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In-Game Dates: 28th of the Rotting, 1470 - 1st of Deepwinter, 1470 (32 Days)
Session Dates: 03/15/19 - 07/26/19
The Finger Gang fought a band of pirates, and made good time to the small island of Byss, a town furthest east in the Kingdom of Serentyl. As the ship neared harbor, a group of humanoids snuck through the night towards the boat. With pale blue skin, black protruding claws, greasy hair, and bulbous black eye stalks the creatures attacked the ship and abducted their navigator, Sunthene. Morwen, who claimed the right to be captain by virtue of her experience at sea, fled the raid, and crashed the ship into a bleached coral reef.
The boat was stuck and they began to take on water. The heroes, luckily, received help from the dwarven ironside "The Crogrammash" hailing from the distant city of Stoneflow, and who towed it off the coral reef and back into the water. After they completed repairs, the Finger Gang then invited the dwarven crew aboard, and had much food and even more drink. Late that night, Morwen crashed their ship into the reef not once more, but twice, capsizing the ship, though the crew made it safely to shore.
Stuck in Byss until the next ship came through in nearly a week's time, the Finger Gang decided to meet with the local governor. Baron Parvel Dodd condescendingly explained that he would provide an ample reward for bringing a golden throne back from a buried castle at the bottom of a canyon populated by harpies.
Annoyed but needing funds to eventually purchase a new ship, the gang went on the mission, learning along the way that many in the town were going hungry. Surprised, as the townspeople largely worked as wildly successful hog ranchers. Guntir infiltrated the town hall records and learned that Dodd had embezzled approximately 12,000 gold pieces over the last three years.
Our heroes, continuing on Dodd’s quest despite the information Guntir found fought the harpies and traveled through the canyon. Realizing how dangerous the canyon might be, Heinrich and Morwen suggested leaving Bernal to wait at the edge of the canyon. In the deepest reaches, they found a strange buried Bandit’s Keep with a throne in it. Left behind books and art suggested it had been abandoned years ago, and contained a few valuable pieces of art.
After realizing they had no practical way to bring the massive throne back, the Finger Gang traveled into a desert, aptly named “The Nothing” now disoriented and lost. A lumbering creature of sprawling roots and vines chased them even deeper into the desert.
Within The Nothing, they met Ortude, a friendly orc druid who worshiped Melora and shared with the party food and drink from the oasis the druid had created. As the group slept, a mist rolled in, and the blue skinned creatures who raided the ship at sea assaulted once more. After fending them off, Ortude revealed that they were known as Croteggo (dwarven for "mist walker") and originated from the buried temple of T'Ssarra, Queen of the Mists. He feared that, alongside the surge of monsters that have recently woken up after centuries of sleep, these wicked creatures may have risen as well.
The group decided to investigate Ortude’s fears. Infiltrating a huge sandstone temple, they battled the croteggo, and faced dozens of traps. Guntir managed to secure the magical weapon "The Righteous Chain," a thick length of silver chain inscribed with celestial glyphs. It shone with a brilliant radiance and seemed to be able to take the shape of an ax, a quarter staff, or a short sword. It cut through the Croteggo as if they were water, and the Finger Gang advanced easily.
As they neared the heart of the temple, the group came face to face with their abducted navigator Sunthene. Barely able to stand, her eyes had been ruptured, and the transformation to croteggo had begun. Guntir managed to save her from further metamorphosis, though she was left blind from the experience.
The Finger Gang guided Sunthene through the temple and into a room where T’Ssarra stood drifted in a chamber of fog, the support columns carved through with holes, allowing T’Ssarra to funnel her mist into pressurized spears of vapor.
T'Ssarra was slain by Shae though, Almost impulsively, Heinrich leapt forward, and stabbed T’Ssarra’s body with a shadowy sword. For the first time, The Finger Gang saw Heinrich clearly to be a warlock. As T'Ssara fell, so too, did her temple, and the group raced to escape. Navigating the collapsing tunnels with the blind Suthene, the gang raced finding their only path to escape to slide down a well, swim through the water at the bottom and hope to find another well that they could clamber out of on the other side.
