Skull and Shackles

The Chelish Invasion

Also sudden adoptions and political wrestling

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Phineas and Peppery were healed of their wounds. Phineas told of devils abducting him from his home and torturing him for information on the party. Phineas had never broken, so the devils and cultists had been extremely harsh with him. Peppery had been imprisoned and tortured simply because she had joked about Harrigan’s poor choices of officers after giving Plugg the Man’s Promise. Dovahkiin was becoming guilty about his dark choices in life and decided to redeem himself. Tracking down one of the most powerful clerics of Besmara, he paid slightly over twenty-six thousand gold pieces to resurrect that sahaugin child he had stabbed ages ago. The child was extremely grateful, but a home for it could not be decided yet due to the urgent situation.

The party went to go call the council for an emergency meeting. On the way they met Tessa Fairwind She greeted them and asked what was going on. the party explained, then she went to assemble the group’s allies.

The meeting started and all the Pirate Lords and Ladies arrived. Bonefist was extremely irritated by the meeting. Valignant showed the pirate council the evidence that Harrigan was in league with the Chelish and that an invasion was imminent. Bonefist asked where they had acquired this evidence. Valignant told him about how the party attacked Harrigan’s castle and killed him. Bonefist demanded to know why they did this without the council’s approval.

Valignat blamed Harrigan for attacking them first. Bonefist was not convinced. The dragon and the king traded arguments for a while. Ultimately Bonefist paid no mind to the evidence and implied that anybody who decides to listen to the party could be considered traitors. The Hurricane King stormed off and there was much debate amongst the pirates. Some supported the King’s ideas that everyone should just stay at their own ports and rely of the Eye to stop the enemy. Others supported the party.

The Master of the Gales promised to support the party since his island was the first target in the Chelish plans. Pierce was also in. He had won more ships in a game of Shut The Box. Of course, Tessa Fairwind was also going to help. Arronax also pledged his ships to aid the party fleet.

The party assembled their armada and sailed out to Drenchport. Once there, the party consulted clerics to cast divinations to try and determine what they should do about the Chelish armada. Several unhelpful answers were gained and one casting revealed that the Chelish would arrive that day. The party prepared and the massive Chelish fleet appeared on the storming horizon at dawn. The Master of the Gales’ fleet managed to sink a few but was sunk in turn. The Nightmare and it’s allies moved in on the Chelish. Riding along on the Nightmare were Pegsworthy, Tessa and an enraged Master of the Gales. Suddenly eight Magaav devils with bows appeared on the Nightmare.

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The party noticed right away that they were illusions and ignored the arrows pretending to land around the ship as they waited for the real attack. It soon arrived as the ship suddenly ground to a halt. A squad of real magaav devils attacked. They began by breathing sicking vapors at Dovahkiin. A more powerful commander appeared in the air above the wizard. Moments later it was brought down by Dovahkiin’s Finger of Death spell.

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As Gork and Valignat began killing devils, one grabbed the Master of the Gales and began flying off with him. Unfortunately for the devil, the Master of the Gales is a fifteenth level druid. The Master turned into an orca. The devil made a futile attempt to hang on as he dove down into the ocean before teleporting away to escape a mauling. Meanwhile in the Nightmare’s battle, four Magaav’s snatched Pegsworthy and began to fly away. Gork leapt onto the dragon’s back and they flew off in a chase. The Master jumped back on the Nightmare, turning human again as he did so, and shouted that the Nightmare needed to get moving. Dovahkiin wandered to the back of the ship saying that was impossible when his magic-scanning eyes found a magic token preventing the ship from moving. The devils nearly made it to their ship but were eventually run down and killed. Pegsworthy was saved. The Master broke the token and the fleet battle began.

The Shackles’ fleet was badly outnumbered by the intimidating forces of Cheliax. A brutal exchange of fire destroyed the squadrons of Arronax, Pierce, and Grok. A Chelish squadron was lost as well, and Pierce managed a heroic charge against the strongest Chelish group before going down. Pegsworthy’s new squadron joined in, but the battle was still going in Cheliax’s favor. However, the Shackes’ fleet brought down a squadron of warships carrying an important officer. This was a devastating blow to the enemy chain of command that caused half the enemy fleet to retreat. After that the tide turned. Although Sandara and Pegsworthy were sunk, Tessa managed to wipe out the remaining Chelish forces. The Nightmare moved in on the enemy flag ship, Abrogail’s Fury.

Aboard the enemy vessel was the Chelish admiral Druvalia Thrune and her Hellknight bodyguard accompanied by Chelish marines, a summoned leopard, and the leader of the Norgorberites from Harrigan’s fortress.

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Before the ships could fully close together another band of monsters appeared on the Nightmare. This time they were Drowning Devils.

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The devils emitted an aura that could paralyze heavy armor wearers. Unfortunately for them Harghast was still absent. A devil filled Dovahkiin’s lungs with water, but fortunately Dovahkiin had already cast waterbreathing on everyone. The devils tried to drag Dovahkiin into the water but they were all slain by tooth, axe, and magic. Valignat prepared to fly over and place a similar token on the enemy vessel so Dovahkiin could Cloudkill them all. Gork leapt on the dragon’s back and they flew into action.

