Here is the second write-up, this one from May!
Before my long rundown, I realized that while I gave XP and gold for your support crew members since the final part of Module 1, I never added it in to their XP totals. I fixed that, and I reuploaded all the new PDFs in this folder along with a .txt file showing the current XP totals. I also configured all the characters’ Hero Lab sheets to Fast Advancement, which means they’ll level quicker than you all to hopefully encourage swapping out crew members more often.
Or just use Grok every session until she can one-hit kill an entire ship. The blood flowed like loud screaming waterfall! Hilarious!
Oh, and one more thing: all this configuration meant Sandara gained a level! Not sure if you all want to pick what she learns skill-wise, so I’ll leave the level un-gained in her portfolio for now. She’s level 4 now.
- Session Rundown –
(Support: Conchobhar, Rosie (Sahagin fight))
The big christening day has finally arrived! All of the residents of Rickety’s Squibs, the crew of the soon-to-be-renamed Man’s Promise, and Merrill Pegsworthy’s crew all gather to celebrate the birth of a new pirate ship and a new pirate crew running wild in the Shackles!
A huge banquet is thrown with the help of the barkeeps of the Demon and Crow and Ambrose Kroop. Long pig—that is, a Shackles pig that is longer than normal—is roasted over the bonfire and rum flows freely as the celebration commences. For good luck, the party asks Pegsworthy (a Free Captain of the Shackles) to help christen the boat and say a few words during the ceremony.
With long pig and pastries in their bellies and the warmth of the rum flowing through them, the party deliberates and decides on a name for the ship: Skôll!
At a signal, everyone gathers on dock, the new name is shouted, and Pegsworthy brings out a bottle of fine champagne to break on the bow and gives a Shackles blessing. Ambrose Kroop says a short blessing as well, and mentions his dream that the ship can one day crack the infamous Tidewater Rock. Afterwards, Merrill asks Likour to come join him as a representative of the crew (and he’s easy to lift) for the bow-breaking.
As the bottle smashes on the ship, a cheer rises up from the assembled and a pirate song is sung! In the tumult, Pegsworthy whispers a hidden message to Likour:
“Don’t be fooled little man, the Rock can be cracked. Hammers and swords may break upon it, but a keen eye and good tongue may cause a fissure once more. So says the one-legged golden eagle.”
After the banquet and a somber farewell to the deceased Lyle Godwin, Pegsworthy pulls his ship into harbor for squibbing. He mentions a job that heard about from an old sailor in Port Peril, and he offers to arrange a meeting between the old man and the crew. The crew, eager to prove themselves with their new ship, agrees.
Several days pass. The crew practices sailing their new ship in the harbor until a cry comes out from the new lookout: a ship is approaching! The crew goes back to the Demon and Crow to await his arrival.
The Old Salt, an old bearded man named Pelle, comes bearing a strange tale as a preface to the favor he needs from the Skôll crew:
“A pirate crew of fifty men traveled to the Mwangi Expanse in search of fame and fortune. Only ten came back. They penetrated deep into the Expanse and deep into the sacred hunting grounds of the Mwangi, five men falling by the wayside from the extreme heat. On that hallowed ground, they espied a rhinoceros with a hide as black as coal at midnight, eyes like a blacksmith’s forge, and a soul like a devil’s. In a brutal battle that lasted two days and nights, they managed to end the life of the terrible creature, but not without losing thirty of their men! They decided to take the horn of the creature as a trophy for their crew and as a symbol of their bravery.
The horn was as heavy as lead, and it took all the stamina of the remaining men to carry it back. What they didn’t know was the horn was cursed! It was haunted by a heathen rhino god! As they loaded it onto their ship, the horn came alive and impaled five men to the mainmast! It took all ten men that were left to pull the horn out, and a magic-user among them carved a warding spell in the horn.
Now, the black rhino has a counterpart: the sacred white rhino, its hide as white as milk. It was spotted on the sandbar travelling from island to island in Besmara’s Necklace. A squall has stranded the rhino, but no man wants to make the attempt after hearing the tale. Will you get that horn for me?”
