Savage Tides

Joe's Journal

I haven’t been able to write anything for a while I’m afraid, things have really taken a turn for the worse.

It’s insane. I’ve been stuck on this island for ages now. It seems like we’ve gone out of the frying pan and into the fire. The fire of hell that is.

It all started when I was making an escape from the mainland. The thugs I’d been working for were obviously planning my demise once I’d finished my research for them, so I did a runner, stealing an elemental airship. Of course, in retrospect flying away over the sea was probably not the best idea, especially when I don’t know the first thing about elementals. Needless to say, I lost control, the elemental broke free and I went crashing into the sea.

I was lucky enough to be rescued by a passing ship though, people claiming to be on route to the Isle of Dread, not the most inviting place but a hell of a lot better than sitting on broken wood in the middle of the sea with only Snappy to keep me company. Unfortunately, a storm came and we were shipwrecked on the wrong side of of the island.

All sorts of nasty things have happened since then, dinosaurs and giant birds have attacked us! We’ve even been assaulted by gargoyles! Of course, I was the bravest of the bunch, riding on my trusting steed Snappy we flew around, dispatching the beast from both air and land. I’m rather proud of myself, I built Snappy with my own two hands and he is turning out to be quite an investment, especially after I added the wings to his basic raptor design.

it’s hard work looking after the others, but what’s an Artificer to do? Without a lab to work in, all I can do is turn my attentions to improving us all so we can survive our trek to Farshore, a name particularly apt at the moment.

Things have been getting even worse lately, we came across a tiefling who claims to live here, he says he hunts demons. Demons, I say! And soon enough, we found them as our path lead us into a particularly nasty area seemingly twisted by some kind of bleed-through from the Abyssal planes. of course, I was completely fearless as usual, riding Snappy into the fore, dispatching hordes of demonic apes while the others could only watch on with awe.

We’ve been descending deeper into these abyssal lands, hoping to reach the other side and find a way to Farshore, I hope we get out of this accursed place soon or else even my own immense fighting prowess wont be able to save us.

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Joe's Journal

Well, we’ve finally managed to get some rest, so I’m taking the opportunity to write down some more before I get dragged off to save everyone from their own foolishness again.

As we explored the demon caverns, we found our way to a foreboding room containing some thrones and mirrors. It was obviously some kind of ritualistic room, and after experimenting carefully I was about to come to some conclusions when the tiefling got himself sucked into one of the mirrors. No on ever listens to me. Eventually the dwarf dived in (and it was nice to be rid of the gruff man for a while) and then the bar wench dived in too! What these people were thinking was beyond me, who thinks diving through demonic portals is ever a good idea? The wench even ruined my rope!

Anyway, it turns out that the tiefling somehow was possessed by one of these horrid ape demons we keep coming across and attacked the dwarf on the other side of the portal. After some fighting (and getting them selves covered in blood after falling in a pool of the stuff – ugh!) the matter was sorted out and everyone seemed fine. We all went through the portal since we didn’t have anywhere else to go at this point and as we travelled up the staircase that was in the room beyond, we were set upon by demon apes again. Of course, I courageously dispatched them, with some minor help from the others, and we continued on our way.

There were two rooms above and we explored one at a time. The first had another throne is, which we discovered was hiding an entrance to a small chamber with 2 chests in it. Now I wasn’t going to mess around with demon treasure chests, probably cursed treasure anyway, but the others couldn’t leave well enough alone and triggered a trap for their trouble. I just waited outside and sighed.

Afterwards, we moved into the other room, a horrid place filled with bones. Venturing in quietly, we discovered a naga and the tiefling and dwarf ventured over to kill it before it got us. Unfortunately, as they approached, they decided they’d rather befriend it than kill it. Something was obviously amiss, the dwarf would have a hard time being friendly to his own mother, let alone a naga, so we presumed it had them under some kind of spell. We stood our distance and tried to converse with them, trying to get them to leave the naga alone but the naga only followed where they went. While we were speaking, I dispatched Snappy to fly over and attack the beast while the others readied themselves. After we killed the naga (thanks mostly to me of course), we noticed there was another door. Using some items we had found earlier, we solved a puzzle and unlocked the door to find our friend Earrol (who had been kidnapped by one of the apes) in a cage above a fiery pit. The cage began to lower to the pit and the tiefling sacrificed one of his swords (a darn shame too, for it was of the second power, what a waste) by jamming it into the mechanism lowering the cage.

