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July 26, 2017

Ruins Aquatic, the adventures and discoveries of an as of yet unnamed party of daring sea elves, aquatic hobgoblins and a merman

In the first session of Ruins Aquatic, an as of yet unnamed party of daring sea elves, aquatic hobgoblins and a merman, begin an underwater adventure!


Ruins Aquatic, or a brief history and log of the adventures and discoveries of an as of yet unnamed party of daring sea elves, aquatic hobgoblins and a merman

Alexander Hubbard
July 23, 2017

Chapter 1: Party Roster

1.1 Active

1.1.1 Founders

Garshpah, Sea Elf Cleric 1/Thief 1 Player: Alex Hubbard Notes: Cleric of Deep Sashelas, magic runes specialist, student of archeology.

PakTok, Aquatic Hobgoblin Woodsman 1 Player: Alex Hubbard Notes: Spear specialist, talented pathfinder & navigator

Ike, Merman Thief 1 Player: Korwin Notes: Net and dagger, clockwork engineer?

Thellan, Sea Elf Sage 1 Player: Korwin Notes: Student of The Great Whoosh, Primary area: Undersea races, Specialty; History

Esteban, Sea Elf Fighter 1/Thief 1 Notes: Trident specialist Player: Jacob Schapero

Rah-Tahk, Aquatic Hobgoblin Cleric 1 Notes: Cleric of Maglubiyet, skilled boxer Player: Jacob Schapero

Chapter 2: First adventure arc

2.1 An auspicious start

2.1.1 Party goals

Out of character: Since many Telvar ruins have already been explored, and want- ing to do ruins exploration, we put together an undersea party. The first undersea party, we will see how the logistics end up working. Already, it is clear that com- bat will be scary: armor is less of a thing underwater, and sea creatures tend to be big, with lots of hp. Perhaps more unintelligent monsters though, so planning and preparation are likely key.
To explore ruins with an historical archeological bent. Rah-Takh is particularly interested in finding evidence proving that the hobgoblins led the fight against the Kraken. Thellan and Gashpah are more generally interested in acheology and history.

2.1.2 Log
Year: 2192
• March 15: Party gathered in The Reef, a large underwater trading community built in the intelligent pacifist reef Ko-as, and decided to search for ruins (prefer- ably Aquatic Hobgoblin or otherwise Kraken-war related) near the Hole. Thellan began a week’s study in The Great Whoosh’s library, but to no avail.

• March 22: Party departed for the border between Merman territory and the Hole with a Locathah caravan.

• April 2: Arrived at the Merman oyster and pearl farming village of Mazrick (pop ∼ 40), caravan paid us a nominal 10 gp. Village relayed a story of a giant eel in a nearby ruin (known as “The Hand”) which was a local hazard to overly adventurous children, and reported having lost 2 of their number to what looked like walking corpses in a region they used to hunt for giant clams.

• April 2: Without resting, headed to the giant eel ruin, arriving without incident. The ruin was below a cliff, a collapsed ceiling with 5 columns strewn about, one partially under the ceiling, forming the shape of a hand. Rah-Takh prepared a Cause Wounds on his claws, while Garshpah cast Detect Oceanic Predators and pinged the eel. The party cautiously swam over the ceiling slab and then down where it seemed the eel was residing. The eel (perhaps 20’ long and 2 ft’ around!) swam out to attack! Esteban struck it solidly with a thrown spear, while Ike netted its mouth. Garshpah’s net went wide. PakTok held it at bay with a powerful spear thrust, and then Rah-Takh swam forward and delivered a Cause Wounds empowered claw to the eel’s face. Unfortunately, the eel tore through the net and bit down hard on the hobgolin, dropping him unconscious in a single bite! Enraged at this assault on his fellow, PakTok struck again with another heavy blow, this one opening a bleeding wound, and the eel fled back down its hole, just avoiding Esteban’s trident while Garshpah started a Cure Wounds on the downed Rah-Takh. Given the narrowness of the passage, the party decided to hope that the injuries would finish off the eel and returned to Mazrick to recover. The mermen were dubious about our reports, but not unwelcoming.

