A Blood Red Sky

Enter the Dragon
Session 7

As the Night Ranger headed back toward Gateway, Scuttlebutt was plagued by nightmares of demons and tendrils bursting out of his chest. Curious about whether or not this was caused by the amulet, Decker suggested that Zev bring the amulet to Scuttlebutt. The amulet immediately began glowing brightly and becoming warm to the touch. Zev quickly put it back into his pouch and moved to the other end of the ship, but the glow and heat only intensified. Zev held up the amulet in his bag, trying to decide if he should throw it from the ship when it burned through the pouch and fell to the deck of the ship. Thinking only of the damage it could cause, Captain Jack picked up the amulet with his bare hand and tried to throw it off the ship. He did not succeed.

A bright light burst forth blinding everyone on deck as Captain Jack screamed in agony. Strangely, his screams began to fade then Zev was attacked by a large creature standing where Jack once stood. Hearing Zev scream in agony, Ortag, Scuttlebutt, and Decker blindly moved toward the front of the ship as Marn took cover behind a mast. Ortag stunned the beast with a mighty blow, allowing Zev to get away from the creature. As the light faded, Marn was able to see well enough to blasted away at the demon. The party seemed to be getting the best of the demon when it released a powerful blast that stunned and injured the nearest combatants. Fortunately, Marn was bring the creature down with a pinpoint shot from the Marn-o-matic death ray. The demon exploded with a tremendous force, driving everyone to the Night Ranger’s deck. Reeling from the blast, the party helplessly watched an ethereal figure of light emerge from the portal and speak to them in a resounding voice,

Travelers, let this be known to you. I am the god, Lightbringer. I have beheld a moment of clarity. Before my insanity, I was Oceanius, Lord of the Oceans. Your defeat of the evil infesting this ancient medallion has awakened this clarity of thought. It was once a holy symbol of my priests, but I have not seen its like since before the dawn of this world.

There is a battle, a final battle, that shall soon engulf the Skies. The fate of the Skies will rest upon you are receiving this knowledge, for soon, insanity shall grip me again. Seek these artifacts of the Souls in preparation for the final battle.

The fuel that burns in the Queen’s barge where a dragon’s heart will awaken a dragon’s spirit;
The armor of Orcbane;
Festival’s harp, ignored by my followers;
The hammer of the damned dwarf;
And, the raven staff.

Recover them all, for soon the Shield will fail again. If you heroes do not carry this burden the world shall be no more.

Begin your quest by seeking Joeseth Truthbearer in Gateway for his journey intersects with the path you must travel.

As Lightbringer finished speaking, he moved to where Scuttlebutt was reeling from the blast. Lightbringer pressed his ghostly hand into Scuttlebutt’s chest and ripped the tendriled presence from him. Then Lightbringer moved back through the portal and it closed leaving the Oceanius medallion resting upon the floor.

When Lightbringer vanished and Captain Jack did not reappear, Marn took the helm of the Night Ranger, with the aid of Decker and Scuttlebutt. Once the Night Ranger arrived at Gateway, Scuttlebutt took over to dock the ship at port. Ortag volunteered to “defend” the Night Ranger while the rest of the party went to visit Thomas Hawk, who was devastated to hear of his son’s demise but relieved to have some closure. Decker bought a flintlock pistol that Thomas had been able to find from one of his sources.

Following the lead provided by Lightbringer, Zev directed the group to find Joeseth Truthbearer on God’s Parade, a wide avenue in Gateway that is populated with temples to the many gods. From Zev’s knowledge of Gateway, he was able to recall that Joeseth was a bit of an oddity in his beliefs. He worshiped the Rotting One, but as the goddess of Love. Joeseth claimed that the goddess of Love made the ultimate sacrifice for the peoples of the Sundered Skies, but was prevented from passing on to her final reward. However, he was an enemy of the Bright Cabal, actively opposing their their reign within the Shattered City.

Zev spotted Joeseth in his purple robes made, as he was hurriedly making his way down the main road. A quick conversation revealed that Joeseth has some knowledge of the fuel that burns within the Queen’s barge. Joeseth theorized that the crew could get onto the Bone Queen’s barge by faking death using a concoction that he had created. Over Marn’s strenuous objections, the party agreed to Joeseth’s plan. Each member of the party drank a vial of Joeseth’s potion and fell into a deathlike state.

