The Savage Tide

Law and Olmans: Spiritual Wierdness Unit
In which "inoocent until proven guilty" does not exist

After the defeat of Vanthus, Farshore has a lot of healing and reconstruction to do. Lavinia has moved into Farshore Mansion, and asked the heroines to take up temporary residence there. After a week of pulling things back together as best they could, the quintet gathered for a reading of Vanthus’s Diary. The document brought forth as many questions as it did answers: Who is behind The Crimson Fleet? Why and when are they planning to detonate the Shadow Pearls? It did, however, reveal the origin of the shadow pearls: a group of Troglodytes called “The Lords of Dread”, living in Gallivant Cove. Apparently, the only way to pass through Gallivant cove would be to pay The Glutton, an immense dragon turtle that made Gallivant Cove its home and hunting grounds.

However, exoneration would have to come before exploration, as the Olman Tribes united to send the leaders of Farshore a message: "If you wish to stay our allies, prove that the destruction of Atl’ Burowao was not your doing".

The six plus Lavinia met with the Olman council to plead their case and receive judgement. Each of the tribes proposed a different test, but Lavinia was able to talk them out of all but four:

“Steal a treasure from a Scyllian’s lair” from the Dawa, “Defeat a team of warriors in mock battle” from the Mora, “Guard the wall for a night” from the Tanaroans, and “Peacefully take a feather from the Rainbow Eagle” from the Kirikuka.

Without delay, the sextet set about the Mora’s challenge, arming up for a non-leathal group duel with some of Mora’s best and brightest. However, the battle itself was strange and inconclusive. While some of the Mora were knocked unconscious, two fell by their own or allies’ hands. Kyo in particular was affected with strange luck, with falls somehow transforming into near-fatal strikes.

Finally, the council ended the match, as capricious spirits were making judgement extremely difficult.

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Veni, Vidi, Vanthus
In which the back-stabber gets backstabbed, but victory is bittersweet

Locations: Inlet off Farshore, The Isle of Dread => Farshore
In-World Date: 5 – 21 – 964

Venimus, Vidimus, Vicimus Vanthum, to be gramatically correct

After quickly looting the fallen witch and her pirates, the heroines were grateful to find several healing potions they could use before pursuing Vanthus.

They sped after the pirate’s longboat, but when they rounded the pint they found a most peculiar sight: Vanthus’s ship, which had crashed into the rocks back by the village, apparently whole again and sailing straight for Farshore’s main pier, where Larissa and Vareck Vanderboren awaited their son’s return. However, the cruel trick was revealed a moment later when the ship struck the dock and exploded: Vanthus had filled his longboat with alchemist’s fire, then cast an illusion on the boat to make it look like his broken ship. His own men, dominated by his demonic powers, had then rowed the boat and its deadly cargo straight into the pier, taking themselves, the elder Vanderborens, and the entire welcoming party, to a fiery end.

The entire party was horrified by the sudden and terrible destruction. Lavinia lapsed into disbelieving shock, while Kyo made to dive in and look for survivors. However,before she could dive over the side, Vanthus himself came flying up from behind them, sword and sickle in hand. He struck Ranu-Yani across the back in a sudden flyby attack, then slashed Chastity in his second pass. However, despite his flying prowess, he was unable to avoid a Flame Strike cast by Ranu-Yani.

The heroines ran after him and caught him before he could fly away again. Torra Tailor got in front of him, while an eagle summoned by Chastity cut off his escape from above. Forced to stand and fight, Vanthus proved a terrifyingly deadly opponent. His armor, thick scales and skillful dodging made him almost impossible to hit, while his whirling blades and barbed tail marked each of his foes at least once (save for the dexterous Rowyn, and brought Kyo close to death. He also proved to have a resistance to magic, which prevented Ranu-Yani from turning him into a hamster.

Lavinia also attacked her brother, full of grief and rage, while Vanthus parried and laughed in her face. The last laugh was not his, however, as Torra Tailor managed to evade his thrashing tail and stab him fully in the back. With a look of shock on his face and a whisper of “But… He promised….”, Vanthus fell dead to the deck.

Aldi Ferres and Chastity took some time to cathartically pummel the villain’s corpse, but Lavinia wasn’t comforted by her brother’s death. She stood, frozen, as the smoke cleared and revealed the sheer destruction he had caused. The heroines gathered around her, offering comfort, which Lavinia seemed unable to take. With her monk’s intuition, Aldi managed to see the root of the matter: With her parents dead and her brother revealed and defeated, the only thing Lavinia had left was the people of Farshore, the people she now had to lead, and before whom she could not show any weakness, even if bottling everything up destroyed her. Knowing this, Aldi gently told Lavinia that the five of them were not just her subjects, to be protected, but also her friends. Embraced by her friends, Lavinia finally allowed herself to cry over the loss of her family, and begin the long process of healing.

