Though I gave them a shout-out in my previous blog-entry, I've been somewhat neglecting covering the derring-do that my weekly D&D game has been providing. I figured that, as they've just hit level 11 (and with it, their Paragon Paths!), it's time to give them a little face-time.
Our Piratical Crew!
Zane Degali--Minotaur Warlord--a member of the shipping magnate Degali clan, Zane has an intense hatred for sand gnomes.
Zara--Drow Rogue--a sister in one of the fallen drow houses of Menzoberranzen, Zara's brutality may be only second to her sister's.
Mathir--Drow Storm Sorceress--a native of Freeport, Mathir's family owns the elemental galleon which started the whole pirate expedition.
Zendax--Goliath Barbarian--a massive warrior, Zendax is rumored to have ties with several dwarvish clans in the area.
Logan--Razorclaw Shifter Shaman--a messenger of the spirit world, strange prophecy seems to follow Logan everywhere.
Deadkeg--Orc Paladin--a follower of the surface god, Tempus, Deadkeg seeks to find the ancient shipwreck of Aaron Deadfinger.
After taking out the gnomish claim-jumper on at Freeport's dock, the group found themselves in possession of not just a powerful elemental galleon, but also a strange alchemical find: a cannonball, rigged with powerful summoning magicks, which would gate in a tentacled horror upon impact. While the cannonball was not complete, there were plans for creating more, as well as a letter for delivery, set for a fellow named Darius Xan, on the island of Dolath.
However, without a crew, their pirate craft wasn't going anywhere! As such, the group began a massive mustering effort across Freeport. Mathir--the Storm Sorceress--brought along her drow house-slave, who happened to have bardic talents, while Zara found her sister (now rippling with arcane talents) following her in the shadows. Other new crew members included the enigmatic James Robertson, the knife-wielding shardar-kai Nalen the Quicker, mysterious dwarven arcanist Durgrek, and the massive goliath cannonneer Khalar.
With a crew ready to go, Zane Degali took to the helm and the group set out for Dolath. Docking just off-shore, they set upon a mysterious cove, with something of a deserted village. Zara and Logan (their shifter lookout) were set to scout the area, and found only a burned-out village with one strange inhabitant: a top-hatted older gentleman, who spoke cryptically about a "whirlwind in the spirit world" and cast fortune cards for the pair.
Collecting the rest of the crew, they found the village deserted once more, and they headed towards the interior. There, they found massive, semi-sentient fungi, with humanoid corpses tied to them, being drained of vital juices. There, they clashed with strange, stitched-up Imaskari tribesmen, before being chased en-masse back to their ship.
Determined to discover the secrets of the island (and find some plunder for their crew, who were clamoring to be paid!), the group sailed up-river on the south side of Dolath, only to find a massive stone temple, filled with gawking, stitched tribesmen. While the group tried to communicate with them, the tribesmen only silently escorted them to a huge stone arena, where a shaman awaited.
The shaman spoke little, but immediately raised a huge, flaming undead horror and entered combat with the group. The fiery monstrosity seemed to be too much for the group, but once the shaman fell, it dissipated into the dust of the arena, as the crowd fled in horror.
In the rear of the arena, the exhausted and beaten group found themselves confronted by a strange, barred door. Lifting the bars, they entered a natural cavern complex where a strange, stitched human (yes, a human! in the Underdark!) gibbered to himself. While he posed little as a threat, they dispatched him forthwith, only to have his stitches split open and a mass of albino spider-things crawl forth.
Within his alcove, though, the group identified two symbols--one of the ancient demon lord Dagon, but another that was all but indecipherable, which bore a bar of stitching, with gray claws reaching out from between the stitches. However, they also found a huge cache of wealth, ready to be distributed to the greedy crew...
...meanwhile, the group did not notice that Logan had returned to the ship alone, while they investigated the alcove. There, he rounded up some of the sulking crewmembers to help "liberate" the officers, only to be reprimanded by Zane and the others as a deserter.
While Zane, Mathir, and Deadkeg (the Orcish chaplain), sorted through their accumulated wealth, Logan began to foment dissension, seeking a mutiny. His efforts succeeded...for about 2 hours, until Captain Zane came forth with a massive bounty for his crewmembers. Logan fumed, as Mathir and Zara distributed the ill-gotten gains throughout the crew.
However, the mystery of the holy symbols remained. Deciding that a brief return to Freeport was in order, Captain Zane set sail for the City of Rogues in search of some leads. While the ship re-stocked, they found a strange half-elf in the Styx Oarsman--the enigmatic Thulmir Quent--who claimed that he could find a proper informant or sage for them, in exchange for passage to Gracklestugh, a duergar city currently under their yearly siege by the viney plant known as Midnight Romance.
Agreeing, the group immediately began searching for cargo ships that were bound for Gracklestugh, to keep their motley crew happy and in coin. They found one--a duergar barge, carrying giant spider silk, which had left 2 days prior.
Using their elemental galleon, they swiftly caught up to the barge and boarded it, only to have a half-dragon/half-giant spider break loose from the hold during the skirmish. Putting down the duergar and the spider, the crew made a hefty haul, and set course for Skull and Stars--an archipelago city on the way to Gracklestugh.
In Skull and Stars, though, the group encountered difficulties in finding a buyer for their spider silk, as few tailors would seek to cross the enigmatic Weavers' Guild. When the group sought to confront the Weavers' Guild, they found only a single hooded representative at a desk, in a massive warehouse. Close observation showed strange figures hanging from the rafters, and none of the group wanted to stay for a closer look. They did, however, manage to find a most intreguing sale item: a water-elemental bound firecart. Thinking this to be a useful item to sell in Gracklestugh--the city which sets itself aflame to take care of the Midnight Romance infestation--they quickly bought the item and put it in their cargo hold.
However, undercutting the Weavers proved to be most profitable, as they sold of 14 massive spools to the various tailors in the area. Though, this was not without difficulty, as the Weavers hired mercenaries to intercept the crew's shipment. The mercs were swiftly dispatched, and the crew then headed off to Gracklestugh.