[This is written by Carric (my character) is Deepspeach, which doesn’t actually have an alphabet, so take that as you will. (not to mention that he doesn’t have any paper or writing supplies on him)] [Also, the first post might be a bit long as it not only covers two session, but is also expanded a bit from what happened in game (like his mention of what they had for dinner, or what he was doing before the campaign started) as I felt that would be useful for something or another…]
My lives have once again fallen into the familiar pattern. The force of Aither pursues me to the sea, and the sea spits me out onto the surface of the earth, and the earth into the rays of the shining sun, and the sun casts me once again into the vortices of Aither. Received by all in their turn, and hated by all. So, has it begun again in the last few days. I found myself in a city of dwarves not even a fortnight ago. Naturally I went about plying my trade, and quickly gained the ire of several powerful and less than savory dwarves (which ended with them giving the title of Yojimbo (? Whatever that means) and setting a modest bounty on my head), and so once again found myself in need of a quick escape.
Fortunately, as I was making arrangements for my exit I encountered a man with the face of a man on one of my wanted posters (He claims that it is not his face– whether that means that the poster doesn’t look like him, or that somebody changed his face I haven’t been able to get out of him), and so should be able to recoup my traveling expenses. Naturally I once again applied the old bounty hunter truism of baggage being cheaper passage as I bought a ticket on –what I have been assured to be– a fine dwarven vessel on its way to Hallifaxis where the man (who goes by the name of Woodhouse) stole information from.
Unfortunately our departure was delayed somewhat by a state funeral for some human hero whom the dwarves seemed to owe some respect. Which strikes me as odd, but I didn’t pay attention to the explanation enough to know what that was all about. On that note though, there was an incident during the funeral that bears notice. On its own it was nothing– an unusual shadow passing overhead (too large to be a bird, and too swift to be a cloud)– yet the shudder it produced from my patron was unlike any I have experienced before. Something to keep in mind, though I doubt it is too important.
Anyways, after the funeral had passed, Woodhouse and I quickly boarded the vessel whose name I have forgotten, and soon after were on our way. The sky was clearish, and the sea fair, and I spent most of the day enjoying the sea breeze and gracing the sailors with my flute playing. That evening I enjoyed a meal of salted fish paired with some citrusy beverage of some small alcohol content. I asked what it was, but was answered by some Dwarven word I didn’t quite catch well enough to transcribe. Something like Durglacen? Or maybe that is just its nickname?
Regardless, after performing a few song requests for the sailors I retired to my room late in the evening. However, after a few hours of attempted sleep made futile by Woodhouse’s incessant moaning, I decided to go up top to enjoy the clear ocean sky while trying out a few new melodies. Around midnight however an alarm was cried , and then everyone started running about and shooting stuff at a lizardfolk vessel that had somehow snuck up on us.
I quickly found a place that I could be out of the way and still be prepared for combat– while still playing my beloved flute of course (it really set the mood). However just before they came into range of my eldritch might, an island popped out of nowhere, causing some great tidal disturbance and preventing any further engagement.
Our esteemed captain (whose name presently escapes me) somehow managed to keep us from capsizing immediately, allowing me enough time to secure myself with the rope I keep wrapped around me at all times to some barrel while hanging upside down from the riggings and continuing to play my flute with my other hand– and Strife, how I was inspired to play in that maelstrom. No melody played before by these lips had been so impassioned, so invigorating, so furious– and I dare say that I never had such an appreciative audience as those soon to be drowned sailors in their last moments (though of course I have no way of knowing).
Well, eventually our captain’s skill or luck ran out and I woke up with our ships run aground on the newfound land– with the pirate’s ship somehow on top of ours impaled by the mast. However no sooner had I awakened and made it to the tree line, than the two captains (who were busy assigning blame to each other) were swallowed from beneath by a giant ant-like creature. No sooner than we had recovered from the shock of this however did the whole beach begin crawling with smaller versions of the creature ranging from the size of a crab, to the size of a horse.
