Skull and Shackles

Journey Ahead III

The next session for Skull and Shackles is Sunday the 9th of August, 10 am, Hawaii time.

The party is divided. Mary is trapped in Fort Stormshield, Tidus is literally sleeping with the enemy, and the rest of the group is hiding out in a Tulita safehouse at the outskirts of town. The Dragoons have tighten up security, and Hyrix the Apsis Agent has escaped. Will the PCs escape Blackblood Cay with their lives?

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07 Magpie Scoundrels

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Session Seven

In this session of the Skull and Shackles campaign, we catch up with what Mary and Dalvika were doing during the Rum Punch festival.

Mary comes up with a scheme on obtaining her own ship and ropes in the blue goblin Dalvika into her plan. She sends Dalvika on an errand to steal a barrel of paint, which the goblin has a rough time in acquiring. After one misadventure after another in trying to acquire a barrel, Dalvika finally returns to Mary covered in sweat, mud, and various layers of paint. The pair then waits until morning to pull off Mary’s plan on stealing the Blushing Bride, the same ship that the other members of the crew were eyeing previously.

Meanwhile, Mary encounters a divine message from her familiar Gage. The herald known as Blackwarn demands to know why Mary allowed the spirit of Turpin Irons to escape. Her punishment is averted when she mentions she is attempting to retrieve the eight pieces of Besmara. With this news, Blackwarn orders Mary to complete this task and when she has assembled all eight pieces to hand it over to him.

When morning does come around, the pair attempts to bluff their way pass the Dragoon guards stationed at the dock harboring the Blushing Bride. They’re able to convince the guards on duty that they’re painters hired by the governor to finish the paint job on the ship. But their plans come apart when Mary’s attempt to fake a fire is ruined by the arrival of Blackblood Cay’s harbor master, Aeron Chambers. The wizard is able to determine that the smoke is a fake. Meanwhile, Dalvika and Mary sneak away while the Dragoons begin to search the docks for potential thieves.

The Fallen From Grace

De’de awakens from his slumber, pushing aside the sleeping Tidus that was attempting to spoon up against him. The mwangi psion wanders downstairs where he spies Gelik sharing the exploits of the group with a bar wench by the name of Grund, who smiles and greets Gelik with a cheerful welcome. De’de ignores the woman and then heads off to get his morning breakfast.

Quade awakens from bed beside the naked half orc Cut Throat Grok. Suffering from a hang over from last night’s festivities, he is informed by Grok that Captain Lanteri will be waiting for him over at the docks near the Blushing Bride.

Quade then gathers up his crew and the group holds a formal meeting to conduct their plans. Dalvika and Mary show up late to the meeting, but are able to voice their opinions on Quade’s plan on joining the Magpie Princess crew. Quade believes when the time is right, the party should hold a mutiny to take over the Magpie’s ship. They share what they know about Captain Lanteri and the Magipie, and the legendary pirate captain Redclaw. Dalvika is the only member of the crew to recall that Redclaw is one of the Hurricane King Turpin Irons’s original crew members and may very well possess a piece of the pieces of eight of Besmara. Gelik voices his concern of the coincidence, but Quade brushes it off as destiny.

Quade orders Aerys and Pezcock to build a base of operations within Port, while Sasha and Gelik gathers more information on Captain Lanteri, Redclaw, and the Magpie Princess.

The crew then heads off to meet with Captain Lanteri, made up of Dalvika, De’de, Mary, Quade, Tidus, and Wynter.

Running Errands

When the group arrives at the meeting spot, they happen to notice the docks has increased security of Dragoons searching for “two painters” matching the description of Mary and Dalvika. The group then meets up with Captain Lanteri who introduces her steward Hinshin and her quartermaster Mo. The Magpie Princess is no where in sight, and the Magpies have arrived via ship’s boats. Quade is able to convince Captain Lanteri in signing on Mary and Dalvika. Mary proves her worth to Captain Lanteri that she should have a higher pay when she voices that she is a priest of Besmara and demonstrates a small miracle. The group learns that they have been signed on to be marines, with Mary signing on to be the Magpie’s ship chaplain.

