Skull and Shackles

16 Jail Break

Session Sixteen

In this session of the Skulls and Shackles campaign, the scoundrels of the Femme Fatale spent some downtime in the port town of Hell Harbor. While in Hell Harbor, De’de and Wynter attempted to gain some answers about De’de’s strange dreams. From the advice of a local priest of Pharasma and Jayhalle Messierre, the party learns that De’de’s dreams are associated with a common theme: the Elder Sign. Meanwhile the senior officers of the Femme Fatale decide to dock their secondary ship, the Crimson Maelstrom back at the Island of the Empty Eyes. With their plans set for Shark Island to retrieve their left behind companions, the Femme Fatal sets sail out of Hell Harbor.

As they draw closer to Shark Island, De’de’s dreams grow more vivid. He wakes up from a nightmare, dreaming about a beautiful shark-like mermaid, while also suffering from cramps in his sides. Dalvika uses her psionic magic to keep tabs on Agasta Smythee, and learns that she is still alive.

At the end of their journey, the Femme Fatale comes across a sinking fishing trawler. After observing that there were signs of battle aboard the ship and the crew is missing, Quade and Tidus goes over to investigate. The captain and the bosun encounters sahuagin hiding in the ship’s hull. There is a brief battle as De’de, Dalvika, and Wynter join their companions to turn the tide of the conflict. While looting the dead, Tidus claims a necklace made from deep platinum, a rare mineral that can only be found in the deep trenches of the ocean.

The Femme Fatale finally arrives at Blackblood Cay, but rather then docking in town, captain Quade follows Fishguts’ advice to park the ship in the secluded cove that the Magpie Princess once took shelter a few months ago. The rest of the crew remains behind as an advance scouting team made up of De’de, Dalvika, Tidus, Wynter, and Quade head to town in magical disguises.

The group splits up, with De’de, Dalvika and Quade heading to the old Tulita safe house in the outskirts of the town to look for their missing companions. Tidus heads to the Fallen From Grace Inn to acquire some information about Agasta. He isn’t aware that he is being followed by a protective Wynter. Dalvika and company learns from their friend, Mokoli, that Sasha Nevah was captured by the Dragoons. He isn’t aware where the other companions are, except for the gnome Gelik, who often frequents at the town inn. Quade uses his magic to determine the whereabouts of Aerys, the bounty hunter, and learns that she is not in town but somewhere south. Dalvika and De’de determine that Aerys is at the capital of Shark Island, Ollo.

Meanwhile elsewhere, while at the Fallen From Grace, Tidus meets the friendly and flirtatious free captain Pierce Jerrell. He learns from Pierce that Simeon the Vain refused to pay for the ransom of his kidnapped daughter, Agasta Smythee, and declared her dead. Seeking more answers, Tidus begins to go around questioning the patrons while Wynter watches on in disguise.

The other companions eventually meet up with Tidus when they converge around the drunken gnome Gelik. Gelik is surprised to see the companions, and shares what he knows: that Sasha was captured by the Dragoons, and Aerys made arrangements with the local governor, Simeon the Vain, to prevent Sasha’s hanging. To free Sasha, Aerys is to return with Agasta Smythee. Aerys left Blackblood Cay and took Pezcock with her.

While conversing with Gelik, Wynter and Dalvika noticed that they were being watched by two other bar patrons. When one of the patrons break away to leave upstairs, Dalvika decides to follow him. She learns to her shock that the patron is none other then Hyrix Snowfeather. Using her mind link, Dalvika warns the others about the spy. Meanwhile downstairs, the others also notice that Royster McCleagh, Agasta’s bodyguard, is wandering out of his booth and heading out of the tavern.

Quade decides to intercept Royster and pull him aside for a conversation, using a free drink as a lure. The other companions all head upstairs to confront the fleeing Hyrix. Dalvika manages to stop the tengu from escaping, and Tidus pulls the bird man into a grapple. Knowing that he is cornered and beaten, Hyrix surrenders and offers to give information to the companions.

