ring by seduction on the party, to varying degrees of success through the night.
We arrive at a similar time to last time, avoiding the island atop the Aboleth temple we jump in and head down, finding Princess Ariel away on business to the main colonies near Rangiwhero. We organise for a namer (Gabrielle) to look at the items we found with a Sea Elf named Kao & Mizuno, the Merfolk Healer & Watermage, also around to catch up on what has been going on. Aquana takes over the leadership of the colony now she is back as the next in line.
- 1 Trident of Bane of Aboleths. Double damage vs Aboleths/Horrors/Aberrations, Spec Grev vs such creatures at advantage, True Silvered, Rk 10 W.S +5%+1DM. Takes weapon spell having no innate bonuses.
- 18 * Pearls vs Mental Control. +10 MR vs any Control/Compell type magics. Doubles when done by Aboleths/Horrors/Aberrations. Forces a new MR vs Control if it becomes a Controlled entities possession. We leave 6 of these with the Merfolk leadership to protect them.
- 6 * Pearl Dolphin Figurines. Can be used as a Dolphin messenger. Approx 1 way range 210 miles, or 100 miles + return message. 24h use a week, can also be used for riding etc.
- 2 * Enchanted Tridents. Silvered with effective Rank 10 Enchant Weapon on them. Rk 10 W.S +5%+1DM.
- 2 * Daggers. Silvered, Rk 10 W.S +5%+1DM. Rank 6 Spectral Weapon on them, benefit from better weapon spell, non stacking but keep ability to hit spectrals.
- 3 * Trident. Silvered, Rk 10 W.S +5%+1DM.
We breakfast, the Merfolk seem a little odd at how they seem unaware of certain concepts like hot objects & Ice mages and the such, they seem to forget about land dwellers shortly after meeting them it seems, I wonder if there is a curse on them like there used to be on the Elves. After Ariels' return we discuss some options with her, and decide that our next step is probably to scout for the Aboleth, and go from there. This calls for yet another flight back up North, by now there is probably a track worn in the sky from our cloud.
Getting back North we head for our ship, unsurprisingly it is not where we left it, so we head eastish aiming between the Merfolk & the Aventi locations, till we spot it anchored above where we think the Aventi live based on Neri's descriptions.
Minerva calls Aquila the big Eagle up and they converse, Aquila telling us how the crew fell asleep then some Aventi came on board & sailed the ship to here. The crew are awake by the time we head down, though clearly under some kind of control or compulsion as they seem unaware the ship has moved, we use contact with the pearls & well timed counter-spells to free them from whatever it was, & then run out the ships ladder to invite the Aventi on board to talk in a peaceful manner.
Shortly after we do, all the party get hit by a magical control attempt, with a compulsion to jump in the water as well. The Pearls & Counter-spells allow us free choice still rather than being forced to, but the Party still enters the water in fairly short order as if controlled, where we are met with a group of 6 Aventi. Some quick pantomime to avoid death while casting we get magical speech to them up and running and we head off following them, convincing them we need to stop and recast to keep talking at very regular intervals. Fortunately it isn't a long trip before we come to a ruined square pyramid, looking very similar to the one seen at the main southern merfolk colony, but with its top missing. We are taken inside, where we convince them of another delay to allow several shorter duration magics to be cast, before we are ushered into the presence of an Aboleth.
It fairly quickly realises we aren't under it's control, however we manage to get some conversation going between myself & the Aboleth, while Christopher spots the mental projection it is using to make itself appear larger, and Minerva identifies a supporting mage as an E&E. The Aboleth identifies itself as The Lord of All, and introduces itself and its now believed to be deceased brother whom used to rule this enclosed area sometime around or before Penjarri. They were attacked at about that time, and he managed to save himself with some form of Hibernation, waking recently and resuming its plans to dominate the area, starting with collecting a small village of Aventi, then moving onto the Merfolk village. We also establish that the Aboleth is not under any form of control, before it starts to get impatient, making threats about harm befalling Neri. I palm one of the Pearls through her possession, breaking the magical control over her, before resuming dialogue with the Aboleth, getting interrupted very shortly after this by Neri attempting to stab it in the back with a dagger, not very effectively but quite a good attitude, and giving us a limited amount of surprise over the Aboleth, Aventi & Merfolk who had no idea she wasn't controlled. Combat ensues.
