Serpent's Skull Adventure Path

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A blog for your campaign

This is a journal page for you guys to record your adventures, and keep details about the campaign.

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Monday, July 7th. First session & background.

I’ll start the adventure log off for you guys, since you may not remember everything I read off. (basic info on your NPC acquaintances is in the Serpent’s Skull Player’s Guide)

After boarding the ship from points all over the globe, and sailing, some of you, for several months on the the Jenivere, you drew closer to your destination of Eleder, the capital of Sargava. Each of you has his own reasons for traveling to the former Chelaxian colony. You’ve gotten to know each other, at least in passing, while on the long journey.
You all sat down to eat dinner with Captain Kovack. That is the last thing you remember before waking up groggily on an island somewhere in the ocean, with nothing but horizon to your north and jungle to your south as sea scorpions tried to turn you into a meal.
Aerys, Gelik, Ishirou, Jask, & Sasha were lying unconcious several feet away. Yet, none of the crew, including Captain Kovack or his First Mate, Alton, are present. Also missing is the Varisian scholar Ieana. Some of your armor and weapons lay in a neat pile near you. There is food & fresh water for maybe a couple of days. But other than that, none of your other gear is present.
Bootprints in the sand led to & from the water to the beach. And furrows led from the water to your bodies. And what looks to be the wreck of the Jeniver is listing to port, partially submerged, the hull a gaping ruin, as she leans against a jagged cliffside among several sharp rocks.
This is where you found yourselves. Low on supplies. Very hot. Very humid. And no hope of rescue in the immediate viscinity.

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Monday, July 14th

The party quickly took stock of the situation once it became clear they had been marooned on a remote, dangerous island. Balder wasted no time making his way to the wrecked Jeniver to recover what supplies he could. While on board, he uncovered several maps of the region along with Captain Kovack’s personal log, which detailed some frightening revelations of the Captain’s state of mind, as well as events leading up to the shipwreck. He also discovered the fates of both the ship’s cook and the first mate Alton Devirs. Alton had been sliced with a rapier, but ultimately killed by sea scorpion venom, while the ship’s cook had been bitten by a large reptile.
While Balder searched the ship, the rest of the companions, led by Bokim, set up shelter and looked for any evidence of other survivors in the area. Bokim did find a set of footprints leading south down the coastline of the island now known to be Smuggler’s Shiv.
A couple of the castaways were able to be reasoned with and made friendly. Others, however, were not so easily won over. Fed up with what he considered to be so much whining from Gelik, the warrior Balder repeatedly slugged the diminutive bard to shut him up once they returned from exploring another wrecked ship on the northern coast.
It didn’t end there. The half-elven Aerys decided to abandon the companions and make her own way in the forest, after attempts to win her over with diplomacy failed. Deciding that it was too risky to let her wander off alone, since she might give away their location to unfriendly natives if put under duress, Balder again turned to violence. Only this time, there was much bloodshed.
Now hoping that some sort of order had been established at camp, the group of marooned travelers again bedded down for the night. And wondered if the strange nightmares would come again.

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Monday, July 28th

After searching for clues of any sort on the haunted island, the group decided to pick up on the footprints left by the Captain and Ieana, who, it became apparent, were headed directly for a known destination.
Attacked by animals and vermin, even crazed cannibals, the party made its way along a well-trod path toward the southwest section of the island. Eventually happening upon a broken down lighthouse, they dispatched the group of cannibals in the area. Then they descended into a mysterious hole in front of the lighthouse that led into a series of caverns. Almost immediately attacked by festrogs (ravenous undead creatures), they managed to fight their way through. They planned to continue on, but not before finding this note, written in blood on a torn strip of leather.

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Monday, August 11th
After exploring further into the underground cavern below the light house, you encountered the ghoul that the others referred to as The Mother. Having defeated her, you explored the caverns further, and found inscriptions on the walls detailing a ritual for lowering the tide in front of the doors to an ancient temple on the other side of the island. A temple which Ieana was very interested in entering. You then traveled above into the lighthouse itself, where you encountered and defeated the cannibal tribe’s leader. As you discussed plans for continuing on and trying to get off of the island, a spear of lightning appeared on the other side of the Shiv, and a roll of distant thunder pealed across the jungle. Coming directly from the area known as Red Mountain.
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Monday, August 25th

Crossing the southern portion of Smuggler’s Shiv from west to east, you came to the area known as Red Mountain. Following the ritual inscribed on the walls of the cave, then shouting to Ydersius (whoever that is), you managed to lower the tide waters to reveal to massive stone doors leading to a very old temple. At this point, the winged creature that had been watching you and flying over your campsite at night swooped down to assault the group. After a harrowing encounter with the beast, you wound down the hillside to the stone doors. Attacked by undead skeletons, beset by traps in the floor and rooms, you made your way around the temple to stand in front of a set of doors leading into a well-protected room.

