The Aia Chronicles

Backstory Series: Nydry, a Rebellious Princess
Welcome to Ironwood!

Start Mortal's Moon, 1
Duration 0 Days
End Mortal's Moon, 1

 

Mortal's Moon, 1

It is the first night of the Moon of Mortals, and the city of Ironwood is in full party mode. In celebration of the power and vitality of the mortal races, the people of Ironwood and all around the world are celebrating life as they know it. 

The elves of Ironwood are drinking, dancing, storytelling, and communing with nature to celebrate their heritage as Nydry, Alar, and Saeriel are carousing down the main drag. Nydry and Saeriel want to skip her lessons with her mentor, Rose Ironwood – her aunt and current Spymistress. Sergent Alar – a Green Knight veteran, family friend, and spiritual guide to Nydry - reminds Nydry of her duties, and they proceed to Fort Ironwood.

Fort Ironwood has been carved from the largest Ironwood in the world and is kept alive by a combination of magic and botany – it is nearly impregnable and has been the family seat of the Ironwoods for thousands of years. As the party approaches the fort, they pass Warden Wormwood and Prince Jade, a scruffy, dirty young elf with piercing green eyes and Nydry's little brother, leaving the fort to go on patrol in the surrounding woods. Her brother is angry and bored with patrols and the learning of the Warden's arts, but Alar reminds him that his duty is very important and even provides him with a deck of playing cards to entertain himself in the woods. 

Nydry's sister, Princess Ivy – a tall, lithe, and cunning elf who just recently celebrated her first century - intercepts the group in the halls and expresses her excitement with the festival down in the city. She flirts a little with Saeriel but is more excited at her arcane studies. She demonstrates for the group her newest Fireball spell although it is not as powerful as she had hoped. 

Nydry's father, Lord Caspian – a short elf with brown hair and eyes, grizzled features, and a gentle smile – checks to make sure that Nydry is on her way to her lessons and not playing hooky again. Alar assures her old friend that Nydry is being watched and guided as assigned. Caspian kisses Nydry on the cheek and bids them farewell.

With no further interuptions, the party makes their way beyond the lower dungeons into the realm of the Spymistress Rose Ironwood. The door is locked (as usual), and Nydry knows some test or challenge waits beyond. Nydry stumbles on the lockpick and breaks part of her set but opens the door on the second try to reveal inky, magical darkness obscuring all their views into the room beyond. Nydry draws her blade but is immediately chastised by Alar – "What are you going to do? Stab your aunt?" She sheathes her blade and enters the darkness with the group. They pass the veil and see not one but four elven figures resembling Rose. Two are held hostage by the other two and all four insist that the other three are imposters. Nydry cunningly determines who the real Rose is, and Rose chuckles as she congratulates her pupil on her roguish guile. 

Rose, on the word of Alar and Saeriel as well as her own observations, now believes that Nydry is ready to take on her first field mission. The Merchant's Guild is currently having an annual conference in the nearby town of Elmdale (where Saeriel is from). Rose has intel that the Merchant's Guild has been manipulating their records to avoid paying taxes to Ironwood, and she would like Nydry to steal their receipts from the offices there to confirm her suspicions. She also says that the process with be substantially easier if Nydry can use her training to construct a false identity that passes the inspection of the guild's undersecretary, Faerun Oak. With this information, she dismisses Nydry and the group with a gentle warning to Alar to keep Nydry in line.

Nydry spends a couple of hours working on her false papers but then convinces Alar that she deserves to go out and celebrate! Alar agrees, and the party goes to the Gilded Skunk – a middle class bar in the city. Nydry attempts to get used to her new disguise by playing it at the bar in an attempt to get laid amongst the common people. Saeriel, however, goes in her full royal attire leaving no one to question who she is. They order drinks and get sufficiently drunk until Saeriel begins to dance on the bar. When Nydry goes to join her, she is unceremoniously pulled from the bar by the gruff bartender, Harden Halfhand. Saeriel scorns the bartender for his treatment of her friend, and he allows the disguised Nydry to dance on the bar away from the major transaction area. As they dance, a few people look at the duo dancing and recognize Nydry! They begin cheering and chanting. The ladies begin to bankroll drinks for the whole bar, and the night is becoming alive!

A handsome young elf approaches the duo and begins to flirt with them. They spend a few minutes chatting, and he invites them up to his room. They follow him up, Saeriel seeming a bit reluctant. As they enter the room, the elf is taking off his shirt and moves to remove Nydry's clothing when the cold edge of a knife presses against her neck. A familiar voice whispers in her ear, "And now you're dead, my niece."  "GODDAMIT, AUNT ROSE!!"

Rose scorns her pupil for being so reckless – the weight of the Ironwood line lies on her shoulders. She cannot cavort recklessly like this because there are many people who would want to destroy their family. She also scorns Alar for his complacency in the events and then leaves, jumping from the window into the street below but not before warning them, "I'll be watching."

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Every Lily has its... Petals?
A favor given is a favor earned...

Start Pelor's Moon 7
Duration 3 days
End Pelor's Moon 10

Pelor's Moon, 7

The team just makes it over the bridge with the militia at the bridge and leave the horde on the other side of the gorge.  They arrive at the checkpoint to find Sgt. Strong banging on the checkpoint door before she storms across the bridge to the main encampment.  Grog pulls the cleric aside and asks him about the cursed blade he's currently wielding. The cleric says that the blades normally disintegrate once released for longer than a few seconds. Grog drops the blade and watches the blade turn to dust leaving just a hilt – he sacred flames it to no avail. 

