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Mannix, level 5 Human Inquisitive Rogue/Wizard
Khaless, level 5 Half-Drow Assassin Rogue
Gillian, level 5 Triton Bard of Whispers
George, level 5 Tortle Battle Master Fighter/Rogue
Therin, level 5 Hill Dwarf Druid of the Moon
Thanks to the teleport circle in the Heart of Ubtao (and making friendly with Valindra) the party was able to return to Port Nyanzaru for the first time since they set out in the jungle back in *checks notes* Session 9!
We checked up on a few NPCs before setting out down the River Tiryki to tie up a loose end: retrieving Azaka’s stolen heirloom from the pterafolk of FireFinger.
Port Nyanzaru was a much changed place since the part last saw it. The death curse has begun to take its toll on the culture and society. It’s not exactly an apocalyptic war zone yet but having the dead rise as zombies and the resurrected waste away is putting a damper on the once vibrant, colorful city.
Wakanga gave them a 500gp payout for returning VORN, even in a very damaged state, as well as a signet ring they could flash to merchants to get a discount (which would actually just bring everything down to sticker price from Chult’s markup).
At the Temple of Savras they were able to meet with Grandfather Zitembe and get some healing for their lasting injuries. Zitembe was concerned about Inete but her not yet arriving back to town lines up with the time it would take for her and the tabaxi to travel back on foot.
The marketplace was a shell of its former self. But they were able to find an apothecary who sold a bunch of potions. Khaless bought all the Healing and Greater Healing potions available, while Gillian now has over 100 crossbow bolts! Gillian and George both paid 100gp for their own helper flying monkeys as well, and we had fun role-playing their very different relationships with their pets/servants.
While in the market a hooded figure gave them a sealed envelope from Rokah, the Zhentarim agent for whom they had helped steal the sending stone from Fort Beluarian. Rokah wasn’t in town but had left them a note explaining he (and the Zhentarim) had found the hideout of the pirates somewhere in Jahaka Bay. His next mission was to infiltrate the pirate organization and gather more information, a dangerous task. He urged the party to follow him as soon as they could.
Finally, the party visited Captain Ortimay and the Brazen Pegasus, one of the only ships remaining at the docks. She was pleased to see them, though noted that most of her crew had left to be with their families (or the bar). Therin’s friend Hew had obsessively stuck around the boat, as suggested by Therin, and she had eventually given him a job and a place to sleep. Therin’s interactions with Hew were fantastic, and I definitely played up Hew as the loser friend.
Ortimay was satisfied that the party had learned the locations of Orolunga and Nangalore and after seeing the effects of the death curse, is more than willing to shepherd the party where ever they need to go.
They had one more item of business left in the jungle, however – Firefinger. Azaka had wanted to go there since they first left the city, but their story had taken them in a different direction. Now that they were back in the city, Firefinger was closer than ever, and given Azaka’s service to the party, they agreed to go there and retrieve her lost magical item that she says helps control her lycanthropy.
They borrowed two of Ortimay’s row boats and set out across the River Tiryki. Since they reached level 5 a few sessions ago I significantly paired down the amount of random encounters and reduced the overall hex-crawling. I did have a few encounters planned around the river, however, depending on what I felt like.
Since we just had a lot of fun role-playing in the city, I launched the Sea Hag encounter, which was mostly just combat. The hags try to lure people over to them by pretending to be in distress before attacking. It sort of worked, though Mannix’s Detect Magic was able to see something was amiss when they got close.
No surprise round, but the hags were able to cast some powerful spells like Lightning Bolt, Polymorph, Eye Bite, and Phantasmal Killer. Azaka shifted into were-tiger form after being sizzled by lightning and the party leapt into action.
Most of the hags’ spells were more disabling than damage-based, but it was fun being able to throw a bunch of high level spells at the party from a bunch of CR 2 enemies.
Once they took down one hag, however, they couldn’t cast their spells anymore, and it was a simple manner to clean up the rest. Given that the party can now Long Rest between each encounter in the jungle (another reason I vastly reduced the encounter rate) it was more about flexing their powers than worrying about their limited resources.
Next up: arriving at the giant rocky spire of Firefinger!
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