Thursday, April 26, 2018

Malta Session 34: 04/25/2018 Tunnel to Otherwhere, Releasing the Mythic, and the Black Druid

We begin this week’s session at the Boxer’s safe house after our looting of the Church of Otherwhere, at around 2 in the afternoon ready to make steps toward our next objective: looking to ensure the safely or discover the status of Nogamon. Before we depart Paola our characters visit the Bonded Mind to have Ahumm channel sweet divine energy to heal the injured from the battle earlier in the day.

Jabari tables the idea that our characters travel by horseback. Towards this end the first ranch our characters visit finds the ranch with a surplus of horses and the ranch manager offers to sell us each an equipped horse for 25 g. each. With that task completed we exit Paola bound for the Black Druid’s grove.
Dragon Stylized Armor

A short time later our characters are hailed by individual with a few words of warning. He tells of some individuals he and his spotted earlier. At the time they didn’t think was odd at first, until he was off the path where, in a copse of trees, encounters a posed (laid out) suit of dragon stylized armor affixed with an obvious officer marking on it. He goes on to explain this were spooked their group and decided to just leave the area- indicating back where the copse of trees and the armor was found. It was a passing conversation on the road; though we tell them briefly what has happened in Paola and to go to the Bard’s College for more information.

Intrigued about the discarded armor we follow the traveling man’s directions. Not long after Lermang, who is ranging about, finds a largish black feather confirming we are on the trail. Eventually we find the suit of armor in the shadows of the trees as well as numerous discarded feathers and varied tracks near what looks like a tunnel in the ground at the center of the copse of trees. Some of our group intuits that it must lead to the doors at the Church of Otherwhere.

Lex and Lermang slide down the opening to investigate further while the rest of us watch for a possible ambush. About 50 feet in Lex and Lermang find a spiral descent as well as some stored supplies (a barrel of gunpowder and a barrel of rum), a (fire-trapped) locked chest as well as map of the surface features of Malta (the map indicated a city circled in red with a tunnel line connecting: Rebet). The two heroes take steps to move the barrels and chest carefully out of the tunnel.

With everyone at a safe distance Lex bypasses the fire trap and discovers a brace of 8 potions of fly (markings indicated they are from IL-Kataniz) and several folded women’s dresses. Four coils of silk rope, a rope of Knots; 2 trade flags/banners from Birzebbuga and Xaghra; a ship captain’s diary written in a personal short hand of his attempts at looking for Ghallis rock (though not successful, it eliminated other rocks however in coordinates G1 & 2)); as well as a variety of six ID badges.

It was late afternoon when we continue on, Lermang hiding our tracks behind us as we take a direct route towards our destination. Along the way the terrain changes, taking on a blighted quality with breaks in the ground with wilted, chocked foliage. Eventually we come to a break between two hills and notice several breaks in the hills akin to cave openings. Here snake and scorpion hazards become more numerous. Our characters decide to dismount at this time and lead the horses in the event the horses get spooked.
The Black Druid

We are not surprised as a carpet of scorpions file out of caves in the hills while coming from over the top of one of the hills is an armed gnoll who howls out to others from the opposite hills. A 12 long creature moves out, like a dual action scorpion, an Ommoth. Then from the opposite hill- a bronze skinned scorpion-folk. But as the combat progressed swarms of scorpions come upon us; we eventually fight off the gnoll and kill the creatures.

Our characters continue on to find a gnoll encampment around the low mountain that contains ash trees- reminiscent of the Black Druid’s symbol. We learn later the tree is the Black Druid; it had help from several gnoll savages, giant wasps and bees, dire bats and a gnome and troll druid.  At the end of the session our characters were victorious.

We begin next session moments after the battle with the Black Druid and its minions.  

Monday, April 23, 2018

Malta Session 33: 04/19/2018 "Heroes of the Bonded Mind Have Returned to Restore Truth"

We begin this week’s session at the Boxer safehouse in Paola resting up after two hours of battelilng for our collective lives during a battle between Tiamat and the aboleth Jailer; then being expelled from the portal (now destroyed) at the Seven Churches district. Marco and Evagara, now even more connected, enjoy water breathing on their matching rings; Evagara now capable of Bonded Mind; and all of us mythic in status.

