Wednesday, May 8, 2024

The Sudden Sea –Session 17

[May 18 to 21 – Caravan Guard Work, Lights, and Prisoners]

[This game uses the Hero System Fifth Revised Edition (FREd) roleplaying game.  Game sessions happen once a week.  This session happened January 8, 2024.]

[This adventure takes place on the continent of Terik, two years after the appearance of the Sudden Sea.  The PCs are refugees seeking a better life through adventuring.]


Player Characters

Sorvia of Stavros – female human ranger, local to County Modon (village of Stavros in particular)

Tharduk Lavabreath – male dwarf glassmaker from the Northern Dwarven Kingdom, had a glass shop in County Modon that is now underwater, literally

Kadruth Worldbender – male dwarf priest, serving He Who Protects, from the Northern Dwarven Kingdom

Anomin – female human shapeshifter, from lots of places, most recently County Modon

Islo Redgrass – male elf ranger, local to County Modon (village of Stavros in particular)

Via Roll20

Inserrant – female human musician, player of zills (finger cymbals) and singer



Magusday, May 18, 56 I.C.

Tharduk returned to the Merchant Guild with Anomin in crow form.  Tharduk used Guild records to track down the ownership of the farmstead at Pedino, a village west of Mouzaki.  It used to be a waypoint for caravans before the Sudden Sea submerged most of the County.  Pedino officially owes loyalty to the Yorgos, Baron of Mouzaki.

While at the guild, Tharduk went fishing for the next caravan to head west to Grizano.  He wasn’t able to get the information [with all the raiding, the Guild is keeping tighter leash on that information] but he didn't alert anyone that he was looking either [just made his Conversation roll].

Failing at the Guild, Tharduk next went to the regular hiring area for caravan guards and asked around who was hiring.  He eventually tracked down Attor Cerdicson, the leader of the next caravan to leave Mouzaki for Grizano.  He was able to convince Attor that Tharduk’s group were serious bounty hunters with all the capabilities needed.  Once Attor was certain that he will not need to pay Tharduk or his group of bounty hunters, he stated that they will need to bring their own supplies and will fall under the authority of the caravan guards, led by Vagn the Lion.  Attor introduces Tharduk to Vagn and they discuss capabilities.  

Once Vagn was satisfied, Attor started writing up a contract for Tharduk to sign on the group’s behalf.  At this point Anomin whispered into Tharduk’s ear, reminding him to add a clause where the “bounty hunters” were free to leave once they captured bandits.  Tharduk brought this up with Attor and they haggled a bit before Attor agreed to include the clause.

Once Tharduk signed the contract, Attor told him the caravan would be leaving within a week.  Tharduk would need to check in at 4:00 PM each day until told the caravan was ready.  Tharduk’s team would then need to assemble the following dawn with the caravan.  They shook hands and parted.


Tharduk met back up with the adventurers and informed them they had a caravan to use as bait.  Kadruth discussed the details with Tharduk and then worked out placement of the adventurers, especially himself, along the caravan for optimum attack capability.

The adventurers then spent a total of one gold coin buying manacles, rope, and food for four days.

Freysday, May 20, 56 I.C.

4:00 PM

At the regular check-in, Tharduk was told that the caravan would be leaving the next day at dawn.

Yggsday, May 21, 56 I.C.


The adventurers arrived as the caravan assembled.  The caravan consisted of 9 wagons with 2 caravan guards on each wagon followed by Vagn and his lieutenant on horseback.  The adventurers situated themselves on the wagons as follows:

  • Sorvia was on Wagon 1
  • Kadruth and Anomin on Wagon 5
  • Tharduk and Inserrant on Wagon 7
  • Islo on Wagon 9

7:00 AM

The caravan left Mouzaki, taking the County Road west to Grizano.


The caravan passed the village of Pedino.  The adventurers saw that it was an extended farmstead that sat north of the road with multiple crop fields around it.  People could be seen weeding the fields.


Several hours later, Anomin happened to notice a signal light come from Pedino [made a very high Perception roll].  Turning quickly, she caught the return signal in the hills ahead, off to the left.  She whispered to Kadruth, asking the dwarf if she should fly off and investigate the light back at the farmstead.  He said yes and she immediately flew off, back towards Pedino to try and find the source.  Sorvia had also noticed the return signal from the hills ahead and gave a bird whistle signal that alerted the rest of the adventurers...except Inserrant, who wasn’t paying attention [made a terrible Perception roll].

