A Missing Child
One day the characters are awakened by guards who insist on searching through their stuff. The players come to find out that a child has gone missing during the night. In fact it is the village elder’s youngest child. Two search parties are promptly organized as the child is nowhere to be found within the village. To ensure no stone is left unturned the village elder Verol groups the PCs together to form a third search party. The only clue to the child’s direction is from the town looney, who claims he was taken into the sea. With this knowledge, the elder tasks the party with searching up the coast for sings of the child.
The players were to travel by means of a fishing raft up the coast. Alternatively they could risk the mist and travel on foot. The mission was to travel as far as The Northern Point before turning around. The elder conceded that he thought this mission would be unsuccessful. Kromdyke laughed, stating that there was no way the PCs could accomplish their mission, and probably wouldn’t come back in one piece. After preparing for their journey and receiving a few potions, the party took off by way of boat.
Fish for Dinner
The first encounter was a botched diplomacy with a merfolk raiding party. Fighting from the raft proved difficult for the party. The merfolk on the other hand took advantage of their home environment. Coife slowed half the enemies number to a halt with an entangle spell, but was soon afterwords pulled into the water by a merfolk warrior. Meanwhile Meldar cackled delightfully while blasting his foes with lightning. Kevin’s summoned companion slithered effortlessly from foe to foe; he at least had no difficulty fighting underwater. Grimlock Chucked axe after axe, worried he would soon run out of ranged attacks.
After taking a beating underwater, Coife was reeled in by his spider companion’s oddly creative use of web. Crits were rolled, curses shouted, and concern over whether the party and the boat could survive rose in the players minds (At least I’d like to think so). But one after one the raiding party went down. When the merfolk mage was finally able to act, she fled from the battlefield. In the end, some loot was scavenged, and it dawned on the PCs that extensive use of the (terribly overpowered) mending spell would keep the boat and their gear intact.
Big Fish for Dinner
As the players get close enough to see The Northern Point the mist starts coming in. While deciding whether to continue and risk the rocks or head to shore, they are attacked by a Coral Serpent. As with most dragon encounters, terrifying presence kicked things off, followed by the first battery of the creatures Ruby Breath. The situation looked grim after a few turns of good rolls for the dragon and bad rolls for the players. Kevin’s Companion was whisked away to the safety of it’s home plane, but not before Kevin sacrificed some of his health to it. Arrows and bullets were slowly chipping away at the beast when finally it came close enough to Grimlock’s sword. One powerful chopping motion finished off the monster (dealing over half the solo’s HP in damage), cleaving its head from the slithering body.
After piecing together the boat and their gear again, the dragon’s corpse was brought on board to be properly mutilated. Meldor and Kevin both kept a fang, while the usual regents were bottled and gathered. After some debate it was decided to attempt finding the creature’s lair. 20 minutes later some shiny toys where in the parties possession. When the party reached the peek at last, their vessel was bedecked with razorfins and a dragon’s head.
After reaching shore, the players park their boat and scout the area. Two centaur camp at the top of the cliffs. A hidden door is found at the base of the cliffs, but no visible method of opening is found. Eventually the players decide to approach the centaur. The centaur are friendly and impressed by the slain dragon. They trade information for some dragon meat. According to them, children are taken through these parts every so often. It seams the child was taken this way after all (like a was going to make you go up there for nothing). The players decide to tether their away from the secret door, just in case. As they sleep, meldar sees a creature coming from the water. It is a merfolk, this one better dressed and able to communicate In many languages. After a few tense rounds both parties begin talking. This woman’s name is Umberlee, and she leads a large group of merfolk in the area. It was her raiding party that was attacked earlier. She claims the tree people traffic children. After some negotiation she promises to stave off building traps (now that their guardian is dead. She will also accompany the PCs back to their village.
Amnesia? I Don’t Recall Having Amnesia?
After praying to Quetzalcoatl, meditating on nature, sharpening axes, and playing memory with a snake, the party ascends the cliff. The centaur are now long gone, leaving a smoking burn pile behind. The narrow twisty path into the forest beckons our brave warriors. But only shortly into the journey they are attacked on all sides by the mist! It transports them to a magical plain of existence, the plain of experimental drugs! no, not really, but it does behave rather oddly compared to the prime. Trees pop into being as the party walks. When they turn to walk the other way the very earth is rent asunder, creating a chasm as wide as the eye can see. At the bottom, wait… there is not bottom! 100ft of rough earth and then… sunlight?
The reverse gravity element of that chasm will be fondly remembered, at least by some of the party members. I will not go into detail about those bizarre events, or of the hallucinatory trees (Meldor: “See, my arms going right through it”. Grimlock: “What are you talking about, you’re grabbing the tree”.). Perhaps it is best to preserve our sanity by not mentioning the invisible, incorporeal, and easily excitable pixies of that land either (you gota love illusion encounters).
In the end the bold efforts of Meldor and Coife pushed them through a non-existent tree and back into the real world. Meanwhile Kevin, who was suffering from amnesia (and a failed will save against illusions) had to explain the reverse gravity pit to Grimlock, who had just lost his own memory (And very much believes in pixies and trees of vanishing). It was Kevin’s epiphany of combining the fairy potions from both sides that saved our two adventurers. The first gulp made Kevin conscious of the illusions, but not so for Grimlock. Kevin held his breath as one by one Grimlock continued to fail his will saves (should’ve raged). Finally it was decided to drink two at once! This broke Grimlock’s mind free, and the two were able to exit the silly plain.
Meanwhile our other adventurers where conversing with a tree spirit. Many things were said, much of which is confidential and so shall not be mentioned here. In the end the party had the missing child in their arms and were headed back to the boat.
As the party reaches the bottom of the cliff it becomes clear that something is amiss. The Coral Serpent‘s head, proudly displayed at the bow of the ship (more like raft, but whatever) has significantly decayed. More time has passed in the real world than the PCs would have guessed, but regardless they must move one. Unfortunately Umberlee’s invitation of safe passage has expired, and she has set traps to boot. After being stabbed, burnt, poisoned and electrified, the ship is ready to make way. Umberlee then approaches, inquiring as to the delay, inferring that she thought them dead. After seeing the child she suggests that the party travel with her to a cave where her merforlk have taken the parties belongings (those left with the boat). A stout refusal from Meldor displeases her, but she leads them through her waters as promised.
A few hours later it became obvious that she is leading them astray. She has in fact lead them to the aforementioned cave, which is buzzing with merfolk activity. Then for perhaps the first time, Umberlee makes her intentions clear. She demands to have the child, so she can return it to the village herself. She supposes this will grant her fame, put her in good relations with the village, and possibly result in monetary reward. After tense debate between her and ‘guess who’, it is decided to return together.
The merfolk return the party’s gear and even throws in some extra goodies. Together they travel back to the village and summon the Verol, the elder. the party lets Umberlee present the child to him, as if she had helped find it. Many of the villagers where surprised at the return of the adventurers, having assumed there demise. Hoorah! the quest is completed and the party victorious. The elder takes peaceful negotioations with the merfolk into consideration and is indebted to the party for their help. But alas, not all is well with the village. Other security leaks have transpired in the party’s absence. Kromdyke has taken the heat and is not viewed kindly by the elder. Apparently some form of madness is upon the village, but that is for another day.