For the first few hours it is hard to completely relax when we learn of the steady flood of deep sea water that continues to threaten the low-lying areas of Paola; it was prudent to stay alert for a possible city wide evacuation. But after a couple hours the Boxers watch the water recede and finally it was time for our characters to rest. Carlo, while resting, feels a telepathic scream while the rest of us hear all manner of chaos outside.

When our characters, along with Ahumm, Lermang and Evagara, awaken about twelve hours later we our characters see the safe house is fuller with more people and equipment. It is about 8 in the morning. Some of these newcomers claim of have seen strange creatures: drauger, hippocampus, sea hags, disturbing descriptions of a winged man with a rictus wooden mask; they describe a battle with a gibbering mouther, several flying manticores, and finally three individuals people thought were injured people would then transform into warerats.

In regards to IL-Kataniz, Wally suspects Chomson betrayed IL-Kataniz explaining Chomson’s odd trade connection with the Black Druid. Nevertheless Tiamat Inquisitors were seen in Zebbug and assumes IL-Kataniz; Chomson was a known trader with tengu.

We leave about midmorning disguised, first heading toward Borg house. Along the way our characters see first-hand the damage and the looting that occurred throughout the night. We hear with delight the Bard College has reopened and have organized a relief effort.

We also hear how most people are angry with the Seven Churches. Lex takes this opportunity to cultivate this hatred and color our character as heroes. Cian has been restored status. And awating their fate there are callers for a People’s Trial captured are high priest Kassok, Rudjek. Two individuals that look like the Aldus; on that came through the portal and another that was captured later. Zallas is missing. An individual, who claims to be here by request for the Finnish church was known to have come back through the portal.

Most people in the city feel like they’ve been lied to their entire lives. Even people who were never on trial just sent through the portal had come back to fuel the insulted folk. These people are upset with the Dragon church, the Babylonian, and the church of Otherwere mostly. Closer to the docks we learn the rush of water from the portal created a break in the Egyptian ship blockade. Cian is well spoken for as he was not part of the Seven Church’s charade.

When we arrive at the Borg house our characters find it borded up and after a key knock at the right place we are led in. We find they are tending 4 individuals that were sent through the portal. Two of the individuals have horrible tentacle sucker wounds and unseen physiological wounds. They complain of the physic intrusions from the night before, but Carlo reassures them the jailer is dead. Initially they are overjoyed  and realize they don’t have to be as secretive in the future since they are no longer being hunted by the aboleth. The Borg do not have any news for us and have taken it upon themselves to care for these 4 survivors.

Carlo asks about the occupation and is told they came about two weeks ago; they shut down the Bard College while the inquisitors canvased the city looking for our characters and pirates. Many people believed what they were being told. There is concern for Nogamon as he has not been seen since before these events.

Our characters get to the docks and find many ships on fire, the Bonded Mind is docked and not on fire and hear that many around here boarded hastily and attempted to flee Paola. When the riots reached the docks the violence spread to two Egyptians ships as well as the prisoner transport ship. There are signs at certain berths that say ‘NO EGYPTIANS’, ‘No Crows’, or ‘Paola Only’. There is a universal outcry against the Seven Churches.

Our characters locate a longboat and row out to the Bonded Mind with news from Paola for the crew. Ahumm will remain on the ship to bring it in as our characters talk of finally dropping our disguises and going public at the Bard College. When we get to the Bard’s College we feel again the sensation of being watched and notice the crystal tower has a crack in it.

When our characters arrive we hear that Cian is here helping with the relief effort. When we drop the fa├žade there is a general gladness as we are led to Cian and the severely injured. Along the way we see steps are being taken to see invisibility and foil any magical disguises. Cian, while exhausted, is glad to see us. He shares his experience and tells us the missing priest End'hin is looking over captured priests in a different building; and on a different subject he knows the Aulus that came through the portal is the real Alus. He admits he does not know what the other Aulus is. In the meantime our characters offer Cian some much needed rest.

Checking on the captures priests are Lex, Lete, and Evagara and Marco while the reaming characters tend the wounded. Kassok, Rudjek and the two Aulus’ who are being kept unconscious with the aid of drugs; Kassok and Rudjek are kept unconscious with physical means. The area is kept secret for fear there would be folks trying to kill the captured priests. Besides these individuals there are other clerics and such including some Norse followers including the betraying Meeka, all told there are about 20 prisoners.

