Programmer by Day

from the peanut gallery...

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02: Wreck Ashore

After waiting out the storm in the ancient tomb our heroes continue on their journey. A few days later they enter the town of Seawell.

Hwee: We need an inn to quench our thirst, you’d best leave this to me friend Joachim, as a bard I am naturally good with people.

Hwee: Good morning sir, could you please direct us to the nearest inn?
Old Man: hrrmm mumble mutter millennium hand and shrimp...
Hwee: Oookay let me try someone else...
Hwee: Good day sir,...
Hwee: Ah excuse me mam, but could...
Hwee: Hello...
Hwee: HEY YOU!....

Hwee: How unfriendly, they don’t seem to want to talk to me, perhaps your dogs are putting them off.
Joachim: Perhaps it’s your smell.
Hwee: Lets head down to the docks, we should be able to find an inn somewhere down there.

Hwee: How odd, there don’t seem to be any ships in at the moment.
Joachim: What’s that down there? It looks like gold!
Hwee: What?, where? (leans over dock)
Joachim: About time for your bath I think (pushes Hwee off the dock into the harbour)

Hwee: Well that was somewhat refreshing, thank you for helping me out, ahh, there are some more people, let me try again.
Hwee: Greetings...
Townsfolk: Look what’s washed ashore now.
Hwee: uhmmm.

Little Girl: mister, can I pat your puppy?
Joachim: (whispering to the dogs)Do NOT eat the girl!
Joachim: Yes. Do you know of an inn where we could stay?
Little Girl: There’s one just over there.
Hwee: Maybe they just don’t like gnomes.

Accommodation is soon arranged, Hwee makes enquiries as to where he might purchase a new set of clothes and is given directions to the general store. It occurs to Hwee that maybe he could impress the townsfolk with his other talents. Fortunately the store has a set of entertainers clothes that will fit and after some haggling Hwee has a fine, if somewhat gaudy entertainers outfit, complete with sparkly bits.
Joachim settles for a spare set of town clothes.

That evening Hwee sets up in the corner of the inn and regales the customers with tunes and tales and even makes a small profit. During a break in the entertainment, a gentlemen approaches the table of Hwee and Joachim. Joachim briefly considers setting the dogs on him but thinks the better of it.

Mayor: You play well and tell marvellous stories bard, might I enquire if the fabulous heroes you speak of are in fact yourselves?
Hwee: Ahh, would that they were, so far we’ve not had the chance for such mighty deeds.
Mayor: Perhaps you would like such a chance then?
Hwee: You sound like you have a proposition.
Mayor: You may have noticed that there are no ships in the harbour?
Hwee: I went for a swim earlier today...
Mayor: Several ships are overdue to arrive, and we’ve not heard from the lighthouse keeper in over a month, I fear that something may have happened. I can offer you 20gp each if you could investigate for us.
Joachim: Do you by chance have any riding dogs for sale?
Mayor: Don’t have much demand for them here, not too many of the little folk, how about a pony?

Our heroes agree to investigate the missing ships and retire for the night. The next morning 2 ponies arrive at the inn for the adventurer’s each one with a day’s rations. Our heroes have been informed of a ranger named Samuel who lives on the outskirts of town who may be willing to guide them through the swamplands to the lighthouse. After finding him, Samuel informs them that his fee will be 1sp/day to guide them to the lighthouse. Hwee with his usual tact and diplomacy questions Samuel as to what he will do if they discover trouble at the lighthouse and if he will cut and run. Samuel stiffly replies that he does NOT abandon his companions or those who have employed him, but he is being employed as a guide, not as a sword for hire. Joachim offers him 10gp to be a member of the party for the duration of this investigation and Samuel agrees. He then tells them that it will take about 3 days to make the journey to the lighthouse and that while food is not hard to find along the way, they will make better time if they don’t have to stop to forage. Hwee and Joachim purchase further supplies from the town and by the time they return Samuel is ready to depart.

After an uneventful days journey the party setup camp for the night. Shortly before dawn Hwee and Joachim are awakened by Samuel who informs them that some sort of predator beast has found the camp and is probably after the ponies. Hwee and Joachim quickly take up positions protecting the ponies. While Joachim was able to place himself between his pony and the predator, Hwee was oblivious to the large panther that leaped over his head to land on the back of his pony. A short furious fight ensued before the panthers were brought down. One of them in his dying moments managed to severely maul Joachim’s pony but Joachim was able to summon his magic to save the life of his pony. Hwee’s pony, aside from some minor scratches and bites was miraculously largely unscathed despite having a panther on it’s back.
Joachim skinned the panthers and the party continued on with their journey.

