Friday December 29th, 2017
[Posted on time, participants get 0.1 HP]
- Raevori, daughter of Leshanna (wizard [Raevori], 6), log-writer, heist mastermind, only person on the expedition who can pull off fishnets
- Sovan Dareshin (bard [lore], 6), resident Hero, yes actually, fite me IRL
- Tabitha Loress (wizard [abjurer], 4), axewoman, stout heart, invis back-up
- Lucens (warlock [fae and fiend], 4), the drone pilot, the spook, invis back-up back-up
- Jean-Lee Challenges-Debicourt de la Terre des Romances aux Rivalieux-Quandamouzieres sur Vantera aux Alpes Maritimes (cleric [war], 3), the fancy pants, the muscle, the heart-throb. What? Shut-up.
- Aa’li’naa Aurae (rogue [eldritch trickster], 5), the knives, the stealth, the snek
- Martin Van Horne (cleric [Life], 4), getaway sub driver, nice but sort of a snooze fest
- Tabitha Loress levels! She is now a level 5 Wizard (Abjurer). Welcome to the Fireball club!
- Jean-Lee whose last name is too long and also sucks also levels. He’s now a level 4 Cleric (War). Wonder if that means he’ll be working those sexy arms more.
- Sovan has permanently lost 1 point of strength to a killer bad frog handshake.
- Hex 10.18 (new hex!) is dense non-poison hilly jungle with a big central lagoon and others on the coast (occupying ¼ of the hex’s southern border)
- 9.18 and 11.17 are both hilly jungle
- MPOI in 10.18, Ruin on a hill
- 16.20, full POI of a shipwreck with an abjuration barrier inside.
- Hex 15.18 (new hex!) ultra dense jungle
- 15.17 and 15.19 also ultra dense jungle
- 15.18 POI: port city of Copros
- 15.18 MPOI: lair of the firesnake
- All of 16.18, 15.16 and 16.17 are (along with 17.17, 17.16, 16.16) shallow reef. Shallow reef is ½ new hex gold for setting foot in it for the first time, as it is definitely explorable.
- 1475 xp/person, including sheet update
GP (not including items bought)
- Raevori: 1123 gp, donated to LMF
- Sovan: 1123 gp, donated to LMF
- Beth: 1123 gp, donated to LMF
- Lucens: 1123 gp, donated to LMF
- JL: 1123 gp, donated to LMF
- Linna: 1123 gp, donated to LMF
- Martin: 514 gp, donated to LMF (half share because he stayed in the sub)
- LMFfAG: 1039 gp 5 sp
- Fire Snake (Salamander) Egg, 200 gp, claimed by Bobert, will hatch on June 1st 2018
- LUA Full plate, 750 gp, claimed by ?? (Needs crafting done to be wearable)
- Blackfeather Longbow, 12 gp 5 sp, claimed by ??
- Fancy Glasses from LUA Congress, 25 gp, claimed by ??
- Golden Sceptre from LUA Congress, 75 gp, claimed by ??
- Silk Gloves of Disguise Self 1/day from LUA Congress, 200 gp, claimed by Sovan
- Reflective Studded Leather with 0 Charges of Shatter, 600 gp, claimed by Aa’li’naa
- Sacred Venomous Pike (lay on hands 5 points / expedition, any enemy hit must make a DC10 Constitution saving throw or be sickened for one round), 800 gp, claimed by ??
- Twin Bestial Corroding Wooden Dagger (2 / expedition, can add +2 AC, +1 magic natural weapons, and a further +1 acid damage to a wild shape, and criticals by that wildshape degrade armor on critical hits), 1800 gp, claimed by Silverleaf Moonshadow
- Agile Rejuvenating Chainmail (max Dex bonus of the armour increased by 1 [to 3], and add +1 hp of healing per healing die spent to heal the wearer [from spells, potions, etc.]), 1000 gp, claimed by Tabby
- Focus Draining Longbow of Feather Fall (2 charges remaining) (can take an action to make it a + 1 weapon for a minute on a roll of 13+ , and once per expedition can add +3d6 necrotic damage to an attack, healing the wielder for any extra damage dealt this way), 1300 gp, claimed by <bugle>
- Pyromaniac’s Tinderbox (ignites or suppresses fires within 5’ as an action), 200 gp, claimed by Bobert
The Gem of Impersonation is borrowed from Bugle, lent to Sovan. Raevori lends her black glove of stealth to Jean-Lee.