A thorough search of Vanthus’s corpse (and a few more kicks) revealed, among his various items and treasures, a little red diary. What does this book contain? What was promised to Vanthus, and who promised it? Is the threat of The Crimson Fleet really over, and what lies ahead for Farshore if it is not?

To find out, keep reading next week, when we shed some light on The Savage Tide!

Treasure
Experience

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Poor, Unfortunate Foals
In which the sea-witch gets bitchslapped.

Locations: Inlet off Farshore, The Isle of Dread
In-World Date: 5 – 21 – 964

The world’s busiest day continued as our heroes attempted to pursue Vanthus. However, Ingred, his sea-witch servitor, intercepted them with a longboat full of pirates, while Vanthus fled towards Farshore.

Pulled by a quartet of Chastity’s summoned Hippocampi,the heroes hurried towards Ingrid’s boat.First, they shot it with arrows tied to bottles of alchemist’s fire, then they leaped aboard. The pirates were all taken down with relative ease, but Ingred’s Shield Guardian, a stone construct in the shape of Demogorgon, the Prince of Demons, was a much greater threat. Its stone limbs struck at Kyo, Lavinia, and Aldi as they desperately tried to destroy its mistress.

With her immense swimming skill, Kyo managed to swim around behind Ingred and stab the unsuspecting witch, but unfortunately the witch had more fell powers up her sleeve. She gripped Kyo’s head and cast a Slay Living spell, which Kyo was able to survive, if only barely. The sea spirit-folk sank to the bottom of the water, and was presumed dead by most.

Damaged by their fire attacks, the pirate’s boat began to fall apart, and eventually both ingred and her Shield Guardian fell from the boat. The witch then conjured a horizontal Wall of Ice to keep them afloat, breaking the boat as she did so. Lavinia and Torra fell into the water at this time, and one of the pirates bashed his head on the underside of the wall and drowned.

The Shield Guardian then made a terrible meistake: killing one of Chastity’s summoned hippocampi. The sorceress unleashed her rage on the construct, blasting it with spell after spell. Meanwhile, Ingred was surrounded on all sides by the remaining heroines and proved that, despite the impressive trident she carried, close combat was not her forte. With a final blow from Aldi, the witch sank beneath the waves, to where Kyo was finally waking up. With its mistress’s demise, the Shield guardian ceased to function, and also sank as the ice melted, and the hroines clambered back aboard their boat.

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Maximum Exposition
In which Chastity flirts with pirates, and Avner finally shuts up

Locations: A Burowao village => Inlet off Farshore, The Isle of Dread
In-World Date:5 – 21 – 964

Stranded on the shore after the mysterious explosion and attack by mutant nasties, the heroines decide to split into three groups and approach the remaining monsters in a three pronged attack. As the monsters attack a hut in the village, the heroines plan their assault, tie up the very annoying Avner so they can actually concentrate, and leave the non-combatants behind in safety so that they can blindside the monsters.

The fight that followed was a long and grueling one. The monsters totaled about fifty, as well as an exceptionally strong specimen that appeared to have once been a Burowao chief or warleader of some sort. Ranu-Yani was almost killed by the mob and had to be rescued by Aldi. Kyo was also badly wounded, and both Chastity and Torra Tailor used up most of their spells, while Rowyn waded into melee. Eventually, Chastity slew the final monster in the mob with a well-placed arrow.

As soon as the mob was defeated, a loud mouthed woman with long-black hair and a scottish accent charged out of the hut where she’d been hiding and flung a dagger at the back of the last remaining “fishy bastard”. Aldi then finished the mutant chief off.

The woman, who introduced herself as Harliss Jarvell, after being thoroughly hit on by Chastity) began to reveal some very disturbing truths. She had been hired by Lavinia’s own brother, Vanthus Vanderboren, to kill his sister and all her crew. His motives weren’t made entirely clear, save that it had something to do with wiping out his whole family to gain control of the family fortune. Vanthus apparently is a member of The Crimson Fleet, a group of pirates who are known to make pacts with demons in exchange for power. He’s been dealing in dangerous drugs, and apparently his parents grew wise to Vanthus’s drug-selling.