Lanteri then hands the group over to Quartermaster Mo, who then assigns them their first duties. She tells the group they need to complete three errands:

  • The first errand: the group must go to the town market and make arrangements to purchase expedition gear for the journey ahead. They are given three hundred gold to accomplish this task. Mo then gives them directions to a warehouse where the group can deliver the gear. The warehouse is considered the base of operations for the Magpie Princess while in town.
  • Their second errand: the group must acquire a new carved wooden masthead for the Magpie Princess from Hartha’s Headstones. The masthead has already been commissioned, all the group have to do is pick up the object from the dwarven merchant.
  • Their third errand: the group are required to head to the House of Stolen Kisses and meet with a tulita woman that works there. The woman will be going by the name of Nefti Unwsha. Nefti is holding a delivery for Captain Lanteri. Mo gives De’de a sealed package. She orders them not to open either packages. Acquire Captain Lanteri’s delivery from Nefti and pay the tulita woman with the sealed package.

They are expected to finish all of these errands before nightfall. Quartermaster Mo also warns the group to be wary of being followed by the Dragoons.

With their new orders, the group heads off, planning to acquire the commissioned masthead first. Along the way they witness a group of sailors arguing over sightings of a black shark. The group then arrives at Hartha’s Headstones and is confronted with their first challenge: Hartha the dwarf is trying to cheat them for more money! Mary is able to see through the lie and convince the dwarf in handing over the masthead or else be cursed by Besmara! With the heavy masthead in tow carried by Tidus, the group heads back to the Magpie warehouse.

That is when Mary notices the group has a tail. They quickly confront their shadow on the street, a man going by the name of Hyrix. They’re able to spot two other disguised stalkers and a fight breaks out. Hyrix and his cohorts are revealed to be tengu, but are easily defeated by the combination of spells, hexes, and blades. Only one tengu sneak escapes from the entire confrontation.

While interrogating Hyrix, the group learns that he works for the Aspis Consortium, a trade organization with interests in many parts of Avistan and Garund. The Consortium sent Hyrix to spy on the group’s activities, since they have been spreading word of their activities on surviving the Tomb of the Hurricane King and escaping Smuggler’s Shiv. The Consortium is interested in what sort of treasures the group may have acquired from the Tomb. Knocking the tengu out, Quade locks him in a traveler’s chest and tows their prisoner upon a floating disc.

The group then drops off the masthead at the warehouse and head off to the House of Stolen Kisses. There they meet with one of the acolytes and inquires as to the whereabouts of Nefti. The acolyte shares that Nefti doesn’t work at the temple during the daylight hours and comes only at night fall. They learn that Nefti works as a scullery maid over at the governor’s manor during the day.

The group then decides to head off to purchase expedition supplies at the Whales Market. While at the Whales Market, they witness a old tulita shaman holding a sermon. A patrol of Dragoons attempt to chase the old man away but the tulita shaman suddenly lunges at the Dragoon sergeant with a knife! Quade attempts to break up the fight with diplomacy, but Wynter invokes a fight by using magic to send the large sergeant to sleep! Half of the members of the group try to influence the fight subtly while not getting involved, while Tidus and Quade are drawn into the fight with the Dragoons. When the old tulita man finishes casting a remove curse upon the fallen sergeant, he calls upon the others to follow him and flee. Tidus kills one of the Dragoons and then makes a dash for the ocean. The group flees with the old shaman, fleeing to the out skirts of town.

During the fight, Quade forgot about the traveler’s chest containing the unconscious Hyrix the tengu, since his floating disk spell winks out if he move beyond its range. It will only accompany him at a rate of no more than his normal speed.

The only member of the crew to stay behind is Mary, who heals the injured sergeant. When the reinforcements of the Dragoons arrive, Mary is able to study the sergeant’s injuries and deduce that he was a victim of a wereshark bite. She is taken away when she admits she was at the Blushing Bride this morning.

While at Fort Stormshield, Mary is interrogated by Commandant Gregory Bonedeuce. Bonedeuce has Mary stripped of her weapons and holy symbol, and then sentenced to hang in the morning.

The session ends with the crew finding themselves at the tulita safe house at the out skirts of town, Mary in Fort Stormshield’s brig, and Tidus over at the Magpie Warehouse. While at the Magpie Warehouse, Tidus meets the tavern wench Grund. Falling for her seduction, he follows after the woman and ends up having sex with her. Not knowing that she is an enemy of the party.

He also catches gonorrhea, much to his delight.

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Interlude I

The following dream sequence is for De’de:

Know that we are the First People.

