The Razor Coast: Islands and Pirates

Session 30: Port Shaw is Restless
Rumors, Leads and a Return to the Sewers

Several weeks of peaceful voyage and a bit of rowdiness in Freeport ended. Newly-laden with treasure and goods, the party set the Sea Wyvern on a course for Port Shaw. Of note was Montgomery’s ability to stay dry and Jenkie’s enthusiasm as he saw his captain become himself. No longer “Shakes,” the old adventurer spoke fondly (thought sadly) of his time in the Wave Riders and the loss of their paladin leader, Simon Trafalgar. He muttered that perhaps one day, he could lead the party to the spot of Simon’s watery grave, the lair of Harthagoa, fiend of the deep. Aleister’s demonic knowledge had increased and he suspected this to the be same Harthagoa rumored to be the demonic get of Demogorgon itself and a massive kraken.

Their space at Port Shaw’s dock was much the same as they remembered. After being accosted by a dockside harlot (“Please, sir, only 10 gold for this genuine map to Garr Bloodbane’s treasure”) they both purposefully sought out old friends and acquaintances and randomly ran into them:

  • They sought out Milliakau, the Tulita shaman they rescued many months before, and the young chieftain, Kaho Ali’i. Though still grim, even Kaho seemed pleased to see the party again. They provided the sacred ambergris of whale to Milliakau for safe-keeping, resolving their commitment to the white whale. Milliakau gave a dire prophecy: Dajobas was coming for Port Shaw and they were ill-prepared for his onslaught. The taint of Dajobas was strong in many of the dragoons, including Darenar, the sergeant who had tried to arrest him. He also noted, looking at Keahilani, that his visions foretold that they would not last unless the menehune were found and returned to the island. He thought they might be in the Pearl Eye Atolls. For his part, Kaho warned Ono that he was visibly covered in the taint of Dajobas and that his brother, Zuka Zuka, went inland to cleanse himself of the taint and look for redemption. He asked that Ono prove himself in the battle to come.
  • They visited Zalen Trafalgar, son of the deceased Wave Rider, Simon, and priest of Quell. Zalen was overjoyed to see them, but also provided his own premonitions. Zalen noted that two weeks ago he found his food was poisoned. Strange accidents had occurred near him. One of his predecessors, Archibald Noeliss, had simply disappeared three years prior. And Archibald’s replacement, Dalang Jalamar, met the same fate. Zalen suspected foul play and also noted that he had located more corpses with the mark of the Ring of the Kraken. He also told the party that Jessica, though odd, remained at the Chapter House of Quell along with her father, who had finally been released by the dragoons. Jessica met the party but said little, staring intently until everyone in the party felt uncomfortable. Zalen later recalled that some children and drunks had disappeared, with some children claiming their companions had been taken by a giant “bug” that crawled into the sewers. He compelled Bertram, in the name of Quell, to investigate. He also shared a rumor of a disfigured ghost accosting people on the docks, wanting them to retrieve his body from the sewers. For his party, Montgomery gaped in amazement at Zalen’s resemblance to Simon and told the party in awe that it was a sign from Quell, that he could see Zalen in shining armor holding his father’s returning, holy trident.
  • On the streets they ran into Bethany Razor and her first mate, Korg the minotaur. She congratulates them, as together, they had nearly completely eliminated the dragonsmoke trade. She hinted that Gregory Bonadeuce, leader of the dragoons, had been courting her, but she desired closure to her husband, Jacob’s, death prior to pursuing this.
  • Jacinth Deepwarder found them in the Kraken’s Gullet and actually hugged Aleister. The spoiled elven woman thanked them and told the party she was trying to better herself. She promised she would never tell about the party attacking the slaver ship and asked them not to reveal her own moment of shame and cowardice.
  • They met with Old Fish and sold the terror bird eggs for a premium. Old Fish took Bertram under his wing and asked him to bring any high quality ambergris to him, promising a premium. Old Fish also let slip that someone had carefully purchased all of the alchemist fire in town.
  • Sagacious Samuel found Aleister and the party. He gingerly returned the black metal scorpion figurine to Aleister. “Eh, it may very well be linked to a demon lord, one Obox-Ob, lord of vermin. Be careful. It may have an ability to summon a creature or entrap one of Obox-Ob’s minions.” Aleister noted that he continued to have dreams of using the Fiendbinder’s book.
  • Gregory Bonadeuce, leader of the dragoons, and Barrison Hargrove, leader of the council of elders, ran into the heroes along with a squadron of dragoons. Gregory offered his thanks for taking care of the dragonsmoke trade as well as noting they had heard from Lavinia via magical means and they were impressed with the help they provided on the Isle of Terror. Hargrove sneered and leaned in to talk to Bertram and Aleister, “I know you will support the greatness that can be Port Shaw. Don’t mix with the undesirables and you’ll go far!” He knowingly gave a side glance to Keahilani and Ono. Some in the party noted that Bonadeuce twirled and played with an ornate dagger engraved with “G.B.” on the hilt.

In the end, they decided to drink all night and find the ghost of the docks. They weren’t disappointed. The hideous, scarred apparition appeared to them in the wee hours of the morning and said he was Durrell Ravenkith. All he needed was for the party to retrieve his remains from the sewer and provide a burial at sea so that he could rest. Aleister recalled someone of that name having traveled with Garr Bloodbane years before. Durrell’s ghost placed one transparent hand on Keahilani’s temple, imparting a vision of where his body lie.

They entered the sewers through the outlet in the bay. After passing unmentionables and wading in filthy “water,” they at last found a section of the sewers they had never seen, an old storeroom. A caved in tunnel proved no match and therein they found the remains of the bard, Durrell Ravenkith. They gathered the bone fragments and found the musician’s notebook that at one time had been full of chanties and bawdy songs. Only one scrap was intact, an uninspired musical score and an odd maritime map. The party suspected that it was the true map to Garr Bloodbane’s treasure. They returned the ghost’s bones and removed it from the material plane forever.

Back in the sewers, in another room, a chain hung from the ceiling and dropped into a pool of water. Ono unwound a winch on the wall. Though it stuck, it was enough to see the tip of a chest in the water, attached to the chain. He waded in and was mobbed by six gator men. The party entered the sewage to save Ono and dispatch the karkanti. They made quick work of the gator men, only to find the chest filled with 1000 copper pennies. In the attached chamber, a karikanti honor guard surrounded their chieftain, a hulking brute covered in scars. The chieftain said his name was Rrraaaaorrrgg and that he did not wish to do battle. Keahilani asked him if he could point to the lair of the “giant bug” if they returned the chest of money. Rrraaaaorrrgg agreed and the party left in peace.

