Session 1 — Shipwrecked!

Session Posts

Badromios 3rd Holk, 4 AR – The Year of Feathered Downs

This was not supposed to happen this way …” Galon says in his head as he surveys the recovery effort. The voyage to the shield was great with very little issues. The fleet of quinqueremes and warships approached the shield. The shield was invisible as everyone only seen open ocean. The Archmage began his ritual. He floated up above the bow of one of the warships, along with four other mages that were on other ships, and the ritual began. Each mage opened a box and out came four solid black orbs and one reddish blue orb, that the Archmage used. The orbs moved towards the shield and began to absorb into it. The opaqueness of the shield started to falter as cracks began to appear. The seas started getting rough and lightning began to come out of the cracks. Fire, both lines and balls, launched out of the cracks as well. Suddenly, a large green bolt shot out from where the reddish blue orb was and struck the Archmage. Additional bolts shot out at the other mages in the ritual as well. All were turned to dust. This wasn’t the end of the assault. The more the shield faltered, the more destructive it became. Bolts of lighting and gouts of fire stuck the fleet of ships, destroying them. Other ships were struck and began to burn.

The ship that the group was on was struck with lightning and began to burn. The fire was quickly put out as they scrambled to get to their gear and safety. Then it all stopped. No more rough seas, no more fire, no more bolts of lightning. The sky was clear and the seas were calm, but the destruction of the ritual was evident. Ships were destroyed or burning and debris littered the area. Before them, however, is what the shield was covering. A beautiful, lush tropical island was before them where once there was only open water. The shield was down. The ship made for land, along with one that was burning. The waves and wind pushed the ships on the beach. The burning ship was next to the group’s ship and was still on fire. Personnel were fighting the fire and trying to get the supplies off the boat before it was lost.

The group, which consisted of Haned the centaur, Khloe and Baelin the elves, Valerie the kitsune, Jomrumir the dwarf and Nikos the human, assisted with the evacuation of the burning boat, tending to the dead and wounded (Jomrumir said a prayer to Demeter for both the dead goats and people), and gathering up the supplies they can use. Only a handful of people and supplies survived. Galon, the leader of the battalion of soldiers that came along, took control of the situation. The supply ship was scheduled to be here in a few months, so they needed to survive until then. The priority now was to get shelter and find a source of fresh water. The remaining soldiers took up defensive positions and the slaves that were still alive took on duties to get the camp set up and the livestock together. Nikos assisted with this by digging a trench around the area. Baelin took charge of the others in the group and were going to explore the immediate area to find a source of fresh water.

Once everyone was together, including a reluctant Valerie, they headed into the forest. Initially the terrain was rough, but once inside the ground foliage decreased due to the high overhead canopy. This made movement easier. Both Jomrumir and Nikos surveyed the area for the best possible place that fresh water could be. With the lay of the terrain and rocky outcroppings, if there was going to be any water it would be in this direction. They were correct. Not far from where they were encamped, a few miles, was a waterfall that was part of a small stream.

Then some tracks were discovered that revealed they were being tracked. Then the deep growls were heard. Before they knew it, a pair of two-headed dogs with glowing yellow eyes and sharp teeth attacked the split group. Though the fight proved tough, the party was able to overcome the attackers. Valerie, who admitted that she has never done anything like this, proved to be very useful with providing assistance to Khloe. Wounds were tended to while they discussed their next move. They found the fresh water, but not able to get it to those that need it. It was too far to have the livestock travel, but they decided to follow the stream to the shore and see where it empties. Hopefully, it was not too far from the landing spot.

Since it was getting late, and not wanting to get stuck out there after dark, the group traced the route back to camp successfully. It was near dark when they arrived and there was already some fencing up and a bonfire being set up. Galon proclaimed that they were going to celebrate the dead, lit the bonfire and tapped a keg of ale. A squad of soldiers kept guard while the rest celebrated. The festivities included a well received performance by Valerie. By nights end, most were either passed out or getting ready to. A couple of empty ale kegs were set aside and the group got some shut eye. That was until a loud roar came from deep on the island. Yes indeed, this was a dangerous place.

11 thoughts on “Session 1 — Shipwrecked!

