Ghosts of Saltmarsh

The summer campaign is based on 5e and the new book of the same name. I am excited because it is an old school series of adventures I ran WAY back in the 80s when I was a new GM. So, when we needed to pause the Mummy campaign for the summer, this was a no-brainer for me.

Background and Setting:

Saltmarsh is a fishing village on an island in the archipelago of Nelanther also known as the Pirate Isles. Historically it has been claimed by many nations. The Moonshaes, Chult, Tethyr, and even Waterdeep. However, nobody has ever truly conquered the over 1000 islands, many of which remain uncharted, due to the extremely dangerous reefs, extreme tides, and unpredictable storms. The northern islands, some refer to as “The Colony Isles” are primarily populated by descendants of seaman of many nations. The largest island, has had many names. Montenegro being the most common, reflective of the dark basalt mountain range in the center of the island. The current “rulers” however call it Keoland. Keoland is officially under the control of Amn. It has a small duchy in the very north of the island that is ruled by a would be king (who the Amnish recognize as a duke) named Kimbertos Skotti. A rough nobleman, his claim to fame is obtaining one of the few usable navigational maps of the northern islands. His ambition is to turn the entire Nelanther into a trading super power. His ambition is large, but his challenges are even larger. For one, the various Pirate factions have proven impossible to defeat in the past. Secondly, the people who live on these islands, many of whom have lived here for generations, prefer to be free and live the same simple lives they always have. Bringing in people to exploit resources and generate trade, and importing military to control the sea lanes is not sitting well with those folks. The party was not planning to be there, and have no loyalties to any party, and will be needed to deal with a threat nobody sees coming.

Dragon’s Fist Adventuring Company

A century ago the Dragon’s Fist adventuring company was formed in Numeria by a group of adventurers lead by Lazerous the Wizard. The other founding members were Gal-Bach the Grey, Arion Renquist and his half brother Corim Renquist, Loregothe of Cairne, and a young Drow exile named Kylara. Arion was half elf, but perished on a mission in Cheliax. Corim being a human passed of old age 30 years past. Gal-Bach disappeared under mysterious circumstances 25 years ago and Loregothe left the guild in order to look for him, neither have been seen since. Lazerous, not long after the founding was transported to the realm of Mystara where he reformed the guild that rose to great prominence there. It is believed he still lives, but has lost interest in returning to Golarian.

Of the founding members of the company, the sole remaining is Kylara. Older, but no less beautiful, she still sits on the council of 8, the ruling members of the Dragon’s Fist.

The current leader is Larund, they are joined by Hayato, Arenia, Mordren, Jensen, Chiyo, and Ku’anda. The Dragon’s Fist operates primarily in the inner sea region of Golarian, but have ranged further. Larund and the rest of the council recently undertook an adventure which resulted in the formation of a barony in the former stolen lands. Much work is left to consolidate and improve the holding, but this is one of the few known instances of a company owning and controlling large areas of their own land. The barony is now known as Tulgastahd in reference to the area where Larund was born. It is unknown if the title will change with the leadership of the company or if Larund and Kylara might retire as nobility and provide a strong operational base for the company. The newest noteworthy undertaking is the dispatch of a group of members to Osirion where they will participate in the lottery to explore the necropolis of Wati where lies many centuries of treasure and mysteries.

Larund:

Leader of the Dragon’s Fist Adventuring Company

Kylara:

Founding member of the company, member of the Council of 8, Larund’s Wife.

Captain Jensen Blayloc:

Former Obari Ocean Pirate, current member of the council of 8

Mordren:

Tiefling, former slave in Cheliax, current member of the Council of 8.

Hayato:

Adventurer from Tian. Current member of the Council of 8.

Chiyo:

Exiled princess of a deposed Tianian noble house. Current member of the Council of 8.

Ku’anda:

Mwangi Warrior and Shaman. Current member of the Council of 8.

Arenia:

Converted Priestess of Urgathoa, now a Priestess of Milani. Current member of the Council of 8.

Thundertree Crypt – Synopsis

Zerk “Blake” GrayTusk had been driven from clan Many Arrows in Neverwinter for defiling the Honored dead. Necromancy is frowned upon, even among the Orcs. He took up residence in the Crypt at Thundertree a ruin outside of Neverwinter Wood. It was here he set about making true the rumors of undead and providing himself a secure place to perform his rituals. A few small treasures we found throughout the crypt, with one being particularly interesting,  The Immovable Rod, once owned by Thundertree’s founder, and interred within.

That rod, as it turns out, is the same bauble the goblin chief Girp had made known would earn the healing apple, auctioned each summer solstice in Oakhurst. The apple, was desired by an noble in Neverwinter name Boris Istalvic. A man whose young daughter had a disease that proved resistant to typical healing magics.

Boris, being a shrewd man, hires 4 adventurers for the task of collecting the rod, and delivering it to Oakhurst before the solstice.  He chose first Solen, a ranger and reputedly a legend in the western Neverwinter Wood, well known to the people of Oakhurst, and a capable guide.  In addition, an upstart Gnomish wizard, named Brenn with a reputation for scrupulous research was hired to authenticate the find, and to gather the information promised by the Goblins, potentially providing the secret long sought regarding the magic fruit. The Dwarven war priest Flint Brugga was included to provide both combat and healing experience to the group, to help them if things got rough. Finally, the professional Spy Wren Talbot was tapped to help in a scrape, but also to overcome any obstacles such as traps and locks that might be put in the party’s way.

The four set forth to Thundertree and had no issues along the road from Neverwinter. The Ranger was a knowledgeable guide and avoided the potential dangers en-route ably. The crypt was in good condition, not further buried or significantly damaged by the eruption that ruined the rest of the town years earlier.

The first burial chamber held three animated Skeletons, with whom the heroes did battle. Although victorious, the party members knew this would be no cakewalk, as the Skeletons were very hardy foes indeed.

The second chamber was home to Zombies. The foes were even more dangerous than the Skeletons, and nearly defeated the four companions.

In addition, the second chamber appeared to be a dead end, with a sealed door the only way forward. It was here the decision to bring a spy became important,  finding a concealed passage beneath a pit trap, a mechanism was found to open the door.  Before opening the door however, the heroes took a short rest.

Moving forward, in the shrine of Lathander, the four were attacked by giant spiders, whose poison did nearly end the journey. Yet again, the heroes prevailed.

The final barrier was the Sorcerer Blake himself, with two skeletal minions. The strong Holy attack from Flint and magical missiles from Brenn made short work of these foes, and secured the rod, and the other minor treasures, 30 Magical Bolts, some potions, a scroll of feather fall, and a Wand of Secrets.

They camped above ground, and took a long rest in preparation of the next leg of their journey. Northward to Oakhurst.