The Aboleth is exposed to melee attacks, so we formulate a plan around getting the Aboleth down as fast as we can, while several of the party hold off the incoming horde with walls and other magic.
Christopher manages to get a wall of ice down that covers our rear flank, though he has to hold a small gap in it himself as the enemy came in too fast for ideal placement, Minerva gets a Wall of Darkness down at the far end of the room blocking off several more reinforcements as well as the Aventi Namer it turns out they have. Sno moves to occupy their E&E and hold one of the flanks inside the room. Lim & Rhiain engage the Aboleth directly while Elderan drops explosions of lightning in strategic places, unfortunately unable to target the Aboleth repeatedly without doing large amounts of collateral damage.
Fortunately for us it turns out the Aboleth's strength was not in close combat though it does have a very nasty slime poison that can even create new Aboleth's if it kills a suitable victim, and a near minute of rough fighting later we kill it, with only a single Merfolk being killed during the combat.
The rest of the Aventi & Merfolk come out from under the control at this point, and the Aventi are confused enough with Neri's actions we are able to get them to stop fighting before we get onto the traditional part of slaying the monster, Looting.
- 1 Dissected Aboleth.
- Large sum of coinage, gems, jewellery and other trinkets from it's store room.
- A few miscellaneous magic items. DA's give uncertain results so we decide to return these for real Divinations.
- Stripped gilding from a statue before we de-consecrate the Aboleth temple room.
- Some Eldritch symbols, statuettes, & artefacts from a deep hole to another layer, with a Rank 20 darkness protecting it. Recovered by a Water Sprite. All associated with some kind of Chaos power linked to the Deeps. All highly dangerous to handle and whisper at your mind constantly.
We note that there is a solid need for someone with Rank 20 light, possibly a mobile form of rank 20 light depending how extensive the Darkness is, to accompany a group here in order to clear the lower levels before this temple can even be started to be considered safe.
An hour or so later into the early night we get back on board our ship, with everything loaded, and start our voyage back to Colony A, with the Merfolk Bard, Neri, and Neri's mother Eudora on board.
The trip south goes relatively fast, though we have to maintain a low speed overnight we have some idea of safe channels at this stage so with the various forms of night vision the party has are still able to make reasonable time, arriving at Colony A somewhere in the middle of the day.
Once there we do a brief report on what happened, as well as negotiate to confirm the pay involved for disposing of the Aboleth, as well as a compulsory formal dinner to celebrate this.
The voices speak of a bright light in the depths, a heaven beyond heavens, all you have to do to get there is descend through the darkness till you come out the other side
We head off North in the morning, leaving fairly near dawn, aiming to visit Kailua_Kona in order to dispose of the Eldritch artefacts in a holy volcano.
I scry the lights in the depth, The Teeth!, there is an imposter captain on board, but he hides from me...
Around evening we can sight Rangiwhero in the far distance, mainly via smoke & cloud, and encounter the magical effect that slows the Mage Current. This marks where we should turn East
The fools, I spy their fingernails dropping off and regrowing, but they do not realise, the imposter must have left the ship during the night, now he follows on a rainbow whale
We arrive off the west coast of Kailua Kona at dusk having passed the Trading post yesterday evening and Waiheke this morning
The island is covered in purple fire and shadows, I fear it will destroy us. The Tridents grow eyes and watch for us to all fall asleep, fools them, for I do not sleep and outwit them.
