With the Combative Companions devoid of any light, the party began trailing along the coast in search of somewhere that they could obtain additional torches. They sail for days hoping to find some glimmer of humanity, but would find no one leaving them in the dark night after night until they could it to the village of Lort. The best they could do is take some rope and tree branches to improvise a few torches.
As they were traveling however, they came across a pair of small islands away from the shore. Maybe, just maybe they would be inhabited, so the men decided to take a detour in hopes that they'd find someone who could help them. Once again, they're journey was fruitless, but they did find something that could be of potential interest. It was an angular crag covered in algae with what seemed like rhomboid patters hidden among certain parts of the surface's edge. Odd, but not the strangest thing they've seen in these waters. The party decides to beach the ship and a small party of men (complete with the team's mascot Butchy the Butcher of the Sea) begin exploring this land to better understand it. As they wander the crag, they come across a large hole filled with water, sporting that similar rhomboid pattern they had saw along the edges of the algae when entering. Curious, Halthor brushes is foot along the algae covered ground, and realizes there's a lot more of these rhombuses than they anticipated. Not only that, but they weren't mere patterns etched into the ground, but were much closer to a series of overlaying and interlocking tiles.
Something's off about this.
Halthor attempts to take one of the tiles lining the ground, but after realizing they were embedded into the surface, he takes a dagger and proceeds to try and pry a tile free. After doing so however, the party notices something they had not anticipated. Blood. Blood is beginning to pool from where the tile was ripped and pulled. It's then that they slowly begin to realize, that wasn't a tile he removed. It was a scale.
"We gotta get going!" declared Halthor and the party began a frantic escape in hopes that the "crag" they were exploring doesn't retaliate to their presence and crush their boat. Thankfully, they escaped without any complications.
They would later learn that they were walking on top of a leviathan sea monster.
After another day's worth of traveling, the party were finally able to make it to Lort. They had purchased their torches and some additional food and supplies, and whilst doing so were approached by a one eyed man named Til who wanted to make an offer. Allegedly, he was associated with a group of men who had died trying to hunt a cyclops for a bounty that was set by King Adok, but with his men dead and him missing an eye, he was willing to sell the map to the cyclops to the party. After some light haggling, they agreed, but the map he gave them was odd. He claimed it led to a cyclops, but this "cyclops" had a angular head and rows of sharp teeth that made it seem more like the crude doodlings of a reptile than the hulking ogre of a beast the party expected the cyclops illustration to be. Perhaps he was taking advantage of their naivety by selling them some random map he had, but at the very least it did have information on the nearby terrain, and even warned against haunted ground that was near the river the map traveled across, so they decided the map had some level of merit, and began traveling the path it had laid out across the river in search of their cyclops.
After eluding a group of skeleton warriors, the men came across a group of green skinned corpses who were penetrated by arrows and left to rot along the river. They were looted for what they had, allowing the party to gain a few amulets and some kind of strange trinkets that seemed like horns or especially large stingers attached to a handle. No one could guess what they were, so they stored it away for later investigation. Finally, after a couple of days exploring the path across the mountains and along the river, they had discovered a fearful sight.
A "tyrant lizard" from what Randon called it. A massive feathered reptilian easily the size of a small house with unusually small arms, but a massive tail and rows of teeth that could rend and tear apart a man easily. Looking at the beast, the illustration suddenly began to make sense as they realized, this creature was missing an eye. Thankfully they had they're mascot Butch with them to inspire the group with his powerful claws and crabby demeanor. He was probably the most powerful part of their team and would serve as a crucial component to fighting this thing. Butch approached the beast snipping menacingly in preparation to fight with the party...only to be immediately torn apart by the tyrant's powerful jaw. Without even a chance to fight, the team's favorite crabby boy was no more, leaving the party in a struggle to avenge him. Matthias, being a man who always seems to be dancing with death, nearly has his arms torn away several times over from the beast, but, as is tradition, he and his fellow holy men have an abundance of holy water and prayer to spend almost exclusively on his death attracting body. Eventually, the beast is dismembered by the might of Viglaf's sword. "The beast was slain, but at what cost?" thought Axrid looking at the remains of his former (unwillingly bound) ally.
