Reavers on the Seas of Fate – Season Four, Tenth Session

Tenth Session (13 page pdf) – “Fat Ghoul Brings Bad Luck” – The PCs head into mainland Nidal to seek out Wogan’s sister.  The trip starts out well but is disrupted by a whole mess of ghouls – and an undead Hellknight!

Serpent, Samaritha, Wogan, Sindawe, and Hatshepsut are on a riverboat up the Usk to go to Karpad. Tommy, Lil, Slasher Jim, Kahina, Olgvik, and Dum-dum are left in Nisroch to sell loot. Mase Venjum takes the rest of the crew out a-pirating.

But first it’s back to the fey-skin bondage clothing shop.

The escort uses a large black leather umbrella to keep the rain off the small group.
Wogan refuses the cover, choosing to bask in Gozreh’s glory.
From beneath the cover Lil says, “We will be trying on leather clothes. Are you sure being damp is a good idea?”
Wogan joins Lil beneath the cover.

The PCs also negotiate an alliance with Captain Clap, and tell him about White Estrid’s impending (second) sack of Nisroch. He elects not to tell the Nidalese because “they are all scumbags and I’d love to see this place burn. After I get my letter of marque from them of course.”

NPC Guide-288

Alviana

On the trip to Karpad are two VIP NPCs – Velenne (from the Pathfinder novel set in Nidal, Nightglass) and Alvianna Shadowsworn, an albino glaring druid much like Serpent, who is the representative Nidalese from the NPC Guide. They get to observe quaint Nidalese customs like rounding up the sick and infirm into big metal wagons to be carted off for a “culling.”

Then a fun nighttime encounter – a single fat ghoul fishing in the river. This alarms the PCs, with good reason because they are set upon both by aqua-ghouls and by some undead Hellknight thing riding on top of the river. (This is tied into local lore, the Hellknight Order of the Crux was burned inside their citadel and three graveknights arose from the ruins.)  The ghouls (and fat ghoul!) give them a run for their money; the graveknight just does spell support and leaves when they manage to overcome the mooks.  A nice complicated fight that lasts a while. And that’s it for this one, except for the ghoul fever!

Reavers on the Seas of Fate – Season Four, Ninth Session

Ninth Session (13 page pdf) – “Maw of Shadows” – The Araska docks in Nisroch and is treated to the horrors of Nidal first hand, from the sadistic to the sartorial. Luckily, there’s one friendly face there waiting for them!

Pretty much the place sucks and everything’s illegal and the economy and religion are mostly torture-based. The pirates get restless.

After the cenobite has rowed out of shouting range, the pirates find their courage and complain bitterly. They were unhappy about being in Nidal. They are more so after listening to the long list of laws or “death laws” as the crew starts to call them.
Wogan is unhappy to hear that Gozreh is unwelcome here. He shakes his head, “Everyone needs a sea god. Otherwise, you’ll drown, get lost at sea, or have your head blown off by an angry drunk man.”

Thalios DondrelThe whole place is damp black basalt and metal pilings with skull designs and chains and blank-eyed town guards and children with their mouths sewn shut. But, they get a message from old buddy Thalios Dondrel, son of Mordekai of the Wandering Dagger!

Through the freezing rain in dark streets to the “Glutton Gallows…” Thalios welcomes them and gives them the pirate low-down.  The Nidalese have started accepting and even courting pirates berthing in Nisroch for their own fell purposes.

The captain evaluates the likely lifespan of his crew if they stay in Nisroch long and decides the answer is “short and tortured.” He has a small crew stay in town to sell stuff and has Mase take the Araska offshore while the command crew goes inland to find Wogan’s sister.

Then they partake of some of Nidal’s charms, which are largely off-putting, except for some bizarre reason they become very enchanted with the Boutique Zeleve, which makes fae-skin bondage wear of all descriptions. I know PCs love shopping but I wasn’t expecting to spend like an hour with them getting fitted for nymph-skin genital bindings.

