Raiders of the Savage Coast

"You're REALLY Gonna Need A Bigger Boat"

Realizing that stealth would not get us past the guards, we decided upon trickery. Tobin filled a section of the entry hall with darkness, and then used ghost sounds to create the illusion of a group of people splashing through the darkened area. This worked, as the guards went charging into the darkness. As most of the guards were searching for non-existent intruders, we entered the hall and engaged the few guards that remained on watch. In the process, Granan triggered a trap which caused a giant shark jaw suspended from the ceiling to swing down and close upon him. None the less, all but one of the guards was dispatched. Unfortunately, he was able to shout a warning before being killed.

As we proceeded into the temple depths, the sound of chanting became louder, as though a ritual were reaching its climax. The sounds of the incantations lead us into a room with a large pool and an altar. We could see a large animal swimming in the pool. At the altar stood a native, presumably the cleric, whose face had been magically altered to resemble that of a shark. He stood above another native, bound to the altar, preparing to plunge a ceremonial dagger deep into his chest. In an amazing display of archery, Tobin shot the dagger out of his hand, delaying the sacrifice. This gave Athadian and Granan time to engage the cleric. As Athadian and Granan kept the cleric occupied, Tobin released the captive. The cleric, realizing his eminent defeat, substituted himself for the sacrifice and threw himself into the pool. The water in the pool began to roil and froth, and then turned blood red. Several tremors shook the temple, as it began to sink back into the sea.

We rushed to the exit before the temple fully submerged and began to swim for shore. Just as we exited, we saw an enormous shark emerge from temple. This was no ordinary shark. It had rows of teeth which seemed to emerge from its mouth and cover the entire length of its body. Also, a dark liquid seemed to ooze from its form. Realizing that we would never make it to shore before that behemoth overtook us, we sought the safety of a nearby ship which had run aground on some rocks. We boarded the ship just as the shark reached it. Thinking ourselves safe, we were surprised when the shark began to attack and eat the ship! Luckily, Athadian and Granan found a functioning canon and were able to shoot the beast several times. While this didn’t kill it, it did wound it enough to drive it off.

We returned to the tribes with our rescued captive, who happened to be T’lal’s son. We told the elders what had occurred. Apparently, the rite we had witnessed was called Eputuses – The Rite of Transformation. It involved tattooing and starving both the victim and the priest. This ties the two together so that either the priest or the victim can be sacrificed to a sea creature, which then becomes a voracious, insatiable eating machine. Thus, we had proof now that The Devourer was returning and that his high priest, The Dalong, was active and organizing His followers. The elders were satisfied with our report, while unhappy with its contents. They rewarded us with 6000 gp worth of pearls, and some very detailed maps of the Savage Coast. Two locations were marked on the maps as remnants of the old empire, to which they give us some details. Apparently Mary Black has been asking questions about them. This is the same Mary Black who had put up wanted posters of us. They also inform us that there are rumors that The Witch Queen is gathering tribesman and creatures in preparation for an attack on Sentinel. As we left for Sentinel, we saw the tribes preparing for the upcoming war.

We returned to Sentinel to see the city in a state of chaos. The recent earthquake had destroyed many building, displacing lots of people. Certain groups had taken advantage of this, and kidnappings were on the rise. Athadian stepped up and organized a City Watch to prevent more kidnappings, while Granan used his abilities to heal the populace and retrofit buildings. Once a bit of order was returned, we set about to find Mary Black. Our only lead was that Gino Marchione, a pearl trader, may have information about her.

While we were deciding how to proceed, we were visited by Zalen, one of the priests who crossed over with us. The head of his order, Adrien Gamel, was still missing. Apparently, Adrien had been researching a place called “Gothmugomul”. It was the palace of the Day King, and was forced beneath the earth under Sentinel. Chaos cultists had been looking for it to retrieve a rib that was supposedly buried there. Zalen also told us that Aleria, the red-headed woman with the mantis tattoo, had visited him…and was with child (presumably Athtadian’s). Aleria was somehow mixed up in an assassination attempt on the empress. We were also visited by the Painted Man. He had finished some preliminary research on Athadian’s sword. It holds the sentience of Tyr, the dead god of justice.

