Squid Island

Neverwinter Leads
After questioning the Kraken Society member in Yartar, the party discusses their next move. They decide to head to Neverwinter where they know two more members of the Kraken Society. Also, they may be able to find some information on Tholtz Daggerdark, captain of the Morkoth, who is believed to have kidnapped King Hecaton of the Storm giants. The dragon cultists fly the party to Neverwinter and conceal their airship nearby. The party heads to the city and sells off the jewelled Rapier Erza took from Lord Kasper Drylund. She disappears into the dockside underworld to gather information. Skamos speaks to the local temple of Thor for information on Daggerdark and the local Kraken agents, Albus Fabircus and Folvia Vita. Astrid sailed on the Crimson Maiden before she became an adventurer, but that ship has moved on from Neverwinter and she is unable to find any of her old crewmates. She visits a mages' guild to see about hiring someone to send a message magically, but its either impossible or very expensive. Sir Conlan visits the Harpers and brings the local agent up to date. The Harpers have an agent on a local ship, Kelpie's Kiss that the Harpers will hire to transport the party.
Following rumors and clues from local sources, they run down the Kraken agents at the High Tide tavern. Sir Conlan tries to disguise himself out front to watch for trouble. Erza goes in with Talik as a thug bodyguard. She finds Albus and Folvia and again feeds them the line about being Daggerdark's pregnant mistress. She learns his ship puts into the fishing town of Vilkstead on the Purple Rocks islands. With that clue, they go to the Kelpie's Kiss and order the captain, Zaldar Florshin, to set sail. The Red Rock islands where the queen was killed are not far, the party decides to check them. Along the way, Astrid takes an interest in the Harpers' agent, bosun Ilkari Levari and the two women pursue a relationship. But when they arrive at Red Rocks, months have passed and no clues remain.

Port Unfriendly
They sail to Vilkstead, but Captain Florshin warns them not to expect a warm welcome. The people of Vilkstead are incredibly closed to outsiders. They will trade and provide repairs, but they have not interest in providing information. The ship arrives and the locals are as closed mouthed as advertised. Sir Conlan wanders the town, looking at buildings and peple, trying to appraise their fighting strength. The rest of the party visits the only bar open to outsiders and Astrid and Erza try to get the bartender to open up. The townfolk are almost exclusively men, there are few women and absolutely no children. All the people have simple but extensive tattoos in a squid/octopus motif.
Finally, Astrid casts Suggestion on the bartender and he starts to open up. Astrid summons Sir Conlan from his walkabout to help question the bartender. There is another town inland where more of the islanders live, including their families. Daggerdark has been here, he is supposed to be important because he talks to their master, the Deep One Slarkrathel. Sometimes Daggerdark visits another of the islanders' towns, Ulfothayer. Services for their master are on high tide at the full moon, which is in eight days. The townspeople in the bar are whispering amongst themselves about the bartender's compliance. Finally they decide they have heard enough and release the bartender from the spell and head back to the ship. Astrid, Valfir and Erza want to explore the inland town, they can see its lights in the hills. The portmaster cmes and warns the captain to keep his crew and passengers aboard ship all night. They decide Alaric, Astrid, Valfir and Erza will go out after dark and explore while Skamos, Talik and Sir Conlan reinforce the night watch on the Kiss to keep the ship safe.

