Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Return to Freeport Campaign Notes

This post should be the first of many with notes from my current Pathfinder campaign, Return to Freeport.


Return to Freeport Campaign Notes

The PCs:
  • Al—Leonard Melachion, human male inquisitor
  • Aric—Kenton Fuso, human male fighter
  • Brent—Birgir, human male fighter
  • Geof—Templeton, human male rogue
  • Michael—Hector Nicolai, half-elf male sorcerer
  • Todd—Abinacki of Ibstock, human male cleric of the Sea God

Session 1—Curse of the Brine Witch—20 August 2019
(We took the first part of this session for creating characters.)

While the PCs were passing through the Fool's Market, Gamey Rind reacted to Hector, spewing information about “the biting eye,” “the crone's red claw,” “the black blood of the poisoned earth,” and “too many missing and not enough dead.” When the passersby started to crowd the PCs, Templeton (more subtly) and Birgir (less so) managed to back them down.

Shortly thereafter they met Little Nell, who led them to Scurvytown for a meeting with Lady Jane at the Torchlight Academy. They heard her story, mostly via Nell, and decided to help. The PCs set up watches to keep an eye on Lady Jane, while Templeton patrolled the street outside the Academy.

During the night Hector had a nightmare about a ship crewed by damned souls, disembodied arms reaching out at him from the fog, and a fleet of ships flying Mazin flags. Kenton woke him up from it. While on watch, Birgir fell asleep, but Leonard was awake when a ghostly hand appeared and struck Lady Jane with some kind of curse. It caused her considerable harm, but Leonard raised the alarm and Hector hit it with a magic missile to dispel it. The PCs decided to continue their investigation in the morning.

Session 2—Curse of the Brine Witch—27 August 2019
The next morning the PCs started investigating. Hector took the black powder to the Wizards' Guild, but they couldn't identify it. Abinack went to the Temple of Procan, but had similar results. Templeton did some asking around the Eastern District and Scurvytown, and met some people who'd suffered various afflictions. There was also talk of strange disappearances. Eventually the party ran into some pirates who were attacking a woman they said was cursed; the PCs defeated them and saved her. At another time they found a man who was being attacked by a sand-blighted swarm of rats, which they managed to slay. 

From there they picked up a trail of black sand and followed it to the Chambers Asylum, which had been boarded up. The PCs forced open the door and entered. They were ambushed by a trio of azhar buccaneers, but turned the tide against them. After some more exploring they found three more buccaneers, led by First Mate Nejhira; they outfought the pirates and captured her.

Session 3—Curse of the Brine Witch—3 September 2019
Continuing their exploration of the Chambers Asylum, the PCs set off a trap in the kitchen, and then found a krenshar in the pantry. Its howl brought more of the creatures, and the PCs fought them off with a brave stand in the common room. Abinack stood over the uncounscious First Mate Nejhira to ensure that she was unharmed. After confirming that the ground-floor dormitories were unoccupied, they headed upstairs.

Templeton tried to sneak up on the cultists, but failed; Birgir attempted to vault their barricade, but crashed into it instead. Even so, Hector put to of the cultists to sleep, and the rest of the part slew the other one. From there they met and talked with Clement Moore, and decide to bind him with shackles and bring him with them. They also found three more cultists in the treatment rooms and defeated them, too.

Finding the stairway that led to the underground level, they headed downward. After examining the high-security cells, Kenton found the secret door to the hidden laboratory. Zabreen the Magnificent, protected by a shield spell and moving on the ceiling because he could spider climb, caused the party considerable harm with his burning hands. Abinack kept the PCs on their feet by channeling positive energy, however, and using a combination of ranged attacks, spells, and creative melee efforts (such as rolling a large barrel under their foe, or having one character boost another—they won the day.

Session 4—Curse of the Brine Witch—10 September 2019
Following their business in the Chambers Asylum, the PCs kept First Mate Nejhira with them; they decided to let Clement Moore go after questioning him. The next morning they headed to the Docks to visit the Scalded Man, which they found occupied by a half dozen crew members. After some consideration, they decided to leave Nejhira there, with the possibility of doing business in the future.

Heading back into town, they were ambushed by Eyebiter, Constance and a pair of snipers with crossbows; they won the fight using weapons, spells and pursuit up to the rooftops to outflank their foes. They were also attacked by a doru, which they defeated. Arriving at Kafe Ilkin, they learned more about the divs and what they might be doing in Freeport.

Session 5—Curse of the Brine Witch—17 September 2019
After their visit to Kafe Ilkin, the PCs were taunted by another doru, who told them Little Nell was in danger. They went to check on her, and arrived just as she was stricken down by the Brine Witch. Another doru taunted them again, this time mentioning Arzu from Cafe Ilkin. Rushing back there, they discovered that the azhar alchemist was missing, but did manage to find a potion of see invisibility. Using that they tracked yet another doru back to the Brine Witch's lair, which they stormed, and managed to slay their foe.