And then Thalios sets them up with a local fixer who arranges for transport – as safe as it gets in this combination of Hellraiser and Nazi Germany (the similarity to Ünderland from the Venture Brothers is remarked upon).

Wrath of the Righteous Chapter Five, Herald of the Ivory Labyrinth – First Session

Vescavor Demon

First Session (8 page pdf) – Our righteous heroes head into the Abyss to free the Herald of Iomedae.  We keep wanting to just go kill Baphomet instead.

Iomedae herself appears to us and gives us tests and doodads and sends us to the Abyss to get her imprisoned herald. The Ivory Labyrinth is a suck-hole, you just wander around for weeks till you find things.  The entrance is guarded by a couple interesting waves of critters, but then it’s interminable wandering.

We do take a perverted fly-headed demon captive and use him to lead us to the capital, Blackburn. We try to trade for information with a hivemind of vescavor demons, but everything it has to say either a) we already know or b) is unhelpful because there’s no such thing as directions here,  you just wander around and make Survival and Knowledge: Planes checks (reflecting what we have no idea) till you find your destination.

Oh and we meet a planetar who is just wandering around and wants to join up.  “Uh… OK,” we say.

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Reavers on the Seas of Fate – Season Four, Eighth Session

hl-mutiny-bountyEighth Session (13 page pdf) – “Treachery Island” – One of their new recruits suckers the Teeth of Araska into a nasty ambush! After a bumper crop of burials at sea, they go make friends with a Nisrochi necromancer in order to get traveling papers in-country.

Well, the island cove ex-Captain Sempronia lures the ship to as “a good place to repair” has an “interesting magical obelisk” on it! This calls for a landing party, which is promptly attacked by Sempronia as her men, who have been laid up here on the island, board and try to take the Araska. She doesn’t want to be an ex-Captain any longer and wants their ship!

Sindawe knocks her out with a flurry of blows.
Serpent asks, “What do we do with her?”
Sindawe says, “Kill her.”
Wogan pulls off her helmet, presses a pistol to her temple and shoots (34pts).
Sindawe snatches up her glaive and runs for the ship, followed closely by Hatshepsut.
Wogan tells Serpent, “We should have hired that other guy over her.”
Serpent replies, “What other guy?”

I LOL’ed. Apparently the whole big scuffle with Duke Ron that Serpent took so poorly was promptly forgotten. Luckily with this party we can just chalk it up to the booze (in-character, naturally).

Bonus Game Content: Character sheets for Sempronia, her privateers, and Duke Ron and Kitty the Cantankerous, since they were in the same Hero Lab portfolio!

The privateers had a plant on board the Araska, who did some careful door-jamming prior to the action so as they board they swiftly overpower the crew.  The ToA crew rallies a bit and holds them back till the PCs manage to fly/run/dimension door back to the ship from the island and then the murder level escalates.

Once they repel the boarders the butcher’s bill is high – 23 dead or wounded; rapid clerical help takes that to 5 dead. That’s the most losses they’ve ever taken at once, and it’s quite sobering. A little time under the lash has the couple surviving prisoners reveal that Cannonball Jack and Kent the Rusty Butter Cutter (he had claimed no nickname at his interview) were from their crew, and secured a bunch of hatches to make the takeover easy.  Kent died in the fight and his corpse is hung from the yardarm but they decide to give Jack a pass because Samaritha dominated him and claimed he didn’t take part in the mutiny.  True, or is she going soft? We’ll see.

NidalThen they reach the borders of shadow-haunted Nidal.  If you’re not familiar with it – it’s a whole dark magic Hellraiser-infested shithole of a country.

Luckily they know a necromancer from Nidal – they had previously fought an angry whale while at sea, then later faced that same whale as an angry undead whale, and then had been visited by the necromancer’s homunculus with a market research survey asking about how terrifying the resulting creature was on a scale from one to ten. Ever ones to make friends, they got his deets to look him up if they ever came this way.

They deal with Thartane the necromancer, who has a keen sense of necro-style. He briefs them and can get them some travel papers (Nisroch is all super “let me see your papers” Nazi style). But he wants something to experiment on.  Here’s how that conversation went, which pleased me no end.