The team slowly works their way across the shorter bridge to the other side of the gorge after the cleric to a large permanent watch tower. Inside, there are four tired looking young men and women trying to figure out what exactly is happening. There is loud yelling and the sound of fists pounding a wooden desks on the floor above, and the recruits look nervous yet slightly enamored. One of young men approaches the group and asks if they're the group who saved the vanguard and slightly fangirls over the party. Grog convinces him that he must get stronger by stripping to his skivies and standing against the storm to which he enthusiastically runs through the door… and is immediately thrown back inside the tower as a large hurricane gust knocks him off his feet. Sgt. Strong comes down from the office and beckons the group to the top floor. 

Inside the office, they see a large human male sporting a serious looking injury to his sides but attempting to look dignified in spite of the pain. He thanks the party for their assistance and offers to expedite their security clearance – should take around a week with some expedience. But Grandma Nim sees through his bulls**t and pushes to be let through the security checkpoint in a more expedient manner. Commander Garrison pushes back until Sgt. Strong intervenes declaring that if he will not grant them passage, she will invoke the Rite of Proxy since they saved her life. The commander seems flustered and angry at the prospect of losing his vanguard commander, but he accepts. The team asks what this ritual means – he informs them that it means that they are marked as guests and connected to Sgt. Strong. Should they commit a crime, she will be equally culpable in it as they. After a short ritual, they all receive a blue arcane mark on their hands matched by a red one on Sgt. Strong's. 

The team sets up their shelter on the edge of camp and invite Strong to sleep with the group, so they can talk and get to know each other.

Pelor's Moon, 9

On the way to Gulm, the party talks with Sgt. Strong and learn that she normally runs a bakery in Gulm called the Strong Spice Bakery, but that she has performed meritoriously in the militia resulting in frequent calls to the front. But the pay from the city and prestige of her position gives her kids and husband a comfortable life in Gulm, so she accepts tours of duty when they arise. She is excited to see her children much earlier than expected. Grog grows suspicious that she's a member of the necromantic cult who has infiltrated the milita forces, but the rest of the group seems to trust her. 

The group arrives at Gulm under the Proxy protection of Strong and witness a public hanging in the central square. After the hanging, a number of small fights break out as people voice their political disagreements between Urmag and Gamli's philosophies. In between fights, the party sees a small girl sprinting among the crowd chased by four thuggish brutes. Mizuki goes to try and distract one of the thugs with a FWAP of her staff, but she is summarily ignored, and she gives chase. Xanders casts a fly spell and catches up with the girl and asks if she wants to fly out of the situation. She agrees clearly seeing the desperation of her situation. Nim and Grog take a leisurely stroll through Gulm as Nim's familiar keeps track of Xander's movements. Mizuki rejoins them once she sees Xanders has the girl safely above the crowd. 

Xanders lands in the boughs of a high tree away from the chase and learns that the girl is a very friendly human named Lily. But quickly, it becomes obvious there's something more to this girl. After some pressing, LIly seems to trust Xanders for saving her life, so she reveals that she is actually possessed by a banshee who shares her mind with her. This is very unusual as banshees normally kill those whom they possess, and it gets weirder still when Lily reveals she's around 400 years old. Lily and Xanders have an acrobatics race down to the bottom, and although Xanders seems to perform much better, he intentionally trips at the end allowing Lily to win at which point she gloats as you would expect a 6-year-old to do. 

The party introduce themselves, and Lily explains her situation. The party and Lily make their way to the tavern, The Flying Helmsorc. Lily asks the party to buy her a beer since, despite her age, she can never get a good beer because of her appearance as a small child. Grog agrees heartily. Xanders talks to the local innkeep to get free lodging for him and his party. The innkeep agrees but only if he can prove who he is. Xanders offers to beat someone in the ring WHILE outperforming the tavern bards. A brutish man comes from the crowd and challenges Xanders. He begins to play a tune to outperform the two bards and rallies the crowd to his side. The brute swings many times – missing mostly but breaking Xander's concentration a couple of times. Finally, Xanders grows tired of this fight and casts levitate on the brute and defeats him with vicious mockery until the man breaks down in tears and leaves the tavern. 

Meanwhile, Lily has been getting into this fight cheering when suddenly her amulet yells before she can panickedly grasp it to keep it quiet. She looks to the group, and they make their way to a room where they can get more privacy. Lily informs the party that in this amulet is a powerful necromancer who used to be her and Petal's master until he attempted to turn on them but was defeated. Her and Petal's mission has been to track down and kill the shards of his soul around the world. Until then, she and Petal must maintain concentration on this amulet, so that he can never break out. At this point, Lily is very tired, and she warns the group that Petal isn't very nice and won't like them, but she needs to sleep. The group agrees, and Xanders plays a nice lullaby for the minute that Lily seems to be asleep. 

Lily slowly gets out of bed, her eyes now glowing with a deep black fire, and she looks at the members of the party in turn. She laments the naivete of Lily and tries to leave before the party can stop her. But Grog offers a deal, and she seems to have some interest as she needs holy water to conduct her ritual but cannot enter any holy temples. The party reveals their mission and ask for help in locating Kiriag or Neerla. 

The amulet goes ballistic, and Petal informs the party that Arkroka, the entity in the amulet has some input. The party agrees to listen.  A deep gravelly voice comes from the amulet saying that he can scry to find their quarry for free. He just wants to witness some carnage and destruction. The party thinks this sounds like a bad idea and that they'd rather help Petal. Petal agrees to try and find their quarry. She jumps from the window and leaves the party alone in the room.

