Black Flags

Session 32 - Suhrlock

The demiplane wasn’t the most exciting place but it served its purpose. We were safe, and we could get back to our mine to start to pursue the forge down below. But first to get our ship out of the astral plane. Well at least that was the plan. Except none of us knew how to plane shift. Fortunately we have powerful friends who can teach my familiar some new tricks. But we only have a few minutes. I quickly dimension door (ina burst of flames! oops) to the docks. I cast a wall of earth to start on our gate when I see some ships in the distance. Noctis on one and military on two others. I teleport back to the gang. We hide and listen in. They’re looking for us. I guess coming home wasn’t the brightest idea. Fortunately our peeps are still our peeps. I guess paying them well was a good idea. Anyway, they wander back to their ships but don’t go far. We decide to leave our ships where it is. We have a few days before the demiplane vanishes anyway. We decide to make our way towards the forge.

Behind Harold’s illusions we work, until someone hears something and one of the big bad boats comes to investigate. We buff up and smash the crap out of them. I even brought a few giant squids to the party. They get smashed. Oops. But during the fight a dozen more ships are seen on the horizon heading our way. Oops. But before they get too close most start splintering, crashing, sinking, exploding, splitting in half, flying apart, and other means of destruction. Kind of fun to watch if I wasn’t distracted with the one ship in close. Turns out we still have powerful friends; Blackbeard and Sebastian Harrigan. Last time those two saw us it wasn’t so friendly. Blackbeard rejected my drink and Sebastian tossed us around like puppies. This time they saved our bacon. With the battle won the craziest most amazing thing happened. Blackbeard gave me a gift. Not just any gift but his old peg leg. Apparently he upgraded and remembered that shared in his one legged plight. Stunned. But I wasn’t above trying it on.

The power of the leg flowed through me. In fact, the next few days were a blur. I remember agony. I remember pain. I remember ecstasy. I remember fear. But mostly I remember power. Power like I’ve never felt it. I dismissed Shatral, soon realizing that I could command and control much more than currently was. I brought him back and shaped him to my will. I taught him new powers. I conjured new arcane knowledge to enhance his attacks. He and I will be a new force to reckon with.

But as soon as I regained my senses the others said we must be off. Too much time was wasting. I followed along still mostly confused. We swam. We were lost but the guys sensed their way through the labyrinth. And then we came through a ceiling. It was dry. Safe. And destroyed. Some type of long lost temple. But there in the center was the forge.

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Session 32 - Rami

We were super comfy in Surhlock’s plane for a bit, when people started asking how we would get out. And a lot of people complained about it being dark. I don’t understand how they can’t see, I mean, it is easy enough to pay someone to fix that. First you have to kill a lot of people. Then you have to be sent to a dwarven Underdark prison where you’ll never see the sunlight again. You dig up a wizard, and pay him 3500 gp.

Anyway, Surhlock and Shenora discuss how to get out, and call Harold. We Gate out to the Mithral Mine, and planned to work on a Plane Shift ritual to bring out the boat. We find Noctus ships all about. Our miners are still loyal though.

We realize we have a few days to get the ship back so we start tunneling down to The Forge. Only, one of the ships eventually sees through an illusion Harold put up, and they row in to investigate. We fight part of them before their captain escaped. Then we saw Captain Blackbeard come through destroying their fleet, along with Sebastian Harrigan. We take care of the rest of our ship as they finish up the others.

We then head down the mine shaft a few days later and twist and turn through. Some magma tubes and acidic water caused some problems, but we eventually make it through from Shenora turning the stone to mud. Then Mav reseals it so the cavern doesn’t flood. I see a beautiful city and the others say it is a dump. They say it is an illusion. Even if it is, I’m gonna stick with it. Magma all over the place. This is Atlantis, and The Forge is here somewhere.

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Session 31 - Suhrlock

Harold and friends have decided that a byproduct of the Forge is Mithral. And who happens to be sitting on the largest Mithral mine in existence? We do, of course. So it appears that our mine is situated on top of the long lost, deeply buried Forge. Although I admit to having been distracted by the discussion of a long lost language of Atlantian. You see, not only have I been doing the books for our little party. I have been staying up late learning new languages. It actually comes amazingly easy to me. At least when I have the time to devote to it. I am going to have to get myself some samples of this new language and see if I can learn it too.

Oh, but it brings us to another problem. Our mine is a red line and a grand line away from us. Sure, we can teleport there but what about the ship. Seems the gang isn’t about to give up on it so easily. And for some reason Rami seems mildly concerned, or is it interested, in the unseen crew. He thinks they’ll be lost without someone to guide them. An unseen crew on an abandoned ship. Anyway, something about it strikes his sensitivities. Anyway, I have a plan. I used the scroll of create demiplane to learn that spell. I made one for myself the other night. It’s kind of cool but lonely all by myself. And it eventually disappeared. But we can make a big one that will hold our ship. Well, actually two of them. I float the idea by the others and they seem to like it. But it’s going to take two four hour spells. I’m going to need some peace and quiet. Arakor says he thinks he can avoid trouble for a while so I head below decks. All is going pretty well as far as i can tell. There’s some screaming and cursing from Shenora at one point, but eventually Maverick tells her to calm down. Something about it all worked on in the end? Whatever, I have more important things to do.

