5: A GOOD DAY TO DIE


“Perhaps today is a good day to die.” – Worf, Way of the Warrior


N did some expermimenting with the ship, learning how to effectively operate the Spelljamming helm.

Characters did some research using logbooks. Very little was known about the Isle of Dread, also called Albion. The party knows that they are on the Elmental Plane of Water. One of the few actual islands on the plane is the Isle of Dread. The island is connected to the Prime Material Plane by means of a regular storm that sweeps over the island.

The characters awoke to find that Kua-Toa were attacking the camp again. Several members of the party were captured, and being kidnapped by the fishmen. Half of the party engaged directly, killing some of the fishmen and tracking them to the cave entrance that had been previously discovered. However, friendly fire from the mortar on the ship inflicted heavy damage on Matrim, Ragnir, and Daehir. The decision was made by the captain to withdraw and return to the camp to pursue the Kuo-Toa in the advantage of dayloght to rescue Arlan, Damoolah, V, and the other captured crewmen. Unknown to the party, the Kuo-Toans were kidnapping the crewmen to sell to a colony of nearby Drow.

In the Forgotten Realms campaign setting Kuo-Toans maintain friendly relations with Drow, their Underdark neighbours. Blibdoolpoolp is the focus of the kuo-toans’ lives, and even has her own monstrous, deformed kuo-toa breed—the giant kuo-toa leviathan. They have total hatred for the Sahuagin, another aquatic race.

During the Kou-Toa attack, a misplaced shot from the mortar sent a flamming cannonball into the treehouse fort, setting it ablaze and in the end destroying it. Two days worth of food and drink was lost in the fire.

Also unknown to the party, The Three (Mindflayers) observed the situation as they had been through the use of Arcane Eye spells. The Three discussed what they might logically do in this situation.

The surviving members of the crew recovered with a short time of rest, wakking in the wee hours of the morning on 28 Ches 1491 to find that Conrad the Priest had returned to the camp with three magical box wagons and a small unit of 10 fighting men. Conrad interacted with the crew, managing to talk about the Vanderboren Colony at lot and dropping some arrogant threats towards the crew. Conrad did complete a trade allowing the crew to obtain a scroll of Contact Other Plane.

The party used the scroll to contact Captain Solomon Neegan, asking him questions to discover that he planned to arrive in 24 hours. However, his answers hinted that he might be in distress and in need of rescue. The party wisely spent the next day making plans to prepare as best they could in a known unknown situation.

At this time, unknown to the party, the captured crewmen in the oily cluthches of the Kuo-Toas were being transported to a nearby Drow outpost. Finding themselves now in the clutches of Drow slavers of House Mizzrym, they were subject to mistreatement and hard labor. The prisoners are given cruel or pointless tasks to occupy them, and for the dark elves amusement, including coiling and uncoiling ropes, feeding and care of giant spiders, cleaning and polishing of harnesses and saddles, organizing supplies, and stacking crates of mushrooms. The prisoners learn quickly that the Drow are waiting for a group of Drow to arrived through magical means from Menzoberranzan, the City of Spiders, to collect slaves and supplies for transport back to the Underdark city.

Back in camp, the party plotted and planned. Finally on 28 Ches 1491, the Lucille arrived along with two other ships. They unfurled their colors, revealing the flags of the Fire Giant known as Maagerra Sutur. Unknown to the party, Sutur is working with the small folk (Smee and the Sea Dogs) under the direction of Duke Zalto in the hopes of discovering some relics on the Isle of Dread.

It became obvious very quickly that dynamics had changed aboard the Lucille. Smee seemed to be in charge now, and Solomon was paraded to the front of the ship in clear view as a prisoner. Two Sea Dogs had him manacled and held pistols ready at his head. Smee ordered landing crafts to disembark, sending four cockboats with 4 Sea Dogs each towards the beach. All the Sea Dogs were armed to the teeth, each carrying either longguns or a brace of pistols. Smee had a keen eyes (“20” on check) and saw the party laying in wait among the trees on the East side of the beach. Surmising that they intended ill towards his new crew, Smee ordered “No Quarter.” The Sea Dogs started to shout “Sails Ho!” a clear sign that they intended to engage the party as enemies.

Ragnir, Machavelli, and N remained on the ship while everyone else was on the beach. The Sea Dogs landed on the beach, and one Sea Dog ordered the party out of the woods. He demanded that they lay down weapons and line up on the far side of the beach away from their arms.

