The heart of a Dwarf #4

What a strange trip this has been!  

We found the temple and after battling a mighty elemental, returned the strage idol to its proper place.  When I set the idol in the carved hole, the elemental disappeared.  Soon, the storm subsided and the sun returned.  I've not been so happy to see it!

I feel for the poor fools that tried to take the idol. The Captain seems torn.  She knew many of those that died. But I think she knows it was foolishness to take that idol.  Some things are better off not being messed with!

We've left the island and are sailing for Baldur's Gate.  It'll be good to get back on land!  I've not been to Baldur's Gate before.  It'll be interesting to see. 

I'm not sure what I'm going to do when we get there.  Part of me feels that it might be time to return to Sundabar. The other part isn't so sure. The pain there might be too much still.  Perhaps I might be better off waiting and seeing what these other three do before I decide.  At least with them, there's sure to be adventure!

The heart of a Dwarf #3

I knew that Moradin was still with me. Else, me spells wouldn't be working.

But, to feel Him in me as I held up His symbol to drive the wretched zombies away, lightened my heart!  And drove me onward to battle! 

And I think now that I was wrong to leave after the attack those years ago. Might be that I could have helped retake the city sooner. Or eased the hurt of others.  But he pain in my heart then left no room for kindness to others.  The pain of loosing them both almost ended me. 

But the pain has lessened.  Perhaps there is room in me heart for ought else but pain now.

Chip on my shoulder #3
The hole in my soul....

The night was blustery and cold.  Pym followed Brunt as they rowed back to the ship.  They were all in their own little worlds.

Pym looked at his shoulder.  Chip was gone.  The space was void of the familiar weight.  He smiled.  The silence was beautiful.

"ahgra gooth tarashk nebal.." Pym spoke in Infernal under his breath.  The phrase was one Chip would mutter to him on his shoulder.  "Your continued life gives Him power."  He was told that after every conflict Pym came out of.  A dark reminder that his fate was sealed.

The absence of that phrase seemed wrong to him.  He smirked to himself.  How ironic was that?  Missing the thing he was most annoyed at?  

"Did you think you were going to be rid of me?"  Pym's eyes snapped open with a start.  The voice was clear as day.  He looked around and did not see the Imp.  The Imp's laughter floated through the air.  "Nope… not so easy.  See Pym old bot, I'm bound to you.  I can't leave.  Even if I could."

Pym realized that the voice was internal.  It was louder than normal.  It reverberated in his head and made his hair stand on end.  "let me out Pym… Give me another body.. you know the words.."

"Eveesh ne gratta!  Brrig mi tanosh!" Pym said, perhaps too loudly.  The Captain looked back over her shoulder with a raised eyebrow.  Pym smiled sheepishly.  "Sorry… "  Then to himself.."I can't do that!  I don't have the components!"

The chuckle that reverberated in his head was sadistic.  "I suggest you get them….  mmmmmaster."

Pym's thoughts turned to wondering if he could make his own incense…..


Session 3 - Land Ho!

The worst of the storm is over within the hour, though the strong winds and lightning carry on throughout the rest of the day. The rocking and thrashing of the ship doesn't allow for much rest.

The worst of the storm is over within the hour, though the strong winds and lightning carry on throughout the rest of the day. The rocking and thrashing of the ship doesn't allow for much rest.

The full moon hidden behind thick clouds offers a dim glow across the horizon. Soon, the unmistakable outline of land can be seen. It's a small island, with a low mountain peak in the center. As the Dawn Chaser gets closer, another ship can be seen. It is a carrack that has been stranded on a large reef. Even from a distance you can see the ship is in bad shape – though it is still upright and mostly intact. No light can be seen on the main deck, but you can just make out a faint, flickering blue light coming from a gash in the hull. You notice Captain Moonlight staring at the shipwreck and gripping the railing hard. "The Fortunate Son…" she mutters.

The captain knows it is too great a coincidence that the Dawn Chaser was blown toward Storm Island, and she is beginning to suspect that they are caught in a web of dark magic.

The captain musters the adventurers to board and investigate the Fortunate Son.

