Open Sea’s & the Slithering Evil.

Tonight we will look back at the parties first leg of their journey to Kyoko and Siu’s home country as well as their unexpected stopover on Ophidian Island.

So I will continue using this format which I don’t know if its easier but it certainly collates the adventure a bit more for ease of reading.

As with last time Pages 1, 2 and 3 are content pages, the description, flow, random tables, etc. and such that you’ve previously seen.
Page 4 contains all NPCs and portraits to help the DM describe them and a bit about them to help play them out.
Page 5 will be stat blocks and map(s) – all that D&D encounter goodness that you want.

Now I will assume you have read the entire post (although it is ~6700 words long..) and say thanks in advance for reading this – I have expanded, added and adjusted a few things to make sure the adventure flow better.
If you do like this format do let me know, if you don’t also let me know so I can see what I can tweak for next time. this probably was just about as much effort as writing it all from scratch the first time around but this way I think it makes sense.

Don’t forget to come back next week and, as always, don’t forget to roll with advantage,
The Brazen Wolfe

Part 1&2 – Searching for Reason and Facing the truth – 209MoSfR+210MoFT

The high priestess Lizbet and Katya were introduced at last, the party shepherding them into town to ensure the safety of Katya and that they completed their quest. People lined the streets to welcome the returning hero and to bear witness to the high priestess, Lizbet, and the newcomer, Katya, radiating divine magic which radiated the warmth of a spring after a dead cold winter.

Along the rooftops Siu scampered, a little dragonoid that was covered in fur as it watched Lizbet and Katya, praying to the ancestors (of whom he was enslaved to due to his past mistakes) that his plan to convince one of both of them to come with him back to his home country would succeed. There was a growing shadow across the sea which was slowly devouring the land and people of the place he called home many-many years ago, the Harimasu families lands and the villages that were within its borders.

But as he was watching from a safe distance he noticed something dark happening and when he investigated he was attacked by a shadow stitched – a creature that was killed and which is now inhabited by a Shadow-mist creeper. Calling upon his treasured blessing – returning to his humanoid form for 24 hours, something he could use but once a decade he dashed for the temple of Chauntea to try and get the attention of the priestesses, to get their help in healing his wounds.

Successful in his ploy he was unable to treasure and use his blessing to enjoy his human form but instead found himself organising the defence of the priestesses who the creatures would be drawn to hunting down due to the amount of divine (life) energy they radiated. The plan was afterwards, if successful, he would ask for one of them (Lizbet had already had whispers spoken to her whilst she was not aware of his presence, one of his talents) to board the Red Fleets Dancing Drake, Kyoko Harimasu’s ship and sail back to his home country. If they survived that is.

Areas and places of note

The Road to Daye – The road back to Daye is long but easy. Its general downhill slope makes travel easy and the road after the ambush site, where the undead attacked, cleared out to have a sight of all potential threats for miles. Random encounters could be possible but they would be wild beasts, more undead (or fiends) but not brigands and the like would have a rough job trying to get an ambush on the party and their wagon.

Daye Streets – The streets are no more than 30ft wide, enough for a wagon or two to pass comfortably with stalls either side of the road. The buildings that line the road are one or two story predominantly with the odd three story building here and there. Currently there are people from the city lining either side of the street paying respect (silent or otherwise) to the priestess and her procession. The raw energy that comes from Katya would also put people into a shocked state as they are used to the grace and touch from Chauntea (through the temple) but not in such a potent form.
*After the battle* the streets are empty early in the mornings and talk of the creatures and nightmarish sounds from the night before are the talk of the town. Soon though merchants bring their stalls, wagons and carts out and begin to advertise their wares – it truly is a market city where the streets, particularly around the docks, are a source of just about all mundane items and objects you could seek.

The Temple– A large, 50ft x 90 ft building with a large alter and statue to Chauntea being the centre piece of the large prayer room with several rooms off to the sides and a wing for where the priests and priestesses would sleep.
*After the battle* the temple has guest quarters where the party would have been encouraged to stay to rest and heal, as well as to have close in case more creatures appeared in the middle of the night. The people who call this place home, the priests and priestesses are kind, welcoming and excellent cooks believing that Chauntea’s bountiful blessings are meant to be shared to not just he devout but all.

The Docks – Quieter than when the party first stepped upon the docks they are still busy with people from the red fleet still selling the last of their wares. Many of the large red sailed ships have left and several other trading ships have also arrived and they have brought with them not just their normal wares but a small influx of magical items. Different to the lucky trinkets and lesser magical items of the Red fleet these merchants sell potions, scrolls and other wondrous items – if the gold is plentiful enough.
The docks, however, of late have begun to start selling magical items and as the Red fleet begin to head home back across the waves to restock on goods the demand on magical trinkets and items is at a new time high with supply being short and the patience of the customers being little.

