Wednesday, October 18, 2017

The Associate

Lex took a sip of tea as he watched the newest arrival maneuvering into dock. It was a laden clipper flying a family crest he was not familiar with. Of course his interest was not with the ship or even its cargo but with the three individuals that had been casing the docks the last few days. They were skilled changing positions regularly and communication via subtle gestures as to not arouse suspicion. On occasion one would disappear only to return soon after with a change of clothing or a makeshift disguise. They were vigilant, but there lack of focus told Lex they were uncertain of their mark. Shifting attention between ships, freight, & individuals it was clear they were looking for a score but hadn’t found it yet.   
Lex had decided to make contact with the band of onlookers. He had identified which of the three seemed to be the leader, a middle aged balding man. What little hair he had remaining held more grey than men twice his age. He seemed to be fairly accomplished regularly holding conversations with passersby as he kept his wits attuned to his surroundings. He had even conversed with Jabari briefly regarding his newly named vessel, but upon learning the ship was recently “purchased” must have assumed its hold held no valuables and moved on.
Lex took advantage of the momentary distraction the clipper provided to approach the doc guard. Jabari had made several friends with the gifting of an entire barrel of rum and Lex planned to make good use of it. He gave a couple of the guards a few silver to help “play a prank on an old friend”.  
Taking up position nearby it took Lex several attempts to signal the rouge leader before he acknowledged him. Thought he had not deciphered their entire cant he had identified the gesture for a position change. It was this gesture Lex had been subtly repeating much to the surprise of the balding one. At the realization he had been identified he did not panic nor react in any way as to arouse suspicion.  Even as the dock guard approached he kept composure and calmly turned to walk away. It was only the approach of the second guard from behind did he then realize escape was not an option.
“What is your bushness on the docksh” asked the first patrolman. Rum influencing not only the tone but clarity of his orders. “Let me shee your badge” or I will hall you in for sushpicious behavior.
“I am just waiting for my brother” said the balding man gesturing to the clipper as it was completing its approach. “He is a sailor; his ship is arriving just there”. He said while handing over a badge to the interrogating guard.
“You fit the description of a person of interest” the second guard spoke up taking control of the interrogation. His tone clear and stern indicated he had not started his off duty celebration early. “We are going to take you in for questioning” his said as he lay his hand on his prisoners shoulder.
“Good sir this is certainly a case of mistaken identity. I have just arrived in your fair city”.  The confidence in his voice began to give way as he urgently looked for an escape.
As the guards moved him onto the street a billow of smoke erupted from a nearby cart. “Keep an eye on him” said the dock commander as he headed toward the smoke quickly enveloping the cart.
“yes shir” came the inebriated reply followed by a mocking salute. “I will keep both eyeshhhh”.
Lex pulled the prisoner into the wagon as he passed the drunken guardsmen. “Get under that tarp and don’t make a sound until we get some distance between us. That fake fire won’t fool the guards for long. I signaled you to move away from the docks, you should have listened. I am Lex what do they call you”?
“Paulie” came a whisper from the tarp.
“Well Paulie where should I take you”?

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Malta Session 9: 10/10/2017 Return to Malta, Renaming of the Bonded Mind, and Blue's Appreciation

We begin this week's session on the morning of Day 9 as our characters sail the recovered GemCutter up to the White Lightning, the ship that brought us to Fungus Rock; as this occurs some of us notice the weather beginning to take a turn for the worse just as some of us notice the avian life begin to fly about agitated and noisy. On the White Lightning, Valcrum’s compatriots reveal they’ve occupied themselves have gathered some cindermoss in our absence as gratitude for us taking them on as ship hands. Our characters are appreciative and eventually store it away from the gunpowder on the GemCutter. We agree to drop Valcrum and his traveling companions along the shores on the way back to Malta.

After we affix the White Lightning to the GemCutter, our characters agree to stay near Fungus Rock until early afternoon to use the tide to take us out to sea, during this time we hear cannon fire from the far end of Fungus Rock. During this time Lex works with the cannons to become more familiar with their operation; Lete and Carlo continue to train together; however soon a short storm descends and alters the sand banks around us affecting many other stuck ships- freeing some and shifting others. In the Crows next Jabari sees a two mast galleon in the distance that turns out to be pirates that just waves us on. This prompts us to be on our seafaring way.

After an hour of sailing back to Malta we see smoke emanating from a sinking ship along our route as well as several bodies in the sea. Pulling two men in we see they are gillmen with obvious burns. Carlo attends to them with the healing skill and feels waves of a headache when Carlo touches the gillman. Gillman regards Carlo akin to the fabled boogey man. At this time Jabari retrieves Gagnyon  for help in tending to his kin and even Gagnyon  stops short when he finally sees Carlo who is still reeling from claustrophobia and horrible alien feelings; then Carlo finally realizes he is connected to the gillmen somehow. Marco hears Gagnyon say to himself. “so that’s what would have been.” And Lete detects a hint of jealousy from the gillman. 

