Black Flags

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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Session 14 - Arakor

Well, after we finally did everything we needed to do here, we did alot more waiting. Sort of. A bunch of logistical stuff that Suhrlock was pretty much handling along with Shenora. We convinced one of the skilled artisans to come back to our mine as well as purchasing some more equipment to keep the people happy. We also decided to hire 3 more skilled people to help improve production as well as being able to smelt the ore into ingots. This will increase our profits quite a bit, which I am ALL for. We all needed to put our heads together to make some of the logistical decisions but it wasn’t hard once we found out the return on investment. And as this was all happening, the crew fended off a sea monster and was attacked by another pirate ship. We lost some good men, but because our guys are so good, they won and actually we were able to recruit 12 of their surviving guys onto our ship. But we had this other ship we needed to do something with. We decided to teleport to Rickety’s. After talking to him about taking this off our hands, both he and Harrigans brother teleported us back to the ship and gave us some decent coin with a friend discount. Having that Rickety and Harrigans brother on our side will pay dividends in the end. The bad news, someone noticed our paper thing for a new ship. It isn’t for a new shipo. it’s for a down payment on a new ship. And the new shipo is massively expensive. And large I’m asusming by the price tag. 1 million gold. The paper is for a down payment of 350k. e need to find a way to make some more coin betwen now and getting to Aqueduct 8.

After a lot of teleporting back and forth moving equipment and people, we got all settled and got on our way following the log pose to our next destination. But not before we planted our flag in Obses. Having these guys on our side will be a boon to business. The legit side of things. As we weighed anchor and got going, we noticed that a ship was following us. Upon further investigation, we discovered it to be a military ship. The question was whether to run and leave the possibility that they go to Obses and wreak havoc or turn around and fight. After we sailed a bit more to ensure they were following us, I went into pilot mode. I caught a wave just right and did an about face to come straight at them. Our ship is way more maneuverable than theirs. We were so quick closing that we came at them sideways and rammed them hard. Luckily my new bauble I bought for the ship worked like a charm and it took no damage, which was more than I could say for the other ship. We planned out our attack though for when we collided. As soon as we hit and stuck, a field of black tentacles was laid down to stop the advance on to our ship and it worked like a charm! The casters stayed on our ship for the most part, with Mav coming over to heal us as we tried to take on the big guy, who got even bigger as Shenora and I attempted to attack him. He was a tough bastard. Lots of spells to deflect attacks. Some got through while some seemed to get through and completely whiffed. He hit me hard MORE than a few times but Mav was right there to help. Eventually Shenora and I got into a rhythm before the bastard captain or commodore or whoever took to the air. But There was Mav and Suhrlock again with their Dispel Magic spells and brought him back down to earth and eliminated his protections to where Shenora and I could really get some hits on him and that was just the trick we needed to. After taking him out and the tentacles keeping everyone else pretty much busy, we focused on the stragglers who were smart enough to stay out of the tentacles but too stupid not to jump overboard than face us. And I cut them down as they came too. Jesus I hate those military assholes. With the ship secured and any items stowed away on to our boat that we could use(extra sails, rigging,etc) Shenora was FINALLY able to do her trick of making a ship shit its pants. It looked really weird to see a boat melt, but it definitely did it’s job scuttling the ship. We even recovered almost enough to offset the money we need to buy the new ship once we get to Aqueduct 8! And we picked up 4 more crewvmembers that were in the hold of the military ship.

We followed the log pose to our next destination. A small island with a hole in the middle and a lighthouse. We anchored and made our way to shore where there apparently lived a single hermit. We talked to him and he let us know why our log pose was pointing straight up. Apparently, there’s some sort of floating island up above and the only way to get there is to take the express route up the geyser that just exploded up from the middle of the island. The bad part? it won’t happen again for a week so we have a week to kill and for me to plan exactly how I need to run up the side of a geyser. We could fly up, but then if there’s any real loot, we’ll never be able to bring it all. No chances on that! One more little nugget the hermit provided to us? We got hoses on our log pose. It’s a 1gp log pose, not a 1000gp one. We got swindled! I’ll have to take that up with someone once we find Plunderhaven again