Seeing that both groups were in danger, I used my rope– still attached to a piece of the barrel– to pulley myself up a tree and began picking off the smaller specimens; Nobly staying behind long enough to cover their hasty escape before I myself was forced to exit the scene at the approach from one of the horse sized ones (which had just demonstrated an ability to spit acid far enough to reach my perch)– pausing briefly to gather my things that had been placed into a pile near the tree line, as well as one of the smaller corpses for lunch. However, much to my dismay, I was informed upon finding the rest of the castaways that the meat was likely poisonous and so I was forced to discard it. Fortunately, though this island seems to be abundant with large, edible fruit on oddly organized perfectly straight rows of trees– which I was able to knock off the trees with some well-aimed bolts of eldritch energy.
Being fed we began to establish a hierarchy amongst the survivors– who numbered eight at that point including myself. I have not yet learned all of their names, but I will give a brief account of them anyways. Starting with the two cooks, both female(?), one from each vessel. I believe that one of their name’s is cookie? The one from our vessel is of course a dwarf. The other is a small anthropomorphic lizard– a Kobold I believe they are called. Then we have Kukri, a Dragonborn male(?) who seems to have been the second in command of the lizard vessel. After that we have two more lizards– a raggedy Kobold male(?) with armed with a sickle that he wields with some proficiency, and an icy blue female(?) Dragonborn– that seems to be in a state of amusing Strife. This stems from our escape from the beach, where the Dragonborn panicked and let loose her icy breath, not realizing (or caring?) that the Kobold was in the way, and dropped him along with two of the smaller ants. Fortunately for him though, Kukri spotted this and managed to drag him away before the ants could finish him. For now this feud is merely entertainment, though perhaps I will be able to use it later on should need arise. From our ship, other than myself and the cook, we have a firbolg nature man. Not much to say other than he was handy in the fight. Seems to have been another passenger, though I really couldn’t say. Finally we have the female dwarven security officer, who has taken it upon herself to be in charge. I have decided to let her, as there is nothing more fragile than an impromptu government of necessity, and I do not wish to add the potential animosity of such a position upon myself. An interesting bit I overheard from one of the sailors talking– it seems that she was in her position out of some agreement with her father to pay her tuition for some Dwarven officer school if she survived for 6 months under the captain who seemed to have a reputation for being a hard man. I wonder how that agreement will play out now that he is dead? On that note she seems to be paranoid against all use of magic, and views me with utter distrust… (sighs) and so the pattern begins again.
Once leadership was decided, we began marching inland for search of water, which we promptly found in the form of large lake. No sooner did I stoop to retrieve some water from it, however, than the sun set, and all the stars seemed to be drawn from the sky onto a messa in the distance– leaving us in total darkness. In the distance the roar of a… very large creature could be heard. Interesting place this island.
Upon waking I was struck almost simultaneously with two thoughts. First, I had left Woodhouse bound in my room. This caused me to laugh, which drew a number of odd looks. Second though, is that when the pirate vessel appeared, one of the things fired at it were a number of large ballistae, which may still be salvageable, and would no doubt be useful against the large fauna that seem to inhabit this island. I brought this second point up with the group, and they quickly agreed that a return trip was in order. We decided that a small group would be least likely to attract the ants, as it seemed that we were on the beach for some time before they attacked, and only arrived after the captains started yelling. To that end we left the two cooks and the Firbolg nature man to secure food and shelter– as well as the icy dragonborn for security at the Kobold male’s suggestion. Whether he meant the camp’s or his own I couldn’t tell.
Upon arriving I decided to cover their approach from the tree line, and then stealthed my way across the sand after they reached the ship– walking without rhythm to avoid attention. Upon crossing we discovered that there was another dragonborn survivor– this one a red male. He seems to have been their security officer, and was knocked out for most of the day from the crash. Which I should mention is really bad for you, and he should really get that looked at. Anyways, I left them to salvage some wood, and went searching for Woodhouse. No sooner than I found him though than he went into a epileptic fit and melted into snow. There goes the bounty. Oh well, at least I got my sack and two manacles back. Also there seemed to be a magic crystal embedded in him that seems valuable, so that’s a plus.