Our characters meet End’hin and some four or five rotating bards who are securing the prisoners and an alchemist named Linure who is keeping the prisoners drugged. All looked in order.

We advance eight hours of help at the Bards College Cian finally awakes with the intention of making our statement to the citizens of Paola. He gathered the callers and suggests something akin to the “Heroes of the bonded mind have returned to restore truth.”  We take sustenance as we make plans. Melissa seems excited to see Lete ;)

During the evening meal we are truthful and candid about our experience of the portal and how we were framed for piracy through the night.

We advance to the next morning after a night at the Bard’s College. We meet with Cian who states he wants a week before the people’s trial and second he suspects the churches are likely being looted. He cannot spare anyone but if we need anything it is up to us to seek out healing ourselves.

Our characters decide to head to the Seven Churches to find evidence of damage much of it from mass amounts of ocean water. The dead have been gathered in a pile, all of their valuables gone. The Babylonian temple has been completely looked and set to flame. The Egyptian church looks to be actively being looted with individuals surrounding the church. Some churches, like the green faith and Finnish have not been bothered; the Greek and Roman churches have taken some water damage and has suffered minimal looting. There is a bard guarding the entrance to the Finnish church; the Norse church took water damage as well but no looting. The Otherware temple has attracted a lot of attention but no one will go there, warning us of warerats and other strange creatures.

We decide this will be the church our characters will loot. As we approach we hear the screeches of the tengu as well as a couple of tengu bodies- killed by vicious claws. Our characters begin taking precautions.  That does not however get us out of battleing a murder of crows, an ogre, wererats and WWF. But it did not go well at first and we retreated after the first few seconds of combat, quickly overwhelmed by mythic foes: murders of crows an ogre, a couple of wererats and a werewolf hybrid. In the end it was Carlo and Evagara with the final killing attacks that earned our characters 7th character level, 10,000 gp spending limit and the following random items: minor metamagic +1 spell level (Jabari), +1 shield (Lete), 5 javelins of lightning (Lermang), ring of the grasping grave (Cian), 2nd level wand of CMW 5th CL 50 CH, vest of surgery (Carlo), whip feather token (Jabari), cloak of the scuttling rat (Lermang), helm of comprehend languages and read magic (Evagara), featherstep slippers (Lex).  

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

An Enemy with Honor

Dyroso Casazza

During the vault battle the Inquisitor Dyroso Casazza first noticed the couples matched rings.  Had they not worn rings, the woman’s love of the Italian swashbuckler would have been obvious; she risked her life multiple times to spare his.  Dyroso was impressed with his opponents; these were not thieves, opportunists or murderers.  The group had found an unknown entrance into the vault and Dyroso suspected they were here attempting to save Bugibba’s leader the priestess Kakakombi.   

Outnumbered and outmatched the group of civic heroes was defeated but fought with honor.  The swashbuckler displayed a fighting style Dyroso hadn’t seen since leaving Perugia Agrippa, the Water Dance.  The half elven Inquisitor’s stomach tightened, wondering if it was possible that he was facing an Andrezi?  This changed everything.  Prince Reynaldo Andrezi had provided Dyroso’s family every opportunity.                                               
Bosin the Evoker
Dyroso inserted himself into the middle of the swashbuckler’s capture, hiding his concerns under a guise of greed.  The defeated group had been recognized by Dyroso’s companions as the “pirates” the Egyptians hunted and the Babylonians coveted.  Speaking with the Evoker Bosin, he proposed separating the captured heroes to prevent rescue attempts and assure their delivery to Paola where they would certainly be finely rewarded.  Bosin agreed with Dyroso’s plan, warning Dyroso that the couple was the half elf’s responsibility.   Dyrosos Casazza may not be able to spare them a trial in Paola but he would make sure the Swashbuckler and his mate’s honor were maintained and their valuable possessions returned to them before they faced their fate.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Malta Session 32: 04/11/2018 The Trial, Tiamat Vs. the Jailer, and the Mythic Awakening

We begin this weeks session with Jabari, Carlo and Marco still captured by the invading Egyptians and Tiamat Inquisitors and Lete and Lex being awakened by Tazed, the Gypsy’s Heart chief of security. Tazed hastily gathering the two of us out of our brief slumber and hustling us to back stairs and a different set of clothes; as we do Tazed explains the Gypsy’s Heart is being overrun by ‘the enemy’. We head down to an employee exit and come out to early morning Bugibba and a ring of dragon scaled armored warriors and inquisitors round the Gypsy's Heart. Here Lete and Lex recognize the Zordam the tiefling and Sironu the kitsune.

