Corsairs of the Caras Shallows

Lost '14 summary

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The Portal of Fail
Saturday Morning

All stories are true, and this one even happened.
Dear Crazy Uncle Eddy,
We had begun worrying more and more about the strength of Ziva and her army. The rumors of her secret island could wait no longer, and we set off to investigate. The Guen, Salty Pete, TKWIII, Gramzeekrabs and I set off in one of Darrows ships in the direction of where her secret island is rumored to be. After circling the island in question, we found no obvious location or starting point, so we ship anchored and took a dingy into the shore. We beached and secured the dingy and began walking inland following a rough path which did not show signs of recent use. The rough path ended at the mouth of a picturesque cenote.

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Without sufficient rope or climbing skills and unwilling to just take the plunge to the wet depths below, the Salty Pete cast featherfall upon us all, and we began floating merrily down into the cavern. I remember thinking as we descended that this better be the way since we had no shot of making it back up to the top in any sort of expeditious manner.
Like a moth to flame, we floated to towards death blissfully unaware. We jumped off the edge and enjoyed the beautiful view. The whole cenote was beautiful, it was like nothing I had ever seen before. And then a monster came at us from a perch on the wall of the cenote like nothing I had ever seen before either. I can’t remember if it was the guen or the crazygramzee that fired a spell at the two headed monster, but it was soon pissed off like a possessed dwarf missing his beard. The thing flew right at her with jaw gaping looking for revenge in the form of a snack. We rallied healed our friend and attacked again. The monster was clearly bleeding from a vicious set of natural causes. The monster decided to take a pass at me and try its luck there. Like a juicy steak I floated downward. The beast did not miss a second time. There was little I could do as his maw had clenched on to me. But the ever valiant TKWIII accomplished an amazing string of heroic feats as he grabbed the beast flying by and swung himself up on top and hung on for dear life with one hand and slashed at a neck with his sword hand. Apparently having two heads is cause for confusion becasue the fooking thing tried to swallow me, and doesn’t he know, “No eats me for dinner.” Before I could see the bottom of his gullet, I summoned the powers of hops and barley for Hanseath to make me bigger. I say fook him, as I grew twice as big and put on sudden weight to be over 151 stone. Instead of letting the weight plummet him to the floor, the thing spit me back out again to see both TKWIII and Salty Pete in the water with the ladies pummeling it with spells and the mephit clawing at the beast. Fookin idiot think I was his dinner. We proved victorious, and once again my compatriots were amazed at my healing abilities. It is so easily they forget that Hanseath smiles upon us all in different ways.
All healed we quickly looted the skeletons and remains scattered in the shallow pool and searched for the path to take. Salty Pete’s Halley to the rescue again. Whether she is naive to the dangers or willing to go ahead despite the danger as pure bravery, I cannot tell, nonetheless, I raise my drink to her. She forged ahead in the underground cave system trying to find a route to where we needed to go. With glow sticks and rope, Halley mapped out the route connecting air pockets over ½ a mile to the full cavern opening. We held our breath, swam like mad and tried our best not to drown (what an embarrassing way for a dwarf to perish) and we eventually made it to the cavern. We did have a few close calls but Hanseath smiled upon us all.
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We seemed to make it to the cavern in an unconventional manner as the only thing waiting for us was a solitary door. Sure enough the thing was trapped. I called upon the bitterness of the hops and sweetness of the barley, I channeled my rage at the spell guarding the door and the spell was disarmed. We moved through the door into a hallway before the alarm could re-set. We found a giant circle on the floor of the next room. My hesitation told me no, but Salty-Pete’s luck told him yes. He jumped into the circle and I refused to enter. His luck beat out my hesitation and everyone that followed his lead was safe, but everyone that remained outside the circle received a mighty burn.
In the next room we were able to get a jump on some drow guarding a portal. Despite their cunning use of invisibility and stealth, Salty-Pete rendered it worthless with glitter, because he is just that fabulous. The fight would have been much more difficult had they been able to get the jump on us, but since we got the jump on them, it didn’t prove to be much of a match.