Joeseth Truthbearer’s plan worked. When the potion wore off and the party woke up, they were in a pile of dead bodies on the Bone Queen’s barge. Unarmed, they made their way down a hallway where they found some zombies sorting their weapons. As they picked up their weapons, the zombies tried to take them away. Ortag lost his temper and attacked one of the zombies, starting a battle between the zombies and the partially armed party. The zombies were quickly dispatched, the party’s wounds healed by Decker and Zev. Marn managed to pick out the sound of the engine room and led the rest of the party to its location. As they moved through the corridors, it became obvious that the Queen’s barge was made from the carcass of a dragon.

The party was ready for combat as Ortag opened the door to the engine room. A group of zombies and a wraith immediately turned to attack the party while three ghouls continued to steer the ship. Zev and Marn concentrated on the wraith, completely neutralizing it, while the others destroyed the zombies. The party easily dispatched their foes but not before the alarm was sounded. Zev barred the door with his staff while the others went to the back of the engine room. Ortag and Scuttlebutt worked together to force a rusted latch open, getting the door unlocked just as the undead hordes burst through the door to the engine room. Marn opened the door at the back of the engine room, staying out of the doorway as he did so. The fiery form of a dragon flew around the engine room and entered Zev’s body through his mouth.

Zev’s chest felt like it was burning as he heard the words “free my soul” in his mind. Zev exhaled a large stream of fire that flowed through the entire ship, incinerating all undead in its path. The stream of fire also had another unexpected effect, transforming Decker’s pistol into a gun shaped like a dragon. As the fire flowed through the ship, it began to lurch, presumably from the lack of anyone steering it and the damage inflicted from the the dragon fire. The party made its way to the top deck, noticing along the way that he dragon carcass seemed to be turning back into living flesh. On the top deck, there were a number of life boats on either side. The party quickly picked one and jumped inside. Looking back, Decker saw the Bone Queen screaming from the galley. Curious about the capabilities of the newly transformed dragon gun, he took a shot at her. The gun blasted a flaming projectile that hit her squarely in the chest and engulfed her in flames.

The dragon completed its metamorphosis from undead dragon carcass to living dragon then vanished from site in a flash, leaving the party alone in their life boat.

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Search for Tony Hawk (Part 2)
Session 6

As the void apes stood up to do battle once more, Decker and Scuttlebutt noticed tendrils connecting the creature in the doorway to the apes. Rather than attacking the apes directly, the two combatants attempted to attack the tendrils instead while shouting for help from the other members of the party.

The battle was quickly joined by Marn, Ortag, and Zev. Ortag kept the animated apes at bay while the others attacked the tendrils. Scuttlebutt’s maul workedto devastating effect while Marn and Zev were able to damage the tendrils as well. Decker’s sling was useless against the tendrils, so he started to focus on the bloated head that could now be seen peering out of the doorway.

Scuttlebutt cleared the nearest tendrils, causing the apes to fall back to the floor. Then, he charged the creature in the doorway. As the creature stepped forward, it’s large puffy mass could be seen. It was at this point, that the creature dealt a devastating blow to Scuttlebutt, leaving him incapacitated. Ortag finished his tendril and joined the attack on the demonic creature as Zev worked feverishly to keep Scuttlebutt from dying. Marn armed himself with his sling once the Marn-o-matic death ray ran out of power. Decker drew his cutlass and joined Ortag.

Zev was able to save the life of Scuttlebutt, and the orc, not knowing when to quit, stood back up to do battle once more. Zev moved forward to add another melee target to the creature. The heroes began to turn the tide and ended the creature’s existence with a slice of Decker’s cutlass. Scuttlebutt’s internals were still leaking out, but the party survived the battle.

After the battle, the party examined the grotesque creature. Zev found an amulet around its neck, but his mystic powers revealed nothing of its nature except that it contained a powerful enchantment. Decker vaguely remembered hearing of an amulet called “demon puppet” at some point in his travels and the description of that amulet matched this one. The party took the amulet and headed downstairs into the lighthouse. Inside, they found gloves that could only have belonged to Tony Hawk. In addition, they found more salvage, a silver rapier, a broken bow, and a couple of spears. The party quickly loaded everything their spoils onto the dinghy, and headed back to the Night Ranger.

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Search for Tony Hawk (Part 1)
Session 5

With the ship back at full power and the crew rested, the Night Ranger headed towards Gateway with the hope that the salvage discovered during the previous adventures could finally be sold. In addition, Zev needed to report his findings to Thomas Hawk.

The trip to Gateway was uneventful, and, in a fortunate coincidence, it turned out that Thomas Hawk was the man who could potentially pay for the salvage. Upon docking at Gateway, the crew headed directly to “The Hawk’s Nest” to handle their business with the elder Hawk.