The dwarf, never content outside of a fight, shouted a challenge to the ape demons and funnily enough they were happy to oblige. The others always seem to get themselves into trouble, no one ever listens to me. I was trying to do something productive, like rescue Earrol by flying up on Snappy to the cage and seeing if there was any way to free him. I spent most of the battle trying to free the poor soul, but to no avail, though I did get to admire the craftsmanship of the cage. After the battle, we only had a few moments to discuss other plans to rescue Earrol when the hideous statue at the back of the hall came to life. A golem!

Now, I had to admire the golem, I do have a certain fascination with things constructed and animated and it was almost a shame to destroy it, but the others having no appreciation for such works dispatched it and it burst into a ball of energy. Destroying it seemed to be the key to releasing the area from the Abyssal bleed-through effect we had seen, because as we managed to free Earrol (now we had the time to) and escape the dungeon, we noticed the twistedness of our surroundings beginning to revert to a more natural form, which of course I knew would happen, being knowledgeable in all matters of the Planes.

We are getting nearer to Farshore now and hopefully we can make it there in a few days from now. I’ll be glad to finally find some shelter in this horrible place!

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The Epic Tale of Farshore
[As told to Conner Starsun, Bard, by K'Rin L'Ruh]

And so our fight with the Stone Golem done, we emerged victorious with Erroll, our guide. Some of us where badly hurt, but at least this section of the island was beginning to heal. Over the next few days, as we journeyed south ever closer to Farshore, we began to heal as well. All except poor Errol that is. Gods know what those demonic monsters did to him, but he had become a broken man, and even our cleric had no clue what can heal a damaged soul.

So we strove ever onwards, and in our walking we noticed we were being followed. We thought nothing of it until we came to a great wall set across a narrow section of the island. As we attempted to gain access through the mighty portal at it's centre, we became surrounded by what we now now to be an Alman tribe. At the time however they seemed strange and barbaric, and they surrounded us with wicked looking spears before we could draw our own weapons. Ever inclined to a fight, I must confess I thought to strike them down and raised my fists accordingly, unaware that behind me the dawrf and bard, Lorcian, were attempting to converse and arrange safe passage for us with the Alman chief. I became aware suddenly, however, when the burly dwarf stepped between me and my Alman spear-holder and thinking not on the subtle electrics that surround my knuckles, took a hold of my fists and lowered them. Reluctantly I allowed him to maintain the peace and he retuned to his conversation.

I know not what he said, or what he gave to obtain our safe passage, but we were soon moving again, being lead to a small village just beyond the wall, where we were allowed to rest and refresh ourselves before being escorted by the fairest these Alman had to offer to a great feast, apparently in our honour. We talked and ate and where told stories of the Alman, and told the story of our journey and, I must confess we had been at sea a long while and my alcohol tolerance must have lowered, became wretchedly drunk on a delightful spirit made of coconuts.

After we woke in the morning [and I am pleased to say I did not have a hangover] the chief offered his son to guide us to another Alman village where we could get boats Across to Farshore. And so laden with provisions we set off and dully came to this other village. However, as we crossed the waters and looked to Farshore, we couldn't help to quell the rising panic in our hearts: An unnatural smoke was coming from the small settlement. Farshore was alight!

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A Dwarven View

I Think it's about time We set me story strait. I have been Ruing t'day sice i fell in with ye darned elf and the Warfoged Artificier! an' tis true tha' the face of the Party has changed a bit since i failed "to make ship". lost is the only orc to realy impressed me. Even if he had decided to summon sharks to attak bolly's that wernt even in the durned water! secretly i think he was just trying to fatten up any thing we faced! as he had a way of feeding his pets to his enamies. durned fool trying to slay them with a belly ache rather than a stout axe!

what do I think of our new party since i fell in upon them? all right i will tell ye!

a Theurge? is that what hes called? a fair healer if i did'nt see any! however if i was 'im i would drop trying to follow his elvish instincts and stick to a proper carreer!

A barbarian Bar Wench….... now i never did meet a human woman that could try and Pull off a convincing Dwarf and be a good cook to boot! however just like a women to loose her temper and get in the way! still ye never know when ye need a good wench!

