Fehlauer's Savage Tide

There Is No Honor
The adventure begins!

The PCs are recruited by a desparate noble of the city of Sasserine, one Lavinia Vanderboren. After her parents recently perished in a freak accident, she inherited a large number of debts along with the rest of the estate. Yet her real problem is not financial, but personal. Her younger brother Vanthus has fallen in with a bad crowd: theives, cutthroats, and smugglers. Lavinia asks the PCs to help track down her brother and rescue him from his errant ways, but they soon find out that he’s the worst of the bunch. After he attempts to murder them by entrapping them in an old smuggler hideout, they find out that Vanthus stands at the center of the Lotus Dragons, a violent and deadly thieves’ guild that has recently ascended to a position of power in Sasserine’s underworld. Even though the PCs defeat this guild and their leader, Rowyn Kellani, before they are able to stage a coup against the city government, they find that Vanthus was behind the death of his parents and has slipped away to pursue a new plan.

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The Bullywug Gambit
Meet the Savage Tide!

Wanting her brother to answer for his crimes, Lavinia asks the PCs to track down Vanthus to try to rescue him from his errant ways. Hot on his trail, they track him to the hidden Kraken’s Cove about a day’s journey by boat down the coast from Sasserine. There he plans to burn and pillage pirate ships of the notorious Crimson Fleet. Upon arriving they find the ships in the cove in flames and many pirates and creatures being afflicted by a disease of savagery and madness. The PCs fight their way through these savage mutants only to discover that Vanthus has fled the scene and Lavinia is now in grave danger. Seething with rage at the attack by Vanthus, the captain, Harliss Javell, sent her first mate to exact revenge upon the Vanderborens. The brutish half-orc first mate along with a large group of bullywug barbarians headed to Sasserine to kill Vanthus’s family and burn his home to the ground. Racing back by taking the last seaworthy ship remaining in the cove, they are able to protect Lavinia and her home from the bullywug attack. In the end, they have the further trust of Lavinia as well as their own ship, the Sea Wyvern.

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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