"Journey of the Red Tide"

Under The Sea
Capt Birgiette's Shopping List

Arriving at the shipyard, Capt Brigiette made a request of the party, to find a magic item, Secure Lines to help train and protect the new crew mates once the vessel is completed. Augustus and Dhohelieat head to the Haskenport library to conduct research and find no information in the tomes, but someone in the building has heard of Secure Lines and thinks the Wavekeeper would be a good lead. Thinking that a Wavekeeper will live along the coast, Kolfor ploymorphed into a porpoise and swam at a run to the east and west for 1.75 min each covering just over a half mile in each direction. While those ten minutes elapsed, Dhoheliat and Ingot asked a passerby if they knew where the Wavekeeper lived. Learning that he had a residence in a small cove about 3 miles to the west, Augustus threw some bread into the ocean in hopes of calling Kolfor back early. Debating fervently, Dhoheliat and Ingot eventually realize they’re talking about the same cove but know different directions.

Leaving Haskenport immediately, the party arrived around 7pm to find Rither and his animal companion, Nydrix, in the cove. Explaining their goal of Secure Lines, Rither has heard of them but as a druid does not know how to craft them. He thinks that the aquatic elves may know more with their expansive library and offers to escort everyone there tomorrow. The party excused themselves before Augustus opened a portal and adjourned for the night.

Returning early, everyone loaded into a rented rowboat and Rither used magic to propel the vessel out to sea for about 45 minutes. Once over Dorisea, Rither cast another spell and everyone’s skin grayed and firmed up while their entire eyes turned black and gained dark vision. Jumping into the depths, Dhoheliat held onto Nydrix to expedite sinking and everyone plunged into the ocean. After hundreds of feet all surface illumination disappeared and all everyone could see was the 60ft Darkvision bubble. A little further down, an aquatic elf guard loomed and who shook hands with Rither and was introduced as Elegos. Finally arriving at Dorisea, the party was brought to see King Carumalg and get permission to use the library. With a little convincing, King Carumalg granted the party access to the Reliquary of Knowledge. Finding the correct tome in about 30 minutes, Kolfor was disappointed to know he could have probably guessed the crafting requirements, animate rope, fabricate, and sufficient rope material.

Returning to the main entryway, the party thanks Carumalg and someone mentions that they are not able to craft the Secure Lines. Carumalg offered that if the party could help with a skum problem they could craft the item for the party. An alpha aboleth was slain within the last month, but the skum activity on Dorisea’s border has not completely stopped. Rither wanted to stay away from any skum but Ingot convinced him to continue with the party as underwater support. Holding onto ropes behind dog-pony sized seahorses, the party journeyed another hour and a half to the country’s border. There Baine and Dhoheliat spotted some webbed footprints in the muddy bottom, and using the last couple steps as a straight line the party set off. The course was slightly adjusted a few times when evidence of unnatural disturbance were seen in the kelp beds (broken leaves and bent stems). After 20 minutes, they found an undersea cave with bubbles streaming from the opening and signs of fin propulsion in the sea floor. Forming into single file, Augustus, Dhoheliat, Nydrix, Kolfor, Rither, Ingot, and Baine. Rounding a sharp corner, Dhoheliat spotted a Sea Cat in an open cavern.

Combat progressed easily with two additional Sea Cats coming from further into the cavern into range of the party’s dark vision. Kolfor used illusion magic to blind two of the sea cats with glitter. Baine Bloodhoof grappled the other Sea Cat, while Augustus fought and knocked out the pinned cat and one blinded one. Dhoheliat performed a killing blow on one unconscious Sea Cat and Kolfor sent the third cat to the Shadow Realm. Dhoheliat drifted off to inspect the bubbles streaming along the ceiling, while the second Sea Cat was dispatched and the third returned from the Shadow Realm frightened and as it tried to flee, Nydrix slew the predator.


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Prologue Part V
Encountering the Band of the Red Hand

Meeting with Ingot, Silver and Snowhart go to the guard headquarters and after a little paperwork and a small monetary transaction receive their bounty hunter licenses. Ingot decides that since he has some time off from City Guard duty he will accompany Augustus and Silver on their quest to capture or kill the Band of the Red Hand. As they depart the government building they are confronted by a few older men asking for skilled warriors to take a job as protectors. They explain that recently the Band of the Red Hand has attacked some of the farmers as they try to bring goods to Seanchan to sell. Since these attacks began the farmers form their carts into large convoys for protection in numbers. But after another month, the Band got brazen and attacked the last farmer caravan. Now they’d like to hire some people to protect them.