A karikanti guide led them to a soupy, saturated area of the tunnels and quickly fled after completing his obligation. Within seconds, thousands of carnivorous roaches emerged from the muck and attacked as swarms. Two giant “roach lords” appeared behind them, summoning more swarms. The abominations sported ogre-sized arms near their mandibles and seemed possessed of a strange intelligence. Rotted, dismembered bodies floated past, most seemingly from small children or halflings. Ozzy’s flamestrike, Keahilani’s fireball and Aleister’s ice storm all but destroyed the host of roaches. Jimmy and Bertram filled the roach lords with holes while Ozzy and Crikey ripped them apart . They managed to find one living, traumatized little girl and returned her to the surface where they received a reward from her merchant parents.

Upon returning to the sewers, they found a locked portcullis exiting the lair of the roach lords. A small, hooded figure was behind the bars and beckoned for the party to help it. As they drew closer, it pulled back its hood revealing the hideous form of a bodak. The creature attempted to drain their life force, but Jimmy and Bertram simply destroyed it with ranged weapons. The tunnel beyond it seemed to beckon…

Session 29: Tides of Dread
Vanthus Vanderboren Must Die!

Vrock demons circled above one part of Farshore, while the flesh golems and mobs of pirates assaulted homes near the docks. The yuan-ti sorcerer continued to lob fireballs into town while one pirate ship ravaged buildings with a salvo from ballista. Lavinia shrieked as Vanthus flew overhead, spittle dripping from his fanged mouth. Her deformed and demonic brother continued to shout, “My sister! I love you! We must be together!” He disappeared with a ‘pop’ and left the party to deal with the destruction around them.

Taking stock of the assault and their many enemies, the party opted to confront the vrocks first. Keahilani, Ozzy and Shea cast defensive spells and the party rushed, hasted, towards their foes. The vrocks began a strange ritual dance on the ground, but were interrupted by shafts from Jimmy’s holy bow. Ozzy, Crikey and Aleister all nearly met their end though Jimmy’s quick bow and the explosions from Bertram’s firearm were enough to turn the tide. Ono and Crush waded into the demonic fray, attempting to damage the creatures through their thick, demonic hide. The demon’s spore attacks inflicted heavy damage and their mirror image ability frustrated the party’s ability to destroy them. At last, Crikey and Ozzy pinning the demons, and Jimmy slaying them with his bow, turned the tide.

Flesh golems were next on the menu. Refreshing defensive spells, they rushed into the melee, hoping to stop the constructs from tearing down more buildings. Two raving mobs of pirates descended on them, battering the party mercilessly. The party smashed and blasted into the mobs and cut away at the flesh golems themselves until only rancid pieces of flesh remained.

They next stopped at the ballista-wielding ship and annihilated it with well-placed fireballs and a stinking cloud from Aleister. They yuan-ti proved more troublesome, but though the sorcerer’s defensive spells were many, it couldn’t withstand Bertram and Jimmy’s well-placed shots and Aleister’s many hexes. The sorcerer fell into the bay as he attempted to fly away. His inphidian minions didn’t last much longer.

Lavinia and the Jade Ravens were fighting off their own attacks. Lavinia broke off to meet the party near the docks. At that moment, Vanthus reappeared, raving and screaming about his “ruined plans” and how upset “the master” would be. Shea and Aleister believed they sensed the touch of Demogorgon on Lavinia’s brother and warned the party. Vanthus politely suggested that the party help put out fires in town and Ozzy, Aleister and Crush were quick to comply. Vanthus attempted the same on Lavinia, but his sister held strong and refused to go with him. With a snarl and furious wave of his hand, Vanthus called upon Demogorgon for assistance. A savage Chaaor demon appeared and a toad-like Greguor demon materialized soon after.

The two demons were as tough as the vrocks. The Greruor nearly wiped out the party with a Blasphemy spell and the Chaaor waded in, cleaving and snarling and screaming some sort of sonic attack. Shea and Keahilani dispelled the suggestion and Vanthus landed, hoping to reach his sister. Again, Jimmy’s bow saved the day. As his holy arrows pierced the demons, Bertram delivered a critical shot to the Chaaor and Ono demolished the Greruor. Surrounded, Vanthus fought like a wounded animal, screaming obscenities and unintelligible shouts of rage. Before falling, he cackled and pulled out black pearl from a pouch. Lavinia shouted that Vanthus was no longer family and begged the party to end it. Ono took satisfaction from the way Vanthus’ head rolled from his shoulders. Before dying, he hurled the pearl. Bertram, Vanthus, Ozzy and others attempted to catch the mysterious thing but all failed. As the pearl smashed, a swirling greyish-black smoke began to expand out from the shattered pearl.

Aleister recognized it as a Shadow Pearl, an artifact of Demogorgon, said to be responsible for an affliction called the Savage Tide. The party remembered the fight with the crazed pirates, monkeys and dinosaur years ago and began to panic. Shea applied a Dispel Magic which seemed to slow the progress momentarily. Quick thinking on Bertram’s party resulted in the magical energy scooped into an empty Bag of Holding. Catastrophe averted, the party looked about at the destruction and Lavinia’s tear-streaked face. The deed was done and Vanthus would only be a memory.

Two months passed. Harassing the Jade Ravens became a past-time as the party waited for the Sea Wyvern to be retrieved and repairs to finish. They found many colonists of FarShore more than willing to give up the colony life and join them on the high seas. Their ship would sail again with a full crew! Lavinia paid them the remainder of their reward and thanked them. She provided Bracelets of Communication to the party, allowing them to contact her twice each day. She promised to see them again one day and asked for regular updates, deciding herself to remain in Farshore for a time.

They bid farewell to Avner (who grudgingly said something close to thanks), Urol (back to his old self, looking at fragments of vrock) and Amellia (who slyly winked at Ono). Montgomery and Jenkie joined them again as they set sail for Freeport. Research and supplies were required before the return to Port Shaw.

Session 28: Tides of Dread
The Shrine of Demogorgon

Before entering the shrine, the party found an unconscious halfling priest named Erkel, a worshipper of Mick O’Delving, merry god of halflings. The little man’s energy was infectious and he offered to help them rescue Urol. They entered the shrine and the bronze double doors thundered closed, trapping Keahilani and Jimmy in the hallway on the others side.

Urol began the descent into the fiery pit below, dangling from a chain 40 feet above. He screamed and thrashed as fear overtook him and he saw his salvation in his traveling companions. Bertram spider-climbed up the wall and handed a potion of Fly to Aleister. Aleister flew himself to the captive gnome only to be violently thrown to the floor by an unseen force. The bar-lgura leader became visible on one wall cackling at his use of Telekinesis. “You thought me destroyed, but my master is strong. The Lord of the Abyss! So long as this focus exists, I cannot die and you cannot leave!”

