Black Flags

Session 24-Shenora

This is how I, Shenora Longstringer, ended up laying in a pile of mashed potatoes with a fork sticking in my side atop of Rickety’s dining room table six months from disappearing from this earth by sailing into a magical fog.

Shenanigans. This time they are not mine, or our crews shenanigans either but it was our job to make it look good. Ok, perhaps what we did wasn’t the equivalent of what Harold did… saving the world, raising his brother from the dead… yeah, ok, that might have been much more impressive. All the more reason why you see, when you land in a pile of mashed potatoes you have to make it look good.

So yeah, blah blah blah, we were in this dungeon like maze with dead ends, zombies and all that crap. But when we went to sleep, it was like the day reset and we did it all over again. We didn’t know why this happened, but luckily I was able to map out the route pretty well the day before so we just took a different pathway to discover another way out. I was in particular looking for an “up” direction since when we woke up, all of our stuff, the wands, our loot… all returned right back to where they were. So here we go again, and this time we found some new and interesting creatures. A riddle that told us how to put a flesh to root tree to rest, that was fun. A room that seemed to be blocked by a scaly door, turned out we were looking at dragon ass. Funny thing, there seems to be some type of on button installed on that guy Dork, and he just burrowed into his ass, literally and came out with a rod on the other side. I did manage to take it’s eye too, but it was with a bit of trepidation thinking if we didn’t get out of here I’d just have to rip them out of his head again tomorrow. Regardless of what people think of me, I’d rather leave the scalping and skinning to the ranger types, but as spell components go, dragon eyes are better than gold.
That was when we found the room with the vertical tunnel and Rankor’s greedy sword started flipping the hell out. We could tell the dragon lair that they keep getting called back to each night was in the up position. And… after we flew up to the edge of the antimagic field… yeah, that sucker… we could tell there was a copper dragon on top of that pretty hoard. Mavrick was really good however at talking to the dragon after he smacked my grappling hook off the ledge a couple times, to let us come up and talk. Well, that’s where we found out the truth of where we have been for what we thought were the past few days. Noctus was keeping us, along with all types of other creatures captive among his demiplane ship. We could see the portal, and the copper dragon, Bill… explained that time goes much slower in here. He was very sad that even if he were to see his children, they would most likely be much older than him now. That’s when I saw it, the rows and rows of cages that held creatures of every kind from every world. Bill said each night he is taken though the portal and dissected, each day living waiting around to live out his nightmare. The only thing he had was his hoard, and even with that he offered me the staves to use if we could get them free. First time I ever felt guilty for payment, but luckily that feeling passed quickly. This was also when we saw it as we went through the anti-magic field, these mechanisms that tethered us to something. Bill said we all had them, and if you tried to cut it we would die. We saw some creature in another cage who clearly had cut it and it was indeed dead. Rami got a bit weird… even weirder than normal and was talking to the dead thing for a while. He did find a bow which was cool but still… he was starting to give me the heebs. Oh… did I also mention that he decided to mind link me and Dork. You know what Dork sounds like in my head… like bubbling pudding trying to pronounce annoying words like “moist” or “soap” with a hard p. It was convenient for getting around the basement parlor of Noctus’s ship, but gotta turn it off.

Anyway, we figured out we had to go though the portal and disable the device that we are all tethered too so we can not only free ourselves but creature on this hellish ship. So we jumped though the portal, and it certainly wasn’t what we were prepared to see.

The skies were dark with smoke and fog but lit up bright against fires and magical remnants from a huge battle that was at its climax. There was no way to see who the clear winner was or even who was fighting, but it reminded me soon of the other Great War on the floating island. That’s when I realized it was golems that were battling and I had seen that once before. I looked though the dust and smoke as everyone was still pouring out of the portal, and I saw him. Focused and steadfast, determined and in all his godlike gloriousness, he battled as I had seen him do before. I had never seen a more welcomed and sexy sight as Harold in that moment. “He came! He came!” I exclaimed aloud, which was weird because usually that was only in my head and in private. I began to run towards him feeling my heart swell in some romantic ecstasy, he must have been searching for me! As I ran towards him, his face did seem truly delighted to see me, but then I saw it… it wasn’t delight as much as shock. Well that’s natural, but it wasn’t shock as much as surprise. Wait… if he came for me, why was he surprised to see me. I slowed my run noticing his arms were not out stretched for me as much as they were for the concentration for the spells he was wielding. That’s ok, I can respect a man at work, especially if there is still a good chance that this display was going to save all our asses. But this is how it went. I think I did an ok job of playing it cool. I think I even had my hand on my hip at one point.

