AD&D - New World

Strange Signs in the Sky
In which the Pelicans lose the moon..

The Pelicans continue Searching the ship. They discover very quickly that the clicking noise in the Captain’s cabin came from a hidden compartment in the pantry. It has opened and released some sort of mold. The mold seems to be growing, and the temperature of the room is dropping alarmingly. The Pelicans close and lock the door, hoping that it will hold the mold in.
The Pelicans move to the higher decks, where they find a number of strange rooms. One is filled with star charts. Magnus walks away from it, ignoring the maps and muttering about finding and saving his fellow slaves. Tognar, however, searches the room carefully. He puts his hands on a strange black pillar, causing it to light up and project a hologram of the Urth, surrounded by broken fragments of what seems to be the moon. Tognar remembers what the Draw that they killed belowdecks had said—that there is no more moon. They had thought it was nonsense, but here was evidence…
The rest of the crew were continuing their search. Along the way, they discovered a strange cabin filled with wizard’s spell components. A chest in the room proved to be a mimic, which the crew destroyed and then plundered. They took a number of books and scrolls, but no one wanted to put on a ring still sitting on a skeletal finger.
Next the group traveled up another deck, where they were promptly ambushed by the draw crew that they had been searching for. The draw had armed to the gnome slaves with crossbows and were making them fire at the pelicans. The crew jumped over the gnomes, some engaging the crow and others turning to attack the gnomes. When one gnome was injured, Tognar healed it, telling him to flee, and the other slaves ran as well, but not before Ragnot speared one on his fork and bit out its neck, taking the gnomes blood in his mouth to complete some sort of ritual.
The Pelicans fought on, now focused on the Drow, when another Drow dressed as an officer entered, followed by a stone golem. Magnus began to wrestle the golem, and the Pelicans focused on the officer, whose magic proved a formidable threat.
After a long and hard fight, the Pelicans were victorious. The golem alone remained standing at the end, the officer having dropped its command stone when he died. The Pelicans took control of the Golem and continued up to the command station.
At the top deck they found several disturbing pieces of information. One was that the ship was built by mindflayers, though it had been refitted to accommodate Drow. How the Dow had taken possession of the ship, or why it had been given to them, the Pelicans did not know. The other was that the Captain had escaped through a hole in the top deck which led into a tunnel below the gnome village.

XP:

Group Awards:

Golem: 1,000
Drow: 1,250
Noble Drow: 975
Deep Gnomes: 65
Mimic (killer): 2,000
Total 5,290

Individual Totals

Tognar 1458 (Comforter: 400, Group 1058)
Ragnot 1458 (Frog Maw: 400, Group 1058)
Magnus 1458 (Drow Toss: 400, Group 1058)
Flynnighan 1458 (Combat Roll: 400, Group 1058)
Kyrashi 1458 (Back!: 400, Group 1058)

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Strange New Worlds
In which the crew explores a crashed starjammer

Face to face with the healing powers of the orb, the crew ponder taking it, but decide that it would be a betrayal of the gnomes. As they prep to explore the temples below the gnome-world, a messenger comes in shouting about a crashed ship. The crew are sent with a handful of guards by queen Pomefrite Dandlewine to investigate.

The ship turns out to be a starjammer, which has fallen through the storm and crashed into the outskirts of the gnomeland. The crew crawl down into its crater, but the starjammer opens and Drow emerge, attacking the Pelicans. The queen’s guards panic and flee, but the Pelicans leap to battle. Margeth is hit with a pot of green goo that being eating through his clothes. Tognar hesitates, knowing that he must burn the goo away but frightened of lighting Margeth on fire. In the end he does it, though, and Margeth lives. The Pelicans retreat.

They head back to the temple of the orb to try to get reinforcements, but the queen has no more guards. They contemplate using the orb to make an army, but instead decide to turn Uno back to flesh. The Gnoll comes to life once again. Seeing the possibilities of the orb the group debates what to do with it. Uno leaps forward, trying to burn off the whole of the chaos storm by conjuring fireworks. It is not enough to eat away at the storm though, and Ragnot, frightened of Uno’s impetuousness and perhaps missing his silent stone friend, turns him back into rock.