In our pursuit of Gino, Granan was mugged, losing 1000 gp worth of pearls. We discover that it was just a local gang that runs the docks, so we set up an ambush, using Tobin as bait. Unfortunately, given the recent lawlessness , our trap caught a different group of thugs. We found out that they were collecting people and taking them to the basement of a crime family, the Minochs. We headed to the basement, where we found and released 4 captives. We also collected a ledger and a self cleaning chamber pot.

Giving up on recovering the lost pearls, we headed to Gino’s ship. As we approached it, we saw the muggers apparently casing the ship. They were planning to attack a man leaving the ship. We disrupt their plans, and recover 500 gp worth of our pearls, and 700 gp worth of new pearls. The man, Ivan Kaymere, runs the Cracked Coin, a money lending and storing establishment. One of the thugs had scribbled on his arm “Where’s my Angel”.

We returned to Gino’s boat, only to be informed that he wasn’t there. He had left last night to the Shy Mermaid, a brothel, and hadn’t returned. We went to the Shy Mermaid and discovered that Gino had been with 3 girls there last night. He had left with them to the Stormy Gables to bet on cock fights. We proceeded to the Stormy Gables, where we are approached by an old woman who summoned us into her apartment. While there, she attempted to drug us with incense. Athadian resists the effects, scares the crone off, and defeats her ½ orc accomplice. A search of the apartment uncovered Gino’s dagger and necklace.

We search the apartment building for the crone, to no avail. We did, however, find Wymont Tross, cousin to Katrina Tross, in a compromising position with a dwarven woman. After a while, we were able to pick up the crone’s trail, and followed it to another apartment building. We entered and found the woman in the kitchen of an apartment owned by Trench Skullsplitter. She told us that Gino left her place with her Halfling partner, Wellby, who could be found at the Boatswain’s Knot. We found Wellby, who informed us that Gino was dead, and that he had dropped his body off to be collected. This was a racket he had set up. He didn’t know who retrieved the bodies, but he signaled them from his apartment with lanterns. He told us where his apartment was and what the signals were.

Acquired items:
6200 gp worth of pearls
Minoch’s ledger
Self-cleaning chamber pot
+1 spiked breat plate (1/2 orc)

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"You're Gonna Need A Bigger Boat"

After leaving the Temple of Dumathoin, we head back home. We have a week before we need to meet with the Tribes to discuss the return of the Devourer. During that time, we clean and repair the house. Athadian also visits the shop which has opened up across the street from us, “The Black Lotus”. It is a curiosities shop, owned by The Painted Man. In addition to his wares, he can identify magical items and do historical research on them.

Also during this week, Sentinel is struck by a large magnitude earthquake. While the older buildings are undamaged, many of the newer constructions and temporary structures are destroyed. In addition, a large sink hole forms in the middle of the city, engulfing the Council of Commerce building. Interestingly, the sink hole is a perfect circle, suggesting that it is unnatural. Needless to say, the city is thrown into chaos, as no group is taking charge of the situation. Into this void steps Athadian. He quickly assesses the situation, and begins to organize relief efforts. In short order, people begin to look to him for leadership and instructions.

Setting an example, Athadian personally leads the effort to rescue a group of Halflings trapped beneath a collapsed tower near our home. The odd thing is that the Halflings are not dressed in casual wear, but appear to be equipped for something. During the rescue, Tobin notices a non-descript older Halfling woman taking more than a casual interest in the proceedings. She realizes that she is being watched and slips back into the crowd. Tobin’s familiar follows her back to the docks, where she enters Salt Shanks, the Halfling community in Sentinel. Pooling our knowledge, we piece together that these Halflings may be members of the Phendrillers, refugee gang from the empire. They are mercenaries known for stealth, infiltration, limited magic use and exotic weapon proficiencies. After saving the buried Halflings, we interrogate one of them. The only information he is willing to give us is “Warehouse 592”. He also produces a note which simply reads “bring proof to Warehouse 592”. Most warehouses are owned by House Tross. We piece together that the Halflings were hired to spy on us from the abandoned tower, and possibly retrieve something from our house. Given our previous run in with House Tross regarding the weapons of Chaos, we believe the House has something to do with that. However, we decide not to pursue this.

That evening, as the city begins to recover from the quake, we are visited by Marius Livingstone, a member of the Queen’s Inquisition. He is interested in the whereabouts of a Red Mantis Assassin named “Aleria”. We inform him that she was a fellow passenger on trip across the sea, but we had not seen her since disembarking. For some reason, he believes that she may try to contact us soon. If she does, he wants us to notify him at the Golden Goose Inn. We assure him of our intended compliance with his request, and he departs.