April 3: Recovery

April 4: Back to ruin, through the narrow passage, and indeed, the beast was dead! The party found itself in a ruined huge hall, which appeared at first to be a temple to Iadro, the merman god of flowing water. But the party rapidly realized that something was off: temples to Iadro are generally open to the water, and even before the entry collapsed, this one was built into the cliff face... Further, the collapse was at most a few hundred years ago, and the village did not know about the temple. Strange. There were what seemed to be statues overgrown with sealife, and some ceiling tiles had fallen to the floor. Swimming on, the party found a massive set of doors with a cleared area of floor before them. On the doors was an impressionistic image of a barracuda staring out, and four glowing runes. While Garshpah could not make out the purpose of the runes, the party rapidly came to the conclusion of “probably a hideous trapped evil” and went about examing the rest of the hall. Unfortunately, amongst the bones near the eel we found a dead merman with his ceremonial dagger. Further exploration found what seemed to be a ruined underwater cross-bow poking out from beneath one of the fallen panels. The party lifted the panel, and found the corpses of two sea-devils with officer arm-bands. In addition as Thellan cleared away part of the overgrowth on the walls, he found depictions of merman fighting Ixitxachitl. A Detect Magic revealed that the doors were high magic, the statues high magic, the cleared area low magic, and found a magic trident peaking out from a second ceiling tile. Returned to the village with the merman’s dagger and proof of the eel’s demise. Sadly, they recognized the dagger: it had belonged to one of their own, a promising youth who had left to become an adventurer five years ago.

April 5: Back the the ruins to lift all the fallen tiles, finding more loot including a magic ring. Thellan cleared more wall, finding an inscription “In memory of those who fell trying to complete the task.” It is unclear whether the task was completed.

April 6: Left for the merman capital to report our finding to the main temple to Iadro.

April 10: Arrive in Velik, the merman capital. Rapidly move the the chain the the high priestess herself. Apparently the ruins, and whatever is behind the door, are not in as much danger as we had worried, but there are political considerations which are not yet clear. Apparently there was a massive Iadro expedition into the Hole (a haunted, unscryable region from which undead sometimes emerge) several centuries prior, and she believes that the ruins are related. She does not want our find to become public before knowing all the details, and promises a modest fee of 100 gp if we return to Marick and fully uncover the wall murals. She notes that the church of Iadro maintains a line of modest defensive magic statues near the hole which discourage (but not prevent) undead from wandering past, which could serve a base-camps for future adventuring.

• April 11?: Leave for The Reef.

• April18?: Arrive at The Reef. Thellan begins trying to ID the trident,succeeding on the 6th try: Trident of Crab Control. Running low on cash, the party hires The Great Woosh (at a modest discount) to ID the ring, Protection +2!

2.1.3 Final loot

After IDs and sale, the party ended up with 15pp, 3gp, the magical trident of crab control (12 charges) and the magical ring of protection +2. A solid haul for a first adventure!
2.1.4 Notes, wrap up and looking forward
The party intends to head back to Marick and find a more explorable ruin, while also fulfilling the high priestess’ request. I’m not certain on the final dates of travel, and when the IDs were finished. We might use that time to recruit an extra party member or two (i.e. another player).

2.2 Alas Pak-Tok, we hardly knew you

2.2.1 Session goals

The party having completed a successful first adventure intends to head back to Mazrick and explore the ruin down by the clam beds. We made one purchase: a vial of holy water.

2.2.2 Log

• April 18: The party heads out from the Reef.

• April 29: After an uneventful trip, the party arrives at Mazrick. After renting a giant clam opening tool, the party heads out down the giant clam slope, finding a strange multi-layered ruin at the bottom. The ruin is surrounded by a lush area, with a small partially cleared portion. Examining the latter more closely, the party find destroyed human skeletons (odd enough at the bottom of the sea), without and intact gear. Estimates put the clearing of the seabed to a few years prior. 3 clams were opened, but no pearls.

April 30: Returning with Detect Oceanic Predators (Garshpah) and Detect Evil loaded (Rah-Takh), the party swam above the ruin cast the spells and started descending. We detected moderate slavering chaotic evil in a kelp bed just before the ground-level entry. Rah-Takh cast Magic Weapon on Pak-Tok’s spear, and then Ike took the vial of holy water and bravely spread it into the kelp to try and flush out whatever was lurking there. 3 undead things exited, badly burned by the Holy Water, and swam towards the party. Amazingly, Thellan managed to ID them as aquatic ghouls. A turn from Rah-Takh failed, as did thrown nets, but Pak-Tok held one at bay, and Esteban killed his. The third dropped Garshpah. Then Pak-Tok severely injured the one gnawing on Garshpah, pushing it away, while the free one chased Ike, who fled at speed. Esteban finished off the last one nearby as Rah-Takh started a heal on Garshpah. After coming to, Garshpah further healed himself. Ike did a loop, and brought his back to the party, where it ended up spitted on Pak-Tok’s spear. The now cleared kelp bed held bones, but no gear. Odd. At this distance it became clear that the ruin’s top was a surface ship, its middle was a fallen tower, and its bottom some sort of squat building. Apparently things near the Hole tend to fall on other things.