We do some checks on the submarine, which was recovered in Expedition 33 (Operation Fishfry) and repaired by Jean-Pierre (it is owned by the Leshanna Memorial Fund for Adventurer Greatness. Here are its stats:
100 hull integrity percent (HIP, or inspiration, for simplicity), every 5 HIP lost it springs a leak (which can be sealed with the Mending cantrip), every 10 HIP lost there’s some sort of mechanical malfunction.
The submarine also has 8 torpedoes (irreplaceable as yet, we’d need to research how to make more, and we’d need more starmetal). These torpedoes burrow through big things like ships or large sea animals so they do a big chunk of damage to them (3d6 / round until it goes through), but if it can’t push through a target it doesn’t really damage it. One torpedo can be fired per round, and the attack modifier is Wis-based (must be made by the pilot). No-one as yet has proficiency in firing torpedoes. To successfully fire a torpedo on the pilot’s mark, the person loading and priming the system must make a DC12 Intelligence check. As of right now, we have no mechanisms to Help a torpedo shot action, since seeing outside the submarine isn’t enough since the mechanism is so complicated.
The submarine has a 5’ periscope on top to look around, as well as a small glass observation blister for mages with a small opening that can allow a caster to stick their hands out into the surrounding water to cast a spell (like, for example, lightning bolt, which does full damage underwater in its primary area and half damage in a spreading area around it. If lightning bolt is cast directly away from the submarine through the blister, the submarine takes no damage.
It can travel at 4.5 miles per hour for 16 hours (covering 12 hexes) before it has to be recharged. It is recharged by beaching it and having someone turn a crank for 8 hours.
It also has a stove for cooking food, and 3 cots. The submarine can hold 7 people with 8 hours of air. Piloting the submarine is wisdom-based. No-one yet has proficiency in
We also lay in a pile of familiar components (10), since Beth has a habit of losing her familiar and having to resummon it. Before we leave, Beth and I resummon Nea-X and Aelthrunn as tiny octopi that cling to the outside of the submarine.
We decide to leave the Gourd and the Mace of Terror in town in case another expedition wants to use them.
We also Valkoren the ship “The Beautiful Kraken.”
We submerge The Beautiful Kraken in Sila’s Harbour amidst cheering crowds of dock workers glad to see off an expedition directly from town for once. It is a beautiful day, but that fact quickly becomes irrelevant as we close the hatch and slip into the cool aquamarine depths. Aelthrunn and NeaSix are clinging to the outside of the sub as tiny octopi.
Sailing (swimming? Poodling?) along southward, we confirm with our intrepid pilot Martin van Horne that we are sticking to the coast the whole way. Martin graciously agreed to come along on this expedition to pilot the getaway vehicle, to so speak, for a half share of gold.
Since The Beautiful Kraken can only travel 12 hexes before stopping, on the first day we only travel 3, to the south side of 03.15 to recrank the sub. This will allow us to bypass the thick of the Demon Plains tomorrow.
We stop some minor activity in the hex. There’s one demon wandering around, and another demon flying south carrying a pair of deserters in its claws. It’s a big winged thing that’s fuzzy and hard to perceive. We let it pass by without incident by briefly submerging the sub. Deserters are distantly enough related to our valiant allies the Abyssal Guard that I don’t feel more than a twinge of regret at our practicality.
We then boldly set off into the unknown southward, the strange contraption at the back (pro-puh-lur?) whirring merrily.
In 3.17, the sub hits an underwater squall, and Martin deftly navigates through it with the aid of Jean-Lee help and Sovan’s inspiration (bardic inspiration, not submarine inspiration. Sovan doesn’t provide any additional sturdiness to the submarine. I’ll refer to submarine inspiration as HIP from here on out to avoid confusion). We suspect that water this rough would normally do some damage to the sub, but with a 30, we take no damage. Our baby-faced driver is certainly earning his keep.
In 3.18, we hit another patch of rough water. The submarine loses 1 HIP as it creaks and groans as the water strains its walls slightly. 99 HIP remaining.
In 4.20 we pass a strange shimmering island that winks out of existence as we pass it. We spend all of 5.20, 6.20, and 7.20 debating what it was, and eventually we make tentative plans to revisit it on April 1st.
In 8.20 there is a collection of severe eddies, but with a 29 the sub makes it through with no damage. Note: the coast from 4.20 to 8.20 is the sharp plateau of the Demon Plains, based on our periscope soundings. We only surfaced with extreme caution, as the region is known to be infested with demons.
Hexes 9.19 and 10.19 then also slip by without incident.
Shortly after dawn breaks on day 2, we reach our planned rewinding site in 10.18. Lucens dispatches his trusty imp familiar Dorkins to investigate. There is a series of lagoons in the coast on this hex. The hex is hilly with dense, tropical trees. We have a choice of three secluded lagoons: the first is quite small and a little ways out into the water off a little outcropping of water. The second is large and central to the hex, with ocean caves inside it. The third is up the edge of the hex, and the trees grow right out into the water.