Pelor's Moon, 10

The team prepares to go to the Temple of Pelor to fetch the holy water for Lily and Petal.

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Showdown at Grimoire's Gorge
Caught between a canyon and an undead army

Start Melora's Moon, 22
Duration 11 days
End Pelor's Moon, 5

Melora's Moon, 22

The team drinks merrily after their meeting with Lt. Eros and listens to the heroic melodies and songs played by a local bard in the corner. The team approaches the bard to ask for a song, and they begin talking of their adventures to learn that this bard, Anders Milton, is actually a champion in the Tortuga fighting pits.  Having conquered the pit, he sought adventure, and, as though hearing his desire for adventure, Urmag the Pirate Lord approached him offering him a quest – find his son. The party agrees to join forces as they are now on the same quest, and Anders reveals a letter that he found during his investigation – a love letter from an unknown person to Kiriag.  The team needs to get to Gulm ASAP.

Melora's Moon, 23

The Adventure Friends ensure the safety of their ship with the local dockmaster and gathers their necessary supplies while leaving their ship under the protection of their ship cat.  They also approach an old gnome to ask for the quickest way to Gulm – he points them to the main road out of Seaside that will head towards Gulm. The trip will take 12 days through the wilderness. 

Melora's Moon, 28

On the fifth day of travel, the team's peaceful trip is interupted as Nydry points to the movement of the hillside and rock faces they are passing. Ander's music stops suddenly as the ground shakes and the hillside rises from the earth to reveal the face of a colossal earth elemental appears – an Aspect of Earth, a servant of Melora. Anders immediately plays a joyful tune as Mizuki attempts to calm the earth elemental clearly grouchy at being woken up. Upon learning this, Anders plays a lullaby, and Mizuki masterfully makes peace with the being who allows them to pass unharassed. 

A storm seems to be brewing…

Pelor's Moon, 5

After ten days of travel, the storm seems to be getting substantially worse. Luckily, the team rounded a corner in the jungle and sees the fires of a campsite and the vague image of a canyon. The Adventure Friends make it to Grimoire Gorge to find the local militia led by Sgt. Strong guarding the bridge and preventing any outsiders from entering without either the correct papers or direct CO approval. They offer their campsite and fire for the party to use until morning when the CO can see them. He's currently resting from his encounter with a local coven of necromancers. The team settles in for the night, eating and talking with the militiamen. The storm worsens and the militia and party go into their respective abodes.  Grog, however, sees the will of Kord.

Grog removes his amor and stands against the storm shouting at the storm. He inspires another militiaman to follow suit, and now there are two nearly-nude brawny characters shouting at the storm in defiance. As they continue this strange ritual, the jungle line illuminates with an orange glow and a fireball flies from the jungle striking the two people! A figure clad in darkness appears on the jungle line and from the darkness, more figures begin to appear! 

The militia calls to arms as well as the party. The necromancers cast a barrage of spells causing members of the militia and Mizuki to flee the field temporarily. Grog calls upon the power of the storm and rains lightning upon the necromancers. Nim calls forth a flaming sphere and attacks the necromancers with it, but the rain douses the effect of the spell. Nydry bolts awake and slaughters the cultists near her and Anders, and Anders provides support for Nydry and the party with his music. As the battle rages on, a horde of shambling undead is revealed in the treeline, and the militia calls a retreat! They need to cross the bridge and get reinforcements before they can deal with this horde. 

Grog and a militiamen slay the lead necromancers causing him to fall and drop his magical dagger. As Grog reaches for the artifact, he shutters and feels necromantic energy begin to rot the flesh of the arm holding this dagger. Additionally, as Grog runs to the group, the necromancer he had just slain rose from the dead – his eyes glowing with a deep, blood red and a toothy skeletal grin as the flesh drops from his bones. As he flees the field towards the militia shield-wall, he is frozen in place by a spell, but Nydry dashes in to break the casters concentration. 

The militia's druid single-handedly holds off three cultists as she transforms into a large grizzly bear – she yells for the militia and party to flee as she holds off the horde. But Grog will have none of this, and he calls lightning to clear the druid's space, so she can rejoin the militia shield wall. The rest of the party flees over the bridge, but Grog and Sgt. Strong see that the remaining necromancers are summoning a magical weapon – Grog attempts to interupt the ritual with a lightning bold, but two of the casters maintain their concentration and summon a greatsword wreathed in darkness and blood. The weapon moves towards the bridge. Strong and Grog realize with horror what their plan is. Anders casts Fly on Grog as he runs across the bridge, and the militia follow soon after. Grog positions himself by the bridge in preparation of the incoming blade. With a magical whirr, the blade cuts one of the ropes causing the bridge to careen and almost knocking Nim and Anders from the bridge. Grog holds the bridge up as best he can, but as the blade cuts another rope, the bridge falls completely out from under the group and Anders falls precipitously to the ground. The druid also loses her footing, but she transforms into a bird in response. Anders casts levitate on himself thus saving himself from a terrible fate at the bottom of the canyon. Grog, with his great strength from the goddess, Kord, holds the bridge as best he can allowing it to slowly descent and form a rope ladder for those remaining on it. 

The team and the militia all make it safely to the mid-canyon check point against all odds. Sgt. Strong storms to the checkpoint tower, anger and frustration painted on her face…

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Closed Eyes, Closed Heart, Not Good
What we have here is a failure to communicate

Start Melora's Moon, 21
Duration 1 day
End Melora's Moon, 22

Melora's Moon, 21

As the emblem of the Rising Dawn and Erathis grows in the distance, the Adventure Friends make preparations for their encounter with… the Law! Nydry cooks the books to make it appear as though the ship has no illegal booty (obtained by the previous captain) while Grog and the rest of the crew work on moving the valuable goods (everything other than fish and shark meat) into the smuggling compartments of the FriendShip. After Nydry cooks the books, she palms a dagger… just in case.

