A Golden Eye in the deep

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Scribe Notes

Summary

Adventure: A Golden Eye in the deep
GM: Jono
Season: ~Winter 821 WK
Night: Starting Monday the 14th of June 2021 at an Albany (Kelsie's place).
Area: Carzala and some tropical wilds.
Level: Medium+
Info: Information from players for Jono
House Rules: Jono Quickness and Slowness
Playtest
Please note - Lowered specialisation to 1 per rank (from 3). See change log on last page of each doc.

Four or five guild party members -
  1. Marseille - Mind Mage played by Michael McFadden.
  2. Boris - Necromantic Mage played by Michael Haycock.
  3. Lila - Celestial/Air Mage played by Kelsie.
  4. Rhiain - Ice Mage Human played by Chris R.
  5. Marco - Earth Mage played by Michael Young.

Employer

Syrene a friend of the guild.

Mission
Background
Syrene The Keeper of the Great Heart, has been visiting New Seagate and Carzala over the last few years. She is normally and currently still protected from evil spirits & undead. Recently she has been receiving odd dreams from what she thinks is an unsettled spirit. These dreams show a scene set on the shores of hot tropical island thought to be close to the Great Shallows.
Mission
Deliver a message and then if acceptable assist a pure spirit who is known to be riding a white charger.

Payment
If needed Syrene will financially back a commissioned voyage to the area.
10,000 silver pennies for the party half in advance.

  • Spell training for Thaumaturgies 10,000 sp each member.
  • Spell training for Elementals 15,000 sp each member.
  • Spell training for Entities 10,000 sp each member.

Two healing potions in advance.

Loot

The Artiste Marseille's Adventuring Journal

Chapter 1 - Arrangements in Seagate

Lila is elected party leader based on her Aesthetics (20 pb?). She will look best at the front of the "triumphant heroes return" work I will produce to celebrate our success. Rihan our Icemage will be Military Scientist - not sure how smart her regiment was but seems multi-skilled & practical… not likely cavalry.. I am elected party scribe due to my skills with a paintbrush & easel…

To Seagate

A carriage has been prepared for us to meet Syrene, keeper of the Great Heart, our employer, out front of the guild. A guild rep, introduces Rosemary Syrene’s representative a "human looking elf woman." On board I enquire discretely as to Syrense’s eligibility – but she already has 3 husbands & a tree… must get a permanent Patron soon…

The carriage takes us to Turf’s household. We meet three women – 2 humans and an elf at Turfs housegold. Brandy, food and cushions! Syrene is an average good looking elf maybe 20 pb.

Syrene

She wants to employ us on a delicate job (why the guild – delicacy not our forte apart from the odd artiste like myself & perhaps Silverfoam the Elf) Over the last 3 moons she has had unusual dreams which she has identified as coming from an unsettled spirit- maybe a dead/ maybe living – who appears to Syrene as an attractive naked woman on a white horse… (symbolic of something I am sure - although based on my portrait commissions, mostly a theme favoured by fat matrons married to carriage salesman done good) Syrene wants us to deliver a message (why not a pigeon I wonder – but she is paying – artiste’s rule – never turn down a commission.) The Dream comes from a hot tropical area – - she points on an map to the northern shore line near the Great Shallows

Assistance & Pay

She offers offers items to assist - armour, potions, back pack, never ending water bottle etc and the like, training 10,000 ep to start / 10,000 at the end. We dice for these.

I negotiate a side deal with Syrene for 2 art works in oil featuring Syrene & our party en adventure (5000 sp each). A discount price but unlikey to get any paying commissions aboard a ship - sailors are not generally well heeled... & what would I want with Scrimshaw or a ship in a bottle? I spend an initial week painting the first work of Syrene & party posed & contemplating a chart table while a ship is arranged.

Syrene will finance the voyage. She suggests we approach the local captains giving consideration to factors such as – whether the ship comes with watermage, its size, cost/ month, whether the crew can fight/ etc. We debate what qualities a good ship will have. Floating is a popular choice. Rihan claims we want a Caravel. I want one with billowing sails & fluttering flags that will make a good image for a seascape. Marco the Druid is silent on the subject of venture by sea - not his best element really. We decide we want to trade – at both ends ideally to finance the trip & profit. Syrene offers to introduce as to a merchant so we don’t get fleeced when we hire a ship & actually might make it there and back…

Much more importantly Syrene prepares a letter of introduction her seamstress/ tailor!! Anticipating fashions in the tropics is a concern – much bare flesh I am sure and maybe pastels, parasols & big hats ? At the seamstress, we discover yes pastels it is and maritime themes. Boris the orc orders an orc "garment" that can be turned inside out & has a camouflage design so he can hide in the jungle. Being green perhaps he should just disrobe for the same effect?

Merchants Guild

As we travel through the city guided to our Merchant mentor by useful Rosemary. The streets are crowded & we encounter mobs extolling the vitues of Mayoral candidates - its election time. Halflings dispense sausages on behalf of the populist hobbit candidate Roderigo – the little People's Champion they call him, although those that do business with him or frequent his "Three Star" Sausage Restaurant tell they would absolutely not let him kiss their baby & would definitely count their fingers after he shook their hands… a drunken mob of dwarves beat drums for another candidate – (the beer is watered & poor according to Rosemary ) & as such their leader wont be elected).

We are lead through well paved secondary streets – tough looking hobbits everywhere – we are taken to a merchant Master Flynn – large armoured guards are about the front of his premises.. Master Flynn, a large bearded man reads our letter of introduction. He knows Rosemary, Syrene and listens to our plans : to travel to the Great Shallows, our request to source a cargo & our need for an appropriate ship. (Rihan who has been upon a boat twice informs master Flynn that a caravel is the answer.) Encouragingly, he refers to the Great Shallows as the ships graveyard – maritime wit!

Ships

Our cargo should be “worked goods” he says which is anything that is made. We could obtain pearls, corals & other items - at Palestrina? The greater shallows specialise in cinnamon as a trade item. He suggests we pick up guides, etc as we go. He has contacts in Palestrina who he will alert of our impending arrival. There are three possible ships from which to choose - “Red Crow” & “Griffin’s Nest” – the two fastest, & Wave Prince which has the best fighters.

We decide to try for the Griffins Nest which has the bonus of insurance & ransom prearranged. I am unsure if it is a caravel.

We will be send an order to pick up at Palestrina from the port mage. Master Flynn advises that for the best profit we enter a "buy own and sell arrangement" backed by Syrene. Syrene who has had a windfall recently- will front for an 80 tonne cargo while we secure a ship. he also suggests: - We might consider kidnapping a bushman when we get to Palestrina to act as a guide… Boris presumably would know about that, Orcs I am sure are experts at kidnapping - We should arrange bribes for officials – the Captain will know what about this, part of doing business. - We must contact Yasmin – which refers to 3 sisters / air mages all - & tell them what we need to be inspected so they can check it out – we are given a code book which I memorise before destroying - nice to be doing a bit of field work - listening for gossip in Court can bore the paint off your brush… & even a bit of risk to add frisson as if we are caught it would be certain death, yawn … I will send messages back via the Yasmin sisters ..

Boris talks to the guards outside who reveal that the Red Crow has no descent Mil Sci & that the Griffins Nest comes with a Maritime soldier crew.

Our choice is of the Griffin’s nest appears confirmed. Apparently her captain Captain Teyonah is fond of pretty ladies. Lieutenant Taylor, in charge of Marines, favours rough trade. Boris, Marco, Rihan & Lila may get the best cabins if they play their cards right!