The crew decide to try to learn more about the orb, and attempt to speak with Mr. Randolph, the gnome who founded the gnomeland, but the other gnomes avoid speaking about him. In the end, they learn that Randolph created the gnomes from the orb, and tha tthe gnomes themselves are limited by Randolphs orders at their creation. They cannot use the orb for destruction, only life, and they will never leave their home. They cannot question Randolph, either, or disagree with him, nor can they commit violence of any kind. This might have proved a problem, except that Randoph himself has been dead for years, a fact that the gnomes refuse to recognize. All that is left behind by the gnome reader is a bad novel based on his life.

Realizing that the orb is not safe in such a place, the Pelicans take it, deciding to return to the Drow ship and fight off the Drow crew.

At the Drow ship, battle resumes. The Pelicans attack with stealth, disabling the goo catapult. They route the starjammer crew, and kill several Drow and a Deep Gnome. They take one last Drow prisoner, but Flynnighan kills him while he helpless. Margeth tries to stop him, but is disarmed by his captain, and, when the Drow is dispatched, declares the killing to be wring. He leaves the group, walking back towards the gnome court.

The rest of the crew enters the ship and explore its decks. It seems empty, although, they know that some of the starjammer Drow retreated into it. They make their way down through a hold, finding a trapped false treasure. Every item is cursed or dangerous, and they quickly abandon it, although not before it results in bug swarms and poisons. They explore furhter, heading down into the bottom decks where they find a number of slaves. Most are deep gnomes, but one is a huge Half-Ogre named Magnus, taken from the Drow fighting pits to serve on the ship as cannon fodder.

Magnus helps the Pelicans kill a Drow who is sent to poison the slaves now that the ship ha crashed. The Pelicans decide to invite the Half-Ogre to join the party, promising him food and treasure (and freedom, though he doesn’t seem to care about that)

The crew then make their way forward, finding a secret compartment. It is prtected with more traps, and contains a trapper, a strange creature that looks like a rug and a treasure chest but that attempts smother Tognar. The crew fight it off and kill it, taking the very real treasure next to it.

They then head back up to the middle decks, finding the captains cabin. In it they find orders for an assault on the moon. They also find a number of poison traps, as well as a door that causes a click, though nothing seems to happen….

XP:

Group Awards:

The Man Behind the Curtain: 1,000
Drow: 1,250
Ballista: 650
Deep Gnomes: 140
Lurker: 2,000
Traps: 2,000
Total 7,040

Individual Totals

Tognar 1908 (Smothered: 500, Group 1408)
Ragnot 1908 (Handshake: 500, Group 1408)
Margeth/Magnus 1908 (Stoned/Wrasslin’: 500, Group 1408)
Flynnighan 1908 (Trap Trigger: 500, Group 1408)
Rhonda 1908 (Battle Mage: 500, Group 1408)

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Tales of Urth
i: the last diary of cena fabius

It is 13 weeks on the trail, so it is fitting to put thoughts now to paper. “The Thirteen” is what we are called now, tho we number 3x this. We are split into 3 camps, and we stay on the move, tho there is no sign of pursuit. The curs of Eddistone would rather forget us. I cannot forget them.

3rd Camp is mine. There are 10 to 12 of us on a given night. The men call themselves ‘the last true knights’ when they think I cannot hear; they know I would not approve. It is a lie, a thing they tell themselves to settle their nighttime minds. The Barrow Knights are finished, we have been since Sir Aloysius died — the 1st time he died — on the field settling this damned country. It was a battle, and a death, all for nothing.

The old banners tear and moulder. The songs are still sung, but the words change a bit at a time. They are not written down. When we fled the burning of the 12 Barrows we brought nothing — none of the old books, the scriptures, no family items of succor or comfort. We had been out training, not realizing we had packed for the rest of our lives. That old life in the Barrows is a dream now. Eddistone was a nightmare. And what is this, what is now? The present-day. We take food from farmers and claim it is our right. In the morning their daughters are in tears at the sight of my men. Who are the soldiers and who are the beasts? Who is a knight without a castle? What is the difference between lordless knights and brigands?

