Golarion date: 4 Lamashan, 4710AR
Over the next several days the heroes helped organize the expedition. The Pathfinders had rented a warehouse in Portside which acted as the central HQ for the expedition preparations. Drasheen helped Gelik and Amivor with hiring personnel. Zelshee and Teyla provided manual labor, moving supplies and organizing them. Juan was hidden in a back room (because of his cursed condition) and did inventories of supplies, while Mastuuk handled manifests and accounting.
One morning, while heading towards the warehouse for the days work, they heard shouts in the streets followed by a panicked mob running past them shouting something about “freeman”. On the heels of the fleeing mob came a pack of rabid dogs that had been let loose into the streets by a terrorist organization of local Mwangi natives who called themselves the Freemans Brotherhood. The Freeman resented the colonial occupation and slavery and plotted the overthrow of the government of Sargava and murder of all foreigners in order to reclaim what they felt rightfully belonged to the Mwangi natives.
After putting down the rabid dogs, the heroes spotted smoke coming from the direction of their warehouse. Rushing to the site, they found two Mwangi’s trying to torch the front of the warehouse, part of which was already in flames. Zelshee yelled for them to stop, but they turned and attacked with club and alchemist fire. Mastuuk caught Juan and Teyla in a rain of stone during the battle, and Teyla had sharp words for him afterwards.
After defeating the terrorists they did what they could to put out the fire at the warehouse, saving some of it, but there was significant damage. Several of the native Zenj tribesmen who had been hired for the expedition had been killed during the attack. Searching the attackers, they found a medallion in a pocket of one bearing an image of a snake. Teyla identified it as a symbol of the Aspis Consortium.
After the fire was under control, one of the native workers that survived the warehouse attack rushed up to Zelshee and started babbling in polyglot. Mastuuk translated that she was saying some of the attackers had taken Gelik captive. Soon afterwards the heroes heard that the Freeman had taken over the South Arcadian Whaling Company compound in New Haliad and that their leader Umargo was issuing his demands for the overthrow of the government to all that would listen.
Rushing to the Whaling Company site, they found a crowd gathered in the streets listening to the demands being shouted by Umargo, an ex gladiator, from the rooftop of the flensing house 30 feet above. He held a beaten and tied up Gelik with a knife to the throat while riling up the crowd of natives in the streets below with inflammatory rhetoric about rising up against the oppressors and tyrants who had enslaved their people.
Mastuuk made Juan invisible and provided a distraction with illusions of a squad of soldiers in the street on the opposite side of the crowd. Zelshee tried to push her way through the agitated mob, but was dragged down by 3 beefy locals and began to get pummeled by them. Mastuuk cast a color spray on the crowd, which stunned Zelshee too. It seemed Mastuuk was going to make a habit of affecting his comrades with his spells. Mastuuk was then grappled by a few of the crowd who had evaded his spell, Drasheen and Teyla came to his rescue. Teyla then intimidated the crowd with threats of bloody violence which gave them a few precious moments of respite.
Meanwhile Juan invisibly made his way to the flensing house and climbed up a corner of the building. As he tried to sneak up on Umargo, Umargo noticed something amiss and swiveled towards Juan. Juan growled “release the gnome”, perhaps trying to intimidate Umargo. Umargo respnded by cutting Gelik’s throat, dropping him and sending him rolling down the slope of the roof with a push from his foot. Juan then tried to sneak attack Umargo, but Umargo’s barbarian sixth sense allowed him to avoid the critical damage as Juan appeared in front him. Umargo then put on a demonstration of prowess as he whipped his dual kukri’s around in a dazzling display, riling up some of the crowd and intimidating Juan and Mastuuk (who had approached the building).
