Skull and Shackles

Revenge

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Dovahkiin attempted to break the charm on the scrags, and failed. The party left them for later and began a third attack on Harrigan’s castle. The party was preparing to go over the wall and saw Jakaw on lookout. Jakaw whistled an alarm as Gork ran for the castle’s back door. Dovahkiin climbed aboard Valignat as the dragon recognized Jakaw and congratulated him for his daring attack yesterday. The dragon then pounced and was blown back down by the wind.

Gork reached the door and heard rapidly approaching stomps just before four scrags rushed out and began chopping at him. Gork ran back to the party. The scrags chased him around the corner and were faced with a torrent of returning fire from the party. One scrag was truly slain and the others fled to the sea. Valignat flew atop the wall. Once there, Dovahkiin spotted a squad of guards approaching and launched a fireball. Valignat chomped Jakaw and hurled him off the nearby cliff. Jakaw stood and ran for the sea as well. Gork climbed up on the wall as Dovahkiin countered the guards arrows with an acid fog. The winds quickly dissipated the fog, but the party approached and the guards were swiftly overwhelmed.

The party healed and moved on through a door into the building. Inside was a warehouse full of supplies, crates, and plunder. There were stairs going up and down and a door on one side. After the dragon squeezed in, a derghodaemon attacked.

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Gork got into position for a pounce as Valigant and Dovahkiin made largely ineffective initial attempts to hurt it. The daemon summoned a gigantic number of biting insects and hurt the dragon badly. Despite the initial success of the daemon, the party rallied and slew it before retreating from the room until the swarms disappeared. The party healed again and headed back in. The party headed down some stairs in the warehouse and found themselves in a prison that stank of scags. Chained in a nearby cell was Peppery Taroon (One of the Wormwood’s officers) and Phineas N. Ferb. They had both been tortured horribly, and Phineas was catatonic. An exposition vision floated into the room, glanced around for the absent warpriest, and left.

Dovahkiin made a heroic effort to break the captives’ chains, but failed. Gork moved in, took the chains and snapped them both in his hands. The party took them back to the Nightmare and told the crew to make them comfortable. The crew said they had spotted cloaked figures moving back through the cave entrance. Arrows had been fired, but the figures had escaped. The party returned to the fortress to continue the assault.

Once back inside the fort, the party entered the temple next to the warehouse. Since Zon was gone, Gork broke down the door. In the first room the walls were lined with symbols of Norgorber and tattered national flags, 2/3rds of which were Chelish.There was also a door and stairs going up. Gork and Dovahkiin broke the next door down as Gork stepped through. The enemies inside got a surprise attack and confused Gork. In his confusion, he killed Dovahkiin. A Blade Barrier appeared around Gork as Valignat dragged Dovahkiin away. Jakaw was in the temple, and fired some arrows fruitlessly at Gork as Gork resisted a Hold Person spell. Gork also resisted an attempt to channel negative energy. The barbarian managed to regain control for a moment. Gork backed out of the room, dropped his axe, and quit raging. The dragon took the axe and cautiously waited for Gork to go back to his right mind.

When Gork recovered, the party took Dovahkiin back to the Nightmare. On arrival the Chicken hopped in wearing a cape. It brought Dovahkiin back but he had to use other methods to get back to full strength. The cleric temp the party had brought in cast Protection from Evil on the dragon, and Dovahkiin cast it on Gork. The party returned to the temple. The Blade Barrier was still blocking the door to the ground floor. The party explored the upstairs and found an empty barracks and an office with stairs leading higher. In the office were detailed plans for an attack on the party’s fortress.

The party returned downstairs. On the stairs, something cast Mass Suggestion at the group but Protection From Evil and Dovahkiin’s saves stopped it. Dovahkiin tossed a Cloudkill past the blade barrier and the real battle was kicked off. The toxic fumes of the spell quickly began to fill the temple and a pack of scrags were killed outright. Valignat went up on the roof and to the other side of the building to catch escaping victims. Gork dragged Dovahkiin back as even the party feared the deadly gas. The barrier was dismissed and Jakaw emerged with a woman leading two Norgorberite cultists.

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The tengu and the cult launched a flamestrike and a burst of arrows. Gork extended his axe and brought Jakaw bleeding to the ground. Valignat returned to the battle and breathed flames that killed Jakaw and wounded his allies. As the party prepared to continue the battle, Valignat smelled something familiar. Harrigan stepped out of the warehouse door and stabbed Dovahkiin to death. At the same time two eryines devils landed on the walls and wounded the dragon with their bows.

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Valignat wheeled on Harrigan but his defenses prevented the dragon from landing a blow. Gork rushed in and attacked Harrigan. Six arrows deflected off Valignat’s scales as the captain of the Wormwood attempted to scare the surviving party members with magic. That failed, as did the attempt by the Norgorberite woman to charm Valignat. The remaining lower-ranked cultists died from the poison. Gork continued to injure Harrigan as the “Red Dog’s” talons closed around Harrigan. He struggled in vain to escape before Gork horribly ended his life.

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The leader of the Norgorberites turned invisible and fled as the eryines swooped in. They deftly avoided a bite from Valignat and reached Harrigan’s corpse as the dragon savaged it. They drew his soul out and grinned. With a telepathic “Thank you” they vanished with the soul to Hell.

The dragon finally stopped slashing and released an earthshaking roar. The conflict had finally reached its conclusion.

Gork jumped on the saddle with Dovahkiin and the dragon took off after the woman. She flew over the walls but was slowed enough by the wind that Valigant had time to catch her scent. Gork had to drop Dovahkiin to use Sivigli’s Eye. He saw her a short distance away. Instead of slicing out with his axe, Gork tried to make her surrender. She lied that if he threw his axe away, she would. He put it away and she simply fled. Valignat lost the trail.

Gork took the ring of invisibility and began scouring the fortress for surviving enemies. The only ones he found were a pair of eryines who were quickly slain by the dragon and barbarian.Gork moved on and found rooms full of Harrigan’s personal trophies. There was also a treasure chamber that had insufficient gold to account for Harrigan’s supposed attacks on Chelish ships. The party looted everything and returned to Port Peril to raise Dovahkiin and heal Harrigan’s prisoners. On the way there, the party dumped the captured scrags back in the ocean.

When Dovahkiin returned, he detected that Harrigan’s seemingly normal glove was actually magic. Inside the Glove of Storing was a Bag of Holding. Inside the bag was proof Harrigan was the Chelish collaborator Fairwind was searching for. The information indicated a Chelish fleet was planning an imminent invasion of the Shackles. Harrigan had plans to lead a group of the Chelish through a forgotten secret passageway into the Hurricane King’s stronghold of Fort Hazard once Port Peril had fallen. The timetable indicated the party had just enough time to call an emergency meeting of the Pirate Council.

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RonW

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