Skull and Shackles

The End?

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The party returned to the Nightmare for the necessary potions and scrolls to recover from the draining touch of the undead. When they got outside they saw that a war had begun. Bonefist’s followers were battling supporters of the Nightmare outside. The party was able to use the time to rest, recover and grab some quick supplies and snacks. The party then reentered the fortress. After a few rooms they opened a burial chamber with some water on the side. Mist began to fill the chamber after Zon entered.

The party prepared for battle and Harghast summoned a spiritual ally.

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Zon bumped into a wall as he tried to retreat and something in the fog took ineffective swings at the Ally. Three creatures attacked Zon and were close to killing him when Valignat acted. The dragon sniffed the air to check where the ninja was this time and blasted away a safe part of the fog. A slightly smoking undead was exposed. Dovahkiin recognized it as a draugr pirate captain.

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Gork leapt in and killed it. The fog rolled over him. Zon escaped from his attackers and Dovahkiin fireballed that area. Three of the draugrs were now visible. Valignat took a nearby alternate route into the chamber and the undead responded by attacking him together. Dovahkiin blasted one to ash as Valignat killed one that the Ally had wounded before weakening the survivor so it could die on ninja arrows and the Ally’s holy blade. Gork found a secret door for the party to explore. On the other side of the tunnel was the cannon golem.

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The cannon golem was a mighty war machine and a true monster to most people. Unfortunately for the 200,000 gp golem, Gork had an axe capable of piercing its damage reduction. It managed to hurt Gork and shrug off a disintegrate on the way out, but precise arrows from Zon finished it off after the barbarian’s pounce. Gork spotted additional secret doors on either side of a main door as the alarm sounded in response to the loud death of the golem. The party opened them one at a time. Behind those doors were crossbow-wielding elf snipers. They managed to dodge a fireball and wound the dragon and Gork, but still fell in the end. One of them was carrying a keyring that the party used to open the main door after Gork looked through the snipers arrow slits. On the other side was a hallway. The snipers had obviously been posted to watch for intruders in there and mow them down after trapping them in.

Gork was the first to step into the hallway. The door slammed shut and spinning blades lanced around the room. By sheer incredible luck they failed to hit Gork nearly as much as they should have before Zon managed to release him. Zon then used his ninja skills to creep in and disable all the remaining traps and locks in there. Suddenly an attack came from behind. Four pirate bombers attacked Gork, Harghast, and Dovahkiin with a barrage of bombs. Harghast charged and Zon got the first kill of the fight. One of the bombers backed off from a stab by Harghast and used a potion to breathe lightning at the party before another spit wasps. Gork was hit with a bomb before Val burned up the swarm with fire. A bomber was caught in the blast, but she was immune to flames. Harghast, Gork, and Zon then finished off the squad in a barrage of attacks.

The party then explored the area and found bedrooms, barracks and a false wall for the bombers to hide behind. There was also a hallway leading someplace else. In one of the bedrooms was a fishtank full of exotic fish. Valignat appraised their unimpressive monetary value as Zon invisibly ate a few.

The tunnel lead to a massive underground lake with an inhabited building on the other side. Zon spotted gargantuan bloody bones at the bottom of the lake. The party began flying across Dovahkiin and Zon were invisible and flying on their own power as Valignat carried Harghast and Gork. Unsurprisingly, the bones animated and lunged. They were the electric dragon skeleton Brinebones. The skeleton attempted to pin Valignat against the ceiling as Val dodged. Harghast and Zon then softened up the monster before Valignat finished it off. The skeleton fell back into the lake as the party approached the audibly alerted building. The party healed up and landed on the roof. Zon finally used a bomb he had taken from the Eel to blow a hole in the ceiling. By chance they had blown open a hole to the leader’s bedroom. He was Horrus Riptooth the wereshark, leader of a band of wereshark pirates.

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Zon spotted and arrowed him, a fireball was added by Dovahkiin, and the finisher was provided by Gork. Riptooth never stood a chance. Gork was then knocked to the ground by the door as four weresharks burst in. The sharks surrounded Gork and began tearing at him as he fought from the ground. Valignat began tearing a larger hole in the ceiling and leapt in. Harghast rode him in and killed a wereshark on arrival. The party began quickly slaying them as the last survivor fled down a nearby tunnel.

