Black Flags

Session 18- Shenora

Now that we have our own gold mine, dinner conversation has gotten interesting. Suddenly instead of talking routes and bounties, we are talking declaring our own nation. We have the means to do this is which is pretty amazing, but after all was said and done… if we fail we aren’t out anything. Harrigan thought is was a good idea. He’s really is such a sweet doll, but don’t let him hear me say it… he might spank me. In second thought, I might tell him myself.
Suddenly Plunderhaven popped up. For a ship of pirates that are about to form our own country, our bounty is only $600K. We can only spend $6k. Assholes, don’t they know who we are going to be? Harrigan didn’t seem to have that kind of cap on his shopping. I thought for a moment he was going to buy me a trinket. Perhaps we aren’t there yet. That is… if he can keep my interest. Honestly, until he propositioned me, I had no idea he even had any interest in me. I can now attest that he does have quite a few tricks up his sleeve, and perhaps I don’t mind being one of them.
After a few weeks of shopping, Harrigan and I said our polite goodbyes, and we were off to follow the log pose SW. The climate is changing, and making the air thick. It was about four days of sticky hot, when we saw the big island sized flowers, and that’s exactly where the log pose is telling us to go. Turns out the island is Arbores Vivere O’ Insulam. We know this because we stumbled upon a dead guy with a map he was drawing of these islands, who had met with some type of hungry prehistoric carnivore. In fact, everything around here grows like crazy and all the animals seem fat. Something about this place is very fertile. However in the night, the island tried to eat us. As we avoided falling into the hungry mouth as the petals of the island folded into itself and ate all the slower fatter animals. Then we were left staring at some of the more hungry monkeys who fought us through the trees, but eventually knocked them off. We managed to fashion some rope hammocks that made sleeping more comfortable, and after a couple of days the log pose let us know it was time to move to the next island. Maverick really seemed to like the berries, and suddenly we learned how the animals get so fat.
A few days later we went to the largest island, and found a big vine pit full of yellow zombies. I was surprised Garvok didn’t say anything, because in the pit we found Tenneris- Envy who has a fondness for zombies and metamagic rods. She seemed to have taken a liking to Shurlock. Turns out Tenneris is kinda stuck up, so Garvok said, but they are all family so it’s like some weird club in morning detention having breakfast together. We know where Pride and Gluttony are, and we don’t know where Lust is, she’s not answering, probably too busy. Greed however is north of us which seems to be the direction the log pose is pointing.

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Session 17 - Arakor

Well, those dragons and wyverns got what for…and we collected a new member in the form of a dinosaur in the end too! Well, we headed down the tunnel since Shenora said she heard dragon voices. It had to be Blitz and some more pets. So I scouted ahead and at last came to the end of the tunnel which dropped off in a sheer cliff all the way down to the island below. But, anchored to the ship were two gold dragons, one fore and one aft. While talking about what to do, we heard a massive roar and looked up to see a gigantic blue and black dragon who was apparently Blitz’s boss giving him orders and talking about how he had disappointed them. Them? Who else was this dragon working with? Well, we came up with a plan. While Judge Asshole was getting his ass reamed, I was going to go invisible and free the dragons. While they make their getaway, the bigger, slower dragon would chase them and we’d have Blitz all to ourselves this time. We even had the spells ready this time. But wouldn’t you know it…once I free the dragons(hey were very nice by the way…and thankful) it was Blitz who went after them which left the big black and blue baddie set in our sights. I think Shenora made a joke about how we were going to beat him blacker and bluer or something right before her and Suhrlock threw fireballs at him, which didn’t seem to do much more than piss him off. In an attempt to get him down to our level(since he was like 300 feet away and in is element), we retreated back into the tunnel to get to the room where we killed the smaller blue dragons and wyverns. But somehow, he beat us there. And he was NOT happy to see his kids murdered. As we arrived and saw him there, he breathed some sort of odd breath weapon at us. Suhrlock’s pet went running and the rest of us avoided it for the most part. But with his ability to reduce damage and staying up high on the rim of the ridge and do distance attacks and magic at us, I was totally useless since I didn’t have the ability to fly at that point. I attempted to climb the walls with a spider climb potion but as I started up the wall, I heard a loud roar as Shenora plucked out one of his eyeballs and he turned and ran.