Once all was chaos. The First People were thought drawn from chaos. When the First People came to know themselves, they were chaos no longer, and became flesh. With their thoughts and knowing of matter, the People shaped the First World and dwelled there with their knowing to sustain them.

Yet the flesh was new to the People and with it, the People came not to know themselves. The flesh gave rise to new thoughts. Greed and hates, pains and joys, jealousies and doubts. All of these fed on each other and the minds of the People were divided. In their division, the People were punished.

The emotions of the flesh were strong. The greed and hates, the pains and joys, the jealousies and doubts, all of these served as a guiding stone to enemies. In becoming flesh, the First People became enslaved to those who knew flesh only as tools for their will.

Know these beasts were of the Dominion.

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The Dominion were beasts that had come not to know themselves. They had learned how to make other races not know themselves.

They lived in flesh and saw flesh as tools for their will. Their blood was as water and they shaped minds with their thoughts. When the Dominion came upon the People, the People were a people no more. The People became slaves.

The Dominion took the People from the First World and brought them to the False Worlds. As the People labored upon the False Worlds, the Dominion taught them the Way of the Flesh.

Through them, the People came to know loss. They came to know suffering. They came to know death, both of the body and mind. They came to know what it is to be the herd of another and have their flesh consumed. They came to know the horror of being made to feel joy in such things.

Know that we fought great wars in the name of the Dominion. Know that we conquered False World after False World and added them to the Dominion’s empire in the darkness between the stars. Know that we came to your False World in a time before time. In a age when your gods were still young. Know that your ancient masters drove us away and sealed the door to keep us out. To keep the Dominion out.

Know this dreamer. Know the signs.

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The following dream sequence is for Quade:

The silver void.

It is a endless space between the realms of realities. A great, endless sea of clear silvery sky, both above and below. You found yourself floating in the drift. Like flotsam caught on the quantum winds of infinite probability. There is color in the void. Shifting bands of color, an aurora of colors. Violent reds and yellows.

Ships are on fire.

You see yourself floating above one of the burning ships, a ship the size of a city. People are dying by the hundreds as serpentine monsters rampage, twisting and breaking down the very laws of reality. Crews of mechanical men of perfect logic battle against the raging absurdness of limbo as they try to stem the tide of the maelstrom. Law versus chaos.

It is madness.

A woman is crying. She is clutching onto your fallen body. A punctured lung. Broken ribs. Life flees as your corporeal form bites back a defiant laugh. Despite your situation, you can’t help but notice how red her hair is. How beautiful it is. Flowing as if she was underwater. She smells like lilacs.

You are no longer floating in space. You are trapped in a dying physical shell, clung by a woman who resembles far too much like Mary, and looking up at the face of your murderer.

You seen that face before, in the Tomb of the Hurricane King. You destroyed her altar when you ended the curse on Smuggler’s Shiv.

The Pirate Queen smiles down at you as she lifts up her prize. The prize that you were guarding. A prize that was entrusted to you. A whole world and a god was depending on you.

She holds aloft a silver sword.

Darkness engulfs you.

And you remember the words, “and death will follow.”

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The Journey Ahead II

The next session for Skull and Shackles is Sunday the 2nd of August, 10 am, Hawaii time.

The motley crew have found themselves in the port town of Blackblood Cay. Captain Lanteri hires the PCs on as crew to help her find the lost treasure of Captain Jemma Redclaw. Can the PCs survive long enough to claim their share of the lost loot, or will their enemies – or their allies (old and new) – send them to a watery grave?

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06 Rum Punch

Session Six

In this session of Skull and Shackles, a new chapter begins. The castaways and the marooned begin to come up with ideas on how to escape the island of Smuggler’s Shiv. At first they attempt to build rafts, with Mary, Dalvika, and Pezcock working on the problem. But the group soon warms to Wynter’s idea on using the light house on getting help. De’de uses his knowledge in engineering to help restore the old Chelish light house before the others could finish their raft projects.

It isn’t long after the completion of the light house’s restoration that a ship is seen off in the horizon, the Strix. Seeing that a rescue was on their way, the group of castaways were relieved.

Shark Infested Waters

The castaways were fortunate to have been found by the whaling vessel, the Strix, captained by Merrill Pegsworthy, a jolly and honorable Free Captain who was out hunting for his arch rival, the Ghoul Whale. The white undead whale that took his leg! After being regaled with their exploits, Pegsworthy was won over by their fantastic tale and was happy to transport them back to port on Shark Island.