Once Quade bids Royster farewell and directing him to go after Agasta, knowing that the other man wasn’t able to pierce their disguises, he goes upstairs to join the others in interrogating the tengu. From Hyrix they learn that the Dragoons have been watching Gelik and are on the look out for the pirates of the Magpie Princess. He shares what he knows about Fort Stormshield, the Dragoon’s base of operations, and tells them of another way that they can sneak into the fort. The companions bind the tengu spy and leave him behind, heading in the direction of the sewers.

While in the sewers, with Gelik in tow, the group encounters another band of sahuagin scouts. De’de notes that the Fever Sea has a serious infestation of sea devils jokely after the companions defeat the shark men.

The stealthy band manages to sneak their way into Fort Stormshield, where they slew a number of guards and defeated the brig’s notorious jailer, Lorag the Gaoler. Also known in some social circles as Lorag the Rapist. They rescue the brig’s only prisoner, a crippled Sasha, and sneak back into the sewers.

While in the sewers they experience a brief earthquake that puts a scare into the gnome Gelik. After traveling for an hour and emerging out of the sewers, they find that the town has been devastated by a tsunami and is mostly flooded!

Blackblood Cay is under attack by the sahuagin.

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Exploring the Fever Sea 03

The next session for Skull and Shackles is Sunday the 17th of January, 10 am, Hawaii time.

Having brought a end to the Scourge of Drenchport, the pirates adventure on to their next destination. To the port of Blackblood Cay, where they are wanted fugitives of the law.

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15 The Black Shark

Session Fifteen

In this session of the Skulls and Shackles campaign, the pirates of the Femme Fatale finish up their shopping in the town of Drenchport, only to be interrupted by a courier from the Coffee Gun Company. Intrigued by the offer to meet with the local manager of House Coffee, the officers of the Femme Fatale meet up with Duncan Ironguard at the Charter House restaurant. Ironguard offers to double the payment for the bounty of the black shark haunting the northern sea lanes. Captain Quade haggles with the shrew dwarven business man and manages to instead acquire a fiend’s mouth cannon and a discount on Coffee wares if they manage to bring back the carcass of the black shark within the week. Dalvika inquires as to why they need to finish the job in a week. Ironguard then explains that the Starfish, a Coffee Gun Company ship will be arriving in six days.

After many jokes about “star fishes”, the group returns to their ship and heads out into the northern seas aboard the Femme Fatale. Upon the second day’s morning, De’de discovers that one of the morning watch guards on deck is missing. The entire crew is roused up from their sleep as they search for signs of the missing sailor. Wynter is able to determine that sea devils are responsible due to her investigation. The crew of the Femme Fatale conduct a short funeral out at sea and then proceed on to hunt for the elusive black shark.

On day three the Femme Fatael roams too close to the dangerous Eye of Abendego thanks to De’de foolish piloting skills. Captain Quade and De’de eventually manage to sail out of the eternal hurricane without damaging their ship, instead finding themselves miles off course.

On day five the Femme Fatale meets up with the Starfish, acting as an armed escort back to Drenchport on the sea lane. While fast approaching day six, Wynter spots the mysterious sea monster approaching from beneath the Starfish! As the sea monster draws closer, the crew of the Femme Fatale soon learn that they’re not dealing with a monster of flesh at all, but a submarine construct shaped like a shark!

A fierce battle between the submarine and the pirates of the Femme Fatale ends in favor for the pirates as Wynter is able to disable the construct with a spell and Quade finishes the clockwork machine off with a thundering spell strike. The electrical discharge is strong enough to set off a chain reaction that ends up killing the crew of the Thresher.

After looting the remains of the sunken submarine, the pirates find the crew of the Thresher to be made up of destroyed clockwork gnomes. Gnomes that Quade and the others recognize as the same mercenaries hired by House Torlen. They tow the damaged submarine back to Drenchport.

