The Razor Coast: Islands and Pirates

Session 22: Sinful Whispers

The Horror at the Center of the Island

Resting from the battle with the feral humanoids, the party noticed a worn trail heading east and a more overgrown path going uphill towards the northeast. They chose bushwhacking up the hill. Ono discovered a spiked pit trap. Though the spikes bit deep, Aleister’s Feather Fall spell saved him from the 20 foot drop. A Magenta Wailer vine released its pollen farther uphill, causing confusion and doubt in the party. At last, they reached the top only to find the fore section of an old ship. Before they could make sense of why someone would drag such a heavy item uphill, four of the wild humans attacked. These seemed more primitive, with longer claws and fangs and one still wore the tatters of clothing.

Unable to put them to sleep, Aleister nearly perished as he was ripped to shreds. Keahilani narrowly saved his friend. Crush and Ono had to beat back the wild humans while Keahilani healed and burned them with holy fire. Killing the last of them, they found vials of kraken ink, aboleth oil and an ancient Tulita relic, Sacred Ambergris, within the ship’s fore section. While the ambergris glowed with deep magic, it was clear it wasn’t a weapon and should be returned to the Tulita. Keahilani and Aleister remembered a story from some eight years ago, where a Tulita shaman, Qualmaga, had awakened a whale and dispatched it with a geas to recover the sacred ambergris which had been stolen by a merchant pirate. Piecing it together, Keahilani decided that the white whale was Qualmaga’s whale, possibly corrupted by some influence on the island.

Needing to rest, they lit a campfire and stood guard. That night, an apparition appeared and screamed, “Jacinth! Give meeeee Jacinth the coward!” While the ghost fought madly, trying to destroy Jacinth with its touch of corruption, it occasionally, and politely, asked the party to take his remains back to Port Shaw. Dispatching the undead, they quizzed Jacinth on who he was. She broke down crying, saying that she was indeed a coward and that the dead man had been Maximillian Sidrow, one of her friends. At last, she told the truth: She had been hellbent on finding the ancient elven laboratory on the island. When the creatures attacked, she panicked, drank a potion of Invisibility and swamp into the ocean, leaving her friends to their fate. Jacinth’s misery seemed to consume her and, for once, she was quiet and humble.

In the morning, they dragged the despondent woman onto the eastern trail to find her companions. More wild humanoids attacked and were killed. At one point, shambling mounds erupted from the jungle to do battle, but both sword and fire dispatched them. The sound of drums and wild laughter became louder. They entered a clearing, stopping in shock. Before them, six humans and elves danced and performed lewd acts on each other. Shea identified an anise-like smell as maht root, aka “Granpappy Blackskull,” a powerful and near magical drug. Jacinth whispered that those were her friends. Each of them seemed not only intoxicated but enthralled by the same magic affecting the wild humans. Three of the feral creatures hit each other with femur bones and beat makeshift drums made out of coconut shells and stretched skin. These were the first females of the species encountered and while they seemed well beyond child-bearing years, they were grotesquely deformed and pregnant. At the center of the clearing was a bload-soaked altar with a squid-like idol at the top.

Aleister cast Web to entangle the whole lot and Ono carefully retrieved Jacinth’s companions. At first they attempted to copulate with the dajobasu, but when removed from the clearing they became catatonic. Jacinth openly wept at her friends’ condition. Despite Keahilani’s misgivings, Ono dispatched the pregnant females and then made his way to the altar. A voice spoke in his head, “Simply leave one man and one woman and I will tell you where all of the magic and treasure is on the island.” It then resorted to threats, cursing and wild screaming. Finding that the altar swiveled on its base, Ono turned it, expecting treasure. Instead, inside an alcove were hundreds of humanoid infant bones.

A path wound down to a rocky outcropping beneath the altar. Following it, they at last found the ancient elven laboratory. Jacinth no longer seemed much interested and stayed with her friends. Inside, they found rot, decay and blood pictographs crudely drawn on every wall. A library contained many volumes that were still intact, including a magical one written by Urthlan the Fiendbinder. The mad humans were encountered and dispatched, as well as two large great-horned lizards that spit acidic blood.

Opening a set of double doors, they found a circular room with a pool of water at its center. Blood slowly dripped from the ceiling above and, with horror, they realized that the sacrificed infants were the source. Four of the feral creatures rushed in, but these dripped acid and seemed to morph and become gelatinous. A large, squid-like demon with clawed tentacles resided at the rear of the chamber and hissed and threatened them. It claimed to be Hawanapoki, a god of the ancient Tulita, who survived even the captivity of Urthlan the Fiendbinder. The fiend’s swirling eyes and hideous shape seemed to fascinate many in the party, making it difficult to do anything but stare. Thought Aleister couldn’t identify the demon, he knew it was a primeval evil, a qlippoth.

As several party members tried to snap the others out of the fascination, the acidic humans took the battle to them. Before dropping under tooth and nail, Aleister managed to Enlarge Ono. Crush shook Shea who was able to cast Haste. Keahilani simply healed, using all of his channeling and _Cure _ spells. Crush was continually knocked unconscious and brought back by the cleric, before he was able to swing his greatsword and kill the acidic beings. Hawanapoki closed with Ono, his tentacles draining the barbarian’s mental prowess. Yet Ono’s now-giant axe cleaved through the demon’s many defenses, hurting it badly. It screamed, “I was so close! One more infant! One of you will die with me!” It Dimension Doored behind Shea and began pummeling and biting her. Ono closed and swung his axe one last time, cutting the creature in two.

With no more foes, they discovered Urthlan’s bedchamber. A treasure room was blocked by a Hold Portal spell and, after some research, determined that a golden harp in the bedroom could be used to open it. Inside was a chatty crypt thing that explained he wouldn’t need to attack so long as they didn’t cross the threshold. He went into great deail on how, when the elves subjugated the Tulita of Dolentla Island, Urthlan had bound Hawanpoki in order to discover dark secrets. The undead thought it quite funny that the only thing that had escaped Pele’s wrath was itself and the demon. Stepping into the room, they quickly destroyed the guardian and looted Urthlan’s most valuable treasures.

Once safely at the beach, Jacinth explained that she could magically contact her uncle through a scroll and had no desire to travel to the Isle of Terror. She would try to rehabilitate her friends and return Maximillian’s body and signet ring his family. In shame, she asked that the party not reveal her cowardice and, in return, she wouldn’t mention that they had destroyed legal slaver ships. The party agreed. Back on the Sea Wyvern, Keahilani saw Qualmaga’s whale surface again and head towards the ship. It circled briefly and seemed to want something. Using prayer and speaking to it calmly, Keahilani convinced the noble beast that it would return the sacred ambergris to the Tulita of Port Shaw. This seemed to satisfy the creature, though it left a lasting mental imprint on Keahilani that seemed to say, “I will be watching.”

A shout went up from the Blue Nixie. Anchors up. It was was time to head to the Isle of Terror!



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