Matrim wisely tried to reason with these demands, but before he could even finish his statement, the Sea Dog leader fired a shot from his pistol, missing barely. And so the fight was on. The party did well dispatching most of the first wave of pirates, dropping Sea Dogs. However, Daehir went down due to hails of pistol fire.

Artillery fire from Boaty McBoatface landed crippling hits on the one Fire Giant ship. As it began to take on water, Captain Sutur ordered his men to abandon ship and attack the party on the beach. Although Surtur had intended not to engage the small folk unless needed, he decided that he needed to defend his remaining ship. As the Fire Giants charged the beach, Surtur joined them, wielding his huge flaming sword. He issued a parley, offering to allow the small folk pirates to surrender rather than being killed. The party did not heed the words of the Fire Giant pirate, likely assuming he was lying. However, Surtur was willing to negotiate the surrender if possible so that he might bring these extra small folk to the cause of Zalto. Instead, the party kept fighting. Surtur shouted “unleash Hell!” and the Fire Giants did exactly that. Without moments, all the party on the beach were overwhelmed, lying bleeding and unconscious on the shore.

Meanwhile on the ship, one of the Fire Giant spellcasters had not only used Quench Magic to disable the spelljamming helm, but also had cast a Mass Suggestion spell to convince N, Machavelli, and Ragnir to surrender rather than throwing their lives away needlessly. Although Smee wanted the party murdered, he had to follow fearfully what Captain Sutur said when another parley of surrender was issued by the huge Fire Giant pirate.

The surviving crew was loaded on to the Fire Giant ship, and rendered unconscious after being slapped into chains. Although Smee argued with Sutur that the party should be executed for treachery and treason, Sutur stated that the party would be sold to the local Drow slavers operating on the Southern section of Albion. Sutur hoped that this offering of slaves might yield some hints about locations of local relics for Zalto.

The party awoke to find themselves in the slave pen with their previously captured friends and a few other slaves.

PIRATE BOOTY CHARTS

We recently started playing a swashbuckling pirate themed campaign set in Forgotten Realms called “Really Bad Eggs.” Since I enjoy using random charts to hand out treasure, I created two different downloadable charts that you can add to your collection if you like.

Here’s an example of one of the charts:


LOOT THE BODY d6

  1.  75 cp, 55 sp, 22 ep, 15 gp, and a Gold Earring set with a tiny ruby (30 gp).
  2.  180 sp, 130 gp, and a silk pouch containing five carnelians (10 gp each), two peridots (15 gp each), and one pearl (100 gp)
  3.  Scroll of charm person and a scroll of fireball.
  4.  Leather bag containing 35 sp, 20 ep, 20 gp, 5 pp, one pearl (100 gp) 5 55 cp, 75 sp, 22 gp
  5.  Healing Potion (2d4+2)
  6. Roll twice on this chart

Pirate Booty Sheet #1

Pirate Booty Sheet #2

My DM Toolbox Page

Save

Save

TRADE GOODS, TRINKETS, AND TREASURE

chesttreasure


Random Trasure Table (d20)

  1. Alchemist Goggles  (DM assigns any properties)
  2. Longbow +1/+1
  3. Masterwork Hurdy Gurdy (2 handed instrument)
  4. Quail eggs  (1d12 dozen)
  5. Coil of hemp rope, 50 feet length
  6. Fireworks (1 bundle)
  7. Keg of Dwarven Ale
  8. Tanned Buckskin Leathers
  9. Pipe Tobacco (Bag, 1d6 lbs.)
  10. Bandolier with 1d6 daggers or darts
  11. Wrist sheath with Returning Dagger
  12. Bottle of Elven Wine
  13. Wool (Trade Good)
  14. Bronze Belt Buckle
  15. Custom Signet Ring
  16. Traveling Cloak
  17. Masquerade Mask
  18. Salted Pork (Bag) 1d6 lbs
  19. Writ for Combat Trained Horse
  20. Lace Slippers

 

 

WHITCHTHORN

 

archfetwitchthorn

Whitchthorn was the ruler of all the Fey living in Kryptgarden. When he was a prince, he lived with his spouse, the dryad Ishaldra, who balanced his evil inclination with her good nature.

The Green Dragon Mask is recovered from the lair of Claugiyliamatar in Kryptgarden Forest. Old Gnawbones himself is injured while blows were struck against Thay, the Cult of the Dragon, and Zartruss hobgoblin clan.

Claugiyliamatar near the realm of Whitchthorn, an Unseelie Lord. His presence corrupts Ishaldra, the dryad spouse of Whitchthorn and Ishaldra’s treant bodyguard. Whitchthorn, an archfey and now fey king, unleashes his evil against the dragon, but Old Gnawbones is too powerful.