The party delight at the prospect of collecting the bounty, while getting paid, although the farmer’s payment is paltry. Quickly conferring about the convoy’s plans, they depart to get prepped and leave in the evening to arrive at the farmer’s location on time for an early departure.

The party meet with the other protectors and begin walking north and then west. Snowhart rode on ahead on his newly purchased horse, while Ingot and Silver walked for 16 hours. The party rests for 6 hours and then departs with the convoy. Ingot and Silver find room on the wagons to continue resting from the night’s hard march. On the second day of the convoy’s travel, someone notices people lurking in the woods along the path and quietly alerts the rest of the party. After about 20 minutes the spies are gone, but no one rests easy.

Just after sunset, the convoy has stopped for the final night and while most people are eating and relaxing an attack is launched from the wood line. The party and farmer’s take up arms and fight a barbarian and five other people. Two horseman stay at a distance and fire from short bows and one of them has a white square banner with a large dark red handprint. Two attackers are captured and the rest killed and the barbarian is beheaded, to be brought back to Seanchan as proof of their defeat.

The following day the convoy reaches Seanchan and the farmers thank the party for their assistance and head to the market. The party takes the banner and captives to the Guard HQ to collect the reward. Upon interrogation of both the captives and the severed head, via Speak with Dead, the party learns that this was only a portion of the Band and that they cannot be given the reward.

Determined to finish the Band of the Red Hand, the Three Amigos (having dubbed themselves that) depart Seanchan to trace the attack party’s path to the Band’s hideout. After a few days of riding and tracking the party comes to the island’s northwestern coast. Sure that the path led here, they reinspect the area and find a rope tied to a tree leading to an open air cavern facing the ocean. Using the rope, the party enters the cave and finds the path through an illusionary wall to another natural cavern; here the party finds a stabling area for horses and a doorway to underground ruins.

Proceeding inside, the Three Amigos spring a ceiling trap that crushes a 15’ stretch of the narrow hallway. One party member fails to avoid the trap and takes some damage. Continuing along the hallway the party enters a very dark room and confronts some Bugbears. While fighting the other people, some floor switches are activated and 10′×10′ sections of the floor open to 20’ pit traps. Slaying these enemies, the party continues into this dungeon in search of more Band members.

Finding a stairwell, the party chooses to descent further into the structure. Finding this floor mostly covered in dust, they explore freely. There’s a couple tanglefoot bags left discarded under a banquet table and a pearl in a fountain. Continuing into a lit hallway, the party finds a bathroom, and multiple bedrooms. One bedroom is lit and clean with what appears to be the bugbears camping supplies, backpacks, bedrolls, and trail rations. Returning the the grand room, the party enters another doorway and descends spiral stairs to what appears to a jail area.

This lower level is thoroughly searched and the party finds an ever burning torch, and a Small set of breastplate in a prison cell. The end of the jail cell area has a large portcullis, opening it single handedly, Ingot holds it open while Augustus and Silver enter another natural cavern. Finding a bugbear corpse, the party is a little disturbed by what might be kept here behind the portcullis.

Walking through the room, someone sets off a Shrieker, which alerts the Violet Fungies to the intruders presence.
(Conclude somewhat non-violently, decide to leave these creatures homes?)

Returning to the grand hall and then to the original floor, the party take the stairwell leading up to unknown places.

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Prologue Part IV
Entering Seanchan

The next day the Red Tide survivors push on early and travel all day through countryside eventually coming to a large stone walled city. The couple guards tell the adventurers that this is the capital city, Seanchan and with further prodding give directions to a cheap tavern, the Jolly Snake Tap House.

Passing through the gate, this southern section of Seanchan is mostly uninhabited and the buildings have fallen into disrepair. The only maintained thing in this district is the wide cobblestone pathway, the party is taking towards the civilized districts.

Reaching the tavern, the innkeeper is glad to see the influx of patrons and rents the entire second floor to crew, passengers, and adventuring party. The survivors have a late night of revelry some celebrating their fortune to find such an island and others just the end of another day.

The next morning, Capt. Birgitte leaves to inquire about getting another vessel leaving the crew to explore. Augustus and Silver go to explore the northern district of Seanchan and acquire some bounty hunter permits, while Phrixus leaves the city to find a new place to stay (since the stables were an insult to him).

