Black Flags

Session 29 - Suhrlock

We had exhausted all of our leads except to make it across the Red Line. We have been talking about the mythical beast for what seems like years and now there is no path but through it.

Noctus and his horde still scare us. We know when we are over powered. So we make plans to sneak our way there looking like one of them. I work on disguises for the party. We all agree that mundane costumes are likely best as Noctus would be able to see through illusions (not that any of us are good at them anyway).

Eventually we head off for our voyage which is thankfully uneventful until we reach the line.

Noctus has blown a huge hole into the side of the line. Literally a big red wall. His folks were in the process of fixing it and he had a small armada guarding it. Turns out they are expecting us. Turns out our disguises and Mavericks bluff are better. Turns out that only worked once. The command ships were going to be a bigger problem. I mean, how was I to know what a fleet admirals uniform looked like? Not my fault Maverick was only an Admiral. I’ll make a long story short – we ran. Shenora through up some cover which worked way better than my water wall and we scadddled through the opening. Unfortunately a bigger armada day waiting for us on the other side. Personally I was going to go down fighting but I was convinced to surrender. So we did, for about two minutes, until Barbados and Harold appeared riding our recently freed Leviation. I know pirates are mostly known as loners but we are quickly learning that good deeds are not unnoticed. Their entrance wrecked half of the ships and gave us time to get out of there.

We pause on our journey to Cannibal Island to rest and refit. Some nice fresh fruit did sound good. Strange place this side of the red line, but all that bad. Anyway, we were soon back in our way.

Reaching Cannibal Island we find that we are not surprising anyone. The welcome mat was laid out for us. Really. First time for Shatral and I. I heard this guy liked snakes so that’s probably why he was nice to us. We’ll sort of. He wanted nothing to do with giving us the last two sin weapons at first. Then he attacked us. I dunno. Seemed like another chance to get out asses kicked but we fought as hard as we could. I summoned a T Rex. It was awesome. And then it tried to eat me. WTF. Last time I do that. Stupid beast. We got rid of his vampires mostly without harm and pounded on him some. I got the distinct impression he was agreeing with us. But after a while he seemed us worthy and teleported our if there. Hey, I can’t get any of my teleport spells to work around here. No fair. Oh well. He left the weapons. Now where is Noctus again?

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Session 29 - Rami

Well now, we had a really quick discussion on our island, deciding we had to go past the Red Line. It was time. I made sure to talk out disguises and code signals for our ship. You know, anything that would make it more likely that we’d make it past and Noctus ship. All preps done, we set out.
I was kind of worried about Dork, he was really quiet during everything. I just couldn’t convince him to be livelier. So, we get to the Red Line, and it was not at all what I expected, an actual fucking wall. I kind of thought it would be more of a metaphorical wall. Oh well, we discuss options, like diving under the water to go through, diplomacy or fighting. Underwater turned out to be no good since the hole in the wall was literally something to be sailed through. Fighting through seemed like sure death. So, Diplomacy was our option. I went over the things I’d remembered so Sweetheart could be prepped, and the others helped him with other stuff. I gave him a confidence building kiss on the forehead, and went back to my post. He went a little off script in the threats, but his improv worked great. Thing was, it wasn’t likely to work on the 2 really big ships by the hole. We talked about options for getting past the two big ships, and the people lining the wall through the hole. Shenora wanted to use her distraction spell, and that seemed like a good idea. We also agreed, that she and I would find a way to deal with the people on the inside. Surhlock was ready to do wind and water stuff to get us through, Arakor was our master sailor (we had to have the most skilled pilot to make this work), and Sweetheart raised the morale of the crew. There we are, all prepared, and wouldn’t you know it, the big ship had some fancy big wizard on board, and he nullified Shenora’s spell. Damn, it was action time. Some quick thinking saved all of us, we really thought as a team. Arakor got the ship moving pronto, I distracted the pilot’s area of the second big ship, Surhlock made a water barrier for the second, Shenora blocked up one side of the wall inside the hole. After my distraction, I remembered Barrage, and took out all the people on my side of the inside wall. Shenora then had a genius idea, to put Hungry Darkness in the entrance to the hole, it shut down following up.
So, wer’e through, and all is golden, right? No. Another big Noctus fleet on the other side, and they are ready for us. This was gonna be bad… Pretty clear they had us, and we could either die, try to abandon everything to escape, or surrender. None of us liked it, but surrender seemed like the best option because we’d escaped a Noctus prison before. There was some little shit taking enormous glee from capturing us. We all pretty much tore down his ego. Talking lots of shit about him, and I pointed out every imperfection in his uniform. He told us to lay down our weapons and sit down. Again, everyone rebelled. I just didn’t like his attitude, so I said “Fuck you, I’m not standing or sitting”, and then I took a knee. Just as he was ready to poutgasm, his day got a lot worse. Harold and Barbados came to us riding the Leviathon, you know, like it was a mount. They got us out of there, and destroyed a lot of that Noctus fleet.
