Skull and Shackles

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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The Road So Far II

The next session for Skull and Shackles is Sunday the 21st of June, 10 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
I = base camp
K = clearing where Captain Quellig buried his treasure
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 = a unexplored red mountain

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03 Cannibal Holocaust

Session Three

In this session of Skull and Shackles, the castaways have settled in the abandoned Bearded Harpy campsite. The castaways decide to send out a scouting team consisting of Quade, De’de, and Tidus to explore their surroundings and scavenge what they can from the many shipwrecks they came across in their journey.

The scouting team explores the wreck of the Bearded Harpy, finding that the ship has already been looted. They next explore the wreck of the Windwar, where they are confronted by the spirit of Captain Lortch Quellig. The scouting team is able to put down the shadow with a combination of Tidus’s magic dagger, Quade’s arcane magic, and De’de’s mind magic. The band then continues north up along the coast after plundering some loot from the Windwar, and then explored the wrecked remains of the Scallywag. Aboard the vessel, they find it to be haunted with lacedons. De’de easily sets the band of ghouls on fire with his mind magic, ending the encounter quickly. After plundering the Scallywag, the scouting team then continues north. They found a heavy ballista aboard the Golden Bow, but decided to leave the siege engine behind as it was too large to haul up the cliff side. The scouting team then swam off to explore the Tears of Grog, where they found many casks of rum that wasn’t damaged by the ship’s impact against the sandbar and rocks. The team shared a good drink before setting off to swim back to the Shiv.

Along the way of their explorations of the shipwrecks, the band came across several predators. The most notable of predators was a band of kuru headhunters armed with rifles. De’de was quick to blast the cannibals with his mind magic, ending the threat before it got too serious. Collecting the plundered loot, the group moves on to the north, going so far as to their original start point.

While up in that region of the Shiv, Quade and Tidus decide to compete against one another in fetching a dimorphodon egg for Sasha, in order to impress the Mantis Warrior. De’de opts to stay out of the competition while the pair come up with schemes on how to climb down the cliff side to fetch a egg. Quade takes the direct approach by climbing down, finding only a single egg to steal from the dinosaur’s nest. He is able to dispatch the dimorphodons on his own. When the group venture off to another area where the flying dinosaurs lair, Tidus uses his own method of acquiring a egg by leaping off the cliff and crashing into the nest! He luckily is able to save the egg when he crashed into the water below.

As the scouting team was heading back to their main campsite, they came across a carcass of a skinned goat. Examining the remains of the dead and the animal tracks around the area, Quade and De’de were able to share their opinion that the tracks belong to a rare species of kamadan known as a Displacer Beast. Excited at the prospect of encountering the creature, both Tidus and Quade wish to hunt the beast. De’de is against the idea, and argues that it is probably wiser to face the creature with more hunters in their band.

Buried Treasures and Cannibals

Heading back south, Tidus, De’de, and Quade encounters Mary again, who had ventured forth from the base camp to look for the scouting team. They share what they uncovered, including the mysterious hauntings along the shoreline and the strange treasure map they acquired from the Windwar. The group decides to take a detour from heading back to the campsite in order to find Captain Quellig’s buried treasure. Along the way they encounter a yellow musk creeper and a pair of zombie thralls, but the group easily vanquishes the monsters with a combination of magic and blades.

When the group finally arrives at where they believed Captain Quellig’s buried his treasure, they follow the map’s instructions and wait until sunrise. After a few hours of digging, they uncover a wooden plug and the skeletal remains of a dwarf. Using their skills at engineering and Mary’s ability to disable traps, they are able to pull out the plug without falling down into the shaft. Tidus, Quade, and De’de then descend into the pit, finding more skeletal remains and a heavy footlocker. They haul the footlocker out of the treasure pit, and Mary is able to disable the deadly trap on the chest. Pleased to find the footlocker loaded with treasure, the group then decides to head back to base camp.

Once back at the campsite, Sasha is thrilled with the dimorphodon eggs, much to Quade and Tidus’s delight. Gelik is even more happy to be given more alcohol. While the scouts recover and relax, they begin to make plans for their next venture into the jungle. Ishirou shares that while the scouts were gone, he and Sasha found a mysterious object that had washed ashore not too far from their camp. Quade and De’de is able to determine the item to be a wand of gentle repose. Ishirou then uses the opportunity to pull De’de aside to ask him a favor. Unnerved with his encounter with the darkmantles and his close brush with death, the Tian man asks if De’de is a man of honor. De’de answers truthfully that he isn’t, which disappoints the Tian. None the less Ishirou shares that if he would die on the Shiv, he would like to see his katana returned to his family in the port town of Robu. In a rare moment of showing his soft side, De’de shares that he would like his body cremated and his ashes spread out into the sea if he perished.