Me: You came!
Harold: What are you doing here?
Me: Uh, we floated into Noctus’s fog and got stuck in a dungeon created for us in the hull of his ship.

(dodge flying rock)

Harold: Oh, you guys have been gone like six months. No one knew where you went.
Me: Nightmare knew.
Harold: Huh?
Me: Nevermind. There’s all kinds of things down there, and we are tethered to some device that keeps us trapped. And the day starts all over again. It’s only been two or four days or so for us.

(Brace harms over my head and shield eyes from ashes)

Harold: What was he doing to you all down there?

(Wince from flash of dazzling fireball)

Me: Experiments, everyday apparently. ( In my head: Not the kind I like you performing on me thank you very much)
Harold: Well, the experiment is over. Noctus is gone. This whole place is gonna blow in five minutes.
Me: Yeah, well, best get us untied then. This way?
Harold: Uh, little busy here.
Me: Oh, yeah… I knew that.

So perhaps not the most romantic of reunions, but we were able to find the device we were tethered to very fast. Mavrick took small time of dispelling magic on the device which I would have done should one had not worked, but he is good. Then we let loose the pudding diamond drill bit we call Dork, and he made short work of destroying it. With two minutes to spare, we went back to the portal and dislodged the teleport stone. Harold yelled to us, to meet him at Rickety’s, a place he knew was safe and I had well memorized. So I grabbed everyone’s hands and teleported us to the very place.

Well of course the most memorable moment I had at Rickety’s what the time Harold and I were left in the room alone, and he no longer could deny his powerful animistic hungry lust. He threw me down onto the table and began to feverishly kiss me. I had my clothes on and of course didn’t want them ruined. I mean, I wanted him but I also like this outfit. He must have known what I was thinking. Harold pulled up from enveloping his face into my neck and stared into my eyes, asking for permission. I nodded yes, and without another pause I was naked across this very table for his pleasure with my armor and clothes neatly stacked and folded on the chair.

So that is why I am not laying on this table laden with mashed potatoes and possibilities.

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Session 24 - Rami

So, we found some spot to crash, and set up watches. I considered killing someone, but it would be tedious to explain. Well, my dreams were much the same, a voice in the distance whispering “Demogorgon”. For some reason, I feel drawn to it. But, damn it, that other was was there too, I hate him, but can’t manage to kill him… The voice seemed to have a minor irritation at the presence of the other. Maybe I won’t kill the others, but get them to help me get rid of this other.
So, we end up in the same damn room we started in, and our stuff was in the treasure chamber. I couldn’t contain my panic, I don’t think I can deal with this again. Sigh, we go back some other way, I wasn’t really paying attention, mapping is just not my style. I think we killed something while I wasn’t paying attention. There was some tree thing we had to fix, and I helped Dorric and Shenora communicate. After this I tried to hook them up, I think Dorric needs some help, and I’ll get him in Shenora’s good graces if it kills him. I’m having trouble with Lesson 1 “Hello”. Anyway, then we get stuck somewhere, and kill a dragon I wanted to keep. Seriously, why can’t I have a Red Dragon? I don’t think that feeding it should be that hard, just give it some townsfolk. So, we kept on, and ran into another dragon! I wanted this one too, but it was a little to pollyanna in the end. Still very pretty, but whatever, this one can die. It did give me a bow that spoke to me, almost like the dream. I need to feed it. I suspect it likes blood, but maybe pus too… I’ll just have to offer it choices. Well, back to the cave. We were told (and some saw) that our souls were tied to this place, along with the monsters. So, we’d be stuck here in an endless loop of exploring and waking up without our weapons. Sigh…, that would be incredibly boring… If I don’t hate something, there isn’t much reason to kill it more than once, well, maybe every now and then. Well, we had to fly up to get out (Oh, did I mention the goody two shoes dragon got us past the anti-magic barrier). I tried to help Maverick fly, but he didn’t appreciate my superior directions. When will he learn… So, up we go and then we see a battle going on with creatures and golems. Naturally Shenora wet herself. I guess I can’t fault that since that kind of power is respectable. Well, we get up and have to destroy this machine after some magic stuff. Then we have to pull out some stone so we can have this little dimension we were in and free (or kill) the things inside (maybe the red dragon will be back…, I might be able to catch it), and take the treasure. So, we teleported back to the pub, and crashed dinner. Quite fortunate, as I’m feeling hungry. Ugh, that headache is coming on again…