Door to Door
The scouting party easily evades patrols with their magic, but the next town is closed up tight. Bored, Astrid uses her Bag of Tricks and brings forth a tiger. She orders it to roam through peoples' houses, frightening and stirring them up. She then adds an ape to the chaos, and when the townsfolk start showing up with weapons to hunt the unknown "monsters", a baboon. The three creatures stir up the townsfolk and Astrid orders them to flee and lead the townspeople away. Astrid casts Sleet Storm to cover their escape.
Meanwhile Valfir is trying to find any local priests. He follows a trail leading away from town and finds the priest's home. Looking through the window, he sees the priest reading a very large illuminated text. Knocking on the door to distract the priest, Valfir slips inside and hides the book in his Bag of Holding and escapes and rejoins the scouting party.
Down in the harbor, Skamos and Sir Conlan watch the chaos on the hills. They awaken the captain and ask him how long it will take to set sail. When the scouting party returns with their tale and the book, Sir Conlan orders the captain to flee the harbor. The Kiss' crew hastens to raise sails and row the ship off the dock, they catch the wind and flee the harbor. They sail around the island out of sight and they examine the book. It is written in an unknown language and illustrated with evil and obscene attacks, including child sacrifice. Now the party needs to decide on their next move. Sail to Ulfofthuger in search of the Morkoth? Return to Neverwinter? The have eight days until full moon, they could return to Neverwinter, spend a day there and return. Perhaps return in the dragon cultist airship?

Laying Low
The party decides to scout the nearby islands including another port that belongs to the local islanders. The Kiss's captain shares what he knows of nearby settlements, none of them are worth exploring. They consider teleporting to the storm giants' court to ask for advice and possible aid. Skamos casts Divination spells and learns that Daggerdark is coming to the ritual but that they will not get the help they need from the giants. They decide to infiltrate the island and lay low, watching the port for the Morkoth. A couple days before the ceremony, the party lands on the south side of the island. The ship's sprite first mate comes along and they show her a spot to leave messages so she can fly over and check. If they see magical fire or lightning in the bay, come and pick them up. If they haven't heard from the party in ten days, return to Neverwinter. The party moves inland and sneaks to the island's peak to spy on the port. Valfir sneaks down to the upland village at one point, checks the priest's house and sees the priest is writing a new holy book. He pauses often as if listening to a voice only he can hear, then writes some in the book. A ship answering the Morkoth's description comes to port on the next day and they sneak down to a hill just outside of town to watch. The ship has no sails, but some disturbance underwater pushes it forward. It is shaped something like a squid. The crew seems to be about 20, but there are some creatures swimming around the ship… Skamos casts Divination again and learns king Hecaton is aboard the ship, but under some kind of sleep enchantment. Valfir turns invisible and sneaks into town and onto the ship. There are two ballistae mounted at the bow and two more in the stern with a guard at each weapon. The sailless mast has a sentry in the crow's nest. A storm giant is chained to the deck in the open hold, but is in some form of magical sleep, he doesn't move or breathe. Valfir returns to camp and the adventurers plan their attack. They will board the ship, kill the sentries, then try to wake the king with the Charm of Restoration and then use the Conch of Teleportation to flee with the king to the storm giants' court. If there is a problem and they can't escape with the king, Erza now holds the Conch and will teleport to get help from the storm giants.

