- 1 Our story so far
- 2 Chapter 1: Storm's a brewin'
- 3 Chapter 2: Fight for the World Ship!
- 4 Chapter 3: Cruisin' for a Bruisin'
- 5 Chapter 4: Anyone else feeling... hungry?
- 6 Chapter 5: The Missing Log
- 7 Chapter 6: Kraken v Quack-en
- 8 Chapter 7: Pigboil's School for Wizards.
- 9 Chapter 8: Strange Things are Afoot...
- 10 Chapter 9: Unfinished Business
- 11 Chapter 10: Assault on the Imperial Outpost!
- 12 Chapter 11: What now for Professor Wells?
- 13 Chapter 12: Freedom and Homecoming
- 14 Chapter 13: A Desolate Place
- 15 Chapter 14: What Are YOU Doing here?!
- 16 Chapter 15: Into the Ruins
Our story so far
Chapter 1: Storm's a brewin'
Atalan and Bel'karos were brought together by divine forces to the Holographic Hen, a tavern in the island city of Eluia. Inside, they found a group of shady characters and tricked them into the bathroom. Once there, the group found a passage into some mysterious tunnels. They had a great idea and split up to explore! One group found some monstrous spiders... and almost died. Another group found some dangerous traps... and almost died. The third group found some bandits... and quickly ran away. Eventually reunited, the party returned to the surface to find a terrible hurricane had sprung up, making walking the streets incredibly hazardous. Tied together, they managed to return to the Holographic Hen and learned of raiding parties, unaffected by the winds, kidnapping people. The party found the raiding party's camp on the beach and rescued the captives there. The captives revealed that more raiders were in the city. Our party set off to confront them, following sounds of violence to track the raiders down. After a heated battle, the party realized the remaining raiders would simply return to their camp. So the party went back to the beach to set up an ambush (and take a short rest.) The raiders turned up and were soundly defeated. All the captives were released! Our heroes had received some disturbing information. The raiders were capturing people to take to an island to be sacrificed for a ritual that had summoned the storm that had covered the planet. The ritual was being performed to summon an entity that would unmake the world as we know it. Our group was needed to attack the forces amassed to see this ritual through to its conclusion. We braved the tossing sea in a rowboat, striking out toward the pirate vessel we knew to be moored off the coast. We struggled to stay above the waves, and eventually found the enemy's ship. No method of climbing aboard was apparent, so we attempted to board by climbing a rope attached to a grappling hook. This failed repeatedly despite having the rope secured at both ends. After much frustration, a ladder was eventually discovered at the stern of the ship. Putting it there was surely the pirates' greatest folly, because we never could have all climbed up without it. Aboard the ship we saw no one on the deck, so we began to approach the entrance to the lower decks. An unfortunate clatter roused the pirates who swarmed up the stairs to confront us. The captain was among them, and he was fierce. Battle ensued with our group emerging victorious, if battered. Quip appeared on the deck with a duck in his arms. Thankfully, no one fainted because of this. He explained that he had been summoned to the court of Queen Mab along with other mortals. As a result of the proceedings, he had been given a celestial, immortal duck that could transform into a giant grouper fish. This fish was also a ship, ready for us to use.
Chapter 2: Fight for the World Ship!
The pirates had some form of magical protection from the storms raging overhead, their ship was unaffected. We sailed it to the island where the great siege on the cultists was to take place. Blending in, we were able to approach without challenge until we unleashed our fury on the crews of more pirates defending the island. We captured yet another vessel, this one laden with captives for the sacrifice.
