Savage Tide

Chapter Eight: Part F – The Wreck and Captain Whyther

Chapter Eight: Part F – The Wreck and Captain Whyther

18th Sunsebb,CY 613: Aely, Byrker, Kevrey, Kaywen, and Styvesandt continued upward to The Wreck where they encountered more Captains, the demonic form one again, and eventually Cold Captain Whyther. After a titanic struggle the part survived and began to search below deck. They found the Captain’s well apportioned bedroom and then the main treasure room first. It was guarded by Ghourgos, a yagnoloth, who drove them back, then took that opportunity to return to his home plane. Inside this very secure room they found tons of monetary treasure, something in the neighborhood of 100,000 gp worth, and the famed <>BChest of Hathruman. Hathruman was a legendary arcane trickster who delighted it creating trapped objects. This chest was said to be his finest creation. The chest proved a formidable and dangerous challenge. It was only after Whyspurr appeared and re-searched the bed chamber, that the key to the solution was found. Inside they found more treasure, the doomed Athrinoord Stone, and a wakeportal, a magical gemstone which could help pilot a ship to the Abyss!

No other room offered such treasure, but one did award them with clues. There was the unfinished note, written in what appeared to be blood, “Vanthus lives! Back from death! He’s taken control of the fleet and says he wants to make me into one of them, to take me to Demogorgon’s realm where . . .” Byrker identified the handwriting as Lavinia’s. Scrying once more for Lavinia resulted in some bad news. She was in very bad shape, chained and hanging over some sort of steaming pool. Asking her where she was got a basic reply – “Hell!”

One logical conclusion drawn by the party was that if they were to stop the deployment of the shadow pearls their best bet was to travel to the Abyss, perhaps walking into Demogorgon’s trap, to try and stop him. As well, this was the only way to find and rescue Lavinia. Though they were easily rich enough to retire, duty beckoned them on. It was first a matter of divvying up and/or disposing of the recently gained loot and then deciding on a course of action.

Chapter Eight: Part D - from the Minting House to The Wreck
The map to Serkovia

16th Sunsebb,CY 613: Aely, Kevrey, Kaywen, Styvesandt and Whyspurr left the rest behind on the Sea Wyvern and teleported to town to head for the Minting House. Scoping out the place, a narrow brick building of three stories with a steeply gabled roof and a towering chimney, they found and broke in through a back door. At first the place seemed empty. But as Aely went upstairs she was set upon by some thugs, almost killed, yet again, by a yuan-ti assassin, among others. In the fight and flight that followed, they took some prisoners, encountered a yuan-ti sorcerer, and found the final missing Jade Raven, Tolin. They could now search the Minting House in peace and then decide where to next.

Aely, Byrker, Kevrey, Kaywen, and Styvesandt searched the Minting House. They found a secret tunnel which turned out to be an escape route/secret entrance which exited some 200’ away from this building. They also came to realize that the workers here were in the business of melting down coins and then re minting them in a lighter weight form, thus getting more bang for the buck. As well, on one of those they slew they found a map of Serkovia, the hideout of the Crimson Fleet. It was located some 11 mile northeast of Scuttle Cove.

18th Sunsebb,CY 613: Aely, Byrker, Kevrey, Kaywen, and Styvesandt spent a day resting up on the Sea Wyvern and then prepared to visit Serkovia. Rather than hike through the jungle or sail up the river, Kaywen created phantasmal steeds so they could fly over. Unfortunately the closer they got to the area indicated on the map, the mistier it got. They had little choice but to drop through the mist for a better look. Even then things did not seem all that clear because there appeared to be an infestation of insects as another barrier. Still they continued downward eventually settling down atop a tower of some sort. Kevrey snuck into the upper room and got the drop on the pirates there while Byrker levitated down to the only door they could see to watch for escapers. They managed to capture a Captain Longshanks who reluctantly volunteered that the place to go was the ‘Wreck.’ Only now at ground level, their vision no longer encumbered by various restraints cold they see the massive structure which was to their east. It was a number of ships, in whole or in parts, somehow held together by rope bridges, chains and some tree trunks, which rose some 100’ from the water level. While Longshanks claimed to have no knowledge of the location of Vanthus or Lavinia, he suggested that they might be on The Wreck.