Unlike the darned Half-pint! he rides a Mechanical Lizard and thats about it. (although he's allitte more knowlegble than Fixer!) he's more usefull when preping us for battle and then running for cover…... although that is acceptable if not cowerdly.

That Brings me to that Bastard half-Blood! now if he thinks he can beat me at trying to gaurd the party then let him try! I just wont hold back if he gets bettween Frost bite and me enamies! i just dont trust 'im so you know what they say "keep your friends close…..."

But friends in arms they be. a Unlikely lot to be heros i'd say, but still we are! reacntly feasted in our hounor of our victory over the denizens of drakness.

All in all sat on this boat looking out to the smoke of a burnin' farshore and the blood spilt behind i wonder is there any hope? but what do i care a Bastard son of a Dragon marked house? Im just looking another deamon in the face….... 

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The Epic Tale of Farshore
[As told to Conner Starsun, Bard, by K'Rin L'Ruh]

As we alit from the the Alman boats, finally at Farshore, we could see the flames licking more ferociously at the buildings around us. Not seeing anyone on the streets, hurrying to put the buildings out, we hurried to the closest building, Joe staying behind as always. As we gathered in the doorway, we could see a woman trapped at the back of the building. I paused, to ask our demonic friend to save her [since he was the best suited to run into a burning building] when suddenly, before any of us could stop him, Kipris the mage ran in. I called after him, knowing with his flapping robes he would surely perish, but he paid me little attention. Within instants he was alight.  Swiftly the demon and dwarf entered after him, the dwarf to rescue Kipris and Lucio to rescue the woman.

Devoid of anything else to do, Lorcian ran back to Joe, who stood at the dockside, to douse his blanket with water. Fixer, the warforged, started off west and north along the main road and I headed South along that same road in search of other people. We had just spilt up, when I heard a yell from Fixer. It seemed he had found someone being attacked by some manner of pirate. I was too far away to help, but I yelled back that he should try and help the victim. I found out later he did, and then some, reducing the pirate to cinders with what he call his 'frag cannon' – a wand of magic missile mounted inside one of his arms. As I began to search the streets for more survivors I heard a yell from behind me, and out of a window just behind me flew a burning mound of what looked like rags. It hit the ground and went out. Another yell came from behind me, the voice I recognised as the Teifling, calling me back as he had rescued the woman. As I moved back to take care of her, I glanced down at the bundle of rags, stifling as cry as I saw it was Kipris. His robes where blackened and burn, as was his face. I knelt beside him. He was gone. I said a silent prayer to his god and moved on. I would have time to grieve him later.

As I moved to the woman we had rescued, the dwarf shot out of the building also on fire but swiftly putting himself out. I began to question the hysterical woman about what had happened. Pirates, she said, had landed and burned everything. She didn't know were anyone was, except that most had left the town. She didn't know who, if anyone, might be in the other buildings. As I spoke to her the dwarf got an odd look on his face before shooting off in the direction fixer had gone. The tiefling, also restless for more action, headed the way I had been going, muttering something about warning others out of their homes. I finished questioning the woman and told her to find Joe and stay there. Joe will always find the safest place in a battle…

That accomplished, I began searching the other side of the street to the teifling. I had come to a corner in my searching when I began to hear the sounds of battle. That explained why the dwarf had run off. I yelled back to demon-boy and started running at full pelt into the action. As I arrived, I saw pirates fighting with the dwarf and fixer. They seemed to be doing fine. All the towns-folk where clustered around one burning building, trying with buckets to put out the flames. I grabbed one man as he ran past. The building, he said, contained all the town records. I didn't really understand what he was blabbering about so I released him, but just then Lorcian showed up, yelling out the name of our sponsor. It hadn't occurred to me that she might be here and in danger. Through the smoke, I could see the masts of her ship and started to moved that way, thinking she would be there. Unfortunately my progress was arrested by a pirate. He leered at me, probably mistaking me for one of the simple towns folk, so I smacked him a couple of times in the jaw, before the teifling turned up to help out. He drove his sword into the pirate's back. One more punch in the face from me and the vile pirate fell the ground. Lorcian and I had a quick discussion about the town records, while the teifling turned to aid the dwarf. Fixer was no where to be seen. Lorcian stayed to help put out the building, as I headed over towards the boats…

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Joe's Journal
In which our hero saves the day, again

Well journal, we have certainly had some excitement recently. With so many acts of bravery and dashing greatness, I just have to record them here so that future generations can know of the legend that is Joe Talls and his assistants.