As a research oriented necromancer, he polls the PCs to come up with his target lifeform…

“So now for my part. Each of you, describe to me the most disturbing part of the worst creatures you’ve encountered. What is truly horrifying? I want to take something that fits that description and turn it undead to see if it’s even more effective.”
“Tentacles! I hate tentacles. They drag me down, down…” says Sindawe, with a far-away look. “And being ripped apart by undead tigers.”
Wogan shudders. “Those slimy, three-eyed aboleths, I can’t stand their eyes.”
“Being raped into having chlamydia. And secretions.” Serpent shrugs off the concerned glances of his crewmates.
Thartane muses over his market research. “Something slimy, with three eyes, tentacles, and rapes you into having chlamydia while it tears you apart. Hmm. I can take care of the undead part myself of course…”
“Sounds like a froghemoth,” says Serpent idly.
“A froghemoth!” Thartane brightens. “Brilliant! Yes, bring me one of those. I think some can be found in the northern swamps of Nidal. I need it alive, of course.”
The command staff’s feet grow cold quickly. “Can’t we bring you a baby one? How about an otyugh, they’re kind of like that…” Everyone hems and haws about the difficulty of the task.
“Oh nonsense, you’ll do fine.”

I was laughing my balls off, it was very much like the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man scene from Ghostbusters with Serpent as Dan Aykroyd.

With an accord reached, they head to the capital of Nidal…

“To Nisroch!” declares Captain Sindawe.
“Those are reasonably common last words, just for your information,” notes Mase Venjum.

Reavers on the Seas of Fate – Season Four, Seventh Session

pirateshipatseaSeventh Session (11 page pdf) – “Nip and Tuck” – The Teeth of Araska limps away from port and tangles violently with both privateers and venereal disease. Each takes its own toll.

If you’re familiar with historical seamanship, returning to sea after shore leave means one thing – bad cases of VD. Wogan has his hands full with diseases sexual and normal – the crewwoman Zita nearly dies despite a bunch of healing magic!

They love wavecrawling, and some things they investigate and some things they don’t. They take a merchant ship, the Sharon’s Grotto, and get a bunch of mint, mustard, nuts, and coffee, which they regret after the ship’s cooks have gotten their hands on that combination for a while.

  • Ship doing target practice? Avoid.
  • Electric eel following along? Ignore.
  • Floating poorbox with 12 cp in it? Loot it and wonder.

Then they tangle with some privateers in the Broadsword. As they are taken over they send a messenger falcon (oh I wonder where these guys are from) but this panics the pirates so much that Serpent spends a precious Infamy Point to burn the message off its leg.  The ship’s mage flies away with some more success, but a much shorter range. They send threatening message spells after him.

Bonus Game Content: Crewman stats of the Broadsword (captain, mage, and three classes of crewman, all elite Grey Corsair types)

And that’s a wrap! Taking two ships takes a while. The Teeth of Araska is banged up so they head for a secret cove Sempronia knows of to repair…

Wrath of the Righteous Chapter Four, The Midnight Isles – Sixth Session

Hepzamirah

Hepzamirah

Sixth Session (10 page pdf) – We murder our way through the naughtiness mines till we come across Baphomet’s daughter. Then we murder her.  Then Nocticula murders Baphomet.  Then we go shopping.

First up is killing a tentacle monster like they have here. Then horned demons.  And a glabrezu. And succubi.  We just sing the demon-killing song as we kill them (any Megadeth song). And our war cry of “No Witnesses!” echoes off the walls of the demonic mines.

Finally we fight Hepzamirah, a Nephilim sired by Baphomet. With liberal doses of Mythic Bullshit we kill her. Baphomet tries to give us some stick but Nocticula is all like nuh-uh and melts him and gets us out of there and delivers us back to Queen Galfrey and it’s the end of the chapter.

And Nocticula still didn’t try to kill us or sex us up… I’m very disappointed. (Mainly because my character is gay and I wanted to come up with some snappy zinger when she tried to vamp on me.)

Nocticula

Nocticula