Karnakata

Episode 5 - Like Bears in the Woods
More dangerous than you think...

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As the Motley Crew made their way up, above the Koa-Tua cave, they passed through a small section of woods, ignoring a farmhouse in the distance. Pressing deeper into the trees, they believed themselves to be nearing closer to where the Mindflayer’s Mind Bath was situated underneath.

Finally, the group discovered a clearing, where a large, empty pool made of earth and grass sat in the center, with an intricately carved statue of a brain on a tall pedastal sitting directly in the middle. The pool was dry, and on the other side of it, away from the adventurers, was a single bear.

Tuna, emboldened by their situation, believed that he could wrestle said bear (according to the officially recognized Karnakata Wrestling Federation rules, of course). Thomas was only too pleased to bet the dragonborn five gold in the bear’s favor, and to encourage this endeavor, to the chagrin of Isla the Cleric.

Gulliver, not wishing to anger the bear, spoke with it in its own language. The bear, at first, was reluctant, but inevitably relented, stating that it would pin the dragonborn to the ground, in the protection of either its children, or its sisters.

The paladin, attempting to relate this information to the ambitious fighter, was interrupted by a certain pirate, who exclaimed, “That bear says that she can take you!”

Tuna rushed the bear, knocking it prone.

Upon standing, the bear reached out and grasped the fighter’s shoulders, and with naught but a stare, the dragonborn stood frozen in place.

The bear spoke again, this time to someone other than the party, but Gulliver could only translate that she was inviting her “sisters” to come out and play, as two more bears emerged from a nearby cave.

Isla took this as her queue to run towards a nearby ravine, completely away from inevitable battle.

As the bears suddenly began to mutter in languages and throw spells from their hands, their true nature was finally revealed, as the adventurers realized that these were powerful hags in a remarkable illusion.

Thomas was instantly locked in a magical paralysis.

The first hag cast a mighty spell of Polymorph – as Gulliver rushed to defend Tuna, she was changed into a mouse, her armor falling into a metallic pile on the ground. Desperate, she rushed towards Stumbleduck, attempting to communicate.

In response, Stumble remarked in shock, “Oh no! A talking mouse!”

Gulliver, not one to be deterred, rushed back towards another hag, and leaped onto her foot, scratching at her, then climbing her body to scratch the odorous witch’s eyes out.

Another hag was shouting undeniable, mocking filth at the adventurers, causing psychic damage to several, even as Isla gathered her nerve and approached.

She reached out her hands to cast Bless upon several of her companions, while at the same time blocking the hag’s Vicious Mockery with the casual use of a specific one-fingered salute in the other hand.

As Gulliver attempted to attack the hag’s face yet again, a bolt of searing lightning grazed her white fur, causing the Polymorph to reverse. Suddenly, a fully human and fully naked Gulliver appeared before Gerda’s face, dropping the hag to the ground before pummelling her with a Divine Fist.

The paladin quipped that it was a good thing that she was immune to all diseases.

Despite every best effort of the hags, eventually the adventurer’s triumphed, able to vanquish their foes, and make their way into the cave.

Thomas remarked that Tuna still owed him 5gp.

Inside, after climbing down a narrow stairway, they noticed what Thomas referred to as “brain dogs” on the ground, tiny brain creatures with furry paws, who seemed harmless enough.

Only too late did the adventurers realize their danger, as the first creature sapped the Intelligence from Gulliver, and then from Tuna. Thomas leaped into the fray, and was able to wound one, but soon after had much of his Intelligence drained himself, though he was able to continue firing, as if by Reflex.

The others quickly scrambled to end the threat, able to finally remove the three Intellect Devourers, which lead to the discovery of some significant maps, scrolls, treasure, and booze, the last of which Gerda and Thomas were more than willing to help themselves to.

So, with two and half rather slobbering idiots in tow, the party made their way carefully, back to Rigg.

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Episode 4 - All That's Red is not Ruby
In the dark, blood runs black...

[Summary]

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Episode 3 - Where There's Smoke
Obsession can be corrossive...

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“You must destroy the pool.” – Stumbleduck’s Mouse

Hunger pains encouraged the Motley Crew to rest for a moment, as rations and foodstuffs were consumed. As they ate, the group conversed over how they might accomplish the task of “destroying” a basin that had been carved directly into the rock, as Stumbleduck’s rodent companion had recommended.