Amazed at their catch, nearly everyone at the wharfs show up to see the dead “black shark.” Included among the crowd is Zerrick Torlen, who convinces everyone that he was duped by the alien mercenaries. Torlen places a bounty on the giff and thanks Captain Quade and his crew for finding the culprits. Ironguard thanks the crew of the Femme Fatale for their courageous actions and hands over the promised reward.

The Femme Fatale leaves behind Drenchport as heroes and slayers of the dreaded Scourge of Drenchport. Meanwhile the mysterious giff mercenary Mister Quee is still at large.

Loose Ends

The Femme Fatale returns back to the island of Hesmene’s Grotto where they pick up the survivors of the religious band known as the Penitents. Struggling with a decision as to what to do with the survivors, Quade decides to drop them off on the island of Devil’s Arches, where the survivors won’t end up as prey for the chaotic bands of pirates on the other islands.

While on route to Devil’s Arches, the Femme Fatale sails close to Dahak’s Teeth and draws the attention of a band of goblin marauders. The goblins fly aloft on the backs of draconic bats as they attempt to dive bomb and set the Femme Fatale aflame. They nearly succeed but the flying enchanted officers of the Femme Fatale manage to drive off the goblins and their draconic bat mounts.

The session ends with the ship arriving on the island of Devil’s Arches, in Hell Harbor.

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Exploring the Fever Sea 02

The next session for Skull and Shackles is Sunday the 3rd of January, 10 am, Hawaii time.

No longer known as the Magpie pirates, the pirates of the Femme Fatale have acquired another ship, the Bai Fei, and sold off Captain Redclaw’s Fearsome Tide. The Fever Sea is open to them for exploration. But there are many dangling threads left for them to investigate.

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14 The Scourge of Drenchport

Session Fourteen

In this session of the Skulls and Shackles campaign, the new officers and captain of the Magpie Princess begun to settle down into their new roles. They cleared out most of the black coral infesting the entrance to the secret cove in the Island of Empty Eyes, and convinced the indecisive crew members who wanted to leave to stay on. Only the former quartermaster, Mo, wants to leave and retire after a lifetime upon the open ocean. Fishguts shared with De’de that he doesn’t think that is the true reason behind Mo leaving. Noticing that the superstitious sailors were complaining to Captain Quade about the island and the disappearance of the ship’s former steward, Hinsin, Wynter dives into the bay and drags out the body of the murdered steward. She is briefly concerned for a moment when the ship’s surgeon, Doc, commented to Quade that the steward was murdered, but Quade believes that Hinsin took his own life.

Leaving behind a good portion of Captain Redclaw’s loot in the temple of Ghoral Rey, the Magpies then towed the damaged Fearsome Tide to a out of the way village port on the island of Tempest Cay, Rickety Squibbs. They were able to come to an arrangement with the head of the village, Rickety Hake, and after spending some time in port, the Magpie Princess was rechristened as the Femme Fatale.

With the repaired Fearsome Tide, the pirates of the Femme Fatale sailed off for the small city of Drenchport to sell their plunder.

Downtime in Drenchport

The officers of the Femme Fatale begun to explore the city. They sold their plunder and shopped around for improvements for their ship, and a merchant interested in purchasing the Fearsome Tide. While they sought after cannons, they learnt about the firearm trade’s recent troubles.

In the past two months, there have been two recorded sightings and attacks by a terrible sea monster – a gigantic black shark! In both attacks, the sea monster rammed the ship’s hull. The monster struck quickly before plunging into the depths, leaving its prey to sink beneath the waves. The first victim of the shark’s attack was the Morning Star, a trade galleon belonging to the merchant house Calhaigne. The second attack was against the galleon Seamaid, a vessel in the service of the merchant house Torlen. The ship was two days north and heading to Drenchport when it was attacked. Survivors were plucked from the sea by the ship’s escort, but its cargo of flint and bombard casings was lost.