2nd Camp: we hear their howls and screams of laughter as the sun sets. Bugbears, a score. 2 ogres, thankfully, for once they were 4. Orcs. Orcs! I am company + commander to orcs. How is this the life of the son of Fen Fabius?

The 2nd’s commander is a gnoll named Xot. He used to be chaplain, or some kind of priest-doctor, sniveling but polite. But as his stature grew so did his boldness, & the volume of his cackling. The previous commander disappeared one night, and Xot took his place. He know openly wears a new sigil, a skull with one eye. When asked its meaning + purpose he says “nothing.” When asked who it represents he says “no one.” He denies he was Pomarj, as do all of 2nd Camp, but what else could they be? How else are so many northern creatures so far south?

1st Camp is that of Gorge Entome, his closest followers, and his dread knight, Sir Robert Husk.

Sir Husk. From whence did he come? It seems for the world that when we came to this country he was already here, waiting for our arrival. Expecting us, & the desperate men we would become. He is always armored & he smells of the grave. I am afraid of him & I will no more about it.

Sir Entome is changed. The men say it is because of his imprisonment at Cano, but this is not so. I knew him before this, and after. He was shook by his time there, but he was still the same man, and good. This new change settled on his heart after the witch died, killed by the Grudgewood assassins. After the 2nd death of Sir Aloysius. Sir Entome darkened then, in pallor & in thought.

He still wears his old armor but he has added a robe of red & purple, like the witch wore and the risen Aloysius. His voice is the same, gruff but reedy, but his words have changed. They are ~ ~ older? The expressions are strange. “It is cold as a holiday morning.” What does that mean? What holiday? “The mill’s wife is displeased” he will say, when the morning mist will not lift. The expressions so strange, but he says them as if I should know them. None dare ask their origin or meaning.

He is like the Risen Aloysius in this way, and one other: his right eye is less alert than his left. This was never true of Sir Entome before. It was not true of Sir Aloysius before the fall, but it was true of him Risen. I assumed it was some side effect of the time between worlds, the time which changed him in so many ways.

But now Sir Entome too? Strange words, strange company. The eye!

What I suspect, what I fear, I dare not write down lest I commit to burning this diary after I write it. The fear that it is not Sir Entome at all, tho it is his body. That it was not Sir Aloysius risen, tho it was his body.

The fear that a spirit inhabits what was once Gorge Entome, an old spirit with only one good eye.

I have chosen this path. I ride with the Thirteen now. I am Cena Fabius, once a Knight of the Barrow, and once a good man. Now I am neither.

To the flames with these pages & I will never write another thought. There is no past & no future, only now.

Perhaps I am already dead.

Perhaps I am no one at all.

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Strange New Lands
In which the Crew of the Pelican rediscover the Gnomeland

The Pelican continues further off track. It is another day before the crew realizes how far off course they have drifted. They are far west of their intended course, well inside the old radius of the Chaos Storm. By the time they correct, the storm wall is in sight. Even in its weakened state, the Chaos Storm is enormous, but the crew are able to correct their course before they come close enough to be threatened by it.

Their new course brings them on a course parallel with the edge of the storm, and before long, the crew spots something strange. There seems to be a gap in the storm front, a gap that holds steady in the swirling wind of the storm. Examining this strange phenomenon gives no immediate answers—the calm spot in the storm should be impossible given the strength of the winds around it—but the calm area seems to form a kind of tunnel through the storm. And the tunnel is large enough that ship could sail into it.

A vote is taken. The ayes, led by Captain Flynnighan, win out, and the ship turns into the tunnel.