After spending a day at the campsite, a new scouting team is assembled. The team is made up of Mary, Quade, De’de, and Aerys. They head west, avoiding the trail.

While exploring the high rise ridge, they come across a small village that at first they believe to be abandoned. When they enter the village, they are greeted by a large number of animated skeleton warriors. Before the two sides come to blows, a mysterious kuru witch halts the fight by welcoming the scouts. She introduces herself as Chicken Bones and she has been waiting for the chosen ones for some time. Chicken Bones explains that the Blood Queen has sent the chosen ones to the Shiv, so that they could help liberate the kuru from the reign of the pale skin outsiders.

Her story goes that two outsiders arrived on the Shiv and brought with them 22 magical sticks that could kill from a distance. They offered to share this power and teach the kuru to harness the magic of the sticks. When the Blood Queen’s surrogate spoke against the outsiders, one of the outsiders killed the surrogate with a well aimed shot to the head. Impressed by the magic of the sticks and the outsider who slew the Blood Queen’s surrogate, they named the pale skin man with fiery red hair, King Klorak the Red.

Chicken Bones believes that the castaways were sent by the Blood Queen to kill King Klorak.

Mary negotiates with the kuru witch, earning the castaways a new ally and a quest. They must travel southeast to the old Chelish lighthouse and bring back the head of King Klorak the Red. In exchange, Chicken Bones will help the castaways in escaping the island.

As the scouts head south from the kuru village, they come across a large hunting band of kuru head hunters. There is a fierce battle between both sides as Quade and Mary demonstrate their skill at arms, Aerys demonstrates her ability with the bow, and De’de uses his psionic magic to diminish the number of his opponents. Only a lone kuru survives the fight and he quickly flees back into the jungle.

The session ends with the knowledge that the kuru may very well know that the scouts are coming.

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The Road So Far

The next session for Skull and Shackles is Saturday the 6th of June, 7 pm, 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
I = abandoned hut
K = unexplored clearing
N = where they saw smoke
Q = a unexplored grey island
U = a unexplored gigantic tree
V = where they saw smoke
X = a unexplored red mountain

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Extra Experience Points!

Ahoy! Players who provide me with a written background for their character (at least a minimum of a paragraph of information), will earn 150 XP.

This will be a practice for current and future characters from this point of the campaign. You can send me the information via the message system here in Obsidian Portal or email me directly at jbennett644@yahoo.com

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02 Souls for Smuggler's Shiv


Session Two

The second session of the Skull and Shackles campaign picks up at Castaway Beach. After some arguments over supplies and who should lead, the band decides to follow De’de’s suggestion to reach higher ground and find fresh water. Tidus doesn’t seem that bothered with drinking sea water, and the gnome Gelik easily exhausts the band’s supply of alcohol along the way. Quade continues to flirt with the women, annoying Aerys and amusing Sasha.

The group gets into a heated argument over the fate of the Mwangi prisoner, Jask. Jask claims to be a cleric of Nethys, and promises to help the group. De’de inquires as to his crime, and according to Aerys, they learn that Jask was charged with espionage and treason by the Sargavan government. Jask fled to Corentyn, where Aerys found him and bounded him in chains. Jask claims his innocence, claiming that he was framed by his superior, who is in fact the true criminal. Despite Aerys’ protests, Quade manages to convince her to free her prisoner in exchange for paying Jask’s bounty.

Along the way to the high rise, the band witness a dimorphodon flying over their heads. Sasha seems enchanted by the flying dinosaur, especially once De’de shares the knowledge that the beast is poisonous.

While camping for the night, Sasha and Tidus were able to hunt down some dire rats. They decide to keep the spoils of their hunt a secret. De’de takes the time to read the captain’s log and later share his findings with the castaways in the morning. Captain Alizandru Kovack was obsessed with the Varisian scholar Ieana. It was Ieana’s suggestion that the Jenivere should head to the Cannibal Isles. When the crew grew upset due to the ship’s change in course, the Captain was plotting on a method on dealing with the crew and passengers.

Along the way, Aerys and Gelik become extremely sick.

