When my friends and I initially started the Savage Tide Adventure Path, I tried to write down a summary of all of our adventures. I’ve only found one such summary, the one for the introductory adventure “There is No Honor.” The rest of what follows are fairly simplified versions of the events that transpired during the groups inevitable voyage to confront Demogorgon himself.
1. There is No Honor
After being in town for a short number of weeks, Adolan and Damien had made it known to a few that they intended to explore the surrounding areas of Sasserine. This came to the attention of one Lavinia Vanderboren, and she sent her halfling servant Kora Whistlegap to invite the two of them to dinner.
The two men accepted and rallied over to Vanderboren Manor. Here they met Oloma, a local (somewhat) young woman with a lot of tattoos and very little clothing. She explained that she was well versed in the art of sailing, and that she dabbled in the arcane arts. While waiting for their would-be-patron, the trio met a quartet of adventurers who were leaving the Manor. Sarcastic remarks were slung, but the groups’ attention was turned to Miss Vanderboren, who introduced herself.
Over dinner Lavinia explained to the trio her situation. She had recently inherited the family manor (and the accompanying family debt) and needed to visit the family vault. The trouble was, however, that the key to the vault was on her parent’s ship, the Blue Nixie. The ship was being held by the Harbormaster for four months of outstanding mooring fines, and when she had gone to pay, the man in charge of the ship took her money and denied her access. She complained to the Harbormaster that this man, Soller Vark, had taken her money, but the Harbormaster would not listen. She asked if the three adventurers would attempt to reclaim her ship by talking to Vark and his men, and if possible return her money and the key to the vault.
The trio traveled immediately to pier 5 where the ship was said to be moored. Along the way the trio purchased a deck of playing cards to use to distract the guards. As they grew nearer to the ship, however, it was apparent that the ship was moored about 100’ out in the harbor. Adolan asked some local dockhands if they could rent a rowboat, and they secured a vessel (after some negotiating and nervous glances) and made their way with stealth towards the ship.
The guards posted on the main deck and the quarterdeck did not see or hear the group approaching, and a sleep spell and a sap took them out. The group then proceeded inside the ship and found Vark in bed with a mistress. A fight ensued, where the mistress stabbed Damien and Adolan bruised up Vark with his shillelagh. The crew was overtaken, but one managed to shout down below “Burn them!” Unknown to the trio, the command was to destroy the illegal goods in the ships hold, but one such “good” escaped. The rhagodessa made its way to the main deck and battled the heroes as they were bringing Dog on board. The beast knocked Damien out, but was defeated. While Damien was unconscious, Adolan and Oloma “questioned” Vark to no avail. To end his screams and keep the City Watch from showing up, Oloma slit Vark’s throat and they threw him overboard.
With the key and the missing money retrieved, Lavinia asked the trio to accompany her to the family vault. At the vault, the trio had a run in with an iron cobra, and if they hadn’t realized that it would not attack Lavinia, it might have made short work of them. After figuring out the combination to the locks of the vault the group discovered that someone had already looted the Vanderboren money. Lavinia made out with a fraction of what she had hoped for but was glad to have some money to help her pay off her debts, and finding a ledger with debts owed the Vanderborens didn’t hurt either. On the way out Damien suggested that Lavinia inquire as to whom might have been to the vault. They were surprised to hear that it was Lavinia’s brother Vanthus.
Lavinia then asked the group to try to find Vanthus. She hoped that were he to return home he might quit his wicked ways. The group searched in vain for two days before finally finding a lead in the Shadowshore District. It seemed that Vanthus and his associate Penkus had purchased a used boat from Panchi at “It Still Floats.” On their way out of the shop they noticed a ragged looking half-elf was following them. After confronting him, he revealed that he knew where Vanthus had been hiding as Vanthus had contacted him about starting a smuggling operation under Parrot Island utilizing an old smuggling hang-out. He led them to a trap door leading to the smuggler’s dens, but as the trio descended the ladder they heard a sound very much like someone getting stabbed and choking on blood, then saw the guide’s body fall down the shaft. From atop they heard a voice that said: “Say hi to Penkus’ ghost for me while you’re down there!” They looked up to see a face very similar to the one they saw in a portrait in Vanderboren Manor: Vanthus.
2. The Bullywug Gambit
The trio sought out Kraken’s Cove, a location mentioned in the documents found in the Lotus Dragon guildhall; the place was in chaos, with flesh-eating pirates and many deadly creatures running loose. Fighting off diseased and enraged beasts took valuable time, but they wound their way through the caverns to encounter Captain Harliss Javell. She told the group that she sent her first mate and bullywug conscripts to Sasserine for revenge against Vanthus. The trio raced back to save Lavinia during a festival celebrating the victory over Kyuss. They dodged assassin stilt-walkers and saved Lavinia from the bullywugs and their allies.
3. The Sea Wyvern’s Wake
After a bit of rest, a thankful Lavinia had more work for the trio. It was time to set sail on the Sea Wyvern and transport a vital supply shipment to Farshore on the Isle of Dread. After a stop at ruined Tamoachan, the ship ran a pirate blockade. They ran into trouble in the middle of the Sargasso Sea, where they lost the wind and found (and defeated) a seaweed-dwelling monstrosity, but their ship was eventually caught by a storm, causing it to wreck on the northern shore of the Isle of Dread.