The Moradin's Hammer sails next to the Friendship 2. A friendly half-elf hails from the steering wheel and introduces himself as Captain John Seafare. After exchanging pleasantries, he informs the Friendship 2 that they have entered the Harpoon Isles and need to pay any necessary taxes to the Rising Dawn.  He goes below deck and retrieves LIeutenant Hardrir Eros, a dwarven paladin of Erathis. He boards the Friendship 2 with some other sailors, and they go through the captains log and ship's inventory. Nothing seems off, and Lt. Eros offers to host the party in the captains quarters for a dinner of something other than summoned food and shark meat. 

Eros and the party made small talk over the meal, but Eros quickly turned serious after the final course. He pulled their Bucaneer Bay banner from a nearby chest as he grimly states, "I'm sorry for the deception, but we know that you are pirates." Grog corrects him by informing him that they are simply mercenaries who have been hired by Davy Jones. Eros responds, "Well, in that case, how would you feel about being hired to pose as pirates?" The party, confused, asks why he would hire them to do that.

He explains the situation in the Harpoon Isles.  The Rising Dawn is attempting to establish a base of operations to hit a chromatic dragon uprising in Xibalba, but Urmag and the Pirate Cove do no appreciate the incursion on their territory especially as the Rising Dawn begins to force Gulm and the country residents to provide food and resources to supply this venture. The situation has since been escalated by the kidnapping of Commader Gamli's daughter, Neerla. They strongly suspect that Urmag is behind the abduction based on their investigations. He would like the party to infiltrate Tortuga and find Neerla if they can. They agree, but Grog is hesitant to accept money from Eros. Eros cuts a deal to pay them a little bit and take the "taxes" from the "fee." The group agrees, and the party returns to the deck of the Moradin's Hammer. 

A storm erupts rapidly as the group says its goodbyes with Eros, and from the sky drops a hulking half-orcish figure into the deck of the ship. A half-orcish figures stands from the crater wielding a greataxe glowing with red and black energy followed shortly by two copper dragons. "EROS! You backstabbing traitor!" Urmag and Eros exchange sharp words, and it becomes clear that Urmag and Eros knew each other in the past and that that relationship has soured substantially on the opposite sides of the battle lines. Urmag growls at Eros, "For the friendship we once had, I will let you live. But only if you deliver a message to Gamli. I'm coming for him. My entire navy and army is going to crush the Rising Dawn, and I want a good fight." Eros agrees and turns to instruct Captain Seafare (who has been tensely watching from the wheel). 

Urmag and his dragons embark the Friendship 2 followed by the party as the Moradin's Hammer departs. Urmag roars at the open ocean in anger. The younger dragon, Crazhyx, talks to Mizuki – "Hey… Hey, so uh… Was I scary? It's my first mission with Urmag." MIzuki and Nydry both assure Crazhyx that he was very scary to which he seems very proud. Grog enhances his charisma and approaches the powerful barbarian and asks him what's wrong. Urmag turns to face the party, blood and fury in his eyes, "They have my son! That son of a bitch Gamli stole my Kiriag! I'll kill them all and rip their corpses to pieces if anything happened to him!" The party, confused as hell at this point, informs him of their mission from Eros. Urmag adamantly insists that Eros is either lying or Gamli has deceived him because he has never nor would he ever kidnap a dwarven girl for political expediency. The party convinces him to investigate his underlings and city in Tortuga in exchange for no advance payment on his mission to find Kiriag. After some convincing, he agrees but makes no promises – it doesn't seem like he's too interested in pursuing a ridiculous claim such as this. Urmag prepares to leave as the sun rises, and Nydry asks if she can hug Crazhyx. Urmag chuckles and allows it – Crazhyx purrs loudly as his skin crackles with acid. He seems happy. Urmag leaves the Friendship 2. 

Melora's Moon, 22

The party determines that they need to reach Eros and discuss what the hell is going on here. They use Grandma Nim's familiar, Squibble to deliver a message to the Moradin's Hammer asking Eros what the hell is going on and informing him of what Urmag told them. They receive a letter from Eros saying that he knows nothing of a kidnapping by the Rising Dawn and suggests another meeting. The party sends another message to meet at the nearby fishing town of Horacha and sends Squibble off. 

The party then comes to the realization that they must part ways from the Drow crew or break their word, for they have reached the Harpoon Isles. Grog talks to Tarn and informs him that they have control of the ship and will be parting ways. Tarn seems sad as he has grown attached to Grog's boisterous nature but makes preparations to make port in Tortuga. Grog asks Tarn if he can investigate the disappearance of Neerla in Tortuga. Tarn agrees, but he will not pursue it very far as he is anxious to return to his boyfriend in Micarmeth – he has been at sea for many months now. 

The party parts ways with the Drow but not before a young Drow returns to Nim with a solved Sudoku puzzle. The party tries to convince him to join their crew as a cabinboy and fellow adventurer, but he declines choosing instead to stay with his friends and crew aboard the ship. The party boards the Friendship 2 with all the gold and loot and makes their way to Horacha. They arrive and head to the local tavern.

