Fehlauer's Savage Tide

Farshore Tea Party
Revolution

Scene 2 – Farshore

 

Still nightfall, amid chaos of Torog’s arrival and departure, and the Black Talon’s presence.

 

The Clergyman

·         One of the crewmen of the Sea Wyvern overheard Father John Copley, the local priest of Erathis, proclaiming that is “as yesterday’s communion foretold, the arrival of the mighty Black Talons proves that Erathis still watches over her children.”

·         This happened when the Wyvern first landed. Before the PCs told about the funeral.

·         Crewman thought it was weird for Father Copley to be preaching about Erathis if Erathis is dead.

 

 

Nobility

·         Lavinia has a son named Vanthus. Born about 9 months after the departure of the Sea Wyvern from Farshore.

·         Tolin is her bodyguard and lover.

o   Zan took off with Avner to explore the Isle.

·         After the meeting with Torog, Lavinia is joined by Manthalay Meravanchi and they ask the PCs to accompany them to Vanderboren Manor. Once there, Manthaley takes charge:

o   “It won’t take long for these villagers to realize that with Sasserine destroyed, our titles and money are no longer backed by the old country’s power and are therefore meaningless.”

o   “This place will descend into anarchy.”

o   “As the most powerful and respected individuals around—and as people unsuited and uninterested in governance—we need you to crown us as the new king and queen of Farshore. Why help us?”

§  We’re skilled administrators.

§  If we go, other legitimate laws and mores will topple like dominoes: land deeds, business licenses, contracts. It will be bloody chaos.

§  Our continued rule will stabilize Farshore.

§  We won’t give up our authority willingly, and we and our loyal retainers will put down any attempts at revolution with force. To put it bluntly: we’ll die before we’re dethroned.

o   Manthalay is brutally pragmatic, and a dick. “We founded this colony—we own this colony­—and in these uncertain times, it is our right and obligation to rule this colony.”

o   Lavinia is more emotional, and pleads rather than demands. “Anarchy will lead to violence. Think of the children!”

 

The Captains

·         After, the various captains of the refugee fleet arrange a meeting with the PCs, joined by the local captains of the larger ships.

·         “We’ve all been talking.”

·         “With Sasserine gone, and this place a tiny island offshore of the Isle of fucking Dread, our ships, cargo, and crew are the most valuable things in the world.”

·         “We provide food, transport, and security.”

·         “We think we should take what worked for us in the fleet—the council of captains—and make that the permanent government of this entire place. Make us all ’Lord Captains of Farshore.’”

·         “First thing to do is make it clear that them nobles, Vanderboren and Merevanchi, are no longer in charge. We’ve got the ships, we’ve got the power, and their fancy titles aren’t worth shit now that Sasserine is gone.”

·         “You Black Talons are the toughest group, and the fleet and the locals adore you. We need your backing if we’re going to pull this off. Or, if you’re not interested in joining us, we need to know you’ll get out of our way and let us do what needs be done.”

·         It’s clear to the PCs that the captains intend to loot the estates of the nobles.

·         It’s also clear that Brady (captain of the merchant ship Pride of Greyhawk is a bit disgusted by his fellow captains’ rapacious intentions, but is also confident that he can take over if the nobles are gone.

 

Tavey and Urrol

·         Have been gone for a while, investigating strange reports from the villagers.

·         Tavey is Urrol’s adventuring partner and research assistant.

 

 

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Meet the Dragon Turtle
Is that the Dragon Turtle? Wow, it's HUGE. Oh. That's its head.

Scene 1 – Torog the Dragon Turtle

Physical description

·         When he rises, his head fills most of Farshore’s cove.

·         Beyond the cove, the glow from the volcano, and the light of the stars, is blacked out by a sprawling cityscape skyline.

·         Torog is an enormous dragon turtle, with a castle on his head and a city on his back complete with towers, homes, warehouses, and docks.

·         He is also an island chain, literally—titanic chains attach floating islands to his shell. These are used by the city inhabitants for farms, tanneries, manufacturing, storage, prisons, etc.

·         City is inhabited by Ur-Sahaugin. They just might be the first civilized sentient creatures on the planet. All other sea sentient humanoids originated from their descendents. They are extremely long-lived but mortal, and serve Torog.

 

Power

·         He is a post-epic level creature, far beyond mortal power, and is not at all in danger from PCs.

·         He is also a turtle. He is so ancient as to be bound by his nature, and he is incapable of adventuring, intrigue, etc. He is incapable of saving the world.

