Monday, February 12, 2018

Malta Session 25: 02/08/2018 Going somewhere?, The Deep Falcon, and The Death of The Hunter

We begin this week’s session the next morning in the Roulette Room after resquing Esterhat and a Halfling named Er’it two days after arriving at Selmunett Island. Er’it, sleept fitfully after receiving some healing overnight and later in the middle of the night Addelmy eventually arrives, having taken her time as not to arouse attention, she tells us that most believe House Mortuus and rival acrobats are responsible for the cage break-ins. Meanwhile Esterhat sleeps.

When Er’it awakes he tells Lex he had been tracking necromancers he believes are undead, there are a series of child cages in the lower levels beyond the sewer grates like the ones we’ve seen on the island. Furthermore there is equipment both magical and otherwise he believes are being stockpiled for trade with drow that live further below the island. Er’it was discovered hiding in one of the child cages before he was found. His bounty was set high.

Later that morning Lex disguises the Halfling, as well as Addelmy and Esterhat as we head to Spiderhouse Apartments to confront who ever we find hiding in Addelmy’s apartment. Lermang is with us too. We run into Peren who has a message from Sciortino who is on NE Island and promotes “treasures abound as well as the dwarf Hunter we are looking.”

After a polite invitation to return to Malta Peren says he has a place at a casino room and plans on staying on Selmunett; but in the meantime will be happy to eventually escort our new companions back to the Black Rose after our business at the Spiderhouse is complete.

There are eleven of us now as we stroll among the island ebb and flow of the day. When we arrive at the Spiderhouse we encounter the husband as well as three other fetchlings leaving the apartment building; the shitbag husband looks to be carrying all his worldly possessions. Also at this time Lex scans about and sees possibly others, including a firbolg, milling about. Lete: “Going somewhere?”
The Husband
We engage the fetchlings and capture Addlemy’s husband. We retrieve off the fetchlings: 3 potions of CMW, two other potions, 3 magical studded leather and magical light steel shield, 6 sunrods, 3 thieves tools, 402 gold pcs. This husband wore +1 leather armor, masterwork dagger, and possessed various disguises as well as 560 gp and doses of keif (an exotic drug).

The husband is told he is going to take us to his son; he hesitantly agrees and explains he was hoping for passage to Hagar Qim and ‘they’ were going to train the boy. His brother is set up now and likely gambling at the Lagoon. The Deep Falcon is the ship where is son is; there, gifted children the Hunter has sold to the Egyptians are on the Deep Falcon, the other untalented children are put on another ship and doesn’t seem to know where these other children are going.

We include Lermang the girls and send Perin to tell Dentach we are leaving now, however when we arrive we are pleasantly surprised to find the crew all present. We agree to head back to the Black Rose and sail around to the NE satellite island. We have a ship wide meeting and explain our intentions to save children from Egyptians and to be prepared for anything- we will be going against The Hunter.

A short time later our characters come upon the large Deep Falcon and set our skills and fury upon mercenaries, Grey Warriors and Hunter alike. We kill the Hunter but not before arousing the attention from two flanking ships who seem to be readying themselves for action.

It is at this moment when we begin next week’s session.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

The Art of Sicuramente

"Now we will begin the lesson.  Remember, this is not the iron dance of the armored warrior we are learning, the knight's dance, hacking and hammering, no. This is the bravo's dance, the water dance, swift and sudden. All men are made of water, do you know this? When you pierce them, the water leaks out and they die."
Preface from The Art of Sicuramente by
Marco Andrezi

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

The Silver Rapier VH - A Message for Marco

This information was much more difficult to acquire than anticipated and seems to have some level of intrigue and danger attached to it.  Despite the difficulty in finding out more about the weapon, the information itself is relatively simple.  The masterwork weapon is an ancient blade, one of several crafted by guild masters of an ancient city from the continent.   Lore says that during the time before the dawning, there were no other cities on the continent, so the guild master’s ruled a place whose moniker was simply, “The City”.  Due to unknown otherworldly enemies, the guild masters of each guild crafted great magical weapons to provide their champions a means to combat the threat.  One of those weapons was the silver rapier emblazoned with its crafter's mark of VH.  Obviously over time the magic of the blade has been lost for whatever reasons. 