We pick the third, tree-lined lagoon, looking for a place with good cover from the sky. The site is moderately secure, by Martin’s reckoning. We see a very large number of very colourful regular sized frogs swimming around and through the lagoon. Aa’li’naa captures one and examines it. It’s some kind of poisonous, and we think that capturing and collecting them could yield some amount of gp. We plan to maybe scoop some up on the way back, time and energy permitting.
After we’ve been here for 2-3 hours cranking, we are approached by a trio of brightly coloured humanoid frogs carrying primitive spears and axes. Sovan casts comprehend languages. The frogs go “Bllaaahhh” at Sovan. Sovan replies “Blllaaahhh.” They look at Sovan in confusion and repeat the sound. Sovan “Blllaaahhhs” again and they jump up and ready their weapons for a moment, then stop.
Lucens casts a Silent Image of Sovan and a frog thing hugging and looking happy. One of the frogs tries to hug Sovan. Sovan reciprocates, making a Con save, but getting a 20 and receiving no adverse effect.
We offer them some rations and one swallows some pemmican with its long coiled tongue. The one that was hugging Sovan was still standing there confusedly hugging Sovan. Sovan ducks out before having to make another Con save to the poison.
Lucens images Sovan handing the frog a bag of rations and the frog handing Sovan a bag of gold and gems. Sovan actually hands the front a bag of rations. The frog takes out a pouch and shakes it out on the ground, roots around in it, and hands Sovan a slightly shiny rock. Sovan accepts the rock.
“I feel like that’s about all we’re going to get from these guys,” Sovan says, tosses out some inspires (slang for inspiration — Normal inspiration, not submarine inspiration, again, to be clear) and then going to sleep.
The frogs are just standing around the camp, and after a while they start making their “Blaaahhhh” noise more and more. Jean-Lee thought the early ones were greeting, and the later the croaking is something different, maybe a gathering call.
In the 10 minute window before Sovan’s inspires fade, Aa’li’naa and Beth go looking for a snake to let Aa’li’naa use her snek skills to ask it what’s up. They find one, which says that the frog people are dangerous (to a snake at least) and says that there are lots of frog people north of here and lots of frog people west of here. There are also hungry people-sized monkeys, and normal-sized mongoose.
Exploring the hex from the air, Dorkins doesn’t see much because of the thick tree cover, except for a ruin on a hill (minor Point of Interest).
After a while, 20-25 frog things show up. They are all the same size, but there are three that look more intelligent and aware than the others. The three that walk up start croaking in what is recognizably language this time. “Greetings, you are welcome to gift us now.”
They spurn Sovan’s gift of rations. I think to offer them a healing potion, but to make sure they know what it is I ask Lucens to cast an illusion to show what the healing potion does by having an injured frog that is then healed by the healing potion, but initial image of the injured frog freaks the frogs out and they start running around and falling over. One of the smart ones ends the illusion with a cutting motion. Another one casts an illusion of frogs standing in a line and the frogs form up neatly behind them. The smart ones evidently control the dumb ones using illusions.
“That is sacred, why do you use it?”
“Because Lucens is sacred too!” Sovan assays, cheerfully.
“YOU ARE NOT SACRED!” One of them waves his hand and summons a massive glowing scepter with something that is like a conjure magic weapon spell.
Sovan offers them five rations.
The frog smacks the rations out of Sovan’s hand with the scepter, then holds out its empty hand to Lucens. “Give me the sacred.”
I wave my hands in a giant pushing motion and end with tapping Lucens lightly, casting invisibility. Sovan says “We have sent him away!”
It follows where the invisible Lucens had moved to and crits. They can see invisibility, evidently. Lucens fortunately remains standing, just.
“Don’t lie to me!” it yells to Sovan. “Give me the sacred, or we will kill you.”
“We can’t give him the sacred, it is inside him.”
“Well you’ll have to stay far away from here. Only we use the sacred here.”
“What if we don’t use the sacred?”
Sovan shakes his hand and rolls on the drop table at +2. He takes a permanent injury, losing 1 point of Strength. Worst. Handshake. EVER. Aa’li’naa and I were waiting for a signal to waste these guys the whole time but the more cautious types didn’t ever give the go-ahead, so we let it slide. The frogs then illusion cast frogs marching away, and the real frogs follow. Someday, when we have more time, we’ll come back and rip the illusion-magic-sacred-whatevers out of those smarmy sons of tadpole spewers. Today, though, we have LUA to mess with.