Aely, Byrker, Kevrey, Kaywen, and Styvesandt snuck over to and made their way onto the main, lower, deck where they encountered and dealt with some more yuan-ti and pirates. Below deck was more of the same. On the other side of this deck they encountered a retriever and set off a trap which temporarily had Styvesandt fleeing.

Below deck on this side Aely, Kevrey, Kaywen, and Styvesandt found another captain, one Ratline Sid, imprisoned. He was more forthcoming with information since he was no longer on the good side of their leader Captain Whyther. He told of how Vanthus had been here, with ‘some female,’ It was because of Vanthus presence and then his leaving, with this ‘female,’ on Whyther’s ship, the Crimosn Scar, that Ratline and a few others had attempted to mutiny against Whyther. It seems their leader had become more and more strange since his visit to Lemoriax on Gaping Maw through the use of a special device called a wake portal. It was there that Whyther and now Sid and most of the other captains had begun the transformation into lemorians. According to Sid, Whyther had given himself over to the worship of Demogorgon and that the fleet had, or was in the process of, delivering a number of shadow pearls to many, maybe 35 different sites in the southern areas of Greyhawk.

Aely, Kevrey, Kaywen, and Styvesandt left Ratline Sid where he was and took the nearest rope bridge upward. As they tried to climb they were assaulted with arrow, Aely doing a wonderful swan dive to the deck below. Eventually they got to the deck of the Anger and dealt with the pirates there. Below deck they found a shrine to Demogorgon, which confirmed Sid’s story, which they accidentally began to activate but did not use. They also met some other captains, one of which transformed into some demonic form before taking its leave.

Chapter Eight: Part C – Scuttlecove – The Bridcage and the Minting House

15th Sunsebb,CY 613:

Aely, Byrker, Kevrey, Kaywen, and Styvesandt made their way to the Birdcage. Along the way they passed the Plaza of Hanging Ruin where they found the body of one of the Jade Ravens, Kaskus Kiel, one of the Jade Ravens. The dwarf was quite dead and had been hanging there for some time. They took the body down and preserved it as best they could.

Eventually they arrived at the Crooked Spire, also known as the Birdcage, a house of ill repute. It was also known as a place where less talkative people were sent to have their tongues loosened. It was a small gray tower decorated with luridly colored flags and numerous bas-relief carvings of stylized harpies armed with whips and daggers. Rather than allow Byrker to ‘kick down the door’ or to try and bluff their way in, they went around the back where a new door was stone shaped and they began sneaking in that way. As they did so they were seen by some people, people who seemed to be servants of some sort and slightly stunned in some way and in no way threatening. Shortly thereafter, however, they heard singing and some of them found their basic abilities being weakened, some became rather confused. Fortunately Styvesandt and Kaywen maintained their abilities and senses throughout. In one of her more clear moments Aely was able to ‘see’ what was menacing them – harpies, invisible harpies, and well as very visible yuan-ti. It took some doing but gradually the yuan-ti were felled and two of the harpies fled, the other was killed.

A search of the premises confirmed that this establishment was used for torture to get information, that the Seventh Coil had sent a “feisty, foul mouthed wench” to be interrogated and that in a huge birdcage suspended from the upper domed ceiling, Harliss Javal was still alive though in rather bad shape. Some healing spells later she was her old snide self, demanding her equipment back and wanting to get out of this building. Kaywen and Aely teleported her, the party, and the servants back to the Sea Wyvern. There they realized that one of the brainwashed servants was Liamae Teslikiria, another one of the Jade Ravens.

Harliss told of her search for the base of the Crimson Fleet with whom she had a major bone to pick. She mentioned the Protectorate, though none questioned her about it, and that she did initiate the dream through Tyralandi. She figured she must have asked the wrong question to the wrong people and that was what got her captured. She admitted that the Sisters of Lamentation, as the harpies were known, had managed to get her to mention the Protectorate, and that she had help in the form of this party on the way. While she had not yet learned the location of the Crimson Fleet’s base, she confirmed that the Minting House was a yuan-ti hideout and that she figured they knew something about the Fleet.