Regarding the danger and intrigue I had mentioned, it would seem that several archaeological digs have begun on the continent, the majority of which seem to be under the competitive auspices of several dragons serving Tiamat.  This has caused some upheaval among the Egyptians who have seen several of their family crypts and funerary items raided.  These digs have filled the seas around Malta with collectors of lost treasures along with an unspoken rivalry between the Persians and Egyptians.  The MerchantPrince Ffahra Ffahra is seeking treasures related to your blade, believing that the ancient guilds books have been found, along with an ancient spellbook that would reveal the manner of the ancient weapon’s creation.  Several treasure hunters are seeking a ship, The Gemcutter, said to carry these books and other items of value.  I also came across conflicting information identifying the ship as The Gleeful Skipper.

Besides the aforementioned Merchant Prince, I have discovered two other groups that have been pursuing these and other ancient items.  The first I’m not sure is seeking the items for any other purpose than to deny their recovery to others, his name is Naxxar an elf wizard of great power.  The second group very little is known about other than a great fear of them, a death cult of necromancers known as The Servants of Decay.
A Servant of Decay

Finally if it matters the crafter’s mark of VH stands for something along the lines of Von or Van Hellthing, Hellding, or Hellsing, with many a variation in spelling.

MM (Melissa Mithna)

Malta Session 24: 01/31/2018 Roulette House, Game Demos, and Freeing Esterhat

We begin this week’s session on deck of the Black Rose (the disguised Bonded Mind) preparing to make IL-Kataniz’s cargo delivery to The Luna Knights and Crown shortly after midday. Along the way our characters are accompanied by Evagara, Peren and Dentach however there are a few ships that have to be off loaded before us so it is a bit later before we unload; when the cargo is ready to cross the bridge to the main island Jabari uses a wand of heroism for everyone. Waiting for us across the bridge is Lermang, the man in ogre form, as well as three casino guards Dentach arranged for. At the entrance to Selmunett Peren breaks off from our main group.

Along the thoroughfare we see a lot of buildings each themed and tailored to each of the four casinos. Circular paper lights hang between hanging cages; some occupied some emptied, each of similar design.

Luna Knights and Crown appears at first like a carnival carousel using illusions and stage-craft; however we descend down a service path and to a delivery entrance, we are led there by the Knights and Crown guards. We find that the building is circular like a crown; eventually our characters are met by the ugliest person we’ve collectively seen. We guess him to be a tall human, with a misshapen face- his handle is Urnold. He gives us signed receipts with stamps and when he does the smell of the man nearly overtakes us. Urnold also supplies us with 100 gp in casino coupons. Dentach explains the delivery is on time and the coupons are a bonus, he asks if we are leaving and asks to return to Malta with us. We plan on staying at the Knights and Crown for the night.

Upon entering we are immediately aware of the din of a casino: callers, music, and conversation both of the mundane kind as well as outbursts of excitement. We are met by a hostess armed with cigars and a friendly smile who informs us of the entertainment for the night as are invited in. We see a variety of races most of the adventuring type. We decide to split up and look for Addelmy.

Eventually Carlo, Lex, Marco and Evagara find Addelmy working a roulette table. Jabari, Lermang, and Lete encounter a gnome equipped with a stogie who attempts to recruit us for a fight ‘downstairs’. Smelling a trap we decline the offer but overhear the gnome telling someone to keep an eye on us. We chance upon the ‘Last Chance Saloon’ but are warned against entering the area by one of the guards as it is literally one’s last chance. Jabari takes the opportunity to ask the guard what the house’s favorite game is: torture challenges, vice or power or the fights. The conversation eventually wanes until Lete offers a small bribe which informs us that the most valuable fights are at house Mortuus- so don’t take them. None of the other casinos offer a ‘last chance’. As we leave our characters see a pair of boots belonging to an unknown and unseen eavesdropper.

Meanwhile, Lex sits at Addelmy’s roulette table when Evagara and Marco locate the ‘Alchemist’ table. At the alchemist she find games of chance where the winner receives a potion or alchemist item. Evagara inquiries about wagering a potion of fly and learns those games are reserved for the evening. She returns to Marco’s side and decides to watch the dealer for characteristics to exploit later. After a time, they see how the dealer is able to drop and add vials in a three card Monty stylized game of chance. They do however witness someone winning.