Session 6—The Abyssinial Chain—24 September 2019
During their downtime the PCs have been staying at the Torchlight Academy; they have taken to calling themselves the Torchlight Crew. In the interim, Lady Jane, Little Nell and Arzu have recovered. 

When approached by Maldemer Drum, all but Kenton agreed to be interviewed. Hector told about his encounter with Gamey Rind; Templeton mentioned the black sand and the Chambers Asylum; others told of the Scalded Man and its crew, the assassins and Arzu; tracking the Brine Witch to the abandoned house, and the final battle. Somebody boasted, “As long as we're around, Freeport is safe.” Templeton might have said something about freedom, justice and honor. 

The next day, after the story ran, Abigayle Wynt found them at the Academy, and Abinack asked for the story. After hearing her tale, the PCs agreed to look for her brother at her asking price. They headed to Krom's throat on her tip, where Templeton spread around some gold, said the right things, and learned that Jakob had also frequented the Chickenscratch. The PCs went there, posing as spectators for the cockfights, cased the joint, and then attacked—and defeated—the guards in the hope of gaining access to the place's back room. 

Session 7—The Abyssinial Chain—1 October 2019
The PCs continued their rampage through the Chickenscratch, defeating the cockerels and their handlers. They ransacked the storage area and entered the bunkroom, where Kenzing fled to the office to unleash the cockatrice. The PCs defeated them with melee attacks, arrows and spells.
Having heard cries from the arena to summon the Redblades, the PCs set fire to some of the rooms and escaped through an exit that Kenton had made. They evaded pursuit through the streets and alleyways following Templeton's lead, and Birgir carried out the unconscious Kenzing. 

During some downtime at the Torchlight Academy, the PCs read through Sackerson's papers and questioned Kenzing. They decided then to split the party; some asked questions around the Docks, which cast suspicion on the Mollycoddles, while others posted falsified messages saying that Kenzing had taken over running the Cockspurs and wished to deliver another batch of slaves. They were directed via other posters to go to the Docks. There, leading a strange parade of humanity recruited to act the part of prisoners, they were attacked by some mermaids, and managed to defeat all but one of them.

Session 8—The Abyssinial Chain—8 October 2019
The PCs wove a trinket into the hair of an unconscious mermaid and let her free; Abinack used locate object to find her out in the harbor. Then they plunged into the water on the offensive. Leonard was grappled by one of the crabs but liberated himself. Abinack was grappled, too, but the others killed it before it could eat him. The Mollycoddles came streaming out of the sunken ship to defend their lair. Hector weakened some of them with a color spray, and the other PCs used lots of movements, flanking attacks and a good deal of healing to win the fray. After defeating the mermaids, the PCs rescued their prisoners and learned the sewer exit into which other captives had been delivered.

Session 9—The Abyssinial Chain—15 October 2019
After some preparations, the PCs headed into the sewers beneath Freeport. At one intersection they were attacked by an otyugh, but Kenton shot it in the mouth with an arrow before Birgir finished it off with a swing of his axe. Later a cloaked dropped from the ceiling, enveloped Birgir, and panicked all but Kenton with its moan; the archer slew it with a pair of arrows. At another intersection Mr. Licorice and his choker children ambushed the party. Leonard, Abinack and Birgir were all grappled, but the prior liberated himself while the latter two had their foes killed. Approaching the Hotel Recherche, they tripped the alarm, and thus fought a ready Brazajer, two thugs, and the amorous choker and mermaid, Panterri and Gondalyn—but the PCs won the day.

Session 10—The Abyssinial Chain—22 October 2019
Moving up from the hotel's cistern and basement, the PCs explored the ground floor. Two of the chairs around a long table were actually mimics, and attacked them! Leonard became stuck to one, but again liberated himself. The other PCs managed to dispatch the shapeshifters. On the next level Templeton was stealthy and began exploring, but Abinack was not so quiet and alerted Godmother Gold. Thinking quickly, Templeton used a dagger throw to knock some smoldering embers onto the ground, hoping to smoke the ratfolk out of the counting room. Kenton and Hector began sniping into through the barred window, before while Birgir and Leonard positioned themselves outside the door. The PCs once again were victorious. One floor higher, they ran afoul of hobgoblins, chain gangers, an alchemist and a leopard, the latter of which pounced on and badly wounded Leonard—but Abinack healed him. Again the PCs won the day, and now there is only one more floor left in the hotel.