Casualties were light in both attacks. No more than a dozen sailors were lost to the beast of the depths. Survivors attest that the shark had an appetite for destruction, not flesh, and they count themselves lucky to have survived the encounter.

The trade houses of Drenchport have set a bounty for the sea monster: 3,000 gp and a discount on their wares.

Interested at the prospect of an adventure (and acquiring cannons for cheaper prices), the officers and the Captain of the Femme Fatale attempted to meet with the manager of House Torlen. In the chaotic office front, Torlen’s clerk informed the monster hunters that Torlen was in a meeting. She none the less helped them by directing them in the direction of one of the survivors’s favorite watering hole, the Drowned Dwarf.

While at the Drowned Dwarf tavern, Quade wins over the crowd with tales of the party’s adventures, boosting their Infamy. He also managed to learn more details about the shark attack. Upon the next day the group returns to Torlen’s office and is once again told that the manager isn’t around. Quade notices that the gnome mercenaries in the shop for some reason have heavy makeup and that they are led by an griff, Mister Quee. Quade shares with the other officers that griff are not native to Golarion.

Frustrated and eager for adventure, the heroic pirates decide to set sail to hunt down the monstrous shark. They transferred their arsenal over to the Fearsome Tide and a small crew, then set sail north to hunt a sea monster. While out at sea, they are attacked by pirates! The pirates happen to be the Bai Fei, led by Captain Grudge, a known bounty hunter and predator of unaligned pirates. Not wanting to engage the enemy ship in a naval battle, the officers and captain of the Fearsome Tide dived into the water and swam up to engage their enemies. Cloaked in invisibility magic and swimming at incredible speeds underwater, they managed to avoid detection and climbed aboard the enemy ship to attack from the rear. The battle is quick and decisive, as the Bai Fei were caught surprised. They slew five marines and finished off Captain Grudge along with the ship’s priest of Calistria. The remaining crew along with the ship’s mage, Selis, warily switch sides to the party’s command. Quade assigns Tidus to be the new captain of the Bai Fei.

Stirrings of the Shark God

The Fearsome Tide and their newly acquired junk, the Bai Fei, sail back to Drenchport. The officers and the captains of both ships decide that they no longer want to hunt down the black shark, and rather then seek favor from House Torlen, they go to another merchant house to acquire their cannons. They head to House Coffee, a merchant house run primarily by dwarves and one of the four merchant houses in Drenchport that deal in the firearm trade, who are happy to sell their masterwork quality weapons to the heroic pirates. The group also sells the Fearsome Tide.

While on the streets of Drenchport, De’de runs into a old friend named Tulita Joe. Joe informs De’de that the tribal elders and their powerful elite are assembling at Mgange Cove. The great gathering of the three tribes of Tulita plan to determine the course of action of their people in the days to come. With increased shark attacks and sightings of the black shark everywhere in the Shackles, Joe believes it may come down to war. War against the Free Captains. He also shares that De’de should go, since Joe is aware of De’de’s magic and is pretty much impressed by it.

The session ends with the companions discussing where they plan to go.

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Exploring the Fever Sea 01

The next session for Skull and Shackles is Sunday the 6th of December, 10 am, Hawaii time.

The PCs have acquired a ship, a crew, and a potential base of operations with the ruins of Ghoral Rey. Now they must sell their plunder, pay their crew, recruit new ship mates, and assign officer roles to vacant positions.

With a ship, the entire Fever Sea is now open for their exploration. Another obstacle (perhaps the most important) remains, however – the matter of sailing within the Shackles. Even in command of a ship, they still face the prospect of being a new ship into pirate waters with no reputation to back them up. The Free Captains of the Shackles have a name for this sort of vessel: prey.