At the roulette table Lex cashes in the 100 gp voucher with Addelmy who offers to teach him the game. (6 game demos earns a free rank in Profession: Gambling) About an hour goes by before there is a pause in the game and Addelmy is able to speak freely. She asks Lex about the sincerity of his offer to help. Her son is being held by her brother and treacherous husband and fears the child will be payment to the Boffa family to pay down their debts and to be entered into slavery. Her brother is a gambling addict and is at the Lagoon; her husband is lying low and is probably at the apartment. She suspects her six year old son is in a ship around NE island. Her son is valued because of his sorcerous powers. Lex offers to take them back to Malta after this utter betrayal. Lex promises to see what we can do and asks about ways to address Esterhat’s situation. Meanwhile Lex ‘wins’ a complementary room at Roulette house, (as a way to stay in contact) and refers Lex to Reyen at a nearby poker table. Carlo and Lex tips her before they leave- Lex tips twice to further the ‘business as usual’ with the comely lady at the roulette table ruse.

Our characters meet back up and learn of the horrible situation Addelmy is in, each of us appalled in our own way. After this we decide to play demos for the rest of the night. We start with poker…

Reyen is a catfolk and poker training takes about an hour. During this time Lex drops his name and alludes to how we were referred from the roulette table. As subtle as possible we explain Esterhat’s situation and we are told there may be another way to get her free. Reyen explains tonight during the acrobat show… accidents are known to happen. This conversation is disguised in game phrases between hands. Furthermore if more than one were to escape then victory is almost guaranteed.

After the game demos our characters decide to eat before the acrobatic performances, which begin shortly after nine this evening. We arrange room service at the Roulette Room. After this we decide to look around and attempt to find Esterhat’s cage and formulate a plan for Lex to attempt to fly invisibly freeing as many, including Esterhat, as he could. We decide to scout it out using the chain bridges.

Along the way Carlo and Lex encounter a woman tiefling carrying small dolls of different knighthoods across the world that move and eerily talk on their own while surveying the chain bridges. Lex inquires about the dolls learning they are a popular item that performs various tasks to mainly torment cage dwellers and add to the sinister island fun.

On the bridge Lex learns of tolls to other casinos as well as noting it as a discrete location to meet. Lex sees several groups, acrobats, wearing performance masks as part of their Alibaba outfits- from animals to undisguised changelings. In the air several bat like humanoids flying casually about including a flying ape-man as well as a flying Minotaur. Lex’s supernatural like perception picks up on that each of these creatures have the scent ability. Each of them pays the toll to house Mortuus and head across the bridge.

On the ground Jabari and Lete survey the area when Jabari spots a small creature flying and following Lex above. This information is relayed and as flying doll, like a cavalier on a flying steed, is revealed following the group on the chain bridge.

About three quarters across we see a group of four cloaked individuals paying the toll of the bridge Lex is on. Getting closer Lex sees the decrepit hands of the passersby. The acrobatics begins with fireworks and ceremony as the group on the bridge notice the smell of death coming from the cloaked group causing Lex to become sickened just as he approaches the first group of cages. Here they see a tall humanoid with bat like wings (Therrod) negotiating with another individuals, all the cages here are full save for Esterhat. Following an insightful clue Lex eventually finds Esterhat.

On the ground two comely women approach Jabari and Lete and are invited to an ‘exciting time’, combat breaks out however and Jabari and Lete are able to avoid the women and their hallow flirtations.

Our characters meet back up at the Roulette room to discuss options; Lete lags behind in case anyone is following us. Lex support the existing plan including distractions and air support if Lex’s antics are detects as well as a summoned air elemental from Evagara should the need arise.

Les frees the fist Halfling, skips ‘Kinky Joe’, and moves to Esterhat’s cage throws her come entertainers clothes before hastily moving on to the fourth cage where ‘Kinky John’ sits enjoying himself too much. The Kinky bros. were later discovered to be guards. The fifth cage is opened freeing a worked over man as is the sixth cage containing a Halfling named Er'it who asks for aid as his fingers are broken. Lex gives Esterhat a potion of invisibility and mentions the name Metas in hushed tones and says room 213 Roulette Room. Lex goes back for the Halfling and flys the little guy to Lete and Jabari on the ground.