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As the battle concluded, I drank from my tankard to refill my personal hops and barley levels. The whole room was making me nervous, and a good strong drink was what Hanseath ordered to calm the nerves. The pulsing portal was enough to drive anyone batshit crazy, and it is exactly the kind of thing to make our old gramzeekrabs’s curiosity fly off the chart. I started inspecting the portal to find a weak spot or find out what and where it came from. Poor, gramzz crabs wanted to inspect the portal as well… from the other side! It was like everyone else forgot how bat shit crazy the old woman really is. We were all witness to the nutty dear old woman use her hair to keep a cranky crab as a pet which killed her a few days ago, you would think they would learn. Before I could stop them, my compatriots all agreed to inspect the portal from the inside. I am not sure if I would have been able to control or break the portal, because I certainly ran out of time. No sooner had Gramzeekrabs led the party through the portal, than was Zombiegramzeekrabs leading my zombie compatriots back out of the portal. So uncle I am not sure I can convey how sweet it was to head back to the ship in a dingy full of zombie friends.
-Rontor

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Face to face with Ziva

All stories are true, and this one even happened.
Dear Crazy Uncle Eddy,
The current status of me phylactery as it were is very much in question. The integrity of said phylactery might not survive another one of me trips back to the island as an elemental escorts me body. Vondra be very worried. TK3 be in the same boat as I am. He attributes his to valiance and saving the life o’others. Mine stems more from the fact that mages be a blight upon us all. Anyways, mages be fookers, and Ziva be a problem. Regretfully, two of Darrow’s ships have not been heard from. We have good reason to suspect that it be due to the evil See Witch Ziva that be sinkin Darrow’s vessels. Since he thinks of all us like his sons Darrow expressed his worry with pacing and the cold sweats. Since Darrow already lost two warships to Solo in exchange for Francis as a captive exchange, our ships were at a premium. We were starting to gain the upper hand in the naval vessal balance in the Caras Shallows. Two more ships resting at the bottom does not bode well for dear Darrow and our cause. Unsure of what we might encounter, I joined Guen and a number of others to investigate the approximate last know location of the lost ships.
I drank one of the smart kids water breathing potion, and tied a rope around my waist. I cannot remember for certain but I think it was Cornelius that joined me armed with potions. In case there be monsters of the deep waiting to bring me to my doom, we worked out an elaborate communication system through rope tugs and such. If the rope grew slack, they reel up the line, and the end be frayed they are all to drink in my honor. I will tug three times if I was hungry, two if they should pull me back with ferocity, and four for a drink. Down to the sea floor I swam armed with fishing spears and knives. Without too much searching I did locate the hull of one of our ships. When inspecting the carapace of the ships I found two good sized holes below water line on both the port and starboard sides of the ship. We learned all we could and then swam back up to the surface to relay my newly found knowledge back to our group.

