Seventeen Seas

Episode 69 - Mutiny Most Foul
Tensions Mount

Game Date: Clockways 152–158, Year 75
Starting Point: Ilisan Sea
Player Characters Present: Hakari, Korbin “Pennyfeather” Quill, Nasira az-Yassin bin-Nurit

On the island of books, Korbin and Yu wrack their brain to solve Ilisa’s anagram puzzle. Hakari, Nasira and Fakira discover a very strange monster – a librivore – in the midst of the book warrens. After Hakari captures the creature and Nasira dreams of schemes they might run with the beast’s aide, Korbin discovers the clue – “SEADEVIL” – and, uncovering a text by that name, collects the final bone trinket.

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Back aboard the Dragon Turtle, Captain Inio is only too pleased to assemble the full bone medallion but is unsure what this accomplishes. As the ship sails onward, the weather and the morale are both gloomy, heavy with portent. Amid a scuffle on deck, Korbin overhears a rumor – Khalothrax the Green is broke – and is pleased. A drunken confrontation in the tavern between Yu and Woodward sees one storming off and another polymorphed into a red macaw. Working together, Hakari and Korbin mediate the conflict, punish Woodward and prepare to mount a strange theatrical production, via the use of the librivore and an exciting shipwreck story.

Meanwhile, Nasira has more serious schemes with her sister. Over the course of the voyage, she slowly starts to convince her to challenge Inio for his captaincy. Uncertain, Fakira says she will only act if she has the support of one of the officers – either Hakari or Korbin. While Hakari and his orcs refuse to choose a side, Korbin concurs, agreeing that the leadership of the vessel is in peril and that, perhaps, Inio’s time has come.

With this support, Fakira challenges Inio who blithely accepts. Unwilling to kill his halfling friend, Korbin schemes up a means to prevent his death, even in defeat. The Captain, meanwhile, confronts Nasira, asking her to ask her sister to step down. When Nasira holds firm, Inio sadly informs her that, should she lose, he’ll have no choice but to kill her. Nasira is undaunted.

Come sunset, the duel is ready to commence. Inio begins to give a speech, exhorting the crew for their faithlessness, when a bright light starts to emanate from the surrounding water. As that water bubbles and foams, Korbin and Hakari flash on the last time they saw such a thing but are both surprised when, instead of a sea monster, a sea maiden emerges. She floats onto the deck and alights there, a vision of aquatic splendor and pelagic beauty.

She is Lady Weed and she has returned.

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Episode 68 - Between the Lines
Farewell to Weed

Game Date: Clockways 150-152, Year 75
Starting Point: Aquos
Player Characters Present: Hakari, Korbin “Pennyfeather” Quill, Nasira az-Yassin bin-Nurit, Weed

The battle for Weed’s soul was a fierce one. On the Elemental Plane of Water, in the castle’s throne room, our swashbuckling did battle with not only the Lady of Weeds but with Weed herself, ensorcelled by a strand of seaweed. While Korbin summoned a swarm of krill to chew through one of the Lady’s kelp strands, Hakari attempted to free Weed by attacking the strand that held her and Nasira fought her way through the emerging coral-men battalions in league with the Lady. Weed, meanwhile, brought down cold and lightning and crowns of madness upon her allies.

In her mind, however, Weed fought another battle. She dreamt she was a princess in an underwater castle, with servants to attend her and balls every night and the Lady of Weeds as her true mother. Even as the memories of her real life and her adopted family faded, Weed held fast to them and refused to be seduced by the fairy tale the Lady of Weeds conjured for her.

In the end, it was Korbin whose sacred flame severed the cord and freed Weed. With the sorceress back on their side, Weed unleashed a finger of drowning on her wicked stepmother, nearly killing her in the process. It was ultimately Hakari who dealt the savage blow and slew the Lady of Weeds, spilling her oily black guts into the water. Upon her death, the castle began to right itself and, as the others fled, Inio and Hakari looted all they could from the castle. The Knight of Weeds, however, invited his daughter to retire with him to his castle and rebuild everything she destroyed.