Augustus and Silver explore the civilized district of Seanchan, looking for a couple items they require and selling some spoils of adventuring. Upon returning to the Jolly Snake Tap House, they learn that Capt Birgitte has come and gone leaving a message with her crew. This nation does not have a large shipping industry due to the island’s unpredictable movement. However, she learned that there is a fishing town on the northern coast and decided to travel there and witness their ship building capabilities. Augustus and Silver strike out from Seanchan through the North Gate to pursue her. On the road, they meet a minotaur, Baine Bloodhoof, that accompanies them.

A few hours walk from the city, the party is ambushed by four large wasps. The vermin are dispatched but not before Sir Snowhart is stung multiple times and the poison knocks him unconscious through Dex damage. Reevaluating the situation, the party returns to Seanchan to allow Augustus to recuperate. At the city gate, Baine departs on good terms.

The next morning Sir Snowhart recovers some Dex damage and awakens. Searching Seanchan, he finds a church that he donates to in exchange for some ability damage healed. With the day mostly spent gathering information about a helpful church Augustus and Silver retire to a rowdy tavern for supper and a drink. While inside the Grinning Maiden another two patrons get into a bar fight that spills over onto the party’s table. The young man is offended by perceived slight that was simply ignorance. Of course, the heavily intoxicated older man was a skilled martial artist trained in drunken combat and avoided any blows. The City Guard was called and a large humanoid man came to the call. Ingot Fal-Kindur, a stone kin, quickly defused the young man’s anger and admonished his mentor for letting the matter escalate to a “fight.”

Augustus and Silver take this opportunity to talk to a member of the City Guard about the Band of the Red Hand. Ingot explains the rumors about the group and somewhere win the conversation tells Augustus and Silver that in Seanchan the law requires that anyone serving a wanted criminal be a licensed Bounty Hunter. Thus Silver and Snowhart ask how they can acquire a license. Ingot tells them it is too late to do anything today, but to meet him tomorrow in a well known square and he shall take them to get the licenses and help expedite the process.

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Prologue Part III
Landfall

The party decides to traverse ahead of the crew and passengers to learn about the upcoming area. So Augustus, Silver, and Phrixus march off and begin talking amongst themselves to pass the time. The party decided that if they were going to work together they needed a cool name and banner, finally settling on The Three Amigos. Augustus was hell bent on turning Phrixus’ into his replacement mount, but Phrixus was having none of that.

In the early afternoon, the party came across a small farm and after knocking repeatedly found the farmer out back tending his crops. The farmer, Angmir, was very surprised to learn that these visitors were from across the ocean and told the party that Seanchan did not get many new residents. Providing the party with some food and well wishes to stay safe, Angmir bid them farewell.

Returning to the much slower crew group through a field, the Three Amigos saw a couple torches along the treeline. Stealthing up to the light source, Augustus found two Orcs and an Ogre. Listening to their conversation, he heard them talking about killing the Band and one of them said, “I’ll be much happier once we’ve slain everyone single one of them.” Quickly running back to Phrixus and Silver, Augustus relayed the information and they decided to take action.

Running from the field into the forest, the Three Amigos launched an attack on the Orcs and Ogre. During the combat, a large fiendish wolf charged from deeper in the forest to assist the enemy. A few seconds later a shard of ice flew from the darkness towards Silver and struck. Phrixus kept the Ogre occupied by charging repeatedly, while Sir Snowhart issued a Knight’s Challenge, to the Orcs. From further on, another Orc approached but this one had a spell book and launched attacks on the party. The Three Amigos killed their foe and tracking where the Orc Wizard came from found their camp. Searching through the remains, the party found a few things of note, a Scroll of Revivify, a Wand of Detect Secret Doors, and a Wanted poster for the kill or capture of the Band of the Red Hand.

Feeling a little guilty about their quick judgement of the Orcs, based on racial profiles, the Three Amigos decided to not tell everyone about this encounter and returned to the Red Tide survivors.

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Prologue Part II
Cast Adrift

Session 3

Augustus and Silver are stunned to hear this emaciated human call himself Lord Tempess and shout “Lol, fear” while outstretching his hands towards them. The two are unaffected and quickly subdue him. Augustus decides to take Tempess’ Amulet, a jeweled ovoid worn on his “clothes”, and determines that it allows the wielder to use Mage Hand. Phrixus returns from his watery escapades and the party returns to the Red Tide.