Before Gagnyon departs he states that he only works for ‘them’ he is not 'with' them (those he was encountered traveling with). We warn them to stay away from the Egyptians. Gagnyon expresses his gratitude for his freedom and departs with the two injured gillman. 

Soon we approach the sinking ship the “Barkley”; our characters see the ship is flying the Dellimara family colors while keeping our eyes open for more survivors. Our characters lower a long boat in an attempt to salvage something from the Barkley and to look for unconscious survivors. It is not long before we pull an unconscious tiefling and a half-elf survivor who are both exhausted. Eventually we see a gillman in the water who indicates more survivors; we are eventually save 20 individuals.

**Dellimara Island: There is something about the Dellimara family, the Maltese people don't speak of it however its there.  Somehow even though they have lived there for as long as most people could remember, they weren't viewed as original islanders.  The island itself is very small, consisting of a large manor, a tower, temple and a small dock.  The manor strangely built, the walls end in uneven angles that create optical illusions that people find difficult to gaze upon for longer than a moment. Some sailors claim that besides the Dellimara family that resides in the manor there is a druid that maintains a grove on the island.

Meanwhile Lex and the rest of the characters, with the help of an Aspect of the Dolphin and dancing lights spell, check the hold of the sinking “Barkley” for valuables. Eventually we find an area of magical darkness hiding mysterious coffins and a sarcophagus; detecting magic reveals the source of the magical darkness as well as the sarcophagus as well as afore mentioned the coffins.  Our characters focus on retrieving other magical items: a crate containing 3 ivory crafted boxes with Egyptian symbols that contain magic within; Lex identifies them as Egyptian funerary items for the family of the deceased. We take 21 masterwork boxes as well as the three containing the unseen magic.

Jabari now looks for captains logs, maps and charts in the Barkley and retrieves maps and charts however when he finds the first mates room he discovers a 200 lb. solid gold Anubis idol. Our characters also find most any gear or alchemical gear of 50 gp or less on the ship as well as spare sails for repairs. At about this time Valcrum and his cohorts depart with a long boat recovered earlier.

The shared story from the tiefling and a possible half-elf survivors is that they are hired crew from Egypt to somewhere here, one of the Rocks; however our characters observe none of them are Egyptian. Our characters put them on the White Lightning for our return home. We are sure to plot this location again for a future return (i.e. the location of the coffins, sarcophagus, and the undead that surely reside within.)

Eventually we arrive to the active docks in Paola and are surprised how easy it is to dock with proper identification including paying the dock protection of 2 gold a day- we pay for three days protection (dock fees are already paid). No inconveniences are made, however we do alert them of the 22 rescued individuals on the White Lightning. Our characters send word to the church of the survivors and when we do our characters find that the night brings out the merfolk as it is easy to hide their exotic heritage.

We use the White Lightning as our temporary base and move our retrieved items there exhausting Jabari’s wand of unseen servant. 21 ivory masterwork boxes contains  10,000 gp in valuables (1,666 each); one box contains an extravagant divine wand of air bubble (38 charges) rumored to be rechargeable; another ivory box holds damaged magical winged boots (broken); the third contains two wands, one divine wand of CLW (50 charges), and the other is an arcane Egyptian rechargeable 1st level empty wand (can be recharged 4 times). Along with these funerary items are ceremonial maps of the river Styx and Egypt. This takes about three hours go through and by midnight a couple of priests of Poseidon which Jabari (a follower of) welcomes aboard. At this time Jabari tithes 200 for food and rum to be delivered to the White Lightning; Carlo tithes as well. Lex and Lete plan on tithing in person tomorrow.

We eventually set watches and rest on the White Lightning and awake the 10th day of our adventure- a Thursday- set to welcome new business on Saturday the day of New Business Day.
Aulus Daquaretti

The next day Lex and Lete depart for the Seven Churches and the church of Mercury as food and rum is loaded to the White Lightning. When the two arrive we are given looks and are mistaken for someone else but are eventually directed to the Priest of Mercury who is nowhere to be seen as of yet. Lete and Lex head to his home, concerned for Aulus. And when there is no answer we return to the church testifying that he did not answer. Lete and Lex tithe the usual amount.

While out and about Lete and Lex head to Wassier’s ranch to report our return, when we do we pass Garamaldi’s and see Aulus and after a brief conversation find out that he wasn’t at the church at all- and is uneasy with the news that he was seen to have had an argument with Lete and Lex not long ago. Aulus says he was at Garamaldis in regards to the burglary and admits there has been interest in our characters from the beginning. After an exchange of information Aulus departs for the church and Lex and Lete depart for Wassier.