16th Sunsebb,CY 613:

Aely, Kevrey, Kaywen, Styvesandt and Whyspurr left the rest behind on the Sea Wyvern and teleported to town to head for the Minting House. Scoping out the place, a narrow brick building of three stories with a steeply gabled roof and a towering chimney, they found and broke in through a back door. At first the place seemed empty. But as Aely went upstairs she was set upon by some thugs, almost killed, yet again, by a yuan-ti assassin, among others. In the fight and flight that followed, they took some prisoners, encountered a yuan-ti sorcerer, and found the final missing Jade Raven, Tolin. They could now search the Minting House in peace and then decide where to next.

Chapter Eight: Part B – Scuttlecove – Red Foam Whaling
Looking for Harliss Javel

Chapter Eight: Part B – Scuttlecove – Red Foam Whaling

14th Sunsebb,CY 613: Having concluded all their various business dealings, Aely, Byrker, Kaywen, Kevrey, Styvesandt and Whyspurr teleported to the Sea Wyvern as it awaited them in the Pirate Isles near Scuttlecove, some 1200 miles northeast of Farshore and the Isle of Dread. They eventually rendezvoused with the Blue Nixie only to learn that the Jade Ravens had not waited for them; impatient they had entered Scuttlecove on their own and had not been heard from for some time. The party decided to hide their ship in a seemingly safe cove to the east of the city proper and headed into the city on their longboat disguised as pirates. They quickly bought the aid of a young lad to help them located the Red Foam Whaling where Harliss Javel, a pirate they had met way back in Kraken’s Cove so very long ago, had asked them to meet her in Aely’s dreams.

The boy gave them a bit of a tour of the town and they made their way from the far east end to the far west end where Red Foam Whaling was located. As they neared the dilapidated establishment, which the boy assured them had been out of business for some time, he added one last bit of knowledge, “It’s haunted”

Finding the front doors stuck, they made their way around the east side along planks until Aely fell through and into the water below. She eventually got back on wood and saw whom she thought was Harliss unconscious and tied up. As she approached her, Aely was almost killed by some yuan-ti assassins. The ‘Harliss’ turned out to be a succubus. Eventually everyone became involved in the fight with a number of yuan-ti including a particularly bloated yellow one whom they called ‘the leech.’ After a major battle, the assassins were killed and the Leech fled. They needed to rest and regroup before searching the establishment.

14th Sunsebb,CY 613: Aely, Byrker, Kaywen, Styvesandt and Whyspurr searched the various rooms of the Red Foam Whaling. From what found the place had been used as a hideout but it was unclear for whom. The final room was a bit more telling in that they encountered the Leech once more and summoned many armed demon. When both were dispatched they found the unconscious person of Zan Oldavin, one of the Jade Ravens. He told of being with Kaskus on their way to a place called the Minting House, a yuan-ti safe house when they were set upon by some yuan-ti. He ended up here and had no idea where any of the others were. They also found some gear which they remembered belonged to Harliss and a note, apparently one of introduction from someone named Zimon Alenveer to a Tyralandi. Kaywen was able to learn that Tyralandi ran the Porphyry House, a onetime brothel and the center of much illegal activity.

They headed to Porphyry House where they bribed their way in to a meeting with Tyralandi, who turned out to be a half fiend of some sort. She was quite animated in quizzing them about how they came into possession of this note. It became gradually obvious that bluffing her was not in their best interest. When they finally admitted that they were trying to find Harliss who had contacted them via a dream, she seemed more at ease. It was she who helped Harlis use dream to contact them, not they she knew who they were or what was communicated. She thought she knew where Harliss was and was willing to trade that information for a lock of Byrker’s hair. It seemed she had taken a liking to his Smiley the Pirate persona and wanted to make a simulacrum of him. Eventually a deal was struck with words of honor and guarantees on both sides. Tyralandi told them she had it on best knowledge that Harlis was being held against her will in the Birdcage,— another brothel. The FIVE set this as their next port of call with the Minting House now second on their list.

Chapter Eight; Part A: Preparations for Scuttlecove

24th Readyreat, CY 613: Farshore

Aely, Byrker, Kaywen, Kevrey, Styvesandt and Whyspurr returned to Farshore Only to find that some strange occurrences had taken place in their absence. The one thing that seemed certain was that a fire had broken out in the Vanderboren Manor and that Lavina was missing.