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Before we made it back the surface the our trouble was upon us. Quickly we spread the word to all aboard to protect the hull under the waterline at all costs and to prep materials for fixing hull holes. Our anxiety was not in vain, as before too long, a large mass could be seen moving toward our vessel just under the surface. We opened fire, and attacked all we could. The two monsters looked to be built like manta rays. Unlike manta rays, they two protruding husks to bore through our hull and they began spinning our ship slowly. We were no longer in control of our ship, and we were unable to deter the monsters ingaged controlling our current destiny. If that wasn’t enough, a solid fog rolled in and our visibility dropped to five feet. I sucked down a flying potion, and a blunderbluss poiton expecting the worst. Well, in this case the worst was dargon breath of lightning shocking most of us. I charged the dragon on the stern and other charged a dragon on the bow. The fookin worm kept moving back out of reach into the fog escaping my attacks. The battle seemed to be for naught, as our attacks were never going to ring with success. None other than Ziva presented herself mid deck. Despite my rage, I was able to hold myself back as the See Witch tossed her demands at us like a pile of shit. She howled at us to take the “sight oath” and join her crew or the ship will sink to its watery grave. Luck be damned as it is deal with them now or deal with them later under the command of Ziva, a Keltesarian slave ship appeared on the horizon. Drooling with anticipation, Ziva figured that the Keltesarian haul was worth more than us at the time, so she called off one of her worm minions to join her and deal with the Keltesarians. I wish them both to fookin perish. We took the opportunity to concentrate on the remaining dragon. Eventually we did put a hurting on the beast. Guen was bursting and double bursting, Cornelious was figuring stuff out, and Miree Cylus was “axing it questions”. With the fog and lighting, the whole battle was very surreeal, it was even like Guen was having an out of body experience. With little life left, the beast grabbed the Guen who was close to death and dove into the water. With Channel Vigor, Haste, Fly, Waterbreathing, Enlarge Person, and a Blunderbuss potion all running, I cast aside my hesitations and dove into the water in chase. The foul sea beast clenched his jaw rendering Guen unconscious and released her lifeless body mid descent. I sped past her limp body to slay the beast. Alas I cannot claim to have killed the monster in revenge, instead he died of Natural Causes. On my ascent back to the surface I found guen and swam for the surface. The crew was a bit disheartened because they thought she was going to die as she was unconscious and fading fast. Shame on them to forget the beautiful powers of Hanseath. I called upon Hanseath and the powers of hops and barley. Hanseath smiled upon the Favored Soul, and found her worthy to drink again. As Ziva was engaged with the fookin Keltasarian casters, we knew better than to stick around as spectators. Tonight we drink the sweet nectar of hops and barley in thanks for Hanseath allowing us to escape from Ziva’s grasp.
-Rontor

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Watt are you doing with those souls?

Aurelia, Mitch, Francisco, Thomas, Loren

The group departed for Admiral Watts secondary island stronghold/ warforged factory. We landed on the far side of the small, heavily jungled island, only to be promptly ambushed by Watts men. After taking a bit of a beating, we finally dispatched the group and made our way to our destination. Mitch and Francisco headed to the factory to scope it out and find out what was going on inside the island. They discovered a mostly empty warehouse, with the exception of 6 dentist-esque style tables and a giant telescope type device connected to a large crystal. Upon observation, Mitch and Fransisco discovered that Watts’ men were using the crystal to project their souls into a warforged body. With no Admiral Watt to be seen, the two men sneaked back to where the rest of the group were hiding.
Through much discussion, the group decided on ambushing the factory from above. They drilled a hole right above the soul transmitter and dropped a necklace of fireballs down onto the unaware below. After a few explosions, Loren warped the wood ceiling to allow the skylights to come crashing down onto the whole operation.
Once the ceiling was mostly gone, Aurelia launched glitterdust down onto where we suspected Watt to be, forcing him to change from invisible to outlined in glitter. Loren then created an ice slide, allowing most of the group to slide down into the building. They then surrounded Watt, while Aurelia aimed fire at the men starting to stand up from the crash of glass and wood.
Watt took quite a beating, but then used black fire and divine quell to prevent any divine magic/abilities from being used. After putting up a fight, Watt finally exploded…literally… and left negative energy, affecting the group.

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Stop Solo!

Mission: Stop Solo!
Game Day: Tuesday 15 July 2014 – AM Game

Thaddeus
Ollie
Francisco

We began by stopping by Mackerel Jacks to gather intelligence about Captain Solo’s newly established encampment at the base of the West Caras Mountains and also the island he is rumored to be stashing treasures on. During our activities at Mackerel Jacks Thaddeus’s monkey discovered a murdered man in a back alley. The man was dressed as a crew member of Pirate Lord Halquinnor Watt and had died from a slit throat. This is the first the first recorded murder on Mackerel Jacks since its establishment many years ago.