Unless the PCs want to constantly fend off attacks from their fellow freebooters, they have to make a name for themselves as pirates along the fringes of the Shackles first in order to be accepted and respected as peers among the other Free Captains. In order establish this name and acquire a reputation, the PCs must accumulate both plunder and Infamy by performing acts of piracy.

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Raiders of the Fever Sea

I

The next chapter of the Skull and Shackles Adventure Path!

Bound for adventure upon the pirate vessel they’ve taken as their own, the heroes face a sea of dangers as they chart a course to become true Free Captains of the Shackles. But life as a pirate doesn’t prove any easier now that they’re in command, as deadly sea monsters, mercenary pirates, and raiders from the deep rise to oppose them. Is it the heroes’ destiny to be the next victims of the merciless waves, or will fortune smile upon them and spur their rise as the newest and most infamous pirates of the Shackles?

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13 The Black Spot

Session Thirteen

In this session of the Skulls and Shackles campaign, the marooned party left behind on Hesmene’s Grotto have finally caught up with the Magpie Princess at the Island of Empty Eyes with the assistance of their hippocampus mounts. Quade is also accompanied by his new familiar, the compsognathus named Irons. The group decides to send an advance scouting party made up of De’de, Quade, and Wynter to board the Magpie and confront the crew. There is a tense meeting between the reunited marines with the Magpie crew, but Cut Throat Grok cheerfully ends the tension by hoisting Quade up in a hug. The Magpies and the marines are able to put aside their differences, as they’re all upset at the actions of Captain Lanteri. They learn that Captain Lanteri, Creed, Hinsin, and Zhi the navigator, have gone on ahead to explore the dungeon.

The marines decide to explore the cabins of Captain Lanteri and Vancid Creed. They read Lanteri’s private journals and learn that she is being manipulated by Creed. Checking Creed’s cabin, they find evidence that Creed may be rotting. This causes some concerns among the marines as they believe he may be another Intellect Devourer. The marines then set up an advance party made up of De’de, Frankie K, Quade, Tidus, and Wynter. They also take along the Magpie’s mascot, Rotgut the parrot.

The Ruins of Ghoral Rey

The group follows after Quade as he uses his Stranger’s ability to track Captain Lanteri. They journey through the jungle until they eventually reach a obelisk of ancient Ghol Gan. Reading the obelisk, they uncover clues on how to open the front doors. Since Rotgut was around Hinsin when he was practicing with the Three Reasons to Live, the parrot is able to mimic the sound of the pipes.

They enter the waterfall to reach the hidden room beyond, and with Rotgut’s assistance, they are able to open the doors of Ghoral Rey. De’de learns that there was an Elder Sign of Sealing placed upon the doorway, but for some time it has been deactivated.

Entering the the ruins the group becomes cautious, drawing their weapons, and lighting their torches. Many of the members of the party are able to read the ancient carvings on the walls and learn that Ghoral Rey was an temple and a lighthouse for the cyclops empire. Quade has a feeling of déjà vu, as he believes he may have been here before. Wynter also has a familiar sensation of being here before, but learns it actually Bertok, her familiar, that has been here before. She questions Bertok and the raven answers back in mysterious riddles, much to the annoyance of the group.

The group head into the Altar Room where they find strange symbols on a large altar table. They’re unable to figure out what the strange entropic symbol means, other then that the cyclops went from worshiping the celestial heavens to oblivion. The group then finds a secret passage into the heart of Ghoral Rey.

Once they reach the main chamber of the temple, they are confronted by a floating Vancid Creed. The ship’s mage doesn’t seem to acknowledge the group’s presence. He was deeply fascinated by the cyclops carvings on the pillars within the chamber. The group attacks the ship’s mage and attempts to drag him down, only to learn that he is in truth an undead creature inhabited by a parasite known as an incutilis. Quade manages to kill the aquatic horror before it managed to drive its tendrils into Frankie K’s skull. Afraid for Lanteri’s life, Quade orders the group to follow after him as he assumes the hunt for the missing Magpies.