Grog immediately goes the bar and asks for a good, strong drink. The bartender, a rambuncious halfling, suggests the Island Special as she runs to the back. She returns with a coconut that she chops a whole into, fills with rum and fruit juice, and tops off with a bamboo straw with a small grass umbrella. Mizuki orders a Kahlua and the bartender seems confused – "You mean coffee?" Mizuki hesitantly agrees, and the bartender runs to the back, brings out another coconut, chops off the top, and fills it with a dark alcohol. The rest of the party orders their respective drinks and look around the bar for Eros. They see a poorly disguised, cloaked figure in the corner, and approach him. "OH, Good day, Tom! Why, yes, I would love to exchange the latest fishing stories!" exclaims the dwarf (definitely Eros) loudly so those nearby can hear. Grog attempts to tell a metaphorical story about a mercernary fisherman who was asked to track down two fishes that were supposedly stolen by two different people and is now very confused. They quit speaking in lies and stories but in hushed tones. Eros is clearly extremely surprised by the news that Urmag's son has gone missing. The party suggests that this could be a lovers' escape, and Eros agrees that that is possible, but he has never seen the two together. At this point, the party and Eros are concerned that if this is not resolved soon, there will be much bloodshed as Urmag and Eros stand ready to slaughter the other over both territory and personal disputes. The party informs that Urmag is at the very least aware there is some conflicting information, but Gamli needs to be kept in check as best as possible. Eros agrees to try, but he's not a high-ranking soldier thus does not have much sway. The party parts ways with Eros and resume an evening of heavy drinking to celebrate THEIR FIRST DAY IN THE HARPOON ISLES!

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Skirmish on the Ositar Expanse
The Merrow & Sahuagin Conflict

Start Melora's Moon, 15
Duration 6 days
End Melora's Moon, 21

CRASH! The large Sahuagin barrels into the back of the Friendship 2.0, and the Sahuagin raiders attack both the Merrow traders and the Adventure Friends! As the attackers board the vessel, the large Sahuagin disappears from view and goes under the ship. The Merrow are an easy match for the Sahuagin one-on-one, and the Sahuagin take casualties quickly. As the battle sways in the team's favor, a beautiful song echoes from below the water's surface. A Merrow frantically informs Nydry that sharks are being summoned and to grab any harpoons on board! A large dorsal fin appears in the distance – a Megaladon has been called by an unknown enemy and is charging the ship! The Merrow slay many of the Sahuagin in the water while the party repels the boarders on the ship. A blue light fills the ocean, and the fresh wounds inflicted by the defenders against these Sahuagin attackers mend and heal, and they re-enter the fray! The Merrow notice the shark approaching and get out of the water as fast as possible to draw their harpoons against this new enemy. As the party again brings down the freshly healed invaders, the water glows once more, and their wounds are healed once more! A Merrow bodyguard dives below the ship to attempt to disrupt the source of healing. 

As the Merrow jumps off the ship, the Megaladon rams into the ship's side causing the vessel to careen violenty and knocking most of the fighers on-board prone. As the ship continues to rock violently, the large Sahuagin leaps from the water to take advantage of the freshly downed defenders and unleashes a flurry of attacks against Mizuki with his claws and magical trident.  Grog commands Tarn and his best men to drop sails to try and get away from this place and battle! 

Grandma Nim springs into action seeing two large foes prepared to tear both the ship and her friends to pieces, and she blinds both of them with her arcane magic! The large Sahuagin commander flails at the nearest enemy, and despite his lack of sight, brings Grog to his limits with a brutal flurry of attacks. But Grog, empowered by Kord, rebukes this attack and with the blood of his ancestors withstands the assault to remain standing. The shark continues to attack the ship tearing chunks out of the hull leaving the undermanned crew in the cargo hold to keep the ship afloat as best they can. 

Nim, seeing that the shark does not seem to be effected by her blindness spell, shrinks the shark to a smaller size to reduce the damage it can do to the ship. Nydry and Xarfas continue to pick off Sahuagin to allow Mizuki and Grog to focus on the commander. The Merrow frantically try to fire at the beast attacking the vessel but realize they have taken each other's weapons and are missing with each shot! Finally, Mizuki lands the killing blow against the commander as she shouts, "REST IN PEACE!" The commander falls.  The Merrow, who dived below the ship to grab the unknown assailant, surfaces while pulling a struggling, feminine Sahuagin! She breaks from the Merrow and attempts to flee from the crew, but a well-placed arrow from Nydry and Magic Missiles from Nim take the being down.  The shark now attempts to flee from the battlefield, but the ships cannons can fire multiple shots easily from the ship's deck to hit the beast leaving it belly up on the water's surface. 

The Merrow gather their dead and apologize for the trouble they have caused. They offer the rest of their fish, some of the Empress's delicacy, and all the gold they need to fix the ship (+530gp for the party!). Grog runs below deck to help his crew patch the hull to allow them to reach port within the week. Nim, upon looting the body of the Sahuagin priestess finds a Pearl of Power in her necklace! In addition, the weapon wielded by the commander is a magical trident! 

The Merrow offer to guide the group out of the deep ocean to the friendly shoals of the Harpoon Isles. The team is almost at their destination!

Melora's Moon, 21

The day is bright, the wind is warm, and the sky is clear! Grog inhales the familiar tropical air of the Harpoon Isles. The Friendships glide over coral reefs and sandbars that make the water shimmer with shades of aqua and turquoise. The fishing is lucrative, and some of the crew have even tried to make some improvised fishing poles to catch some fresh fish from the water. 

As the ship approaches within a day of reaching Tortuga, a cannon ball splashes the water near the ship, and over the horizon, the emblem of the Rising Dawn appears emblazoned on an approaching warship sail.