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Session 23 - Arakor

Killing Plug felt good. What felt better, feeling Gluttony in my hands. Or Urgot as it liked to be called. It felt right to wield him against those traitorous pirates working for the Navy. And just as we finished the last one off, I ran to the stern to grab the wheel but it was too late. We had already started entering the fog. All I heard was Nightmare yelling something that sounded like Noctis. Then everything was gone until all of a sudden we felt like we had run aground. We all ran to the port side to look and I’ll be damned if we hadn’t run aground somehow. Even Rami was there. Which was good. I’m sure Nightmare teleported him from our ship to rain down death on the traitors we couldn’t see clearly. Then came the footsteps as we stood there trying to figure out where we were. Loud. Thunderous. Whatever it was, it was something big. Being followed by a bunch of other footsteps. Someone was bringing an army. Then, he came into sight. A monstrous…man? I don’t remember much after initially seeing him until I woke up with a massive headache and missing my armor and weapons. It wasn’t until Shenora seemed to be talking to her sword(she’s not real good with doing it in her head for some reason) that I also made the attempt. I immediately heard the call of Urgot. Chellan, on the other hand, had nothing to say. He did give me a glimpse of where they were. In some sort of treasury, surrounded by everyone’s items plus a dragon’s hoard of other stuff. I think maybe he thought he’d died and gone to heaven? After Shenora called her stuff to her, I called Urgot and Chellan. I had to do a LOT of convincing to get Chellan to come back to me. I promised him we’d see it again soon. That seemed to work. As I looked around, we were actually an extra man heavy in the room we woke up in. Some lightly clad fellow, mumbling about losing his crew or something. Not wearing much though. Not sure how effective he’d be in a fight. Hope he can hold his own because he ain’t our crew. But if he can, maybe we’ll bring him aboard. Since we do have a bigger ship now, we’ll need more hands. Shit! We never got to give Nightmare that extra 350k ship IOU thing, I bet he thinks we just ran off with this ship, even though we really paid for this completely after replacing his voucher. After everyone has their stuff back thanks to Suhrlock and his gauntlet of holding a bunch of stuff, we start heading out. But since we have no idea where we are, I’m checking everything twice. Traps, Locked doors. Rami starts finding secret doors left and we wander around unlocking doors, finding secret doors and traps. Nothing really going on other than trying to get to the floors above us because apparently that’s where the hoard is at. One door after another. Monsters behind some that we had to fight and we’re still no closer to finding the way up dammit…I thought it would be somewhere close to that weird amalgamation monster that hit me like a boulder from a giant. Well, maybe more like a greatsword from a giant. It really hurt. Maybe I should get it looked at before we move on….