Their way is blocked a large amount of alien black coral radiating necromantic energy. Being nimble and using magic, the group manages to squeeze through with only Wynter being cut by the coral substance. They continue pass down the old mess hall of the ruins, until they hear the cries of Hinsin, the ship’s steward, down in another passage. Wynter and Frankie K explores the passage and find Hinsin locked up in a prison cell. He warns the group that an ancient sea horror captured the group and that Creed is a monster in disguise. Frankie K frees Hinsin and then bounds the man in ropes, gagging him before slinging the bard over his shoulder; much to Hinsin’s protests.

The marines continue forward where the dungeon opens up to reveal a large cove. They see up ahead the shipwreck of the Fearsome Tide that once belonged to Captain Redclaw, and they also noticed that the walls of the cove is coated in the alien black coral. They journey down along the sandy path to the shipwreck. Lagging behind the group, De’de hears creatures are shambling behind the group. He destroys the bridge behind them in order to cut off the incutilis’s brood approach, forcing them to dive into the ocean water.

Once the band reaches the Fearsome Tide, Quade sees Captain Lanteri at the sterncastle with her weapons drawn. She is covered in the black coral substance. As Quade and Wynter draw close to Captain Lanteri, bursting out of the coral coated mast is Captain Jemma Redclaw. The ship is suddenly over run with the incutilis brood and their undead puppets, but Wynter is able to mow them down with a lightning bolt. Wynter and Tidus is drawn into battle against the incutilis’s master, the incutilis lord known as the Whispering Shadow. After dispatching Redclaw and fending Captain Lanteri off, Quade grabs ahold of a rope and swings in after the aquatic horror, delivering the killing blow to the aberration.

The Clean Up

With the Whispering Shadow dead, Lanteri comes back to her senses and immediately begins to break down crying. Quade comforts her while the group begins to loot the hold of the Fearsome Tide for treasure. Wynter slips the dead body of Captain Redclaw into her bag of holding. Lanteri begs Quade to kill her, which he ignores. He leads the injured Captain of the Magpie along with the rest of the group out of the Fearsome Tide, as the marines decide to explore the rest of the ruins.

The group manages to explore a great deal of Ghoral Rey, fighting off a damaged Gholdoko guardian and a glass golem in the shape of a cyclops warrior. Frankie K also manages to get possessed by a haunt and is later freed with the help of De’de’s psionic magic. The group decides to leave the haunted room alone and continue on. Along the way, Frankie K picks up a magical helmet and tries it on, not knowing that it is cursed.

While everyone is distracted with the exploration of the ruins, Wynter and Lanteri move aside to converse with one another. Lanteri begs Wynter to kill her, as Lanteri believes that the Whispering Shadow impregnated her with its inhuman brood. Wynter helps her by loaning her a dagger and then drags out the corpse of Captain Redclaw to blame Lanteri’s death on the headless corpse. The marines investigates Wynter’s cry of alarm, and many are suspicious of her claims that Redclaw came back to attack them. Quade finds Lanteri dead with her throat cut and a bloody dagger near by. Sickened due to his broken promise, Quade and the marines head back to the Magpie with the dead.

The Magpie pirates cheer the returning heroes as they bring back some of the loot, but mourn the loss of their dead. Hinsin and Quade both share their accounts of what occurred and what the other heroes have done within the ruins of Ghoral Rey. With no Captain, Grok orders the crew of the Magpie to put a vote to determine who will be the new captain of the Magpie Princess. Frankie K, Quade, and Tidus nominate themselves for the role. Thanks to Quade, Wynter, and De’de’s influence on the crew officers, many of the officers along with Wynter, De’de, and surprisingly Hinsin vote for Quade to become captain.

Later that night, Quade feeds the parrot Rotgut to his familiar, Irons. Wynter invites Hinsin for a night of sex but actually lures him to a trap where she butchers him.

