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

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Session 149, August 23 2023



We continue at 4:10PM on the 5th day of the Winter Holiday ( on the Apocalypse Clock) with the party in the lower reaches the grounded Gilded Gusset hunting for the undead creatures that infest the vessel. After picking off a few of the monsters from the relative safety of the deck, the group now finds themselves in close combat after securing the hatch to the bilge. Will the party fend off the attackers? Can the clerics effectively drive the undead from the ship's lower reaches? Does Velkin have any more blood to spare? Find out next time; or maybe not.

Larry's Summary

Velkin is hit as he shadow steps away.

Lambertus and Felix turn them and they fall to ash.

Lambertus collapsed to the ground. Felix checks him. He is unconscious. He looks very pale. He is breathing very shallowly.

Velkin wondered if it is his lack of faith. Felix says, well, I don't know what I believe.

Velkin suggests Kauri look for magic. Nothing stands out.

Slapping his face and no obvious wounds.

His eyes are rolled back in his head and feels cold.

Felix finds the jug of lake water and pours some into Lambertus' mouth, and his color gets better and his breathing seems stronger and he seems to be out of it.

Thorfus recommends taking Lambertus up top.

Velkin suggests spiking the hatch to the bilge.

We empty a footlocker and use it to nail down the bilge hatch.

Velkin goes to get nails from the stores. He takes the scepter with him and heals up.

Thorfus suggests Felix stay with him to guard the bilge hatch. Peronelle also stays with them.

Thorfus also suggests that Renthark and Kauri take Lambertus up top.

Renthark and Kauri haul him up.

We nail down the footlocker to hold down the door to the bilge.

We look for a likely spot to open up a "window" to use so Felix can turn the creatures.

We pry up a board about 5 feet away from the hatch.

Kauri stays with Lambertus, Renthark comes back to the rest of us.

Velkin moves to keep an eye on the cargo.

Druul pops a board up with Felix and Thorfus stand ready, just in case.

There is darkness below.

Druul tosses his continual light coin into the hole.

The coin hits the forehead of a creature right below with its arm ready to lash out.

The creature hits Druul before he can get out of the way.

Felix turns it and the coin falls into the bilge.

Velkin listens at the floor.

Velkin moves to front of ship and knocked on the floor.

We hear a splashing noise and the light coin disappears.

Nothing happens immediately when Velkin thumps on the floor.

Velkin taps again and there is an answering knock below him.

There is some twine on the ship. Velkin ties his continual light coin to a mirror and the mirror to the end of a pole so stick in the hole to give light like a flashlight.

3 creatures charge towards the light, trying to yank it from Velkin's hands.

They grab the pole but not before Felix turns them to ash. He is much more forceful this time.

So far 8 of them are dispatched.

Druul gives Thorfus the whip to try to wrap around Velkin's contraption. Thorfus misses and the contraption disappears.

We nail down the board we pulled up.

We prepare a lantern with a sliver of mirror Velkin found and tie a continual light coin to it.

We prepare to open the door and hear a reciprocal knock.

We make ready to open it. Thorfus throws it open and jumps in and Felix hops down, there is a moment of peacefulness and shapes start to swarm from the midpoint forward.

Thorfus holds the light and holds up his anchor holy symbol and turns them all as there are screams as the wave of turning power emanates out.

Thorfus goes and retrieves the other light coins.

Then Thorfus goes all the way around the bilge to ensure nothing else is down there.

Felix stays near the bilge hatch. Larger pieces of big equipment and lumber for repairs.

Felix has sat down at the bottom of the ladder and looks a little winded. It's fine, I'm fine.

Velkin takes the fingers of the dead orcs.

Velkin flips through the alchemy book to see if there is any thing that uses ghoul parts. No explicit references to ghouls or undead.

Druul messes up the orc who was alive when we got here and says, "remember, he was dead when we got here."

Lambertus is still asleep.

Druul puts back the hooch he found.

We signal for them to come to the ship.

They partially set up camp again, and some are dicing. The captain has his spyglass and is looking in our direction. The "smart one" is next to him.

The captain looks again and the lieutenant says can you see them? They all seem to be on deck.

They better not touch anything in my cabin. Just remind me to fix my footlocker when I get in there. I hope they didn't mess up the charts.

Druul tells Velkin to flash a light at them. Velkin asks what's the signal for all clear?

The captain says I think they're done.

It looks like an elf maybe burnt in fire, like dried jerky.

There's a short guy there, did we have a stowaway.

The lieutenant takes a look and says, I think he's just tan.

Druul says to put everything back, so we don't have trouble.

Velkin goes to put everything back.

Philomantrhaxus is coming over with the captain and some others. Rest are on the shore.

When they get to the sandbar, the others arrange among the three boats and go back to shore.

Captain asks if it is safe up there? Thorfus says, all except getting off the sandbar.

Good, as long as it's safe, we can spend the night here, and in the morning should have a high tide to free the ship.

Captain looks around and sees the bodies.

He turns and tells Philben, the navigator, to take care of the bodies. Wrap 'em up. We're missing one more.

I'll go make sure all the charts are OK. If you can help Philben that would be great.

