Rodrigo (Swashbuckler 4), with henchman Corvus (Fighter 2)
Kwinsea (Aquamancer 4), with familiar Hermes and henchman Jaz (Elf 1)
Abdul el Abdul (Fighter 4)
Aug Wahmn (Calmonari 2)
Torak (Cleric 4) [NPC]
Raising sail, the party had Lynessa turn the "Purple Haze" back towards the Anchorage, to bring Abdul el Abdul's rapidly purifying remains to the witch Bellephrone. The first couple of days sailing brought fair weather, but wind on the beam, resulting in slower than ideal progress. There was a little excitement on the second day, when Corvus spied something approaching from the north. Whatever it was appeared to be following the wind. The party had Lynessa turn the ship around to start tacking towards it. After a few hours fighting the wind, 'it' turned out to be a woman on a raft made of coconuts lashed together. The woman, native looking and wearing an odd mix of palm frond skirt and crude gold jewelry, waved her arms in the air and screamed indecipherably at the approaching ship. The two vessels continued to close, however, and when the raft was almost abeam of the ship, the young woman stopped screaming and reached into a nearby sack. She emerged with two coconuts, which she hurled at the "Purple Haze", one of which whacked Kwinsea up the side of the head. That made the aquamancer mad, so she tied the woman up with command rope. With the raft now safe to board, the party descended on the woman, relieved her of her gold, and determined she was totally and irretrievably mad. So they left her aboard the raft, and turned away before the spell ended and before they they had to face another barrage of coconuts.
That adventure over, the ship faced another one the next day, when a winter storm raged out of the north, tossed the "Purple Haze" about and shredded sail, lines and spars. They also completely lost control of sailing direction, and when the storm finally abated the next day, they found themselves far off course. Thanks to Abdul el Abdul's directional crystal, they were able to figure out they were further north than expected, but with no idea how far away. Regardless, they turned about to head back towards the crystal caves, and hopefully thence to the Anchorage. With fair wind they made good time, and after a few days encounter land. In fact, they encountered the island at which they'd sheltered from the last winter storm, on their outward journey to the Jungle Isles. Knowing now where they were, the "Purple Haze" was turned to the north-west and in a couple of more days they were 'home'.
In the shelter of the port they found three vessels:
- "Valorous Star", the floating warehouse of the over-perfumed elf, Lifjin;
- "Loreman's Passage", the former ship of their erstwhile employer Yorik, looking rather worst for wear.; and
- a ship with a hull made of skins stretched over some sort of framework, loaded to the gunnels with felled logs.
Focusing on the task at hand, the party prepared to go ashore with Abdul el Abdul's body. They were interrupted, however, by a boat approaching from the "Loreman's Passage". In it were four disreputable looking, heavily armed, characters. They hailed the "Purple Haze" and asked what their business was in the Anchorage. When told they were resting the crew, repairing the ship, and raising the fighter, the quartet showed much interest in the prospect of the party leaving the "Purple Haze". The four tried to squeeze more information out of them, specifically where they'd been and how much gold they'd recovered. When the party continued to be tight lipped, the four rowed back to the "Loreman's Passage". Meanwhile, Aug Wahmn dove overboard on the opposite side of the "Purple Haze", and them swam with one ear to the bottom of the retreating rowboat. By some miracle, the calmonari was able to listen in on the occupants conversation. It would appear the four were looking for easy pickings, and thought they might be able to storm the "Purple Haze" and take her over when the party was away with Bellephrone. When Aug Wahmn swam back and relayed this information, the party changed their plans. Half the party would go ashore with Abdul el Abdul (keeping one eye open for ambush), while the other half would guard the ship. Having thus covered all their bases, the half-party brought Abdul el Abdul to the sardonic Bellephrone. The witch agreed to bring the fallen fighter back in return for the last magical silk hachimaki ('water'). The party also asked her to identify some of their newly acquired magic items; specifically, the scimitar carried by Awg Wahmn, the leather armor and short sword from the king's tomb, and the pair of wands Kwinsea was carrying. This Bellephrone was glad to do for a price of 4000gp. She took Abdul's' body and the five items, and told the party to return on the morrow.
With no unpleasant incidents from the occupants of the "Loreman's Passage", the half-party returned to the hut in the pine wood the next day. There they found Abdul el Abdul waiting for them, a little wheezier than before and buck naked. As the fighter donned the clothes and armor the party had brought with them, everyone gathered around the hear about the magic items:
- The scimitar was a mighty +2 weapon, but was cursed. Every time the wielder drew the blade in anger, he/she would first have to wet the blade with his/her own blood before using it in battle;
- The armor was +3 leather which would bind wounds suffered by the wearer;
- The short sword was a +3 weapon, which could summon simian servants; and
- the wands were a wand of secret door detection and a wand of fear.
Thus better informed of their capabilities, the party returned to their ship. The crew had repaired the storm damage, so they hoisted sail and headed back towards the Jungle Isles. They decided along the way to head back to the lost city of the Madaro-Shanti, and a few days fair sail found the ship back at anchor off the island of the black mist.The party jumped ashore, and worked their way back through the jungle and into the ruined city. They met no notable opposition along the way, and made straight for the palace. Passing through the large entry chamber, they first explored the pillared halls from which the first ghoul monkeys had attacked. Finding nothing of interest there, they moved on down a narrow passage to a series of partly ruined rooms and alcoves. One they recognized as the room where they'd fought zombies from down below. The entrance to a second room was blocked by a massive pile of rubble. While climbing up, the party disturbed a quartet of giant centipedes which were dispatched with ease thanks to Jax's sleep spell.
In the next two alcoves contained, respectively, a lion statue and a wooden chest. The statue was looked over quickly, and when nothing of note was found, attention turned to the chest. It appeared in remarkably good condition considering the ruined state of most of the other woodwork examined thus far. Awg Wahmn carefully examined it, and noted that it wasn't quite as solid as it would appear at first glance. A yellow, powdery substance extruded between the cracks and rot of the wood, seemingly holding it together. The calmonari decided it best not to disturb at close range, so he/she retreated and let Abdul el Abdul shoot it with a crossbow bolt. It went right through, and a cloud of yellow dust billowed into the air. Rodrigo then decided to saturate the chest with water before holding his breath and breaking it open. Inside was a pile of mildewed fibres, a handful of strange gold coins, and a set of gleaming bronze greaves and bracers, plus matching helmet.
Washing off and taking the loot, the party pushed on into the next room. This was a large chamber, with the ceiling two stories above supported by pillars. Overlooking it on the floor above was a partially tumbled balcony. There was little time to look around, however, as a cacophony of hooting howls announced the presence of ghoul monkeys, hiding behind the pillars. As the mad simians descended on the party, there arose from the balcony above another threat; a flock of strange bird-like creatures with very long beaks. These flew down to join the attack, and two scored hits on Torak and Rodrigo, inserting their beaks deep into their bodies and sucking their blood. Luckily, the ghoul monkeys and birds were eliminated without any loss, leaving the party looking around and decide what to do next ...
GAINSCollection of crude gold jewelry (900gp)
6 Ghoul Monkeys
4 Giant Centipedes
4 Giant Centipedes