The first spell is cast. But just as I was about to start on the second I hear a ruckus upstairs. looking through Shatral’s eyes I see another vessel straight ahead of ours, we practically ram it and the battle is joined. Barbarians, bards, druids, archers, a captain, and his first mate. It’s a tough go. Shatral runs in but as soon as he gets to one it is felled by someone else. Well, I personally put two of them to sleep. Honestly, I think Shatral was going to suffer if he attacked them. I turned another one into a bunny. But they killed it. :( Shenora was not pleased. Two of them turned into dragons. Apparently they do that. So Rami killed one. Dorric was just making people go crazy all over the place. I’m not really even sure I understand how that works but it’s damn effective. And despite a bunch of wounds we prevail. Time to go back down below and finish my job. I leave the others to gather the loot. I’m sure I will see it soon enough.

Okay, four hours later and I have a cool demiplane. Now how do we get a boat inside. Ah, a natural rock formation. Shenora messes with it. I buttress it with a Wall of Stone. And we sail inside. Poor Noctis pawns giving chase seemed mightly disappointed. Me too. I wanted more loot.

Now, I need to go visit the merchants and sell some of this stuff we just got our hands on… hehehe.

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Session 31 - Rami

Ah, fresh ocean air, there’s just nothing like it. It inspired me, so I made an incredible doll for Arakor. He seemed overwhelmed, so he put it away lovingly. I bet he cuddles with it at night.

Anyway, Harold and Nightmare come back. I just love Nightmare, he’s a really fun guy. I think we’re becoming friends. Still no word on Siggy, which worries me. What could that do-gooder be up to? Well, we need to find a way back home, and we wanted to take our ship. So, I suggested another demiplanes. Surhlock said he could make one big enough in 8 hours, but needed help to make it permanent. Harold offered to do that part.

After that I noticed that 3 ships were coming from the north, which, considering the 2 coming from the south, created a problem. Arakor did an excellent job navigating and losing a lot of them. Eventually l, one caught up, and we took care of it. After that, we saw one in dock, and they’d spotted us. I took out a few of them, and then Arakor wanted us to teleport us over to grab treasure. We did, but were caught by a teleport trap… Shenora was pissed and dispelled the shit out of it! We charged out of the hold like crazy people and put the fear of Shenora into them. As the ship was sinking now. We get back, and go about our business.

Arakor said we might need to hide again, so we went underwater. That went well, but we mistimed our resurface. Running right into another ship. Shenora irritated the crap out of them with her Hungry Darkness. I took care of barbarians mostly, and Dorric kept weirding out a lot of them. Arakor killed the ones coming on our ship. Fortunately, Surhlock was in a break between spells, and was able to help us. Without Shatral there we would have been swarmed. A stupid sorcerer dragon kept biting me, so I had to kill him.

Victory in hand, we had to evade ships for 4 more hours before Surhlock was ready. He cast the spell, and we had to outrun some ships to get in. The look on the ship peoples’ faces were beautiful!

And I learned we have to keep Surhlock happy since it is his demiplane and he can kick us out. I’ll have to make him more presents. We took a breather before moving forward.

Lust said that one of our enchantments is annoying his string, so he may change it.

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Session 30 - Dorric

I felt like I was drifting in a haze, but then I heard the most wonderful humming. Quiet, but melodic. It sounded as if it was coming to me from the end of a tunnel…or that my ears were full of wax. I shook my head.

Wait.

I’m not at Nidhogg’s Grave. I’m with my new friends, and Harold. And Nightmare. I saw a ring of gems on the table in front of us and instantly recognized one. Taric. The Gem of Humility. That’s where the humming was coming from. Which means…

Barackett you bastard! I let loose a string of choice words. His only response was to tell me to straighten my back. He seemed oddly focused on my posture.

Back in control of my faculties, I turned my attention to the issue at hand. With the Gems at our disposal we only had to find a way to attach them to our weapons. Simple right? For us, not so much…but Harold had been a slave to his books these past few months. An artifact called the Forge was the key. I’m sure there are many other details to be had about it, but unfortunately at that moment we were discovered by Noctus and several pressganged military vessels.

The combination of Arakor’s skillful sailing, Shenora’s striking sorcery, and Rami’s staccato sniping we managed to disable several vessels and make our escape.

The remaining ship gave chase but we were able to get the drop on them via a submersion spell. A lengthy boarding action later saw us victorious.