  1. Haned awoke to a pounding headache and a driving urge to relieve his bladder. Slowly he stumbled to his feet, and wandered over to the trench. Not for the first time he cursed centaur biology that reacted more strongly to alcohol. You’d think that the larger body would make for a better tolerance, similar to the half-orcs and Minotar. In Haned’s experience the tolerance was about the same as a human. Haned shook his head, then immediately regretted it as the headache flared all the higher.

    Finally making it to the jakes, he maneuvered his bulk into place. As relief came to his bladder, he turned his head away from the bright sun rise. The morning light painted the mountain side of the island in bright colors. Haned wondered how big the island was. Size would be relative to the height of the mountain, thought it would only be a rough guess. He toyed with how to measure the height of the mountain. He started thinking about how to use the relationship between the height of the mountain and the height of one of the trees at the edge of the clearing, and how that could be used to figure how tall it was. It would be easy to get the height of the tree by cutting it down and measuring it, but for the mountain he’d need…He stopped his thoughts in their tracks, reminding himself that he wasn’t any good at figuring these things anymore. 5 years of failed research had proven his newly limited intelligence.
    Through the hangover induced fog, he distantly remembered the comment from Valerie about working at The Gilded Lady. With a chuckle he thought it unlikely to be seeing her up this early. Staff at that establishment rarely got up much before noon, if even then. Then he shook his head remembering Khloe being concerned over Valerie being short of cash. Haned remembered will that pay scales in that kind of establishment varied, but knowing the prices and the quality of the ‘Lady when he’d attended it nae hae, he suspected that Valerie was on par with most of the lower nobility in terms of wealth. 
    Haned gingerly worked his way across the camp towards the cook fires where breakfast was being prepared. Along the way he noticed a slave pulling the larger pieces out of the remains of the big firepit. “Gather up as much of the ash too, while you are at it. We’ll need that later. Lots of things you can do with potash, and all the blackened coals too. Telias will need that once he gets his smithy up and running. I’ll need both of them for glass work too and probably some others will need the charcoal” He ordered the laborer. 
    Finally making it to the breakfast line, he spotted Galon in line a couple people in front of him, hanging his head low and wincing at the loud noises of the ladles hitting the sides of the pot. Speaking low and quiet, out of respect for the leader’s (and his own) hangover, Haned caught the captain’s attention. “Galon, I was remembering something. As I recall a forest that dense needs a lot of rainfall. I don’t know the weather patterns here, our foresty friends might be better able to tell you that, but if I’m right, then we might be able to help ease the water problems by just collecting what comes down from the sky. We might do well to see about having means to collect the water on hands if it does. I seem to recall seeing some folks out in the drylands using sail canvas to gather the water into buckets. Seems like we could do the same here.
    “That won’t give us enough, or be reliable enough for a permanent place, but I think we might be able to see if there isn’t any water nearby sooner. I’m thinking that the main blocker for seeing more than a couple feet in any direction is due to the trees. So if we can get above them, we might get a better idea of the terrain hereabouts. Mind if we borrow the cartographer for a bit?”

    1. Galon responds, also respecting the volume due to the hangover “Yes, that is correct. A forest such as this does require a significant amount of rain to sustain it. We could use the sails to catch it and funnel it into some of the empty barrels we have.” He momentarily winced at a loud clang of pots and pans. “I am loathe to use the sails off of the only working ship we have though, since we may need it. The other ship didn’t have any sail to salvage. There were plenty of ships that were in the fleet that were destroyed … there may be some sails that could be salvaged there, either from the wreckage or getting washed up on shore. This is assuming the wreckage isn’t in Poseidon’s lap yet.” He pauses a bit longer as he starts to get food.

      So the plan that your team had for today, with finding the outlet of the stream you found. After that, there is a few things that I would like to see done. Most everyone here is tasked with other duties, so I will need to rely on you guys for this stuff. Here are the things that I can think of off the top of my head.

      1. Fresh water. Like I said, we need to find where the stream empties into the ocean.
      2. Location for colony. We need to find a place where we can start putting down roots. Right now, this camp will work, but it wont work for the long run. Once you find the outlet, then I would like you to find a suitable place to set up that is off the beach.

