The Savage Tide

Downtime 2nd Kythorn to 23rd Kythorn
Much ado about Avner--and Axtli

As the party heads back to Heimat, they are met by Rynn, who took a group of recruits and followed them. The enlarged group heads back together, but is intercepted by a panicked herd of duck-bills, being chased by a flock of terror birds. After the chaos passes, Tico and Girrard are missing. Axtli is unable to find any sign of them and concludes that they must have jumped on one’s back to avoid getting trampled.

The follow the trample path, shortly coming to a group a feeding terror birds. Mirri goes invisible and spies on them, spotting a boot beneath one of the duck-bill corpses. Axtli decides to sneak in and call lightning to scare the birds off. He slips and catches their attention, all 20 of them. He calls for help as he gets swarmed. Thus begins the ‘battle of one(s)’.

Axtli had changed into a terror bird early on during the fight, hoping to fool the stupid birds into not attacking him. It failed and he fell. Yeferia had healed him enough to stabilize, so she thought, but after the battle he was found to be dead. Tico shattered her orb to reincarnate him. He came back a VERY unhappy gnome. Rynn made fun of him.

Tico and Girrard weren’t even under that duck-bill, however, they were under his neighbor.

During the next two weeks, Axtli discovers that his only hope for recovering his old self is in the Lost Citadel, an ancient edifice said to hold the spirits of his people. It is also said to be a testing ground and very dangerous. He plans to travel there shortly and recover a ring of three wishes. He is helping built Heimat and crafting a demonbone masterwork kaua’koi.

Tico, meanwhile, has become convinced that Manthalay Meravanchi has double-dealt Farshore, either with the Crimson Fleet, or even with her arch-nemesis, Demogorgon. She also discovers the grave violations of Avner and Vanthus. An attempt to determine why the head was stolen is partially successful at best, and no one even knows what to make of her attempts to discover if she will actually face Demogorgon one day.

Rynn begins proselytizing on behalf of the Archangels and drums up support and some coin. She is trying to find a publisher, but no luck so far.

Mirri is learning new spells at an almost desperate rate. She is also helping build Heimat, scrying on Meravanchi and even attempts to find Walker (no luck).

Girrard has turned noble and is sucking up to Manthalay so well that Manthalay thinks they’re kin. Turns out that lying is his true skill, after all.

Yeferia is tutoring Veira and practicing her Seeing arts. She several times tries to See dangers hidden in the Lost Citadel. Her results are here.

A newcomer, Setha, has arrived looking for Avner (he’s a deadbeat dad!) on behalf of three young sisters in Sasserine. She carries virtually no posessions except a bag and kusarigama and she talks of a god called Ilmater. She and Tico hit it off.

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The Bounteous Isle Mini-arc

Yeferia and Tico discover Axtli, Walker, Tico and Mirri missing during the Hurricane.

Tico and Yeferia assist Lavinia with her love life, recommending that she give him some room.

Eventually, the party shows back up—Tico rips them all a new one for leaving without permission. During the diatribe, an Olman (Hano) shows up, insane and malnourished. He and two others had gone AWOL to do an impromptu survey mission. They agree to start out the next morning.

The next morning, Walker is gone! In his place is a changeling, Girrard. Eventually, the party becomes convinced that he didn’t kill Walker and that the two are connected somehow(they have the same boots, neither will answer questions directly and they are both looking for something!).

They decide to take him with them to keep an eye on him. They begin tracking Hano’s trail. He had a run-in with a Terror Bird, but escaped or fought it off. Axtli continued to track the trail. Axtli is a tracking god, the new recruits have all but built a shrine to him.

We follow the trail until the edge of the swamp, about 40 miles. Everyone is tired. Mirri sets up the shelter and stays inside at night. The PCs camp outside, letting the recruits sleep in safety.
First watch: Tico sees something small out there. She moves to investigate and feels a little tugging on her clothes. It’s a 5-year old Olman girl. Her hair and clothes are different than current Olman fashion. She speaks in an old dialect. Tico can’t make it out. “I can’t understand you. Where is your Mom and Dad?” The girl looks behind her, then says, barely recognizable, “you shouldn’t be here.” The girl looks behind her again, frightened. Tico moves the girl behind her, tires to wake Axtli. No success. The girl is gone. Other Tico woke up, Tico had her get Axtli. Axtli has Yeferia detect evil. No evil here. Axtli wakes Girrard and warns him that they might be under attack. Tico briefs them. They discuss things and decide to move on and complete the rescue mission.
Second watch: Axtli attempts to explain to Tico what it means to become awakened. One dire chipmunk later, “So, does this mean I’m awakened?”
Third watch: Nada
Fourth watch: Nada

Axtli got clubs for the recruits and Tico gives her regular kauakoi to the one without a club. Tico examines the campsite, looking for tracks. Axtli, too. They find that something was here; small, bipedal. A faint aura of necromancy.

