I’m glad everyone seemed to have fun Saturday night! I had a great time running the encounters and I hope you like the rest of the module! Sorry for the late write-up.
You guys are getting close to the end of the module, so I’ll just say that if you have ideas for alternate characters start drafting up the character sheet!
In addition, I was looking through the loot and I realized that there are a lot of bauble-type items that you guys have collected. I had an idea for a house rule for the Appraise skill that would make all these items more manageable from both my perspective and yours: If you have ranks in Appraise, you can automatically assess the real value of an item as long as the value’s at or below (50 GP x your modified in Appraise). Let me know what you think of this idea.
1. Session rundown –
It’s slightly after midnight. The party has just finished the fight with the ghoulified remnants of the ship’s prostitutes. Just as the group finishes exploring the environs of the Boudoir, an elongated croak sounds throughout the island, a hideous noise that shatters the night air. Some of the more perceptive members of the group discern that the croak seems to be coming from the west side of the island, so the group moves on, intent on solving the mystery and saving Rosie.
The path through the jungle at night is long and arduous, but the group members eventually reach the fields outlined on the map they found on the sailor’s corpse. A gruesome sight awaits them though: corpses are strewn around the ruined fields, and several decayed heads have been impaled on pikes in each of the four parts of the field. Worse yet, each decayed head is home to a hive of botflies!
Tiptoeing around the heads, Theodore notices a long mound reaching from one field to another. Banmoril decides to check out one of the corpses for clues, but as he steps in the field the ground explodes in front of him! He has disturbed a tropical variant of a large magical earwig-like creature known as an ankheg. It lets out a screeching cry, and three others—two ankheglings and another adult—burst from the ground!
Theodore realizes a unique danger to this battle: as the tropical ankheg is about to die, its carapace takes on a wild appearance of red, yellow, and orange. It then uses its last ounce of strength to move around erratically to imitate a fire. The party realizes that if the ankhegs hit the severed heads it could spell trouble, so they start to lure the creatures towards the middle of the field.
Likour, noticing the dead grasses and weeds, starts a fire to burn up one of the hives. As the flames engulf the field, the ankhegs grow desperate and start to regurgitate acid! Star Killer’s Energy Heart of Desna is able to absorb the majority of the damage, and Hrafn, Thoka’s snake, and Theodore launch a counter-offensive. Despite their hard carapaces, the ankhegs are defeated, and the party explores the rest of the field. The corpses yield little beyond some small pieces of treasure, so the party moves towards the eastern beach.
Likour and Banmoril, able to see through the dark, notice large crabs gathered around a withered corpse. They relay this information back to the other members, and Theodore gets an idea: he’ll toss the dire boar flank he carved earlier in an attempt to lure away the crustaceans. It works! The crabs are so delighted by the meal that the party is able to scoot by them and search the corpse. Judging from the wound on the skull, the party deduces that the person died from some sort of bullet wound.
Besides a scroll of Remove Disease, the only other thing on the body is a note about the three guards at the Stockade. According to the note, Arron Ivy used wanted criminals as his bodyguards, and the bounty for the three totals 5000 gold pieces! The party member discuss the possibility of collecting the bounty then start to move south.
Banmoril takes the lead but the soft beach sand makes the movement slow-going, causing the party to lose several hours of time. By the time the party reaches the beach on the southern tip of the island, it’s nearly mid-morning. While exploring the beach, Star Killer finds the Cusswell Cutter embedded in a tree stump, indicating that the grindylows had been in the area with Rosie. Theodore notices the mast of the Infernus sticking out of the water, and the party debates exploring the shipwreck. The alchemist reasons that there could be clues out in the wreckage, or even Rosie herself.
Theodore readies a Touch of the Sea extract and swims out through the calm water to the submerged Chellish hulk. He finds a small bit of treasure, a valuable looking circlet (found to be a Headband of Vast Intelligence +2 calibrated for Knowledge (geography)), and a metal cage that looks to have been violently ripped open. In the midst of his exploration, a giant moray eel bursts out from a hiding place! The eel is too dangerous for him to take on alone, Theodore flees back to the beach.
The party examines the treasures from the ship—Banmoril laying claim to the headband—and decides to head northwest to the stockade indicated on the old map. With only half a day left to save Rosie, the group hurries through a jungle clearing and a mountain path to the stockade gates. A small building has been erected on the edge of the stockade as a shelter, but there are three figures in front of it. To the group’s surprise, the stockade is still being guarded! Three fugitives—pressed into the service of the Cheliax Navy—guard the area, even after they succumbed to ghoul fever!
One ghoul, a samurai wielding a flaming katana, challenges Hrafn to one-on-one combat, while another ghoul in a leather duster readies a pepperbox pistol. The third appears to be an arcanist who has somehow learned to control three Thassalonian rune guardians. As the guardians hum to life, the party braces itself for the onslaught! Thoka and Hrafn both try to take on the heavily-armored samurai, while Star Killer and Banmoril move to attack the arcanist. Likour tries desperately to keep the party healed, while Theodore uses his bombs to blast the runes and the gunslinger!
Battling furiously despite their decayed forms, the three mercenaries manage to land a number of heavy blows. The samurai deals Theodore a grievous injury with his katana, and the arcanist blasts the Likour with magic missiles and Sleep spells. One of the rune guardians shrinks Star Killer with a Reduce Person spell, but the Shoanti warrior’s rage could not be shrunken, and he swings his lucerne hammer mightily. Using his pepperbox pistol, the undead gunslinger fires six bullets into the group and hits six times, a testament to his skill with the strange weapon.