Sometime during the trip, Tidus’s dimorphodon egg hatched!

A few days later during the last morning watch, the rescued castaways and the crew of the Strix were roused to the sound of “man overboard”, as Tidus and Quade was drawn into a battle against Sahuagin raiders! The pair were able to dispatch the sea devils with moderate ease.

Once the ship reached Shark Island the party made their fond farewells with the crew and captain of the Strix and then ventured forth into the town of Blackblood Cay. With the spirit of adventure still in their blood, the castaways decided to officially become a crew. Ishirou was unhappy with the whole situation involving leaving behind Mary, and was also disgruntle that they never found the wreck of the Nightvoice. He collected his share of the plundered treasure the group acquired and left. Jask left on a different reason, as he was focused to clear his name. The cleric of Old Ba bade the group good luck on their venture and promised to rejoin them if they were still alive in the future.

Sasha then demanded that the group come up with a vote, as that was the proper way in choosing a captain in the Shackles. Five decided to nominate themselves for the position: Quade, De’de, Mary, Sasha, and Tidus. When it came to the vote, it followed: Sasha and Tidus voting for themselves. Aerys, De’de, Wynter, and Pezcock voting for Quade, and the fey swashbuckler voted for himself as well. Gelik voted for Mary and Mary voted for herself, and Dalvika threw her lot with the majority. Quade is nominated to be the captain of their group.

With the group established, they quickly fell into discussion on how to acquire a ship of their own. Some members of the group favored the idea of stealing a ship while others were more open to pooling their resources and buying a ship. The group soon separated as Gelik, Dalvika, Aerys, Mary, and Pezcock left to acquire lodgings. Quade, Tidus, Wynter, and De’de decided to walk the docks and begin to exam what ships were available in sight. Their attention soon fell upon the newly crafted sloop, the Blushing Bride, owned by the town’s governor and Free Captain, Simeon Smythee the Vain. Word had reached them that Simeon’s sloop is known for its amazing speed, and rumor has it that as soon as he built up enough naval strength to contest Shark Island’s werewolf lord for dominance of the island and secure a stable power base, he intended to enter the Free Captain’s Regatta. A famous naval race in the Shackles that gave the winner of the race a seat at the current Hurricane King’s table and a voice in the politics of the Islands. While watching the ship, the group noticed a fair skinned woman dressed in noble clothing leaving the Blushing Bride followed by a small contingent of handmaidens and soldiers. Tidus soon grew enamored with the large bosom woman and followed after her, trailed behind by Wynter. De’de asked around and learnt that the woman was Simeon the Vain’s daughter, Agasta Smythee, and the fiance of Avimar Sorrinash (the werewolf lord of Shark Island).

With the group separated, De’de and Quade looked around to see if there was any jobs worth looking into in town, seeing some potential in drake hunting. Tidus approached Agasta, but was confronted by her bodyguard and father’s loyal sergeant-at-arms, Royster McCleagh. The gruff old campaigner with a handlebar mustache and salt and pepper hair tried to intimidate Tidus to back away, but the triton ended up counter intimidating the old war horse! While Royster was recovering from being shaken from the encounter, Tidus used the opportunity to flirt with Agasta, learning that there was going to be a party at the Governor’s villa.

The group met up again over at Cailean’s Keg, a temple and tavern to the accidental god of fools and drinks. They were greeted by Anyabwile Saabwa, who informed them that the Rum Punch festival was going on. He shared what information he knew about some of the landmarks in town. After the group had lunch at Cailean’s Keg, Quade shared a story with the surrounding tavern goers about the group’s exploits on the island of Smuggler’s Shiv, as everyone in town believed that no one had ever escaped the cursed island. The rousing story was good enough to earn the group some Infamy.

They then proceeded to Founder’s Square where they sold off much of their plunder they acquired from the Shiv. The group was then drawn into one of the many games of the Rum Punch Festival, such as the Lucky Drunk’s Challenge. While recovering from the game as everyone was intoxicated, except for Wynter who had a spell that would delay the effects, their attention was drawn to the sound of a gunshot!

The gunshot had rang across the crowded square, and attention of everyone soon snapped to the sharp-dressed woman standing on the stage, holding a still-smoking pistol. Certain she had the attention of all present, she addresses the crowd.