What a happy reunion. I made sure to check in with Shenora to make sure her being pregnant wouldn’t ruin her wedding with Harold. She was looking a little sheepish, so I decided to give her a gift. Oh damn, I forgot to give her the hedgehog! Luckily I remembered I had that silver coffer on my robe, and gave it to them. Well, I gave it to Harold since Shenora ran below deck (I guess she really had to use the toilet). While they were down there, we kind of noticed that Barbados was dying. Sweetheart wasn’t able to do anything much about it because it seemed like a strong curse. Harold and Shenora came back up and we were starting to think the dude was a goner (and some didn’t have much of a problem with that). The problem seemed to be that whatever body came back would have the same problem, so I suggested that we kill him and reincarnate him. Seemed like a loophole, and the others agreed it would be a good plan. Who should do the dirty work though? Shenora didn’t want to kill her future brother-in-law, and the rest seemed likely to overdo it in front of Harold. So, I volunteered. No fuss approach, say something nice to the dude, and then stabbing him in the heart. I heard a bit of scoff over a knife being able to kill Barbados, but then they realized that, if he wanted it to affect him, it would. Spell cast, wait for effect, and then he’s an Orc. Well, briefly, and then Harold changes him back. He tells us about the island and the inhabitant, some snake dude. Ok, so poison control. I was ready to go when Shenora points out that resupplying would be a good idea. We pick an island, and set sail.
I have more rope burns and manacle marks, and someone drew some very unflattering messages onto my face. I wish I could remember what happened since it seems like we had a party. Then I got really tired, and woke up a few days later. The crew seemed really happy to see me until I saw something they needed to clean. One of them whispered “Why isn’t he doing it today?” Not sure what that’s about.
We make it to the island, and we go to the docks. Almost snuck in, but saw that Noctus doesn’t seem to control anything here, so just be ourselves. We go shopping, and I give ideas about items I’d seen listed as good for poison immunity and help with curses (lucky I saw that inventory wish list from the Hag back in Niddhog’s Grave!). Sweetheart and I finish early, so I suggest he find out what he can about the Cannibal Islands. We just got that people avoid it. Seemed a bit sparse for an island in the greater area. I suggest we go to the city archives or library. Sweetheart again does the talking, and discovers that it is a citizen only place, and citizenship is proved by some papers. We go find Arakor and have him steal some papers and check them out, he says he can forge them. I then make sure to ask the magicy people to check them out, and there are arcane marks on them. I was ready to go from there, but Arakor says we should get the stolen papers back. He leaves that to Sweetheart to offer that he was returning lost papers. Worked well enough, so on to the library. Super well organized place, but SO MANY LINES. Get in a line to find out what line to go to. Get in a line to request permission for entrance. Get in a line to verify papers. Get in a line to check for appointment slots. Get in a line for a second official to stamp the paper as valid. Get in a line to enter your needed room. Get in a line in that room for validation. Get in another line to go to the bathroom. The others then say it was super easy with arcane marks. Smug bastards… Anyway, we find a map section that shows the islands as previously known as the Kazabon Islands. That map sets off alarms and we have to talk out way out, but Arakor notes the place they took the restricted stuff (could come in handy later). We leave the island without having destroyed property or killed anyone, very successful and kind of disappointing at the same time…
Arakor finds a way to the island. Barbados gives us more info. We get to the main island, and a castle is lit up with welcome messages. I thought this was a stealth mission, but Barbados said he went through the same thing. Well, they laid out a red carpet for us, like literally. I strutted up, and made it look good. Shenora forgot to clap, but at least she giggled. Get in the castle and see dude that did Barbados in, and then Barbados drops. Someone mentioned that this was getting expensive, and I pointed out that Harold is loaded, so he can afford to pay to bring his brother back to life. Shenora seemed unhappy about that. Was I rude again? Sometimes I don’t know. Meh, they’ll let me know.
I chatted up dude, and he traded his throne for the swords from Noctus. He seemed like we should know who he was, and I let him know gently that we didn’t. He was grateful. I tried to negotiate a trade, but we couldn’t come to an agreement, so Option C. Some vampire minions of his teleport in. I focus on them, and kill a couple. It is nice how they poof into smoke when done. Then we beat him down, until almost death before he teleports away. Sigh. We loot the place, and kill all the vampire asleep. I wanted to take a little one with us, but I was vetoed. It really would be inconvenient to be one with the whole running water problem. Outside we find Pride and Lust, and a note. Note gives coordinates, and Sweetheart tells us about a history of a Pirate Prince named Kazabon (like the island), and his throne. Pertinent to what Noctus is doing. I ended up choosing lust. I like him already. Dork is going to get Pride if Arakor doesn’t find a way to trade.
I wonder how Madame Queen is doing with our island’s admin. I bet things are gonna be super cool when we get back. Mini me is probably doing lots of fun stuff too. Well, that is for later. Now I need to finish my clay sculpture I’m making for Surhlock of him in battle pose, and Lust has some fun suggestions.