Vanthus, and probably the fleet, are also involved in some sort of plan to use mysterious pearls to destroy entire continents worth of people. Harliss, wanting nothing to do with such mass murder, confronted Vanthus on the deck of his ship. In the struggle, the pearl accidentally went off, triggering a mile-radius wave of mutation and madness.

The only three to survive unchanged were Harliss, Vanthus, and a sea-witch working for Vanthus. The sea-witch had just finished summoning a deadly current with which to trap the approaching Lavinia, so the now-uncontrollable ships both crashed into the rocks. Harliss hauled herself ashore and hid in a hut, while Vanthus and his sea witch, Ingred, flew off to gather their forces and attack Larissa and Vareck Vanderboren in Farshore.

Lavinia, almost incoherent with rage, wanted to tie Harliss up and take her with them, but before she could, Harliss threw a wink at Chastity and drank a Potion of Gaseous Form, turning her into a cloud of mist and allowing her to escape.

Quickly, so as not to lose the drop on the pirates, our heroines got some healing from Father Conrad Feresand hopped into Torra Tailor‘s portable boat (though not without first hearing about Willam Nesk’s admiration for Aldi, or instructing the noncombatants to hide safely in the huts.

After long rowing, they rounded the point and headed for the samll island of Tremute, on which Farshore rests. Ahead of them, they saw two longboats, which keen vision allowed them to clearly discern: each held six rough and ready Crimson Fleet pirates acting as rowers. One boat was steered by a woman in a sea-green cloak accompanied by a mechanical monster called a “shield guardian”. The other was steered by Vanthus himself, still in full demonic form. He then noticed the boat following him, and proceeded to taunt his sister, after ordering Ingred the sea-witch, to keep the pursuers occupied while he went off and "dealt with the parents.

Will they manage to stop Vanthus? Who are The Crimson Fleet, and what horrible plans do they have in store? What side is Harliss on anyway?

Find out next week, when the Savage Tide is revealed!

Treasure
Experience

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Sailing for Adventure!
The world's cutest dinosaur and the seagull of doom.

Locations: The Sea Wyvern => Outside a Burowao village , The Isle of Dread
In-World Dates: 5 – 7 – 964 => 5 – 21 – 964

At last the time has come to set sail. Our heroines boarded The Sea Wyvern, after being introduced to the captain and most of the crew… and being thoroughly hit on by Avner Meravanchi.

The wind was with them, and they sailed swiftly southward. At first, there seemed to be little trouble, aside from some nervousness about Urol Forol’s poisionous spider collection, but the man proved to be a veritable mine of information. Some worried about travelling to near to Gallavant Cove, but the gnome reassured them that the Glutton (a rumored sea monster) never ventured out of his lair, and that the Sea Wyvern was giving the cove a wide berth.

After about a week, however, Chastity got bored, and decided to cast Dancing Lights. Trevan Knotwood mistook this for the Gods’ Fire, an ill omen, and began pouring wine over the side of the ship, while Kyo helped him. By the time the situation was explained, the ship was down to 30% of its liquor supply. Trevan Knotwood, upset by the prank, filled Chastity’s bunk with seaweed and nailed a read rat over her headboard. The sorceress was about to summon up a swarm of rats in revenge, when the ship encountered far bigger problems.

A curious elasmosaurus decided to investigate the vessel, causing most of the crew to go into a panic. Ranu-Yani, however, was able to communicate with the creature and realise that it wasn’t hostile. The entire party then promptly decided that it was the cutest 5,000lb plesiosaur they had ever seen! Although, Aldi briefly mistook the Elasmosaurus’s attempts to nuzzle Ranu-Yani as attempts to eat her… but it was all straightened out in the end. They base farewell to their new friend and headed southward, but the Elasmosaurus stopped by to visit one more time and give them a dead shark as a present. Grimalkin gratefully cooked the shark for dinner.

Several days later, Lavinia (aboard her other ship, The Blue Nixie, receives a messenger bird. She informs the Sea Wyvern’s crew, through her captain, that the ship will stop by a small village of Burowao tribesmen to drop of some supplies.

However, an hour away from the village, they see a flash of purple light, and are struck by an explosive shockwave strong enough to send Kyo flying overboard (luckily, she could breathe water). Upon closer inspection, the explosion seemed to come, not from the willage itself, but from what seemed to be ships floating next to the village.

Kyo swam ahead to scout, and found that everything had gone horribly wrong. The fish in the sea had changed, growing extra heads, tails or fins, and were ripping one another to shreds. When she went back to the ship to report this, however, she was spotted by a mutant seagull with three legs, which swooped in to attack her.