      “Those two are the priority right now. After those are completed, we can start harvesting these trees and get some proper structures created. Other items that ”

      • Get Telias’s forge set up
      • Fortifications
      • Increase food stores as the amount we have wont last long.
      • Explore the island further

      In the meantime, I am going to have the barrels set up and use some of the tents to funnel any rain water we may get. I know we have all that canvas, but I would prefer to save that for other things. What would you need the cartographer for? What did you have in mind?

      1. Haned nodded his head, slightly. “Well, it’s a galley, isn’t it? That means it doesn’t have to have sails to move. For that matter, don’t most ships carry spare sails? It’s just a thought, and we wouldn’t have to ruin the sails, just fold them carefully. Still, that gathering rainwater trick won’t get enough for this large a group. But it might get us a couple more days to find a better source of water.” Haned pauses as the line moves forward a step or two. “Now that I think about it, the tent canvas will do just as well, and we might want to have that working boat go out and see if there’s any wreckage floating out there. Heck, there might even be someone floating out there that would be useful.

        “I’m a bit worried that in the rush to find the mouth of that stream, we miss another one that’s better, or closer, in the other direction. I was thinking that if, Kradon was it? If she was up to it, we could hoist her up one of the trees and she could make a map of the local area.” He glanced around to see if any of his companions from yesterday were there. “If she’s nervous about heights someone could scale the tree and steady her, and we’ve got enough rope that I could haul her up without too much trouble. From up there she might be able to get us an idea as to how big this island is too.

        ”When we head out, whichever direction, I’ll be sure to keep an eye out for good defensible location. I’m sure there are some beasties out there we don’t want in our bedrolls.” Haned noticed the shudders and nervous laughs around him, and looks around uncertainly, not sure if he missed something or just happened to be accidentally funny.

        1. Kradon???” Galon ponders for a few moments.  “Not sure who she is, but the cartographer is Kreon.  I doubt HE is up yet though.” A sly grin comes to his rough face.  “I understand the concern, but what we know is that there is a source of fresh water over there” and he points in the direction of where you think the outlet is. “We can set up rain water collectors now, but we have no guarantee that we will get any substantial rainfall.”  He passes on the rest of the food and mumbles again something about running out of rations.  “As for Kreon,” making an emphasis on his name with a snicker, “I have some plans for him that include you all.  I want to have the circumference of the island mapped out, so we know what we are working with before exploring further inland.

          1. “I’ll do it.”

            Khloe appeared suddenly at Haned’s flank, having seen his unmistakable bulk as she approached the breakfast queue and, recognizing he was talking to the de facto leader of this expedition, had decided to join them just in time to catch the jist of their conversation. When a few others in the line protested her sudden appearance at the front, she turned and snarled “Oh shut up, I’m not stealing your breakfast, you miserable sheep!” with such ferocity that there was a tense moment of silence until she turned back to Haned and Galon and resumed her interjection, waving off a proferred bowl of food, true to her word.

            “Scaling the tree. I can do it. I’ve climbed a mast or two before. And I’m mapping the island – not that, uh, Kreon, is it? couldn’t do the same. I’m just saying, I can do it. And I could use the exercise.” Arms crossed over her chest, feet planted hip-width apart, she seemed confident in her abilities and, somehow, despite standing just about eye-level with Haned’s navel, even managed to look a little fierce. “Though we should probably gather a few others before we go back in that,” she added, tipping her chin in the general direction of the jungle. “I don’t relish running into whatever made that noise last night unprepared. You seemed competent with that glaive yesterday. And a couple of the others handled themselves pretty well, too.” She turned to Galon and asked, “How many of those who survived can handle a blade?”

          2. [note: reply would be after Khloe’s comment. System won’t allow replies to her at the moment]

            Haned stared at Khloe a moment, trying to decide if she was making fun of him with that monster comment or not. Turning back to Galon he continues, “You’re acting like it’s a big issue. It’ll take what, 10 minutes to climb that tree?” He pointed to the tallest tree on the edge of the beach then looked at Khloe with an eyebrow raised, seeking confirmation. “Then how long to get the lay of the land and check where the curves are. Taking 20 minutes now could save hours on trying to find a good camp. If we don’t see a good water source in another direction, we can then head on down the coast as planned. But if we do, and it’s really close…” Haned shrugs.

