It started as a simple dungeon run…
But it has turned into an epic quest. When these five adventurers emerged from that dungeon with The Secret Keeper’s Amulet, they soon discovered that it was the key to unlocking the mystery of their world’s ancient protectors, the 100 foot tall Wardens that had roamed the land for generations - but have recently been disappearing, captured and imprisoned. As they attempted to track down and free these Wardens, they also learned that the amulet was a relic of immense chaos magic, that could break through the fabric of realities and allow them to communicate with you, the gods who watch them, and influence their fates.
They made contact with The Natural Order, a conclave of wizards who had been tracking the Wardens and reconstructing the lost history of Ain. When Siv, Fahima, James, Uggo, and Lily battled through a floating castle in the sky and freed the lightning-infused Storm Warden they found there, it gave them a glimpse of that lost past, full of clues about the Wardens’ power and purpose.
The team has lately been on a path toward another Warden, which, according to their Natural Order contact, Claudiette, is being held out at sea in the treacherous waters of The Deep Reef. She secured passage for them aboard the sailing vessel known as The Tardy Plunder, under the command of captain Mervis Blowhard. But when the team’s actions led to the death of the ship’s helmsman, Blowhard insisted they find another expert pilot before going into the Reef. This set them off on a quest to find and retrieve Saugus VanFleek, the tortle master helmsman, who was serving in the crew of the pirate known as Whitebeard.
The team infiltrated Whitebeard’s Jutty, and nearly escaped unscathed with Saugus in tow, when a mighty cannon blast from the top of the stronghold knocked them over and allowed the pirates to lock nearly the entire party in chains. When Whitebeard indicated they would have to fight an enormous albino Owlbear one-on-one in his brutal fighting pit, the party rebelled, and the entire place ignited, both figuratively and literally. Siv set the lair ablaze, Fahima roasted pirates with her fireball, and in the end, Uggo landed the killing blow on Whitebeard himself, ending the reign of the Jutty’s pirate king.
Escaping through Claudiette’s portal back to the deck of The Tardy Plunder, the full weight of their actions came crashing down on the team. The revelation that Whitebeard was Mervis Blowhard’s own father landed particularly hard on Uggo, especially seeing Mervis’ continued disdain for the man, even in death. Mervis cut the tongue from his father’s corpse, stamped it flat, and tarred it, seemingly turning it into a coin. Then retreated into his stateroom with nary a word.
Lily sang a song of mourning for the dead, and the team set about reckoning with the ramifications of their escape. They had managed to bring two pirates through the portal with them, bolstering the crew, as these men, Trevor and Hicklefist, swore fealty to a new pirate captain. They also saved a giant centipede, one of the creatures Whitebeard had been keeping for bloodsport, and put it in the brig. James named it Gerald.
And so, the Trady Plunder set sail once again, beginning its two day journey to the edge of the Deep Reef, and the team regrouped at Claudiette’s request, inside her chambers in the focile. It was there she revealed a shocking new bit of information. The Warden was not just in the Deep Reef, but at the bottom of it, all the way down on the ocean floor. Not only would they have to navigate the Reef’s dangers getting to it, but would have to figure out a way to reach the bottom of the sea, past the numerous large and hungry creatures that make their homes in those waters. Claudiette’s suggestion? Sink the ship.