In the morning we seek permission from the Priests on Kailua_Kona to make the offerings in the crater of Manua Loa, to destroy them, and they advise us of the rules around offerings, and some possible consequences depending how much power is in the artefacts to begin with. We prepare for the trek up the mountain with a ritual of walking through the fire at the Temple half way up the volcano, though we don't do the barefoot walk up the mountain, none of us feeling that aligned to fire. The traditional path the guides take us on is a hard trek, through rough scoria flows & fields of obsidian crystallised into dangerously sharp shapes at times, and we reach the summit after a few hours. Once there on the ledge overlooking the lava lake below us, Pele, or at least an image of Pele, manifests in front of us, apparently having sensed the artefacts we are carrying. We speak of the artefacts and the need for their destruction and then commit them to the lava. At least one of them likely survives the lava though now entombed in the volcano for the next age or so we hope.
Pele is pleased by the destruction of artefacts belonging to her enemies, and offers each of us a choice of two gifts, we take some educated guesses as to what most of them do via the sense of the magic, and each make choices. Unsurprisingly all of the gifts are to do with Fire & Volcanoes.
Once we return to the ship we discuss options for the trip north to the Great Shallows & decide that we are better off taking a few more days and trading our way up as this allows us to gather information along the way, rather than simply race up there and work blind, Pasifika won't have as much choice for cargo as Seagate so we will likely have to travel with a half cargo but as we have lost some space to provide the Sea Horse with space for now, this likely balances out. We start with high quality weapons & armour from the Forge Priests of Pele, as quality goods always have a market, before continuing onto Rangiwhero loading up on goods from each of the factions on the large island.
We also take a short cloud flight to take in some of the sights on Rangiwhero while our ship is being loaded in the trading post, as some of the party are here for sight seeing as well as adventure.
We reach Lower Pasifika (or Pasifica to distinguish it), where we meet with Aquana again, and we collect our 3 Envoys for the trip north, having to flood the ship a little more to accommodate them. This would be tricky without substantial use of magic as we are now quite low to the waterline, but between ships strength and wave control it's still safe.
We depart the area, finishing our trip up the west side of the island where the land drops straight into the depths. Of note is a large town or small city of Gargoyles roosting communally on a giant slope of rubble half way up the west coast, apparently there used to be some kind of Heroes landmark here some time ago but it was destroyed in a magical incident. The Gargoyles seem to not trade much, though we hear word of their leaders offering magical services to trusted individuals in the region but we don't meet that standard yet.
We reach the Palestrinan city/principality of Lucca, where we are meet with an expected amount of distrust, but suitable bribes, flattery, a claimed origin in the five sisters, and elvishness get us into harbour and to a dock, where we are able to sell the last of our cargo at marginal prices, and make some enquiries about the Merfolk.
The locals here don't really know much about the Merfolk, just that they stopped visiting at about the time of the Drow invasion, it sounds like it was only ever Merfolk coming into harbour, not the people of Lucca heading out to the Merfolk settlements. But they are able to give us some vague directions so we arrange with various local authorities, both legal & illegal, for our ship to stay in harbour unmolested for a while.
We leave harbour quietly using Wave Riding, and strike out into the Great Shallows in the indicated direction. We have an uneventful first few hours, with the sea floor being around 30 foot in most of this region, shallow enough large ships would have trouble in rough weather, and reefs often blocking the way even for a smaller ship, but as we have no keel on our waves, we can pass unimpeded.
Somewhere in the third hour, we start seeing significant quantities of a variety of Kelp, and in another hour, we locate a small underwater village, where we drop in to say hello. There we meet an elderly Merfolk who's name translates to Henry in common, & his wife Minnie, as the only two Merfolk not fast enough to hide on our arrival. They don't really know much about the surrounding area, the Merfolk here stay in their village with only a vague idea of where the next settlement is, with some travelling traders going between them.
We repeat this process following the guesswork instructions for several more villages to start getting a feel for the region, before we find a middle aged Merwoman who knows a bit more about the invasion and starts into a calling of a curse upon the Drow heads in the name of Vephar. Showing great wisdom, two party members immediately repeat the name making a triple...
24th Snow, Cont.