Dovahkiin boneshattered him and called for it to surrender. It refused and continued to try to limp away. Zon finished it. The party checked what was on the other side. There was a massive cove containing towers, a wharf with a tavern, and the Hurricane King’s palace and ship, the Filthy Lucre. The party flew in toward the tavern. Suddenly a stinking cloud nauseated Dovahkiin just before a Piscodaemon attacked. It grabbed Valignat and began dragging him with his riders to the bottom 75ft below as they fought. Fortunately Dovahkiin had taken to casting Waterbreathing on everyone every day. A second one grabbed Dovahkiin and began dragging him down as well. At the same time, a magic cannon on the nearby towers noticed Zon and blasted him with heat. Zon managed to stay in the air. At the bottom the daemon was killed and the dragon began swimming back up. Just before losing consciousness Dovahkiin created an impossible trench in the water that put the daemon right up next to the rising party members. The daemon was then swiftly killed. The party regrouped in the water trench and planned on how to take out the cannon.

The party began swimming through a normal part of the water to approach. There they met a megalodon. Dovahkiin promptly charmed it and spoke with it. The shark told the party the other three in its school was in the water around the Filthy Lucre so the group prepared a different plan. Harghast used stoneshape to open up the back of a tower by the trench. Inside was a torture chamber with four prisoners and two guards All of them looked evil to Harghast. One of the prisoners fell through the wall and was caught by Dovahkiin as the guards were killed. The party let them go (Zon being reluctant to give up potential kills) and moved through the tower. Moments later the prisoners began ringing an alarm bell to try to get back in their master’s good graces. The party decided to finally attack the tower.

Zon flew out and fired an arrow, wounding a gunner before ducking back into cover. The cannon fired on the top of the tower and rained molten metal down on the group. The dragon was knocked prone but uninjured. Gork leapt atop a nearby building and then used his rage to fly to the cannon. He then destroyed one of the gunners with Dovahkiin’s guidance. The party reached the tower but the other one escaped invisibly. The party then argued about what to do next. Eventually two guards tried to attack through a nearby trapdoor. They were both killed and the cannon placed over their trapdoor to prevent further attempts.

The party then decided to quickly sabotage the Filthy Lucre to prevent any potential escape by the King. Valignat lead the charge with Harghast and Gork. The Filthy Lucre unleashed a broadside of cannons as a musket-wielding sniper in an armored crow’s nest and a crossbow-wielding one also helped.

The team made it through to the deck.Zon tossed a smoke bomb to disable the musket sniper as Valignat began releasing terrifying shrieks. The ordinary crew began fleeing in horror. The cannon crews abandoned their posts to cower in the bilge as the men on deck leapt off to swim to shore. The megalodons had their fill of many of them. Only two sailors remained on deck, only to be shot by Zon when the strix had a chance.

As the crew fell apart, the snipers fired on the party. Dovahkiin landed on the deck while invisible. Gork leapt off the dragon, across the mast and reached the crossbow wielder’s crow’s nest. Gork began chopping it open and tearing away the steel with his teeth. Valignat and Zon waited under the trap door. When the sniper tried to escape Valignat let Zon have the kill. The party then turned their attention to the remaining sniper. Gork leapt just below the mast as Valignat burned away the smoke. Wisely, the gunslinger surrendered. She threw down her rifle and climbed slowly down the mast. Dovahkiin asked who he had the pleasure of meeting and she introduced herself as Omara Culverin. She was a representative of the tiny yet powerful nation of Alkenstar’s famous Gunworks. She had been negotiating arms deals with the Hurricane King. Suddenly a bomb was hurled at Dovahkiin from a door that immediately slammed shut again. The dragon landed to kill the assailant. Suddenly a giant dwarf rushed out and attempted to take the dragon down with his bare hands. It went about as well as could be expected.

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Dovahkiin tied up Omara when the doors to the captain’s cabin were thrown open. Out stepped Hurricane King Kerdak Bonefist himself.

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He was accompanied by swirling tornado-force winds. Kerdak roared a challenge as he chugged an ale. Kerdak turned himself invisible with magic dust. Harghast immediately purged invisibility as Zon fired arrows. The winds harmlessly tossed the deadly projectiles aside. Valigant charged and the winds blasted him as he chomped down. He could not manage to get a full grip though as Gork leapt over and stood on a deck above the king. The winds similarly tore at him. Dovahkiin tried to end the battle with Finger of Death. Bonefist survived and retreated back inside. Harghast and Zon followed him in and began searching. Valignat followed them and saw an empty 10ft room the others had not yet explored.

