Second Darkness

Rolling Tower

Two dozen of the lion-creatures burst from the surround tree line. They race over the ground quickly, but eerily without sound. Several pause to check the bodies of the fallen zombie creatures while the rest move in to surround the tower.

While several of the creatures begin to hammer at the secured doors and windows, the rest dig claws into the stone tower and begin to climb their mane-like tentacles writhing around them. Even with Ead, Feran, and eventually Artan raining fire down upon them, the creatures continued to climb finding open windows to either attack through or squeeze their bodies through.

The group fights hard, keeping the creatures at bay, but as more of the creatures climb onto the tower a rumble rolls through the stone taking a few people from their feet. As the group gets their bearings again, they notice that the tower as begun to lean, but it can’t be helped as the creatures continue to fight their way inside.

It doesn’t take too much longer, as the dense bodies of the creatures continue to off balance the tower, for another rumble to be heard. This one louder and the shaking of the tower more violent, before the cliff face simply gives way and the tower pulls away from the adjoining building to begin a dangerous roll down the steep hill. Une is the only to avoid being pulled down the hill as he had just moved into the adjoining room.

The trip down the hill is fast and violent, people and creatures being thrown from floor to ceiling to wall and back to floor, only having a few precious moments to try and grab something to hold onto or simply attempt to move with the motion of the tower, though Ead had managed to find a way onto the top of the tower moving adeptly along it’s surface as she watched several creatures try the same and failing.

The entire time the tower rolls down the hill, Une is forced to defend himself against several of the creatures that remained at the top. His training and armor proves to be up to task as he manages to avoid most of the creatures attacks, but seeing that the rest of the group is at the bottom of the hill he decides to try and make it down to them.

Moving past his opponents, Une attempts to use his massive shield to slide down the hillside. Unfortunately he misjudges and places his shield down on several unstable stones. As he begins to put weight onto the shield, the stones give way and Une tumbles down the hill, crashing into a lucky creature who had managed to escape the rolling tower and cling to a stable shelf of rock. Both Une and the creature soon continued their journey down the hill together.

At the bottom of the hill, the group finds themselves waist to chest deep in water as the tower has crashed into a small bay. The magic that formed the tower managed to keep most of the tower together, but the trip down the hill had opened many holes and cracks allowing the sea water to rush into the tower, flooding it.

The group readied themselves to defend themselves against the remaining creatures that had survived the tower ride, but found that all of them were being burned by the sea water itself. Between the water and several blows from the party, the creatures are defeated and the group, including Sam and the Cyphermages, manage to make it to shore and rest. Until Une arrives with his new friend.

Brutally dispatching the foe, Une joins the rest of the group to secure a camp on top of the tower and rest for the night. The next morning the group climbs back up the cliff side to find the bodies of the creatures have all disappeared.

The group makes a quick search of the rest of the building before Sam lets them know that she is taking the Cyphermages to Clegg Zincher, and see if he won’t take them in until they can find a way off the island. After a few moments, the group agrees to accompany Sam and the Cyphermages to Zincher’s camp, since as Ead put it “we have an axe to grind with him anyways.”


:Rewards:

XP: 550 xp

Loot: 9 pounds of Noqual Ore, Old Silver Comb set inlaid with Ivory (250gp) Golden yellow topaz (141gp), Deep blue spinel (198gp)

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Island Exploration

After dealing with the vandals, the party makes their way back to their base (fixed up some thanks to the money gained from selling the Goblin). Reaching their door unmolested, the group is faced with a new face waiting for them, another black catfolk.

The new catfolk introduced himself as Feran, an acquaintance of Une. It seems that Feran had heard some stories of what had been happening in Riddleport and stopped in to see if Une could use a hand. After some deliberation, the group agrees to take the new cat along with them.

The Voyage on the Flying Cloud went by uneventfully, taking only about 5 hours. The ship comes within site of Devil’s Elbow around noon. The island is bleak and the rumors of the curse can be seen on the faces of the crew. Even Captain Creesy seemed to have lost his usual bravado as he pilots the ship around the dangerous reefs and into the piers.