Shortly after the death-marked frogs depart, two large gorilla type things jump down from the trees (presumably where they were watching us…while we were treating with the frogs) and approach.
One of the gorillas speaks a Common-derivative to Sovan. “So I see you had a run-in with the high priests,” Sovan interprets easily.
“Yeah, they were pretty mean.”
“And you can do the thing they do?” He’s referring to illusion casting.
“Some of us can do it, yeah.”
“All of you?”
“Can you teach us?” Direct as ever.
“Um….I don’t think….” Sovan as usual is missing the obvious.
I tap Sovan on his shoulder. “We could totally turn them into warlocks, say, of the Sunfish?” Seems like an easy way knock those croakers down a peg.
“What are you talking about?” The Gorilla asks.
“We were thinking of it. It would be hard though. We could do some work for you though. What do you need done?”
“The things are really annoying and we’d like some way to get them to leave us alone.” Sovan is no fun and decides not to teach these gorillas how to worship the Sunfish, since spreading the worship of an aboleth would be ‘a bad idea.’ However, he does offer to return in about 3 months (we can sending him using Martin by then) to try to deal with the frogs. That way we can get paid to get revenge and acquire illusion magic items. Neat deal.
We find out that the gorillas have a few settlements in the trees (plus the place on the hill), generally places that the frog people don’t go. We also find out that although they can’t do illusions they have some people who can do other kinds of magic. They don’t have a name for themselves (they call themselves ‘Us’), so we decide to call them the Treebros. They just call the frogs the “frogs” or “frog-priests.” So we decide to call the frogs Badhands. They tell us that the Badhands sometimes eat the Treebros. The Treebros have books but the books aren’t for trade. When asked if they want more books, they say ‘we have them already.’
To summarize, enemy of our new enemy is our new, stealthy but not especially literate, friend.
After that, we manage to recrank without any further diplomatic sadness and move on.
We travel from 10.19 to 11.18 and bypass a nasty set of eddies without damage. I can’t tell if Martin’s getting the hang of this or country bumpkins get a special dispensation from the Lady of Luck.
Nothing interesting happens as we hug the coast until 16.20. As we start rounding the southern eastern extremity of the continent, we’re skirting a large reef and the lamp on top of the sub reveals the edge of a sunken ship. Beth and I scout it with our octopi familiars. NeaSix dies on a decayed but still active abjuration barrier. There’s almost certainly undecayed loot in them thar wreck. We mark the wreck as a full POI and move on.
This expedition has been usually comfortable so far. It’s a little cramped, but the company’s reasonably fun, the sights (such as they are) are interesting, and we have warm beds and can cook food on the stove without giving away our position. We’re living in style.
Shortly thereafter we come up on the beach in 15.18, and see a sizeable landmass (multiple hexes) 15-20 miles to the east. Maybe one of the other two major continents noted in initial exploration?
Near where we’re coming up in 15.18 (on the NE side, we’re on SE side), there is the remains of a port, but a cataclysm has clearly occurred. Tall jagged cliffs, spires of rock, like the whole area was pulled apart in a shear force. It seems like a large portion of land fell into the sea. If the Bella Cuprica mansion is somewhere in the area, it could well be submerged.
There are severe spatial distortions here, that Aa’li’naa can see (although they give her a headache…I used the submarine’s lil cook stove to brew her one of the less spicy teas that Valerian taught me), so the cataclysm was space folding in a way that strained that land and made it fall into the sea, so this was a result of the space folding. Beth observes some tree species on the spires that means that the folding happened around 300 years ago, so right around the time of the Corruption.
We are making landfall on the SE side of 15.18 on what appears to be a port. The jungle here is ludicrously thick. The trees that are growing on the shore are growing insanely fast, based on the rings (the grow effect doesn’t extend out into the sea). There is a natural background of transmutation here, like a plant growth type effect (not quick that strong initially, but that ramps up over time).
The port’s buildings have been completely eaten by the jungle. We only know it’s a port by the stone piers that extend out into the sea.
Dorkins crawling around in the jungle finds a big opening into a collection of buildings, including a half-remaining metal sign. From the handful of letters and Sovan’s prep, we identify this as the port city of Copros (full POI).
We are completely surprised when four saber-toothed wolves come leaping out of the woods. Two jump on me, knocking me down and doing 14+11 damage with the clawing, but I manage to roll and avoid the bites. Two more leap at Jean-Lee who nimbly ducks out of the way with an exaggerated NOPE. Linna springs out of hiding with a truly underwhelming sneak attack, then Lucens unloads a fearsome scorching ray volley on the same target but it doesn’t do down. They have 80+ HP, and are massive. I take another 12 damage from claws through my Shield as a pair of these monstrous things loom over me, clawing and trying to bite. I am grievously wounded, and Misty Step away then go invisible to consider my options, using my speed to reach a place of safety on the prow of the submarine.