We approach the perimeter and are intercepted by a couple of dragon armored individuals and after a few tense moments we are allowed to pass and eventually catch up with Lermang at a safe distance from the GH. Our immediate goal is to make contact with Lex’s contacts in Paola… the Boxers; and Lete’s contact with the Borg House.

It takes about an hour for Lex and Lete to get out of Bugibba taking routes to stay unnoticed. In doing so we see the Sumerians rousting followers of Dispater along with a vast amount of people heading to Mosta, Naxxar or some other small community elsewhere; eventually the throng of people spread out south of Bugibba.

As we approach the unwelcoming town of Naxxar, we are acknowledged by the tree guards and see with delight the group foiling our tracks as we pass by. A half hour later we find the Halfling village and encounter a Halfling named Cookie who tells us it safe to stay here. After some conversation he explains there was a stop in the village by a murder of crows looking for our characters. The halflings did not have any useful information for the tengu. The group mentioned crimes of piracy and active groups contesting for our characters. Lex and Lete give Cookie the cliff-notes version of how the leadership of Malta are being replaced with Tiamat sympathizers. This completely misses the Halfling but we do learn that Cian is being tied to us and the enemy has captured Sven.
On a different subject they have not seen the old centaur Nogamon in a time (since our characters told him about the Black Druid) and the Egyptians went in that direction about a week ago. He also indicates that the bard college in Paola is closed, confirming what we heard from Metas.

We end up taking Cookie up on his hospitality and rest, meaning to enter Paola in the cover of night. We depart around 5 in the evening but not before Lermang purchases a healer’s kit; the beginning of a plan.

In Paola we pass through the archways and moments later Lex is signaled and guided along to the Golden horn. We encounter Charlie and brief him on recent developments. Charlie tells us what he knows, much of it we already knew or suspected. Charlie says the safehouse near the Bard's College is still safe but admits he does not know how the Egyptians are deploying their search. Cian is under house arrest and is expected to walk the plank with us. Other churches want our character’s tried fairly, but it is the Egyptians who have a hard-on for our characters. Do learn that Kassok in fact leans with this line of thought of a fair trial and adherence to the ways of the Seven Churches. 

Lex, Lete, and Lermang learns that the other Boxers are spread out in order to find Lex. Lex tells him to find the others and try to find out where the other characters are and meet up at the safe house...

Later, at the safe house near the Bard College, the other Boxers arrive one by one with random items and weapons- donations toward our cause. While here our characters learn of two other safe houses in Dingle and Sannat. Last to arrive is the leader Paulie and confirms the Bonded Mind was brought into docks with crew being taken to the Seven Churches. No mention of the Sea Scale or mention of our missing characters but we can assume they have been brought to Paola as well. 

Several bards have been summoned, so an official proclamation is about to be made. Lex tells them where we’ve been in the past month, specifically the magic we got from Naxxar- magic lost with the capture of the other characters. Paulie does not believe such avoidable measures to be effective. We learn Garamaldi has disappeared; we tell them where our characters last saw the man. They don’t know the status of IL-Kataniz.
Egyptian Representation of Tiamat
Paulie would like to try some spells in preparation for walking the plank, it was suggested the possibility of turning ourselves in an 11th hour display of solidarity for our characters.

We rest while the Boxers fan out across the city to learn what they can on the trial.

The next day, around 10 am we begin to hear bards call out the trial of the pirates and in some areas our character’s names are specified; the trial is at dusk today. We wait and load up into a wagon the Boxers have arranged to get Lete and Lex closer to the much anticipated trial.