Back aboard the Dragon Turtle, the pirates threw a tremendous party to say farewell to Weed. Each in their own way, our swashbuckling heroes said their goodbyes – some more awkwardly than others – and, with that, Weed and her father disappeared to the Elemental Plane of Water.

Continuing on their voyage, the Turtle arrived at the next island and discovered it to be the strangest yet. “Between the Lines” was composed entirely of books. Books in a hundred languages, on every subject imaginable, in mountains, canyons, caves, beaches, forests and rivers. After overcoming their initial shock, a landing party – plus Fakira and Yu – were sent ashore to investigate. Searching through various texts, they uncovered a strange cipher – various letters on various pages were circled. Collecting all these texts together, they need only unscramble them to uncover a vital clue about where Ilisa hid the final piece.

Hakari, meanwhile, pursued a strange creature, deep in the depth of a book-cave.

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Episode 67 - Hasten To Thee
Kingdom of Kelp

Game Date: Clockways 142 – 150, Year 75
Starting Point: Ilisan Sea
Player Characters Present: Hakari, Korbin “Pennyfeather” Quill, Nasira az-Yassin bin-Nurit, Weed

En route to the next island, the Dragon Turtle is beset by troubles. Korbin discovers Sister Mallet dead in her bunk, her soul seemingly sucked out, and this inspires him to hunt down most of the rest of the escaped creatures aboard. Hakari celebrated the Tusked Moon among his orcish peers and even invited Yu to join in the hallucinogenic festivities. Four days into the voyage, Malek openly challenged Inio for the captaincy. While the crew squirmed and whispered and fidgeted, Inio defeated the dragonborn handily and retired to his cabin to sulk.

Eight days into the voyage, Weed spotted a massive hole in the middle of the ocean, descending down into darkness. Gathering her companions – including Inio, via an elaborate ruse involving a dummy and Massak standing guard – Weed sent Swannie paddling towards the rift. While Korbin wished only to reconnoiter the opening, believing it to lead somewhere extraplanar, Weed sent them all tumbling over the side by a judiciously timed dismissal of her swan boat.

When they surfaced, they were back in the familiar waters of Aquos, in the midst of an unfamiliar kelp forest. Led by Ghostcrab to a particular strand of kelp, the pirates descended down and down through the seaweed until they arrived at a strange structure – a castle, inverted and tangled in kelp. They navigated the castle’s catacombs and eventually discovered there – of all people – Toruka Kaia, imprisoned in a dungeon cell. He’d only time to warn them that they shouldn’t have come, that this was all a trap before a seaweed strand snatched Weed and yanked her away.

Freeing the Knight of Weeds, the crew gave chase through the underwater castle, following the trail of bubbles left in Weed’s wake. When they finally caught up with her, they were confronted by the Lady of Weeds herself, installed in the castle’s throne room and with Weed in her clutches. She was outraged that they had freed Toruka Kaia and, puppeteering Weed like a marionette, she lashed out at our swashbuckling heroes with spell and seaweed.

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Episode 66 - Brave the Cold
The Appearance of Hoxorabad

Game Date: Clockways 134–142, Year 75
Starting Point: Ilisan Sea
Player Characters Present: Hakari, Korbin “Pennyfeather” Quill, Nasira az-Yassin bin-Nurit, Weed

The Dragon Turtle sailed south. Along the way, Hakari employed his tankard of truth to get some answers from Woodward about her unrequited feelings for him. Nasira conspired with the ship’s purser to cut down on the crew’s rations – under Inio’s apparent orders. Weed spent some time with Bubbles and Korbin was dismayed to discover all his specimen – the will o’the wisp, the cranium rat and all the rest – released from his cages.

