Savage Tide

Savage Tide
Introduction

The first savage tide has already touched the mortal world, yet none who live today recall this time of red ruin. Unleashed from the cruel heart of a fell seed known as a shadow pearl, this savage tide swept over an ancient city perched atop the crown of a remote island. The tide transformed beggar and noble, merchant and thief, resident and visitor into feral, ravenous fiends. The fruits of centuries of labor came crumbling down in a matter of days, and when the survivors tried to stem the tide by destroying the pearl, the resulting blast of power sunk their city into a boiling lake of death. Through it all, the Abyssal architect of the savage tide watched, taking pride in the ruin. When the tide’s final ripples had faded, what was left became known as the Isle of Dread.

Now, after a thousand years, the true masters of the Isle of Dread look upon new targets, new cities beyond the horizon, compelled by the hateful will of their demonic lord to prepare for the coming glory. This time, the doom will not be limited to one hapless city. This time, all of civilization waits unknowing on the shore, blissfully ignorant of what the incoming tide brings in.

“There Is No Honor” is the first chapter of the Savage Tide Adventure Path, a complete campaign consisting of 12 adventures that will appear in the next twelve issues of DUNGEON.

This adventure path chronicles the events that have come to past from the perspective of one group of adventurers who have braved the perils.

This version of this adventure path uses the Pathfinder RPG core rulebook as its primary rules.

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Chapter 2: The Bullywug Gambit

Still seeking Vanthus for their employer, Lavinia Vanderboren, and spurred on by discoveries made in the Lotus Dragon guildhall, the PCs seek out Kraken’s Cove, nestled within the scarlet reaches of Blood Bay. Expecting to find a secret pirate hideout, the PCs instead discover the place in the grips of utter bedlam. Arriving shortly after Vanthus released the savage tide inadvertently, the PCs were forced to contend with savage flesh-eating pirates. To make matters worse, this particular crew was transporting dangerous and exotic creatures in the holds of their ships, and now their deadly cargo, infected by the Abyssal energies of the tide, had escaped.

Man and beast haunt the cove’s twisting passageways, and the PCs navigated their way through the caverns of Kraken’s Cove while enduring an onslaught from savage enemies. Eventually they encounter Captain Harliss Javell, one of the few pirates to survive the savage tide intact. From her, the PCs learn that she sent her first mate and a band of froglike bullywug conscripts into Sasserine to extract revenge from Vanthus and his home, erroneously assuming the cowardly man fled there from Kraken’s Cove. The party raced back to Vanderboren Manor before their patron suffered at the slimy hands of bullywug mercenaries.

Yet in order to reach the manor, the PCs first had to navigate a city in the throes of a wild celebration in honor of Kyuss’ defeat one year past. Parades and revelry reigned in the streets, and the PCs had to wind their way through the wild throng to Lavinia’s manor. In transit, they were targeted by a band of assassins hired by Kellani family coin to pay the party back for their transgressions against Rowyn and the Lotus Dragons in the previous chapter. After contending with stilt-walking monks, the PCs arrived at Vanderboren Manor with little time to lose.

Inside, Drevoraz Kabran, Captain Javell’s first mate, had captured Lavinia and her household. The PCs were confronted with stopping the bullywug gambit, battling the frogmen to free their lovely patron before she was forced to pay for her brother’s crimes with blood.

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Chapter 3: The Sea Wyvern's Wake

Lavinia recruits the PCs to aid her in a long journey south to visit and resupply the colony of Farshore on the Isle of Dread. The PCs are put in charge of a ship captured in the previous adventure, the Sea Wyvern (now, renamed the Minnow). Their journey takes them from the city of Sasserine along the coast of the Amedio Jungle, and along the way they encounter several dangers and perils, including possible treachery from within. After a quick stop at the infamous ruins of Tamoachan to do a bit of exploring, they must run a blockade of Scarlet Brotherhood ships. Meanwhile, the PCs discover an old enemy, Rowyn Kellani, who has stowed away on board and is busy making trouble.