Ultimately, an adventuring party of Harpers hired to defeat Claugiyliamatar gains an audience with the fey king and Whitchthorn agrees to aid them to defeat Old Gnawbones, but only if the adventurers make a pact with him.

KHEMED

Born in Calimshan of a fairly wealthy family, Khemed offended his father and was cast out of his home. He continued to practice in the arts of war and worked as a mercenary, turning to banditry when times were rough. He has gathered a group of younger mercenaries about himself and hires his team out as “the Blades of Bhaelros.”

Khemed is a faithful worshipper of Talos and has contacts with clerics of Talos in most major cities across western and southern Faerûn. When he expects to stay in a city for a while, he rents an unfurnished home or small warehouse for himself and his team, but otherwise lives on the road in tents.

Khemed is of average height but very broad, sporting large tattoos of fire and symbols of Talos on his arms and chest. He enjoys using his spiked chain to disarm foes and employ attacks of opportunity against them when they try to reclaim their weapons. Against a superior foe, he fights defensively and has his employees set up flanking and give him opportunity attacks.

Khemed is likely to be encountered working as a mercenary, protecting people of interest or valuable shipments, regardless of the nature of their employer or goods. If not employed, his team might be acting as bandits on roads or outside of known dungeons.

Khemed may be cut off from his family’s fortune, but this human fighter intends to amass his own. A mercenary leader devoted to Bhaelros, Khemed and his Blades are efficient fighters you should keep your eyes on — best accomplished by never showing him your back.

THE AARAKOCRA, BIRDFOLK

aarakocra_by_christopherburdett

Sequestered in high mountains atop tall trees, the aarakocra, sometimes called birdfolk, evoke fear and wonder. Many aarakocra aren’t even native to the Material Plane. They hail from a world beyond—from the boundless vistas of the Elemental Plane of Air. They are immigrants, refugees, scouts, and explorers, their outposts functioning as footholds in a world both strange and alien.

Aarakocra are about 5 feet tall and have a wing span of 20 feet. About halfway along the edge of each wing is a hand with three human-sized fingers and an opposable thumb. An elongated fourth finger extends the length of the wing and locks in place for flying. Though the wing-hands cannot grasp during flight, they are nearly as useful as human hands when an aarakocra is on the ground and its wings are folded back. The wing muscles anchor in a bony chest plate that provides the aarakocra with extra protection. The powerful legs end in four sharp talons that can unlock and fold back to reveal another pair of functional hands, also with three human-sized fingers and an opposable thumb. The hand bones, like the rest of an aarakocra’s skeleton, are hollow and fragile.

Aarakocra faces resemble crosses between parrots and eagles. They have gray-black beaks, and black eyes set frontally in their heads that provide keen binocular vision. Plumage color varies from tribe to tribe, but generally males are red, orange, and yellow while females are brown and gray.

Aarakocra speak their own language, the language of giant eagles, and, on occasion, the Common tongue.

In aerial combat, an aarakocra fights with either talons or the heavy fletched javelins that he clutches in his lower hands. An aarakocra typically carries a half dozen javelins strapped to his chest in individual sheaths.

Aarakocra live in small tribes. Each tribe has a hunting territory of about 10,000 square miles with colorful banners and pennants marking the boundaries.Each tribe lives in a communal nest made of woven vines with a soft lining of dried grass. The eldest male serves as the tribe’s leader. In tribes of more than twnety members, the second oldest male serves as the shaman, leading simple religious ceremonies involving the whistling of melodic hymns at sunset on the first day of a new month. Males spend most of their waking hours hunting for food and occasionally for treasure, such as gems and other shiny objects. Females spend eight months of the year incubating their eggs, passing the time by fabricating javelins and other tools from wood and stone. While resting on their backs, aarakocrafemales can use all four hands at the same time to weave boundary pennants, javelins sheaths, and other useful objects from vines and feathers.

Five aarakocra, including a shaman, can summon an air elemental by chanting and performing an intricate aerial dance. The summoned air elemental will comply with the aarakocras’ request for a favor, though it will not endanger its life on their behalf.

Aarakocra have little to do with other species, including neighboring aarakocra tribes, and leave their home territory only in extreme circumstances. They rarely encounter humans except for an occasional foray into a rural community to snatch a stray farm animal; this is not an intentionally malicious act, as aarakocra are unable to distinguish between domestic and wild animals. A human venturing into aarakocra territory may be able to convince one to serve as a guide or a scout in exchange for a shiny jewel or coin.

aarakocra_by_leesmith