Before Korbin could track them all down, however, a new danger presented itself. A white dragon appeared quite suddenly from the clouds and bathed the Turtle in its freezing breath. As it flapped past the ship, Nasira saw something remarkable, frozen to its underside – another bone trinket.

This sparked a fierce debate among the crew. The dragonborn members – Nasira and Fakira chief among them – were overawed by the religious ramifications of another dragon, of this size and power, existing out here. Hakari wanted nothing to do with a dragon, preparing to depart in the dinghy rather than face the creature. Captain Inio, of course, wanted that bone trinket and, with Hakari’s eventual help, started crafting a scheme whereby they could recover it without fighting the creature. Nasira eventually employed Taryoc to go and ask for parley with the beast and, when the pseudodragon returned, was enraged to discover it had swapped allegiances, now swearing loyalty to Hoxorabad the White, its new master.

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Trapping the treacherous familiar in an empty birdcage, the party took Weed’s swanboat westward, towards the dragon’s island. After disembarking and stomping across the icy terrain, they eventually encountered the dragon, in all her august finery. Bribing her with a hero’s feast and a pittance of gold and gems from the ship’s dragonborn and attempting to ensorcel her with a few hidden glyphs, it was Nasira – with some help from Fakira – who ultimately negotiated the surrender of the bone trinket from the dragon. In the process, she informed Hoxorabad about the Dragonate, of which she seemed ignorant, and also proposed returning all Ilisa’s treasure to the dragon in tribute.

As the ship departed, the white dragon made one final strafing run past the ship, the dragonborn crew marveling at the sight.

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Episode 65 - Crazed Old Crone
Long Story Short

Game Date: Clockways 132 – 134, Year 75
Starting Point: Ilisan Sea
Player Characters Present: Hakari, Korbin “Pennyfeather” Quill, Nasira az-Yassin bin-Nurit, Weed

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Two sea serpent heads arose from the ocean, their fangs bared, ready to devour the hapless crew of the Dragon Turtle. Weed urged the crew, in accordance with her story, not to fight the creature’s heads, that they would fight each other, but her demands went largely ignored. Nasira waded gleefully into battle, carving away at the the heads with her enchanted glaive, only to see more and more heads sprout from the severed stumps. Korbin wrought mighty magic, felling several heads with harm and fire storm. It was Hakari who ultimately decided the thing. After suggesting Inio fly the black sails, he leapt into the water, swam down towards the creature’s body, found an unconventional exit and ripped it apart from the inside.

No sooner was the hydra slain than another thunderstorm descended upon the Turtle. This time, the Captain sailed into the tempest blindfolded and the crew paid the price. With two pirates lost overboard, morale was low when the galley dropped anchor at Crazed Old Crone.

Going ashore with Fakira and Yu in tow, our swashbuckling heroes explored the rocky, dismal island they found. After a short debate about whether to follow the footprints on the beach or the road to the ruins, the party eventually headed up, through the hills and towards the abandoned city. En route, Nasira dispatched Taryoc to follow the footprints and Hakari instructed Yu and Weed to keep an eye on each other.

Arriving at the city’s walls, a paranoid Korbin elected to stay outside and keep an eye on the ship, convinced that they would attempt to abandon the party. The rest of the heroes explored the ruins, found them vast and impressive but oddly abandoned, with no signs of life anywhere to be found. Before long, Taryoc returned, informing Nasira that he’d found the old woman and, at that moment, the entire city started to crumble. Towers fell. Walls collapsed. Buidlings disintegrated into rubble. Running and leaping and helping each other along, our swashbuckling heroes only just managed to escape the collapsing city.

Weary and confused, they decided to decamp down the hills, find the old woman and leave this strange place. Following her footprints, they met the old crone and, with Korbin keeping an eye on the ship and Nasira and her sister touching base, they listened to her lengthy story. The old woman told them about her life, a long-winded and impossibly long story about princesses and star-crossed love and evil curses and mistaken identity and storms and dragons and treacherous viziers. Hakari and Yu started to nod off during this tale but Weed sat patiently and listened to the whole thing. When it was over, the old crone gave Weed another bone trinket and thanked her for listening.