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Session 14 - Surhlock

Obses, property of the Mad Dogs. I like the sound of it. And I like the income it is going to generate. But I really didn’t realize how much work maintaining these properties takes. It had been about three weeks since we were at Bonewrack Isle. It was time to check in on our enterprise. The miners were getting to be a little restless, but we were able to have one of the guys really stand out as a skilled worker. This gave us the idea of hiring a few more from Obses. They’re a bit more expensive, and we had to provide them with some equipment, but we can now fabricate our own Mithril ingots. We also had a Lyre of Building fabricated so the miners and Saughin can do some renovations to put a small port on the side of the island with the mine. Then we did some diplomacy with our buyers and renegotiated terms a bit more in our favor. All in all, I think we have a much more well oiled machine running. We also decided to reward everyone with a party using a newly acquired Rod of Splendor. I think it will help keep everyone’s morale up.

While we were off doing this, our ship’s crew had their second adventure. They fought off a sea creature while we were in the ancient ruins. But their exploits while we were back at Bonewrack were even more impressive. They were attacked and fended off another pirate ship. I have no doubt Rami and Joku were of great help, and I am glad we have been outfitting the crew with high quality weapons. Unfortunately we lost a half dozen of the men, which were offset by picking up a dozen from the captured ship. I hope they are as good as the ones we lost. But now what to do with their vessel? Rickety Squibs seemed like a good option so Shenora and Arakor teleported on over to see him. They returned with Rickety and Harrigan’s brother from Bloodcove. Strange. But then he gave us 5000 gold and teleported the ship and himself away. Stranger. But hey the problem is solved and we’ve got some more loot. At least Rickety is smart enough to pay us in small gems. Oh, and the mayor found our chit for a new ship. Well, we thought it was a new ship. It’s for the downpayment on a monster ship. 1,000,000 GP. Damn. The bad news is that we are going to have to come up with another 650,000 GP when we get there. Better start saving. Well, tomorrow. Today I bought an awesome Ioun stone that makes my spells a bit more powerful.

Okay, now to follow the log pose on our journey. Except that apparently the pirates our crew defeated were being followed by the military. We didn’t want to lead them to Obses. We waffled whether to fight or run, but our bloodlust got the best of us. Or maybe I should say it got the best of Arakor. That shark thing he does has made him very aggressive. Well, he spun the ship around on its axis, riding a small crest like a champ, and the next thing I know we are in a full on attack. Maverick grabs the Lyre and starts playing. I put a wall of ice on the front to protect us from any ranged attacks on the way in. The impact with their ship was a jolt but no damage to us. Their’s didn’t fare so well. I think they thought they were to be boarded cause they were awfully surprised when we rammed and attacked. I immediately put black tentacles at the junction of the two ships. Let’s see if they can keep them away from Maverick and I. I let Shatral go with Shenora and Arakor to the stern of the ship to attack their captain, a bit gargoyle-like alchemist jerk. I could see those guys swinging and missing like crazy. Never have they had such a hard time hurting someone. Maverick helped with a few Dispel Magics. I suffocated him one round to slow him down and Flame Striked his butt another time. Eventually they prevailed against the beast. Otherwise, I spent my time working on the others, most of which ran themselves right into the Black Tentacles. Stupid arrogant fucks. Fireball. Fireball. Fireball. Like that? Lightning Bolt. Damn, they’re tough. Just go to sleep then….

Looting the ship provided us with a few goodies and better yet four new crew members who were locked in the hold. Shenora make their ship sink with a well placed petrification and stone-to-mud at the stern. And we were on our way again. The log pose took us to Crescent Isle, manned by a single hermit and his lighthouse. I tried to tell him we could just make that thing magically bright so he could leave but he says he likes the solitude. I kind of thought that was a back-handed slap to us but I let it go. His intel was good. First, he told us that the center of the island was actually a gigantic geyser, which we saw a few minutes later, and that we’d have to ride the geyser in a our ship to our next stop miles up in the sky. Well, I can fly but I shudder to think what will happen to our ship if Arakor doesn’t pilot it well on that adventure. Ugh. More interestingly, he told us that we are following the path of an el cheapo log pose. !$%!~ fucking bastard at Plunder Haven ripped us off. I am not sure when but he will pay. Then I realized another interesting fact. Butt Plugg is following a 1 GP log pose. And this guy said no one has ridden the geyser in ten years. We’re somehow ahead of Plugg. Hmm.