It is smooth sailing at first, although Margeth reaches up from the crows nest to skim a hand through the clouds of the storm, and his hand is magically changed. Afters hours of sailing, though, the boat is rocked by something in the water. Huge lengths of scaled wyrm rise out of the ocean to wrap up the ship, and three gigantic heads emerge form the waves. The crew responds by running to Arms. Martgeth barks out orders as the ship begins to drift towards the storm, and the crew pulls it back on track, but then he is blasted from the rigging by a One of the head’s breath. He falls but lives.

Tognar, from the privacy of his secret balcony, makes another head panic for thirst, but in doing so, he draws the ire of a third. Ragnot jumps on it, but not before another blast hits Tognar.

Flynnighan swings into battle with the first head at the end of a rope, but misses and skeres Margeth instead. The head bites him, nearly cutting him in two.

The Pelicans are able rally, though. Ragnot skewers a head, and Flinnighan and and Margeth strike as well. Kyrashi, having leapt from the shop, attacks from the water, where he sees that the wyrms body is a tangle of knots. It seems as though several of the worms have been knotted and fused by the storm into one terrible beast. Kyrashi cuts into the monster where its bodies join.

The beast pulls itself apart in end. The ship is damaged, but able to continue, and eventually the crew spots land.

By nightfall, the beach they’ve sighted is filled with torches. The crew launches boats and waves a white flag of parley. They are greeted by gnomes.

A long meeting later, they find that some of the gnomes of the Underdark escaped, using the orb (the very one sought by the Pelican’s old Captain) to calm the chaos storm. While they were safe from the storm, they were unable to navigate within it, and after wandering the storm, they settled in a ruined human city. The city became a safe haven for the Gnomes, and they used the orb to carve out a community, channeling chaos to build a life out of the storm.

Their Queen, Pommefritte Dandlewine, welcomes the crew, bidding them stay in this safe haven and hide from the terrors of the world. The Crew, though, asks instead for adventure, and the Queen invites them to explore the old chaos twisted tunnels beneath the Gnomeland, where the secrets of the old human kingdoms still lie buried.

XP:

Group Awards:

Sea Wyrm(King): 4,000
The Storm: 1,000
Total 5,000

Individual Totals

Tognar 1234 (Private Balcony: 400, Group 834)
Ragnot 1234 (Wyrm Ryder: 400, Group 834)
Kyrashi 1234 (Dive Bomb): 400, Group 834)
Margeth 1234 (“Take the lines!”): 400, Group 834)
Flynnighan 1234 (Critical Condition): 400, Group 834)
Rhonda 1234 (Captain’s Orders): 400, Group 834)

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Tognar's Room

tognarsroom.jpg

Few aboard the Pelican know that before it had her name, before Captain Tencoppers, she was a pleasure boat for Prince Earnest of the Goblin Kingdoms. The entire ship had since been re-fitted, but concealed behind a false wall, remnants of Prince Earnest’s quarters remained. A private balcony, that had since been covered, beautifully detailed in rosewood; it was perhaps twice the size of even the captain’s quarters, and even offered a personal built-in toilet. It was Tognar’s escape, and perhaps the only thing that brought him calm on days like today. This space was also his most closely-guarded secret, something Tencoppers had taken with him to the grave. On the outside, Tognar kept a modest bunk with a couple indoor coreopsis and hyperium to keep up appearances, while at night, or when the crew was ashore, he would disappear into his inner sanctum, to drink wine and read romance novels.

Tonight was different. Something was troubling him. Still weak from burns he suffered in the fight ashore, he drank his curative ale and tried to get up to write.

“Six dead men, laying around a sabre.”

But it was the way in which their bodies were positioned that bothered him. Almost as if they were trying to get to the sword but couldn’t. Arms outstretched; like they were being blown back by a tremendous amount of force, determined in their moment of death to reach this one point on Urth—from six different angles, forming a six pointed star.

Tognar straddled Uno’s shoulders and watched from the ship as his brother threw rocks at the blade, yarling like a baboon in mating season. Ragnot was just getting started. This could go on for hours. He knew, like his brother, that something about what happened here—about how those sailors died…had something to do with that sabre!

There was something else that was puzzling Tognar, something he kept to himself. All six dead sailors had cut their own throats.