 

Tribute

·         Tribute is composed of manufactured and trade goods, and artworks; essentially valuable products of civilization. And blown glass, which the inhabitants have a hard time manufacturing.

·         Ur-Sahaugin keep some tribute items, Torog eats the rest.

·         Main point of tribute is to draw out Farshore’s heroes. Torog wants to communicate with them.

 

Immediate Motivation

·         Torog is intelligent and wise, but truly ancient—he thinks he is as old as the world, and might actually be.

·         He enjoys and values civilization (music, culture, trade, language, history, war), and has protected Farshore and the tribes from the terrors of the deep in exchange for tribute—he also enjoys being feared, in as much as he believes the fear he installs in others unifies and stabilizes civilization.

·         He is aware of moon’s destruction and seeks information. Specifically, about Erathis.

 

Relationship to Erathis

·         Torog met Erathis long ago.

·         He heard her playing her lyre and singing, and surfaced to investigate.

·         She was mortal, and was playing a dirge for a dead god.

 

Lore

·         Nature check: adult Dragon Turtles typically do not exceed 75 yards in shell diameter.

·         Torog is enormous; his head is more than 200 yards in diameter.

·         If the PCs ask Lavinia or other locals for information on Torog:

o   He showed up soon after the Change, and bellowed “TOROG DEMANDS TRIBUTE.”

o   The Word of Torog (see below) came to them and explained that the city needed to provide tribute, or be destroyed.

o   Over time and dialogue with the Word, Lavinia and Merevanchi figured out that it was essentially a protection racket. Torog protected the town as long as the tribute flowed.

o   Tribute consists of finished goods, particularly blown glass goods. Also processed cultivated crops (flour, etc.), copies of books, and works of art.

o   Lavinia thinks they care about the glass, maybe, but really that they value (and demand) whatever Farshore thinks is valuable.

o   Tribute is rowed out to Torog’s shell in crates, where it is then hauled up to the city in an elevator that runs in a polished groove carved into the shell.

o   No one from Farshore has been allowed to enter the city, and no one other than the Word has descended from the city to enter Farshore.

o   Urrol asked the villagers about Torog, and he is a recurring character in their legends.

o   In those legends he protects the Isle’s villages from monsters from the deep, but also sometimes destroys them.

o   Torog is not a constant fixture of the Isle; he appears and disappears seemingly at random.

o   Last seen long, long ago (the Tribes used their word which Urrol understands to mean “years beyond counting”).

o   His protection seemingly coincides with his appearance (when he’s not around, neither is his protection).

 

Word of Torog

·         This is an Ur-Sahaugin shaman, ancient by human reckoning .

·         His appearance is a tall, wizened Sahuagin with the equivalent of wrinkles and age spots.

·         He bears no weapons, armor, gear, or clothing.

·         As a mortal, he is able to interpret and relate Torog’s wishes to other mortals, and as an Ur-Sahuagin, he is able to translate mortal information to Torog.

·         He doesn’t speak on Torog’s behalf without first consulting Torog (a process that takes some time).

·         If players ask questions he doesn’t reply, but if the question is a good one he’ll obviously and clearly make a mental note of it.

·         Speaks slowly, with simple and clear words (as a courtesy, not arrogance). Mostly emotionless. Fearless.

·         Gives the impression that he’s seen quite a lot in his days, and that his lore is vast. It takes quite a bit to impress or surprise him.

·         When he first meets the characters, he sizes them up. Seems to be familiar with the design, if not particular objects, of some of the PCs’ more powerful magical gear. Will be surprised by new phenomena, like Dragonborn and Tiefling.

·         If a character says something particularly insightful, he comments “You are not foolish.”

·         He does have his own opinions and experiences, but he’s really not personally interested in the PCs and is not forthcoming with personal information. He makes few comments, and prefers to ask questions or listen.

 

The Word’s Words

·         First thing he does is confirm that the party “are the Heroes of this settlement.”

·         Insightful characters may realize that Torog was expecting them (or someone like them) to show up. Torog was waiting for a group of powerful decision-makers/world-affecters to stand for the town.

·         The Word explains that he is going to ask questions, and that they are going to provide answers. He will take these answers back to Torog, who may or may not later reply.

·         Explains that he doesn’t speak on Torog’s behalf. He is an interpreter.

·         Asks about their experiences on and after The Change.