The band eventually reach higher ground and the beginnings of a river. From their vantage point they can make out more shipwrecks along the eastern coast of the Shiv, a large red mountain to the south, and to the southwest, a very large tree, and at two different locations signs of civilization as they see smoke. Ishirou warns that the smoke may belong to the island’s local kuru, a race of degenerate humanoids who live in the Shackles and are known to be cannibals. De’de recalls a story about Chelish engineers erecting a lighthouse on the Shiv’s southwest shore. The light was intended to warn approaching ships of the dangerous waters and, eventually, was to have been the first building in a small colony. The light and all plans for colonization were abandoned just before completion amid rumors of curses, haunts, and cannibalism.

De’de and Tidus soon learn that they’re in a predator’s territory. The pair decide to hunt the predator with the assistance of Sasha and Ishirou, leaving the others to construct a fortified shelter and tend to their sick companions. The hunting band gets into a confrontation with a pair of jungle darkmantles and barely survive.

The New Companions

After recovering from their encounter with the darkmantles, the castaways are alerted to a newcomer. The new arrival is none other then Dalvika, a female blue goblin telepath and a member of the Jenivere’s crew. She shares her life and death struggle aboard the last hours of the Jenivere and explains how the first mate, Alton, brought the passengers ashore with her assistance. She also shares her suspicions that the Varisian scholar Ieana is a psion and somehow magically controlled Captain Kovack’s mind. Dalvika also believes that there is another camp to the southeastern shore.

A scouting band made up of De’de, Quade, Tidus, and led by Dalvika, head down to the southeastern shores of the Shiv. Along the way they stop to investigate the wreck of the Bloody Doll. Finding that the wreck has already been ransacked, they continue on.

The band reaches a abandoned campsite and soon learn that Captain Kovack and Ieana is still alive. Tidus quickly claims the captain’s abandoned hat for himself while De’de investigates a few discarded Varisian scarves. Clinging to some of the scarves is some dead flesh. Dalvika is troubled by this. She shares her theory that Ieana is an imposter, as a real Varisian would never abandon their ancestral scarves. Quade pushes the group on to follow the Captain and the false Varisian’s trail.

While the group is following the trail, they come across a strange sight on the beach. The ghost of Captain Billy Bones, a Free Captain of the Shackles who went missing five years ago. After failing to catch the ghost’s attention, the group decides to follow the undead spirit back to its wrecked ship, the Brine Demon.

The band investigate the shipwreck, finding some remains of Grindylows and dead crewmen. They eventually decide to loot the ship and the corpse of Captain Billy Bones, prying his locked coffer from his wretched dead fingers. Unlocking the coffer, they find a locket with a picture of the captain’s beloved Aeshamara.

As they are returning back to their camp, the ghost of Captain Billy Bones attacks them! They are able to vanquish the ghost, but soon enough encounter another new comer. A female human cleric of Besmara calling herself Mary, and her monkey pet Gage. Mary claims to have been marooned upon the Shiv by her traitorous crew and has been wandering the eastern shore of the Shiv for some time. When questioned by Dalvika if she had seen Captain Kovack and Ieana, Mary demands payment in return for the information. Shocked by the cleric’s behavior, Quade believes the information isn’t worth it, but he still welcomes her to join the band and return to their camp.

The scouting band travels back to their fortified camp, with news of their discoveries. Aerys and Gelik are fully recovered from their ordeal with mindfire, thanks to Jask. Quade allows Jask to read the Brine Demon’s ship logs and journals, as the cleric believes there may be some evidence within the journals. After reading the journals, Jask becomes excited as Captain Billy Bone’s records proves that Jask is innocent as his superior is named among Captain Billy Bone’s collaborators with the Chelish Government. It would seem that Captain Billy Bones was a traitor to the Pirate Nation. Aerys reluctantly agrees that the journals will prove Jask’s innocence and fetch a price with the authorities of the Pirate Nation or Sargava.

The castaways and their new companions then journey south, traveling along the river. They easily overcome a constrictor snake on the way, and do moderately well against a pair of Shiv Dragons. But their journey eventually ends when they discover an abandoned hut on the beach.

Before they can investigate the hut, the castaways are confronted by the ghost of Captain Billy Bones again! He demands the return of his locket from the thieving scalawags. Mary approaches the ghost and seems to calm the troubled spirit with her presence. The group is able to determine that the only way to put Captain Billy Bones’ spirit to rest is to return Bones’ locket to Aeshamara in Port Peril.

Jask asks for Quade to hand over the locket. Quade does so, only to be shocked when the cleric destroys the locket! Jask curses Captain Billy Bones and blames him for all the hell that was brought down upon Jask in the last ten years.

