Skull and Shackles

The Nightmare Detectives

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After dragging up the loot from the first half of the Brine Banshee, Dovahkiin, Gork and Valignat drank almost the last of the Nightmare’s supply of water breathing potions and reentered the ocean to get the rest of the ship and its treasure.

As they entered the dark chasm containing the back half of the Brine Banshee, the trio began to feel the effects of pressure and cold. The cold was especially painful to Val, being a fire dragon.

Suddenly, a giant four armed monster lunged out of the darkness and bowled over the dragon.

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Gork swam up and took a swing at the monster and Dovahkiin fired a pair of stun rays. The monster moved back behind Val and caught the entire party in a blast of freezing black bile that seriously wounded them all. The beast’s guts were then ripped open by the pissed off dragon.

The monster shrunk down into a smaller but still large size as it died, and Dovahkiin identified it as an oversized charda. The party returned to the Nightmare, and Sandara healed them. The party dived back in and this time reached the wreck. The party began exploring at the top and worked their way down finding various treasures. In the kitchen, Dovahkiin took out his frustration towards Kroop’s chicken on old chicken bones. As they worked their way through the ship, a huge shark slowly swam by.

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Gork charged out at it, but phased right through what turned out to be an illusion. The party couldn’t see anyone around who might have cast the spell. Back inside the ship they found a giant sea anemone.

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Gork charged and was grabbed by a tentacle. The anemone pulled him into its gaping maw that smelled of death and half-elf, swallowing the barbarian whole. Dovahkiin blasted it with stun rays and then Gork literally chewed his way out of the anemone’s side, pulled out his axe and finished it off.

When the party reached the ship’s hold a swarm of luminescent fish came out and began swimming in a hypnotic pattern that managed to mesmerize nobody at all. A second shark arrived, and Gork phased through that one as well. Mind control spells were thrown at the party, but failed. Dovahkiin detected magic, and realized the hold’s back wall was an illusion. An aboleth emerged from behind the wall.

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Dovahkiin turned and he perfectly cast a pair of admonishing rays that passed straight through what turned out to be yet another illusion. Valignat swept out his wings in an attempt to disrupt the mesmerizing fish, but they were also illusions. Eventually, the party ignored an aboleth leaving the ship, and entered the wall, finding nothing. Valignat realized from the fading smell that the last aboleth had been the real one, to the groups frustration.

Having emptied the ship, the party began looting. The ships wheel was magic, and likely the source of the ships reputation for speed. This information would fulfill the group’s agreement with the Norgorber cult.

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Lashed to it was the skeleton of the ship’s captain Xiribal Jalhazar. Dovahkiin tossed his corpse aside, and was cursed by the captains spirit until he apologized. Inspections to find the cause of the wreck found that it was probably brought down by something wielding steam and massive claws.

The party dragged up all the loot to the Nightmare and left. The party returned Fitch to Olo, (reluctantly) paying him his 900gp share of the Brine Banshee’s treasure. Returning to the Norgorber temple, the party gave him the information they had promised, and in return Sting the cult spokesman told them about a water naga named Sarlis who claimed to know the location of a foreign spy.

Sting told them that Sarlis lives in a cove on the slithering coast, and that to meet her the party would have to wait at a certain pool, possibly for several days, to meet with the naga. Sting also said that while Sarlis was a relatively social naga, careful respect and flattery would be wise in dealing with her. The dragon felt a sense of familiarity upon hearing this. They also stopped by Port Peril for a few days to upgrade the ship’s rudder, and bought various magic items.

The party decided to stop first at Drenchport, where the Calistrian priestess had told them Jaymiss Keft the half-elf scrimshander who had a lead on the Chelish spies lived.

The party disembarked at Drenchport, quickly finding Jaymiss as he worked on a piece of scrimshaw at the Carver’s hall. Dovahkiin bought everyone in the room drinks and Valignat in human form approached Jaymiss. Jaymiss started to get nervous when Val started asking about the Chelish, but calmed down when he said he got the info from the Calistrian temple. Jaymiss revealed to the disguised dragon that he had suspicions about Haddon Pike, supposedly a beachcomber, fisherman and smuggler. However, he never seemed to actually do any smuggling on his “Smuggling trips” to the town of Hell Harbor. He was also suspicious of Corlan, Haddon’s tengu(bird-man) partner in Hell Harbor.

The party went out to Haddon’s house and approached the window. Meeko smelled decay, and looking in the party saw Haddon dead, with two crossbow bolts in his back, and his head in a fish tank, being eaten by his nasty looking pet fish, Grinner. In his hand was a carving of Corlan. Apparently he liked to make fan-art of his business partners. The party entered and searched the room. In a hidden drawer was a bag of money and a old Chelish opera in a waterproof scroll case.

The opera was written in Infernal, which none of the party spoke. However, Dovahkiin used his linguistics studies to not only translate the opera, but also detect and crack the complicated cipher revealing secret orders to report on ship movements in Drenchport, especially the ones belonging to the local pirate ruler. from a woman named Rowina Kellet in Hell Harbor.

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26 intelligence at work.

On Dovahkiin’s request, Gork handed him the fish. Dovahkiin jabbed it with a crossbow bolt from Haddon’s back, revealing the bolts had been poisoned. The party took one of Haddon’s toes, so that later magics could use it as evidence if necessary.

The Nightmare set out for Hell Harbor. On arrival the party set out for Corlan’s house in a tengu part of town.

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Human Val knocked on his door and soon Corlan opened the door asking why a bunch of strangers had turned up at his house. Valignat was explaining what had happened to Haddon when two crossbow bolts to the chest suddenly cut down Corlan. Valignat transformed and took to the sky, where he saw a human with a crossbow crouching behind a ledge.

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The assassin tried to escape after risking a final shot at Corlan’s body, but was taken down before he could get away. A search of his possessions revealed a note, listing Haddon, Rowina and Corlan. Haddon and Rowina were crossed out. Underneath was a message from “Z” saying “Use the supplied dosage on each. When done, return to the apothecary in Port Peril. I can provide more toxin along with your payment if needed. Destroy this after reading.”

The assassin woke up chained to the wall in the Nightmare’s bilge. Dovahkiin tried and failed to intimidate him, earning nothing but racist insults. The dragon managed to scare him however, and the assassin, who was named Giles Halmis, said that he was a professional killer, currently getting most of his contracts from a Mwangi woman named Zarskia Galembar at the Jasperleaf Apothecary in Port Peril.

Despite the dire situation, Giles showed that he was an utterly racist idiot, and taunted the half-orcs until Dovahkiin snapped and splashed magic acid in his face until he passed out.

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