The Shallow Grave

Next we travel to a Sailor’s tavern – “The Shallow Grave”. Three tough looking bouncers cover a narrow entrance. We surrender weapons other than daggers & enter a crowded, raucous & “salty” establishment where all the best & stylish folk won’t be seen… it extends a long way in three buildings deep. A performer is at one end, singing shanties & dancing. There is drinking and many games of chance...that definitely look ripe for the taking, but one should make an impression & I desist... Sailors are on shore leave, spending it all in one night, each seven sheets to the wind as sailors say. Jugglers perform – men & women in the nude & twirling sharp objects with fingers still intact…

Captain Teyonah Baroo

We find Captain Teyonah Baroo who turns out to be a handsome woman of dark hue - she shakes the lovely Lila’s hand firmly & stares her in the eye with a steely & professional (only) gaze. Strangely she seems to be using her other eye to ogle Boris the orc & Marco the hairy druid. I must have her preferences mixed up with Lt Taylor's. Boris & Marco most definitely are not ladies & you dont get rougher than an Orc who plays with the undead or a man with ginger eyebrows who turns into a tiger... This does not however completely eliminate alternative bedding options for four of our party members.

Over rums (sufficiently maritime & harsh on the palate) she explains her water mage Betty has been stolen by a rival Captain Yasmin & wants us to. She thinks Betty has been tricked, drugged or be-spelled. We are expected to fight on board (pirates or foes that is) when necessary as part of the deal. We plan to leave in three days if all goes well.

Betty is missing

We learn Betty was last seen with a handsome Marine, Lt Max who has signed up with the Red Crow… maybe cupid's bow had more to do with her defection than the drugs or be-spelling….

Ship details

Griffon’s Nest Griffon’s Nest with Captain Teyonah Baroo
Caravel 120 tons, 70 crew, missing water mage
Best wind speed 9 knots, normal wind speed 5 knots + magic (around 5.5 mph + magic)
Max 90 tons cargo

Lieutenant Taylor 15 mercenaries 15,000 sp per month & 500 sp per person per fight.
Hard fighters, they are insured, they have three 25,000 ransoms.

Total cost of the Caravel ship, 7 officers, 63 crew, 1 water mage, 1 lieutenants, 14 mercenaries & party will normally cost 30,000 sp per month. Recovery of the water mage will give a 4,000 sp discount making the total 26,000 sp per month.

Prize shares - captain 25% to be split with captain and party. Officers & mercenaries 25%, Crew 50%


Chapter 2 - Partying in the Dodgy Part of Town

More intelligence - Betty is a dark-skinned female and an adept, well we know that - she is 30ish & probably protected by a gang of thugs ...

the Blue house

Max frequents a less than salubrious down on your luck flop house called “the Blue house” .. he Max ( just one of his names) is described as notch eared, short, nondescript with seafarers’ hands but new boots & nice clothes… which just shows you what some good grooming can do… (& of course a charm spell)…otherwise one would wonder how Max or whoever he is could pull the likes of Betty

We continue through the rougher part of town ….which is rough. We stick out it seems as the town watch takes a note of us & wonders what we are up to – in particular noting Lila ‘s hooded dark cloak & new clothes ( apparently about as discrete of wearing a mask & a sign that says gentlelady cat burglar on the prowl)..The rest of us in full adventurer get up are equally “discreet”. Marco assures that we will not be trouble & enquires where could find some professional female companionship in a blue house – & we are pointed toward a blue house with a burn mark…

As we wander one professional female companion ( of unfixed premises) drops her handkerchief in a suggestive manner… & in answer to our queries conforms that Max is trouble & that she has seen Betty too – but more pressingly wants help with offloading a cartload of sherry she has somehow acquired (best not ask). She tells that Max has six dangerous companions.. As a crowd gathers she becomes reluctant to help given the attention we are attacking. Street folk gather and we abandon the scene before our fame as suspiciously well dressed & inquisitive Seagate adventurers spreads …

Old outfits

…we decide to retire to Turfs place for bacon and egg pie having offered the town guard silver for “his hard” work & received the inside scoop on one ”Gloria” who formerly worked on the Wave Prince, but now also is a companion of Max and favours a blue gown…

Cyrene enters & we explain our efforts to date. Together we reassess situation & determine that we need to be disguised as normal folk so as to not stand out (gods forbid after all the time I have spent securing a dandy’s reputation). We purchase the drab items that pass as clothing for “regular folk” and venture out to old Seagate once more, by the North gate thus disguised - Lila as a townswoman, Rihan a rugged tom-boy, Boris a bodyguard, Marco as a deliveryman & myself as a scribe with a messenger bag – in two sperate groups by cart – Marco & I in one with Boris guarding the women folk in the other.

Separately we practice behaviour in front of the cook ordering drinks - exchanging silver coins for copper (didn’t know they existed previously)

Marco & I together note a tail, & surreptitiously as we can practice our “trade craft” peeking in reflective glass, stopping to tie imaginary shoe laces and trying not to look like we notice them noticing …. but it turns out to be two women seeking the company of poorly dressed men.. given their poor taste in being impressed by such badly dressed fellows we let them wander one

We note the blue house & scout as discretely as we can be

Marco is distracted by a 12 your old who claims to have lost a puppy … Marco comes back having determined that the puppy wandered into the backyard of temple populated by what he called “fanatics” - can’t be good


Some ruffians are unloading sherry from a cart - we recognise the lady merchant from the streets directing them.

Inside the Blue house

Marco & I enter through ruined double doors – it is rough and bricks are patched with mortar and damaged. The crowd of about 70 is raucous, of mixed wealth, status and debauched & chaotic with many hobbits and dwarves. Brawls are going on as the crowd’s cheer. Oiled waiters wearing nothing but socks sashay about slinging drinks that are strong, exotic and pricey. We see some of the professional companions from the Old Seagate streets now drinking at a table, laughing with a ship’s crew.

Official entertainment is a dwarf in loin cloth, wrestling a brown bear with six arms. Boris uses a DA spell and whispers to us that the bear is neither living nor undead but an entity controlled by an adept. Anyway the bear wins.

Lila , Boris & Rohin in one group spot Betty with Max – upstairs so discretely move toward her. Lila gets as close as she can discretely to determine that Max is an E & E mage. Gloria – is there too. Marco DA’s Betty determining she is under a charm

The next entertainment feature is an oiled halfling “child” who (quite successfully) fights a cage full of giant wasps & hornets

As I watch the halfling a bald dwarf man grabs me and I am man handled to a cadre of cackling lady dwarfs from the Superstition Mountains, they tell me, surrounding by towers of empty glasses & spilt liquor. They are in Seagate off the leash on a pre-wedding debauch away from their dour men-folk. After a few preliminary japes I am thrust under the table by the keener of them & soon I am surrounded by a pallid, quivering hirsute mass of rapacious lady dwarf flesh – having no choice & new to the experience - I oblige but make sure let it known be known I am an artist of repute & take their name for commissions as I entertain them all.

The guard

Around 2pm the Seagate guard arrives at the establishment with prisoner wagons & form in two lines. The revellers drop their drinks & rush to escape via the basement which becomes full of a brown murky liquid it. Max Betty, Gloria & guards head heard down toward it ….

Before I know the table is being transformed into a wooden box trap with me in the middle– it’s a lady dwarf honey trap & I am to be shipped off to some dwarven cavern as entertainment ! Marco come to rescue me & I leg it draped in a table cloth – my being elsewhere.

The dwarf women chortle as I make my escape. They seem forgiving of my departure as I receive a blessing of + 2 to strength, fatigue and endurance – it would been better if it received this in advance given their vigorous demands.

Chapter 3 - Conspiracies

Lila standing in as scribe here - Marseille and Rhiain apparently aren't feeling well - is there something they're not telling us?

The party closes down

Anyway, we're still at the party and the guard are out the front dragging people out and fining them for disorderly activity. M&R go quietly, but me, B & Marco take a last chance to check out the basement. We drop down a floor to the level where the stairs were full of maybe water, and it is in fact water which is still rising. Our target Max with Gloria, Betty, at least one other water mage, possibly 2 or 3 and a celestial have by this time all gone done into the dark hole.

We find the wasp cage, and the hobbit who won his fight has been abandoned in the cage and is now dead. We can't figure out a way to get the body out safely, so we make our way to the stairs before we drown and out the front door. I inform the guard about the dead hobbit and wasp situation and we are soon able to leave.

Betty rescues herself

At the exit gate, who should we see but Betty, talking to the gate guard and getting and escort back to her ship. In case she is planning to go to the wrong ship or other nonsense, I join the escort group as another young lady who is walking home alone while Marco and B trail behind. All is well and we all make our way to the ship and then to the Shallow Grave to meet up with Captain Baroo. Turns out she escaped in the darkness. A crew member named Ernest is detailed to keep her safe.