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Beautiful Strangers
In which the Pelicans are charmed to meet someone

The Pelican sets out at last! The ships hold is full; the new crew is ready; the course is plotted. But the crew of the Pelican’s run into trouble when they drift off of their new course. They do not realize it, but almost immediately, their ships begins to drift off of their plotted track, and after sailing for some days, they are far from their goal.
A strange thing happens as they sail the open ocean—a voice drifts over the waves. Flynnighan and a number of crewmen seem transported, and the captain orders the ship to come about and sail towards the beautiful singing. In a matter of moments, an island is sighted, and crewmen begin leaping off the ship, including Flynnighan and Tognar, who sees what looks like a beautiful frog-mermaid on the rocky beach of the island. Ragnot swims after his brother and Margeth takes control of the ship, saving it from being wrecked on the rocks surrounding the Island.
Flynighan and a group of sailors end up on shore, though, where the Sirens (because of course they are sirens) begin to feed on them. Battle is joined and Flynighan’s mustache is sliced from his face, but the sirens are defeated when Margeth orders a broadside to fired from the ship’s balistas.
The Pelicans then begin to explore the beach, finding treasure in the shipwrecks around the siren’s lair. Margeth finds a sword as well, but when he picks it up it bites him, and he decides to bury it.
After some debate, Rhonda insists that the Captain take charge and lead them into the interior, where Kyrashi hopes to find any surviors of the Siren’s call.
Instead, they find a pair of floating tentacles monsters. Ragnot attacks one, and the Xantravars give chase. Battle is joined, explosions are set off, and the day is saved.
Wary of finding more of the monsters, the crew decides to leave the island once more. Before they leave, though, Ragnot digs up the magic sword. For some reason, though, he cannot touch it. He tries to destroy it instead, but it wriggles away, almost like a long snake or a worm. He leaves it on the beach and swims after the crew, who were rowing back out to the ship in their long boat.

XP:

Group Awards:

Xantravar: 1950
Sirens: 1,950
Total 3,900

Individual Totals

Tognar 1050 (Attention to Detail: 400, Group 650)
Ragnot 1050 (Swordbasher: 400, Group 650)
Valdus 1050 (Holding: 400, Group 650)
Kyrashi 1050 (Bodyguard: 400, Group 650)
Margeth 1050 (Broadside: 400, Group 650)
Flynnighan 1050 (Charmed by a Lady: 400, Group 650)
Rhonda 1050 (Off the Map: 400, Group 650)

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S10: Strange Consequences
In which the Pelicans lose a friend

The Crew of the Pelican made their way to the Gith ship, and searched it top to bottom, searching for the coffin of the Vampire captain. As they searched, the crew found a number of maps and letters, as well as a copy of the ship’s log. While the log was written in a Gith Naval code, Margeth’s help let the crew read its contents:

_From the personal log of Overcaptain Sarkwath

I am diminished. Those fools below the surface believe me defeated, but I am not defeated. I am simply diminished. I have ordered my remaining crew to board the vessel of our enemies—it is good that I took so many thralls to feed on, as they can serve me as crew in the absence of my minions. We depart at nightfall.

Our enemies believe that they have stopped our ambitions. They do not realize that our true prize is no longer hidden in the deep. While they squabbled over politics, our agents among the Drow were sent the copies of the Map that Caladrel had drawn, and the orb was sought in the tunnels where he thieving gnomes had taken it.

It was not there.

They discovered a tablet instead. The gnomes were indeed trapped, as we had thought, but they used the magic in orb to escape. They left a dead space behind them, devoid of life. The tablet was left as a message to any gnomes that sought them out, a message that guided us back to the surface.

I had wondered why this island was filled with life so soon after the edges of chaos storm had left its shores. The plants were not twisted and mangled. But tablet provided me an answer. The gnomes tell us that they escaped secretly along the deep road, and that they used to orb to traverse the storm. They have struck out to the south, and they beseech their kin to find them. We can follow them by the traces of life left by the orb.