She dumps his corpse overboard.

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Interlude III

The following dream sequence is for De’de:

You find yourself standing in front of huge stone doors, the sounds of pipes playing in the background. Upon the doorway is a symbol. A symbol you recognize and a new symbol you don’t recognize.

And then you hear it.

A voice.


We have always been here.



We remember the darkness at the beginning of time. Saw it, will see it again.

Golarion is our world. The Builders left, and the Keepers are dead. We saw our tools crawling profanely across the land, grabbed their minds and brought them to the darkened predawn waves, filled their lungs with glorious ocean and made them breathe, and they saw at once that we were their masters. Their tiny bundles of synapses could not fathom their own existence, let alone one without us. Blunt tools, singular purpose.

The others were gone, so we put our tools back. Most died without a purpose, without a way to survive, and only the fiercest and most fecund still haunt the Deep and the Dark. We hung them up where they wait to be used again.

We were the only minds, and this was our planet.

was is will be

Others would visit, like the Dominions of the Black, but never for long.

The beasts grew like a tree, multitudes upon multitudes, an endless fractal branching from a single equation, a simple equation.

Wᴇsʟᴇᴇᴘɪɴᴏᴜʀʟɪɢʜᴛʟᴇssᴄɪᴛɪᴇsᴀɴᴅᴅʀᴇᴀᴍᴏғsɪɴɢᴜʟᴀʀɪᴛʏ

When the beasts made tools, told stories, dreamed, it was not of concern to us. Animals have animal minds with animal desires. Survival. Pleasure. Power over each other. Even when they received help from an interloper. They conquered the lizards in as many generations as one of us took to carefully, patiently inscribe, ponder, and understand a single rune.

Then the snakes came.

They had technology not theirs to use, magic not theirs to conjure, and their god came down to lead them in a muscled form of saurian fury. They ate the creatures of the land, of the darkness, even crossed the void and ate the barbarians of Akiton and the elves of Castrovel. Though their desires were animal, their god had imagination.

But he was only a god.

We waited, until they had grown turgid and slow and their empire was thin from its pointless quest to consume resources, information, and the slaves they consorted with. Their borders were embattled with the Cyclops nations. It was a game to them. But they were distracted.

We looked for the best tools. The snakes had a god, but the humans had many. It would serve us for a time. We found the best of them, farmers in rudimentary kingdoms, on a bountiful continent they called Azlant. We touched their minds, and their resistance was annoying. The greatest of masters is worshiped by choice. We went to them.

Wᴇ ʙʀᴏᴜɢʜᴛ ᴛʜᴇᴍ ɪɴᴛᴏ ᴛʜᴇ ᴡᴀᴛᴇʀ ᴛᴏ ʟᴏᴏᴋ ᴀᴛ ᴜs ᴀɴᴅ sᴀɴɪᴛʏ ʙʟᴇᴅ ғʀᴏᴍ ᴛʜᴇɪʀ ᴍɪɴᴅs ᴀɴᴅ ᴛʜᴇ ʜᴏʀʀᴏʀ ᴏɴ ᴛʜᴇɪʀ ғᴀᴄᴇs sᴛᴀʏᴇᴅ ᴡɪᴛʜ ᴛʜᴇᴍ ᴜɴᴛɪʟ ᴛʜᴇɪʀ ᴡᴇᴀʀʏ ғᴀᴍɪʟɪᴇs ᴀʙᴀɴᴅᴏɴᴇᴅ ᴛʜᴇᴍ ᴛᴏ ᴅɪᴇ ɪɴ ᴛʜᴇ ғᴏʀᴇsᴛ.

A delicate tool. But a tool with the most imaginative uses must have imagination of its own.

Some of us changed our wriggling form into that which could walk among them disguised. But not in hiding.