The wounds on the sabre-tooth wolves are slowly healing, but the grievously wounded one falls to our attacks. Martin rouses from his slumber and heals Jean-Lee nearly entirely (from near death) with a second level cure wounds. The Domain of Life is puissant, if passive. I start casting fireball. Beth is tangling with one as two are charging after Jean-Lee. Her axe fails to penetrate its thick, bristling hide, which is covered in bulbous growths.
Sovan catches all three standing ones in a hypnotic pattern. As we take a breather to get set up to finish them off, Aa’li’naa says “The one on the ground is getting up!” and I turn it to ash with my fireball without disturbing the only ones.
We take a two round breather, then finish off the injured one in a single round. It was hit with Chill Touch from Lucens, and so doesn’t get back up. We manage to kill the third, using Chill Touch again. We barely finish off the fourth. Chill Touch keeps them down.
We dissect them, determining that they don’t have a specific regenerative organ like a troll, but are just feasting on the ambient growth magic here. Beth skins the hides and collect three pelts worth 45gp each.
We continue cranking, and an hour and a half before we’re ready to leave a group of 5 gangly almost eight feet tall humanoids carrying tree branches as clubs. They walk up to the tiger corpses (now hideless) and poke them in confusion.
“We killed them.”
“Killed them? They’re too young. Ow.”
“We’re very good.”
“We don’t understand. They’re too young.” They go back to hitting the bodies trying make them wake up. It takes a WHILE for it to sink in that we killed the saber-toothed wolves before their time, but when it does, one says “Guys. We have to GO,” and flees in terror.
Sovan says “No, we’re very powerful. That’s why you should be friends with us!” 29.
One flees, two hesitant, and two stop nearby.
“I guess we don’t want you to be mad…”
“We only defended ourselves.”
“But they would have just eaten some of you and left.” They approach, confused.
“You are so YOUNG. You’re like an adult but you are so YOUNG.” We talk to them a bit more and confirm that babies have no tumors and that later people have a bunch and that (by deduction) the growth magic of this place is so strong that no-one dies before their time, just of old age and being turned into a ball of tumors or something. Our new contacts are gross. I decide they are the Lumpen, for their lumps and cloddish attitude.
“Where do you live?” Sovan asks, cheerily.
“We’re….not going to tell you that. We don’t want to let people who can kill young people near our people.”
“That’s fair, but we have lots of things we can help you with.”
“Like metal tools!”
“Yeah…these don’t last very long. We just use tree branches and pick up new ones.”
“What about this, Behb?” Jean-Lee asks, offering them his hip-flask. They seem to like vodka. We eventually confirm that they know the difference between a normal metal weapon and a magic weapon, and we confirm that Some of the older Lumped do have a few minor magic items that they might be willing to trade for alcohol.
There’s only one thing that scares them, which is a thing that kills things like we do. “It’s like a big snake. It has…fire. If we give you things like that…” he points to the minor magic item weapon, “you can kill the firesnake?”
“Maybe. We’ll have to scout it out and stuff.”
These Lumped tell us with excruciating precision the hunting range of the firesnake, which is a greenish red colour. It might or might not have wings. The Lumpen leave.
We send Dorkins to the Lair of the Firesnake. The center of the hunting range is a lair/cave/deal that is unusually hot. In the cave are 4 eggs. We debate what to do about it.
Jean-Lee says “Guys, if we smash the eggs, won’t that make the dragon mad?”
Sovan: “It literally had NO WAY to know we did it.”
“It’s actually better than that,” I point out, grinning. “If this pisses off the fire snake, the Lumpen might get scared of it rampaging and offer us MORE magic items to kill it later.”
“See, THIS is why we keep Rae around,” Aa’li’naa chimes in.
We finish winding without further scuffles and slip back into the depths.
All of 16.18, 15.16 and 16.17 (along with 17.17, 17.16, 16.16) are shallow reef formed from the cataclysm that crumpled the continent here. The three hexes near us close to the coast have trees and clumps of land in the shallow places.
As we enter the shallows of 16.18, activity picks up. A trio of porpoises start swimming around the ship. One of them nudges the ship with its snout. I stick my hand out the casting blister and make a spark in the water with a Shocking Grasp to try to warn them off. This triggers ramming behavior, which is dissuaded before impact by Sovan’s Harrowing Orca.