That evening Joachim finished the task of cleaning the panther skins that he had recovered in one of the many pools of water dotting the swamplands. A disturbance in the water gave him pause before he decided it might be safer in another pool.
Hindsight made him realise that the disturbance was most likely an alligator and he rued the missed chance at some alligator skin boots to accessorise his forthcoming panther skin cloak.

The party arrived in the area of the lighthouse on the morning of the fourth day. Adopting a cautious approach, Joachim was moving stealthily forwards when he noticed a figure concealed in the bushes off to his right. As he attempted to move closer without looking like he was heading directly to the figure, the lizardman emerged from the bushes and hurled a javelin at Joachim’s feet, demanding he stop.

Lizardman: Halt, what is your business here?
Joachim thinking to himself: attack or talk – attack – talk – attack – talk – att oh bugger it.
Joachim: Hi there, we’re ah, just passing through, say do you happen to know the people who live in that lighthouse over there?
Lizardman: They have not been seen for many weeks.
Joachim: Oh that’s a pity, we’ve come all this way to visit them. Do you by chance know what happened to them?
Lizardman: Maybe they were killed by the pirates.
Joachim: Pirates you say, ah, very uhm, interesting, tell me more.
Hwee: (from behind the Lizardman, lowering his crossbow) Yes please do.

The lizardman scout informs our heroes that they have been watching the pirates for a number of weeks now and gives a detailed layout of the pirate camp. She estimates the number of pirates to be around half a dozen. Her tribe had cordial relations with the family in the lighthouse and are dismayed that the pirates appear to have harmed them. She also informs the party that the pirates have built a tower of their own about 300 yards further up the coast. Once the lizardman is told that the adventurers have travelled from Seawell, she indicates that she and perhaps her tribe might be willing to assist in removing the pirates.

With this information Joachim determines that the pirates are ‘wreckers’ who lure ships on to the reef with the false light and then loot the wreckage. The pirates probably killed the lighthouse family first so that they could disable the safe guiding light.
The lizardman scout is reluctant to enter the lighthouse, but is willing to look after the ponies and stand guard a little back in the bushes while our heroes investigate inside.

Hwee stealthily makes his way up to the entrance of the lighthouse, quiet as a shadow, and peers in, he can see no danger, but the reek of death is heavy in the air, he motions his companions to approach when a load shout breaks the silence.

Joachim: HEY HWEE! DO YOU SEE ANYTHING?

The party enter the lighthouse and commence looting searching for the lighthouse keeper and his family. The entrance room to the lighthouse contains doors to the left and right and a door into the central stairwell. A quick search of the rooms on the ground floor finds nothing.

Hwee: Why do all these rooms go round in a circle?
Joachim: ?!? it's err, a lighthouse.

Searching the upper levels of the lighthouse our heroes find the rotting bodies of the keeper's family. The pirates appeared to have looted anything of value and destroyed the lighthouse lamp. Joachim decideds to 'borrow' some introductory primers from the book collection on astronomy and seafaring.

Our heroes decided that the best way to resolve this situation was a quick strike into the pirate camp. The lizardman scout informed them that her tribe were willing to assist in this and with the information about the pirate camp from the lizardman plans for a dawn ambush were made. The lizardman were to seperate into two main groups which would aproach the camp from opposite sides, while a smaller group of lizardmen would set fire to the pirate's false light tower down on the beach. Joachim, Hwee and Samuel would lead the main assault on the pirate camp.

At dawn, the pirate camp was encircled by our heroes and their newfound allies. Unfortunately just before they were ready to charge in, the 2 pirates guarding the camp were alerted by a noise in the bushes and raised the alarm. Hwee immediately fired his crossbow and felled one of the guards with a direct shot right between the eyes. Joachim observed the remaining standing guard, who was in fact the pirate captain cast a spell of some sort. Charging in to confront the pirate captain, Joachim felt a second spell brush past him but was able to overcome it's affects. Not so fortunate were his dogs who fell to the ground asleep. Samuel rushed in to engage one of the pirates who had risen from sleep. Hwee, perhaps caught up in his initial success at killing one of the pirates charged up to engage the pirate captain in melee and was felled by a single savage blow from the captains sword. It was starting to look grim for our heroes until the lizardman tribe rushed to assistance, one of the groups having been delayed by the arrival of a pirate patrol returning to camp. The pirates were eventually overcome and Joachim was able to save the life of Hwee with his magic.

Our heroes are victorious, nothing left to do but loot the camp!