Information was sparse on MJs, no new leads. We decided to travel to Solo’s new encampment to investigate its purpose ourselves. During a reconnaissance mission into the encampment I observed morlocks, orcs, half-orcs, lizard folk, and humans working in the service of Lord Solo. The morlocks’ eyes were most peculiar: they bulged and were of milky white color. The encampment consisted of about twelve well guarded buildings. I was unable to gain entry into any of them. The encampment itself is oval shaped. One side of the oval sits against a sheer cliff face and the other fortified with palisades.

I decided to investigate two docked ships just outside of the encampment after determining I wouldn’t be able to gain access to any of the buildings. That’s where trouble began. As I invisibly snuck up a ship ramp I was bumped and push into the water by a crew member. I do not remember much after falling into the water. Bullets slammed into my neck and chest. I faded from consciousness. I awoke. The last thing I remember seeing was a pair of radiant crimson eyes.
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I was captured by Solo and yet I live. I was turned into a statue of stone. Darrow traded two war ships for my release. Vondra says I must live for I am needed to unite the Caras Shallows under Darrow. I trust them. I trust in this crew. Solo has taken a piece of my foot. Solo must die.

Ollie, Thaddeus and I made our way to Solo’s rumored treasure island (we lost our resolve to continue the encampment thread). We found <self>’s ship docked at the island, but no sign of him. On this island we discovered an onyx mine guarded by a small group of undead. Clearing the undead nearly claimed our lives. We quickly explored the entrance of the mine, took samples of onyx. We left the island with <self>’s ship.

-Francisco

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Watt's Giant Black Shaft
Friday Morning

Thadius, Cornelius, Rontor, and Salty Pete set out to find Watt and further investigate the mysterious crater in the island of Craytor. What should have been a quick flight on a gnomish hang glider turned into a four hour death march through the jungle because a certain dwarf was too scared to fly. Truth be told, it took me a four hour session with my therapist to finally accept the reality, that it was most certainly not a four hour death march through the jungle, but a 30 minute stroll through some trees and shrubs. I was also able to admit that the hangliding experiment is just that, and experiment, and the test pilots have been lucky to have not been seriously injured so far. All for the sake of science right?

At the crater, they discovered only a small watch of 6 men had been posted. The guards were quickly overcome and four were convinced to join the Gnomish Armada, or, if you prefer, the Great Nautical Oceanic Maritime Explores. T, C, R, and SP began to investigate the the crater which was actually the ruins of an old Devourer temple. After Cornelius crafted bracelets that protected them from the negative juju inside the temple, they were about to continue exploring. They found that the temple was build around a large black crystal pillar with faintly throbbing veins of energy pulsing throughout. It was then that they were attacked and noticed that every time they were dealt damage, the crystal would absorb their life energy. Once the battle was done, they were able to take a closer look and figured that the crystal was made to send souls to any point, even incredibly long distances.

Knowing that this could only be used for evil, Thadius and Cornelius unanimously agreed with each other that the pillar should be exploded. This created thousands of crystal shards, each holding energy from ancient souls. The group decided that the crystals should be taken back to Daro’s Island where a plan could be created to release the energy before if fell into the hands of someone not willing to use it to further the Gnomish cause.

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Issac no be getting me treasure
Friday Morning

We meet up with Issac and discover that there is an Island with a lot of treasure that he would like for us to visit. In our talks we discover that the island has a magical circle against evil surrounding it. Our paladin, TKW, creates and effect that allows us to all enter the docking area. We dock and are immediately attacked by golems. We start to jump back onto the ship with we realize that the golems are killing our crew members. Grams hits one of the golems and jumps into the water to make the golem follow her off the boat. The creature jumps off the boat after Grams swinging at her, dealing her a mighty blow. Guen hearing Gram’s cries casts water walking on herself and jumps off the side of the boat. About half way down Guen realizes that she doesn’t have feather fall and plummets to the water landing on it as if it were solid ground. (so much for being a hero again)

