Journal Posts

Session 1: Shakedown Cruise
The senior officers of the newly commisioned spelljamming vessel, the Search, gathered together for the first time on the docks of the City of Brass. Sert, a fire giant and thrall to the efreet Charrus, was captain. The genasi Blaze was ship's wizard and Charrus' representative. Blaze had appointed the kalashtar Harris, whom he had fought alongside during the Slaad Incursion, as sercurity officer. In turn Harris had recommended the human anchorite Albrek as navigator.

The reunion between Albrek and Blaze was unexpected and tense. Their last attempt at working together had not ended well. Sert cut their bickering short with a few gruff words, then explained the ship's first assignment. Another of Charrus' spelljammers, the Fleet Mephit, had not returned back from a routine trading run to Harlode. For the Search's shakedown cruise they were to travel to Harlode and determine what had become of the other ship.

The cruise was beset with trouble from the very beginning. Blaze performed his first Plane Shift ritual with assistance from Robinson, an old hand at spelljamming. The ship emerged from the plane jump in a dense bank of fog. At the helm Albrek caught sight of a mountain peak emerging from the fog directly ahead, and barely managed to steer the ship away in time, scraping the hull against the side of the mountain.

Albrek was able to confirm from the mountain peaks he could see through the fog that they were about 50 miles from Harlode. Such mis-jumps were not uncommon, but the crew could not shake the feeling that something had gone wrong. As recriminations flowed between Captain Sert, Blaze, and Robinson as to who was responsible, Harris caught the distant sound of ravens cawing.

Before long huge black clouds of the birds emerged from the fog, surrounding the ship. Something was unnaturally drawing them to attack the crew. The crew was able to drive them off with elemental and psionic blasts before too much damage could be done. Young Trelane in the crow's nest took the worst injuries, and was saved by Albrek before he fell out.

Eventually the ship emerged from the wall of fog to find the mountain-side city of Harlode shrouded in darkness. It became apparent what had happened: they had entered the Shadowfell. Worse, something was blocking the arcane energy of the ship's ritual circle, preventing them from using Plane Shift to escape. Blaze knew that there were only two possible explanations: either the ship's arcane components had seriously malfunctioned, or Harlode had fallen into the Shadowfell and became what was known as a Domain of Dread. The crew began to despair, though somehow Blaze remained undeterred.

The Fleet Mephit was anchored at the city's sky docks, but appeared to be abandoned. A search of the ship revealed a single crew member, Eomen, who had been hiding in the ship and living off the spoiled food supplies for a month. Eomen was half-mad, ranting about the rest of the crew killing each other under a tower, and a dwarven lady who had watched. They took Eomen back to their ship, to be watched over by the crew.

The streets of the city were empty; the city's inhabitants confined themselves to their homes or their taverns, and treated the newcomers suspiciously. The officers made their way to the city's keep, hoping to gain an audience with Kind Balden.

A flashy display of magic and a promise of help got them past the guards. In the keep's hall they found King Balden morosely presiding over a nearly empty court. The hall contained 6 empty thrones, for the king's wife and children. When pressed, King Balden revealed that all of his children had died over the course of a year due to mysterious accidents, and Queen Ilvae had thrown herself off the western watch tower in grief. That was when darkness had consumed the city. The king also mentioned that the court wizard, Jorn, had come to the same conclusion as the newcomers, that the city had entered the Shadowfell. Jorn hadn't made an appearance in the hall since then.

Now convinced that King Balden wasn't responsible for whatever dark deed had created the Domain of Dread, the officers decided to investigate the watch tower. There they found Queen Ilvae's ghost wandering around the base of the tower, as they had expected. The ghost appeared to mistake the group for her lost children, and called upon them to join her at the top of the watch tower.

The ghost's ramblings were not very coherent, but it seemed that she had indeed committed suicide after the deaths of her children. At the suggestion that she had been responsible for those deaths, she became enraged. She lashed out at the group with psychic force, first compelling them to throw themselves from the tower, then to take on the roles of her children and defend her from each other. They proved to be made of sterner stuff then the previous crew, and in the end Blaze proved that even a ghost can burn.
Session: Spelljammer: Session 1 - Friday, Mar 23 2012 from 8:00 PM to 1:00 AM
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