Shenora and I headed back to the ship via teleport to find Harrigan and Rickety but we ended up finding them near the guard quarters. Apparently the eye was exactly what Harrigan needed for a spell he was concocting to fight the 50-60 dragons heading back this way with their big blue and black buddy hanging in the back like a pansy. He also needed any other dragon eyes we could get our hands on. SO we teleported back to get the 4 other eyes of the smaller dragons. He had the guards set them up around the island as quickly as possible and started his spell. And just as he finished, the dragons hit us. But we had backup. Harrigan had teleported his adamantine golems to the island and they were going toe to toe with the dragons and bodies were piling up faster on the dragon side that the golem and flying human side. As a result, the island was slowly descending. But Blitz showed back up and we had to do what we could to prevent him from interrupting Harrigan and his spellcasting. As we were fighting him off, we had to dodge breath weapons left and right and I almost, ALMOST, got hit by one.

As we got lower and lower, Harrigan told Shenora to release the ship so she got to do her thing and turned the rock to mud so there was less to keep the island floating as well as the ship itself and as she did it, the big dragon towered above right as the island hit the water causing the geyser and the ship to shoot straight through the hole and blasted him to…..somewhere….

With everything back to normal, and another island to control(and mine for now another reliable money line), we did some recruiting, we have some people to protect the new investment and we can continue on to get to Aqueduct 8…but I can’t stop thinking about all those dead dragons….and all of those unprotected hoards just waiting for new masters…..

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Session 17 - Surhlock

With the dragons and wyverns defeated, we could hear dragon roars and voices coming from one of the tunnels, the one that led deeper into the volcano. I couldn’t quite make out what they were saying but Shenora said that it sounded like someone had dragons chained up and held against their will. So down that path we headed. At the end of the tunnel was a sheer cliff face that dropped down to… nothing. Just empty air all the way down to the ocean below. In front of us, however, was the golden ship. Chained to each end were two gold dragons that were being held by electrified chains leading to Blitz standing at the top of the mast. Now and again some of the guard would bring raw gold ore to the ship where the dragons would smelt it down with the fire breath. Ingenious but evil. Arakor sneaked on over and talked to the dragons, freeing their bonds secretly right underneath Blitz’s nose. Just when we were about to spring them loose a bigger menace appeared – Blitz’s boss. A colossal blue-black dragon. We hatched a plan. The gold dragons made a break for it. We were hoping the dragon would take the bait but he ordered Blitz to go after them instead. Not wanting to fight the dragon on his terms, we ran/fly as fast as we could back down the hallway to the room where we killed the others, narrowly missing getting singed in the process. Unfortunately, this monster beat us there. His nasty breath caught all of us in the tunnel. Thank goodness for the Protection from Energy cast on us earlier or we would have been in much more trouble. We also quickly learned that this thing had exceptional spell resistance, defeating the first fireball I threw at him entirely. But we were undeterred. Well, mostly. Arakor and Shenora had their doubts when they saw his buddies, 50-60 dragons strong coming from miles away. But I urged them on. Let’s kill this bastard while we have a chance with him 1 on 1. Shenora bravely attacked and struck a nasty blow right to its eye, piercing it out of its socket. Seems that was too much for the wimp. He flew off, beaten and bruised to join his friends.

We figured we should do the same. Arakor and Shenora teleported back to the ship to find Harrigan while the rest of us hoofed it. We all met back at the guard’s quarter’s were Harrigan was busy preparing a spell. He needed the other dead dragon’s eyes to go with the one Shenora had sticking to her sword. With five portals at the ready the guards displaced them around the island. And suddenly his golems appeared, ready to take on the dragons. But he needed help from us to fight off Blitz while he commanded his mini-army. We knew that guy was going to be tough being incorporeal and all. Maverick tried to bring him to physicality but failed, twice. The rest of us just kept beating on him as much as we could. It took some time and Harrigan took a few blows distracting him from his mission. But ultimately we prevailed. And with Blitz down we were able to help with the dragon hoard. Slowly the battle tended towards our favor.