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Shenora 29

It’s been a few weeks now since Harold let me know that I must be pregnant. I am not exactly sure how that Santa guy knew, but he let me crew know, and true or not they seem to be delighting in the tale that I am with child. I must admit, the discussion after Harold alerted me to my possible state is one I don’t remember as I was probably in some state of shock. I mean, he’s the most powerful magician I have ever met sands crazy Noctus. You’d think he could turn off that tap or something.
When we crossed into the red line and met the fleet of ships ready to have for dinner, Harold and Barbados came and joined us for a Leviathan ride. As soon as Harold arrived the crew started in… no mercy, making jokes and planning festivities. It was just way too much for me to handle and I ran away under decks. Sethi was the one who really had my eyes rolling back in my head.
What I didn’t expect was that Harold came down after me. That was so embarrassing, I hate acting like a girl. I just looked up at him and he came and gave me a big hug. It was so weird, I haven’t ever felt this before…. my eyes were tearing up. This feeling all teary and sick all the time is for the birds. But Harold didn’t seem to be laughing at me.
“I don’t want to tell you what to do, but I really wish you would use magic and not reach for that sword. I fear that if you get hurt, you might hurt the baby.” I stayed still with my head against his broad chest. It was an entire conversation in a two-sentence statement. He was worried about the baby. There was no question of if I wanted it. He was letting me know he wanted it, and a way that appeared he didn’t know it before, but now he did.
“It’s not going to make a difference if we can’t stop Noctus.” I reminded him. “First things first I suppose.”
“We might have a few things to figure out.” Harold smiled. He reached down and gave a very sweet kiss as his thumb traipsed down my cheek, drying the tear that escaped.
“I didn’t tell the crew anything…” I began to explain. “They are idiots with good hearing I suppose.”
“It’s fine,” Harold said. “If you can get around it being offended by it, it can be very entertaining.” I pulled back and looked at him in astonishment.
“Are you laughing at me too?” I asked.
“I’d rather be laughing with you.” He smiled.
“Ok,” I whispered and nodded. “Let’s go back up and be entertained.” He kissed me one more time, wrapped his hands around my thighs and started to kiss me even more passionately than before. I responded in kind, before a larger wave of hit the ship and knocked us a bit off balance. We recovered but it was enough to sober us to the moment and realize where we were. He smacked my butt as I turned and we went back to top deck.
Barbados had a nasty wound that was eating his arm off, and Sethi had come up with a rather genius way to cure him. We had to kill him, then reincarnate him and let his body grow hold again. Then Harold was able to make him strong again. Barbados was able to share the thing he was bested by, and we decided a stop at a local port might help us better prepare. They told us about how they had already made their way up here to try to retrieve Lust already. It was a battle and it was the curse that got the best of them. The guys were off getting papers for us, and Harold and I went shopping.
“What about this?” I turned around and there was Harold holding up a full plate metal suit.
“Not really my style.” I grimaced.
“I think it would look good on you.” He said with a smirk, but turned to put it back down. Then he grabbed a shield. “This?”
“Little big,” I said. “If I use anything it’s a buckler. Why are you pointing out everything that is locking me up?”
“I just want you to be safe. Make you a bit harder to hit, ya know.” He justified.
“Well, I don’t think any of that stuff will work now or later. I can’t really grow out in a tin can or keep balance with a belly and a tower shield.”
“Good point I suppose.” He said as he moved over to the case. I was looking at a new sword sheeth that applied poison, but realized that I might be at risk for poisoning myself if I tried it. When I turned around looking down the cases, Harold appeared in front of me holding out an amethyst jewel dangling from gold and silver linked chain, with stiffened wire. It was beautiful and I could tell it was magical.
“What is that?”
“It’s yours.” He placed the edged behind my ears and settled the jewel upon my head so it dangled on my forehead. He pushed my hair back down around my are and it fell over my shoulder. I gave him a knowing look. “Ok, it’s also a protection from curses. I’d rather not have to kill my brother and girlfriend in the same lifetime.”
I caught a glance of myself in the mirror and looked as Harold stood over me seeing our reflections suddenly captivating. His broadness seemed to dwarf me, as if I could fit in his pocket. He placed his hand gently on my shoulder and smiled. “Looks good” he said either at the headband or the picture in the frame.
“Ok, I guess we don’t need to look anymore.” And walked to pay the merchant.
“Hang on,” he suggested. “Let’s get your amulet enhanced again too.” I rolled my eyes but understood his protective vibe, so I just nodded and looked at more gems.
We caught back up to the crew, who managed to stay quiet and get the maps and supplies we needed without killing or pissing anyone off. Life is feeling a bit too mild for what we are about to face. I don’t want to get too hopeful or fearful of the future or this parasite growing inside me, because if we can’t stop Noctus, nothing will matter.
More days of sailing, which was exciting because for us, we were in new territory. Nights were even more fun below decks with Harold traveling with us. Before long we landed at the isle under the cover of darkness, which lite up upon our arrival. There was a sign that said “Welcome Madd Dogs.” We went in and met the undead snake guy who apparently makes deals for souls. I offered Noctus’s soul but he was clear he had no soul any longer. We looked over and noticed that Barbados’s arm started rotting off again and a rapid pace. Harold was doing everything he could to keep him alive and he looked to be in a great amount of pain. We also noticed quickly that this snake guy, had both Lust and Pride. We tried to see if he wanted to trade Lust and Pride but we didn’t have enough interesting souls we were willing to give up. It was inevitable that we were going to have to kill the thing, so I finally called him a name and off we went.
The first thing he did was summon some vampire things. I did take cover under a force shield and wield some spells because I wasn’t really wanting to have an undead baby. Plus, I could tell when I hit him the first time, Harold was burning his eyes into the back of my head. Eventually we ended up defeating the snake king, but he simply gave up the swords and left saying he would come back to collect later. He left a note and some coordinates as well as some information about his throne that we now know Noctus has control over. Apparently he must think he’s a pirate king now. Kazabon is the name of an island that keeps coming up. But first we have a castle here to look around.

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Session 28 - Arakor

Dude, that was a LOT of reading. I don’t think the drinking helped out but I was able to decipher enough I think. ok, so each of these sin weapons also has a crystal that goes with it to match it up and become more powerful. It took us forever to find the sin weapons we have and the books don’t say anything about where to find the crystals other than they were separated so they couldn’t be rejoined and used for evil. Luckily, Shenora and Mav had ideas on how we could locate the crystals. Some sort of spell that lets them “see” the history of an item. I was really hoping they could figure something out because Noctis is getting too powerful to deal with and this seems like our only option. And every time he destroys a city, he’s really digging into our profit margin. To everyone’s relief, Mav and Shenora were able to figure out not only where the crystals were, but where the last 2 sin weapons were. Well, relief and horror because while Pride used to be with the one Harrigan brother, he’s apparently dead and now Noctis has the Pride sin weapon. And without that weapon, we can’t figure out where its corresponding crystal is. We also found out that Lust is on some sort of Cannibal Isles past the red line. Which is also where Noctis is. Over the course of a couple more days, we get locations on the rest and I’m not real happy about it. The other 7 crystals are virtue crystals. The first crystal we find out about is Gragas, which is also known as Diligence, is on a gold ship. A gold ship? Sounds awesome. Also sounds familiar. Where was that? Oh yeah, Lightning McQueen had it on the floating island until we freed the dragons and shot it up into the sky far and away. Apparently it’s stuff somewhere between the heavens and the clouds just floating around. The 2nd one we find out about is Patience. Killian(Patience) is on an island of Besmara worshippers and goes with Shenora’s Wrath sword.Where to start?

First, we started by scrying on Killian and finding this island. All manner of races and creatures, just worshipping Besmara. I mean, she’s worth it. She’s awesome. However, we needed that crystal. We teleport in to the island and walk right now. Everyone is just praying effectively. After a little talking, Shenora just walksup to it and asks if she can hold the chalice that the crystal is embedded in and they just calmly agree. She looks at it, pops the crystal out and then we pop out just before everyone comes out of their stupor and starts attacking each other. This is going to be a bloodbath and I want nothing to do with this. However,I will have no issues coming back after it’s done to do some cleanup work and take whatever is left.

