Last week on the Saturday campaign...
News had spread throughout the region: an elven ship - one carrying a large shipment of magical weapons and artefacts - had crashed right outside the Everglade, and the crash site was attracting a large number of would-be adventurers and ne'er-do-wells.
Ian (Fighter) had heard that the ship held weapons that used to belong to his former platoon, while Zaki (Warlock) and Xian (Sorcerer) were drawn to the site by the unmistakable stink of magic. However, in order for them to be able to reach the crash site, they had to find a ship; and the only ship that was willing to take them that far west was the Nymph, a small merchant vessel that belonged to Nicole (Bard).
As the party sailed, a thick blackness seized their minds, and when they awoke, they found bound within a vast dark cavern. Speaking to another traumatised captive, they quickly learnt that their captors were cannibalistic merfolk, and that they had a particularly nasty habit of eating their prey. The party quickly arranged for their escape: Xian blasted the ropes holding Nicole with a carefully-placed Firebolt, while Zaki burst through his cage with nothing more than his infernal strength.
By the time the merrow returned, the party had arranged an impromptu ambush for them and, with surprising competence, managed to take them out. After retrieving their equipment (along with some other gear left behind by other victims), they quickly left their former prison behind by ascending a large stairwell that was carved into a large stone column.... whereupon the two forward scouts of Xian and Zaki ran into a whole horde of merrow and had to flee back downstairs.
Surprisingly, few merrow gave chase; instead, the sound of battle coming from upstairs filled the cavern, and the party cautiously made their way back up into the room. A fight had broken out between merrow and uncorrupted merfolk, and the party quickly closed in with what remained of the merrow. However, the tides of battle were turning against the merfolk, and after quaffing the Potions of Water Breathing they were handed by the merfolk, they quickly dove into the water and swam away from the cavern.
When they arrived in the merfolk lair, they witnessed a public argument between two leaders: a soft-spoken merwoman by the name of Crytall, and a quick-tempered merman by the name of Thumo. The argument was about how they should deal with the corrupted merfolk: Crytall believes that they can be saved, while Thumo believes that they should all be killed. After all, Thumo reasons, if they have gone so far as to start eating their own kind and attacking surface ships, how much further will they go? And what about that cloaked Land-Dweller who had their leader's ear, the one who caused him to go crazy and start all this in the first place?
The party stepped in at this point, and a deal was struck with Crytall: in return for promising not to kill her brother who had joined the merrow's cause, Crytall will lend merfolk to aid the party's attack on the merrow lair. The party also promised to bring their leader, Lascal, back alive so that he could stand trial in the Cove, and to find out if there is any way to save the merrow from their ever-deepening corruption.
At the entrance to the lair, they found Crytall's brother, Lass, who had come to his senses and was trying to wean himself off the cannibalistic diet that was forced upon him while he was with the merrow. Not only did he agree to return with the party, he even went so far as to show them a secret entrance into Lascal's personal quarters: an entrance which they promptly used to surprise Lascal and, after a violent confrontation that almost got out of hand, knock him out.
The trial went about as well as could be expected, but after Lascal was found guilty, Zaki managed to convince Crytall to let him handle the execution. In a bloody ritual dedicated to the archfiend Asmodeus, Zaki sacrificed the screaming merrow to his patron.
There was only one thing left to do: to return to the merrow's hunting cavern, destroy it, and return Nicole's ship to the surface. Accompanied by Crytall, Thumo and yet more merfolk, they attacked the caverns... only to find that an ambush had been prepared for them, and that Lass was being held hostage right now. The resulting battle was bloody and protracted, but even though Xian and Zaki ended up being knocked out, the party triumphed.
In exchange for their help, the merfolk of the region assisted the party in returning the Nymph back to the surface where she belonged. They also filled the ship's hold with some healing potions, an assortment of coins, and some supplies for their journey westwards. They were also promised the eternal friendship of the merfolk, as well as safe travels and swift winds for as long as they are within merfolk territory.
- Buys 50ft of hemp rope (costs 2gp)
- Help repair and maintain the ship (ship's wear and tear from being underwater is slightly improved, but some damage cannot be fixed without the aid of a skilled carpenter)
- Perform magic to earn money (earns 1gp)
- Gamble 7gp on poker cards (earns 4gp)
- Get intel for Elven wreck and specifically about comrades' weapons (learnt from a travelling merchant that the ship was indeed carrying items from the platoon, but everyone who's gone to the wreck was turned back by someone or thing.
- Teach swordfighting and buy a shield for myself (earns nothing, shield cost per PHB)
- Carve out the dead merman (and his entrails and bones and what not), carrying out a longer ritual sacrifice to Asmodeus. (the bones can now be used as an oracular tool, usable during short or long rests, but using the bones will open you up to greater control)
- Find out more about the place where the elven ship sunk, as well as local relations to elves in general. (learn from barmaid that many people have attempted to head towards the wreck, but all have been turned away by someone or something; learnt from an old sage in a bookstore that most of the Elves that pass by the ports are friendly, but wood elves that reside in the Everglade are more quiet and keep to themselves, coming out only to trade. Recently, though, the elves that leave the forest tend to be more well-armed and tough-looking.
- Spend any free time meditating (starts session with Inspiration)
- Send a letter back to my village, telling of my adventures on my voyage and the team I've grouped with (costs 5sp, and the letter will likely take a month to finally reach your village)
- I go to the pub to learn more the area, like who "owns" the lands and where to get land transportation cheaper