The four smaller statues in the east and west alcoves animated, their sneering clay monkey heads clacking as they moved. Two of them bore long swords and attacked Ono and Erkel. The other two removed long bows and began firing into the party, filling Bertram, Ozzy, Crikey and Aleister with ancient feathered shafts. Hooting, the bar-lgura clambered around the walls, teleporting back and forth as he attacked Ono, Bertram and Aleister all in turn. More disturbing, the larger statue near the altar, a replica of Demogorgon itself, flickered to life, slowly moving one tentacle, then another.

Ozzy summoned many crocodiles and shape-shifted into one himself. Along with Crikey, they tripped and attacked the statues, doing little damage but keeping them from the more vulnerable members of the party. Ono, full of arrows and cuts from long swords nearly fell. Aleister managed to avoid the bar-lgura and thrust the potion into the thrashing Urol’s mouth. The gnome was alarmed, but Aleister provided one simple instruction, “Fly!” With that, the frightened gnome, still tethered to the chain, began to wildly fly in circles and zig-zag motions to the limit of the chain, screaming the entire time.

Bertram started taking shots at the statues, removing one. Ono, Crikey and Ozzy destroyed another. The archers didn’t last long, but managed to fell Aleister twice, especially when the Bar-lgura attacked from behind. The elven witch was down and Erkel, himself gravely wounded channeled all the power of his happy god to revive most members of the party.

It was then that the visage of Demogorgon came to life. The golem stepped off the dais, moving with a sinuous grace that belied his stony form. It let loose with a mind-shredding shriek. Some in the party were shaken, but upon a second shriek, Ozzy panicked and clawed at the bronze doors to esape. His summoned creatures went into disarray. Though the bar-lgura fell, one archer construct and the golem waded through the party.

Ono stood toe-to-toe with the golem. As Urol shrieked and spun around the top of the room, Aleister again lay unconscious, bleeding out. The demogorgon construct’s tentacles seemed to wither and drain life force. Ono shriveled and weakened, falling himself. Erkel revived him, but only just. Bertram escaped up the wall out of reach. The last archer fell and, once Ozzy freed himself from the fear effect, he managed to bring down the bar-lgura with Bertram and Ono’s assistance.

At last, only the demogorgon golem remained. Ono ran. Summoned creatures fell before it and could not harm it. Crikey went unconscious. Aleister stopped bleeding but was motionless. Bertram continued to fire into the animated statue, inflicting little damage. Ozzy confronted it, keeping it from killing the rest of the party, but couldn’t last long. Finally, all of his healing gone, Erkel joined Ozzy to confront the statue. Ono flanked it. Each in turn was grappled and drained of energy. Though Ono escaped, Erkel could not free himself. The party watched in horror as the happy halfling withered and was drained into a lifeless husk.

Ono made his last stand, trembling before this tiny bit of Demogorgon’s might. Just before he fell, Bertram came behind the statue and emptied a bullet into it, creating a crater in the statue’s head and turning it into rubble. A veil of darkness lifted and the bronze doors opened. They looted what they could and freed the spinning Urol from the ceiling. Rejoined with Keahilani and Jimmy, they exited the cursed temple and found their traveling companions.

Montgomery and Jenky had fulfilled their promise to watch over the rest of the party. Amellia was frightened, but overjoyed that they rescued Urol. Even Avner seemed to reluctantly congratulate the party and welcome the gnome. The mist cleared over the next hour and, at last, they exited the valley. With Urol’s help, they found a game trail, traveling for two more days before finding a small village named Tanaroa, populated with a distant branch of Tulita. The villagers understood that they needed passage to Farshore and arranged long boats to take them to the small island to the south.

It was clear that something was wrong. As they neared Farshore, they could see smoke. In the docks was a ship flying the banner of the Crimson Fleet. Other Crimson Fleet ships could be seen in the distance, closing on the island. A spark of hope lit when they saw the Blue Nixie at the docks and Lavinia and the Jade Ravens battling pirates near the ship.

Montgomery, Jenky, Keahilani and Jimmy secured Avner, Urol and Amellia and then battled pirates to the east. Fires burned in the settlement. A church was being razed. And a young lass was chased by a gruesome one-eyed half-orc. The party put out fires using magic and intimidated pirates attacking the church before cutting them down and rescuing villagers inside. Ono took out the half-orc and they all took part in small skirmishes.

A pirate captain and part of his crew were cutting down the settlement’s militia until Aleister and Bertram confronted them. Aleister cast a slumber hex on many of them while Bertram strode up to the leader, firearm in hand. The captain was filthy, greasy blond hair covering one side of his face. A deep red burn mark covered his throat. “Ye’ll not take me, matey! Slipknot Pete has escaped death before!” Pete twirled his rapier, showing deft skill with the blade. Bertram lifted his weapon and fired point-blank into Pete’s face. Later tales would tell of how Slipknot Pete’s nickname changed within seconds to pumpkin-head Pete, an apt description of what was left, smoking and spread across the grass.

The initial attack disrupted, the party regathered and met Lavinia. She instructed the Jade Ravens to gather the townsfolk and fortify what defenses they could. Though happy to see her old friends, Lavinia’s expression turned grim as she saw the other three ships close with the shore. From one ship, many fireballs lobbed into town, a hooded, serpentine figure casually flicking his wrist as other serpent-folk scattered about the deck. Another ship docked. Flesh golems lumbered forth and began tearing down buildings. Materializing in the air above the party, vulture-like demons appeared in a puff of brimstone.

And, from the lead ship, flew a bat-winged demonic humanoid with small black horns on his head. Though far away, he noticed the party and, seemingly surprised, yelled, “Lavinia! My sister! Finally, we will be reunited!” Lavinia cried in horror, recognizing the creature as Vanthus, her brother. But something was terribly, horribly wrong. Vanthus waved one arm, flying back to his ship and the demons descended towards the party…

Session 27: Here There be Monsters
Demons and Monkeys, Oh My!

The Bar-lgura surrounded the party. The apparent leader of the demons grinned and promised to make their suffering long, while his mates went for the gnome, Urol. Amellia was pale with fear and hid behind a crumbling wall while Avner’s hand shook as he ordered the party to “dispatch” the creatures. Montgomery and Jenkie closed with one demon, as the old sailor found his courage and Keahilani’s silver knife. The demons couldn’t stand against the combined might of the party and quickly began to fall. As Bertram, Jimmy and Ono unleashed on the leader, the creature grinned and said, “I’m afraid wyou haven’t defeated me. My master will bring me back!” He melted. One bar-lgura was killed, but the other grabbed Urol and disappeared.