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The dragon charged. A barrage of arrows and ballistae fire failed to stop him. A Charm Monster from the Norgoberite came closer, but still failed. Valignat planted the token on the bow as Gork leapt off his back. The powerful cult leader dropped in an instant. Dovahkiin sent the poisonous gas. The leopard died instantly and the rest of the crew moved toward away from the bow to avoid the spreading, deadly fumes. This caused them to clump together, an opportunity that Val quickly filled with a fiery blast. Gork leapt in and slew the Hellknight as well. Druvalia struggled to stop him with spells as the marines swarmed in and wounded Gork. Val attempted to help and hurt Druvalia but failed to snatch her up. Gork and a fireball wiped out the surviving Marines. Druvalia vanished with a potion. Gork leapt on Valignat as the two backed off to escape the spreading cloud. A door could be heard opening and closing in the background. Shortly thereafter, Druvalia dispelled the Cloudkill. Val and Gork began searching behind the four doors visible on the deck. The two closer to the bow revealed a pair of completely undecorated rooms. At the other two doors, Gork found another featureless and utterly uninteresting room as Valignat smelled the target in a richly appointed captain’s cabin. Valignat stalked in and called over Gork. As Dovahkiin inaudibly called for Druvalia to be spared, she sealed her fate with a spray of bolts and the dragon. Valignat promptly killed her in a brief frenzy of attacks.

Moments after she died a portal opened up like the one Harrigan’s soul was taken through. Devils emerged and dragged her away. Valignat gave a casual hello. They responded “We’ll see you later.” Unperturbed, Valignat reported what had happened and the looting began. At the same time, Harghast and Zon flew in. After leaving to save survivors at the end of the previous fleet battle Harghast and Zon had been caught up in whimsical and highly improbable adventures that eventually left them in Drenchport as devils attacked the town. Among the loot was a black scroll with a silver-inked contract written in Infernal. It explained that Druvalia had been able to get through the Eye with the help of the archdevil Geryon in exchange for either her soul or her great-uncle Elzaliah. Dovahkiin’s ring also revealed she was the niece of Abrogail Thrune II, Queen of Cheliax.

Tessa approached the party with their allies. The Nightmare’s crew were praised for defeating the Chelish invasion. Tessa declared that a vote of no confidence should be called on Bonefist and one of the party made Hurricane King instead. Valignat and Gork were disinterested but Dovahkiin and Harghast began clamoring for the role. As they debated, the sahaugin child emerged and tried to claim the title as well. Harghast was impressed with the child and offered to adopt him on the spot and name him Bucky. Bucky happily accepted and Valignat boomed that “As a Pirate Lord of the Shackles, I approve this.”

The new father and the wizard continued to debate who would be king. Eventually it was to be decided by a wrestling match since Dovahkiin and Harghast would be on equal footing in such a contest.

Dovahkiin and Harghast prepared for the match. Dovahkiin’s genius maneuvers were balanced against Harghast’s brute strength and skill. The winner would be the one who managed to pin the other for three rounds. The match began. After a few false starts Harghast grabbed Dovahkiin. The wily wizard reversed the grip and almost managed to bring the black knight down. Harghast managed to resist the pin and the two began repeatedly reversing the hold before Harghast got a few lucky moves and managed to pin Dovahkiin. There was some skepticism over the idea of King Harghast and the warpriest quickly began studying how to sail a ship better.

It was decided that the group would use Harrigan’s plan to invade the Hurricane King’s fortress through a secret passage in a nearby warehouse. Unfortunately for him, Bonefist had not looked at the plans when he had the chance. Tessa said that the party would need to overcome three challenges. They had to overcome Bonefist’s Cannon Golem, rob Bonefist’s vault, and finally defeat the King himself.

The party traveled to Bonefist’s fortress, Fort Hazard, on the island of Lucrehold. At 11:55 at night, Shackles Standard Time, the party crept up to the fortress. Zon, Gork, and Dovahkiin turned invisible and Zon unlocked the door. Zon and Dovahkiin went down a hallway and silently saw a series of offices. On the wall of one was a set of red armbands. Dovahkiin couldn’t quite place what they were but he knew they were important. Everyone put one on. There were two doors at the end of the hall. In the door at the end of the hallway was a room full of ledgers. Behind the one going off to the left was the main warehouse chamber. It contained a massive and silent iron golem.

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Zon scouted ahead with Dovahkiin. They saw a line of kegs that concealed the secret door. On the other side of the warehouse was a set of doors with guards talking behind it. After the scouts reported back, a plan was made. Zon crept up and jammed the lock on both doors without anyone hearing him. One guard came close though. Next, the group began removing the padlock on the warehouse door so Valignat could fight better against the iron golem. There was some noise removing it and the guards began trying to get out of their room. Zon finished unlocking the door and Dovahkiin opened it. Valignat entered the warehouse and it was cool.

Strangely, the golem did not move or attack. Harghast tried talking to the golem. It did nothing. Harghast tried touching it and it still did nothing. He did get an exposition vision of the first Hurricane King building the secret tunnel originally. The door was bashed in and the guards rushed through. Since nobody wanted to kill their future subjects Dovahkiin began an impromptu intimidating speech. The guards immediately surrendered. The party then argued for a while over whether to tie them up or let them leave. Eventually it was decided to tie them up. The party looted the warehouse and moved on through the tunnel behind the kegs.

The party reached a dank chamber. A statue of Besmara stood in the corner. Dovahkiin identified it and then decided to ride the dragon. Moving on, an old chamber was found with a decrepit bed and a golden holy symbol of Besmara. Harghast decided to give it to Sandara as a gift later. The final chamber to be explored in this attempt was full of incorporeal undead. Harghast summoned a spirtual ally in the form of a greatsword wielding angel to help and charged his sword with anti-ghost magic. The ghostly creatures swarmed about and began inflicting extremely dangerous strength damage. Valignat began breathing and clawing, at one point catching invisible Zon by accident. The smouldering strix almost felt empathy for the many humans who had died to that weapon. Almost.

The undead paralyzed Harghast and hurt several party members before being slain. The party retreated to heal on the Nightmare before returning. To prevent the warehouse attack from alerting the King, the party covered it up to look like a simple robbery and took their prisoners with them.

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RonW

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