After an unsuccessful attempt by Hakari to convince the party to capture her, they piled back into the swanboat and headed for their ship.

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Episode 64 - Find The Fire
Fire and Brimstone

Game Date: Clockways 120 – 132, Year 75
Starting Point: Ilisan Sea
Player Characters Present: Hakari, Korbin “Pennyfeather” Quill, Nasira az-Yassin bin-Nurit, Weed

The skull storm swept across the Dragon Turtle, hurling bones at the unsuspecting crew. Despite the crew’s best efforts, the ship suffered heavy damage during the storm and even lost a pair of hands, putting a damper on the remaining of the Skullsday festivities.

In short order, they arrived at the next island – “Find The Fire” – and discovered a volcanic archipelago of black sand and bleached palm trees. Dispatching two more landing parties to search for supplies, our swashbuckling heroes found clues left behind by Captain Ilisa and went scrambling up the side of the volcano. While Nasira grew weary from the climbing, Hakari suffered from the heat, rising to an almost unbearable level the closer they came to the summit.

At the summit, the pirates spotted a bone trinket, set precarious atop a pillar of rock in the center of the bubbling caldera. No sooner had they arrived, however, than a massive fire primordial appeared and began walking around the caldera’s edge. As she did, the level of magma rose and rose, quickly setting a timer on how long the swashbucklers had to retrieve that bone trinket.

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Hakari made a daring leap across the chasm and nearly fell into the lava as a result. Weed cast cold magic to build a bridge to help him back across. Nasira moved to confront the primordial but, upon feeling the sheer heat radiating off her body, had second thoughts and retreated. Korbin, meanwhile, shifted onto the ethereal plane and began to study the living god, scribbling as many notes as he could, all while resisting the pull of Ignos, the Elemental Plane of Fire.

Once Hakari had recovered the bone trinket, our swashbuckling heroes beat a hasty and cumbersome retreat. Fleeing just feet ahead of the overflowing lava, Hakari attempted to ride his shield down the volcano’s slopes to mixed results. Weed, similarly, attempted to use her teleport as best she could and spent much of the descent tumbling. Nasira, much more careful with her footwork, was eventually reduced to simply scampering down the slopes. Korbin, meanwhile, continued to study the primordial until much later, when he appeared aboard the ship, supposedly burnt and scarred, in another of his elaborate ruses.

En route to the next island, the disease ravaging the crew grew worse and worse. Hakari sought a spiritual solution and, at the advice of Shazalq, butched a swordfish as a sacrifice to appease Skadi, goddess of winter. Nasira, meanwhile, observed Taryoc potentially communicating telepathically with Fakira, setting her a little on edge. Weed spoke briefly with a bubblefly, fluttering past, and learned of a potential portal to the Elemental Plane of Water somewhere to the south. Korbin, still attending his regular therapy sessions with Vito, noticed that more and more pirates were deferring to Inio, rather than his own orders.

It was Nasira who eventually called a meeting to discuss the disease issue. A number of good practices were put into place, at the behest of Akvar. Those already infected were to be quarantined, specifically prohibited from congregating in the tavern. The ship’s divine spellcasters – Korbin, Sister Mallet, Shazalq and Yasha – were conscripted to use their magic to cure the prostitutes and purify the food, to prevent the sickness spreading. Extra soap and extra baths were ordered for all the crew, to attempt to keep everyone sanitary and healthy. Whether these new changes will drive out the sickness remains to be seen.

Eight days into their voyage, however, a more pressing threat literally reared its head. A pair of sea serpents, rising from the ocean, attacked the Dragon Turtle, filling Weed with excitement, for this was the next sight predicted in her storybook.

