The Sea is Full of Fish, and One Legendary Pirate Captain
Before the knighting ceremony, Captain Biggy McLarge-Huge of the Biggonites had set out in the Whiskey Twin with his band of pirates to circle around the island and perform some reconnaissance on Skullport.
Three days after leaving port the pirates came upon two merchant ships. They were returning from the mainland and were fully laden with finished metal goods. Using the magic items he had gotten from Rovarath’s horde he swam out from the Whiskey Twin while it was still submerged and boarded one of the merchant ships, while the sub surfaced near the other and his crew boarded that ship. With a flourish of his anchor the merchants knew they were dealing with the legendary captain Biggy, surrendered, and all but the captains joined his ranks as new pirate ships under Biggy’s flag.
Two days later the ships came across a massive school of tuna. The Whiskey Twin ate its fill and crammed its cargo holds with the fish. The flotilla went ashore at a fishing village to sell their catch. Biggy was mostly concerned with disposing of the cargo and the villagers were mostly concerned with not upsetting the pirates who suddenly were swarming their tiny village so negotiations were awkward but the villagers made out quite well in the deal. The pirates spent the night drinking and wenching on shore, and when the villagers awoke to find themselves still alive and on the receiving end of a highly profitable business deal, they decided that with pirates like these, who needs allies. Now the Biggy Pirates had at least two friendly villages on the south side of Verland.
The next day they came across the same school of tuna which was still large enough to blot out the sun if one was beneath it. This time it was being fished by a plesiosaur.
On day seven, pirate fleet had rounded the South East corner of Verland and was headed north. On this day they spotted a school of hammerhead sharks that was just as huge as the school of tuna from before. The ships passed by merely appreciating the bounty of these waters.
That day they also saw a massive fleet of over 50 war ships bearing the flag of The Blue Fist Orcs. This fleet was headed South. Captain Biggy directed his ships to move in to shore quickly and they were not pursued.
That night the ships reached Arconston and Captain Biggy attended the Kings Ceremony.
Since his men had been warning Captain Biggy that constantly swimming in the ocean will eventually destroy his plate mail, they set out in search of the Sea-Elves said to be nearby. Since he could breathe under water with his magical equipment, Biggy just set out directly for where the elves were rumored to be. His fame again paid off. he was greeted by the elves, was allowed to buy the special alloys necessary to make a set of seaworthy plate mail, and a captain of the sea-elf guard, Ia Nell, decided to join the Biggy Pirates.
The next day the Whiskey Twin was attacked by a school of giant pistol shrimp. It was stunned by the surprise attack and began sinking into the depths of the sea. Captain Biggy and Ia Nell swam out to meat the threat. Biggy and Ia fought capably and dispatched their foes with speed, however three of the new pirates on board the surface vessels were killed by the shrimp and dragged to the depths of the cold, dark sea. A pirate memorial was held which involved much drinking.
A Day In the Life
During the down time between the Battle of Snakebite Swamp and the knighting by the King, the members of the party passed their days in a number of different ways.
Awake with the dawn Lo-kag would help contribute to the subsistence of the village as much as possible. The village views him as a part of the party of adventurers and so has taken to feeding Lo-kag and keeping a room for him in the Boars Rest Inn. Lo-kag wanders the village and surrounding lands being friendly and helpful to the people of Talowdale. In the evenings he takes a group of the more stout humans up his mountain and teaches them Goliath games. These humans tend to be the red-haired people of Norge and those who have joined up with Captain Biggy in particular. One human woman has taken an interest in the large, vigorous Goliath.
His investigations into his new surroundings; including using commune with nature, talking with earth elementals, and talking with Iocletian led Lo-kag to perceive and understand the anti-magic mineral in the soil. in return for the promise from the local earth elementals to protect Talowdale, he began the extensive and arduous process of extracting the mineral from the soil. Lo-kag sells the bulk crystal dust to Iocletian and then uses that money to buy supplies for his people and sends them north into the mountains by barge along the Rennar River.