Regardless, the party decapitated the beast, and with no one else having any room to carry it, they planted the entire head on the shoulders of Morrigu, and had her huff, grunt, and shamble the multiple days journey back to Lort, with the others providing verbal support and complementing her powerful shoulders and tyrant bearing hips that had never given out along the way. They had collected their bounty, and would continue their traveling soon, but there was still the unanswered question; what exactly were those strange trinkets the party had picked up earlier?
Session 20 Downtime Events
After bringing the head of the Cyclops to King Adok and receiving 3 sacks of silver. Bodhi and Matthias found other members of the Ymirst church in Lort and with them performed the ancient rites of Vodim. They partook in the sacrificial offering of a young auroch beneath the gnarled roots of a pale oak.
Later on Matthias, was approached by a old crone with a ugly burn on the left side of her face. She trembled as she attempted to elevate herself upon a staff and coughed twice before speaking. She said that she had heard that Matthias was one of the men who slew the Cyclops and explaiend that she sought to purchase his and his men services. She continued stating that she had little to offer save for this and showed a ruby amulet from beneath her cloak. She asked for protection as she and her two grand daughters traveled to where the Hamin River meets the sea to visit the grave of her daughter, their mother.
As Bodhi was walking across Lort he was approached by a pair of tall men clad in furs. They expressed admiriation for Bodhi's blade and explained that they were men in the service of Kirk Serpent-Eyes. One approached Bodhi closer and whispered in his air that they sough treasure amid the mountains to the southwest and they would be willing to offer a share of spoils to Bodhi and his men if they assisted.
Randon, Viglaf, and Siegfried sought to carouse within Lort spending a combined 330 silver to drink deeply with the villagers. They became quick friends with a young man who called himself the apprentice of The Sorceror Thyrmyr but their jubilations were not uneventful. Viglaf boasted of his slaying of the Cyclops and one man laughed which resulted in Siegfried breaking a jug of mead over his head. The man's companions rose and and violence broke out amid the tavern as blood sprayed the walls. Meanwhile, Randon was struck by infirmity and has since retreated to be treated by Desdaimonia until he recovers.
Halthor sough to consult the elders of Lort as well as the Tomes of Lore to determine the nature of the stinger-like artifacts that he had recovered. He found mention of them in the tome that they were called ray-guns and were weapons used by men to slay one another at a distance. The night after discovering about the ray-guns, Halthor walked back to the inn where he and his companions were staying at but suddenly a burlap sack was thrown over his head and several muscles limbs bound him in rope. The sack was removed several minutes later after he was transported to the woods and he stood before a pair of Vanir men he had previously seen. Taut thews covered each man and with a grim expression they begged of his assistance. They explained that King Adok's men had slain several of their ancestors and now the Vanir and King Adok each sought to make war against one another. They asked that as a friend of the Vanir that Halthor would aid them, and explained had they been seen in Lort men would attempt to slay them. They bade Halthor farewell and traveled back into the woods.
Axrid and his men talked to those in Lort and sought to learn more rumors. Kaligula left at dusk and hidden away in the woods near Lort performed profane rituals to appease his master Dyspatur. Zanorak croaked with excitement as he changed yet again, now having both legs resemble that of a frog.
Rumors gained during downtime:
1) The ancient Ytori were turned to a hideous shape under the light of a passing comet
2) Men whisper of a witch who lives to the west who posses sorcery to make men disappear from sight never to return
3) The inhabitants of the Hamin kingdom are descended from the settlers who came here alongside King Vold
4) King Vold was buried in his ship wearing a crown of orichalchum and a necklace of blue gems
5) In Burd, those who share blood with the Ytori still make offerings to one of their ancient gods.