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Monday, September 1st
Adventure Synopsis

After crashing on Smuggler’s Shiv, you all investigated and made a number of strange discoveries. One, the Jenivere seems to have crashed on the Shiv not by accident. It now seems to be the design of the Varisian scholar Ieana (whom you now know to not be a Varisian at all, but a strange serpent creature). After tracking Ieana and the captain to a village of cannibals, you found a strange underground hideout beneath an old lighthouse. In this underground cavern was an old temple dedicated to a little known ancient god.
A confession from Captain Kovack, scrawled in blood on a piece of leather, told the story of how he had been dominated by Ieana, who turned out to be “a serpent wearing a Varisian’s skin,” and forced to crash the Jenivere on Smuggler’s Shiv. Ieana was very interested in Red Mountain. She came to this underground facility to find out how to lower the tide and enter another ancient temple on the other side of the island near Red Mountain.
You read the inscriptions on the walls and deduced how to do this ritual yourselves. To finally figure out mystery behind why you were wrecked on this island.
You traveled to Red Mountain yourselves in pursuit of the sinister serpent woman. You performed the ritual and called out the name of Ydersius, as per the instructions on the cave wall. This lowered the tide and revealed a pair of massive stone doors with depictions of fanged demons. After entering the temple and defeating its denizens & traps, you encountered the serpent creature studying wall carvings. She told you she was on the cusp of making a discovery that your kind hadn’t been able to solve since the sky fell so long ago.
After a mighty battle, you were able defeat her and gather the notes she’d been making from the wall carvings. These notes suggested that she was looking for the lost city of Saventh-yi where, she believes, her god Ydersius was beheaded so long ago.
After exploring the rest of the temple, you made your way out through the underground river to stand on the cliffside.
All that remains is to repair the lighthouse in hope of rescue. And explore any more of the island that still holds your curiosity.

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Monday, September 8th

You’ve made it to Eleder. After finally repairing the lighthouse, you were rescued by a passing ship and given a ride to your port of destination.
The serpentfolk’s notes indicated that, while no one knows where Saventh-Yhi is (its location was obscured by magic), the location of the outpost of Tazion is known. And, once there, it is a simple matter for one to use something called the “Pillars of Light” to discern the location.
After news of the search for a lost city rumored to be filled with treasures, you were approached by various factions and offered incentives to travel with these other factions to the city. Now, assuming you mean to go, all that remains is to make your choice. (check the Forum for the post on factions)

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Monday, September 15th

Having decided on the Red Mantis assassins as the faction to back on the journey to Tazion (and thereby Saventh-Yhi), you headed to the launch point of the faction you are pretending to join, the Sargavan government. En route to the warehouse, you encountered a pack of rabid dogs set loose by a group called the Freemen. A local bunch of vigilantes who are interested in overthrowing the Sargavan government. These men were also in the process of setting your headquarters on fire. After defeating them and putting out the fire, you made your way to the South Arcadian Whaling Company where, you were told, they had taken your erstwhile companion, Jask, captive.
Up on the roof, a leader of the Freemen named Umagra had Jask on the roof with a blade to his throat, shouting demands to the crowd about the abolition of slavery. After scaling the walls and making violence on Umagra and his cohorts, you were able to rescue Jask.
A captured member of the Freemen told you that adventurers all bearing strange compasses approached Umagra several times. You also found an vague but circumstantially incriminating letter on Umagra’s body stamped with a n/s/e/w symbol suggesting that perhaps the Freemen could help their cause by stirring up trouble with Jask’s organization.
The problem dealt with, it closes in on time to leave for Tazion. General Havilar suggests that you try to secure a guide to help you navigate the harsh and strange terrain, as well as deal with the local tribes. The most able candidate is an aged mystic priest of Gozreh named Nkechi, whom the locals call the Tempest.