Talking to the crucified zombie revealed they were on the right path when Keahilani cast Detect Evil and found strong ley lines of evil energy leading into the fog. They unleashed the talkative undead and followed the lines of energy which ended at a hill with two caves leading inside. The caves were the “mouths” of two baboon heads and Aleister was certain this place was dedicated to Demogorgon, the two-headed briny one. Remembering Montgomery’s words that he had sensed this evil before when he faced Harthagoa, they proceeded with caution. Montgomery volunteered to watch Amellia, Jenkie and Avner as the rest entered the complex.

Inside, they found a bloody handprint, discarded belongings and other evidence of Urol. A chained skeleton provided more evidence in wall scratchings that this was a place of evil. Examining interesting stalagmites that contained crystals, Ono stumbled upon a rock fall trap, burying several members alive and injuring more. Aleister enlarged Bertram and they spent several minutes unearthing their friends. At a locked door, they saw two baboon faces with Abyssal writing underneath, one saying, “Give of your left” and the other, “Give of your right.” Keahilani cut himself and grasped the forked tongues that served as handles. The doors glowed and opened, revealing a strange scene.

Two thrones were on the north and south, with a nondescript altar containing two tallow candles and mirrors on either side. Aleister lit both candles, triggering a fireball trap. Standing outside the room, they experimented a bit. Bertram and Keahilani sat in the thrones while they used a Spark spell to try different combinations, at last finding that lighting one candle, then sitting in the throne opposite it triggered a feral aspect to appear in the mirror itself. Bertram succumbed to this and immediately emptied his pistol at Keahilani. Keahilani resisted and they incapacitated Bertram and trussed him up until the effect ended. The mirrors transformed into swirling vortexes that transported the party to an enormous cave.

A pool of blood at its center and ledges 20 feet above, the party could hear growling and scuffling coming from the level above them. Aleister flew and peaked above the ledge, finding five bar-lguras feasting on old corpses. Bertram spider climbed up the wall while Aleister flew. The others snuck up stairs to do battle with the creatures. They found them prepared and invisible after Ono stumbled on a pile of rocks. Bertram and Aleister’s vantage point allowed them to inflict heavy damage and confuse the enemy with hexes. Ono and Jimmy cut into their ranks. One jumped on Aleister from above, but couldn’t hold on and fell to the floor where he was cut down. Another teleported away and fled. As the last one fell, one climbed towards Bertram and they both disappeared.

The rest of the party cleaned up the mess and healed, then tried to locate Bertram. In the meantime, their companion found himself face-to-face with the bar-lgura inside a deep pit with a grate over the top and a locked door to the west. After taking heavy damage from Bertram’s rifle, the demon teleported away and opened the grate. The chittering and howling came after, with hundreds of baboons filling the pit and swarming over Bertram, doing unspeakable things. Hearing screams, the party opened a door and rushed into the chamber to do battle with the mob of baboons. Spell, arrow, ax and tooth finally dispersed the mob and Bertram was saved. In a secret treasure room, they found another binary choice, two identical chests. One contained many treasures while the other resulted in a fireball trap. One of the treasures was a left-hand iron ape paw.

After healing, they went south, only to be ambushed by invisible enemies: A behir and a spirit naga. Both launched lightning attacks that nearly destroyed the party. Spouting praises to Demogorgon, the Behir fell first and the naga soon after. Again, presented with a choice of two, Ono looked in one fountain on the west wall, only to get an Ice Storm in the face. In the other was a right-hand iron ape paw.

In the next room they found ape statues surrounding a locked door, each missing a paw. They attached the corresponding ape paws and the doors opened. A long corridor contained matching ape statues leading east. Once they were half way through the hall, the apes began to screech, only halting after 30 seconds. Reaching copper doors, they pushed them open and went inside.

Urol dangled from a chain 40 feet above a fire pit. Upon seeing them, he screamed for help. At the north end of the room a large statue of Demogorgon presided over all, watching silently while two smaller statues were on the east and west. By some unknown mechanism, the winch on the east well began to turn. Urol slowly descended towards the flame…

Session 26: Here There Be Monsters
Trapped in Fogmire

The mummies were covered in tattered burial shrouds, appearing as if they were coated in spider webbing. Avner squealed and announced that his disentery was returning, at which point he and the other NPCs fled back toward the chasm. Bertram followed to ensure nobody died. The horrific appearance of the undead caused several in the party to be paralyzed with fear. Jimmy, Ono, Aleister and Ozzy all succumbed before Keahilani could lob fireballs and Pele’s magic to harm the mummies. Once freed of the fear effect, Ono, Ozzy and Crikey were able to mow down the abominations while Aleister hexed them and Jimmy filled them with arrows. Ozzy and Jimmy both felt ill and were certain that they had contracted mummy rot.

They moved into the secret room, finding a large sarcophagus detailing a king holding a silver dagger in one hand and blue rod in the other, an apparent twin to the red rod they found in the entry chamber. Ono and Keahilani hoisted the lid, triggering an insidious trap that launched spears through hidden holes in the ceiling, floor and walls. The envenomed spears bit deeply and most in the party suffered grievous wounds. After healing everyone, the cleric of Pele looted the coffin, finding the blue rod, a pearl of power and silver dagger.

In an adjoining room, they discovered enormous double doors that were sealed air-tight. A mechanism with one slot a red granite and another a blue marble was in one corner. The rods fit perfectly and Ono and Keahilani were able to open the sea doors by turning them simultaneously. Ocean smell and breeze wafted into the chamber. Beyond was a natural harbor at low tide. Tide pools dotted a beach and they saw the continuation of the mountain trail on the other side of the beach.

First, they finished exploring the southern chambers. In one stagnant pond, Ono was attacked by a huge black pudding. The jelly-like creature split into multiple opponents when Ono, Ozzy and Jimmy tried to attack it. Aleister and Keahilani were able to dispatch the pudding with lightning bolt and fire. With no other rooms to explore, the party gathered Bertram and the surviving crew and exited through the sea doors. No sooner had they entered the tide pools than they were attacked by enormous shark-eating crabs and a smaller swarm of tiny crabs. While the swarm harassed and hurt them, the greater danger was the large fauna. Aleister nearly met his fate when one crab grabbed him and squeezed. Ozzy, Crikey, Ono and Jimmy were able to smash the vermin, resulting in well over a hundred pounds of crab meat which they promptly attached to Thunderstrike.

