SS Week 10 – Eleder

We are running Serpent’s Skull again – just while Andrew is away for three weeks. Unfortunately I was ill Friday, so it’s only going to be two weeks of actual game.

Our heroes, their number sadly depleted with only Vick, Alison, and Joseph remaining – disembark gratefully at the small city of Eleder. Jewel of the south. Not a particularly good jewel, but jewel nonetheless.

They have a few items of business to pursue. Although Vik can read Yarzoth’s notes, the dialect and phrasing are so strange that she will need help decoding them further. They find an inn, they shop, they decode. On the second or third day in town they are approached by Ishoru, who they rescued from the island. He comes with word that the local branch of the Aspis Consortium would like a meeting. They agree.

It seems that word of the rediscovery of Saveth Yhi has got about, and the consortium are arranging an expedition. They would like the heroes to act as scouts and trailbreakers. They offer 500gp each and 1000gp (total) once the city is rediscovered.

The party agree to consider the offer. Next day, Joseph goes looking for some of his old fishing buddies. One (ahem) free trader is particularly keen, and would like to loot Saveth Yhi and purchase and outfit ships with the loot.

After this, offers come think and fast: the red mantis, even the local government are all keen. The only group that does not contact the party are the pathfinders. Our heroes decide to seek them out instead. With five offers on the table, the party manages to negotiate up to a 2000gp prize, and decides eventually to go with the pathfinders – perhaps because they are most likely to have a clue what they are doing.

The translation of the notes is done, and they are quite thoroughly complete.

It seems that the cultists of Zura had been ejected from Saveth Yhi ages ago. They found an old temple of the serpent people on what is now Smugglers Shiv and settled there. The tide stones were old magic by the time they got there – the temple had long been unused. They always planned to return, and the notes on their walls (copied by Yazroth) explained exactly how. Saveth Yhi was hidden, but there was a route in. They would make their way to Tazion, and there make use of “The Pillars of Light”.

The notes provide a decent indication of the location of Tazion. Amivor Glaur has made his plan – the expedition will head east to Kalabuto, then follow the Upper Korir River around the Bandau Hills to the location of Tazion. Once there – well, it depends on what these “Pillars of Light” might be.

Each hex is about one day of travel

The pathfinder expedition is about ready to go. The party are heading down to the warehouse when: chaos on the streets! A pack of mad dogs is on the loose. The party deal with them, not without incident, and then see a plume of smoke. The warehouse is on fire! They run there, and outside throwing alchemists fire on the blaze are a couple of men.

The fight is difficult, but over quickly. Soon the blaze is under control. But the leader of the expedition, Amivor Glaur, has bad news. This fire had been set by the Brootherhood of Freemen – an anti-slavery group made of ex-slaves, and they have kidnapped the expedition’s cook. This is bad news, far worse than it seems, as cooks who can make use of jungle plants without accidentally poisoning everyone are hard to find. The Freemen have siezed the South Arcadian Whaling Company and ntaken their hostage there. Our heroes hustle over without delay.

At the company, one of the slaves is on the roof of one of the buildings and he has the cook! He is addressing a crowd of cityfolk just outside the wall. The party attempt to talk him down, but he retreats down from the roof and they lose sight of him.

They do a brief reconnoiter, but speed being of the essence simply barge in the front door. Two freemen keeping guard just inside defend, and are dealt with – without deaths, I might add. They head into the open yard, where the whales are dragged up from the beach. After a moment, they are spotted. The leader throws the cook to the ground from the first flooy of the flensing house, and he is badly hurt. The leader then jumps down himself to engage the party, while I think Vik rushed forward to administer a lifesaving potion to the irreplaceable cook.

I was doing real XP for this campaign – but screw it. The party ought to be 4th level, and the module works accordingly. I adjusted the stats of the fighters and reduced the numbers because we have only three players. It was still a tough fight. Next game people can level up.

There is a fight, and the party triumph – amazingly managing to defeat the uprising without any deaths (or possibly just one).

After, they discuss. It seems the freemen had been told that “these foreigners” – the party – were slavers. Or pro-slavery, or something. By whom? Well, there’s not a lot to go on. But the descriptions all seem to point to that longtime deadly rival of the Pathfinders – The Aspis Consortium.

Duh duh duh! It’s whacky races time! First to Tazion gets sweet, sweet loot. Or possibly gets bitten by an angry serpent god and dies horribly. Who knows? Departure in a few days. Next stop: Kalabuto. Then through the Screaming Jungle to Tazion. Hopefully.

Everyone needs to level up to 4th.

PS: dudes – The soul gems inside the dolls are worth 2000gp each. The church in town will pay you that to take them off your hands for proper de-necrofication.

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