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Episode 63 - At Lake's Bottom
Paradise Lost

Game Date: Clockways 112 – 120, Year 75
Starting Point: Ilisan Sea
Player Characters Present: Hakari, Korbin “Pennyfeather” Quill, Nasira az-Yassin bin-Nurit, Weed

Once the crabmen’s vessel was pacified, it was a simple matter to loot the place. Crates of crystal shards, strange purple spice and fifty captive chimpanzees were quickly loaded onto the Dragon Turtle. In addition, the dragonborn prisoner was freed from below and her identity revealed by Nasira’s questioning – Fakira az-Yassin ibbin-Nurit, the firstborn daughter of Nasira’s father and her own long-lost stepsister. A little skeptical of her tale, Nasira nonetheless freed her dragonborn kindred, along with the remaining twenty-five slaves found aboard.

Among those slaves were three strange plant creatures, calling themselves woads. With her driftwood staff, Weed was able to communicate with them and learned that their home, Green Plant Tree Place, was nearby and, by all indications, appeared to be the very island they were already sailing toward. Crewing the captured crabmen vessel, the two ships made quickly for “At Lake’s Bottom” and discovered a verdant paradise and a peaceful village of stumpfolk.

Welcomed as guests of honor by the strange plant people, the pirates were initially suspicious as they were swarmed by the curious islanders. Weed took on the role of translator and made diplomatic arrangements. Hakari and his orcs, meanwhile, were leery about the stumplings, fearing they may be more sinister than they seemed.

Invited to a great feast, our swashbuckling heroes agreed to attend while their captain stashed their prize ship in a secluded cove. A great night of revels, fresh fruit and music, the festival took place on the shores of a massive lake, beneath the boughs of a tremendous tree growing from the lakebed. Initially rather bored by the bouncy little woads, Nasira discovered a strange serenity in the shadow of these boughs and, with Korbin and Weed, dived down to the lakebed to observe the shrine of the goddess there.

Hakari, meanwhile, cooked up some chimpanzee meat to feed the strange stumpfolk, and quickly discovered they had quite the taste for the cooked flesh.

In the shrine, the pirates discovered Captain Ilisa’s two offerings – a pair of bone trinkets – and made offerings of their own. Korbin offered a statue of Mother Monster and Nasira a collection of necklaces she’d plundered. Weed, meanwhile, communed with the massive tree spirit and discovered its unhappiness with their presence here, claiming they had introduced blood and fire to the peaceful island paradise.

Taking their leave the following day, the pirates were perhaps unnerved by the site of the vegetarian woads wading into the water and snatching their first fish as the crew rowed away from the beach.

En route to the next island, called “Find The Fire”, the sickness aboard the Dragon Turtle grew worse. Faveen and Weed struck up a quick friendship, writing music about the changeling’s fairy tale. Nasira sought to get to know Fakira all the better and discovered her quite the charismatic leader, somewhat to her chagrin. Hakari tasked Deadrick to keep an eye on Yu, fearing that there was something more than jealousy for Woodward, motivating her recent strangeness. Korbin, meanwhile, hired one of the prostitutes – Vito the Virgin – to serve as his confidante, pouring out all his stresses and neuroses for the young man to absorb.

Four days from Green Plant Tree Place, however, the galley came across something quite disturbing in the water. Millions upon millions of skulls, floating across the surf, blocked the horizon in all directions. While initially quite spooked, Hakari and Korbin saw an opportunity to transform this ghoulish sight into an impromptu festival on the ship. Collecting many hundreds of skulls, they organized a mini-carnival, complete with games and music, to celebrate their strange windfall.

Korbin oversaw the games and festivities from the main deck, while Nasira overcame her uneasiness with alcohol. Hakari and Inio went about arranging the skulls along the ship’s rail, before Weed and Faveen performed their two-header – “The Princess By The Sea” and “Skulls, Skulls, Skulls!”