We pull back a small distance and drop our best guess of counter-spells and a few other preparations, but fortunately we don't get a demon in our midst so resume conversation with the Merfolk priestess, and we eventually trade directions to the capital for the price of two forks. They seem to put a high value on metalwork under the sea.
Travelling to the Capital is easy to find but difficult to do as there is an easy to follow trail of destruction from a Drow Island, but the trail seems to be some kind of null or weird mana zone that messes heavily with travel magic, & possibly more magic further into the zone. After having one Wave Riding cut out from entering the zone we follow from beside the zone, which extends the trip by an hour or so as we have to take a wider arc.
- Of note at one point we come across an inky black area of sea, likely caused by some kind of rift in the sea floor. It doesn't seem the right kind of area to get natural black volcanic action so we guess that this is a planar rift of some kind, and steer well clear as well.
When we get near the Capital there are a number of guard parties around a few miles out, and we politely stop to let one approach us. It's clear they don't get a lot of visitors as they are highly aggressive, looking for an excuse to attack us, and immediately declare that we are prisoners rather than guests, despite our polite behaviour.
We still let our diplomat that we are babysitting, Aquana, do the talking, and we do get word a couple of hours later that we do have an audience with the high priestess, and get led into the city where we can see a large collection of undersea mounds acting as their housing, of which the largest bears symbols of Vephar. Notably they have no kind of defensive barriers outside the city. We are taken into it and it appears to double as both a throne room and temple.
There we are greeted in a large audience chamber by "Her Grace, the High Priestess", though we are not given a name, and Aquana talks, but it goes badly, with us rapidly getting the idea that they are a highly militant theocracy, and only interested in converting the Merfolk, and pretty much opposed to land dwellers being alive & in the sea at all. We get escorted off after a short while while the Merfolk continue talks.
Once in our polite cell, they also insist on the Aventi Neri wearing a magical slave collar, as all Aventi are slaves in this empire. We let Neri know that we'll back her up if she doesn't want to wear it, as we've already gotten the drift of what is going on and aren't really expecting any positive results no matter how polite we are, but she decides to go ahead with it for now.
Aquana returns after a couple of hours, and we discuss the negotiations, which can be summed up to "Convert, Die, or be Enslaved" along with a bit of information gathering about Pasifika. Obviously none of us are keen on any of those options, so we do some preparations before Aquana requests an audience with the High Priestess to discuss our 'leaving for further consultation'. With a Telepathy up Neri keeps track of this through Aquanas' mind, and it goes as well as expected spilling over into outright hostility.
We wait for Aquana to retreat to near our corridor, before we open it, overpowering the two guards on the corridor who were distracted with Aquanas' return, and the next two guards chasing her, before we bolt out of the palace on a current of bound water before they bring in sufficient numbers to cause us real trouble.
A few minutes later we've sorted ourselves out, and made sure no-one broke anything bouncing off walls during our exit, while we Wave Riding our way away from the capital in a random direction. We spend the next 8 hours changing direction randomly to confuse pursuit and avoid getting trapped in they portal ahead of us, before we end up near the Patrimony of the Light & summon a Cloud to escape back to Seagate to get outside locate range & get some Disguise Illusions.
We are part way there and realise that it's probably more important to warn Pasifica of a possible demon led invasion, so we go via the Sea of Grass portal, only stopping briefly to deliver Aquana & her 2 assistants back there and collect our potions, before we complete our trip to Seagate with a reduced load on the cloud. There we get Disguise illusions from one of my staff and get them made to last a week while we rest and enjoy a night without watches.
We leave Seagate heading back to the Great Shallows, this time aiming for an area known as the ships graveyard, to investigate what can be found there. We decide to leave most of our loot behind for guild divinations & to make room in our bags. All this travelling by cloud is quite relaxing.
We arrive in the vicinity of the ships graveyard, and start to cast about on our cloud at a fairly low altitude. The area is shallow enough that we can see signs of significant bottom features as the weather is calm, and explore finding a number of rock reefs some of which protrude enough to be home to throngs of sea-birds, which Minerva engages in some yelling with.
