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Reavers on the Seas of Fate – Season Three, Twenty-third Session

Twenty-Third Session (10 page pdf) – “Ill Luck on Argavist Isle” – As the pirates prepare to flee, the Witch of the Darkpines and her werewolf minions show up and present the PCs with their position – between a rock and a hard place. I like it when player confusion, executed in-character, creates humor.  When Sindawe and the others return, Wogan demands to know “his wife’s name!” Sindawe isn’t married, Serpent is, and this leads to a fairly lengthy “Who’s on first?” exchange at weapon-point to determine if someone in the group is indeed a doppleganger or just retarded. Then when some lurking people warn them about ettins, Serpent claims “there are no such things here!” but Sindawe and Wogan remind him that yes indeed, last time they were here there was an ettin. He blames it on being previous to getting his Azlanti Headband of Vast Intelligence which he claims makes him smarter than anyone else now. Mythra Werewolf

They get ambushed by werewolves.  I dug out my old randomly generated dungeon and remembered that they had bypassed a room with a bunch of low level adventurers in it, I had sheets printed out and everything.  I decided they had fallen victim to Mythra, the Witch of the Darkpines – werewolf, former-lover-now-hater of Jaren the Jinx. This ends with a standoff and parley.

This is where Sindawe finds out he probably has contracted Jaren’s curse, which Mythra put on him in the first place. I had been making them pull crit fumble cards on rolled 1’s when he was around but he figured that was just me being a killer GM and I didn’t disabuse him of that notion. Mythra wants them to clear out some local freaks in her shrine and she’ll remove the curse – Sindawe does not take this gracefully and they part without firm agreement. They interrogate their Ulfen prisoner via Domination and discover that White Estrid’s fleet plans on hitting Nisroch – again! By wintering here they will be able to strike before anyone would usually worry about Ulfen incursions from the ice-shrouded north.

The ships are ordered to sail to nearby Roanoke Island, anchor there, keep a sharp eye, and return in five days, an hour before dawn. The landing party will show one torch for ‘unsafe’, two for ‘pick us up’, and three for ‘we have been devoured by the locals; send more pirates’.

They decide to still brave the shrine despite the Ulfen threat – Bel the Eunuch asks to come along; they totally forgot about him when taking stock of the crewmen missing limbs. “Oh… Yeah,” they say. And it’s off to the shrine!

Reavers on the Seas of Fate – Season Three, Twenty-second Session

Twenty-Second Session (8 page pdf) – “Regeneration Run” – The crew puts together an extra gimpy away team to head to the shrine on Argavist Island. But a pair of ambushes reveals a greater threat than the island usually holds!

To remind everyone of past events, back in Chapter One (Sessions 23, 24, 25) the party went to get Jaren the Jinx’s arm regenerated on Argavist Island; I comboed up a randomly generated dungeon with Wicked Fantasy Factory’s “Throwdown with the Arm-Ripper” for the occasion.

But first – Samaritha finally decides it’s time to give Serpent the news – she’s pregnant!  Apparently the magic of Wedding Rock back on Nal-Kashel did the trick, even though she’s a serpentfolk. (I mean, it is kinda used as deep one-on human-roofies in From Shore to Sea, so I figured it’s reasonable – and dramatic!)

Then they scout out the island nervously (they know there’s some doppelgangers on the loose there, and so their paranoia level is high). They find a couple goblins – an an assload of killer Ulfen! That’s quite a surprise and they have a good fight, and follow their trail back to find – an entire Ulfen invasion fleet wintering there on the island, to get the early-spring drop on somebody! And the flagship flies the banner of none other than White Estrid.

whiteestrid

This causes the pirates to shit their pants good. White Estrid is the Linnorm King who sacked Nisroch, ran the blockade at the Arch of Aroden, and defeated and enslaved a live linnorm. Nautical lore indicates she’s some mix of demon, white witch, giant, and murder-hobo and she’s here with dozens of Ulfen longships.  Run away!!!!!

Reavers on the Seas of Fate – Season Three, Twentieth Session

Twentieth Session (9 page pdf) – “A Dish Best Served Cold” – Escaped sorceress Daphne brings back some Mordant Spire elves for revenge on the PCs, and by “some” I mean “four ships full.” The Teeth of Araska and Black Bunyip fight for their lives against an ambush on the high seas.

