Saturday, August 26, 2006

Following the events in the last session, the characters pursued the strange green-eyed warforged south towards Xen'drik.
They soon discovered that not only had their adversary secured his way past the vicious sahuagin guards on the deal Huor had brokered in Sharn, he had promised even more rewards to be delivered by the ship following him.
When the sahuagin representative clawed his way onto the deck to demand payment, the party was stunned to discover that the price had jumped from 1500 gold to 8000 -- in addition to magic weapons.
Of course, negotiations broke down quickly. The sahuagin's poor language skills played no small part. He signaled the attack.
A quick spell from Marcus weakened the creature's resolve and Kane Drywell used his weird psionic gift to dissipate the creature instantly into a cloud of mist.
As the other sahuagins swarmed over the rails, the changeling Huor assumed the form of their fallen leader and called for their immediate retreat. Failing to see through his sudden change, the shark men quickly jumped back into the sea.
At this point, with the sahuagin still warily watching the ship, the crew refused to take them through the dangerous passage through Shargon's Teeth without a sahuagin guide.
As desperation set in, another negotiator swam up to the boat.
It was soon settled. The party would travel to a nearby island to kill something called a "not fish" (language barrier) and return with the heart in a magic bag provided by the sahuagin. The sailors would stay with the ship.
After rowing for a few hours, the party pulled their lifeboat onto a deserted stretch of beach and stared into the dense jungle.
When willing the "not fish" to emerge failed, they tramped off into the brush.
It wasn't long before Huor caught sight of a tripwire leading to a large spiked ball of bamboo hanging overhead. As Hour disabled the trap, he spotted a large, dark-skinned figure with a long spear watching them.
The creature spoke, "Why'd you bust my trap?"
There was an uncomfortable few moments as the party tried to determine that this person, a large amphibious Orca-patterned "darfellen" named Oolibjub, was not something the sahuagin would refer to as a "not fish".
He told them he was hunting a girallon, a large four-armed, white-furred gorilla beast, in the jungle. He was hunting it in part to protect the small fishing village on the other side of the island and in part to keep the evil sahuagin from using the heart of the beast in some foul ritual.
A lengthy discussion followed. It was decided by the dark elf guide Zaxxon that they would help Oolibjub hunt the creature and then, if necessary, kill him and take the heart.
They spent more than a day with the darfellen. It was enough time to determine that he was probably right. While it could cost the crew their lives, the heart could not be delivered to the sahuagin.
Then they found the girallon perched on top of some giant ruins deep in the jungle. The beast threw a rock at them, narrowly missing Oolibjub. While the party took position, Zaxxon placed a globe of magical darkness over the creature forcing it down from it's nest.
The party blasted it with spells, sneak attacks and giant-sized weapons until it collapsed. Then they gathered the heart into the preservative bag while Oolibjub watched reproachfully.
"I don't want to fight all of you . . . " he began.
"Good!" yelled Huor, grabbing the bag and dashing for the beach. Marcus and Zaxxon followed, carefully matching his footsteps to avoid still-active traps.
Oolibjub stared at Kane across the rapidly cooling corpse of the monster.
"I understand your position," he announced.
"We can't let the crew die," Kane clarified.
"I know," the darfellen answered, "but will you make this right?"
"These herbs will allow you to breathe underwater. Observe the ritual and, if it fails, continue your journey in peace. If it works -- and their prince gains the awful power he expects -- kill him."
At once, Kane promised this would be done.
Of course, there was a lot of debate over who would join Kane in the water when the time came.
In the end, everyone swam down to watch the ritual, which took place just after the difficult passage through Shargon's Teeth.
Before it began, Huor challenged the prince (on behalf of Kane) to honorable single combat. Unfortunately for Kane, the ritual worked. It granted extra strength to the prince and a set of extra arms. As the prince swam forward, he threw a trident at the half-giant and drew first blood.
Kane wasn't happy about this. Aided by the spells cast by his companions before the battle, Kane used his giant glaive to hold the creature at bay and eventually defeat him.
The party was allowed to leave unchallenged.
They arrived in the largest inhabited city on the continent, Stormreach, later that day. Immediately, they set about booking passage towards Mal-Banom.
They knew the trip overland would take almost a year. They also knew that they could save about three months by booking travel on a boat part of the way.
Of course, finding passage was not easy.
The affordable boat was most likely engaged in either piracy or slaving.
The nice boat cost over twice what they had to spend.
The route was just unprofitable for everyone.
In the end, Marcus visited the local branch of his church and was advised to visit Gralnak the hobgoblin down the beach. Gralnak had a boat, was a recent convert to the Silver Flame, and was in pretty desperate need of work.
The price was set, Gralnak readied the boat, and they set sail the following morning -- half a week behind the green-eyed warforged.
Soon, the water level dropped too much (heart of the dry season) and, as the boat dragged the bottom, Gralnak jumped out to pull with a rope. Kane joined him in the water.
Part of the bank seemed to shift. Kane stepped in front of Gralnak to protect him and a large, slime-covered lobster creature emerged from the shore, grabbed him and crushed him with massive claws. From underneath, tentacles threatened to paralyze him.
Huor jumped off the bow of the boat and landed on the creature, but he slid off the thick slime coat without leaving any lasting damage on the monster.
Gralnak moved to attack the creature and Zaxxon cast spell after spell, slowly hurting it.
As Marcus healed him, Kane psionically dissolved part of the creature's claw. It wasn't fast enough to prevent the creature from crushing him into unconsciousness and moving on to smash Gralnak.
Marcus spent the next few moments healing Gralnak and Kane enough to keep them alive. Then the creature grabbed him and began to crush.
Kane had recovered enough to join Zaxxon and Huor in attacking the beast and it was defeated before it could eat Marcus.
As the characters rested on the deck of the ship, the players noticed that they had spent an entire gaming session without having to divide up treasure. Yay!

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