After an hour or so Christopher spots a promising shadow on the sea floor, and we investigate closer, spotting what may be a Destinian freight galleon convoy along with a modified caravel of some sort, probably a pirate, all seem to be in decent condition as wrecks go. Landing the cloud on the water and walking over we see a group of humanoids nearby as well burying a chest underwater, plus some more hiding in the wrecks.
Expecting to have already been seen, and somewhat lacking in cover on the surface, we stick around and observe, the humanoids that we can observe DA as formerly living despite their animated nature, under some kind of curse, perhaps a Doom of some kind. We watch while they finish burying the chest then head themselves back into the modified caravel, noting that one of them appears to have a few basic magical items of clothing.
As we watch this some of the entities from the other ships sneak up on us, and we come under attack from ghouls who try to pull us under the surface, thankfully failing thanks to our magic, and more terrifyingly under attack from 3 celestial spectral beings of some kind behind them. These have some kind of ghoul ignoring black-fire which does significant damage to the party and forces half of us into retreat, however as their ghoul screen also falls apart they retreat as well, helped on their way by some falling stars.
The bottom being shallow this stirs up enough mud that we aren't sure if they survive or not, so we withdraw to our cloud and send in a water sprite to see what it can find in the area. It doesn't explore the ships as we expect far more undead or other cursed entities in them, but does manage to eventually come up with the chest we saw being buried, containing 24,000sp of assorted coins & gems, plus a few other trinkets.
- 8,000sp coinage
- 16,000sp gems
- Some trinkets.
We leave this set of ships and explore the area a bit more, discovering towards the south west of the area another clump of ships that have been drawn into a defensive circle or town, and we suspect occupied by the Aventi hiding out from the Merfolk empire. It's hard to tell as the ones we see are disguised as undead and then a short while later an illusionary terrain appears over the area causing it to appear deserted & the ships to all appear far more ruined than they really are, perhaps we caught them at just the right time when they were mid ritual.
We decide to not intrude at this point as its likely to cause chaos, and we aren't really in a position to start a full scale war with the merfolk on their behalf, so we leave the area, noting a few more shipwrecks on our way back to Seagate.
Sketch map of area
- Caravel + Mage Current / Mage Wind. 29 Miles / Hour. 696 Miles / Day.
- Flying Cloud + Mage Wind. 39 Miles / Hour. 936 Miles / Day.
- Celestial Wings. 40 Miles / Hour. 5 hour Duration. 960 Miles / Day.
First - Minerva / Rhiain.
Second - Lim / Christopher.
Third - Sno / Elderan.
First - Minerva / Rhiain.
Second - Lim / Christopher.
Third - Sno / Elderan.
Lim's best guesses based on what we've done so far
|Skirmish Formations (Front)|
Christopher, Rhiain (mounted)
General Buff Notes
Buffs listed in the table don't need to be detailed, other buffs not on the table must be mentioned at the time they are cast.
Y means always on, N/- means never on, 'Sit.' means when the party has time for buffs before a fight.
Weapon Spells which weapon/s it is going on normally should be noted also
- Waterproofing can be cast on all packs, bows, cloaks & other items desired by people, duration 55 days. All items get effect when a possession anyway.
FT Usage & Recovery
- Sno. Recovers 3 Ft per hour of Sleep.
- Lim. -6 Ft in morning, -3 Ft in evening. Recovers 5Ft per hour of Rest.
Restoratives are available as required. Minimum restorative is 8/16.
Herbalist Meals / Tea made by Rhiain give 3 Ft back Morning, Lunch & Dinner.
Healing Sleep potions Made by Rhiain, 4FT per Hour sleep, minimum 4 Hours Sleep
Waters of Healing [D-5]+20 as needed.
