With a dozen or so PCs at the island inn and more than a dozen rescued civilians the island is crowded. They need to find arable land within the city, as well as ruins that can be quickly rebuilt by the caravansary families. These two session start as a tale of exploration, include some violence, and then ends with a meeting between the rebels from the Expeditionary Fleet and our heroes.
This took place over two sessions.
In the first one Behn, Ixynx, Saffron, and Samul investigated the Tower Island and a Temple of Torq.
In the second one Ajhenas, Behn, and Doceo traveled to meet the goblin rebels.
Most of the remaining characters remain at the Island Inn, or as Samul calls it “His Palace.”
Shonie is still retired and in Telse.
Brazz, Els and Kuda remain MIA, though in the next sessions they reappear.
Moving through the islands in the bog city the group of Behn, Ixynx, Saffron, and Samul travel via their row boat. Their original plan is to head towards a flame they see at night. Seeing two giant crocodiles trailing them they pull ashore on an island with three towers, it looks to be the urban military headquarters of the Empire of Sheljar.
Among the towers they saw that various gobkon had been there recently, likely hob and mul – the muscle. They also learned that a Kon were likely based one more island over a long bridge with a high arc. They clear the rest of the towers, three of them. There is a barn, an arena, and an armory-forge.
Then they decide to cross the bridge. It is daylight, a mix of hobgoblins and mulgoblins (bugbears) crest the arc. Five faces trudging towards their outpost in one of the towers.
Behn whips out a fireball. Five Kon are blasted overboard, mere bones and ash. There’s a large hole in the bridge now too.
The party then makes its way to the island.
Telling this tale nearly six weeks later isn’t fair to the group. This was entirely roleplayed, no combat at all. I think there were only a couple d20s rolled, one of them was a nat 20, which was played as a critical success. The group will probably fact check me, but this is how I remember it.
Entering Torq’s Temple the group see one of the largest airxips from the expedition. There is smaller ship as well. The bay that holds the airxips is a natural cave that provides protection for ships and is finished in the back. Just one guard is at the stairs that descend from the island down to the shore.
Quick thinking the group, probably Samul, intimidates the hobgoblin. The pit-fighter is a massive human, prone to threats. This hobgob is scared, knowing that several of his friends in rebellion have disappeared to tunneling nightmares, the undead and magic. Magic scares him.
Samul and the rest convince this hob to lead them to a leader. Several other hobs and a mul or two join in escort, but are unwilling to have their companion killed just to battle these four.
Ixnyx recognizes the first mate of the larger ship. This must be the leader of this rebellion. Together Behn, Ixynx, Saffron, and Samul convince that they come hoping to restore Sheljar as vibrant city, but now as one that recognizes that all genders, races are free to be what they desire. They also mention that they killed the Necromancer.
Ooooohs and aaaaaahs echo through the dungeon halls.
Ixnyx asks about the Captain. The first mate mentions that the captain is safe, but not longer in charge. Ixnyx, knows of this captain and asks to meet her.
The group is taken to an office, probably where the old vicar of Torq ran his temple from. There they meet the captain, who though under guard, is well off. The captain acts as if she still rules this ship’s crew. The first mate acts as if he is in charge.
Each agrees that they will meet with more of those that control Sheljar, that’s how Samul’s group presents it, in the next day during mid morning. The group of Lorebook Hunters return to their sanctuary.
A Tunneling Nightmare among Towers
Ajhenas, Behn, and Doceo travel to the tower island to prevent an ambush. While setting camp in the northern tower they are ambushed by a tunneling nightmare. Ajhenas and Behn are on top of the tower. Doceo is on level ground with Vondal and Delg, his loyal mastiffs.
When the noxious cloud of the tunneling nightmare issues warning the group is immediately weakened. Ajhenas throws a rope over the backside of the tower so that Doceo can escape, but the two dogs are left on the ground level. The smaller burrowing tentacles bursts through the ground, slaps Vondal to the turf and a few seconds later flips him towards the gaping maw. A more massive tentacle bludgeons Vondal, smashing the poor mastiff’s face. Delg, immediately leaps forth and drags Vondal back to the safety of Aamar at the inn. With mere seconds to spare Aamar casts revivify saving poor Vondal. Vondal will always show the wound from that massive tentacle.
While the dogs attempt to stay away from the various tentacles Behn and Ajehenas are fighting from the top of the tower. Behn is blasting it with fireball while Ajehenas uses his bow. Behn is a bit less mobile than the Kirtin-born human. He takes a few blasts from the bone vomit (the tunneling nightmare exhales shards of bone as a breath weapon).
When all three men are blasting the nightmare it is slamming the walls of the tower, trying to knock it to the ground. Its last blow weakens the tower, but that is the final effort from the tunneling nightmare.
The men survive, but Vondal, Delg and Doceo are scarred. Doceo does manage to discover how Behn throws balls of fire.
Peace in Sheljar
Most of the rest of the PCs come to the tower island for the meeting (they are present in story, but not played) and the final negotiations for peace are made. Impressed by the carcass of the tunneling nightmare, and knowing that this group has magic the goblins decide to join forces in Sheljar.
Ajhenas, Behn and Doceo ride on the smaller airxip back to the inn. Behn and Doceo tell the Kon to not slow down as they pick up Ajhenas from the top of the tower. His leap to from the tower to the airxip barely succeeds. A few of the Kon are impressed. Others get a chuckle at the near failure.
Two mulgobs decided to stay on the island with the inn, as two of the caravansary families traveled to the island with the Temple to settle that land. The remaining family is working the orchard and field south of the inn. The captain and first mate both return to the temple, both still thinking that they rule that island. Both are wrong.
A few islands are safe. At least two tunneling nightmares are destroyed. Up to a dozen may still exist.