We noticed an interesting thing though. With all of the golems and dragons weighing down the island, we were slowly sinking. We were getting down below the clouds at this point, but the big blue-black guy was still out there. But before we took him on, Harrigan ordered us to get rid of the boat/weapon. Shenora had been dreaming about this one for hours. She raced in and turned all of those levitating rocks underneath it to mud. They fell off, which also stopped the raising of the island and we crashed back to earth. Fortunately we were basically already there. But that silly dragon was right there above the geyser. Oops. Turns out big gold ship and geyser hitting silly dragon doesn’t work out so well for dragon.

And now we have another island. Most interestingly one that is practically made of gold. And now, fortunately, that isn’t floating a mile high. The guards, as we know, are pretty awesome and can help guard the place for us, as well as train others that we send this way. Harrigan, for a bit of gold, sets up some teleportation circles between our three islands. And gives us the dragon eyes which we can use on two more islands if we are ever so lucky to find some more. And for loot, we capture Blitz’s metamagic rods. Nice little prizes.

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Shenora-17

We underestimated what this epic battle was going to entail. I am sure we all had in our mind, beat the pets and take out the electric rod of a boss. As it turned out however, lightening rod had a boss himself. There were also two gold dragons that we successfully released from being chained to the ship. We had the bright idea to split up the black and blue dragon which we found out was named Nidhogg. I was very reluctant to fight him as he was huge and wielding some pretty massive spell power, but Sherrock was pretty insistent that we try. It was at his urging, I charged him and was able to get a solid hit and took out his eye. He retreated but joined his army that must have been 200 dragons.

We ended up teleporting back to Harrigan and Rickety only to find they knew what was coming, and we certainly didn’t. He had alters prepared and the natives to the island were running to bunker down. Harrigan used the eye I was able to carve out of Nidhogg’s head to channel all his golems. The sky was covered in fire, lightening, acid and other breath weapons, as well as sparks rocks in an epic fight for the ages.

Blitz came back and we had to battle him finally. Once we were able to get him under control, the battle turned in our favor. What seemed like days later, we were close to winning. Harrigan suddenly turned to me and said, “Now, go release the ship.” I’m not sure how he knew what I had in mind, but I went there immediately and turned the rock beneath the ship to mud. The island came flying back down but not as hard as it would have if we didn’t have the weight of the dragons and golems already pushing it to the planet.

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Session 16- Shenora

Obviously I drank too much at the festivities when we landed the ship on the beach of the floating island. I passed out and had a very vivid dream. Oddly it was a shared dream with some others on the ship as well.

That’s when we were summoned to the courtroom in front of the lightening ethereal being, we all knew what not to do which was convenient. In the dream, I was pretty much an ass even for me. Must have been still drunk even in the dream. But we did find ourselves in the courtroom again, and we managed to get out without a deadly duel where we all died. We did have to move the boat however. It took a bit of planning but we made a mudslide and pushed the ship into the port. The guards seemed to be pretty impressed and confused with our progress going from sitting on the beach and 20 minutes later being in the proper port.

We eventually did get to talking to the guards, which in our dream were pretty deadly. Turns out they are not fond of this guy and afraid of his pet dragons. We made a deal with them to not come attack us if we took out the dragons. If we proved we could do that, then they wouldn’t fight on the big guys behalf when we go to take him out. And yes, he needs to be taken out. And his gold needs to be taken… by us.

Turns out his pets were very intimidating, but not as hard to beat as we thought. It still makes him a very formidable opponent and we shall have to be creative to take him out and free this island to set up trade.

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Session 16 - Arakor

Well, we did it. Just as Rickety asked. Somehow, it was a completely different tempo to the proceedings this time. Suhrlock talked his ass off and Judge Asshole was buying it hook line and sinker. There were no real witnesses and everyone loved the party we had thrown when we landed so we know it wasn’t any of the villager people.

