Chapter 4 of Inner Sea ended with the party defending the Cartographer Cathedral of Knowledge from the Black Fleet and Kraken Society. The Cartographer’s guild is hobbled by the destruction of a magical communication device but a pirates council is called and a united fleet decides to come to the defense of the enemy’s next target - the last Atlantean city of Herakleion.
With many remaining story leads but limited time, the players have time to travel to Swamp Island to investigate the Kraken Society but instead, the players sail to Reaver Island where they previously spotted signs of construction and suspected they’d find the lost Atlantean battleship being saught by two NPCs. In this setting, Reavers are a chaotic mirror image of the Pirates, not bound by any code and corrupted by the madness of far-realm threats that will emerge later in the campaign. The Reavers were unapologetically inspired by Firefly. You have to have something out there in on the seas that are scarier than the pirates themselves and an insane raiding faction is much more palatable than the genre’s usual trope of indigenous savages.
Chapter 5 had only a few sessions - sessions 39 through 42 - seeing the players raiding Reaver Island and stealing back the Atlantean hammerhead Battleship.
Stealing an Atlantean battleship
Permanent magic in Inner Sea must be powered, so the party has to repair the engine of the massive ship with one of the artifact-level devices they’ve recovered thus far. They use their use of the wish spell from late in session 4 to escape the pursuing reavers.
Sadly this is the last action of the campaign. Playing in one Zoom D&D game of Ryme of the Frostmaiden and running this second game had turned my respite from the stress of the COVID-19 pandemic into a dreaded additional two hours on Zoom every other week. The art prep had turned from a fun hobby and my first successful YouTube creator experience into something that felt more like work.
I am very thankful for this 40-ish session game of D&D, and now two years later I have some post-mortem thoughts that I’ll share in my next post.