As Dorn steps onto the main deck, he sees that the crew attempted to gather supplies from the island to complete the repairs. Cut timbers, lengths of vine, and large thick leaves are scattered around haphazardly. An especially large pile of leaves begins to move, and suddenly explodes outward. Standing up from it are several crewmen, their eyes no more than pools of inky dark, their faces decaying, and small threads of lightning arcing across their bodies. A battle with the storm zombies ensues.

The adventurers discover Pukka, who says that ver a month ago the Fortunate Son was blown onto the reef. The crew began to make repairs, but found and pillaged "the Temple", taking Thunderchild with them. He knows that the idol must be returned to the Temple because "Old Man Storm is angry" and a curse follows the idol around. The adventurers recognize this idol as the one they found on the goblin attacker's boat.

Four storm zombies and the storm zombie captain are encountered below deck, and they attack as soon as the door is opened. Once the zombies are dealt with, Captain Moonlight begins to look over the maps. 

<q>These maps were made by my father! Now, I'm not some sentimental school girl tearing up over his work – I already have many of his maps on my ship. Here's the problem, my father was lost at sea twenty years back – but this map was made just two years ago! There's half a dozen of his maps on this table – all made within the past five years.</q>

When the adventurers search the cabin, they find the captain's journal. The early pages contain uninteresting information about wind direction, headings and navigational readings. The last few pages describe the terrible storm that drove the ship onto the reef. They also tell of how they began repairing the ship, while a large party explored the island interior. These crew returned bearing Thunderchild, and told of a strange temple they had found carved into a cliff face. They claimed to have been chased from the temple by "a living storm" – several of the crew did not escape. The journal then notes the descent of the crew into madness, and the horrific discovery that the dead were rising to life again. The captain quickly surmises that the curse is being caused by the idol dislocated from the strange temple. The journal ends with the captain and several of the sailors locking themselves in his cabin to escape the rest of the crew. With supplies running low and the sailors slowly being consumed by madness, the last journal entry reads:

<q>There is no hope –  we can but wait for the end - there is no hope.</q>

The heart of a Dwarf #2

Been out here a few days and finally I've stopped heaving over the side.  Still rather be on solid ground, but I think I'm finally gettin' the hang o' this sailing business!

A boat-load of goblins caught us up this afternoon.  By Moradin, itr felt good to smash some Goblin skulls!  

Brunt is a tough one.  'Spose he should be with some Orc blood in 'im.  

Davorin held his own.  Did quite alright, truth be told. Still, a few years in the mines would toughen him up some. Spends too much time singing.  Worst part though, is he's pretty good. 

Pym did well.  Seemed to be enjoying it, too.  Maybe a little too much.  But, he's solid in a tough fight.  Had my back more than once.  

We're off to find The Fortunate Son!  With any luck there'll be more goblin heads to smash!

Chip on my shoulder #2
further musings in the dark....

The ship tossed and turned as the storms started to calm.  The Half Orc's snores reverberated through the cabin.  Pym turned in his hammock and opened his eyes.  He felt Chip perched on the edge of the hammock.  His weight the only thing telling Pym he was there.

"You killed many for your father today." The Imp crooned quietly in Abyssal.

Pym sighed, thinking back on the pure joy he felt in the carnage of the earlier day.  He worried about his dark side.  Sometimes it became overwhelming.  The warmth of the fire as it flooded over him, wrapping him in a blanket of protection.  It was intoxicating.

"You will soon embrace your destiny master.  You will be the abyssal champion you were made to be."  The Imp appeared as he patted Pym's forehead.  Like a father calming a child.

Pym rolled over looked out a small port hole near the ceiling.  Some moonlight filtered in.  He remembered the old woman.  She would stare up at the moon sometimes while he slept.  If he listened he could still hear that song she hummed.  As he focused on her tune, the memories of his maniacal laughing faded to a distant chuckle as he fell back to sleep.

Session 2 - The Raiders Attack

As the sun begins to rise over the ocean, a vessel can be seen cutting through the morning fog. It appears to be on an intercept course with the Dawn Chaser!

Captain Moonlight orders the party to prepare for an attack, even as the crew rush about and make their own preparations.