4. Here There Be Monsters
With the Sea Wyvern no longer seaworthy, the only option was a trek through the jungle, meeting dinosaurs and terror birds while taking the few surviving passengers and crew along to safety. On the far side of the mountain range, a band of gargoyles repeatedly attacked. One of the group’s allies was abducted by a bar-lgura demon deep in the island interior. Following his abductor led to a shrine to the Prince of Demons, Demogorgon, and a battle against the bar-lgura and his brood of vile followers. [DM’s note: This particular adventure was a lot of fun. During the fight against the mob of fiendish baboons I played a music track of screaming baboons on repeat. It added a lot to the tension and overall mood of the battle. The players hated it, but I loved it. – DZA]
5. Tides of Dread
With the demons at the shrine defeated, the band of stragglers arrived at Farshore just in time to see it attacked by pirates. The trio helped the defenders and were also reunited with Lavinia Vanderboren, to Damien’s delight. The pirates were just scouts, though, and they discovered that the Crimson Fleet was coming to pillage and raze Farshore. The trio helped prepare the colony’s defenses, forged alliances with natives, fought dinosaurs, and defeated an aspect of an Olman god. The Crimson Fleet pirates were destroyed with minimal damage or loss of life to Farshore and its allies. All non-scuttled Crimson Fleet ships were claimed as the property of Farshore, and word of the defeat, when it reached Scuttlecove, convinced the Crimson Fleet to leave Farshore alone. [DM’s note: The original campaign ended with the defeat of the Crimson Fleet at Farshore. After this adventure I went on a deployment and transferred away from San Diego and the game effectively ended. – DZA]
6. The Lightless Depths
After placating Emraag the Glutton, the characters managed to descend beneath the Isle of Dread and disrupt the creation of shadow pearls by destroying the bilewretch of Holashner and flooding the cavern of Golismorga, striking a major blow to the plans of the Prince of Demons.
7. City of Broken Idols
The group traveled to the central plateau of the isle and explored the ruined city of Thanaclan. They met the brave followers of a missing missionary, and gathered information about the cult of Demogorgon on the island. They invaded the main base of the cult and defeated Khala, an aspect of the Prince of Demons, and freed the island of its demonic presence. Unfortunately, not only is Adolan killed by Khala, but while they were busy in the center of the island other minions of the demon lord kidnapped Lavinia and took her to Scuttlecove. They were told that the Jade Ravens had commandeered a ship and set sail to save their lady.
8. Serpents of Scuttlecove
After the attack on Lavinia’s home, Lord Meravanchi used the chaos to convince most of the inhabitants of Farshore to abandon the colony and return to Sasserine. The inhabitants flee in the ships left in the harbor. The crew of the Sea Wyvern decided to stage a rescue attempt and travelled to Scuttlecove. The group arrived in Scuttlecove and began investigating where Lavinia might have been. Their search found the Jade Ravens separated and three of the four had been tortured to death while held prisoner by members of the Seventh Coil. Zan Oldavin is rescued, and when he was informed that his friends had all died, he joined the group. The group’s path to find Lavinia led them to mostly destroying the Seventh Coil, and rescuing a Jahindi cleric named Eshana, who vowed to join the crew as she had been engaged in her own struggle against Demogorgon’s minions. Together they discovered Vanthus was back again and took Lavinia to the Abyss. They fought and destroyed the leadership of the Crimson Fleet. After killing Cold Captain Wyther the organization dissolved and the pirates began fighting themselves. The group resolved to follow Vanthus into the Abyss.
9. Into the Maw
Equipped with a wakeportal, the crew took the Sea Wyvern to the Gaping Maw, the 88th layer of the Abyss, and Demogorgon’s realm. Searching for Lavinia, they came upon a ship of mercane merchants who directed them to the prison of Divided’s Ire. They infiltrated the prison and fought the factions contained within, defeating Vanthus in the process and learning about the imprisoned demon lord Shami-Amorae. Lavinia was found and freed (and was convinced by her lover Damien that they were actually who they said they were), as well as an elven warrior from the Court of Stars named Belanor. The lich Orgosh directs them to visit the succubus Red Shroud in Broken Reach. After being told Farshore was abandoned, Lavinia was taken back to Oerth where she returned to her home in Sasserine and joined the Dawn Council, awaiting her love Damien to return.
10. Wells of Darkness
Belanor pledged his sword to the cause, and the group sailed to the town of Broken Reach in Pazunia, the first layer of the Abyss. They made a bargain with Red Shroud and she told them where to find the pool of Debased Eros. After a conversation with Shami-Amourae, they found the prison of Ahazu. Oloma returned its tooth and formed a pact with it to secure the release of the former Queen of the Succubi. Once they released her, she gave them the information they needed about Demogorgon’s plots.
11. Enemies of My Enemy
After Shami-Amourae’s release, a contingency prepared by Demogorgon caused the River Styx to be diverted to the crew’s location. With the river came its master, Charon. After convincing Charon that they were not responsible for what happened to his river, Charon took the group to meet with Iggwilv, the Witch Queen, to gather some support in confronting Demogorgon directly. They secured the aid of Orcus, Gwynharwyf, Malcanthet (who bestows her Queen’s Kiss upon Zan), and Bagromar. Eshana found the Bodhiratna among Gorgant’s possessions.
12. Prince of Demons
The crew met with their allies in the Outlands near the Spire to lay their plans for the invasion of Gaping Maw. The unlikely allies made a plan and left to gather their forces. They aided in taking a beach to help Orcus’s troops assault the city of Lemoriax. They found their way to Wat Dagon, an ancient temple that they discovered harbored the Master Pearl that Demogorgon planned to use to create his Savage Tide. The group fought their way into the temple and defeated a few formidable enemies, including St. Kargoth the Betrayer, on their way to find the Master Pearl. Shortly after their discovery, a gate opened and a voice rang in their heads, “Fools!…”