Long duration buffs
|Enhance Animal (Lim)||10||+3 Ft NA, +3 En NA, +15% SC, +2 DM, Magical attacks. Non sentient animals only.||11 Day||N||N||N||N||N||N||Y||Y||Y||Y||?|
|Resist Cold (Ice) / Cold Resistance (Water)||C / 9, R / 6, S / 6, L / 10||Resist Cold, effect based on Rank / College.||10 / ? / ? / 11 Hours||Rk 13||Rk 10||Rk 8||Y - 10||Y - 10||Y - 10||Sit||Sit||Sit||Sit||?|
|Water Breathing (Lim)||15||Breath water, see through Water mage fog.||16 Hours||Y||Y||Y||Y||Y||Y||Y||Y||Y||Y||?|
|Buoyancy||10||Control depth, 25' up/down / pulse.||5.5 Hours||Sit||Sit||Sit||Sit||Sit||Sit||Sit||Sit||Sit||Sit||?|
|Water Proofing||10||Immune to negative effects of water.||33 Hours / 55 days||Y||Y||Y||Y||Y||Y||Y||Y||Y||Y||?|
|Coruscade (Min)||14||+30 defence ranged/melee, +15 defence in close.||7.5 Hours||Y||Y||Y||Y||Y||?||?||?||?||?||?|
|Heroism (Lim)||14||+15% vs fear for anyone in LOS of Lim||Always||Y||Y||Y||Y||Y||N||Y||Y||Y||Y||?|
Short duration buffs
|Waters of Strength||20||[D-2]+20 PS||105 Mins||Sit||Sit||Sit||Sit||Sit||Sit||Sit||Sit||Sit||Sit||?|
|Weapon of Cold (Chr)||21||+22 Hit +8 Dam||27 Mins||As required||6||N||*1 Stored||?||*1 Stored.||?||?||?||?||?|
|Arrow Flight (Eld)||6||+2 Dmg +7% s.c. thrown weapons return.||11 Mins||?||?||X-Bow/Spe||Bow||?||Bow/Tri||?||?||?||?||?|
|Armour of Ice||Depends on Caster||Makes a physical armour, Ice Mages doing their own.||Some Hours||High||6||6 / 20||?||?||?||?||?||?||?||?|
|Ice Shield (Chr)||10||60 points of Ablative Damage||6 Hrs||As required||?||?||?||?||?||?||?||?||?||?|
Loot and Expenses
- 53 Days on Ship or Cloud potentially ranking.
- 1 week of actual adventure time. (Talents).
- 30 days after adventure.
Approx 74k sp each before items
- Rhiain; Spectral Dagger, Pearl *2, Dolphin, Bone Trident, Viol; Earth Healing, Earth Herbal Lore; Pele Gift, Blue/White
- Sno; Spectral Dagger, Dolphin *2, Bone Trident, Pearl *2; Fire Bolt of Fire, Earth Detect Aura; Pele Gift, Resist Temperature
- Christopher; Admirals Hat, Dolphin, Pearl *2, Belt Merfolk, Shock Trident; Air Summon Avian, Air Speak to Avians; Pele Gift, Weapon of Fire
- Minerva; Dolphin, Brush, Pearl*4, Air Aerial Affinity, Fire Extinguish Fires; Pele Gift, Rainbow Spray?
- Lim; Captains Coat, Captains Cutlass, Medal Bravery, Pearl, Bone Trident, Bow; Bard Enhanced Hearing, Bard Quietness; Pele Gift, Heat Shield
- Elderan; Bone Trident *2, Dolphin, Harp, Pearl, Bow; Celestial Detect Aura, Water Saturated Earth; Pele Gift, Barrier of Heat
SP & other cash value loot
- Pay: 10k sp each + expenses up front. extra 10k sp each on completion.
- Trade: Wool, cloth & alcohol, along with some valuable but light items like Carzala herbs, traded down to Pasifika. Best Merchant Rank 7. 84,000sp total.
- Trade: High Quality Armour/Weapons, assorted goods from Delph, traded up the coast to the Great Shallows. 42,000sp total?
- Clam: 3 * Grindylow Loot (Coral Spears, etc)
- Aboleth: Large sum of coinage, gems, jewellery and other trinkets from Aboleth store room.