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Session 13 - Arakor

After we got our story straight after recovering the loot from the pirates, we went back to town to help reinstate the mayor and give some money back to the townspeople so we can get in the good graces and I must say, it paid off handsomely. Apparently, this place is known for it’s ability for item creation with lots of vendors and craftsmiths. They offered to work day and night on new items we wanted or upgrades to existing items. It took a little extra time but now my swords match and they feel so good in my hands. Got a few new items as well. Something to help keep people out of my mind…Something to make me a little harder to hit in battle too after that last fight against the pirates and the captain. Although I don’t know if it would have helped getting bit by that half-breed bastard.

Upon returning to the ship, we were alerted that someone had been sneaking around and had torn up the ship a bit. Nothing was really missing except food. But it had been recent enough so I did my thing. I was able to track the footprints to our captains quarters, followed them around(nothing was disturbed that I could tell), and they went back off the ship and disappeared into the water. Not sure who or why, but we did keep the ship on high alert after that. Just in case.

We chilled out for about 10 days while everyone was waiting to have their stuff finished up. These craftsmiths were amazing and did amazing work. On the 11th day, we went off to the ruins that we had planned on checking out. See what was there we could use and free up some space possibly for the townspeople to come and get whatever they wanted from it, if there was anything left. We took the necessary precautions to make sure we could breathe underwater.We all took the plunge into the water. We had some sharks in our way but after a few seconds, they all cleared out after I used my animal handling skills. I figured I’d give it a shot since I’ve been practicing it. Something odd happened this time though. It was like I could hear them talking and saying “food” over and over again. Maybe I’ve hit a new level of being able to handle wild animals? I"ll take it if that were the case. But it was more…MUCH more I would come to find out.

As we ventured further in, we got to a point where we reached dry land again. Well, mostly dry. Myself and Shatral scouted ahead so Suhrlock could see through her eyes and I could do my sneaking thing. After a few corners, we spotted something in a room. a room full of vermin. Giant scorpions, spiders, and some swarms. We planned ahead decent enough. Some delay poisons, an ice wall to keep one locked up in a corner room and fireballs took most of them out. With my srawmband clasp that I acquired, hitting the swarms was easy enough and we took them out in short order. I did get bit a time or two, but I was strong enough to not have the poisons take effect. After that fight, we continued along our way. The next room we came to was one full of sand. which was odd in that place. But, upon closer examination, we determined that there were 2 sand krakens lying in wait, as well as a huge crocodile in one corner and some earth elementals gliding in and out of a wall in the other corner. We knew that if we disturbed the sand, those krakens would be on us like white on rice. So we decided to avoid that and hug the wall and go to the door on the other side where the earth elementals were at but lucky for us, they paid us no mind. For the 3rd time in a row, I had to unlock a trapped door so it wouldn’t go off. And I did my thing but the flying carpet wouldn’t fir through the door so Shenora did her thing she loves doing and turned part of the wall to mud so we could just fly through. And right after we did, the earth elementals come right over. We thought we would have a fight on our hands but they just reached down and turned the mud to sand. Then, as we turned the corner,we saw the recent remnants of a camp..and the recent remnants of some shark-people. looked like they were torn in half or limb from limb. That’s when we heard the screams. We took off toward the sounds and they seemed like they were just around the next corner until, finally, they were. But it was very weird. It was like some sort of ghostly image that looked like the good captain who first took us on. Well, at least treated us fairly. But not thing image. It tore another shark guy in half as we approached. He stalked toward us and we got ready for a fight. But there was no fight. Wasn’t even a contest. He handled us like we were nothing. He bullrushed me right into a wall, knocked Shenora back about 40 feet and even almost knocked Shatral into a wall. We did our thing and didn’t even make a mark on him. He stated that we weren’t ready yet and just vanished. I don’t know what that was all about but after getting my ass handed to me, I hope he doesn’t come back.