Next day we take her to get divinated and she was under a rk 11 E&E charm but with a very high but within human limit MA.

We're all poisoned

We have about two days for our cargo to be loaded, mechanical looms and wine presses to sell at the port for Firenze.

Since there are only five of us, with our permission the Captain hires out two extra berths to the children (late teens) of some rich Palestrinian.

We settle in to wait for our time to sail, but while ministering to the crew and marines, Boris discovers that they are all unwell with what turns out to be this first of a two part poison and lo, so are we. Alchemical and medical investigation turns up that the second part (of which there are three common possible options) to this type is usually soporific and that the culprit chemical (dark coral dust and something basalisk) was sprinkled on some of the free sausages available around the dock area. (Incidentally some sausages in another area have also been contaminated with dried dung powder - some one or more are not in favour of the hobbit mayoral candidate). Boris cures half of the crew and marines, the rest tomorrow - this is hard work. We also decide to keep Betty out of the loop and to leave some crew uncured as canaries and for Betty to see go down. The poison is permanent and if left the victims will die of thirst. I speculate that this is what wasps do so maybe the wasps have something to do with this.

Tell the authorities - this is above our pay grade

Speculation is that there is a plan to knock out all the crews and take over the ships by controlling the watermages (probably by something stronger than the simple charm) so we decide to take this info to Castle Chilton. We are shown in and meet with Duncan Bold who consults with a castle astrologer. It seems that a pirate of renown is planning to hijack six ships each out of Seagate, Sanctuary and another port to the south.

Or this is exactly our pay grade

They would like to give us a new job to foil this plan, which involves delivering a "terrible cargo" onto the pirate ship. It comprises three barrels that need to be smashed all three together (will not work underwater so zombie shark plan is foiled) Also itemising will shrink the barrels but not the contents - kablooey. As a reward they offer an earth rock for the earth mage, a terrible necromantic item that they wish to be rid of, and an amulet of attracting arrows for me. (If M&R turn up, we'll send them to negotiate for something for themselves.) They will also let us have a share of the salvage, and want us to retrieve all corpses. We agree to take the job if our captain is willing to take her ship into this crazy plan.

Turns out that she is. Syrene turns up at the inn, having been contacted by the duke's men and hands over a large diamond which is the rock. She is amused and seems to be in a better mood.

We go back up to the castle with the captain and Syrene, and the captain negotiates. She comes back with a set of flaming silver swords as part payment. We arrange for the Duke to supply a large lot of antidotes for the possibly 2000 poisoned crew on 18 ships. We probably won't get enough but they will do their best.

Maybe the wasps are important...

Then we go down to the old wharf where the wasps have been sent for disposal and arrange for them to be transported to the lab for investigation. Some duke's guard are following at this point because these creatures are very dangerous. It is illegal to have them on pain of death, but the youngest alchemist has arranged that we can have them for a couple of days to look into making an antidote. The cage is loaded onto a wagon but it is looking weakened so it is reinforced using warping to apply flax, wax and hemp.

We also collect the hobbits corpse ditto. He is missing an arm as it had larvae in it that they forced into it by dragging the corpse through a wall of light, then chopped off and burnt. He also has no attached soul so cannot be resurrected - this is why they are illegal to have.

So to the lab go Boris and I, while Marco and the captain go back to the inn. I use some venom collecting equipment (with repeated threats to all our lives if anything went wrong) to get some wasp sting which the old alchemists analyse - it's a two part poison, one part ??? and the other severs the soul. Sounds useful but not at all related to the sausage poison. We let the alchemist go to study the pirate poison in the next room.

And here is why you shouldn't let an airmage in a lab... I decide while the guard is in the other room to try and get some wasp poison for future "study". But not having my gear with me, I make an unlucky move and a wasp escapes and attacks me - I can feel wiggling in my arm, and take significant endurance damage. Then another escapes. Boris encloses the cage in bone construction. I stab it a couple of times with a dagger but everything goes black... until I wake up minus an arm and an ear. It seems that Boris kept me alive by pushing endurance and the second of the guard eventually got up the courage to lop off my arm, inaccurately. "The captain of the guard is not to know or we will all be executed". The wasp corpses go in the kiln and the wasps in the cage are suffocated by having the air removed.

It is also noticed that the nest in the cage has two clean edges as if sliced - this is only one part of three. We let the authorities know this.

...Maybe not

Back to the conspiracy poison - the second part will be made of sea dragon eggs and apple and so will be likely delivered in apple juice or cider. Dwarves are immune. The power of the poison to generic antidote is 20-25. The alchemist set to making as much antidote as they can before the ship leaves - we will delay a couple of days if we can but expect something will trigger us to leave.

As it turns out, a couple of days early (my primary arm is still incomplete) which is day six after the guild meeting, Betty brings in Ernest unconscious. A number of the crew have been gambling and have accrued debts for which a certain group are taking it out of hide, so we have to sail as soon as possible.

We have had delivered so far 400 antidotes for one type and 600 for another. We make a plan to make an excuse to Betty that I have received a message to pick up some jewels in Newhaven and will stop in there to pick up the rest which they will send there (ship? guild portal?).

Chapter 4

Under sail & tied

We are at sea having left Seagate to head south toward Newhaven

Lt Taylor has arranged the hiding of the three “le bomb” components discretely – in three barreled parts – in three locations aboard -galley, night galley and the brig.

While no sailors are present Marco opens the first barrel to reveal the alchemical component known as .. …about 100 stuffed dead crabs?” A DA spell reveal they have been preserved ?? Deception ?? Another DA spell reveals they have been stuffed with another alchemical component known as…. ?! Cheese… Deception within deception?? Luckily we keep looking and find hidden under the crabs is a blue powder which Lila determines to be carbonated mana…a component associated with “amplification”…. It also looks like a good pigment base for “azure” …. I ponder sneaking back later and testing a little.

Marco opens a 2nd barrel hidden in the brig…. He finds a green herb-like substance which conceals a layer of blackened iron filings

Barrel number 3 contains a mass of wriggling black & red worms atop … it is too foul to look at & don’t what see what is underneath - apparently a component.

That night I dream of dancing with and romancing a delectable Countess… how I knew she was a Countess is not clear but it all seems very real …. a shadowing celestial figure looks on as we cavort..

We retire to our cabin after a tour of the ship. We are told to raise the alarm if we see anything unusual on the ship…

Lt Taylor shows us that under the stair cases are canvass cloaks for wet weather ---they seem well used & smell foully from vomit … She reveals a special chemical lantern for water safety which glows for 200 feet…They are special seasick curing apples ….that also cure "ship diseases" ( a eupehmism if I ever heard one…)

The ship is noisy at all times crew are everywhere. At some point Lt Taylor draws us in & tells us that Betty is performing precognitive visions in a magic water bowl of seeing. She is determining where the dangers lie ahead so we can counter them.

Betty declares to the group that during her seeing ritual she has discovered that I & also Rian have recently been subject to a charm spell - (something that is usually not necessary on my part, especially if a commission is at stake). Despite all efforts the nature of the spell cannot be pinpointed.

Secrets within secrets

We berth at Newhaven where mail is waiting for us. There is a parcel containing 100s of thorns covered in an alchemical paste which the Captain explains is an antidote for a spell. Everyone is inoculated and by evening we return to the clutches of the ocean..

I have received a silver torc as some sort of reward? It is a mystery. Strangely I have no recollection of what it is a reward for .. but it allows me to perform the mind speech spell with my companions one of those essential mind mage spells I skipped learning to spend my time at gambling, lechery and oil painting … tactics for our journey are discussed with Lt Taylor and her band of marines.

Life at sea has its own customs & rituals. Having a cat on board is lucky – even Marco the weretiger… sailors pet the hairy druid and scratch him behind his ears. From the thudding emerging from her cabin seems the captain is scratching him (Marco) too, although in other places – I note she appears the jealous type and starts eyeing Lila & Rihan with suspicion.

