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 From Thay to Suzail: One Adventuring Party's Tale

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vythvutha Posted - 25 Apr 2024 : 19:36:32
Having completed as assault on the Doomvault, rescuing the prisoner Eira, a Chosen of Rillifane Rallathil, and dealing a terrific blow to the power and stability of Szass Tam and his minions, and having given Syranna and her Thayan Resurrection faction an edge against their oppressors, a civil war has erupted across Thay. The party were then brought out of the Doomvault and into Bezantur under clandestine means. After a period of inquiring about the various avenues out of Bezantur, the party learned that to leave the city during this period of political instability, the local Tharchon had issued passes to those who would be allowed to enter and exit the portlands area. After some further investigating, the party discovered a merchant ship and captain, Dhakos Lokna, in possession of one of these passes.

After some deft sleight of hand tricks during a game of gambling, the party took possession of this Captain Lokna's portland pass and persuaded him to take them on as passengers for a fee. However, instead of paying the captain and employing his sailors, the party decided to steal his ship without rallying the captain's employed sailors. With less than a skeleton crew manning the ship the party struggled to lower sails, raise anchor, and move with any speed out of Bezantur. The Captain Lokna was paid a meagre 100gp for his ship and alerted to the fact that the party was taking his ship by a member of the party, incorrectly assuming 100gp was a fair price for a galley, who disappeared through a dimension door. Captain Lokna moved quickly to alert authorities and the Thayan's responded by dispatching a naval ship against the stolen ship.

The party as being chased by two ships; A Thayan ship and a nondescript ship following slightly behind. After a time of skirmishing at a distance, the speedier, better crewed Thayan ship had damaged or destroyed their sails, rudder, and hull before finally ramming the party's stolen ship from behind. A brutal and violent combat broke out. The Thayan captain sent waves of Thayan zombies, wights, mages, and soldiers against the group all while the party's ship burned and began to sink. However, the non-descript galley fired disastrous volleys at the Thayan ship before messaging the party to gather together on deck where they were quickly whisked off their sinking ship to the new, nondescript ship.

Their new vessel was a simple merchant ship, captained by a sympathetic anti-Thayan dwarf, Bramdur Saltbraid. The ship's opportunistic owner, Dedot Vigbo, uses a magic flag, the Flag of Many Friends, that appears to the observer as they believe it to be. The Thayans, thus, felt they were followed by a comradely ship which allowed them to approach so close before opening up their ambush. Aboard Vigbo's ship, the Starrunner, the party was given free passage to Suzail, stopping along the way for purposes of trade and communication. After settling in their new bunks aboard the Starrunner, they made their way to the next few stops.

Their first stop was interrupted by dead albatross that had fallen aboard their ship, unbeknownst to the group this was a ruse by a marauding group of merfolk, who used magic to bring about this ill omen before attacking the ship. However, between the party and the crew, they were able to defeat a number of their attackers before the rest disengaged. Once their voyage continued, they took a rest at a small fishing village on the marshy coasts of Aglarond. While normally a quiet village of crafters and fishers, it had been upset by a group of wyverns roosting at their shrine and altar to Simbul, the fervent protector of Aglarond. The village elder reported to the party that her son had ventured out to pray at the shrine for direction recently, due to his desire to follow in his father's footsteps as an adventurer but was prevented by the elder, his mother, to stay in the village because of how useful and integral he was to their community. He had not been seen for days and his mother worried something may have happened to him if he had come into contact with the wyverns. The party ventured north to clear the shrine and find the elder's son. Upon arriving to the shrine outside of town the party discovers the body of the elder's son and with it a diary detailing his plans to draw a wyvern to the shrine in hopes of defeating it and proving his worth as an adventurer to the village. The party quickly dispatched a pack of 3 wyverns and return to the village with the unfortunate news.

Before leaving the village, a local tips them off to a battlefield to the north, somewhere some fabled weapons were lost during a battle with elves from the Yuirwood. On their way through the marshes, beset by agents of Orcus, and then ambushed by shambling mounds, they manage to speak with the mounds who relent and discuss what little they know of the battlefield. Further on, they discover the decaying remnants of the battle only to be attacked by putrid corpse flowers. After a harrowing ordeal of fending off three of these fetid flowers, the party finds the usual halberd. Packing it into their sacks and then heading off to the south, to rejoin their boat.

On their way to the ship, while getting lost along the coast, they come across a giant, howling, and swinging his enormous club. Screaming obscenities, seemingly at nothing, and beating his weapon into the earth. He is badly injured, bleeding, and claiming to be attacked by some unseen entity. Unable to perceive what lashes the giant unseen, they dispatch the giant before waiting some time to revive him. Brining him back to life they learn he has been waylaid by some invisible creature ever since he trashed a mage's laboratory in revenge for the theft of some of his religious items, sometime ago in the north of Aglarond. All through the Yuirwood and into the marshes it has bedevilled him until the party "killed" him," taking them for their unusual method of saving he departs and they do likewise onto their ship, towards Suzail once again.

They break at a small island village at the extreme western end of the archipelago in Aglarond. What was once a thriving fishing village, has now become deserted. Sending the party into the village to investigate they discover it infested with more of Orcus' minions; spawn of Kyuss. Defeating a handful of them they rescue a aasimar paladin, Barren, who had the unfortunate luck to be trapped in the village during this attack. Making their way from house to house, the party discovered a Bodak before ending its time on this plane, and discovering a badly injured survivor. After bouts of persuading and intimidating, the survivor retold that after a recent dispute with the council of the town, he had intended to scare them into going along with his ideas, but the man he chose to help set in motion these scare tactics was, in fact, a devoted follower of Orcus. The initial scare tactic turned into a full throated attack by Orcus' minions who then quickly infected and took over the town. Learning this much, the party set the house ablaze and left.

Their final stop before arriving in Suzail is a pirate-held island in the infamous Pirate Isles. Their ship docked among an unusual number of other ships in the bay. Surprisingly, they were arriving during a major pirate occasion; two major rival pirate factions were about to join hands with the marriage of their son and daughter. The customs of these pirates is usually to have a "Groom Hunt," wherein the bride's playfully hunt their grooms and bring them back to reception. The origins and meanings of this tradition are lost to time, but it gets played out at many weddings. The playful tradition is instead interrupted by a blood chilling scream; the daughter of one of the factions has discover her groom, and the son of the other rival pirate group, has been discovered dead. Slashed and carved up by some awful force. The party, hoping to avoid bloodshed, enter the tropical forest, and stumble upon an owl bear. However, it is already dead and carrying a collar imbued with magic to control the beast. Taking further cues from their surroundings they discover a hideaway in the centre of the island, a cave where two mages control a Dragonborn Golem accompanied with a knight. Unable to trust one another, the two parties descended on each other. Until only one of the mages, bloodied andante attempting to slip away invisible, was captured and forced to speak in which he revealed the plot by one of the pirate faction's captains, One Ears, to lure his rival into complacency and then implicate him in a coup and causing the death of his own son. Armed with this explosive revealed information the party heads back to the tense situation on the beach and into the unknown.

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