A few minutes later the orca shimmers and then the ship flexes and shudders. A small leak springs. I see that a small portion of the water is faintly magical…conjuration? Possibly a water elemental. Lucens uses phantasmal force to conjure the image of a fiery efreet under water, which smites it for some force damage. Martin manages to roll the ship around, giving me a clean lightning bolt shot for 42 damage. The water elemental decides to flee in the face of an efreet prince conjuring lightning. The boat now has 90 HIP, but no malfunction occured. The water elemental dies to the phantasmal force as it flees, but it got so far away that we can’t find its heart.
We proceed into 16.17, which is crowded with sea life, but amazingly none of it is hostile to us.
In the 15.16, a massive, long eel-like creature side swipes us with its tail for 2 points of damage, incidentally as it goes past. We let it go.
Nothing else of interest happens until we reach the harbor of Xan in the evening on Day 4. The LUA have several small craft in the water, and a naval fortress facing the water. With Lucens’s illusion of featureless water covering our air-refill times, there’s effectively no chance that they can spot us. We’re chilling at a place where the water is 150 feet deep, so we can rest on the bottom and wait for Dorkins to scout. While we are waiting, a bad squall does 2 points of damage to the ship. 86 HIP remaining.
We plan to chill here for about a day and a half to give Dorkins time to invisibly fly around and scout the city for a central repository of magic items. We’re having him focus on any armouries (location TBD), where their sneaky black feathers hang out (location TBD) and the Generals’ Headquarters (known location, doing last because it’s likely the highest security), based on my recommendations. “My theory of LUA culture is that they are a practical, regimented, martial people, which means that they would keep around any unusual magic items, but wouldn’t hand them out if they clashed with their very neat, very standardized kit. So, the blackfeathers (spooks) are likely to have some odd-ball items, the armouries are likely to have some magic weapons that haven’t been paired with a wielder yet, and the Generals are likely to be hoarding some of the good stuff for ‘just in case’,” I explain to Lucens before he sends Dorkins out.
Lucens, warging into Dorkins’ vision, quickly identifies a likely landing location near the middle of the docks that’s especially vacant. This will be a useful entry/exit point.
The southern portion of the city is quite empty, apart from the garrison at the wall.
There’s a strange shaped building (looks like a gingerbread man) that is being guarded by a division of LUA. There’s more than a dozen armed and armoured LUA standing around it.
The naval fort is fairly heavily manned.
There’s a compound with the triangular building that has a black-feather coming out of there.
There are a good number of LUA guarding the building we know had a General in it at one time.
We haven’t seen a single on-fire person this whole time.
And there’s a garrison on the northern wall as well.
We scout the gingerbread man building first. It seems to be some kind of LUA senate, with a score of unarmoured fancily dressed people standing in a large circular room arguing.
They seem to be arguing about farming. Which land should be allocated to who, where to focus their resources. In the fancy Chair In Charge there’s a powerful person in sweet sweet armor with a sword at her side and a hammer in her hand. This guy has a flame tattoo on the side of her face of a flame leaping.
“This guy sounds like a fair fight. That’s not what we’re here for.” -me
“That sounds like a fair fight if we catch him ALONE.” –Aa’li’naa
The person is referred to a few times as General. She looks bored out of her mind.
In the rest of the Senate building are a bunch of offices. There are also fancy things here. Dorkins manages to pocket a pair of fancy spectacles (25 gp), a pair of white silk gloves (Special / 5 gp), and a golden specter worth (70 gp).
The southern gate garrison is the biggest garrison. Inside, there’s an armoury with an assigned quartermaster guarding the stock. In the desk by the quartermaster, there’s a compartment with an ornate blade and bracelet that the quartermaster opened long enough for Dorkins to see. So, likely two minor magic items, and perhaps some of the weapons on the walls could also be magic.
Dorkins next goes to explore the place we saw the two blackfeather LUA. One of them starts at some point when Dorkins is imp-sized to manipulate something (while still invisible), but doesn’t go crazy . The building has a courtyard where the special forces are trained.
Inside the building, there is a small armoury for this group. The armoury has a normal collection of weapons, and two items in special cases (a longbow and a bracer).
We then go check out the house with the solo General. This house doesn’t have an armoury or special repository. It seems to be an administrative building with a General in it, who also has a burning tattoo, a burning arc across his check. This building definitely has records, along with a bookshelf with 11 books on the shelf. This building has sleeping quarters in it.