The ship is ordered to disembark as soon as we get all of the monsters to follow us off the boat. We also decided as soon as we weren’t making things awesome enough, we all decided to end up on the wrong side of the boat. Barely missing being squished, we head for the docks on foot. Sebastian talks Grams into fleeing with the rest of us. Grams retreats in her Grams-like style, as she flies into the air doing flips and cackling. Mitch and Guen end up in the bank and contemplate how much gold and cooper each can carry. Guen heals Mitch and realizes that they are the only two members that have made it to the bank. I try to catch up to Grams when I hear Mitch yell tht he needs my silver tongue. I shout to Grams to come join me in the bank. She makes it into the bank vault just in time as the door is closed and locked by the few remaining survivors of this town.
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It is at this time that we realize that Grams’s remove odor smell has warn off. As we all clutter on one side of the vault and leave Grams to the other side, we settle down for a rest, listening to the stories of the survivors. They tell us that they are trapped inside the vault and when they try to leave they are attacked by the coral monsters. They say that a few months ago a stranger moved in and set up protection ruins around the town. He then started to abduct criminals. When he ran out of criminals he began to prey on children and helpless adults. He was turning them into the coral monsters. By the time the town realized what was happening, they only could hide. We were the first travelers to get through the barrier. We decide that we really need to help free these people.

The next morning we sneak out the secret door into a room filled with coral creatures and a bearded man. Mtch and TKW attack the first monster. Grams attempts awesomeness, as I enter the center of the room and see the bearded man standing there. I turn and stun him with my booty rocking. TKW takes out one coral monster, while Grams makes an epic move by surrounding the stunned bearded man in a cloud kill. As our Paladin continues to destroy the corals, the rest of the group continues to contribute in our special way. The rogue runs up to one of the monsters swings with all his might, and misses. Grams starts playing with her cloud kill, while I burst all over my team members giving them life.
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We push the bearded man into the corner. Realizing that he is trapped the coward flees freeing the curse on the town. We find another secret passage by following the souls that came out of the coral monsters. Our rogue finds a treasure room where I swim in the gold and adorn my body with jewels. We leave the magic barrier up so that President Cap’n Issac can’t go onto the island. We take the treasure and inform Issac that we saved the people but were unable to secure any treasure. Issac was okay with this, and offered us his services at a later date. We then traveled to Mackerel Jacks. We found a rumor that Issac is an elf posing as a human, that Hellian has two sites that have ruins, and that he is an old and skilled elf.

The esteemed Issac on the left, with his trusted sidekick, Ninjadick on the right:
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Ziva's Sea of Monsters
Friday Afternoon Game

DM: David
Group: Signet, Francis, Loren, and Aurelia

Our Mission was to deal a blow to Ziva and disrupt her pearl farming operations. Due to the natural coral reef surrounding the island we were dropped off a ways and had to row ourselves in. Everything was fine until we spotted ripples in the water heading our way.

Two sea ogres broke the surface of the water and attacked. Frank aka “Riptide” swam behind the first ogre to assist Francis. With some carefully places fly spells, the first ogre went down quickly. Two of our comrades were about to be grappled but I was able to prevent them. Francis wasn’t as lucky as the first, the second ogre grabbed him and was about to use him as a weapon. I chimed in with a quick incantation so instead he flew 40 ft. backwards. After a quick recover, we dispatched the last one. We healed and continued forward.

We finally made it to the coral area and sent Frank to scout. He returned and informed us that there were octopi gathering the pearls while several sea creatures with extra planar qualities patrolled the area. Frank also spotted Ziva’s vessels within the harbor which made us questioned how they got through the reef. Not wanting to bring attention to us, I chanted spells of water breathing and slipstream to make our journey under the water easier.

After traveling half-way we came across a huge prehistoric crocodile. It had a daunting presence but we stuck with our Frank-n-Francis plan. This creature had the extra-planar qualities. Unfortunately, I made a tasty snack and ended up in his mouth. By the grace of the waters and sheer will, I managed to survive the ordeal and was rescued. Seeing all blood around us, we decided to leave and avoid any potential dangers.