The Five went to the manor only to find workmen repairing the roof above Lavinia’s bedroom. Their walk attracted the attention of many citizens of Farshore. From them and from the servants, especially Kora Whistlegap, they pieced together the ‘story’ as best they could. As unbelievable as it sounded, Vanthus had risen from the dead, brought with him some giant apes, and kidnapped his sister! He was quoted as saying he was taking her ‘to the Lord of the Crimson Fleet.’ This clue, coupled with the journal they had found on Taboo Island, led them to believe that Lavinia could be in Scuttlecove and that should be their next port of call.

But first they had to stem the tide, the exodus, of common folk from Farshore. Manthalay Meravanchi was sponsoring this exodus, buying up houses at discount prices, promising a safe trip all the way back to Sasserine. Two ships had already been commandeered for this service. Lavinia’s ship, the Blue Nixie, had been taken by the Jade Ravens who had already set out to rescue her. It took a few days and some calming talk on the part of The Five, but they managed to get most of these folk to stay put, for now at least.

They debated the best way to approach the problem of travel. After consulting their resident pirate, Lefty, who clued them in on the full dangers of Scuttlecove, they decided they would want the Sea Wyvern with them. Lefty began to study the sea charts. Aely attempted to scry on Lavinia, but something blocked the efforts.

25th Readyreat, CY 613: Farshore

Lefty and a crew set sail for the general area of Scuttlecove on the island of Serkovia, a trip of some two weeks or so. Meanwhile Aely, Byrker, Kaywen, Kevrey, Styvesandt and Whyspurr traveled to Sasserine to do some business and then teleport to the ship. While in Sasserine, Aely had a strange dream/vision. It was from/about Harliss Javel, a pirate they had met way back in Kraken’s Cove so very long ago. She told of her anger against those who had failed to warn her of the true dangers of the shadow pearls and her desire for revenge. She asked them to meet her at the Red Foam Whaling establishment in Scuttlecove. Once their business in Sasserine was finished they would get to the Sea Wyvern and approach Scuttlecove.

Chapter Seven: Part F – Taboo Temple and Beyond

Chapter Seven: Part F – Taboo Temple and Beyond

16th of Readying, CY 613:

Aely, Byrker, Kaywen, Kevrey and Styvesandt decided to return to Farshore for a better rest. They returned the items that belonged to Noltus to Vesserine. He suggested they could put them to better use, though he did keep the celestial armor for the church of Pelor.

17th of Readying, CY 613:

Aely, Byrker, Kaywen, Kevrey and Styvesandt returned to the Grand Cathedral to make a thorough search of this area. They found little of interest save for an fairly well equipped alchemy lab which they took.

Coming up to the main level, they directed their attention to those massive stone doors that had blocked their way some days before. Stronger now, they were able to un-jam them and proceed out behind the complex. There they found an ancient ziggurat overgrown with vegetation. Nearby they spotted three out buildings and some skinwalkers. They decided to attack these evil natives only to realize that they had stumbled upon those who had put up such a fight way back in the main entrance. This time the party was prepared for their ticks and did a much better job of it, pretty much killing all of them. During this fight a thiefling male started to help the skinwalkers but magically fled once he himself was attacked. Searching the buildings they found a journal, belonging to someone named Throgiff,written in Abyssal. It contained an accounting of the number of victims sacrificed in the past year (160, with 23 listed as special). The ledger also tracked how many shadow pearls had been sent below – 44. It would seem that there are 35 still out there and that Scuttlecove, wherever it might be, should be their next port of call.

But, first there the ziggurat to search, not much was found, and the rest of the island to consider, but not much was found. The time had come to return to Farshore once more.

. . . . . . .Thus ended the Seventh chapter of our saga.

Chapter Seven: Part E – Taboo Temple: The Grand Cathedral
The Grand Cathedral

15th of Readying, CY 613:

Aely, Byrker, Kaywen, Kevrey and Styvesandt continued through the depths of the pools f lava. There appeared two exits to the east. One of these proved to be a 400 sq ft cave with human skulls as its ‘rug.’ Trying the second exit brought them into ‘safer’ areas. One of these had a merry pool which flowed out. The rough hewn walls of this cave were almost completely covered with spiral carvings, which created a crude and disturbing depiction of an amorphous, demonic monster of colossal proportions. As Aely studied the drawing two koprus emerged from the pool. As the fight began, a third appeared in the water, then submerged apparently swimming away.