It was all fun and games, of course, until the storm rolled in.

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Episode 62 - Strange Sails
Eyes on the Prize

Game Date: Clockways 108 – 112, Year 75
Starting Point: Ilisan Sea
Player Characters Present: Hakari, Korbin “Pennyfeather” Quill, Nasira az-Yassin bin-Nurit, Weed

Having defeated the hags, our heroes loot their hut of its many strange creatures and accoutrements. Among the bizarre items they recovered were a number of captured creatures – a will o’wisp, a sprite, a cranium rat, an imp and most notably a pseudodragon named Taryoc that instantly took to Nasira. After an abortive attempt to steer the hut back to the sea, the pirates returned to the Dragon Turtle and, with the mast repairs underway, departed for the next island.

En route to the next island, our swashbuckling heroes went about their normal scheming. Hakari, armed with a new tankard of truth, attempted to get some answers from Yu about why she’d been acting so distant lately. Weed’s staff continued to sprout vines and pointed her unerringly southwest, toward the next island. Nasira was badgered up and down the ship by her newfound companion Taryoc. The crew, meanwhile, slowly began to come down with an unknown ailment, further worsening the morale aboard.

Thankfully, a topeyes spotted a flicker of hope on the horizon, four days into the voyage – sails.

It was a strange vessel that they approached – with its massive sails, layered topdecks and crew of chimps and crabmen. It was a strange strategy the pirates devised, involving Hakari, Festergut the yeti and the ship’s trebuchet. Once they’d closed to a comfortable distance, the Dragon Turtle used their fog to obscure themselves and launched the yeti in its crate – plus Hakari clinging to its side – onto the ship and began the boarding process.

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Surrounded by enemies, Hakari and Festergut fought like hell until their re-enforcements could arrive. When the Dragon Turtle swung up alongside the crabmen’s vessel, Captain Inio, Nasira and Korbin swung across the gap and engaged the enemy with sword, pistol, glaive and spell. Weed, aided by Korbin’s confusion spell, hung behind, employing her storm sphere to confuse the enemy spellsail and their team of trained apes. During the battle, Korbin overheard a slave in the ship’s cages, crying out for rescue and invoking the name of Yassin. Nasira took the fight straight to the crew’s biggest bruiser while Hakari fought tooth and nail to prevent Festergut from becoming overrun by the swarming crabmen.

At the end of the day, however, the superior numbers and firepower of the pirates quickly turned the tide. It was a blood-drenched blade that Inio thrust over his head, standing amid a spread of crabman corpses, and cried “Victory!”

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Episode 61 - Skip This Island
Ghostcrab Abducted!

Game Date: Clockways 104 – 108, Year 75
Starting Point: Ilisan Sea
Player Characters Present: Hakari, Korbin “Pennyfeather” Quill, Nasira az-Yassin bin-Nurit, Weed

After a short debate about whether they were walking into a trap, our swashbuckling heroes agree to ignore Captain Ilisa’s warning and drop anchor at the next island, in search of a tree large enough to replace the Dragon’s Turtle’s broken foremast. En route to this island, however, Weed’s illusory familiar was abducted by a floating magical jar and whisked away to that uncharted island. Soon as land was spotted, Korbin noticed a strange chicken-legged hut, wandering upstream and Weed became convinced this was the abode of the witch in her storybook.

While Hakari, Korbin and Nasira led an expedition to the swampy shore to cut down a fresh tree, Weed stayed aboard the ship and investigated Captain Inio’s attempts to dye the sails black. On the island, Nasira proved instrumental in chopping down the necessary tree, while Hakari puttered around in search of a good place for a picnic. Soon as the mast was returned, a second expedition, this time with Weed aboard, was mounted to recover the missing Ghostcrab.