Ehlonna begins her day by preparing her beautiful golden elvish hair which she styles differently every day. She passes every meal time by providing entertainment to the villagers and refugees in the Boars Rest Inn. This keeps morale high in a town facing rapid change, with workers who have long hours in back breaking jobs, and in a city constantly filling with desperate people. Ehlonna wanders the village and fields throughout the day talking with people and forest creatures, gathering information and spell components.
Whuh begins his day before dawn with meditation. He has a healthy breakfast of seasonal fruit and grains. Whuh makes a quick survey of the progress on the parties buildings and chats up the foreman and workers. Then at least Whuh, Pythagos, and Cup gather in Pythagos’ wizards tower to discuss business. The running of the town, the use and budgeting of their horde, tactics for the war, immediate plans for dealing with their enemies.
One day, after breakfast Whuh was stopped in the street by a young monk. Their eyes met, the air grew tense, and the street cleared. Everyone noticed a challenge had been delivered except Whuh. The traveling monk, insulted at not being acknowledged, flung insults at Whuh and attacked. Whuh deftly evaded the initial attack and chose to end the duel decisively. He struck the upstart monk with the quivering palm. Knowing what had just happened the young monk fell to his knees, and recognized the level of enlightenment Whuh must have to employ such a maneuver. He then asked to be Whuh’s disciple. Whuh accepted him with a lecture and from that day on he followed Whuh like a lost puppy.
Cup would wake at dawn and pray to earn his spells for the day. After a breakfast provided by the Inn he would attend the day’s business meeting. The rest of his days would be filled with drilling his troops, practicing his spells for the upcoming plot against Duke Staggreig, and with using his magic to play tricks on the people of Talowdale. He would use gusts of wind to blow up womens dresses, turn peoples beer and wine into water, and freeze peoples chamber pots. Due to the proclivities of Olidimara, no temple would be built but a shrine was constructed in both the Inn and in the Gambling hall that was to be a part of the Guild house.
After a minimum amount of sleep Pythagos would wake, study, research, and memorize his spells. He would eat breakfast with the rest of the party and village. Then Pythagos would attend the daily business meeting. The rest of his day would be filled with a grueling twelve hours of construction. Using every spell in the Transmutation sphere he had the power to cast, he would build and fortify the walls of his growing wizards tower. He would also use magic to fabricate materials and then direct the construction as its principle architect.
The Infiltration of Arborath
The knighting ceremony transpired as described in the previous adventure log.
Fire in the Night
After returning to Talowdale from the phony assassination attempt, Cup traveled north as a gaseous form. He covered the distance at a good clip in this form and was most of the way to Arborath when it wore off.
As he continued to travel North, he came across a fresh band of refugees traveling South. They bore fresh wounds from orcish weapons, carried little, and wore their night shirts as if they had been driven from their village that very night. Soon Cup came upon a tiny village of only a dozen houses that was ablaze and surrounded by a goblinoid force. They bore the mark of the Blue Fist and of Duke Staggreig. To his dismay, Cup’s own banner and the banner of King Yon were flying over one of the houses and he saw the bodies of orcs and his men lying outside the town.
Cup strode into the chaos in the center of the town. Looked the first ogre he saw in the eye and demanded to see the leader of this band of Blue Fist. A hobgoblin Lieutenant came forward. Before he could speak, Cup announced that he had slain King Yon, that these men the orcs were fighting were allies of Duke Staggreig and demanded that he be brought to see the Duke. The hobgoblin was flummoxed. The confusion generated by the leader of the orcs allowing himself to be berated by this one-legged elf sucked all the momentum from the fight. The Orcs gathered outside of town and Cup took council with his men and announced that they were turning against the King. Cup’s men thought briefly and decided that their loyalty lays with Cup and that they would march into hell if he demanded it.
Both belligerents from the battle now marched North together to Arborath.