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Sesssion 23 - Rami

I spent a long time thinking about my plans and where I was going. To be honest, I don’t think the others noticed. They seem to ignore me until I’m needed. However, this was useful. For a long time I’d been curious about who my mother was, but never focused on it for too long. During all the crazy battles and conquests, and I have been picking up rumors. Yea, I’m an Aasimar, but a lot of the people in ports who I get these rumors from use some protection sign at me after telling me their tales. From what I can gather, my mother’s people were part of a rebellion on the mainland, turning to demons to overthrow some crazy paladin king. Now, I can respect using the tools you need to get a job done, but apparently a lot of people don’t care for that sort of thing. Other people said that she left me some kind of inheritance so that I can avenge her betrayers. I really doubt that, I know how salt tails grow in the telling, but I am curious about her pacts with demons, and I suspect that I may be able to claim something on those if I’m smart. Oh, and turns out my father was a drunk in a gutter that happened to have a place to hide for my mother one day that paladin’s were on her trail. He irritated me with asking for coin, so I shot him through the eyes.
So, my quest had been completed, and I found what I needed to find. So, I decided that I will use those that ignore me. First chance I get, I’m going to cash in on this demon pact thing, and set one lose on anyone that continues to ignore or underestimate me. Maybe my heart is growing darker, but I can seriously say it is better this way, better to embrace the dark madness and grab as much power as I can.
Just as I made this decision, some idiot runs the damn ship on a sand bar. I steel myself, and shove down most of my darkness, and merely let chaos run free. So, I jump from the ship and investigate. There was some large rigging set up to catch ships, and people are squealing about Noctus and his dragon. I recall that black beauty, and can appreciate how useful he is. Now, I didn’t really do much to Noctus, so I may be able to use that to make a bargain, but I may just kill him with the others, if that is possible. Anyway, I hear something coming, something not large, but with heavy steps. I climb the rigging to get a better look, and eventually see some undead too. I jump down to protect Surhlock, since he was being respectful (I suspect I won’t kill him now). But when the procession came near… Something about it just knocked me the fuck out. I had a sensation of falling, and then, nothing…
I woke up in a room with the others, and another fellow. Only, I didn’t have my bow or robe. I was losing my shit, but tried not to let anyone else see that. Turns out Surhlock was able to get my stuff back (so I guess it would be rude to kill him). I felt a lot better with my bow, that is for sure. The new fellow is some kind of druid with a hardon for oozes, name is Dorric. He is alright, I guess I don’t have a reason to kill him yet. We went into some rooms and just wandered around. I helped find things until Arakor remembered that he had some mask to do it, so I daydreamed for a while. We fought some undead things in one room, and they were gone quickly. We wandered around more, and found a room with undead with long tongues. They were kind of easy to kill, but then all of the stuff that we had used against them became condensed into some weird conglomeration of stuff that was immune to those things until we used them. We killed it, and that was that. I have a feeling that we have scratched the surface of what else lives in these rooms. Now, what was that name I keep hearing in my dreams, …“Demogorgan”…?

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Session 23- Shenora

I don’t know why we thought that turning in a find voucher worth 350g would be so easy. I suppose we figured that it may have belonged to an insignificant imperial or a pirate booty from the hundreds of other lucky like similar to ourselves but had the misfortune of missing just one hit, or not having the healing power of our performer. We took for granted that the voucher was submitted for someone else once upon a time.
And even though it wasn’t him, Plug who generally has had a back and forth with us on showing us up ever now and again, managed to said our ship right out of dry dock while we indulged with our party wand. If we were not blood thirsty up to this point for that bastard, we were parched for his blood now. However, it was in the moment we realized who had our ship that we were visited, or brought to visit the one and only Nightmare. This is not someone who we wanted to cross paths with, however the realization that the voucher belonged to him, and he was the one who was searching for us and burning down all places we have business connections became distinctively clear. He could have killed us with a wiggle of his nose, but he listened to our story. About how we didn’t know it was his and Plug actually took his ship. We then got into an arrangement by which we needed to get that ship back from Plug. Gladly. Here’s the thing however, we also said that he could take our voucher for the 350g but I’m not sure he ever really heard that part of the discussion. We were almost forcibly pushed and transported onto the new ship which lets face it, is bad luck to be sailing without a name. Never christened… just bad juju. Regardless, we killed Plug, but we had no time to celebrate our victory or discuss terms with Nightmare about how we can possibly have this ship, because it sailed right into a fog bank that seemed to sail us right into some type of net anti-magic dungeon trap. We were enveloped into the fog just before hearing Nightmare yell “Noctus!!”
We landed abruptly on a beach with large rigging. We immediately started pooling our knowledge about who Noctus might be, and as I started to recall some almost ancient legends of old, Mavrick immediately pipped up and told and sang every story of history about him. I just stood with my hand on my hip and nodded along at that point with an assured look of “yeah, I knew that” as I looked further at the rigging and watched for whatever caught us to come eat. Especially since Noctus as we now were all fully educated by Mavrick, was the owner of Nidhogg, which of course was the huge dragon whose eyeball may and may not have ended up on Garvock like a shish ka bob. Heh, hey, yeah, I’m sure they won’t notice that it was me wielding Garvock, I mean, I am just a little swashbuckler. Legends are always about the talking magical weapons, right?
We did see some figures starting to approach, but just before we were able to do proper introductions, we all fell asleep. When we awoke extremely well rested I called out to Garvock. I could hear him but it took a moment for me to realize he and my bag of stuff, was not on my hip. He said he was in some type of treasure room. I asked Mavrick, Shurlok and Arakor if they had their weapons and they realized no. Suddenly this other guy pipped up, who I honestly thought was just a pile of dishes for a second, but turned out to be a rather disturbing looking Tiefling. He’s soft spoken enough right now but I get and eerie feeling talking to him, like… sure, he’s ugly but… he’s so ugly that there must be something even darker in there that makes him painful to be around. Like… bad breath, toe cheese and hangnails or something. Regardless, we realized that we could call our weapons to us, thanks to some direction from Garvok and some strategic placement of Shatral, we got all our stuff back and a few other special items.
We got our bearings and figured out that the loot room was above us, but there is many doors in this place. We started traveling though and found just a lot of magically locked doors, one hell of a cold cone blast by the way, and even a dead end. We really are just looking for stairs and maybe a way back to our ship, but the feeling we are going to be meeting up with a one eyed pissed off dragon is never that far out of the back of my mind.