Environment and running the adventure

Day1 & Night 1.

Street – No one would dare attack the party, not with the rumour spreading of what they fought in Bracken Hollow nor the spirit they fought in the city. Furthermore the presence of the city guard, the priestess and priests of Chauntea as well as the gathering of folk from the city would make it very difficult to get the drop on them. However once the party reach the Temple of Chauntea they would leave the priestess there and head into the streets.

On the streets they may become the target of the Shadow-mist creepers or the Shadow Stitched beasts – lunging at them n shadow in small violent bursts (up to 3 creatures at once, all mixed species). As night falls a dockworker would attack them – visible seems where the shadow-stuff that holds the flesh together glowing in the moonlight as it attacks them – the intelligence maliciousness would seek to attack the one who was last closest to Katya.

After the fight is over a bell would start ringing from the temple – the urgency and oddness of the hour should be alarming to the party and someone would likely step out from a building and state the obvious (a helpful nudge for the party).

Temple – The centre room once the party get to the temple is where the priests can be found praying to Chauntea, flooding the room around the alter with daylight. Katya, Lizbet, Carline and Paul with a young man who looks to be of the Red Fleets people are currently fighting back a few creatures that attacked the party. As the party fight their way through some of the shadow stitched creatures they notice a dog grab Katya’s robe and drag her from the room, rushing through the side door and into the outside beyond. Lizbet and the others rush after them and into the night beyond.

The dog carries Katya into the streets where the party who give chase encounter more creatures to come and push back at them – Lizbet, Paul, Carline and the young man (Sui) catch up to Katya and separate her from the dog but they are quickly surrounded.

Day 2

Decision– The decision to leave would need to come from the party – Going to go see Siu at the docks wouldn’t be a hard decision (he looks just like a man after all) and Lizbet would ask the party to escort her just in case of a trap before deciding to walk off herself.

The party can tell that she is nervous, perhaps anxious about the decisions to be made and her nerves would be obvious to all (she isn’t one to hide behind a mask).

The boat– Once the party see the boat the decision needs to be made – follow the creature and Kyoko across the waves with Lizbet to help save their people or stay back and wait. Regardless of the decision initially Kyoko will ask that the party and priestess give her a week to give her time to get ready for the voyage back home. This gives the party some time to shop, if they are short of ropes/ arrows / etc. and to find out more bout where they are going from Kyoko, Siu or any of the Red Fleet.

If the party do stay behind then the adventure at the end of the month will come into affect (with the aim of still getting the party to travel across the sea)

Adventure Areas

1st night – Shadow Stitched.

As the party leave Katya if they move through a place with shadow that is too far from people (use DM discretion here) then its likely they will be attacked by the Shadow-stitched. The first attack would have one or two creatures attack but only as the party turn their back, an ambush as if carefully plotted. As one of the creatures dies the other would fall limp and the shadow-mist creeper would flee into the sky where it would dissipate (its energy spent). Examination of the body would reveal it being dead for hours and an arcana check would reveal that a dark magic (enchantment more so than necromancy but it has that tinge) held the corpse together as if possessed.

The second attack would be more feral – as if all control of their will power was gone – the astute party member would note that the creatures almost moved as if commanded or as if puppets to a greater powers will. These creatures would attack from the shadows but into the sunlight where they would flinch and a dark smoke would flow from their stitches – which glow black in the sunlight. As the creatures are killed (three, a cat, a dog and maybe a raven (use the owl block) then a dark mist would escape and bubble in the sunlight before dissipating.

The next encounter would be the temple after the bells start to ring (as the sun finally sets) – the temple would e filled with little creatures, cats, dogs, rats, birds who are in the shadows (away from the sunlight being produced by the priests) except for where Katya and Lizbet are – the creatures are braving the light to get to the princess.

1d4+1 creatures would actively block the path to Chauntea’s chosen and as the party slay the second last one then a large dog would grab a hold of Katya and quickly drag her from the safety of the temple.

In the streets every 60 feet another creature would appear, randomise what it is each time!

Once the party reach Katya and Lizbet + company they would start to get 3~5 creatures attack in waves (every 2 rounds) until an ogre wearing leathers of a dock worker (and looking like he works on the docks) steps forward to fight the party. Once the ogre falls then all of the creatures fall and the dark mist floats into the sky and disappears.

2nd day – Decisions

The aim of day 2 is to get the party to consider shopping for things using the gold they have now as well as tying up any lose ends. They should see going over on the boat a desirable prospect and the right way to progress the story moving forward.

Notable NPC interactions.

Kyoko Harimasu – Interaction with Siu and the party when his true form is revealed, which upon him showing true selflessness he is gifted a more suitable draconic form. See – Twist of fate