Aely, Byrker, Kaywen, Kevrey and Styvesandt continued north into an immense cavern. The forty foot high ceiling of this enormous shrine was supported by eight massive square pillars, which also separated the central part of the hall from two balconies which ran along the east and west sides. Facing them where they entered was a well damaged by time statue of some Olman god. It stood before a platform which extended over a pool of foul water. Across the water was a second platform which led to a massive entrance which seemed closed by rubble. On this platform was a dais and on the dais was a melon sized black pearl. The pearl appeared to throb with eldritch power, waves of magical ectoplasm seemed to reach from the pool to the dais.

As they took time to take in their surroundings they became aware of the presence of others. One koprus and some demonic lizards emerged from the pool and attacked. Then a large two headed demon appeared across the pool by the dais. This Aspect of Demogorgon spit on Kaywen, burning him with acid and taking away some of his power. Aely teleported Byrker and Kevrey across to face this monster, making multiple images of herself as she did so. Once there, Khala greeted her by dismissing all of her magical wards, leaving the cleric rather vulnerable. Meanwhile her skulvyn demons ‘pets’ assaulted Kaywen and Styvesandt. Other emerged from the pool to attack the three who had teleported. Kaywen was able to fly above the fray, leaving Styvesandt to face the music alone. Luckily, Khala recalled most of her pets to her side of the pool. Khala proved a mighty foe, who could likely have destroyed them, but . . . Eventually Kaywen got through her magical defenses, and did her much harm. Her pets kept Aely at bay for the long time. After a monumental struggle, and thanks to an incredible arrow flight from Styvesandt, the Aspect of Demogorgon was slain. As Khala fell she slowly burst apart. But in her death they all got a clear look and the visage of the real Demogorgon. Once Khala fell, it was a relatively simple matter to finish off the pet Skulvyn demons.

Aely, Byrker, Kaywen, Kevrey and Styvesandt were left to heal, rest, and search safely for now. . .

Chapter Seven: Part E – Return to Taboo Temple

4th of Readying, CY 613: In Taboo Temple – Lower Level

Aely, Byrker, Kaywen, Kevrey and Styvesandt took one of these passages/stairways which brought them to a low ceilinged, water filed room. As they began to make their way though it some creatures rose up from the depths. . . . . .

. . . . . . . . They turned out to be Hezrous. Considering they were fighting in either feet f water, the party did well to survive. There were they ways out of this large room. They chose to head west and then north along a passage that was filled with only four feet of water. It led them to a watery room the walls of which were decorated with mosaics representing various fantastic and horrid creatures from the ocean depths. The door on the north side was swollen shut. When it was finally smashed open the water flowed through in a torrent, sweeping Aely and Styvesandt down into some depths below!

The others managed to cling to the walls to avoid being swept away, but had little choice but to follow down a long stairway to see what happened to their companions. They descended about 80’ where they found Aely and Styvesandt on a beach of sorts, only it was composed of crusted deposits from mineral springs and the ‘water’ here was bubbling and steaming lava. It was a huge domelike cave with many of these lava pools with mineral crust bridges over and through them at some points. It was decided to go back up for now and save this for later.

Back up the stairs they took a side passage which led them to a room which contained many statues of Olman warriors. Byrker went in depressing a plate on the floor which dropped a portcullis trapping him with four now animated statues. But they were not just statues, they were clay golems. Byrker took some non-healing wounds from them until Aely reached through the bars and dimensioned him out. They retraced their way back to the large room, now containing only four feet of water. Taking the other western exit brought them to the room that Byrker had fallen into from the floor above some time back. It also led to a room which contained an ancient archive – stone tablets that contained information on the clan Thanaclan. It had been a long day so they gathered up what they could and teleported to Farshore.

4th – 14th of Readying, CY 613: In Farshore

They spent some time in Farshore working on their skills, and with Kaywen’s and Aely’s help, crafting magic items.

15th of Readying, CY 613: Taboo Temple – Lower Level

Aely, Byrker, Kaywen, Kevrey and Styvesandt teleported back to the archive room and retraced steps to the large room once again. They now took the eastern stairs which if followed would have brought them up to the ground level. But there was a southern descending passage here so down they went. They discovered oyster garden where it seemed the pearls used for making shadow pearls were being cultivated. As the forced open one of the largest oysters it shrieked and attracted some koprus. After defeating them, the party found a small alchemy lab with items and solutions which suggested that the koprus were somehow making the pearls develop faster. A second passage, completely water filled, was followed by Aely and Byrker until it led them to the main lake. Rather than deal with the large crock that live there, they returned.