Meanwhile, Kerdak appeared in the tiny stone bolthole he had for quick escapes. This would give him time to prepare for round two with those surprisingly deadly upstarts so long as they didn’t stumble across his teleport circle on the ship too quickly. Kerdak’s hand was just closing on the doorknob when he was suddenly slammed to the wall as the room filled with an extremely cramped dragon. The dragon’s jaws continued to snap open and shut in the hope of a kingly meal. Moments later Gork was thrown in as well. Back on the ship, Dovahkiin looked in that room and saw with his arcane eyes a teleport effect on the ground. He decided to touch the edge and was thrown in as well. Kerdak opened the door and everyone popped out into a slightly larger room. Valignat held the door out closed and continued to scratch around as Kerdak turned invisible again beneath him. Gork was unable to kill anyone at the moment so he decided to augment the swirling winds with true orc flatulence. Dovahkiin used Svingli’s Eye to locate Kerdak in the pile and fired a final Finger of Death. Kerdak resisted, but he finally died. Dovahkiin’s use of the Eye showed him that Kerdak’s hat was actually a crown that had the power to look like whatever the wearer wished.

Dovahkiin promptly decided to make it look like an afro wig on him for a moment before the group left through the portal again. Dovahkiin went first, then Gork, and then Valignat waited thirty seconds to avoid a repeat of the previous incident. Dovahkiin found himself inside an iron maiden.

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Dovahkiin teleported away as Gork was subjected to it as well. Gork was unable to swing his axe, so he clawed it open from the inside. Valignat destroyed what was left a moment later as he came through. The party regrouped, healed and decided to go to the tavern. The group landed outside the back door. Valignat saw the crew who had managed to escape the ship still pleading in vain to be let in the palace. Valignat advised them to leave. Harghast stepped inside wearing the crown and saw the inhabitants going about their business normally. Harghast bought everyone a round and told them to remain indoors before moving on.

The party then went back through the portal on the ship to infiltrate the palace. The party opened the door and behind it was a lavishly appointed bedroom containing Hyapatia the lamia, a half-woman half-snake creature. She was wielding a pair of scimitars and accompanied by a pair of aurumvoraxes, eight legged tiger creatures.

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Hyapatia was enraged to see Harghast weaing her husband’s hat. Harghast saved against a charm spell just before the aurumvoraxes pounced on him. Harghast summoned a spiritual ally to fight Hyapatia as she tried to dominate Gork. Gork shrugged it off narrowly. Zon and the Ally fought her as Valignat and Gork slew the tigers. After that Dovahkiin took her down with scorching rays. Harghast decided to switch back to his regular mask after that.

The party moved on to the next room. It was a lounge full of extremely valuable documents and maps. Dovahkiin regretted leaving this room to move on to the next. In that room stood Tsadok Goldtooth and two unarmed dwarf brawlers.

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Zon launched quick arrows as Gork screamed “I hate you!” and cut him down. Gork remembered Tsadok’s cheating in the mast race a lifetime ago. Valignat stood on the table and bit one of the dwarves as the others killed his partner. The dwarf made a heroic effort to turn the tables on the dragon and came within a hairsbreadth of tackling him. Valignat overpowered him and hurled him through a nearby door and down a hall. Harghast and Zon then came by and subdued him with arrows followed by admonishing rays. The dragon then hunted through the area and smelled out the King’s massive treasure trove. The rest of the cavern fell swiftly to the Nightmarish crew.

The party then returned triumphantly to the castle above. Tessa Fairwind asked the party who they nominated for Hurricane King. Harghast took out the crown and gave it to Dovahkiin, nominating the wizard. Valignat then voted for Dovahkiin as well. Dovahkiin was pleasantly surprised and gladly accepted. In as solemn a ceremony as pirates ever have, Dovahkiin was crowned king.

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Brinebones later knitted himself back together and began to serve his new master. Dovahkiin was very pleased with his new pet. News spread throughout the Shackles of their new ruler, and even perhaps the world. Harghast proposed marriage to Sandara. She accepted and was given the Filthy Lucre as her wedding gift. Harghast soon said farewell to the party and climbed aboard with Sandara and Bucky as they sailed away to travel the world.

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The party was having a feast at the castle to celebrate. The Pirate Council was in attendance, Gork was chowing down, Valignat attended in his natural form, Zon was even smiling a bit, and Dovahkiin was sitting on the throne. Suddenly a demonic assassin attacked Dovahkiin and seemed about to kill him. Suddenly the Chicken sprinted up to the throne. Halfway there it shed its avian disguise and revealed its true form.

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The orc druid turned into a dire bear and slaughtered the assassin. It then resumed its orc form and introduced itself to Dovahkiin. “I have long been watching you, my son.”

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