- The Keg sets out for Q’barra aboard the Dauntless.
- Valenar pirates attack, seriously damaging the ship, though the boarding action is repelled.
- Crippled, the Keg races to restore the Dauntless to functioning while a second Valenar ship approaches. Unable to slip away, Moille turns the ship directly into the path of a storm.
- The ship is lost at sea with almost all hands seemingly lost. The Keg floats ashore on debris, finding themselves on a jungle beach.
- Exploring the jungle, the PCs are set upon by lizardfolk who seemed to be chasing a member of another lizardfolk tribe.
- Pressing on, the PCs encounter a small dinosaur which is spooked into crying out before they can try to soothe it, triggering a response from it’s mother.
Meeting with Captain Moille of the Dauntless, the Keg at first tries to simply book passage on her boat, but quickly allows her to spin whatever tale she wants — she seems convinced that Jack is a Trust agent and that this is some sort of “deep cover” assignment, due to the fact that no one is searching her ship. Deciding to let the good captain talk herself into letting the company on her boat, the Keg just nods, smiles, and takes their cabin.
En route to Q’barra after 5 days of brisk sailing, the company is rudely awakened by an enormous impact which rocks the Dauntless. Cries of alarm sound across the boat — “Valenar! The Valenar! Pirates!” Reaching the main deck, the Keg finds Moille shouting orders at the top of her lungs and swearing roundly about the elves ability to pick her ship out of the darkness. There is little time to prepare before the elven ship rams the Dauntless at top speed. A boarding ramp is dropped and a detachment of Valenar marines swarms the ship, cutting down the lesser skilled sailors with ruthless efficiency.
Joshua positions himself at the front of the boarding ramp, but is overwhelmed by sheer numbers combined with the ferocious skill of the elves — it is easy to see why the Valenar are so widely feared. Krumroc comes to Joshua’s aid but is soon entangled in his own troubles when one canny marine blinds him with the enormous main sail, and the rest of the assault party takes advantage of the blinded dwarf.
Still, the Keg soon finds its balance and begins to recover. Barnaby leaps into the Dauntless’ air ring and blows himself to the mizzen mast, then leaps across to the elven vessel and begins to assault the archers. With some help from Jack, he quickly scales the enemy’s crow’s nest and sends its occupant into the ocean. Lan sends Kharif to keep the main body of his countrymen off balance while skirmishing with the stray marine which slips past the lines, then moves closer to the action to end the lives of the enemy with quiet efficiency. Jack slips through the Feywild constantly, picking his targets, until he reaches the Dauntless’ deck gun which he unleashes on the unsuspecting elves (and Joshua, but who’s counting?). Finally, Barnaby finishes off one of the last Valenar warriors by kicking him into the path of one of their own cannons and firing it, tearing the elf apart.
Exhausted, Lan’s sharp eyes spot a second black Valenar ship slipping through the waves towards the Dauntless just as the sun rises, revealing thick black storm clouds. Furiously, the Keg works to release the docking ramp, extinguish fires, pump water, and restart the ship’s engines. It soon becomes obvious that they will not be able to repair the ship in time, and Captain Moille takes it upon herself to turn the ship into the storm, hoping to lose the elves.
Though the Keg does what it can to keep the ship going, it soon becomes a battle for survival as the ship is lashed by rain and swamped by heavy chop which puts a strain on the already damaged timbers of the vessel.The Dauntless begins to give way — the main mast snaps with a terrific crack and narrowly misses Krumroc. It is just the beginning. Soon water begins to flood the hold, forcing Jack and Joshua to abandon the engine room, and the deck begins to pull itself apart. The main deck proves no safer — an enormous wave tilts the ship almost on it’s side, sending Jack and Krumroc plunging into the water. Lan rushes to save Jack with a quickly thrown line while Barnaby catches Krumroc and clings to the railing for dear life.
Finally, the Dauntless surrenders, the hull snapping, and begins to tip backwards. Barnaby and Krumroc, at the bow of the ship, are launched rapidly skywards and just barely manage to hang on. Lan dives into the ocean and begins to swim as fast as he can away from the vortex caused by the sinking vessel, but Jack and Joshua are not so lucky — when the elemental ring contacts the water, the Dauntless rockets straight down at breakneck speed too fast for either to escape. Krumroc throws himself clear and finds his way to the mast, which he rechristens the S.S. Empty Keg. Barnaby and Lan dive in search of their missing comrades; quickly they find Joshua who is already swimming to the surface, but Jack, a poor swimmer, proves harder to locate. Just before Jack is unable to prevent himself from breathing water, Barnaby finds him and presses an air-filled Bag of Holding into his hand so that he can breathe. The two make their way to the surface and are rescued by Krumroc and the others. Many grueling hours later, exhausted, the Keg (and 3 crewmen) wash ashore on a sandy white beach, surrounded by thick jungle alive with the hum of insects and calls of strange birds.