          3. Galon looks back and forth between Haned and Khloe. Its not a matter of time, its a matter of priorities and climbing a tree with the hopes that you would get a better view to look around is not high on the list for me. I just dont have the resources to send people up in the trees to look around. He pauses a few to look along the tree line. Just looking at whats available, I dont see a tree that towers over the others. From your descriptions and what I have seen myself, the tree canopy covers things pretty well. Now if the two of you take that task on, then by all means, have at it. There are some ropes over there that you can use. It’s going to be a few hours before the others are up and the day begins, so be careful. He turns back to eating and stops before finishing. He looks over at Khloe. If you are able to get any type of survey, please share it with Kreon. He continues with his meal.

  2. Jomrumir pulls out his bedroll and lays it on the sandy ground and looks up at the night sky, glimmering with thousands of celestial fireflies flickering their light across the world and lets out a heavy sigh. “I think I offended Valerie,” he says into his shoulder as Ratatosk scurries out and chitters something back at Jom. “No, before the 1 silver bit and honestly if she had collected from everyone, she would have made a killing. No, it was after the dog attack.” Ratatosk chitters some more. “Aye, she was only trying to help, but to be fair I was bleeding too!” Ratatosk’s chittering becomes very quick and frantic. “Okay, okay, I’ll apologize in the morn. When did you get better at dealing with people than I did, little one?” Jomrumir smirks as he pats his little friend on the head, who smirks smugly. Ratatosk chitters one final response before nuzzling back into the hood of Jomrumir, to which Jom smirks as well and begins to go to sleep before being awoken by a deep load roar from further in the island. Both Jom and Ratatosk spring out of bed. Jom clutching his Shephard’s crook / Shillelagh actived to look like a magical green scythe entangled with vines. This island was far from done with us yet.

  3. Well, this is bullshit.

    Khloe roused herself from her trance and was immensely displeased to see that it had not, in fact, all been a drunken hallucination. She stretched her cramped legs and inspected the healing bite wound, grudgingly giving thanks to Tyche that at least her ship had survived the chaos of the day before. What kind of moronic magic-user had sailed ten ships into a death trap, anyway? Surely, with all the power of the gods at their disposal, they might have predicted such an event? This is why you don’t sail with strangers. Her features gathered into a dark scowl. That mage better have arranged for the resupply ships even if he died on his stupid vanity expedition.

    The sun had still not risen, but Khloe was accustomed to the faint grey light of the predawn hours, and in her current mood it was probably for the best that most of her fellow survivors were still abed. She was itching for a good fight. She considered heading into the jungle to hunt, but remembering the roar that had interrupted her trance last night, she was reluctant to disappear into the dense overgrowth without some backup. Even incompetent backup is better than no backup, she thought, scanning the scattered slaves and colonists littering the beach in their slumber. If nothing else, they can serve as a distraction long enough for me to slip away.

    Cursing under her breath, she stripped off her clothes and left them lying in a heap on the sand as she ran into the water. Perhaps a swim would suffice for now. Whatever gods-forsaken land they’d found themselves upon, there was something reassuring about the fact that the ocean was still the same one she’d always known.

    I just have to survive until I can leave. Change of strategy, but still the same plan. She repeated these words to herself as she swam laps parallel to the beach until the sky turned pink and gold and her muscles fatigued, then allowed the waves to carry her back to shore. She wrung the seawater from her vivid red hair and tied it back with a bit of cord, dressing quickly and then climbing aboard the ship to retrieve a kit from her chest. Some of the others were rousing now, a bit at a time, a few seeming to regret the carousing of the night before. That made her smile.

    She found a crate on the deck and unrolled her kit, the sun now peeking over the horizon at the edge of the sea and providing plenty of light for her task. She began to draft a map, starting with the shoreline and their brief excursion inland; she would add the rest later as they got it scouted. She lifted her head once she was finished, checking the sun’s position and satisfied that she had made good time with her work. From her position on the deck, she could see others milling about on the shore, and by the looks of things it seemed breakfast was being served. Though she doubted it would be much to write home about, her stomach told her it wasn’t the time to be picky, so she packed up her kit and climbed down the ladder to join the queue.