We get back to the ship and there are some guards who think they’re gonna my ship! Uh, no. This time I might be guilty of something, like murder, if they think they’re gonna take my ship before we can properly sell it once we get the new ship. More talking though calmed them enough to give us the proper forms(since we weren’t told about any forms) and Shenora did some magic(literally) with getting the boat to slide down the rock it was perched on so we could sail it into the proper berth.

While waiting for the couple of days until RIckety and Harrigan showed up, we just enjoyed ourselves. We run into a curious fellow who’d been stranded here for the past 10 years since the last ship. Goes by the name of Leo. Seems to know alot about the mines and the guards. Maybe we can get him to join the crew when this is all over. Sounds like he wasn’t here by choice any more, especially since he’s been locked up and escaped the miens so many times he’s lost track. As we got back to the ship that night(and invited Leo along) Rickety and Harrigan showed up but Harrigan was in bad shape. Apparently he had gotten stuck by GLuttony, Plugg’s weapon of sin. It took a lot of healing and a lot of teamwork but we were able to get him to a not-dying spot. Not great, but not getting worse. After finding out from Rickety and Harrigan that Mr Powerful is building some killer weapon in his basement, we knew we had to do something. FO no other reason than I don’t want my ship destroyed..and there’s a gold mine here we can totally exploit like the mithril mine.

Suhrlock gets a guardsman chatty and we came to find out that they are only helping their boss out of fear, not out of loyalty. And with people like this, loyalty can be bought. Or at least negotiated. And we did just that. The guard got us a meeting with the captain and after a little misdirection(he felt we were being observed), we worked out a deal to free them by taking out the boss and his minions. The OTHER minions, who apparently are not small minions like these guys but something large and hungry. People go in to the mines in those areas and don’t come back out. Well, we come back out.

After a distraction to lure the guards away, Leo leads us down into the mines where he believes these things are living. We do our usual tactics with spells and singing and everything to get ready for whatever is down and here and don’t you know it….dragons…well, 2 dragons and 2 dragon-like wyverns. Suhrlock locks one of them behind an ice wall like we did with the swarm in the ruins, which left us to do whaty we do best. Focus on one at a time and just go to town as quickly as possibly. And that we did. So much so that the spellcasters slowed their contributions in the end. And every time I got close to help, everyone else killed them. I still got some whacks in but I need to hit something hard….I think I’ll take it out on Judge Asshole when we find him.

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Session 16 -Surhlock

We found ourselves walking back into the courtroom in front of Blitz and his minions. Maverick was quiet, praying to his god for some help against the incorporeal Blitz if it came to blows again so I did most of the talking. We were being charged with some trumped up crap about disturbing the peace with our little party the other night. Well Blitz is an ass but he needs to maintain some form of reasonable law and order, and quite frankly it just didn’t look good to imprison some honest merchants for being nice. Reluctantly he let us go, to plot our coup.

Shortly thereafter we heard from Rickety that he and Herigan would be there in a couple of days. In the meantime we placated some of the guards who thought they could swindle our ship from us by cleverly sailing it on a river of mud (thanks Shenora) to its proper berth.

Maverick also met an interesting local chap named Leo. He had quite a bit of knowledge on the mines having stolen into them many times, and apparently being caught many of times too. Personally I am starting to take a liking to him. We need some more muscle and he needs some better direction in his life.

That night Rickety and Herigan made their appearance but clearly under duress. Herigan had been severely wounded by Plugg’s sword gluttony. It took nearly all of us working together to heal him.

We then learned of Blitz’s plan to create some form of Pluton island killing weapon in the center of this floating island. Rickety and Herigan are not entirely sure if his plans but he need to be stopped. And what the heck, we need the gold in the mine anyway. It seems we can help each other. But how? The guards are too powerful. Maybe we can distract them, or at least get them to not intervene. So I find a chatty one and get him talking. Turns out they are only helping Blitz out of fear and he introduces me to their captain the next night. Maverick and I almost give ourselves up taking too freely but eventually it works. They agree to look try other way while we attack the mines.

We have learned that the mines are guarded by Blitz’s pets, dragons that are just beyond a doorway. Good chance to buff up and attack. Two dragons and two split tailed wyverns. We charge in and fairly easily take them down. But maybe too easily…. I started to hold back. This might get a lot worse before it gets better.

