Several weeks of peaceful voyage and a bit of rowdiness in Freeport ended. Newly-laden with treasure and goods, the party set the Sea Wyvern on a course for Port Shaw. Of note was Montgomery’s ability to stay dry and Jenkie’s enthusiasm as he saw his captain become himself. No longer “Shakes,” the old adventurer spoke fondly (thought sadly) of his time in the Wave Riders and the loss of their paladin leader, Simon Trafalgar. He muttered that perhaps one day, he could lead the party to the spot of Simon’s watery grave, the lair of Harthagoa, fiend of the deep. Aleister’s demonic knowledge had increased and he suspected this to the be same Harthagoa rumored to be the demonic get of Demogorgon itself and a massive kraken.
Their space at Port Shaw’s dock was much the same as they remembered. After being accosted by a dockside harlot (“Please, sir, only 10 gold for this genuine map to Garr Bloodbane’s treasure”) they both purposefully sought out old friends and acquaintances and randomly ran into them:
- They sought out Milliakau, the Tulita shaman they rescued many months before, and the young chieftain, Kaho Ali’i. Though still grim, even Kaho seemed pleased to see the party again. They provided the sacred ambergris of whale to Milliakau for safe-keeping, resolving their commitment to the white whale. Milliakau gave a dire prophecy: Dajobas was coming for Port Shaw and they were ill-prepared for his onslaught. The taint of Dajobas was strong in many of the dragoons, including Darenar, the sergeant who had tried to arrest him. He also noted, looking at Keahilani, that his visions foretold that they would not last unless the menehune were found and returned to the island. He thought they might be in the Pearl Eye Atolls. For his part, Kaho warned Ono that he was visibly covered in the taint of Dajobas and that his brother, Zuka Zuka, went inland to cleanse himself of the taint and look for redemption. He asked that Ono prove himself in the battle to come.
- They visited Zalen Trafalgar, son of the deceased Wave Rider, Simon, and priest of Quell. Zalen was overjoyed to see them, but also provided his own premonitions. Zalen noted that two weeks ago he found his food was poisoned. Strange accidents had occurred near him. One of his predecessors, Archibald Noeliss, had simply disappeared three years prior. And Archibald’s replacement, Dalang Jalamar, met the same fate. Zalen suspected foul play and also noted that he had located more corpses with the mark of the Ring of the Kraken. He also told the party that Jessica, though odd, remained at the Chapter House of Quell along with her father, who had finally been released by the dragoons. Jessica met the party but said little, staring intently until everyone in the party felt uncomfortable. Zalen later recalled that some children and drunks had disappeared, with some children claiming their companions had been taken by a giant “bug” that crawled into the sewers. He compelled Bertram, in the name of Quell, to investigate. He also shared a rumor of a disfigured ghost accosting people on the docks, wanting them to retrieve his body from the sewers. For his party, Montgomery gaped in amazement at Zalen’s resemblance to Simon and told the party in awe that it was a sign from Quell, that he could see Zalen in shining armor holding his father’s returning, holy trident.
- On the streets they ran into Bethany Razor and her first mate, Korg the minotaur. She congratulates them, as together, they had nearly completely eliminated the dragonsmoke trade. She hinted that Gregory Bonadeuce, leader of the dragoons, had been courting her, but she desired closure to her husband, Jacob’s, death prior to pursuing this.
- Jacinth Deepwarder found them in the Kraken’s Gullet and actually hugged Aleister. The spoiled elven woman thanked them and told the party she was trying to better herself. She promised she would never tell about the party attacking the slaver ship and asked them not to reveal her own moment of shame and cowardice.
- They met with Old Fish and sold the terror bird eggs for a premium. Old Fish took Bertram under his wing and asked him to bring any high quality ambergris to him, promising a premium. Old Fish also let slip that someone had carefully purchased all of the alchemist fire in town.
- Sagacious Samuel found Aleister and the party. He gingerly returned the black metal scorpion figurine to Aleister. “Eh, it may very well be linked to a demon lord, one Obox-Ob, lord of vermin. Be careful. It may have an ability to summon a creature or entrap one of Obox-Ob’s minions.” Aleister noted that he continued to have dreams of using the Fiendbinder’s book.
- Gregory Bonadeuce, leader of the dragoons, and Barrison Hargrove, leader of the council of elders, ran into the heroes along with a squadron of dragoons. Gregory offered his thanks for taking care of the dragonsmoke trade as well as noting they had heard from Lavinia via magical means and they were impressed with the help they provided on the Isle of Terror. Hargrove sneered and leaned in to talk to Bertram and Aleister, “I know you will support the greatness that can be Port Shaw. Don’t mix with the undesirables and you’ll go far!” He knowingly gave a side glance to Keahilani and Ono. Some in the party noted that Bonadeuce twirled and played with an ornate dagger engraved with “G.B.” on the hilt.
In the end, they decided to drink all night and find the ghost of the docks. They weren’t disappointed. The hideous, scarred apparition appeared to them in the wee hours of the morning and said he was Durrell Ravenkith. All he needed was for the party to retrieve his remains from the sewer and provide a burial at sea so that he could rest. Aleister recalled someone of that name having traveled with Garr Bloodbane years before. Durrell’s ghost placed one transparent hand on Keahilani’s temple, imparting a vision of where his body lie.
They entered the sewers through the outlet in the bay. After passing unmentionables and wading in filthy “water,” they at last found a section of the sewers they had never seen, an old storeroom. A caved in tunnel proved no match and therein they found the remains of the bard, Durrell Ravenkith. They gathered the bone fragments and found the musician’s notebook that at one time had been full of chanties and bawdy songs. Only one scrap was intact, an uninspired musical score and an odd maritime map. The party suspected that it was the true map to Garr Bloodbane’s treasure. They returned the ghost’s bones and removed it from the material plane forever.
Back in the sewers, in another room, a chain hung from the ceiling and dropped into a pool of water. Ono unwound a winch on the wall. Though it stuck, it was enough to see the tip of a chest in the water, attached to the chain. He waded in and was mobbed by six gator men. The party entered the sewage to save Ono and dispatch the karkanti. They made quick work of the gator men, only to find the chest filled with 1000 copper pennies. In the attached chamber, a karikanti honor guard surrounded their chieftain, a hulking brute covered in scars. The chieftain said his name was Rrraaaaorrrgg and that he did not wish to do battle. Keahilani asked him if he could point to the lair of the “giant bug” if they returned the chest of money. Rrraaaaorrrgg agreed and the party left in peace.
A karikanti guide led them to a soupy, saturated area of the tunnels and quickly fled after completing his obligation. Within seconds, thousands of carnivorous roaches emerged from the muck and attacked as swarms. Two giant “roach lords” appeared behind them, summoning more swarms. The abominations sported ogre-sized arms near their mandibles and seemed possessed of a strange intelligence. Rotted, dismembered bodies floated past, most seemingly from small children or halflings. Ozzy’s flamestrike, Keahilani’s fireball and Aleister’s ice storm all but destroyed the host of roaches. Jimmy and Bertram filled the roach lords with holes while Ozzy and Crikey ripped them apart . They managed to find one living, traumatized little girl and returned her to the surface where they received a reward from her merchant parents.
Upon returning to the sewers, they found a locked portcullis exiting the lair of the roach lords. A small, hooded figure was behind the bars and beckoned for the party to help it. As they drew closer, it pulled back its hood revealing the hideous form of a bodak. The creature attempted to drain their life force, but Jimmy and Bertram simply destroyed it with ranged weapons. The tunnel beyond it seemed to beckon…