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Session 30 - Suhrlock

I had my plan to get even with the gang all figured out, but it would have to wait a while. I needed more receipts to come in from the next couple of months. Otherwise they were bound to figure something out. Shouldn’t have been a problem though. We seemed to have settled into a pretty easy life, or at least the others did. But then Harold showed up and said we had to go. Our little lair had been discovered. I quickly shoved all of the important documents back into my handy haversack and got the town manager everything he needed to hold down the fort (and mines and such) for a bit while we are gone.

I gotta tell you though, I don’t really remember the details. It all happened so fast and quite frankly I was a bit out of practice with my combat skills. Too much time behind a desk. I can even admit to having gained a few pounds. And having not seen the others in a while it was like a strange experience where everyone else is doing something different that they’ve learned recently. As for me, I mostly turned invisible and tried to help everyone out with the combats. Honestly, I think I was half-heartedly wanting them to really, really need me help. Maybe they would appreciate me more that way. You know, come in and save the day kind of thing. But they seemed to do reasonably well without me I suppose. At least until they tackled that first ship. Now they’re looking a bit spent and maybe I should spring into action. Heck, if nothing else I’ll get Shatral to join us. He’s probably hungry.

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Session 30 - Arakor

Well, I knew this was coming. Eventually they’d find us. I just didn’t expect so many at once. 3 ships full of military. Military?!? He’s got them working for him now? Is it really military at this point though if they work for Noctis? Either way, they’re coming. if we can get them one at a time, I think we can take them. So we pull out an old trick. Shenora cast Submerge Ship and we went under one while Harold disabled another. I was able to hold her steady enough for Shenora to scramble up to the crows nest and work a little “ship pooping itself” magic. As we did that, we got attacked by 4 swimming…..dinosaurs? Not even normal swimming dinosaurs..like, swimming T-Rexes. We had to get them free from us because they were grabbing us with their tiny arms and slowing us down somehow. My backup took the wheel while I jumped down to fend off the attacks. As soon as that was dealt with, we saw more coming. We also saw the ship we planned on ramming moving faster as well as both damaged ships repairing themselves. Rami suggests we run and we all agree. This is not for us right now. We take off and one of the ships give chase. We have about a day’s lead on it. Enough for us to retry our trick again. I was able to expertly circle a large island and we submerge right before we come into view then pop up and ram them almost perfectly. we were a little early and got the front of the ship and not the midpoint. Then we burst into action. Rami let arrows fly, which the first mate caught a couple. Then he took her down. There were also some normal archers, some druid types that summoned more T-Rexes. Swimming ones to jump up and attack us? No….Flying ones? What in the Nine Hells? One gets in my way but I was able to take him out while Shenora took out another one and some others, including the first mate who apparently went crazy. I thought I’d have some fun and disarm the big dudes wielding the big hammers. Apparently they thought differently. As soon as I got close, he bullrushed me right off the boat. I had to scramble back up and tried it again. Same response. Screw this. I jumped up this time where the archer was and sliced him up. Rami took out the T-Rexes attacking our ship. We eventually won out. I couldn’t tell you exactly what everyone else did because they were invisible or teleporting around the battlefield dispatching people too. Although I did hear some singing and felt some healing from Mav and I did get the sense of some haste spell from Suhrlock. I think maybe we need to work on our attack strategy better for the next time. Because Rami saw the other 2 ships coming our way another day behind…Time to run again.

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Session 30 - Rami

After being called back together by Harold, I saw the weirdest thing, Shenora was back to flat belly. I was thinking that some illusion spell was involved, but when I rubbed her belly it really was. Before she could slap me, I backed away and have a quizzical look. Turns out she passed a year with Harold in a special plane of his, and had the baby a little bit ago. That baby is going to have a really weird childhood growing up in demiplanes and being raised by golems. Oh course they did have an ingenious way to deal with feeding (or rather with not having to eat or drink anything) with an ioun stone.

Harold found the last book and Nightmare found the last two stones. Harold said we needed to find “The Forge” to combine them. We got Chastity, and she didn’t seem happy. Lust rolled his strings and Crystal me seemed ready for pranks. I just told her “Welcome to the Family”. She started praying (I told her to add thoughts since I’m given to understand that is practically like a Miracle Spell).

Anyway, I spotted something over the horizon, it was three ships coming. One flying Noctis’s flag, and the other two military flags. The Noctis ship had a ratman first mate (very progressive of them!!!). I tried to fire an arrow from Lust at that captian, but she caught them. How rude. I even was using non-lethal. Sigh.

In the 20 minutes that followed them approaching, we didn’t do much. Like nobody made a decision. Harold had to but in to tell us to do something. So, we asked Nightmare to take care of one ship. He took out a chunk of their ship before leaving.