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Dorric's Backstory

The process of writing is actually quite therapeutic…at least, that’s what my new companions have told me. Regardless, I suppose I will try.

My name is Dorric Grimdall. I’m a native of these waters and of the Shackles. I was born in a fishing village of no consequence to parents of no means. There was an old retired scholar who played the role of babysitter and teacher for the village’s children. A better child than I would have taken advantage of such an opportunity. However, my fiendish blood set me apart from the other children – not in looks for its touch was subtle, but in behavior. The schoolyard was often the site of brawls between myself and other children. It was there that I first killed another person.

I would have been sentenced to death if the old schoolmaster had not shipped me off in the dead of night to a former colleague of his. It was there, on the mainland and amongst a cloister of monks that I began to gain a handle on my nature and impulses. I learned to center my mind, allow my emotions and urges to pass through and to channel my energy towards the betterment of myself instead of simply lashing out.

Though I gained much from the lessons at the monastery, such a place was not ideal for an adolescent. Thus, in my spare time, I explored the cliffs and cave systems beneath the monastery – secretly hoping to find some small diversion by which to employ my training. My explorations continued for several years before I found what I was seeking…and so much more.

My final excursion from the monastery saw me reach the upper edges of the Underdark and stumble upon a colony of Myconids. I readied myself for a brawl but instead was approached by a single, older member of the colony. As its gaze passed over me, I could feel its emotions passing from curiosity to interest, and then…finally…to some sort of acceptable. It raised an appendage to me and my sense of surroundings vanished.

Recalling the vision itself is nigh impossible. All I can remember is vague, but insistent dread seemly tied to weapons of great power scattered amongst the Shackles themselves and various humanoid figures that I am sure must come to wield them or great disaster will befall these seas.

When I came to, the Myconids had vanished. However, I now had an overwhelming sense of purpose and a newfound connection to the land of my birth. I set out that night in search of the foci in my vision. Years passed in fruitless searching…until just recently.

I was out sailing when a massive fog rolled in, out of nowhere, and resisted my every attempt to dispel it. Before long, my ship ran aground on an island that I was sure had not appeared on my maps. I hoofed it to the center of the island, making my way inside the castle there in an attempt to locate higher ground and ascertain my surroundings. After that, my memory grows fuzzy. Sometime later, I awoke in a dark room – my magic seemingly spent. I had just finished preparing a new set of spells when five individuals dropped from a hole in the ceiling…

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Session 22 - Surhlock

Plugg and our ship were gone. Nightmare was killing our people looking for us thinking that we had stolen it from him. And now we learn that Plugg’s old henceman Harrigan has been killed by the pirates on the Red Line. I guess they learned that he was working for the military. Sure wish I could have been there to see that. But we have other things to deal with first. Arakor’s new weapon, Greed, can apparently scry on his brethren. So he uses it to look for Gluttony and Plugg. Unfortunately he finds Nightmare instead. Or perhaps he found us. Either way he actually comes through the scrying window with his monstrous claw and in his ever so pleasant manner tells us we are part of his crew until we recover him his ship. Well, I mean I guess I did a reasonable job of convincing him of that course of action. At least he didn’t kill us. Then even more amazingly he jams his claw into our ship and pulls all of us back through the portal to a sea somewhere. Somewhere beside his dozen or so other vessels.