Days passed as they traversed the mountain trail. Keahilani noticed that Montgomery was doing much better without the lure of easy liquour and gave the man his new silver dagger, asking that he help protect them if necessary. Montgomery seemed to take heart at this and their cabin boy, Jenkie, beamed with pleasure. Amellia’s spirits lifted upon seeing the ocean again. Urol was his normal self and studied everything around him while Avner complained incessantly about crab juice dirtying his fine steed. Keahilani and Ozzy healed the mummy rot afflicting the party. Each night they noticed strange occurrences: The sensation of being watched, a Tulita man apparently committing suicide (yet no signs of him were found) and crucified bird corpses left at their camp site. The strangest was a lift platform that an abandoned village had created to reach the upper part of the trail. Though Aleister could fly, they decided to hoist Thunderstrike using the lift. Ono’s normally-strong grip failed, accompanied by a vine snapping and the poor beast of burden tumbled down the cliff to its death in the ocean below. Avner ranted and railed against the party, but there was no taking it back. Upon examination, Bertram and Ozzy noted that the snapped vine appeared to have been partially cut.

As they contemplated these strange signs, death came from above. A group of four tattooed gargoyles landed among them. They made quick work out of them. However, the next day another group attacked, this time led by a barbarian leader wearing a stone crown. Though fierce, these also fell under the combined might of the party. Ono donned the unique Gargoyle Crown and claimed it as his own.

At last, the mountain trail descended and merged back into the jungle. Urol didn’t think the trail continued and recommended following game trails going south. Within hours, a dense fog overtook the party and a sense of foreboding descended. Urol indicated that he thought it was unnatural. Worse, Montgomery shivered and said he recognized the taint from when the Wave Riders attacked Harthagoa, the Demon Below, and that the fogs smelled of the abyss. After hours of walking, the party realized they were simply returning to the same spot, caught in some sort of magical ant trap.

A patch of ruined stonework was found, a dead man with a hole in his chest crucified and set upside down at its center. When they approached, the man opened his eyes and spoke to them, “Why, hello there. What is it like to be alive?” They had a nice dialogue with the trapped zombie who promised they would have lots of time together to talk about all sorts of things…until they, too, died. He refused to answer questions about who did this to him.

At that moment with a small pop and a flash of light, several demonic orangutans appeared in the group, one reaching for the gnome, Urol. Aleister recognized them as demons known as Barl-gura. They hissed, smiled and showed long fangs before attacking…

Session 25: Here There Be Monsters
Thunder Lizards and Terror Birds

Swept overboard, all in the party except for Shea and Crush managed to swim ashore. Ono surveyed the beach where they landed while his companions vomited salt water. The Sea Wyvern was a good 400 yards away, grounded on rocks or reef and listing to one side. Bodies of crew and broken crates bobbed in the tide. Far to the south, they saw the sole survivors other than themselves: Avner with his horse, Thunderstrike, Urol, Amelli, Jenkie Barnes and Montgomery Donovan.

Before they could exchange stories, an ear-splitting roar came from the nearby jungle. A gargantuan thunder lizard broke trees and ran onto the beach. Aleister identified it as a Tyrannosaurus capable of swallowing all of them whole. Jimmy and Bertram sunk bullet and arrow into its hide while Keahilani and Aleister started protective magics. The T-rex was upon them and grasped Bertram with one quick movement. Nearly dead, Bertram was saved from a gruesome fate inside the thunder lizard by Aleister’s sleep hex. The creature plummeted to the ground, asleep. Ono wound up his axe and delivered a coup-de-grace. With Urol’s help, the party saved key cuts of the beast’s meat for surviving in the jungle.

Urol and Aleister correctly deduced that they had beached on the far northeast corner of the Isle of Terror, some 130 miles away from Farshore. With the Sea Wyvern badly damaged the only course of action was an overland journey. Avner was furious, upset that he lost his rare wines and was sweating in such a savage land. Amelli was despondent and seemed out of place on solid land. Urol was perfectly happy, almost giddy to begin such a trek. Jenkie simply tended Montgomery as the older man’s shakes worsened and he cried out for a cup of grog.

With night approaching, they built a bonfire and convinced the survivors to eat fresh T-rex meat. Not long into the second watch, large carnivorous birds ambushed the party. These were the famed “terror birds!” Six of the creatures attacked with claws and bite, attempting to drag away party members. Fortunately, only Urol was small enough to be susceptible. The party vanquished the creatures and collected additional meat.

The next morning, they fought through Avner’s increasingly unreasonable demands and finally tethered Urol to prevent the gnome from wandering off. Jenkie and Montgomery were easy to manage since Jenkie took on the burden of helping Montgomery through withdrawal. Amellia couldn’t seem to break her depression. They scavenged food and water from the ship’s supplies that had beached. Aleister and Ono salvaged what they could from the Sea Wyvern itself.

Another day passed. Heat and mosquitoes at first were the greatest dangers. Urol guided them up the eastern coastal mountain range to an old road the ancient Tulita had built. Eventually, they encountered the site of an ancient meteor strike. In this bowl, enormous thunder lizards known as diplodocus were eating and wallowing in the mud. Before they could react, a young diplodocus ran from the trees bellowing. Four terror birds pursued it. Urol insisted that the party help the poor creature. Within moments, the party had killed the birds. Ozzy and Bertram managed to make the young lizard calmer by offering some of Thunderstrike’s feed, which Avner complained about for many hours.

Camping that night, the first watch was surprised by a brachiosaurus that came to investigate the campfire. The beast swung its mighty tail, but violence was avoided by Aleister’s sleep hex and copious amounts of Thunderstrike’s feed. They escorted the lizard away. Unable to deal with Avner’s whining, Ozzy foraged and found a variety of cascara. Mixing this with Avner’s rations created a mighty laxative, one that the young nobleman dealt with for the next twelve hours.

Continuing the trail, the party found themselves in ancient ruins. Spiders, small and large, covered all surfaces. In a ruined courtyard, a wizened woman sat hunched on a crumbling throne. She welcomed the party to her “web” and asked them not to hurt her “children” which apparently were the spiders. She seemed hungry for news of the outside world and the party shared some of their travels and conflicts. This seemed to satisfy the old woman. Unfortunately, she stated that she no longer traveled much, but did advise the party to continue on the trail which would eventually lead to a tunnel under the mountain. She also warned them of the terror bird nests to the south. With that, she transformed into a large spider and skittered away. Aleister surmised that she was a very ancient aranea and not hostile.

It didn’t take long to find the nesting grounds. The terror birds crept through the foliage. Urol cast Obscuring Mist to hide the non-combatants. Suddenly, six of the large birds attacked. More fearsome were the much larger nest mothers. Aleister enlarged Ono who waded into the fray. Jimmy and Bertram began dropping birds with ranged weapons. Keahilani mostly used his healing fire to both harm the birds and heal the party. Ozzy transformed into a crocodile and he and Crikey began tearing into the carnivores. Once defeated, the party searched through the nesting grounds, finding only a few valuables. However, Urol become very excited when they discovered three foot-long eggs. Bertram determined that the eggs were viable and also valuable. They created packing materials from weeds and supplies and had Amellia, Urol and Jenkie carried one each.