Next, we headed to talk to Nightmare really hoping he’d help us out. We have an idea where the ship is but because it keeps moving, we can’t teleport to it and no spells will allow us to fly up to is long enough. Knowing how dire things are though, nightmare agreed to do his claw-time rift thing and opened a portal to the ship. As soon as we get there though, there’s this really shiny dragon on the deck and he is NOT happy to see us. But, we got a bit of a jump on him so we all dive in the best we can hoping he doesn’t use his breath weapon because I remembered what happened when Shenora used a spell that twinkled like this dragon. He did breath, but I was lucky enough to not be near it. Everyone else got out of it mainly unscathed and this thing to to the air. I took this as a chance to go find the friggin crystal while they did all of their ranged attacks against it. I wouldn’t be any help with my little bow. Searched the main level….nothing. Went below to try and find it when Suhrlock activated his magic eyes and didn’t see it down here either so we headed back to the main deck(but not before I got a few little things from this treasure hoard myself). Surhlock magic eyes’d the boat and found it way up at the top of the mast. Nightmare yelled something about losing his grip so Dorric scrambled up the mast and got the crystal and fell back down to the deck. We all ducked back through the portal before the dragon decided to come back. But note to self…lots of gold on the golden ship. The next 2 we attwmpted to figure out where Gluttony and Envy. Temperance(Gluttony’s other half) is in Aqua 8. Sheridan(Kindness) is in a large city on Motaku Isle. Seems some large guy in a red hat giving out presents has it.

Next, it was to the one I was looking forward to least. Echo was with the Leviathan. You know, the big bad one that wanted us to release it. Well, after teleporting there and going exactly to where we knew it to be, we had to strike a bargain to release it. Some sharks had gotten in and were nibbling at him. Not doing much but it was annoying him. And we had to release him. In return, he would allow us to go stop the sharks and get the crystal out of him. I really am hoping we dont’ have to go out the other end with this thing. This is already gross enough. So, while in half shark form, I swim down with Dorric who also turned into a shark. We make our way down and, once again with magic eyes, we find the crystal. it’s lodged into one side of his belly. With a little force we pry it out and as soon as we did, the Leviathan started going bananas. Dorric dimension doored us far enough away though to catch up with the rest of the team before the Leviathan slinked down into the deep only to explode straight up into the middle of the city. I totally didn’t want to see that aftermath.

After this, we headed to Motaku Island to find Sheridan and the hat wearing gift-giver. It was a bit of a trek but we sort of located him. I say sort of because he was fast. I mean, really fast. Dorric tried catching up to him and as he caught up to him, the guy stopped, handed him a present, then took off again. Dorric tried grabbing him but he was just too fast. Rami went next and the same thing happened because I think he was really more about getting a present instead of actually catching the guy. I also tried to catching him and just take the hat but I couldn’t snag it in time. Although, I did receive some nice gloves from him. Which helped since it was cold up here on the mountain. Everyone else got a present too before I sneakily snatched the hat off his head. And once it was off, this dude was NOT happy. Not with us, but just in general. Apparently he was the exact opposite of kind. Not that I blame him after being put under a spell. But I bet he’ll miss that speed eventually. We got what we came for and headed back to our stomping grounds. Now, there’s just 1 more weapon to find the crystal for of the ones we have in our possession…Chellan. He’s resisted my attempts so far to give him to someone else to handle so we can find it.

In the morning, Chellan and I have a little talk. I know he doesn’t want the crystal because it wants him to be different. But we need it so this time there was no negotiation. I forced him to relent and gave him to Shenora to examine. he got us back real good though. Where was Yorick, otherwise known as Charity? In Aqua 8. Yeah, that Aqua 8…the one we just let the Leviathan destroy. After some scrying though it didn’t look like he completely destroyed it. What we did see was the crystal embedded in a throne while the Queen was shackled up. Taken prisoner by what was left of Noctis’s men for giving away stuff. We freed the queen and took the crystal. Hopefully she can get Aqua 8 back to it’s former glory. I’m thinking we should claim it though. I mean, our very own people to make ships and stuff? Or ships to sell back? The possibilities are endless. Next though…how the hell do we get past the Red Line without alerting Noctis. we need to get Lust and find it’s crystal….I hope it’s in the same area.

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Session 28 - Suhrlock

So now we had all three books that hopefully tell us how to defeat Noctis using the sin weapons. It took Arakor another week to read them. Sure glad Noctis is still busy on the other side of the Red Line. Anyway, he finally emerges from his hut to tell us the news. And like usual, the first thing he wants is his cut of the stakes. Greed is at it again I suppose. The answer, we don’t need just the seven sin weapons. We need their corresponding virtue gems which someone meld with the weapons to make… nuclear bombs (whatever those are)? I dunno but I guess we will find out.. Ugh, how do we find those. Fortunately the guys have a plan. Maverick and Shenora know spells that can trace the past of the sin weapons to see where and when the gems came off. Go there, get them, and job is all done.

One is out in space. No really. It is floating in with the stars on the damn golden ship that used to hold our island up. Okay. We have a plan Life Bubble. Greater Teleport. Get it and get out. Except there was a prismatic dragon guarding it. Yikes and double yikes. The thing about prismatic dragons, apparently, is that they are smart. Smart enough to get out of there before we kill it. We eventually find the gem up in the crow’s nest. Surprisingly Rami wasn’t up there from the start. Anyway, we got out of Dodge as soon as we had it. It is then that we realize that we cannot mate sin to virtue without a special ceremony. Best to find all of the gems first.

Another gem was inside the belly of the Leviathan we met last week. A little Aquan negotiations and he was more than happy to let us take it back. Turns out after eating it, Mr. Levi was simply too passive for his own taste. We needed Arakor to swim inside and make the shark parasites chill out, but the gem was ours.

Number three was owned by this crazy guy named Nick. Apparently he was once super rich and now he is super generous. And apparently this is my gem. I gotta be careful once I get a hold of it. Anyway, it turns out he is generous even with his funny gem hat. But before we get it he gives all of us gifts. And my gift may change my life forever. This gem allows me to control the special abilities of one of my summons, including the mad mothmen that I have been toying with. You see, they can cast almost any spell if it suits fate to their favor. It was always hard to get them to do my bidding. But now, it is my bidding and I can cast so many spells. Sure, each time I summon one of these guys they can only do it once a day before they get burned out. But I can just toss that one back and get a different one summoned. Shatral has been unhappy with me for the past couple of weeks already. This is only going to make it worse. I wonder if we are reaching the end….

