Monday, October 30, 2017

Aello Angelopoulos

One year ago, as Spring broke across the Mediterranean ...

The warm morning sun was rich with the aroma of flowering trees and budding olives.  The markets of Thebes were bustling, for this marked the final week of loading for the market fleet that was headed for Malta. The streets were filled with poets, singers, musicians, courtesans, young lovers, and old couples. Mules and oxen pulled wagons, goats were herded with their lambs around the walled estates, and spring chickens ran amok, all pouring in from the villages that dotted these Grecian plains.

As he breathed deeply through his prodigious nose, Alexander was filled with excitement as he took in the vernal panorama of the great city of Thebes. It had been a good winter of study to be sure, but the young agent was eager to return to Ghallis Rock. He mused over his beautiful mentor, his teacher of the past winter. She bore all the assets of classic Greek beauty, with eyes that sparkled and she always bore the scent of lilac on a gentle breeze that ever rifled through her shoulder length raven black tresses. Ahhh, he sighed to himself.

Aello Angelopoulos stepped lightly down the stairs of her family's manor house of their Thebes Estate. Though most of her family's holdings were an ancestral island just off shore in the Mediterranean Sea, this estate was her favorite place, and she made it her home. In her left arm she cradled a book to her side. In her right, she clenched her grip about the top of a fine silk bag, gathered  and tied with a thin silk rope at the top.  Behind her, a couple house slaves followed bearing wine, sweet breads and cheese.

She loved the city, and especially loved it as summer approached. The enchantress was a hopeless romantic and every summer she dreamed of adventures and heroes that sailed, and fought, and loved. Part of her love of Thebes revolved around the community of The Arts and Philosophy. Another was her fondness of the silks and seamstresses of the city. But mostly it was the cosmopolitan make up of its citizens that enthralled her. Athenians, Spartans, Italians, Persians, even Egyptians all were populus in the city.  In addition to the great social variety, it made her own racial traits much less conspicuous. As a sylph, her bloodline ran exceptionally strong in her, and her djinni features greatly enhanced her beauty and grace. But here in Thebes, whispers were limited to wondering where she got "her Persian from" .

She smiled warmly as she welcomed Alexander's embrace in her courtyard. They spoke happy goodbyes, and she wished her winter lover a safe voyage to home waters. She handed him the book and said "for your master". As she passed him the bag she said "for you". He smiled and kissed her warmly as he hande to her a set of matched jewelry that included a ring, a necklace, and two ear rings, all set with alternating emeralds and diamonds. They lingered for a few moments before he returned to his carriage, bound for the ship that would leave on that afternoons tide. She watched the carriage leave, and it was almost out of sight before she warmed herself with a daydream about her upcoming summer love.

Malta Session 11: 10/25/2017 The 21st Survivor, Relocating the Bonded Mind, and An Idol to Tefnut

The Bonded Mind
Our session begins with the gladiator Lete stopping by the bard college and Melissa Mithna to check on the status of his new armor to be engraved, only to find out she has not been seen since the opera the night before. Her mother in fact asks the gladiator to have Melissa contact her as soon as possible. The meeting was short but when Lete leaves, he does so with the feeling of being watched.

Jabari meanwhile moves the Bonded Mind within sight of the Paola docks to hopefully identify their friend Lete when he finally comes looking for the ship. This merits onlookers to note the ‘new’ ship coming into Paola.

Meanwhile Lex postulates a plan to the characters: author two messages, one to Wassier and the other to the Church of Tiamat (to be delivered by Lex himself disguised as a messenger). The goal is to put our greatest two annoyances at odds; the message to Wassier would convey our displeasure with our dealing for the GemCutter revealing our knowledge of CSA and the Grey Warriors; Wassier possibly being responsible for these teams coming after us on the Bonded Mind. And a message to the church of Tiamat exposing Wassier to the heist of the GemCutter to hopefully put our enemies against us.

Back in the city as Lete walks to the docks the gladiator earns 6 silver by helping with minor tasks taking his time along the brisk streets of Paola’s docks, but when Lete eventually arrives he notices the Bonded Mind is gone from its berth.

