Hearts of Iron: The Serpent's Skull

Day 1: A Tale of a Fateful Trip...
Session #1

Dog, Valanthe, Content Not Found: octavia, Flow, and Spark awake on an unknown beach and were immediately set upon by eurypterids, giant sea-scorpions intent on an easy meal. Seeing off the threat the castaways determine their ship The Jenivere has wrecked and they were rescued by an unknown saviour. They secure their equipment which had likewise been salvaged from the ship.

Further down the beach they find another group of castaways consisting of Aerys Mavato, Gelik Aberwhinge, Ishirou, Jask Derindi, Sasha Nevah. Together the castaways determine they were drugged or poisoned, though why the ship then wrecked they have yet to determine.

The wreck of The Jenivere is spotted further up the coast and investigated. They again fight another, larger eurypterid and find the body of Alton Devers, the ship’s first mate. They determine it was he who rescued them and later perished at the claws and sting of the sea scorpion, though he was also suffering from an as yet unexplained rapier would to the addomen. They likewise discovered the body of Rambar Terillo, the ship’s cook, who appeared to have died from the venomous bite of a large snake prior to the shipwreck. Salvaging what they can, they return to the rest of the castaways.

Together the group makes camp and begin and learn more about one-another. The party finds that each of the other five castaways has a goal they are seeking to accomplish and are asked for help. Using Ishirou’s map and information from The Jenivere it is determined they have likely struck ground on Smuggler’s Shiv, a small island in Desperation Bay, off the coast of Sargava.

As they settle in for their first night on the Shiv a dark, winged shape is spotted briefly transiting the moon…

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Day 2: A Real Cliffhanger
Session #2

Awaking to their first full day on Smuggler’s Shiv, the castaways discuss their options. It is decided the party will seek the supposed treasure site indicated on Ishirou’s map while the rest secure the camp site and seek to supplement the defenses and supplies.

They opt to follow the coast but find the beach they had been following ends a mile or so down the coast requiring them to scale the cliffs. Both Dog and Flow make the climb without incident, but while Sparky and Olivia are being hauled up they are set upon by a dimporphodon. Thanks to the quick-thinking of Valanthe the two are shielded from the beast’s attacks by a cunning illusion spell. Through a combination of spells, magic, and luck the creature is defeated with little harm to the party.

Valanthe reasons that the dimorphodon may have been guarding a nearby nest, a suspicion Dog confirms to be likely.

From atop the cliff Dog spies a wreck on a small island about a half-mile from the mainland. They mark it for future investigation and press onwards up the coast.

About a quarter mile south-east they spy the dimorphodon lair, an alcove set into the cliff face. Dog descends to collect the young while the others wait atop the cliff to fend off the mate they suspect may be nearby. Sadly none of them noticed it soaring low above the trees and it dropped in behind them and attacked. Valanthe fell immediately and both Olivia and Flow were wounded. Sparky was able to rouse Valanthe long enough for her to cast a spell that blinded and stunned the beast long enough for the others to kill it. The creature’s venom had done its work however and the party were greater battleworn and injured. They returned to camp rather than press onwards.

Sasha was delighted to receive the gift of the baby dimorphodon and agreed to teach the party some advanced fighting techniques to show her gratitude…after they have had a few days to rest, that is.

As they settled in for their second night on the island an eerie, sonorous howling could be heard somewhere in the darkness…

To Be Continued…

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Day 3 through 10: The sea, it is said, never gives up her dead
Session #3

Awakening to the dawn of a new day the castaways decide to investigate the shipwreck they had spied from the clifftop by the dimorphodon nest. Despite little in the way of nautical skill or knowledge Spark and Dog managed to craft a servicable raft from materials scavenged from the wreck of the Jenivere. They navigated to the wreck, a ship named the Tears of Grog, listing on a shallow island a quarter mile offshore. Dog was able to determine the shipwreck was a modern one, likely no more than a year or two old.

After a brief scout of the island they guided their raft through a gaping hole in the ship’s hull. Almost immediately upon entering the dark hold of the vessel the raft was rocked by blow from beneath, pitching Valanthe and Flow into the water. Dog leapt in to block the humanoid creature than was swimming rapidly towards Valanthe, only to fall almost immediately to the paralyzing claws of a lacedon and slipping motionless beneath the surface. His sacrifice gave Valanthe enough time to scramble back aboard the raft but in short order she too fell to lacedon’s razor-sharp claws. Spark and Flow fought desperately and managed to dispatch the creature. Spark dived into the water and saved the last breath of his body and Flow pulled both of them from the deep before he could drown twice in as many minutes.

They recognized the tattered rags adorning the lacedon’s body as being the remains of a Sargavan naval uniform. The only other item of note was a key around the creatures neck, which they took. Investigating the ship they discovered the remains of many Sargavan sailors who had obviously fallen victim to the lacedon’s hunger. In a locked desk in the captain’s cabin they found the ship’s log chronicling the Tears of Grog’s mission to survey the waters around the Smuggler’s Shiv and catalogue the wrecks that dot her coasts. Additionally the log notes a few key points of interest including a mysterious stone island covered in vibrant green overgrowth and connecting to the mainland via a disappearing causeway, the largely still intact lighthouse from a doomed colony many years ago, and a possible sighting of cannibals rumoured to haunt the island,

They took particular note of two of the wrecks, the Brine Demon, on which Jask Derindi hopes can be found proof of his innocence, and the Nightvoice which Gelik Aberwhinge hopes bringing information about the fate of will help him get back in the good books of the Pathfinder Society. The castaways decide to investigate the Brine Demon first. With the wreck located nearly 10 miles south they decide to move camp to a sheltered lagoon further down the coast,

Upon arrival they find they are the first to use this small bay as a campsite. It is clear someone else has been here as recently as a week hence. Searching the area they find the discarded tricorn hat of Captain Alizandru Kovack and a handful of colourful scarves belonging to Ieana. Dog found their trail leaving the beach and followed it for a mile or more inland before losing it at a game trail. Nearby he discovered a thatch of viper nettle from which he harvested berries for Aerys Mavato.

The next day they investigated the Brine Demon. There was little left of this old wreck but in the captain’s quarters they discovered the skeleton of Captain Avret Kinkarian clutching a darkwood cask. Inside they found a fine dagger (which Spark identified as being magical), the ledgers which Jask had been seeking, and a fine golden locket containing a detailed picture of a beautiful red haired woman with “Aeshamara” written beneath. Gathering up these treasures they returned to camp.

That evening as the castaways sat around camp eating, discussing events, sharing tales, and planning their next course of action the campfire exploded in a cloud of smoke and sparks. From this conflagration emerged the figure of a ghostly figure of a skeletal ship’s captain. “Thieves! Scoundrels! Villains!” it bellowed, pointing a bony digit and fixing the castaways with a cold, steely gaze. “Return her to me!”

To Be Continued…

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