Plugg only had a half day head start on us before we teleported to who knows where. Now it takes us a week of high speed (Nightmare did all of the propulsion and control) chase with Greed pointing the way. But sure enough we saw the ship in the horizon after a spell. Nightmare’s henchman cast a spell to prevent them from teleporting away, but it also limited our abilities when in the area to do so ourselves. Fortunately he could get us on the ship where it became our job to right or wrong with Nightmare.

I summoned a dire tiger to help out and we all buffed up as much as possible. But battle was going to be more difficult than expected. Maverick was babbling something about the stars and moon aligning, and that he must pray to his god to prevent the end of days from over taking all of us. Personally I think he went a little off his rocker but no amount of arguing could persuade him from his path. In the end he cast some prayer to enchant our sipping jackets with endless potions but that was all he could do. It would have to do.

Once teleported into “our” ship the battle was immediately engaged. Plugg was joined by minions and a few officers but many of the minions were already dead at his feet. We didn’t really have time to ponder. Shenora had the first strike, a lightning bolt through a bunch of henchmen. Arakor followed up by slaying two of the wounded. My tiger handled another two as did Shatral. Meanwhile I castes my most powerful (and newest trick) spell, an empowered, intensified, widened fireball. It destroyed the ten or so crew members and blasted the officers. But a wall of force protected Plugg and those closest to him.

Plugg stayed behind his wall, killing his friends and then reanimating them as zombies. But for now we were dealing with his officers and the few remaining crew members. Tony the Tiger and Shatral squared off against the crew while we attacked the officers. But they hit hard. Exploding javelins and guys that could teleport and strike us many times were doing lots of damage. And we were having a hard time healing ourselves. I had to take a whole round to help keep Shatral up and fighting and I was burning off my quickened spells at a fast pace. But we were slowly winning. Shenora got the last one to fall into a hungry pit but just in time. Her wounds were so severe at one point that I raced over and healed her as much as I could with my hex. I think she passed out for a few seconds there.

We had a couple of seconds to prepare while Plugg stayed behind his wall. I flew up and blasted the zombies with a couple of fireballs. They died and blew up in a terrific explosion blowing Plugg’s arm off. It would not last. Then he shoved Gluttony in the wall and it slowly faded. The battle was rejoined. Plugg now though was gigantic and fierce. Shatral charged in just ahead of Arakor and Shenora. But Plugg was waiting for our attack. He sliced Shatral but he did not fall immediately, yet he perished due to some death effect. There was nothing I could do. Helping Arakor get into slicing position seemed the best idea so I summoned a couple of giant cobras to help distract Plugg. And within seconds Arakor had sliced and diced Plugg into hundreds of little pieces. It was terrific. Well for us anyway.

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Session 21 - Surhlock

The tournament is about to resume and we are as ready as we think we can be, but we know that we must conserve our spells and such to make it through all four battles and defeat Plugg. For me, that means a bit more use of my hexes than usual, although I am not afraid of running out of spells as much as using up my Quicken Rod too early.

The first battle is against a handful of archers. The hit like a ton of bricks, at least with their first arrows. Arakor and Maverick contract a nasty, nasty poison while getting ice bombed. Fortunately Maverick used a Wind Wall and Shenora used Black Tentacles to keep two of them constrained and unable to blast us. We slowly beat them down from that point on but it was a careful dance for a while there. My Slumber hex and Hold Person spell were quite effective as well. Eventually Shatral got one of them inside his range and really laid into him. He had the archer in his mouth when the damn tentacles picked him up. It was quite a sight to behold if only I wasn’t worried about my friend. Little did I know my friend was going to be in for a lot more trouble in the next round.