It was Jabari and Carlo who first spotted Lete on the docks outside the city; however the gladiator could not see the ship in the glare of the morning sun. With few options Lete returns to the area of the docks where the Bonded Mind was originally docked to look for the ship there.

Meanwhile on the Bonded Mind, Lex is penning his two letters while Jabari gathers a few key magic scrolls, preparing the row boat to get to the docks rather than docking the ship. Marco and Evagara decide to stay with the ship; Carlo, Jabari (now wearing different outfit), and Lex (in disguise as the 21st Survivor) row to Paola.

As they arrive the characters realize there is an air of benevolence as word of our heroics (saving 20 sailors) has quickly spread. The characters arrive just as Lete was about to give up and head to Garamaldi’s; it is here our characters reunite and exchange information while Lex set in motion his plan.

First, Lex passes off the message to Wassier to another messenger paying double (1 gp.) to have it delivered. Then Lex looks into ways to get a message to merchant prince named Ffahra Ffahra and the Church of Tiamat.

While Lete and Carlo say at the courtyard Lex walks the path to the Church of Tiamat. The path to the church is lined with lifelike stone carvings leading up to a magnificent dragon statue. The church building itself is very similar to the other 6 churches however Lex is quick to note this church has the least amount of activity. Gargoyles are seen perched around the uneasy scene.

The rest of us wait outside the grounds at ease believing Lex was going to the Egyptian Church. Inside the church of Tiamat Lex happens across a man and a woman in coitus; Lex recognizes the woman as Melissa Mithna before she flees the scene, embarrassed; but then at last Kasok, the man after pulling up his trousers approaches Lex and offers to take the offered message to Ffahra Ffahra.
Tiamat Don't Got Time Fo Dat. 

Messenger Lex waits for a response and patiently, casually looks around. At first glance Lex notices this is the most nonreligious ‘temple’ Lex has ever seen; dragon iconography is prevalent but many typical ceremonial items of a true church are absent, although there are areas that are being reinforced to accommodate heavy loads. Eventually Kasok comes back with no response but is paid 1 gp for a job well done.

When Lex goes to leave about a minute later he passes a group of stonemasons and laborers that note Lex’s passage as odd coming from the church of Tiamat.

We meet back up at the row boat and make arrangements to move the Bonded Mind to a new dock later that night; meanwhile we check up on our old berth outside the city. Walking separately our characters will see an individual publicly watching the comings and goings between the two dock areas. Once there Carlo and Jabari see two grey warriors keenly looking out toward the water; Lete notices a very well hidden individual wearing a black headdress watching our old berth (possibly a tengu). Lete immediately alerts the other characters who turn around and head back to the city. Lex continues with his messenger disguise looking for a message to retrieve on a nearby ship so he doesn’t attract suspicion. Meanwhile Lete maintains guarded stance and is the last to exit this area of the docks.

A short time later our characters find themselves back on the Bonded Mind it is around 9 am day 11 to get some rest setting a usual watch until 6 in the evening as the sun begins to wane. We successfully dock the Bonded Mind and refocus our attention on the chests that are still locked in the hold.

After our period of rest Lex brings up his contact Paulie and leaves the Bonded Mind to check in with a contact in the city guard ‘Charlie’ to find Lex’s associate. Lex eventually finds Charlie at a guard shack, he informs Lex that many people from the docks have been talking of a pirate who has brought in a war galleon. No one knows the pirate’s intentions but word from Gozo indicates that the ship was spotted NW of the island. Our characters may have actually seen this war galleon and saved some if its victims. Charlie tells Lex that Paulie can be found at the Golden Horn tavern, a tavern owned by Charlie’s very own uncle. The Golden Horn, a neighborhood establishment, is named for Charlie’s uncle who is an Italian horn player.

Outside the Golden Horn is a statue of a bronze boot appearing of being partially filled with coin; inside is a stage flanked with two real boots for tipping performers. The two story structure proved inviting and relaxed. We are soon accosted by a bartender who insists a round of ‘founders shots’ is necessary for the new guests. Jabari moves to tip the bartender and is directed to the boots to facilitate that and notices the boots bear a number of Roman religious symbols. Jabari receives a blessing after saying a brief word of reverence to Neptune.