We pick up back next Thursday back in the Roulette Room.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

The Boxers

Paulie sat alone in the common room of the newly acquired Boxer safe house.A small candle, the only thing keeping the darkness at bay, flickered as an ocean breeze moved past him unimpeded. Until all of his deals where complete he thought leaving the structures with a vacant appearance would be the wisest course.

“Play to your strengths” he said quietly. As if to continue an ongoing conversation with the darkness,  “I am proud of our organization; the range of skills held by our members is astounding. When anyone asks me for guidance I always say play to your strengths. Be the best at what you do, mediocrity is a death sentence”. He said this with certainty as he locked eyes with Wally creeping up in the darkness. “Your strength is in the workshop and dealing with magical hang-ups the rest of us cannot overcome.   Stealth without magic will only get you killed my friend”.

Gritting his teeth Wally recognized another failed attempt. “I will get your pipe without magic” he said smiling as he dropped into an adjacent seat at the small writing table. “Speaking of the workshop, I have finished your most recent request” Sliding a small wooden box across the table he glanced down at four identical letters Paulie had just finished penning. 

“Look them over” Paulie said gesturing to the letters.” We both know your deciphering skills could use a lot of work” he said sarcastically, never looking up from the box that had been presented to him. Eagerly opening the box he was delighted to see a platinum and sapphire ring as blue as the Mediterranean. The new magical energies surging through the ring could be felt the moment he cracked the lid. “I thought you said it would take a month or more? You couldn’t find a suitable ring, where did this come from?”

“Your newest charge” Wally said gesturing to the letter he was struggling to decode. “Lex?” Paulie asked “as payment for what?”

“A gift” Wally said laying the parchment down unsure if he had accurately deciphered the message. “He said it was to help prosper our relationship. Naturally I assumed it was your ring and you were just using him to deliver it. Turns out it was a gift, apparently to both of us. I am still unsure how he knew we needed it”? 

“He and his friends are special” Paulie said.“The night we retrieved the statue they eliminated the guard with amazing efficiency. There movements suggested experience well beyond their years. If I didn’t know any better I would have said the whole combat was rehearsed. Then there is the night at Warehouse Lex told me to be ready for trouble. He asked if I would stand by with a fast getaway instead of watching the games. The cannon balls ripped right through my section of the building. I know if he didn’t warn me out of there I wouldn’t be here to receive this wondrous gift.”   

Wally was appreciative his old friend still admired his work “As long as we are discussing them Charlie said the Bonded Mind set sail this morning. It appeared a ship was positioning to follow. I sent word to Metas to alert the group, however I fear the ship will arrive in Bugibba before the warning. But if they have means of divining the future”?
“I never said that” Paulie quickly interjected. “Perhaps its instincts or the favor of the gods, I don’t pretend to know. I said there is something special, and I am not the only one to have noticed it. As for the Bonded Mind your warning should be adequate. I helped prevision the ship before its departure. The majority of the crew seemed capable but they have a few guys with real potential. If they are being followed I trust them to be able to handle it themselves”.
“Then why don't you believe Lex and company can do the same”? Wally asked holding up the first encoded message.

“We have seen many people, some I would call friend disappear into the clutches of a slaver never to return. These guys have been targeted by two of the most notorious collection groups we have seen on the island. Not only have we not been able to assess any buyers but I am not even confident we know all the players involved. Usually these groups operate fairly discreetly but there was nothing discrete about the most recent events. Someone even went as far as to destroy the Half-Tower and you know the group of people that attack will offend!It appears these collectors are starting to hasten their efforts. They may even reach a point of public exposure in fear of missing out on the bounty.There’s a competition of some kind and our new found friends are the spoils.So yes I am using the network to spread misinformation about their agendas and to have members keep ears open for any word on Tengu activity.  The Hunter is an enemy you can see, my concern is for the unseen enemy. After all the Tengu are the reason it’s called a murder of crows.”

Wally grinned. While he appreciated the cleverness of the joke he knew it wasn’t far from the truth. “I will get these messages delivered to our other guilds then. Where would you like them sent?”