At last, they came to the entrance to the mountain tunnel pass. Signs of the ancient Tulita abounded. In one stagnant pool they found a red stone rod. Aleister believed it to be a key. They crossed a bridge over a chasm only to be attacked by gargantuan centipedes. Aleister become very sick from centipede venom but Bertram, Jimmy and Ono were able to squash the giant vermin. Covered in gore and slime, they made their way into a burial chamber. Though nothing of value was found, they discovered a concealed door. Pushing this open, they heard mutters in ancient Tulita of, “Trespassers” and “Thieves!” Swirls of dust coalesced into five figures draped in bandages. The mummies closed in and the scent of the grave filled the air.

Session 24: The Sea Wyvern's Wake
Journey's End

{Flashing back a few days prior: Keahilani scoured the collected library of Urthlan the Fiend Binder. Within were several mentions of the lost gnomish tribe, the Menehune. Coordinates were found that seemed to point the way to a lost refuge of the Menehune, on an island far to the south of Port Shaw. Mysterious phrases also indicated that the health of the razor sea, including that of Whale, Dolphin and Turtle, would not return until the chosen of Pele were restored.

Aleister spent much time reading the fiend binder’s book of binding. He seemed to chatter and cackle to himself. At dinner, the elf often smiled for no apparent reason.}

Ono and Bertram returned to the Sea Wyvern to provide instructions and sent Keahilani’s new cohort back to assist their friends. Jimmy was a former dragonsmoke addict, but through Keahilani’s patience and teachings, had found a way to be sober. His formidable archery skills returned and he joined his compatriots in exploring the ruins of Ohna-noki.

With their explorer friend, Urol, in tow, the party made their way down the narrow, rock corridor. The strange lights and humming noises were now gone. Instead, their way was blocked by an out-of-place sheet of iron. Aleister determined that it was a Wall of Iron spell that had been triggered many weeks prior. With no ability to dispel it, the party began hammering it. Crush, Crikey and Ozzy finally tore a rent in the thin sheet. Inside, they saw a near-perfect replica of the city that once was, including a miniature pyramid at the center of a large room.

Once inside, they were surprised by a pair of bat-like varrangoin. The extraplanar creatures breathed fire and did flyby attacks with their venomous stingers. Aleister identified weaknesses and Jimmy used cold iron arrows to hammer the beasts. She sent Crush flying about the room to do battle. Ozzy shapeshifted and together with Crikey began to tear into the creatures. Once Aleister put one to sleep, the battle seemed won. At that moment, the source of the strange lights seen earlier appeared. Two orbs of blue light attacked Keahilani and Jimmy. Will o’Wisps sent electric currents through the heroes, all the while screeching that the cavern was theirs and they would not be separated again. Even the odd aberrations were no match for the party.

They explored the pyramid, finding a secret compartment on the top level that contained a sarcophagus. Inside, they found gold and magical prayer beads, but the dessicated corpse inside erupted into toxic dust. Keahilani found that Urol and Ozzy both had mummy rot. They rested in order to remove disease and curse before progressing. Though they had difficult in removing Urol from his studies, they entered the last chamber where they found a golden bat idol. Keahilani identified this as a representation of Camazotz, an ancient god of bats and the night. He determined that this ancient Tulita branch began worship of Camazotz and left behind Pele, Whale, Dolphin and Turtle. Thought quite valuable, Aleister also determine that the idol was magical and, though had no use by itself, was likely a magic key.

Dragging Urol with them, they returned to the ship. Once at sea again, Keahilani and Aleister had to follow The Blue Nixie’s lead and navigate the notorious Pearl Current, where ships were often sent off course. Success was brief. The next day, a tropical storm hit. Though the party helped the crew survive with minimal damage, they found that they were separated from Lavinia’s ship. Standing orders were to continue to Farshore and meet up there. Though worried, they spent another peaceful night at sea, only to woken by the crew near sunrise.

The Sea Wyvern was motionless. All around was a seaweed sargasso that entrapped the ship like chains. The crew murmured and seemed frightened. Aleister checked his memory and decided that this very well could be the legendary “Journey’s End,” a sargasso that sailors said could swallow ships and send its “children” to kill the crew. Attempts to burn or hack away the sargasso proved fruitless. They found they could walk on the spongy material, though treacherous, and made their way to the closest of several shipwrecks. The Rage as its rusted nameplate suggested, was in ruins. Signs of a battle and hastily built fires were everywhere onboard. Moving into the hold, they managed to save a journal right before the sargasso came to life. Assassin vines attempted to entangle and strangle them. Once these were dealt with, they read the journal of a monk who told a tale of becoming stuck in the sargasso and endless waves of plant creatures stealing his crew. He had sent out scouts to explore another wreckage and they returned changed, “children” of whatever presence lived at the heart of Journey’s End.

Resolved to change their fate, the party trekked through the spongy pseudo-island. The attacks began. Wave after wave of viny horrors, oddly humanoids creatures, some still wearing tatters of clothes, attacked them. They hissed, “Outsiders…” over and over and seemed endless. After their third battle, they realized there were hundreds more of the creatures slowly forming in the distance. Each of these vine horrors could summon assassin vines and it felt hopeless. One last group of creatures prevented them from reaching what they perceived as the center of the sargasso, where the remains of the ship named The Thunderer was barely visible. As they did battle with the vine monsters, the creatures summoned assassin vines to hold them tight. A vague rumbling could be heard and an 18-foot shambling creature made of coral and seaweed shuffled towards them. Shea believed it to be a twisted form of treant and sent Crush to do battle. After many arrows from Jimmy, fireballs from Keahilani and the combined efforts of Crikey and Ozzy, the treant and the vine horrors fell. They ran to the shipwreck and climbed aboard.

Onboard the moldy, soggy remains of the caravel, they immediately battled through more vine horrors to reach the hold. At last, they reached the bottom-most level, the hold entirely encrusted by vines and seaweed. A crumbling door revealed the ship’s treasure to still be intact. They had little time to appreciate it as the word “Outsiders” reverberated through the hold. Vine horrors emerged and a presence could be felt towards the aft end of the ship. Most of the party was instantly entangled, though Crush flew towards the aft end to find a deep chasm leading down into the sargasso. A “thing” pulsated at the bottom, malignant and implacable. He flew the hundred feet to the bottom and encountered a dislocated sack of foul-smelling vegetation, an enormous monstrosity that was the sargasso: The Mother of All. It’s vast, distended belly was bathed in a green mucous and vaguely humanoids forms, arms and legs protruded from its core. These infantile vine horrors raked and screeched at Crush. Eyes emerged from all over the mother and they looked upon Crush with hate.