  4. ‘To foresee the Future, first know the Present.’ 
    Nikos awoke with a start at the memory of Granmama’s heavy whispers, barely recognizing he had fallen asleep after last night’s festivities when his dreams had been so vivid.  The air seemed cold, but only for a single, visible, breath before the sun’s rays and wave’s song reminded him he was, blessedly, far from home. He lay in his bedroll for some time basking in the knowledge that now -at last- he was out on an adventure.
    However, the start had been all wrong.  He had been hoping to learn from the Magi, the Sailors, the Tradesmen, to find out what life had to offer outside Pan’dasi and just maybe make some friends. Instead, the Archmagos and all his apprentices were undone in a single botched spell. It didn’t make sense. He was Archmagos! Nnikos’s people had been working with the Archmagos for decades and the stories he had heard growing up were of him defeating sea serpents on his own and alongside his apprentices stopping armies in their tracks!  He was Favored of the Gods, had pacts with a half dozen Powers, and the wisdom to keep them all happy. There’s no way he would so unprepared as to use an untested spell with such an obvious risk of Backlash. No chance he could be -that- mistaken in his judgement… unless it wasn’t a matter of judgement.  Realization sinking his heart as steadily as the burning ships gone to meet Possidon, Nikos knew unshakably what went wrong.  
    Logically, the Furies would not be denied.  The perpetrator, or perpetrators, were likely food for crabs even now caught in their own treachery and dragged to Hades.  But still, there was a chance they were clever and would have found a way to avoid the purple-white lightning that so ravaged the fleet.  If so, then the only place they could have been on the sole surviving vessel. On the shore, among the Crew, with Nikos even now.
    Seeing the rest of the “camp” rising and going about their tasks Nikos joined in, lost in thought.  He distractedly Molded the Earth into fire pits for the Cook, folded the sandy latrines back upon themselves as he dug new ones, Shaped Water to Ice from seawater to pack foodstuffs in and be chipped into bricks for bandages to relieve swelling for the wounded, and set about carving a Herm of flotsam and jetsam to direct any more survivors or the resupply ships up the beach in the direction they were setting out to find a more permanent camp.  He thought of the preparations he would need to make even as he summoned discs of arcane force to float along behind him to carry the wounded and stacks of repacked supplies.
    He needed another pair of eyes and hands.  ‘Preferably wings,’ he said aloud without realizing it.  As a shape took form in his mind and he knew he could use a cook pot for the urn, and had plenty of ink for the circle, but he’d need to find the incense and sweetgrass somewhere on the isle.  ‘I need to go back into the jungle today.’
    Nikos needed to bind a spirit. He needed a Familiar.
    ‘…first know the Present.’

  5. Baelin’s Journal:

    Finally, we have arrived! Such mysteries lay ahead of us.

    WHAT IN HADES’ HELL HAS HAPPENED!!?? Attacked by the shield!?! Why?? What god have we angered to deserve this? Who put the shield there and was that intended to happen? So many lives and supplies lost. 
    Be resolute. Trust Artemis will put you on the path you should take. 
    Supplies from 2 ships salvaged, though not many mouths to feed. 
    Believe that Artemis and this island will provide for us until support arrives. 
    Certainly the shield is down now and supply ships will follow. Surely…?

    Page 2:

    I did it. Lady Artemis stirred my belly and goaded my loins to give me strength. I gathered together some of my travel mates and lead them into the thick growth of the islands in search of freshwater. Jom the drawf and Nikos the human both surprised me with their knowledge of Nature. They will be quite useful as we found our way around this mysterious island. 
    Still not sure what to think of the horse-man. Clearly both powerful and very skillful with his halberd, I do not feel the same…connection…with him as I do other animals. Unusual. 
    Fresh water found! Too difficult for entire encampment to move there. Must find somewhere better.
    Most of the others spent the evening drinking excessively. As usual, I remembered that wretched time with the dwarves and the promise I made myself that day. I honor it still. 
    Few clouds in the sky. The bright moon enveloped me in Artemis’ love. It felt as if my family were here, although too briefly. 
    While I am up with the sun, I expect the others will not stir from their ale-saturated dreams for quite some time. Maybe I can find a snack along the tree line. I was FAR too distracted on my ranging party yesterday to look. Must do better. 

    Haned’s voice carries great distances. Easily overheard speaking with Galon. After better encampment location found off the beach and close to fresh water, we will explore the rest of the island. Find that location TODAY!

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