Tired of conversation, Brig and Thomas stepped to the door to continue investigating the area, and came across a pair of Koa-Tua guardsmen who were poking at their fallen kinsmen.

A few crossbow bolts ended the threat.

In an adjoining room, the Crew discovered what looked to be a small living quarters, complete with tables, chairs, a pantry, and a large bookshelf.

Gulliver and Isla began looking through the pantry stocks, while Stumbleduck was drawn to the shelves, lined with scrolls and papers, mostly written in Aquan. Thomas helped to translate.

The pirate informed the warlock that most of the papers looked to be personal letters and notes, not of any particular significance, though Thomas did help himself to a fist-sized Onyx sculpture which was carved into the shape of a brain, hoping it may fetch a good price somewhere.

A particular scroll did catch the warlock’s attention, however, describing this cave as a refuge and sanctuary, before the mindflayers attacked and subjugated the Koa-Tua, establishing this place as one to be used to build up a new unity of mindflayers, re-establishing them again on the earth to destroy a being called “The Usurper.”

The scroll spoke of rebellion against the current order, and the building of a new mindflayer kingdom, and how this place was where the keepers of the shrine will guard this sanctuary.

“Not the best guards,” joked Thomas. The pirate was unfortunately not very interested in the papers themselves, and was surprised that Stumbleduck wasn’t more annoyed with his lack of assistance. But, perhaps he was more interested in the clutch of spell scrolls that he discovered elsewhere among the bookshelves.

Gerda, for her part, was less interested in the living quarters, and made her way to the last room, which opened with a rusty metal creak. Though the ground seemed unusually clean, the rest of the room consisted of a dungeon, which looked to be corroded beyond functional use. With torch in hand, Gerda looked through the cells for anything useful, soon joined by Dude, Erial and Thomas.

In the corner of the room, the group came across a spiky, scaled creature with one eye. Dude engaged the creature, inviting him forward, but the creature was hesitant.

He introduced himself as Sherush, and was particularly insistent upon the finding of a magical secret. Dude was quick to promise such a thing, which Gerda and Thomas both balked at – Knowing the dragonborn was unlikely to have anything magical of value to the creature.

As Dude led Sherush from the corroded dungeon, allowing the door to close, the fighter and pirate became aware of the wet splosh of a black shape falling from the ceiling. It was a black pudding.

The corrosive cleanliness of the dungeon became instantly clear.

Thomas fired his crossbow at close range, which caused a splash of acid to burn into his armor as he backed away from the creature. Erial used her spells, whipping the creature with thorns and briars, while Gerda lost a javelin to the creature’s acid.

It took a concentrated effort to damage the creature before it finally dissolved into nothing, leaving naught behind but a thin residue.

Annoyed at the damage to his equipment, Thomas opened his pipeweed stick case, removing one of the self-rolled paper tubes and lighting it with the edge of his torch. Brig was open to idea, and took one of the sticks himself, as the group watched Dude trying desperately to subdue the nothic, Sherush, in one of the most convoluted ways they’d ever seen.

The one-eyed creature was obsessed with magic, which eventually inspired the dragonborn to lead Sherush to the storage of brains. “All of these are magic,” wondered the Nordic.

Gerda, uninterested in Sherush, began to gather the chests of treasure, carrying some out of the room. Brig and Thomas were happy to assist the fighter in removing the treasure from the cave, making their way towards the cavern entrance.

Meanwhile, Stumbleduck created an illusion of a spellcasting wizard, enrapturing the Nordic momentarily, until he suddenly discovered that it was a lie. Sherush became instantly distrusting, exclaiming “It is all a lie!”

The creature ran into the brain storage, throwing jars onto the ground in a crazed madness. The Motley Crew left him behind.

They made their way back to the City of Rigg, where the party split, heading to different shops and tasks as the sun began to dip in the western sky.

Gulliver made her way to the Rigg Monastery, where a woman named Bernadette led her to the kitchen. An elf acolyte, Fersia, put her to work, where the Paladin happily began to prepare food for the less-fortunate.

Thomas, looking to repair his armor, made his way to the far side of town to a leatherworker named Yule. The man looked over the pirate’s armor, and though he believed he could repair the acid damage, he instead offered Thomas another set, made from much rarer shark skin.

The pirate heartily approved.