Upon landing, the crew quickly begins to unload the party’s equipment while the captain sets up a time for him to return to the island to pick up the crew, since he doesn’t wish to spend a night near the island. After some deliberation, it is agreed that Creesy will return in a week at noon to pick up the party, but if they are not at the docks at the appropriate time, he will leave.

As the group settles matters with the captain, a voice from the rubble around the pier calls out for permission to approach. A tired and weary looking dwarf emerges, followed by 3 more, and explains that he is the leader of the Goldhammer expedition that was sent to the island and they now wish to be off the island. The dwarf explains that his expedition has been getting attacked and picked off by some strange creature they haven’t been able to get a good look at. All they know is that it’s low to the ground, fast, and silent.

The dwarves make a deal with Creesy and are quickly aboard, but not before the leader advises the party against staying. Seeing that the party is staying, the dwarf hands over a sketched map of the island, pointing out a few key features, such as the watchtowers and the site of the Witchlight settlement.

Just as the dwarf is about to board the ship, a bright light streaks up into the sky and flashes. the light came from around the area of Witchlight. The dwarf says that it is probably the Cyphermages, that they’ve been sending that signal up since last night.

The group decides to head to Witchlight to see what is going on. the trek up to the settlement is a hard hike. The path is overgrown with underbrush and the path winds up the hill. Upon reaching the top of the hill, the party gets a view of what remains of the main settlement of Devil’s Elbow. Crumbling ruins, boarded up windows, and corpses laying in the street. But something seems wrong with the corpses. As Ead moves up to investigate, the corpses rise and with no sound attack.

The battle is over quickly, but the party has a new enemy. The zombies that attack, seemed normal expect for they were missing their lower jaw and in it’s place a type of tongue-like appendage that had attempted to attack the party.

As the party starts to explore the rest of the settlement, a voice calls out to the them from the watchtower telling them to speak. After answering the group is quickly ushered into the tower where a very happy Samaritha is waiting. She explains that her Cyphermage expedition was attacked by strange creatures (her description matches what the dwarves were attacked by) and have been slowly picked off. They’ve managed to survive by barricading themselves in this tower. Sam goes on to warn the party that anyone who is bitten by the lion-like creatures quickly dies and then rises as one of the zombies that was outside.

As the group discusses plans with Sam, a warning cry goes up as a large number of the lion-like creatures come charging out of the woods.


:Rewards:

XP: 250 xp

Loot: 5 suits of leather Armor, 100 gp

All bodies were taken before the party could search them.

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Just a bit of vandalism

Having secured passage to Devil’s Elbow via Kwava’s hirer ups hiring the boat the Flying Cloud the group heads down tot he dock to meet up with the boat and the captain. Captain Josper Creesy is a realatively young man, who seeks to make a name for himself and his ship by setting speed records all along the Arcadian Coast.

The captain asks the group to join him for dinner aboard his ship, so that they may talk about their voyage. During the dinner Creesy seems interested in why anyone would want to sail to the Devil’s Elbow making several comments about how the island is cursed. The curse rumored to be caused by a siren.

During the dinner, the party hears several sets of footsteps up on the deck accompanied by a pair of heavy thuds. Pointing this out, Captain Creesy realized that there are too many footsteps for the men he had on board.

Heading up to the main deck, the group runs into vandals dousing the sails and rigging of the ship in some liquid, later to be found out to be oil. A fight ensues with the party coming out on top after several close calls.

One of the surviving vandals reveals (after a bit of persuasion) that instead of this being a random act of vandalism, the vandals were paid to keep any ship from leaving Riddleport. Clegg Zincher paid the group of vandals to make sure that no one left Riddleport for at least a few days, but thankfully due to the groups quick actions the ship was unharmed and will be ready to leave for Devil’s Elbow in the morning.


:Rewards:
XP: 720 xp

Loot:
2 sets (Chainmail, Masterwork Longsword, Dagger (2), Potion Cure Light Wound, Alchemist Fire)
2 sets (Masterwork Chain Shirt, Masterwork Comp Longbow (STR +2), Potion Cure Mod Wounds, +1 Arrow(5), Cloak of Resistance)

80g

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A new adventure

The days have gone quickly after the tsunami crashed into Riddleport. With the combined effort of Overlord Cromarcky and the city Crimebosses (something that isn’t seen very often), the city is getting back on it’s feet.