We sunk the other ship from Shenora’s petrify and turn to mud trick. Then both damaged ships started repairing each other. I’m impressed. Does that mean the ship have feelings. Did we make it feel like a ceasarian? Will the barrels that fell turn into dingies? I’ll have to come back to check on it later. Lust didn’t care for sexless reproduction, so crystal me argued that Shenora gave it “sperm” through a carress, so that should be close enough. I never realized it, but she could be Arbresexual! Lust seemed excited by that. I am a little worried about what that would birth. I asked Dork the next day and he said he’d get back to me. So, back to the ships. The sinking, then not sinking ship released some things. Some kind of T-Rex/Shark/Duck creature. I had to take a memory because I want to share this with everyone. I have an idea to make it popular. Arakor tried to talk too them, but I think the dialect was off. Well, we took them out. Then 4 more from another ship were approaching. I killed one, but I was trying to dominate it. Next try I did! I convinced it that it was mating season and that one of its friends was nice and sexy. My friends were speechless. Lust was orgasming. Chastity briefly stopped praying out of shock. A whirlpool formed next helping to turn around a ship to our ditection. Well, Shenora was having none of that, so dispelled the shit out of that. Enough to snap that ship back into place! A couple of people fell in the water so I convinced the last T-REX/Shark/Duck to play with them. Last thing to happen was the unwhirlpooled ship crashed into the unsunk one. It looked dirty, so I pointed it out. Lust laughed. He was having a good day. Chastity, not so much.

We kept a half day lead over the repaired mast ship, and one and a half days ahead of the other two. Did this for a couple of days before Arakor found an island we could sneak around to catch the closest ship by surprise. He is a masterful pilot! Dork has been meditating a lot more. I think I’ll have to get him something to get rid of the stress.

The plan worked great. We plowed right into them. We caught the ship by completely by surprise!!

I focused on the captain, and she didn’t realize she’d died for a moment. Dork started dimension sliding around. It was trippy, we need to get him somemore colors to make the effect like a strobe light! Arakor murdered them, but I saw the big ones could see him and hit back. Shenora did that cool prismatic spray and made the first mate insane! Then flying T-REX appeared, but they weren’t as fun as the previous ones. I just killed them. Dork kept stunning and slaying people outright, that was cool. We all were on our game, and took them all down. We are taking a 30 minute breather before looting. Hopefully Mav and Sur will liven up. Sur has been saying he wants more paperwork, so we want him to be happy.

By the way, I need to find the right material for the T-REX/shark/duck dolls I am going to make.

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Interlude - Arakor

Well, it seems like the past 12 weeks have been busy for everyone but not so much for me. I know what’s coming. So I decided to take some time and go see my family. Luckily, for us underwater-type peoples, we’ve been largely untouched. But I needed to let them know the possibilities and what was really going on. I also spent some time communing with Chellan and Urgot. Letting them know who the boss is. They may be powerful, but they’re still only weapons. I am the true weapon in how I use them. But I got a message indicating that the time was drawing near for us to get back to work because Noctis was spending more time looking for us. I saw let him come. He’s not the only powerful person in the world anymore.

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Interlude - Suhrlock

The past three months have passed in a blur. There is so much work that needs to be done. The mines have been restored and are quite productive. The mine at Bonewrack Isle has been fully restored and productivity is at an all time high. The new manager is working out. And of course our powerful friends have lent us a few good words with their contacts. Just as importantly, the merchants at Obses have been able to pull off the impossible, advertise their wares without drawing attention to themselves or us. I guess there are a lot of folks like us that just as soon stay out of Noctus’ sight, but aren’t willing to roll over and play dead to him either. I sure hope some of them will be helpful when the time comes. But therein lies the problem. All of this administrative stuff is “Suhrlock’s problem”. Okay. I admit I’m the best to do it, and quite frankly I don’t trust any of the others to do it (it’s funny that they trust me). But it’s a drag and is consuming so much of my time. The others are galavanting around enjoying the fruits of my labor. Sleeping with Demi-gods (Shenora). Sleeping with anyone, sometimes (Rami). Disappearing completely (Dorric). Whatever it is that pleases them. And I’m stuck here to add and subtract. Tannaris has been telling me for months that I was getting the short end of the stick but any more I am really starting to believe him. Maybe he has been right all of this time?

There is one thing I haven’t been too envious about. My share of the take from our exploits. I’ve been able to acquire a couple of new rods for Tannaris. I can’t wait to try them out. I’m working on figuring out how to cast as many spells as possible in such a short time. I feel so much power coursing through me and never an opportunity to use it. I want to make sure if we confront Noctus that I can 7nload on him with as much as possible as quickly as possible. Don’t give him time to recover, or at least maybe he won’t hit quite so hard? Honestly I don’t see how we compare against his might. But one day we will surely come to blows and find out.

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