Skulls and Shackles Module 1 Final – I Have Friends in Grindylow Places (6/12/2015)
Sorry for the huge delay in getting this written up. I’ve been super busy the past few months and I wanted to take a break before starting the next module. Things are shaping up pretty nicely, though the first one or two sessions will be a lot of tutorial stuff.
On that note, we’re going to be using the Fast Play Ship Combat rules for ship-to-ship combat, but I’ll get into what you need to know in a little bit.
This is going to be a summary of the last two sessions, and somewhat abridged, as I have forgotten a few of the last hit details in the past several months (sorry!).
1. Session Rundown –
With the last of Arron Ivy’s guards and now Arron Ivy himself neutralized, the party finds itself running out of time. Based on clues found on the island, Rosie is set to be sacrificed to the Kiss of Croatoan in less than five hours! Star Killer, using a spyglass that’s been locked into place on the stockade, finds that there’s a small cave in the side of the island only visible during low tide. Deducing that it could be the place where Rosie was carried off to, the party quickly heads down the beach and over the now-exposed tidepools to the cave entrance.
It’s cramped and waterlogged inside the cave at low tide, but the party manages to navigate its way through the front environs, until they come across a pack of grindylow guards! The guards leap into a battle stance and send their ten-foot long shark minions to attack! Likour manages to stymie one guard with Cause Fear, making him flee for life. With a few blows from a Lucerne hammer and a couple of snake bites from Thoka’s eidolon, the other guard and the shark minions are sent to meet their strange, inhuman god.
Theodore decides to scout ahead and finds a large cove with a high-ceiling… currently inhabited by stirges!
“Guys, these bugs look like trouble. Let’s go around,” Theodore justly advises.
The party creeps around the strange insects and continue on. They soon come across a fork in the soggy road, with multiple paths large and small leading around the cave. Several of the party members learn the hard way that the grindylows were expecting them; a trap involving jagged hooks embedded in cork hinders the movement of the group. Hrafn, Banmoril, and Star Killer take out their weapons and clear out the irritating trap, and the party decides to head east.
Despite being the stronghold of the grindylows, the party finds the cave oddly quiet. Even after looting the treasure from a derelict ship, the group finds little in the way of resistance or any sign of the ghouls from the Infernus. Eventually, the party finds a large metal grating at a dead end of a tunnel. Imprisoned below are two lacedon sailors!
Hrafn and Star Killer deliver the coup de grace to the trapped creatures, and Likour and Banmoril both notice a special coat button on one of the lacedons. A secret compartment reveals an anchor feather token! A strange prize, but one the party takes willingly. With Star Killer in the lead, the party pushes forward, and soon they come across a pool of what looks like black blood.
To their astonishment, a creature like a five-legged squid emerges and speaks to them!
“I am Gul’Tarrab, Herald of the Brinebrood Queen! None who trespass in the lair of Her Majesty shall live!” the devilfish bellows, and soon the party is launched into a furious round of combat.
Star Killer suffers a grievous injury at the tentacles of the herald, but he soon pays the magical creature back many times over with the point of his Lucerne hammer along with a barrage of ice spells from Banmoril. Thoka’s eidolon helps clear the way for Hrafn to jump into the action, and both launch a full-scale assault.
The combined onslaught destroys the devilfish, causing a massive explosion of blood and viscera in the cave! A strange bracelet from the innards of the creature falls into the water, and the party identifies it as a lesser bracer of archery. After some debate, the party decides to backtrack close to the front of the cave and head a different way.
They soon come into a room dominated by an octopoid statue, but before they can investigate, they are attacked by a group of six grindylows! Strangely, they each seem to be garbed in a way similar to the party members; one even carries a burlap snake to look like Thoka. Despite their attempts to emulate the group destroying their tribe, the grindylows are quickly defeated.
After another debate, and a way that is seemingly blocked by two giant sea anemones, the party goes back to the devilfish’s chambers and heads south through a small passageway. When they emerge, they find themselves on the rim of a giant water-filled chamber. They aren’t alone, however, for in the middle of the room there floats Rosie Cusswell on a raft. She’s surrounded by a freakishly-huge grindylow and a smaller female grindylow, and about to be sent to be eaten by the lacedons from the shipwreck!
