Band of Brothers (Ham Edition [a.k.a. "The A-team"])

A Royal Pardon
Jail is no fun.

Sa’relka  sees a royal convoy and hides away among the crowd after being noticed. He follows the convoy towards the jail. In the jail, Spewgore is taken alone to another room by a simpleton goliath key master named Hamfred. He is led to a back office and meets Lord Gramafex, brother to the King, and also the warden, Garlan. Gramafex proposes a deal to Spewgore that a false trial and execution will be held to fake the death of the Groupe, who has been charged with smuggling. Spewgore considers but explains that he needs to speak with his teammates. Roland is led in by Hamfred and begins his usual spree of shenanigans. Gramafex requests that they partake a certain mission in the King’s name to roust a bandit group that has stolen the water of a nearby trio of lakes and led by a crafty bugbear named Helgore Grimtooth. The two accept and are led out of the building through a back exit. 
The two walk down a shady alley which ends at a shabby fence. Roland  barrels through the fence into the crowded streets. People run in terror from the madman shouting insults. Sa’relka notices the two making a loud commotion. Roland and Spewgore follow the directions of Garlan to a nearby scummy tavern. Roland takes a close seat next to the least questionable dame in the bar while Spewgore orders a drink. Sa’relka surprises Spwegore by sitting next to him casually and ordering a drink. The trio talks about the mission and make their way out of town. They are spotted by a merchant who leads them out of town by carriage and then give them horses to travel faster to the town of Wheyko. There they meet up with thier contact, a nobleman named Neero. Neero tells them to search a local area where the most recent lake has disappeared. There the trio finds some recent tracks that lead away from the lake. They follow them into a drought resistant wooded area and come to a cave. The trio is attacked by a ogre who stood guard at the cave entrance but he quickly falls. As they enter the cave they can hear the cackle of laughter. Going deeper they are attacked by a couple orcs accompanied by several knoll warriors. 
Once the trio dispatches the knolls and orcs they continue on till they reach a T-section in the tunnels. To the left they can hear voices. They head left with Roland taking point. Roland sees an opening up ahead and marches boldly into the room, only to be greeted by a group of goblins and orcs…

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Out the Window!
Oh dayum!