Several days pass, and the time of the meeting of the Tribes arrives. Tulita Joe leads us to the meeting on the island of Cacao. As outsiders, our arrival is greeted with looks of anger and mistrust. We approach the Elders of the three tribes, deep in conversation. There is a palpable undercurrent of tension. T’lal, the one who invited us, is Elder of the Ridgebacks, the Keepers of the Shrine of the Whale. Macoa is the Elder of the Hardshells, the Keepersof the Shrine of the Tortoise. Honalu is the Elder of the Whistletops, Keepers of the Shrine of the Dolphin. T’lal excuses himself from their discussion and approaches us.

T’lal thanks us for attending and informs us of the troubles the tribes have been having. Villagers go out fishing and don’t return. The only evidence left are their destroyed boats, which wash up on shore. There has been an increase in shark attacks, and those that survive the attacks become weresharks. In addition, all manner of horrible sea creatures have been sighted. All signs suggest the return of The Devourer. The only way to be sure is to determine whether the sunken shrine of the Devourer has resurfaced. The problem is that the shrine is located in a The Cove of The Dead God, which is forbidden to the tribes. That’s where we come in. T’lal wants us to see whether the shrine has risen, and if so, investigate what is inside. The shrine itself used to be Kept by a fourth tribe. Long ago, the followers of the Devourer took over the shrine and started worshipping Djobas, the shark god. When the Devourer was cast out, the gods sent a giant wave to submerge the temple beneath the ocean. However, during the earthquake last week, the shrine appears to have risen from the sea. The problem is that the other two Elders don’t want outsiders meddling in their affairs, and need to be persuaded to allow this mission. Macoa, Elder of the Hardshells, does not think that the Devourer is returning. He believes that the recent problems are caused by the settlers from across the sea slaughtering sacred animals. Honalu, Elder of the Whistletops, is also not fully convinced that the devourer is returning. He feels that the problems are caused by not properly following the Old Gods, and that they need to return to sacrificing in the Old Ways. A final decision by the Elders will be made tomorrow, and T’lal tasks us with convincing the other Elders to allow us to seek out the shrine.

That evening, we attempt to mingle with the tribes. They are celebrating, as it is rare that the three tribes come together like this. The Hardshells, who are known for their martial prowess, are engaging in wrestling matches. Athadian decides to compete in order to prove his worthiness to this tribe. The match is touch and go for a while, but he manages to pin their best wrestler. They are greatly impressed and treat Athadian to rounds of applause. While conversing with some of the Hardshells, we learn that Macoa had lost a twin in an accident with a foreigner vessel, and has distrusted foreigners ever since.

The Whistletops, known for their love of music, dance and performance, are happily singing, dancing and playing a variety of musical instruments. If only Zarene were here to dazzle them with her melodic voice and legendary storytelling. As a poor substitute, Tobin steps in and offers up an awe-inspiring display of knife juggling. This too is met with hearty appreciation. From speaking with the Whistletops, we sense that Honalu believes that the Devourer has returned, but fears that the gods will be angered if we go to the cove.

The next morning, the tribes gather to hear the Elders’ discuss whether to allow us to visit the forbidden shrine. Athadian asks permission to address the Elders, and gives an impassioned and eloquent speech about shared danger, the need to trust each other, and the consequences of failing. Between our actions last night, and Athadian’s speech today, Macoa and Honalu are so moved that they not only give their blessings for our trip, but provide 10 warriors to escort us to the cove.

The warriors lead us to the Cove of the Dead God. From our vantage point, we can see a structure in the middle of the cove, with a giant shark jaw forming an archway at its opening. The structure itself has carvings of sharks devouring all things in their paths. Instead of crystal blue, the water has a reddish, almost bloody, hue. Upon closer inspection, we can see dark shapes silently gliding beneath the surface. We decide to approach the back of the temple by canoe. We paddle out about 20 feet, and are set upon by four large sharks. We attempt to fight them off, but hey destroy our canoe and send us swimming back to shore. We make another attempt. This time, we chum the water on the far side of the cove. While the sharks are away, we launch our second canoe. As we are about to reach the temple, the sharks attack again. We make it to the shrine, but this canoe is destroyed as well. We climb onto the roof of the shrine and make our way towards the entrance. We peer into the entryway, and see that it is covered in a couple of feet of water. From deep within, we hear deep, guttural chanting. The entry leads into a large anteroom with six pillars. A dire shark jaw hangs from the ceiling. Using his blindsense, Tobin scans the room and determines that there is a person behind each pillar.

