The Raven Keep Campaign

The Pirates of Tsulragol (Part III)

The party climbs back aboard their battered vessel just off the coast of the island of Lurath. They make a quick inspection to see what damage the pirates have wrought in their absence and discover mostly minor vandalism. They cast off as much extra weight from the ship as possible (including the anchor and both rear-mounted ballistae) to float the ship free of the reef.

After getting underway, the crew reports that the lowermost portion of the hull has been damaged and water is pouring in belowdecks. Bilge teams go to work pumping water overboard to keep the vessel from sinking but it soon becomes obvious that the ship is doomed

The situation grows more grim as the miles drag by and the stricken vessel struggles to reach Earthspur Island and the main pirate settlement there. A voice calls out from over the side and the adventurers seek out the source of the voice. Several orange-scaled, humanoids with large black eyes and finned hands and feet swim alongside the ship.

These locathah offer to trade services in exchange for treasure. The adventurers claim that there is no treasure aboard the ship so the fish-folk offer to trade services for services. If the party members will slay a monstrous dragon turtle ravaging their territory then they will tow the ship to safety.

Morn, Raven, Kuna and Chronosaj all agree to the locathahs’ terms and lower a longboat over the side. Two members of the locathah clan pull the longboat along while four other clan members scout ahead for the beast. After about an hour, just as the group is drawing very close to their island destination, the water ahead of them begin to bubble and froth. A large cloud of steam breaks the surface and the bodies of the four locathah scouts bob to the surface. Moments later, a massive dragon turtle with a shell at least thirty feet across surfaced and began gulping down its parboiled prey.

The turtle turned its massive head toward the adventurers in the longboat and its wicked beak cracked a evil smile. The huge predator began gliding through the water with a lazy, effortless grace bearing down on what it thought would be easy prey.

Kuna and Raven both downed magical potions that would allow them to breathe underwater while the rest of the group prepared for battle. The turtle picked up speed, clearly intending to ram and overturn the party’s boat. Morn stood, flask of caustic acid in hand waiting for the proper moment to strike and once the turtle was close enough to ensure he couldn’t possibly miss, he hurled the flask.

And missed.

Chronosaj fired his rifle, scoring a hit above the beast’s eye. Raven leapt from the boat, sword in hand directly at the turtle, ripping the black adamantite blade across the hooked beak. Neither wound slowed the monster and it plowed into the side of the longboat, flipping it over. Kuna clamped down onto the rail of the overturned boat with her free hand to keep her heavy armor from dragging her to the bottom of the bay.

Alhazmabad, the spirit of the dragon tied to Morn, demanded to be allowed to fight before the minstrel got them both killed. Morn agreed and the spirit dragon surged into his body and unleashed one of his most powerful spells agains the turtle. “STUN!” Alhazmabad yelled and the magical force slammed into the onrushing monster and pushed it back several feet through the water. While the predator was dazed, Chronosaj leapt atop its back, hacking and slashing with his twin scimitars. The turtle roared again as Raven seized a bony ridge on the underside of the turtle’s and stabbed it repeatedly with his sword. Blood filled the water and yet the adventurers did not let up. Kuna moved hand over hand beneath the boat and hurled herself at her attacker and with one mighty thrust, drove her sword into the turtle’s neck.

Slain, the turtle began to sink. The two locathah who had been towing the party’s longboat returned and helped everyone to shore. A few hours later, the rest of the fish-men’s clan arrived, pulling the captured pirate ship behind. The adventurers scuttled the ship, sending it to the bottom to lie next to the corpse of the dragon turtle and took shelter beneath the island’s palm trees.

The next morning, the group hiked overland to the island’s main settlement where they discovered that Vurgrom the Mighty had left the day before to finish off the pirates on Alphar Isle and finally consolidate his position as Pirate King. The heroes stopped in several shops and taverns, seeking supplies and information before they managed to bribe a skeleton crew of sailors to take them to sea.

The information the party received told them that Vurgrom was taking a very long and indirect route to Alphar Isle to avoid early detection by his enemies. Raven. Kuna, Morn and Chronosaj set the most direct course possible, stopping only to put the skeleton crew ashore on the Isle of Lurath.

Finally, Alphar Isle came into view and the party’s ship sailed around the northwest point of the island to discover a blockading force of four ships along the mouth of the main harbor. Six additional ships could be seen beyond the blockade heading directly for Selshin Toshant’s town.

- End (part 3) -

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