Back at the tavern, Brig and Thomas engaged in a game of chance with a burly elf, rolling dice. While the game at first seemed rigged, the elf eventually allowed the pirate to earn back his winnings with a dancing display, to which the pirate heartily approved. The rogue, however, was less-than-interested.

Joviality was interrupted, however, as a fire broke out at the waterfront. Many raced to help put out the flames, but it was clear that much of the docks were lost.

Upon the morning, a parchment was discovered, pinned to one of the dock posts, alluding that this damage was in recompense for the actions of those who would prevent the birth of “The Children.”

It seemed that the Motley Crew had a few more frogs to fry.

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Episode 2 - Guards and Jars
Opening a door can provide more questions than answers...

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Upon finding a door at the rear of the ancient mind-flaying chamber, Gerda made her way forward and peeked inside to see what might await beyond.

A peek confirmed two Koa-tua guards standing watch in front of a pair of double doors, across a narrow corridor, so-far unawares of the Motley Crew who had been resting and investigating so close to them.

Gerda took it upon herself to sneak into the hallway hoping, perhaps, to catch the creatures off guard. Carelessly, however, she accidentally slammed the door into the adjoining wall, but still tried to press herself against the wall in a fervent attempt at remaining inconspicuous.

The Koa-tua noticed her immediately as the others stifled a laugh.

Thomas shouted in Aquan for the creatures to stand down, which proved ineffective as an alarm was raised, and even more of the creatures began flooding the corridor.

The Crew heartily waded into the battle, matching blades and magic against the creatures and their strange grappling staffs. In the tight confines, the fighters found themselves surrounded quickly, with Gerda subdued to battling on the ground, and Gulliver being dealt what nearly looked to be a fatal blow, knocking her unconscious.

The chaos continued until enough of the frog-like creatures were put down that the final two surrendered. Erial was anxious to put them to the sword, but Thomas was insistent that they interrogate the creatures first, hoping to learn something of their surroundings before the Koa-tua were just wantonly slaughtered.

Thomas and Stumbleduck strapped them into the mind-flayer bindings, demanding answers.

“This is the the place where the mother will raise her children,” said one of the creatures. Confused, Thomas asked Stumbleduck if he understood, after which point the illusionist projected the visage of a mindflayer above them.

This shook the two creatures into alarm, at least until the mindflayer suddenly began to dance.

Soon the creatures’ awe turned to mocking, as they began referring to the crew as “Land Rotters” and other such epithets. Thomas and Stumbleduck excused themselves, leaving the two creatures in the hands of Erial’s care.

As the doors closed, the rest of the Crew tried to ignore the screams of the captives left in the druid’s hands.

In the corridor’s adjoining room, surrounding what looked to be almost a giant bath, were several chests, containing gold, jewels, silver and electrum, as well as several fine linens and pieces of clothing.

The Motley Crew was quick to gather the treasures together, but while most were fine with Gulliver keeping the treasure within her bag of holding, Thomas insisted upon carrying his own share.

Beyond another door at the back of the room, the group discovered rows upon rows of jars, each contained by a tight stopper. After “Dude” attempted to remove the stopper, first with his hand, and then his teeth, he eventually just threw the jar to the ground, shattering the glass into pieces.

This left a puddle of ooze with a pulsating brain upon the ground.

Thomas lit a stick of pipeweed to calm his nerves, as Gulliver decided to keep several of the jars to study.

Stumbleduck’s mouse then explained that they should destroy the large bath in the center of the room, but offered no instructions on how to do so. He did, however, explain what it was for.

This bath, the mouse explained, was to be where the mindflayers’ children would be born.

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Episode 1 - The Undead After the Storm
And so, it begins...

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It was springtime. Storm season in the Skara Archipelago meant a constant battering from the winds, rains, and roaring waves. The tiniest glimpses outside showed only chaos and destruction surrounding the island of Rigg, which meant the majority of the populace stayed indoors, biding their time until the winds died down.

In a small waterfront tavern, The Heavy Net, a random assembly of locals, sailors, travelers and adventurers gathered to tell tales, share stories, and to drink their time away, one tankard at a time, which Jed the barkeep was more than happy to provide for a silver or two.

As the storm finally broke in the mid-morning, the tavern-goers emerged to witness the storm’s aftermath. Sunken and broken ships, tattered buildings and vegetation scattered all about.

