In which the loss of a boat is totally not our fault and horror movie survival rules are gleefully ignored. Party members: Barga, Bob, Kraylos, and [Tati’s character], collectively referred to as Team Fighter.
Returning to the town safely, we start to collect favors for rescuing the noble’s wayward kids. Barga makes with the fancy talking and shows some grasp of this ‘manners’ concept (but not much). The guy who originally contacted us hands over…probably more money than any of us have seen in our entire lives, 1500 PP. We then wander about and are given various tokens and boons, until we reach house [weapon-makers].
Kid is home, dad is happy, and surprise surprise, smarmy creepy brother isn’t. That dinner invite? Totally an ambush made of orcs. We’re trapped with fighters on the first floor, there’s loads of archers on the balcony, and two unarmed civilians in the middle. Things get a little iffy with the constant arrow rain, then Bob remembers that the last family had given us one-shot rings of fly and that his giant Mike Tyson tattoo intimidates orcs. Howling up to the first floor, he traumatizes most of the archers before running smack into a wall of boss, resulting in a lot of pain.
Meanwhile on floor one, Barga and Kraylos are running disaster control and playing catch with our only healing item, the nobles are trying to beat things to death with chairs, and our poor level one fighter, Tati, is tanking magnificently. Quite a bit of murder and a near-death experience for Bob later, all the orcs are dead and sniveling traitor guy is long gone.
So now what? Well, we could head waaaaay east to
the next plot hook where Tati’s family and more rod/war stuff is, but we’re really close to where the remnants of clan Mok probably are. Hiring a boat full of jerks, we head down the coast. Climbing the mast is frowned upon. Night comes, and with it, just so many sahuagins. So many.
Horrible horrible murder starts, with most of the crew and half the party asleep and undressed, which is how we initially lose most of the one-hitpoint wonders crewing the ship. No one’s yelling at Kraylos for climbing the rigging anymore. There’s a big damn badass fish-guy who goes straight to the crew quarters after wrecking the captain; he tries to eat Barga and Bob and comes scary close to succeeding. We all survive, including Burnie. Not one crew member makes it, not even the guy hiding in the crow’s nest.
So here we are. It’s the middle of the night. We’re injured. We’re drifting. The weather is worsening. None of us have a clue how these boat-things work. Joy.
Figuring sails+storm = bad, we manage to detach the rigging, resulting in a huge pile of sail and rope on the deck. We attempt to lower the anchor. The ship no longer has a functioning anchor. Luckily, the current is drifting us towards land! Unluckily, that land is mostly sharp rocks. Nothing left to do…nap time!
In the morning, we strip the ship of useful items (we have lots of new rope and maps), pile in a rowboat, and spend the next several hours rowing, with a lovely view of the ship gradually smashing itself apart behind us. We figure it counts as a sea-burial for the crew? We are, thankfully, not very far from our destination.
Land is mostly swamp and full of monsters, and Kraylos discovers that scouting away from the group in completely unfamiliar territory is maybe not the best idea. Ow.
We find a house before nightfall. Old, diused, and suspiciously heavily boarded up. This is obviously the best place to stay! The inside is dusty and awful, and has some recent tracks. The place is booby trapped with creepy, threatening magic mouth spells, not that we recognize them (team fighter is not the best at magic). Instead of doing any of the smart things, we forge deeper into the house full of creepy stuff as the sun begins to set, breaking through a couple boarded windows (hope those weren’t important zombie-proofing) and finding stuff like parchment scraps that say “beyond skeletons”. Turns out we’re terrible at recognizing red flags.
One set of tracks disappears into a room that blatantly has a secret passage we can’t find. The other leads upstairs, goes to a room (where there’s a bundle of clothes), then walks over to a bedroom, where we find a naked, terrified guy tied up. Since his are the only tracks upstairs, he must be involved and this is probably a trap, which is why we try to interrogate him (completely unaware that compulsion magic is a thing. Go team fighter!). Then we take the gag off and try again. He’s quite insistent that a couple of guys clonked him over the head and he woke up here. We’re skeptical. Un-gagged but still tied up, he’s been tossed over Bob’s shoulder, and we’re about to descend into the creepy creepy basement full of possibly-magical probably-serial-killers.
In sum: Orc ambush – dead. Conspirator – escaped. Ship – destroyed. Crew – dead. Swamp monsters – dead. Meta-awareness – low. Curiosity – high. Bob smash – yes. Party – very rich, slightly lost. TEAM FIGHTER, HOOOO!