Dorkins proceeds to the Headquarters of the entire city. There are two patrols of four guarding a building (one led by a captain, one led by a mounted heavily armoured lancer). Inside there is a table with seven seats (so, probably 7 Generals in total). Three are occupied. All have a flaming tattoo on their right cheek (one with a fireburst, one with a flame, and one with a little slash of fire). Jean-Lee is taking some light sketches of these guys. The generals seem to be discussing army administration. Our sense is that they spend a lot of time deciding where troops patrol, etc.
We’re pretty sure that the armoury here in the headquarters has magic. The stuff in here is more of a mish-mash of stuff, less standardized. It’s literally down the hall from the Generals, but we don’t HAVE to pass the generals to get to the armoury. We don’t see sleeping quarters in this building, but as Dorkins is leaving he sees another General walking around and heading for the building.
We think that the Headquarters is the building we’re interested in. That armoury sounds like the kind of jackpot we were looking for, especially since it seems like there aren’t dudes that sleep here.
We spend the whole day on the bottom observing guard patrols around the HQ and naval patrols. The harbor won’t be a big entry / exit problem
Jean-Lee, Aa’li’naa, and I will be going in. Sovan will cast fly on Jean-Lee, Jean-Lee will cast enhance ability on himself to double his carry capacity, and he will carry first an invisible Linna, then an invisible yours truly over the wall. Once inside, we’ll sneak inside invisibly to the armory, silence + kill the quartermaster, stuff a bunch of magic items in our packs, and then start sneaking out, with my invisibility covering Linna + Jean-Lee. Once back at the wall, I’ll misty step through the wall with the vision from Aelthrunn (back safe with the outside team), and the invisible Jean-Lee will carry the invisible Aa’li’naa out. Our window for doing this is the 10 minute duration of the Fly spell on Jean-Lee, so we have to act fast.
We have Lucens draw us a floorplan using what he saw with Dorkins, and identify a gap in the patrol sightlines on the Western Wall of the HQ.
Our evac plan is to signal Martin by leaving NeaSeven inside the sub. When we get to the end of the dock, Beth can warg into NeaSeven and have it signal Martin to bring the sub up.
In the harbor, we surface without being spotted, we think. We split into two three person teams to try to get there unspotted: Sovan, Jean-Lee, and me in one group, Linna, Beth, and Lucens in the other. I cast a 3rd level invisibility on myself and Jean-Lee (lasting one hour) right before leaving the sub. Jean-Lee’s a stand-up guy, by the by. Sweet buttery smooth magic splint mail makes him a heavy hitter AND a stealthy boi. Pity about the fam.
We bound out the sub as quick as we can, from the sub screened by an illusion onto the dock screened by an illusion (both Sovan’s Major Image). There’s only two feet between the edge of the illusion and cover. We wait for the sub to submerge and then move the Major Image cover the gap, and then we split, planning to rejoin eachother at the HQ.
The HQ is only 1/3 of a mile in from the water. Linna’s and Lucens’s group dodge the first group with Lucens highly skillful use of illusions cloaking their progress.
The first group my group passes is a group of militia led by a scout, which we avoid by ducking into a house. The second squad that passes by us is clearly a group of hunters, ie, hunters for us (possibly the last group of hunters), including the guy with the flame-whip. With two of us invisible and Sovan extremely well hidden, we bypass them.
For Lucens’s group, their second encounter is a group of seven LUA, where the leader seems to be a sergeant type. They duck down a side street and fortunately the patrol goes down a different side-street.
Both teams are both independently faced with the same obstacle: a collection of torches and look-outs covering the southern arc of the fortress. My team slips through a gap where there’s only dim light between torches, Jean-Lee and I spotting for Sovan to ensure that the scout is looking the other way. We slip through and make it to the western wall of the headquarters, where we wait.
The other team, confronted by the same obstacle, ducks closer to a building with a bunch of guys on top. They cover the open gap where there’s no cover with a Silent Image that’s slightly wonky and duck through. The Silent Image has some details wrong – a weird shadow from a torch and some brickwork out of place, and one of the scouts on the wall waves and points, but it’s more of a “check that out” not a “alarm!” And they slip through and dismiss the illusion without an alarm being raised.
When we rendezvous neat the HQ, we have a massive stroke of luck. Jean-Lee spots a black-feather sentry in a SUPER hidden watchpost (21 perception didn’t spot it, 25 did). This was why the Western Wall of the headquarters was less guarded than we thought, because Dorkins didn’t see this guy. Fortunately, these guys are non-magical, so our invisibility flying plan works.
Jean-Lee casts Enhance Ability (Strength) on himself and bearhug lifts the invisible LInna inside, then flies back and bearhug lifts the invisible moi. Nice arms. The second landing is every so slightly wombly (Athletics 17 including Guidance), but not noisy.