“Rysywe and the Sharks can be found in Buggibba. 
Percy runs the Honeyed Trade Post in Dingli. 
Brodie heads the Smelters currently operating out of Cirkewwa. And the Onyx Lady is of course still in Victoria.

That’s about as wide a net as we can cast, hopefully we catch something. Now let’s go over the message in case you are asked any questions.”

Onyx Lady

Friend of the Church,
Let it be known that a group of Gatherers are attempting to assume control of my newest Flora.
Each of these Boasters has infiltrated holy ground! Will you stand by and allow it to continue?
Xlendi has been kind enough to house my charge for the foreseeable future.
Everyone must be vigilant if we are to bringing these Nameless assailants to justice.
Let us all work together and our garden will be lush for many years to come.
If you have any information regarding these Shrouded bravos please send word to your local magistrate.

Surveyer of the sacred gardens, Oxeyes.

Friday, January 26, 2018

Malta Session 23: 01/24/2018 The Black Rose, the Rat-Folk Casino, and A Man Trapped In An Ogre’s Body

We begin a few hours after the storm subsides on small island. We survey the Bonded Mind and notice some minor damage, but what prevails is the crew’s feeling of superstition that the storm was unnatural. By the morning calmer weather returns although the seas coloration indicate unfavorable conditions in the upset currents.

It is around dusk of that day our characters see a slow moving ship; the ‘Black Rose’ appears to be a drift approximately a half mile out from hurricane harbor; we decide to sail out to investigate. Closer our characters will see evidence of cannon fire that crippled the ship as evident in the ship’s slightly tilted drift as it leans to one side; it appears to be abandoned. Carlo, with the help of his new cloak scouts ahead as a manta ray.

Underwater Carlo sees a small tear causing the tilt but no threats and not much else. Above the water we can see the ship had been boarded and notice damage from battle; not much is believed to be in the hold. Our characters tow the crippled Black Rose to the harbor. On board the smell of death is strong as we eventually find dead sows and in the sailors quarters we find four dead (3 humans and a half elf) dehydrated husks with rictus expressions. Upon further inspection none of the bodies have wounds but share a single blackened marking- they seemed completely drained by vampiric touch.

We beach the ship and take the Black Rose name placard off the crippled ship to disguise the Bonded Mind, and we smoke and salt the pork. By this time it is dark and we spend the rest of the night preparing a morning feast. We leave a fully cooked pig as well as a barrel of water for the surviving gnolls the next morning before we cast off for points east.

It is not long before we see a large plume of black smoke to the south. We divert our course and notice debris and find that whatever is burning has been so for some time. It occurs to us that we are sailing closer to the center of where we believe the hurricane originated. Several bodies are in the ocean and eventually we find two exhausted Egyptians a male and a female. Our characters heal them to consciousness. Further investigation reveals the debris is of several ships- four total; Carlo dives into the water as a manta ray and sees a shark fest underwater. In the end we rescue 6 people total: 2 Egyptians, 2 human Greeks, and the final two are formless humanoids- changelings. Our characters heal them as well.  Just as we do the changelings change into a couple Greeks. The source of the fire; off in the distance we see the pirate galleon, highly damaged where the hurricane started.

Through the spyglass our characters intuit the galleon engaged several other ships as the hurricane started, it was clear the pirate galleon was winning before suffering some kind of catastrophe: a leviathan attacked and likely was responsible for the storm. A great priest likely summoned a leviathan. Currently gunpowder is burning off.

Satisfied we continue on our course to Selmunett. The survivors indicate they are of the four ships and not of the war galleon; the changelings however are having a harder time convincing every one of their intentions. We keep the fake Greeks separated from the other survivors.

Eventually our characters, now as the Black Rose, come to Selmunett Rock. To our fortune the main Rock as well as the satellite islands are littered with anchored ships. Testing our sailor’s skills, we anchor near the south west island. Caro and Jabari Keep Watch as Marco, Lex and Lete as well as three sailors visit the smaller dock island for some information gathering.

There are about a half dozen boats between the Black Rose and the small south west docking island. Marco, Lete, Lex and the three sailors try to make their way quietly to the docking island but are eventually seen by a couple ships along the way.

