After the Summoning Wars

Session 20

Negotiations Aboard the Vertragus

  • See Session 19 and the EAS Vertragus for details on the end of Session 19 as well as activity between sessions.
  • First Officer Adriana Prieto gives the party (sans Bee) a tour of the Vertragus.
  • Much of the ship is off limits. The party doesn’t press the issue.
  • Bert notes that the cannons must have been retrofit, since the ship is older than cannon technology.
  • Adriana acknowledges that, though alchemical research is often looked down on by the arcane community, it has its uses.
  • Thomas has heard of lifting devices similar to those on the ship, but they were much smaller and used levitation as the mechanism.
  • Adriana confirms that they once existed, but are not as efficient and suffer from degradation much faster.
  • They also notice that one of the crew quarters is labeled “Major Trevor: Magical Items Acquisitions and Distributions”
  • There’s a ruckus down at the stern of the ship, so Adriana excuses herself to check it out.
  • The party returns to the stables to get Bee, but he’s gone missing.
  • They look around and find that he’s the source of the ruckus.
  • Lady Tanya Moreau is there, and she says that she has accidentally given Bee the impression that he’s dead and this is the afterlife.
  • Bee has bothered Chef by trying to eat the hog whole, but several of the crew members managed to restrain him.
  • Bert convinces Bee that he’s not dead, and Bee apologizes.
  • The party speaks with Lady Moreau and find that she had her own adventures while trying to avoid captors, that’s why she didn’t meet them in Swellburg.
  • She offhandedly hints that she had some dungeon crawling adventures of her own, but she brushes them off when asked for more details, other than she acquired a dagger for one of her accomplices in exchange for his assistance.
  • Lady Moreau and Jenkins took care of Bessie for Bee, and she returns to Bee at this point.
  • The party gets Villeous to cast sending to Captain John Thorn.
    • He is safe and coming to the ship with Captain Sven Striker
    • Also safe and returning are Creben Durgard, Kelly Palmer, and Corporal Steven Lorne.
    • All others of his party are either dead or missing.
    • Villeous says he must report this conversation to Adriana, since the information pertains to Captain Striker’s activities.
  • The party cleans up and joins the Kordan celebration that Chef put on.
  • Bee wrestles Dean and Carlos Halsmith simultaneously, which ends in a draw.
  • They drink and be merry.
  • Thomas meets another xeph on the crew: P-Pot works in the stables with Milkman. She immediately sees through Thomas’s disguise, but doesn’t mention it to anyone else.
  • Bee gets drunk and passes out outside, while the others go in to rest.
  • The next morning, the party sets about clearing up a few things.
  • First, Newton casts detect evil on Jenny, and determines that she’s not evil.
  • Next, they ask Adriana if anybody on the ship can teach them about extraplanar creatures. She introduces them to Dr. Haverdy
    • Haverdy is quite strange and forces them to do seemingly arbitrary things, including knocking on the door in an intricate pattern.
    • He tells them the creature is an abyssal ghoul, and it will feed very quickly on the few drow they witnessed.
    • They ask about extraplanar creatures following them from the Astral Plane.
    • After getting more information, Haverdy kicks them out without any answers.
    • Bert convinces him to explain, but Haverdy swears him to secrecy, and makes the others leave.
    • Newton leaves without performing the intricate knocking ritual Havedy requested, but Thomas and Jenny make an attempt.
    • Bert learns what Haverdy knows about the strange occurrences following Thomas and Newton.
    • When the others ask Bert about it, he says it’s a temporary affliction caused by excess bleeding from another plane. It will wear off over time, as long as they avoid other planes.
    • The others don’t believe him, but they don’t ask further.
  • The party visits the armorer and sells their masterwork and some magic items.
  • At this point, Trevor’s shop is open and they visit him. They sell their remaining excess magic items and buy some upgrades, mostly to armor.
  • Bee tries to help Goat, the blacksmith/armor-smith, make barding for Bessie, but the smith kicks him out after a short time.
  • Thomas, Newton, Bee, and Jenny go for a walk and discuss some things while Bert visits Haverdy again.
  • Newton asks Jenny about her lycanthropy:
    • She was born with it
    • She wishes to have it removed, but even the most powerful magic may not work
    • She can control when she changes, but her behavior becomes very different when she does
    • Benjamin is not a lycanthrope
    • Their father became afflicted after Ben was born, but her mother is not
  • Next, they broach the subject of her undead aura. Bee and Thomas say they will defend her, no matter what, so she needn’t fear Newton’s response.
  • Instead, she opts to speak with Newton alone. The others comply, and she speaks with him for a short time.
  • When they return, Newton seems perturbed, but they both look fine, and Jenny even seems a bit happy.
  • Newton explains that the problem will be resolved in time, and Jenny may now leave his presence without problems.
  • Bert has returned to the party at this point and they all watch a group of about ten flying mounts return to the vessel.
  • They hustle to the stables to see who has arrived.
    • Captain Striker and his team have returned. They have with them everybody from Captain John’s group that they could save.
    • Bee goes to talk to the woman, Yasu Yukimura, riding a dire bat and asks if she’s a druid.
    • She confirms she is, and Bee asks to learn from her. She invites him to ride with her, and they fly to a higher deck.
    • Jenny asks Captain John what happened to Benjamin, and he tells her that Ben left the group well before the ambush happened.
    • The rest of the group was captured or killed by some Kordans from an unknown house.
    • They remained on the defensive until Captain Striker and his crew rescued them.
  • After a short time for cleaning up and internal debriefing, Captain Striker calls the party and John to the bridge and they discuss business
    • The party describes their recent escapades in the Freelands (excluding any details about Haven).
    • They also describe their problems with the drow and the abyssal ghoul.
    • Striker says he knows about Thomas and Newton’s involvement with the Illithid Portal in the Luminous Mountains
    • He reminds them that they have one of two Gateway Keys, the other having been stolen from Professor Farnsworth a few weeks ago.
    • At Striker’s request, Thomas shows that they still possess their key.
    • Striker asks to have it, but they refuse.
    • He explains that he has been tasked by Lord Bluemont and the Arcane Empire hierarchy to retrieve it, and close portals that have begun to open since the Minor Illithid Invasion occurred.
    • The party offers to help, and The Captain agrees to let them assist with the portals they discovered in the drow caverns.
    • They also discuss the Warband and Great Leader, including the strange constructs.
    • It becomes clear that Striker knows a fair amount about the hobgoblin movements, but not much more than the party.
    • Finally, they mention the man with two huge constructs piling dead bodies in one of the Northern cities.
    • One of Striker’s advisers suggests it may be the Corpsecrafter.
  • Next he speaks with Captain John.
    • He claims that Durgard will be transported to the Arcane Empire.
    • Captain John argues, but to no avail.
    • It also becomes clear that Striker has no intention to mount any rescue for the remaining members that went missing near Swellburg
  • Meanwhile, Bee speaks with Yasu for a short time in the “nest” she built in the ship’s greenhouse.
  • She is willing to teach him what she can, and also offers to let him stay with her until he can make his own natural surroundings on the vessel.
  • Next, Bee finds Durgard being guarded by some of the guards on the Vertragus. They refuse to let him speak to him in person, so Bee shouts through the door.
    • Durgard thanks him for switching places with the Warband hobgoblins.
    • He also says he just wants to be with his family in the Dragonrange Mountains.
  • The party offers to help Captain John scry on any missing comrades, and he accepts their offer.
  • The session ends as Newton prepares the crystal ball.

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