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Monday, September 22nd

While preparing for your trek across the Mwangi Expanse (a journey of over a thousand miles through the hills & jungle), the general suggested you get a guide to help navigate the jungle and deal with the indigenous tribes. General Havelar said that the best guide for the task is a local mystic named Nkechi, whom the Sargavans call The Tempest.
After heading a day’s travel outside of Eleder to find this Nkechi, you found him in a high cave and introduced yourselves. He was willing to entertain the idea of being a guide, but first he required two tasks for you to complete before he would agree. The Test of Wind, and the Test of Water.
For the Test of Wind, you were required to travel to a high cliff and retrieve a single feather from a magical creature called a stormbird. This was easily done, as Bokim changed into a bird to fly the 500 feet to the top, searched the nest and flew back down. On the way back, local tribesmen confronted your group, claiming you were trespassing on sacred lands. To keep the feather, they challenged your strongest character to a wrestling match. This challenge was taken up by Chase (the brawler), which he easily won. The Ijo tribesmen allowed you to pass, offering you gifts as you departed.
The Test of Water required you to swim down into the coral reefs and retrieve a single black pearl. Again, Bokim changed into a creature fit to the environment and swam down to get the pearl himself. Both tests were complete.
Upon returning, Nkechi wanted to go into the cave and inspect the items for their authenticity. After meditating, he deemed the items to be what you claimed. He then invited you to participate in a journey to the Spirit Realm. He gave everyone a strange paste to consume, and they joined him in a circle on the cave floor to travel through the cosmos (except for Jonny and Fiwwip, who stayed behind).
While on your spiritual journey, each of you took the shape of a spirit totem animal. During the strange trance, Nkechi foreshadows the unveiling of the ruins of a forgotten city from ancient folklore. But he warns that many rivals seek the city, and it is unclear who shall be first to claim the location. He also sees a darkness within the city, and ominous storm clouds gathering on the horizon.
About halfway through the trance, you were attacked by a very large snake. You defeated it without too much trouble. But the final blow decapitated it. Lareal, after hearing so much from the notes and cave carvings on the island, recognized the dream serpent’s death throes as a symbolic depiction of the decapitation of the ancient snake-god Ydersius.
When the trance ended, Nkechi insisted on accompanying you as your guide. He believes now that whatever you face is also a threat to Gozreh, or at least to what Gozreh holds sacred, and that Gozreh desires him to make the journey. (Nkechi can aid PCs with decisions concerning the various paths they may take, filling them in on their relative geography, as well as providing folklore and history. He can also help them survive in the wilderness, and can provide healing as well. He will not take on a leadership role in the expedition, and tries to avoid combat if at all possible. Also, keep in mind that the journey to Tazion is over 1,000 miles. So, questions such as, “What lives in that cave over there?” are not really practical.)
While traveling through the Bandu Hills, you came to the Fzumi salt mine, an abandoned mine that, if traversed, it was decided could save a day off of your travel time. While moving toward the mine entrance, you encountered a feral woman who only spoke Polyglot and a few words of broken Common. She was convinced you were dinosaur hunters and she wanted you to leave. After speaking with her, she was mollified. She warned you that the old mine is a tunnel to the underworld, inhabited by the spirits of the dead. She knows this because both her father and mother disappeared down the shaft and never came back, and not long after that, angry dead things came out of the mine and killed everyone in
the mining camp.
Athyra (the girl) asked you to find out what happened to her father. He wore a silver locket with a picture inside that she would dearly like to have returned. Though superstitious and skeptical that you can find a way to the other side of the hills, Athyra offered to meet you on the other side of the hills.
After investigating the camp outside the mine entrance, you came upon a moldering logbook. The last few entries in the logbook are dated 15 years ago and document the mining company’s downfall. The mine’s owner, a man named Feran Crinhouse, was looking for new salt deposits and decided to secretly try connecting his mine with another mine on the far side of the hills, abandoned earlier under mysterious circumstances and rumored to be haunted. Just as the miners broke through to the abandoned mine, they unearthed a strange orb that glowed with a pulsing blue light. Crinhouse decided to go down into the mine to personally investigate. The final entry is in a different handwriting, and reads,
“They’ve come up from below! They’re all dead, and their touch withers the flesh! May the gods have mercy on us!”
And into the abandoned mine you went.

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