Season 1: The Charybdis Company
*Episode 22: * (Th 2018/07/19)
*Episode 21: * (Th 2018/07/05)
Episode 20: Can(non) They Manage to Go(rgon) On? (Th 2018/06/28)
While Naa “borrows” Nanem for a special mission, the rest of the Special Operations Team decides to try to infiltrate the enemy’s camp by disguising themselves as Mahan’s forces. The members try to take the long way around to avoid being spotted by enemy outriders but are seen. Taela convinces the outriders that the team has vital targeting information to be sent directly to the cannon teams and thus convinces the outriders not to bring the team to the army’s commander. Upon arrival, they find the cannon teams being led by a soft-voiced female officer, Lieutenant Verstenen, who has an oversized face obscuring helmet. The team attempts to fast-talk Verstenen and the cannon operators while Jhaeros attempts to disable some of the cannons. He is spotted after one of the cannons malfunctions however, and Dermosk “takes advantage” of the confusion to suddenly stab a guard.
Battle ensues, with a few scattered guards trying to fight the team while the cannon teams flee. Lieutenant Verstenen casts a number of spells and spell-like abilities, but when the tide turns against the defenders, she uses her trump card and takes off her helmet. As it turns out, she is a medusa! (N.B. Medusas are distinct from gorgons.) Kara is turned to stone as the rest of the team tries to finish Verstenen off. Quick thinking by Taela shields the party from Verstenen via an illusion of butterflies, and the team dispatches Verstenen. With the defenders defeated, the team sabotages the rest of the cannons. They quickly note a rune that appears on the side of the cannon that glowed upon firing before fleeing the scene. They rig some of the cannons’ rollers into a makeshift wheelbarrow to carry the stone-ified Kara, and Taela glibly convinces any others among Mahan’s forces who spot them that the stone Kara is a trap—a Trojan horse, if you will.
The team returns to Captain Lukana, where Lieutenant Astrezic also is. Astrezic is able to cast break enchantment to free Kara, while Lukana reports that the enemy lines are breaking now that their artillery support has been disabled. A brief discussion ensues about how to proceed next. The members ponder heading off to try to access the sunken city where their previous divination suggested that Mahan might be. Lukana suggests that the team lead the Charybdis forces in routing the enemy. Astrezic has a different suggestion; he knows of an oracle in the Monastery of St. Amici, a small compound dedicated to Lazulum that sits partway up Mount Elric. Though he has never met this oracle, he suggests that the team proceed there to try to get some further insight about how to continue forward.
The team takes a brief break in Dragonfall. The members rest for about a week, while Taela and Rupert craft items for the team before they set out again.
The team decides to try to attempt to meet with the the oracle to figure out how to handle Mahan, Divengoff, and Mizrathne. Upon arrival to the Monestary (which is only a few hours away), they are ushered in by a monk of Lazulum. There, they are left to wait for hours. They are finally allowed to meet with the oracle, a frail old man who gives them nonsense answers. While Kara tries to search for a deeper answer, Dermosk simply demands to meet the “real oracle.” The room dissolves away into a candlelit room with a vanishing key that jumps behind a candle. By blowing out all candles but one, they pass the last test meet the true oracle, a young halfling woman. She explains that most people who come do not truly desire answers, and they usually give up when forced to wait or are content with given fortune teller-sequel ramblings. The team truly seeks knowledge and wisdom, however.
The halfling woman warns the team members that they will not be able to get the perfect result they desire. They will not be able to restrain Mizrathne permanently without the risk of death on either side; similarly, they will it be able to remove Mahan without risk. After some discussion, she makes a simple offer: enter the chasm at the bottom of Gazebo Plain where no one has been for centuries and retrieve two items. One will be useful in the team’s plan to battle Mizrathne; the other is a necklace, which is the oracle’s price for her information. There is just one problem: the item that the oracle desires belongs to the gods, and various outsiders will not be pleased with the team members as long as they possess it….
Episode 19: Undead, Undead, Magic Jar (Tu 2018/06/19)
Bos carries the team to the windows of the seventh floor, where they spot a large group of undead and no sign of Divengoff. They continue to the roof to have a better point of entry. There, Nanem calls for Naa, who mysteriously appears to allow zir to ride him. Then Dermosk charges down the stairs at the ghouls. The rest of the team follows, with Jhaeros and Corwin entering via the windows after using their spider climb abilities. Battle ensues with Taela briefly distracting the enemies with a summoned image of paladins, while Jhaeros and Nanem critically destroy some of the undead. The undead are defeated, along with an oddly not-undead creature. The team suspects that the necromancer was controlling the non-undead creature, and their fears are confirmed when something tries to take a hold of Corwin’s mind. The team protects themselves with communal protection from evil, before investigating a giant chest one the edge of the room. Upon opening it, the necromancer bursts out of the chest!