Upon reaching Farshore, we round it in flames. Quickly, I sacrificed my valuable dust of dryness to consume a large quantity of water and then dispatched Snappy to disperse it across the town. Alas, our cleric died attempting to save a woman from a fire, but we were heartened by the success of my plan as the flames sizzled in the centre of town. However, there were still fires to put out.

Leaving the others to attend the wounded, I valiantly rushed to the docks where our comrades from the other ships, who were feared were lost, were battling it out with pirate scum! I gracefully dispatched the pirates with my magical whip – yet another sacrifice of my magical wares, a display of generosity that could make even an angel weep! While I left my whip to work on the pirates, I rushed off to the last remaining burning building, the hall of records.

Alas, all out of magical items to save the day with and with no mages or sorcerers available, its was up to the villagers and my assistants to hold back the flames but it wasn’t enough. Luckily, I had the highly intelligent idea of infusing Fixer’s energy weapon to fire ice energy, and quickly we stopped the fire.

Lividia, whom I saved with my whip, greeted us all and was glad to see us alive. I introduced myself, having only seen her briefly before the storm split us up and offered my services creating weapons and armour in case we were attacked again. My assistants had also captured a pirate alive and we interrogated him for information. The brutish McKnuckle’s attempts at intimidation failed to get any answers and so it was up to me to get the truth. And get it I did without so much as another drop of blood spilled. Being a surgeon of unrivalled skill, I treated the pirates wounds once he told us of his wishes to atone for his sins and his knowledge of the rest of the pirate fleet. Most harrowing of all was the fact that they would be coming back in full force a month from now!

I took this information to Lividia and put forwards a case for the pirate, whose lamentations about his wicked ways and requests for a chance to atone could not be ignored. After some squabbling among the nobles, I convinced them of Lefty’s usefulness. I also secured access to the town resources and spent my time crafting weapons and armour for the battle ahead. To help in this endeavour I constructed a new minion, Crafty, a dedicated wright and set him to work. Lefty had also become a firm follower of mine and so I offered him some simple training in the arts of metal working and put him to work too. Soon enough we had some new plate for McKnuckle and several improvements to our bards armour and weapons.

We also found the battered remains of a creation forge, hidden and overgrown in the jungle. It seemed to have fallen out of the sky a long time ago from what I could tell based on the surrounding area and the forge seemed to be more of a repair forge rather than one capable of creating new warforged. Being a warforged and an Artificer, I left Fixer to examine it after warning him not too mess around with. Alas, as is so often the case no-one listens to me and while I was working on the badrs weapons, the bard burst in to tell me Fixer had entered the device and that it was emitting strange noises. I dismissed him, already busy with important work and knowing that there was nothing we could do, for to interrupt the processes at work within could destroy Fixer utterly. All we can do is wait.

Unfortunately, time is not on our side. We now have but 2 weeks until the pirates arrive. using the information I have gleaned from the records, we could unite the Olman clans and build ourselves a formidable ally. To that though we need to set out and slay one or more of 7 magical beasts that cast their dark shadow over these lands. Luckily Joe Talls is here, so all is not lost!

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The Epic Tale of Farshore
[As told to Conner Starsun, Bard, by K'Rin L'Ruh]

My recollection of the second half of the battle is not what it once was, but suffice it to say that we were victorious. Later we attended the town's meeting at Lividia's manor where they discussed rebuilding the town, and various of our party split off to do vital work – Joe and fixer to the forges and craft workshops and Lorcian to asses the ships. Lividia revealed that a pirate had survived, and was being held capture, so McKnuckle and myself set off to interrogate the scum. However our attempts where unsuccessful. Until, that is, Joe turned up. He came to ask us what extra armour we might require now he had a chance to sit down and make some, but we asked him if he might apply himself and his magic in getting the cur to speak. He did so, and admirably. We stepped outside while they spoke, and when he came back out he said the pirate had spilled all. It turned out our little sortie was nothing more than against a scouting party for a much larger problem: the crimson fleet – and we only had a month top prepare. So the dwarf and Joe hurried off to speak to Lavidia.