It is not just Marco who is being examined, my mage companions, much more discretely ave been looking me over and now believe I have been poisoned by a substance made from the tears of a mermaid - I don’t specifically recall running out on any mermaids or anything that would make them cry …..but anyway there is no antidote and it will last 7 weeks & in that time I will susceptible to mermaids it seems... (although frankly who is not susceptible to mermaid the way they sit naked on rocks at sea combing their tresses )

As Betty continues with her mystical examinations suddenly I am released from a spell that had me in thrall and hidden memories flood back.

It seems I and also Rihan were bespelled & at the mercy of a sinister group of villains for a number of days. They charmed me into use my skills as an artiste and aided by a magical paintbrush I painted the flesh back onto two skeletal figures - bringing them back into life. More disappointingly I was not really cavorting with a Countess although there was a man and women present observing and directing what must be my second greatest work of art. It’s not all bad, I probably deserve to be worshipped somewhere for the deed of creating life – not to mention I have recompensed for my services with a bag of 10,000 sp.

Immediately, hopeful of further commissions & someday getting my hands on the magic paint brush, I draw a picture of the couple from the memory – but just as suddenly I have a vision of a phantasm flying toward me with deadly intent armed with a dagger… at the last moment my magic resistance slips in & the attack is averted. No one recognises the couple…

Le Bomb

At 2 am are we are working on our plans to mix the ingredients for "le bomb" and how we will drop it on a pirate ship which it has been foretold we will encounter on our journey. We plan. Lila can fly but has only one arm for the present. Looks like its Marco … he tries a practice run using shadow wings spell during the hours of dark and dropping barrels into the sea…

I offer to try to paint Lila a new arm but she declines.

Betty approaches us and issues us with waters of strength (rk 16) and healing and advises that she has foreseen through her waters of vision that we will be facing a sea-monster later in the day. She explains that squid make good eating if we manage to kill it She also questions us all about “the barrels” and she seems to be trying to pry information from us. Well she’ll have to try harder than that to make me turn, ahtough I have a few suggestions how the comely Betty might try...

When alone Lila tells us she has determined that Betty has had two charms placed on her e & e charm person as well as a Siren’s Song spell ….. maybe we cannot trust her.

Fog at Sea, how can that be

We sail toward a sea of fog from where the squid is expected to emerge Lt Taylor has us on deck ready to fight. The ship prepares its defence - anti boarding nets are set

My ESP spell determines that 6 minds are attacking… Combat commences with the invaders as two giant squid tentacles are slapped across the deck. Five watery humanoids and a watery dog complying onto the edge of the ships deck & attack.... Were we to look more closely we would note that the are constructs who have had the the top of their heads stoved in & replaced with a jellyfish brain - much like any politician I have met but not quiet so vicious or craven..

Chapter 5

Sea zombies

Boris has smashed the water zombies with great swings of his axe...A lightening spell from Lila forces the tentacle off the ship. All that remains is one charmed entity who is dispatched

While our enemies have been dispatched over all it is a disaster, the filthy beasts have left us covered in a foul smelling slime and my outfit is ruined. I am forced to disrobe, race down stairs to change & refresh with liberal sprinklings of orange water.

The water zombie are DA’d to reveal are charmed lobsters . An hour later the fog clears

We sail on for the rest of the day – but first its a tot of sailor’s rum for all to celebrate the sea battle. This explains the cocktail something to disguise There are a dozen cats aboard and a dozen monkeys who will steal food. Its also bad luck to kill a monkey or a cat so they are constant pests & get away with murder. The Parrots also incessant squawkers, constantly repeating “I used to live at the guild..” (guild inside joke)

Port Salerno

We have been at sea for three day when at dawn we see a beacon burning and the lights of land ahead – Port Salerno in Palestrina. Six large vessels are already berthed. There is volcano in the background. It’s a picturesque harbour surrounded by vineyards that would make very fine calendar art – if you have the requisite low taste. The Captain warns us it’s a dangerous town for foreigners….. who will get charged=double for anything – not so different to Seagate High Street, although there everyone gets over charged, not just foreigners so probably quite safe then.

We go ashore – first stop the markets where Lila, Rihan & I buy local clothing. The folk are unfriendly. I entertain the local young women with l & spend about 1000 silvers on a costume, hats shoes, scarves, as do Lila & Rihan.

As we wander around the streets a lone dwarf gestures toward us. He speaks to Boris in Orcish & invites us into his tavern. After 5 – 6 hours of spending on food & drinks the locals warm to us, making enquiries as to the married status of Lila & Rohan. We are invited to dance. It is not as sophisticated as the Court but all enjoy

We leave at dawn & set a course for northwest.

By the next dawn we end up the river Arno off west Palestrina. Half a dozen boats are present The cargo of looms and presses is offloaded

Yasmin

Enquiries as to the whereabouts of Yasmin establish that Yasmin is in fact a title - a cross between mage & port master. We go ashore with light armour and discrete weapons. Strangely a number of the female crew members seem to have been betting on something concerning me as I disembark.

We are at a sprawling trade settlement side a river. We are head to the Port building where we are introduced to a young woman “Yasmin” by the Captain. She will assist in trade by checking availability of goods at other port. It seem that in out haste to square dance with the locals purchase we forgot to locate the Yasmin at our previous Port.

This Yasmin, a comely sort with a glint of devilment in her eye recommends that on our return we purchase “reinforced and hardened liquors”. She will arrange a delivery and warehouse storage for pick up on our return from Greater Shallows.

Sensing Yasmin is rather “forward” I offer to “paint her portrait “ which she accepts, while she also arranges the services of Rihan and Lila to “entertain” some young bucks , sons of merchants who are in town for some sort of trade settlement. Yasmin provides them outfits which are creating by mixing several bottles of alchemical concoctions & splashing it over themselves .. I am to be there at 5.00 pm – time to whip up quick pastel (about 30 minutes I estimate?) and Lila & Rohan will come at 6.30. I am given a vile of some sort (identified by the captain later as a mixture of oysters, rhino horn , tiger whiskers and other “firming” substances. Hardly necessary, I am but 19. Yasmin’s other "business associates" must be more mature...

Lila and Rihan create some garments that look like the sort of undergarments that are not usually worn underneath anything...

I arrive at 5 pm to be greeted by 5 uniformed ogres dressed in furs who lead me to a lounging room filled with couches, pillows & furs - very much in the boudoir style.. I make a masterful sketch in pastels of Yasmin who is draped over the finery which I find only takes about 15 minutes ….. and she is grateful.

She joins Lila & Rihan who are with the merchant princelings – who appear drugged. I'm sure it was all great fun but I wasn't there.

The next day I have scratches all over my back as if I have been wrestling in a sack of lynxes... the price of life as an artiste... But its worth it - I have secured a full oil portrait commission from Yasmin to be presented on my return … she also wants a charcoal sketch which seems slightly obsessive... hope she's the clingy sort. That would be awkward...

West & South

Later that evening we depart – after 3 days we see ships on the horizon. After 5 days we arrive just to the south of the area known as the Ships Grave Yard along the West Northern Shore of a large island. We follow a ship we see ahead….

Flashflood

We follow the northern shore until .. suddenly out of no where there is a huge wave which is about to capsize us! . To save us Rihan optimistically tries to freeze the whole of the ocean … instead she conjures a massive iceberg on what I believe is called the “windward” - i.e. the same side as the massive wave .....so now a giant iceberg barrels toward us swept along by a giant wave…..

Not alone

A ship ahead of us is about a ¼ mile inland. Boarding nets are being set up on it… The ship appears and disappears out of view rising and falling within the giant swell.

Chaos & damage

The wave /iceberg combo smashes into us. Most of the party are below deck & are thrown about like dice in a cup . Seawater sloshes down the forecastle. Parts of the ship explode in shards.

We see cheering folk ashore who would guess would be wreckers ....they are riding on what seem to be ….antelopes??

On deck a large bit of wood is stuck through Betty the water mage’s shoulder & chest – a piece of the boat. Betty is attempting to fix the centre mast. Crew members are lashed to the ship. Boris stabalises her and transfers endurance to her.