Chapter 3: Cruisin' for a Bruisin'
When the ritual was finally disrupted and the enemy forces were put to flight, we gathered the captives together. Most of them were from the island called Toland, a quiet rural community. They came from a variety of backgrounds and were grateful for their rescue. Some of them could even be persuaded to stay on board to assist us. We devised a clever scheme of outfitting our ship as a pleasure boat, fit to take people willing to pay to "cruise" around various islands. We pictured the rescued captives as being able to provide the amenities these customers would desire while on board. Meanwhile, we could ride along and enter all kinds of territories as the proprietors of this novel business venture. If we found something suspicious, we would have the ability to deploy our celestial duck/grouper vessel to take us into danger while the cruise ship could travel safely. We sailed back to Eluia to sell one of the pirate ships we had acquired. Along the way, we discovered one of the rescued captives had an enormously useful magical ring that she believed simply purified tainted food. She was unwilling to allow it out of her family's possession because it was a family heirloom. Faced with this dilemma, Bel'karos and Kipp conspired to take the ring. Deeply ashamed, Bel'karos assumed the form of the mute Shriek so he wouldn't have to answer for this action. When the we reached Eluia, the party agreed that we would need to replace the ring that had been taken... with a different ring made to look like the original. Quip, Atalan, and Kipp negotiated the sale of the extra pirate ship. Belkaros and Rhys found a magic shop in the marketplace that could enchant a ring to purify food and drink. Shriek visited an apothecary and Mattheus tried (unsuccessfully) to find some company for the evening. We dubbed the pirate ship with a new name: The Voyaging Nico. (The Nico for short) The Nico received a substantial face lift, made to resemble an orca whale with black and white accents. The interior was made to look fancy and the galley was upgraded to provide lavish meals for guests. After a week, we set sail to Toland with our original passengers aboard plus ten paying customers. On the second day of the voyage, we were beset by more pirates! We sent the passengers and crew belowdecks while most of the party deployed in the Chamaeleon. Bel'karos remained on the Nico to watch for other dangers. The pirate ship attacked the Chamaeleon immediately, and the party set about to board and attack the enemy vessel. Seeing the fray from a distance, Bel'karos determined that there were no other enemies about, so he used his winged boots to fly into the action. Orcs were attempting to board the Chamaeleon by firing ballista bolts with lines attached into the hull of our ship. The orcs used the ropes to travel to the Chamaeleon and climb onto her deck. But, they were repelled by the forces of Matthias and Atalan. Quip, Kipp, Rhys, and Shriek made it onto the orc vessel and began attacking foes there. The ships Captain burst forth and began to use magic to cause explosions on the deck of the ship. Rhys fell unconscious in battle. Atalan entangled the captain in webs. Bel'karos finally reached the enemy ship and cast a flaming sphere at the captain, who could not escape the fire because of the now burning webs trapping him. The other orcs were dispatched, but too much damage had occurred to the ship which began to sink. Before escaping, the party found a curious scroll protected from the fire on the remains of the captain.
Chapter 4: Anyone else feeling... hungry?
The scroll showed itself to be a map with secret writing and a location circled in red. The map indicated a position near the Tor Atoll. The writing was a code we deciphered to read "The Feast of Valhalla" a famous magical item. We knew that that item was imbued with magic to provide bountiful, delicious food for a large group of people. We also knew that it was held by another cruise liner of high repute, The Amberdine. Realizing the fact that this map was found in the possession of pirates, we determined to go investigate in case The Amberdine as in trouble. (Also, perhaps to steal The Feast of Valhalla if the opportunity arose.) We sailed to the Tor Atoll and found The Amberdine anchored a half a mile off the shore. We signaled our good intentions with an arrow fired into the sky, lit with a bright green light (a standard sign of peace) and enchanted to transmit the voice of Atalan speaking a greeting of friendship. The only reply was a reverberating boom we found very unsettling, though this did not seem to be an attack. We decided that pirates must have already attacked the ship and made her crew unable to communicate. Rhys, Kipp, and Atalan took a rowboat over to investigate, veiled within shadows by Rhys' spell. Bel'karos made himself invisible and flew to another part of the ship, maintaining silent communication with the others. Quip, Shriek, and Matthias stayed behind on the NICO for various reasons. Rhys, Kipp, and Atalan boarded and began exploring, as did Bel'karos at the stern of the ship. No one saw any people or creatures, friends or foes. The ship was elegantly designed and decorated. It was also a massive ship, apparently quite deserving of its fame for luxury. All of the lights on board were lit. There were no signs of combat or pillaging, everything was in its place except for the passengers and crew. The smell of food drew us all to the ship's galley. When we entered, a rattling