The first session of a new campaign! So great! So exciting! When everything is all fresh and new, and low-level monsters… Ah, good times. Also, this is my first Savage Worlds campaign, which is exciting, and my first game run on roll20.net, the popular online tabletop system. Everything is new! And considering that everything is new, I would’ve expected a lot more hiccups along the way than we actually ended up having.
Ach, the Grael whaler sailor
Bog Binns, the charming Masaquani rogue
Skitters, the Scurillian water mage
Ted, the human fire mage
Torath-Ka, the Savage Land, a mysterious island
Caribdus, a drowning world
The Story So Far:
Our sailors had been serving on the Rebecca, a freighter carrying lumber from the Free Towns to the Kieran Empire, when a mysterious… something, tore a massive hole in the bottom of the ship. The vessel was able to be beached on the shores of Torath-Ka, known only to the sailors as the Savage Land. Their captain had sent them out looking for provisions, in case they needed to make an extended stay here.
So, our four had wandered down along the beach when they found an old abandoned skiff, severely damaged, with the bottom basically gone, and missing a mast. Unfortunately, they also found some strange rustling in the jungle to their left. Before whatever it was could come crashing out of the jungle, Bog suggested hiding in the skiff so that they would not be immediately seen. The rest of the group followed suit, just in time for a large yellowback lizard (comparable in size and appearance to an Earth velociraptor) to emerge from the foliage.
Skitters the Scurillian water mage blasted it with bolts of boiling hot water, while Ted compounded the damage with fire bolts. Ach threw his harpoon while still taking cover inside the skiff. Bog took care of butchering the dead body of the yellowback once the rest had finished with it. After all, he knew, these things were good eating, and could easily provide a nourishing dinner for his friends and some of their crewmates. Ach was also able to find some fruits and berries growing nearby that would, if nothing else, keep them from getting scurvy. It was even possible that the broken-down old skiff could be used for repair materials for the Rebecca.
They made note of where the site was, then decided to continue further into the jungle. Before long, they heard more rustling, much louder this time, and harder to pinpoint the source of. They waited silently for a moment, then, before their eyes, a clawed foot that appeared to belong to something the size of a T-Rex walked in front of them. Mercifully, it didn’t seem to notice the tiny creatures lurking in the bushes, and it continued on its merry way. Deciding to throw caution to the wind, the group decided to follow it, seeing if it left anything edible in its trail. Indeed, they were able to find quite a bit more fruit and vegetation, and even two small wild pigs that appeared to have escaped the giant creatures’ notice. With this bounty, they decided to return to the site of the Rebecca and deliver the provisions to their crewmates.
As they crested a large sand dune, however, they saw smoke rising on the horizon. Their worst fears coming true, they saw as they approached that the Rebecca had been burned to the waterline, their crewmates nowhere to be found. There were clear signs of a scuffle, and pools of blood seeped into the sandy beach, but no one was left. Ted noticed some tracks leading into the foliage, looking like bare human feet. Figuring that this was whoever had ambushed their ship, they decided to follow the tracks into the jungle.
It took quite some time – and Skitters producing some cool fresh water for his fatigued comrades – but they managed to follow the tracks through the dense, humid jungle. Finally they turned into an actual beaten trail, then opened into a clearing. What they saw there was not a welcome sight at all. There was a stone foundation filled with a pool of some kind of bubbling red liquid – never a good sign – topped with a 20 ft. tall statue of a monkape (it is exactly what you think it is). Bound and kneeling at the edge of the pool were six of the surviving crewmen of the Rebecca. They were surrounded by eight Red Men, the savage natives of Torath-Ka, with one of their shamans, all chanting ominously.
The rescue party decided to try stealth first, but it, uh, didn’t quite work out. The Red Men spotted them and one of them immediately responded by kicking one of the captive sailors into the red pool. There was a bloodcurdlingly scream as his flesh was dissolved almost instantly, his bones sinking to the bottom of the pool in seconds. One of the Red Men moved back to guard the shaman, while the rest ganged up on the attackers. Ted and Skitters continued to fire their bolts of fire and boiling water, while Ach used his trusty harpoon and Bog whipped out his trusty longsword.
When most of the Red Men had been dispatched, the shaman completed his ritual, and the giant monkape statue in the center of the pool was replaced by a real one, massive and threatening. The acid of the pool seemed to have no effect on it, to their surprise. The shaman, seeing that Ach was both the biggest fighter of the group, and the closest to him, sent the monkape after the Grael. While the rest of the party did their best to overcome the monkape’s tremendous fortitude, Skitters set about freeing the captive sailors from their bonds with his claws.
Once they managed to take out both the monkape and the shaman (the frail shaman proving no threat after the sheer bulk of the monkape), they found their freed crewmen – a couple of sailors who had been brought over from Earth, just like Ted; a kehana named Mongrel, and two Masaquani twins, Caras and Cais Cath. They decided to use the remains of the Rebecca to try to repair the skiff, rather than the other way around. They were unable to repair it successfully before the sun went down, and they were forced to set up watches overnight until they could fix the skiff in the morning.
A couple of hours after they set sail, they encountered a large debris field, and Skitters was able to spot a fellow Scurillian clinging to a piece of the wreckage. They slowly pulled up to get him, and before he even pulled himself aboard, he passed over a backpack full of charts and cartographer’s tools. When they were finally able to get him to come aboard the rickety craft, he introduced and explained himself.
His name was Equais, he said, and he was once a super for the Spanish Guild of Caribdus. As a Scurillian, he liked to measure things, facts and figures (Skitters nodded knowingly at this), and as such, he began to measure the depth of the sea everywhere they went. To his unfortunately surprise, over the course of just a few months, the water had risen about six inches. Numbers don’t lie, so he quit his job to travel the world and investigate this phenomenon. His working theory was that when the world was flooded, it never truly stopped, it only slowed to a trickle. Before long, he said, the entire surface world would be gone – and could you imagine the wars that would be fought over the last remaining islands in the meantime?
The party eagerly asked the Scurillian if he knew of any way to stop this gradual flood, and he suggested talking to the archmage Tressa the Red – but they had better take serious precautions. Reaching Tressa’s floating home would require passing a gauntlet of dangerous waters, a rapids known as the Gullet and a sharp rock formation known as the Teeth.
Figuring that there was no way they could bypass such dangerous waters in their small, held-together-by-spit-and-hope skiff, the group decided to set sail for the Free Towns instead of their original destination of the Kieran Empire. There they could find odd jobs and possibly hire a larger, more sturdy ship to make their way to Tressa’s island. And indeed, a couple days later, they saw the sun setting over the island of Perck, the closest of the Free Towns.