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Welcome Home!

Upon returning to Sentinel, we learn four things. One, an establishment has opened across the street from our home called “The Black Lotus” Two, we’ve been invited to a gala in our honor, hosted by Trelib Jaltos. Three, someone has placed bounties on our heads and has hired “The Hands of Slaughter” to kill us. Four, we’ve been summoned to court to answer to the charges of consorting with Chaos and harboring weapons of Chaos. Aaahhhh. Home Sweet Home.

After checking in at home, we go to the Broken Skull to meet with Bethany Razor and fulfill our agreement. She is willing to allow us to keep the majority of the stuff we found in exchange for a favor to be named at a later date. We also find out that the wanted posters may have been put up by Mary Black. Geno Marchioni may know more about this. We also hear a number of interesting rumors. Shark attacks throughout the coast have increased. Those who are bitten and survive the attack become shark creatures. Disappearances in town have increased. There is someone calling herself “The Baroness” who has been caring for a bunch of street urchins she calls “Children of the Blood”. She may be the estranged wife of Lord Hargrove.

Next, we visit Lord Jeltos. He is recovering from the assassination attempt. He informs us that the charges against us are severe and possibly politically motivated. Normally, we would have been jailed immediately, so someone must be protecting us. He, Lord Hargrove, and Cmmdr. Bonaduce put in good words for us. That would usually be enough to have the charges dropped. Since they weren’t, someone fairly powerful must be behind these charges. We believe charges were leveled by someone in House Tross (who runs the courts) or by Theledin Creed.

After some searching, we find a lawyer to take our case, Zander Brim. We go to court, and tell the judge of the nature in which we acquired our house, and the chests that were inside. We explain how the chests, which we cannot open and cannot move, may have the weapons of Chaos. We agree to have the weapons removed, and the charges get dropped. Sorcerer Supreme Chambers is assigned to examine the chests and remove the weapons, which he does. Zander Brim warns us not to trust Chambers, as he was responsible for destroying Zander.

The next week is spent getting the house in order, buying new furniture, and restoring the garden. We have the help of several Tulita, so the work goes well. We also visit Bandaral, the Priest of Dumathoin in the Undercity. We tell him of our trip, and he relates the story of Glitterhome to us. King Milair I arrived during the crossing. When he and his people arrived here, they found thriving cults of Chaos worshippers. There is an Elder Chaos Being trapped here, and the worshippers were tapping into it for their power. By the time of King Milair IV, the three races (dwarf, human and high elf) had greatly expanded their territories. The kings were known as the Night King (dwarf?), the Day King (high elf?) and the Shadow King (human?). The kings decided to summon the essence of the Chaos Being into themselves, but they couldn’t handle the power. They became corrupted and this triggered the great wars. Eventually, the High Priests called down the power of each of their gods to raise a barrier, and imprison the corrupted kings. Before the barrier was put in place, the races left this continent. It was decided that the dwarves would be the last to leave. They would buy time for the others to reach safety. Thus, the dwarven high priests stayed behind, and drained the power of their gods to raise the barrier. The ruins that we just visited were where the dwarves had their last stand. The warriors that were left behind escaped to a place called “Glitterhome”, which was created by the high mages. After the story, Bandaral gave us gifts.

Acquired Items:
Dumathoin’s Wrath – +2 Hammer of Returning, Shockwave 1/day
Karagkaz – bracelet with images of different animals – contains the last essence of the trickster god
Maya – necklace of the night sky – cast deeper darkness innately, blind sense, Achluophobia (fear of darkness) 1/day

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Crypt of the Dwarven Kings

We continue to the elevator platform, and lower ourselves down into a colossal chamber. The room contains 8 pillars, each with the holy symbol of a different Dwarven god. On the back wall is the symbol for Dumathoin, which contains a key hole. We insert the key, and a 9th pillar rises from the floor. This pillar has a space in it for a holy symbol. We use the holy symbol we found earlier, and the pillar lowers, past ground level. We hop on the pillar, and are taken to a huge chamber in a lower level. This room has statues of 4 dwarves, King Millair I, II, III and IV. The statue of King Millair IV activates, walks to Granan and addresses him as “Heir to the throne”. He tells Granan that he cannot reclaim the throne until he retrieves the crown, which is buried with the past king. The wall in the back of the room then opens, revealing a stairwell.

