AvocaD&D and Tabletop Gaming Thread: Ghosts of Saltmarsh, Session 4

Welcome back to the weekly D&D and Tabletop Gaming thread!  Here’s a place where we can talk about Dungeons & Dragons or any other tabletop games that you nerds might be into.  Tell us about the games you’re playing, speculate about future expansions, recruit your fellow Avocados into new groups, whatever you want.

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving here in the US, so I wanna know, when it comes to tabletop games, what are you most thankful for? It could be a particular game that may have helped get you through a hard time.  Friends you’ve made through gaming, or those you’ve kept in touch with through the hobby.  Or even just game developers for pumping out games that you enjoy.


Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

The Hayes Code is jumping back into the DM seat to guide us through the Ghosts of Saltmarsh campaign, with the setting adjusted to a fantasy version of 1930.

The Saltmarsh Situation Solvers
  • Sgt. Vivian Aequoreus, a Dragonborn Sorcerer, an admiral’s daughter and naval officer serving as representative of the Navy in Saltmarsh (The Wasp)
  • Rainn Cloud, an Air Genasi Bard, of uncertain origin and purpose (Wafflicious)
  • Festuca Glauca, a Human Cleric, raised on a floating brothel and now striking out on her own (Otto)
  • Constable Renard Muldoon, a Half-Elf Paladin, a life-long resident of Saltmarsh assigned to this new task force as liaison to the local town guards (TheCleverGuy)
  • Rielle, a Human Druid, who’s definitely NOT a mermaid transformed into a human through magic (Anna Nomally)
  • Dr. Nickel Ferrous Testling, a Kobold Artificer,  a scientist currently working for the WPA in their cultural archivist project, primarily focusing on folklore and legends, local religious cults, and regional variations in spellcasting technique (Josephus Brown)
A New Assignment

After we’d finished clearing out the Old Alchemist’s house, we had the weekend to ourselves.  Constable Muldoon spent the time at home with his family, but encouraged the others to visit Danica’s Delights, the bakery run by his wife.  Rainn spent some time carousing and entertaining at the local taverns.  CopperlocksAt the Wicker Goat, an establishment frequented by dwarven miners, he met Manistrad Copperlocks who represented the miners on the town council.  He played an old Dwarven song for the Copperlocks and the other patrons, and soon had the whole place singing along.  Dr. Testling borrowed some gold from Sgt Aequoreus to buy a new hand crossbow at the Weekly Market, then spent the rest of the weekend tinkering with it.  He also made a cloak of the manta ray for the Sergeant.  Festuca visited the local temple of Procan, god of the sea, and took in a sermon from the local priest, brinehandedFather Brinehanded.  After the services, she asked the priest if there was anything he needed help with.  Farther Brinehanded just said he was concerned that victims of shipwrecks wouldn’t get proper burials, and if we could return any bodies we found from those lost at sea to the church, he’d offer us clerical services.  He also cautioned her to stay away from the Empty Net tavern, which was run by a shady character called Kreb Shenker.

On Monday, we were summoned a meeting of the town council, where we officially met the 5 council members: Eda Oweland, Gellan Primewater, Captain Eliander Fireblood, Manistrad Copperlocks, and Anders Solmor. The council informed us that the smugglers we had captured had talked about a certain ship that ran most of their operation called the Sea Ghost.  Old Sam, the town drunk, was in the back of the council hall and piped up to tell another fish story about a time he saw a Sea Ghost, with big glowing eyes floating above the ocean.  Capt. Fireblood cut him off before he could get far, and asked us to find and capture the ship to put an end to the smugglers’ operation once and for all.  They gave us a small fishing boat we could use to that end.

We decided to split up for some reconn around town first. Festuca and Muldoon went to talk to Father Brinehanded again, then to interrogate the prisoners to find out where the Sea Ghost might pull in to unload.  In the meantime, Rainn and Dr. Testling went to the Empty Net to try and try and gather some info from the Saltmarsh’s seedy underbelly.

Rainn convinced Kreb Shenker, the Empty Net’s barkeeper, Kreb_Shenkerthat he was trying to get rid of some “sensitive” objects and needed help.  Kreb pointed him to a woman named Old Sal (not to be confused with the drunk, Old Sam).  Rainn talked with her, while Dr. Testling sat at the bat keeping watch. Old Sal was suspicious of Rainn, since he was clearly new in town.  She’d heard about the blue-skinned bard who’d given such a memorable performance for the dwarves at the Wicker Goat the other day.  Eventually, she figured out that Rainn may have been involved in the raid on the Alchemist’s house, which led to the capture of some her friends. Rainn was forced to admit he was present for the riad, but was able to play it off like he was there to arrange a business deal with the smugglers and was just caught in the crossfire.  Old Sal wasn’t willing to tell Rainn where the ship would be, but agreed to take the “item” off his hands.  They went out back, behind the bar, overlooking the bay where no one would see any transaction.  As soon as they were out of sight, Rainn cast a spell to put Sal to sleep, left a blue lipstick mark on her cheek, and made a hasty exit.