Its chaos - Lila is up in the crows nest is being thrashed about by the wave & falls…… only to have rigging lines wrap around her foot trapping her.. seem she has dislocated her knee & smashed her ankle She swings like a conker from the mast – a crew member falls overboard and is eaten by a fish – a flying shark attacks another sailor in the rigging - Others have been washed overboard.

We are doomed ! Nothing to do but stuff clothes, pigments and paint brushes in my bag in case we abandon ship & try to find a way out… from below deck I hear the sound of a bugle signalling (what I recall from my regimental days - all 7 of them before I got kicked out for gambling & what was referred to as licentious behaviour ) to be a cavalry charge . Ashore the creatures on antelopes are charging toward us. The wave is propelling us toward the bay at a great rate a& the antelope riders are charging in anticipation of us crashing onto the shore.

Then water recedes and we are beached a quarter of a mile inland, the giant wave disappearing behind us. Some antelope rider are riding across the surface of the water. On the next swell they will be in apposition to flank us from both sides.

CRAP! In retrospect, the name on the Map - "Ships Graveyard" was probably a clue...

Chapter 6

Chapter 6: Its 2 pm

Lila is down from the rigging. She is still crippled but Boris has set a splint on her leg. Two crewmen are troll skinned – crushed hip & knee.

The other ship is up right resting in the sand. Railings, oars, masts shattered. We are inland on dry shallow isthmus with sand dunes and beaches. We are inland a couple of miles. We are 800 yds. from the other ship which is parallel to us. It is flying an unusual flag that a marine recognises as a foreign ship from one of the freeports from Azuria or somewhere else . It looks like a merchant ship The seawater recedes. Where we are, the sea has not previously touched. Salt march estuary – stream delta between tow hills.

There are living humans on the other ship as they have set up boarding nets.

Riders on the Waves

The antelope riding people are now riding out to sea on the magical wave…. The riders appear to be dusky humans.

The marines arrive on deck… the navigator is injured & needs Boris’ help.

Nothing happens for 30 minutes…. Everyone is up one deck with weapons. The crew seem to have fixed the holes in the boat & it is sea worthy…

Lila flies up to scout. Lila sees some ruins about a mile further inland. In some other parts the sea has gone in higher than here. Inland there are jungle covered hills. Is this the place we are journeying too? Its an island? There are ruins? No nude women on horses?

Lila lands on the ship from her reconnaissance. Lila discovers he has some sea creature stick in her flesh.

Lt Taylor suggests that she should run any military tactics rather than Rihan. She thinks the antelope rider are pirates… whose tactics are likely to be to let us starve or abandon ship or ambush us in the dark. Seem o be the most drab pirates I ever saw, not a feathered hat, parrot, eye parch or spotted head scarf in sight .. we are given a safe word in case we are under duress as we visit the other ship – a different one I had than my visit to Yasmin.

We are also given ribbons to switch location with which will determine if were are be spelled or not. If controlled, we won’t know to switch prior to our return... or so the theory works.

Granados & Wings

We are all armed with Granados etc & equipped with shadow wings etc. & land some distance form the other ship. Marco determines it’s a high mana zone. There are many rabbits sized holes in the sandy/ clay substance…. Marco the Ranger checks it out… he thinks there is a carnivore’s plant that burrows into the grounds & eats people.

Someone from the other ship calls out to us in common warning of monsters on the ground. We say we come in peace. & we are invited to land on the ship….

Some of the folk have repeating cross bows. They seem please to see. They seem to not have noticed the antelope people & others who claim to have seen them are disbelieved Apart form the creatures in the ground they have not seen anyone. They have sent a landing party of 25 people ashore who have not returned for 4 days. The water mage went with them. They have not seen ruins. They have sent for a rescue ship. We plan working together. Their ship is a 3 masted junk – 150 feet long with 2 x twin masts built to handle the shallows. A message has been sent for a rescue ship.

They have loads of food but it’s all olive oranges & apricots. The creatures that live in the holes seem to breath out a poisonous gas...

Enchanted Barrel

They have an enchanted barrel of the deep which allows people to swim between two points – it will take about 2 days to get help… but they will need the help of a water mage. WA n agreement is reached to support the other ship to try to

They want 8 water breathings to organise a barrel of the deep party to get help.

They set up a signal system = if there is a blue flag, they want to talk. They want to talk to the captain & ask for wings to be cast. We plan to talk tomorrow. They have not been attached at night by the pirates & believe there plan is to starve them out.

We return back but circle around looking for “pirate sign” .. We note no columns of smoke, pirate huts etc but see a hazy patch of mist further east… Lila & Boris see a glint in the long grass surrounding the creek. Lt Taylor sends two scouts to check out… we observe … Inland the jungle is very dense and looks dangerous…. Marco thinks there would be many food sources in there…

The glint is determined to come from an abandoned helm. We see a perfect circle of greenery at the side of the lake – unnatural an appear to be garden thus.

We land and return to the ship. Betty our water mage cannot make any more water breathing potions. We have a stock of about 35. The idea to use the barrel is agreed to.

A day of rest & healing

At night a swarm of lights – glowing and drifting you see- insects flowing in from the sea….

Fiireflys.jpg

The next day – bacon & eggs & sausage are served to … as we plan our rescue from Ship Wreck Bay/ Pirate Cove .. or whatever its called

An eye on a catch

Apparently some girl marines fancy me I eventually notice & entertaining them in the hope that should it come to combat they will protect me.

Marco & Lila fly to the other ship… and land …Marco the Druid with elegance of an avowed landlubber, lands less elegantly. They return escorting some merchant folk back to us to arrange a rescue party

We advise that we will locate the ruins which are inland . Lt Taylor supplies tokens that can be located by a sorcerer …if we move out of the range of a locate spell… as about 15 mile inland following the stream into a river and travel by flight through the jungle.

Flying inland upriver

There are 12-foot-high flying birds than have been wading in a stream – they fly off… we avoid them. They pursue us looking like they want to swoop down on us … once we cross the jungle line they disappear…

Large-Crocodiles.jpg

There are all sorts of creatures around the river… crocodiles, snakes, antelope which have a strange row of spikes along their backs … there are big cat creatures that Marco fails to identify.

We notice an artificial diamond shaped island about ½ mile by ¾ mile covered on jungle. There appear to be a number of bays cut on the edge of the island where one might beach a boat… Rihan notes something large and quick hiding as we circle around. The diamond is bisected by a waterway with berths … the ruins are some distance ahead.

A griffon swoops close by and then hovers above us. It has not attacked but is doing some strange manoeuvres… Lila attempts to talk with the griffon…

We eye the griffon and are distracted so it is a while before we turn to scope the horizon …. and see there are five other griffons that are attacking us swooping from out of the sun shrieking with claws akimbo … We flee to the ground. I crash badly breaking my knee my knee talking spec grev points. …Marco & Rihan land in the water …. Only for a crocodile to slither into the creek after them … The griffins seem to be casting magic. & to be armed with weapons & creating some mystical clouds.. they dive bomb us flinging javelins but don’t come to close to use …..I cast a control animal spell on the croc which doesn’t work

Happy Monkey's

Cute Monkeys.jpg

…. Out of nowhere a small monkey jumps on my shoulder and steals a potion from my pack… I note about 30 monkeys emerging from the jungle behind other members of the party…

The monkeys disappear as Lila casts an immolate spell… strangely my potion is returned by the monkey – maybe it was one of my subconscious special looks...

Rihan who has landed in the stream pops out a magic canoe but a giant alligator leaps up and savagely bites off Rihan’s hand and savages her. She fights back gamely with a dagger but is outmatched… spells bounce off it has incredible powers of resistance .. until Boris’ spectral hand lifts the crocodile out of the water with Rihan wedged between its jaws… Rihan slumps near death as we all rush into help…

Victory

The croc is killed but wont open its mouth….IN the end Boris has to animate the dead croc to pry Rihan free. Boris resurrects Rihan.

Lila waves at the Griffons who throw javelins that drive off the crocodiles.

Monkeys gather around so I decide to I sketch them. They throw fruit toward me but in an admiring fashion.