·         Asks about storm, and moon.

o   If they tell him about moon:

o   Says that they are aware that the moon is the home of the gods.

o   Says that if moon is destroyed, then the gods may have also been destroyed.

o   If so, then that is a very bad thing for the ordered universe. Without gods, things like linear time, gravity, the elements, will destabilize.

o   Such destabilization has happened before, during the previous great conflict between the gods and the primordials.

o   Torog literally carries civilization on his back in order to keep such disorder at bay.

o   If all gods are destroyed, then the entire ordered universe is at peril.

o   A vacuum of gods is worse, much worse, than any evil god.

·         Asks about falling star that hit ocean.

o   If they tell him about Erathis:

o   His demeanor shifts <u>dramatically</u>. The destruction of the gods was theory, now its confirmed fact. He freaks out a little, and starts speaking faster and with more than dead simple language.

o   Tells story about Torog meeting Erathis

o   Says that when The Word’s ancestors saw Erathis, she was a mortal woman. When Black Talons witnessed her wake, she was a goddess.

o   He doesn’t know how that transformation occurred, but it did occur. That’s important.

·         Says that he will report what that they have said to Torog. But he also says that Torog will likely want to know: who among you will take the place of the gods?

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Black Talon Exec Committee Meeting 3/4/09

BLACK TALON EXEC COMMITTEE MEETING 3/4/09
LOCATION: LOHI’S OFFICE (WORLD SERPENT CAVE 3) AGENDA DRAFT 1

Presiding: Capt. Yosh
Recording: Lohi
Attending: Fedor, Ollo, Xam
Not Yet Replied: Stigander
On Leave: Kilgore, J.

I. Reuniting – Lohi’s Activities to Date
A. Lohi Regales Committee
B. Q&A
C. Confirmation of Merger/Reacquisition
II. Immediate Business – Farshore
A. Lohi’s Report
B. Black Talon Long-Term Interest
1. Base of operations?
2. Legal authority?
3. Protection from monsters/rivals?
4. Balance w/natural order (Lohi)
C. Scouting report
D. Processing refugees
III. Global Concerns
A. Shifting & Falling Stars
B. Destruction of Civilization
C. Rules of Magic Changed
D. Dead God(s)
1. Erathis (portfolio: civilization)
2. Others?
E. Visions & Portents
1. Ollo’s
2. Others?
IV. Future Business

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Eulogy for Erathis

 

 

Eulogy for a goddess

As delivered by Zacharael

 

Erathis,

She who birthed the Olman at the cradle,

Who gave language to the Baklunish

Philosophy to the Suloise

Lineage to the Oeridians

and Music to the Flannae.

She who, knowingly or unknowingly,

was worshipped by

All those who pushed back against the darkness

And sacrificed for their fellow men,

From kings to commoners,

From Urda-Khal of Enoch to… Ollo of the Road.

 

She is no more.

Her light is fading from this world.

So too must our light fade,

And there is nothing now to stand in the way

Of the rising tide of darkness.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Gladtown
The Fleet returns to Fort Blackthorn, gains a ship, and picks up supplies from a gnome colony

The fleet, low on supplies, is overjoyed when Fort Blackthorn’s bustling waterfront comes into view. They can see cookfires and construction cranes, and busy people hustling to and fro on the docks. A ship immediately sets out from shore to greet them.

As it approaches, they notice that’s its undercrewed; only seven people for a sloop-sized ship. And it’s kind of beat up. Nervous, the Sea Wyvern’s crew take to arms just as the ship pulls alongside. One of the strange ship’s crew yells out “Help us!” just as horrible frog-like monsters swarm up onto the deck. There are a bunch of man-sized grey-skinned creatures, as well as two much larger creatures: one red, one blue. They all have oversized mouths and huge claws.

The strange ship’s crew cowers or leaps for the water as battle is joined. The little grey monsters pop into and out of existence, flanking and confounding the minds of the Black Talons. The big ones lay waste with croaks and claws.

Eventually the Talons prevail and the frog-beasts are slain. The rescued crew is grateful, but warns the entire fort is completely overrun by the creatures, which appeared right when the Change occurred. They beg to join the fleet, and are welcomed. One of them, an eyepatch-wearing seadog called Patchy, overhears talk of low supplies and spins a yarn about setting up a gnome colony not far away. He worked with the advance scouts for a bunch of gnomes, and hauled tons of supplies into the jungle.

After some drama with the fleets captains the party sets off for Gladtown, bringing Patchy along with an officer from the Pride of Greyhawk. The path is deeply overgrown and the village, when discovered, is deserted. It’s just empty, partially collapsed huts filled with rot, surrounding a firepit and a huge tree in the village center.

