The Sea's Revenge

Session Forty-Nine

PREVIOUSLY, ON DUNGEONS AND ADDITIONALLY DRAGONS: we investigated a city, and it turned out it was super creepy and weird and full of snakes. not unexpected really but still bad

  • there’s a spirited discussion pre game about what to do if an entire town spontaneously ignites due to air quality. people are not convinced to move, which seems irresponsible.
  • afa and nalia return and discuss what they found— the prisoners are heavily guarded, and it’s not likely that we could use the wells to snake around. nalia thinks that there might be a big ugly ritual circle in the middle of the city.
  • bellana seems willing to negotiate but only if the group has an escape plan. “running” suggests afa. “if you move both feet at once, that’s jumping”.
  • the group tries to help bellana come up with a plan to negotiate with the yuan-ti. her plan is to bring more clerics and food, which doesn’t seem… helpful. afa suggests they bring back university folk. “i think they’d mind being poked and prodded” says bellana. there’s a minor debate about whether divine magic can be classified similarly to arcane magic and therefore studied by scholars (it can).
  • bellana has to roll to sit down, and fails.
  • the group decides there’s no better option than to simply walk into the city and ask to talk to someone important., and head into the city bellana tries to shake her dress out and… somehow…. also fails at that.
  • eagan and nalia hear footsteps behind them, and a second later, people appear. bellana tries to step towards the people: there’s a brief tussle as afa tries to stop her, and the leader of the guards? possibly? levels her spear at bellana, who offers salutations, almost without insult.
  • the guard lady sends a runner to the high priest, and spears the party towards the city. riaeki somehow gets fewer dirty looks here, which makes her feel real cool. we pass an arena, a small temple, small homes, and generally deeper into the city, up to the foot of the temple of mayor shark. we start walking up the stairs— everyone handles it pretty well, other than riaeki, who does NOT LIKE STAIRS, and eagan, who is just lame or something. the view from the top of the temple, though, is gorgeous.
  • there are four people waiting for us in the temple, near a stone altar that seems like it was probably used for sacrifices. one of the people is a huge snake, one seems to be a half-elf/half-snake, one has a human body and a snake head, and one looks humanoid.
  • riaeki pushes bellana forward, and bellana greets the terrifying snake people with "you just attacked a fort of ours!’ the snake speaks, telepathically which is always a good sign. he greets us as ‘coatl osstili’. the humanoid shakes hands with bellana. her name is maitl imil. the snake body is ‘tzin ekoleihi’, and snake head is ‘tzin zhomisa’. the rest of them speak normally, so at least the only creepo is snakeman. the party goes on to introduce themselves, and complain about the stairs.
  • afa pushes bellana aside and attempts to negotiate for the prisoners— that perhaps they could bring scholars to attempt to find the magical origins of the plague. the party knows, it seems, about as much as the yuan-ti. afa suggest maybe they shouldn’t wear cursed amulets (zhomisa is indeed wearing a strange amber necklace with necromancy magic on it). no one seems to react to this, thank god.
  • bellana offers up darkwater aid: healers, researchers, guards and hunters…. afa interrupts her and suggests that the party investigate the source of the plague ourselves. riaeki explains that the party has offered themselves to the yuan-ti’s mercy, and that their desire for the safety of the prisoners means they’re at a negotiating disadvantage. the yuan-ti allow the party guest rites, guarded, but seem like they won’t immediately kill them. there’s a brief struggle as bellana refuses to be lead.
  • we’re taken downstairs into what seems really a lot like a jail. possibly because it is a jail. bellana immediately complains that it’s not, well, her rooms in calafort, and has a bucket of water and soap delivered to her. as she tries to throw it on him, afa takes it for herself. riaeki manages to pull bellana into the cell, and we lock ourselves in jail, like fucking dumbasses.
  • afa and nalia do shadowpuppets, which they’re REALLY good at. they tell the story of the moonrats, and eagan is enraptured. bellana hears a voice she knows from across the room: gideon. riaeki shouts back: yes, bellana is here. bellana tries to cover up their identities, but gideon has already given himself up. bellana punches a wall.
  • bellana begins rattling the door, desperate to get out, and declares she’s calling off the deal. the guard, nohahlu, eventually finds it unbearable, and cuts her with some kind of narcoleptic poision that knocks her out for a full twenty minutes. when she’s out, afa and riaeki attempt to reason with the guard— the party really is here to help— but he doesn’t seem convinced.
  • nalia has an inane conversation with eagan about his name to cover for afa and riaeki, who come up with a contingency plan to break out of the city should things go south. the codeword is ‘sharzad’. bellana gets more and more agitated and tries to find faults in the walls.
  • after a long while, zhomisa shows up, sending nohahlu away. before he tells us his decision, he wants to ask some questions. he quizzes afa on what she’s seen of the plague: afa worries that he’s asking because he’s somehow the cause: he’s sent the guard away and wearing a necromancy necklace. it seems like he’s reading her mind, and afa shouts in hers for him to stop. he shouts for a compliment of guards— and afa and riaeki poof outside to attack him.
  • nalia casts witch bolt, saying ‘zap’ as she does it. afa teleports outside the door. nalia ignites the door. bellana body slams down the door. riaeki turns and slams her ring into the door holding some of the prisoners. afa starts thinking of horrible things her girlfriend did to snakes and casts hold person. it doesn’t take :( . the guards show up, including nohahlu. eagen tries to cast a sacred flame, but fails. nalia gust of winds the guards back through the door, and riaeki throws a wall of water into the doorway. bellana threatens zhomisa very threateningly. zhomisa fills an aura with light, and eagen seems like he’s super chill now. bellana goes into a rage! and attacks his ass. afa attempts to convince nohahlu that zhomisa is causing the plague. he seems to be deliberating. the guards try to shoot through the wall of water, and do not. riaeki attacks zhomisa, and he drops his spell on eagan. snakebody lady shows up, bursting through the water wall, and casts a spell on riaeki—- she sees larr xa appear, and attack her. zhomisa tries to suggest nohahlu, who FUCKIN BEASTS the save, get FUCKED you ASSHOLE. bellana goes for ekoleihi, letting the gust of wind fling her. afa yells at ekoleihi and blasts zhomisa. eagan tries to sacred flame zhomisa and fails. the guards try to run through the water wall and fail, and try to shoot through the water wall and succeed. nohahlu, in a bit of a crisis, misses. nalia fireballs the HELL out of zhomisa and MURDERS HIM. riaeki, realizing larr xa isn’t real, charges ekoleihi, who tries to choke bellana with her snake body. bellana activates her dancing sword and tries to escape. afa casts tasha’s hideous laughter, but ekoleihi shrugs it off. eagan FINALLY hits someone for two whole damage, and heals bellana. the guards try to shoot bellana and riaeki and graze riaeki. nohahlu just sits down and thinks about his choices. nalia tries to convince ekoleihi that zhomisa was causing the plague. the guards lower their bows.
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Session Forty-Eight