After the Groupe defeated the Pirate Queen and her lover, Hogarth, and the remainder of her pirate employees, the crew heads back to the village. When they return the village seems unusually quiet, but the groupe is not concerned and head for the docks with their beautiful prisoner. 
Although, as they near the docks they see that their ship has been overrun by Sheriff Cobb and the local villagers. When the villagers notice the groupe they charge at them with weapons drawn. Half of the groupe charges forward, notably Blood-Harvest, Go’brahl, and Purrellé, and cut a path for the trio to get to the sheriff. Roland charges his way through the crowd and engages with the sheriff. As the groupe  pushes back the marauders, Go’brahl and Purrellé split and board the Pirate Queen’s personal ship, the Black Galleon, and fend off the villagers on board as Blood-harvest and Whestly board the merchant ship and engage with the remaining villagers aboard. 
In the distance, Sa’relka notices a mob has gathered in the village and are making their way towards the docks. Spewgore and Roland confront the sheriff, while Sa’relka fires off from down the dock. As the mob reaches the dock and begins charging towards the Groupe Sa’relka charges in and unleashes with his claws. After taking the assault the sheriff shifted away to get into closer range to attack, but Sa’relka moved away and delivered a fatal shot to the sheriff’s head. Some of the mobmembers roar in anger as they see their sheriff fall dead. But just as the mob is about to reach the Groupe is saved by three large explosions upon the dock. They realize that the explosions came from canon fire from Captain Greybeard’s ship, which has finally caught up. 
The remaining townsfolk flee in terror. Roland briefly pursues but the weight of the Pirate Queen disables him to do so and he gives up. Greybeard comes ashore and greets the trio. He insists that they leave at once and sail back to the Lone Star Kingdom, he spilts his crew in half and he commands Whestley to take command of the merchant ship and gives the Groupe two of his men to help steer the Black Galleon. 
The Groupe insists on exchanging the “cargo” from the merchant ship to the Galleon. Greybeard accepts but tells them make haste.
Once the “cargo” is stuffed within the Queen’s private quarters the ships send off, out of Spidercrab Cove. 
At sea Roland and Spewgore interrogate the conscious Pirate Queen. As she yells at the two, Roland gives her several series of backhands. The Queen becomes more compliant after several smacks. Roland asks her about the note upon her vanity sent to her from ‘Z.’ but the Queen steers away from the answer which earns her another backhand from Roland . She then confesses that she had a partnership with the King of the Lone Star Kingdom in a drug smuggling scheme, but when the King arranged a large
shipment she double crossed him and stole his cargo, the cargo which the Groupe “confiscated”. Roland leaves the room to find Sa’relka and tell him of the new discovery.
After he finds Sa’relka in the crow’s nest he fills him in on the details. They both return to the Queen’s quarters to find Spewgore standing guard outside the room. When Roland opens the door he sees the Queen attempting to break her bonds upon the edge of her bedpost. Roland closes the door behind him and sexually assaults the Pirate Queen. 
The rest of the trip goes on without incident. During the night the lights dotting the coast begin to show the city of Gulfsport. A few miles away from the coast the Groupe, upon the Black Galleon notice four ships sailing towards them bearing the flags of the Lone Star Costal Guard. One ship intercepts Greybeard’s vessel which is floating parallel. Another ship sails out and behind to intercept the trailing “confiscated ship”. Two ships sail towards the Black Galleon and position on either side. A man of rank hails the Groupe and requests boarding. The trio agrees and the officers come aboard. Their Captain demands they reveal thier names and their allegiances. After the Groupe says they work for the king the officer says he must search the ship and confiscate it because it s obviously a pirate vessel. He heads towards the Queen’s chambers but the trio bars his path. Spewgore convinces him that there is nothing of value in there and that he can search the rest of the ship. As the officer’s men return from below deck and give the clear the Captain request that the trio come into custody. The trio refuse and then the Captain tells them they will use force if necessary. 
Suddenly they hear glass break from within the Queen’s Chambers. The Captain and his guards immediately reach for their weapons and head towards the door. Roland opens the door to see the Pirate Queen about to jump out the broken window, he charges towards her, tackling her and sending them both out the window into the black waters below. 