Though he swung his greatsword and chunks of vegetable matter flew from the Mother of All, it wasn’t enough. The huge creature bit and clawed the eidolon to shreds. Surrounded by vine horrors and their summoned assassin vines, the remainder of the party was mired in combat. Aleister, Jimmy and Ozzy went down only to be revived by Keahilani. Shea used a focused power to re-summon Crush. Jimmy and Aleister went into the aft area to take out the Mother. As Jimmy rained arrows into the bulk of the plant one hundred feet below, The Mother of All put out a psychic screech. Aleister, attempting to get close enough for his own hexes to work, found himself stuck and very near the most fearsome creature they had ever encountered. The Mother of All took out the elven witch with a few claw swipes. Jimmy continued to harry the monster until…it disappeared. It appeared next to the rest of the party, using some variant of Transport via Plants.

Not seeing Aleister, Keahilani took his remaining healing, ran to the maw and jumped in. The drop nearly killed him, but the cleric was still alive, reviving the almost-dead witch. The two climbed long strands of seaweed. Crikey and Ozzy were shrugged aside. Crush was almost dismissed again while Shea struggled to avoid the Mother’s reach. Out of spells and healing, Keahilani and Aleister did what they could. The Mother fell to Jimmy’s cold iron arrows, melting into sludge. They gathered the considerable treasure in the hold and ran back to The Sea Wyvern as the sargasso began to break up. The hundreds of vine horrors began to screech and turn into mush as they rushed by. Their ship was freed and, with a little help from sword and axe, they found the open ocean once again.

Two days of peace were well-deserved. But fleeting. Another storm hit, this one more severe than the last. Keahilani and Aleister struggled to deliver orders to the crew. As crewmen went overboard and others lashed themselves to masts and simply prayed, the ship listed violently, turned and all seemed to go black….

Session 23: The Sea Wyvern's Wake
Pirates and Ruins

Bidding Jacinth farewell, the party left Dolentla Island in order to catch the prevailing wind and head southwest towards the Isle of Terror. Leading the way with The Sea Wyvern, the party was tailed by Lavinia in her ship, The Blue Nixie. Much time was spent pacifying the stronger personalities onboard such as Avner (who complained incessantly about his horse’s lack of exercise), Rowyn (clearly losing her mind and still locked up in the hold) and Urol Furol, the gnome explorer who chattered crazily and became more excited the closer the ship came to his goal: The Ruins of Ohna-noki.

Two days passed and the ship’s lookout spotted four vessels approaching from the south. Flags of parley were spotted but the party remained suspicious. Bertram identified the two closest ships as Hell’s Fury and The Demon, notorious as part of the pirate group known as the Crimson Fleet. The Blue Nixie broke off to confront two of the ships. Aleister deftly gained the weather gauge and Ono brought cannon and ballista to bear. As the pirates realized their ruse was useless, they organized their own cannon.

Keahilani launched a well-placed fireball into The Demon, causing its rigging to go up in flame and slowing the vessel. With only one enemy ship to confront, the party closed. Cannons fired and ballista were launched at officers on the enemy deck. Two wizard pirates became visible, flying above The Sea Wyvern, and rained fireballs into the ship. Aleister flew to the meet the enemy casters, putting one to sleep, where he drifted in the wind. The eidolon, Crush, flew to the other spellcaster and cut him down before he could launch more flame. A cleric of Demogorgon cast Unholy Blight and Chaos Hammer, killing many of the party’s crewmen. Ozzy summoned crocodiles onto the enemy ship to harass the cleric while Bertram sniped at a barbarian officer and the dwarf captain.

The pirates took the battle to the party and completed a boarding action with grappling hooks. Their crew fired cannon grapeshot into the decks of The Sea Wyvern, inflicting heavy casualties. The dwarf pirate captain closed with Keahilani, screaming maniacally and hacking into the priest with a wicked dwarven axe. Ono came to Keahilani’s rescue and Ozzy ordered Crikey to tussle with the spear-wielding half-orc officer. An enemy musketeer attempted to rain shot into the ship, but was shot down by Bertram and neutralized.

Within minutes, all officers aboard the pirate ship were dead or captured. A few of the pirate crew were deemed trust-worthy and motivated enough to replace fallen crewmen while the rest were set afloat, along with the remaining officer, the cleric of Demogorgon, stripped of all possessions and throwing creative curses at the party as she drifted away. Lavinia’s crew fared just as well, having set both pirate vessels on flame and scuttling them to the last man. Hell’s Fury escaped and put all effort into gaining the wind and fleeing south.

Towing the captured pirate vessel, the convoy made its way to a cargo pit named Renkue in order to resupply, take on fresh water and replace fallen crew. After a short rest, Lavinia indicated that they needed to meet their obligation to Urol and stop near a small island to explore the ruins of Ohna-noki. Within a day, they arrived at the island, the party taking Urol to the beach in small boats. Urol explained that he obtained the map to the ruins from a “one-legged sailor who seemed reputable.” This sailor had said that he and his party attempted to loot the ruins, only for most of them to perish at the claws and gaze of a large lizard that turned them into statues.

Urol indicated he had “lots” of Stone Salve oils, which, upon further questioning, Bertram determined equaled “two.” Aleister recalled that basilisk gazes could be averted and that their blood could be used to coat a transformed individual and turn him back into flesh. Taking precautions, they journeyed an hour into the jungle. The ruins towered above them. Moldering taxidermied cats and other animals were strewn about a clearing and odd statuary was placed haphazardly throughout. Keahilani stepped on a twig and the denizen of one crumbled tunnel squeezed from its lair.

It was a basilisk. A greater basilisk, an enormous specimen. Everyone attempted to avert their eyes and stay out of range. Ono was the first to be turned into stone, followed quickly by Aleister. As the dumb beast became enthralled with the statue of Ono, the party launched spell and bullet, hoping to kill it before it wiped out the rest of them. Shea applied Stone Salve and returned Aleister to himself. Another was applied to Ono, who was quickly turned back into stone by the magical lizard. Ozzy summoned several crocodiles only to have them stoned as well. Keahilani cast protective magic and Crush was able to close with the beast while Bertram shot it from afar. Aleister delivered the killing blow with a Burning Hands spell and the basilisk crumpled.

After looting its lair, they went east into another tunnel to find an ancient statue on the north and an empty, cavernous well to the south. Urol frantically took notes and diagrammed what he saw, explaining that the statue was likely a deity worshiped by these ancient Tulita, perhaps a demon lord. Aleister determined that the well once held Liquid Light, a sacred and magical material used in religious ceremonies. While none of the magical liquid remained, three chaos beast did. The beasts oozed up the well, causing confusion and blinding several members while their hungry mouths bit deep. Aleister, covered in a chaos beast, was saved by Crush and Keahilani. Hacking and spelling the creatures was tedious but, at last, they melted away into nothing. More treasure was found deep in the well and Urol excitedly urged them into the last remaining northern tunnel.