The ship that is approaching is a long carrack, with three tall masts and square, full sails. As it gets closer, you can see it’s crewed by small green humanoids. They are jumping around the deck excitedly, while preparing long planks and ropes. One of the creatures stands on the bow of the ship, wearing a ragged red coat and barking orders.

The nameless ship contains 24 goblins and a goblin boss. Quickly the ships collide side-to-side, with the goblins launching grappling hooks and dropping boarding plank, and the goblins launch their attack. 

Captain Moonlight and the crew do not sit by idly as their ship is boarded.

After a tough battle, the goblin pirates are killed.

The goblin ship is lucky to even be afloat. The masts are cracked, the sails are torn, and important ropes have been snapped in two. A hatch leads to the lower deck, and the stench wafting up through the rotted planks suggests that the goblin sailors aren’t especially interested in hygiene. The only thing that is not in bad condition is a large crate that has been tied down to the deck – undoubtedly pillaged from some other vessel.

The crate is nailed shut, but can be easily opened. Inside is some cutlery, a few navigational instruments, and an assortment of ship supplies. There is also one peculiar item – a hunk of silvery metal in the shape of a jagged triangle.

When the captain examines the crate, she will curse aloud, saying, “These instruments are from the 
Fortunate Son – those wretched goblins beat us to it!” Still, she is determined to press on.

The skies begin to darken as the ship sails on through evening. By the time dinner is gone, the winds have picked up and the waves have begun to batter the ship’s hull. The crew prepare for stormy weather as a crack of thunder is heard overhead.

Within minutes, the storm breaks over the Dawn Chaser. Rain begins to fall in sheets, and lightning courses through low clouds that seem barely higher than the mainmast. The ship is tossed between the waves as torrents of salt water wash over the main deck. The captain yells out orders to the crew as she calls you over. “We’re taking a beating – we need your help!” she cries through the torrent of rain. “Gregor’s shortening the sails and he needs some muscle to finish before the mast snaps! Tog is trying to get all the rigging tied off, so a few of you need to lend him a hand as well!”

The full moon hidden behind thick clouds offers a dim glow across the horizon. Soon, the unmistakable outline of land can be seen. It’s a small island, with a low mountain peak in the center. As the Dawn Chaser gets closer, another ship can be seen. It is a carrack that has been stranded on a large reef. Even from a distance you can see the ship is in bad shape – though it is still upright and mostly intact. No light can be seen on the main deck, but you can just make out a faint, flickering blue light coming from a gash in the hull. You notice Captain Moonlight staring at the shipwreck and gripping the railing hard. “The Fortunate Son…” she mutters.









The heart of a Dwarf #1

 The old sailor had been right; The Broken Lance was full of distractions! Such a motley crew of vagabonds I haven't seen before!  The camaraderie of these fishermen is something to behold!  I don't envy the head on that Cory fella come morning after all the ale the others were pouring down him!

  I just needed a place as far from Sundabar as I could get, and the docks seemed to be about it. It was 4 years ago that Sundabar fell and my family stolen me at the hands of the dirty orcs!  I wanted to be far from Sundabar and my thoughts this night.  But before i could get properly drunk, I found myself sharing a table with some others.   These three tried making small talk – and seemed friendly enough, but I wasn't much in the mood to socialize.

  Soon, the half-elf, started singing and carrying on – much to the delight of the sailors. Truth is, he's pretty good – not that I'd ever tell him that!  Whilst he were playing, a Captain entered and caused a stir.  A few songs later, she approached us and offered the four of us a job.  Not sure the half-elf knows his way around a fight, but he could talk circles around most!  Between him and the Tiefling, they managed to negotiate us a fine deal to go to sea.  I don't know why I threw in with them, but  this trip will get me further from Sundabar than I'd hoped. 

  We four shared a room that night.  Three local thugs thought to get some easy coin by coming after us, but we sent them packing right quick!  

  The half-orc, Brunt, is a strong one.  He knows to use that maul of his. He's simple and straightforward.  Despite the orc in him, I find him to be alright. We'll see if that holds after a time on a ship with him!