When we arrive Wassier we see him interacting with his son about something. We approach and report our job competed. Wassier calls for 'Country Strong' Alex as Wassier wishes to return to the docks with us. As the two characters walk we discuss how we came to free the Gleeful Skipper and who also came to claim the ship. We also ask the status of the White Lightning and it so happens since there was a bloodshead and rival pirate group, Wassier offers the White Lightning to us- pending renaming and relocating.

Arriving Wassier and Country Strong Alex board the Gleeful Skipper/GemCutter to inspect the ship; Jabari accompanies them happily (looking for anything our characters overlooked when we first searched the GemCutter) but is professionally balked.

We indicate to our dock contacts a new location of our new ship the White Lightning for at least a week including security for the amount of 50 gp. We are sent to a smaller section on the north side, technically outside Paola. We agree to rename the White Lighting the Bonded Mind and are kept busy through the noon hour. Marco, Lete and Lex see Country Strong Alex walking away from our new dock area. For the rest of the day Jabari preps the ship for renaming; Marco, Lex, and Lete prepare to haul the barrel of cindermoss for delivery to the alchemist; and Carlo begins his meditation practices.

Moving to Paola Marco, Lex and Lete hear bard callers announcing visiting Circus Sciortino. Marco knows this name as a family of swordsmen and gladiators; Lete knows them as the ‘Heels of Sciortino’ as dirty trick gladiators. They are expected to arrive in a week with public events the following week.

We soon arrive at Blue’s alchemist who seems excited at our return with all the plants and cinder moss. A random roll plus a 1st level potion and an alchemical item up to 200 gp is extended as payment for our services. 2 Scrolls 3rd, 2nd, 1st level arcane spell CL5 (Jabari); +1 weapon (Marco); +1 armor, +1 special ability (Lete); +1 weapon (Lex); even Evagara gains an item. Blue refers a calligraphy professor Mithna (middle aged women/exotic- half-elf?) that can engrave names on items but he is anxious to get to work and sets us hastily upon our way.

While along the open mall at the College, we look to for paint for renaming the White Lightning as well as Professor Mithna to have names engraved on some magical items and Marco and Evagara head to the clothier to pick up their formal items. Lex heads to Garamaldis.

At Mithna’s the Professor is impressed at the display of magic and states we actually want her daughter Melissa Mithna. When Melissa arrives she offers to research the item and will happily engrave ‘Sure Step’ upon Lete's enchanted chain shirt- to be completed in two days. Lete offers 20 gold for the commission and then introduces her to Marco who gives her the silver rapier with ‘VH’ engraved upon it for her to research. She indicates that research will take a week.

Meanwhile Carlo meditates then practices his abilities and is able to piece together his contact with the gillman; their race and Carlo are ‘related’ that the aboleth was attempting to transform him into a gillman- a race created.

As this occurs Lete and Lex head to Garamaldi’s to inquire about the recent impersonations. Garamaldi states that a disguise like ones that impersonated us and Aulus seems to indicate Tengu involvement. Lex thinks that a secret phrase will be necessary from here on out; Lete comes up with ‘bonded mind’ to guarantee Garamaldi is who he states he is because from the moment we have arrived there has been interest in our group. There was a staged confrontation and Aulus is in danger. Garamaldi says he is going to make some inquiries and will want to speak to Aulus over this now. Lex says make sure you know it’s him. Garamaldi states that if it comes to it he will give our characters an alibi. Lex asks where to begin looking for Tengu and he is revered to Zallas. After that everyone returns to the Bonded Mind at 4 in the afternoon.

Friday, October 6, 2017

Malta Session 8: 10/05/2017 The Big Dumb Lamont, Assassin Vine, and Freeing the GemCutter

We begin this week’s session on the deck of the Gleeful Skipper/GemCutter after dispatching our opponents: Lemont, a cultist, Brohiem and three Egyptian slaves- we a master work cold iron longsword, a magical cloak of the Hedgewizard (abjuration), and a Triskelion lesser talisman of bronze interlocking spirals, a dagger (claimed by Lex), rapier, buckler and leather armor and an exotic key for the chain locks securing the chests in the hold below from Lamont. From the Egyptian dragon cultist our characters recover a masterwork cycle, 4 darts, chainmail and a light steel shield, a vial of poison (Bloodroot), a silver holy symbol (of Tiamat) and 62 Egyptian gold coins. From the slaves: potions (CMW, Mage Armor), magical +1 nunchaku; two kukri, 2 potions (both CLW consumed later by Lete), a magical amulet (made of a dragon scale still of unknown power) and 2 throwing axes; finally, a large bastard sword, hide armor, and adventuring equipment that we gave Valcrum. Gagnyon  the gill-man, had 4 daggers, a javelin, a unique masterwork chain shirt (which Gagnyon still had), six potions (barkskin 2, 4 CLW distributed), and a magical belt incredible dex +2 that Lex claimed.