Nearer to the docks we find better than reported docks and see workers about, more than one volunteering to help. We find this area also adheres to the grid system of mapping. On the islands the three characters find the docks overrun with individuals from the anchored ships waiting for a variety of reasons (waiting to dock, waiting to leave); these folk pose a variety of questions about the seas and current conditions.

We come with our own brand of questions however: we learn heavy bribes are required for immediate docking, and the walkway on the SE island is damaged from the hurricane. Some have heard of the destruction of the pirate galleon and Lete hears there is word of survivors on the NE docking island. Marco speaks of Egyptians is asked to indicate what ones? The Lagoon (Boffa family casino) or Thanatos? The majority head to the Lagoon, we learn, but the Thanatos is another casino as well as a Greek rebellion that works with a faction of Egyptians. Most of the sailors here react well to the Thanatos family.

The Four Casinos: The Lagoon (Boffa Family), Thanatos-Port, The Luna Knights and Crown (where our delivery is to go), and House Mortuus.

Lete asks about slavers and at first is looked at sideways assuming necromancers and denounces the  group of ‘servants of decay’ and it was believed that some of the pirate survivors were meeting with the Hunter at the NE island.

Many sailors are making deals to lessen their ship’s value at the open seas to discourage piracy; lots of weapons and hints of gunpowder to be had. Eventually we hear of clerics on the docking island: Uskeright, a cleric who is very superstitious and speaks of the doom of the leviathan. We head further in to seek this cleric of doom and gloom.

The individual in question was found performing his sermon on top of a stone building tentatively holding the attention of about twenty sailors. Uskeright speaks that when the Leviathan comes it is the sign of a coming war and destruction will soon follow. The path of salvation is to make offerings to the sea, return home and pray you are judged worthy in the war to come. Uskeright carries a long sword and the gods symbology he bears is unique and subtle. Lete gets a closer look and connects the pantheon symbolage to a Babylonian faith from back in payola and is certain it is not Tiamat. With darkvision Lete also sees the door to the building is ajar. Meanwhile Lex blends in with the ‘enthralled’ who are listening to Uskeright. Marco interjects a counter point to the sermon only to incite Uskeright even further who also claims to have had visions. Marco suddenly overcomes spell.

Lete makes his way closer to the building and is able to subdue a female fetchling and escape with masterwork scorpion whip, cloak of resistance +1 (Marco), a normal dagger, wand of silence (15 charges CL5) (Lex), wand CLW (50 ch CL5) (Lex), as well as a pouch with a potion of invisibility (Lete) and a Scroll of owl’s wisdom and undetectable alignment both CL5 and 3 50 gp gems, and 100 gp (Lete).  

Back at the Black Rose Carlo and Jabari find the changelings escaping, and end up letting them go in the night.  Three hours later Lete, Lex and Marco return to the Black Rose with the information and booty from the fetchling.

In the morning several ships disembark from the docking islands making room for more. We learn that Radan’s Troops control the island from the local dock hands. On the Rock there is no cargo inspection but a degree of haggling and bribery to have cargo moved. Dentach handles most of the negotiation informing a select few about the destination of a casino house alleviating a lot of hassle. But it will be afternoon before the delivery takes place.

We are led by some of Radan’s men to the dock island and then the bridge to Selmunett to deliver the message to Addelmy at Spiderhouse apartments. When we arrive to a side road we are met with a pair of ogres who offer their guide services to which Marco haggles with a well spoken ogre named Lermang before arriving to an agreement. We are led off the main path and learn that a great warlord is responsible for the original fortress on Selmunett, pointing out that even the walls are intact. Along the way we also notice a sewer grate in the old road. We inquire and find out it has another name ‘the ratfolk casino’.

We arrive and find a three story apartment building that stands out because of the shutters in the form of spiderwebs and now that we are led here, our characters are somewhat comfortable finding our way back but arrange for Lermang to remain a while longer. Lex pays the ogre for information on the casinos:  if you are here to gamble and enjoy pleasures= Lunas or Thanatos port; some gamblers who wager more than just coin= Lagoon (Boffa); but as far as House Mortuus he wouldn’t suggest it- that is worse than necromancers, they like to create monstrosities. But no matter what, don’t linger outside at night. Lex inquiries about the danger: the ratfolk and other under-races (fechlings, drow) some out at night which lead the ogre to warn against forays underground.