The crew listens politely, noting that the tale sounds curiously familiar, but they agree for the 3000 gold reward being offered. Pelle, skeptical of such a green crew, nevertheless thanks them.
At dawn the next day, provisions are loaded, the crew gets on board, and the Skoll starts to head out. Hrafn Haven-key takes the wheel, and they set a course for an island in the archipelago of Besmara’s Necklace where the white rhino was supposedly spotted. Conchobhar, eager to prove himself, asks to tag along.
As they dock on the southern shore, they notice the remains of a camp and a strange outrigger canoe. Upon investigation, Theodore and Svetlana notice that the canoe is definitely Kuru-made. Members of the cannibal tribe must be somewhere on the island!
Sure enough, when they start following a river upstream from the beach, they run into four strange men who instantly ready their weapons! The primitive men toss atlatl darts and brandish their tepoztopillis in a bloodthirsty rage, eager to make a sumptuous dinner out of the new pirates.
Unfortunately for the Kuru, the hunters become the hunted! Svetlana shoots a crossbow bolt straight through the heart of one cannibal, and Banmoril and Thoka electrocute and cute-snake-bite another! A Kuru named Lago runs into the woods screaming gibberish from Likour’s Cause Fear spell until Hrafn cuts him down. Finally, Theodore quaffs a feral mutagen and crushes the last cannibal’s head like, quote, “A hippo eating a watermelon.” Conchobhar hangs back and sings an inspiring (?) sea shanty.
With meat back off the menu, the crew explores the spring, and finding a hidden waterfall cave! Remnants of a corpse on a crude pyre molder here, unseen. Thoka notices a sharp looking spear made of obsidian clutched in the corpse’s grasp. It’s enchanted with some older, more primal, magic. She takes it as her eidolon Snickerdoodle watches, apprehensive but hopeful.
On the scent of the rhino’s tracks, the Skôll crew starts their trek through the jungle. Eventually, they climb up a hill to a sandy clearing at the top of a cliff. There, they see inhabitants they were not expecting: a family of Parasaurolophii and a clutch of eggs! Theodore, thinking back to his childhood, remembers being imparted with a key life lesson from Grandma Hobbs:
“Now Theodore, if you ever come across a Parasaurolophus, never get in between it and its eggs!”
The group soon learns the wisdom of their elders. As the crew moves around the perimeter, the protective creatures let out cries but make no motion to attack the group. The party continues on up another hill, and soon they reach the spring on the top of the island plateau. On the edge of the spring is the object of their quest: the white rhino! In addition, an old temple can be seen nearby, along with a massive pile of bones.
However, as the crew examines the rhino, they make a terrible discovery: it appears it is already dead from a massive bite on its midsection. As they try to guess what happened, the culprit reveals himself: a five-ton allosaurus! With a huge roar, the prehistoric menace charges at the party, eager for some raw Pathfinder!
The massive creature uses its dagger-sized teeth and claws to rip through the frontline of the party, but the Skôll crew has faced too many dangers to be scared of a simple dinosaur! Even Conchobhar, a notable coward, is singing at the top of his lungs to inspire the group (albeit a little tremulously).
As her own fury reaches its apex, the taciturn Svetlana Dragunova hoists her crossbow, says simply “Die,” and then proceeds to shoot a crossbow bolt straight through the bottom of the beast’s head and into its walnut-sized brain. The huge dinosaur collapses, causing the ground to quake in its death throes.
After healing up and recovering both the horn and the rhino’s hide, the Skôll crew makes the decision to take the allosaurus skull to mount on the ship as a warning. That warning is: Take note milksops and clotpoles, while you were drinking quarter-rations of grog before night-night, we killed ancient history and nailed its skull to our ship!