  The half-elf, Davorin, likes the sound of his own voice. Talks a lot.  But, I can no deny that he's a smart one.  Knows things.  Asks lots of questions too. He's quick of wit, and always ready with a song or a spell.  At least the trip won't be boring!

  The Tiefling, Pym, I find interesting. I've not ever known a Tiefling before.  I'd heard they was little more than half-tamed demons, but I sense none of that from Pym. He comes across as honorable, and kind. He likes to think as well. This one will take some time to get to know.  There are many layers to him.  I don't know why, but I feel that I can trust him.  And trust is a rare treasure most times.

  I find myself trying to get a read on the three of them, and not giving up much about meself. Maybe on the trip to sea.  But not today.  Today is for me wife and son.  By Moradin, I miss 'em still.

  It's now the third morning at sea. By Moradin beard!  What business does any Dwarf have being on the sea? The twice cursed bloody ship doesn't ever sit still!  Soon I expect to have turned meself inside out for all the heaving and tossing over the side of the boat I've done!  The crew still find it funny, the bastards!  My stomach hurts from all the throwing up I've done! I've been so sick, I haven't even had words with the Orc that's part of the crew! Tog there should be thrown over the side of the boat now!  Bloody orcs!  World be better off with no orcs in it!

Chip on my shoulder #1
Secret thoughts of a warlock

One night, on the bow of the Dawnstar, a sailor wanders a little too close to the stranger in dark clothes.  He could swear he heard something.. a conversation or argument… However when he looked that way all he saw was the wizard and his raven staring in his direction.  He suddenly remembered the ropes he had to coil at the aft of the ship.

As the sailor retreated to the back of the boat Chip shifted on Pym's shoulder.  "It would be easier to just kill the Captain and take over.  Think of the GLORY!"

"Chip, you forget your place." Pym stared off at the sailors back.

"No I haven't!  I am your council and your eyes.  That is the contract I signed with your parents at your fathers behest.  Killing the Captain and taking over the ship would be the best coarse of actio..a..ahhAh!"  Pym's shoulder rose and fell sharply, causing the raven form to lose balance for a second.

"You can't get rid of me that easily Pym, you know that.  We're bound.  As much I am to you, you are to me.  I don't know why you have me in this ridiculous form."

Pym's eyes glanced to his familiars.  The malevolent intelligence there still unnerved him at times.  "I told you.  Me being called out as a Warlock could be dangerous.  It's not my fault you can't change into a pigeon."

"Lower life form, that's why not.  So, what are we planning to do with all the money we make?  Start an opium den?  I bet you would be good at running an opium den."

Pym sighed.  "No.  Probably open an orphanage."

"To molest small childr- ah!"  Pym had grabbed the raven and flung it out into the night.  In a few moments it landed on his other shoulder.  It appeared to be chuckling.

Session 1 - All Aboard
Life at sea

The party are drinking at the seedy dockside tavern known as The Broken Lance. The big news today concerns Cory McMadook, a local fisherman who has pulled in an enormous striped bass. Cory is currently being supplied with round after round of ale as the local fishermen crowd around to congratulate him. The whole tavern is in a jovial mood this evening, and even the normally beleaguered staff seem to be having a good time.

As the evening moves on and the drinks flow faster, you notice a young human woman enter the tavern. She has the look of a ship’s captain, complete with a long blue frock coat and the unmistakable aura of command. Many of the sailors and dockworkers either nod hello or divert their gaze as she walks past. She glances at your table momentarily before taking a seat with two large men.

The woman is Araveene Moonlight, an ambitious young sea captain looking for some muscle to accompany her as she plies the dangerous trade routes to the south.

Negations ensue and the Adventurer's finally agree to a fee for their service. 

After a gold advance, the Adventurer's are confronted by local thugs (Nice natural 1 Brunt!) and are forced to put a beating down. Two thugs run off and one is offered redemption.

The ship sets sail soon after the party is onboard. The crew is very busy for the first few hours, but after reaching open waters a pleasant rhythm settles over the ship. Some of the adventurers face the misery of sea sickness.

On the third evening, the Captain informs the adventurers of the true purpose of the trip – to seek out the Fortunate Son.


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