They’re no match for the party members in the end though, as Banmoril skillfully maneuvers the battlefield to deal the final blow to the arcanist, the samurai, and the gunslinger, and Snickerdoodle bites enough chunks from the rune guardians’ ley lines to disable them permanently.
As the party examines the magical gear of the mercenaries, a now normal-sized Star Killer finds a mounted spyglass rigged to point to a small cove down on the southwest portion of the island. Taking note of this, he and Theodore open the flap to the shelter to find a grisly scene: blood and viscera coats everything in the shelter, and Captain Arron Ivy has hung himself in the middle of it all. Worse yet, the Captain has already fallen to ghoul fever, leaving him as a ghoul with a broken neck.
Star Killer takes pity on him and delivers a coup de grace to finally put the Captain out of his misery. With the ghoul dispatched, the party examines what is left of the Captain’s possessions for clues as to how to save Rosie. They eventually find a writing desk with Arron Ivy’s last logbook entry, along with a sheaf of other papers.
The log entry notes that Arron Ivy saw a group of grindylows carrying someone away on a raft into a cave visible during low tide. He describes a raft remarkably similar to the one Rosie was carried away on, so the group deduces this cave must be where the halfling’s been taken.
Also among the discarded papers is a decade-old toxicology report describing the horrors of “Carrion Hill Ghoul Fever”. The fever, which seems to have originated from a ghoul enclave in Ustalav, allows the person with the sickness to retain his or her intelligence even after becoming undead, resulting in the bloodthirsty monstrosities the party fought on the island.
Shockingly, the report is signed by none other than Habbly Quarne, the ship’s doctor from the Wormwood, in his capacity as part of the Egorian Research Unit of Cheliax! The party commits this information to memory and decides to rest up for the final confrontation. After resting for 8 hours, they only have five hours left to save Rosie from the Kiss of Croatoan!
2. Encounters –
- 2 Tropical ankhegs (ankheg variant), 2 tropical ankheglings (young ankheg variant) – CR 6.5
- 4 Coconut crabs – CR 4 (mollified by boar meat)
- 1 Young giant moray eel – CR 4 (fled from)
- Stockade confrontation – Uchiyama the Ronin (ghoul samurai 3), Six-Shot Sidney (ghoul gunslinger 4), Anara the Rune-Thief (ghoul arcanist 3), 3 rune guardians (Lust, Gluttony, Greed) – CR 7.5
- Captain Arron Ivy – CR 1 (coup de grace)
3. Loot –
a. Farmland –
- A rotting leather belt with a gold belt buckle (25 GP)
- A potion of Water Breathing (a glass flask containing an orange liquid that smells faintly of blood)
- A rusty iron dagger in a pearl scabbard (75 GP)
- A small blue purse containing 3 obsidian stones (30 GP) and 45 gold pieces
b. Beach –
- A scroll of Remove Disease (a scroll with the inscription SUSLECARAP)
c. Infernus Wreck –
- A pair of chopsticks made from manticore spikes (20 GP)
- Four bottles of fine perfume (20 GP/bottle, 80 GP total)
- A Headband of Vast Intelligence +2 (Knowledge (geography)) (a slightly tarnished silver crown inset with a single amethyst) ***TAKEN BY BANMORIL***
- Knowledge that a giant moray eel is mean as hell
d. Stockade Outside/Guards –
- A gunsmith’s kit
- A leather duster (studded leather)
- 20 firearm bullets
- 20 doses of black powder in two powder horns
- The Ram’s Head – a pepperbox pistol with a ram’s skull engraved on the barrel (2 points of plunder)
- Akashi the Flame-Sheathed – a +1 flaming katana ***TAKEN BY HRAFN***
- A set of black masterwork splint mail with red flames
- A frayed black samurai’s robe with a red flame motif
- A pair of geta sandals
- Goggles of Minute Seeing (a pair of silver goggles with crystal lenses) ***TAKEN BY THEODORE***
- A wand of Make Whole (7 charges) (a porcelain wand with several repaired hairline fractures)
- Golem oils (an assortment of strange oils in glass vials)
- A tarnished golden spyglass ***TAKEN BY STAR KILLER***
e. Stockade Inside/Arron Ivy –
- 2 scrolls of Cure Light Wounds
- 1 scroll of Cure Moderate Wounds
- A suit of leather armor with a lion’s face
- 6 spears in decent condition
- 7 finely tailored courtier’s outfits in all the colors of the rainbow
- 5 pounds of black pepper in a waxed bag (50 GP)
- A silver tankard (30 GP)
- A silver locket depicting a beautiful blonde woman (45 GP)
- A Ring of Swimming (a platinum ring set with an aquamarine in the shape of a fish)
- A bloodied Chellish naval captain’s uniform
- 2 gold medals and 2 platinum medals (130 GP total)
- A rotting leather belt with a tarnished gold buckle (50 GP)
4. Module Handouts –
- Bounty Note
- Captain Arron Ivy’s Final Orders
- Captain Arron Ivy’s Final Logbook Entry
- Pepperbox Plunder Handout
- Toxicology Report 1
- Toxicology Report 2
5. Customized monster/character sheets –
a. Farm Fields –
b. Stockade –
- Uchiyama the Ronin (ghoul samurai 3)
- Anara the Rune-Thief (ghoul arcanist 3)
- Six-Shot Sidney (ghoul gunslinger 4)
6. Session totals –
- Experience: (Forgot to write this part down)
- Gold: 580 total (non-equipment treasure)
7. Next game –
June 6, 2015