- Aboleth: Stripped gilding from a statue before we de-consecrate the Aboleth temple room.
- Undead Pirates: 8,000sp coinage
- Undead Pirates: 16,000sp gems
Clam: 1 Trident of Bane of Aboleths. Double damage vs Aboleths/Horrors/Aberrations, Spec Grev vs such creatures at advantage, True Silvered, Rk 10 W.S +5%+1DM. Takes weapon spell having no innate bonuses.Believe we left this with the Merfolk fortheir use or loaner to future parties?
- Clam: 18 * Pearls vs Mental Control. +10 MR vs any Control/Compell type magics. Doubles when done by Aboleths/Horrors/Aberrations. Forces a new MR vs Control if it becomes a Controlled entities possession. We leave 6 of these with the Merfolk leadership to protect them. I believe we left at least 6 of these with the Merfolk, may have left 12 in the end?
- Clam: 6 * Pearl Dolphin Figurines. Can be used as a Dolphin messenger. Approx 1 way range 210 miles, or 100 miles + return message. 24h use a week, can also be used for riding etc.
- Clam: 2 * Enchanted Tridents. Silvered with effective Rank 10 Enchant Weapon on them. Rk 10 W.S +5%+1DM.
- Clam: 2 * Daggers. Silvered, Rk 10 W.S +5%+1DM. Rank 6 Spectral Weapon on them, benefit from better weapon spell, non stacking but keep ability to hit spectrals.
- Ursala: Potential gift each from Ursala. Shrived Talent discussed but not confirmed. We negotiate further for a possible 2nd based off our success slaying the Aboleth with minimal Merfolk casualties.
- Pele: 1 Magical effect/gift each. Rhiain; Blue/White, Minerva; Rainbow, Christopher; Red, Elderan; Red, Sno; Blue/Green, Lim; Pink. All are fire related in some way.
- Aboleth: 1 Dissected Aboleth. Parts for Beastmasters, Alchemy, etc abilities.
Aboleth: Some Eldritch symbols, statuettes, & artefacts from a deep hole to another layer, with a Rank 20 darkness protecting it. Recovered by a Water Sprite. All associated with some kind of Chaos power linked to the Deeps. All highly dangerous to handle and whisper at your mind constantly.Traded to Pele
- Undead Pirates: Some trinkets.
- 8 * Heal over time potions (18 damage initial healed, + 9 damage healed the next 4 pulses) 1 Each, 2 extra are +1 Christopher, Rhiain. (Covered by Employer as expenses, only last till approx end of season)
- Greaters (Villa, 13k each covered by Employer.).
- 2 * Rank 10 Composite Bow, +2 DM above normal each. 1250sp each Lim & Elderan
- Clam 3 * Trident. Silvered, Rk 10 W.S +5%+1DM.
- Aboleth A few miscellaneous magic items. DA's give uncertain results so we decide to return these for real Divinations.
|1||Guild Meeting||2||Bought Caraval||3||Bought Cargo||4||Loaded Cargo||5||Left Seagate||6|
|14||15||16||Arrived Pasifika||17||Unloading Cargo||18||" "||19||Departing for Coral Sea.||20|
|21||Arrived at Coral Sea.||22||Colony A morning, Clam evening||23||Colony A again, Aboleth slaying evening.||24||Colony A yet again.||25||26||27||Vicinity of trading post.|
|1||Collect the Envoys.||2||3||4|
|12||13||14||15||Solstice||16||17||The Duke of Carzala's Winter Ball||18||Yuletide|
|19||Days of Chaos||20||DoC 2||21||DoC 3||22||DoC 4||23||DoC 5 Arrive in Lucca||24||DoC 6 Meet the Merfolk||25||DoC 7 Warn Pasifica|
|26||DoC 8 Get Illusions||27||DoC 9 Leave Seagate||28||DoC 10 Ships Graveyard||29||DoC 11||30||Twelfth Night|