Late Afternoon

The caravan arrived at the regular campsite for this route, which was marked with boundary stones.  The area inside was officially County property, separate from the barony it resided in.  While things were being set up, Islo and Sorvia scouted the area around the campsite.  In addition to signs of other caravans using this site, they also found a blind for observing the campsite just north of the campsite.  Islo set up a spike trap in the blind and Sorvia concealed it.  The trap was designed to injure but not kill and to pin the target in place.  They then returned to the campsite and informed the other adventurers about the blind and where it was located.

Tharduk asked Kadruth for a prayer to bless the campsite and he agreed to do so.  Kadruth’s blessing generated a feeling of safety that seemed to relax the caravan drivers.  The caravan guards set up watches while the adventurers kept their own.

An Hour After Sunset

Anomin arrived at Pedino and looked around.  There were 7 houses, 3 large barns, and a smattering of out-buildings of various types.

She deduced 3 possible locations the heliograph could have been discretely used from: one of the barns and two of the houses.  She checked the barn first and found nothing amiss.  Inside were several draft horses, some cattle, and some goats with hay up in the hayloft.

With nothing incriminating found in the barn, she flew over to the  first house, looking for an open window.  They were all closed until one opened and a person climbed out.  Anomin followed that person discreetly, nearly losing them as they headed over to the barn Anomin had just investigated.

Back At the Campsite

During the first watch, the trap Islo and Sorvia set in the blind went off and someone there cried out in pain.  Islo and Inserrant, on watch for the adventurers, immediately headed out to investigate, bow and xill at the ready.  Tharduk and Sorvia were awoken by the cry and readied their weapons.  Kadruth slept soundly.

Islo reached the blind first and found three humans in the blind, one pierced in the leg by the trap.  Islo whipped out a bolo and entangled one of the free humans with it.  He then shot the other one in the stomach with his bow before any of them could react, leaving that person unconscious and bleeding.  The humans immediately surrendered.

Tharduk woke Kadruth before heading out to the blind, taking rope with him.  He tied up the captives and brought them back to the campsite where Kadruth healed their wounds.

Back at the Barn

Anomin followed the person back to the barn, where they entered through a side door.  Anomin flew around the barn and found an opening she could squeeze through.  Inside the barn, she discovered that the person she had followed was a teenage boy who was hugging a teenage girl up in the hay loft and both were giggling.

After a moment the girl got up and opened the hayloft door to peer out.  The boy walked up behind her, wanting to continue but she told him to stop, a message was coming in.  Anomin glided around so she could see as well and caught the tail end of a flashing light out in the far distance, likely the same hills south of the County Road from earlier in the day.  The girl pulled a heliograph out of a nearby box and used a candle to reply.  She put away the heliograph and made a note on a slip of paper from the box before closing and latching the box.  She stating, “We need to tell Calliope.”  The boy, dejected, agreed.

Anomin made her way out of the barn as quietly as she could and then followed the two over to one of the smaller houses.  The girl knocked quietly and they were let in.  Anomin flew closer and found a window she could peek through.  While she could not hear what was said, she could read their lips enough to get the idea.  She saw a woman older than the teens receive the message and read it.  She then stated that the message would need to be passed along and she dismissed the teens, making the boy wait until after the girl left so the two would not “get up to anything”.

Once the teens left, the woman went over to a corner and did something on the floor that Anomin could not see from the window.  She then walked over to the lit candle holding a book she was not holding earlier and made some notes in it.  She then put the book back and burned the note from the girl with the candle.

After learning what she could, Anomin returned to the barn to steal the heliograph.  Up in the hayloft she turned human to open the box and take the heliograph.  The box was trapped with a needle covered in a paralytic poison, paralyzing Anomin for nearly 10 minutes [thanks to her unusually high Constitution - anyone else would have been paralyzed all night].

End of session


[The PCs are learning how the bandits work and have prisoners.  Will the prisoners talk?  I didn’t want to stop in the middle of the action like this, but it was well past our stopping point for the night so we had to.]

[I tried something different when writing up these notes this time.  First I just typed up my notes as is, which are fairly sketchy as I’m busy running the game.  Then I embroidered the notes from the players on that, which seemed to spread the whole thing up.  Previously I have multiple source documents open and combine them as I go, which involves switching back and forth.  This time I just layered text and made modifications to my notes by adding the details the players captured.  That seems easier.  I’ll keep doing it this way for a while to verify.]

Sudden Sea Adventures

Sudden Sea Landing Page - Links to all the write-ups for this campaign 

Last session: Session 16

Next session: Session 18

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