The team is thoroughly surprised. Before much can happen, the necromancer casts plague storm, which blinds Dermosk and Jhaeros, and then follows up with a quickened deafness cast on Jhearos. He manages to hang out despite repeatedly being stabbed by Nanem and filled with arrows by Corwin, who is unaffected by the cloud thanks to his Ghost Mask. He lets out another spell, banshee blast, which fails to significantly affect the party, before he is knocked out. The party loots him and then finds a trapped box underneath a throne. Now only merely deafened, Jhaeros fails to deactivate the trap, instead setting it off: a symbol of exsanguination now affects the party. The party retrieves the glove they seek within, before throwing the box out the window, where they hope it will not harm any passersby in the middle of the night. Bos detects the evil object and destroys it with his lightning, before joining the group. He tells the group that the Hidden Horde wizards fled the tower and likely went to report back. The team decides to head back to Dragonfall to report, and Bos offers to fly them over the water, but not before the team decides to use the divination contraption on the Mage’s Tower’s fifth floor. Kara asks the question, “How do we capture Mahan?” and receives the cryptic answer:
He hides in one of the secret places
The people there all have double faces
In the sunken city there are traces
But beware the thunder of His Grace’s
The team believes the sunken city refers to Lasant City, the capital of Lasant, which plummeted beneath the waves during the Shattering, though they are unable to puzzle out any of the other parts of the divination. The team then goes with Bos back to Dragonfall.
Once they arrive at Dragonfall, Bos takes them to the Snowing Inn, which he reveals is owned by a friendly white dragon named Aptchi, who in turn finds the inn’s name to be an amusing play on words. There, he surrenders his bronze dragon ring to the party and explains their importance.
Long ago, the first metallic dragons hid away some of the essence of dragons, which was to be guarded by Shomeri until Tiamat was killed. However, once the Ascendants slew Tiamat (which Bos confirms is true cause of the Shattering), the release of the draconic essence surprisingly did not occur. The five dragon rings (each matching a metal of metallic dragon and unexpectedly named after vices) themselves contain a fragment of their respective metallic dragon’s essence. Since the party has collected some of these rings and been marked by Shomeri’s tattoo, Bos believes that Shomeri wishes the party to find him—and hopefully help to complete his task. Bos does not know of Shomeri’s final resting place, but Bos does know the location of another of the dragon rings: in Lasant City, where Mahan should be! Bos tried to search for the ring himself, but the aboleths in the area drove him off. The team wonders how to get to the sunken city for both Mahan and the ring, and Bos conveniently provides an answer: with both of the gloves, Corwin should be able to part the waters, so that the team can directly access Lasant City! However, doing so may anger the aboleths….
Thanking Bos, the team then decides to meet with Juniper and tell her that they have retrieved the glove, though Divengoff himself was nowhere to be found. She pays them and then sends them on their way to Lieutenant Astrezic, who awaits them. He reports that the Charybdis Company has ridden out with the other town defenders to stop the incoming invaders. The team rides to meet the Company, where their Captain updates them. The battle would be going well, but the invaders are using magical catapults, whose ammunition homes in on their target with magical precision. The Special Operations team is dispatched to sneak behind enemy lines and destroy the magical catapults with gunpowder—or whatever it takes to get the job done.
Episode 18: The Demented Tower (Th 2018/06/14)
The team infiltrates Darmienne. The town is active but quiet, as there are no longer visitors coming in or leaving the city. A quick recon of town reveals that the townsfolk here are not particularly aligned with either Mahan or Juniper, but simply want to avoid the coming conflict between Darmienne and Dragonfall. There is palpable relief as the army of nobles’ men and mercenaries has departed for an assault on Dragonfall. The remaining mercenaries have retreated to the giant Mage’s Tower in the center of town, where Lord Divengoff and the Mage’s Guild’s leader, a powerful necromancer, await Prince Mahan. The front entrance has been closed off to all except those who bring food to the tower. A baker reports that an increased amount of food has been brought to the Tower, though no one has seen anyone entering through the main doors. The baker mentions that he has gets a “bad feeling” when around the place….
Via careful and patient observation, the team spots a secret entrance to the Tower. Waiting patiently, they spy a wizard approach and enter after providing a password. More wizards sneak in through this secret entrance, though each time they give a different answer to the prompt. By watching most of the day, the team manages to break the code (the answer must have the same number of words as the prompt), and the members sneak past the magical door unmolested in the late evening once most of the wizards have left.
The members spot stairs going up and down. Knowing that the tower is six stories tall, they decide to investigate the lower floors first. The basement is a room of horrors; mindless skeletons inhabit some cages, while a boneless body lies on a table surrounded by blood. Little is here, so the team continues to the sub-basement, where they find a number of sarcophagi and a storage enclosure. Before they can act the sarcophagi creak open, and a number of dementors flood forth. Fortunately, the Charybdis Company’s Special Ops Team is prepared. By using holy weapon balms, potions of bless weapon, ghost salt, and the patronus spell (known to Kara via Spell Kenning), the members manage to drive the enemies off, though some of the team are drained of their life force (in the form of negative levels). Within the enclosure they find an intelligent Staff of Courage named Genniaos, who has been trapped in this closet with the dementors for weeks. Genniaos seems to hate evil and cowardice and desire acts of bravery; Taela takes Genniaos for the time being.
The members return to the ground floor and then proceed to the second. Here, a bunch of night shift wizards are eating. The wizard are confused as to why the members are here, since all of the mercenaries are to have left, but Taela and Kara convince the diners that the team is here to report to MIzrathne. The third floor is a huge and wondrous library containing a scroll of limited wish_. Dermosk tries to snag it, which sets off an alarm. Two wizards come from above to investigate. While the team tries to blame Dermosk for just being “a greedy mercenary,” they are not convinced and a fight ensues, and the diners come up at the noise of battle. The team successfully defeats the wizards, though not without some confusion (_fear causes some of the wizards to flee, so Kara pursues them to the higher floors).
