Session One Hundred and Forty-Eight Summary (Graveyard of Empires: After the Fall)

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Session 148, August 16 2023

GildedGusset onSandbar.jpg


We continue at 1:00PM on the 5th day of the Winter Holiday ( on the Apocalypse Clock) with the party preparing to row out to the Gilded Gusset, a ship grounded on a sandbar just north of Shemm village. According to the orcish sailors from Armada the group encountered, the double high tide on the first of the new year should be enough to free the vessel. However, before that can happen, the "cursed sea creatures" that swarmed it after it struck the sand bar need to be sent packing. The party has cut a deal with the pirates to do just that in exchange for passage to Crescent Island where they hope to meet up with the mysterious group from the far south that Druul has seen in his floral maps. What creatures await the party aboard the Gusset? Can the ship be floated again? Are there allies waiting on Crescent Island? Find out next time; or maybe not.

Larry's Summary

Ithirialma and Philomanthraxus stay behind with Caspar, Buzz, and Ozymandius.

The rest of us with the still invisible Thorfus and Velkin head to the ship.

The 9 of us take 2 of the 3 boats, leaving the 3rd with the pirates and party member behind. 1 cleric on each boat.

We row over to the sandbar in about 15 minutes.

We secure the boats. Longboat from ship has an anchor. Fishing boat we drive an oar into the sandbank and tie off.

The fleeing sailors let down a rope ladder that is still down.

Velkin goes up to take a look. Druul holds the ladder.

Thorfus gets ready to go up once there is a change in the ladder when Velkin goes to the deck.

Velkin quietly shouts that the deck is empty with a couple dead bodies.

Thorfus climbs up.

Next we have a cleric go up. Lambertus goes to climb the ladder.

The others then follow.

There is a loading hatch and a door each in the fore and aft castles. They are all closed. The hatch looks like it has to be pulled open, and heavy, a multi-person job.

The two doors do not have locks.

No obvious trails. More signs of violence towards the stern/captain's quarters.

Thorfus suggests securing the hatch and door to the forecastle and sliding a light coin under the forecastle door and down the hatch.

Sterncastle definitely has access to lower decks, forecastle maybe not.

Tie off the door to the forecastle, tie off the hatch, then investigate the sterncastle.

We move to the sterncastle to investigate it.

Velkin listens at the door. It seems quiet.

Thorfus prepares to open the door, cleric behind ready to turn, Renthark, then Druul, then Velkin and the rest of the party, with Felix at the rear, in case the undead flank us.

Thorfus opens the door. There is a dark hallway beyond an open door to the left with week light through a dirty porthole. Another dead body, partially consumed.

A closed door to the right. At end of hallway is a door that probably leads to captain's quarters, to left is an alcove with steps leading down.

There are bloody footprints. A lot of blood all the way to alcove with ladder down.

Thorfus steps in and peeks into the room to the left. Desk and charts, perhaps the room of the smart guy orc. Small bed, footlocker, small desk. Bed is torn up. No creatures in it.

Thorfus opens the doorway across the hallway. Thorfus moves the body and black bile pours out of its mouth.

Renthark steps around to pull it onto the deck. Viscera plops out.

Thorfus then opens the door. It is slightly bigger since no alcove on this side. Bed, footlocker, desk that is much neater. A couple of bound volumes. The bed is not torn up.

Door to captain's quarters opens out. The door to captain's captain opens against the opposite wall from the alcove.

Thorus moves up towards the door and has his shield ready to cover the door or the alcove. Nothing is seen or heard by Thorfus.

Velkin shimmies to the front to listen silent beyond the door. From the ladder it is similar to a hissing in and out breath, but not exactly. No signs of heat, but a susurration.

Velkin checks for traps. It is not locked.

Thorfus opens the door. Full on desk, side table, extra chairs, bed, footlocker, many more windows. Other than dust and papers strewn on the desk look empty. They are more charts. Someone stabbed a chart right on a sandbar with a dagger.

Druul digs in the paper work for a manifest. There are ledgers the one he seeks is on the desk. Based on the log, they have been sailing around a bit. Finally, ready to head to Armada since the fleet has been recalled. Apparently delivering weapons to Shem. Captain seemed to think there would be an eager buyers with the elders. They have been in battles with other villages and can't get enough weapons.

Crossbows and bolts are the main cargo. 20 heavy and 50 light crossbows and an assortment of polearms.

Druul asks Velkin to check the drawers underneath, etc.

Thorfus keeps an eye on the alcove with Lambertus behind him.

Velkin finds a ring with 4 keys. Keys to similar sized locks of similar complexity. Could be a door or a chest.

Bottom of one drawer seems hollow. Velkin removes the drawer to examine it. There is a finger hole to pull up once empty it of ledger.