Anyway, I digress. We learned that Noctis has a sin weapon and its gem. We know another weapon is on Cannibal island across the red line. Time to get to work.

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Session 28 - Rami

So, we got back, and what do you know, it was pay time!! I sure do not envy Surhlock that job, but definitely has a knack for it. Well, Arakor was going to need some time to read the books, so I needed some things to do. Then I had the greatest idea ever! Just had to check with the old woman about it, and she dug around and found one, a Pearl of Mind Seed. Now I just needed to find someone physically spry, but kind of foolish from our knew secondary crew. Found him and hit him with it. He looked confused, and had to sit down. I walked by and gave him a composite longbow saying “you’re gonna need this later”. I think he only needs a week to cook, and then we’ll have another me!! My friends are going to be beside themselves with joy!

I spent most of the following two weeks with Dork and Sweetheart. In most weeks I had weird dreams, but a bit different. Oh well, still haven’t gotten info on the dreams. First week, I’m told I was “psychotic” again, but no one was upset (BTW, how did I get all of these rope burns, and manacle marks? Guess I should ask Sweetheart). Second week was a little weirder. I woke up with more pillows than usual around me, big fluffy ones too. I thought I must have woken up somewhere else, but found that it was my room. As if that wasn’t strange enough, I found a gleaming white scroll case with a scroll of nice papyrus inside. It talked about the virtues of being “helpful” and serving others. I put it in the bag with the creepy skin book. I really need to find the owners of these, they look too valuable to just accidentally leave behind. Then I went out again, and people kept thanking me for changing their lives for the better, how I spent days bathing the poor, and buying food for them. Someone said I was the purest person they’d ever met… Did someone drug me with happy juice or something?

Well, two weeks were up, and Arakor talked about gems for their weapons. So, Dork and I spent the time helping the others make their weapons nice. There was some dragon in a weird place on a golden ship, and a cool guy that gave me a gift. Oh, and we let loose the Leviathon to get one. Shenora was briefly as to a goddess to a bunch of people. We think taking her stone means they’ll all kill each other, so we should go back and loot that island.

Oh, best news yet! Shenora is pregnant! Seems like the wedding is on pause until the baby is born. I let the whole town know, and they are planning on throwing her a baby shower. I gave them some ideas, and told them to spread the word quiet-like, we want this to be a surprise!!

Last, I met up with Me 2, and he is doing well. He has dramatically improved in sailing abilities, has a super personality, has gotten the psionic thing, and is a whizz for archery. I can’t wait to show him to my friends. Another funny thing, he handed me a raffle ticket to me, and I figured out that was the one I planned on winning. What luck!

Attitudes to others
Rami (CG): Arakor – killing friend, Maverick – Sweetheart, Dorric – best friend, Surhlock – mentor friend, Shenora – leader friend
Rami “psychotic” (CE): Arakor – Kill with, Maverick – confused on kill status, Dorric – Will not kill, Surhlock – Try not to kill, Shenora – Inconvenient to kill
Rami “helpful” (NG): Arakor – admires ambition, Maverick – true joy to know, Dorric – true friend, Surhlock – admires wisdom, Shenora – admires grace

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Session 27- Shenora

We have been trying to make our way to Plunderhaven for a while now, mostly out of curiosity but now because we are in search of the two other books that might help us solve the puzzle of the sin weapons and unlock the artifact that is powerful enough to overcome Noctis. As curious as I was however, I haven’t been feeling well. I thought perhaps it was a poison tipped blade but the effects are sticking with me much longer than any other poison I have heard about. I do hope it goes away soon, but the idea of going out into the open sea really did turn me green. I felt pretty embarrassed about the fact a couple of waves might make me lose my lunch over the side of the ship in front of our new crew. So I told the guys to go ahead without me. They assumed it was to stay with Harold, and I didn’t correct the assumption because it was better than the truth. A pirate who suddenly has become sea sick, yeah that’s a great reputation. It’s hard enough to hold my own as a woman on a ship, so I can’t lose any credit by tossing cookies. I went back to Nidhogg’s Grave, and got a room at the new inn.
I spent the first entire day just sleeping. It was the first time I think I have slept for more than 14 hours without it being spell induced. It was mid morning when I heard a soft knocking on the door. At first I thought I imagined it, but it persisted. I figured it was probably the innkeeper needing something but I still didn’t feel good so I just pulled the covers up over my head. Clearly I have a sickness and he’d thank me later for not getting him sick too. A few moments later I heard the distinct sound of a spell being cast, as my door unlocked itself and it slowly began to open. I readied my hand to grab Garvok as I pushed my hair out of my face to see my intruder.
Peeking though the crack was a doe eyed Harold. I pulled back my hand from Harold as I tried to hide my embarrassment of being sick.
“Harold? What are you doing here?”
“I heard you were still in town. Are you alright?” He asked with serious concern on his face.
“Oh,” I realized he was disappointed that I hadn’t gone on to help the Madd Dogs find the other books. “It’s a little embarrassing,” I admitted, “But I think I have been bested by some type of sickness. I’m sure it’s just temporary, but I didn’t want to get everyone else sick.”
“Were you poisoned?” He asked.
“Stop with that.” I said. “I know how you feel about me using a blade and spells. I don’t think I was poisoned.” I tried to straighten out my expression as he shot me a shaming look.
“Magic is safer, that’s all I’m saying.” And he stepped inside and started to remove his heavy coat.
“I’m not sure you want to come in. You don’t want to catch whatever this is I have.” I said, really wanting to hide my bedridden unwashed body from his site.
“I’ll take my chances.” He said as he removed something from his bag. “I brought you something, to make you feel better.” I half expected it to be some type of slave or herbs he would want me to blend up into a juice.
“Am I going to have to drink it or wear it?” I asked. Harold smirked a wild eyed side glance.
“While wearing it sounds intriguing, I do think you’d rather eat it.” He revealed a plate of warm bread pudding with candied boiled plums. One of my most favorite desserts. It appeared to still be warm.
“Oh my goodness! Harold, you really can be sweet when you want to be. Better not let anyone know about that.” I winked as I sat up in bed, pulling my hair back off my shoulders and tying it into a quick knot to keep it from looking too messy. He came over and sat on the side of the bed holding the plate and a fork. I looked up at him and leaned over the plate to smell the perfect scent of… and then it happened. I jutted over to the other side of the bed as fast as I could and threw up. Harold froze as I couldn’t seem to catch my breath.
Each time I tried to look up, I couldn’t bring myself to look at him with the bread pudding.
“I’m sorry,” I finally said not looking up. "Something about the bread pudding… There seems to be something wrong with it. "
"Hmmmm… " Harold said. “I don’t think it’s the bread pudding, but I could feel him move it away from me.” When I finally looked up he still just sat there with a small smirk on his face.
“You don’t have to say and watch me be sick. This is disgusting.” I said incredibly embarrassed. I felt a wet rag on my head and while it felt very comforting, it did startle me a bit. “I don’t want you to get sick.”
“I don’t think what you have my dear, is anything I can catch.” Harold said. There was something about the sound in his voice that gave me the courage to look at him finally, and when I did he looked to be panicked and snarky in the same second. I was confused, but couldn’t ask him to clarify because the bread pudding was in the same room still and I got a whiff of it, and began to dry heave.