Likour, Thoka, and Theodore have their curiosities piqued by the small stone temple. It appears to be bare except for a mural depicting a massive cyclops king sitting atop a strange black throne, and being worshiped by Kuru. Markings on the throne and on the walls indicate that this is a representation of the fabled Cyclopean Throne of Ghol’Gan. The crew makes a note to find out more about this artifact.
With the item of their quest in their possession, the crew makes their way back to the beach and back to their ship for the ride back to Rickety’s Squibs! But a peaceful night’s sleep is not in the cards for the intrepid crew…
As the majority of the crew sleeps, several of the crew on night-watch are attacked by sahagin! While the aquatic humanoids are not normally much of a threat, this particular band has an almost military-like efficiency and a strange degree of coordination.
However, they’re still easily dispatched by the crew. Upon the corpse of the leader, the crew finds a pendant made of the strange material known as deep platinum. They take the pendant, knowing that the material has an almost religious-significance among water-dwelling humanoids.
Eventually, the crew makes it back to the village where they present the horn to Pelle, whereupon they give another amazing embellishment story:
The White Rhino Horn:
- Svetlana: “The rhino corpse was mauled by an allosaurus who attacked us with an earth-shattering roar!”
- Hrafn: (Raises a spear and roars.)
- Svetlana: “We got that spear from a cyclops in his temple. When we took it, cannibals started pouring forth from that murder pyramid like a tidal wave!”
- Hrafn: (Attempts to interject, chokes on his beer, and coughs it up on Pelle.)
- Likour: (Pledges with Svetlana to always be of service for someone like Pelle.)
As the story comes to a close, and payment from an incredulous Pelle is given, the crew is left wondering: what is the secret of the strange throne they saw in the temple? What is the mystery of Tidewater Rock? What was with the sahagin?
And finally, how did Theodore’s grandmother know so much about parasaurolophii?
- Encounters –
- 4 Kuru outrigger rowers (barbarian 3) – CR 6
- 2 adult parasaurolophi and 2 young parasaurolophi – CR 8/2 (resolved peacefully)
- Ugg’s Bane (allosaurus) – CR 7
- 3 Sahagin battle scouts (Sahagin tactician fighter 1) – CR 6
- Loot –
- Base camp –
- 50 gold coins stamped with a skull and crossbones
- Slightly tarnished jeweled anklet
- Wand of Shocking Grasp (25 charges) (wand with a topaz lightning bolt at the end)
- Buried Treasure –
- Bottle stopped cork banded with gold and dotted with topazes
- Scroll of Dread Bolt (scroll that reads KRADMIRG)
- Violet garnet
- Kuru Bodies –
- Assortment of purloined gold jewelry
- Atlatl launchers (4)
- Atlatl darts (20)
- Crude obsidian idols (4)
- Hide armor (4)
- Tepotzopillis (4)
- Waterfall Cave –
- +1 animal-bane obsidian spear (an obsidian-tipped spear)
- Bone Pile –
- A brown-green garnet
- Nunchaku (masterwork), seemingly discarded in error
- A Ring of Arcane Signets (ring with a large green jewel)
- A single embroidered and bejeweled glove
- White Rhino –
- Rhino Horn Plunder
- Rhino Hide Armor
- Sahagin Scouts –
- Armor crafted from treated seaweed (3) (functional equivalent: leaf armor)
- Dark platinum pendant
- Spears (3)
- Base camp –
- Customized Module/Character Sheets –
- Session Totals –
- XP: 1350/1750 XP/person (was not/was on deck for Sahagin fight)
- 1350 XP to Conchobhar
- 400 XP to Rosie
- Gold: 1500 GP/person (Bad DM’ing adjustment made)
- XP: 1350/1750 XP/person (was not/was on deck for Sahagin fight)
- Current Infamy Totals –
- Infamy: 9 (+4, 3 for rhino horn, 1 for sweet skull)
- Disrepute: 9
- The crew can purchase DISGRACEFUL impositions.
- Current crew level: 2 (A SCRAGGLE OF SCURVY SCALLYWAGS)