Another two days of light wind provides comfortable sailing, but on the next morning the seas are covered in a heavy fog. The Red Tide passengers feel a sharp jolt and a creaking from the prow. Upon further inspection the vessel struck a submerged rock, now off the port side. Capt. Birgitte can be heard yelling to abandon ship and later muttering, “there shouldn’t be any land here. Maybe… no those are only stories.” The crew get the passengers and a few supplies packed and into the rowboats as the Red Tide begins to list and movement becomes difficult. Phrixus, Silver, and Augustus come to the deck and find only one launch remaining, but the list has made it’s lowering impossible. The party stands on the deck while the Red Tide slowly sinks and quietly begin swimming away from the vessel. The last person aboard, Capt. Birgitte cuts the rope holding the launch and dives in to rescue the cabin boy, Shoal, from the unseen foe.

The party makes to swim to the nearest launch, but is swarmed by jellyfish. The vermin attack indiscriminately and Augustus bears the brunt of the onslaught, suffering significant Dexterity damage. Silver and Phrixus swim themselves to the launch and climb aboard, while Augustus is saved by Capt. Birgitte from drowning.

Session 4

Finding themselves adrift in the ocean and still surrounded by fog, the rowboats are unable to determine where land is located and begin gathering the floating supplies that extracted themselves from the now submerged Red Tide. Sir Augustus Snowhart now has a tragic revelation that he callously left his mount to drown in the cargo hold, with no means to climb the stairs or swim free.

The lifeboats tie themselves together to prevent becoming separated and drift for 3 more days. Before dawn, the survivors see a multicolored light coming from the north and with first light they can see land. After many hours of rowing they finally approach and see that there is no place to come ashore, with vertical 300 ft cliffs. Capt. Birgitte determines to continue left following the coast until a landing is possible.

After another hour, the crew spot an alcove, but the coral reef and heavy surf make a landing in the rowboats impossible. Coming as close as possible, ~100 ft from the beach, the people prepare to navigate to coral but one rowboat explodes in a shower of splinters and quickly sinks with all aboard. Panicked some of the passengers jump overboard their own rowboats and begin swimming ashore. Capt. Birgitte dives in in an attempt to rescue as many as possible from drowning, but comes across a Hammerclaw. The remaining people abandon ship to evade the sonic attack and see the large lobster-like creature attacking people.

Phrixus stands in a rowboat and tries to attack one beast, while Augustus and Silver enter to water to combat the other. Silver casts a defensive incantation and shrugs off the Hammerclaw’s damage while making his own attacks. Eventually, with Birgitte’s assistance the Hammerclaws are defeated and the remaining survivors group on the beach.

Inspecting the beach, there’s no easy method of climbing out of this alcove and Phrixus muscles his way up the sheer cliff to tie off a rope for the others to follow. Taking their time, no one falls to their death; however, Phrixus had taken a nasty spill from nearly 60 ft.

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Prologue Part 1
Journey to the West

The crew and passengers set sail from Monteain knowing the voyage would take about 4 weeks with steady winds, but nothing ever goes as planned…

Session 1

After sailing for 9 days under a light wind and constant rain the crew have gotten used to the passengers.

  • Augustus Snowhart – Half Snow Elf Knight – sailing at the behest of his king with a sealed scroll containing his mission
  • Phrixus – Centaur – fleeing Monteain to escape racism from the Human majority, after winning the lottery
  • Vanguard-27 “Silver” – Warforged Artificer – can’t remember
  • Lord and Ms. Greymine – Dwarf Father-Daughter nobles – fleeing an arranged marriage with their liege lord
  • Halfling Adept – heard about new types of magic and wants to learn

The sun sets and all seems quiet on the high seas. The First Mate is up at the helm (although he nods off every now and then), two sailors patrol the decks with torches trying to discern threats, and all the while a sleepless Silver toils at his crafting of magical items.
Some time later the three people on deck hear a change in the sound of the waves against the hull. The two deckhands walk over to the port side and peer over the gunwale to see into the darkness when the aft gentleman disappears over without so much as a sound. Silver springs into action pulling the remaining sailor from the edge and steels himself (pun intended) as two Kapoacinth climb onto the decks dripping water from their coral bodies. Weapons are removed and combat begun.