Axtli breaks trail, ½ mile to 1 mile ahead. He veers off the trail, lost. We follow Axtli.
“Sorry, we got distracted by dire chipmunk tracks.”
We return to the real trail. Axtli wants to break trail again. He promises not to follow squirrels.

We continue to a strange place, the area feels . . . wrong. Axtli spots a controlled fire to the north. Tico calls a halt for lunch. She and Axtli pray to the ancestors for guidance and wisdom.

Mirri, Tico and Girrard head for the fires. We reach an old Olman village, inhabited and happy. No wall, no nothing. A pot-seller welcomes us to the Bounteous Isle. He is afraid to even mention his lord. We are accosted on our way to visit a local shrine. The priest, Rekuto, is hostile and lies about worshipping Camazotz.

The Sky darkens, the girl reappears and runs off. A green, hazy explosion engulfs the village as Tico arrives, doubly enlarged and carrying everyone. Axtli uses his orb to enlarge a hallow effect. The green haze affects none of us, but 1/3 of the village begins grasping body parts in pain, almost like a savage tide! The villagers are changing, growing scales, claws teeth, extra limbs and organs. The changed villagers attack their comrades, savaging and attacking them.

We bust into the shrine to find a red Vrock skeleton. It animates and bursts through the roof, landing next to BIG TICO. We move out to attack and the villagers drop the illusion of life and attack us as skeletons. Rekuto is some kind of spell-casting skeleton.

Battle Highlights:

Big Tico is panicked, won’t go near skeleton, Mirri uses orb to turn/destroy most of the skeletons, Tico gets her arm stuck in the vrock, which absorbs skeletons t heal/power up, Tico leaps over the whole party to pounce Rekuto, later she panics again, but grabs Girrard on her way out of Dodge. Yeferia gets in some good smiting and Axtli some good burning.

Afterwards, we inspected the shrine and found the body of a small child hidden deep in a recess where no one would be able to reach her . . .

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Story So Far (Part 1)
Into the Chaos

The overarching story is fairly simple—the characters have been involved in the saving of a small colony of the port of Sasserine, known as Farshore.

THERE IS NO HONOR

This colony is just south of the infamous Isle of Dread and could prove very lucrative if made self-sufficient. The colony was founded by Lady Larissa and Lord Verik Vanderboren, with the assistance of Lord Manthalay Meravanchi. After founding the colony, the Vanderborens made the 3-month return trip to Sasserine for a vital influx of materials and experts necessary to the long-term survival of the colony. The couple died in Sasserine harbor on a test run of a second ship outfitted to accompany their Blue Nixie.

Their daughter, Lavinia Vanderboren, hired out party some months later as she was attempting to get her parents affairs in order(they were explorers, not merchants, and kept very poor records). The Blue Nixie had been confiscated due to unpaid docking fees. Lady Lavinia had paid these fees already, so she suspected foul play involving her ship. The party discovered that it was being used as a warehouse to store illegal animals. They apprehended the main culprit, a member of a local gang, the Lotus Dragons. After assisting Lady Lavinia to get her finances in order(her parents were actually rich, which surprised everyone), Lady Lavinia asked one more favor: the rescue of her brother, Vanthus, from undesirable companions.

Undesirable is too mild a word; Vanthus had joined the Lotus Dragons! The group decided to take them down and ‘rescue’ him. Unfortunately, their first clue was a red herring; Vanthus killed a close friend and trapped the group in a mine. They escaped and took down the gang. Vanthus, however, had moved on to a remote location known as Krakken’s Cove. Incidentally, he was responsible for the deaths of his and Lavinia’s parents. He had been under the impression that he would inherit, not his baby sister. Lavinia, horrified, modulated her request, asking her new friends to bring her brother home to face justice.

BULLYWUG GAMBIT

The group quickly headed for Krakken’s Cove, using a large tortoise as transport. As they neared their destination, it became apparent that something horrible had occurred. Animals cannibalism and deformed animals were visible from the water. The ferryman refused to take them further so the party set out on foot the last day. In short, a cataclysmic event that came to be known as a Savage Tide had affected most living creatures within a few miles of the cove. This Tide exacted a hideous transformation, malforming bodies and adding limbs, organs, scales, teeth, what have you. The lucky, unaffected ones were quickly killed and devoured by their now-ravenous companions.

After killing the savaged creatures (some former human) within the cove complex, the party was joined by a rough-and-tumble survivor, One Harliss Javell. Harliss is a captain of the Crimson Fleet, a major power in these seas. She had been betrayed by Vanthus, too. He had agreed to sell an enormous black pearl to her, but had reneged. In the scuffle that ensued, the pearl was broken and the cataclysm loosed. Vanthus escaped in the confusion, and Harliss had meesaged her first mate to hike to Sasserine through the jungle, picking up some bullywug allies and beat him to his home, Vanderboren Manor, killing Vanthus or holding it’s members hostage to get to him to kill him.