Meanwhile Marco will exercise his performance skill telling a story of five simple lads and the two ogres retelling our characters encounter with the tobacco hill ogres. Suddenly an individual sits at the party’s table, an individual appearing quite like Aulus, who greets us in Italian he introduces himself as Farlie and states Paulie will return in short time and that Paulie speaks highly of Lex. Lex asks him directly if he was at the Church of Mercury two days ago impersonating Aulus. A response came to Lex as a lie. Lex explains how he believes he is being set up; to which Farlie responds he is sometimes mistaken for Aulus.

Carlo recognizes some sailors and some familiar faces in the establishment as well as priest- Cian of the Norse the minister of Frey. Eventually Paulie, looking a bit haggard, arrives and sits at the group’s table and asks, “If you steal something that was already stolen, is that stealing?” Lex answers “depends on who’s asking.”

Paulie begins by saying several months ago there were two ships in dock were constantly at odds. They were moved several times and both claimed to contain the same thing: a unique and valuable statue. The point is that one of the groups walked the plank and Paulie was looking for their hidden treasure but was too late the other group got there first and now the treasure is well guarded in a house close to here. He knows several members of this group left this safe house and headed to the docks, Paulie believes we must move quickly to hit the house and steal the stolen goods while their numbers are low. Lex mentions the locked chests to which Paulie responds that once this heist is completed Lex should have enough to pay Wally to deal with them.

Pauie leads our characters through Paola to a property as big as a city block where twenty individuals normally guard, however their numbers seem diminished to half that. It’s about 8:30 in the evening; Lex hands out simple blacks masks for our characters. As we approach we see a woman depart on a carriage leaving the door to the house ajar. We cautiously approach and when Lex opens the door we encounter an old Italian man who is very surprised to see us- he was not alone, in the house are crates ready to be moved as well as a group of well-equipped individuals.

We eventually prevail as some of them surrender after felling a few of them. We assure healing is applied to the injured and subdue the remaining hostiles all Carthaginians. The women we witnessed leaving where Agatha and Sarista arranging the delivery to the ship the Lisbon, they are the wife and daughter of Zabbar the pirate king.

Tefnut
Paulie moves and opens a crate containing an Egyptian golden idol of Tefnut of one of the Egyptian pantheon. (Tefnut is a goddess of moisture, moist air, dew and rain in Ancient Egyptian religion. She is the sister and consort of the air god Shu and the mother of Geb and Nut)

To our characters this indicates a set of idols representing each major Egyptian deity. The other crates, some contain jewelers boxes with uncut gems much of it is plunder from different ships gold, gems or magic up to 2.000 each (handy haversacks) plus a random roll (ring of spell knowledge II (Marco); ring of climb/athletics (Lete); +2 weapon (Carlo); +1 weapon (Lex); 3rd level wand CL5 fully charged (Jabari)) as well as a potion of CLW and CMW each including Paulie and Evagara. Lete found a haversack that wasn’t empty: a map detailing a route seaport in Egypt and Korinthos in Greece including a stop in Malta including tide and navigational notes as well as another map has scrawled at the top ‘Tac-Cawl’ and looks like a pirates treasure map.

Paulie asks if Lex wants to invest into a safe house and proposes a location on the College Grounds. Lex agrees. Then our characters ask Paulie about Wally and learn Wally has a place in the Bards College. Our characters ask what would another Egyptian statue be worth? Paulie places the value is compared to the cost of a ship. As to finding Wally- he’s originally Zebbug and is popular in the city and shouldn’t be hard to find. In Zebbug our characters will want to deal with IL-Kataniz directly, he will help fence arms and armor. Then Lex shows Paulie the wolf’s head ring; Paulie’s reaction was plain to see. Paulie’s understanding is there’s some necromancer slave masters who control the spirits of slaves (the soulless) and the (sprit animal) ring is tied to that end.