We wore masks. We called down lightning with our thoughts and told them we were their rulers and that the day of their ascension had come. They gaped in uncomprehending awe and did as we asked.

We gave them technology to match the snakes, and they built the first city. Abadar met with them, and told them he was proud. He told them about the importance of law, of fairness, of progress. Abadar is a fool who lives in his vast perfect city beyond the heavens and keeps his vault full of reality-shaping playthings and when the entropy at the end of everything comes it will all crumble like everything else.

We showed them the runes, the basis of all magic. Their imagination soared and their city became an empire that collided with the slow-breeding snakes like a storm and the empire of Ydersius, with all of its inhabitants so much stronger, so much more intelligent, could do nothing to stop the proliferation of humanity because Ydersius was a god.

ʙᴜᴛ ᴡᴇ ʟɪᴠᴇᴅ ᴀɴᴅ ᴅʀᴇᴀᴍᴇᴅ ʜᴇʀᴇ ʙᴇғᴏʀᴇ ᴀɴʏ ᴏғ ᴛʜᴇ ɢᴏᴅs ᴛᴜʀɴᴇᴅ ᴛʜᴇɪʀ ғɪᴄᴋʟᴇ ᴀᴛᴛᴇɴᴛɪᴏɴ ᴛᴏ ᴛʜɪs ᴘʟᴀᴄᴇ, ᴛʜɪs ᴘʟᴀᴄᴇ ᴡʜᴇʀᴇ ᴇᴠᴇɴ ᴛʜᴇ ᴍɪᴄʀᴏʙᴇs ғᴇᴀʀ ᴜs ʙᴇᴄᴀᴜsᴇ ᴡᴇ ʀᴇᴍᴇᴍʙᴇʀ ᴛʜᴇ ᴛᴀsᴛᴇ ᴏғ ᴛʜᴇ sᴏᴜᴘ ᴛʜᴇʏ sᴘᴀᴡɴᴇᴅ ғʀᴏᴍ.

The snakes fought in the brave ways animals respect but in the end they crawled into the Dark and pondered why.

The world was Azlanti now. The humans crushed the cyclopes and made deals with the dragons. Their technology and magic became peerless. They went where we told them to go built what we told them to build. Even the stars were their home.

The most delicate of tools are the quickest to grow dull.

We told them to cease worship of the gods. The power we gave the Azlanti made such endeavors meaningless. For the first time, they refused us. We called down cataclysms, destroyed cities, over and over. Trying to sharpen the tools. But with their blind allegiance to their gods, and the confidence awarded by their magic, our magic, they were only emboldened.

Our tools were beyond repair. So we threw them away.

We disappeared from their lands, and eventually, their memory. They spread, and splintered, and warred amongst themselves. Animal things. They fought over what technology to use, and what god to worship, and made many other nations, like Thassilon, a name heard by few and understood by none, Thassilon, a place that came close to understanding but cracked and now only dreams.

We waited until they were at the peak of confidence, at the brink of immortality.

We reached far beyond the world, to the diaspora of failed planets in their far-flung orbits. We touched them, held them, until we found the one with the right size, density, and hatred we required. We sung to it, filled it with cruelty and death and the terrible truth of our existence.

We called it, and it came. Our final instrument, so that no human work could rise to the might of Azlant ever again. We called it, and gave the world Darkness.

When a human drifts in the ocean, he feels dread. This is not an irrational fear.

It is a memory.

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The symbol on the door is a very familiar symbol. A symbol that continues to haunt your dreams.

symbol.png

And then you realize someone is opening the door. Someone is going to let them out.

Know this dreamer. Know the signs.

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Treasure Hunting 05

The next session for Skull and Shackles is Sunday the 22nd of November, 10 am, Hawaii time.

The marooned pirates are on the chase for the Magpie Princess on the backs of their newly acquired hippocampi mounts. But will they survive the journey to the Island of Empty Eyes? And what will they find in the old Ghol-Gan ruins?

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