Lete, Carlo and Lex head into the apartments the rest remain with the ogre. Our characters make contact with Addelmy and mention Metas. We are led in and meet Addelmy’s husband and brother who stand tense with weapons in hand. Lex mentions Esterhat and learns she is in a cage above Mortuss and not in fact in the debtors prison. There is a second option as Lunas and Mortuss are at odds and while we could attempt free her on our own, resourceful individuals could use the existing friction to our advantage. Addelmy will be working at The Luna Knights and Crown this afternoon where she can refer us to someone who could help us.

While inquiring about the casinos, we lean of a third floor wing of the lagoon where a bald dwarf is known to be. And while it’s never been proven, with certain wagers the house can be bribed to make sure you win.

While there we notice an absence of children and that they could be held in duress. Lex offers aid to the trio in hopes of getting her to reveal something. She politely refuses in front of the men, but in secret she asks Lex to revisit the offer later this afternoon.

She will not have a response no earlier than three days and if we are still here we are welcome to deliver a reply. Carlo inquiries about paying a fine; we are told to look for Therrod (a sabasan a winged humanoid) at house Mortuss. It is when we leave we realize the men had their weapons drawn to strike her down.

Meanwhile Jabari is making fast friends with Lermang who takes us to great midday meal served with a variety of beers Tayback’s Restaurant. Lete inquire about House Mortuss and is warned about a mist that settles around the casino and circumventing this could cause imprisonment in the cage; that or other minor gambling infractions. Lex eventually asks Lermang why he stays on the island: until he improves his situation. But what is his situation? Lermang was not originally an ogre and is working toward a ‘more acceptable’ existence, he understands the threat his new form would scare most folk. Before this, he was Greek.

We head back to the Black Rose to prepare to deliver IL-Kataniz cargo where we will pick up next game session.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Malta Session 22: 01/10/2018 Traveler Seeks Information, A Ruby of Approximate Value, and Leviathan’s Warning

Our session begins with our characters depositing their coinage before the journey to Selmunett island: Marco 1,500 gp, Carlo 5,220 gp, Lete 2,500 in Ripae (these totals reflect to date deposits). Filling the day Lete goes to the message boards looking for information on the Battalion; some messages indicate help needing plumbers as some of the elite houses have running water and other menial tasks. However, not long after a young man comes to remove some of the notices as all posts are removed after a week. Lete was able to talk him out of one of the posts (one of the plumbing jobs) and tips the boy a silver piece- it is then when Lete notices the background of the message board “traveler seeks information” but the message is some kind of code dated four days ago. On his way to the Bonded Mind Lete gathers dinner for the characters and retrieves our character’s personal items from the Gypsys heart as he ponders the traveler seeking information.

Back at the North Docks it was apparent that early in the morning the Moon Shadow disembarked and by midday a heavy persistent shower begins and with it, the superstitions of our sailors. Meanwhile most of the remaining characters busy themselves on the Bonded Mind making themselves helpful and gaining the confidence of the crew while Lex returns to the South docks, in disguise, to build trust with the criminal element.
In the meantime our characters review our plans for the immediate future: deliver a message to  Addelmy (casino dealer, resides at Spiderhouse Apartments) and bring Esterhat back from Debtor’s Prison (Metas promises to reward us with 1,000 gp [her debt is 500]). Also, transport the tiefling passenger Sciortino; as well as transporting crates to a Selmunett  for IL-Kataniz- delivered this morning along with two individuals: Dentach (physically impressive who carries a great sword) and Peren (a functioning alcoholic who wears a holy symbol of Neptune with lapel emblems of Mercury and Mars) both are trainers recognized from IL-Kataniz. They supervise the transportation of the crates and carry a message from IL-Kataniz who finds no indication we are wanted in Paola.

Dentach The Large was born on Selmunett island, suggests taking a half day determining the disposition of some of the smaller islands scattered around Selmunett and not dock on the main island but instead use the bridges to get to the main island. He laments that no one leaves a ship unattended for long and that change is the only constant on Selmunett. We desire a variation of flags in our port, a place with no obvious power broker. Lex asks about the debtor’s prison and is told of dangerous tunnels that lead to the prison that is 40-50 feet underground and that some people could be hired to locate individuals in the prison.