The fourth floor contains an odd, large pulsating brain. It seems to try to influence the team members, so they choose not to stay. On the fifth floor, a giant contraption looms. Examination reveals that it is some sort of divination machine, which can cast the spell if 10 minutes are spent aligning its mechanisms properly. The team decides to continue to move forward, and find the sixth floor barred by a door. They barge in to a seemingly empty floor, before they are ambushed by a team of Hidden Horde wizards lying invisibly in wait.
The team is blasted by arcane energy and tangled by black tentacles. Taela falls unconscious, and Jhaeros and Nanem are severely hampered. Dermosk escapes the tentacles and demands parley. Mizrathne, who leads these wizards, knows the team raided Divengoff’s manor and are here for the glove. The team explains that their mission is to retrieve the glove, and Mizrathne reveals that the glove is to be handed over to the Hidden Horde once Divengoff has used it to cow Dragonfall into submission. Remembering that the team chose not to capture her and drag her back to her mother, instead choosing to break bread with her and Mr. Rathne, she makes the team an offer: retreat down the stairs and don’t come back up. Recognizing their defeat, the team retreats down a floor to heal up, though they plan to find a way to skip the sixth floor to reach the seventh, where Mizrathne accidentally hinted Divengoff was waiting.
Fortunately, as they heal up, Bos arrives. He is glad that the team has not been killed and expresses his desire to help them. He reveals that he is a bronze dragon in disguise, and in fact was the very dragon who had hatched from the missing bronze egg. He explains that he is at odds with the Eternal Dragon Soverignty and the Hidden Horde, because he believes that humanoids should rule themselves. He wishes to protect Dragonfall’s sovereignty and knows that once Divengoff uses the glove, the Hidden Horde will use the glove to find him and forcibly recruit him—or kill him.
Bos also believes that the members have a greater purpose, and the team’s tattoos confirm his beliefs. They are marked by Shomeri the guardian, the first gold dragon, who defeated the first red dragon. They have been tasked to find him, as the team’s “happenstance” procurement of the brass and copper dragon rings suggest. Bos has the bronze dragon ring, which he shows to the party. He promises to explain more later, but first, there are more pressing matters that take precedence: the members must first retrieve the glove to protect Bos.
Bos suggests flying the team members to the seventh floor (or the roof) and dropping them off there, after which he will proceed to go to the sixth floor and use his repulsion breath to drive off the Hidden Horde wizards while the team takes care of Divengoff and the necromancer. The team plans to drop in using invisibility sphere, much to Genniaos’s protest. They prepare as much as they can for the fight ahead, for Divengoff and the necromancer are both powerful arcane casters….
Episode 17: Uncovering a Hoard (W 2018/05/30)
The team, now armed with McBrazier’s Brazier, argues about what to do next. Should they go straight to Darmienne? Should they create an undine uprising to free the town? Should they investigate this new and well-guarded “windowless prison” in town? The team decides to do the latter. Corwin, Dermosk, and Jhaeros sneak up onto a nearby roof and watch Taela, Kara, and Nanem approach the jail disguised as Divengoff and his two guards coming in for a “prisoner transfer.” They are allowed passage by the eight guards and four fire giants. Once inside, Taela, Kara, and Nanem see a few undine still trapped in cages, though most are empty. A stairwell leads downwards, and the three proceed downwards, while trying to wave off questions from the more suspicious guards. Once they reach the basement, the guards shout to the others, “Get them! They’re traitors!” It appears that they had been warned of disguise and trickery, and six guards attack, including an inquisitor and a druid. Taela manages to cause some to fight each other with paranoia, while Kara manages to frighten many with her scroll of eyebite. Nanem hamstrings some while her spiritual weapon_, a shadowy kukri, slices away. One of the frightened guards bursts out of the building screaming, at which point the backup arrives. Jhaeros and Dermosk slip down hidden and attack (via blend and invisibility), while Corwin rains arrows from above. Taela magicks the fire giants into attacking each other, while Dermosk “helps” them do so. Once all the fighting stops, the team manages to prevent any guards from fleeing the town—though some of the undines are now curious. Corwin calls for them to free themselves, while the party interrogates one of the not-dead guards, who reveals that the Commander is downstairs. The now-freed undines explain that Divengoff had already come the day before for a prisoner transfer, which explains the suspicion, and that he had been accompanied by his household guard as well as mercenaries with a triangular symbol as their livery—a symbol that the team members know to be the Hidden Horde. They proceed with caution into the basement, where they find two traps—a hall full of red wasps whose bite frightens people into running into the spiked walls and a suspicious pond that unknowingly houses an ooze. The team fortunately realizes that the citrus plants in the room can protect them from the wasps, so they manage to proceed past the hall to the Commander’s office. They barge in, battling him, his wizard lieutenant, and an invisible sorcerer. They kill the commander (who refuses to fall even while bleeding out) and his wizard, though they manage to capture and interrogate the sorcerer. The sorcerer reveals that Divengoff currently hides within Darmienne’s Mage’s Guild, a giant tower in the middle of town, aided by a familiar figure: the tiefling illusionist Mizrathne. Additionally, in three days, Prince Mahan himself is scheduled to arrive….