Messages have been sent. My lord will dispatch others. We will prevail in this as in all things._

Log in hand, the Pelicans sought out the Vampires coffin. They found it deep in the ships hold, but only after setting off a number of traps. Touching the doorknob caused Flynnighan to lose control of his mind and turn on his companions, and Valdus was forced to put him to sleep. Even more dire, opening the coffin released a cloud of thick gas that, when the party touched it, could turn them to stone. After a bit of debate, Uno walked confidently into the fog and was instantly petrified. His petrification, though, caused the fog to clear, and the party was able to stake the vampire.

No words were said over Uno’s body, as he would have wished.

The vampire was then dragged above decks with a stake holding it helpless. It was left in the sun to be destroyed.

The party spent the next two weeks attending to various bits of Business, preparing to leave the island. Deals were secured with the elves, and the Gith galley was fitted out with an elvish trading crew. Goods were taken on. Legs were gained and romances were had. Crews were filled out and investigations were undertaken.

As the Pelicans set sail for the south they left behind them a newly awakened Elven nation, ready to rejoin the world.

XP:

Group Awards:

Staked Vampire: 9,000
Trapped Coffin: 1,000

Individual Totals

Tognar 2,067 (GasMaster: 400, Group 1,667)
Valdus 2,067 (Holding: 400, Group 1,667)
Kyrashi 1,067 (Latecomer: 400, Group 1,667)
Uno 2,067 (What’s the worst that could…: 400, Group 1,667)
Flynnighan 2,067 (Player vs Player: 400, Group 1,667)
Rhonda 2,067 (Showing the Way: 400, Group 1,667)
Ragnot 2067 (The Forgotten: 400, Group 1667)

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The Totally Tubular Tales of Riggynut Dankholme and the Courageous Crew of the Pellycam: Kippin Princhi Finnygum, Bossbroheim Crashi, Vullydeetz, Unono, Rondo, and his Broodbro Tognar
Unonooooo!

Eh boop boop. Upsidaisy outsie plainsie, spit outtada deepdrink n bakinnida bo-aht evafin yisssss, askim agin ovada great blue wavyspray, out unnada great blue britecap to drinky sunshine n frindshine, n some crikkskull witchybrew bleakyrum Tognar he bubblubbly outtada sweetweed… ehhhh somefrogheim bettachek dabakka Riggynutsies noggin, mebbe outsie leaksy himses brainsjuices, yekk.

One thingy, best days ehcommin, nowit widerealm gotsi one less bitesyshite vamper — deesgutsin. Riggynut vomitcomet ovada Pellycam starbird just in recollecty udda smellsi, achz sorilly bad, rilly rillybad. Eh bit we goodfrohg crew do allada goodwork, stabbychop screamsi vampshite n drag hims rottgob stinkshell outnup inna da purifficatin sunbeamies, n thatsitat, busty dusty nomo rotten musty crusty. Eh speshythanko aRondo for gitsi riddada smellsi, hhhhakk ehhhhhh booop.

Septing allathese nobefo herego Unono withim bigbrainjuice asloshin, hegetsim big idea tascootsi thruda ikki badmist, n wheeeeeuu herecomesie horrrificafication, we allus gotsto watchy biggiebuddy getsims gnollskins all statchuficated, rockstoned n lockstoned inna lasttime wonderypose. So saaad, himsi goodfrohg kinda, even if himsi badfrohg kinda. Allswe gunna miss him, speshly yourn goodfrohg Riggynut, who now gotsim nobe wrasslebroheim, sheeeeightsiee…

Eh so leastwise now wegotsus forda indifattigibby Pellycam one hikkiva wikked proudprow figgerhead. Goodfrohg Unono henow leadsa way thruday bluespray, hibootit, eh? N inna indi Riggy gitsimsi new bisti frindi, eh boooooop. Whokin gissit, inna coolbreeeze nightside, affa onebedrinki twobedrinki threebe, unnada twinkyblinks we chatsi, eh mostly Riggy chatsi but nofroggy elsi sogood listeny, no even broheemy Tognar, who rilly no gitsy Riggy. N we shootishitsy till upsydaisy peeksy daysight innada eastbeam n gleam, n time for snakkswim n thinna sleeptow, Riggygo adrag astern onna ropesy onna toesy, relaxidaisy yawnnnnnnnn smak smak. Soondays Riggynut hego offta see dem Grippylily frohgfrinds, if goodfrohg Crashi he givsimma okidoksi…

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S9: Strange Days

tognar-portrait.jpg

We made our ascent to the surface with all hands of the away team plus the addition of two sea elves—Opal and Urbana— and Margeth, a former member of the githyanki crew, although a human.