Spewgore shuts the door and locks it against the Captain and his men. The men on the other side begin hacking at the door with their weapons and the Captain can be heard shouting orders. Spewgore then uses his dragon’s breath to ignite the stock of rare herbs to destroy the evidence. 
As Roland breaches the water and looks around he sees the Queen swimming frantically away. He catches her and begins swimming away with her in his grasp. 
On the ship the room is filling with plumes of smoke as the door is beginning to break apart, Sa’relka shoots a couple arrows through the openings but the men continue on hacking the door down. 
Roland is spotted and a warning cannon shot hits the water nearby, he and the Queen begin swimming to flee but the weight of the extra body takes its toll on Roland, only slowing him down. 
As the door is broken down, Sa’relka shoots a couple more arrows and climbs out the window, Spewgore stabs in the smokey haze and runs, but he is grabbed by a rough hand. He is able to break loose and dives out the window and splashes into the water. 
Another cannon blast hits the water near Roland. Roland attempting to increase his odds lets the Queen loose to fend for herself, he dips underwater and swims off.
Sa’relka, clutching onto the edge of the ship after he climbed out the window watches as the Costal Guard ship on the starboard side begin mobilizing towards the east, and the ship in the south mobilizing towards the fray. There is a great commotion aboard to put out the fire. Sa’relka drops into the water, swims underneath the mobilizing ship and slips through the water away from the chase. 
Spewgore swims south in his escape, failing to notice the ship sailing in his direction ahead. The weight of his armor slowed him down enough to allow men to catch up to him in rowboats. 
Roland holds his breath underwater as a ship passes over his head. When he breaches the water the sky is lit up by some sort of flare. Several men spot Roland before he dips under the water again. 
Sa’relka  stops to observe the scene from a distance but realizes he has no option other than to keep swimming for shore. 
Spewgore is overwhelmed when several men from the rowboats dive into the water with sunrods. Failing to outswim them he is surrounded and he stabs with his spear at a man, but afterwards is grabbed and is then apprehended and thrown onto a rowboat. The men in the rowboat wave the approaching ship onwards towards the east to catch Roland. 
Roland comes back up from the water and sees the approaching ship and the other ship in the east. He attempts to swim away under the water once more, he sees several objects crash into the water carrying lights. 
Meanwhile Sa’relka has successfully swam within a short distance. He sees a Costal Guarc ship patrolling the outside of the docks but he is able slip past unnoticed and makes his way into the dock.
Roland, well surrounded and outnumbered swims back towards the Black Galleon and waits for capture. He is apprehended and gives up peacefully. He is taken to the Captain’s ship and thrown into the brig with Spewgore and the rest of the ship. A short while later the Captain comes down and speaks to the Groupe, he tells them that Finnea, the Pirate Queen was also apprehended and that it’s only a matter of time before they find Sa’relka. He tells them that for killing his men he will see them hanged, then leaves. 
Sa’relka finds his way underneath a dock and clutches to the bottom and waits till the Coastal Guard Ships return . It is morning by the time they return, Sa’relka watches as the Captain ‘s ship stops a few docks over, he swims through the waters but is noticed by several people upon the docks, who alert the local guards. Sa’relka swims quietly away and creeps towards the officers ship.
Roland and Spewgore are confronted by a group of guards, Spewgore speaks to one of the guards who turns away from him and cradles himself in confusion, but another guard shackles him angrily. Roland remains compliant but spits out insults at the guards. The Groupe is lead off the ship with heavy guard. Sa’relka watches from the water disguised by floating kelp as Spewgore stops walking and demands to speak to the Captain. He is allowed to speak, but only shouts obscenities and the guards shove him on. Sa’relka slips away after seeing his friends being led off. He swims to another dock and climbs onto the dock and dons a cloak and blends in with the people working on the docks. He follows the Groupe who is led several blocks away to a blank, ominous building that is heavily guarded. Spewgore and Roland are lead to cells where they see Captain Greybeard and his crew, including Whestley. Blood-Harvest, Go’brahl, and Purrellé are there as well. 
Judging he is outmatched Sa’relka decides to go to the tavern and think on what to do next…

