Goblin Skulls & Shackles

Raiders of the Fever Seas, parts 7-8

X Marks the Spot

As the Licktoad Pirates assessed the damage done to their new home in the latest sahuagin raid, the goatherd approached them with something he found on one of the sahuagin bodies. He presented his masters with an amulet made from coral and a strange metal and what appeared to be a treasure map. While the goblins thought the amulet was interesting, more interesting was the map which led them through the Shackles’ islands and archipelagos to a location known as Mancatcher Cove.

They sailed Sea Spite into the cove and spent the better part of a day exploring the cliffs and caves trying to match something up to the riddle written on the map. They found an area which seemed to fit, but couldn’t quite match things up the way they were comfortable with. It was not until dawn, and the shadows and sun showing the skull face alluded to in the riddle on the cliffs, that they found the answers they sought. They were in the right place, but now knew enough to dig in the soft earth at the base of a crude statue.

Naturally, they were disappointed that the shaft they dug led not to treasure, but to a wooden floor. Clearly, it had no place buried in a cave, so they broke through, revealing a shaft leading to darkness and water below. They dropped down into dark, flooded tunnels. Fortunately, Spack Jarrow prepared them with a water breathing spell, and they had a potion as well. Since goblins could see in the dark, they had little trouble navigating the sun-starved tunnels and quickly found themselves in conflict with sahuagin (along with their pet sharks!). After defeating the first wave of guards, the Licktoad Pirates were able to explore more and found an odd, dry cave with plants (despite no way for sunlight to reach them), bedding, and someone’s possessions. They swam on, back into the flooded tunnels. They made their way through sahuagin guard barracks and found a bloated sahuagin in a nursery quick to defend her charges. They dispatched her and found hatcheries, destroying every developing egg before discovering a captured locathah queen (whom they also killed), finally deducing that she was the source of all the eggs they just killed. Being goblins, they did not ponder why there was a captive locathah supply eggs to sahuagin, but just shrugged and pressed on.

The Licktoads found the area in which the sahuagin kept their pet sharks, but were able to avoid being chum(s) by using a magical ring of animal friendship they found back in the dry cave area. In the shark pen, the amulet Spack Jarrow took from the goatherd drew him toward the western wall. A sediment-filled crevice led to another cave, and with the help of a summoned earth elemental, they were able to remove enough sediment to enter in. In the cave, they found a ship’s anchor, and a shriveled, dessicated human chain to it. The chains no longer bound him to the anchor, however, and the mummy of the Ancient Mariner swam forward to attack Spack Jarrow, bearer of his amulet’s twin. The ensuing battle was the most challenging (thus far) of the Licktoad’s careers, but they were still able to defeat him.

Further exploration allowed the Licktoads to discover a series of caves that led back to the cove. They noted its location and returned to exploring the flooded caves. The Licktoads swam into deeper tunnels, eventually finding a sort of throne room. The king of sahuagin and his concubines attacked, and nearly killed Spack Jarrow with his cruel, coral trident. Each blow caused Spack Jarrow to slow and harden, as though the goblin was turning into coral. The battle raged, for the second time in as many hours, they fought for their lives were victorious at last. Thorough searching revealed the sahuagin’s treasure, and a mighty haul it was!

With patience and magical assistance, the Licktoads returned to Sea Sprite with a magical chest containing the spoils of their efforts, a kingly haul. They returned to Tidewater Rock to give the stewards their share, then headed for Port Peril so they could properly count their plunder and sell off the items they didn’t need. But what adventure awaited the Licktoad Goblin pirates in the metropolis of Port Peril?

(As usual, there is more content in the write-up at Doctor Strangeroll.

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