After that we proceeded to the Captains quarters to gather his navigation charts and tools, and then proceeded to loot as much as we could carry. Unfortunately the ballistae were broken, but all in all we found:
- Navigation charts
- 1 protractor
- 1 snowsward
- Metal part of 2 ballistae including bows, and 20 bolts
- 5 short swords
- 2 short bows
- 48 arrows
- 3 throwing hammers
- A confused compass
- 180 days of rations
- 90 days of different type of rations?
- 10 waterskins
- 5 waterskins with dwarven ale
- 5 with lizard mead
- 5 barrels of water
- 3 10ft poles
- 5 backpacks
- 2 tents 2
- 3 changes of medium clothes 2 small
- 1 barrel of salt
- Some bedding
- 300ft rope
- 2 empty barrels
- 1 box full of something experiments
- 1 bullseye, 2 hooded
- 2 climbers kits
- Some hammers
- Some nails
- A saw
- 2 pulleys
Unfortunately, it seemed that we weren’t as quiet as we could have been in our looting, for no sooner did we begin to leave than three of the horse-sized ants erupt from the sands. I attempted to cover the other’s escape again from a perch on top of the wrecked ship, however the ants quickly either surrounded them, or caught up to the female dwarf as she attempted to flee on her stumpy dwarven legs. The others put up a valiant fight, but were quickly proved outmatched for the ants, and the three on sands fell to their fell mandibles in a matter of seconds– the only survivors being myself on the ship, and Kukri who had already made it to the tree line from which he threw several javelins. However, moments before their inevitable demise the man of nature– having completed securing the camp, and being uncomfortable at our extended absence– arrived to pull them from deaths jaws with emanatory words of health, and hurled balls of flame.
After that it was only a matter of finishing them off, which was made more dramatic as one of them began climbing up the ship towards my perch. Unperturbed though, I held my eldritch might with steely nerves until the last second, with the ant creature being a scant five feet away. True did the bolt strike, knocking the creature from its tenuous hold on the ship, and sending it tumbling down to be splattered on the sands bellow.
After that we quickly transported the loot back to camp, pausing briefly to discover that some of the fruit on the island seems to have minor restorative properties. We then made camp, and rested for the night.
While the rest of the survivors built shelter, I took it upon myself to start fortifying our position by trying to repair the ballistae. I think I got I good idea of it, however after I had cut down a sufficient number of trees for the requisite lumber, the kobold male saw fit to mention that greenwood likely wouldn’t be strong enough to hold together under the strain produced by a ballista loosing. Still, perhaps we can use the wood for something else– and who knows, perhaps it shall age long enough before we can leave this place. In the meantime I will look out for any previously felled trees. However, given the strangely organized rows of trees of this place, I have been informed that seems unlikely.
We decided that it was necessary to begin exploring this island. To that end there seems to be two obvious starting points. The first being the star eating mesa, and another being a black stoned pyramid structure. At first I suggested the latter, as anything that can eat stars would clearly be formidable, and the structure seemed the most likely bet to find any inhabitants. However, no sooner did I say this than I felt a shudder from my patron exceeded only by the shudder felt from the passing shadow in the parade not even a week hence. I attempted to change my suggestion, however it seems that my previous reasoning proved too valid to overturn now, and the rest decided to go to the pyramid. However to reach either we needed to cross a river, and so decided to spend the rest of the day constructing a rope ferry system.
Having constructed the ferry, we crossed the river and trekked the few hours needed to reach the pyramid (leaving the cooks and a few others behind). However, upon arriving we found the place to fortunately be inaccessible by land– as it is completely surrounded by water filled with carnivorous megafauna. The only visible possibility being a series of stone platforms, however these were each easily 50ft apart from each other, and so would require some engineering effort to make use of.
Seeing this, we decided that the best option would be to head to the mesa through a forest– where we promptly ran into some giant spiders, that were easily subdued. No sooner than we felled them though– and the kobold male stoop to salvage the more valuable parts– did a spear fly from the shadows to strike him in the back, and from whence it flew we spot a quad of anthropomorphic spider creatures…