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Sailing the Deep Ocean
Mythological and supernatural events

 

Start Kord's Moon, 2
Duration 41 Days
End Melora's Moon, 15

After solving the murder mystery in Moldred, the Adventure Friends reunite aboard the Friendship II and discuss their next steps. Kord recalls that today is the beginning of Kord's moon cycle and wants to go to the Kordic Temple of Moldred to pray and receive his god's blessing. Others accompany him to also try and gain Kord's blessing with Nydry and Mizuki being successful. 

The Friends then decide that in order to avoid the Drow patrols along the Micarmeth shoreline, the will brave the deep ocean and the monsters and supernatural phenomenon that occur there.

Kord's Moon, 14

The Friends encounter a group of Merfolk traders who have potions and general goods for sale. The team buys 2 Health Potions, and Grog buys Coral Caltrops to turn into sand for Melora's Lily (-101 gp total).

Kord's Moon, 26

The Friends see the Moon and Sun coming together in the sky, and although none of them understand the religious significance of this event, Nydry recognizes that strange things occur during the meeting of Pelor and Sehanine. They stand ready as the Moon obscures the light of the Sun, and off the ships sides the light and darkness plays off the water, and two Eclipse Elementals appear writhing and pulsating with darkness and light! The team engages in them in combat and are forced to reckon with the powers of the Sun and Moon merged into one being. They burst with Moonlight and Sunlight blinding and burning the party, but the Adventure Friends come out victorious as the eclipse ends leaving the day as it was before this bizarre encounter.

Melora's Moon, 8

A humanoid draped over a piece of driftwood is spotted off the ship's bow. The Adventure Friends and Drow crew pull the person on the ship and find an unconscious High Elf. Grog casts Healing Word to revive the person. He asks for food and water. As he eats, the crew ask him how he came to be shipwrecked to which he informs them they were attacked by the Shauguin and that they are likely in the territory of conflict between the Merrow Naga and the Shauguin. 

Grog wants to cast Zone of Truth to ask more questions and informs the Elf that he will kill him if he tries to resist. The prisoner resists the spell, and Grog slices his throat, but as his blade meets the soft flesh of the neck, he finds it clad in scales. The High Elf shape transforms into the Huge form of a Bronze Dragon! He is very displeased that the group would execute an unarmed shipwrecked sailor for refusing to succumb to their will. Grog, Nydry, and Nim all draw their weapons and prepare for a fight as the Bronze Dragon grows angry at their behavior. First mate Tarn and Xarfas both jump between the Dragon and the crew members to de-escalate the situation. The Dragon demands 500gp as punishment for their "crime" in "his waters," and the Adventure Friends begrudgingly agree at the advisement of Tarn and Xarfas but not without some cutting words.

Melora's Moon, 15

Some friendly Naga traders approach the ship offering goods and fresh sea food. The crew and adventurer's both enthusiastically buy the sea food as a break from the normal diet they have been sustaining. As the Naga are loading the sea food onto their ship, the watch in the Crow's Nest spots movement rapidly approaching from the rear of the ship and yells down to the crew. Grog goes to the back to investigate but cannot quite make out the shapes of Shauguin until they attack the ship and bellow threats to the Naga traders!

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The Village of Moldrid
A Smalltown Murder Mystery

Start Corellon's Moon, 3
Duration 27 Days
End Kord's Moon, 2

The press-ganged crew of the Friendship 2 set to work after Grog had made sure that they were not planning to mutiny.  Grandma Nim's cooking and magic quickly endeared her to the crew as she makes the bland food Grog summons from Kord taste like their favorite foods. A young Drow sailor named Beltrin approaches Nim and asks if she can teach him how to do Prestidigitation more masterfully to which she offers him a Sudoku puzzle for him to solve. Once he finishes, he shall return for more training.

Corellon's Moon, 6

A pod of killer whales is sighted off the bow of the Friendship 2. The Adventure Friends climb up to the crow's nest with Tarn, the First Mate to get a better view of the rare sight. Tarn informed the party that it is rare to see them this far north this late in the year, so this is quite a treat. Probably a good omen.

Kord's Moon, 2

The Friendships make landing near the small fishing town of Moldrid, Micarmeth and head into town at dawn on the Friendship 1. Grog and Mizuki go back to the Friendship 2 to monitor the Drow crew and make sure there are no shenanigans. 

Nydry uses her Thieves' Cant to locate the local poison dealer and purchases a Truth Serum, Serpent's Venom, and Crawler Mucus poisons for 475gp after threatening the dealer with Xarfas as her enforcer. Nim purchases supplies to copy her spell scroll of Darkness into her spell book.

The party then checks out the local message board and sees, among a number of other bounties, there's a 500gp reward for assistance in solving a series of brutal murders in Moldrid. They report to the Sheriff's office where a stressed halfling named Tepos is berating a deputy about, "…ANOTHER MURDER IN THE CITY! FIND. OUR. KILLER." They talk to Tepos and learn that there have been three murders, one at a tavern and two others in the residential district. The most recent one is in the residential district, and he sends them on their way. 

They reach the house and inform the city watch guarding the scene that they are adventurer's looking to help. The city watchman asks for the PCs names for the records, so they know who has entered the murder scene and when.  Xarfas attempts to pass as a secret crowned prince of Draconia but fails; Nim gives her true name; Nydry provides her alternate identity. The party enters the home, and Nim immediately investigates the scene.