Despite their high level of skill, the heroines took a very long time to dispatch the seagull. Ranu-Yani attempted to speak to it, and Rowyn attempted to calm it, but to no avail. At last, a combination of Kyo’s thrown chakram, an Acid Splash from Chastity, and a rolling pin thrown by Aldi managed to defeat the deformed bird.

Upon coming closer to the shore, the young women spotted a large group of what looked to be mutated people, milling around a hut in the village, trying to get in. Unlike the animals, they didn’t seem to be killing each other… but they soon had more pressing matters to worry about. A bizarre, supernaturally strong current caught up both The Sea Wyvern and The Blue Nixie, smashing them into the rocks.

Torra Tailor rushed to get her collapsable lifeboat, while Rowyn, Ranu-Yani, Kyo and Aldi hurried to repair the boat. Ranu-Yani, Kyo and Aldi managed to patch up a hole in the ship’s side, while Rowyn used Make Whole to restore the prow of the boat. With The Sea Wyvern no longer sinking, Chastity summoned a quintet of hippocampi to get all of the passengers and their goods to shore.

There was no time for celebration, however. Right after everyone was saved, a group of the mutated people came over to investigate. A dozen of the mutated fish men swarmed towards the heroines, but they fought back with far more skill and verve than they’d shown against the seagull.

Lavinia Vanderboren also drew her blades to help them, and proved herself quite a skilled swordswoman. Kyo also waded into hand-to-hand combat, making great use of her exotic, Rokugani weapon. Aldi utterly destroyed a monster’s head in one blow, then took down two others just as handily. Rowyn fought with both dagger and spell, while Torra unleashed a pair of Scorching Rays that reduced the monsters to dust. Ranu-Yani waded in with a scimitar, and Chastity finished off the last of the monsters by summoning a celestial lion.

What was that mysterious explosion? Why has nature turned against itself? What is in that hut? Find out next week, in the aftermath of The Savage Tide!

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Interview With a Vanderboren
In which most attempt to lie, but few succeed.

Locations: House Vanderboren, Sasserine => The Sea Wyvern
In-World Dates: 5 – 1 – 964 => 5 – 7 – 964

Lavinia Vanderboren has sent out an announcement, asking the brave and the hardy to accompany her on her voyage to Farshore.

Six young women, Aldi, Chastity, Kyo, Ranu-Yani, Rowyn and Torra, all went individually to speak to Lavinia about joining the expedition.

Aldi, the monk, spoke to Lavinia first. She was honest about her profession, but dishonest about her motives (claiming to want to start a monastery in Farshore after finishing her studies.) However, her simple, blunt, monk-ish way of speaking somehow pulled the wool over Lavinia’s trained eyes, and she went unchallenged.

Chastity was not so lucky, however. Despite being a very trained and talented liar, she completely failed to persuade Lavinia that she was a dilettante/politician willing to pull strings in Fashore’s favor. She then attempted to dance around Lavinia’s questions, but Lavinia’s training in Sasserine Academy included Politics and Diplomacy… a subject in which she received top marks.

Trapped, Chastity finally admitted to being on the run from something. After convincing Lavinia that it was nothing illegal, she was also forced to admit to having magical talents. Lavinia welcomed Chastity aboard, with the caveat that she would be watching the elf in case anything untowardly magical should happen.

Kyo had the good sense not to lie, saying only that she was a scout skilled in underwater exploration and hailed from a faraway land. Impressed by her qualifications, Lavinia welcomed her aboard.

Rowyn]] fared similarly well, with her nature magic earning her an honored place in the new community. Torra likewise told the absolute truth, that she was traveling to Farshore with the intentions of starting a farm there, and tacitly not mentioning her other skills or reasons for going. She did mention her skill as a sailor, but turned down Lavinia’s offer of employment on the voyage.

Rowyn, however, tried to hoodwink Lavinia again. The noblewoman caught her bluff, however, and the gnome was forced to admit that she was on the run from something. However, Rowyn’s claims that the trouble would not follow them to Farshore, as well as her position as a genuine cleric of Ehlonna, granted her a place on the ship anyway.

Now, the party has one week to prepare for their voyage south. They spent some of it shopping, and some of it gathering rumors and information about The Isle of Dread and House Vanderboren. What perfectly normal and idyllic life awaits them there? Find out next week–actually, no, find out two weeks from now, because it’s fall break– when the Savage Tide breaks!

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