Eventually, they hit the open sea and arrive at the centerpiece of the adventure, an immense sargasso sea in which dozens of ancient ships lie lodged. The Minnow becomes enmeshed in the creepy seaweed as well. In order to free their ship and continue onward, the PCs had to defeat the vine horrors of the sargasso and slay the heart of the seaweed, a plant monster known as the Mother of All.

Finally, the PCs reach the Isle of Dread during a tremendous storm. The Minnow, battered and sinking, crashes on the northern shore of the island.

Welcome to the lsle of Dread!

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Chapter 4: Here There Be Monsters

The PCs awake on the northern shore of the Isle of Dread, shaken from their ordeal but relatively intact. The Minnow lies holed, impaled on a reef a few hundred feet from shore, thus leaving only one option – a dangerous overland journey to Farshore. As the PCs take stock of the situation, a hungry tyrannosaurus wanders out of the jungle looking for a quick meal. After dealing with the beast, their expert Urol Forol plots a route to safety for them. Before the party leaves the shore, they had to gather up all the survivors and as many provisions as they could find.

The journey to Farshore takes the castaways through a jungle inhabited by large predatory birds and hungry dinosaurs. After encountering an outcast aranea, the PCs come to an ancient underground ruin manned by monstrous scavengers and the restless dead. As they leave, they can’t shake the suspicion that they are being watched.

On the other side of the mountains, the trail winds along a stretch of shoreline cliffs. A primitive band of gargoyles strikes at the PCs numerous times before they can leave the cliffs for the island interior. This transition is hampered by a number of mishaps, and eventually the group heads in to the island interior.

The PCs then find themselves in a fog-shrouded jungle with no apparent way out. That night, the fiend who has been silently stalking them (a simian demon known as a bar-lgura) finally strikes, abducting Urol in the process. Recovering the expert leads the PCs to an ancient shrine to Demogorgon, forcing them to deal with the fiend and his minions.

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Chapter 5: Tides of Dread

The PCs arrive at Farshore to discover it under attack by pirates. After aiding the colony’s defense, the PCs are reunited with Lavinia Vanderboren. She tells them of her own troubles at sea, and of the new problem facing the colony. A pirate captured during the attack reveals that he and his mates were merely scouts. The Crimson Fleet knows of the colony’s location, and in approximately two months, they will arrive in force to take what they can and burn the rest.

Before this event, the PCs are called upon to do what they can to prepare Farshore for the attack. Some of these tasks can be handled quickly and locally, but the most important missions take the PCs onto the mainland of the Isle of Dread, where they had to forge alliances with native peoples, secure access to natural resources, recover and repair the Minnow, and even face down the physical manifestation of an ancient Olman god. Each of these missions earned the party a number of victory points.

When the Crimson Fleet arrives, the PCs’ accomplishments during the ensuing battle earn them additional victory points. In the final encounter they come face to face with Lavinia’s brother Vanthus, now the half-fiend captain of a Crimson Fleet ship. At the battle’s end, the victory points are totaled to determine the result of the final battle and Farshore’s fate.

The following is the state of Farshore at the beginning of Chapter 5.

Farshore (hamlet): Conventional; AL NG; Population 240; 800 gp limit (Farshore’s resources and lack of real competition grant the hamlet a higher gp limit than normal]; Assets 9,600 gp; Isolated (220 humans, 7 half-elves, 6 halflings, 4 dwarves, 3 gnomes).

Authority Figures: Lavinia Vanderboren, nominee for Farshore lord mayor (NG female human aristocrat 2/swashbuckler 6), Lord Manthalay Meravanchi, nominee for Farshore lord mayor (LN male human aristocrat 3/fighter 5), Professor Aldwattle, Council Member (CG male human wizard 5/expert 2), Vesserin Catherly, Chaplain and Council Member (NG male half-elf cleric 6), Telda Syren, Council Member (CG female half-elf expert 4), Militia Captain Ulvar Kabbanja, Council Member (LG male human fighter 4).

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