The foes are quickly proving to be formidable from their hard exteriors deflecting all but the strongest blows. Noticing the scuffle, the First Mate severs a guide line to the mast and swings in kicking a Kapoacinth back from his crew mate. Silver quickly invokes something on the deckhands cutlass and the point seems to glint from the torchlight. The sailor is petrified of these rocky foes and flees below decks to awaken the other crew.
Rousing from slumber, Phrixus grabs his lance and sprints up the stairs to witness the commotion. Charging across the deck he strikes the Kapoacinth square in the chest impaling him up to the hilt. Crumbling off the lance in small coral chunks, the remaining foe is easily outmatched and knows it. Before he can flee Captain Birgitte Dawn emerges from her quarters armed and armored prepared to defend her vessel. Augustus, having been awoken by the cabin boy Shoal, comes onto the deck in black breastplate and heavy shield to issue a challenge to the beast.

But before the knight’s honor can be tested the Kapoacinth flings himself over the gunwale and into the safety of the ocean. However Capt. Birgitte will not stand to let this monster flee after slaying one of her crew and jumps after the beast. Having expected no such actions the Kapoacinth had not begun to swim away and was caught by the Aquatic Half-Elf and summarily diced.
Returning to sleep the passengers and crew knew they were in the company of a Legendary Captain.

Another few days go by and the rain finally relents for a naval tradition, the Day of Celebration. On the first clear day the crew compete in 4 challenges: rowing, climbing, knife throwing, and wrestling. A few passengers were allowed to participate because of their help defeating the Kapoacinth, but they quickly lost out to skill and experience amongst the crew.
That night drinking was had for all and two passengers entered into a drinking contest. Augustus Snowhart vs. Lord Greymine. After 17 drinks, Augustus passed out in the galley and the festivities of the day drew to a close.

Session 2

When Augustus Snowhart awoke he found the vessel full of life, bustling deckhands, noisy passengers, and most importantly the chef’s most recent handiwork. Staggering to the galley, Augustus found that the breakfast is always the previous days’ gruel reheated in the same cast iron pot, choking some down he emerged onto deck to see well nothing. The ship was completely shrouded in fog. The crew had relaxed the sails to only catch part of the wind and not rush headlong into the unknown at full speed. At a modest 2 knots, the Red Tide sailed west towards a threat no one on board would be able to see.

An hour later, the boat rocked violently as it stuck sargasso. As Capt Birgitte explained, sargasso is a formation from seaweed and kelp that builds up on the surface until the plants are woven together into a sturdy blanket on the surface preventing any travel. The crew quickly climbs overboard to walk on the sargasso mat and begin cutting sections to extract the Red Tide before it becomes beached in the middle of the ocean. Another couple hours pass with rhythmic periods of cutting and breaks for hydration until the rising sun burns off the fog and some of the passengers notice another ship, about 350 ft away, but stuck on top of the sargasso.

Augustus, Silver, and Phrixus inform the captain they wish to explore the derelict ship, and she tells them to be careful because she won’t come to their aid. The crew has done their jobs well and the sargasso mat has been thinned and trimmed back from the aft section of the ship, however the passengers decide to venture onto the sargasso mat to walk towards the ship. The thin mat is unstable and the rough seas do not help matters. The three adventurers fall through the mat into the water numerous times and have to tread water before carefully extracting themselves onto the surviving adjacent mat. Eventually they all three make their way to the thicker uncut mat and can walk with relative ease where they encounter three crabs that are easily dispatched. Drawing closer to the derelict ship, they note that the hull is molded and broken in patches, and the prow has the name Maelstrom carved.

Climbing the outer hull to the remnants of the deck the group descends through a hole into the vessel’s interior. Silver quickly does something and he begins to radiate light. Cautiously heading into the hallway they chance upon a room with some kind of monstrosity in the corner. Upon further inspection, it’s a statue constructed of green plant matter in a humanoid shape but it’s nearly 11 ft tall, six ft wide and has a tail. Phrixus levels his lance and charges the thing. He overestimates the construction and easily runs through it and cant avoid hitting the hull. The centaur then comes bursting through the hull and falls almost 15 feet onto the sargasso mat and immediately plunges through into the water.

Augustus and Silver are flabbergasted but unconcerned, they continue searching on until they find a room with small cages containing more plant statues and a pile of linens in a corner. Listening carefully Silver notices breathing from the pile, drawing closer a frail human emerges hunched over and speaking with a traditional old person rasp.
“How dare you enter here and disturb me, Lord Tempess!”
The two explorers dont know what to say when the man says, “how did you enter past my guard beast? D’hruka should have been able to wipe you out with one Mighty Swing.”

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