Friday, 15 May 2015

PotS 1x12 - Layers of Deciept

These posts are from our DnD group's latest game. The current adventure is a return to the world of Eberron, and specifically Xen'drik. Arising from the depths of the earth, the party discover things not quite as they left them, as news from a dying dwarf lets them know the elves have taken over! 

Taking the Watchtower - Again!
The death of the dwarf, and the mentioning of the elves, only meant one thing - justice was coming, as quickly as their short legs could manage! Though the trek was far, and required them to travel through the forest within which the eladrin had set up their camp, they made good time. Kami pushed her crew hard, and they managed to reach the watchtower within minutes of midday.

Calling on Ogg, they sent the storm-rider to the top of the tower. He was not there long before he began his return descent - a little faster than expected. For in his arms, he carried Cousin Walid.

Hassan rushed to the merchant's side, relieved that he still lived, but concerned for his wellbeing all the same. Once Kami had ensured he wouldn't die, Walid gave a recounting of the attack. As suspected, Berrian had taken his guard and assaulted the tower whilst the crew were within the ruins. They had easily overcome those left behind, Walid's few remaining guards unable to repel the attack. Two more guards had retreated with Walid to the rooftop, but had died from their wounds before Ogg arrived.

Slowly moving up the levels, the group came across much evidence of the battle. The other guards, as well as another two of the Kaapiots and Kwalli, were found, though there were no elves anywhere - dead or alive. Either they took their dead with them, or the tower guardians were really outskilled.

It was too late for most of the guards and dwarves also - only one solitary Kaapior quadruplet was left alive, and though he confirmed Walid's tale, he could do little else but deliver the grave news of the elven target: the Kami Kaze. They had been after the ship!

Quickly, Kami put his team to work on finding their vessel. Each tried to use the tower's scrying, but it was Regdar that located the ship first; out on the sea, and already a few hours from the cove. The only way they could catch them was by teleporting, which meant someone else had to stay behind, spending their energy to send the others. Ogg offered his might, and the others were thrown, somewhat roughly, onto the ship's deck.

Stealing Back The Stolen Ship They Had Stolen Fairly A Fair While Ago
From the safety of the watchtower, they had spied the deck, and made simple preparations. There
were the 'other party' that had so often alluded them, and only rarely come into contact. Arvan, the drow warrior who had complimented Hassan's fighting; Lenna, the elf who seemed to master lightning much like Ogg did; Kurik, the dragonborn paladin they had come across within the ruins; and Galinndan, who seemed to have accepted his allegiance to his friend and kinsman as worth more than to Kami and her crew.

There was another fellow, one they hadn't come across before, but it was the eladrin they decided to surround and take down first. And so, in a flash, Galinndan found himself surrounded by his former team-mates, fighting to bring him down.

Fortunately for him, he was a master of getting out of tricky spots. Even as they struggled to see him overboard or impaled on their weapons, Galinndan led them in a merry dance about the ship, vanishing and reappearing, struggling to stay a step ahead. The others had skills, too - and, they each held cards of the Deck, having unlocked their potential even beyond what the party understood.

But the party were not without their own abilities - when Lenna took to the skies, Regdar sent a giant eagle after her. When a scorrow burst from the cabin, Hassan and Urquilla matched him in pure strength. Even when Arvan and his shadowy copies evaded being swept over the deck, they chased him down and ended him all the same.

Their leader - a vicious dagger fighter called Tam - was revealed to be a wererat, but he and the others were all ultimately defeated. Lenna alone escaped with her life, vanishing into the storm when she saw that the battle was lost. Though he didn't escape, Galinndan did once again save his neck: as Tvennr bore down on him with a killing blow, he offered the promise of the ship's destiny, an elemental that would allow it to finally achieve flight, as trade for not killing him. Tvennr was not so happy with the bargain, but when the surrender was repeated to Kami, she had to give in. Again.

An End to a Patronage
Slowly, they returned to the bay, Redtail (the ship's monkey) eventually being coaxed from the sail
top. The sun was starting to set by the time the laid anchor, but Kami knew the importance of seeing this task to the finish. Confining Galinndan to the hold (alongside what was left of the fourth Kaapiot), the group marched into the woods, and into the eladrin glade.

There, they found Berrian, along with his father and sister. Even the dwarves could tell that there was hostility - Analastra declared that Berrian would have to face the mess he had made, and took her father to the portal, spiriting the two away to Stormreach. With anger in his eyes, and more than a couple eladrin still eager for blood, Berrian turned to face the (mostly) dwarven crew.

The battle that ensued was frantic, but the fury and hatred of the dwarves burnt out the eladrin. Even Regdar and Urquilla, usually the calmer voices amongst the crew, leaped into it wholeheartedly. Regdar's giant gorilla threw archers out of the trees, whilst Hassan erupted from the ground, sending the graceful warriors scattering.

For a moment, Berrian caught control of Tvennr's mind, and turned him against his teammates, but even then, Regdar showed how to properly deliver a compulsion; the eladrin commander was commanded to throw his weapon into the pool, and all but stood there, waiting for Urquilla to finish the job.

Looking to Future Horizons
The eladrin threat was dealt with. Every eladrin that had taken part in the tower assault was dead, as were all who had stolen their ship but for Lenna (who had escaped) and Galinndan (who was now a prisoner). The team now held all the cards to the Deck of Many Things - the last remaining ones being held by Berrian, and distributed amongst the rival adventurers. Carefully, they formed the deck, beheld its power, and then set about planning its destruction. There must be a good volcano nearby...

The ship was theirs again, the surrounding area was now free of the touch of Xoriat, and the troublesome cards collected and ready for disposal. If their captive was telling the truth, they even had an elemental ready for binding to the ship, so that Kami could take her to the skies, and their piracy could reach whole new levels. With a final look back to the bay, the ruins, and the gravestones of those they have left behind, Kami took her crew and her ship out onto the wild waters with great anticipation.

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