As Gelik rolled off the edge of the building, Mastuuk cast a feather fall spell to save him from the fall. Juan was mercilessly attacked by Umargo and had to flee by leaping off the building. Umargo didn’t hesitate as he also lept off the building on top of Juan and cut him down in the street below. In the fight that followed, Umargo proved himself to be a dangerous opponent as he slew Zelshee with a couple of well placed blows with his flashing blades. Umargo also cut down Teyla before being finally defeated with only Mastuuk and Drasheen standing.
Searching Umargo, they found another snake medallion in his pocket and took his amulet and weapons. Retreating from the scene with the slain half orc paladin in tow, they raised Zelshee from the dead with the scroll of raise dead found on the Shiv. They also used the scroll of restoration found in the stash in the Temple of Zura to help restore her from the ordeal of death. Zelshee was alive, but not feeling terribly well. Returning later to the Whaling Company, they found it surrounded by guards who told them the remaining terrorists were holed up inside. They heroes decided to leave the last terrorists for the guardsmen to deal with.
Zelshee had a restoration cast on he by the high priest at Aroden’s temple, selling Umargo’s magic kukri to pay for it. Picking up the pieces from the attack, Amivor told them the damage done had set them back at least a week in preparations. Also, the native tribesmen who had been hired for the expedition had taken the attack as a bad omen and a sign that the expedition was cursed. Amivor was worried they would defect and suggested a plan to deal with the issue. He knew of a local shaman, Nkechi, who worshiped Shimye-Magalla (a local Amalgam of Desna and Gozreh worshiped by the natives as a god of the sea). Amivor thought if they could get the holy man to act as a guide for the main expedition and spiritual adviser for the natives, his participation would show the natives that the expedition was blessed by the gods and calm their fears. He told them that Nkechi lived in a cave high up on some sea cliffs north of town a few days away.
The heroes agreed to try and recruit Nkechi to their cause. Amivor supplied them with some material to be used as possible bribes (money, beads, blankets, whiskey, etc). The group set out on foot towards the sea caves. As they left the city they found the Sargavan government had set some new policies regarding usage of the city gates for commercial purposes which required complicated paperwork to be approved prior to passage from the city. It seemed that the Aspis Consortium was not the only faction who was scheming to delay their competitors…
Journal of Jocque Tarr
Ah, taking inventories in the darkest corner of a stinking wharehouse that’s the life for me!!!
But then, a bit of excitement….well, maybe a bit more than I would have hoped for. I figured we were going to lose a lot of gear and maybe some mates in the jungle. How was I to know we would lose all of that before we could get out of town?!!! Geeze!!!! And now we are stuck here for another week or more while the others move out ahead of us. When we finally get where we are going the Mantis and my old crew and probably the corporation guys will have already set up a new boom town for us!!!!
I think this curse is even worse than I thought it was. I should have been able to sneak up behind that stinking barbarian picked his pockets, slit his boot straps and given him a little kiss on the cheek before he knew I was there…but, oh no, he noticed me when I was still 20 feet away from him. Then he cuts the gnome’s throat and drops him over the side without a single thought. It would have been his last thought if I could have buried my short sword in his back but he even evaded that!! Then he had to do some kind of sword dance just to make me feel a little worse. You’d think he would have either been terrified by what I looked like when I became visible or burst into laughter but oh no he had do do his little dance and then stick me with those curved steak knives of his. I’m glad he is dead but I wish it could have been me that killed his arse. He took Zelshee with him too.
I didn’t know you could raise a dead person back to life but they read that scroll they found on the Shiv and Zelshee’s corpse arched its back and sucked in a lot of air and there she was again! It gives me hope that I can be cured but it also shook this sailor’s timbers to actually be there when it happened. What are we messing with here? What strange ports we have washed up in.
I wish this pain and hunger would leave me. I dream of being well again and back above deck with the wind in my face and clear skies and warm seas. I also dream of burying my blade in the back of that murderous snake bitch Ieana but half the time she turns her snake face toward me and laughs before she strikes back at me. My dreams are telling me to return to the sea and life but they are also telling me that I cannot do that until I at least try to pay that evil sorceress back for what she did to my crew and my captain……………….