In three days we arrange to meet Paulie at the Golden Horn to move another golden Egyptian statue, indicating to Paulie we are entertaining offers to improve our situation. We return to the Bonded Mind (Jabari identifies the last remaining magical amulet (made of a dragon scale) as an amulet of natural armor +1

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

The Old Man from the Sea

Stewart-Halfling
Stewart had taken to tending to the old man whose wounds appeared to be both physical and mental, his sleep assaulted by nightmares.  For several weeks the Old Man hardly moved.  Stewart spent most of his time convincing the ship captain that they were not inviting death and disease aboard The Waterhawk by saving the old man.   The truth was the Halfling wanted to know all he could about this old man that somehow lived through the jailer’s prison and felt he owed it to a fellow survivor to give his best.  Somewhere around the sixth week The Captain informed Stewart that if the old man wasn’t at least conscious by the time of their first ship moot they would place him in a small boat and leave him to the Sea’s fate.


First the weather began to work in the old man’s favor, turning so bad that their arrival at the moot was delayed, giving the old man even longer to recover.  When the Waterhawk finally arrived at the moot Stewart thought he had failed the old man, whose only communication had been mad ravings during his nightmares.  The Captain and his crew were quick to begin their introductions to the other ships, the old man briefly forgotten but Stewart knew he was down to his last hours.  Looking down at the old man Stewart wondered why he couldn’t just think him awake.  The Halfling fell over backwards in shock when the old man opened his eyes  staring at Stewart a moment before croaking out, “Water…who..where are we? MY Amulet! Where is it!?”

Malta Session 10: 10/18/2017 Carlo Generates Enease and a Night of Romance for Everyone Else.

We begin this week’s session about 4 in the afternoon on day 10 by planning a celebration of our completed and profitable quest of retrieving the GemCutter with an evening at the Opera house. Towards this end, Marco sets out to spend some funds including wearing his newly purchased formal attire and a horse drawn carriage to do it up right; even Evagara, is stunningly beautiful in her new formal gown and accessories. Jabari decides to stay behind however and wait for word from his sponsor Loshe. 

As the remaining characters set out to the Bard College Lete observes various city folk around the docks noting our passage eliciting whispers regarding our group. Marco however notices Country Strong Alex associating with an exotic tiefling or half elf and a human, a Carthaginian, as our characters walk by. Lex breaks from the group to watch Alex as the rest of the characters continue to the Bard’s College to obtain a suitable carriage.

Once at the College our characters learn to out delight there’s a preview of the show as well as delicacies and drink prepared by bards from the college. Various forms of expression home brews, pastries, art and song are rendered for the attendees. As Marco and Evagara are shown a variety of services, Lete takes on the role of body guard of the couple; Carlo attends as a simple observer. After some time, a regal looking couple approach Marco and Evagara…

Back near the Bonded Mind, Lex is following Country Strong Alex but with the Bonded Mind technically outside Paola so following him would be difficult due to the openness of the area. Lex changes his clothes and happens into a group of sailors; after stealing a few of their articles, Lex moves out to the docks to where Lex believed CSA could be hiding out; Lex acting like a show caller as not to be identified. Eventually Lex finds CSA and others watching the Bonded Mind at three different sentry posts.

Jabari, in the Bonded Mind is spending time examining his new book and organizing the ship making his presence known on the ship appearing quite busy- oblivious of the subterfuge. As this occurs a blue bird delivers a message to Jabari. “You and your friends should come to Zebbug.” the only signature was a symbol found in Jabari's spellbook, a presumed message from Loshe.

Outside, Lex finds an opening and boards the Bonded Mind to reunite with Jabari. The two exchange information and Lex takes over watch on our characters ship and treasure while Jabari plans his next move.

Dom Mintoff
Back at the Opera a regal couple approaches Marco, Evagara, Carlo and Lete…Lord Commander of Paola Dom Mintoff introduces himself to our group; as manservant Lete formally introduces Marco and Evagara. Lord Commander Mintoff states they are in need of another couple for the intermission dance, this news overjoys Evagara.  Carlo generates unease at the social gathering while Lete is recognized as a gladiator. Mintoff asks some questions of Lete’s involvement in the fights and learns the Lord Commander actually manages two fighters, one a half orc; our characters eventually hit it off with Mintoff and he invites our characters to an after party. A short time later our characters are introduced to other friends and nobles before the show. At the opera we are seated in a balcony near the Lord Commander.