Traitors don’t deserve a happy ending.

The troubled spirit of Captain Billy Bones screams in rage and flies to attack the cleric. The party is able to vanquish the ghost for a final time and revive the fallen cleric with a cure potion. Jask grins up at the group as he awakens and comments, “justice has been served.”

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01 Skull and Shackles


Session One

Avast! Session one begins with the swashbuckling magus Quade awaking to sunlight as he is pulled from the Deadman’s Box by a monstrous frog like fiend. Confused by his tropical surroundings and suffering from a troubled mind, he is interrogated by a mysterious mask wizard while the wizard’s two fiendish cohorts conducted a search of the Deadman’s Box, looking for the Book of Confessions. Apparently, the trio dug the Deadman’s Box out of the sand in search of the book and instead found Quade. Quade is snarky in response to the wizard, claiming no knowledge of the book’s whereabouts. Disappointed with his findings, the wizard orders his Hezrou minion to kill Quade. This order is interrupted by the wizard’s sly devil cohort, who suggests to instead let Quade suffer a slow death wasting away on the island. The trio leave Quade abandoned upon the beach, taking the Deadman’s Box with them as they teleport away. The last to leave is the wizard’s devil minion, who promises Quade that they will meet again.

Quade hardly can remember his past, as his memory is full of gaps. All he can remember is that a beautiful human female with green eyes placed him in the Deadman’s Box. The planewalker then hears a monstrous shriek down the beach and goes to investigate.

Meet the Castaways

There he discovers a number of unconscious humanoid bodies washed ashore, including two men who awoke in time to defend themselves against the morning’s scavengers, Eurypterids. The amphibious Tidus, a triton champion of Besmara, was more concerned with a pile of supplies that was neatly stacked upon the beach and in the midst of being looted by a band of coral capuchin. The Mwangi psion, De’de Mugabe, took it upon himself to easily dispatch the Eurypterids and some of the coral capuchin with some of his mind magic.

Quade soon introduced himself to the two men and learnt that Tidus and De’de were passengers of the Jenivere, a Wyvern-class Sargavan merchant vessel that plied the waters of the Arcadian Ocean. The other passengers included the female half-elf bounty hunter Aerys Mavato, and her Mwangi prisoner, Jask Derindi. Next is Gelik Aberwhinge, a gnome who claims to be a member of the Pathfinder Society and a famed poet from the Varisian city of Magnimar. Then there is the red-headed Ilizmagortian, Sasha Nevah, who believes that the passengers were poisoned with oil of taggit. It would explain why they don’t recall the last several hours. Finally there is the mysterious Tian, Ishirou, who is able to determine that they’re on the dreaded Smuggler’s Shiv, one of the Cannibal Isles.

While everyone is distracted and arguing with one another, Jask attempts to escape into the jungle. Only Quade aids Aerys in subduing Jask and manages to bring down the prisoner with a pommel strike. Meanwhile Tidus and De’de continue to argue over claiming the corpses of the coral capuchin.

Determined to learn the fate of the Jenivere, an advance scouting party made up of Tidus, De’de, Quade, and Ishirou made their way west. After six miles of travel through the jungle, climbing mountainous ridges, and scaling along the cliff side, they were able to find the wreck of the Jenivere. Tidus and Quade made their way down the cliff and onto the ship, only to come face to face with a giant eurypterid. Luckily De’de was able to finish the monstrous sea scorpion off by dispatching it with another psionic attack.

The band soon learnt that the rest of the crew of the Jenivere had drowned in the wreck. The ship was split in half upon the island’s reef. They deduced that the ship’s passengers survived only because they were on the upper deck. Someone had carried them off the ship and brought them ashore. They found dead bodies down below deck, one belonging to the ship’s cook, and the other belonging to the ship’s first mate, Alton Devers. Gathering what supplies they could scavenge, they returned back to the other castaways and made camp on their first night on Smuggler’s Shiv.

The year is 4710 AR, the month of Desnus. And Quade doesn’t realize it, but he has been asleep for thousands of years.

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The Adventure Begins

Only the Strong Survive

A deadly storm shipwrecks the passengers and crew of the Jenivere upon infamous Smuggler’s Shiv, an island in the Cannibal Isles. If they’re to have any hope of escaping the notorious pirates’ graveyard, the survivors will need to band together to outwit the isle’s strange beasts and legendary menaces. But can the PCs unite the swift-to-squabble castaways, especially when several seem to have mysterious goals of their own? And does Smuggler’s Shiv hide secrets even deadlier than its desperate denizens?

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