The gang discuss further how to proceed. In the end they decide to send Afa in to gather some more info.

Afa casts Disguise Self to make her features look more yuan-ti. Once in the city, she heads for areas where there might be fewer people around. She meets with a full yuan-ti woman who seems likely to be very sick with the plague. She has necromantic magic in her fingertips, which points to a magical component to the plague, and sets out to do more exploring to learn more. She also hears rushing water deep down in a well, which is strange…

Meanwhile, the rest of the gang are doing their own investigations on the perimeter of the city. They note a lot of the culture of the city, and are surprised how cosmopolitan it is.

Back inside, Afa continues her investigations. She enters a temple, and notices that there is necromantic magic inside as well. Afa then approaches one of the people inside, telling him she’s there to pray, and implying she has a relative with the plague. The acolyte shows her how to pray to the Night Serpent. He also says that Merrshaulk and his priests are looking for a way to cure the plague.

Afa makes her way back to the rest of the gang and recounts what she saw. They debate the possibility of using the wells to transport the prisoners. It is decided that Nalia and Afa will go back to investigate further.

In the wells, Afa finds that there is indeed a cave system deep beneath the city. They then head into the city to look into the necromantic magic. Nalia sees that it is a residual magic as if a huge amount of necromantic magic has been discharged in the area—probably a ritual site. In the temple of Merrshaulk, Afa observes some of the priests doing a WACK blood ritual and Nalia sees a woman using healing magic trying to save a plague victim to no effect. They decide to head back and tell the others what they saw.

Meanwhile, Riaeki and Bellana are testy with each other. It is revealed that Belanna has somewhat misrepresented herself which causes some arguing that leads into more planning for how to free the prisoners. Eagan suggests everyone wait for Afa and Nalia to return before moving the conversation forward.

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Session Forty-Seven

We follow the tracks through the swamp. Its very treacherous footing and it is humid and sticky.
We trudge on, some doing better than others. We are very lucky to have Eagan since none of us can roll survival for shit. We are all very miserable.

As the day comes to an end, Riaeki catches sight of something moving slowly. She manages to see that its a humanoid figure sitting near the tree, possibly injured and goes to check it out. It is a young Yuan-Ti man with a large wound in his leg. She offers to help with the wound and mentions that they are looking for the people from the castle. He is defensive and not forthcoming for the information. Riaeki kind of threatens to kill him, but in a polite way, in order to get him to join and help us. He doesn’t want to die right now, so he agrees to come back to the rest of the group and Riaeki heals his leg.

Belana describes some of the missing people and the mystery man confirms that they are with the group. He helped heal the injured ones. He has the same holy symbol that Nehaska did. There’s more conversation and we find out his name is Tzin Halsul. Riaeki ties him up and gives the lead to Nalia. As we continue on, Riaeki casts detect thoughts to see how truthful he is.

Afa strikes up a conversation and learns more about Yuan-Ti theology, asks about cranberries, and discovers that he knows Nehaska. (They share parents but she’s not his sister or something.) We also learn that the name of the god that they both serve is Merrshaulk. He says of her “she’s an adult, but she’s still ahtle.”

We finally make camp on a solid bit of ground and keep watch. We find out that the reason he reacted so strongly to Riaeki’s talking to gods was that he had an ex-boyfriend who was and aasimar who left because of a divine vision.

In the course of the conversation, Riaeki invites Elu to talk to Eagan through Riaeki’s body and he took her up on the offer! (Apparently he just reached out and touched him and didn’t say anything). Eagan then wakes everybody up.

