the Way of the Wicked

Fire Axe: Part Two

They still haven't encountered Fire Axe.

The boat sails ever onwards towards the frozen North. Odenkirk claims the boat is running low on water and says he intends to put in at Seal Isle. While there he intends to take a boat and go seal hunting in the richest fur seal hunting grounds in Talingarde. The party are free to take the other boat and do some hunting of their own.


On the first day Odenkirk claims 3 seals. The party catch precisely none. On the second day Kargeld does slightly worse, claiming a further two pelts. Each of these glossy furs is worth 50GP so this is turning into a fruitful stop for the captain. Impressively, the party manage to double their own haul on the second day, despite Sam being very emo about being in the boat at all and passive-aggressively reading a book.


On the third day they become the hunted rather than the hunters. This hunting ground is so rich because most hunters avoid it. A mated pair of bunyips hunt these waters. The first Kargeld knows about it is when they come up below his boat, rocking it and nearly capsizing it. The captain's skills are up to the challenge however, and he manages to steady the boat.


One of the bunyips roars, a supernaturally loud and horrifying noise. Sam, having recognised the bunyips from a brief glimpse as they bumped Odenkirk's boat, had just enough time to warn the party to cover their ears, however this gives very limited protection and Grumblejack, Fitch, and Adelea are all panicked, cowering in the bottom of the boat unable to act. Without enough rowers the boat drifts in confusion.


Over in captain Odenkirk's boat one of the sailors has been panicked into jumping into the freezing water. He tries to swim away but is soon overpowered and killed by a bunyip, with the blood in the water driving them into a frenzy. Odenkirk is within axe range through, and his axe, with some help from the short bows of his remaining men, kills the bunyip. In the other boat Sam has managed to be intimidating enough towards Adelea that she seems to be getting hold of herself again.


Another roar echoes across the icy bay and this time another sailor and Adelea both leap into the sea in panic. Sam is the only person on the party's boat who isn't cowering in the bottom or trying to flee through the freezing water.


Odenkirk gets his two sailors to beach their boat so they can get safely ashore, while Sam uses her last rope trick scroll to securely attach Adelea to the boat. Her powerful, terrified swimming starts slowly dragging it through the water while Fitch, Grumblejack, and now Creel rock uselessly in the gunwhales with their faces covered in tears and snotters.


After a surprising number of unsuccessful attempts the bunyip kils the fleeing sailor. It takes the corpses beneath the waves and swims off, now mateless. Soon enough the party calm down and Adelea is helped back into the boat.


With the Frosthamar now down to three crewmen plus Odenkirk our villains are now doing more of the less skilled sailoring tasks aboard. The boat continues northwards, with any further seal hunting abandoned.


A party of Yutak are encountered, and our villains choose to trade honestly and talk politely with them. The Yutak happily exchange 1500GP of walrus ivory and a rare and perfect eight foot narwhal horn worth 2000GP for the trident taken from Nerianus and a handful of assorted metal weapons. Both sides of the trade are pleased. The medicine man, as the best speaker of common, warns the party of “the laughing storm”, a capricious ice mephit known to haunt the seas ahead. He also tells a tale of the Lost Island of Taane-Thak or “She without Mercy”, an ice giant sorceress and her followers who were apparently trapped as ice statues generations ago by a wizard.



As they continue into the North they do indeed encounter Killiketz, the ice mephit. Perched on the mast he is impossible to spot in the storm but Fitch is able to locate him through the sound of his laughter, and Samra'el is able to shine her bullseye lantern on him. Another of the Frosthamar's crew falls to the ice elementals that accompany Killiketz before the mephit is driven away with bolts (of both the fire and crossbow variety), just before Fitch can reach it after climbing heroically up the icy rigging and using his rogueish reflexes to avoid a blast of icy breath. Is it possible that our villains were slightly slow to act to save the sailor, and perhaps even did futher damage to his dying body while moving to engage the last elemental? Surely not – Samra'el's condolences to Kargeld certainly seem sincere enough.


At the mouth of the mighty Taiga river Kargeld earns his pay, steering his ship unerringly through fields of floating, jagged ice with the two remaining crewmen and our villains scrambling to obey his barked commands. The ship moves South up the river through snowy pinewoods, passing through a great cleft in the mountains, and finally reaches Lake Tarik, the inland sea at the centre of the island. Nearby, in a wooded valley, there is a great camp of bugbears. Far more are here than would normally gather, as they are generally a rather fractious race. There are also polar bears wandering the camp, and the party sees the odd fur-clad cackling goblin amongst the bugbears, and even the occasional hill giant on the outskirts.