Prior to the opera Mintoff announces the intermission dance which is well received by all attendees. The first half of the opera was enjoyed but soon it was time for the dance where the Lord Commander and his wife steal the show- like the bards they are. The show ends in entertaining fashion featuring a sonic trickster around 9 pm.

Back at the Bonded Mind Lex is dawns his armor staying unseen below, while Jabari continues his very observable activity while changing the name of the ship. An exchange between a couple of individuals on the docks prompts Jabari to call up for Lex just in time for Lex to see a dwarf walking away from one of the men seen by Lex watching the Bonded Mind.

Eventually Lex and Jabari hails Country Strong Alex and his companions calling them out and to ask them their business. Jabari invites them aboard and while the pair do approach: the Carthaginian and CSAlex- they decline the offer. They claim they were in fact watching for the Dwarf, that he is trouble and that’s why they sent the Dwarf away. Jabari and Lex are skeptical as CSAlex explains at length we are ‘parked’ in the dwarf’s spot before they leave in hasty fashion. 

Meanwhile there is an hour break between after the opera and ascending to the Lord Commander’s after party. Carlo eventually meets Tal Borg the sonic trickster and are left with the impression the man is a Kineticist, from the Madagascar area, the two speak for a time and at the end of their conversation Carlo is given Tal’s address after Carlo went to great lengths to speak Tal’s language. Lete and Carlo follow up on the address coordinates while Marco and Evagara advance to the Lord Commander’s after party.

After about 10-15 minutes Carlo and Lete find a two story structure converted to a house. Carlo uses an ability to knock the door of ‘Borg House’. Tal answers and invites us in and we find there are three other ‘Borgs’; Elsar (F) a mesmerist, Maas (M) a spiritualist, and Cral (M) fire kineticist. They seem to share a fear of being hunted by draconic agents and Egyptians in general; they confirm Carlo is being hunted.

A short time later Lete and Carlo arrives at the Lord Commander’s abode for a truly fantastic party into the night. Eventually Minton takes Lete to his den and begins to speak about the coming carnival, and a fighting warehouse sporting an impromptu fighting pit in its square center over looked by each level (and fighter) of the warehouse. Qualifying begins three days before the carnival. He offers to manage Lete at 20%/10% for fights outside Paola and gives the address of the Warehouse and “X” who will train Lete.

Lete leaves directly after the meeting with Lord Commander Minton and heads to the Borg to speak to Maas about the truth of reincarnation, fantastic archaeological digs, and seeing dead people- into the early morning hours.

A Grey Warrior Slave
The rest of the characters return the carriage after the party and soon after find themselves near the docks where the characters are soon alerted to the presence of others following them. The characters quickly set up around the Bonded Mind as two grey warriors along with a beardless dwarf ley siege to the ship. The characters soon kill the two warriors and eventually retreat below when the dwarf reveals he can fly around while invisible. 2 masterwork longswords, masterwork full plate, and masterwork composite longbows (+3 STR) with 20 arrows; each marked with Egyptian emblems and slave torcs are recovered from the two grey warriors.

The characters immediately throw the bodies and slave torcs overboard. After an uncomfortable hour passes it will be 4 in the morning and the characters begin to take sleeping shifts. After about a half hour Lex spots a half dozen more grey warriors heading to the Bonded Mind. Conflict renews and after some brilliant telekinesis from Carlo the grey warriors were knocked off their feet and disposed of into the waters. The characters take one prisoner and take the Bonded Mind out to open waters.

Under questioning the prisoner states the ‘Hunter’ owns him; he does not know how many Grey Warriors there are. Where does he stay? “On a Selmunett Rock nearby here.” Tonight he was ordered to take down the spellcasters in this conflict but not to kill us. After the characters are satisfied, the slave along with much of his gear was sent overboard the Grey Warrior’s heavy armor weighing him to the bottom of the ocean.

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.
Gillman

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 Egyptian statue of Anubis. 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.
Evagara

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.