Roll the bodies into shrouds to be sewn up later. Captain Chen says everything seems to be in order.

Captain Chen says, there seems to be more of you.

You tall folk tend to miss us dwarves. Ah so, you're sneak thieves.

I'm no thief.

My stuff seems to be in order, so you're somewhat trustworthy.

I can tell someone was messing with my footlocker.

Druul pipes in, that the footlocker was probably displaced by the creatures.

Now I will say, the leftovers, last dregs, remainders of Shem, they wanted to have a word with us. My intention is to put in at the dock, barring any other circumstances as they look at the dock.

Those Shemites have requested passage as well, though they are a lot less specific about where, but probably they want to go with you.

The captain did not fill them in on anything, only that there were some adventurers to clear the ship. The adventurers might be safe creatures to travel with. There's about a dozen of them, 5 men, rest women and children.

I mean, we can fit all of you. It might not be the most comfortable ride.

Druul asked how long they've been stranded. The village was already attacked by then.

The eldest or spokes person, Ajbit, something about the village being cursed.

Thorfus says they can come, but we're not telling them where we're going, they can either come or stay.

Captain Chen says they can sell some food and leave them here.

The 12 villages and 13 crew. 20 are needed to raise a dragon. Thorfus whispers to the party.

The other boats come back with Ithirialma and the rest of the crew, Buzz and Ozymandius too.

Druul helps with the shrouds and talks about how he really knows about sewing, I'm not sure when we'll see him again.

Ozymandius hoots "News! I bring news!" We've had a message!

You have been summoned! By whom and to where. The Summer Lord would like us to go North to Curanost to meet with him and the Elven resistance to the DVL invasion. (It's about as far as to Feldmark, but the wrong way.) It is about 9 days to Feldmark on Crescent Isle, and also about 9 days to Curanost.

Ozymandius says, Oh, by the way, I don't do boats. Good thing the word came before you left. Velkin asks if there are any sea birds that might join us. Oh, no, those guys are complete dicks. I don't talk to them.

It's been interesting, almost dying, taking me far from my home.

Your friend Ajax, if I see him, I should tell him to meet you on Curanost? Yes, it will take us at least a month to get there, we have to go South. I should tell Ajax to go to where?

We're headed to Watcher's Isle (where we met the Armandans and Imperials in standoff). I've never heard of it. Should I tell Ajax to meet you there? No tell him to meet us in Curanost.

Buzz gets loaded onto the ship.

Druul asks for a private room, but if we need to have a conversation. Would you mind one of the cabins in the forecastle.

The captain hands over a key to lock up the forecastle cabin on the right.

I guess I owe you one more final warning, whatever you're looking for in Feldmark, you're not likely to find it.

Think it over. We're docking at Shem in the morning.

Renthark and Kauri carry Lambertus to the room in the forecastle. Caspar joins them.

Velkin gives up blood for Kauri to Identify the necklace. (The Roc Claw necklace, formerly of Rallion.) It improves the reaction of all birds to the wearer. The reaction is better than otherwise.

The ship is the *Gilded Gusset*.

No one is visible from the docks and village is out of sight from the ship.

Velkin tells Druul, "I won't be around. I'll be staying in the 'cabin'." Ithirialma makes Velkin invisible.

The crew is very busy getting the ship ready.

Druul jumps in and helps.

Thorfus jumps in to help for any thing the needs strength so we are not delayed.

Kauri and Velkin look at the symbols on the orb to see if they match the formula in the book.

Party is shown hold down below a space cleared for us with straw pallets. Or, if an open hammock and you don't mind.

We keep our watches on deck.

Druul and Ithirialma have the first watch, as usual.

Druul pitches in to help. While up tying off a line in the rigging. He notices a large creature flying from the South in our direction. If it's a bird, it a big bird. Druul goes to the forecastle and starts ringing a bell. He shouts, Look to the sky!

By this point it is a large creature with body of a lion, wings of a bird, and a very human looking face. It looks down as it passes over.

The sailors run and start to break open the crossbows.

Thorfus looks at it with his spyglass, it doesn't seem to be stopping. It does a bit of a turn and looks down. Thorfus points his spyglass at it and says if you're a friend, some say hello, if you're a foe, keep going. It seems to circle, but doesn't descend.

Captain Chen asks if it is a friend of yours, or should we shoot.

The creature circles and swoops in to land on the sand bar maybe 50 yards from the ship.

Thorfus goes to the edge of the ship and asks, we're you headed? It just licks its paws.

Velkin says in Eagle, where're you headed. It pauses and lays on it's side and cocks its head looking towards the ship.

Thorfus asks is it just a night flght?

Velkin tries lion. It speaks, like a chiming bell. I circle the coast patrolling for evil. Velkin replies, I appreciate that. I haven't decided yet. Velkin says, we appreciate that. Have you seen any of those DVLs? I've hunted some of them. I doubt you've heard of the Wardens of Medea? No. The Parliament of Birds? No. Ask him about Starchy Boyz or Rallion of the Wode? These names means nothing to me.

If you patrolled over this ship, did you see what was onboard? I've not been this way in a couple weeks. We cleared it of undead.