In the mean time, Festuca and Muldoon got a few possible tips of locations from the the priest, then went to talk to the captive smugglers.  Muldoon was able to make a deal with Neddy the Nife.  She’d tell us where to find the Sea Ghost and how to signal it in exchange for leniency.  After all, we hadn’t actually seen her break any laws, she was tied up in the upper floor of the Alchemist’s house.  The Constable agreed, and Neddy told us the ship would be at Crow’s Mouth Cove, and told us the signals to use to get the ship to pull in. We had already found the signals written down in the smugglers’ lair, so we were able to quickly corroborate Neddy’s info.

The Sea Ghost wouldn’t be around for a few nights, so we decided take some time looking for shipwrecks.  Dr. Testling remembered hearing about the SS San Francisco, which had been sunk few miles off shore. We took the council’s fishing boat and headed out.  We rowed out to the coordinates of the wreck, and discussed our plan.  Rainn, as an Air Genasi, could hold his breath indefinitely, and Dr. Testling could use the cloak of the manta ray he had made for Sgt. Aequoreous to breath underwater, so the two of them would dive down to the sunken ship, while Festuca and Constable Muldoon remained in the boat.  We tied ropes to the friends and worked out a signal for communication.  Three tugs on the rope would mean “Pull us up now,” and 4 tugs would mean “treasure.” Dr. Testling provided some small lights for Rainn to see by, and they started down.


They found the sunken steam ship about 150 feet down.  They could see a hole in one side of the hull, and could hear some strange, mechanical music through the water. Before going near the hole, they searched the outside of ship, and found the remains of the captain still at the wheel.  Dr. Testling quickly brought the skeletal body back to the surface.  Muldoon noticed that it looked like something humanoid had been gnawing on the bones.

Rainn and Testling went back down, and found some more gnawed bones scattered around the ocean floor. Following the music through the hole in the ship, Dr. Testling noticed an open music box sitting on top of a pile of junk.   It was ornately decorated, and currently playing, as if someone had recently wound it.  Dr. Testling shot a lit-up crossbow bolt into the room, and three figures looked up and started moving towards Testling and Rainn.  Rainn and Testling started swimming to the surface, Rainn tugging 3 times on the rope.  Muldoon immediately started hauling the rope in.

As Rainn and Testling broke the surface, the three sahuagin came up as well.  sahuaginOne looked like a humanoid lionfish, another like a hammer-head shark, and the third like a big tuna.  The lionfish climbed onto the boat, while the others stayed in the water. We noticed that the lionfish was wearing tattered robes.  Rainn stabbed at Tuna with his rapier, while Testling charged his crossbow with magical force and shot Hammerhead.  Hammerhead tried to bite and claw at Testling, but the kobold was too fast. On the boat, the Lionfish summoned a spiritual trident that tried to stab Festuca, but luckily missed. Festuca retaliated with Inflict Wounds, tearing up the sahuagin priestess.  Tuna caught up with Rainn and took a bite out of him. Muldoon’s hammer lit up with silver flames, and he hit the priestess with a Searing Smite, burning her to a crisp.  Rainn stabbed Tuna again, and while singing an inspiring song to Testling, who shot Hammerhead again at point-bank range.  After taking a couple crossbow bolts and seeing his leader fried, Hammerhead turned to flee and Testling whacked him with the butt of his crossbow, which was not enough to stop him from fleeing. Tuna was probably going to flee as well, but Festuca managed to just hit him with her warhammer and kill him.

Dr. Testling swam back down to retrieve the music box and also gathered up a few of the skulls of the dead sailors. Testling also used his detect magic and found that the lionfish-woman was carrying a couple of potions, as well as a scroll of Healing Word inscribed on a sheet of seaweed.  She also had a reasonable-sized pink pearl.  The music box was very ornate, and still worked, though it sounded a little clunky. Nothing magical there, even when wound up again.

On our way back to shore, Rainn and Testlig identified the potions as a potion of healing, and a potion of climbing (which seemed odd for a fish-person to have).  The music box and the pearl didn’t seem to be magical at all, though we figured the music box would probably be fetch a decent price at the next Weekly Market.  We checked in at the Temple of Procan to give the corpses a proper burial, and called it a night there.