Velkin checks for a needle trap. Velkin puts a cure poison on the desk, puts one hand on Druul, then opens the false bottom. There is a bottle about half full. It has smoky glass with a corked bottle with a dark liquid.

Druul says, that's Mama's Milk! 100% authentic Armadan hooch.

Captain's chest is trapped but Velkin manages to avoid serious injury or poisoning.

It has a spyglass, a small compass, three daggers, at the bottom is a protective enclosure with 5 vials in a mini box. They are marked with a skull and crossbones on each.

Druul takes the spyglass and Velkin takes the compass and box of poison.

The daggers are sheathed and have a greenish tinge of a substance on the blades.

At the alcove Thorfus and Lambertus are keeping an eye and can hear the susurration like heavy breathing.

Two of the daggers are identical. One is elegant but no frills. The Platonic ideal of a dagger. This would be THE dagger, the captain's favorite.

Thorfus suggests tying open the sterncastle door and close the doors to the captain and other two chambers.

Go to forecastle and Velkin listens. There might be something breathing on the other side of the door. Velkin knocks on the door and there is a thump thump back and the door shakes.

We untie the rope and prepare to open it.

Velkin goes up on the forecastle and Kauri joins him there.

Thorfus and Renthark are in front of the door with Lambertus behind.

Druul recommends sliding a light coin under the door.

Thorfus slides his continual light under the door.

No other reaction.

Thorfus opens the door.

A blast of foul air and a dribble of water.

There is a humanoid creature with too long arms, claws, long hair interweaved with seaweed, large mouth with fangs.

Thorfus hacks it with a strong blow. It resists the frostbrand.

Druul tries to use the whip and misses.

There are three doors, all open, no alcove or stairs. Complete shambles, no bodies.

Far chamber looks like a closet and most of the items have spilled out. Other two rooms are two small cabins, basically destroyed. Quite a bit of the black bile is everywhere. No signs of other creatures.

Thorfus retrieves his light coin.

Thorfus re-ties the door shut.

Thorfus drops his light coin and it falls between the cargo crates of weapons listed in the ledger. It does not stink as bad as the fore and stern castle.

There is some black bile down there. Some is under the grate and some beyond. It is just smeared here and there.

A figure furtively tiptoes out of shadows. It is a very rough looking orc. He is a mess pleadingly. After looking around, he steps back but we can still see him looking around.

There is a scream and the face disappears into the shadow and crunching.

We unlash the hatch and open it up.

We drop down 6 ropes then toss a couple of bodies so we can hopefully shoot them. We drop one to see what happens. We have our ranged weapons ready.

There is a moment it is laying there and 4 shapes out of the shadows converge on it.

Druul casts fairie fire and affects two of them. Thorfus, Velkin, and Peronelle fire missiles and all hit.

The 4 pull back but we still see the 2 with fairie fire. Thorfus and Velkin both miss, and Peronell hits. Druul shoots and hits.

We drop the other orc body.

We wait and they don't take the bait.

We hear screeches and violence down below, then it goes quiet.

The creatures ran to the stern.

Felix stands to the landward side of the sterncastle door to turn them towards the sea. Alician stands with Felix for support.

Peronelle stays up top to provide cover.

Thorfus, Renthark, Velkin, Druul, Kauri, and Lambertus. go down the ropes into the hold.

Open space all the ways forward under the forecastle. Sparsely filled.

Stern has a dividing wall with two doorways, no doors.

Velkin tosses a continual light coin to the forecastle. Most of the food and water is stored here. Nothing reacts.

No sign of the fairie fired creatures.

Velkin listens. The hissing breathing is definitely coming from the stern. Can't tell if it is to one side or the other. Also pick it up like all around, but muffled.

It is coming from below in the bilge.

Velkin sneaks in the shadows to see if there is an opening to the bilge to the forward. He works his way to the front and sees one of the barrels. The end of the barrel has been opened and is mostly empty of all but a few apples. There is no sign of openings down to below.

The two doors are 25 feet apart.

There are crates big enough to plug up a door. We block the port side door to the stern.

We then go to the starboard doorway.

We can hear the breathing.

The amount of space is equal to the stern castle up above.

It is one big open space. Thorfus tosses his coin in.

Lights up most of the space and can see the ladder leading up.

Rest of open space, there are posts for hammocks, so there is a maze of hammocks. 3 on top of each other. Chests on the floor, 7 or 8 of them.

There are two bodies of two of the creatures that have been torn apart.

Hatch to bilge is center of stern area or further back.

We move forward.

Velkin slips off to the side to move forward in the shadows.

We cut down the hammocks to clear out view and easily move forward.

We see the bilge hatch it is open. The whole area around it is covered with the black bile stuff.

No sign of the creatures.

Velkin sneaks around and uses his spear to push the hatch closes the bilge hatch with a peg. Velkin sits on it.

Two creatures come out of nowhere and are on Velkin in a second with surprise. They hit him 3 times.