Halsul heals himself by filling his wound with magical blood.
Belana wants to charge off but Afa wants to eat breakfast. There is much bickering as we set off with Halsul takes the lead.
We discuss possibly flying in, or using a smoke cloud as cover. There’s a patrol but luckily we duck it.

Next we have a stop and a conversation about why they need the sacrifices in the first place. Apparently there is a plague in the Yuan-Ti city, a rotting plague that causes people to hallucinate and wreak havoc with unnatural strength. We discuss if solving the plague must solve the hostage issue.

Halsul says he won’t report the incident until after they escape and we decide to let him go before we solidly decide on a plan.

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Session Forty-Six

Last time: the group travelled towards Kineshi swamp. Nalia and Eagan spoke of the gods and the concept of inherent goodness. Afa and Riaeki spoke about visiting Afa’s family. Bellana complained. They encountered an abandoned town, inhabited by three hags, which the party miraculously avoided. Bellana was chastised for walking directly into danger, then the party proceeded down the road, and was attacked by bandits. Nice. Through some spell use and threats we managed to avoid fighting them, and totally nothing happened involving a spell being cast on Bellana and Bellana being pissed about that. Nothing at all.

We proceed further and further into the swamp, spending the night with Bellana glaring constantly at Riaeki. The party sets out the next morning, starting to finally arrive in the swamp proper, with muddy road and wispy fog through the morning— until we finally come up to the roads end, where the road has been washed away by the swamp. Wide, tall trees rise up in every direction, and one is lying broken in the middle of the road.

We look down into the swamp, and snark at each other about spirits in trees. We all aggressively don’t want to go in first (and bellana is the worst about it). Eventually, at Eagan’s insistance, Afa goes first, and we all follow. Riaeki lashes a makeshift raft she found to her horse. We make our way decently far in- when Nalia notices a set of mushrooms that move, and then open, revealing a huge eye. Rising out the swamp is a gigantic poisonous tentacle frog, which is one of the worst things I’ve had to type.

Combat rundown:
→ Soraya and Eagan open strong, with burst of sacred flame and good arrow.
→ Nalia throws a fireball. It’s not very effective, but we’re still proud of her.
→ The Froghemoth attacks Afa and Bellana, grappling them. Then it swallows Soraya. Fuck.
→ Afa throws some good good eldritch bolts.
→ Nahwea tries to charge, but fails. Riaeki Attac, but also Protec, using a Turn. It doesn’t work, but it could have, which is good.
→ Bellana gets ungrappled, then bravely runs away.
→ Eagan is pissed, and throws scorching rays at the frog. ‘Let her go, you slimy motherfucker!’ Soraya tries to attack from inside. It’s… bad content.
→ Nalia also scorches the rays at the frog. It, again, is not very effective. Love that fire.
→ Nahwea does a cool kick. It’s sweet. Then the froghemoth destroys her and grapples Riaeki. Much less sweet. Then it swallows Riaeki. It… does that. It does that.
→ Afa eldritch blasts it. We love her but it’s not the Most Damage That’s Ever Been Done.
→ Riaeki hits it incredibly very hard and… lets Riaeki and Soraya go. Nice!
→ Eagan does MASSIVE HEALING. Soraya moves away from the frog and shoots an arrow. It hits!
→ Nalia throws a chromatic orb and I’m Love Her. The acid eats through the skin of the creature.
→ The froghemoth fails to attack literally anyone this round, so basically, we’re the best.
→ Afa does the warlock spell, and she does it good.
→ Riaeki slices the creature’s tongue off with a branding smite, following through on the motion to stab the frog through the jaw and the head, releasing a blast of radiant energy to turn it into a frog kebab.

We proceed to take lunch in the middle of the swamp because fuck it.

Riaeki asks Bellana for horse usership permission, and Bellana (very reluntanctly) agrees to let her use Orchid, her hunting horse. Bellana goes back to cleaning daisy when the Mosquitoes appear.

God damn it.

→ Bellana & Riaeki are attacked by Mosquites. It uh, it really gosh dang hurts.
→ Eagan fails to sacred flame. Soraya shoots one of the mosquites on Bellana.
→ Nalia casts gust of wind, blowing the mosquitos back, off of Bellana and Riaeki.
→ Afa plays her garklin so good that the mosquitos explode.

God damn.

Bellana wants out, so we leave. After a half a days journey, we finally arrive at the keep. Bellana lies about knowing Dellahn. Then, we notice the keep is empty. Unmanned. And the gates of the keep are splintered. Inside lies Dellahn and many others- dead, maybe a couple days. Bellana rides through the keep looking for survivors- finding none, but also no bodies. At least 30, maybe 35 people are missing.

Bellana begins moving her bags into her room, while everyone else tries to figure things out. She asks everyone to help her move her bags, then when that’s done, shuts herself in the room. Eagan and Soraya discuss why Bellana would be acting so odd, which makes Nalia thinking face emoji. Finally, Bellana emerges, in a (very slightly) more padded outfit which might stop, I don’t know, a single drop of acid, carrying a sword and shield in a manner that indicates that she doesn’t know how to use them, and goes to the gates. Riaeki stops her, and Bellana activates the shield, causing a ghostly figure to emerge and highlight the tracks all around. She explains that she wants to go after the people in the castle and find them so as to defend her families reputation. Everyone believes that? For some reason? Though then again, she is /awful/. The party decides to head deeper into the swamp to try to locate the survivors.