Episode 16: The Gala Galamity, Pt 2: Gloves Off! (W 2018/05/23)
Torn between investigating the screams upstairs and continuing to search for incriminating evidence, the team decides to continue exploring downstairs, especially as the screaming seems to have subsided. They disarm the trap guarding Divengoff’s office and break in, stuffing their pockets with his paperwork. They then continue to the next room, where they discover a merid floating in a pool with a magical glove. Claiming that it is a weapon of Onsha, the mad mother of the Seasisters, the merid attacks with the glove, which seems to control the water. As the water begins to flood out of the pool and into the room (as it seems that the glove was the only thing holding the water back from flooding the basement, which is below sea level), the team is forced to quickly dispatch of the merid. Corwin snatches the glove, and the team flees from the flooding basement and into the main floor, where nobles are trampling each other to try to exit Divengoff’s manor. A quick and forceful questioning of one of the fleeing nobles provides a picture: Divengoff had attempted to intimidate the city’s nobles into declaring for Mahan by showing off his new power. He raised a giant tidal wave from the coast, before it splashed back down. From word of Divengoff’s surprise, the team deduces that the merid had been the actual individual controlling the water, and the team’s untimely interruption disrupted the show. As they leave, a familiar face offers to help: the man who the team spotted studying water magic at the Snowing Tavern. He claims to be a bard named Bos, who dabbles in water magic and is interested in “the good of Dragonfall, and he accepts Dermosk’s offer to come with the group to update the Queen on what has happened.
The Queen convenes her advisors, and her head wizard reports that the glove is indeed a magical item with the power to control water. It requires an individual with an affinity for water—thus, only Corwin can use it. However, Divengoff’s papers suggest that he had just finished a second glove, one more powerful than this one, which does not require the holder to have a water affinity. He seems to have run off with it, and thus the Queen orders the Team to go to Darmienne to retrieve the glove and Divengoff. Bos stays behind, offering his services to the queen and Dragonfall. Before the team leaves, Corwin returns to his brother, who informs them that their undine village, just a few minutes away from Darmienne, has been taken over. The team decides to ask the Queen for her head wizard’s help in teleporting the team to Corwin’s old house in the undone village. The members find that the town has been locked down, and Divengoff’s guards and fire giants patrol the area. An unusual number of guards have been dispatched around Corwin’s grandmother’s house, and then sneak in to try to get some answers. She tells the team about the current state of the town and informs them of a large, windowless building in which many young undines are being held and being forced to use their water magic. She also apologetically informs Corwin that she and the other town elders have hidden a secret from the other undines: they were given by a group of rangers (Gazebo’s Ranger School, perhaps?) a powerful magical item to protect. It was an everburning brazier, created by a pyromaniac named Pyrex McBrazier. To safeguard it, the undines put it behind a portal to the Plane of Water. Because of its affinity to fire, the holder of the Brazier could issue overpowering commands to fire giants, and perhaps that could be used to free the town. To obtain the Brazier, she says, they must “put the four fish to rest.” The members agree to find it, and Corwin’s grandmother—who turns out to be an extremely skilled monk despite her age—creates a distraction by beating up even more guards.
The team goes through the portal into the Plane of Water, where they see the Brazier burning despite being underwater. Around the platform upon which it sits are four stone sharks pointed inward. When they attempt to reach for the Brazier, its guardian appears—a luquata! This anti-magic sea monster is protected by a wave of bubbles emanating from the stone sharks. The team tries to turn them away while Dermosk and Nanem engage the luquata. As they start turning the stone sharks, the bubbles start dissipating, but not before Dermosk gets attacked by the luquata. The luquata grabs Dermosk with its sharp teeth, and soon enough Dermosk finds himself in the anti-magic sea shark’s stomach. Luckily, once the stone sharks are all turned away, the bubbles dissipate and reveal a weakness within the luquata’s scales. A quick strike from Corwin kills the luquata, and Dermosk is extricated—as well as the Brazier.
Episode 15: The Gala Galamity, Pt 1: The Basement Dwarves (W 2018/05/16)
The team convinces the Charybdis Company to pursue the contract with the more popular, though less experienced, Princess Juniper, who now calls herself Queen. The team arrives in Dragonfall and learns that Mahan has fled with many of the city’s nobles to the city of Darmienne on the other side of the island. There, the usurper Mahan has set up a base from which he recruits rebel forces—including some of the city’s prior defenders—to threaten an invasion on Dragonfall. Juniper’s advisors have heard word that a noble has been sending money and materials to support the rebels, but that they do not know which noble exactly. Three are suspect: the chocolate-peddling, magic-loving, financial genius Lord Divengoff, a dwarf; the old money, ever proper, super religious Lady Padly, a human; and the very ostentatious, newly rich, bar regular Lord Menaosheme, a gnome. Fortunately, all three of the nobles will be present at a gala that Lord Divengoff himself intends to throw that evening. The team decides to do some recon, investigating the bar that Lord Menaosheme frequents (the Snowing Tavern) and finding only rumors, visiting the holy church to the Seasisters that Lady Padly regularly attends (the Seashell Cathedral) and chatting with Corwin’s brother (who invites them to dinner, which they decline), and dropping by the Mage’s Guild that Lord Divengoff often consorts with (the Greyspire) and discovering little.