We decided to rest for the night, get some spells back and such. I went ahead and took the 2nd shift. As I was standing watch over the group and the doors, I felt a tug at my mind. Clearly, someone was trying to do something and sicne I’m not really the one who deals with this stuff, I woke up our spellcasters to investigate and I thought Surhlock was going to go into shock. The look on his face when I woke him up was….out of place. Like I woke him up from a dream into a nightmare or something. It wasn’t until he pointed out that I took a real good look in a mirror(or something akin to a mirror). I had turned half shark! I thought about wondering aloud how the hell it cold have happened and then it hit me. The bite from that pirate captain. That MUST have been it. And while it may be a curse, it is sure feeling like a blessing with how I feel. I feel….tougher. It also explained why I heard the sharks talking to me. And while I would like to get rid of this to avoid the odd looks I’m getitng from Suhrlock, it’s geeling more like a blessing from Besmara. The ability to breathe underwater? To turn into a shark and swim with nature? He’ll just have to deal with it. Sure, I’m like a pygmy great white shark, but the important part is great white. That must be why the sharks where we entered scattered. Don’t fuck with the bad ass great white. The next morning, after everyone finally got back to sleep, we woke up and I once again untrapped and unlocked the next door. There were 2 huge adamantine hornet swarms protecting an altar with a chest on it. Or the door on the far side. We weren’t sure. They weren’t attacking us for opening the door or entering so that limited what was left. But, we wanted that chest. If it was being protected, there was a reason for it. So Shenora got to use another new handy spell that let her swap the chest on the altar with another chest we had with us. We were all for that so we made it happen. And since everything else had been trapped and locked, it was up to me to check it out. Not locked. Not trapped. But if there was something I missed, I didn’t want to make the mistake so I opened it away form me and facing the wall. That didn’t seem to matter though, the top swung all the way open and back and seemed to swallow me whole! Next thing I know, I’m seeing out like from behind a mirror and I start attacking Shatral. I couldn’t do anything. It was like watching a bad dream. I thought I killed her but I’m guessing it was close since something pained Suhrlock’s face and he seemed to absorb some of the damage done. Then I and Shenora did our thing on…me? I was attacking a mirror and she was attacking pseudo-me and together we shattered the mirror, returning me back to my old self. I did some apologizing after it happened though. I know that Suhrlock is having enough trouble with my new image but then I almost kill his eidolon. We did find a key that the mimic had on it but that was it.

After that “fun”, we decided to hug the wall and bypass the adamantine swarms. Luckily, they apparently were guarding the door because we got to it without issue and got through. On the other side though, we had to choose one of 3 doors. we went with the far right door first. After disabling the trap and unlocking it, we opened it to find it full of plants that would have attacked us if we got too close to them. We decided to wait on that one and went to door #2, which had the floor knocked out of it and a green gas on the other side. We went ahead and life bubbled it up to avoid having to breathe the gas and we alkl floated over and I did my thing. In short order too because it wasn’t just a gas cloud, but an acid cloud that started eating the carpet. We had to hurry up and get off to preserve it until we can cast a spell on it to fix it. After we put it away, we turned around to face the treasure room…guarded by a sphinx. We had 3 shots I think to solve the riddle but it only took 1. Not only does Maverick have the looks, but the smarts too. He blurted out the answer on the first shot and the sphinx just disappeared. But Mav only had eyes on the crown. AN actual crown. He put it on and apparently it’s some sort of powerful artifact that spoke to him. And it can do some really cool stuff too. Really powerful stuff. As Shenora looked around with her Detect Magic spell, she picked up a very powerful emission coming from behind a wall. And she had some fun with the wall again, melting it to mud. In the mud, I discovered a dagger…but as I picked it up, it transformed right before our eyes into a dagger and it also spoke to me. As it imparted what it could do to me, I knew that it wasn’t for me. But I knew that Shenora could put it to very good use so I handed it over to her. Now let’s check out those other rooms before we head out since the log pose is good to go for the next destination.

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