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Session Forty-Five

Last time on SeaLandFightZone:

The gang is still traveling, and Bellana is still The Worst.mp3. They pass through some villages and whatnot but nothing of particular note happens until later in the afternoon. It has been raining and is generally miserable, so they don’t notice until they’re right at the village that…there are no people around. There is a slight scent of smoke on the air. Bellana notes that there is one home with smoke from the chimney, and insists on seeing if there’s someone there who has provisions for them. As the gang begrudgingly follows her, Nalia notices that the village seems to have been suddenly abandoned. However, the hut with smoke from the chimney is…pristine. Bellana enters and the rest follow. Inside there are three old women, who instruct the party to sit. Bellana starts telling them all kinds of info, smh.

Nalia realizes this is a coven of hags. In fact, one of them says so when Bellana asks if they’re orcs. They also give her some TEA which Bellana drinks. Nalia decides it’s time to go and starts to drag Bellana out, and Riaeki joins in. But in the process of this, Afa (who has been hiding behind Bellana) is exposed, and one of the hags recognizes her as fae marked, and figure out that she is associated with the Unseelie.

The hags want to ask Bellana questions. Bellana at last starts to demur but the hag puts a clawed hand on her shoulder, and won’t let her pull away. Afa says that if the hag hurts Bellana, she’s going to be forced to break her contract—or enforce it. This finally makes the hag release her and the gang get the heck out of there.

The gang hassle Bellana for a while but it mostly doesn’t seem to make an impression, and they set off again.

When evening sets in, they make camp. Eagan talks with Nalia about fire, the gods, and why people go to religion. Nalia is very awkward. Riaeki talks to Afa about going back to Afa’s hometown when this assignment is over. Suraya talks with Belanna who is very Herself.

The next morning as they set out, a few of the party hear what sounds like a scream being muffled. They realize Eagan is missing. Riaeki and Afa go to check it out, while Nalia stays with Bellana. It turns out to be bandits! When they demand money, Riaeki says they don’t have any, they’re guarding a noble with all the money. While some of the bandits go to ambush the others, the bandit leader agrees to hand over Eagan.

A BUNCH of BONKERS stuff starts to happen. Nalia intimidates the bandits by playing along with the idea she’s a demon. Afa casts fear on a bunch of bandits who RUN AWAY! Bellana tries to ride off but gets stopped by Riaeki. The gang collectively freak out/confuse the bandits to get them to just..leave?

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Session Fourty-Four

previously on…………….. survivor
shopping and getting people arrested and sharzad is leaving us (FOREVER) (no) (but it’s still sad)