The team decides to gather information more directly. They go to the gala as representatives of the Charybdis Company, using invitations acquired by the queen herself. Appearing unarmed (but in reality not), they arrive and chat with the various nobles present. By using the excuse of looking for the bathroom, Kara, Taela, and Corwin spot a stairwell downward behind a door guarded by one of Divengoff’s house guards—a mystery, since there is not supposed to be a basement. Dermosk then “uses the bathroom,” where he makes himself invisible and slips through the door once the guard is distracted by a “mysteriously” pushed over bust. Once downstairs, he discovers a number of doors: one very well-locked one through which a set of guards has just entered, two doors labeled “Warning: Protective Gear Required,” and one unlabeled door. Dermosk risks the unlabeled door, and discovers an insane dwarf, who pulls out a waraxe and starts shouting, and an evil looking hound. The rest of the team hears the disruption, and the members try to convince the guard to get out of the way. It takes three tries at suggestion (and a bribe attempt) to get the guard to allow the members passage, where they see the hound, a sha, sniffing around. They manage to dispatch the sha and the insane dwarf. Pressing forward, they fight their way past some guards, who are watching over a number of captives. Upon opening the next door, they find a number of wizards and a water elemental, who they are forced to dispatch. Returning to the captives and the guards, they discover that the captives are masters of the arcane who specialize in water magic, whom Divengoff employed and then imprisoned so they could not reveal his secrets…. But before the team can get much more information, screams are heard from upstairs!
Interlude: The Gifts
With Storsvart dead, the Whiptail Tribe has the carcass of a black dragon to use. As thanks to the members of the Special Ops Team, the Whiptail work with the members to craft special items for the heroes. The Whiptail, with their knowledge of dragoncrafting, are able to create items attuned to each of the heroes for their use. Once the team returns to the Charybdis Company, they are rewarded for their information on the Hidden Horde, though they are not paid for the contract they failed to fulfill (regarding capturing Mizrathne). The team now ponders a number of new contracts. Of particular interest are those in Dragonfall: with the old Queen dead, should the team support her granddaughter, the young Princess Juniper, or her younger son, the well-connected Prince Mahan?
Episode 14: Freeing the Whipped, Part 2: The Dragon Unfurls (W 2018/04/25)
The next morning, the jarl Storsvart calls the citizens into the center of town to announce the elder witches’ “success.” The team members know is a lie, as they murdered said witches. Nonetheless, Storsvart decrees that he will now command the witches and demands that the able-bodied Whiptail citizens form a ragtag army to attack the Brighteye Tribe. They are to convene midday at the armory to be armed and trained. The team splits up: Nanem and Corwin infiltrate the army to assess its strength, while the rest pursue another lead. Nanem and Corwin quickly realize that the army will be ill equipped and ill trained, and thus the Whiptail will be slaughtered—likely to rid Storsvart of the remaining dissenters among the Whiptail. Meanwhile, the rest of the team sneaks over to meet with Netraph, wife of the jarl’s chief huscarl (personal guard). From her, they learn more of the jarl’s defenses and of the prison below Storsvart’s palace, in which many political dissidents and one rogue witch are locked. Once the team reconvenes at Nojoi’s house, a debate begins. Should they bomb the gardens and rally the Whiptail army to rise up against its oppressors? Should they wait until the army has left town, ambush the army’s witch officers, and then bring the fighters back into town to free the others? Should they try to infiltrate the palace and free the imprisoned dissenters? The members finally decide to allow the peasant army to leave town, where they set up an ambush about an hour away. When the army finally trickles in, Kara, Taela, and Dermosk charge down a hill at the witch officers with covering fire from Jhaeros. At the same time, Nanem and Corwin, having snuck in and marched with the army, lead a rebellion from within the ranks. Chaos ensues, with heroic speeches from Kara, Taela, and Dermosk; once all settles down, the witches are dead or defeated. The team brings the army back into town, where they lay siege to the palace. From its balcony, Storsvart demands that the people surrender. When they refuse, Storsvart shows his final form: a young adult black dragon! He is the first dragon since the Shattering to be seen by those present. The Whiptail cower, for they had been taught that their current suffering was punishment for rising up against the dragons. However, the Special Ops Team stands strong with righteousness behind them. Storsvart slows the team and kills a number of helpless citizens with his acid breath, but the team persists. Dermosk, supported by Kara’s wyrmsong and Saralek’s judgment, pierces Storsvart’s scales with his now-dragonbane rapier. The team had hoped to interrogate Storsvart (or at least to try to do so), but as Kara sang of justice, Saralek guided Dermosk’s arm to kill the dragon who would enslave a clan. With the dragon defeated, the huscarls surrender, the witches are captured or slain, the prisoners are released, and the Whiptail are free to govern themselves once again.