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Session 27 - Suhrlock

It is hard to describe to others what it is like to be a summoner. On one hand, I can bring countless beasts into the world to do my beckoning. Mindless nothings that mean little to me, but handy to no end with the myriad of options at my finger tips. Or I can have trusty Shatral by my side. Sure, he is more limited in skills but way more powerful in a fight. Frankly, I just feel better with him by side. Yet even though I know death is not permanent for him – he just gets banished to his home plane where I can recall him a while later – I still hesitate to order him to battle. He is not mindless and means something to me. Getting him banished feels like I let him down. I know he only wants to serve and protect me, but don’t I owe him to protect him too. And last week I failed. I wasn’t paying attention to him. I was too into my own self and my own spells to notice the hit that he took. I could have saved him. I’m sure of it. He probably knows it to. I am going to have to make it up to him somehow.

I believe the others have recounted our tales of adventure quite well. In search of two more books we went. To Aquaduct 8 and then back to the fallen Plunderhaven. Seems we have been trying to get there for weeks but always something comes first. And to do so without Maverick meant that I had to put on my happy face. I didn’t want to. Even when Shatral was nearby it felt different. Tense. I am not one for many words or reassuring talk. I must show him through actions. But not this week. We are over-matched by Noctis and his armies. To make matter worse, Shenora was strangely quiet and missing (I am guessing it something with her and that demi-god magician). So for now we are living off of stealth and disguise. Not Shatral’s forte if I do say.

In the end, it all seems to have worked out for the best though. Well most of it. We learned a bit out the inner workings and history of Aquaduct 8 (keep feeding the best or get far, far away). We found Plunderhaven and the second book. We didn’t die.

Now if only LJ didn’t get away…. He might come in handy some day. I’m still pissed about the whole logpose thing, and Arakor holds a grudge like no other. But the man seems to have some skills. I ain’t never going to trust him, but from one pirate to another, he has proven to be resourceful. Let’s see if he can also be useful.

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Session 27 - Arakor

After a week of drinking and reading the book while the others tended to their own things, it all still seemed very confusing to me. I don’t think it was because of the alcohol though. Things became a bit clearer after we went to go to to the special shopkeeper lady about the book and she let us know that there were actually 3 books in total. We found out that the military had one of the books before everything went south and the other happened to be at Plunderhaven although the person who owned it wouldn’t sell it to her. They apparently knew it was kinda important I guess. Sigfried said he would look into getting the book from the military side of things. As I shook his hand, I slipped a little piece of our ship’s wood into his belt pouch. He wouldn’t tell us where they might have kept it hidden so I figured this way, when we see him again, we can do some sort of teleporting spell or scrying or something to see where they are keeping their important items for us to get later. I mean, they dont’ really exist any more so they shouldn’t really need them. And if they are working for Noctis, he REALLY doesn’t need any more weapons in his arsenal.

Now, we need to figure out where Plunderhaven is. But that could be anywhere. After some asking around, we find out that some escapees of the demolition got to Aqua 8, so that would be the best place to start. We also found out that Aqua 8 is under Noctis’s control now. Some of us wanted to just teleport there but Nightmare wasn’t having it. He said he’s help get us there, but he’s done fighting for a while. But he’ll only go by ship. not a problem for me. I don’t get to pilot the ship enough as it is so I’m down for a road trip. And we still have the Noctis flag we can try to slide our way in undiscovered. Rami said that Mav was staying behind to help the injured people still, which was ok since this was just an information gathering mission anyway. Shenora was also staying behind as well, although we really could have used her. I think she wanted to spend more time with Harold before this gets underway for some serious world changing shit possibly. But, she knows how to get to us if she needs to teleport to us when she’s ready.