Random Weather Tends to be Extreme
During the march a tornado whipped across the grassy plain. Cup cast control weather and dissipated the tornado.
Difficulty at the Gate
Once inside Arborath, the orcs quickly returned to the part of town they had made their own and rejoined the rest of their kind. Completely ignoring Cup and his men. Cup then insisted the night watchman at the gate find lodgings for his men and take him to Staggreig. He introduced himself as Cup the slayer of dragons and kings, causing lightning to crash in order to punctuate his awesomeness. The poor guard was terrified, said he was getting help but lied and instead ran away and hid. After ten minutes Cup went after him into the barracks and woke up the platoon. At 3 am.
Before anyone could talk, Leftennant Franklin jumped into action and used his best drill-sergeant voice to demand compliance from Staggreig’s men. After several rounds of barking an officer was led in who knew about Cup and acted as if he should be expected. This officer ordered that Cups men be fed and allowed to sleep, and took Cup and an honor guard up to Staggreig’s Keep.
Cup and his guard were led up through the military defenses of Arborath to the keep. Once there they were handed off to an ornately dressed ceremonial guard. This guard escorted Cup and his guard into the ornate palatial living quarters of the Duke. Polished and ornately worked brass doors, marble flooring, tapestries, and stained glass. And everywhere in town and the keep, there was propaganda showing Staggreig in alternating hero of the people mode, or as a tyrant over the defiant.
Cup was led to a large audience chamber with a dais and throne as well as two long. It was now 4:30 am and the kitchen staff were the only people running through the halls other than the guards. Cup could tell that the staff had probably been roused for his coming and were rushing to prepare for his arrival. When he entered the audience chamber there was already a breakfast of fresh fruit laid out for him including a carafe of strawberry juice. This he drank to discover not a single seed. Cup realized that the last time Duke Staggreig found a seed in his juice, someone must have died.
Seifer and Staggreig were announced and entered the chamber. Cup was announced by a livery peon that he was Cup, the dragon slayer and had slain King Yon. There was a brief back-and-forth where it was revealed that Staggreig knew the Yon had not been killed and that Cup was a part of the group advocating secession of Talowdale from the Duchy. Cup responded by trying to play off his loyalty to the party as a trick and that he really was interested in joining up with Staggreig. The negotiations did not seem to be making much progress, and Pythagos who had been watching by crystal ball decided it was time to intervene and he teleported the party into the audience chamber.
Dinosaurs Make a Mess of Marble Flooring. Also, the Party Captures Duke Staggreig
Seifer immediately struck out at Pythagos with disintegrate. The green ray failed to destroy Pythagos the Prodigy. He responded with a disintegration ray of his own. Seifer collapsed into a pile of dust.
Staggreig and his guards jumped into action, surging at the party. Donald summoned Mildred who crushed the marble flooring tiles under the weight of her reptilian hooves. The guards did not present much of a challenge to the party and within one round of combat they resembled cans of crushed tomatoes that had been stomped on by an elephant.
Tasha’s Uncontrollable Hideous Laughter rendered Staggreig incapacitated and the party quickly tied Staggreig up.
Under the influence of a lie detection spell the party carefully interrogated Staggreig for several hours. They discovered that the person they had captured was not, in fact, Duke Staggreig but a body double. Seifer had foreseen the attack by the party and planned a deception. Though the foresight did not seem to prevent him from being disintegrated.
Meeting the Generals
Pythagos summoned Staggreig’s generals. Four of them were led in by ceremonial guards. Pythagos explained to these generals that he was now the duke and they would be welcome to join with him or be forced to retire. Most were non-committal.
The party was faced with the reality of an army of Blue Fist orcs at the bottom of the hill. An army that would wake up soon and move against their enemy. One of the generals echoed the desire to rid Arborath of the orcs and suggested a plan. He sent his troops into the city to evacuate the citizens from the ward where the orcs were billeted. Then he had the troops set fire to the ward. Most of the Blue Fist soldiers were burned to death by 9am.