  • afa comes home to find the green finches have gone off on a tour, though the innkeep says that they will be back eventually. she goes to bed, and dreams lessons with callum. there’s a difference, though— normally they’re in an idyllic meadow, but afa returns this time to the campsite where we met callum. “interesting venue tonight,” says afa. “it’s familiar,” says callum ominously . he’s heard on the grapevine about how AMAZING AND POWERFUL afa allows that we’ve been dealing with gods, to which callum is surprised. afa tells callum a not insignificant amount of information about yleth, although not her name, including that shes’ dead and has been removed from history. callum says that he wouldn’t have thought the queen would care… yet, and says that she should check on her fey friends, and what they’re saying about her. some might be ‘envious of her position’. he teaches her a new etude, and that’s all of that. SUSPICIOUS
  • the group convenes in the morning to talk to nehaska at the bung and barrel, and contractors, in that order. the bung and barrel is in a nicer part of town, with a huge wine rack at the back, very nicely made. also at the back is tenk. sharzad rushes over and nearly offers nehaska a share in the venture, before afa pulls her back. tenk wishes he could help, but was taken from kineshi swamp very young, and waves nehaska over when she comes down. nehaska retrieves breakfast and we sit around the table. riaeki tells her that we’re looking for information on the swamp. nehaska wonders who could be important but also need escort to kineshi, but she lived there and remembers who owned property nearby. she asks what we know about it— it’s big. and. blue. (I KNEW IT)
  • the road will have bandits, she guarantees us. you can’t farm the land, or hunt really, so the people take to banditry to support themselves. the lizard people are likely to attack, less so the yuan ti (‘colonizers’ mentions tenk helpfully), but the yuan ti are zealots, obsessed with poison and into blood sacrifice. (‘i understand that,’ says sharzad.) the yuan ti can’t be bribed— they are looking for glory, a suitable sacrifice, or both in one. if we get captured, we should know that no one is coming, because it’s unlikely they’d ever find us. she also reminds us that lizardfolk consume the dead fallen in battle (tenk takes offense at her description of this, protesting that it’s a cultural difference). sharzad tries to convince her to join the party for this job, but she doesn’t want to return to the swamp. riaeki asks if she has any details about the area, and she goes off to get paper to ‘write us up a guide’.
  • ‘she must like you,’ says tenk, ’that’s the most she’s talked about that place in a long while.’ she definitely likes afa. he says that the two of them are about to go out on a job for caradoc, and sharzad offers up the new formed guild for any future ventures. she also mentions that the starting funds were gathered illegally, and nalia adds that the man who donated the money got eaten by his own demon. luckily, nehaska shows up before this conversation gets more out of hand, and makes some notes. she notes inns to stay at, an abandoned city that’s probably overrun with bandits, and roads that might be helpful. afa thanks her, and we leave them to their breakfast. as we leave, sharzad lets tenk know that she has some forging ideas she might like to work on while she’s in the city, and gives him her address— he knows it, and tells her that it’s nice to have family in the city.
  • we head off to attempt to hire construction people to build our guildhall. none of us know that much about construction, but afa and sharzad have a vague idea of what the price should be. a discussion is had about where to find skilled laborers (the carpenter’s guild), unskilled laborers (the docks) and materials (who knows). laborers are hired, though the guild members can make some coin as our unskilled labor, so we don’t have to search them out. this takes most of the day, and late in the afternoon, we seek out reka.
  • pentek is on the stoop, playing with an adorable cat— he’s grown a bit (pentek, not the cat). it seems like a street cat, but he’s pretty insistent on keeping it. sharzad healing word’s the cat, who curls up on pentek’s lap. as we go in, afa hangs back, and assures pentek that if reka won’t let him keep the cat, he can keep it outside and feed it scraps.
  • as the party enters reka’s study, riaeki notices that he’s reading a lurid romance novel, which is amazing. she tells him that this is good blackmail to convince him to keep the cat. the party asks after the many ruffians they’ve sent reka’s way: xan and lydia are in calafort, and rain appears on her way. lydia has already gotten herself into trouble with cassian, one of the refugees, and xan is refusing to tell anyone his name, but they haven’t caused too much havoc.
  • the party tells him where they are going to put their guild, and mention that it’s going to have a tavern. this sparks a discussion about tavern names, and whether it would be unappetizing to name our guild tavern after the moon rats, or indeed hire the moon rats to be waiters and chefs. this seems like a bad idea, but we put a pin in it until we have a guild. sharzad then asks about the book reka was reading, and is informed as to the ways that books can be about sex. it’s at this point thankfully that pentek walks in with the cat, and the party leaves them to that.
  • when afa, nalia, and riaeki return to their rooms, there’s a notice from belinda greyhawk that the job’s gonna start the next day. riaeki heads to sharzad’s to give her the funds from the handy haversack, and also…….. ask her to kill larr xa and nexxaya, should they escape from prison. sharzad pretty categorically refuses, and riaeki regrets this immediately and they spend a very awkward afternoon trying to forget that conversation happened.
  • the next morning, the party heads to meet belinda greyhawk and their new charge. belinda has a large dog friend with her, who is tragically not coming with us. she takes us to the east gate as sharzad says her farewells: first to nalia, who promises not to set anything important on fire, then to afa, who promises not to sign any contracts and seems VERY convincing about it, then to riaeki, who sharzad hopes will not test the limits of rashul’s power by, um, dying. riaeki kisses her goodbye, and she leaves. belinda greyhawk dramatically has no opinion about this.
  • we’re taken to the east gate, where bellana is waiting for us. she basically looks like kelly clarkson, and that’s in the notes so it’s canon now. nalia introduces herself as ‘afa and riaeki’s friend’, afa says hi, and riaeki asks if bellana really threw someone threw a window (yes). belinda mentions that this was into a piano, and afa takes GREAT offense. it doesn’t seem to matter to bellana— the darkwaters can just buy a new piano— but afa takes great care to mention that if anything happens to her mandolin, bad things will happen to bellana. bellana does not seem very convinced, and is pretty condescending. belinda, weirdly, defends the party— they apprehended a cannibal and magically beat the crap out of a merchant— but bellana doesn’t seem impressed by that either. she’s making a fantastic first impression.
  • riaeki turns to the two guardspeople coming with us. one, eagan, is a cleric of elu and seemingly a full half-elf, the other, suraya, is of indeterminate origin and wielding a bow. it’s like sharzad has been split into two slightly less competent people, and it’s creepy.
  • we set off through the east gate! bellana complaining the entire way, and purposefully trying to separate herself from the party. afa hitches a ride with eagan, as there aren’t any horses her size, and tells him that she could take care of bellana should she try to get away. eagan seems relieved by this.
  • the session ends there, but also swamp cliffs 2k17
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Session Forty-Three

(Afa goes to talk to Larr Xa and tell him that the Queen rejected his contract)

On the sixth day, the boat approaches Calafort. We tie up the boat and we are greeted by Reka’s assistant Brynda. She is rather shocked at our cargo of prisoners (again) and heads of to send a message to Belinda Greyhawk.

Afa and Sharzad debate being liked vs. being feared.

Belinda arrives and takes the prisoners. She is Very Disapproving of Larr Xa’s missing extremities and tells us to reconsider our methods.
Belinda tells us that she may have a job for us. Riaeki doesn’t understand the legal system and is confused that they are not going to be charged immediately. Belinda explains and Riaeki is worried that the time a trial will take will give them time to escape. Belinda continues to explain the justice system to a confused Riaeki.