Session 11—The Abyssinial Chain/Storming the Razor Caves—29 October 2019
Heading into the top floor of the hotel, the PCs heard Miss Vee's offer to work for her; they played along a little bit in order to approach her, but then rejected it out of hand and defeated her and her chain ganger bodyguards in combat. In the aftermath they learned about her efforts to recruit more gangs as part of the Abyssinial Chain, and that she has an influential patron in Freeport known only as G. 

They also found evidence that Jakob Wynt and other slaves had been taken to a place called Hangnail, which some investigation revealed to be an island to the south of Freeport. They tracked down a besotted captain, Flynx, paid some of his debts and convinced him to lead them to Hangnail. Together they steered the ship through a tricky passage in an area of dark water known as Midnight's Ichor, fighting off some attacking wraiths along the way, and reached their destination.

Session 12—Storming the Razor Caves—5 November 2019
Arriving at Hangnail, the PCs were confronted by Klinx Thickskull; they decided to give up her estranged father, Captain Flynx. Heading into town, they ran into a group of Ameer toughs who were coming out of the tavern, but the PCs dispatched them. They then met some of the surviving locals, who called them into tavern and told of the situation on the island—including the facts that the slavers had taken their chattel deeper into the caves of the island, and that the slaving business had recently been disrupted. The PCs managed to access the old warehouse, where they found a stash of jugs that contained alchemist's fire. From there they attacked the old meeting hall, facing and defeating more of the slavers.

Session 13—Storming the Razor Caves—12 November 2019
Moving on from the Congress of Captains meeting hall, the PCs dispatched the guards by the door that leads back into the Razor Caves and then broke it open. They fought off the guards from the barracks, managing to hold against the villains' efforts to attack from both sides. Some of the Ameer warriors in the secret harbor noticed the party's incursion, however, and sounded the alarm. The PCs defeated a slave master and more warriors, and began spreading out into the rest of the compound. They now find themselves in the thick of things, with numerous enemies still surrounding them.

Session 14—Storming the Razor Caves/The Freebooter's City—19 November 2019

Moving further into the compound, the PCs dispatched another Ameer warrior and a priest. Bosun Gelgooth, a winged ape-like creature, attacked from aboard the Eth Abaddon, which was riding at anchor in the secret harbor. There was much climbing across the line being used for moving cargo to the ship, and Hector swam across to it in an impressively aquatic manner. Kenton sniped with his bow while others engaged, and they defeated the bosun. 

Yusynaat, the pairaka div, used a summoned swarm to weaken the PCs, and managed to charm Birgir to turn him against the others. She tried to dimension door aboard the Eth Abaddon and escape, but they caught up to and slew her. After exploring the facility and finding what they could, the PCs set sail from Hangnail aboard their newly acquired ship. In Midnight's Ichor they overtook the Precocious Imp, which was drifting, with only Captain Flynx left aboard. When Black Jules attacked, they struck a deal with him, and then continued on toward Freeport.

Session 15—The Freebooter's City—10 December 2019
Upon arrival in Freeport, the PCs were met by a ship of the city's navy and told to receiver boarders, including soldiers, Councilor Nathan Grymes and High Wizard Tarmon. The latter two decided to confiscate the Eth Abaddon temporarily for inspection, but did pay the PCs 200 gp each and invite them to that evening's council meeting. Abigayle Wynt also paid them the promised 1000 gp each.

After some shopping, the PCs went to the meeting, where they argued for rallying the Freeport Navy against the Mazin threat, but the councilors voted against doing so. Jacob Lydon met them at a tavern afterward, however, and proposed recruiting a flotilla of pirates, and the PCs agreed to do so. They found Katspur Zee at the Irate Pirate tavern and convinced her to join; after that they found Mean Wallace at Krom's Throat, beat him and his orc crew in a fight, and thus won his cooperation, too.

Session 16—The Freebooter's City—7 January 2020
Continuing their recruiting, the PCs asked around town and learned about Edward Cooper's interest in the late Dolly Jasmine, a victim of the Brine Witch's curse; Lady Jane told them about Dolly's business with Bryleth Hayes, a cartographer at the Freeport Institute. For some compensation, he agreed to draw a copy of the map that had been tattooed on Dolly, and they used it to win Cooper to the cause.

Next they trekked across A'Val to Cabbage Crack—being attacked by and defeating a pair of shambling mounds along the way—and met Christopher Bailey at his farmhouse. By appealing to his honor, they convinced him to join as well. Back in Freeport, they learned that Sabiha Carrington was seeking a letter of marque, and they had Jacob Lydon write one for her.

Finally, following up on rumors that Sarinda Rogers was still alive and dwelling in the sewers beneath the city, they ventured underground—fighting off a blacking pudding as they did so—found Rogers, heard her story, and agreed to help her find the amulet eternal.