We follow the stairs down to a landing with 3 doors, 1 large and 2 small. The small door on the left leads to a narrow stairway which opens into a cone shaped room. Two gargoyle faces leer from the back wall. Granan is able to enter the room with no problem. However, anyone else who enters the room causes it to fill with webs and spiders. Disabling the trap requires disabling the gargoyles.

The room exits into another room with a small patch of bare earth in it. Next to the patch is a sign saying “Touch the Ground, and be purified.” Again, Granan is able to touch the earth with no effect. Anyone else causes a Xorn to be summoned.

The door from this room leads to a small hallway, which is inhabited by a drake named Prelix. Prelix takes a liking to Zarine, and decides to travel with us. The hallway leads to a room with a set of double doors, a potion, a wand, and a scroll, which we take. This room also contains a gate back up to the surface.

We go through the double doors, which open onto the balcony of a large room. Stairs lead down from the balcony to a sarcophagus…which lies open. Next to the sarcophagus is an undead wolf, and very white dwarf with black eyes. He is clad in mithril full plate and wears a crown on his head. With one hand, he holds a flaming maul, and with the other, he beckons Granan forward. Granan moves towards the figure, who says “No one can take this crown”. Granan notices the signs of insanity in the being’s face only just before he attacks. We are able to destroy the creature and his wolf, but realize that they are “Krust” and are near impossible to fully destroy. They are driven by a single task, and if defeated, will reanimate. We take his items, and place him in the sarcophagus.

We leave the room, and go through the small door on the right of the double doors in the original chamber. This leads through a cone shaped room and a room with a patch of earth, similar to the door on the left. The room with the patch of earth leads to an octagonal chamber. On top of two 10 foot platforms are battlements, each manned by a gargoyle. One gargoyle has an engraved mithril card around its neck. We mage hand the card to us, and the gargoyles attack. We kill one of them, and after speaking with the other, set it free. The mithril card is a planar key to “Glitterhome”

We return to the original room and finally enter the large double doors. Inside are 4 sarcophagi. On them are etched what we think is a history. The first shows a humanoids coming through a large portal. The second shows cities being constructed (one is Sentinel) and three kings (human, dwarf and high elf). The third shows more construction, expansion, and combat against creatures of chaos and a worm-shaped monstrosity. The final one shows more combat, the three kings performing a ritual while surrounded by chaos creatures, and then mass exodus. A further search of the chamber reveals nothing. We return to the surface and meet with the slavers. Their leader, Tormentor Kabob, accepts the spellbook and the mask of Terror we retrieved on our way here, 2 sets of dwarven armor, 2 crossbows, axe, shield and chainmail. We then return to Sentinel.

Acquired Items:
Potion of Cure Moderate Wounds
Wand of Shocking Grasp
Scroll of Mass Cure Light Wounds
+2 Mithril breast plate
+2 flaming maul
+2 cloak of charisma
+3 belt of giant strength
Dragon Rider earring – allows dragon rider to summon dragon
Dwarven crown
Planar key to Glitterhome

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The Long Descent

The elevator continues down. Part way down, we encounter a portion of the lava tube which is completely ringed with mithril etched with runes. As we pass through this area, all of the magic in our belonging is suppressed. The elevator continues down for 100 feet, ending at a guard chamber. At the end of the chamber is a set of large double doors bearing carved gargoyles, which exude an aura of fear. We force our way through the doors, and encounter two grell. We kill one, but the other escapes.

We search the room, and exit through the only doorway out, which is trapped. It opens into a larger room with a second level, accessible by a ladder, which is also trapped. The second level contains beds a table and a desk. We also find a holy symbol of Clangeddin (gem inside of a mountain) which radiates magic. On the table we find a letter Dwarven letter. It tells of a war, the planned flight from the city, and the creation of the barrier which kept this continent unapproachable. A hallway out of the room leads to a storage area, and eventually to another elevator platform.