Rumors have even begun to spread about several groups that have already managed to secure boats to head to Devil’s Elbow to see if they can find any of the star that fell. Hoping to cash in on the valuable metal.

Rumors also spread around town about the group wanting to sell off the Goblin. It was a bit difficult due to some people thinking the place was cursed due to all the recent activities, but a few interested parties did come through. One being Clegg Zincher, the other Shorafa Pamodae. Due to several reasons the group decided to meet with Shorafa.

A meeting with the high priestess of Calistria was setup within the walls of the Silken Veil, a high-class brothel and temple to Calistria. The meeting went fairly well, with the group securing purchase of the Goblin for a total of 20,000 gold, 6,000 of that payable up front with the rest being paid 500 per month. Also Shorafa agreed to give the group a 50% discount on drinks at the bar.

With new money in hand, the group begins to talk about how to improve their hideaway. Hoping to use the money they acquire to make the place secure.

During this downtime, the group is also approached by Kwava again, asking for any information they have on what Saul’s plans where. Upon seeing the body of Depora and reading her journal, the elf is quick to give what information he has on the Drow including some bits about his group. Kwava also enlists the group to head to Devil’s Elbow to see if the Drow mentioned in the journal are still at the island.


:Loot:

6,000 GP

If you guys have any ideas on what you want to do with Larur’s place, please let me know. I’m planning to use the information in Ultimate Campaign for building and upgrading the place. So let me know what thoughts you have and I’ll try to figure them out.

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Once more with feeling

Realizing that their resources were extremely low, the group began a fighting retreat trying to make it back to the Goblin to rest.

Rested, the group heads back down into the smuggler’s caves. Taking a slight detour they find a small still pool with an old rotten treasure chest at it’s bottom. Ead dives in to collect the treasure, awaking it’s wight guardian.

After a short fight, the group is able to collect the treasure.

Continuing through the cave system, the party meets up with a familiar face. Bonespeaker and his two guards wait in one of the chambers, but he seemed to not have the will to fight to group unless he had to. Some quick talking and showing proof that the group were now the rightful (in the eyes of Riddleport) owners of the Goblin, Bonespeaker moved aside and let the group continue on.

Reaching the final chamber of the complex, the group sees several things. First, a massive curved stone carving protrudes from the floor, wall, and ceiling. The runes carved into the stone seem so familiar and after a few moments of study it becomes clear, the curved stone is part of the Riddleport Cyphergate.

The second thing noticeable is the striking elf hiding behind a table. Not because of the hand crossbow aimed at the group, but the fact that she has very dark skin and light hair. She is something that comes from fairy tales and legends, a Drow.

Finally, one of the Drow’s minions was a skeleton, but this skeleton stood out due to the clothing he wore and the hand that ended in a large key. Saul’s reanimated body fought to protect the Drow.

After a long fight, the group stood victorious over both Saul’s body (being beheaded by Kage) and Depora the drow (who was finished off by Malek as she was trapped by one of Arten’s tanglefoot bombs).

The group searches through the items near the fight, finding a small journal written by Depora. Flipping through the journal, the group finds detailed information the money Saul had been funneling to her (with notes of what the money was spent on). Most of the supplies were shipped to Devil’s Elbow, done at night by various sailors. The journal also lists the strange weather effects and other phenomena that occurred around Riddleport over the past few months. Everything, including “The Blot” are indicated in the journal as “side-effects” of a experiment occurring on Devil’s Elbow. The journal also mentions an “Armageddon” coming.

Leaving the chamber via a ladder hidden away in a corner, the group finds themselves in a small storage shed near one of the Cyphergate’s footings. As the group decides what to do with the new information, a strange light is seen in the sky. Quickly the light is discovered to be a falling star, but the star doesn’t burn up. The star falls quickly, trailing fire behind it before crashing into Devil’s Elbow. Shortly after, the waters of the Riddleport bay begin to recede before surging back as a tidal wave.

The group is quick to move, helping those they can as others get swept out to sea or attacked by confused aquatic creatures, suddenly on dry land.