Ollo hears singing and happens upon a beautiful naked woman bathing in a nearby stream. Immediately suspicious, the party forms up as she walks out of the water and tells them that “the gnomes went away”, and that “you should leave. No, really, you need to go.” When the refuse, she shrieks and transforms into a barky, bestial clawbitch, screaming “you PEOPLE ruin EVERYTHING!” Shambling jungle monsters bust out of the village huts and the central tree comes to life as a massive treant, and battle is joined. during the battle Patchy is ripped in half (despite Ollo’s best efforts) by a the treant and the Pride’s officer is pounded into the ground. Eventually the dryad is killed by Zam-Ji, and the Treant calls for a cessation of violence. The party agrees to leave if they can take the remaining supplies, and they depart Gladtown with heavy burdens.

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Points of Light
After escaping the destruction of Sasserine, our heroes lead a ragtag fleet toward a far shore.

Dawn breaks on the The Sea Wyvern lolling amid gently drifting cinders of their former home, Sasserine. These embers quietly hiss when obliterated by the ruddy waves; it surrounds the ship like an endless sigh.

Less peaceful are the deaths of the hundreds of almost-refugees left to die in the city, consumed by fire or ghoul.

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The Fall of Sasserine
Everything certain is Changed

A comet appears in the sky. Various cranks speak of impending doom.

An ongoing romance between the party Warlock (3.5 version) and Liamae culminates in the midnight birth of the world’s first tiefling.

At that exact instant, all the PCs experience a flash of light, blinding pain, and a vision of the Fangs of Zotzilaha (twin volcanoes on the Isle of Dread) erupting in a titanic explosion.

The stars shift, and some fall.

Magic stops working.

Even MATH starts acting funny (diagonal of square, when measured, is somehow same distance as side of square).

Everything certain is changed.

There’s momentary panic as the lights go out in Sasserine and the heavens go crazy, but the immediate impact on the populace is low.

Rulers, priests, and mages, however, all start to panic. They’re cut off from civilization, the gods aren’t answering prayers, and the smarter sages realize that without druidic magic, there won’t be nearly enough food come harvest time.

Not to mention that without magical defenses and potent magic items in the hands of PCs and NPCs, the city is wide open to monstrous attack.

Over the next few weeks, as refugees begin to stream into the city with tales of fallen nations and rampaging monsters, the nobility starts to quietly flee Sasserine—and the citizenry gradually becomes aware of this fact. Also, they can’t help but notice that all the churches are closed, or if open, are no longer curing the sick and injured.

The party is witness to this scene of rising panic, and they quietly made their own covert arrangements to flee on the Sea Wyvern. Unfortunately, at that moment a derelict ship is brought in by the coast guard, bearing exotic foodstuffs and island trade goods—as well as a hidden, ghoulish cargo. Undead quickly spread throughout the pre-dawn city, followed by rampaging fires. Sasserine’s nightmare ends with the party fleeing ghouls and the burning city itself, culminating in the party having to cut their way through the panicked mob choking the waterfront. They eventually made it to the Wyvern and cast off, and watched from the deck as Sasserine was engulfed in undeath and flames.

So, that’s where we are. The party is afloat on a provisioned and crewed ship, and accreting boats filled with other survivors (who all recognize the famous Heroes of Farshore). It’s “Battlestar Galactica” meets “Dies the Fire.” It’s… the Savage Tide!

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Tides of Dread
Meet Vanthus!

The PCs, reunited with Lavinia and the Blue Nixie, help defend Farshore from a pirate ship attack. They learn that a larger fleet of pirates, from the Crimson Fleet, is scheduled to make a full-out attack on the colony in a mere two month’s time. Preparing for this assault, the PCs aid in building up the colony’s defenses and explore the Isle of Dread to discover new resources and form alliances with local tribes. Finally, the day came and the Crimson Fleet attacked. The city was as prepared as it could be, but was barely able to stave off the fleet’s assault. But, before the fleet’s final retreat, Vanthus, now captain of a pirate ship, revealed himself now as a part-demon, and confronted the PCs with taunts and some weird incestous innuendo. The PCs retaliated with fire and steel, and knocked Vanthus to the ground. He almost escaped, but Zam Ji’s blade ended his life.

