Return to Caldera

Session 1: Ship too sure?

Our intrepid heroes have hopped the last boat out of Halgard. The journey to safety, however, is littered with it's own dangers.

The group began, standing on the deck of the ship, Stormseye. The fear and uncertainty of Halgard was behind them for the time being, and all that was ahead was the promise of something better. There were beautiful blue skies above as the ship streaked through the pristine ocean. At no point in particular, however, they realised that they were the only people on deck – no crew or other passengers. The permeating silence was shattered when a scream of terror exploded from the captain’s quarters. Turning, they saw a beautiful woman standing in the doorway, framed by the darkness. She looked terrified. The doorway slammed shut and there is an audible locking sound.

...a skeletal horse who towered over the party...

Eager to uncover what exactly was transpiring, the group immediately began looking for ways into the captains quarters. All they found, however, was that they became surrounded by skeletons who crawled onto the deck from the sides of the ship! These included a skeletal horse who towered over the party. What’s more, the sky clouded over, turning the brilliant daylight cold and bleak. The skeletons, without warning, attacked! In the beginning, the party made short work of the boney fiends, dispatching them without raising too much of a sweat. As the horse fell, however, things changed. It split into hundreds of bone fragments which, seconds later, reformed into four new, human sized skeletons; each of these parts were as dangerous as their previous whole. Things got deadly. The party was being cut to shreds! Keridwen, the Deva Invoker called on the power of the Gods, smiting her enemies and, finally, turning two into smouldering ash. Oranna was the real hero, however, slowing the skeletons and putting some into a restless sleep with her power over the arcane. The others chipped in when they could and, eventually, were victorious!

The doors to the captains quarters flew open and the woman came running out; “Save me! Rescue me!” She couldn’t say much more, it seemed, but she was certanly terrified and in danger. Before she could be questioned too severely, however, the group was beset by evil once again, this time in the form of a giant demon! It clambered out of the captains quarters and stood tall on the ships deck. It was hard to imagine how it had fit in the small room in the first place. It grinned with evil pleasure at the party before brining it’s flaming whip to bear. It snared the pleading woman who was dragged back through the doors which closed behind her, then it turned it’s attention back to the others. They valiantly fought the creature – Ell, the rogue, did some fine damage in particular – but in the end it was all for naught. The demon lifted its flaming whip once again, latching onto the group and dragging them all towards it’s quickly expanding maw. The party was swallowed and everything went black…

...it grinned with evil pleasure at the party before brining it's flaming whip to bear...

...that’s when they were woken up. Each had just survived a very real, very disturbing dream. What it meant was lost to them, as they were about to learn of other, more pressing troubles. An old collegue of Oranna and Keridwen, a refugee named Bartholemew Trusk, said he needed to talk with them in private as he had some very important news.

On their way to the top deck, the party stopped to attempt to help a small greenscale, one of the crew, who was having trouble winding a winch on the ship. Unfortunately none had the strength to do so, but when Keridwen stood up to a blackscale that came to threaten the greenscale, she gained an ally in the skitterish individual.

...a large blackscale came to threated the greenscale...

Afterwards they went to hear what Bartholemew had to say; “I don’t think we’re heading to Caldera.” This was troubling indeed; if they weren’t going there, where were they headed? It was at this point that Keridwen reverted to a past life where she was, luckily enough, a pirate. She ‘remembered’ where they were heading – the Umbra Isles; a secret pirate hangout, known amongst those in the know as a wretched hive of scum and villainy. The passengers were likely going to be sold as slaves, as meat for the lizardfolk, made to fight for sport or a myriad of other equally sickening ends. Something needed to be done.

Dusk came quickly and the passengers, still unaware of the danger they faced, were herded to the second deck, where they would be locked in to sleep the night. Ell had other plans, however, hiding away so that she could observe the pirates on deck over night. Not speaking draconic, however, she found it hard to listen in to the conversation. She saw Grimscale and Grothic, the lizardfolk captain and first mate, respectively, leave the captains quarters for the lower part of the ship. She made to sneak in to Grimscale’s quarters while they were gone, but she was discovered. Just as she was about to be locked away with the rest of the passengers, however, the boat was rocked by an explosion on the bottom deck. The pirates were so startled that they ran downstairs to investigate, leaving the passengers cage door unlocked. Ell wasted no time in heading back up to the captains quarters, hoping to find something of value. She found some shipping charts which might come in handy. She also had to look through the chests, not being able to contain herself. She found some shiney totems and a particularly interesting looking potion. She tried to pour some of the potion out into another vial, but she mustn’t have been paying attention, because the bottle slipped. It smashed on the wooden floor, and from it a pair of whispy spirits rose up; their smokey, rotting visage did little to hide the malice they bore Ell – they moved to attack…

Meanwhile downstairs, Oranna, who was failing to remain hidden after teleporting away from the rest of the passengers, had been assaulted by Grothic as he made his way down to the bottom deck. The sound of the explosion, as well as the sounds of ensuing battle, had startled the rest of the passengers, and Keridwen, Oranna and Calitrus went to investigate. What they found was the pirates in pitch battle with a group of skittering, teleporting creatures (void crawlers). They tried to talk to the pirates, but they were too busy trying to stay alive. After a nearby pirate was taken down by one of the critters, it was time to make a decision. Fight for the pirates who may try to kill you later, or fight for the alien creatures who’s motivations were a complete mystery? Ah, the decisions of an adventuring party…

...a group of skittering, teleporting creatures...

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