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Welcome to Spidercrab Cove
What's that tumping sound?
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Dimwit doorman and the Night of Terror
That's that skunk!
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Homeward bound... A-team style!
Odd purple clouds...

So Roland, Sa’relka, Spewgore, Goonmelt, Bumwine, and Blood-harvest set sail upon the ship Lord Krockett hired to take them back to the Lone Star Kingdom. The trio meets with the captain, called Greybeard, as well as Krockett and his bodyguard, Purelle. They talk about the voyage and are happy with the steady winds. Once farther out at sea, a spotter calls out about some strange clouds on the horizon. The wind suddenly takes them closer. The clouds are purple and are emiting thunder from within. Sudddenly they see a figure drop from within the clouds and plummet into the water. Some men from the crew fish the figure out, as it turns out the figure was a ln org man named Go’brahl who was transported from is home by the cloud portal. The clouds then begin to dissapate,leaving a blue sky and steady winds once more. As the crew.listens to the tale to Go’brahl, dusk begins to creep upon them.
Before night falls a ship is spotted on the horizon heading straight towards them.they wait for the ship to draw near before they make a move. The other ship lowers its sails and creeps towards Greybeards ship. The other ship is damaged in places. A man from her deck calls out to the crew of Greybeard. Greybeard calls back and allows the man inboard when he requests parlay. The man tells the crew that he was attacked by pirates and that they should travel together for safety. Sa’relka notices strange activity on the other ship and when the man is asked about his captain he only diverts the question and says his captain is wounded and he is the first mate. The trio notice some alarming tattoos on the man of a flame surrounding a bloody chain link. Roland reaches out and grabs the man by the neck to the surprise of Krockett and Greybeard. Sa’relka sees armed men appear on the other ships deck and he launches an arrow off into a man on their deck. Roland drags the man by his neck and tosses him overboard.
The other ship raises sail as one of their men is tossed in the waters. Greybeard shouts for all men on deck. The enemy ship heads straight for a crash course into the side of Greybeard’s ship. Sa’relka launches several more arrows before they collide, taking down several of the men huddled on that ship. All of Greybeard’s crew come rushing top deck and prepare for battle. The ships collide and some of the men are thrown to the ground. The pirates on the other ship come pouring from their ship onto the deck of Greybeard’s ship. A great battle ensues. Roland goes on a spree of neck breaking, Spewgore directs actions and spears folks, Sa’relka takes out many with his bowm as usual. Blood-Harvest gets in on the action after shaking off his severe seasickness, Go’brahl charges in beserker-style and hacks at men with is formidable halberd skills, Purelle rushes in after his employer rushes to saftey below deck and he shows off his superior swordsmanship mixed with arcane twists. Greybeard get into the action, showing his age has only made him better with a sword. A sniper from the crow’s nest rains arrows down upon the pirates from above. In the end, the battle is won. Even the man Roland threw overboard came creeping back into the fray and made an attempt at Roland but was shot down by Sa’relka. Several of Greybeard’s men perished but the ratio was much greater for the pirates. Sa’relka killed the last man on deck, much to the dismay of Purelle and Go’brahl who wanted to interrogate the man. The Groupe quickly assessed the aftermath as Greybeard assessed his losses. They notice the only things of great value are the cannons equipped to the deck, so they take a short rest and bandage their wounds…

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The Worst is Over.
More wine!

The Groupe makes their way back towards Bug City. Once there they are humbly welcomed and are offered another heroes feast. The Speaker pulls trio aside and tells them that he was afraid they weren’t going to come back. He also tells them that there is a foreigner that was searching form their party and is waiting at Silver-Hand’s establishment. The trio heads towards Silver-Hand’s and are led to a back room and meet a dapperly dwarf man named Lord Krockett, and his bodyguard, a human sellsword. Lord Krockett addresses them by name and tells him that his agents were the ones who contracted them to hunt down Lord Harrissterr. He also declares that he is an Agent for the Lone Star Kingdom. He tells the trio to enjoy themselves in their feast and says that he will take the to the King the next day on a ship he employed. The trio depart and celebrate, especially Sa’relka and Blood-Harvest. Roland splits from the feast and heads towards the docks and boards the ship that Krockett employed after speaking with him about his appearance. Sa’relka and Spewgore notice that Blood-Harvest and the Speaker have disappeared from the feast. They keep on partying though through the night. The two realize Roland is gone as well and head towards the Port where they notice a commotion coming from a nearby alley. When they both turn to investigate they see a drunken Blood-Harvest surrounded by a few angry thri-kreen. They shout they want revenge and attack Blood-Harvest. Sa’relka and Spewgore rush in to aid. Roland meanwhile gets a strange feeling and heads off the docks. He notices the sounds of battle nearby and rushes towards. He finds his allies deep in battle as more thri-kreen rush in. Afterwards they are confronted by the Speaker and his guards. The Speaker tells the trio that he will not take Bllood-Harvest back into the colony and tells the trio that they either take him with them or he will execute him when they depart. They decide to take him and the Speaker wishes them luck and declares that the doors of the Colony are always open. They depart and head towards the docks…

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The Dark Lord...err, Cloud.
I know these guys?