First, they almost lose Tanned Hank the ship’s carpenter to a sea horse (yes, really). Then… Things get out of hand.

navalbattle

Daphne, the sorceress that they had Samaritha keep mentally dominated for so long, managed to escape in the fight with the Bunyip – she got hit by a dispel magic that dispelled the domination; she grabbed a dragon staff one of the crew had gotten as booty and flew off.  Well, she’s back with some friends. The Mordant Spire elves take offense at anyone prowling the ruins of Azlant and they drive off or sink any they find.

The Black Bunyip and Teeth of Araska are lured into attacking a ship which turns out to be two Mordant Spire elf skimmers.  Well, that’s not too bad… Oh wait, suddenly there’s a blue dragon fireballing us from 500′ up! That’s bad!  Wait, there’s two more Mordant Spire skimmers catching us in a pincer?  HOLY SHIT! A six-ship battle, the largest we’ve dealt with in the campaign.

Serpent flies up to do battle with Daphne the dragon, while the blinded Sindawe gives Samaritha the wheel and instructions to ram. Read the session summary for more, it’s hot action indeed – blood and screaming among cannon-fire and smoke. Besmara’s thirst for slaughter is well-slaked today.

 

Reavers on the Seas of Fate – Season Three, Nineteenth Session

fishwifeNineteenth Session (10 page pdf) – “The Long Voyage Home” – The Teeth of Araska and captured Black Bunyip sail through the hazards of sunken Azlant. And a second chance encounter with the Fishwife ends up with a high body count.

First we get to  know the surviving crewmen of the Black Bunyip. Then we find out that JJ was built with a watertight internal cavity. Then Serpent weathers the wrath of Samaritha – she’s pregnant, but he doesn’t know that, so theories about why she’s acting psychotic range widely.

And then, they meet an old nemesis – the fishwife!  She lures sailors to their doom, and the squid she has dragging her ship around is no mean opponent either. A decent chunk of ship’s crew dies in the conflict, but most notably is the demise of Jaren the Jinx – allegedly at the hands of the squid but actually at the hands of Sindawe! He’s had it with that darn jinx-curse he bears (it turns all 1’s into critical fumbles). But you know why you never kill a cursed man, right? Every pirate knows that…

Finally, they make it out of the Azlanti islands into the cold northern waters! To get there you go along the trades to the south, but to get back to Avistan you have to come around far north to get the winds. More shipboard drama, next time!

Reavers on the Seas of Fate – Season Three, Eighteenth Session

Eighteenth Session (9 page pdf) – “Capture of the Black Bunyip” – The crew of the Araska finds out that Morgan Baumann has set an ambush for them. “What’s the plan?” “Let’s get ‘em!” It’s touch and go and many a gold Infamy Point coin is spent. Who leaves the crew on this very special episode of Reavers on the Seas of Fate?

All right, we’re back on board the Teeth of Araska and they’ve finally located who they came here to find, Captain Baumann, and gotten rid of pesky Flying Azlanti Death-Ray Lenses that stood in their way.

Most of the guys have read various naval fiction so I like throwing in some realism; they had to get started by towing the ship with the ship’s boats out of the cove. The Black Bunyip has laid a trap, as well, which in classic adventurer fashion they deliberately run right into!

Lacking any other options, Sindawe declares, “We’ll ram and kill them all in hand to  hand!” The pirates cheer, because that’s the way they roll.

The fight is brutal but in hand until a rogue dispel magic removes Samaritha’s domination of Daphne the sorceress. She snatches up the fallen Gareb’s dragon staff (he found it some damn place, it’s worth a fortune) and turns into a blue dragon and turns on the Araskans.

They manage to fell Baumann and drive off the dragon for now, at the cost of many Infamy Points. Sindawe cuts off her thumbs, an idea he got from when they found the thumbless Mase Venjum in the Araska’s brig originally.

JJ [the disturbingly anatomically correct sea-homunculus] approaches the officers and says, “Hey, hey. You know why thumbless people can’t  betray you?”

A concerned Sindawe replies, “No. Why?”

JJ hunches over and talks in a stage whisper, “Hey, do you know who’s going to betray  the captain?” He looks around conspiratorially and says, “This guy!” He begins poking his own chest, but keeps his thumbs hidden indicating that they have been cut off. The conspirator is crestfallen to realize that he can’t identify himself as “this guy.” This amuses the command staff greatly.