:Rewards:
XP: 1340 xp

Loot:
Greatclub, +1 Leather Armor, +1 Rapier, Key stump (sued as improvised dagger or key for secret door in Golden Goblin), +1 Mithral Chainmail, Masterwork buckler, +1 Hand Crossbow, Masterwork Hand Crossbow Bayonet, 10 bolts

Potion of Barkskin, Ring of Feather Fall, Slippers of Spider Climb, Large Ruby worth 500 gp (2), Antique gold idol of Osirion cat-headed goddess worth 1500 gp, crystal wand of Dimension Swap, Platinum coffer worth 1200 gp, Black Onyx worth 100 gp, brass perfume vail (worth 5 gp) containing a strange-smelling, slightly unpleasant perfume, fine quality black boots (non magical but give +2 to stealth), adamantine chisel, key ring with keys for Golden Goblin

1000 gp

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Truth revealed

Searching through the belongings of the wererats, the group found a strange note written in Thieves’ Cant. once deciphered the note revealed that the “meeting” was a setup. There never were any of the other crime lords at the Boneyard. The group was sent there to be ambushed and killed, sent by Saul himself.

While reconciling with this new fact, the group is approached by the Elf that warned them of the ambush before it could be sprung, Kwava. Kwava tells the group that he is of the Ekujae tribe of the Mwangi Expanse and is a member in the Shin’Rakorath. His first mission for the group is to look into a renegade elf from the Mierani Forest that might have fled to Riddleport. Where the renegade might have recruited the aid of one of the cities crime lords.

Kwava has been sneaking into Riddleport for months, listening to rumors and watching suspicious people. He has come to suspect Saul has allied with some mysterious benefactor, possibly the renegade elf, but unfortunately he has no proof.

During the time watching Saul, Kwava became familiar with the group. He followed Saul into the Boneyard and saw him meet with a wererat. Kwava then hid near the side of the ambush in hopes of helping the group and gaining their trust and aid.

Kwava has asked the group to look into Saul and see if they can find any evidence that he has been working with someone, and any ties he might have with the renegade elf.


Returning the Golden Goblin, the group found the casino locked up tight. A sign on the door, stating the closure was due to an illness. Not wanting to be kept from their residence, the group found a way in (thanks to Malek). Inside the Goblin was eerily quiet and still. That is until the group walked into a pair of thugs that had been watching the gaming area.

With that the fight was on. The pair of thugs were quickly joined by more on the main floor, as several of Riddleport’s thieves took to the the catwalks above, raining arrows down on the group. Even one of Saul’s personal bodyguards was seen on the catwalks, helping in the fight against the group.

After a long battle, the group managed to finish off all the thugs and thieves. As they were questioning one of the survivors, a door opened revealing Bojask. The half-orc blinked at the group (evidently he had been trying to hide) before attacking and running away to the basement.

Downstairs in the fighting area, the group found Bojask and the other of Saul’s personal bodyguards. The two fought the group until Bojask was downed, then the other surrendered saying that Saul had gone down below.

Looking down into the fighting pit, a hidden trap door was revealed (previously being hidden by the straw and hay). Heading down deeper, hoping to catch up to Saul and confront him, the group found themselves in the smuggler’s tunnels beneath Riddleport.

Fighting off a few of the denizens of the caves, including swamp baracudas, trogodytes, and darkland sentinels, the group realized that they were ill prepared to continue fighting, and prepared to make a fighting withdraw as the sound of more trogodytes could be heard echoing through the caves.


:Rewards:
XP: 1850 xp

Loot:
6 sets (leather armor, rapier, daggers (4), shortbow, thieves’ tools)
3 sets (chainmail, longsword)
Masterwork breastplate, masterwork longsword, shortbow, +1 chain shirt, masterwork battleaxe, masterwork handaxe, +1 light crossbow

Potion of Cure Light Wounds, vial of Blue whinnis poison, Deed to the Goblin, Financial records, Larur’s remains (with a signet ring worth 50g)

200 gp

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A trip to the Boneyard

After the wonderful romp through a crypt to secure Bonespeaker’s employment. The group escorts the strange goblin back to the casino, where Saul eagerly takes him and his two bodyguards up to Saul’s office to ‘finalize the terms of Bonespeaker’s employment.’