The next round were a pair of Dread Wraiths, a caster, and a Lich. Shenora and I opened up with all of the fireballs we could muster in the opening salvo. Nothing went down, no surprise on the damn incorporeal wraiths but we did damage the two ‘real’ ones quite a bit. Arakor zoomed in and Shatral followed at his usual pace. But before i knew it Shatral was squared off against one of the wraiths. Three touches later he seemed to have almost all of his Constitution and health drained right from him. I let him counter-attack and then I pulled him out of there just as he was destroyed. Arakor and some of the others also took some nasty hits from those vile beasts. Fortunately he noticed a bag of potions laying on the caster. He deftly scooped it up as we were leaving the arena, apparently even disarming a trap at the same time. I didn’t notice a thing but I definitely noticed how that potion brought Shatral back to me.

What turned out to be the final combat of the day was a strange affair. The monk-rogue zoomed past all of us to beat on Maverick for a bit. Shenora and Arakor teleported back beside him and started attacking. Shatral ambled over although I think all he really did was to distract Arakor enough to finish him off. Meanwhile, the other three guys just closed in tight to one another behind some type of protective shield. We pondered that a bit. I threw in some snowballs which seemed to have little effect. And then Shenora had the bright idea of building a Hungry Pit beneath those burly oafs. Pretty funny. They all fell down. The she tells me to bury them in with a Wall of Stone. Why not? I rarely use that spell anyway. For fun she throws a smokestick in with them, kind of like thumbing your nose at the bully. Well, a minute or two later the pit disappears, or so we think based on the sounds but all is quiet. For good measure she does it again. And another two minutes later the pit is gone, we hear nothing, and Shenora turns my nice wall into mud. Splattered dead guys. I am not sure the crowd really liked that battle but who cares, we are victors and on our way to the final bout against Plugg.

Except. He. Doesn’t. Show. Chicken shit bastard. Worst yet, we find out he stole our bleeping ship. But before that happens we collect our prize. Arakor seems rightly giddy with his new sword Greed. I think Greed must have some mental control capabilities too because suddenly Arakor wants to hold onto his money and even sell some of his magic items. Silly shark guy. I pick up a sweet little summoning shadow staff. Totally cool. Oh and we got a nice pot of money, although we do need to put some of it into the ship’s crew fund. Maverick and Shenora volunteer to split what is needed. Damn. I mean I really appreciate it because I need to acquire some more metamagic rods. But that was a lot of money. Thanks guys.

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Session 20 - Arakor

Well, after making it to the last set of teams with this other heavily armored team, we found out that the main event battle in the next round is us against them tomorrow. So we had some time to rest and prepare. And man were we prepared. We entered the arena to thunderous applause. At least I’m assuming it was for us. We were pretty impressive yesterday. Right before the sounding of the start, we do our normal prep only this time, Suhrlock pulls out 3 huge dinosaurs to help in the battle. Very impressive. Then, all of a sudden, they start disappearing just as quickly after the paladin looking guys summon some things of their own(archons according to my guys who know things about the planes). Well, that was rather unexpected so we proceeded with our usual tactics knowing that if these guys get in their own formation, they can really put a hurting on you. So Suhrlock has Shattrall move up to engage one of the scythe wielding guys after they get off some rounds of fireballs and stuff. But, as much damage as they took, those damn archons kept healing them back up. Well, with my enhanced speed I was able to get to the scythe guy and get some attacks off but all of them are wearing damn locked gauntlets. Maybe I should learn to Sunder those sorts of things? Anyway, Jazz got separated from me between the archons and the other team of paladins moving in and blocking the way from her joining me. After some devastating rounds of attacks I finally take out the guy on me. And it took every ounce of attack I could muster. Duck and parry. Strike, riposte. Eventually, between fireballs, cones of cold, Mav turning into a dragon and breathing and healing, we eventually take the group out except for 1 who surrenders. Coward. We’re all beat to hell ourselves. But then we find out that the REAL main event will start in 3 days in back to back to back fights, so we’re gonna have to plan this out somehow because we can bet that Plugg and his crew will be the last fight and we need to make sure that we keep some in reserve for him and his guys because they’ll be the toughest of everyone I’m willing to bet.