noise could be heard with no apparent source. A recently prepared meal was there, but no one was present to eat it. Once we were all together, Bel'karos dropped his invisibility spell and cast Detect Magic. The entire ship seemed imbued with conjuration and illusion magic, and a short distance away the Captain's quarters seemed to be a focal point. We went there and found the Captain's log. The Captain had detailed how three days ago they picked up passengers at the nearby Tor Atoll and some kind of monster passed itself off as one of them. The passengers on the ship soon began to feel a dreadful emptiness inside, a void that could not be filled. Their agitation increased and quarreling broke out all over the ship. The crew were affected as well and the Captain lost control of the situation. The shouted arguments turned into violence, and then to people tearing the ship and each other apart. Suddenly the lights went out and the doors slammed shut. In the dim shadows the truth was revealed. The Captain's quarters were covered in claw marks and blood. The log book itself was wrecked and dripping in ichor. As we looked back into the hallway we saw the previously immaculate floors practically covered with inanimate corpses and blood. The galley kitchen revealed bodies partially prepared for meals. In the galley mess hall, three long tables were covered with bodies, people who died while eating each other alive. It was at this point that... thoughts began to occur to us. Thoughts like, "I wonder if that would taste okay." Atalan, perceiving a threat among the bodies, cast a firebolt among them. The bodies simply began to smolder. The scent made us aware that this was a lot of meat to go to waste. Chills ran down our spines and some of us saw what looked like a figure with a face like the desiccated skull of a deer. This image could only be seen out of the corner of the eye. Using Detect Magic, Bel'karos saw the fabled Feast of Valhalla, an enchanted cornucopia, sitting neglected on a fourth table. He cast Identify on it to confirm it was not cursed, then placed it in the Haversack of Holding on Kipp's back. Lifting the cornucopia triggered a trap, closing the doors to the mess hall. The shadows in the room began to take on physical shape and definition, skittering together. They coalesced into two humanoid shapes, blocking our access to the door. We fended off the shadow creatures' attacks and defeated them, only to find that behind us a layer of ice had covered the rearmost part of the room. The ice was creeping towards us at a walking pace. Investigation revealed that it was not blocked by physical objects and was not from our realm. All the while we became more hungry for the flesh surrounding us. Seeing that the Feast of Valhalla was secured, we retreated from the encroaching ice. Back in the hallway, we saw movement in a doorway near the stairs to get out. A bloodied man with the lower half of his body missing, was clawing his way towards us, pulling himself forward with a spoon and a fork clutched in his hands. Before the party could kill the man as a suspected zombie, Bel'karos intervened on his behalf. Some rudimentary healing allowed the man to talk. He said his name was Thomas and that he was the last one alive on the ship. He was a member of the crew of The Amberdine. A monster had come on board with the passengers, a creature with a skeletal head of a deer. It was cloaked and it smelled of death. Once it was discovered, it drove everyone mad with hunger. Thomas was sworn to kill it, to avenge his captain and his ship. Bel'karos was struck by Thomas' perseverance and by the fact he may be only person alive with prior experience working on a cruise ship. He offered him a job on the spot. Kipp and Atalan were very untrusting of Thomas, but the ice was advancing so Atalan scooped him up to head up the stairs. Atalan tried to stop the ice by casting Web on the stairs behind us and then setting fire to the web. The fire was readily extinguished by the implacable ice as it advanced towards us. Out of desperation and fear, Atalan made to throw Thomas onto the ice. Very upset at this, Bel'karos caught Thomas, intercepting him before he touched the ice. They all continued up the staircase to the deck of the ship. Once there, they could see the entire rear of the ship was covered in ice which spread all the way into the water surrounding the stern. A figure cloaked in black stood atop the ice on the stern, a deer skull with giant antlers protruding above its body. It emitted a howling screech of rage at seeing the party's attempt to escape. Though its movements were deceptively lethargic, it moved at twice the normal speed of a person as it rushed towards us. The party used the short time it took for the monster to reach us by raining attacks upon it from a distance. Even Thomas threw his fork at the creature, half of his worldly possessions. In the end, Rhys' deadly magic bow made all the difference, as an arrow shattered its skull. The ice remained, but it stopped advancing and appeared to melt in a normal manner. Thomas gazed at Rhys with heartfelt gratitude and solemnly handed him his last remaining possession. "It is all I have," he said "but it would be my honor to give it to you." It was in this way that we found ourselves the sole owners of the greatest (possibly cursed) cruise liner in the World Ship. We stood there exhausted, Atalan and Bel'karos with few spells remaining, Kipp with a bag of ice to give to our ship's bartender, and Rhys with a spoon.