Meanwhile as far as Jabari, Marco and Carlo are concerned they just arrived to Paola just hours ago and have been deemed guilty and awaiting the sentencing of the plank hours before the public 'trial' spectacle; all of their possession in Marco’s magical bag thanks to an Italian infiltrator honoring longstanding Italian family traditions.

Outside, a sham trial is performed for the benefit for the crowd. But the site of Cian somewhat crucified does not sit well with the populace inciting an unfavorable reaction.

Then at the opportune moment, when no one would speak up for the characters, Lete and Lex reveal themselves in dramatic form; unflinching in the face of the unknown. Lermang meaning to remain in the crowd with the items from the Boxers and his healing kit in the event of a fighting escape eventually includes himself in surrendering to the fate of the large group. 

Our speech is curt and to the point, earning the ire of Zallas or whoever it is. From the crowd a devious Meeka gives evidence to what happened on Selmunett and our character’s ‘nefarious crimes’ including the assault and murder of several Egyptian citizens; obviously betraying Sven and Cian.

There are others whom we don’t recognize who speak against us but it all comes down to: if the plank proves our innocents there will be a lot to answer for and there would be an investigation.

Next follows a series of dispel magics while our characters are being forced down the plank. Carlo, in his semiconscious state, is the first to encounter the portal at the end of the plank. Cian is next passing through the portal followed by a crowd utterance of GUILTY with each individual who passes through the portal. Jabari next followed by Marco, Evagara, Lermang, Scorintino, Sven, Ahumm, Lex and finally Lete. Each of our characters have a sense of falling then the sudden impact of dark cold salt water. 

The Ancient Portal

We arrive at the end of Tiamat’s attack on the Jailer; our battle is for survival and when the jailer is finally defeated by Tiamat we are thrust back through the portal along with another hundred or so other of the jailer’s prisoners shocking the assembled at the Seven Churches in Malta, leaving the plank/portal destroyed. Our characters gain two Mythic tiers while everyone else who walked the plank including the hundred or so of the jailer's timeless prisoners who were flushed to Paola gained one mythic tier. 

Many of us, save for Carlo, know what was occurring around our characters. Chaos ensues with the new arrivals and the sudden tsunami of water from the portal. We are gathered up by the Boxers and taken, broken and bruised, to the safe house where we begin next game session. 

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Malta Session 31: 04/04/2018 This happened and it didn’t go well…

The game session was mostly combat; early on in the fight Lex was calling for a retreat as we were overwhelmed by dragonic armored warriors, bards, and divine opponents who were expecting Metas and the other Lords of Bugibba. It was a spirited fight but in the waning moments of the fight Marco and Evagara surrender after Jabari was rendered blind and deaf while Carlo was also subdued. Lex and Lete narrowly escape thanks to potions of invisibility and fly potions.

As Lete escapes he locates the Priestess quite by accident and under serious peril. Pausing briefly Lete watches as a tengu attempts to transform its shape into the Priestess Kakakombe. The tengu seemingly tutored by a spellcaster in red: Brudiphan who is better at duplicating the appearance of an individual. While watching Brudiphan also takes the form of Zallas.  Also scattered about are six arcane pods containing some five city leaders the empty one assumed being for Kakakombe.

Lex and Lete, fleeing separately and about a minuet apart, see the remaining characters being taken to custody and overhear their plans of taking the prisoners to Paola to walk the plank. The two characters eventually escape the vaults of Ripae and come out in a public area in the early morning hours. About a minute from Ripae there is obvious activity around the Bank. It takes a bit but Lex and Lete eventually meet up at the Dog Park and proceed to the Gypsy’s Heart to take a room. About an hour later Lermang arrives as the two characters wait for Metas and the others to become aware of the night's failure.

For the others, the unconscious characters are left as they are while the others are blindfolded, restrained and placed on litters and carried around for about a half-hour eventually encountering fresh air and loaded onto a ship.


Monday, April 2, 2018

Malta Session 30: 03/28/2018 Return to Bugibba, Loaded Down With Plans, and Strange Bedfellows…

When our characters visit the Sea Scale to tutor their crew on language, we have a brief meeting with the Sea Scales’ Captain Sam getting the cliff notes of his origin story.