15th of Readying, CY 613: Taboo Temple – Grotto Level

They went back to that stairway and down to the lava pools and began making their way around them. At one point they were attacked by some more koprus. They eventually saw two areas of interest. One seems to be an entrance into the wall; the other was a terraced area which contained a throne of sorts with some being sitting in it. Choosing the latter, they found the being to be a semi-fossilized skeleton of an Olman priest. He had a magic sword across his lap and a magic ring on one of his fingers. The sword turned out to be a sun blade and the ring one of telekinesis. . . . .

Chapter Seven: Part D – Return to Taboo Temple

Chapter Seven: Part D – Return to Taboo Temple

1st Readying, CY 613 – To Sasserine

After a day of recuperation in Farshore, the party decided to head to Sasserine to bolster their abilities. Kaywen visited the Witchwardens. He traded them a bunch of low level wands he had little use for and got a scroll of greater invisibility in exchange. He also went to the Temple of Wee Jas where he acquired a Ruby Skull of Wee Jas. As the Temple of St. Cuthbert he met with a paladin named Boone, who taught him the spell bless weapon. Aely and Byrker went to the Azure Cathedral. Aely made inquiries about the lost ship Asterian which he hoped to someday find and bring its figurehead above the surface of the water in order to improve the power of his trident Wave. Byrker donated 1,000 gp to the Cathedral.

3rd of Readying, CY 613: Back to Taboo Temple

With a host of new spells and buffs and with a hearty Heroes Feast under their belts, Aely teleported Byrker, Kaywen, Styvesandt and Whyspurr into the great hall of the temple. They found four skinwalkers on guard duty. During the fight a spell caster made a brief appearance, long enough to cast one fireball, and then drew a hasty retreat.

Aely, Byrker, Kaywen, Kevrey and Styvesandt spent the rest of the morning searching the rooms, finding a few odds and ends, worrying about where the other skinwalkers had gone. They followed a long and winding hallway, the floor of which gave way dropping Byrker into a water filled room below, until they came to a great domed room. The domed seventy foot high ceiling was supported by a ring of pillars carved in the likeness of tree trunks embraced by coiling feathered serpents. A cycle of bas-reliefs on the wall represented battles between Olman warriors and flightless dragons. The Olman warriors were led by a heroic archer who wielded a bow that seemed to be made of lightening. He was crowned emperor after his victory in a carving on the southern wall.

A design of three rings of circles was engraved on the floor. Three seven foot tall stone statues on circular bases had been placed around the circle, on to the west, one to the east, and one to the south. All three statues represented similar looking men dressed in imperious robes and wielding scepters. The western statue’s scepter ended in a sun, the eastern a moon, and the southern a star. Engraved on the floor between these three figures are three rings of circular depressions. Each ring had sixteen depressions. Three stones spheres sat in three of these depressions. A sphere bearing a carving of a moon sat in the inner ring at the westernmost depression, while a sphere bearing a star sat at the southernmost depression of the outer ring. The third ball bore a carving of the sun and sat in the easternmost depression of the middle ring.

It became apparent that this room was some sort of puzzle which needed to be solved. They produced the etching given them by Vesserin, etched by Noltus, and pondered the situation, hoping it might produce some clues as to a solution. The etching had 11 moons, 12 suns and 13 stars. They tried different starting points for the appropriate stones until they began to feel a wind blow through the room. Then they heard the voice of each of these Olman gods speaking to them in their heads. Then a magnificent long bow, the Nimbus Bow – made of fine wood carved with spiraling motifs and encrusted with diminutive turquoises — appeared, hovering in the center of all the circles. When it was finally handed to Styvesandt it told him that it was a +2 shocking burst longbow that allowed the wielder to add his strength bonus as if it had been made that way. Against reptilian monsters (including all dragons) and creatures with the Earth subtype, it was a +4 shocking burst longbow that inflicted an additional 2d6 dmg on a hit. Outdoors the wielder can control winds 1/day, summon nature’s ally V 1/day, and warp wood 3/day.

Depleted of spells and a bit tired, they returned to Farshore for a rest.