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Session 15 - Arakor

So, we had a week to kill beofore the geyser went off again. Shenora suggested we check out the rest of the island, which was a great idea. Never know what we’ll find here. As we’re wandering around, we notice floating rocks. No matter what we did, they always tried to move into the same plane of air space. I was guessing whatever gravitational thing that shot the island up into the sky and kept it there has something to do with this. Without coming upon anything at this point, we decided to jump into the volcano water and see what we could see. Nothing close to the shore but as we got near the center, there was glowing green stuff far below. My guess was green lava. I wasn’t too interested by Suhrlock was so we went ahead and dove down. After about an hour, we got as far as we could go without it starting to really hurt, even with the Endure Elements spell we cast. We saw some shiny greenness bwhind some of the rocks so we tried to pry off about a fist sized chuck. we had to chipo away but eventually we came away with a piece. And lucky for me I have quick reflexes because I had to let go as fast as possible. I took off straight down and would have taken me with it. Even for only a fist sizes piece. SO, we decided to just go with a very small piece so we could examine it later. Even so small a piece made the trek back up to the surface take twice as long. Eventually we did make it though and as we got around more of the lighter stones, it started getting lighter itself. We looked around some more and came across an old ruin/building that looks like it got ripped in half when the middle of the island shot into the sky. Suhrlock did some surmising about the age of the tools left behind and what the heavy and light rocks had to do with each other. they canceled each other out until the people that WERE here mined it all away and the building exploded with the lighter rock ascending above. We made our way back after that though and once again had to take care of some more logistical work. While we were gone, our crew got attacked by a military ship again but this time, while we won, there were losses. and gains. Then, it finally came time for the big event. I lined us up and got us moving in the right direction and hit it perfectly. We started soaring right up the side of the geyser. We released the sails to catch the air flowing up and I had to make some adjustment. It was tough for that first part as I thought I almost lost control but eventually I got the hang of it.

Who’s got 2 thumbs and can make a boat fly? Hell yes that’s me. Unfortunately, I can’t land a flying boat so well though. I drydocked us about 300 feet from where we needed to be, not that I knew that’s where we needed to be. But our arrival sure scared the shit out of the locals, who, funnily enough, looked like angels. Humans with wings. Not celestials. Eventually they came out of hiding when Shenora gave them big old smiles and threw a party in front of them. This just attracted some unwanted attention though as we were approached by some more…unsavory looking …flying people. Earlier we had found that they had a gold mine and this being that had come there was forcing them to mine gold and then just applying it to random things like silverware(goldware?) and swords and such. We were instructed that this master guy wanted to see us immediately. We tried to stall and get back to the boat so we could load up and take on these guys but they weren’t having it. They had already taken the crew apparently. I did cause a minor distraction so at least Suhrlock could get off some protection form arrows spells on us, since these guys were wielding bows and nothing else. We were taken before this guy. which wasn’t really a guy. It ended up being like a living embodiment of electricity. Some sort of elemental form what I can gather. Apparent’y he found us guilty of disturbing his city. What an asshat. Didn’t even let us argue our side of things. So, Shenora decided to have a little fun and use her Swap spell to snatch his gavel and start banging it around, calling him guilty and stuff. Which he didn’t seem to like one bit. So much he didn’t like it that he challenged me to one on one combat. I mean, who am I to say no, although my expertise is really in line with things that have squishy parts. It took a few minutes but along the way I buffed up as much as I could. Seemed like he wasn’t or concerned about that at all, but he also didn’t say it wasn’t allowed. So we enter the arena, which is ringed by these flying archer assholes. As I’m looking around, I’m noticing that there are rods sticking straight up out of the floor. Not sure what they are for but I’m sure it isn’t good. Just as I’m ready to start dueling this asshole, I get turned into a pincushion! I heard one of the archers yell cheater(which I didn’t do anything at all!) and I got plunked. HARD. I just about passed out from it all. And that was before we really got our feet about us. I saw Shenora take a crapload of arrows her way as well. I was just about to head over so Suhrlock could shield us with an ice wall when, in more of a jumble and confusion, I was back in my body and we were walking into the courtroom thing again, about to face The Honorable Asshat. I have no idea what is going on. All I know is that I heard Rickety Squib’s voice in my head saying “You need to stall. I’m on my way.” Hopefully Shenora got the message this time and she can use her silver tongue of persuasion(and maybe mine to distract him) to hold off long enough for Rickety to get here. Because based on the previous events, which I’m still not sure if they happened or not, this seems like one battle we may not walk away from if it comes down to it.