Gods save the King
(Jim's note: The attack on the Morkoth lasted about six rounds of combat and took about 2 and 1/2 hours to game out. The summary doesn't do it justice)
Late at night, Valfir returns to the ship and takes up a position near the stern guards. But now there is a half-orc on watch at the helm as well. Alaric casts Pass without a Trace on the party and they approach. Their care is so great they actually reach the top of the gang plank before the guards react. Astrid uses Dimension Door to move herself and Erza to the stern and assist Valfir in fighting the sentries there. Sir Conlan and Talik charge into battle with the bow guards and slay them. As the alarm sounds, crew start coming out of the below deck cabins fore and aft. There's a disturbance in the water, Skamos sees huge merman like monsters climbing the side of the ship to attack. He attacks one with Guiding Bolt and Spiritual Weapon, then begins a Call Lightning storm. One of the creatures hits Astrid with a harpoon and pulls her off the stern deck to land in the hold, doubly wounded by the spear and the fall. Valfir jumps down to help her. Talik drives into the mass of crewmen coming out of the forward cabins, Erza moves forward to escape the crewmen astern. A wizard comes out of the forward cabins and rises up above the ship on a Fly spell. Alaric shreds the aft crewmen with repeated Hail of Thorns spells. Skamos destroys a merman with lightning. Some of the crew get the stern ballistae turned forward and start shooting. Astrid drinks a Potion of Healing then grabs Valfir and uses Dimension Door to teleport them behind Sir Conlan and Alaric. Sir Conlan blasts a merman off the ship with a combination of Divine Smite and the Giant Slayer Sword's power then heals Astrid. She casts Fireball on the stern deck, sweeping away the crewmen and the ballistae. Skamos hits the wizard with lightning and maximizes it with his storm divinity, but doesn't break the wizard's concentration on his Fly spell. The wizard swoops down and casts Lightning Bolt at Skamos, Alaric, Astrid and Valfir, but they survive the damage. Valfir Shadow Steps into mid air to stun the wizard with a literal flying kick, the wizard falls to the dock and Valfir lands beside him. Astrid uses Quicken Spell to chain cast Fire Bolt and Magic Missile into the wizard and slays him. She yells at Valfir to grab his body, they will question him later. Talik, Alaric, Erza and Sir Conlan finish the crewmen and they regroup next to the giant. Skamos uses the Charm to cast Greater Restoration and the giant wakes up angry and tries to break free, threatening the party. They manage to calm him down, telling him Queen Serissa sent them. His chains are magically sealed, but Skamos casts Dispel Magic and then Freedom of Movement on the king to allow him to escape his bonds. Valfir shoves the wizard's body in the Bag of Holding and they ask the king for a few minutes to search the ship. While Astrid and Alaric watch the town, they search the bodies and the cabins. They grab the first mate's diary which is full of rants against the captain, who is indeed Tholtz Daggerdark, and his bad decisions. The first mate recorded that the captain claims to receive communications telepathically from their kraken overlord. In the captain's cabin, they scoop up some treasure, books, navigational charts and any papers. With all the loot in the Bag of Holding, they regroup at the king's side and teleport away.

Silly Quotes and Smart Remarks
Astrid's former ship is the Crimson Maiden
Jim "Its always that time of month on the ship"

Looking up how difficult it is in 5E to magically communicate with someone you don't know
Lee "There seem to be magical laws against cold calling"

They couldn't find any Potions of Water Breathing
Mike "How about gillyweed?"

Sir Conlan looks for a poor quality cloak to conceal his armor
Chmiel "Get a mexican poncho!"
Jim "And a bottle of Tequila"
Lee "And a sombrero?"
Jim "That's what's hiding my helmet"

The party arrives at the High Tide tavern at midday
Jim "They're only half-drunk"

At some point, the phrase "balls deep" was thrown out and it became the theme for the evening
Lee "Bang Bus 16: Balls Deep"

The Red Rock islands are a place a ship might stop to give the crew a break or have a barbecue
Mike "Barrrbecue"

Astrid seduces the bosun
Lee "Bang Bus 17: Dykes on the Sea"
And bizarre ocean based venereal diseases
Mike "I've got squids; I'm shooting ink"

Talking about the lack of variety in the town's few shops
Lee "They sell bread and rope, it's just bread and rope"
Jim "I've got wheat for sheep"
Somone suggested the hammer store is in the next town
Michael "The only problem is the hammer and nail stores are 20 miles apart"

Discussing options
Jim "The other thing to do would be to sail away"
Lee <sings> "Come sail away, come sail away with me"
Chmiel "I knew that was coming"

Valfir is looking for the priest's house
Mike "Look for the one with all the little boys running out"

Astrid uses the Bag of Tricks and gets a tiger
Lee "Suddenly, tiger"

Passing close to the second port, how close should they come?
Jim "Sail casual"

Discussing the limitations of a Divination spell
Lee "Terms and conditions may apply"

The party is hidden in the hills above the villages
Lee "You have the high ground, so in any conceivable fight you would win"

Discussing what may happen while the party lays low waiting for the ritual
Kevin "Nothing's going to happen up here; it's too nice of an island"

Counting the number of crew on the ship
Jim "How many do you think you could handle?"

One of the crew charges Talik after he has killed a monster and some of the other crew
Jim "Boy, are you dumb"