During that afternoon, Kaywen mentioned that he needed to learn the detect invisibility spell. Whyspurr reminded him that his grandmother Kora knew some spells so they visited her. After taking a scolding for the big freeze that Aely had given her grandson, she and Kaywen swapped some spells.

4th of Readying, CY 613: Back to Taboo Temple

Armed with a new weapon and new spells they returned and continued to explore main floor of the temple. They had a strange encounter with an very large ooze, found some stone door that for the moment could not be opened, and came upon two distinct ways down that did not require falling through the floor.

They took one of these passages/stairways which brought them to a low ceiling, water filed room. As they began to make their way though it some creatures rose up from the depths. . . . . .

Chapter Seven: Part C – Into Taboo Temple

Chapter Seven: Part C – Into Taboo Temple

26th Fireseek, CY 613

Exhausted and drained from the cave mouth battle, Aely teleported Byrker, Kaywen, Styvesandt and Whyspurr back to Farshore to get better prepared for the challenges ahead.

27th Fireseek, CY 613: In Farshore

They spent a day or so getting better supplied and gave a lot of thought as to how to bolster their personal defenses. Little thought was given to improving their offense. They also informed Vesserin of the demise of his friend Noltus. Styvesandt and Byrker checked on their Olman Inn and found it to be up and running under the direction of Artemus Buttwyler.

28th Fireseek, CY 613: back to Taboo Island

Aely teleported Byrker, Kaywen, Styvesandt and Whyspurr back to the entry cave which seemed to be much the way they had left it. As Aely and Whyspurr studied the remains of the statues in hopes of finding some hidden compartments or other secrets, Kaywen’s ability to detect magic tipped him off to a certain area just before the interior hallway. It turned out to be a rune of some sorts, likely the death rune they had been warned about. Rather than try to diffuse it, they decide to dimension door beyond it into the long hallway. There, Whyspurr snuck ahead towards what appeared to be a large room with a fire pit in the center. He came back and reported that he saw about 4 of those skinwalkers apparently on guard in there.

Some say ‘pride goeth before the fall.’ They spent some time making sure they were properly buffed for this encounter and moved forward. It is sometimes said that the best offense is a good defense; this was to prove to be NOT one of those times. As they reached the room, they barely had time to take in its dimensions – some 80’ wide, 60’ deep, with a 15’ balcony around its edges, with rooms apparently up there, a glowing fire pit and man-sized stone visage with its mouth agape across from them – when a fiery blast emanated from said mouth and engulf them in flame! This should have been a warning that they were in for quite a fight, but . . . . Byrker advanced towards some skinwalkers and Styvesandt let loose with flaming arrows from his magic bow which hated these outsiders. This softened them up but barely. Soon four more skinwalkers appeared on the balcony, accompanied by their leader and his bear. While the party members did have a major advantage in the protections and armor, the skinwalkers had the tremendous advantage of many, many attacks. Sooner or later some would get through, As well, once some got near Styvesandt his bow was reduced from 3 attacks to at most one, and often he was forced to go hand to hand. Meanwhile it turned out that there were two spellcasters on the other side both of which felt no need to ‘save their spells’ for some other battle. And many of their spells by passed the armor protections of the party.

Under all this pressure, the party began to make tactical errors. For some unknown reason, Aely insisted that Whyspurr should head into the fray so as to backstab the bear, the one enemy who had yet to do any damage. They wily Halfling did as he was told and almost died to regret it. Yes, he did manage to drive the bear from the fight, but shortly thereafter when a desperate Aely, the person who had dragged Whyspurr out in the open, decided to let lose a cone of cold, she caught the poor halfing in the cone and killed him, almost. Aely was forced to use her heal spells upon her own person more than once. Byrker found his strength drained so his ability to hit any of them suffered, Styvesandt did manage to take refuge back in the hallway where his bow could do some good, but his aim had been affected. The battle raged for over an hour! They did manage to kill 6 of the 8 regular skinwalkers, and eventually one of the spellcasters disappeared, but the chief and the other spell caster had Aely in a life and death struggle. Even when Kaywen finally got around to unleashing some potent spells, they enemies never seemed to take full damage.

Still, the party considered, actually considered, continuing the fight. But, just as they were very likely to be killed clearer heads prevailed. They were clearly our attacked and out spelled. With pretty much their last bit of strength and magic, they got to Kaywen’s side and he teleported them out of there and back to Farshore.


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