Below in the hold of the ship where the 12 Cannons, 12 Barrels of Gun Powder, Six Chests were located…two of the chests detected as highly magical and seemed out of our league (fire trapped as well as additional magical protections), however four of the chests:

Chest 1:  Masterwork Silver Rapier, the bottom of the pommel engraved with VH, Masterwork Dagger the blade is freckled with gold flakes, 6 Divine Scrolls Caster Level  8, each scroll having a Neutralize Poison, Remove Disease, and Lesser Restoration, +1 Cloak of Resistance tan and brown it provides a +1 to stealth checks in the desert,  2000 gold Egyptian coins, 2000 silver Egyptian coins, 100 feet of silk rope, 10 Potions of Darkvision CL 6, Map of Gibraltar, 8 Rings each bearing a different gemstone; the rings are masterwork and made from platinum; each ring is worth at least 500gp

Chest 2:  This chest holds hundreds of blessed silver +1 Bolts.  It will take some time to count them all.

Chest 3:  This chest holds over 200 +1 Silver Arrows and 100 +1 Cold Iron Arrows

Chest 4:  This chest holds 4 Platinum bars each valued at 1000gp, 50 Gold Bars each valued at 100gp, 50 Silver Bars each valued at 10gp, each bar has an Egyptian stamp. A Masterwork Merchants Scale with a symbol of the Eye prominently displayed on each scale.  

6 Arcane Scrolls Caster Level 8.  Each Scroll has the following spells:

1st  Abundant Ammunition, Ear-Piercing Scream, Expeditious Retreat, Keep Watch, Mount, Summon Monster 1

2nd Fox’s Cunning, Owl’s Wisdom, Protection from Arrows, Sonic Scream, Summon Monster 2, Twisted Futures,

3rd Dispel Magic, Fly, Haste, Heroism, Lightning Bolt, Summon Monster 3

4th Dragon’s Breath, Mnemonic Enhancer, Remove Curse, Summon Monster 4 (one scroll used to summon a water elemental to free the GemCutter), Controlled Fireball, Control Summoned Creature

After taking inventory our characters decide to venture to a relatively close ship to pilfer its sails to take back to the GemCutter which takes us a few hours of staunch work; our characters eventually return to the GemCutter where it is around 7 pm just as the sun was beginning to set and when strange sounds begin to emanate from the nearby Fungus Rock.

Our characters decide to rest for the evening. Keeping Watch Lete continues to hear the strange animal and insect noises coming from the Rock island; at one point even sees a brief streak of fire race across the sky. At about the four hour mark Lete sees activity as other boats moving about in the night as the animal cries continue, one loud enough to possibly wake a light sleeper but otherwise the night passes peacefully.

The next morning we venture to shore to hunt for some of the native flora of Fungus Rock. When our characters arrive allergies assault Jabari having never been here before as we find there are a lot of snake species both in the water and on the sandy beach. Past the beach head the land levels out with rich exotic plants; venturing even further we eventually find the lower half of a humanoid body, its upper half consumed by some mysterious and unknown assailant. Then the assassin vines attack.

After the brief battle with the plant and harvesting it as best as our characters are able we decide to venture even further inland following four unseen servants summoned by Jabari; after two hours of searching our characters recover two additional exotic plants; but more importantly a rare sun flower like plant depicted in the botany manual from the alchemist Jabari remembers and plants a seed from Nagamon where we harvest each plant for a total of three seeds on Fungus Rock.

As this is being done our characters hear a rumbling boom akin to either opening or closing a mine shaft, we take this as a sign to return to the GemCutter. Returning to the beach head we find eight armed and hide armored knolls quizzically looking at our tracks and rowboat. We slaughter them without prejudice and hastily board our rowboat returning to the GemCutter just as a loud horns sound from the far side of Fungus Rock.

Once we return, our characters raise sails as Jabari summons elementals to free the Skipper. We pickup our next session returning to our arriving ship: the White Lightning. We gain 2,200 xp and our third character level.

Friday, September 29, 2017

Malta Session 7 09/27/2017: Blue Fessaj, Fungus Rock, and the GemCutter?

We begin this week’s session around noon on the 7th day at Garamaldi’s with mid-day lunch in the company of our said employer and the Indians siblings Omas and Pjazza who expressed curiosity as to our immediate plans and how soon we anticipate our return to Malta. While keeping the specifics of our next mission to ourselves our characters did express not being gone more than two weeks.

Garamaldi offers, if we divulge our destination, that he may compensate our troubles for the delivery of a message or two. Jabari brings up Fungus rock (NW of Gozo) and asks Garamaldi what he knows of the island; while his knowledge seemed on the generality side, he suggests seeking an alchemist who may pay handsomely for the return of an exotic component or two (cinder moss).