The groupe delve further into the cave and come upon a fork. Sharpclaw ask the groupe to choose which way to go and they pick the right path. Sharpclaw takes his hunters left and they split up. Roland, Sa’relka, Spewgore, and Blood-harvest see a chamber open up down the hall and there they see Thri-kreen slaves being led off. A beast of a man is shouting and whipping the slaves. The four rush the man and swiftly kill him. They also notice a elf man chained to the wall who calls himself Goonmelt. They break his bonds and release him. As they all search the room they find a janky locker and force it open to uncover Goonmelt’s equipment. They all continue on and come to a large chamber with several altars, all of which are manned by a two cultists, one priest sacrificer and an acolyte, actively sacrificing Thri-kreen slaves. Sa’relka spots a man with a horned helm shout for the priests to continue thier sacrificial efforts. The man is guarded by two heavily armed men and seems to be followed by a goblin man as well. Suddenly Sharpclaw and his hunters charge in and attack the priests, Blood-harvest also charges in to save his kin. The trio rushes in with help from Goonmelt. The horned cultist rushes away followed by his two guards but the goblin stays behind and attacks the cultists. As the battle ends Sharpclaw tells the Groupe to continue on and take out the leader while his band leads the slaves outside. The groupe followed by Goonmelt and the goblin Bumwine rush further in to confront the cultist leader, Lord Harrissterr “The Dark Cloud”. They meet the man who declares that he has the power of the Azca death god on his side. His guards rush forth as he attacks with magic. After an arrow strikes him, Lord Harrissterr rushes in to attack the groupe but they all focus upon him and soon kill him. They then confront his remaining two guards and make do with them. Afterwards they loot thier bodies and begin to head out of the volcano temple. They notice that many of Sharpclaw’s men have ransacked the interior of the caves. As they exit, Sharpclaw greets them and thanks then for their assistance and offeres to return with the to Bug City. The Groupe heads off back towards Bug City…

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Towards the Volcano?
Smokin'

The groupe manage to push pass the spirits guarding the wind temple and make thier way outside. There they are surrounded by a Thri-kreen hunting party. Gog-lick claims he knows the hunters and helps the Groupe in gaining their trust. The hunters are lead by a Thri-kreen named Sharpclaw. Sharpclaw tells them that his village was attacked by humans while they we’re hunting. They tell the groupe that they know the location of the base for the humans which is located in a faraway volcano. The groupe then decide to head straight for the volcano and confront the cultists head on. The groupe is forced to travel through thick jungle terrain and at one point Spewgore convinces Roland to carry him through the jungle by hand. As they traverse many miles led by Sharpclaw’s party they reach a volcano. They scale around the volcano and find human cultists performing tasks at a stone mouth entrance. The groupe sneaks up on the unsuspecting humans and ambush them. They soon eliminate the cultists with help from Sharpclaw’s hunters hiding in the woods. After dispatching the cultists they gather together and proceed into the volcano’s inner workings. They creep to a circular room that is filled with a line of cultists wielding bows. Though the groupe and friends are shrouded by the darkness of the tunnels and they surprise attack the cultists, killing them all almost simultaneously. The groupe then heads further into the caves…