The group convinced Harliss of their common enmity for Vanthus, and she gave them a letter to give to her mate, if necessary. The party, also forced to trek the jungle, made for Sasserine. They arrived the next day, the day of the town holiday in honor of the collapse of organized crime in Sasserine. The party struggled to get through the thronged streets to the manor of their patron, narrowly dodging floats, partygoers and an assassin sent by Vanthus. They arrived at the besieged manor house and subdued the first mate before any permanent harm could come to Lady Lavinia or her servants.

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Story So Far (Part 2)
Through the Maelstrom(s)

Sea Wyvern’s Wake

After seeing Lavinia safe, the group returned to Kraken’s Cove for a piece of boot too large to carry with them before—a merchant caravel. Even damaged, the ship was still worth a lot of gold. Lady Lavinia financed repairs on their ship in return for its service on a voyage with her own; she had recently discovered her parents travel journal and learned about Farshore. Determined to save her parents’ legacy and escape the pain of losing her entire family now, Lavinia outfitted both ships with materiel and colonists for the 3-month journey.

The ships set sail on 15th Eleint, intending to round the Chultan peninsula.

27th Eleint—Stopover at Fort Beluarian for water/shore leave

29th Eleint—Sea Wyvern and Blue Nixie run the Brotherhood Blockade. Later, Lavinia celebrates their success with a dinner.

Higharvest—-Morale Officer Sympathy runs the celebration

2nd-5th Marpenoth—-Urol’s pit stop at Tamoachan

8th Marpenoth—-Jaquarta

12th Marpenoth—-Port Nyanzaru

16th Marpenoth—-a hurricane separated the ships, leaving the crew of the Sea Wyvern to travel solo, with only the hope that the Blue Nixie would catch them up eventually.

20th Marpenoth—Sea Wyvern limps into Shilku for repairs. No word of the Blue Nixie.

28th Marpenoth—Sea Wyvern arrives in Rencrue, receives word from the Blue Nixie, leaves the same day.

4th Uktar—Llammon Ammund falls ill, party removes a slaadi egg. ew.

13th Uktar—_Sea Wyvern arrives on Nimbral, a bad storm traps them there til the 21st.

22nd Uktar—Stop at Ruja for water

25th Uktar—Make full canvass to bypass the infamous Shipgrave Isles

27th Uktar—Sea Wyvern caught in bad storm rounding the Isle of Dread

30th of Uktar—Sea Wyvern crashes, all thrown overboard.

Feast of the Moon—everyone wake up on a beach on the Isle of Dread

Here There Be Monsters

As everyone organizes on the beach, a T-rex discovers them and wants some supper. They tackle the T-rex, salvage what supplies they can from the wrecked Sea Wyvern and camp out for the night. That night, terror birds ambush the camp, killing Miss Crazzle, Urol’s companion. We sneak our way through the forest to an Olman ruin inhabited by an aranea named Lithira. She shelters us for the night, and does a reading, warning us that “four eyes have gazed upon you, and his servant seeks you out.”

We distract the terror birds nesting near a tunnel to get through the mountains. The pass is long and has some dangerous vermin. We open the doors on the far side and pass into a cliffside trail. Along the trail, hallucinations abound and we fight off a group of Gargoyles. Eventually, the trail turns inland. We leave the cliffs of insanity almost with relief.

Which is short-lived, as we find ourselves lost in marshy, foggy jungle. Life sounds die out, our dreams are tortured. Eventually, Zalk goes a little crazy and tries to sacrifice Yeferia to escape. Fortunately, he fails and no one notices. An ape-demon and his friends ambush the camp, kidnapping Zalk. Yeferia eventually learns to use her detect evil to track the evil permeating the are to its source—an old occult shrine.

Navigating past the traps and Bar-lguras, the group eventually finds Zalk and his captor. Zalk, tortured past endurance, forces his familiar, Content Not Found: Mikl, to utilize Zalk’s orb to end the pain, to end all pain for him. The Evil pervading the region warps the item’s effect, Mikl is unable to control it and Zalk transforms into a flaming death knight; being dragged from this plane of existence in the process.

The group turns its attention to the demon and kicks its ass. It turns to a large statue, praying for help. The statue comes to life and smashes the Bar-lgura like a full mosquito before turning its attention to us.

Battle Highlights:

Kira learning that you can’t fly with a heavy load
Avner running like a scared ballerina
Rad also being squished
Rad being brought back as a hairless dwarf

Destroying the statue appears to end the ant-lion trap effect of Fogmire. The group re-forms (minus Zalk) and heads south. They gain passage through the Wall and are welcomed to the Olman village of Tanaroa, where Kira discovers that he’s engaged.

Farshore, hope of so many, has been reached.

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