May 1: After healing up and burying the ghouls with Ceremony, the party re- turned for another stab at the ruins. Before arriving, we heard a battle above and found a cleric of Xerbo and his entourage destroying fishing nets (the gauge was too small). We helped a bit, and heard mention of a ruin inhabited by many Locathah which unsettled the cleric. Local fish were scared of them. Back at the ruin, we detected gloating moderate evil. Descending to the ship, skeletons rose up. A comic sequence followed, with swimmers armed with spears slowly destroying skeletons. Unfortunately, some 30 minutes later scarier skeletons ap- peared, and one cast some sort of magic missile, dropping Garshpah. The party rapidly swims away after briefly hiding in the kelp to revive the poor sea elf.

May 2 and 3: The party completed clearing the murals in the Hand ruin, find- ing evidence of a few surface people with clouds of bubbles in the expedition. Representatives of Iadro, Deep Sashelass and one other deity were represented.

May 4: Travel along Merman territory to Noonav. Elder mentioned that just west there is an ancient cairn with a ghostly figure. Also, the village had no- ticed someone skulking nearby. After investigating, and finding little, the figure revealed himself to be an aquatic elf who sold a story for 50 gp: At the reef he had seen this “rich guy” and stole an item from it. After having been contacted magically or psionically or something (“I need it back”) he fled. Now, he just wants it over, and gave us a small golden globe.

May 5: After finding the cairn, the party decided that discretion was the better part of valor and headed off to Logack, where we haggled for directions to a sunken ship with a giant octopus. The plan? Don’t fight an octopus with 60 odd foot arms! Invisibility to Animals!

• May 6: Travel

• May 7: Find the ship. Ike explores. On a second run, Ike and Esteban try for chests, but they are damaged and fall apart. In the first one they found 2 pouches and a silvered dagger. The second dropped coins on the octopus, waking it. In its flailing, it damaged Esteban. That night, we were approached by a hammer- head, who left after being stabbed by Pak-Tok. Unfortunately, that attracted the Octopus of Doom, and the party had to flee.

• May 8-11: the party returning to Logack for sacks, went crab hunting, and re- turned to the sunken vessel.

• May 12: Gashpah and Esteban set up near the ship, while the rest of the party set up a ways away. At nightfall, they turned the crabs to chum. After a smaller (but still large!) octopus was driven away, the Octopus of Doom appeared, and started feasting. When it filled up and left, Ike raced ahead to warn Garshpah and Esteban who were looting the vessel. We found a magic sword, possibly magic shield and a whole bunch of coin.

• May 13: Recovery, then a return to the vessel with Detect Magic (in the night we used Light). Found a bit more loot and a magic ring partially under the octopus. While that was recovered, the other magic item, more thoroughly covered by suckered-flesh, was left behind.

• May 15: Return to Logack, pay them their share.

• May 23: Arrive in Velek, pay the shield in salvage tax, describe the murals to the
high priestess.

• May 30: Arrive at the reef, begin IDs: the two pouches were bags of wind. Sword: +1 orc slaying. Orb: tracks... some sort of creature. Unclear what. Significant cash loot as well.

• Day of tears, date uncertain: Now you, dear reader, may be wondering why the session is titled “Alas Pak-Tok, we hardly knew you.” Well, we decided to de- termine what happens when you open a back of wind underwater, for Thellan to publish. Standing on the bottom, the brave (but perhaps naive) hobgoblin opened the back upwards. A huge spiral of wind came out, and water rushed back into the bag. Slowly, he lowered the bag, and scoured the seafloor. The effects were magnified underwater. Sadly, his companions saw a look of despair in his eyes just before Pak-Tok shattered, and the bag sped off into the depths. Apparently, the magic of the bag anchors you to whatever you are standing on, and then rein- forces you, allowing you to channel a force capable of driving warships speedily through the water. However, while a ship will move, easing the strain, the magic of the bag is unable to withstand the effort of not managing to shift the seafloor.

Uncertain: The party relatively easily tracked down the owner of the globe. A hulking, non-swimming, plodding, possibly undead creature in a cloak and sur- rounded by an aura of fear. Thellan and Garshpah would have been very wary of approaching him if it were not for the pacifying effects of the reef. He makes thudding noises when he walks, but seems not the interact with the water. The aquatic elf thief picked a doozy of a target. He needs the globe to find his enemy, and we returned it to him. He invited us along on his trip, and we agreed. This may be the last entry!

“I was once Bownbeck. The enemy turned by friends against me, and forced me to kill them. They killed me. Revenge became imperative.”

Final loot
1 bag of wind (NOT FOR USE UNDERWATER!), 1 sword +1 of orc slaying (trade bait). Significant cash.