We descend down the elevator, past another band of runed mithril. Shortly thereafter, we are set upon by 4 grell. After a protracted battle on the elevator (one of them had a wand of lightning!) we kill 3 of them, but the fourth escapes. The elevator stops in a large cavern containing a ruined city. On the far side of the lava tube, we can see another elevator platform allowing further descent. We travel through the ruined city. We find several destroyed rooms including barracks and apparent stables for dragons. We also find a finely crafted mithril statuette.

We eventually reach the other elevator and begin lowering it. Part way down, the elevator hits a platform constructed solely of skeletons. Further down, we can see another similar platform, occupied by dwarves. One of the dwarves gestures, and the bones on their platform extend to make a ramp up to ours. The 5 dwarves approach us. 4 are warriors. The fifth is a cleric with a holy symbol of a jeweled dagger (an apparent corruption of the symbol for the Dwarven god of wealth and well being). We attempt to parlay, but they seem to take exception to Granan, and attack us. We kill 3 of them, 1 surrenders, but the cleric escapes, along with the dwarves that had remained behind. We pursue them down to the next bone platform.

This platform is barricaded and guarded. Zarine speaks with them, explaining our purpose for being there, and requesting safe passage through their territory. They allow us to speak with their lord, as long as we relinquish our weapons. We do so, although some of us keep some weapons hidden on our persons. We are taken into a throne room, where we meet their lord, 3 hooded dwarves, and 3 knights. The lord has blood red eyes and fangs. He guarantees us safe passage, provided we give them Granan. We refuse and a massive melee ensues. Through the use of a well placed silence spell, a tiger figurine, and some amazing teamwork, we prevail.

Acquired Items:
Symbol of Clangeddin – radiates magic (Granan)
Finely crafted mithril statuette (Granan)
Scrolls (3) –entropic shield & aid, bone strength & summon monster II, invisibility & cause fear (Granan)
Tome of Understanding (Tobin)
Gems (~1200 gp)
+1 silver dagger (Tobin)
+1 mithril shirt (Zarine)
Masterwork daggers (3)
Dwarven ½ plate (3)
Holy symbol – clenched fist holding a heart (3)
Masterwork lt. crossbow (3)
Dwarven War Axe (3)
Shield (3)
Frost bolts (10) (Tobin)
Dwarven chainmail (3)

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Into the Dwarven Ruins

We continue following the river, and eventually enter an area of rolling plains. The day passes without incident, although we all have the feeling that we are being watched. That evening, we set up camp, and during the second watch a set of chimes is heard. While some people leave to investigate the chimes, the camp is beset by gnomes with the ability to increase their size to that of ogres. We eventually fight them off, but lose one of our porters in skirmish.

The next day, we are able to see the mountains containing the Dwarven ruins. We continue to follow to its point of origin, which is a massive waterfall, cascading down from the top of the mountains. A quick search uncovers a set of worn stairs carved into the rocks, behind the waterfall. We follow the stairs down into the mountains, into a long passageway, ending at a portcullis. Behind the portcullis, we find a circular room with 3 doors. In addition, there are what appear to be 3 metal boats with runes etched on their bottoms. Attempts to open the doors are fruitless, but examination of the walls reveals several runes, representing Dwarven holy symbols. Shortly after this realization, the room begins to flood with water. We all hop into the boats, and Granan channels holy energy into the runes. This causes all of the doors to open, and the floor to drop away. Our boats enter into a chute, and we are catapulted through a tunnel, which opens up into a river, running through a large valley. At the far end of the valley, we see an impossibly huge statue of a dwarf.

As we drift down the river, we see signs of a humanoid settlement. We pull our boats to shore, and are greeted by dwarves, outfitted in hides and leathers. Their leader approaches us and refers to Athadian as a “Dragon Rider”. She escorts us to their village, where we share a meal and talk. They call themselves the “Uja”, which is old High Elven for “the ones left behind”. They have lived in this valley for generations, and are what is left of the dwarves who used to live in the city (the ruins we are bound for). Those original dwarves left the city, sealed it up and left the valley. They give us directions to the city, but warn us of slavers (the Kalicant) who use it as an outpost. They also warn us of undead which live inside the ruins.

After a hearty meal and a good night’s rest, we continue along the river towards the giant statue. As we approach it, we realize that it is over a mile tall. We pull our boats ashore and discover a stairwell has been carved into the beard of the statue. We climb the stairs, which are trapped, and eventually reach a large chamber with a crudely constructed hut. The hut contains 4 slavers, who look like bald elves. We parlay with them, and procure passage into the ruins for a share of what we find. We also leave Zarine and Shakes as collateral.