Belinda goes on to tell us that she wants to hire us to escort a friend of the family’s daughter to the Kineshi Swamp. This family we will be working for is the Darkwaters.
We all roll absolutely amazing on our history (3 nat20s and one 18 WHAT) so we get a nice infodump on the Darkwaters.
-they are an incredibly wealthy family that deals in money management. Banking, insurance, etc.
-they have more high-elf blood than some other noble families and as a result got kinda a shitty plot of land when they were enobled.
-they have the Kineshi swamp, which is very dangerous in large part due to the lizardfolk and the yuan-ti that preform horrible sacrifices in the heart of the swamp.
-The heads of the household are Lasalle and Jubal Scolt.
-most of their children are accomplished and well-behaved, except for one, Bellana.
-A local bard wrote a song about her throwing someone through a tavern window.
-The Darkwaters tend to use their swamp castle for punishment rather than retreat.

We continue to discuss the job. Belinda says that Bellana might not be happy about having to go and hasn’t been informed of her journey.

Sharzad says that she needs to stay behind in Calafort to work on building the mercenary company.

We arrive at the jail. It is an extremely solid building built into the hill. The door are covered in abjuration magic. They put Larr Xa and Nexxaya into the cells, and the locking of the doors includes cells. Belinda assures us that magic inside the cells is limited and it is all very secure.

She tells us we will be in contact with us when it is time to leave for our next job. She gives us the writ to redeem for the bounty, which we go to immediately collect. We get the money from a very nice tiefling with a broken horn and then head out.

We discuss where to buy the land for the guild hall and then split up. Sharzad goes to sell Nexxaya’s garments to a tailor and get things made for herself. The woman tries to convince Sharzad that it would be cheaper to have Nexxaya’s garments tailored to her, but Sharzad says she would rather sell the garments and have new stuff made from scratch. When she places her order for a dress and wants it soon, she gets a stern lecture on how long dresses take to make from scratch. Sharzad orders a dress and some professional clothes.

Riaeki goes to try to find Nekhasa. She starts by going to Caradoc’s and is told that he is in a meeting. An older elf who looks similar to Caradoc storms out and then Riaeki is let in. Caradoc says he’s fine, but Caradoc is not fine. Riaeki asks about Nekhasa and he tells her where she’s staying. Riaeki turns to go and then says that is Caradoc needs to talk he can talk to her. He says that things have been extra tough between him and his father since the whole nebulous Angharad deal. Riaeki says she still feels responsible for that. They talk about that and also some emotional stuff that i forgot to take notes while it happened, but Riaeki spent 5-lay-on-hands points while touching his face.

Afa grabs some food and goes to hang out at Bredan’s fish stall and they trade stories of their adventures.

Nalia goes to give a present to Akaar. When she arrives he’s in the middle of making his weekly stew. Nalia helps even though she is not very good at chopping vegetables. Nalia updates Akaar on all that has happened and tells him about the Yleth orb. She gives the brooch to Akaar and he is very touched even wiping away a tear! And he says that he always enjoys his conversations with her and then they chop some more vegetables.

The gang reconvenes and looks at the listings for properties in Oldmarket. Most of them are managed by the Sailors Guild and we need to talk to someone named Dolph. We go and talk to Dolph and it is awful and when Afa gets the impression that they wouldn’t then be allowed to go to the feywild, she decides its time to leave.
Next we see that the temple of Rashul owns land and we go to talk to them. We secure a plot of land and now we have land to build the guild!

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Session Forty-Two

BACK AT IT AGAIN IN MISTFALL!!!

BUT ACTUALLY we are extremely leaving the city on account of all the pirates and mafia we just aggressed. Sharzad and Riaeki find a ship to take them back to Calafort, captained by one “Torgild Ventura”. They pick up Afa and Nalia where they’re waiting in the bay with Larr Xa and Nexaya. The latter two are confined to the Very Small Room. Afa casts Magic Mouth on the door as an alarm. Riaeki helps Torgild with manning the ship, Afa takes a nap, and Nalia studies some of the books they took from Larr Xa. Sharzad asks Riaeki about Boat Things but they both get kinda confused about it because they are cute nerds.

The route back to Calafort takes about six days.

-identify sharzad’s items
Sharzad asks Nalia to identify her new items. The breastplate is imbued with the power of Yleth and the gloves are for climbing. Sharzad keeps the breastplate and gives the gloves to Afa, who is very happy with them. Next, Nalia identifies the orb. It has divination magic as expected, but something about it is different— it seems to be connected the items and is maybe able to find the missing ones.

Nalia then uses legend lore on the amulet. It glows softly with a blue light, and then Nalia hears the following: “Many years ago this land was mine. I was the ruler, the sovereign, and I earned my place. But my siblings were jealous. And they sent someone to cast me down from my throne. But I got my revenge. I broke the key into several parts, and I hid them where they would never be found. So I am dead, but my siblings, well…They have a death of another kind. Confinement. And no one even remembers.”

Nalia tells the gang what she heard, and they decide to rest before trying to use the orb to find the final items. During this time, Riaeki goes to listen to Larr Xa and Nexaya. They discuss the possibility of Nexaya surviving the execution. It becomes clear that Riaeki is listening and she joins the conversation. She asks Larr Xa to confess, which Nexaya thinks is ludicrous. They discuss Nexaya’s patronage to a god of undeath and Larr Xa’s unpayable debt.

The next morning Afa and Sharzad do some stunts and have a good time.

Afa asks her patron about the stuff going on with the gods, and if she should be concerned about it or not. The fey queen is in fact impressed to know about this and thanks Afa for the information. Afa is understandably pumped about this and breaks out her mandolin and plays a dang tune.