Enchanted Parrots?

Lila then summons parrots... three show up...wearing jewelry - a band on the claw of one and a collar on the other ... uh oh.... They chant "monkey wants to help parrot" ... The DA spell determine she amulets are amulets that control monkeys.. The parrot says that they will ask the griffons to leave, but then steals an MA point from Lila...

Boris creates a bone cage around the parrots - which annoys them & Lila....

Chapter 7

The crocodiles slink back into the water after Lila slammed a lightening bolt into the crocs… A parrot tells Lila to kill the monkeys.

The cage is dispelled and a parrot flys up and sits on Lila’s head who says she wants to Talk to the griffin… the parrot suddenly seems to not comprehend her… but they fly up toward the griffon.

The monkeys start crowding around & make a strange noise… Boris strikes out at one with his axe killing it which completely ruins the portrait… I was sketching then… they then advance further steal one of my charcoal sticks & swarm us…. Boris twirls around slicing monkeys until 10 or 12 tiny childlike bodies with little hands and feet lie at Boris’ hobnailed feet , blood seeping from their tiny desperately pleading monkey mouths… it’s a mini monkey massacre…the destruction of innocents piled in a heap while Boris leans on his axe like an evil conqueror…. this attracts some crocodiles who snatch the the bodies…

Griffons

Lila flies up to speak with the 7 griffons hovering above all of this … she ends up being snatched up by one against her will & flown away by them.

We decide to follow with the shadow wings spell still active… some 40 miles north ...

The griffon with Lila (& the other griffons) then land in a huge griffon nest on an overhang above a giant (60 ft high x 200 ft wide ) cave …which annoys her somewhat …she is told to wait for the “wise griffon”… eventually one has to sit on her to shut her up as she bemoans her plight and annoyance at being “bird-handled” without consent & treated like a fledgling. It seems they want her to teach them magic & be their pet…which she clearly does not like and becomes cross…. calling them rude. Finding her more difficult than expected, they ponder killing her and eating her brains to get her cleverness so they can do her spells ….Lila taking a tactful approach to her dilemma calls them stupid and glares at them…

…the rest of us hover around…pondering what our specific obligations are under the Guild Contract over rescuing party members ….. griffons aren’t easy after all

So what?

….As we approach one griffon looking nervously at us picks up Lila by her feet shaking her and tells Boris in common to stop or Lila gets it… Boris bluffing says, “So what?”…. that was no the answer they expected & the griffon bites Lila’s head off… but it is stopped by a magic item she possesses …& her head instantly reattaches…… so they bite her arm off instead … Lila in a huff & gushing blood then transforms into ….a small whirlwind spinning away out of the nest… to the surprise of a minimum of eight griffons (& the rest of us)…

Greek-fire

The rest of us land on some other nests to rescue her …. Three griffons move into close with behind us … its an ambush!! They are in amongst us… (crap) I surrender & one puts it claw on me… but the other party members insist on fighting with Granados and spells, it’s a swirl of feathers flames & steel … hands of earth seize several of them (& me), Boris swallows a potion and turns into a 20’ tall giant Orc which is a great shock to them…. Hairy tigerman Marco fangs & claws agape closes with one… I blast one twice with a firebolt wand & Lila throws a greek-fire grenado over its back which makes it return - burning the candle at both ends - it flies off ablaze… Rihan skewers one before falling under a flurry of blows… I play dead but one lifts me up as a trophy. I p[lay dead and am as limp as possible…

We try to communicate with them to stop the fighting but they seem quite stupid… Eventually Boris gets through to them and hostilities cease… the two Greek-fired ones & fall into the jungle…

Stand off

It’s a standoff…our two sides eye each other warily up in the griffon aeries… They want their dead back from the jungle floor or they will kill us all. One bites Rihan’s arm off ???? They cannot go into the jungle but we can. We agree to retrieve the bodies. One wants gold and an egg weights worth for gold disturbing them & burning their nest. There is some more quibbling. These are feral & stupid , not noble as we are lead to believe of Griffon’s are..

Then one bites my painting & dice throwing arm off ….. f%$%&$k My life is over !!! there goes my artiste fortune, I’ll have to pretend to be war veteran to earn the pity of women … in a state of shocked rage I give up my limp appearance & try to stick a wand up the griffon’s snout to blow its head off… but seeing 5 of them giving me the stern beady eye over their enormous hooked beaks, I lower the wand and surrender (yet again), discretion is the better part of valour, I guess I could even paint left handed if I had to… So I call on my mentor the Draggon to assist with this problem….

Boris goes into the jungle , itemises one griffon corpse & lifts it from the jungle… this is swapped for the dead one. I try to take Rihan’s place but they keep me and swap her.

They seem agitated, and scrap aggressively like a pack of crazed dogs amongst themselves … a pack of about 16 seem to have want to kill me and attack the party… now they savage my lower limbs ruining this season’s red leather boots. Completely demoralised I surrender yet again & offer to betray the party, the gods, the guild any bloody one…. doesn’t seem to work…

Ark the wise

The party goes to get the other corpse while I quake in my expensive but ruined footwear. They are approached by strange Griffin who is brightly coloured & who unlike the other drab feral griffons who seized me speaks common to a high standard & offers to fix the breach between us & make amends. Her name is Ark. She tells us that she too has been haunted by a dream of a human woman on a white horse. She told the woman to go across the sea to seek help.

She tells us to beware of the monkeys and parrots who will ruin our minds… which is what has happened to the other griffons . The monkeys with their Gorilla god live in some ruins - were responsible for the big wave which beached our ship. The plan will be to make the shipwrecked humans stupid & steal their loot which is taken underground as some sort of tribute.

The antelope riders were tomb raiders and unconnected to the monkeys and parrots. The woman may be a djinn type creature. She suggests we talk to the antelope riding people… she will give us some golden strands as recompense for trouble from her kin that we might trade with the antelope riding tribe. There were horses as one stage but griffons cant resist them and ate them all.

We are taken to cave 4. I am delivered in a terrible state – unconscious missing an arm with crushed feet. We stay with her for a few days to rest up & recover …. She has three halfling attendants who tell us they are very well paid and are not prisoners… my arm is grown back by thrice blessed Boris, whose debt I definitely am in.

I start painting the griffon but she tells me to stop in case it steals her soul….

Lila dreams

Lila dreams of the horse-riding naked woman who through her actions conveys that she is trapped…

I stay awake & track Lila’s dreams through my magic torc…& strangely she is dreaming of me - I am there looking well groomed & suave. The nude woman on the horse is there and talks to us…she & I have a side conversation & she agrees to meet me in my dreams after this… she tells us she dwells in a magic bottle that is uncorked & she cannot re-enter. The bottle is made of rare metals & gems & is open… The cork, from the plane of earth is attached to the bottle, from the sky, by a silver cage. We need to put the cork in the bottle which will summon her as a creature of air…. I could paint her background and we could track that

Her bottle is located near to the giant gorrilla statue… we need to go to the area where we will lose our way, then withdraw & paint a symbol of air on the back and front & back skill below their skin with mithril dust.. she shows us a symbol…

I offer to paint her a dream painting in dream state. We will meet later.

We are told to beware a malignant spirit of avarice living in the mountains that drives people insane with greed.

She will reward us greatly if we are successful.

When we awake we ask Ark for mithral dust.. she says we could grind up her mithral cloak…

Chapter 8

Ark’s hobbits say they could possibly go to the city to get mithril if necessary.

Ark says that Lizardmen & Gorillas feed the monkeys from time to time. Humans who get stupefied by monkeys end up becoming feral & savage & join the local tribes. Local humans, who live in ruins and old cities don’t seem to be affected by the monkey sickness. Those folk are sophisticated enough to trade.

There is just one set of ruins in the jungle.

Ark believes that the bands worn by parrots probably originated from traded goods.

We sequester in the back of the cave, which becomes full of bats as soon as it gets dark. It is hot though a breeze blows through the cave.

Lila again dreams she is on a sandy beach. The naked woman on the horse arrives…

She advises that the mithril design should be quite small (smaller than the eye of the creature being protected. The design will restore and protect.