Our last fight, we came across the source of the pearl farm. In the center of an alcove sat a huge octopus radiating blue light with yellow stripes surrounded by three sea drakes. All four exuded extra-planar characteristics. We observed the octopi hand over their sack of pearls they collected to the huge one.
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The battle started with all four of them sending electrical attacks at us. Francis darted out to the first drake while I quickly summon a protection against those attacks on our group. The first drake was quickly dispatched with the Frank-n-Francis combo. Aurelia attacked from far with her bow while Signet used her Kahuna powers to call the red tide and support her party. The huge octopus created an ink cloud to defend itself. The skirmish went well until Swabin Hawkins showed up. When we took down the second drake, he stepped back into the ink cloud and disappeared with the huge creature and all the pearls.

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Wat ???

So here I be, ready for my next adventure. The cap’n says where ye going? Over the shouts in the tavern I hear not what he says and say….. What? And that’s how I be shooting out of a cannon today.
Cornelius starts relaying orders for all of us to hop into his freshly made cannon so that we be blastin to where we gettin to. I hang onto my fancy fly potion, just because Cornelius seems like he knows what he be saying, but the Gods sometimes find it amusing to be messin’ with the plans. I see fellow adventures fallin’ from the skies. I uncork my potion and save myself the fate of falling.
As we brush off the branches from some of our crew members we realize that there be two ships at port.
We send off the rogue for more information. A cheeky fellow who keeps yelling at us that he’s not that kind of rogue. We force some potions down his throat, send some idle threats in his direction and send him on his way.
With his return we discover that they be holding a prisoner by the name of Bryant. We see our cheeky rogue returning with the struggling young lass who is getting the upper hand on him. As we stand there and laugh at his undoing we decide to help him. We discover that she is bein held by Cap’n Wat as a prisoner. We also discover that be his ship. She explains to us how fearful he is for his life and that he is always running around invisible. We are just able to attain this information when a group from the ship come to kill us. We take on an epic adversary with a cannon for a hand. In the midst of our battle Cap’n Wat tries to come in and take us out. We defeat his men and almost take him. He runs like the little cod fish that he is when he realizes that he is out classed. In the process we did have one of our companions fall in battle. Lets all raise our rum and salute Sir Thomas for his bravery on taking a cannon straight to the face.

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Thadius and the Great Gnome Rescue

Thadius and Francis decided they needed to head back to Solo’s secret encampment and figure out just what was going on. After spending the night and observing the fort, they found a secret cave in the cliff wall. Sneaking in, they discovered several stone statues and a basilisk. They made quick work of the basilisk and the one guard in the room. From there they found a secret passage that led to a secret tunnel that had secret traps. This was only a problem for those taller than Thadius. After the trapped tunnel, the group found a room with a series of giant letters on the floor. After looking things over for a bit, the solution was pretty obvious, follow the path that spelled SOLOSOLOSOLO. That was of course not correct. They then decided to go with the ”rely on dumb luck and hope to jump out of the way” approach. About ¾ the way through they figured out the path spelled GRUMSH.
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The next room had a 60ft chasm with giant gears below, a ceiling covered in cobwebs, and a on the far wall. Again, the group chose wrong. The door was a trap that led to nothing. Turns out there was a hidden path and some crazy reverse gravity on the ceiling. That led to a door with a ring of 5 keys. One of the keys had a slight S pattern in the teeth, which seemed like the obvious choice. Again, the group chose wrong. Eventually, after losing several weapons, they got passed the door.
Inside they found 15 gnomes chained to desks creating gunpowder, guns, and other awesome gnome things. Because gnomes are amazing, they had managed to create a secret escape box. They piled most of the gunpowder under the metal box, left a powder trail to the rest, and set it off when the giant guard came rumbling in. The box shot out of the side of the mountain and sailed several miles in the air, and landed in the ocean. As gnome luck would have it, they were within sight of their ship.
Loren and Gwen were there too.

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