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Campaign journalby RPGPundit
Ok, its very late but heres my current update:
The party was flying on the Tyrant, headed toward Alpha, some of the crew teleported ahead to Alphatia while the ship made its way. The PCs were mostly taking it easy, as there was nothing but ocean below at the moment.
They were, that is, until Alendalan decided that he wanted to polymorph into a walrus and explore the ocean.
No sooner does he drop down there than his swimming draws the attention of a giant great whale, that promptly swallows him alive, and digests him to death.
When the other PCs notice Alendalan isn't coming back, they launch the rescue. The players use the metal seeking sword to find where Alendalan is at, and it ends up leading them to the whale.
Galafilo takes the initiative, and jumps down to attack the massive beast. He hits, but then the whale swallows him alive too!
Corwyn goes second, and jumps down to try to cast Poison on the whale, but activates his boots of levitation a little too late, and ends up hitting the water at terminal velocity, dying instantly.
Sir Firearm drops next, cautiously, ready to single-handedly do battle with the whale.
Meanwhile, Galafilo, still alive but being digested, decides there's too much risk of a TPK (Total Party Kill), and uses their old Ring of Wishes (that had only one wish left). He wishes for everyone to be back on board the ship, safe and sound.
They all end up alive, healed and on board the Tyrant; except Hathalon (whose player hadn't arrived yet); he ended up mysteriously disappearing (not to conveniently reappear until his player arrives).
Following that total bust the players are told by the captain that they are forbidden to do any more ocean exploration.
A few days later, the Tyrant finally gets past the arctic ocean and flies over an island, nondescript, with only cold semi-frozen plains and a pair of mountains.
Nevertheless, the sword detects metals down there, so away the players go. They were told by the captain that the isle doesn't even have a name, and this region is totally uninhabited by humanoid beings, so whatever is down there is probably quite old and powerful.
The PCs get to a bog at the base of the mountain, and find a cave surrounded by a greenish fungus. Wandering in, one of the Elves determines that the fungi are a poisonous mushroom common in areas where there is a high level of chlorine gas.
They get to the interior of the cave, whose floor is filled with the green mushrooms. Sir Firearm uses his detect evil ability and senses evil all around him!
So he and Galafilo, after being hasted by Alendalan, decide to start madly hacking at the mound of green mushrooms beneath their feet. To their surprise acidic green blood spurts out all around them and the mound beneath their feet starts to spasm.. its not a mound at all but a great Green dragon. So old that its back was covered with the mushrooms. Galafilo and Sir Firearm's mighty blows are so powerful that they kill the creature.
Everyone is getting ready to celebrate and check out all the loot when the OTHER huge green dragon rears its head up and breathes gas on the group! Alendalan dies instantly. The others are all badly wounded. Fortunately the players get the initiative, and being hasted they manage to quickly strike down the second dragon.
They find an astounding treasure trove of coins, giant rubies, emeralds, and a large cache of magic items: scrolls of communication, a returning warhammer +2/+4 vs. dragons, a Plate mail +4, and a Sword +2 that turns out to be intelligent and able to detect traps, secret doors and see invisible.
Returning to the ship, the cleric reads his scroll of raise dead to restore Alendalan to life for the second time in one adventure, and as a result Alendalan will need two weeks of bed rest. The Cleric decides now is a good a time as any to cast Restore and return a long-lost drained level to Sir Firearm, and so doing, the cleric too will be out of action for the next 9 days.
The sword, being chaotic, is passed over to Alendalan, who is both chaotic and in need of a sword, unbeknownst to the PCs the sword is more mentally powerful than the elf and is now dominating the Elf's psyche. Since the Sword was an artefact of Valerias, immortal of love, this shouldn't be too terrible a thing, right? :wink:
The Tyrant keeps going on the long trek to Alpha, and the PCs rest and recover. At that point in the evening the player of Hathalon arrives, so Hathalon mysteriously appears again, back from wherever the ring of wishes took him.
One note about Raphael, the guy who plays Hathalon: The other players have decided that Raphael is somehow an anti-treasure shield. Any time Raph hasn't made it to the game, the group has had some kind of massive encounter, usually with dragons, and taken a ton of treasure (and therefore XP). Then when Raph is around they can travel for leagues with no big encounters or big encounters with no big treasure.
Tonight became an unbelievable example of this. For the first half of the evening, when Raph wasn't there, the PCs ran into the dragons and got more treasure than they had ever managed to before in the entire campaign. After Raph arrived, they got squat...
Except for a short encounter with some Stone Giants. Detecting metal below (after Corwyn and Alendalan are fully recovered), they fly down to the primitive stone huts only to have boulders thrown at them by the three mighty stone giants. The PCs land and make short work of them, and Hathalon goes to check out the huts. He runs into the giant's Cave Bear pet, but sir Firearm rushes in and quickly slaughters it. Sadly, they find no great treasure there, only about five grand in gold pieces.
However, the sword senses more metals and the PCs go to investigate. They get to an area that is much colder than the already cold environment, and end up facing an Ice Salamander. It takes them a while to take it down, but again, no great treasure horde.
After that, they have no further encounter till Alpha. They arrive at Alpha late in the night, and are taken to a meeting with King Ericall. Along the way the PCs learn that the biggest news item in the last few months they've been gone from the known world is that the kingdom of Sind has been invaded by someone the Alphatians call the "Master of Hule". The PCs know nothing about Hule or its master, and the Alphatians don't know much either, but since Sind is right on the border with Darokin the PCs reason that this can't be a good development.
Captain Marakaz of the Tyrant is sent in to speak with King Ericall alone. While she's gone the crafty counsellors of Ericall try to grill the PCs as to where they had travelled, but the PCs, wisely figuring that these guys probably aren't supposed to know about the Hollow World, choose to play dumb. "we came from Darokin, in a roundabout way", they say.
Marakaz comes out of the meeting looking upset and angry, and tells the PCs that they are leaving immediately for Sundsvall, to meet the Empress. After they get back on the Tyrant, she rants about Ericall's stupidity, and his intent to try to order her to deviate the Tyrant from its mission just to help him defend Landfall from a Heldannic attack he's sure is forthcoming. Marakaz rightfully reasons that what she has to tell the Empress is far more important than that, and that Ericall is a small-minded fool. Unfortunately, like most Alphatians she associates his stupidity with his lack of magic-using abilities, giving the PCs a taste of the standard Alphatian prejudices.
The tyrant takes off, heading for the continent of Alphatia.