After 3 days of travel, we’re within sight of Aqua 8. And since we had to take to open water, we made sure to fly the Noctis flag in case we came across anyone. Well, we didn’t while we were on open water but as we approached the city, we saw a Noctis ship, then a 2nd, then a whole fleet. Good god there were a lot of them. But Surhlock made the ship look good and we were all outfitted to look like Noctis employees. We even disguised the ship to look like the one we had taken and given to Nightmare. Once in dock, we see an entire galleon of austerians and lots of Noctis people. Uniformed type soldiers. And everyone either looking like beggars or wearing a Noctis pin to show their loyalty. I’m guessing the ones without the pins aren’t loyal. Maybe we can get some of them to come work for us. But with mine and Rami’s demeanors, we weren’t going to get any information. Best way would be to ask around in taverns and nobody is going to speak to us. Not nicely anyway. So, out of the 4 taverns, we randomly pick one. Rami, Dorric and I were following Suhrlock from the shadows. I mean, if something goes down, I don’t know what’ll happen. As we’re watching him go into the first one, he comes right back out again. Apparently, it was a Noctis supporter tavern. Not gonna get anything there. We decided to go to the poorer part of town. Probably the better way to go about things.This time we scouted it out first, checking to see what the clientele at this establishment looked like and lucky for us it was all downtrodden people. So Surhlock magic’ed out of his Noctis supporter attire to his regular attire right before going in. He was in there for about 10 minutes or so before coming back out and telling us that there was someone who was in jail and heard 2 guards say something about some prisoners and Plunderhaven. Great, so now we have to break into a jail unnoticed and find 2 people who might know where Plunderhaven sank? And to top it all off, the jail is in a section of town surrounded by unclimbable walls. So how do you get into a place surrounded by walls? The only way of course….the sewers. We stealthily(some more than others) traverse the exterior wall and happen to find a grated opening. Except the grate is cemented in place and not just a locked gate. We do have some ways around it but it could be a one way trip for a couple of us so we want to make sure it’s the right way first. Surhlock changes into a smoky cloud of gas and goes through the bars(which were still too tight for me to squeeze through) and does some scouting. Apparently, it dead ends into another grate so this is a dead end for us at this point. After doing some more searching, we found an ungrated pipe, although it was below water so we’d have to swim for it. Personally, I have no issues with that. Rami wasn’t too keen on it though but decided it was our only way in. We dive in and swim for it after Dorric casts some spells on them to be able to breathe underwater. I politely refused, what with my were-shark abilities and whatnot allowed me to change into a full shark. I don’t think Dorric was expecting that but he got to see it first hand as I dove off the cliff and turned into the shark before hitting the water. I’m guessing he thought he was the only shapeshifter in the party. We go through the pipe which eventually come to a large cavern-like area. With the way the pipe looks, it looks like it just broke off and fell into the darkness below. It should have the pipe on the other side but I can’t see it. So, we decide to hug the wall and follow it around to the right. We came across an opening that I think just led back out to the ocean. Then another that also felt the same. Except for this one, there was a giant chain link attached above the door. and Just 1 chain was about the size of our ship. I want no part of whatever is down there. We continue around and come back around again, following the wall, to where we started. We found more chain links all leading down into the depths below. So 3(4 total if the one hadn’t broken off where we started from) huge chains are holding something at bay? Now I definitely don’t want anything to do with that. This time we follow it around but stick to the ceiling and finally find an upward shaft. As I surface in my shark form, I finally get my first glimpse of what’s going on. I see convicts and guards. There’s a bridge crossing the space above the shaft but the shaft extends up quite a way with more criss-crossing bridges, more convicts, and more guards. We definitely aren’t going to be able to find who we’re looking for with guards around. After letting the guys know what I saw, we decide to keep following the wall around to see if there’s another option. And luckily there was. it led to a manhole and as I used all of my newfound strength to lift the lid enough to see, I could tell we were definitely in the upper city where the jail is. We also figure out that we’re on a back street so we have a chance to get out unnoticed. Using my keen sense of direction, we follow back in the direction the jail is in, sticking to the shadows. We see sentries walking the perimeter and a guard shack at the front where the entrance to the jail clearly is. Just as I was about to sneak off and take out the guard in the shack, Surhlock grabs may arm. Apparently there are wards and spells guarding the area. Some against invisibility and some against just people that aren’t approved to be there. But as he’s scanning, he notices that there is a slight break int he wards as they are sweeping around. About a 27 second window. So I start humming a tune so I can keep up with the allotted time and sneak over and take out the guard. Dorric and Rami follow with Surhlock coming up last since he needs to cast some spells as we go. I take out the guard with Urgot, hoping that it reanimates as a zombie fast enough but as time ticks down, it’s clearly not going to happen so we just prop him up in the chair and make it look like he’s sleeping and slip in the back door into the prison. We do some listening and more sneaking around, avoiding walking sentries, and finally find the holding area. And there’s a shitload of people. How are we going to find the right 2 people? Just ask. We semi-silently ask about anyone that knows anything about Plunderhaven. 1 guy speaks up and as we approach him, wouldn’t you know it. It’s that asshole shopkeeper who fucked us over on the logpose, giving us that 1gp logpose when we paid for a 1000gp one. He said he was there when the sea turtle was killed and knows where it is and will take us there if we promise not to kill him. I’m totally going to kill him, but I’ll let him believe I won’t. To cover our tracks, I pick out about 20 people who said they were good at picking locks and set them free so they could set everyone else free and make a dash for it. We let them know that if any of them are looking to sail on a crew, or are looking for work to meet us at the flower islands. Surhlock tells them where that is. We get back out, wait for our 27 second window and make a dash for it. We get outside close tot he wall and Suhrlock teleports us right to the dock and the gangway for our ship. As we’re getting ready to set sail, we notice that the ship with all of the austerians on it is gone. Fine by me. As soon as we’re ready, we get out of there, Noctis flag flying. LJ Silver, the shopkeeper, gives us a general heading. I’m sure he doesn’t believe we’ll spare him so I’m sure he isn’t giving us as much info as he should be. There’s only so much we can threaten with. We swing by the Flower islands and pick up about 50 or so people. Of those, about 38 are sailors, or claim to know how to sail as well as fight. It may displace some of the current crew but oh well. We need the best. The rest can work in the mine’s or apprentice to get better while doing shit jobs on the ship. As we round a cliff close to where LJ says Plunderhaven is, we see 2 ships flying Noctis’s flag with some sort of crane in the water. As we’re looking, we hear a splash and I dont’ see Silver anywhere. Dammit! I dive in after him, changing in midair and as I hit the water and look around, I see multiple versions of him swimming away. But I’m no dummy. I know that illusions won’t displace as much water when swimming, but unfortunately that only narrowed it down to 2, swimming in different directions and only time to catch 1. I went after one of them and bit into thin air. Double dammit! he got away. I come back up and let the team know what happened. Their next suggestion is I go swim over and check out the other ships and what they are doing. Makes sense since I look like a shark so it would be totally normal. I head over, surfacing as I get closer and find that the ship with the crane is the austerian ship. Awesome. I also see them lift out a huge net filled with stuff that clearly looks like it came from Plunderhaven. They beat us too it. But I’m hoping they won’t care about books. The 2nd ship looks like just a few austerian officers and some prisoners on board. Not enough to crew the ship though, which is odd. I dive down and as I do, I pass by several body parts. That can’t be good. As I get closer to Plunderhaven, I can see that the magical air bubble is still intact and that there are prisoners down there loading stuff into huge rope nets. With a couple officers looking after them. it’s not like they have anywhere to go. Clearly if they try to leave the sharks get a meal. I thought about just biting the rope and making the austerian crane ship have to go back to Aqua 8 to refit for more rope but apparently Rami and the team saw some sort of island with a port in it so they wouldn’t be gone very long. Ok, plan B. we wait until it’s dark when the recovery operation stops for the night. Dorric does the water breathing thing on the guys again, just like at the prison and we swim down. Clearly they break for the night and with no fear of being swarmed by the prisoners and no attacks from anyone else coming down, even the officers don’t take shifts and we sneak up on them and kill them. Nice quick slashes to the throat. Nice and quiet. Once again, with Urgot on the big one that way we can send him back up with instructions to go nuts on any austerians on the boat after becoming a zombie. Maybe they’ll just think he went crazy from something down here. We free the prisoners and send them back to our boat. I tell the sharks not to eat them. These are friends, not food. They didn’t seem happy about it so we did feed them the other smaller austerian. I’m betting he was more meaty than all of the prisoners combined anyway.