We begin this week’s session making some preparations on a few characters scouting out Bugibba before our the remaining characters bring the Bonded Mind/Mediterranean Rose and the Sea Scale into port. Our characters decide to split up with Lete, Lex, and Carlo taking to the night air and sea to look for Metas at the Gypsy’s Heart.

Our plan is if we are not back by the morning tide Jabari would bring the Mediterranean Rose into North Bay.

As we approach, Lete flying as a bat, Captain Carlo Stingray under the waves and Lex flying in his South Bay disguise. When we get closer, it looks like there has been a personnel change in the dock as well as new lanterns installed providing ominous light on the docks.

We get to the docks and get a better looks at the guards; some of them have a Sumerian symbol while others possess Babylonian symbols. One a priest and the other an inquisitor. As Lete looks on in bat form from atop of a lantern pole; Lete inquiries about docking information. They ask where the two hail from, Lex states Selmunett island while one of the guards asks of Carlo his business- very curious about his magic.

Lex asks if Kakakombe is still ruler of Bugibba, and if they operate under her charge. They state that Malta has undergone pirates attacks recently and there has been some high stakes activity at sea. These men state they are simply posted to guard against that.

Our characters leave and head towards South Bay to speak with the locals. They say, while dangerous, there is still a viable option to get a ship into Bugibba without the overt inspection by the new priest and inquisitors: Mellieho Bay north of here is where some have gone where cargo can be ferried into Bugibba.

When asked further about the change here on the docks they inform us that ten days ago forces arrived and swept through Bugibba looking for something, leaving behind forces and taking over 2 vacant embassies in Ripae: a defunct trading coster from Carthage and the other a empty Spanish embassy.

Eventually we head to meet up with Metas where Lete is recognized by a local from the Dog Park who also express displeasure of the new residents of the city. The individual tells us in a knowing way to head to the Gypsy’s Heart and the Giraffe’s Respite.

Once Lex, Lete, and Carlo arrive we immediately notice the Gypsy’s Heart is not rotating like it has been in the past. Almost immediately we are approached by Tazed and ushered through security passages and eventually a dumbwaiter that will take us to where we wish to go. Lete repays the security leader with a potions of CLW as gratitude. 

Up the dumbwaiter to an otherwise unreachable den were Metas, Rayit, Bohinest (owner), Lyeadaldbelo (Johnny Cash), they are all gathered around a map. At first they are startled until Metas notices Lex, To break the tension Lete presents his battalion coin to Lyeadaldbelo and we soon invited into the palaver.

The comely Rayit immediately asks the status of the rest of our party, namely Jabari. Our characters reassure her he as well as our companions are well. We are introduced to the individuals present and proceed to inform Metas that Addelmy stayed on Ghallis Rock to care for children and Esterhat are both well but not with us.

He expresses he gratitude and moves to tell us the current events. He states that unfortunately he believes items in Ripae are being tracked and our characters are being hunted by the Seven Churches. The Egyptinas have the seas from Payola to Birzebbuga and the Sumerians from Valletta to Bugibba. The Egyptians have labeled us criminals, pirates, and thieves. “Well, we did free a lot of slave children and killed their Hunter.”

These individuals have been sowing misinformation about our characters to the new religious visitors to get them off our characters trail. We ask about Garamaldi and when last Metas knew Garamaldi was also spreading misinformation on our characters. In Paola, because of the power of the seven churches, many people have succumbed to the church’s heavy handed rule. Even the College is not what it once was.

We inform the assemblage that we believe Zallas to be at the head of it all- we do not believe her to be human. Lyeadaldbelo believes Kakakombi to be held in a lower vault in Ripae. Rumor is IL-Kataniz has been arrested.

Lex, Lete and Carlo inquire about the map of old tunnels under Ripae, and learn Bohinest is concerned about his investments, Fire Captain Lyeadaldbelo (Johnny Cash) is concerned about the integrity of the city and whether Kakakombi is in fact being held. If we could free the high priestess, people would react favorably against the Sumerian priests and inquisitors. Lex hints at a passage into Ripae but it would come at a great price (like a full pardon for Ta’Tabibu).

Lyeadaldbelo marks Lete’s Friends of the Battalion Coin and says to show the coin to the fetchling Ta’Tabibu and if he aids our characters in freeing the High Priestess, he will grant the fetchling a full pardon. While we do that, these heroes of Bugibba will marshal forces to move when we free Kakakombi.