The Frosthamar glides towards the only landing, a rickety-looking pier. However, this is occupied by four bugbear warriors and they don't look friendly.


So, seal hunting. That went well, didn’t it? We could have accomplished just as much staying in the Frosthamar! (Although I would like on record please that I did get to legitimately slap Adelea out of her panic!). Next time someone suggests a hunting trip, maybe just those who actually stand a chance of hunting anything should go?

As for these bugbears – they don’t look friendly. Everyone remember to don their armour before landing! But lets try and talk to them first. Angry humanoids is more my speciality than seals, thats for sure! And if a fight does break out – lets use non-lethal. Killing these guys probably wouldnt be the best first impression for Fire Axe

Fire Axe: Part Two

Steve, could you please post on here the properties of the narwhal horn staff? I’m considering keeping it because:

a) It is actually an upgrade. Although I do my best to never be in melee, it can’t hurt.

b) The ability to enchant it easier could be useful. I know that creating magic items and enchanting stuff is a big deal in Pathfinder.

c) Wandering round with a narwhal horn staff is pretty fucking cool!

Fire Axe: Part Two

I was trying to persuade you of all of those points! I’ll look it up later.

Fire Axe: Part Two

I must have been still emo-sulking about being dragged on a pointless (and ultimately dangerous) hunting trip!

Fire Axe: Part Two

So, lessons to take away from last night – when Steve is cajoling us into something with a negligible reward, lets not do it!

If we had found 5 seals, at 50gp each, that is only 50gp for each of us when split – which frankly isnt worth the effort/risk!

Upgrades are upgrades, anything that makes one of us stronger makes us all stronger – so as far as Im concerned, take it.

Fire Axe: Part Two

Yeah Rik, take the thing. We can always sell it later if you get something better. I do think Martin is very glad you came on the hunting trip though, otherwise he would have been swimming to his death without your rope trick to keep him near! So next time someone suggests a hunting trip and we want to go…grow a pair and get in the fuckin’ boat!! You may not hunt, but you were needed.

Fire Axe: Part Two

We got lucky the shark-seal-things attacked the other boat. It was a 50/50 shot.

Had we NOT gone with them, it would have been a 100% chance of the captain getting attacked. Just sayin’…

Fire Axe: Part Two

As an aside, I’m having lots of fun playing a non-blaster-caster. Makes you think about things a little differently.

I played a LOT of D&D back in the day. I don’t think I have EVER cast Animate Rope in my life before. And I’ve already cast it twice this campaign…

Fire Axe: Part Two

I made him roll 15s or better survival to keep the boat steady when they attacked it, too. Given your stellar seal hunting performance, you’d have been swimming in the freezing water, and getting eaten. Quite a lucky roll on the old D2 there.

I’ve created a handout in roll20 for the narwhal horn.

Fire Axe: Part Two

See? Even the GM agrees it was a stupid idea! :P


Fire Axe: Part Two

It’s a dangerous world full of giant toads and things that want to eat you. Another GM might have decided “all the panicking ones instantly leap into the water” instead of making a cower/flee roll. Then we’d have seen some drownings (Fitch).

Fire Axe: Part Two

I still have 1 reserve rescue dolphin! We aren’t off the boat quite yet.

Fire Axe: Part Two

I have an actual rank in swim, I might not drown!

Also, you missed out the bit where Fitch heroically climbed the the icy rigging to drive off the mephit.

Fire Axe: Part Two

That’s a good point, although you heroically only made it most of the way up the rigging, and then the mephit just left. Still, it was heroic.

Fire Axe: Part Two

How about we try and arrange a ‘take us to your leader’ with the bugbears, then suggest a feast to celebrate the arrival of their weapons and the impending glorious victory. After the consumption of much alcohol would be a good time to arrange for Captain Odenkirk and his surviving crew to meet with an unfortunate end.

Fire Axe: Part Two

It was DC15 to swim. You get +3. So you had a 60% chance of drowning.

That is true you did climb the rigging – that was cool! And you managed to not jump in the icy water. Also cool.

Fire Axe: Part Two

That is a very decent plan Fitch! Get him drunk and assassinate him. Very cool.

Lets just also be ready to take advantage of any openings that might arise. We don’t want to engage him in a fair fight! That axe can one shot most of us!