Notes from Zelshee Venso
I survived being shipwrecked on the Shiv and ALL that entailed just be sliced down by some sword dancing Mwangi terrorist that we don’t even have a beef with! All we were trying to do was to stop them from burning our supplies and killing a friend. Why is the world so full of hate and evil? I really need to ponder this and what I can do to change things. We gave this Umargo a chance to walk away. Instead he was give the ultimate in justice – but not by me. He seemed to be goading us into killing him. I don’t see how that helps his cause or his people. Maybe the Mwangi natives have a legitimate reason to revolt. But this just isn’t the way to go about it. We’ve been sent out of town for close to a week. I will not be able to look into this concern until I return. Perhaps not even then. What if the Colonials are the true unjust ones? They seem to take full advantage of the natives. There was nothing but corruption when it came to framing Jask. And they are now changing laws to benefit them when it come to this expedition. What other evils lurk in this government?
DEATH – I have come close other times. But this time I truly died. I think back to other times and I realize I am over confident in my abilities. I an use to fighting my own battles – although back home they were not life or death. And now it seems they are! I think I can just waltz in with my Great Ax and slice everything down. NOT SO! We are going about things the wrong way. We should not be just charging ahead with out careful thought of the outcome. We stormed right into the cannibals’ camp and that didn’t go so well. We charged right into this mob of rioting Mwangi – really bad idea! Were never going to make to this Savinth-Yhi and back again without a serious conversation about tactics!
Thing to discuss with group
– Working together in a fight (communication)
– Mastuuk’s desire to deplete our health himself
– In regard to this Shaman – We should have a plan not just the usual (blunder in and hope for the best).
The Journal of Mastuuk Venso
3 Lamashan, 4710 AR
Now I’m really unsure if this was the right decision. I knew this adventure could be dangerous for me but now my sister has died. Lucky we had access to some powerfull spells or I don’t know what I would do. As much as I hate to admit it, I can’t continue on this path without her. It seems she has always been there to pull me out of a tough situation but who will save her when the time finally comes? My other companions have proven to be mostly capable but can I really expect them to give up everything to save us? Of course not, as always, it will be the Venso twins alone.
I suppose I should have spent more time studying in the battles sections of all those history books, maybe I’d have a better grasp for tactics. It will continue to be my job after all. Juan is no leader and neither is Drasheen so they will not fill the role. Teyla still cares more for herself than the rest, which is fine if all she’s doing is watching a flank, but I can’t trust her to fill another roll. And Zelshee is a good fighter but she flys off the handle too easily. I was hoping to learn more from our Pathfinder companions but since we’ll be ahead of them I suspect that life will continue to be my teacher. I do need to get the others to understand that if they would just hold back for a few seconds I can give them easier tagets or soften up groups of enemies. If they insist on charging straight in every time they will continue to get smacked by my spells or I’ll stop casting and they’ll get smacked by the enemies.
I suppose our next task should be a bit easier. I don’t think Nkechi will attack us even if he’s not keen on helping us. We just need to convince him but that may be easier said than done. And I’m also not quite sure how we’ll deal with the government. I’m really hoping Drasheen has a solution to that. While the five of us can sneak away in the night, we can’t exactly more a whole expedition train through the gates without anyone noticing.
Journal of Drasheen Rettig
Now when I close my eyes to meditate and pray thoughts of Mastuuk hailing down rocks on us or poor Gelik’s throat being slit and his body thrown off the roof top. It is a difficult time when all thats safe turns on us and that which is evil is still evil. Seeing my friend Zelshee died was hard on my heart. But prayers and blessings from our Gods brought her back to us. Zelshee is fearless and upright we could not get very far without her. Jaun fighting on a roof top with the sword swinging Umargo then jumping on juan after pushing him off thge roof. All my friend are getting so hurt and near death its all so difficult. And I thought bugs bad…