Vanthus’s final act was to drop a Shadow Pearl, in the hopes that the party, Lavinia, and Farshore will be destroyed by the Savage Tide. It is Captain Yosh who saves the day, using his Ride The Lightning powers to blast out to sea, where he drops the sputtering Shadow Pearl onto Vanthus’s flagship. The ship is obliterated in a horrific explosion unlike what Harliss Javell described, leaving behind a weird rift just above the waterline. Yosh, Urol, and Fedor later postulate that the combination of the Pearl, magic items on the ship (known to include a Crystal Ball), and the ship’s gunpowder stores caused the phenomenon.

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Here There Be Monsters
Meet the Isle of Dread!

The shipwrecked PCs and the surviving members of the Sea Wyvern scavenged supplies and made the deadly journey down the coast of the Isle of Dread to reach the Farshore colony. Along the way they were hounded by dinosaurs, gargoyles, a spiderlady, terror birds, bad omens, as well as treachery and madness.

The lowpoint of the journey came when they realized they were being stalked by a mysterious creature that torments them and ended up picking off Tavey for a sacrifice to his foul god. Eventually finding the demon’s lair (an ancient hidden shrine) they were able to defeat it and the shrine’s golem-protector thereby rescuing Tavey and removing the curse allowing them to escape.

Highlights:

  • Death of Tavey’s dad, John Carpenter (Drowned in Fedor’s arms)
  • Drag marks into the jungle
  • Tyranosaur’s approach and roar
  • Death of Lilith (eaten by Tyranosaur)
  • Meeting the spiderlady
  • Terror birds nests
  • The Dark Passage under the mountains
  • Death of Abu (murdered by Tim)
  • Traversing the cliffs
  • Lohi taking Tavey under his wing (giving him his father’s knife, teaching him to use a spear)
  • Jedidiah’s capturing the Gargoyle crown
  • The suicidal villager
  • Exploding blood banana
  • The crucified villager
  • Shrine of Demogorgon
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The Sea Wyvern's Wake
The Long, Strange Voyage to the Isle of Dread!

From journals they recovered (during the first adventure) from Lavinia’s family vault, she and the PCs discover that the last thing her parents accomplished before their murder by Vanthus was the establishment of a trading outpost and colony called Farshore on the distant and dangerous Isle of Dread. The Vanderboren’s hoped to establish a profitable trade route, importing exotic spices, lumber, and foods to Sasserine. Desiring to carry on her parent’s vision and knowing the colonists need supplies, she recruits the PCs to accompany her on an expedition to Farshore.

With their new ship, the PCs sail with Lavinia (and her crew on the Blue Nixie) on a 3,000 mile voyage south to the Isle of Dread. Along the way they pass numerous odd sights (and sites), including a huge stone stairway into the sea. They investigate this area, including the treeline, where they discover the trees are staked with hundreds of mummified lizardfolk corpses—which scream and lurch when approached, wrench themselves free, and chase the party to their boats. Later, Urol’s study of a captured chunk of stair reveals that the area was a site of forbidden worship of some forgotten god, ancient even to lizardfolk, and that the mummified corpses were guardians, punished cultists, a warning system, or all three. Rumors of the site were ancient, but investigations always proved fruitless, leading Urol to believe that the site faded in and out of time / reality. It’s appearance, and the effect of the party’s meddling, was a mystery.

There are many other events on the way, including having to deal with the murderous stowaway, the former leader of the Lotus Dragons, Rowyn Kellani, looking for revenge, and an encounter with wyverns (the party tosses Avner’s horse overboard, and the wyverns leave them alone). Another passenger turns out to false: Father Feres, who is not a priest at all but a common smuggler named Conrad Horst. He is further revealed to be a mule for smuggling a Slaad egg (he’s just as surprised as the party; he thought he was smuggling a letter). After dealing with a Scarlet Brotherhood blockade (gifting the liberated ship Purity’s Prow to its slaves), Urol convinces the party to take a perilous sidetrek to the ruined city of Tomoachan. There they encounter the stony remains of an expedition launched by Lohi’s father, recover a golden bat idol, and begin dealing with Zam Ji’s chronic case of Mummy Rot. He’s kept alive via Urol’s minor druidic magic but it’s a losing battle, and the party’s only hope, Fort Greenrock, is found to be torched and abandoned. He’s saved only by a friendly native tribe on a tiny island, which fist insists that he become a member by taking a wife.

Later they have to rescue themselves from a large, evil sargasso sea, an outgrowth of a creature known as the “Mother of All”, with the help of Tim. Finally, on the eve of their arrival to the Isle, they are caught in a ferocious storm and are separated from Lavinia’s ship. Caught in the massive storm they crash the ship on the northeastern shore of the Isle of Dread.

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