Gold and Glory

From Ardrana

This adventure began at Morgan's Publick House in the city of Gascar. Tycho Chervil, Viensa and Drax, having lost several party members in their previous mission, had decided to send out word around Gascar and to nearby towns in an attempt to recruit members to round out their adventuring group. Using Tycho's friend Burt to screen applicants, they set up shop at a table in the corner.

Taking applications

After a couple of lazy late summer days with no luck, business began to pick up. After Burt rejected a tall, hyperactive fellow, the party was introduced to SkyLyte, a ranger from Shaiyo who had come seeking adventure as well as chasing rumors that her father might be in the city. The party left for the estate of Tycho's mother, meeting their friend Samuel on the way. After SkyLyte demonstrated her ability to change into a giant eagle, Tycho told her he would get back to her.

The party returned to Morgan's to have lunch, where a young woman was ordering tea from the proprietor, Morgan. After she introduced herself to Burt as Tammra, she spoke with the group and told them that she was, in fact, a witch, which she knew was not looked upon well. While this was going on, Cymbre, another of Tycho's companions, returned from a journey to Hanmer, having not been able to accomplish either of her unnamed goals, which had her irritated. She joined the other four as they questioning continued, and eventually they told Tammra they would get back to her as well.

While Burt was rejecting other applicants, another woman, this one tall with pale blue hair, entered. After introducing herself to Burt as "Proslulý", she was brought over to the group. She presented herself as a water elementalist, and got involved in some verbal sparring with the group, including introducing herself to Samuel as "Nádherný". This was interrupted briefly by the arrival of a very loud applicant named Brik, after which the newcomer demonstrated her talent by casting some kind of freezing spell on a distant seagull. She, too, was told they would get back to her, after Tycho directed her to stay at Widow Cutler's inn along the shore, and she joined Tammra at a nearby table.

The tall, hyperactive fellow returned, this time with Brik in tow, to make another attempt. While Burt was forcibly ejecting him from the pub, an elf made his way to Tycho's table. Introducting himself as Argendt, he offered his services as an information-gatherer. After his interview, Tycho asked Burt to inquire about him with his sources in the local thieves' guild. As this was going on, SkyLyte returned, carrying the dead seagull, and dropped it on the table in front of the elementalist, earning an icy glare.

After a brief interlude, a well-dressed gentleman approached Burt. After demonstrating his skill with a throwing knife, Burt went to Tycho and told him he had heard about this fellow through his contacts, and to be wary of him. He was introduced to Tycho and his party. He gave his name as Wyndel al'Amar kaf'Daro, and indicated that he was a merchant who also had some other adventuring skills. He told of his hope that he might establish some business dealings in the area. Tycho offered to help him meet his mother, but also was a bit perturbed that he was staying at Rilee's, a noted hangout for the seedier elements of society run by a shady figure known as "The Turtle". Wyndel reassured him that he was there simply to wait for an incoming shipment of goods, and was sent on his way.

After meeting more applicants, Tycho and his comrades discussed the recruits they'd seen. Although the tension between SkyLyte and the elementalist was noted, and the concerns about Argendt and Wyndel were also brought up, it was decided that the group would accept all of those applicants along with Tammra.

The "shakedown cruise"

The next day dawned stormy. Tycho, Cymbre and Drax discussed their final thoughts on the newest group members over breakfast. Burt informed them that Argendt checked out, but Wyndel had had more contact with The Turtle than he let on. They decided that the first mission should be, as Samuel put it, a "shakedown cruise" to make sure that all of the group members could be counted on. Tycho had messages sent out to the new recruits inviting them to Chervil Manor -- his mother's home -- to get to know one another a little better.

As the housekeeper, Isabella, prepared dinner, the group gathered in a sitting room. SkyLyte pulled out a magical dagger to make sure no one in the room bore evil intent, which caught Tycho's attention. When challenged, SkyLyte admitted its purpose, which ruffled the feathers of several of those present.

During dinner, Tycho attempted to get the group to begin communicating with one another. This was briefly interrupted when a soldier came to the manor, concerned about the giant eagle that had been seen landing outside. Later, Samuel mentioned that he had seen creatures in the ocean the previous night, and Tammra and the water mage noted that they had seen them as well. The water mage took them to be sea zombies, and after the water mage showed some fairly specific knowledge of the creatures, the party began discussing the possibility of pursuing them as their first mission as a group.

After dinner, the group went their separate ways. Tammra and the water mage went back to the Cockerel, where they were both staying, and asked Widow Cutler if she knew anything of the creatures, but she said nothing helpful. The water mage then tested the area to see if there was any lingering magic, but found none. Meanwhile, Argendt and Wyndel each went to their contacts, but had no better luck. SkyLyte flew up and down the coast, while Wyndel walked along it, but neither saw anything.