So, with 3 days to kill and recover, we move forward with our normal logistical stuff. Gold mine is all good so we sell some stuff there. Then we proceed to the mithril mine and find there’s a problem. They tell us that Bonewrack is gone. Destroyed by someone..something. people are just dead, turned to stone, etc. Just a mess. So we head to Obses to ensure it’s still ok and luckily enough, it is. So, we decide to go see Rickity and Harrigan to see if the know what happened but Rickity wasn’t there. According to his people, he had gone to Bonewrack Isle and hasn’t been seen since. But we didn’t see him there. Well, if he WAS there and got away or got recused, Harrigna must’ve had something to do with it so we head there. And at first, it looked like a hurricane hit the place. Then as I focused more, it was more of his illusion so we proceeded to his home and who do we find there? Rickity. Minus an arm. Apparently it got cut clean off by the guy who was apparently looking for us. Apparently, the boat we’ve been so excited on getting didn’t belong to the guy we killed and took it off of. It belonged to his boss. Who is apparently a badass and near a god with the destruction he rained down on Bonewrack. I’m not sure what to do about it but we decide to gather what money we have and see if he’ll accept a replacement voucher. Because we didn’t know it belonged to him and, yeah, we’re chickening out. We ain’t fuckin with someone who can destroy an entire city on his own pretty much. I’ll make that guy my friend if I can. Who knows, if we can get him on our side maybe it’ll be good for our plans of creating the pirate lands? As for Rickity, we let him know that we’ll be back as soon as Mav is able to learn the Regenerate spell so we can give him his arm back since that’s out of Harrigan’s scope of knowledge. Overall, the plan is to rebuild on the ruins of Bonewrack for our new city for the free captains and pirates against the corrupt military. I’m glad we bought those lyres of building. And luckily our favorite blacksmith was turned to stone and not destroyed so we were able to bring him back. If only we could get our business guy back….but he’s dead dead. Until we can use something a little more powerful…..

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Session 20 - Surhlock

The next day’s battle commences at high noon. The crowd is clearly blood thirsty with anticipation but we calmly prepare for the battle ahead. I buff up Shatral with Barkskin, Shield, and some additional strength from the rod. Maverick starts to sing after casting Haste, Bless, and Prayer. And then I pull in three huge ankylosaurus to fight along side us. Meanwhile, we see the four baddies bring in four archons. Mayhaps they are not so evil after all. Then the battle begins. The move quicker than us (cause moving quicker than an ankylosaurus honestly isn’t that hard) and the next thing I know they have all been dismissed. Yikes. Those Archons are going to be trouble.

With them close together Shenora and I open up with Fireballs while Arakor and Shatral move in. One pair of dudes intercept and separate us. Arakor is on his own for the time being, and Shatral is paralyzed in fear for a round by an Archon. We keep blasting away but they are healing each other and the Archons are joining in. Fortunately they spend so much time on healing that they are not taking us down either. Arakor is wounded but standing, but and later they move close to Maverick and almost kill him. Although in dragon form he is forced to spend some time keeping us alive. And then they try to focus on me. I take a few, but my handy-dandy cloak and armor shock them back. Ha. So I Damnation Stride out of there to the other side of the arena. Ha. But they follow and attack again. Dammit. This time I Damnation Stride to Maverick’s back. Ha. So they fly up after us. Dammit. Screw that, my friends kill them off.

We have three days until the next round of battles. We are told it will be a marathon from here, three consecutive battles in one day. We will have to be a bit more prudent on saving spells to kill of Butt Plugg when we see him. But in the meantime we check in on our kingdom. We sell our loot at the gold mine. All is well there. We check on Bonewrack but the Mithril MIne informs us of a problem. Our sales outlet has been ravaged. We check and confirm that it has been totally destroyed. The entire town. And we learn that whoever did this was after us. Fortunately Obses is also okay so we go check on Rickity to see what he knows. Except he is not there and his folks are worried. Next on to Harrigan’s where we find both of them but Rickity is missing an arm. And it’s our fault. Maverick begins to pray to his god that one day he can right this wrong. I sure hope it works.

But in all despair there is hope. We start to plan. We bring a few locals back from being petrified. We start to rebuild. We are going to have a new city. A better city. We set up the core, a group of trusted allies who can work on the place while we are gone. Minus the mafia Parsaurum will be great.

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