Aeon Zen

Pirates of the Rancid Lake

Answers in forms of questions

The wise Amadeus the Satyr welcomes the Freak Squad to his hut, and after some tea asks for some personal time with each of its members.

Tobin asks who would have answers about her past and why she was famous. Her responses indicate that her memory loss might have been her own doing, and that answers lie within someone she already knows. Tobin should seek this person for answers, but avoid confrontation to prevent this knowledge from eluding her.

Fame is in the mind of Mazith as he asks his questions. Amadeus responds that fame can be achieved by adventuring, like The Aforementioned did. However, admiration is a different and more powerful emotion that can only be achieved by caring about the general population, like Chrysanthe Xene. Mazith’s idea of helping rebuild the bridge in Cloverfield would be a good start.

Rad Longhammer is troubled by his past. Amadeus comforts him but states that he must know who he was in order to know who he is. He mentions that Rad is not really a half-orc like most people believe, but a wizard experiment. He knew a wizard like that in the Badlands. Underneath Rad’s skin used to live a man, Rad should seek who he was. Looking into the Lancaster house, the emblem carved on Rad’s hammer, would be a starting point. This hammer was the result of Rad’s worst wrong, murder.

Aishe Malinova decides to stay with Amadeus for more answers, while Mazith, Tobin and Rad go on to prove themselves as part of the agreement with Amadeus. He asked them to retrieve something for him, with the meaning of the expedition being the journey, not the destination.

The puppy launcher

Undead pirate

The party follows Amadeus’ directions:

In the range of mountains, there’s a dormant volcano.
In the volcano, a lake
In the lake, an island
and in that island a forest
Within the forest, a tree
and under that tree, a cavern
Inside the cavern a pond,
and in that pond is what I seek.

The party decides to climb the volcano, avoiding the long easy trail, and the dangerous fast cliff climb. Instead they decide to carve their own path through the bushes. After some athletic effort, they arrive at the rim of the volcano only to find a lake of sulfuric acid emanating toxic fog. After exploring, they find a ghost on the other side of the lake sitting by a rowboat. He mentions that they could get safe passage with him for a fee, build their own raft, or take an already built vessel.

The party says farewell to the ghost after wishing a good date with a banshee he rather be spending his time with, and embark on a trip to the island. Before long, the fog parts to reveal undead pirates sailing a skull vessel looking for booty. Their initial ram attempt is avoided by Mazith‘s sailing skills. The undead are quite resilient to damage, so Tobin instead fires arrows that cut the pirate’s sails that trap the pirates. Rad Longhammer concentrates his efforts in harming both the pirate captain and the skull boat with Pelor’s radiance.

Unexpectedly, the second-in-command shoves a puppy into a cannon and fires from the crow’s nest. Tobin jumps from her ship’s crow nest and catches the missed shot mid-air, barely able to land both herself and the puppy safely… on the pirate ship. After much swashbuckling, overboard men, rope swinging and steering, the pirate captain is defeated and the second-in-command retreats with several losses.

The party makes it to the island, then the forest of petrified trees, and a hollowed tree with a boiling pond of sulphur. From inside the pond they retrieve an egg from a large bird, decide to trust Amadeus, and make their way back. However, a gigantic Roc appears in the skies, hearing its offspring’s cries from the now hatched egg. To make matters worse, the pirate ship returns with the second-in-command trying to prove himself into a new pirate captain with a last attempt at defeating the adventurers. Mazith uses ventriloquism to make bird crying appear as if it came from the pirate ship, while Tobin fires smelly pieces of the hatched egg into the pirate ship’s sails. To keep the hatchling from crying out from cold, Rad urinates on it. This does not settle well with Mazith’s belly, and he unfortunately ends up vomiting on the hatchling, providing extra warmth. The roc is fooled by their actions, grabs the pirate ship in its talons, and disappears into the fog. The party makes it back to Amadeus while hiding from the threats in the skies, with Bruno, the rescued puppy as named by Tobin, in tow.

The way of the lion

Amadeus the Satyr welcomes them back and congratulates them for not failing and joining the pirate crew. The party goes to the nearby waterfall to clean up the hatchling and themselves, only to find the knight Leonidas of House Yanamoto from Fujimori, practicing under the waterfall. He mentions he is training under Amadeus to enhance his skills since his chi can only currently stop the flow of the waterfall but not reverse it. Tobin asks for more and Leonidas mentions that once she knows itself, she can channel her experiences into martial prowess.

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