You don't smell like followers of the law though. Velkin says, most of us are not strictly by the code, but that doesn't mean we wish harm on others.

Thorfus asks Velkin to ask if we just patrols this island or others? All this Western coast. So just this island.

Velkin asks if he's seen what's happened to Old Greybeard. I've seen something over there, but it's outside my realm.

What about right over there. Shem, I will go and check on that once I decide what's to be done with you.

Thorfus tells Velkin to relay that we will leave them food or take them wish us. That seems lawful, we're tying to save the world from the DVLs plan. If we fail, there won't be a world left.

You can ask the captain, we freed the ship and he can confirm that we didn't take his stuff. He pops up, Yup, they were honorable, and pops down muttering, hoping there are no follow up questions.

Druul suggests he ask about the lone fisherman, Enzo. Do you know Enzo. A soul that strives for lawfulness. We spent time with Enzo and he seemed to like us. That speaks well. I went fishing with him and we had a discussion about the true nature of things. He told us about this ship.

I am decided. I hope that your decision is not detrimental to our health. At this time.

I find your words truthful and will let you live for now. We see him swoop down where we think Shem might be.

Chen stand and he and the crew breathe a sight of relief.

Master dwarf you did well, it sounded poetic. I surprise myself sometimes.

Druul goes to the forecastle and plays a little tune on his lute, What if God was one of us.

Renthark and Thorfus take over the next watch. The sky is clear. Don't see the creature again.

Whatever the sailors were doing, almost all activity ceases, so it must be complete.

Philben is still up checking things throughout our watch.

The next watch is Velkin and Peronelle.

Velkin asks Peronelle how it is going? I'm not looking forward to another sea voyage. Ostensibly Armada is working for the DVLs so it should be safe passage. I'm not 100% clear on what we're doing in Feldmark. Remember the flower that Druul's map has.

What is that? We're not sure, we'll head towards that. We'll probably head to see the Summer Lord. I won't part ways with you now. The Summer Lord, what tales there were amongst my people, they do not make me want to go see him. If he is like the Winter King, I don't want to see him either. From what I recall of the children's tales, it will be similar to the Winter King.

If your choice is to go to him, I will stay with this group. Velkin gives a bow and says, thank you, I appreciate your trust. You've treated me well. There's no place for me in this world.

If things go our way and we're still around, you're welcome to stay with the group.

I am curious to speak to this Elven Resistance the owl spoke of. I'm curious if they have not tales like my people did.

Maybe this resistance is similar to my people who broke from the Winter King.

Final watch is Felix and Philomanthraxis.

As soon as the sun's up, a lot of activity, it is the first of Anurilden, about 10 am will be the first double high tide of the year.

One year ago was the election for the Lord Mayor of Midmark in which Judge Grell's puppet candidate lost after his connection to the slave trade was exposed. The harbor master became Lord Mayor until Lord Thornton (AKA Jardin) of the Greycloaks took over as Mayor.

Crew is running all over the place. We get handed lines and told to prepare to pull them.

Lambertus opens his eyes and looks around. We ask what happened to you?

Um, are all the undead gone. Velkin hands him some water. His hand shakes as he takes it.

Are there any more to take care of. We should signal the captain. Wait, was I out for a bit? It's the next morning.

He sets down the water. Uh, did someone hit me? Last I remember I was trying to turn some of them. I did, they disintegrated. But now it's the next day and lays back. I think I'm going to sleep a bit more maybe. Just tired. I'm a little bit tired. I'll be fine.

Philben feeds us from the stores so we are all ready to go.

The water keeps rising and mid morning they start to pull up the anchor and pull some ropes and sails let out. Cautiously to see if headway. Philben is running around and watching over sides.

Some worrisome noises from down below, dragging keel on the sandbar. Pull far enough and captain pulls to starboard. Philben collapses in relief, but is immediately up and heads up to join captain.

In a few minutes taking down sails to glide in at docks, just a ways off. No need to go right up on the dock, since not much to unload.

A small collection of disheveled villages of 5 men, 8 women, and 2 small children. One of the older men is standing in front of the others.

The captain comes up, yeah, that's Ajbit, he's wanting to talk to you. Thorfus says not to unload anything until we figure out if they're coming with us.

We all get on the boat. There is a splash as Velkin fails to climb down and just hangs on to the side of the boat and will just climb up the dock when we get there.

We tie up at the dock and Ajbit meets us immediately and goes down on one knee. He lays his arms out, we poor last vestiges of the village of Shem put ourselve in your mercy.

What is your condition? You will now be known as Montoans and will serve the Mothers and faithfully honor the memories of the former members of Montoa.

When the orc lady was dragged away, she cursed us all. We hid, and

Ajbit says, yes we are cursed.

The Mothers need your faith more than the fear and distrust of others.

He prostrates himself. We will try to live like Montoans.

I have heard you believe in the Mothers, live like the Montoans lived.

Do you have any food? The creatures didn't take much of our stores. We can bring our stores to the ship.

They go to get all their stores to the dock.

They are going to empty what they can. Not much in the way of valuables.

They are the Neo-Montoans.