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To the Windy Crevice

The trio dispatches the crazed scientist. As they get the scoop on the details they realize that their attempts to secure this seal has proven pointless and decide to return to The Speaker. The groupe heads out of the temple in the sewers only to have a lone hunting spider to drop on Sa’relka, who was walking at the end of the groupe. They all kill the spider and continue on. Above they make thier way back to see The Speaker in one of his offices. There he reveals that they have discovered the whereabouts to another temple. His scribes and his navigators targeted the temple to the east along the coastal cliffs. The Speaker asks the trio to investigate the eastern temple.
The groupe is then led by Gog-lick to a village in the jungles to the east near the coast. After they traverse through thick jungles they come upon the village, which has been recently ransacked and pillaged. After searching the area they find tracks leading away from the village to the northwest. Deciding that the tracks divert from the direction of their quest, the groupe continues eastwards towards the coast. As they come upon the coast they find a mountain trail that runs along the cliffs that line the eastern cost. The groupe is forced to trek off the path to reach the entrance to the temple. When they reach the temple they find a familiar building representing a skull with teeth as the door. Gog-lick refuses to enter and commits to staying behind. This aggravates Roland who springs forward and forces Gog-lick forward, and then marches towards the temple.
The groupe is able to find a way into the temple and they promptly delve in. They are led to a long stretching hallway, which has been carved into the cliffside, with open windows lining the length of the hallway, that each face out to the sea. They continue on to the end of the hallway which has a staircase that leads to a large open stone platform that is adorned with several statues of human warriors, a sacrificial table, a dais with a crystal, and a large stone door with a open eye looking eastward. The platform is bordered with two stone pinnacles that make a “V”. As the groupe begin to investigate the platform the moon above begins to creep towards the center of the platform and the crystal upon the dais begins to glow. Roland correct the crystal to face the eye. And as the moon hits the center, the crystal glows brightly and a beam shoots into the eye, and the door begins to open.
Roland, Spewgore, and Sa’relka enter the chamber behind the door, leaving Blood-Harvest and Gog-lick outside. As the door opens the room is illuminated by several crystals lining the walls. Inside the brightly lit room the trio sees a seal upon the ground that doesn’t appear to be tampered with for many years. The light also unveils a mural painted upon the wall that depicts the system of magical seals. West is a temple represented with a cave, East is represented by wind blowing against a cliff, South is shown to flowing through water underneath the city, and north is painted with the image of a volcano towering above a skull closed in a circle. The trio note the mural and begin pilfering the crystals which diminishes the light. As they do so Blood-Harvest shouts out and calls for help. When the trio exits the room they see skeletal remains break out of the statues and ghostly warriors begin attacking the groupe. The warriors souls drift off as their mortal remains are crushed. Gog-lick urges the groupe to make an escape following the battle.
As the groupe head towards the cliffside hallway they start to see bones coalescing into one large bone skeleton which charges towards our heroes. The groupe becomes surrounded by a flood of skeletons and are left to fend off the skeletal marauders…

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The Mad Alchemist's Lab
What's that smell?

The groupe cross the rushing waters and explore more of the sewers. They travel down a tunnelway that ends in a dark corner with a decomposing thri-kreen body laying upon the walkway. They find a few gold pieces in his pockets but also notice two bite marks in his neck. As the groupe continue further into the temple they come to an empty chute of the sewer system that is covered in spider webs. As the group cautiously enters they are attacked by several large spiders that bare their fangs dripping mercury at them. When Sa’relka kills one of the spiders it lets out a screech as it dies and a very large spider queen enters from the other side of the room. As Roland rushes at the vicious looking creature it teleports out of the way and attack Sa’relka. The smaller spiders begin teleporting around the room and attacking. Spewgore kills a spider giving Sa’relka an escape route for Sa’relka who bounds over the empty chute and begins firing at the queen from across the room. Roland dispatches a spider in his rush to attack the queen. Roland goes toes with the queen with help from Sa’relka as Spewgore dispatches the rest to of the spiders. When the queen is finally killed the groupe recuperates and walk into the nest of the spiders. They see a few eggsacks which they promptly cut open, killing anything living inside. They continue deeper and as the tunnel curves around a bend they see a light at the end of the tunnel and begin to pick up strange chemically-enhanced smells. When they approach the light they find a secret laboratory filled with tables, tools, books, flasks of unknown contents including the mercury, and a strange man dissecting a rat carcass. Also in the center of the room is another of the magical seals. As the group approaches the man notices them and begins speaking to them about his experiments, and asks them if they liked his rat, snake, and spider creations. He goes on to say that with the support of the cultist leader he has been conducting his experiments in this temple in exchange for opening the magic seal, which he has already done. He then tells them he has perfected the recipe for a potion that will transform his body into a rat, and soon he will have the recipe for one that will give him the strength of a thri-kreen. After that he drains a bottle of his potion and his body begins to change into a wererat, his body gets furry more muscular, his face grows a large snarling snout, and a tail appears, and his feet grow out claws. As his transformation is complete he tells the groupe that their time to die is now, but Roland immediately charges him and begins attacking him…

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