Talk wanes to Comminoto; his opinion is that the rock is a blight that attracts weak-willed, godless, filthy races tolerated only because they haven’t intruded on the civilized folk. He warns that seldomly those who return from Comminoto come back with what they intended. Garamaldi doesn’t care for the inhabitants of Fungus Rock and that they are mayhap spreaders of disease.  

Comminoto (Kemmunett): The small island is known for three things, the gems that can be found on its beaches, the flammable Cindermoss coveted by alchemists, and finally the goblin/hobgoblin, bugbear, and ogre forces that serve the islands ruler.  For the last several years the island has been under the control of the Ogre-Magi Karok. The civilized islands haven't moved against Karok, due to his followers propensity for attacking pirate ships and other small islands. 

Carlo warns of the Black Druid to the trio over breakfast; this does not come as a surprise to Garamaldi who does expresses concern, but says the ‘Black Druid’ harkens back to a time before modern Malta. He refers us to the Bard College which piques Evagara’s interest.

Jabari brings up the Iris Continental and what Garamaldi’s knows of the establishment which he says there are a chain of; with at least two others in Malta and others ranging from Carthage to Luxor in Egypt. Carlo asks if there is an official Eye connection; perhaps some Garamaldi believes, but it is not an Eye official location. Evagara’s insight was that there was a convention of sorts of dangerous business and that we were ‘uninvited’ guests but was inclusive during our brief stay.

Omas has some connections in Hagar Qim and offers to garner information on the Iris Continental for us; Jabari offers the man silver but the coin is refused and instead given an all-weather satchel of messages to deliver in return for whatever Omas can find out for our characters.

At the end of the lunch Evagara excuses herself to prepare for our leave the next morning.

After breakfast Jabari expresses the desire to volunteer Nogamon’s garden, as does Carlo while the rest of us look for the alchemist “Blue” a Fessaj catfolk who operates in the student’s quarter, that Garamaldi refers us to; whose primary customers are bard understudys.

Lete, Lex, and Marco head to the alchemist and the student quarter and Carlo and Jabari decide to visit Nogamon’s grove where they spend their first four hours tending to sick children.

The rest of us head to the Bard’s College looking for Blue Fessaj where we find a busy Paola where several large stone wheels are being moved into the city causing a lot of uproar in the citizenry. Getting closer to the college the three characters begin to hear music and singing; eventually we find a long and wide merchant hall where, at the corner is found the scorched alchemist shop.
Blue Fessage

We enter, fighting off the sickness of the smell, and find the partially hairless Blue Fessaj. Marco leads the conversation mentioning Garamaldi and our impending travel to Fungus Rock offering him a spot on the ship in return for alchemical aid. While Blue Fessaj cannot go he expressed interest in our characters bringing back sensitive flora. He speaks of a gnarled vine that moves and is carnivorous though he is unsure of its senses; he says that the leaves and vines are useful to his creations against cold and fire.

Lete purchases Vermin Repellant and Marco buys four acid vials, eventually Blue Fessaj produces an old student’s botany manual with drawings of exotic plants to take and when our characters return Blue Fessaj plans to have some alchemist fires for purchase. We quickly turn to the Cinder Moss pages and identify four types of the moss and become familiar with them; the fourth moss being different with purple veins and not the typical orange/red including identifying parts of the plant. Blue Fessaj explains what makes harvesting cinder moss so hard is that their vegetation cycle is quarterly and hard to determine when its save to do so. Blue Fessaj offers to invest in our job (400gp) and we would insure to refund the gold with hopes to profit upon our return and grants us a potion of water breathing.

When we leave we notice that several individuals notice that we had visited the alchemist (by the lingering stench) and it is revealed the vast majority of the merchants here are Eye merchants as we look for new generic Kilts and Sandals. Our visit to a clothier is short and amicable; while there the clothier gifts Marco ‘Duelist’ costume jacket to accent his fine puffy shirt and is paid to outfit his lady Evagara.

Meanwhile at the Nogamon’s grove Jabari and Carlo learns that word of the Black Druid has reached the centaur’s pointy ears and asks for their firsthand account of what Jabari and Carlo knowls. Nogamon states that if the story is true then we are all in great danger. Nogamon asks probing questions asking whether they serve ‘the you’ or ‘the us’ and reveals he is an ancient one which gives the characters much to think on. Jabari and Carlo are invited to come back after our adventures and Nogamon hopes to  have further answers.
Reunited we walk to the Seven Churches and Jabari gets stuck in the head by Loshe trying to get his attention. The rest of our characters retreat to the barracks as she and Jabari take a night walk to the Greek Church (where the shovin’ happens). There, she has him remove a tome from a satchel and to read the cover, but he is only able to read part of the title. She says Jabari requires the aid of a teacher and her organization, an organization thatis partially responsible for Malta; protectors of mortal life originating from the ashes of a destroyed civilization to keep integrity of earthly magics and artifacts. She recognizes Jabari’s bloodline, though she doesn’t know which. She offers to teach him. Loshe states the organization’s current job is to track and categorize magical items and their creators; she is especially interested in Jabari’s item and who has worn it before. Jabari accepts her arcane mark on his palm as her apprentice. Her intention is to travel to Zebbug properties there where she can be found. As far as Jabari’s friends are concerned Loshe prefers they know their relationship as intimate.

