The Savage Tide
These mysterious objects have been encountered several times by the heroes.
(DM note: Chapter 2: The Bullywug Gambit)
The Heroes persued Lavinia’s brother Vanthus Vanderboren to his meeting with the Crimson Fleet at Kraken’s Cove, a disreputable inlet south of Sasserine with a long held reputation as a smuggling site. Upon arrival, the Pc’s discovered horrific surprises, every creature both man and beast were hideously mutated to varying degrees.
Harliss Javall(a Crimson Fleet Pirate Captain) was found infected but not transformed. She revealed that Vanthus had triggered this event and that it involved a large black pearl the Fleet was transporting. She claimed to not have known what it was, and that she would ask some hard questions of people once she returned to Crimson Fleet territory.
Brissa Santos was discovered transformed but partly retaining her senses. The PC’s were able to subdue her, and bring her back to Sasserine where favors were asked and exchanged to get her restored. Major magic was revealed to be needed.
(DM note: Chapter 3: The Sea Wyvern’s Wake)
Coastal settlement Fort Greenrock wiped out by Savage creatures. Vanthus/Crimson Fleet believed responsible due to crippled druid survivor testimony.
(DM note Chapter 4: Here There Be Monsters)
Twisted Olman skeleton believed to be Savage remains found in the underground tunnels of Dark Mountain Pass. Remains are centuries old, party theorizes possibility that an outbreak similar to Kraken’s Cove may have spread through this land in the distant past.
(DM note: Chapter 5: Tides of Dread)
Savage creatures found at the Forgotten Citadel, locked in temporal stasis. More evidence that the Pearls or similar have been used in the past.
After Totaniuh is restored to his body, he recounts that the Olman Traitor, Nulonga had brought a massive black pearl as a gift to the rulers of Imperial Thanaclan. He himself had a premonition of impending disaster which included a vision of that pearl. He was on his way to it when he was ambushed by Nulonga, defeated and imprisoned.
Vanthus Vanderboren revealed that he had a pearl on him when he tried to use it against the party at the moment of his imminent defeat at the Battle of Farshore. He pulled it out of a pouch, smeared it with blood from his wounds, and tried to slam it on the ground to break it. PC’s managed to land a killing blow on him during the action of throwing, and one PC managed a heroic diving catch to prevent it.
Despite being cought, the activated pearl hissed, sparked, and started spouting foul vapors that increased in size. Seaweed Jim grabbed the pearl, transformed into a bird, and flew with it away from town as fast as he could. Over the waves he was cought up to by Totaniah the Couatl, and with his help the pearl was stuffed into a Handy Haversack before it detonated, shredding the dimensional pocket beyond repair but containing the blast and shunting the majority of it into the astral plane.
After the Crimson Fleet attack on Farshore and the death of Vanthus Vanderboren, the PC’s discovered a ledger on the Brine Harlot(flagship of the assault). This ledge revealed that the Crimson Fleet had been picking up ‘shadow pearls’ from a beach on the north side of the Isle of Dread in Gallivant Cove, and that they were provided by a group mentioned only as ‘The Lords of Dread’
(DM note: Chapter 6: The Lightless Depths)
At Gallivant Cove, where the crimson fleet picked up shadow pearls from the Lords of Dread, the group encountered troglodyte lepers, as well as learned that they called the Lords of Dread their masters from deeper below.
In a flooded chamber deeper underground, the PC’s encountered an imprisoned Aboleth who revealed to them in exchange for destroying a Glyph in the chamber, that the Lords of Dread were Kopru(eel-like humanoids), and that they had taken over occupancy of the Aboleth city, Golismorga.
In the ruins of Golismorga: the Aboleth city, the players found that the kopru had usurped one of the temples to the Old Ones, subverting it to Demogorgon and using it as some kind of incubator for Shadow Pearls by letting them steep in a horrific ichory substance. They PC’s slew the Kopru Leader running the place, as well as the terrifying aberration that guarded the chamber(Bilewretch) thus concluding the creation had been dealt with.
The destruction of the Eye of Tlaloc caused Golismorga to flood again, and the hibernating Aboleth denizens to start awakening. This ended any hope for the Kopru to get further use of the area and rebuild after the party left, because the Aboleth treat the Kopru as invaders and they are horribly outnumbered.
PC’s destroyed 6 of the 8 recovered pearls, and fragments turned over to several factions for analysis. Additionally, Witchwardens and Seekers got one unbroken pearl each.
(DM note: Chapter 7: City of Broken Idols)