I trade a signed charcoal portrait of Marco for an amulet.

I fall asleep and slip into a dream state turn up on the watch and see the woman on a horse who is with Lila both are naked and striking a pose. I start to create a "dream" painting of Lila with dream paints, easel & brushes… I am naked too but my brushes and easel cover all the right parts… It’s going to be a dream masterpiece. Feel sure !

She asks us what we are doing in the dream on the beach. I explain I have come to paint her. Lila explains we have come to find her.

She won’t tell us her name due to the risk of harm to her. She cares not for our realm and does not find us attractive . She is an elemental force – comparing us to hard cheeses and herself to soft cheese. I remain to paint. Lila leaves the dream & moves to another dream where she hears the noise of someone in peril…. She sees a gorilla woman hanging on a bridge….some dream little people shoot arrows at the gorilla woman who drops an amulet. …

I continue to dream & I will return for several nights to work on this masterpiece, I’m half way through it…

I am told the party upon waking sees some hobbits cooking a meal over a fire. Boris converses with them… the party gets three bowls of food each – wriggly noodles, hot & spicy food & fruit. The hobbits can take us to their home city if we need, to repair armour & buy mithril dust…we will need a total of ½ ounce of ground mithril for us and more for Ark to correctly prepare the runes. Boris offers medical treatment to a hobbit’s sister who has a broken leg. … for an evil necromancer Orc he seem relatively flexible. We are told that in the Hobbit’s home city, there is a good risk of Lila (or Rohan) being kidnapped due to her good looks…

I wake up… I feel strong, strong & vibrant after my painting dream ..

We are taken to the city. There is a wooden door at the back of the cave than may be a portal…sure is

The city is middle eastern in style & hot 40 degrees at night… we land in an Olive and Date grove…. The city has four quarters apparently. Camels abound. It is sandy underground. It is bustling by night – with 150 camels parked… and a caravan new to town protected by mercenary guards… Inside the city.. we are taken to money changers - a dwarf and elf… we are directed to a mithril sales person…from whom the dwarf buys a full ounce… for 20, 160sp. Boris pays… (The hobbits buy 2 lbs of ground mithril!) We try to get armour fixed but it is exorbitant – the locals try to well and truly fleece us… in the end I have to resort to flirting with a plump eunuch armourer to get mine repaired for 1420 silvers which is well over priced. It will take 3 days. It will cost 1800 for Rohan’s armour. Apparently my winning smile and fluttering lashes are wourth about 400 sp. We return via portal.

Back at Ark’s place through the portal Boris peels back Lila’s scalp & I engrave & apply the rune with mithril dust into her skull bone. Boris then grows bone over the top by necromagic and then casts a heal spell which seals it all in. We repeat the process for everyone. Youch!! The rune will protect against the madness due to avarice/ greed which will arise from entering the kingdom of the evil gorilla god.

Lila is divinated which determined she has powerful air runes engraved that will protect her.

When applying the rune to Marco the mithril duet sigil bubbles.. which we think is due to regenerating weretiger - but it actually the incompatability of earth and air. In Boris’ case, the rune is hammered into his skull by force…. I do it backwards in a mirror.

Four days after we escaped the griffons, the hobbits retrieve our repaired armour from the Souq. Rihan’s now has decorative butterflies embroidered in it. Mine is fine, thankfully sans papillon.

Time to get back & check in with our sailor friends. During our journey we note lizard men placing things in cages on the river. We can see a trough has been built from the other beached ship in an attempt to provide access to the sea & an escape

We land on our ship successfully & explain carefully to the Captain and Crew that our problems are all down to the evil monkeys in the forest who steal brains from people due to the influence of their evil gorilla god… many creatures including griffons have turned to madness due to the evil monkeys. They appear to accept our elaborate but true tale

The two ships are now end on end with a shallow channel to the sea.

Kindly Boris the evil Orc Necromancer cures passengers who have been affected by bugs that lay larvae in their bodies…

We are told a mud Priest (Who knew? Who would want to be one although I guess the same is said for plumbers ?) and their elemental have aided the ships by building the channel. The process will take 1 -2 weeks to complete the process using our water mage

We visit the other ship and offer to heal … Rihan and Lila are gawped at by the sex starved lonely sailors… but not harmed We explain that their missing party is probably doomed due to the evil monkey madness. Boris discovers that one of the infected crew has a piece of gold stuck in his leg. The gold looks like a wriggling worm. The hole remains after the removal. Several others have the same. Boris fixes it but it is a mystery.

Marco talks to the mud priest and acolytes (5) They say they live in the ground in Azuria…They are uncouth creatures

We fly off to locate the source of evil… on our journey we note a bridge, palisade that looks like what we understand to be the human gorilla village to look like. It is misty. Cloudy. Vision is poor.

Off to the east we note a plume of dark blue smoke/ pollen like material arising. Its tough going & tiring as we fly for three hours. Vision is so poor that we decide to abandon the journey & return to the ship to avoid crashing into a mountain. While we were away, a swarm of stone bats attacked them injuring some people…

At night I complete my masterpiece work of art which I present to my muse. During our dream she tells me a strange priest is approaching … I hide in a sandcastle up on the shore. In the drea, I let my hair down & it grows to forty feet long. The lady drives off 5 short demonic goblins who are trying to attack me in the sandcastle. It’s a dream… after the goblins are driven off & the lady & strange creatures dance… I come down from the castle to join them and see that the portrait is on the side of the castle & my portrait is painted on the top. I wake up.

The shipwrecked folk have been baking long loaves of bread out of custom & boredom… At dinner we break off a piece of bread & eat but as per the tradition do not use a knife…

We buff and set out early the next day by shadow wings heading 40 miles North making it to the mountain range & Ark’s aerie.

Ark agrees to guide us to the gorilla gods city. She points out many things on our trip & it looks like our flying is about to run out. Lila recasts.

Chapter 9

Ark points out the sights as we fly over the jungle – savages, ruins which were one quite sophisticated with multi-storied buildings waterways with a gorilla Idol built into a cliff, river islands, pigmys, lizardfolk …IN another part of the ruin there is a lizardman statue About 1/3 o the city has been maintained, the rest is overgrown, there seem to ogres & tiger statues.. There are a series of a series of 5 thin hills with steep cliffs and valleys between… Rihan determined that cliffs are not naturally created….. no kidding…

We are shown an area where there are strange dangerous creatures living in a savannah area… best avoid…. Don’t need precognition. We take one day flying and mapping…

We fly back. In all three days are spent flying and mapping. Only to return home with much superior flying skills.

The hobbits serve us “hardened nut stew”…. Rihan makes the mistake of disparaging Hobbits.. the spit in her stew when her back if turned..

Marco borrows a special amulet from the hobbits which provide protection without having a sigil engraved in his air resistant skull….

Lila falls asleep & meets our horse-riding lady muse in her dreams. She asks to be shown what her bottle looks like & where she exactly is i.e. underground? In a room? They talk… she creates a bottle shaped sandcastle ….. it will take 60 hours (dream hours that is ) … it is bigger than 36”… Lila awakes…

IN the morning… during Boris & Rihan’s watch, at about 3am, he spots a collection of things like snakes or sticks on the edge of the cave… ( they turn out to be genuine dead snakes) Rihan investigates & determines they have been thrown down from the ledge above…

He animates the dead snakes (who incidently have no heads)….. which now start rotting & putrefying before their very eyes… They wake all of us Lila who remains dead to the world

Six mischievous & hungry non sentient minds (monkeys) are detected … they are unaware of us…. I can detect that a creature has flown into my ESP range … one of those crazy griffins… turns out these are food offerings, made regularly, which Boris has now despoiled. …Boris & Rihan lie to our hosts about how the snakes ended up rotten.

Lila remains asleep but wakes up at 4.00 pm. We buff up with feather fall, wings and set off …the weather is bad, with rain and squalls setting in.. we arrive & circle a spot slightly outside the city ruins… we are able to spot patrols of creatures that look like trolls or ogres accompanied by tigers…. The city is nocturnal it seems as we pass about a half mile outside the city, maybe we need to wait until day. We elect to not fly over the dark canyons between the hills which we find gobble magic… just in time to stop our flying spell …the barren rocky surface of the hills is also suspicious … The city is about a mile wide. The city ramparts are 200 ft wide.