As the gnome took copious notes, the party looked in awe at the dusty pictographs, taxidermied animals and other artifacts. Entering a wide chamber, they triggered a Wall of Fire_ trap that moved towards them with alarming speed. Aleister dispelled it temporarily. From the east, strange sounds and lights were heard. Dragging the distracted gnome with them, the party headed east to meet the new threat…

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!

Session 21: Sinful Whispers
Dolentla Island

The white whale bore down on the Sea Wyvern. The officers of the ship maneuvered the vessel so the port-side cannon could be fired. Bertram organized a well-placed shot to the beast’s head. Though hurt, the creature went under the ship and attempted to capsize it. The Sea Wyvern listed heavily to one side but was too much for the whale to lift. After a few moments, it was apparent that the creature had left. Ozzy was certain it didn’t act naturally and would have to give it more thought.

The remainder of the day was spent pacifying the new crew and ensuring the regular crewmen kept the ship functioning. Avner continued to be an obnoxious thorn in their side, but not as much as Jacinth Deepwarder. The elf continued to believe she could commandeer the vessel better than Keahilani. The cleric pacified her with a gem-encrusted suit of studded leather armor and a few trinkets.

A few hours later, a yellow-sailed slaver ship hoisted a white flag of truce and asked to parley. Taking precautions and with the Blue Nixie not far away, the Sea Wyvern connected grappling hooks and the officers boarded the slaver ship. The mates of the ship met them and explained that something was wrong with their captain; he seemed to listen too much to the slaves and had released them to do manual chores, while also disarming the regular crew. The mates of the slaver ship asked them to talk to the captain. Captain Hazeltree himself showed up, smiling, with an older Tulita man at his side. Keahilani and Ozzy immediately noticed Hazeltree was charmed and that the Tulita man, K’oku’wa, was feeding him instructions. Joining them in the cabin, while Aleister kept Hazeltree occupied, the others got the truth out of K’oku’wa. He had some spellcasting ability and managed to charm Hazeltree when his people were captured, however he was now out of charm spells and feared for his life. The party agreed to help him. Aleister turned to Hazeltree and promptly put him to sleep.

They burst onto the deck of the slaver ship, K’oku’wa right behind them. When the mates realized what was happening, the ship erupted into chaos as slaves and crewmen alike picked up objects to use as weapons. The four mates might have been easy work for the party, however, as they engaged, two of the crewmen began to shapeshift and turned into large weresharks, shouting about their hunger and need to serve Dajobas. As weresharks turned on both slaves and crew, the party cut through the mates in order to take out the lycanthropes. Bertram exploded one in a volley of gun shot, while Sir Mog, Ozzy and Crikey began to tear the other one apart. Once freed, the Tulita were thankful. They made a bargain with Keahilani: They kept the ship and, in return, would send a delegation to the Port Shaw region to bolster Milliaukau and Kaho Ali’i’s Tulita. The party bid farewell and returned to their own ship and a rendezvous with The Blue Nixie. Jacinth made it clear that the party broke the law and that she would “tell” her uncle when they returned to Port Shaw.

In the distance, two ships with the yellow sails of slavers from Carcass were spotted, likely connected to Hazeltree’s convoy. Lavinia mobilized The Blue Nixie to confront one while the Sea Wyvern took the other. The Jade Ravens wasted no time in setting the slaver ship on fire and began to bombard it with spell and ballista fire. Keahilani urged the crew to intercept the other slaver. Aleister performed deft navigation maneuvers and both cannon were moved to the port side. Once within range, Bertram organized the crew to deliver a volley of cannon fire. Both hit and the slaver ship listed to one side. Keahilani threw a fireball into their rigging and the slavers were at their mercy. While the half-orc captain, his gnome sorcerer and two ballista-wielding ogres put up a fight, Aleister’s Stinking Cloud and Web spells quickly stopped them. Sir Mog attempted a boarding action but fell into the ocean, his plate mail taking him deep. Ozzy was forced to transform into a crocodile to save their comrade. Slaves were freed and allowed to join K’oku’wa on his new vessel. With the ship mostly destroyed, the party towed the surviving crew of both ships to a deserted rock to let nature have its way with them. The enemy of The Blue Nixie simply burned and they left it to its fate.

The next morning they spotted Dolentla Island. Jacinth seemed disturbed by the flotsam and jetsam in the water, gasping when she saw belongings from her old friends. Strangely, no corpses or other signs of violence were seen. The white whale rose again and Jacinth screamed. Again, a cannon ball found its mark, but this time the whale seemed intent on simply smashing the hull of the ship. As it struck wildly, Bertram, Ozzy and Keahilani launched ranged attacks. At last, Aleister put the beast to sleep. Keahilani and Aleister noted a faint magical connection leading to the jungle on Dolentla Island. After debate, they decided not to kill the creature and left without pursuit.

A raft listed in the waves and Aleister flew to retrieve it and tie it to the Sea Wyvern. Figures groaned and moved under a large tarp. Using mage hand from the ship, he lifted the tarp. Three sea hags cackled and got up, their horrific gaze weakening the crew and officers. A fourth, more comely hag, rose and smiled at the party. Bertram identified her as a red hag and more dangerous than the others. Most dangerous was the fact that they could operate as a coven and access deadly powers. Aleister distracted a couple with an agony spell while Keahilani blinded and hurt them with holy power. Sir Mog jumped into the fray along with Crikey and Ozzy. Before the hag sisters could launch a Blight spell, Aleister put one to sleep. Though blind, the red hag used a blood sense ability to locate the party and started the ship on fire with Flamestrike. Once Mog and Crikey went to work while Bertram fired slugs into them, the hags couldn’t last and were soon defeated.

Lavinia chose to anchor some distance away and the party scouted the island, finding that the east and south sides were treacherous and would be difficult to reach. The north and west beaches seemed much easier. Jacinth insisted on coming and they took a row boat to the north beach. Once there,a swarm of stirges erupted from the jungle to drain Aleister and Crikey. The party hacked and slung Burning Hands spells at the swarm until it dissipated. Jacinth, meanwhile, ran screaming towards the jungle before stopping and covering her face, “No! Not again!” Feral, naked humanoids approached from the interior to grab her. A quick Web spell from Aleister slowed them enough for Mog, Crikey and Ozzy to attack. The creatures seemed to fly into a rage and attacked with bare nails and teeth. At last, they killed the feral humans and rescued Jacinth. Oddly, the strange beings showed the magical energy leading into the jungle, similar to the whale.

Darkness came and they set up camp. From the interior of the island came the sounds of wild screams, hoots and the beating of drums.


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