Dentach brings up the necromancers explaining two groups of cabals that operate on the island; one group traffics in body parts and the other vile group, cultist of the mother of dragons, are fond of sacrifices to raise dark and horrible undead (or worse). Several mage cabals can raise and fall from power. Finally, each casino has a special trade each will traffic in anything and anything can be wagered. Our characters bring up the former Egyptian thrall ‘the Hunter’ that operates out of the Boffa family, but what’s disturbing Dentach states, is the Hunter’s use of the Egyptian harness that utterly controls the wearer and removes all free-will forfeiting their soul.

Dragon Cultist
(planning footnote) On our way back our intention is to travel to Ghallis Rock with the hopes of meeting  Naxxzr before returning to Bugibba.

Late in the evening Sciortino arrives under cover of darkness and his hood to hide his race from the rank and file dock hands; he comes to the Bonded Mind with libations, cigars and deep sea fishing gear, hopeful for fishing trade. Also in the late hours individuals comprising of rat men, crab men who offer their services to the Bonded Mind as it is obvious we are getting ready to depart. We politely refuse, in the meantime our characters look forward to a 15 hour sea trip plus a half-day to sail the smaller islands looking for a prime docking berth. About an hour later a message from Garamaldi indicates he will not be accompanying us to Selmunett but informs us he will be at the Gypsy’s Heart or a small room at the Bards College in Paola should our characters come looking for him.

Our characters set up watches for the night- Lete offers to Keep Watch with Marco tag-teaming for the first half of the first watch. It was around 1:30 am when a couple- man and woman, are seen in the dark motioning to our ship and begin to head in the direction of the Bonded Mind. Sven Jarlsson and Meeka introduce themselves and claim to be sent to us by Cian; they are interested in booking passage “north east”. 50 gold one-way, 100 gold round trip per person, no Egyptian gold; Jarlsson goes to retrieve their personal gear while Meeka negotiates with Marco 100 gold; however because we cannot guarantee a round trip Marco offers 75 gold with 25 more if there is a return to Malta. She hands Marco a Ruby of approximate value for payment.

At about 4 am Lete notices several small boats manned by approximately four medium sized individuals, these small boats were not heading towards the Bonded Mind so Lete disregards them; besides that the rest of the night passes uneventful. The next morning the winds pick up as we depart granting us a boon as we leave, as we depart the North Bugibba port we notice a few small overturned boats with holes as if a creature bit through the wood.

Our travel is laborious in the rough waters and for the next three hours we see other ships also toiling on the rough Mediterranean. Jabari takes time with Dentach to get a knowledge skill on Selmunett (local), while Lex and Peren spends time getting to know Sciortino. At the 4 hour mark we all hear a dull thud on the air that seems to spook Peren who fears a hurricane is coming. It is advised we find a rock or small island to hold up. We decide to head north (F2) toward Ghallis rock (4-5 hour away) looking for a safe haven along the way.

Within ten minutes we skirt a reef where we can get to a small cove with a cave known to some of the crew and a short time later find ourselves out of the direct path of the hurricane. Peren feels someone has angered the sea gods but our successful escape bodes well for us: the boom was ‘leviathans warning’. Within a half hour the winds and rain set in, the worst since leaving Malta. The crew maintains the Bonded Mind as well as Jabari and Carlo, Dentach and Peren. The remaining characters lead everyone else safely to the cave. Marco guides a small craft into the cave after producing some sunrods where our characters discover two smaller wrecked crafts. Sounds indicate we are not alone… gnolls.

In the end one gnoll surrendered and was ordered to bind up his surviving companions (6 survivors) as the storm rages on. Each of them carry potions and had armor nearby, their flind-bars are masterwork and some possessed four magical rings with a feather etched into each of the bands; 8 CMW potions and an expeditious retreat, 8 masterwork breastplates and a total of 40 daggers. Evagara detects something strange in the back of the cave where a leather cloak of the manta ray has been buried.

We begin next week’s session at Hurricane Harbor after the hurricane. We are awarded 500 xp.