Rowing ashore, the pirates attempted to follow the walking hut further into the island. With Nasira at the oars, their attempts at parlay were rebuffed and instead a dreadful enchantment was cast over them, causing Nasira and Weed to flee in terror. While Nasira and Hakari struggled over the oars, Korbin leapt into the water after Weed and did battle with the animated tree roots that attempted to grapple them.

No sooner had they regained control, however, than the walking hut used an illusion to sneak up on the dinghy and smash it to pieces. Nasira and Weed went scrambling up the ladder to confront the hags inside the hut, receiving a suite of brutal attacks from its three witchy inhabitants. While inside, Weed discovered a host of strange and magical pets – Ghostcrab presumably among them – contained in jars and cages all around the hut.

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Meanwhile, Korbin and Hakari hatched a harebrained scheme to trip the walking hut and, against all odds, actually succeeded. The hut came crashing to the swamp, tossing its occupants around. Eventually, Nasira triumphed over one hag, another was thrown from an open window when the walking hut righted itself and Weed electrocuted the final hag into oblivion, discovering Ghostcrab in his jar only moments after.

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Episode 60 - The Madness of Captain Inio
Inio Returns!

Campaign Date: Clockways 97 – 104, Year 75
Starting Point: Ilisan Sea
Player Characters Present: Hakari, Korbin “Pennyfeather” Quill, Nasira az-Yassin bin-Nurit, Weed

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Korbin was the first to awaken from the murderous fugue. To his horror, he discovered he and his companions in the midst of a rocky gully, surrounded by qullans, devouring a dead unicorn raw. Attempting to sneak away from the qullans, he was contacted by Woodward, hovering invisibly above the scene. Working together, they managed to scare away the majority of the qullans and dispel the rest, while his now-crazed companions did their best to murder and mutilate him.

Discovering the bone trinket – and a swan token – amid the horde of knickknacks, the pirates beat a hasty retreat before the terrified qullans could return. Fleeing through the jungle, they reunited with Woodward, who explained they’d been gone for two days, and eventually emerged back onto the beach, in sight of their beloved galley, the Dragon Turtle.

Once underway, the task fell to acting Captain Korbin to chart a northeasterly course toward the next island, its clue yet to be translated. After an initial stumble, the ravenfolk cleric managed to get his instruments in order and set the voyage in motion. Along the way, Weed was distressed by the sight of the Hollow Star, leading them westward and the wrong way. After exhaustively cleaning her armor, Nasira was invited to dine with Yasha and the Chimerans and her temperature was taken on a number of mutinous matters. Hakari spent much of his time with Yu, attempting to touch base with his somewhat distant girlfriend.

After a morale boosting carouse on a disturbing little island, the crew was surprised when Captain Inio, accompanied by Gnish, Vabette and Qango, inexplicably returned. The Captain, the pirates observed, was profoundly changed. He spoke of the layers of hell, of how he was tortured for his crimes, how he would return there someday. This effect spread to those crew who returned, the orcs even electing to euthanize the catatonic Qango. Keeping the Captain on a short leash, the officers elected to keep Korbin – with Hakari by his side – as acting captain, lest the crew lose faith in Inio.

During the last leg of their voyage northeast, that arrangement would be sorely tested. A supernatural windstorm fell upon the Dragon Turtle. The galley was tossed this way and that by fierce wind and waves, buffeted by waterspouts that sprung from nowhere and even assailed by the spectral figure of a zephyr, an extraplanar avian with a mischievous attitude. All through the storm, our swashbuckling heroes did their best to keep the ship afloat. Nasira took the wheel and attempted to steer through the worst of the storm, Korbin threatened and browbeat the crew, Weed leapt into the sea to save a doomed crewman and Hakari set his orcs about to captured loose cannons. Inio, however, was more help than hindrance, refusing to bring the sheets down, steering the galley towards the waterspouts and, even when confined to his cabin, shooting wildly in the air in an attempt to kill the zephyr.

In the end, it was a spell from Korbin that frightened the creature but not before it snapped the Turtle’s foremast in two.

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