The next morning (day 8), Jabari discovers the tome reveals each previous owner and dates on the inside cover when he prepares his magic; he then adds his own name with a date. Evagara returns to Marco this morning where we learn she had also performed some shopping. Together again we are prepared to leave for the open seas.

Valcrum Nuvere
At the well-organized Paola docks we are directed to some of the smaller piers where the White Lightning is docked where three individuals arguing with a man who does not look like a sailor insisting he is the captain of the White Lightning: Valcrum Nuvere. We reveal our destination is one of the Northern Rocks and Valcurm bids us on board. To some of us it looks like this is the first time Valcrum has seen the White Lightning but nevertheless he quickly invites two other ‘red shirts’ aboard. Our characters quickly ascertain they are running from something. We inquire; they admit there was a disagreement with a third party and they hope to eventually make amends. By a party vote three for and two against the three are stowed below and we shove off.

On the open waters of the Mediterranean we see much sea traffic and easy travel along the shore. North of Malta Marco and Lete notice humanoid creatures in the waters along the rocks between Gozo and Malta, Lete sees four that are moving with a smaller craft to be Locathah.

Four hours later we begin to see Fungus Rock where anchored in several places are various boats around the Rock and it is also where our characters begin to hear the sounds of the dire animals from the island. Jabari is tested in his sailing skills, avoiding whirlpools, sea moss, and hidden rocks. Along the way we also see Locathah swimming among the hazards as well. We embark on a smaller ships to get to where we believe is the grounded Gleeful Skipper we are looking for. We disembark on a smaller craft to get closer when Lete sees that the Gleeful Skipper is newly painted over but before we get closer still our small row boat is knocked by a large scaled crocodile shape and after a few tense moments an octopus is summoned by Evagara and we are able to eventually escape.  

On the Gleeful Skipper we see signs of battle and that it has been cleaned and without sails; Lete and Marco notice a curious streak of light under water as Lex descends the ladder to the hold and finds blood and gore on the ladder; the first thing he sees that the sails are unfolded in a curde attempt to make repairs as well as a row of six locked chests secured with thick chains that are locked as well; several barrels of gunpowder for the dozen cannons that secured in the hold, also being transported on the Gleeful Skipper. Jabari ascertains that a tug boat would be needed to free the stuck ‘Skipper; it seems like the best solution is to head to shore and look for tools to help free the ‘Skipper.

Meanwhile a small craft with 6 individuals are seen approaching us on a similar small row boad. We hail and they reply back ‘Hay o- I am Lemont’ as they get closer with the aid of something in the water we notice their style indicates Egyptian. When they board each appear human; three are branded with Egyptian marks sans Lamont and two of the others, they are armed and ask our interest in the ship. We answer somewhat truthfully as agents of the proprietor and who aim to free the ship and take it to Malta. They are also here to do so and believe we are simply on the wrong ship and points out the new paint job. See, they are here for the GemCutter- they ship they claim we stand upon and again points out the new paint and the confusion. We ask who Lemont works for and his answer was Prince Ffahra Ffahra.

 We do not come to an amicable agreement in our conversation and we will begin with combat next game session. 

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Karok's Test

“The Italian?” asked an incredulous Karok, “the little smiler is a gladiator?”  The Ogre-Magi, large and obese rested on several pillows inside his Iris Continental suite demanding answers from his first officer Malice.   
“When I was imprisoned and sold to the Vaspian Merchant, he used several of us as “monsters” for his arena battles.  We all feared the bard caller announcing Lete Cordasco entering the arena.   He was unshakable in his confidence, smiling and laughing as he PRACTICED on you, pinning you into the mud and shit!” The bugbear Malice half yelled his explanation, “He was difficult to strike, nimble, and always ahead of us.”

Karok stirred, the rolls of fat on his large frame rippling in waves as he leaned forward, “Let’s find out if he is as good as you say, send Eyesore, Farker, and Shine after him.  If he can kill those troublemakers then we’ll consider snatching him up.”