A maze of tunnels separated us from the surface, we tried as best we could to navigate our way through. Uno talked to his god(s) for guidance.

“Grave danger is s given, whether up or down you choose. But hesitate one instant, and this moment’s chance you’ll lose.” he groaned.

I wish Uno gave the same reverence to the written word as he did to the clever turns of phrase he seems to muster when he concentrates. Is it divine or terrestrial? Who am I to judge?

We quickly became disoriented and came upon a camp of hostile barbarians. There was violence.

I had hoped we would be able to trade our way to the surface.

In some places in the world, such things are possible even with the most ruthless tribes if one knows the proper decorum. I try to find some solace in believing that there is a thread of common decency in us all. But in a places such as this, you see that perhaps not so long ago, we all weren’t very nice to each other.

We swam for our lives throughout the night, at times moving in circles. We finally caught a glimpse of light coming from the surface. We rested then in the pre-dawn glow. Suspended in cool ocean water, finally able to relax after we were confident we had eluded our assailants. The tide brought us to shore as one of our Grippli friends warned us of activity aboard the Pelican.

After commandeering a Grippli outrigger canoe, Flynnigan took command and entreated us to ram a Gith longboat that was approaching the stern of the Pelican. Just before impact I lept aboard the Pelican. We have successfully reclaimed our ship, but have yet to engage the main Githyanki vessel.

I write this letter from my quarters, which I’ve found in a severe state of disarray, and will update on the condition of my plants and specimens when I next have the opportunity to do so.

Treasure:

The Pelican!

Group Awards:

Sauguin Escape: 2,000
Cadet: 240
Group total: 448

Individual Totals

Tognar 1,048 (Let’s Talk About This: 600, Group 448)
Valdus 1,048 (Free Bird: 600, Group 448)
Kyrashi 1,048 (Spear Fishing: 600, Group 448)
Uno 1,048 (Let’s Get ‘Im: 600, Group 448)
Flynnighan 1,048 (Buckling Swash: 600, Group 448)

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S8: What Strange Teeth You Have
In which the Pelicans defeat a vampire...

after the vampire’s defeat, Uno steps away to mutter into his bag of bones

I believe I understand the hierarchy of my traveling tribe.

Prince Flynnighan is nominally our leader, but these are obviously his golden days. They are not to last. His military advisor is Kyrashi, who will naturally take over the tribe when Flynnighan is destroyed. But Kyrashi’s reign will most likely be short and calamitous. He is brave and strong, but is too careful. A good chieftan must take risks, be sudden and foolhardy in his decision-making, and Kyrashi is thoughtful and wise. Thoughtful and wise are good qualities for an advisor, but not for a chief.

Ragnot is a young chief in the making. He finally came into his own when we fought in the home of one of the water-elf sub-chiefs. Ragnot could not overpower me, but he made a very good showing. I was impressed with his skill and ferocity! Later, when he kicked me in the gonadulars, he again proved himself to be sudden and foolhardy. He will make a good chief when is fire is balanced by loss. Perhaps it will be his brother who dies; perhaps it will be me. When this occurs, and only then, will he be ready to lead.

The mission to the sub-chief’s home was successful, but I do not entirely understand how. Flynnighan and Valdus retrieved papers with writing on them. I pretended not to look at their deadly symbols, but in truth I peeked. I could not make sense of their evil notations, but the others seemed to believe that whatever was inscribed there would be the downfall of our foe, Tykreth. This is only logical. When you write something down, you remove power from yourself and give it physical form. When someone else steals that physical power, it is theirs. We stole his power.