Before waving the party off, Saul tells them that the next part of his plan to hit back at the other crime bosses will come, but the group must wait and return tomorrow.

The next day, Saul lays out his plan. The failed raid has causes some good and bad fallout. The good is that the Goblin is on peoples minds and mouths even more now, it’s reputation has increased within the city.

The bad is that now Saul is worried that since the other crime bosses have had their reputation drug through the mud, it won’t be long until they hit the Goblin again. Only the next time it will probably be bigger. Luckily it will take them a bit to round up for goons to send at the Goblin.

That’s where the next part of Saul’s plan comes in. He’s received word from his contacts in the underground that there is going to be a meeting of the crime bosses caps tonight. The meeting is to finalize the details on a bigger assault on the Goblin. Saul wants the group to head to the meeting place, a place in the Boneyard know as the Spar, and see what they can find out. He notes that if they feel they’re up to it, feel free to thin the enemies’ ranks a bit more.

The party trudged their way through the muck and vile water of the Boneyard, using a map provided by Saul. Arriving near the Spar, a group of cloaked figures were seen, but something was wrong. None of them were moving.

As Sylvia attempted to approach closer, a shout was heard from another pile of wrecked ship parts. A warning shout of an ambush. Rising from the debris, 5 wererats attack the party, but also rising from hiding is an Elf that begins to help the party.

The battle goes slow, as both the water and the ship wreckage keeps the group from moving quickly, but the wererats seem to be in the same boat. Eventually the group manages to defeat all but one of the wererats, who managed to shift into his dire rat form and escape by hiding in the murky water.


:Rewards:
XP: 850 xp

:Items:
Studded Leather Armor (2, very dirty), Masterwork Dagger (3), Masterwork Shortbow (2), Arrows (50), Tanglefoot Bag (2, smells like rotten meat), Thieves’ tools (2), Masterwork Longbow, Masterwork Rapier, Masterwork Breastplate

Potion Cure Light Wounds, Broach of Shielding (10 charges), Scroll of Magic Weapon, Scroll of Invisibility, Droje of Crystal Shard (CL 2, 28 charges), Power Stone of Psychic Bodyguard

687 gp

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Headhunting

So what would any good former crime lord do, after his current place of business has been viciously attacked and he’s been sought out to be killed? Finally fight back, and that’s what Saul has decided to do.

After the mess of the raid has been cleaned up, Saul calls the group to his office and the tension in the room is almost tangible. He looks the group over and explains that he sees now that the other bosses won’t let him try to start a new life, so it’s time to hit them back. Saul goes on to say he has a bigger plan in the works but needs a bit more time to set things up.

So the party is given the task of stealing a recruit from Zincher. Someone who Zincher wants to use in his coliseum fights, the Bonespeaker. Saul gives the party a time and place for a meeting that will be taking place between the Bonespeaker and some of Zincher’s men. The party is to get to the meeting and offer Bonespeaker a position with Saul.

Heading to the meeting place at the given time, the party finds themselves in a graveyard. Waiting near one of the crypts are two groups, one composed of goblins, the other of humans. Both groups stop their conversation as Kage, Malek, and Une approach.

Talking with Bonespeaker (one of the goblins), the group finds out that he did agree to work for Zincher, but has added a new condition to the agreement that Zincher’s men do not want to take. Bonespeaker wants some research notes from a mage of the Dias family that recently died and has been entombed in the nearby crypt. Whoever can get those notes will get his services.

The group agrees to find the research notes for Bonespeaker and heads into the crypt. Searching through the crypt, the party runs into not only some guardians, but also undead that had found their way into the crypt. The party clears out the crypt and finds the burial place of the mage and the research notes.

Giving the notes to Bonespeaker cements the deal and Bonespeaker gets ready to begin working for Saul. Unfortunately, Zincher’s men are not happy about that, since they will be blamed by Zincher for not bringing Bonespeaker back. So fearing their boss, the group attacks.

The fight is brutal, but the party prevails. Once the dust settles, Bonespeaker suggests heading back to meet with Saul and finalizing his work with him.