The storm had not been kind to the City of Rigg.

As his citizens emerged, the leader of the town, Sonas, began to take stock of the situation, bellowing orders to begin cleanup and to tend to any wounded.

Amidst the tumult was an older man, a baker by the name of Verne Timsun, looking for his boy, Timothy. Certainly an odd choice of name for the boy, to be sure.

Soon after, though, the boy appeared, running from the rocky coast of the bay, up and towards his father. For a moment, it seemed as if everything would quickly get back to normal.

But on closer inspection, it was discovered that the younger Timsun had been bitten – several times, in fact. A couple of the adventurers mentioned that those bites looked similar to those inflicted by the ghouls of the undead.

Gulliver, a half-elf paladin healer, offered her services, but though she was able to confirm that the bites were, in fact, made by the undead, there was nothing that either she, nor one of the more experienced local clerics, could do to help the boy except make him comfortable.

The boy, in a feverish state, mentioned that he’d run from his boat, leaving it in a cave about an hour’s walk down the coast. An expedition was formed to investigate, consisting of Gulliver the Half-Elf Paladin, Erial the Drow Druid, Stumbleduck the Gnome Warlock, and a reluctant pirate, the Human Ranger Thomas Rackham.

The four strangers set out towards where the boy had come from, relying on Thomas and Erial’s tracking skills to make their way to the mentioned cave. It was noted that Thomas was rather liberal in taking swigs from his hip flask of grog regularly. As well, the different personalities of the adventurers quickly came in sync – some to their benefit, and some to their mutual chagrin.

Eventually, the group came across the cave – A small pocket cut out of the rock by a cliff face that had fallen, likely made bare by the storm. As they entered to investigate, they noticed a rather unusual sight – That of a skeleton dancing merrily in the middle of the cave.

Thomas quickly fired his crossbow at the bouncing skull, but despite a direct shot between the eyes, the bolt passed through the bones, shattering against a cave wall. He stood, perplexed, until the giggle of Stumbleduck made him realize that it nothing but an illusion.

While the the warlock and paladin seemed quite amused, The pirate grumbled and moved towards the back of the cave.

The group entered into the deeper chamber, cut purposefully into the rock, until they found what looked to be a catacomb, along with several expired bodies which looked to be rather more sprightly than a deceased creature should be.

The four strangers battled the undead with sword, shield, crossbow and magic, making short work of the creatures, and returning the still of the dead to the catacomb chamber. A quick search of the place discovered nothing of value, except for a large, locked door, which none of the four could properly open.

They elected to return to the town, patching the ship up quickly and sailing it back to the city. Thomas was adamant about returning to the baker, Verne Timsun, and informing him of the return of his son’s craft, explaining to the others, “I’ve no reason to steal another man’s boat – especially if there’s nothing of value in it.”

The party returned to the tavern, asking the barkeep, Jed, if he knew of anyone who might be handy with locks. They were approached rather quickly by a rather shabbily-dressed halfling cleric, Isla Knotwise, and a burly human fighter who introduced herself as Gerda Bodenschatz.

The group agreed to take these two newcomers along, unaware that they were being followed.

Upon returning to the cave, the newcomers tried their hands at the lock, but Thomas was rather disappointed at their lack of success. Instead, the group was startled by the appearance of yet another new face, a Rogue named Brig Silvermane, who offered his services.

The time ticked by as the three took turns trying to either unlock the door, or break through it, though eventually it was the rogue who prevailed, swinging the gate open.

The motley crew made their way upwards into the tunnel beyond, until arriving at what looked to be a rather ancient torture chamber, with brown and blackened bloodstains all throughout the room.

There were several scrolls – Some readable, and others not, but the warlock mentioned that the place looked as if it were used to extract the living brains out of individuals.

This did not fill the group with confidence.

Stumbleduck eventually said what all were thinking, even if they had only the smallest inkling of what may lay in store for them.

“Mindflayers.”

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Welcome to Karnakata
Starting the New Campaign

Welcome to the Karnakata Campaign Wiki thiny-ma-bob. This should allow for us to quickly access all of our D&D characters, histories, and campaign write-ups, so that this big old world of ours is consistent and continually awesome.

Please feel free to put up your characters, their thoughts, their hopes and dreams, and whatever else you may feel could help bring this world more to life!

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