The slavers lead us into their hut, which actually covers a large lava tube, going straight down. We climb down to a platform in the tube, which happens to be an elevator. We use the crank on the elevator, and begin our descent.

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The Dwarven Ruins

After returning the rescued slaves, we spend some time recuperating at the Tulita village. We also receive our tattoos and some training. In a final discussion with the village leaders, we are told that in 2 months there will be a meeting of the 3 Tulita tribes to discuss how they will deal with the return of the Devourer. They would like for us to be present as they will attempt to convince the tribe Elders that this resurgence in activity is not tied the arrival of our people. We were also given the name of a useful contact in Sentinel, Tulita Joe.

We return to meet with Hargrove, to tell him the status of his missing slaves. He was not pleased that we allowed them to escape, but he paid us anyway (500 gp). We then return to our inn, only to discover that Atahidan’s horse has had his mane shaved. Discussion with the stable boy reveals that it was meant as a message from a person named “Jeremy”. We presume that it has something to do with the attack we witnessed when we first arrived in town.

After weighing our job options, we decide to hire on with an expedition to explore some Dwarven ruins. The expedition is being organized by Bethany Razor, a captain of note and bearer of a Letter of Mark. The deal is that we outfit ourselves and get to keep 50% of whatever we find. The expedition itself is lead by Donovan “Shakes” Montgomery, a down on his luck captain. The expeditionary group is completed by Jenkins Barnes and 2 native porters.

The first day of the trip is spent heading towards the mountains, skirting the edge of the jungle. We set up camp at the entrance to an old mine. Zarine’s exploration of the mine discovers a grey ooze. We decide not to explore any further. That evening, we fend off a raptor attack, capturing one for future training.

By the end of the second day, we reach a small village. After dinner with them, one of the elders asks us to help them destroy an ape/bear that has been terrorizing the village. We agree. That evening, the ape/bear attacks. Athadian bravely challenges it, and just when we start to get the upper hand, its mate joins the fray. Eventually we kill both abominations. As a reward, the elder gives us a shrunken monkey head and a treasure map as rewards.

A couple of days later, we enter the jungle proper. After a while, we come across two sets of tracks, one human, the other much larger. The tracks lead into a clearing containing a giant ant hill and a grave with a hole torn out of its side. A man wearing a horrific mask and wielding a spear emerges from the hole, along with an undead troll. We engage and defeat them.

Acquired items:
Shrunken monkey head – casts Dispel Evil (melee touch, single use)
Treasure Map
+1 Spear – +d6 dam to creature tracked while holding it, +5 survival for tracking creature wounded by it
Amulet of Natural Armor +2
Onyx – ~1000 gp
Mask of Terror – +2 intimidate, casts Scare 1/day, +1 deflection to AC
Spell book

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The Missing Slaves

The trail of the missing slaves led us to a vast expanse of very brackish water. Off in the distance, we could see a structure. We made 2 make-shift rafts and proceeded towards the structure. After about fifty feet of poling through the muck, we started to hear singing. Shortly thereafter, creatures resembling children began to coalesce out of the muck itself, chanting a nursery rhyme. Then, a little ways off, a woman coalesced, singing a song of her own. The singing was entrancing, and 2 of our group fell listless. The rest of us engaged the woman in combat, defeating her and her unnatural spawn.

We continued on our way, and reached the structure without any other incidences. The structure itself was a half-sunken building. Following tracks, we entered the building, and were immediately set upon by 2 humanoid crocodiles in weed-like armor. From stories we had heard, we realized that these were members of the Cursed Tribe, followers of the Devourer. We quickly dispatched these foes and continued on.

A search of the immediate entryway and side corridors revealed 3 Dwarven constructs submerged in the water. Granan, channeling the power of his god, was able to activate 2 of them and issue them simple commands. With our numbers reinforced, we continued exploring the building, encountering and destroying several animated corpses along the way.

After further exploration, we came across a large chamber. In the middle of the chamber, suspended above the water, was a large cage containing the missing slaves. Only 3 ropes kept the cage from plunging into the depths, killing them all. Busily severing the ropes were several crocodile men. Preventing us from reaching the prisoners were more crocodile men lead by a scythe wielding spell caster in black robes, and a giant crocodile. We engaged the monsters, but were too slow. The last rope was severed and the prisoners began to drop into the water. Without regard for his own safety, Athadian ran to grab one of the ropes in an effort to keep the captives from drowning. Quick thinking Granan threw the prisoners a magical bottle of air, which would allow them to survive if the cage should fully submerge, which it eventually does. We eventually prevail, although one crocodile man escapes after being told by the spell caster to “get the money for the weapons for the queen”.