:Rewards:
XP: 1175 xp

:Items:
Longsword (3), Chainmail (3), Dagger (6), Masterwork Longbow (2), Masterwork Studded Leather Armor (2), Masterwork Arrow (10), Silver Arrow (4), Masterwork Dagger, Spider Silk Rope 25’ (2)

Bracers of Armor +1, Potion Cure Light Wounds (2), Potion of Invisibility, Oil of Magic Weapon, Potion of Pass without a Trace, Scroll of Lesser Restoration, Scroll of Flame of the Faithful, Scroll of Barkskin, Scroll of False Life

830 gp (includes all coins and gems that were found)

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Work begins and a RAID

With Saul’s approval and supervision, the Dwarves begin to do some work on the Octahedron building in some traps to make the events a bit more interesting. Saul also begins to work on some leads for more exotic types of fights to be held there.

Slyvia, Malek, and Kage all spends some time checking for anymore rumors about Larur’s disappearance. Unfortunately, any rumors that do come up can quickly be discounted as either false or as traps.

A few days pass, and the group is working at closing up the casino for the night. Most of the workers have gone home, leaving just the party and a few of the bouncers around as the cleanup crew. As the party helps clean up, a shadow moves in front of two of the window just before they explode and several bodies come rushing in through the openings.

The Goblin is under attack!

The first bodies through the newly opened windows are some typical thugs from around Riddleport, but the party can see better equipped and trained figures directing them and soon joining them in battle. Half-orcs decked in chainmail and large steel shields follow the thugs in through the windows and join them in combat.

Just as the party is beginning to get the upper hand with the initial group, one of the half-orcs whistles out into the courtyard and soon another group of thugs led by another half-orc arrives to continue the fight.

Dealing with the new threat, the party whittles the attacks down, but just as the last couple of opponents are left two scream are heard from near the kitchen. Two of the bouncers have been cut down by seemingly identical opponents. The two men wield strange blades composed of what appears to be pure energy and following them through the kitchen door is another half-orc, this one dressed in fairly plain clothing.

The two humans state that they are there simply to kill Saul, but since he wasn’t available Saul’s cap’s (the party) will have to do.

Another skirmish began, the half-orc and humans causing some damage to the party, but in the end the group managed to bring down one of the humans, utterly kill the half-orc, and run off the other human.

Now with the bodies cooling, the party decides….. they need a DRINK.


:Rewards:
XP: 900 xp

:Items:
Studded Leather Armor (6), Shortsword (6), Leather Armor (2), Rapier (2), Dagger (8), Shortbow (5), Arrows (90), Thieves tools (2), Chainmail (3), Heavy Steel Shield (2), Longsword (3), Amulet of Natural Armor +1, masterwork chainshirt

Potion of Cure Light Wounds, Psi Tatoo of Natural Healing (6hp)

295 gp, 140 sp, Silver & Platinum Necklace (500gp), Tigereye (10 gp), Obsidian (8 gp), Lapis Lazuli (11 gp), Amber (90 gp), Agate (12 gp)

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Still searching

Larur is still missing and the group is tracking down any leads that they can come across. The group hears through the grapevine that someone has recently come into a sudden cashflow, but the details are sketchy. So while trying to decide whether or not to follow up on this lead the group checks in with Saul to try to get any extra information that they can.

Talking with Saul, leads the group have some doubts. Why would Saul send Larur with such a large amount of money with no bodyguards? Saul claims that he never expected the other crime bosses to go after Larur, but he has lived and did thrive in Riddleport for years. Other bits of the conversation with Saul have something “off” about them, like there is more to the story that Saul isn’t letting on.

After the conversation with Saul, the party decides to follow up on the only lead they have left. Doing a bit more talking to people, leads the group to a man that claims he can take the group right to the guy that rumor was about. Unfortunately this turns into a setup as the group is set upon by thugs. Unfortunately for the thugs, the group saw the setup coming and were ready for the battle.

During the fight, a sudden tidal surge crashed into the dock area where the party was fighting, damaging some of the dock, pulling people out into the water and leaving a rather upset Swamp Barracuda on the shore.


:Rewards:
XP: 300 xp

:Items:
Studded Leather Armor x 2 (Adjusted for the number of bodies you fished out of the water)
150 gp

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