“I’m Captain Varossa Lanteri of the Magpie Princess and I have a business proposition. I’ve recently discovered the secret to finding the lost treasure of Captain Jemma Redclaw, and I’m looking for a few strong hands to help me secure it. The first to reach my bosun’s table on the second floor of the Fallen From Grace Inn down by the harbor will have the opportunity to receive an officer’s share of old Captain Redclaw’s gold. If you’ve been waiting for your chance at fame and fortune, it’s finally here!”

She fired her pistol over the heads of the crowd a second time, and shouted, “Now hop to!” A moment of shocked silence was followed by a riot of shouts as dozens of people rush out of the square. The drunken survivors of the Shiv also gave chase, De’de using his ability to teleport ahead to avoid many of the obstacles that the racers encountered while Tidus took to the waters to earn a short cut to the Inn.

When the group entered the Fallen from Grace Inn, they nimbly avoided the rousing bar fight that had occurred within the tavern by climbing up into the second floor. Wynter herself took out one of their challengers, the local pit fighter named Owlbear Hartshorn, with a hex that bade him to go to sleep.

The session ends with the group signing on with the half orc bosun of the Magpie Princess, Cut-Throat Grok.

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The Journey Ahead I

The next session for Skull and Shackles is Sunday the 12th of July, 10 am, Hawaii time.

The PCs have ended Besmara’s curse on the island, conquered the kuru cannibals, slain the Displacer Beast, defeated the Intellect Devourer that manipulated the crew of the Jenivere, and collected one piece of Besmara’s pieces of eight. All they have to do now is to escape the island, either by rescue or endure the perils of boating to freedom.

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Plunder and Peril

I

The next chapter of the Skull and Shackles Adventure Path!

Tall tales of hidden riches are common in the pirate-infested taverns of the Shackles, but a band of survivors from the nefarious cannibal island of Smuggler’s Shiv may very well have found a clue to find the mythical relics known as Besmara’s Pieces of Eight. All they need is a ship and a crew to help assemble the magical artifact. Can the PCs survive long enough to claim their share of the lost loot, or will their enemies – or their allies – send them to a watery grave?

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05 The Tomb of the Hurricane King

Session Five

In this session of Skull and Shackles, the castaways return to base camp with their prisoner, Master Scourge. But the castaways are surprised when they uncover a newcomer to the island, the stowaway, Wynter Osveta. The young witch is able to overcome the group’s mistrust by a convincing oratorical introduction and is cautiously welcomed by the others while watched suspiciously by a few. Some members of the group questioned why they should keep Master Scourge alive, which the prisoner quickly points out that he knows where Klorak is going… The Red Mountain. But before the king of the cannibals was going to venture forth to the mountain, he went off to see the old kuru witch Chicken Bones.

The group has a short argument as to who should be leader, as Mary attempts to assert her influence to lead the group while Quade counters that everyone should work together without a leader. The party decides to put the issue at rest for later and deal with the threat of Klorak. Assembling a war party consisting of Tidus, Quade, Mary, Dalvika, De’de, Jask, Gelik, Master Scourge, and the new comer Wynter, the group heads off along the hunter’s trail to journey forth to Chicken Bones’s hut.

When the group eventually reaches to the kuru witch’s home, they find signs of combat everywhere. Chicken Bones’s skeleton warriors have been destroyed, and the kuru witch has been slain, her head missing. The only inhabitant of the small encampment is Chicken Bones’s chicken familiar, Mali. Wynter proves her worth with the group as her familiar, Bertok, is able to communicate with the fowl. Mary is quick to deduce that since the island’s curse prevents the spirits of the dead from leaving the island, that the link between master and familiar is still active. Mali can find the missing head of Chicken Bones. De’de takes up the chicken familiar as the group follows after Master Scourge, who insists that he should be freed since he is an ally of the group.

Some time later while on the trail, the group decides to make camp. While on watch, Mary is able to determine that something is watching them. Tidus is able to make out the creature’s eyes within the darkness of the jungle and approaches it bravely with his weapons drawn. Waking from their slumber, the group spurs to action when the champion of Besmara goes face to face with the jungle’s alpha predator, the Displacer Beast. Working together as a team, the group is able to bring down the monstrous feline and cut him down.