Episode 13: Freeing the Whipped, Part 1: The Lost Horde (W 2018/04/18)
At the suggestion of the Whiptail gothi, the team attempts to contact one of the main voices of silent dissent within the Whiptail Tribe: Nojoi the blacksmith. The team hides outside of the town with the gothis, while Taela sneaks in to meet Nojoi. After a close encounter with some witches, Taela manages to sneak Nojoi back to the team, where Nojoi better explains the current state of the Whiptail Tribe, whose people struggle under the yoke of the jarl’s witches. The jarl, Storvart, mysteriously seems not to have aged in these past decades, nor has his ironfisted rule. The jarl uses the Whiptail as unpaid labor, using the witches as cruel bosses, while he rules comfortably from his palace. The biggest “project” is a large garden, where citizens are forced to cultivate herbs for the witches’ uses. The team discusses the possibility of planting explosives in the garden with the help of a surprise guest: E.L. Capers. In the meantime, Kara performs a divination to ask Tiega, “How can we find Mizrathne?” The response? “A wild animal cannot be run down, but it can be lured in.” The team decides to pay a visit to Mister Rathne, who the Whiptail gothi said had once fostered an orphaned tiefling, presumably Mizrathne. The old man is receptive to the team and tells them of his foster daughter who is back on the island. He says her name is Vrena, named after her father. He also shares that he knows much about the dragons’ fate: how their numbers were reduced twentyfold in the carnage of the Last Dragon War, and how the bronze dragonflight was wiped out save for a single surviving wyrmling. They convince him to send Vrena/Mizrathne an invitation for lunch the next day, so that they might pounce upon and interrogate her. The next day, the team camps at the house. Once there is a knock at the door, they pounce… right through an illusion of Mizrathne. Fortunately, Dermosk has used see invisibility in advance, so they are able to catch up to her and convince her not to flee. Promising that they will not attack her, she parts with some crucial information: she is also a mercenary, working for the presumed defunct Hidden Horde, a group of strongly pro-dragon infiltrators. The orcs on Manold has been a means to an end of restoring the dragons, as were the witches on the island. She admits that sharing this information was not permitted, but she rejects the team’s invitation to the Charybdis Company. Torn between bringing her in and letting her go, they decide to forgo the bounty on her placed by her disapproving mother, Eustace’s Arch-Illusionist, who she says considered her a disappointment. The team, whose various members have their own parental problems, is understanding, and together, they odd company enjoys an awkward but pleasant lunch.
Episode 12: Uphill Struggle (W 2018/04/11)
The team delves deeper into Skull Mountain to search for the witches. After battling off some witch ravens with two human thralls, the members come to a dead end. The only things of interest are a bookshelf full of books (which turn out to hold a curse within) and a sign they’ve seen before on some red carnelians: a triangle with the characters E5L-D6C-S9Y. After some deliberation, Jhaeros realizes that the characters are a code for “Eternal Dragonic Sovereignty.” By pulling the books with those words in order, they open up a secret door in which awaits an alchemiwitch and her two axeman goons. The members are forced to fight an uphill battle up the stairs as fire, darkness, and bones rain down upon them. They manage to dispatch the alchemiwtich with great difficulty, after which they stumble upon five elder witches performing their ritual and an unexpected guest: Mizrathne! They interrupt the witches, which disrupts the ritual and creates a large bloody mist in the air. They are able to flee the area with the corpses of the dead witches. After looting the witches, they run into the human thralls again, who turn out to be the gothi the Brighteye and Whiptail Tribes! The two clerics offer to heal the team and provide some information about the state of the rest of the island, explaining that an evil jarl has held dominion over the witches and the Whiptail Tribe for decades now. The team begins to create a plan to infiltrate the Whiptail Tribe.
Episode 11: Mobats Mo’ Problems (but a Lamia Ain’t One) (W 2018/04/04)
The team continues its journey, stumbling upon a giant tengu encampment at dusk. Deciding to travel around the encampment in the dark to find a safer place to make camp, the team is attacked by a direbat and a mobat. Soon after dispatching them, they discover the real threat: two lamia who loathe humans. The team manages to fend off the lamia in the dark, though not without some injury: Jhaeros and Dermosk both suffer some wisdom drain that the team is unable to fix. After resting until dawn, the team sets out again, arriving at Skull Mountain the afternoon before the ritual is supposed to finish. Spotting four tengu guards at the entrance to the cave, the members make clever use of Kara’s spell kenning (casting silence on a stone) to get the drop (literally) on the guards. The tengu are dispatched in just over six seconds—after all, these are the members of the Charybdis Company’s Special Operations Team! The members enter the mountain, where they stumble upon some yamabushi tengu oni, a mimic weapons rack, and a clever illusion trap (an illusory rock over a pit, of all things), before finally coming upon a human witch guarding cages of human captives. They handily defeat the witch, his tengu guards, and his skeleton friends, despite some brief confusion (in which they lose track of Dermosk when he accidentally activates the witch’s isolation spell). The team is able to ask a now-friendly tengu guard (thanks to Taela) about the witches’ plans. The tengu explains that the other witches departed deeper into the mountain with the majority of captives to continue the ritual, while this witch guarded the remaining captives. The captives reveal that they are of the Whiptail Tribe, who have been overrun by the witches and the tengu. It is now up to the team to intervene and stop the witches’ plot….
Episode 10: 404 Gothi Not Found W (2018/03/28)
The team finds the Brighteye Tribe, who live in a large settlement protected by a wooden fence. Kara makes herself known, and the team is allowed audience with the jarl, leader of the Brighteye, who explains that the Brighteye Tribe and the Whiptail Tribe were scattered from their sister tribes in the Shattering. The Whiptail Tribe, once friendly, has become more withdrawn from the Brighteye in recent years. More troubling, the team learns that the settlement was attacked by tengu within the last day. They blew their way through the wooden fence and tried to take human captives. None was successfully taken other than the tribe’s gothi, the most able cleric. The team decides to investigate the missing man’s home the next day, where they are nearly diverted by a mnemor devil (memory devil). They defeat the devil and interrogate it, allowing its release on the condition that it answers the team’s questions honestly and harms no mortals in the future. The devil confirms that tengu and human witches are working together to contact the spirit of Rishon and suggests that the ritual will be complete within two days. The team sets out for Skull Mountain, where the ritual is supposed to take place. On the way, they are accosted by flame drakes, who roast the party and kill some of the donkeys they borrowed from the Brighteye leader. Nonetheless, the team decides to press on.