Our pre-chosen point of entry is a second storey window without glass. Linna has to use her Resolve and I have to use Sovan’s Inspiration to get through the window without making a noise, but we do so, perfectly. There are two guards at the end of the hallway by the staircase, facing the window we just came through. But we’re invisible so weeee.
As we’re walking down the hallway, we leave subtle impressions in the carpet and one of the guards comes over to check it out. I have to use my Resolve to bolster my stealth, but I manage to flatten myself up against the wall and he walks past me, pokes the carpet, concludes it was nothing, and returns to his post.
We pass them and walk down the stairs. Linna barely notices in time that one of the steps is creaky. She stops and I feel her ahead of me using my ready questing hand. She Thieves Cant tells me ‘creaky’ and I bypass the step. Sometimes I ask myself why everyone in the Guild doesn’t know Thieves Cant. And then I remember, most of them aren’t cool enough, and we also don’t do cool stuff like this enough.
There’s a guard outside the armoury and silence’s range is too large to not catch the quartermaster inside or the guard around the corner. We decide to try to kill the guard quietly without using a silence spell.
Jean-Lee natches TWICE. He flawlessly stuffs a gag in the guard’s mouth, lifting him in the air and pinning him. Linna and I pummel him with daggers and a shocking grasp (both notoriously quiet forms of attacks). Dorkins did a scorpion sting. Jean-Lee strangles him as a bonus action, killing him. We’re visible, but alone in a room.
Jean-Lee then lays the body on the ground.
Dorkins crawls under the door.
Jean-Lee casts Silence from the Black Velvet Glove of Stealth (that I lent him and which looks gooood on him by the by), then picks the lock. We swing open the door, and roll initiative, because the quartermaster is ready for us (in full armor, with a shield that isn’t raised yet).
Linna and Jean-Lee close with him, as do Dorkins, all doing damage. He tries to bull rush out but fails to Jean-Lee’s enhanced strength. I then shocking grasp him and kill him with a kung fu chop to the throat.
There are 5 magic items in the armoury. We loot the room, and I find a 6th magic item and 400 gp in cash in the time it takes Jean-Lee to strip the full plate off the quartermaster. Between the non-magical full plate and the magical chain mail, we have enough crap that Jean-Lee can’t carry it and Aa’li’naa all in one trip. We’ll have to throw the chainmail over the wall.
Right as we are finishing looting the room, we hear “Is someone smoking on the job?” The general smelled the maresh I used to help me loot the room (so sue me, I don’t think I would have found the 6th item, the tinderbox, without the boost) and is coming down the stairs. I cast invisibility on myself and Jean-Lee and Lucens casts invisibility on Linna through Dorkins. The General comes down the stairs and sees that there is no guard and yells. We try to slip past him on the stairs. He feels us going past but misses his attack of opportunity on me.
Outside, the outside group (Sovan, Lucens, Beth) take advantage of the chaos to attack the Blackfeather on the wall. Linna did an acrobatics check to jump from the window to the wall and joins the attack, ending the Blackfeather.
Jean-Lee throws the chainmail over the wall and flies me out. Spiffy, dandy, could ride this more often. Then Jean-Lee flies Beth to the submarine, both invisible, and the other four start sneaking (Raevori, Sovan, Lucens, Linna, with Raevori and Lucens invisible). We dodge a regular group and an elite group of LUA, with only a 17 collective stealth (partly with invisible people helping us dodge).
Sovan then casts Major Illusion to give us eerie cover, while Beth and Jean-Lee at the end of the dock call up the sub.
No-one notices any of this. We dive headlong into the sub, slam the door shut, and the sub plunges under the water and we make our getaway.
Once we’re safe in the sub, Linna turns to me. “Smoking is a nasty habit, Raevori.” Touché Aa’li’naa, touché, but hey. That 6th item turned out to be your boy toy’s favourite Christmas present, so don’t get too carried away busting my balls.
To recap: in the LUA city, no-one took damage, no-one was SEEN by a LUA who didn’t die immediately, and we walked out with 7 magic items (the funky gloves were also magic). All the LUA who know is that someone invisible who smokes with an imp (the guard on the stair saw the imp) came through their territory.
We get buffeted by a total of easyish 9 navigation checks to make it home. HIP dips some but not terribly. Final HIP 82.
We also manage to pick very secluded places in the hexes we were in before, and have no encounters in Lumpen or Treebro territory. We forget to harvest the frogs, because fuhgeddabout all the frogs in that hex, seriously.
We meet a number of AG near the place we have to stop to rewind in 3.15. They tell us that things are getting bad. We say that we will totally be going to work on that soon. Time to phone the pally-types I guess.
We make it home!