Lila leads us out a bit over the jungle toward the west….where we see lights turning on in the western city. Spells are recast & we fly back to the shelter of the griffin’ nest…

We stay the night & leave at 10 am for the city…. We smell smoke on the wind from the city… & are lead to a landing by Lila… (I land on a pressure trap… I cannot move my foot off…) I see a mosaic star shaped stone mural of a troll in feathered headdress in barbaric native costume… flat on the ground…. As Rihan approaches she triggers a stone to collapse & a snake to pop up.. I untrap myself and fly outside of the mosaic 800 x 1600 yards, alerting Lila and Boris to the presence of a snake which I spot. Realising the danger from the mosaic area we fly to a better spot on a deserted road

… Images of 2 x rampant Gorilla’s on the gates to the city gates.

A 200 yard tall gorilla with hands on hips carved into a cliff…he has a feather headresss …the area we are in looks deserted but lived in….


We explore with walking unseen …We can see people (or at least Orcs if they are people ) living to the south across a large pool. We spot an orc with a very attractive tiger cub, fishing in a pond. He is wearing camouflage orc clothes most strangely.

We stealth down a secondary boulevard (not the main one) toward the gorilla statue about half a mile out from it…..

We spot some tracks that Marco thinks are two trolls & 6 sabre tooths. Four tigers & the trolls seem to being pursued by the other two tigers.

There are a number of stone doors (6). Twi are 12’ x 25’. The rest are bigger. ( the set between the carved gorilla’s legs. It is dry & hot unlike the rest of the jungle. ESP picks up no sentients nearby…there is no aura on the doors…

It’s a normal mana zone

Rihan’s hands seemed to move into the door as she pushes….

Boris casts a spectral hand – which fails to push the door in. We cannot see a lock.

We see more orcs sneaking out on the roads 100s of feet away … they don’t see us..

So Lila asks a question of the knowledge dragon using magic.. how do we get inside? She is told to talk to the orcs and overcome their foe and recover the 4 parts of the key & use the key on the door.

So we head off toward where the orcs were near to the giant ponds which team with fish & is dotted with lilly-pads. They have meanwhile disappeared into the underbrush….. I pick up 3 curious minds 60 feet away. We head closer. The minds, presumably the orcs, are looking for something….

Boris speaks in a foul tongue (apparently hello in orcish) … & the orcs approach & talk. Boris is invited to meet their wiseman. They are hiding out from Ogre overlords & are apparently the rebellion… they tell Boris that tigers patrol the city. He runs through the jungle talking in pidjin orcish ( Boris translates by mind-speech so we get the drift)… they run through the jungle with Boris. The rest of us keep up & see Boris enter a hole (trap door) we can hear him talking to lots of orcs (45) inside an orc tunnel 600’ x 1400’ c 50 ‘ high with pillars…. it is an underground fungus garden… cave mushrooms grow everywhere … there are indoor windmills by the river which flows

The rest of us decide to enter & see Boris sitting in a ritualistic orc circle… they hear we are humans but friendly. Boris is offered a golden kitten for helping. Their language is a mixture of dwarvish and orcish… he meets the orc wiseman – who is rigged up in typical shaman garb – skulls bones, fish-heads, feathers and furs… which does not bespeak any great intellect. He smells of mushrooms & fish…It is warm…

We are told that a terrible shaman leads a tribe of trolls who have what he calls “terrible cats” - & have the keys to the doors in the giant gorilla statue. They have magic weapons. Boris believes from what he says his enemies have rune magic …& they live in four temples. We are told there are 45 Trolls in all & about 16 tigers and GIANT tigers (8 ‘ at the shoulder) too….We are told to bring their enemy’s treasure & they will assemble the keys for us. They are no longer warrior people (only 3 small clock-work warrior golems that will fight for us) … the trolls have undead with them maybe?

An orcish feast of shrooms & fish is prepared. We are told that they have mushroom men allies who are adverse to iron…. (fae?) who although being delecate have magic & spoeres).

We are introduced to the mushroom men who look like 4 ft tall mushrooms…

We communicate by ESP – Lila is invited to suck the mushroom mans’s "shoot". Which they claim will help them communicate. Turns out this is a ruse or they can drink a soup. We are introduced…..

Wrap up due to Covid lockdown

Due to lockdown we are stopping the game as we are out of time.
After the above scribe notes the party successful completes the following -

  • Party by way of stealth recovers all three parts of key to open the gates to the inner city.
  • Party gets Whispering Wind to return to ship.
  • Once at ship, Whispering Wind from Syrene asks party to return to Seagate, as pirate issue seems to be larger problem.
  • Ten days to re-float ship and sail back to Seagate.

Aiming to complete loot and exp chits for Monday 22nd.

Buffs & Mil Sci

'A = Always on.

Long Term

Long Term (assumed always on)
Magic (caster) Rk Effects Dur Bor Lil Marc Mars Rhi
Strength of Stones (Ma) 19 +19 EN or ST 20 hrs Y Y
Armour of Earth (Ma) 14 +30 def melee, 1 armour 7.5 hrs Y Y
Shadowform (Li) 15 +32 def melee, ranged; +16 def close 8 hrs
spell (caster)

Short Term

Short Term - Cast as Needed
Magic (caster) Rk Effects Dur Bor Lil Marc Mars Rhi
Strength of Darkness (Li) 12 +7 PS 130 min Y
Feather Falling (Li) 6 Fall no more than 5'/pulse 5.5 hrs N
Shadow Wings (Li) 6 36 mph, 126 miles range 3.5 hrs
Witchsight (Li) 7 4 hours
Lightning Strike (Li) 5 [D-4]+7, save for 1/2 5hrs
Barrier of Wind (Li) 4 20 def vs missiles, 15 in melee or close 150mins
Walking Unseen(Li) 6 7 hrs
Weapon of Cold (RH) 10 +11 SC, +4DM Cold Damage(doubled vs fire enemies) 15 minutes
spell (caster)

Senses

Ambush/danger senses/skills/magic
Magic (caster) Rk Effects Dur Bor Lil Marc Mars Rhi
Sense Danger % 30%
Ranger Detect Ambush % Base %, -5*OppRk, SpecArea +6% 89% 50%
Thief/Assassin Sixth Sense % BC 10+2xPC+5xRk

Misc Buffs

Watch Order

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Boris Marco Rhiain
Marseille Lila Boris

Marching Order

Skirmish Formations (Front)
Double File

Marco
Marseille Lila
Boris Rhiain

Single File

Marco
Lila
Marseille
Boris
Rhiain

Calendar

Winter

Moonday Duesday W'ansday Th'rsday Frysday Reapsday Sunday
Moon2.jpg Samhain
Frost (7)
  1 Guild Meeting 2   3   4   5   6  
Moon3.jpg 7   8   9   10   11   12   13  
Moon0.jpg 14   15   16   17   18   19   20  
Moon1.jpg 21   22   23   24   25   26   27  
Moon2.jpg 28   29   30    
Snow (8)
  1   2   3   4  
Moon3.jpg 5   6   7   8   9   Moon enters "The Camel" 10   11  
Moon0.jpg 12   13   14   15 Solstice 16   17 The Duke of Carzala's Winter Ball 18 Yuletide
Moon1.jpg 19 Days of Chaos 20 DoC 2 21 DoC 3 22 DoC 4 23 DoC 5 24 DoC 6 25 DoC 7
Moon2.jpg 26 DoC 8 27 DoC 9 28 DoC 10 29 DoC 11 30 Twelfth Night  
Ice (9)
  1   2  
Moon3.jpg 3   4   5   6 First Plough 7   8   9  
Moon0.jpg 10   11   Wotan exits retrograde. Thunor enters "The Spear" 12   13   14   15   16  
Moon1.jpg 17   18   19   20   21   Freya passes "The Lovers" 22   23  
Moon2.jpg 24   25   26   27   28   29   30