Malice smiled, nodding in agreement, “Of course, right away!”  Walking away Malice thought back to his embarrassment in the gladiator arena and thought to himself that Eyesore, Farker, and Shine should have some help.   Time to give the Ogre they called Cannibal a chance at redemption.  

Saturday, September 23, 2017

The Keepers

Loshe was both angry and impressed, her evening passed without Jabari returning to her room.  She hoped that by appealing to his vanity she could speak to the agile caster in the privacy of her room.  When Jabari didn’t return Loshe considered all that she had seen the beautiful young man do. The young Greek was such a perfect candidate for The Keepers  that the next morning she declared the young sorcerer her protégé to the consigliore.  Declaring a protégé in absentee was the most humiliating experience, occurring in front of the other keepers whose protégés appeared alongside them and would be partaking in several events at the Continental.  Loshe would not be present for the yearly ceremonies.  Keeper Loshe gathered her gear, along with a dowry, leaving  Hagar Qim to chase after Jabari and convince him of his destiny. 

The Dowry:

This simple book is bound in white leather with a silver clasp. Careful notes on economic theory in a crisp and precise hand occupy the last few written pages, after which there is a page stained with a dark reddish-brown smear. The rest of the pages are blank.

Protection Good lock (DC 30), explosive runes (Reflex DC 16)

Opposition schools Illusion, necromancy

Value 1,835 gp (2,635 gp with the preparation ritual)

4th—beast shape II S, calcific touch S [APG], confusion, dimension door, stone shapeS

3rd—arcane sight, dispel magic, explosive runes, lightning bolt, greater magic weapon S, slow S

2nd—alter self S, flaming sphere, knock S, pyrotechnics S, resist energy, see invisibility, whispering wind S

1st—animate rope S, charm person, color spray OP, erase S, floating disk, hush [UM] (missing), mage armor, magic missile, protection from chaos, unseen servant

0—standard plus drench [UM], spark [APG], Conjurer's Tool Belt [1001 Spells}, Quicken Stride [1001 Spells], Shock Shield [UC]

Preparation Ritual
Defensive Transmutation (Su) When taking another shape, you can increase your defenses. Spend this boon’s effect as a free action when you cast a transmutation spell with a range of personal. As long as you are affected by that spell, you gain a +2 natural armor bonus for the duration of the spell.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Malta Session 6: 09/20/2017 Blue Bath Waters, The Brown-Shoe and A Job Well Done

Iris Continental
We begin this week’s session in Hagar Qim, as Lete looks to exercise his hedonistic traits he happens upon a casino. He is eventually greeted by a gentlemen who directs Lete to a bar where the brawler observes nearly everyone seems to be well armed but enjoying themselves, even the house employees seem armed and armored. As Lete watches he overhears a bit of conversation: “those prices are unacceptable for that kind of work.” However Lete is approached ‘Complements of Kala’ and eventually are led to a private party and is kept ‘busy’ until after breakfast.

Meanwhile Marco Andrezi is making slow and steady progress with Evagara.

The next morning (6th day) there’s a knock at the room where the rest of the characters are staying where an Iris Continental room service offers morning bath services as well as breakfast and that’s where the party reunites (along with about 30 other guests.) The bathhouse is separate from the Iris Continental and sectioned off where it appears some individuals are meeting here as well; a place were there are not weapons and everyone is naked.  

At breakfast we keep to ourselves trying to disassociate ourselves at the onset of a new day.

A Unique Coin
Jabari makes tentative contact with a man named Sakar who makes some assumptions on the nature of Jabari’s presence in Hagar Qim and offers a task by sliding over a unique coin; Sakar asks if Jabari is alone. The truthful answer is no, but it is at Jabari’s discretion- Jabari is not looking for any job but is in fact here with a purpose and mentions the ‘journal’ we are looking for. The brief meeting is a non-starter and Sakar unceremoniously leaves thanking Jabari for his time.

Lex, sitting across from an attractive woman, eventually leads to a conversation; Loshe by name appears to be an exotic human, Lex introduces himself as Atemis. They make small talk, she assumes he is here for ‘events’ and asks his reason for being here. His answer comes as shopping, to which she answers she is a fine shopper. She takes a measure of pity upon his revelation on his association with the seven churches and offers to help him as best as she can. She warns him to be careful at the Continental, and that he needs to accept her help.

Lex as Atemis states he is looking for a dwarf named Malox; interestingly she knows the area where he frequents and the Brown-Shoe, a quaint and diminutive pub where he visits, but it will cost Atemis dinner at Loafers. The conversation is pleasant but short with the promise of dinner later.

The rest of us experience feelings of being watched during at breakfast, the feeling makes Carlo very uncomfortable.