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Session 15 - Surhlock

We had a week to kill waiting for the next geyser. We quickly teleported back to Obses and Bonewrack to check on our operations. All was going well. While we were out our crew fought off another military patrol accumulating some nice loot. And the mine recruited a few more helpers. We set them up with some weapons to help defend the mine. Then we decided to explore a bit of the island. We found some interesting floating rocks. Then Arakor and I swam down to investigate the source of the geysers. There was a strange green glow at the bottom of an incredibly deep hole. We messed with some rocks sticking out of the hole and found out they were heavy as heck. Finally it came to me. They were mining all of the gravity ore, eventually making the island so light that a simple volcanic explosion blasted it into the air where it stayed. Cool, but doesnt help us get up there. That would come a few days later.

We prepped as much as we could buffing up Arakor and preparing for the worst. Turns out it was completely unnecessary. If we make it through this journey we will have him to thank. He guided the ship up the vertical column of water excellently, never seeming to lose the slightest bit of control. We landed up to on solid ground safe and sound.

The area was populated with winged creatures that seemed mostly friendly. Strangely they had no value for all the gold they had. But they really liked feathers. Fools. But it gives us an idea, maybe they’ll let us take over the gold mine since it isn’t all that valuable to them? But there is a problem. Big bad lightning guy controls the castle and the mine. We were thinking about paying him a visit when his goonies paid us a visit. With them supposedly doing the same to our crew we followed to some form of trial.

It seems Shenora wasn’t all into the trial. Maybe she was just bored with the formalities. I am not sure but she stole Blitz’s gavel right from under his hands. It was kinda funny but the guy didn’t take a joke. He raged around and challenged Arakor to a man to man duel. Not too fair really, taking the one guy who would have a lot of trouble against his incorporeal ass. They led all of us away to the arena with just Arakor down below with Blitz. The rest of us including the crew was seated in the bleachers. Strangely there were four metamagic rods scattered around the arena floor. I guess they were so tempting that Shenora took one with her switching power. Unfortunately that set off a maelstrom. The archer guards unloaded in Arakor and Shenora. In an instant both were nearly dead. I was contemplating how to get us out of there when suddenly I heard a voice, Rickety, pulling me out of the dream and back to the courtroom….

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Session 14-Sherona

I enjoy the ship. All aspects of it really. I don’t mind not being the Captain or the face of the ship. I’m not the muscle and I certainly can’t heal for anything. I’m just a Jackie of all trades really, never better than the best man for the job but good enough at everything to keep me in the higher ranks. Really, if anything keeps me in the captains quarters, it’s my ability to teleport. A few good ideas here and there, but really it’s everyone else who actually marches out the orders.
I did enjoy seeing Rickity again, when we had an extra ship. He is in pretty tight with Harrigans brother as he showed up within minutes to help out Rickety. While we are out here building a production empire and making our way while we do things like increase our bounty… it seems those boys, Rickity and Harriagans brother, really have their finger on the pulse of what life is really all about. It’s one thing to get a big paycheck because your rich, but another to be the man who pays the rich guy because he can.
I bet it gets in your blood though, gathering the fame and attention. Otherwise, men like Blackbeard would have hung up his peg leg a long time ago. I don’t know if men like them are actually happy, but I imagine there is no other life they would know. While today I’m perfectly content to spend a few days lounging on a beach, perhaps there will be a day when my sea legs won’t withstand the land as long.
For now we are going further up, however now we need to make a lot more money before we get there so we can pay for the ship. Yeah, found out the voucher was just for a down payment, and we still need $650K plus money for a crew to get out of there with the ship. Still, our business ventures both here and afar are plentiful and possibly we could meet that price by the time we arrive.

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