Session Notes - Shark!

Arkobla Conn

In the continuing adventures of Raz the Barbarian

"Ladies and Gentlemen, the following escapade immediately follows the events with the Frog Queen detailed in last class. This episode seems to be a favoriate of the Artist 'Georg Jaffey', so we will use his art to discuss the events. Turn to page 92"

Pages flip and a few of the students in the professor's class exclaim in admiration of the artwork.

"This still shows our group on the beach. In the foreground are two rafts with a center lateen rigged mast. The group is getting on the rafts while Rahka the stygian sorceror releases from his thrall two of the frog people. Novitski and Van Houton tells us that the group used the Queens scepter to enthrall these two and they were guided to this beach without further confrontation. The background of the picture is dark, but clearly shows several pairs of menancing eyes. The implication is that the other frog people are on their way. The text explains that they weren't really on their way until after Rahka released his thralls and they reported what they had done, but this is a more poetic way of showing the threat."

"The next painting is titled 'Asking for Trouble'. Hadrathus, the archer and Belyara, the Thief are on one raft. Rahka, Maja and Raz are on the other. Rahka and Maja are seriously wounded from the previous confrontation within the chambers of the frog people. You see that along the shore, several dozen or more of the frog people are gathering, with some scouts already in the water. It's clear they are going to follow. Our text explains that Raz decided to use the oceans natural preditors to help them. He took the bleeding arm of Maja and proceeded to 'chum' the waters with her blood. The picture shows this as they are both kneeling over the side, blood is dripping from her wrist and there are two fins swimiming into the picture from a distance - between the frog people ashore and the rafts."

"A third painting is quite graphic, but is commonly referred to as the best of the series. It is titled 'Trouble' which is a play off the previous title. We see Raz's raft tilted upwards because the shark has lept or swam ontop of it's rear end. We see the wounded Stygian and Hrykanian clinging to the top edge ala how the Cameron version of the movie Titantic had it's hero's at the top as the rear sank before breaking off.
This scene also evokes images of another iconic movie - Jaws, where the character Quint is consumed ina great gout of blood when he falls into the maw of the anti hero of that movie. In any event, Raz is standing upon the tilted ship and trying to push the great fish - estimated to be between 14 & 17 feet in length if the descriptions and portrait can be believed - off the raft. You can see the raft is breaking apart. One other item of note. The background still shows the frog people, but they seem to be hanging back. All but these three here. It is likely that Rahka has exerted more of his entrancing power on them using the staff - for he does seem to be focusing his attention through the staff and beyond the sharks to the frog people - but we can't be sure here. The 3 frog people do attack the sharks, but they don't stand a chance. Blood already is evident in the water - far more than what Maja would have provided."

Glancing at his watch, the professor grimaces.

"We are running a bit late today folks, so I want you to review the final three pictures and read the accompanying text. Picture 4 shows Raz being knocked backwards and into the water as the big shark turns from the raft and chomps on a frog person. We see him doing a back first plunge.

The fifth picture shows how Belyara was able to pull his raft over to the sinking one, and that Raz is rescued as well as Maja and the Stygian. It shows one of the sharks just missing Raz's foot, but this seems more poetic liscence than anything else.

Finally, the six picture shows the group ashore a nearby island trying to recoperate. Each of them looks back to the frog island in the distance, a mixture of emotions shown. As an homework assignment, write what each of them is thinking at that moment in time."


GM Notes: None of this was supposed to happen, but I'm open to letting events unfold. The rafts were going to be destroyed if they took any time getting to them. They got there too quick for that. Once on the water, there was supposed to be a thrilling, fight off the frog people defense of the rafts, but for the chumming idea. I gave a relatively low percenage for the sharks to arrive - they did. I randomized the size...we got a 17 & 18 footers and I gave it a 5% chance that they'd attack the boat. I rolled a 3%. I then gave 2-6 chance of bumping the side, 2-6 for bumping the bottom, 1-6 for biting the edge and 1-6 for leaping up....guess what I got? All rolls were done in the open and the successful dex & strength checks that followed all were required to save their characters from death by serrated teeth. It was the quickets 2.5 hours I can remember in gaming.
On the raft, Hadrathus watches the roiling sea as the Froglachs pursue the party upon the water. Shouting between the rafts, the party comes up with a plan to attract some underwater reinforcements of their own.

After a short while a fin appears, then another, making a beeline for the Raft with Raz, Maja, and Rahka. A grin splits Hadrathus usually taciturn countenance. "Ha! This even's things up a bit!"

Hadrathus' good humor lasts but briefly as the Sharks ignore the Froglachs and instead attack the other raft. Both sharks are huge, and he thanks the gods that it is not his raft they are attacking!

With Horror he watches as the first shark launches itself onto his friends raft. Raz quicky takes the pole he was holding to knock the massive body of the already crumbling raft. Maja and Rahka can only hold on to prevent themselves from being tossed into the water to a certain doom. The poor footing and slippery body prevents a good purchase on the sharks body and the pole slips off. Rahka seems to be muttering holding that staff the Froglachs seem to prize so much, the other hand holding the rafts edge.

Hadrathus looks on in horror as the raft is lifted in the air by the massive weight of the shark. Amazingly the crew manage to hold on and evade the snapping jaws at their feet. Hadrathus wonders why Raz does not just throw either Maja or Rahka into the jaws of the shark in the hopes of sating its bloodlust. They were both mostly dead anyway. Hadrathus favored throwing the scholar in over Maja as she was a woman and good looking at that. The Scholar was a Stygian anyway so it would be of little loss, though he had so far proved to be a good companion other than his habit of muttering under his breath.

Just as he was about to suggest just such a tactic, 3 Froglachs strangely attacked the shark. As the battle on the raft continued, the combined atack of the Froglachs and Raz managed to roll the shark back into the water. Unfortunately for Raz, a massive fin knocked him into the water.

Luckily for Raz, Belyara and Hadrathus had been guiding their raft closer to the action once it was determined the raft would not withstand the shark attack. Hadrathus reached with his guiding pole in an attempt to get Raz to grap it and pull him onto his raft. A few minutes later Raz resurfaced but was facing the wrong direction. Hadrathus dropped the pole onto Raz's shoulder. Later, over a warm fire, Raz admitted it took a herculean effort not to lose control of his bowels when the pole struck!

Raz grabbed the pole but at that moment the shark bit a Froglach in half, blood spurting into the air, and the sea becoming a watery red! "Mitra" yelled Hadrathus and momentarily distracted, dropped the pole. Quickly recovering himself, he reached down quickly and pulled Raz on board.

Belyara had by now masterfully steered the boat close to the rapidly sinking one, and Maja and Rahka jumped onto the raft. They rapidly rowed away from the carnage of three dead Froglachs and the two massive sharks and made for the shore of the next Island......