The party springs into action in a desperate attempt to save their Halfling friend. Croatoan, the huge grindylow, is so massive that he easily devours some of the party, but this proves to be the creature’s Achilles’ heel, as those who are devoured find they can easily slice its belly from the inside! Chanting furiously, the female grindylow sends her octopus familiar and her water elementals to flank the group. Likour, thinking quickly, gets up to the raft, frees Rosie, and has someone toss her the Cusswell Cutter.
She joins the fray, and despite several party members being knocked unconscious, the group defeats the grindylow monarch and her freakish son along with their chained lacedons. The party spends some time looting the environs of the cave before heading back to the Man’s Promise. A spike trap and a swarm of ravenous sea urchins nonwithstanding, the trip back is uneventful, and soon Rosie is reunited with the rest of the mutineers.
The party triumphantly sails back to Magnimar and to the Heidmarch Manor to report their success. After a celebratory feast with several other high-ranked Pathfinders, and even the mayor of Magnimar himself, the Heidmarch Manor presents the party with an audacious proposal: become privateers in the employ of the Pathfinders and eventually become Pirate Lords and Ladies of the Shackles!
2. Encounters –
- 2 Grindylow sharktamers (grindylow ranger 4), 2 Shackle sharks – CR 5
- 8 Stirges (only 2 alarmed and killed) – CR 1
- 2 Imprisoned lacedons (coup de grace killed) – CR 3
- Gul’Tarrab the Brinebrood Herald (devilfish) – CR 4
- The Grindylow Pathfinder Cult (and one burlap snake) (6 advanced grindylows) – CR 6
- Croatoan the Whale, The Brinebrood Queen, and 2 chained lacedons – CR 8
- 2 Ravenous sea urchin swarms (fled) – CR 2
3. Loot –
a. Entrance –
- 2 sets of Cheliax-issued leather armor
- 20 Cheliax-issued javelins
- Small cloth bag containing 3 silver pearls
- 2 Cheliax Navy-issued canteens, each containing a Cure Light Wounds potion
b. Abandoned Ship –
- A wand of Magic Missile (9 charges) (a black wand tipped with an opal)
- A black pearl wrapped in a purple silk cloth
- A fossilized Megalodon tooth
c. Lacedon Prison –
- A battered greatcoat with 5 large silver buttons
- A feather token (anchor) (a red cardinal’s feather)
- A collection of coins totaling 120 GP
d. Devilfish Chamber –
- Lesser bracer of archery (recovered other from Cauldron) (a dull metal bracelet)
e. Octopus Altar Guards –
- 3 polished ammonite fossils, each the size of a gold coin
- 4 Cheliax Navy-issued spears with the shaft chopped in half
- A long red silk scarf
- Rosie’s bag
f. Altar –
- A scrimshawed hammerhead shark skull with a piece of driftwood nailed into it
- A wand of Mirror Image (23 charges) (a piece of polished driftwood)
- An ivory walrus tusk set with gold with a scrimshawed map of the Shackles
- A harp made from parts of an orca jaw and set with pearls
- An Aquatic Cummerbund (a blue cloth belt embroidered with dolphins)
g. Cauldron Alcoves –
- A jawbone of a shark scrimshawed with a giant octopus eating a shark
- 6 gold rings and 6 silver rings
- An enormous whale tooth with a plugged cavity containing 6 pearls
- A whale skull scrimshawed with several spells (see handout)
h. Cauldron Throne –
- 4 +1 heavy crossbow bolts
- A silver spearhead
- 8 4-pound silver ingots
- 312 silver coins
- 186 gold coins
- 86 platinum coins
i. Queen’s Gear –
- A +1 Returning Harpoon (a viciously-barbed harpoon)
- A wand of Summon Nature’s Ally (14 charges) (a driftwood wand tipped with tanzanite)
j. Queen’s Pot –
- A decorative gold shortsword
- A gold-plated wakizashi
- A masterwork cold iron scimitar
- A masterwork cold iron sickle
- 2 masterwork daggers
- A scrimshaw ivory blade depicting an octopus devouring a shark
- 2 longswords
- 3 daggers
- A punching dagger
4. Module Handouts –
5. Customized Monster/Character Sheets –
a. Grindylow Cave
- Advanced Grindylow
- Brinebrood Queen (Grindylow Witch 4)
- Croatoan the Whale (Grindylow Fighter 5)
- Grindylow Sharktamer (Grindylow Ranger 4)
6. Session Totals –
- XP: 3335
- Gold: 3000 (from mission completion, other loot not divvied up yet)
7. Next Game –