Fire Axe: Part Two

It was only DC10 in the calm waters of the bay, but there was also a fortitude save to avoid being stunned senseless by the sheer cold of the icy water. None of our three swimmers failed it, although two did fail their tooth resistance checks.

Fire Axe: Part Two

Maybe im thinking a LITTLE too far ahead here… but I’ve been looking into enchantments for the staff, and that got me thinking about crafting my own magic items eventually.

At lvl 5,I think I’m gonna take the feat to craft wondrous items. And in true Martin style, I’m gonna start churning out low level stat-boosting items, as and when time permits, both for us and to generate some cash.

At lvl 5, I also get my second 2nd lvl spell. (at lvl 4 im taking a decent charm spell, obv!)

I think the first one I’m gonna do will be a Belt (or other garment) of STR +2. I think its probably of the greatest benefit to this party – Adelea and GJ will benefit, and Fitch and Creel might actually be able to lift their own arms.

So for this, I’m gonna need:

Craft Wondrous Item Feat (will take at lvl 5)
Spellcraft skill (at lvl 5 I will be at +11 on spellcraft)
Bull’s Strength spell (I’ll take that at lvl 5)
2000 gp

To craft this item, I need 2 grand, 4 days, and then at the end a DC13 spellcraft check. I’ll be at +11 – so I’d only fail on a 1…

These things sell for 4k. So should be able to fund a Belt for each of us, given enough time. They’ll pay for themselves!

Then, as I lvl, I’ll take other stat boosting spells (maybe WIS next?), and eventually create items for us, and for sale. Should be able to make some decent cash for the party, as well as get us all bit of a boost in stats. Eventually (given enough cash) – I could make +6 stat items with the same spells and DC. Cash is the only factor.

I can even make these when out adventuring. 4 days = 32 hours work. According to the rules: “If the caster is out adventuring, he can devote 4 hours each day to item creation, although he nets only 2 hours’ worth of work. This time is not spent in one continuous period, but rather during lunch, morning preparation, and during watches at night.”

Martin – you’re always raking in cash in MMOs – does that sound like a decent idea? Or is it bollocks? Do you agree STR is probably the best one to start with?

Fire Axe: Part Two

Not sure how many parallels between MMOs and RPGs we can make – but if sell value is significantly higher than material cost, and your labour is basically free, then yes, it seems to make sense!

Str would be good – those of us that use it, would benefit from more of it for sure, and if it can take Fitch out of the penalty zone, then that means he would always do 1 pt of damage at least!

Fire Axe: Part Two

This is kinda neat Rick, and fits with your backstory!

Inscribe Magical Tattoo
These are neat. Like, REALLY neat. You can make a tattoo on any “slot”, but they take up the skin at that slot, instead of taking up that equipment slot. You can’t tattoo a slot that doesn’t have skin, like your eye. You follow the same rules as Craft Wondrous Item creation, but you generally double the cost of the magic item since it doesn’t take up the slot. Not only that, but instead of making Spellcraft checks, you can make Craft: Calligraphy/Painting/Tattoo checks. So long as you’re cool with being painted from head to toe, tattoos are the way to go.

Fire Axe: Part Two

I did look at that actually. But I don’t think they’d be as sellable – and also my spellcraft is higher than my craft-tattoo skill, by virtue of being a class skill, and me having put points into it every level.

On that note though – everyone start making a wishlist of stuff you’d like made. Remember don’t use up slots that will be taken by armour, and also for now keep them reasonably sensible. Sub 20k sell price. Full list here:

For example – I was looking at the DEX belt – but then saw this which is way better:

I’ll need the odd cleric spell during creation Chris!

Fire Axe: Part Two

Maybe not sellable, but useful – since they dont take up the slot – so you can effectively double up.

Protection/utility tattoos would be awesome!

Fire Axe: Part Two

that is very true. But they are twice as expensive – so we’ll need the source of income first. I’ll bump up my tattoo craft as we go then. Although profession is WIS based (spellcraft is INT) – so I’m not as good. Doubly risky rolls at the end. Twice as expensive, and harder to roll

Also remember that enhancements don’t stack. So it you have +2STR on one item, and +4STR on another, you only get the +4.

Fire Axe: Part Two

Be nice if this was like an MMO, so we could just roll crafting alts!

Fire Axe: Part Two

might be a stretch! But couldnt hurt for someone else to maybe take one other crafting role – help bring in the cash and kit us all out

Fire Axe: Part Two

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