We went through a few different shops and didn’t find anything for books, but we did find a secret hiding spot in LJ’s shop that had some nice little treasures for us to take back with us as a nice parting gift. Then it hits us. it’s a book. Where do you find books? We headed to the library and it was wrecked. While we didn’t find the book, we found something else. There was a note from LJ with a map. The note read “Don’t say I never did anything for you”. It must be the book. We follow the map and it leads us to the business hall or whatever it’s called. it’s locked so I get it open and inside is a shambles, however, using his map, we are able to find the book. We head back, though I take a short detour to the austerian cran ship just to see if there’s some way I can get in to get some of the loot but there just isn’t any good way to do it. We get back to the ship and there is Shenora, waiting on the deck with the new guys getting them prepped. oh, now it’s on. We fill her in on everything, show her the book, and get down to doing what we do….making boats sink by shitting themselves. Shenora and I sneak over to the austerian ship while Surhlock, Dorric, and Rami head to the smaller ship where currently only prisoners are that are left. Shenora does her thing and as soon as the wood turns to stone, the ship starts tilting back out of the water. Apparently Surhlock had to calm down the prisoners on the other ship who were freaking out. Good thing he went over there. As soon as the ship was at 45 degrees or so, Shenora finished it off and turned the stone to mud, causing a gaping hole in the boat. It went down fast, loot spilling out of it like it was just shitting mud and gold, taking the austerians down with it. We figure that the austerians weren’t much of swimmers, considering they have hooves and stuff. And even if they get into Plunderhaven, they’ll run out of food and water soon enough and die of hunger and thirst. Now all that loot is ours. Even better than we could have anticipated. Yay for Shenora showing up at just the right time. We head back to Nidhogg’s Grave with the book and as we get there and settled in, Sigfried shows up with the 3rd book. Time to get reading. And time to see exactly where it is he went…..

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Session 27 - Rami

Well, we decided that the town was mostly doing fine, so time to start thinking about what happens next. Sweetheart said that there are still a lot of sick people, and he needed to stay behind. I’m sure Nini will keep him company.

The god brothers decided to join us for a discussion. Siegfried, charming as ever, seemed to be biting back snide comments. I’m concerned that he is going to have a stress stroke! We all have a discussion about the Book. Turns out it is the first out of 3. the second was in a military vault, and the 3rd is more obscure. Siegfried offers to get the second one, and we offer to come along. For some reason he doesn’t want us along. Well, Arakor was able to slip in a small piece of our boat so we could visit the place later. We decide to look for information on the 3rd book. Surhlock was our face man (except for when Arakor spruced up and helped). Turns out that more information is at Aqueduct 8. Fortunately, Nightmare decides to come along, and gives us the Noctus sailcloth from his ship.

I don’t much remember the next few days. Something about a fleet, and bluffing through. I’m told I was acting “psychotic” again. I have a few cuts into me in some kind 2 head pattern. I don’t know how they got there, but they won’t heal. I had Dork take a look, but he almost threw up and wouldn’t talk about it anymore. I really need to ask Sweetheart what he has learned.

Anyway, we get to Aquaduct 8, and it is swarming with Noctus people, and those damn barbarian who drink shit and hit hard. We can’t really be seen here or we’d be in deeper than we could get out of. So, Surhlock disguises himself really well, Dork turns into a crow and sits on Surhlock’s shoulders, and Arakor and I sneak around. Surhlock asks around, and turns out that the book location is known by some people from Plunderhaven who are in prison.

Getting into the prison was a tad more difficult than we expected. The sewers were theoretically an option, but extremely difficult to get into. They were grated and formed into the concrete. We may have been able to open it, but it would attract attention. Another spot allowed us to get down, but only one at a time, and this seemed like a bad idea. The wall to the part of the city with wealthy people and the prison was very well guarded and getting over the walls would be near impossible. So, last option was the sewer pipes to the bay. Those still needed several spells to maneuver through. On the way we ran into a bit of water going down with chain links as big as our boat. People were putting fish down the hole constantly. Surhlock and Arakor heard it say something about wanting to be freed. I thought that was a great idea, but the others said I couldn’t (I assume just for today).

We ended up getting out of an exit near the prison. We snuck in and deal with the magic and Arakor killing and re-animating the guard. We ended up finding the people we needed (one of them happening to be someone Arakor hates). I made sure to say that we need to let the people go, and it ended up bringing us more followers. Surprise, surprise, it is in Plunderhaven. And dude that Arakor hates knew that location. Back on the ship, I ask Nightmare about the creature, and he says it used to be a moving island, and is now chained to a leviathan. Or at least, that is what he heard it was.

We get there to find a Noctus fleet plundering. We find a way down, kill guards, get books (since everything else has been looted). Shenora kind of wakes up (turns out she needed time to herself for something), and then we sink the main Noctus ship, trapping them in Plunderhaven with no food or water. Also getting treasure down there for us to retrieve. The guys figure it may take a month for all of them to die.

We get back to meet with the god brothers, and now we have all the books.

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