The Land Shark, Part I
June 1, 2019
Moments after Gazande killed Lord Biram Tazir and the villagers received him as their new lord with open arms, a pair of priests came up the road riding mules. High Priest Vico Tisibi and his acolyte, Devin, had come to Tazir in search of the heroes of Saddoon, hoping they might help with a monster terrorizing the countryside. Though a little shaken by the sight of a noble slain by a usurper, the High Priest took comfort in the jovial mood of the villagers and offered to escort Gazande to see Duke Alcibes in the city of Omosa, leaving Devin to oversee the running of the village in his absence.
The next day, the adventurers set off for Omosa, stopping first in Saddoon where Tarik received Gazande and his fellows warmly, engaging in a big feast with most of the village crammed into Bede’s Bakery to hear Rhodedendron spin her tales. Word of the magical chess set even slipped out at one point, but the adventurers all agreed to keep mum about it until they know more and moved on, avoiding any further mention. The villagers and Tarik were only too happy to hear about the snake-filled pyramid and other gruesome details.
Departing the next morning, the adventuring party reached the town of Karbad, which was one of four settlements Tisibi told them about where livestock and people had been attacked and killed. Lord Charan IV of Karbad was unimpressed by Lord Gazande and he had to find rooming at the local Red Rose Inn, where Rhodedendron wowed the crowd with tales of the party’s derring-do and Raz practiced her pick-pocketing skills.
Come the dawn, the party set out for the city of Omosa, arriving late in the day, but not so late that Duke Alcibes couldn’t see Gazande, the hero of Saddoon, straight away. He received the gold dragonborn paladin that very evening and told him about the land shark menacing the countryside, quite possibly at the behest of Elionea, a druid of the Karbad region who was slighted by the building of a dam there.
Gazande and Rhodedendron told the Duke about their exploits with the snake cult and the pyramid in great detail (excepting the magical chess set) and the Duke in return told them about ancient tales of snake-people called Yuan-Ti who dominated and enslaved the world until humans, elves and dwarves united to defeat them. Before Gazande is confirmed as Lord of Tazir, however, Duke Alcibes asks him to stop the land shark. In return, Gazande will receive his noble title, 2,000 gp and an introduction to the Duke’s royal sage, Draminster, though the paladin remained cagey as to why.
That same night, Zeex, upset about not knowing how to play the game of kings, payed a pair of locals to teach him. These townsfolk figured they had it easy against a half-orc barbarian but when he won four games in a row they got angry and left him alone. Zeex then shared what he had learned with Raz and they quickly became chess-mates.
After a quick round of shopping in the morning, the party returned to Karbad where Gazande tried to talk to Lord Charan about the druid Elionea and her probable motive regarding the dam which robbed her sacred grotto of water. Lord Charan refused to acknowledge anything that might be construed as blame, dismissing Gazande. It didn’t take long for the party to interview the townsfolk and glean that Duke Alcibes was right: it was indeed Elionea’s wrath about the dam that caused her to threaten the town with retribution. One month later, these attacks began, and everyone knows there is a link.
The adventurers devised a plan to catch the land shark using all the sheep in the town amassed together and, amazingly, got the townsfolk to co-operate. All the sheep were assembled near the dam and smothered in honey, wine and mayonnaise from the party’s Alchemy Jug as imagined incentives to provoke the land shark, but when it finally appeared it instead consumed one of the shepherds! The heroes fell in to attack but when the vast, toothy maw of the land shark nearly killed Gazande with its first attack, they became a lot more wary. Nevertheless, together they battered the beast so severely that it fled by diving back into the earth.
After a short rest, the adventurers made a sorrowful report to Lord Charan about the shepherd’s demise, using it as leverage to convince him to tear down the dam, which he resentfully agreed to consider. That night, as the party was relaxing at the Red Rose Inn, a swarm of zombies attacked which they fought with heroic aplomb, though luck was not on their side. Just as things were looking most dire, the druid Elionea arrived to help defeat the undead.
In the aftermath, she explained how she was responsible for the land shark’s presence but put the blame for its actions on Lord Charan, whose dam started this whole chain of events. However, its circuit through the countryside had now disturbed the remains of the dead who had fought in the battle of Craddock Rock a century before and that was unacceptable to her. She formed an alliance with the adventurers to kill the land shark and end this destructive cycle which has gone far beyond her original intentions.