Taking stock of their situation, the Keg has some food, but precious little water. One crewmen is too sick to move, and promising to return with fresh water and healing supplies (but knowing it is hopeless), the company moves to explore the jungle — Lan decides the crewman is a liability and ends his life quickly before rejoining the others. After hours of cutting their way through dense jungle, tormented by thirst, fatigue, and insects, Lan manages to locate a washed out stream bed which still has a few inches of water and sends Barnaby down to fill what waterskins the company has. Suddenly, a green scaled lizardman with brilliant orange and yellow markings bursts out of the undergrowth and tumbles practically at the Keg’s feet, scrambling to regain its balance. It is followed by half a dozen brown lizardfolk marked with ritual scars, pushing their way through the foliage. Upon seeking the company, the brown lizardfolk hiss and attack, while the green lizardman flees.
“Death to the warmbloods!” howls the shaman as he charges down the slope and brings the jungle itself to life — covering Krumroc and Joshua with thick vines that hold them in place and nearly tear limbs from sockets, while killing one of the Dauntless’ remaining crew. Snarling their own challenges, several lizardmen leap down the slope and toss cruelly barbed and poisoned javelins towards the company, inflicting heavy wounds, while other more heavily armed lizards take up defensive positions around their weaker comrades.
Lan senses the danger posed by the lizardmen and sacrifices Kharif in an explosion of necrotic energy to limit their ability to respond, while at the same time calling ghostly allies to cut the vines which bind his comrades. Freed, Joshua and Krumroc charge forward towards the shaman, trying to lock down as many enemies as possible, while Jack engages in a game of cat-and-mouse (or cat-and-also-cat) with the javelin throwers, searching for the best angle to gain cover. Barnaby is a blur of motion as he unleashes flurry after flurry of punches, kicks, and slashes with his tangat. All seems to be going well for the Keg — until they learn that these lizardfolk can spew poison.
Lizard after lizard spits poison over the Keg’s melee combatants, burning when it contacts skin. Some inevitably gets into eyes and mouths, causing further pain. The club wielding lizardfolk rush forward at unbelievable speed, dodging weapons and knocking footing out from beneath anyone in range, then hiss in satisfaction when they can take advantage of their prone foes. The shaman causes his allies’ wounds to close, and causes an eruption of noxious fumes to explode in the dead center of the melee — inflicting heavy damage. While the Keg struggles to recover, limited by choking and couching from the poison, the javelin throwers take advantage and launch deadly missiles towards any targets of opportunity. Lan responds by limiting their movement with Kharif and a second ancestor — Satina, a cruelly beautiful elven woman.
The lizardfolk are astonishingly brutal. Joshua falls first, surrounded by club wielding foes, and then Barnaby, blasted by poison from several sources. Lan is so damaged by javelins that he is forced to remain behind cover. Krumroc is able to awaken both of his comrades and tries to serve as the center of the conflict, but he cannot hold and eventually he falls as well only to be dragged behind cover by Lan who desperately tries to staunch the wounds and cure the poison. The dwarf’s skin is ashen, his pulse erratic, nails and lips turning blue from the poison. Barnaby and Jack try to finish off the remaining javelin tossers, but once Barnaby gets close enough he is poisoned by a vicious bite and falls to his knees from the pain. He struggles to recover, but his distraction buys Jack enough time to finish the artillery off. Lan manages to breathe life into Krumroc, though the old dwarf is in no shape for a fight, and the company takes shelter in the ancient shrine near the ravine to lick their wounds.
Deciding to follow the yellow and orange lizardman, the Keg pushes east through the jungle. Lan’s senses detect the overwhelming stench of carrion. Investigating, Barnaby finds a young fang titan dinosaur consuming a fallen brontosaurus. Thrilled, he attempts to tame it — his calls seem to attract the thing’s attention as it begins to move inquisitively towards him. Before it can reach the brush, a dart flies out from the foliage and strikes the dinosaur in the throat. It roars in pain and terror — a roar which is answered by something much, much larger and much, much angrier. The jungle shakes and trees topple to the ground. Frozen in terror, the Keg can only watch as an adult Fang Titan rushes towards her infant’s cry.
(TUNE IN NEXT WEEK FOR THE CONTINUING ADVENTURES OF: THE EMPTY KEG!)
1750gp worth of dragonshard jewelry
+3 Drowmesh Veteran’s Leather Armor
Elven Pirates! 600xp
A Perfect Storm. 600xp
Welcome to Q’barra. 700xp