One Piece of Eight

After their ordeal with the Red Mountain Devil, the party continues to journey to Red Mountain. Once they reach the summit of the mountain, instead of following Master Scourge’s directions, the party decides to follow the directions of the chicken familiar, Mali. The group heads down to the beach where they find four tide stones arranged a small rocky dais stained with blood. Tidus and Mary dives into the lagoon and begins to search underwater for any clues, eventually finding large stone doors marked with the sign of Besmara, the pirate queen. Reading the clues given upon the door, Mary shares her findings with the group and they puzzled over on how to activate the tide stones.

Quade, Dalvika, Gelik, and Tidus works together in activating the stone’s magic, singing sea shanties and praises to Besmara while spilling Quade’s blood with a silver blade upon the stone dais. After performing the holy ritual, the tide stones unleash a unnatural storm in the region.

Mary notices that this is the third time she seen such a unnatural storm upon the island. The waters of the lagoon lowers, giving the group a path to the stone doors.

The group then ventures forth into the temple, where they confront undead sentries, killer soul bound dolls, and deadly traps. Master Scourge himself meets a grisly end as he is shoved down a pit trap by Tidus and is then assaulted by doll warriors constructed from bones.

Studying the writings on the wall in the scriptorium, Mary is able to determine the true nature of the temple, that it is the actual tomb to the first Hurricane King, Turpin Irons.

A little over 100 years ago, Turpin Irons crowned himself the first Hurricane King when the Free Captains of the Shackles banded together as a single pirate fleet. He preyed upon all the nations of the Inner Sea that touched the ocean, made himself a legend and a naval terror, and helped found the pirate nation of the Shackles. He even drew the favor of Besmara herself, wielding her very own sword, Alestorm. But Captain Irons also drew her disfavor when he broke her sword into eight pieces and had them scattered across the known world. There are many theories as to why he did this, but many agree that this was Captain Irons’s downfall. Seeking the favor of the Pirate Queen, Glick Hyde, Turpin’s first mate, usurped Turpin’s rule with the aid of the priests of Besmara, binding the soul of Turpin on a cursed island. The Smuggler’s Shiv. There the priests bound the captain’s soul within a tomb, so that Irons would forever be tormented and denied the rest of an afterlife. Unfortunately, the priest’s curse also extended to the entire island, so that if anyone who died upon Smuggler’s Shiv, none shall face the grace of Pharasma’s judgement.

With this knowledge, the group breaks into the inner sanctum of the tomb. They find Klorak holding the skull of the first Hurricane King and in communion with the dead spirit of Captain Irons, whispering aloud the names of his officers. Interrupted from his seance, Klorak orders his kuru warriors to attack the castaways. In a fierce battle against kuru warriors, an gibbering divine guardian that attacked them from the rear, and the cannibal king, the party is able to prevail without any loss of life. Klorak is slain, but is revealed to be the host of an insidious creature known as an Intellect Devourer! The aberration attempts to flee but is brought down finally by Quade and Tidus.

Recovering from their victory, the group then begins to search the tomb for spoils, collecting any riches they find. Mary is quick to claim a tiny silver shard that she recognizes as one piece of eight. One of the eight pieces that once was the sword of the pirate queen.

The session ends with Quade bringing a end to the curse on the island by destroying the altar of Besmara, freeing all the lost souls on the island. Including the grateful soul of Turpin Irons.

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The Road So Far III

The next session for Skull and Shackles is Sunday the 28th of June, 11 am, Hawaii time.

Here is the progress of the castaways and the marooned.

From what the group has discovered:

A = Where the PCs and NPCs awoke on the Beach
B = the wreck of the Jenivere
C = a predator territory
D = a shipwreck
E = a grove of sharp looking thorn plants
F = the abandoned campsite of Captain Kovack and Ieana
G = the wreck of the Brine Demon
H = yellow musk creeper clearing
I1 = base camp
I2 = Crow’s Tooth abandoned camp
K = clearing where Captain Quellig buried his treasure
L = Pezcock’s Crab
M = Kuru cannibal ambush
N = Chicken Bones’s hut.
Q = a unexplored grey island
U = a unexplored gigantic tree
V = The Chelish Lighthouse and current Kuru camp.
X = Red Mountain

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04 The Thrunefang

Session Four

In this session of Skull and Shackles, the castaways return to base camp to recover from their battle against the kuru. They decide to assemble an attack force made up of Quade, Dalvika, De’de, Sasha, and Jask. Tidus lags behind, promising to meet up with the others later. The group then proceeds to travel west along the well-used hunting trail. Along the way, Quade is struck by a poisoned dart trap, but his fey defenses luckily saves him from being pricked by the dart. Moving on, the group ventures a quick detour north to explore the end of the trail. They come across another abandoned campsite upon the cliff side. Sasha is able to determine that the inhabitants of the camp were attacked by a larger force and defeated. Everyone, including the dead, were taken away somewhere south. Quade finds a dagger hidden among the rocks, the blade is etched with a pair of crossed praying mantis claws, the same symbol matching Sasha’s tattoos.