Chapter 5: The Missing Log
Chapter 6: Kraken v Quack-en
After the attempted theft of our celestial duck, Chamaeleon, we were immediately greeted by an angry kraken. Its tentacles grasped the ship and attempted to snag Quip as he dove onto the transformed duck. CRACK and the N.I.C.O. shook under the might of tentacles. Atalan, Bel'Karos, and Shriek darted to protect our guests while Kipp, Matthias, Rhys, and Quip got into position. They worked to attack the kraken, but blades had no effect. Lighting did nothing and our please could not harm the beast. CRACK another attack against our ship when suddenly Chamaeleon opened the bow and two beams of radiant light shot toward the kraken. Matthias used his storm abilities to jettison the N.I.C.O. away from the attacking monster. Quip and Kipp began worshipping the celestial duck boat. Rhys attempted to defeat the beast by getting close to its maw, but decided at the last moment that it was too dangerous and its beak too sharp. He wrestled from the grasp of the monster and precariously perched upon a school of passing perch. The kraken moved against the N.I.C.O. and attempted to destroy it, but Chamaeleon and Matthias used magical abilities to destroy it. We got back together and set back out toward Catalini, the island of magic initiates. We made landfall and Rhys and Kipp darted off. Matthias accompanied Quip as he, along with the baby bjorned duck, to the dock master. Matthias held Quip up so he could speak with the dock master. They finally made their way to the magic school and recruited students and a reluctant teacher to help mend the damaged N.I.C.O. Kipp and Rhys darted around the school and found a hidden entry way marked with strange symbols, but ultimately met back up with the other two crew. They found an enchanting class and recruited the teacher to help enchant a few items each. The kraken fight was a prime example of the strength of magical abilities against monsters.
Chapter 7: Pigboil's School for Wizards.
We met the Headmistress of the school, Professor Caliste. She is a half-orc lady, who does not have time for nonsense, as we learned. Further exploration also gave us knowledge of an underground labyrinth beneath the school, a place that is off limits to the students. Professor Caliste gave us permission to sit in on a ritual casting class where some of learned how to detect poison or disease magically! We also had some weapons enchanted in the Artifact room, but the students produced enchantments with... mixed results. We proceeded to the underground labyrinth and discovered three paths labeled Squishy, Fluffy, and Dumb. In the Squishy path, we encountered two Gelatinous Cubes! We defeated them and followed the tunnel to a chamber with people gathered around a large table. Bel'karos cast Invisibility on a few of us and we scouted the area. The group of people were discussing the progress of the construction of a tower and a chain. They were referencing blueprints that showed plans for a very deep excavation. Other tunnels revealed workers in the process of digging as well as gigantic links of chain.
Chapter 8: Strange Things are Afoot...
After observing the strange planning session, we made our way back into the labyrinth, this time seeking the path marked "Fluffy." This tunnel was inhabited by Hellhounds! These fiendish creatures gave us a fierce battle, but in the end we prevailed. We rushed back upstairs to find Professor Caliste and tell her what we saw. To our surprise, she was not surprised. She said the people we saw were from the Alizarin Imperium. They are working to chain islands together to unify them under the empire. She does not like them, but the empire is far too strong to oppose. Quip spent some time with the professor for Divination, who told him to seek out the island Persephonus. The professor warned him however, that the sailing would be treacherous for a vessel with passengers. We decided to sail on the NICO to Tolan, now a few days away. From there, we parted ways with the NICO and her crew, tasking them with carrying the remaining passengers to Eluia and find safe harbor until we returned. We set out aboard the Chamaeleon toward the isle Persephonus.