The tables are broken, cuts line the walls, blood is splattered everywhere, and the house is is disarray. She determines that even though Tepos and the City Watch are searching for a murderer, there were at least 4 combatants in the foyer tussle. The blood trail leads up the stairs as it's clear that a body was dragged up the stairs bleeding. The trail leads to the bedroom door on the left that is left ajar; the party slowly swings open the door and see the horrible scene. A half-elf body stripped to his undergarments and hung on the wall from his limbs with iron spikes. HIs limbs have all been lacerated, and the wall is soaked with blood. Nim notices a small circle on the floor that is not soaked with blood… these murders were harvesting blood from their victims! She also investigates the bloody arcane script around the corpse and learns that this is a dark blood magic ritual that binds the soul of the deceased to their blood. This looks like the work of necromancers. Nim also finds a scrap of paper underneath a dresser with a rudimentary map and a note, "… need 2 more …. the ritual …. three days." They finally stop by the blooded kitchen in the back of the house and find that the owner of the house likely tried to defend himself and got at least one of his assailants with a kitchen knife. 

The party heads to the location on the map, and Nydry scouts ahead. She finds three thugs guarding what appears to be a shadowy demon chanting over a bloody mass on a ritual fire. The team sneaks in as close as they dare with three thugs keeping watch and patrolling, but Xarfas manages to jump a thug, and the party surprises the group of enemies with a barrage of arrows and spells. The large bloody being above the fire is awakened by the demon and charges Grandma Nim wielding in his bloody hands a large morningstar, and the demon moves in to attack the invaders. Nim casts Mirror Image to avoid dying at the hands of the large abomination, and it swings wildly missing Nim at every turn. Nydry brings down a thug and peppers the abomination with arrows – with each arrow, a human form bursts from the shape and screams a terrible wail before being drawn back inside. Xarfas kills the thug and avoids the demons attacks, but the demon recedes into the twilight with insidious laughter. He moves in to attack the other thug, almost killing him, but the thug responds with an attack of his own and Xarfas is knocked unconscious. The demon ambushes Nim but hits one of her mirror images before receding back into the twilight. Nydry runs to Xarfas and revives him with his health potion. The demon's voice echoes through the dying woods, "Very well, mortals… You have won this time. But I will be baaaaack…"

The party is victorious and interrogates the thug who informs them, under influence of Truth Serum, that the local librarian, Malakath showed them how to summon the demon to learn Blood Magic. The party goes to the sheriff to report their findings, and the librarian is arrested after his house is found to be a trove of necromatic spells and rituals.

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The Battle of Friendship (s)
Pirates on the High Seas!

Start Corellon's Moon, 2
Duration 1 day
End Corellon's Moon, 3

"We have a very rare delicacy on board… IT'STHECONTENTSOFOURCHAMBERPOTSTHUNDERWAVE!!!!" Grog begins aggressive negotations and immediately takes out three pirates and the cannon trained on the Friendship. After taking more casualties and hearing the thunderous boom from the nearby ship, reinforcements quickly rush from the ships cabin including a rival priest of Kord! He immediately begins to heal the wounded pirates to attempt to swing the battle back in their favor, but repeated shatters and thunder waves undid most of the clerics work. He finally retaliated by casting his own thunderwave at the Friendship to hit Nydry and Nim.  

Nydry jumped on board the pirate ship and attacked the cleric with her Shocking Grasp to prevent his Thunderous Rebuke (on Grog's advice), but the cleric used his Divine Eminence to empower his mace to knock Nydry unconscious, but Nim avenged the brutal assault.

Meanwhile, Grog, his magic blade, and Mizuki are working together to eliminate the captain who puts up a hard fight parrying blow after blow. However, between the two of them, they brought the captain to brink of unconsciousness at which point he chooses to flee. As he runs down the stairs, Nim's Magic Missile flies through his body causing him to go lifeless on the deck of his ship. The one remaining pirate in the crow's nest yields.

Grog ties the Friendship to their newly acquired sailing ship dubbed the Friendship 2 while those crew who had not died in battle stabilized or died from their wounds.  The scared pirate in the crow's nest informed the group that there was a group of mutineers in the cells on the ship. The group goes to investigate and finds a burly Drow named Tarn with a group of other Drow in the cell. He tells Grog that he led a mutiny against Captain Kern after they raided a merchant vessel and began slaughtering the women and children on board, "No need to slaughter innocent people if you can just take their goods and send them on their way."  Nydry and Tarn exchange harsh words concerning the Drow's involvement in her family's murder, and the entire crew get a little uneasy around the vengeful wood elf.  Grog tells the party he would like to rest for the night, and the party sleeps on their new ship taking watches over the meditating prisoners.

The next day, Grog approaches the captured pirates and casts Zone of Truth to learn their true intentions. After some lawyering of words, Grog determines that:

  • Tarn and the rest will not harm or rob the party members unless they feel that they're being put in danger unnecessarily.
  • Do not like the party or the situation but prefer press ganging to death.
  • Revealed that sailing during the day in the equator will be very difficult at which point Grog says they will sail at night instead.
  • The Drow are very afraid of Nydry and want to be promised protection from her. Grog agrees to try to keep Nydry from attacking the party and will give them a head start to escape once they reach Tortuga.

The Adventure Friends have now captured a new ship and have a new crew! 

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It's Cold Here... Let's Leave!
Season 2: To the Harpoon Isles!
Start Moradin's Moon, 22
Duration 5 weeks
End Corellon's Moon, 2

The party was chilling in the Drunken Fish when Jolly Roger showed up and offered them a job. They talked with Malech and got some details.

Davey Jones wants peace in the Harpoon Isles or at least stability to allow trade to continue uninhibited.

Goal: Stabilize the region, whatever the cost.