Left with nothing to do I wandered the manor, watching the activity and planning going on around me with a sense of detachment. Maybe I could hold my own in battle, but in this enterprising environment I felt utterly useless. I couldn't seem to see a way in which to help out. After all, all I was good for was providing alcohol and hitting things, and since I lost my kegs in the shipwreck I could only do one of those things. But then my wandering feet brought me to the Manor's kitchens, and I recalled to myself I was now a fairly able chef as well. I checked to see if anyone was about [which they weren't] and began to cook up a thick nourishing stew.

As I walked back through the manor, this time doling out the stew to hungry workers, I heard that McKnuckle had taken two other dwarves to a iron seam just outside Farshore and that Fixer was investigating something called a creation forge.

A few days passed, again with almost everyone I knew and saw indulged in some form of industrious activity. I went to the two and tried to lend a hand where I could. It was in this activity I learned that that the landlord of the islands only pub had tragically died in the fighting. Part of my purpose in coming to the Isle of Dread was to create my own such establishment. I asked around and found that it was not due to pass into the hands of any relatives, nor had anyone else staked a claim to it, and so it belonged to the town. With the mayor also dead, I hurried to Lividia to ask her permission to purchase it. She told me it was 800 gold pieces, and that she gave it with her blessing. Should I wish, she also added, she would pay half and have 50% of the profits. I thanked her and hurried to the town records office where I asked again to purchase it. The clerk asked if I had the money and I handed him a rather heavy bag. He nodded and fetched the deeds. Brimming with excitement, I made my mark as he directed, and with a smile he handed me the deeds. 'It's all yours,' he said.

I went at once to the pub. It's outsides where scorched, but other than a kicked in door and some turned over furniture, it seemed to have escaped without harm. I asked around and some people said they had worked in the pub, and I asked them if they were interested in continuing their employment. Again they seemed happy with the situation, and so I directed them to begin to straighten the place out. I went down to check the stock levels and brewing equipment. Word must travel fast because when I returned from my inspection, there sat three dirty, sweaty and thirsty dwarves.

Through his ale McKnuckle told me he had visited the Alman chief and found that to employ their aid in the coming battle we had to find and destroy a couple of evil magical beasts for them. He also informed me that Fixer and Joe would not be joining us, but that one of the dwarves with him, Murdok Sprocketheim would be taking their place. It seemed a simple enough task, so I left my new employees to continue repairs and went to prepare for the fight.

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A series of mishaps - an account by Murdok Sprocketheim.

Well my search for wealth has lead me to the middle of nowhere. This Isle of Farshore has to have been one of my biggest blunders to date. 

I have been chased by demons. Terrorized by giant birds. And now besieged by pirates. Could things get any worse? I had just settled into this local village trying to get by as a miner, when a band of raiding pirates ransacked the entire village. Luckily this band of wandering adventurers had come along to see off these scurvy dogs. Saying that when the Warforged had burst in on me at the local chapel I practically jumped outta me skin. Luckily the lad (I say in the loosest term) was the enlightened sort (not like a lot of the Warforged warrior types that I have grown accustomed to back in the holds of Clan Kundrak). The others seem quite skilled, so I think I'll hang with them for a while. And who knows…. they might lead me to riches.

This could be my lucky break. 

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A series of mishaps - an account by Murdok Sprocketheim.

In order to appease a local tribe, the company have embarked on a quest to slay a mighty beast. Personally I'll let them deal with the fighting. We went in search of a giant Shambler. Our travels brought us to an abrupt halt with nasty brood of giant spiders, with a disgusting spider-human mutant. The company tried to negociate with the brood to let them pass and continue on their way to the giant Shambler. The brood had other ideas. We were set upon with a foul enchantment. The next thing I know I am bound in a giant silk cucoon. After much effort I burst my bonding and made for my getaway. I lost one dagger, while trying to use it as a piton. Note to self…. don't attempt a climb against hardwood without tougher tools (perhaps adamantine would suffice?).

I just I make it out of this encounter in one piece… 

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Preparing for war - an account by Murdok Sprocketheim.

After managing to slay the enormous Shambler of the mires, we had gained the trust of the Olman tribe. With that victory under our belts we returned to the village, only to find that Fixer has been transmuted into some new 'super' Warforged. After that shock (and dare I say a few mugs of refreshing beer), we began preparations for the pirate siege. I myself began with sorting the village itself, while the others set about making siege artillery and training militia. I just hope our efforts will be enough….

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