Episode 9: The Lyin’, the Witch, and the Warplans (W 2018/03/21)
The team takes a small sloop into the Doldrums, where the winds become still. Jhaeros, ever prepared, has a fanboat prepared. All seems to be going well until the team is ambushed by a sea dragon, who overturns their boat before fleeing upon the approach of a ship. The ship’s captain, hailing from the Eposcipate, reveals that they were chasing the very same sea dragon. The sea dragon, known as the Doldrums Drowner, has a bounty on its head for “piracy,” as apparently it has attacked and looted numerous helpless ships in the area. The captain helps right the team’s boat, and, with this new bounty in mind, the members continue their trek to the island. Upon landing, they find an injured tengu who appears friendly but suspicious. As they consider their options, they are ambushed by a tengu witch and a number of tengu henchmen. The group manages to dispatch them though not without some pain (or pain spells, to be specific). They interrogate the tengu to find that they are on the hunt for humans to sacrifice for a great witch ritual to contact or summon a great spirit. Upon revealing the evil plot, a curse upon the witch activates and he dies. The team gathers up the rest of their tengu captives and continue toward the purported location of the Brighteye Tribe, who they hope will be pleased with the captured tengu.
Episode 8: Fearless Fearblade and Mysterious Mizrathne (W 2018/03/14)
With Fearblade so close, the team prepares to act. Taela, Kara, Corwin, and Jhaeros proceed into the shrine proper, finding and rallying some more orcs to their cause. Meanwhile, Nanem and Dermosk neutralize the orc guard and free the elves. The elves are greatly appreciative and agree to help Naa (who is revealed to be a pooka!) summon some satyrs to help clear the shrine. Nanem and Dermosk race to meet up with the rest of the team before facing Fearblade. A long and grueling battle ensues, but the team manages to subdue Fearblade thanks to Taela’s use of castigate, which prevents the orc leader from fighting to the death. As the team prepares to interrogate him, the elf guide who led the team to the shrine reappears. This time, the members realize she is an azata—and then, even more troubling, that her azata appearance is a disguise. They realize they have stumbled upon Mizrathne trying to finish off Fearblade before he can be interrogated, and her attempt ruined, she disappears. The sound of satyrs defeating the last of the orcs signals the team’s victory, though Naa, the satyrs, and the elves all depart. The team brings Fearblade back to the Charybdis Company for further questioning and a healthy bounty. The Duke of Manold and the Commodore himself come to speak to the team and discuss further contracts. The team decides to travel to the Doldrums to find the place where Waprust and Mizrathne supposedly originated, an island where Kara hopes to find the remnants of the Brighteye Tribe.
Episode 7: The Low Road: Those Bloody Traps! (Tu 2018/03/06)
The team head towards the elves’ lake shrine. They are waylaid by some elves, including the lone escapee of the orcs’ desecration of the shrine. The elf leads them to a catacomb that leads beneath the shrine. There, the team runs into a small group of kobolds (and their pet spider) who have set traps on all the doors. Battling their way through the kobolds, the team members also discover some other, older traps, including a flame turret, a Symbol of Exsanguination, and a Symbol of Stunning. Bypassing the traps, they are able to solve an ancient alchemical puzzle to find a cache of magical items, including a mysterious copper ring with an overwhelming magic aura (that only seems to cast low level spells at a suspiciously low caster level) and a magically preserved scroll naming the shrine as the place of Rishon’s fall. The team finally stumbles upon some orcs, who are guarding a group of captive elves. The members, disguised as orcs, convince the guards that they have a better plan than Fearblade and offer to kill him. Most of the team enters the shrine with the orcs, who leave behind a single guard. Dermosk, Nanem, and Naa the Goat stay behind as well, hoping to eliminate the guard and free the captured elves….
Episode 6: The High Road: The Goat and the Ghost (W 2018/02/28)
The team members travels on the High Road, hoping to find a dwarven encampment. They are accosted by an invisible spirit before arriving at a dwarven logging camp, which was attacked by “elves” the night before. The team manages to convince the camp’s leader, Toradin, that the attack was done by orcs, not elves. Toradin agrees to accompany the team to the dwarven city of Dwarrast, so that the team can inform the city’s judge and elders of the truth. The team, accompanied by Toradin as a witness, then proceeds deeper into Battalion Forest to let the elves know that any “dwarven” attacks are really the work of Orc raiders. The elves prove much harder to locate; the team’s attempt to contact the elves via signal horn only draws the ire of an owlbear. A passing cerynitis lets the team know where the team members can find some elves. They explain to the elves’ high priestess that the orcs are impersonating elves and dwarves in order to foment war. She reveals that a shrine was attacked last night, but she bars the team from investigating. The team members return to Dwarrast, where they are told of a small group of orc raiders attacking caravans on the High Road as well as of rumors of an invisible spirit attacking individuals. They go to investigate, where they stumble into an orc trap! While they fend off the small group of orcs, an invisible creature attacks: a Lurker in the Light! With Naa the Goat’s help, they are able to dispatch the Lurker, and Tæla and Kara “persuade” the orcs’ skald to cooperate (by using paranoia and suggestion to convince the orcs’ barbarian to kill the skald, and then offering to kill the barbarian if the skald surrenders). The skald, Waprust, explains that these raiders also deserted Fearblade, who they are convinced is under the thumb of the (false) succubus, Mizrathne. The orcs have no exit plan from the island, and Fearblade largely follows Mizrathne’s suggestions. Waprust suggests that Fearblade will likely be at the elves’ most sacred lake shrine next, as Mizrathne shows interest in it. As the team departs the High Road, Waprust tells Kara that she learned the ways of the wyrmsinger from a lost island far away….