Those that survive, level! Ooh, level 7!  They all writhed in glee. (Remember we started in 2009, so it’s a little more than a level a year.)

Reavers on the Seas of Fate – Season Three, Seventeenth Session

Seventeenth Session (11 page pdf) – “Kill All Vampires!” – The vampire crypt keeps the pirates occupied for a while, and finally they finish up at the Sun Temple Colony and set out to hunt down Morgan Baumann.

The PCs are trying for a by-the-numbers disposal of staked vampires and retrieval of loads of loot, but Lil being enchanted nearly puts a huge wrinkle in that; they recover very quickly though.

But luck catches up with them on one of the five crypts; those find/remove traps rolls are always just waiting for you to fail them. They escape the crypt as it fills up with water and a stone slab seals it off…  Oh, but that’s not good enough, time to go back in!  That’s when the going gets rough.

Tommy leaps the stone slab with Sindawe and Serpent close behind. All of them clear the chamber before the slab closes the way. It grinds shut and the sound of water filling the crypt can be heard through the stone.

Wogan says, “I have a Chime of Opening and Water Breathing. Let’s get you guys back in the game!”

Serpent comments that most of the Azlanti race’s enemies were water breathers.

Tommy announces, “That’s fiendish… they trap their enemies down below to starve but give them the water necessary to survive.” They cooperatively spin a tale of some hapless skum caught by the trap, perfectly comfortable but slowly dying. Good times.

They stake the last vampire but overnight Tommy and Lil are a little distracted while on guard duty and some blood ooze thing I found in some book recovers it. Once they get down there again he’s alive, which really, really freaked them out. But then all those God-touched cultists they’re dragging around with them got real lucky (five, hits, two crits) and laid 35d8 damage worth of searing light on the guy!

After that, it’s all done but the partying. They got a metric ton of loot out of it too, so they were happy, and then they traded a lot of it for cool Azlanti magitech doodads (including a walk-in freezer for the ship).

Reavers on the Seas of Fate – Season Three, Sixteenth Session

Sixteenth Session (10 page pdf) – “Lair of the Vampire” – It’s back to Rana Mor to retrieve Lavender Lil from the clutches of the vampiress. I leave it up to the players how much sex and violence there will be.  Hint: Lots!

Lavender_Lil_Bikini_Edition_by_Ruloc

Well, good thing I didn’t toss that Dungeon after they left Rana Mor, because they go right back.  I tried something new this time, which was to have the group vote on how much difficulty, complexity, ultraviolence, and eroticism they wanted in this session.  Go read the details of that in my previous post about Agile Session Ratings then come back here. Those were the values from this session, so I was trying for, on a 1-5 scale, Difficulty 3; Complexity 2; Ultraviolence 4; Eroticism 3.

The first part, briefing the crew before they left, was funny.  Sindawe wanted to get Big Mike to look out for the remaining elf woman captive. So he goes up to him and starts in on an oblique approach, with “Do you love your mother, Mike?” He gets convinced that Sindawe is threatening to kill his mother for some bizarre reason and eventually others have to intervene to calm a blubbering Mike so he can be given his orders and they can move on.

They take some Tear-possessed cultists into Rana Mor with them, which ends up being quite helpful. They have another fight in that darn dart room (third one!), this time with the vampire tiger, who doesn’t care about CON-draining darts as much as all the people do! It has all kinds of AC and defenses but not a lot of hit points, so a bunch of Burning Hands from the cultists do it in after it downs Sindawe. Then it’s time to fight a vampire stripper cleric!

Here’s Saeng Ki’s character sheet for your use! She’s under the influence of the Enemy’s Heart spell she cut out the elf captive’s heart to power.

When she hits the PCs with a negative energy burst, it caused this exchange:

Sindawe is surprised that the negative energy affects him and demands, “I’m evil! This shouldn’t hurt me! What use is there in being evil if negative energy can hurt you?”

Serpent replies, “You never have to say you’re sorry!”

Quite so.  Finally they recover Lil.  In the retrospective, I hit the Difficulty and Complexity dead on, but not enough gore and not near enough sex.  I tried to give some hooks early in the session with the “Kahina and JJ” thing and Little Mike trying to seduce some colonists, but the PCs were like “Uh huh on to the dungeon” and they weren’t in a mood to talk to Saeng Ki, so I couldn’t deliver on that count.  Maybe next time!