Rayit speaks and says that since the first night the church forces arrive Hatkim has not been seen and to be on the look out for the elven wizard.

We ask about a safe dock and, as before, our characters are given the Mellieha Bay as an alternative.

After this meeting we immediately and without incident return to the Mediterranean Rose to debrief the remaining characters and formulate a plan.
Ta' Tabibu

First, contact Ta' Tabibu and show the fetchling the Friends of the Battalion Coin and get him to reveal the secret passage into Ripae for a full pardon granted by the Fire Captain Lyeadaldbelo. With that information we have a slim chance at freeing the high priestess.

Our characters, along with Lermang, decide to take a long boat to the treacherous South Bay. When we arrive we are suddenly aided by unknown creatures under the water through the rough currents of Floating Death. When we beach, two wet ratfolk come out of the water and are immediately rewarded by Jabari with a small sack of coin. They direct us to an overturned ramshackle hull where an ogre and several other figures emerges. They ask our business.

Lex asks for Ta' Tabibu and we are told to wait. Feeling exposed on the beach we eventually hear a woman’s voice as well as the source walking along the water. Her shape is beautify however her face it not. She says what we seek is dangerous for the right price. We come with a message from the city as strange times call for strange bedfellows… They ask us to leave something behind; Lermang bravely volunteers to stay and Marco leaves the “VH” rapier behind.

Our characters return to our longboat where the ratfolk guide us blindfolded to where we assume Ta' Tabibu to be. About a half hour we feel slight collision as our long boat makes contact with an invisible boat. Our characters look up and find beastmen looking down upon us. Jabari announces us before we climb through an invisibility sphere and aboard a ship filled with tieflings, fetchlings, an ogre and a white haired Minotaur.

Trulkin the minotaur speaks and tells us Ta' Tabibu is actually expecting our characters, with that Trulkin stomps on the deck with a single cloven hoof singling to Ta' Tabibu. Moments later Ta' Tabibu's presence shakens Jabari as he realizes Taboo’s sorcerous bloodline is undead. Ta' Tabibu seems anxious to see what our character’s could possibly offer him. Lex/Atemis speaks up and states we are privateers speaking on behalf of the city and begins explaining our plan to free the High Priestess and rid the Bugibba of the foreign religious element.

Ta' Tabibu states there are 12 main vaults that hold a variety of treasures, the vault we seek is under those- the “old vault” and Ta' Tabibu's means of entry pass very near that old vault. One passage is even guarded by a unrestful spirit. In return for guiding our characters to the entrance Ta' Tabibu will accept the pardon as well as the contents of vault #3. We tell him that the contents of vault #3 will have to be negotiated between him and the individuals we represent.

Taboo takes time to consider, leaves briefly and returns with a sealed scroll tube. What is on this scroll is not negotiable: it was a list of specific requests to Bohinest.

With the negotiations completed we depart on the longboat along with Ta' Tabibu, blindfolded again and lead by the ratfolk. A short time later we come to an underwater shipwreck where we are instructed to descend into the water and find where the hull of the ship pierces the ground. It is here we will find a tunnel leading to the secret passage and beyond to the Undervault of Ripae.

Lex thanks the fetchling with a hand shake and formal introductions are finalized. We also learn the spirit’s name is Torquecha.

Not long after Ta' Tabibu departs Jabari casts air bubble on our characters as we head into the hull of the shipwreck and the murky water. Below the water we encounter floating cadavers and a half hour of underwater searching. Eventually we find the opening and pierce the water's surface in the tunnel and after what seems like an hour of irregular travel all while taking scrapes and minor injuries, the passage gradually rises and our characters find ourselves at the space Ta' Tabibu warned us about. While we do not encounter a spirit, our characters do hear a mariners song; lamenting the loss of favor of a sea god.

We come to an area of the passage that is somewhat blocked. Jabari and Evagara summon elementals to clear out for easier passage and soon we find ourselves in the framework of the lower vaults and begin hear the sounds of a small group of humanoids, one in what looks like dragon scale armor, the other a robed individual and one unseen individual. 

We defeat these three quickly just before more combatants join the fray...