At 4 AM the next morning, a man named Shanka came to the Cockerel looking for help. The zombies had attacked the village of Netty Cut a few hours prior, destroying many of their fishing boats. Eira, Tammra and the water mage questioned him for a bit, and Eldo, the Cockerel's handyman, was sent into town to notify the military and Tycho. He arrived at Chervil Manor while those staying there were eating breakfast, and after finishing the three split up to notify the rest of the group to meet at Morgan's.

Tycho went off to find Viensa and Burt, stopping to meet with Captain Rose, the head of Gascar's White Army garrison. A messenger arrived at Old Man Grabbleforth's farm, where SkyLyte was staying. Cymbre and Drax went to find Wyndel, only to learn that he'd left town to meet the ship he'd been expecting, which had run aground near Mentemar during the storm. They then went to the Cockerel to notify the mages.

Off to Netty Cut

The group gathered at Morgan's and shared their information. They were soon joined by Poluch, an Elven priest of Vodyus who had arrived in town during the storm, and he was invited to join them. He and Viensa went to visit the temple of Liyyera, where the latter had been staying, and were able to obtain three vials of holy water and an aspergillum. SkyLyte flew north to make a map of the area going up to Netty Cut, and the rest of the group retrieved their equipment and met back at the Cockerel.

After Tycho got some additional information from Shanka, Argendt let him know that his contacts had spotted a man with a lantern walking up the coast the previous night, which may have been the light SkyLyte had seen from the air. As SkyLyte again scouted north, intending to fly ten miles past the village this time before returning, the rest of the group then set out to the north along the Shore Road, bound for Netty Cut.

As the group traveled, they again encountered the wild-haired troublemaker, who appeared in their midst, although he left again quickly. After walking about five miles, Argendt, who was scouting in the tall grass, heard movement, then spotted something large and red ahead. As he ran back to inform the group, four giant crabs emerged from the grass and advanced on the party.

The crabs were dispatched in short order, but as the battle ended, Poluch began sweating profusely, and soon collapsed, unconscious. A makeshift litter was made out of one of the crabs' shells and, upon SkyLyte's arrival, the group moved on, not wishing to truck with the circling vultures above. Additionally, storm clouds were looming, so the group decided to seek shelter and head for a copse of trees a little way off the beach. As they did so, they heard a loud "boom" from the East.

As the group waited out the storm, SkyLyte climbed a tree to determine the source of the sound, but saw nothing, then fell when climbing down, injuring her leg. After Poluch recovered and the storm blew over, the group resumed their journey.

In the village

They arrived in the village after sunset, and Shanka introduced them to the local blacksmith, Minerva. She told them what she heard of the attack from her husband, Bill, and also mentioned a priestess and a holy warrior that had been stranded here after the previous storm. Tycho asked to speak with Bill, while some members of the party stayed behind to talk to the holy warrior, who was guarding the priestess in the town's main building.

Bill told Tycho and his companions of his encounter with the attackers and it seemed their description matched that of the sea zombies. However, Blueberry wasn't entirely convinced as some of the finer details didn't fit with the zombies' behavior. Poluch tended to Bill's injury, and the group returned to the main hall.

The holy warrior introduced herself as Osha, a lyan dedicated to Mastepha, and quickly noted the chaotic nature of several party members. Still, she agreed to let some of them speak to her charge inside. Cymbre, Tammra, Viensa, and Drax met the priestess, Emeny. She told them that she and Osha were bearing precious cargo from the tip of Neptune's Triangle to a temple being built in Mentemar for the temple when their ship ran aground in the previous day's storm. They sent two others off to Mentemar for help, but when the creatures attacked, the captain was killed attempting to defend the ship's launch, which was destroyed with the other boats.

Watches were set and the group settled in for what they hoped would be a good night's rest. The first watch was quiet as Tycho, Cymbre and Sam discussed the deployment of "another resource" while Poluch and Viensa prayed. In the middle of the second watch, Argendt found the lanterns on the boathouse had gone out. As he went back to the main building to get some backup, he heard splashing in the water, and raised the alarm. Tycho worked at lighting a torch as the rest of the group came streaming out of the main building. The sound of banging was heard from the direction of the beach and the group broke up into two parts as they headed toward the beach to determine what was causing the noise. Cymbre led the way followed by Blueberry, Poluch, and Viensa from the north while SkyLyte, Sam and Tammra approached from the south. Argendt remained by the rear of the main building waiting impatiently for Drax to don his armor.

SkyLyte moved along the southern side of the boathouse after a brief pause to confirm the plan with Tycho when she was overcome by a severe bout of nausea. Sam and Tammra also felt nauseous as did Tycho. As SkyLyte finished retching, she lifted her gaze to see a humanoid figure rounding the corner of the boathouse in the light cast by her gauntlet. A battle ensued and when it was over, the group found Emeny dead, Osha unconscious, and the precious cargo was nowhere to be found. Osha, once revived, explained that the temple in Mentemar could not be consecrated without it, and left to begin her search. The party then parted ways.

Cast of characters

This adventure was run by Shelley Proulx. It involved the following characters during its course:

Adventure timeline

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When the Cait's Away Gold and Glory Carrolwood