Episode 5: Dungeon and Dragon (and Derro and Dretch) (W 2018/02/21)
The team tracks the orc raiders south toward the heart of Manold. The members come upon a suspiciously large goat, who takes to Nanem and allows zir to ride it. Arriving at a local farm, they leave a valuable necklace as a “deposit” for some information and some mounts. Now mounted, they make better time, following the orcs’ tracks until a small group of tracks branch off toward an Ancient Gideonese ruin. The team investigates, bypassing a crumbling old earth elemental to enter the ruins. Here, they find derro inhabiting what they discover is the resting place of the spirit of the Svihelen, granddaughter of Rishon—the first red dragon and son of Tiamat!—who she explains had been at odds with the first gold dragon (whose name is forgotten). Svihelen reveals that she is bound to this place and enthralls any fools who wander into her domain, such as the foolish orcs the members have been tracking… and then she attacks the team! They barely defeat the spirit, before discovering a shrine whose candles, when lit, greatly weaken Svihelen. As they leave, they discover a massive hoard of gold coins, which has been cursed: an orc now swims among the coins. They break the curse by killing a dretch housed nearby, thus securing the gold and freeing the orc for interrogation. The orc reveals that he and his companions deserted Fearblade’s raiding party to look for treasure here. He explains that Fearblade’s raiders plan to set timber dwarf and wood elf against each other by attacking one in the guise of the other and thus taking advantage of the old hatreds between them. The team dispatches of the orc, makes away with the gold, and continues to follow Fearblade’s trail.
Episode 4: The Trebuchet Tango (Th 2018/02/15)
With the orc-merman alliance in shambles, the Charybdis Company moves in to break the siege of Nochelar. The Company’s frigates make easy work of the orcish longships, but concern arises when the Company spies a trebuchet launching large, clear orbs seemingly at random. The Special Operations Team is teleported in to investigate by the Company’s best wizard, Lieutenant Astrezic. After dispatching some goblins, the members sneak up on the trebuchet, where they are surprised by the orc leader himself: Fearblade! Their attempts to defeat the old, dexterous magus prove ineffective, but fortunately he is called away by an outsider posing as a succubus. As more orcs rush to defend the trebuchet, the team destroys it and flees with one of the orbs. Bringing it to the lieutenant, they discover that the orb is some sort of earthquake-causing device. The lieutenant teleports back to the fleet with the device, but not before sending the team southward to follow a band of orc raiders who strangely had broken off from the siege.
Episode 3: Thugs and Gruddghs (W 2018/02/07)
The team sneaks into the orcs’ diplomatic encampment to sabotage their attempt to formalize an alliance with the merfolk. They successfully infiltrate the orcs, led by an old skald named Gruddgh, and learn that Gruddgh plans to give the merfolk gifts as part of the diplomatic discussion. All goes well until Dermosk stumbles upon the prearranged location for the meeting and is seen by Gruddgh. After a brief stalemate, Gruddgh turns invisible and flees, forcing Tæla to impersonate Gruddgh. In the confusion caused by two Gruddghs, the team breaks into the orcs’ hoard. They steal the orcs’ gifts (as well as some hidden loot belonging to a Gideonese warrior who had bequeathed the town of Rishon) and make their way back to their stolen longship, but not before one last standoff with the old skald.
Episode 2: Sink or Swim: To Sail or to Scuttle the Stolen Ship? (W 2018/01/31)
The team investigates a mysterious, lone longship landed on the Weshal Coast. Rowing up to the ship and surviving a merdruid’s attempt to sink them, the teammates commandeer the ship under the guise of orcs. The defeated orc captain reveals that the rest of his crew was sent to retrieve a magical item. The teammates tracks them the orcs to a Shrine to Onsha, where they recover a Horn of the Tritons from an evil hag. As they sail back to the Company with their loot, the orc captain reveals the location of a meeting to solidify a burgeoning orc-merfolk alliance….
Episode 1: Not Your Orc-inary Mission (W 2018/01/24)
Charybdis Company’s Special Operations Team is sent to investigate Rishon, a small town that orc raiders have converted into a base of operations. Using disguise and stealth, they infiltrate the encampment and stumble upon an orc mystic channeling energy from a mummy. They defeat the mystic but are knocked out by waves of heat as the mummy is freed. When they awaken, the mummy is gone… but they return to the Company with three new clues: Fearblade leads the orc raiders, Shomeri is/was the guardian of Rishon, and an unknown symbol has great importance—and now marks each of the team.