Sunthene panicked in the water, having been drowned and revived several times as part of the croteggo conversion process. Unable to take a breath, she died in Heinrich's arms despite his attempts to save her. The sensation of initiating his thunder step, and the wounded tiefling vanishing from his arms, was seared into his memory.
Morwen, Guntir, Shae, and Heinrich managed to escape just as the sandstone blocks of T’Ssarra’s temple collapsed back into the sands of The Nothing.
The group solemnly returned to Ortude's compound, where Baron Dodd and several soldiers were waiting to arrest the group. Dodd had learned of Guntir plundering the town records. A battle kicked off, but abruptly ended, when Morwen crept behind Dodd, and in a single swift stroke, murdered the tyrant.
The guards who survived were unwilling to continue to fight, having been reluctant to work for the evil Baron Dodd to begin with. Fearing The Kingdom of Serentyl would investigate the disappearance of Baron Dodd, the group decided to located the Baron's private Vessel, The Royal Sail.
Upon finding it, The Royal Sail had been freshly repaired and outfitted with an exotic weapon. Guarding the ship was a company of mercenaries known as Hibsidium's Haste. The Finger Gang donned revealing, leather outfits to disguise themselves as members of the Church of Earthly Delights, a brothel that billed itself as a religion to exempt it from taxes, and claimed to be delivering Morwen to take the Ship on an evening sail around the island while awaiting the Baron's return.
The plan went well until it was blown by Bernal, who the group had forgotten about, and who was forced to water walk to ship from a distance. A fierce battle ensued, and The Finger Gang made off with the ship. Later, after sailing towards the Sunrest Island port of Farshore, they discovered a scrying stone located in one of the ship's closet floors.
Needing supplies and more crew, a pit stop was made in Captain's Keep. A floating town formed out of a tangle of docks and ships that was a haven for pirates. The Finger Gang managed to hire a complete crew for the newly christened Cat's Claw.
The new navigator, a half orc named Shadde, informed them that Hibsidium's Haste, the mercenaries they defeated to get the Cat’s Claw, had a pristine reputation for successfully guarding or delivering the items they were hired for. Shadde cautioned that the ship would be hunted for ruining Hibsidium’s Haste’s record.
An argument over spoils between Guntir and Heinrich resulted in Heinrich casting Darkness in the middle of town. The Captain of Captain’s Keep was called to settle the dispute. Upon seeing Guntir's brand, which represented the storm god Kord, The strong pirate Captain gave the Finger Gang the option to undergo the Trials of Kord in order to forget about the chaos in the square.
Kord was The Captain Keep's only patron and passing the Trial’s would prove them worthy.
Through the jungle, and into an ancient temple. The Finger Gang passed through four elemental chambers, and learned that Kord represented more than just rain and lightning; Kord's storms influenced all things. In a culmination of the trial, a celestial guardian was summoned and the group proved their mettle. Heinrich again leapt forward with his darkened sword to deliver the final blow on an enemy that nearly slew Guntir, Morwen, and Shae.
They returned to Captain's Keep and happened upon Thistle, a firbolg who was so happy that he'd been set free by the pirates who had captured the passenger vessel he'd traveled on that he had made Captain's Keep his home. Thistle’s friendly disposition had created an unspoken rule, even within the lawless lands of Captain's Keep, that he wasn’t to be harmed or stolen.
The Finger Gang, including Thistle, departed Captain's Keep and made their way to Farshore, the western-most town of the Sunrest Islands, and a major tourist destination. On their way, Krawtic, an aarakocra scout for the Xinyi (and Shae's adopted brother of sorts) landed aboard their ship.
After catching his breath Krawtic told Shae that Hylan, one of the fiercest Xinyi fighters, had led a faction of Xinyi off and away. He then told her that the scouts had been sent to search for reliquaries in the hopes of assembling the Staff of Twisted Fates, an artifact that was fabled to have been able to “strike a star from the sky,” but that the recent schism within the order had them spread extremely thin. Shae gave the Xinyi reliquary they recovered from Port Quinn to Krawtic in a private moment, and asked him to bring it to Aera, the wise mountain elf that Shae considered a mother.
The Finger Gang battle a celestial spirit