Sword Coast Guard, Episode 11 – The Sunken Temple, Part 1

Session Date: August 27, 2017

11 Eleasias, 1367 DR

The heroes walk up early before the sun has risen to the sound of watch horns blowing and patrols of Waterdeep soldiers streaming toward the docks. After quickly donning their armor, they head to the docks.

There they find hundreds watch members and soldiers waiting anxiously on the docks. Belgarath investigates the water and discovers that it is darkened with blood.

Soon, several dozen Waterdeep soldiers emerge from the water, carrying a dozen wounded and bleeding sea elves, including Parlanacel Fairskin. The soldiers and sea elves give a report to a man of authority standing nearby, Captain Rulathon the commander of Waterdeep’s soldiers and watch.

It turns out that hundreds of sahuagin attacked the sea elf colony, massacring nearly all of them and stealing the remnants out of their magical vault. Parlanacel sees the heroes standing nearby and flies into a rage, demanding to know why they did not eliminate the sahuagin threat as they had promised to do.

This brings the attention of Captain Rulathon down on the heroes; he also demands answers. The heroes explain that they were dealing with hags in Rassalantar, and Rulathon’s ire is partially abated, though he does reprimand Tzarkin the Younger – a soldier in charge of negotiating contracts with adventurers – for his trust in the Sword Coast Guard.

Finally, the heroes are charged with dealing with the sahuagin forthwith and dismissed from Captain Rulathon’s presence.

On their way through the city, a courier finds them and delivers a letter from Lady Nellabee Tharmar to Nigel. Nellabee says she was pained to find that Nigel did not visit her during the last tenday he spent in town, and asks him to join her in the library if the love they shared was real. This, of course, is the same woman who magically compelled Nigel to give her the remnants the bard carried not so long ago.

Nearby, Nigel spots someone who looks exactly like Ashton Sanguine, the man who ruined his reputation at the bard college in Silverymoon and whose throat he slit several ten days ago. The heroes quickly swarm the man, who doesn’t even try to flee.

In the discussion that follows, the man who appears to be Ashton Sanguine claims to be Nigel’s son. The heroes immediately begin talk of the demonic offspring Nigel has been fathering with Nellabee Tharmar. In the end, the heroes release the man, who merely requests that Nigel join his mother in the library, as he did in the good old days.

With Nigel’s loose ways – and a rapidly growing linage – continuing to plague the heroes, they head north along the coast toward the Red Cliffs where they should find the sahuagin.

12 Eleasis, 1367 DR

As they travel, they notice a much increased orc presence in the foothills south of the Sword Mountains – Belgarath and Nigel fly above the group on their flying carpet and hippogriff. One orc patrol spots them and beadlines their way.

Five orcs mounted on dire wolves surround the heroes who attempt to parlay. Though initially aggressive, demanding to know what right the heroes have to be in Shattered Teeth territory, the orcs change their tune when the heroes mention an affiliation with Lord Paxton. After some discussion, the orcs reveal that they are sword vassals to Lord Paxton.

The parlay proceeds with uncertain results until Nigel claims he is Ashton Sanguine and produces a letter that seems to substantiate his claims. Convinced, the orcs tell him that Grammillion (the leader of the orc tribe) will want to see him as he totally screwed up the remnant job. The orcs even threaten to take them to him themselves, but the heroes sweet talk their way out of that.

In the end, the orcs let the heroes go on their way without violence.

And that doesn’t happen very often with this group…

The Sword Coast Guard arrives at the Red Cliffs and, after some time searching, finally discover a cave that leads to an underground stream.

Flying two to a carpet and hippogriff, the four heroes follow the stream into a small cavern that appears to be part of an underground lake. There are two quays that lead to passages, and a couple other tunnels leading in other directions.

As the heroes begin looking around, a man bearing a long lance and riding a great white shark surfaces from the water’s depths. He demands to know why they are there, and the heroes tell him they are hunting sahuagin and plan to kill them. The man responds that sahuagin have been displacing his tribe.

The heroes then offer to work with him to kill the sahuagin, and the man accepts. He motions them to follow him. The heroes drink their water breathing potions, Xavier jumps into the water, and the others dismount onto the quays.

At this point one player tries to make an insight check as I’m getting out the battle map and minis. LOL A little too late…

The man was, of course, deceiving the heroes, and Xavier notices five more men on sharks submerged below the water just as he jumps in. They move to attack immediately.

Though Xavier finds himself in a dangerous predicament, Elodin responds with a well-placed hypnotic pattern that catches most of the enemies. As the heroes attack their foes, one of the warriors moves about slashing his companions to wake them out of their stupor.

Just as the enemies have mostly escaped the hypnotic pattern’s effects, Nigel casts compulsion on them, causing nearly all of them to move away from the battle.

At this point, the fight turns into a matter of cleaning up one or two enemies at a time as they escape the compulsion effect. Xavier, with a stroke of inspiration, blows his Horn of Blasting at a group of them as they return from up passage. The enemies are heavily damaged, but the horn blows up in Xavier’s face.

It had a twenty percent changes of blowing up. I rolled 89 on the percentile dice. This made me happy.

Once the last of the shark riders and sharks are killed, the heroes search their bodies and not tattooed along the inside of their forearms: the distinctive symbol of Drazovin.

Then the heroes move to the south to investigate a room off one of the quays. The room contains two pools with large rocks scattered about. Rope is tied around the rocks with the loose ends coiled next to the rocks. On the far wall is painted the symbol of Drazovin.

Belgarath suspects something amiss with the rocks and moves in to investigate. As soon as he nears the pools, the water ripples and several pale-skinned humanoids with long tongues lolling out of their mouths emerge from the water.

Ghasts.

Though the heroes are initially overwhelmed by the monsters’ sudden rush, they quickly shift the tide of battle back in their favor. Belgarath downs several of the undead with his morningstar, and Xavier does the same with his magical sword. Nigel and Elodin fling spells from the back line.

Soon, the ghasts are defeated, and Xavier dives into a pool to investigate. At the bottom of the pool, he finds a skeletal figure with a rope attached to a rock tied around its ankle. The skeleton is “alive” and claws futilely at Xavier, who is out of reach.

After finishing the skeleton off, Xavier tells the group what he found. The heroes suspect that the ropes and rocks were a method of feeding the ghasts.

The Sword Coast Guard

the adventurers formerly known as the Heroes of Gold, Glory, and Girls

Not Pictured: Xavier - Eldritch Knight Fighter

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