Zev reported on his adventures and presented the attunement soil found in the Arcane Cave on Ortag’s Bane (as the island of explosive dysentery became affectionately known to the crew) to Mr. Hawk. Thomas Hawk took the soil to the navigator’s guild to determine its viability and promised to start trying to move the salvage for a substantial profit.

After a cycle in port and with no material progress in either selling salvage or finding affordable projectiles, Mr. Hawk informed the crew that one of the boxes of soil was found to be of unknown origin and still be capable of traveling. For the love of adventure and 1000 cogs, the band of adventurers decided to race against the attunement decay to try and finally learn the fate of Tony Hawk.

The soil led them to a small island with a freighter crashed into what appeared to be a lighthouse. The debris around the island was too thick to allow the Night Ranger passage, so the crew, minus Captain Jack, took a dinghy to the island. As they approached, the party was attacked by irascible Void Apes. They were quickly dispatched and the party docked on the island only to be attacked a second time as they tried to climb onto the wreckage of the freighter. The apes were again quickly dispatched , but Decker was badly injured. Fortunately, he was to recover completely thanks to Zev’s healing prowess and some magic from the Lord of Festival.

From below decks, a wafting stench from below drew most of the adventurers into the hold with the cautious exception of Marn Spanner. There, they were attacked by even more Void Apes and a oversized, grossly misshapen void leader. To the starboard side, a gaping hole opened into the tower. Stairs could be faintly observed leading down.

These apes were killed and their lifeless bodies lay spread around the below deck. Realizing that most of their mystic might had been spent, the group decided to take the salvage they had found so far back to the Night Ranger where they could recharge. As the group started carrying salvage back to the boat, a powerful noxious wind emanated from the hole in the tower and seemingly reanimated the void ape bodies. Only Decker and Scuttlebutt were below deck when a powerful, undead hand closed around Scuttlebutt’s ankle, causing the Orc wet himself in fear. A pair of sinister glowing eyes were seen staring from the hole in the tower…

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A Devious Plan
Session 4

The gamble to sail the the less traveled, and often perilous skies, leagues beneath Star Crater Island, was now becoming of questionable value. Thus far, the Night Ranger had avoided other skyships in its journey, and with it any potential entanglement with elves. The cost of avoidance had been paid in damage to to the Night Ranger. Marn had performed a near impossible task in adapting the Night Ranger’s drivetrain to accept the shaft salvaged from the water wheel and purposing it as a serviceable driveshaft for the ship’s propeller. The cost of elven avoidance had also been paid in time. At present, they estimated that they would be days late for delivering the cargo to Mount Ore if they were to keep their previous pace. However, with the makeshift propulsion system in place their paced would certainly be impacted for the worse. The delay was bound to slip to weeks as the Night Ranger limped away from the small island settlement.

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Earth, Wind, and Water
Session 3

After the flank steaks, the party went below deck for some rest and rejuvenation. They took turns keeping watch. During ScuttleButt’s watch, he heard an explosion below deck. When he investigated, he noticed a terrible stench coming from the orc quarters where Ortag was resting. He bravely opened the door and found Ortag covered in his own feces. Although he could not determine if it was the uncooked steak or the fact that he kept putting his fingers in the wounds from the earlier battle, Decker concluded that the only course of action was to allow Warthog ’s body to heal itself.

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An Old Acquaintance
Session 2

The abandoned village stood motionless after the merciless slaughter of the feral dogs. Ortag was dispatched to inspect the door of the common hall and found it was weaker than it looked, but barred from the inside. He attempted to force the door open, but overexerted himself, slipped and cracked his thick skull. Reeling from the impact and enraged by the ensuing laugher of the other party members, Ortag charged the door. As he threw his mighty frame into it, it splintered into a thousand shards and sent him tumbling to the floor where he lay; shaken and babbling in some incoherent prayer.

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Leaving Deepsky Citadel
Session 1

With his adopted father dead, Marn Spanner knew that his sponsorship at Deepsky Citadel was expired. He had been following a murder suspect, an easily enraged orc that went by the name Ortag who had been hanging around the docs since the arrival of a small cargo vessel called the Night Ranger had made port a couple days ago. As fate would have it, the Night Ranger was in need of a new engineer since the untimely loss of its previous mechanic. Marn was able to negotiate for the position and joined the crew which afforded him both a way out of Deepsky and a vantage point to keep a watchful eye on Ortag.

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