The theft of these writings worked in our favor, but of course by utilizing their profane power we were led to near-doom. We used the writings to bring both Teague and Amrinell under our sway — two other sub-chiefs of the sea-elves. We convinced them of Tykreth’s treachery and ill-intent — in fact, we learned that Tykreth is in league with dirt-elves, those who have shunned the Moon. And we learned that this group of dirt-elves worship an old god I have heard of in the North: we know it as Nemo, a skull-faced king with one eye. They call it the Nomad. In my land it is said the Skull King is gathering an army that will one day march south and make all of the future dead its thralls. I wonder if its goal is the same here? Perhaps all un-deads serve this god. Perhaps this Nomad is my final foe, the one that I dream about.

In any event. We were harassed by the local military powers, as has been our lot since we arrived, but my tribemates were in high spirits as we approached the meeting that would decide the fate of these sea-elves. We had convinced enough sub-chiefs to expel the gith and their vampire-captain, and I believe Prince Flynnighan had arranged the return of his boat. Foolishly the Prince was making deals and pledging loyalty in exchange for monies, instead of for blood or loyalty or babies or food. I tried to tell them again that monies is less real than magic, but the fools did not listen.

Well we paid the prince for believing in monies and in words on paper. The gith-captain commanded sea-elves we thought were our allies — Calladryl, which is a word in my lands for “soothing-balm,” murdered the sub-chiefs pledged to us.

Chaos ensued, as is the way of the un-deads. I had invisibled myself against the vampire-captain, so I was able to sneak close to his filthy form. My new blade struck his flesh, but it was Kyrashi who struck the final blow, turning the vile creature into mist. It returns to its sleeping place now — we must pursue and conduct the proper ritual to destroy it in finality. I have sworn to consume the vampire’s heart. If I fail in this, I will be damned.

The creature bit me with its horrible mouth before Kyrashi destroyed it. I could feel an age slipping from me. I forgot things — the invisibility spell I used to creep close to it. I found that I have a white stripe in my fur running down one side of my body, from the top of my head to my rump. Deacon Valdus was similarly afflicted, jumping in-between the vampire and Tognar; also, the Deacon lost a finger. But I think his bird ate it, so perhaps this was a ritual of power I do not understand.

I forgot to mention: some other water-breathing creature tried to kill us, in an alley. Prince Flynnighan conquered this blue-man and took his sea conch. Now our Prince commands the assassin’s sea-dogs of the deep. Perhaps our Prince will be long-lived after all!

In any event, our foe has been temporarily smote. We have captured the treacherous Tykreth and it appears we are not yet being directly blamed for these murders. I should return to my tribesfolk, however, as it sounds like Princeling Ragnot is seeking to destroy the vampire’s possessions. He claims they are evil and not to be trusted; this is true, but if we are putting our faith in written words, then why not the evil items of an un-dead?

We are beyond the land of taboo. Nothing is sacred now, except ourselves.

Vampire loot:
Gems: 19 fancy (1,900gp)
A Potion
A Ring
A Wand
A Book
A Crystal Ball

Minion Officers:
Weapon: Rapier
Padded armor
Weapon: Saber and Dagger
Leather Armor

Triton:
Triton’s Conch
+2 trident

XP:

Group Awards:

Vampire: 8,000
Minions: 240
Sea Lions: 1,260
Triton: 650
Group total: 10,200

Individual Totals

Tognar 2,000 (Chromatic Success!: 550, Group 1,450)
Ragnot 2,000 (Spirit Archer: 550, Group 1,450)
Valdus 2,000 (One Turn Turn : 550, Group 1,450)
Kyrashi 2,000 (Lotion Bane: 550, Group: 1,450)
Uno 2,000 (Invisible Man: 550, Group: 1,450)
Flynnighan 2,000 (Lion Caller: 550, Group: 1,450)
Rhonda 2,000 (Mister Mist-er: 550, Group: 1,450)

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