The gang stop at a FARMER’S MARKET and buy some fish. They have a conversation about theatre and mercenaries and prostitution with the fishmonger lady. Riaeki and Sharzad discover the joys of salmon. Meanwhile, Nalia goes to buy a brooch for Akar.

Afa has a conversation with Larr Xa. In the course of conversation, he says he would do anything—make any promise—to let Nexaya go free. Afa consults with the queen of air and darkness about this. The queen says she will get back to Afa about it….cliffhanger music

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Session Forty-One

Last Week: We get into mortal combat with Larr Xa and Nexxaya. Well, not mortal exactly. Dire? Anyways. Through clever use of hold person, grappling, handcuffs, and Gun, we apprehend them, and begin to quiz them about our old friend Ylethaen, discovering an awful conspiracy of thousands. We decide that we need to search the Edge of the World for more information; Afa, Nalia, and Sharzad go to the Edge of the World to do a heist, while Riaeki stays behind to watch after Larr Xa and ends up doing some torture. Awesome. Wow. We visit Ratha to talk to her about her future in the city and the level of difficulty of the heist (difficulty: very hard. our fucks? zero.) We proceed to the bay, sneak very badly through the docks, and jump off of the cliff, just like, a lot.

We swim towards the boat. It’s a fucking comedy of failures. Afa hits barnacles then runs away. Sharzad climbs the boat while invisible and forgot to wrap her guns right. Nalia, as always, is the fucking MVP, looking like a mermaid witch doing a cthulhu chant, it’s great.

Sharzad finds fine clothes, lingerie a pair of magical gloves (?), and a stash of coins and jewels. Nalia finds books on various magic, Larr Xa’s journal, and a small, slim volume that’s not in Larr Xa’s handwriting. It’s a weird Elvish- maybe Nexxaya’s language. Afa sees a slight glow behind a glow in the wall. She opens it- it’s a shimmering glass orb, a crystal orb, sitting on a dark metal stand. It’s fairly small, small enough to fit in the palm of one’s hand. She takes it. Nalia literally factually says “Mamma Mia.” Finally, Sharzad finds the breastplate of Nexxaya, and puts it in her bag.

Once we’ve looted the room, we discuss what to do next. Sharzad says not to look in the brig- which immediately reminds Afa to look in the brig. Afa points out prisoners who wouldn’t be able to escape the fire might be there, so Sharzad says she’ll go by herself. She sneaks over- the room is full of symbols of Rashul. Lightning bolts, scratched into the walls, with anything available- even fingernails. Sharzad, rattled, checks the room as quickly as she can, and hurries back. Sharzad tells everyone it was nothing- but Afa realizes it was a lie.

Nalia takes the logs and Nexxaya’s book. Sharzad looks over the maps and find the most valuable- a map to their home base, a map marking spots along the coast of marin and artakshad, a map of the river to Mistfall, and a sketchy map of the river delta of Kineshi Swamp. Sharzad puts those and two more miscellaneous maps. Afa gets four books- two arcane, two historical. Sharzad puts four more miscellaneous maps among them. We build a pyre in the center the room, then move to the window to prepare to escape.

We fly away- behind us, the ship explodes, the gunfire being set off by the fire. We fly to the university, and return home. Everyone realizes what happened to Larr Xa- Sharzad is horrified. We discuss an escape route- when someone knocks on the door to find Larr Xa. It’s Raine. Riaeki grabs her and brings her inside- she’s surprised, but registers the… dire nature of her situation. Riaeki explains- we’re mercenaries, we have a contract on him. She says she understands, and Riaeki requests she not tell anybody what we’ve done. She asks, ‘Do you still serve him?’ ‘Yeah.’ We invite her to join us in calafort, and ask larr xa if he would betray her. He says he won’t, and we believe him. We invite her to join- she’s proud, and doesn’t want to take our money without having done work, but she’s interested in joining us. We let her leave, then prepare our escape.

Riaeki and Sharzad go to find a boat together, leaving Nalia and Afa to figure out how to the get them to the boat. Nice. Afa/Aileen is very smart. Afa and Nalia decide on plan- flying laterally and estimating the distance. Stormlord above. They pull themselves up to the window. Afa: ‘Are you ready?’ Nalia… thinks she is. Afa is sure it’ll be fine. They jump… Nalia’s fine. But Afa can’t properly keep ahold of Nexxaya. She has to let go- but she pulls a sick stunt to come back around and pick up the body.

Riaeki and Sharzad discuss the room on the boat, the nature of revenge, what happens to Larr Xa, and more. They have a lot in common on that front.

