As detailed in the e-mail "Whores from the Ether"

Our continued journey this week brings us down river to a new town. Along the way we find a small farm near the shore that is in disarray and a child at the docks crying. We pull up, find the kid is not harmed and after looking around a little we discover that the locals have been transformed by disease into ghoul-like creatures. A fight breaks out during which a number of party members are made ill by disease that saps STR or CON (I forget which). A search of the area shows that only the kid survived, likely due to an amulet it wore with the sign of Anubis on it. Inside one building, downstairs, are two boxes decidedly coffin-sized. Summoned creatures haul them up to the sunlight and the tops are opened, causing the contents to be destroyed by the sunlight. Immediately the nearby barn is alive with activity. Jim’s summoned troops rip a hole in the roof, allowing those contents too to be destroyed.

We take the kid down river to the town and turn him over to the temple where some day he will likely grow to be a healthy, happy, PC in another campaign. The temple of Anubis tell us some things are going on in the next town over and that they could use some help. In that town we find out that the local lighthouse has been commandeered by a pirate by the name of Black Molly, who is keeping a stranglehold on the shipping locally as without guidance the ships are hitting the rocks. They would like us to deliver some ransom to the pirate. We say we’ll go meet the pirate but ransom won’t be necessary. They give us a few water-breathing potions in preparation.

It is suggested that we should have a phrase to indicate it’s time to attack. Pox suggests “Scratch My Butt” should be worked into a sentence. We laugh and pretty much forget it was suggested, until…

Getting onto the island isn’t hard. We knock on the door. Finally she shows up to greet us and is suspiciously not scary, though accompanied by some ogres. We are instructed to drop the treasure, which we do. When Zuka bends over to drop off the treasure, he suggests quite naturally that Pox scratch his butt, which of course initiates the fight. They were typical for their ilk, which is to say not all that tough compare to stuff we would face later. We take advantage of haste spells that are up in order to start searching the tower from the top down. Turns out the real Black Molly is on the third floor (the top is the 4th).

In a bit of revelry, Mark recounts a game where the party got divided by a force all and then cut down. Within minutes, we are in a corridor approaching the pirate wench when a force cage is created, trapping Mark’s character in it and due to its size, dividing the party in two. Whether that was the plan before hand or after hearing Mark’s story, I still applaud Jeff’s choice. There’s an illusionary copy of the Pirate Ho casting spells at us, the real one being around the corner out of direct sight.

I should mention that she’s a sea hag and that just looking at her is bad news, and her gaze power is even worse. The force cage and the duplicate piratess are taken down by use of dispel and/or rod of cancellation. Fighting her is still not easy as everyone attacks without looking directly at her and thus has a 50/50 miss chance. For some, it seems like a 100% miss chance as they miss pretty much every time. She’s kept bottled up physically by the group and tries to dimension door away and her casting is foiled, thus keeping her around long enough to get smackified. Some more of her minions come up the stairs but they were held in check by summoned creatures, and then simply hand-waved away once we had the hag herself down.

But I skip the best part. During all of this the hag casts a Prismatic spray. Those in the immediate sight of her are struck by beams. Halo, longtime animal companion of Mavin, is both poisoned and turned insane (it dies). Flowers may be sent to the widow, Mavin. Then there’s the matter of our cleric, who fails a will save and is sent to another dimension!

We clear the rest of the place, and the pirate ship, a water elemental being summoned by Copan destroys the hapless crew of a dingy that was headed out to the ship.

We hang around town for a few days for a couple reasons. First, they will make an amulet for each of us so that we can resist the undead disease. Second, we need to scry on Zuka and find where he’s been banished to. Before that happens though he contacts us. Seems he’s landed in the plane of water or some antechamber that leads to it. He is swimming with the elementals. One of them there suggests he can send Zuka back unharmed if we meet his demands. So after carefully considering the fact that we have a bowl of summoning water elementals, which is worth 100,000 gp and that Zuka is made up of somewhere south of $1 in chemicals it hardly seems like a fair trade, but we do it. The elemental ups the ante a little; He demands that our summoner never summon a water elemental again; apparently this is recompense for turning over an object he has… another part of Copan’s rod artifact. Copan agrees, but we have no way of knowing if this is binding or not. Could be that he can do what he likes. Could be that he summons a water elemental and it drowns him on sight. After a brief discussion of what would happen if we peed through the gate into the plane of water, we depart. Oh, and Jim went to his spirit ancestors and came back with a ghostly girlfriend of some kind.

Hopping another ship we are off to our next destination. However, this time we draw the attention of some pirate ships. Two vessels show up and make their approach. While Pon Pon the fire mage prepares to shell them with the ship’s ballista, we find that shots they fire from theirs are unnaturally accurate and boomy, thus implying that they have “pirate wizards”, as foretold by the prophet mark (who had read it in the psalms in the book of Bob Lee).

Now comes the most horrendous one-sided beatdown of one of our foes to date.

As their small detachment of guys boards our boat to discuss terms, Pon Pon rains down his own personal fire (no arbalest required) and sets a ship afire and kills most of the crew of that ship. At the same time approximately, a revelation comes to Marcen that if he concentrates he can blast a hole in the side of the ship at the waterline (which he does). About then, Zuka uses his power-word to wipe out nearly everyone on the other ship; about 90% of them. Those who boarded wisely surrender. Zuka uses a spell to tell if people are lying and then asks that the pirates captures swear an oath not to plunder any more and to be good little boys; those who lie to him remain in chains and those who told the truth are allowed to man the pirate ship we’ve captured.

We go onward to the next port. I can’t recall where we left off however, so if there’s more happening next that I don’t recall, feel free to interject.