After breakfast and while in the city we notice a difference between the city guard and the Egyptian security teams present when our characters entered the city. While in Hagar Qim our characters observe a busy city where everyone, more or less, keeps to their own business, seemingly in fear as Lete points out. Our first order of business is to have Evagara lead us to Malox and coincidentally the Brown-Shoe Pub nearish to the dock area. Eventually Lex mentions Loshe to the rest of the characters and his plan to disguise himself disassociating himself from the group.

Lete comes to smallish Brown-Shoe Pub to offer his skills ahead of the group, but without any luck (sans a disguised Lex/Atemis and Evagara who would later arrive to the Pub)- we obviously are newcomers to the regulars at the Brown-Shoe. Carlo and Lete do not stay however leaving Marco and Jabari to blend in. Eventually a dwarf ‘regular’ enters the Brown-Shoe and finds his normal stool where the owner quickly makes friendly contact.

Eventually Lex/Atemis in full disguise arrive at Loafers to get the lay of the restaurant.
(Atemis) Eva Las Vegas!

Jabari, whilst at the Brown-Shoe makes quick conversation with the dwarf who identifies himself as Malox where soon talk wanes to business. Jabari mentions Osso, (recruits Evagara into the conversation to learn the password is Garamaldi) and that we are here for what he had stored with the fine dwarf who politely asks for mere moments.

Meanwhile Carlo and Lete head to the docks where Lete hopes to make some cursory observations about the nefarious docks and the business that occurs there, while Carlo hopes to get training for his next character level from Lete. Here the two find busy wharfs and the buying and selling of lots being off loaded from ships. We happen across a barred wagon with obvious slave boys. This gives Carlo pause and opens a dialog with a likely slaver.

Nearby a half-orc 'not paying attention' to Carlo and this slaver; Lete approaches the dullard and asks if there is a place out of the way to spar with Carlo, However the request is misinterpreted and a fight breaks out.

Meanwhile back at the Brown-Shoe Jabari retrieves the gem needed to gain the journal from Lex who carred the gem and is enjoying eats and fresh bread across the street at Loafers. A Man in Black enters about ten minutes before Malox returns with an ornate box. Jabari offers the gem for the box which Jabari can see now is covered in dwarven runes along with the codeword to open the box. Eventually the box is opened and the journal is revealed including 6 Egyptian 100 gp gold bars and a silver or mithril ring with a wolf’s head, one completed masterwork badge and 3 sample badges. Marco identifies the wolf head as a unit (gang) ring and magical. Marco observes Evagara seemed surprised at the bars and the ring.

The woman Loshe walks in and looks around asking for Atemis (early) giving a description of Lex. She identifies Malox and admits to looking for the dwarf. The Man in Black gets up and leaves when Loshe begins speaking with the group. Jabari finds a reason to walk outside and sees the Man in Black reattach the business end to the plolearm he had; he reaches into his vest and quietness pervades the area and the man throws the coin into the bar and a fight breaks out the Man in Black seems to wish to attack Evagara.

When the battle comes to a close the Man in Black is killed as the wolf’s head ring that begins to admit an acidic mist destroying his body, soon we see the ring and the coat he wears vanish. Recovered: Masterwork halberd, masterwork composite longbow (Str +3) 20 arrows (Lete), masterwork short sword (Lex) also with a wolf-head on the pomel and zero funds and small 20gp ruby gold earring (Marco).

Loche looks to us and asks who we are: no one to be trifled with was the answer she received; to that she says our goals align. She asks how long we are staying at the Continental. Jabari expresses we do not intend to stay; Loche offers Jabari a promise of future business.

Malox laments that the Man in Black was one of Davos’ men and he will not react kindly to a death of one of his ‘wolves’. Reasons abound between us as to why Davos would be interested in Evagara but we agree that leaving town immediately is our next course of action.

We encounter no difficulties returning with Evagara to the Seven Churches and Garamaldi’s half-tower abode around 6 in the evening (still the 6th day).

Garmaldi seems glad to see us and invites us into his half-tower where we present him with the journal and the badges whereby he rewards us with a second level potion of our choice. We advise Garamaldi of Davos’ interest in the journal. He says we are welcome to stay and to advise his servants of Garamaldi’s middle name, should he be gone if there is anything we may require. We ask to cash the gold bars (eight total) and he does so for free into Carthaginian coin. We agree to stay in the half-tower.

We tithe and received healing.

Garamaldi asks what our next course of action will be, we intend to head north (Fungus Rock) and plan on returning soon.

We rest until day (7th day), Lete begins to train Carlo in the fighting style; Marco stars to work on his martial disciplines (writing shit down); Jabari and Lex travels to Wassier’s ranch house to accept his offer. A woman (his woman) approaches the characters to facilitate the job offer with information; if we return the ship to a specific dock we can keep what’s in the hold. A boat we need to get there (the White Lightening) is at the dock next to the dock where The Gleeful Skipper is to be docked.

We end around noon at Garamaldi’s half-tower.