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Session Forty

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH

  • our initiative rolls suck. luckily theirs mostly also suck. we all suck. this is a suckfest.
  • sharzad shoots a guiding bolt, which streaks past nexxaya. riaeki casts aura of vitality on herself. nalia casts a firebolt at larr xa: it hits him in the shoulder, and he shouts into the deafening wards of the room eerily. then sharzad rushes nexxaya, and grapples her— then pulls out a gun on larr xa, and… misfires.
  • now it’s nexxaya’s go, and she inflicts wounds on sharzad. riaeki heals sharzad, and tries to knock larr xa prone, but his strength far outclasses hers. afa casts hold person, and BOTH OF THEM FREEZE IN PLACE. nalia sends scorching rays at larr xa’s head. he breaks the hold person, and grabs his greatsword. “well… hello.”
  • sharzad binds nexxaya’s arms, gags her, and leaps over the bed. larr xa strikes out at her, but between sharzad’s ring of jumping and riaeki’s shield in the way, misses dramatically. sharzad uses the distance to fix her gun. nexxaya struggles against her bonds— she resists the magical hold, but can’t break free of the manacles. riaeki turns on nexxaya and hits her twice, once with divine power. afa casts phantasmal force on larr xa— he sees nexxaya turn on him, suddenly, and attack him. nalia runs right into the fray and whaps nexxaya with her staff, tasering her while she’s down.
  • larr xa tries to figure out what the hell’s going on with nexxaya, but remains befuddled. sharzad pumps larr xa full of lead. nexxaya, full up with rage, spits out her gag. and heals larr xa. riaeki ties her to the bed, re-gagging her. afa’s illusion of nexxaya attacks larr xa, and she blasts him twice. nalia sends a scorching ray at him and literally smokes him. larr xa gathers himself a bit, swinging at riaeki. sharzad shoots him, and he spits blood, keeling over, unconscious. nexxaya wails through her gag as sharzad spares him from dying. the party ties him up, and riaeki brings him back to consciousness as she casts zone of truth.
  • with detect thoughts up, riaeki interrogates the two: larr xa insists that the mutiny had nothing to do with yleth, and that he found nexxaya on the next ship after the mutiny occured. in his thoughts, riaeki sees a deep admiration for her as she strides toward him, dressed in strange clothes. nexxaya doesn’t know who tiatha is, but insists that her cause is righteous— they’re trying to raise a dead goddess, killed unjustly. and it’s taken a while— nexxaya remembers dying and being brought back, multiple times. in her mind, riaeki senses what death was like for her: a grey nothing. riaeki asks why larr xa didn’t tell her about the mutiny— that she would have agreed that it was necessary, if he had.
  • afa asks why nexxaya is interested in the yleth-y artifacts, and riaeki sees more in nexxaya’s mind: a book, bound in metal, a crystal globe, and a sliver of the dark metal suspended over a pit. nexxaya seems particularly interested in the latter, and there’s a strong sense of objective, much the same as in larr xa’s mind. riaeki asks about other members of the cult— she’s thrown out of nexxaya’s mind before she can get any faces, but nexxaya mentions meeting someone who used to be trapped in a tree.
  • god i’m forgetting stuff lemme know if i forgot important things and i’ll edit it. at some point riaeki cuts off larr xa’s hand to knock him out. sharzad tries to beat nexxaya into submission, but realizing it would take a long time to do so (and be extremely violent and awful), just shoots her in the shoulder and magically spares her.
  • a long debate is had about what to do with the two of them. at first, the party considers just jumping out the window and trying to get to a boat from there, but the fact that none of us would be able to crew it is a pretty big dissuader. sharzad convinces riaeki that it would be better to take the two of them back to calafort and have them tried and executed than simply kill them here, and riaeki acquiesces. hiring a ship or a caravan seems like the best option, but the party doesn’t want to leave without any information that might be on the edge of the world. a plan is hatched involving flying in in the dead of night and burning the ship down. riaeki mentions that she’d probably be recognized on the edge of the world, and hangs back, first telling the gang the basic layout of the ship (and that they probably shouldn’t go down to the brig). afa, nalia, and sharzad go first to inform ratha that the group is leaving mistfall, and that the party’s parting gift against the family is going to be burning down a ship in their incredibly well protected and guarded bay. this is seeming like a better and better idea by the minute.
  • after the other three leave, riaeki wakes up larr xa. he looks down at his wrist— “that’s for midor’rian,” riaeki tells him. “who do you think the other three are for?” larr xa tells her he believes in her creativity. he asks if she believes in what rashul’s doing— that he’s waging war against death itself, that all beings have an immortal soul, and now that soul goes nowhere when the body ceases existence. the grey nothing that riaeki sensed in nexxaya’s mind. riaeki doesn’t have much to say to that— it’s not for her to question the mission she’s been given. she tries a lighter topic— she found out her name, and xa can stop calling her ‘stormdaughter’. she refuses to tell it to him. he asks if she found any family, and she responds that those people would be blood relations— family was what she had before he killed all of them. he says that she seems to have found a new family. if he so much as touches any of them, she says, she will find much more creative ways not to kill him. larr xa wonders if her cruelty was innate or taught to her by the pirates. when riaeki points out the irony of him being the one to say this, he says defensively that he included himself.
  • i am sure i’ll remember the rest of this conversation at some point when i’m less full of adrenaline but it ends with riaeki cutting off his foot. she wakes him back up, heals him, and declares “that one was for tai”.
  • nalia, sharzad and afa make an insane plan to get onto the edge of the world— they’re going to jump off the cliff above it and cast featherfall to splash down gently. they manage, barely, to outmaneuver the guard over the bay, and jump off the 1000 foot cliff into the nothing below. sharzad barely catches hold of afa’s hand as they fall into nothing, shaking her just in time for afa to cast the spell. they splash into the water, seemingly not alerting anyone on the ship.
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