Reward: 1500 gp

The Harpoon Isles Factions

Order of the Rising Dawn, Fanatics of Erathis and Moradin

Leader: Gimli Hardgar, LN Paladin of Erathis


The Pirate Coven, Local Pirates' Guild

Leader: Urmug Dorzag, CN Sea Captain


Gulm, One of Two Towns on the Spearhead

Leader: Gulm Council

Resources Gained

Keelboat The Friendship
Value 3000gp
Speed 1 MPH
Crew 1
Passengers 6
Cargo 1000 lbs + 100 lbs Secret
AC 15
HP 100
Damage Threshold 10
Cargo 250 rations, water barrel
Extras Ship Cat – Rowl

Story

Malech takes the group to Noran to see the keelboat Davy Jones is offering. It looks to be in good condition although it has clearly seen extensive use. Grandma Nim, Robert Pattinson, and Nydry all find it adorable and want to name it 'The Friendship.' The group agrees and takes the ship. They purchase 250 rations to fill the cargo hold for their journy and then have Malech tow them to Reykjaven.

They set sail from Reykjaven west to the first port of Drell on the southern tip of Storjokull, the sparsely inhabited island covered in ice and snow.  

Day 10: They run into a friendly Merfolk merchant who offers some scrolls and armor for sale.  Nim buys a Scroll of Enlarge Person (25gp) and Robert buys a Scroll of Summon Mount (25gp). The team discusses whether to sell the Lily of Melora. They decide against it, and they part ways with the merchant.

Day 22: A mast appears over the horizon. Grog recognizes the banner of Drow Pirates in Micarmeth! They are incurring in Davy Jones' territory and are therefore probably hostile.  They plan an ambush, and Grog attempts to do some "Maybe Negotiation?" The pirate captain says, "Yes, sailor, all men must die. And today it will be YOU!" Grog Thunderwaves!  

To be continued…

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An Unexpected Visitor
Removing the Curse of Orsik

The team reunites! They meet at Dergenbern's Ber 'n' Gerll and discuss their adventures.  They notice the restaurant is noticeably empty, and Dergenbern informs them that something called the "Arcane Flu" – an affliction that causes wild magical effects when the sick sneeze or cough – has been going around Reykjaven. Serene and Dr. Holly have been working together to keep the infection quarantined as it is not lethal generally but highly contagious. Dr. Holly enters the bar in quite a fuss asking if Dergenbern has any more moss tea available for the sick – he provides the tea, and Dr. Holly notices the group.

She tells them that Serene instructed her to send them to her immediately and provides face masks to help keep them safe from the disease. She takes them to the quarantine zone and find a much nicer Serene than they remember. She tells Dr. Holly to hold down the zone while she attends to this new task and goes with the group. She quickly drops the "kind old lady" facade and takes them to her Tardis hut. 

They enter the hut, and Serene instructs them to prepare for the ritual asking Marlin to look at the book she gave him. They set up the ritual, and Nydry fetches her sister as she has also been infected. Serene informs them that they'll need to take a break after cleansing the first subject. Nydry sends her sister back to the tavern until they finish.

The ritual begins and the group cleanses Orsik without issue! The team then cleanses the Amulet of Dark Summoning without issue as well. As Serene sits down to recuperate, she feels something strange. Her dimension has been hijacked! 

The God of Darkness and Poison, Zehir, strolls into the hut and freezes Serene with dark magic. He offers the group one of their lives in exchange for Orsik's soul and the amulet. He reveals that he could steal the soul, but that stolen souls do not work as well as souls given freely. Grog quietly tells Orsik to cut his own throat to avoid being used as a pawn in Zehir's game if it comes down to it. Orsik agrees, knowing what needs to be done. He also reveals that Athalas is … HIS DAUGHER :O!

The team (obviously) disagrees to his teams, and he fades from the cabin as Imps begin to flood into the cabin. Orisk cuts his own throat and begins to bleed out. Serene breaks her bonds and begins taking back her dimension. The team protects her while she casts, and she stabilizes her dimension. Grog stabilizes Orsik. Serene leaves to fight Zehir face-to-face. The hut collapses and the group finds itself in a crypt filled with the floating bones and a single black diamond.

Mizuki, landing deftly on her feet, sees that Orsik is being pulled into the ground by the same dark tentacles that bound Serene earlier. The team jumps into action to save Orsik, but the tentacles are too strong for the group to fight against, and Grog makes a difficult decision – his magical blade attacks Orsik, and he snaps his neck to prevent his soul from being used for nefarious purposes.

They grab the dark gem, not having time to mourn the loss of their friend as the crypt closes in around them, and the world swirls around them dropping them into a darkned corridor with high hedge mazes on either side. The roots begin to grab at their feet, and Grog and Mizuki are both grappled by the roots. Robert Pattinson comes in to save the day using her deft acrobatics skills distracting the magical plants while the others pull their trapped friends free. There is another black diamond at the end of the corridor – the team runs to it and grabs it. 

They are transported to a formal masquerade dinner party, and Nydry notices another black diamond on the table at the front of the party. She stealthily steals the diamond from the table from under the nose of the Monarch, and the team is then transported to a floating rock, surrounded by a great arcane abyss.

In front of them, a shadowy, four-armed figure turns around. The gaseous, incorporeal form of Athalas stands in front them. Combat begins!

The group comes out victorious, but Marlin is downed by Athalas' unrelenting assault. The darkness summoned by Athalas obscures the party members, but the defeat Athalas despite taking losses. The portal and island begin to collapse, but the team jumps through in time and find themselves in the middle of a  quiet and peaceful Reykjaven. They had stopped Athalas from rising for good and foiled Zehir's plan… this time.

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