Finding a old trail west, the group decides to explore it. What they discover is a giant carcass of a crab. As they move closer to inspect the crab, the carcass animates and a nasal bird like voice threatens them to go away. Dalvika is able to convince the owner of the voice to reveal itself, a crazed tengu by the name of Pezcock, the last surviving member of the Crow’s Tooth. They learn that Pezcock has lived on the island for some time and knows quite alot about the cannibals to the south. Dalvika is able to convince Pezcock to join the party when he explains that Quade is the captain of their group. Relieved to join a new crew, the jinx eater joins the band.

The group then heads south along the trail, having a brief encounter with a wandering cave fisher, and then eventually meeting up with Tidus. With the group reunited with the reaver of Besmara, the band heads south to the lighthouse, despite the fact that Tidus keeps threatening he wants to eat the tengu.

The Lighthouse

The castaways eventually reach the outskirts of the old Chelish lighthouse, and after some planning on how to infiltrate the kuru base, Quade decides to take the direct approach. Their daring approach alerts the two sentries at the watchtower, who rouses the entire compound to the presence of the intruders. The sylvan swashbuckler Quade nimbly avoids the Shiv dragon guarding the gates of the walled compound and then begins to scale the gate itself. Meanwhile the others approach the walls of the gate, with the blue goblin Dalvika using her mind magic to put two of the sentries at the watch tower to sleep. Tidus finishes the shiv dragon with his skill at arms with the falcata. When Quade finally lands on the other side of the gate, he is alone to deal with the on rushing assault of blood thirsty kuru warriors, enraged due to the drums of their warrior skalds. The sylvan warrior is able to avoid many of their attacks and redirect it, all the while he attempts to open the gate. Once the gate is finally down, De’de uses his mind magic to set the remaining frenzied kuru on fire.

Watching from the light house’s balcony, the pale skin leader of the kuru retreats within the tower once he sees spell casters among the intruders. With Tidus slaughtering the last of the kuru warriors, Dalvika is able to intimidate the other kuru villagers to back down. Before they can launch their raid on the light house, Quade notices nearby on a table is the rotted corpse of Ieana, the cyphermage. The adventurers decide to investigate the problem later and deal with the threat of the kuru leader. They fight their way into the light house, eventually confronting King Klorak’s lieutenant, Master Scourge.

Realizing that he is defeated, Master Scourge promises to surrender and give the group information on where Klorak went if they spare his life. Quade is able to convince the others in sparing the kuru leader, learning that Master Scourge’s real name is Peachey Carnehan. Carnehan and Klorak Dravot were castaways of the Thrune’s Fang, a ship transporting firearm ammunition to Port Peril. When they found themselves on the Shiv, they were able to trick the local kuru into sparing their lives and survived by the power of their wits. Carnehan would had left the Shiv years ago, but Klorak wanted to stay and live as a king.

Carnehan reckons that there is something wrong with Klorak, more so then usual, ever since a kuru hunter arrived with the body of a Varisian girl and a new castaway captive. Klorak secluded himself with the kuru hunter, not emerging for a whole day. Upon the next morning, Klorak became obsessed with the Red Mountain, believing that there may be some sort of hidden treasure there. He gathered a small contingent of kuru warriors and left the compound, leaving Carnehan in charge. As for the castaway captive, the kuru killed and devoured him.

The corpse of the girl? They left the corpse alone, believing it to be fouled by a evil spirit.

With this news and after examining Ieana’s corpse, Jask determines that a parasitic monster has been possessing the Varisian girl for some time as the body has been dead for years. They also learn that the castaway captive murdered and cannibalized by the kuru was none other then Captain Kovack.

The session ends with the party leaving behind the old Chelish lighthouse with their new captive and guide, Peachey Carnehan.

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