We free the prisoners, and after speaking with their leader, Kalla, escort them to her village on a nearby island. During the trip, she tells us of her captors, “The Fallen Ones”, and their worship of the Devourer. We also learn that the Devourer was only banished through the combined might of the Tortoise, the Dolphin and the Whale. Once at Kalla’s village, we rest and heal up. As a reward for our efforts, we are each offered a magical tattoo, weapons and armor, and training in their martial or magical arts.

Acquired Items:
12 coins (unknown metal) with shark emblem on them (from croc man)
3 Dwarven automatons
Breast plate – symbol of pathfinder lodge, +2, +2 AC if wearer makes a challenge (from skeleton)
Staff of Swarming Insects (from robed leader)

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Building 222

Building 222 was situated in an abandoned part of the old city. It was a basic square keep in good repair with a western tower, an exterior wall, a gate house and a guard tower. Passing through the gate house, we entered a large courtyard with a well. Exploration of the well determined that it was the lair of some slimy, oozy humanoid, which immediately attacked us. We soundly defeated it and entered into the manor proper.

As soon as we entered the building, we were attacked by rat men, which we quickly dispatched. A search of the first floor uncovered a statue of an obese naked man, which animates and says “Come to me”. It radiated strong chaos magic, and its pedestal appeared to cover a trap door. We also found a bedroom, decorated with lude paintings, and inhabited with illusion-clad zombies, which we destroyed. A search of the tower revealed a storage area containing a jar of yellow liquid radiating strong transformation magic, a book titled “The Life and Times of Eldar the Great” radiating enchantment magic, and a candle with the word “Sagginal” etched into it. We later learned that Sagginal was the man whose spirit infuses the statue.

A search of the second floor revealed a kitchen full of rats and a dining area. We also found a bedroom filled with tiny figurines which animated and attacked us. This floor also gave us access to the gate house, which was haunted by the ghost of a priest of Dellanach named Tonelle. He was part of an expedition to cleanse this keep 150 years ago, but died in the process. He gave us information about the keep, including the fact that it was a safe house for the Crimson Coil, a chaos cult, and the location of a key that we need. In return he asked that we free him by reciting a prayer to Dellenach. We promise to do so, once we find one.

We proceeded to the third floor, where we found a large bedroom containing a cultist robe. This also gave us access to the battlements, and a second bedroom. This room contained a ledger for the operations of Pythanus House, the front the cultists used for the keep. We discovered that the cultists hid weapons of great power in the basement here, which are guarded by the statue. Access to the weapons requires a spiral symbol, which is broken into 2 pieces. Something called the “cobbled man” has one piece and the other is hidden in the high tower. Also, there is a demon inhabiting the keep.

Exploration of the western tower revealed the lair of the cobbled man, a creature put together from different body parts and infused with chaos energy. He attacked us, throwing Zarine off of the roof in the process. We save Zarine, and put the poor creature out of its misery. We als recovered half of the spiral disk.

Up from the lair of the cobbled man, we find a summoning chamber with a secret compartment containing a ring with a broken symbol.

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Welcome to Sentinel

As we approached the port of Sentinel, we noticed that the city itself is located near an active volcano, and that there is a large section of the city that is underwater. The docks were full of natives, rapidly loading and unloading ships. We disembarked and headed towards the Dockmaster. While waiting in line, several of the natives began an assault on the guards and one of the warships. We joined with the guards and repelled the attack.

Eventually, we register with the Dockmaster, and enter the city proper. The city itself is divided into several districts. The Bay District is directly off of the port, and is known for gambling and danger. The Tide District is also near the port, and is where vessels dock and trade goods are bought and sold. The Jade District contains the more upscale shops and boutiques. The Silk District is known for its arts and artisans. The Plantations are where exotic fruits and saffron are grown. Finally, there are the Outskirts, where most of the natives live. This is also where Bldg 222 is located.

We decided to stay at the Golden Goose Inn in the Silk District. We rested up and began to plan our next few days here.

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