Session 17—The Freebooter's City—14 January 2020
Abinack used a locate object spell to find the resting place of the amulet eternal; the PCs drank potions of water breathing and took the plunge. Entering the coral dungeon, they handily dispatched the dire prawns—and saved the carcasses for later use. The giant moray eels gave them a tougher time, but they still won the day—and again saved the carcasses. In their battle against the mermedusa and her sahuagin servants, none succumbed to her petrifying gaze, and they were victorious. With the amulet returned to her, Sarinda Rogers agreed to join their fleet for one last voyage.
Once all were assembled, multiple captains threw in their names to lead the flotilla, including Hector! For that reason, Maldemer Drum arranged a competition. The PCs won the deck-swabbing contest when Abinack called upon the Sea God to create water for doing so. He won the climbing race, too, by using his dimension step ability. Finally, Birgir won the drinking contest, and Hector was named Commodore of the fleet.

Session 18—A Storm of Sails—21 January 2020
After she blew obsidian sand in Hector's face, the PCs chased the mysterious red-robed woman; Templeton caught her, but she dissipated before telling them anything more. Hector has a vision, however, in which he met Ad Avish. The party hired seven artillerists to operate the ship's ballistas, and then they set sail. En route to Hangnail they fought off a slithering sargasso, a wing of kapoacinths, and a gang of wights led by a spectre. Just before reaching Hangnail, they spied two ships in the distance that tried to turn about and make a run for it...

Session 19—A Storm of Sails—28 January 2020
The PCs captured another elemental baghlah, a scout for the Mazini fleet; they fought their way through a deck full of enemies and a stinking cloud to do so. They gave Christopher Bailey command of it. The other one was sunk by the other ships in their flotilla.

Sessions 20 and 21—A Storm of Sails and Traitor's End—4 and 11 February 2020
Knowing that the Mazini fleet is approaching, the PCs decided to let those ships reach the main Hangnail harbor, and then use their own flotilla to pin them into place; they would then sneak around from the secret harbor and attack from behind. The Mazini spotted them, however, and pressed for a direct engagement. It was a hard-fought battle, and Ad Avish proved particularly tough. The PCs one the day, but Abinac was killed in the fight. He was reincarnated as a goblin. 

Among Ad Avish's possessions the PCs found evidence revealing the identity of the traitor, G; they returned to Freeport as the Drac's Fall festival was beginning. After some investigation around town, they headed to the Helkerna shipyard to confront Captain Cecelia Mawkins and her pirates, whom they defeated. They learned that she'd been making deliveries to Drusilla's Drafts, an alchemy shop in the Merchant District.

Session 22—Traitor's End—18 February 2020
Upon arriving at Drusilla's Draughts, the PCs conversed with her for a bit before pushing their way into the backroom, where they found the secret entrance to a stairway leading below. At the bottom of the stairs she tried to lead them into the pit trap, but she failed. The chemical golem caused the party some trouble, as did the Ophidian alchemists and Zesshessn, but the PCs won the day.

Session 23—Traitor's End—25 February 2020
From the Ophidian alchemists the PCs learned about the production of ebon blight, a poision made from the black sand, and Grymes's plot to poison the rum intended for the Drac's Fall celebrations. For that reason they visited the Dirty Molasses distillery, only to find that their rum had been moved to Warehouse 44 for distribution. Arriving there, Leonard used a dimensional hop to bypass the front door, taking Birgir with him; they unbarred the front doors, found the blood stains and tracked them into the office. They found the bodies of the slain supervisor and guard, then headed further inward. Eventually the faced off against three rogues from the Vultures gang and defeated them, before facing and defeating Grim Caldwell, his phantom, and two more rogues. 

After that they visited the Three Spears distillery, too, where they ran into the bugbear brawler Bruiser Beegore and more Vultures thugs. The PCs won that first battle and survived a cone of cold trap before encountering and defeating Mercy Wintoris and more of the Vultures thugs. From Mercy they took a note, which led them to research the poetry of Opal Shelby.

Session 24—Traitor's End—3 March 2020
The PCs read the poem; Hector recognized he clue in it, and they set out for Grimarch Alley. Following the secret directions, they navigated its labyrinthine course. Upon reaching the quicksand, Abinack moved himself, Birgir and Hector over it, while Templeton and Leonard made running leaps. That was when the Guardian struck, trying to push them back into the mirk. He proved a challenging foe, but the party's numbers carried them to victory. They made relatively short work of the giant squid at the base of the Spire, and then were harassed by the nasu divs while making the climb over numerous derelict ships. (Kenton was forced to wield a spear. A spear!) 

At the top they found the div-touched Nathan Grymes, who pushed the PCs to their limits; only through a combination of spells, healing, knife slashes, rapier stabs, axe blows and arrow strikes were they able to win the day.

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